The Diary of Thomas Burton: 5 May 1657

Pages 106-116

Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 2, April 1657 - February 1658. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.

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Tuesday, May 5, 1657.

The House being informed that Major Waring, a member of Parliament, (fn. 1) was arrested in the city of London, by John Browne, a serjeant at the. mace, belonging to Wood Street Counter, and Nicholas Wolley, his yeoman, by the direction of Ralph Grigge, an attorney of Clement's Inn, at the suit of Harvey and Alston, (fn. 2)

Mr. Speaker. I move for your privilege.

Resolved, that Ralph Grigge, John Browne, Nicholas Wolley, Harvey and Alston, be sent for, in safe custody, as delinquents. (fn. 3)

Mr. Speaker moved to have the directions of the House whether an ingrossed Bill should be opened.

The clerk was going to read Gloucester Bill.

Sir William Roberts. I move that you adhere to your former vote, to admit of no business till this great business be over.

Mr. Godfrey. It is more honourable for you to proceed than to sit and look upon one another. You are masters of your own orders, and a dispensation is not a breach of your orders.

Colonel Shapcott. It is for your honour to adhere to your vote in a matter of this consequence.

The Master of the Rolls. You should proceed to no business till this is over; for his Highness has promised a speedy and positive answer, without delay.

Mr. Nathaniel Bacon seconded the motion to adjourn.

Colonel Purefoy and Colonel Briscoe moved to proceed.

We were sent here to serve our country, and not to sit looking upon another. It is an old saying, nulla dies sine linea. Besides, you have admitted business since that order, and you may dispense with your orders, at your pleasure.

Mr. Bampfield moved for a short Bill to be read for the maintenance of a minister at—

But the question was called for to adjourn, which was put accordingly.

Mr. Speaker declared for the Yeas: Mr. Tymbes excepted; the House was divided; we went out and were 47. They sat and were 50. (fn. 4) So it passed in the negative. The great lords were all absent.

The ingrossed Bill for Gloucester was read according to the first motion made by the Master of the Rolls. The Bill was very long. It was to settle 10,000l. worth of land in Ireland upon Anthony Edwards and others, in consideration of their losses by fire, and other accidents, in the time of war. (fn. 5)

The Master of the Rolls. The poor people, out of their zeal for your cause, pulled down their houses without regard to their goods. We desire not by this Bill to intrench upon the rights of others, of any of the soldiery.

Lord Broghill. I have a great value for that town of Gloucester, and none that serve for Ireland will repine at any thing that the Parliament is pleased to do for that city; but those lands in Ireland have been first settled upon by the soldiers, who did you hard service. It was made out that it would not satisfy a fifth part of what is justly due to them. You have now confirmed the Act of the Little Parliament. (fn. 6) I move that you would declare that you intend not to make any intrenchment upon what was settled in relation to those ends; that your poor army there may not be disappointed.

Major Aston. I second that motion, and offer a proviso to secure the interests of the soldiers and adventurers there. I am not against the Bill.

The proviso was read accordingly, and was to that purpose. (fn. 7)

Lord Broghill. This doth not answer my motion; for this relates only to Acts and Ordinances of Parliament, but I moved to confirm the orders of my Lord Protector and the Council.

Mr. Speaker. I move, that the noble Lord would bring in a proviso which would come fuller up to the ends propounded.

But he could not move otherwise.

Dr. Clarges. I move that this proviso may not be read the second time; for this overthrows the Bill. There are provisos sufficient to this purpose. The officers in Ireland are better provided for than in any place else. One hundred families are undone, if you pass not this. They have done you the most eminent service of any body. Their check to the King there, was the great means, under God, of your quiet sitting here.

The Master of the Rolls. There is a clause in the Bill which will help us as much as is convenient without this proviso. If you intend any thing to them but a bare show, I desire you would not pass this proviso.

Mr. Speaker read the clause.

Major Aston. Put the difference between lands that were allotted or given out, which the clause only related to, but this proviso extends to lands not set out. Many lands are not so much as surveyed.

