Proceedings in the Commons, 1601: November 2nd - 5th

Pages 180-193

Historical Collections: Or, An Exact Account of the Proceedings of the Four Last Parliaments of Q. Elizabeth. Originally published by T. Basset, W. Crooke, and W. Cademan, London, 1680.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section

November 2nd - 5th

Munday, November, 2d

A Bill against Ale-Houses, &c.

Munday, November, 2d. The House sate, and an Act was Read against Excess in Inns, Victualling Houses, and Ale-Houses: By the preclose of which, every Ale-House-Keeper, or Inn-Keeper, was required to Observe certain Rules, or to Forfeit five Pound.

A Bill for breeding of Horses, &c.

An Act for the Breeding of Horses for Service,and for the avoiding of the stealing of them, was put in by the Lord Chief Justice Popham.

Sir Edw. Hobby's Speech for Abridgment of Laws Penall.

Sir Edward Hobby, made a Speech for the Abridging of the multiplicity of Penal Laws, which he said, 'Were the Thornes that did prick, but did yield no Fruit; and that they being not looked unto, it bred in us an alteration of Manners; and therefore, the Proverb must needs be fulfilled, Morum mutatio mutationem legum requirit; times are not as they have been, and therefore the necessity of the times, requires a necessity of the Alteration of Laws: and commending the proceedings of former Ages, he concluded with a desire of a Commitment.

Seconded by Mr. Serjeant Harris.

Which speech, was seconded by Mr. Serjeant Harris; who said, 'That Anno 27. of the Queen, the like motion had been made, and that then by reason of the shortness of the time, and sudden ending of the Parliament, nothing was done therein; notwithstanding (he said) this motion, being now so happily made, in the beginning of the Parliament, he thought it fit, for his part, to deserve a Commitment.

Then by Mr. Wiseman.

He was Seconded again, by Mr. wiseman of Lincolns-Inn; who was of the same mind, and said, 'That divers particular 'Laws, of his knowledge, were now both needless to be performed, as also dangerous to the Subjects, by reason of the Penalties. So a Commitment was granted, divers Committees assigned; and Fryday in the Afternoon, at two of the 'Clock in the Exchequer-Chamber appointed for that Purpose.

The Act was Read for Explanation of Statutes for Leases made by Arch-Bishops and Bishops.

Mr. Speaker shewed to the House, That some particular Members found themselves aggrieved, That the antient Order for Putting off their Spur, before they came into the ParliamentHouse, was not observed, which he prayed might be done; others would have Boots and Rapiers taken away; but nothing was done therein.

Tuesday, November 3.

Tuesday, November 3. The Act to preserve the Breed of Horses, and against the Stealing of them, was Read: And a motion was made therein, by Sir George Moore, who said, 'That he feared, the Bill would not pass, in that two Vouchers by this Bill must be; where by a former Statute, there is to be but one, and that very hardly observed. And besides, the Law may be defrauded, because a poor Man must sell a Horse, and so be voucher after, and then not able to answer the value. So the Bill was Committed, and the Committees appointed to meet in the Exchequer-Chamber, to Morrow in the Afternoon.

Mr. Johnson moves for Corporal punishment against the Alehouse-Keepers.

The Act to restrain the Excess and Abuse used in Victualling-Houses; and Mr. Johnson moved, that bodily punishment might be inflicted on Alehouse-Keepers that should be offenders; and also Provision made therein, to restrain Resort to Aiehouses.

In the same Bill, Sir George Moore made a Speech, against Drunkenness, and desired some special Provision might be made against it: 'For, although there were Laws already against it, 'yet they did not reach grievous enough to the offence in that kind now Committed. And therefore, we must not be like Spiders, that always keep their old, and the same Webs, so allowing the same Laws which must alter with the times; and touching the Authority that is given to the Justices of Assize, and Justices of the Peace, by this Bill, That they shall assign Inns, and Inn-Keepers, I think that inconvenient: for an Inn is a Mans Inheritance, and they are set at great rates, and therefore, not to be taken away from any particular Man.

Another wish'd, that there might be a reformation of Ale, which is now made so strong, that he offered to affirm it upon Oath, that it is commonly sold for a Groat a Quart. It is as strong as Wine, and will Burn like Sack.

Glascock against the suppressing of Alehouses for very good Reasons.

