The Egerton Papers published by the Camden Society consists of papers of Thomas Egerton, Baron Ellesmere, Keeper of the Great Seal in the late years of Elizabeth I's reign and during the early part of James I's reign. The selection below is taken from 12 (1840): 384-88.

        The first Parliament of King James did not meet until l9th March, but a "Proclamation for the summons of a Parliament" was sent out on the 11 January 1603[4] (p. 384).  The first document is wholly in Lord Ellesmere's writing, although without date or endorsement. It appears to have been a preliminary draft of what he recommended to the King.
         To certifye that his Matye resolveth to houlde a Parlement so soone as conveniently may be, and that the same cause of calling of Parlementes is, and ought to be, to make and establysh lawes for meynteyning of veritie in the true and sincere religion of Almightye God, and for the administration of justice and preservation of the generall tranquillitye and peace of these realmes.
         And for as much as by such lawes the lyves, landes, goods of all subjects are to be governed and ordered, therefore his Highnes hath speciall care to reduce the election of Knights for the Shyres, Barons for Cyncke Ports, Citizens for Cityes, and Burgesses for Boroughes, to the due and lawfull course that by the lawes and statues of this realme ought to be observed therin. And to signify that his Matye doeth much mislyke that any person should presume to use any meanes to lette or hynder such lawfull and free election, or to procure to theym selves the nomynation or appoyntment of any such Knights, Citizens, or Burgesses; for it cannot be denied but that by such their practizes they doe imagyne some wycked and disloyall plott or designe, and to strive or procure some factious and seditious sydinge and parte-takyng in the said House of Parlement, and that they endeavour to ingrosse and gather voyces to serve their turne for some such dangerous and wycked ende and purpose.
         For the preventing and eschewing of which indirecte and unlawfull courses, and to the intent that the next Parlement, being the first, &c. maye be assembled of such suffycient and worthy persons as the lawe requyreth,
         A.  That strict charge and commaundment--that for the Knights of the Shyres choyse be made of the moost notable Knights, or of gentlement of sufficient habilitye to be Knights, and resiants within the countyes for which they are to be chosen.  And the choyse to be made freelye and indifferentlye, without respect of any commaunde, sute, prayer, or other meanes to the contrarye.
         B.  That the lyke care and regarde be had in choyse of Barons of the Cink Ports, and of Citizens and Burgesses of Cities and Boroughs; and that the persons to be chosen be free men of the Cities, Boroughs, or places for which they shall be chosen, yf sufficient persons for the service may so be had; or at the least that choyse be made of other notable and suffycient men of those counties in which the same cityes or boroughs are.
         C.  Also to give admonition to have speciall care and regarde, that all such as shall be chosen for this service be men of good judgement and understanding, and well experienced in the affayres and state of the Countie, Cytye, Borough, or place for which they are to serve.
         D.  And that they be men well affected in religion--no Papists or Recusants, or vehementlye and probablye suspected to meynteyne or favour Papistrye; nor Sectaries or men of turbulent, factious, and unquiett behaviour or conversation, or disturbers of the ecclesiasticall government and peace of the Church.
         E.  That they be not any persons outlawes, bankrouptes, or greatlye decayed in their [estate], but men of good and sufficient havyour and lyvelyhoode and taxed to the payment of subsidies and other lyke charges, and have ordinarylye payed and defrayed the same.
         F.  That none under the age of  [left blank]  yeares be chosen to this service.
         G.  To charge all Sheriffs that they doe not directe any precept for electing and returning of any burgesses to or for any auncient borough towne within that countie, being utterlye ruined or so decayed that there are not sufficient resiants to make such choyse, and of whom lawfull election may be made.
         H.  Also to charge all cyties, boroughs, and the inhabitants of the same, that none of theym seale any blanks, referring and leaving to any others to inserte the names of any citizens or burgesses to serve for any such citye or borough; but that the inhabitants of every such citye and borough doe make open and free election, accordynge to the lawe, and sett downe the names of the persons whom they choose before they inseale theyr certificatte.
         I.  Furthermore to signifye that all returns and certificattes of all Barons, Cityzens, and Burgesses ought and are to be brought into the Chancerye, and there to be filed of recorde.  And that yf any shall be found to be made contrarye to this his Matys Proclamation, the same is to be rejected as defectyve and insufficyent, and the citye or borough is to be fyned for the same.  But yf it be found that they have committed any grosse and wyllfull defaulte and contempte in theyr election, returne or certificat, that then the liberties are to be seized into his Maties handes as forfaited.  And to notifye further, that yf any person take upon hum the place of a Knight, Cityzen, or Burgesse, he not being duelye elected and returned according to the lawes, and according to the purpose, effecte, and true meaning of this his Maties Proclamation, then every person so offending to be fyned and imprisoned for the same.
         K.  Also to gyve warning to the Lords and all other that are to serve in this Parlement, to have speciall care (as they dreade his Maties indignation and displeasure) that they admitte none to have the name or countenance of theyr servaunts or attendants, during the parlement tyme, of purpose to innable them therby to challenge the privilege of the Parlement; for such questions of privilege in tyme past consumed a great parte of the tyme appoynted for the Parlement, whereby the service of the realme hath bene hyndred, and the subjects drawne into great charges and expenses, by attending much longer than otherwyse neded.

