5th May 1624

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

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In this section



[CJ 698; f. 28]

Mercurii, 5 Maii, 220 Jacobi

The soap boilers' petition referred to the committee for grievances, and the patent to be brought here on Friday next.

Committee for sealing original writs on Friday next, 2 [o']clock, in the former place. And all that will come to have voice.

L. 3a. [Blank]

Upon question, passed.

SIR WILLIAM BULSTRODE tenders a bill concerning the education of the children of recusants convicted in true religion.

The committee for trade to sit in the Exchequer Chamber upon Saturday next in the afternoon.

L. 1a. An act for the education of children of popish recusants in true religion.

Ordered, a warrant from the Speaker for such witnesses as shall be nominated concerning the schoolmaster in Suffolk complained of for training youth in popish religion.

MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE reports the bill against H[enry] Heron's letters patents, without amendments.

L. 3a. An act for confirmation of a judgement given for his Majesty in a scire facias against Henry Heron, and for declaration of the letters patents therein mentioned to be void.

Upon question, passed.

L. 3a. [Blank]

Upon question, passed.

[f. 28v] L. 3a. An act for assuring of the manor of Goodnestone. [Blank]

Upon question, passed.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS, in his report for trade, tenders a petition from the Merchant Adventurers, which read.

SIR EDWARD COKE. That some of the members of this House may be required summarily to set down the reasons and arguments which led the House to deliver their opinion against the pretermitted custom.

Sir Edward Coke, Mr. [William] Noye, Mr. [Henry] Rolle, Mr. [John] Bankes, Mr. [Robert] Berkeley, Mr. [John] Glanville, and any other lawyers that did speak or were prepared to speak in this. They to take their own time for this, being required to do it with all convenient speed.

The debate began about the transportation of dyed and dressed cloths by any but the Merchant Adventurers.

MR. [JOHN] COUCHER. That all merchants may have liberty to transport dyed and dressed cloths.

MR. [ROBERT] BERKELEY. Likes not free trade. This to dissolve the Merchant Adventurers' company. And lapis male positus non est removendus. Nor to let them alone as they are, nor to take in new men into their company. Their fine too dear. And doubts the taking from them dyed and dressed cloths will also dissolve their company.

Compares this company to a great old tree which has borne good fruit, yet now is grown mossy and too full of branches. To pare and prune them. To retain the stock. To maintain their company. To add other traders to them. To engraft other sciences into them. Doubts the taking off the impress money (which is £36,000) will dissolve their company. These new men to come into their company to pay part, and the residue to lie as well upon those which now no traders as well as upon traders. And by this means, and taking off the burdens and trade, hopes the trade will flourish.

MR. [ROBERT] BATEMAN. The debt £36,500, for which the goods of the Merchant Adventurers will be attached. £4,000 per annum here privilege for the 30,000 cloths. Have great privileges beyond sea, more than the natives themselves. [£]13,[000] or £14,000 per annum. Freer from all scot and lot. [f. 29] Have had 3 several edicts against them in the empire. To think:

  • 1. How this debt may be paid.
  • Secondly, how the trade may best be managed for the good of the commonwealth.

MR. [WILLIAM] NYELL. This company like a fruitful tree as long as governed by the Parliament, but not since they governed themselves, which was 6 Eliz. Before, called the Merchant Adventurers of England, now of London. That more wool and cloth carried out in H. 4['s] time, by 7 times over, than the Merchant Adventures do now in cloth.

A petition from the Merchants of the Staple read, praying liberty for exportation of dyed cloths.

MR. COMPTROLLER. Proved at the committee that the Merchant Adventurers carried not out above the 12th part of the dyed and dressed cloths, nor above 4 of them traders in it.

SIR NICHOLAS TUFTON tenders several petitions from the Kentish clothiers for freedom for other merchants besides the Merchant Adventurers to buy coloured cloths, which read.

SIR JOHN SAVILE. What will the issue be if the Merchant Adventurers take off their hands and leave their [CJ 699] trades? Confusion of trade following, this main commodity of cloth will stick more than now. Doubts if we take away the dyed and coloured cloths from them they will give us the white, and not meddle with them.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS. In Genoa a company of St. George now grown so great as independent of the state.

SIR EDWARD COKE. Nullum simile quatuor pedibus currit. Is for the liberty of transporting of dyed and dressed cloths.

