30th April 1624

Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons. Originally published by British History Online, , 2015-18.

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Long title
30th April 1624

In this section



[CJ 694; f. 20]

Veneris, 300 Aprilis, 220 Jacobi

L. 1a. [Blank]

MR. SOLICITOR reports Sir Francis Clerke's bill, with amendments, which twice read. Engrossetur.

L. 1a. An act for a more speedy levying of the penalty of 12d. forfeited by any married woman for not repairing to the church to hear divine service.

L. 2a. [Blank]

Committed to:

Mr. Comptroller Sir John Stradling Mr. [William] Cholmely
Sir Francis Barrington Attorney Wards Mr. [John] Pym
Sir Thomas Cheke Mr. William Fanshawe Sir Robert Phelips
Mr. Thomas Fanshawe Mr. [Henry] Rolle Sir J[ohn] Corbet
Sir H[enry] Poole Mr. [William] Noye
Sir Eubule Thelwall Sir G[ilbert] Gerard
Sir Robert Hatton Mr. [William] Hockmore
Mr. [William] Mallory Mr. [William] Brereton
Sir Erasmus Dryden Sir Thomas Estcourt
Sir A[rthur] Herrys

Monday, 2 [o']clock, Court of Wards.

[CJ 695; f. 20v] Saturday next, 5 [o']clock, for the Fleet.

L. 3a. An act for naturalization of Dr. [John] Young.

Upon question, passed.

L. 3a. An act for naturalization of Mrs. Elizabeth [sic] Murray and William Murray, esq.

L. 3a. An act for naturalization of Peter Verbeake. A proviso added that if he be convicted of colouring strangers' goods, to lose the benefit of that act; which twice read in paper, and then engrossed by the Clerk's man at the board, and then thirdly read.

And the bill, upon question, passed.

And resolved, the like to be in all like bills hereafter, except [Philip] Jacobson's.

L. 3a. An act for naturalizing of Philip Jacobson of London, merchant.

Upon question, passed.

Ordered, all complaints in writing concerning corruption in religion or learning to be considered of by the committee without bringing them first to the House.

SIR H[ENRY] POOLE reports Lady Scudamore's [sic] as disliked by the House to proceed further.

Resolved by the House, it shall sleep.

L. 2a. An act to avoid the supposed testament of Edmond Meese, deceased.

SIR EDWARD COKE. That this bill appoints that 3 commissioners shall examine the forgery.

Upon the first question, not to be committed.

Upon the second, not to be engrossed.

L. 2a. An act for the more speedy sealing of original writs.

MR. SOLICITOR. That the Lord Keeper seals not usually in vacation time in 14 days; where here tied upon a great penalty to seal in 7 days.

Committed to:

Sir Edward Coke Sir Edward Giles Sir George More
Sir Thomas Hoby Sir Eubule Thelwall Mr. [Edward] Ayscough
Mr. Solicitor Mr. [Edward] Alford Mr. [William] Booth
Sir P[eter] Heyman Mr. [John] Selden Mr. [William] Brereton
Sir G[ilbert] Gerard Sir George Fane
Mr. [William] Noye Sir John Corbet
Sir H[enry] Poole
[f. 21]
Mr. [Richard] Taylor Sir Francis Seymour
Sir John Savile Mr. Spencer
Sir J[ames] Perrot Sir Thomas Wentworth
Sir Nathaniel Rich Mr. [William] Cage
Sir Edward Wardour Mr. [Edward] Whitby
Mr. Charles Price

Monday, Star Chamber, 2 [o']clock.

SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR moves for an addition to the order for power to be given to the committee for heralds to send for any other.


L. 2a. An act for the relief of the Feltmakers of London against a decree made in Chancery against one [Christopher] Warwick.

Committed to:

Sir Edward Coke Mr. [Christopher] Sherland
Sir Thomas Myddelton Mr. [Thomas] Sherwill
Mr. [Robert] Bateman Sir A[nthony] Forest
Sir John Savile Mr. [Martin] Bond
Mr. [William] Coryton Mr. [John] Pym
Mr. Solicitor Sir William Cope
[William] Lord Cavendish Mr. [George] Garrard
Mr. [William] Whiteway Mr. [Robert] Bromfield
Mr. [Richard] Bushrod Sir Peter Mutton
Sir George Chudleigh Mr. [Thomas] Jermyn

Monday, 2 [o']clock, Star Chamber.

The East India Company patent to be brought in to the committee for grievances upon Monday next.

SIR EDWARD COKE moves for [John] Peck's contempt in not bringing in his patent or book.

Resolved, if he bring not in his patent this afternoon, then the Serjeant-at-Arms to go for him.

Sir Edward Coke Sir H[enry] Poole Sir A[ndrew] Corbet
Sir John Savile Sir Francis Seymour Sir Thomas Hatton
Mr. [John] Bankes Sir Nathaniel Rich Mr. [John] Lowther
Sir A[nthony] Forest Sir George More Mr. [Ralph] Whitfield
Mr. [John] Glanville Sir Edward Peyton Sir Guy Palmes
Mr. [John] Selden Mr. [William] Brereton [Algernon] Lord Percy
Mr. [Richard] Taylor Mr. [William] Booth Sir Charles Morrison
Sir John Stradling
[f. 21v]
Sir Daniel Norton Sir William Spencer
Sir William Bowyer Sir Peter Heyman
Sir Arthur Capell Sir Thomas Holland
Sir John Cutts Sir Thomas Hoby
Sir Edwin Sandys Mr. [Francis] Fetherston[haugh]
Sir B[aptist] Hicks [Robert Sidney] Lord L'Isle
[James] Lord Wriothesley Sir J[ames] Perrot
Sir G[ilbert] Gerard Sir John Luke
Sir George Chudleigh Mr. [Dru] Drury
Sir Thomas Denton Mr. [Thomas] Woodward
Sir William Beecher Mr. [Edward] Alford
Sir George Manners Sir Francis Barrington
Mr. Francis Drake Sir H[enry] Vane
Sir Robert More Sir William Masham
Sir A[lexander] St. John Sir Simon Weston
Sir William Morgan Mr. [Humphrey] Were
Mr. [George] Herbert Mr. Whitaker
Sir Thomas Estcourt

These are appointed to confer with the Lords tomorrow in the afternoon about the 2 bills of limitation and pleadings in the Exchequer.

Sir A[nthony] Weldon to be heard at the committee for grievances for justifying himself against some words let fallen against him by Sir Simon Harvey.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports from the Merchant Adventurers.

A petition from the Merchant Adventurers read.


[f. 22v] Declared, upon question, that the opinion of this House is that the impress money set by the Merchant Adventurers upon cloth is unlawful, unjust and a grievance to the people, and to be taken off and no longer to be continued by them.

SIR EDWIN S[ANDYS]. That the first patent to restrain the merchants in general to carry dyed and dressed cloths was 28 Eliz., and that before that time all merchants promiscuously might buy.

Declared, upon question, that this House thinks fit that the Merchant Adventurers and all other merchants may promiscuously transport to all places all northern and western dozens, kerseys and new manufactures.

Resolved, to let the debate of the carrying of dyed and dressed cloths alone until Thursday next. And Sir Thomas Myddelton required by the House to let the Merchant Adventurers know how ill this House will take if they, by any sullenness, shall forbear the white cloths.

