Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons. Originally published by British History Online, 2015-18.
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WEDNESDAY, 24 MARCH 1624
I. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, HC/CL/JO/1/13
[CJ 747; f. 86]
Mercurii, 24 Martii
L. 2. An act for confirmation of a decree in Chancery made between the lord of the manor of Painswick.
L. 2. Lord Wentworth's bill. Ordered to be engrossed.
Sir Thomas Cheke's bill. Monday, sevennight.
L. 2. An act restoring the free trade of the Merchants of the Staple.
Thursday after Easter, Court of Wards, 2 o'clock.
[f. 86v] L. 2. An act to avoid the exactions of fees of customers comptrollers.
Sir Edward Coke
Sir Arthur Ingram
Sir John Strangways
Sir John Savile
Citizens, burgesses of all the port towns
Sir John Stradling
Mr. [William] Cage
Mr. [Robert] Snelling
Sir Thomas Myddelton
Mr. [John] Mostyn
Mr. [John] Glanville
Mr. [John] Jacob
Mr. [John] Bankes
Sir Philip Carey
Sir Edward Giles
Sir Thomas Estcourt
Mr. [Edward] Hungerford
Mr. [John] Whistler
This day fortnight, Court of Wards, 2 o'clock.
L. 2. An act for the naturalizing of Sir Francis Stewart, Walter Stewart, James Maxwell, William Carr and James Levingston, esquires.
[CJ 748] The bill of usury recommitted to the former committee. And all that will come to have a voice. Star Chamber, tomorrow fortnight, 2 o'clock.
[f. 87] The committee for continuance of statutes to meet this vacation and prepare the bill against the next access. To meet on Saturday next, at Temple Hall.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE reports from the committee of privileges 2 causes: Dover, Arundel.
1. Dover. The case thus. 2 petitions: 1 by the inhabitants at large; the other by the mayor, jurats and common council. That complained of was this. Sir Richard Young and Sir Edward Cecil returned when not duly elected. Found the mayor and jurats ought to have voice. Appeared that by a constitution, made 3 [?Queen] in the presence of the commonalty, that from thenceforth all those officers that had been chosen before at large should, after that time, be chosen by the 37 common council. At that court, the first 37 nominated. Ever since that, the elections had been so, and the commonalty not meddled. Warning given on Monday for a meeting, day following, no intimation of the cause. This only given to the jurats and 37. Upon this, met and entered into dispute concerning the business of Sandwich, and went to voices, the greater number whereof that this constitution did bind. And thereupon chose these 2.
Opinion of the committee. That all the freemen inhabitants ought to have voices in this election. Next, that no good election of these 2, but both void, and consequently a new writ. 1 objection against it: that since so long continued, not now to control it. But answered that no good custom since the beginning of it did appear. For the mayor, they find he rather in an error than misdemeanour. Appeared no practice. Fourthly, that they found these knights had carried themselves fairly. [f. 87v] Fifthly, that the warrant may go out with all expedition.
Resolved, upon question, that the freemen and free burgesses, inhabitants of Dover, ought to have voice in the election of their barons to serve in Parliament.
Resolved, upon a 2nd question, that the election of Sir Edward Cecil and Sir Richard Young is void, and that a new warrant shall go out for a new choice, with expedition; and that these men may be chosen again, if they so please.
Next for Arundel. The case thus. A petition exhibited by the inhabitants at large of Arundel complaining that, whereas 2 burgesses — Sir Henry Spiller, Sir George Chaworth — Sir Henry Spiller, they said, was well chosen, but not the other. Counsel heard for him. The case this. The electors, the mayor, the principal burgesses, and all the inhabitants, householders, whether or not free. A good warning. Agreed that these 2 should be propounded, and one Mr. [William] Mill. Of the electors [?electing], 35 for Mr. [William] Mill, and 37 for [Sir George] Chaworth; but this a private enumeration. But after, 4 more came in before the election done. They gave voice for [Mr. William] Mill, so that they conceived they came in due time. Mayor, 2 brethren and steward continued there, after the rest of the company gone, to get more company until 6 of night. Then they got more voices for Sir George Chaworth. Of opinion that Sir George Chaworth was not well elected, and that a warrant ought to be made to the mayor to return Mr. [William] Mill instead of Sir George Chaworth, as in the case of Chippenham. Appeared that this mayor had put the town to a great deal of charge. Moved at committee, agreed clearly, that there was a due and general warning.
[f. 88] To set down some costs to be paid to them again. A member undertook that what they should set down should be paid. Sir Henry Spiller.
