22nd May 1624

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

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. "22nd May 1624", in Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons, (, 2015-18) . British History Online, accessed June 22, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/proceedings-1624-parl/may-22.

. "22nd May 1624", Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons, (, 2015-18). . British History Online. Web. 22 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/proceedings-1624-parl/may-22.

In this section

SATURDAY, 22 MAY 1624

I. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, HC/CL/JO/1/14

[CJ 708; f. 51]

Sabbati, 220 Maii, 220 Jacobi

Survey of seacoals to be heard the first cause on Monday after the business of the Staplers ended.

The committee for the Lady [Joan] Jermy to meet 2 [o']clock, Exchequer Chamber, and to be reported first upon Monday next by Sir H[enry] Poole.

Lady Boteler's cause second cause.

The business for exactions in fishing in Ireland third cause.

Dungeness lighthouse the next cause.

A certificate from the committee for the Lady Dale read.

Ordered, her petition shall be delivered up to her without prejudice.

[f. 51v] A proviso in the bill for 3 lectures upon [Thomas] Whetenhall's will twice read.

Upon question, not to be committed.

The proviso thirdly read and, upon question, passed.

Robert Hall, that served the process upon Sir Robert Brooke, brought to the bar and charged by MR. SPEAKER with this offence, of serving process upon Sir Robert Brooke, and with an order, at the Parliament door.

Mr. Hall. That when he bespoke the process it was before the Parliament, and knew not then he was to be a Parliament-man. Gave no consent, either to the serving of the process, or order, but was discontented when he heard it was done.

The servant called in to the bar, being yesterday committed to the Serjeant, and asked who set him on to serve the process. He said his master bade him go along with Mr. Greene, and Greene bade him serve the process and to wait for Sir Robert [Brooke] at the Parliament door.

Mr. Greene to be sent for by the Serjeant, and these 2 to attend de die in diem.

Upon complaint made against Withers, the Serjeant's man, who took him, related at the bar how he was withstood and abused by one [blank] at whose house Withers lay. That Withers assisted him and kept him from wrong.

And an order for one [blank] that has the patent in his custody, to bring it in.

The report about York castle to be made to the House, 8 [o']clock, Monday.

The amendments in the bill for removing actions out of inferior courts twice read, and committed.

Sir Edward Coke Mr. [John] Pym
Sir H[enry] Poole Sir N[athaniel] Rich
Mr. [William] Noye Sir Francis Barrington
Mr. [Henry] Sherfield Sir Thomas Estcourt
Mr. [Nicholas] Duck Sir Gilbert Gerard
Sir Thomas Wentworth
Sir P[eter] Heyman
Sir Guy Palmes

2 [o']clock, this afternoon, Court of Wards.

[f. 52] MR. [CHRISTOPHER] WANDESFORD'S report for [Matthias] Fowle on Monday next, after York castle.

For the Fleet, on Tuesday, 8 [o']clock.

The amendments in the bill of statutes twice read, and committed to a committee of the whole House.

[CJ 709] Mr. Speaker went out of his chair, and Mr. [William] Noye had the chair.

Mr. Speaker going again into the chair, MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE reports from the committee that they resolved this House cannot amend the Lords' alteration without a conference, but with a conference may.

Resolved, by the House, a conference with the Lords about the clause of the wines.

The other, for Wales, to stand as it is.

Sir Edward Coke to go up and desire this conference.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports from the committee of a bill for fees in boroughs, cities, etc. That much complaint was made of the City of London for great exactions of fees within 15 or 16 years. 50s. per annum grown to £50 per annum. The city justified by their acts of common council, warranted by acts of Parliament, and that the alteration of times enforced the raising of these fees to the officers. But answered, on the other part, these fees go not to poor attendants but to the richer men, givers of the offices.

The amendments of this bill opened by Sir Edwin Sandys, which twice read. Engrossetur.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports further for the alnager's business. Complaint from Northampton: drapers, mercers and hosiers. This against Carpenter and his son and their rent-gatherer. The office ancient, instituted for the good of the people. First, a fit man chosen for it, who made reasonable demands of integrity and skill. But since granted to great persons, who execute it by deputies, who great extortioners [sic] upon the people, and altogether abuse their office. The office more ancient than making of cloth here. 2 Ed. 3 140, measuring foreign cloth; 110 Ed. 3 he banished foreign cloths, and invited clothiers here.

SIR EDWARD COKE reports from the Lords. They will confer presently, with 16, in the Painted Chamber.

[col. 1] [col. 2]
Sir Edward Coke Mr. Secretary Calvert
Mr. [William] Noye Sir Thomas Wentworth
Mr. Solicitor Sir D[udley] Digges
Mr. [John] Holles Sir Thomas Barrington
Sir Guy Palmes
[col. 3] [col. 4]
Mr. Treasurer Mr. Comptroller
Mr. [William] Lenthall
Sir John Savile
Mr. [Henry] Sherfield
Mr. [William] Mallory
[f. 52v] [col.1 contd.] [col. 2 contd.]
Sir A[rthur] Mainwaring Mr. [John] Bankes
Sir Francis Fane Sir Francis Barrington
Sir Clement Throckmorton Sir Eubule Thelwall
Sir W[alter] Pye Sir George More
Sir Robert Killigrew Sir William Bowyer
Mr. [Francis] Fetherston[haugh] Sir Nathaniel Rich
[col. 3 contd.]
Mr. [Richard] Spencer
Mr. [John] Glanville
Sir A[nthony] Forest
Sir B[enjamin] Rudyard
Sir O[liver] Cromwell

This committee appointed to go and confer with the Lords about this bill.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS proceeds with his report concerning the alnager. A fee established to the alnager. That the alnager's office 17 Ed. 3 forbidden to be granted for life or years, but only at will, and to be under the Treasurer's disposal. Forbidden to be sold. Is to account yearly.

The abuses now 4 heads:

  • 1. Usurping upon the subject: extending his office upon stockings, waistcoats and caps made of wool.
  • 2. Upon cloth sealed before, pressing the retailer to seal after the clothier has sealed.
  • 3. Presses the seal upon cloths less than half cloths. They now seal their seals by bushels, so as the seal the instrument of right, now the instrument of deceit. They sell these seals for 1d. apiece, whereof ought to have but 1d. for a whole cloth.
  • 4. Exact rents upon all that deal in woollen commodities, as stockings, etc. 10s. per annum yearly rent. Their fines uncertain.

The committee resolved to prefer this in a petition of grievance to the King, to reform the abuse and punish the offenders.

