SAVILE, Sir John (1555/6-1630), of Howley Hall, Batley, Yorks.

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

b. 1555/6, 1st s. of Sir Robert Savile of Howley and Barkston, Lincs. and 1st w. Anne, da. of Sir Robert Hussey of Blankney, Lincs.1 educ. Trin. Camb. 1572; L. Inn 1576/7.2 m. (1) Catherine, da. of Charles, Lord Willoughby of Parham, s.p.; (2) 20 Nov. 1586, Elizabeth, da. of Sir Edward Carey† of Aldenham, Herts., 5s. (2 d.v.p.), 4da.3 suc. fa. 1585/6;4 kntd. 1595/6;5 cr. Bar. Savile of Pontefract 21 July 1628.6 d. 30/31 Aug. 1630.7 sig. John Savile.

Offices Held

Capt. militia ft. Lincs. (Lindsey) to 1587;8 steward (jt.), honour of Wakefield, Yorks. 1588-1618, honour of Pontefract, Yorks. by 1626-8;9 sheriff, Lincs. 1590-1;10 j.p. Lincs. (Lindsey), by 1591-1616, Yorks. (W. Riding) by 1591-1616, 1625-d., custos rot. W. Riding c.1594-1616, 1626-d.;11 commr. musters, W. Riding by 1595-9, member, High Comission, York prov. 1599;12 gov. Wakefield g.s., Yorks. by 1598;13 commr. oyer and terminer, Northern circ. 1602-d., Mdx. 1628-d.;14 member, Council in the North 1603-d., v.-pres. 1626-8;15 commr. Admlty. causes, Yorks. 1608, subsidy W. Riding 1608, 1621-2, 1624, 1629, aid 1609, to compound with duchy of Lancaster copyholders, Yorks. 1607-9, 1611, sewers, W. Riding 1611, Forced Loan, Leics. and Yorks. 1626-8;16 alderman (i.e. mayor), Leeds, Yorks. 1626-7; commr. compound for feudal tenures, Northern parts 1626, drainage, Hatfield Levels, Yorks. 1626;17 recvr., recusancy composition, Northern parts 1627-9.18

Commr. Union 1604-6;19 PC 1626-d;20 commr., navy abuses 1626, Crown revenues, 1626-7, fees 1627-d.;21 comptroller, king’s Household 1627-d.22


‘The old devil of Howley’ is chiefly known to posterity through the correspondence of his enemies, particularly Sir Thomas Wentworth*, his junior by a generation. Savile’s cunning made him a dangerous enemy, especially for those who threatened his power base in the West Riding. This trait first manifested itself at the Yorkshire election of 1597, and was exhibited upon a larger stage during the 1624 Parliament, when Savile was one of the most skilful opponents of a precipitate declaration of war against Spain. However, despite the ample connections offered by his wife’s family and the 6th earl of Shrewsbury, he failed to cultivate Court patronage under James, a neglect which cost him the custos-ship of the West Riding in 1615/16 and began the feud with Wentworth which dominated the rest of his life. From 1626 he secured a place upon the national stage, becoming Charles’s key enforcer in Yorkshire and successfully manipulating local rivalries to frustrate Wentworth’s efforts to undermine the collection of the Forced Loan. The scale of Savile’s achievements has often been underestimated by historians, partly because his papers do not survive in any great quantity, but chiefly because Wentworth, having superseded him in the king’s affections, adopted many of his policy initiatives without ever acknowledging the debt he owed his rival.

I. Savile’s Power Base

Savile’s father, an illegitimate relation of the Saviles of Thornhill, Yorkshire, inherited Howley Hall in Yorkshire, but his chief estates lay in northern Lincolnshire. It was here that Sir John cut his political teeth with the assistance of his half-brother Stephen Thymbleby†, recorder of Lincoln, who secured him a place at Lincoln’s Inn in 1576 and a parliamentary seat at Lincoln a decade later. Thymbleby’s death in 1587 extinguished this influence, and while Savile served as sheriff of Lincolnshire in 1590-1, shortly thereafter he began shifting his interests to Yorkshire. There he amassed an estate of 5,000 acres west of Leeds and an iron forge at Kirkstall, the total yield of which was conservatively estimated at £2,200 a year at his death.23 This income, while substantial, was considerably outclassed by that of local rivals such as the Cliffords, Wentworths, Saviles of Thornhill and Fairfaxes of Denton. Consequently, Savile’s challenge to the political influence of these four West Riding families during the 1620s was necessarily based on far more than mere acreage.

Savile’s chief political asset was the honour of Wakefield, Yorkshire, comprising much of the Aire and Calder valleys, where he served as steward jointly with his father-in-law Sir Edward Carey† from 1588 until 1618, when he was succeeded by his son Sir Thomas*. Throughout this period the family built a following among the Crown’s tenants by granting copyhold leases of intakes from common land at reasonable fines and token rents.24 Savile also promoted the Wakefield tenants’ interests by other means: at the end of Elizabeth’s reign the villagers of Holmfirth hired him as their lobbyist in a lawsuit over tithes, allegedly raising a fighting fund of £500 to ensure that he kept their opponent in check for several years. In 1608 he vehemently opposed a project to overthrow the duchy of Lancaster’s control of the honour, which would have laid the tenants open to concealment proceedings, but at the same time he served on the duchy commission to confirm Wakefield copyholds, which promised to yield the Crown £6,000 in composition fines. This settlement was regarded as a mixed blessing by the tenants, who circulated libels against him, but confirmation of their favourable position was to their long-term advantage. Moreover, in the spring of 1610, although absent from the Commons, Savile was doubtless one of the sponsors of the bill which aimed to confirm this composition.25

Although Savile’s influence centred upon the honour of Wakefield, by the time of the 1620 general election he had acquired a wider reputation as ‘the patron of the clothiers’, particularly in Parliament. In the first instance, he promoted legislation for the benefit of the cloth industry. Though not an MP in 1601, he was consulted about modifications to the Tentering Act of 1597, and nine years later he was first named to the bill to alter existing legislation concerning the length and weight of kersies (5 Feb. 1606). When a broader measure for regulation of the cloth trade was tabled in the following year, Savile intervened to ensure that the Londoner Richard Gore, who spoke against the bill, was not added to the committee (27 Mar. 1607).26 Common informers laying actions for breaches of wool and cloth legislation were particularly active in the West Riding at the end of Elizabeth’s reign, and on 25 May 1604 Savile tabled a bill to regulate their activities, which was committed but failed to progress any further.27 On 11 Feb. 1606, as part of an initiative co-ordinated with other northern MPs, he called for confirmation of a discount of 20 per cent on customs duty for northern cloth. A bill was read two days later, reported by the York MP Christopher Brooke and followed in the Lords by the Hull MP Anthony Cole.28

The cloth trade aside, Savile supported a number of initiatives designed to benefit the West Riding and bolster his authority in the area. The Pennine towns depended upon Lincolnshire and the Vale of York for much of their supply of corn, and in the Commons’ debate of 12 Apr. 1624 on restrictions to the export of grain, Savile argued that prices should not be forced so low as to destroy trade: ‘we must take care that the farmer and husbandman be encouraged, for then the poor will not want’.29 Poor communications were a major hindrance to the development of the area, and from 1624 the Saviles backed an ambitious scheme to make the Aire and Calder navigable, to be paid for by a duty on goods shipped through the new locks to be constructed on the rivers. A bill to this effect received two readings in the Commons in 1626, but was thrown out following protests from the York corporation, which favoured a rival scheme for the River Ouse; plans to revive it in 1628 were frustrated by the Saviles’ electoral defeats.30 By contrast, the bill to incorporate the Sheffield cutlers, which Savile tabled on 25 Mar. 1624, was reported by Christopher Brooke on 12 Apr. and reached the statute book at the end of the session.31 Finally, in both 1614 and 1624, Savile unsuccessfully called for the Council in the North to be included within the provisions of the certiorari bill, a motion which would have substantially diminished the jurisdiction of the York court, largely to the advantage of quarter sessions. Although a member of the Council from 1603, Savile’s power base lay not at York, but within the Aire and Calder valleys, hence his complaint that ‘in the north some travelled 30 mile on these writs’, roughly the distance from Howley Hall to York.32

