NEVILLE, Sir Henry I (1564-1615), of Billingbear, Waltham St. Lawrence, Berks. and Tothill Street, Westminster; formerly of Mayfield, Suss.

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




Family and Education

bap. 20 May 1564,1 1st s. of Sir Henry Neville† of Billingbear and his 2nd w. Elizabeth, da. of Sir John Gresham of Titsey, Surr.; bro. of Edward Neville II†. educ. privately (household of William Cecil†, 1st Lord Burghley); Merton, Oxf. 1577, MA 1605; travelled abroad (France, Germany, Bohemia, Austria and Italy) 1578-82.2 m. lic. 4 Dec. 1584, Anne, da. of Sir Henry Killigrew† of Lothbury, London; Hendon, Mdx.; and Truro, Cornw., at least 5s., at least 6da. (1 d.v.p.).3 suc. fa. 1593; kntd. 9 Apr. 1599.4 d. 10 July 1615. sig. Henry Nevill.

Offices Held

Member, embassy to Scotland 1583;5 amb. France 1599-1601; teller (jt.), Exch. 1599-1601;6 commr. peace negotiations with Spain 1600, Union 1606.7

Freeman, New Windsor, Berks. 1588; commr. subsidy, Suss. 1589, Berks. and Windsor 1608;8 j.p. Suss. by 1591-at least 1593, Berks. 1593-1601, by 1604-d. (custos rot. to 1601, by 1604-d.);9 dep. lt. Suss. 1591, Berks. 1596-at least 1608;10 commr. recusancy, Suss. 1592-at least 1594;11 kpr. house at Windsor Castle 1593-?1601,12 Sunninghill Park, Windsor Forest, Berks. 1593-1601, by 1607-d., Swinley Walk and Fines Bailiwick, Windsor Forest by 1607;13 steward, Newbury manor, Berks. ?1593-at least 1604,14 Sonning manor, Berks. by 1598-1601, by 1603-at least 1608;15 sheriff, Berks. 1595-6;16 commr. oyer and terminer, Oxf. circ. 1606,17 charitable uses, Berks. 1607-at least 1613;18 collector, aid Berks. 1609, 1613.19

Cttee. Virg. Co. 1607; member, New River Co. 1610-d., French Co. 1611, E.I. Co. 1614-d.20


Regarded as ‘a great puritan’ by a contemporary Catholic detractor,21 and as the true author of Shakespeare’s works by two recent commentators22 (a view which has failed to gain widespread scholarly acceptance), Neville was the heir of Sir Henry Neville of Billingbear, a prominent east Berkshire gentleman. Red-haired and corpulent, he bore a striking resemblance to Henry VIII in his later years, and was consequently nicknamed ‘similis’ by the earl of Somerset and Sir Thomas Overbury.23 His date of birth is uncertain, but it was probably a few months before he was baptized in May 1564, for in 1599 he recorded his age as 36 in the full-length portrait of him painted by Marcus Gheerarts. Evidence from other sources should probably be dismissed as faulty.24

Neville was educated in the household of William Cecil, 1st Lord Burghley, and matriculated in December 1577 at Merton College, Oxford, where he became a pupil of Henry Savile†, a fellow of the college and one of the leading scholars of his day. In April 1578 he and several other promising and well-connected pupils, among them the future diplomat Sir George Carew II*, toured the Continent with Savile. There they met the astronomers Johannes Praetorius and Tycho Brahé as well as the humanist Andreas Dudith. On his return to England, Neville, by now ‘distinguished for his book learning’, journeyed to Scotland as part of the embassy led by secretary of state Sir Francis Walsingham†.25 In 1584 Neville was elected to Parliament for New Windsor through the influence of his father, the lieutenant of Windsor Castle and keeper of several nearby royal parks. Shortly thereafter he married Anne, one of the daughters of Henry Killigrew, whereupon he settled in the fervently Protestant parish of Mayfield, in east Sussex.

Neville represented Sussex in 1589, in which Parliament Savile, also a Member, took charge of the bill to assure the jointure of Neville’s wife. Mayfield manor and park had come into Neville hands through Neville’s mother, Elizabeth Gresham, and included a furnace used for casting iron ordnance.26 Neville took over the foundry, and in April 1591 he was granted a monopoly for 21 years to export light artillery. His partner in this enterprise was his distant kinsman Robert Sackville*, whose sister had married the 10th Lord Dacre, a senior Forest official around Windsor.27 Neville continued to work the Sussex iron foundry until 1597, when he sold the Mayfield estate for nearly £8,800. He used the proceeds to swell his Berkshire estate,28 and exchanged his interest in the ordnance monopoly for an annual pension of £350 from the Crown.29

Neville entered into his inheritance in January 1593 and succeeded to many of his father’s former offices in Berkshire. He served as sheriff of that county in 1595-6, and resumed his parliamentary representation of New Windsor in 1597. By the time he sold Mayfield he had already begun to augment his Berkshire holdings, buying up lands previously owned by the late Sir Henry Unton† and adding two wings to his house at Billingbear.30 The expense involved plunged him into debt, but a temporary financial difficulty was transformed into a major cash crisis early in 1599, when he was appointed ambassador to Paris. In order to equip himself for this embassy he was obliged to sell land worth £2,400, and over the next few years he raised a further £1,600 in this way to offset his expenses.31 Before leaving England he was granted a tellership in the Exchequer, presumably to compensate him for his losses. However, he shared this office with his father-in-law, to whom he granted his share of the proceeds.32

Before journeying to Paris, Neville was knighted in the privy chamber at Greenwich in April 1599. As one of the commissioners for negotiating a peace with Spain, he met the Spanish representatives at Boulogne between April and July 1600. Following the failure of this diplomatic mission he was recalled to London, where he attempted to surrender his burdensome office, only to be threatened with imprisonment if he refused to return to France.33 Before he could cross the Channel he was implicated in the abortive rising led by the 2nd earl of Essex, who had contemplated installing him as secretary of state in place of (Sir) Robert Cecil†. Although exonerated of any direct involvement by Essex’s henchman, Henry Cuffe, he was judged to have failed to prevent the rising, of which he had prior knowledge. He was accordingly imprisoned in the Tower, deprived of his pension, stripped of office34 and fined £10,000. This penalty was far greater than his depleted resources could bear, as his annual income, now shorn of the royal pension, barely exceeded £700, or so he claimed.35 After offering just £4,000, which was refused, Neville agreed in March 1602 to pay £5,000.36 How much he ultimately paid is unknown, for although in 1602 he sold at least one of his Berkshire manors he was released in April 1603 by the new king, James I. 37