Mr. Glascock of Grays-Inn moved to the House, and said, 'Mr. Speaker, I will only liken this Bill to the Suppression of Stews and Bawdy-Houses, in old time; That, where then all Whores and Bawds were together in one House, now being suppressed, every Mans House is a Bawdy-House; so, if you take away Alehouses, and hinder them from being Drunk there, it will be a ready way to make every Man Drunk at his own House, at home.

Mr. Leigh moves to have the Lord Keeper's Speech repeated.

Mr. Leigh stood up, and moved Mr. Speaker, That some of the House were desirous to know what the Lord Keepers Speech was, in the Upper-House of Parliament, when the Burgesses were kept out: And also he complained of a GentlemanUsher, that said through the Door of the Upper-House, That if they were not quiet, they should be set in the Stocks.

To which, Mr. Comptroller made Answer, That he would intreat Mr. Secretary Cecil, who was there, in regard he had promised to procure them the Understanding of the Lord-Keeper's Speech, to deliver the Effect thereof. And also, he desired the House, that for any word spoken to any particular Member of this House, by the Usher, he would undertake particular Satisfaction should be made.

Secretary Cecil Speaks.

So after a Pause a while, Mr. Secretary stood up, and spake to this Effect: 'I am sorry, and very loath to break a Resolution that I had taken, which is, for some respects to have been Silent, or very sparing of Speech all this Parliament; but your Commandments are to me a Law; and I will be always ready to pleasure any particular Member of this House, in this or the like Design.

'My memory is frail, and I know my self unable to deliver Articulately, the Grave & Learned Speech of that Wise and Worthy Counsellor who first spake it; For, hard it is to tell a Wise mans tale after him, and therefore to particularize, I must plead my Excuse: Seeing men of the best Sufficiency may forget, when ordinary Capacities may Remember; my mind was not then fit for Attention, when I had some cause of Distraction.

'He used perswasions of Thankfulness and Obedience, as also shewed her Majesties Desire of a Dissolution of this Parliament before Christmass; He shewed unto us the Necessity we stand in, and the means to prevent it; The necessity he said is the Wars between Spain and England; the means to prevent it, Treasure. His Advice was, that Laws in force might be Revisited, and Explained, and no new Laws made. The Cause of the War he laid down to be, That they were Enemies to God, the Queen, and the Peace of this Kingdom; That they Conspired to overthrow Religion, and to Reduce us to a Tyrannical Servitude.

'These two Enemies, he Named to be the Bishop of Rome, and the King of Spain. Our Estate being thus, He Summon'd us to be Provident and Confident; Provident, by reason we deal with a provident Enemy; and Confident, because God hath ever, and I hope ever will, Blesse the Queen with Successeful Fortune.

'He shewed how Apparent his Providence was; for by Experience and Judgment, You know his Torturing he giveth, and the Means and Courses he taketh for our Destruction. And Secondly, the Success we have had against him, by Gods strongArm of Defence in 1588. and diverse times since. You see to what Effect the Queens Support of the French Kings Estate hath brought him unto, even made him one of the greatest Princes in Europe; Yet when her Majesties Forces there left him, how again he was fain to Ransome a Servile Peace at our Enemy the Spaniards Hand, with Dishonourable and Servile Conditions. For the Low-Countries, how by Her Aid, she hath from a Confused Government, and Estate, brought them to an Unity of Council, and defended them with such Success, in her Attempts against the greatest Power of the Spaniards Tyrannical designs: Which hath so much Gauled him, that, how many desperate Practices have been both Devised, Consented unto, and set on Foot by Commandment of the late King his Father, I need not now shew you, nor trouble you with Arguments for Proof thereof; being Confessed by them, that should have been Actors themselves of those bloody Designs; but, De mortuis nil nisi bonum: I would be loath to speak of the Dead, much more to slander the Dead. I have seen her Majesty wear at her Girdle the Price of her Blood; I mean Jewels which have been given to her Physitians, to have done that unto her, which, I hope, God will ever keep from her; but she hath worn them rather in Triumph than for the Price, which hath not been greatly valuable.

'Then he fell to perswade us, because new Occasions were Offer'd of Consultations, to be Provident in Provision of means for our own Defence and Safety, seeing the King of Spain means to make England miserable, with beginning with Ireland; neither doth he begin with the Rebels, but even with the Territories of the Queen her self.

'He shewed, that Treasure must be our means; for Treasure is the Sinews of War. Thus much that Honourable Person said, from whom I protest I would diminish nothing, that should be spoken of, if I could Remember more, or deliver it better: And I had rather wrong my self than wrong him.

