PYM, John (1584-1643), of Westminster, Brymore, Som., Whitchurch and Wherwell, Hants; later of Holborn, Mdx. and Fawsley, Northants

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



[1624 - 10 Mar. 1624]
1640 (Apr.)
1640 (Nov.) - 8 Dec. 1643

Family and Education

b. 20 May 1584,1 o.s. of Alexander Pym† of Brymore and the M. Temple, and his 2nd w. Philippa, da. of Humphrey Colles of Barton, Pitminster, Som.2 educ. Broadgates Hall, Oxf. 1599; M. Temple 1602.3 m. 28 May 1604,4 Anne (d.1620), da. of John Hooke of Bramshot, Hants, 4s. (2 d.v.p.) 5da. (2 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1585. d. 8 Dec. 1643.5 sig. Jo[hn] Pym.

Offices Held

Recvr.-gen. Exchequer, Glos., Hants and Wilts. 1606-39,6 Anne of Denmark 1606-19,7 Prince Henry 1610-12,8 Prince Charles 1616-25;9 commr. disafforestation, Blackmore and Pewsham forests, Wilts. from 1618-c.1623, Braydon forest 1627,10 Forced Loan, Hants 1626-7,11 sewers, I.o.W. 1631, Mdx. 1639,12 depopulation, Glos. 1632, Wilts. 1635,13 encroachments on R. Thames 1636,14 subscriptions, Som. Jan. 1643-d.15

Treas. Providence Is. Co. from 1630, dep. gov. by 1640.16

Member, cttee. of safety 1642-d.,17 Westminster Assembly June 1643-d.,18 Council of War Aug. 1643-d.,19 commr. plantations 1643-d.,20 lt. of ordnance Nov. 1643-d.21


Pym was one of the great parliamentarians. According to Clarendon (Edward Hyde†), who knew him at the peak of his powers in the 1640s, ‘he had a very comely and grave way of expressing himself, with great volubility of words, natural and proper; and understood the temper and affections of the kingdom as well as any man’.22 He came from a long line of minor West Country gentry, who had held the manor of Brymore since the reign of Henry III. His father, a Middle Temple lawyer and Somerset magistrate, died in January 1585, shortly after being elected to Parliament for Taunton, leaving the six-month-old Pym to inherit seven manors in the same county. His family purchased his wardship from the Crown, and his mother shortly after remarried.23 Her new husband, the Cornish landowner Sir Anthony Rous*, was a conservative puritan and a close friend of Sir Francis Drake†, and he instilled in his step-son both godly religion and a deep hatred of Spain. Pym was tutored at Oxford by the Calvinist Degory Wheare, who, like Rous, significantly influenced his development. At the Middle Temple he was bound with two more long-term companions, his step-brother Francis Rous*, and William Whitaker*, who was subsequently one of his legal advisers.24 Such friendships were important for Pym. Unlike most men of his class, he never became part of a county network, which helps to account for his independent behaviour in the Commons. Instead he relied heavily on his close-knit family circle, especially the Rouses. He himself married one of Sir Anthony’s nieces, while his sister Jane married their step-brother Robert Rous.25

In 1605 Pym acquired a reversion for life of the county receiverships of Gloucestershire, Hampshire and Wiltshire, and in the following year took up his duties in succession to Henry Audley†. The annual remuneration was £100, to which he was entitled to add fees from the bailiffs and farmers who reported to him. He acquired a reputation for efficient administration, and from 1618 was apparently the principal officer responsible for the disafforestation of Pewsham and Blackmore forests. Despite his frank appraisals of the revenues likely to accrue to the Crown from this project, he attracted the favourable notice of Sir Lionel Cranfield*, who became his first clearly identifiable patron.26

In the course of his routine duties Pym had intermittent dealings with the residents of Calne in Wiltshire, and these presumably explain how he secured a seat there in 1621.27 He began his first Parliament quietly, commenting during his maiden speech on 16 Feb. that ‘it is at all times a burthen to my modesty to speak in this honourable assembly’. In fact, he went on to make 40 more speeches before the Parliament ended, an unusually large number for a novice Member, although he attracted only 18 committee nominations. He also kept a diary of proceedings, which reveals him as a keen observer of events and processes. Rather than merely recording the business which interested him personally, he attempted to create a balanced overview of the Commons’ activities, including the contents of legislation, and in the process noted only a quarter of his own speeches.28

Pym established his godly credentials on 16 Feb. by vigorously denouncing Thomas Sheppard’s claim that the Sabbath bill contradicted the king’s pronouncements on religious observance. This diatribe was commended by Sir Baptist Hicks, but considered ‘too violent’ by Sir Edward Seymour, and the harsh punishment which Pym recommended for Sheppard was not adopted.29 He created a rather better impression with his contribution on 27 Feb. to the debate on how to punish (Sir) Giles Mompesson* for his activities as a patentee. The House ignored Pym’s advice to wait until further evidence had been considered, but took note of his competent exposition of the patent for concealments, and promptly named him to the select committee to consider its next steps against Mompesson. On 6 Mar. he was also appointed to help present the concealments patent during the forthcoming conference on monopolies, although his comparatively rudimentary legal skills proved a handicap. These duties in turn led to nominations to the legislative committee concerned with inns and alehouses (24 Apr.) and the drafting committee for the petition against monopolies (16 May).30

As the struggle over patents intensified, Pym emerged as one of the clearest exponents of impeachment procedure, with a firm sense of the respective roles to be played by the Lords and Commons. He summarized his views on 20 Apr. during a speech on Sir John Bennet’s offences:

This great Parliament is the great watch of the kingdom to find out all faults. For some causes now in two Houses; and, as there is an examination and inquisition and judgment and execution, the first left to us, the latter to them, though not altogether excluding us ... we should reserve this power of inquisition in this business wholly to ourselves. ... So we may labour then to find the utmost of his faults, first, and to that end every Member of the House to speak his knowledge and then send for all that can speak in it; and so leave nothing but judicature to the Lords.31

Added the next day to the committee to draft charges against Bennet, he stuck firmly to these principles during the rest of the sitting. On 15 May he argued against going to the Lords with a complaint about the diocesan chancellors of Peterborough and Durham until the inquiry into their offences was completed. Three days later he unsuccessfully opposed the Lords’ request to examine a trunk belonging to the outspoken Catholic Edward Floyd, asserting that, as the Commons had not based their complaint against Floyd on its contents, the Lords should reach their judgment only on the evidence already presented to them. At this stage Pym showed no interest in impeachment as a weapon to be used against government ministers, and he took no part in the proceedings against Lord Chancellor St. Alban (Sir Francis Bacon*). Perhaps for this reason he failed to anticipate that his boast on 30 May about Parliament’s success in reviving impeachment would be badly received in a House rendered nervous by the king’s sudden announcement of an imminent recess. Mortified by Members’ reactions, he briefly left the Chamber.32

