Journal of the House of Lords: October 1586

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 Lords: October 1586', The Journals of All the Parliaments During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, (Shannon, Ire, 1682), pp. 375-378. British History Online [accessed 16 June 2024].

Simonds d'Ewes. "Journal of the House of Lords: October 1586", in The Journals of All the Parliaments During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, (Shannon, Ire, 1682) 375-378. British History Online, accessed June 16, 2024,

d'Ewes, Simonds. "Journal of the House of Lords: October 1586", The Journals of All the Parliaments During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, (Shannon, Ire, 1682). 375-378. British History Online. Web. 16 June 2024,


An Exact and perfect Journal of the Passages of the Upper House in the Parliament holden at Westminster, Anno 28 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1586. which began there on Saturday the 29th Day of October (after two Several Prorogations thereof) and then and there continued until it was at length Dissolved on Thursday the 23th Day of March, Anno 29 Reginæ ejusdem.

Vide de tota ista materia in Annal Eliz. à Guliel. Camd. Script. edit Lugdun. Batav. An. Dom. 1625. à pagin. 432. ad pagin. 472.

Gul. Camd. in Annal. Eliz. Supracitatis pag. 458. Iineis 1, 2, 3.

THE Journal of this Parliament both in respect of the greatness of the matter handled in it, being the business of Mary Queen of Scots, as also of the many rare Precedents which happened in the Carriage of it, the Queens Person being represented and the Lord Chancellors place supplied by others, with the Adjournment and re-assembling again of the same, somewhat extraordinary, is and ought to be esteemed most worthy of observation. And it is most plain that this Parliament was at the first (beyond the Queens own expectation) summoned and afterwards Assembled upon no other cause or ground than the timely and strange discovery of that bloody and merciless Treason Plotted by Babington and others for the violent cutting off her Majesties life, of which Mary Queen of Scots had been first by a most Just and Honourable Tryal fully Convicted, and afterwards Judicially pronounced to have been in a high nature guilty. But yet her Majesty not satisfied with her so just a Tryal and Attainder, assembled the Parliament on purpose, that so all those former proceedings how just so ever might be further Committed and referred to the impartial examination and final Judgment of the whole Realm. And that this great Council of the Kingdom was merely called together at this time about this business is most plain, because the last Prorogation of ths former Parliament holden in Anno 27 Regin. Eliz. Anno Dom. 1584. was from the 26th day of April Anno 28 Regin. Eliz. Anno Dom. 1586. unto the 14th day of November then next ensuing: But long before the said day the former Conspiracy being discovered about the latter end of July in Anno eodem, the former Parliament was dissolved on Wednesday the fourteenth day of September following, in the 28th year of her Majesty; And this new one Assembled on Saturday the 29th day of October immediately after ensuing: At which time the Queen came not to the Upper House in Person, but was represented by three Commissioners; not as her Majesty afterward prosessed, because she feared the Violence of any Assassinte; but because she abhorred to be an hearer of so soul, and unnatural a conspiracy plotted against her by the Scottish Queen, a Kinswoman so near to her Highness; Yet by this means her absence doubtless drew on the greater safety; and her Loving and Loyal Subjects did the more clearly perceive in how great and unavoidable danger she stood as long as that Queen lived, and were therefore doubtless stirred up to consult in this so important a Cause with the greater Zeal and earnestness for the preservation of Religion, the Security of her Majesties Life, and the safety of these Realms. Which matters the Lords of the Upper House did so seriously intend, as that in this first meeting in this present Parliament, which lasted from the foresaid 29th day of October being Saturday, unto the second day of December next following being Friday, it appeareth not in the Original Journal-Book of the Upper House, that any one Bill publick or private was read, or so much as once treated of.

This Parliament was summoned to have begun on Saturday the 15th day of October Anno 28 Regin. Eliz. at which said day her Highness for great and weighty causes and Considerations her thereunto espescially moving, did prolong and adjourn the said Parliament unto Thursday being the 27th day of the said Month of October, by vertue of a Writ under the Great Seal dated the eighth day of this present October; whereupon on the said 15th day of October the Archbishop of Canterbury with divers other Lords and Councellors repaired to the Parliament Chamber commonly called the Upper House, and there in presence of divers Lords Spiritual and Temporal the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses summoned to the same Parliament did declare her Highnesses pleasure to Prorogue the same Parliament from this first summoned day until the 27th of the said Month, and thereupon the Writ for the said Prorogation was publickly read by the Clerk of the Upper House.

