Saturday, February 5,1658–9.
The House sat, ere I came in.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge was moving that the petition of
John Lilburne's (fn. 1) widow be read.
It was read, and referred to a Committee. (fn. 2)
Mr. Bodurda and Mr. Manley moved that Major-General
Ludlow sat, and had not taken the oath. (fn. 3)
Mr. Collins offered a petition against an unqualified member, and it was debated whether the other or this should be
Mr. Salway moved that the petition against the unqualified
member be read first.
The petition was read. It was from the inhabitants of
Worcester, that they had chosen Mr. Gyles, (fn. 4) but that Mr.
Streete, a person who had been in arms, and a common
swearer, was chosen by the profane rabble, and Cavaliers.
Mr. Weaver. I move that a Committee be appointed to
examine this business; also the qualifications of all members,
and that an order be placed at the door, that all persons that
know themselves in their consciences unqualified, may forbear
to sit, at their perils. This was done in the Long Parliament, and it was to good purpose. Many members left us.
Mr. Starkey. In regard this gentleman is a member, it is
his privilege to be heard in his place. Before you refer it to a
Committee let him be heard for himself. It is a condemnation, to speak before he is heard.
Divers members seconded this, but none seconded Mr.
The petition was read. It prayed that the Sheriff, on his
oath, bring in a list of the electors.
Ordered, that Mr. Thomas Streete, one of the members of
this House, named in the said petition, be required to attend
the House; and to give his answer to the House, concerning
the matters complained of in the said petition, on Tuesday
Mr. Bodurda renewed his motion, (fn. 5) and said that since he
moved, he perceived two or three more members were come
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. Let not such a thing as this interrupt your moved business. The debate will cause heat.
I desire not to question Scotland or Ireland, who have no
colour at all to sit. (fn. 6)
The oath is interpreted to a clear contrary sense than as I
took it. I hope such a dry bone as I am may do some help
in this work. I thank God, I begin to love all those that I
hated. I beseech you, put off this debate.
Mr. Trenchard. I move to put off this debate.
Mr. Starkey. Ratio suadit, authoritas vincit. I cannot
think this to be so slight a matter as to be put off. The law
is judge. The Petition and Advice: you will not let reason
or argumentation be against that. If it had not been now
moved, I could wish it had been left till Monday be over.
Let the law be read, and you declare it. That is all that is
Mr. Knightley. I would have this waved at present.
Sins of commission are greater than of omission. Those
touching your qualifications will, I suppose, be greater.
Mr. Henley. We come here upon the Petition and Advice; through which is the greatest bond of amity that can
be. We must stand upon this foundation. Where shall the
righteous stand, if the foundations be shaken ? Four hundred have taken the oath. Why should two or three refuse
it, or, at least, not forbear to sit till they have taken it ? Nature and reason require not to question the authority that
called us. If any members sit here that are profane, or have
been Cavaliers, and not given some signal testimony (fn. 7) of their
affection, they ought not to sit.
Mr. Mitford. I move majore ad minus. Most have taken
it, and all should; for twenty may come in on Monday, if
you pass this.
Mr. Neville. You have been often told you sit here on
the Petition and Advice. I hope you sit here by the people's
choice. I would not have that urged here, sit liber judex.
You are judges of the law.
The oath of allegiance was done by as free consent as ever;
yet it was resolved in the Long Parliament to dispense with
it in some cases. Oaths are of a subtle nature. (fn. 8) Not but
that any man may safely take this oath; for they are no part
of the legislature till they sit here, and it does not bind us
not to alter the legislature. We are free to debate any part
Mr. Trevor. We sit here, it is true, by the people's
choice, but upon the Petition and Advice. There is no
better way to preserve the peace of this House than by preserving unity; that we may all sit on one footing of account. There are a hundred members to come in; and
shall all these be admitted without an oath? The consequence would be dangerous. I hope you will not break in
upon your Petition and Advice, in such a great and essential
point as this.
Colonel Terrill. I do not conceive you sit upon the Petition and Advice, though I do very much honour it. It
was left imperfect. The English Parliament is called by
the law, the old writ, without reference to the Petition and
I shall speak to the business when it comes in debate.
Captain Hatsell. If we sit not here by the Petition and
Advice, all your enemies may sit here in your places. I am
sorry to hear this doctrine.
Mr. Scot. The qualifications are positive. The distribution relative; so you sit here by a lapse. It was the sense
of the Long Parliament to alter the distribution. (fn. 9)
That which frights you, is your Petition and Advice. The
essential of our title is from the people. This may be a sine
qua non. I will not say the contrary. The Chief Magistrate, he that exercises the power, has a very good army to
justify it. (fn. 10) I have heard of a law of Parliament every year,
and a triennial Parliament, (fn. 11) which, if not this way, might
have been called another way. These gentlemen are tender
Put off the other qualification till Wednesday; and if you
will debate, debate the three-score Scotch and Irish members; and have an account brought in to validate the members for Scotland and Ireland. I would have either an ad
journment or a preterition, that those that arc coinc in may
sit; and the others not sit till they be sworn.
