Journal of the House of Lords: February 1593

Pages 456-461

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 Parliament holden at Westminster, Anno 35 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1592. which began there on Monday the 19th Day of February, and then and there continued until the Dissolution thereof on Tuesday the 10th Day of April Anno Domini 1593.

Vide Guliel. Camd. Annal. Regin. Eliz. edit Lugd. Batavorum An. Dom. 1625. pag. 589.

THERE is little extraordinary in this Journal of the Upper House, save only the return of divers unusual Proxies, and a Speech used by her Majesty her self at the conclusion of the Parliament, which also is supplied out of a certain Journal of the House of Commons, very elaborately taken by an Anonymus. And Sir Christopher Haton the late Lord Chancellor being dead since the last Parliament (whose death was occasioned from the grief he conceived at some harsh Speeches of her Majesty used unto him touching divers great sums due unto her from him) Sir John Puckering her Highness Serjeant, (who had been twice before Speaker or Prolocutor of the House of Commons) succeeded him in the full power and priviledges of his place, though not in his title, he having only the Stile of Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England.

The Summons for this Parliament being Returnable, upon this Monday the 19th day of February, it held accordingly, the Queen coming privately by water, accompanied with Sir John Puckering Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and many of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal. There being present this day these Peers and others ensuing.

Archiepiscopus Cantuarien.

Johannes Puckering Miles Dominus Custos magni Sigilli.

Dominus Burleigh Dominus Thesaurarius Angliæ.

Marchio Wintoniæ.


Comes Oxon. Magnus Camerarius Angliæ.
Comes Darby Magnus Seneschallus
Comes Northumbriæ.
Comes Salopiæ.
Comes Cantiœ.
Comes Wigorn.
Comes Cumberland.
Comes Sussex.
Comes Huntingdon.
Comes Bathon.
Comes Pembroke.
Comes Hartford.
Comes Essex.
Comes Lincoln.
Vice-Comes Bindon.


Episcopus London.
Episcopus Dunelmen.
Episcopus Assaphen.
Episcopus Cestren.
Episcopus Covent' & Lich.
Episcopus Lincoln.
Episcopus Petriburgen.
Episcopus Herts.
Episcopus Cicestren.
Episcopus Bangor.
Episcopus Wigorn.
Episcopus Landaven.
Episcopus Salopiæ.
Episcopus Bathon & Wellen.


Dominus Howard mag. Maress' & Adm. Angliœ.
Dominus Hunsdon Camerarius Reginæ.
Dominus Strange.
Dominus Morley.
Dominus Stafford.
Dominus Grey.
Dominus Seroope.
Dominus Montjoy.
Dominus Sandes.
Dominus Windsor.
Dominus Cromwell.
Dominus Wharton.
Dominus Rich.
Dominus Willoughby.
Dominus Sheffield.
Dominus North.
Dominus Shandois.
Dominus St. John.
Dominus Buckhurst.
Dominus De la Ware.
Dominus Crompton.
Dominus Norris.

And the Queen and the Lords Spiritual and Temporal having on their Parliamentary Robes, and having seated themselves in their several places, The Knights Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons had notice thereof and repaired to the Upper House: Where contrary to the Ancient use and Custome they found the door shut upon them; which happened by reason that divers of the House and others having gotten in privately before and filled up the place at the Bar or Rayl at the lower end of the said House, Sir John Puckering Lord Keeper of the Great Seal by Commandment from her Majesty had already made some enterance into his Speech before the said Knights Citizens and Burgesses had any Notice of it, who sate in their own House expecting to be called up to the said Upper House upon her Majesties coming. But the door at length being opened by her Majesties Commandment about two of the Clock in the Afternoon, as many as conveniently could were let in: Where the Lord Keepers Speech was directly in these words following, or not much differing from them.

He shewed in the first place (as matter of Preface and Ornament not much material) somewhat touching the Antiquity, Nature and use of Parliaments. Then he came to set forth as the principal matter (which her Majesty did desire to have made known and manifest to all her loving Subjects, the great Malice of the King of Spain which he had towards this Realm. And that he shewed by sundry instances as his last Invasion intended, his Forces then addressed out of the Low Countries for that purpose, to have been conducted by the Duke of Parma. And then he proceeded in the rest of his Oration verbatim, or much, to the intent and purpose following.