Mr. [Thomas] Bowyer
Mr. [Edward] Alford
SIR GEORGE CHAWORTH. So confident of the justice of the House that, upon his cause, he shall not go out. Yesterday, at committee, had measure of justice, according to the measure of the time. The case untruly put. As the case was opened, they did right. When he came to speak that was for him, he spoke against him. Had no warrant from him to say it. Mayor and burgesses met and, after the writ read, 3 for Mr. [William] Mill and 5 for him. So written down. The election continues, and about 12, one numbers them, finds his number the greater, published it to the mayor. True, he sat still, because all the burgesses not come in. 4 more came in for Mr. [William] Mill. At the same time, the register said to the mayor that all were not present. No limitation to a borough for any time for the election. Came after 17 more for Mr. [William] Mill, and 27 for him. Had oath to prove this. Will be objected that no witness of his part there can prove the consent for the continuance until 5 [o']clock. Leaves his cause to the just consideration of the House.
MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. Nothing said but said before. When came to the poll, found Mr. [William] Mill to have most voices. They desired a return of him, and went away.
Resolved, upon question, that the mayor, burgesses and inhabitants of Arundel ought to have voice in the election of burgesses.
Resolved, upon a 2nd question, Sir George Chaworth is not well elected.
[f. 88v] Resolved, upon a 3rd question, that Mr. [William] Mill is duly elected and should have been returned.
Resolved, upon another question, that the mayor, now being in town, shall be commanded to return Mr. [William] Mill; if he be not in town, a warrant to go to him for it.
Resolved, upon another question, that Mr. [Edward] Alford, Mr. [Thomas] Bowyer, Mr. [Richard] Lewkenor, shall set down the charges.
The commission to be stayed for examining witnesses in a cause depending in Chancery between Elizabeth Aynscombe, and Mr. [Nicholas] Eversfield, and Catherine Aynscombe.
A message from the Lords, by Attorney [General] and Serjeant [Sir Henry] Finch. The Lords signify to us that their desire to have a present meeting of committee of both Houses touching a conference about that which was delivered yesterday by the King, with some addition of further grace. Presently, Painted Chamber.
Answer: this House will presently give meeting as is desired.
Mr. Solicitor and Sir Edwin Sandys to make report.
Committees sent up to the Lords.
The House to sit in the afternoon.
L. 1. An act against converting arable land into pasture.
[f. 89] Mercurii, 24 Martii, post meridiem
L. 2. An act against depopulation and converting of arable into pasture.
Sir Edward Coke
Mr. [John] Glanville
Sir William Spring
Mr. [Dru] Drury
Sir Thomas Estcourt
Sir Thomas Walmesley
Mr. [John] Mostyn
Sir Henry Poole
Sir George Manners
Sir John Savile
Sir Oliver Cromwell
Sir William Fleetwood
Sir Richard Harrison
Sir William Master
Sir Roger North
Sir Francis Seymour
Mr. [Edward] Alford
Sir Henry Wallop
Sir Thomas Cheke
Mr. [Francis] Fetherston[haugh]
Sir Charles Morrison
Sir James Perrot
The bill delivered to Sir Edward Coke. And all that will come to have voice. This day fortnight, Exchequer Chamber. 2 [o']clock.
L. 2. An act against abuses in levying of debts for common persons under the name and prerogative of the King.
[f. 89v] Sir Edward Coke
Serjeant [Sir Robert] Hitcham
Mr. [John] Glanville
Mr. [John] Pym
Sir John Walter
Mr. [Christopher] Brooke
Sir Edward Peyton
Mr. [John] Lowther
All the King's counsel
Sir Arthur Ingram
Sir Edward Giles
Sir Francis Seymour
Mr. [Thomas] Wentworth
Mr. [Richard] Taylor
Mr. [John] Bankes
Mr. [William] Noye
All the lawyers of the House
Mr. [Robert] Bateman
Friday, sevennight, Court of Wards. The Remembrancer of the Exchequer and the other officers that it concerns to have notice of it.
SIR EDWARD COKE reports the Lady Dudley's bill. No amendments.
[CJ 749] L. 3. An act to enable the Lady Alice Dudley to assure the manor of Kenilworth to the Prince his Highness.
Upon question, passed for a law.
[f. 90] MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE reports from the committee of privileges a petition from the freeholders of Norfolk. 4 or 5 hundred hands to it. Heard 2 witnesses: Cofer and Bond. Adjourned to a further dispute until they had heard the sheriff, why he broke off the poll. After, counsel on both sides heard. George Gawdy, Mr. Fountaine and one/
3 members of this House heard at committee. The committee of opinion that the 2 knights well elected and well returned, and ought to stand.
SIR EDWARD COKE. Let us keep the orders of the House. To have a report of the committee and not to have the case put strange.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE. Will readily obey the inclination of the House. Cannot now deliver it as the opinion of the committee, but as a private man. He was of a contrary opinion to the committee. The petition came in the 26th of February, signed with almost 500 hands. The points, 3, of the petition:
- 1. That the persons refused most voices.
- 2. The freeholders, who had interest, prayed the poll and was once granted.