Colonel Eyre. I was chosen the latter end of the Long
Parliament. I refused the oath. The Commissioners reported it to the House, that I scrupled it. The oath was
dispensed with, and I sat as a member.
Mr. St. Nicholas. I would have it either adjourned or
laid aside. You have precedents in the case, that oaths have
been dispensed with. I question if it was not Lord Fairfax's
case about the engagement. (fn. 12)
Mr. Manley. I would not have you put off this debate,
and shake foundations.
Mr. Chaloner. If it had not been for the Petition and
Advice, you had not sat here at this time. Yet we sit
not here on that Petition and Advice. You sit here by
the old laws. I question whether some are old enough to
take an oath.
Mr. Weaver. I wonder to see gentlemen so very zealous
in this. I hope you will give us liberty to debate it all over,
except the single person.
One hundred and twenty gentlemen of as much integrity as
themselves, without arrogancy I speak it, were kept out. A
dishonourable act. I shall move you in time that no such
abominable order may stand in your book; as to refer us to
a test without doors, after we sent in a letter. (fn. 13) Except it be
the single person, I hope we shall have a liberty to debate it
all. If you lay it not aside, I doubt all will come in question.
Take first the qualification of Scotch and Irish members (fn. 14)
into debate, as more honourable and more satisfactory to the
Sir William Wheeler and Colonel White moved to the
orders of the House. A gentleman in grey clothes had sat
three days; and being asked if he was a member, he refused to answer it. They desired he might be examined
It seems the fellow got out of the way, and the Serjeant laid hold on him. He was ordered to be brought
in, and pay his fines. He laid all the blame on Sir John
Being at the bar he was asked his name, he said William
King; and that he had a Petition by word of mouth; and
that Sir John Dethick gave him joy that he was a Parliament man, (fn. 15) and thereupon he came and sat; as not knowing
but he was chosen. (fn. 16)
Mr. Goodrick. This is the person that owned the pamphlet, the Twenty-five Queries, which has treason in every line.
It questions the nomination of his Highness; reflects likewise on this House, as if some members were about to betray
the liberties of the people. It reflects upon the Army, as if
no commission were of force since the Protector's death.
Colonel Grosvenor. This fellow was in the lobby, above,
all day; and pulled this pamphlet out of his pocket, and was
commending it to several members, and dispersed the same.
I move that he might be examined and sent to the Tower.
Mr. Knightley. A gentleman but stumbling in here! Sir
Petition, a new-made Knight!
Mr. Trotter. The like by mere ignorance! and much ado
to keep him from the Tower! You need not seek more
matter. You hear enough against him. It is a high breach
of your privilege. I desire that he may be committed to the
Tower, that you examine the pamphlets afterwards.
Mr. Launce. I will only add two things. This man gave
me one of those books. He says he was put upon it by one
Dethick. It may be, he is but the fool in the play.
Colonel Mildmay. I would have four or five members appointed to examine him privately. There may be more in it
than you are aware of.
Colonel Okey. I move that he be not sent to the Tower.
That is too chargeable a prison. I hope in time we shall regulate these things. (fn. 17)
Sir William Wheeler. I would have four or five appointed to examine him. It is a matter of great contempt. The
pamphlets should be examined.
Mr. Raleigh. I would not have him sent to the Tower.
You are not obliged to send him thither. You may send
him to any prison.
Mr. Speaker. The fellow said he had a petition, by word
Mr. Wharton. I move that he be asked if he owns the
Sir John Carter. I move that he be searched for papers.
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. (He came into the House today.) I never heard of the fellow. He is inconsiderable. I
moved that he be sent off to Newgate. I would not have him
Mr. Fowell. In this pamphlet of Twenty-five Queries, twenty-four are treason. (fn. 18) He labours to subvert the Government,
invites the army, ministers, all professions, to sedition, and
reflects upon the Parliament, as not freely chosen. I move
to examine the party by a Committee, or at the bar.
Colonel Birch. Haply this man may neither be a wise
man nor a fool. I would have him asked as to the book,
and his place of habitation, &c. It may be, he will discover
more. Let him withdraw, and then examine him by a Committee if you find cause.
Colonel Thompson. I move, that he be examined at the
Tower, or by a Committee; but, he being brought to the
bar, send him to the Tower.
Mr. Herbert. I have one of these books, delivered to me
by this fellow.
Mr. Hoskins. It is not an offence to have one of these
books; but I am sorry we are in such a distraction.
Mr. Drake. I would have him committed to the Gatehouse. Let him not have the honour to be committed for the
book. Refer that to a Committee, to examine the book.
Mr. Hungerford. I move not to make the Tower a prison
so common. Send him to the Gatehouse. That is more disgraceful.