Dr. [Nathaniel] Harris brought to the bar, kneeling, charged by MR. SPEAKER with indiscreet carriage about the election at Bletchingley and with venting his spleen in the pulpit. Charged with publishing a letter in the church from the Lady Howard concerning the election, confesses he either read one, or opened the contents of it, which commended Sir M[iles] Fleetwood and Mr. [Henry] Lovell for burgesses. Confesses he assisted Mr. Lovell about a new election after the first election made. Confesses he said they made lose, the Lady's benevolence would be withdrawn. Confesses when Mr. [John] Hawarde said his curate could not have a voice in the election and gave a reason, he said if the clergy and temporalty made not one body, he would never come into the pulpit. Confesses he said in his sermon he rather took that text because he was sensible of a late wrong offered himself.

Resolved, he should come in as a delinquent, upon his knee, and confess his fault, and upon Sunday come sevennight, in the pulpit in his own parish church, to confess also his fault and that he is sorry for it, and desires the love of his neighbours, and that he will avoid the like offence hereafter.

Advised to bear no spleen upon this to his neighbours, and forbear to question them upon tithes.

This done by him at the bar, and so dismissed, paying his fees.

[f. 23] DR. [BARNABY] GOOCH moves my Lord of Oxford's bill may not be read until past 9 of the clock.

Ordered, this bill to be read tomorrow, 9 of the clock, and to be referred to the former committee.

Relief of creditors against such as die in execution upon Monday in the afternoon. And all that will come to have voice.

[House adjourned]


[CJ 779; f. 178v]

Veneris, 30 Aprilis 1624

L. 1. An act for the quiet establishing of the right and interest of certain lands.

MR. SOLICITOR reports Sir Francis Clerke's bill. The amendments twice read.

Ordered, to be engrossed.

MR. SOLICITOR delivers in a bill for the highways.

L. 1. An act for the more speedy levying of the penalty of 12 pence.

L. 2. An act for the sale of the manor of Abbot's Hall in the county of Essex.

Committed to:

Mr. Comptroller Attorney Wards
Sir Francis Barrington Sir Eubule Thelwall
Sir Thomas Cheke Sir Robert Hatton
Mr. Thomas Fanshawe Mr. [William] Mallory
[CJ 780] Sir Henry Poole Sir Erasmus Dryden
Sir Gilbert Gerard Sir John Stradling
Sir Thomas Estcourt Mr. W[illiam] Fanshawe
Mr. [William] Hockmore Mr. [Henry] Rolle
Mr. [William] Brereton Mr. [William] Noye
Mr. [John] Pym Mr. [William] Cholmely
Sir Robert Phelips
Sir John Corbet

Monday, 2 [o']clock, Court of Wards.

[f. 179] Committee for the Fleet to meet this afternoon, 5 [o']clock.

L. 3. An act for the naturalizing of John Young, doctor of divinity.

Upon question, passed.

L. 3. An act for the naturalizing of Jane Murray and William Murray.

Upon question, passed.

L. 3. An act for the naturalizing of Peter Verbeake.

MR. COMPTROLLER. To have a proviso to this bill that if he shall colour any strangers' goods, this act, ipso facto, to be void.

Mr. Comptroller, Mr. [William] Denny and some others sent up into the Committee Chamber to draw such a proviso.

L. 3. An act for the naturalizing of Philip Jacobson of London, merchant.

Upon question, passed.

Ordered, that all complaints that come in writing concerning prejudice of religion or learning to be preferred to the committee nominated by the House to that purpose.

SIR HENRY POOLE reports the Lady Scudamore's bill. Committee thought fit to have the bill sleep. Finding it an unnatural suit, think/

Ordered, to sleep.

[f. 179v] L. 2. An act for the avoiding and annulling of a sentence given in the prerogative court in the probate of the supposed testament of Edmond Meese, esq.

Upon question, not to be committed.

Upon question, not to be engrossed.

L. 2. An act for the more speedy sealing of original writs.

Committed to:

Sir Edward Coke Mr. Solicitor
Sir George More Sir Peter Heyman
Sir Thomas Hoby Sir Edward Giles
Mr. [Richard] Taylor Sir Eubule Thelwall
Sir John Savile Mr. [Edward] Alford
Sir James Perrot Mr. [John] Selden
Sir Francis Seymour Sir Gilbert Gerard
Mr. Spencer Mr. [William] Noye
Sir Nathaniel Rich Sir Henry Poole


Monday, Star Chamber, 2 [o']clock.

SIR FRANCIS SEYMOUR. To have an enlargement of the order about the heralds. To have them have power to send for all parties they shall think fit.


L. 2. Feltmakers' bill.

[f. 180] Committed to:

Sir Thomas Myddelton Mr. [Christopher] Sherland
Mr. [Robert] Bateman Mr. [Thomas] Sherwill
Sir John Savile Sir Anthony Forest
Mr. [William] Coryton Mr. [Martin] Bond
Mr. Solicitor Mr. [John] Pym
[William] Lord Cavendish Sir William Cope
Mr. [William] Whiteway Mr. [George] Garrard
Mr. [Richard] Bushrod Mr. [Robert] Bromfield
Sir George Chudleigh Sir Peter Mutton
Mr. [Thomas] Jermyn

Monday, 2 [o']clock, Star Chamber.

The patent of the East India Company to be brought in to the committee of grievances on Monday next.

MR. COMPTROLLER reports the proviso for [Peter] Verbeake's bill. Twice read.

Ordered, to be engrossed and added to the bill.

Ordered, such a proviso shall be added to all bills of this nature.

SIR EDWARD COKE. A great contempt offered to this House by one John Peck, ordered to bring in his patent. To have the Serjeant-at-Arms go for him.

Ordered, that if he bring it not in this afternoon to the committee of grievances, a serjeant-at-arms to fetch him.

Sir Edward Coke Sir Henry Poole
Sir John Savile Sir Francis Seymour
Mr. [John] Bankes Sir Nathaniel Rich
Sir Anthony Forest Sir George More
Mr. [John] Glanville Sir Edward Peyton
Mr. [John] Selden Mr. [William] Brereton
Mr. [Richard] Taylor Mr. [William] Booth
Sir Andrew Corbet
[f. 180v] [Blank]
Sir Daniel Norton Sir John Cutts
Sir William Bowyer Sir William Spencer
Sir Arthur Capell Sir Peter Heyman
Sir James Perrot Sir Thomas Holland
Sir Oliver Luke Sir Thomas Hoby
Mr. [Dru] Drury Mr. [Francis] Fetherston[haugh]
Mr. [Thomas] Woodward [Algernon] Lord Percy
Sir Edwin Sandys Sir Baptist Hicks
Sir Thomas Denton [James] Lord Wriothesley
Sir William Beecher Sir Gilbert Gerard
Sir George Manners Sir George Chudleigh
Mr. Francis Drake Mr. [Edward] Alford
Sir Robert More Sir Francis Barrington
Sir Alexander St. John Sir Henry Vane
Mr. [Humphrey] Were Sir William Masham
Sir William Morgan Sir Simon Weston
Mr. [George] Herbert Mr. Whitaker
Sir Thomas Estcourt

These are appointed by the House to confer with the Lords tomorrow afternoon, 2 [o']clock, about the 2 bills of limitation of actions and pleadings of the Exchequer.

The proviso of [Peter] Verbeake's bill read, and the bill, upon question, passed.

Sir Anthony Weldon to attend the committee of grievances on Monday.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports from the committee appointed to treat with the Merchant Adventurers. [f. 181] Found them very constant to their own ends and purposes. Brought nothing new but renewed their former offer to admit others into their company. The committee proposed to them the appropriating to them the white cloths and the laying down their impositions. Much troubled at this. Have delivered their answer in writing. Read.

