Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 3, January - March 1659. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
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Saturday, February, 12, 1658–9.
Colonel Allured. You have vipers in your bowels, divers delinquents. I move that they be commanded to withdraw. You have such as have been in arms against you, and Compounders at Haberdashers' Hall; (fn. 1) and particularly one Mr. Jones. Members in the House can prove it.
Mr. Reynolds. Nothing ought to intervene a fundamental order of the House, to purge your own house before any thing else. Would you have your counsels told beyond sea to Charles Stuart ? I know a record, that when a member that was the King's servant discovered the debate of the House to the King, he was turned out of the House, and sent to the Tower.
Sir Arthur Ilaslerigge. We stand in no need of the Petition and Advice for the qualifications of the members. In the beginning of the Long Parliament we turned out all monopolists. It is not fit those that have voted and fought against the liberties of the people, should be here to debate them.
A gentleman stood up and said, "This may be a mistake, as one asked me if I was of the Parliament at Oxford; (fn. 2) because I said I was of the Long Parliament."
It seems, it was Sir Arthur Haslerigge asked concerning him, because he could not remember that ever he saw him sit in the Long Parliament, and said he meant no ill in privately acquainting the gentleman with it; but he was really of the Long Parliament, and Sir Arthur Haslerigge mistook.
Mr. Jones. I am the Attorney-general of Wales. (fn. 3) If I might have my charge, I shall answer to it. I deny it. It was my fortune to be in a place of trouble in Monmouth. In February 48, you took an account of persons against you. It was your own expression that they were forced to it. I am not one of those persons. As I have not been in arms, so I am not one of those. If I stand in a falsehood in the esteem of this honourable assembly, I had rather not have desired to be here. I have been in all offices that you delegated since that time. I have served your Protector with life and member with as much faithfulness as any man. I deny the whole charge, and no man alive can prove it.
Colonel Okey. Colonel Freeman and —, (fn. 4) could prove it.
Lord Lambert. It is not enough to serve you in those offices, unless they venture life and member. I would not have that a precedent to bring them into this House. They would be glad of it. They would outvote you here, and in the counties, and shall be chosen before those that fully served. There are more than one, or two, or three, that, I am well informed, have lived all the time of the war in the enemy's garrisons. Though but six now, allow this, and you will have six score next time. After all this blood and war, to see such an indifference as to who sits within these walls! Ask him that question, whether he has, directly or indirectly, aided, assisted, or abetted ?
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I wonder to hear the Act of Oblivion mentioned. I would have the names abolished, and men under a severe penalty to name them; but to take such into our councils, what shall become of us ? Can we imagine that they will not do us a thousand times more mischief; that we shall be forced to fight the business over again. It appears to me, that he confesses enough; but said it was under force. Those in Wales were so numerous, that we were forced to compound with them by the lump. He says he is Attorney-general in South Wales, and has served you all along. I believe the Commonwealth put him into that place. I would have him asked if he have compounded.
Mr. Starkey. I know the gentleman and something of his case. He has served you formerly here. Since 48, he has had signal testimony, which, if he had not been surprised, he would have satisfied you of. If I sat not here by the Petition and Advice, I should withdraw. I know no other law in force. I know no other law to keep out unqualified members. The generality of the nation have taken it for their rule. The qualifications say no otherwise than "signal testimony;" (fn. 5) and those rules invited the electors to choose that gentleman. His employment goes a far way in giving signal testimony. He can show you the declaration of his Highness and Council of his signal testimony. (fn. 6) It is reasonable to take that rule, the Petition and Advice. I desire he may not be asked questions to accuse himself. Appoint him a day to satisfy you.
Mr. Neville. If we had not a better law than the Petition and Advice to sit by, we sat but by a piece of paper. You heard it from the post, per Colonel Terrill, that without the word "successor," the power of the Petition and Advice was out of doors, and died with his Highness. (fn. 7) I would have this gentleman both for his own honour and yours, to press to have it put into a speedy way of examination by a Committee. I should do it, if it were my case.
