The House of Lords, 1603-1649: Structure, Procedure, and the Nature of Its Business

By Elizabeth Read Foster | Go to book overview

I
THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE AND THEIR CHAMBER

A splendid royal procession, "trumpetts soundinge," marked the opening of parliament.1 Heralds set the order of precedence and, gorgeous in their embroidered coats, guided and punctuated the procession as it moved from Whitehall to the Abbey and from the Abbey to the parliament chamber. Trumpeters on horseback led the pageant in 1614, followed by heralds in full dress. Then on horseback 2 and on foot came the gentlemen of the law: the masters in Chancery, the king's legal counselors, the masters of Requests "2 and 2," the barons of the Exchequer, the justices of the Courts of Common Pleas and King's Bench. The two lord chief justices followed, pursuivants at arms, privy councillors, and two heralds. Next came the barons of parliament in their scarlet parliament robes and the bishops in the order of their consecration; after them, two more heralds and then the viscounts, also in parliament robes. Two heralds preceded the earls, the great officers of state, and the two archbishops. Two gentlemen ushers, one of them Black Rod, walked before the prince. Young Charles wore a great crimson velvet cape lined with ermine, wide breeches, a pleated jacket of white satin with a lace collar, and a hat in lieu of a coronet since he had not yet been invested as Prince of Wales. The earl of Shrewsbury with the cap of maintenance and the duke of Lennox with the sceptre followed the prince; after them came the earl of Derby with the sword, the lord high admiral serving as lord high steward, and the earl of Suffolk, lord chamberlain. Their horses were most richly caparisoned. The king, on a superb horse, was brilliantly dressed in a crimson velvet cape, lavishly trimmed and lined with ermine. He wore a lace ruff; his jacket and breeches were white. On his head was a jeweled crown and he carried an unsheathed sword in his right hand, point upward. Gentlemen pensioners with halberds surrounded him.

-3-

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The House of Lords, 1603-1649: Structure, Procedure, and the Nature of Its Business
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • PART ONE - THE STRUCTURE OF THE HOUSE 1
  • I - THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE AND THEIR CHAMBER 3
  • 2 - THE PRESIDING OFFICER 28
  • 3 - THE CLERK 44
  • 4 - OTHER OFFICERS OF THE HOUSE 64
  • 5 - THE ASSISTANTS 70
  • 6 - COMMITTEES 87
  • 7 - CONFERENCES 126
  • PART TWO - THE BUSINESS OF THE HOUSE 135
  • 8 - PRIVILEGE 137
  • 9 - JUDICATURE 149
  • 10 - LEGISLATION 189
  • PART THREE - THE END OF A PARLIAMENT 203
  • II - CONCLUSION 205
  • ABBREVIATIONS AND SHORT TITLES 211
  • Index 305
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