Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons. Originally published by British History Online, 2015-18.
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THURSDAY, 26 FEBRUARY 1624
I. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, HC/CL/JO/1/12
[CJ 674; f. 11]
Jovis, 260 Februarii, 210 Jacobi
SIR GILBERT GERARD elects to serve for Middlesex.
L. 1a. An act concerning the sale of certain lands, sold by Sir Edward Herne unto Bevil Molesworth, esqr., and enabling the said Sir Edward Herne to make sale of other lands for payment of his debts and settling of certain manors, salt marshes and other lands, upon Robert Herne and Edward Herne, sons of the said Sir Edward, in recompense of the same.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS moves from the committee for courts of justice, for power, first, to send for witnesses; secondly, counsel to be heard, or assigned, on either part, as shall be required; thirdly, to send for any records that shall be useful.
Next, that pains taken last convention about the excessive fees and abuses in the Exchequer.
This committee to examine the particular abuses in fees, or otherwise, in the Exchequer, Monday next, two of the clock, so every Monday, in the Exchequer Chamber. And to have like power for sending for records, witnesses and persons, as before given the grand committee.
SIR JOHN JEPHSON. To consult about some secure course while we treating of this business about the papists. Moves, a guard.
SIR EDWARD CECIL, accordant.
CHANCELLOR EXCHEQUER, contra.
SIR ROBERT MANSELL, pro.
MR. [RICHARD] KNIGHTLEY, pro, and that a care may be had for the country, too.
MR. [JOHN] DRAKE. A kinsman of his perverted by Jesuits. A case of pistols, coat of mail and an headpiece, by direction from them, provided.
SIR THOMAS JERMYN, contra to the first motion.
[f. 11v] L. 1a. An act for making the estates of attainted persons liable to their debts.
L. 1a. An act for the ease in the obtaining of licences of alienation and in the pleading of alienations with licence, or of pardons of alienations without licence, in the Court of Exchequer, and elsewhere.
L. 1a. An act for passing the accounts of sheriffs, escheators, collectors of subsidies, tenths, fifteenths and aids, without charge or delay.
L. 2a. An act for the better repressing of drunkenness and restraining the inordinate haunting of inns, alehouses and other victualing-houses.
Friday next, 2 of the clock in the afternoon, Court of Wards.
SIR GEORGE GORING moves for stay of the message yesterday agreed to be sent to the Lords.
L. 2a. An act for the ease of the subjects concerning informations upon penal laws.
DR. [BARNABY] GOOCH. Both universities prejudiced by this bill, who have, by their charters, power to hold plea of informations.
SIR EDWARD COKE. 8 Ed. I. Civitas Cantabrig. 13 Eliz., all the charters to both the universities confirmed, and every particular clause in every of them established. That this bill touches neither of the universities, because no common informer can ground any information before the chancellor, etc.
Upon question, not to be committed.
Upon a second question, to be engrossed.
[f. 12] L. 2a. An act concerning monopolies and dispensation with penal laws, and forfeitures thereof.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE. That this a law of declaration. To have it declared what is a monopoly.
|Sir Edward Coke||Mr. Solicitor|
|Mr. [John] Glanville||Mr. Recorder|
|Mr. [John] Pym||Sir Francis Fane|
|Sir Walter Pye||Sir Edwin Sandys|
|Attorney of the Duchy||Sir Nathaniel Rich|
|Sir Francis Barrington|
And all that will come to have voices. Friday next, Court of Wards, at two of the clock.
II. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, HC/CL/JO/1/13
[CJ 719; f. 8v]
Jovis, 26 Februarii
SIR GILBERT GERARD elects to serve for Middlesex.
L. 1a. An act for confirming the sale of certain lands sold by Sir Edward Herne unto Bevil Molesworth, Esquire, and enabling the said Sir Edward Herne to make sale of other lands for the payment of his debts and settling of certain manors, salt-marshes and other lands upon Robert Herne and Edward Herne, sons of the said Sir Edward Herne, in recompense of the same.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS reports from the committee for courts of justice. Himself sat in the chair. Some petitions exhibited. Their power somewhat defective. The committee's desire to have their power enlarged to send for witnesses, hear counsel and send for records.
Ordered, that this committee for courts of justice shall have power to send for all witnesses that may further the employment of that service; that they shall have power to hear counsel and to have the sight of all records. Power also to assign counsel.
[f. 9] This committee to examine the particular abuses in fees, or otherwise, in the Exchequer, Monday next, 2 o'clock, and so every Monday, Exchequer Chamber. This committee also to have power to send for any, and to see, records. No Exchequer-men to be of the committee.
SIR JOHN JEPHSON said yesterday in the House, that the papists have cause to be desperate. To consult securely; to send friendly; to desire my Lord Mayor to give send [sic] us 200 men to guard our persons whiles [sic] we treat of these weighty matters.
SIR EDWARD CECIL. [Blank]
CHANCELLOR DUCHY. Probable fears affect wise men; not possible.
MR. [RICHARD] KNIGHTLEY. To have all the knights of shire send down to their several counties and return the number of papists to the King.
MR. [JOHN] DRAKE. A young gentleman of their country sent to the Inns of Court and seduced by the papists. Afterwards, being sent for home by his friends and wrought to his own religion, found in his trunk a coat of mail, a headpiece and a case of pistols. Had this direction given him by them to prepare himself.
SIR THOMAS JERMYN. To have this motion cease. To run the same fortune with the Lords.
L. 1a. An act for the ease in the obtaining of licences of alienation and in the pleading of alienations with licence, or of pardons of alienations without licence, in the Court of Exchequer, or elsewhere.
L. 1a. An act for making the estates of attainted persons liable to the payment of their due and just debts.
L. 1a. An act for passing of accounts for sheriffs, escheators, collectors of subsidies, tenths, fifteens and aids, without charge or delay.