Restored to his local offices, Neville was sent in July 1603 to greet the recently arrived ambassador of Lorraine.38 In the following March he was elected to Parliament for Berkshire, in which assembly his cousin and namesake, Sir Henry Neville II of Birling, Kent, also sat. Thankfully, the two men are generally distinguished from one another in the Journal. Neville made only one recorded speech in the first session, on 26 Mar., when he persuaded the House to establish a committee to consider the whole question of treason, presumably to smooth the passage for the bill to restore in blood the earls of Southampton, Arundel and Essex, all of whom had suffered as a result of the 1601 rising.39 Instead, Neville was more notable for the number of committees to which he was appointed than for public speaking. During the first session these numbered 26 in all, of which four concerned the Buckinghamshire election dispute (28 and 30 Mar., 5 and 12 April).40 Four more reflected his godly leanings, as they dealt with the general motion on religion made by Sir Francis Hastings (16 Apr.), the creation of a godly ministry (4 June), the elimination of pluralism (4 June) and the punishment of scandalous clergy (12 June).41 He was naturally named to the committee for the bill to restore the earls of Southampton, Essex and Arundel (2 Apr.),42 and was twice named to joint conferences on wardship (26 Mar. and 22 May), a subject which undoubtedly interested him as his eldest son (Sir Henry Neville III*) was still under-age. He was also involved in planning (27 Apr.) and reporting (16 Apr.) conferences on the Union, his knowledge of foreign affairs being thought useful in this matter.43 On 7 May he was ordered to help consider a petition regarding purveyance ahead of a further conference.44 At the beginning of the session he helped administer the oaths and was subsequently one of the bearers of an apology to the Lords (3 April).45

Shortly after the Parliament was prorogued, Neville was again accused of conspiracy, as was the earl of Southampton, who was re-arrested. However, the charges against both men were found to be groundless and were suspected, by the French ambassador, to have been the work of the Spanish faction at Court.46 Neville was now engaged in rebuilding his relationship with Robert Cecil, to whom he was related through his wife, Anne. In August 1604 Anne gave birth to another son, who was christened Robert by Cecil at Neville’s invitation. By December it was being rumoured that Neville, who had recently purchased copies of Aristotle’s Politics and Rhetoric, would soon be appointed ambassador to Spain.47 In the event, however, Cecil found no use for him, and consequently he remained idle at Billingbear for much of 1605.

Neville may have missed the re-opening of Parliament in November 1605. At around this time his wife gave birth to a daughter, Dorothy, who was baptized on the 17th at Neville’s local parish church of Waltham St. Lawrence. However, he was certainly at Westminster by January 1606. Once again the surviving records suggest that he played only a modest role in the Commons’ proceedings, for although he was appointed to 42 committees and one joint conference he made no known speeches. Nevertheless, his role behind the scenes may have been significant. In June 1606 Neville claimed, in a letter to Winwood, to have laid before Parliament a proposal to stem the flood of recruits to the Spanish Netherlands. This said that any subject who desired to serve in the armed forces of a Catholic Prince should be branded a felon unless he first took the Oath of Allegiance and put in bonds worth £20. Neville maintained that his proposal initially ‘passed the Lower House’ but was amended by the Lords to include military service under foreign princes in general, an alteration of which he strongly disapproved as he feared it would undermine Dutch recruitment.48 However, Neville’s claim to have laid such a proposal before the Commons should be treated with caution. No other source mentions this, nor is there any evidence that a scheme specifically aimed at curtailing military service under Catholic princes ever came before the House. The first Member known to have suggested a scheme to regulate the flow of English recruits abroad by administering the Oath and taking bonds was Nicholas Fuller, not Neville, and he did not advocate a policy of targeting only those who sought service under a Catholic prince. Nevertheless, there may have been some truth in Neville’s claim to have been the original author of a scheme to limit the flood of English recruits to the Spanish Netherlands. As one historian has remarked, it is perfectly possible that Neville was ‘the backstage advocate of a more explicit formula’, which was then modified by Cecil, now earl of Salisbury, to avoid Spanish accusations of partisan behaviour. If so then Neville may have tried hard to rescue his original proposal. This might explain why, on 1 Feb., the solicitor-general, John Doddridge, announced that an article on foreign recruits had not yet been perfected. Whether Neville continued to argue his case after 6 Feb., when Fuller addressed the House, is unknown, but he was a member of the committee for debating what could be done about ‘such as do or shall serve in the Spanish wars’ which met on the afternoon of 8 February. Interestingly, that very morning, Salisbury’s client Sir Christopher Parkins, seconded by Sir Edwin Sandys, reiterated Fuller’s motion. Perhaps this was Salisbury’s way of reminding the House of his preferred option, or maybe it was a sign that he was worried Neville was hoping to persuade the committee to endorse his view. 49 Certainly, the disagreement over ‘Spanish servitors’ placed a strain on Neville’s relationship with Salisbury, for Neville later complained to his former secretary, Sir Ralph Winwood*, that ‘this Parliament hath done me no good, where not only speeches and actions but countenances and conversation with men disliked hath been observed’. Nevertheless he continued to try to win Cecil’s favour, as he was one of the 12 Members appointed to consider the bill to assure several small parcels of land to Salisbury in connection with the latter’s residence on the Strand (5 May).50

Neville’s committee nominations during the second session embraced a wide range of subjects, some of which held no known interest for him, such as the measures to clarify the 1544 government of Wales Act (21 Feb.) and improve husbandry and tillage in Herefordshire (20 March). However, many others reflected his own interests, among them bills to clear the Thames between London and Oxford (17 Apr.) and restore the son and heir of Sir Gelly Meyrick†, who had been executed for his part in Essex’s rising (1 April).51 Several of his nominations demonstrated his godly leanings, such as those concerned with bills to ensure the better observance of the Sabbath (29 Jan.), pluralism and non-residence (5 Mar.), deprived ministers (7 Mar.), church attendance (19 Mar.) and provision for a godly ministry (added, 21 March).52 Surprisingly, Neville was not appointed to any of the committees established in late January in response to the Gunpowder Plot, although he was subsequently named to a joint conference (3 Feb.) and a legislative committee (5 Apr.) on the full implementation of the recusancy laws. The omission sharply contrasts with the uncompromising hostility towards militant Catholicism which he expressed in a letter of June 1605 to Winwood. In this he deplored the ‘middle way’ then being pursued by the king, who spared the lives of captured priests and yet required recusants to be dealt with severely. Unless the Catholic clergy were executed, Neville maintained, ‘all the other provision will be fruitless, for they are the root and fountain of all the mischief’.53 Another committee which concerned Neville but of which he was not a member was established on 23 January. It dealt with the bill to sell lands belonging to the late Sir Jonathan Trelawny*, who like Neville had married a daughter of Sir Henry Killigrew. Neville’s omission from this committee may have been deliberate, however, for as an executor of Trelawny’s estate he was named in the bill and may even have been one of its sponsors.54

