The Diary of Thomas Burton: 4 June 1657

Pages 170-175

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

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Thursday, June 4, 1657. (fn. 1)

A Bill for Lord Moore, of Drogheda, ("to sell part of his lands,") was read the second time, and, after half-an-hour's debate, was committed; the Committee to meet to-morrow afternoon at two o'clock, in the Inner Court of Wards.

Sir Edward Rhodes reported from the Committee, touching Captain Lister and Serjeant Maynard, (fn. 2) and was going on.

Colonel Jones stood up, and said, this is a business (as I am informed) that will hold two days. Your time will not afford it; 1 move that not only this, but all other reports, except those of public consequence, be excluded.

Major-General Disbrowe. I second this motion. It is our life and being to perfect the Petition and Advice. The soldiery are two months' pay behind. I desire nothing else to information.

Mr. Fowell. This is to destroy divers settlements, for privy uses, made by Serjeant Maynard, in order to a trust in him reposed. This is a great business, and will hold three or four days' debate. So the debate was waved.

Mr. Speaker acquainted the House that he had a letter to communicate from his Highness to the House, which he moved might be read, and it was read accordingly. It was to confirm an order of his Highness and the council, touching some arrears to Colonel Benson's regiment, &c.

Mr. Bond. First take care for the standing army, who are three months in arrear. You have here four Bills for monies, which will hold you all your time. I desire not to sit beyond the time appointed; and if you will go on with private business, and leave the public, you may sit by. yourself.

Hereupon the debate was put off upon the letter also, and Colonel Shapcott reported the additions to the Petition and Advice from the Committee to prepare the same, which was read. He was going to read two Bills more, as a Report from the Committee, in order to explanations of the same.

Mr. Speaker. That gentleman, the reporter, has taken more pains than he needed; for these being Bills reported from a Committee, he needed not read them.

The Petition and Advice additional was read accordingly.

Major-General Jephson. I move that you would take this in paragraphs, as you did the other; and that Mr. Speaker needed not to open it.

Major-General Disbrowe. Go on with the Money Bills, and appoint another day for reading this.

Colonel White. Go on with the business of Assessments, and let this alone till next sessions, that you may care for the distribution of your members.

Sir Christopher Pack. Go on with this first. The people expect to have your Petition and Advice published. Though monies be necessary, yet this is of more consequence.

Mr. Fowell. Bead the other Bills, in order to those explanations, and then appoint a day to take both into debate.

The Bill for the better choosing of persons into places of trust was also read accordingly; and both appointed to be read the second time on Monday morning next.

Colonel Jones moved to have them read to-morrow morning; and others moved for Saturday: but resolved ut supra.

The Bill for the Three Months' Assessment upon England (fn. 3) was read the third time.

Captain Whitgrave offered a proviso, that no lands should be doubly charged; but in that county only where the lands lie.

Colonel Cox. I doubt this proviso will not effect the work you intend. I have known lands pay in both counties, the very same lands. Unless the commissioners have special charge to meet about it, there will be great differences, in which county the lands lie. Your commanders of the army have been much troubled about it.

Captain Baynes moved for additional words to this proviso; viz. "until they shall be otherwise determined by law."

Major-General Kelsey. Lay this aside, for you have not time to determine this business.

Mr. Godfrey. This will rather breed new controversy; for it seems they shall pay where they ever paid. Now, if the lands have ever paid to both counties, they shall ever pay it. It establishes rather than redresses.

Major Morgan. This may obviate some of the evils, if it cannot meet with all inconveniences. Haply, the gentleman that brought it in, knows it will do his work for his county.

Mr. Bampfield offered the addition of a name, viz. Mr. Francis Harvey, who was left out in the very place for which he was returned, viz. the town of Northampton; and he was added accordingly.

Mr. Speaker. I hope you will not make this a precedent, to fall to adding or altering names. You are in till the 24th of June.

The Clerk acquainted the House that Mr. Francis Harvey was in already.

Mr. Speaker. We had not time to do double work. It seems he was named in the county by Mr. Bampfield: though he was in the county he was left out in the town. Upon examination, it was found that Northampton was not a town and county, and Mr. Harvey said he was not; and thereupon the Speaker and Mr. Scobel (fn. 4) desire your directions.

Some cried, put him out.

Mr. Bampfield stood up and craved pardon; for it was put into his hands, and he knew not but Northampton town was distinct from the county.

After some debate, it was thought fit to let the vote stand, though the gentleman was twice made.

Colonel White offered a proviso, that in case the way of the Exchequer prove tedious and inconvenient, then it may be lawful for his Highness to direct the same way for levying thereof, as was before for the monthly assessments.

The proviso Was twice read.

Mr. Fowell moved, that this proviso may be laid aside; for it takes away the whole Bill, and utterly alters the course of levying it.

