Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons. Originally published by British History Online, 2015-18.
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TUESDAY, 23 MARCH 1624
I. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, HC/CL/JO/1/13
[CJ 747; f. 83]
Martis, 23 Martii
L. 1. Lord Wentworth's bill.
SIR ARTHUR INGRAM. To have Sir Richard Etherington attend the committee Thursday 3 weeks by order of the House. And somebody authorised from my Lord Danvers.
MR. [JOHN] PYM. A petition from the creditors of [Thomas] Cope. A bill depending here. To have these men heard by their counsel at the committee, and to have their witnesses heard.
[f. 83v] L. 2. An act to enable Sir Richard Lumley to make sale of lands.
Tomorrow afternoon, 2 [o']clock, Court of Wards. And have power to hear counsel and witnesses in this case. And all other committees have the like power from the House.
L. 1. Lady Scudamore's bill.
SIR EDWARD GILES. A petition from a gentleman. To be referred to the committee for the bill of concealments.
The petition delivered to Sir Edward Coke.
L. 1. An act that the County Palatine of Durham may send knights, citizens and burgesses to serve in Parliament.
[f. 84] L. 2. An act to enable Sir Francis Clerke to make sale of certain lands.
Thursday, 2 [o']clock, Court of Wards.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS. The committee attended this morning but the King indisposed, and therefore desires they may attend at 2 [o']clock.
The merchants to attend at 2 [o']clock. To have them attend at 3 [o']clock. Agreed.
L. 2. An act to enable the Lady Alice Dudley to confirm the manor of Kenilworth to the Prince his Highness.
Tomorrow, 2 [o']clock, Court of Wards.
SIR EDWARD COKE reports the bill of supersedeas. York, Wales, Cheshire and Lancaster desire to be provided for by this bill.
Came to a question: 11 one way, 9 another. 9 to have these added, 16 against it. No amendments made in it.
MR. [THOMAS] FANSHAWE. No exception to the bill. Troubles him that this bill should pass while he holds the office. Less passed in his time than before. As Clerk of the Crown, to attend all the pleas of the crown. But £10 a year from the King. If this office of necessary use, to allow some means for it.
SIR HENRY ANDERSON. Not against the bill, but to have it recommitted for some reasons. The scope of the bill 2 ends. To have it extend as well into other places as the courts at Westminster.
MR. [WILLIAM] COYRTON. That which moved now moved at the committee. Sufficiently answered at the committee. To have it pass as it passed last time.
[f. 85] MR. [JOHN] WHISTLER. To have it recommitted. The punishment too heavy. In the power of a justice of peace to take away all a man has. To make it a temporary law.
SIR JOHN SAVILE. Counsel sends no certiorari, but the abuse of supersedeas as great there as here. Some make £20 per annum of binding men to the peace. Appeals to the justice of the House. The rule of Christian charity, to do as one would be done by. Injustice to provide for some counties and leave out other[s].
The bill, upon question, recommitted. All that will come to have voice. Star Chamber, Thursday, 2 o'clock.
The bill of usury to be debated tomorrow morning.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE. The last time we attended the King. To have the House take notice of the sitting of committees if there be any time this afternoon.
[f. 85v] ATTORNEY WARDS reports the Earl of Hertford's bill. All parties present and gave consent. The amendments twice read. The bill recommitted. Presently, Committee Chamber.
L. 1. An act against secret receiving of pensions of any foreign prince or state.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE. A report to be made for Norfolk. To have a time for it. To give power to the committee that if they find any men delinquents, to enjoin them attendance of the House until report be made. To enjoin the committee to give him particular directions for his report.
First part of his motion ordered. That the committee of privileges shall have power when they find any men delinquents to enjoin them the attendance of the House until the report be made.
MR. [JOHN] PYM. To have the House, that this afternoon the committee of both Houses may meet, to agree upon a report to be made before the recess.
ATTORNEY WARDS reports Earl of Hertford's bill. Added some words.
The bill ordered to be engrossed.
II. DIARY OF JOHN HAWARDE, WILTSHIRE AND SWINDON ARCHIVES, 9/34/2
Martis, 23 Martii 1623
1. L. Bill pur confirmer decree pur copie terres in Stepney.
SIR ARTHUR INGRAM. Pur tenants de Yorkshire d'appearer Thursedaye come three weekes.
2. L. Bill pur inabler Sir Richard Lumley de vendre terres.
Sur question, committe. Et in cest order que poient miser pur testmoignes et doier counsell.
