The Diary of Thomas Burton: 8 May 1657

Pages 116-117

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

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Friday, May 8, 1657. (fn. 1)

Lord Whitlock reported from the Committee appointed to attend his Highness the Lord Protector, upon the Petition and Advice,

That the Committee yesterday attended his Highness, who excused himself that he had made them stay so long, and desired the Committee to give him another meeting this morning, which they did accordingly. And his Highness did desire the Committee to acquaint the House he will give them a meeting this morning presently, in the Banquetting House.

The House being informed that divers officers of the army were at the door, with a petition, (fn. 2) to be presented to the House: Resolved, that these petitioners (fn. 3) shall be called in.

The petitioners were called in accordingly; and being come to the bar, Colonel Mason did declare, that he, with the rest present, were come to present to the House a petition from divers officers of the army; and therewith presented the said petition, (fn. 4) which was taken in; and after, they withdrew.


  • 1. I have here extracted from the printed Journals. See vol. i. p. 367 note.
  • 2. Disbrowe and Pryde, according to Ludlow, "went to Dr. Owen and persuaded him to draw up a petition according to their desires." Memoirs, ii. 588.
  • 3. Consisting of "two colonels, seven lieutenant-colonels, eight majors, and sixteen captains, who, with such officers in the House as were of the same opinion, made up the majority of those relating to that part of the army which was then quartered about the town." Ibid. p. 590.
  • 4. In which they declare, "that they had hazarded their lives against monarchy, and were still ready so to do, in defence of the liberties of the nation; that, having observed, in some men, great endeavours to bring the nation again under their old servitude, by pressing their general to take upon him the title and government of a king, in order to destroy him, and weaken the hands of those who were faithful to the publie; they, therefore, humbly desired that they would discountenance all such persons and endeavours." On hearing of this circumstance, "Cromwell sent for Lieutenant-general Fleetwood, and told him that he wondered he would suffer such a petition to proceed so far, which he might have hindered, since he knew it to be his resolution not to accept the crown without the consent of the army; and therefore desired him to hasten to the House, and to put them off from doing any thing farther therein. The Lieutenant-general immediately went thither, and desired that the debate on the petition might be put off till they had received the Protector's answer to what had been formerly offered to him. To this the House consented." Ibid. pp. 589–591.