Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons. Originally published by British History Online, 2015-18.
This free content was born digital and sponsored by the History of Parliament Trust, with the support of the Leverhulme Trust and Yale Center for Parliamentary History. All rights reserved.
MONDAY, 5 APRIL 1624
I. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, HC/CL/JO/1/13
[CJ 755; f. 107]
Lunae, 5 Aprilis 1624
L. 1. Lady Jermy's bill.
L. 1. Sir Anthony Aucher's bill.
L. 2. Viscount Montagu's bill.
Thursday, 2 [o']clock, Court of Wards.
[f. 107v] All that come to a voice in the bill of Oxford. This afternoon.
Sir Thomas Wentworth
Mr. [Edward] Alford
Sir Benjamin Rudyard
Sutton's Hospital. Wednesday, 2 [o']clock, former place.
SIR GEORGE CHUDLEIGH reports Sir Reginald Mohun's bill. Some alterations made, which were twice read.
MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE. One clause makes void grants made since the first year of the King indefinitely, which will be very inconvenient. To let them have a time to produce their deeds and avow them.
Mr. [William] Noye
Sir John Walter
Sir Guy Palmes
Mr. [Nicholas] Duck added to the committee. Wednesday, Court of Wards.
Bill of Spanish tobacco to be looked up.
L. 3. Holdernesse. [Blank] Upon question, passed for a law.
[f. 108] SIR MILES FLEETWOOD desires this House to read a short note concerning the King's revenue. [Blank]
Octobris twelvemonth, Lord Treasurer obtained a declaration that nothing should pass concerning the revenue without his privity. An unprecedented power. Can produce 3 or 4 great bribes which that great Lord has taken, which he shall not be able to excuse or deny.
SIR EDWARD GILES. Confident that this gives a great deal of comfort to all here because upon good grounds, coming from one that is an officer with him. To have him put in his note.
The note delivered in by Sir Miles Fleetwood. Read.
SIR WILLIAM BULSTRODE. To have a select committee chosen to examine these businesses.
SIR THOMAS HOBY. To have it referred to the committee of grievances.
SIR JAMES PERROT. To have him have a copy of it.
CHANCELLOR [OF THE] EXCHEQUER. Although an officer of the revenue, that he honours the gentleman that preferred this. Until these proved. Agrees to have him have a particular of his charge that he may make his answer.
MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE. To have him have a particular of all.
SIR M[ILES] FLEETWOOD. For the bribes, may be some persons to be used that not so readily had. To have the Speaker, by a warrant, send for such as out of town.
[f. 108v] Speaker: power given him from the House to send his warrant for them upon his particular naming of them to him.
MR. RECORDER. To tell the number of men, although not the names.
SIR THOMAS JERMYN. To have this complaint exhibited to the committee of grievances, and courts of justice, and to have the Lord Treasurer have a copy of his charge.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. These ways propounded not fit for his honour. This House desires to hasten the business all that may. To nominate speedily a select committee to take both propositions into consideration, and then to present it to the House.
SIR EDWARD COKE. Indecens est, et malitiam sapit, magnos officiarios pro parvis delictis in judicium trahere; but this no small matter if it be true. Concerns the seminary of the kingdom. If that fountain corrupt, not only hinders the King but the subject. But as for the sordid bribery, that such a thing as ever goes with perjury. Expressly against his oath. For the course, long versed in these things, si mens non leva fuisset. Well resolved not to discover yet the witnesses' names. To have any select committee directly against that. This a grievance of grievances. Agrees that they that have [?spirit] to complain may do it to either committees [sic]. Never knew a subject have a stamp. To have Sir M[iles] Fleetwood set down those bribes spoken of.
SIR HENRY POOLE. Not fit to have a private committee. To proceed against the secretary to be charged, as well as his Lord.
[f. 109] SIR GEORGE MORE. This great charge deserves a due examination. Matters of money ever carry jealousy in those that have the managing of them. To have the same course taken as the last Parliament: a general committee of the whole House. To have a convenient time given, as well to him, as to others that are to charge him.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS. An ancient rule, every man is presumed to be innocent until he be proved otherwise. This will fly over all the town and receive divers constructions. Therefore, to proceed to examine it with all expedition. Most proper for the committee of grievances. No question of false judgement. Never heard that an officer should make a stamp without an act of Parliament. To have a note sent to the Treasurer and desire him that somebody, from him, may attend the committee this afternoon.
SIR GEORGE CHUDLEIGH. To let slip no opportunity. Whosoever is guilty knows the witnesses. That these may not be wrought. As soon as they come to town, to have them brought.
Ordered, that the whole charge concerning my Lord Treasurer shall be heard at the committee of grievances this afternoon, and that the Speaker send his warrant for such witnesses as Sir Miles Fleetwood shall privately nominate unto him.
[f. 109v] The Speaker went out of his chair, and the House fell to a committee [of the Whole] about the continuance of statutes.
A message from the Lords by Serjeant [Sir Henry] Finch and Serjeant [Sir George] Croke. The Lords signify to us that they have taken into consideration our petition and that they hope tomorrow to send us word about a meeting and conference about that business.
II. DIARY OF JOHN HOLLES, BL, HARL. MS 6,383
Monday, the 5th of April
SIR MILES FLEETWOOD. The Lord Treasurer obtained a patent under the Great Seal the last October that nothing should pass from the King's revenue without his licence, and this was notified to the [Lord] Privy Seal. He did charge him with altering the revenue of the Court of Wards, and with bribes. [f. 119] Item, that he had got a stamp for his name, which he committed to his secretary, whereby he answered petitions in the Court of Wards and antedated at his pleasure without acquainting him.
SIR WILLIAM BULSTRODE moved a select committee to examine these things.