1. L. Bill pur confirmacion de joincture al Lady Scudamore.
1. L. Bill pur chivaliers et burgesses in esesqrie de Durham.
2. L. Bill pur Sir Francis Clerke de vendre terres pur paimente de detts.
Sur question, committe. Jovis in [court de] gards.
Bill pur burgesses al Kenilworth et est pur assurance de ceux terres al Prince.
Sur question, committe. Tomorrowe in [court de] gards.
SIR EDWARD COKE report[s] bill de supersedeas et certioraries. Countie Palatinate de Lancaster establie par act de Parliament, so Chester and the Marches, mes Wales est par [p. 227] prescription et Yorke par instructions.
Par grande debat pur recomittemente de cest bill et nemy d'avoir novell bill car nest presidente since le Conqueste, et est bill de grace et doit este universall car rex in solio tanquam sol in caelo.
Sur question, recommitte, touts d'avoir voices. Jovis in Camera Stellata.
Bill de usuries. Deste debate tomorrow, nine a clocke.
SIR WALTER PYE fait reporte del bill pur Count de Hertford de vendre terres et Sir Francis Seymour.
III. DIARY OF SIR THOMAS JERVOISE, HAMPSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, 44M69/F4/20/1
[23 March 1624]
The King's Majesty's speech to the committee of both Houses at Whitehall, Tuesday, 23th [sic] March.
IV. DIARY OF JOHN LOWTHER, CUMBRIA ARCHIVE CENTRE, CARLISLE, DLONS/L/2/1
[23 March 1624]
A bill for knights in Durham, burgesses there and in Barnard's Castle. Once read.
Thursday next, 2 [o'clock], Court of Wards. I committee.
The bill for Kenilworth. Committed, and some three other private bills.
A bill for private pensions to be taken of foreign princes, praemunire. First read.
The bill for supersedeas. Recommitted.
V. ANONYMOUS DIARY, KENNETH SPENCER RESEARCH LIBRARY, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS, MS E237
[23 March 1624]
My Lord of Canterbury's speech for the 3 subsidies.
Most gracious sovereign, we, your most humble and loyal subjects, the Lords spiritual and temporal, the knights, citizens and burgesses now assembled in this present Parliament, do first render unto your sacred Majesty our most dutiful thanks for that, to our unspeakable comforts, you have vouchsafed to express yourself so well satisfied with our late declaration made to your Majesty of our general resolution in pursuit of our humble advice to assist your Majesty in a parliamentary way with our persons and abilities.
And whereas your Majesty, in your great wisdom and judgement, foreseeing that it would make a deeper impression both in the enemies of that cause and in your friends and allies if they shall not only hear of the cheerful offer but also see the real performance of your subjects towards so great a work, your Majesty was pleased to descend to a particular proposition for the advancing of this great business. We, in all humbleness, being most ready and willing to give your Majesty and the whole world an ample testimony of our sincere and dutiful intentions, have, upon mature advice and deliberation, as well of the weight and importance of these great affairs as of the present estate of this your kingdom — the weal and safety whereof is in our judgements apparently threatened if your Majesty's resolution of dissolving of these two treaties now in question be long deferred, and the provision for the defence of your realm and aid of your friends and allies be not seasonably made — we have therefore with a cheerful consent, no one dissenting, and we your Lords have cheerfully resolved, that upon your Majesty's public declaration for the utter dissolution and discharge of the two treaties of the marriage and the Palatinate, in pursuit of our advice therein and towards the support of the war which is likely to ensue, and more particularly for the 4 points proposed by your Majesty — namely, the defence of this your realm, the securing of Ireland, the assisting of your neighbours the States of the United Provinces and other your Majesty's friends and allies, and for the setting forth of your royal navy — we will grant for the present the greatest aid that was ever given in Parliament to be levied in so short a time; that is, three entire subsidies and three fifteens, the same to be paid within the compass of one whole year after your Majesty shall be pleased to make the said public declaration, the money to be paid into the hands, and expended by the direction, of such committees or commissioners as hereafter shall be agreed upon in this present session of Parliament.
And we most humbly beseech your Majesty graciously to accept these first fruits of our hearty oblations dedicated to that work which we infinitely desire may prosper and be advanced, and for the future to rest confidently [f. 109v] assured that if you shall be engaged in a real war that we, your loyal and loving subjects, will never fail to assist your Majesty in a parliamentary way in so royal a design, wherein your own honour and the honour of your most noble son, the Prince, and the ancient renown of this nation, the welfare and the very subsistence of your noble and only daughter and her consort and their posterity, the safety of your own kingdom and people, and prosperity of your neighbours and allies, which [sic] are so deeply engaged.