Cecil now gives his own advice.

'For my own Advice, touching the particular Councels of this House; I wish, that we would not trouble our selves with any Fantastick Speeches, or idle Bills; but rather, with such as be for the general good, both light in Conception, and facile in Execution: Now, seeing it hath pleased you all, with patience hitherto to hear me, If with your Favor, I may particularize, and shew the Grounds of the former Speech, touching the State of Ireland, I shall be very glad, both for my own Discharge, and your Satisfaction.

'The King of Spain, having quit himself of France, by a base and servile Peace, forgetteth not to follow the Objects of his Fathers Ambition. England, and the Low-Countries, he hath made diverse Overtures of Peace to; which, if they might be both Honorable, and for the publick good, I hold him neither a Wise, nor an Honest man, that would Impugne them. He hath put an Army into Ireland, the Number Four Thousand, under the Conduct of a valiant, expert, and hardy Captain, who Chooseth, rather than to return to his own Country without any Famous Enterprise, to live and die in this Service.

'These Four Thousand, are three parts of them natural Spaniards, and of his best expert Soldiers, except them of the Low'Countries; those he would not spare, because of his Enterprise 'of Ostend; and how dangerous the loss of that Town would be to this Land, I think there is no man of Experience but can Witness with me, that he would easily be Master of that Coast; and that the Trade between England, and the Low-Countries, were quite Dissolved; yea, he would be so dangerous a Neighbor to us, that we which are Tenants at Discretion, are likely shortly to be Tenants by his Courtesie; when he is our Neighbor of the Low-Countries, what Neighbor hath Spain, to whom he shall not be a trouble?

'I will shew you further, what besides this he hath done, and how Eagle-eyed he is still over us. To resist the Turks Attempt, he hath sent Ten Thousand Men. To the Low-Countries, he hath sent Nine Thousand. In an Enterprise of his own against the Turks, he hath sent — which being dispatched, those Souldiers shall return against the next Spring, and second these Four Thousand now in the Enterprize for Ireland.

'To resist these Attempts in Being; and the ensuing provisions against us, Let us consider the certainty of our Estate in Ireland: We have there an Army, and nothing but an Army, fed even out of England: with what Charge it brings to the Queen, what Trouble to the Subject, what danger it is to them there left, if the Provision should fail; What hurt to the Common-wealth, by making things at an higher Rate than otherwise they would be, I refer it to your Wisdoms to imagine

'Over this, I assure you, It is beyond all President and Conjecture, his Pretence and Cause of War there, is to defend the Catholick Cause; I mean, to Tear her Majesties Subjects from her; for I may say, she hath no Catholick Obedient Subjects there, because she standeth Excommunicated at this present, by force of two Bulls of this Popes, by which her Subjects are Absolved of their Obedience. That you do only Remember you do it; pro aris & focis, yea we do it for a Prince, that desireth not to draw any thing extraordinary out of the Coffers of her Subjects: She selleth her Land to Defend us; she Supporteth all her Neighbor-Princes, to gain their Amity, and Establish our long Peace; not these five, or seven, or ten Years, but Forty-three Years, for all our Prosperities: I hope I shall not see her Funeral, upon which may be Written, Hic Solum restat victrix Orientis, and I pray God, I may not; what we freely give unto Her, she living bestows it to our Good; & dying, doubtless, will leave it for our Profit. Thus have I out of my own Genius, for my own part, delivered unto you what I know: And touching that I have spoken; in performing your Commandment, I will take no thank from you for my Pains: For no man cares with less Affection to speak in this Assembly, or desireth to gratify any particular Member of this House, more than my self.

The Bill for Ale was denied to be Committed, and not put to the question, whether it should be Ingrossed Yea, or No. But some Doubt made thereof, but as it seemeth, if the Committing be denyed, it useth not to be Ingrossed, because the House will not lightly pass it.

Sir George Moore moved, that where the Lord Keepers Oration was, that the greatest matters should be handled in the beginning of the Parliament, that a Committee might be Chosen to Certifie the House, what those matters were; That Order might be taken accordingly; which Committee was appointed to meet in the House on Saturday in the afternoon.

Sir Rob. Wroth offers 100. l. per Annum towards the Wars.

Mr. Secretary Cecil said openly, that Sir Robert Wroth had offered One Hundred Pounds per Ann. towards the maintenance of the Wars.

Wednesday, Novemb. 4.