L. 2a. An act for the better repressing of drunkenness and restraining the inordinate haunting of inns, alehouses and other tippling-houses.
[f. 9v] MR. [WILLIAM] CORYTON. To have some additions to the bill to prevent tippling in houses near alehouses.
Court of Wards, tomorrow afternoon, 2 o'clock.
Bill of usury to be prepared.
MR. SECRETARY CALVERT desires to be excused from the report until some other time. A business of great length. Hope it will be prepared against tomorrow.
SIR GEORGE GORING. To have the message to the Lords, agreed yesterday to be sent today, put off until some other time.
L. 2a. An act for the ease of the subjects concerning informations upon penal laws.
DOCTOR [BARNABY] GOOCH. This bill takes away the privilege of the charters of both universities. To have a proviso for it. [Blank] 8 Henrici primi, Civitas Cantabrigiae.
[f. 10] Upon question, not to be committed.
Ordered to be engrossed.
L. 2a. An act concerning monopolies, and dispensation with penal laws and the forfeitures thereof.
MR. [JOHN] PYM. To have it committed.
|Sir Edward Coke||Mr. Recorder|
|Mr. [John] Glanville||Mr. [John] Pym|
|Mr. Solicitor||Sir Francis Fane|
|Sir Edwin Sandys||Sir Nathaniel Rich|
|Sir Walter Pye|
All that will come to have voice. Tomorrow afternoon, Court of Wards, 2 o'clock.
III. DIARY OF JOHN HAWARDE, WILTSHIRE AND SWINDON ARCHIVES, 9/34/2
Jovis, 26 Februarii 1623
1. L. Bill pur confirmacion de sale de ter[r]es par [Sir] Edward Herne et dinabler aux de vendre autre ter[r]es pur paiments de detts. Passe le darrein meeting.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS (in chaire pur grevance de courts de justice):
Subcommittee pur veiwe de les fees del exchequer.
Issint order, chescun Monday in [ex]checquer chamber.
[p. 154] 1. L. Bill e[?a]sie obteynant pur license et pledante licenses d'alienaction.
Communie navigium omnibus solacium.
1. L. Bill pur fesant estates de persons attaint de tresons ou felonie liable al paiment de lour detts.
1. L. Bill pur passant accounts par vicitmes.
2. L. Bill envers dronkenness.
Sur question, committe: tomorrow in the afternoon in the [Court of] Wards.
SIR GEORGE GORING. [Blank]
2. L. Bill pur ease del subjectes in pleddinge d'actions sur penall leyes. Passe ambideux Huises.
Sur 2 times questions: nemy committe; sur question: nemy committe; sur question: deste ingros.
SIR EDWARD COKE. 8 H. 4 le Roy ne poet par charter alter le common leye. 13 Eliz. fait le charter bon.
2. L. Bill pur [sic] verse monopolies et dispensation ove penall leyes.
Sur question, committe: tomorrow in [Court of] Wards.
IV. DIARY OF JOHN HOLLES, BL, HARL. MS 6,383
[26 February 1624]
The committee for grievances and privileges desired power to send for witnesses, to search for records in courts of justice, that the parties on both sides may have counsel and the committee power to hear them, which was accordingly ordered.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS speaking of the last session called it a Parliament, for so said he I may be bold to call it.
A committee for reforming the fees and abuses of the Exchequer.
Thursday, 26th of February [sic]
SIR JOHN JEPHSON. To second what was said yesterday, that papists would grow desperate being fall[en] from so great hopes, moved to send to the Mayor for 200 trained men to guard the Parliament, saying he dare be one [f. 83v] of the 200 to cut all their throats of both Houses and seize upon the King and Prince.
SIR EDWARD CECIL seconded this, saying it was proper to men of their profession to fear, as better knowing what to fear.
SIR HUMPHREY MAY dissented, saying probable fears should only move wise men, not possible, for a stone might fall on his head, or he break his neck out of his coach as went home, and such like.
SIR ROBERT MANSELL accused the gentleman that spoke last (as he called May, for the[y] never name none but at committees) of great want of judgement for not fearing what desperate papists might attempt, saying fear was only proper to men of judgement, especially soldiers; concluding, he would have had [Sir John] Jephson only propounded his motion without telling his fear and cause thereof, for that opened the enemies' eyes and gave him courage to attempt what peradventure he never thought of, saying in such things one must go with an implicit faith.
MR. [JOHN] DRAKE. A friend of his perverted by the papists, and afterwards with much travail reconverted, had provided in his trunk by the papists' directions a shirt of mail, headpiece, case of pistols.
An act for repressing drunkenness, proved by confession or one witness that shall accuse any to have been idly tippling in tavern or alehouse, the person so convicted for the first offence shall pay 5s., for the next be bound to the good behaviour.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. It is not the fashion of this House to make a law one way and leave it to the discretion of the justice of peace to interpret it another.
MR. [JOHN] GUY moved to have the trade of usury brought down.
SIR GEORGE GORING moved respite of the papists' banishing the town until resolution were taken of the Spanish business, wishing a return of equal courtesy to the King of Spain, who, as he manned our ships, so should we reserve the papists to man Padre Maestro out of town.
[f. 86] Friday, February 27 [sic]
[Afternoon, committee for trade]
Sir Edwin Sandys. 3 causes of decay of trade:
- 1. Overburdening of trade.
- 2. Restraint thereof into few hands.
- 3. When the importation of goods is greater than the exportation.
V. DIARY OF SIR THOMAS JERVOISE, HAMPSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, 44M69/F4/20/1
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS'S motion that the power of the committee should be enlarged further. The said com[mittee] should have power to send for witnesses or view records, of [sic] hear counsel, the better to find out the truth.
