Journal of the House of Lords: October 1597

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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'Journal of the House of Lords: October 1597', in The Journals of All the Parliaments During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, (Shannon, Ire, 1682) pp. 522-526. British History Online [accessed 29 February 2024]


An exact and perfect Journal of the House of Lords in the Parliament holden at Westminster, Anno 39 Reginæ Eliz. Anno Domini 1597. which began there on Monday the 24th Day of October, and then and there continued until the Dissolution thereof on Thursday the 9th Day of February Anno 40. Reginæ ejusdem.

Vide Gul. Camd. Anno Regin. Eliz. edit. Lugdun Batavorum An. Dom. 1625. pag. 682.

This Journal of the House of Lords and all the rest that have since followed both the Queens Reign and in the Reigns of King James and King Charles her Successors, unto this present year 1629. have been more exactly and largely taken than before. For Thomas Smith Esquire now succeeding unto Anthony Mason Esquire, formerly Clerk of the said House of Lords, was much more careful in observing and setting down the dayly passages thereof this Parliament than the said Mr Mason had been. In which, the said Sir Thomas Smith's successors (for he was afterwards Knighted) have much exceeded him also, by the large and diligent digesting of the particular agitations of every day upon which the said House did sit. Only the Return of the Proxies (as is presently more fully declared) was more distinctly entred by the abovenamed Mr Anthony Mason, than hath been since accustomed. At this Parliament also there succeeded a new Lord Keeper: For Sir John Puckering deceasing in A. D. 1596. the Custody of the Great Seal was committed unto Sir Tho. Egerton, then her Majesties Attorney General, who at this present and many years after supplied that place. Neither finally doth this ensuing Journal want either matter of rarity in respect of the Lord La Ware's right setling in his former place, which had been for a while discontinued, or matter of very good Precedent in respect of some Questions that arose betwixt the two Houses touching the manner and form of the Lord Keeper's delivering the Answer of the Lords to such Members of the House of Commons as should at any time be sent up unto their Lordships with any Message or Bill.

Before the particular Relation of each days passages in this present Parliament be inserted out of the Original Journal-Book of the Upper House, the extraordinary and unusual Proxies (entred also at the beginning thereof) which had been returned and delivered in unto the Clerk of the said House during the continuance of the same, are here in the next place to be transcribed and set down all of them together, and cannot be so orderly digested, and referred to each day on which they were returned, as formerly they have been. For whereas before this Parliament Henry Spilman and Anthony Mason Esquires, who had been successively Clerks of the said Upper House, did usually enter the said Proxies at the beginning of each Journal, upon the days on which they were introducted or returned; Now Thomas Smith Esquire succeeding the said Anthony Mason, did only generally enter them at the beginning of this present Journal, as had been formerly accustomed, without any distinct setting down the several days on which they had been introducted & delivered unto him. Which course having been also since followed unto this present year 1629. the said Proxies can be no more referred to their proper days, but must be once for all generally set down in this present Journal and in divers others ensuing before the beginning of the said Journal, in manner and form following.

Literæ procuratoriæ in hoc Parliamento sunt allatæ

Archiepiscopi Eboracen' Matthæi, &c. qui Procuratores suos constituit Johannem Archiepiscopum Cantuarien', Richardum Episcopum London', Tobiam Episcopum Dunelmen', & Richardum Episcopum Cestren' conjunctim & divisim.

Nota, That whereas there is an, &c. after the word Matthæi in the Proxy foregoing, it seemeth that these words are left out, viz. absentis ex licentia Dominæ Reginæ; and so if nothing had been omitted, the said Proxy, as may very probably be conjectured, should have been thus inserted, Archiepiscopi Eboracen' Matthæi absentis ex licentia Dominæ Reginæ, qui Procuratores, &c. as is before set down.

Nota also. That these Proxies are all entred in the Genitive Case, and must therefore be severally referred to those foregoing words, viz. Literæ Procuratoriæ in hoc Parliamento sunt allatæ

Tobiæ Episcopi Dunelmen', qui Procuratores suos constituit Richardum Episcopum London', Johannem Episcopum Wintonien' & Herbertum Episcopum Hereforden' conjunctim & divisim.

Johannis Episcopi Carliolen', qui Procuratorem suum constituit Johannem Archiepiscopum Cantuarien.

Willielmi Episcopi Asaphen', qui Procuratores suos constituit Johannem Archiepiscopum Cantuarien', Richardum Episcopum London', & Johannem Episcopum Bathon' & Wellen', conjunctim & divisim.

Willielmi Episcopi Lincoln', qui Procuratorem suum constituit Johannem Archiepiscopum Cantuarien'.

Herberti Episcopi Hereforden', qui suos Procuratores constituit Episcopos Roffen', Coventr' & Litchfield, & Norwicen'.