Upon the said 27th day of October Sir Thomas Bromley Knight Lord Chancellor of England, and divers Lords with a good number of the House of Commons met again in the Parliament Chamber, and did again Prorogue this present Parliament after the usual and accustomed form unto the Saturday next following, being the 29th day of this present October.

On which said 29th day of October the Parliament held accordingly, and the Lords in the Afternoon repaired to the Upper House, and there placed themselves according to their several Degrees; Upon which the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses having notice that the Lords expected their presence, repaired to the said House, and being let in as many as could conveniently, Sir Thomas Bromley the Lord Chancellor declared unto the whole Assembly, that her Majesty was so hindred by great and urgent occassions as she could not be present, yet had notwithstanding given full Authority to Three Members of the Upper House in her Majesties name and stead to begin the said Parliament. Whose names are entred in the Original Journal-Book of this Parliament in manner and form following.

Regina representata per Commissionarios, viz.

Archiepiscopum Cantuariensem.
Dominum Burleigh Thesaurarium, &
Comitem Darbiæ Magnum Seneschallum.

All the Lords then present were these following.
Archiepiscopus Cantuarien.
Thomas Bromley Miles Dominus Cancellarius.
Archiepiscopus Eboracen.
Dominus Burleigh.
Dominus Thesaurarius Angliæ.

Comes Oxon Magnus Camerarius.
Comes Kantiæ.
Comes Darbiæ Magnus Seneschallum.
Comes Wigorn.
Comes Rutland.
Comes Cumberland.
Comes Sussex.
Comes Pembrook.
Comes Hartford.
Comes Lincoln.
Vicecomes Mountague.

Episcopus London.
Episcopus Dunelmen.
Episcopus Winton.
Episcopus Bathon. & Wellen.
Episcopus Sarisburien.
Episcopus Rossen.
Episcopus Exon.
Episcopus Cestren.

Dominus Howard Admirallus.
Dominus Aburgavenny.
Dominus Zouch.
Dominus Barkley.
Dominus Morley.
Dominus Dacres.
Dominus Cobham.
Dominus Stafford.
Dominus Grey de Wilton.
Dominus Lumley.
Dominus Stourton.
Dominus Darcie.
Dominus Sandes.
Dominus Windsor.
Dominus Wentworth.
Dominus Borough.
Dominus Cromwell.
Dominus Evers.
Dominus Rich.
Dominus Willoughby de Parham.
Dominus Darcie de Chiche.
Dominus Shandois.
Dominus St John.
Dominus Buckhurst.
Dominus Delaware.
Dominus Compton.
Dominus Cheney.
Dominus Norris.

The Lords being all set in this Order in their Parliament-Robes, and the Judges placed, with other Attendants and Assistants of the Upper House, being also before the said Lords Commissioners had taken their places on the right side of the Chair of State, the Lord Chancellor shewed forth the Queens Majesties Letters Patents, by which She committed full Power to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Burleigh Lord Treasurer of England, and the Earl of Darby, to supply her place in the said Parliament, which were as followeth: viz.

Hodie cùm omnes Proceres Robis Parliamentaribus induti in suo Loco quisque sederent, & Milites, Cives & Burgenses qui ad hoc præsens Parliamentum summoniti suerunt, præstò essent, & jam universi tam Proceres quàm Communes Reginæ adventum expectarent; Thomas Bromley Miles Dominus Cancellarius exponit omnibus, Regiam Majestatem maximis & urgentissimis causis a deòesse impeditam, ut non queat impræsentiarum commodè interesse ut decreverat. Nihilominus inquit, sua Majestas Literis suis Patentibus plenam potestatem commisit Reverendissimo in Christo Patri Johanni Cantuar. Archiepiscopo totius Angliæ Primati & Metropolitano, ac prædilecto & fideli suo Willielmo Domino de Burleigh Domino Thesaurario Angliæ, ac charissimo Consanguineo suo Henrico Comiti Darbiæ, ad sacienda nomine suo omnia & singula quæ in dicto Parliamento gerenda essent; ut per easdem Literas Patentes pleaniùs apparet, quas biis dictis Dominus Cancellarius Clerico Parliamentar. publicè legendas tradidit. Earum autem tenor sequitur in hæc verba.

