Tuesday, March 22, 1658–9.
I came late.
Mr. Boscawen was reporting from the Committee of Elections and Privileges. The case of Poole was clear against
Colonel Fitz-James, and he withdrew.
Serjeant Waller presented the report for Colchester. Some
moved against it, in regard it was long. It was to void the
election of Maidston and Barrington, and to make good the
election of Shawe and Johnson; but specially reported.
The Committee made no judgment in it; but the House
finding an express judgment formerly in the case, made the
election of Maidston and Barrington void, according to the
sense of the Committee, and the other good.
A Petition was presented from Carnarvon, touching the
undue election of Mr. Glyn and Mr. Williams.
A debate arose, whether the Petition should be received, in
regard the time was elapsed; claims being to be made within
Sir Henry Vane and Mr. Reynolds, and others. You are
masters of your own orders, and may dispense with them.
Sir Jerome Sankey. It is fit to retain the petition. I
doubt the malignants there were trumps. (He being some
time employed in reducing those parts.)
Bodurda, Trevor, and Carter defended; but all will not
save committing it.
Major Burton. I move to have the veil taken off. It was
a work of darkness, and abhorred to come to the light.
Sir Henry Vane. Though there is a time limited at the
assizes, for a man to put in his record; yet, if he do neglect,
he loses not his cause, but may bring it on, the next assizes.
An argument on the other side was, that he might have
been chosen in another place, if the Petition had come in, in
After an hour's debate about it, it was read, intituled "the
Petition of Thomas Madrin, against the election of Mr.
Glyn." It sets forth, that it was by a letter from a great
person, by combination of the malignants, and that he is an
infant under age. The poll was denied, and great disorder
at the election.
Sir John Carter excepted against it, as being full of lies,
and no hand to the Petition.
The gentleman that presented it said, one was ready at the
door to sign it.
The order of the day was called for.
Mr. Weaver moved to refer the Petition to the Committee
of Privileges; and it might be signed afterwards.
Mr. Disbrowe. I look upon all petitions unsigned as blank
paper. It came in irregularly.
Colonel Allured. I move that the rest of the day be spent
in reports from the Committee of privileges; in regard, as
the Chair informed the House, the debate was not adjourned
Major Burton. I move that Mr. Streete's report (fn. 1) be heard.
Sir Henry Vane. I move to put the business of the Irish
members off your hands. I would fain hear what legal right
Mr. Trevor moved to put it into a way of debate.
Colonel Clark. I move, in regard the day is spent, that,
you would go on to receive the report touching Mr: Streete.
It has laid a long time before the Committee.
Captain Baynes. I would not have you now go on with
the debate about the Irish members; but would have you
agreed of a question to be stated, whereon to ground your
debate. I would have the question worded, before you rise,
lest to-morrow be spent in it.
That about the legality and right was first moved.
Colonel Parsons. I move to deal no less kindly with the
Irish than with the Scotch. They are all English. I would
have the same question.
Mr. Broughton. I move that it be upon the continuance.
Serjeant Seys. I move that the question be upon their
continuing or sitting. Amidst that debate of Scotland was
squeezed out a question about their withdrawing.
Mr. Neville. I move to confine your debate to the legal;
and go on to your point of prudence afterwards.
Mr. Annesley. Methinks you should have a little respect
to Ireland, that they should, at least, have the same law with
Scotland. They are your own flesh. I do not reflect upon
Scotland, but Ireland, I hope, has something to say for their
right; and though Scotland cost you fourteen days debate,
this may haply be done before you rise.
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. You ought, in all reason, to
go first upon the legality. It will be much clearer and distinct. Then go to the convenient part.
Mr. Disbrowe. I cannot understand why the House of
Parliament should bind up their hands against all consideration of equity, and go barely upon the legal. If the same
question be put for Ireland, that they shall continue to sit,
will any reason judge that the Parliament would admit them
to continue, if they had no right? It clearly implies the
consideration of a right.
Consider the ingenuity, only to take one part and leave out
another. Do you not, in all cases that come before you, consider as well the equitable as legal part ? Some think they
have a legal right, others upon equity, yet all agree they
shall continue to sit. Equity is as much justice as law, and
will hold as well by God's laws, and man's laws, and all laws,
as justice. I would have you not to tie up your hands from
consideration of either, but consider the whole matter.
