24th May 1624

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

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. "24th May 1624", in Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons, (, 2015-18) . British History Online, accessed June 20, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/proceedings-1624-parl/may-24.

. "24th May 1624", Proceedings in Parliament 1624: The House of Commons, (, 2015-18). . British History Online. Web. 20 June 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/proceedings-1624-parl/may-24.

In this section

MONDAY, 24 MAY 1624


[CJ 710; f. 54]

Lunae, 240 Maii, 220 Jacobi

Committee for Sir Francis Englefield, Court of Wards, tomorrow, 2 [o']clock.

[Robert] Wolverston's bill, 4 [o']clock this afternoon, in the former place.

SIR EDWARD COKE reports the amendments of the bill of concealments. That the committees have agreed unto them, choosing rather to take that we have now by it than lose all.

Upon question, these amendments and alterations to be inserted into the bill.

These inserted into the bill by the Clerk's man at the table, and then thirdly read.

Upon question, the amendments and proviso passed.

The amendments and provisos in the bill of monopolies twice read, and committed to the committee of the bill of concealments. Tomorrow morning, 7 [o']clock in the Court of Wards. And everyone that will come to have voice.

Sir Edwin Sandys's report for trade to be first heard; Sir Robert Phelips, for [Robert] Grice, to be next.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports, first, for the Eastland Company, who have the sole importation of all materials for shipping, cordage, etc. These brought in rough, set many subjects on work. Their patent 310 Eliz. never altered since. The suggestions of this patent 4. A clause in their patent to impose upon persons or goods. [Blank]

The committee conceived it not for the present a monopoly.

A proclamation in July, xx0 Jac. restraining all merchant strangers to import any of these commodities, or any other, except corn. The company submits itself to this House, but tendered 4 propositions to the committee:

  • 1. That none but mere merchants might be admitted.
  • 2. That none might trade but in English bottoms. Great increase of shipping since the King's/

[f. 55] That the committee resolved these commodities should be fetched by our merchants at those parts where this company's mart is. Some of the committee thought 5 marks to be a reasonable fine to be of this company. But the committees of the outports desired to trade freely and not be of this company. The committee left this to the House.

Resolved, to pen the petition for this and to bring it to the House.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS further reports the patent for Guinea and Benin complained of by dyers, clothiers, etc. That the patent granted to Sir William St. John, Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Sir G[iles] Mompesson. Restrains all other persons to visit or come near those coasts of Africa. Disliked by the commissioners of trade. Directed by his Majesty to be put down. The suggestions of this patent false, for where their pretence that they the first discoverers, Sir John Hawkins and divers others traded there before that time. It restrains trade to merchants of this kingdom, where foreign people trade there at pleasure. Gums raised by them from 22s. to £7, redwood from 16s. to £3. Third, have induced a monopoly out of this monopoly patent, having granted to one Davys the sole bringing of all redwood. Have arrested divers of the merchants' ships, as Mr. [Humphrey] Slaney's.

That the committee thought this a patent [sic] both in creation and execution.

Upon question, this patent a grievance both in creation and execution.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports a complaint made by the Turkish company of 2 grievances: first, of the increase of imposition upon currants; secondly, of an increase of subsidy of 3d. [blank] upon raw silk not entered into the Book of Rates. But answered to this that this the King's true right, therefore could be no grievance. This taken by the committee to be but an increase of subsidy, and so let it alone. For currants now, in all, 5s. 6d. besides 18d. for subsidy; in all, 7s. where the merchants offer to sell an 100 weight for 28s. The Turkish company began for Venice, 1583, and have gotten divers patents since.

The committee thought fit to petition his Majesty to take off the last imposition of 2s. 2d., and not at this time to meddle with the other.

Ordered, upon question.

[f. 55v] SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports further for the Spanish trade. That the importation of Spanish tobacco hinders this kingdom £100,000 per annum, which else would have been imported. Moves to petition the King to banish all foreign tobacco not being of the growth of his Majesty's dominions. This to be a petition of grace and not of grievance.

Upon question, ordered.

This to be drawn by Sir Edwin Sandys and Mr. [Nicholas] Ferrar.