Moves, some understanding lawyers may, in this vacancy, draw into one act all the duties of the alnager and present it at the next session.

Resolved, upon question, that these abuses shall be preferred in a petition of grievance to the King, for redress of the abuses and punishment of the offenders.

Sir Edwin Sandys and Mr. [Nicholas] Ferrar to do this.

Mr. [Robert] Berkeley to draw the bill propounded by Sir Edwin Sandys.

The subcommittee for [Dr. John] Cradock to report to the House what they should have done to the grand committee.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS reports from the courts of justice. [f. 53] First, for [Dr. John] Lambe, upon a petition from Northampton. This in hand the last Parliament. He now grown worse than before. Gotten now to be a commissioner in the town by a[d]junct, whereby he disturbs the peace of the town. The subcommittee gathered together all the charge, consisting of 3 heads:

  • 1. Vexation.
  • 2. Extortion.
  • 3. Bribery and corruption.

In the first, kept 2 courts at 2 places, distant one from the other. Made the inhabitants in one place to come to the other, and excommunicated those which were mistaken in the place of coming to him. Made his brother his register, himself thereby having the benefit. Exacts new fees. Takes cognizance of title of lands. Enforces wills proved here to be proved again; refuses wills ready engrossed to be engrossed, to the double charge; takes of every widow administratrix 33s. 4d. Convents for frivolous business, as for coming to church in a foul band, ill shoes, half opening shops on a market day, being an holiday. Exercises the oath ex officio frequently. Delays justice in suits, as for repair of churches, etc., keeping them there until they spent [£]20, [£]30, or £40.

For his extortion, great, about probate of wills, licences for marriage, granting administrations, granting of tutorships.

For bribery, one Craddock, having a cause depending before, would do nothing it [sic] until he had money for himself, his clerks, etc. Takes much money for commutation of penance, taking money for it in pretence to pios usus, but in truth to his own. 100 marks paid by Busswell for commutation of penance, and £5 given to his wife to buy her a petticoat.

The committee thought fit (the time of our sitting being now so short) that Lambe might be excepted out of the general pardon and at our next session be further examined, and be proceeded with. The consideration thereof referred to the House.

MR. SOLICITOR. That in the general pardon, extortions, briberies and corruptions are excepted, which will reach Lambe.

Resolved, to let this rest until the next session.

The grievances, digested into a parliamentary form, to be brought in upon Tuesday, after dinner.

SIR JOHN SAVILE reports from the committee for the petition of Meredith Mady against the Lord of Canterbury that the committee has fully cleared his Lordship, and all the acts and proceedings legal and just, [f. 53v] and the petitioner held a clamorous person.

Upon question, the Lord Archbishop fully cleared and his proceedings just, and the petitioner held clamorous.

MR. [WILLIAM] RAVENSCROFT moves for some course against printing or selling of popish books, whereof has a catalogue of 7 or 8 score printed within these 2 years.

Mr. [William] Ravenscroft and Mr. [John] Pym to examine the catalogue of these books and other circumstances about it, and to report the same to the House.

Mr. Mady called to the bar, and kneeling was admonished by MR. SPEAKER to avoid any like clamours hereafter.

MR. [WILLIAM] LENTHALL reports from the committee for [Dr. John] Cradock. That his [sic] a high commissioner for Durham, a justice of peace and a chancellor. Found to be a great offender in all these. Confounds these several jurisdic- [CJ 710] tions, making the one to help the other. First, a sequestration of one Ashen's goods, worth £1,000, which very ordinary there. A sequestration granted to 2 strangers. They ransacked the house, seized upon divers bags. This done at the funeral sermon. The will being found and [Cuthbert] Haudon executor of it, could not get the will proved. A second sequestration granted. Cradock, breaking open the house as a justice of peace, ransacked it. Offered an oath ex officio to the executor, and upon that asked him what he had done with the bags of money. New sequestrators again appointed, his man Sompner, etc. These ate up all the provisions of the house. Took Haudon and sent him to the gaol, for a force. Could not be released until 20 pieces given, and then fined him £50 to the Bishop of Durham. This done out of any sessions. £6 fees paid. No act of sequestration in all this time made. Thus also did in Rand's case. A forged excommunication, as Mr. Richardson offers to swear. Bribes taken as a justice of peace, and all the offences reported in [to] Dr. Lambe.

That the opinion of the committee was that this man deserved greater punishment than Lambe.

SIR EDWARD COKE. Necessitas lex temporis. That the Attorney [General] showed a dispensation for licences of wines in Queen Mary's time, Queen Elizabeth's time. That it was a good law. That 2 branches repealed in 10 Jac., yet this left. That they at length yielded this shall stand during the Earl of Nottingham's life.

The House to sit at 3 [o'clock], and a new conference at 4 [o'clock]. Resolved.

[House adjourned]

II. JOURNAL OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, PA, HC/CL/JO/1/13

[CJ 792; f. 210v]

Sabbati, 22 Maii 1624

Survey of seacoals the first cause on Monday after the Staplers.

[f. 211] The committee for the Lady [Joan] Jermy's bill to meet, 2 [o']clock, Exchequer Chamber, and to be reported first upon Monday next by Sir Henry Poole.

Lady Boteler's second cause.

Fisherman of Ireland 3rd cause, Monday.

Dungeness light[house] the next.

Postmasters the next.

A certificate from the committee concerning the Lady Dale read.

Ordered, her petition shall be delivered up to her without prejudice.

A proviso in the bill for 3 divinity lectures twice read.

Upon question, not be committed.

The proviso thirdly read and passed.

Robert Hall, that served the process upon Sir Robert Brooke, brought to the bar and charged by MR. SPEAKER with this offence, of serving process upon Sir Robert Brooke, and with an order, at the Parliament door.

Mr. [Robert] Hall. That when he bespoke the process it was before the Parliament and knew not then he was a Parliament-man. Gave no consent, either to the serving of the process or order, but was discontented when he heard it was done.

The servant called to the bar, being yesterday committed to the Serjeant, and asked who set him on to serve the process. He said his master bade him go along with Mr. Greene, and Mr. Greene bade him serve the process and to wait for Sir Robert [Brooke] at the Parliament door.

Mr. Greene to be sent for by the Serjeant. And these 2 to attend de die in diem.

Upon complaint made against Withers, the Serjeant's man, who took him, related at the bar how he was withstood and abused by one at whose house Withers lay. That Withers assisted him and kept him from wrong.

An order for one Marshall that has the patent in his custody, to bring it in.

The report about York House to be made Monday, 8 [o']clock.

