Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 4, March - April 1659. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Monday, March 7,1658–9.
Serjeant Waller reported from the Committee of Privileges, touching Malton, that the election of Mr. Howard and Mr. Marwood was good, and of Mr. Robinson and Major-general Lilburne not so. (fn. 1)
It matters not to me who come here. If the country choose them, let them sit. I have but troubled myself too much before in this kind. I shall never do so again. I have contended to bring in honest men, and when they have been here, they have not proved as I expected. I. will never come at that Committee again.
Mr. Neville. There is a Petition in some person's hands touching this business. They make it out that their right was in the time of Henry VI. The like case is in Windsor. The writ goes to Windsor in general, yet New Windsor chooses always, and not Old. I would have it recommitted.
Serjeant Seys. I move to clear that right of excluding the witnesses. The party admitted on the other side appeared to be interested in both places. He swore against his own right. Again, this was laid aside, and they agreed to insist upon another issue, and upon that point of usage did the Committee judge. Nought appeared to the Committee, that New Malton had a distinct right; I move that the Committee have duly reported it.
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. I was not satisfied with the excluding the witnesses; only they said this was not matter of fact, but matter of right. This to me is as much as to say in what is not material, they shall be admitted, but in what is material, not. I move that it be recommitted.
Mr. Manley. The witnesses were justly excluded; for though they got not a piece of land by it, yet they got what may be a greater advantage, a privilege to send members here. In all courts wherever I came, if the witness is to gain or lose by it, he is always excluded.
Sir Lislebone Long. I wish this report had not come in. I would have it off your hands. This business of the excluding the witnesses is not now in dispute. The Counsel on both sides did agree upon an issue here at the bar, and there was no complaint at all of want of evidence; and the Committee went upon this very point. It appeared plainly, that the Lord's Bailiff was the Bailiff for the borough, and sworn by the Lord.
In this case the clear failure was by excluding the witnesses. The Petition which was spoken of is in my hands. I have it here. It is from the inhabitants of New Malton. Whether will you hear it, or refer it to be tried at the assizes ?
Mr. Danby. This did not pass upon a single testimony as is alleged. There was also my own testimony, upon my own knowledge. The right of the two towns was never disputed till now. A fellow, one Arey, got himself made Bailiff, but four days before the election, not duly sworn nor chosen, and never questioned till now. I was witness of divers elections.
Mr. Weaver. If you would do justice to both parties, you must hear both. It is but just, the Petition should be heard. It was never denied in the Long Parliament, or any Parliament, no, not in this, but in this one case. If you please, open your doors, that the five or six witnesses that were excluded, may be heard out. I would have it recommitted, that you cut not off a right at once, which none of your predecessors ever did.
Sir John Lenthall. I did attend the Committee, and in my opinion, the witnesses were well excluded; for if they did not swear themselves into an advantage, they swore themselves into the greatest privilege that can be. I would have you agree with the Committee.
Captain Hatsell. It is no wonder to me that this takes up your time. I always thought it would; for I reckoned it, a very hard case, that the witnesses should be excluded. It is not for your honour that the witnesses should go into the country, and say they could not be heard, but were excluded by a vote. I would have it recommitted.
Mr. Turner. We asked the Counsel to what purpose they would apply these witnesses, and they answered ingenuously, it was to prove a right for themselves. Divers New Malton men that lived in London, were admitted. The case was very clear to me that Malton in genere had right to choose.
I was not satisfied with it. The witnesses did not swear themselves any advantage; rather a trouble, if we should take our wages. (fn. 2)
Put the case, that none but servants be at making their master's will. Though they be legatees, their testimony shall be taken. I would have you do it the same right that you did in the cases of Dartmouth and Petersfield. (fn. 3)
Serjeant Waller. The cases of Dartmouth and Petersfield differ from this. He that spoke last, mistakes the law. A legatee cannot be a witness for his own legacy. First, his legacy must be paid, and then, his testimony admitted.
Mr. Steward. I hope what is law in Westminster Hall will be also admitted here. The case of the legatee is clearly answered. I shall not mention it again. I would not have the Long Robe reflected on for giving their judgment so in point of law. (It seems Okey had reflected.)
Mr. Grove. This has cost you more time, than New Malton and Old Malton are worth. You have already spent three days about it, and now another day. I know, am sure, the Western men were all well satisfied with the debate. Some Northern men were not satisfied.