- 3. The sheriff partially broke off the poll, and returned others.
This the suggestion of the petition. Proved thus much:
- 1. That the writ read between 8 and 9 [o']clock, upper court. Then, after, Sir Thomas Holland taken up, and Sir John Corbet, and one Mr. [Robert] Catelyn, a deputy for [Sir Roger] Townshend, and Sir Robert Gawdy. After this, the sheriff came to the lower court to view the company. The most eminent men accompanied him. In their opinion, then the 2 knights returned the greatest number. [f. 90v] After, came to the higher court, made 2 declarations: that Sir Thomas Holland had the first place, no contradiction of that, and Sir John Corbet the second. That contradicted by 2 or 3. Pretended this demand of the poll too late; after declaration and, some say, after dinner. Next, say the poll demanded only for the 2nd voice.
- 3. [sic] That Sir Robert Gawdy and the other disturbed and relinquished the poll. The proof: 5 witnesses examined. The first day, one Cofer, though not upon oath, testified thus much:
- 1. That the freeholders demanded the poll for both places before declaration.
- 2. Testified that voices numbered for [Sir Thomas] Holland.
- 3. That Sir Thomas Holland and [Sir John] Corbet's voices, the justices, serving men and tradesmen come with them. Their greatest number of such. Said a great and general complaint of the freeholders against the justices. After him, one Richard Bond testified about the poll. Concurred with Mr. Cofer.
- Added a fourth: that if they had gone to poll, the other should have had the greater number. Next day, examined Sir Robert Gawdy's brother. Testified the poll for all, and that they offered him the 2nd place. Sir Robert Gawdy said he would poll for all.
- 3. The poll begun and 4 or 5 voices for [Sir Thomas] Holland. Other witnesses, Mr. Fountaine and Mr. Taverner, that concurred with Gawdy. After, read a declaration of the sheriff. Calthrope said that Catelyn seemed to yield, and so Gawdy.
After, upon the committee, 26 of the opinion that these gentlemen well chosen, and 12 against it. 3 members of this House said they were present at all this. Declared that they heard not but that the greater number with them that are returned. Heard no [f. 91] demand of the poll. But this negative proof. He of opinion that neither of them duly elected.
MR. WANDESFORD. Very plain that neither well elected. The poll demanded and not pursued.
MR. [WILLIAM] CORYTON. He of opinion that these gentlemen well elected. The number being so exceeding great, was a great labour to go to the poll.
SIR GEORGE MORE. When the poll demanded and entered into, Catelyn said that unless he might have the first voice, would not stand. Thereupon, the sheriff relinquished the poll. Thereupon Catelyn departed. He of opinion that they are duly elected.
MR. [DRU] DRURY. Sir Thomas Holland chosen without question, without demand of the poll. After he was chosen in the first place, Sir Robert Gawdy came and when he saw the first place was gone, said he would not stand for the second. That was the reason the poll was broke off for Sir John Corbet.
SIR HENRY POOLE thinks that Sir Thomas Holland was duly elected. Doubts the other. Sir Thomas Holland had 15 hundred odds.
The House divided upon the question, and overruled, that the noes ought to go out.
|Sir Francis Barrington||Mr. Treasurer|
|Sir Henry Poole||Lord Cavendish|
|Tellers for the Yea||Tellers for the No|
[f. 91v] Resolved, upon question and division of the House, that Sir Thomas Holland and Sir John Corbet are well elected knights for Norfolk.
A message from the Lords, by Serjeant [Sir John] Davies and Serjeant [Sir Henry] Finch. The Lords have sent this message: that because they think not fit to have any report made of the King's speech until he have [sic] seen it and allowed it, and understanding that he is now in his naked bed and asleep, they desire that this House will sit tomorrow (as they purpose to do) that so they may confer tomorrow morning and end that business before the recess.
Answer: this House, for the same reason, will sit tomorrow, as is desired, in the forenoon.
MR. RECORDER. All elections cleared but one. To have that now done that concerns Sir Francis Popham.
Ordered, this cause shall be heard tomorrow at the committee of privileges, the first cause. The report to be forborne until our next meeting.
MR. [WILLIAM] CHOLMLEY. To have the other part heard too. Their witnesses now out of town.
If the committee see cause, they are to hear the other part after.
Mr. [William] Noye, Mr. [John] Selden added to the committee of privileges.
Mr. [William] Noye to take the bill of continuance of statutes; and the lawyers to meet on Saturday afternoon, Temple Hall.
II. DIARY OF JOHN HAWARDE, WILTSHIRE AND SWINDON ARCHIVES, 9/34/2
Mercurii, 24 Martii 1623
2. L. Bill pur naturalizinge James Maxwell, Sir Francis Stewart et autres.
Ingrossed from the Lords. Sur question, ne sera committe.
Bill de usurie.