It is ordered as was desired by Sir Robert Phelips.
A committee ap[p]ointed to examine the fees of the Court of the Exchequer. This committee to meet Monday next, and so every Monday after in the Exchequer Chamber.
A[n] act for easy obtaining of licences of alienation.
Tomorrow morning [sic] in the Court of Wards, the committee for the bill against drunkenness.
An act for easing the subject for informations upon penal laws.
VI. DIARY OF JOHN LOWTHER, CUMBRIA ARCHIVE CENTRE, CARLISLE, DLONS/L/2/1
[26 February 1624]
A subcommittee for the Exchequer fees and corruption to be heard Mondays, 2 of the clock. Like power as the general [committee]: to have counsel and assigned to call for witnesses for record.
SIR JOHN JEPHSON expressed much fear, that if a papist in the thought, he could [be] one of 200 to cut all throats of all; and the papists dare do more than any can suppose, that though the progress would be small, what durst be done if it were done. Therefore prays a guard of 200 from the L[ord] Mayor.
CHANCELLOR DUCHY. Need not fear possible but probable.
SIR ROBERT MANSELL. Assent all will; soldiers fear naturally. Semble indiscreet de instruct le enemy.
The bill for fees to lease 5s. for every £1 to be excluded and licences limited.
The bill to have relief for the attainted's debt out of his lands.
Nota: not to move upon the first reading, otherwise against the generality of the bill for fees for sheriffs, etc. The words are ordinary and moderate. Hilary 8 H. 4: that king, by charter, cannot grant commissions if plea to a civil lawyer but by the common law. [f. 15] But 13 Eliz. gave power to hear as ruled, he being attorney for the University of Cambridge.
The bill for trials in the proper county before justices of peace to be engrossed.
VII. DIARY OF SIR NATHANIEL RICH, BL, ADD. MS 46,191
Thursday, 4th day of Parliament
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS moves that the committee for courts of justice might have power to send for witnesses; secondly, to hear counsel of either side; thirdly, to send for the sight of records.
Also, that whereas MR. [JOHN] WYLDE had moved to have a committee to examine the officers of the Exchequer's fees and officers, which was referred to the grand committee to name a subcommittee, the grand committee desires the House to appoint a special committee.
SIR JOHN JEPHSON. The papists have cause to be desperate. They will grow mad. If he were a papist, he would be one of the 200 that would cut all our throats and those of the Upper House, and to save whom they list. Objection: this a priori progress. Solution: if they should possess the King and Prince, they may be safe. Moves to send to my Lord Mayor to send 200 persons to guard our persons interchangeably while we sit here.
SIR EDWARD CECIL. If all the House be soldiers, they will sooner take alarm than ignorants, for no such security but ignorance. All old fortifications not worth a rush because ways found out. The Ambassador of Spain has taken alarm. General [Sir John] Norreys being asked in 88 what we should do if the Spaniards were landed, he said, being valiant; he would do tell his opinion if any man were afraid.
CHANCELLOR DUCHY. Probable fears, possible fears, moves not.
SIR ROBERT MANSELL differs from all these motions. Error in the point of judgement of him that spoke last. For a soldier, the more judicious, the more subject to fear. He is guilty of Sir John Jephson's fear. Moves that there may be a guard.
MR. [RICHARD] KNIGHTLEY fears above all their fears, because the papists do brag of their numbers. The strength of union in a prepared conspiracy will prevail above numbers. Our English fugitives do belie their cause and power. That the knights of the shire may send up the numbers of the papists in each county.
[f. 17] MR. [JOHN] DRAKE. The papists they provide: a neighbour of his, a young gentleman of good friends in Inns of Court, perverted; being so converted, he was provided with arms.
SIR THOMAS JERMYN. These worthy, valiant gentlemen do express their affections rather than their judgements. For it concerns the Lords more than us. He does not fear them so much now as a year or 2 ago. We are the state, they the faction.
Nothing done in this discourse but presently a bill read.
Bill of Exchequer.
Bill to make the estates of attainted person liable to payment of their debts. First read.
Bill for easing passing of sheriffs' accounts. First read.
Bill against drunkenness and haunting of alehouses, inns, etc. 2nd read.
MR. [WILLIAM] CORYTON. To add in any other house to send for drink out of the alehouses. And that if this be on the Sabbath day, then to be bound to the good behaviour.
SIR ROBERT MORE. The manner of convictions hard: for a drunken man to accuse others.
This bill committed.
MR. SECRETARY [CALVERT]. Excuses that the great report is not yet made.
Bill of informers. Secondly read.
DR. [BARNABY] GOOCH. The universities have cognizance of those matter contained in the bill, which by this bill is taken away and put into the justice of the county.
MR. [FRANCIS] BRAKIN challenges this privilege for the town, and this proper to the common law and not to the spiritual, by which they proceed.
MR. SECRETARY [CALVERT] moves/
SIR EDWARD COKE. Ric. I civitas cantabrigia: for what has the university to do with trial of civil actions by the civil law? Hilary 8 H. 4: in the treasury, the king, by his charter, cannot alter the common law. The king may erect a new court to judge by the common law. 13 Eliz: an act to confirm all charters to the universities. This was not good. And that enacts all the clauses of those charters to be good and so it is adjudged to be good. [f. 18] This bill touches neither of the universities because the bill restrains informations, which may be made only before justices of assize, etc. But an informer may not inform of anything done by the/
Ordered. This bill to be engrossed without commitment.
Bill against monopolies. Secondly read.
VIII. ANONYMOUS DIARY, KENNETH SPENCER RESEARCH LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS, MS E237
[This day] was spent most in reading of bills.
