21st February 1624

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

This free content was born digital. All rights reserved.


'21st February 1624', Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons, (2015-18), British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/proceedings-1624-parl/feb-21 [accessed 18 June 2024].

. "21st February 1624", in Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons, (, 2015-18) . British History Online, accessed June 18, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/proceedings-1624-parl/feb-21.

. "21st February 1624", Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons, (, 2015-18). . British History Online. Web. 18 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/proceedings-1624-parl/feb-21.

Long title
21st February 1624

In this section



[CJ 671; f. 3v]

Sabbati, 210 Februarii, 210 Jacobi

The Speaker-elect coming into the House presently after one of the clock this afternoon, and sitting in his chair until about 3, at last a messenger came down from the Upper House, declaring his Majesty had sent for this House to come up and present their Speaker unto him.

Whereupon, Mr. Speaker-elect went up, accompanied with about 200 of the House.

The Speaker returning about an hour after with the Serjeant carrying the Mace before him, and being set in his chair and the House settled, according to the usual custom, there was read,

L. 1a. An act concerning probate of suggestions in cases of prohibition.

This was a bill, which had been read, committed and engrossed, the last convention in Parliament.

Which bill being read, without any motion made or other thing done (as the usual manner on that day has been), Mr. Speaker and the House arose and departed.

[House adjourned]


[f. 427]

Sabbati, 210 February, 210 Jacobi

The Speaker-elect coming into the House presently after one of the clock this afternoon, and sitting in his chair until about 3, at length a messenger came down declaring that his Majesty had sent for this House to come up and present their Speaker to him.

And thereupon, Mr. Speaker-elect went up accompanied with about 200 of the House.

About one hour after, the Speaker returned into the House of Commons with the Serjeant-at-Arms carrying the mace before him, and being set in his chair and the House settled, according to the usual custom there was read,

L. 1a. An act concerning probate of suggestions in cases of prohibition.

This bill had been read, committed and engrossed the last convention in Parliament.

Which bill being read, without any motion made or other thing done (as the usual manner on that day has been), Mr. Speaker and the House arose and departed.

[House adjourned]


[p. 144]

Saturni, 210 Februarii 1623

Le Roy in l'Upper Huise nous present notre Speaker qui fait excellent et honest religiouse speeche et omitte nihil. Le seigneur Keeper par comande del Roy fait response, done thanks et grante tout ove bonassurance.

Donque nous va al notre Huise et la le Clerke lie un bill pur probate de suggestions in prohibicions devant judges dassise et justices de peace. LE SPEAKER declare l'effecte et dit que en 1er lectio a quil null ore de parle; mes Sir Edward Wardour learnedly stand up et ascuns clamor sur luy de parler mes fuit dit que ne doit parler, et LE SPEAKER dit cest Huise adjourne luy mesme al Lune hora octava; et issint nous departe.


[f. 80v]

[21 February 1624]

[Parliament had been adjourned to the 21st] ... which day we presented Sir Thomas Crewe, Speaker, to his Majesty, and on Monday following, the 23rd, we began to sit.


[f. 2]

[21 February 1624]

[Parliament had been adjourned to the 21st] ... when we met and then went to the Upper House with the Speaker, where the King and the Lords were set, and then the SPEAKER begun a short speech extenuating his own worth and desired that it might please the King to command to proceed to a better choice for that service.

To which the Lord Keeper replied, by direction from the King, that the King much commended our choice [f. 2v] and said that, as Plato speaking before the Emperor against Orators did, as the Emperor said, show himself to be the best Orator, so the Speaker, by disabling himself, showed himself to be the ablest Speaker.

Then the SPEAKER, taking the place upon him, did speak in this manner. Since among so many goodly cedars it has pleased you to make choice of me, a low shrub, I make bold to call to remembrance the blessings we receive by your happy coming and reign over us, for as this kingdom's peace was much settled by the uniting the two roses, so much more happy by the union of the kingdoms; so that I may say, as one wittily said upon the decease of Queen Elizabeth of famous memory, soloccubuit nox nulla secuta est.