His Majesty's speech, the 23rd March, 1623.
VI. DIARY OF EDWARD NICHOLAS, TNA, SP 14/166
Tuesday, 230 Martii 1623
An act for confirmation of divers customs and copyhold estates of the tenants and freeholders of the manor of Stepney according to a decree in the Chancery made between the said tenants and freeholders and the Lord Wentworth, lord of that manor. 1. L. r. p.
An act to enable Sir Richard Lumley, kt., to sell divers lands for the payment of his debts and preferment of his younger children. 2. L. Committed. r. p.
It is ordered that all committees shall have power to hear counsel and send for witnesses if occasion shall be. This is at the motion of Mr. [John] Pym.
An act to enable the Lady Scudamore to sell lands. 1. L.
An act against secret receiving of pensions and gifts of any foreign prince. 1. L.
The penalty is a praemunire.
It is ordered that the committee of privileges shall enjoin any such as that committee shall, on examination, find to be delinquents to give their attendance on this House.
[f. 30] The Lord Mandeville, showing this copy of his Majesty's declaration to the King, his Lordship told us, at a committee [sic], that the King said he never saw any copy of all his speeches better taken than this, to which his Lordship was bold to reply, again, of all his Majesty's speeches there was never any that was better received than this.
VII. DIARY OF SIR WILLIAM SPRING, HOUGHTON LIBRARY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MS ENG. 980
Tuesday, the 23rd of March
An act to settle copyhold lands in Stepney and Hackney upon the tenants from the Lord Wentworth, lord of the manor.
An act for [Sir Richard] Lumley's lands. Committed.
An act to confirm an estate to the Lady Scudamore.
An act for the having of knights and burgesses for the County Palatinate of Durham, and for the city of Durham and the town of [blank] in the County Palatinate.
An act for enabling Sir Francis Clerke, knight, to sell lands. Committed.
SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports from the Prince that the King has put off the meeting before him until 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
An act for assurance of Kenilworth Castle, late bought by Prince Henry of Sir Robert Dudley, against the jointure of Dame Alice, his wife, for the consideration of [£]4,000 given to her by Prince Charles.
SIR EDWARD COKE reports the bill of the staying of procuring writs of the peace, good behaviour, certiorari, supersedeas, etc., that it has been considered, etc.
MR. [THOMAS] FANSHAWE humbly moves the House that if they please to have this act to pass for a law, there may be some consideration had of the officers of the crown office for that the benefit of these writs is almost all the profit they have to bear out the great charge which they are at. He speaks not against the bill but wishes as much good may come of it as is expected, which yet he much doubts but only desires the favour of the House to the officers.
SIR HENRY POOLE moves it may be engrossed now since it has been committed and allowed by the committee.
SIR HENRY ANDERSON commends the bill but desires that the county of York may receive the benefit of it and the County Palatinate where there may be courts that grant the like writs, and that it may not be restrained to the courts at Westminster only.
[p. 156] MR. [JOHN] WIGHTWICK moves that the County Palatinate and the Marches of Wales may receive the benefit of this bill as well as the body of the kingdom. They are a large and a considerable part, and they feel the smart of this mischief as much or more than most parts of the kingdom. That this is one of the acts of grace and that it is diminution to the King's honour not to show like grace to all, for rex in solio tanquam sol in caelo. And whereas some alleged at the committee that it would hinder the passing of the bill in the Upper House, he could not think that those other parts should find less favour than the parts now contained in the bill, etc.
SIR JOHN WALTER was for it as it is because it had received the last convention much opposition when it was but as it is now, and with great difficulty passed the Upper House. And if it go as it passed there last, it will questionless pass; but if it receive alteration and addition it will never, and so the whole will be lost.
SIR JOHN SAVILE. To exclude a part from so necessary a benefit were most uncharitable, and they that would so have it are like the priest that passed by the wounded man and would take no pity on him. Moves that like the merciful Samaritan, they would take in those parts that were burdened rather more than any with them, and that in the north some travelled 80 mile on these writs.
SIR DUDLEY DIGGES acknowledges that it were much the best that this law might extend to all if it might be, but the hazard of losing all by coveting to get in this part is apparent. He therefore moves that since the parts of the north and Palatinates shall have some benefit by this act, though not that which is necessary, and they desire yet rather than lose all this may be saved, and if with the good Samaritan you have not oil and wine both to pour into the wounds, yet pour at least wine alone rather than none.