MR. RECORDER. The question only whether all merchants may carried [sic] coloured cloths to the places where the Merchant Adventurers trade. Is against this. Doubts this innovation would grow dangerous to the commonwealth.

SIR D[UDLEY] DIGGES. That the enlarging coloured cloth to all merchants into the parts where the Merchant Adventurers trade is to take it from them, because they pay nothing to the support of the charges of the Merchant Adventurers.

MR. SOLICITOR. This a question of great difficulty. Doubts this enlargement will much hinder trade for cloths.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. To make this enlargement a probationer until the next session; then upon examination of the progress, to confirm and alter as shall be cause.

SIR GEORGE CHUDLEIGH. For the enlargement, so as they be not carried to the towns where the Merchant Adventurers carry.

[f. 29v] SIR FRANCIS NETHERSOLE. Against this enlargement.

SIR EDWARD GILES. Not now to go to the question.

SIR THOMAS WENTWORTH. To defer this until Friday. And that the Merchant Adventurers may in the meantime give in their answer whether they will hold their trade upon the other points, or not.

The further debate and resolution hereof deferred until Saturday next, 8 [o']clock, and then to sit as a committee.

Hopkyns's committee to be on Friday next, 2 [o']clock, and the petition of his creditors referred to the same committee.

The House adjourned until Friday morning, 7 [o']clock; but the committees in the meantime may sit.

[House adjourned]


[CJ 783; f. 188v]

Mercurii, 5 Maii

MR. [ROBERT] BATEMAN. A petition from the soap boilers of London against a patent of Roger Jones.

Ordered, it shall be brought in to the committee of grievances on Friday next.

Original writs, Friday next. And all to have voice.

L. 3. An act to enable Sir Francis Clerke to make sale of certain lands for the payment of his debts and providing portions for his younger children.

Upon question, passed.

[f. 189] Committee of trade on Saturday next, Exchequer Chamber.

MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE reports the bill for confirmation of a judgement given in the Chancery against Henry Heron.

L. 1. An act for the education of the children of popish recusants in the true religion.

SIR WALTER EARLE. A petition against a popish schoolmaster in Suffolk. To have a warrant from the House to send for witnesses.


L. 3. An act for confirmation of a judgement given in the Chancery against Henry Heron.

Upon question, passed.

L. 3. An act of explanation of a former act made in the three and twentieth year of the reign of the late Queen of famous memory, Elizabeth, entitled, An act for assurance of the yearly rent of fourscore 2 pounds and ten shillings to the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield and his successors forever out of certain manors, lands, tenements and hereditaments thereby assured to [Sir] Edward Fisher, esquire, and his heirs.

Upon question, passed.

L. 3. An act for the settling and assuring of the manor of Goodnestone and other lands of Sir Edward Engham, knight.

Upon question, passed.

A petition of the Merchant Adventurers read.

SIR EDWARD COKE. To have some members of this House set down the reasons and arguments which led the House to deliver their opinion against the pretermitted custom.

[f. 189v] Sir Edward Coke, Mr. [William] Noye, Mr. [Henry] Rolle, Mr. [Robert] Berkeley, Mr. [John] Bankes, Mr. [John] Glanville and any other lawyers that did speak or were prepared to speak in that business, are required by the House to do this and to take their own time.

MR. [ROBERT] BERKELEY. This matter that concerns the Merchant Adventurers a weighty and perplexed business. A bad quality in a servant to be sullen and refractory when he knows he cannot be spared. 4 propositions made:

  • 1. To dissolve this company and have a free trade: that dangerous.
  • 2. To let them alone as they have been. That petitio principii. The company may abuse such a conclusion as this. Make them the more presumptuous.
  • 3. To bring others into their company.
  • 4. To take off their impositions and to enlarge some of their trade, and to leave the white cloths to them.

Likes none of these ways. Compares this great company to a fruit tree that has borne good fruit but now overgrown with moss, so that it brings forth less fruit. The husbandman, he prunes off this moss and grafts new plants into it. Would not have this Com- [CJ 784] pany of the Merchant Adventurers rooted out, but thus dressed. For their impositions, difficult to take them off. Will be a dissolution of their company. To have part of this lie upon the persons of some of the richest of the company.

MR. [ROBERT] BATEMAN. The privileges and freedoms of the Merchant Adventurers very great in England and foreign parts. £13,000 per annum saved by their privileges and immunities.

A petition of the [Merchant] Staplers read.