And I am now to desire and humbly entreat your Highness that all mistakes may be buried in oblivion which were in the two former Parliaments. And that since this assembly is for the good of the commonweal, that the acts made in the Parliament held 32 H. 8 called parliamentum doctum may be revived, which being limited to time are now expired, and likewise the acts at the Parliament made 39 Eliz. I called parliamentum pium (which he then particulated), and that the good bill of grace and other prepared the last Parliament against concealers and monopolies. And your gracious free pardon, according to that latitude and extent, that your noble heart shall enlarge it, [f. 3] which will neither impair your certain nor casual revenue, and yet much content your people. And that there might not be any nullities of Parliaments; and that your Majesty, as a most fit relief, will have recourse for supply unto subsidies, a thing usual and contentful to your people, rather than to benevolence, which is neither so contentful, nor so comfortable to your Highness. And that you would not grant the dispensation of your penal laws to any subject, which is in your hands as a sceptre [and] in theirs may prove a rod of iron.

That his Majesty, who has had good experience of his people's loyalty, would confide therein and not in any foreign help, which might prove, as the addition to Ajax his buckler, rather a weight to pull it down than any ways to strengthen it. And their instruments, the Jesuits and priests, who in Queen Elizabeth's time did creep into corners, do now upon a little connivance, like the frogs of Egypt, overspread the land and, like the grasshoppers, would devour it; whence he prayed that a strong east wind might blow out of this land of whom there is no fear to be had, for that God who protected his [sic] did protect Queen Elizabeth against all their conspiracies, so that they could not touch her little finger, and no doubt will as it has done him from that execrable plot of the Powder Treason. So that his Majesty, as David, shall depart in peace, leave the Prince, his son, to sit in his throne. And since they, [f. 3v] by deceitful treaties, have put the noble lady sometimes of Majesty, now of patience, out of her jointure, I may say, as Cato said of Carthage to the people of Rome, et hoc censeo et Carthaginem delendam, so he et Palatinam recuperendam, the rather for that Heidelberg was to us our asylum in our persecution in religion. And for the maintenance of the King therein, no doubt all his people would express their loving affections, Nom ecce quam bonum, Regem et populum convenire in unum. And since his Highness had planted Ireland and made it as his masterpiece, endowed churches out of his forfeiture, reformed abuses, and had performed all with so general a care, that he would not take up his time with further speech; as the Poet said to Augustus, naetura tempera mora.

He was to crave the privileges incident to the Parliament, that was protection of us, our goods, our servants; and access unto his Highness in cases of deep consideration, at his fit times; and freedom of speech, as is most necessary in cases of great weight, since there needs in dispute be diversity of opinion. And lastly, for all and himself, gracious interpretation of what should be spoken; and if anything shall be amiss, to be [illegible] by his free pardon.

[f. 3A] Then the Lord Keeper replied, after a long conference with the King. That for his own request for himself petitio tua debitur tibi, and for the rest he hoped the proceeding of this Parliament would be such [that] all misunderstanding [be] removed. That unto the parliamentum pium, which indeed was excellent, and the parliamentum doctum, there should be added by the perfecting of the good laws he mentioned and the pardon parliamentum munificentum and gratiosum; but of all laws by the Speaker remembered, the law of oblivion of all that passed the last Parliament was the best. For the Greeks, erecting a trophy for a remembrance of a triumph they had against the Lacedemonians, the wise men there complained of it that Graia contra Graiam erigeret monimentum unimicitiae.

