The Journals of All the Parliaments During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. Originally published by Irish University Press, Shannon, Ire, 1682.
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THE JOURNAL OF THE House of COMMONS.
A Journal of the Proceedings of the House of Commons, in the Parliament bolden at Westminster, An. 13 Reg. Eliz. A. D. 1571, which began there on Monday the 2d day of April, and then and there continued until the Dissolution thereof on Tuesday the 29th day of May ensuing.
This present Journal of the House of Commons de an. 13 Regin. Eliz. is not only plentifully stored with all usual Passages touching the Orders and Priviledges of the House, but is most worthy to be had in Eternal Remembrance, in respect of the long agitation and judicious debatement of matters of Religion, and Ecclesiastical Government: for the Reformation of which, the said House did express a great deal of earnest zeal and care, although all in the issue came to nothing, out of that old Principle inculcated into her Majesty by some politick Head, and misapplyed by her; viz. that nothing must be innovated in matters of Religion. All which matters, with those also less extraordinary, are more largely set down in the Original JournalBook of the House of Commons, than was usual in the former Journals of her Majesties Reign, by reason that Fulk onslow Esq;, did, as may be guessed, succeed in the place of Clerk of the said House, unto ...... Seymour Esq;, somewhat before the beginning of this Parliament. Which said Journal is also much perfected out of an imperfect Journal of the same House I had by me, taken by some Anonymous Member of the said House, at this Parliament; in which, to avoid confusion, whatsoever is here inserted out of the said imperfect Journal, is distinguished by some Animadversion.
The third Parliament of Queen Elizabeth held in the Thirteenth Year of her Majesties most happy and prosperous Reign, begun at the City of Westminster, upon Monday the second day of April, and during the time that her Majesty was at the Sermon at Westminster Church, whither she had repaired about ten of the Clock in the Forenoon of the said Monday, the Lord Clinton High Admiral of England, accompanied with divers of her Majesties most Honourable Privy Council; that is to say, Sir Francis Knolles Kt, Treasurer of her Highness most Honourable Houshold, Sir James Crofts Kt, Comptroller of the same, Sir Ralph Sadler Kt, Chancellor of her Majesties Dutchy of Lancaster, Sir Walter Mildmay Kt, Chancellor of her Highness Court of Exchequer, and Sir Thomas Smith Knight, repaired into the Lower House of Parliament; And there in the presence and hearing of a great number of the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the same Parliament Assembled, the said Lord Clinton signified, that the Queens Majesty had called and appointed him to be the Steward of her Highness most Honourable Houshold, to continue during her Majesties pleasure: which being like wife affirmed and testified by the said other of her Highness most Honourable Privy-Council, the said Lord Steward then further declared, that he did then and there name, Constitute and Authorize the said Sir Francis Knolles, Sir James Crafts, Sir Ralph Sadler, Sir Walter Mildmay, and Sir Thomas Smith Knights, to be his Deputies, for and in the ministring of the Oath, to all and singular the Knights of the Shires, Citizens of Cities, Burgesses of Boroughs, and Barons of the Ports, returned and to be returned for that present Parliament, according to the form of the Statute in that behalf then lately made and provided.
And immediately thereupon, the said Lord Steward, and his Deputies, did then and there Minister the said Oath, to all such of the said Knights, Citizens, Burgesses and Barons, as were then present accordingly. Which done, the Sermon ended, and the Queens Majesty sat in her Royal Seat, in the Upper House of Parliament, the Commons standing at the lower end of the Chamber, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, learnedly and briefly declared the Causes of Calling the said Parliament; and so in the end willed them to repair into their House, and there after their accustomed manner, to chuse of themselves an apt and fit man to be their Speaker, and to present him to the Queens Majesty on the Wednesday next following in the Afternoon. Whereupon the said Commons immediately resorted to their Common House, and being there Assembled, the Right Worshipful Mr Christopher Wray Esq;, one of the Queens Majesties Serjeants at Law, was by the first motion and nomination of the said Mr Treasurer, with one voice of the said whole House, Chosen to be Speaker, and placed in the Chair, notwithstanding his Allegations of disabling himself, and humble request for their proceeding to a new Election.
On Wednesday the 4th day of April in the Afternoon, Christopher Wray Esquire, one of the Queens Majesties Serjeants at Law, the Speaker Elect of the House of Commons, was presented unto her Highness; who sitting in her Royal Seat, and allowing and affirming the Election, after his Oration made, and ordinary Petitions granted, the said Lord Keeper willed him with the residue to repair to the House of Commons, there to deliberate and consult upon the making of such good and wholesome Laws, as might tend to the advancement of Gods Glory, and preservation and safety of the Queens Majesty, and the Common-Wealth of this Realm of England. And thereupon the said Mr Speaker, and the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons, returned back unto their own House; and being there sat, one Bill (according to the usual Course) had its first reading, which was
The Bill concerning coming to Church, and receiving the Communion.
It was this day finally agreed, upon the Motion of Mr Speaker, that the Letany should be read every day in the House, during this Parliament, as in the last was used; and also a Prayer by Mr Speaker, such as he should think fittest for this time, to be begun every day at half an hour after eight of the Clock in the Morning, and that each one of this House then Making default should forfeit every time four pence to the poor Mans Box.
On Thursday the 5th day of April, Thomas Clark and Anthony Bull of the Inner-Temple London Gentlemen, were by this House committed to the Serjeants Ward, until further order should be taken with them, for that they presumed to enter into this House, and were no Members of the same, as themselves at the Bar confessed.
This day the House was called, and thereupon Edward Lewkenor, John Bullock, Nicholas Plumtree, Edward Goodwyn, and John Garnons, were Commanded to attend the order of this House to Morrow next, for that the House being this day called, they had entred into the House, and had not as then been returned by the Clerk of the Crown, except Garnons, whose Case is, for that he is said to be Excommunicate.
On Friday the 6th day of April, It was Ordered that the Burgesses for Estringsted, shall remain according to the return.
This day Mr Treasurer, Mr Serjeant Manwood, Geffrie and Lovelace, Mr Fletman, Mr Bell, and Mr Mounson, were appointed to conser with Mr Attorney, and Mr Sollicitor, about the return of the Burgesses following; for that the same Towns returned no Burgesses the last Parliament, viz.
And to meet to Morrow in the Afternoon, at three of the Clock in Mr Treasurers Chamber at the Court.
Nota, That these ensuing Speeches are taken out of the before-mentioned Anonymous Journal.
Mr Strickland, a grave and ancient Man of Great Zeal, stood up, and made a long Discourse, tending to the remembrance of Gods Goodness, giving unto us the light of his Word, together with the gracious disposition of her Majesty, by whom as by his Instrument, God hath wrought so great, things, and blaming our slackness and carelesness, in not esteeming and following the time and blessing offered; but still as men not sufficiently instructed what is truth, or so that we think it not convenient to publish and profess it openly, and that all reproachful Speeches of the slanderous might be stopped, the draw-backs brought forward, and the Over-runners, such as over-run, and exceed the rule of the Law, reduced to a certainty, he thought it Operæ pretium, to be occupied therein; for which purpose he said, the Professors of the Gospel in other Nations, had writ and published to the World the Confession of their Faith, as did those of Strasburgh and Franckford, &c. for which purpose also great Learned men in this Realm had travelled, as Peter Martyr, Paulus Fagius, and others, whose works hereupon were Extant.
And before this time an offer thereof was made in Parliament, that it might be approved; but either the slackness or somewhat else of some men in that time, was the lett thereof, or what else, he said, he would not say. This Book, he said, rested in the Custody of Mr Norton, as he guessed, a man neither ill disposed to Religion, nor a negligent Keeper of such matters of Charge, and thereupon requested that Mr Norton might be required to produce the same; he added also, that after so many Years, as now by Gods Providence we had been learning the purity of Gods truth, we should not permit for any cause of Policy, or other pretence, any errors in matters of Doctrine to continue amongst us. And therefore, said he, although the Book of CommonPrayer is (God be praised) drawn very near to the sincerity of the truth, yet are there some things inserted more superstitious, than in so high matters be tolerable; as namely, in the Administration of the Sacrament of Baptism, the sign of the Cross to be made with some Ceremonies, and such other Errors, all which, he said, might well be changed, without note of chopping or changing of Religion, whereby the Enemies might slander us; it being a Reformation not contrariant, but directly pursuant to our Profession, that is, to have all things brought to the purity of the Primitive Church, and institution of Christ. He spake at large of the abuses of the Church of England, and of the Churchmen; as first, that known Papists are admitted to have Ecclesiastical Government, and great Livings; that Godly, honest and Learned Protestants, have little or nothing; That Boyes are dispensed with to have spiritual Promotions; That by Friendship with the Master of the Faculties, either unable men are qualified, or some one man allowed to have too many several Livings; Finally, he concluded with Petition, that by Authority of the House, some convenient number of them might be assigned, to have Conference with the Lords of the Spiritualty, for consideration and reformation of the matters by him remembred. Vide Apr. 26. Tuesday postea.
Mr Norton, a man wife, bold and Eloquent, stood up next, and said, he was not ignorant, but had long since learned what it was to speak on a sudden, or first, before other men in Parliament. Yet being occasioned by Mr Strickland, he said, that truth it was, he had a Book tending to the same effect; but (quoth he) the Book was not drawn by those whom he named, but by vertue of the Act of 32. at the assignation, or by the Advice of eight Bishops, eight Divines, eight Civilians, and eight temporal Lawyers, who having in Charge, to make Ecclesiastical Constitutions, took in hand the same; which was drawn by that Learned man, Mr Doctor Haddon, and penned by that Learned Man Mr Cheeke; whereupon he said, that consideration had been, and some travel bestowed by Mr Fox of late, and that there was a Book newly Printed, to be offered to that House; which he did then and there, presently shew forth. And for the rest of Mr Stricklands Motions, he said he was of his mind, chiefly for the avoiding and suppressing of Simoniacal Ingrossments.
Whereupon were appointed for that purpose for redress of sundry defections in those matters, these following; viz. All the Privy-Council being Members of this House, Sir Henry Nevill, Sir Thomas Thinne, Sir Thomas Lucy, Sir Henry Gate, the Master of the Requests, Mr Heneage, Mr Recorder, Mr Bell, Mr Henry Knolles Sen., Mr Mounson, Mr Norton, Mr Strickland, Mr Godier, Mr William More, and Mr Doctor Berkley.
These names being thus transcribed out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, as were those two foregoing Speeches of Mr Strickland, and Mr Norton, out of that beforecited Anonymous Journal of the same House, more particularly mentioned at the beginning of this present Journal, now follow other passages of this day out of the same.
The Bill concerning coming to the Church, and receiving the Communion, was read the second time; and thereupon Sir Thomas Smith speaking for the maintenance thereof, argued; and in part wished the Bishops to have consideration thereof.
After whom Mr Fleetwood moved, that the penalty of that Statute should not go to Promoters, and said it was a device but of late brought in, in the time of King Henry the Eighth, the first year of his Reign, and shewed the Evils and inconveniences that did grow by these mens doings; wherein no reformation was sought, but private gain to the most of men. He said also, that matter of going to the Church, or for the service of God, did directly appertain to that Court; and that we all have as well learned this Lesson, that there is a God, who is to be served, as have the Bishops. And thereupon he undertook to prove by the old Laws, vouched from King Edgar, that the Princes in their Parliaments have made Ecclesiastical Constitutions: as these; That if any Servant shall work upon the Sabbath day by the Commandment of his Master, he should be free; if of himself, he should be whipped; if a Freeman should work, he should be bound, or grevously amerced. Then he concluded upon request, that it might be committed to some of the House, without the Bishops, who perhaps would be slow.
Sir Owen Hopton moved very orderly, that the Presentation of such defaults should not only depend upon the relation of the Church-Wardens, who being for the most part simple, and mean men, and fearing to offend, would rather incur danger of Perjury, than displease some of their Neighbours; he shewed for proof, Experience.
It may be gathered by these foregoing Speeches transcribed out of that Anonymous Journal, more particularly mentioned at the beginning of this present Journal, that Mr Fleetwood moved to have this Bill referred to Committees; but their names being there omitted, are therefore wholly transcribed out of the Original JournalBook of the House of Commons, in manner and form following; viz.
Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Owen Hopton, Sir Thomas Grot, the Masters of the Requests, Mr Serjeant Manwood, Mr Serjeant Geoffry, Mr Fleetwood and Mr Sands, who were appointed to meet in the Star-Chamber, at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
The Bill for preservation of Woods, was read the first time.
On Saturday the 7th day of April, the Bill concerning Religion was read, and the first of the said Bills was delivered to the Commissioners, and the residue read, and appointed to remain in the House, and this not to stand for any reading. Vide what Bills these were, on Tuesday May the 17th ensuing.
It should seem that the first of these Bills here mentioned, is that which is stiled the Bill A, and the other Bills those which were then also offered to the House, and thereupon referred to certain select Committees, to be considered of, before they were suffered to be read in the House; which being admitted of this day, was not allowed by the House for any reading, but only, as may very well be gathered, for the said House it self to consider of them, before they were furthere entertained.
But there can be no absolute certainty set down hereof, in respect that through the negligence of Fulk On slow Esq; at this time Clerk of the House of Commons, it is so confusedly or briefly set down; although in the general it is very probable, that this proceeding in Ecclesiastical matters with so much caution and deliberation, was because they desired to give no occasion of distaste to her Majesty: who ever, for the most part, shewed her self very averse to their intermedling with any thing concerning Church matters. Now follow other of this days passages, out of the before-cited Anonymous Journal, more particularly mentioned at the beginning of this present Journal; but it is fully discovered what these Bills were, on May the 17th Thursday ensuing.
Mr Strickland first moved, that Mr Norton might be required to deliver such Books, as he had. Mr Newdigate moved, that where one of the causes for the Calling of the Parliament, and perhaps the chiefest, was for a Subsidy, he thought it not amiss to make offer of a Subsidy, before it should be required, which Speech was not liked of by the House.
Sir Francis Knolles made a long needless discourse concerning the Subsidy.
Mr Bell said, that a Subsidy was by every good Subject to be yielded unto; but for that the People were galled by two means, it would hardly be levied; namely, by Licences and the abuse of Promoters; for which, if remedy were provided, then would the Subsidy be paid willingly; which he proved, for that by Licences a few only were enriched, and the multitude impoverished and added that if a burden should be laid on the back of the Commons, and no redress of the common evils, then there might happily ensue, that they would lay down the burden in the midst of the way, and turn to the contrary of their Duty.
