Wednesday, February 9, 1658–9.
The members stayed till nine for the Speaker's coming.
After that he came, and Mr. Cooper prayed.
The House resumed the debate adjourned yesterday, upon
the Bill for Recognition of his Highness, &c.
Mr. Neville. I would not hinder your business for a world.
There are some petitioners at the door. All have honest,
old faces. I desire they may be called in.
Mr. Knightley. Till your House be full, turn not your
face on any petitioners. If it be good, take it. If you like
it not, let it alone.
Mr. Weaver. I move that the petitioners be called in.
Captain Baynes. I am glad to see the people in love with
their representative again. It was never denied to call in
Sir Henry Vane. The people were never denied to petition. I leave it with you if Whitehall give any discouragement to petition. The addresses, (fn. 1) I suppose, are received.
Mr. Bacon, Mr. Starkey, and Mr. Pedley moved, that it
was against the order of the House, to let any thing intervene, and no man could speak against it without leave.
Sir William Wheeler. I apprehend not that the petition is
of such consequence as to obstruct so great a business as is
before you. This may hold all day.
Mr. Scot. Petitions were never denied, and you will spend
more time in debating whether it shall be read or no, than
you would do, if you should read it.
Mr. Steward. Nothing can come in of more consequence
than is before you. I would have another day appointed for
hearing the petition.
Colonel Okey. I move to have the petition taken in. I
am glad the people do own their representative. It was once
Mr. Hoskins. I am against the reading of the Petition,
as against the orders of the House.
Colonel — (fn. 2) . If those gentlemen (fn. 3) go away without
seeing your faces, it will discourage abroad.
Mr. Knightley. The gentleman has moved for reading it;
yet the sense of the House being against it, I would have two
or three gentlemen go out and acquaint the petitioners, that
as soon as ever this debate is over, they shall be called in.
Colonel Gorges. There is no exception against the petition, but against the timing of it. At this rate, if you break
in upon your orders, you shall be interrupted every hour.
Lord Lambert moved to have the petitioners called in presently. He made a long speech.
Colonel Allured seconded the motion, that the petitioners
be called in, and a day appointed for reading of it.
Mr. Disbrowe. Nothing can be of greater concernment
than what is before you. The eyes of all nations are upon
you, to see what you will do concerning the owning your
Chief Magistrate. I would have nothing come in the balance with it. Because three or four are waiting at the door,
should you put off a business of this nature, of greatest concernment ?
Lord Falkland. I move, that two or three members be
sent out to acquaint them that the petition shall be read, as
soon as the great business is over.
Mr. Danby. I move, that it be referred to the Committee
of Grievances, which sits this day.
Sir Walter Earle. I have no skill in physiognomy. It
matters not to me that they are old faces. (fn. 4) I second Mr.
Ordered, that Sir Walter Earle, Mr. Enightley, and Colonel Gorges acquaint the petitioners, that as soon as ever the
great business is over, their petition shall be read, and the
said members went out accordingly. It seems they were well
The orders of the day were read, and the question on the
Bill of Recognition, called for.
Mr. Speaker. The debate of yesterday was not reduceable
to a question. The proper question is, if this Bill shall be
Colonel Kenrick. The Bill stands in need of commitment.
There have been various debates upon it.
1. The debate seems to invalidate what was done in the
Long Parliament, to validate and advance what is before
you. I own no spiritual nor outward liberty, but from the
2. It is told us, that we have taken an oath at the door;
by which we cannot clearly understand the Chief Magistrate's power, whether he assume it, as his father did, or has
it from the Instrument, or that this Parliament should give
it him. It is fit our oath should be understood. I see no
reason, but as those gentlemen took away the Government
from the Instrument, so we may take it away now from the
Petition and Advice.
It is said, that the Petition and Advice came in by better
authority. But whoso considers the last Protector's speech,
will find he thought he had as good authority, by the
Instrument of Government, and as many witnesses for it, as
this can have. I am sure he said, no prince in Christendom had a better title than he had. Therefore, I hope we
shall not be hurried on, to take us off, before we know where
The matter is, the investing of a power in the Chief Magistrate. I would gladly know, what the office of this Chief
Magistrate doth imply; what is involved in it. I would
have it understood, whether the House of Lords shall be
appurtenances to this Chief Magistrate; whether the militia,
negative voice, and an uncontrolable power, shall go along
with it. Your learned counsel were taken from the bar,
when pleading for your liberties. (fn. 5) If the power of thus sending gentlemen to prison, or the prerogative of these things
go along with the office, then I look upon it as the King's
cause, and the maintenance of his quarrel.
So far from giving my voice clearly to this business, till
these things be cleared up, I had rather lie in Newgate till
God deliver us.
I desire it may be committed, that we may certainly know
what we give.
It is between you and the Chief Magistrate now, as between a widow and her servant that go to be married. The
man will offer all things very fair; but unless she make all
things sure before marriage, when he is married, he will tell
her then, that all is his by virtue of his office.
Colonel Gorges. I never rise to speak without great fear.
I never heard it declared that you fought against King,
Lords, and Commons.
If Hannibal be ad portas, (fn. 6) it is not to fright you but to excise you. It is an ill doctrine that promissory oaths bind, as
that gentleman says. If promissory oaths cannot be dispensed
with, we are in a sad condition. Oaths are assertory, or promissory. If I swear I see you in the chair, and do not, I
swear amiss; but if I swear I will see you there to-morrow,
that is subject to a condition and limitation, that is, if it
please God to send me strength, or the like.
I shall give my ready consent to the single person and a
House of Lords. The more checks, the better the Constitu
tion. You are not ripe to determine what you will have the
other House. What the Long Parliament was, for reasons
of state I shall not say. It was for interest. I would have no
reflexions on the Lord Protector. I would have them quietly
to lie in their graves. I hope they shall never rise again.
I never read of a Commonwealth able to stand without war.
A general may make himself chief, when he pleases. Venice (fn. 7)
is beholden for their quiet to their situation. It was ill said
of a sober person: "a French parasite." (fn. 8) Those that are for
Commonwealth, are but to bring us into confusion.
