Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 1, July 1653 - April 1657. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Wednesday, Jan. 10, 1654–5. The House resumed the debate upon the bill declaring and settling the Government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging.
Monday 15. Resolved, that none shall stay above in the chamber, during the time of prayers in the House; and that, immediately before prayers, the Sergeant do go up and require all the members to come down.
An Act for the uniting of Ireland into the Commonwealth of England, the re-establishing the Courts of Judicature there, the placing of Judges in the said Courts, and making a great seal, and other seals, to be used in Ireland, was read the first time.
Mr. Read reports from the Committee, to whom the books called " The Twofold Catechism," and other books of John Biddle, and to whom the business touching Theauro John was referred. (fn. 1)
In pursuance of the order of the 12th of December, the Committee for printing did meet, and resolved to send for John Biddle. Who, being sent for and examined, whether he did own the books referred to the consideration of this Committee; and whether he gave any order for the printing and publishing of the said books.
He refused to give any other answer; but that he had formerly given his answer to the House, to the which he did adhere. And that both he and his books being already judged, (fn. 2) it was to no purpose to be examined concerning the same.
The Committee, in pursuance of the former order, took into consideration the book called " The Apostolical and True Opinion concerning the Holy Trinity revived and asserted, and a Confession of Faith touching the Three Persons."
Resolved, that this House doth agree with the Committee in this vote, that the whole drift and scope of the book called "The Two-fold Catechism," written by John Biddle, is to teach, and to hold forth many blasphemous and heretical opinions.
That this House doth agree with the Committee, that, in the preface of the said Catechism, the author thereof doth maintain and assert many blasphemous and heretical opinions, and doth therein cast a reproach upon all the catechisms now extant. (fn. 3)
Several passages contained in the book called " The Apostolical and True Opinion," quoted by the Committee, were now read. (fn. 4)
That it be referred to the Committee for printing, to bring in a Bill for punishment of the said John Biddle. (fn. 5)
That the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex be authorized and required to see the same done accordingly, in the New Palace at Westminster, on Friday next, at nine of the clock; and at the Old Exchange, London, at three of the clock on the same day.
That the Master, Wardens, and Assistants of the Company of Stationers, London, be required immediately to make search for all the printed books entituled " A Two-fold Catechism," and seize all the said books, and deliver them to the Sheriffs.
That it be referred to the same Committee, to consider of the information given to the House against — Hammings, with power to send for him, and to examine the business, and to report the same to the House.
A clause was tendered to the Bill in these words: " That, the Parliament sitting, the Lord Protector, by consent of Parliament, shall dispose and order the militia, for the peace and good of the Commonwealth; and, that in the intervals of Parliament, the Lord Protector, by the advice and consent of the major port of the council, shall dispose and order the said militia, for the ends aforesaid." Which was read the first time.
And the question being put, that it.be read a second time, the House was divided. The Yeas went forth. Yeas, 50. Colonel Montague and Captain Maidston, Tellers. Noes, 89. Colonel Matthews and Lieutenant-Colonel Baynes, Tellers So it passed in the negative.
The question being propounded, that the Bill be ingrossed, in order to its presentment to the Lord Protector, for his consideration and consent: and this House doth declare, that, without an agreement thereunto by the Lord Protector and Parliament, it ought not to be, in part or in whole, made use of as a law, or become binding to the people.
The question being put, that the word " it" shall be in the question, instead of the word "ought," the House was divided. The Yeas went forth. Noes, 114. Sir Richard Onslow and Mr. Bulkeley, Tellers. Yeas, 66. Lord Cleypole and Lord Broghill, Tellers. So it passed in the negative.
Resolved, that this Bill, intituled, " An Act for declaring and settling the Government," be ingrossed, in order to its presentment to the Lord Protector for his consideration and consent, and that if the Lord Protector and the Parliament shall not agree thereunto, and to every article thereof, then this Bill shall be void and of none effect.
Eodem Die, post Meridiem. A clause was tendered to this Bill in these words: " that the Lord Protector, the Parliament sitting, shall dispose and order the militia and forces, both by sea and land, for the peace and good of the three nations, by consent of Parliament; and that the Lord Protector, with the advice and consent of the major part of the council, shall dispose and order the militia, for the ends aforesaid, in the intervals of Parliament." Which was read the first time.
The question being put, that this clause be read the second time. The House was divided. The Yeas went forth. Noes, 101. Sir William Boteler and Sir John Witterong, Tellers. Yeas, 97. General Disbrowe and Colonel Sydenham, Tellers. So it passed in the negative.
A proviso was tendered to this Bill, in these words: " Provided that, whereas the militia of this Commonwealth ought not to be raised, formed, or made use of, but by common consent of the people assembled in Parliament; be it therefore enacted, that the said militia, consisting of trained forces, shall be settled as the Lord Protector and the Parliament shall hereafter agree, in order to the peace and safety of this Commonwealth, and not otherwise." Which was read the first time.
The question being put, that the debate of this business be now adjourned till to-morrow morning, the House was divided. The Yeas went forth. Yeas, 98. Lord Herbert and Colonel Jones, Tellers. Noes, 29. Sir Richard Onslow and Mr. Bulkeley, Tellers. So it was resolved, that the debate of this business be adjourned till to-morrow morning.
Saturday 20. Resolved, that the vote of the fifth of January instant, whereby, in order to a particular Bill distinct from the Government, it was resolved, that the yearly sum of ten hundred thousand pounds, should be paid out of the receipt of the Exchequer, for the purposes therein mentioned, be vacated.
Eodem Die, post Meridiem. The question being propounded, that these words, " Provided that whereas the militia of this Commonwealth ought not to be raised, formed, or made use of, but by common consent of the people assembled in Parliament," be part of the proviso.
Monday 22. His Highness the Lord Protector, being in the Painted Chamber, and the Parliament, with their Speaker, by his command, attending him there, was pleased to dissolve this Parliament. (fn. 6)