17th March 1624

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

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Long title
17th March 1624

In this section



[CJ 688; f. 47v]

Mercurii, 170 Martii, 210 Jac.

L. 1a. An act to enable Sir Francis Clerke, kt., to sell certain lands for payment of his debts and raising portions to his younger children.

L. 2a. An act for the confirmation of certain lands in com. Wilts sold by [Sir] Thomas Redferne, gent., to divers persons for the payment of his debts, etc.

Committed to the:

Knights and burgesses of Wiltshire Mr. John Kent
Mr. Attorney Wards Sir Thomas Hatton
Mr. [John] Coke Mr. [Henry] Sherfield
Sir Thomas Estcourt Mr. [Edward] Liveley
Sir H[enry] Poole Sir Neville Poole
Mr. Edward Hungerford Sir Francis Seymour
Sir John St. John Mr. Serjeant [Richard] Digges
Sir Henry Ley
Mr. John Duckett
Sir Edward Bayntun

Thursday come sevennight, in the Court of Wards, 2 [o']clock. Notice to be given to the feoffees in trust.

L. 2a. An act for reversing a decree indirectly and by corruption. [Blank]

SIR GEORGE DALSTON. Admit the decree by corruption by Lord Keeper Bacon, yet the now Lord Keeper referred the lease of 99 years to a trial at law, which passed against it.

Committed to:

[col. 1] [col. 2]
Sir Edward Coke Attorney Wards
Sir Guy Palmes Mr. [John] Bankes
Sir Gervase Clifton Sir W[alter] Earle
Mr. [sic] Maximilian Dallison Sir W[illiam] Cope
Sir John Walter Mr. [John] Lowther
Sir George Horsey Sir William Masham
Sir G[ilbert] Gerard Sir Charles Montagu
Mr. [Humphrey] Were Sir Robert Hitcham
Sir Robert Phelips Sir Thomas Savile
Mr. [Christopher] Wandesford Sir H[enry] Anderson
[col. 3]
Sir Edward Villiers
Sir George Fane
Mr. [Henry] Sherfield
[James] Lord Wriothesley
Sir John Strangways
Sir Edmund Verney
Mr. [John] Glanville
Mr. [Christopher] Brooke
Mr. [William] Ravenscroft
Sir Thomas Hoby

[f. 48] Saturday next, 2 [o']clock, in the Court of Wards.

SIR EDWARD COKE reports from the committee for grievances. Have condemned 1, viz., Sir F[erdinando] Gorges's patent for a plantation in New England. Their counsel heard, the exceptions being first delivered them. Resolved by consent. The charter dated 30 November 180 Jac. That the clause in the patent that no subject of England shall visit that coast upon pain of forfeiture of the ship and goods. The patentees have yielded the English fishermen shall visit and will not interrupt any fisherman to fish there. For he no new discoverer, fishermen of this and other nations having fished there before his patent. Drying of nets, salting of their fish, etc., incident to their fishing, whereunto he also agreed.

After he was gone, after debate, over-ruled the fishermen might take timber for repair of their ships: first, quia incident; second, taken so before his patent; thirdly, fishermen never take any timber with them; fourthly, bring in great store of money for their fish.

Resolved, [first,] English fishermen shall have fishing with all incidents of drying fish, nets, timber, etc.

Secondly, that the clause of forfeiture, being only by patent and not by act of Parliament, void.

Resolved, upon [the first] question, that the House thinks fit the fishermen of England shall have fishing there, with all the incidents necessary of drying nets and salting and packing.

Upon the second question, in the opinion of this House, una voce, the clause of confiscation void and against law.

Upon the third question, in the opinion of this House, the fishermen of England may take necessary wood and timber for their ships' and boats' use of fishing there.

[House adjourned]


[CJ 738; f. 60]

Mercurii, 17 Martii

L. 1. An act to enable Sir Francis Clerke to sell lands for the payment of his debts and providing portions for his younger children.

L. 2. An act/

Committed to:

Knights, burgesses, Wiltshire Mr. [Henry] Sherfield
Attorney Wards Mr. [Edward] Liveley
Sir Henry Poole
Mr. [John] Coke
Sir Thomas Estcourt

L. 2. An act/

Committed to:

Sir Guy Palmes Sir George Horsey
Sir Gervase Clifton Attorney Wards
Sir Maximilian Dallison Mr. [John] Bankes
Sir John Walter Sir Walter Earle
Sir Gilbert Gerard Sir William Cope
Mr. [Humphrey] Were Mr. [John] Lowther
Sir Robert Phelips Sir William Masham
Mr. [Henry] Sherfield Sir Charles Montagu
[James] Lord Wriothesley Sir Edward Villiers
Sir John Strangways Sir Thomas Savile
Sir George Fane
[f. 60v] Sir Edmund Verney
Mr. [Christopher] Brooke
Mr. [John] Glanville
Sir Robert Hitcham
Sir Henry Anderson
Mr. [William] Ravenscroft
Mr. [Christopher] Wandesford
Sir Thomas Hoby

Saturday next, 2 o'clock, Court of Wards.

SIR EDWARD COKE reports from the committee of grievances a petition by the fishermen against Sir Ferdinando Gorges's patent. Their counsel heard. Resolved, by the committee, that the fishermen may freely fish there and take sufficient wood and timber for their fishing and repairing of their ships. And resolved also that this clause of the patent, that no Englishman shall visit that coast upon pain of confiscation of ship and goods, was against the law. They desire to have this approved by the opinion of the House.

Resolved, upon question, as the opinion of the House, that our fishermen ought to have free liberty of fishing in New England with all incident thereunto.

Resolved also, upon a 2nd question, as the opinion of the House, that the clause of the patent of confiscation of ships and goods is a void clause in law.

Resolved also, upon a 3rd question, as the opinion of the House, that our fishermen may take necessary timber and wood for their fishing there.

[f. 61] A message from the Lords by Serjeant [Sir John] Davies and Attorney General: the Lords signify to this House that the Duke is returned from the King and has brought his Majesty's pleasure concerning that which was delivered by him on Sunday last, and therefore desire a present conference with the committee of this House in the Painted Chamber, if it may stand with the pleasure and leisure of this House.