While Savile offered assistance to a broad cross-section of his neighbours, he was particularly careful to promote the interests of his most stalwart supporters, the large-scale clothiers who dominated the economic and political fortunes of the West Riding, and who played a key role in mobilizing his vote at general elections. Most of these men were Merchant Adventurers, a factor which doubtless sharpened Savile’s opposition to the Cockayne project in 1614. A decade later, when the Company’s newly restored monopoly of cloth exports came under attack in Parliament, Savile sprang to its defence, warning that ‘if we labour too much to prune this Company we may destroy them, and so bring a great mischief to the kingdom’.33 In the same session, he probably played a delaying role on committees for bills against export of wool (6 Mar. 1624) and for confirmation of the Staplers’ Company patent (24 Mar. 1624), both of were used as leverage to persuade the Merchant Adventurers to co-opt the Staplers into their Company.34 His efforts on behalf of the clothier clique culminated in the incorporation of Leeds in 1626, the charter of which appointed him alderman (i.e. mayor) and nominated a corporation dominated by his allies.35

The final way in which Savile consolidated his reputation was as a godly patron. Religion was an issue upon which he spoke little in Parliament, but his opinions can be inferred from his behaviour at local level. He was one of the plaintiffs in the 1615 lawsuit which established a trust to control the advowson of Leeds parish church, and confirmed the anti-Catholic firebrand Alexander Cooke as vicar, who had been deprived of his previous cure for non-subscription to the 1604 Canons. Thereafter (in 1619) Savile passed land at Headingley to the parish trustees for a chapel of ease.36 Closer to home, Savile’s own chaplain, James Nutter, was twice cited for nonconformity as preacher at nearby Woodkirk chapel, and during the 1625 election he circulated libels about the Catholic sympathies of Savile’s rival, William Mallory*, a tactic Savile’s friends had previously used against one of his rivals at the 1597 election. Savile’s most powerful clerical ally was Dr. John Favour, chaplain to Archbishop Mathew of York, and vicar of Halifax, one of the few places where Wentworth’s canvassing proved ineffective during the general election of December 1620.37

For all the benefits which accrued from his local following, Savile never merely used the West Riding as a stepping stone to greater things, but fought tenaciously on behalf of his local community, even when his career might have been better served by a diplomatic silence. Thus in 1614 he was one of the few non-merchant MPs who spoke out against the Cockayne project, and in 1624, when he had everything to gain at Court by supporting a breach with Spain, the better to highlight Wentworth’s misgivings about this policy change, he became one of the most obdurate opponents of war. Even in 1626, while striving to win Buckingham’s favour, Savile repeatedly argued that the collapse of the export trade following the outbreak of hostilities with Spain meant that the West Riding was unable to sustain the level of taxation the government demanded for the war effort. Savile’s local standing was founded upon this hard-won reputation as a principled commonwealthsman as much as any individual initiative, and it was a combination of the two factors which enabled him to challenge far more influential rivals for control of the shire.

II. Early Career

Savile erupted onto the stage of Yorkshire politics at the county election of 1597, overthrowing the official candidates promoted by the Council in the North, Sir John Stanhope* and Sir Thomas Hoby*. His opponents subsequently dismissed his supporters as ‘a few gentlemen and a great multitude of clothiers, woolmen and other freeholders of the West Riding’ - the local constituency he had already been nurturing for a decade - yet he could not have achieved his sensational victory without the assistance of Gilbert Talbot†, 7th earl of Shrewsbury, whose antipathy to Stanhope was deep seated, and who may have persuaded Savile to stand in the first place. The earl’s backing brought the support of his Sheffield tenantry and neighbours such as the Wentworths of Elmsall and Wentworth Woodhouse and Richard Gargrave*, while on the eve of the election Savile won over two North Riding landowners, Sir William Fairfax† and Sir Richard Mauleverer, probably by offering them the opportunity to pair with him the following day. At the hustings Savile seized the initiative, citing the 1413 statute barring non-residents (such as Stanhope) from election, spreading rumours that Hoby’s brother had promoted a bill against the Yorkshire cloth interest in the previous Parliament, and overcoming his opponents’ calls for a poll by the simple expedient of seizing the under-sheriff and riding out of York Castle yard.38

Savile’s outrageous conduct earned him three weeks in the Fleet, but he kept his parliamentary seat. At the next election he had the good sense not to challenge the authority of lord president Burghley (Thomas Cecil†), who secured the return of Stanhope’s brother and his vice-president, Sir Thomas Fairfax I*. However, the humiliation Savile had visited upon the Council in the North in 1597 weighed heavily upon Burghley’s successors. In 1604 the newly appointed lord president, Lord Sheffield, was palpably relieved to be able to strike a deal under which Savile received official backing for the knighthood of the shire in conjunction with Francis Clifford*. At the election Savile, who turned out by far the greater number of freeholders, tactfully allowed Clifford (heir to an earldom) to take precedence on the return.39

While not one of the leading lights of James’s first Parliament, Savile played a significant role in its day-to-day proceedings, promoting and managing a range of legislation. The first measure with which he was closely involved was a complex bill recasting the 1563 Act for the leather trade, which he reported on 16 May 1604. This was rejected by the Lords, and consequently a fresh draft was tabled on 26 June, which Savile also reported. Savile was lobbied about this bill by the London Cordwainers’ Company, and passions ran high in the City, particularly among the curriers, who were not regarded as members of the leather trade: on 16 June complaint was made of a currier who had remonstrated with Savile over his handling of the bill.40 He had no obvious personal interest in this legislation, and may have been chosen as committee chairman for his impartiality. On 14 Apr. 1606 he tabled a seemingly official bill allowing the Crown the reversion to all lands granted away by letters patent where the grantee had no male heirs. His interest in this measure in unknown, and as he apparently failed to return to the House after the Easter recess, he was not present when it was rejected on 30 April.41 His involvement with bills concerning the subdivision of tenements in London (27 Apr. 1604, and later on 1 June 1614, 4 Mar. 1626), is explained by his complaint that an uncontrolled influx of poor tenants created just as many problems for poor relief in Yorkshire: what he sought was ‘a general law against inmates’.42 Perhaps because of his Carey connections, he was a keen advocate of the 1610 bill to repeal earlier statutes concerning the New River, moving twice to expedite the proceedings of the committee (of which he was a member) and presenting a petition from the Hertfordshire gentry which complained of potential interference to rights of way and navigation on the River Lea.43