I know not what is meant by your restrictions. I would
not give away a tittle of your right. If thus you qualify it,
the question will be whether the Protector shall be Protector,
till you have agreed on the limitations. The militia naturally goes with the legislature. Every sheriff and county
has it. Our ancestors never disputed it. The negative voice
was never denied the Chief Magistrate, only he was bound
to deny no law that was offered from the people. (fn. 9) What is
exorbitant in the Petition and Advice, I would have it
Mr. Stephens. Here has been much said on a Parliament
that was too much on the part of pulling down. They were
at last pulled down themselves. I was of that Parliament.
I hope I am now of a Parliament that will be as much
for building up. I was never of that opinion, that a minor
part should supplant a major part by force or fraud. Non necesse est, vivere, est, bene vivere, and via recta est via tuta. I
have observed that a packing of Parliament, or a packing
in Parliament, can never have good success. De malo quaritis, non gaudet tertio Hœres. The Act of the Parliament,
21 Rich. II. was repealed by 1 Hen. IV. The Parliament
1 Mariœ, established the Pope's power and authority, as a
string when strained too high at last breaks. It did so in
the hands of all kings. It did so in a Parliament. So it may
be in a Protector. I am for the constitution we lived under;
for building up the ancient fabric.
1. Because we lived peaceably under it for many years, and
the nation prospered.
2. Because the nature of the people doth best agree with
I am for building up that structure, but not with untempered mortar: never with flattery and fear.
The noble person that we find in the Government, I know
him not; but the character of him, abroad, and here. He has
much gained the affection of the people. Not such an one to
be had, none so deserving. Not that I am ready to give
away my liberty.
The question is only executory, not declarative; only as a
direction to your Committee. I would have you go to the
question as you have propounded it, with the limitations and
Major-General Packer. I am very unable to utter my
thoughts, so as to contribute to the great work that lies before you.
I am one among many others, that were guilty of the
errors of these latter times, and of the irruptions of the
privileges of this House; for which I humbly ask you forgiveness. I was led into this mistake upon a double consideration.
1. Being made to believe that the great work of reformation was not likely to be carried on in this House; or
otherwise than by contracting the power into one hand, especially such an one as we had fixed upon. I confess, like a
sick man, I have been driven and tossed from bed to board;
but now I am heartily glad we are returned into this way;
that necessity has brought us back to the same opportunity
2. An apprehension I had, never to get liberty or freedom
of conscience from this House; but I have been ready to
check myself often since, considering all liberty of this kind
hath originally flown from hence. I confess, I have a little
need of some indulgence in that point. I hope I am on the
great foundation of religion, the same with all. I have seen,
of late, that those good people of this nation, that are desirous of liberty of conscience, are now more willing to ask
liberty at your doors than any where else. I am one of
those. The good people that have feared your severity in
that point, are now willing to seek it here. I hope the two
great interests of religious and civil liberty shall never be
parted. It has been an observation in this election, to bring
those good men in here again, that were for good men's liberty. I say it to my shame, I have been one of those that
have opposed some of those liberties. But to the point in
This is a Bill of very great weight. I admire that the
persons that brought it in, being men of integrity, should be
so pressing, to have it pass so speedily. I have exceptions
to the particulars of the Bill.
I. To recognize his right and title. This implies an establishment, a right already. I am afraid that word carried
too much in the late Petition and Advice. I beg your pardon if I say amiss. I am sorry it should be driven on in so
preposterous a manner. It hath been said, that it (fn. 10) is next
the Gospel, a thing inviolable; and so, unnecessary to subject it to the approbation of this House. There could
nothing be said more of a Government, than was said of the
Instrument. I was of that House; and, by reason of my relation, I had such an obligation to that person, who, I hope,
is now in heaven, that it was expected I was bound to be
thorough-paced in every thing.
There was a clause in the Instrument of Government, at
which I could not but rejoice; a clause to qualify the members, which the last Parliament did rather enlarge than
straiten. The qualifications in the Petition and Advice, were
very considerable: "men fearing God, and of integrity."
When persons speak words in one sense now, and after interpret them in another, it should make us cautious what we
should do. Those very words were interpreted, that those
only were men of integrity that should comply with that
Government. One hundred were kept out, (fn. 11) upon straining
This Parliament went on very successfully: as many good
men and good things on the whole, as ever were in any Parliament. Suddenly and unexpectedly, one that is now dead,
Major-General Jephson, (fn. 12) made a motion to break in upon
this. After this, a gentleman came with a paper in his
hand. (fn. 13) He is now in the other House, and well deserved
to be. He said he had found by Providence, a paper; I
know not where. The poor gentleman was tossed from place
to place, down almost as far as the bar, and then he was
brought up again. Providence ordered it so, as brought
him to his place, near the chair.
Some gentlemen spoke twenty times a day, posting all,
like the formality of a Bill. At length, it must be done. It
could not be done by way of Act. That expects too great
deliberation. Therefore, it must be done by the readiest
way, by way of Petition and Advice. Necessity drives it
on. It must pass. I saw the Bill before it came in. It
was for making King, Lords, and Commons; and it prayed
the Protector to assume kingly government. It was an ill
precedent, that it was not in the power of the Parliament to
give, but he must assume.
I concur that the gentleman deserves the government as
well as any man in the world, but I would have him settled
upon a better foundation; against which there is no just exception.
II. As to the body of the Bill, "Whereas his Highness
became Protector by the death of his father." A strange
expression, Sir. He did not do so. He became so, if he be so
at all, by the Petition and Advice, by the declaration or nomination of his father, or a proclamation from the Council.
He became so "by the death of his father!" This is, tacitly, to admit his title hereditary. Why so did King Charles
on the death of King James; and this brings in hereditary
government by a side wind. I believe, for all that, he would
be glad of your sanction or establishment.
Oh! but he had many addresses, and he would magnify his
office. I would not lay much stress on the addresses. If
the King of Scots had landed at Dover, and had a force, he
might have had as many addresses, and by another sort of
people. Such are easily obtained. (fn. 14) The people are like a
lock of sheep. I shall not here insist upon the horrid and
intolerable flatteries in most of them. I commend the dis
cretion of the Intelligencer, that has husbanded them so well
as to have our allowance for every week, and not yet to have
done with them. But the blasphemies in them are intolerable. Naylor was committed and whipped for lesser blasphemies than those in the book. I shall for example sake
propound them to the Committee for Religion, that there they
may receive discountenance and a check. (fn. 15)
I perceive there is a great design to settle things in a hurry.