Answer: this House will presently give a meeting as is desired.

Ordered, that no members of this House shall go out until the committee be gone up.

The committee sent up to the Lords. Mr. Solicitor to make report from this conference.

SIR WILLIAM FLEETWOOD reports the bill of Magna Carta. The alterations twice read.

DOCTOR [ARTHUR] DUCK made 2 objections at the committee: will cross the power of 2 great officers, Lord Admiral and Lord Marshal. [First,] Lord Admiral imprisons by course of the civil law. Second, Lord Marshal's jurisdiction in matter of arms; his power by the law of honour and arms. This will not come under the words "legem terrae". These will stop the bill above. A third objection: the King's power in causes ecclesiastical where commissioners [have] power to imprison. This will take away their power.

MR. [THOMAS] FANSHAWE. In all these courts, nothing more usual than to have habeas corpus. To have the bill recommitted.

The bill, upon question, to be recommitted to the same committee:

Dr. [Arthur] Duck

Mr. [Thomas] Fanshawe

Mr. Recorder

Sir Walter Pye

Mr. [Michael] Oldisworth

Friday, Court of Wards.

[f. 61v] MR. SOLICITOR reports from the Lords. After our humble advice to his Majesty in general, next we conceived such a frame of words as might express ourselves to the King. Upon Sunday last, we did attend. The Lord Archbishop, accompanied with others, presented themselves to his Majesty. This introduction: may it please your sacred Majesty. Come to you/

And, first, we acknowledge ourselves much bound to God for placing such a king that would speak and be spoken to of his subjects. Next, that we did rejoice that he was so sensible of the insincerity of that people with whom he had lately dealt and also of the indignity done by them to his noble children. And then read the schedule and form of that he had in writing. That read again in the House.

When this was read, the King made answer. This now presented by my Lord Buckingham to the King that he might be the expounder of his own words. The King's answer read in the House.

Duke now pleased to say thus: that since so great a burden/

Prince said, at parting, that if this House would consider these demands and give him such an answer as might satisfy, the King would follow our advice and presently declare himself. A motion of his own. A business of great weight. Not to proceed rashly in it. To have the members of the House have copies of it and to appoint some time to speak to it.

Resolved, upon question, that the debate of this great business shall be respited until Friday next, 9 o'clock. And that any members of the House may have copies of this last answer of the King.

[f. 62] SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. To have an order that no man may depart the town without special leave of the House until this business be ended.


SIR ROBERT PHELIPS reports from the committee for courts of justice. 2 in consideration:

  • 1. A point of order in their proceedings.
  • 2. A doubt upon a petition exhibited by [Robert] Grice.

For the first, seeing how slow business went on, thought fit to have it as last Parliament. To have a subcommittee of 20 to receive every morning, Court of Wards, petitions, and to select those they thought fit for the consideration of the House.

2. A petition of one Grice, who, having married an heir, acknowledged a fine; after complained that this fine was violently extorted from her. Common Pleas awarded him to bring in the deeds leading the uses. A commission granted to some to examine this woman. They certified the fine was well taken.

Mr. Grice, repairing to the Chancery for his fine, found there a stop. Then petitioned often, but could have no redress. In fine, Lord Chancellor committed his solicitor, searched his chamber, took away his papers.

This fine remained in Yelverton's hands 4 years. From him, delivered to Mannering, a servant of the now Lord Keeper. He desires Mannering may be sent for to deliver the fine and dedimus potestatem. 2 days [CJ 739] since, the wife of Grice petitioned to be heard by her counsel before anything be done in it.

The petition read.

SIR EDWARD COKE. This gentlewoman his near kinswoman, sister's children. Now half distracted. This done in [Sir Thomas] Egerton's time. He now gone. Therefore, not the use to complain against the dead. To appoint her counsel at convenient time. This day sevennight.

Ordered, she shall be heard at committee by her counsel, this day sevennight. Nothing to be done in the meantime.

[f. 62v] SIR JOHN ELIOT. To have a special care of the choice of the subcommittee that they have no dependence upon men in place. To have no lawyers. To have countrymen that have no dependence.

SIR EDWARD COKE. Great inconvenience by having such a subcommittee. To have it well considered of.

MR. [RICHARD] KNIGHTLEY. To have the first hour appointed to read petitions and to proceed with the most weighty.

Ordered, that the committee for courts of justice shall, the first hour of their sitting, receive and read petitions and proceed with the most weighty.

L. 3. An act for the ease in 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.

SIR JOHN SAVILE. Reported in the town that the counsel of the Exchequer not fully heard at committee. To have them yet heard.

SIR EDWARD COKE. The counsel fully heard. 20s. now given whereas but 10s. given before.

MR. [THOMAS] BANCROFT. This bill committed upon his motion. Committed when the House almost empty. First day, the committees met not fully, yet the counsel heard to prepare business for the next meeting. Appeared that there were no fees taken, but such as had been taken time out of mind. Next day at 4 [o']clock, met. Nothing done. They desire to have their counsel heard. Yet, for the bill, not so full as it might be.

Upon question, passed for a law.

[f. 63] L. 3. An act for relief of patentees. [Blank]

Upon question, passed for a law.

L. 3. An act of repeal of one branch of the statute made in the session of Parliament held, by prorogation, at Westminster the 22nd day of January in the 34th year of the reign of King Henry 8, entitled, An act for certain ordinances in the King's Majesty's dominion and principality of Wales.

Sir William Pitt, Mr. [John] Glanville, Mr. [John] Selden to confer the Parliament Roll and bill with the printed book at large and to report to the House tomorrow. To have the paper book with them. The bill then to be put to the question.

MR. [WILLIAM] MALLORY. To have Mr. [John] Bankes instantly draw a bill to prevent the abuses of the Clerk of the Market.

SIR ROBERT CRANE. A bill already drawn.

[House adjourned]


[p. 209]

Mercurii, 17 Martii 1623

1. L. Bill dinabler Sir Francis Clerke de vendre terres pur paiment de detts et raiser procions pur infants.

2. L. Bill pur [Sir] Thomas Redferne pur vendre terres pur paiment de detts et securitie dautre terres vendi. Committe.

2. L. Bill pur avoydante decree in cancellaria pur Lord Wharton et Dame Wharton versus Lord Willoughby.

Sur question, committe, Sabbati, [ex]chequer camere.