On Wednesday, Novemb. 4. A Bill was Read for Punishment of the Abusing and Profaning of the Sabbath-Day, which after the second Reading, was committed, and the Commitee appointed to meet, at two of the Clock in the afternoon, in the middle-Temple-Hall.

A Motion about a Void Election; the Sheriff Returning himself.

Mr. Serjant Harris moved the House, That in respect great danger and inconvenience might grow by the want of any one particular Member of this House, therefore he thought good to Certifie the want of a Knight for Rutlandshire; for he said; That Sir Andrew Noell, being the Sheriff of the County, had return'd himself jointly with Sir John Harrington to be Knights; which he took in Law, to be a void Return, because it is against the express Words of the Writ; which are, Ita quod neque tu, neque aliquis alius Vicecomes alterius Comitatus eligatur, &c. Which he thought good to move the House in, referring it to their Considerations; and prayed, that the Record may be sent for from the Clerk of the Crown. For (said he) we know, in Law, that a Man cannot make an Indenture to himself: No more can he here, between Himself and the County; for there are required Two persons.

Sir Edw. Hobby Replies, & quotes Precedents.

To which Sir Edward Hobby replyed, That notwithstanding this, the House might well Receive him: And he vouched a Precedent in the Twenty-Fifth, (or Twenty-First) of this Queen; when a Writ was directed to the Bayliffs of Southwark, to return Burgesses, and they returned Themselves, and were Received. But if we do not Receive him, another Question will grow: Whether a new Warrant must go from the Speaker, to Elect a new Knight, or from the Clerk of the Crown. To which it was agreed, per omnes, It must go from the Speaker.

Mr. Wiseman Opposes him.

Then Mr. Wiseman of Lincolns-Inn stood up, and shewed the Necessity of having all our Members; because otherwise the Body is but maimed: And also, how dangerous a Precedent this would be, if it might pass with the Applause of the House. And lastly, the Reason of putting in the afore-said special Words in the Writ; because it must be necessarily intended, that they being so great Officers, having so great a Charge, and their Presence in their Counties so requisite, should not be returned. Besides, for that time, they be the Chief Men of the Shire: Free-Holders, peradventure, would rather Choose them, than Men far more sufficient for that Place.

Mr. Cary's Motion.

Mr. Cary moved, Whether it were with his will, he should be punished by Fine, or otherwise.

Sir John Harrington excuses the Sheriff.

Sir John Harrington said, of his own knowledge, he knew him very unwilling. But the Free-holders made Answer, They would have none other.

The Speaker is not of his Opinion.

Mr. Speaker said, It could not be intended to be against his will, because his Hand is to the Indenture. But he moved, Whether it should be intended, that this Sir Andrew Noell were Una & eadem Persona, or no? And though he were, yet, whether they could take notice thereof ? and to be certifyed out of Chancery. To which all the House said, There was no other of the Name.

Mr. Comptroller puts a Question, which the House determines.

Then Mr. Comptroller stood up, and moved, That in respect the Return was joynt, and that they did disallow Sir Andrew Noell, he desired to be resolved of the learned Masters of the Law of this House, Whether all the Return was insufficient, and so Sir John Harrington to be Excluded? To which all the said House said, No.

Mr. Serjeant Harris said, No; betause the said warrant is Affirmative, to choose any but the sheriff, who is excepted by special words: But the Return of the other is warranted; but of him, his Election is void.

Sir Edward Hobby answered; Nay then, Mr. Serjeant, if you stand on that, I think there are few Knights in this House lawfully Chosen: For the words of the writ, and of the Statute, are, That he must be Commorant within the County, which but few are. To which not one word was answered; and so that Clause was shut up.

A New Election voted.

Mr. Speaker said; Well, I will put it to the Question, which shall be two-fold: One, whether a new warrant shall be sent forth? To which, being twice moved, all cryed I, I, I; and not one Man said No.

And the Warrant to be Issued by the Speaker.

Sir Edward Hobby said; Mr. Speaker, the warrant must go from your self: for in the 27. Reginæ, when Parry was chosen Burgess for Queenborough, a new Election was made, and the warrant was sent from the Speaker.

A Bill touching Bishops Leases.

The Act touching Bishops Leases was read, viz. That no Bishop, or Arch-Bishop, might make any Lease in Remainder, till within Three Years of the expiring of the former Lease.

Mr. Boyes opposes it, and gives his Reasons.