Mr. Speaker, out of the whole, offered a question, viz. whether the thirty members returned for Ireland have a right to
sit and serve as members during this present Parliament.
Colonel White. I never heard the sense of the House gathered, before the debate. First, admit the debate upon the
merit of the cause, and then collect the question.
Mr. Solicitor-general. It bars men of their reason in the
debate, to propound a question before the debate be laid
Mr. Sadler. If there be a question that we may all
agree on, there need no debate. It were for your service, if
I could offer it. I differ from every motion that has been
made. I am neither for adjourning, nor for stating a question; and yet I can agree to what has been said in this debate. I am against tedious debates. It is easy to propose
what might take away the subject of the debate. As God
has given me a body made up of contrary principles, so contrary motions are in my mind, hot and cold.
I should take it unkindly for you, if you should wave the
right from the question, and have it in the debate.
I have read an epitaph, which I have often thought of in
this debate. It was, "Wise and valiant dust, huddled up
between fit and just." (fn. 2) So huddle up this between fit and just.
They that sat in the last Parliament had a right during the
life of a great person; and if he had been alive, none durst
have questioned it. I think, that life being gone, that they
have a good title by law: Jus occupantis.
I am heartily glad to admit the Irish to a more equitable
right than the Scotch, though the Scotch, haply, have a better
possessory right than they. Seeing God, in his wisdom, hath
determined this in an appeal to God in a battle, I look upon
it as so coming into a Parliament House. The Irish are
better Englishmen than I; I was against your question yesterday, because I thought it not honourable, but I shall now
acquiesce. I heartily desire, for husbanding your time, you
would even put the very same question. I hope there will
need no debate. I was so unhappy to think the contrary with
Mr. Disbrowe, that rather no right was implied.
We marvel you are perplexed in your debate when you
are implexed in your results. My short motion is, without
any more ado, to put the same question, and debate it not at
all. But, if you come to spend days in it, and then wave
just, and right, and fit, whether is this for your honour, or
no. I think you may justly, for this time, make a standing
rule, that a debate shall not last above two or three days;
yet it is not your unhappiness that there are different principles. It agrees with the temperamentum and pondus justitiœ.
Mr. Speaker took him down.
Sir Henry Vane called him up again, and said, "None of
us are wiser than God has made us."
Mr. Sadler went on and said; he was sorry to make use of
that part of Scripture, "Hear some men gladly." Those
that would enslave you, to hear them gladly. I am sorry
that you have so much impatience to hear me. I would have
you make a standing order, that this debate shall not hold
you above ten days, if you will not make that your question,
which I formerly propounded.
Mr. Higgons. I second that motion, that the question
be the same.
Mr. Godfrey. I move, not to go so fast, to come to a question before you have had any liberty at all to debate the
right. Till then, you will find that you will be but hindered
in your debate. I would not have it appear on your books,
that the question differs; if, upon the debate, it appears to be
the same, or alike. I would that your proceedings be uniform, that the debate may be adjourned in general; that
your debate shall be, touching the sitting of the members returned to serve for Ireland.
Mr. Scot. Though you see your former evils, yet you
will shipwreck upon the same mischief. What variety of debate were we led into? You were pleased to say yesterday,
that, but that you were tied up to the first question, yet you
were free to propound another question. As to the right,
ubi eadem ratio, eadem lex. No question but the Irish members have a natural right. They skin off your skin, and if
once the legal right were over, the other right would be admitted in an hour's debate. Jure dato. that granted, the business is at an end, as to all future debate. For men to think
to carry it by vote, and not by reason, is no good foundation
for a right. To huddle up just and fit together. Do that
which may justify you before the world. I would have the
Parliament of England speak plain English, and not go by
implication, that the Chief Magistrate may know what he has
to do. Dark foundations leave things dangerous. If your
militia and negative voice had not been upon such a foundation, laid in the dark, you had had no war. The same question will be revived next Parliament. I owe more honour to
the Parliament of England, than to any single, or other person whatsoever. Let the Parliament be thanked for it, and
not the single person.
Colonel Birch. It is against the order of the House to refleet upon your debates; to say. they are carried by votes, and
not by reason. I think all your results are carried by reason.
