The first day, being
Monday, 19 of March, after the King was gone to church, the Lord High Steward,
which was the Earl of Nottingham, came into the usual place in Westminster,
and after he had called all the Knights, citizens, and burgesses, and swore
some to the supremacy, the rest went into the romth [rooms] next the parliament
house, and there were sworn by certain of the house appointed commissioners
by the Lord Steward. And there most of them remained, expecting to
be sent for into the higher house. [Montague and Sir Valentine Knightly
were elected M.P.s for Northamptonshire, 8 March 1603.]
The King's Majesty, after he was set and all the Lords placed, and the King demanding once or twice whether the lower house was come, and answer being made they were, though indeed the House was not there, his Majesty, putting off his cap and crown and putting it on again, made a most excellent speech, shewing the causes of the calling the parliament to be three:-- First, to shew his thankfulness for their general acceptation of him. Secondly, the benefits received thereby, which were individual to his person, and these to be four: 1, union of the two Kingdoms; 2, outward peace and traffic with all princes; 3, inward peace at home, 3, succession in his children; 4, religion. Thirdly, the making and execution of laws: the making to be always at a parliament, the execution always after, and that to stand upon sincerity and constant courage.
He amplified all these, continuing his speech almost an hour, concluding the eloquence of a King to stand on plainness and sincerity.
After this, the Lord Chancellor [Ellesmere] made a speech not much differing from the course in former parliament[s], and willed the lower house to choose a Speaker, and to present him to his Majesty on Thursday next.
This done, all those that were in the higher house, whereof myself was one, returning into the lower, which was almost full, and staying till Mr. ViceChamberlain [Sir John Stanhope] and Sir John Herbert, [Second Secretary of State], the only priy councillors then returned of the house, were come, an ancient parliament man made complaint unto them of the wrong that they were not sent for into the higher house. Sir John Herbert stood up, and shewed how sorry he was for it, and how his Majesty was told they were come; repeated shortly the heads of his Majesty's speech; and when he had done that, according to the custom, he propounded a Speaker, thinking Sir Edward Philips to be a fit man.
There was a great pause after this, the house not naming any. At last, he being named again, some few cried 'a Philips,' some cried 'no, no.' But then an ancient Parliament man, directing the house, said it was not sufficient to say 'no,' but they must propound some other. So some cry 'Philips' again; some one or two cry 'Sir Edw[ard] Hobby'; some one, some another. But it being put to the question, 'as many as will have a Philips say I' [aye], most cried 'I,' and the rest 'no'; some five [?] cried 'no'; and so Philips stood up, and made an eloquent speech in disabling himself; which done, they cried 'a Philips,' and then he was placed in the chair; where he made two petitions to the house; the first, that though they would not accept of his excuse, that yet he might make way to the King for his discharge; the other, that they would protect him, as they had commanded him.
And so we departed for that time.
On Thursday, 22, the
Speaker was presented. The King most graciously, to satisfy the grief
of the house, repeated his speech unto them; and then as many as could
possibly stand were let in and the doors set open; nay, when the King was
ready, he sent a serjeant-at-arms to call up the lower house, that so they
might come in. This did notably please the house.
The Speaker returned and sat in his place; and going according to the custom to read a bill, Sir William Fleetewood, knight, returned for one of the knights of Buckinghamshire, made known a grievance of Sir Francis Goodwin, who, thought he were elected by the voice of the county, and as he thought returned, yet was not called and admitted; and going to the clerk of the crown to know the reason, he refused to show him the return, or the file; whereupon [Fleetewood] desired that the clerk might be sent for, to know the cause; which being put to the house, command as given that he should be sent for.
After stept up Serjeant Shurley, who declared that in February last Sir Thomas Shurley was elected burgess for Stanning in Sussex, and the indenture sealed and delivered; and that the 15 of March, when the King went through London, the said Sir Thomas, riding to attend his Majesty, was arrested and laid in the Counter. It was ordered that a habeas corpus should be awarded to fetch the prisoner; and that the serjeant should fetch the delinquents, both the party that arrested him, as also he at whose suit he was arrested.
Then motion was made for committees to be nominated for the examining of the privileges of the house. Some stick there was at the first, but, put to the question, it was agreed there should be a committee, which accordingly were named.
