Friday, June 12,1657.
The House being informed that some aldermen of London
were at the door with a petition, they were called in.
Alderman Foot made a speech at the bar, opening the substance of the petition, which was to desire the Bill for the
Adventurers for Lands in Ireland might pass before the adjournment or prorogation of the House; to the end, that the
honour of the nation may not be violated, nor such a high security impaired. Hereupon the petitioners withdrew, being
near forty persons, and the petition was read. (fn. 1)
Major Morgan. I move, not to cross the reading that
Bill, that before you settle other men's rights to those lands,
you would settle your own title to them. To that purpose
that you would order the report upon the bill of attainder, to
be made next after the Bill read.
Mr. Speaker. I move that those clamours at the door may
be stopped; (they are ready to pull off my gown;) and that
the Public Faith and Bill for Creditors be considered, before
Colonel Jones. I move that the Committee, to whom the
proviso in the Bill for New Buildings was referred, may bring
them in, ingrossed, with the Bill; and if you have any thing
remaining of the Report, that you would perfect it now.
The Report was resumed accordingly.
Mr. Vincent offered a proviso, that all the overplus of
400,000l. to be raised upon this Bill, shall go to the satisfaction of the Public Faith.
After an hour's debate upon it, this was laid aside without
a question, and the Bill was ordered to be ingrossed.
The Lord Deputy. You were pleased to put a mark of
your favour (fn. 2) upon me undeservedly. I did not know any
thing of such an intention; nor do I undervalue your favour;
but think that what you give, is as good as any thing I shall
leave to my children. But I consider your condition, that
many debts and charges lie upon you, and I am tender of
your honour, considering what reproaches may lie upon you
by this means. I desire that you would not pass any such
sum to me till you be in a better condition.
I have here a paper in my hand from some members that
serve for Ireland, relating to the great sufferings of that
country, by the high tax now laid upon them, which will
undo many families. Scotland is better planted, and easily
rated; and England is not so high as Ireland.
The petition was read, and signed by several members that
serve for that nation, that the sum laid be taken down to
Colonel Shapcott. It is against the orders of the House,
at this time, to offer this paper. When the Bill comes in, it
is more proper. I desire you would go to the orders of the
Colonel Philip Jones. If it be improper and against your
orders to consider it now, I move that you would take a time
for it when the Bill comes in.
Major-General Whalley. It is the first precedent of a petition signed by any member of Parliament. They have liberty
here to speak for themselves.
Mr. Bond and Sir Richard Onslow. No man has liberty,
without leave, to speak against your order. When the Bill
comes in, any man may speak against every part of the Bill.
It was never known that any members petitioned us, but
when we sent them to the Tower.
Mr. Highland and Colonel Holland. If you do nothing in
it now, when you have proportioned the counties it cannot
Mr. Butler. The honourable person has done himself
more honour by his self-denial than you have done; so I wish
that every man would write after his copy. For the other
motion, it may be more proper when the Bill comes in.
The Lord Deputy. If you do it not now, it is as much as to
say you will not do it at all. When the proportions upon
the several counties are laid, there will be no possibility to
add to them. I stand up to second my own motion that you
would now do something in it.
Sir Thomas Wroth. Have it lessened to 7,000l. per annum;
but it is not proper now to move it.
Lord Whitlock. It is now the most fit to do it, if you intend any abatement to them. It will be too late when the
proportions are set upon the several counties.
Major-General Disbrowe. Put this question off your hands;
and, if you please to give way to an abatement, I shall move
that it be taken down to 8,500l.
Lord Strickland. For the danger of the precedent, return
the petition. Let not such a thing remain. What you will
do upon the equity of the case is another thing.
Mr. Trevor. This is expressly against the orders of the
House. I never saw such a precedent. This petition looks
like a remonstrance, or I know not what it is. I would not
have you entertain any debate at all upon it I should as
freely consider Ireland as any man; but at this time it is
Captain Cox. I move that you would not so consider
Ireland as to neglect England. They bought their lands
for nothing, and they would have their taxes nothing.
Colonel Holland. If you ease Ireland now, they may be
able once in three years to bear double or treble of what they
bear now. I move that they may have 2,000l. abated, and
set it at 8,000l.