SIR RICHARD WESTON moved he should have a copy of his accusations.
MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE moved that if this were not proved, the accusers might suffer.
It was ordered that Sir Miles Fleetwood should name the parties that can accuse him of bribes to the Speaker privately and he to have warrant to send for them.
SIR EDWARD COKE. Indecens est et invidiam sapit magnos officiarios pro parvis delictis in judicium vocare. This of the stamp concerns all the nobility and gentry, for all the sons of Adam must die and their sons must come into the Court of Wards. What officer so ever takes sordid bribes must be perjured.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS. It is an ancient rule that every man is supposed clear until he be proved culpable. This business is fitter for the committee of grievances than that of the courts of justice for here is no false judgement. No man may make a stamp without an act of Parliament. He moved the Treasurer should presently have a copy of his charge, and this afternoon the business examined at the committee of grievances.
SIR EDWARD COKE. Henry the 8 had a stamp whereby he might give his assent to an act of Parliament, and he did confirm a statute with it, but both statute and stamp were revoked. He never knew a subject have a stamp.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. This accusation consists of 2 parts, the one concerning the Court of Wards, the other the bribes.
[f. 119v] It was ordered the whole charge concerning the Treasurer should be debated this afternoon at the committee of grievances.
[Committee of the Whole House for the bill for continuance of statutes]
An act for continuing, reviving and repealing divers statutes:
An act for making ropes, halters and cables, continued.
An act against bringing in of cod and ling in barrels, this in patent.
An act continued forbidding to kill young beasts called weanlings.
III. DIARY OF SIR THOMAS JERVOISE, HAMPSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, 44M69/F4/20/1
The 5th of April, morning
SIR MILES FLEETWOOD says that whereas heretofore there was a course in the Court of Wards' revenue that the whole sum of those moneys should come totally into the King's purse and the people secured, but now by new instructions the Lord Treasurer has so order[ed] that revenue as that by that means he may and does take into his own purse a great part of that revenue and no way secure the subjects, to their great grievance. He likewise said he would prove 4 bribes against him which he should neither excuse nor deny.
The business of the Lord Treasurer to be debated this afternoon, and a warrant to be granted from the Speaker to call such witnesses as Sir Miles Fleetwood shall desire.
In the afternoon
IV. DIARY OF JOHN LOWTHER, CUMBRIA ARCHIVE CENTRE, CARLISLE, DLONS/L/2/1
[5 April 1624]
SIR M[ILES] F[LEETWOOD]. [Blank] How the Lord Treasurer, obtaining a privy seal to the Lord Keeper, how nothing in England or Ireland should pass. The enhancing office, the New Year's gifts, the bribes he will discover, that he shall neither excuse nor deny. [f. 50] He showed how by the alteration of the cause of composition in the [Court of] Wards, he does and [?may] draw what composition or bribes he will to himself. 9 January 1616 [sic], considered how much given for wards not to the King's purse. An order 1618, before he master, the Lord got new power to himself.
- 1. Petition to be delivered to the clerk and returned without fee, he takes petition and fees, [£]3 or [£]4.
- 2. There is double fees for tendering of liveries.
- 3. The court might grant concealed wardship of 3 years. Now he for one year, whereby he may make any a concealment.
- 4. No petition delivered nor answered but as he will and when, which he may delay.
- 5. He has stamped all grants, else not to pass. He has power to alter or to antedate at his pleasure.
[f. 50v] SIR WILLIAM BULSTRODE. A committee to prepare [the grievances].
SIR THOMAS HOBY. To the c[ommittee] of grievances.
CHANCELLOR [OF THE] EXCHEQUER does commend the first motion and he to have a particular of the accusation to answer.
SIR M[ILES] FLEETWOOD. To name the witnesses for the bribes and to send a particular warrant that none may know to pervert them.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS moves a select committee.
SIR E[DWARD] COKE. That indecens et sapit juridical to question great officers for small cause, but this great. The abuse of his revenue our charge. The Court of Wards. Sordid bribery commixed with perjury. As Sir Thomas Jermyn [said], that everyone that complains chooses where he will, in [committee of] grievances or courts of justice. 33 H. 8 used a stamp for seal, void.
SIR E[DWIN] SANDYS. Tempore H. 8 that none stamp but the King and to proceed presently.
Ordered, that it be heard this afternoon. The word "bribes" left out, but no copy until we have judged by the examination that it is worthy [sic] answer.
The testimony of any of the House may be taken and sent up to the House of Lords, there to testify it by SIR E[DWARD] COKE, though SIR G[EORGE] CALVERT doubted, we being as judges. But in Verulam's case, Sir G[eorge] Hastings was a witness.
[f. 51] [Committee of the Whole House for the bill for] continuance of statute[s]
21 H. 8 for ropes and cables.
24 H. 8 against killing young beasts.
2 acts, 3 et 4 E. 6 for buying beasts and cattle.
Another for butter and cheese.
1 El[iz.] for spawn of fish.
5 El[iz.] for foreign wine, so much of the act for navy with provision and addition.
Declared that 18 H. 6 extends to mariners as well as soldiers.
An act for boyas [sic].
13 Eliz. 3 for purveyors, dilapidations, leases of benefices with all explanations.
14 El[iz.] so much as touches gaol money.
18 El[iz.] for bastards, bridges, Oxford.
27 El[iz.] 2 Lyme Regis, Westminster.
Another for malt, seaworks.
13 [Eliz.] for teller lands.
For gauging of vessels, for Lincoln.
35 [Eliz.] for [?dowgers], clapboards.
To keep subjects in obedience.
Sir E[dward] Coke. The husband not liable but where the husband was named for action, for which 35 [Eliz.] was made.
39 [Eliz.] husbandry and houses and tillage.