The sense of the committee:

  • 1. Matter of restraint of trade.
  • 2. Overburdening of trade.
  • 1. Weighed the reason of the Merchant Adventurers that if all should have liberty to transport it would debase the commodity. Found this very light. Experience the mother of wisdom, in this case showing the contrary. Second reason, their privileges, a diminution of them. The committee made no doubt of that so long as they had the transporting of all white cloths. Third point, admitting others into their company. The Merchants no disposition to that. First, their dwelling far off of many and are afraid of their orders and government. Committee conceive about the midst of Queen Elizabeth's reign this trade of cloth did exceedingly flourish. Before the 28 of the Queen, the merchants of the outports had the trade of dyed and dressed cloths. Ever since, the Merchant Adventurers have grown upon the state, and are now come to this greatness. The committee think a necessity to reduce them to their former limits. Give advice in 6 particulars.
  •      1. That these new manufactures should be free to all merchants for all places.
  •      [2.] So for kerseys and dozens.
  •      [3.] So for dyed, dressed cloths.
  •      4. That the white cloths should be still appropriated to the Adventurers.
  •      [5.] And if they should not buy up these cloths within 6 weeks after their coming up to Blackwell Hall, then all other merchants to have liberty to buy. This will give good content to all the merchants of the kingdom.
  •      6[th] branch, for the merchant strangers, to continue them in their former state.

For the manner of effecting this, the committee having adjudged the patent of the Merchant Adventurers a grievance in creation and execution, they desire it may proceed to a sentence in this House, and a petition of grievance presented to the King, and to desire his Majesty to give assent to these propositions.

Second part, overburdening of trade. This generally complained of. Like a horse overladen. 4 kind [?of] patents: of monopolies, dispensation of laws, impositions/

[f. 181v] Burdens on cloth, seven:

  • 1. 24s. laid on every fine cloth by the Archduchess, called licence money. This contrary to the treaties.
  • 2. By the States of the United Provinces, 32s. upon a fine cloth, called consumption money.
  • 3. By the States also, matter of tare, which used in one town, but now in divers to the great prejudice of the merchant. Now a good opportunity to be eased of these burdens by the States. The committee thought fit to present all these to his Majesty to take order for them.
  • 4. The composition money for licence in the hands of the Earl of Cumberland. Committee thought fit to have this presented as a grievance, and to desire of his free grace to add 20,000 to the 30,000 [cloths].
  • 5[th] burden, by the officers of the Custom House. This a great burden to trade. This to be warily proceeded in. Committee referred it to the report of the bill of customers' fees.
  • 6. The pretermitted custom. Opinion of the custom [sic] [CJ 781] that if this not due by law, to be presented as a grievance to his Majesty, who would be no loser by taking off this and the subject not unthankful.
  • 7. The imposition of the Merchant Adventurers themselves. The opinion of the committee that this a grievance in origine, a greater in precedent.

Lastly, took notice of what they had already levied, which was £11,000 above their original debt. Thought they might well be content to let this fall. To have this House send their command to take off this burden, or else the House to proceed otherwise in it.

SIR DUDLEY DIGGES. To have the other 2 persons that sit in the 2 other chairs to do the like. To have these heads taken into consideration by a select committee, the particulars being many.

Resolved, to let alone the pretermitted custom until the debate tomorrow be past.


[f. 182] Resolved, upon question, as the opinion of the House that the impress money set by the Merchant Adventurers on cloth is unlawful, unjust and a grievance to the people, and to be taken off and no longer continued by them.

Resolved, upon question, as the opinion of the House that there should be liberty to all merchants for the exporting of northern dozens and western kerseys and new manufactures.

Resolved, to put off the debate of other points of the report until Tuesday next. Sir Thomas Myddelton required by the House to let the Merchant Adventurers know how ill this House shall take it if they, by any sullenness, shall forbear to buy up the white cloths.

Doctor [Nathaniel] Harris brought to the bar and kneeled. MR. SPEAKER let him understand his offence.

Did publish a letter in the church. Either read it or told them the effect of it after service. Mr. [Henry] Lovell undertook another election. He was present. Did labour 2 voices for him. Was told that the Lady Howard had withdrawn the pension. Might say that she would do it. Did speak these words, "that if the laity and [MS torn] make not one body, would come no more in the [?pulpit]". Did preach of that text the day following 26 Matthew but chose it not purposely. Did say that he the more willingly did handle it because he was sensible of the wrong. Humbly submits to the censure of the House, and is heartily sorry for what he has done.

Kneeling at bar, MR. SPEAKER pronounced this sentence on him. That he shall at the bar acknowledge his offence and desire pardon, and Sunday sevennight in the pulpit at his own parish church, acknowledge his offence, and crave pardon there. [f. 182v] And not to take any occasion by this to trouble any of his neighbours or parishioners, but to live in peace and charity among them.

Acknowledges his offence and is heartily sorry for it. Desires pardon of the House. Discharged, doing the like in the country in the country [sic], according to the order of the House.

DOCTOR [BARNABY] GOOCH. To have the bill that came down from the Lords concerning Magdalene College may not be secondly read, but at 9 [o']clock, in a full House. To have a new day for the cross bill.

Ordered, that bill that came down from the Lords to be read tomorrow morning, 9 [o']clock, and then to go to one committee.

[House adjourned]


[p. 277]

Vendredis, 30 Aprilis 1624

3. L. Bill pur naturalisinge Philip Jacobson.

Sur queston, passe.

SIR HENRY POOLE reporte le bill de Sir John Scudamore et sa mere.

Order, que sleeper.

Bill pur reverser [blank] in le prerogative courte [in the testament of Edmond Meese].

Sur 1er question, nemy committee.

Sur 2e question, nemy ingrosse.

So it sleepes.

2. L. Bill pur plus speedie sealante originall briefs.

Sur queston, committe. Monday in camera stellata.

Bill pur avoider decree in Chancerye versus les Feltmakers al suite de Christopher Warwick.

Sur question, committe.

MR. COMPTROLLER reporte bill pur naturalisinge de Peter [blank] ove proviso, non solemente pur cest, mes pur touts autres qui serante naturalize davoir mesme le proviso: si ils entre ascuns biens autrement quil biens de strangers ou aliens [bill] serant void.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reporte de trade. Marchante Adventurers constant in their course, true to their owne endes, unmoveable in there owne resolucons. Experyence the mother of wisedome [illegible] suparlative still.

  • [p. 278] 1. Que pattente de Marchante Adventurers grevance in creation et execucon et deste offer par peticion al Roy pur just greevaunce.
  • 2. Over burdeninge de trade.
  • 4. [sic] maladies, 4 remedies.
  • First burden, 24s. sur chescun fine clothe, license monye layd par Archduches.
  • 2. Layd par le United Provinces, consumption monye, 32s. sur fine clothe.
  • 3. Vers les [par] dits States, originall sur le project de dryinge et dressinge, le matter de tare dryven al 22 cities. Le States at this daye consider the breadthe. Now opportunitie to ease these. All to be presented in peticion al Roy.
  • Fourth burden, monie pur ceux licenses al Count [sic] Cumberland al un solement al marchantes 50 [sic] thousand. Present auxy al Roy par peticon.
  • 5. Officers del Custome Huise exactions. To be taken awaye from porte to porte.
  • 6. Pretermitted customes.
  • 7. Imposition par les Marchante Adventurers.

[p. 279] Commande from this Howse to the Marchante Adventurers to take off this imposition, mes le Huise thinke fitte to advise the Marchant Adventurers to put them downe, [et] declare our opinions to be unlawfull and unjuste.