The bill of subsidy sent up by Mr. Treasurer accompanied with the rest of the Privy Council.

Committee, Earl of Oxenford's bill, to meet tomorrow, 2 [o']clock in the afternoon in the Court of Wards. And the cause to be reported upon Wednesday morning, and the arbitrators to meet end [sic] it before that time if they can.

SIR EDWARD COKE. That Sir John Meldrum petitioned the King about a lighthouse at Wintertonness, but before any patent granted to Sir John, the Trinity House (appointed to erect lighthouses by 8 Eliz.) set up one of stone. Took but 6d. upon every 20 chaldron of coals passing that way. Now Sir John takes 3s. 6d. for every 20 chaldron of coal and takes it of those which pass not near him.

Upon question, this patent a grievance both in the creation and execution, and so to be preferred among the other grievances to his Majesty.

Debate again upon the report formerly made concerning the patents for York and Lancaster castles. 140 Ed. 3 all gaols granted away to [sic] the sheriff restored again to them.

[CJ 711] Upon first question, to prefer a petition of right to his Majesty expressing that the grant [illegible] of the custody of common gaols from the sheriff to any other is a grievance and a great hindrance of justice, and mischievous to the sheriffs. Castles of York and Lancaster particularly to be intimated.

Secondly, to petition his Majesty in point of grace, expressing that where the soil the King's own/

Committee for inferior courts, tomorrow, 2 [o']clock, Exchequer Chamber.

[f. 49v] Lunae, 240 Maii, 220 Jacobi, post meridiem, [committee of grievances]

Mr. Comptroller. That he acquainted my Lord of Kellie with the opinion of the House for restitution of the money he has taken for the staplers. That he desires a little time to advise with his counsel and will return such an answer as doubts not but will [give] satisfaction to this committee.

Upon question, answer to be given from the Lord of Kellie tomorrow sedente Curia of proving restitution or else to proceed to petition as a grievance to his Majesty among other the grievances in a parliamentary manner.

Upon question upon this whole matter, Sir Richard Lydall no projector.

Upon like question, [George] Mole no projector.

Upon like question, [Arthur] Kynaston no projector.

Upon question, Sir Richard Lydall an offender in the execution and prosecution in the matter before remembered.

Upon like question, Mr. [George] Mole a like offender.

Upon like question, no offender.

A petition for Peck to be sealed, tendered to the House by Sir Robert Phelips.

The cause for survey of seacoals being called to be heard.

Mr. Comptroller. That he has a message from the King to the committee for grievances. First, finds fault with the order which is for suspension of the patent. Secondly, that there is a clause in the patent to make it void by 6 of the Privy Council. That the King now wishes the committee to forbear his demeanour, and if in the meantime there be not order taken by the Council to reform or suppress it, then his Majesty is willing the committee at the next session shall proceed in it.

Sir Robert Sharpeigh required to attend with his counsel tomorrow morning at the House and not to depart without leave.

Mr. Bristow. That 170 December was 12 month Sir John Boteler told him he would use all his authority with the Lord Treasurer in overseeing the ease of composition as the Lady Boteler. That the child was 3 years old and then and now a very weak child.

Crooke heard Sir John Boteler say to Mr. Bristow, commend me to my Lady. I have some credit with my Lord Treasurer and I will do my best with him for the Lady as [?will] help me and mine.

[f. 50] Mr. Vernon speaks the like upon the Lady's report to him.

A gentlewoman. That she heard Sir John Boteler [?wish] Lady Boteler to offer low because the Lord Treasurer would be strict, but he had [illegible] him and would do the best he could for her.

The witnesses required to attend tomorrow in the afternoon.

Mr. Bristow. That an officer of the court told the Lady Boteler she might have time for composition though it were half a year or a year, but it would be never the cheaper. But he further said she [?must] rise and she [?cannot] fail.

Mr. Vernon. That he heard the old Lady Boteler say that Sir John Boteler was [2? words illegible] with Mr. John Boteler for the inheritance of the lands which Sir John has in lease, being worth £500 per annum. That the composition was but upon Saturday and put under seal upon Monday [?next] after.

