AN ANSWER To a Paper, called, The Case of the Auditors and Receivers of His MAJESTY's Revenue.

WITH A Brief Description of the Antient Course of the EXCHEQƲER for bringing in the Crown-Revenues.

AS ALSO, Some Reasons wherefore the Augmentation-Revenue of the CROWN may be charged in the Great Roll of the Exchequer, and brought in by the SHERIFFS.

Humbly offered to Consideration.

LONDON, Printed by W. G. 1662.

A TABLE of the Contents.

  • THe Course held for the Crown Revenue before H. 3. time. pag. 1
  • How it shall be levyed. Magna Charta. pag. 4
  • How all Accomptants ought to be called to Account, and make payment. Stat. 51. H. 3. pag. 4
  • Establishment made 54. H. 3. suitable to the said Statute. pag. 4
  • Statute 10. E. 1. confirming the said Establishment with some Ad­ditions. pag. 5
  • How forreign Accompts were taken in all former times. pag. 5
  • How and by whom in what manner Tailes of the Exchequet ought to be allowed. pag. 6
  • How the Revenue is to be charged, and how discharges are made in the Great Roll. pag. 6
  • The Tenor of the Summons of the Exchequer. pag. 6
  • Tailes not being rejoyned shall be reputed as null. pag. 7
  • How lost Tailes shall be Innovated. pag. 7
  • The right use of the Tallies pag. 7
  • How the Sheriff not acquitting the Debtor shall be delt with. pag. 7
  • How the Clerk so offending shall be punished. pag. 7
  • The Authority of the great Roll. pag. 7
  • The Comptrolment Roll and the singular use thereof. pag. 8
  • Ingrosser, Comptroller, and Remembrancers Duties. pag. 9
  • The Antient established Comptrol, and how confirmed. pag. 9
  • Answers to the Auditors Objections. pag. 9
  • Many Accompts taken, but not ingrossed, and many imbezilled. 24 H. 7. pag. 10
  • Accompts of the demiseable Crown Lands to be delivered into the Pipe. Stat. 6. H. 8. pag. 10
  • Establishment made 38. H. 8. and confirmed 7. E. 6. pag. 10
  • Accompts to be ingrossed and delivered into the Augmentation Court. pag. 11
  • Auditors might take Copies thereof within their Circuits. pag. 11
  • [Page]Augmentation Court dissolved and annexed to the Exchequer. Stat. 1. Ma. pag. 11
  • Establishment then made by Authority of Parliament. pag. 12
  • Accompts to be yearly Ingrossed, declared and delivered into the Pipe, there to remain. pag. 12
  • Accompts of the Augmentation Revenue delivered by Mittimus to the Ingrosser. pag. 13
  • Auditors undue proceedings being no Officers of Record. pag. 14
  • In admitting and dismismissing Accomptants to and from their Ac­compts unsworn. pag. 15
  • In not suffering the Accomptants Tailes to be rejoyned. pag. 15
  • In not Ingrossing, not Declaring, and not delivering up those Ac­compts they have taken. pag. 15
  • Many Supers and Debts have thereby long time depended, to the prejudice of Prince and People. pag. 15
  • Many rents have been and are omitted to be charged. pag. 15
  • One Accompt in the great Roll, will comprehend 100 Accompts now taken by the Auditors. pag. 17
  • Five times more brought in yearly by the Summons then by all other the Processe of the Exchequer. pag. 18
  • How the Statute 51. H. 3. hath been and is observed. pag. 18
  • Answers to the Mischiefs objected. pag. 19
  • H. 6. Writ proving Sheriffs the only useful Receivers. pag. 21
  • The Lords of the Councell report therein. pag. 22
  • Sir R. Cottons Learned advice. pag. 25

The Antient Course OF The EXCHEQUER.

THAT by the antient Establish­ment and Ordinances of the Ex­cheques, and by the Statutes of this Realm, all the Revenues of the Crown of England, both Cer­tain and Casual, within the Go­vernment, Rule, and Survey of the Court of Exchequer, from the time of King Stephen, until about the 25. year of Queen Elizabeth, were yearly drawn down from the Offices of the Remembrancers there, and were charged in the great Roll of the said Court by the Ingrosser of the said great Roll, according to his Oath in that behalf, which in antient times was done thus.

All the Farm Rents,In Libro Nigr Scac. In Mag. Rot. Scac. in tem­poribus R. Steph. H. 2. Rich. 1. & Reg. Johan. with the Issues and Profits of the Antient Demeasn and Escheat Lands of the Crown arising within every County, were charged in the said great Roll in one entire Body, called, Firma Comitatus, and under one gross sum for the whole, the Particulars whereof were contained in another distinct Roll for that purpose. And the Sheriff of each County (who antiently were Earls in diverse Counties, and sometimes the King's Eldest Son, for so Prince Edward, the Son of Hen. 3. for the Counties of Bedford and Bucks, for di­verse years together, in the time of his Father's Reign) was charged to answer the same at the Exchequer of Easter, and at the Exchequer of Michaelmas yearly; [Page 4]and if the Sheriff failed to appear at his prefix'd day to be sworn to his Accompt, he forfeited for every days failer C s. But if after his being sworn to Accompt, he departed (not having finished the same) without Li­cense of the Court, his Lands and Goods were to be seized into the Kings hands, and the Issues and Profits thereof were to be answered, without any deduction to be had for the same upon his accompt.

