HEYMAN, Sir Peter (1580-1641), of Somerfield Hall, Sellinge, Kent

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.) - Feb. 1641

Family and Education

b. 13 May 1580, 1st s. of Henry Heyman of Sellinge and Rebecca, da. and coh. of Robert Horne, bp. of Winchester 1561-80. educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1597; vol. Ireland. m. (1) by 1606, Sarah, da. and coh. of Peter Collet, Merchant Taylor, of Loughton, Essex and London, 2s. (1 d.v.p.) 2da. (1 d.v.p.); (2) settlement 18 Nov. 1613, Mary, da. and coh. of Randolph Wolley, Merchant Taylor, of London, wid. of one Holford, 3s. 3da. kntd. 20 Dec. 1607; suc. fa. 1614.1 bur. 11 Feb. 1641.2 sig. Pet[er] Heyman.

Offices Held

Commr. sewers, Kent and Suss. (Tisehurst and Rother valley) 1609-1 Mar. 1622, 1 June 1622-at least 1625,3 Wittersham levels 1614-at least 1625,4 Mersham to Sandwich, Kent 1615-at least 1631,5 Rainham bridge to Mucking mill, Essex 1616,6 Kent 1620-at least 1639,7 Tisehurst, Suss. 1639;8 freeman, Hythe, Kent 1620;9 commr. subsidy, Kent 1621-2, 1624,10 musters, Dover, Kent 1624-5,11 piracy, Cinque Ports, 1625-at least 1639,12 sale of prize goods at Dover 1626-30,13 sale of Camber Castle, Suss. 1626,14 survey lands called Swinfield Minies, nr. Canterbury, Kent 1627.15

Member, embassy to the Lower Palatinate 1622.16


Heyman’s great-grandfather, Peter Hayman, acquired the manors of Somerfield and Wilmington, about four miles from Hythe, by marriage in 1527.17 A Protestant lawyer, he sat for New Romney in 1547, served as steward of Archbishop Cranmer’s liberties in Kent and was arrested during the Marian persecution.18 Heyman’s father, Henry, purchased the manor of Sellinge, adjacent to Somerfield, in 1584.19 Despite contracting the plague in 1603, he survived until 1614.20 Heyman himself was a pupil of the puritan William Bedell at Cambridge.21 On leaving university he served as an ‘apprentice at the wars’ in Ireland, perhaps under Sir Arthur Chichester, ‘with good approbation’, according to his cousin Robert Naunton*, and acquired ‘some particular interest in his own estate and fortune’ in that kingdom.22 In 1615, two years after entering into his patrimony, he was involved in a dispute over some marshland purchased by his father. The vendor refused to complete the conveyance without cash in hand, and Heyman was accused in Star Chamber of invading his counsel’s chambers in the Temple and threatening him with a dagger. The verdict is not known, but the incident may explain why Heyman was never included in the commission of the peace.23

In November 1620, however, the lord warden of the Cinque Ports, Lord Zouche commended Heyman as ‘a very sufficient, noble gentleman’, and supported his candidature for a seat at Hythe. Heyman took Zouche’s letter of nomination to the borough in person, and was entertained to dinner by the mayor and jurats who, in the following month, elected him and swore him in as a freeman.24 The Parliament opened on 3 Feb. 1621, but Heyman played no recorded part in its proceedings until 2 Mar., when he was appointed to a committee to consider a measure to outlaw hunting for concealed lands.25 Five days later he was named to the committee on the subsidy bill, which measure was debated by the House on 12 Mar., when it was proposed that the traditional exemption granted to the Cinque Ports be dispensed with. At this suggestion Heyman demanded that the exemption be continued because of the poverty of the Cinque Ports, one of which he represented, before adding, somewhat hopefully, that ‘kings have given them heretofore £5,000 or £6,000 towards their charges’.26 This was not the sole occasion during the Parliament on which Heyman had an eye to the interests of his constituents, for during the investigation into claims that the Merchant Adventurers had infringed the privileges of the Cinque Ports he produced the ports’ charter as evidence.27

