HARLEY, Sir Robert (1579-1656), of Brampton Bryan, Herefs.; Stanage Lodge, Herefs. and Aldermanbury, London.

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



1640 (Apr.)
1640 (Nov.)

Family and Education

bap. 1 Mar. 1579, 1st s. of Thomas Harley of Brampton Bryan, Herefs. and 1st w. Margaret, da. of Sir Andrew Corbet† of Moreton Corbet, Salop. educ. privately (Richard Harley); Oriel, Oxf. 1595, BA 1599; M. Temple 1599.2 m. (1) 13 Feb. 1603 (with £2,300), Anne (d. 1 Dec. 1603), da. of Charles Barret of Belhus, Aveley, Essex, 1s. d.v.p.; (2) by 1607, Mary (bur. 5 Aug. 1622), da. of (Sir) Francis Newport† of High Ercall, Salop, 1s. 8 other ch. d.v.p.; (3) 22 July 1623, with £1,600, Brilliana (d. Oct. 1643), da. of Sir Edward Conway I* of Ragley, Warws., sec. of state 1623-8, 3s. 4da. (1 d.v.p.).3 cr. KB 25 July 1603;4 suc. fa. 1631. d. 6 Nov. 1656.5 sig. Ro[bert] Harley.

Offices Held

J.p. Herefs. c.1604-at least c.1618, 1622-42, 1644-9;6 kpr. Bringwood and Prestwood forests, Herefs. 1604-c.1637;7 commr. sewers, Herefs. 1604, Wye valley 1621;8 sheriff, Rad. 1606-7;9 dep. j. in Eyre, Herefs. 1606-24;10 commr. subsidy, Herefs. 1608, 1624, 1626, 1641-2;11 dep. lt. Herefs. 1618-42, capt. militia ft. by 1619-42; 12 commr. oyer and terminer, Wales and the Marches 1621-at least 1634, Oxf. circ. 1634-40;13 member, Council in the Marches 1623-at least 1633;14 sub-commr. exacted fees, Herefs. 1623,15 Forced Loan, Herefs. 1626-7, Hereford 1627,16 knighthood fines, Rad. 1630-2;17 dep. steward, Kingsland manor, Herefs. 1630-?49;18 compounder for purveyance, Herefs. 1631-41;19 commr. for charitable uses, Herefs. 1636, 1640,20 assessment Herefs. and Hereford 1643, Hereford 1645-8, Worcs. 1644, Rad. 1647-8, sequestration, Herefs. and Hereford 1643, levying money, Herefs. 1643, relief of Gloucester 1644, reduction of Worcester 1644, management, Westminster collegiate church and sch. 1645; high steward, Hereford 1646-9;21 commr. appeals, Oxf. Univ. 1647, militia, Herefs. and Rad. 1648, scandalous ministers, Herefs. 1654.22

Master of the Mint 1626-35, 1643-9;23 commr. for regulating the excise 1645, exclusion from sacrament 1646, bps.’ lands 1646, scandalous offences 1648, obstructions in sale of bps.’ lands 1648.24


Harley’s ancestors were in possession of the Shropshire manor from which they took their name by 1221,25 and first sat for that county in 1300. The property subsequently passed out of the family through an heiress, but by that time a cadet branch had established itself at Brampton Bryan, ten miles south west of Ludlow.26 Situated in the extreme north of Herefordshire, Brampton Bryan lay close to the borders with Radnorshire and Shropshire, with which two counties the Harleys had strong connections.

It was Harley’s mother who introduced the family to the resolute protestantism by which it was henceforth to be distinguished. (Harley’s paternal grandfather had been a Catholic diehard). Harley’s father, Thomas, conformed, became a hard-working deputy lieutenant, and enlarged the estate. In 1603 Harley, the only surviving child from his father’s first marriage, married Anne Barrett, sister of (Sir) Edward Barrett* and step-daughter of Sir John Leveson* of Whorne’s Place, Cuxton, Kent. The match probably arose as a result of Harley’s close connection with the Shropshire branch of the Leveson family, for Sir Richard Leveson* of Lilleshall Lodge, Shropshire, was his first cousin and Harley had a chamber at Lilleshall until at least 1615. Both Sir Richard and Sir John Leveson were parties to the marriage settlement, which formed the first of a series of land transactions by which Harley’s father began to convey his estate to his heir. Although Thomas Harley seems to have had few political and social aspirations for himself outside his own county he was more ambitious for his heir, arranging for Harley to be made a knight of the Bath at the coronation of James I.27

Although Harley’s father was sheriff of Herefordshire in 1604 he failed to find his son a seat in his native county. However, as his father’s estate extended into Radnorshire, Harley was able to represent Radnor Boroughs in the first Stuart Parliament, the first member of his family to be returned to Westminster since the middle of the fourteenth century.28 In the opening session he was among those appointed to consider bills to restore the earls of Southampton, Essex and Arundel (2 Apr.), to reform abuses in the manufacture of starch (20 June) and to prevent the alienation of Crown lands (4 July). He was named to attend the conference of 14 Apr. on the proposed Union with Scotland. He made no recorded speeches.29

By September 1604 Harley was negotiating with Sir Thomas Coningsby† for a match with the latter’s daughter, but the talks collapsed in January 1605 because Coningsby refused to fix a date for the payment of the dowry. Harley subsequently married the sister of Richard Newport* of High Ercall, Shropshire, the near neighbour of his mother’s family.30 Later that year he was present at the death in London of Sir Richard Leveson, who made him one of his executors, an appointment which subsequently embroiled Harley in a series of lawsuits about the inheritance of the estate.31

Harley may have been at Westminster at the beginning of the second session of Parliament, as years later, on remembering the Gunpowder Plot, he ‘blessed God for the great mercy of that day to the Church, and the nation, and himself’.32 He was certainly present by January 1606, however, for on 25 Jan. he was required to help consider a bill to prohibit the residence of wives and families in colleges (25 January). His only other committee appointment occurred three days later, when he was named to the committee for the better assurance of copyhold lands (28 January).33 On 10 Mar. he obtained leave to depart and there is no further trace of him in the records of that session.34 He is not mentioned at all in the surviving records of the third session, which suggests that his duties as sheriff of Radnorshire prevented him from attending.

During the fourth session, his shrieval term having ended, Harley was appointed to nine committees and made nine recorded speeches, the first of which was on the Bridgnorth election dispute (9 Mar. 1610). Its purport is unknown, but he was among those added to the privileges committee to re-examine the case.35 Harley probably lived for at least part of his brief first marriage with Sir John Leveson at Whorne’s Place, in northern Kent, as his wife and son were buried in the local parish church. His Kent connections may explain why, on 31 Mar., he joined Sir Edwin Sandys in testifying to the character of Thomas Crayford, the son of Sir William Crayford of Great Mongeham in Kent, who, although not a Member, had entered the chamber while the House was not sitting.36 These same connections may also explain why he intervened on 25 Apr. at the report stage of the bill to cancel conveyances made by Sir Henry Crispe of Quex, in north Kent.37 On 15 June Harley acted as teller in favour of engrossing the bill concerning outlawries in personal actions, but his side was defeated in the division. On the same day he was appointed to the committee to consider the bill to naturalize Henry Gibb, a Scottish groom of Prince Henry’s bedchamber, which he reported the following day.38 On 28 May he was among those appointed to attend the king with the address for sterner measures against recusants, and two days latter he was named to the committee on the bill against swearing.39 On 20 Apr. 1610 Harley attended the conference with the Lords concerning the Great Contract and sent his friend Sir Edward Herbert an account of the speech delivered by lord treasurer Salisbury (Robert Cecil†), having promised to provide Herbert with reports of parliamentary news. 40 Seven days later he cleared the way for Herbert’s stepfather, Sir John Danvers, to enter Parliament by moving a new writ for Arundel.41 When, on 18 July, the Speaker complained that Herbert had shown disrespect towards the chair, Harley offered to go and persuade Herbert to come before the House voluntarily to save him from the indignity of being summoned by the serjeant.42 Harley spoke twice on the subject of the Great Contract. The content of the first speech on 13 July went unreported. Seven days later, following the proposal to enter a memorial of the Contract into the Journal before the summer recess, he moved that only the Commons’ agreement to provide the Crown with a permanent annual revenue of £200,000 and the king’s messages should be included.43