MR. COMPTROLLER. The question now whether other merchants should not have the exporting of dyed and dressed cloths. Thinks it very reasonable they should.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS. To preserve the Merchant Adventurers in their ancient right, not in their modern. In Genoa, a company of St. George that taking advantage of the necessity of the city got many strange [f. 190] privileges. Has no such fear of the Merchant Adventurers. For the dyed and dressed cloths, the desire of the committee was that they might be left as they were before the 28 of the Queen, or else 3 shires undone: Kent, Suffolk and Berkshire.

SIR EDWARD COKE. Nullum simile quatuor pedibus currit. But fallible arguments. To put to the question whether other merchants shall not export dyed and dressed cloths.

MR. RECORDER. If other merchants should trade in dyed and dressed cloths to the places of the Merchant Adventurers, would do a great deal of hurt. First, a great innovation, and will lessen the reputation of the company and be a means to lose their privileges. There will be more money given than they owe that their company were dissolved.

SIR DUDLEY DIGGES. Good to go upon safe principles. If we shall give liberty to other merchants to export these dressed cloths, we shall take them away in a manner from the Merchant Adventurers.

SIR FRANCIS NETHERSOLE. If this desired, could be effected; no benefit by it. For the Merchant Adventurers will undersell them by reason of their privileges. Secondly, this cannot be effected. If the Merchant Adventurers may not trade as they have done, will not trade at all.

Resolved, to let this business rest until Saturday, 8 [o']clock. The House then to sit as a committee.


The House adjourns itself until Friday morning, 8 [o']clock, saving all committees in the meantime.

[House adjourned]


[f. 283]

Mercurii, 5 Maii 1624

3. L., p[asse]. Bill pur inabler Sir Francis Clerke de vendre Martin Abbey in Surrey etc.

Sur question, passe.

1. L. Bill pur educacon d'infants de popish recusants in le vere religion.

3. L., p[asse]. Bill pur sole saltinge, packing et dryinge fishe in Devon et Cornwall al Henry Heron. Reporte sans alteracion par MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE.

Sur question, passe pur ley.

3. L. Bill pur continuer et explanacon de 27 Elizabeth pur terres de [Sir Edward] Fisher in comte Warwick.

Sur queston, passe pur leye.

3. L., p[asse]. Bill pur settlinge de terres de Sir Thomas [sic] Engham.

Sur question, passe pur leye.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS pur trade. Peticion par Marchante Adventurers.

SIR EDWARD COKE move pur faire collecton del argumentes de pretermitted customes et reasons summarilye.


[p. 146]

[5 May 1624]

The King came to Whitehall and there to the Lords made a speech in [sic] the behalf of the Lord Treasurer, who was convented before them in their House for many misdemeanours.


[f. 191]

Wednesday, 50 Aprilis [sic] 1624

An act for confirmation of a judgement given for his Majesty on a scire facias against Henry Heron [f. 191v] and a declaration of a letters patents therein mentioned to be void. 3. L. This bill is now passed this House. r. p.

An act for the explanation of a statute made in 23 Eliz. entitled, An act for assurance of a yearly rent of £82 10s. on the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. 3. L. This bill is passed this House. r. p.

An act for the sale of lands of Sir Francis Clerke. 3. L., passed this House. r. p.

An act for the settling and assuring of the manor of Goodnestone in comitatu Kanciae to the heirs of Sir Edward Eng[h]am, knt. 3. L. This bill is passed this house.

Petition of the Merchants Adventurers in answer to the complaints of the clothiers, showing that the last week they bought 1,200 cloths, and 19 of the 20 clothiers who complained sold all their cloths; and that the petition was preferred by the instigation of some who malign their company rather than by any voluntary motion of their own; and pray that some of those who subscribed the petition may be examined to know the cause of their complaint, and by whose means they complained, for the preservation of their reputation.

SIR JOHN DANVERS says that a Merchant Adventurer told him that Thursday last there was a damp at Blackwell Hall in the vent of their cloths, but that night the Merchants received notice from beyond sea that cloths [f. 192] were well sold, and thereon all cloths were bought up, and more than had been bought up in many weeks before.

Ordered, that the lawyers of this House shall set down summarily the reasons and arguments which led the House to deliver opinion against the pretermitted custom. There is named for this purpose Sir Edward Coke, Mr. [William] Noye, Mr. [Robert] Berkeley, Mr. [John] Bankes and Mr. [John] Glanville and all other lawyers that spoke or were prepared to speak against that business.

