Tuesday, June 23, 1657. (fn. 1)
Mayor Aston pressed very much to get in Lord Aberga
veny's report, (fn. 2) according to former order, but it seems there
were divers petitions, to cross it, and the House, fearing the
trouble of it, laid it aside.
Lord Lambert. Mr. Collingwood, a prisoner, is at the
door. I desire he may be called in.
Colonel Jones and Sir William Strickland seconded. Others
called for the orders of the day.
After some debate, the prisoner was called in. At the
bar, on his knees, he denied utterly the matter of fact. (fn. 3) He
Mr. Fenwick stood up to excuse the business, and after
some debate, he was discharged.
Mr. Highland and others offered only to suspend proceedings till next sessions, and to examine the business then by a
I had a petition in my hand on behalf of Sir Robert Collingwood, the father, but there was no need to present it;
for the House were pleased to suspend the warrant till the
second Thursday of next sessions, and then Sir Robert to
appear. (fn. 4)
The Bill for the customs was read the third time. A proviso was offered about farming them and the Excise, which
would advance the revenue 130,000l. per annum.
Mr. Burton. I move against the clause. You will destroy
the revenue by it, and discontent the parties that pay it. I
move to have a clause for merchants' convoys. (fn. 5)
The Master of the Rolls. I am against farming of your
Excise and Customs. Though it may be that gentleman and
I are not so well understood, yet he spoke a great deal of
Lord Chief-Justice Glynn. I am against the proviso, and
would rather have a Bill brought in on purpose for it. There
may be conveniencies and inconveniencies.
Captain Baynes. If you intend a Bill, you must lay aside
Sir Christopher Pack. The customs were never so well
paid, nor with so much quiet, as when they were let out to
farm. It was both more satisfaction to the merchants, and
did advance the revenue.
The Lord Provost of Edinburgh offered a proviso, touching the small coal in Scotland, that it may pay but half
The proviso was read the first time.
Major-General Disbrowe opened the reasonableness of
the proviso, and said there was no more desired than was
Lord Chief-Justice Glynn. It is improper for any member to offer a proviso to a Money Bill without an order. The
reason is, because nobody can bring in a Bill for money without an order.
Captain Lilburn. I move that the proviso be read the
second time, for that I hope you will do the like for Newcastle. I have a proviso to that purpose.
Lord Strickland. This was fully debated at the Committee, and thrown out, upon this account, that they might make
all the great coal. We have a proviso of the same nature for
Judge Lawrence. It is impossible to break the great coal
into small, for then the coal will not cake; whereas Newcastle coal will cake though never so small. You always
made a distinction, and therefore I hope you will also do it
Major-General Whalley. It is not, I hope, against the
orders of the House, to offer a proviso in this case. You did
yesterday abate 30s. per ton to the vintners in 3l. by a proviso. (fn. 6) There is nothing offered in it but what was formerly.
It is only reasonable.
Lord Lambert. I move, for the same reasons, that the
proviso may be read. It is very reasonable.
The proviso was read the second time accordingly.
Captain Lilburn moved, that the small coal might pay 3s.
per ton, and for some other alterations in the proviso.
Lord Strickland. If you pass this proviso, you must
never look for other than small coal to come from Scotland.
I hope you will also consider Newcastle, for the pan-coal,
which pays as much as the other coal, without any abatement.
Mr. Disbrowe. You may as rationally argue that I shall
cut my doublet in pieces, the better to sell it in shreds. So
well may the great coal be broken into small coal.
The question being put, that the proviso be part of the
Bill, the House was divided.
Mr. Speaker declared for the Yeas.
Captain Lilburn for the Noes.
The Yeas going out, it was yielded by the Noes. (fn. 7)
Mr. Speaker was very unwilling to the question, and put
it thus: So many as are of opinion that this proviso to take
away half the customs upon small coal in Scotland, &c.