Mr. Manley. We all ought to thank the gentleman for that motion; but I humbly conceive there is no case before you to debate upon. It is an unreasonable thing to bring a man to his answer before he be accursed. This will bring more libels upon you than you are aware of. I would have an accusation first against him, before you proceed.
Mr. Scot. Si accusisse sufficit, quis erit innocens, nee si negare siifficit, quis erit nocens ? I would have him questioned, if he have compounded at Haberdashers'-hall. It may be, he never bore arms; no more did Serjeant Glanville (fn. 8) and Lord Southampton, yet they did as much against you as those that fought against you. If having a good place be signal testimony, it is a good requital. I believe few lawyers in England would refuse such a place. I would have some to examine the business, and, in the mean time, to suspend his sitting. I would have him asked if he have compounded.
Sir John Northcote. Sir Richard Onslow being questioned here for a Cavalier, it was referred to a Committee; yet he still sat in the House, and was after, acquitted. If you go about, upon a bare accusation, to suspend gentlemen sitting here, you will have a thin House. I would not have him suspended.
Colonel Thompson. I would do as I would be done by. I think a bare accusation is not enough to cause you to suspend this gentleman. If he deny it, which I suppose he has, I would have another question asked him. An accusation by a member ought not to sway more with you, than a denial of a member. If he find himself innocent, it will be his wisdom to sit; if otherwise, to forbear. Ask him the other question.
Mr. Goodwin. Sir Richard Onslow was never accused of delinquency. That gentleman is clearly mistaken in reporting his case. I would have this referred to the Committee of Privileges, to report the matter of fact: but leave it to him to withdraw, or not withdraw.
Mr. Reynolds. Ask him two questions. 1. If he have "abetted, advised, or assisted," (fn. 9) or have compounded ? This will save your time. It has induced a suspicion by what he has answered already. I would have him called to his place, and asked these two questions.
Colonel Mildmay and Colonel Okey. If that country was under a force, they made him themselves. Wales was the nursery of the King's cause. I would have him called down, and asked if he have compounded.
Sir John Lenthall. It has not been my practice to trouble you much. Your proceeding here ought to be suitable to our Courts of Justice. If any matter be before you, proceed upon it. I think this gentleman has given you signal testimony; so that there is not that danger of him, as is urged to you.
Mr. Jones. I did not compound as a delinquent in arms. There was an ordinance to qualify the composition. I did come to Haberdashers'-hall, and, fearing to come within compass of some ordinance, it may be, I did set my hand to a paper; but, as to being in arms or compounding other than to prevent inconveniences for fear of the ordinance, I did not.
Mr. Weaver. I wonder any person calls for the question. The honour of this House is at stake. He has confessed enough to draw a guilt upon him. My motion is that this gentleman may be suspended from sitting; and to disable the town that sent him hither, from ever sending any member hither. I would have the electors punished; at least, for some Parliaments, disabled. I would have Mr. Streete, that has sat here ever since, to be now called on to make his answer, and that a Committee be appointed to receive all complaints of this nature.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I am sorry to hear it urged that there are so many in this House that have aided, &c. It seems that gentleman was admitted into the Parliament in 54, when others were kept out. He confesses he set his hand to a paper, though he is so wise as not to tell you for what. Haply he compounded for an old song. He got well by his composition, a good office. I mind you what it was that he set his hand to: to raise money for the King against you, I believe it might be. If it had been but being present at the Com. mittee of Array, it was enough to make him liable to composition. We must believe it was for the worst of purposes, unless he explain.
Vote first that he may not sit as a member of this House, during this Parliament. I hope we shall, ere we rise, take care to keep all such out for a longer time. All the King's army came out of Wales. Command this gentleman to forbear sitting; and do not issue out a new writ, to be further troubled with such elections.