As knight of the shire for the premier county in England, Savile’s opinions carried intrinsic weight in the Commons, but it took him some time to acquire a reputation as a political heavyweight. Having attended the joint conference of 14 Apr. 1604 at which James’s plans to change his title to ‘king of Great Britain’ were revealed, he asked ‘whether in leagues and treaties the king meant to style himself so’. By this he probably meant to imply that a change of name would cause English diplomats to forfeit their precedency at foreign Courts. His nomination to the committee collating objections to the new title (27 Apr. 1604), and his inclusion as one of the members of the Union Commission (12 May) suggests that a sceptical Commons perceived him as a critic of the king’s plans.44 However, Savile was one of the two commissioners who were absent when the Instrument of Union was submitted to Parliament on 21 Nov. 1606. This might be interpreted as dissent from the report, but it may equally indicate waning interest, as he played little part in the extensive debates over the following months. However, when Sir Christopher Piggot* was expelled from the House on 16 Feb. 1607 for making anti-Scottish remarks, Savile moved that he be saved from additional punishment (i.e. by the king). Moreover, during a confused debate about remanding on 28 May 1607, he was among those who observed that the question had not been adequately formulated.45

While named to the committee for the purveyance bill of 3 Apr. 1604, Savile was not initially one of the diehard opponents of this method of supporting the Household: on 18 May, with the Commons at loggerheads over a proposed national composition, he rejected both fresh legislation and a new composition, offering instead to ‘give double for his shire [than that] which is given now; wisheth that every shire would do the like’. This recommendation would have maintained existing inequalities, to the satisfaction of counties such as Yorkshire (which compounded for a mere £495 in 1609) but would hardly have been acceptable to the Home Counties. Savile’s attitudes had apparently hardened by the next session, when he was named to the committee for a more controversial draft of the purveyance bill (30 Jan. 1606), which met with a hostile reception in the Lords. On 12 Apr. John Hare’s* report of the Lords’ objections was summarized by Savile; Henry Yelverton then used this speech as a cue to launch a ringing defence of the Commons’ bill.46

Rising tension over purveyance may explain Savile’s reluctance to concede any increase in the two subsidies voted in February 1606: official spokesmen made much of the royal deficit during a debate of 14 Mar. 1606, but Savile dismissed such claims with the tart observation that ‘many more means will be propounded if we voluntarily offer this’. His mistrust of the government had deepened by 1610 when, having missed the initial debates over the Great Contract, he registered his doubts in a lengthy speech on 2 June. He questioned the merits of exchanging the Crown’s concessions for a vote of supply and an annual composition, arguing that the projected annual ‘support’ of £100,000 in lieu of wardship would be ‘as much as the subjects can well yield’, and he scorned the government’s promises that this contribution would not set a precedent:

if we bargain for those seven things offered, which all are either the straining of the prerogative royal upon the liberties of the subjects or abuses of inferior officers, we shall find that every Parliament there will be some thing or other found wherein the subject will be grieved, and will be enforced to give a further support for the discharge thereof to the king, so that it will be as usual to give a support as a subsidy.

At the supply debate on 14 June Savile returned to the same theme, reminding the king of ‘the poor estate of his subjects’ and moving that official assurances that James would give serious consideration to the Commons’ grievances (most notably impositions) be guaranteed by inclusion in the preamble to the subsidy bill.47

In 1614 Savile was returned for the senior county unopposed, and the dispute between Sir John Mallory* and Sir Thomas Wentworth over the second seat was laid aside until his arrival. He did not reach Westminster until after Easter, arriving with a mind to make trouble. He had probably been detained in the north by unrest arising from Alderman Cockayne’s project to supplant the Merchant Adventurers’ monopoly of cloth exports, against which he vented his anger on 20 May:

at this present there was such a stop of the cloth market here [at Blackwell Hall in London] as there was not so little as £4-5,000 worth of cloth out of Yorkshire that they could be bid no money for. And that within ten miles where he dwelt there was not so few as 13,000 people set a-work with these cloths, and many a thousand of them had not £20 stock, many not above 20 or 30s., so as they could suffer no delays in their sale without hazard of starving; and if this stop of cloth continue but one 14 days, he knows not what will follow.

Cockayne and his opponents were questioned the following afternoon, but thereafter the issue received only one mention in the parliamentary record before the dissolution. The problem was that the government, having just agreed to back Cockayne, was in no mood to entertain criticism of the project, while the Commons was reluctant to devote time to an issue which, although a glaring abuse of royal power, was not technically a breach of the prerogative.48

To gain even this brief airing of his grievances against Cockayne, Savile apparently came to an understanding with the most influential group in the House, the lawyers who wished to make impositions the centrepiece of the Parliament. As a practical man who expressed little appreciation of abstract concepts such as liberties of the subject, Savile had rarely touched upon this issue in previous sessions: in 1606 he wittily claimed that the eloquence of Sir Francis Bacon had almost persuaded him of the merits of the government’s case over impositions; but he is not recorded to have spoken during the extensive impositions debates of June 1610.49 However, on 5 May 1614 he delivered a speech carefully crafted to further the agenda of the anti-impositions lobby, upsetting a motion to begin the scheduled debate on supply by means of an entirely bogus attack on Sir Edwin Sandys for his failure to present a report on impositions which had also been arranged for that morning. Several other speakers tried to return to the question of supply, but Savile, while offering the empty concession that ‘we all stood affected to give His Majesty liberally in convenient time’, reminded the House that the subsidy of 1610 had been voted in return for permission to debate impositions, and darkly hinted that any attempt to obstruct the resumption of this debate might affect the Commons’ future generosity.50

Savile continued to co-operate with the leadership of the House throughout the 1614 session. On 13 May he dismissed a hare-brained plot to unseat Sir Roger Owen as chairman of the investigation into the ‘undertakers’ who had allegedly engaged to manage the House for the Crown, growling ‘that in Sir W[alter] Mildmay’s† time no disorder, now many young gentlemen of a great spirit occasioning this disorder’. Twelve days later he joined the attack on Bishop Neile, after the latter insisted that impositions were an integral part of the prerogative. On 6 June, with dissolution imminent, he gave vent to his frustrations: when John Hoskins asked to be exonerated for his inflammatory remarks about Scottish courtiers, Savile affirmed that this was possible, ‘but he knew no reason now why any question should be put, since none was accused’. On the following morning, as the House prepared a statement confirming its opposition to impositions, there were attempts to sweeten the pill with a last-minute vote of supply, which Savile dismissed out of hand: ‘not to give now, for now will be the gift of undertaking’. Sir Henry Wotton thereupon attempted a clumsy smear, recalling that Savile had offered to farm the Yorkshire recusancy fines in 1610, and suggesting that he might do so again if Parliament were dissolved. The diarist forbore to record Savile’s response, which was doubtless couched in unparliamentary language, but one newsletter writer claimed that Wotton ‘was cried down and in great danger to be called to the bar, but [e]scaped it narrowly’.51

III. Origins of the Savile-Wentworth Feud

Savile was dragged before the Privy Council within hours of the dissolution, probably as much out of fear that he would challenge Wotton to a duel as for his speeches. However, he was ordered to remain in attendance for the next five weeks, and was further questioned ‘for alleging he had warning from some of his neighbours not to give anything that should confirm the impositions’.52 This accusation undoubtedly damaged Savile’s credit in official circles, and did nothing to discourage the investigation of complaints Lord Sheffield had forwarded in February 1614 about ‘the evil carriage of one Sir John Savile ... that maketh use of his authority to satisfy his own ends’. The details of this case were recited in a Star Chamber bill of November 1615, which accused Savile of releasing prisoners from gaol without due warrant, packing a jury and ignoring orders from the Council in the North. Savile mounted a vigorous defence (which earned him a brief sojourn in the Fleet prison), but with Shrewsbury in disgrace over his wife’s Catholicism and support for Arbella Stuart, he had no obvious advocate for his cause on the Privy Council. Thus in December 1615 he was obliged to relinquish his post as custos rotulorum of the West Riding, although he naturally attempted to put a brave face upon this reverse, insisting that he was ‘rather taking comfort by being eased of the late burden he had so long borne in commission of the peace than apprehending by it any touch of disgrace at all’. He managed his resignation with sufficient tact to be allowed to nominate three men as potential replacements: Sir Thomas Wentworth, his companion as knight of the shire in 1614; and two lawyers, Sir John Jackson† and Serjeant Richard Hutton.53

