Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 2, April 1657 - February 1658. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
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Friday, April 24, 1657.
Out of the Journal.
Resolved, that it be recommended to the council to offer it to his Highness the Lord Protector, that his Highness will be pleased to grant a privy seal to the Commissioners of his Highness's Treasury, to pay unto Edward Birkhead, Esq. the Serjeant-at-arms attending the Parliament, the sum of 240l. in discharge of a Bill hereunto annexed, for his disbursements for the service of the Parliament, and their Committees; and for the payment of fourteen servants attending the House, and the several Committees, from the 17th of December, 1656, to the 17th March following. And likewise thereby authorizing the said Commissioners of the Treasury, from time to time, to pay unto the said Serjeant-at-arms, what shall be due unto him for his allowances, respectively and proportionably, for the future, during the sitting of the Parliament.
Ordered, that the Bill for the payment of tythes shall be read upon Monday next. (fn. 1)
I came in late.
Sir Richard Onslow moved, that a petition might be read for one Mrs. Bickley and Francis Burghill, touching an indictment against them for lodging one Hooper, for coining, &c.
The humble petition of Anne Bickley, and Francis Burghill, was read.
Resolved, that a Bill be brought in by Sir Richard Onslow, for pardoning the petitioners for treason, as in the petition is desired. (fn. 2)
Mr. Bond moved, that the mace might be sent for the judges and the lawyers, and if they come not without delay, that the House should reprove them.
There was no question upon this, but by the direction of the Speaker, the serjeant went out with the mace. Lord Chief Justice came in, immediately before the mace.
Mr. Solicitor Ellis came in, which was the first time he was here since the sad accident of his leg broken. Sir Thomas Pryde (fn. 3) came in the other day.
The order of the day was read.
The House resumed the debate upon the first of the papers reported yesterday.
The Speaker opened it, and said, you left the debate about taking off tryers.
The fifth clause in the paper being read, about appointing and naming members of the other House, in case of death or suspension,
Colonel Philip Jones moved, that it might be explained, that his Highness shall name those members in such cases.
Mr. Godfrey moved, that the former debate about additions to the question might not be passed over; being a business of weight, it ought to be cleared.
Mr. Thistlethwdite seconded that motion.
Sir Richard Onslow. This being left unexplained, it standing as a directory, the chief magistrate may appoint tryers, if you appoint none; and so there shall be a fine upon the members, and tryers too. I desire that it may be expressed what it shall be, instead of tryers, on what behalf.
Major Audley. I move to know, whether you will take off your vote to adjourn, that I may speak more freely to this question: otherwise I cannot speak to it.
Mr. Nathaniel Bacon. That which is moved is very material; for it puts things into a loose way, and leaves the chief magistrate to choose, and leave what part of the Petition he likes. I would have this done (as the best way) by articulus super chartas, which is a safe way. But as it is moved, I cannot, with a safe conscience, consent to let loose the debate into the parts of the Petition and Advice.
Mr. Speaker moved, that it would be better to bring it in by way of coherence, after the Bill is brought in, yet it was
Resolved, that the penalty mentioned in the last vote yesterday, shall be instead of the Bill appointed to be brought in, for commissioners to be triers in that behalf. (fn. 4)
The debate began about the nomination of the members of the other House.
Mr. Bond. The chief magistrate is fittest to name those members, and the House to approve. There was such a clause at the Isle of Wight, that the king should not have liberty to bring in Lords at his pleasure. (fn. 5) When the Earl of Stratford's trial was, the king took twelve lord's sons out of this House, and made them barons, (fn. 6) purposely to overpower the rest, which the Lords took ill.
Mr. Secretary. Comparing the beginning and the latter end of the article, you may clear it without a vote; and only declare, that it is your intention, that as to this doubt, the nomination shall be in the chief magistrate.
Colonel Philip Jones agreed, that such explanation would serve the turn, without a vote.
Mr. Godfrey. I never understood that was the declared and known sense of the House. Though you give the nomination to the now chief magistrate, out of the present confidence you have of the single person, that does not follow, that the single person should name them still. The recommendations of great persons are equivalent to commands. This will be the way to set up another House quite contrary to the interest of the House of Commons. You intend them a balance, a medium between the House and the single person. Otherwise, of necessity, they must adhere to the interest of the single person, and so cease to be that balance and medium that they were intended for.