So it was resolved to agree with the Committee, &c. (fn. 4)
Mr. Speaker repeated the matter of the debate, and said, that which is most insisted upon is, that this vote should not exclude the right of persons of the old peerage that have been faithful from sitting, if they be duly summoned by writ.
Mr. Chaloner. I doubt this House has some infirmity that they dare not show themselves. I fear they are troubled with King's evil. They have all the legal military power there. (fn. 7)
A Judge Rolles, (fn. 8) learned and honest as any, was shuffled out of his place by the Lord Protector, and another put in his place. Three worthy lawyers were sent to the Tower. It cost them 50l. a piece for pleading a client's cause. (fn. 9) One Portman was imprisoned two or three years without cause. (fn. 10) Several persons were taken out of their beds and carried none knows whither. (fn. 11) If any of these things happen in intervals, (fn. 12) who shall call them to account?
If you vote to transact, they say, no. Where are you then ? You are lawgivers. You must presume all men are bad. If all men were good, there would need no laws. The greatest faults that ever Kings had, they could not limit their greatness. No tribunal could call them to account. Can any be higher than Lord Chief Justices, and Lord Keepers. How shall the subject have justice? Privy Counsellors are in salary now. This was never known before, in any King's reign. We had no pay in the Long Parliament. If we should go about to lessen the army, we cannot do it without their consent. It is likely they will not be their own executioners.
Consider what is this third estate. Are they Earls? What are they ? You agree not where you will meet, (fn. 13) and whether your five hundred persons of estates here shall go up and stand bare before those that receive pensions and salaries from you. This is dishonourable. If they commit treason, felony, &c. who shall try them ? They will claim the same privilege. (fn. 14)
The old Lords had no office, not so much as a Justice of Peace's place. Those are otherwise. They act in all offices in the country, and come here to have the highest legislative. I cannot agree to transact with these persons as Lords.
Mr. Swinfen. I shall answer objections against the constitution, as it now stands. It is said, there are there officers of the army commanding eighteen regiments. I answer those that formerly sat there had such strength as then the nation had, Lord Admirals, Lord Lieutenants, (fn. 15) and in a time when the militia was not so to be asserted in this House as now.
Admit they were in this House; for you will not utterly exclude them from the legislature. The original motion for money is in this House. Then they may do you more harm, for if their interest and will be so great, it will work more here.
I could give good reason why restoring them is for the good and safety of the nation; but I see your sense is against it. Some are for no House, others for this House. Few consider the old constitution. If you will not restore them, will you then exclude them out. of the legislature ? They have faithfully and thoroughly served you. (fn. 16) Their interest is so great, that it is not for the service of the nation to leave them out. Let us, in our counsel, take heed how we distrust so great an interest, lest, if ever they should come into their power again, they may turn us out by requital.
But, to the inconveniences if you do not transact The evils on that hand are far greater. If you cast them off, you are then the legislature. I say not but the army will bear, that you sit to levy money. If you do not, they will come to free quarter, and levy it themselves.
If you rise and make no law, then must come raising money, and, I doubt, making laws, by that military power which we cannot be without, till the nation can be constituted on its own balance and symmetry. If we go back again, we lose this civil foot, our free election here, and to have a negative upon the legislature, and that no money can be levied without our consent, nor the single person rule but according to the laws. I doubt you will lose all. Let us have that we can have, if we cannot have more.
This is a saving that destroys the right. You bar their claim utterly by this, whereas you know not but their claim may come in more clearly. You make them and their interest your everlasting enemies.
A few new men, but in the room of old men, (fn. 17) what will the nation say ? Let us consider what we can say to posterity. The remaining part of that famous Long Parliament would, in the issue, have rendered their designs famous. (fn. 18)
Your laws and liberties are all gone. Two negatives are in one hand. An army is in your legislature, and 1,300,000l. per annum for ever. (fn. 19)
If our neighbours say we look well, that will not satisfy. We must examine if we be well. I have sat sixteen years here, ventured my life, (fn. 22) and bought lands, and my friends and interest have done so. I always hoped, whenever you came to settlement, you would confirm all those sales.
