Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 4, March - April 1659. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.
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Friday, April 15, 1659.
The members, being met in this House this morning, and the mace placed below under the table, they were informed that Mr. Chaloner Chute, who at the first meeting of the Parliament was chosen their Speaker, was dead. (fn. 1)
Mr. Cooper, the minister appointed to perform the duty of prayer with the House on mornings, was called in to prayers.
Prayer being ended, and the minister withdrawn, the several members sitting in their places, considered of the choice of a new Speaker. And, upon consideration of the experience the House had of the great integrity and ability of Mr. Thomas Bampfield, who was called to the chair to supply the Speaker's place, during the absence and indisposition of Mr. Chute, the late Speaker, now dead; and what good service he had done the House, especially in the preservation of the ancient orders thereof; (fn. 2) it was propounded to the House, that Mr. Bampfield be continued in their service; and that he be chosen Speaker accordingly.
Mr. Bampfield, standing up in his place, first acknowledged to the House the great honour that was put upon him, in calling him to the chair before, upon Mr. Speaker Chute's sickness and indisposition; and endeavoured to excuse himself upon the reasons of the experience the House had of his unfitness for their service; and desired Mr. Edward Turner, (fn. 3) a person of great abilities and fitness for their service, might be chosen their Speaker.
But Mr. Thomas Bampfield being generally called on by the House, he was brought to the chair by Sir Walter Earle and Mr. Carew Raleigh: and being sat in the chair, and the mace placed on the table by the Serjeant, as is usual, the House proceeded in their business as formerly.
It is somewhat observable that Mr. Chute was taken in the same manner that Sir Lislebone Long was taken, before his death. It has never been known that two Speakers should die in that time. No good omen.
The Speaker was in a grey cloak.
The humble petition of the company of Parish Clerks, within the City of London and Bills of Mortality, was read.
Ordered, that the same course be observed, for certifying the number of the dead, weekly, and the diseases they do severally die of, within the parish of Margaret's, Westminster, and other the out-parishes, in the counties of Middlesex and Surrey, within the weekly Bills of Mortality and late lines of communication, as is observed within the parishes, in the city of London.
Major-general Browne, (fn. 4) Sir William Wheeler, Colonel Grosvenor, Mr. Sherwin, Mr. Annesley, Colonel Thompson, and Mr. Francis Gerrard, are to take care that this order be put in effectual execution.
Mr. Speaker offered a Bill to be read, as the course was, which was a Bill for the uniting of Scotland, &c.
Mr. Bodurda and others, moved that we were not now as at the first sitting of a Parliament, (fn. 5) so that it was utterly improper to read a Bill; and so ruled.
Mr. Speaker. I desire to know what part of the Report which Mr. Grove made yesterday, you would have entered in your Journal.
The whole narrative was read.
Lord Falkland. If you enter all, you will be laughed at for your reward.
Mr. Grove. If you enter all, enter also, that there was such a crowd that I could not go in, and had like to have gone without my cloak.
Colonel White. Enter all, save that part of the colloquy between Mr. Grove and the single member; (fn. 6) that being no act of the other House.
Mr. Speaker, (and it was the sense of the House.) Leave it to the Committee appointed to peruse the diurnal, to insert what they think fit.
I observed, that all the eminent long-robe-men, except Turner and Terrill, were absent, in respect of the change of the Chair.
The order of the day was read, touching the Declaration for continuance of the Excise.
Mr. Cartwright and Mr. Goodrick moved that it be read over again, because many were absent.
Mr. Fowell. I move for an alteration, that we may not promise the people more than we can perform. We cannot take it off without the other estate's consent. I would therefore have, instead of the words, "that House," insert "the Parliament," and leave out the other clause, "during this present Parliament."
Mr. Disbrowe. I am against the clause. It will be a reflection both ways upon the Parliament, that it does neither care for remedy of the grievance in collecting, nor of the continuance of it, for payment of your army; but during this present Parliament.
Lord Marquis Argyle moved, instead of the words "this House," to say "they" take further course.
Mr. Starkey. I am for the Declaration as it is penned. It is only to let the people know at present that you mean this duty should be paid. It is settled by a law already.
Serjeant Seys. This is either to make this another Long Parliament, or no long payment of the Excise. We are not in a condition to be without it. I move to leave out the clause.
Mr. Hobart. It is a general rule in civil, and all other matters, that doubtful words should be taken, in mitiori sensu.