Mr Popham affirmed Mr Bells Speech, and added to the former abuses, that of the Treasurers of the Crown; who having in their hands great Masses of Money, with the which either they themselves, or some Friends of theirs, do purchase Lands to their own use, and after become Bankrupts, and so cause or practise an enstalment of their Debts, as of late some one hath installed a Debt, of thirty thousand pounds: which occasioned the lack in the Princes Coffers.
Mr Serjeant Lovelace argued, that every Loyal Subject ought to yield to the relief of the Prince, and that without any condition or limitation; notwithstanding he did not dislike of the former motions; and thought it very requisite, that these evils might be provided for, to the ends aforesaid; unto the which he added three abuses more; first, the abuse of Purveyors, wherein he had to desire the Council, and the Masters of the Household, to consider of it, and to be willing to yield to Reformation; and, in his Opinion, it should not be amiss to take away the Purveyors, and to limit every Country to a proportionable rate; so should her Majesty be better served, and the Kingdom eased. Secondly, The Reformation of the Exchequer, for the Charge which groweth by respite of Homage; which he wished might be paid on some other sort, in a sum certain. Thirdly, Another Reformation which is upon a great abuse in the Exchequer, by sending out upon every Fine levied, the Writ Quo titulo ingressus est.
Mr Comptroller in few words said, that he being one of the Masters of the Houshold, would do his endeavour for Reformation of all things arising by the Purveyors.
Mr Sampoole sometimes of Lincolns-Inn, liked well of the Motion of the Subsidy, and commended the Motions of the Gentlemen before; affirming, that they were very necessary to be thought of; unto which he was to add one more; viz. the abuse of Collectors. He shewed, that they do retain their Charge sometimes a Year, sometimes more in their own hands. And for that they are but mean men, appointed to that Office, they oft times convert it to their own uses, and are perhaps never able to satisfie the same; whereby the people are unwilling to pay; for if they should understand her Majesty should have it presently, they would more willingly pay it; and therefore wished the better sort of every Country should be assigned to that charge.
Mr Goodier said, that every man ought to yield to the Subsidy, and rather offer it, than to stay till it should be demanded; desiring, that the Subsidy might presently, and only go forward, without the hearing of any more complaints: for that they might be Infinite, and already more were remembred, than in one Parliament could be reformed. Wherein he shewed a great desire he had to win favour.
In the conclusion of these aforesaid Speeches, transcribed out of that often before-cited Anonymous Journal, more particularly mentioned at the beginning of this present Journal; it should seem that a Committee was appointed to consider of the proportion, and time of yielding some relief unto her Majesty; whose names being set down in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, are thence transcribed at large in manner and form following.
All the Privy-Council Members of this House, the Master of the Rolls, Sir John White, Sir William Dormer, Sir Christopher Heydon, Mr Heneage, Sir Robert Lane, Sir Henry Norrice, Sir George Blunt, Sir Henry Weston, Sir George Bowes, Sir William Pawlet, Mr Edgecomb, Mr Edward Stanhop, Mr John Mersh, Mr Robert Newdigate, Mr Serjeant Lovelace, Mr Saintpool, Mr Thomas Snagge, Mr Hall, Mr Hasset, Mr Grasior, Mr Sands, Mr Alford, Mr Basset, Mr Warncomb, Mr George Forrors, Mr Amise Pawlet, Mr Hatfield, Mr Greithfield, Mr Bounton, Mr Bellingham, to meet in the Star-Chamber on Monday next, at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
At the same time also another Committee was nominated, to consider of those griefs and Petitions, which had been touched and mentioned in the former dispute; whose names being likewise found in the aforesaid Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, are thence transcribed in manner and form following.
For Motions of Griefs and Petitions were appointed Sir Owen Hopton, Sir Thomas Scot, Sir William Buts, Mr Manwood, Mr Bell, Mr Popham, Mr Fleetwood, Mr Mounson, Mr Mohun, Mr Grimston, Mr Mersh and Mr Winchcomb, to meet in the Temple Church on Monday next, at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
Upon a Motion by the Committees for matters of Religion (whose names see on Friday the 6th day of this instant April foregoing) It was Ordered, that Mr Grimston and Mr Strickland should move the Lords of the Clergy, to know their pleasure concerning the motions, to be to them made to Morrow in the Afternoon, in matters of Religion. Vide Apr. 26 postea & Maii 17.
Mr Mounson brought report, that Mr Attorney General prayed, that meeting may be made to Morrow in the Afternoon, at Mr Treasurers Chamber, for Conference touching the validity of Burgesses.
April the 8th Sunday.
On Monday the 9th day of April, report was made of the validity of Burgesses, and Ordered by Mr Attorneys Assent, that the Burgesses shall remain according to the returns; for that the validity of the Charters of their Towns, is elsewhere to be Examined, if cause be.
The Bill concerning coming to the Church, and receiving of the Communion, was brought in again by Sir Thomas Smith, one of the said Committees.
The names of the Committees for the Subsidy, and for Motions and Petitions (which see on Saturday immediately foregoing) were read again, and they appointed to keep their former hour of meeting.
For that Sir Henry Perry Knight, being returned Knight for the Shire of Cumberland, and likewise of Northumberland, hath chosen to appear for Northumberland; it was Ordered, that a new Writ shall go out to chuse another Knight for Cumberland.
The Bill touching certain Offences to be made Treasons, was read the first time.
Mr Norton Exhibited an Addition, which was received by the House; and after sundry Arguments, and some Motions touching the severance or uniting of the Bills, it was Ordered, that the Bill be read again upon Thursday next.
The Bill concerning coming to Church, and receiving of the Communion, was read the first time.
Sir John St Leger, moved the House for his Mans Priviledge, and it was committed to Mr Recorder, Mr Bedoll, and Mr Dalton, and they to meet this Afternoon at Mr Recorders, and make report to Morrow.
On Tuesday the 10th day of April, Mr Speaker recited a Commandment from the Queens Majesty, to spend little time in Motions, and to avoid long Speeches. The reason whereof being omitted in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, it is therefore supplied out of that often before-cited elaborate Journal, more particularly mentioned at the beginning of this present Journal, in manner and form following.
That this Advertisement grew of somewhat spoken by Mr Bell the 7th day of this instant April, concerning Licences granted by her Majesty, to do certain matters contrary to the Statutes, wherein he seemed (as was said) to speak against her Prerogative: but surely so orderly did he utter what he spake, as those who were touched might be angry; but justly to blame him might not be.
This Advertisement being thus transcribed out of the aforesaid Anonymous Journal, now follows the residue of this days passages out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons it self, in form following.
Sir Owen Hopton moved for the Commission of Motions and Petitions, to have the Council added unto them, and also a greater number of others; and delivered a Paper of Notes of the Motions made.
Upon a Motion made for Mr Garnons, who is reported to stand Excommunicate, it is Ordered, that he shall Answer it in the House.
Six Bills of no great moment, had each of them one reading; of which the last being the Bill touching Monasteries, was read the first time.
Mr Treasurer made report of the Committees doings for the Subsidy, whose names see on Saturday the 7th day of this instant April foregoing, and brought in Articles, which were well liked, and thereupon the same Commissioners were appointed to proceed with the drawing of the Book.
Two Bills also had each of them their first reading, of which the first was the Bill for the validity of Burgesses not resiant.
Touching matters of Religion, Mr Mounson brought report, that the Bishops pray to have the Lords moved by this House, to assign a Committee to confer with this House. And thereupon it was Ordered presently, that the same Commissioners do immediately go to the Lords, with this Message, to know their pleasure for appointing some to conser about the Book for Doctrine.
Mr Treasurer returned report, that the Lord Keeper hath Answered, he will open it to the Lords.
Four Bills of no great moment, had each of them one reading; of which the second being the Bill for Cloth-workers, was read the first time: And the third being the Bill B. had its first reading. Vide Maii 17. postea, what Bill B. meaneth.
Sir Richard Read and Mr Doctor Yale, did bring an Answer to the Message; viz. that the Lords have appointed twenty of themselves, whereof ten of the Clergy, and ten of the Temporalty, to meet at two of the Clock this Afternoon, in the Star-Chamber. And thereupon were added by the House to the former Commissioners, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Henry Norrice, Sir William Buts, Mr Austley, Mr Serjeant Manwood, Mr Stooks, Mr Fleetwood, Mr Carleton, Mr Eglenby, Mr Yelverton, Mr Dalton, and Mr Robert Snagg, which meeting was about matters of Religion. Vide abunde Maii 17. postea.
On Wednesday the 11th day of April, the Bill for Lestwithiell was read the first time.
Mr Fleetwood brought in a Bill against Rogues.
The Bill against fraudulent Gifts and Conveyances, was read the second time, and was delivered to certain of the House to amend presently, upon a Motion made by Mr Dalton to have it to extend to the defrauding of Heriots.
Three Bills of no great moment, had each of them one reading; of which the second being the Bill for Sewers, was read the second time, and Ordered to be ingrossed. And the Bill D. had its first reading. Vide Maii 17. post. what Bill D. meaneth.
Mr Seckford Master of the Requests, prayed longer time to consider of the Bill of fraudulent Gifts and Conveyances; and that the Committees may be Sir John White, Mr Seckford Master of the Requests, Mr Serjeant Manwood, Geoffry Loveland, Mr Mounson, Mr Bell, Mr Fleetwood, Mr Thomas Snagg, Mr Barber, and Mr Dalton, to meet to Morrow in the Afternoon in the Temple Church.
The Bill for not returning persons of the Queens Majesties Houshold on Juries, was read the first time.
The Bill for Bristol was read the second time, and Ordered to be ingrossed. Whereupon followed divers long Speeches and Arguments touching the same Bill; which being omitted in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, are here supplied out of that often before-cited Anonymous Journal of the same House, more particularly mentioned at the beginning of this present Journal, in manner and form following; viz.
Mr Comptroller first moved, that before some Committees were appointed, both parties might be heard, and the Controversy appeased.
Mr Fleetwood argued, that there might appear rashness or indiscretion in them, who should now reverse what of late they had done; but leaving to speak thereof, he entred into a good Discourse of the Prerogative, which might thereby be touched, if they should endeavour to overthrow her Majesties Letters Patents, to whom by Law there is power given to Incorporate any Town, and she is Sworn to preserve her Prerogative; he vouched the Clerk of the Parliaments Book to be, that no man might talk of the Statute of Wills, & c. but that the King first gave Licence; for that his Prerogative in the Wards was hereby touched. He shewed likewise the Statute of Ed. 1. Ed. 3. and H. 4. with a saving of the Prerogative. In King Edward the Sixths time Licence was sued for to the Lord Protector, to talk of matters of Prerogative, he remembered the Book of 2 Edw. 6. for the Parliament of Ireland, called by the Chief Judge, as is for him lawful; where it was questioned, what by Parliament might be done; whether they might depart with any of the Kings Towns, Forts or Piers; it was agreed they might not, and so he concluded, that to talk thereof (for as much as her Majesties Letters Patents, and Prerogative were touched) Rege non consulto, was perillous. He also made mention of the Statute, which authorizeth all Merchants to Traffick by Sea, Nisi publice prohibentur; he faith, others were prohibited.
Mr Young of Bristol, in the behalf of the Commons, reasoned to this effect; First, Shewed the loss to the Queen of her Custom, then the private Monopoly wrought and occasioned by the Merchants, the Controversies which have ensued by this means amongst them, and the subtile means whereby the Statute was procured, without the consent of the Major or Commons, by such as were put in Trust.
Mr Alford said, that he might not speak of the Prerogative aptly, for that he was not Learned in the Law; but made some remembrance of what he had there seen, concerning the Act of Parliament for Southampton; where it appeareth, that without an Act of Parliament, her Majesties Letters Patents were not sufficient; and therefore he prayed convenient consideration might be, and that the same (if it should so seem good to the House) might be conjoined to the former and other Bill, & c.
Then spake Mr Cleere, Sir Francis Knolles, Sir Nicholas Arnold, Sir Henry Norris, and Mr Christopher Yelverton of Grays-Inn, severally to the said Bill: whose Speeches being somewhat imperfectly and uncertainly set down in the before-mentioned Anonymous Journal, are therefore omitted; although from them, and the residue foregoing, the effect of this Bill may be Collected to have been for the Dissolution of certain Companies of Merchants in Bristol, whom her Majesty had Incorporated by her Letters Patents, and authorized them to Trade to certain plàces, by which it was pretended that the publick and free trading of others was restrained; and at last upon the Motion of Mr Fleetwood, That the Bill being of great weight, might be further considered of by the House, and the Committees be appointed at some other time, it was thereupon Ordered, that they should be appointed on the day following, which was done accordingly.
Then was read the Bill for coming to Service, but what reading it was appeareth not by the aforesaid Anonymous Journal, nor by the Original Journal Book it self, in which this said Bill is not at all mentioned: but it should seem that it was the second reading, because divers Speeches ensued thereupon; which in respect that they concern a matter of so great moment, are therefore transcribed out of the Anonymous Journal, in manner and form following.
Mr Snagg shewed at large the inconveniencies of the old Law, for coming to Service: for, said he, by the former Law it was Enacted, that the Service shall not be said, or Sacrament ministred, in other sort than in the Book of Common-Prayer is prescribed; he shewed, how differently the same was used in many places, from the prescribed Rule; as where no part of those Prayers were observed, but a Sermon, and some such other Prayers only as the Minister shall think good, in place thereof; whereupon have great divisions, discords and dislikes grown amongst and between great numbers. And since it is Law, that in this sort Service shall be used, and that whosoever shall be at any other form of Service, shall incur the penalty prescribed, and that the Ministers neither do, nor will do herein, as they should, and as is by the Law prescribed and commanded; he thought the proceedings in this kind, should occasion a Dilemma in mischief; for by this Law, if he come not, he shall lose twelve pence; and if he come and be present, and the Service be not said according to the prescribed Rule of the Book, he shall lose a hundred Marks.
Mr Aglionby Burgess of the Town of Warwick, moved the Law might be without exception or priviledge for any Gentlemen in their private Oratories; this did he prove to be fit out of Plato his Laws, and Cicero, both prescribing for the observation of the Law an equality between the Prince and the poor Man, not giving scope to the one above the other. Also he remembred the Authority of Lactantius Firmianus, making this only difference betwixt Man and Beast, that all men do know and acknowledge that there is a God, and in this respect there should be no difference between Man and Man. Withall, he said, the more noble the Man, the more good his Example may do. He therefore concluded, that for so much of the Law, so the same might be general, he was of good liking that it should pass.