True, a possessory title of Chief Magistrate was never questioned in Parliament, (fn. 23) but this is upon another foot, the Petition and Advice. How are you satisfied of that claim ? Is there that done that will pass 40l. per annum, and yet are passing three nations (fn. 24) into the hands of some few persons to them and their heirs for ever ?
What are you at present but a House of Parliament and a single person ? Is there any such difference than when the Parliament was in 54 ? You must either transact, it is said, with them, or you must not transact at all. There is no such need. Are we bound to this or that other House ? We are not bound. It may be, they will sit without us. I had rather they did so, and raised money, than that we should so bind ourselves as to be but bailiffs and servants to them.
Mr. Solicitor-general. These new Lords are bounded already; what more bounds would you put upon them ? For their judicial power, they cannot meddle with meum and tuum, nor appeals and errors. This was a great privilege never denied to the House of Lords. Now they cannot meddle with any thing but what comes from this House. They cannot vote by proxies.
Are we under government, or under none at all ? If under none, we are a miserable, unhappy people. If we be in a republic and popular government, then we may make a law exclusively without them. Certainly we must either transact with them, or with the Protector without them, or alone, or not at all.
It is said, we may transact, as we did in 54, with the single person. (fn. 25) By what law or foundation shall we transact? If you say you will transact with him alone, he may refuse to transact with you alone. He is under an oath, to rule by the Petition and Advice, and in all other things according to law. He is bound to two Houses of Parliament, and cannot transact but with them both.
If you can make a law to bound them, exclusive of them, you may also make a law to exclude them. What, then, will be the consequence ? If you go on to say no law since 48 is binding, I doubt you will go back to 42, and what mischief that may be, I leave it to you to judge.
My advice is, to build upon that foundation, the Petition and Advice, which has in many things well provided for your rights. I had no hand in keeping out the members. I was not here at making the Petition and Advice.
Serjeant Wylde. I move against sitting in the afternoon. This council is a grave council and sober, and ought not to do things in the dark. A matter of this weight ought to be debated in the forenoon.
Monday, March 7,1658–9.
In the Afternoon.
I doubt our condition is like that of the Romans, non ferri possimus. We can neither endure the disease, nor the remedy. I will not, I hope, I cannot, say Hannibal is ad mænia, ad portas. Yet you have enemies that would not think it any sin to be drunk with your blood. There must be festinum remedium. Nought but to transact with the other House, is so proper a remedy.
I confess quod precibus emptum est, charum est. You do not give away by wholesale. You cannot give it away. It is radically and inseparably in you. You may trust it. A power of revocation is essentially in you. There is no danger of trusting these persons. Pardon me, if I have too much charity for them. Those persons cannot betray this trust. They have not only been a screen, (fn. 26) but a strong wall. They have gone through wet and dry, hot and cold, fire and water; they have not been green timber that will warp against the sun, as was moved, (fn. 27) Admit it to be Qui color albus, &c.
I doubt not but you may recal that trust, when it is abused. The people will stand by you. It is not in the power of those Colonels that sit there, to change the hearts and hands of the people against you.
Mr. Speaker, observe it. There is a great deal in this question. It is not only to transact with them as members of another House, but as another House of Parliament, exclusive of all others, it is clear.
There are other fears grounded upon the Petition and Advice. They are bounded and limited already, both as to negative and affirmative power. We have also one great fruit by the Petition and Advice, in that case of succession, (fn. 28) else we had been in blood by the several pretenders. It is placed now in a most deserving person.
But a greater power is given to that House, by the Petition and Advice, than ever the old Peers had, in the business of money, which none have touched yet. I could leap over the rest, but this passed, I doubt it will never be recovered in any age.
I thought, till this debate, it had not been a law, but only intentional. I took it in the grammatical sense. I have consulted with some of the Long Robe, who tell me, if we once transact, we cannot alter a tittle of this Petition and Advice, without their concurrence.
This House never did so downright give away their privilege. All the advantage that this House ever had, was that they had their grievances redressed, when they gave money. This is so large a supply as never was, 1,300,000l. (fn. 29)
If the Parliament in 54 could have got over this, you had never been troubled with this settlement. It had been done to your hands so well, and properly bounded, as may be an advantage to you in this debate. This would not then be submitted to, else that Parliament had not been dissolved. This being altered, I must give my negative to whatever passes as to this question. This does so stick with me, that I cannot yet get off it, though I shall ever submit to your resolution.
