Good-Friday, April 1, 1659.
I came late.
A petition of Mr. Samuel Vassal was read, (fn. 1) and committed.
A Committee was appointed to review the grievances for
Ireland. (fn. 2) All that come to have voices.
The House resumed the debate, upon the bill concerning
the excise and new impost; and concerning the customs, and
tonnage and poundage.
Colonel Bennet made a long speech to three or four several
questions; as to settlement, and barring out the pretenders;
adjournment; a committee, &c.; and concluded to reject the
Mr. Speaker, to the orders of the House.
Every man ought to keep to the question, and not to
launch into so many debates and questions.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. It is no order of the House, that
every man that speaks in this House is bound to speak to the
purpose. Men have several gifts. Some are not so quick as
others. The gentleman began, and concluded to reject the
Mr. Reynolds. I am of opinion that we should keep to
the point. A worthy sitter in the Long Parliament used to
launch out, and they used to cry, "Ad idem." Said he, "I
know not what ad idem means; but I shall speak to the
Mr. Attorney-general. You well advised. You did not
take him down; but did your duty.
Dr. Clarges spoke first to the business of committing the
bill to a Grand Committee. He would debate, first, the time
of the excise.
Sir William Wheeler. I move to continue the excise for
ten years, and to debate this in a Grand Committee; and for
you to leave the chair. And that the tonnage and poundage
may go in another Bill by way of subsidy.
Colonel Kirkley. Colonel Bennett moved properly, and
did not ramble into debates; only it was not well timed.
He was in the right way, when he said the grievances ought
first to be redressed.
This excise was laid invitâ Minervâ. (fn. 3) The mal-administration ought to be considered. I am able to make out that
in Lancaster. 12,000l. per annum is made of it, and but
4,000l. comes to the public.
Let us be secured of our liberties and rights, and let
him be branded that will not consent to a fit maintenance to
be for the army and our defence.
It is said, those persons that we have voted to transact
with us are good men; persons engaged in the same cause.
Sir Robert Goodwin. Parliament used always to grant
monies, last. First, take into consideration the liberties of
those that sent us hither.
There are not above two lines of the twelve, that are fit to
be retained. I would have it be in two Bills, and this Bill
laid aside. I would have it go as a grant, and not as a
continuance. It is your money that must purchase your
Mr. Bulkeley. I did not intend any thing but what is well
in it; and they that say so, I thank them. They say but
right. Did I think this duty would not be levied when
I am gone, I should not have brought in this bill.
If you go to transact, I fear you will leave this, the
greatest burthen, upon such a footing as that it will never be
gone. I am not fond of any thing that I bring in hither. If
you please to debate this of the excise in a Grand Committee, and bring in another Bill for the customs, I shall
Mr. Trevor. I wonder to see this jealousy of this Bill.
It has been the fortune of our civil wars, to leave things,
both revenue and laws, upon such a footing as nothing
but necessity can justify. The end of this Bill is, to bring
back our purse to where it ought to be, as our natural
As to precluding all complaints against excise, leave it to
your Committee to bring in a Bill to remedy the incon
veniences, or to take off some part upon some commodities,
that at first were thought to advance the revenue, but which
prove destructive to the very being and trade of these commodities. I would have the whole referred.
Mr. Godfrey. There is not a word in the Bill for the confirmation or continuance of the duty; nor of grant, as I understand the bill, neither by expression nor implication. If,
"cease and determine," "be null and void," be words that
grant, give, and confirm, I understand nothing of it. True,
here is the word "continue," but no continuance implied;
unless the Parliament by an act continue them. This being
well understood, would save a great deal of debate.
All that is done is not actually to destroy it. You leave
it as you find it, to stand for that time upon its own footing.
There is no such dreadfulness in it as is moved.
I would have this referred to a Grand Committee, as to
the excise, and another Bill for the customs.
Mr. Gewen. All agree there is an invincible necessity to
continue this charge; and all agree it shall be done by a Bill.
They only differ as to wording of it.
Some say it is a good law; others not. Ille affirmat, alter
negat. I have not the spirit of opposition; but I am sworn
to maintain the liberties and privileges of the people.
Nullus quisquis conscius suœ fortunœ.
I would have it in a Grand Committee. There you may
order the language of the Bill.
Colonel Parsons. Frustra sit per plura, &c. All those
ends that are propounded, may be answered, by appointing
a Committee to bring in a Bill to assert the necessity for
money of this revenue. I cannot see how we can divide our
oath. We are bound, as well to preserve the people's
liberties as his Highness's just right.