Major-General Disbrowe. Your time of rising draws
near. I desire to know, now, upon what foundation we are;
how we shall know how to act ? His Highness is under the
obligation of an oath to the former government, (fn. 8) and you
have in your Petition and Advice declared, that his Highness
shall take an oath. I would have some course taken in that,
to absolve his Highness from his former oath; and that you
declare to the people, in some solemn way, your alteration,
and that an oath may also be prepared for the people to take,
on the other hand; otherwise his Highness is in a pretty
dangerous case. I would have a Committee appointed to
consider of some way to propound to you of this nature.
Major-General Whalley, I shall not take up your time,
but only stand up to second that motion, that a Committee
Colonel Shapcott. There is more in that which you have
done. People talk of your having brought the power from
without doors. You have altered the constitution of the
government. We are not all one man's children. It is more
than stepping from Protector to Protector. I would have
some solemnity, to show that the government takes its
foundation by Act of Parliament. I mean not unction, and
the like; but a solemn publication and proclamation of your
Chief Magistrate, and that likewise an oath be prepared to
oblige his Highness to the people, as well as we are bound to
Colonel White moved, that some course might be taken to
settle the Council, in regard things are to be done by them
when we are parted.
Colonel Sydenham. This is a new motion to me, so you
will pardon me if I speak without premeditation. I am confident it is made with a good intention. As to that of an
oath, this nation has had no great settlement by oaths. We
ought to be tender in such cases. I had rather live under a
magistrate that is under no oath. If it once begin, it will
go through. Some, haply, will stick at nothing; others will
be left behind. There will be a great discrimination.
Promissory oaths to me are not so safe. How often have
governments been well thought on for a time, and afterwards
pulled up. To swear to things that are so alterable! It is
said they bind but to honest things; a Parliament may alter
it. If it bind not as to that, I pray what does it bind to.
I doubt it will prove a stumbling-block. I wish I may be a
very false prophet, that you may not, find it a snare to the
people of God. I wish it may be my single opinion. If you
will have an oath, I would have it congruous to former oaths.
I doubt it will otherwise be but to appoint a Committee to
ensnare men, good men. I must bear my testimony against
Mr. Drake. It is agreed by all that God's vicegerent
should take an oath, and it is as much agreed on the other
side that the oath should be reciprocal.
I would have a Committee, not only to prepare the one
but the other, and likewise the manner of publishing your
Sir Charles Wolseley. I should be as tender in point of
oaths as any man. I am against introducing a promissory
oath all the nation over. I shall only speak to what you
have done. You have agreed of an oath, so that the motion
against that is irregular. The oath is to be agreed upon by
the Parliament and his Highness; and if the Parliament
part, how can his Highness act upon the Petition and Advice containing a new government, and nothing to put him
in a capacity to act upon it ?
I would have the oath as general as may be, to govern us
by the laws. The motion cannot be denied. I take it for
granted that my Lord is disobliged from his former oath;
for if the new Instrument be of force, the other is null. Now
as to that of the Council, their oath is also at an end. I wish
this present motion had been made sooner. I would have a
Committee appointed to this purpose, that every man may
know where he is, and what is his duty.
Lord Lambert. That which, I think, is propounded to
you is, that it be examined upon what foundation you are.
Many things in the Petition and Advice are of great concernment, but this which is pitched upon is, in my opinion,
none of the greatest, but the least. The fruits of oaths promissory have not been so much formerly, that they are now
to be insisted upon. Suppose it have its ends, so as to
crush or strain the conscience of those that have faithfully
served you, and will still go on to serve you. If it should
light upon a few such, I do not think it will either do you, or
his Highness, or the nation, service. If any thing can be
done that tends to oneness or unify, I would fain be at that
Committee; but I think that which is moved may well stay
now, and it is no best season for it.
Sir Richard Onslow. If ever a season, certainly now. The
people abroad conceive that two governments are now a-foot;
and his Highness may be obliged to either. This was always
done upon a new settlement. All justices, judges, &c. are
sworn, and why the Chief Magistrate should be disobliged, I
know no reason. It is the greatest obligation the people can
have. What the oath shall be is not now in debate; or whether it shall be general, to all, or to all persons in trust. But
for that oath of his Highness, it must be done, because in
your petition. I would have a Committee to prepare.