But for the other matter, concerning the receiving of the Communion, he argued, that it was not convenient to inforce Consciences. And to that purpose, he shewed the Authority of Drs; which he vouched without quoting the place, or sentence. He said also, that it was the Opinion of Fathers, and Learned Men of this Land; and therefore wished they might be consulted with. Finally, he concluded, that bonæ Leges è malis moribus provcniunt: but no good Laws may make a good man fit to receive that great Ministry of God above. This whole Speech he tempered with such discretion, as in such Case was seemly. And whatsoever he spake, he spake the same under Correction.
Mr Strickland standing up, first prayed he might be excused, for that he was to speak on a sudden and unprovided. For the first, He approved what Mr Aglionby had said: For the second, he said, he could not be of that mind; and he vouched out of Esdras, that the Church, yea the Consciences of men, were by the Prophet restrained; withal he said, Conscience might be free, but not to disturb the common quiet. He shewed the practice and doings of the Pope, the banishment of the Arrians, &c. That the word of the Prince, for lack of Law, must not be tied. The Israelites, he said, were constrained to eat the Pass-over. And finally he concluded, that it was no straitning of their Consciences, but a Charge or loss of their Goods, if they could not vouchsafe to be, as they should be, good men and true Christians.
Mr Dalton reasoned to this effect, that there could ensue no inconvenience by those two Laws, which were intended to be contrary; his reason was, except the Service be according to the Law, no man is bound to stay there, no more, than if he be bound to come and hear Service, if there be no Service, he is to forfeit his Bond.
For Answer to Mr Aglionby he said, the matters of Conscience did not concern the Law-makers, neither were they to regard the error, curiosity, or stiff-neckedness of the evil, ignorant or froward persons. For be it they did proceed orderly to the discharge of their own Consciences, in making the Law, let them care for the rest whom it behoveth. He was of mind that Gentlemen should not be excepted, for the causes aforesaid; but he wished provision might be made for such as be imprisoned, or cannot come for fear of Arrests. He wished also, that the Law might have continuance but till the end of the next Parliament.
These foregoing Speeches being thus transcribed out of that often before-cited Anonymous Journal, more particularly mentioned at the beginning of this present Journal, and two other Speeches of Mr Fleetwood, and Mr Popham, of no great moment, being omitted; now follows some part of the next days passages out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons.
On Thursday the 12th day of April, Mr Comptroller, upon a Motion made by himself, that the Bill touching Bristol might be proceeded in, was appointed a Committee in the same, and with him were nominated Sir Nicholas Points, Sir Nicholas Arnold, Sir John White, Mr Newton, Mr. John Younge, Mr. Popham, Mr. Fleetwood, Mr. Norton, Mr. Alford, Mr. Hall of York, and Mr. Hooker, to whom the hearing of both parties touching the said Bill, was referred; and thereupon to make report thereof to the House, and to meet in the Star-Chamber, on Monday next at three of the Clock in the Afternoon. Vide in die præcedente concerning this business.
It is Ordered, that the House do sit to Morrow till ten of the Clock, and then to go to the Court to hear the Sermon.
Two Bills of no great moment, had each of them one reading; of which the second touching certain offences to be made Treasons, was read the second time.
The Addition to the same Bill was read the first time.
After the reading of which said Bill, and Addition as aforesaid, sundry Motions and Arguments ensued; which being omitted in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, are therefore supplied out of that often beforecited Anonymous Journal, in manner and form following.
Mr. Goodier with some shew of former Care for that Cause, entred into the utterance of a long Speech, and spake to this effect: First, He made a solemn Protestation of his sincerity, truth and Loyalty to her Majesty, to the State, and to the House. Then he shewed many singular and true blessings, which we have by her Highness means, and religiously prayed for her preservation; but his whole discourse stood upon these three points, what he thought of the persons there Assembled, what he disliked in the matter of the Bill propounded, and why he did so.
Of the persons, he said, he heartily believed the whole Company in truth and true meaning to have a care and hearty well-wishing for her Majesties safety, acknowledging and reposing in her the very Anchor of our Safety; but whether all were with a sincere meaning to the state of the Crown, he knew not; but rather thought the clean contrary: but yet of the most and most honourable he thought nothing amiss, but some surely, he said, were doubly disposed, and with a favourable affection bent for some special body.
For the substance of the first Bill, he said he was of clear mind, well liking and approving the whole course thereof; except, quoth he, that the same be not already by former Laws provided for; and hereunto he further added, that if any man should say, that the Papists do not err in saying or speaking so slanderously of her Majesty, the same to be taken also as Treason. For the Additions which concerned the first, which did clearly respect the time past, as to make Treason of a fault already committed, which at the time of the perpetrating of the same offence, was not in the same Degree; it was a President most perilous, which might occasion such and so great Evils, as easily might not be conceived. Of present time, mans wisdom might judge; Future time mans Policy may reach to: but to call again the time past, or to raise what is dead in any kind, Man may not; nor in reason is it to be presumed. The like he said had not been seen; and where he hath read thousands of Laws, yet did he never find such a President. An extremity, rare, and never practised, no not in these the greatest matters of Faith and Religion, that we do now so earnestly treat of.
The Enemy to God and our State (the Papists, I mean) is most hateful. Yet is no man so hardly bent, as to have them punished, much less to suffer Death, for what is past. Whether her Majesty hath pardoned what is past, we do not know, and whether her Highness pleasure be that it should be talked of, no man yet hath made a report. Withal, it may happily occasion dislike between her Majesty and the House, which were odious and hateful; but doubtless, he prophesied, it would occasion peril, such and so great, that the greatest Speakers therein, yea those who should give them most or best words, could give no Warranties. Neither is it that the sequel thereof may be warranted for the right of a Crown, which words may not be strained or straitned.
Thus much considered, and the Prince being herein not as yet determined, he therefore advised, and more than so by words of vehemency urged stay. He farther said, that the penning of the first Article of the Additions was clouded and involved with secret understandings, not to be understood but by such as more curiously could, and more cunningly would, look thereinto than he. For matters of Title of the Crown, he said, he neither knew any, nor durst to intermeddle or take knowledge of any; and concluding, he said, that for obscurity of the sence, he must needs condemn the same, since that Veritas est nuda, simplex & plana.
Sir Thomas Smith her Majesties Principal Secretary, neither condemning nor approving of what had before been spoken by Mr Goodier, made motion, that the Bill might be divided, lest the one might be the hindrance of the other.
Mr Norton in his accustomed manner of natural Eloquence; first shewed that that Assembly should be free of Speech, so that the same did not exceed the Bounds of Loyalty; and as in Speech free, so ought it also to be free of unjust slanders, and undeserved reproaches. For so much as might concern him, he protested that he neither thought, nor meant any other title than the sole preservation of her Majesty, and to this end was he and the whole House (as he supposed) setled and bent; she being of this Realm, not only in respect of our goods and lives the singular stay, but for Truth and Religion, yea of all Christendom not Magna, but in all the world Speciosa. And since that Consultation is no other than Consultare in Commune, he was as well to remove the surmise of Ambiguity, as the slander raised of any doubleness in him; the words (quoth he) are plain, these and no other; that whatsoever person during the life of her Majesty, hath or shall imagine, intend or go about, the deposing, &c. them and their Heirs to be barred of any title.
And, faith he, where Ambition hath once entred, such is the nature of the same, that never it will be satisfied: and the thirst for a Kingdom is unquenchable. Withal in common Experience we see, that between two, for a small matter in Suit, when it shall pass against the one, though by perfect Tryal, yet will he who lofeth never acknowledge that he had either offered, or defended an injury. He said, for working of great matters great time is required; and such a mischief, as to overthrow a Crown is not in a day compassed; and therefore what hereafter is thought, or meant to be Executed, is already begun, compassed and devised. Time must therefore be taken, and therefore in time, and at all times it is to be prevented.
Where it is said, the like hath not been seen, and a Miracle made of it, as if there were never former Presidents ever seen of the like, or ever heard of before. It is no longer since than in Queen Maries time, when to the Parliament it was suggested, that the Congregations in the City of London Assembled, did use this kind of Prayer to God, either to convert her, or confound her. Whereupon it was Enacted, that every person who so, and in such sort, had prayed, or who so after should pray, should be taken for a Traytor. The Case of Bennet Smith is not so strange, nor so long since, but it may be remembred; his transgression was not such, nor so to be adjudged at the time of the offence perpetrated, as it was afterwards; yet by Authority of Parliament the offence precedent was from the old nature altered, and he, who before at the time of the ofsence, until the making of the Law, was not to be priviledged but by his Clergy, was now by an Act made after, by Judgment Executed. And since in the Case of a private man, as was this of Bennet Smith, such consideration, and such good discretion was used, who can imagine it to be odious? Nay, who is it, that would not the like or greater care to be had of a Prince, and especially of so good and virtuous a Prince, as she, for whom our Conference is now? But yet we are charged with partical affection, unsetled minds, and doubleness. Whether this Speech now be an offence to the House, he earnestly craved the Judgment of the House. For that it might seem by the Gentlemans earnestness who spake, that some one his Friend, whom he was bent to serve, would be touched. Whereupon, for his own part he est-soons protested, he had no certain resolution with himself of any title, but was to be satisfied with the consent of that Assembly; howsoever adding further, if his Motions might so sort, as they were liked, he offered this Proviso to be added; That if any such person, who had made any such claim, shall disclaim and renounce all Title during her Highness Life, the same person, &c. to be then restored to the old Estate.
Mr Comptroller after some Declaration of grief, perceiving the matter grow to heat, as verily the greatest number of the House were more than moved with the vehemency of Mr Goodiers Speech, and that men were disposed to talk at large of matters contrary or repugnant to the Bill, moved that it might be serverd; because the first part came in, and was exhibited to that House by her Majesties Learned Councel; the other was but the advice of a private man, which advice, though it justly deserved Commendation, yet was it not, in his fancy, to be joined with that which came in other sort.
Mr Snagg argued to this effect, that in making of Laws, plainness of Speech should be used, all intrapments to be shunned and avoided. And here he moved, why the Statute of Edw. 3. whereby it is Enacted, that all such, who shall endeavour, compass or imagine the Death of the King, &c. should be Traytors, &c. should not be said sufficient, reaching as far, and comprehending as much, as this latter advice. For the regard of the time past, he said, he could have no good liking thereof, and what was practised in Queen Maries time (under Correction) he took to be no Charitable President; concerning the Authority of the Parliament, he did conclude nothing, but said it was a prevention.
Sir Francis Knolles shewed, that he could not utterly dislike the conjoining of the Additions, sith that they rise all of one ground, and that they both are good and charitable; whereof he acknowledged her Highness to have Intèlligence, and the cause already to have been in Conference by her Councel. And for the word (hath) he saith it contained no such absurdity, but with good zeal it might be maintained. And therefore such vehemency and sharpness of Speech, he said was more than requisite, yea more than convenient. And as for the obscurity, he said of men that would mean well, it could not be misconstrued; and to stay or prevent devices past, he thought it but honest Policy, which being otherwise used in a Princes case, is not to be disliked. He remembred her Highness unwillingness to punish such offences, and therefore though the Law be sharp, yet such is her Mildness, that if any have offended for so much as may concern her person, surely he thought it would not be Executed; and her Clemency tempered with Authority, could never grow to Cruelty, wherein what his Conscience was, he thought not fit to make further shew thereof; but simply and plainly he would deal herein, not meaning to treat in such sort, as if he thought to deserve thanks, or any thing of her Majesty; for what he did, he did it also as mindful of his own safety.
Another then spake (whose name is not expressed in the aforesaid Anonymous Journal) shewing the weight of the matter, which was then in hand, to rest as well on the general safety of the Subjects, as on the preservation of her Majesties Person, and therefore he could not but approve the effect of the whole, both in Bill and Addition; albeit for the pains in the Bill he was somewhat variant from that which was there offered, and in the understanding of some words he was doubtful; as for the word compassing, he made some question; of this (bodily hurt) he had no perfect Intelligence, since the hurt of body may grow by grief of mind, and grief of mind perhaps by small cause. He also said, that saving in the Statute of 27 H. 8. he hath not read it. But further, he said, that he that would not allow her for lawful Queen, in his conceit should also be called a Traitor; but for the speaking of those most slanderous words of Heretick, Infidel, Schismatick, he would not any man to be for the first offence taken as a Traytor; for that the not acknowledging of the Supremacy, being a far greater offence, is but the pain of Præmunire. And therefore, except the same ofsence also might be made Treason, he could not like thereof. But if it should so seem to them good, that it should be as he indeed wished, then was he well pleased to put them both to one Predicament.
And for the word Heretick, he said, that the Papists all, of force must be forced to say, her Majesty is one; or that they themselves must be content to carry the name, and to be noted Nomine, as they are re & veritate Hereticks, which name they willingly will not bear. He further said, that with the rest of those words of slander, he thought it might do well to insert the name Papist. That if any man should say her Majesty to be an Insidel, Papist, or Heretick, &c. to be a Traytor; for that some say, there are in these days that do not spare to say, her Majesty is of another Religion, than is published; and that it is the sole doing of the Councellors, whereby the Doctrine (in sort as it is) is thus published, and not hers. He also added, that his wish was, that no man might be attainted of these words, except the Speech or Publication might be testified by two Witnesses. For the Additions, he said, assuredly they might not be severed from the first Bill, not only as they are matters material depending on the first, but stretching so far to the maintenance of the first, that without them the first may seem to be nothing. For (said he) there can be no remedy provided, except the cause of the grief be known, and the same cause removed; wherein the Rebels of the North gave clear Experiment: for doubtless, when they pretended Reformation of Religion, they thought to rend up the ground, and to subvert the stay thereof, which was her Majesties Person; and by them he wished us to learn at last, and to wax wiser. He said, the Court of Chancery will straitly Decree for saving and quiet keeping of a quiet possession, often looking to ordering things before past, and shall not the Court of Parliament do the like for the Title of the Crown? And the ancient Laws of the Realm (he said) do maintain the same, as long before the 35 H. 8. the Stat. 5 E. 3. in such like Cases hath ordained, that the Heir for the Fathers offence shall be punished: consule locum citatum.
Mr Mounson said, it were horrible to say, that the Parliament hath not Authority to determine of the Crown; for then would ensue, not only the annihilating of the Statute 35 H. 8. but that the Statute made in the first year of her Majesties Reign, of Recognition, should also be laid void; a matter containing a greater consequent, than is convenient to be uttered.
Mr Heneage moved the House to this effect, that either the Bill for Addition should be severed, or both to be referred to the Queens Learned Councel, to consider of the conveniency thereof; and then by them to be exhibited, &c. but of his Opinion he yielded no further reason.