There was [sic] motions made to have a guard of 200 men to attend at Westminster in respect of the papists, but not approved of.
There was a motion to forebear sending to the Lords to join with us to petition the King [against recusants] until we had heard the report from the Duke, and sent the King our advice upon it, lest things standing now as the[y] did, and the treaty for the marriage; yet continuing it might not have the good success we desired, which was approved.
IX. DIARY OF EDWARD NICHOLAS, TNA, SP 14/166
Thursday, 260 Februarii 1623
An act for confirming of the sale of certain lands by Sir Edward Herne, knt., to Mr. Bevil Molesworth, r. p., and for the sale of other lands for the payments of his debts.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. According to the order of the House, the committee for the examination of the abuses of courts of justice sat here yesterday, when he was placed in the chair. That they found the power of the committee was defective. First, therefore, it desires to have power to send for witnesses to prove what should be complained of; second, that the parties that shall desire it may have counsel; third, that the committee might have power to send upon occasion to view and have any records or other writings out of any court.
And that MR. [JOHN] WYLDE said then that the abuses in business in the Exchequer were nothing amended since the last Parliament, and the committee desires that the House will appoint a particular committee for the examination of the fees and abuses in the Exchequer.
It is ordered that this committee shall have power to send for witnesses, and that there shall be allowed or assigned counsel to either party that shall desire it, and the committee shall have any records or other writings out of any court.
A particular committee is also appointed to examine the abuses and fees of the Exchequer, to sit every Monday in the Exchequer Chamber, and that it shall have like power to send for person and records or writings as the other committee has.
[f. 23v] SIR JOHN JEPHSON says that if he were a papist, he would be one of the 200 should cut the throats of the members of both the Houses and possess himself of the King, Prince, and if they did so, 2,000 men could do any hurt to these 200 papists. He would have a message sent to the Lord Mayor to have a guard for our persons.
SIR EDWARD CECIL says that ignorance is the cause of security, and there is none sooner takes an alarm than a soldier. That he heard the Spanish ambassador has notice of all our proceedings and taken the alarm at it. He hears that some say we have begun too soon to do something against the papists, but he says we have now done nothing herein but what has been done in former times.
SIR ROBERT HARLEY. He hopes none will take fire at these motions, which he thinks proceed from a zealous fear and care in them that moved. If the message be prepared by the committee for the Lords, he would speak to it.
CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY would not have the Spanish think that we here esteem so much of the number, or the persons, of the papists as that we should here desire a guard of our person.
SIR ROBERT MANSELL differs from the opinion of all those that have spoken of this business. That fear is an inseparable thing from to a soldier; that he feared until he heard the voice of God from an earthly king; that he disliked Sir John Jephson should particularise how the ill-affected might wrong us, for it cannot be kept secret here. He discommended the Chancellor of the Duchy's security [f. 24] caused through ignorance, and would have a guard for us until the papists be removed from this town.
MR. [RICHARD] KNIGHTLEY says he has heard active papists speak of their number, and therefore his fear is greater than any man's else, and he would have a care taken as well of the papists in the country as those here about London.
MR. [JOHN] DRAKE says that a kinsman of his, being at the Inns of Court, was perverted there by the papists and being by his friends drawn home from the papists here, there was found in his trunk a coat of mail and a headpiece, which he (being since converted again to our religion) confessed that he was no sooner a papist but was persuaded to provide himself of those arms.
SIR THOMAS JERMYN desires that we would not apprehend more fear than the Lords, they being fewer in number and greater in estates than we, and that therefore this motion may cease.
Hereupon there was nothing done nor ordered concerning these motions but we proceeded to the reading of this bill following.
An act for the easy obtaining of licences of alienation and the pleading of alienations with licence, or the pardon of alienations without licence, in the Exchequer or elsewhere. 2. L. Le Roy s'avisera.
An act for the making the estates of attainted person liable to the payment of their just and due debts. Dormit Lords.
[f. 24v] An act for the passing of the accounts of sheriffs, escheators, collectors of subsidies, tenths, fifteenths.
An act for the better repressing of drunkenness, and restraining the inordinate haunting of inns, alehouses and tippling-houses. This bill is committed though be [sic] passed both Houses the last Parliament. r. p.
SIR GEORGE GORING would have us defer the message to the Lords for joining with us in petition against the papists, for he thinks our hasting of it may cross our desires to do more effectual businesses against them. He would have us first have a report and make some resolutions on what we heard from the Prince and Buckingham, and he doubts not but we shall have time enough to meet with the papists. He says that the Spaniard has manned our ships in Spain, and he would have us defer the sending away of the papists here until Pardre, who is coming to be ambassador here, arrive, and that then we may send our papists to guard him out of this land.
It is ordered that this message, which the committee has provided to be carried to the Lords, concerning a petition against papists, shall not yet be reported nor sent to the Lords until a few days be passed.
The report of the Prince's and Buckingham's relation is ordered to be delayed until tomorrow and then to be here reported, and this was at the motion of MR. [f. 25] SECRETARY CALVERT, who said the business is so large as that those who are to report it cannot do it in so short a time.
An act for the ease of the subject concerning informations upon penal statutes. 2. L. This bill passed both Houses the last meeting in Parliament. r. p.
DR. [BARNABY] GOOCH desires a proviso for the saving the jurisdiction and privileges of the universities.
SIR EDWARD COKE. In the record of 8 R. 1, it appears that Cambridge was a city. In Hil[ary]. 8 of H. 4 coram rege, if the King grant cognizance of things to be determined by the civil law only by charter, this grant is void because it is against the common law. That this bill does not take anything away from either of the universities' jurisdictions, for this takes notice only of such things as may be complained of by common informers and heard before the justices of assize, justices of nisi prius or justices of oyer and terminer, and justices of the peace.