Mr. Highland. I doubt they are oaths that make the land
mourn: what need of any more? His Highness was once
sworn as Protector: he is no more, now. After a justice of
peace is once sworn, be the commission never so often renewed, he shall swear no more, unless he have been put out. His
Highness is not put out, or deposed. I find not that magisstrates in Scripture did often take oaths. His Highness is
under as great an obligation as you can tie him to. Your best
friends expect no oaths, though it be told you the people expect it. The learned judges attended at that time, and swore
his Highness. (fn. 9) I know not what you swear him to more. It
was their opinion, that they were upon a good foundation. I
shall humbly move, no further oaths may be taken by my
Major-General Jephson. I was loath to take down that
gentleman, whose whole speech tended against both the Orders of the House, and an Act of Parliament. I shall not
enter into the merits of the case; but it is expressly against
what you have ordered. We ought to be tender in doing
Lord Lambert stood up and moved, that he spoke not
against an oath, but only against the timing of it; which he
hoped he might speak to.
Captain Baynes. We ought to be tender in putting contrary oaths upon his Highness. He has already taken an
oath to rule according to the laws; and is not your Petition
and Advice now a law ? I wish you would not put any inconsistency upon what his Highness has sworn to, with this
you now intend.
There are many things yet unpresented in the Petition,
as the nomination of the other House, &c. If you will have
any, this may stay as well as the other. It is not so seasonable now. The House is thin now, and next meeting may he
Colonel Jones. I agree with that worthy gentleman, in being tender in putting inconsistent oaths upon his Highness;
but I cannot agree about the time. Certainly, now is the
best season; rather than to leave his Highness in a doubt
that he is obliged by his former oath, and yet must take a new
one; or that another government is a-foot, and the Chief Magistrate in suspense which to act by. I had rather, avowedly,
go back to the former government.
Colonel Sydenham. We are under a great mistake; whence
it comes, I know not. I only spoke to be tender of putting
oaths upon his Highness. He is already obliged by an oath.
There is never a word in that book, (fn. 10) to impose an oath upon
Parliaments, or upon the people. I said, I had rather be under a magistrate that is under no oath, than have, by an oath,
all the nation and people consequently drawn in. I may say,
at any time, my cloak is mine; but I need not always swear it.
His Highness and the Council, upon taking away the Engage
ment, (fn. 11) published a declaration against all oaths. (fn. 12) It was a
sad thing of that cavalier who denied a Parliament could do
any thing. Answer: They could not make such an oath as
he could not swallow.
Major-General Boteler. These things might well have been
spoken at another time. Three things are insisted upon.
1. A congruity with former oaths. That is impossible.
2. The time of it. For my part, now I think is the only
time. I think we are in an inter-regnum; but that my Lord
cannot exercise government without this oath, I cannot tell.
3. For the matter of it. I cannot say those who have
spoken to it have spoken unseasonably. I think this is the
only time. That is my. opinion; and that it may be speedy,
is my motion.
Lord Strickland. I would be sorry, that it should be so
impossible as that gentleman moves, to make the oath congruous. I hope it will be so carefully penned as to absolve
his Highness from that part which cannot be made congruous.
Major-General Boteler stood up and explained himself, as
to the impossibility of the congruity: that if the governments
differ, the nature of the oath must be also different.
Major Audley. This oath has stayed a month: it may
well stay till next meeting.
Lord Whitlock. It is strange logic to say, because we
have been a month under an inter-regnum, we must therefore
be longer so. As to that of one oath serving for both, it is
clear, though his Highness be sworn to act according to
the laws, yet he is also bound to the old government; and
this is clearly a new government, and so, consequently, requires a new oath. By the setting up a new government, he
is disobliged from the former. It is but ad subjectum materiæ:
otherwise it would be hardly authorized by most gentlemen
here that have taken former oaths.
The Master of the Rolls. If I had not a near friend, and
my heart, that prompt me to speak, I would speak plainly. I
always thought that by the Petition and Advice, the Instrument was out of doors. To prevent all ugly suspicions and
jealousies, I would have it quite pulled down, and declared
so. Some persons will ask us, by what government we sit ?