Mr. [William] Hakewill, for the fishermen of Ireland. 20s. imposition upon every bark, 2s. upon every boat, 9d. upon every barrel of herring and 3d. upon [illegible] of every barrel of herring. This by colour of a statute of Ireland.

The Lord Caulfeild and Lord Chichester to be heard by their counsel in this matter tomorrow at 2 [o']clock, and they to have knowledge thereof by the Serjeant's man. And this business to be then [?free].

[House adjourned]


[CJ 793; f. 214]

Lunae, 24 Maii 1624

The committee about Sir Francis Englefield to meet tomorrow, 2 [o']clock.

[Robert] Wolverston's bill, this afternoon, 4 [o']clock.

SIR EDWARD COKE reports the amendments of the bill of concealments.

Ordered, to be inserted into the bill. Thirdly read and passed with the proviso.

The amendments and provisos of the bill of monopolies twice read and committed to the committee of the bill of concealments, tomorrow morning, 7 [o']clock, Court of Wards. And all that will come to have voice.

[f. 214v] SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports from the committee of trade. 4 reports:

  • 1. Eastland Company.
  • 2. Guinea and Benin.
  • 3. Turkey merchants.
  • 4. Spanish merchants.

First, for the Eastland Company, who have the sole importation of all necessary commodities for shipping. Export yearly 8,000 cloths dyed and dressed. Their patent granted 31 Eliz., 17 August. A grant to impose on person of traders, to fine and imprison, and a prohibition to all others to trade there. A proclamation restraining the importation of all these commodities but corn. This company have shown themselves very tractable. Tendered to the committee 4 propositions:

  • 1. That shopkeepers and other[s] might not be admitted into the company, but merchants. This the committee not against.
  • 2. That no merchants should trade there but only in English bottoms, which will be a great means to increase the shipping of this land. This received some alteration.
  • 3. That those which came into their company might be subject to government.
  • 4. That they might pay reasonable fine.

Opinion of the committee, to have a petition to his Majesty for accommodating these things.

Sir Edwin Sandys to pen this, and to present it to the House.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS goes on with his report for Guinea and Benin. This patent formerly censured by the commissioners for trade. Granted to Sir William St. John and others, 16 Jacobi, for the sole trading into some parts of Africa. Clause of imprisonment and confiscation of [CJ 794] goods to visit that coast. 4 [sic] objections against it:

  • 1. Surreptitiously gotten by false information to the King. The trade ordinary before this patent.
  • 2. To the oppression of the King's subjects.
  • 3. The commodities of that country much raised, as redwood. Have seized upon some ships and drawn compositions from them.

Committee thought this patent a grievance in creation and execution, and fit to be presented to his Majesty. Desire to have a particular patent for 3 rivers discovered by them.

[f. 215v] Resolved, upon question, that this patent is a grievance in creation and execution and shall be so presented to his Majesty.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS goes on with his report for the Turkey merchants. A complaint made by them of double impositions on currants and increase of custom on raw silk. Allege that there raised on this silk an increase of 3d. upon a pound of silk not set down in the Book of Rates. Resolved by the committee that this being but an increase of subsidy, and not above the value of it, to be no grievance and to pass it over. For the currants, they extremely complain of that charge upon them. An addition of 5s. 6d. to the former 18d. Committee thought fit to petition his Majesty to take off the last imposition of 2s. 2d.

Resolved, upon question, this shall be presented to his Majesty among the rest of the petitions.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS goes on with his report for the Spanish trade, in bringing in of tobacco instead of money to the value of £100,000 a year. Committee desire to commend to the King, by petition, for banishing Spanish tobacco.

Resolved, upon question, that there shall be a petition exhibited to his Majesty expressing the desire of the House to have the importation of all tobacco excluded that is not of the growth of his Majesty's dominions.

Mr. Treasurer sent up to the Lords with the bill of subsidy, and all the Privy Council to attend him.

Earl of Oxford's bill. Tomorrow afternoon, and to be reported on Wednesday.

DOCTOR [BARNABY] GOOCH. This referred to mediators. To have that go on.

SIR ROBERT HATTON desires to know whether Doctor Gooch have [sic] power from the college to submit to this award.