Afterwards King Hen. 3. (who Reigned almost an old mans age) being no doubt well acquainted, as well with the Accompts of the Crown-Revenues which were made in his own, his Fathers, his Uncles, and his Grand-fathers time, which are safely preserved without blemish to this day. As also with those special Dialogues which Gervasiuc Tilburiensis had Penned and Dedicated to his Grand-father King Hen. 2. in the twentieth year of his Reign, touching the Original Institution and Dignity of the Exchequer Court, and the singular use of which the Authentick great Roll and Tailes of that Court were, as well for bringing all the Revenue under one due Cheque and Controll, as for the Subjects Discharge: And not unmindful of the Statutes (which himself had made) of Magna Charta, and of the Statute of the Ex­chequer in the 51 year of his Reign, did by and with the advice and consent of his Great Council (to wit, his Brother Richard King of the Romans, Walter Archbishop of York, Geoffrey Bishop of Worcester, Prince Edward the King's Son, who succeeded his Father in Government; William de Valencia the Kings Brother, Roger de Mortuo, Mari, Philip Basset, Henry de Allen, Robert Aquylin, Albert Wallerand, and other great men who were of the King's Council) establish and provide a certain form (sutable to the said Statute of the 51 of Henry the 3 d. to be from thence held in writing the said Great Roll, wherein the Bodies of the Counties (called in the Roll Firma [Page 5]Comitatuum, which consisted, as before hath been shewn, of the antient Demeasn and Escheat Lands and Rents of the Crown, and amounted unto 10700 l. per Annum) were to be written: afterwards the Sheriffs was to be charged with the Farm of the Profits of the County. Next that was to be written all Farms, as well the greater as the lesser, and all determined Debts likewise, all great Debts, and other known Debts unto the Title in the said Roll of Nova Oblata, (which distinguisheth the new Farms and Debts from the old) and after that Title was to be written, all Debts contained in the Ori­ginals, as well great as little, wherewith the Sheriffs were charged by their Answers or Returns. The said word Originalls signifying the Records, Extracts, In­quisitions, Seisures, and Certificates, delivered to, or remaining in, the Remembrancers Offices of the Ex­chequer, which form (being no other in substance than what was before that time observed in writing the said great Roll) was afterwards confirmed by Statute 10 E. 1. with some additions, which hath been constantly held, and so is at this day; and the Remainder of those antient forms of Counties are now in charge, and consist of many small Vicounted Rents of sundry natures.

And furthermore all yearly, forein,Lib. Rub. Scac. p. 279. cap. 3.6, 7, 8. Ib. p. 287. cap. 1, 2, 3. and other Ac­compts of Escheaters, Receivers, Collectors, Guardians, Customers, and other Accomptants whatsoever, taken by the Autitors of the said Court, of, and for any branch of the said Revenues, whether Certain or Casual, were an­tiently Ingrossed in Parchment, and declared before the Treasurer and Barons of the said Court, or some of them; and being so declared, the particulars thereof were deli­vered into the Kings Remembrancers Office to be there safely kept for the use of the Crown; & the said Accompts were briefly entred in the Rolls of States and views of Ac­compts in the Remembrancers Offices, and were imme­diately [Page 6]after delivered to the said Ingrosser, to be by him, after full Examination (all things proving clear) Ingrossed and charged, and the Debts and Supers there­in contained, set forth in the said Roll.

And by the course of the Court, no Talley ought to be allowed untill it be first rejoyned and tryed with its Counterfoile, by the Deputy Chamberlains before the Barons in open Court, and the Deputy Chamberlains are sworn to deliver the Taile (proving true) immediately to the Ingrosser of the great Roll, who likewise is sworn to make present allowance thereof, which is done in great Letters, by digesting the Substance thereof in writing in the Roll, as antient Establishment hath ordained.

Nothing is charged in this Roll, but from the original Records remaining with the Remembraners, and what is charged in the great Roll, is no ways dischargeable, but by the Kings Letters Patents or Writs, under the Great Seal or Privy Seal, or else by judgement of Court; And every Rent and Debt thus charged, is according to Magna Charta cap. 8. first written forth in the Summons of the Exchequer, directed to the Sheriffs, half yearly to be levyed, who by the Statute of the Exchequer, 51. H. 3. are to answer so much thereof as is thereby levi­able at the Proffer; or else upon finishing his accompt; and that the Summons of the Exchequer is no weak pro­cesse, as the Gentlemen in their Case have set forth, will appear by the ensuing Tenor thereof, as Gervasius Tilbu. riensis hath it in the said Dialogues under this Title; Unde fiunt Summonicones Scaccariiss. Henricus Rex Anglorum illi vel illi vic. Salutem vide sicut teipsum & omnia tua diligis quod sis ad Scaccarium ibi vel ibi in Cro. Sci. Michael vel in Cro. Clausi Pasche & habeas tecum ibi quicquid debes de ve­teri firma vel nova & nominatim haec debita Subscripta de ill. X. marc pro hac causa & sic deinceps annotatis debitis illic seriatim cum causis que in Major Annal. Rot. continentur [Page 7]proferuntur minores quoque perambulantium Judicum Rot. ex quibus excipiuntur quae in singul. Com. Domino Regi labore, & industria ipsorum, & hiis taxatis a majoribus in Summo­nitionibus annotantur quibus per ordinem digestis terminatur Summonico per haec verba; Et haec tecum habeas in Denariis, & Brevibus, & Taliis, & Quietanciis vel capientur de firma tua Teste illo vel illo ibi ad Scaccarium.