Resolved, that the House doth declare that the nomination of the persons to supply the place of such members of the other House as shall die, or be removed, shall be by the chief magistrate. (fn. 7)
Major-General Goffe moved to explain also, who shall approve of these persons, which was doubtful in the article, which only relates to admitting them; but nothing was done.
The sixth clause in the paper being read, about ascertaining the revenue,
Mr. Godfrey moved that the article to which this refers might be read.
Mr. Bacon. Suppose his Highness did but only put this to us, to take care for the future. It cannot be done in this, but there must be a Bill for this purpose. I desire it may be left to the Committee.
Mr. Speaker agreed it was not fit to insert it here, but in a particular Bill; and that the same might be referred to a Committee, as also that of temporary supplies.
The Master of the Rolls. First agree upon the general heads, how the revenue shall arise; as the excise, customs, and public revenue, and then the Committee may reduce this to form and certainty, and make it handsome.
Mr. Noel. Your present revenue is; most of it out of trade, which is uncertain: this will fail you, if you lay too great a force upon trade. I may compare it to a cow, that may give a great deal of milk, if she be well fed and tenderly used, and none offer violence to her, lest she hold up her milk. And to this purpose, I desire that you would look into what the revenue comes to, and debate it in a Grand Committee, how to make this up, and how to ascertain it.
Mr. T—. (fn. 8) This business is not ripe for a Grand Committee, or any other Committee. If you please, say that you have already Bills prepared for raising this revenue, and you have declared it, you will raise such a revenue. Likewise, for the additional charge, and for the carrying on the Spanish war, you have declared to raise 400,000l., and you have Bills in readiness, and you have put it in a way, and shall prosecute it effectually and readily.
Sir Richard Onslow. There is but 1,300,000l. paid, and the charge comes to 1,900,000l. This is the full charge, if it may not be retrenched as to the charge of the army. You have provided for the Spanish war till October next, by the 400,000l., and it may be, in the meantime, that it may cease. For that of continuing the 600,000l. for some time, I shall not speak to the time; but, if you think fit, a land tax may be laid for that, which will come to 50,000l. per mensem, in England, Scotland, and Ireland. I shall leave that of the time to your further consideration.
Mr. Thistlethwaite. It is your silence makes me stand up. It is a very unacceptable service, the business of raising money. I could wish that the Government might be so sweetened, that, if it were possible, no land-tax might go along with it. But since it must be, one time or other, I desire you would take up the debate for continuing 50,000l. per mensem, to make up the 600,000l. per annum, and for as short a time as may be.
Mr. Speaker. That about 600,000l. is in another paper, so comes not within the debate upon this article.
Colonel Philip Jones. But it is an explanation of that article, so, proper enough to this debate.
Sir William Strickland. I am sorry to hear any land-tax mentioned here. The people would never have chosen us, if they had thought we would have ever moved that. Nothing is so like to blast your settlement, as a land-tax. Pardon me if I speak confusedly: any man will justify my distraction in this. If we must have a land-tax, let us not lay it, till we have necessity. We have laid long enough under a land-tax. We must sell our lands to the Spaniards, who have golden mines. I desire a Committee may find out some other way, and would rather have it by the old way of subsidies.
Mr. Nathaniel Bacon. This is providing supplies over the heads of another Parliament. We have made general provision already, by additions to the land-tax, and by the Bill for the buildings, (fn. 9) which will raise a good sum. This will serve this year.
Mr. Godfrey. It is needful for you to make a further enquiry into the cause for this additional sum, upon a bare proposal from without doors. The dangerousness of the con sequence ought to be considered, to take your rise barely from the paper recommended by his Highness; upon no other ground or foundation to raise such a sum, without looking into the state of your affairs. A very ill precedent, that a single person hereafter may come with such proposals.
So he moved, not to proceed upon this debate, ex concesso, but to order a Committee to examine the state of the revenue and the charge.
Mr. Croke. I am much of that gentleman's opinion, not to spend the people's money, and not know how. But we have had both the charge and the revenue already before us, and it does appear that it surmounts the present revenue of 1,300,000l., by the sum proposed, 600,000l. They that proposed this, without a land-tax, know how to raise it. For that of the sum to be added, haply, another way may be found out. But now that you have declared you will raise such a sum, the engagement lies upon the nation to do it one way or other.
Altum silentium for a good while.
Mr. Cary. I speak to the order of your proceedings. First, agree to the sum, and the time certain, and then agree to the manner how you will raise it. And, if you please, I shall propose the sum may be 600,000l., and the time to continue for three years.
