Journal of the House of Commons: November 1584

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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Simonds d'Ewes, 'Journal of the House of Commons: November 1584', in The Journals of All the Parliaments During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, (Shannon, Ire, 1682) pp. 332-334. British History Online [accessed 18 May 2024].

Simonds d'Ewes. "Journal of the House of Commons: November 1584", in The Journals of All the Parliaments During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, (Shannon, Ire, 1682) 332-334. British History Online, accessed May 18, 2024,

d'Ewes, Simonds. "Journal of the House of Commons: November 1584", The Journals of All the Parliaments During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, (Shannon, Ire, 1682). 332-334. British History Online. Web. 18 May 2024,


A Journal of the Passages of the House of Commons in the Parliament holden at Westminster, Anno 27 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1584. which began there on Monday the 23th Day of November, and then and there continued until the Prorogation thereof on Monday the 29th Day of March Anno Domini 1585. and was lastly Dissolved on Wednesday the 14th Day of September, Anno 28 Reginæ ejusdem, Anno Domini 1586.

This Ensuing Parliament is replenished with many Excellent Passages concering the Orders, Priviledges and Usages of the same, from which also divers good Precedents may be gathered touching Elections and Joint-Conferences with the Lords of the Upper House; neither finally doth it want sufficient matter of publick Agitations, the danger of the State and the Ecclesiastical Government of the Church being at large debated in it; in which also appears the zeal of the said House against one Doctor Parrie, a notorious Traytor, being a Member thereof.

The Parliament beginning on Monday the 23th day of November in Anno hoc 27 Reginæ Eliz. her Majesty came from her Palace of Whitehall in her accustomed, and Royal and stately manner, unto the Cathedral Church of Westminster, about .... of the Clock in the Forenoon, during whose being there, the Earl of Leicester at this time Lord Steward of her Highness Houshold, came into the Utter-Room of the House of Commons, and then and there before his Lordship, did the right honourable Mr Treasurer, and Mr Comptroller of her Majesties Houshold, and Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, being severally chosen and returned Knights into the said House of Commons for the Counties of Oxon, Hereford and Northampton, take and pronounce the Oath according to the Statute in that behalf made and provided; which done, the said Lord Steward departed from the House into the lower end of the Room called the White-Hall, or Court of Requests, and then also did the right honourable Mr Secretary Walsingham, returned one of the Knights for the County of Surrey, likewise take and pronounce the said Oath before his Lordship. And then his Lordship caused as many of the said Knights, Citizens, Burgesses and Barons, as at that time were returned into the CrownOffice, to be called and returned, and the names to be pricked of so many of them as then appeared; and so nominating and appointing the said four honourable Personages to be his Lordships Deputies, to see the said Oath taken and pronounced by all the residue of the said House of Commons, departed; and thereupon his Lordships said Deputies proceeded to the further ministring of the said Oath unto the residue of the said House of Commons.

But before such time as these four right honourable Personages, deputed by the Earl of Leicester as aforesaid, had administred the said Oath to all such of their fellow Members of the House of Commons as were present, although the greatest part of them had taken it, they had notice about two of the Clock in the Afternoon, that her Majesty, with divers of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, were then already set in the Upper House and there expected them; who thereupon all of them together repaired thither, and as many as conveniently could being let in, Sir Thomas Bromley Lord Chancellor having made an Oration unto the whole Assembly, did in the end declare unto the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the said House of Commons, that it was her Majesties will and pleasure that they should go together unto their own House, and there amongst themselves should chuse a Speaker, and of the day of his Presentation her Majesty would hereafter give them further Order.

Whereupon they departed thence, and came into their own House, where being set, and the number appearing upon the view not to be much less than the whole, Sir Francis Knowles Knight Treasurer of her Highness's Houshold stood up, and put them in mind how lately the Lord Chancellor had signified unto them her Majesties pleasure for the choice of a Speaker. And further added, that for his part he did very well allow of Mr Serjeant Puckering, as of a very able Member of the said House, to be chosen into the said place, and to undergo it; yet nevertheless did leave every man to his own free opinion to nominate any other of whom they might think better.

After whose Speech many of the said House named also Mr Serjeant Puckering, and none was heard to disallow or speak against the said choice; whereupon Mr Treasurer standing up again, did then and there put it to the question, asking them whom they would be pleased to allow of for their Speaker, and to name him. To which the greater part of the House making Answer again, that they did allow of and chuse the said Mr Serjeant Puckering for their Speaker as before, he stood up, and in a modest and humble Speech disabled himself, yet withal acknowledging the great favour of the House unto him, in that they had been pleased to nominate and chuse him unto a place of so great charge and weight. Which excuse of his being not allowed, he was led up between two of the most eminent Personages of the said House unto the Chair, and placed in it.

On Tuesday the 24th day of November, it seemeth the House met not, because the Speaker was not yet presented, neither is there any mention of the said day in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons de Anno isto 27° Reginæ Eliz.

On Wednesday the 25th day of November Mr Treasurer signified unto the House that her Majesties pleasure was, that the Speaker be presented unto her Highness in the Upper House to morrow next at two of the Clock in the Afternoon; and therefore willed every one of this House to take notice thereof, to the end they may then and there wait upon her Majesty accordingly.

On Thursday the 26th day of November the Queens Majesty and divers of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal being set in the Upper House, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons had notice thereof about two of the Clock in the Afternoon, and thereupon with John Puckering Serjeant at Law their Speaker Elect, they repaired thither, the said Prolocutor or Speaker being led up by two of the most honourable Personages of the said House, and there having made his excuse according to the usual form at the Bar or Rail at the lower end of the Upper House, it was not allowed by her Majesty; whereupon the said Speaker having with all humble acknowledgment of her Majesties favour submitted himself (according to the usual course) to the undergoing of the said Prolocutorship, made certain Petitions in the name of the House of Commons for freedom of Speech, of access to her Majesty, and immunity from Arrests and Suits for themselves and their necessary Attendants. And lastly petitioned for himself, that if in any thing he should erre or mistake unwillingly, her Majesty would be pleased to pardon it.