Pym’s talents ordinarily found more favour than this. His ready grasp of complex administrative issues brought him three committee appointments concerned with the reform of Chancery (25 and 27 Apr.), while he was named on 26 Apr. to help review the Commons’ agenda. Two days later he secured the rejection of a bill to set up courts leet by observing that the measure was unnecessary, since it duplicated powers normally exercised by the Crown.33 In general he sought to maintain good relations between the Commons on the one hand and the Lords and the monarch on the other. On 12 Mar. he argued that legislation against grievances should not hinder the progress of the subsidy bill, while on 28 and 30 May he called for consultation with the Upper House over arrangements for ending the sitting.34 As yet there was no clear evidence that Pym was pursuing a personal agenda, though his support for the re-enfranchisement of Ilchester (26 Mar.) and his call for a new writ for Minehead (7 May) perhaps reflected his desire for acceptance in Somerset society.35 Naturally he joined in the general condemnation of Edward Floyd, but his proposed punishment of a whipping or a large fine was less vicious than many. Three days later he called for a tightening of the official definition of recusancy, while on 1 June he recommended that a ‘spiritual committee’ should meet to continue with business during the recess.36

Pym scored an early success in the Parliament’s second sitting, persuading the Commons on 24 Nov. to seize the papers of the patentees Lepton and Goldsmith, whose conspiracy against Sir Edward Coke had just been revealed. He probably joined the search party himself, as his diary falls silent for the duration of this exercise, which rendered possible the subsequent inquiry into the whole affair.37 On the same day he persuaded the Speaker to lend him two letters which had just been delivered to the House; these he produced again with a flourish on 26 Nov., revealing that one of them warned of a new popish plot. He continued to pursue the theme of national security on 27 Nov., arguing that while military action against the Habsburgs was desirable, it was equally important to protect England through tougher measures against recusants.38 On the following day Pym went a stage further, suggesting that while no one could doubt the king’s soundness in religion, his merciful attitude towards English Catholics was being abused: ‘for having gotten favour they will expect a toleration, after toleration they will look for equality, after equality for superiority, and having superiority they will seek the subversion of that religion which is contrary to theirs’. In short, any encouragement of papists tended to undermine the country’s stability, and tougher measures were therefore essential. This speech had considerable impact; John Chamberlain heard that although Pym was ‘somewhat long in the explanation of these particulars, yet he had great attention and was exceedingly commended, both for matter and manner.39 Despite these provocative statements, Pym seems to have aimed at nudging James into action, rather than seeking confrontation with him. On other issues such as parliamentary privilege he was keen to avoid disputes, noting approvingly in his diary on 27 Nov. that a bid to rake over Sir Edwin Sandys’s recent arrest had failed. On 5 Dec., after the king complained about the Commons’ discussion of foreign policy, he urged Members ‘to cast balm, to heal the wound; and not to make it wider’. Pym had a hand in the petition with which the Commons responded to James’s rebuke, but he was concerned that this dispute should not entirely disrupt normal business. As he explained on 7 Dec., ‘the liberties and privileges of the House are but accessory; and that bills are the end of a Parliament. And therefore he would not, that the care of preserving our privileges should hinder the end for which we came hither.’ Holding a strictly functional view of privilege, he viewed the deterioration of relations between Westminster and Whitehall with a deep foreboding expressed in his final speech of the session on 18 Dec.: ‘When he considers the necessity of the commonwealth and what we have prepared, he cannot without a great deal of horror look upon the dissolution of this Parliament’. However, his plea for urgent steps to placate the king fell on deaf ears.40

After the dissolution, Pym was summoned to appear before the Privy Council. It has been suggested that his role in investigating the Lepton and Goldsmith affair had incurred the displeasure of the royal favourite, Buckingham, but his ostensible offence was his speech on religion on 28 November. Instructed to supply the government with a copy, he initially protested that he had not written it down, and had no notes for it. Nevertheless, after a sharper command, he delivered in a copious summary. Presumably not by coincidence, Pym’s parliamentary diary ends abruptly following his own summary of this speech.41 In April 1622, though still formally under confinement, he was allowed to leave London for one of his country residences, and around the following August he was fully discharged at the request of Cranfield, who considered that the Wiltshire disafforestation programme was faltering in his absence. Cranfield’s intervention most likely saved Pym from being dismissed from his receivership, though his arrest put paid to any prospect of significant promotion. Surprisingly, there is no evidence to suggest that Pym subsequently nursed any sense of personal grievance over his treatment.42

Although Pym maintained households around this time at both Brymore and Wherwell, Hampshire, he was unable to find a seat in the 1624 Parliament in either the latter county or Somerset. Instead, he stood for election at Chippenham, though his close association with disafforestation in this district rendered him obnoxious to many of the poorer local inhabitants. His return on the narrow franchise was challenged by Sir Francis Popham*, who claimed the backing of a wider electorate, and this prompted him to accept a nomination at Tavistock from Sir Francis Russell* as well.43 The origins of his connection with Russell are unclear. Sir Anthony Rous had helped to run the estates of Russell’s cousin, the 3rd earl of Bedford, while another kinsman, Robert Scawen†, was certainly well-established in Russell’s household by the following year. Alternatively, Pym may have been recommended by Degory Wheare, who had formerly served Lady Russell’s cousin, the 5th Lord Chandos. Whatever the true circumstances, Sir Francis now replaced Cranfield as Pym’s main patron, and continued to supply him with a seat at Tavistock until 1640.44

Once back at Westminster, Pym again kept a diary, though like its predecessor it also lacks its final pages, for reasons which are unclear. Pym made ten fewer speeches in 1624 than he had in 1621, but his nominations to the committee of privileges and 43 other committees demonstrated that his standing in the House had now risen. Even his obstinate behaviour over the Chippenham election dispute did no lasting damage to his reputation. By 25 Feb. he had decided to sit for Tavistock, but put off formally declaring his intentions, and resisted a motion for Sir Francis Popham to be allowed to sit, arguing that this would pre-empt the committee for privileges’ verdict on Chippenham’s franchise. Nevertheless, so long as he technically remained a candidate for that seat, he was barred from speaking at the hearings into the dispute. Accordingly, on 10 Mar. he finally opted for Tavistock. At the committee for privileges the next day, he was ‘heard at large with much favour to say what he could, and was very long but to very little purpose, in so much as Mr. [Christopher] Brooke said he had delivered a great deal of false doctrine’. After further delays the Commons finally ruled in Popham’s favour on 9 April.45

Although he had been thwarted over the Chippenham franchise, Pym enjoyed greater success on issues of parliamentary management. On 23 Feb. he amended Sir Thomas Posthumous Hoby’s motion on the introduction of new bills to render it more flexible, and on 23 Mar. winning agreement for all committees to be able to hear counsel and summon witnesses. He also blocked a move on 1 Mar. to prevent Members’ names from being recorded in the Journal whenever they made a motion, arguing that ‘he would innovate nothing without good reason’, although evidence taken from the Journal may have contributed to his arrest two years earlier.46 Pym’s anger at how the 1621 Parliament had ended was evident on 25 Feb., when he had an order for the resurrection of unfinished business modified so that it referred to the ‘last Parliament’, not the ‘last convention’, in defiance of James’s Proclamation. Indeed, several of the legislative committees to which he was now appointed dealt with matters under consideration three years earlier, such as concealments, monopolies, and the levying of debts in the king’s name (24 and 26 Feb., 24 March). Nominated on 28 Apr. to the committee to review grievances both old and new, he was appointed exactly a month later to help present James with the current batch of complaints, though he studiously avoided taking any part in the attack on Cranfield. He was also named to the select committee to investigate Exchequer abuses (26 Feb.), the conference on the monopolies bill (7 Apr.), and the committee to examine petitions relating to the courts of justice (19 April). He was added on 28 Apr. to the legislative committee concerned with the draining of Erith and Plumstead marshes in Kent, and, apparently acting as a chairman for the first time, reported the measure on 8 May.47