Mr Long a young Gentleman, would have proved the word (have) and a regard of the time past, not to be amiss, for that at the time of the offence the malice of the Offendor was as great, as it is at this present.
Mr Fleetwood endeavoured to prove the overcharging of the Bill with larger words than were convenient, and more Provisoes than were to the purpose, to have been the overthrow of that which was truly meant; wherein the cunning Adversary, when he knoweth not how to subvert directly, will by this means easily and subtilly insert more, pretending a face of more forwardness than the rest, when indeed his heart is bent to the hindrance of the whole. For proof and experience hereof, he remembred the cunning Prelats in Henry the Fourths time, and afterwards in Edward the Fourths time, when King Edward required the suppressing of all such Abbies, as King H. 6. had Erected; To hinder this, contrary to the Kings meaning, some would needs add the Colledges in Cambridge, which by him were also Founded; to which when by no means the House could be induced, as well the intent of the first, as of the last, was subverted.
The like he remembred also of the second year of H. 7. in matter of Treason, which all men would have yielded unto, the Counterfeit Friend heaped in, to give the King free Liberty of Restitution to whom he would, of all both goods and possessions, whereof the inconveniency being seen, stay was made of the whole. So that, what men may not do directly, with face of further Friendship they do covertly. He concluded therefore, it were well and most safe, to make two Bills, and to be referred to the Queens Learned Councel, as Mr Heneage had well divided.
Mr Serjeant Manwood, first Answering the meaning of the words (bodily hurt) said, it must be intended when violence or force is done or offered to the Body, and not otherwise, nor elsewhere. And whether the words of slander should be Treason, he thought that there was great reason they should be; for (quoth he) who so shall affirm her Highness to be an Heretick, doth doubtless with her the pains of an Heretick, viz. to be burnt, &c. He further would have to be added to these words of the Bill, That who so shall imagine, go about, claim, &c. thus much more, that whosoever shall affirm himself to have Title, &c. to be a Traytor. He was of further Opinion, that it should be no clogging to the Bill, to have matter of the same nature added; being also provided for the same purpose, as good, consequent and necessarily concurring with the effect of the Bill. And for the Authority of the Parliament, he said it could not in reasonable construction be otherwise, for who so should deny that Authority, doth deny the Queen to be Queen, and the Realm to be a Realm.
After which, Mr Alford and Mr Dalton speak severally to the said Bill, touching certain offences to be made Treasons. Whose Speeches containing no new matter at all in them, more than hath been formerly spoken, are omitted in that often before-cited Anonymous Journal, out of which all these foregoing Speeches are transcribed. After all which, the business was at length drawn to this Head, to be referred to a Committee, whose names being there likewise omitted, are therefore all of them supplied out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons it self, in manner and form following.
All the Privy-Council being Members of this House, Sir Christopher Heyden, Sir Henry Nevill, Sir Nicholas Arnold, Mr Serjeant Manwood, Mr Serjeant Jeoffry, Mr Heneage, Mr Stoaks, Mr John Vanghan,' Mr Bell, Mr Mounson, Mr Popham, Mr Norton, Mr Dalton, Mr Fleetwood, Mr Yelverton, Mr Goodier, Mr Alford, and Mr Long, were appointed to meet to Morrow at two of the Clock in the Afternoon, in the Star-Chamber.
Mr Doctor Lewes, and Mr Doctor Huick, brought from the Lords a Bill touching the untrue demeanors of Tellors, Receivers, Treasurers and Collectors.
On Friday the 13th day of April, Five Bills had each of them one reading; of which the last being the Bill for suppressing of Simony in Presentations to Benefices, was read the first time; to which, because Mr Snagg spoke upon the first reading, being a thing not altogether usual, his Speech is therefore transcribed out of that often before-cited Anonymous Journal.
Mr Thomas Snagge treated hereupon, viz. after the reading of the said Bill of Simony, saying that the cause of the slanders, which the Papists have against the Church of England, in that they say Coblers, Taylors Tinkers, Millers, &c. are of the Ministry, groweth thereby, that the Livings are detained by the Patrons from the Spiritual, in their own hands, to their own private uses; whereas the first original of the creation of Patronages, being considered, it appeareth that nothing is left to the Patron of right. The manner of their original he shewed at large, and that the same was granted Deo & Ecclesiæ, and concluded that the Patron had nothing of worth or value, but a bare nomination, if it be truly used; since that dealing sincerely, he is neither to respect Commodity, Blood, Affection, Friendship, nor any thing else, but the worth and sufficiency of the Man, &c.
The Bill against Vagabonds was read the first time; after which ensued divers Speeches, which is not commonly used, until after the second reading, and therefore they are the rather transcribed out of the aforesaid Anonymous Journal.
Mr St. John moved, that an old Bill before this time exhibited into the Lower House concerning this matter, might be perused.
Mr Sands endeavoured to prove this Law for Beggars, to be over sharp and bloody, standing much on the care which is to be had for the Poor; saying, that it might be possible with some travail had by the Justices, to relieve every man at his own house and to stay them from wandring; this experience he shewed, and what was done in the County of Worcester. Mr Treasurer talked to this effect, that he would have a Bridewel in every Town, and every Tipler in the County to yield twelve pence yearly to the maintenance thereof.
Mr Wilson a Master of the requests, argued thus; that poor of necessity we must have, for so Christ hath said, until his latter coming: and as that is true, so said he also, that Beggars by Gods word might not be amongst his People: Ne sit mendicus inter vos. His Experience he shewed through the greatest part of Christendome, concluding that such looseness and lewdness was no where, as here; he said it was no Charity, to give to such a one, as we know not, being a stranger unto us. Thus, said he, did the Locrenses constitute by their Laws Even as of Thieves did the Grecians judge of them. To the pain of the Constables for their remiss dealings, he wished might be conjoined Imprisonment.
On Saturday the 14th day of April, the Bill for one William Skevington was read; whereby was supposed a deceit practised by one Sacheveril, for conveying of Land, contrary to the true meaning, by subtile forging of a false deed, in place of the true deed: which being read it shewed the confession of Sacheveril, and prayed restitution, with discharge of all mean incumbrances during such time as it was in the possession of Sacheveril.
Mr Fleetwood endeavoured to prove, that all such finister, false, fraudulent or covenous dealings being opened in that place, albeit that the party pray not redress, yet being made apparent to that High Court, ought not to be pretermitted without due consideration and convenient punishment to be by the House assigned, and the party to be brought to the Bar of that House; for proof thereof, he shewed in the time of King Henry the Fourth, that the abusing of one of that House, coming home into his Country, for what he had done or spoken in the House, was afterwards adjudged of in that place, and a Law presently made for what before was not thought upon; the like he shewed to be done in Henry the Eighth his time, concerning an Excommunication had at Serjeants-Inn, &c. He also remembred a President of one John Rue, who for that he meaning to have deceived a Merchant of London in sale of certain sums of money due unto him, to be paid out of the Exchequer, as he pretended, whereas in truth the money was before received by him who sold the Debt; Judgment was given for the subtility of the loss of his goods, the profit of his Lands, and perpetual Imprisonment: For every Conspiracy, the Judgment is by Law (said he) villanous, even as in the Case of Attaint, to have the Houses turned up, the Meadows Eared, &c. He shewed also, that in the time of Edward the Third, one meaning to cause the price of Wooll to fall, gave out that there was likelihood of Wars to be between the King of England, and the King of Denmark, by which means the Traffick of the Staple was like to be stayed: Whereupon it was presently ordained, that he should be banished, though for that purpose there were no Law before.
After this Speech, as it should seem, Committees were appointed for this Bill; whose names being not found in the aforesaid Anonymous Journal, out of which the preceeding Speeches are transcribed; they are therefore supplied out of the Original Journal-Book it self of the House of Commons, and were as followeth; viz. Sir John Thinne, Mr Stokes, Mr Bell, Mr Fleetwood, Mr Bedell, and Mr Smith, to meet in the StarChamber, upon Wednesday next at three of the Clock in the Afternoon.
The Bill for the Free Grammar-School in Southwark, was read the first time.
For the Bill of Treasons and Additions, it was Ordered, that such of the Committees, as are Learned in the Laws, shall have Authority to confer with the Queens Majesties Learned Councel, touching the same Bill and Additions.
The Bill for Reformation of the Book of Common-Prayer, was read the first time, after which (the Bill being preferred by Mr Strickland) ensued divers long Arguments, which being omitted in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, are therefore supplied, with some small alteration, where need required, out of that often before-cited elaborate Anonymous Journal of the same House, in manner and form following.
Mr Treasurer (of her Majesties Household) reasoned to this effect, That if the matters mentioned to be reformed were Heretical, then verily they were presently to be condemned; but if they are but matters of Ceremony, then it behoveth us to refer the same to her Majesty, who hath Authority, as Chief of the Church, to deal herein. And for us to meddle with matters of her Prerogative (quoth he) it were not expedient. Withal, he said, what Cause there might be to make her Majesty not to run and join with those who seem to be most earnest. We are not to search, whether it be, for that in time and order she hopeth to bring them with her, or what other secret cause or scruple there may be in the heart of Princes, it is not for all people to know.
Mr Comptroller argued to this effect as afore, commending the Zeal, but that the place and time were not fit. And since we knowledge her to be Supream Head, we are not in these petty matters to run before the Ball, which to do, and therein to offend, were great folly; how forewarned we were herein, he did refer to our consideration, insinuating in some sort, that our heady and hasty proceedings, contrary to and before the Law, did rather hinder than help.
Hereupon one Pistor with a grave and seemly Countenance, and good natural Eloquence, shewed how Conscience enforced him to speak; and rather to hazard his Credit than to the offence of his Conscience be silent. Albeit he would acknowledge willingly, that many hundreds of that Honourable and Worshipful Assembly, were well able to teach him, and he indeed willing to learn of them all: the matter of his grief was, that matters of importance standing us upon for our Souls, stretching higher and further to every one of us than the Monarchy of the whole World, were either not treated of, or so slenderly, that now after more than ten days continual consultation, nothing was thereon concluded. This Cause he shewed to be Gods, the rest are all but Terrene, yea trifles in comparison; call you them never so great, or pretend you, that they import never so much; Subsidies, Crowns, Kingdoms, he knew not, he said, what they were in comparison of this; this he said, I know, whereof he most thanked God, primum quærite Regnum Dei, & cætera omnia adjicientur vobis. This Rule is the direction, and this desire shall bring us to the light, whereupon we may stay, and then proceed unto the rest; for in his word, and by him we learn, as faith St Paul, to correct, reform, &c. Our true home certainly is not here, Non habemus hîc permanentem Civitatem: and the Justice of God moved Terror unto all, which he seemed to mean concerning the Bill before-mentioned of Strickland's Propositions. And so did set it forth with vehemency, that there lacked no modesty, and with such Eloquence, that it neither seemed studied, nor too much affected, but grave and learned throughout, and no whit too long, but very well approved of.
And after him Mr Snagge, and far after him indeed, either for order, proof, or matter, he entred into the discourse of Strickland's Articles, and seemed to maintain them; this namely, not to kneel at the receiving of the Communion, but rather, if a Law hereof should be made, to lye prostrate, to shun the old Superstition; or otherwise to set every man at liberty, and in this behalf to do according to his Conscience and Devotion, he judged it to be nothing derogatory or contrary to the Prerogative. And the directions he thought fit to be left out of the Book, which should be a Law, &c.
After which Arguments it was upon the question agreed, That a Petition should be made by this House unto the Queens Majesty, for her Licence and privity to proceed in this Bill, before it be any further dealt in.
The Bill for the Commission of Sewers was read the third time, and after some Arguments passed upon the Question, and was sent unto the Lords by Mr Treasurer and others.
The Bill against Licences and Dispensations, granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, was put to the question, Whether it should be read or no? It was over-ruled in the affirmative, and had thereupon its first reading. After which Mr Alford (although a Bill be not usually spoken unto until after the second reading) speak against the Bill, and endeavoured to prove, that Licences for Marriages in some cases might be needful, and that Dispensations also for non-residence might upon some occasion be of great necessity, as if a Minister should be imployed upon some Foreign Ambassage, or other matter of great weight.
Mr Yelverton much disliked, as it should seem, Mr Alford's Speech, and spake very vehemently in maintenance of the Bill, alledging, that, as he thought, no good Christian could be against it; in respect that by the very words of the Bill it appears, that it was only framed for the suppression of such Licences and Dispensations, as were contrary to the Word of God.
Mr Dalton spake next against the Bill, and grounded his opinion only upon this vain supposition, That a Bishop can do nothing contrary to the Word of God.
Mr Beadle spake next in maintenance of the Bill; but the substance of his Speech is so briefly and imperfectly set down, as it cannot be gathered what his Reasons were.
Mr Manwood spake very judiciously and moderatly, allowing well the scope and meaning of the Law, but wished, that in respect it mentioneth the redress of many Grievances, those same Grievances might first be particularly made known to the House, before the Bill were any further proceeded in.
Mr Fleetwood approved the Bill, yet spake not directly for it; but very covertly guirded at the Ecclesiastical Judges, and the Office of Faculties; shewing also in the conclusion of his Speech, that Livings are given to Ministers for the instructing the King and his People, and for the keeping of House, and other deeds of Charity: all which, if they were absent by dispensation, he inferred must of necessity be neglected.
Serjeant Lovelace lastly, as it should seem, concluded further Speech in this business, shewing the use and commodity of this Bill in question; but doubted that there was not power enough given therein, nor sufficient remedy provided for redress of the mischiefs thereby supposed to grow, by reason of the Granting the aforesaid Licences and Dispensations. Upon which (it should seem) that some Members of the House were appointed to consider of the said Bill, but their Names are not found in the Original Journal book of the House of Commons, or in that before-cited Anonymous Journal, out of which both the preceding and ensuing Speeches are transcribed.
Mr Norton made a Motion by Warrant of this Court, by the wisdom and godly care which in matters of weight was to be imployed, That to avoid the shameful and most hateful usage amongst the Ecclesiastical Judges, for delivering of Clerks convict upon their Oaths, and the manifest Perjury there by their Law against the Law committed, some order might be taken. He proved it might not be said a Liberty of the Church, except they will claim a liberty to sin; wherein indeed their principal liberty hath stood, and for the which they have not spared to hazard, nay to give, both their bodies and Sould to become Traitors to God and Man.