To which Speech the Lord Chancellor delivered her Majesties Answer by her commandment, that she was graciously pleased to allow of his said Petitions, and therefore wished them to use their said Liberties and Priviledges with moderation and reverence. Then the Kinghts, Citizens and Burgesses departing with their Speaker to their own House, there was read one Bill only the first time, being for the better and more reverent observing of the Sabbath day; after the reading whereof the House rose.

On Friday the 27th day of November two Bills had each of them one reading; of which the second being the Bill for the better and more reverent observing of the Sabbath day, was read the second time, and committed unto Sir Walter Mildmay, Sir John Higham, Sir Francis Drake, Mr. Recorder of London, Mr. James Dalton, Mr. George Moore, Mr. Brooke, Mr. Doctor Turner, Mr. Francis Hastings, Mr. Fox, Mr. Anderson, Sir Richard Greenfield, Mr. William Mohun, Sir Drew Drewry, Sir Henry Nevill, Sir William Moore, Sir Nicholas Woodroose, Sir William Herbert, Mr. Robert Beale, Mr. Edward Popham, Mr. Strickland, Mr. Edward Lewkenor, Sir Robert Germin, Mr. Lieutenant of the Tower, Mr. George Carie, Sir Thomas Manners, Mr. Daniel, Mr. John Bretton, Mr. Grice, Mr. Richard Prowze, Mr. Thomas Brereton, Sir Richard Knightly, and Sir William Mallory, who were appointed to meet this Afternoon at two of the Clock in the ExchequerChamber, and the Bill was delivered to Sir William Mallory one of the said Committees.

Nota, That this Bill of the Sabbath did not pass the two Houses, but another, and that also not without great difficulty and long debatement being committed, and amendments upon amendments added unto it, ut vide on Wednesday the 17th day of March following.

On Saturday the 28th day of November three Bills of no great moment had each of them their first reading; of which the first was concerning the better pursuit of Hue and Cry.

Sir Walter Mildmay Chancellor of the Exchequer taking occasion to speak of the sudden calling of this Parliament at so unseasonable a time of the year, and of the likelihood of the short continuance thereof, did thereupon declare the same to be called for very urgent and necessary causes.

Sir Christopher Hatton, Vice-Chamberlain of her Majesties Houshold, spake next, and it seemeth much to the same effect with Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer; but what the very words were, or the substance of them, is wholly omitted in the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, although these two Speeches did last about two hours, as is afterwards shewed. At the end whereof it seemeth further, that a Committee was appointed to consider of a Bill to be drawn concerning the matter of Subsidy.

One being no Member of this House, being found to have sit here this present day by the space of two hours, during the whole time of the Speeches delivered by Mr Chancellor and Mr Vicechamberlain, as aforesaid, did upon Examination consess his name to be Richard Robinson, and that he was by occupation a Skinner, and dwelt at the Harts Horns in Gracious-Street London, the house of one Mark Fryer a Skinner also his Father-in-law: Whereupon himself having been stripped to his shirt, and his pockets all searched, the Custody and further Examination of him was by this House referred to Mr Recorder of London, Mr Topclisse, Mr Beale, and another.

Charles Morgan Gentleman, Servant unto Sir George Carie Knight, returned this Parliament for one of the Knights of the County of Southampton, being himself no Member of this House, was found to be standing within the said House near unto the door, and as it was thought of meer ignorance and simplicity without any evil purpose or meaning; and therefore was committed by Order of the House unto the Serjeants Ward till the next sitting of this Court, and then such further Order to be taken therein, as by this House shall be requisite.

On Monday the 30th day of November Mr Recorder of London shewed to the House, that he and Mr Topclisse had taken the Examination of Richard Robinson sound to be sitting there on Saturday last, although he were no Member of it, the taking whereof had been then also referred unto them, and thereupon he delivered the same in writing; which having been read by the Clerk of the Parliament, the said Robinson was brought to the Bar, and was there censured by the House, having taken the Oath (as it should seem of Allegiance and Supremacy) to suffer Imprisonment in the Serjeants Ward until Saturday next, and then having swore to keep secret what he had heard, to be released without further moving the House. Vide touching this business in fine diei præcedentis.

Mr Recorder also offered and commended to the House a certain Bill touching Barks or Stocks, which had been tendred in like manner before in a former Session.

Mr Speaker made another motion to the House, to take Order with their Servants and Pages to forbear such misbehaviour and disorder as hath formerly been used, and that they may henceforth avoid from the stairs which lead up to the House out of Westminster-Hall.

Charles Morgan Gentleman, who had been present in the House on Saturday last, being no Member of it, and had thereupon been committed unto the Serjeants Ward, was this day brought to the Bar, and having taken the Oath of Supremacy, was discharged upon payment of his Fees.

Five Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the first being the Bill, that Parsonages impropriate might be converted to charitable and pious uses, was read the first time.

Upon a motion this day made to the House, that Thomas Bodley Gentleman being returned a Burgess into this Parliament for the Town of Portsmouth in the County of Southampton, and also a Baron for the Port of Hieth, and can appear but for one of the same places, it was (upon the said Mr Bodley his choice made to appear for the said Town of Portsmouth in the County aforesaid) Ordered that a Warrant from this House should be directed to the Clerk of the CrownOffice in the Chancery for a new Writ to be awarded for the chusing and returning of another Baron of the said Port of Hieth into this House in lieu and stead of the said Mr Bodley accordingly.