The high and mighty Ships that then he prepared and sent for that purpose, because he found them not sit for our Seas and such a purpose, he is building of Ships of a less Bulk after another Fashion; some like French Ships, some like the Shipping of England; and many hath he gotten out of the Low Countries. He is now, for the better invading of England, planting him in Britanic, a Country of more facility to offend us than the Low Countries; there he hath fortified himself in the most strong Holds of that Country.

In Scotland he hath of late wrought most of the Nobility to conspire against their King, to give Landing to his Forces there, and to assist him in his Invasion thither. A greater part of the Nobility in Scotland be combined in this Conspiracy, and they have received great Sums of Money for their service therein. And to assure the King of Spain of their assistance, they have Signed and sent their promises sealed to the King.

This Conspiracy the King of Scots was hardly brought to believe, but that her Majesty advertised him thereof, having entertained Intelligence thereof as she hath of all things done, and intended in those parts. And that the King might better advise thereupon, her Majesty hath sent one of her Noblemen now into Scotland, and the King hath assured her Majesty with all his Ability and endeavour to prevent the Spaniard, whose purpose is on the North parts to assault us by Land, and on the South side to invade us by Sea, which is the most dangerous practice that could be devised against us. And now the rage of this Enemy being such, his Forces joyned with other Princes his Adherents, greater the charge of her Majesty for defence of her Realm both with Forces by Sea and Armies by Land hath been such, as hath both spent the Contribution of her Subjects by Subsidies and what otherwise they have offered her, and also consumed her Treasure; yea caused her to sell part of her Highness's Crown. And it is not to be marvelled how all this is consumed, but rather to be thought how her Majesty could be able to maintain and defend this her Realm against so many Realms conspired against us.

Wherefore we her Majesties Subjects must with all dutiful consideration think what is fit for us to do; and with all willingness yield part of our own, for the defence of others and assistance of her Majesty in such an insupportable Charge. Were the cause between Friend and Friend, how much would we do for the relief one of another? But the Cause is now between our Soveraign and our selves: seeing there is so much difference in the Parties, how much more forward ought we to be? The Aid that formerly hath been granted unto her Majesty in these like Cases, is with such slackness performed, as that the third of that which hath been granted cometh not to her Majesty. A great shew, a rich grant and a long summ seemeth to be made, but it is hard to be gotten, and the summ not great which is paid. Her Majesty thinketh this to be, for that the wealthier sort of men turn this charge upon the weaker, and upon those of worst ability, for that one dischargeth himself, and the other is not able to satisfie what he is charged withal.

These things would be reformed by such as are Commissioners in this present service.

Her Majesty further hath willed me to signify unto you, that the calling of this Parliament now is not for the making of any more new Laws and Statutes, for there are already a sufficient number both of Ecclesiastical and Temporal; and so many there be, that rather than to burthen the Subject with more to their grievance, it were fitting an Abridgment were made of those there are already.

Wherefore it is her Majesties Pleasure, that the time be not spent therein: But the principal Cause of this Parliament is, that her Majesty might consult with her Subjects for the better withstanding of those intended Invasions which are now greater than were ever heretofore heard of. And whereas heretofore it hath been used that many have delighted themselves in long Orations, full of verbosity and of vain oftentations, more than in speaking things of substance; The time that is precious would not be thus spent. The Sessions cannot be long, by reason the Spring time' tis fit that Gentlemen should repair to their Countries, the Justices of Assize also to go their Circuits; So the good hours should not be lost in idle Speeches, but the little time we have should be bestowed wholly on such businesses as are needful to be considered of. And so willed them to Elect a Speaker.

As soon as the Lord Keepers Speech was ended, the Clerk of the Parliament read the names of the Receivors and Triors of Petitions in French according to the ancient use and form, which were as followeth, viz.