Sir Richard Onslow. I like not this precedent. It is an
ill precedent for members to come in upon a petition. (fn. 3)
I consider Ireland as much as any man, but had rather
have it to-morrow; and that in the mean time you would
consider the proportions of your own counties, and then add
a tenth or a twentieth as you think fit.
Colonel Carter. I move you would give leave to speak
against your vote, and that in gratification of that honourable
person that brought in the motion, that denied himself, by
returning the favour that you were pleased to give him.
The question being put, that leave be given to-morrow
morning to speak against the vote, the House was divided.
The Yeas went out.
Yeas 71. The Lord Deputy and Colonel Jones, Tellers.
Noes 50. Mr. Nevil and Colonel Blake, Tellers.
So it passed in the affirmative.
The order of the day was read, and after altum silentium
for a while,
Mr. Bodurda. I could have spoken sooner, in respect of
the burden that lies upon the county for which I serve. (fn. 4) I
wish I could propound a proportion to you.
I have had occasion to look into your Journals, and find
that the rates were altered in a very thin House. The House
was divided upon the question, as it was the other day about
alteration of the rates. The Yeas were but 23; the Noes 19.
Then it was referred to the Committee of the Army to bring
in rates. Upon these rates the House was again divided; the
Yeas 28, and the Noes 16. So that the House was one time
but 42, and the next time 44. Many counties had not members to serve for them. The rates, before 1649, were set in
full Parliament. I desire that might be your rule.
Mr. Highland. Many that were abated then are now burdened, as Kent and Surry. Middlesex is most easy of any
in England. I would have it continue at the same, only for
six months, and regulate it when you have more time.
Mr. Bedford. I second the first motion, that that rule was
set in full Parliament; and I would have that be your rule
Major-General Haynes. This paper (fn. 5) is a pretty artifice,
and carefully printed and dispersed. It is on purpose, I
doubt not, to gain votes, because the number of counties that
were raised are the greater number. The paper does not set
forth what those counties paid before they were raised. I
shall not propound you the rule of ship-money, though I believe it was very equally laid. If the gentlemen go by those
rules, I can make it appear that not above six or seven counties paid the whole assessments. I doubt you will never do
it, county by county, unless you agree on a rule. I move
that you would go according to a pound's rate, at 12d. a
Mr. Young. I move that you would go by the 400,000l.
subsidy. I serve for the county (fn. 6) that was raised 600l. per
annum. But if you go county by county, you will never do
it, unless you agree on a rule.
Sir Richard Onslow. The ship-money was most equal,
unless that two or three counties were burdened by it. That
of Northumberland is a mistake. I confess it is not just to come
to the proportion, before 1649, though we should be eased by
it. We had none to represent us in Parliament then. (fn. 7) So
that, though we were of the association, (fn. 8) and stood in need
of ease, we were raised instead of it. I would have you go
by a pound rate, and let the surveyors be sworn, and then
they will make a true presentment; otherwise, if you would
go from county to county, and see which is eased, which is
raised, and you may take the rule (fn. 9) and abolish the name. It
is like physic in a dirty box—the physic is no worse.
Lord Strickland. I am sorry that gentleman can find no
other way to relieve his county than by setting up ship-money
again. There is a bridge over the water, he stands in no
need of a ship. He says that was laid out of doors, by persons that are of no county. I hope he will not say but they
are of some county. I know that was as unequally laid as
any tax whatsoever. I knew a tapster raised to a knight and
a great man, by raising ship-money so high in the town for
which I serve; (fn. 10) and as he got this height so he fell; for his
children, many of them may be fain to turn tapsters.
That gentleman said his county was in a fever, and therefore, though he got no remedy by it, he got change. So it
be but a change, it will please his country. I thought he
would have fetched his rule rather from divinity, on " them
that are given to change;" (fn. 11) but to fetch it from physic, it is
the first cure that ever I heard of that kind prescribed for a
fever, to change one's bed.
The debate not well relishing in the House, they presently
called to adjourn.
Mr. Bampfield brought in a Bill against gaming and betting, and persons that live at high rates. (fn. 12) The Bill was read,
and wanting a brief—
Mr. Speaker was casting it away, and said he was not able
to play at all those games without a brief.