Colonel Philip Jones. This is not a thing that is new. You know what is your charge and the revenue. You have had it in debate, and considered by Committees. If you please to put the question either for 50,000l. per mensem, or 600,000l. per annum, all comes to one; and for the time and the manner of raising, you may consider it afterwards.
Mr. Godfrey. A word to your question; that the penning of the question may not leave it as a standing rule, that, 600,000l. per annum shall be always the temporary supplies. So I would have it expressed, for the present occasion, and not under the title of temporary supplies.
Mr. Bodurda. It should not be expressed as temporary supplies, but as for the present occasion, and so long as the Parliament shall think fit.
Mr. Fowell. It should be rather expressed at 50,000l. per mensem, than at 600,000l. per annum; and the first month to begin at Midsummer next, and to continue till the next Parliament.
Colonel Briscoe. I know there is occasion for supplies; but would have it first enquired in a Parliamentary way what the charge is, and what the revenue.
Mr. Bacon. I am against the words "present supplies," for we have provided for the present charge already.
Mr. Bampfield. I think it is strange, that men should be so soon satisfied about this additional sum. There was a great debate before the other sum of 1,300,000l. was granted. It will maintain 40,000 men, as was moved then. There was no more demanded, and one argument was affirmed by more than one, and granted by many, that that was the reason why this should be settled in perpetuity. Because the present charge upon us is double; I must take this for granted, those things are clear to the House. Again, this is clearly against what you have resolved, as to the power of Parliament. If you call Parliaments by the Triennial Bill, another shall be in September next; or if you go by the Instrument, it will be in October.
I would have no more voted. This proceeds from a distrust of Parliaments. We shall be an honourable Parliament, and yet be trusted with nothing. If there be a real necessity, no doubt but Parliaments will provide, and have done it, but not according to the lusts of the supreme magistrate. There is nothing in this but sic volo.
This is not the way to settlement, to lay such a yoke upon the people as our forefathers never had. People will study to have their necks from under the yoke. I think you have granted too much already. This is the way to lay Parliaments low. If the late king had had such an army, we had had another family, and the Long Parliament had never done what they did. This is my greatest grief that you have done as to this, more than ever that did.
Mr. Trevor. You have voted this in effect, only you have not ascertained it; which his Highness now proposeth that you would make certain. I hope there is no such danger of laying Parliament low, or bringing in another family, or the like of those things that that gentleman moved.
Resolved, that as to the making certain of the revenue of 1,300,000l. per annum, the House hath already put it into a way: and shall effectually prosecute that way to make it certain and effectual.
Resolved, that the sum to be raised for temporary supplies, shall be 600,000l. a-year, for such time as the Parliament shall declare.
The proposals about account to be given by the Treasurers were read.
Mr. Bacon. I desire you will put that, and there will be no negative upon it.
Mr. Speaker. I hope you will have your Treasurers receive it first, before they account.
Lord Whtilock. It is fit your Treasurers should account, and it is for their ease, that receive your monies, to be acquitted. But, as yet, you have not directed how your money shall issue. As thus, that there shall no more money but 300,000l. be paid to the Government, and 1,000,000l. to the forces; and the temporary supplies to be issued out, as you think fit to declare.
Mr. Godfrey. To the order of your proceedings. Naturally you ought to debate for what time the sums you have voted shall continue. I would not have you look over a Parliament, if you have any certainty to judge by, for your next Parliaments. It is not fit to keep two directories a foot for Government. If I knew a rule for it, I would move that this might not altogether be in the clouds. Express it to continue till next Triennial Parliament. (fn. 11) If it be left indefinitely till the next Parliament, it is a fair way to put it in the power of your chief magistrate never to have Parliaments. I know not what to propose in this, in regard of this uncertainty, but shall offer that it may continue for a year, at which time your next Parliament shall be called. I know no other way.
The Master of the Rolls. You have voted 600,000l. per annum, and you had my yea to it, and I think I shall bear my share with others, for are we not all liable to our common calamity? I cannot see but there is a necessity for the maintenance of those men that keep us in quiet, yet it is a great temptation (and the best men may fall under it), that the leaving this revenue, without a certain time, may be a means to keep off Parliaments. If I had a sword, I confess I should not lay it by till I needs must, and, if there be necessity for an army, there is a necessity for a pay; and the question will be, whether we shall give it, or they take it. While there are such discontented persons abroad, and a family of Pretenders, no doubt but there will be a necessity to continue this sum for a little time, that the pretence may be forgotten. You may name two or three years. We cannot hope it, by human reason, that in four or five years it can be done. I thought when I first came into that chair (fn. 12) that we should have been quiet within a year. I would not have this continuance of the sum relate to the calling of the next Parliament; but for such a time as by human probability, a year, or two, or three, as you please. If it were in my power, I would not have the army disbanded till we were in probability to be quiet, that we might have comfort in them, and they in us. I think in four years time it cannot but be probable we shall be quiet. If you please to make it for one, two, or three years, I shall agree, but I would not have it to begin till Michaelmas next.
