Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 1, July 1653 - April 1657. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
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Monday, August 1. Ordered, that it be referred to the Committee for inspecting the treasuries, and regulating officers and salaries, to consider how the Excise may be brought in with the greatest ease to the people, and how the oppressions and burdens which have been in the managing of that business, may be redressed for the future.
Ordered, That Sir John Lenthall, be required to deliver unto Serjeant Dendy, a true list of all the prisoners in the Upper Bench, with the causes of their imprisonment; and likewise, the books of the House belonging to the Paper Office.
Tuesday 2. The House being informed, that there were divers petitioners at the door, out of the City of London, Mr. Barbone and Captain Stone were sent forth.
Mr. Barbone acquaints the House, that the petition was in behalf of Lieutenant-colonel John Lilburne.
Resolved that the petitioners be called in.
Being come to the bar, six in number, one of them presented a petition, which, after they were withdrawn, was read, and Was intituled " The humble petition of divers well-affected and constant adherers to the interests of Parliaments, and their own native fundamental rights and freedoms therein concerned, young men and apprentices, of the Cities of London and Westminster, Borough of Southwark, and the parts adjacent."
Resolved, that the petitioners be called in.
And the six persons which presented the petition being again called in.
Being come to the bar, Mr. Speaker, by command of the House, demanded of the first of them his name, he answered, their names were in the papers to the petition. He knew of the making of the petition. He was commanded by the rest of his friends and fellow-apprentices, not to answer any demands, but to demand an answer to this petition. And, thereupon, were commanded to withdraw.
Resolved that this petition is a most high breach of the privilege of Parliament.
That this petition is scandalous and seditious.
That these six persons, who brought in this petition, be forthwith committed into safe custody, and that the Serjeantat-arms do forthwith take them into custody, and keep them apart.
That these six persons be again called in.
Mr. Speaker declared unto them, that the House had adjudged the petition to be scandalous and seditious; and had committed the petitioners.
Resolved, that this petition and this whole business, be referred to the Council of State, to examine the authors, subscribers, abettors, and printers of this petition.
That Lieutenant-colonel John Lilburne be kept close prisoner; and that the keeper of Newgate do take care the same be done accordingly.
Wednesday 3. Colonel Montague reported from the Council of State, a letter from General Monk, from on board the Resolution, off Camperdown, the 31st of July, 1653, which was read.
Ordered, that it be referred to the Council of State, to take especial care, immediately, for providing all necessaries for the relief and cure of the sick and maimed soldiers and seamen, wheresoever they be put on shore: and that they do also take care of the widows and orphans of those who are slain.
That the Council of State do signify unto the Counties of Essex, Norfolk, and Suffolk, that the Parliament hath taken notice of their great care, and tender respect, showed unto the sick and wounded soldiers and seamen put ashore in those counties, and their good resentment and acceptation thereof, and return thanks unto them.
Friday 5. The House, according to former order, took into consideration the business of the Court of Chancery.
Resolved, that the High Court of Chancery of England shall be, forthwith, taken away. (fn. 1)
That it be referred to the Committee of the Law, to prepare a Bill for this purpose, and report it to the House.
That it be referred to the same Committee, to consider how the causes now depending in Chancery may be determined; and, likewise, a provision for the determining in future matters of equity, and putting in order other matters of law, which are within the jurisdiction of that Court; and forthwith to bring in a Bill for that purpose.
Saturday 6. Ordered, that it be referred to the Committee for the Poor, and justices of the peace, to consider of and examine the breach of the privilege of Parliament in new books, or pamphlets; and also to consider of the abuse in printing of scurrilous ballads and pamphlets, and seditious books and papers; and to examine who were the writers, printers, and publishers thereof; and wherein the former laws are defective, to offer some further remedy for the redress of that abuse.
Monday 8. Resolved, (on Mr. Moyer's report from the Council of State,) that two gold chains, to the value of 300l. apiece, be made and given to General Blake and General Monk, as a mark of favour from the Parliament, and a token of their good acceptance of the eminent services performed by them against the Dutch: and that a chain to the value of 100l. be made and given to Vice Admiral-Penn, and one of the same value to Rear-Admiral Lawson; upon the same consideration.
That the four flag officers have chains given them, of 40l. apiece: and that the former sum of 960l. be made up 2000l. to be given in medals amongst the officers of the fleet, as a mark of the Parliament's favour, and good acceptance of their service, in such manner as the Commissioners of the Admiralty, by advice with the generals of the fleet, shall think fit.
Wednesday 10. Ordered, that the vote of this House, of the 2d of August, instant, for the close imprisonment of Lieutenant-colonel John Lilburne, be taken off, in order to his trial.