With war against Spain now very much on the Commons’ agenda, Pym rallied enthusiastically to the cause, which he equated firmly in his mind with religious duty. Indeed, like many others in the House, he saw the anticipated conflict as the main issue to be addressed by the Parliament, and when (Sir) John Eliot threatened to derail proceedings on 27 Feb. with an inflamatory speech defending parliamentary privilege, he noted anxiously that ‘divers were afraid this motion would have put the House into some such heat as to disturb the greater business’. When his friend Sir Benjamin Rudyard finally broached the subject of war on 1 Mar., Pym privately assessed the speech as being ‘the mould of the resolution of the whole Parliament’, though his personal enthusiasm for Rudyard’s propositions was not widely shared. During the ensuing debate he moved for a conference with the Lords to prepare a message inviting the king to break off the Spanish treaties. Appointed to attend this conference, he also proposed an obsequious vote of thanks to Prince Charles (2-3 March).48 Although irritated that the Lords presumed on 5 Mar. to advise the Commons to back the drive to war with adequate supply, he was one of very few Members on 19 Mar. prepared to grant the huge sums now being requested by the Crown: ‘we have made one step from the greatest danger that ever threatened us. God grant we relapse not again, which we may do if we be too tender of making good our first offer’. Doubtless disappointed by the smaller amounts which other Members were prepared to contemplate, he argued the next day for payment within a year. However, there were limits to how far he could trust the government, and on 12 May he moved that the treasurers of war should be accountable to the Commons, and also punishable by them providing they were not peers.49

Open debate of war in turn highlighted domestic religious issues, and here Pym was in his element. Occasionally he addressed primarily legal problems, such as the technicalities of Lady Darcy’s advowson bill (14 May). However, his priority, as in 1621, was to safeguard England by clamping down on Catholics. He supported the revival of the previous Parliament’s bill against recusants, which had failed to become law (25 Feb.), while on 1 Apr. he renewed his call for covert recusants to be liable for the same treatment as those who openly avoided church attendance. His targets included Sir Thomas Gerrard, 2nd Bt.*, whose election at Liverpool he denounced on 10 March. On 2 Apr. he proposed a check on the orthodoxy of recently appointed deputy lieutenants, and the next day was appointed to attend the conference about the Commons’ petition against recusants. Pym was also named to select committees to examine the latest recusancy certificates, and to investigate reports of popish schoolmasters and corrupt academics (28-9 April).50 As chairman of the latter committee, he presented the House on 27 May with a series of charges against Dr. Anyan, the disreputable head of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Although Pym’s call for a complaint to the Lords was rejected in favour of a petition to the king, his chairmanship did provide him with a platform for agitating against what he perceived to be a new threat to the Church of England. By 13 May the education committee had received a petition against Richard Montagu’s New Gagg for an Old Goose, which Pym promptly reported to the House, warning that the book was ‘full fraught with dangerous opinions of Arminius, quite contrary to the Articles established’. He was appointed the same day to alert Archbishop Abbot to this publication, though nothing immediately came of this approach. On 15 May he was nominated to the conference about Bishop Harsnett of Norwich, whose opinions resembled Montagu’s, but after the Lords declined to act his progress was limited to collecting charges, which he delivered for safe-keeping to the clerk of the Commons on 29 May. Pym was the first Member to raise the issue of Arminianism in Parliament, and his concerns, which he may have picked up from his step-brother Francis Rous*, were not yet widely shared at Westminster.51

The 1625 Parliament was the last occasion on which Pym is known to have kept a diary. The best surviving account of this assembly, even if it suggests ‘a level of coherence and clarity of direction such as the actual exchanges on the floor of the House almost certainly failed to achieve’, the diary was sufficiently authoritative that Eliot drew heavily on it when writing his Negotium Posterorum.52 Pym made only six recorded speeches during the two sittings, but his overall contribution to the Parliament was by no means modest, as he also received 14 committee appointments. Compared with the two previous Parliaments, there was a profound shift in the balance of his priorities in 1625. Although once more named to the committee for privileges, and also, for the first time, to the committee to draft the subsidy bill’s preamble (21 and 30 June), his remaining business during the first sitting was almost exclusively focused on religion. Of his five legislative committee appointments, three dealt with sabbath abuses, subscription and clerical leases (22 and 27 June, 11 July).53 After William Coryton called, on 21 June, for Members to hold a fast, he persuaded the House to petition the king for the fast to be observed throughout the whole country instead, and secured nomination both to the drafting committee and to the conference at which the Lords were invited to join in this initiative. However, when he reported back on 23 June that the peers wished the date of the fast to be postponed, the Commons declined to co-operate.54 Pym was also heavily involved in the petition promoted by Sir Edwin Sandys to rein in recusancy and strengthen the Church of England by such measures as the reform of impropriations, even though the latter proposal was anathema to his patron, Russell. Named to the preliminary framing committee (24 June), he and Sandys then produced an initial draft, and he was twice appointed to revising committees, following objections in each House (28 June, 4 July).55 His only other recorded speech during this sitting concerned Arminianism. On 1 July he had been dispatched to find out what action Archbishop Abbot had taken over Montagu’s New Gagg, and was doubtless dismayed to discover that the primate’s objections to a follow-up publication, the Appello Caesarem, had been overruled. This prompted him three days later to urge the Commons to summon Montagu. After the House adjudged the contentious cleric guilty of contempt for publishing Appello Caesarem, Pym was named to the select committee to record and explain this verdict (7 July), though further progress on this issue was prevented by the adjournment four days later.56

At the Oxford sitting, Pym attracted one more legislative committee nomination, on the topic of simony (2 August). The mood of the House was now increasingly hostile towards Buckingham, and when Edward Clarke leapt to the duke’s defence on 6 Aug., Pym moved for him to withdraw from the Chamber while Members considered his offence. Two days later he was back on more familiar territory, backing Sir Miles Fleetwood’s call for the petition on religion to be revived, and requesting consideration of some fresh evidence of the Crown’s lenient treatment of papists. Shortly thereafter he was nominated to attend a conference to address these matters. Despite Pym’s growing association with religious affairs, his background in financial administration was not forgotten, and following the conference on 8 Aug. when Buckingham defended the government’s foreign policy, he was entrusted with reporting the speech by lord treasurer Marlborough (James Ley*) on the state of the royal finances.57

Pym was also very much in evidence in the 1626 Parliament, making 65 recorded speeches, and receiving nearly 50 committee appointments. The sheer weight of business probably explains why he ceased to keep a diary. He was omitted from the committee for privileges until 11 Feb., so that his own request for privilege for a servant could be heard first, but thereafter he made a distinctive contribution to its proceedings. In general he was reluctant to see questions of privilege escalate into disputes. Even in relation to the controversial exclusion of Sir Edward Coke, who was barred from attendance by his new status as a sheriff, Pym reminded the committee on 14 Feb. that it should not rush to conclusions until the relevant precedents had been checked. When Coke requested privilege in a court case, reviving the initial dilemma over his status, Pym was unmoved, commenting on 9 June: ‘That our privileges are ours by reason of our attendance here; and since we dispense with his being here, that therefore we may forbear allowing him his privilege’. His proposal on 21 Mar. for a conference with the Lords to resolve the thorny problem of Sir Robert Howard’s* excommunication was rejected, but undaunted he urged the House on 3 May to adopt a diplomatic approach towards High Commission over the same matter.58