Mr. Berkley seconded that motion, that the time for the continuance of this sum might be for four years, and not to commence till Michaelmas next.
Lord Broghill. Now you have settled the sum, you are debating the time, and the question is, whether to limit it to a certain time, or to the next Parliament. The last is uncertain; for in making of laws, we should always provide as if men would be bad. It is a great temptation to the chief magistrate, in whose power it only is to call a Parliament; so that that is inconvenient. And if you limit the calling of a Parliament to a day, you cannot call a Parliament in the interim, be the necessity never so great. I shall rather adhere to the other motion, that it may continue, for at least four years. If it were five years, there were no danger, for it is from the people's purses and they are still masters of their own monies if any to spare. But I differ as to the time of the commencement, and would have it to commence at Midsummer. It is the beginning of a Government, and it is fit some time should be given till it be settled.
Mr. Bacon. You should give the people some breath, especially seeing they expect it as your promise; and as to the time of continuance, I should think it were too long, but I shall leave that to the debates; the summer charge being already provided for.
Sir Richard Onslow. I have as much reason to plead against taxes as any man, considering the burthen upon the county, for which I serve; but seeing there is a necessity for it, I shall not be against it. That is a mistake in those that say the summer charge is provided for: it is only provided till Midsummer next, so I would have it commence at Midsummer next, and to continue for three years, and no longer. As to that of limiting of it to the meeting of the next Parliament, there may be much uncertainty in that, for the law does not call it a Parliament, unless a Bill be passed in it.
Mr. Croke. I move that it may be four years, as it was first moved by a judicious person, (fn. 13) whose interest is considerable in the nation, and who knows the state of affairs.
Sir John Hobart. The revenues you have settled will maintain a very great army, and a great fleet; and though the charge surmount that sum for the present, yet in three years time, it may be hoped, that there may not be so much occasion for so great a force. Let us be as good husbands for the people as we can. We doubt not but Parliaments will come, that will have as much tenderness, and sense of the necessities, if such shall be.
Sir John Reynolds. You are now reducing all your cause, that has been contended for, to a settlement, and trusting future Parliaments with the whole. I would have it considered, if it were not fit to let one Parliament be over, before you take off the charge. So I humbly move that it may be for four years.
Major-General Howard. The greater sum ought to be put first, but I am for the lesser. You may continue it for five or six years. It will discontent the people, to lay it on longer than needs must, but rather leave it to the care of future Parliaments.
Mr. Thistlethwaite moved, that the words "and no longer," might be added to the question.
General Montagu. I move that you would wave the putting the question for four years, and put it for the lesser time; which would give the people greater satisfaction, and, no doubt, but future Parliaments will take care for the temporary supplies; and in the meantime, it may please God, we may come to a better settlement.
Resolved, that this charge shall begin from Midsummer next.
Resolved, that this charge of 600,000l. a-year shall continue for three years, from Midsummer next, and no longer. (fn. 14)
Colonel Jones and Sir Charles Wolseley moved that we might sit in the afternoon.
Mr. Bond. I am against the motion. Rather enjoin your members to be here in the morning.
Lord Cochrane moved to sit in the afternoon.
Sir Richard Onslow seconded that motion.
Lord Broghill also moved to adjourn the debate till three in the afternoon, and so it was
Resolved, that this debate be adjourned till three of the clock this afternoon. (fn. 15)
The House rose at one.
Dr. Clarges moved, that the House being thin, the Bill for Gloucester, ingrossed, might be read. The clerk was going to read the ingrossed Bill for Carlisle market, but the order of the day was called for, which was read.
The House resumed the debate adjourned in the morning.
Colonel Jones. There is only wanted your sense upon that clause about issuing out and accounting for monies.
Mr. Secretary. I think, this done, you are over all, but that about the Spanish war, which, if you please, you may answer thus: that you have already declared 400,000l. to be raised for that war, and that you have put it in a way of raising; and what is further necessary you will raise it.
