Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 2, April 1657 - February 1658. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
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Friday, June 5, 1657.
A great debate about Lord Broghill's Bill. (fn. 1)
Mr. Highland, Major-General Kelsey, and Colonel Mat thews moved against it. They would have our debts paid rather than give those large gratuities. The Long Parliament gave large gifts indeed. It was great justice and honour to relieve the oppressed.
Colonel Jones, Lord Whitlock, Sir Richard Onslow, Mr. Waller. (fn. 2)
Colonel Sydenham. If you went to take measure by the noble lord's merit, there would be no negative upon it. It is but losing your time to reckon up that; but in this case it is of a dangerous consequence. From the private report of a member, to take it up that this which was set out, falls short of what was given, and to give 400l. more, will lay your reputation very low. But if you will lay "a signal testimony " (fn. 3) upon the head of this person, and do it by a particular act, I shall not be against it, but not to take it as a debt upon you.
Mr. Secretary. It is clearly to be admitted that this noble person well deserves your favour, much more your justice. It is urged it will be an ill precedent. You were pleased to refer a petition of the same nature for the officers in Ireland, where the lands fall short, and order that they should have satisfaction. The same reason remaining, the same law remains. If there was a mistake in setting forth those lands, no reason he should suffer.
The Master of the Rolls. This land was given by way of composition and agreement with this noble lord and the Long Parliament. It is not a thing of recompense or gratuity, but a duty to him, and we thought we made a good bargain. He stuck to us when we were in great distress; all Our party had no one but he and a colonel in my eye, viz. Jephson. He well deserves it both in point of right and justice.
Major-General Jephson. I find that when you are upon acts of private justice, you are always minded that you neglect the public. I wish those gentlemen's memories would serve them to tell it you some other lime. I hear nobody but acknowledges this honourable person's merit; only the difference is, some would pay him with good words, others would give him just satisfaction. I know this noble lord's condition, in this thing, as well as any man. This land was once under as good improvement as ever it was since the world began, but it was overrun, and the surveyors had no friendship for him. There was hardship in setting out the lands.
Mr. Disbrowe. So the thing be done, put what mark you please upon it; but he very well deserves it at your hands. He maintained two regiments at his own charge, and suffered much for you. I believe it will appear that the surveyors did it in knavery, because Lord Brogbill would not give the surveyors a sum of money; and the high sheriff will certify that the lands are over-valued.
Major-General Whalley. This person is one that all the House has a great respect for, and if a negative should be put upon it, it would not well please you. I therefore move that it be referred to be opened, upon the whole debate.
Sir Charles Wolseley. I brought in the proviso, and it will not be Parliamentary for me now to read it, after it has been upon your table and admitted in debate. Yet if you please to command me, I shall read.
Colonel Jones. It is not a standing order that a proviso shall always be read by the person that brought it in; so that he did but open it. I move that the question may be put to read it, and I hope that there will not be many negatives upon it.
Major Aston. I am sorry that I must move against this. I, therefore, would have it committed, for that those lands are already settled by Act of Parliament upon some poor widows and orphans; unless there be some other provision made for them.
Colonel Matthews. I move against the commitment of this proviso; for, by the same rule, all that have served you in their capacities, as every man here has done, may challenge a full satisfaction. Why should we not do this to every body. It is the desire of my soul to be guided by a spirit of righteousness. I speak it in that spirit. Shall I, after I have purchased land, go and say it falls short ? Shall the party that I bought it from, return me what it falls short ? The case is the same; the precedent is dangerous.
Mr. Trevor. There will be no danger of this precedent. I believe it may rather appear that lands elsewhere were undervalued, rather than overvalued, as that which is returned at 500l. may be worth 2,000l. But in this case it is clear that it falls short 300l. I would have it committed for the reason that the other gentlemen offered, lest one act fight with another. Scarce one precedent will be found that the surveys are rather under than over.
Major-General Haines. I move that this clause may be committed; but not to have that clause left out which relates to further satisfaction; and let it stand as for his faithful service, &c. Consider what the particulars are that you do give.
Mr. Highland. I would have it well examined what you do in this case. Hasty proceedings are not for your honour. You will have a great many more that will desire your justice, as well as he. You must not respect persons. I perceive this land is otherwise disposed of. It is much that 1000l. in arrear should be in so short a time to one person. I move that the clause may not be committed.
Mr. Godfrey moved, that there might be a stop made to private satisfaction; and a day appointed, when the Report for the Public Faith (fn. 4) might be made, and that effectually.
They were appointing this afternoon for the Committee to meet, but Captain Baynes stood up, and acquainted the House that the Grand Committee for the Customs desired to sit this afternoon. All that come to "the Committee touching the Public Faith, to have voices." (fn. 5)
Resolved, that the Grand Committee do sit this afternoon upon the Bill for Customs. (fn. 6)
Resolved, that the Bill for the Adventures for Ireland beread to-morrow morning. (fn. 7)
Major-General Whalley. According to your order, your Committee did attend his Highness, to acquaint him that you had a Bill of Assessments, and several other Bills, and desired to know when his Highness would pass them. He appointed this day, at eleven o' clock.
This morning he sent for the Committee, and said he had received a catalogue of the Bills that are to pass. He had read one of the Bills, and if he should rise at four o' clock in the morning, he could not read them in a whole day. He, therefore, desired that the Committee would meet him in the Fainted Chamber on Wednesday next, at eleven.
Dr. Clarges reported from the Committee, to whom the Bill against New Buildings was referred, the Report upon the Earl of Bedford's Petition, and the Earl of Clare's; and the Petition of the City of Westminster.
The Report upon the Earl of Bedford's Petition was first read. (fn. 8)
The question being put, that the buildings of the Earl of Bedford shall be exempt out of the penalties of this Bill, (fn. 9)
Colonel Sydenham. I move for a proviso, to abate Lord Bedford something, as a mark of your favour in regard of his building a church; having paid into the Exchequer 2000l., endowed the church with 100l., and as much to the poor; and he allows a house for the minister, worth 60l. per annum.
Major-General Kelsey. Consider what you will get by it. It may be this 5000l. may come to a third part; it may be to a moiety. It may be to all. I would rather have it put upon a proportion of the fine.
Mr. West. I differ from that gentleman. The sum, we are well satisfied, will amount to more; and the more certain you are in such cases, the better. I move that the sum may be 7000l.; and it was resolved accordingly.
Mr. Fowell. I move that you would express the reasons, as to the building of the church, and endowing of it, giving to the poor; otherwise you will draw a greater inconvenience upon you. Others will expect the same favour.
That question was so penned and put accordingly. (fn. 10)
Lord Lambert. I offer a Petition from one Mr. Hatton, (fn. 11) of Holborn, to build his house into tenements. He will submit to your fines, as you deal with others in the like nature.
Colonel Shapcott against that motion. The end was to suppress these nuisances; I therefore move to lay the Petition aside. But the same was read and committed. (fn. 12)