I make a difference between settling this to perpetuity, and giving double the sum upon an emergency. I would not have us, after all our wars and debates and declarations, to give all away at once. Unless I be satisfied in that, I cannot do what I thought prudentially to have done. I shall sit still, till this be answered, and then submit.
Without you come to transact, you can make no laws. He that is not a man cannot act as a man, and that which is not a Parliament cannot act as a Parliament. I would have every gentleman lay his hand on his heart, and seriously consider, before he give his vote to this. If we can act nought as a Parliament, let us go home. The Parliament split upon this very rock. When we go home what satisfaction will it be to them that sent us; what satisfaction to our consciences. We can make no settlement without this vote. We leave the nation to an arbitrary government. Any government is better than no government, and any civil better than a military government.
This is the House in being. There is no other House in being. Who shall we then transact with ? We are not, as the last Parliament was. Have not we voted ourselves not a Parliament of ourselves? If there be any way to have another House (fn. 30), let us know it. If not, then let us transact with them that are in greater weight in this question than most gentlemen in this House are aware of.
That of money is a very grand objection, and other objections are grand. But consider whether our transacting do make those inconveniences. They were made before; or, if we do not transact, how shall we ever remedy them ? That is the probable way to remedy them. It is all the way we have now left. It may be, they will part with their power. If I had been of that Parliament, I should rather have parted, with my blood than have granted them that.
Another objection is, that hereby we confirm the Petition and Advice. Nought less do we ourselves, who sit by the Petition and Advice. For my part, I think we do not. The distribution was never agreed on. If they had not intended to alter that distribution, they would have left it to law. I came in upon the old constitution. I was glad to see the writ, to consult with the great men and nobles. (fn. 31) Constitution and foundation remain still, though Scotch and Irish are here and new boroughs.
We are now going into civil settlement Shall we go back into blood and confusion again ? In our times, we have seen soldiers, lieutenants there; Canterburys and Straffords there, but by the civil settlement we have been able to deal with them.
Is recognizing the Protector a going back to the old line ? This is a little objection that has walked up and down, as not worthy of an answer. Is the calling of this Parliament going back to that line ?
I am as little pleased with these Lords as any man; yet we are but one leg, and cannot go, but hop up and down without them. Though they be not to our content, I have seen a man walk very well with a wooden leg.
I can say as much for the old Lords as any man has said. Yet we are not obliged in conscience to insist upon their right, though we are bound to do nought against their right. Transact signifies no more than to act with them. This is but a concession de presenti; a word of diminution rather. The salvo offered upon our books remaining will be enough to discharge us, after that we have saved their rights.
Henry VIII. got an Act of Parliament to cut a man's head off without an answer. (fn. 32)
I put a great difference between the latter end of the Long Parliament and the last. There was a root. This was but lignum. We sit upon a remitter, a title paramount, the Petition and Advice. That Parliament was not called according to law. We sit upon a foot of law.
Si ex sicco ligno, you build a house, (fn. 33) I shall give my negative.
Colonel Morley. If I repeat aught that worthy person has said, I hope you will pardon me, for I did not hear a word of it. I stand up to answer my learned countryman. (fn. 34) His arguments were from prudence, conveniency, safety, and law.
I shall answer him to the point of law. I conceive they sit not by the Petition and Advice. If that Parliament could alter the Petition and Advice, as it did without the other, then may we also alter it. It was passed in May, and they came in June, and make these explanations. (fn. 35)
I should say something to "a shoeing horn." (fn. 36) That is for the heel, not for the head. It is rather a gilded pill, and must be sent down in syrups and sweetmeats. All the gilding and syrups shall not make me pass it.
This other House I do not look upon it as a disease in number but in species. I look upon it as one of the new buildings that ought to come under composition, (fn. 37) The foundation is not well laid. Architects will tell you, if the foundation be not good, it will not stand; and if it be so, it will be a perpetual nuisance.
The Chief Magistrate may fill this House when he pleases, all at once if he pleases; and let it out to whom he pleases. He will be to blame if he put not such oracles and judges there, that will say, œquum Cœsaris.
