The Diary of Thomas Burton: 7 April 1656-7

Pages 421-423

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

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Tuesday, April 7, 1657.

The Lord Commissioner Whitlock reported, from the Committee to whom it was referred, to prepare reasons to be given to his Highness the Lord Protector, for insisting upon the humble Petition and Advice.

Resolved, that the House doth agree with the Committee in this, that these shall be the reasons presented to his Highness, for their adhering to their Petition and Advice, formerly presented, viz.

" That the Parliament having lately presented their humble Petition and Advice to your Highness, whcreunto they have not as yet received satisfaction; and the matters con. tained in that Petition and Advice, being agreed upon by the great council and representative of the three nations; and which, in their judgments, are most conducive to the good of the people thereof, both in their spiritual and civil concernments, they have therefore thought fit to adhere to this advice; and to put your Highness in mind of the great obligation which rests upon you, in respect of this advice; and again to desire you to give your assent thereunto."

The Lord Chief Justice reported from the Committee appointed to attend his Highness, that the said Committee did accordingly attend his Highness, (fn. 1) who was pleased to appoint to-morrow, three of the clock, in the afternoon, in the Banquetting house, at Whitehall, to meet with the Parliament.


  • 1. "On a business of great importance." This Committee consisted of fifty members, of whom the first named is "Lord Broghill." A large majority favoured the project of a new royalty. On this subject of kingship, (see p. 382, supra,) was "printed, January 1658–9," in eight pages, quarto, "A Brief Relation, containing an abbreviation of the arguments urged by the late Protector against the Government of this Nation by a King or a single Person; to convince Men of the danger and inconveniency thereof: urged by him to many of the Army, at St. Albans and Whitehall, (a little before the King was beheaded) and at several other places. Published for the good and information of Parliament, Army, and People." It thus commences:— "Imprimis. Because it is possible, yea, more than ordinarily probable, that a single person, in a short time, will work over his council to his own will, though illegal; either in conferring places of honour and profit on them and their friends, or else in terrifying them by threats. "2. Because that a single person being raised to such a state, is subject to wax wanton, and so forget, or rather neglect, the Commonalty, in providing for a few that will be at his beck. "3. Because, notwithstanding for a time he may carry matters fair, and do some good things, Jehu-like, until he has gotten an interest in the affections of the people; then forgetting, or rather slighting what he formerly pretended to, instead of countenancing of justice and endeavouring reformation, it is possible he may become a favourer of iniquity; "Nay," said he, "a settler of a Court, or nurserie of whores, rogues, bawds, and such like persons as was evidently seen in former days at Whitehall." Brief Relation, p. 3. It is scarcely possible here, to forget the "settler of a Court, or nurserie" at Whitehall, destined so soon to occupy that palace, as the Protector's royal successor, "on whose Restoration," according to Bishop Burnet, O. T. (ad regis exemplum,) "the nation was overrun with vice." Yet the Bishop, whose moral taste was of no inferior order, had strangely written, just before, that he was "about to open an august and splendid scene."