Wednesday, February 23, 1658–9.
I came in late, and the Duke of Buckingham had been at
the bar according to order of the House. (fn. 1) In the Journals
The House being informed that, in pursuance of the order
of this House, of Monday last, the Duke of Buckingham attended to make his engagement to this House.
He was called in, and was brought to the bar by the Serjeant-at-arms, standing by him, without the bar, and by his
keeper, a servant to the governor of Windsor Castle, coming
with him into the House.
Mr. Speaker acquainted the Duke, that a Petition having
been delivered from him to this House on Monday last, by a
person of honour, one of the members thereof, and nearly related to him; the House had taken into a due consideration
the Duke's demerits, which had been very great to this Commonwealth; but had overbalanced them with the high merit
of his relations; and of their goodness had ordered, that,
upon his own engagement, upon his honour, and of the Lord
Fairfax in twenty thousand pounds, that he should not abet
any, the enemies of this Commonwealth, either at home or
abroad, he should have his enlargement; which engagement
they now expected from him.
The Duke, standing at the bar, said, he accounted it his
great happiness to come before this assembly; and that, in
pursuance, and, according to the order of this House, he did
here now engage himself to this House, upon his honour, to
demean himself peaceably and quietly, and not to join with,
or abet, or have any correspondence with, any the enemies of
this Commonwealth, either at home or abroad, for the future.
And further, gave the House his most humble thanks for
their high favour towards him; and professed he should be
ready to lay down his life and fortune for their service.
After the Duke's engagement, made as before, he was commanded to withdraw, and withdrew accordingly.
Resolved, &c. That George Duke of Buckingham, upon
this his engagement upon his honour, made to this House
this day at the bar, be forthwith freed and discharged from
the imprisonment and restraint he is now under. (fn. 2)
Mr. Speaker acquainted the House with an abuse offered
to Major-general Packer on the highway.
Major-general Packer. As I was going home on Saturday
night, a gentleman, being drunk, switched my horse and then
myself. I was content to pass on the road with the abuse,
till I came to a town and called for a constable.
He fell upon Captain Gladman, who was in my company,
and cut him in the hat, and had killed him if help had not
A rude ranting Cavalier swore "God damn him," often.
He was one of the King's knights. He and his complices
have boasted much of this. I chose rather to show my valour
in another way. The person is Mr: Henry, alias Sir Henry
Wroth (fn. 3) .
Mr. Reynolds. You have had a fair evidence from your
member, and it will be enough for you to proceed against
him as a delinquent.
I would have the worthy member have a reprehension for
concealing this information from you: for it seems, if he had
but held his tongue when he was sober, he had never troubled him. I would have no member to keep any thing in his
pocket, not an hour, of this nature.
Resolved, that Mr. Henry Wroth be forthwith sent for as
a delinquent, and that he be brought to the bar of this House
by the Serjeant-at-arms.
The order of the day was read, then went on the debate,
touching the business of the Sound.
Mr. Topham, (Alderman of York). I lived in the eastern
parts thirty years. There are many oppressions upon our
merchants. The Spaniards were always plotting to grasp the
trade, and the Spanish commanders rule all there.
Sir Thomas Roe (fn. 4) demanded of us the merchants, which
might be the best way for the good of our own nation. The
King of Denmark hath dealt treacherously with England. He
hath been always plotting against us, and ever our enemy.
We pay more taxes than any other nation. He kept up our
100th penny, then doubled it, then took four times as much.
In wars between us and the King, (fn. 5) he seized all our ships, pretending order from the King.
He promised us protection if we would come into his harbour, and then seized on our ships. True, the merchants
got satisfaction, but the land never got any; though it cost
us a million.