[f. 211v] The amendments in the bill for removing of actions out of inferior courts twice read and committed to Sir Edward Coke, Sir Henry Poole, Mr. [William] Noye, Mr. [Henry] Sherfield, Mr. [Nicholas] Duck, Sir Thomas Wentworth, Sir Peter Heyman, Sir Guy Palmes, Mr. [John] Pym, Sir Nathaniel Rich, Sir Francis Barrington, Sir Thomas Estcourt, Sir Gilbert Gerard. 2 [o']clock, this afternoon, Court of Wards.

Mr. [Christopher] Wandesford's report for [Matthias] Fowle on Monday next, after York castle.

For the Fleet, on Tuesday, 8 [o']clock.

The amendments of the bill of statutes twice read, and committed to a committee of the whole House.

Mr. Speaker went out of his chair and Mr. [William] Noye had the chair.

[CJ 793] Mr. Speaker going again into the chair, MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE reports from the committee that they resolved this House cannot mend the Lords' alteration without a conference.

Resolved, by the House, a conference with the Lords about the clause of the wines.

The other, for Wales, to stand as it is.

Sir Edward Coke to desire this conference.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports the bill for tabling fees in cities and boroughs. Amendments twice read.

Ordered, to be engrossed.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports further for the alnager's business. Complaint from Northampton: drapers, mercers and hosiers. This against Carpenter and his son. The office ancient, instituted for the good of the people. The office more ancient than making cloth here. 2 Edw. 3 140 measuring foreign cloth; 11 Edw. 3 he banished foreign cloth and invited clothiers here.

SIR EDWARD COKE reports from the Lords. They will confer presently, with 16, in the Painted Chamber.

Mr. Treasurer Secretary Calvert
Mr. Comptroller Mr. Solicitor
Sir Edward Coke Mr. [John] Holles
Mr. [William] Noye Sir Thomas Wentworth
[f. 212] Sir Dudley Digges Sir John Savile
Sir Thomas Barrington Mr. [Henry] Sherfield
Sir Guy Palmes Mr. [William] Mallory
Mr. [William] Lenthall Sir Arthur Mainwaring
Sir Francis Fane Sir Clement Throckmorton
Sir Walter Pye Mr. [John] Bankes
Sir Robert Killigrew Sir Francis Barrington
Mr. [Francis] Fetherston[haugh] Sir Eubule Thelwall
Sir George More Sir William Bowyer
Sir Nathaniel Rich Mr. [Richard] Spencer
Sir Anthony Forest Mr. [John] Glanville
Sir Oliver Cromwell Sir Benjamin Rudyard

This committee appointed to go and confer with the Lords about this bill.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS proceeds with his report concerning the alnager. That the alnager's office, 17 Edw. 3, forbidden to be granted for life or years but only at will, and to be under the Treasurer's dispose. Forbidden to be sold. Is to account yearly.

The abuses now of 4 heads:

  • 1. Usurping upon the subject: extending his office upon stockings, waistcoats and caps made of wool.
  • 2. Upon cloths sealed before pressing the retailer to seal after the clothier has sealed.
  • 3. Presses the seal upon cloths less than half cloths. They now sell their seals by bushels, so as the seal the instrument of right, now of deceit. They sell these seals for 1d. apiece.
  • 4. Exact rents upon all that deal in woollen commodities, as stockings, 10s. per annum yearly rent. Their fines uncertain. The committee resolved to prefer this in a petition of grievance to the King, to reform the abuses and punish the offenders.

[f. 213] Sabbati, 22 Maii, post meridiem

Sir James Perrot sent for to go to a committee of the Lords. Will not do it without leave of the House. Left to him to do as he will in it.

MR. [EDWARD] ALFORD. That Mr. Tregonnell desires to have his counsel heard in the House at the passage of Sir John Ryves's bill, because his counsel not fully heard at committee.

MR. [JOHN] BANKES reports the bill for sheriffs, their quietus est. Amendments twice read.

Ordered, to be engrossed.

The amendments of the bill of concealments twice read, and committed to:

Sir Edward Coke Sir John Walter
Attorney Wards Mr. [Christopher] Brooke
Mr. [John] Pym Sir Robert Pye
Auditor Sawyer Mr. [John] Bankes
Mr. [Edward] Alford Mr. [Henry] Sherfield
Sir George More Mr. [Nicholas] Duck
Mr. [William] Noye Mr. [John] Glanville
Sir Eubule Thelwall Mr. [Humphrey] Were
Sir Thomas Wentworth Mr. [Thomas] Wentworth
Sir William Pitt Mr. [Henry] Rolle
Sir Thomas Denton Mr. [John] Carvile
Sir Peter Mutton Mr. [William] Lenthall

Monday, 7 [o']clock, Court of Wards. Bill delivered to Sir Edward Coke to consider of.

SIR WALTER EARLE. To have a time set for the hearing of Dungeness light[house].

A message from the Lords by Serjeant [Sir John] Davies and Serjeant [Sir Henry] Finch. The Lords have sent 6 bills, 4 public, 2 private, all with amendments:

  • 1. Monopolies.
  • 2. Pleading alienations.
  • 3. Bastard children.
  • [f. 214] 4. Butter and cheese.
  • 5. Sir John Ryves's bill.
  • 6. Sir Francis Clerke's bill.

SIR EDWARD COKE reports from the Lords at the conference about the bill of continuances. The Prince there and wished we might be converted in that point for wines. They resolved that the statute was not now to be repealed during the life of the Earl of Nottingham. Do sit, to know our answer.

Sir Edward Coke to return this answer. That this House will take this into due consideration, and in convenient time return an answer.

Mr. [John] Selden to deliver in the heads of the charge against Doctor [Thomas] Anyan on Monday morning, 8 [o']clock, and then a conference to be desired.

The amendments of the bill of alienations twice read, and the proviso.

Upon question, the House divided, whether these amendments should be committed or no:

Sir Robert Phelips Sir George More
Mr. Wandesford for the Yea Sir Dudley Digges for the No
49 for the Yea
63 for the No

The amendments not to be committed. Third read. The passing of them deferred until Monday.

[House adjourned]

III. DIARY OF JOHN HAWARDE, WILTSHIRE AND SWINDON ARCHIVES, 9/34/2

[p. 297]

Saturni, 22 Maii 1624

The bille of subsidies reade and passed.

The bille of the clergies subsidies broughte unto us, but SIR EDWARD COKE sayde it was not broughte in the righte course, for it oughte firste to have bene reade in the Upper Howse and then sente unto us, so it was sente backe agayne.