Neville retired to Billingbear over the summer of 1606. When Parliament reconvened in the following November he participated in the discussions regarding the Union. Appointed a commissioner for the Union on 21 Nov., he was subsequently named to three joint conferences on naturalization (24 Feb. 1606; 7 Mar. and 12 Mar. 1607). His expertise as a former ambassador to Paris meant that he was assigned the task of questioning whether it was wise to naturalize the Scots given that their nobility were treaty-bound to aid the king of France against the king of England. He was also expected to shed light on the French experience in granting naturalization to various Scots. Like many of his colleagues, Neville was vehemently anti-Scottish, and at the conference held on 7 Mar. 1607 he and Dudley Carleton questioned whether it was wise ‘to entertain into our bosoms’ the devotees of France.55 On 11 June Neville was appointed to help prepare that afternoon’s joint conference regarding the hostile laws bill.56 Although the Union clearly took up much of his energy in Parliament, Neville found time to deal with other issues. He continued to attract appointments to legislative committees that reflected his puritan concerns, and on 18 May he was ordered to help draft a petition asking the king to execute the laws against Jesuits and seminary priests.57 He may also have been heavily involved in the William Essex land bill, a measure which concerned a Berkshire landowner. Not only did his name head the committee on 13 June, he was also one of the Members who were instructed by the Speaker to deal with Essex’s creditors when the bill was ordered to sleep nine days later.58 Neville’s attendance in the chamber may have been exemplary, as he was one of only a handful of Members in the House at the beginning of July. On 2 July he voted in committee to discontinue the 1553 Act against unlawful assemblies, while on the 3rd he was placed on a small investigative committee concerned with the Members’ collection of the previous session.59

Following the end of the session, Neville considered travelling abroad with his eldest son, but decided not to undertake the journey.60 In January 1608 he fell sick, but despite his poor health he approached Salisbury with a plan to raise money to help refill the now badly depleted royal coffers, whereby each parish would pay to exempt two of its inhabitants from the duty of serving as jurors or constables. Though he offered to supervise this scheme himself, he suggested that it would be wise ‘to give the exemption gratis upon some principal man in every shire to whom you will commit the chief trust of the business, so to draw on the rest’.61 It may have been because of administrative difficulties that his project was not adopted. In June Neville wrote to Winwood, now ambassador to the United Provinces, suggesting that the Dutch should seek English aid before Parliament reassembled in late October. He felt sure ‘that the general affection of the subjects of England is great unto the conservation of those provinces’ and that Englishmen would sooner vote subsidies for the Dutch than for any other purpose. He himself ‘would willingly contribute beyond all proportion of my means, and co-operate as seriously with my voice and best endeavour in Parliament to yield them a real assistance, as I would for the reduction or pacification of Ireland’. However, he realized that it was unlikely that James could be persuaded to provide the Dutch with active support, for ‘we are afraid of every shadow, least it should give a pretence unto Spain to foment the rebellion we expect in Ireland’.62 Whether Winwood acted on Neville’s advice is unclear, but in the event Parliament did not meet again until 1610.

By the beginning of 1609 Neville was again in financial difficulty, occasioned perhaps by the recent marriages of two of his daughters. He beseeched Salisbury, to whom he had recently become reconciled, for a lease of some Crown land or the grant of annuities for his younger sons to compensate him for the £4,000 he had spent in royal service.63 However, the Crown was also impoverished, and consequently Neville was forced to sell timber from his estate to remain solvent.64 The subsequent marriage of his eldest son also brought him a dowry of £3,200.

When the Commons eventually reassembled Neville again avoided the limelight. In his only recorded speech, delivered on 16 July 1610, he and Sir Maurice Berkeley proposed that all Members be permitted to attend the committee appointed to meet the following morning to discuss the king’s paper concerning defects in the commonwealth.65 However, Neville’s near silence is misleading. He was almost certainly closely involved in the abortive negotiations surrounding the Great Contract, for not only was he ordered to help draft the message thanking the king for permission to treat of tenures (14 Mar.), he was subsequently twice required to help the House prepare for conferences with the Lords (14 and 19 July). His concern for the royal finances may explain why he was the first Member, after the privy councillors and law officers, to be appointed to the committee established on 15 Mar. to consider the assignment of debts to the king.66 One of the chief barriers to progress over the Great Contract was the question of impositions. The parliamentary records suggest that Neville played only a modest role in opposing these levies, for his name is mentioned just once in this context, on 3 July, when he was appointed to help draft the petition identifying them as a grievance. However, Salisbury regarded him as one of the leading figures in the Commons, whose support would be needed if the problem posed by impositions was to be surmounted. According to Dudley Carleton*, on the evening of 10 July Salisbury summoned Neville and seven other Members to a secret gathering in Hyde Park, at which impositions were the chief topic of conversation.67 At this meeting it was resolved that the Commons would give all existing impositions statutory authority in return for a royal promise not to introduce any more without parliamentary consent. This bargain led to the introduction of a bill that rapidly completed its passage through the Commons but which was lost when Parliament was prorogued on 23 July. It also paved the way for Neville and the other leaders of the Commons to organize a modest grant of supply, for on 13 July he and five of his colleagues, three of whom had also attended the secret meeting arranged by Salisbury, were ordered by the House to meet that afternoon for this purpose.68

The state of the royal finances was not Neville’s sole preoccupation in 1610, for as usual he was named to consider measures on pluralism (19 Feb.), subscription (14 Mar.), ecclesiastical leases (25 Apr.) and bastardy (16 May).69 Moreover, as the keeper of several royal walks and chases in Windsor Forest, and as one who seems to have enjoyed hunting almost as much as the king, he was naturally appointed to committees for bills regarding the preservation of game (22 Mar.) and hawking out of season (17 April).70 His experience as a diplomat explains his inclusion on the committee for bill to naturalize the children of Britain’s ambassadors born overseas, to which he was added on the motion of Richard Martin (14 May).71 Among his remaining nominations were two for bills in which he had earlier shown an interest, those for William Essex (16 Feb.) and Lord Abergavenny (7 July).72 He was also named to the committee for the bill which aimed to repeal the New River Act, a measure which he is unlikely to have favoured as later that year he invested £200 in the Company. He was not initially appointed to the privileges committee, but was added on 9 Mar. to help consider the disputed Bridgnorth election. He was twice required to help prepare for conferences with the Lords over Dr. John Cowell’s book, The Interpreter, which maintained that the king could use his prerogative powers to suspend or set aside any laws which he regarded as hurtful to the commonwealth.73