         The next document is in the handwriting of Lord Chief Justice Popham. But Lord Ellesmere endorsed it as follows: "Touching the Parlement ao 1 Jac. Regis.  For the election of Knights and Burgesses." It may have been prepared in advance of Ellesmere's draft above.


  MATTERS proposed for a Proclamation to be grounded on:--
         1.  Fyrst to notefy that his Matie is resolved shortly to hold a Parliment.
         2.  Then to sette downe how much he dyslyketh that any shold seke to ingrosse burgesshypps into their handes agaynst a Parliment.
         3.  Then that he is desyrous to reduce the elections off Knyghts of the Sheres, off Barons for the Cincke Ports, and of Cytyzens for Cyties, and Burgesses for the Boroughs, to the dew course and order that ought to be observed therin.
         4.  Then streightly to charge and command the Sheriffes not to direct an precept for somonyng off any Burgesses to any Borough within his baylywicke that is utterly ruynated and decayed.
         5.  Then to charge the Boroughes that non of them presume to seal any blanck for any others to move any Burgesses for their Borough, but that them selves make the choyse and putt in the Burgesses names where they chuse before the ensealing thereof.
         6.  Then for the Knyghts of the Sheres, that (according to the lawe) the choyse be made of the most notable knyghts or gentylmen able to be knyghts, and resyant within the said countyes for which they are to be chosen, and that the same be done freely and indyfferently, notwithstanding any prayer or commaundement to the contrary whatsoever.
         7.  That a lyke respect also be had in the choice aswell off the {p388} Barons of the Cinke Ports, as of the Cytyzens and Burgesses of Cytyes and Boroughs, that they be freely chosen and free men of the same Cytyes, Boroughs, and places for which they shalbe chosen, yf suffycyent for the same may be had, or at lest that they be other notable men off the countyes in which the same cytyes or boroughs are.
         8.  That they be admonyshed to have specyall regard, that all such use to be chosen for these Cytyes bee men of integrite and well experyensed in the affairs of the County, Cyte, or place for which they are to serve.
         9.  That they be men of good hayblyty, estate, and understandyng, well affected, both in religion and to the state.
         10.  That they be no maner of outlawes, banckrouts, decayed men, importing of any faccious humour.
         11.  That the Lords, and all other that are to be called to thys servys in the Parlement, be warned to have specyall care that none of their attendants be such as wyll seke it but to stand upon the pryvylleges of the Parliment in respect of their attendance, for that those questions off pryvylleges have in tymes past consumed unnecessaryly a great part of the Parliment, to the hindrans of the servys, and great charge of the subject, therby dryven to attend much longer then otherwyse wold have neded.

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