To which only Mr. Boyes stood up, and said; 'That this Act would be prejudicial both to the Bishop present, and the Successor, and their Servants, and to the Bishop's own Farmers and Tenants. To the Bishop present, in the Maintenance of his Estate, which cometh only by continual Fines; which, if they be taken away, then are they not able to maintain that Hospitality, or keep that Retinue either belonging to their Place, or answerable to their Living: For, consider the Revenue of the greatest Bishoprick in England; it is but Two Thousand, and Two Hundred Pounds, per Annum; whereof he payeth for Annual Subsidy to the Queen, Five Hundred Pounds. And what Damage we shall do both to him, and his Successor herein, his Revenue being so Beneficial to her Majesty, I refer to all your Judgments. To the Successor it must needs be more hurtful; for when he first cometh in, he payeth First-Fruits, and yet is not allowed to make his Benefit by Fines: which all Bishop's Farmers are contented to do: So that he is cast one whole Years Revenue behind-hand; and perhaps, hath no Power neither to make Leases in Twelve or Sixteen Years.

'This, Mr. Speaker, will be a Cause to induce the Ministers of the word, not to seek Bishopricks; whereby we may bring the Clergy both to Poverty and Contempt; from which they have ever been carefully defended, and provided for, even by the most antient Statutes and Laws of this Realm, now Extant.

'Hurtful it is to their Servants; for this may be every Mans Case: We know, many good Gentlemens Sons served Bishops; and, How can they reward their long and faithful Service, but only by means of granting over of these Fines, or some other means out of the Spiritual Function? But this Act is good for the Courtier: But I must speak no more of that.

'Lastly; Mr. Speaker, my self am Farmer to a Bishop; and I speak this, as in my own Case, (on my Knowledge) to the House, that it is ordinary, upon every Grant after Four or Five Years, ever to Fine, and take a New Lease. But I refer it to the Consideration of the House, to do their Pleasures therein: Only this I certifie, that I have the Copy of the Bill the last Parliament, exhibited to this Purpose; which I having compared together with this present Bill, do find them to be word for word all one; and that was rejected: And so, I doubt not, if the Reasons be well weighed, but this will have the like Success.

Upon which it was Rejected.

Upon whose Motion it was put to the Question, whether it should be committed? and all said, No; not one, Yea: So this Bill was rejected.

An Act was read, That Plaintiffs in Writs of Error, should give good Bail. To which no Man offer'd to speak: Whereupon Mr. Speaker stood up, and said, That if no Man speak, it must be ingrossed.

Mr. Cary said; He thought it very fit, that the Bill should be first Committed: For, talking with Sir Roger Maynwood in his Life-time, Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, he was of opinion, That it was more fit, and more safe for the Subjects Good, and far more easie for the Judges, that the Money should be brought into the Court, and no Recognizance taken; which, if it might be committed, the Bill might be amended in that Point; and, no doubt, would pass. So it was committed, to be set upon on Monday, in the Middle-Temple-Hall, the Nineth of November.

Mr. Johnson moved the House, That whereas the last Parliament there were Three Bills: One touching Pattentees, another touching the Clerk of the Market, and the Third touching Petty-Thefts. That these being Publick Matters, might be brought into the House this Parliament, and Read. And touching the Clerk of the Market, he durst undertake to lay open as many vile Practices, as almost there be Men in this House. He made a very long and good Speech, touching these Three Bills; which for Brevity, I omit.

An Act was read against fraudulent Administration of Testator's Goods.

The Bill against Drunkards was again read; the effect whereof was, That common Drunkards should be presented as common Barrettors; which was Committed upon the Motion of Mr. Wiseman, to the Committees for the Bill, for the Abuse of the Sabbath-Day. He said, It was very convenient in his Opinion, Blasphemers and Swearers were punished by some strict Law. And so told of a Conference betwixt him, and a Prisoner in the GateHouse at Westminster; who thorow a Window, seeing many Children playing, they Swore almost at every word: Then the Recusant asked him, If that was the Fruit of our Doctrine? and, How it chanced that our Doctrine being so sincere, such Blasphemy was committed? Therefore, that the Slanders of our Adversaries may be avoided, the Sin punished, and God's Name more reverenced, and Himself better served, some Provision in that Law, touching that Point, he thought very necessary.

An Act for sowing Hemp.

An Act touching the Sowing of Hemp, was read the second time.

Sir Walt. Rawleigh does Oppose it.