Mr. Manley. I am not ripe for judgment to exclude him, till you hear his whole answer. If it appear that the leaven does not remain, and that he has given signal testimony, I hope you will not suspend him.
Sir William Wheeler. No man was, by that Ordinance, admitted to compound for a year's value, unless he put in a petition, and by that Petition did acknowledge himself to be a delinquent. Enough has been said. Put the question that he be discharged from sitting in this House.
Mr. Weaver. I move for expulsion, and that for ever he be unable to be chosen. It is argued that you would admit him in another Parliament. I would have it entered, that the nation may know it, that he be expelled for delinquency, that he be for ever disabled, and that his office be taken from him.
Mr. Serjeant Seys. I would have signal testimony explained. He has not cause to complain of the loss of a place of 600l. per annum. He rides into six counties, and has hot twenty nobles per annum. I second that motion of Captain Whalley, who has prevented what I could say.
Mr. Secretary. I think the matter is plain by his confession. What should you then refer? I agree with the highest proposal, that he be expelled for the present, and disabled for the future from sitting here, before the Parliament have declared that he had given signal testimony. He might have forborne. I would have you spend no more time about it.
Resolved, that Mr. Edward Jones, returned to serve as a member for the county of Brecon in this present Parliament, be, for his delinquency, expelled this House, and for ever disabled from sitting in any other Parliament.
Mr. Bodurda. I have that to acquaint you with, which is much for your service. A gentleman that has led a regiment of dragoons against you. I have some difficulty upon me to name him. Some call him Mr. Danvers, some Mr. Villiers. (fn. 10)
Mr. Ashe. It has pleased God to take out of the world a gentleman, Mr. John, Ashe, who was able to have made good this information. Sir John Danvers did then acknowledge him to be a Papist in arms, I thought.
Mr. Danvers. I must first answer totally this charge. Some of that name I left, because I would not be under suspicion. I utterly deny all aiding, abetting, or assisting. Mr. John Ashe was my competitor. I was questioned by the Major-generals. I have their discharge from under their hands, Sir Thomas Widdrington, Sir John Barkstead, and Major-general Bridges. The Colonel cleared me with a testimony that I was no delinquent. I have not this ready to produce about me. Calumnio data, something sticks. I desire, if guilty, that I may have signal punishment; if not so, that I may prosecute, and that I may have reparation.
Mr. Knightley. That gentleman told me he had great favour from the King, and that he had a regiment. He told me, though he had been bred a Papist, he considered the fooleries of that religion. Sir John Danvers desired that he might have a regiment to go into Spain. An ill way of conversion I told him it was, to go into Spain. This wrought with Sir John Danvers, whose daughter he married. He had the favour to come to a composition, against the order that a Papist in arms could not be admitted to compound. Here I left him in 48. How he has demeaned himself since, I know not.
Mr. Dancers. I was but seventeen years old. I do flatly deny delinquency. Sir John Danvers might confess it. Money was paid by him for it. I felt it. I deny all, the least punctilio. It was no act of my own. They were faults that other people will lay upon me when I was in my minority. My mother was of that religion and I lived amongst them. Thence came Sir John Danvers to tell stories.
Mr. Raleigh. The gentleman has misrepresented. This makes me suspect some guilt. He says Sir John Danvers, to his great prejudice, did compound for him. It cannot be probable that for one that married his daughter, and one of the heirs to him, he would misspend his money in paying so much for his composition.
Mr. Weaver. This gentleman came several times in this Parliament. He was a Papist in arms, and so disabled; but Sir John Danvers did move that Mr. Marshall (fn. 11) should confer with him, and having conferred, he brought a note to this table from Mr. Marshall, and by the favour of this House he was admitted to compound.
Mr. Grove. This gentleman was chosen for a place in the County for which I serve. He came a month before the election to that place, and made the electors drunk every day with sack. It cost him, they say, 100l. to be chosen; (fn. 12) and if you do justice, he will have an ill bargain of it.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I wonder at the gentleman's confident denial; the matter being so clear. I am for the honour, justice, and safety of this House. I would not have any man complain of injustice. I apprehend him not, at present, fit to sit in this House; but, it being not clear, let your books be searched, and it will be found whether he or his guardian compounded. It will appear by Colonel Legge's testimony.
