The Diary of Thomas Burton: 9 June 1657

Pages 201-207

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

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In this section

Tuesday, June 9, 1657.

The Bill for Three Months' Assessments in Ireland (fn. 1) was read the third time, and passed.

After two hours' debate upon the third reading of the Post Bill, (fn. 2) it was also passed.

Dr. Clarges offered three or four provisos, which had but ill success. He was against the whole Bill, and called it a monopoly. He said that he was advised by a friend, on Saturday last, not to meddle against this Bill, for that an honourable and eminent person was concerned in it; but, rather than forfeit his conscience to the House, he would forfeit all friendship from any person whatsoever.

Colonel Jones excepted against such reflection, and justified the Bill to be no monopoly.

Mr. Godfrey tendered a proviso to continue the Bill for seven years, which was rejected.

Mr. West tendered a proviso that no man's horse should be taken without his consent, which passed.

Dr. Clarges tendered a proviso to free members' letters; but it was rejected, and at last the Bill was passed.

The titles of the Bills to be carried up this day to his Highness were read.

Major Beake moved, that the carrying up the Bill for setting prices of wines might be suspended, for some time, in regard it has a retrospect, and it is not just to punish persons ex post facto. A thousand families will be undone by it, and the vintners have bought in their wines at full prices.

After debate awhile upon this, when some moved for a longer time, till 15th November; others, to commence now; and others said, that after the Bill was passed, we could not alter it, but must either repeat it, or set forth a declaration.

Mr. Speaker and Mr. Downing have known it done, and instanced in the alteration upon the Bill for naturalizing the other day, and this is of more consequence than the changing of a boy for a girl.

At last it was resolved to begin, the 15th August next.

Major-General Disbrowe. I move, that the Bill for Catechising be left behind, to be better considered on. There is something in it which will discontent many godly persons, and make them mourn.

Major-General Kelsey. I know it, that many godly ministers are discontented at it, and do mourn for it. If it pass without further consideration, I doubt we may grieve at it, and repent it when it will be too late. I desire it may be suspended.

Mr. Vincent and Colonel Briscoe. I hope, if it were laid in the balance, more godly men rejoice at it than any that are against it. I do beg it on my knees that you would not forbear this Bill. You have but one Bill that concerns religion, and to leave it behind is very strange. I beseech you do not neglect such a duty.

Major-General Goffe. I second that motion, that the Bill be left behind. It does grieve the souls of a great many godly ministers. I am as willing to beg it on my knees as any man, you would not now carry it up.

Colonel Jones seconded that motion, and urged it strongly with the same arguments.

Sir John Thorowgood and Mr. Godfrey made a very earnest motion that the Bill might not be left behind. They despaired of ever doing any thing upon it after this, and hoped that such a Bill as this, which was worth them all, should not stop, and humbly moved that no such question be put.

Major-General Jephson. I move to leave it behind, without a question. It would not be handsome to have a negative upon it.

Mr. Godfrey, for some reason, moved, that it might be carried up without a question, as that was more proper.

Mr. Speaker declared for the Noes, upon that question.

The House was divided.

Yeas 82. Sir J. Thorowgood, and Mr. Thomas, Tellers.

Noes 7. Captain Blackwell, and Major Beake, Tellers. (fn. 3)

Major-General Goffe. Now the House is so full, (fn. 4) you could intimate to the members what public business you have, and how you are to sit, forenoon and afternoon, and desire they would attend.

Lord Lambert moved that the orders, as to the designment of public business, be read; and they were read accordingly.

Major-General Goffe. Observing the House at a stand, having nothing to do until his Highness give us notice of his being in the Painted Chamber, I move that a short bill for Mrs. Bastwick (fn. 5) may be read.

Mr. Godfrey and Sir William Strickland seconded that motion.

Lord Cochrane. This is a private business, and makes a breach into your order. So I move that you would not read it now.

Yet the House having nothing to do, the order was dispensed with, nemine contradicente, and the bill was read accordingly and passed.

Colonel Sankey offered a rider to be annexed to this bill for settling 100l. per annum, upon the widow of a poor minister in Ireland, one Mr. Moorcock, as was moved by the Lord Deputy.

The rider was long, and it was going to be read, but the serjeant came in and acquainted the House that the Serjeantat-Arms attended at the door from his Highness.

Mr. Speaker moved that a new bill might be brought in, by a bill of itself.

Mr. Pury. I desire you would now receive it.

Colonel John Jones. Appoint a day to bring in a bill to this purpose, for I can say a great deal of the worth of this minister.

It was resolved that a bill be brought in to this purpose.

The Bill for Mrs. Bastwick was passed, and ordered now to be carried up for his Highness's consent.

General Montagu. I move to leave the bill for exportation of fish behind you, at this time. I have a petition in my hands against it, wherein it appears that it is destructive to trading.

Captain Hatsel. If petitions can prevail, I have two or three petitions for the bill. It does so concern your greatest trade, that is fishing, and your navigation, that you cannot suspend it without great prejudice.

