Journal of the House of Lords: April 1593

Pages 463-467

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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April 1593

On Monday the second day of April, to which day the Parliament had been last continued, the Bill for Explanation of a Statute made in the thirty third year of Henry the Eighth, touching Grants made to his Majesty and Confirmation of Letters Patents, was read Secunda vice.

Six Bills were brought up to the Lords from the House of Commons; of which the second was for bringing in of fresh Water into the Town of Stonebouse in the County of Devon.

On Tuesday the third day of April, Five Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the fourth being the Bill for the maintenance of the Navigation of England, was read secunda vice.

On Wednesday the 4th day of April, the Bill for Explanation of the Statute made in the thirty fourth year of Henry the Eighth, for confirmation of Letters Patents made by his Highness to others, was read primâ & Secundâ vice.

On Thursday the 5th day of April, Three Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the second being the Bill for Confirmation of Letters Patents to the Mayors, Sheriffs, Citizens and Commonalty of the City of Lincoln was read tertiâ vice & conclusa.

This Morning also this Order following was agreed on amongst the Lords, viz.

Whereas the Lords of Parliament both Spiritual and Temporal assembled in the Parliament Chamber here at Westminster have with one uniform consent, both in their own names and the rest of the Lords now absent, Ordered, that there shall be a charitable relief and contribution made towards the Aid and help of a number of Souldiers that are seen in the time of this Parliament maimed and sore hurt in the Wars of France and Low Countries and on the Seas, for the service of the Queens Majesty and the Realm, and for that purpose have allowed that every Archbishop, Marquess, Earl and Viscount should pay toward their Contribution the sum of forty shilings, every Bishop thirty shillings, and every Baron twenty shillings; for Collection whereof there hath been appointed the Queens Majesties Almoner and the Bishop of Worcester to collect the sums of Bishops; and the Lord Norris to collect the sums payable by the Lords Temporal; which hath been diligently done and received by them from all the Lords Spiritual and Temporal that have been present and that have attended to their great charge on the service of the Realm in this Parliament : And considering the number of the Souldiers to be relieved therewith, being very many, notwithstanding the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons have yielded very good and large Contributions according to their Degrees; Yet for the better relief of the said maimed Souldiers, It is by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal that have given their Attendance here, and have charitably and honourably yielded to this Contribution, thought meet, and so it is Ordered and Decreed by them with common and free consent, that all the Lords of Parliament that have been altogether absent in this Sessions, and that shall not have Contributed to this charitable use of relief before the end of this Sessions, Shall be required by Letters to be sent to them by the Lords that had their Procuration for their absence, or by Letters from the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal required and charged, to Cause payments to be made according to their Degrees and Vocations the double of the sums of money paid by the Lords that have been here present and continued their Attendance: That is to say, that every Earl that hath been absent, shall pay four pound, the Archbishop of York to pay as much. And every Bishop also absent to pay three pound, and every Baron forty shillings. And for such as have been here present and continued their Attendance at some times though very seldom, having been absent for the more part, it is thought meet, that every such Lord Spiritual and Temporal shall according to their Degrees pay a third part more than the Lords that have been constantly present. All which sums of money they shall cause to be delivered to the hands of the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, to be afterwards by such Spiritual Lords of Parliament as are chosen for that purpose; distributed to the maimed Souldiers as Shall be found to have most need thereof. The like whereof the Commons Assembled in this Parliament have Ordered. For all the Members of that House that are absent and have not paid, are to contribute in double manner. Which Order is thought very just, considering the Lords and others who have been absent and have been at no charge to come up and give their Attendance, may very reasonably and with a great saving to their Charges contribute to this Order. And if any Lord Spiritual or Temporal shall refuse or forbear thus to do, (which is hoped in Honour none will do) there shall be ordinary means used to levy the same.

On Friday the 6th day of April, to which day the Parliament had been last continued, four Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the second being the Bill for avoiding deceits used in sale of twice laid Cordage for the better preservation of the Navy of this Realm, was read tertia vice & conclusa.

Eight Bills were sent up to the Lords from the House of Commons; of which the last was the Bill to make void the spiritual Livings of those that have forsaken the Pealm and do cleave to the Pope and his Religion.

On Saturday the 7th day of April, Two Bills of no great moment had each of them one reading; of which the first being the Bill for rating of the Wages of Spinners and Weavers, and to reform the falsities of Regrators of Woollen Yarn, was read primâ vice.

On Monday the 9th day of April, to which day the Parliament had been last continued, three Bills were each of them read Secundâ & tertiâ vice, and so expedited; of which the second was the Bill for the bringing of fresh Water to the Town of Stonehouse in the County of Devon.