And those who will not deliver their Tailes to be al­lowed,Stat. 10. E. 1. shall be answerable for the whole Debt they had paid, and their Tailes shall be reputed for Null.

And by an Establishment made Ann. 14. E. 1. It was provided for the Indempnity of King and Subject, that when any Taile of the Exchequer happened to be lost (necessity urging the same to be innovated) the foyle or Counterpart thereof should be damned, and that new Tailes should be made as in times then past in such cases had been accustomed to be done; which course hath ever since continued, as witnesseth the Rolls thereof remain­ing in the Tailey Court in the Lower Chequer.

And this point hath been the longer insisted upon, because that the very life blood of the Exchequer lies as it were wrapt up in the due and right use of the Tailes of the Exchequer, being the chief heart-strings of the said Court, for bringing the whole Revenue under one certain Check and Comptroll, which of late years hath been much infringed, as will hereafter be shewen, and which hath ushered in a hundred inconveniences to the no little prejudice of the Crown and the Subject, as may easily be made to appear.

And the Sheriff that shall not acquit the Debtors of the Moneys which he hath received upon his next Ac­compt,Stat. westm. 1. E. 1. cap. and be thereof attained, shall pay the Plaintiff thrice as much as he received, and make Fine at the Kings pleasure.

The writing of this Roll is to be in Great Letters,Lib. Nigr. Scci. Jervas. Tilbur. and [Page 8]the Authority of the same is such, That if by chance the Inggrosser thereof fortune to mistake in writing the same, either in Name, Number or Cause, wherein the Greatest force of the writing consisteth, he may not pre­sume to scrape it out, but by drawing a small line under­neath it, Cancel it, and write in order what is requisite, for the writing of the said Roll hath the same Priviledge, with Charters and other Letters Patents, and may not be raised or scraped.

The aforesaid great Roll hath always had a particular Comptroller established over it,The Comp­trolment Roll. who writeth and keepeth yearly a Counter Roll or Comptrollment Roll of the said great Roll, and of every particular Branch of the Reve­nues therein charged; And also of all Discharges and Allowances therein made, and writeth forth processe from the said Great Roll, every Hillary and Trinity Term yearly, directed to the Sheriff or Sheriffs of every County and City, and Town made County, for levying the Re­venues therein charged:The Duty of the Ingrosser and Comptro­ler. And the Ingrosser (together with the said Comptroller) attend the Barons at all Ap­posals, upon return of processe, and urge the speedy an­swering of the said Revenues, and enter the Awards of the Court in the said Rolls, charging the Sheriff in great letters with whatsoever he is to be charged; and dischar­ging all Farmors and Debtors in the said great Roll, and Comptrolment Roll, of all such monies, as Sheriffs an­swer upon Accompt, without their further charges and trouble; And all Debts and Sums of monies continuing charged in the great Roll, as not being answered upon the Summons of the Exchequer, are immediately scheduled to and written out in processe of Extent by the Re­membrancers; and also all Debts,Stat. 37. E. 3. cap. 4. Inquisitions and Sei­zures of Lands, which were discharged by Judgement of Court, or Grants from the Crown in the said Re­membrancers, offices, are acquitted in the said great Roll, [Page 9]and the Debts paid and answered in the great Roll are discharged in the said Remembrancers Offices.

All dead Farms and desperate Debts,Stat. 10. E. 1 whereof there is no hopes, are removed out of the said great Roll, and written in another Roll for that purpose Ordained, called the Exannual Roll: But are continued in yearly processe to be levyed; and such of those Debts as the Sheriffs answer or become revived, are written again in the said great Roll, and there paid or discharged.

And it is lawful for the said Comptroller,Lib. nig. Sccii. G. T. to admonish the said Ingrosser what he ought to amend: But if he persist and will not alter what is done amisse, he may call him before the Barons, that by them may be determined what is fitting to be done; for the said great Roll may not be altered, but by the common consent of all the Ba­rons, whilest the Exchequer sitteth.

And agreeable hereunto are these several subsequent Statutes; viz. The Statute of Westminster 1. 3. E. 1. cap. 19. Statute of Rutland 10 E. 1. The Articles of the Exchequer, made An. 16 E. 2. The Ordinance of the Exchequer, made An. 19. E. 2. Stat. 37. E. 3. cap. 4. Stat. 1. R. 2. cap. 5. Stat. 5. R. 2. cap. 14. Stat. 6. H. 4. cap. 3 Stat. 34 & 35 H. 8 cap. 16. Stat. 2. F. 6. cap. 4. Stat. 1. Ma. cap. 10. Stat. 21. Jac. cap. 5. and that of 8 Aug. 1649. for the Customes and Navy Accompts, cum multis aliis.