Two masters of Hull were at the Baltic, in October last,
being laden with corn. One of them carried a packet from
the King of Sweden, and brought one back again. He affirmed that the King offered, if his Highness of England would
but lend him twenty frigates, he would deposit in our hands
Elsinore (fn. 6) Castle, for his security, and I believe we might
have our own terms. Nothing under heaven concerns the
English so much as that channel. Let us plant our ships in
time there, and we have advantage enough of the Hollander.
All that is done in this House is carried abroad, all the
world over. My motion is that you presently join your assistance to Sweden.
Captain Whalley. I hope this House will think it necessary to send a fleet to cover our interest in the Sound. I
shall not speak of the difference between the princes; but we
are the fittest umpires. The Hollander will use harder arguments.
I am jealous of that neighbour of ours, because he is a
rival at our trade. His sending 4000 soldiers (fn. 7) is very commendable. The preparation of the Dutch seems to tell you
what you are to do. It will be necessary that you be included
in the treaty. If there be a war, will it not be necessary that
you have a fleet to secure your interest there and guard your
You have another potent enemy, Spain.
My motion is, that you recommend the care of this to his
Highness and the Council, and make what salvo you please
for the militia; lest we suffer by a public enemy, while we are
over eagerly jealous over one another about our interests at
Mr. ——. (fn. 8) We are not upon a business of war, as I apprehend it. The object of this design has a great deal of
glory, and honour, and bounty in it, and it is but just when
the ball of contention is thrown, that we see for a share of it.
If this be not well looked to, it will diminish all trade.
The wisdom of prevention is always best, at the latter end.
I apprehend it not that it concludes the business of your militia. I would have it, to prevent delay, recommended to his
Highness; it being, in itself, both just, honourable, and profitable.
Sir Robert Goodwin. Our wealth increaseth not. The
bodies of our men increase not. It will ask money. I know
not how it will rise. It is not good to discontent the people
at this time.
Let us consider well how we engage between these two
Protestant princes; unless to make peace. I would have us
well satisfied of the state of the quarrel. The justice of the
war is first to be considered and made out. I move to endeavour a reconciliation between the two Protestant princes.
Major-general Kelsey. Time will not admit of debate, to
examine the grounds of the quarrel, for, before we can be certified of the state of affairs, as to the justness of the quarrel,
the point will be determined, and no place left for debate.
It is of greater consequence than we are aware of, to the sale
of our commodities and the increase of our navigation.
If we take not this opportunity, we destroy our trade. Our
wool and cloth are vented this way, and we have a return of
cordage, &c. If that trade be taken from us, we cannot subsist. All our trade to all other parts of the world will decay.
Our rivals will be, inevitably, our masters. They not long
since would have sent us white paper to write what we pleased.
To them we must now send white paper to write what they
please upon. Two kingdoms and the Commonwealth of Holland are very much concerned in this quarrel. Thus there is
a combination of several enemies against the King of Sweden,
and he hath none to stand by him, in this exigency and
strait. Unless we assist him he is undone. It will either
force him to a mean compliance or else utterly destroy him.
If we had to do only with the Dane and Swede, the thing
were not very considerable, but the Dutch are most in our
eye, and we most in theirs. The Dane is in that condition,
that all his confederates can do him no good, without the assistance of the Dutch. If so, it need not be much insisted on,
what the inference will be. It matters not whether the
Swede or Dane have it.
You showed the greatest favour to the Dutch in the peace,
that ever was. You took no advantages against him. He
has ever since sought all advantages against you.
Therefore it much concerns you to the being and well being
of this nation to be as expeditious in this business as you
Your life lies at stake. A great charge is objected. This
is inevitable, and no way to prevent a greater charge but by
expedition in this business.
As to the objection of a war with Holland. There is no
other way under heaven to prevent that war, than by sending
this fleet into the Sound. They have experience of your
strength at sea. But if they get the Sound into their hands,
you must not expect any freedom, but what you make with
We may by this make peace between the two princes that
it may be in the hands of neither of them wholly. We should
have our eye upon our own present interest. If it should
please God to divert the councils in this great business, the
consequence may be dangerous.
