Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 1, July 1653 - April 1657. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
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Monday, Nov. 3. Colonel Shapcot reports from the Committee for prisoners, the case of three Portuguese, condemned for murder, being servants to the late Portuguese Ambassador's brother, who was executed for the said murder; (fn. 1) it not appearing that the said persons had a hand actually therein, but only were present.
Ordered, that the said Committee do bring in a Bill for the pardon of the three Portuguese.
That the Committee for Recusants do sit this afternoon; and the members of this House, who are of that Committee, are enjoined to attend the said business.
Tuesday 4. Notice being taken, that General Montague, one of the Generals at sea, being lately returned from sea with the Spanish prizes, was come into the House, he being returned to be a member: it was
Resolved, that thanks be given from this House to General Montague, (fn. 2) for his great and good services done for this Commonwealth at sea.
Mr. Speaker did give him thanks accordingly.
Resolved, that the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal, the Chief Justice, Baron Parker, and the rest of the members of this House that are in Westminster Hall, be sent for, to attend the service of the House.
The Serjeant was sent, with the mace, accordingly.
Friday 14. Captain Baynes reported from the Committee for excise and customs, the opinion of the said Committee.
Resolved, that the House doth agree with the Committee, that the custom of Spanish wines be raised from 4l. 10s. to 6l. the ton; the excise from 6l. to 9l. the ton.
Ordered, that the further debate on this report be adjourned tilt to-morrow morning.
Saturday 15. The House resumed the debate upon the report from the Committee.
Resolved, that this House doth agree with the said Committee, that 3l. the ton excise, be also added to the 6l. already imposed upon Spanish wines now in the vintners' hands; and that the same be considered in the price of wines.
That the customs upon raisins of the sun, be raised from 2s. the hundred weight, to 5s. the hundred weight; and that the customs upon all other Spanish raisins be raised from 1s. 6d. the hundred weight to 3s. the hundred weight, provided that for so much of the said raisins as shall be exported again, all the customs be paid back, except 1s. the hundred weight for raisins of the sun, and 9d. the hundred weight for all other Spanish raisins.
That the excise of all tobacco of the English plantations, be reduced from 3d. to 1d. the pound; and that thereupon, no view or allowance be made for, or in respect of the said tobacco.
That upon all Spanish wines, in the out-ports, 30s. more shall be added to the custom formerly paid for such wines.
Ordered, that the Bill for restraining unnecessary suits upon bonds or bills, be read on Friday morning next.
That Mr. Nathaniel Bacon, and Major Aston, be added to the Committee for Nayler's business. (fn. 3)
Tuesday 18. Mr. Downing reported from the Committee of Trade, amendments to the Bill for the exportation of several commodities of the breed, growth, and manufactures of this Commonwealth.
Resolved, that the House doth agree with this amendment, that every gelding, that is transported by the natives, shall pay 20s.; that every foreigner shall pay for every gelding, 30s.
Friday 21. Ordered, that the report from the Grand Committee for religion, touching the false printing of the Bibles, (fn. 4) be made on Saturday morning next.
Resolved, that no member of the House do remain in the Committee Chambers, during the time of prayers.
Mr. Downing reported from the Committee for Trade, a Bill giving liberty for transporting fish.
Saturday 22. An Act for settling the Cathedral, or College Church of Gloucester, upon the Mayor and Burgesses of the City of Gloucester, and their successors, was this day read a second time.
A Bill for settlement of a rent-charge of 100l. per annum, to be issuing out of the manors and lands of Samuel Johnson, Esq. for maintenance of 16 scholars, in several colleges, in the University of Cambridge, in pursuance of the gift of Robert Johnson, was read the second time.
The humble petition of the Doctors of the Civil. Law, on behalf of themselves and their profession; was read and committed.
A Bill, entituled "An Act for taking away the Court of Wards and Liveries," was this day read the third time, and passed nemine contradicente.
Ordered; that this Bill be offered to his Highness the Lord Protector, for his consent.