Suspend him for the present, and refer it to a Committee; and not only this, but all matters of this nature; that the great business of the nation may not be hindered: for all business must give place to that of your purging your House.
Mr. Jenkinson. I saw the gentleman so confident to outface a worthy member, else I had not troubled you in this business. Colonel Legge told me that he told the Majorgeneral of it. It was Major-general Packer.
Major-general Packer. I know this business, throughout. This gentleman, among several others, was accused in the County of Bucks. There was great trouble about scanning his business. It was said Colonel Legge could speak fully to it. I sent for Colonel Legge and examined it. He was very cautious, and was under some fear: but Legge did say, he had a regiment of foot in Oxford, and his Major, if called, would justify it. He answered he was under age. He brought down several certificates. He did submit to something, some kind of composition.
Mr. Humphrys. Within these three days the minister of Wickham, where this gentleman lives, sent a note in to me, and said it was a grievance to good spirits that such a person sat in this House. He had never been at church since he was minister. He frequented a private meeting, being a Cavalier. A jesuited fellow, to get a certificate from you, that he might not be decimated! When he had got that certificate he presently scowled and derided you. None dare prosecute against such, who cares not to spend 1,000l. upon any man that shall vex him. There is matter enough to prove him a very unworthy person to sit in this House.
Mr. Stephens. This business is clearer than the other. I was in the chair at Goldsmith's-hall. He was admitted to compound, upon a certificate that he had conformed. I am informed that since the purgation before the Major-general, he did pay 100l. for his purgation. I desire the Major-general may be asked if he received not 100l. of him.
Mr. Reynolds. He denied it a second time. I would have it that he who is so confident to affirm in this House an untruth, should have a signal punishment. He that affirms any thing here, does it in as high a place as if he swore before any Court of Record. I would have him not only expelled, but sent to the Tower.
Majors-general. Bridge. He petitioned his Highness, and his Highness, referred it to Lord Widdrington, Sir John Barkstead and myself. He affirmed that one Villiers had a regiment, but that Danvers had it he denied. We had several certificates as to his reformation, and we reported according to those certificates.
Sir John Lenthall. Neither Colonel Legge nor Colonel Touchett are competent witnesses, unless Upon their oaths. Touchett is a papist, or, being turned from that religion, may be wronged in his testimony, and then you may refer it to a Committee.
Mr. Cartwright. In regard he positively denies it, I would have it referred to a Committee; because you have testimony offered. None says aught what he did but Sir John Danvers. He tells you be was but seventeen years old. I have known him a long time that he has lived here.
Colonel More. It is my duty to inform my knowledge. When I was governor of Monmouth Castle, he desired a pass from me to go to London. He did take the negative voice in 45, and I granted him that pass. Lady Hatton lay then a dying. I heard he took up arms with Sir Robert Howard in Ludlow Castle. He told you, he had under the Major-general's hand testimony to dear him. You find it proved, otherwise, against him.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. A papist is a sufficient testimony, a competent juryman. [ would have Touchett called in, to convince him. I would have him called in, and, likewise, the gentleman called down to hear it.
Captain Hatsell. This will hear well abroad, that you have vindicated the old cause. I would have the business fully heard, that he may have nothing to say against the judgment; and that others may see it and take example by it. I move that both be called in.
I never saw this gentleman to my knowledge. It is hard to prove a negative. I came to Colonel More. He can tell you how I came away from those parts. I know not what I paid for composition. To the Major-general I paid nothing, only 150l, for horses. I freely desired to give it.
I had had once to have gone for Ireland, under his Highness; listed under Colonel Martin. I should have had a troop of horse. I deny that I ever was in the head of a regiment. My mother was violent that way. I suffered much for asserting the Parliament's cause. She might have raised a regiment. I never had a command. I do detest it. I never saw it.