To which Bill, Sir Walter Rawleigh spake, and said:

'For my part, I do not like this Constraining of Men to Manure, or use their Grounds at our Wills; but rather, let every Man use his Ground to that which it is most fit for, and therein use his own Discretion. For Halsars, Cables, Cordage, and the like, we have plentifully enough from Forreign Nations; and we have divers Countries here in England make thereof in great abundance. And the Bill of Tillage may be a sufficient Motive to us in this Case, not to take the Course that this Bill intendeth: For where the Law provideth, That every Man must Plow the third Part of his Land, I know it, divers poor People have done so, to avoyd the Penalty of the Statute; when their Abilities have been so poor, that they have not been able to buy Seed-Corn to Sow it withal; nay, they have been fain to hire others to Plow it: which, if it had been un-plowed, would have been good Pasture for Beasts, or might have been converted to other good Uses.

Upon which it was Rejected.

Upon this Motion, all the House bad away with the Bill: But it was put to the Question, Whether it should be committed, or no? But because of Doubt, the House was divided; and the I, I, I, were 103. and the Noes were 162. So the Bill was not committed. After it was put to the Question for Ingrossing, and notwithstanding a Speech Mr. Comptroller made for the Weightiness thereof, it was denyed; and so absolutely Rejected.

A Proviso against Stealing of Horses.

This was one of the Proviso's in the Bill For the Breeding, and against Stealing of Horses, viz. That all Justices of Assize, in their several Circuits, and all Justices of the Peace in their several Quarter - Sessions, as well within Liberties, as without, shall have full Power and Authority to inquire of, and hear and determine all Offences to be committed against this present Statute. And there is a former Clause, That if Sale without Voucher be made, then the Person shall be apprehended, and carried to the next Justice, as a Felon.

Thursday November 5.

On Thursday November 5. An Act touching certain Assurances used amongst Merchants, was Read and rejected.

Bill against Abuses in Tippling-Houses.

An Act touching Reformation of Abuses in Ale-houses, and Tipling-houses; which Act, after the former was Rejected, was Read: The Effect whereof is, that for the sale of every pot of Bear, being not of the Assise of a full Ale-quart, the Seller shall Forfeit Three Shillings four Pence. "Note, that no Suitor is Named in this Bill; the same to endure till the end of the next Parliament, Read twice this Day.

The Bill for Observing the Sabbath-day, Read twice, and Ordred to be Ingrossed.

"Nota, That by the Order of this House, when a Bill is returned from Commitment, the Words must be twice Read, which are Amended, before the Ingrossing thereof.

An Act against false Returns, and Not Returns by Sheriffs and Bayliffs, twice Read, and Ordered to be Ingrossed.

Mr. Bacon stood up to Prefer a new Bill, and said:

Mr. Bacon Moves to prefer a New Bill.

Mr. Speaker,

'I am not of their minds that bring their Bills into this House Obscurely, by delivery only to your Self, or the Clerk; delighting to have the Bill to be incerto Authore, as though they were either Ashamed of their own Work, or Afraid to Eather their own Children. But I, Mr. Speaker, have a Bill here, which I know I shall be no sooner ready to Offer, but you will be as ready to receive and approve.

'I liken this Bill, to that Sentence of the Poet, who set this as a Paradox in the Forefront of his Book, First Water, then Gold; Preferring Necessity before Pleasure. And I am of the same Opinion, that things necessary for Use, are better than those things glorious in Estimation.

'This, Mr. Speaker, is no Bill of State, nor of Novelty, like a stately Gallery for Pleasure; but neither to Dine in, or Sleep in; but this Bill is a Bill of Repose, of Quiet, of Profit, and of true and just Dealing; the Title whereof is, An Act for the better Suppressing of Abuses in Weights and Measures. We have turned out divers Bills, without Disputation, and for a House of Gravity and Wisdome, as this is, to bandy Bills like Balls, and to be silent, as if no body were of Councel with the Common-wealth, is unfitting, in my Understanding, for the State thereof.

'I'le tell you, Mr. Speaker, Ple speak out of my own Experience, that I have learn'd and observ'd, having had Causes of this Nature referred to my Report, That this fault of using false Weights and Measures, is grown so intolerable and common, that, if you would Build Churches, you shall not need for Battlements, and Belis, other things than false Weights of Lead and Brass.

'And, because I would observe the Advice that was given in the beginning of this Parliament, That we should make no new Laws; I have made this Bill onely a Confirmation of the Statute of 11 Hen. 7. with a few Additions, to which I will speak at the passing of the Bill, and shew the Reason of every particular Clause; the Whole being but the revival of a former Statute; for I count it far better, to Scour a Stream, than to Turn a Stream. And the First Clause is, that it Extends to the Principality of Wales, to constrain them to have the like Weights with us in England.