Mr. Moyer reported from the Council of State, that the Council, having daily intelligence of many designs that are on foot, in this Commonwealth, on the behalf of Charles Stuart; and that very many considerable persons are engaged therein, some whereof are ordered to be apprehended; do think it necessary, for the safety of the Commonwealth, that a High Court of Justice be erected.
Ordered, and that the Council of State do bring in an act, with the names of Commissioners to be inserted therein.
Friday 12. A Letter from the Queen of Sweden, dated at Stockholm, the 18th of May, 1653, on the behalf of the Lord Hieronimus Radsciovice, Senator and Pro-Chancellor of Poland, was read.
Monday 15. Major General Disbrowe reported from the Council of State, the humble petition of some of the inhabitants of Gloucestershire, concerning the planting of English tobacco, which was read.
Resolved that three pence upon every pound of tobacco planted in the county of Gloucester, shall be paid by the planters to the use of the Commonwealth.
Tuesday 16. A letter from the apprentices committed, was read.
Resolved, (on the report of Colonel Tichborne from the Council of State,) that Mr. Richard Lawrence be agent from this Commonwealth to Constantinople, and that the House doth agree to the instructions.
That the House doth approve of the letters to be sent to Sir Thomas Bendysh; to the Grand Signior, and the Vizier.
Mr. St. Nicholas reported from the Council of State, the examinations which were by them taken, of the persons who lately delivered to the Parliament a Petition, on the behalf of Lieutenant-colonel John Lilburne, which were read.
Ordered, that the said persons who are now in the custody of the Serjeant-at-arms, by order of this House, be committed to Bridewell, London, there to remain, and be kept to hard labour, during the pleasure of the Parliament.
Friday 19. The House resumed the debate of yesterday touching the law.
Resolved, that the Committee of the Law do proceed with the regulation of the Law.
That there shall be a Committee appointed to consider of a new body of the law.
A letter from General Monk, Vice-Admiral Penn, and Rear-Admiral Lawson, dated on board the Resolution, in Aldborough Road, the 17th of August, 1653, was read.
Ordered, that the Judges for probate of wills do take care that the wives, executors, and administrators of private soldiers and mariners, slain or dying in the Parliament's service, be admitted to make probate of the wills, and sue out letters of administration, of such soldiers and seamen, gratis, without fees.
Monday 22. Mr. Speaker acquainted the House, by way of report, that there have been presented unto him, letters to the Parliament, from Frederic, heir of Norway, Duke of Sleswick, Holstein, Stormaine, and Ditzmatz, Count of Oldenburgh and Dolmenherst, dated at Gottorp, the 7th of July, 1653; being letters credential to Colonel Paul Wirtz, together with the copies of the said letters credential, both in English and Latin, which were now read.
Resolved, that it be referred to the Council of State, to give audience to the said public minister; and to hear what he hath to offer, and make report to the Parliament.
That Sir Oliver Fleming, Knight, Master of the Ceremonies, do acquaint the said public minister herewith.
Colonel Rous reported from the Committee for petitions, the humble petition of the several companies of the City of London.
Ordered, that the said petition be referred to the Committee for Ireland, to examine the whole matter, and report the true state thereof, with all convenient speed. (fn. 2)
Ordered, that the Council of State be authorized and required to examine the whole business of the late trial of Lieutenant-colonel John Lilburne, and the proceedings therein; and particularly to examine the judges and jury; and to report the state of the whole matter-of-fact, to the House, with all speed. (fn. 2)
That the Council of State be likewise required to examine, touching any scandalous, seditious, or tumultuous papers, which have been dispersed; or words spoken at the said trial, or in relation thereunto, in derogation of the authority of Parliament.
Resolved, that on Friday next the House do take into consideration the business of religion.
Tuesday 23. Resolved, that Alderman Ireton, &c., be a Committee, to consider of all such houses as belong to the Commonwealth, in and about London and Westminster; and to assign convenient lodgings therein, to all the members of the House.
Friday 26. The House, according to former order, took into consideration the business of religion.
Resolved, that a Committee be appointed to consider of some way to be propounded to the House, how ignorant, profane, and scandalous ministers may be rejected; and for the encouragement of such godly and able persons as shall preach the Gospel. Referred to the Committee for Tythes.
Saturday 27. Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper reported from the Council of State, on the business of the late trial of Lieutenant-colonel John Lilburne. (fn. 3)
Ordered, that it be referred to the Council of State, to take some course for the further securing Lieutenant-colonel John Lilburne, for the peace of this nation.