To that end we are affrighted with dangers from Holland.
But, thanks be to God! London Bridge is between us. You
may sit here two or three months without danger of the
Dutch. I wonder that was not used as an argument when
the Long Parliament was dissolved. I ask your pardon for
it. The seamen minded not who was at their backs, but who
went before. A more honourable war was never undertaken
than that with the Dutch, and yet, in the midst of that war,
that House was broken. (fn. 16)
After, the little Parliament was dissolved, when that very
affair was in hand. Yet that Parliament then was dissolved,
and the war went on. I wish that peace, when it was concluded, had not been made upon very carnal and bad grounds.
There was an interregnum for a month.
I wish your Bill had been a Bill of Recognition for the
Army; forty weeks pay behind, as I am informed. This had
been a good argument, if it had been to recognize the soldiers,
and to move for something of relief for them. I do not think
the recognizing the Protector will sink one Holland ship, or
affright one enemy. Your men and monies must do it.
There is no need of a previous vote. This previous vote
will hereafter come into the Bill, and will work in time. Let
us not, as we have done, play an after game. The importunity
of passing it so hastily, makes me jealous. Experience tells
me it is contrary to what wise men do. Oh! but the Protector is a good man ! What should we fear ? Give us good
laws rather than good men. I will trust more to good laws
than to the best men. These are snares. We had a good
man before; we all thought so: but he had his temptations.
God hath left it upon record that he did not answer all the
trust that was put in him.
A good man had a loving child, and this good man would
settle all upon this loving child. A year after we find this
good man sitting in the chimney corner. Every thing
then sets off the love of the child; if he give him but
a pittance for a pound, he is a good child. But when I
settle my estate upon, my child, though never so good, he
shall take my estate with a schedule; a plain bargain annexed
It best becomes a grave council, to see your work before
you; or you may give away what you will be glad, with all
your heart, that you had to give again. I shall insist upon
1. If you vote he shall be Chief Magistrate, who shall
judge how far that expression shall extend? You shall not
judge, the Chief Magistrate shall interpret.
In the last Parliament there was a thing called the "other
House." Never was any thing brought in with more sugarsweet and plausible words. It shall be a. check upon restraint
of liberty of conscience. There shall be no bringing in of the
old nobility. This makes me suspect we are going to the same
things. I thank God I was none of those that gave it my
vote. It died at first and was buried; but in the next session it rose up again, as I have good cause to know. Then,
it seems, it was judged a Lord's House, except for some limitations. I thought it was not a Lord's House, but another
House. But for my undertaking to judge this, I was sent for,
accused of perjury, and outed of a place of 600l. per annum.
I would not give it up. He told me I was not apt: I, that
had served him fourteen years, ever since he was captain of
a troop of horse, (fn. 17) till he came to this power; and had commanded a regiment seven years: without any trial or appeal,
with the breath of his nostrils I was outed; and lost not only
my place, but a dear friend to boot. Five captains under my
command, all of integrity, courage, and valour, were outed
with me, (fn. 18) because they could not comply; they could not say
that was a House of Lords. Divers in this House are sufferers of the same kind. When you come to settle the militia,
I shall make use of it, that you may consider your old servants, and not leave the single person the judge; not place
it where the army and officers may all be blown away by the
puff and breath of one man.
Who then shall be judge of this important matter. Westminster Hall knows it as well as A. B. C. that the judges
were of different opinions lately, both in the North and in
the West, and perhaps they will be doubtful whether a Chief
Magistrate in a state be the same with a King upon his
throne. One jury may find for the Protector, another not.
I think you have as able and learned judges as ever sat
upon the benches; yet they are men: interest has swayed
them, as it has swayed me. I am ashamed to tell you how
far fear, respect, and hope of preferment have made me swerve
from what my conscience thought just. Perhaps others may
be subject to the like infirmities. Coney's case I will not
judge. Learned men were carried to the Tower, as it was
told you. A gentleman imprisoned could not get a lawyer to
plead for him. (fn. 19)
The Judges in the King's time, I will not say they were
perjured, but there are great temptations where the sword
and where the money lie. Has not a single person power to
put out or in those that will not judge for him ? If a judge
will not judge to-day, he shall be no judge to-morrow.
But how shall the judge determine what is the power of
the Chief Magistrate ? Is the law so dear in that point ?
I own the law, and hold all that I have by it; but do
the laws determine where the militia and the negative voice
shall be ? If determined, what was the reason of all the late
wars ? Either the law is not dear, or interpreters have been
biassed. Latter ages have smarted for what it is said our ancestors did, in not meddling with a debate on the negative
If they do not judge according to the old law, they must
judge by the Petition and Advice, and should they so judge,
that will go a great way indeed; for by deductions and
consequences, merely from the oath, he would make us to
swallow the whole Petition and Advice, even the Lords' House
to boot, and for not doing that I was esteemed perjured.
I shall not say the Petition and Advice was unduly, but
unseasonably and importunatdy obtained. I would rather
choose my habitation under the most arbitrary Government
in the world, than under this Petition and Advice without
its being amended.
He hath 130,000l. per annum settled upon him, besides
60,000l. more. This is at his disposal. (fn. 20) He is sworn, indeed, to follow advice of his council; but I will speak nothing how easy a council may be swayed. He hath an army
of forty or fifty thousand soldiers to assist him, besides a
navy. Was the King's militia ever to be compared to this ?
to a standing army, (fn. 21) all depending upon the breath of his
nostrils, and with 1,900,000l. per annum to gratify them, be
sides their pay ? The militia in old times was nothing to
this. Those were men of interest and estates, that would
not be easily biassed; gentlemen of quality, who had not any
pay; not to be compared to a standing army, which may be
swayed. Besides all this, he hath power also to confer what
honours or powers he pleases, places, monies, and what not.
I hear a rumour that the army thought they should have a
General. They made some address. It was ill resented.
Ay, but you have the purse. But, indeed, he may live
without you, for all that. If he be a little straitened, it is
but making a peace with Spain, or retrenching his army a
little, and he may. make a pretty chest, to live without your
Power may alter good men. He has a negative upon you,
you may be dissolved to-morrow. What power have you ?