And since God, in the first Parliament of the Trinity faciamus hominem, did produce an entity. That a nullity was contrary to the nature of Parliaments. And for subsidy, his Majesty did hold it the most comfortable and favourable, and that benevolence was only used upon a necessity; the body of the Parliament being of a slower motion, not able to make such a present supply, and were last taken upon provocation from without and imitation within, so as he hoped it was malevolentia with none. And for the Palatinate got from us by deceitful treaties, he was glad to see their care of therein to restore that noble lady. And now he might say of the Lower House, as it was said of [blank], quot cives tot sacerdotes and for their wisdom, and as it was first a chapel, so now. And [f. 3Av] he showed how the King did not spare to execute his laws against popish recusants but for an higher law, that is salus populi qua est suprema lex, and for the propagation of his own religion. And he wished as the Emperor [blank], who wished that omnes populares were reges, that they might know his heart. And he assured from the King that the children of the bondwoman should not be coheirs with the free. And he thanked us much for our resent and feeling of his children's injury, whose inheritance was taken from them by deceitful treaty; and that the restitution of them was not impossible, since the King was so strong by sea, wherewith an invincible navy, so strong by the King's care, and his servant in that place now a master of art, having served seven years. And much as the workman who built the temple of [blank] at another's cost, to have his name engraved in it though afar off. And for the privileges desired, his Majesty was pleased to grant them without all qualification or jealousy; for as it was well said of Cato in Rome, quid Cato sine libertate and Bursus quid libertas sine Catone, so of wisdom he prayed God to bless their proceedings, and ended.

Of these, SIR EDWARD COKE immediately acclaimed to the next Lords nunquam talis locuta est nobis.


[f. 94v]

[21 February 1624]

On the 21st day, the Speaker attended in the House until the King was come to the Upper House, and then the Speaker with the rest went, and the SPEAKER made a speech to the King to excuse himself and to crave the ancient privileges of the House with other good motions; to which my Lord Keeper made a particular answer to each part.

Then the King departed, and the Speaker returned to the House and read a short bill for prohibitions, and so adjourned the House until 23rd of February at 8 of the clock.


[f. 2]

Saturday, 210 Februarii 1623

The SPEAKER'S speech when the House presented him to the King, vide/

And the Lord Keeper's answer, vide/

An act concerning probate of suggestions in cases of prohibition. Prima lectio. Dormit Lords.


[p. 5]

[21 February 1624]

Friday they met not. On Saturday (having on the Thursday chosen Sir Thomas Crewe, Serjeant-at-Law, Speaker) they presented him to the King.


[f. 85v]

Saturday, xxi February 1623

[f. 88] These speeches were all the work of Saturday, so as after they were ended we returned to the Lower House and adjourned it until Monday following, being the 23rd of February in the morning ...


[f. 3]

February 210

The SPEAKER began with a short intimation of his election, his earnest desire to be excused, proceeding not of any unwillingness to public service but from the sense of his own weakness, which having first offered to the House of Commons and being refused by them, he did by an humble appeal present to his Majesty.

The Lord Keeper. That by his endeavour to excuse himself, he did declare there was nothing to be excused. The King approved the choice, and as a prosperous sign of their future proceedings did crown this first work with the parliamentary style le Roi le veut.

The SPEAKER, his submission to his Majesty's pleasure. Petition that he might by favour be sustained in the execution of that service from which he could not be excused. Gratulation of his Majesty's undoubted title, happy and peaceable access to the crown. Constancy of that happiness in his continued government, defence of religion and preservation from the malignant practices of those who are opposite to it. All which were shut up with a remembrance of our general duty to give God thanks for these mercies.

He observed the good laws of some former Parliaments standing in need to be revived or continued, for settling of inheritances, in that of 32 H. 8, for encouragement of pious works, in 39 Eliz., whereby it enjoyed the name of parliamentum pium, as the other did of parliamentum doctum. That divers offers of grace and other good provisions in preparation at the two last meetings which became abortive. And wished that now all jealousies and distractions might be removed, the memory of Parliament nullities might be buried, that by the passing of the good bills against monopolies, informers, concealers and others, and by the grant of a liberal pardon the unity between the King and the people might be declared to the world, and this Parliament styled felix, doctum et pium. He made a transient touch upon the praise of the common law, of monarchical government, especially that which is hereditary, but insisted more in the commendation of Parliaments as the fittest way for the King's supply. And in expressing the desires of the people in the execution of the laws by the restraint of priests and Jesuits, [f. 3v] that so the experimental blessings which those laws had produced in the happy reign of the late Queen and might be continued in the long preservation of his Majesty and hopeful succession of the Prince. His own prayers that the distressed Princess might be restored with her husband and royal children to their patrimony. Commended the strength of this kingdom, that it was outwardly fortified with the ocean, as with a wall of brass, and inwardly with unity in the true religion; yet that the King's care in government was not confined within these walls but extended into Ireland by providing for the setting forth of religion, reforming the courts of justice, banishing disturbers of peace, endowing of churches with his own revenue, of all which himself had lately been an eye witness in his employment there. Concluded with the accustomed suit for the privileges of the House and pardon of his own errors.