Sir Robert Wroth made a motion for a Commitment to amend the Statute for the Relief of the Poor, and Building of Houses of Correction, made the last Parliament 39 Reginæ: And also for the continuance of certain Statutes, which was referred to Commitment on Tuesday next in the Exchequer-Chamber.


"By Order of the House, it was agreed upon, That a Committee once made and agreed upon, there shall not hereafter be more Committees joined unto them, for the same Bill; but for any other there may.

Secretary Cecil makes a Motion.

Sir Robert Cecil mov'd the House, To have their Opinions, in that there wanted a Chief Member, viz. a Knight of Denby-shire. And he said, I am to Certifie the House thus much, in respect of some Disorder Committed there touching the Election, by Sir Rich. Trevor, and Sir John Flood, to which Sir John Salisbury is a Party, the Sheriff could not proceed in Election; For my own part, I think it fit, Mr. Speaker should attend my Lord-Keeper therein. (quod not attend) if it please you, you shall hear the Letter. Which was Read, the Contents whereof were,

He Reads a Letter about a Disturbance at the Election of Knights for the Shire.

That on the Twenty-first of October, he kept at — the County-day, and there being quietly Chooseing the Knight for the Shire, a Cry came suddenly, that Sir Richard Trevor and Sir John Flood on the one Party, and Sir John Salisbury on the other, were together fighting, and all their Companies ready to do the like; whereupon, presently I went to the Church-yard where they were, and there I found both Parties, with their Swords drawn ready, but with much ado pacifi'd them both. And fearing lest by drawing such a Multitude together, there might great Danger and Bloodshed happen, I made Proclamation, That every Man should depart; by means whereof I did not Execute her Majesties Writ, as I thought to have done, rather choosing to adventure your Honour's Censure herein, than to hazard so great Bloodshed. Under Subscribed,

Your Honour's most humble at Commandement,

Owen Vaughan.

Also Mr. Secretary said, There was a Schedule annexed to the Letter, which had some other Matters of Importance, not fit to be read; yet if it did please the House to command it, they should: Whereupon all cryed No.

Sir Edw. Hobby takes Exceptions at his Expressions.

Sir Edward Hobby answer'd; Methinks, under Favor, the Motion Mr. Secretary made, was good; but the Form therein, (I speak with all Reverence) not fitting the State of this House: For he said, Mr. Speaker should Attend my Lord-Keeper. Attend! It is well known, that the Speaker of this House is the Mouth of the whole Realm: And that the whole State of the Commonalty of a Kingdom, should Attend any Person, I see no reason. I refer it to the Consideration of the House. Only this Position I hold, That our Speaker is to be Commanded by none, neither to attend any but the Queen only.

Mr. Johnson said, The Speaker might, ex Officio, send a Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown; who is to certifie the Lord-Keeper, and so make a New Warrant.

Sir Edward Stanhop said, That for Election of Burgesses, he had seen half a score Warrants Yesterday, with Sir John Puckering's Hand to them, when he was Speaker.

Mr. Speaker said, That I may inform you of the Order of the House, The Warrant must go from the Speaker to the Clerk of the Crown; who is to inform the Lord-Keeper, and then to make a New Writ.

Mr. Secretary Cecil said, I should be very sorry to detract from any particular Member of this House, much more from the general State: My Meaning was mistaken, and my words misconstrued; yet both in Substance agreeing with Mr. Speaker.

Sir Edward Stanhop said, I think in the Bill for Ale it were very fit, that Power were given to Lords in Leets, to take the like Penalty, and to inquire thereof there: And withal, that they keep not Victualling, nor sell Ale any longer.

An Act for Redress of certain Abuses used in Painting; which, when it was offered by the Clerk to be read, he being asked by Sir Edward Hobby, sitting by him, What Bill it was; he answered, A Bill of no great Moment.

"Nota, The same was for the City of London only, or for a certain Compass of Miles about it.

Sir Francis Hastings exhibited a Bill against Blasphemous Swearing.

Precedents, That during the Session of Parliament, the Warraris for New Elections must go from the Speaker.

At the Committee holden the said Fifth Day of November, there were these Precedents shewed, to prove, That Warrants ought to go from the Speaker, in case of Election of Knights, and Burgesses, in time of Parliament; viz.