Mr. Hungerford. I move to hear his papers and what he can say. He told you he gave nothing for his purgation but money, to show good affections. I speak knowingly of gentlemen that did subscribe horses and money for affection and not purgation. He was young, carried about by his mother. I desire we may be able to give a good account of our justice. I would have a Committee appointed, not only to examine this business, but all business of this nature.
Major-general Packer. He changed his name at that time, and desired that he might leave that infamous name. He offered freely to lay down money to advance the service, and he had as fair a certificate as could be on that behalf, and because of those certificates from above.
Lieutenant-general Ludlow. I would not have him for ever disabled from sitting. I like not his reflections on his mother and family. I would have no further punishment upon him than that he may not sit in this House.
Mr. Manley. I acknowledge myself to be of the Long Robe; yet not to plead any delinquent's cause. (fn. 13) I humbly, submit it, if you should not hear any thing offered. It will be for the honour of this House to hear all that can be said. I would have a Committee.
Mr. Higgins. He was never a delinquent since he came from the government of his mother, when he was not at age. It is contrary to the justice of all courts, to condemn unheard. I would have his certificate produced, to clear up his assertions.
Mr. Knightley. Seeing it is so far insisted upon, I would have a Committee. His negative papers will not wash off his affirmative delinquency. He went under the name of Colonel Villiers a long time. Seeing you will go to a further punishment, I would have it examined. I have been called a delinquent over and over, in this House.
Mr. Stephens. I was against utter disabling in the other case, because I would not have you meddle with after Parliaments. They will meddle with you. I would have you be equal now, and not disable one more than another.
Major-general Kelsey. I hope that you will severely punish those that come in on the presumption of their own good affections. It will prevent men from intruding for the future. I would have him for ever discharged.
Resolved, that Mr. Robert Villiers, returned by the name of Robert Danvers, to serve as a member for the borough of Westbury, be, for his delinquency, expelled this House, and disabled from sitting in this or any future Parliament. (fn. 14)
Colonel— (fn. 15) I would have no more severity upon him. You have laid more than the infliction of a fine. You have deprived him of the natural liberty of an Englishman. A person offending in infancy must be differenced from one in ripe age.
Colonel Kenrick. Nothing was said against him for fourteen years. He told you he went for bread. He was not likely to raise a regiment in infancy. I would have no further punishment upon him. You have done well.
Mr. Steward. My hearty yea went with you for the privative punishment; but I cannot go to the positive punishment, unless you will acknowledge the Petition and Advice to be a law. Then the law makes it plain. I know no other law.
Mr. Gewen. Every aggravation is in this man's offence: the testimony of the minister, (fn. 16) his carriage here, to oppose the members. Make the punishment suitable to the person. He is a great man. I would have him in the Tower and fined.
Mr. Barton. It was a rule of the Star Chamber to proceed upon estates. We ought to proceed upon persons. When the offence was committed, he had no estate. This. House have always been tender of pecuniary mulcts. Five or ten pounds was a great fine in formertimes. The offence was fourteen years since. He has laboured to give all testimony. He has paid for his offence by his composition. I would not have him punished again. Let us not be over rigorous, lest it be afterwards brought here to our prejudice.
Mr. Disbrowe. All punishment should be proportionable to the offence. The offence of this person is greater than the other's. His asserting positively against an affirmation in Parliament, is not singly a cause of his imprisonment. I would have him sent to the Tower.
Lord Lambert. The other offence is sufficient to send him to the Tower. I would have the other gentleman also sent to the Tower. It was prevented by interposing this business. Otherwise it was in debate to send the other gentleman to the Tower.
Colonel Clark. I would have the difference of the offence assigned. Otherwise the one punishment is not adequate to the offence. You cannot manifest your justice to the world else. The offence of Mr. Villiers is inferior to that of Mr. Jones. I would have you assert some other crime against Mr. Villiers. I would have you either do no more to this man, or assign some other offence.