IV. DIARY OF EDWARD NICHOLAS, TNA, SP 14/166

[f. 215v]

Saturday, 220 Maii 1624

SIR ROBERT BROOKE, a member of this House, informs the House that one Mr. [Robert] Hall's man served him with a subpoena out of the Chancery, which he holds to be a contempt or injury to the privilege of this House.

It is ordered that the man who served the subpoena, or set him to serve it, shall be sent for to answer the injury offered to this House in serving a subpoena on a member thereof.

The Lords have sent an alteration in the bill for repeal and continuance of statutes, which is that the statute of 70 E. 6 concerning the selling of wines should not be repealed as our House thought fit to have it, but that it should be continued. Our House thinks it fit to have this statute repealed because we hold it but a snare and of no use but for the granting of a letters patents for the dispensing with the law, as the Earl of Nottingham has it granted to him, a power that to such as his Lordship shall nominate the King shall grant licences to sell wines.

Our House has committed this alteration of this bill.

At the committee concerning this alteration of this bill of repeal and continuance, etc.

The Speaker being out of the chair and Mr. [William] Noye placed therein at this committee.

[f. 216] It appears by the King's answer to the grievances delivered his Majesty in 70 Jac. that his Majesty was then content that the law of 70 E. 6 touching the selling of wines should be repealed, only his Majesty would have the patent granted to the Earl of Nottingham should continue during his Lordship's life.

Sir Edwin Sandys says that when an amendment is made by the Lords of a bill which we have sent to their Lordships, if we allow not of or reject the amendments then the bill is reject and cast away. But we may send an amendment of their amendments which their Lordships send to us. He would therefore have us send to have a conference with their Lordships about this bill's alteration.

Sir E[dward] Coke says that the Lord Nottingham has resigned up his patent for licensing of wines and therefore, according to the King's answer, this law of 70 E. 6 is now to be repealed.

Mr. Solicitor says that by the advice of the Earl of Middlesex, the King bought in the Earl of Nottingham's patent and has given his Lordship a recompense for the same, and his Majesty means only to keep the same patent on foot until his Majesty be reimbursed what he paid for it. And by the King's answer, the statute is not to be repealed until after the death of the Earl of Nottingham.

Sir E[dward] Coke says that we cannot amend any amendment inserted by the Lords into a bill which they have received from us, unless it be by consent between us and the Lords at a conference, and at a conference we may not agree wholly to take away such an amendment sent us by their Lordships.

[f. 216v] It is conceived by this committee to be fit that we should have a conference with the Lords about this amendment of the bill of repeal and continuance of statutes.

Mr. Speaker goes into the chair.

On the report of this resolution of this committee concerning this amendment of the bill of statutes, the House does order that we shall presently send to have a conference with the Lords about the amendments of this bill of continuance and repeal of statutes.

A message is sent away to this purpose to the Lords.

SIR E[DWIN] SANDYS reports concerning the patent of alnager that the office of alnager is ancient and was erected for the good of the merchants and all others. That this office has been of late been invested in great men and they have made deputies, whom they have not so carefully provided as has been fitting, neither have they (being great) dismissed their thoughts from higher matters to consider what was done by their deputies, but have been content to let their deputies to raise their benefit therein, and this has caused the deputies to make great exactions on the subject for fees in this kind.

That the only use of this office was for seeing true measure of cloth. 1 R. 3, cap. 8, the Lord Treasurer was to appoint a man expert in clothing to be alnager, who should be worth £100. That [f. 217] 5 of E. 6, cap. 6, this office was appointed to divers searchers because the deceit in clothing increased, and in 4 Jac. these searchers were joined to the alnager. In 17 R. 2, cap. 5, that the office of alnager should not be farmed. The fee of the alnager was ob. for a whole thing and quarter for other cloths, and the King was to have 4d. for one and 2d. for the other.

The abuses of the alnager now is that he does extend it beyond its bounds to waistcoats, caps and stockings, where he is to exercise his office only on cloth. That he does exercise his office on cloth sealed before, and set their seals on half cloths which are not by the statutes to be sealed at all. 2nd offence, for breach of trust, for now the alnager does sell his seals to the clothier himself by the bushels. Third offence, his extortion: that he sells these seals for 1d. apiece where he ought [to] have but ob. Fourth offence, that he exacts fines and yearly rents of shopkeepers, as mercers, which fines he reports are great, and the rent [f. 217v] is usually 10s. per annum, which the poor shopkeepers and mercers are compelled to pay to their great grief.

That the opinion of this committee is that this should be presented to the King as a great grievance. He moves, as from himself, that some of the lawyers of this House would the cessation after this sessions [sic] draw all the laws concerning this office of alnager into one bill, and provide for the remedy of these abuses and for the due execution of that office.

[Blank]

It is ordered by this House that these abuses committed by the alnager shall be presented in the petition of grievances to the King at the end of this sessions [sic]. And Sir E[dwin] Sandys and Mr. [Nicholas] Ferrar shall draw up this grievance of the alnager to be inserted into the petition of grievances.

Ordered, Mr. [Robert] Berkeley shall draw up such a bill as Sir E[dwin] Sandys mentioned against our meeting in another sessions [sic].

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS reports from the courts of justice that there was a petition from the mayor and town of Northampton against Dr. [John] Lambe, chancellor of the diocese under the bishop of Peterborough, [f. 218] desiring that the complaints against Dr. Lambe preferred to the last Parliament may be reviewed, and also that this House would consider also that since that time he has gotten himself to be a justice of peace in that town by an adjunct commission. They desire he may be removed out of that commission.

A subcommittee, on view of the complaints against Dr. Lambe, do find that he is charged with:

  • 1. Exaction and vexation of those of his dioceses.
  • 2. For extortion.
  • And, third, of corruption.

That he will cause a will proved here at London to be there again proved and will not admit of the will until it be rewritten by his own register. That he has punished men for coming to church in a foul band on a Sunday, and a pair of bad shoes, and for setting of a shop half open. That he executes the power of an officer to do ex officio what he list and makes men thereby to accuse themselves. That for his extortion, he extorts great fees for marriages, the probate of wills, etc. That one Busswell, having committed an offence, was enjoined a penance for which he did by agreement with this doctor commute the same for 100 marks to be paid in pios usus, and £5 to the doctor's [f. 218v] wife to buy her a petticoat. Other matters were alleged against this chancellor.

The opinion of the committee was that this Dr. Lambe, we should desire to have him excepted out of the general pardon that so at our next meeting we might proceed against him duly, because we have not now time to proceed fully and duly against him, he being so abundant and foul an offender, and many of the like offences are committed by other the like officers, for whom this will be a warning.