Receivors of Petitions for England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, Sir John Popham Lord Chief Justice of the Kings-Bench, John Clynch one of the Justices of the Kings-Bench, Francis Gawdy another of the Justices of the said Bench, Doctor Awberry and Doctor Ford. They which will deliver Petitions are to deliver the same within six days next ensuing.

Receivors of Petitions for Gascoign and other parts beyond the Seas and the Isles, Sir Edmond Anderson Lord Chief Justice of the CommonPleas, Sir William Perrian Lord Chief Baron, and Thomas Walmsley one of the Justices of the Common-Pleas, Doctor Cary and Doctor Stanhop. And they which will deliver Petitions, are to deliver the same within six days next ensuing.

Tryors of Petitions for England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Marquess of Winchester, the Earl of Darby Lord Steward of the Queens Houshold, the Earl of Sussex, the Earl of Pembroke, the Earl of Essex, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Durham, the Lord Howard of Effingham Earl Marshal and Lord Admiral of England, the Lord Cobham, the Lord Grey of Wilton. All these or any four of them calling to them the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England, and the Treasurer, and the Queens Serjeants when need shall require, shall hold their places in the Chamberlains Chamber.

Tryors of Petitions for Gascoign, and other parts beyond the Seas and the Isles, the Earl of Oxford Great Chamberlain of England, the Earl of Shrewsbury, the Earl of Huntington, the Bishop of Rochester, the Bishop of Lincoln, the Lord Hunsdon Lord Chamberlain to the Queen, the Lord Lumley and the Lord Buckhurst. These or any four of them calling unto them the Queens Serjeants when need shall require, shall hold their places in the Treasurers Chamber.

Nota, That all that which is set down touching the coming up of those of the House of Commons into the Higher House, and the Lord Keepers Speech, being before placed after the names of such Lords Spiritual and Temporal as were this day present, is not found in the Original Journal-Book of the Upper House, but is here inserted partly out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, and partly out of another very exact Journal of that House which was in my Custody, being very diligently observed and set down by some Anonymus, who was a Member of the said House during this Parliament. And, I have always thought it most fitting in all these several Journals, ever to refer the aforesaid Speeches, the Presentments of the Speakers, and such other Passages as are wholly handled and agitated in the Upper House, to be set down as largely as by any good Authority they may, in the Journal of the same, to which they do most truly and properly belong, and only for Orders sake to give a short touch or remembrance of them in the Journal of the House of Commons.

Finally at the Conclusion of this days business, the Continuance of the Parliament is Entred in the Original Journal-Book of the Upper House in manner and form following, viz.

Dominus Custos magni Sigilliex Mandato Dominæ Reginæ continuavit præsens Parliamentum usq; in diem Jovis prox' futurum.

On Thursday the 22th day of February, to which day the Parliament had been last continued, the Queens Majesty her self came about three of the Clock in the Afternoon, accompanied by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sir John Puckering Knight Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, William Lord Burleigh Lord Treasurer of England, the Marquess of Winchester and divers others of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, being for the most part the very same that are by name set down to have been present on Monday foregoing, the first day of this Parliament.

The Queen and the Lords being thus set, the House of Commons had notice thereof, who immediately thereupon came up with Edward Cooke Esquire the Queens Sollicitor, into the Upper House, whom they had Chosen for their Speaker or Prolocutor. Which said Speaker being led up to the Bar at the nether end of the said House, between two of the most Eminent Personages of the House of Commons, who, as soon as silence was made, and the rest of the said House, as many as could conveniently get in, had placed themselves in the space below the said Bar, spake as followeth.