The Gent. Penners of the Auditors and Receivers Case, the better to countenance some of their former and irregular proceedings, cite 3 Acts of Parliament. The first of those 3 Acts they cite was Ann. 6. H. 8. (which expired An. 14. H. 8) they say that in the pre­amble thereof there is mention of great pressures upon the Subjects from the Officers of the Pipe: Where in truth there are no such words in the said preamble, but [Page 10]contrarywise it is there mentioned that divers Receivers Accompts which had been take before 24. H. 7. were then not Ingrossed, and others imbeziled and miscarry­ed; by reason whereof both the Receivers and Kings Tenants were Subject to great Vexations in the Exche­quer; and therefore and for some other causes, it was provided by that Act, that all Accompts to be after­wards taken of that Revenue, should be yearly ingrossed in Parchment, and delivered to the Barons to be entred with the Remembrancers, and filed in the Pipe, there (by the express letter of the Act) to remain of Record perpetually, as well for the Kings security as for the cleer discharge of the Accomptants, their Heirs and Ex­ecutors for ever, which was accordingly done, as by the very Accomps so taken (yet remaining of Record in the Pipe) may appear; and the very like provision was again enacted in the subsequent Act made Ann. 14. H. 8. touching the Accompts of that Revenue made before the Surveyors general of the said Kings demiseable lands, for they had not above 2 or 3 Fee-farm Rents within their Survey.

2.Stat. 7. E. 6. The second Act cited is 7. E. 6. cap. 1. & 2. which the Auditors say they have observed all along to this day (which if they had, the Crown had been much better ser­ved, and the Subject freed from Many great Grievances and Inconveniencies as shall be shewn; For though the first Chapter of that Act hath a prospect onely, providing how and when the Receivers and Bailiffs should pay their Moneys, and perfect their Accompts, upon pain of for­feiture of their Offices and Fees: And providing likewise that the Auditors taking the accompts, shall not refuse, extract or delay the taking their accompts so as they may be dispatched in due time, upon pain of Forfeiture of their Offices and Fees, also Inabling the Receivers and Bailiffs to Distrein for the Rents arrear, and Impowering the [Page 11]Barons to Amerce Sheriffs for neglects and contempts: Yet the second Chapter of the said Act hath not onely a Prospect, but likewise a Retrospect, confirming the Letters Patents made by King H. 8. in the 38. year of His Reign, and all and every thing and Article therein contained, as if the same had been done by Act of Par­liament; by which he dissolved the Courts of general Surveyors, and the Court of the Augmentations, and erected thereof one other new Court, called the Court of Augmentation and Revenues of the Kings Crown; and thereby did ordain, that the Recievers should accompt upon Oath yearly, and that their Accompts should be yearly ingrossed in Parchment by the Auditors; and that the Keeper of the Records of that Court, should have the keeping thereof after they should be ingrossed; and that only the Clerk of the said Court, should make the Copies and Constats of the same, and that the Auditors and their Deputies, when, and as often as they should have necessity, to have accesse to the Accompts of their Circuit, might make Copies out of the same, as often, and when necessity required. And furthermmore it was thereby enacted, That the said King E. 6. might at any time during his life, dissolve as well the said Courts, as also the Courts of first Fruites and Tenths, and the Courts of the Dutchy of Lancaster.

The third and last Act vouched,St. 1 M. c. 10. is 1 Ma. But they set not forth the effect thereof, which had they done, they must have shewn that the said Queen was thereby impowred to dissolve and determine every of the last be­fore mentioned Courts, and to unite and annexe the the same to any other of her Courts of Record, as if the same had been done by Act of Parliament; PRO­VIDED, That if she should annexe the said Courts or any of them unto her Court of Exchequer, That then all things within the Survey of the said Courts so annexed, [Page 12]should be ordered in like manner, to all intents, as the said Court of the Exchequer there, was, or ought to be by the Common Laws and Statutes of this Realm: By vigour and authority of which Act,Recited in the St. 1. Eliz. c. 4. the said Queen by 4 several Letters Patents under the great Seal, whereof 2 dated the 23. the other the 24 days of January in the first year of her Reign, did not only dissolve the said Courts of Augmentations, and of first Fruits and Tenths, and the Jurisdiction and authority thereof: But also did annexe the same Courts so dissolved, to the said Court of Exchequer, there to be and continue as a Member, and parcel of the said Court of Exchequer, and did ap­point all the Revenues then answerable in the said late Count of Augmentations, to the Order and Govern­ment of the said Court of Exchequer, in such manner and form as was then used, and had of other her High­nesse lands then in the Order and Governance of the said Court of Exchequer. AND FURTHERMORE it was ex­presly provided, ordained, and established, by the said late Queen, in a certain Schedule, signed with her Highness hands to the said Letters Patents annexed. inter all.

That all Crown Rents,Article. 1. &c. within the Survey of the Augmentations and Revenues of the Queen, should be received and levyed by the Sheriff of every County, where the same did lye or by any other person or persons that the Treasurer or the Court should appoint.

That the Accomptants for the said Augmentation Re­venne,Article. 8. should appear in the Exchequer in every Hillary Term, and be swom to their Accounts for the year en­ded at Michaelmas before, and make and finish the same Accompts before the 24. day of February then next fol­lowing.

That the Auditors taking the same should deliver the same yearly Accompts ingrossed in Parchment,Article. 9. authorized & allowed by the hands subscribed of the Lord Treasurer, [Page 13]Chancellor, Under-Treasurer, and Barons of the said Ex­chequer, or by three of them at the least, whereof the Lord Treasurer or Vice-Treasurer to be one, into the Office of the Pipe, within the said Court of Exchequer, before the 20 day of March then next following, SO as further Process might be thereupon made, if the case should so require.

That the said Accompts should remain in the charge the said Clerk of the Pipe.ArtIc. 15.