MR. [WILLIAM] LENTHALL would not have such an exception made of Dr. Lambe to be out of the general pardon until we had heard his answer, for that would be too sudden a condemnation of him.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS. That Dr. Lambe is of the Convocation House and could not be sent for by this committee to give his answer. That Dr. Lambe never did offer to come to his answer nor ever spoke to any man to make any answer for him, which it is like he would have done if he had been innocent. These matters are proved fully to the last Parliament by many witnesses.

It is resolved that this business against Dr. Lambe shall rest for this sessions [sic] because here are no witnesses in London to prove what is alleged against him if he should now be called [f. 219] and deny what he is accused of.

SIR JOHN SAVILE says that the committee have examined the petitions of Meredith Mady against the Archbishop of Canterbury and the acts whereby the petitioner (who is a minister) was justly dispossessed of his benefice, and that it plainly appears the proceedings of the Archbishop were just and honourable.

It is resolved, by the vote of this House, that the Archbishop of Canterbury did very justly proceed against the said Mady, and is much wronged by the said petitioner.

Meredith Mady is called into the House and after he had been on his knee he was by the SPEAKER told that he had unjustly scandalized the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the House in respect of his poverty does spare the inflicting of any punishment on him according to his desert, but admonishes to have care how he falsely and causelessly complains henceforth to so honourable an assembly, especially against so great a personage.

MR. [WILLIAM] LENTHALL reports concerning Dr. [John] Cradock. He says he is a commissioner of the High Commission, a chancellor of Durham under the bishop and a justice of peace. That he abused all these powers to the prejudice and vexation of many. That it is the use in Durham that when any rich man dies, there is a sequestration granted of all goods until there be a will known and proved. [f. 219v] That the particulars are many and foul against Dr. Cradock for bribery, extortion and very unjust vexations in a foul manner far worse than those of Dr. Lambe. The opinion of the committee was that this Dr. Cradock deserved to have a far greater punishment than Dr. Lambe.

There is no order now made in this business by reason the time is now expired for a conclusion of a sessions [sic].

SIR E[DWARD] COKE reports from the conference with the Lords about the amendment in the bill of continuances, which was touching the repealing of that statue of 70 E. 6 touching selling of wine. He says that the Lords desire a further consideration on this amendment of this bill and to that end will sit at 3 o'clock this afternoon, and desire that we will do the like to finish this matter.

Ordered, that the Speaker shall be here at 3 [o']clock this afternoon to this purpose.

Afternoon, the Speaker in the chair

SIR E[DWARD] COKE reports from the conference with the Lords concerning the bill of continuance for the amendment of the same, which is that the statute of 70 E. 6 concerning the licences of wines. That the Lords said we have too soon taken hold of the King's promise that that statute should not be dispensed with anymore [f. 220] after the death of the Earl of Nottingham. If we do now repeal that statute, we seem to distrust his Majesty's word. That when the said Earl of Nottingham is dead, it will be seasonable to have that statute repealed. Another reason why the King will continue the said statute is that the granting of the licences for selling wine is an ancient revenue of the crown and therefore not to be taken from his Majesty until he please.

The debate hereof is deferred until another time.

It is an ancient order of this House that we cannot amend any amendment or alteration that is by the Lords made of any bill that we have sent up to their Lordships but on a conference with their Lordships; but if we dislike such amendment and will not consent to it, then the bill is rejected.

V. DIARY OF SIR WILLIAM SPRING, HOUGHTON LIBRARY, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, MS ENG. 980

[p. 235]

Saturday, the 22nd of May

The bill of removal of suits from inferior courts is returned from the Lords and amended, whereupon it is committed again.

The bill of continuance of statutes in that part concerning the statute of [blank] Edw. 6 touching selling of wines in taverns (being by the nether House repealed) is not allowed by the Lords, to consider of which the House sits as committee to discuss the necessity of the repeal, or whether it may conveniently be left still in force.

It was alleged that it was requisite to repeal it, first, for that those laws which by experience or change of times are found prejudicial to the commonwealth and do prove rather a burden than a mischief, these ought to be repealed, of which sort this is. That it has been necessary to dispense withal and that dispensation are ordinarily and frequently granted for this, and therefore not fit to be continued. For if the law be good, the dispensation is naught; if the dispensation be needful, the law is to be repealed. It was complained of as a grievance last Parliament, and the King promised reformation when the patent which the Earl of Nottingham had for his life was repealed, and that the King had now bought the Earl's interest, and some said he intended to have it held but while the Earl lived and therefore moved that since the King had bought it and was now interest[ed] in it as a partner, it might be let alone until it expired. [p. 236] That it was now no time to impair the King's revenues, and that there having been respect given unto my Lord of Nottingham when he had it, much more reason it should be tolerated for the King who held it not now otherwise than according to that grant, wishing that rock may be shunned upon which by this particular if it be pressed too far we may hazard ourselves upon. And if it be necessary, yet not now since it is a time which rather requires the increase than the diminution of the King's profits.

Sir Edward Wardour says that the King bought in the patent by the Earl of Middlesex['s] advice, and that the Earl had the collecting of the profit last year, and without account had a pardon for the rent.

It was questioned in the House whether the Lords' amendments of our bill could be altered by us or amended. But it was allowed as a constant order of the House that no such thing as came from the Lords to us might be amended, only a conference was to be required and to inform the Lords thereat of the opinion of this House touching their amendments. And accordingly, a message is sent to demand a conference.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports the bill for fees in cities and towns corporate, and says the committee had information that fees were raised from 30s. per annum to £50, and that the officers that did the service had not the profit, but those that sold the offices, etc.

He reports also the complaint made against the office of the alnager. That by colour of his office he has extended it to hats and caps, waistcoats and stockings, etc., which were never intended to be subject to measuring, and that upon these [p. 237] many fees and forfeitures are imposed. That the alnager also sells the seals of the office by bushels to the clothiers himself and so frustrates the end and intent of the constitution of his office. Concerning half cloths also [blank] deest aliquid infra. [Blank] For shopkeepers and new draperies, that he exacts fees and extends his office to them to their great loss and discouragement. [Blank] He move[s] that all the abuses of the alnager, with some necessary remedies, may be drawn into a bill and conceived against next session.

