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

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

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

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

Synopsis

Foster discusses both the structure of the House and its business, including studies of the officers, the fee system by which they were paid, the function of the judges and attorney general, the select committees and their appointment, the committee of the whole House that developed during this period and its significance, and the joint committees that became increasingly important during the civil war years. The study also contributes to the understanding of later parliaments.

Originally published in 1983.

Excerpt

A splendid royal procession, "trumpetts soundinge," marked the opening of parliament. 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 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.

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