SIR EDWARD COKE. Reporte Sir Ferdinando Gorges's pattente pur plantacion in nova Anglia. In quil pattente est clause de restreinte de touts subjectes d'angliterre de visiter la.

1. Question. In l'opinion del cest Huise avoit free fishinge et dryinge and packing.

Sur le 1er question: [aye].

2. Sur le 2nd, le clause de restreint: [contre ley].

3. Sur le 3rd, averont wood and timber pur fishing et repaire lour shippes: [aye].

Message del seignours sur retorne del Duke from the Kinge ove son pleasure et response. Present conference ove mesme le committee.

In grande confusion diverse poste hors del Huise et le Serjeante ove le mace sente for them et solement admonishe, et le committee vae come sonte reade. Et agree que le Huise poet proceede le mace absente, et issint avoient sepe use quant le mace avoient este sente for the lawyers, etc.

[p. 210] SIR WILLIAM FLEETWOOD. Report le bill d'imprisonments et restreint de trades contrariment al Magna Carta.

Sur 2x questions, le bill recommitte. Chescun d'avoir voice, Vendredis in gards.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. Report pur grievances de courts de justice.

3. L. Bill pur easie obteignant licenses d'alienacion et pledante de eux.

Sur question, passe pur ley.

3. L. Bill pur pattentees et fermors de corone terres, duchie [terres] et gard versus forfeitures et clauses de reentri.

Sur question, passe pur ley.

3. L. Bill pur repeale del branch del statute de 34 H. 8 pur Gales.

Le Parliament Roll deste viewe car si le recitall faux tout void. Et pur cest fuit recommitte et ascuns appointe de viewer le Parliament Rolle, et auxy al les rolles car les statutes printed alarge differ del statutes printed in abridgementes.


[f. 101v]

Wednesday, the 17th of March

Upon SIR EDWARD COKE'S report of fishing in the New England that fisherman should fell wood for their necessary uses in any man's ground, SIR GEORGE CHUDLEIGH said by this liberty fishermen might take any trees next [to] a mansion house.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS answered, the detriment of this new plantation is there [is] too much wood. The fishing of New England brings in for [sic] £100,000 per annum.

SIR DUDLEY DIGGES. Fishermen are chiefly to be cherished, for they bring in much wealth and carry out nothing. There is an act of Parliament for cockers [sic] and hewers to go over any man's ground.

It was ordered they may take necessary wood and timber to be provided in convenient places.

Sir John Davies and the Attorney [General] came in message from the Lords: that the Duke was returned from the King with his pleasure concerning his last speech, and the Lords coveted present conference.

[f. 102] Divers running out to the place of conference before those of the committee, they were sent for back by the Serjeant and while the Serjeant was away with the mace, some offering to speak, MR. [CHRISTOPHER] WANDESFORD said it was against the orders of the House for any to speak when the mace was away.

SIR JOHN SAVILE answered. He wondered he would say that, that knew not the orders of the House.

It was ordered that every man should be called by name that was of the committee, and so go forth by order, and no man to stir until all the committee were gone out.

At the conference, the Duke said the King was content to let his own subsidy go on for the war. In point of conscience and honour, his Majesty was already resolved in a great part, and if any scruple remained he would ask our advice. That his resolution was to make this a sessions [sic] and pass as many bills as could conveniently be ready.

At our parting from the conference, the Prince said that if our Ho[use] would consider of these demands and satisfy the King in his answer, he would undertake the King should presently declare himself.

It was moved in the House that every man ought [to] have copies of the King's speech.

MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE moved 2 days' respite for our answer.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. That no man should [go] out of the town until this were debated and resolved, which he would have done presently.

[f. 102v] MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. Diu deliberandum quod semel statuendum. He desired [Sir Robert] Phelips's motion of present debating should not take place until Friday.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS moved for a subcommittee to meet in the Court of Wards every morning at 7 to receive petitions of grievances and consider whether fit to be received or no; and particularly to consider of [Robert] Grice's petition.

SIR JOHN ELIOT moved that of this subcommittee, no lawyer nor dependents should be, not out of distrust of any of the House but for avoiding their hurt, and therefore would have it only of country gentlemen.

It was ordered there should be no subcommittee, but the first hour of the meeting of the grand committee should be spent in receiving petitions, and the most material only picked out.

An act for the subject's ease of obtaining licences of alienation and in pleading of alienations with licence, or without, in the [Ex]chequer or elsewhere.

SIR EDWARD COKE. Treasurer Burghley ordered that who had a licence of alienation might enrol it without pleading.



[p. 69]

Wednesday, 17 March

The Lords sent to have a present meeting with a committee of this House in the Painted Chamber.

Report of MR. SOLICITOR. That my Lord of Buckingham did, after both the committees had considered of the speech the King made by examining their notes of it, he did again carry it again to the King and this day brought it and was reporte[d] to the House. [p. 70] The Prince said that if the House would enter into consideration of the business and give the King content, he will undertake the King shall presently declare himself.


[f. 31v]

[17 March 1624]

2 private bills for Leventhorpe's lands and another read to enable assurance.

[f. 13] Sir F[rancis] Willoughby, being seised of £70 old rent in Dorset, Lemley Lowdain and Gunthorpe, Norfolk, 1 January 29 Eliz., covenanted to stand seised to his own use for life, after to his daughters for 99 years, with power of revocation upon tender of 10s. and declaration. This secret counterpart not sealed and leased and part sold. 29 July 37 Eliz., he articles, upon the marriage of Dorothy Tamworth, to estate 2,500 marks per annum to the use of him and Dorothy in tail and his right heirs, half before Easter, the rest that time twelvemonth, a bond of £10,000 to perform.

27 May 38 Eliz., Thomas Sutton, having Lemley Lowdain and Gunthorpe in mortgage, estated them for the first part of jointure as before.