Then Sir Herbert Croft made complaint of Brian Tash, one of the guard ["A Yeoman of His Majesty's Guard . . . keeping one of the doors of the Upper House" (JHoC, 1: 142)] for that the first day of the Parliament, some burgesses pressing to go into the higher house, he thrust them out, saying 'Nay, goodman burgess, you must stay a while.' Some debate there was about this, but at last ordered that he should be sent for by the serjeant.
Then the Speaker moved, because that Saturday was a day of triump[h], and that some seats were to be made because all the house could not sit -- for indeed it was so full that the[y] stood half way into the middle of the house -- whether they would be pleased to rejourn the court till Monday. Divers were of opinion that it was not in our power to rejourn, but only in the King. But Sir Edw[ard] Hobby said that there was [were] precedents to the contrary; yet the question being put to the house, they determined to sit, and not to rejourn it; and appointed 8 of the clock in the morning for the usual hour of sitting.
Then was read this Bill: An Act touching common recoveries against infants. [In the margin: "Read again 27 March, committed 13 April; ingrossed 17 April; passed."] And so we parted for that day.
Friday, 23. -- After
prayers read, Sir Robert Wroth stept up and made this motion: first,
the confirmation of the book of common prayer lately set out by his Majesty's
authority; and that consideration might be had of these grievances following
-- first for wardship, that the King might have a composition, and the
subjects freed of that tenure; secondly, against purveyors ["and Car-Takers,
&Co." (JHoC, 1: 151)] 3, against monopolies; 4, against licences
of alienation; 5, against transporting of iron ordinance; 6, against abuses
of the Exchequer; and 7, against dispensation of statutes.
This motion was well liked of, and committed to have bills drawn, and to be sit on that afternoon.
Myself [Mountague] next to him delivered further griefs injoined me by the country [county] to make known to the house: first, the intolerable burden, vexation, travail, and charge of the Commissaries' Courts, as now they are used; 2, the suspension of grave, learned, and sober minded Ministers for not observing certain ceremonies long time by many disused [JHoC, 1: 151, reads: "The suspension of some learned and grave Ministers, for Matters of Ceremony, and for preaching against Popish Doctrine."];  the Depopulation and daily excessive conversion of tillage into pasture. [In the margin is a mark that apparently refers to the full draft of Montague's speech; see JHoC, 13.]
This motion it pleased the house to commit likewise as the former, and to be sit on on Monday.
One Mr. Wentworth, a lawyer -- he moved two points to the house: one, for the infirmities of it, in lacking some of the members; another, for the deformity, having more than it ought to have, viz. certain burgesses newly appointed for the Universities.
After some debate about the former matter, ecpecially concerning Sir Francis Goodwine's case, the clerk of the Crown [Sir Geo. Coppyn] was sent for in, who brought two returns and delivered them into the house. The former writ bare teste 30 Jan.; the election was 22 Feb., and Sir Francis Goodwin and Sir William Fleetewood were returned; but on the return the sheriff [of Buckingham] had certified that Sir Francis stood outlawed, and therefore not fit; whereupon another writ was sent out, the teste 16 March, and the election 21 of March, and Sir John Fortescue returned.
This matter was long debated, with divers arguments pro and con, especially by the lawyers, and at length determined by the house that the first return was good, and that the sheriff had inserted more than he ought to do; and so Sir Francis was sworn and admitted into the house.
Then was called in Brian Tash, the yeoman of Guard, who confessed that he called one 'Goodman Burgess,' and confessed his fault, and, because of his Majesty's former grace to us the day before, was pardoned and released without fees.
In the afternoon the committee met to consider of those things propounded by Sir Robert Wroth.
For the confirmation of the book of Common Prayer lately set forth, it was ordered that some few of the committee should look into the old and this new, and report the alterations and explanations, and what else was thought fit in the book to receive examination, and to bring in it [sic] upon Wednesday to receive further debate.
For the matter of Wardship, it was ordered to be moved to the house that a conference might be had with the Lords, to see if they could join with us in making a petition to the King to give us leave to treat of those matters, and to offer him a project.
For Purveyors, it was ordered that some few lawyers should draw a bill, and bring it in upon Wednesday, to be further considered of.
The rest of the matters, the day being spent, were referred to Tuesday next: and this is the effect of this day's work.