Your Majesties most loving Subjects, the Knights Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons have nominated me, your Graces poor Servant and Subject, to be their Speaker. This their nomination hath hitherto proceeded, that they present me to speak before your Majesty; Yet this their nomination is only as yet a Nomination and no Election, until your Majesty giveth Allowance and Approbation. For as in the Heavens a Star is but opacum Corpus until it have received light from the Sun, so stand I Corpus opacum, a Mute Body, until your Highness bright shining Wisdom hath looked upon me and allowed me. How great a Charge this is, to be the Mouth of such a Body as your whole Commons represent, to utter what is spoken, Grandia Regni, My small Experience, being a poor Professor of the Law, can tell. But how unable I am to do this Office, my present Speech doth tell, that of a number in this House I am most unfit. For amongst them are many grave, many learned, many deep wise men, and those of ripe Judgments: But I am untimely Fruit, not yet ripe, but a Bud, scarcely blossomed: So as I fear me your Majesty will say, Neglectâ frugi cliguntur folia: Amongst so many fair Fruit ye have plucked a shaking Leaf. If I may be so bold as to remember a Speech (which I cannot forget) used the last Parliament in your Majesties own Mouth, Many come hither ad consulendum qui nesciunt quid sit consulendum, a just reprehension to many as to my self also, an untimely Fruit, my years and judgment ill befitting the gravity of this place. But howsoever I know my self the meanest, and inferiour unto all that ever were before me in this place, yet in faithfulness of service and dutifulness of love, I think not my self inferiour to any that ever were before me. And amidst my many imperfections, yet this is my comfort, I never knew any in this place, but if your Majesty gave them favour; God who called them to the place, gave them also the blessing to discharge it.

The Lord Keeper having received Instructions from the Queen, Answered him.

Mr Sollicitor, Her Graces most Excellent Majesty hath willed me to signify unto you, that she hath ever well conceived of you since the first heard of you, which will appear, when her Highness Elected you from others to serve her self. But by this your modest, wise and well composed Speech, you give her Majesty further occasion to conceive of you, above that which ever the thought was in you; by endeavouring to deject and abase your self and your desert, you have discovered and made known your worthiness and sufficiency to discharge the place you are called to. And whereas you account your self Corpus opacum, her Majesty by the Influence of her Vertue and Wisdom doth enlighten you; and not only alloweth and approveth you, but much thanketh the Lower House, and commendeth their discretion in making so good a Choice, and Electing so fit a Man. Wherefore now Mr. Speaker proceed in your Office, and go forward to your Commendation as you have begun.

The Lord Keepers Speech being ended, the Speaker began a new Speech.

Considering the great and wonderful Blessings, besides the long Peace we have enjoyed under your Graces most Happy and Victorious Reign, and remembring with what Wisdom and Justice your Grace hath Reigned over us, we have Cause daily to praise God that ever you were given us; and the hazard that your Majesty hath adventured, and the Charge that you have born for us and our safety, ought to make us ready to lay down our selves and all our living at your Feet to do you service, &c.

After this he related the great Attempts of her majesties Enemies against us, especially the Pope. and the King of Spain who adhered unto him. How wonderfully we were delivered in Eighty eight, and what a favour God therein manifested unto her Majesty.

His Speech after this tended wholly to shew out of the History of England, and the old State, how the Kings of England ever since Henry the Thirds time have maintained themselves to be Supreme Head over all Causes within their own Dominions. And then reciting the Laws that every one made in his time, for maintaining their own Supremacy, and excluding the Pope, he drew down this proof by a Statute of every King since Henry the Third to Edward the Sixth.

This ended, he came to speak of Laws, that were so great and so many already, that they were fit to be termed Elephantinæ Leges. Therefore to make more Laws it might seem superfluous. And to him that might ask, Quid causa ut crescant tot magna volumina Legis ? It may be Answered, In promptu causa est, crescit in orbe malum.

The malice of our Arch-Enemy the Devil, though it were always great, yet never greater than now; and that Dolus & Malum being crept in so far amongst men, it was requisite that sharp Ordinances should be provided to prevent them, and all care to be used for her Majesties Prefervation.

Now am I to make unto your Majesty three Petitions in the name of the Commons; First, That liberty of Speech and freedom from Arrests, according to the Ancient Custom of Parliament, be granted to your Subjects; Secondly, That we may have access unto your Royal Person to present those things that shall be considered amongst us; Lastly, That your Majesty will give us your Royal Assent to the things that are agreed upon.