Concerning the question whether dyed and dressed cloths shall also be taken from the Merchants Adventurers' sole trading in them:

MR. COMPTROLLER. That we desire not to take from the Merchants [sic] Adventurers the trading in them but that others may also trade in those cloths.

Petition of the Kentish clothiers. That when Kentish cloths were freely exported by all men and not drawn only to mart towns, that those cloths were well sold and vented and the clothiers there grew rich. But now they are all decayed and little of that kind of cloth is now sold. That heretofore they have sold 200 cloths a week and now they sell not above 40 cloths a week.

[f. 192v] SIR JOHN SAVILE would have it allowed to the Merchants [sic] Adventurers to lay 12d. on a short cloth and 18d. on a long cloth for he doubts, if we labour too much to prune this company, we may destroy them and so bring a great mischief to the kingdom; and it seems that unless they may have such imposition to raise their debt of impress money they cannot subsist, and it appears that they yet owe £36,500, which being owing to men beyond sea, their credit if they should not duly pay the sum would be lost and so their trade would be dissolved.

SIR E[DWIN] SANDYS. That trade is now in as great distemper as ever it was and if there be not some remedy applied it will be utterly destroyed, and now the Merchants [sic] Adventurers have so gotten trade into their own hands as that it rests much in the rectifying of them to amend trade. That the government of trade by any company is only for the benefit of themselves, and they have eye to nothing else but the right and best government of trade, for the good of the commonwealth is by the laws, by the King and his Council, for other governments are not to be heeded or preserved by us, and this best government of the King, etc., will not be overthrown [f. 193] or dissolved, though the Merchants [sic] Adventurers should (as we desire not they should) perish. And it may be dangerous for the commonwealth to give so much liberty to the Merchants [sic] Adventurers as that if they shall (for their own benefit or ends) grow sullen and forbear to buy up cloths or not give for them so much as the clothier and woolgrower may also live by it.

MR. [JOHN] MORE says that it is a maxim of trade to have as many buyers at home as may be and as few sellers beyond sea, and that there should be but a few places or mart towns to which the trade of cloths should be sent, for that merchants from all parts of Christendom do come to their mart towns with money in their purses to buy, and coming afar off they will buy cloths there whatsoever it costs them. That if we give liberty to all men to trade in dyed cloths, we must preserve and reserve order and government among them or else we shall mar all trade.

MR. RECORDER says that the privileges which the Merchants [sic] Adventurers have [f. 193v] in this kingdom and beyond sea is worth to the kingdom about [£]13[,000] or £14,000 per annum, which will all be lost if trade be thrown open and no government had among the merchants.

SIR D[UDLEY] DIGGES says that the Merchants [sic] Adventurers do not solely trade in dyed and dressed cloths but they have by their charters that no such cloths shall be transported into the parts of Germany and the Low Countries but by those Merchants. That if we permit all other merchants to transport into all places in those parts dyed and dressed cloths, then will the Merchants [sic] Adventurers give up also to trade in white cloths, for they shall not be able to sell them beyond sea so well as they were wont and we cannot blame them for it.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. That the Merchants [sic] Adventurers have reduced the trade of dyed and dressed cloths into the hands of not above 6 of their company and so laid a bondage on those clothiers that make them to sell them at their own price or else they will not buy them. He would have us clip the latitude of the said Merchants' [f. 194] privileges in this kind and make a probation thereof until another sessions [sic]; and then if it seem not for the good of the kingdom, it may again be reduced to the same state it was before.

SIR FRANCIS NETHERSOLE. If that other new merchants should trade in dyed and dressed cloths into those parts of Germany, the Merchants [sic] Adventurers will undersell them, for the new merchant must pay for such dyed cloths at Hamburg and other places 4s. 6d. for a cloth more than the now Merchants [sic] Adventurers do pay; and besides the new merchants shall not have those privileges in their returns of silks, etc., as the now Merchants have, who do now pay 2 thirds less than other men for such matters. That if the Merchants [sic] Adventurers still grow sullen, then the Parliament must again entreat them to trade in cloths as they now do.