Sir Robert Hitcham took commissions.
Sir E[dward] Coke. They were all English because some understood not Latin. He would have all discontinued.
A message from the Lords that they have considered of the petition intended to the King tomorrow. They intend a conference, this as a compliment.
A Lord may not be sent for by us but may come if he will if the Commons inform. [?Rarely] stayed.
[Afternoon, committee for grievances]
[f. 51v] Apothecaries separated by patent into a corporation, which were grocers, without their consent. The companies a prohibition to the grocers to sell the simples, and to those that distilled waters, which is made in such quantity as upon the custom of transportation they pay £500. Contrary to law to sell alone, to custom of London, pursued by proclamation none to have the benefit of law contrary this patent, and suits in Star Chamber. This by reference to Bacon and Yelverton.
22 E. 4 Totnes in Devonshire got a corporation without the consent of the whole or greater part and so ruled. So not severed from another body without the greater number, which were here 500. For confection they allow, but not to buy nor sell simples. 12 E. 3 the King made apothecaries free and the city refused it.
V. DIARY OF EDWARD NICHOLAS, TNA, SP 14/166
Monday, 50 Aprilis 1624
An act to avoid a decree in Chancery and all assurances thereon made by Sir Thomas Jermy and Dame Joan, his wife, to Sir Mark Steward, and to restore the possessions and mean profits thereof to the said Lady Jermy. 2. L. [sic]. Committed.
An act for the sale of the lands of Sir Anthony Aucher, Sir Thomas Hard[r]es, Sir Roger James and John Wroth, esq., for the payment of their debts. 1. L., 2. L. [sic]. Committed.
An act for the selling of certain lands of the Lord Viscount Montagu for the payment of debts and raising of portions for his daughters. 2. L. Committed. r. p.
An act for confirming and assuring of the manor of New Langport and of divers lands in the county of Kent, late the lands of Sir Henry James, kt., deceased, of a praemunire convicted, to Martin Lumley, now Lord Mayor of London, and others, being to them sold by the now Earl of Holdernesse, to whom the King gave those lands. 3. L. r. p. This bill is now passed this House at the third reading.
SIR MILES FLEETWOOD. There are 2 kinds of perturbers of the good [of] this kingdom:
- 1. The priests and Jesuits who have sought to match their power with their malice to the destruction of our religion.
- 2. Those that are offenders in this kingdom and seek to keep a difference and distance between the King and his subjects.
There are some who promised great matters but seek nothing but their own ends. That the Lord Treasurer got directions from the King to the Lord Keeper, the two Secretaries [of State] and others that no money should be paid to any in Ireland or other his Majesty's officers without his warrant, and that he has altered the course and instructions given by his Majesty in the Court of Wards; and desires that the House will peruse a note which he has concerning his Lordship's alterations of those instructions. [f. 111v] That he shall be able to make known some rewards, gratuities, New Year's gifts or, if we will, bribes taken by the Master of the Wards, which his Lordship shall not be able to deny to have received nor justify the taking of them.
There is now here, by order, read a note of objections against the Lord Treasurer concerning his alteration of the instructions in the Court of Wards made in anno 1618, some particulars whereof are that the petitions are to be delivered to the Master of the Wards' secretary, who has no fee limited and takes great fees where before there were no fees paid by the subjects to the clerk of the Wards who was to receive such petitions. That the Master of the Wards has now used to make all wards that are not found within a year to be as concealed wards and so takes the benefit of them to himself, where before he was by the former instructions to have only the disposing of such wardships as are concealed for the space of 3 years. That he has given his secretary of the Wards a stamp of his name, who sets the same to petitions, warrants, liveries and leases, and other things in the absence of the Lord Treasurer. That the clerk of the Court of Wards was wont to receive all petitions concerning wards and was to have no fee for it, but now the Lord Treasurer's secretary receives 22s. for every petition, and sometimes more, and he keeps the petitions as long as he will, where the clerk of the Wards was to deliver the petition to the counsel or assistants of the Wards within a short day. So as it lies in the power of the secretary of the Lord Treasurer to make the wards concealed for a year, which makes them at the disposing of the Master of the Wards.
[f. 112] It is ordered that the Speaker shall send his warrant for such witnesses as Sir Miles Fleetwood shall privately name to be sent for to testify against the Lord Treasurer.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS would have a select committee appointed to hear, receive and examine the particulars charged upon the Lord Treasurer for the more speedy dispatch of this business, because the matters are foul and must needs lie heavy on the honour of such a great person to have this lie long on him.
SIR EDWARD COKE. That the hindrance and diminution of the revenue of the King lays a heavier charge on the subject, for if the King were truly answered his revenue, there would be the less need of subsidies and aids. He would have a general committee to consider of this general business, and would that they that have spirit to complain against the Lord Treasurer should complain to which committee they will, either that for grievances or for abuses in courts of justice.
SIR H[ENRY] POOLE would have the Master of the Wards' secretary for the Wards also sent for and examined.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS. That he never heard that any man or officer should give a stamp of his name but by act of Parliament. He thinks that this business (not being a matter of injustice) should be heard by the committee of grievances, and that a copy of the note should be sent to the Lord Treasurer if he desired it.
[f. 112v] It is ordered that the whole charge against the Lord Treasurer shall be heard by the committee of grievances this afternoon.
SIR EDWARD COKE says that H. 8 had a stamp but he never knew any subject but the old Earl of Pembroke have a stamp for his name. That he believes the King gave his consent to the alteration of the instructions and that it is by the Great Seal that the Lord Treasurer has altered the instructions. But how he procured the King to give way to alter the same instructions, though it be done by warrant of the Great Seal, he thinks worthy the examination and consideration of this House.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS would have us consider of the note concerning the Lord Treasurer's alteration of the instructions in the Court of Wards. That the Lord St. Albans had no copy of what was here complained against him and therefore he thinks it will not be necessary to send the Lord Treasurer a copy of the note delivered against him.