Pym’s receivership probably explains why he headed the committee list for the bill concerned with the Gloucestershire estates of Richard Fust (1 June), as well as his inclusion on legislative committees concerned with sheriffs’ accounts, concealments, and oaths to make true accounts (11 and 14 Feb., 14 March). He was the first Member appointed to the committees to scrutinize bills on bribery and the restitution in blood of Carew Ralegh (3 and 24 March).59 Named on 10 Feb. to the select committee to view all grievances presented to Parliament since 1604, he was also nominated on 25 May to the committee to prepare the latest selection for presentation to the king. However, his desire to have the issue of pretermitted customs addressed by the Tunnage and Poundage bill rather than reported as a grievance was ignored (24 May), as was his plea for John More II* to be allowed to defend himself before his patent for salt manufacture was condemned on 5 May.60

Almost from the opening of the session, Pym was active on religious issues. In response to Sir Benjamin Rudyard’s proposal on 10 Feb. for a committee to examine a host of problems such as recusancy and clergy funding, he welcomed the initiative, but called for the widest possible brief. He was promptly named to this committee, and subsequently received nominations to eight legislative committees whose subjects ranged from preaching to patronage rights (14 Feb., 25 May). Among these was a bill for educating recusants’ children as Protestants (1 Mar.); on 15 Feb. he was sent to the attorney-general, (Sir) Robert Heath*, to request a copy of a similar bill that had been introduced in 1624.61 As chairman of the grand committee on religion, he presided over a series of campaigns against his favourite targets, though with mixed results. On 2 Mar. his report listing potentially dangerous recusants resulted in the establishment of a select committee (to which he was named) to consider how those identified should be reported to the government. He returned to the House on 20 Mar. to make presentment of recusant office-holders, and this time his report prompted the appointment of a committee to draft a petition. He was also a member of this body, but progress was slow, and on 24 May he was nominated to a new committee to augment the existing list of recusants.62 Meanwhile, on 6 Mar., he secured the summons of Simon Dormer, a papist schoolmaster from Suffolk, and on 25 Mar. reported that the offender had now agreed to give up teaching. Doubtless buoyed by this success, he had two other suspect tutors brought to London during the next two months, though on closer inspection they proved to be Protestants who were merely taking recusant pupils.63 Pym also resumed his crusade against Richard Montagu. Named on 6 Mar. to the committee to prepare for a conference with the Lords about the Arminian cleric’s books, he reported on 17 Apr. that Montagu was guilty of publishing doctrine contrary to the Articles of Religion, and which tended to sedition by blurring the distinctions between the Churches of England and Rome. As such, he deserved to be impeached. However, this was too extreme a step for most Members, for Montagu had not yet been allowed to defend himself, and Eliot and others had reservations about the Commons ruling on points of doctrine. Pym protested that the committee had stuck to the guidelines originally devised in 1625, but to no avail. He tried again on 29 Apr. with a motion for Montagu to be reported to the Lords at a conference, but the House merely conceded that he could prepare a written message containing the charges. This was not ready until 10 June, and it was then recommitted for amendments, achieving its final shape too late for it to be delivered by the end of the session.64

Pym was one of the very few Members who believed from the start that the second arrest of the St. Peter on Buckingham’s orders constituted a grievance. While it is possible that his patron Russell was encouraging him to support this early attack on the duke, his comments on 22 Feb. and 1 Mar. indicate that he based his conclusion less on the circumstances of the arrest itself, than on the issue of whether the ship’s cargo had then been misappropriated, thereby depriving the Crown of its rightful dues. One of the first Members to call on 1 Mar. for Buckingham to be invited to explain his part in these events, he was also to the fore after the Lords took offence at the wording of the Commons’ message to the duke. Named on 4 Mar. to the committee to tone down the official record of the summons, he was appointed the same day to help report back from the conference at which the dispute was resolved. Despite the Lords’ evident distaste for the Commons’ inquiry, on 1 May Pym reiterated his belief that the St. Peter affair was indeed a grievance, on the same grounds as before.65 Nevertheless, Pym’s deepest concerns about Buckingham’s influence lay elsewhere. In a statesmanlike speech on 24 Feb. he called for better measures to defend the coast, an inquiry into alleged mismanagement of the nation’s affairs, and, most importantly of all, the establishment of a committee to review the condition of the Crown’s finances. He was named on 7 Mar. to the committee to consider a bill to preserve the king’s revenues and, once conclusions had been reached, to the committee to consider how to present Charles with the Commons’ reform proposals (4 May). Although on 3 Apr. he supported the concept of making supply conditional on the redress of grievances, he also argued in favour of subsidies being paid promptly (3 May).66 Having again, on 6 Mar., raised the question of coastal protection, he was appointed the next day to the conference on the safety and defence of the kingdom, reporting on 8 Mar. the Lords’ concerns about the Commons’ apparent lack of urgency over the war effort. One of the Members selected to help question the councillors of war (28 Feb., 9 Mar.), he urged a cautious response on 11 Mar. to their stonewalling, as they were clearly following the king’s instructions.67

For six days after Dr. Turner’s sensational attack on Buckingham, Pym kept his own counsel, but finally, on 17 Mar., he added his voice to complaints that the accumulation of too many offices in one man was a cause of the nation’s problems. The next day he backed Eliot’s call for Turner’s allegations to be thoroughly checked before the Commons considered censuring him, and he served on the so-called committee for the ‘causes of causes’ established on 20 Mar. to assemble evidence against the duke. His attitude hardened as the king began to apply pressure on the House over Turner. On 1 Apr. he reported from the previous day’s conference, when Buckingham attempted to soften the impact of Charles’s recent comments, but almost immediately set to work on drafting a remonstrance in defence of the Commons’ privileges.68 For the next month Pym made barely any public pronouncements, though he clearly took considerable interest in Sir Dudley Digges’s proposal for a privately funded naval war against Spain, informing the House on 14 Apr. that 60 ships would be required, their tackle costing £120,000. During this period, however, he was supplying the committee for the causes of causes with detailed information on grants of Crown lands made to Buckingham’s relatives, knowledge accumulated in his role as a commissioner for disafforestation.69 On 3 May Pym was appointed to help present the impeachment charges against the duke, and three days later he was instructed to handle those dealing with misappropriation and exhaustion of royal revenues, and the procurement of honours for Buckingham’s family. His speech to the Lords on 10 May dwelt in considerable detail on the duke’s talent for extracting personal profit from the Crown’s estates. When Digges and Eliot were arrested on the following day, he called for calm, but on 13 May he moved that all those Members who had been present at the impeachment hearings should join in a protestation declaring that Digges did not speak the offending words imputed to him. He was even more outspoken on 17 May in relation to Eliot’s detention: ‘This is a dangerous precedent that the king should say I will commit him and then you shall examine whether I have done it justly or not’. Pym initially supported the idea that the House should draw up a remonstrance protesting at the arrest of Eliot and Digges, but once both men were released he instead urged the Commons on 22 May to defend its privileges by means of a bill, which would be less likely to antagonize Charles and provoke him into ending the Parliament prematurely.70