Captain Blackwell. His Highness was pleased to desire to know what further sum you would raise for carrying on the Spanish war.
Mr. Speaker declared, and such was the sense of the House, that the further sum did relate only to the 600,000l., and not to the Spanish war.
Mr. Godfrey. Though you will not proceed to the raising of the sum of 600,000l. presently, you may generally declare how you will raise it, what part by a land-tax. Otherwise, it seems to be granted, that this additional sum must be raised by a land-tax. Therefore, for the satisfaction of the nation, you should declare that, so far as the standing revenue will reach, you will not think of a land-tax.
Sir Richard Onslow. There is no doubt that we shall go the best way to work we can, to raise this money, with the most ease of the people. But, by that rule, he will continue 60,000l. a month upon us; whereas, I hope, we shall do it with less.
Resolved, that the answer to his Highness, as to the clause touching the Spanish war, shall be,
That the Parliament doth declare, that, for the carrying on of that war, they have voted to raise 400,000l., and have prepared several Bills for the raising thereof. (fn. 16)
The other debate was upon the clause about issuing and accounting for the monies.
Mr. Speaker. I hope you intend not to charge the Commissioners of the treasury with more than they received, as was moved to you in the morning, by an honourable person not now present.
Mr. Fowell. Though all the revenue be not brought into the way of the Exchequer, yet certainly it is the best and surest way. They are men of estates, and I believe the Commonwealth lost above a million of monies by those other ways of receipts.
Resolved, that the monies directed to be for supply of the sea and land forces, be issued by advice of the Council; and that the Treasurer, or Commissioners for the Treasury, be obliged to give an account of all the money to every Parliament, (fn. 17)
The clause about approving the judges was read.
Mr. Godfrey moved, that the monies for the temporary supplies might be added to the vote to be issued, and accounted for as aforesaid.
Major Brooke. There can be no harm in the words "temporary supplies," if they be added.
Colonel Jones. If it be employed for the forces by sea and land, what need of further explanation.
Resolved, that this House doth declare that the officers of state, and judges, on the 9th article mentioned, shall be chosen in the intervals of Parliament, by the consent of the Council, to be afterwards approved by Parliament. (fn. 18)
Mr. Bampfield moved, that there might be added to that question, "and of the army," that they might also be approved of, as well as other officers of the state. (fn. 19)
Mr. Speaker either did not or would not understand this motion. (fn. 20)
The clause of the 13th article was read, about disabling Cavaliers from trust.
Mr. Bond. This will be hard, to lay a penalty upon them, for in the Long Parliament we made them sheriffs, and, if they refused, they were fined.
Sir William Strickland. If a man lose his office, it is punishment enough. The fault is as much in those that put in such officers, as in them that accept it.
Mr. Fowell. The Cavaliers will thank you for it, if you disable them from all places of trust. They labour to shun bearing offices, as sheriffs, constables, jurors, churchwardens, overseers, &c. Surely you will have it only extend to offices of profit and trust.
Mr. Speaker. It should only extend to such as seek offices, or have profit by them. If it be extended to all offices of trust, you will have neither sheriffs nor constables.
Colonel Jones and Lord Whitlock moved, that a Committee might be appointed to bring in a Bill for disabling such officers, and for laying a penalty.
Mr. Bampfield moved, that it might be referred to the same Committee to bring in this Bill, that were appointed for that purpose three or four months since.
The clerk read the question, both as to offices of profit and trust.
Mr. Speaker excepted against it, and said he could put no such question. But finding the sense of the House, that they would have it so, it was no further insisted upon by him. But he would fain have had the word "profit" left out, yet he put that afterwards to the question; viz. the word "profit."
Resolved, that it be referred to a Committee, to bring in a Bill upon the 13th article, for imposing a fine or penalty upon such as shall exercise any office of trust or profit contrary to this article. (fn. 21)
The clause about manners, and loose persons, was read.
Mr. Speaker said there was a Bill appointed to be brought in, in November last, that would give an answer to this.
Mr. Bampfield. The Bill was ready some months since, but other business thrust it out.
Sir William Strickland. Certainly this work is very requisite, and abundance of loose persons are about town; At Piccadilly; (fn. 22) and other nurseries of vice.
Sir Charles Wolseley. A general answer to his Highness, in this case, will be sufficient, that you are preparing several Bills as to the reformation of manners.