12 June 38 Eliz., Sir F[rancis] Willoughby and Dorothy, Sir Richard and Barentyne Molyns, H[blank] Hastings and D[sic], his wife, second part, Edmund Molyneux, Thomas [Molyneux] and Randall Ball, third part, do covenant to levy a fine of Dorset land unto the 3 parties to the indentures to secure a lease to Baron Ewens, the reversion and remainder and residue to the use of the [?commissioners] in fee. Trinity 38 Eliz., they levy a fine accordingly.

5 July 38 Eliz., Sir F[rancis], Dorothy and Thomas Molyneux, Ball, first part, Sir Richard and Berentine Molins, second part, recites Sutton's grant, recites the fine Trinity 38 Eliz. and indenture 12 June, the indenture to be at Sir F[rancis] W[illoughby's] dispose, now declares it to Sir F[rancis] for life, then to Dame Dorothy in fee with proviso that if he secure[s] 2,200 marks in jointure as covenanted to be void, a covenant all fines to that use. Michaelmas 38 [Eliz.], they all levy a fine of all the land accordingly.

November 39 [Eliz.], the same term, Sir Francis died and Dame Dorothy survived, and no claim made for 5 years but note much of Dorset lands was in lease for lives which yet not expired, after the end whereof, if the first lease be good, they may claim. But of the first covenant to use for the lease, Sir F[rancis] was trustee with power to make leases and revoke, which if this covenant import it is a good lease, otherwise void by Common Law to use.

[f. 13v] 28 Martii 10 Jac., indentures between Philip, Lord Wharton, and the said Dame Dorothy, his wife, and Thomas Wharton, and Sir Richard Lovelace and Edward Molyns and Alexander Searle, covenants to levy a fine of Dorset lands to them to their use in trust for Dorothy in fee.

4 April 20 Jac., the Lady Dorothy died.

A decree was had in Chancellor Egerton's time where the coheirs of Sir F[rancis] was [sic] dismissed for the inheritance of all but a part in a 6d. deed of indenture.

A decree in Bacon's time got for the Lady Wharton by corruption of £300 paid. The coheirs sue in Parliament to have lease on foot to 4 of them as made and the inheritance to the rest, being 6 coheirs, alleging it was got by practice in his weakness on his death bed.

[f. 31v] SOLICITOR. We may remember after our general advice presented, and the maintenance of it set down in writing delivered for both Houses by the Lord of Canterbury in presence of both the committees. May it please your sacred Majesty, we come to you from the Lords and Commons. Thanks God that he will speak and be spoken to by his people, the [?sure knot]. Next, that he was sensible of the insincerity of Spain and the indignity offered his children in bereaving, which if it pleased him to resume by arms we think by the laws of God and man he may. And if you [f. 32] so resolve, we have digested into writing our forwardness to assist you and to maintain our advice. Wherein, after some glosses of his good respect to our advice and notice taken of his disability by his charge, that if he declare himself for the breach, we in a p/

Then the King answered, which he rather repeats then reports, because all was set down with care and sent by the Duke of Buckingham to the King to peruse it that no mistaking.

The King: my Lords and gentlemen all, I have nothing to say to the preamble but that he charged me that I expressed myself to be sensible of the insincerity of the Spanish and of the injury done to the Prince in Spain and my children, but I said no such thing, indeed I declare myself any way. [f. 32v] When Jupiter speaks, he thunders. He confesses our offer is beyond example, and more than a million of subsidies, and an ample reward for the trust I reposed in you. But you must give leave, as in a fortification, to provide particulars for, and unless particulars be not set down, it will not satisfy others. And as Christ in the Gospel, no man undertakes a war or building, etc. He declares what he thinks will do the turn for a parliamentary way. He desires 5 subsidies and 10 fifteens and 1 subsidy and 2 fifteens until his debts be paid.

Whereof, the Prince taking notice this was contrary to his proposition, his demand for himself. But he declared so it be six for the war, it will suffice.

If this can be done, I will follow your advice. 2 difficulties in levying: if too soon, perhaps will be a burden to the people; if too late, will do no good. [f. 33] He leaves to us to expound by the committees of both Houses. His conscience and honour is his own. He is almost satisfied, but where not he will follow our advice.

The Prince said the King was resolved, if he might, but the means of the publication he left to our advice. I told you he would make the first sessions [sic] so soon as he could to make good laws, and again, after consideration in the country, to return at Michaelmas, and then spring, to Parliament. He protested he would not treat of peace nor satisfaction without us.

Duke [of] Buckingham called Sir George Goring to see the amendments.

The Prince: that if we gave the King such an answer as would satisfy, the King would presently declare himself.

[f. 33v] The bill for pleading licences of alienation. Passed, but the fees for licences should have been in it.

The bill for no advantage of forfeiture to be taken for non-payment, the rent being after paid to the King or his patentees. Passed.

The bill of reversing H. 8th's statute to give laws to Wales. Passed but yet for a word that in recital of the statute to be examined with the roll, as the statute of the admiralty is infra provincialis territoriam, printed pontis, which would give him jurisdiction to the bridges. And the bill and the roll to be looked the bill authentic.

The order for the mace, not to speak in absence, is not true for often sent to the hall for counsel, yet debated.


[f. 106]

[17 March 1624]

His Majesty's answer to the former speech at Whitehall the 13th [sic] of March 1623.


[f. 84]

Wednesday, 170 Martii 1623

An act for the avoiding of a decree in the Chancery upheld by Philip, Lord Wharton, and his lady against the coheirs of [Sir] Francis Willoughby, esq. 2. L. Committed.

Message from the Lords signifying that the Duke of Buckingham is returned [f. 84v] from the King with the King's further pleasure touching his Majesty's answer on Sunday last delivered to the committees of both Houses, and therefore their Lordships desire a present conference between both Houses.

Our answer: that we will give a present meeting with their Lordships.

Concerning the bill against wrongful imprisonment contrary to the liberty of the 29 chapter of Magna Carta, DR. [ARTHUR] DUCK desires that there may be a clause for the reservation of the power of the Lord Admiral of England, who imprisons by the course of the civil law, and though it be said the civil law is allowed by the common law, yet he thinks that this bill will abridge that power of his Lordship; and also he would have the Lord Marshal's power reserved.

This bill is recommitted and all that will come are to have voice, to sit this afternoon.