[p. 157] SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH was for the counties.
SIR CHRISTOPHER HILDYARD, a northern man, says that the discommodities there are not so great as formerly they have been, for that the late presidents of the north have taken order that none of those writs shall go forth above 12 mile[s] from the city.
SIR JOHN ELIOT. The whole kingdom labours under one disease and some parts are afflicted with two. Now the question is whether the whole shall yet languish because the parts cannot be cured of both their griefs [sic].
SIR THOMAS SAVILE thinks the last that spoke not needful to be answered, and that he that spoke before was mistaken in his testimony for, on his knowledge, he knew where that men were enforced of late in the north to travel 30 mile[s] and more, etc.
SIR ROBERT PHELIPS against the passing it with including the counties.
The bill is recommitted.
An act for sale of lands of the Earl of Hertford's and of some [of] Sir Francis Seymour's, etc. Reported and engrossed.
An act read against receivers of pensions from foreign states.
For the speech that was made to the King this day concerning the subsidies, with his answer to it, see them among the speeches in the book of the speeches of this Parliament.
VIII. DIARY OF SIR THOMAS HOLLAND, BODL., TANNER MS 932
230 Martii, Tuesday
First read. An act for the confirmation of certain estates and customs of copyhold of Stepney and Hackney by indenture between the Lord Wentworth and others.
Second read. An act to enable Sir Richard Lumley, kt., to sell lands for the payment of his debts and advancement of his younger children. Committed, [Court of] Wards, Wednesday.
First read. An act for assuring a rent charge to the Lady Scudamore, the late wife of Sir James Scudamore, for a jointure.
First read. An act that the County Palatinate of Durham shall have knights, citizens and burgesses to serve in the Parliament.
Second read. An act to enable Sir Francis Clerke, kt., to sell lands for the payment of his debts and advancing his younger children. Committed, Thursday, [Court of] Wards.
[SIR EDWIN] SANDYS. That the Prince caused the committee to inform the House that the King had put off the meeting with both Houses until 2 of the clock in the afternoon.
Second read. An act to enable Dame Alice Dudley, the wife of Sir Robert Dudley, to assure her estate of the manor of Kenilworth and other lands in Warwickshire to the Prince upon good considerations. Committed, Wednesday, [Court of] Wards.
[f. 72] [SIR EDWARD] COKE reports the bill against supersedeas and certioraries.
IX. DIARY OF JOHN PYM, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, FH/N/C/0050
23 Martii 1623
An act for confirming the copyhold estates and customs of the manor of Stepney according to a decree of the Chancery by consent of my Lord Wentworth and the tenants.
An act to enable Sir Richard Lumley to sell divers lands.
It was ordered that this committee and all others of the like kind should have power to hear witnesses and to send for counsel.
[f. 39] An act/
An act for the County Palatine of Durham to send knights, citizens and burgesses to the Parliament.
An act to enable Sir Francis Clerke to sell divers lands for the payment of his debts and provision of his younger children. Committed.
An act to enable the Lady Dudley to assure the manor of Kenilworth to the Prince.
It was informed that the Prince had given £4,000 for this assurance and that it was done with the consent of her father and brother. Committed.
SIR EDWARD COKE reported an act for preventing abuses in procuring process of supersedeas and certiorari, which had been committed and the committees were divided upon a motion which was made for enlarging the bill that might extend to the court of the Council of York, the Marches of Wales, the Counties Palatine of Lancashire and Cheshire.
MR. [THOMAS] FANSHAWE, because of his own particular interest, he would take no exception to the bill, yet doubted it would not yield that fruit which was expected. Since he came to be officer, there passed not a third part of the number of this process which was before, wherein the judges would be his witnesses. The state of the office was this: he had but £10 a year fee for his attendance; other profits were found when the Court of Wards was in treaty to be dissolved, in the provision was made for the officers by pensions during their lives, the like upon the dissolution of the monasteries. If this bill be profitable for the commonwealth, he hoped they would think upon some suc[h] recompense as might enable him to maintain the clerks, considering their attendance was still required.
To the general of the bill were made these exceptions. That there was no salus contenemento, but an arbitrary power left in justices of peace to fine at their pleasure. The value of £10 prescribed for sureties too high.