Major Beak. There is no disparity in his age. It was not in the infancy of your war. He was pregnant in his parts and powerful in his interest, though but tender, in his years. This tends to the distinction of your business. Let him be exemplary in his punishment. Send him to the Tower, and fine him 1000l.
Mr. Scot. I hope I shall not be suspected a delinquent, but I cannot make a difference of offence. He could not become other principled than as he acknowledges. I have been twenty times in his company, and heard him strongly defend the Parliament's cause. He hastened into your bosom. He was always your zealous champion. I would have no further punishment.
Colonel Eyre. I think you have inflicted the greatest punishment that could be. My own knowledge of this person was before the King's death. I never knew any man, in all his discourses, fly so highly in the King's face. I have heard him say, rather than execution be not done upon him, he would do it himself; calling him traitor, tyrant, and the like; strongly arguing it against that interest.
Sir Richard Temple. I move, that we may have the more unanimity, to lay both aside. There are different judgments. I would have the punishment adequate to the crime: not to the person or any thing that is collateral.
Mr. Sadler. I have no desire to trouble you. I consent with those that say there is inequality in the punishment. It is said, go on and prosper. I say, go on and prosper; but in truth and because of truth, in righteousness and meekness. He that will not use mercy in judgment, shall have judgment without mercy. Make a law, and I should be clearer in it. I thought it true that he had a regiment; but I thought it also true that Sir John Danvers said he was forced. You have now dismembered him, and he is no more a member of your House. He may desire to be heard, and appeal to your justice. He was approved by those Major-generals, and had fair certificates. I would not have this case to differ from the other.
Mr. Collins. The witnesses lie in town at a great charge. I would have you appoint a day for hearing him. (fn. 17)
Sir Richard Temple. I hope the honour of this House shall never suffer by an implicit faith. I would have no Committee appointed, but refer all to the Committee of Privileges. I would have the great debate put on.
Mr. Streete. This is the first time that ever I was accused of any crime public or private. I am glad, with Paul, that I have for my judges the representatives of three nations. I need neither fear your justice nor honour.
1. That I was in arms. My father sent me to Oxford where I continued till February, 44. My mother sent for me to manage the estate at fifteen years. I returned to that City of Worcester then. I was neither sequestrated, decimated, nor secured. I hope to clear this by five hundred testimonies. For my being a papist, as some swear, I hope by honourable persons of this House to clear myself.
2. As to my election. I sent to my colleague when I was invited to stand, Mr. Moore, now my malicious prosecutor. I was chosen by men of honesty and faithfulness. Persons were appointed to except against any they pleased. Before tendering the poll, I prefaced that persons against me might stand by and except. I will acquaint you with the quality of the prosecutors. Neither mayor, alderman, nor commoncouncilmen, but only six of the common men, most of them alms-men. We offered a certificate from the substantial and well-affected citizens of Worcester.
An exemplar of piety, well endowed with learning, hath never aided, assisted, nor abetted against the Parliament, lived peaceably, given signal testimony, contributed to all taxes, duly elected, and duly returned. The Petition as to his uncapableness, altogether untrue. His prosecutor received money to prosecute. Divers hands to the Petition deny it. Poor alms people signed it. (fn. 18)
Mr. Collins. I saw much at the election. Some persons were there in arms, some papists, and men that received alms. The sheriff had two or three persons that tendered their oaths to prove his being in arms; but the sheriff refused it, saying he had no power: which I suppose he had not. I would have a special Committee to examine the fact.
Mr. Knightley. It was never denied but when Parliament sat at Oxford. (fn. 19) This House suspended for a time; but to disable counties, is of dangerous consequence.
Major-general Kelsey. I move for a new election in Serjeant Glanville's (fn. 20) place.
Ordered the like in Mr. Ashe's place. (fn. 21)