And it was also thereby further established and or­dained,Artic. 13. that all Accompts, and Declarations of Ac­compts, which then were in the said dissolved Court of Augmentations, should be and remain in the charge of the said Clerk of the Pipe in the Exchequer, in such place as the Treasurer and the said Court should appoint.Artic. 22.

And for that the order, establishment, and uniting of this Court be perfectly established with exercise, proof, and experience of the same, the Queens Highness is pleased, that the Lord Treasurer and the said Court of Exchequer should have full power and authority from time to time, to amend, reform, and correct any clause or article aforesaid, and to add to, or diminish any thing that shall be found necessary for the amendment of the same; and to make such further orders from time to time as to the Court shall be thought expedient. And up­on this weak foundation and pillar is the whole Fabrick and Superstructure of the Auditors erected.

And shortly after, all the Accompts of the said Courts of Augmentation and General Surveyors, were sent by Writ of Mittimus to the Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer, and delivered unto the then Clark of the Pipe; and diverse other like Accompts of the said Reve­nue taken by the Auditors of the Exchepuer for diverse years since, were afterwards delivered unto one John Wooly Eschequer-Clark of the Pipe, to whom the late [Page 14]Queen Elizabeth by her Letters Pattents under the Great Seal, in or about the 25 year of her Reign, granted the Office of keeping of all the Accompts, as well of Mini­sters as of Receivers, and of all other Accomptants what­soever in the Exchequer of the said Queen, her Heirs and Successors accomptable. All which Accompts so delivered (though few in number to what they ought to be) came by succession to the now Ingrosser of the said great Roll, and are remaining in his charge and safe custody, kept by themselves in a large publick noted room, as the Law requireth, commonly called, The Aug­mentation-Office in the Exchequer at Westminster, by force of the afore-said Statute and Letters Pattents, Anno prime Mariae, and of the Articles and Ordinances of An­nexation thereupon made, and also of certain other Let­ters Patents under the Great Seal of England in that be­half made and granted by the late King CHARLES to the now Ingrosser.

By all which it plainly appears, that none who were Auditors, either of the late Court of Augmentations, late Court of General Surveyors of the Kings Lands, or of the Court of Exchequer, were ever thought fit to be entrusted by any known Laws with the keeping of any of the Accompts of the Revenues of the Crown; it be­ing most improper for any to have the custody of Ac­compts taken in the Exchequer, who are no Officers of Record, nor can issue out Process, nor give any Legal Discharge thereupon.

And yet notwithstanding all the said establish'd Laws,The Auditors undue pro­ceedings. Ordinances, and Letters Patents, divers of the former and now Auditors of the said Exchequer, who took the Accompts of the said Augmentation-Revenues, have de­tained above nine parts of ten parts of the ingrossed and declared Accompts of the same Revenue, taken by them and their predecessors since prima Mariae, with the Tallies [Page 15]thereupon, and refuse, protract, and delay to bring them to the view of the said Remembrancrs Clark of the Pipe, and Comptroller, and Deputy Chamberlains, whereby they might be comptrolled, but have and do detain them in their own private custodies, as if they were their own Evidences, and have given the Accomp­tants before their appearing yearly in the Exchequer to be sworn to their Accompts, or that their said Accompts and Tallies were comptrolled, insignificant Discharges, and forced them tot ake Duplicates of their whole Ac­compts, because they were no way impowered to give them Quietus ests; and by this usurpation have not onely kept many thousands of considerable Debts for many years together out of Process, until they became pardon'd by the former and the late Acts of General Pardon; but through their neglects diverse hundreds of Fee-farm Rents, reserved payable to the Bailiff or Re­ceivers (onely accomptable before them) upon sundry Letters Pattents granted since 20 Eliz. (for all Rents of Monastery Lands from 1 Mar. until about that time, were reserved payable, ad Receptum Scaccarii tantum, and charged in the great Roll) have not been, nor are yet put in charge, to the great prejudice of the Crown: the which their remisness hath occasioned many inconvenien­cies; as first, their not ingrossing in Parchment many yearly Accompts, taken of Receivers, Collectors, and Bailiffs: Secondly, their not declaring diverse of those yearly Ac­counts they have ingrossed in Parchment before the Lord Treasurer, Chancellor, and Barons, as the Articles of Union and Annexation enjoyneth for many years together, so as no Process could be issued in due time, to recover the Debts and Supers therein. In every of which particulars they have wilfully failed, quite contrary to the Articles of Union and Annexation, which by the Statute of 1 Mar. are of like authority as if the same had [Page 16]bin established by Act of Parliament) and to the no little dissatisfaction to most people in England, who have had any urgent occasions to resort for matter of Record, Evidence, or Satisfaction to the said accompts, which now lye confused and dispersed, which hath been, and may prove, not onely hazardous to the Crown, but to the Subjects, in evidencing their just Title, Contrary to the true intent and meaning of the common Laws and Sta­tutes of this Realm, and the Tenor of the aforesaid Let­ters Patents of Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, King James, and the late King Charls, granted to the successive in­grossers of the great annual Rolls of the Exchequer.

An Answer to the Objected Mischiefs which will ensue, as to His Majesty's Advantage, and the Subjects In­terest, in case the Bill now under Consideration should take Effect.

Object. 1 THat the Revenue will be thereby taken from the View and Control of the Lord Treasurer, Chancellor, and Barons of the Exchequer, and put into the manegery of the Pipe, without any Control.