During the fifth and final session, Neville continued to be perceived as one of the leaders of the House. Sometime before 21 Nov. he and Sir William Strode were quizzed informally by one of the king’s closest servants, Sir Thomas Lake I*, about a rumour that someone was planning to call upon the House to demand that the king send home the Scots as a precondition of further supply.74 Moreover, a few days after the collapse of the Great Contract, Neville was one of 30 Members summoned to Whitehall by James, who desired to discover for himself whether something might be salvaged from the wreckage. The king began by asking this select group whether it thought that he was in financial want. He was answered initially by Sir Francis Bacon, but James quickly tired of Bacon’s florid response and turned instead to Neville, who answered plainly ‘that he thought indeed His Majesty was in want’. When James then asked whether Neville and his colleagues considered it their duty to relieve him, Neville replied with equal directness that ‘where Your Majesty’s expense groweth by the commonwealth we are bound to maintain it, otherwise not’. He pointed out that James had already been granted four subsidies and seven fifteenths, ‘which is more than ever was given by any Parliament at any time, upon any occasion, and yet withal they had no relief of their grievances’. When James asked to know what these grievances were, Neville proceeded to detail them in turn. By now, however, the other members of the group were becoming exasperated with Neville’s monopoly of the conversation, and when Neville mentioned the jurisdiction of the Council of the Marches of Wales ‘Sir Herbert Croft took the word out of his mouth, otherwise it was thought Sir Henry ... would have delivered judgment in all’.75 For a man who scarcely spoke in the Commons, Neville had proved surprisingly eloquent.

Throughout the sessions of 1610 Neville had, in the words of one observer, ‘ranged himself with those Patriots that were accounted of a contrary faction to the courtiers’.76 He had spoken his mind, a freedom which he greatly valued,77 but in so doing he had irreparably damaged his relations with Salisbury, from whom he could now expect no preferment. Following the dissolution, therefore, he severed his links with Salisbury and instead ingratiated himself with Sir Thomas Overbury, the close friend and confidant of the king’s Scottish favourite, Viscount Rochester. By the end of October 1611 he had set his sights on becoming secretary of state, or at the very least a privy councillor. Rochester accordingly hosted a series of meetings in his Whitehall apartments with Neville, Lord Sheffield and the earl of Southampton, described by one observer as Neville’s ‘champion’.78 Neville supposed that the Great Contract had collapsed because Salisbury had not handled the Commons successfully, but if a fresh Parliament were to meet in the following February, he declared, he was confident that he would be able to persuade it to be more co-operative, provided that Salisbury was prevented from interfering in its business.79

It was by no means implausible to suppose that Neville could manage the Commons. Although he had rarely addressed the chamber himself, Neville was clearly regarded as a behind-the-scenes ‘fixer’, as his inclusion in the group of 30 Members interviewed by James, and his earlier attempt to gain acceptance of a more radical solution to the problem of ‘Spanish servitors’, suggests. Neville later described himself as ‘one that lived and conversed inwardly with the chief of them that were noted to be most backward’,80 and he was connected by ties of blood, friendship or business to many prominent former Members of the Commons. They included William Hakewill, his kinsman by marriage,81 and Sir Maurice Berkeley, whose wife Elizabeth was first cousin to Neville’s wife, Anne. In 1608 Neville reinforced his connection with Berkeley through the marriage of his daughter, Elizabeth, to Berkeley’s brother, Sir Henry Berkeley of Yarlington, in Somerset. From at least July 1608 Sir Maurice was a trustee of Neville’s estates. Two other Members with whom Neville was on good terms were Sir William Borlase and Francis Moore, who represented Buckinghamshire and Reading respectively in the first Jacobean Parliament. Borlase lived near Billingbear, at Little Marlow in Buckinghamshire, and shared Neville’s puritan outlook. Like Berkeley, he was a trustee of Neville’s estates by 1608. Moore, a favourite client of lord chancellor Ellesmere (Thomas Egerton†), also became a trustee of Neville’s lands, and was described by Neville in April 1615 as his ‘very good friend’. Another trustee was Neville’s brother-in-law, Sir Robert Killigrew, who represented Newport between 1604 and 1610. Killigrew’s importance lay in the fact that he controlled several parliamentary seats, but he was also one of Rochester’s favourites and may have been the means by which Neville entered Rochester’s circle. Neville’s parliamentary neighbours included the former Member for Oxford, Thomas Wentworth I of Henley, in Oxfordshire, and James Whitelocke of Fawley Court in Buckinghamshire, who represented the borough of New Woodstock in 1610. Both men clearly enjoyed friendly relations with Neville. In 1612 Wentworth would pay Neville a social call, at which time the two men discussed Neville’s plans for managing a Parliament, while in 1613 the earl of Northampton would link Whitelocke with Neville when he tried to discover who was responsible for undermining his planned investigation of the Navy. It was probably through Neville that Killigrew came to offer Whitelocke the parliamentary seat of Helston in 1614. Neville’s network of connections also extended to some of the lesser parliamentary figures. He was father-in-law to Sir Edward Lewknor II, who went on to represent West Looe in 1614, and he chose Samuel Backhouse, who served for New Windsor between 1604 and 1610, as godfather to one of his children in 1609.82 As an executor of Sir Jonathan Trelawny, he was linked to several men who sat for Cornish constituencies in the first Jacobean Parliament, among them Sir William Godolphin, Sir William Lower, Sir Anthony Rous and Sir John Specott.83

Neville’s plan to secure the secretaryship in return for the successful management of the Commons initially seemed destined to fail, as the king was unwilling to summon another Parliament. However, Salisbury soon fell gravely ill, and as Sir John Herbert* had long since abandoned his duties as junior secretary it seemed that it would not be long before James was obliged to appoint a successor. It was widely agreed that Neville was the front-runner, and by the end of April 1612 he was being spoken of ‘as if he were in present possession’. Within days of Salisbury’s death (24 May), Neville was informed that James wished to speak with him.84 It must have seemed to Neville as though high office now beckoned, but at the last moment James got cold feet. When Neville came to Court he found that the king was too busy to see him. A second attempt to seek an audience proved equally fruitless, as James suddenly went hunting.85 Evidently Neville had rallied so much support that he had frightened James away, both literally and metaphorically. Inundated with former Members of the Commons urging him to appoint Neville, and learning of the secret meetings in Rochester’s apartments, James declared that he would ‘not have a secretary imposed upon him by Parliament’.86 Instead, he began casting around for an alternative candidate. There was naturally no shortage of suitors, among them Sir Thomas Lake I and Sir Henry Wotton*, but James most strongly inclined towards Neville’s close friend and former protégé Sir Ralph Winwood, whom he recalled from The Hague.