Ah! a Chief Magistrate with such a power and a negative
voice, who would have ever thought to have seen this?
Sir, why should we, by such a vote as this, give away that
in gross, and by wholesale, which we must expect to beg
again by piecemeal ? We shall have to go and say, "We beseech you, as an act of grace, give the poor Commons a little
of their own." We gave him a talent, and perhaps after
much and humble entreating, he will return us a farthing;
and when we get any thing, we must still pay dearly for it.
I am sorry to transgress, by my long speech, the wholesome rules you gave us at your chair. (fn. 22) Upon the whole matter, I humbly move, that you refer the whole to a Committee
of the whole House, to consider of such qualifications as are
fit to be added to it; and be not entangled with a vote. If
this may not be, then make the. previous vote, as was said
Mr. Trevor stood up to speak.
Mr. Weaver excepted, saying, he had spoken twice before.
Serjeant Maynard. I move, that he have leave. Indeed,
if a debate be adjourned, he cannot speak again; but if adjourned only from day to day, a man may speak again.
Lord Lambert. I move, that he have leave to speak.
Mr. Trevor. I value the orders of the House more than
any thing I could speak.
Mr. Cartwright. To add any qualifications will not be
for the Protector's advantage; because then it may be taken
away again; nor for the people's advantage, because, before,
the Protector governed by his own will. Then comes the Petition and Advice, and limits him to govern according to the
laws. This question says he shall not govern but as this
House shall agree. Now, suppose, before you have qualified
him, he should dissolve us. Then he will be left to govern
us by will as before, therefore, it were better to let him stand
as he does. I would have a previous vote, that nothing shall
be of force that you now pass, till all shall be agreed on.
Colonel Fielder. It is a mistake to say we are not now governed by law. As to the objection that it was not a free
Parliament; if this be void, then others are also void. I
hope this Petition and Advice will hold as a law, though in
some things imperfect. If it be a law, it must have the formalities of repealing it. Add to it what you please. I
would part with none of that.
There is nothing clear in the Petition and Advice to limit
the negative voice, but that of money; which your Chief Magistrate will stand more need of than you will do of laws;
having the old laws. I move to have the words added, "according to the Petition and Advice."
Mr. Knightley. I am sorry to hear that doctrine, that the
Petition and Advice is the foundation of your rights, rather
than Magna Charta, (fn. 23) the statute De Tallagio, (fn. 24) and the Pe
tition of Right. (fn. 25) I would not have it named. Haply you
will think it fitter to pass it in silence than to arrange it here.
I would have those words left out.
Sir Henry Vane. (fn. 26) I know very well the great disadvantage that any person suffers, that in this great and grave assembly shall, at this time a day, offer you any thing. You
have spent three, days in the debate, and it is not unsuitable
to your wisdom to be yet on the threshold. The more time
you have taken, the more successful, probably, it may be.
That which called me up at this time was what the last
gentleman said, that is, to do things with unity. At least we
shall be at greater unity, if not greater amity, by having patience to hear one another, and admitting the variety of reasons and judgments which are offered by all men. Though
a large field has been led into, the thing is very short. Consider what it is we are upon, a Protector in the office of Chief
Magistrate. But the office of right is in yourselves. It is
in your hands, that you may have the honour of giving or
not giving, as best likes you. You may confer it, if you
please, for any law to the contrary brought now into your
House. I shall advise you to this, as was moved: give not
by wholesale, so as to beg again by retail. (fn. 27) To give, will, at
any time, get you many friends. It therefore concerns you
in this business, to have your eyes in your heads, to look well
about you, that it slip not from you without considering what
is your right, and the right of the people.
The wise providence of God has brought things in these
our days, to the state of government as we now find it. I
observe a variety of opinions as to what our state of Government is.
Some conceive that it is in King, Lords, and Commons;
that the principles of old foundations yet remain entire, so
as all our evils are imputed to our departure from thence.
It hath pleased God, by well-known steps, to put a period,
and to bring that Government to a dissolution. All the three
Parliaments in the late King's time, found the state of things
in slavery. I have had some experience since the two Parliaments in 1640, and remember when the Parliament considered the state of the nations, that they found them in a
grand thraldom of oppression and tyranny, endeavouring to
carry us up even into Popery. God made us see the state
and condition we were then in. The consideration of these
things would have made us make long sweeps to redress it;
but Providence led us on step by step. Therefore, having
the legislative power, God saw it good that we should change
the Government: but we found great difficulties in the work,
as most men were willing rather to sit down by slavery, than
to buy themselves out of it at so great a price.
The first thing expected was, that justice should be done
upon delinquents; who had so much the ear of that Prince,
that they told him he had power enough to protect himself and them too. He had the power of the militia. These
grievances brought us to consider where the right of the
militia lay; and when we saw it was in ourselves, we thought
to make use of it with moderation; choosing rather to use it
to reduce the King by fair means, than otherwise.
So well satisfied was this House then with the principles of
that Government, that there was then a declaration (fn. 28) drawn
in favour of it. I was one of that Committee. I hear reflections as if I changed from that. I think it now my duty
to change with better reason. They did think fit to publish
that which was to preserve that ancient fabrick of Government; according to such qualifications as might be for the
public service. I am well satisfied it was the clear intent of
But this encouraged the King, and brought it to that
issue at last, that he hardened his heart; till it was resolved to make no more addresses, but to bring him to judgment. But, in the meantime, applications were made to him,
still imploring him to be reconciled; and nothing was wanting in the House, that if possible, he might have saved the
Government and himself with it; but God would not have
God knows best what that work is, which he is to bring
forth. When all applications could not prevail, they thought
fit to bring the King to judgment. Thereby the state of
affairs was much altered.
This House then thought fit to apply themselves to the
Lords, against the Scots' invasion, and in the great case of
justice upon the King. The Lords refused both. (fn. 29) In this
juncture, they were reduced to the necessity of doing that
which is now the foundation of that building upon which
you must stand, if you expect to be prosperous.