The Speaker goes out of the chair and Mr. [William] Noye sits at a committee concerning the bill for continuance and repeal of statutes.
Committee [of grievances], 5 Aprilis 1624, in the afternoon, touching the business against the Lord Treasurer
Sir Robert Phelips would have us, on the affirmation of Sir M[iles] Fleetwood, to proceed without hearing the Lord Treasurer.
Sir Thomas Hoby says that for the tender of liveries, there is 11s. paid to the surveyor of the Court of the Wards and 11s. to the Master of the Wards.
[f. 113] Sir Benjamin Rudyard, surveyor of the Wards, says that anciently the surveyor of the Wards had a fee for a tender and he takes the same, and by these latter instructions the Master of the Wards has also a fee. That for continuing of liveries, the surveyor of the Wards has ever had 6s. 8d. fee and his man has 3s. 4d. for writing of it. But the writing of the continuing of liveries is now taken away from the surveyor of the Wards.
Mr. [William] Noye dislikes that there are any instructions at all for the regulating of the Court of Wards, for he would that the officers and courses of that court should be held to the statute which is made concerning the Court of Wards. If the Master of the Wards has, upon false suggestions, got an alteration of the former instructions, it is like it was for profit.
As concerning the hearing of the Lord Treasurer's answer, his Lordship being a member of the Higher House, we cannot send for him to give answer to what he is charged withal, but we may appoint a day for the further hearing of this business and then if his Lordship will come and answer by his counsel or otherwise, we may hear him.
It is resolved that if any member of this House will have a copy of the charge against the Lord Treasurer he may have it, but it is not the use of this House to send a copy thereof to the party accused.
Sir Edwin Sandys. That he holds it a fault to open the gate which was shut against the overcharging of the subject by the instructions; and he observed that the Lord Treasurer got a reference to 10 of the Privy Council to consider of the alteration [f. 113v] of the former instructions to the latter. He would have Friday next appointed to hear this business at full, and that Sir Miles Fleetwood should prepare against that time.
It is ordered that the further hearing of the charge against the Lord Treasurer touching the abuses in the Court of Wards shall be heard on Wednesday next, afternoon, and that there shall be copies of the charge given to the Lord Treasurer if his Lordship desire it; and that Mr. [blank] Herman, the Master of the Wards' secretary, shall then be here, and that we think it fit order should be given that Sir Miles Fleetwood shall have sight and copies of any writings or records concerning this business against the Lord Treasurer.
This order was afterwards confirmed by the House, sitting the Speaker.
VI. DIARY OF SIR WILLIAM SPRING, HOUGHTON LIBRARY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MS ENG. 980
Monday, April the 5th
An act to disannul a decree made against [Sir Thomas] Jermy for Sir Mark Steward.
An act for sale of lands of Sir Anthony Aucher, Sir Robert James, etc., to pay debts.
An act for sale of lands of Viscount Montagu. Committed.
The bill of Sir Reginald Mohun, etc., recommitted after SIR GEORGE CHUDLEIGH had reported it from the first committee. That if the committee had not taken good heed to it, for all it passed in the House without contradiction, that the Prince had been impeached in a manor which Mr. John Mohun had sold him; that whereas Sir Reginald Mohun had assured lands to his son upon marriage in 11mo Jacobi, yet he after made other conveyances of those lands and antedated them in primo Jacobi and that therefore the committee thought fit to disannul all acts of his since 1mo but leases, etc.
But the bill is recommitted upon MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE'S motion.
SIR GUY PALMES moves that the title "baronet" may be left out of the bill lest the House seem to approve that title.
An act before read concerning the Lord Holdernesse and Sir Martin Lumley for land late [blank] James's, etc.
SIR MILES FLEETWOOD, etc. There be 2 enemies of this state: the Jesuits and the offenders against the government such as have sought to set a distance between the King and us, and such as under pretence of service to the King do enrich themselves and consume the King's treasure. He humbly moves the House to read a note (which he presents) wherein it will appear that the Lord Treasurer, being Master of the Court of Wards, by innovation and change of the ancient orders of that court has enriched himself and his servants with detriment to the King and his profit. That he had procured a grant that nothing should pass in England and Ireland without his certificate and especial allowance. He will [p. 173] not speak of sale of offices, complaint of creditors, great New Year's gifts and the like, but of 3 or 4 great gratuities or, if you will, call them bribes taken by that great Lord, which he will declare so manifestly as shall neither be excusable nor deniable.
SIR EDWARD GILES desires the note may be read. Doubts not but that this information is of a good ground, etc.
The note is read, which charges him that, first, he procured the old book of orders to be altered; that the consideration thereof was first referred unto 10 lords of the [Privy] Council, but that he waived that and got it considered by the officers of the court, which dared not displease nor contradict him. That according to this change, petitions are now to be delivered to the master's secretary (which were anciently to the clerk of the court, who was to take no fees for them) and now the secretary takes what fee he please, £3, £4, £10, which comes near £3,000 per annum, and by this means they are entered as he will and concealed at his pleasure. And that thus he may bring all wardships to be his own, for that he has likewise altered the first order (which was that the Master of the Wards should have the composition for himself of all wards that were not discovered in 3 years) that he is to have all them that are not discovered in a year and how easy he may conceal them a year. That he has made a stamp of his own name and caused the same to be delivered to his secretary and that he signs all things therewith out of his master's presence.
SIR R[ICHARD] WESTON honours the mover and discoverer of this, and yet hopes the Lord Treasurer will acquit himself and moves the Treasurer may have a particular of the charge to answer it.