ELizabetha Dei gratiâ Angliæ, Franciæ & Hiberniæ Regina, fidei Desenser, &c. Omnibus ad quos Præsentes Literæ Pervenerint, Salutem. Sciatis quòod cùm de advisamento Concilii nostri pro quibusdam arduis & urgentibus negotiis nos, stantum & defensionem Regni nostri Angliæ ac Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ concernen. quoddam Parliamentum nostrum apud Civitatem nostram Westmonaster. 29° die instant. mensis Octobris teneri ordinavimus; quia verò propter certas causas ad Parliamentum prædictum non potuerimus interesse, nos de circumspectione, fideliate & industria Reverendissimi in Christo Patris Johannis Cantuar. Archiepiscopi totius Angliæ Primat. & Metropolitan. ac prædilecti & fidelis nostri Willielmi Domini de Burleigh Domini Thesaurarii Angliæ, ac charissimi Consanguinei nostri Henrici Comitis Darbiæ, plenam fiduciam reportand. eisdem Archiepiscopo, Willielmo Domino de Burleigh & Henrico Comiti Darbiæ, & duobus corum ad Parliamentum prædictum nomine meo inchoand. & tenend. negotiàq; prædict. exponend. & declarand. ac exponi & declarari faciend. necnon in negotiis illis & Parliamento Prædicto, ac omnibus & singulis in eo procedend. & amp;ad faciend. omnia & singula quæ Pro nobis & per nos pro bono regimine & gubernatione prædicti Regni nostri Angliæ ac aliorum Dominiorum nostrorum eidem Regno nostro pertinen. ibid. fuerint faciend. necnon ad Parliamentum illud, st necesse fuerit, continuand. adjournand. & Prorogand. de assensu Concilii nostri prædicti plenam tenore præsentium committimus prtestatem. Dantes ulteriùs de assen su ejusdem Concilii nostri tam universis & singulis Archiepiscopis, Episcopis, Comitibus, Vicecomitibus, Baronibus & Militibus quàm omnibus aliis quorum interest ad Parliamentum nostrum Prædictum conventur. similit. tenore præsentium sirmiter in Mandatis, Quòd eisdem Archiepiscopo, Willielmo Domino Burleigh, & Henrico Comiti Darbiæ, & duobus eorum intendant in præmissis in forma prædicta. In cujus rei testimonium has Literus nostras sieri secimus Patentes. Teste meipsa apud Westmonasterium vicesimo octavo die Octobris, Anno Regni nostri vicesimo octavo.

Per ipsam Reginam, &c.

The Letters Patents foregoing being read, the said three Lords Commissioners leaving their own places, went to a Seat prepared for them on the right side of the Chair of State beneath the steps. Then the said Lord Chancellor going first to the said Lords, and conferring a while with them, went to his accustomed place, and there made intimation of the Cause of this present Summons of Parliament; which, as he said, were no usual Causes, not for making of Laws, whereof her Majesty thought there were more made than were duly executed, nor for Fifteenths and Subsidies, although there were some cause; yet her Majesty would not charge her loving Subjects so far at this time: But that the cause was rare and extraordinary, of great weight, great peril, and dangerous consequence. Then he declare, what dangerous practices had been contrived of late, and how miraculously the Providence of God had by disconvery thereof, beyond all humane Policy, preserved her Majesty, the destuction of whose Sacred Person was traiterously compassed and imaginge. Here he shewed what misery the loss of so Noble a Queen would have brought to all Estates; and said, That although some of them had suffered according to their demerits, yet one remianed that by due course of Law had received her Sentence, which was the chief cause of this Assembly, and wherein her Majesty required their faithful advice; and therefore, said he, you may orderly proceed therein. And you of the House of Commons are to make present choice of some one amogst you to be your Speaker, and to present him unto the Lords Lieutenants as soon as conveniently you may.

Asson as the Lord Chancellor had ended his Speech, the Clerk of the Parliament stood up and read the Names of the Receivors and Tryors of Petitions in French, which were as followeth.

Receivors of Petitions for England Ireland, France and Scotland, Sir Christoher Wray Knight Lord Chief Justice, Sir Gilbert Gerrand Knight Master of the Rolls, Sir Thomas Gawday Knight one of the Justices of ...... Doctor Awberry and Doctor Ford.

Receivors of Pertitions for Gascoigne and other Lands and Countries beyond the Seas, and of the Isles, Sir Edmund Anderson Knight Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Sir Roger Manwood Knight Lord Chief Baron, Francis Windham one of the Justices of ...... Doctor Barkeley and Doctor Cary.

Tryors of Petitions for England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Earl of Darby Lord High Steward of England, the Earl of Rutland, the Earl of Essex, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Winchester, the Bishop of Salisbury, the Lord Howard of Effingham Lord High Admiral of England, the Lord Cobham, the Lord Grey of Wilton.

