The Diary of Thomas Burton: 24 December 1656

Pages 221-228

Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 1, July 1653 - April 1657. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.

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Wednesday, December 24, 1656.

An Act for naturalizing of Lewis du Moulin, doctor of physic, (fn. 1) and others, read three times together: such as I have not known before.

Resolved to pass for a law, and that his Highness's consent be desired thereunto.

Sir William Strickland reported the amendments from the Committee, to whom the Bill was referred for settling upon Judge-Advocate Whalley, and Mr. Erasmus Smith, lands in Ireland, fallen to them by lot as adventurers there. Lord Ardes's and Lord Glainboise's lands were fallen by lot to the said adventurers; (fn. 2) but the Committee reported that other lands are set out in lieu of those lands.

Major-General Disbrowe and Lord Lambert proposed that they be set out by any three or more of his Highness's council, whereof the Lord Deputy to be one.

Mr. Robinson. The amendments are quite otherwise than the Bill. It is a matter of great concernment. Here are 9000 acres, English measure, settled upon them; for Irish measures are double, and you leave it to them to make their election. Surely they will not chuse the worst. If you give such large exhibitions, I doubt you will find some fall short; they that come last. Other public debts are to be satisfied out of Irish lands. I would have these gentlemen performed with to a penny; but I would have no more given them than is their contract. I like not those general terms, " all other advantages." I desire it should either be recommitted, or put in more particular terms. Here are 5000 Irish acres.

Sir William Strickland. I hope it is put into the hands of such persons as will be very faithful to you, in seeing that no more be set out than is due.

Colonel Jones. By the orders of the House, the member concerned ought to withdraw. You must be careful in the measure, for you may be much mistaken in that, for Irish acres are double others.

Mr. Attorney-General. Unless the member be accused of some crime, he need not withdraw. In such cases the member stands up in his seat, and makes his defence, and then is to withdraw.

Major-General Bridges. There is no such difference in the measure as is represented to you.

Major-General Goffe. Put all the amendments to the question together in the gross.

Resolved, that the lands be set out by three or more of the council, whereof the Lord-Deputy, or Chief-Governor of Ireland, to be one. Amendment upon amendment.

Captain Scotten. Seeing you have left out the house of Portumna, (fn. 3) I desire that you would assign them a house in Galloway.

Mr. Speaker pressed that a house should be assigned them.

Resolved, to agree with the Committee, in all these amendments.

Resolved, that this Bill be engrossed.

Sir Lislebone Long. Sir Thomas Viner, (fn. 4) and several other citizens are attending without, with a petition; I desire they may be called in.

Alderman Foot. I desire to second that motion, that the petitioners may be called in It seems, it is a contrary petition to what came in yesterday. (fn. 5)

Mr. Bampfield. An Act for raising of maintenance for a minister, at Newport, in the Isle of Wight. Read a first time.

Colonel Sydenham and Sir William Strickland proposed, that it might be read a second time, upon Friday next.

Sir Edward Rhodes. I desire you will not appoint it on Friday; that is the day appointed for the Scotch business.

Mr. Attorney-General. It may be read in the morning, the first business.

Resolved, that this Bill be read a second time, on Friday.

Sir Christopher Pack proposed to call in the petitioners.

Mr. Speaker. I hope you intend to call in those noble citizens that wait at the door, as soon as this Bill is read.

Mr. Bampfield brought in another Bill to the same purpose, for Exeter; intitled, " An Act for promoting, and more frequent preaching of, the Gospel, and maintenance of ministers in the City of Exeter, and uniting of parishes and parish Churches within the said City of Exeter."

Mr. Speaker. Observe this Bill. It is of more concernment than the former. It is for the uniting of parishes, &c.

Observe this clause: " The Mayor and Burgesses there, to have the Advowson of these places, for them and their successors for ever; and for settling all the Dean's and Dean and Chapter's lands adjoining."

Mr. Nathaniel Bacon, was glad to hear the House so zealous for providing a future maintenance for ministers, whilst others were taking it away; but desired it might be committed to fill up the blanks.

Resolved, that this Bill be read a second time, upon Wednesday.

Sir Thomas Viner, and about twenty more citizens, called in. They opened their petition: "A Petition of the President and Governors of the Corporation for the Poor of the City of London."

It was against the brokers' (fn. 6) buying of stolen goods, and not entering them.

Alderman Foot. In King James's time, a registry was settled for entry of all such goods, whereby many robberies and burglaries were discovered.

Captain Baynes. The brokers do so grind the faces of the poor, by unreasonable exactions, sixty per cent, nay double, every year. This is not in the petition. I desire these may be considered.

Mr. Godfrey and Dr. Clarges proposed, that this might be taken into consideration, for it was a very great grievance; and that it might not only extend to the City, but to the liberties.

Mr. Church proposed, that it might extend all the nation over.

Major-General Kelsey proposed, not to clog the business.

Mr. Robinson. This brocage is a great grievance; but I know not how it will be remedied, unless you take away the livelihood of thousands of poor people. Though they pay exactious rates, both for the clothes and monies borrowed of the brokers; yet the poor people make it their subsistence. If you take that away, many will perish for want of sustenance. Instanced in oyster-women, (fn. 7) and the like.

Alderman Foot and Sir Christopher Pack said, that it ought to be referred to the Committee of Trade.

Major-General Kelsey. The way to lose the business is, to commit it thither. I desire it may rather be transferred to the Committee for the other petition of the city.

Colonel Mathews. I never knew any Committee dispatch business more cleverly than that Committee.