Antonii Episcopi Meneven', qui Procuratores suos constituit Episcopos Wigorn', Bathon' & Wellen', & Norwicen'.

Note that the Bishops Proxies are set before the Proxies of the Temporal Lords, not because (as I suppose) they were all returned first, but because of their Ecclesiastical Dignity, and in respect that the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of their Order, is the first Peer of the Realm. Whence also their names are usually first set down in the Journal-Book, where the presence of the Lords is noted each day when they sit, as long as the Parliament continueth.

There were also nine Temporal Lords which this Parliament sent their Proxies, but in respect that according to the common use, each of them constituted but one Proctor apiece, they are omitted as not worthy the observation. Only the last of them, being the Lord Willoughbies Proxy of Eresby, I thought good to have inserted, because some exotick Titles are given him it it, viz.

Peregrini Domini Willoughby Beake & Eresby, qui suum Procuratorem constituit Edwardum Dominum Zouch.

Nota, That all the foregoing Proxies, which were sent from the Bishops, were extraordinary or unusual Proxies, in which a Spiritual Lord did constitute but one Proctor or more than two; whereas usually the Bishops do constitute two Proctors apiece, and the Temporal Lords but one.

And now the aforesaid Proxies being thus inserted, the particular relation of some Passages of each day during the continuance of this Parliament are in the next place transcribed out of the Original Journal-Book of the Upper House, and some part also now at the very beginning out of a certain fragmentary and imperfect Journal of the House of Commons taken at this Parliament by a Member of the same.

On Monday the 24th day of October the Parliament began, and her Majesty with the greatest part of the Nobility, and others, in great state and comely manner, came from her Palace of Whitehall towards Westminster Church about one of the Clock in the Afternoon, riding in a Chariot open, all covered over head Canopy-wise with Cloth of Tissue or Cloth of Silver. Where after she had heard a Sermon, she went on foot to the Parliament House.

The Lords Spiritual and Temporal present this day in the Upper House with her Majesty are set down in the Journal-Book to be these.

Johannes Archiepiscopus Cantuarien'.

Thomas Egerton Miles, Dominus Custos magni Sigilli.

Dominus Burleigh Dominus Thesaurarius Angliæ.

Marchio Winton'.

Comes Sussex, Magnus Marescallus.
Comes Nottingham, Magnus Senescallus.
Comes Northumbr'.
Comes Salop'.
Comes Kantiæ.
Comes Wigorn'.
Comes Cumberland.
Comes Bedford.
Comes Hartford.
Comes Lincolniæ.
Vice-Comes Bindon.

Episcopus London'.
Episcopus Winton'.
Episcopus Roffen'.
Episcopus Covent'. & Litchf.
Episcopus Gloucestren'.
Episcopus Peterburgen'.
Episcopus Hereford.
Episcopus Wigorn'.
Episcopus Bathon'. & Wellen'.
Episcopus Meneven'.
Episcopus Norwicen'.
Episcopus Lincoln'.
Episcopus Landaven'.
Episcopus Cestren'.
Episcopus Cicestren'.

Dominus Hunsdon Camerar'.
Dominus Zouch.
Dominus Berkley.
Dominus Morley.
Dominus Cobham.
Dominus Stafford.
Dominus Scroope.
Dominus Dudley.
Dominus Lumley.
Dominus Darcy de Menell.
Dominus Sands.
Dominus Windsor.
Dominus Cromwell.
Dominus Wharton.
Dominus Rich.
Dominus Willoughby de Parham.
Dominus Sheffield.
Dominus Darcy de Chiche.
Dominus North.
Dominus Shandois.
Dominus St John de Bletso.
Dominus Buckhurst.
Dominus Compton.

These Lords Spiritual and Temporal being sat and her Majesty placed in her Chair of Estate, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons upon notice thereof repaired thither; and being (as many as conveniently could) let in, Sir Thomas Egerton by her Majesties Commandment spake as followeth, viz.

The Queens most Excellent Majesty, my most Gracious and Dread Soveraign, hath commanded me to declare unto you my Lords, and others here present, the Causes which have moved her Highness to summon this High Court of Parliament at this time. Which before I can express, I must confess truly, That the Royal presence of her Majesty, the view of your Lordships and this honourable Assembly, together with the consideration of the weightiness of the service and my own weakness, do much appal me, and cause me to fear. Wherefore if either through fear I forget, or through the many wants and imperfections, which I have, I fail to perform that duty which is required, I do most humbly crave pardon of her Majesty, and beseech your Lordships to bear with me.