Major-General Goffe. Such a general answer will be best. As to manners, you have a Bill against drunkenness (fn. 23) and the like, and also about manners, &c. And for the laws, you have several Bills prepared, as that for the probate of wills, and for registers, (fn. 24) and for petty actions, &c., which, with some amendments, may be good laws.
Some laughed at this, when they heard him mention that last act.
Sir John Hobart. There should be added to that question the word "proceedings," viz. to regulate the proceedings of the law; for his Highness said, to regulate the body of the law would be impracticable.
Lord Whitlock. The law is a just rule, and a regulation itself. But, if you please, put it for regulating the proceedings of the law.
Mr. Secretary. There are some laws that ought to be regulated; as divers statutes that are mischievous. I desire that the word "proceedings" may also be added.
Mr. Pedley. To regulate the proceedings of the law, is as much as you can do; for you cannot regulate the law itself, unless you take it away.
The Master of the Rolls. There is need of regulation in the laws, as well as in the proceedings. I was turned out of what I had been in possession of for three hundred years. A man shall be turned out of his possession in a month's time, and never know how, by giving a declaration the latter end of the term. This they call expedition.
Lord Strickland. I am glad to hear that gentleman move to regulate the law. I wish he would put us in a way to regulate, not only the law, but the proceedings of the law.
He grew a little angry.
Colonel Jones. If we launch into such a debate, we shall never have done. You have already passed a vote, and no man can, without leave, speak against it.
Mr. Bampfield. I shall instance in two famous cases, as to the abuse of the proceedings of the law in granting Certioraris upon criminal indictment; one for incest, another for barratry, (fn. 25) both removed and quashed for error.
Resolved, that as to the point of reformation of manners, and also for the effectual execution of the good laws already made, for the punishment of vice, and for regulation of the laws and proceedings in the law, the House is preparing several Bills, and will present them to his Highness in due time. (fn. 26)
The clause about the non-alienating the revenue, was read.
Mr. Speaker and Lord Whitlock. If you tie it up so that the public revenue shall not be alienated, you exclude all persons from having their estates out of sequestration, that have paid in one moiety, and know not where to pay in their other moiety. I desire this may be referred to a Committee to bring in a Bill to this purpose.
The Master of the Rolls. I would not have you tie up the chief magistrate's hands, that he can give no reward I think his Highness rather aimed to show his care of the public revenue, than so generally to be tied up.
Mr. Fowell. This clause will be most proper to be inserted in the Bills for settling the revenue.
Sir William Strickland. Refer it to a Committee to take that into consideration, who may meet with both ends, that neither the chief magistrate may be too strictly tied up, that he can dispose of nothing; nor the revenue be altered, but by Parliament.
Mr. Speaker. I knew a gentleman of Yorkshire, that paid in his 300l. into the Treasury, for his composition; and, indeed, we cannot discharge Ms sequestration. So he must petition his Highness to have the monies back again.
Mr. Bodurda moved, that it might; be also declared in that bill, how the revenue shall be disposed of.
Ordered, that it be referred to a Committee to bring in a Bill for the preservation of the public revenue, and against the alienation of it without consent of Parliament. (fn. 27)
The clause about the 16th article, touching the confirmation of Acts and Ordinances, was read.
The Master of the Rolls. If you confirm all the Acts of the Long Parliament, I doubt some of them may not be for the advantage of some that sit here; as that Act which declares it treason to set up a single person. (fn. 28) If you please to appoint a Committee, they may revise all the laws, and in a short time may prepare an account for you, what is fit to be continued.
Sir William Strickland. Let a Committee be appointed to review all the ordinances or laws that are under some doubt, and such as you think fit to continue, that they may have your seal of authority upon them, as that of marriages; whereupon I did act awhile, (fn. 29) and afterwards desisted, and again, out of necessity, acted upon it.
Mr. Thistlethwaite. Let all the acts and ordinances be revised, that such as are fit to be continued may have your authority upon them, and, as to those that are not fit, that those that haye acted upon them may have indemnity.
Sir John Reynolds offered an expedient, to answer this proposal by a paper in writing.
This paper was tendered, touching, continuing, and confirming several acts and ordinances. (fn. 30)
Mr. Godfrey. I am against receiving any such paper. It may bring us into a debate. Rather refer it to a Committeeto revise those acts and ordinances, and such as you think fit put your stamp upon them. Act prudentially and rationally, yet not to confirm all the laws in a lump; this may be a remedy worse than the disease.