He will have two negatives upon you. They will be but his echo. It was not so from the beginning. Persons anciently there, were persons of interest, that would be a bulwark and not to live upon you. Will you take the whole heap into the sack without any fanning.
I except against the constitution. I am against setting up our servants to be our masters for ever. To let a river out, and not bound it in what channel it shall run ! Will any of you bring in a tenant into your house before you condition with him ? All your overtures will be but as casting counters, to be reckoned according to the places they will put them in.
Mr. Knightley. I was fond of this question; now I am convinced to change my mind. It is prudence, as the word is now, not weakness, that puts me upon it. Fiat justitia et ruat cœlum. We come to speak for our country. It may be a sad day, go which way it will.
It was told you by a good physician what were the diseases of that House. (fn. 38) The issue may be dangerous, which way soever it go. I had rather the House were agreed upon it if the question be put. Our great fear should be the fear of God.
Colonel Birch. You are upon a constitution and a restitution; there is a great difference between finding and making a Protector; between finding and making another House. The old right so much spoken of, will not answer to this constitution you are upon. I am, therefore, for that addition, that they shall not be excluded, when duly summoned.
Anciently, the Barons by tenure were of great use, but being now melted down, they are not so useful. All the use now of that House, is to have an inspection. If all laws that had passed since 48, had been inspected, it would have been much for your service. It is said (fn. 39) they have no interest! I answer, if the laws be bad, it is well they have a check any where; if good, the less interest they have, the less can they check them.
It is said, you are going to confirm such a Petition and Advice, as the three great tyrants, as was said were together, could not frame the like. (fn. 40)
In the Parliament of 54, we had provided an Instrument; it was then said to us, of the Instrument of Government, "other foundation could no man lay." It was said to be our Magna Charta. It was smoothly couched, and drawn by a cunning pencil. Raising money was to be by the Protector and Council. Another clause was specious enough; all laws to be laws in three weeks, (fn. 41) but then nought must be contrary to the Instrument of Government. The money then required from the Parliament was 2,400,000l, we would have consented to 1,300,000l per annum, but it was refused.
Our Parliaments could not be free by the Instrument; there is not a word in the Petition and Advice that the Protector shall have a negative. Were it no more, but for this freedom of Parliament, I should be in love with the Petition and Advice. This revenue of 2,400,000l. was not to be altered without consent of Protector and Parliament. This article in the Petition and Advice says only, you are willing to settle 1,300,000l per annum. I find nought in the Petition and Advice to settle it; so that we are not bound by it an hour longer than we think fit.
4. Our estates not to be taken, nor persons imprisoned, without our consents; but the negative voice was never our case. (fn. 42) Thus far I went, and no farther.
2. Those that are now called to this House, indeed, cannot be approved by us; but no other can be approved without us, that are called in afterwards. This is also dear to me; I find not a negative in this Petition and Advice. Send it up to the other House, and you may have it mended.
I never had any office nor any of my relations. I have no courtship, but I am glad to take hold of any settlement. I dread the consequence, if this should pass in the negative. You will certainly miss of your end. They that are not so well-pieced, this negative may make them gird their swords closer about them. (Some said he should not have said so).
By the same hands that you pull down this House, you pull down the single person. He that was last could well sit in the saddle, in all changes. I doubt whether it will be so now. If we miss this settlement that we are now under, we shall never come to it again. This civil settlement we must rest upon a force, and I cannot see but when we have put down one single person, it is but to set up another; and the pulling down these will put it into the hands of those that will never be quiet till their bellies be full.
The interest of religion has not been yet spoken of. Put the ship once again to sea, and when it will come to harbour again I know not. Because we cannot have quiet upon this cockling sea, let us have patience. Those arguments to me are no more than he that puts me out of one House in a storm and shows me not another. We cannot give them one bond, but we add to them. If any difference happen about it afterwards, who must mend it? Must not this House that made it? It is not like the Instrument of Government. None knew the father of it.
The great charge of the accounts cannot be defrayed without settlement. You have your heart upon the pillar, this great pillar of civil settlement. If none in it but Philistines, it were not such a matter.
Mr. Hungerford. While you are debating to transact with them without, I doubt some of them are transacting with some of us, that will never let us rest till we come at where we were; rolling from one thing to another till you come at this.