MR. SOLICITOR makes a report of the King's answer to our resolution of assistance in a general manner. That the Prince said this morning that if the House would take into consideration these his Majesty's demands and give him satisfaction therein, he would undertake that the King would presently declare himself.

MR. SOLICITOR moves that everyone may have copies of his Majesty's answer and that some time may be appointed for the debate hereof a day or two hence, being a business of great consequence.

It is ordered that everyone that will shall have copies of the King's answer and that the debate hereof shall be on Friday next.

[f. 85] SIR ROBERT PHELIPS would have none of the members of this House should go out of town until this great business be here fully debated and resolved on.

He reports from the committee of abuses of courts of justice that that committee did desire that the House would appoint a subcommittee of about 20 of this House to receive in the Court of Wards all petitions of complaints in this House and to prepare them for that committee or for this House as they shall think fit. He delivered a petition of Mistress Grice's that her counsel may be heard in answer of her husband's complaints here.

SIR EDWARD COKE said that if there be a subcommittee of a few select persons to allow and receive petitions against great men and judges, it will draw envy on them.

It is ordered that the committee for abuses in courts of justice shall, the first hour of their sitting, receive petitions and then proceed with the most weighty. The House does not like the appointing of a subcommittee for the receiving of petitions of such as complain of abuses in courts of justice.

An act for ease in obtaining of licences of alienations and in pleading of alienations with licence, or pardon of alienation without licence. Third reading. Bill of grace and passed this House the last Parliament. Roi s'avisera.

SIR JOHN SAVILE said that he heard a muttering in the town that the Exchequer-men say they could not be heard nor their counsel, and he thinks it will not be against the orders of this House to hear them yet by their counsel.

SIR EDWARD COKE said that the Exchequer-men were heard, he sitting in the chair, two [f. 85v] several times.

This bill is passed our House at the third reading.

An act for the relief of patentees, lessees and farmers of crown lands or duchy lands or other lands within the survey of the Court of Wards in cases of forfeiture for non-payment of their rents and other services, etc. Bill of grace. r. p. This bill is now passed this House at the third reading.

An act for the repeal of a branch of a statute made in 34 H. 8, entitled, An act for to enable that King to make ordinances for the government of Wales, etc. r. p.

This bill is not now passed because of the word "that", which is diversely printed in the book of statutes. And Sir William Pitt and Mr. [John] Selden are to search the ancient records for the bill which passed in 34 H. 8 and to see whether the word "that" be in the roll or the old bill or no, and to report the same to the House tomorrow, and then the bill is to be put to the question for passing.

Accordingly, on the report of the committee, that word "that" is amended and passed.

Committee, 170 Martii 1623, for grievances [sic]

Sir Robert Phelips in the chair.

Petition of Mistress Joan Thomas, widow, complaining against the now Lord Keeper for decreeing her land for the payment of her son's debts, contrary to the opinion of a judge then assistant at the hearing in the Chancery, and the sheriff's violence in the execution of this decree by breaking up of her doors and entering on her lands. And that this was not done without manifest appearance of foul corruption.

It is ordered that this complaint shall be heard this day sevennight. And the petitioner is then to attend with her counsel and witnesses.

[f. 86] Petition of the Lady Darcy complaining that the Lord Keeper did unduly, in the minority of her son, grant the advowson of a parsonage belonging to her son to Dr. Grant, whereof she complained to the King and, after seeking to recover by honour the right of her child (who was by this presentment like to lose the right of presentment to that parsonage), was by the now Lord Keeper denied to have a writ of quare impedit, without which she could not have the benefit of the laws of this realm as other subject have and all subjects ought to have.

It is ordered that this shall be heard this day sevennight, and the petitioner is to have then her counsel and witnesses here.

It is now by this committee ordered that the petition of [blank] Lacy shall be rejected.

[John] Grimsditch, a petitioner to this House, is called into the House. Said by way of addition to what he has complained against the Lord Keeper, charged the Lord Keeper with irregular proceedings in his cause and said that his Lordship proceeded against the laws of this realm, the rules of the court of Chancery and the King's proclamation.

Mr. [Edward] Alford said that chamber orders were not heard of until the Lord Keeper Bacon's time and after him used by the Lord Egerton, and then by the Lord Chancellor Bacon that last was. He said that now there is a register appointed only for chamber orders, which is both dangerous and grievous to the subject. He thinks that it is fit that the making of these chamber orders or orders on petitions should be presented to the consideration of the House that some order be taken in it.

[f. 86v] The register charged by Grimsditch that an order whereof he had a copy under Mr. [Laurence] Washington's hand was not entered as it ought.

Mr. Washington, examined, said that he used not to set his hand to any copy of an order but whereto there is set examinatur or intratur, and the party whom it concerns does usually see the order entered and then the party brings it to him with such an examinatur or intratur, and he thereon set his hand to it.

Grimsditch said that Mr. Churchill went with him to Mr. Washington for his hand when Mr. Washington subscribed it.

Mr. Churchill, examined, said the order was written by his man and the original order was given out to both parties by him before the order was entered, as he used to do as soon as he had digested into an order, according as it was pronounced by the Lord Chancellor Bacon, that the counsel of both sides may consider of it. He denied that he went with Grimsditch to Mr. Washington for to subscribe this order. Being asked why he did write "examinatur" on the copy of the order he gave Mr. Grimsditch, when as the original, as he knew, was not entered, said that he wrote "examinatur" on it because it did agree with the other draft which he had given out, and this he used to do every day though the order itself be not entered. And Mr. Churchill said that the Lord Bacon did by Sir Thomas Perient send for him to bring the draft of the order in this cause to his Lordship, which he did, and when he came to his Lordship, Sir Thomas Perient took it off him and then brought it out of his Lordship's chamber again to him interlined with the Lord Keeper's own hand, [f. 87] as he thought, and after this he amended the other draft which he had given to Grimsditch.

Sir Thomas Perient, examined, said he did not remember that he ever wished Mr. Churchill to go with him, nor that he ever carried any such order into the Lord Bacon's chamber and procured him to amend the same order, nor remembered that he brought any order amended from the Lord Bacon and delivered it to Churchill.