The House orders that a petition shall be drawn by Sir Edwin Sandys to his Majesty concerning this and that petition to be presented unto the King (after the House allows it) as for a grievance concerning these abuses of this office; and that Mr. [blank] shall provide a bill against next session.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS reports the business last handled by the committee for courts of justice, and in special against Dr. [John] Lambe, chancellor of Northampton, for a complaint of bribery, extortion and corruption, and because the matter cannot now be determined desires it may be desired that he may be excepted out of the general pardon and the matter so to rest.

The SOLICITOR answers that bribery, extortion and corruption are excepted in the pardon already, and so it is well enough.

VI. DIARY OF RICHARD DYOTT, STAFFORDSHIRE RECORD OFFICE, MS D661/11/1/2

[f. 150]

[22 May 1624]

[SIR EDWARD] COKE. If a statute command anything and appoint no penalty, yet if a man offend against this statute he incurs a contempt and is subject to fine and ransom.

The subsidy of the clergy came down from the Lords without warrant, being not signed. Motion, that should be sent up again to be signed that order may be kept. Agreed to.

A saving may not be repugnant to the body of the bill. But provided and enacted may, being a repeal of that to which is cont/

[f. 151] The bill of continuances came down from the Lords with amendments (not to have 7 E. 6 concerning wines, and the statute of Wales, that King should alter the laws, etc. repealed).

It is impossible and obsolete, and the King in 7 of his reign did promise that the Lord Admiral should have the last patent and that he would grant no more any such licence.

As the law is now, it is but a snare and we are under the curse dedi eis statuta non bona et iudicia in quibus non vivent. This is to let the laws to farm as was said of the clergy, that they let to farm the sins of the people as if they were lay fee.

24 H. 8 did repose a trust in the person of H. 8 for the altering and making of laws for the government of Wales, as [Sir Edward] Coke and [Mr. William] Noye hold.

[f. 151v] The dispensation of penal laws not to be transferred to a subject, and that king is trusted with the laws by the general consent of kingdom, and law made for public good not to be converted to private use.

A penal law cannot [?square] to all places, all times, all persons, and therefore may dispense in some cases. But king may dispense for a number, but not without limitation.

5 E. 3 Lord Latimer, [Lord Great] Chamberlain, procured the dispensation of a penal law and was punished for it. And so was Pesche, which signifies so.

[Sir Edward] Coke would have these heads presented to the Lords at the conference with the Lords:

  • 1. That dispensation of penal laws to subject unlawful, and in 7 E. 6 in the petition it was expressed not only [f. 152] to be of grace but of right.
  • 2. It is an offence to obtain a patent of dispensation.
  • 3. The King's gracious promise.
  • 4. Law by tract of time is become obsolete and impossible.

If a bill come from Lords with amendments, if the amendments be refused, the bill is gone. But we may send amendments upon amendments.

It was denied, for cannot be done without conference.

In the bill of continuances, a great part of the government of the kingdom consists, therefore dangerous to dash it.

The Lords will regard the King's honour as well as his profit not so well founded.

Lord of Middlesex was made collector of the profits of those licences, and King gave him an acquitance every 3 or 4 years. [f. 152v] My Lord of Nottingham is out, [h]is patent is surrendered. The King's promise is to grant no such licence. This, though it be not idem uro, yet it such in mischief, such in burden to the people.

I never knew that an answer by the King in Parliament was not religiously observed.

Solicitor. That the King's promise was that he would grant no more patents from Lord of Nottingham's death, and he is yet living.

It appeared that the King was content that a law should be passed for restraint of more licences, saving the patent of Lord of Nottingham.

This dispensation had 50 or 60 years continuance before King came to the crown.

Order, that shall be a conference with the Lords for amendment of the law of 7 E. 6 [f. 153] that it shall be repealed from the death of the Lord of Nottingham's death [sic] according to King's promise. And for that of Wales, what the Lords had done not be altered and no mention thereof to be made at the conference.

Bill concerning fees in cities and corporate towns, etc. to be engrossed.

For the City of London, it was answered that they imposed no fees but by act of common council, which granted by patent, which confirmed by act of Parliament.

But answered that these fees not for the benefit of the poor but of rich men that have offices.

This bill in effect but against extortion pays treble damages and double costs and ordains that a table of fees shall be set up. [f. 153v] The bill only relates to the 40[th] year of the Queen, not to more ancient fees.

Report of the office of the alnager by [SIR EDWIN] SANDYS. A petition against deputy alnager and his rent gatherer. This complaint was like a spark of fire in tow; it spread itself all over the kingdom presently. Time has clean perverted the end of this office. The deputies, bearing themselves high upon the greatness of the patentees, oppressed the people. This office is very ancient, more ancient than making of cloth here, 2 E. 3, c. 14. In 11 E. 3, c. 3 and 15, forbade foreign cloth to be brought in, and invited foreign clothiers. [f. 154] 25 E. 3, c. 1, measures set by act of Parliament, which now are obsolete. A great penalty laid upon the alnager for his negligence, etc. 27 E. 3, c. 14, this forfeiture for want of assize thought too rigorous and repealed, and ordained that the alnager should express in his seal the content of the cloth, in consideration whereof a subsidy granted to king, etc. His fee was reduced to certainty, with some exceptions. The second seller was to be free. Now cloths forfeited for want of seal. The institution of this office was for assurance of measure of cloth. 1 R. 3, [c.] 8, that an alnager shall be expert in clothing, and only in places where [f. 154v] unto deputed. Not repealed but dissolved. 6 H. 6, [c.] 6, searchers appointed for true making of cloth that recourse might be had to him who made the fault and have remedy. This office of searcher to concur with the alnager, afterwards enacted. This office was conceived to be of that trust that by/

1 R. 3, c. 5. 5 E. 6, c. 13, forbidden to be sold. 15 E. 2 he is to make account to the Treasurer of Exchequer. H. 4 that unlawful to let it to farm. 4 E. 4, [c.] 4, to show his commission, 20s. forfeiture if took more than his due. The penalty if neglect. Besides loss of office, to be amerced £10 the time, etc. and imprisonment after.

[f. 155] The abuses divided into 4 heads:

  • 1. In usurping upon subject, extending his office beyond bounds:
  •        1. To waistcoats, stockings, caps, etc. whereas it extends by law only to cloth.
  •        2. To cloth sealed before, at 2nd hand, where should only upon cloth not sealed and the first sealing.
  •        3. Less than half cloths, contrary to statute. 22 E. 3 one complained of for worsteds, his patent declared void and R. 2['s] time the like.
  • 2. In breach of trust. They sell the seals, and to the clothier himself and by bushels. Now seal is an instrument of deceit, not of assurance.
  • 3. Extortion. They sell for 1d. a seal, whereas but ob. the statute appoints.
  • [f. 155v] 4. Where have no authority to exercise office, they exact fines and rents of hosiers, new drapers, etc., which for fear of great names and greater vexation is paid by poor shopkeepers.