Resolved, that this petition be referred to the Committee of Trade.

Resolved, that the business of brocage be referred to the same Committee.

Captain Baynes. I believe it will be offered to the Committee how useful would be a small bank for the relief of poor people, upon pawns of this kind, so that these brokers will fall to the ground of course.

The Master of the Rolls and Mr. Solicitor General. This Corporation was settled in the Long Parliament; but none but freemen's children can be received.

I desire that the poor of the country giving monies with their children, may be received into this Corporation.

Mr. Robinson proposed to refer the Bill to this Committee to consider of the constitution of this Corporation.

Alderman Foot and Mr. Recorder. If we must receive the poor of the country, we must have more houses built.

Resolved, that it be referred to the same Committee to consider of a way for provision for the poor in the country.

Mr. Lister reported the amendments to the Bill for the probate of wills. (fn. 8)

1st Amendment. Salary of judges at 200l. per annum.

Resolved, to agree with the Committee in this amendment.

2d. That the clause for making it a Court of Record be left out.

3d. That all wills concerning lands shall be registered with the registrar.

Mr. Solicitor-General, Mr. Attorney-General and Lord Chief-Justice, were against the registering of such wills, for it would be the way to encourage forgery. Ecclesiastical courts never had cognisance of such wills. This concerns men's inheritances, which cannot be determined but by witnesses before a jury. That clause may very well be left out and the Bill stand.

Mr. Speaker. This is an independent clause, and may be left out without prejudice to the Bill. Make it thus, that where land is divised in the will, the Court may not keep the will.

Mr. Fowell. Lands passed by will, are not testimentary. I need not prove it unless I will.

Captain Baynes proposed to agree with the Committee.

The Master of the Rolls. The seal of the probate is good enough for the goods, and is evidence in any court, but for lands it cannot be evidence, and, therefore, the original will must remain in the devisee's hands. It may be any of our cases. No man knows who shall be first.

Mr. Robinson. This registering of wills, I fear me, will not be sufficient, unless you make it a Court of Record. I cannot be satisfied that the clause before you is enough for that purpose. I desire you would adjourn for the present, and debate it to-morrow morning.

Major-General Disbrowe, Lord-Chief Justice and Major General Howard proposed that it might be recommitted.

The Speaker offered to amend it at the chair.

Resolved, that this Bill be recommitted, and that all the gentlemen of the long robe may be added.

Per Mr. Pedley. Resolved, that the Report from the Committee for Rodney's petition be upon Wednesday next.

Per Lord Lambert. Resolved that the Bill for General Monk (fn. 9) be read a second time on Friday.

It was moved to have a Report from the Committee for Civil law on Wednesday, and the question being put, Mr. Speaker declared the affirmative, but Mr. Robinson stood up and was unsatisfied. The House divided but it was yielded, and

Resolved, that the Report from the Committee for the Civil Law be brought in on Wednesday next.

Resolved, to add several members to several Committees.

I was this afternoon with Captain Lister's Committee in the Inner Court of Wards; who only ordered Serjeant Maynard to be sent for, and adjourned till Friday at three.

In the same place sat the Committee for the citizens' petition.

In the Speaker's chamber, Major-General Howard, Mr. Briscoe, Mr. Fenwick, and I, at a sub-Committee for the Borders. (fn. 10)

In the same place, upon a sub-Committee, where Mr West had the chair, to examine Mr. Thomas Duckett about the probability of his project for the new way of tanning and dressing leather, and improving of lands, according to some proposals before the Committee of Trade. The Committee approved of his ways in many particulars.


  • 1. He held now, and till the Restoration, the office of Camden's Professor of History at Oxford. During this year (1656) he had published a Latin work, entitled Parænesis, designed to controvert the presbyterian assumption of ecclesiastical authority. Wood says, that " it was the opinion then of some eminent and judicious persons, that the said book did give a notable blow to those severe ones, of the Presbyterian way, who build a jurisdiction within a jurisdiction; and also that it did conduce to the uniting of all interests, rendering the magistrate his due, and stating the right of churches." This learned physician, whose published writings were numerous, though none of them medical, was son of the famous Peter du Moulin. His brother Peter, a clergyman of the Church of England, wrote in 1652, (though attributed to Alex. Moms) Regii sanguinis clamor 'ad cœlum, against Milton's Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio. See Fasti Oxonienses, 1635, 1649, and 1656.
  • 2. See supra, p. 2.
  • 3. Reserved, with 4,000 acres, for Lord Henry Cromwell. See infra.
  • 4. Alderman, who had been Lord Mayor in 1653. Sir Robert Viner, who filled that office in 1674, and whose familiarity with Charles II. and its. consequences, are related in The Spectator, No. 462, was, probably, of the same family.
  • 5. See supra, p. 209, 215, 216.
  • 6. Pawn-brokers, who appear to have borne an ill reputation long after this period. Thus Arbuthnot, on " Antient Coins," &c., published in 1727; says, " the usurers, or money-changers at Rome, seem to have been little better than our pawn-brokers."
  • 7. These are celebrated in Hudibras. "The oyster-women lock'd their fish up, And trudg'd away, to cry, no Bishop:" Again, to assist in the fortification of London, the female citizens, " From ladies down to oyster-wenches, Labour'd like pioneers in trenches."
  • 8. See supra, p. 8, note.
  • 9. He was now rending at Dalkeith House as Commander-in-chief for Scotland. This Bill was for a grant of lands. See infra.
  • 10. See supra, p. 12 note *.