But this said last Petition seems to have been mistaken by that Anonymus, out of whom this said Speech is transcribed as aforesaid: for this Petition is proper and usual at the end of a Sessions upon a Prorogation, or of a Parliament upon a Dissolution, when the two Houses have passed divers Acts, which only want the Royal Assent to put life into them. And doubtless the third Petition which should have ensued here, was for freedom from Arrests for themselves and their necessary Attendants, which being wholly omitted, I have before caused to be inserted (though more briefly) in its proper place. And thus this mistake being cleared, the residue of the said Speakers Speech ensueth. And for my self I humbly beseech your Majesty, if any Speech shall fall from me, or behaviour found in me not decent and fit, that it may not be imputed blame upon the House, but laid upon me and pardoned in me.

To this Speech the Lord Keeper having received new Instructions from the Queen, made his Reply; in which he first commended the Speaker greatly for it; And then he added some Examples of History for the Kings Supremacy in Henr. 2. and Kings before the Conquest. As to the deliverance we received from our Enemies, and the Peace we enjoyed, the Queen would have the praise of all those attributed to God only.

And touching the Commendations given to her self, she said, Well might we have a wiser Prince, but never should they have one that more regarded them, and in Justice would carry an evener stroke without exception of persons, and such a Prince she wisht they might always have.

To your three demands the Queen Answereth: Liberty of Speech is granted you; but how far this is to be thought on, there be two things of most necessity, and those two do most harm, which are Wit and Speech: The one exercised in Invention, and the other in uttering things invented. Priviledge of Speech is granted, but you must know what priviledge you have, not to speak every one what he listeth, or what cometh in his brain to utter that; but your priviledge is I or No. Wherefore, Mr Speaker, her Majesties Pleasure is, that if you perceive any idle Heads which will not stick to hazard their own Estates, which will meddle with reforming the Church and transforming the CommonWealth, and do exhibite any Bills to such purpose, that you receive them not, until they be viewed and considered by those, who it is fitter should consider of such things, and can better judge of them.

To the persons all priviledge is granted, with this Caveat, That under colour of this priviledge, no mans ill doings, or not performing of Duties, be covered and protected.

To the last, free access is granted to her Majesties Person, so that it be upon urgent and weighty Causes, and at times convenient, and when her Majesty may be at leisure from other important Causes of the Realm.

Nota, That these several interlocutory Speeches of the Speaker and the Lord Keeper, are not found in the Original Journal-Books of the Upper House, or the House of Commons, but are supplied out of a very Elaborate Journal of the passages of the said Commons House, taken by some Anonymous Member thereof this Parliament, and are here inserted; as was also the Lord Keepers Speech upon the first day of the same, upon the reasons there alledged: which see at large set down upon Monday the 19th day of this instant February foregoing in fine diei.

Although the usual Custom in the Original Journal-Book of the Upper House is to place all Proxies upon what days soever returnable, before the beginning of the Journal it self; yet I have conceived it much more methodical to place all such returns in those days upon which they were delivered to the Clerk of the Parliament, and always upon that day on which the first Return was, to make some short observation of that, if it be unusual and extraordinary, and so to refer the view of the residue to their proper days. On this instant Thursday therefore being the 22th day of February, and the second day on which the Upper House sat, was returned only this one unusual Proxy.

22° Die Febr. introductæ sunt Literæ procuratoriæ Johannis Episcopi Carliolen' in quibus Procuratores suos constituit Johannem Archi-episcopum Cantuarien. Johannem Episcopum London, & Matthæum Episcopum Dunelmen'.

