The Diary of Thomas Burton: 2 January 1656-7

Pages 294-297

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

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Friday, January 2,1656–7.

An Act for the Repeal of certain branches in an Act, intitled an Act touching corn and meal. Read the first time.

A Bill for the amendment of the highways. Read the second time.

Mr. Fowell, Mr. Downing, Mr. Robinson, Lord Strickland, Mr. Pickering, Mr. Attorney-General, Captain Lilburn, Lord Whitlock and others, excepted against the Bill, for several clauses in it, especially against that clause which appointed a surveyor-general of the highways.

Mr. Robinson said, it was a minister that undertook the project. He doubted his skill in it; wished he would look to his own ways; we could look to ours ourselves. The office would be better than his benefice. He would be higher than Archbishop of Canterbury, at least 10,000l.; erecting such an office was generally disliked.

Alderman Foot and Mr. Bond, moved to have that clause put to a question for the rejecting of it.

Mr. Speaker inclined, and was going to put it, but, to prevent further debate, the question was put to commit the Bill.

Resolved, that it be committed. All that come to have voices.

Colonel Fitz-James moved to add Sir Richard Onslow, though absent.

Mr. Speaker. It is my duty once a day to remind you of the business of the day, that is, an answer to the letter.

Several stood up to press other business.

Mr. Bampfield moved, that the Bill for the Lord's-day be read.

Colonel Matthews and Colonel Rouse seconded the motion.

Captain Baynes moved for the second reading of the Bill for Yorkshire cloths.

Mr. Lister offered a Report from the Committe for probate of wills.

Mr. Speaker inclining, he went on a little way in it, but was called down, in respect it was late, and not known how long the debate might last upon a report.

Mr. Speaker said, a Report ought to have preliminence of all Bills.

Mr. Bampfield affirmed a Report from a Grand Committee ought to precede all reports, much more a report from a Grand Committee of religion, of whom you had heard nothing these three or four months. He had waited above a month to report it, and desired this day the reading of it. It seemed to be conceded, what Mr. Bampfield affirmed.

Colonel Clarke. In respect of your being ill at ease, and for that upon your preservation depends much of the forwarding of our business, I desire you would now adjourn till Monday morning, that in the meantime, you may recover your health.

Mr. Baron Parker. I only stand up to second that motion, that, for your health's sake, you would adjourn tilt Monday.

Mr. Bacon. I stand up to third that motion. I desire you would put the question.

Still Mr. Bampfield and Mr. Lister pressed their Reports.

Lord Broghill. In respect of your health, I am not against adjourning till Monday, but I would have you appoint Tuesday to read the Bill for the Lord's-day. I hope you will not make a private business of it, and you have appointed Monday for nothing else but private business.

Resolved, that the Bill for the Lord's-day be read on Wednesday, it being considered that Tuesday is the Money day.

A Bill touching the exportation of fish, was read the second time.

It had no tide, and a great many blanks for customs to be paid, so much for poor John, (fn. 1) and the like, &c.

Mr. Speaker said, there are a great many blanks but no brief. I think I must read the whole Bill, but, shortly, opened it and threw it from him.

Captain Hatsel and Mr. Fowell, urged that it was for the benefit of the nation, and advance of the fish trade, to give liberty for a time to export it, in regard it was much wanted in Spain, where our vessels could not come, and the Bill limited it to a time.

Resolved, that this Bill be committed to the Committee of Trade.

The motion to adjourn was taken up twice again.

Colonel Hewitson stood up to fix it. In regard our preservation depends much upon your health, I desire you would put that question.

Per Colonel Briscoe.

Resolved, that Captain Lilburn have leave to go into the country, for a month.

Resolved, that Sir Edward Herbert have leave to go into the country.

Resolved, that Colonel Ceely have leave to go into the country.

Resolved, that Judge Lawrence and Colonel Talbot be added to the Scotch Committee.

Thus was the business of the day jostled out, and nobody said a word to it. I hear it will never be mentioned again; if it be, I dread the consequence. Absit.

I writ nothing this day, in the House. A friend told me (Captain Lilburn) that it would be taken notice of. He heard it much talked on, at table, the day before. Colonel — (fn. 2) told me, a week since, that Lu: R: (fn. 3) had a purpose to take me down; but he wished me not to forbear, nor yet to take him off, for he was apt to forget.

Resolved, that this House do adjourn itself till Monday morning at eight.

This afternoon the Grand Committee for Religion should have met; but could not moke up the number. We dined in Fish-street, with Captain Atkins and Mr. Booth: cost us nothing, them 20s; coach, (fn. 4) 3s.


  • 1. The name of a fish.
  • 2. Blank in MS.
  • 3. Thus in MS.
  • 4. Hackney Coaches began to ply in 1626. In 1654, there was an ordinance for their regulation, limiting their number to 300.