DR. [RICHARD] ZOUCHE moves to have a proviso for the Cinque Ports.
It is alleged that this is the same bill that passed both Houses and not the original bill that was preferred here, and that it does not reach to prejudice the Cinque Ports.
This bill is, by question, ordered to be engrossed.
An act concerning monopolies and dispensations with penal laws and the forfeitures thereof. 2. L. r. p.
MR. [JOHN] PYM says that this bill passed this House the last time, but not that of the Lords. He can speak against it, but shall better do it at a committee.
[f. 25v] MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE. That heretofore, when a man would speak against a patent of monopoly, it must be before a council table and there have a perpetual imparlance and could not have the trial of it by the common law, and this was the cause of the preferring of this bill. That this bill does not fully meet with all inconveniences.
It is committed and all that will come are to have voice.
Thursday, committee, in the afternoon, for trade, 260 Februarii.
Sir Edwin Sandys in the chair.
Mr. [John] Delbridge. That there is a patent prohibiting all ships from going to New England to fish, upon pain of loss of ships and goods, unless they be of the patentees; and in Barnstable there was this last year £200 paid to the patentees for licences to go a fishing to New England.
Mr. Comptroller Suckling. That the king granted a commission to examine the decays of trade and that shall be brought higher the next meeting of this committee. That until trade be balanced, we shall not remedy trade, and the way to balance trade is to preserve wool and money in the kingdom. That wool goes forth in such abundance as that decays trade, and in the north they have a custom to send wool into Scotland, and from Scotland it is an ordinary trade to transport that wool into the Low Countries. And wool is usually carried out of Sussex more than any other merchandises, in so much as in Dieppe and other parts [f. 26] of France, there is more English wool employed in the making of cloth and other manufacturers of wool than there is of that country's wool, albeit they have their reasonable stores of French wools.
Sir Edwin Sandys would that we consider 2 heads:
- 1. That we hold ourselves to the general heads, which are the general causes of the decay of trade, then that we proceed to the remedy of these diseases in trade.
- 2. That we descend on the particular causes.
Sir John Eliot would have us consider, first, that which concerns monopolies, for it cannot be that the great business of trade can be discharged by a few, and usually those men's appetites that engross all trade into their hands exceed the strength of their stomachs to digest it well and that makes them surfeit, and us suffer. Second, the number of pirates are also a decay of trade and shipping. Third, the impositions that are laid on trade, and this is the greatest decay of trade. And it does also lessen the King's customs. He leaves the remedy to be discussed of by those of more experience.
Mr. [William] Nyell. Every man knows there is a decay of trade. He would therefore that we consider the causes of the decay of trades. The principal cause of the decay of trade is the imprisonment of it, and this is an old disease, but not as long neither as it is thought. Restraint of trade was not known until 6 Eliz. and then not put in practice, for until then there was [f. 26v] never any restraint of trading beyond the seas. The merchants beyond sea made, at first, an order that every merchant, at his first coming beyond sea for his hanse, should pay 6s. 8d., and after their hanse was risen to £20, and after to £40, which at first was employed toward the maintenance of the shrine of St. Thomas Becket; but yet there was never any charter that gave the Merchants Adventurers any liberty to lay any impositions on any trade until afterwards.
That the Londoners say that the interlopers are the decay of trade, and they call such interlopers as are not of their company, and they say also the double-traders that trade here in this country and also beyond the seas are also decayers of trade, and generally they say the want of government in trade is the decay of trade. The truth of this is seen by comparing these their reasons with the liberties of trade, which is used by the Flemings, who have no weals of wool, timber, corn, tin, etc., and yet they trade and grow rich by it and trade for the most with our commodities; and they serve Spain and France with deal and masts, and so do they by trading from one kingdom to another and carrying the commodities from one place and kingdom to another.
And the principal cause of decay of the price of wool is that there are no buyers, and the Merchant Adventurers are the cause by their [f. 27] not buying of cloths and restraining of others from trading and transporting of the cloth. He desires that the whole House may debate hereof at large.
Mr. [Thomas] Sherwill. That the 2 main causes of the decay of trade are the restraint of trading and the impositions laid on trade. He desires that there may be notice given in the House that everyone may provide to speak to these 2 particulars and that some resolution may be thereon given without delay.
Sir Thomas Estcourt would have a care taken that wool might not be transported. He offered papers declaring the causes of the decay of trade.
Mr. [Robert] Snelling offers the heads of reasons of the decay of trade:
- 1. The companies said the interlopers.
- 2. The exportations of the East India Company, which brought not home any commodities.
- 3. The importations by strangers.
- 4. Not weaving of cloth in the kingdom.
- 5. The falsification of our drapery.
- 6. The exportation of Irish and Scottish wools.
- 7. The exportation of wools as wool, fullers earth.
- 8. The disproportion of the standard.
- 9. The importation of bulks in strangers' bottoms.
- [f. 27v] 10. The impositions, so as 30s. is laid upon 4 score pound worth of wool or cloth.
- 11. The great stock put into the East India Company.
- 12. Commissions and protections of bankrupts.
- 13. Monopolies.
- 14. The new drapery.
- 15. The Staplers, who raise the price of wool by pre-emption.
These reasons were all delivered the last Parliament by several companies and countries.
Mr. Christopher Brooke says that the custom of exportation is less by £200,000 per annum than the importation, and therefore it must needs be that our money is exported for the commodities imported.
Sir Edwin Sandys. 3 principal causes of the decay of trade, which he would have us consider:
- 1. The overburdening of trade.
- 2. The monopolizing of trade or restraining of trade.
- 3. The want of money, which is by transporting of our coin and the importation, which so much exceed the exportation.
