Journal of the House of Lords: January 1581

Pages 266-270

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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An Exact and perfect Journal of the Passages of the House of Lords in the Session of Parliament bolden at Westminster, Anno 23 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1580. which began there (after many Prorogations and Adjournments of the same) on Monday the 16th Day of January, and there continued until it was first Prorogued on Saturday the 18th Day of March, and lastly Dissolved on Friday the 19th Day of April, Anno 25 Reginæ ejusdem, Anno Domini 1583.

This Session in Anno 23 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1580. maketh but one and the same Parliament with that in Anno 14 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1572. which was the first Session of it, and with that in Anno 18 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1575. which was the second Session of the same: so that this present Assembly of the Peers and Commons of the Realm in this their great Councel was but the third and last Session of it, being one and the same Parliament as aforesaid, being continued without any Dissolution, near upon the space of twelve years by fourscore several Prorogations, or thereabouts, viz. from Thursday the 8th day of May in the fourteenth year of the Queen, on which said Thursday it first began, until the Dissolution thereof upon the 19th day of April, Anno 25 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1583.

The Prorogations between that former Session in An. 18 Reginæ Eliz. which was as hath been observed, the second and middle Session of this Parliament, and this in Anno 23 Reginæ ejusdem (with those after it) which was the third and last Session thereof, were about threescore; of which the two first happening within the said eighteenth year, are both of them placed at the end of the Journal of the said year; of which the first was on Saturday the 18th day of March in Anno 18 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1580. by which the Parliament was Prorogued unto the 5th day of November, Anno 18 Regin. Eliz. Anno Domini 1581. at which day it was the second time Prorogued unto the 26th day of March in Anno 19 Reginæ ejusdem Anno Domini 1582. upon which day it was further Prorogued by Commission unto the 3d day of June following.

On the third day of June, to which day the Parliament had been last Prorogued, it was again further Prorogued unto the 12th day of November next following; at and from which time it was Prorogued from day to day unto the 16th day of January, being Monday, on which day this Session following in Anno 23 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1580, began.

But her Majesty because it was no new Parliament, was not present, nor did the Lords wear their Robes on this said Monday, being the first day of their meeting; nor was their any solemn Speech made by the Lord Keeper, but either House assembling themselves together severally, in their due places, fell to their ordinary businesses as upon other days is usually accustomed; yet the beginning of this Session is as solemnly Entred in the Original Journal-Book as if it had been a new Parliament, where it appeareth to be in manner and form following.

Die Lunæ 16 die Januarii 1580, Anno Regni Excellentissimæ & metuendissimæ Dominæ nostræ Elizabethæ, Dei gratia, Angliæ, Franciæ, & Hiberniæ Reginæ, Fidei Defensatricis, &c. Vicesimo tertio, in quem diem post varias ac diversas Prorogationes præsens hæc Sessio Parliamenti Prorogata fuit, teneri & inchoari apud Westmonasterium die & loco prædict. Domini tam Spirituales quam Temporales, quorum nomina subsequuntur præsentes fuerunt.

Episcopus London.
Episcopus Sarisburien.
Episcopus Wigorn.
Episcopus Roffen.
Episcopus Coventr. & Litchfield.

These Bishops are thus placed in the Original Journal-Book on the dexter-side of the Lords, not by reason of preheminency, unless the Archbishop of Canterbury had been present, but by reason of their Ecclesiastical Dignity, these being all that are noted in the said Journal-Book to have been present this day; now follow the names of the Lord Keeper and the Temporal Lords.

Thomas Bromley Miles Dominus Cancellarius.
Dominus Burleigh Thesaurarius Angliæ.
Marchio Winton.
Comes Lincoln. Magnus Admirallus Angliæ.
Comes Arundell.
Comes Northampton.
Comes Wigorn.
Comes Cumberland.
Comes Bathon.
Comes Norwicen.
Comes Southampton.
Comes Pembrook.
Comes Hartford.
Comes Leicester.
Vice-comes Mountague.
Vice-comes Bindon.


Dominus Burgavenny.
Dominus Willoughby de Erisby.
Dominus Dacres.
Dominus Stafford.
Dominus Dudley.
Dominus Lumley.
Dominus Stourton.
Dominus Mountjoy.
Dominus Darcy de Darcy.
Dominus Windsor.
Dominus Cromwell.
Dominus Evers.
Dominus Wharton.
Dominus Willoughbie de Parham.
Dominus Howard.
Dominus North.
Dominus St John de Bletso.
Dominus de la Ware.
Dominus Cheyney.
Dominus Norris.

Nota, There were no names of Receivors or Triors of Petitions read, because this was but the third and last Session of a former Parliament, as hath been observed; and those names are never read but in the beginning of a new Parliament.