I would not have you proceed upon the legality, which is
but one reason; not the tenth part of the reason. Let your
debate be upon the sitting of the members. For the other
part, I leave it to you.
Mr. Weaver. 1 did not reflect upon your results, but advised that they might be carried by reason, and not by vote;
and so do I advise. For the other part of the motion, I
would have you go upon the legal part. It was moved yesterday and to-day. You know what debate the word "concerning," cost you.
Mr. Attorney-general. If you engage yourselves in this
debate, to carry it on thus in parts, I know not when you
will end. I would have it go as general as may be. I expected some healing question from Mr. Sadler. We are
brethren. I would have us (as was moved) agree together in
unity. We all agree there is some lameness and defect in
the law. Let it be amended. 1 would have all these debates
ended in one Bill, that we may go on to the settlement of the
Commonwealth; and would that you have the honour of it.
If you admit it upon the legality, you go but upon one reason. I would have it go in the general.
Sir Henry Vane. If it be carried in the negative, that
they have no right, I question whether any vote of yours can
make them members. If they be not legally sent, you cannot
make them legal. Let it be admitted that they have no
right, and none will oppose bringing in a Bill.
Ireland was but a province. They had power then to have
a Parliament, (fn. 3) and the royal assent came from hence. They
are still in the state of a province, and you make them a
power, not only to make laws for themselves, but for this nation; nay, to have a casting vote, for aught I know, in all
your laws. Such a high breach of Parliament never was, like
this of the Chief Magistrate imposing members upon you. It
changes the very constitution of a Parliament of England.
You make yourselves a General Council, and cease to be a
Parliament. How, then, can you carry on the settlement intended? There will still be a worm at the root.
I would either have their right asserted, or ingenuously
acknowledge they have no right. A bill will not do it till
this be determined.
Mr. Trevor. I rise not to speak to the matter of the
debate. Ireland is not now a province, as it was when it was
conquered. They are all Englishmen there. (fn. 4) Will you have
Scotland to impose laws upon Ireland, and they have no
power in the legislature in themselves? I would have you
go upon the debate in general, and not debate any particular.
Mr. Reynolds stood up.
Mr. Speaker took him down, and offered the question in
general as to the sitting.
Mr. Reynolds. Seeing you are an English Parliament, let
us speak plain English. It was told you, that the Chief
Magistrate had a prerogative right to send for three hundred
members from Scotland and Ireland. I say it is a fundamental right of an English Parliament not to be imposed on.
I cannot consent to put it upon the sitting; but upon the
legal right, I shall.
Lieutenant-general Ludlow. That gentleman is mistaken.
If you adjourn generally, you are as much bound to put the
question concerning the right as you were to put it upon the
continuance; for this was first moved.
Mr. Jenkinson. The words, "legal right," are captious
words, but that of right is a fair question, and takes in both
law and equity. I would have you adjourn the debate
touching the sitting.
Mr. Nathaniel Bacon. I move to debate upon the general,
and not to go upon the right. How many questions will rise
if you go by these steps. Every man will take a liberty to
speak over again. I would advise it, together, in the same
manner as formerly, in the case of Scotland.
Mr. Goodrick moved to put the debate generally.
Sir William D'Oyley. The House grows thin. I would
have you adjourn the debate, and say no more.
Sir William Wheeler moved that it be adjourned upon
Mr. Speaker offered it, as to their tight of sitting.
Colonel Allured and Colonel Mildmay moved that it be
upon their right of sitting.
Mr. Gott. To adjourn it upon the sitting, does it not
take in the debate upon the right ?
Mr. Broughton again moved, upon the right, which is
Mr. Godfrey moved, to adjourn generally concerning this
Mr. Neville. I would have you lay a foundation for your
debate, (i.e.) Upon the right, and not hunt two or three
hares at once.
Mr. Gewen. The right of the Scotch and Irish members
was debated together a whole day. I move it may be upon
the right of sitting.
Mr. Bodurda. I have not that faculty, (fn. 5) as Sir Henry
Vane, to speak to the order, and go into the whole matter,
and say whatever can be said to it. I would have the debate
adjourned, generally, upon the sitting.