The king’s decision in early June to arrange Buckingham’s election as chancellor of Cambridge University was an obvious slight to the Commons. However, Pym was far more alarmed to discover that the party sent to Cambridge to solicit support for the duke included John Cosin and Robert Mason II*, men ‘who have been agents to utter Montagu’s book ... so that it may be suspected a conspiracy to bring in Arminianism’. Pym’s fear of a plot at the heart of government to subvert the established Church may help to explain his reluctance the same day to see John More expelled from the Commons for warning of ‘new counsels’. Appointed on 6 June to help draft the letter of complaint to Cambridge, which he then reported to the House, he nevertheless called the next day for the dispatch of this missive to be postponed while the Commons addressed the king’s objections to it.71 On 8 June Pym was appointed to the committee to frame a remonstrance against the collection of Tunnage and Poundage, which had still not been granted by Parliament. Though not directly involved in preparing the final remonstrance against Buckingham, he spoke in its support on 13 June. However, he was not prepared to countenance careless drafting, and on 10 June objected to the inclusion of baronetcies in the clause about the sale of honours, observing correctly, if somewhat pedantically, that this order had been established specifically to raise funds for the army in Ireland.72

Two days after the Parliament ended, Pym and the other leading figures in the impeachment of Buckingham were summoned before attorney-general Heath, who questioned them about the charges levelled at the duke, and instructed them to hand over their evidence. However, they declined to cooperate, on the grounds that they lacked the necessary authority to reveal proceedings in the Commons, and no further action was taken against them.73 The king’s failure to secure supply during the 1626 Parliament resulted in fresh experiments in arbitrary taxation. Pym had co-operated with the Privy Seal loan of late 1625, paying £10. His response to the 1626 Benevolence, for which he was rated in Westminster at £20, is not known. He was appointed to the second Hampshire commission for the Forced Loan of 1626-7, and again contributed £10, having initially requested to be excused. He subsequently informed Sir Thomas Jervoise* that the money had been surreptitiously paid on his behalf by one of his brothers-in-law, who was concerned for his safety if he continued to refuse.74

It has been claimed that Pym was one of the leading Members who attended a meeting before the opening of the 1628 Parliament to discuss the Commons’ priorities. While there is some doubt over whether such a gathering actually took place, there is no question that he was now one of the most prominent figures in the Commons. During the 1628 session he was appointed to nearly 50 committees and made over 90 speeches.75 The bulk of this activity related to the great public issues of religion and the liberties of the subject. However, on 19 Apr. he spoke against the Bromfield and Yale tenancies bill, objecting that it tended to restrict future royal income from these estates. On 10 June he supported a bill to settle the estates of the 2nd earl of Devonshire (Sir William Cavendish I*), perhaps because his patron Russell, now 4th earl of Bedford, was a trustee of these properties. He also took up the complaint of the Somers Islands planters against the imposition on their tobacco crop, on 16 June winning agreement for a petition to the king, which he was appointed to help draft.76 It is unclear whether his status as a leading member of the committee for privileges or his Cornish family ties was the key factor which led to his involvement in the inquiry into the 1628 Cornwall election. He certainly attended the committee set up on 21 Apr. to consider the contempt of the Cornish gentlemen who had sought to influence the election, as he twice commented on the progress of their examination (12-13 May). However, although also nominated to the other two committees relating to this business (20 Mar., 20 June), it is uncertain how much interest he showed in them, and he did not participate in the parallel inquiry into the abuses alleged against John Mohun*.77 In general, Pym continued to take a relaxed view of questions of privilege and jurisdiction, although on 11 Apr. he called for a committee to investigate the printing of a pamphlet describing recent proceedings in Parliament. He was unperturbed when, on the previous day, the king requested that the Commons forego their Easter recess, merely inquiring: ‘Cannot we accept a motion from His Majesty as willingly as we do from a Member of this House?’ Nominated on 14 Apr. to the committee to investigate the alleged slandering of John Selden by the 2nd earl of Suffolk (Theophilus Howard, Lord Walden*), his only recorded comments on the affair were some minor observations on points of detail (17 April). He would have allowed both Sir Simeon Steward and Sir John Hippesley to waive their right to privilege over legal disputes (28-9 Apr.), and once the facts surrounding the arrest of Sir Henry Stanhope had been established, he expressed himself satisfied that the Privy Council had not trampled on the Commons’ rights (5 May).78

By comparison, Pym was even more obsessive about religious affairs in 1628 than he had been in 1626. Nominated on 20 Mar. to the committee to draft a petition for a general fast, and to the consequent conference on the following day, he shortly afterwards took the chair of the grand committee on religion, effectively turning it into his personal vehicle. As the battle over subjects’ liberties took up ever more of the Commons’ time, he moved on 7 Apr. for a subcommittee to maintain progress on religious business. However, in no sense did he regard spiritual matters as being separate and distinct from secular problems. Indeed, on 22 Apr. he demanded urgent action against adultery, ‘to stay the overflowing of this sin for which we find the judgment of God upon the land’.79 As ever, recusants were high on his list of targets. He helped to manage the conference at which the Lords’ petition against recusancy was debated (31 Mar.), and was appointed on 24 Apr. to the committee to examine the presentments of recusants. After the House was informed that one Walter Brooke had converted children to Catholicism, he persuaded the Commons on 24 May to authorize a petition to the king, and was appointed to help draft it. On the same day he reported complaints against Lord (Sir John) Savile’s* commission for compounding with recusants. He had earlier headed a deputation to Archbishop Abbot to find out what measures had been taken against popish schoolmasters since 1625 (28 April). When a mysterious letter was delivered to the House on 23 June, Pym ensured that it was referred to a committee, recalling the similar incident in 1621, and, once it turned out to be popish in content, he was appointed to help take it to the king. Such was his reputation that the government suspected him of planting the missive himself, and later conducted its own inquiry into the affair.80