Following the Easter recess, Heyman tabled a petition from Sir Peter Saltonstall, keeper of Little Park, Windsor, regarding the latter’s patent for collecting fines from sheriffs (17 April).28 Two days later Heyman was appointed to help confer with the Lords regarding informers. With his Irish experience and interests, he was naturally among those appointed to the select committee to inquire into abuses in Ireland (26 April). On 28 Apr. he was appointed to consider a measure to make the estates of those attainted of treason liable for their debts, and on 7 May he was named to the committee for the bill to reduce the rate of interest on borrowing.29 On 8 May he declared that Clement Coke and Sir Charles Morrison should both be treated as delinquents for using or threatening violence within the precincts of the palace of Westminster.30 Three days later the House debated whether Members not explicitly named to a committee should be allowed to participate in its proceedings. Heyman was adamant that they should, since the only way that many committees were able to reach the required quorum was if those who were not named were received as full members, it being not unusual for many of the named members of a committee to fail to appear: ‘Tis fit that all may have voice that come, for I have seen committees furnished by that, and for want of it many unfurnished. ... In the committee for regulating courts of justice, if none but the persons named, the officers of the courts would have overborne it’. Following this debate Heyman was added to the recusancy committee.31

Heyman may have been speaking for the iron-founding industry of the Weald of Kent when, during the debate on the second reading of the bill to prohibit the export of iron ordnance (14 May), he called for customs officials to be prevented from taking fees for merely entering the weight of those guns to be exported.32 On 17 May he assured the House that John Mohun* wished his father’s estate bill to be committed, whereupon he was named to the bill committee. He was appointed to three other legislative committees in May.33 Following the king’s announcement of an imminent recess, messengers, accompanied by a sizeable section of the Commons, were sent to the Lords to ask the king for a two-week extension. During their absence it was proposed that the House should attempt to pass some bills, but Heyman and Sir Robert Rich balked at this suggestion, insisting that the House should wait until the messengers had returned. The next day, 31 May, Heyman joined in the heated debate between Sir Lionel Cranfield, Sir Edwin Sandys and John Delbridge over the passage of bills.34

When Parliament resumed in the autumn Heyman was named to committees for bills for clergymen to lease lands to their families and for the punishment of scandalous and unworthy ministers (23 November).35 He played a prominent part in the House’s investigation into the reason for the absence of Sir Edwin Sandys, who had been imprisoned after Parliament rose for the summer and was now at his house in East Kent. On 21 Nov. the Speaker produced a letter in which Sandys claimed to be unwell. Heyman, clearly suspicious that Sandys was in fact under house arrest, replied that a message should be sent to Sandys ordering him to attend when he had recovered. Two days later Secretary Calvert claimed, untruthfully, that Sandys had not previously been imprisoned for anything he had said or done in Parliament, an assurance which Heyman suggested should be entered in the Journal.36 On 29 Nov, he repeated his demand that Sandys be sent for, and denounced the search of Sandys’s study by (Sir) Henry Spiller*, whereupon he was appointed to the committee of inquiry.37 On 1 Dec. he was sent with William Mallory either to bring Sandys to the House or to receive from him an explanation of his absence in writing. He was consequently absent from the reading of the king’s angry message about the interference of the Commons in the marriage of his children. In his last speech, on 18 Dec., he desired that the committee entrusted with drafting a Protestation of the privileges of the Commons should include among them an assertion of judicial powers. He was given leave to burn Sandys’s declaration, which probably confirmed that Sandys had been committed for ‘Parliament business’.38

Heyman was among the Kentish gentlemen summoned before the Privy Council in February 1622 to explain their refusal to contribute to the defence of the Palatinate. ‘Enforced to attend six weeks about it’, he adamantly declined to pay the Benevolence or to serve as a soldier at his own expense, whereupon he was deprived of his place on the local sewer commission of which he had been a member since 1609. He eventually agreed to accompany the military-diplomatic mission led by Sir Arthur Chichester, now Lord Belfast, with two servants and three horses, at his own charge.39 In mid May he set out for the Continent, and two weeks later was restored to the sewer commission. The date of his return is uncertain, but Belfast was back in England by early November 1622.40 Commenting on the harshness of his treatment, Chamberlain observed that Heyman had been singled out for punishment ‘as well as for miscarrying himself in other businesses as for his backwardness in the Benevolence’. By ‘other businesses’ Chamberlain was almost certainly referring to the fact that it had been Heyman who, in December 1621, had visited Sandys to obtain from him a declaration of the reasons for his imprisonment.41

Re-elected in 1624, Heyman was appointed to 43 committees in the last Jacobean Parliament, including the committee for privileges (23 Feb.), and spoke on 16 occasions. Shortly after the Parliament opened he and several other Members who had been punished for their activities in 1621 took steps to prevent the Crown from taking similar action in future. On 1 Mar. he seconded Mallory’s proposal to forbid the clerk of the Commons to enter the names of Members responsible for motions, asserting that this practice had never been followed in the Elizabethan Journals, which he had inspected, ‘unless it was an order’. He added that entering men’s names in the Journal was ‘a ferrular that divers men had been paid with’, as he could give instances ‘of some men that had been told, "you spake so many times in Parliament to such and such purpose"’. He was subsequently added to the committee for examining the Journal of the previous Parliament (10 Mar.), and was appointed to consider a bill against wrongful imprisonment (9 March).42