SIR THOMAS JERMYN is sorry a person so eminent and near the King should be thought culpable; hopes the complaint is rather faulty. Then he moves that these complaints may be left to the committee of grievances and courts of justice.
SIR R[OBERT] PHELIPS did not think to have heard a complaint of so great a person; hopes his innocence will yet appear. Moves the expediting the trial of it that he may not long lie under the aspersion. Thinks a choice committee best.
[p. 174] SIR H[ENRY] POOLE moves the questioning of the secretary.
SIR EDWARD COKE is sorry so heinous a crime as sordid bribery should be objected against so great an officer, yet justice must be done in it. He would not have the party blemished nor the cause. Moves regard of the honour of his person, etc. [Blank] The Court of Wards is the seminary of the lord[s] and gentry of the land, and it is the case of all to have their children come there. We are all the sons of Adam and must die. That no officer can receive bribes but he is forsworn. That the loss of the King is our loss, for if his revenue were well answered, it would ease of subsidies. If he be culpable, he deserves censure; if not, clear his honour. It is a grievance and concerns all courts of justice, and the House may refer it to which it pleases.
SIR H[ENRY] POOLE. Quanto magis qui peccat habetur. It is the ancient liberties of the House to examine the greatest offenders. If he be clear, let him have honour; if not, let the House do right, etc.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS. The ancient rule is that every man is presumed to be innocent until he be proved to be otherwise. That rumour will suddenly fly from hence, and that it is fit to expedite the trial, that it is proper to the committee of grievance, etc., and wishes the trial this afternoon.
Motion was made that in regard the witnesses could not be so soon prepared, that they might be sent for and the names of them told publicly, which diverse did oppose.
SIR GEORGE CHUDLEIGH. That also as care is to be had of the honour of so great a person, so care is due to the reputation of a member of the House, etc. Moves that as convenient speed may be to call the witness lest practice be, for everyone that does ill knows to whom to repair to prevent testimony.
[p. 175] SIR EDWARD COKE. A king may have his stamp, not a subject, etc. Moves a note of the bribes to be penned by Sir Miles Fleetwood ready. Though the King allowed the alteration of the court, how was that gotten of him, by what pretences? This must be considered.
It is ordered for hearing at the committee of grievances this afternoon, and the Speaker to send warrant for all such witnesses as Sir Miles Fleetwood shall privately nominate.
SIR R[OBERT] PHELIPS moves that the thing the committee shall first consider of may be the validity of the matters complained of.
SIR THOMAS HOBY. First see the fault worthy, then question him.
[Committee of the Whole House for the bill for continuance of statutes]
Mr. [William] Noye goes on with the report of the bill for continuance of statutes. [Blank]
In the afternoon, the committee of grievances
These things were laid to the Treasurer's charge: that double fees were taken of the subject for tender of liveries; that before one fee to the surveyor was paid, now one to him and one to the master.
This Sir Thomas Hoby justifies.
And Sir Benjamin Rudyard, the surveyor [of the Wards], being called, does confess that the master challenges the fee and he; that he takes it as it was ever used and the master he thinks has it too.
That Sir Thomas Hoby says further that the ancient fee of 6s. 8d. is now 22s., and the noble was but every six months for continuance of a tender, now every term and the fee as often.
This [Sir Benjamin] Rudyard justifies too.
The grocers' and apothecaries' business. [Blank]
VII. DIARY OF SIR THOMAS HOLLAND, BODL., TANNER MS 392
5 April, Monday
First read. An act to make void a decree made by the Lord Egerton against Sir Thomas Jermy for [Sir Mark] Steward.
First read. An act for the sale of the lands of Sir Anthony Aucher, Sir Thomas Hardres, Sir Robert James, John Wroth in Kent, to distribute the money among their creditors.
Second read. Committed. An act for the selling lands of Anthony, Viscount Montagu, for raising of daughters' portions and paying debts.
[SIR GEORGE] CHUDLEIGH reports the bill of Sir [blank] Mohun, baronet. Recommitted.
Third read, passed the House. The bill to confirm New Langport in Kent to Martin Lumley, Lord Mayor of London.
[SIR] MILES FLEETWOOD. 2 enemies of this state, those who have rebelled against the state, the Jesuits, seminaries, [blank]. Next, the enemies within the state who have sought to set a difference between the King and his people to enrich themselves, particularly the Lord Treasurer by altering former orders. [Blank] Procured a commission that nothing should pass concerning England and Ireland without his allowance. [Blank] 3 or 4 gratuities, or if the House will, call them bribes. That he will produce witnesses for that he cannot excuse nor deny them.
[f. 80v] Objections against the Earl of Middlesex, Master of the Wards. The Master of Wards procured the book of instructions. A petition to give leave to find an office. First, the petitions are to be delivered to the Master of the Wards' secretary with what the reward he will take and has [£]3-£400, which comes to £3,000 per annum. By this last cou[r]se, he may bring all wardships [blank]. A stamp of his name which may be done by the secretary out of his master's presence.
[SIR THOMAS] HOBY. [Blank]
[SIR THOMAS] JERMYN. That they who will complain may come to the court of justice or grievances.
[SIR ROBERT] PHELIPS. That a committee be selected for this.
[SIR EDWARD] COKE. [Blank]
[SIR HENRY] POOLE. That the Lord Treasurer's secretary be questioned likewise.
[SIR GEORGE] MORE. That there may be a due examination of the business at the committee of the whole House and a time given to the accuser, and witnesses then produced.
[SIR EDWIN] SANDYS. That we proceed with all expedition because fame will fly suddenly and therefore that it be absolutely referred to the committee of grievances and that a copy of the note be sent to the Lord Treasurer. [f. 81] That he will be pleased to send some that may attend the committee this afternoon.