Mr. Speaker. The clause is good so far as it goes; but it comes short; for it takes not in lands not set forth or allotted, and so the soldiery fall short of their security. On the other hand, if you take in all set forth, or not set forth, you utterly exclude the poor people from any relief.

The question being put for the proviso to be read the second time, it passed with the negative, nemine contradicente.

Lord Broghill offered another proviso, that it should not extend to lands within the mile line of Connaught, which was read accordingly. (fn. 8)

Dr. Clarges. This proviso is worse than the other; for the mile line is all that the poor people can expect any thing out of. The west of Connaught is designed for the Irish. I move to lay it aside.

Major-General Whalley. I would have you to relieve the poor people, but not out of other men's rights. I therefore desire that it may pass with this proviso.

The Master of the Rolls. We are all in the dark. I would have any body to inform us, if it be so, that all is designed for the Irish out of the mile line; and, that excepted, this gives them nothing at all.

I cannot forget that town of Gloucester, which, at such a time, did so valiantly and gallantly do you service. I move that the proviso be laid aside.

Colonel Sankey. I hope we all have a memorial upon our hearts of the service of that city; and it is fit they should be fully and gratefully rewarded. But if you give it from those that have not that large satisfaction as is intimated, you are likely to hear of it, what scanty satisfaction they have, and you had not need take any thing from them. I move that they may have satisfaction out of Galloway, and supply it out of other towns and cities.

Mr. Highland. Other persons and places, as the city of Chichester, (fn. 9) &c. deserve as much your justice and pity as Gloucester, and that more want bread than they do. They have a good trade. But if you give them any thing, make it certain. Let not one clash with another; but appoint it in some town, some corporation elsewhere. To do it in promiscuous terms will but create contest.

Mr. Bond. I move for Lord Broghill to be heard again, to inform you about the designment of that county of Connaught.

Lord Broghill moved, that they might have satisfaction within Galloway, which was certain, and unsettled upon by any persons. This would be without contest. The city of Galloway is the most regular city, and best fenced in all Ireland.

Colonel Cooper. There may be 30,000l. raised out of the city of Galloway, which would do a great deal more than satisfy them. It is a fine and regular city, with good buildings, and without all exceptions.

Dr. Clarges, (fn. 10) (upon Mr. Westlake's motion.) Galloway is the remotest city in Ireland, and is very poor; few inhabitants, but persons in the garrison. There will not 4000l. be raised there. They are poor, and have no trading at all: besides, the inhabitants of that city have articles, to come to their own houses.

We had all this fully debated at the Committee.

Captain Mason moved, that the proviso might be read a second time.

Mr. Hoskins moved, that the proviso might be corrected. The question was put for the second reading of the proviso. It passed in the affirmative.

The Master of the Rolls. I move that if this proviso pass, you would except Galloway, for Galloway is part of Connaught.

Lord Broghill. I am a bad clerk, but I intended not a surprise upon any. If a word will serve this amendment, I am not against it.

Dr. Clarges moved, that the proviso might be rejected.

Major-General Jephson. We that served you in the heat of the day were cast behind. Those that had the swords in their hands after, got good satisfaction and were cast there. It was not intended that the corporate towns should be accounted part of the mile line. I would have Galloway and Athlone excepted. I have done you as good service as another, but had never a penny yet. I hope God and your justice will in time repair me.

After some amendments (fn. 11) to the proviso, it was ordered to be part of the Bill.

Mr. Speaker. I move to have it stitched to the Bill before you pass it.

The Master of the Rolls. If you take it along with the Bill without stitching, it is enough.

The Bill, with the proviso, passed accordingly.

The Master of the Rolls. His Highness has sent to the Committee to meet him to-morrow afternoon: I therefore move that you would give leave to your Committee to attend his Highness, and to adjourn till Thursday.

Major-General Disbrowe. I move that, in respect the question is double, you would divide it.

The question was put for the Committee attending his Highness, which was ordered accordingly.