The great and Princely Care which her Highness now hath, as heretofore she hath ever had, to preserve her Kingdoms in Peace and Safety from all Foreign Attempts, hath caused her at this present to assemble this honourable and great Council of her Realm, to advise of the best and most needful means whereby to continue this her peaceable happy Government, and to withstand the malice of her weighty and implacable Enemies, which hitherto by the space of many years, through her provident and Princely Wisdom hath been performed, to the great and inestimable benefit of her Subjects, as that the simplest amongst them could not but see, and the wisest but admire their happiness therein, the whole Realm enjoying Peace in all Security wherein our Neighbour Countries have been torn in pieces and tormented continually with cruel and bloody Wars. This her Majesty is pleased to ascribe to the mighty Power and Infinite Mercy of the Almighty. And therefore it shall well become us all of all sorts most thankfully upon the Knees of our Hearts to acknowledge no less unto his holy name, who of his infinite goodness still preserves her Highness and send her many years over us all in Happiness to Reign.

In this her blessed Government her Highness chief care and regard above all hath been of the Honour and Service of Almighty God, that true Religion might be planted and maintained in the hearts of her people through all the parts of her Realms; and as well in that behalf, as for the peace and benefits of her Subjects she hath from time to time established many good Laws to meet with the disorders and to punish the offences of wicked and ungodly men, that continuing in their bad ways they might not be hardned and go forward in their wickedness. For, Mora in peccato dat incrementum sceleri.

And whereas the number of Laws already made is very great, some of them being obsolete and worn out of use, others idle and vain, serving to no purpose; some again over-heavy and too severe for the offence, others too loose and slack for the faults they are to punish; and many so full of difficulty to be understood, that they cause many Controversies and much trouble to arise amongst the Subjects. You are to enter into a due consideration of the Laws, and where you find superfluity, to prune and cut off, where defect, to supply, and where ambiguity, to explain, that they be not burthensome but profitable to the Common-Wealth. Which being a Service of importance and very needful to be required; yet as nothing is to be regarded if due mean be not had to withstand the malice and the force of those professed Enemies which seek the destruction of the whole State, this before and above all is to be thought of, and with most endeavour and care to be provided for. For in vain are Laws made, and to little purpose will they serve, be they never so good, if such prevail as go about to make a Conquest of the Kingdom. Wars heretofore were wont to be made either of Ambition to enlarge Dominions, or of revenge to quit injuries: But this against us is not so; in this the Holy Religion of God is sought to be rooted out, the whole Realm to be subdued, and the precious life of her Excellent Majesty to be taken away. Which hitherto, by the powerful hand and great goodness of the Almighty, hath been preserved, mauger the Devil, the Pope and the Spanish Tyrant, and all the mischievous designs of all her Enemies. Wherefore it is high time that this be looked unto, and that no way be left unsought, nor means unused, which may serve for defence thereof. Her Majesty hath not spared to disburse a Mass of Treasure, and to sell her Land for maintenance of her Armies by Sea and Land, whereby with such small helps as from her Subjects have been yielded, she hath defended and kept safe her Dominions from all such forcible attempts as have been made. Which being still to be performed by infinite charge, her Majesty doth notwithstanding hear of nothing more unwillingly than of Aids and Subsidies to be returned from her people, though what she doth receive, she doth carefully bestow and infinitely more of her own. The Taxations at this day, howsoever they seem, are nothing so great as heretofore in the Reign of former Kings they have been. In the time of Edward the third, the two next before him and those three which succeded after him, the payments of the Commons did far exceed any that have been since her Majesties Reign, which is of Record in Histories to be seen: but never cause so great to imploy great sums of Money as now. Now therefore you are to consider how to provide needful and convenient Aid in some measure to maintain and support her Majesties exceeding charge, which at this present she is at, and is to continue for the defence of the Realm. He cannot be well advised, who in this case will not be forward to contribute and bestow whatsoever he hath. For if with the Commonwealth it go not well, well it cannot be with any private or particular person, that being in danger. He that would seek to lay up Treasure, and so inrich himself, should be like to him that would busy himself to beautify his House when the City where he dwelleth, were on fire; or to deck up his Cabbin when the Ship wherein he saileth, were ready to drown, so as perish he must of necessity either with it or for it. To spare in that Case is to spare for those which seek to devour all; and to give, is to give to our selves, her Majesties part only being carefully to bestow what is delivered into her hands. Wherein men performing their Duties, there is no Cause at all to fear; for this War is just, it is in defence of the Religion of God, of our most gracious Soveraign, and of our natural Country, of our Wives, our Children, our Liberties, Lands, Lives, and whatsoever we have.

Wherefore not mistrusting your forwardness, that I may not offend in too much enlarging of this point as a poor remembrance of her Majesty, I shortly say to your Lordships, quod justum est, necessarium est; nothing can be more just than this War; nothing ought to seem more necessary than carefully to provide due maintenance for the same.

And to you of the House of Commons, to the end you may orderly proceed and wisely consult of these weighty Causes delivered unto you, her Majesties pleasure is, you should according to your accustomed manner, go down to the Lower House, and there make choice of some grave, wise, and Learned man among you to be your Speaker, who shall be for an understanding sufficient, and for discretion fit, as your Mouth to signify your minds, and to make your Petitions known to her Highness, and him on Thursday next to present in this place.