Saturday, 24. -- Complaint
was made against pages and other[s] for abusing of the servants [sic;
only one servant, Richard Brocke, a youth who was "servant to a Member
of the House" (JHoC, 1: 152)] of some of the house, carrying them to taverns
[sic; actually one tavern, the "Sign of the Sun," in Westminster,
where the cloak was offered by the pages to Bryan Ashton, servant to the
vintner, William Carter, in payment of their bill (JHoC, 1: 152)]
by force, and there leaving the cloaks and other things to paw[n]:
some were appointed to examine the abuses and to punish the offenders.
[Here and elsewhere in the margin, Montague gives the heads, or titles,
of various Bills and Acts which were brought in, with some particulars
as to the results.]
At ten of the clock Mr. Speaker rose, and went to a sermon in West . . . being the first day of the King's entrance.
Monday, 26 March, 1604
--. . . Mr. Hext being some days before hissed at in a speech which he
made, he this day made a motion for more reverence to be used in that place,
which we generally liked of.
Sir Oliver Sct. John made an excellent speech, and his motion was for relief of Captains and captains' fellows, now without means to live.
A great committee of all knights of shires and divers other was chosen to sit of it on Friday next in the Parliament house; but it was to extend only to Englishmen that had served in Ireland.
Sir Francis Bacon related what had passed at the committee whereupon 24 were selected to go to the Lords to pray a conference. The Lords gave answer that the[y] liked well of the motion, and that they would send unto us an answer for that and about certain other things, and therefore desired the lower house would sit awhile.
They sent the Lord Chief Justice of England [Sir John Popham] with some other unto us, declaring their allowance to confer with us concerning that matter; and also propounded to us two other grievances, viz., Respite of Homage, and matter of Purveyors and cart takers, desiring a conference with us about them also. And likewise, if there were any other grievances, they would willingly join with us to confer of them. The time the[y] desired to be that afternoon, the place in the outward chamber, and their number to be 30: we assented unto it, and chose, as the fashion and manner is, double their number, which was 60.
In the afternoon we met, but the chamber was filled with as many more of the lower house as was nominated, but the Lords misliked of it, and so most were put out, and they only called by bill that were nominated.
Sir Francis Bacon in a very good speech delivered unto them the manner of our proceeding, and desired their Lordships to join with us in the petition to his Majesty to give us leave to treat of the matter concerning the Wards. The Lords answered that they would move it to the house, and we should have answer.
Then they propounded unto us the matters of Respite of Homage and Purveyors. Sir Francis Bacon shewed how it should be delivered to the house to know their pleasures.
Then the Lords rose and went into the higher house, desiring us to stay a while: when they came out again the Lord Cecill delivered a very fine speech but in th'end propounded unto us the matter of Sir Francis Goodwin's, concerning his election, and that if we had any authority he would shew us their reasons of their dislike, but answer was made we had no authority to treat of that matter; and so we brake off . . .
Wednesday, 28 . . .
--This day we went to the King, where Mr. Speaker delivered the reasons
of the Commons their taking in Sir Francis Goodwin into the house; this
matter require[s] a special report what was done at that time.
Thursday, 29 March.--This
day one Brian Bridger, a minister delivered a petition to Mr. Speaker as
he was coming to the house, whom the Speaker caused to be stayed by the
Serjeant, and shewed the petition to the house which was chiefly against
the Bishops, terming their government antichristian and themselves antichrists.
The man was known by divers of the house to be a lunatic, and so affirmed;
but at that time he answered soberly, and as it should seem with advisement,
so that the house thought fit to send him to the Tower.
Mr. Speaker related to the house what was done before the King [in Goodwin's case], and what message he was to return from his Majesty, which in effect was this:--
First, that he should report the course that was taken and the resolution of the Judges; 2, that we should proceed to some resolution amongst ourselves; 3, if we were not resolved, then to resort to the Judges; and lastly, if we did resolve, that we should make repair to his Council, by whom we should know his Majesty's pleasure.
Our proceedings herein is [sic] to be referred to a discourse by itself.
This done, there were sent from the Lords the two Lord Chief Justices [Sir John Popham and Sir Edmund Anderson] Baron Clerke, Justice Fenner, Serjeant Crooke, and Mr. Attorney [Sir E. Coke], with this Act:--
A most joyful and just recognition of the immediate, lawful and undoubted succession, descent, and right of the Crown. [Note in margin: "1 Bill from the Lords; thrice read this day, and passed with great shouts."]
After this the Lords sent us three other bills . . .
Friday, 30 March.--Quaere
what was done more than the debating of Goodwin's cause. [A blank left.]