Mr. [Edward] Alford said that Mr. Washington and his father for these 30 years have ever used to set their hands to an order that is brought with this word "examinatur" or "intratur" and he therefore cleared him, it having been a general custom and use. But though Mr. Churchill was spared the last Parliament for [the] good service he did against the Lord Bacon, yet he would not have him escape censure for this business, wherein he thinks he has miscarried himself, for he believes it is a common use and practice of Churchill to juggle in the making and carriage of these orders.

Sir Thomas Perient being called into the House again and examined, said he answered the same he had before answered concerning the amendment of the order that Churchill said was done by the Lord Bacon.

Mr. Washington, examined, said that it was Mr. Grimsditch's fault that this order was not entered, for he ought to have entered it after he had received the benefit of the register's clerk's courtesy, to so have it to show his counsel.

Grimsditch, examined, said that for want of the entry of this order his supplemental proofs [f. 87v] were suppressed, for the now Lord Keeper did use to grant supplemental proofs and he lost his cause for the want of those supplemental proofs.

Mr. [John] Glanville said that the Lord Bacon was the first that ever caused the register to take oaths, and that there is a great abuse among the registers.

It is resolved at this committee, by question, that Mr. Churchill is faulty upon the whole matter of this business, as well for writing of "examinatur" on the order as for the interlining of the order, and to be so reported to the House, but that concerning the Lord Keeper is not to be reported to the House.


[p. 119]

Wednesday, the 17th of March

An act to enable Sir Thomas [sic] Clerke to sell land.

An act for sale of [Sir Thomas] Redferne's lands.

An act to avoid a decree procured by corruption concerning the heirs of Sir Francis Willoughby. Committed.

SIR EDWARD COKE reports the committee of grievances, and especially of the patent of New England, and said that according to that rule the oceanus is free (not fretum, he said), that Sir Ferdinando Gorges has now consented that it shall be free for any man to fish there and that they should have all liberty for necessaries of wood and land, etc., and the committee resolved the liberty accordingly and that the clause in the patent of confiscation of goods is void by law and condemned, because no clause of that kind can be good but by act of Parliament.

There was much debate whether the fishermen should have liberty to take timber where they will for the benefit of the plantation and houses, and if not but to convenient places, then the planters who hate the fishers and have martial law will not suffer them but with much inconveniency.

The House gives opinion for reformation of these and but an opinion yet until a bill be drawn to pass them for a law.

A message from the Lords for a present meeting: that the Duke would confirm the interpretation of the King's speech made by the Prince and him, now from the King himself.

The Serjeant is sent for them that ran out of the House before the committee go, who are sent out by name.

The SOLICITOR reports the Archbishop's speech to the King and the King's answer, which see among the rest.

The Prince said today that if the House would please to give the King satisfaction of his demands, he would undertake that the King would declare himself.

[p. 120] The SOLICITOR moves to have copies of the King's speech granted, which is, and Friday appointed for the debate of that business.

MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD moves that in regard of the nearness of Easter, men will be going down and wishes they may be stayed until these supplies for the King be resolved on, for that the rumour of subsidies may do hurt in the country.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS reports the committee of courts of justice. Moves for a subcommittee to view petitions.

But it is not granted. An hour at first is appointed them to peruse petitions and to proceed with the weightiest.

Robert Grice's case was first, who pretends that his wife being an heir and he paying great debts, she voluntarily acknowledged a fine and conveyed the lands in consideration of the debts to him, and that, having lost the evidence, a decree has been made against him in Chancery and desires the confirmation of that conveyance by act.

SIR EDWARD COKE presents a petition from Grice's wife that she and her counsel may be admitted to plead to the unjustness of his suggestions.

Engrossed bills read:

An act for ease of pleading licences of alienation.

An act for relief of the patentees of duchy lands.

An act of repeal of a branch of a statute of 34 H. 8 concerning Wales.


[f. 58]

16 [sic] Martii, Wednesday

An act to enable Sir Francis Clerke to sell lands for the payment of his debts and providing portions for his younger children.

Second read. Committed. An act for confirming lands in Wiltshire to Sir Thomas Redferne.

Second read. Committed, Saturday, 2 [o']clock, [Ex]chequer Chamber. An act for the avoiding and reversing a decree in Chancery procured indirectly and corruptly between the Lord Wharton and Dame Dorothy, his wife, and Sir Francis Willoughby and others.

[SIR HENRY] ANDERSON moves that counsel may be heard of both sides at the committee.

It is so ordered.

[SIR EDWARD] COKE reports a patent procured by Sir Ferdinando Gorges of fishing in New England. A clause in the patent that no subject of England shall visit the coasts of New England [for] the fishing upon forfeiture of ship and good[s], one moiety to the King and the other to the patentees. The resolution of the committee was that the fisherman should have free fishing, salting, drying, and take timber for vessels.

It is ordered that all such of the fishermen as come upon that coast shall have free fishing and drying and packing of fish, the clause of confiscation is void, and the fishermen shall take necessary timber.

Message [from the Lords], [Sir John] Davies, Attorney [General]. That the Lord Duke of Buckingham is returned from the King with his Majesty's pleasure concerning the speech on Sunday last, and the Lords desire a present conference with the committee in the Painted Chamber.

[f. 58v] It is so ordered.

SIR WILLIAM FLEETWOOD reports an act for the securing the subject from unlawful imprisonment and deprivation of their trade contrary to the 29th chapter of Magna Carta. That in every court, upon commitment, the cause shall be set down. That 4 of the Privy Council or more do commit anyone and do certify that it is for matter of state not fit to be revealed, it is sufficient.

Recommitted, all come to have voices, Friday, Court of Wards.

SOLICITOR reports the King's speech and it is ordered that upon Friday next, we be here to debate the business betimes and that any member may have copies of this letter.

[SIR ROBERT] PHELIPS moves that no member shall go out of the town without leave of the House until this matter be debated.

Reports 2 things: order of proceedings for a subcommittee and [a] doubt.