Harley’s most important contribution to the debates of the fourth session came on 14 May. Three days earlier the Commons had received a message in the king’s name forbidding its Members from debating impositions. At that time James was absent from London, and therefore many Members questioned whether this message had actually come from the king. When it emerged that the message had actually originated with members of the Privy Council, the Commons resolved to receive no further messages from their Speaker. On returning to London, James demanded to know whether the House was, in effect, refusing to receive any further messages from himself. A dangerous confrontation now loomed, but Harley proposed a solution that would satisfy both sides. He suggested sending a conciliatory answer to James that declared:

We have neither purpose nor will to refuse at any time to receive any message, which our Speaker shall have in commandment immediately from Your Majesty by word or writing to deliver to the House according to the usual and continued custom of the House.

This was received by his fellow Members ‘with a great and general liking’. However Harley’s insistence that royal messages should come directly from the king threatened to hamper severely the ability of royal officials to manage the Commons in the king’s absence, and consequently it aroused strenuous opposition from the privy councillors present, as well as the law officers and Sir George More. Various other answers were proposed, but the House ‘cried vehemently and continually with a loud and long cry, No, No, Sir Robert Harley’s, Sir Robert Harley’s, etc. and, to the question, To the question’. At this point attorney-general Sir Henry Hobart succeeded in getting the various proposals referred to a committee dominated by the privy councillors and law officers, but the wording drafted by the committee was also rejected by a majority in the Commons, who ‘cried, Away with it, Away with it’ and called for Harley’s answer to be put to the question. Eventually the privy councillors and law officers staged a walk out, followed by ‘a good part’ of the House. Those who remained agreed to defer further debate, but the following day a new message from the king obviated the need for an answer.44

Harley made two recorded speeches in the poorly documented fifth session. On 2 Nov., following the king’s complaints about the Commons’ delays in concluding the Great Contract, he proposed that the House ‘answer: that we have brought it ad certos terminos’. On 21 Nov. he stated that he was unwilling to grant supply in return for the more modest list of concessions that was now being offered instead of the Contract because ‘we should not be able to satisfy our countries upon our return as they expected, for we gave them to understand that there was an almanac set forth in our Parliament of a year of jubilee and freedom, but now it seemeth to be turned into thraldom’. However, he declared that he would be more amenable if the abolition of the sale of the marriage of wards was added to the list, and he suggested a conference with the Lords for the purpose. However, his attempt to reform the most objectionable aspects of wardship failed.45

It has been suggested that, throughout the first Jacobean Parliament, Harley kept notes in the chamber. Notes of proceedings in the second, third and fifth sessions have certainly been ascribed to Harley as they survive in the Harley family papers and the Harleian collection created by Harley’s grandson, Robert Harley†. However, it has been questioned whether the handwriting in the notes is, in fact, Harley’s. Moreover, the endorsements on the documents in the Harleian collection indicate that this portion of the notes at least were purchased from Humfrey Wanley, a librarian employed by Robert Harley† in the early eighteenth century. As the notes in the Harley family collection are in the same handwriting as those purchased from Wanley it is likely they all came from one source. How and where Wanley acquired them is unknown, but it is unlikely that they had anything to do with Harley, who was, as we have seen, almost certainly absent from the third session owing to his shrievalty.46

Soon after the Parliament ended Harley found himself saddled with significant debts, and in 1615 his father was forced to sell property to clear them. Two years later Harley still owed over £2,000 and his father again stepped in. Despite these financial difficulties, Harley was able in 1619 to purchase Presteigne manor, in Radnorshire, for £1,800 and the rectory for £1,020. However his finances remained distinctly unfavourable, for according to Thomas Malet*, writing in 1623, his annual disposable income scarcely exceeded £200, and he had entered into a bond for £1,000 after borrowing money from a London Goldsmith. Only his father’s willingness to make over to him the entire estate, merely reserving board and lodging for himself at Brampton Bryan, secured an adequate portion for his third wife, whom he married in July 1623.47

Although Harley was now, for all intents and purposes, the owner of the Brampton Bryan estate he had long been the patron of the local parish church. This was the result of the settlement made on his first marriage in 1603, which had also given him rights of presentation over three other nearby churches. In 1611 Harley appointed the first in a succession of puritan divines to the cure of Brampton, and he subsequently appointed puritan ministers to the other parishes in his control. Initially at least he encountered opposition from his own father, who in 1614 complained to the bishop of Hereford that Thomas Pierson, Harley’s appointee at Brampton Bryan, was a Nonconformist. However, with Harley’s personal support Pierson escaped censure and Thomas Harley was subsequently reconciled to Pierson. The consequences for Herefordshire of Harley’s patronage of godly ministers were profound. At his funeral sermon, preached in 1656, it was claimed that Harley ‘was the first that brought the gospel into these parts; this country lay under a veil of darkness till he began to shine’. Although Harley seems to have completely ignored his Catholic relations, he maintained close personal ties with supporters of the established church such as Sir John Scudamore*, who was appointed a trustee of the settlement on Harley’s third marriage.48

Harley failed to find a seat in the 1614 Parliament. New Radnor Boroughs instead elected Rowland Meyrick, while the Herefordshire seats were probably closed to Harley by his father’s failure to support Sir Herbert Croft’s* campaign against the Council of the Marches.49 In 1618 Harley succeeded his father as deputy lieutenant of Herefordshire. Shortly afterwards, however, he was purged from the county bench, on which he had sat continuously since at least 1604. His religious faith led him to take a keen interest in the fate of the Protestants in the Thirty Years’ War, and as a deputy lieutenant he was very active in collecting contributions for the Palatinate in 1620. His concern with foreign affairs may have led him to seek to return to the Commons when a new Parliament was summoned later that year. In late 1620 he circulated a letter among the prominent families of the county asking them to reserve their votes ‘till we all meet to deliberate’. The result was a meeting at Hereford on 7 Dec., attended by Harley, which drew up an agreement to regulate future elections to avoid contests. In seeking this meeting Harley may have intended to provide a peaceful mechanism to break the stranglehold which the Coningsby, Croft and Scudamore families had exerted on the county’s parliamentary representation since the 1570s. If so then in the short term he failed in his objective, as Sir John Scudamore and Fitzwilliam Coningsby were elected to the third Jacobean Parliament.50