Against the enlargement of the bill:
- 1. The Council of York was by instruction, and sends no certiorari for any indictment. The county of Lancaster was erected by act of Parliament, and Chester by prescription. The courts of the Marches of Wales partly by act of Parliament and partly by instruction for the four shires, and being all of several natures cannot well be brought under the same rule.
- [f. 39v] 2. The great sessions being kept in the same counties of Wales, they are already well enough; and none of the other places can be forced to travel so far as that they stand in such need of this law as other parts of England, who are all brought up to London.
- 3. That it will be better to take part than lose all by griping too much. We are sure the bill, as it is, will pass because it passed so the last Parliament. But if these additions be made, the presidents of the north and Wales will be like to cross it. And, therefore, it will be better to draw another bill for these parts and the passing of this will be a good precedent for them.
For the enlargement were given these reasons.
- 1. The equality of mischief in these parts requiring the like remedy:
- 1. That the process should not be granted but in open court and upon oath to be registered.
- 2. That these courts being left open will swallow up all the jurisdiction of the justices of peace.
- 3. Other laws in the redress of mischief have not used to be partial. 10 H. 6 providing for indictment in foreign counties, that there should issue 2 capias, extended to all courts.
- 4. The remoteness is but a cause of the inducement of this law, for if that were all to be redressed it may be as well objected to Middlesex, Surrey, Hertfordshire, Essex and other counties near London, and yet some parts under the jurisdiction of York are driven to travel 120 miles.
- 5. Justice and charity require the body should have a care of all the members. Neither will this be a clog to the bill since there is no new matter added but only in [sic] extension of the remedy to other parts that have the same need.
- 6. There is no precedent wherein 2 bills have been passed in one session for the same mischief.
- 7. The reformation for these parts will be more likely to be yielded when they are included in the general than if they go alone.
So the bill was recommitted.
SIR WALTER PYE reported my Lord of Hertford's bill, which was ordered to be engrossed.
An act against receiving pensions of foreign states.
X. DIARY OF SIR WALTER EARLE, BL, ADD. MS 18,597
Tuesday, the 23th [sic] of March
The committees of both Houses, being gone to attend the King, were put off until the afternoon by reason of the King's indisposition of body.
Bill concerning supersedeas, etc. Reported, and recommitted to have the Counties Palatine and the Council of the North and of the Marches provided for, as well as the courts at Westminster.
Bill concerning receiving of pensions from foreign princes. First read.
[f. 100] The Lord of Canterbury's preamble when he delivered this to the King from the Commons.
May it please your most excellent Majesty, we are come to attend you with a few persons, and thereby conceive that a few words will be most grateful and acceptable unto you. The Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled have dutifully taken into their consideration your last answer and explanation thereupon, and with mature deliberation have thought fit in writing to present a remonstrance unto you, which they humbly beseech your Majesty graciously to accept, the tenure whereof is this.
[f. 104] His Majesty's speech.
[f. 208] My Lords and gentlemen all, I thank you all for your kind offer, which I do heartily accept of, and though it be not to that proportion that I did expect, yet I do conceive that it is as much as my people can well bear in so short a time. And I do absolutely declare before you all that according to your request for the breach of both the treaties of the match and the Palatinate, I will follow your advice. But this, you must give me leave for the managing of that war. Although I will not handle a penny of the money but it shall be done according to your committees, yet for the disposing of the wars, that must be by my only directions and such as I shall appoint, for such businesses must not be handled publicly, for it may be I shall make war upon the Emperor, it may be upon other princes, it may be a diversive war, or I know not how, according as God shall enable me. Your first proposition in offering me your persons and abilities, and now for the continuance of the same, I more esteem it than if you had given me 30 subsidies; and maugre the devil, I hope to make my love known to my subjects and then I hope the next Parliament you will remember my necessities, and I doubt not but I shall remember the grievances of my country.
XI. JOURNAL OF SIR SIMONDS D'EWES, BL, HARL. MS 159
[23 March 1624]
The resolution of the Houses to the King, the two [sic] and twentieth day of March 1623.
[f. 30v] His Majesty's resolution to the Houses of Parliament, the four [sic] and twentieth day of March 1623, being Tuesday, declaring his breach of the two treaties with the King of Spain.
[f. 31v] At night, many bonfires were made in London for this, his Majesty's long expected and much desired declaration for the breach of both the treaties of the match and the restoring of the Palatinate, with Spain, though without his Majesty's appointment, who answered the Archbishop of Canterbury, moving him in it whether it pleased his Majesty that the people might express their joy for this his Majesty's declaration, that he thought it not fit in regard the war was not yet begun and so what the success might be not known, and to rejoice before a victory were presumptuous before it and contemptible without it.