One Bill was read this Morning, being for the reformation of Sheriffs, Under-Sheriffs, and their Ministers primâ vice.

Hodiè retornatum est Breve, quo Preregrinus Bartye, Dominus Willoughby filius & hæres Katherinæ Ducissæ Suff. filiæ & hæredis Willielmi Willoughby nuper Domini Willoughby præsenti Parliamento interesse summonitus est, qui admissus est ad suum præheminentiæ sedendi in Parliamento locum salvo jure alieno: viz. the said Lord Willoughby was seated and took place next under the Lord Audley and above the Lord Barkley.

The like Writ returned for Edward Parker Lord Morley, who accordingly was admitted, salvo jure alieno, and placed next under the Lord Barkley, and above the Lord Dacres.

The Lords being thus set and in agitation of their own businesses, Sir Francis Knolles Knight Treasurer of her Majesties Houshold, Accompanied with Sir James Crofts Knight Comptroller of her Highness Houshold, Sir Francis Walsingham Knight one of her Majesties Principal Secretaries, and Mr Doctor Wilson Esquire, another of her Majesties Principal Secretaries, Sir Walter Mildmay Knight Chancellor of her Majesties Exchequer, and divers others, being sent up to the said Lords by the House of Commons upon some urgent and weighty occasions, desired to be admitted into the said Upper House there to make known to their Lordships somewhat of importance, wherein they should require their advice and need their assistance; upon which being admitted the said Mr Treasurer assisted with the Personages and Company aforesaid, did in comely order and discreet manner, make manifest and known unto the said Lords, that Sir Robert Bell Knight late Lord Chief Baron, and Speaker of the said House, who had been Elected to the said place in the first Session of this Parliament in the fourteenth year of her Majesty, and had continued also the second Session thereof, being in the eighteenth year of her said Highness Reign in the said place, was now dead, which had been openly and manifestly made known and testified unto them; for remedy of which defection, they humbly prayed their Lordships advice. After which the Lord Keeper first requiring the said Personages a while to withdraw themselves, and then commending the order of the matter unto the said Lords sitting in Consultation for the same, it was upon considerate advice therein had by them all, thought fitting to signifie unto the said Commons, by the Personages aforesaid who had been sent from them, that they thought it expedient and good, that such of the Lords of the said House as were of her Highness Privy-Council, with the Lord Marquess of Winchester, and the Earl of Arundel, Accompanied with such a number of the Commons House as by them should be agreed upon, should in the name of both the Assemblies make intimation of their said Estate, and the Petition thereupon depending, unto her said Highness; to which advice the said Commons upon knowledge had of the same wholly assented.

Then followed the Adjournment of the said Parliament by the Lord Keeper according to the usual form, which is thus Entred in the Original Journal-Book.

Dominus Cancellarius Adjournavit præsens Parliamentum usque in diem Mercurii proximum hora nona.

On Wednesday the 18th day of January, Billa for reformation of abuses in Sheriffs, Under-Sheriffs and their Ministers, secunda vice lecta.

Two other Bills also of no great moment were read primâ vice.

The Queen having been moved as it seemeth (according to the resolution of the two Houses jointly agreed upon between them, on Monday last past the 16th day of this instant January) about the Death of Sir Robert Bell late Lord Chief Baron, their former Speaker, and the choice of a new one in the House of Commons by the Marquess of Winchester, and those other right honourable Personages who were then and there named to move her Highness in it; did give Order that this present Wednesday both the Lords and Commons should assemble and meet together in the Upper House, commonly called the Lords Parliament Chamber, there to receive her Majesties Answer, where being Assembled Sir Thomas Bromley Knight Lord Chancellor of England, shewed forth a Commission from her Highness under the Great Seal of England, which was directed to him only, wherein her Majesty taking notice of the Death of Sir Robert Bell their former Speaker, did Authorize the Lord Keeper for her Majesty and in her name, to will and Command the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons to resort unto their accustomed place, and there to elect and chuse amongst themselves, one able and sufficient person to be their Speaker for the rest of this present Parliament yet to come; and after they should have made their Election, that then three or four of them for and in all their names, should signifie the same unto her Majesty: and thereupon her Highness would further signifie her pleasure unto them, what day and time they should present him so Elected before her, as it had been formerly in like Cases accustomed to be done.

Nota, That this Commission is set down at large in the Journal of the House of Commons, de isto Anno 23 Reginæ Eliz. to which it more properly belongeth.

This day lastly, was returned one unusual Proxy from John Bishop of Exeter, which is thus Entred in the Original Journal-Book, the words only a little misplaced.

18 die Januarii, Johannis permissione divina Episcopi Exoniensis introductæ sunt literæ Procuratoriæ, in quibus Procuratorem suum constituit reverendum in Christo Patrem Johannem Episcopum Wigorniensem.