This committee desires that we may, by order of the House, have another day also added to consider of this great business of trade.
[f. 28] It is ordered by this committee, that we first consider of the restraint of trade as being one of the principal general heads of the decay of trade.
Concerning the restraint of trade.
Mr. [Martin] Bond. That there are 1,500 Merchant Adventurers that trade not at all and if there were good to be done by the liberties of trading, they would not give over to trade.
Mr. [Thomas] Sherwill says that the Merchant Adventurers have sent over such store of broad cloth as they have clogged them; that there is another kind of cloth that they have in Devonshire, which they could vent if they might, and when they have, by stealth, vented of them, they have gained by them and had good markets and would, when they come home, send more over it they were not restraine[d].
It is ordered that there shall/
X. DIARY OF SIR WILLIAM SPRING, HOUGHTON LIBRARY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MS ENG. 980
Thursday, the 26th of February
A private bill was read the first time (that had been engrossed the last Parliament) to enable Sir Edward Herne to sell land and to confirm land already sold.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS reports the proceedings of the committee for corruption in courts of justice, and demands further authority of the House to send for witness to inform; secondly, that counsel may mutually be allowed both parties; thirdly, that they may have view of all records of any court, and that a special committee might be appointed for the abuses of the Exchequer or that no [Ex]chequer man may be of the committee.
All this was ordered so.
SIR JOHN JEPHSON moves that in regard of the desperate attempts of the papists, which they were like to enterprise, and the easiness of the cutting all our throats if but some of them should attempt to set upon us in the House with weapons and armour, and so seize the person of the Prince and murder the Lords and Commons, they thought good that therefore the Lord Mayor might be commanded to guard the House with a watch of 200 men.
The CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY would not, by any means, have the papists think we feared them or to give the King of Spain content by any such rumour that we feared his faction, but that rather we held them both contemptible, saying that all probable fears should move wise men but all possible fears should not.
[p. 31] SIR ROBERT MANSELL says fear is proper to judgement and thinks the motion of a guard necessary, but not to have the particulars so plainly discovered.
MR. [RICHARD] KNIGHTLEY shows the House the danger of active recusants and that their boasting of their companies is common, and moves that order may be taken with them as well in the country as this town.
MR. [JOHN] DRAKE informs that a kinsman of his was perverted and instantly was advised to furnish himself with a case of pistols and a coat of mail.
SIR THOMAS JERMYN moves to suppress this fear, and the speech of it, and says that 2 years since, they were to be feared for their increase, more than now for their power. They had, God be thanked, received much water into their wine, and that they are but the faction now and we the state, and that we should not fear them, and that if it should fall out to be commune naufragium, he could be content to suffer in it, and it would advantage them little. Wished rather to expect this motion from the Lords, who would be as careful of themselves as we should have cause to be.
An act read for the pleading of licence of alienation.
An act for to make the estates of attainted persons to be liable to their debts for the payment of them being due.
An act for passing of sheriffs' accounts and collectors for subsidies without charge or delay.
The bill of drunkenness was read again.
SIR ROBERT MORE moves a difficulty in the penning the bill, that whereas the testimony of one man is sufficient to accuse anyone, what if a drunkard do accuse 10 others, being drunk, the justice may punish them for his only testimony.
[p. 32] The bill is committed unto Friday next at 2 of the clock in the Court of Wards.
An act for the restraint of informations upon penal laws (to certain rules), etc.
DR. [BARNABY] GOOCH excepts against it as being prejudicial to the universities and desires to have them excepted.
SIR GEORGE CALVERT does the same for Oxford.
MR. [FRANCIS] BRAKIN did urge that the proceeding on penal laws did only belong to the town of Cambridge.
SIR EDWARD COKE says that the common law cannot be changed by charter, and by that rule universities cannot have the privilege of judgement and benefit of penal laws; but yet he says the charters of the university, being confirmed by statutes, as they were in 33 Eliz., this make them good.
An act was read against monopolies and dispensation of penal laws.
MR. [JOHN] PYM moves to have this act committed for further advice and not to be so precious of time as to lose all the time and intendments, too, with unadvised haste. That some that, with good deliberation, can and would alter this bill are loath to speak in so great an assembly and suddenly.
It is committed and all that will come to have voice at the committee.
[Afternoon, committee of privileges]
There was a committee this afternoon of privileges, where complaint was made of the return of the knights for Norfolk, Sir Thomas Holland and Sir John Corbet, baronet. The parties prosecute for Sir Robert Gawdy and Sir Roger Townshend, baronet.
XI. DIARY OF SIR THOMAS HOLLAND, BODL., TANNER MS 392
26 February, Thursday
A bill for Sir Edward Herne to sell land.
It is ordered that the committee for the privileges [sic] shall have power to send for witnesses; next, secondly, to hear counsel of both sides; thirdly, to send for records.
A committee is ap[p]ointed to examine the abuses of the Exchequer, of the fees and to assign counsel to either side, on Monday, [Ex]chequer [Chamber], [f. 3v] and no [Ex]chequer-men to be of the committee.
[SIR JOHN] JEPHSON moves for 200 men be appointed by the Lord Mayor to guard the House.
[SIR EDWARD] CECIL relates that we have been too early to move a conference with the Lords. The ambassadors have taken an alarm of what we have done. We cannot be too weary.
SIR ROBERT HARLEY. [Blank]
CHANCELLOR DUCHY. [Blank]
[SIR ROBERT] MANSELL. That a guard be set by the Lord Mayor.
MR. [RICHARD] KNIGHTLEY. That every kt. of the shire send down into eve[r]y country for the bringing up the papists.
[MR. JOHN] DRAKE reports that a young gent. sent here was perverted, was with much difficulty got again into the country. His trunk searched and a mail coat with a headpiece, which they willed him to provide.