Answ. If it shall be thought fit that the Revenue, now in the managery of the Auditors and Receivers, which con­sists chiefly of Fee-farm Rents, Tenths, perpetual Pen­tions, and other dry Rents, which are no ways improve­able, as well of divers antient Demeasn and Escheat Lands of the Crown, and Forrest-Lands, Bishops Lands, and other Lands gotten by Exchange, and Lands [Page 17]that came by Attainder or Purchase, that were long time together accompted for in the great Roll; as also of Monastery and Chantry Lands, shall be charged in the great Roll, then not only those Rents, but also all other Rents, now charged in the said great Roll, being once particularly and distinctly charged in the Roll, with­in every Hundred and Division out of which they are is­suing; and that the same be declared before the Lord Treasurer, Chancellor, Under-Treasurer, and Barons, and be computed and cast up in one entire sum within every division, and the Sum Total of the whole certain Revenues in every County be ingrossed in the Roll (which may be exactly performed within the Compasse of one year) then the true state of the said Revenue both in point of charge and discharge, will come more certainly entirely and readily, to the view and Comptroll of the aforesaid Supreme Officers of the Court in one accompt within every County, then it hath at any time heretofore in hundreds of accompts done, and be under the antient Comptroll of all the aforesaid chief ministerial Officers of the said Court, intrusted for and under them, and will be brought in according to law, and the ac­compts thereof will be ingrossed, heard, and deter­mined in a judicial way, and no part thereof discharged but by judgement of Court, or by the Kings Letters Pa­tents or Writs, under the Great or Privy Seal.

Object. 2 That the Summons of the Pipe is a weak processe, and that Debts are not Scheduled in a year or two for stronger pro­cesse to be thereupon made, and that the Usage and Course of the Exchequer ever have been and are repugnant to the Sta­tute 51 H. 3.

Answ. The Summons of the Pipe is no weak processe,as is unadvisedly Asserted, for it transcends all other com­mands in any of the Kings Writs, for enjoyning the She­riffs to the performance of what is therein required, and [Page 18]there hath ever been five times more money yearly levi­ed and answered upon this processe, then upon all other the processe of the Court, and it ought to be the first processe for levying the Kings Debts, unless the Supreme Officers of the Court, do for some extraordinary cause, order that process of extent should issue; and Debts not answered upon the Summons are forthwith put into the Schedula Pipe, and sent to the Remembrancer for stronger processe.

And the constant usage, practice, and course of the Exchequer, hath always been, and yet is agreeable to the Statute of 51 H. 3. varying in this point, only that of late years (when the Crown Revenues within the Sheriffs Collection was much impaired) the Cursitour Baron (who was introduced but in the time of E. 2. in ease to the other Barons) hath performed that Service at the Sheriffs Proffers, Apposals, and dismission out of Court, which before was Enacted to be performed be­fore the Treasurer, Chancellor, and Barons, and is no ways repugnant thereunto, as the Auditors have missug­gested.

Object. 3 That the Allowance to Sheriffs for levying the Revenue will exceed the present charge.

Answ. If the Wisdome of Parliament shall think fit that His Majesty give some reasonable Allowance for levying this Revenue, (the charge of the accompt being to be paid by Sheriffs) this will come far short of the great charge the Crown is at, by Auditors, Receivers, Collectors, Stewards, Bailiffs, Wood-wards, Messengers, &c. which (as the Learned Author Sir Robert Cotton in his Book called Cottoni Posthuma pag. 181. amongst other things well observes) amounted to above 12000. l. per Annum.

Object. 4 The hazzard by Failer by Sheriffs cannot be lesse then by Receivers.

Answ. It is notoriously known how many Receivers in the time of Queen Elizabeth, King James, and the late King Charles, have failed for very great Sums of mony, which were either never paid or else not paid at such a rate per annum as the Interest amounted unto, but it cannot be proved that ever any one Sheriff failed in that kind.

Object. 5 That the Crown is like to be at losse by arbitrary allowances subject to no Comptroll.

Answ. The Crown is neither like to be (nor indeed can be) at any losse by arbitrary allowances in the Sheriffs ac­compts, subject to no Comptroll (as is very absurdly suggested;) First, because no allowance or discharge is there made, but by Warrant of the Lord Treasurer, or Chancellor, or by virtue of the Kings Writs, or judge­ment of Court as aforesaid. Secondly, by reason the said Accompt must be under the antient due and legall Comptrollment before set forth and mentioned.

An Answer to the Mischefs objected as to the Subject.

Object. 1 THe Sheriff will be at excessive Charge and Trouble in giving Security.

Anse. The Sheriffs trouble to give security for every 100 l. will easily be provided for by the wisdome of Parliament: For the Sheriff being chosen every year per Magnates & Proveres regni, are persons of quality and solvent Estate, within their own Counties and usually elsewhere. And a Recognizance (if there were no other security) makes all the Sheriffs Estate lyable: Beside, if provision be made that every Tenant and Farmor that payes 50. l. rent and upwards, may pay his Rent half-yearly into the Receipt, much of the Security will be taken off.

Object. 2 The taking off the Sheriffs charge will be expensive.

Answ. The Expence of taking his charge yearly from the Pipe for this whole Revenue will be very inconsiderably more then the usual Fees formerly paid for the Revenue now in charge there.

Object. 3 So will the yearly Rentall prescribed by the Act.

Answ. If the Sheriff make the Rentall himself (as he may if he please) the Charge will be nothing.