Heyman was among those instructed to attend the conference of 11 Mar. to hear the prince expound the needs of the Crown.43 Nine days later, following Secretary Calvert in the supply debate, he declared that he did not dissent from the government’s demand for three subsidies and three fifteenths, ‘with those conditions and restrictions that are limited’. However, he thought that the king should first announce that he intended to break off relations with Spain and prepare for war. Unless such a declaration were forthcoming, he warned, the country would be offended with the Commons for voting such a large sum without first obtaining a clear statement as to its purpose. In view of the traditional exemption from subsidies enjoyed by the Cinque Ports, Heyman was presumably speaking for his neighbours than for his constituents. However, it seemed to Sir Dudley Digges that Heyman was cynically offering subsidies in the full knowledge that his constituents would not have to pay them. Consequently, he upbraided Heyman and demanded that the privileges of the Cinque Ports over taxation should cease. At this Heyman retorted that

he did not say anything that might abate a penny of the sum that was intended to be given, for he has been an apprentice at the wars, and should understand them better than he that had not been in them. ... He spoke only out of a desire that if the country should lay a blame on our persons, we might show them some good reason of the cause of our giving.44

Heyman was subsequently included among those entrusted with drafting the preamble to the subsidy bill (10 April).45 He was also ordered to help draw up impeachment charges against the earl of Middlesex (Sir Lionel Cranfield*) on 12 April. However, speaking from experience, he absolved the lord treasurer three days later over the Benevolence levied by the Crown in 1622. Middlesex, he declared, was not ‘so forward as other lords in that business’.46 Heyman was one of 12 Members appointed on 23 Apr. to examine the grievances of merchants.47

Heyman was required to help confer with the Lords on 8 Apr. regarding the monopolies’ bill, and on 21 Apr. was appointed to the investigating committee. Shortly before the Parliament ended he moved that those grants exempted from the bill should be returned to the patentees.48 On religion, he took a strongly anti-Catholic line. On 13 Mar., after four of his colleagues were instructed to examine the servant of a Member, Sir Thomas Gerrard, 2nd bt., who had failed to take the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy as required, Heyman was instructed to ‘go with them, and advise them’. The following month he urged that provision might be made against hearing mass in foreign embassies.49 The presentments of popish office-holders, he complained on 29 Apr., omitted many London residents, and he was added to the committee examining the certificates from the counties.50 He was among those appointed to consider the bill to ensure that married women did not escape the penalties for recusancy (1 May), and, after the House learned of the case of a Catholic schoolmaster at Eye, he was appointed to the committee for educational grievances (28 April).51

Heyman’s concerns were not limited to Catholicism but also extended to the unwelcome rise of Arminianism within the Church. On 3 May, clearly well informed about conditions in the diocese of Norwich, perhaps through his former tutor Bedell, who was in town for Convocation, he desired that the charge against Bishop Harsnet of encouraging idolatry in St. Peter Mancroft should be ‘punctually proved’, and four days later declared that the bishop had over-reacted to a conventicle in Hingham.52 On 17 Mar. Heyman and four other leading Members were ordered to attend the archbishop of Canterbury about the publication of Montagu’s anti-Calvinist diatribe, A New Gag for an Old Goose.53 As well as the problem posed by Arminianism, Heyman was vexed about longstanding problems within the Church, such as pluralism and non-residence. In April he drew attention to these problems during a meeting of a committee that had been appointed on 22 Mar. to consider a bill to enable ministers to take leases. Although he had not been named to this body, Heyman attempted to insert a clause to exclude non-residents and pluralists. After this meeting, however, several of Heyman’s colleagues on the committee took him aside. Bedell, too, on hearing that Heyman was obstructing the passage of the bill, went to see his old pupil and told him that, while he ‘commended his zeal to redress abuses’, the cause he had chosen on which to make a stand was ‘not proper for it’. Heyman, however, replied that the Commons would almost certainly not allow the bill to pass ‘without some limitation’.54