The Catholic threat preyed constantly on Pym’s mind, but he regarded some Anglicans as almost equally dangerous. On 28 Apr. he reported from the grand committee for religion concerning complaints against both the Arminian Montagu and Richard Burgess, vicar of Witney, Oxfordshire, who had been preaching against puritanism. Both men were duly summoned before the committee. Of the two, Burgess was the easier nut to crack. An initial show of defiance was crushed, at Pym’s request, by a spell in the Tower (9 May), and although work continued thereafter on a charge to be presented to the Lords, Pym seems to have lost interest in the case, and had to be requested on 3 June to attend the drafting committee. As his step-brother Francis Rous was also one of its members, he perhaps felt that his own presence was not required.81 By now Pym was in the final stages of preparing a lengthy report on Montagu, which was eventually delivered on 11 June, and which essentially replicated the complaints brought in 1626. After hearing the report, the Commons promptly instructed its author to prepare articles for presentation to the Lords, but Pym then decided to pursue some additional lines of inquiry. Consequently the charges had still not reached the Upper House when the session ended.82 For once, though, attacking Montagu was not Pym’s greatest priority. Instead, he focused his attention on Roger Manwaring, a royal chaplain who had achieved notoriety during the previous summer by preaching that obedience to the king was a religious duty, and that Forced Loan refusers were ‘temporal recusants’. If Arminianism threatened the fabric of the nation by blurring allegiances, then Manwaring’s doctrine was far worse, as it tended to drive a wedge between the Crown and its subjects, encouraging arbitrary government and undermining the rule of law. As Pym put it in his report to the Commons on 14 May, Manwaring ‘went about to infuse into his Majesty that which was most unfit for his royal breast - an absolute power not bounded by law ... [and] endeavoured to deprive all men of the propriety of their goods’. The committee for religion recommended that Manwaring be proceeded against by a bill of attainder, but Pym recognized that this would cause complications, as attainders were normally initiated by the Lords, who might insist on conducting their own inquiry. He therefore moved for the Commons’ complaints to be presented at a conference instead, which, he argued, would save time.83 This strategy was agreed, and Pym was appointed both to draft the charge and to present it (14 and 27 May). At the conference on 4 June, Pym prefaced the formal charge with a lengthy exposition of the theory of the ‘ancient constitution’, which might not be altered without endangering the state. Manwaring’s teachings appeared to undermine this theory of government, as they implied ‘that the laws and privileges of the subject do depress supreme authority, ... [and] are contrary to the law of God, ... disabling the king to do what the law of God would have done.’ Pym was treading on dangerous ground here, since Charles had encouraged the publication of Manwaring’s sermons. Nevertheless, he did not pull his punches, even suggesting that the biblical injunction, ‘render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s’, might not apply fully to England, since the phrase had been coined when Judaea was occupied by a foreign power. Although the Lords were unimpressed by some of the witnesses provided by Pym to corroborate the impeachment charge, Manwaring was condemned on 14 June, imprisoned and heavily fined.84

Pym presumably absorbed some of his views on the liberties of the subject from the debates which dominated the Parliament’s opening weeks, since he personally contributed very little to these discussions. His observation on 26 Mar., that ‘the oath ministered by the commissioners for the loan is against the law’, was commended by Sir Robert Phelips as suggesting one method of challenging arbitrary taxation. He also shrewdly advised on 3 Apr. that the grievance of impressment could best be addressed by dealing with local abuses rather than questioning the king’s power. Even so, his nomination later that day to the committee to plan the next steps in safeguarding liberties was essentially a testimony to his general reputation in the House, as was his appointment on 4 Apr. to assist Digges at the forthcoming conference on the same topic.85 During the next few weeks, however, his statements gradually became more outspoken. On 8 Apr., during the debate on billeting, a major Cornish grievance, he condemned those responsible for ‘the superinducing of an unlegal authority’. When the petition on this grievance was ready two days later, he supported Sir John Strangways’ motion for the whole House to accompany the Speaker when it was presented, maintaining that ‘never was there cause of greater consequence’. The debate on 25 Apr. about a Londoner detained for refusing to lend money to the Crown prompted Pym to observe that ‘a man, as soon as he is born, ... is born into the world, and not into a prison.’86

Given this growing focus on fundamental rights, Pym was predictably scathing on 26 Apr. about the Lords’ attempt to modify the Commons’ propositions on liberties: ‘The words of "reason of state" are too sublime: we know no such thing. Let us leave it where it is.’ Two days later he was nominated to help draft the bill on liberties proposed by Sir Thomas Wentworth. He was unimpressed by the king’s offer to accept such a bill providing it merely restated existing documents such as Magna Carta, and on 5 May objected to a motion to have this undertaking recorded in the Journal, as it ‘trenches into the liberty of the House’. The king’s demand to know whether the Commons would trust his word produced a yet stronger reaction on 6 May.

Our assurance in the king’s word were sufficient if we knew what the king’s sense and meaning is. We have not his word only, but his oath also at his coronation; and I am persuaded if the king knew the law, that he ought not to commit without [stating a] cause, he would not. We complain of our unjust imprisonments upon loans. I hear not any say we shall have no more, or that matter of state shall be no more pretended when there is none. For billeting of soldiers, it is said that it is against the law. I doubt not but the [Privy Council] lords have a rule they go by. ...We all rest in the king’s royal word, but let us agree in a rule to give us satisfaction.87

In view of Charles’s stubborn resistance to an explanatory bill of liberties, Pym welcomed the counter-proposal for a Petition of Right, which he recognized might circumvent the king’s objections. Having helped to draft the bill of liberties, he was automatically appointed to the committee to draw up the Petition, and was also named to check the text’s fair copy (6 and 8 May). Not surprisingly, he both opposed the Lords’ proposed amendments to the Petition and was nominated to help explain why the peers’ alterations were unacceptable (13 May). He insisted on 20 May that the Petition must continue to state that abuses had been committed by the king’s authority, and dismissed the Lords’ additional clause about sovereign power as introducing a novel concept quite distinct from English law.88 Pym was appointed to the conferences at which the Lords finally abandoned their compromise proposals for the Petition and accepted the Commons’ version (23-4 and 26 May). He was also one of the first Members to propose further progress on the subsidy bill, in order to encourage the king to accept the Petition (24 May). However, he shared the general dismay at Charles’ first formal answer of 2 June, and threw his support behind a remonstrance protesting against government abuses, arguing on 6 June that it should address such highly contentious topics as the influence at Court of Buckingham’s recusant mother, and the drift towards toleration of Catholics in Ireland.89 Once the Lords indicated that they would press the king for a fuller answer to the Petition, Pym again pushed for action on supply, and was nominated on 7 June to help draft the subsidy bill’s preamble. Despite this, he remained committed to the remonstrance, and on 11 June insisted that it should identify Buckingham as the principal cause of the country’s problems. His firm stance led to him being named third on the list of Members appointed to draft the remonstrance. Even so, he had not lost sight of the need to maintain a dialogue with the king, and in one of his last speeches of the session, on 21 June, he urged the Commons to promise Charles that the longstanding impasse over Tunnage and Poundage would soon be resolved.90

During the 1629 session, Pym received 16 committee nominations and made 18 recorded speeches, though by now the scale of his influence was such that he must have spoken more frequently than this. As ever his priority was to seek a remedy for religious grievances, but he faced two early obstacles. He partially dealt with the first of these on 21 Jan., when he persuaded the Commons to postpone by nearly a week its debate on the king’s response to the Petition of Right. In the meantime this issue was consigned to a select committee, to which Pym was added.91 The second distraction, John Rolle’s* complaint about the seizure of his merchandise in lieu of Tunnage and Poundage, could not be sidelined so easily. Pym was named to the relevant committee, but his interest in Tunnage and Poundage at this juncture probably extended no further than the question of whether the Crown would be prepared to make concessions over religion in order finally to secure a formal grant. On 26 Jan., when Secretary Coke attempted to introduce the Tunnage and Poundage bill, Francis Rous interposed an impassioned plea for consideration of the dangers posed by popery and Arminianism. The language was all Rous’s, but as he rarely addressed the House it seems likely that he was acting in conjunction with Pym, who moved swiftly to take the initiative once his step-brother had grabbed Members’ attention.92 Appointed the same day to the committee to frame a petition to the king requesting a general fast, on 27 Jan. he unveiled his agenda. As usual he attacked both Catholics and Arminians, not least the manner in which each was now receiving the government’s encouragement. In addition to demanding an end to de facto toleration, and full enforcement of the recusancy laws, he now sought parliamentary confirmation of those teachings and doctrinal statements which tended to support a Calvinist interpretation of Anglicanism. Well aware that this would constitute an unprecedented departure for the Commons, he sought to reassure its Members.