Resolution, that a petition of grievance to be preferred to the King, for reformation of the abuse and punishment of the offender.

Made motion that one lawyer would draw into one body the duty of the alnager now dispersed into many.

That King moved that all laws concerning one subject might [be] reduced to one law. A noble work.

The 2 motion[s] ordered, too. [f. 156] A commission adjunct.

Report by [SIR ROBERT] PHELIPS of Dr. [John] Lambe.

[1.] Charged with vexation. That he kept 2 courts at Rothwell and Northampton. Would summon them of R[othwell] to N[orthampton], them of N[orthampton] to R[othwell], and excommunicate for non-appearance. Exact[s] new fees. Takes cognizance of title of lands. Will not receive wills fair written but his register must engross them though proved above. Those that be clear cannot pass without charge of 11 groats for coming to church in foul band, shoes not good enough, half opening of shop windows. Exercises the oath ex officio. A judge must suspect, then a [f. 156v] man must answer upon oath. Delays.

2. Extortion: for probate of testaments, administrations, tutelage.

3. Bribery: Craddock's cause, wherein we do nothing until/

In commutation, takes money to pious uses and converts to own use. In Busswell's cause, 100 marks was given, and £5 to wife to buy a petticoat.

The subcommittee thought fit that in respect of shortness of time and largeness of the business, and this disease whereof most countries in England sick, resolved Dr. Lambe might be excepted out of general pardon, that at [f. 157] next meeting might stand or fall according to his merits.

The grand committee doubted whether the person should be excepted generally, or but for the causes depending before us.

The sword of excommunication had not wont to be drawn without great preparation and moderation. Now for ever trifle excommunicate, and pay your fees and away.

SOLICITOR. That by special direction from King, extortion, bribery and corruption are excepted out of the pardon, and it is gone for the King's hand already.

[MR. HENRY] ROLLE. That something should be done by way of example. That he should be declared worthy to be transferred to the Lords. Not to judge him before have heard him. We could not tell how to convent him before [f. 157v] us, being a member of the Convocation House, which has the privileges of Parliament. And he would never present himself voluntarily to give satisfaction.

Ordered, not to be excepted because his greatest offences are not pardoned, and too much time would be spent.

The King must have 3 days to consider of the grievances. Would therefore have them prepared by Tuesday. Order for.

My Lord of Canterbury's proceedings declared to be just, and the complaint against him frivolous and his Grace acquitted. The petitioner was Meredith Mady.

It was moved that he should be punished for his false clamour. But because a weak, poor man, and has been impoverished [f. 158] by a suit in the Star Chamber, should not be committed to the Serjeant, but only have an admonition at the bar.

Done accordingly.

[MR. WILLIAM] RAVENSCROFT would have a catalogue of popish books printed here within 2 years presented with the grievances, and the laws in that case may be executed.

SPEAKER. If a message be sent up, or a committee to a conference with the Lords sedente curia, we must not rise until their return, or that we have sent a mannerly message to them.

Report by [MR. WILLIAM] LENTHALL concerning Dr. [John] Cradock that offended as justice of peace and chancellor, etc. Both in same condition and to be in same case, resolved.

[f. 158v] Report by [SIR EDWARD] COKE. By 7 E. 6 that in every good town's taverns to be erected by some of the best men. An antiquated law; it continues in dispensation. Your ancestors never so intended it. The King's promise. Mr. Attorney [General], by deduction of time, said in Queen Mary's time began. Said it was a good law to avoid drunkenness.

Answer: that first granted monopolies. [?That] sweet wines to be brought to Southampton. Dispensed with penal laws first. Pretermitted customs began then. Now a man may be drunk by dispensation.

It was excepted in the last bill of continuances but for one branch, as it was objected, by which the rest allowed.

Answer: Argumentum ab auctoritatum [2? words illegible] non valet.

[f. 159] If good, why dispensed and not executed? If bad, why should be continued? Mortmain a dead hand because hold fast, and not leave their hold.

Motion, that might be repealed after the death of Lord of Nottingham well liked of by some great Lords, but they could not agree in their House but appointed the House to sit and desired us to give them meeting at 4 o'clock.

VII. DIARY OF SIR WALTER EARLE, BL, ADD. MS 18,597

[f. 189v]

Saturday, the 22th [sic] of May

Bill for confirmation of 3 lectures. The amendments read and allowed.

Bill for avoiding vexatious suits. The amendments read and committed, etc.

Mr. Withers came in by the order of the House and was enjoined to bring in his patent for the sole printing of songs and hymns.

Bill for continuance of statutes. The amendments read:

  • 1. The repeal of the statute concerning wines left out.
  • 2. The repeal of the branch of the statute concerning making laws in Wales left out.

SIR EDWARD COKE. Impossible to keep the statute concerning wines.

MR. [WILLIAM] NOYE. This is to no other purpose than to raise revenue out of a penal law. As well may dispensations be granted for selling a capon for above 2d., felts for 16d., scarlet for 16s. Of opinion rather to reject it and have a new bill, or else a conference and no recommitment.

SIR GEORGE MORE. The order is to recommit

So resolved, upon the question.

The House turned into a committee

In the petition of grievances 70 Jac., 1610, this particular of dispensation and licensing of selling wines was one that the patent might be recalled. The King then answered that way being given by the Commons, that the patent then granted might be allowed to the Earl [f. 190] of Nottingham in favour to him, he would promise no more to grant the same.

The committee thought fit to propose the limitation of the repeal until after the death of the Earl of Nottingham.

Report of this being made to the House, it was resolved to demand a conference. The conference demanded and granted.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS'S report from the committee for trade touching the grievance of the alnager's office.

  • 1. His extending it further than it ought, to waistcoats, stockings, etc. and cloths already sealed.
  • 2. Abuse in defrauding the trust, selling the seals by bushels, selling them for 1d. apiece where there is but ob. due.
  • 3. Exacting yearly rents, 10s. of a shopkeeper.

Ordered, that this grievance should be presented to the King among the rest.

SIR ROBERT PHELIPS'S report from the committee of the courts of justice. First, touching the complaint against Dr. [John] Lambe. He was complained of the last Parliament for divers extortions, exactions, etc. Nothing being then done, he is now grown worse. He has also gotten a commission adjunct for being a justice of peace, contrary to their charter. The complaints concerned:

  • 1. Vexation.
  • 2. Extortion.
  • 3. Bribery.