The House being informed, that Edward Ruddock, who was arrested at the suit of William Pease, was at the door;
Being brought in, and examined, he saith: he is the servant (fn. 5) of Mr. Mason, a member of this House; and hath been so three weeks. And thereupon withdrew.
Resolved, that Edward Ruddock, have his privilege, and be discharged of the arrest.
Thursday 27. Mr. Drake reported, that the Committee appointed for that purpose did, yesterday, attend his Highness, according to the order, to desire his Highness to appoint a time for the House to present unto him some Bills which have passed this House. And that his Highness hath ap pointed this morning, about ten of the clock, for that purpose, to be in the Painted Chamber.
Ordered, that Colonel White do take care that the Fainted Chamber, and the passage thither, be cleared; and no person to come in but the members of the House, except such as his Highness brings with him.
The Serjeant brings word, that Serjeant Dendy was at the door with a message from his Highness. And, thereupon, he was called in.
And, having made two obeisances to the House, when he came into the middle of the House, with his mace in his hand, he declared to Mr. Speaker, that he was commanded by his Highness the Lord Protector, to let this House know that his Highness is in the Painted Chamber, and desires to speak with this honourable House. And thereupon withdrew.
Which being done, Mr. Speaker, attended with the whole House, the Clerk with the Bills in his hand, and the Serjeant with his mace, going next and immediately before him, went up to the Painted Chamber; where his Highness, attended with the Lord President and the rest of the Council, the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal, the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, the Lord Chief Justice of the Upper Bench, the Master of the Rolls, the Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, and the rest of the Judges, were expecting.
The Serjeant carried his mace upon his shoulder up to the table; where was a chair set for the Speaker, and a form for the Clerk.
The Speaker addressed himself to his Highness, and gave an account of the employment of the House during their sitting; and that many Bills for the public good were upon the anvil. Some were completed, whereof some public; of which he made a particular relation.
The first he styled a Bill for the Parliament's preservation. The second, a Bill for quieting the possession of the government. The third, a Bill of security to his Highness; and in him, to every person in the nation. The fourth, an Act of manumission. And the fifth an Act of *****. Other Bills there were of private concernment to particular persons.
After which, the Clerk read the title of the first Bill, which was presented, being intituled an Act that the passing of Bills shall not determine this present session of Parliament.
Which Bill his Highness caused to be read; and upon reading thereof, declared to the Clerk his consent to the same, in these words, "We do consent." And, thereupon, the Clerk made an entry thereof on the Bill, in these words, "The Lord Protector doth-consent." And read the same.
Then the Clerk read the title of the next Bill: which was an Act for renouncing and disannulling the pretended title of Charles Stuart, &c. Which Bill his Highness commanded to be read. Which was done accordingly; and his Highness's consent thereunto declared, entered, and published as before.
The titles of the rest of the public Bills, first, and then the private Bills, were read. And to each of them his Highness's consent thereunto declared, entered, and published as before.
The Sergeant at Arms attending his Highness, and likewise the Sergeant attending the Parliament, stood all this time with their maces on their shoulders. And, his Highness having made a short speech, the Speaker, with the rest of the members, departed in the like order as they came thither, to the Parliament House.
The Speaker made report to the House of the substance of his Highness's speech, upon the passing of the Bills now presented.
Resolved that these public Bills be forthwith printed and published.
That his Highness the Lord Protector be desired to issue a warrant to the Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal, for sending forth writs for proclaiming these five Acts of Parliament, in all the counties, cities, boroughs, and towns of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and town of Berwick upon Tweed.
Friday 28. Ordered, that a Committee be appointed to prepare and bring in a Bill to prevent the election of delinquents, and ill-affected persons, to places of trust and power in Corporations.
That the Committee do, in this Bill, provide for the preventing men of scandalous lives and conversations, to be elected officers in places of trust or power in Corporations; and also, to displace such persons out of such places. (fn. 6)