Sir Anthony Morgan. When you have framed your
question as is propounded, you do, in a manner, resolve the
business. Leave it rather, generally. The House is thin.
Mr. Hewley. I move that the words "right" and
"sitting" be both left out, and to adjourn only about the
Mr. Sadler. I am against the word "right." If, in the
affirmative, it pass, you wrong the Scotch. If in the ne
gative, then you wrong yourselves; that though they have
no right you will admit them to sit, be it upon prudence or
otherwise, it is not honourable for you.
I move to change your question quite; and instead of
"concerning," insert "about," because it is the way about;
and instead of "right" put in "wrong;" and so make it
"about the wrong sitting of the Irish members."
He withdrew as soon as he had said it.
Mr. Speaker excepted, and said none ought to impose a
ridiculous question upon the House.
Colonel White. Leave out the word "right." I know no
right to sit in Parliament, but what is a legal right.
Mr. — (fn. 6) . I move that the question be, whether they
have a legal right or no. I hope it will not be admitted
to be in the power of the Chief Magistrate to impose members
upon you, as he pleases.
Mr. Trevor stood up to speak.
Major Burton took him down, and said, we did not sit to
hear one man speak six times.
He went on and spoke to the words of the question.
Major Ashton. You are, yourself, under favour, mistaken
in the orders of the House. You can raise nought out of
the former debate when Scotch and Irish went together, but
what rises out of the debate to-day.
Mr. Speaker took him down, and said, he rose to speak
to the order of the House.
Mr. Reynolds. You did very justly and truly state it.
That which was first and second, and twentieth, was upon
the legal right. You cannot but do the House that right as
to put it upon the right, or, at least, whether it shall be put
or no, and so let us rise.
Sir Henry Vane moved for the two words "legal right"
to be in the question.
Mr. Hewley. I move to leave them out. The democratics
of our age went upon another principle.
Mr. Ditton. I moved to adjourn the debate, in general,
upon the sitting only.
Mr. Speaker. I must do right to both. If it pass in the
negative as to the legal right of sitting, then I must put the
next question upon the continuing to sit.
Mr. Fowell moved to adjourn it generally; viz. upon the
Mr. Godfrey stood up again.
Colonel Terrill took him down, he having spoken thrice.
Major-general Kelsey. It is insisted upon, and you must
put it upon the right.
Mr. Attorney-general. It is best to leave it generally; but,
if insisted on, it must be put. I shall give my negative.
Mr. Annesley. I consent to put the addition. There
will be no danger in it. I hope it will not pass, and that
the House will also lay it aside, as in the case of Scotland.
Mr. Speaker stood up to propound the question. He
looked most severely.
The question was propounded, whether those words, legal
right, shall be added as part of this question, after the word
The question was put if the words "legal right" shall be
added to the question.
Mr. Speaker declared for the Noes.
Mr. Jennings, Jun. declared for the Yeas.
The Yeas went out, Mr. Wharton, Lord Fairfax, Colonel
Hacker with them.
Yeas 95. Mr. Jenkinson and Colonel Mildmay, Tellers.
Noes 150. Sir Jerome Sankey and Colonel Cook, Tellers.
So it passed in the negative, and the debate was adjourned,
concerning the sitting of the members returned for Ireland.
Mr. Speaker gave it as the orders of the House, that no
members go out till the main question was put.
Mr. Trevor moved that the question be for the continuance.
Sir William Wheeler and others. You cannot alter the
words of the question.
Mr. Attorney-general agreed that you could not alter the
words of the question.
Sir Henry Vane. You have excluded a debate upon the
legal right; but,
Mr. Speaker moved that he led the House into a mistake,
for though they left the words out of the question, yet the
right might be taken into debate, notwithstanding.
Upon the general sense of the House it was agreed that no
words could be altered in the question; so the debate was
adjourned thus, viz. concerning the sitting of the members
returned for Ireland.
The House was but thin, rose at two. Sir Arthur Haslerigge was not at the House to-day. The Chair's severity
was much noted. He answers almost every body. (fn. 7)
The Committee of Privileges sat first in the Star Chamber,
then in the House.
Mr. Serjeant Waller was in the chair, on the business of Colonel Fielder. I could not, because of letters, tell the event.
I could attend no other Committees.