The petition of [Robert] Grice. That having married an heir, passed a fine of the manor of Ouby a dedimus potestatem to Sir John Heigham and Wolrich, she complained of the enforcement of the fine. A commission was granted to Sir Robert Gardener and Sir Robert Crane, who certified no enforcement. Grice found a stop of his covenant. [f. 59] The Chancellor sent Grice to prison and rifled his papers and took away the dedimus and the indenture that led [to] the uses. Mannering, a servant to the Lord Keeper, may be sent to/

[SIR EDWARD] COKE moves that Mistress Grice may have counsel and this day sevennight to be heard.

It is ordered so.

It is ordered that the committee for the courts of judicature shall, the first hour of their sitting, read petitions and take in hand the most material.

A bill of grace, engrossed and passed this House. An act for the ease in the obtaining of licences of alienation and in pleading alienations with licence, and pardons without licence, in the Court of Exchequer or elsewhere.

A bill of grace, engrossed and passed this House. An act for relief of patentees and farmers of crown lands and duchy lands, or lands within Court of Wards and Liveries, in case of forfeitures for not paying their farms [sic].

Engrossed and passed the House [sic]. An act of repeal of a branch of the statute made the 340 of H. the 8, entitled, An act for Wales.


[f. 29v]

17 Martii 1623

An act/

An act concerning [Sir Thomas] Redferne's lease.

An act for avoiding a decree corruptly obtained in the Chancery by that of Sir Willoughby against the Lord Wharton. Committed and to be heard by their counsel.

SIR EDWARD COKE reported the complaints against the patent for plantation of New England and the corporation of the council established a[t] Plymouth 3 November 10 [sic] Regis, wherein was contained a clause that none of his Majesty's subjects should visit that coast without licences under pain of forfeiture and confiscation of goods.

After some debate, it was resolved, by question:

  • 1. That the clause of restraint upon the penalty of forfeiture was void in law upon this ground, that the subject's property in his goods could not be taken away but by act of Parliament.
  • 2. That the subjects of England ought to have liberty of fishing there, as before the patent, without any propriety of fishing places to be gotten to the planters.
  • 3. That the fishermen might take timber upon their continent for reparation of their ships, making of stays and other necessary uses.

A message came from the Lords signifying that the Duke of Buckingham was returned from his Majesty with his pleasure concerning his speech upon Sunday last. [f. 30] Therefore, desired a present meeting of the committees, which was ordered, and the Solicitor appointed to make the report.

SIR WILLIAM FLEETWOOD reported the bill against wrongful imprisonment.

To which DR. [ARTHUR] DUCK objected that it was like to be opposed in the Upper House as restraining the power of [the] Lord Admiral, Lord Marshal and High Commission. The proceedings in the admiralty be according to the civil law, in the Marshal's Court neither according to the civil nor common law, but by the law of honour and arms. The High Commission is granted upon statute, but their proceedings are by instructions under the Great Seal.

The bill was recommitted.

MR. SOLICITOR reported the declaration made by the Lord Archbishop at the committee, of his delivery of our resolution to the King and the King's answer, which had been carefully set down in writing and was shown his Majesty by the Duke of Buckingham and approved by the King as well taken, which was to this effect.

That my Lord of Canterbury had intimated something wherein he had not yet expressed himself, that is, to be either sensible or insensible of the good or bad dealing of them with whom he had of late treated. My Lord of Buckingham's relation was made by his commandment for us to judge upon, but his own mind of it he had not yet declared. Jupiter's speeches were followed with thunder. So kings should not speak until they are ready to maintain it by action.

To the matter of the declaration, that the largeness of the offer was without example; having the heart of his people, he need not with God's favour fear anything. He esteemed it more than millions and an ample reward for the freedom and trust which he had used with them. But he is to consider the possibility of the action. And as a man that is to make a fortification must have outworks and in-works, so must he provide in so great a business as the recovery of the Palatinate to have the assistance not only of his own people, but of his neighbours and allies. Except particular means be set down, it will neither be a bridle to the adversaries of that cause nor a comfort to his friends who shall join with him. Therefore, seeing we gave him such fair general promises, he would deal freely with us telling us plainly what would do the turn, but whether by subsidies or other means equivalent, it is indifferent, for being done by Parliament, it is a parliamentary way. He did desire us to bestow upon this great business 5 subsidies and ten fifteens, and because his own debts lay heavy upon him, which he did bear with great grief of heart [f. 30v] and sting of conscience, and being old, would be glad before his death to see some means of satisfying them. He did further desire that we would give him yearly one subsidy and 2 fifteens until they should be paid. If this might be done, he would follow our advice. In the levying these subsidies, he wished we would take such care that neither by suddenness of payment we made them over-grievous to the people, nor by length of time unprofitable to the [blank] and the money he left to be received and expended by committees of both Houses.

That as he told us before, he must look to his conscience in this great business as well as to the means he must have from us. But his conscience and his honour was his own, of which he had thought and did think daily and should be able to do therein as a king ought to do, being already in a great part resolved. But if any scruple should remain, he would acquaint us with it and not only seek but follow our advice. We were now in a way to bring him in love with Parliaments and to show his inclination to continue them, still his resolution was to make this a session by passing of as many good laws as could be made ready in convenient time, and within a few days after Michaelmas to have a new session, and in the spring another. In the meantime, we might go down and acquaint ourselves with the grievances of the people, and should see his care that his subjects might find good fruit of Parliaments and rejoice in them. He concluded with a protestation that as he had asked our advice in those points, which he needed not to have done, so he would never enter into agreement or treaty of composition for satisfaction or peace, which is the end of war (or else it is unjust and uncharitable), without our advice.

The Prince taking notice of an objection that this speech did seem to contradict that which before he had delivered, that his Majesty would ask nothing for his own particular until this war were provided for, told us that in his absence the Duke of Buckingham had moved this doubt to the King and that his Majesty's answer was that if we would add one subsidy and one fifteen more he would quit whatsoever he asked for his own necessities. His Highness added that the King told him he was satisfied in honour and conscience, but would take our advice for the publishing of it. To which the Duke of Buckingham adjoined that the reason why his Majesty spoke those words was that having before named his honour and conscience, if now he should have left them out, it might have been thought that only money had drawn him to it.

My Lord of Buckingham was so wary in this great trust that was put upon him that he desired a member of [f. 31] this House might be present when the King perused the copy and amended it.