MR. [JOHN] DELBRIDGE says that there are many of the merchants of the outports (though they be called by the Merchants [sic] Adventurers pedlars and interlopers) that will take off 1,000 cloths a year, and therefore would not have the House think that cloths cannot be taken off but by that company. It is now lawful for all strangers (that pay double custom) to transport [f. 194v] into Germany and all parts beyond the sea the dyed and dressed cloths, and therefore he hopes that this House will not think it just or fit to restrain Englishmen more than strangers.

This business is to be further debated on, and other matters incident to it, upon Saturday next in the morning as a committee.

This House does adjourn itself until Friday, 8 of the clock, reserving all committees appointed to sit this afternoon and tomorrow afternoon.


[f. 77v]

5 Maii, Wednesday

Third read, passed. An act to enable Sir Francis Clerke to sell lands.

First read. An act for the education of the children of popish recusants.

Third read, passed. 62 [sic] bills. An act for confirmation of a judgement for the King against Henry Heron to make void his letters patents for packing, salting, drying of fish in Devonshire and Cornwall.

Third read, passed. The Bishop of Coventry [and Lichfield]'s bill.

Third read, passed. 64 [sic] bills. The bill of Sir Edward Engham.

[MR. ROBERT] BERKELEY. The Merchants, to a fruit tree now overgrown with moss, whereby the fruit become smaller. The husbandman takes off the moss and plant new sciences and prune the trees. So will he have the Merchants dealt with. This House is the husband- [f. 78] man to prune those traders. For the imposition money, if that be taken off he fears the dissolution, [£]36,000 remaining unrecompensed to the Merchants. He wishes that those who are of the company should satisfy it.

[MR. ROBERT] BATEMAN. The debt to the Merchants is £36,000, and their goods [blank]. £4,000 per annum comes in for 30,000 cloths come in. The custom in Holland is 3s. 4d., but for the Merchants comes to £5,000. The custom at Hamburg is 4s. 6d. There is £6,000 per annum saved, but the English pay not 2d. Their return from Hamburg, they pay but one third, by which they save £2,500 per annum. They are free from scot and lot contrary to their own countrymen. [f. 78v] They are subject to the Emperor's displeasure, and their persons and state was seized at Stade [blank]. Where it was x months' time payment of their money, Hamburg, hearing that they were going to Criary in the King of Denmark's country, contracted to pay their money in 6 months. These things he desires may be considered of.

COMPTROLLER. That they do not carry out the tenth [sic] part of the cloths, of dyed and dressed cloths, which have been, for that there be not above 4 trade in them. Therefore, he moves that the mingled coloured and dressed cloths may be set at liberty that everyone may trade in them as well as the Merchants.

[f. 79] [SIR JOHN] SAVILE. That the 8d. and 12d. [blank]. The benefit to the King by trading to Hamburg, Delft and Middelburg comes to £13,000 a year.

[SIR EDWIN] SANDYS. For the question for the dyed and dressed cloths, that they may be in the same state they were before the xxviith of Eliz., for Suffolk, Berkshire and Kent shall otherwise perish, and so consequently the trade.


[f. 87v]

May 50, 1624

[f. 88] An act to enable Sir Francis Clerke to sell lands. Passed.

MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE reported the bill for confirming the judgement given in a scire facias against [Henry] Heron's patent for drying of fish.

An act for the education of the children of popish recusants in the true religion.

  • 1. All convict recusants within 6 months to place their children being of the age of 9 years in one of the universities or in some public school, or to bind them apprentices with the consent of the minister of the parish and 2 justices of the peace, who are to make certificate thereof to the sessions under penalty of £100, and the clerk of the peace to enrol the certificate or else to forfeit £10.
  • 2. Such children as shall not be so placed within that time to be placed by 4 justices at the charge of the recusant, who upon warning left at his house is to appear before the same justices within 15 days or else to forfeit £20, and to secure such exhibition as by the bishop and 4 justices shall be thought fit, and in default of such security the bishop and 4 justices may seal a bond and covenants in the name of the recusant to which he shall be liable as if it were his own deed.
  • 3. No power in the recusant to dispose of his land, but that it shall remain chargeable for payment of such exhibitions.
  • 4. These provisions to cease when the parent shall come to church and receive the communion.
  • 5. If any popish recusant keep any children of another, to forfeit £5 for every month.
  • 6. If any well-affected take the children of a recusant according to this law, he shall be subject to no penalty though the child[ren] come not to church.
  • 7. The children of peers or of their wives or widows to be ordered and placed by the Lords of his Majesty's Council.