First, The Fourth of December, 1584. 27 Reginæ, Valentine Dale, Master of the Requests, was returned Burgess for Chichester, and also for Hydon: but he chose Chichester; and John Puckering, Speaker, directed his Warrant to the Clerk of the Crown, to send a Writ to make a New Election in Henden: which bare Date the Tenth of December, six Dayes after, 27 Eliz.


"Secondly, The Twenty-First of December, 1584. The Writ bearing Test the Thirteenth of February, for the same Matter: In which the Style of the House is, The Knights, Barons, Citizens, and Burgesses. Quod nota.

Thirdly, The Nineteenth of February, 1584. when Parry, being Burgess of Queenborough in Kent, was attainted for Treason, a Warrant was directed to the Clerk of the Crown, directing to make a Writ, dated the Nineteenth of February afore-said: In which Warrant, under the Speaker's own Hand, was inserted a Reason to this Effect, viz. Because the said Parry is disacted, by reason of his Attainder.

Fourthly, The Thirtieth of November, 1584. Thomas Bodithe was elected Burgess of Portsmouth, and also Baron of one of the Cinque-Ports, viz. Hithe; but he took Portsmouth, and refused the other: A Warrant was directed as above-said; but no Test of the Writ was there.

Fifthly, The Twenty-Eighth of January, 1584. Alexander Pymm, Esquire, was chosen Burgess of Taunton: Being Deceased, a new Warrant was directed from the Speaker, to the Clerk of the Crown; and the Writ bare Test the Thirtieth of January.

Sixthly, The Third of December, 1584. John Puckering, being Speaker, was chosen Burgess for Bedford, and for Carmarden; who chose Bedford: And a Warrant was directed to the Clerk of the Crown, from the Speaker, to make a New Writ; which bare Date the Fourth of December, Anno 27. Eliz.

All which VVrits were signed by the Speaker John Puckering.

For the Matter between Dr. Aubery, Doctor of the CivilLaw, and Mr. William Delabar, Barrister at Common-Law, touching the Burgeship of Cardigan in Wales; the Case stood thus: Cardigan being by antient Precedents, ever since 1. Eliz. a Burgess-Town; and ever the Return of the Indenture hath been for Cardigan only: Now this Parliament, the Sheriff of the Shire favouring a Town called Aberistowe; after he received the Parliament-Writ, sent his VVarrant to the Bayliffs of Aberistowe, to chuse a Burgess, &c. who chose for their Burgess, Dr. Aubery, and returned him Burgess of Cardigan and Aberistowe; and shewed in the Indenture, the Election to be made by both Towns; and the Indenture was signed with the Sheriff's Hand.

On the other side, the Bayliffs of Cardigan understanding the VVrit to be come to the Sheriff, took notice thereof; and without VVarrant from the Sheriff, made an Indenture and Election of William Delabar, and sent the same in a Letter unto him. Mr. Delabar, sought the Sheriff, and his Deputy in London, to deliver the Indenture of Cardigan; but not finding him, delivered the same to the Clerk of the Crown, paid his Fees, was Sworn, and admitted into the House, till this present Day.

Now, at this Committee of Privileges, Dr. Aubery came to complain. The Committees found upon Examination of the Matter, that the County-Court was kept at Aberistowe, & at Cardigan, Alternis vicibus; and that the County-Court was to be kept at this time at Aberistowe. So when they went to Conference, both Aubery and Delabar were desired to depart forth. And upon Consultation, these Questions arose:

First, VVhether the House have Power to Fine the Sheriff; because, according to the Statute, he sent not his VVarrant to Cardigan?

Next, If he be punishable by the Penalty of the Statute?

Also, If he have pursued his Authority, in making an Election in Aberistowe? VVhich were left, with divers other Doubts, to the Discussing of the House, and to the Report of Sir Edward Hobby, or Mr. Solicitor.

Also, in the 23 Reginæ, a VVarrant directed to the Town of Hull, from the Speaker Popham; now Lord Chief Justice, then Speaker.

A Saying of Sir Edward Hobby.

Sir Edward Hobby, at this Committee, said by Aubery and Delabar, being the one Civilian, the other a Common Lawyer, That he might say of them, as the Duke of Millan said of the Thief; It's no matter whether goes first; the Hang-man, or the Thief.

The Town of Harwich in Essex, and New-Town in the County of Southampton, returned Burgesses this Parliament, which never did before.