Sur question, unlawfull and unjuste et grevaunce and fitte to be taken off, par le opinion de cest Huise, and no longer to continue.

  • 1. Question pur novel manifactures northerne and westerne kersies pur touts marchants de vendre et transporter, que cy. Dyinge and dressinge adjourned, que vient eius in 28 Elizabeth al Marchant Adventurers. Dispensations broughte them to it.


[f. 139]

Friday, 30th of April

SIR EDWIN SANDYS. The Venetians have a law in their state that whosoever devises a new project for the public benefit shall have a great reward. The States of the Low Countries have laid a new imposition of 32s. upon every fine cloth of ours which is tented in their state; this they call the consumption money. The Merchants [sic] Adventurers complain of the officers of the Custom House of their exactions and new fees that where they have had but 20s. they have exacted £4 2s. [f. 139v] The Merchants [sic] Adventurers themselves also impose 5s. upon a short and 7s. 6d. upon a long cloth. This the committee of trade did desire the House to command, advise or require them to lay down.

SIR EDWARD COKE. It is unlawful for one subject to impose upon another, and therefore wished it should be first condemned in the House.

SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH. This was a great presumption in them, the King himself the last Parliament but one having promised never to impose more upon the naturals in the home borne commodities without assent of Parliament. He wished this branch of their patent to be taken away, but not the patent totally, for that might be as inconvenient to the subject on the other side. This imposition upon cloth the merchants call impress money.

This, by question, was declared unlawful and unjust and a grievance and to be taken away.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS. The state of the Merchants [sic] Adventurers is like to that of religion, not to be quite taken away but to be cleansed of the abuses that had crept in and to be reduced to his former purity.


[f. 68]

[30 April 1624]

The Merchant Adventurers will only admit into their company upon composition yet to no end as they say for trade enlarging, that transporting coloured cloth by others without order will vilify white and decay of trade and dissolve the staple abroad whether both commodities are to be imported that the charge imposed to the King's use abated a third part will help and could not be prevented being for the King's supply.

  • 1. Restraint overburden. Answer to the first reason light that it shall be undervalued by going with coloured cloths, for strange[r] merchants do it, northern men did it, Sir Thomas Lee, though Adventurer, did it.
  • 2. Then white cloth most welcome to maintain foreign trade of dressing, and will maintain their staple now purchased by the towns.

The committee looking out the cause how this disease came in. 16 Eliz. a staple of whites, yet common to stranger merchant, upon 33 H. 8 Q[ueen] E[lizabeth] dispensed to merchants to carry 30,000 whites under £4. The Earl of C[umberland's] licence for more purchased by them from strangers of the Earl by the paying 6d. more, and raising it to 2s. 8d. the cloth, they got after dyed and dressed cloth, now new draperies, and so have got all to their over-greatness to the destruction of the rest, so as Solomon their riches are grown to their loss.

[f. 68v] The lords of Council dispensed to outports to carry coloured cloths.

Committee allow by advice new manufactures to all. So northern dozens, kerseys and white cloth proper to the Merchant Adventurers only, and yet if within 6 weeks they buy [?not] all at Blackwell Hall after they come, then to be at liberty to others to buy. This contented all, and the m[erchant] stranger to be as he was before the committee condemned the M[erchant] Adventurers' patent for a grievance in creation, in execution, for monopolizing trade, imposing and imprisoning. So to be condemned in the House, and to be presented to the King.

Overburden[ed] as the over laden [?horse], the [?projectors'] warrant upon monopolies, dispensation, by pressing other laws, imposition upon imposition, four bills to help as monopolies, repeals, now by petition to the King for the rest as before. They projecting got a reward yet destroys the estate. The Venetians reward all new inventions for public good, and one added where an imposition was 3 he wished to make it 4 and was [f. 69] whipped for his reward.

24s. imposed upon a cloth by Archduchess contrary to ancient league with Burgundy now confirmed 20[th] article in the King's league with Spain.

States impose 32s. of a small cloth there spent called consumption money and proportionally, and their own nothing and so endear their own.

Tare allowed in one city now put into 20, whereby they are troubled and so have less now opportunity to procure ease herein while they seek us for relief, which they command to the King.

Licence to the Earl of Cumberland 2s. 8d. for a cloth, nothing to the King, and to be preferred as a grievance, and to licence the Merchants' 20,000 cloths more, freely.

The officers of Custom House exact fees without rule or measure contrary their own tables, as where the King had £50, the customer £4. From port to port, where there is no duty they in a year do exact fourfold the commodity, referred to the bill of customer[s'] fees, and to petition against port to port.

[f. 69v] The pretermitted custom to be presented a[s] a grievance and recompensed in the multitude, or our liberality being enabled.

The Merchants' imposition of 7s. 6d. to be abated as a grievance dangerous in example to all commodities and traders incorporated against all the realm. Wherefore desire this House to command them to lay down their impositions, or else to subject them to the censure of the House.


[f. 183v]

Friday, 30 Aprilis 1624

Ordered, that a committee appointed to examine the fees and abuses of the heralds shall have power to send for any of the heralds or any witnesses to inform that committee.

An act to relieve the corporation of Feltmakers of London against a decree made in the Chancery on the behalf of one [Christopher] Warwick, sometimes a clerk of that company. 2. L., committed.

[f. 184] Ordered, that the East India Company's patent shall be brought unto the committee of this House Monday next which sit[s] for grievances.

Ordered, that the Serjeant-of [sic]-Arms of this House shall go for one [John] Peck, who, being summoned from this House to bring in his patent and register books concerning the sole making and allowing of brokers, has delayed the same, if the said Peck bring not in his said patent and register book this afternoon to the committee of grievances.

There is a proviso put into the bill for naturalization of Peter Verbeake of Norwich, a Dutchman, that if he shall at any time enter or be consenting to the entry of any stranger's goods in the name of a natural born subject of this realm that then his said bill shall be void, and it is ordered or held fit that in every bill that passes this House henceforth for the naturalization of any merchant stranger shall have in it the like proviso.

A committee is this day appointed to go to the conference with the Lords tomorrow in the afternoon about the 2 bills as their Lordships yesterday appointed and we agreed to.

An act for the naturalizing of Peter Verbeake, a Dutchman. 3. L. This bill is passed this House.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS makes a report concerning the treaty with the Merchants [sic] Adventurers for accommodation [f. 184v] of trade. That the Merchants [sic] Adventurers were true to their own ends and unmovable from their principles. That they said their power to treat with the committee was limited, whereby the committee perceived that they meant not so freely as they intimated and so disheartened the committee that they ever should do any good with them. That the Merchants at their departure said they would send a further answer to this House, which is thus in effect: that the dividing of the coloured cloths and other manufactures from the white cloths would dismember trade and make the trade of such coloured cloths etc., not esteemed; nor can other merchants without government be able to buy it up. They say that the impost laid by their company is only on themselves.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS says he is to limit his report, first, to the restraint of trade, second, to the overburdening of trade. But first to speak of the reasons in the Merchant Adventurers' answers.

That the merchant strangers who carry up and down the cloths and manufactures of this kingdom go up and down with the same to the doors of such as will buy, do find it most for their gain; and the north country merchants do the same, and also Sir Thomas Lowe did so with the kerseys find it his best profit to carry those merchandises where he found a best market.

That the mart towns do give [f. 185] to the Merchants [sic] Adventurers a good sum of money besides many privileges to come there by reason of the confluence of people that it draws to their towns, and because the white cloths do set their poor on work, and they will be still very welcome to those towns though they come only with white cloths. That at first in Queen Elizabeth's time the Merchants [sic] Adventurers and the merchants [sic] strangers. That the Lord of Cumberland had a patent for 6 d., £30,000 [sic] white cloths, which he had power to give licence to merchants [sic] strangers to transport, paying him 2s. 2d. This patent of the Lord of Cumberland's the Merchants [sic] Adventurers have bought in, and now no merchant stranger can transport those cloths but by their leave.