It will be no granting the militia, if we make his Highness
the Instrument. I would have no delay in this business.
Sir William D'Oyley. I came with some prejudice to this
debate, upon the principle of good husbandry; but the debate has made me your convert. I would have this business
sent back to his Highness, and twenty frigates sent out presently; and let the Commissioners of Admiralty prepare farther assistances.
Mr. Knightley. It is for your honour to be active at sea.
It will make the Dutch put in their horns.
There is no danger of granting the militia. We make a
fair claim to it. It is for our honour not to slip this opportunity.
Sir Henry Vane. I shall only speak to the manner of your
proceeding, and to save time. The end of Mr. Secretary's
report was to have a powerful navy at sea this summer.
That, I think, is every man's sense, and with expedition
I believe we all agree that this year we should have a powerful well-manned fleet at sea; but I would not have such a
general vote, lest more may be carried than is intended, and
we grant what we know not.
1. Here is the expenditure of a million of money presented
to you, and you draw that debt upon you. I hope your Committee, touching the accounts, will find out a way that your
revenue already settled, being well managed, will defray this
charge; and not involve us further, before we see what our
affairs are. It is propounded that you have a very considerable navy at sea, 15,000 men. I hope you will have money
before you, to furnish them.
2. By this very vote you grant away your approbation, if not
disposal of your chief commanders at sea, which I suppose is
your right. It is very fit you should know who they are and
approve of them, which was never denied you. You, also,
give up the right of the militia. If you consent to give away
that which is in your disposal, you do not do prudentially.
3. In referring this to his Highness and the council, do not
you take it for granted that there is a council in being whose
names you yet know not, and confirm them all in a lump.
I would have you first resolve that for the safety of trade
of this nation, &c. You will have 15,000 men raised, and
appoint a Committee to consult with the Commissioners of
the Navy and Admiralty, how this may be put in a way with
the least charge; and to report the state of this expedition to
Mr. Trevor. That the militia should not be disposed of
without your consent is a right, I suppose, you will never part
with. His Highness does not seem to demand it of you, by
his submitting this to you. He that asks authority, assents
that he of whom it is demanded, hath it. I doubt the present
juncture of affairs will not admit of a delay. The opportunities may be lost in a few days. All considerations of officers
of Navy and council, and militia, are all reserved entire unto
you. Your men and officers are all ready to go out. They
are now all aboard, or very near it. I would have all things
left clear, and that you make this reference to his Highness
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I am sorry to hear this pressing
upon you of the word necessity. It caused shipmoney., Oh !
woful, lamentable necessity. Oh, Sir, why is so much put
upon us ? I love not to see you overwitted. You are not to
be overwitted. Why were we not called five months since?
Why was not this matter brought in before the Bill of Recognition ? You are owning the single person, and his council by this means. Must we own the council, too, before we
know them. Have you limited his council ?
The gentleman in the corner gave me light. I hope we
shall have a navy, as great as we can bear at this time, and
with all expedition. He tells me that may be done, and there
is money too to be had; he is quick-sighted, I know it very
well. When our affairs, as to the Navy, were such as we
could not turn ourselves unto them, did we not turn our eyes
upon that gentleman, by whose providence it was so excellently managed. (fn. 9) We turned out all our army by a self-denying ordinance. (fn. 10) Oh, Sir, I would to God we had a self-denying vote now. I think we should give better advice than
we now do.
I would have no fleet sent out, till the officers be approved
on by you, and the whole business.
Bound your single person, and my soul shall go along with
you. Let us not be put to fight it over again and to make
acts to bound the council table. I know not this council, nor
what are their names, and shall never give my consent to their
stipends. I would have as potent a fleet forthwith set out,
but would have this referred to the Commissioners of the
Navy, and to have inspection into our treasures by your Committee of Accounts. Search your treasures. This is weak
but faithful council. For my part I shall get nought
by confusion. I would not have it. I apprehend it not
prudent to reflect upon those that you are in amity with. I
would have a very great fleet.