Howsoever it is alleged that the Parliament are not judges in matters of faith, yet ought they to know the established and fundamental truths, and the contraries unto them; ... there is no court can meet with this mischief but the courts of Parliament. The Convocation cannot because it is but a provincial synod, ... the High Commission cannot, for it hath its authority derived from parliaments.

The House was convinced, at least temporarily, and resolved immediately afterwards to give religion precedence over all other business.93 For the next fortnight Pym and his allies, notably Sir Nathaniel Rich, held sway in the Commons. Once more chairing the grand committee for religion, on 29 Jan. Pym reported a draft declaration devised by Rich, which rejected papist and Arminian interpretations of the Thirty-Nine Articles. On the same day he was appointed to the committee to draft a bill concerned with impropriations and vicarages. However, the doctrinal debate rapidly became bogged down in arguments over how to define orthodox Anglican tenets, and by 3 Feb. stalemate had been reached. Instead, Members turned their attention to attacking the perceived enemies of the Church, and here of course Pym was in his element. On 4 Feb. he delivered an account of all the proceedings against Richard Montagu since 1624. He reappeared the next day with a petition which had been presented against another prominent Arminian, John Cosin, and won agreement for him to be questioned. On 7 Feb. he secured the summoning of a witness who could testify against Bishop Neile of Winchester. He even sought the Commons’ permission on 13 Feb. to revive the 1628 charges relating to Richard Burgess.94 On the same day he was appointed to help draft letters to the two universities, requesting that they supply statements on the measures they had taken against Catholics and Arminians. He had not entirely abandoned hope of progress on the doctrinal front, and on 5 Feb. was nominated to a select committee to examine recent alterations to the Book of Common Prayer and the Canons. When Selden reported on 7 Feb. on the case of Henry Aleyne, who had denounced as puritans Members who denied the king supply, Pym felt obliged to request that the offender simply be detained for the time being, as there was so much urgent business already under discussion. He had in fact overreached himself, and by dissipating his energies he helped to ensure that none of his ambitious agenda of 27 Jan. was ultimately brought to fruition.95

Attorney-general Heath’s clumsy subpoena against John Rolle on 9 Feb. brought the attention of most Members sharply back to Tunnage and Poundage. Pym was named on 14 Feb. to the committee to consider the Exchequer Court’s decision to uphold the detention of Rolle’s goods, and on 19 Feb. he urged the Commons to resolve the impasse by settling the legal status of Tunnage and Poundage rather than pursue Eliot and Selden’s strategy of treating the dispute as a matter of parliamentary privilege.

The liberties of this House are inferior to the liberties of the kingdom ... and the main end is to establish possession of the subjects, and to take off the commissions and records and orders which are now against us; ... the way to sweeten the business with the king and to rectify ourselves is first to settle these things and then we may in good time proceed to vindicate our own privileges.

This was sound advice, but Eliot and Selden now had the upper hand. Once the House decided to try to use the privilege that extended to Members’ goods as a means of recovering Rolle’s confiscated cloth, it became essential to establish whether the customs farmers who had impounded it were acting on their own behalf, and thus fell within the Commons’ jurisdiction. This was a highly technical question, and on 20 Feb. Pym tried three times to resolve it, either by referring to the customers’ lease or by drawing on his knowledge of Exchequer practice. However, his warning that the king almost certainly retained an interest in the customs farm was disregarded, and the Commons blundered on into total deadlock with Charles. Pym does not feature in the accounts of the tumultuous events of 2 Mar., and it is unclear whether he attended the House that day.96

By 1630 Pym had entered the circle of the 2nd earl of Warwick (Sir Robert Rich*) and Lord Brooke (Robert Greville*), and like them became a leading figure in the Providence Island Company during the following decade. The same contacts led to his selection as a grantee of the Saybrook colony two years later. Arguably ‘the master-mind that governed the whole course of the Providence Company’, his duties as treasurer were hugely time-consuming, and perhaps prompted his decision in 1639 to surrender his receivership.97 Elected at Tavistock to both the Short and Long Parliaments, he emerged as the pivotal figure in the Commons, directing the drive for reform, and orchestrating the impeachment of Sir Thomas Wentworth*, now earl of Strafford. Throughout the first half of 1641 rumours abounded that he would be made chancellor of the Exchequer, and he acquired the epithet ‘King Pym’.98 Charles I’s attempt to arrest him and four other Members in January 1642 helped to precipitate the Civil War. When that conflict finally came, Pym’s leadership and policies did much to lay the foundations for Parliament’s eventual victory, but he died of cancer in December 1643. On the orders of the Commons he was buried in Westminster Abbey. Pym’s younger son Charles sat in the Long Parliament until Pride’s Purge, and represented Minehead in the Convention.99

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: John. P. Ferris / Paul Hunneyball


