|House of Lords Record Office -
Journals, Minutes and Committee Books of the House of Lords - continued
Although the Lord'
Journals preserved in the Victoria Tower only start in 1510, it
has long been known that earlier Journals were made and kept.
In 1690 a Lord'
Committee reported that it had "examined
the Journals of the House, which reach from the 12th of Hen. VII." 
By 1717 (when the present first bound MS Volume was assembled)
pre-1510 material had been lost. In recent years, however, earlier
Journals have come to light, notably the "Fane
of eight day'
proceedings in 1461
and a copy of a debate of 1449.
Further discoveries may yet be made, but it is clear that the
earliest Journal at Westminster is the product of a long tradition
of recording the names of those Peers present at daily sessions,
and the business transacted by them, a tradition separate from,
though related to, the making of the Statute and Parliament Rolls.
The first volume preserved at Westminster, moreover,
retains interest for historians, as it reveals a format which
is still developing, and also includes a certain amount of casual
and stray material which was ignored by the editors of the printed
Journal. In the following note some account is given of the structure
of the volume and of the degree of reliability of the printed
The first volume of the MS Journal does not provide
a complete record of the work of the House. Between 1510 and
1547 there are almost as many Sessions without a record as with
one. Six out of seven Sessions of the Reformation Parliament
are missing, as well as the first Session of Mary's
which is the last Session for which there is no record. The first
volume is in a disorderly state and contains much seemingly irrelevant
matter (described below). Professor Pollard suggested that this
disorder is due to there being" no
official Journals in the sixteenth century in the sense we apply
the term today, because men had not yet been sufficiently impressed
with the importance of Parliament and with the importance of form
in its records" .
Journals were borrowed
or temporarily lost.
The Journals from 7 Edward VI to 1 Elizabeth each have written
or pasted onto the first leaf the name of the Speaker of the Commons
for that Session, which suggests that they may have been transcripts
supplied to the Speaker.
This also suggests that the Journals were later collected from
any available source.
Whatever their cause, the present gaps in the Journals
seem to have existed from an early date. Robert Bowyer, Clerk
of the Parliaments 1609-21, transcribed the Journals from 1510
onwards, but his transcripts
fill none of the gaps, except for the text of six leaves now missing
from the Journal of 1559. On 6th April 1638 John Browne made
of wt. Journal Bookes I rec. From Mr. Knevitts Executors" ,
but this does not record the then existence of any Journals that
are now missing.
The early Journals were first entered on loose quires
of four or eight leaves.
These were later bound into small books, e.g. John Browne mentions
bookes for Henry VIII's
In 1717 a Lord'
Committee reported that they had" viewed
the Journals of this House; and observe to your Lordships that
many of them are indifferently bound; and, by reason of the frequent
use made of them, divers sheets or leaves therein are becoming
loose, and although the same session, transposed in different
books, and abundance of blank paper remaining in several of them,
whereby it seems necessary that such of the said Journals should
be new bound ... and that the omission of marginal notes, which
is some of the former books is very great, may be supplied." 
The Journals between 1510 and 1547 were bound up into one volume,
many of the pages were framed to make them up to a uniform size
x 16") and marginal notes were added. Miscellaneous matter,
e.g. the" chronicle
of the Kings of England" ,
was retained and bound in with the body of the text. The Journal
for 35 Henry VIII was bound in immediately after that for 25 Henry
VIII. It is difficult to say how much of the original order,
or disorder, was preserved in the 18th century binding.
Printed Journal Vol. 1
In 1767, (as had been noted above in Section 2),
the House ordered" that
the Rolls of Parliament now extant and the Journals of this House
be printed" .
In 1771 it was stated that the Journals from 1 Henry VIII to
the end of Charles I" were
now printed in 13 volumes" ,
and it was ordered that" to
supply this defect [the missing Journals of Henry VIII and Mary]
the Parliament Rolls of those years should be printed" .
The first volume of the printed Journals thus comprises the Parliament
Rolls for the missing Sessions of Henry VIII and Mary (pp. I-CCLI)
and the Journals for 1 Henry VIII to 19 Elizabeth (pp. 1-756).
Many of the defects of this edition have been pointed out by
Professor Pollard, who considered the editing of the Journals,
together with that of the Rolls of Parliament and of the Statutes
of the Realm, as being" little
short of a scandal" .
The editors omitted any original matter which they considered
irrelevant (v." List
of contents of MS Journal"
below), frequently without recording the fact. The title" Journals
of the House of Lords"
is printed at the head of the Journal for 1510 and at the head
of each page, although there is no authority for this title in
the original. Further examples of " emendations"
made to the original text by the editors are numerous. For instance,
in the numbering of each sitting by its parliamentary day from
the sixth day of the Parliament to 6 Henry VIII to the end of
the Session, the numbers are written out in full although in the
original they are in Arabic numerals and in a later hand than
the body of the text.
The sittings which were numbered as the 13th-31st days of Parliament
in the original
have been amended by the editors, without explanation, to the
13-22 days of Parliament.
