In 1604 the House of Commons complained to the Lords about a book on the union of Scotland and Ireland by John Thornborough, Bishop of Bristol, because it tended ‘to the derogation and scandal of the proceedings of the house’.1 Following a conference of both houses, parliament summoned the printers and publishers to confirm the author. Bishop Thornborough was then summoned to appear before parliament where he apologised for having erred ‘in presuming to deliver a private Sentence in a Matter so dealt in by the High Court of Parliament’.2 The book in question was titled A discourse plainely prouing the euident vtilitie and vrgent necessitie of the desired happie vnion of the two famous kingdomes of England and Scotland: by way of answer to certaine objections against the same.3 Parliamentary ire and episcopal apology suggest that any effort by private citizens to employ the printed word to influence parliamentary proceedings was not only unusual but unwelcome.