But, as to the time of this oath, I cannot think it is so fit. I
look upon this as but an embrio, very imperfect yet. What
shall his Highness be sworn to ? I would speak as if it were
my own case. I should not take an oath till it were perfect.
As to that of his Highness being obliged by his former
oath, it is clearly to be understood that he is discharged from it,
really and clearly. As I shall answer it before God, I believe
it, he is absolved from the tie by the former government; it
being taken away. I cannot conceive, as the case stands now
before you, but that either you must prepare an oath for his
Highness, or a reciprocal oath.
Colonel Cox. My respect for his Highness makes me speak
one word, why I think this is not a season to put this oath
upon his Highness. He is under one already; and though it
is true he was by that oath obliged to the government, yet
he is now free as to that; and I think those that contrived the government were soonest weary of it. It looks like
as if his Highness had betrayed his former trust, and you
must now rebind him. Like two persons that are legally divorced, if they come together again, they must be married
again. I grant it is the custom of all countries, upon change
of government, to take an oath: but I think you are not at
present prepared for it.
Sir William Strickland. Of late, we have had a very
great weight of oaths upon us. We had an oath used to stand
here, the Covenant; (fn. 13) I wish it had not been taken away. I
would not have us to think of an oath without trembling.
This is a thing not of such haste. Sudden doing may offend
God; deliberation cannot. We are but a thin House: not
having the number, I would have the greatest advice that
may be in this matter. I am sorry I have taken up so much
of your time. My motion is, that you would not think of it
at this season.
Mr. Bampfield. It cannot be conceived that a person
bound by a former oath is disobliged by taking another. If
by setting up a new government, and without an oath he be
disobliged from former oaths, what present need is there of it?
In all History that I have read, I never found that oaths
have been any great tie upon the Chief Magistrate, not to
reflect upon all. But if the persons were not bound by a
principle of conscience, it will be hard to find that an oath
bound. If you see that the tie of conscience will do without
an oath, what need have you to impose it ? Whether such
an oath as this may not weaken your hands ?
Probably, in the Council, some may scruple, and so elsewhere. If it keep but one good able man out of the Council,
or the Parliament, the nation may have need of that one.
Perhaps the desire of doing good may strain and force men
to sin. I do not see but his Highness is bound sufficiently
by his consent to the Petition and Advice, without an oath.
For that it may be an occasion of evil, a weakening of your
hands, I beseech you that you would not do it now.
Lord Lambert. Your question is complexed. It is of
three parts. I desire they may be severally put.
Mr. Grove. I second that you would divide the question,
for it is a very complicated question.
Others moved that in regard it is not binding, but only
leaves it to the Committee to present their opinion, there is
no further danger in it.
Mr. Speaker. I hope if you divide the question, every
man will not take the liberty to speak to it over again.
The Master of the Rolls. They ought not to speak again.
The question being put upon the first part, as to preparing
of an oath, the House was divided. The Yeas went forth,
for though it was already by Act of Parliament declared that
an oath should be taken, yet it was new to appoint a Committee to prepare that oath.
Teas 68. Major-General Disbrowe and Colonel Philip
Noes 51. Colonel Sydenham and Colonel Sankey, Tellers.
Mr. Speaker declared for the Yeas.
Lord Lambert and Colonel Sydenham for the Noes.
The other two questions were put and passed, without any
debate. (fn. 14)
A Committee was appointed for these purposes, to withdraw at the rising of the House.
Mr. Fenwick moved that the Bill for the borders (fn. 15) might be
read now, which was short and would ask no debate.
Colonel Shapcott moved to read the Bill of Indemnity now,
and that the other Bill might be read to-morrow.
Sir William Strickland and Mr. Vincent moved for a day
for the Bill of Probate of Wills. (fn. 16)
It was again moved to read the Bill of Indemnity, (fn. 17) which
was read accordingly; and, after some amendments and alterations, agreed to pass for a law.
Vide what was done more. (fn. 18) I went out.
Richard Stayner, captain of the Speaker's frigate, received
the honour of knighthood at Whitehall, for his several good
services at sea, &c. See the Diurnal. (fn. 19)