Sur question, recommitte, all to have voices, tomorrowe fortnighte.
Bill de continuance et repeale de statutes d'este prepare cest recesse et null autres.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE fait reporte de Dover et Arundel. [Dover:]
- 1. Sur question, le maior, freeman et free burgesses d'aver voices.
- 2. Sur 2nd question, le election voyd.
- 3. Sur 3rd [question], novel garrante pur brief ove speede.
Arundel: le maior, le principall burgesses et touts les inhabitants housholders ont voices in le l'election.
[p. 229] 2. Sur 2nd [question], Mr. [William] Mill bien electe et doit n'este retorne.
Mr. [Nicholas] Eversfield, commissions in Chancerye versus ley touts deste staie.
Message del seignours [par] l'atturnie generall et Sergeante [Sir Henry] Finch. Presente conference del committee dambideux Huises ove further addicon de grace del Roy.
127. 4. [sic]. 1, Ps[alme]. Excepte the Lord buyld the howse, a psalme of degrees. A spalme [sic] of degrees of David: a kinge the beste governor.
Le Speaker in cathedra.
2. L. Bill versus depopulacion et decay de tillage et conversion de errable terre al pasture.
Sur question, committe al committee de repeale de statutes.
2. L. Bill pur assignement de detts al Roy.
Sur question, committe touts les leyarrs de Huise. Le Remembrancer del Exchecquers deste oye.
SIR EDWARD COKE reporte le bill pur le Prince pur sale de Kenilworth par Dame Dudley.
3. L. Lie engros, mise del seignours.
Sur question, passe pur ley.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE fait reporte del chivaliers de Norfolk.
[p. 230] Par SIR EDWARD COKE. Reporter doit faire vere reporte del veritie del case.
Sur 2x questions, le Huise divider et les noes, sur grande debate, goe out. Les noes [sic] carye it.
Message del seignours par [Serjeant Sir John] Davies et [Serjeant Sir Henry] Finch. Null reporte ore que est apte pur le Roy de penser par le indospition de corporall sanitude. Its sitte tomorrowe; desyrouse to have ends before the recesse, so will wee.
III. DIARY OF JOHN HOLLES, BL, HARL. MS 6,383
Wednesday, the 24th of March
In the case of Sir George Chaworth, unduly elected for Arundel, SIR EDWARD COKE said that Sir Henry Spiller, his partner, must stand, being well chosen, and a new writ only to choose one in the other's place, for, as in a new repleader, you must not begin all anew but where the error was.
SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH said there needs no new writ, for [Mr. William] Mill being well chosen for Arundel, the mayor needs only to mend [f. 112v] the names in the return as in the case for Sir George Hastings the last Parliament, being chosen knight for Leicestershire, and Sir Thomas Beaumont being returned, the sheriff was commanded to mend his return.
The Attorney [General] and Serjeant [Sir Henry] Finch came of a message from the Lords to desire a present conference of the committees of both Houses that attended the King yesterday about the King's speech, to set it down and withal to receive some additions of grace from court.
An act against depopulation, decay of farms and conversion of arable. Committed for this day fortnight.
To expedite businesses the more before the cessation again Easter, the House sat this afternoon.
An act for preventing abuses in levying debts by common persons under the King's name. Committed for Friday sevennight.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE reported the opinion of the committee [of privileges] in the case of the election for the knights of Norfolk in general terms, without relating the case particularly.
This was opposed by SIR EDWARD COKE and SIR EDWARD WARDOUR, saying that the House must not be carried with an implicit faith.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE said he was so commanded by the committee.
SIR THOMAS HOBY. This is the first case wherein particulars are forbidden to be recited.
One may interrupt any man's speech to speak to the orders of the House.
[MR. JOHN] GLANVILLE answered, those that affirmed in this case for Norfolk that [f. 113] they neither heard nor saw no poll demanded that it was but negative proof.
A law in the 20 [sic] of Hen. the 6 that if the sheriff return one unduly chosen, he shall be fined £100 and imprisoned a year. In the 8 of Hen. the 6 a law made that the sheriff may try by poll and oath who is duly chosen. If either the parties, pretenders or freeholders desire a poll, the sheriff is bound to give it.
It is against the orders of the House to have any certificate read in the House.
[f. 113v] In the afternoon, both Houses sat.
In our House, only the election of Norfolk was decided, wherein the House was divided. The noes were adjudged to go out, who were some 125; the yeas were 168 that would have Sir John Corbet [f. 114] and Sir Thomas Holland, already returned knights, so to continue.
IV. DIARY OF JOHN LOWTHER, CUMBRIA ARCHIVE CENTRE, CARLISLE, DLONS/L/2/1
[24 March 1624]
The bill for depopulation. Wednesday fortnight, [Ex]chequer Chamber. [All] to have voice that come.