Nota, that this foregoing Speech of the Lord Keeper is not found in the Original Journal-Book, of the Upper House, but is supplied by me out of a Copy thereof lying by me, which I conceive to have been very truely transcribed out of the Original; and I have always conceived it most proper to refer this and such like other Speeches (if warranted by any good authority) to the Journal of the said Upper House, because they are delivered in it, and only for Order sake to have some short Memorial thereof in the Journal of the House of Commons.

As soon as the Lord Keeper had ended his Speech, and the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses were departed down to their own House, the Clerk of the Upper House read the Names of the Receivers and Triers of Petitions in French, which were as followeth, viz.

Receivers of Petitions for England, Ireland, France and Scotland.

Sir John Popham Lord Chief Justice, John Clinch one of the Justices of the Kings Bench, Francis Gaudy one of the Justices of the said Bench, Dr. Carew and Dr. Stanhop.

Receivers of Petitions for Gascoigne and other Lands and Countries beyond the Seas, and the Isles.

Sir Edmund Anderson Knight Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Sir Willam Perriam Knight Lord Chief Baron, Thomas Walmesley one of the Justices of the said Common Pleas, Dr. Lewen and Dr. Cousins; and they who will deliver Petitions, to deliver them within six days.

Tryers of Petitions for England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

The Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, the Marquess of Winchester, the Earl of Sussex great Marshal, the Earl of Nottingham Lord Steward of the Queens Household and Lord Admiral of England, the Bishop of London, the Bishop of Winchester, the Lord Cobham and the Lord North.

All these Lords and Prelats or any four of them calling unto them the Keeper of the Great Seal and the Lord Treasurer, and also the Queens Serjeants, shall hold their place, when their leisure serveth, in the Chamberlains Chamber.

Tryers of Petitions for Gascoigne and other Lands and Countries 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 Worcester, the Lord Hunsdon Lord Chamberlain to the Queen, the Lord Lumley and the Lord Buckhurst.

All these Lords and Prelats or any four of them, calling unto them the Queens Serjeants, and also the Queens Attorney and Sollicitor, when their leisure serveth, shall hold their place in the Treasurers Chamber.

The Lord Burgh absent, being at this time Lord Deputy of Ireland.

The Lord De la Ware absent, because he made question of his place, intending to make Suit to the Parliament concerning the same.

Dicto 24° die Octobris, viz. Primo die hujus Parliamenti, Introductum est breve quo Archiepiscopus Eboracen' præsenti Parliamento interesse summonebatur, & admissus est ad suum præheminentiæ sedendi in Parliamento locum, salvo jure alieno.

Consimilia brevia introduct. sunt 4. Comitibus, 10. Episcopis, & 5. Baronibus.

Dominus Custos magni Sigilli ex mandato Dominæ Reginæ continuavit præsens Parliamentum usq; in diem Jovis proximum futurum, viz. 27 diem Octobris.

On Thursday the 27th day of October the Queens Majesty repaired in the Afternoon to the Upper House of Parliament, accompanied with divers Lords Spiritual and Temporal, who attended her Majesty this said day in the House, being for the most part the same that are mentioned to have been present there on Monday the 24th day of this instant October foregoing. Of which the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Commons having notice, Mr Serjeant Yelverton being chosen Prolocutor or Speaker of the said House, was by them brought into the Upper House, and by the hands of Sir William Knolles Controller of her Majesties Houshold, and Sir John Forteseue Chancellor of the Exchequer presented.

Who by a Speech full of Gravity and Modesty signifying the accomplishment of the Duty of the House of Commons in making an Election, but excusing himself by pretence of many disabilities and imperfections, and wishing earnestly he were of sufficiency to perform the Duty of that place, made humble Suit to her Majesty that he might be discharged, and that the said House of Commons might proceed to a new Election. Which excuse was not allowed by her Majesty (as the Lord Keeper delivered by Answer) but the choice of the said Mr Yelverton was by her Majesty very well approved and his sufficiency much commended.

He then proceeded in another Speech (according to the manner) to undertake that charge and to present to her Majesty in the behalf of the said House of Commons certain humble Petitions, for access unto her Majesty in the behalf of the said House upon needful occasions, and for the using and enjoying such Liberties and Priviledges as in former times had been granted and allowed by her Majesties Progenitors and her self. Whereunto her Majesty (making Answer by the Mouth of the Lord Keeper) did yield her Gracious Assent, with admonition that the said Liberties and Priviledges should be discreetly and wisely used, as was meet.

Dominus Custos magni Sigilli ex mandato Dominæ Reginæ continuavit præsens Parliamentum usq; in diem quintum Mensis Octobris.