An act for confirming a decree for avoiding a patent to H[enry] Heron for salting and drying of fish. Passed.

An act concerning a rent charge of £20 per annum to the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield.

An act for assuring the lands of Sir [Edward] Engham, kt.

By occasion of a petition from the Merchant Adventurers, wherein they took off that information which the House had received of the stander [sic] of cloth, two points fell into question:

  • 1. To prepare ourselves to defend the sentence which had been given against the pretermitted customs, in which respect it was ordered that Sir Edward Coke, Mr. [Robert] Berkeley, Mr. [Henry] Rolle, Mr. [William] Noye, Mr. [John] Glanville, Mr. [John] Bankes and other lawyers should set down just arguments, as had been delivered, in writing to be kept ready by the Clerk against occasion.

[f. 88v] The second question was in what manner the trade of dyed and dressed cloths should be left or taken from the Merchant Adventurers. Those who were against any alteration made this their ground, that to take the dyed cloths from the company wholly or to admit others to sell them in those places where the Merchant Adventurers do reside, without being subject to government, would prove a dissolving of that company, because such not being subject to public charges would undersell them and thereby likewise pull down the price of white cloths.

The particular reasons for the most springing from the grounds were these:

  • 1. If the company dissolve, there will be a loss of the privileges at home and abroad. At home they have a free dispensation for 30,000 white cloths; for the rest which is above that number they pay 2s. 8d. a cloth, by which dispensation they save [sic] £3,500. In Holland the custom is 3s. 4d., they pay but 2½. At Hamburg the custom is a dollar, they pay but 2d. So they save by the first £5,000, by the latter £6,000 in custom inward, and in the custom outward for goods which they return from there they pay not a third part of the ordinary duty, which is worth at least £25,000 [sic]. So the value of their privileges in foreign parts is above £13,000 per annum.
  • 2. That there are 3 imperial edicts against the importation of cloth into Germany, upon which the fishall [sic] was sent to arrest their goods, which made them remove to Hamburg; and so their cloths which shall be transported immediately into the empire will be in great danger.
  • 3. If the company dissolve before the new court [sic] can be settled, we shall be enforced to vent our cloths by merchant strangers, which will induce a great decay of shipping and other dangers. It is a safe principle not suddenly to undo that which has been long in growing.
  • 4. There being a war in hand, it will not be good to disturb trade, the benefit whereof must enable us to support the war.

Divers other reasons were now repeated which had been formerly urged in this business. On the other part was alleged:

  • 1. That the jurisdiction of the company ought to extend only to the deciding of controversies between merchant and merchant, like the court of pie-powder in a fair, not to limit any man either in the quantity, time or place of trading.
  • 2. The petition of the [Merchant] Staplers that, seeing they cannot now transport wool, they may have the trade of dyed and dressed cloths.
  • 3. That the company do not now deal in above a twelfth part of the coloured cloths which are transported and not above 4 men that use it.
  • 4. To stop the overgrowing of the company. At Genoa the company of St. George was in the beginning but a multitude of rich merchants which got a great part of the state, first in pawn; afterwards, they grew to a jurisdiction by themselves and would be [f. 89] independent and so continue apart by themselves.
  • 5. The trade of kerseys is upheld without government; the merchant strangers, paying double custom, may carry where they will.

Some middle opinions were propounded, as to make those that would have the benefit of this enlargement subject to the government of the company; second, not to carry any to those towns where the company did reside.

But without any determination, the debate was put off until Saturday.

The House was adjourned tomorrow, being Ascension Day, but the meeting of committees reserved.


[f. 170]

Wednesday, 5th of May

Bill touching education of recusants' children. First read.

6 months' liberty for recusants to place their children, etc., with consent of the minister and churchwardens, etc. If they shall refuse, then the bishop or two justices of peace to take order, and the parents to allow maintenance. Parents and others, etc., that shall keep any such child as shall not come to church to forfeit £5 per week.

Question, power given to the bishop or two justices of peace to certify the lords of the Council of the children of any peer of the realm educated in popery.

A petition preferred by the Merchants [sic] Adventurers in answer to the complaint of the clothiers, alleging that they bought up in one day 1,200 cloths, and that [f. 170v] 19 of the 26 that subscribed the petition sold all the cloths they had, and that many of them were persuaded by some gentlemen to petition, etc.

