Dissolution of Parliament

Extract from letter from Sir Thomas Lake to Lord Salisbury concerning the dissolution of Parliament, 2 December 1610 (catalogue ref: SP 14/58 f.109r).

This letter reports on a conversation Sir Thomas Lake had with King James about the dissolving of Parliament in 1610. The section below describes their discussion on what reason to give for its dissolution.


My duty to your Lord most humble remembered. I came hither this day toward his Majesty’s supper-time. I had no access till after supper. His Majesty after many questions and speeches pressed to sign the Commission for Prorogation and the other he said was needed for people knew his meaning was not to dissolve now. Much to him insisted, I know the cause why the rumours of prorogation delivered by him to your Lordship in my former letters were not inserted in the Commission or not to be spoken in the house. I assured them as well as I could, but did not satisfy one with this only that the strongest reason was that your Lordship thought it more for his Majesty’s [humour?] in matters that depended merely of his will, not to be tied to give a reason for his doing. The arguments satisfied, and I think that in any other thing that I had to do, I soon left his Majesty satisfied…


‘Prorogation of a Parliament’ results in the ending of a session. ‘Parliament’ then stands prorogued until the opening of the next session. ‘Prorogation’ is a prerogative act of the Crown.

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