[SIR GEORGE] CHUDLEIGH moves that the witnesses that are to be brought may come immediately to the committee this afternoon.
It is ordered that the whole charge concerning the Lord Treasurer shall be referred to the committee of grievances this afternoon and that Mr. Speaker shall send his warrant for such witnesses as Sir William [sic] Fleetwood shall privately nominate to him.
[Committee of the Whole House for the bill for continuance of statutes]
[Mr. William] Noye reports the repeal of statutes and continuance.
An act for continuing and reviving and repealing making cables, continue.
24 H. 8 against killing weanlings, continue.
4 November Ed. 6, 3, 4 years, for buying rother beasts and for buying butter and cheese, to continue.
10 Eliz. for preserving the fry of fish.
5 Eliz. the branch for bringing in cod and ling in barrels, which came in by dispensation.
[f. 81v] In the afternoon at the committee [of grievances] against the Master of the Wards
Secondly, there is double fees taken of the subject for the liveries, there being but one fee paid to the surveyor, now the master takes the like fee that the surveyor does. Formerly 3 years the subject had before it be a concealment, now there is but one year granted but it proves a concealment, which the Master of the Wards converts to his own use.
Next, a stamp has been made by the Master of the Wards that the secretary has set upon leases [blank] out of the presence of the Master of Wards.
Sir Thomas Hoby justifies the double taking of fees, the one by the master, the other by the surveyor, which is xs. apiece, and that whereas there was but 6s. 8d. taken, now there is xxiis., and that noble was but every six months upon continuance, but now they pay for every term as much.
B[enjamin] Rudyard, the surveyor of the Court of Wards, justifies the same.
[f. 82] The counsel for the grocers. The grocers in number are 1,500 and the apothecaries 160. The grocers and apothecaries were formerly incorporated. In 150 Jacobi the apothecaries got a patent to make themselves a corporation and were disunited contrary to the good liking of some of the apothecaries. In this patent they suppress the grocers from selling drugs and [dis]stilling waters. The apothecaries take an oath contrary to the oath formerly when the 2 companies were united. There is 100 hogsheads of distilled waters a week stilled by the apot[h]ecaries. Bacon and Yelverton, being Attorney [General] and Solicitor, did certify that the King might by law disunite the apothecaries and grocers.
The counsel for apothecaries. There was but one apot[h]ecary anciently in the 3 Ed. 3 time. 120 Jacobi finding the dangers that his people was in by the ignorance of the grocers when they were united. In Ed. 3rd's time there was but 12 companies, now there is 60 companies.
The patent of the apot[h]ecaries is damned and direction given to the apothecaries to put in a bill for a selected company only to sell drugs and make confections, which they shall have the favour of the House for.
VIII. DIARY OF JOHN PYM, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, FH/N/C/0050
5 April 1624
An act for avoiding a decree in the Chancery against Sir Thomas Jermy and Dame [blank], his wife.
An act for the sale of the lands of Sir Anthony Aucher and Sir Thomas Hard[r]es for the payment of their debts.
An act for settling divers lands and manors of Anthony, Viscount Montagu. Committed.
SIR GEORGE CHUDLEIGH reported the bill for Sir Richard [sic] Mohun's land, which was recommitted.
[f. 48v] An act for assurance of divers lands late the possession of Sir H[enry] James, attainted of a praemunire.
SIR MILES FLEETWOOD. After some generalities concerning great men that to secure themselves kept a distance between the King and his subjects and pretended diligence in his Majesty's service to make a gain upon him, he descended to wish the House were truly informed of the state of the revenue of the crown. For that purpose, he said he had collected a short abstract out of the work of the Lord Treasurer's concerning the alteration of the instructions of the Court of Wards, whereby he had framed matters so that he might convert as much as he pleased to his own profit, the subject had lost their security and were put to a great charge for the benefit only of the master's secretary. He had procured a declaration to my Lord Keeper and Lord Privy Seal that nothing should pass concerning the revenue without his privity, yet there appeared no effect of reformation. There were still great complaints of the want of money. Only my Lord himself grew rich. He sold all offices at great rates, took large New Year's gifts. And for bribes, he knew 3 or 4 which might be proved against him which he could neither excuse nor deny.
The paper containing the charge touching the Court of Wards was read.
The particulars of all these charges will appear afterwards. For the present, it was only agreed that his Lordship's repute should stand clear until further proof, that Sir Miles Fleetwood should have warrant for his witnesses and that the examination should be hastened as much as might be.
Whereas it was moved that the Lord Treasurer might have a copy of the paper, it was not thought fit until it were examined.
So the Speaker went out of the chair and the act for continuance and repeal of statutes was appointed to be read.
Eodem die, in the committee of grievances
Sir Miles Fleetwood proceeded to the proofs of his charge against my Lord Treasurer in those points which had been produced out of the alterations of instructions for the Court of Wards. This was done by the comparison of the 2 books, the first dated 11 December 1618, the second 21 August 1622, out of which were extracted these points.
- [1.] The first book appointed all petitions for wardship to be delivered to the clerk of the court and by him to be entered [f. 49] without fee. By the second, they were delivered to the master's secretary, who was not restrained from taking fees.
- 2. By the first book, all tenders are directed to pass by the surveyor, and all continuances. By the second, they are to pass, first, when the hand of the master and then of the surveyor, whereby the subject is enforced to pay double fees. The surveyor takes his fee as before and the master, for continuances, takes another fee.
- 3. By the first [book], the master has authority to grant all such wards as shall remain concealed 3 years. The limitation in the second [book] is but one year, so there is more danger of practice and underhand working for concealing of wards than there was before.
The last point was proved by other evidence.