Nota, That this is one of those Proxies which I call unusual and extraordinary, in respect that this Bishop of Carlisle did make or constitute three several Proctors, whereas usually a Spiritual Lord nominateth but two conjunctim & divisim, and a Temporal Lord but one; and that also of their own Order: whence it is plain that these Proxies may not unfitly be stiled unusual, whereby the Spiritual Lords do appoint Temporal Lords for their Proctors, or but one Proctor a piece, or more than two, or when any Temporal Lord nominateth a Spiritual for his Proctor, or constituteth more Proctors than one. And therefore it is worth the observation, that at this very time, of nine Temporal Lords that sent their Proxies this Parliament by her Majesties Licence, but one of them nominated two Proctors. Which see upon Monday the first day of March ensuing, all the rest constituting but one. Yet the proxies of the Spiritual Lords, being fix in number, were all of them unusual and extraordinary; which I conceive is not easily to be patterned in any other parliaments except the first, which was sent by Edmond Bishop of Norwich, in which he constituted only John Bishop of London and Richard Bishop of Peterburgh his Proctors, and returned on Monday the 19th day of this instat February foregoing, although it be there omitted as a thing usual and not worth the setting down at large. But the other four extraordinary Proxies sent by so many several Bishops see afterwards according to their several Returns upon Saturday the 24th day, and on Tuesday the 27th day of this instant February ensuing; as also on Wednesday the 7th day and on Wednesday the 28th day of March next following.

Where also it may be noted, that John Archbishop of Canterbury had this Parliament five Proxies, viz. From John Bishop of Carlisle, John Archbishop of York, Thomas Bishop of Winchester, Matthew Bishop of Durham and Thomas Bishop of Chichester, all which being extraordinary are at large set down in this present Journal in those several days upon which they were returned; so that from this and many other Precedents of former and later Parliaments it is most plain that by the ancient Usages and Customs of the Upper House, any Lord Spiritual or Temporal being a Member thereof, is capable of as many single or Joint Proxies as shall be sent unto him.

Dominus Custos magni Sigilli ex mandato Dominæ Reginæ continuavit præsens Parliamentum usque in diem Sabbati prox' futur'.

On Saturday the 29th day of February the Bill for restraining and punishing Vagrant and seditious Persons, who under seigned pretences of Conscience and Religion, corrupt and seduce the Queens Subjects, was read primâ vice.

Eodem die retornatum est breve quo Richardus Wigorn' Episcopus præsenti Parliamento interesse Summonebatur, & idem Episcopus ad suum præheminentiæ sedendi in Parliament' locum admissus est, salvo cuiquam jure suo.

This day also was one extraordinary or unusual Proxie returned from a Spiritual Lord, who constituted but one Proctor; whereas usually no such Lord constituteth fewer than two: which said Proxie is thus entred in the Original Journal-Book of this Parliament in the beginning thereof in manner and form following, viz.

24. Febr. Introductæ sunt Literæ procuratoriæ Johannis Eboracensis Archi-episcopi, in quibus Procuratorem suum constituit Johannem Archiepiscopum Catuarien'.

On Monday the 26th day of February, retornatum est breve quo Edwardus Dominus Cromwell præsenti Parliamento summonebatur interesse, & idem Dominus ad suum præheminentiæ sedendi in Parliamento locum admissus est salvo jure alieno.

The Writ was returned whereby Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury was summoned, &c.

The several Writs were also returned whereby George Bishop of Landaff, William Lord Crompton, and Edward Earl of Worcester were summoned.

It seemed by the Journal-Book, that nothing else was done, but the Parliament continued according to the usual form which is entred in the Original Journal-Book of the Upper House in these words following, viz.

Dominus Custos magni Sigilli continuavit præsens Parliamentum usque in diem Mercurii proximè futurum.

On Tuesday the 27th day of February, although the Upper House sat not, yet was there one unusual and extraordinary Proxie returned from a Spiritual Lord, who constituted but one Proctor; which said Proxie was privately delivered in unto the Clerk of the said House, and is entred by him in the Original JournalBook of the same House in manner and form following, viz.

27. Februarii Introductæ sunt Literæ procuratoriæ Thomæ Wintonien' Episcopi, in quibus Procuratorem suum constituit Johannem Archi-episcopum Cantuarien'.

On Wednesday the 28th day of February (to which day the Parliament had been last continued) two several Writs were returned, whereby John Bishop of Bath and Wells, and Matthew Bishop of Durham were summoned to come to this present Parliament, who accordingly were admitted to their several places.

Two Bills also this Morning of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the first was the Bill for the better Assurance and Confirmation of the Jointure of the Lady Margaret Countess of Cumberland, which was read prima vice.