The bill for assignments of debts to the King. To be recommitted, all lawyers to have voice. Friday sevennight, Court of Wards, 2 o'clock.
The bill of grant by Lady Dudley femme covert of her estate tail to the Prince. Committed, but not a word amended, engrossed and passed.
Norfolk petition. 500 hands to either side in several papers.
The opinion of the committees ordered to be explained and reasons for the knights of Norfolk, and not to conclude the House upon the vote of the committee. Heard in the House by dispute and voices divided. But the noes, being against the present elected, went out, and the yeas sat still and carried it.
V. DIARY OF EDWARD NICHOLAS, TNA, SP 14/166
Wednesday, 24 Martii0 1623
The bill against usury is, after a long debate, recommitted for that it was to begin in November next, which was thought to be too soon, and to be set on upon tomorrow come fortnight, and everyone that will come shall have a voice.
It is ordered that the committee (whereto everyone that will come is to have voice) appointed [f. 108] to consider of the bill of repeal and continuance of statutes shall sit this cessation; but the House, being moved by SIR EDWARD COKE, does not like that any other committees shall meet this cessation.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE reports from the committee of privileges that the opinion of the committee was that all the freemen or commons of Dover should have their voices in the election of burgesses or barons to the Parliament and not be restrained by any private decree; and now, for that there was no warning given to the commons to assemble at the late election of Sir Edward Cecil and Sir Richard Young, which was the cause they came not to that election, the committee was of opinion that the election of those that were so chosen is void.
SIR EDWARD COKE says that towns may make any ordinances for the government of their towns so as their decrees or ordinances be not against the laws of the realm.
MR. [WILLIAM] NYELL says that this case of Dover is the case of very many boroughs in England, especially in the west country, and that if it shall be lawful for every freeman to have voice, then the more debased and poorer men will choose the burgesses.
It is ordered that the commons and freemen, inhabitants in the town of Dover, shall have their voices in the election of burgesses to Parliament and that a writ shall go for a new election there; that the mayor committed an error but no crime in that election; that Sir Edward Cecil and Sir Richard Young did behave themselves worthily and without any exception.
It is ordered that Sir George Chaworth is not well elected, [f. 108v] though returned by the mayor of Arundel, and that Mr. [William] Mill is well chosen, though not returned, and, therefore, Sir George Chaworth shall not longer sit in this House, but that a warrant shall go forth to have Mr. [William] Mill returned by the said mayor to sit here in this place.
It is ordered that a warrant shall go to stay proceedings at commission in a cause between Mr. [Nicholas] Eversfield, a member of this House, and others.
Message from the Lords desiring a present conference between the committees of both Houses that yesterday attended the King touching a report of the King's answer at that time and a declaration of some further additions of grace. This to be presently, if it will stand with our convenience, so to do.
Our answer: that accordingly, we will give a present meeting.
An act against depopulation and decay of farms. 1. L., 2. L. Committed until tomorrow fortnight.
By this, those that depopulate any house now standing shall forfeit a yearly value of such lands belonging to such house so depopulated.
An act against abuses in levying of debts in the name of the King. 2. L., bill of grace. Committed, Friday come sevennight. The committee has power to hear and send for all Exchequer-men.
Message from the Lords signifying that their Lordships thought fit that the report of the King's speech delivered yesterday to the committees of [f. 109] both Houses should not be made in either House until the King had perused that which the said committees, by comparing their notes, had agreed on, and having to that end sent a Lord to the King, word is brought to them that his Majesty is now sleeping in bed by reason of his Majesty's indisposition, and therefore their Lordships purpose to sit tomorrow morning and, if we shall think fit, they desire we would do the like.
Our answer: that we will sit tomorrow morning.
It is ordered that the cause concerning Chippenham shall be heard tomorrow at the committee of privileges and reported at our next meeting.
VI. DIARY OF SIR WILLIAM SPRING, HOUGHTON LIBRARY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MS ENG. 980
Wednesday, the 24th of March
An act concerning the lands of [Sir Henry] Jernegan, etc.
An act for the Lord Wentworth's copyholders at Hackney, etc.
An act for the free trade and exportation of woollen cloth and stuffs made of wool. Committed.
An act for the naturalizing Sir Francis Stewart, etc.
An act against exaction by customers, comptrollers, etc., searchers, etc.
The COMPTROLLER reports the bill of usury and says that only one man was against it (it was Sir Humphrey May). It is recommitted, and all that will come to have voice.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE reports the committee of privileges. That the committee entered to examination of the election of the burgesses of Dover, which was Sir Edward Cecil and Sir Richard Young, and for that the mayor did not suffer all the freemen and burgesses of the town to be at the election, as anciently it appeared that they ought, therefore the committee did think the election void.
The House confirmed this opinion and sent order for a new election.