When they came to look upon the delinquency of the
King, and considered him as an object of justice, it was then
declared by them that the taking away of kingship was the
only happy way of returning to their own freedom. Their
meaning thereby was, that the original of all just power was
in the people, and was reserved wholly to them, the representatives.
When the Parliament, in questions as to what was just
and right, had gathered up all into themselves, it was disputed in what way the King should be tried. They counted
themselves then prepared to grant out a commission to, try
the King. (fn. 30) I confess I was then exceedingly to seek, in
the clearness of my judgment, as to the trial of the King.
I was for six weeks absent from my seat here, out of my
tenderness of blood. Yet, all power being thus in the people originally, I myself was afterward in the business. (fn. 31)
The King, upon his trial, denies this power to be in the
Parliament: they try it, and they seal it with the blood of
the King This action of theirs, was commanded by this
House to be recorded in all the courts of Westminster Hall
and in the Tower.
If you be not now satisfied with this business, you will
put a strange construction upon that action, and upon all
that has been done by the General and soldiers. If you,
here, will now doubt this right to be in you, you draw the
guilt upon the body of the whole nation. You join issue
with him upon that point. It will be questioned whether
that was an act of justice or murder. (fn. 32)
Brought, step by step, unto your natural right, by an unavoidable necessity, that little remnant of the Parliament
were now the representative of the nation, springing up from
another root. This had a more clear foundation, being thus
the supreme judicature, to comprehend all government in itself. Whether the death of the King caused not a dissolution of that Parliament, as to that doing it then had, and
as it was taken to be, I know not. I leave that to the long
It was then necessary, as the first act, to have resort to the
foundation of all just power, and to create and establish a
free state; to bring the people out of bondage, from all pretence of superiority over them. It seemed plain to me, that
all offices had their rise from the people, and that all should
be accountable to them. If this be monstrous, then it is
monstrous to be safe and rational, and to bear your own
It is objected, that this nation could not bear that government; but Holland bears it against the power of Orange.
They keep the office of Stadholder vacant to this day. (fn. 33) So
do other places. This is a principle, that we may bear it, if
we can bear our own liberties, or that we have not the impatience of the people of Israel: unless with the Israelites,
we will return to Egypt, weary of our journey to Canaan.
This being the case, we were declared a free state. We
were after tossed upon all those billows that sunk us in the
sands. Though we miscarried then; though this free state
was shipwrecked, yet you have got a liberty left to say it is
now again in your possession; else I am mistaken. If it be
so, I hope you will not part with it, but upon grounds of
wisdom and fidelity. If you were but arbitrating in the
cause of a private friend, you would make the best bargain
for him that you could; you would so do as not to give
away the right of him by whom you were intrusted, but upon
good grounds. That which you give, give it freely on
grounds of justice. Understand well your terms.
This brings me to the consideration of another thing,
which is, that the first government being dissolved, another
is brought into the room. Though not perfect, yet, it is
said, the foundations are laid, upon which we may build a
superstructure of which we need not be ashamed. Now
shall we be under-builders to supreme Stuart ? We have no
need, no obligation upon us, to return to that old government. I have a vote.
For the covenant with the Scots, (fn. 34) their invasion did render
that covenant invalid. They would have repossessed a King
and imposed him upon this nation, by virtue of that covenant
which they had broken. The Parliament showed that their
shackles were broken; it did not oblige any further. That
it was famous and had power: that was the Israelites' argument for worshipping the sun and moon. If we return to an
obligation, by virtue of the covenant, by the same reason
we may return to worship the sun and moon. I hope those
shall not sway here.
Lastly, at the dissolution of the Long Parliament, you
lost your possession, not your right. The Chief Magistrate's
place was assumed without a law. There was assumed with
it, not only the power of the crown on the terms of former
kings, which hath its foundation and regulation by the laws,
but the possession was assumed. You were then under various forms of administration: some that had not the characters of trust upon them, some too limited. Still you were
kept out of possession. Parliaments have been called, and as
This Petition and Advice, which is now so much insisted
upon, was never intended to be the settled government, but
only to be a pair of stairs to ascend the throne; a step to
King, Lords, and Commons. It pleases God to let you see
you have not been ill-counselled to wait upon him a first day,
and a second, and a third day, to see what he will hold out
for your peace and safety; for asserting the liberties of the
people. This Bill huddles up, in wholesale, what you have
fought for, and is hasted on, lest you should see it.
We have now a Petition and Advice that comes in place of
the ancient Government, the Instrument, and all other forms.
Yet, if this were the case, you are, notwithstanding the Petition and Advice, in the clear rightful possession of this Government, which cannot be disposed of but by your consent.
The old Protector thought it fit to have it given him from
you, and had it by your pleasure invested upon him. But,
although it was acknowledged that he bad power to get it,
yet he thought fit to make it your free gift. It will not be
denied now: a presenting this office by that Parliament,
and the open investiture of him in your chair, prove it. Yet
as to this gift of yours, I dare be bold to say, the thing given
was hardly understood. By giving of this office, they gave,
in the 16th Article, the power of their own dissolution.
It being acknowledged to have been your gift, let us consider what was given, and how given.
The gift was the executive power, the ruling power. That
is the office of Chief Magistrate. All the legislative was then
in the people.
The Commonwealth would not put the executive power
Out of their hands. For this reason, they set up those shadows, the Keepers of the liberties of England, as an executive
power, to distinguish it from the legislative.
This, then, was the thing given. The Petition and Advice
hath made a difficulty of returning.
The power of the purse indeed is left us, because they
know not how to take it from us. There is no dispute but
you have a right to open the people's purse; because Kings
knew they could not well take it: but the Chief Magistrate;
they would not allow you that to give.
Now, this power and the office were given, it seems, by the
regulation of the Petition and Advice; the whole executive
power of the late King was all given, at one clap, to the late
Protector for life. This being given to him, was not given
absolutely to any other for life. Nothing was given him
more, only the nomination and declaration of a successor;
which must be according to law. So says the Petition and
Advice. This nomination must first appear, before we can
say this gentleman is the undoubted Protector. Had I
thought this had been said before, I should have spared both
you and myself.