He kept two courts, one at Ro[th]well, another at Northampton, making those [f. 190v] that dwelt at one place to come to the other. He makes his brother his register, taking the profits himself. He takes cognizance of titles of lands in his court, makes men prove wills there that have been proved at London, makes widows prove their accounts 8 years after their husband's death, paying 5 nobles fees; citing men for trifles, coming to church in a foul band, in a bad pair of shoes; ordinarily pressing the oath ex officio; delaying men in their suits. His extortion, for probate of testimonies, licences for marriage, letters of administration, tutelage. His bribery in one Craddock's case last Parliament; one Busswell to give 100 marks for commutation, and £5 to his wife.

The committee of opinion that an intimation should be given so that for so much as concerned this complaint, he should be excepted out of the general pardon.

MR. SOLICITOR informed the House the pardon was engrossed and sent to the King to have his hand to it. It shall not much need to have him particularly excepted, for in the pardon is excepted extortions, briberies and oppressions.

SIR JOHN SAVILE'S report of the complaint of one [Meredith] Mady, a minister, against the High Commission and the Archbishop. The complaint unjust, the Archbishop cleared.

Mady called in and admonished.

MR. [WILLIAM] RAVENSCROFT'S motion that the common selling of popish books, etc. might be presented to the King as a grievance.

Ordered.

MR. [WILLIAM] LENTHALL'S report of the complaint against Dr. [John] Cradock. [f. 191] First, one died worth £1,000. None knew of any will, his brother-in-law sends to Dr. Cradock for a sequestration. It was denied. The next day a sequestration granted to two strangers, who came next day, ransacked the house, took certain bags of money. Another sequestration granted, at the time of the funeral they search, find the will. A new sequestration, he himself comes to the house, pretends a forcible holding, as a justice of peace commands a joiner to break open doors, chests. Found none. Administers the oath ex officio to Haudon, the man put out of the house, the provisions in the house spent by those he left. Commands Haudon to be carried to prison. He then makes a record of a forcible holding. One comes to Haudon, tells him if he would give 20 pieces he might be freed. The doctor tells him he must fine him. Demands £50 fine for the bishop, he pays £40. To come by the other £10, Dr. Cradock sends him £32 in gold for £32 in silver. He sending the £32, the doctor took £10 of it, and sent back the rest. No sequestration all this while entered. Besides others of this nature, he took compositions of £5, 20 nobles, etc. for incest, adultery, etc. and no proceedings in court.

SIR EDWARD COKE'S report from the conference touching the bill of continuance of statutes. It was alleged by Mr. Attorney [General] that in Queen Mary's time and Queen Elizabeth's time this course was held, except 10 Jac. this was let alone.

VIII. JOURNAL OF SIR SIMONDS D'EWES, BL, HARL. MS 159

[f. 119v]

May 22, Saturday

The bill of continuance and repeal of statutes sent back from the Lords with some alterations. They would not repeal that of the wines, Ed. 6, 70, upon dispensation whereof the Earl of Nottingham's patent was grounded.

The Speaker was put out of the chair and the business, after a long dispute, because they could not make amendment upon amendment, issued into a new conference with the Lords.

A complaint against the abuse of the office of alnage, which moving first from the town of Northampton, like a little fire in flax, broke out in every place. The office is ancient, instituted in Ed. 3, 20, for measuring cloths and that foreign not our own; but 110 Ed. 3, foreign cloth is forbidden and clothiers are invited home to us. 250 Ed. 3, a measure is set for our cloth and the alnager is limited exceedingly; and 270 Ed. 3, the alnager was to express upon a leaden seal fastened to the cloth the length and breadth of it; and the abatements there made was usually called tare; the alnager's fee is also settled by that statute, viz. a halfpenny for a whole cloth and a farthing for half a one and none under half ones were to be measured, nor any that were sold the 2nd time, nor any that were for a man's own use and wearing. 10 Rich. 3, cap. 6 [sic], the Lord Treasurer was to appoint the alnager, and 50 Ed. 6 there were searchers appointed, upon whose approbation the town seal was to be added to the cloth as also the makers'; and all this was done [f. 120] for the securing of the buyer that the cloth was truly made. Eliz. 40 [sic] and Jacobi 40 these 2 offices were united and put into one. By the statute Richard the 3rd, 50 [sic], the office of alnager was not to be granted for life. Ed. 6, 50, it was forbidden to be sold for money. Ed. 2, 150 [sic], he was to make his account yearly to the Treasurer of the Exchequer. Ed. 3, 250, he was punishable £10 for the first fault, £20 for the 2nd and imprisonment for the third. This was the institution of this office.

But now the alnager:

  • 1. Usurps upon the subject, drawing into his office not only cloth but knit waistcoats, stockings and caps, cloths already sealed, and extends his office to less than half cloths.
  • 2. Breaks the trust reposed in him, for he sells the seals even to the clothiers themselves and that by bushels, never measuring nor seeing so much as the cloth at all.
  • 3. He uses extortion, for he sells those seals for pence apiece.
  • 4. He exacts rents of every shopkeeper, 2s. 6d. a quarter, and so takes his rents of all and leaves them afterwards unto themselves.

A motion that some industrious lawyer might review the statutes concerning the office of alnager and reduce them into one bill against the next sessions [sic], and so make that a certain law, repealing all the rest; and it was ordered that Master [Robert] Berkeley should undertake that charge.

Resolved, by question, to prefer the abuses of this office to his Majesty as a grievance, with a petition of reformation and punishment for the offenders.

A report from the committee for the courts of justice. A petition preferred against Doctor [John] Lambe from the town of Northampton, containing:

  • 1. Matters of vexation. He keeps 2 courts, at Ro[th]well and Northampton, he summons such as dwell near the one to come to the other place; he excommunicates them at one who were cited to appear at the other; he makes his brother his register; he calls men in for trifling matters, as for coming to church in a [f. 120v] foul band, ill shoes and the like, and though they be cleared yet he makes them pay 3s. 8d.; and frequently he urges the oath ex officio.
  • 2. Extortion for probates of wills, licences, marriages, etc.
  • 3. Bribery. Craddock could not be dispatched until he gave him money; he turns commutation money to his own use; Busswell was fain to give him 100 marks, and £5 to buy his wife a petticoat.

The time being short, it was desired he might be excepted out of the general pardon, as Sir Stephen Proctor had been, yet not generally out of it all but for what he was guilty. After much dispute, he was referred to be further considered on at the next sessions [sic].