The Diary of Thomas Burton: 1 June 1657

Pages 165-169

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

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Monday, June 1, 1657.

Mr. Burton (fn. 1) reported the Amendments to the Bill for the River Ouse, at York, which were twice read; and, upon the question, agreed.

Mr. Bampfield reported amendments to an explanatory Bill for Bristol, (fn. 2) which were agreed unto, and ordered to be ingrossed.

Sir William Strickland moved that the Bill for tithes might have a first reading.

Captain Baynes. You had not time to despatch the business of monies. I would have no new business admitted; otherwise you will be anew to begin again at twenty days end.

Without further debate the Bill was read accordingly, and moved to be read the second time on Friday next.

Lord Whitlock. I except against that clause, as to ministers or their agents entering into men's houses. It is not fit to have such a Bill read again in this House. This was more than was granted in the time of popery.

Another thing concerning distresses. Never any man heard of a distress for tithes. That clause in the Ordinance was excepted against from the beginning. As to the other clause, I would not have such a clause remain upon your books.

Sir William Strickland. This clause may be excepted time enough, at the second reading. I fear that there is a design in it, in bringing that disgrace and reproach upon tithes, to bring a disgrace on the Gospel. Some men will leap, over hedge or ditch, the whole Decalogue; and wholly scruple at that of tithes. They make no scruple at all to detain them. If there be a law for a little severity in that kind, there is need of it. The same levelling principle will lay waste properties and deny rents, upon the same accounts that they do tithes. I desire a second reading.

Captain Hatsel. I move that this bill be laid aside for a while; for that you intend to buy in impropriations, and it will raise them to twenty years' purchase.

Major-General Disbrowe. It is as reasonable and just that tithes should be paid to impropriators as to other persons. I therefore move it may have a second reading.

The Master of the Rolls excepted against that clause in it, for confirming the Ordinance of 1648, touching payment of tithes to ministers in London, and he called the Ordinance that of Henry VIII.

Mr. Speaker said he went upon a mistake. It was the Ordinance of 1648, and not that of Henry VIII., for he had occasion to search for it, and could find no such Ordinance upon the Parliament roll.

The Bill was ordered to be read a second time on Friday.

The Bill for the Assessments in Ireland was read the second time.

Major-General Jephson moved for a Grand Committee.

Mr. Fowell. You have not time. I therefore move that all the members for Ireland be of that Committee, where they may speak as often as they will, and so I would have it in a Private Committee.

Mr. Godfrey. I move that you would not alter the ancient precedents of Parliament, but have it in a Grand Committee.

Mr. Bond. If you would have it pass this Parliament, you must not refer it to a Grand Committee.

Ordered, that it be referred to the Irish Committee, and all that come to have voices, (fn. 3) and to bring it in on Saturday.

Mr. Godfrey. I move, that a clause for redemption of captives may be brought in by the Grand Committee, for saving your time of thrice reading a Bill.

Colonel Clarke. I move against that clause. It is not for the honour of a nation that is so formidable, to make a law to redeem captives.

But it was resolved to bring in such a clause.

Mr. Speaker. The Grand Committee may not only alter any clause, but make any clause.

Mr. Burton moved, that some more names may be added to the Committee for Recusants, viz. Mr. Godfrey and Colonel Briscoe.

The Speaker left the chair, for the Grand Committee to sit upon the Bill for Tonnage and Poundage.

Mr. Fowell was called to the chair and sat.

Mr. Bond. It is hard to put him into the chair for the customs. I believe him already in for the Bill of Excise. And thereupon

Mr. Fowell left the chair, and Mr. Bond was called to the chair. He pleaded his inability to sit; and, though he sat today, he would come here no more, he told us plainly; and that it was an ill requital to call him to the chair for moving what was for the service of the House. Some called on Captain Hatsel, but they could not agree.

Mr. Speaker resumed the chair, and told us it was an ill requital to Mr. Bond for his moving for our service. He put the question for Captain Baynes to take the chair, and he took the chair accordingly.

It was moved that in regard the Bill was read in the House so lately, that the form of reading it again at the Committee might be omitted, and that it might be taken by parts.

The Master of the Rolls and Mr. Lloyd. It is not regular to omit the reading of it, and our form is our essence and being, and divers persons are here now that were not at the last reading.

The Bill was read throughout, accordingly, and then twice in parts.

Mr. Godfrey moved that the clause for the redemption of captives may be referred to a Sub-Committee, which was done accordingly.

Lord Whitlock and Mr. Speaker moved that a clause, touching a writ of delivery and colouring of aliens' goods may be brought in by the same Committee; for there is a difference of opinion about those writs. Some will have them but discretional.

The Master of the Rolls. I wonder to hear a writ of delivery disputed now. It has been these thirty years. This is the most material part of your Bill, and will obstruct its passing, and cause great debate. The goods were seized and proclaimed. If the party came, they were to be delivered. If the party appeared not, then the goods were forfeited. But that writ of delivery is an undoubted right.

Lord Whit lock. It is a great project now, to bring in prohibited goods, and appoint an agent of their own to go into the Downs and deliver them, and then pray a writ of delivery, and so the customs are lost, and whereas logwood is to be burnt if it come in upon the same account, yet it shall be delivered by that writ. This is a great abuse.

Captain Hatsel stood up, and informed of the great inconvenience by these writs of delivery.

Sir John Bark stead. Half of the customs are lost by this means. It is ordinary for the same persons that deliver the goods, to seize them, and appraise that which was worth 1000l. at 100l.

Mr. Lloyd. You are now making a law which is likely to be lasting, and a great many men's livelihoods depend upon it. It relates to an ordinance of the Long Parliament, and to confirm it at the lump is not regular. I move it be referred to a Sub-committee, to examine those Ordinances.

The same was referred accordingly.

The debate upon this continued till one o'clock, and a clause or two being passed, the debate was adjourned till to-morrow afternoon, at which time leave was given to the Committee to sit again.

I was all this afternoon close in the chair for five or six hours upon the Bill for Recusants, which is to be reported to-morrow.


  • 1. The writer of the MS. See supra, p. 159. Note
  • 2. "For maintenance of ministers." Journals.
  • 3. "Provided this be not drawn into precedent for the future, to commit bills for assessments to particular Committees." Journals.