Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 2, April 1657 - February 1658. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
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Wednesday, May 27, 1657.
Mr. Pedley. I move not to publish it till you have perfected the additional Resolves; because some of them are explanatory, some restrictive, of the several articles of the Government; and I would have all printed and published together.
Major-Generals Goff, Whalley, and Kelsey. It is not needful to read all the titles over, but only such as are fundamental to the Government; but it is not fit to publish it till the explanatory votes are finished.
Colonel Shapcott. Refer the particulars, as that of the Penalties, to a Committee. As for the Acts and Ordinances, if you intend to revise them, so as to put them into several Bills, it will be at least two years' time.
Mr. Bampfield. I move, that all may be read, to the end that we may know what we have done. It is slipped out of some of our memories. I move, to put a fair question; not upon reading the titles only, but upon all the Resolves.
Mr. Berkeley for the Noes. But the House being informed that some were withdrawn before exceptions were taken, and the exceptor standing up, and saying he was satisfied, it was waived; and the several titles and the Resolves were all read.
Sir William Strickland. Rest is the end of settlement; peace the end of war. Now we are come to settlement, after all our fluctuation; let us improve it, so as the people may know it. Therefore I would have it printed and published.
Mr. Lechmere. I move that you would tread in the steps of your ancestors; and since this is a law which binds all the nation now, let it be published, and not stay for the rest; which I hope will be done this Parliament, and that speedily. This is to us now as a Magna Charta.
Colonel Philip Jones. I move to print the Resolves also, as well as the Petition and Advice. I think it may be as safe not to print the Petition and Advice for a time, as not print the Resolves with it.
Mr. Fowell, I move, that it may not only be printed but published. If it had been King, (fn. 1) it would have been published.
Colonel Holland. It is no new thing for a Parliament to print their Resolves: The Long Parliament did it in matters of the highest nature; as that which declared it treason for the King to set up his standard.
Mr. Speaker. The Petition of Right (fn. 2) was published one time, and the Articulus super Chartas presently after.
Mr. Bampfield. Men are at a great stand how to act, knowing how many material alterations are in the Government. Therefore I would, for public satisfaction, have it published. It will save the nation a labour of writing it over; for every man will have a copy that looks after these things.
Colonel Sydenham. It is fit they should both be printed, otherwise they will not be sense. Some things in the Petition you have quite altered, as that of the tryers, and the business of monies not to be levied but by consent of Parliament. This will render you very uncertain in your resolution, if, a month hence, you publish what is quite contrary. Something in the 15th article is scarcely sense; that about laws being of force whether under the title of King or Protector; (fn. 3) for in the beginning you say the title of Protector shall be the title. I would have the Resolves made laws before they are printed.
Mr. Godfrey moved, upon the 6th article, that provision may be made for the continuance of Parliament. The article (fn. 4) says, that they shall be according to " the laws and statutes of the land." There are none now in force but the Triennial Bill, which gives only fifty days, and surely you will not leave yourselves worse than before. I move that triennial Parliaments may continue for six months, and other Parliaments for three months.
Mr. Lechmere. I second that motion, and also that you would care for the distribution of your members; for there is no provision for Scotland nor Ireland at all, and the members for England are very unequally distributed.
Sir William Strickland. I second that motion to set down a time for Parliaments to sit. That was the great slavery that the nation was under; that for an impeachment against any great person, or other matter, a Parliament should be dissolved.
Colonel Sydenham. I would not leave a matter of that fundamental weight, as the distribution of members, to a Committee, without some directions. I would not prescribe the Instrument of Government to be your direction, yet they might have an eye to it.
I would have a day appointed fully to debate it, before you refer it to a Committee. Besides, that provision about choosing members is very uncertain. Though you say now but such shall choose as have 200l., (fn. 5) yet there is no way to try that, and many strange elections have happened upon it.
Colonel White. I move that it be referred to your Committee, to prepare an oath for his Highness to take, according to a clause in your Government, or else leave out the clause. And also that an oath be prepared for all members of Parliament, and all officers of trust to take.
Mr. Godfrey. The business of Recusants may best be postponed. It will rather take monies, than yield you any; especially if you go by way of the oath of abjuration. You will but leave a door for them to creep out at.
Colonel Sydenham. There is something in the Petition and Advice, which needs not only some explanation, but an expunging. You say, that in the 15th article all Acts shall be valid under what title soever they pass, either as Protector or King, and surely you will not make laws in both names, and leave the nation at a loss which you do adhere to.
Captain Hatsel. The usual way to thrust out one motion is to make another. I desire that that part of the adjustment may be explained. You will not surely make laws under two titles. Let the nation be satisfied that you are agreed in the alteration; and not continue it under that uncertainty, which will not be ingenuous.
Major-General Jephson. There are some so out of love with those four letters, that we must, I think, have an Act to expunge them out of the alphabet, and that is my humble motion. (fn. 6)
Thus one motion jostled out another, and nothing was concluded, more than was before agreed, as see the. Journals. (fn. 7)