Winwood undoubtedly had many of the attributes needed to perform the duties of a secretary of state but he had never sat in Parliament, let alone managed one for the king. As the parlous condition of the royal finances meant that James might be forced to summon another Parliament soon, this put him at a great disadvantage. While James pondered what to do he went hunting at Windsor, where he stayed between 6 and 9 July.87 There he concluded that he had been rash to discard Neville, whom he now summoned ‘to know his opinion in [sic] Parliament’. At this meeting, Neville explained to the king why many of his advisers were opposed to a fresh summons, whereupon James declared that he ‘trembled to think that any should thus breed a dislike between his people and him’. At the end of the interview, Neville was commanded to put his proposals in writing and hand them to Rochester. Soon afterwards Neville penned ‘An Advice Touching the Holding of a Parliament’,88 and went to Westminster in search of Rochester’s friend, Sir Thomas Overbury.89

In the ‘Advice’, Neville claimed that the sourness that had marred the former Parliament was ‘no other but that which happens often by some distemper between a tender father and dutiful children’. However, since it was widely believed that serious ill-feeling existed between the king and his Parliament ‘there is nothing more necessary for the King’s Majesty than to deface that opinion’. This should be done in a new Parliament, which would meet in the autumn, ‘for there the error grew and there and nowhere else it must be repaid’. To this end, Neville had ‘collected out of the desires of sundry of the principal and most understanding gentlemen that were of the last Parliament and are like to be of this’ those things ‘that will be demanded or expected by the Parliament in the behalf of the people’. He set these out in a separate ‘Memorial’, and proposed that James should offer to deal with them by way of bills of grace. Conceding the demands contained in the ‘Memorial’ would cost the king little in lost revenue and leave his prerogative powers intact, as they mainly dealt with such matters as the exaction of unwarranted fees by the officers of the Exchequer. The same was true of the eight bills of grace that had been offered in 1610 by Salisbury as a sweetener during the negotiations for the Great Contract, which Neville thought should be laid on the table once more. Absolutely nothing was said about the king’s right to levy impositions, for as Neville would later tell Sir Edwin Sandys, ‘it was of that difficulty as he could not tell how to include it’. In the ‘Advice’, Neville stressed that James should deal directly with the Commons rather than employ an intermediary like the late lord treasurer, while the Lower House should be required to nominate ‘thirty or forty or fewer’ of their Members to treat with him in person. This would ‘much expedite the business, avoid jealousies and give good satisfaction to the most when they shall see that the king shall understand their desires immediately from themselves without any interposition or danger of misinterpretation’.90 This was, of course, precisely the method of handling the Commons favoured by James himself, for in May 1610 the king had actually invited the Commons to send him groups of ten or 12 Members to consult him informally from time to time.91

Neville’s fortunes now seemed about to transform. By mid-July it was rumoured that he would shortly be appointed principal secretary, and that Winwood, who had returned to The Hague, would become the junior secretary.92 Neville himself favoured this arrangement, not least because it promised to remove Winwood as a threat to his ambitions. It was not long before he was afforded the opportunity to discuss with the king both the secretaryship and his plans for managing a Parliament, for during the first half of September he again joined James near Windsor. During a two-hour long conversation with the king on the hunting field, he was said by one observer to have ‘received good approbation in most of his advices and by conference made good the rest’. Neville himself reported that he had earlier conferred with Overbury and found ‘the matters well tasted which I proposed in the former’.93 However, on about 24 Sept. James announced at Hampton Court that he saw no need to appoint a secretary, whose duties he was perfectly capable of discharging himself.94 Over the summer James had become less enthusiastic about calling a Parliament, as the imminent marriage of Prince Henry promised to yield a dowry large enough to avoid the need for a parliamentary vote of supply. Since James now believed that he no longer needed a Parliament he seems also to have concluded that it was no longer urgent to appoint a secretary. Some duties he would perform himself, but most of the secretary’s functions could be discharged by Rochester in an unofficial capacity, assisted by Sir Thomas Lake.

Neville nevertheless clung to the hope that the king might change his mind. In order to be at the centre of affairs he obtained permission to build a house for himself in Westminster.95 Moreover, in mid-November he effected a reconciliation between Rochester with the 3rd earl of Pembroke, whose support would be needed in any future Parliament, in the belief that an alliance between the two men would increase his chances of becoming secretary.96 At around the same time his kinsman, Sir Maurice Berkeley, wrote to Sir Robert Phelips, the son of the former Speaker. The contents of this letter suggest not only that Berkeley had canvassed Phelips’ opinion of Neville’s paper but that Phelips had offered some encouraging signs of support. ‘I like well of your purpose of treating with Sir H.N.’, wrote Berkeley, ‘and I do assure myself it will be grateful to him to see such as you are so well affected’.97 Neville’s hopes for a fresh Parliament may have been briefly raised by the death of Prince Henry on 6 Nov., which apparently scuppered James’s prospect of obtaining a large dowry, but it quickly became apparent that the negotiations for a French marriage would continue regardless, as Prince Charles would be substituted for Prince Henry.98 Consequently, by mid-November Neville had become despondent, and lay the blame for the reversal in his fortunes at the door of the argumentative Overbury, who had caused the rift between Rochester and Pembroke that he had been forced to heal. ‘If I miscarry’, he wrote, ‘it is for his sake’. Overbury had not only ‘refused to take any help in the work, under pretence of not sharing obligations’, but ‘irritated and provoked almost all men of place and power by his extreme neglect of them, and needless contestation with them, upon every occasion’.99 In January 1613 it was reported that the king was no longer inclined to appoint Neville as secretary, even though the Privy Council had complained that business was delayed for want of such an officer. Neville’s chances of preferment were dealt a further blow that same month when he quarrelled with one of the king’s Scottish favourites, Viscount Fentoun, over the will of Sir John Norris†. John Chamberlain believed that Neville, a co-executor, had only ‘taken the way of law and justice’, but Fentoun went with ‘open mouth to complain of him to the king’.100

