The Diary of Thomas Burton: 18 February 1656-7

Pages 375-377

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

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Wednesday, February 18, 1656–7.

Resolved, that the Lord Whitlock have the thanks of this House, for his great and faithful service in the business of this House, as Speaker, during the absence of the present Speaker.

Resolved, that the sum of 500l., expended by the Lord Commissioner Whitlock, in his embassy into Sweden, over and above what he hath received, shall be forthwith paid unto him.

Resolved, that the sum of 2000l. be paid unto the said Lord Commissioner Whitlock, over and above the said 500l., in respect of his great and faithful service to the public in that embassy.

Ordered, that the Commissioners for the Treasury be required to pay the said several sums accordingly.

Ordered, that the Lord Commissioner Whitlock have the thanks of this House, for his great service in that embassy.

The Speaker, by command of the House, did give to the Lord Commissioner Whitlock, standing in his place, the thanks of this House, for his great and faithful service in that hazardous voyage undertaken by him as Ambassador to Sweden; and likewise for his readiness and faithfulness in the service of this House, as Speaker, in the absence of the present Speaker. (fn. 1)

A Bill, enjoining ministers and others to perform the duty of catechising, was this day read the second time; and upon the question, committed unto the same Committee that the Bill concerning the Sabbath is referred to. And all that come, shall have voices as to this business.

A Catechism was tendered to the House, to be the Catechism to be publicly taught, and to be made part of the Bill.

Resolved, that the title of this Book shall be read.

The title of the said Book was read accordingly, in these words, viz. "The Humble Advice of the Assembly of Divines, now, by the Authority of Parliament, sitting at Westminster, concerning a short Catechism." (fn. 2)

Resolved, that this Catechism be referred to this Committee.

Mr. Speaker acquainted the House, that his Highness hath invited all the Members of this House to dine with his Highness on Friday next, being the day of public thanksgiving, in the Banquetting House at Whitehall (fn. 3)


  • 1. "Sir Thomas Widdrington," says Whitlock (February 18th)," being informed of the great favour of the Parliament to me, their Speaker, during his absence, and the interest I had gained in the House, and that several private bills were ready to pass, and particularly for naturalizing of many strangers, and every one of them was to pay 5l. to the Speaker for his fee, which I would receive in case Sir Thomas Widdrington did not take his place again before the passing of those Bills; he, being desirous of the money, though to the hazard of his life, came again to the House, and took his place, though very weak and feeble. "My friends were apprehensive of the hard measure I had, in being thus defeated, and they were sensible of my pains and dexterity in managing the business of the House, wherein I had given them great content, and they said, that in the short time of my being Speaker, by my holding them to the points in debate, they had dispatched more business than in all the time before of their sitting. They moved the House on the behalf of me, and these votes were unanimously passed." Memorials, (1732). p. 655.
  • 2. This Catechism, which still forms part of the established theology of the Church of Scotland, was authorized by the Long Parliament, "Die Lunæ, 15th September, 1648;" when it was "Ordered, by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, that this shorter Catechism be forthwith printed and published."
  • 3. After hearing two sermons at "Margaret's Westminster," from Mr. Gelaspy and Mr. Warren, the House partook of "a most princely entertainment. After dinner, his Highness withdrew to the Cockpit, and there entertained them with rare music, both of instruments and voices, till the evening "—Mercurius Politicus, No. 350.