Object. 4 The Burthen of passing the Sheriffs Account, and Quie­tus will be insupportable.

Answ. The Accompt will be very little longer, and the bur­then and trouble in passing the same much lesse then for­merly, when the Forreign accompt of Seizures was in use.

Object. 5 It will be a great trouble to the Sheriff to collect so many small Rents dispersed, within the time of his office.

Answ. If the several small Rents be collected by the petty Constables in every Parish, and by them paid to the High Constables of every Hundred, and by the High Constables paid over to the Sheriff, the Rents will be much better and easier collected and paid, then hereto­fore, without any trouble to the Sheriff.

Object. 6 The Sheriff endangered by entring into Recognisance.

Answ. The Sheriff having finished his Accompt the Recogni­sance is of no manner of force, whereby to endanger him or his Security, or their Posterity.

Object. 7 If a proportionable Reward be allowed to the Sheriff for le­vying the Revenue, it takes away the Bread from the Audi­tors and Receivers and casts it to the Sheriff.

Answ. The reward will be proportioned to the Sheriff, by the wisdome of the Parliament. But in what sense this may be a taking away the Auditors bread who are the Kings Servants, and casting it to the Sheriff, is not understood. Indeed, the greatest reward the Sheriff is like to have, will prove but as the Crums of those Numerous and libe­ral allowances made to Auditors, Receivers, &c.

Object. 8 His Majesties Farmors and Tenants will be sore vexed and burthened in double payments for levying, and discharge in the Great Roll.

Answ. His Majesties Farmers and Tenants will be by the course of the Exchequer clearly and absolutely discharged at the years end upon Record in the Great Roll of all such moneys as they pay to the Sheriff, without any man­ner of vexation trouble or charge for the same.

Object. 9 That the Auditors and Receivers will be divested of their Rights and Freeholds.

Answ. It is hoped they will be had in consideration (if any alteration be) by the wisdome and Justice of Parliament.

Now to prove that the Sheriffs have alwayes anciently been the only Receivers of the Crown Revenues and other Receivers avoyded as needlesse and unprofitable, there needs no other proof to make it unquesti­onable, but that one Writ of 16. Hen. 6. directed to the Treasurer and Barons of the Exchequer, which was seconded by an Act of Councell in the time of Queen Mary.

The tenor of the said Writ anno 16. Hen. 6.

Henricus Dei gratia Rex, &c.
Thess. & Baron. de Scaccar. salutem.

King Hen. 6. Writ. Cum monstratum sit nobis qualiter dilectus nostr. Robertus Whittingham Chivaler hab. officium Receptoris generalis omnium terr. &c. que fuerunt Iohannis nuper Du­cis Bedford. Avunc. nostri carissimi defunct. & quod officium predict. non est ad commodum nostrum, quia vadia & feoda quae ea de causa de nobis percepta sunt possunt bene fore omissa. Et quod Vicecomites nostri possunt bene levare Revenciones in manibus nestris existen prout fuit ante hoc tempus. Ideo vobis mandamus quod dictum Robertum exoneretis ab officio pre­dicto, &c.

By which it appears that this one extraordinary Recei­ver [Page 22]in the time of King Hen. 6. was deemed a burthen and unnecessary charge to the Crown, and therefore ac­cording to the constant course of the Exchequer, thought fit to be discharged of his Receipts, and the same to be transferred to the Sheriffes, prout fuit ante hoc tempus, which was so done accordingly.

The like we shall find in the third and fourth year of King Philip and Queen Mary, in a report made to their Majesties by the then Lords of the Councell, upon some question (after the annexation of the Court of augmen­tations to the Exchequer) whether the Sheriffs or Receivors were the fittest. Ministers for receiving the Rents and Revenues of the Crown; and whether the Dutchy Court of Lancaster ought not to be annexed to the Exchequer, and all Mannors to be demised in grosse with their casual­ties at a certain Rent, for cutting off all superfluous ex­penses.

The Report is as followeth.

SVmus in priori opinione,The Report to King Philip and Queen Mary. quod Vicecomes sit maxime ido­neus qui recipiat annuos ridditus vestrarum Majestatum infra limites suorum officiorum, & de illis respondeat vestris Majestatibus.

Et ad id quod dicitur Vicecomites male jam respondere de iis quae eorum fidei committunter putemus id eo fieri, vel quia officiarii Scaccarii non urgeant neque instent prout eorum offi­cii est, vel quia ab initio male eliguntur: Et utri (que) huic malo facillime succuritur si Visecomites bene Eligantur.

Et quod Vicecomites sint ad hanc rem maxime idon ei, movemur iis rationibus quae sequuntur.

Vetera exempla hujus regni cum optime & cum maximo honore regeretur ostendunt quod omnes annui redditus coram solvebantur per Vicecomites.

Nec putamus quod Vicecomites (presertim si bene eligan­tur) erunt tam tardi in pecuniis solvendis computisve redaen­dis, quam Receptores & sunt & semper hactenus fuerunt.

Vicecomites (quorum officium annuum est) & annuatim computa reddunt, non possunt celare pecunias vestrarum Maje­statum quemadmodum Receptores solent.

Receptores enim (quorum officium perpetuum est) debita prioris anni solvunt ex redditibus sequentis, quae fraus vita­bitur si Vicecomites perficiantur huic Cure: ac etiam annue expense quae nunc fiunt pro multis officiariis cessabunt.