Savile was undoubtedly relieved by the choice of Wentworth as his successor, calculating that the latter’s youth and inexperience augured well for his chances of reinstatement. Thus in September 1617, having rebuilt a measure of credit with the king, he solicited a letter to Wentworth from the royal favourite, Buckingham, urging Sir Thomas to relinquish the custos-ship in return for a vague promise of ‘as good preferment upon any other occasion’. Wentworth, however, stood his ground, using a copy of Savile’s original resignation letter to support his claim that Savile had been removed for just cause, and protesting that his replacement ‘might justly be taken as the greatest disgrace that could be done unto me’. To Savile’s undoubted dismay, Buckingham sent Wentworth a contrite apology, conceding ‘that I see it was a misinformation given to His Majesty and to me’ and urging him ‘not to trouble yourself ... with any doubt of further proceeding in this matter’.54

This humiliation provoked Savile’s enduring feud with Wentworth, which burst into the public domain in the autumn of 1620, when the two men placed their personal rivalry before the county community in a bitterly fought election for the knighthood of the shire. Wentworth’s decision to challenge his rival must initially have seemed the height of folly, as Savile had reached the zenith of his electoral influence in 1614, when his assistance enabled Wentworth to beat off a challenge from Sir John Mallory. However, this victory held a warning for Savile, as Mallory had countered Savile’s dominance of the West Riding by assembling an impressive array of gentry support from the East and North Ridings, ranging from the puritan Sir William Constable, 1st bt.* to the Catholic Sir Henry Constable of Halsham, a coalition which suggests a growing anxiety outside the West Riding over Savile’s domination of the county seats. It was Wentworth who drew the requisite lesson from this election, carefully seeking support from across the county in 1620.55

Savile, meanwhile, used the same canvassing methods against Wentworth which had served him well for over 20 years. He declared his intentions with the improbable claim that he ‘had received three hundred letters in two days from gentlemen of worth to move him to stand for election’, and consolidated his support among the West Riding clothiers by portraying himself as ‘their martyr, having suffered for them’ in the aftermath of the Addled Parliament. His credentials as a ‘country’ candidate were reinforced by his determination to stand against Wentworth’s running-mate, secretary of state Sir George Calvert*, and (as in 1597) he used his servants to spread rumours that a courtier, ‘being not resident in the county, cannot by law be chosen; and being His Majesty’s secretary and a stranger, one not safe to be trusted by the country’. Yet for all his extravagant claims, Savile’s support never extended beyond his natural constituency: the petition he submitted to the privileges’ committee in February 1621 was signed by over 300 clothiers, but included only a handful of clothier-gentry such as John Kaye and Gregory Armytage, while the only county figure who seems to have rallied to his side was William Mallory, who blamed Wentworth for his father’s defeat in 1614.56

Despite the confident assumption of some of Wentworth’s friends that Savile stood ‘to hazard the loss of all’ by appearing at the hustings, the issue still hung in the balance at election day, when both sides attempted a range of subterfuges. Wentworth, having secured the sheriff’s support, proposed to square off against Savile, leaving Calvert to be returned uncontested, but, as in 1597, Savile frustrated this plan by pairing with his son, Sir Thomas Savile*, at the last minute. The outcome was decided by the sheriff’s blatantly partisan decision to shut the gates of the Castle Yard before all the freeholders had entered, stranding over 1,000 of Savile’s supporters on the wrong side of the barrier. This ruse allowed Christopher Wandesford* and others to swear that Savile had mustered ‘not above one hundred freeholders’ at the election, and while Savile managed to have two high constables punished for canvassing on Wentworth’s behalf, he failed to overturn the result of the election.57

IV. The 1624 Parliament

Savile’s fortunes changed in the summer of 1622, when Wentworth was stricken by the first of several bouts of tertian fever, which left him weakened and unwilling to contest the county election in 1624. This was dominated by the recent suspension of the recusancy laws and the likelihood of a breach with Spain, which meant that Savile’s impeccably godly credentials were an invaluable electoral asset. A contest seemed unlikely until the advent of last-minute rumours of ‘an intention in some to have elected persons suspected in religion, which to us all would have been full of danger and scandal’. In the event, Savile was returned without a contest, and the identity of his rivals remains unknown, but it is possible that lord president Scrope attempted to promote Sir Thomas Fairfax II* and Sir Thomas Belasyse*, both of whom had recusant wives. This would certainly explain why Savile was willing to join with Wentworth (who sat for Pontefract) in exposing Scrope’s Catholic sympathies to the Commons in April 1624.58

Upon his arrival at Westminster, Savile seemed to have every reason to support Prince Charles, Buckingham and the ‘patriot’ coalition in their efforts to put an end to the pro-Spanish orientation of government policy for a decade and more, yet he quickly confounded such expectations. Even when considering an issue such as the suspension of the recusancy laws, Savile willingly gave James the benefit of the doubt: ‘the king never did prohibit the execution of the laws against papists, but [did] only connive at the non-execution of the laws, which His Majesty might do with honour’.59 Falling as it did from the lips of a man who had routinely discounted the solemn assurances offered by the same king a decade earlier, this statement suggests that Savile had either developed a spontaneous confidence in the king, or that he found the patriot agenda so disquieting that he aimed to ensure its advocates did not compel James to subscribe to their agenda.

Savile’s differences with the patriots emerged during the debates over funding for the war likely to arise from a breach with Spain. On 5 Mar. 1624 Sir Edwin Sandys reported the 3rd earl of Southampton’s motion to give the king an open-ended guarantee of financial support for such a war. A similar undertaking had been adopted without dissent on 4 June 1621, but Savile warned that Southampton’s motion ‘was a great engagement, and that having once passed it, it was not in our power to revoke it nor moderate it, but the king would be judge [of] what we are able’.60 The motion was dropped, but a variant of the same proposal was adopted on 11 March. Meanwhile, in the Lords, Prince Charles encouraged the Commons to give generously, an exhortation which was joyfully received by almost everyone except Savile who, as one of the committee appointed to pen a vote of thanks, protested that he had ‘never observed the House so full of compliments, and his nature was against it, he had rather action than words’.61

By the time the subsidy debate opened on 19 Mar., the sum required from the Commons, originally set at £780,000 by James, had been whittled down to £300,000, which it was proposed to assign to defensive preparations and support for the Dutch. Many Members retained misgivings about the scale of such a financial commitment, fears Savile touched upon with a deceptively simple motion, which was ‘to know first what we should do, then how we should do it, and how to levy it’. This opened the floodgates to a range of speakers, who voiced their hopes and fears for a war, and as a result it took most of the morning for the hawks to bring the House back to the question of supply. Calls for a vote on the number of subsidies were judged to be premature by several speakers, including Savile, who disingenuously insisted ‘more danger to ask too little than too much, therefore to be well examined’.62 This carried the debate into a second day, when Savile agreed to support a grant of three subsidies and three fifteenths, which was to be tied to Sir Benjamin Rudyard’s* strategy for the defence of Ireland, the navy, fortifications and the Dutch. Doubtless with his constituents in mind, Savile also moved ‘that pretermitted customs, which undoes the kingdom by the hindering of the trade of clothing, may be taken away, and this will both enable and encourage the people to give’. This proposal was dashed, but he returned with a final unsuccessful protest that the sum agreed could not all be paid within a single year.63 Surprisingly, after this dogged resistance, when Prince Charles urged the Commons to allow a first reading for the subsidy bill on 10 Apr., Savile noted that while some insisted that the Commons would not allow it to pass until they had secured their legislative agenda, he, for one, was willing to ‘give over talking and go into action’.64