[SIR THOMAS] JERMYN. [Blank].
An act for the obtaining of licences of alienations and the ease in pleading of alienations.
[f. 4] First reading. Passed the last time our House. An act to make the estates of attainted pe[rsons] liable to payment of their just debts.
First reading. Committed the last Parliament. An act for the passing of accounts for sheriffs, esche[ators], collectors of subsidies, tenths, fifteens.
Second reading. Passed both Houses the last Parliament. An act for the better suppressing of drunkenness and the restraining the abuses in inns, alehouses and other tippling-houses.
[MR. WILLIAM] CORYTON. That they may not drink as well in other houses, as in alehouses, and that the penalty for drinking on the Sabbath may be the good behaviour.
SIR ROBERT MORE. That the bill of drunkenness be committed.
[MR. RALPH] WHITFIELD. That this bill and all others may be committed.
By question, it was committed and a committee named, 2 o'clock tomorrow, in the Court of Wards.
[MR. JOHN] GUY moves that the bill of usury may be read.
SECRETARY [CALVERT] desires that the report may be deferred until tomorrow.
[SIR GEORGE] GORING. That we may forbear to send to the Lords concerning recusants for some few days until the main matter be reported and that the agent coming be come. That we may man him [i.e. Spain] back as well as he mans our ships.
Second reading. Passed both Houses. An act for the ease of the subject concerning information of penal statutes. [f. 4v] This bill is put to the engrossing.
Second reading. Passed this House last Parliament. An act concerning monopolies and the dispensation of penal laws and the forfeiture thereof. The bill was committed, all that come to have voices.
XII. DIARY OF JOHN PYM, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, FH/N/C/0050
[26 February 1624]
An act to enable Sir Edward Herne to sell divers lands.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. That the authority of the committee for grievances might be enlarged in 3 points:
And there might be a special committee for fees.
Both which motions were ordered.
SIR JOHN JEPHSON. The nature of the business whereof he was to speak pressed him to haste. That in regard of himself, he knew he should gain some hazard of opinion that one of [his] profession should begin a motion of fear. But the respect of the public did overrule that private consideration. The papists were taken from great hopes into a desperate estate. No doubt but they were busy in contriving ways to support their party and would be as forward to put these ways in[to] execution, which they should find most easy. If he could, in imagination, convert himself and believe that he were a papists [sic], he could think no way so easy as to surprise the Prince and both Houses of the Parliament as they were sitting. 200 able men would be sufficient for this, a number said to be provided about the city; and this being done, it would be no hard matter to get the King into their hands; and being masters of the proclamations, would soon call us traitors. His advice, therefore, was to take order for a guard to attend daily where the Houses sat.
SIR EDWARD CECIL. Old soldiers would soonest take alarm. Sir John Norris in 88 was wont to say he should fear less if he saw anybody afraid but himself; never any man more valiant nor more jealous. This motion seasonable to be pursued.
CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY. Not to do anything as might diminish our ancient fame of being a valiant nation. Wise men should respect probable fears, but not all fears that are possible. Shall this be spoken in Spain, that the Parliament of England dares not sit without a guard? The papists are held a contemptible party. Let us by no such course give them reputation abroad or confidence among themselves.
SIR ROBERT MANSELL. Fear was natural, inseparable to a soldier. Out of this fear we had not been [f. 8] this 3 or 4 year[s] until he heard that voice of the nightingale, the King. Yet he did not live in the first motion, the expression of particulars, which but to show our enemies the way, so he differed from him in the manner and from the last in the matter.
MR. [JOHN] DRAKE received a particular of a young kinsman of his that was lately perverted, and as soon as they were sure of him, they caused him to provide a coat of mail and a headpiece and a case of pistols.
SIR THOMAS JERMYN. That we should think upon the conservation of our judgements as well as of the state. The Lords were as much interested, and we might well submit ourselves to their fortune. He had, indeed, 2 years since cause of fear. And though their malice was not assuaged, yet they had water with their wine. That part of the faction which follows the state was turned from them. For his part, he might be killed but he could not be afraid. Common shipwreck is common comfort.
So this motion ceased without producing any order or resolution.
An act for ease of the subjects in obtaining licences of alienation.
An act for making the lands of persons attainted liable to the payment of their just debts.
An act for passing of sheriffs' accounts.
An act for better repressing of drunkenness.
This bill had passed the last Parliament. Exception was taken that the oath of a drunken man should convince his companion, but the House did not incline to alter anything which was then concluded. Notwithstanding, it was objected that this House did usually alter, explain, repeal the laws made in former Parliaments.
Upon SIR GEORGE GORING'S motion, the message agreed upon touching recusants was put off until the great business of the last conference should be dispatched.
An act to ease the subject against common informers.
DR. [BARNABY] GOOCH. To preserve the privileges of the universities. The chancellor there, by chri. concanc. [sic] of those things which were here referred to justices of peace. And though they were likewise in commission of the peace, yet that did not save their jurisdiction as chancellors.
MR. [FRANCIS] BRAKIN. This jurisdiction was in controversy between the universities and the town. They proved by the law civil and informations are to be tried by the common law.
SIR EDWARD COKE. In 8 R. 1, Cambridge is called a city. They may hold plea of all things civil and penal. 8 H. 8, charter to determine by the civil law void. [f. 8v] 13 Eliz. there was an act of Parliament for a confirmation of all charters, yet such charters as are void in law are not thereby confirmed. The like if there should be a confirmation of all judgements unless they be rent [sic] de verbo in verbum. For the proceeding of the universities by the civil law, it was questioned by the Attorney General and resolved by [blank] to be good, yet with and [sic] advice to use it moderately. But this bill hurts neither the university nor the town. There were 17 exceptions against this bill the last Parliament and all cleared.