Consider the occasion of appointing your Committee. Some are of opinion that we are forgetting all that we have done. If I should be against "the House," now that you have voted, I should not think myself worthy to sit here.
You do not declare the legislative in this House. You only establish quantum in vobis est, without either validating or invalidating the Acts and Ordinances for the Excise. I find that the most ostrich-stomach cannot digest the perpetuity of the 130,000l. per annum.
Mr. Trevor. This is a stronger implication that the Excise shall be paid no longer than this Parliament. If you intend it, pass an Act for it. Else it will remain as a moot point. You do sit, and, for aught I know, may sit, to take further order in it.
Mr. Annesley. The ground of the declaration was the stop of payment since the sitting of this Parliament; and it is only to dear us of that reproach. Let us not, under the notion of redressing grievances, make them greater.
I found transacting necessary, as I do the Excise, for the present; and, therefore, I was for them both, for the present. (fn. 7)
The words offered to you are, in effect, to make it perpetual, and, by implication, to confirm all the laws, and to lay aside the redress of all the grievances you have now under consideration.
Mr. Secretary. I cannot agree with the Committee. Your sense is not pursued. The Committee have decided this question, that the legislative is wholly in this House.
If any thing be good since 47, that the King went away; then, certainly, all laws made in 56, are good laws to bind the people.
Lord Lambert. I move to agree with the Committee; for if you confirm it as it is offered, if any accident should happen to this Parliament, (fn. 8) then you bind it for ever upon the people, and it is as great an argument as any that can be, that this House may be spared.
Mr. Bodurda and Captain Hatsell offered an expedient, by adding something to the preamble, to limit it to a time.
Mr. Attorney-general. All agree that all money must arise originally from this House; but, when once given, this House alone, cannot recall it. It is settled by Act of Parliament, and cannot, by a declaration of this House alone, be recalled. I would have the declaration laid aside or recommitted, and go on with the Bill.
Mr. Serjeant Maynard made a long speech against passing it as it was penned.
It shakes the foundation of all your laws that have passed in this Parliament, or since 47. I would have it recommitted.
A great many members spoke to it, pro and contra. I went out, but, it seems, at last they came to the question to recommit it, upon which the House was divided.
The Yeas went forth.
Yeas 110. Mr. Secretary, and Mr. Nathaniel Bacon, Tellers.
Noes 93. Lord Lambert and Mr. Trenchard, Tellers.
Resolved, that this declaration be recommitted.
The House rose at one o'clock.
The Grand Committee of Trade sat not, other Committees being full.
In the Exchequer Court, met Serjeant Wylde's Committee.
Mr. Nathaniel Bacon was in the chair.
A great many long-robe-men were there, on the Chief Baron Widdrington's (fn. 9) behalf. They did nothing, but adjourned till Tuesday.
Serjeant Wylde alleged that he was surprised, and not provided to state his case, and therefore desired time. The Committee thought it reasonable to grant this, and also to adjourn to the Inner Court of Wards, he being scandalized to stand at that bar where he had been judge of the Court, and many of the Committee had pleaded before him.
He took occasion, at the Grand Committee, highly to magnify himself; but said not a word of the present Lord Chief Baron's merits; whereas others that spoke did commend both: but, I believe, as to him, but by way of compliment, as being able to say little else in his case.
The Committee for the Brewers sat in the Queen's Court,
Mr. Scot was in the chair.
Counsel were heard, and several petitions.
The Committee for Mr. Cogan's children sat in the Speaker's Chamber.
Mr. Starkey was in the chair.
The counsel were Mr. Finch and Mr. Peters.
It was against Mr. Clement of the Long Parliament, who had bought lands settled on them before the bill of sale, and Clement was both judge and purchaser, and what not. There was nothing but equity for the Petitioners.
Mr. Wakemau was there, and defended it pretty handsomely for Mr. Clement.
Mr. Finch said, next to Lord Craven's case, (fn. 10) it was the saddest of all.
The Committee for Wales sat in the Exchequer Chamber.
Mr. Serjeant Seys was in the chair.
The Committee for Worth Miners sat in the Court of Wards.
T. B. was in the chair.
Adjourned till Tuesday.
The Committee for servants of the King's children met there, and adjourned for the want of a sufficient number.
Sir Alexander Dick's Committee sat there.
Mr. Wharton was in the chair.