Eight Bills also this Morning were sent up to the Lords from the House of Commons; of which the first being the Bill for the Naturalizing of Justice Dormer and George Sheppy being born beyond the Seas, of English Parents, and to put them in the nature of meer English, was read Primâ & Secundâ vice.

But it doth not appear whether this Bill were committed or no, which did not only happen in this place by the negligence of Mr Anthony Masou at this time Clerk of the Upper House, but also through the whole Original Journal Book of the said House this Parliament; in all which although divers Bills are said to be read the second time, yet it is not at all expressed whether they were thereupon Ordered to be ingrossed, or further to be considered of by some select Committees of the House; one of which of necessity must be put in Execution upon the said second reading of a Bill, both in the Upper House and that of the House of Commons, unless the Bill have its third reading also at the same time and pass the House, or else be dasht upon the question, and so cast out of it.

This Morning finally, Whereas a Bill Intituled An Act touching Power and Liberty to repeal certain uses of a Deed Tripartite herein mentioned of and in certain Lands, Mannors and Tenements of Anthony Cooke of Romford in the County of Essex Esquire, hath been heretofore three times read and assented unto by the Lords, in the which Bill there is no Saving to the Queens Majesty or any other person or persons, of their lawful Estates or Titles; This day there was a Saving drawn for her Majesty and all others, which was offered to this House; and some question and ambiguity did grow, whether the Saving should be now added to the Bill. And in the end it was resolved, that the Saving should be added to the Bill; for that it is usual and requisite to have some Saving in every Bill, and for that there was nothing in the Saving contrary to any matter in the Bill, and that her Majesties Right and all other be saved thereby. Nevertheless upon weighty considerations the Lords have Ordered, that this shall not hereafter be drawn to make any Precedent.

On Tuesday the 10th day of April in the Morning were two Bills read, of which the second being the Bill for the Queens most gracious and general free Pardon, was read primâ vice, and so passed upon the question.

Nota, That the Bill or Act for the Queens general Pardon passeth each House upon the first reading; Whereas other Bills cannot be expedited without being read three times both by the Lords and the Commons.

The Queens Majesty came not till the Afternoon, and therefore in this place through the negligence of the Clerk, the continuing of the Parliament until some hour in the Afternoon is omitted, which should have been inserted in these words, viz.

Dominus Custos magni Sigilli continuavit præsens Parliamentum usque in horam, &c. Meridie.

Between five and six of the Clock in the Afternoon this present Tuesday, being the tenth day of April, the Queens Majesty, accompanied with her Officers and daily Attendants, came to the Upper House, and as soon as her Majesty with the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the rest that have place there, were set, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons having notice thereof came up with their Speaker, bringing with them the Bill of Subsidy. The said Speaker being placed at the Bar at the lower end of the Upper House, and as many of the House of Commons as could conveniently being let in, after Humble Reverence done to her Majesty spake as followeth:

THE High Court of Parliament, most High and Mighty Prince, is the greatest and most ancient Court within this your Realm. For before the Conquest in the High places of the WestSaxons, we read of a Parliament holden; and since the Conquest they have been holden by all your Noble Predecessors Kings of England.

In the time of the West-Saxons a Parliament was holden by the Noble King Ina, by these words: I Ina King of the West-Saxons have caused all my Fatherhood, Aldermen and wisest Commons, with the Godly men of my Kingdom to consult of weighty matters, &c. Which words do plainly shew all the parts of this High Court still observed to this day. For by King Ina is your Majesties most Royal Person represented. The Fatherhood in Ancient time were these which we call Bishops, and still we call them Reverend Fathers, an Ancient and chief part of our State.

By Aldermen were meant your Noblemen. For so honourable was the word Alderman in Ancient time, that the Nobility only were called Aldermen.

By Wisest Commons is meant and signified Knights and Burgesses, and so is your Majesties Writ de discretioribus & magis sufficientibus.

By Godliest men is meant your ConvocationHouse. It consisteth of such as are devoted to Religion. And as Godliest men do consult of weightest matters, so is your Highness Writ at this day pro quibusdam arduis & urgentibus negotiis nos, Statum & defensionem Regni nostri & Ecclesiæ tangentibus.

Your Highness Wisdom and exceeding Judgment withal careful Providence needed not your Councils: But yet so urgent Causes there were of this Parliament, so important Considerations, as that we may say (for that we cannot judge) never Parliament was so needful as now, nor any so Honourable as this.

If I may be bold to say it, I must presume to say that which hath been often said, (but what is well said cannot be too often spoken) this sweet Council of ours I would compare to that sweet Commonwealth of the little Bees.

Sic enim parvis componere magna solebam.