- 4. That he commonly left a stamp in his man's custody under which tenders, continuances, warrants to find office and other matters did pass, which were proper to the trust of the master himself.
That which was afterward spoken was either to the matter or to the proceedings. First to the matter.
Mr. [William] Noye. That he disliked the instructions altogether. The statutes that erects the court contains sufficient instructions that wardships should be sold to a good value, ad valorem vigorosam as Bracton has it. And therefore it will be good to consider how matters stood before there were any instructions at all.
Between these two books there are urged 3 differences:
- 1. In appointing the secretary to take petitions, which is ill or good as it has been used.
- 2. That order which has induced double fees for the thing itself is not amiss but only in this consequence: if double fees be taken for tenders, the subject is wronged; but continuances are of grace.
- 3. The limitation of a year for concealments rather good than ill, for if they stand 3 year[s] the office must be found by mandamus, if within a year by diem clausit extremum.
The fourth charge is of the stamp, which is made good or ill by the usage. If only by his direction, not ill. The old Earl of Pembroke always used a stamp. But if it were delivered to his clerk, it is not justifiable. The clerk of the outlawries had a privy seal for the use of a stamp. Anciently, the authority of a writing was taken from the seal and not from the writing.
Sir Edward Coke. The stamp of a private person not unlawful, but by an officer, whose hand is the lock and key of the king's revenue, it is not to be used but in his presence.
Concerning the proceedings, it was moved that we should transfer this part of the charge to the Lords, but two objections were made:
Wherefore divers things were [f. 49v] desired to be further inquired.
Whether besides the double fee for continuances, the subject is forced to renew them oftener. To which the surveyor [of the Wards], Sir B[enjamin] R[udyard] answered that it was in the surveyor's power to set the time.
Whether the King or any suitor has received any prejudice by the concealing of petitions since they have been erected by the secretary, otherwise it will not be fit to punish any man for a possibility of offending.
Whether the stamp has been used in matters of trust, such as particulars, and not only in matters of course, which were never heretofore used to be examined by the master.
How the instructions do stand with the direction of the statute.
If we should transfer the cause as it is (Sir Thomas Wentworth), we shall do like the conclave. First, resolve upon the conclusion and seek the premises after.
Mr. Chancellor of the Duchy. Present that which will vanish into smoke and make ourselves a scorn.
Mr. [William] Noye. Let us be as wary as our predecessors. Never above 2 have rid out a storm of a complaint of the Commons. It will be likewise good to hear him if he shall desire it.
Divers members of the House affirmed the payment of double fees, whereupon some made question whether they were competent witnesses. But that was quickly overruled by the precedents in the case of my Lord of St. Albans and Sir Giles Mompesson.
It was ordered upon Wednesday to hear this cause again and my Lord to have a copy of the charge, and [Nicholas] Herman, his secretary, to be then appointed to attend.
A petition had been preferred by the company of grocers against the apothecaries, that 15 Jacobi a patent was procured in the name of the apothecaries, whereby they were separated from the grocers and made a distinct company and under covert words had gotten a monopoly of some things belonging to the trade of the grocers. The grocers were made a corporation by H. 6 and since confirmed by divers kings and by the King that now is, and before their being a company, when they were but a guild, the apothecaries did belong to them. Among other matters appropriated by this patent is the selling of distilled waters, by which alone 800 families make a living, whereof 100 hogsheads are made weekly, the custom £500 per annum, which was alleged to be the main inducement of the suit.
Against [f. 50] this patent were several exceptions, whereof in law:
- 1. Divers men made of a corporation against their will.
- 2. The separation from another corporation without consent.
- 3. Power of monopolizing.
- 4. Armed with a non obstante of all sorts, against act of Parliament, against customs, against former grants from his Majesty.
- 5. And oath imposed contrary to the oath formerly taken.
- 6. A proclamation to enjoin submission upon pain to be sued in the Star Chamber.
In respect of inconveniences:
- [1.] Fifteen several men put from their trades.
- 2. Vexatious suits in the Star Chamber, whereof one is yet afoot and under referment for the judges.
- 3. The company disabled to support public charges, so many being withdrawn from them.
- 4. Merchants discouraged by the restraint of burghers.
- 5. A great part of the grocers' trade gone and all the druggists' and comfitmakers'.
Against the referees. That the petition was only for reformation of abuses. The reference was directed to Sir F[rancis] B[acon] and Sir H[enry] Y[elverton], that if they held it a fit way of reformation they should draw a charter; and they made a certificate, without mentioning the fitness that the King might do it.
Against the custom of the city:
- 1. That divers aliens were pensioners of this company, whereas none can here have any freedom in the city but by birth, by service or redemption.
- 2. That to all translations of companies there should concur a quadruple consent, viz. the mayor and aldermen, the company of which, the company to which [sic] and the party.
In the maintenance of the patent was alleged that there were 1,500 grocers besides the apothecaries. Anciently, in the time of Edw. 3, there was but one apothecary; now there are 120. It is a profession of skill, not fit to be governed by men unskilful. That upon complaint, the patent was reformed in such manner as was conceived the merchants, distillers, comfitmakers had consented unto.
Sir Edward Coke remembered these causes of Totnes, where 4 or 5 had procured a charter of incorporation of the town, which the commonalty refused and so upon complaint it was otherwise. 22 Ed. 4, the like cause; in Ed. 3['s] time, the King made one free of London by charter and the city refused him.
22 Ed. 4, it should seem the same remembered by Sir Edward Coke was cited by Mr. [John] Selden to be the petition of the mayor and commonalty of Exeter against a corporation of tailors erected by patent without their consent, and it was damned by Parliament.
It was adjudged, by question, that this patent was a grievance both in the grant and the execution.