Sir John Northcote. The gentleman that brought in the
Bill deserves thanks from you and from the nation. All exceptions against the Bill are against the words; which a Committee may amend. I am for the commitment of the Bill.
First make a previous vote, that no money shall be levied
but by assent of this Parliament. That will answer that objection, that this is no confirmation; or, else, let your
Declaration be connected with the Bill.
The customs have always been dedicated to the sea service,
the excise to the army. Give it as a free gift of yours to the
Protector, or for two, three, four, or five years. I like not
those words, "unless there be extraordinary occasion for
them." By that rule, the Chief Magistrate may take it up,
again, when he pleases.
Mr. Neville. I am so far from blaming the gentleman that
brought in this Bill, that I would have brought it in, myself.
I believe there are some defects in the levy, that unless you
do something in this, they cannot act so cheerfully, that
act in it.
The ends of Parliament have ever since King James's time
been untimely ends. The people were wise, and would not
serve those ends that they were called together for.
Our new monarchy had the same influence on Parliament.
The Instrument of Government had made good humane provision for the maintenance of thirty thousand men, (fn. 4) with
whose pay you could not meddle. (fn. 5) It was not thought
so good to be on a military account, but upon a legal, which
you know has its flaw.
If there had not been a necessity for calling you, you had
not been here. You are here to serve turns, to strengthen
the government, and to pay two millions of money.
You have a single person in a possessory right, put in by
the Council; that call themselves a council, I know not
by what law. You have made several votes. I hope, if
ever the Bill comes on again, we shall speak to that point of
the single person. Consider your own constitution before
you settle your revenue. This is hysteron proteron. (fn. 6) It may
be, you will think fit to retrench the Chief Magistrate's
charge, that he may not go out with his chariots and horses,
the powers of the heathen.
I would have no excise levied after this Parliament, unless
confirmed by the Parliament.
Mr. Stephens, We learn out of the "Mirror of Justices" (fn. 7)
the end of calling Parliaments. Noy (fn. 8) said in Parliament,
"Before we grant money let us see whether we have it or
no." It was a constant rule, to hear the grievances of the
people, before ever any money was granted.
The gentleman that brought in the Bill, did it out of a
good affection. I am neither for rejecting it, nor committing
it at present. I shall not be against granting the excise.
I joined with you in settling the single person, and would
have him possess a competent support; but do it in its due
We have a great deal of need to provide for the people's
rights, that have been of late so much abused. I would have
successive Parliaments, and not a continual Parliament.
The King could never get the people to acknowledge that
the customs were his. This of excise was never to be borne
in a Parliament. I would not have this continued, on pretence of necessity, longer then needs must be. I would have
two distinct Bills brought in by way of grant; and along
with them a Bill to preserve the people's rights.
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. Will you settle this revenue, and not in the body of your government, to see what
your money shall go to support? It is not yet said what
hand you shall have in any thing. Once declare money,
they may go on without you.
The money is paid already. I would have you put no
discountenance upon it Make a previous vote, that after
this present Parliament none shall presume to levy this duty.
That will keep it a-foot this Parliament; and, in the mean
time, you may settle it. Nobody can complain why they
want money, if we be dissolved. If you have not time to
grant it, and be willing to it, you are excused.
I shall offer this previous vote: and he read it and put it to
the table. He said it was not his own, but Mr. Neville's.
Resolved and declared, that no law for excise shall be
of force, nor excise levied, after the end or other determination of this Parliament.
Lord Falkland. First settle his Highness, before you
settle his revenue.
Mr. Disbrowe. Can a vote take away a law ? It may
strengthen it, but it cannot null it. Is it not better to make
it for a time, and then to cease ?
It is said, the people's grievances should first be heard.
Has hot this been taken as the greatest grievance that ever
was complained of this Parliament. I am against having it
constituted by this Parliament. When first laid on, it was
looked on by those that laid it on, with weeping eyes and
wounded hearts. You find this upon you already. Which
will be most acceptable to the people, to do it with your own
hands, or only to limit it for a time ? Time was when this
would have been hugely comfortable. If a gift of yours,
to whom will you give it? Is it not to your servant, to
dispose of it for your use ?
It is said, "When the Court was out at heels, then Parliaments were called." This money goes not to maintain
a King's court, but to maintain your forces against your
I will not speak to the parts of it till it come to the committee. It may be made a good Bill. I would have another
Bill as to the regulation of the customs. It is not for your
service to lay so much on it. In silks, if half the customs,
it would bring in ten times more. Then they would riot
Mr. Broughton. I must say to you as was said by the
apostle Paul, (fn. 9) "Hear me a few words of your clemency."