DR. [RICHARD] ZOUCHE made the like motion for saving the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports.
But the bill was ordered to be engrossed without any commitment.
An act against monopolies and dispensation of penal laws.
XIII. DIARY OF SIR WALTER EARLE, BL, ADD. MS 18,597
Thursday, 26 February
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS'S motion on the behalf of the committee for examination of abuses of courts of justice:
- 1. That the committee might have authority to send for witnesses.
- 2. That counsel may be there heard and assigned, if it be desired.
- [f. 30] 3. For sending for records, if need should be.
A committee appointed to examine the abuses and exacted fees in the Exchequer as a subcommittee to the other, Monday, and to have like power, etc.
SIR JOHN JEPHSON of the danger of recusants. A man might undertake to be one of the 200 to cut all our throats.
SIR EDWARD CECIL. The times need a new sort of fortification. I lie near an ambassador that took the alarm of what was done here very soon. The danger very great, fit etc.
MR. [JOHN] DRAKE. An instance of/
Bill for ease in pleading licences of alienation. First read.
Bill for making the estates of attainted persons liable to the payment of their debts. First read.
Bill for passing accounts of sheriffs without delay or extraordinary charge. First read.
Bill for better repressing of drunkenness and the inordinate haunting of inns and alehouses. Second read. Committed.
MR. SECRETARY [CALVERT] signified that the report of the great business was not yet ripe.
SIR GEORGE GORING moved that the message concerning banishing recusants [f. 30v] from the town might be stayed for a while.
The House yielded unto it.
Bill for the ease of the subject in cases of information upon penal statutes.
DR. [BARNABY] GOOCH. This takes away the privilege of the universities.
SIR EDWARD COKE. 3 R. 1 [blank] a case adjudged. The king, by his charter, could not alter the common law. 8 H. 4. Vide in the record Hilary, 8 H. 4. Vide the act of Parliament, 13 Eliz. All the grants, etc., shall be as good as if, etc. Opinion, it did not prejudice the universities.
The bill passed to be engrossed.
Bill concerning monopolies and dispensation with penal laws. Committed, tomorrow in the Court of Wards.
Thursday afternoon, the committee for privileges
A petition delivered touching the election of the knights of Norfolk, complaining of the undue election of Sir Thomas Holland and Sir John Corbett; that the sheriff being required to go to the poll and having begun it, left off abruptly and went and made this return, many being unsworn.
[f. 31] It was alleged, by the contrary part, that the first voice being clearly adjudged to Sir Thomas Holland, Sir Robert Gawdy said if the first place were gone, he would not stand for the 2nd, whereupon the sheriff left off and made his return.
Thursday, sevennight, appointed for the sheriff to yield his reason of breaking off the polling of voices, etc.
Mr. [Francis] Myngaye moved the committee on the behalf of the borough of Southwark. The sheriff returns 2 indentures: in one was returned [Mr. Francis] Myngaye and [Mr. Richard] Yearwood, and in the other Yearwood and [Mr. Robert] Bromfield. The burgesses chosen by holding up of hands, as in London. At first, most held up their hands for Mr. [Francis] Myngaye, but presently, as he stood up upon the table to thank them, they cried, "For what?". And being told it was for choosing him, they cried out, "No Myngaye, no Myngaye; a Bromfield, a Bromfield"; and so going to holding up of hands again, the most part held up their hands for [Mr. Robert] Bromfield.
It was by the committee adjudged that [Mr. Francis] Myngaye was not elected, and they were [f. 31v] divided in opinion whether the election of [Mr. Robert] Bromfield were due.
XIV. JOURNAL OF SIR SIMONDS D'EWES, BL, HARL. MS 159
February 26th, Thursday
A private bill about the sale of some of Sir Edward Herne's lands for the paying of debts and legacies.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS made his report from the committee of grievances [sic] and moved for further power for that committee:
- 1. To examine witnesses.
- 2. To hear or to assign counsel.
- 3. To send for any record useful in causes complained of.
Which were all granted.
A motion for examination of fees and abuses in the Exchequer and all other courts.
A committee was appointed for it, every Monday in the afternoon in the [Ex]chequer Chamber, with like power granted as the former.
SIR JOHN [blank] motion for a guard of 200.
Seconded by SIR EDWARD CECIL.
Rejected by the CHANCELLOR OF THE DUCHY and SIR THOMAS JERMYN, and no more to be spoken of by the consent of the House.
The strange story of the gentleman of one of the Inns of Court that was converted to be a papist and urged to provide a coat of mail, pistols, etc.
The message to the Lords mentioned the day before held not seasonable as then.
An act about the hearing, obtaining and pleading of alienations.
An act for the making of the estates of all attainted persons liable to due debts.
An act for passing the accounts of sheriffs, escheators, collectors of subsidy, etc.
An act against drunkenness. Read 2 times. Committed upon that point of one witness.
An act about informers upon penal statutes. Read 2 times.
DR. [BARNABY] GOOCH moved for a proviso, [f. 61v] it should prejudice the privileges of both universities.
MR. [FRANCIS] BRAKIN opposed the university in that point [blank] it concerned the town, and not the university, which being ruled by civil law could not nor ought not to take notice of forfeitures at the common law.
SIR EDWARD COKE cleared that learnedly, out of the confirmation of the university charter by act of Parliament anno 180 Eliz., by force of which the university, though ruled by the civil law, holds plea in temporal causes, for that particular of a charter crosses neither common nor civil law otherwise Hen. 4ti, anno 80 and termino Hilarii 80, anno Henrici 8vi, nor altering of the law else. And by the way he quoted out of anno 80 Ric. 1, that it was called civitas Cantebrigiae.
An act concerning monopolies.