It is difficult to reconstruct the agenda Savile brought to Parliament in 1624. His obstruction of the aims of the patriot coalition may be interpreted as resentment at their failure to solicit his support before the session began, while his obstreperous behaviour, like Wentworth’s over the Forced Loan a few years later, served as a reminder that, although he had been out of office for nearly a decade, he was simply too influential to be ignored. Yet one can also take his speeches at face value: much as he may have lamented the misfortunes of the Protestant cause in Europe, he clearly doubted the ability of the nation to bear the burden of an offensive war, and feared the prospect of blundering into such a commitment without due consideration of strategy and cost.

V. The Move into Buckingham’s Favour

Charles’s accession in March 1625 occasioned fresh elections. Savile declared his candidacy immediately, but Wentworth consulted with friends at Court before making a decision about whether to mount a challenge. In his absence Sir Thomas Fairfax I and William Mallory stepped forward, but the latter eventually withdrew in the face of rumours, spread by Savile’s supporters, about his Catholic connections. This allowed Wentworth to pair with Fairfax, albeit only days before the election, and a close-run contest was, as in 1620, won by Wentworth through the partiality of the sheriff (Sir Richard Cholmley*). On the first day of business at Westminster, Sir Edward Giles tabled a petition from Savile’s supporters, and despite Wentworth’s efforts to secure an immediate adjournment of the session, it was given priority by the committee for privileges. Wentworth’s supporters employed a wide repertoire of time-wasting tricks, but Savile circumvented them by simply endorsing his adversaries’ version of events. This meant that the outcome of the election was quickly referred back to the Commons, which ordered a writ for a new election. However, after a hastily organized campaign and ‘a tedious and troublesome polling’, the earlier result was confirmed.65

Savile’s defeat ultimately served him well, as Wentworth’s refusal to countenance any increase in the two subsidies voted at the start of the 1625 session damaged his credit with Buckingham and meant that he was pricked as sheriff of Yorkshire in November 1625 to exclude him from the new Parliament, summoned for the following February. Savile paired with his son, Sir Thomas, while Wentworth promoted the candidacy of his neighbour Sir Francis Wortley*, who had picked a fight with Sir Thomas shortly after the 1625 election. Meanwhile, there were reports that Sir John Savile was courting support in the East Riding on the understanding that he would promote an investigation into lord president Scrope in Parliament. Wentworth responded by pairing Wortley with the undeniably godly Sir William Constable, custos of the East Riding, but then suffered a setback when Sir Henry Savile* (a relative of Sir John, but hitherto a Wentworth supporter) declared for his rival. In a letter to Sir Henry, Wentworth hinted at the prospect of a compromise, and on the day of the election Sir Thomas Savile was conveniently ‘surprised with a sudden sickness’ which obliged him to ‘resign my interest in that business to another’. Wortley also stood aside, leaving Sir John Savile and Constable to be returned without a contest.66 This rare accord between the rival Yorkshire factions failed to transfer to Westminster, where Savile filed a Star Chamber bill against Wentworth and his allies about the conduct of the 1625 election. This lawsuit seems to have been entirely vexatious, as Savile was fined in 1629 for ‘letting the same hang as a libel against them [the defendants] above three years’.67

Upon his arrival in the Commons, Savile, fresh from suppressing riots among unemployed weavers at Wakefield, demonstrated the same concerns about the burdens of war which had preoccupied him in 1624. On 25 Feb. he claimed that the subsidy to Christian IV of Denmark would cost £50,000 a month, an obviously insupportable sum, and begged for relief for the poorer subsidymen: ‘the copyholder is the third or fourth part of England; he languishes and ready to give up the last gasp, and by raising of the [land]lords’ fines worse’. Two days later he interrupted a series of complaints about mismanagement of Crown revenues to warn that economic crisis caused by the war required urgent action:

there is 30,000 near his house that if there be no help they will seek help themselves. It was at a great hazard this summer, but not so ill as now; the poor being hindered in their trade threatened to take meat out of their mouths, since that if they want work many thousands will be in great extremity. The merchant does not sell for [want] of the cloth in their country.

These concerns meant that when the king made overtures for a grant of supply on 10 Mar., Savile preferred to examine the Council of War’s accounts for the 1624 subsidies: ‘no man will be willing to give his money into a bottomless gulf’. Three days later he pronounced himself ‘much distracted’ over the question of supply, and when a draft reply to Charles’s inquiry about supply was tabled on 14 Mar., he protested ‘that by this answer we have tied ourselves in a parliamentary manner. The charges cannot be borne. If we give never so much, unless things be well rectified at home in the king’s estate it will be to little purpose’.68

Savile’s problem in the opening weeks of the session was that he sought a debate on reform of Crown finances, whereas those around him merely wished to attack Buckingham. Thus on 24 Feb., when Eliot hinted that reform should be accompanied by the removal of ministers who wasted the Crown’s revenues, Savile pointedly called for the privy councillors, hitherto conspicuous by their silence, to provide a clear lead to the House. Three days later Savile vented his feelings in a letter to his allies in Leeds, accusing Buckingham’s tormentors of being ‘so resolutely bent and with such eagerness upon the pursuit of a great man as rather than they will fail or surcease they are resolved to hazard the whole estate of the commonwealth’.69 With Wentworth out of favour, Savile had everything to gain from a rapprochement with the duke, and the tone of his speeches during March charts the course of this developing relationship. On 1 Mar. he urged the House to allow Buckingham to answer any charges arising from the detention of the French ship the St. Peter. Ten days later, shortly before the vote to discontinue this investigation, he pronounced himself ‘not yet satisfied’ over Buckingham’s conduct. However, by the time the incident was raised again on 16 Mar. he considered the duke’s action ‘an error but no grief’, and on 23 Mar. he endorsed Buckingham’s defence of coastal shipping against enemy privateers.70

For all his newfound dependence on the duke, Savile remained reluctant to endorse any grant of taxation without securing relief for his Yorkshire neighbours, although tact now demanded he phrase his objections more constructively. Thus on 23 Mar. he welcomed Secretary Coke’s report on the Crown’s war budget, but recommended an investigation of waste rather than immediate supply; while four days later an anonymous speech (which can probably be attributed to Savile) endorsed a grant of three subsidies and three fifteenths in return for a discount upon the £10,000-worth of Privy Seal loans then being collected in Yorkshire. This speech brought a swift response from the government over the Easter recess, when Savile led a Yorkshire delegation before the Privy Council to secure a two-thirds’ reduction in the county’s privy seals.71 However, Savile’s gratitude had its limits: he declined to support a request for additional supply on 25-6 Apr., although he suggested several alternative sources of revenue. The first, ironically, was a revival of the Great Contract he had spurned in 1610, which, he observed, would already have yielded the Crown £2 million had it been adopted. He also called for a graduated Poll Tax upon baronets, knights and magistrates, and moved that all those rated above £4 in the subsidy rolls be required to pay half their quota for the three subsidies at once. Less helpfully, on 24 May he renewed his earlier attack on the pretermitted customs, which, he claimed, cost Yorkshire £8,000 a year, although he conceded that composition might now be a wiser course than abolition.72