Next he reports that the committee did examine the complaint against the election of Sir George Chaworth and did determine that his election was void and that one Mr. [William] Mill was rightly elected with Sir Henry Spiller, of whom there was no question at the committee.
SIR GEORGE CHAWORTH pleads for himself and takes exception at the proceedings of the committee, for that it was done at a late and unseasonable hour.
But for all this, the House did order Mr. [William] Mill to be received and [Sir George] Chaworth was dismissed the House.
[p. 159] A message came from the Lords for a conference to consider the King's speech made in answer to our offer yesterday and for some further additions of the King's grace.
It is granted.
An act against depopulation of houses now inhabited and converting arable land into pasture to feed sheep on. First read.
The House sat with the Speaker in the afternoon this 24th day, and the first bill was read was that which was last read in the forenoon, against which MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE first took some exceptions as that it was, as he conceived it, like to be prejudicial to his country, where, of necessity, they were to lay some grounds and break up others according to the usual manner of the country. He desired the bill might be committed.
And they were about to be committed to all the lawyers of the House that would attend it in the time of the recess now at Easter.
But [SIR] WILLIAM S[PRING] desired Mr. Speaker to have some good consideration taken both of the bill before it should pass and of the committee that should examine it, for that, as it appeared by the reading, it would prove so dangerous to the country for which I serve, and I suppose no less to all other champaign countries, I am sure to my neighbour county of Norfolk, as that it were a burden intolerable to be borne and impossible to be kept and observed as a law, in regard that the usage and customs of tillage in those places and of sheep feeding should, by the observance of this law, be altogether changed, nay, in many places utterly taken away, and not to trouble the House now with particulars to make good this that is said, it should be directly made evident to the committee, etc. [p. 160] Therefore, Mr. Speaker, howsoever I take no exception at the committee that has been spoken of, that it should be referred to all the lawyers of the House, yet since this is not a matter that does only require judgement and understanding in the law but knowledge and experience of the state and condition of the country, I humbly move that some such others may be named of this committee as can well inform the state of the countries, and that a convenient number of the gentlemen of the champaign countries may be appointed hereunto, etc.
Hereupon it was committed to divers other by name and to all the knights and burgesses in champaign countries.
An act against suing of debts in the King's name and with pretence that it is to the King's use. Committed.
SIR EDWARD COKE reports the Prince's bill for Kenilworth Castle. That the Lady Dudley, having by Sir Robert Dudley had numerosam prolem, and he by her a good portion, yet that he had left her and being fled beyond sea and taken another women, lived there with her. That Sir R[obert] Dudley, before his going, had sold unto Prince Henry the Castle of Kenilworth, and notwithstanding the Lady Alice, his wife, had an estate of dower in it, which state of dower she had sold unto Prince Charles for £4,000 to provide thereby some means for her children. That the Prince had adventured the sum, for that if Sir Robert Dudley did outlive the lady, there was no dower nor charge to issue from the lands. The intent of this act was to enable the lady as if she were a femme sole to sell her right of dower and to dispose of the money that Sir Robert, her husband, may not by law take the money from her or dispose it by his gift or will, because by the laws of this land quicquid acquiritur uxori acquiritur viro.
[p. 161] MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE reports the opinion of the committee of privileges for the election of Sir Thomas Holland and Sir John Corbet for knights of the shire for Norfolk. He says the committee did enjoin him that in general terms he should only deliver the opinion of the committee that the election was good and not touch upon the particulars, etc. The parties for whom the question was made was Sir Robert Gawdy and Sir Roger Townshend.
SIR EDWARD WARDOUR moves against the opinion and says he was of the committee and did think the election not good, because the poll being demanded was not granted, etc., at least not profited. He instances the late example of Cambridgeshire.
SIR EDWARD COKE says no opinion of the committee can conclude the House or lead it. Therefore, moves that Mr. [John] Glanville may be required to put the case as it was and to make known the passages.
The House requires it.
[MR. JOHN] GLANVILLE confesses he was overruled for the matter and the manner both. He says that there were at the last committee 26 that would have it thus generally reported, and 12 that would have had it otherwise. That the first number were for the election to be good, the last that it was not. He thinks that most of them that at the last committee were for the having of it a good election never did hear the business discussed nor the proofs made at 2 other times when it was heard. He alleges the reasons that induced him in his particular to be of opinion that the election was not good because there was no due trial by the poll, for that it was proved that the view of the greater number was by reason of many serving men and tradesmen that were among them, that their companies of Sir Thomas Holland and Sir John Corbet did never sever or part themselves, etc.
[MR. WILLIAM] CORYTON was for it.
SIR GEORGE MORE for [Sir Thomas] Holland only.
SIR THOMAS TREVOR for both.
[MR.] DRU DRURY said, upon his reputation, there was 1,500 odd in number and that, he being present with the sheriff, he never heard the poll demanded.