Saturday, 31 March.--Sir
William Morrice made a long speech about the Union, delivering the King's
petagree, and to have him called Emperor: this was advised on, or
rather put off.
Some few days before he had used a speech to such like effect, and uttered this old proverb of Welsh, translated by Sir John Farrington:--
Tuesday, 3 April.--At
the second reading of the bill against Purveyors, one Griffin Payne, major
and burgess for Walingfford, spake against the bill and used these words,
that this parliament we had dishonoured the King, disgraced the Council,
discredited the opinion of the Judges, and now we sought to hang his Majesty's
For these words he was brought to the bar. He denied that he said we had dishonoured the King, but that the King's pleasure was somewhat touched: the rest of the speeches he confessed. The house, because he was his Majesty's servant, were more inclined to mercy than severity, and so, upon his submission and confessing his fault, he was pardoned; but because it stood doubtful whether he might serve there or no because he was mayor, therefore he was sequestered till the house's pleasure further known.
After was brought in the writing for his Majesty's satisfaction, which was sent to ingrossing. And because it was to be delivered in that afternoon, we appointed to sit again in the house . . .
Wednesday, 4 April.--An
Act against transportation of iron ordnance [sic] . . . This was
returned from the Lords with such amendments and proviso as it was dashed
. . .
Thursday, 5 April.--Mr.
Speaker came not till ten a clock. After Mr. Speaking [sic] had
given the bill of Extortion a second reading and it was committed, he told
us that he was to shew unto us two things--the first, the cause of his
absence, the second, a message from his excellent Majesty. The cause
of his absence was a commandment from the King to give his attendance between
7 and 11 a clock.
The message consisted of divers parts. First, to make known that upon Wednesday he [the King] had received from us a parchment containing many particular reasons but whether our resolute answer, or else reasons to satisfy him, and not to tie. Secondly, a princely protestation, not only by that lore which he bare to all his subjects, which was infinite, nor by the word of King, but by his faith to God, to give us all privileges without detraction of the least, so we would not seek to detract that from him that in justice did belong unto him: he had seen what we had done, but not as yet iudged; and did desire, as a good King, and command as a King ["as an absolute King" (JHoC, 1: 166)] to prepare that there may be a conference between us and the Judges, before his Council, that so he may judge and lay the fault where it is. And because he would not long dwell in the contrariety, that we should come with some competent number of the gravest this afternoon. Hereupon there were some 40 selected, myself being one, and we went presently to confer for the strengthening of the reasons. One thing is to be remembered, that it was moved that we should be suitors to his Majesty to be present himself at the conference and not to have it related to him by the Council. This caused some dispute by reason of the difference of opinions, but being put to the question, the house overruled it, and so the privy counsel [sic; should be "Select Committee" (JHoC, 1: 166)] of the house were sent to move his Majesty, who most graciously gave us audience in the Council chamber, which was then the place where his Majesty useth to hear the sermons. And there, after some debate of both sides, and this point urged by the Judges that was never before, that the first writ was not well returned, and that in truth neither Sir Francis Goodwin nor Sir John Fortescue could be by those writs, his Majesty ordered that neither the one nor other should be, and that a new writ should go to choose another; and that the writ should be granted to go out of the lower house; and this we all assented to [underline appears to have been added later]. His Majesty used many mo[re] loving and gracious speeches unto us, and at last not only pardoned them that had spoken most and stoutest in this cause, but thought the best of them [underline appears to have been added later].
In the forenoon, when the committees went to the conference, the house sate, so that I know not what was done after, but I heard that there was a bill sent from the Lords, and the court rejourned till Wednesday in Easter week.
Wednesday, 11 April.--.
. . Sir Fra. Bacon declared that he had obeyed the house's command
in attending his Majesty, but had no authority to make report because the
committees had not met; whereupon it was moved that the committees should
go and confer together and so give report to the house, which accordingly
was done, and then Sir Fra. Bacon related; after whose speech one Mr. Brooke,
an outward barrister, charged the committees for exceeding their authority,
and would have had them called out by the 7 or 10th [?], and to have answered
it at Bar, but it was answered by divers, and the house satisfied, and
all yielded to the [for]mer motion, and order taken to give his Majesty
thanks by the Speaker.
Thursday, 12 April.--This day we read no new bills but only bills of the second reading. After dinner we went with our Speaker to give his Majesty thanks, and had audience in the privy gallery, and there his Majesty made a notable speech to us again.