Sir William Strickland. Let the paper be read. Possibly it may contain what will answer all objections.
Colonel Jones was against reading the paper.
Mr. Speaker. It is very irregular to bring in such a paper. It is a bill brought in without order, and undertakes to know the sense of the House beforehand.
Sir John Reynolds stood up and vindicated his paper, and said it was not a Bill. He confessed he knew not the order of the House, nor so well how to serve them in that, as he may do otherways. (fn. 31)
Mr. Bond. I hope you will never do such a dishonour to this House. For my part I shall never consent to confirm any laws elsewhere, and all in a lump. This is to do it at blind-man's-buff. There were more laws made in that Long Parliament, than were made since the Conquest.
Mr. Bodurda. Though I honour the gentleman that brought in the paper, yet I cannot consent that this paper shall he read. To confirm all these laws in a lump, is as contradictory as the ignorant inland curate's practice was. Upon strict proclamation that the Common Prayer should be read, he read over the whole Litany, for fair weather and foul weather, and gave thanks for both. You confirm the laws that are flatly opposite, and contradictory, one to another. One act says you shall have no name but a King; another that you shall have no name but a Protector; another, for the Custodes libertatis Angliœ;, (fn. 32) and all those titles must fight for the pre-eminence, if you put an equal function upon all; therefore I would have it referred to a Committee to revise all.
Lord Strickland. Refer it to a Committee, shortly to revise the laws; some must be confirmed by the lump, otherwise you draw great inconveniences upon yourselves, and unsettle things that were done out of pure necessity.
Sir Charles Wolseley. It has been the prudence of all ages, not to travel into any thing too far, that hath been done by a power in being de facto, though not de jure. They were always tender in such cases; for, if the legislature had not sometimes been undertaken by another power than was Parliamentary, you had hardly sate here now to make this settlement. The interest of your best friends depends upon these Acts and Ordinances. I shall not offer a paper to you, seeing the former has such an acceptance with you. You have negatively declared, already, that those Acts and Ordinances shall not be invalidated. I have two or three words to offer to you, as an expedient for your answer to his Highness in this case.
The Master of the Rolls. This is as difficult a point as any that can come before you. Some acts may be injurious in themselves; these are certainly not fit to be continued. I would go thus far; that no man shall be impeached for any thing done upon those laws, by a court or otherwise: nor would I have any man's estate to be staggered or shaken by it. You have already declared that they shall stand by their own strength. I think what that honourable person has offered will do very well, to refer it to a Committee to consider of that paper; but for us to confirm all in gross, would be such a scandal upon us as never was.
Sir Richard Onslow. It would draw such a scandal upon us as never was, to confirm all in the lump. We may make ourselves all traitors, if we confirm all the whole government which establishes a Protector; and the last Parliament would not confirm it but in parts, and that upon serious debate. (fn. 33) That about the monies of 90,000l. per month sticks much with me, and I shall never consent to that precedent, that laws shall be made without doors, and confirmed here, though the first paper seemed to assert the rights of the people in making of laws. But if we should swallow such hooks, it would be that which posterity would never claw off.
Mr. Speaker. Both the papers are irregular, and the latter desires in one part more than the former, for it would have all the laws confirmed that were made since 42. To inform you of this is my duty.
Sir Charles Wolseley said, he would submit to their orders; they knew them better than he. Yet he thought the paper was brought in regularly, for that the House gave him leave to read it. Nor does that positively confirm any of them, but only says that they shall not be invalidated.
Lord Whitlock. That gentleman (fn. 34) that said more laws were made in the Long Parliament than since the Conquest, is mistaken, for there were more made in Edward III.'s time; and laws made by the Lords and Commons in the infancy of the king: and yet they continued as laws, and do to this day, without further confirmation. No doubt but any man may offer a paper in a debate, as to what his sense is, as to an expedient in any doubt. I desire the paper may be read, and referred to a Committee to bring in a clause to this purpose.
Mr. Speaker. It is true any man may offer a paper in a debate, but not such an one as may determine the debate, or divert you upon new matter.
Resolved, that this paper shall be read.
The said paper was read accordingly.
Another paper was tendered, touching the Acts and Ordinances made since 1642.
Resolved, that this paper be read.
The said paper was read accordingly (fn. 35)
Colonel Jones affirmed the papers were not irregularly offered.
Mr. Godfrey. The papers were irregularly offered, for you have been twice diverted from what was the subjectmatter of the debate. You were about appointing a Committee, and both those papers, under presumption of an expedient, have quite driven you out of the way.
