Editorial Matter

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.


In this section

Editorial Matter


Add. Additional
BL British Library, London
Bodl. Bodleian Library, Oxford
CJ Journals of the House of Commons
col. column
ed. edited
f. folio
Harl. Harleian
jnr. junior
MS Manuscript
p. page
PA Parliamentary Archives, London
Rawl. Rawlinson
sen. senior
SP State Papers
TNA The National Archives, Kew
v verso


The following list is of the principal manuscripts reproduced in this edition. Where the authors of those manuscripts sat in the 1624 Parliament, links are provided to their biographies in the History of Parliament's volumes on The House of Commons, 1604-29, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris (2010).

I. PA, HC/CL/JO/1/12
Rough notes of John Wright sen., Clerk of the Commons, covering the period 12 February to 17 March.

II. PA, HC/CL/JO/1/14
Rough notes of John Wright sen. covering the period 21 April to 29 May.

III. PA, HC/CL/JO/1/13
Rough notes of John Wright jnr., deputy Clerk of the Commons, covering the period 23 February to 29 May.

IV. PA, BRY/73
Commons' proceedings from 12-25 February in the fair hand of John Wright sen.

V. Wiltshire and Swindon Archives, 9/34/2
Diary of John Hawarde, written in Law French.

VI. BL, Harl. MS 6,383
Diary of John Holles.

VII. Hampshire Record Office, 44M69/F4/20/1
Diary of Sir Thomas Jervoise.

VIII. Cumbria Archive Centre, Carlisle, DLONS/L/2/1
Diary of John Lowther.

IX. BL, Add. MS 46,191
Diary of Sir Nathaniel Rich, partly written in shorthand.

X. Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas, MS E237
Diary of Commons' proceedings by an unknown member of the House.

XI. TNA, SP 14/166
Diary of Edward Nicholas, partly written in shorthand.

XII. Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS ENG. 980
Diary of Sir William Spring.

XIII. Bodl., Tanner MS 392
Diary of Sir Thomas Holland covering the period 25 February to 9 April.

XIV. Bodl., MS Rawl. D1,100
Diary of Sir Thomas Holland covering the period 10 April to 15 May.

XV. Staffordshire Record Office, MS D661/11/1/2
Diary of Richard Dyott, parts of which are now illegible.

XVI. Bodl., MS Rawl. D723
Diary of Commons' proceedings by an unknown member of the House.

XVII. Northamptonshire Record Office, FH/N/C/0050
One of a number of extant versions of the diary of John Pym, this manuscript is used as the base text in this edition.

XVIII. BL, Add. MS 18,597
Diary of Sir Walter Earle.

XIX. BL, Harl. MS 159
Diary of Sir Simonds D'Ewes, based in part on the diary of an unknown member of the Commons.

Editorial Note

This edition includes the text of all the extant versions of the Commons' Journals for the 1624 Parliament and all the private diaries of Commons' business with one exception. The parliamentary diary of Nicholas Ferrar was published in a modern scholarly edition in 1996, (fn. 1) and has been omitted on those grounds.

The text is arranged on a daily basis, bringing together the account in each manuscript (where it exists) for each day's sitting of the Commons.

The manuscripts fall into four groups and their individual accounts are ordered consistently within each day's proceedings in the sequence that appears in the list above. Overall precedence is given to the official Commons' Journals, and their variants, which form the first group. Within it, precedence is given to the official Journals of John Wright sen., Clerk of the Commons, over that of his son, John Wright, the deputy Clerk. Although a fourth Journal was written by Wright sen., it is listed last in the group on the grounds that it is not an official Journal of the Commons.

The second group consists of diaries that were seemingly written at the time of, or soon after, the events which they describe. (fn. 2) Within this group, the diaries are arranged according to their start date (those with the earliest entries appearing first) and then alphabetically by surname, with anonymous accounts listed last.

The third group consists of manuscripts that appear to have been written sometime after the end of the Parliament. (fn. 3) These also are arranged by their start date and then alphabetically by surname, with anonymous manuscripts listed last.

The fourth and final group consists of only a single manuscript, the diary of Sir Simonds D'Ewes, on the grounds that he was not a member of the Commons in 1624.

All text in English has been modernized. Text in French, Law French, Latin and Greek has been left largely as it appears in the manuscripts. Punctuation and capitalization are modernized and standardized throughout. Names of MPs and other individuals have been standardized according to their spelling in the History of Parliament's volumes on The House of Commons, 1604-29.

All dates have been left as they appear in the manuscripts. Dating added to the texts is in Old Style, but with the year taken to begin on 1 January.

Editorial interventions appear within square brackets. [blank] indicates a blank space in a manuscript, and [illegible] an illegible word. Uncertain words in the text appear within square brackets, preceded by a question mark, e.g., [?Glanville]. An oblique stoke indicates a sentence that has not been completed, e.g., He believes that/

The pagination of the printed edition of the official Commons' Journals appears thus, [CJ 714]. The names of members speaking in the House are capitalized. The names of members speaking in committee meetings (and of non-members in the House) are in lower case letters.

Each manuscript is reproduced in full with the exception of erasures, accidentally repeated single words and marginal annotations. Duplicate or variant copies of speeches, separates and petitions have been silently excluded, as has material of that nature contained in the Lords' Journal on the grounds that it will appear subsequently in Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Lords.

Full supporting scholarly apparatus for the text, and additional relevant material, will appear in the print version of the proceedings.


  • 1. 'The Parliamentary Papers of Nicholas Ferrar, 1624', ed. David R. Ransome, in Seventeenth-Century Political and Financial Papers, Camden Miscellany XXXIII (Camden Society, series 5, vii, Cambridge, 1996), pp. 2-104.
  • 2. The diaries in this group are those of Hawarde, Holles, Jervoise, Lowther, Rich, the anonymous University of Kansas account, Nicholas, Spring, Holland and Dyott.
  • 3. The anonymous Bodleian Library manuscript and the Pym and Earle diaries make up this group.