In the spring of 1613 Neville’s political fortunes began to revive as he found himself at the centre of the Jacobean Court’s bitter factional politics. Following the imprisonment of Overbury in the Tower, the way was clear for Rochester to form an alliance with Pembroke and Southampton directed against the Howard faction, led by the earls of Northampton (lord privy seal), Suffolk (lord chamberlain) and Nottingham (Charles Howard†, lord admiral). Southampton and Pembroke in particular were said to ‘stand much to have Neville Secretary’, whereas the Howards stood equally firmly for Sir Thomas Lake. The ranks of the anti-Howard faction included ‘some of the most discontented noblemen of the younger sort, and all the Parliament mutineers’.101 Backed by this powerful new grouping, Neville set about rehabilitating himself in the eyes of the king, presenting James with a scheme regarding Muscovy. James took the proposal seriously and ordered Neville to discuss it with a group of privy councillors, ‘wherein they say he hath showed great sufficiency’.102 Neville also sought to undermine the earl of Northampton, who had grown impatient with the lax administration of the Navy under his Howard cousin, Nottingham. In June Neville was secretly accused of inciting the treasurer of the Navy, Sir Robert Mansell*, to challenge Northampton’s proposal to establish a commission of inquiry into the Navy as illegal. However, although Neville’s friend Whitelocke was also implicated, Northampton failed to prove Neville’s involvement. Northampton also alleged that Neville had been in constant communication with Overbury, who was being held in close confinement.103 This charge was clearly fabricated as Neville had grown to hate Overbury in the months leading up to his arrest, but on 24 June one observer commented that Neville’s hopes of the secretaryship were ‘quite dashed’.104

Neville’s prospects waned still further in October, when he turned down Rochester’s offer of a position previously held by John, Lord Stanhope (Sir John Stanhope I*), which Rochester had purchased for £2,000. Neville proudly refused to take ‘anything bought with money at a subject’s hand’ and declared that he did not see how he could possibly accept such a mean office ‘after he had been so long upon the stage for a secretary’. 105 However, Rochester was no longer interested in promoting Neville’s candidacy for the secretaryship as he was in the process of deserting his former supporters in favour of an alliance with the Howards, which he cemented in December by marrying the daughter of the earl of Suffolk and throwing his weight behind Suffolk’s candidate for the secretaryship, Sir Thomas Lake.106 Although Rochester subsequently withdrew his support for Lake, he did not revert to Neville but instead backed Winwood, who was recently returned from The Hague.

Rochester’s abandonment of him in the autumn of 1613 might have been enough to finish off Neville’s attempts to obtain the secretaryship were it not for the fact that in January 1614 the king obtained from France draft terms for a marriage alliance, which included provision for a dowry worth £240,000. Pembroke and Suffolk were horrified at this development, and combined forces to prevent a French match. As James would not countenance an alternative marriage for the prince they decided to urge a fresh Parliament, in the hope that a generous grant of supply would induce James to abandon the French negotiations. However, they were painfully aware that before James would agree to a Parliament they had to provide assurances that the Commons would prove amenable to royal demands.107 On the advice of Rochester, now earl of Somerset, Suffolk therefore turned to Neville, who had, of course, already developed a plan for managing the Commons. Sometime during the second week in February, Suffolk met Neville, who was now gout-ridden. Suffolk readily agreed that the secretaryship would be reserved for Neville and that all further backing of Winwood would cease. However, when Neville insisted on being appointed before Parliament assembled, Suffolk replied ‘that there was no likelihood that the king would be brought to that having often protested in many of our hearings that he and the rest should amend the faults they made last Parliament before he would set marks of favour upon them’. Neville took the point, and left the meeting apparently satisfied. However, Suffolk had no intention of honouring his agreement.108 His only interest was to ensure that Neville delivered to the king the support of a large section of the Commons, for as he told Somerset, ‘if we may do our master the service we wish by our dissembling I am well contented to play the knave’. Neville seems quickly to have realized that Suffolk was acting in bad faith, for on 17 Feb. Sir John Holles*, a well-informed source, reported that he had abandoned his pursuit of the secretaryship and was seeking the comptrollership of the Household instead.109 His withdrawal meant that the contest now lay between Winwood and Lake. On 29 Mar. it was Winwood who triumphed.

Neville was bitterly disappointed to have missed the secretaryship, but it is debateable whether this hastened his death, as was later suggested,110 as he apparently bore no ill-will towards the victorious Winwood, who remained a trustee of his estate.111 He was returned to Parliament for Berkshire in March 1614, and although he took no part in managing the Commons the House was offered various grace bills in return for a grant of supply, as he had suggested. Behind the scenes management by Neville was nevertheless widely suspected at the time, for in the two years before the Parliament assembled Neville had distributed many copies of his ‘Memorial’, of which ten are still known to exist. He had also consulted with many former Members of the Commons regarding the contents of his ‘Advice’. Indeed, according to his grandson, who spoke in 1659, he gained the support of around 80 of them.112 Rumours of a not-so-secret ‘undertaking’, combined with reports that the government had packed the House with its supporters, plagued the Parliament and aroused suspicion and hostility in the Commons, whose Members felt threatened. This was a cruel irony, as Neville’s ‘Advice’ had been written with the aim of restoring warm relations between the king and the Commons rather than poisoning the atmosphere still further.

On 14 May matters came to a head when a copy of the ‘Advice’ was read out in the House and Sir Herbert Croft invited its author to step forward. Neville was forced to explain the circumstances behind its inception, although he carefully avoided mention of his ambition for the secretaryship, claiming instead that he had only written the paper after James had invited him to Windsor in July 1612 to ask for his opinion. According to the newsletter writer Thomas Lorkin, who was not a Member, the Commons was so satisfied with this explanation that it declared that Neville ‘had done nothing which became not a good subject and an honest man’. There was undoubtedly some truth in this claim, but Sir John Sammes probably spoke for the majority when he said that the contents of the ‘Advice’, ‘should have sprung out of this House’. Moreover, a Protestation was sent to the king which condemned as ‘vain and idle’ all ‘undertakers’, who ‘by their ambition ... make themselves and all their former merits contemptible and despised’.113 The implied criticism of Neville is unmistakeable, and hardly suggests that he gained the measure of approval indicated by Lorkin.