Nota, That though there were no names of Triors or Receivors of Petitions read at this time, because it was but the latter Session of a former Parliament, and those said Receivors and Triors are never assigned but at the beginning of a new one; yet it is very usual for the Lords of the Upper House to send their Proxies after a Prorogation as well as at the beginning of a new Parliament, and especially if there be any long space or distance between the Sessions, as was likewise used in the former Parliaments, viz. in that second Session of Parliament held in Anno 8 Reginæ Eliz. and the foregoing Session of Parliament held in Anno 18 Reginæ ejusdem.

The Proxy before set down, I therefore call an unusual, because a spiritual Lord Constituted but one Proctor; whereas for the most part they seldom or never nominate fewer than two, and the Temporal Lords as seldom more than one; and therefore those ordinary Proxies are for the most part wholly omitted, and the extraordinary only transcribed out of the Journal-Book: and at this Session of three Earls and ten Barons, who sent their Proxies, only one, viz. Henry Earl of Huntington Constituted two Proctors, which Proxies with some other unusual ones are set down the 23th day of this instant January following; on which said day being Monday they are all set down in the Original Journal-Book to have been introducted.

The Earl of Leicester had this Parliamentary Session, six several Proxies sent unto him (set down in the Original Journal-Book in the same Order they here follow) viz. from Henry Earl of Darby, Henry Lord Scroope, Thomas Lord Buckhurst, George Earl of Shrewsbury, John Lord Darcy of Aston, and from Henry Earl of Huntington, who Constituted him the said Earl of Leicester his Proctor severally and jointly with Francis Earl of Bedford, all which said Proxies or Letters Procuratory, are Entred in the Original Journal-Book to have been returned, or introducted on Wednesday the 25th day of this instant January.

On Thursday the 19th day of January, Billa for avoiding of slanderous Libelling, prima vice lecta; and two other Bills of no great moment were each of them read secunda vice: after which the continuance of the Parliament is thus Entred in the Original Journal-Book.

Dominus Cancellarius continuavit præsens Parliamentum usq; in diem prox. hora secunda post meridiem.

On Friday the 20th day of January, the House met not till about two of the Clock in the Afternoon, when her Majesty was her Self present, with Sir Thomas Bromley Lord Chancellor, and divers of the Lords both Spiritual and Temporal; who being all set, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses had notice given them thereof, and thereupon repaired unto the Upper House with John Popham Esquire, the Queens Sollicitor, whom they had Elected and Chosen their Speaker on Wednesday the 18th day of this instant January last past.

The said Speaker or Prolocutor, with as many of the House of Commons as conveniently could, being let in, was led up between two of the most eminent Personages of the said House of Commons unto the Rail or Bar at the lower end of the Upper House, and being there placed after three Reverences made, spake to the effect following:

That whereas at the humble Suit of the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the Commons House of Parliament now Assembled, it had been signified from her Majesty by the Mouth of the Lord Chancellor, and by force of her Highness Commission under the Great Seal of England; that it was her Pleasure and Command, that the said Knights, Citizens and Burgesses should chuse a Learned man for their Speaker, instead of Sir Robert Bell late Lord Chief Baron and their Speaker, whom it had pleased God to take out of this World: that thereupon they had Chosen and compelled himself to take upon him that weighty Charge, for which finding himself altogether unable, and further at large pressing his own disability, he lastly, desired that her Majesty out of her gracious favour, would be pleased to free him from that great imployment; and that the said Knights, Citizens and Burgesses might have Authority to Elect and Chuse some other more able and sufficient Member amongst them, to undertake and perform the same.

Then the Queen called the Lord Chancellor unto her, declaring her Opinion in that which he should Answer to the said Speaker or Prolocutor; who thereupon returning to his place, Answered the said Speaker, that her Majesty had fully heard, and did well allow of his modest and humble disabling of himself, but yet being also acquainted with his faithfulness, care and many abilities, her Majesty was resolved he should undertake this Charge, and therefore did both allow and approve of the said Election of the House of Commons.

Whereupon the said Speaker rendring his most humble thanks to her Majesty, and acknowledging her gracious favour towards him, promised his most faithful and careful endeavour for the discharge of the said place, after which he proceeded to Petition her Majesty, in the name of the House of Commons, (according to the usual course) for freedom of Speech, freedom of Access to her Majesty, and freedom from Arrests and Suits for themselves, and their necessary Attendants. And lastly, that if in any thing he should unwittingly mistake, the blame might not lie upon the House, but upon himself, and that her Majesty would be pleased graciously to Pardon him.