Following the concession on privy seals, Savile moved ever more obviously into Buckingham’s orbit. When Eliot raised the St. Peter incident yet again on 1 May, Savile reminded him that attorney-general Heath* had long since assured the House that Buckingham had acted under direct orders from the king. Four days later, with Buckingham’s impeachment charges almost complete, Savile urged the House to pass a fresh allegation against the duke over to the Lords. The presentation of the impeachment charges was a fiasco, with Charles arresting the two Members who implied that he and Buckingham had hastened the death of his father. Savile counselled against an over-hasty response, and when his own detention in 1597 was cited as a precedent, he tried to put a favourable gloss on the incident, observing that there had been no suspension of the Commons’ proceedings, and the House had simply petitioned Queen Elizabeth for his release as a matter of grace.73

By the end of May Savile was being tipped for a peerage to swell the ranks of Buckingham’s supporters in the Lords, while in the Commons his advocacy of the duke had become sufficiently irritating to provoke an attack on his own credibility. A copy of his letter of 27 Feb. was produced by Sir Francis Foljambe on 22 May, and quickly condemned as a gross insult to the House. Savile lost his temper and accused Eliot and Sir William Armyne of conspiring to defame him; forced to retract his remarks, he vehemently denied writing the letter, although he lost credibility by trying to foist the authorship upon his son Edmund and his servant Robert Benson in turn. Examined under oath on 8 June, three of Savile’s associates admitted that they had circulated copies of the letter among the clothiers to drum up support for a petition to Parliament, and had then tried to conceal their role when Savile came under attack in the Commons. With his defence reduced to a number of convenient memory lapses, Savile looked to be on the verge of expulsion, and was only saved by the dissolution of 15 June.74

VI. Court Favour and the Forced Loan

Savile’s decision to support Buckingham in his hour of need was based on more than a reduction in the privy seals, which was merely an indication of favours to come. Two weeks after the dissolution his appointment to the newly formed commission to improve the Crown’s revenues gave him the opportunity to implement some of the financial reforms he had advocated in Parliament. Within weeks he secured a patent to compound for the tenures of those holding lands in capite worth under £10 a year in the north of England, effectively a small-scale trial for the revival of the Great Contract which he had advocated on 26 Apr. 1626.75 The revenue commission was only the start of Savile’s preferments, however, for on 12 July 1626 he finally regained his place as custos of the West Riding, news of which apparently reached Wentworth as he was presiding over the quarter sessions. On the following day the charter for incorporating Leeds passed the great seal, under which Savile became the town’s first alderman.76 Yet the office he probably coveted most was the presidency of the North, then held by Lord Scrope. The latter was related to Buckingham by marriage, and therefore Savile had defended him in the 1626 Parliament against allegations that he had been responsible for the rise of Catholicism in the North. However, he had done so only in the most lukewarm terms: the real reason for the rise in recusancy, Savile said, was the lack of preaching ministers, and Scrope was unable to influence events, being ‘not so great a man as to carry a faction in Yorkshire’. Scrope would almost certainly have been dismissed if the Parliament had reached a successful conclusion, but the dissolution allowed him to remain in office, although Savile took over the political management of Yorkshire.77

On 8 Nov. 1626 Savile was sworn a privy councillor. There was much speculation as to the reasons, the most convincing being that ‘his merit must spring from the new commission for the royal subsidy [Forced Loan] in that county [Yorkshire], for as yet ... the man hath done little’.78 In fact, he was initially assigned to assist with the collection in Leicestershire, where the 5th earl of Huntingdon opposed the Forced Loan, and he may only have arrived in his own county at the end of January 1627.79 At this stage, little had been achieved in Yorkshire, largely because of the example set by various ‘Parliament-men’, particularly Sir John Jackson, who had publicly promised to hang any tenant of his who paid the Loan. Yet the greatest danger came not from such empty threats, but from Wentworth, Constable and Sir John Hotham*, who simply evaded the collectors for several months. Many others (including, perhaps, some of the collectors) held back to see how the government would respond to this challenge, and despite a substantial administrative effort, none of the £19,000 charged upon the shire reached the Exchequer before Easter 1627.80

In the absence of much of the relevant documentation it is difficult to chart the course of the Forced Loan in Yorkshire, but Savile apparently overcame a potentially disastrous campaign of non-compliance in two ways. First, he looked to broaden the base of his support within the shire: the Catholic Viscount Dunbar had already been allowed to take a leading role in the East Riding by the autumn of 1626, and in the following spring Savile secured the acquiescence of two key figures in the North and West Ridings, Sir Thomas Belasyse and Sir Thomas Fairfax I (Sir William Constable’s father-in-law), by having them elevated to the peerage in May and October 1627.81 Secondly, enforcement was ‘sharpened by our great countryman [Savile]’: George Radcliffe* was committed to the Marshalsea at the beginning of May, perhaps as a warning to Wentworth, who remained obdurate and was imprisoned at the beginning of July, while Constable and Hotham were hauled before the Privy Council later the same month. This activity had a salutory effect on the collection of the Loan in Yorkshire: between 14 April and 30 June 1627 £13,000 arrived in the Exchequer, and the county eventually paid 80 per cent of its quota, well above the average yield.82

Savile’s industry was rewarded by Buckingham, who appointed him comptroller of the Household following the death of Sir John Suckling* in April 1627. In the north he continued to expand his sphere of influence by inaugurating a commission to compound for recusancy fines, a scheme he had proposed to the revenue commission the previous year, which quickly raised the Crown £3,500 a year. This income, and a levy on Newcastle coal, were assigned to maintain a small squadron of ships appointed to defend the east coast against the Dunkirk privateers, whose activities had been a major grievance for the Yorkshire merchants since the outbreak of the war, and when the money ran out Savile supported the project with £5,400 from his own pocket. Finally, Savile was one of the promoters of Sir Cornelius Vermuyden’s project to drain the Hatfield Levels, which brought in £10,000 towards the war effort.83

VII. Eclipse and Final Years

Having invested so heavily in prerogative government, Savile opposed the summons of a fresh Parliament in 1628. Even after the decision was taken, he was one of the few councillors who supported Buckingham’s motion that the session be postponed until the end of April, and that the punitive privy seals sent out on the eve of the elections should not be rescinded, ‘lest refractories might thereby be encouraged’.84 However, he threw himself into the county election with his customary vigour. His prospects looked good, as he could now anticipate support not only from the West Riding clothiers but also from Dunbar’s supporters in the East Riding and from the Catholics who had flocked to compound for their recusancy fines. Wentworth countered this by pairing with another figure ‘gracious with the papists’, Henry Belasyse*, whose father was thus detatched from Savile’s orbit. Savile then foolishly damaged his standing within the honour of Pontefract by lobbying to purchase the former Crown estates there from the London corporation, against the wishes of the tenants. All of these considerations made the contest a close call: it was reported that ‘Sir Thomas Wentworth had the major number at the poll, but the major number of them who put down their names in writing were for Sir John Savile’. Despite this, the sheriff, Sir Thomas Fairfax II, declared Wentworth and Belasyse elected, perhaps out of pique at the fact that Savile had allowed the junior branch of his family to acquire a peerage and thus take precedence over him. The Commons, having already begun an inquiry into Savile’s ‘commission of idolatry’ [recusancy composition], were hardly disposed to give a fair hearing to his protests about the election, and Wentworth’s return was confirmed on 17 April.85