It has been told you how weak the foundation is you are going upon. I cannot consent to transact with that other House. It is taken away by a law, and not restored by a law. It can be no House of Lords. Never was House of Lords named and approved by that House and his Highness, so it is no House at all.
Those feints, which come nearest the shape of man, are most ugly and dangerous. They that were content to be your equals here, do now contend to be your superiors. You are putting a yoke upon the people's necks such as never was before.
As to their usefulness. They are said to be a screen. (fn. 43)
Mr. Francis Bacon. By ancient law, two Houses make a Parliament. The Petition and Advice says two Houses make a Parliament. Your vote says so. It is suited to your being, to transact; to your well-being to transact speedily.
Of twenty-five kings since William the Conqueror, fifteen had no colour of title. They sent out writs to whom they pleased. If, when Richard II. was deposed, Henry IV. had called his enemies, where had his title been ?
If we go about to bound them, we shall not do it till Michaelmas, nor approve them till this time twelvemonth. By the same rule, they might go to approve us. As many differences will come between these two Houses, as was between the two great Houses, (fn. 44) if we do not agree.
It was offered by a gentleman, that he would spend his blood rather than have passed it. I hope it will be otherwise said, if any do consent to confirm (fn. 45) it.
Mr. Weaver. This House sits not upon the Petition and Advice. The word trans signifies beyond. It is beyond expectation of all good men, that you should pull down one House of Lords and set up another. It is beyond my understanding to know what you mean.
I have seen the writ; they are called Lords. (fn. 46) None, these five weeks, have moved you to return to a Commonwealth.
It was affirmed for law, and I believe is so, that if you vote them another House, they and their children are Barons to all intents and purposes. (fn. 47)
It was pressed upon the old Lords to consent to a Bill (fn. 48) to vote Duke Hamilton and his adherents, traitors. They doffed us off as long as they could, and then locked up their doors for a fortnight.
Expect like obstructions in all necessary laws. Pass that question as it is, and I will give my negative to it. I shall then propound my grounds for another House. You can never bound these without their consent.
Sir Walter Earle. Make this addition, when they shall be approved on by this House; if the fifth article be so, as is moved. (fn. 49)
This House is not a proper balance. (fn. 50)
Those gentlemen have been guilty of all the breaches upon the liberties of the people. If I am alone, I would bear my witness against them. If you or they set themselves up above God, God will blast them.
There are two competitors before you. Prynne's Authority for the Lord's House, (fn. 51) and Selden's Privileges, (fn. 52) make their rights fully out. You must be judges and counsellors both, in this case. It is said you may be too righteous. (fn. 53) I understand not that; you must do right.
In the time of Ahasuerus, the Jews were reported to be dangerous and useless. A writing, a decree was published. Mordecai brought this writing to the Queen. She said, she might not go into the King. Yea, you must do it, said he. (fn. 54)
The objection about the boroughs (fn. 55) is very material.
If you have been misled into it, blame the gentleman that moved it (fn. 56).
I do see, by, the variety of opinions among us, that it is dangerous to go off from foundations. If this question go in the negative, in whose opinion must we rest ? It will be best to keep our bottom and centre. I speak of the foundation of the three estates by the Petition and Advice.
But it is said they did nought but what this House may alter. Your predecessors delivered up their power to his Highness. What they have given to the two estates, they cannot take it back again; it is against reason.
It is necessary to be so, for the good of the people. If this House should have nought to do, but to dispute principles and foundations, what should we fall into ? Either into anarchy, or absolute tyranny, by the grasping of one single person, or two or three that have more wit and boldness than the rest.
But it is said this law is weakened by the Protector's death. The establishment of this House was not a temporary thing. It will not be made out, it cannot. It is a constitution, well, enough in being and well enough in power.
Those gentlemen are overruled by their own vote. The addition extends not to his Highness; but as to his limits, so that he is in, undoubtedly, by that right; and if he were but de facto, he might duly call them.
For the persons, I doubt not but in after times they will be as useful for settlement and posterity as any. It is not fit to reflect upon them for what they have done in extreme necessity. Few, in other places, but have acted upon such necessity. That argument takes them not only out of that House, but out of their commands.
If this pass in the negative, you must make it good. As I said before, the power comes into this House. You must lay aside your officers, and change your militia. You must lay aside his Highness, for he cannot transact with you, without the other House. He is sworn. You will be just where you were in 48, You declare all that in the lump.