Mr. Speaker moved that he might put the question to adjourn.

Major-General Disbrowe. There is a short Bill before you touching vagrants, which is ingrossed. I was informed, out of Somersetshire, (fn. 12) that a sort of people, called Quakers, did meet in numbers there; (fn. 13) and for want of that Bill, there might be danger in it.

Mr. Bampfield. I am informed from my county (fn. 14) that the Quakers grow numerous and dangerous, especially towards the sea coast. I move that the Bill may be read.

Sir Christopher Pack. I move that the Bill may be read; for if there is not a speedy course taken with them, they will grow to a great height. (fn. 15)

Lord Howard, Mr. Bond, and Major-General Disbrowe. Let the House be adjourned; for you ought not to make such inroads and breaches in your orders. After some debate, the question was put to have the Bill read.

Mr. Speaker declared for the Yeas.

Mr. Berkeley for the Noes.

So the House was divided. Noes went forth.

Noes 51. Lord Howard and Sir Thomas Parker, Tellers.

Yeas 90. Sir Thomas Pride and Colonel Beaumont, Tellers.

So it passed in the affirmative.

Resolved, that the Bill be now read.

The Act was to commence at the 1st of February last, which time was elapsed.

Mr. Fowell. Unless you amend it in point of time, you will have no fruit of it till February next. I move that it may commence at the 1st of June.

That being thought too scanty, it was put for the 1st of July; and the Bill, thus amended, passed nemine contradicente.

Colonel Carter offered the Report upon the Bill for the Probate of Wills.

Lord Broghill. His Highness, some months since, acquainted the House with a design; and that some forces might be raised, and that he had appointed a worthy member of the House to command those forces; but has thought fit, first, to acquaint you with his going. I move you would please to give him leave. It is Sir John Reynolds.

Sir John Reynolds stood up, and put off his hat, and leave was given him accordingly. (fn. 16)

Lord Howard. Do the House that right to put the former question, to adjourn. You have stayed all this month under the hopes of this day's dispatch. The same reason remains.

Major-General Disbrowe. Gentlemen should be satisfied when they see that you have twice determined that you will go on with business. It is not regular to move to adjourn.

Mr. Bond and Mr. Berkeley seconded the motion for adjournment, which was very regularly moved.

Sir Thomas Wroth moved against adjournment.

After some further debate, the question was put that the question be now put for adjournment.

Mr. Speaker declared for the Yeas.

Colonel White for the Noes. So the House was divided, and the Yeas carried it.

I was for the Yeas. Sir John Reynolds one of the Tellers. (fn. 17) Some called it a sign of success. Yeas 85. Noes 61.

Being to go next morning out of town, for what was done in the time I was away, viz.—from Wednesday 6, till Saturday 28 May, 57,—see the Journal.