Heyman was a member of the sub-committee appointed on 23 Apr. to consider how to present to the king the grievances identified during the course of the Parliament, as well as those of 1610 and 1621.55 On 25 May he complained of the misuse of briefs for begging issued under the great seal, whereupon the clerk was instructed to draft an order that any magistrate who signed a certificate for them would be held in contempt of the House.56 On the petition of Sir Thomas Belasyse* against Benevolences, he moved against entering into dispute over details, but to include them among the grievances (27 May).57 Among the private bills which he was appointed to consider was one to enable his wife’s brother-in-law Sir Anthony Aucher* to sell land. However, he failed to attend the meeting of the committee.58 At the end of the session he was among those ordered to recommend the distribution of the collection for the poor and the servants of the House.59

After the prorogation Heyman was recommended by Naunton for a company of foot in Ireland where, Naunton opined, Heyman would ‘think his time and fortune better employed ... than elsewhere’. However, he was not among those eventually chosen to serve.60 In September 1624 Lord Zouche granted him the privilege of hunting partridges and hares in the warren belonging to Dover Castle.61 Over the winter of 1624-5 he helped to muster at Dover the levies under Count Mansfeld.62 Following the departure of Mansfeld’s expedition, Heyman may have gone to Ireland despite having failed to obtain a commission: early in April Sir Norton Knatchbull* had no doubt that had Heyman not then been abroad ‘in other employments’, his services both to Hythe and to his county generally would have secured him re-election in 1625. However, Heyman had returned by January 1626, when he was re-elected for Hythe. This time he gained his seat without the support of Lord Zouche, who had resigned the lord wardenship to the duke of Buckingham. Following Heyman’s election, Buckingham belatedly tried, but without success, to persuade the borough to elect Sir Richard Weston* instead.63

When Parliament opened a few weeks later Heyman was reappointed to the committee for privileges (9 February). The following day he was named to committees to ‘consider of all points concerning religion’ and inspect the Journal every Saturday afternoon.64 On 13 Feb., after Sir Henry Marten denounced the bill against scandalous ministers as unnecessary, Heyman privately regaled several of his colleagues with a story concerning a clergyman who had been ‘so drunk that he fell out of the pulpit’. When the bill received its second reading the next day, Heyman was one of those appointed to the committee.65 On 20 Feb., after a petition from various merchants complaining of an imposition laid on wines was reported to the House, Heyman was appointed to the investigating committee. On 23 Feb. he was named to the recusancy bill committee, and added to the committee of inquiry into the second detention of the St. Peter of Le Havre.66 He was one of the nine Members appointed, on 9 Mar., to examine the members of the Council of War who pleaded sickness after they were summoned to give evidence.67 When Sir Robert Crane complained on 22 Mar. of the number of Dunkirk privateers ‘which take away our ships and shoot into our towns’, Heyman demanded that the duty on Tyneside coal, the revenue from Tunnage and Poundage and the receipts from the forthcoming subsidy should be used to secure the coasts.68 Two days later he scornfully dismissed the suggestion of Sir Robert Killigrew that shortage of money might help to explain failure at sea, pointing out that over the last two years the Crown had received considerable sums over and above its ordinary income, including the subsidies voted in 1624, receipts from the sale of prize goods and the queen’s dowry.69 Heyman was among those ordered to draft bills to discourage seamen from deserting to the privateers by increasing their wages (22 Mar.), and to ensure that arms and horses were available for the defence of the kingdom (14 March). He was also required to consider bills to legalize payments to muster-masters (28 Mar.) and to reform abuses in the pressing of soldiers, being the first Member named to both committees. He was also appointed to the committees to consider Digges’ proposal for a privately funded war at sea (14 Mar.), and to inquire into the defects in victualling Mansfeld’s expedition (22 March).70