For at least the early part of the 1621 Parliament Harley was in London, from where he wrote to Sir Horace Vere, the commander of the English expeditionary force sent to the Palatinate. Having first assured Vere that ‘your enemy is God’s also’, he went on to provide an account of the expulsion of Thomas Sheppard from the Commons for his diatribe against puritans in his speech against the Sabbath observance bill. Sheppard’s speech had prompted Harley to draw up a paper outlining his own definition of puritanism, which he enclosed in his letter to Vere. In it he noticeably failed to mention a belief in predestination, which suggests that he did not then regard the matter as being a point on which he differed from many members of the Anglican hierarchy. Instead the paper strongly defended those ministers who refused to conform to the rituals of the established church, and attacked all forms of worship not expressly sanctioned by Scripture. It also criticized non-resident ministers and those who did not preach, and declared that the concept of ‘a L[ord] B[ishop] is a fallacy’. At first sight this appears to have been a direct challenge to the notion of episcopacy itself, but at this stage it may simply have been a criticism of the political power wielded by the bishops. As well as his definition of puritanism, Harley enclosed an ‘Exposition of the Pouring out of the Fourth Vial’, a work on the Book of Revelations by the radical puritan minister Robert Parker, which was not published until 1650 but which circulated in puritan circles in manuscript. Harley commented that ‘God doth seem to fulfil that which it foretells’, indicating that he saw the Thirty Years’ War in millenarian terms. He was enthusiastic to see the conflict for himself first hand, but in June 1621 his father vetoed his plans ‘to go into the Low Countries to see the noble army there’.51

It was Sir Horace Vere’s wife who acted as matchmaker for Harley’s third marriage in 1623. His bride was Brilliana, the daughter of Lady Vere’s brother-in-law, secretary of state Sir Edward Conway.52 The union was highly successful, as Lady Brilliana not only produced the long-awaited heir but also shared her husband’s political and religious outlook. Furthermore, she brought him into contact with the highest Court circles, not only with her father but also with the royal favourite, the duke of Buckingham. This marriage also gave Harley possession of his family’s estates, which, together with his restoration to the bench, enabled him to persuade the other leading members of the Herefordshire gentry to support his candidacy as knight of the shire in 1624. During the course of the Parliament he received 19 committee appointments, made three reports, acted as teller twice and made 14 recorded speeches. His intimacy with the centres of power at Court and Westminster was illustrated on 23 Mar. when, writing from Whitehall, he forwarded to Sir Robert Phelips* the text of the king’s speech that was delivered that day.53 However he was never simply a mouthpiece for either Conway or the duke but instead acted from longstanding religious convictions and fears that his faith was under threat both at home and abroad. It was, after all, Harley’s puritanism that had brought him into contact with the Veres and, through them, into contact with Conway and Buckingham. Nevertheless, Harley’s relationship with Conway probably meant that he had much greater understanding of the financial needs of the Crown than other Members.

In the debate on the negotiations with Spain (1 Mar.), Harley pointed out that breaking off the marriage treaties would make it impossible to restore the Palatinate by diplomatic means. He also warned of the dangers of neglecting the Dutch, ‘who wants [sic] not offers’, by which he was presumably referring to the dangers of a Franco-Dutch rapprochement. He concluded by saying that ‘the king of Spain aims at a [universal] monarchy; let us not help him to it’.54 His priorities were shown on 5 Mar., when he protested that the Commons had omitted from its address to the king against the Spanish Match the ‘principal point’, this being religion.55 Later the same day he spoke in favour of a paper drafted by the earls of Southampton and Pembroke and presented to the Commons by Sir Edwin Sandys, in which it was suggested that the Commons should promise to support the king ‘with our persons and our estates’ if he broke off the treaties. Despite Edward Alford’s protest that it was a breach of privilege for the Lords to take the initiative in questions of supply, Harley asked ‘that the paper may pass’, for if Members were ‘found in the least to stagger’, having ‘begun with such zeal’, they could ‘not expect but the king would be more slow in this resolution’.56 On 11 Mar. he argued that the House should ‘make a manifestation’ that ‘if the king shall declare himself to break off the treaties, we will assist him in the pursuit of our advice with our fortunes and lives’. However, in another account he is said to have proposed merely that the Commons should offer to support the king ‘in a parliamentary way’. This was the wording that was eventually adopted, in a slightly altered form, to the discomfort of Prince Charles and Buckingham, both of whom wanted a more explicit statement of intent.57

On 19 Mar. Harley argued that Prince Charles would be able to persuade James to ‘make a full and particular declaration of the breach of the treaties’ if the Commons indicated its willingness to vote six subsidies and twelve fifteenths, half in the present session and the other half in the autumn. To ensure that the money was not misappropriated he suggested that it should be entrusted to ‘some committees of the Commonwealth’, and said that the Commons would be allowed to audit their accounts before voting the second tranche. However this speech did not find universal favour, as John Holles* remarked that he ‘spake nothing to [the] purpose’.58 On 29 Apr. Conway, who was attending the king at Windsor, wrote to Harley asking to be kept informed about ‘any royal points in Parliament’, particularly concerning the subsidy, so that he could ‘labour to dispose humours, and make such answers, as shall be most requisite’. On the back of this letter Harley noted down three points: that it was necessary to insert the names of the members of the Council of War in the Subsidy Act; that the session should not be prorogued too soon ‘that our good bills may fail’; and that a proclamation to banish Jesuits should be expedited.59

From the start Harley had linked the Spanish menace with domestic enemies. In his first recorded speech of the Parliament, on 26 Feb., he supported Sir John Jephson, who moved unsuccessfully for a guard to be assigned for the protection of the Commons against Catholic plotters, declaring that the motion ‘proceeds from a zealous care’.60 On 1 Mar. he argued that although their ‘foreign enemies ... be great’, their domestic enemies posed an even greater threat, as they ‘lie in our bosoms, and are not distinguished nor known of us, but are familiar and conversant in all our companies and councils’.61 On 1 Apr. he successfully moved to appoint a committee of the whole House to discuss the recusants, and was the first recorded speaker when the committee met the following day. He proposed a comprehensive series of measures, beginning with disarming and confining recusant laymen and the banishment of priests and Jesuits. He also advised that steps be taken to restrict access to Catholic embassies and ensure the rigorous collection of fines for non-attendance at church, which he wanted assigned to fund the war. He further demanded that an unnamed ‘popish physician’ be restricted to his own house. This was apparently a reference to Dr. Moore, a Catholic physician resident in London who was described in the second edition of John Gee’s The Foot out of the Snare, published later the same year, as ‘a man much employed, and insinuating with great persons in our State’. Harley also called for the king to be petitioned ‘not to be drawn into like treaties upon occasion of the match of the prince’, presumably because he feared that concessions would be made to the Catholics in any future marriage treaty with France. He reassured his listeners that this point had been ‘touched on by the duke of Buckingham’. He concluded by reviving the proposal for ‘a day of humiliation, as is usual in other places upon great occasions’, but found no support.62 That afternoon a sub-committee met to draw up heads for a petition concerning recusants, whereupon Harley proposed that Members should return the names ‘of such as are suspected recusants and bear office in their counties respectively’.63 This idea was subsequently adopted, although on 27 Apr. Harley informed the House that he himself was unable to submit a return for Herefordshire. He rather belatedly proposed to inspect the county’s local commissions and present his findings the following morning, but there is no evidence that he ever did so.64

Despite his puritan views, only once during the 1624 Parliament did Harley show any sign of dissatisfaction with the Church of England. At the grievances committee on 3 May he supported complaints against the bishop of Norwich, Samuel Harsnett, for discouraging preaching in his diocese. Harley wished the evidence to be presented as forcefully as possible: ‘the Church is in danger’, he said; ‘therefore let us not present it with a mealy mouth’.65 On 15 May he was among those appointed to draw up charges against Harsnett, and on 28 May, as Parliament was about to rise for the summer, he proposed that Pym should deposit these with the clerk of the Commons.66