That which is now brought in, the Bill of Recognition,
takes it for granted, that there is one in the possession of
the Protectorship; for it requires that you acknowledge his
right and title, not that we shall acknowledge his person, and
then inquire, what is this right and title ? It is hard we
should be put upon that, Let us know what this right and
title is that we must recognize. But it seems the Parliament that made the Petition and Advice, they gave it, and
we must acknowledge it.
If he hath any right, it must be by one of these three
1. Either by the grace of God and by God's Providence;
that if he hath a sword, he may take whatever is within the
reach of it, and thus maintain his right.
2. Or as the son of the conqueror. He was, indeed, a conqueror on your behalf; but never, of yourselves, fit for you
3. Or lastly, by the Petition and Advice. But that cannot be urged, until it doth appear that he hath it according
to that. Yet that is only a nomination, which hath nothing
of constitution until you have made it. He must come to
you for that. I appeal then, if this has not deserved three
days' debate. Deserves it not more, to set nails upon it ?
May it not deserve a Grand Committee, to convince one
another in love and unity ?
Therefore I shall move that this Bill may, upon the
whole matter, be committed to a Grand Committee, where
reason may prevail.
It is not a sudden recognition, a sudden obtaining of the
first steps that will direct us fairly into the room. It must
be on such an unshaken foundation, you will maintain it
against the old line. If you be minded to resort to the old
Government, you are not many steps from the old family.
They will be too hard for you, if that Government be restored.
Instead of the son of a conqueror by nature, make him a
son by adoption. Take him into your own family, and make
him such an one as the Great One shall direct you. When
the army see they are yours, they will be protectored by
I would have all names of sectaries laid aside, and righteousness go forward. Let fees and extortions be looked into,
which make the laws themselves your oppressors. I have
discharged my conscience, and look on it as a special testimony of God's Providence that I am here to speak this before you.
Mr. Gewen. I take it for granted, that nothing shall bind
this nation, that is not done in a full and free Parliament. I
am not for the humble Petition and Advice; yet the carriage in that Parliament, compared with the old Parliament,
is very innocent.
The latter end of the Long Parliament was assumed.
They took a thing which neither God nor the people ever
gave. It was in the collective, not in the representative. All
was null and void which they did. Never was such violation
of the rights of Parliament as in that Parliament. They
were but splendida peccata, felix scelus. This, in truth, is
the fifth Act of meeting in Parliament since that time.
Nolumus hunc regnare. I hear divers gentlemen speak
against the Bill; not what they would have, but what they
would not have. They would return to a Commonwealth
again; to former irregularities. It is. impossible for them
to bring that to pass, unless, with an army they take out all
the members that are against returning. My opinion always
was, and is, that a well regulated monarchy is best. Fieri
nan debet, factum valet. For my part, I had no hand in it.
I pray God, deliver me from bood-guiltiness. We are like
the needle that is touched, wading still till we come to the
old foundation. There must be some exceptions to the Bill,
else it cannot be committed. I would not have it that the
people should be indefinite in their obedience. I would
have it limited to the law. I am against a Grand Committee; but would have the question, with the additions,
Serjeant Maynard. A large time has been spent in the
debate; the consequence of it requires it. I shall use no
preamble. We have had stories by gentlemen of the late
troubles, quorum pars magna fuerunt. It is not pertinent
to our question to tell those stories. There were great oppressions; delinquents protected.
This was not the quarrel for blood. God deliver me from
that. We must go to Mariana (fn. 35) for grounds to prove that
the sword could be taken up other than to defend.
The first cause of the quarrel, was not to assert to ourselves a right which was no right before. But justice upon
delinquents being denied, it is true, in process of time, these
things came on; the militia, negative voice, and tender consciences. You looked upon such things as those without
which you could not lay down arms. Such, then, was the
cause of carrying on the war, not of taking up arms. God forbid ! I would rather have been a Cavalier a thousand times.
As to arms raised to protect delinquents, that could not be
the King's act, (fn. 36) only his evil counsels.
It was moved, that the right did revert by escheat to the
people upon the great change; and now you must give it.
It is clear you came hither upon the Petition and Advice.
I would have any man answer it. I challenge no man. I
was not at making it; yet I am bound by it as a law.
It it said force was upon them; the House was then under
a fear, and so not obliging. Look back and you will find a
greater force upon the face of the greatest affairs. Was
there not a force when they sent men to demand their members, eleven of them. (fn. 37)
Our members were carried to the gaol; one from behind
me, another before me. I asked if they would take me.
They said, they knew not what to make me. I came
again, and before I spoke, it was cried I spoke. A Committee was appointed to inquire of it. We had all been voted
traitors but for some worthy gentlemen that stood against
it. Never was a greater force than on that Parliament. If
that nullifies an Act of Parliament, this will be overruled
when we are in dust and ashes. All your sales will be void;
an ill bargain for your monies, on Bishops and Dean and
Who dare say this out of this House, that this law (fn. 38) is void.
This is a law as well as all done in 48, 49, and 50, and since.
There is greater force to turn out, than keep out. I have
had ill luck. No man can say a Parliament is under force, but
to a Parliament itself. It must be. put to the question whether this law is law. You will make a conclusion out of a
proposition, and not affirm the proposition. If every man
should speak it, yet, if not voted, it is not good. It is said,
not pursued. It is a great deal more wisdom to submit than
to inquire. Some have spoken of the great seal. I know
not whether they believed themselves when they said so. It
was a rhetorical expression. I suppose it may be verbal, but
shall not now debate it. God's will has been done in
taking — (fn. 39)
1. It is said by the grace of God, &c. he must be in. I
will say to none of these; but I find him in. It is said he
did not come in lawfully to be Protector; lawfully, or unlawfully, he came to be Protector. He did become, that is
English. Recognize, or agnize, acknowledge, all one. Recognoscere no more, but severally to acknowledge. Huge
force told of; but nobody says who did it; the soldiery I
suppose. They did desire, indeed, that they might not be
removed without their own consent. You did swear to obey
the Protector, and yet you will not obey him. I cannot distinguish between myself as a burgess and as a Christian. I
cannot distinguish myself out of my conscience. In the Covenant, we swore to God, not to the Scots. You gave me
power to put my own interpretation. I would not have gone
three strides back if I had thought of that interpretation.
Myself and three more gentlemen had that privilege of interpretation. If a mutual stipulation, another thing. What
had the Scots to do with the English church ?