Savile’s political position began to unravel after the end of the 1628 session. He was ennobled as Baron Savile of Pontefract on 21 July, but the success of the Parliament meant that Wentworth was awarded a barony on the following day. Buckingham’s assassination threatened Savile’s position, but he quickly made overtures to the 3rd earl of Pembroke for support. Wentworth responded with allegations of bribe-taking by Savile’s recusancy commission, and finally surpassed his rival in December, acquiring a viscountcy and succeeding Scrope as lord president.86 Clarendon (Edward Hyde†) later recalled that Savile was then stripped of office and sent down to the country in disgrace, but while undoubtedly dismayed at his reversal of fortune, Savile confounded expectations by retaining the comptrollership until his death, and probably helped Sir Henry Savile to victory over Wentworth’s candidate at the parliamentary by-election of February 1629.87

There were frequent reports that Savile’s health deteriorated after his fall from power, and indeed he died at Howley Hall on 30/31 August 1630. His main estates went to his eldest surviving son, Sir Thomas, but in his will, drafted eight months earlier, he appointed his daughter, Anne Leigh, as executrix, which provoked several years’ worth of litigation between the two over the title to three manors within the honour of Pontefract which he had bought in 1628.88

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. T.D. Whitaker, Loidis and Elmete, 235; R. Thoresby, Ducatus Leodiensis, 150.
  • 2. Al. Cant.; LI Admiss.
  • 3. Thoresby, 150.
  • 4. C142/210/116.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 166; York City Archives, House Bk. 31, f. 215.
  • 6. CP.
  • 7. C142/476/141; Whitaker, 235.
  • 8. CSP Dom. 1581-90, p. 392.
  • 9. R. Somerville, Hist. Duchy Lancaster, i. 523; DCO, Letters and Warrants 1626-32, f. 74.
  • 10. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 80.
  • 11. W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/38, f. 21; C231/4, f. 13; Som. RO, DD/PH219/55.
  • 12. CSP Dom. 1595-7, p. 166; 1599-1600, p. 437; HMC Hatfield, ix. 396.
  • 13. APC, 1597-8, pp. 377-8.
  • 14. C181/1, f. 19v; 181/3, f. 243v.
  • 15. R. Reid, Council in the North, 398, 496.
  • 16. HCA 14/39/217; E179/283, ‘commrs. for the aid’; C212/22/20-3; Fairfax Corresp. ed. G.W. Johnson, i. 210; SP14/61/64; DL28/33/32; Yorks. ERRO, DDBE/27/2; C193/12/2.
  • 17. C66/2384/2; C231/4, f. 214.
  • 18. APC, 1627, pp. 312-13; 1627-8, p. 206; 1628-9, p. 205.
  • 19. CJ, i. 208b.
  • 20. APC, 1626, p. 353.
  • 21. CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 495; APC, 1626, p. 51; G.E. Aylmer, ‘Charles I’s Commission on Fees, 1627-40’, BIHR, xxxi. 60.
  • 22. HMC Rutland, i. 484.
  • 23. C142/210/116; 142/476/141; C2/Jas.I/R6/31, 34; 2/Jas.I/R10/1; WARD 5/49; C2/Chas.I/R63/92.
  • 24. Somerville, i. 523; ii. 152; Pennine Valley ed. B. Jennings, 39-57.
  • 25. STAC 5/S71/32, 5/W71/21; R.W. Hoyle, ‘Vain Projects: the Crown and its Copyholders in the Reign of Jas. I’, Eng. Rural Soc. ed. J. Chartres and D. Hey, 85-7; DL28/33/32; Add. 29974, ff. 18-20; CJ, i. 403a; HLRO, O.A. 7 Jas.I, c. 25; STAC 8/258/5.
  • 26. Strafforde Letters (1739) ed. W. Knowler, i. 11; CSP Dom. 1639-40, pp. 251-2; HMC Hatfield, xi. 583; H. Heaton, Yorks. Woollen and Worsted Industries, 138-44; SR, iv. 1091, 1137-40; CJ, i. 339b, 1032b.
  • 27. CJ, i. 225b, 229b; Kyle thesis, 207-9; W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/38, ff. 82-4; Bowden, 150-4.
  • 28. CJ, i. 267, 269b, 277b; LJ, ii. 394a; HMC Hatfield, xxiii. 220-1; xxiv. 52; Hull RO, L.159-60.
  • 29. ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 136v-7, 141v-2v; W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/28, p. 1.
  • 30. W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/19, ff. 89-90; York City Archives, House Bk. 34, ff. 290v-1; House Bk. 35, f. 6; Procs. 1626, ii. 288, 366, 369.
  • 31. CJ, i. 750a, 754b, 763a; Kyle thesis, 464-6; Mesters to Masters ed. C. Binfield and D. Hey, 17-19.
  • 32. CJ, i. 489a, 747b; ‘Spring 1624’, p. 156; Kyle thesis, 222-7.
  • 33. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 304; CJ, i. 698-9, 758b; ‘Holland 1624’, ii. f. 79; ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 192v, 206r-v; ‘Pym 1624’, f. 36.
  • 34. CJ, i. 678b, 747b; HLRO, main pprs. 27 Apr. 1624; Kyle thesis, 80-6, 94-9.
  • 35. G.C.F. Forster, ‘Early years of Leeds Corp.’, Thoresby Soc. Misc. xvi. pt. 4, pp. 253-4.
  • 36. C78/279/12; R.A. Marchant, Puritans and Church Courts, 33-4, 240-1; C. Cross, Urban Magistrates and Ministers, 18-19; G. Forster, ‘From Eliz. I to Ralph Thoresby’, in Religion in Leeds ed. A. Mason, 31-3; J.T. Cliffe, Yorks. Gentry, 270.
  • 37. Marchant, 29-30, 42-3, 266; W. and S. Sheils, ‘Textiles and Reform’, in Reformation in Eng. Towns ed. P. Collinson and J. Craig, 141-2; Bodl. Fairfax 34, ff. 47, 71; LPL, ms 701, f. 107; Surr. Hist. Cent. LM Corresp. 14 Dec. 1620.
  • 38. HMC Hatfield, vii. 412-19, 426-7, 436-7; Wentworth Pprs. ed. J.P. Cooper (Cam. Soc. ser. 4. xii), 37; M. Kishlansky, Parl. Selection, 49-55.
  • 39. APC, 1597-8, pp. 46, 114; Procs. 1626, iii. 238-9, 243-4, 248, 250; Wentworth Pprs. 47-8; LPL, ms 708, f. 131.
  • 40. D. Dean, Law-making and Soc. in Late Eliz. Eng. 142-4, 277; CJ, i. 189a, 211a, 240b, 246b, 248b; SR, iv. 1039-48; CD 1604-7, p. 90; GL, ms 7351/1, unfol.