On 5 Mar. Harley introduced the bill to naturalize the daughters of Sir Horace Vere, which was subsequently enacted.67 The following day he was appointed, as knight of the shire for one of the four Marches counties, to the committee for the bill to repeal a clause in the Welsh Act of Union, which enabled the Crown to legislate by decree for the principality. He reported the bill without amendments on 12 Mar. when it was ordered to be engrossed.68 On 3 Apr. he was appointed to the committee to consider the bill to remove weirs on the Wye in order to render the river more navigable.69 This measure was of great concern in Herefordshire, and on 5 Apr. the mayor and corporation of Hereford wrote to Harley thanking him for his support, having learned ‘by our citizens how freely it pleaseth you to afford your assistance in Parliament to the forwarding of the cause’.70 Two days later the Herefordshire justices wrote to inform Harley and his fellow knight of the shire, Sir John Scudamore, that they had been ‘entreated’ by the grand jury ‘to recommend unto you their grievance in point of weirs, and to join with them in request to you for your care and endeavour for the redress thereof in a parliamentary way’.71 Harley reported the bill on 15 May with amendments and a proviso, but it was recommitted after a division, in which Harley served as a teller, probably for the ‘noes’.72 He again reported the bill with amendments on 26 May, when it was ordered to be engrossed. Three days later Parliament was prorogued, which ensured that the measure proceeded no further.73

Harley’s concern for his native county was shown on 12 Apr., when he spoke in grand committee concerning the bill to continue expiring statutes in response to Sir John Savile’s proposal to legalise the export of rye when the price fell below 20s. a bushel. He argued that the export price should be set at that level at least, as ‘in Herefordshire and the countries adjoining there is much rye sown and it is usually within 12d. of the bushel as dear as wheat, and if we raise not the rate of rye proportionable to that of wheat men will not sow their grounds’. He justified this defence of the landed interest by arguing that ‘we must not have so much care of the poor as to neglect those that keep them who are the gent[lman], farmers and husbandman’.74

On 11 May he spoke in favour of transmitting the charges against Sir Simon Harvey, a Household official charged with abuses in the administration of purveyance, to the Lords.75 Nine days later the solicitor-general, Sir Robert Heath*, wrote to Harley, who seems to have been attending the king at Greenwich with his father-in-law, asking him to secure Conway’s support for a proposed bill to prohibit the import of Spanish tobacco, but nothing came of this measure before Parliament was prorogued.76 On 28 May Harley was added to the committee for the bill to enable the Crown to exact a huge fine on the earl of Middlesex (Sir Lionel Cranfield*) by extending his real estate. When Heath reported this measure that afternoon, Harley acted as teller in favour of the bill’s passage.77

Harley failed to secure a seat in 1625, despite the fact that in April Sir John Scudamore was informed that the sheriff of Herefordshire had declared his support for Harley.78 When a fresh Parliament was summoned to meet the following year, Harley wrote to Sir Walter Pye I* proposing that they stand together for the county. Pye agreed to do so, but their joint candidature was nearly derailed by a dispute over precedence as Harley claimed the right to be named first in the return as he was a knight of the Bath whereas Pye was merely a knight bachelor. ‘It would point at my dishonour’, he declared, ‘to have the second place’, and he ‘wished ... some other to stand ... unless I might have the first’. Pye, who as attorney of the Court of Wards was named first in the commission of the peace, refused to accept that Harley had a right to the first place, but the majority of the justices supported Harley and Pye agreed to accept the second place ‘for the love I bear Sir Robert Harley and his house’.79

In the 1626 Parliament Harley delivered 33 recorded speeches and was appointed to 25 committees. He continued to be principally concerned with war and religion. On 24 Feb. he warned his fellow Members of ‘him abroad whose sword is already drawn’, for ‘while we lose time in disputes we hazard the kingdom’. Like ‘two brothers at cuffs’, he hoped they would ‘join against a third that strikes him’, and he advised that they should ‘not dispute of the errors past’.80 It may have been his fear of the consequences of disunity as much as his relationship with Conway which led to Harley’s emergence as one of the principal opponents of Buckingham’s impeachment.

Four days after making this speech Harley conceded that there was some truth in the widespread criticism of the management of England’s war effort. After pointing out that ‘we have not lost either sea, or land, or money, or honour’ he nevertheless admitted that ‘we suffer a diminution’. This he principally blamed on the ‘effeminateness of this kingdom and riotous excess’, but he conceded that ‘single or unsound counsel may be the cause’, although he observed that ‘single counsel was not to be condemned if it have success’. He added that ‘if general counsel has been privately altered’ it was ‘worth the examination’, and he moved ‘that the directors and executors’ of the failed expedition to Cadiz ‘may be called in question’. He also called for an investigation into how the money voted in 1624 had been expended to see if it had been misemployed, ‘so that we may search the true cause and haste to a remedy’.81 Harley subsequently did what he could to assist the Council of War, whose members included Conway and Vere, when it was called to account for the spending of the 1624 subsidies. On 3 Mar. he moved that they should be given time to answer the Common’s questions. Six days later he moved that Vere should be spared from the House’s investigation as ‘he was in the Low Countries at the time of the making of the Act’ and had never taken ‘the oath, nor intermeddled with any business of issuing money, or otherwise’. However this motion was rejected. On the same day he was appointed to the committee sent to see Conway and the other members of the Council who were too ill to attend the Commons; the next day he informed the House that Sir Thomas Button wanted to give his answer the following day. 82

On 6 Mar., when Pym asked the House to decide whether the coasts had been sufficiently guarded, Harley supported secretary of state (Sir) John Coke*, and moved that ‘that the question may be restrained to the time since the dissolution of the Spanish treaty’.83 When the petitions from merchants complaining about the seizure of their goods in France were read on 16 Mar., he called on the Commons to ‘propose our remedies’, rather than add this grievance to the list of charges against Buckingham.84 Caught off balance by the speech of Samuel Turner* attacking Buckingham that same day, he queried ‘whether it be a parliamentary way to question one of the Upper House by common fame’, although he admitted that ‘no man [was] so great as he may not here be questioned’. He was willing to concede that Turner had intended ‘to do his country service’ but nevertheless he thought he had ‘offended’ in his speech.85 On 18 Mar. he admitted that the loan of English ships to France in 1625 was a cause ‘of the diminution of our honour and safety’, but he wished the matter to be separated from the other charges, perhaps in the hope that this would reduce support for the francophile policy favoured by Pembroke’s supporters.86

At the committee of the whole House on 27 Mar. Harley declared himself ‘grieved’ by a speech made by (Sir) John Eliot, who had cited medieval precedents showing that Parliament had demanded the removal of ministers before granting supply. ‘Let us take heed we do not put ourselves into an ecstasy. Has any man single-counselled the king but the king consented to him?’. On turning to the subject of the Palatinate, he was interrupted with cries of ‘to the point’, but on Eliot’s motion he was allowed to proceed. ‘If we now offer unto the king more than he needs with some conditions’, he warned, ‘it may make him distaste all our offers’, and he called on the House to ‘give without conditions’.87