Heyman seconded (Sir) John Eliot* in rejecting the king’s demand that the Commons should drop proceedings against his servant Buckingham. ‘King James’, he reminded his listeners on 1 Apr., had told the 1621 Parliament not to ‘meddle with any of his servants, from the highest to the meanest scullion; yet in that Parliament they did meddle with some of his servants, and, finding them delinquent, presented them to the king, who, notwithstanding his former saying, let them be punished’. Heyman was subsequently formed part of the 20-strong deputation sent to the king on 5 Apr. with a Remonstrance which claimed that it was ‘the ancient, constant and undoubted right and usage of parliaments to question and complain of all persons, of what degree or quality soever, ... who have abused the trust and power committed to them by their sovereign’.71 To the king’s demand on 18 Apr. for a resolution on supply in four or five days, Heyman replied two days later that ‘we shall do our endeavours to bring our business about by that time’. Nevertheless, he recommended that they should ‘wait the setting of a day, but go on with the businesses of greatest moment as speedily as we may’.72 During the debate on the declining yield of subsidies (26 Apr.) he observed that if all the commissioners in each shire assembled together in one place, taxes would be assessed more equitably.73 On 4 May he was named to the committee which he himself proposed ‘to consider of a parliamentary way and a mannerly fashion whereby we may know the king’s pleasure’ for the rectifying and augmenting of the revenue.74 Five days later he was named to the 20-strong committee to consider how the House of Lords might be requested to commit Buckingham. When Sir Richard Weston assured the Commons on 17 May that Eliot had been arrested for ‘high crimes done to His Majesty out of this House’, Heyman sceptically inquired ‘whether these crimes be treason or felony or breach of the peace’, and on Eliot’s release three days later he successfully moved to demand that the charges should now be revealed.75 On 25 May he was appointed to the drafting committee for the preamble to the subsidy bill, and on 8 June he was among those ordered to draft the heads of a Remonstrance against Tunnage and Poundage. When Sir Nathaniel Rich, conscious that time and the king’s patience were both running out, proposed to omit the committee stage in the bill to affirm parliamentary privilege, Heyman protested successfully on 13 June that he never saw ‘a bill engrossed, but it was first committed’. He was the second Member named to the committee.76 The bill was lost when Parliament was dissolved two days later.

Shortly after the Parliament ended, Heyman promised to send the mayor of Hythe a buck. 77 At around the same time he took up his duties as a commissioner for the sale of prize goods at Dover. His appointment to this small commission had been ordered in February, and over the coming weeks and months Heyman and his fellow commissioners, one of whom was the lieutenant of Dover Castle, Sir John Hippisley*, were involved in a considerable amount of work. These duties inevitably brought Heyman into contact with Buckingham’s admiralty secretary, Edward Nicholas*, with whom he seems to have struck up something of a rapport. In March 1627, for instance, Heyman, at Nicholas’ request, tried to persuade Hippisley to allow the High Court of Admiralty to exercise jurisdiction within the Cinque Ports, and at the end of his letter he declared himself to be both Nicholas’ ‘servant and friend’.78 Consequently, it was to Nicholas that Heyman turned in late January 1628 after he noticed that ‘my lord duke takes something ill at my hand’. Unable to guess at the nature of his offence, he declared that he ‘would be very glad’ to be ‘either cleared or ... justly accused’, and he pointed out that, given his service on the prize commission, he deserved Buckingham’s gratitude rather than his hostility. ‘My purse and time’, he complained, ‘both suffer at this present in such employment as I stand engaged by His Highness’s command, and peradventure’, he added, ‘my reputation goes not far in it’. He therefore asked Nicholas to arrange for him a personal audience with the duke ‘for clearing all suspicions’.79 It is not known whether his wish was granted, but Heyman’s grievance may have stemmed from the fact that Buckingham, despite repeated requests, had failed to grant his brother a military commission.80

Heyman failed to pay the Forced Loan, and ignored a subsequent summons from the Privy Council.81 In February 1628 he was re-elected to Parliament for Hythe, and shortly after the Commons assembled he was appointed to the committee for privileges (20 March). On 21 Mar. he was ordered to attend the conference with the Lords on a joint address for a general fast.82 The following day he introduced a bill to secure the liberties of Parliament with the provision that ‘no information ought to be given to the king but by both Houses’, and on the 24th he laid another measure before the House, this time to prevent suspicion of injustice by requiring all Members to swear that they would ‘give their judgment and assent without partiality to any person or cause’. On both committee lists his name stands next after Sir Edward Coke’s.83 In the debate on the Crown’s right to imprison men without showing cause he announced on 25 Mar. that ‘I have not forgot my employment into the Palatinate’. Indeed, his memory seems to have magnified the episode, as he extended his attendance on the Privy Council from six weeks to ten.84

On 2 Apr. Heyman desired Secretary Coke to furnish detailed estimates in support of the king’s Fourteen Propositions, which formed the basis of Charles’s financial demands for the war effort. In the supply debate two days later, Heyman accepted that five subsidies were needed but rejected the idea of also voting fifteenths.85 On 28 Mar. he was among those ordered to examine abuses in Surrey concerning the billeting of troops. During the agitated debate of 8 Apr. he condemned billeting as being ‘directly against the law’, and consequently, he added, there was no need for further legislation. However, he was realistic enough to recognize that in times of war it was necessary to station troops somewhere. His advice was that if problems were to be avoided in future good officers should be appointed to control the soldiers, who should be kept together rather than scattered throughout the countryside, where they were more difficult to control. Most important of all, however, the Crown should observe the motto ‘pay well and hang well’, for, as he observed, if soldiers were well paid ‘what hurt do they?’86 Heyman’s unwillingness to join in the general condemnation of billeting may not have gone unnoticed, for later that same month the Privy Council ordered the number of troops stationed at Hythe to be reduced by more than half.87