Major-General Disbrowe. Without this, there will be a whole failure in the business; for no man will undertake to be your collector. He shall haply hang here for seven years, attending for his discharge in the Exchequer, and his posterity liable. Haply, he shall stand charged with 2000l. and not get above 40s. by it.

Mr. Godfrey. This proviso is a dangerous precedent, to put it in the power of any without doors to direct the managing, levying, and paying it.

Mr. Bampfield seconded that motion.

Colonel Sydenham. By the course of the Exchequer you cannot, in a year's time, get in any fruits of it.

Major-General Whalley and Major-General Goffe. There is no danger in putting it in the power of his Highness to levy this, while you prescribe former Acts and Ordinances for his rule.

The question being put that this proviso be part of the Bill,

Mr. Speaker declared for the Yeas, Mr. Godfrey for the Noes.

The House was dividing, and Tellers appointed, and the Yeas to go out, but Mr. Godfrey stood up, and said he would not insist upon it.

Mr. Waller and Mr. Maidstone were appointed tellers for the Yeas; and we yielded to them.

Colonel Sydenham offered four additional names for Salisbury, there being but four obscure persons appointed for that city.

The persons added were, the Mayor for the time being, William Stone, James Hely, and Humphrey Ditton, and it was resolved that they be added.

The Bill so amended was passed into a law, Mr. Bampfield and Mr. Godfrey Noes, only.

Major-General Disbrowe. Appoint a Committee to attend his Highness, to know when he will be waited on for his consent to this Bill.

Mr. Bampfield. At the time of passing Bills for monies, always other Bills went along. Therefore I move that all that are passed may go along.

After some debate, it was agreed on that all pass.

Resolved, that a Committee be appointed to attend his Highness accordingly;

Colonel Gorges moved to put off the trial of Colonel Cook, which is to be to-morrow, and your Committee have a Report ready, if you please to hear it, that will give you good grounds to stop it.

Mr. Speaker. I move, that you would give the party costs if you put off the trial, which is usual in all courts.

Sir William Roberts. You have put off one trial, which has caused a great clamour in Westminster Hall, that is Sir Sackville Crow's; (fn. 5) desires you would be wary.

Colonel Carter. The Protector is plaintiff. I would have it considered how you can put it off.

Colonel Shapcott, Mr. Fowell, and Mr. Westlake moved to stop the trial. His Highness is not plaintiff, for there are private persons concerned, as purchasers.

Major-General Whalley. Whoever be plaintiff, justice and right to all do equally concern you. I move, that you would stay proceedings, and defendant pay costs.

Mr. Speaker. I have some cause to know that his Highness draws the charge of the suit. I know not who is plaintiff. I shall put it by way of blank. It seems the Treasurers are plaintiffs.

Mr. Lister. I look upon this place as the great court of the nation. You are to be a rule and example to all other courts. The parties are come out of the country, and the trial may be equal enough. I desire you would rise at this time, and not stop proceedings.

Mr. Lloyd, Alderman Foot, and Sir Christopher Pack. Stop proceedings at law. You are called out on greatly for such things.

Mr. Scobell acquainted the House that he could not sign a blank warrant.

Mr. Speaker. I have known such warrants filled up before signing, and you are going to direct the plaintiff, and all, to move against my Lord Protector.

The question being put to stop proceedings,

Mr. Speaker declared for the Yeas, Mr. Cobb for the Noes.

The House was divided; the Noes went out and were 40, Yeas 29. So it passed in the negative.

Mr. Speaker (according to Major Wagstaffe's motion) put the House in mind that the preacher ought to have the thanks of the House for the good sermon he made the Sunday, and it was ordered accordingly, and Major-General Goffe and Colonel Carter to give, him thanks.

In the afternoon sat the Grand Committee upon the Bill for Excise, (Mr. Fowell in the chair) and passed all the Bill, save a clause about the powers, which was referred to a SubCommittee, and the debate went strongly to put it in the power of Justices of the Peace to determine all differences, fines, penalties, and forfeitures between the parties paying, and the Sub-Committee, and farmers of the Excise in the countries.


  • 1. About this time appeared the following Advertisement:— "It is desired, that notice be given to all such persons who have any causes depending before the Committee for removal of obstructions (in the sale of the late King's lands, &c.), or have any plaint to exhibit there, that there is intended a meeting of persons therein concerned, on Thursday, the 4th day of June next, at Worcester House, in the Strand (in the great hall there), at two of the clock in the afternoon, to consider of some way for redress of their grievances; the said Committee having for some time suspended their sittings."Mercurius Politicus, No. 363.
  • 2. See vol. i. p. 366.
  • 3. "At the rate of 60,000l. by the month; to commence from March 25, 1657." Journals.
  • 4. Clerk of the House.
  • 5. See Journals, Jan. 27, 1656—7.