Harley agreed with his fellow Buckingham client Sir Robert Pye on 2 May that the charges against the duke should be transmitted to the king rather than the Lords. Asserting that he ‘look[ed] more upon the honour of the Commonwealth than the person of the duke’, he argued that two of the Commons’ charges would get short shrift from the Lords, those concerning the St. Peter of Le Havre and the plaster applied to the dying James I. The king, on the other hand, would ‘cast his eye of love and justice upon us’, and, seeing Buckingham’s errors, would ‘engage himself to us for his [Buckingham’s] reformation’.88 Two days later Harley unsuccessfully opposed the calling of a witness who claimed to have seen Buckingham kneeling before the host when he was in Spain. After the evidence had been given, Harley moved to ask the witness which other ‘honourable persons of England’ had been present, but ‘the House cried no’.89 Harley continued to question accusations against Buckingham until the last. On 10 June John Selden reportedly accused the duke of ‘falsehoods’ in his relation of the Spanish negotiations in 1624, which had been entered on the Parliament roll. Harley thereupon moved ‘to know the particulars wherein the records are false and then to examine them’.90

Harley was clearly shocked after Digges and Eliot were arrested for words spoken by them on presenting the charges against Buckingham to the Lords. Indeed, his initial concern was to reassert the liberties of the Commons. On 12 May he supported the resolution against proceeding in any business until Members were ‘righted in their liberties’, arguing that ‘if we right not our liberties we do nothing’. He called for a Remonstrance to be drawn up demanding to know from the king the cause of the imprisonments, so that ‘when we have an answer we may proceed as we find cause, and to petition him ... to restore them to our judicature’.91 Five days later he asked ‘whether we may proceed as a free body, our liberties standing thus’, and again called for a Remonstrance.92 However he had been unhappy with Eliot and Digges’ speeches himself, and on 20 May, after it had been resolved that neither man had exceeded their instructions, he moved ‘that it may be entered that no aggravation be ever admitted hereafter in such case but that first they shall give in the heads’. However this motion was rejected ‘lest [it] might seem to disallow what was done’.93

Early in the Parliament Harley grew impatient with the proceedings of the Commons, for on 18 Mar. he moved that ‘we should sum up our causes and make haste to the remedies’. His wife evidently shared his frustration, for the previous day she had commented that ‘I hope the Parliament has spent as much time as will satisfy them in doing nothing’.94 The cause of Harley’s impatience was the Commons’ slowness in voting taxes. On 10 Mar., after calling for ‘a law [to be] made that the Spaniard may be kept out’, he moved for a committee of the whole House to consider ‘a declaration of the king’s necessities’.95 Three days later he advised the Commons to turn its attention to the voting of subsidies and tell the king ‘that we are ready to supply him to the utmost of the Commonwealth’.96 On 27 Mar. he argued that the Commons should pass the Subsidy Act ‘as soon as we do present our grievances’.97 Direct taxation was not the only way to carry on the war, however, and on 14 Mar. he supported Sir John Savile’s motion for a committee to consider Sir Dudley Digges’ proposal for a West India Company to fight the Spanish, although he was not among those subsequently appointed.98

In 1626 Harley was as worried by threats to true religion as he had been in 1624. In addition to his continued attacks on Catholics he joined the growing chorus of alarm against the rise of anti-Calvinism and became more strident in his puritanism. On 15 Feb. he supported the bill against scandalous and unworthy ministers at its second reading, and was appointed to the committee. Thereafter the measure was twice reported by Edward Bysshe, although a note in the Commons Journal states that on 7 Mar. the bill was delivered to Harley.99 In the debate on 17 Feb. concerning the excommunication of Sir Robert Howard* for adultery with Buckingham’s sister-in-law, Harley sided with Howard rather than the duke, describing the ex officio oath of the Court of High Commission as ‘like an inquisition’, and the court itself as ‘this Spanish government’ and ‘a potent enemy’. He successfully called for (and was appointed to) a select committee to consider Howard’s case, but his motion for a bill against the ex offico oath seems to have gone unheeded.100 On 27 Feb. Harley called for the growth of popery to be included as one of the ‘evils’ from which the kingdom was suffering.101 He was appointed to a sub-committee of the committee for religion on 6 Mar. to prepare for a conference with the Lords about the growth of anti-Calvinism and the works of Richard Montagu, and on 17 Apr. he called for the House to ‘entreat the king that there may be no more writing in this case’ until he had heard their case against Montagu.102 On 9 Mar. he was appointed to the committee to consider the bill concerning citations issuing out of ecclesiastical courts, which he reported with amendments on 21 March.103 On 9 May he supported Ignatius Jourdain, who had protested against the recent gilding of the Cheapside Cross.104 A month later he reported the House’s proposals for a general fast.105 Harley attended at least one meeting of the committee to consider the bill for annexing Freeford prebend to a Lichfield vicarage, to which he had been appointed on 18 February.106

Following the dissolution Harley hastened back to Herefordshire, but on 31 Aug. Conway advised him ‘to come up to town with some speed ... for the satisfaction of your real duty in a place of honour and trust’.107 The ‘place’ referred was none other than the mastership of the Mint. The previous incumbent, Sir Randal Cranfield, had been suspended in 1624 after the downfall of his brother, the earl of Middlesex but had only recently been displaced. Originally it was intended that Harley should receive an annual salary of £500 in lieu of the usual profits of the office, but the latter were restored to him on 14 Mar. 1627. That same year he was also granted the monopoly for discovering abuses in the manufacture of gold and silver thread. This led him to clash with the earl of Holland (Henry Rich*) over the latter’s monopoly of the exchange of bullion, but he protested to Conway in March 1627 that he was acting ‘solely out of the injury to the king’s business’. Sales of timber and leases of tithes from his impropriate rectories added to his income. He made a capital gain of 37 per cent in eight years when he sold Presteigne rectory to the puritan feoffees for impropriations in 1627, enabling him clear his debts. He also acquired a substantial Crown lease in Kingsland, which provided his father with an independent income.108 In the 1640s Harley’s lands were valued at £1,500 a year.109

Harley’s employment at the Mint probably exempted him from payment of the Forced Loan, and it seems unlikely that he was active as a commissioner as his official duties kept him away from Herefordshire. He certainly failed to attend the first meeting of the commissioners on 13 Feb. 1627, and though his name was omitted from the list of absent commissioners sent by the earl of Northampton to the Privy Council, this rather suggests that he had not been expected to be present.110

Harley did not seek election for Herefordshire in 1628, but instead sought a seat elsewhere before the nominations for the county were agreed.111 It seems likely that he had agreed to support Sir Walter Pye for the first place, and felt he could not now accept the second place having spurned it two years previously. A request to the corporation of Ludlow, presumably in search of a seat, was turned down on 6 February.112 The previous day Conway wrote to the corporation of Evesham, where he held the office of high steward, nominating Harley. The corporation was initially reluctant to accept Harley, but Conway’s agent was able to mobilize support within the borough and Harley was returned probably with the support of his fellow Member Richard Cresheld*.113

During the 1628 session Harley, whose main concern was now religion, spoke at least 29 times and was named to 26 committees. On 20 Mar. he welcomed William Strode’s motion for a fast and communion, declaring ‘I joy to see the sense of this House to join to humble ourselves to God’, and moved to ask the king to order a general fast throughout the kingdom. Named to the committee to supervise the Members’ communion, the following day he was appointed to attend the conference with the Lords concerning a general fast.114