Mr. Knightley. I move not to complicate the question.
His offence is high enough to have him committed. Else it
will be thought that we must pick some other fault, before
we can commit him. I would have him sent to Newgate.
Mr. Weaver. Examine him, for the honour of the natior
You may discover much for your service.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. You may often read in ancient journals, of men intruding into your House. Imprisonment was the
least punishment. I would not have the question complicated.
It is not proper to examine him upon his knees. Let him not
have that advantage against you, as to report he was committed for the queries.
The question put upon Newgate, passed in the affirmative.
Mr. Goodwin moved to send him to the Tower.
Mr. Knightley. This gentleman is born to bring us five
miles back, when we are at our journey's end.
Ordered, that he be called in and committed to Newgate
during the pleasure of the Parliament.
He came in on this, and said, "If I have done any offence
I will kneel: if your counsels be of God they will stand; if
not, they will fall."
On this he withdrew. (fn. 19)
He was called in again. He said he was born in Pope's
Head Alley. He is a vintner, a profession that has been oppressed. He never was a scholar since twelve years old, and
is glad he was not; for an elder brother, that was a scholar,
He said he was committed to Finsbury Prison, (fn. 20) and kept
in chains. He appealed to Sir John Dethick for redress.
He moved he might deliver his petition by word of mouth.
He denied, as he hoped to answer it before God, that ever he
delivered a book. This was contrary to what two members
had affirmed. He began to talk idly, and so was commanded to withdraw.
Colonel Allured. He had much wrong by being ordered to
be chained. It was the design of his brother to prejudice
him in his estate. (fn. 21)
Mr. Bodurda. I move that the business be referred to
the members for the city.
Captain Jones. He is a madman. After he has borne
a little of your punishment, you may set him at liberty as
you think fit.
Mr. Starkey moved to resume the debate about swearing
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I move not to take it up so late.
Let us rise and have pity on ourselves, the better to be
prepared on Monday; that, if God please, we may agree to
what he thinks is best for us.
Colonel Bennet seconded that motion.
Mr. Hoskins. I move to appoint a Committee about the
maintenance of ministers in Wales, as the minister moved
yesterday. (fn. 22)
Mr. Knightley seconded; and moved that the Committee
of Privileges be not prevented from sitting.
Sir John Carter. I second the motion of Mr. Hoskins;
and would have a Bill brought in by Mr. Hoskins. There
are many Commissioners appointed to judge of ministers, that
are against the ministry.
Mr. Freeman. I am glad the minister's doctrine has made
such an impression, that you take this into consideration.
There are 20,000l. per annum in South Wales. How it is
employed, I wish it were examined. Souls have been
Mr. Knightley. I Would have the northern counties included as formerly. I would have it examined by a Committee how the treasure was expended.
Serjeant Maynard. It seems the sheep are committed to
the wolf. Scandalous ministers, it seems, have scandalous
judges. (fn. 23)
Mr. Goodrick. I move that the northern part of Yorkshire be included.
Mr. Wharton. I move that the monies be accounted for,
and that it go all England over.
Mr. Lloyd. I move, particularly, for North and South
Wales, as the minister moved. Beggarly poor gentlemen are
of that Commission. Let it be helpful to their beggarly
Mr. Disbrowe. I would have Wales particularly referred
to the Committee of Religion, and the rest of the nation generally.
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. There is a vast treasure
arising out of these revenues. I never heard of any account. I have passed through Wales, and found churches
all unsupplied, except a few grocers, or such persons, (fn. 24) that
have formerly served for two years.
Sir Walter Earle. I move that the northern counties go
It was moved, and so ordered, that the question be divided,
and that there be several Committees appointed to examine
the revenues of the Church, and ministers' maintenance in
North and South Wales, Monmouth, the four northern
counties, and Yorkshire; and that all members that serve
for those places be of those Committees. The Committee
for Wales to meet on Tuesday, and for the northern counties on Wednesday next, in the Exchequer and Duchy
The debate about the oaths of the three members fell. (fn. 25)
The House rose at a little past twelve.
The Committee of Privileges sat in the House about the
business of the election for the county of Oxford, where
the dispute lay between Lord Falkland and Sir Francis
Resolved against Sir Francis Norris. Mr. Jenkinson (fn. 26) was
The debate about the borough of Midhurst was taken up;
but for want of time, adjourned. Serjeant Waller had the
Mr. Starkey and Mr. Goodwin moved, in the business of
Oxford, that a new writ go out, because of the uncertainty of
It was not seconded.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge said, he spent 1200l. in the beginning of the Long Parliament, which he felt yet; and gave
1600l. at first coming into the Irish war against the rebels;
so that he had something when he began.
One said he had well improved it.
"I have so," said he. "Time will work all things." (fn. 27)
The Committee adjourned till Tuesday. (fn. 28)