Heyman acted as one of the tellers in favour of the motion for increasing Members’ contributions to the officials of the House on 23 April. That same day he was appointed to attend the conference with the Lords in a couple of days’ time on the liberty of the subject.88 On the York election, he moved to mitigate the charges imposed on those responsible for the false return of Sir Thomas Savile, and took the chair in the committee which achieved this end by drastically reducing the expenses claimed by witnesses.89 On 12 May he moved for an address for the prolongation of the session ‘that we might dispatch the bill of subsidy and others’.90 He wanted to reach a compromise with the Lords over the Petition of Right by the use of the word ‘unwarranted’ to describe the present state of the law and ‘unwarrantable’ to prevent contrary expositions in the future.91 On 6 June he expressed dismay at the inadequacy of the king’s first, unsatisfactory response to the Petition, claiming that ‘we cannot subsist without a good answer’.92 His experience with the expeditionary force at Dover in 1624-5 enabled him to give the Commons a withering account of Dalbier, whom the government had now employed to raise mercenaries on the Continent.

I have seen and known Dalbier. He was a servant to Count Mansfeld, bred a merchant and employed to pay his troops. ... No soldier, but a nimble-witted fellow that has been employed in all the levies of Christendom. ... He was ever full of tricks and devices, and is, I assure you, a cunning knave. This character I thought fit to give you of him.93

He was among those appointed to draft an address for the reimbursement to local officials of the costs of billeting (12 June) and to recommend action over Tunnage and Poundage (13 June).94 A member of the committee for the bill to restore Carew Ralegh†, he desired to protect the interests of the English Protestants settled by the earl of Cork in Ireland on lands purchased from Ralegh’s father. ‘If this proviso’, he declared on 19 June, referring to a clause that Cork had asked him to insert into the bill, ‘were only for my lord of Cork, I should be against it; but in respect of those thousand families that have paid good considerations it is fit there should be a provision for them.’95 As a member of the Somers Islands committee, he evidently took the chair for the consideration of a petition from the Virginia Company, which he reported on 24 June.96

The second session of the Parliament convened on 20 Jan. 1629, but Heyman is not mentioned in the records until 23 Jan., when he was appointed to the committee for the bill to prevent bribery. Thereafter, for much of the session, he remained in the shadows, attracting nominations to several committees but making few speeches. On 30 Jan. he was added to the committee to check the enrolment of the Petition of Right.97 Two weeks later, on 14 Feb., he was named to the select committee appointed to consider the constitutional implications after his fellow prize commissioner Hippisley, Member for Dover, was summoned to answer a complaint in the House of Lords.98 On the seizure of the goods of John Rolle* for withholding customs duty from the farmers, Heyman admitted on 19 Feb. that ‘our mouths are stopped if this be the king’s revenue’, against which parliamentary privilege could not be claimed.99 He was subsequently appointed to committees on bills for enlarging the freedom to attend sermons (23 Jan.) and preventing corrupt practices in judicial, clerical, and academic appointments (23 February).100

It was not until 2 Mar., the final day of the session, when Speaker (Sir) John Finch II*, in obedience to the king’s commands, tried to adjourn the House, that Heyman suddenly and dramatically emerged from the shadows. Unable to contain his anger, Heyman ‘bitterly inveighed’ against Finch, saying that he was ‘sorry he was a Kentishman, and that he was a disgrace to his country and a blot to a noble family’ for seeking ‘to pluck up our liberties by the roots’. Unless Finch was called to the bar and another Speaker chosen in his stead, Heyman warned, ‘we shall annihilate the liberties and dignity of Parliament’. Following these tumultuous scenes Parliament was dissolved. The next day, along with the other ringleaders in the disorder, Heyman was arraigned before the Council and committed to the Gatehouse.101

During his interrogation by the Privy Council, Heyman was asked what he would have done in Finch’s shoes after being instructed to announce the adjournment, whereupon he declared that

he would have thrown himself at His Majesty’s feet, and have given him to understand, that in respect he was the Speaker, he was the most improper and unfit person to deliver any such message, and therefore have supplicated His Majesty to command some other to perform that part.