MR. [RALPH] WHITFIELD. Clausulae inconsuetae inducunt suspitionem. This imposing the matter of generality on the report makes it suspicious.
Divers spoke with and against it. It was twice put to the question but the greater voice was not discerned. At last they polled the House, and they for the election carried it by 71 voices.
VII. DIARY OF SIR THOMAS HOLLAND, BODL., TANNER MS 932
24 Martii, Wednesday
Second read, put to the 3rd reading. An act for the confirmation of a decree made in Chancery between Sir Henry Jernegan and the tenants of Painswick in Gloucestershire.
Second reading, put to the engrossing. An act for the confirmation of copyhold [e]states made between the Lord Wentworth and his tenants of Stepney and Hackney.
Second read. Committed, Thursday after Easter, [Court of] Wards. An act for the restoring free trade of Merchants of the Staple for transporting woollen cloth and other manufactures beyond the seas.
Second read. Passed. An act for the naturalizing Sir Francis Stewart and Walter Stewart, esq., James Maxwell, William Carr and James Levingston.
Second read. Committed, port towns, this day fortnight, [Court of] Wards. An act to avoid all exactions of customers, comptrollers, searchers and others employed about the customs.
[f. 72v] [Conference with the Lords]
The King's speech, the 24 [sic] March. [Blank]
Buckingham. The King will make a dispatch to the King of Spain to let him know he will no further treat of the match nor Palatinate. That since we have had a care to spare the poorer sort, which was in the fifteens, so he did hope it would be gained in the care of the levying the subsidies. That [blank]. That the kingdom has been civil, which we used to ourselves from ourselves, much more to strangers. Whether there should be ringing [illegible]. The King did not think fit; it would be triumphus ante victoriam. The ambassadors looking out of the window, base people did throw stones and firebrands, which was contrary to the proclamation.
In the afternoon, the House sitting
Second read. Committed, Court of Wards, 2 [o']clock. An act against abuses by common persons' levying of debts in the name of the King.
Second [sic] read. Passed. [SIR EDWARD] COKE reports the Lady Dudley's bill for the confirmation of the manor of Kenilworth and other lands in Warwickshire.
VIII. DIARY OF JOHN PYM, NORTHAMPTONSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, FH/N/C/0050
24 Martii 1623
An act for confirmation of a decree in the Chancery concerning the manor of Painswick in Gloucestershire.
An act for confirmation of a decree in the Chancery concerning the copyhold estates and customs of the manor of Hackney.
[f. 40] Upon the motion of SIR THOMAS HOBY, this bill was ordered to be engrossed without commitment because it was drawn up by consent and by the counsel of both parties.
An act for restoring the free trade of Merchant Staplers.
An act for naturalizing of Sir [sic] Walter Stewart, Sir Simon [sic] Stewart and James Maxwell.
Before that bill was read, there came a certificate from the Lords' House that they had all taken the oath of allegiance.
An act for reformation of the fees of customers and comptrollers. Committed.
It was acknowledged for an order of the House that whenever the Speaker rises, he must be heard and every man else to sit down.
This rule, "he that speaks against the body of the bill cannot be of the committee", was limited to those that speak in the House before the committing, for at the committee a man may speak against the body of the bill.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE reported from the committee of privileges, first, the case of Dover, which was this. The election was made by the mayor, 12 jurats and the common council of 37 freemen, which manner of election was established by a decree [of] 3 Eliz., before which time all the inhabitants had voice, which right they claimed before this election; but the mayor advised upon it and by plurality of voices in the common council it was ordered they should proceed according to the decree. In this manner Sir Edward Cecil and Sir Richard Young were chosen.
In which case, it was ordered:
- 1. That the decree was unlawful and that no lapse of time could bar the inhabitants, but they ought still to have right.
- 2. That notwithstanding their absence, they were not concluded because they had no warning.
- 3. The mayor was rather in an error than any misdemeanour.
- 4. That new warrant should forthwith issue for both that they might proceed to an election during the recess.
Second, the case of Arundel, which was thus. The election was to be made by the mayor, 8 burgesses and the inhabitants [sic] householders. The summons was general. There was a private polling about 9 o'clock and then Sir George Chaworth had 2 more voices than Mr. [William] Mill. There was a public meeting about 12 o'clock and then Mr. [William] Mill had 39 and Sir George Chaworth but 37. The company broke up, only the mayor and steward stayed and some others, about 5 o'clock, who gave their voices to Sir George Chaworth, and thereupon he was returned.
These points were agreed by the committee. This case was agreed by counsel on both sides:
- [f. 40v] 1. That there was a good election for Mr. [William] Mill.
- 2. That the return ought to be amended and no new writ.
- 3. That the inhabitants being put to charges by the mayor's default should receive recompense from him.
And three gentlemen of the committee, Mr. [Edward] Alford, Mr. [Richard] Lewknor and Mr. [Thomas] Bowyer, were appointed to assess those charges.