The Prince in the conference undertook that if we would take these things into consideration and satisfy his Majesty, he would forthwith declare according to our advice.

The reporter concluded with his own motion that the weight of the business being so great, we would not suddenly enter into it but appoint a further time for debate, and that in the meantime the Clerk might deliver copies to such as should desire it.

According to which, Friday was appointed.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS moved for a subcommittee to receive petitions, and declare[d] Mr. [Robert] Grice's petition concerning the stopping of his wife's fine, which business was divers times debated the last Parliament.

An act for ease of pleading licences and pardons of alienations. Passed.

An act for the relief of his Majesty's tenants of the crown and duchy lands against forfeiture for non-payment of rent. Passed.

An act for the repeal of the branch of a statute 24 [sic] H. 8 concerning ordinances for the dominion of Wales. Passed the next morning and stayed in the meantime until the recital might be compared with the roll because it was conceived there was some fault in the printed copy.


[f. 88v]

Wednesday, 17th of March

SIR EDWARD COKE'S report from the committee of grievances. The patent of New England dated 3 November, 18 Jac.:

  • 1. A clause in it that none shall visit the coast there, and so debarring fishing.
  • 2. A clause of confiscation of ships or goods.

Resolved by the House the fishing should be free, and that the clause of confiscation of ships, etc., was against law.

The House thought fit that such as did fish there should have liberty to take timber and wood necessary for their fishing.

A message from the Lords to signify that the Duke of Buckingham is returned from the King and has brought with [f. 89] him his Majesty's pleasure concerning his last speech to both Houses at Whitehall. They desire a present conference of the former committees of both Houses in the Painted Chamber.

[Conference with the Lords]

The King, by his letters of explanation under his privy signet read in the Parliament House on Wednesday, the 17th of March 1623, by the Lord Keeper, did inform the House, first, that he was resolved both in his conscience and honour to make an instant war. That he did desire to confer with them for the manner of that war. That he did refuse to demand any subsidies for his debts and desired that his former demand of one subsidy and two fifteens might be added to the great business of the war, and so to make 6 subsidies and 12 fifteens. He wished that the Commons might be spared and that the moneys might not be levied by an ordinary parliamentary course, but by some other speedy course now and to be made parliamentary. He declared that the Emperor had done his son the most wrong, and other princes were but collateral, and that the war there would be most comfortable for religion and the confederates, and most honourable for him. That he would have one session at Easter, another at Michaelmas and another at the spring. [f. 89v] He justified that the Lord of Canterbury did mistake his meaning and did add to his speech without any just cause of such construction, and therefore he saw no cause as yet to make the Spaniard the capital enemy.

MR. SOLICITOR reported the King's speech and moved that time might be given for having copies and for deliberating before the debate.

Ordered, that the debate of this business should be entered into on Friday at eight of the clock.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS'S motion: none to depart this House until this business be resolved.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS'S report from the committee for examination of abuses of courts of justice. The committee desired a subcommittee of 20 to receive and peruse the petitions presented.

A petition of one [Robert] Grice, who married an heir in Norfolk. He and his wife levied a fine. The fine was stayed under pretence of his wife being drawn into it by threats. The writ in Chancery also stayed, his study searched and dedimus potestatem taken from him, with other papers.

Touching receiving petitions, ordered they should be received openly in the grand committee at the first sitting of it. [f. 90] And Grice's cause to be heard this day sevennight.

Bill for ease of the subject concerning licences of alienation and pleadings. Passed the House.

Bill for relief of the tenants of crown lands in case of forfeiture for non-payment of rent. Passed the House.

Bill for repealing a branch of the statute 34 H. 8, concerning Wales. Passed the House [sic].


[f. 29]

[17 March 1624]

The Prince's Highness, upon March 17, being Wednesday following, spoke thus: I have nothing else to say to you but this, if that you will grant the King's desire, I will engage myself that he will follow your advice and declare himself so to you.

[f. 80v] March 17, Wednesday

An act about the coheirs of Sir Francis Willoughby.

Upon report from the grand committee of grievances, Sir Ferdinando Gorges's patent for fishing upon the coast of New England was questioned. It was then resolved by three several questions:

  • 1. That all that will may fish upon that coast because all do so already but the English and they are excluded only by his patent.
  • 2. That they may take wood and timber from that continent sufficient for the necessary uses of fishing, viz. making stays, drying their fish and mending their ships and boats.
  • 3. That in the opinion of the House, the clause in his patent of confiscation to them that shall do so is merely void.

This order of the House aims not at the disannulling of the colony there but only to make fishing free, because if fishing were free it would bring into the kingdom £100,000 per annum.

Though fretum may be proprietary, yet oceanus must be free as well as the wind or air, etc.

A message from the Lords for a present conference in regard the Duke of Buckingham was now returned with the King's answer and resolution upon the Prince's explanation.

An act against the imprisonment of the [f. 81] subject contrary to Magna Carta. Reported and recommitted, because it was thought to touch upon the power of the Lord Admiral's Court, which proceeds by the civil law, and the Lord Marshal's Court, which is guided by honour and arms.

His Majesty's answer made March the 140 was then read, expounded, explained and viewed at court by Sir George Goring for the security of the Duke of Buckingham. His demands were then 6 subsidies and 12 fifteens, whereas before they had been 5 subsidies and 10 fifteens together with a subsidy and 2 fifteens to continue yearly for 15 years until the King's debts were paid.

Motion to take copies of it and refer all further debates and speech thereon until Friday following.

A motion that none should depart the town without leave until this great business be resolved.

An act for the relief of patentees, tenants, farmers of duchy land and crown land in cases of forfeiture for not paying their rent, vide March 10. Passed.

An act for repeal of a branch of a statute anno 340 Henrici 8vi, which gave the King power to alter the laws of Wales at his pleasure and to have it governed by the same laws with the kingdom of England. Passed [sic].

Because this last act was grounded upon the mentioning of a statute and that statute was printing [sic] in 2 several statute books 2 several ways, viz. this clause had 2 "thats" in one book and but one in the other, order was given to Sir William Pitt and Mr. [John] Selden to search both the [f. 81v] records and the original statute about it. And the next day the record was found to be with one "that" but the original statute with two, and so was this act with all care made conformable.