It seems highly unlikely that the Commons in 1614 would have voted the king supply had Neville rather than Winwood been at the helm, for the fatal weakness of Neville’s ‘Advice’, as Sir Edwin Sandys had realized, was that it took no account of impositions. In the event, Neville probably took a back-seat in Commons’ affairs. In all he was named to 22 committees, whose subjects ranged from fish-packing (24 May) to the erection of new buildings in the London area (1 June). A member of the privileges’ committee (8 Apr.), he was also named to help draft a bill to improve Commons’ attendance and regulate parliamentary elections (19 April). His religious views were reflected in appointments to consider bills regarding the Sabbath (7 May), of which committee he was the first named Member, and apparel (23 May). On 16 May he was added to the committee for the bill to curb the export of iron ordnance, a business of which he had professional knowledge. He was three times nominated to committees established to consider Bishop Neile’s reported criticism of the Commons (25 and 27 May; 1 June), and on 5 May he was required to help prepare a joint conference on impositions. It is probably safe to assume that he was not responsible for his inclusion on the committee appointed to draft a message to the king stating that whatever supply was voted would proceed from the love of the House rather than from the power of any individual Member (13 Apr.), as this would have smacked of self-criticism.114

Soon after the Parliament was dissolved it was reported by Lorkin that Neville ‘is now somewhat well paid of that service he hath done both His Majesty and my Lord of Somerset’, as he was granted permission to sell all the king’s underwoods in return for half the proceeds. Lorkin reckoned that this would yield him around £20,000, but it seems unlikely that the grant was in any way related to his scheme for managing a Parliament. Neville remained closely connected with Somerset, despite his poor treatment, for in December 1614 Sir John Vaughan* asked him to forward a Christmas gift to the favourite.115 By 9 Feb. 1615 he had fallen dangerously ill, and on 30 Apr. he drafted a will. This contained few bequests as he had already assigned control of his estate to trustees: Sir Ralph Winwood, Sir Robert Killigrew, Sir William Borlase, Sir Henry Savile, Francis Moore and Humphrey Newbury. He died at Billingbear on 10 July, allegedly from scurvy, and was buried the next day alongside his parents at his local church of Waltham St. Lawrence as he had requested. Execution of his estate was entrusted jointly to his widow and Sir Henry Savile.116 In lamenting his passing, James Whitelocke observed that Neville had been ‘the most sufficient man for understanding of state business that was in this kingdom, and a very good scholar’, but that he had been ‘ignobly handled’.117 Neville’s widow later married George Carleton, bishop of Chichester, a stern Calvinist who had been vicar of Mayfield when Neville lived there.118 Neville’s eldest son represented Chipping Wycombe in Parliament in 1614 and sat briefly for Wilton in 1621.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Andrew Thrush