I am afraid of delay. It will breed a great mischief; I desire you would pass the vote with limitations. A suspension
is not a temporary denial. That objection is weighty, give
by wholesale. You are but directing a Committee, not
making a law. The objection is clearly mistaken.
Lord Lambert. There is a weighty business before you,
of large extent, and of great concernment. The peace and
settlement of three nations, meum and tuum, equal distribution of justice, are all concerned in the things before you.
I shall take leave to make some observations on the narratives that have been given you of transactions in these fourteen years. We have heard many relations of particular concerns, wherein, of things openly done, we have several differing opinions. Every man tells that part best which
concerns himself most. I am afraid, if I tell you any thing
of my own accounts, I shall fall into the same infirmity; but
I shall only from this observe the baseness of man's nature.
Let us wave any thing which may concern ourselves.
Many things have been disputed, whether this or that Parliament be good. One tells you, all sales of lands are void; (fn. 40)
another tells you, another part is void. Many things have
been said, but I think we all are guilty, even to our lives, if
things should be scanned with the strictest justice.
Other things have been said more near the matter.
One proposition hath been made, as to Government itself,
that it is all from God. We find it expressed so in Scripture, by that dream of Nebuchadnezzar. He was a great
tyrant, with no reason but his will. After him, was another
monarchy, with limitations, the monarchy of the Medes and
Persians; then the Grecians; lastly, the Romans. All these
governments were set up by God. Monarchy is the worst
Government; yet, of that, God would not have them to recede from it. Some people are more fit to be governed by
a tyrant, tban by themselves; (fn. 41) as, among others, the wild
Irish, who provided in a treaty; that they should carry the
vermin in their heads, and tie their horses' tails together.
Some people, that are more discreet, are governed by a popular Government.
For the transactions these fourteen years, it is no matter
whether the militia, negative voice, or delinquency, were the
first occasion of the quarrel; or which had the van. It was
certainly a complicated quarrel, under all the united prerogatives and exorbitances of an old monarchy, and the defence of the people to reduce it to its just limits. The prerogative began too great, and continued too great.
Therefore, it is not amiss to look back into the parties concerned, on both sides: what party was the King's; what
were the Parliament's dependencies; and what engagements
either side had to bring such great bodies for their defence
into the field.
The King and Parliament were, as it were, the two great
general heads of this difference. The universality of their
quarrel engaged almost all the world on one side or the other;
especially in England, Scotland, and Ireland, scarce a family
but was divided. All had their angry divisions, and something of interest, too, bound up in this quarrel.
Now who. have been the assistants of these two great
parties, and what have been the strength, the arguments, and
the interest, that enabled these two parties to bring so many
men into the field ?
For the King, it is plain that Papists, prelates, and delinquents, all such as had places or titles, pluralists of honour or profit, and generally all debauched people, (fn. 42) ran with
For the Parliament's party, an honest, sober, grave people, that groaned under oppressions, thirsted after grace, the
reformed party of the nation, that owned their country's service, that had no by-ends, and expected no advantage from
the King or from the court.
And these were the arguments and interests that brought
the parties into the field:—
1. The Papist had his toleration, and prerogative was
that strength and source from whence that was to proceed.
He had a toleration for his person for the present, and for his
religion, it was hopeful.
2. The Prelates, they had the advancement and the formalities, which all flowed from the same fountain. Preferment
flowed readily on.
3. Dependence upon places of honour or profit, in pensions
or expectancies, engaged many, and led a great way; but
when I spoke of honour, I spoke of names, not things.
4. Debauched people expected liberty, or rather license, to
exercise their lusts and villanies without control. If any
cooling for a man's tongue, it was there. I hope the villanies
that party daily acted shall never have encouragement from
This was universally true.
On the other side, there was only a sober, quiet, reformed
people, generally thought, perhaps not universally so neither.
I will not ask who had the justice of the cause. I will not
judge it myself, when God himself seems to have determined
the cause. I observed once, from a minister, that the Parliament had got the prayers of a fanatic people, which had got
together an army, fit for God Almighty to do miracles
In this great matter every man should lay aside self, relations, and persons, and study to have a Government so
settled as may have strength, and a dependance upon the reformed interest and party of the nation. That it may not
depend upon such supporters as the King had, nor give encouragement to that party that ran along with the Bang's
Government. If that had taken its swing, where had we
No man sits here but he adviseth for posterity. Let us
not lay a foundation again that may be subject to such exceptions. I do not fear that any man here would willingly
advance those old ends, but I see alterations, even farther
than ever I expected, not as concerning myself.
I fear not any desire or design to advance the Papists, but
they are very busy and hopeful at this time.
So for prelacy, I think not any do design that. I hope
there is no danger of Papists or prelates; yet I have seen a
paper, a cloud as big as a man's hand, that may spread that
The best man is but a man at best. I have had great
reason to know it. Therefore there ought to be a great deal
of care even of the best man. Of your honours you ought
to take as great care as ever.
The present militia differs very much from what it was
before. A deputy-lieutenant in the county, or a captain,
were rather things of honour than dependency.
Too much dependency upon the Chief Magistrates, will
strive to come in here; and when it doth come, it will have
its bias. I shall always speak ingenuously. It will not be
fit to hide our diseases from you. I hope you will be careful
to cure them.
The first thing laid hold on was, the bringing delinquents
to punishment. Does not the same bone and quarrel of prerogative lie now before you, in that Bill, tied with a double
1. According to the Petition and Advice. I am not so
well skilled, as to find much good or much ill in it.
2. According to the laws of the nation. It seems to be a
mist over what you may challenge as your own due, the militia and the negative voice. To give from you, what was
duly placed in you; after a possession to reject it, is worse
than to lay a long claim to it, and never possess it. Consider
them well, before you put them away.
There is objected unto us, dangers from abroad, great
preparations made by the Dutch. Those things may be
pressed too far. Danger from abroad is no argument; yet it
ought to be some spur. The loss of time may be ill for the
whole nation; so it may urge us to go on with what expedition conveniently may be.