  • 1. That the new manufactures should be free to/
  • 2. And also the kerseys and northern and western dozens.
  • 3. The dyed cloths.
  • 4. That the white cloths only should be at the sole disposing of the Merchants [sic] Adventurers.
  • [5.] That if the Merchants [sic] Adventurers [f. 185v] should not buy up the white cloths within 6 weeks out of Blackwell Hall, that then it should be free for any other merchant to buy the same.

That the committee has condemned the patent of the Merchants [sic] Adventurers, is a grievance in creation and execution. That they thinks it fit a that a petition should be drawn and preferred to his Majesty that he will be pleased to command by proclamation that these propositions of the committee may be put in execution.

Concerning the overburdening of trade by impositions, the committee finds that there is 24s. imposed by the Archduchess for licence contrary to the ancient treaty of Burgundy. 32s. consumption money on a fine cloth et pro, which is such cloths as are worn in the Low Countries, and imposed by the States. The States also have laid an imposition for tare which is if cloths be not well made, but this is no certain sum. This the committee [blank]. 2s. 2d. paid to the Earl of Cumberland for a licence wherein there is but 2 y[ears] to come, but the committee [blank]. [f. 186] Lastly, the exaction of fees beyond the precedent of ancient times and an old table, and that these fees do daily increase. And the merchants of the outports do complain of exactions of fees beyond the duty or custom that is paid to the King. That the committee for the bill concerning customers' fees should have a care of reformation hereof.

That all these impositions and burdens are no ways beneficial to the King. That the merchants and the committee do desire to have the pretermitted custom taken off, and they will be ready to supply his Majesty's occasions. That the Merchants [sic] Adventurers should take off the imposition laid by them, for that they have received £11,000 more than they have disbursed for gratuities, for they disbursed £75,000 and have received by these impositions £86,000. And the committee is of opinion that the House should send a message to the Merchants [sic] Adventurers that they should take off their impositions presently, which if they refuse to do then the House will proceed as it shall think fit.

SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH would not have us prune or take off by branches the [f. 186v] impress money imposed and raised by the Merchants [sic] Adventurers but to take it off by the roots, for the said Merchants have assumed to themselves more power than the King said in 120 in Parliament he would do, for he said he would never impose anything on the natural commodities of this kingdom, which they have done. That they alleged that they gave money to the King and they will have us pay it, which is an exaction insufferable and deserves a present remedy, for if it may be suffered every company will do the like and make the commonwealth pay for it.

It is resolved, by question, that the impress money imposed by the Merchants [sic] Adventurers on cloth is unlawful, unjust and a grievance fit no longer to be continued. And, by question, resolved that it is thought fit by this House that it should be declared and expressed that all northern and western dozens of [sic] kerseys and all new manufactures and new draperies shall be transported and set free to be traded in to all places by all merchants as well as by the Merchants [sic] Adventurers.

It is ordered that the further debate concerning the free trade of dyed and dressed cloths until Tuesday next; and that Sir Thomas Myddelton shall signify unto the Merchants [sic] Adventurers that there is a complaint made by the clothiers of Gloucestershire and other [f. 187] counties that the said Merchants will not buy up their cloths at Blackwell Hall, and that this House will take it ill if they do not presently buy them up but grow sullen.


Dr. [Nathaniel] Harris at the bar on his knee, being bid stand up, says, being demanded, that after evening prayer he did in the church publish a letter from the Lady of Effingham concerning her recommendation of Sir Miles Fleetwood and Mr. Henry Lovell for burgesses to Parliament. Says that he did labour friends of his to give their voices for Mr. Lovell, that he only said that if the body of the clergy and temporalty did make one body he would come no more into the pulpit, and not that if he might not sit in Parliament. That he took not his text purposely after he had been at the committee, but he said he did say he did the more willingly handle that text because he was sensible of the wrong done him by false witnesses. He humbly submits himself to the censure of this House and is heartily sorry for his offence and so withdraws himself.

[f. 187v] Dr. Harris again sent for into the House and on his knee now is blamed for making the pulpit a place to utter his own spleen and for the furthering of a man ill-affected in religion to be made a member of this House, and commanded Sunday come sevennight in the pulpit in his own parish, acknowledge his offence and crave pardon for his offence and declare his sorrow for the same, and that he shall not for this business bear any spleen to any of his neighbours. He does now acknowledge his fault and crave pardon for it, for which he says he is heartily sorry.


[f. 62v]

30 April, Friday

First read. An act for the speedy levying xiid. the week upon married women.

Second read, committed. An act for the selling Abbot's Hall by Sir James Poyntz of Essex.

Passed. An act for the naturalizing Doctor [John] Young.

Passed. An act to naturalize Jane Murray, the wife of the Prince's secretary.

Passed. An act for the naturalizing Peter Verbeake, with a proviso. Second read and the Clerk/

An act for naturalizing Philip Jacobson.

Engrossing. An act for [Sir] Francis Clerke.

Second read, rejected. An act to avoid the will of [Edmond] Mees[e].

Second read, committed, Monday, Star Chamber. An act for the more speedy sealing original writs.

Second read, committed. An act for relieving the corporation of the Feltmakers against a decree in Chancery.

[MR. WILLIAM] MALLORY moves that the patent of the East India Company bring in their patent upon Monday next to the committee of grievances.

Order. It is so ordered.

[SIR EDWARD] COKE. [John] Peck has a patent of brokery. He moves that he may bring it in this day.

[f. 63] The conference with the Lords is to be tomorrow in the Painted Chamber of the 2 bills, limitation of actions and licence of alienation and ease of pleading. The committee of the Lords are 28, which are to be doubled by the Lower House. It is appointed tomorrow at 2 of the clock in the Painted Chamber.

[SIR EDWIN] SANDYS. Report, the hearing of the Merchants [sic] Adventurers, there being at the committee a committee of the merchants, whereof the 2 shrieves and 18 more. That which was thought fit by our committee: that the Merchants should only impropriate the white cloths and communicate all the rest to others, the merchants of outports; next, that the imposition of 5s. 4[d.] upon/

[f. 63v] The restraint of trade and overburdening trade are the causes of/

It flourished in the midst/

The white cloths were common to the Merchant Adventurer and merchant stranger. In 6 Elizabeth there was granted 30,000 cloths above the price of £4 a cloth; they gave the Earl of Cumberland [blank] that no man might else trade in them. Then for the coloured cloths they got into their hands and the 15 Jac. obtained a large patent. This enlargement to trade must begin at the limitation of the last patent. [f. 64] 6 particulars. That the new manufactures should be free. Secondly, for kerseys and dozens to be free. Then for all dyed and dressed cloths to be free. Fourthly, that the white cloths should be impropriate, the white cloths to the Merchants [sic] Adventurers. And that if the Merchant Adventurers should not buy up the white cloths after six weeks, that then any should buy. The 6th was for merchant strangers, which should continue as before.