After his Majesty's speech thus ended, March 24 [sic], he began to select out divers of the nobility and others for a secret Council of War as he himself had promised ...
[f. 91v] March 230, Tuesday
An act to enable the Lady Alice Dudley, etc. Vide 130.
An act about the procuring of process and certiorari, etc., to which the Clerk of the Crown, MR. [THOMAS] FANSHAWE, spoke very well. That though it stripped him of the whole benefit of his place, yet he submitted himself to the judgement of the House. The King allowed him besides his fees but £10 per annum to attend all causes of the crown.
A motion to consider Mr. [Thomas] Fanshawe's case at [f. 92] the [re]committing of this bill.
Yorkshire desired the benefit of this bill and divers other remote places, and that being adjudged a clogging of the bill, SIR JOHN SAVILE said the priest and the Levite that passed by and left the man half wounded might have said as much to him, I would help thee but thou will clog me. Others would not put all their fortunes in one bottom nor gripe at much and lose all, ergo, would have another bill apart for them. But it was answered that clogging was with new clauses and not in extent of equity. There never were 2 bills for one business. We should hardly prevail for one. And it is not equal that men should sit and give their votes to a law whereof themselves had not the benefit.
At the committee in the afternoon for trade
The several patents of the Merchant Adventurers were reported by MR. [JOHN] BANKES, who had been appointed to review them, and he found they had divers patents.
- 1. Their first patent bears date Februarii 50, 1506 [sic], anno 80 Henrici 4ti, and in that they have no peculiar privilege above other merchants.
- 2. They have one of Henry 7, anno 21, December [sic] 28, which is a patent for a governor and 24 assistants with a proviso to admit others to them according to the statute anno 120 Henrici 7mi, vide, which redresses the same complaint that is now on foot and admits any for the paying of 10 marks.
- 3. Their third patent bears date June 14 anno 220 Henrici 7mi, and in that they obtained power to be a company in the same form and manner beyond sea as they were at [f. 92v] home and had power to trade into Holland, Zealand, Brabant, Flanders, etc., and all other places under the Prince of Castile.
- 4. They have another of Elizabeth 60, July 180, and that enlarges their places of traffic and adds East Friesland, West Friesland and Hamburg, etc., and in this are 2 provisos:
- 1. Not to be prejudicial to the Merchant Staplers.
- 2. That the Queen might recall it when she pleased. And hitherto, they had no restraint for others, nor charter but for point of government only.
- 5. Their next patent was obtained Elizabethae 28vo, Aprilis 28vo, and that is the first that runs with exclusive words to others, who therein are barred to trade with those parts in any commodity save only in books, victuals, horses and matter of munition for war; there they have power to punish and imprison others, and there is also a proviso not to prejudice the Merchant Staplers.
- 6. They have a patent of Jacobi 50 [sic], Januarii 200 [sic], and that enlarges their privileges very much.
- 1. That suffers no cloth to be transported but by their cocket and signed by their officers, to which purpose they have one in every port.
- 2. It gives them power to take oath and bond of the master of the ship to transport none but what they send, and to certify in 6 months where they have delivered it.
- 3. Power to imprison without bail or mainprise.
- 4. Not to be questioned by any quo warranto, upon which they impose upon the native commodity of the kingdom and the penalty goes [f. 93] to the private use of the company, 5s. on a short cloth and 7s. 6d. on a long. In this patent, there is also a proviso that they shall not be prejudicial to the Merchant Staplers; but they procured a proclamation the same year, which excludes both Staplers and all others, so that their patent is contrary to free trade and their proclamation to their patent.
Their main book of orders they brought not in, but [William] Towerson, in the name of the rest, answered it lay at Hamburg, where was their principal court, whereupon it was ordered that they should bring in such notes as they had by them out of which they framed what they sent over here.
Three questions was [sic] then propounded to them:
- 1. Whether they would undertake to take off all the cloth in the kingdom.
- 2. If not, whether they will be content that others be admitted to help them to do it, for it being the main commodity of the kingdom, must needs be cleared of stops and rubs. If the whole trade of England be 10, clothing is 9 of the 10.
- 3. Whether they will be content with the white cloth only and let others traffic with those that shall be dyed and dressed at home.
To this question, they desired time to advise with the company before they made answer.
The Staplers trade only in wool and woolfells, lead and leather, which be the staple commodities of the kingdom.