It seems likely that Harley would have supported making Arminianism one of the principal issues of the Parliament.115 Before the Parliament convened he asked Thomas Pierson, the minister of Brampton Bryan, for his opinion about the writings of the anti-Calvinist Dr. Thomas Jackson. He attacked Jackson at the committee for religion on 24 Mar., arguing that he was ‘no less dangerous’ than Richard Montagu. After asserting that Arminianism was a ‘new way is ... to bring in popery’, he called for a committee to examine the writings of John Cosin, Robert Sibthorpe and Roger Manwaring.116 Harley used the second reading of the bill to make it legal to marry at any time of the year to launch another attack on the anti-Calvinists, arguing that the prohibition was ‘a remnant of superstition, not swept out with the rest’. He declared that ‘the papists hold marriage an unholy thing’, and ‘if we continue such a branch of popery, to deny that which God has made lawful, how much do we connive at that which God prohibits’. He also took a swipe at John Cosin’s work, A Collection of Private Devotions, which ‘amongst many scandalous things’ included a ‘calendar of the time prohibiting marriage’. He was appointed to the committee and reported the bill on 5 May, when it was ordered to be engrossed.117 It was not only the Arminians that aroused Harley’s fear and suspicion, as he was no less concerned that England’s Catholics were becoming increasingly influential. On 6 June he attacked the commission to compound with recusants, arguing that the purpose of the commission ‘is only to superinduce a new supremacy over this kingdom’. Clearly he believed that the commission had actually been promoted by Catholics in order to purchase a toleration of their faith as a first step towards reversing the Reformation and restoring the jurisdiction of Rome.118

On 8 Apr. Harley introduced a bill intended to prevent the ecclesiastical hierarchy from initiating prosecutions in the church courts unless the offence had been presented by the local churchwardens, presumably in the hope that this measure would help shield Nonconformist ministers. The following day he reported the bill for the better keeping of Sabbath, which was ordered to be engrossed.119 Harley keenly enforced observance of the Sabbath as a magistrate. Indeed, many years later the congregation at his funeral would be told that, as a result of his efforts, the churches in his locality ‘were frequented on the Lords days, and many thousand souls prevented from their sinful sports’.120 On 23 Apr. Harley was appointed to consider a bill to ensure that ministers were only obliged to subscribe to those articles of the Church of England which concerned matters of faith and the sacraments. This measure was intended to cater for puritan ministers with scruples about the prayer book or episcopacy. The committee was ordered to meet with the committee appointed on 19 Apr. to consider the bill against scandalous ministers, to which Harley had not been named, and to consider the two measures together. Harley subsequently reported both bills,121 and defended the scandalous ministers bill at its third reading on 16 May against criticism that it would undermine the privileges of the clergy. He replied that the measure would give lay magistrates the power to punish ministers for drunkenness and other offences, and was only intended to reform ‘enormous facts’; minor issues would continue to be dealt with by the church courts. Moreover the accused would have the benefit of trial by jury, and he asserted that ‘if we go about to reform the church it is [to] the honour of our church’. These arguments proved decisive, and the bill was made temporary and passed. During the same debate Sir Benjamin Rudyard argued that Parliament should be as ready to reward the ministry as to discipline it and called for the bill for the better maintenance of the ministry, which had been sent down from the Lords, to be passed. This measure was intended to enable owners of impropriated tithes to give them to the minister of the parish from which the tithes derived.122 Harley, who was described in his funeral sermon as being in favour of ‘a settled ministry, and the liberal maintenance thereof’, had been appointed to the bill committee on 7 May and reported its findings on 23 May. The bill was then passed, together with some amendments, but was ordered to sleep after its third reading on 16 June.123

Harley realized that the concern over liberty and property aroused by the Forced Loan might prove an insuperable obstacle to supply. On 3 Apr. he proposed a select committee ‘to set us in a way how to go to the Lords, either by Remonstrance, petition, or how you shall think fit’.124 In the supply debate the following day he moved that the question be put.125 He regarded Sir Edward Coke’s motion on 11 Apr. to fix times for payment of the five subsidies they had voted as premature, stating ‘had not this business been stirred it had made no matter’. However, now that the question had been raised Coke’s motion could now ‘without great prejudice be declined’, for otherwise the House would risk being seen as delaying supply. Consequently, he moved that ‘it may receive dispatch before we rise’.126 In the debate on 12 Apr. concerning the king’s message calling on the House to hasten supply, Harley supported Wentworth’s motion for a select committee to draw up a reply. ‘I know His Majesty’s occasions are very pressing’, he declared, just as he also knew that they could not afford another failed Parliament, for ‘what comfort would it be to our enemies, what terror to our friends!’ He therefore wanted to tell the king that ‘within a few days’ they would finish preparing their grievances, and that these would be presented with a grant of supply, whereupon Charles would ‘know we will spend our lives an liberties in his service’.127 On 28 Apr. he approved proposals for a bill to confirm Magna Carta, but he also argued that the Commons should seek to ‘endear His Majesty to us’, and consequently moved to have the subsidy bill reported.128 However he had changed his mind by 2 May, when he stated that although he ‘like[d] a bill to declare the liberties of the subject’, it was ‘not of best advantage’. Instead of a bill, they should rely ‘upon the word of the king’, kept on record in the journals of the two Houses, which would ‘tie him more than a law’.129 When the Commons debated the Lords’ amendments to the Petition of Right on 23 May, Harley called on the Commons to consult with the Upper House ‘to find some way to give them satisfaction’ while ‘preserving the Petition as a whole’.130

Harley gave conditional support to Sir John Eliot’s proposed Remonstrance on 3 June. ‘If we walk wisely’, he declared, ‘the king will receive a fair Remonstrance of things amiss’, but he was unhappy with some of their proceedings to date, and asserted that ‘many things’ had been spoken which ‘I wish had been forborne’. He warned the House to ‘not dive to deep into the king’s counsels’ and ‘only to desire reformation for ... the future’. He stressed the vital importance of establishing mutual trust between Crown and Parliament, and offered three ‘heads’ for the Remonstrance to the king: ‘that religion is undermined, that the land is weak, that his revenue is spent and lessened’. However, he added, ‘let this be our preamble: "Sir, we will supply you"’.131 On 6 June he moved to have the heads of the Remonstrance read, ‘and where we like not we may alter’.132 Five days later he opposed the inclusion of Buckingham as a grievance, which suggests that he was still a supporter of the duke. However, aware that an extended defence of the favourite would not go down well, he limited himself to stating: ‘I stand not up to acquit him, but only that we do not name his name. Let us make him an instrument of good to the Commonwealth’.133 He also thought the Remonstrance did not adequately express the danger to their religion, and consequently, on 16 June, he moved for the two words ‘idolatry practised’ to be inserted into the engrossed text before it was transmitted to the Lords.134

Harley took an interest in some of the less prominent issues which came before the 1628 Parliament. On 9 May he objected to Sir Walter Earle’s proposal to insert a proviso into a bill for naturalizing two Scotsmen to enable Parliament to reverse their naturalization if they should commit ‘some notorious crime’, arguing that ‘our interest is ... to make our brethren of Scotland like ourselves, free and capable of the same rights and immunities’.135 On 19 May he spoke at the second reading of the bill to exempt Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire from the jurisdiction of the Council in the Marches. He wanted the knights of these four shires to declare whether or not they consented to the bill and argued that the Council’s authority was no longer necessary, as the original reason for bringing the four counties under the Council’s control had been to make it easier to call upon them to assist in ‘civilizing of the Welshmen’. After calling for the bill to be committed Harley was reproved by Sir Eubule Thelwall for using a quotation from Juvenal’s Satires which Thelwall thought was insulting to the Welsh.136 On 10 June Harley opposed proposals to set minimum subsidy assessments on baronets and Scottish and Irish peers, stating: ‘I would have no mark of dishonour put upon them. Let us have no diversity among us’.137 Three days later he successfully moved for the second reading of the bill for the continuance of expiring statutes,138 and was appointed to the committee to examine petitions against the earl of Holland’s patent as royal exchanger. Although he had already clashed with Holland over this patent in his capacity as master of the Mint, Harley stated on 23 June that the earl had been cleared. Instead he wanted the true projectors of the patent questioned.139 Two days later he supported a bill for confirming an agreement between the Crown and the copyhold tenants of a manor in Denbighshire.140 That same day he told the Commons that one of his subordinates, the assay-master, could not give evidence about a project for new coinage, having taken an oath of secrecy on the matter before four privy councillors.141