To which the Lord Chancellor by Command from her Majesty, Answered, that she did well accept of his humble thankfulness, and the promise of his best endeavour and diligence, and that for all his Petitions her Majesty was well pleased that himself, and the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons, should have and enjoy all such freedoms and priviledges, as had been formerly in like Case enjoyed and used in the times of her Majesties most Royal Progenitors.

And then he concluded with a special Admonition, that the House of Commons should not deal or intermeddle with any matters touching her Majesties Person, or Estate, or Church Government.

Nota, That in the Original Journal-Book of the Upper-House, de Anno isto 23 Reginæ Eliz. the Queens presence, and the presence of the other Lords is only noted, but no mention is made who was chosen Speaker, or that he was presented this Afternoon; which happened by the very great negligence of Mr Anthony Mason at this time Clerk of the said House: wherefore this Presentment of the Speaker in manner and form, as is aforesaid, is supplied for the most part out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons in this Session of Parliament, in the twenty third year of her Majesty, being there Entred fol. 4. a.

Besides the further Adjournment of the Parliament, or continuance of it, Entred commonly in these words, viz. Dominus Cancellarius Adjournavit præsens Parliamentum, &c. or, continuavit præsens Parliamentum, &c. being but matter of course, are in this ensuing Journal omitted; unless where somewhat in it doth happen extraordinary, in respect of the time, place, or person.

On Monday the 23th day of January, to which day the Parliament had been last Adjourned, a Bill for the maintenance of the Borders and Frontiers against Scotland, was read primâ vice; and one other Bill for avoiding of slanderous Libelling, was read secundâ vice.

This day also were introducted, or delivered unto the hands of the Clerk of the Parliament, divers extraordinary and unusual Proxies, which are thus Entred in the Original Journal-Book, or in not much different words.

23 die Januarii introductæ sunt literæ Procuratoriæ Richardi Episcopi Dunelmensis, in quibus Procuratores suos constituit Edwinum Archiepiscopum Eboracen. Johannem Episcopum Sarisburiensem, & Willielmum Episcopum Cestrensem.

Item introductæ sunt literæ Procuratoriæ Willielmi Episcopi Cestrensis, in quibus Procuratorem suum constituit Willielmum Episcopum Coventr. & Litchf.

Item introductæ sunt literæ Procuratoriæ Gilberti Episcopi Bathon. & Wellen. in quibus Procuratores suos constituit Johannem Episcopum London, Thomas Episcopum Lincoln. Johannem Episcopum Wigorn. & Johannem Episcopum Sarisburien.

Item introductæ sunt literæ Procuratoriæ Henrici Comitis Huntingtoniæ, in quibus Procuratores suos constituit Franciscum Comitem Bedford, & Robertum Comitem Leicestr.

Nota, That whereas the Spiritual Lords do for the most part name but two Proctors, and not fewer than two; here the Bishop of Durham Constituted three, the Bishop of Bath and Wells four, and the Bishop of Chester but one: and in like manner whereas the Temporal Lords seldom Constitute above one Proctor, here the Earl of Huntington nominated two.

Finally it is to be noted, that none of these Lords could be thus absent, or Constitute their Proctors, but by the Queens Majesties Licence first obtained.

On Tuesday the 24th day of January, to which day the Parliament had been last continued, the Lord Chancellor and divers Lords met, but nothing was done saving the Adjournment of the Parliament by the Lord Chancellor.

It seems that no businesses or Bills being as yet sent up from the House of Commons to the Upper House, the Lords had no great imployment; and hence it is usual for them in the beginning of a new Parliament, or of a new Session after many Prorogations, to meet and without any further agitation or business, only to continue or Adjourn the Parliament to a further day.

On Thursday the 26th day of January, to which day the Parliament had been last Adjourned, The Bill against slanderous words and rumors, and other seditious practices against the Queens Majesty, was read primâ vice; and two other Bills also of no great moment had each of them one reading.

On Saturday the 28th day of January, to which day the Parliament had been continued on Thursday last, the foresaid Bill against slanderous words, &c. was read secundâ vice, & commissa ad ingrossandum.

Two other Bills had each of them one reading at the same time.

On Monday the 30th day of January, to which day the Parliament had been on Saturday foregoing last Adjourned, the foresaid Bill against slanderous words, &c. was read tertiâ vice & communi omnium Procerum assensu conclusa; and with another Bill of no great moment concluded also this day, was sent down to the Commons House by the Queens Attorney and Doctor Clerk.

There was one other Bill also for reformation of disorders and abuses in Sheriffs, Under-Sheriffs, and their Ministers, read secundâ vice.

On Tuesday the 31th day of January, Two Bills of no great moment had each of them their first reading: Two other Bills also were sent up to the Lords from the House of Commons, viz. Billa for the speedy recovery of Debts, quæ primâ vice lecta; and a Bill for avoiding of certain incumbrances against Purchasers, which was also read primâ vice.