Every man has not the gift of expressing himself so in short
as others. Potius perirat unus, quam multus. Let one stay
rather than many suffer. I would have this Bill laid aside,
never to be heard of again.
It is said, it was brought in with good intentions. We
must judge of motions not of intentions. It may be, he
consulted some that were too free of the people's purse.
Amongst the Romans, she that would not burn with her
husband, was ever after reported a whore. Non nobis nati
sumus. I had rather leave my head in this House, than
go into the country without my heart.
Were I of his Highness's Council, I would never advise
him to seek things so high. It looks like the interest of
Charles Stuart. It is your honour to be impartial to the
people as well as to his Highness. Care for all rights alike.
It is offered ten years for the excise. That is three years
above a man's life. We must deal with a young man as they
do with young whelps; whip him, and not knock him on the
head. He will run well enough in the course afterward.
We cannot live for ever. Young men must come in our
places. I had rather leave my estate to an honest godly
stranger than to a stubborn wicked son, to offend God with
Mr. Speaker, observing a great noise, stood up to preserve
the gravity of the House, and to desire that every man
might keep to the point.
Sir Henry Vane. I ask, if it be in the power of your
Chair to take any man down because he speaks not to your
sense, or has not such abilities as reside there.
Mr. Attorney-general. The Chair deserved no check. He
moved against the disorder, to the end he might be heard.
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. The Chair may take off impertinent speeches.
Mr. Trevor. I move that the gentleman go on. He was
hunting, and I hoped he would find something in the conclusion.
Mr. Solicitor-general. I move to hear him out. He is of
abilities, and will very much show them if he can draw his
conclusion from what he has spoken.
Mr. Broughton went on and decried the gallantry of the
Court; and told us of a butcher that carried a calf till it was
a bull. He concluded to reject the Bill.
Query, if Milo was a butcher ?
Serjeant Hale. I except against his speech for reflecting
upon Mr. Bulkeley, as if he had consulted with some that were
free of the people's purse. It deserves your reprehension,
and the animadversion of this House.
Mr. Bodurda. I would not have time spent on that reflection, though it wast one. He did not express that any within
this House had been consulted. It may be, it was without
The previous vote that is offered, is to perpetuate it; and,
if I were a courtier, I should be a friend to that paper. Indeed, you say it shall continue for this Parliament. That
is, to continue it for the Parliament's coming here again.
This Parliament cannot dissolve itself. Then the Chief
Magistrate may keep the excise on foot, for his life at least,
and it will be a moot point whether his death dissolve the
I had never consented to transact; but that I hoped they
would consent to make this temporary: nor can I consent to
lay any tax upon the people, till this be made temporary.
I would have this Bill committed.
It will be inquired who brought in the Bill, and when it
appears that it was one of the Long Parliament, (fn. 10) it will be
said, this Parliament has a mind to perpetuate themselves, as
that Parliament did.
Sir George Booth. This is too sharp a censure upon us,
that came here to serve our counties upon a clear footing,
without any design of perpetuating a trouble to ourselves.
That might have been spared. I was against the Bill coming
in at this time; but would have two Bills brought in, to
grant this for so many years.
Mr. Francis Bacon moved to commit the Bill.
It grew towards one, and it was moved to adjourn; and
the debate was adjourned till to-morrow morning next, after
the declaration for the public fast be reported; and that nothing else do then intervene.
The previous vote was thus: (fn. 11) —
Resolved, and be it declared by this House, that from and
after the end, or other determination of this present Parliament, no excise, customs, or other imposts be demanded, levied, received, or paid, by any of the people of this Commonwealth, by virtue of any act, ordinance, order, or declaration whatsoever now in being, or which hereafter shall be,
other than what shall be agreed upon and consented to by
Mr. Weaver received leave to go into the country.
The House rose at one.
The Committee of Trade sat.
Major Beake was in the chair.
Sir Sackville Crowe's petition was presented. (fn. 12)
The Committee for the King's children's servants (fn. 13) sat in
the Court of Wards.
Mr. Hewley was in the chair. T. B. there.
The Welsh Committee (fn. 14) sat in the Exchequer Chamber.
Serjeant Seys was in the chair.
The Durham Committee sat in the Queen's Court. (fn. 15)
Mr. Shaftoe was in the chair.