  • 41. Bowyer Diary, 125; CJ, i. 298a, 302b.
  • 42. CJ, i. 188a, 504a, 830b; CD 1604-7, p. 73.
  • 43. CJ, i. 442-4; J.W. Gough, Sir Hugh Myddelton, 39-45; HUGH MYDDELTON.
  • 44. CJ, i. 172a, 188-9, 208b, 957b; R.C. Munden, ‘King, Commons and Reform’, Faction and Parl. ed. K. Sharpe, 62-5; CD 1604-7, pp. 66-7.
  • 45. CJ, i. 1003a, 1014b, 1047b; Bowyer Diary, 306.
  • 46. CJ, i. 162b, 261b, 297b, 975a; P. Croft, ‘Parl., Purveyance and the City of London’, PH, iv. 14-17; Bowyer Diary, 121-2; Carleton to Chamberlain ed. M. Lee, 76; LS13/279, f. 75v; W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/38, ff. 161-4.
  • 47. CJ, i. 285a, 439a; Parl. Debates 1610 ed. S.R. Gardiner, 46-7, 57; Procs. 1610 ed. E.R. Foster, ii. 143-6.
  • 48. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 38, 298-306, 317, 382; A. Friis, Alderman Cockayne’s Project and the Cloth Trade; B. Supple, Commercial Crisis and Change, 33-51.
  • 49. CJ, i. 297a; Bowyer Diary, 119-20.
  • 50. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 146, 153, 155, 158, 346.
  • 51. Ibid. 228-30, 426-8, 439-42; Chamberlain Letters ed. N.E. McClure, i. 538. Savile had offered £8,000 for a lease of recusancy fines in 1610: SP14/54/78.
  • 52. APC, 1613-14, pp. 457, 460, 479-80; HMC Portland, ix. 138.
  • 53. Wentworth Pprs. 83-6; STAC 8/225/12; Strafforde Letters, i. 2-3; C231/4, f. 13.
  • 54. Strafforde Letters, i. 4; Fortescue Pprs. ed. S.R. Gardiner (Cam. Soc. n.s. i), 23-8; Wentworth Pprs. 100-1, 105; R. Cust, ‘Wentworth’s Change of Sides in the 1620s’, Pol. World of Wentworth ed. J.F. Merritt, 66-7.
  • 55. Procs. 1614 (Commons), 38; W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/38/2, f. 14; YORKSHIRE.
  • 56. YORKSHIRE; Strafforde Letters, i. 10-11, 13; Surr. Hist. Cent. LM 1331/26. Calvert had recently purchased a small estate at Kiplin in the North Riding.
  • 57. Beaumont Pprs. ed. W.D. Macray, 43-4; Surr. Hist. Cent., LM1331/25; CJ, i. 556-7, 571b; CD 1621, iv. 23; vi. 69; Nicholas, Procs. 1621, i. 175-6.
  • 58. Cust, ‘Change of Sides’, 70; Wentworth Pprs. 202-3; HMC Hodgkin, 42; Bodl. Eng. Misc. C.855, ff. 131-2; CJ, i. 776a; ‘Holland 1624’, ii. f. 52.
  • 59. T. Cogswell, Blessed Revolution, 145-65; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 118v.
  • 60. C. Russell, PEP, 118-21; Cogswell, 184-5; C. Russell, ‘Wentworth and Anti-Spanish Sentiment’, Wentworth, 61-2; Ferrar 1624, p. 61.
  • 61. Cogswell, 188-95; CJ, i. 684a; Holles 1624, p. 34.
  • 62. Cogswell, 195, 203-11; Holles 1624, p. 41; CJ, i. 743b.
  • 63. Cogswell, 212-15; ‘Spring 1624’, pp. 148-9; ‘Nicholas 1624’, ff. 101v-3.
  • 64. Cogswell, 234; ‘Nicholas 1624’, f. 138; Holles 1624, p. 74.
  • 65. YORKSHIRE; Fairfax Corresp. i. 6-7; Bodl. Fairfax 34, f. 47; W. Yorks. AS (Bradford), 32D86/38/2, f. 19; Procs. 1625, pp. 206, 295-6, 314-15, 500, 512-15; H. Cholmley, Memoirs (1787), pp. 23-4.
  • 66. YORKSHIRE; Strafforde Letters, i. 32-3; HMC Hodgkin, 43, 285-8; Wentworth Pprs. 246.
  • 67. Fairfax Corresp. i. 24-8; Wentworth Pprs. 250; Historical Collections ed. J. Rushworth, iii. (app.) 21; Harvard Law Sch., ms 1101, ff. 26v-7.
  • 68. APC, 1625-6, pp. 355-6; Procs. 1626, ii. 129-30, 141, 249, 275, 284; Russell, PEP, 281-3, 288-9.
  • 69. Procs. 1626, ii. 116, 122; iii. 303.
  • 70. Ibid. ii. 171, 261, 298, 361.
  • 71. Ibid. 352, 379, 381; APC, 1625-6, pp. 169-70, 421-2, 424; Wentworth Pprs. 249-50.
  • 72. Procs. 1626, iii. 74-8, 321-3.
  • 73. Ibid. ii. 205; iii. 109, 115, 161, 238-9, 243-4, 248, 250; Russell, PEP, 303, 306-7.
  • 74. Procs. 1626, ii. 301, 303-4, 306-8, 392-401; iv. 289; Fairfax Corresp. i. 30-1.
  • 75. HMC Cowper, i. 273; Univ. London, Goldsmiths’ ms 195/1, ff. 2-4; C231/4, f. 208; C66/2384/2; APC, 1626, p. 51; 1627, pp. 312-13.
  • 76. C231/4, f. 207; Wentworth Pprs. 255-6; Strafforde Letters, i. 36; Forster, ‘Leeds’, Thoresby Soc. Misc. xvi. pt. 4, pp. 253-4.
  • 77. Procs. 1626, ii. 358; Reid, 398.
  • 78. APC, 1626, p. 353; CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 396; HMC Buccleuch, iii. 315; Holles Letters ed. P.R. Seddon (Thoroton Soc. rec. ser. xxxv), 337-8.
  • 79. R. Cust, Forced Loan, 113; HMC Cowper, i. 296; T. Cogswell, Home Divisions, 153-8.
  • 80. SP16/51/35; 16/60/52; 16/84/89.
  • 81. SIR MATTHEW BOYNTON; CP sub Fauconberg, Fairfax of Cameron.
  • 82. APC, 1627, pp. 240, 352, 382, 402, 418; Radcliffe Corresp. ed. T.D. Whitaker, 143-4; E401/1914. Average yield for the Forced Loan in all counties except those billeting troops was around 69 per cent of the original quotas.
  • 83. CSP Dom. 1625-6, p. 518; 1627-8, pp. 125-6, 214, 219, 226, 333; APC, 1626-7, pp. 312-13, 326-7, 413; 1627-8, p. 319; Wentworth Pprs. 264-5, 268, 271-2; E401/2595-7; Univ. London, Goldsmiths’ ms 195/1, f. 4; L.E. Harris, Vermuyden and the Fens, 48-53.
  • 84. Cust, Forced Loan, 77, 85; Holles Letters, 375-6.
  • 85. Wentworth Pprs. 278, 283, 287; CD 1628, ii. 61, 66, 69, 75, 85, 92-3, 156-7, 198, 244, 507-8, 510-11; CLRO, RCE min. bk. 1, ff. 15v, 17v-19v; CSP Dom. 1628-9, p. 43.
  • 86. Wentworth Pprs. 299-301, 308-9; Radcliffe Corresp.168-74; T. Birch, Ct. and Times of Chas. I, i. 421.
  • 87. Clarendon, Hist. of the Rebellion ed. W.D. Macray, i. 341; Wentworth Pprs. 316-17; CSP Dom. 1628-9, pp. 507-8; HMC Buccleuch, iii. 347; YORKSHIRE.
  • 88. Borthwick, Reg. Test. 41, ff. 314-16; C142/476/141; C2/Chas.I/L8/67; 2/Chas.I/S52/10; 2/Chas.I/S63/33; 2/Chas.I/S64/63; 2/Chas.I/S65/66.