It was moved for a day for the second reading.
Mr. West. I move that the Bill be returned back to the
gentleman that brought it in. I except against the extravagant powers; and that lawful games are forbidden, such as
bowling, which many honest men use. My Lord Protector
himself uses it. I would have some gentlemen added to the
Committee that are more favourers of lawful recreations.
Mr. Bumpfield. If that gentleman had understood the
Bill, he would not have excepted against it. It does not
prohibit bowling, but only unlawful games, and betting too
excessively. There were very honest worthy persons at the
drawing this Bill, Lord Whitlock, Sir L. Long, and myself. (fn. 13)
After a little while debate, the Bill was appointed to be
read the second time on Wednesday.
The orders of the day were read.
Mr. Godfrey. None of the rules of proportion propounded
are either equal or practicable; whether that of ship-money,
the 400,000l., or 120,000l. subsidy. You have a clause in
the Act, which was chalked out to you by the little convention, (fn. 14) as a way to bring it to an equality; but, in regard of
the straitness of time, you have always let loose that rule by
a proviso. Now you are likely to have time enough to find
out a way for yourselves. To this purpose, I would have
the rate set for the first six months as it is. Lay that by a
pound rate, and return the surveys against the next meeting.
By this you may trace it out in time, and, comparing the
proportions one with another, may draw out an equality at
your next meeting.
Mr. Speaker. I remind the House that the first three
months' assessments are to be paid in before Michaelmas next.
If you go to alter your rates, the assessments will come in
but slowly. I doubt you will fail in your design.
Major-General Whalley. I can find no certainty, nor any
equality, in any former rates; they are very disproportionable.
I am for a pound rate, but not for setting proportions; for
there will be a delusion in it. So every county da but pay
their sums, it is sufficient. I would have you lay it at 6d.
per pound, and the survey to be taken upon oath.
Major Audley. I second that motion: to wave the proportions, and to lay it at 6d. per pound for six months; and
that this may be done upon oath.
Major-General Disbrowe. I would have no proportion
set, but only 6d. per pound; and Commissioners appointed,
either by yourselves or my Lord Protector, who, upon oaths,
may inquire and give other persons an oath, to find out the
value of this. I durst undertake, in any county of England,
with some few joined with me, to know the rates, in a month.
Colonel Holland. If this will do your work, it will be the
most acceptable work that ever was done in Parliament. If
the people can understand that they are to pay but a fortieth
part, they will be glad. If you please, leave it to his Highness to appoint Commissioners.
Colonel Cox. Some have thought that this way would overdo it; others, that it would fall short. To save this, I would
have a clause in it, that, be it over or short, it may be employed, if made up, by or for the public use. But I would
have a strict way of punishing persons that do forswear themselves; and, I am confident, it may be very practicable.
Mr. West. I am glad to know this to be so practicable; I
rise up to second this motion; and that there be not only a
pound rate, but for every 20l. in goods the same rate.
Mr. Bacon. I rise up to further this motion; which is the
most equal way. There is a little book published of every
tax that has been laid in England, hidage (fn. 15) and the like; but
certainly, this of the pound rate is most equal. I would have
a Bill brought in to this purpose. I never knew in any assessments a due proportion upon the counties.
Mr. Bodurda. This is very plausible, but not very practicable. There will be more injustice in this way than in the
other. In some counties many let their estates on a rack-rent;
others for lives; others by old rents. I speak not upon a
prudential account, but. this is the way to discover every man's
estate; not only his real estate (and the land will bide still),
but every man's personal estate will be laid open. I must
examine what every alderman is worth; and the chief magistrate, knowing where the money lies, he and his army may
command it. I cannot tell what to offer, seeing you have laid
the other motion aside.
Lord Lambert. I doubt this will never be made practicable. You can intrust nobody in this, but such persons as
are concerned in it. You must allow Commissioners a salary.
This is a very uncertain and dilatory way, and will in no
measure answer your ends.