  • 1. W.W. MacDonald, Making of an Eng. Revolutionary, 14.
  • 2. Vis. Som. ed. Weaver, 66.
  • 3. Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.
  • 4. Hants RO, 57/M/75A/PR1 (ex inf. Conrad Russell).
  • 5. Geneal. Mag. ii. 363; S.R. Brett, John Pym, pp. xix, 247, 265.
  • 6. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 223; E214/1623.
  • 7. SC6/Jas.I/1648, 1655.
  • 8. AO1/2021/1A.
  • 9. SC6/Jas.I/1680-87.
  • 10. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 578; 1627-8, p. 84; R.W. Hoyle, ‘Disafforestation and Drainage’, Estates of the Eng. Crown ed. R.W. Hoyle, 373.
  • 11. C193/12/2, f. 52v.
  • 12. C181/4, f. 89; 181/5, p. 285.
  • 13. CSP Dom. 1631-3, p. 490; C231/5, f. 44.
  • 14. T. Rymer, Foedera, ix. pt. 2, p. 34.
  • 15. A. and O. i. 68.
  • 16. CSP Col. 1574-1660, pp. 122, 309.
  • 17. CJ, ii. 651.
  • 18. A. and O. i. 181.
  • 19. CJ, iii. 191.
  • 20. A. and O. i. 331-2.
  • 21. CJ, iii. 303.
  • 22. Clarendon, Hist. of the Rebellion ed. W.D. Macray, iii. 321-2.
  • 23. C. Russell, ‘Wardship of John Pym’, EHR, lxxxiv. 304, 307-8, 310-11; Brett, p. xvii; HP Commons, 1558-1603, iii. 265-6; WARD 9/157, ff. 84v-5; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 413.
  • 24. MacDonald, 15-16; Russell, ‘Wardship’, 306; E134/4 Chas.I/East. 25.
  • 25. C. Russell, ‘Parl. career of John Pym’ , Eng. Commonwealth ed. P. Clark, A.G.T. Smith and N. Tyacke, 148-9; Vis. Hants (Harl. Soc. lxiv), 84; Vis. Suss. (Harl. Soc. liii), 63; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 413.
  • 26. VCH Hants, iii. 296; CSP Dom. 1611-18, pp. 205, 243, 578; M. Prestwich, Cranfield, 335.
  • 27. E211/546C.
  • 28. CD 1621, iv. 62; C. Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 156.
  • 29. CJ, i. 524a; Nicholas, Procs. 1621, i. 51-2.
  • 30. CJ, i. 530a-b, 540a, 541b, 543b, 590a, 622a; CD 1621, iv. 110-11.
  • 31. CD 1621, iii. 30; Nicholas, i. 283; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 158; C.C.G. Tite, Impeachment and Parl. Judicature, 134.
  • 32. CJ, i. 586a; CD 1621, iii. 264, 353; iv. 361; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 158.
  • 33. CJ, i. 591a, 592b, 594b; Nicholas, i. 344.
  • 34. CJ, i. 550a, 631b-2a; CD 1621, iii. 331.
  • 35. CD 1621, iv. 192; CJ, i. 612a; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 148, 152.
  • 36. CJ, i. 602a; CD 1621, ii. 419; iii. 160; Nicholas, ii. 17.
  • 37. Nicholas, ii. 201; CD 1621, iv. 435; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 158.
  • 38. CJ, i. 644b; CD 1621, ii. 453; vi. 199; Nicholas, ii. 218-19.
  • 39. CD 1621, ii. 461-4; Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 412.
  • 40. CD 1621, iv. 441; vi. 337; CJ, i. 659a, 661a; Nicholas, ii. 297-8; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 156.
  • 41. Chamberlain Letters, ii. 418; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 157-8; Nicholas, ii. 230-41.
  • 42. APC, 1621-3, p. 199; HMC 4th Rep. 312-13, 305; HMC 7th Rep. 257.
  • 43. HMC 6th Rep. 549; SP16/521/177; D. Hirst, Representative of the People?, 198-9.
  • 44. Brett, xix; Bedford Estate Office, Letter Bk. 1, no.55; Oxford DNB sub Wheare; Russell, ‘Parl. Career’, 150; Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 344, 422; CP, ii. 78; iii. 127.
  • 45. CJ, i. 681b, 759a; ‘Spring 1624’, p. 21; ‘Hawarde 1624’, pp. 190-1.
  • 46. CJ, i. 716a; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 107v; Holles 1624, p. 14; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 158.
  • 47. ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 21; CJ, i. 673a, 674a-b, 692a, 700b, 714a, 748b, 757b, 770b.
  • 48. Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 155; ‘Pym 1624’, i. ff. 8v, 10v; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 35; CJ, i. 725a; T. Cogswell, Blessed Revolution, 176.
  • 49. Rich 1624, p. 44; ‘Spring 1624’, f. 128; ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 103v, 203v; Cogswell, 205-6.
  • 50. CJ, i. 692b, 694a, 704a, 754a; ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 21v, 62; ‘Earle 1624’, f. 109v; ‘Spring 1624’, p. 169.
  • 51. CJ, i. 704a, 705a, 714a, 715b, 788b; ‘Spring 1624’, p. 247.
  • 52. Procs. 1625, pp. 10, 13, 19-21.
  • 53. Ibid. 206, 215, 253, 277, 368.
  • 54. Ibid. 204-5, 228, 230.
  • 55. Ibid. 240, 242, 260, 274, 299; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 151.
  • 56. Procs. 1625, pp. 282, 297, 335.
  • 57. Ibid. 378, 418, 422, 424-6.
  • 58. Procs. 1626, ii. 12, 21, 41, 333; iii. 151, 407.
  • 59. Ibid. ii. 21, 32, 186, 281, 356; iii. 340.
  • 60. Ibid. ii. 14; iii. 175, 323, 332.
  • 61. Ibid. ii. 13, 34, 44, 159; iii. 329.
  • 62. Ibid. ii. 175-6, 321, 323; iii. 317.
  • 63. Ibid. ii. 200, 366-7; iii. 108, 414.
  • 64. Ibid. ii. 206; iii. 5-10, 98-9, 417.
  • 65. Ibid. ii. 97, 169, 171, 194-5; iii. 115; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 151, 153.
  • 66. Procs 1626, ii. 122, 214, 424; iii. 147, 156.
  • 67. Ibid. ii. 149, 204, 216, 228-9, 240, 263.
  • 68. Ibid. ii. 307, 315, 335, 397, 418, 423.
  • 69. Ibid. ii. 346, 441; iii. 41-2.
  • 70. Ibid. i. 470-1; iii. 140, 184, 235, 255, 278, 304-5; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 153; T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Chas. I, i. 103.
  • 71. Procs. 1626, iii. 354, 356, 377, 380, 384; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 161.
  • 72. Procs. 1626, iii. 392, 418, 434.
  • 73. Letter-Bk. of Sir John Eliot ed. A.B. Grosart, ii. 7-9; Eg. 2978, f. 14.
  • 74. SP16/521/177; E401/2586, p. 427; Hants RO, 44M69/64/1/33, 34, 36, 43, 48, 53, 60.
  • 75. H. Hulme, Sir John Eliot, 184; CD 1628, ii. 28.
  • 76. CD 1628, ii. 570; iv. 226, 332, 338; Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 151, 154.
  • 77. CD 1628, ii. 29; iii. 3, 376, 391; iv. 388.
  • 78. Ibid. ii. 403, 416, 446, 518; iii. 136, 154, 258.
  • 79. Ibid. ii. 30, 42, 89, 329; iii. 30.
  • 80. Ibid. ii. 169, 211; iii. 61, 64, 123, 593, 595, 600; iv. 424, 435; CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 198.
  • 81. CD 1628, iii. 131-2, 260, 344, 369, 469, 472; iv. 60.
  • 82. Ibid. iv. 237, 252, 298.
  • 83. Russell, ‘Parl. career’, 163; CD 1628, iii. 408, 410.
  • 84. CD 1628, iii. 404, 624; iv. 103-10, 613; S.R. Gardiner, Hist. of Eng. 1603-42, vi. 312.
  • 85. CD 1628, ii. 123, 129, 277, 281, 296.
  • 86. Ibid. ii. 367, 402; iii. 77.
  • 87. Ibid. iii. 98, 123, 264, 271.
  • 88. Ibid. iii. 277, 325, 387, 396-7, 494, 497 (in one ms, the 20 May speech on sovereign power is attributed to John or Hugh Pyne: iii. 496).
  • 89. Ibid. iii. 557-8, 594, 600, 611; iv. 140, 142-3.
  • 90. Ibid. iv. 178, 184, 237, 265, 410, 416.
  • 91. CD 1629, pp. 4-5; CJ, i. 920b.
  • 92. CJ, i. 921a; CD 1629, pp. 12-14; C. Thompson, ‘Divided Leadership of the House of Commons’, in Faction and Parl. ed. K. Sharpe, 258.
  • 93. CJ, i. 922b; CD 1629, pp. 20-1.
  • 94. CJ, i. 924a-b, 926b, 929a; Thompson, 258-9; CD 1629, pp. 39, 128, 133, 202
  • 95. CJ, i. 926b, 930a; CD 1629, p. 49; Thompson, 262.
  • 96. CJ, i. 930a; CD 1629, pp. 156-7, 160, 227.
  • 97. HMC 10th Rep. vi. 85; A.P. Newton, Colonising Activities of the Eng. Puritans, 71, 84, 170.
  • 98. HMC 3rd Rep. 84; HMC 4th Rep. 61; HMC Cowper, ii. 262, 272, 286; CSP Dom. 1640-1, p. 509; 1641-3, p. 177.
  • 99. CSP Dom. 1641-3, pp. 236, 504; MacDonald, 11-12; J.H. Hexter, Reign of King Pym, 199, 205-7; Ath. Ox. iii. 79.