In the 1629 session Harley was appointed to eight committees and made four speeches. On 26 Jan. he called for the Tunnage and Poundage bill to be read because it originated with the king.142 In the committee for religion on 29 Jan. he argued that the Church of England was fundamentally Calvinist in its doctrine, and cited in support of his case the Thirty-Nine Articles, Whitgift’s Articles of Lambeth of 1595, the Articles of the Church of Ireland of 1615, the writings of James I and the 1618 Synod of Dort which, he claimed, had been ‘solely guided by our example’. However, the church was now threatened by the ‘bringing in of popery and Arminianism’ as a result of the writings of Montagu, Jackson and others. The solution he proposed was for the Commons to make ‘a public declaration of our religion’ and to petition the king in association with the Lords to have the works of the anti-Calvinists publicly burnt and their authors punished.143 He again introduced a bill against citations from the ecclesiastical courts upon common fame.144 Over the seizure of the goods of John Rolle* for the non-payment of customs he queried whether privilege could still be claimed so many days after the prorogation.145 He was appointed to several committees concerning religion, including those ordered to draft a petition for a general fast (26 Jan.) and to consider changes in recent editions of the articles of the Church of England (5 February).146

Harley’s title to the Mint was immediately questioned on his father-in-law’s death in 1631. Falling ‘under the disfavour of those who were then powerful at Court’, especially Laud, for supporting puritan preachers, it was conveniently discovered that his grant ‘came somewhat hastily before the other patent was avoided’, and he was removed from office.147 He was returned for the county at both elections of 1640, and supported Parliament in the Civil War, when he played a major role in the puritan iconoclasm. His restoration to the Mint in 1643 was some compensation for damage computed at nearly £13,000 done by the royalists to his estate. ‘Earnest for Presbytery’, but notably tolerant of puritan diversity, he nevertheless fell foul of the Army in 1647, and suffered imprisonment at Pride’s Purge. Confined for some years to his chamber by the tortures of palsy and the stone he died at his house in Ludlow on 6 Nov. 1656, having prayed three days earlier for the ‘ruin of Antichrist’ and the ‘churches of God beyond [the] sea’. He was buried at Brampton Bryan on 10 Nov. after a sermon that declared: ‘If other saints are candles, he was a torch’. He drafted a will on 28 Oct. 1652, which he revised on 9 Sept. 1656, but this was not proved nor is there any evidence of a grant of administration. He was succeeded by his son Edward, who had already joined him in the Long Parliament as recruiter for Herefordshire, and was to sit either for the county or New Radnor, with two short intervals, for 40 years from 1658.148