The editors seem suddenly to have taken exception to the Clerk's
practice (which persisted until 33 Henry VIII) of counting in
each day, including Sundays, from the beginning of the Session.
Elsewhere they have accepted and reproduced the days in accordance
with this practice, and without comment.
The printed Journals incorporate marginal notes of
the 18th century without distinguishing them from the 16th century
text. The printed marginal notes do not exactly reproduce the
notes written into the Journal in 1717,
but usually summarize them. Words from the 16th century text
are frequently incorporated in the marginal notes, e.g. the words
and" assent" .
All matter which has been deleted in the original
has been omitted from the printed volumes.
Although there are two distinct Journals for 1541,
only one is printed" being
the most full" .
No attempt was made to collate the two 1541 Journals, or the
Journals as a whole with other transcripts.
There are many minor mistranscriptions, e.g." Carlioff" 
transcribed" Carlio1" .
Although most of the errors are in small points of
detail, their cumulative effect is to distort somewhat the reader's
conception of the original.
Analysis of MS Journal Vol. I.
2 MS. sheets (112"
comprising (1) original letter
of John Browne to John Walker, Eydon, 21st May 1683; (2) note
by John Walker on the Journals.
The remaining pages have been framed to the size
x 16"; the original size of pages is given below.
7 fos. (not numbered in
the 18th century) (9" x 132").
Containing copy of the" Modus
made by John Taylor, Clerk of the Parliaments 1509-23. (Not printed).
The remaining pages were numbered in the 18th century.
pp. 1-126 9" x 132".
pp. 1-18 Proceedings of Parliament 1 Henry
pp. 19-42 Proceedings of Parliament 3 Henry VIII.
pp. 43-95 Proceedings of Parliament 6 Henry
VIII 1st Session.
p. 96 blank.
pp. 97-126 Proceedings of Parliament 7 Henry
VIII (6 Henry VIII 2nd Session).
pp. 127-142 9" x 15".
pp. 127-177 Proceedings of Parliament 25 Henry
pp. 178-9 blank.
pp. 180-238 Proceedings, 35 Henry VIII.
pp. 239-40 Lists of Acts passed 26 Henry VIII.
p. 241 blank.
p. 242 List of proxies, 35 Henry VIII.
pp. 243-304 102"
p. 243 blank except for note" delivered
by way of loane to me Ro. Bowyer Clerke of the Parliament the
4th of November 1620 by the R.Ho: the Lo: Russell" .
pp. 244-78 Proceedings of Parliament, 28 Henry
pp. 279-81 blank.
pp. 282-6 Copy of Grant of Liberties to
Westminster Abbey (not printed) ascribed to 1066.
pp. 287-93 blank.
pp. 294-304 Chronicle of the Kings of England
from Egbert to Henry VI (not printed).
p. 304 Undated proxy for Abbot of Shrewsbury,
pp. 305-426 132"
pp. 305-355 Proceedings of Parliament, 31 Henry
VIII, 1st Session.
p. 356 blank.
p. 357 Proceedings of Parliament, 31
Henry VIII, 2nd Session.
p. 358 blank.
p. 359-79 Proceedings of Parliament, 31
Henry VIII, 3rd Session.
pp. 380-426 Proceedings of Parliament, 32 Henry
pp. 427-642 82"
pp. 427-494 Proceedings of Parliament, 33 Henry
VIII (not printed).
p. 495 A 1717 copy of " an
ancient Paper ... found Pin=d
to this Leaf"
reason that this yeare were 2 journall bookes seemeth to be for
that Wm. Pagett Clerke of the Parliamt.
was then Ambassadour in Fraunce and his place of the said Clerkeship
executed by John Mason Secretary for the French Tongue and Tho:
Knight Clerke of the Signett".
p. 496 blank.
pp. 497-567 Proceedings of Parliament, 33 Henry
p. 568 blank.
p. 569-640 Proceedings of Parliament, 34 Henry
p. 641 Rough notes re proxies (not
p. 642 blank.
pp. 643-698 82"
pp. 643-71 Proceedings of Parliament, 37 Henry
VIII, 1st Session.
p. 672 blank.
pp. 673-93 Proceedings of Parliament, 38 Henry
VIII (37 Henry VIII, 2nd Session).
p. 675 List of Acts, 37 Henry VIII,
p. 694 blank.
p. 695 2 proxies entered, year uncertain.
pp. 696-7 Proxies, 37 Henry VIII.
p. 698 Memorandum concerning the Bishop
proxy. Undated. (Not printed).
5 L.J. XIV, 537. It is interesting to notice that if the report of a 1690 Committee of the House can be accepted, the official series of Journals preserved at Westminster once started in the same year as the series of original Acts still preserved there - in 1497. Back
A 1717 copy of" an ancient Paper ... found Pin=d to this Leaf"
states that" The reason that this yeare were 2 journall bookes
seemeth to be for that Wm. Pagett Clerke of the Parliamt.
was the Ambassadour in Fraunce and his place of the said Clerkeship
executed by John Mason Secretary for the French Tongue and Tho:
Knight Clerke of the Signett" (MS Journal I, p. 495). Back
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