Thus did that Rebel Bishop Becket, whose principal quarrel and chief cause of all his stir, was, that the King would have punished one of his Mark, a Priest, for an abominable Incest committed by him; which trifling fault (forsooth) this Holy Saint could not endure to be rebuked by a Temporal Judge. Et hinc illæ iræ. He shewed, it could not be termed a Priviledge, and incouragement to Learning, since it was no other but a Cloak for their Naughtiness, and for such as might be of the Popes Sect: as well appeared, in that it was allowed to none but to such as might enter their Holy Orders, and not to one that had two Wives. He shewed at large the Circumstance of their practised Order upon the purgation of such Clerks, declaring of truth so disordered and hateful doings, that the whole House resolved to take care for redress.
There was then next after, by the Policy of Sir Hamphrey Gilbert, a Motion made by one to have in talk the griefs which before had been uttered in the House, concerning the deceitful dealings of Treasurers and Receivers, the Reformation of the Exchequer for Homage, &c. and for the granting of Licences by the Queen, contrary to the form of sundry Statutes.
Hereupon Sir Humphrey Gilbert standing up, and some Introduction made to crave patience and toleration of the House, he endeavoured to prove the Motion of Mr Bell, made some days before, to be a vain device to be thought of, and perillous to be treated of; since it tended to the derogation of the Prerogative Imperial; which who should attempt in his fancy, could not otherwise be accounted than an open Enemy. For what difference is to say, the Queen is not to use the priviledge of the Crown, and to say she is not Queen? since they are so linked together, that the one without the other may not possibly be, or subsist? We are (said he) to give to a common Constable the right and regard of his Office; which if we should deny her, what is it other than to make her meaner than the meanest? And albeit Experience hath shewed such and so great Clemency in her Majesty, as might make us perhaps forfeit our selves; yet it is not good to sport or venture too much with Princes; yea, let be that our meaning be good, yet if it be not so thought of, how then? He remembred the Fable of the Hare, which fled upon the Proclamation, that all Horned Beasts should depart the Court, lest his Ears should be said Horns; this did he further inculcate, with this further signification, that if we should in any sort meddle with those matters, her Majesty might look to her own Power, and thereby finding her validity to suppress the strength of the challenged Liberty, and to challenge and use her Power any way, to do as did Lewes of France, who (as he termed it) delivered the Crown there out of Wardship, which the said French King did upon like occasion. He also said, that other Kings had absolute Power, as Denmark and Portugal; where as the Crown became more free, so are all the Subjects thereby the ratheir made Slaves.
This Speech was disliked, as implying many occasions of mischief, but for the present he was not answered further, than that it seemed he did mistake the meaning of the House, and of the Gentleman that made the Motion; who would it otherwise to be taken, nor otherwise for the House to deal in the matter, than to shew their common griefs in due and seemly sort unto her Majesty.
The Parliament was then by the consent of the House, for that it was Easter Eve, Adjourned until Thursday next; and it was agreed, that they should from thenceforth come to the House at seven of the Clock in the Morning; during which said time of Easter, Mr Strickland so often before-mentioned for the Exhibiting the Bill for Reformation of Ceremonies, and his Speech thereupon, was called before the Lords of the Privy-Council, and required to attend upon them, and to make stay from coming to the House in the mean season.
Thus far out of the aforesaid Anonymous Journal of the House of Commons. The entrance into the next days Passages ensueth out of the Original Journal-Book it self of the said House, in manner and form following.
On Thursday the 19th day of April, to which day the House of Commons had been on Saturday the 14th day of this instant April foregoing, Adjourned, The Bill for the restraining of Kentish and Sussex Cloths to be sold at the Fairs at Maidston, was read the first time.
The Bill for the validity of Burgesses not resiant, was read the second time; upon which ensued divers Arguments, which being altogether omitted in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, are therefore supplied out of that often before-cited Anonymous Journal.
The first man that spoke effectually to this Bill, was Mr Warnecombe of Hereford; who standing up, said to this effect, That it behoveth all those which were Burgesses, to see to that Bill; for (quoth he) this may touch and over-reach their whole Liberties, as not having whereunto to stay; but that Lords Letters shall from henceforth bear all the sway: and to this effect was all that he said.
Mr Norton first made Explanation of the meaning of the Bill, to be (he said) to shame the imperfection of Choice, which is too often seen, by sending of unfit men; and lest happily any thing might be objected to the imperfection of the Parliament, which may seem to be scant sufficient by reason of the choice made by Boroughs, for the most part of Strangers (whereas by the positive Law no man ought to be Chosen Burgess for any Borough, but only Resiants and Inhabitants) He said further, that the choice should be of such as were able, and fit for so great a place and imployment, without respect of priviledge of place or degree; for that, by reason of his being a Burgess, it might not be intended or thought he was any thing the wiser; withal he argued, that the whole Body of the Realm, and the good Service of the same, was rather to be respected, than the private regard of Place, Priviledge, or Degree of any Person.
Then Mr Speaker moved the Opinion of the House, whether they could like the Bill should be ingrossed; and coming to the Question, some said No; but the greatest number seemed to say Yea.
Whereupon one standing up, whose name is not expressed in the said Anonymous Journal, said thus, I run wholly with the pretence of the Bill, that Boroughs decayed may be eased or relieved, knowing assuredly the same Honourable for the Realm, and in many respects profitable and commodious to those who do inhabit the Countries adjacent to such decayed Towns; That it is so, I will not stand to perswade. How far this Law may help them, I know not; if they be decayed, then it is most fit for them, that of their own Company there may be some, who feeling the smart, can best make relation of their estate; and knowing the Country, may devise and advise of such helps, as without the hurts of other places may restore the old ruines. All things are in change, and nothing so suppressed, but by God's Grace the same may in time by Policy be raised up. But to open my meaning shortly; the question is, What sort of men are to come to this Court, and publick consultation in Parliament? Whether from every Quarter, Country, and Town there should come (as I might say) home-dwellers, or otherwise men chosen by directions, it fo?ath not whom? I am surely of mind, that neither for the good, service of her Majesty, safety of our Country, or standing with the liberty, which of right we may challenge (being born Subjects within the Realm) this scope is to be given, or such loosness in choice to be permitted. That the whole Land of this Realm, we know, is to be for three purposes imployed, and thereby three sorts of men are, as it were, created. The one part given in Frank Almoigne, or for Divine Service to be used, to the Glory of God and Ministry of his Word.
The second part to be holden for defence against our Enemies by the Sword.
The third for maintenance of our livelihood at home, and for necessary imployments here. Of these three grounds, in the first division there groweth to our knowledge three sorts of men, the Ministers and Teachers of the Gospel, of whom we must have care, and with whom in making of Laws we must conferr if we will be Christians. The second are the Nobility, Knights, and Souldiers, the Defenders and Fortresses against our Enemies. The third sort be the Providers, Devisors, and Executors of all things necessary, commoditious or seemly for a setled Estate (which hath the happiness to live there where is Pax & Justitia) for increase of our Wealths, sustenance of our Laws, the governing of bodies, or what else soever is necessary for us: such are the Counsellors, such be the Judges and Ministers of the Laws, such be the Tillers of the Earth, such be Merchants, such be Victuallers, and in this degree be those, who do use Manual and Mechanical Arts. Of all these, in like sort, as of the others, regard, care, and respect must be had; they throughly consulted with, the general and particular States are by them to be known, if we mean to proceed for the Publick Weal, or endeavour in the same a true perfection. These last sort making one kind are most ample, and thereto most effectual to be dealt with, as yielding to the rest supplementum, consilium & auxilium.
The second sort is likewise most necessary to be thought of. The first are best, and first to be followed; but those are all to be in one knot conjoyned, and as members of one body in one to be used. We may in regard of Religion lye in the Dike (as the Proverb is) long enough without our own aid, if we do nothing but pray for the help of Hercules. We may not trust only to the Sword, lest the common known Saying of Cicero should turn to our shame: Parva sunt foris arma, nist Consilium Domi. Neither our Preaching, nor our praying to God are only sufficient, but withal we must do our endeavours, and help each other; since for the driving away of a Dog there is (as the Country-man faith) some virtue in a stone, if it be conjoyned with St John's Gospel; I mean, that every part of the body should do his own part to the aid of the other; the hand to help the hand, the foot to help the foot, &c. This hath moved our Forefathers, and on this ground hath it grown, that in this Court where we are to consider of all, and (as occasion may serve) to alter, constitute, or reform all things, as cause shall be, that we do know all forts of men, so far as may be to help all. How may her Majesty, or how may this Court know the estate of her Frontiers, or who shall make Report of the Ports, or how every Quarter, Shire, or Country is in state? We who never have seen Berwick or St Michael's Mount, can but blindly guess of them, albeit we look on the Maps, that came from thence, or see Letters of Instruction sent; some one whom Observation, Experience, and due Consideration of that Country hath taught, can more perfectly open what shall in question thereof grow, and more effectually reason thereupon, than the skilfullest otherwise whatsoever. And that they should be the very Inhabiters of the several Countries of this Kingdom, who should be here in times certain imployed, doubtless it was the true meaning of ancient Kings and our Forefathers, who first began and established this Court. But leaving what I cannot reach unto, the first constitution and freedom of this Court, the old President of Parliament-Writs do teach us, that of every Country their own Burgesses should be Elected, the Writ to the Sheriff and Burrough is directly so; and the Writs to the Cities being Counties, are, Quod ex vobis ipsts eligatis duos Cives, &c. which do prove it to be so; the Statue in the 1 H. 5. for the Confirmation of the old Laws was therefore made, and not to create a new unknown Law; and that other in the — H. 6. was made to redress the mischief, which by breach of that old Law did grow. These do conclude it without contradiction, that for that time it was thought fit to continue the ancient Use, Liberty, and conveniency of Service. We know that such as have spent their whole time in Service, or have seen only the manner of Government of other Nations, and can tell you how the Crown of France is delivered out of Wardship, or otherwise tell a Tale of the King of Castile and Portugal; how they in making of Laws do use their own discretion, the King of Denmark useth the advice of his Nobles only, and nothing of his Commons; nor can paint you out the monstrous Garments of the common People in some parts of Germany, or the mangled Common-Wealth of the Allies, or shadows of the great Cities, which now are to be seen in Italy; surely all those men, except they know also our own homes, are not to be trusted to conclude for our own Home-Affairs. Doubtless the best learned for matters of Commodity to be raised, or to be wrought in his own Country, may happily give place to his own Neighbours, even as wisely and learnedly a Gentleman said of late, In every Commitment, according to the matter, there must be a Declaration of men, as for Merchandize the Merchant and so forth: Unicuiq; in suâ ar?e perito credendum, we hold for a Maxime. And I mean this wholly to no other end, but since we deal universally for all sorts and all places, that there be here of all sorts, and all Countries, and not (seeing you list so to term it) thus to ease them of Towns and Boroughs, that they may chuse at liberty whom they list; yet can I hardly call that a Liberty which is contrary to that which the King and the Queen commonly granteth as a free gift, and by these words, Et de majori gratiâ meâ, &c. dedimus potestatem, &c. quod de se ipsis eligant duos Burgenses, or duos Cives; we take it more for a man to have of his own, than to have (by any mans discretion) of another.
It hath been of late oft and well said, that to nominate another to a Benefice is nothing worth in value, but if it be, that a man may take the benefit himself, that is both valuable and estimable: that cannot hurt, that is ever good for me, if it be ever tied in nearest sort unto me; and for this reason we say in Law, that the Estate Tail, which must continue in our own Blood, is better than the Estate in Fee simple, which may be got further from us, and is to be given to Strangers at pleasure; mischiess and inconveniences there may grow by this Liberty; but a mischief it may be to me, and inconvenient also to utter the same: I will not speak thereof but dutifully, neither do I see any thing that is amiss at this present; what was done a hundred years since, I may safely tell, and thus it was.
A Duke of this Realm wrote his Letters to a City, which I know, to this effect; whereby he did signify, that a Parliament was to be Summoned in short time, and that for great causes he was to crave aid of all his Friends, and reckoning them amongst the rest, he wished them of four under-nominated to chuse two; the Letter under the Dukes Seal is still preserved, but hear you the Answer; he was written to with due humbleness, that they were prohibited by Law, they might chuse none of them. I will venture a little nearer.
In Queen Maries time a Council of this Realm (not the Queens Privy-Council) did write to a Town, to chuse a Bishops Brother, (and a great Bishops Brother it was indeed) whom they assured to be a good Catholick man; and willed them to chuse to the like of him some other fit man. The Council was Answered with Law. And if all Towns in England had done the like in their Choice, the Crown had not been so wronged, and the Realm so robbed with such ease at that Parliament, and truth banished as it was; what hath been, may be, there is no impossibility. It will be said, I mistake, it is not meant, but that Towns shall be at liberty to chuse whom they list. I say, that Liberty is the loss of Liberty; for when by Law they may do what they will, they may not well deny what shall be required. It is too truly said, Rogando cogit qui rogat potentior. And I have known one that to avoid a great mans displeasure that dwelt near him, that was desirous (as he knew) to buy his Land, did upon small occasion bind himself not to alienate his Land from his true Heirs: this being known, I mean that he was bound as aforesaid; the great man was contented to let him keep his own quietly, which otherwise he would not have done. Surely Law is the only Fortress of the inferior sort of People, and contrary to the Law, the greater sort will not desire or expect any thing. Though now at this present (God be praised) we need not to fear the greatness of any man, Justice is so well administred: Yet hereafter, whatsoever hath been we may fear, either for maintenance of Faction, or maintenance of Mischief. Again, I say, it may be, what heretofore was possibly again may be. We stand and have stood of late upon the notorious manifestation of the Authority of Parliament: except withal you keep the ancient usage of the same, and withal endeavour the freedom thereof, in effect you do nothing, if I guess aright.