Mr. Secretary. I shall not oppose my opinion to yours, as to the orders of the House, but I conceive neither of the papers were very irregularly offered; for in any debate, any gentleman may offer his sense, either in writing or by word of mouth, such as he in his judgment thinks may accommodate the debate. It is true, as to the matter there are great objections on both sides, but I would not have us make more scruples than need.
To confirm all those laws at a lump, it is true, looks a little strange; but I see no great evil, if we say we do confirm such, till the Parliament shall repeal them.
Settlement lies much in the minds of men; and to leave things doubtful, there will be as much danger on the other hand, that all that has been done in these times of trouble, &c. may seem to be left loose upon a doubtful bottom, as well as if we should confirm them all at blind-man's-buff.
What shall become of your public sales, and your securities for your debts; the act for marriages; all the adventurers of Ireland, and securities of their estates, and arrears of your soldiery there, if all these be shaken ? These are considerable bodies. To raise doubts in their minds may be exceeding ill. All your confiscations and compositions, both in Scotland and England, may be called for again.
I would have you as careful in penning the clause as may be, but not wholly to leave these things at a loose. This sticks with his Highness.
Major-General Goffe. His Highness, you intend, shall take an oath to govern according to the laws, and yet he shall not know what are laws, or what are not; he is sworn to those as laws, and yet you will not account them laws, and the judges scruple them, and yet he is sworn to maintain them. You put a very hard thing upon him, and his minister too, that you make it not plain and clear what those laws shall be. Therefore, I desire that, for his Highnesses satisfaction. It will be a very great block in his way, in order to this you desire of him, if you make not this thing clear and plain.
Major-General Whalley. I would not refer it to a Committee to revise your laws; for if I were not a friend to your settlement, I could debate every act and every clause in them, and so delay your business; so as you shall never come to pass this Petition and Advice.
I believe we all agree to come to settlement, and in all the things contained in the Instrument, except that of the title, and for my part, rather than I would forego the other good things contained in it, I could well swallow that of the title. And therefore, as a friend to your furtherance, I shall offer a more expeditious way; that is, to refer the papers to a Committee.
Sir William Strickland moved, that a Committee might be appointed to review those acts and ordinances, and, likewise, that those two papers may be referred to that Committee.
Colonel Jones. If this will not lay in your way to this settlement, I desire it may be referred to a Committee to revise the laws. Otherwise, I desire you would only refer the papers.
Mr. Bond. I am as much a friend to settlement as any man, yet I would not, for all the settlements in the world, do an unjust thing. I cannot consent to confirm any thing at a lump, without viewing and examining any particulars.
I had that from a very reverend judge of your own making, that more laws were made in the Long Parliament than since the Conquest. (fn. 36)
I am for referring the whole debate to a Committee, but not the papers.
Mr. Secretary moved, that the papers might be referred also to the Committee.
Mr. Bampfield. There needs no confirmation of any of the Acts or Ordinances of the Long Parliament. They are able to stand upon their own strength. For that of marriages, (fn. 37) if you confirm that, you destroy many hundreds of inheritances. Not one marriage in one hundred is made, in every particular, pursuant to that Act, as to the publication (fn. 38) and all other circumstances; nor were scarce any of the registers appointed within the time limited; and if it varied in the least point, all is void.
As to that of the settlement of the adventurers of Ireland, and those lands in Scotland, those ordinances need no further confirmation than is expressed in the article to that purpose which confirms all acts and ordinances for the sale or dissolution of any lands.
And for those ordinances made by his Highness and the Council, it were better to reduce them all into one act, and so confirm them; rather than, in this way of blind-man's-buff, confirm you know not what, and likewise things that, in themselves, are quite contradictory. And if you do confirm them, it will be like that man who confirmed it before he knew it, for, if he had known it, he would never have confirmed it.
I desire that the papers may not be referred, but that a Committee be appointed to revise them, and see what is fit to be continued, and what fit to be repealed.
Ordered, that the matter of this present debate, touching an answer to be given to his Highness, upon what is by him offered as to the 16th article, be referred to a Committee, to consider thereof, and offer something to the House therein, viz. to Sir Charles Wolseley and Colonel Jones, (and fortyfour more,) to meet to-morrow morning at seven, in the Speaker's Chamber. (fn. 39)
The House rose at seven, and the debate was adjourned till to-morrow morning at eight.