  • 1. J.P. Malcolm, Londinium Redivivum, ii. 366.
  • 2. Al. Ox.; B. James and W.D. Rubinstein, The Truth Will Out, 70, 74-5; Sidney Letters ed. A. Collins, i. 246, 283.
  • 3. Vis. Berks. (Harl. Soc. lvi), 250; Soc. Gen., transcript of Waltham St. Lawrence par. reg. pp. 34-5, 39, 44; London Mar. Lics. 1521-1869 ed. J. Foster, 965; HMC Hatfield, xii. 96; SP14/43/93.
  • 4. H.V. Jones, ‘Jnl. of Sir Levinus Munck’, EHR, lxviii. 239.
  • 5. James and Rubinstein, 235.
  • 6. Exchequer Officeholders comp. J.C. Sainty (L. and I. Soc. spec. ser. xviii), 233-4.
  • 7. Handlist of British Diplomatic Representatives comp. G.M. Bell, 22; CJ, i. 319a.
  • 8. Harl. 703, f. 1; SP14/31/1.
  • 9. Hatfield House, ms 278; C231/1, f. 105v; CSP Dom. 1601-3, p. 12; C66/1620, 1988.
  • 10. APC, 1591, p. 92; 1595-6, p. 424; SP14/33/4.
  • 11. Recusant Roll 1592-3 ed. M.M.C. Calthorp (Catholic Rec. Soc. xviii.), 329, 331; Recusant Roll 1593-4 ed. H. Bowler (Catholic Rec. Soc. lvii), 173.
  • 12. Berks. RO, D/EN O12, no. 19; HMC Hatfield, xi. 274.
  • 13. Harl. 3749, ff. 4, 8.
  • 14. HMC Hatfield, xiv. 279; xvi. 408.
  • 15. Berks. RO, D/EN O12, nos. 25, 38, 45, 47.
  • 16. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 6.
  • 17. C181/1, f. 116.
  • 18. C93/3/13, 17; 93/4, 11, 19; 93/5/4.
  • 19. SP14/43/107; Berks. RO, D/EN O8.
  • 20. CSP Col. E.I. 1513-1616, p. 288; Select Charters of Trading Cos. ed. C.T. Carr (Selden Soc. xxviii), 64; Berks. RO, D/EN O24; B. Rudden, New River, 274-8.
  • 21. Newsletters from the Archpresbyterate of George Birkhead ed. M.C. Questier (Cam. Soc. ser. 5. xii), 192.
  • 22. James and Rubinstein, passim.
  • 23. A. Somerset, Unnatural Murder, 108.
  • 24. In contemporary reckoning, the year ‘1599’ covered the period 25 Mar. 1563-24 Mar. 1564. James and Rubinstein favour 1562 as the date of birth, but they are unable to account for the baptismal record and overlook the portrait evidence entirely: James and Rubinstein, 69-70, 315. For Neville’s portrait, see ibid. opp. p. 169.
  • 25. Ibid. 70, 74-5, 235.
  • 26. A. Fletcher, Suss. 1600-60, p. 62; H. Cleere and D. Crossley, The Iron Industry of the Weald, 344.
  • 27. Neville’s father was riding forester under Lord Dacre: see Berks. RO, D/EN 012, no. 30. Lord Dacre’s father married a Neville.
  • 28. The manor and park were sold for £6,387; the waste was sold for £1,400: Suss. Arch. Colls. ii. 245; E. Suss. RO, KIR/30/1. For papers relating to his ordnance business, see Berks. RO, D/EN 023.
  • 29. HMC Hatfield, xi. 274.
  • 30. VCH Berks. iii. 173; iv. 476; Bk. of Architecture of John Thorpe ed. J. Summerson (Walpole Soc. xl), 4.
  • 31. Berks. RO, D/EN F6/1/8.
  • 32. HMC Hatfield, xi. 274.
  • 33. PRO 30/50/70/11.
  • 34. CSP Dom. 1601-3, pp. 13, 91; Winwood’s Memorials ed. E. Sawyer, i. 325.
  • 35. Jones, 242; CSP Dom. 1601-3, p. 89; HMC Hatfield, xi. 274.
  • 36. Berks. RO, D/EN F6/1/8; HMC Hatfield, xi. 300, 320-1, 526, 555-6; xii. 6-7, 72, 80, 95.
  • 37. VCH Berks. iii. 173; Bodl. Ashmole 1729, f. 55; 830, f. 127; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 2.
  • 38. Carleton to Chamberlain ed. M. Lee, 36.
  • 39. CJ, i. 153b, 154a,
  • 40. Ibid. 157a, 160a, 166b, 169b.
  • 41. Ibid. 173a, 231a, 232a, 237a.
  • 42. Ibid. 162a.
  • 43. Ibid. 154a, 172b, 188b, 222b.
  • 44. Ibid. 202a.
  • 45. Ibid. 140b, 165b.
  • 46. PRO 31/3/37, dispatch of 5 July 1604. Details of the alleged conspiracy are wanting.
  • 47. Soc. Gen., transcript of Waltham St. Lawrence par. reg. 34; Winwood’s Memorials, i. 25-6, 41; Berks. RO, D/EN F6/1/2.
  • 48. Winwood’s Memorials, ii. 216-17.
  • 49. P. Croft, ‘Serving the Archduke’, HR, lxiv. 298-301; CJ, i. 264b.
  • 50. Winwood’s Memorials, ii. 216; CJ, i. 305a.
  • 51. CJ, i. 272b, 287b, 291b, 300a.
  • 52. Ibid. 261b, 277b, 279a, 286b, 288a.
  • 53. Winwood’s Memorials, ii. 78-9.
  • 54. Bowyer Diary, 1; HLRO, O.A. 3 Jas.I, c. 40. For Neville’s papers as executor, see Berks. RO, D/EN F7
  • 55. CJ, i. 319a, 324b, 340a, 350a, 351b; Bowyer Diary, 223, 226; Harl. 6806, f. 209r-v. For evidence of his anti-Scottishness, see Winwood’s Memorials, ii. 217.
  • 56. CJ, i. 382a.
  • 57. Ibid. 375a. For the legislative appointments, see ibid. 326a (eccles. cts.), 348a (bastardy), 350b (church discipline), 370b (bastardy), 374b (eccles. cts.).
  • 58. Ibid. 382b, 386b.
  • 59. Bowyer Diary, 367; CJ, i. 390b.
  • 60. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 371.
  • 61. Illustrations of British History ed. E. Lodge, iii. 218-19; HMC Hatfield, xx. 1-2; CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 409.
  • 62. Winwood’s Memorials, i. 411.
  • 63. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 486.
  • 64. F. Hull, Guide to Berks. RO, 60.
  • 65. CJ, i. 450b.
  • 66. Ibid. 411b, 449b, 452a.
  • 67. Ibid. 445a; T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Jas. I, i. 122-3.
  • 68. CJ, i. 449a.
  • 69. Ibid. 396b, 410b, 421a, 429a. For others in this vein, see ibid. 429b (to establish Sir John Davies’ religion), 446b (Wm. Udall’s offer re: priests).
  • 70. CJ, i. 413b, 418b. For his passion for hunting, see CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 456.
  • 71. CJ, i. 428a.
  • 72. Ibid. 394b, 447a.
  • 73. Ibid. 400b, 407b, 408b, 442b.
  • 74. HMC Hatfield, xxi. 263. The rumour was false.
  • 75. Winwood’s Memorials, iii. 235.
  • 76. HMC Buccleuch, i. 102.
  • 77. Winwood’s Memorials, i. 216, ‘I cannot betray my own mind’.
  • 78. Chamberlain Letters, ed. N.E. McClure, i. 358-9, 387.
  • 79. HMC Buccleuch, i. 101-2.
  • 80. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 249.
  • 81. Hakewill’s uncle, Sir William Peryam, married Neville’s stepmother.
  • 82. SP14/43/93.
  • 83. Berks. RO, D/EN F7.
  • 84. Chamberlain Letters, i. 347; HMC Portland, ix. 106, 157-8.
  • 85. HMC Portland, ix. 158.
  • 86. Chamberlain Letters, i. 358-9.
  • 87. CSP Ven. 1610-13, p. 395. The Ven. amb. employed New Style dates in his dispatches.
  • 88. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 238. In his account of this interview, given to the Commons in 1614, Neville did not refer to Rochester by name but described him as ‘a great nobleman’. It has been claimed, incorrectly, that Neville submitted his paper to James at their meeting: C. Roberts and O. Duncan, ‘The Parliamentary Undertaking of 1614’, EHR, xciii. 485.
  • 89. HMC Buccleuch, i. 109.
  • 90. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 246-56.
  • 91. Procs. 1610, ii. 116.
  • 92. HMC Downshire, iii. 341; CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 138.
  • 93. HMC Buccleuch, i. 111-14.
  • 94. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 148.
  • 95. Ibid. 153.
  • 96. Winwood’s Memorials, iii. 407; Chamberlain Letters, i. 387. The quarrel between Rochester and Pembroke began in late July 1612: Birch, i. 191.
  • 97. E. Farnham, ‘The Som. Election of 1614’, EHR, xlvi. 581, n. 3.
  • 98. A. Thrush, ‘The French Marriage and the Origins of the 1614 Parl.’, The Crisis of 1614 and the Addled Parl. ed. S. Clucas and R. Davies, 27.
  • 99. HMC Buccleuch, i. 131, miscalendared ‘April 1613?’. The letter is easily dated as it refers to Neville’s recent reconciliation of Rochester and Pembroke.
  • 100. Chamberlain Letters, i. 403, 409-10.
  • 101. HMC Mar and Kellie Suppl. 51. It has been argued that Neville’s plans were ruined by Overbury’s arrest, but this is unconvincing: Roberts and Duncan, 488.
  • 102. Winwood’s Memorials, iii. 467. The contents of this project are unknown.
  • 103. Liber Famelicus of Sir J. Whitelocke ed. J. Bruce (Cam. Soc. lxx), 46-7.
  • 104. Birch, i. 248.
  • 105. Chamberlain Letters, i. 480. It is not clear which of his offices Stanhope had sold to Rochester.
  • 106. Ibid. 481.
  • 107. Thrush, 30-1.
  • 108. Cott. Titus F.IV, f. 340r-v; Chamberlain Letters, i. 510.
  • 109. HMC Portland, ix. 31.
  • 110. HEHL, HM 30665, f. 7.
  • 111. Berks. RO, D/EN F/6/18.
  • 112. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 253; Burton Diary ed. J.T. Rutt, iv. 346-7.
  • 113. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 238, 244-6, 479; Birch, i. 315.
  • 114. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 33, 76, 106, 152, 172, 257, 324, 332, 365, 381, 402, 404.
  • 115. Birch, i. 343; CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 261.
  • 116. CSP Dom. 1611-18, p. 273; PROB 11/126, f. 26r-v; Chamberlain Letters, i. 608; Soc. Gen., transcript of Waltham St. Lawrence par. reg., 42.
  • 117. Liber Famelicus, 46-7.
  • 118. BL, HMC Trumbull T/S XVIII.41, Castle to Trumbull, 18 Nov. 1619; Oxford DNB sub George Carleton.