The little Bees have but one Governour whom they all serve, he is their King, quia latera habet latiora; he is placed in the midst of their habitations ut in tutissima turri. They forrageabroad, sucking Honey from ever Flower to bring to their King. Ignavum sucos pecos a præsepibus arcent, The drones they drive away out of their Hives, non babentes aculeos. And who so assails their King, in him immittunt aculeos, & tamen Rex ipse est sine Aculeo.

Your Majesty is that Princely Governour and Noble Queen, whom we all serve; being protected under the shadow of your Wings we live, and with you may ever sit upon your Throne over us. And whosoever shall not say Amen, for them we pray ut convertantur ne pereant, & ut consundantur ne noceant. Under your happy government we live upon Honey, we suck upon every sweet Flower: But where the Bee sucketh Honey, there also the Spider draweth Poyson. Some such venoms there be. But such Drones and Door Bees we will expel the Hive and serve your Majesty, and withstand any enemy that shall assault you. Our Lands, our Goods, our Lives are prostrate at your feet to be commanded. Yea and (thanked be God, and Honour be to your Majesty for it) such is the power and force of your Subjects, that of their own strength they are able to encounter your greatest enemies. And though we be such, yet have we a Prince that is Sine Aculeo, so full of that Clemency is your Majesty. I fear I have been too long, and therefore to come now to your Laws.

The Laws we have conferred upon this Sessions of so Honourable a Parliament are of two natures; the one such as have life but are ready to die, except your Majesty breathe life into them again; the other are Laws that never had life, but being void of life do come to your Majesty to seek Life.

The first sort are those Laws that had continuances until this Parliament, and are now to receive new Life or are to die for ever. The other that I term capable of life are those which are newly made, but have no effence until your Majesty giveth them life.

Two Laws there are, but I must give the Honour where it is due; for they come from the Noble wife Lords of the Upper House; the most Honourable and beneficial Laws that could be desired: the one a confirmation of all Letters Patents from your Majesties most Noble Father of all Ecclesiastical Livings, which that King of most renowned memory your Father took from those Superstitious Monasteries and Priories, and translated them to the erecting and setting up of many Foundations of Cathedral Churches and Colledges, greatly furthering the maintenance of Learning and true Religion.

The other Law to suppress the obstinate Recusant and the dangerous Sectary, both very pernitious to your Government.

Lastly, Your loving and obedient Subjects the Commons of the Lower House humbly and with all dutiful thanks stand bound unto your gracious goodness for your general and large Pardon granted unto them, wherein many great offences are pardoned.

But it extendeth only to offences done before the Parliament.

I have many ways since the beginning of this Parliament by ignorance and insufficiency to perform that which I should have done, offended your Majesty, I most humbly crave to be partaker of your Majesties most gracious Pardon.

The Lord Keeper received Instructions from the Queen, and afterwards replied unto the Speaker.

The former part of this Speech was an Answer almost verbatim to the Speakers Oration, very excellently and exactly done: And those things which follow are to this or the like purpose, viz. That her Majesty did most graciously accept of these Services and Devotions of this Parliament, commending them that they had imployed the time so well and spent it in so necessary affairs, save only that in some things they had spent more time than needed. But the perceived that some men did it more for their satisfaction than the necessity of the thing deserved. She misliketh also that such irreverence was shewed towards Privy Councellors, who were not to be accounted as common Knights and Burgesses of the House, that are Councellors but during the Parliament; whereas the other are standing Councellors, and for their wisdom and great service are called to the Council of the State.

That the Queens Majesty had heard that some men in the Cause of great necessity and grant of Aid, had seemed to regard their Country, and made their necessity more than it was, forgetting the urgent necessity of the time and dangers that were now imminent.

That her Majesty would not have the people feared with a report of great dangers, but rather to be encouraged with boldness against the Enemies of the State. And that therefore the straitly charged and commanded that the Mustered Companies in every Shire should be supplied, if they were decayed: And that their Provisions of Armor and Munition should be better than heretofore it hath been used.

That for this offer of three Subsidies, her Majesty most graciously in all kindness thanketh her Subjects: But except it were freely and willingly given, she did not accept of it; for her Majesty never accepteth any thing that is not freely given.

That if the Coffers of her Majesties Treasures were not empty, or if the Revenues of the Crown and other Princely Ornaments could suffice to supply her wants and the Charges of the Realm, in the word of a Prince the doth pronounce it, she would not have charged her Subjects, nor have accepted of this they give her.

The Lord Keeper's Speech being ended, after some time of Intermission, the Queen being set in her Chair of State, used a Princely Speech unto the House; of which the greatest part was to the effect and purpose following, viz.