They offered to the House that whereas the committee had thought that patent to be a grievance in creation and execution, which when the House has confirmed, they desire a petition of this grievance may be commended to his Majesty according to [?the]/

[f. 64v] The [illegible]/

Monopolies, raising profit by dispensation of laws, by raising a profit against those/

Lastly, by imposition. 7 burdens of cloths. By 24s. upon every fine cloth by the Archduchess, and so of others. It is contrary to the treaties [of] 1604, which was but 2d. This is called licence money. [Second,] consumption money by the States, 32s. upon a fine cloth and so of the rest for the cloths spent among them and none by themselves. Third, when dyeing and dressing, in matter of tare in the mart town only; now it is in 28 towns. They consider the want of breadth, which is supplied by [f. 65] the length. This they hope may be redressed now in respect of their expectation. Fourth, composition money for the licence granted to the Earl of Cumberland. The benefit is to one subject, but prejudicial to all the kingdom. This is wished, a petition may be offered to his Majesty with a desire of addition of £20,000 [sic]. Next, of the customers officers' fees, which is not only a charge but a general vexation; when the king has had but 50 shillings, now the [blank] [£]4 3[s.]. Yarmouth had but 2s., now the searchers have 5s. for that. Barnstaple complained of fourfold taken for one which the king took. [f. 65v] [Sixth], for the pretermitted customs, that if it be not good by law it should be preferred to his Majesty as a grievance, for it is a great hindrance to clothing. Lastly, the Merchants' imposition of 5s. 4[d.] in a short cloth and 7s. 6[d.] upon a long cloth, which is upon the native commodity. The Merchants do appear to have levied [£]11,000 above their original disbursement. The committee desires they may be sent to to take off that imposition. If they shall not, then the House to proceed with them.

SOLICITOR. The first allowance to the merchant was 8d. and 12d. granted for their common charge. Then, as their charge increased, they raised it unto 12d. and 18d., and then [f. 66] the impress money was 4s. and 6s., which made up the 7s. 6d.

It is, by question, determined to be unlawful; that the imposition upon cloth called the impress money is a grievance to the people.

Next, that the new white cloths shall be impropriated only to the Merchant Adventurers, and the new manufactures, the northern kerseys and dozens, western kerseys and dozens, and dyed and dressed cloths should be communicated to all; and further for the white cloths, that if the Merchants shall not buy them within six weeks, that then it shall be lawful for any to buy.

Upon question, the new manufactures and northern kerseys and dozens, and western kerseys and dozens is set free. The rest is referred to other day for further debate.

[f. 66v] In the afternoon at the committee of grievances

Sir Marmaduke Darrell, cofferer, Sir John Leigh, Sir Robert Bannister and Sir Thomas Merry interrogated about Sir Simon Harvey.

Whether Sir Simon Harvey did not take 6 borts for composition in Suffolk?

It is so confessed by Bannister and Leigh.

Whether it was not ordered that none of the King's provision should be sold without warrant from 3 of the Green Cloth?

It is so confessed.

Whether Sir Robert Bannister joined with Sir Simon Harvey for selling a 100 sheep to my Lord Treasurer?

Bannister. Sir Simon Harvey pretended to save the King £8,000 a year so as the Lord Steward commanded that he should have all the dealings in the King's provision. [f. 67] That/

An ox taken from Cresse, the King's ground; caused him to be killed at a butchers at Temple Bar and given to the Duchess.

Darrell. All the compositions were ordered to be assigned to Sir William Hewett for Sir Simon Harvey, which sold, comes to £38,000 as he pretended, which were ever in his receipt. The expenses of the house comes [to] £76,000 a year.

Merry. The cofferer should receive £50,000. Sir Simon Harvey would save the King £18,000, but he has not made up this year's account, but the last year upon his account he saved nothing. He has received £20,000 besides the composition because some expenses are extraordinary that he did not undertake.

[f. 67v] Lewis. The Prince's cart-taking. There was eight carts laid upon Hertfordshire and 6 upon Essex, which should have been laid upon Middlesex, which was done by the appointment of Sir Simon Harvey. 100 carts laid upon Hertfordshire and Essex, and Middlesex none.

Hales. In May 1623, 126 carts taken, Middlesex none, and 500 more besides, not above 7 out of Middlesex.

Leigh. 65 carts out of Surrey and Sussex. Sir Simon Harvey's man had blanks and procured 32 carts out of Hampshire.

Smith. That Sir Simon Harvey said that he should be commended to the King for this service. This man asked him what was his project. He said that it was to compound with [f. 68] Middlesex upon any conditions and the rest should compound, and he should live better than ever he did in his life, which he refused. He has taken malt without commission, upon his own warrant.

[Mark] Quested. That after Sir Simon Harvey had taken half his fish and desired the carrying of that with the other half to London and there he would pay the money, when he came there the other half was there taken from him and he could not, before he had been with him 31 times and attended 3 months. 5 days after the mark was set on them, then he talked with the owner. And then being brought before the Lord Steward, his Lordship upon misinformation discharged him, willing him to take his course afterward, he being willed to attend Mr. Comptroller, who made an end of it, and he had £120 and the King 2 parts of 2 ships to come.

[f. 68v] Harvey. Malbone had a commission to take up malt but he had none upon the composition with Hertfordshire. There was a proviso that they were to buy anything for the King as the market goes, and there is not any money owing to any. That he abated 6 boars out of the King's provision and gave an ox of £12 in L[blank]. A 100 sheep sent to my Lord Treasurer for a gratuity, which he says sold.


[f. 113v]

April 30

Ordered, that all petitions concerning corruption in religion or learning to be considered of by the committee without presenting them first to the House.

Ordered, the bill between the Lady Scudamore and her son should sleep.

[f. 114] Bill for more speedy sealing of original writs.

That if Chancellor shall forbear to seal a [illegible] or any original writ for the space of 7 days, shall pay treble damages and double costs to the party and £500, whereof 2 parts to King and 3 to/

SOLICITOR. By this bill, the Lord Chancellor is bound to seal at unseasonable times.

[SIR EDWARD] COKE. No writ of error to reverse an attainder without petition to the King. And so many writs not to be granted without warrant from the King.

MORE. In some cases writs are not to be granted but upon examination as [?prohibitions].

These things to be considered by the committee. Monday 2 [o']clock, Star Chamber.

A proviso to be put into all bills of stranger[s] for naturalization. [f. 114v] That if lawfully convicted for entering and colouring strangers' goods in their names, then to have no benefit by.

Moved by [SIR EDWARD] COKE that a serjeant-at-arms may go out for one [John] Peck, that being served with an order to bring in his patent he refused. Ordered, that if he do not bring it in the next day, then a serjeant-at-arms to go. This condition was added because it was informed that he was ready to bring it in and did before mistake the day.

Report by [SIR EDWIN] SANDYS touching Merchant Adventurers. Reason and experience prove that it is best that the commodities be carried to the places where most want of it. And these staple towns vie who [f. 115] shall purchase the Merchant Adventurer. The other merchants are afraid of the orders of the Adventurers and of their superlative skill, and thereof desire not to be of their company. Present discommodities. Diminution of the vent of cloth by half. Abasing of the stock of kingdom, wool, as some think to a million a year. The turning millions of poor out of work. The causes hereof. The whole bulk of the white clothes appropriated to them by reason of Earl of Cumberland's licence to them granted. 15 Jac. a patent to them, since when there was a grant to the outport[s] to trade in new manufactures, but that extended not to the [f. 115v] merchants of London.

The opinion of the committee that new manufactures, kerseys, cloths dyed and dressed, all merchants to trade in, [?but] the white cloths preferred to Merchant Adventurers and to have pre-emption at Blackwell Hall for 6 weeks. The merchant stranger[s] to continue in the same state was before.