Visecomites eliguntur de honestioribus, Equitibus, sive Generosis singulorum Comitatum: Receptores sunt plerun (que) ho­mines nullius estimationis.

Vicecomites Eliguntur annuatim per vestras Majestates ex consensu Magnatum & Judicum Regni: Receptores autem as­sumuntur per privatos favores amicorum.

Sumus etiam in priori opinione quod terrae & possessiones Ducatus Lancastriae, possunt bene reduci ad Scaccarium: Et quod fieri potest salvis etiam omnibus Colonis sive tenentibus dict. Ducatus, suis libertatibus, privilegiis & consuetudinibus quibus omnibus frui & gaudere possunt, Coloni & Tenentes predicti, non minus integre in Scaccario, quam nunc fruuntur in Curia Ducatus, & ad hanc opinionem movemur iis ratio­nibus.

Annue expense quae fiunt pro multis Officiariis Ducatus cessabunt.

Terrae & possessiones Ducatus Lancastriae, cum sint in mul­tis & seperatis Comitatibus possunt earum possessionem annui redditus per Com illorum Vicecometes uno labore colligi simul cum aliis redditibus.

Cum Ducatus Lancastriae jam descenderit ad Reginam una­cum Corona, non videmus quare non debeant ejusdem Ducatus terrae & possession. gubernare in Scaccario quemadmodum pos­sessiones Principat. Walliae, Ducatus Cornub. Eboraci, & eo­rum consilium.

Nobis etiam non videtur praejudiciale sed valde utile vestris Majestatibus quod Maneria & cum illis omnia casualia locen­tur ad firmam, reservatis Boscis, Wardis, Maritagiis, Miner. [Page 24]& Advocationibus Ecclesiarum.

Idem quo (que) putamus de sylvis ceduis quos subboscos dixi­mus, quos utile putamus ad firmam dimittere & movemur ad hanc opinionem iis rationibus.

Si locentur Maneria atque omnium aliorium generum terrae & possessiones cum casualibus & subboscis annui redditus ve­strarum Majestatum erunt certi qui nunc incerti sunt.

Annui sumptus reparationem Senescallorum eorum qui Ne­mora custodiunt, & multorum aliorum officiar. cessabunt.

Multi annui redditus, & multa servicia, quae nunc partim, dolo malo, partim, negligentia Senescallorum Balliorum & a­liorum officiar. non exiguntur et ita paulatim pereunt: semper solventur cum firmarii & propter privatum lucrum suum, & propter obligationem qua tenebuntur diligentius illa curabunt.

Miseri Coloni, sive pauperiores tenentes quibus variis arti­bus extorquentur pecuniae tam per officiarios quam per eorum famulos, honestius tractabuntur si dicta Maneria cum casuali­bus & sylve cedue dentur ad Firmam honestis viris.

Lucra etiam illa quae ex casualibus & subboscis proveniunt, & nunc malis artibus extorquentur per Officiarios, venient directe ad usum vestrarum Majestatum, atque id sine ullo prae­judicio pauperiorum Colonorum qui plus favoris semper inve­nient in vicino firmario honesto quam in extraneis emptoribus, Baliis, vel silvarum custodibus.

Et preterea potest aliis modis satis provideri contra firma­riorum avaritiam, contra Officiariorum vero infinitas frades aliter provideri non potest, idque longa experientia nimis cog­nitum est.

As by the said Report remaining in His Majesties Library at White-Hall, Vernon. p. 67. amongst other things) may appear.

Whereby it is most evident of what use and estimation Sheriffs (being but for a year) have alwayes been, for bringing in the Revenues of the Crown; especially if they be well chosen, and held to the performance of [Page]their duties by the Officers of Exchequer: with [...] [...] ­ther observation, How remisse the Receivers were in those dayes, and had ever been in paying what they recei­ved, and making their accompts in due time.

And sutable thereunto is the prudent advice of that learned person Sir Robert Cotton in his book intituled Cot­toni Posthuma, printed in 1651. Page 179, Sir Robert Co­tons advice. in his Treaty of improving the Revenues of the Crown, who writeth to this effect, that in case the demiseable lands of the Crown, per annum 32000 l; should be passed in Fee-farm they would (one with the other) be advanced to a treble Rent. And again in these expresse words (page 181) that if the Purchaser, or Farmer, pay his rent, into the Receipt him­self half-yearly and strike there his Tally, it will cut off at once, so many unnecessary Receivers, Auditors, Stewards, Bailiffs, &c. as stand the King in yearly above 12000 l. And as for other dues or Revenues, which now fall under the charge of these Officers, the Collection and payment may be (as it hath been with the rest from the time of King Henry 2. untill of late dayes) laid on the Sheriffs of the Shires; and all the accompts left to the two Au­ditors of the Prests to draw up, and Clerk of the Pipe to enter in Magno Rotulo, as in all former time. For (saith the same Author) it must seem strange to all men of Judg­ment, that it should be with these Officers (who had their beginning but since the 25. year of King Henry 8. by addition of his new Revenue of 150000 l. from the suppressed Monasteries) otherwise then with all things in nature and reason, cessante causa, cessat effectus, not to be discontinued. When as all Crown-annexed-lands, that gave them their just employment, are for the most part passed, from the Soveraign into the Subjects possession. These are the expresse words of that learned Author in his book aforesaid. All which is humbly offered to Con­sideration, &c.


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