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House of Lords Precedence Act 1539

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None but the King’s Children shall sit on either Side of the Cloth of Estate in Parliament.E+W

Forasmouche as in all great Counsells and Congregacions of Men, havinge sundrie degrees and offices in the common wealth, yt is verie requisite and convenient that an order shulde be had and taken for the placinge and sittinge of suche persons as bene bounde to resorte to the same, to thentent that they knowinge their places maye use the same without displeasure or lett of the Counsell; Therfore the Kinges most royall Majestie, [X1althought] it apperteyneth unto his perogatyve royall to give suche honour reputation and placinge to his Counsellors and other his subjects as shalbe semynge to his most excellent Wisdome, ys nevertheles pleased and contented for an order to be had and taken in this his moste highe Courte of Parliament, that it shalbe enacted by authoritie of the same in manner and forme as hereafter followeth; First it is enacted by authoritie aforsaide that noe person or persons of what estate degree or condition soever he or they be of, Excepte onlie the Kings Children, shall at any tyme hereafter attempte or presume to sytt or have place at any side of the Clothe of estate in the parliament Chamber, nother of the one hand of the Kings Highnes nor of the other, whether the Kings Majestie be there personallie present or absent.

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X1Variant reading of the text noted in The Statutes of the Realm as follows: althoughe O. [O. refers to a collection in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge]

IIX2Place of the King’s Ecclesiastical Vicegerent; above the Archbishop of Canterbury.E+W

And forasmuche as the Kings Majestie is justly and laufullie supreme hed in Erthe, under God, of the Churche of Englande, . . . F1

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X2Unreliable marginal note

Textual Amendments

III Places of the Archbishops and Bishops.E+W

And that next to the saide Vicegerent, shall sitt the Archebisshopp of Canterburie, and then next him on the same fourme and syde shall sytt the Archebisshop of York, and next to him on the same fourme and syde the Bisshopp of London, and next to him on the same syde and fourme the Bisshop of Duresme, and next to him on the same syde and fourme the Bysshopp of Winchester; and then all the other Bisshoppes of both provinces of Canterburie and Yorke shall sytt and be placed on the same side after their auncyentes as it hath bene accustomed.

IV Places of the Lord Chancellor, Lord Treasurer, Lord President of the Council, Lord Privy Seal.E+W

And forasmuche as suche other personages which nowe have and hereafter shall happen to have other great offices of the Realme, that is to saye, the offices of the Lorde Chauncellour, the Lorde Tresorer, the Lorde President of the Kings most honorable Counsell, the Lorde Privey Seale, the Great Chamberleyn of Englande, the Constable of Englande, the Marciall of Englande, the Lorde Admyrall, the Graunde Maister or Lorde Stewarde of the Kings most honorable housholde, the Kinges Chamberleyn, and the Kinges Secretarie, hathe not heretofore bene appointed and ordered for the placinge and sittinge in the Kings most highe Courte of Parliament by reason of their offices, It is therfore nowe ordeyned and enacted by thaucoritie aforesaide that the Lorde Chauncellour, the Lorde Treasourer, the Lorde Precident of the Kings Counsell and the Lorde Privey Seale beinge of the degre of Barons of the Parliament, or above, shall sytt and be placed, aswell in this present Parliament as in all other Parliaments hereafter to be holden, on the lyfte syde of the saide Parliament Chamber on the higher parte of the fourme of the same side, above all Dukes, Excepte onlie suche as shall happen to be the Kinges sonne, the Kinges brother, the Kinges Uncle, the Kinges Nephewe or the Kinges Brothers or Sisters Sonnes.

V Places of Lords Great Chamberlain, Constable, Marshal, Admiral, Steward, King’s Chamberlain.E+W

And, that the great Chamberleyn, the Constable, the Marciall, the Lorde Admyrall, the Great Maister or Lorde Stewarde and the Kinges Chamberleyn, shall sytt and be placed after the Lorde Privie Seale in manner and forme followinge that is to saye; everie of them shall sitt and be placed above all other personages beinge of the same estates and degrees that they shall happen to be; that is to say, the Great Chamberleyn first, the Constable next, the Marciall thirde, the Lorde Admyrall the fourth, the Graunde Maister or Lorde Stewarde the fiveth, and the Kings Chamberleyn the sixt.

VI Place of the King’s Chief Secretary.E+W

And that the Kinges Chief Secretory beinge of the degre of a Baron of the Parliament shall sytt and be placed afore and above all Baronys, not havinge eny of the offices aforemencioned; And if he be a Bisshoppe, that then he shall sytt and be placed above all other Bisshopps, not havinge any of the offices above remembred.

VII All Nobility according to seniority.E+W

And it is also ordeyned and enacted by authoritie aforesaide that all Dukes not afore mencioned, Marquesses Earles Vicounts and Barons, not havinge anye of the offices aforesaide, shall sytt and be placed after ther Auncients as it hathe been accustomed.

VIII Places of the Chancellor, &c. if under the Degree of Barons.E+W

And that if any person or persons which at any tyme hereafter shall happen to have anye of the saide offices of Lorde Chauncelor Lorde Treasorer, Lorde Precident of the Kings Counsell, Lorde Privey Seale or Chief Secretorie, shalbe under the degree of a Baron of the Parliament, by reason wherof they can have noe interest to give any assent or dissent in the saide House, that then in everie such case suche of them as shall happen to be under the saide degree of a Baron, shall sitt and be placed at the uppermost parte of the sakkes in the middes of the saide Parliament Chamber, eyther there to sytt uppon one fourme or uppon the uppermost sakk, the one of them above the other in order as is above rehersed.

IX. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . F2E+W

XX3Places of Great Officers in the Star Chamber, or in other Councils.E+W

And that aswell in all Parliaments as . . . F3 in all other assemblies and conferences of Counsell, the Lorde Chauncelor, the Lorde Tresorer, the Lorde Precident, the Lorde Privey Seale, the Great Chamberleyn, the Constable, the Marciall, the Lorde Admyrall, the Graunde Maister or Lorde Stewarde, the Kinges Chamberleyn, and the Kingse Chief Secretorie, shall sytt and be placed in suche order and fashion as is above rehersed, & not in any other place by authoritie of this present acte.

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X3Unreliable marginal note

Textual Amendments

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