I neither think it prudence you should tell what you mean
to do with the fleet, neither would I have you give it out of
your hands at once, to you do not know where. Sir, we have
enough here within ourselves to carry on this work. We
have done it, when we were not so wise as we now are.
First put it that you will have a very potent fleet at sea,
and refer it to your Committee of Accounts.
Mr. Bodurda. I believe the Committee of Accounts have
enough to do. You must appoint another Committee, and
that must report. This will spend time.
One part of the light I received from the corner was matter
of charge. If there be so much remaining upon accounts, is
not this good payment.
If your officers should be called back again, that happily
have received your imprest money, that will give you new
imprest money. I am afraid there is much of that kind of
reason in this debate, as if we were in time of peace.
It ought to be our greatest consideration to keep out that
family and line. (fn. 11) We had better be at the bottom of the
sea; nay, they that would bring them in, had better be at
the bottom of the sea.
The late king had not so faithful an ally as Denmark.
Holland the nursery of arms, was at that time against you.
They are, at this time, confederates with the house of
Austria, your great and potent enemy.
Let us be ingenuous in this business and hearken to
nought that may be matter of delay. Refer it to his Highness and the Council, to make a vigorous prosecution of
sending a fleet to cover your just interest in the Sound.
I suppose the commanders will come hither to be approved
by you: that will not ask you much debate.
Mr. Onslow. The first question should be, that a considerable fleet be made ready, suitable to the preparation
of other nations, for safety and preservation of the commerce
of this Commonwealth,
I move that a very considerable navy be forthwith provided and put to sea, for the safety of this Commonwealth
and the preservation of the trade and commerce thereof. (fn. 12)
Mr. Reynolds and others moved, that the word, commerce,
be left out.
Sir Henry Vane. I move that it stand. It will best
satisfy the merchants, and was always the ground of tonnage
Mr. Swinfen. I move to leave out the word, very; it
Mr. Fowell. I would have the word, very, stand.
Mr. Knightley. The word, very, will not add a man: nor is
it material to have the word, commerce, for you intend that
your fleet should not be as dead walls, but for the preservation of commerce.
But, in the end of the debate it was put to the question, and
Resolved ut supra, in ipsissimis verbis, without any alteration, and nemine contradicente.
Sir William Wheeler. I move that the care of this be
referred to his Highness and the Council. (fn. 13) I have always
observed, that these jealousies have been easily passed over.
Sir Henry Vane. It is not a vote that will set the fleet
to sea. There is an estimate before you of 15,000 men.
Take that into consideration, how they shall be paid and who
shall command them.
I would have this vote made effectual. Therefore refer it to
your Committe of Accounts, to examine, if the fleet already
provided, or the money already taxed, will answer this business; and I hope you will have the officers before you, at
least, to approve of them.
Mr. Bulkeley. I move that you would not let your
strength be known, or examine what number is fit; but to
refer it back to his Highness and the Council.
Lord Lambert. I move to appoint a Committee to prepare
this business, that the world may see the Parliament of England are concerned in it. Let your Committee be declared, in
number, five or six, not exceeding seven, that may wait
upon his Highness, to consider of a way how to carry on this
Mr. Knightley. I second that motion, that a Committee
of seven may wait upon his Highness and advise with him, to
carry on this business, and to join with those of the council
that he shall appoint to be employed in this service; and
I would be as free as any, if there be a necessity.
Colonel Clark. The generality of the vote will not do
your business. There must be some more particulars in
You have resolved a very considerable navy, but what
you will do with it, non constat. Fifteen thousand men were
desired by his late Highness, and a fleet considerable, either
for the affairs of France, or for any other service. Besides
this fleet, you have other considerable navies, to guard your
seas, and the trade in the straits. I therefore desire you
would resolve something more in particular, of this affair.