IX. DIARY OF SIR WALTER EARLE, BL, ADD. MS 18,597
Monday, 29th of March [sic]
SIR MILES FLEETWOOD. Accusation of the Lord Treasurer. Altering the course of the King's revenue of the [Court of the] Wards to the filling of his own purse and hindering the King. A privy seal procured; nothing to pass concerning the King's revenue but to come through his hand. The greatest power that ever was. 4 great bribes.
A note delivered in by SIR MILES FLEETWOOD of the altering the course of the King's revenue of the [Court of the] Wards contrary to the order January 9, 1616 [sic]. The King wronged by, first, whereas by [the instructions of] 1618 the petitions to be delivered to the clerk of the Wards, the Master of the Wards had gotten it to be altered by a grant under the Great Seal, 1622, and the petitions must now be delivered to his secretary. He receives what fees he list, [£]3[,000] or £4,000 a year. A stamp of his name remaining in his secretary's hands, which the secretary sets to leases out of his presence. Double fee taken in all cases of liveries [f. 115] because the Master of the Wards would have one, whereas the single fee due belongs to the surveyor. Assuming a power to give reward for discovering a concealed ward in a year, whereas the instructions go for 3 years.
SIR EDWARD COKE. Bribery goes not without perjury. Never heard of a stamp but by act of Parliament.
Ordered, first, that this business should be referred to the committee of grievances to be entered upon this afternoon by the committee; and the Speaker to grant his warrant for such witnesses as Sir Miles Fleetwood shall privately name unto him.
A message from the Lords. They purpose to give answer concerning the petition against the recusants, tomorrow.
Monday afternoon, the committee of grievances
The business concerning the Lord Treasurer. The books and instructions produced by Sir Miles Fleetwood for proof of what is alleged.
Some of the particulars proved by Sir Benjamin Rudyard and Sir Thomas Hoby.
Question, whether other foreign testimony should be expected and more clear proof before it should be sent up to the Lords?
Put off until Wednesday for proofs to be brought in.
X. JOURNAL OF SIR SIMONDS D'EWES, BL, HARL. MS 159
50 April, Monday
The Lord Viscount Montagu's bill read the second time and committed, about the sale of land to raise his daughters' portions. (He would needs have been called Antony Maria Montagu, but that was elsewhere and not in our House. The Clerk in the Higher House once had it so.)
Upon the report of a bill between Sir Edward [sic] Mohun, knight and baronet, and his son, John Mohun (vide March the 16th), a motion was made to expunge the word "baronet" lest the House might seem to give approbation to the order. The bill, ergo, recommitted. SIR GUY PALMES.
An act for the settling of New Langport in Kent, sometimes the land of Sir Henry James, convict of a praemunire, granted by his Majesty to the Earl of [f. 98v] Holdernesse and sold by him to the then [sic] Lord Mayor of London, Sir Martin Lumley, Alice Woodroofe and others. Passed.
SIR MILES FLEETWOOD laid a flat and peremptory charge upon the Lord Treasurer for those unexpected fruits of the King's unprecedented favours towards him, strange proceedings in the Court of Wards and gratuities or gifts or bribes, if he will call them so, which he should neither be able to deny nor to excuse.
Power was given to the Speaker to send for such witnesses as he did demand. The charge was delivered in a schedule. Order was given that his Lordship should have a copy if he desired it.
To proceed in the examination speedily and to secure his honour until it were proved.
[Afternoon, committee of grievances]
The objections concerning the Court of Wards were that August 21, 1622, the Lord Treasurer had obtained new instructions, divers[e] from those of January 9, 1610, for the ordering of the Court of Wards. His Majesty had referred the alteration to 10 of his Lords and Council. The Treasurer had drawn it to himself and some few of his own court who dare not contradict him, and by these new instructions:
- 1. His secretary takes fees for entries, which ought to be free, sometimes 20s., 40s., £5, £10.
- 2. Double fees are taken for tendering of liveries; one is due to the surveyor, and he will needs also interpose and have another.
- 3. Whereas formerly, all wards concealed for 3 years belonged to the master, he has drawn it to one year and has also ordered it that all petitions be delivered to his secretary, so that by his suppressing of the petition that one year the benefit of any ward may redound merely to himself, and so the King be defrauded; this was judged the opening of a gate to wrong to both King and subject.
- 4. He has since midsummer last past caused a stamp to be made of his name which he leaves in the hands of his secretary, who may use it in his absence and consequently draw the power of the court to himself. The old Earl of Pembroke had a stamp, indeed, but it was because he could neither write nor read.
- 5. The continuance of liveries was formerly from 6 months to 6 months, and the fee 6s. 8d.; now it is 22s. and only from term to term, in one year £4 8s.
[f. 99] The rest of the charge was referred to be proved on Wednesday following, when the witnesses might be had and [Nicholas] Herman, the secretary, ordered to be there, and that the Treasurer might be there heard by himself or his counsel if he would.
The grocers of London complained against the apothecaries for procuring a patent Jacobi 15to and thereby making themselves a company apart from them to whom they had been united by Henry the 6, Philip and Mary, Elizabeth and Jacobi 40. This patent was procured by suggestion of abuses and unskilfulness of the grocers in their trade, as touching apothecaries' drugs and other their confections. The apothecaries, in their patent, have engrossed rights of the comfitmakers and druggists, and desire the waterstillers to abridge the merchant of his wholesale which he made to the grocers and make him retail his commodities which he returns. Besides, the apothecaries, being but 7 or 8 score, cannot without the consent of the Lord Mayor and the grocers, who are 1,500 in number, break from their corporation. Ergo, the patent by general consent was damned and the apothecaries advised to prefer a bill to the House to give them the privileges that should be thought fitting.
The distillers of waters in London make weekly 100 hogsheads, set 500 people on work and yield the King yearly £500 in his customs.