DOCTOR [BARNABY] GOOCH says he has power.

[f. 215v] SIR EDWARD COKE reports from the committee of grievances Sir John Meldrum's case. Trinity House set up a lighthouse of stone at Wintertonness. Sir John Meldrum petitioned the King for setting up a house before this. His suggestion false that there was no lighthouse. Takes 3s. 4d. for every 20 chaldron, whereas the Trinity House took but 6d., and takes it of those that pass not that way. This patent resolved by the committee to be a grievance in creation and execution.

A petition of Sir John Meldrum read, desiring to be heard by counsel in the House before his patent be censured by the House.

Resolved, upon question, that this patent of Wintertonness light[house], granted to Sir John Meldrum, is a grievance in creation and execution and shall be presented to his Majesty among the rest of the grievances.

Resolved, upon question, that there shall be a petition of right exhibited to his Majesty against the patents of the custody of common gaols.

Resolved, upon a 2nd question, that a petition of grace shall be preferred likewise, expressing likewise that where the soil the King's own, yet the sheriff might have the custody of the gaol.

Sir Edward Coke to sit at the committee of grievances tomorrow afternoon, 2 [o']clock, to hear the cause of Sir Pexall Brocas.

Inferior courts. Tomorrow, 2 [o']clock, Exchequer Chamber.

[House adjourned]


[p. 297]

[24 May 1624]

Mondaye and …


[f. 220]

Monday, 240 Maii 1624

The bill of subsidies and fifteens is this day sent up to the Lords.



[p. 238]

Monday, the 24th of May 1624


SIR EDWARD COKE reports the conference had with the Lords about the bill of monopolies. That the Lords will not consent to have the bill to touch or concern all, but only those that are hereafter to be granted, not those patents which are now in present execution, but to reserve them for their time only and to make sure against any in future. He lets the House know that the bill has sufficiently provided that no more shall be gotten, and that such of these as are contrary to law are, by this bill, no way confirmed but remain only in the same case they were before and liable to law and the penalty of it, and may yet be questioned for grievances. He inveighs against these licences or grants, saying licentia sumus omnes deteriores, but persuades the House though they cannot have what they would, to take what they may. Est aliquid prodire tenus si non datur utor.

[p. 239] The SPEAKER shows the House the virtue and goodness of the bill as it is, though not as we wished it. It declares monopolies to be against law, leaves them to be tried by it and makes them that shall hereafter get them (which are against law) subject to a praemunire.

The bill is committed to all that will come to consider whether it shall be passed or rejected, for that we cannot alter the amendments that came from the Lords but must either receive them or reject the bill.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS reports from the committee of trade the business for the merchants for Eastland, Guinea, Turkey and Spain, and their patent [sic] for this trade. That by the trading of this company into the Baltic sea they have gotten the trade from the Dutchmen, and that they vent 8,000 cloths, [blank] that they import flax, tar, hemp, pitch, etc. That these merchants are not overgrown, their patent is ancient, and yet they have a grant to impose upon their company to imprison, to attach and imprison without bail persons offending. That they have accustomed to admit any merchant of any other company unto them paying what he paid the company he was in before, and made him free. Others not merchants they set at £20 for their freedom. That they are tractable above other companies submissive to the House. That they had tendered to the committee 4 propositions:

  • 1. That only merchants might be admitted into their trade, and not shopkeepers, etc.
  • 2. That no merchants might trade with them but in English bottoms, for increase of shipping.
  • 3. That the commodities of [the] east, which are brought into England, might be fetched from those parts by our [p. 240] merchants and not taken at the second hand at Amsterdam, which will increase great shipping for the bringing those commodities from the east, whereas now they only use small vessels and pinks to fetch it from Amsterdam; and by making the staple of these commodities in the Low Countries their shipping is increased and ours by that means hindered.
  • 4. They desire they may be under government because else the Hollanders will eat them out if they may not have an order and to government of the trade, but every man to be at loose. And as for masts and deals and such necessaries, they are content any man may trade for them gratis, only they desire they may be under government.

The House leaves the accommodating these things until another time.


[f. 159]

May 24

The amendments of the bill of monopolies committed.

The bill of concealments is passed with the amendments.