Initially allowed the liberty of the prison by Secretary Dorchester (Dudley Carleton*), he was subsequently held in close confinement on the instructions of the king. In mid-May, having endured nine weeks cooped up in a room just 14 feet long and seven feet wide, Heyman complained to Dorchester that he was now ‘oppressed with lameness and other infirmities’ and had suffered

great and unredeemable prejudice; my rents being stopped, diverse sums of money called in, £300 lands turned into my hands, my tenants disturbed; neither stock or servants to maintain order, those turned off farms; my wife and 10 children and all my family distressed with wants: myself thrust out of the protection and justice of the laws by close imprisonment and impossibility of defence; since which I am star-chambered.

As a result of this appeal, Heyman, after entering his plea in answer to the charges brought against him by the attorney-general (Sir Robert Heath*), was permitted to return home for the sake of his health in late May, although only in company with one of the keeper of the Gatehouse’s men.102 He was not subsequently returned to prison nor did he ever face trial. 103

For most of the 1630s Heyman lived in quiet obscurity. Between 1635 and 1638 he and his fellow former commissioners for the sale of prize goods at Dover, Sir John Hippisley and James Hugesson, were charged with having concealed some of the goods that came into their possession. However, the accusations were not proven, and in September 1639 the king ordered that Heyman and his former associates were not to be subjected to further legal action.104

Elected to Dover to both the Short and Long Parliaments, Heyman was buried at Sellinge on 11 Feb. 1641. He died intestate, and was succeeded by his son Henry, one of the sitting Members for Hythe, who had just been created a baronet.105

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Peter Lefevre / Andrew Thrush