SIR GEORGE CHAWORTH disavowed any agreement to the case. The counsel was not for him but for the mayor, and therefore desired that he might be heard by his counsel before he should be concluded. That there had been 2 pollings. In the first, he had the greater number, in the 2nd, the less; and the election was not determined upon the 2nd polling, but because of the uncertainty was continued by consent of all parties.
The House did not think fit to admit of any repleader, so all the points aforementioned were confirmed by order.
A message came from the Lords desiring the committees might meet about the King's speech, to which were some additions of grace.
An act against depopulation by conversion of arable into pasture.
This bill was twice read and MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE propounded 2 exceptions:
- 2. That in Devonshire, there was no distinction between arable and pasture, but grounds did sometimes rest and then were put to tilling again.
That no time was given after the end of the Parliament, which would cause too sudden disturbing men in their husbandry.
Committed, and all that will come to have voice.
An act for restraint of the abuse in levying debts in the name of the King for the benefit of common persons. Committed.
SIR EDWARD COKE reported the Prince's bill for Kenilworth, which was read the 3rd time and passed.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE reported the petition preferred by the freeholders of Norfolk and the opinion of the committee [of privileges] that Sir Thomas Holland and Sir John Corbet were well elected.
Exception was taken by SIR EDWARD WARDOUR to the generality of that report. That we ought not to be bound to one implicit faith but ought to know the state of the proofs, which was seconded by SIR EDWARD COKE.
MR. [JOHN] GLANVILLE answered that the committee had ordered him to make report in that manner.
But it was overruled by the House that he should unfold the particulars.
The case was long and proofs divers, but the difficulty rested in this. There were 4 that stood, Sir Thomas Holland and Sir John Corbet, which were returned, Sir Roger Townshend [f. 41] and Sir Robert Gawdy. After the writ was read and the companies divided, the sheriff came down with the gentlemen to a particular view and it was thought by most that Sir Thomas Holland and Sir John Corbet had the greater number; whereupon, the sheriff made a declaration of the first place for Sir Thomas Holland, to which there was no exception, of the 2nd place for Sir John Corbet, to which there was exception and the poll demanded but was not accomplished. So there were 2 questions:
- 1. Whether the poll were seasonably demanded?
- 2. Whether the want of the poll did make void the election for both?
The case was decided rather by number than by argument, for the House was divided and both elections were put into one question, which, it was thought, kept in Sir John Corbet; for if they had been severed, divers that were in the affirmative for Sir Thomas Holland would have been in the negative for him; so both were confirmed.
A message came from the Lords that no report could be made of the King's speech this afternoon because the committees were desirous he should first see it and his Majesty was abed and not very well. That for this cause they would sit again tomorrow morning.
IX. JOURNAL OF SIR SIMONDS D'EWES, BL, HARL. MS 159
240 March, Wednesday
An act for the naturalizing of Sir Francis Stewart, Walter Stewart, James Max[w]ell, William Carr and James Levi[ng]ston.
[f. 93v] Motion, to avoid confusion, that when the Speaker stands up, all shall be silent and hear him.
The bill of continuance of statutes. Committed to all the lawyers of the House during the recess.
The election of Dover (Sir Edward Cecil and Sir Richard Young) voided, and a new writ to issue out because it was made upon general warning only without particular declaration for what the meeting was, because that they also had excluded the generality of freemen there and reduced the election to 37 called the common council of the town and in use only since Elizabethae 30, at what time, by a particular order, they excluded the generality; but no order nor by-law of a town can alter the right of elections for the Parliament, though for their private corporations they may do as they see cause. All freemen and free burgesses inhabitants in Dover are to have voices.
At the election of the town of Arundel, Sir George Chaworth had 37 voices and Mr. [William] Mill 39, upon which they came to publication and pronouncing of him elected about 12 o'clock. But the mayor, the steward and 2 others sat still until 6 o'clock at night and sent into the town and fields and called in the inhabitants from their work (for they have all voices), and so having plurality of voices returned Sir George Chaworth, who sat in the House and heard all this report and spoke likewise himself that the counsel of the committee had not [f. 94] opened the case aright and therefore he put his own case. But it was plain that it was not his counsel but the counsel that the town entertained, who had complained and petitioned against the mayor for a wrong return, ergo, Sir George Chaworth's election was void and order given for the return of Mr. [William] Mill as well chosen.
A message for a conference with intimation of further addition of grace from the King.
An act for the converting of arable land into pasture.
An act for restraining of abuse in levying of debts under the King's name or prerogative.
An act to enable the Lady Alice Dudley, etc. Vide, March 130. Passed.
A message that we can have no report of the King's answer until the copy have [sic] been showed him. He is ill now, ergo, the Lords send signification that they will sit the next day, whereupon it was ordered that we should do the like.