The committee has condemned the patent of Adventurers as a grievance both in the creation and execution. And they think fit that a petition of grievance may be presented to his Majesty to declare these points by proclamation. The projectors have exercised their wits about a[blank] monopolies, dispensing with laws, pressing of particular laws, over- [f. 116] burdening trade, bill of monopolies, bill of continuances, must appeal for impositions to King for his grace.

The Venetians have a law that whosoever can project anything for public shall have a great reward. One contracted for a sum of money with them to raise their revenue [?2 words illegible] that whereas 3 sols of sack, he bid them add a fourth it would increase their revenue to 400,000 crowns per annum. He was well whipped about the city for it.

3 burdens:

  • 1. By Archduchess.
  • 2. By the States.
  • 1. [sic] Of them beginning by that unhappy project of dying and dressing.

[f. 116v] Hope to have ease of it, by reason that they expect greater help from us. Better that his Majesty's servants should be rewarded with anything else than the overburdening of the native commodity of the kingdom. Qui nimis [?emergit] elicit sanguinem, he that wipes too clean draws blood.

Pretermitted customs. The opinion of committee that if not due by then to be presented to his Majesty. That recompense would be made to his Majesty by other ways. Would not be so unthankful but would be ready to supply his Majesty's wants and to [f. 117] furnish his princely occasions.

The Adventurers have levied their original debt and £11,000 more. Committee thought that they might content themselves with ease of those things they complain of. That they would take off their impositions, or else the House to take such course as to their judgements shall seem fit.

Things to be presented to the King are to pass the judgement of the House before they be reduced to a form by a committee.

[SIR EDWARD] COKE. Hold[s] it clear and unjust for one subject to impose upon another.

[f. 117v] [SIR THOMAS] WENTWORTH. That King said he would never impose upon any native commodity again. These men assume more to themselves than the King. They give £50,000 for patent, and we must pay for it. It is called impress money.

Opinion of the House that the impress money is unjust, unlawful and a grievance to the people, and no longer to be continued. Resolved, upon question.

Quod prius verum, quod posterius adulterium. Would not destroy but reform the M[erchant] Adventurers, and restore them to the state they were in in the midst of Queen's time. Before 28 Eliz. dyed and dressed cloths were free to all merchants.

[f. 118] Resolved, upon question, that new manufactures, northern kerseys, western kerseys, etc., common to other merchants besides Merchant Adventurers.

Let us not sit here as under a schoolmaster, etc.

Ordered, the proposition of dyed and dressed cloths respited until another day, namely Tuesday next.

SIR ROBERT PYE. That it has been the endeavour of the Princes of Germany to overthrow the Company of M[erchant] Adventurers beyond sea. A consideration of deep consequence.

Dr. [Nathaniel] Harris, adjudged upon his knee to acknowledge fault in the House, subject to the House. In the country on Sunday sevennight in own parish church, acknowledge [f. 118v] that meddled in the pulpit with those things that concern you not. The House did advise that beware how preach against particular persons, and live in p[eace] with neighbours. His offence was that he meddled unduly in an election and in a sermon spoke in particular against some persons, and did reflect upon the House as though they had done him injustice.


[f. 84]

April 300, 1624

A bill was read concerning Magdalen College in Oxford [sic], which came from the Lords.

And MR. SOLICITOR reported another private bill to enable Sir Francis Clerke to sell divers lands.

An act to levy xiid. upon them that absent themselves from church.

An act for naturalization of Peter Verbeake.

Exception was taken by MR. COMPTROLLER, first, that it tended to the prejudice of the state in discharging him of payment of double custom and from observing the statute of employments, and opened a way to fraud in countenancing other men's goods.

It was ordered, the bill not to pass without a proviso for preventing of those mischiefs. Upon the commitment, proviso was drawn and ordered to be engrossed.

An act for the naturalization of [blank] Jacobson. Passed.

SIR H[ENRY] POOLE reported a bill for a rent charge to be assured to the Lady Scudamore, and that the opinion of the committee was that her son ought not to be charged in law or equity, yet had [he] promised to conform himself to natural duty.

Ordered, this bill should sleep.

An act to avoid the supposed testament of Edmond Meese, deceased.

It was objected that the law had sufficiently provided for the discovery of forgery and that this bill might seem to be a discredit to it. Yet it was thought to belong to our cure by the examination of the committee whether the law had been applied to this particular case.

So the bill was committed.

An act for the more speedy sealing of original writs. If the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Chancellor of the County Palatine of Lancaster should forbear to seal any original writ for the space of 7 days, he forfeited to the party treble damages, double costs and to the king £500.

These exceptions were taken:

  • 1. The penalty too small.
  • 2. The time too short, for in the vacation there used to be but one sealing day in a fortnight.
  • 3. The extent too large, comprehending all writs. Writs of error upon attainder are not to be granted but upon petition, which is good for the subjects because the lands being dispersed into divers hands, and it will not be fit to stir a title up too suddenly, and some other writs are of that nature.

The bill was committed, Monday, 2 o'clock, in the Star Chamber.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS made a report from the committee appointed to treat with the Merchant Adventurers, which contained 3 general parts:

  • 1. A relation of the answers of the Merchant Adventurers to the propositions.
  • 2. The opinion of the committee concerning those answers.
  • 3. Their resolution for the remedy of trade in the point as well of restraint as overburdening.

[f. 84v] 1. The Merchants were constant to their first purposes, offered no new propositions, their instructions limited, reason excluded by a superior command, their resolution immovable.

  • 1. Not to hold themselves contented with the reservation of the white cloth, for which they gave these reasons:
  •      1. That the college [sic] cloth, being left out of government, will debase the whole commodity and so the common stock of the kingdom diminish.
  •      2. That it would induce a loss and abatement of their privileges beyond seas, which were given in contemplation of the great store of English commodities by them uttered [sic].
  • 2. Not to take off the imposition because:
  •      1. They were yet unsatisfied of those disbursements which they had made for the necessities of the state.
  •      2. That the money was raised upon themselves for the most part out of their gains.
  •      3. If they were disabled to pay the great debt which was owing by the company to strangers out of the common purse, the creditors according to the law merchant might have execution upon the goods of any brethren of the company.
  • 3. To admit any merchants into their company, but sub modo, paying a fine and submitting themselves to their government.

The first and the last of these propositions did belong to the restraint of trade, the 2nd to the overburdening of trade. And therefore the opinion[s] of the committee concerning these answers are inserted into these points respectively.

Touching the restraint, it was conceived that it was repugnant to reason that the enlarging of coloured cloths should dishonour or abuse the commodity. Experience teaches that merchandise is dearest where it is scarcest. The merchant strangers carry not to the mart towns but to the several places where the cloths are used, and some of the company of Adventurers dwelling in the outports have made trial of this. It is unlikely their privileges shall be diminished, the white cloths being most in quantity and best welcome, and the towns striving with too much emulation to purchase the residence of the company. The offers of admittance under those conditions is frivolous, because the merchants of the outports dwelling far from London cannot, without much loss and trouble, attend the orders of the company.

Wherefore the committee took it into their consideration when this restraint first began and by what degrees it has received alteration and increase.

  • 1. White cloths were common to the Merchant Adventurers and strangers until 33 H. 8, which prohibited any to be carried over above the price of £4.
  • 2. By Queen Elizabeth there was a dispensation for 30,000 cloths above that price, and after another to the Earl of Cumberland, by which he received at first 2s. 2d. upon a cloth and afterwards 6d. more in consideration he should grant it to none other but to the company.
  • 3. Before the 31 [of] Eliz. all merchants had liberty for dyed and dressed cloths.
  • 4. Until 15 Jac. the like liberty for all manufactures, which was again restored to the outports by order of the Council in 180.