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Disabled 27 Jan., readmitted 8 June, secluded at Pride’s Purge 6 Dec. 1648.
  • 2. Collins, Peerage, iv. 56; Al. Ox.; M. Temple Admiss.
  • 3. J. Thorpe, Registrum Roffense, 770; J. Eales, Puritans and Roundheads, 19, 21, 24; Collins, Peerage, iv. 58-9.
  • 4. Shaw, Knights of Eng. i. 155.
  • 5. Collins, Peerage, iv. 56, 60.
  • 6. Add 38139, f. 131; C66/2174; C231/4, f. 140v; HMC Portland, iii. 89; Brampton Bryan, Herefs. Harley ms 88/2.
  • 7. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 133; HMC Portland, iii. 49; S. Robinson, ‘Forests and Woodland Areas of Herefs.’, Trans. Woolhope Field Club (1923), pp. 210-12.
  • 8. C181/1, f. 91; 181/3, f. 33.
  • 9. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 269.
  • 10. Eales, 31.
  • 11. SP14/31/1; C212/22/23; Add. 11051, f. 141; SR, v. 85, 152.
  • 12. W.H. Howse, ‘Deputy Lieutenant’s Commission’, Trans. Rad. Soc. xxviii. 34; HEHL, EL7443; Add. 70086/6.
  • 13. C181/3, f. 26; 181/4, ff. 162, 168; 181/5, f. 191.
  • 14. HMC 13th Rep. IV, 220; T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 4, p. 7.
  • 15. Add. 70001, unfol. (7 July 1623).
  • 16. T. Rymer, Foedera, viii. pt. 2, p. 145; C193/12/2, ff. 21v, 83v.
  • 17. E178/7154, f. 134; 178/5905, f. 9.
  • 18. Add. 70058, memorandum of John Wall, 20 Apr. 1639; Portland HMC, iii.
  • 19. Add. 70109/63.
  • 20. C93/16/7; 93/18/19.
  • 21. HMC Portland, iii. 148, 171.
  • 22. A. and O. i. 92, 113, 148, 428, 507, 542, 780, 804, 927, 966, 980, 1084, 1097, 1237, 1247; ii. 971.
  • 23. J. Craig, Mint, 143, 146, 151.
  • 24. A. and O. i. 691, 853, 905, 1208, 1228.
  • 25. R.W. Eyton, Antiqs. of Salop, vi. 232-3.
  • 26. Collins, iv. 44.
  • 27. Eales, 29-31; Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley, p. xlii; N and Q, cxcvi. 63; Staffs. RO, D593/C/10/1/8; Brampton Bryan, Herefs. Harley ms 30/12.
  • 28. W.H. Howse, ‘Encroachments on the king’s wastes in Cantref Maelienydd as recorded in 1734’, Trans. Rad. Soc. xxv. 32.
  • 29. CJ, i. 162a, 172a, 243a, 252a.
  • 30. HMC Portland, ii. 1-4; Eales, 20;
  • 31. Staffs. RO, D593/E/3/6/3/3; WARD 9/90, f. 690; PROB 11/106, f. 52r-v; C2/Jas.I/F4/58; 2/Jas.I/H34/11; 2/Jas.I/S12/39.
  • 32. T. Froysell, Yadidyah or, the Beloved Disciple (1658), p. 117.
  • 33. CJ, i. 260a, 260b.
  • 34. Ibid. 282a.
  • 35. Ibid. 408a-b.
  • 36. Eales, 18, 35; ‘Paulet 1610’, f. 5v; CJ, i. 417b; Procs. 1610 ed. E.R. Foster, ii. 363; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 34.
  • 37. CJ, i. 421a.
  • 38. Ibid. 439b; 440b.
  • 39. Ibid. 434a.
  • 40. Add. 70105, unfol. Sir Robert Harley to Sir Edward Herbert [20 Apr. 1610].
  • 41. CJ, i. 422a.
  • 42. Ibid. 451b; Procs. 1610, ii. 385; ‘Paulet 1610’, f. 26.
  • 43. CJ, i. 449a, 453a.
  • 44. Procs. 1610, ii. 90-2; W. Notestein, House of Commons 1604-10, pp. 315-17.
  • 45. Procs. 1610, ii. 392-400; ‘Paulet 1610’, f. 31v; Parl. Debates, 1610 ed. S.R. Gardiner, p. 138.
  • 46. Harl. 6846, ff. 197-8v; Harl. 6850, ff. 55v-8v, 60v-2v; Add. 70001, ff. 48-73, 74-87; Bowyer Diary, 63-4, 68-70, 192-8, 255-8, 263-4, 266-72, 274-82, 284-5, 289, 293, 378-86 Procs. 1610, ii. 392-400; Eales, 73, n. 6; Oxford DNB sub Wanley, Humfrey.
  • 47. PRO 30/53/10, f. 8; SP14/146/82; W.H Howse, ‘Rectory of Presteigne’, Trans. Rad. Soc. xxvii. 37; Eales, 32-3; CSP Dom. 1619-23, pp. 587, 608, 622.
  • 48. Eales, 38, 40, 53-6, 60; Froysell, 99-101; Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley, pp. xv-xvi.
  • 49. Cott. Vitellius C.I, f. 206v.
  • 50. Eales, 78; Add. 61989, f. 220; FSL, Vb2(21).
  • 51. Add. 70001, unfol. [Sir Robert Harley] to Sir Horace Vere, 14[sic] Feb. 1621; Eales, 89; Eales, ‘Sir Robert Harley, KB, (1579-1656) and the ‘Character’ of a Puritan’. Brit. Lib. Journal, xv. 134-52; Oxford DNB sub Parker, Robert; Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley, p. xliii.
  • 52. Eales, 42.
  • 53. Som. RO, DD/PH216/32.
  • 54. ‘Spring 1624’, p. 60; Rich 1624, p. 33; T. Cogswell, Blessed Revolution, 175-6.
  • 55. Ferrar 1624, p. 60; Holles 1624, p. 22; CJ, i. 729a.
  • 56. Rich 1624, p. 42; Ferrar 1624, p. 62; Rich 1624, p. 42; ‘Holland 1624’, i. f. 32.
  • 57. ‘Earle 1624’, f. 75; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 70; ‘Spring 1624’, p. 106; CJ, i. 683a; Cogswell, 189.
  • 58. ‘Spring 1624’, p. 131; ‘Pym 1624’, i. f. 34; Holles 1624, p. 42.
  • 59. Add. 70001, ff. 122-3v.
  • 60. ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 23v.
  • 61. ‘Spring 1624’, p. 60.
  • 62. ‘Earle 1624’, f. 113r-v; ‘Spring 1624’, p. 168; ‘Lowther 1624’, f. 47v; Holles 1624, p. 59; J. Gee, The Foot out of the Snare (1624 edn.), sig. R.
  • 63. ‘Pym 1624’, i. f. 47.
  • 64. CJ, i. 776a.
  • 65. ‘Holland 1624’, ii. f. 74v;
  • 66. CJ, i. 705a’ 797b; ‘Earle 1624’, f. 196.
  • 67. ‘Spring 1624’, p. 81.
  • 68. CJ, i. 684a, 730a.
  • 69. Ibid. 753a.
  • 70. Add. 70086/5/4.
  • 71. Add. 70086/2.
  • 72. CJ, i. 704a. In CJ, i. 789b, Harley is recorded as having been a teller for the ‘yeas’, but it is unlikely that he would have supported a bill he had himself reported as unsatisfactory.
  • 73. CJ, i. 711b.
  • 74. ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 142.
  • 75. CJ, i. 702b.
  • 76. SP14/165/5.
  • 77. CJ, i. 714a, 797.
  • 78. Hereford City Lib. L.C. 929.2, p. 109 ex inf. Dr. Ian Atherton.
  • 79. Procs. 1626, iv. 238-9; Harl. 1622, f. 33.
  • 80. Procs. 1626, ii. 116, 122.
  • 81. Ibid. 150, 152-3, 155.
  • 82. Ibid. 190, 239, 240, 247.
  • 83. Ibid. 209.
  • 84. Ibid. 298.
  • 85. Ibid. 299.
  • 86. Ibid. 313; C. Russell, PEP, 290.
  • 87. Procs. 1626, ii. 378, 383.
  • 88. Ibid. iii. 124, 130.
  • 89. Ibid. 161, 163.
  • 90. Ibid. 420.
  • 91. Ibid. 243, 245.
  • 92. Ibid. 273, 278.
  • 93. Ibid. 296, 298.
  • 94. Ibid. ii. 313; Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley, 2.
  • 95. Procs. 1626, ii. 250.
  • 96. Ibid. 273
  • 97. Ibid. 381.
  • 98. Ibid. 283.
  • 99. Ibid. 44, 46, 125, 214, 247.
  • 100. Ibid. 61, 63, 65.
  • 101. Ibid. 138
  • 102. Ibid. 206; iii. 10.
  • 103. Ibid. ii. 238, 327.
  • 104. Ibid. iii. 207.
  • 105. Ibid. 405.
  • 106. Ibid. ii. 69; C.R. Kyle, ‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 230.
  • 107. HMC Portland, iii. 21.
  • 108. CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 469; 1627-8, pp. 76, 95, 298; Eales, 32; G.E. Aylmer, King’s Servants, 372-3; Howse, 37.
  • 109. Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley, 230; Symonds Diary ed. C.E. Long (Cam. Soc. lxxiv), 195.
  • 110. SP16/54/2.I; Eales, 88.
  • 111. Thomas Pierson to Sir Robert Harley, 16 Feb. 1627[/8], Add. 70001, f. 237.
  • 112. Salop RO, LB2/1/1, f. 157v.
  • 113. Procs. 1628, vi. 149.
  • 114. CD 1628, ii. 30, 35, 36, 42.
  • 115. Russell, 116.
  • 116. Add. 70001, f. 237; CD 1628, ii. 86.
  • 117. CD 1628, iii. 20, 30, 252.
  • 118. CD 1628, iv. 178.
  • 119. Ibid. 364, 383; Procs. 1628, vi. 41.
  • 120. Froysell, 106.
  • 121. CD 1628, iii. 44, 48, 171, 185; N. Tyacke, Anti-Calvinists, 137.
  • 122. CD 1628, iii. 135, 431, 442.
  • 123. Ibid. 301, 557; iv. 338; Add. 70001, f. 156; Froysell, 109.
  • 124. CD 1628, ii. 288.
  • 125. Procs. 1628, vi. 63.
  • 126. CD 1628, ii. 418.
  • 127. Ibid. 431, 435.
  • 128. Ibid. iii. 130, 139.
  • 129. Ibid. 219.
  • 130. Ibid. 585
  • 131. Ibid. iv. 73-4.
  • 132. Ibid. 155.
  • 133. Ibid. 248.
  • 134. Ibid. 388.
  • 135. Ibid. iii. 349.
  • 136. Ibid. 464, 474.
  • 137. Ibid. iv. 228.
  • 138. Ibid. 299.
  • 139. Ibid. 289, 440.
  • 140. Ibid. 474-5.
  • 141. Ibid. 409.
  • 142. CD 1629, p. 108.
  • 143. Ibid. 116; HMC Lonsdale, 66.
  • 144. CD 1629, p. 190; CJ, i. 928b.
  • 145. CD 1629, p. 232.
  • 146. CJ, i. 922b, 926b.
  • 147. Aylmer, 374; Add. 70109/65; CSP Dom. 1631-3, p. 110.
  • 148. Eales, 38, 194; Letters of Lady Brilliana Harley, 230; Froysell, 99, 109, 111, 117; D. Underdown, Pride’s Purge, 17, 138, 147; Add. 70089/91; Collins, Peerage, iv. 60.