Petitions to the House of Lords: 1614

Petitions to the House of Lords, 1597-1696.

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Many thousands of the freeholders of Norfolk. HL/PO/JO/10/13/5 (1614)

The humble Peticion of many thowsands of the freehoulders of the Countie of Norffolk their grevaunces thus humblie sheweth

Wheras in all precedinge ages accordinge to the lawes of the lande, the freehoulders of this foresaid Countie have had their free elections of suche their knights a should negotiate for them in this Heighe and Honorable Courte of parliament and accordinge to custome tyme oute of mynde used, the chooseinge of such knights hath alwayes bine at one usuall and accustomed place namly at the Castell at the Cyttie of Norwich at the Sheriffes Countie Corte houlden next after the receypt of his Majesties writt for the appoyntinge of the same knightes, Which Countie Corte likwise in noe rememberaunce hath ever ben kept by any sheriffe from the foresaid Castle May it therfore please yow to understand that

Notwithstandinge the posative lawe which gyveth the freehoulder his freedome of eleccion, and the veterate custome which hath hertofore tyed sheriffes to the certayntie of the place of houldinge their Countie corte: aswell the said freehoulders as alsoe the place are wronged by the seynyster practice of the sheriffe and suche as have combyned with him to have the said election transferred uppon them by this indirect meanes followinge:

The Sheriffes Countie Corte was houlden at the Castle at Norwich upon Mundaye beinge the seaventh of Februarye and being ther ended it was adjorned to Munday Moneth next then followeinge beinge the seaventh of Marche to the same Castle, uppon which seaventh of Marche beinge the next Countie Daye after the sheriffe had receyved his Majesties writt, the number of three thowsand (or theraboutes) freehoulders repayred thether to have had their election and beinge ther mett, the Sheriffes Countie was begune aboute seaven of the clocke in the same morninge and after the dispatch of some countie busynes the said Countie was adjorned within one half hower by the Sheriffes Deputie to a place called Swaffon being about twentye myles of badd waye remote from the same Castle at Norwich, at which place of Swaffon the Heighe Sheriffe was present and went to election of the knightes for the shire, and with some few freehoulders beinge brought thether for the same purpose twoe yonge knightes wer chosen before eight of the clocke the same forenoone. wee therfore humblie intreat that wee may have redresse for this present wronge that noe suche collusions may proove presedentes agaynst the auncient freedome of us and our Countrye nor agaynest our succeedinge posteritie.