SIR EDWARD COKE moved that someone of the House might be appointed to set down the reasons of the unlawfulness of the pretermitted custom.

Sir Edward Coke, Mr. [William] Noye, [Mr. John] Bankes, Master of the Rolls [sic], [Mr. John] Glanville, [Mr. Robert] Berkeley, etc., appointed.

Touching the business of the Merchant Adventurers, the question how far forth their company is to be enlarged or regulated.

MR. [ROBERT] BATEMAN. The Merchant Adventurers are privileged at:

  • 1. Delf[t]; they pay but 2d. per cloth whereas others pay 3s. 4d.
  • 2. At Hamburg; they pay nothing whereas others pay 4s. 6d. per cloth. And for the goods they carry there they pay but a third part that others do. There is £14,000 or £15,000 saved in Germany by their privileges.

They are subject to danger. Anno 1597 there came a fiscal; by that mandate they were banished and went to Middelburg. Afterwards they were entreated to come to Hamburg again. Hereupon they came to be paid at 6 months, whereas it was wont to be 10, and made no allowance of tare until the trade was interrupted by the project [f. 171] of dyeing and dressing of cloths. If the company should be dissolved, all this would be lost.

A petition preferred by the Merchants of the Staple, desiring to have their liberties and privileges allowed for the transporting of cloths.

A petition from the Kentish clothiers for liberty to transport dyed and mingled cloths.

The House adjourned itself until Friday, reserving the committees for this afternoon and tomorrow.

Wednesday afternoon, the committee for courts of justice

A petition of one Philip Smith, a prisoner in the Fleet, against the Lord Chief Baron containing matter of bribery and injustice, first, in a cause referred unto him; second, in a cause depending before him.

His wife being called in, acknowledged that one of the particulars complained of was 15 years since, another 9 year[s] since, the third now depending.

Rejected because 15 years since, and nothing charged upon him but his wife.

The cause of Mistress Thomas being to be heard, she petitioned that in regard the counsel assigned her refused, her son might be heard to declare the state of the business.

Question hereupon was moved whether [f. 171v] the counsel assigned should not be questioned for their refusal.

The effect of His Majesty's speech made in the Banqueting House at Whitehall,

5th of May 1624, to the Lords of the Higher House of Parliament


[f. 49]

[5 May 1624]

His Majesty's speech, May 5, being Wednesday, at Whitehall to the Lords of the Upper House in behalf of Lionel Cranfield, the then [Lord] Treasurer, being as appears before convicted of divers crimes, and the day of his censure drawing near, which though it proceeded from his Majesty's habituated clemency, yet to them it was cause both of discomfort and discouragement.

[f. 112v] May 50, Wednesday

An act for the education of recusants' children in the true religion.

An act for the confirmation of a scire facias made on the behalf of his Majesty [against Henry Heron], who had unduly obtained a patent for salting, drying and packing of fish in the county of Cornwall and Devonshire. Passed.

An act for explanation of a[n] act made Eliz. 23 for confirmation of a rent of £82 10s. to the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield upon certain lands of [Sir] Edward Fisher's by reason of an exchange that had passed between them. Passed.

An act for the settling of the lands of Sir Edward Engham, knight, the manor of Goodnestone in Kent upon his grandchild. Passed.

A motion that some might be appointed to draw and sum up the reasons that had been given why, in the judgement of the House, the pretermitted customs were condemned as a grievance and against law, which was ordered accordingly.

A large disputation about the Merchant Adventurers, who say that there lies £36,500 of debt still upon the company, and ergo desire that their imposition of 5s. and 7s. 6d. may continue, without which they are like to lay down the trade. They urge also what privileges they have abroad, which if they be dissolved others shall not enjoy; at Hamburg and Delft they pay but 2s. upon a cloth, whereas all other pay a dollar, whereby between [£]13[,000] and £14,000 per annum is saved to the kingdom, which [f. 113] will be lost if their company fall. The tare also came to £40,000 and was used in divers places. Now it is only in the presence of the seller; he need not follow the buyer as formerly he was constrained to do. The tare is the dis[blank] of the faults of the cloth, which they are to make good.

The Merchant Adventures vent not above one 12 part of our dyed and dressed cloths and not above 4 or 6 of them trade in them, and ergo the House held it reasonable that what they could not, other merchants should be permitted to trade in and transport. It was very exceedingly argued on both sides and judged so weighty a business as nothing was then done, but it was referred to a further dispute.