It is further said, that in some Towns there are not men of discretion fit; they be not the wiser (said the Gentleman that spoke before,) for being Burgesses. I can never be perswaded, but that either the Lord, whose the Town is, be the Town never so little; or the Steward, if it be the Queens, or some good Gentleman of the Country adjoinant, will either assign them who know the Town and can be content to be free among them, and to serve by their appointment, for their Country, and for them; or else for some reasonable Fee, such as be of their Learned Councel, and who know them, and the Country will deal for them. I mean it not so strictly, that those who should be chosen, should of necessity be dwellers in the Town; but to be either of the Town, or towards the Town, Borderers and near Neighbours at the least: and to this effect I would the Bill were framed. I stand too long hereon, and abundance of matter occasioneth confusion; this is all. It was meant at the first, and first Constitution of Parliament, that men of every quarter, and of all sorts, should come to this Court, that they should be freely chosen. This in every Age hitherto hath seemed best; to alter without cause is not convenient; to give every Town liberty may offer in time inconvenience. None so fit for every Country as those who know the same. To chuse of their own, it is a Liberty; to lose their Liberty, I think it a bad Commodity, call it as you please; by such kind of release in easing men of their Wealths, or of some good part of their Living, beshrow our Charity. And in like sort, and in like reason, it seems to me this Law is inferred out of the Preface of the same. For thus it is penned:
Forasmuch as some Towns are decayed, and have not of their own, therefore let every Town do what they list. Of a particular Proposition to make a general conclusion, it is against our Rules, and nothing (as faith the Philosopher) is more absurd than non causam pro causa. Some Towns cannot send fit men, it standeth very strongly, if you seek to help, let the Plaister be fit for the sore; let not the Salve be stretched too far, left the whole and found flesh by the broad spreading of the Salve, do either smart, fret or fester. The Medicine which healeth the sick man may be poyson for the whole and found man. All Citizens and Burgesses should not be thought alike, and yet all provided for, as there is due cause; let there be therefore convenient consideration, how to heal, how to hurt. And I could wish, according to the weight of the matter, it might be rather staid on, than thus abruptly overruled; and while we fly Scylla, we fall not into Charybdis; while we say that Boroughs cannot send to this High Court so fit men as be convenient, that by altering the ancient usage, which is the only Warrant and sole stay of freedom in Parliament, it may happily be said we have no Parliament now within this Realm, nor Liberty at all for any such here to be holden.
Mr Bell in Answer of this, did collect the substance of what had been said, and in a long Discourse shewed, that it was necessary all places should be provided for, and not Boroughs only, being but one of the Members of the CommonWealth, and that some of them have neither Wealth to provide fit men, not themselves any in any sort convenient. He thought not amiss, if in respect of those manifest wants, convenient supply should be; but without the Warrant of Parliament, such alteration might not be. He then thought it not amiss to be advised. And for the objection of the danger which may ensue by reason of the Letters of Noblemen; he could not (he said) but think it convenient to prevent the same; and therefore wished, that there might be the penalty of forty pound upon every Borough that should make such Election at the Nomination of any Nobleman.
Mr Alford reasoned to this effect, That above all things, necessary care ought to be for the chusing and having of fit men to supply the place, that there be not imperfection. And therefore noted one great disorder, that many young men, not experienced, for Learning sake, were often Chosen, through whose default he knew not; whether Letters of Noblemen, Love or Affection in the Country, their own Ambition, or the careless accompt of the Electors, or what else was the Cause, he knew not; but it was to be seen: whereupon he would, none should be of that House, not of thirty years of Age at the least. And for the Choice of Townesmen (he said) he was of this mind, that Moses and Aaron should be conjoined together, and that there should be one of their own, or some Gentleman near them, who had knowledge of the State of the Country; and the other a man Learned, and able to utter his mind and opinion, since that knowledge locked up in the breast, not being orderly opened, is to no purpose; and this part (he said) was as requisite for consultation as the other. So that he seemed to conclude the Law should be in force for the one Burgess, and at Liberty for th' other.
After which Speeches the aforesaid Bill touching the validity of Burgesses, &c. was Ordered to be committed, but the names of the Committees being not found in the aforesaid Anonymous Journal, are therefore transcribed out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons it self; viz. Sir Thomas Hilton Knight, Mr Bell, Mr Robert Bowes, Mr Fleetwood, Mr Warnecomb, Mr Bedle, Mr Atkins, Mr Alford, and Mr Gynes; and appointed to meet in the Temple-Church upon Saturday next at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
It was Ordered that the Wardens of the Fleet should bring Mr Sacheveril into this House to Morrow in the Morning, at nine of the Clock, touching Mr Skeffington's Bill. Vide concerning this Bill on Saturday the 14th day of this instant April foregoing.
The Bill against Usury was read the second time, whereupon ensued divers Arguments and Speeches, which being omitted in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, are therefore transcribed out of that often already cited Anonymous Journal of the same House, in manner and form following.
First one Mr Clarke spoke to this effect, That the referring of the punishment in the Bill mentioned, being put to the Ecclesiastical Judges, for so much was nothing; for that they are to punish by the Civil Law, by the Canon Law, or by the Temporal Law. The Civil Law would not avoid them, because by that Law there is allowance of Usury. The Canon Law is abolished; and in that respect the Temporal Law faith nothing; so that the pretence may seem to be somewhat, but the effect thereby wrought is nothing; yet that it was ill, neither Christian nor Pagan ever denied. Aristotle being asked what Usury was? he said, it was Præter Naturam, and therefore could not be defined. And Plato being asked the same Question, he said it was idem ac hominem occidere. St Augustine the same; And in the very words of the Psalmist answereth to the Question, Domine quis habitabit in Tabernaculo tuo? He said, Qui curat proximo suo, non decipit eum, & qui pecuniam suam non dabit adusuram.
Mr Molley first Learnedly and Artificially making an Introduction to the matter, shewed, what it might be thought on for any man to endeavour the defence of that which every Preacher at all times, following the Letter of the Book, did speak against; yet faith he, it is convenient, and being in some sort used, it is not repugnant to the word of God. Experience hath proved the great mischief which doth grow by reason of excessive taking, to the destruction of young Gentlemen, and otherwise infinitely; but the mischief is of the excess not otherwise. Since to take reasonably, or so that both parties might do good, was not hurtful; for to have any man lend his money without any Commodity, hardly should you bring that to pass. And since every man is not an Occupier who hath money, and some which have not money may yet have skill to use money, except you should take away or hinder good Trades, bargaining and contracting cannot be; God did not so hate it, that he did utterly forbid it, but to the Jews amongst themselves only, for that he willed they should lend as Brethren together; for unto all others they were at large; and therefore to this day they are the greatest Usurers in the World. But be it, as indeed it is, evil, and that men are men, no Saints, to do all these things perfectly, uprightly and Brotherly; yet ex duobus malis minus malum eligendum; and better may it be born to permit a little, than utterly to take away and prohibit Traffick; which hardly may be maintained generally without this.
But it may be said, it is contrary to the direct word of God, and therefore an ill Law; if it were to appoint men to take Usury, it were to be disliked; but the difference is great between that and permitting or allowing, or suffering a matter to be unpunished. It may be said, that Nudum pactum non parit obligationem, but there must be somewhat given in consideration. Let be that there is nothing given of the Lenders, yet there is somewhat simile, & omne bonum exemplum, & omnis lex in se aliquid habet mali; for that some body shall suffer thereby. We are not, quoth he, so straitned to the word of God, that every transgression should be surely punished here. Every vain word is here forbidden by God, yet the temporal Law doth not so utterly condemn it. As for the words of the Scripture, he faith, the Hebrew soundeth thus in Answer of this Question; Qui non dat pecuniam suam ad morsum: so it is the biting and over-sharp dealing which is disliked and nothing else. And this, he said, was the opinion and interpretation of the most Famous Learned Man Beza, and in these days, of Bellarmine and divers others; who say, that the true interpretation of the Hebrew word is not Usura, but Morsus.
Doctor Wilson Master of the Requests, said, that in a matter of so great weight he could not shortly speak, and acknowledging that he had throughly studied the matter, desired the patience of the House. And first he endeavoured to prove, that the common State may be without Usury; then he shewed, how even men that have been ignorant of God or his Laws, finding the evils thereof by their Laws, redressed it; and utterly prohibited the use thereof. As the Athenians caused all the Writings taken for interest money to be burnt; and the like did Lycurgus by a Law which he made, and seeing the Fire, he said, he never saw so fair a Flame as those Books yielded. He then made a definition of Usury, shewing it was taking of any reward, or price or sum, over and above the due Debt. To make any thing of that which is not mine, it is robbery. Forthwith upon the delivery of the Loan money, it is not mine. And the Law is, that Mutuum must ever be free. And here he shewed the difference between Location and Mutuum; the one implying a contract, the other none. He remembered out of Ezechiel and other the Prophets, sundry places of Scripture, and vouched St Augustines saying, that to take but a Cup of Wine, is Usury and Damnable. This he seemed to say in Answer to that which had been before pronounced, that it was not Usury except it were Morsus.
He shewed, that loss may grow by Usury; First, to the Queen, then to the Common-Wealth. To the Queen in this, that men not using their own money, but finding great gain in Usury, do imploy the same that way; so that her Customs must decrease: To the Common-Wealth, for that, who so shall give hire for money, is to raise the same in the sale of his Commodity. All Trades shall be taken away, all occupations lost; for most men seeking most ease, and greatest gain, without hazard or venture, will forthwith imploy their money to such use. He shewed it to be so hateful in the Judgment of the Common Law, that an Usurer was not admitted to be a Witness, nor after his Death to the common Sepulchre of Christians. And for that his Discourse had been long, he inserted (as he said) this Tale for recreation of the Hearers.
In Italy, Quoth he, a great known Usurer being Dead, the Curate denied him the common place of Burial; his Friends made Suit, the Priest would not hear; in fine, the Suitors bethought them of a Policy to bring it to pass, that he might be Buried in the Church; which was this. The Parson of the Church did accustomably use to carry his Books daily from his House to the Church on his Ass; and the Ass by often going needed not to be driven, but knowing his Journey, as soon as he was laden, would of himself go to the Church Door; they desired the Parson, his Ass might carry the dead Body, and where it should stay, the Body to be Buried. To so fond a request the Priest agreed, the Body was laid on the Ass, who feeling a greater burthen than he was used to bear, did run towards the Town, never staying until he came to the common place of Execution.
This Tale merrily told, he again entred to his matter, and proved the Condemnation of Usury and Usurers, by the Authority of the Nicene and divers other Councils: He shewed, that the Divines do call Usury a Spider, a Canker, an Aspis, a Serpent and a Devil; he shewed how in nature the offences of Homicide and Usury are to be compared, and by Examples proved the ruins of divers Common-Wealths, when such practices for gain are suffered as that of the CommonWealth of Rome, & c. The manner of Exchange now used in London, and how much abuse he shewed, a thing in old time not practised, but by the King, as in Ed. 3. time, when thereby the King obtained such Treasure, and such excessive Wealth, that it was first wondred at, then guessed that it grew by the Science of Alchymy. He here shewed the practice of the Low-Countries, of Germany, and namely the doings of Fulchers to the very beggering of great and mighty Princes; he vouched the authority of Sir John Cheek in that place, concerning that matter; and the mind of the ancient English Law-Writers, who say that the offence of Usury in Life the Bishop is to punish; but after his Death his Executors shall not have his goods, but they appertain ad Fiscum. He concluded that the offence in his Conscience should be judged Felony.
Mr Bell said, This matter being so ample had occasioned much Speech, and was for cunning men a fit Theme to shew their Wits and skills upon. Yet, saith he, it standeth doubtful what Usury is; we have no true definition of it. And in our Laws we have little written thereon but this, Usur a non currat super Infantem. And not much more but to Answer the Objections, where it is pretended, that the not punishing of it by the temporal Judge, may seem to be an approbation of it, or to leave it to the Church may seem as if we had no care concerning it; for that to put over an offence to another Judge, may not be so said, if to the Church it may appertain, and they may well correct it. He further shewed, that the priviledge of the Church is by Statute upon this point to be expressed, namely in the Statute de Articulis Cleri. He said, we must not curiously search Cicero's Paradoxes, and pronounce that Peccata sunt æqualia, hoc est, quod omne peccatum est peccatum; and no further: but be every man according to his transgressions, to make a reasonable pain; though he who stealeth two pence, doth as well steal as he who stealeth an hundred pounds; yet there are degrees; we have Petit Larceny, and that which is greater; both faults, both to be punished, both to be hated; but difference there is in punishing, even according to the greatness and smallness of the offence; for the one there is Death, for the other not so.
In the Statute for punishing of Perjury 5° of this Queen, there are sundry degrees of Perjury: not for that there is less Perjury in the one than in the other; but that there is greater hurt occasioned in the one than in the other. In Answer of the Scripture, he said, the Law of God is, If thou be stricken on the one Cheek, to turn the other; or if thy Cloak be taken away, to give also thy Gown. The literal sence is not to be taken, and, as there is cause, a reasonable construction must be. So he concluded, that though it were a sin, yet it was to be punished here on Earth according to the good or bad, or rather according to the greater or lesser hurt which groweth thereby.
After which one (whose name is not expressed in the said Anonymous Journal) endeavour'd the Answer of Mr Wilson, but with a Protestation of his insufficiency, and then he shewed, how the Divines have not agreed what is Usury, but for his own part, he was to incline to the opinion of the Learned of these days, whose interpretation of litteral sence and skill of the Tongues do appear; which took that for no Usury which is without grievance. He made a difference of the Law of God concerning the Divine Majesty contained in the first Table, and what is concerning man in the second Table; saying, that nothing is to be said in that degree sin in it self, but by the circumstances; for so it is known whether it be good or bad. To kill is prohibited, yet sometimes not to kill is evil. Phineas killed, and was therefore commended. And Thests at times have been in Scriptures approved. So likewise Usury is allowed of in the Scriptures; but that it might be used to Strangers only: Albeit the Chosen Children of God amongst themselves might not use it. But let be, whether it be utterly unlawful, or in some sort to be tolerated, it is a question; and until it be determined for the common Commodity and maintenance, let it be as hitherto it hath been used. And for the common sort of Bargains of Corn for Cloth, Silk for Land, &c. what they be, whether Usury or no, we know not. That all should be well, it is to be wished; that all may be done well among men, it is beyond hope, for we are no Saints, we are not of perfection to follow the Letter of the Gospel, Who so striketh the one Cheek, &c. and this Text date nihil inde sperantes; These are no express Commandments. For the first, the Law of nature doth direct, and for the other also the same Law in effect maketh defence; surely there can be no sin where there can be no breach of Charity. To do that therefore to another which we would to our selves (the state, circumstance and case to our selves considered) is commendable, or not to be reproved; if we our selves be to borrow, who is it that would not in extremity give a little to save much money? It is said, the Usurer doth or may grow rich: Who hath disliked in a Common-Wealth, that there should be homines boni frugi? they may be considered, and may be good, more than for one purpose. He further stood on this, that God did not absolutely forbid Usury, which surely if it had been utterly ill, he would have done. And he added, that the Common Laws were Cruel in their censures, and wished that they should be no more remembred than they are followed.