And thereupon grew to a resolution in six points. That:

  • 1. Manufactures, [f. 85] 2. Kerseys and northern dozens, 3. Dyed and dressed cloths should remain free to be bought and transported by the merchants of all parts of the kingdom.
  • 4. The white cloths to be appropriated to the Company of Merchant Adventurers, who shall besides have a common interest in the trade of the other kinds.
  • 5. If the Merchant Adventurers shall leave any white cloths unbought during the space of 6 weeks, it may be lawful for any other to buy.

In these 5 points it was conceived they had pleased all parts of the kingdom: Cornwall, Devonshire and the north with the kerseys and dozens; London with the manufactures; Suffolk and Kent with the dyed and dressed cloths; Gloucestershire and Wiltshire with the white cloths.

The sixth point agreed on was that the merchant strangers should remain as they were before.

And the desire of the committee was that the House would deliver a final sentence against the Merchant Adventurers' patent and that it might be presented to his Majesty as a grievance with an humble suit that his Majesty would be pleased by his proclamation to signify his pleasure in these particulars.

Touching the 2nd point, of overburdening, it was observed that the burdens upon trade by the wits of the projectors of this time were drawn from 4 originals:

  • 1. Monopolies.
  • 2. Dispensation of some laws.
  • 3. Pressing of other laws.
  • 4. By laying imposition.

Against these, 4 remedies were now in preparation: for the first, the bill of monopolies; for the second and third, the bill for continuance and repeal of statutes; for the 4th, an appeal by petition to his Majesty, it being one of the greatest causes of the decay and weakness of the commonwealth. The Venetians have a law that whosoever projects anything that is new and may be for the benefit of the public shall have a reward. There was one propounded an invention for the raising of 100,000 crowns' revenue a year. They entertained him and contracted with him. His device was there is now 2 sols imposed upon salt, they should add one sol more, which is about ½[d.]. It was ordered the projector should be whipped for his reward.

There are seven burdens upon the trade of cloth, whereof 6 are complained on by the Merchant Adventurers:

  • 1. The consumption money by the States, ut antea fol. [blank].
  • 2. Licence money by the Archduchess, ibidem.
  • 3. Prejudice by the change made in the allowance of tare, ibidem, besides that they will not accept of the advantage in length to recompense the want of breadth.

(These three to be contained in one petition to his Majesty.)

  • 4. Composition money for the dispensation paid yet to the Earl of Cumberland for 2 years, afterwards granted to the Duke of Lennox. (A dispensation by statute to be granted to the Merchant Adventurers for 50,000 cloths per annum.)
  • 5. The extortion of the officers of the Custom House.
  • 6. The pretermitted customs. (To be presented in a petition to his Majesty with a declaration that the value now made of it will be recompensed by the increase of quantity like to be vented if that charge be taken away.)
  • [f. 85v] 7. The imposition by the Merchant Adventurers of 5s. upon a short cloth and 7s. 6d. upon a long. (This is taken to be a great grievance in the act and much greater in the precedent, and they may be well content now to have it taken away, their original debt being already paid and £11,000 over, in respect of the ease they are like to have in these other points. Therefore, the company to be commanded, by order of this House, to take off this imposition.)

The last point fell first in debate. It was doubted whether the House might lay such a command upon the Merchant Adventurers.

SIR GEORGE MORE. Rather to send a letter with words of advice.

SIR EDWARD COKE. To declare it to be unlawful and they to go on at their peril.

MR. SOLICITOR. These sums composed of 2 sums. There was ever a smaller imposition for the support of ordinary charges, which is fit still to be allowed.

SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH. Words of advice and entreaty not fit for a Parliament. They assume more than the King to impose upon a native commodity within the kingdom.

Upon the question, it was resolved that in the opinion and judgement of the House the imposition was unlawful and ought to be taken off; second, that the trade in manufactures, kerseys, northern and western dozens should be free for all.

The other points concerning the white cloths was respited until Monday. And in the meantime, it was ordered by the House that Sir Thomas Myddelton should admonish the merchants to give the clothiers contentment, who did much complain of the falling of the markets.

According to an order made yesterday upon Mr. [John] Glanville's report, Dr. [Nathaniel] Harris was brought to the bar and kneeling did acknowledge his offence and sorrow for the same. The like acknowledgment he was appointed to make at Bletchingley, where his sermon was preached.

The SPEAKER dismissed him with a short admonition that his duty was to feed his flock pasce verbo, pasce cibo, pasce exemplo. His words were too windy, his bread too full of leaven, his example dangerous. Wished him to observe better courses hereafter and to be thankful to the House that had proceeded so gently and favourably with him.


[f. 110]

April 30, Friday

An act for naturalizing of Philip Jacobson. Passed.

The bill between the Lady Scudamore and her son, Sir John Scudamore, was disliked upon report and ordered to sleep, because in law she could not demand maintenance out of his land and he himself was dutiful and willing to relieve her.

An order to the East India Company to bring in their patent.

An act for the naturalizing of Peter Verbeake passed, and this clause added to it and to be added to all in this kind hereafter: that if they cover strangers' goods under their names they shall lose the benefit of this act.

An order for [John] Peck of Westminster to bring in his patent of brokers.

A report from the committee of trade [sic]. The Merchant Adventurers after conference will not come to any accord, desire their imposition of 5s. and 7s. 6d. may be continued. Trade decays in England for 2 reasons, first, restraint of trade. It flourished in the midst of the reign of Queen Elizabeth [f. 110v] and decayed since by these degrees. First, the Merchant Adventurers thrust out the merchant stranger; next, they accorded with the Earl of Cumberland that they alone might have the benefit of his dispensation for the exportation of whites, Eliz. 60, against that law made Henrici 8vi, 330; they have also driven out the Staplers by their patent Jacobi 150, so that by them trade is decayed because straitened and imprisoned, so that necessarily it must be enlarged. And upon that point the committee had agreed to damn this patent of theirs as a grievance both in creation and execution, to set the new manufactures free, as also the northern and western kerseys and dozens, and appropriate the whites only to the Adventurers with this condition: that if within 6 weeks they buy it not up after it is come to Blackwell Hall, it shall be lawful for all merchants whatsoever to buy it, and to leave the merchant stranger as he was before.

The 2nd reason of the decay of trade in England is the overburdening of it:

  • 1. By licence money in Flanders, 24s.
  • 2. Consumption money in Holland, 32s. upon a fine cloth.
  • 3. The tare driven to more cities and so the seller bound to follow the buyer.
  • 4. Composition money to the Earl of Cumberland for his patent of dispensation, whereto they desire to add 20,000 to their 30,000 and so make it up 50,000 cloths yearly to be exported.
  • 5. The officers of the Custom House exact upon it without rule or measure: in Yarmouth where the King has 2s., the customers have 5s.; in Dartmouth where the King has 50s., they have £4; and in some places fourfold the value of the commodity, and all this the King has no profit of.
  • 6. The pretermitted customs.
  • 7. The Adventurers' own imposition of 5s. upon a short cloth and 7s. 6d. upon a long.

Their original debt was [£]75,000, and as it appears by their books they have levied £86,471, viz. £11,000 more than they have disbursed.

Resolved, by question, that in the opinion of the House, that this imposition was unjust and an unlawful grievance and to be taken off; also to give liberty for the new manufactures, northern and western kerseys and dozens to be free to all traders.

SIR JOHN SAVILE complained that in all the time he had served in Parliament, the City of London (otherwise honourable and renowned) sent the worst instructed burgesses of any other place, for in all this debate of trade they sat by and said not one word to inform the House of anything.