  • 1. For Bridgenorth.
  • 2. Journals.
  • 3. Ibid.
  • 4. Tellers for the Yeas, Mr. Nathaniel Bacon and Mr. Francis Bacon; for the Noes, Sir John Coppleston and Major Waring. Journals.
  • 5. See Vol. i. p. 203. The siege of Gloucester occurred in August 1643. "The besieged," says Ludlow, "made a vigorous defence for about a month; the King being there in person to countenance the siege."—Memoirs, i. 65. "Gloucester," says Whitlock, "was the general subject of discourse. The King was set down before it with his whole army. The governor, Massey, not only refuseth, upon his Majesty's summons, to render the city to him, but sallies forth upon some of their quarters, and did cut off 300 of their men. "His Majesty, understanding that Essex advanced apace towards the relief of Gloucester, sent to him a trumpeter, with some propositions to be treated on. But Essex, too much acquainted with such small designs to hinder his march, returned a speedy answer, that he had no commission to treat, but to relieve Gloucester, which he was resolved to do, or to lose his life there. And so the trumpeter was dismissed."— Memorials, (1732) p. 72.
  • 6. In 1653.
  • 7. "Provided, that this Bill, or any thing therein contained, shall not extend to the granting or disposing of any houses, lands, tenements, or hereditaments, in Ireland, which are subjected and liable to the satisfaction of the adventurers and soldiers, or either, or any of them, by virtue of any former Act or Ordinance of Parliament."—Journals.
  • 8. "Provided that this Act, or any thing therein contained, shall not extend to the granting or disposing of any houses, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, within the Myle-Lyne, in the province of Connaught, or county of Clare, granted by his Highness and the Council towards satisfaction of the arrears due to the army before 1649."—Journals.
  • 9. This city, in 1642, had been "possessed by the King's forces," according to Lord Clarendon, "partly by force, and partly by stratagem." At the close of that year it was surrendered to Sir William Waller, the royalists having "cause to apprehend that the citizens would not prove a trusty part of the garrison."—History, ii. 126.
  • 10. Probably meaning his information.
  • 11. "Except the City of Galloway, and town of Athlone, and two miles respectively off the said city and town, lying within the said Myle-Lyne." Journals
  • 12. For which county he was M. P.
  • 13. Yet, according to "the sufferings of the people called Quakers," they did not meet unmolested. "On the 19th of the first month, (1656–7,) was a meeting at Thomas Budd's, in Martcck parish, Somerset, whither came James Stevenson, priest there, attended with a number of men with long staves and cudgels. He interrupted the speaker, uttering many words of reproach." To another meeting, "on the 7th of the 2d month following, came five priests, with a rabble of attendants, furnished with staves, cudgels, pitchforks, and such like armour. They rushed into the meeting with such confusion and noise that the preacher could not be heard; and indeed, their coming made it a riotous assembly, which, the moment before, was an assembly of grave and serious Christians. "The priest who brought this mob and caused the riot, complained to the magistrates that the Quaker's meeting, held at Thomas Budd's, was a riotous assembly, and tended to the disturbance of the peace. Whereupon, one Captain Raymond, with his soldiers, was ordered to disperse the next meeting that should be held there. Accordingly, he came thither on the 23rd of the same month, when Thomas Salthouse was preaching, and took him, together with Thomas Budd, into custody; and by conducting them to one Robert Hunt, a justice of the peace, they were by him and others severally examined. The issue was, that they sent Thomas Salthouse to prison, as an idle, dangerous, and wandering person. The magistrates of that period, in aid of the priests, spared not the gentler sex. "Katharine Evans, for exhorting people to repentance in Salisbury market-place, in the 3rd month, 1657, was, by the mayor's command, tied to the whipping-post in the market-place, and there whipped by a beadle, and then sent away with a pass." On this woman's return to execute the commission with which she imagined herself to be intrusted, "the mayor ordered her to Bridewell, there to be put in a close, nasty place, called the Blind-house, where two madmen had lately died, with a charge to the keeper that no friend should come at her, and that she should have no food but what she earned in that place, which was too dark to see to work in. The magistrates were taking council to have her whipped again; but one of them, Colonel Wheat, zealously opposed it, and told the mayor ' they might as well have whipped the woman of Samaria, that brought the glad tidings into the town.' This stopped their proceeding, so that, after some time of imprisonment in the aforesaid nasty place, they sent her privately out of the town" One "Justice Cole" was so virulent, that "a sheep-stealer being before him, he spake to him thus—"I will send you to gaol to the Quakers, and you shall go to the gallows together.'" See "An Abstract of the Sufferings of the People called Quakers." (1733.) i. 216, 222, 223. The incidental notice of the "two madmen" may serve to confirm the remark I had occasion to make, on the ignorance or inattention discovered at this period respecting the insane. See vol. i. p. 73, note.
