Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 2, April 1657 - February 1658. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
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Wednesday, April 15, 1657, being the first day of Term.
Lord Whitlock acquainted the House, that the Com mittee attended his Highness yesterday, at Whitehall, but by reason of his indisposition of health, the meeting was appointed this day, at three of the clock in the afternoon, which being so, and the notes upon the former meeting being not perfectly transcribed, the Committee humbly pray some further time for making of their Report in that business. (fn. 1)
Alderman Foot, Lord Whitlock, and Colonel Matthews, moved that the Report from the Committee for the Conference with his Highness was not ready; and desired that they might have time till Friday, to bring it in, and so it was
Resolved, that the Committee do make their Report of their proceedings with his Highness, upon "the humble petition and advice," on Friday morning next.
The House resumed the debate upon the Report made by Mr. Secretary, on Saturday last. (fn. 2)
Sir William Strickland and Captain Hatsel moved, that you would go on with the debate about the plot, upon the Report that Mr. Secretary made on Saturday last. The order was read.
Colonel Briscoe moved, that this business being in order to settlement, you would go on with it.
Colonel Matthews. Look into the entry of the Report, and that will raise matter of debate.
The order was read again.
Major-General Disbrowe. Appoint a Committee to examine the book. (fn. 3) If such a design go without your zeal; such a number of men, to dare to attempt such a thing and not be punished, it may be mischievous.
Dr. Clarges. It is not safe, nor prudent to delay it; nor sounding well abroad. That will be a kind of countenancing of it. I desire a Committee may take the whole into consideration.
Mr. Bacon. I am not of that opinion, that the Parliament need proceed upon this business, till the great affair (fn. 4) is over. It is now depending before the council; I desire it may be deferred, or rather referred to them.
Mr. Highland. It is fit these should not go without their deserved punishment. It proceeds from a diabolical spirit. The persons are not considerable; but prentices and journeymen. It was carried openly in their meetings, exciting the people to it. Mr. Secretary knew it. They persist still in their confidence. I would have it left to laws which are full enough to try such wicked designs, that justly deserve it.
Lord Whitlock. Appoint a Committee to peruse the book, (it is tending to highest sedition and rebellion,) that it may be burned, as in cases of the like nature has been, and the persons may be tried by law.
Sir William Strickland and Lord Strickland. It is a very wicked and seditious book, and deserves to be burned. I desire a Committee be appointed to examine it, and that the persons be transferred to the Upper Bench for their trials.
I left the debate, upon Lord Whitlock's desire to withdraw, to write out the conference with the Protector; but it seems the House was adjourned till Friday, and no Committee appointed. All at a stand at ten.
Resolved, that the debate upon this Report be adjourned till Saturday next.
Resolved, that the House be adjourned till Friday morning next; and the House adjourned itself accordingly. (fn. 5)
Whitehall, post meridiem, at Three.
The Committee attended for above an hour in the Council Chamber, for his Highness's coming; but Lord Fiennes and Colonel Jones came and told us his Highness had got a cold, and was indisposed, so could not, without prejudice to his health, wait upon us at that time, but hoped he should be able to move in the afternoon. The same message was brought by the same persons the day before, and we were forced to return both times as wise as we went; which did strongly build up the faith of the Contrariants. (fn. 6)