This Kingdom hath had many Wife, Noble and Victorious Princes, I will not compare with any of them in Wisdom, Fortitude and other Vertues; but saving the Duty of a Child, that is not to compare with his Father, in Love, Care, Sincerity and Justice, I will compare with any Prince that ever you had, or shall have. It may be thought simplicity in me, that all this time of my Reign I have not sought to advance my Territories, and enlarge my Dominions; for opportunity hath served me to do it. I acknowledge that my Womanhood and weakness in that respect. But it hath not been the hardness to obtain, or doubt how to keep the things so obtained, that only hath withheld me from these attempts: My Mind was never to Invade my Neighbours, or to Usurp over any. I am contented to Reign over mine own, and to Rule as a Just Prince. Yet the King of Spain doth challenge me to be the Quarreller, and the Beginner of all these Wars. He doth me the greatest wrong that can be; for my Conscience doth not accuse my thoughts, wherein I have done him the least Injury; so that I am perswaded in my Conscience, if he knew what I know, he would be sorry himself for the wrong he hath done me. I fear not all his Threatnings, his great Preparations and mighty Forces do not stir me : For though he come against me with a greater Power than ever was his Invincible Navy, I doubt not but (God assisting me, upon whom I always trust) I shall be able to defeat him and overthrow him. For my Cause is Just. I heard say when he attempted his last Invasion, some upon the Sea-Coasts forsook their Towns and fled up higher into the Country, and left all naked and exposed to his Entrance: But I swear unto you, By God, if I knew those persons, or may know of any that shall do so hereafter, I will make them know and feel what it is to be so fearful in so urgent a Cause.

The Subsidy you give me I accept thankfully, if you give me your good will with it; but if the necessiry of the time and your Preservations did not require it, I would refuse it. But let me tell you, the summ is not so much, but that it is needful for a Prince to have so much always lying in her Coffers for your defence in time of need, and not be driven to get it when the should use it.

You that are Lieutenants and Gentlemen of Command in your Countries, I require you to take care and special Order, that the people be well Armed and in readiness upon all occasions.

You that be Judges and Justices of Peace, I Command and straitly Charge you, that you see the Law to be duly executed, and that you make them living Laws when we have put life into them.

Thus with most gracious thanks to the House her Princely Speech ended.

Note, That the several Interlocutory Speeches of the Speaker and the Lord Keeper immediately foregoing, with the coming up of the said Speaker and the rest of the House of Commons into the Upper House, are not found in the Original Journal-Book of the same House, but are here inserted partly out of the Original Journal-Book of the House of Commons, and partly out of anothere 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, out of which the said Speeches were written almost verbatim. And I have always thought it most fitting in all those several Journals, ever to refer such like Speeches and other Passages as are wholly handled and agitated in the said 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 order sake to give a short touch or remembrance of them in the Journal of the House of Commons.

After the before-recited Speeches were ended as aforesaid, then were the Titles of all the Acts read in their due order. Which manner of the Clerk of the Upper House his reading, and of her Majesties Answering to the said Acts, is not thus exactly set down in the Original Journal of this Parliament, but is supplied out of another of the Queens time, and doth alike serve in all places, because the same form is still continued.

And first the Bill of Subsidies, to which the Clerk of the Parliament standing up did read the Queens Answer in manner and form following, viz.

La Roigne remercie ses loyaulx subjectes, accepte leur benevolence, & ainsi le veult.

The Clerk of the Parliament having read the Queens Acceptance, and thanks for the Subsidies given as aforesaid, did then upon reading of the Pardon pronounce in these French words following, the thanks of the Lords and Commons for the same.

Les Prelats, Seigneurs & Communes en ce present Parlament assembles, au nom de tous vostres autres subjects remercient tres humblement vostre Majeste & prient à dien, que il vous done en sancte bonne vie & longue.

Nota, That here to the Bill of Subsidy, because it is the meer gift of the Subject, the Queens Consent is not required for the passing of it, but as it is joined with her thankful acceptance; nor to the Bill of Pardon, because it is originally her free gift, is other circumstance required than that the thankful acceptance thereof to the Lords and Commons be likewise expressed, it being but once read in either House before it come thus (at last) to be expedited. Now to all other Bills either private or publick the Queens express consent, though in differing words, is always requisite, as followeth, viz.

The publick Acts were read, to every one of which allowed by the Queen the Clerk of the Parliament read in French these words following, viz.

La Roigne le veult.

To every private Act that passeth, the said Clerk of the Parliament reads the Queens words in these French words following, viz.

Soit fait come il est desire.

These two last Answers to the publick and private Acts that past, are to be written by the Clerk of the Parliament at the end of every Act.

To such Acts as her Majesty doth forbear to allow, the Clerk of the Parliament reads in French these words following, viz.

La Roignes advisera.

After which ended, the Dissolution of the Parliament followed in these words, viz.

Dominus Custos magni Sigilli ex mandato Dominæ Reginæ tunc præsentis, dissolvit prœsens Parliamentum.