Sir John Hobart. I have heard all ways offered to proportion this tax, and find none so equal as ship-money. That
of the 400,000l. is most unequal; as, for instance, Devon,
which paid 30,000l. of that sum. But I shall lay aside all
these ways. You are now about a pound rate, and I have
had experience of it myself that it may be done, though it
be a great work; but if by this means you can come to an
equality, the people will pay 30,000l. more cheerfully than
if it were but 1000l., so there be an equality.
Mr. Disbrowe. Here is no wrong or damage to any man
in this, because the law imposes it. But all that is feared is;
that a man shall do wrong in paying 3d. by giving a false
value of his lands, when his neighbour pays 6d. I believe
there has been great wrong in that. These are the failings
I lay not much stress upon that way of an oath, because I
know not the force of an oath before Commissioners, or how
a false oath can be punished, unless it be in a court of record.
I had rather have a penalty upon the concealers, as in the case
of excise and customs. If it do fall short, the making trial of
it will do no harm; it is but making it up. As to that of
personal estate, is not every man as liable to have his estate
looked into as the assessments are now, and it will be no more
Mr. Vincent. I move that the other motion in the morning, (fn. 16) may be revived, about laying it, as in 1649, and that
must be your first question, if the way of a pound rate were
practicable. I hope, before you call your taxes just or equal,
you will consider the sufferings of those that have lost half
their estates in standing betwixt you and danger.
It was never known that men should be put to swear in
their own cases, so that both as to the modus agendi, and to
the thing itself it is impracticable. It is a new way, I shall
say no more of it. It is told you that what is overplus shall
go to the next month's assessment. We have lately had experience in the last six months, though grudging nothing
that is laid by his Highness and the Parliament.
Sir Christopher Pack. How practicable soever it may be
in the country, it is impracticable in the city. We have
some that have only trades, and no visible estates; and yet
are able to afford something to the Commonwealth.
Colonel Chadwick. This way is utterly impracticable. I
would rather that you would return to what it was in 1648.
Then there was a full Parliament, (fn. 17) now there is not. It was
always the care of our ancestors to keep off such courses.
Mr. Moody. I wonder to see such opposition to the question, which ought properly to be put for sixpence per pound,
as was first moved; it being so equal that none can except
against it. I humbly move that that may be your question,
and that you lay aside all the rest.
Sir Richard Onslow. It were well if this 6d. per pound
would do your work. Some say it should be double. That
would be well for you that pay 2s. per pound. As to that of
oaths, I am not so much for them; only I would have the
Assessments sworn to. Who know the estates of their neighbours ? They need not go to mathematical proportion. If
a jury find not above, but under the value, they are safe; for
if it be 12d. it comprehends 10d. As to that of the sufferings
of some parts, they have been eased for it; this is an individum vagum. For that of personal estates, the judges used
to say every man's estate was visible, &c. My motion is, that
it may be at a pound rate.
Captain Baynes. This way is most impossible, unpracticable, and, at the long run, will be most unequal. In several counties, I doubt, there will be great inequality. Gentlemen will labour to keep it down as much as they can; and
I doubt, that instead of giving my Lord Protector a substance, we shall give him a shadow. This will come to nothing.
I shall not be against any old rules; but if. you go by a
new way, I doubt you will lose your Bill. I do not find
any abatement for those counties that bore free quarter, or
that they are at all considered. I do not find it yet, though
I have examined the rates on the north side and the south
side of Trent, and on the south side of Thames, and find no
such difference as is spoken of. I am not afraid of any rate,
come to what rule you will; though the increase and decrease
of the buildings and the riches of this City accounts or another— (fn. 18) . Besides, king's, bishops', and dean and chapter lands, are made liable, (fn. 19) which were not before, and some
counties have more of these lands than another.
As to this plan of surveying, and searching into men's es
tates, it is that which your ancestors would never endure.
That the Chief Magistrate should know men's estates, was
always avoided. If you appoint strangers to survey, and I
should be sorry to be put upon that employment, I have
known counties ready to rise in arms, when surveyors were
coming into the country.
Colonel Shapcott. I move to have leave to speak against
your former vote. All ways that are propounded are very
inconvenient and impracticable, and have been tried in other
Parliaments, and before Committees, and could never be
Mr. Butler. The way of a pound rate may be very easy;
but I would have the proportions set. Otherwise, you know
not what to raise, and it will fall to nothing.