Serjeant Lovelace argued to this effect, that Usury was of money only, protesting that he hated all kind of Usury, but yet the greater the ill was, the more and more greatly did he hate the same. But to prohibit it with so sharp and extream a Law as to lose all, he thought it would be the ground of greater Covetousness; withal he added, to prohibit the ill of Covetousness in generality, were rash, void and frivolous; since that the Speech and the Act it self is indefinite, comprehending all our actions and doings; and therefore, as utterly vain to prohibit it, in vain words of generality. To prohibit Drunkenness, Pride, Envy, Surseiting, &c. were somewhat in some particular sort; to do it in generality, albeit that we know that it is every way damnable by the direct and written word of God, it were but folly. Of these great Evils (to the which man of his nature is born and made prone, and too apt) when we may not reach to the best, furthest and uttermost, we must do, as we may say, by degrees. As to say there shall be no deceit, or sleight in making of this or that kind of Wares; that the Husband-man shall till his Arable Land, and that he shall not keep above such a number of Sheep; that there shall be no forestalling, regrating, &c. and this in particularity; whereas otherwise, generally amongst sinful men to prohibit this sin or that sin utterly on a pain, it may not be: but thus rather, he that shall so sin shall suffer or lose so much; whereupon he concluded, that there should be degrees in punishing of Usury; as he that should take so much, to lose, or be punished thus; he that shall take more, more deeply.
Mr Fleetwood shewed, that all these Arguments long since, with great skill, and very often have been opened in this place: He said, it was Ingenui pudoris fateri per quem profeceris. Mr Check, he said, argued, and so far forth explained this matter, as the Learner was thereby sufficiently informed, and the Learned fully satisfied. His Papers of his Speech (he said) he had not lost, and therefore could shew as much cunning as the cunningest, which had bent or endeavoured himself thereunto. He said he had read the Civil Law, and of the Common Law somewhat; but how well he did understand it, he would not promise ought: What Usury was, he said, he was not to learn; call it if we list, Proxima homicidio, or how else by a description, he forced not much; for if there were not Civil Law, it were not much to be accounted of for any certainty in this Case thereby to be had; and the most ancient Laws of this Realm have taught us thereof somewhat; as the Laws of ......... do make to us mention of Usury. So do the Laws made in Lucious his time, and those of Athelred; whereby it was ordained, that Witches and Usurers should be banished. King Edward the Saint referreth and appointeth the Offenders herein to suffer ordalium. Then was there a great kind of Usury known, which was called Torus, and a lesser known by the name of ....... Glanvile, in the Book de legibus antiquis, maketh mention of an inquiry of Christian Usurers. In the Tower (he said) he had seen a Commission awarded to the Master of the Courts (he named not what Courts) to enquire of Usurers, and the punishment of them (he said) was whipping; he said further, by Scripture he knew it was damnable; and therefore, whether it was good or not good, it was no good Question. For the matter of Implication, whether by the pretence of the Law it might be intended that it was in any sort allowed; he said it might be construed and compared there with the Statute of Tiths: where it is said, that till for seven years after Heath ground broken up, no Tith shall be paid; the Construction hereupon is clear. He shewed also, that Usury was malum in se, for that of some other transgressions, her Majesty may dispence afore with; but for Usury, or to grant that Usury may be used, she possibly cannot. He further said, that the words of and Act of Parliament are not ever to be followed; for that sometimes the construction is more contrary to what is written, as in the Statute of Magna Charta; nisi prins homagium fecerit. And some Statutes are winked at by non-observation or otherwise, so that they seem to be no Laws, even in those things which we practise most, as the Statute of Gloc. for the Oath to be taken in Debt and Damages.
Mr Dalton endeavoured to prove, that Mr Fleetwood mistook the Bill, but in fancy he mistook his Arguments.
Mr Norton shewed, that all Usury is biting; as in the word Steal is contained all kind of injurious taking away of a mans goods: and as slanderizing is said to be murthering or homicide; so is Usury justly ever to be said biting, they being both so correlated or knit together, that the one may not be without the other. He concluded, that since it is doubtful what is good, we should be mindful of the old saying, Quod dubitas ne feceris, and for that Quod non ex fide est peccatum est, therefore he wished that no allowance should be of it.
After these Arguments (being transcribed out of the often before-cited Anonymous Journal) were ended, there is no other mention of any further proceeding in this Bill, but it doth plainly appear by the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, that this Bill having had its second reading as a foresaid, was now at the last, after the preceeding Arguments were ended, Committed by Mr Treasurer and others, whose names are all omitted in the Original JournalBook.
On Friday the 20th day of April, the Bill for the Assizes to be kept at Worcester, was read the first time.
The Bill also for impannelling of Juries, was read the second time, and rejected upon the Question.
These two Bills being thus transcribed out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, the greatest part of the residue of this days passages, do here next follow, out of that often already cited Anonymous Journal, in which there is one Bill touching Caps, which is not at all mentioned in the Original Journal-Book it self aforesaid, set down in manner and form following, viz.
A Bill for Caps was read the second time, and ruled, that the same should be ingrossed.
This Bill (as is aforesaid) is not at all found to be set down in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons; but that next ensuing is there mentioned, and the Arguments also touching the Liberty of the House, are there generally remembred, which with the said Bill do here at large follow, with some small alteration only, out of the aforesaid Anonymous Journal, in manner and form following.
The Bill for such as be fled beyond the Seas without Licence, or shall not return within a certain number of Dayes, after their Licences expired, to lose their Lands and Goods, and to avoid Covenous Gifts, was read the second time, and not then effectually spoken unto by any man.
Mr Wentworth very orderly in many words remembred the Speech of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, delivered some days before: He proved his Speech (without naming him) to be an injury to the House, he noted his disposition to flatter and fawn on the Prince, comparing him to the Cameleon, which can change himself into all colours, saving white; even so (said he) this reporter can change himself to all fashions but honesty; he shewed further the great wrong done to one of the House, by a misreport made to the Queen (meaning Mr Bell;) he shewed his Speech to tend to no other end than to inculcate fear into those which should be free; he requested care for the credit of the House, and for the maintenance of free Speech (the only means of ordinary proceedings) and to preserve the Liberties of the House, to reprove Lyers, inveighing greatly out of the Scriptures and otherwise, against Liers. As this of David, Thou O Lord shalt destroy Lyers, &c.
Mr Treasurer signified his desire to have all things well; saying, he could not enter into Judgement of any; but he said, it was convenient ill Speeches should be avoided, and the good meaning of all men to be taken, without wresting or misreporting; and the meaning of all men to be shewed in good sort without unseemly words.
Mr Speaker endeavoured an Agreement and unity in the House, making signification that the Queens Majesty had in plain words declared unto him, that she had good Intelligence of the orderly proceeding among us; whereof she had as good liking as ever she had of any Parliament since she came unto the Crown; and wished we should give her no other cause than to continue the same, and added further her Majesties pleasure to be, to take Order for Licences; wherein she had been careful, and more careful would be.
Mr Carleton with a very good Zeal, and orderly shew of Obedience, made signification how that a Member of the House was detained from them (meaning Mr Strickland) by whose Commandment, or for what cause he knew not. But for as much as he was not now a private man, but to supply the room, person and place of a multitude specially chosen, and therefore sent, he thought that neither in regard of the Country, which was not to be wronged, nor for the Liberty of the House, which was not to be infringed, we should permit him to be detained from us. But, whatsoever the intendment of this offence might be, that he should be sent for to the Bar of that House, there to be heard, and there to Answer.
Mr Treasurer in some case gave Advertisement to be wary in our proceedings, and neither to venture further than our assured Warrant might stretch, nor to hazard our good opinion with her Majesty on any doubtful cause. Withal he wished us not to think worse than there was cause. For the man (quoth he) that is meant, is neither detained nor misused, but on considerations is required to expect the Queens pleasure, upon certain special points: wherein (he said) he durst to assure that the man should neither have cause to dislike or complain, since so much favour was meant unto him as he reasonably could wish. He further said, that he was in no sort stayed for any word or speech by him in that place offered; but for the exhibiting of a Bill into the House against the Prerogative of the Queen; which was not to be tolerated. Nevertheless the construction of him was rather to have erred in his zeal and Bill offered, than maliciously to have meant any thing contrary to the Dignity Royal. And lastly, He concluded that oft it had been seen, that Speeches have been examined and considered of.
Sir Nicholas Arnold with some vehemency moved, that care might be had for the liberty of the House; he was inforced, he said, rather to utter, and so to run into danger of offence of others, than to be offended with himself.
Mr Comptroller replied to the effect Mr Treasurer had before spoken.
Mr Cleere told, how the Prerogative is not disputable, and that the safety of the Queen is the safety of the Subjects. He added, how that for matter of Divinity, every man was for his instruction to repair to his Ordinary, being a private man (where he utterly forgot the place he spake in, and the person who was meant; for that place required and permitted free speech with authority, and the person was not himself a private man but a publick; by whom even the Ordinary himself was to be directed) He concluded, that for as much as the cause was not known, he therefore would the House should stay.
Mr Yelverton said he was to be sent for, arguing in this sort. First, he said, the President was perillous, and though in this happy time of lenity, among so good and honourable Personages, under so gracious a Prince, nothing of extremity or injury was to be feared; yet the times might be altered, and what now is permitted, hereafter might be construed as of Duty, and enforced, even on this ground of the present permission. He further said, that all matters not Treason, or too much to the Derogation of the Imperial Crown, were tolerable there, where all things came to be considered of, and where there was such fulness of Power, as even the right of the Crown was to be determined, and by Warrant whereof we had so resolved. That to say the Parliament had not Power to determine of the Crown, was High-Treason. He remembred how that men are not there for themselves, but for their Countries. He shewed, it was fit for Princes to have their Prerogatives; but yet the same to be straitned within reasonable limits. The Prince, he shewed, could not of her self make Laws, neither might she by the same reason break Laws. He further said, that the Speech uttered in that place, and the offer made of the Bill, was not to be condemned as evil; for that if there were any thing in the Book of Common-Prayer, either Jewish, Turkish or Popish, the same was to be reformed. He also said, that amongst the Papists it was brused, that by the Judgment of the Council, Strickland was taken for an Heretick; it behoved therefore to think thereof.
Mr Fleetwood first shewed the order of Civil Arguments from the cause to this effect, that time must be known and place observed He said then, that of Experience he could report of a man that was called to account of his Speech in 5to of this Queen; but he said, he could not meddle with so late matters, but what he had learned in the Parliament Rolls, he thought convenient should be known and considered of. In the time of H. 4. a Bishop of the Parliament was Committed to Prison by Commandment of the King; the Parliament resolved to be Suitors for him. And in King H. 5. the Speaker himself was Committed, &c. with him another of the House; the House thereupon stayed, but remedy they had none, other than to be Suitors to the King for them; whereupon he resolved, that the only and whole help of the House for case of their grief in this case, was to be humble Suitors to her Majesty, and neither send for him, nor demand him of right.
During which Speech the Council whispered together, and thereupon the Speaker moved, that the House should make stay of any further Consultation thereupon.
Thus far of these Speeches out of the aforesaid Anonymous Journal, unto which for the intire making up of this present days agitations, these passages following are transcribed out of the Original Journal-Book it self of the House of Commons, in manner and form following.
Mr Comptroller moved touching the Bill for Bristol, that Licence might be granted to amend it in form, not changing the matter; which was assented unto.
The Bill concerning coming to Church, and receiving of the Communion, was read the second time.
A Proviso to the Bill concerning coming to Church, and receiving the Communion, was read the first time.
The Bill for Shrewsbury was read the second time, and ordered to be ingrossed.
On Saturday the 21th day of April, an Addition to the Bill for coming to Church, and receiving of the Communion, was read the first time.
A Proviso to the Bill for coming to Church, and receiving of the Communion, was read the first time.
The Bill for coming to Church, and receiving the Communion, with the Additions and Provisoes, were Committed unto Mr Treasurer, Mr Chancellor of the Dutchy, Sir Thomas Smith, Mr Moore, Mr Henry Knolles Sen. Mr Sampoole, Mr Mounson, Mr Bell, Mr Yelverton, Mr Agmonderon, Mr Boyer, Mr Thomas Snagg, and Mr Strickland, who were appointed to meet in Mr Treasurers Chamber, at the Court, at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
Thus far of this days Passages out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons. Now follows an Observation upon Mr Stricklands coming to the House this day; being nominated the last Committee in the Bill foregoing, out of that often before-cited Anonymous Journal; because it doth conduce very much to the Declaration and maintenance of the Liberties of the House: for the said Mr Strickland having on Saturday the 14th day of this instant April, pressed very earnestly the reformation of the Book of Common-Prayer, and some Ceremonies of the Church, was, after the Adjournment of the House of Commons on that day, being Easter Even, called before her Majesties Council, about the beginning of the Week following, and was commanded by them to forbear coming to the said House, in the mean season, and to attend their further pleasure; whereupon, on Friday immediately foregoing, being the 20th day of this said instant April, divers Speeches and Motions having passed in the House, touching the breach of the Liberties thereof, by restraint of one of their Members from repairing thither (although he were neither imprisoned nor confined) Mr Speaker did at last desire them to forbear further Consultation in the said matter. And the House having at his said request, passed over the residue of the said day in the Morning, in the agitation of other business, the above-mentioned Mr Strickland did this Forenoon (upon an Advertisement (as it should seem) from her Majesties Council) repair again to the said House, soon after it was set. And coming just upon the time, when the foregoing Bill for coming to Church, and receiving the Communion, was in the referring to Committees; the said House did in witness of their joy for the restitution of one of their said Members, awhile from them restrained, presently nominate him one of the said Committees, as appeareth plainly by their names immediately foregoing, being inserted out of the Original Journal-Book of the said House, out of which these next ensuing passages do follow, in manner and form following.
The Bill for William Skeffington Esq;, was read the second time, and Henry Sacheverel being present at the Bar, and in open Court confessing the fraud, offered by way of excuse a Bill of causes moving him thereunto, which was read also, and ordered to be ingrossed.
The Proviso to the Bill for coming to Church, and receiving of the Communion, was read the second time; upon which, as it should seem, divers Arguments ensued, although no mention thereof be made in the aforesaid Original Journal Book it self; and are therefore supplied out of that often before-cited Anonymous Journal, in manner and form following; viz.