As to the other House, I shall speak to that. It was heretofore frenum imperii, to restrain the extravagancies of the
King in those elder times. To balance, was the good that naturally brought them in. They had great interest, and something of dominion. As to that which gave them any thing of
interest, and, by consequence, power to protect the Commons
of England, I have always approved very well of them; but
as to that which gave them dominion, I like not that. In
reference to the people, they have done many good offices.
They were heretofore frena imperii. They are now many
of them good men indeed, and for some of them, I know,
wherever their persons are, their hearts are here with us;
their interest (I hope in the opinion of most of them) being
more for the safety of this House, than of that where they do
sit. Yet they have a negative upon all your proceedings,
and may be debarred of their places of trust. Their interest is not so considerable, but they must always have a
dependency upon the Chief Magistrate, and be forced to
close in with him. Thus they will be rather stimula, than
frena imperii. It is in yourselves chiefly to make such a
settlement as may encourage a reformed interest, peace, and
Sir, it is confessed by all, that there is a Government in
possession, and by law: but be it never so perfect a law, I am
sure it is but an imperfect Government. Providence hath
put a prize into your hands, that you may have the ordering
of all, to be improved for the good of the whole.
Another flaw in the Government is, that the distributions
and elections shall be as this power shall agree upon; another
House, settled on another foundation than the Petition and
Advice. So that you are now upon three foundations. The
law you are upon, requires a King and a House of Lords.
It is hard to serve a Government depending upon so many
laws; so inconsistent. It will not be a perfect Government.
Upon the whole matter, I think the proper question before
you is the commitment of this Bill. Now how shall you commit it ? Several particulars are offered to be added; to
divide the question; to put in, according to the Petition and
Advice; to be with such limitations, &c. This resolve will
stand on your books, and it should not be entered without
the equity that it ought to take along with it.
If I should speak in favour of the Protector, I would here
say, make not that vote at all. I would have the vote be,
that you will be ready to join with him against all that shall
oppose the Government, and you will give a good testimony.
Whatever you say to him, let the people's liberties be on the
backside of the bond. Let them go hand-in-hand. Commit
it to a Grand Committee.
Sir Lislebone Long. I will not go far back, as that noble
lord. I agree with him in the facts, and his observations,
but not that the consequence shall be the same, now that we
are delivered into that condition wherein the people acquiesce
in most things.
I shall not reflect upon any laws nor settlements that have
been. This stands upon as good a bottom. There has
been peace and tranquillity under this Government. The
vote obliges not till the Bill be passed. That which Lord
Lambert moved, did more oblige than the vote propounded.
Do as much as you may, without concluding yourselves as
to the Government that is a foot. You may debate it again.
Commines saith, after the death of the Duke of Burgundy,
a Parliament met, and the debate about the Government
lasted so long, that a common enemy (fn. 43) had got half the land.
You cannot prevent this better, than by putting this question; but I would have it without limitations.
Mr. Reynolds. We came hither to make this a healing
Parliament. You have spent three days upon it, and if you
spend three days more, you will not repent it. I would, to
prevent treason at home and abroad, make a vote before we
rise, to acknowledge him to be Protector, in fact, and that you
will assist him against all competitions.
Colonel Allured. I move to adjourn the debate till tomorrow.
Mr. Neville. It is against my business which is appointed
to-morrow, but I will give up mine to the public. There is
no question before you as yet, some time will be spent in
wording the question.
Mr. St. Nicholas. I second the motion to adjourn.
Mr. Bodurda. The previous vote is the proper question.
Lord Lambert. The proper and natural vote is for commitment.
Mr. Attorney-general. The proper question is the previous
vote; for you must direct your Committee. I would have
the question stated.
Mr. Scot. There is not a word in the question but what
is controverted, every iota. We are not ripe for any question. I hope provision is taken against your common enemy.
Your Army are fixed against that interest, at least.
It was cried out he had spoke.
Colonel White. They ought not to cry out.
Lord Fairfax. I move that a vote pass for securing the
peace, in the mean time; as Lord Lambert and Mr. Reynold's
Sir Henry Vane. Let not that question intervene, till it
also be debated in a Grand Committee.
Mr. Swinfen. The chair ought to keep us up to the things
debated upon. The previous vote was first, and always
moved as a direction to the Committee, be it grand or select.
You ought to propose that first.
Mr. Speaker. I proposed if I should not, in the first place,
put the question for commitment. Next, that the question,
with the additions, should be put. It is hard to know your
Lord Lambert. You are right. The proper question is
for the commitment.
Mr. Solicitor-General. Every man agrees that it shall be
committed. So that your proper question is the previous
vote. The debate has been upon it, three days. If this
House be in possession of the power, I wonder who is out of
the possession. You are ready for a question. It is natural to put that question first.
Sir Henry Vane. I suppose you will have no Committee.
If you pass this question, what do you leave for your Committee? This is begging the question. It is seldom but
the House will trust itself. You need no preliminary vote.
From a Grand Committee you refer it to yourself. This is
not ingenuity; to surprise in this question. The whole depends upon the Recognition.
Sir William Wheeler. I would not have three days' debate lost; but propound the question, and let every man
speak to the wording of it, as he pleases.
Serjeant Maynard. There is no rule that the question
which is firsted and seconded shall be the question. Then it
would be easy for two or three members to lead the whole
House; but the question must be put upon what was debated.
Colonel Terrill. I move that the question be stated and propounded, before you put it.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. The proper question is, that it be
committed. You were exceedingly in the right, as you are
always. You put us in that way. I believe other gentlemen have not spoken, and will speak yet. I see it is late.
Three days have not been ill spent. This is not the way to
your own safety, to sit so late. Peradventure, forty or fifty
more would speak. I would have this debate adjourned till
Mr. Attorney-general. Will you have a Committee, to
debate whether you will have a Protector or no ? Let the
question be propounded. That were the most ingenuous.
Colonel White. I find many members remember the first,
and not the last part of the oath. (fn. 44) I hope we shall remember
all. I would have the question propounded, and adjourned
Mr. Salway and Sir Arthur Haslerigge moved for the
words "and not otherwise," to be added.
Mr. Neville. We agree him so, in fact, that he is Protector; but let us not say so: but that he shall be. This is
a previous vote, and no part of the Bill.
Mr. Trevor. I move to propound the question, and to adjourn till to-morrow; and that the question be the subject of