  • 1. Cent. Kent. Stud. Sellinge par. reg.; Vis. Kent (Harl. Soc. xlii), 185-6; Soc. Gen. Boyd’s London Citizens 15495; PROB 11/111, f. 25; 11/128, f. 506; TS11/1134/6112; Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 144 (incorrectly described as William Hamond of Kent). On Collett’s Essex address, see C142/544/59.
  • 2. Cent. Kent. Stud. Sellinge par. reg.
  • 3. C181/2, ff. 88, 247v, 328v; 181/3, f. 52v, 59v, 173.
  • 4. C181/2, f. 219v; 181/3, f. 166.
  • 5. C181/2, f. 244; 181/4, f. 101v.
  • 6. C181/2, f. 265.
  • 7. C181/3, f. 3v; 181/5, f. 146v.
  • 8. C181/5, f. 144.
  • 9. G. Wilks, Barons of Cinque Ports, and Parl. Representation of Hythe, 69.
  • 10. C212/22/20-1, 23.
  • 11. CSP Dom. 1623-5, pp. 418, 444. He was not, however, listed as one of the commrs. on 30 Dec. 1624: T. Rymer, Foedera, vii. pt. 4, p. 170.
  • 12. C181/3, f. 175v; 181/5, f. 131v.
  • 13. E351/2509.
  • 14. Rymer, viii. pt. 2, p. 115.
  • 15. C181/3, f. 219.
  • 16. CD 1628, ii. 103.
  • 17. Hasted, Kent, viii. 307-8.
  • 18. HP Commons 1509-58, ii. 325-6; P. Clark, Eng. Prov. Soc. 81, 86.
  • 19. TS11/1134.
  • 20. Cal. of Assize Recs., Kent Indictments, James I ed. J.S. Cockburn, 122.
  • 21. G. Goodman, Ct. of James I, ii. 325.
  • 22. ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 101; SP14/168/11.
  • 23. STAC 8/20/19.
  • 24. Wilks, 69-71; E. Kent Archives Cent., H1209, f. 140v.
  • 25. CJ, i. 534b.
  • 26. CJ, i. 544a, 550b; CD 1621, ii. 209; vi. 56.
  • 27. CJ, i. 635b.
  • 28. CD 1621, iii. 3. For Salstonstall’s grant, see ibid. vii. 428. For his kprship, see CSP Dom. 1611-19, p. 358.
  • 29. CJ, i. 582b, 593a, 595b, 611a.
  • 30. CD 1621, iii. 201-2.
  • 31. CJ, i. 616b, 617a; CD 1621, iii. 221.
  • 32. CJ, i. 621b.
  • 33. Ibid. 622a, 623b, 627b.
  • 34. Ibid. 634a; CD 1621, iii. 359-60, 375.
  • 35. CJ, i. 643a.
  • 36. CD 1621, ii. 441; iii. 438.
  • 37. Ibid. vi. 200; CJ, i. 652a.
  • 38. CJ, i. 654b; CD 1621, vi. 342.
  • 39. APC, 1621-3, p. 171; T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Jas. I, ii. 300; Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, ii. 429; ‘Holland 1624’, ii. f. 28v; CD 1628, ii. 103.
  • 40. CSP Ven. 1621-5, pp. 325-6; A Handlist of British Diplomatic Representatives comp. G.M. Bell, p. 144.
  • 41. Chamberlain Letters, ii. 437. For an endorsement of Chamberlain’s conclusion, see C. Russell, Unrevolutionary Eng. 86.
  • 42. CJ, i. 671b, 680a, 681b; Holles 1624, pp. 14, 33; Ferrar 1624, p. 42.
  • 43. CJ, i. 683a.
  • 44. ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 100v-1; Holles 1624, p. 48; ‘Spring 1624’, p. 146; Russell, PEP, 20.
  • 45. CJ, i. 762a.
  • 46. Ibid. 764a; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f .155v; R. Ruigh, Parl. of 1624, p. 332.
  • 47. CJ, i. 689b.
  • 48. CJ, i. 757b, 773a; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 246.
  • 49. CJ, i. 685a; ‘Spring 1624’, p. 185.
  • 50. CJ, i. 694a.
  • 51. CJ, i. 692a, 696a; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 213.
  • 52. ‘Holland 1624’, ii. f. 74v; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 194v.
  • 53. CJ, i. 704a.
  • 54. Ibid. 746a; Goodman, ii. 325.
  • 55. CJ, i. 692a.
  • 56. ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 222v.
  • 57. ‘Spring 1624’, p. 248.
  • 58. CJ, i. 757a; C.R. Kyle,‘Attendance Lists’, PPE 1604-48 ed. Kyle, 199.
  • 59. CJ, i. 715a.
  • 60. SP14/168/11; SP63/239/7 (list of the officers chosen to serve in Ireland, 14 Jan. 1625); AO1/291/1093 (financial account of Irish military establishment 1625).
  • 61. Add. 37818, f. 160.
  • 62. CSP Dom. 1623-5, pp. 418, 444.
  • 63. Wilks, 72-4, 76.
  • 64. Procs. 1626, ii. 7, 13-14.
  • 65. Ibid. 28, 44.
  • 66. Ibid. 73, 102-3.
  • 67. Ibid. 240.
  • 68. Ibid. 341.
  • 69. Ibid. 361.
  • 70. Ibid. 279-80, 339; iii. 200.
  • 71. Ibid. ii. 421, 430, 433.
  • 72. Ibid. iii. 32.
  • 73. Ibid. 75, 77.
  • 74. Ibid. 156-7.
  • 75. Ibid. 201, 270.
  • 76. Ibid. 329, 392, 432-3.
  • 77. E. Kent Archives Cent., H1210, f. 36.
  • 78. SP16/56/94.
  • 79. SP16/91/63.
  • 80. CSP Dom. 1627-8, pp. 129, 506.
  • 81. SP16/89/5.
  • 82. CD 1628, ii. 29, 42.
  • 83. Ibid. 53, 66, 78, 87, 90, 227.
  • 84. Ibid. 103.
  • 85. Ibid. 261, 265, 308.
  • 86. Ibid. 168, 363, 368-9, 371.
  • 87. APC, 1627-8, p. 389.
  • 88. CD 1628, iii. 43-4.
  • 89. Ibid. 146, 174.
  • 90. Ibid. 373, 375.
  • 91. Ibid. 501, 508.
  • 92. Ibid. iv. 154, Russell, PEP, 381.
  • 93. CD 1628, iv. 180, 184, 187.
  • 94. Ibid. 280, 289.
  • 95. Ibid. 362, 369, 380.
  • 96. Ibid. 82, 446, 459.
  • 97. CJ, i. 922a, 924b.
  • 98. Ibid. 930a.
  • 99. CD 1629, p. 84.
  • 100. CJ, i. 921b, 932b.
  • 101. APC, 1628-9, p. 351; HMC Buccleuch, iii. 341.
  • 102. CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 556; Birch, Chas. I, ii. 15.
  • 103. CD 1629, pp. 105, 172, 243; Russell, PEP, 415; SP16/142/97; Lansd. 93, f. 138.
  • 104. E134/11Chas.I/East.42; 134/13Chas.I/Mich.46; 134/14Chas.I/Mich.18; Cal. of Docquets of Ld. Kpr. Coventry, 1625-40 ed. J. Broadway, R. Cust and S.K. Roberts (L. and I. Soc. spec. ser. xxxv), 276.
  • 105. M. Keeler, Long Parl. 214-15; Sellinge par. reg.; PROB 6/18, f. 19.