Report by [SIR EDWIN] SANDYS of the Eastland Company. The wealth of the kingdom stands in the wool and clothing, the strength in the shipping. [f. 159v] They have won this trade out of the Dutchmen's hands. 800 cloths dyed and dressed, which beneficial to King in custom and to the subject in his employment. They carry out; they bring in mast, deal, hemp, flax, pitch, tar, etc. Their patent in Queen Elizabeth's time granted 21 Eliz. A proclamation by King 20 of his reign to purpose. Imprison without bail or mainprise; attach. That no exportation but in English bottoms, which has much increased shipping. Prohibition that no other trade but all merchants in England and Ireland incorporated.

Ordered, that [Sir Edwin] Sandys shall set down in writing the matter of grievance and accommodation to be presented to the House to consider it.

Report concerning Guinea and Benin in America [sic]. [f. 160] 16 Jac. patent for sole trade into those parts upon information that the patentees the first discoverers of trade. The King covenants that not great privilege to any other. Objection:

  • 1. That contrary to Magna Carta and that surreptitiously gotten upon false information. Sir John Hawkins traded there and many others.
  • 2. It is to the oppression and de-pauperization of King's subjects, for deprives the English but French and Dutch trade freely there. And the commodities dearer since this patent granted. Though no wood generally good for dyeing, yet redwood the best.
  • 3. Now all the redwood granted to one man.
  • [f. 160v] 4. Arrested ships, etc.

Committee adjudged it a grievance in the creation and execution.

One Johnson desired that he might have a patent to trade up one river, where great store of gold, and may stand with justice of the House that may have it for that new discovery and new trade.

Resolved, by the House, that shall be presented to the King as a grievance.

But concerning Johnson's request, the House would give no direction.

Report concerning the Levant. They vent 10,000 cloths a year. The imposition upon currants in the year [15]75 began and was only upon the stranger. Hereupon, the Venetians to [?urge] quittance laid heavy impositions upon all our commodities, which continue this day [f. 161] at Venice, notwithstanding the great endeavour of the Queen to the [?country] [sic] offering to lay down hers. She sets up a company for trade at Venice for 6 years in hope they would get off the imposition. Making companies the means to lay down impositions. 1605 their patent granted. The Turkey merchants complain of both impositions. They offer to admit any other merchants upon such fine as the House shall assess.

Resolved, that the imposition of 2s. 2d. upon the Turkey merchants to be presented to the King as a grievance.

Report concerning Spanish merchants. [f. 161v] The cause of the bringing in of coin from Spain (which is the cistern and the West Indies the fountain) that they were not able to balance our trade. Now tobacco hinders us £100,000 per annum. That balances it. For treasure we have that stinking weed.

Resolved, that no foreign tobacco to be imported other than such as grows in the King's dominions. And the reason was because if Spain should be named, it might hinder our trade.

Motion [illegible] by SAVILE that stretching and straining may by some course be restrained. Deceit in our cloth has been the bane of trade. If we have not time, I would it were done by act of state.

And a petition to be drawn, concerning tobacco, to be presented to the King.

Trade the life of an island. [f. 162] There was a resolution of all the judges when [Sir Edward] Coke was Attorney [General] against impositions upon cloth.

The bill of subsidies must go up before the pardon can come down.

The order of the House that the Privy Council should carry the bill of subsidy up and the ancient of them take it in his hand and deliver it. And so done now with this bill.

Sir John Meldrum had a patent for the setting up of lights at Wintertonness. The state of the cause is this. The Trinity House are to set up lights by 8 Eliz. as men expert; in their default, the King. Now Meldrum petitions the King that there were no lights up (and [f. 162v] that was true) and that he might set them up. Thereupon, the Trinity [House] set up their lights. Then comes the patent in consideration that no lights were kept by the Trinity men, that Meldrum should. So that the King deceived in the consideration. Likewise, whereas heretofore 6d. taken for every 20 chaldron of coals, now 7 times so much is taken. And he takes of them that go another way and have no benefit by it.

Adjudged a grievance in the creation and execution, and to be presented to the King as a grievance.