Mr. Bampfield. This would give a real ease to the county (fn. 20)
for which I serve, and I believe it would not raise half that
we are now charged with. Yet I apprehend it to be impracticable. It looks something like the numbering of the people.
If you take this course, you wholly lay this Bill aside, which
has been twice read, and you have not time to read and debate another Bill.
If you go this way to work, it will raise the greatest earthquake and disturbance that ever was in England. Honest,
conscientious men will make a just return; others less conscientious, cunning knaves, will venture at low rates, because
they know this will be a constant standard. I propound this
expedient; that yourself, the chair, appoint five persons;
one for the east, another for the west, another for the south,
another for the north, and a fifth for the midland. These five
to tax all the nation, except their own counties, and let the
House set it upon their counties.
Major-General Boteler. I doubt this will neither be practicable in the point of time, nor as to the thing. I wish there
had been three months' time to debate it. If you appoint
strangers to survey, I doubt you will raise greater disturbance than ever was in England. If assessors are appointed
to assess their neighbours, there will be great partiality. I
think that way of the 400,000l. is the most equal; but I
would rather move, that for six months' time you continue
it at the proportions it is now at. I doubt you have not time
now to alter it. You may spend two months in it at next
I doubt I speak against the orders of the House, and I
believe we must all come to that. My motion is, that you
give leave to speak against the vote you passed the other day.
Sir William Strickland. I move for leave to speak against
The way that is propounded looks like a court-project;
and though we have no cause to suspect any thing, as there
is now a confidence between the Chief Magistrate and the
people, we know not what may come next. Our ancestors
have always declined such courses. Patience has inured our
parts (fn. 21) to bear our sufferings. When you come to ease other
counties we shall hope for ease. In the mean time, I would
have us continue as we are, in regard of your time, either for
six months or for the whole time.
Major-General Disbrowe. I am convinced of the impracticableness of this, which I was so zealous in; and if I had
had the least jealousy that it was a court-project, I should
have been sorry to have moved it; but in regard, this way
will lay your Bill aside that you spent such a debate in, and
you have not time now, I move that for six months you continue at the present rates, and take it up after.
Sir John Hobart. The proper question is about a pound
rate, I desire that you would put that question.
Mr. Bodurda. My motion was the first question in order.
Mr. West moved, that the question about the pound rate
might be put, and that it was the proper question.
Colonel Purefoy. I move to have leave to speak against
your vote, and that for six months time you would continue
it, at the rate that is set already.
Mr. Bond. I had rather have a double charge upon my
county (fn. 22) than give way to such a precedent as to lay a pound
rate. I have been a week together at this, in the Long Parliament; (fn. 23) and we could never make it practicable. I should
be sorry to trust any Chief Magistrate to understand all
men's estates. The Alderman (fn. 24) tells you it is impracticable
with them. I remember a story, when the Bishop of Canterbury sent for Sir Thomas Soamer, a member that served
for the city, and would have him to discover the Aldermen's
estates, he would not, and was committed to prison; and this
was aggravated as an article against the Bishop of Canterbury.
Alderman Foot. The pound rate is altogether impracticable, especially in the city.
Colonel Sydenham. This is a very specious way, but it is
like some Acts, that have more inconvenience in the practice than in the notion. I would not have you put such a
disturbance and confusion in the nation as this will do. I
would have you continue it as it is for six months, and put
in a proviso, that at your next sessions you will take a
course better to proportion it. You have not time to do it
Sir Gilbert Pickering. I like the way well, by a pound
rate; but doubt that in your time you could not do it. I have
only one objection against it; the danger of assessors being
more favourable and partial in one place than another.
The debate running upon the motion for continuing the
assessments as formerly they were, the question was put,
and passed in the affirmative. (fn. 25) A proviso was also passed
to alter the' rates, as the Parliament should henceforth declare.
Colonel Philips moved, that a proviso might be brought in
to abate Cardigan, which pays eightpence and tenpence per
Sir Gilbert Pickering seconded that motion, and it was
referred to the Grand Committee to consider thereof.