Your neighbours, the Dutch, are not ashamed to publish,
that they are preparing to send a fleet for assistance of the
King of Denmark. Why should we fear to declare that we
are preparing a fleet for preservation of our interest in the
I am sorry this business has not been made known to the
House before now. It is now before you, and your navy is
already in great forwardness. I pray you, for the concernments of England, that you would declare that you will send
a considerable fleet to secure your interest in the Baltic seas.
If you lose opportunities, they will never be recovered; for
if you should put all the vigour upon it that this House
could, I fear it would not answer your expectation of the affair.
Sir Henry Vane. So far as I was able to calculate, I told
you I thought that the excise and customs already settled,
would bear this charge without any other tax. I did not tell
you that any money was ready.
That Committee has work enough, you must appoint another Committee.
Mr. Solicitor-general. It is not for your service at present
to interpose with his Highness, now when the navy is ready
for action. I would have some of this House appointed to
attend his Highness with this vote, and that you desire his care
in managing the business. There is another House in the
Mr. Turner. I move to know whether you will look upon
this expedition as an additional charge; or that the present
provision will carry it on.
Sir Henry Vane. It concerns you exceedingly to look
about you. The question will inevitably involve you in the
business of the militia, and negative voice, and the other
House. This House by silence cannot suffer; by a vote
I suppose his Highness and Council (though you be silent
in it) will go on with the business. There is nought to hinder but this fleet shall be at sea. But to send a Committee
to his Highness, or to the Lords, you will put entanglements
upon you. It is intended, I suppose, to go on, though you
say nought; and the less you say the better. (fn. 14)
Mr. Trevor. I desire this expedition may go on. Therefore make no reference that may retard it. A Committee
will retard it, and the opportunity is lost. If I had thought
the business would go on without you, I should not have
troubled you. It is now before you to give order how this
fleet shall go on. I would therefore have it referred to his
Highness, barely, without the Council.
Colonel White. If your fleet were ready to go out, it
would signify nought, unless you agree how it shall be disposed on.
I move to have a Committee appointed, to advise with his
Highness, to carry on this business.
The House rose at two o'clock, and adjourned the debate
till to-morrow, (fn. 15) eight o'clock, nothing to intervene.
The Committee of Grievances sat upon the business of Major Portman (fn. 16) .
Colonel Terrill in the chair.
Major Portman was brought to the bar, and Sir John
Barkstead (fn. 17) sent in the warrant for his imprisonment by a member; but the Committee would not be satisfied till Sir John
Barkstead came himself to the bar. Colonel Terrill would
not call him Lord Barkstead. It was said that it was not fit
for a Lord of the other House to be a gaoler.
He produced a warrant from his Highness for Portman's
commitment, and also a letter all writ with his Highness's
own hand, to him directed, desiring him to seize Major-general Harrison, (fn. 18) Mr. Feak, Rogers, Portman, Carew, and another (fn. 19) named in the letter; and said further, "and other
eminent Fifth Monarchy men." The latter words were highly
excepted against by thé Committee, and the general sense
was that it was a high breach of the liberties of the subject,
Resolved, that the imprisonment of Mr. Portman was unjust and illegal. (fn. 20)
Resolved, that the debate touching the bounds and powers
of another House, appointed, to be taken up to-morrow morning, by the order made yesterday, be further adjourned until
Friday morning, next; and then proceeded in according to
the former order.
Mr. Secretary Thurloe being chosen to serve as a member
of this present Parliament for the University of Cambridge,
for Wisbeach, and for Huntingdon, declared that he made
choice to serve for the University of Cambridge.
Ordered new writs to issue for Huntingdon and Wisbeach.
The House being informed that Mr. Anthony Nicholl, who
was returned to serve for Bossiny, in Cornwall, was lately
dead, it was ordered that a new writ do issue for electing a
member in his place.