The Lord Keeper, by the King's direction. After an elegant preface declaring the King's approbation of that which was spoken, made a distribution of it into apt heads, to every one of which he applied an answer.

1. That the petition concerning himself was granted with assurance of favour.

2. His Majesty's acknowledgement of all those blessings which the Speaker had remembered and his thankfulness for them.

3. Promise of continuance to those good laws which stood in need of it, and of like to such other as should be prepared, and of a bountiful pardon provided that we gave them a quick dispatch.

4. That "parliament-nullity" was a word of contradiction, like "ecclesia Catholica Romana". Parliaments naturally produce entities. The first Parliament of the blessed trinity was faciamus hominem. Other laws were good but in this case lex oblivionis was the best. And therefore he wished these abortions might never more be remembered.

5. The common law was approved by his Majesty as fit for the climate and he would never allow any project against it.

6. That the ordinary way of supply by subsidies was most comfortable to the King and favourable to the people. Benevolences were an extraordinary help in extremity, to which course his Majesty was hardly drawn and by intolerable provocation, and that which was so raised was bestowed upon that [in]imitable paragon once of majesty now of patience.

7. His Majesty's thanks for the care which the Commons had ever expressed in matters of religion; he esteemed no dignity or other jewel like it. If any scandal grew from his proceedings, it was taken, not given. He never slacked the law but for a greater law, salus reipublicae. The laws concerned religion, and for the propagation of religion were a whole convocation, but if the bondwoman grew insolent, she must be cast out and should never inherit with the son of the freewoman.

[f. 4] 8. Thanks for the grief expressed for the usurpation of the Princess's jointure and the inheritance of her children. That a good cause makes good soldiers, and the recovery of it is not impossible. The King had sufficiently expressed his affections both to his people and to the world.

9. His Majesty's great care for the navy, which were the wooden walls of this kingdom, and the great honour due to the Lord Admiral for his service.

10. That it may be said of the King as it was said of Trajan, that like the sun his beams were not shut up in one place, but by his good laws and government he had shined upon Ireland. And though that kingdom add little to his revenue, yet it did add much to his glory.

Lastly, that his Majesty granted whatsoever liberties, privileges, freedom of speech or acts that any other Parliament had ever enjoyed. And so concluded out of Valerius Maximus: Quid Cato sine libertate? Quid libertas sine Catone? What is wisdom without liberty to show it? What is liberty without wisdom to use it?


[f. 5v]

21 February

SPEAKER'S 1st speech to the King.


[f. 10]

February 150 [sic], 1623

The Speaker, Serjeant[-at-Law, Sir] THOMAS CREWE, being presented to his Majesty in the Upper House by the Lower House of Parliament, spoke thus.

[f. 57] February 21st, Saturday

Friday the 20th of February gave, as it were, break to their proceedings, but on Saturday the 21st of February they fell to it roundly and so continued from that day forwards. For in the afternoon they presented Serjeant[-at-Law, Sir] Thomas Crewe (for his elder brother, Sir Ranulphe Crewe, knight, was Serjeant[-at-Law] likewise) to his Majesty in the Upper House, after whose speech the Lord Keeper [f. 57v] returned many gracious promises in his Majesty's name unto the House, for after the Speaker had done his Lordship said he was to answer him from the King in the words of Ahasherorth to Esther quae est petitie tua et dabitur tibi.

At the return from the Upper to the Lower House, there was only one bill read concerning probates to be taken for prohibitions before the judges of assizes in their several circuits without troubling their parties interested therein to attend the proofs in the courts from whence they issued.