Tryors of Petitions for Gascoigne and other Lands and Countries beyond the Seas and of the Isles, the Archbishop of York, the Earl of Oxford great Chamberlain of England, the Earl of Warwick, the Earl of Pembroke, the Bishop of Durham, the Bishop of Lincoln, the Bishop of Rochester, the Lord Hunsdon Chamberlain to the Queen, the Lord Lumley, and the Lord Buckhurst.

Assoon as the Clerk of the Parliament had read these Names, and had likewise ended other things of course belonging unto them, viz. That the first Tryors of England, &c. or any four of them, calling unto them the Lord Chancellor and the Lord Treasurer, and also the Queens Serjeants, should at their leisure meet together in the Chamberlains Chamber: And that the last Tryors of Gascoigne, &c. or any four of them, calling unto them the Queens Serjeants and the Queens Attorney and Sollicitor, should hold their place when their leisure did serve them to meet in the Treasurers Chamber. Then the Lords Lieutenants adjourned the Parliament until Monday next following.

This day were divers Proxies returned, of which the Extraordinary ones were these that follow.

29° die Octobris introductæ sunt Literæ procuratoriæ Marmad. Episcopi Meneven. in quibus Procuratores suos constituit Johannem Archiepiscopum Cantuar. Johannem Episcopum London, & Thomam Episcopum Wintonien.

Item introductæ sunt Literæ procuratoriæ Willielmi Episcopi Cestren. in quibus Procuratorem suum constituit Johannem Episcopum Cantuarien.

Item introductæ sunt Literæ procuratoriæ Hugonis Episcopi Bangor. in quibus Procuratores Suos constituit Johannem Episcopum Cantuarien. & Willielmum Dominum Burleigh Thesaurarium.

Item introductæ sunt Literæ procuratoriæ Johannis Episcopi Carliolen. in quibus Procuratorem suum constituit Edwinum Archiepiscopum Ebor.

Nota, That these were all the Extraordinary or unsual Proxies that are entred in the Original Journal-Book of the Upper House to have been returned this Parliament: For whereas the Spiritual Lords do for the most part constitute two Proctors, and the Temporal Lords but one, and those likewise of their own Order, here the Bishop of St Davids nominated three, the Bishops of Chester and Carlisle but one apiece, and the Bishop of Bangor did constitute the Lord Burleigh Lord Treasurer of England his Joynt Proctor with John Bishop of Canterbury, which I take to be the only Precedent with two others in Anno 5 Eliz. during all the Parliaments of Queen Elizabeth's Reign, where a Spiritual Lord did nominate a Temporal for his Proctor, or a Temporal Lord a Spiritual, although in the Reign of Queen Mary and other times more ancient it was very usual and ordinary.

On Monday the 31th of October her Majesties Person was represented (as it had been on the first day of this Parliament) by three Commissioners, viz. the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Lord Burleigh Lord Treasurer of England, and the Earl of Darby great Steward of England, who were stiled the Lords Lieutenants.

These with divers other Lords, both Spiritual and Temporal, being set in their Parliamentary Robes in the Upper House, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons had notice thereof, and thereupon with John Puckering Serjeant at Law (who had been Speaker also the last Parliament) their now Prolocutor repaired thither; and being (as many as conveniently could) let in, the said Mr Speaker was led up by two of the most eminent Personages of the House of Commons to the Rail or Bar at the lower end of the said Upper House, who being there placed, and having, according to the usual course, desired himself to be excused, that so the House of Commons might make choice of some other more able Member amongst themselves, it was not allowed, but his former wise and discreet behaviour the last Parliament in the Execution of this very place was alledged and much commended.

Whereupon the said Mr Speaker having made humble reverence and in very discreet and good manner, submitted himself to the undertaking of the said Prolocutorship, did in the end of his Speech make divers petitions of course for freedom of Speech, freedom of Access to her Majesty, and freedom from Arrests and Suits in the Name of the House of Commons; and lastly for pardon for himself, if he should unwittingly erre in the report or carriage of any thing. Whereunto the Lords Commissioners by the Lord Chancellor answered, That the said House of Commons and himself should enjoy and use such Priviledges as others in the times of the Queen her Noble Progenitors had accustomed to use and enjoy.

Nota, That it doth not appear by the Original Journal-Book of the Upper House, whether the Speaker were presented in the Forenoon or in the Afternoon.

Dominus Cancellarius continuavit præsens Parliamentum usq; in diem Veneris prox. horâ octavâ.