  • 14. Devonshire. He was M. P. for Exeter.
  • 15. A communication made about this time, by a military officer, to the chief governor of Ireland, will show what apprehensions were excited there by the movements of these sons of peace. I copied the following from the original letter of Major Redman, M. P. for Catherlough. It is dated "Kilkenny, 15 March, 1656–7," and thus addressed— "These "To his Excellency the Lord General Cromwell, at Cork House, Dublin, humbly present, "Haste, haste, haste." "May it please your Excellency, "Captain Franks and myself were at Waterford, according to your order, where there met about one hundred Quakers, and more, besides the parties of them that were going thither, being ten or twelve in a company, whom I ordered our parties of horse and foot, that were about three miles from the town, on each side the water, to turn back again, which otherwise would, I judge, have increased their number to about two hundred. There was not any disturbance at all, only they met all in a great barn, where Justice Cook, Colonel Leigh, and several others, spent at least two hours, endeavouring to convince them of their follies, but to little purpose. They all dispersed the next day; their meeting being only to take leave of Humphrey Houston, their chief champion, who was returning for England; and some reports there were, that one of their number was to be sent to Turkey. Cornet Cooke was very zealous amongst them to defend their opinions. Our party of horse and foot were beating off bogs and woods, and only supposed to be accidentally there. I advised Colonel Leigh not to permit any more such considerable numbers, either of them, or any of their adherents, to meet within that city," Lansdoune MSS. 823, No. 369. The work which I lately quoted, mentions "George Robinson, a young man of London," who, "in the year 1657, felt a motion to travel to Jerusalem." An interesting detail follows, from Sewell, of his intercourse with the Turks, and his interruption by "the friars at Jerusalem;" they "well knowing that his testimony tended to prejudice the trade they lived by." See Abstract, &c. 1. 400–405. The following instance, in Ireland, of "declaring truth in steeplehouses," according to the language of the early Quakers, I copied also from the original:— "Upon the last Lord's Day, whilst the minister was in sermon, the drummer of Major Hodden's late company, by name Robert Whetstone, came in and gave public disturbance, with much bitterness of spirit and reviling. I have committed him, being a soldier. I desire to know my Lord's pleasure concerning him. lie is the first Quaker that hath given disturbance here. It is good to nip such spirits in the bud." See a Letter from Lieutenant-colonel Nelson, dated "Ross, the 26th May, 1657." to the "Secretary to his Excellency the Lord General Cromwell, in Dublin." Lansdowne MSS. 823. No. 339.
  • 16. The following passage I copied from an original letter, written from "Whitehall, April 27, 1657," by Sir Francis Russel, M. P. for Cambridgeshire, to his son-in-law "Lord Henry Cromwell, Ireland:—" "Your faithful friend and servant, Sir John Reynolds, is at present in some kind of trouble of mind. Your father, I do believe, presses him hard to go with these new-raised men into France. What the issue will be I cannot tell; but I rather think Sir John will not go, unless his Highness lay his absolute commands upon him, and then, I suspect shrewdly, the Knight will turn Quaker." Lansdowne MSS. 823. No. 418. The arrival and highly complimentary reception of this commander, whose mission concluded so fatally for himself, was thus described by a contemporary:— "May 20.—"By some persons returned this day from Dover, we had an account of the embarking of the remainder of the new-raised forces, under the command of the Right Honourable Sir John Reynolds, which was performed on Saturday last, and they safely arrived at Boloign, where the officers of the King of France lay ready to receive them, and disposed them in quarters among their fellows, in and about Boloign; they making in all 6000 men. "The French declared much joy and satisfaction upon their landing; and it was expected that, on Sunday night last, the King and Queen of France, with a great train of the nobility, would come down thither, in order to the viewing them on the morrow. "Sir John Reynolds went from Dover, being shipped on Sunday in the evening; and Major-General Morgan, a person of much honour and merit in military affairs, and in that respect fit to serve under so valiant and worthy a gentleman, is within a day or two to follow him, in the quality of Major-General: so that we doubt not but a good account will be given of this expedition, for the honour and service of this Commonwealth in France." Mercurius Politicus. No. 361.
  • 17. For the Yeas, the other Mr. Fleetwood. For the Noes, Sir Thomas Wroth and Sir William Strickland.