I conceive, in passing this in the negative, you do bring all power into this House, but not in that way of a Commonwealth. (fn. 59)
When the power of King or House of Lords is melted down into this House, it is in the people, by the law of nature and reason. Death and tract of time may melt it and bring it down, but this shall never die. Where is then the anarchy, the sneaking oligarchy ?
The question is not now, whether the Petition and Advice shall be a law, but whether it shall be so far as it is argued to be a law. Or whether it be not a lame law, to bring in King. Lords, and Commons insensibly.
It was told you, by Mr. Attorney, of the Duchy, that this was a restitution. (fn. 60)
It is not told you how the power came into the hands of your old servants that turned you out of doors. (fn. 61)
As to the Petition and Advice, they declared here that it was made elsewhere; (fn. 62) and they gave you no more than they thought fit; a mere show.
Consider the fate of that King. I wonder to hear arguments of force used. (fn. 63)
If you pass this you pass all. The question is as catching as that of the French King. (fn. 64) When I consider how comprehensive this question is, I wonder how it should be thought to pass in the affirmative.
You settle 130,000l. per annum, such as never was done. (fn. 65) You have granted the excise and customs for ever, (fn. 66) and farmed in such a way as to make the people cry out their governors are very unnatural. The people would never part with customs. You can relieve no grievances.
Will not you trust him with the consequences ? He that has unsettled a monarchy of so many descents, in peaceable times, and brought you to the top of your liberties, though he drive you back for a while into the wilderness, he will bring you back. He is a wiser workman than to reject his own work.
Go you on to advise with his Highness. Advise him, in his tender years, of the maladministration. I know no hinderance but you may transact with his Highness alone, and agree of another House in the best way for the good of the nation.
Mr. Godfrey. We have been told, (fn. 67) remember your ancestors. Our ancestors, till 48, never knew that this trust was in you; nor is it by legal commission, unless you say: cedo occupanti.
Your legal commission gives you no power to consult, exclusive of the single person, or the nobles and great men. Your commission is to consult, consent, and determine. I dare not, I may not, as a case of conscience go beyond it.
If it be no law, and you go to the Protector to pass a law to lay them aside,—this is plainly to declare himself no Protector. Both have one foundation. There is but one way for him to be Protector, and you say he is not that way. Then he is no way.
That was a witty motion by Mr. Hungerford (fn. 68). I will not suppose such are unworthy, from the army having the power in the other House; yet what has been done, may be done.
Laws are to be made against tryers at Whitehall, which have done more than the Pope or the Bishops ever did, to take away men's advowsons. (fn. 69)
Laws must be made against Quakers, Ranters, &c. (fn. 70)
What is aimed at, but cœdamus hœredem et nostra erit hœreditas. (fn. 71)
The Petition and Advice settles it not; but the excise and customs are settled to perpetuity. (fn. 72) It only says you are willing to settle; that settles it not. There was a witty fulmitiation from the corner, but no proof. (I think he means Sir Henry Vane.)
It is said we fought for this negative voice. I dare be bold say it, upon my life and soul it was so far from being fought for, that it was not so much as spoken of in this House till 42. (fn. 73)
They pray the King's consent for a guard; he denied. Then they did it by ordinance without him, and would not have his consent. There went declarations on both sides. The sword was never taken up against the negative voice. It was never denied to the King.
Mr. Knightley. I was going home, with your leave, and one met me and said: "If this vote pass in the negative, you shall be dissolved to-morrow." I was going through Scotland Yard, (fn. 74) and the soldiers stayed me. I told them, I was a Parliament-man, and I perceive they look already with a strange face upon us. Their officer expostulated the business with me. I argued with them my privilege, and they were very earnest on me. The officer's name was one Shafto. They begin to look with an ill face upon us. Eo nomine, that I was a Parliament-man, made them expostulate it the more.
Mr. Young. If you will put the question for repealing the Act for abolishing the Lords, or for restoring them, you shall have my heart and vote to it; but I am not for this insignificant addition. It is but to trepan men. I think it is as good a word, for aught I know, as transact.
Mr. Bampfield. I move a few words of reconciliation to be added. When the Bill is passed the House, this House will transact, &c., and then you may, in this Bill, provide for all the liberties of the people.