Mr Aglionby argued, that there should be no human positive Law to inforce Conscience, which is not discernable in this World. To come to the Church, for that it is publick, and tendeth but to prove a man a Christian, is tolerable and convenient; and not to come to Church may make a man seem irreligious, and so no man; for that by Religion only a man is known and discerned from Brute Beasts; and this is to be judged by the outward show. But the Conscience of man is Eternal, invisible, and not in the power of the greatest Monarchy in the World, in any limits to be straitned, in any bounds to be contained, nor with any policy of man, if once decayed, to be again raised. He shewed, that neither Jew nor Turk, do require more than the submission to the outward observance, and a convenient silence, as not to dislike what is publickly professed, but to inforce any to do the Act, which may tend to the discovery of his Conscience, it is never found. He shewed the difference betwixt coming to Church, and receiving the Communion; the one he allowed to be incomprehensible in Law, the other he could not allow. And in Answer of that which before had been said, that the Conscience was not straitned, but a penalty of the loss of their goods only adjudged; whereof no doubt the Law of God and the Law of Nations had given to the Prince an absolute Power; he said to this out of Cicero de Legibus, that man out of his own nature is to care for the safety of man, as being reasonable Creatures, and not the one to seek to bereave the other of his necessary livelyhood, adding out of the same Book, this saying of Tully, Qui Deum non curat hunc Deus ipse judicabit. He shewed out of St Paul, that we must not do ill that good may grow thereby; we must not take from him that is his, to the end thereby to make him to do what is not in his power; to be fit for so great a mystery God above of his free gift may make a man.
To come unworthily the penalty is appointed, St Paul hath pronounced it to be Death and Damnation, as guilty of the Blood and Death of Christ. Not to come our Compulsory Law shall now condemn, so that this our favour herein to be extended, is either to beg, or be exiled from our native Country. He said, there was no Example in the Primitive Church to prove a Commandment for coming to the Communion, but an Exhortation; he said, St Ambrose did Excommunicate Theodosius, and forbid him to come to the Communion, because he was an evil man. And for us to will and command men to come, because they are wicked men, it is too strange an inforcement, and without President.
Mr Agmondesham without regard of any thing spoken before, made mention of a Decree in the Star-Chamber made by nine of the Privy-Council, signed with their hands, and the hands of the Chief Justices, concerning the receiving of the Communion by Gentlemen of the Temple. This Decree made by so grave and learned men, he thought for himself, and to his own Conscience, was a stay what to judge, and a direction or president what to follow: the tenor of which Decree, for so much as it did concern the reformation of the Houses of Courts, and principal places to be thought and considered of, he wished might be inserted into the Law. The motion was well liked, and he required to bring the same the next day, which was done.
Mr Norton shewed, that where many men be, there must be many minds, and in consultations convenient it is, to have contrary opinions, contrary reasons and contradictions; thereby the rather to wrest out the best: but this by the rule of reasoning, and reason must be sine jurgiis: he then said, that not only the external and outward show is to be sought, but the very secrets of the heart in Gods cause, who is scrutator Cordium, must come to a reckoning. And the good Seed so sifted from the Cockle, that the one may be known from the other. A man Baptized is not to be permitted among us for a Jew. And here somewhat slipping from the matter inSpeech, he moved, that all suspected for Papistry might make this Oath, That they did acknowledge the Queen to be Queen, for any thing the Pope in any respect might do, noting some imperfection in the former Oath. To this end, quoth he, are the Bulls now sent to discharge men of their Allegiance, and to give free pardon of sins; so that he, who thus should be pardoned, should from henceforth in no sort Communicate with the Professors of the Gospel; and now (quoth he) the very touchstone of trial, who be those Rebellious Calves, whom the Bull hath begotten, must be the receiving of the Communion; which who so shall refuse, we may justly say, he savoureth, &c. And men are not otherwise to be known but by the external sign. To Answer and satisfy the Dilemma objected before in the first day, made concerning the disorders of certain Ministers, in saying of the Service contrary to the instruction of the Book; he wished, this Proviso might be added, that mistaking of Chapters, misreading, &c. should be recovered as no offence, so that there be no Mass-Song, or Popish Service used in Latin, &c. And thus the Bill rested to be further considered of.
These preceeding Speeches being thus transcribed out of the aforesaid Anonymous imperfect Journal, a great part of the residue of this days passages, do now next ensue, out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, in manner and form following.
The Committees for the Bill of Treasons, were appointed to meet in the Star-Chamber, upon Tuesday next, between two and three of the Clock in the Afternoon.
The Bill for Bristol was brought in by Mr Comptroller, corrected in form, but not in substance or matter.
Mr Serjeant Barham and Mr Attorney General, declared that the Lords desire that some of this House be sent presently to them for Conference; whereupon it was Ordered, that all the PrivyCouncil, being of this House, Sir Christopher Heydon, Mr Wilson, Sir John Thynne, Sir Nicholas Arnold, Sir Henry Gate, Sir Henry Norrice, Mr Andrian Stocks, Mr Recorder of London, Mr Fleetwood, Mr Serjeant Manwood, Mr Serjeant Lovelace, Mr Henry Knolles Sen., Mr Heneage, Mr Bell, Mr Mounson, Mr Norton, and Mr Yelverton, shall presently repair unto their Lordships: who so did, and thereupon brought report to this House from the Lords, that as the Season of the Year waxed very hot, and dangerous for sickness, so they desired, that this House would spend the time in proceeding with necessary Bills for the Common-Wealth, and lay aside all private Bills in the mean time. Vide Apr. 26. Thursday postea.
Which report was made by Mr Treasurer, and a Note brought from the Lords by him, of such Bills as they thought meetest to be treated of, was read by the Clark; viz.
The Bill for Treasons.
The Bill for coming to Church and receiving the Communion.
The Bill against untrue demeanors of Tellors, Receivors and Collectors.
Against such as be fled beyond the Seas without Licence.
Against fraudulent gifts and conveyances of Lands and Goods.
For preservation of Wood.
For respite of Homage.
For corrupt returns by Sheriffs.
For the Subsidy.
For Suits by Promoters.
The Bill for Subsidy was read the first time, to which there is nothing mentioned to have been spoken by any Member of the House of Commons, in the Original Journal-Book of the said House; and therefore, although that little that is set down in the often already cited Anonymous Journal do there remain imperfect, yet in respect it is the very last thing which is contained in it, I have thought it worthy the transcribing; it being as followeth,
Mr John Young (after that the said Bill of Subsidy had been read the first time) offered the House some Speech; and silence being obtained, he spake to this effect; that the burden of the Subsidy and charge by Loans, imposed by the Prince upon us, and the charge of the richest and most noblest Prince being considered, it were not amiss if it—
But what should here follow is hard to be conjectured, in respect that here the aforesaid Anonymous Journal breaketh off abruptly.
Sir Robert Read, and Mr Doctor Yale, did bring from the Lords a Bill against Bulls, &c. procured from the See of Rome, as a Bill amongst the residue of necessary Bills meet to be considered of, and prayed Expedition for the reading and passing thereof.
The Bill for the Erection of seven Banks or Stocks of money, was read the first time.
On Monday the 23th day of April, the Bill for Bristol, which was committed on Thursday the 12th day of this instant April preceeding, and brought in by Mr Comptroller on Saturday the 21th day of the same Month foregoing, was this day, upon the Question, Ordered to be ingrossed.
Mr Serjeant Manwood, Mr Serjeant Lovelace, Mr Bell, Mr Mounson, Mr Baber, Mr Fenner, Mr Shute, and Mr Bedell, are added to the former Committees for Vagabonds: but it should rather seem, that those were the first Committees appointed in this Bill, and that this was the second reading thereof; for on Friday the 13th day of this instant April foregoing, it had its first reading, and in the mean time since, between the said day and this present committing of it, there is no mention made in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, that the said Bill was at all read the second time, or committed.
The Bill for reformation of Promoters, was read the first time, and after many long Arguments rejected. And Mr Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr Recorder of London, Mr Sands, Mr Sampoole, Mr Bell, Mr Popham, and Mr Alford, were appointed to make a new Bill, and to meet in the Temple Church, upon Wednesday next at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
Mr Norton, Mr Fenner and Mr Fleetwood, were appointed to draw a Bill for the preservation of Wood, and to receive information of all such, as for that purpose shall repair unto them.
The Bill against Bulls, &c. procured from the See of Rome, was read the first time, and Mr Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr Serjeant Jeffry, Mr Wilbraham, Mr Yelverton, Mr Norton, and Mr Sands, were appointed to consider of the Bill, and to meet at the Temple Church at three of the Clock this Afternoon.
The Bill against untrue Demeanors of Tellors, Receivors, Treasurers and Collectors, was read the second time, and after many long Arguments was committed unto Mr Chancellor of the Dutchy, Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Heneage, Mr. Attorney of the Dutchy, Mr. Seckford, Master of the Requests, Mr. Bell, Mr. Alford, Mr. Iresby, Mr. Yelverton, Mr. Sampoole, Sir John Thynne, Sir Nicholas Arnold, Mr. Norton, Mr. Knivet, Mr. Mounson, and Mr. Dalton, either to alter, or add unto the Bill; or else to make new Provisoes at their discretions, and to meet at the Savoy upon Thursday next at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
On Tuesday the 24th day of April, Three Bills had each of them one reading; of which the third being the Bill against Fugitives, was read the second time, and after many long Arguments, was upon the Question committed unto Sir Thomas Smith, Mr. Bell, Mr. Mounson, Mr. Thomas Snagg, and Mr. Yelverton, who were appointed to meet in the Star-Chamber at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
It was Ordered by the House, that a Note be made against to Morrow of the Titles of all the Bills offered unto this House, and to be then read, to the end the House may make their choice, with which of them they will first proceed.
On Wednesday the 25th day of April, Sir Robert Lane, Sir Henry Gate, Mr. Henry Knolles Sen., Mr. Astley Master of the Jewel-House, Mr. Sands, and Mr. Wentworth, were appointed to attend the Lord of Canterbury his Grace for Answer touching matters of Religion. Vide Apr. 6. antea, & May 17. postea at large.
The Bill for respite of Homage was read the second time; and Mr Recorder of London, Mr. Fleetwood, Mr Sands, and Mr Baber, were appointed to mend the Bill presently.
The Bill lastly for the Subsidy was read the second time.
On Thursday the 26th day of April, Two Bills of no great moment, had each of them one reading, and were Ordered to be ingrossed; of which the second was the Bill for Conservation of Order and Uniformity in the Church.
The note of the Titles of the Bills being read, it was Ordered, that Mr Treasurer, Sir Arthur Mildmay, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Christopher Heydon, Sir Henry Gate, Sir John Thynne, Sir Nicholas Arnold, Mr Serjeant Manwood, Mr Serjeant Lovelace, Mr Stocks, Mr Alford, Mr Yelverton, Mr Fleetwood, Mr Norton, and Mr Dalton, shall be Committees for appointing such Bills for the Common-Weal as shall be first proceeded in, and preferred before the residue, but not to reject any; and are appointed to meet at the StarChamber to Morrow at two of the Clock in the Afternoon.
Nota, That the appointing of the abovenamed Members of the House for the purposes aforesaid, as it is in it self a very rare President, and may prove worthy of often imitation; so it should seem that the House was induced unto it upon a Message sent unto them from the Lords by Mr Treasurer and others on Saturday the 21th day of this instant April foregoing; by which they advised them to expedite the more publick and necessary Bills, and pass by those of less moment.
The two Bills concerning certain offences to be made Treason, were twice read, and upon the division of the House were Ordered to be joined together and made one Bill, with the difference of thirty six Voices upon the said Division; and after long arguing, it was upon the Question Ordered to be ingrossed.
Mr Sollicitor and Mr. Doctor Huick, came from the Lords to demand Bills with speed, if any were ready; and were answered, that within few days their Lordships shall receive some.
The Committees in the Bill against Fugitives, as also in the Bill of Bulls, &c. procured from the See of Rome, which were committed on Monday the 23th day of this instant April foregoing, were this day appointed to meet in the Star-Chamber at three of the Clock to Morrow in the Afternoon.
On Friday the 27th day of April the Bill against Usury was read the second time, and Ordered to be ingrossed.
Four Bills also had each of them their third reading, and passed the House; of which the first was the Bill for preservation of Order and Uniformity in the Church, and the second for William Skeffington Esquire.
The Proviso to the Bill of Subsidy, for Rumney-Marsh, was twice read.
The Bill for respite of Homage was read the third time.
The Proviso to the Bill for respite of Homage was twice read.
The Bill for respite of Homage was committed to Mr. Serjeant Manwood, Mr. Serjeant Lovelace, Mr. Wilbraham, and Mr Popham, who were appointed to meet this Afternoon at three of the Clock, and to make report unto this Court to Morrow next.
On Saturday the 28th day of April, a Supplication for the Merchants of Dantzick touching Cony-Skins, was this day read unto the House, and delivered unto Mr. Treasurer.
The Proviso to the Bill for Fugitives was twice read, and upon the question it was Ordered that the Bill shall stand as it is, touching the relief of Wives and Children. And the Bill was also Ordered to be ingrossed; with the Proviso for the Dutchess of Feria, and the Lady Jane Dormer Widow.
The Bill against Usury was read the third time.
Five Bills were sent up to the Lords from the House of Commons, of which the first was the Bill for Conservation of Orders and Uniformity in the Church, and another against Popish Priests disguising themselves in Serving-mens Apparel.
The Bill for keeping Residence in Cathedral Churches was read the first time.
Mr. Henry Knolles Sen., Mr. Strickland, Mr. Mounson, and Mr. Yelverton, were appointed to sort the Bills for Religion, in such order and course for proceeding, one before another, as they shall think meetest. Vide May 17. postea.
The Bill for Shrewsbury was read the third time.
The Committees in the Bill for coming to Church and receiving the Communion (whose names see on Saturday the 21th day of this instant April preceeding) and the Committees in the Bill for respite of Homage (who were nominated on Friday the 27th day of the same Month foregoing) were appointed to meet this Afternoon at two of the Clock in the Temple Church.
The second Bill for Religion was read the second time, and committed unto the Lord President of the Marches of Wales, Sir Thomas Smith, Sir Thomas Scott, Mr. Attorney of the Wards, Mr. Norton, Mr. Greenfeild, Mr. Grimston, Mr. Smith, Mr. Fenner, and Mr. Agmordsam, who were appointed to meet this Afternoon at three of the Clock in the Star-Chamber. Vide May 17. postea, what this Bill was.
The Bill for Bristol was read the third time, and after long Arguing passed upon the Question.
Mr. Serjeant Barham and Mr. Sollicitor, brought two Bills from the Lords, the one for the Confirmation of the Attainder of the late Earls of Northumberland, and Westmerland, and others, and the other for reviving and continuance of certain Statutes.
April the 29th Sunday.
On Monday the 30th day of April, Two Bills had each of them their second reading, and were Ordered to be ingrossed; of which the first was the Bill for allowance to be made unto Sheriffs for the Justices Diets.
Two Bills also had each of them their third reading, and were likewise Ordered to be ingrossed; of which the first was the Bill for coming to Church and receiving of the Communion.