14 E. 3, c. 10, gaols to be re-joined to sheriffs as wont and of right. It would be absurd that one man should keep the prisoners and another answer [f. 163] for the escape. And therefore ought to be no patentee of the custody of the gaol, vide Mitton's case. And therefore 13 R. 2, c. 15, to the same purpose, and that constableships of castles where king's prisons not to be granted by patent. 19 H., c. 10, except gaols that any person or corporation have estate in by succession, etc.

Resolved, to present to King that grants of gaols are against law, grievous, etc. And to petition in point of grace that those castles that are King's own and have long used for gaols, may not be granted to other than the sheriffs.


[f. 191v]

May 24, Monday

Bill touching concealments with the additions and alterations interlined and passed.

Bill of monopolies, the alterations and additions read and committed.

SIR EDWIN SANDYS'S report from the committee of trade. Complaint against the Eastland Company, unto whom all commodities concerning shipping are restrained. They allege that they transport 8,000 cloths yearly; they have been a company since 21 Eliz. It was objected that because by a late proclamation aliens were excluded and the merchants of the outports, so as those that dwell in the remote parts can neither go to fetch those commodities nor buy any of any other that comes unto them, viz. masts, deal, pitch, tar, etc.

Another complaint made at the committee against the patent of Guinea and Benin, inhibiting others to come upon the coast, etc., it being no new discovery but a trade of 50 years' standing.

The House censured this to be a grievance.

Another complaint of the merchants of the Levant Company, showing that besides 10d. per lb. the custom laid upon silk and 3d. more not put in the Book of Rates. Touching currants, 18d. for subsidy for 100 librae, 3s. 4d. old imposition, besides of late 2s. 2d., which in the whole is 7s. The first imposition on currants laid by Queen Elizabeth, 1575. Then strangers only traded. The Venetians to requite us laid impositions on our commodities, cloth, tin, etc. The Queen, finding her error, there was 1583 erected a Turkey Company, a patent for 6 years. A new patent, 1590, for 12 years for Venice [f. 192] and Turkey both. The merchants had power to impose on merchants strangers, and then came up the 5s. 6d. on currants by the merchants' imposing. A year before it expired, the merchants to procure a sole trade gave £4,000 per annum. 1600 got a patent; the patent within two years of the King's coming in was forfeited for non-payment of the rent. In anno 1605 they obtained a new patent farmed by the Earl of Suffolk at [£]5,972. 1608 the King resumed it and set a standing imposition of 3s. 4d., and since that the 2s. 2d. besides the 3d. The company allege that they never imposed but upon strangers. They carry out a 1,000 cloths yearly. One ship has brought home £15,000 in gold at a time. They have as good ships as any merchants in the kingdom.

Ordered, to petition the King to take off the imposition of 2s. 2d.

Concerning the Spanish trade, it was informed that in former times our native commodities did overbalance these, but of late, by reason of the trade of tobacco, theirs exceed ours and this kingdom loses £100,000 per annum.

Resolved, by the House, to petition the King by proclamation to restrain importation of all tobacco not of the growth of the King's dominions.

The report 13 R. 2.

Monday afternoon, [committee of grievances]

Further day given to the Earl of Kellie to know whether he would give restitution.

Mr. Comptroller. A message from the King. He understood that the business touching surveying of seacoal was to be heard and that, contrary to order, the committee had ordered the execution should [f. 192v] surcease until, etc. Also that he had granted it in that manner that upon notice from 6 of the Council of the inconvenience, etc. it should cease. Therefore, if the House would let it rest until the next session, he would cause his Council to consider of it and that if it were not by them redressed the House might proceed.

The Lady Boteler's case. She produced her witnesses to make good her complaint.

One Bristow testified that Sir John Boteler, going away from Sir Robert Boteler's house when he was sick, said he had some credit with the Lord Treasurer and he would employ his best service for the Lady and her child, and withal said, “so God help me and mine as I will deal faithfully for her and hers”.

One Crooke, a physician, testified the same.

Two gentlewomen testified Sir John Boteler persuaded the Lady to keep the composition low, and he would use means to the Lord Treasurer, Sir John Boteler dealing with him in the remainder.


[f. 120v]

May 24, Monday

240, …