So this bill was also ordered to be presented; and another question put, both upon this and the other bills, as to passing of it, and deferring his Highness's consent, notwithstanding the former votes to that purpose when the bill first passed.

Serjeant Middleton came into the House, and (fn. 6) acquainted the House that his Highness was in the room next to the end lately called the Lords' House, and that he expected the Parliament, in the Painted Chamber, and so withdrew.

Hereupon Mr. Speaker, with the whole House, went thither, (fn. 7) (nobody leading Mr. Speaker, which was an omission,) and there (fn. 8) a short speech (fn. 9) was made by Mr. Speaker to his Highness, relating to the slowness of great bodies moving, and how our fruits were like that of the harvest, not all ripe at a time, but every thing in its season, and how he hoped that this was but the vintage, to the autumn the Parliament were preparing, (fn. 10) and that it was not with their productions as with Rebecca's births, where one had another by the heel, but that their generation of laws was like that of natural generation, and that his Highness was the sun in the firmament of this Commonwealth, and he must give the ultimate life and breath to our laws.

Then, after the titles of thirty-eight bills were read, and the bills consented to, the thirty-ninth was offered, to wit, the bill for catechising, to which, after a little pause, his Highness returned this answer, "I am desirous to advise of this bill;" which was entered by the clerk in these words. "The Lord Protector will advise of this bill."

See a particular of these bills, infra, (fn. 11) and his Highness's speech.

This done, the House returned about two o'clock, and the Speaker offered to report what was done, but the House inclining to adjourn till three, it was so resolved.

At the rising of the House,

Mr. Bampfield, standing by the table, said, that his Highness never did himself such an injury as he had done this day.

Mr. Scobell (fn. 12) told him he ought not to say so; but he said he would say it anywhere.

Mr. Godfrey questioned the clerk for postponing (fn. 13) the Bill for catechising, who answered he had warrant for what he did. Being asked, who could give him warrant but the Parliament? he answered, he could well justify what he did.

Quere, how ?

Post meridiem.

The bill for Three Years Assessment was read the first time. After the Report made of his Highness's speech, (fn. 14) upon passing of the bills,

The Report upon the bill for the new buildings, was proceeded upon; and in the debate upon the Lord Clare's petition for abatement,

Mr. Pedley took occasion to reflect highly upon my Lord Clare, and said he was one of those that had forsworn building of churches. He had built a house for the flesh, (meaning the shambles in new market (fn. 15) ) but he doubted he would hard ly do as David did, build a house for the spirit; and a great deal of this kind of language.

Mr. Speaker and Lord Whitlock took him down, and said, such scurrilous language did not become this place, and that if we would not do this person, who was an honourable person and well deserving, a favour upon his petition, we ought not to do him a displeasure by such reflections. We were servants to the people, and every freeholder as free in his estate and reputation as any man, and it is not our part nor duty to meddle with persons while we are debating of things.

It was moved, that the gentleman might explain himself, and others took high notice of the reflection.

It was moved, that instead of the petitioner's craving abatements, he might have his new market confirmed to him according to the Bill before us.

See the Journal for the result of this debate. (fn. 16)

I went to the post-house to meet Mr. Noel, (fn. 17) and stayed till past nine, and he came not.


  • 1. "For the maintenance of the Spanish war, and other service of the Commonwealth." Journals.
  • 2. "A Bill for settling the Postage in England, Scotland, and Ireland." Ibid.
  • 3. "So it was resolved, that the Bill for Catechising be now carried up." Journals.
  • 4. It has appeared from the former divisions, that scarcely ever more than one hundred members were present, and not often that number.
  • 5. See vol. i. p. 372.
  • 6. Having made two obeisances to the House, when he came to the middle of the House, with his mace in his hand, he declared to Mr. Speaker," &c. Journals.
  • 7. "The clerk, with the Bills in his hand; and the serjeant, with his mace going next, and immediately before him." Journals.
  • 8. "Where was a chair set for the Speaker, and a form for the clerk." Ibid.
  • 9. "A pithy and short speech, touching the deliberate and grave proceedings of Parliament." Ibid.
  • 10. "Being but as some grapes preceding the full vintage." Ibid.
  • 11. Designed, no doubt, to have been subjoined in the MS. See Journals.
  • 12. The clerk.
  • 13. Not presenting with the rest. See supra, p. 205.
  • 14. "Mr. Speaker. I perceive, that among these many Acts of Parliament, there hath been a very great care had, by the Parliament, to provide for the just and necessary support of the Commonwealth, by those Bills for the levying of money, now brought to me, which I have given my consent unto. Understanding it hath been the practice of those who have been chief governors, to acknowledge with thanks to the Commons their care and regard of the public, I do very heartily and thankfully acknowledge their kindness herein." Journals.
  • 15. Clare-market.
  • 16. The questions "for exempting the buildings of the Earl of Clare, in Clement's Inn Fields, and thereabouts, out of the penalties of this Bill." Also, "that some allowance be made to the Earl of Clare, out of the fines that shall arise upon the new buildings in Clement's Inn Fields, and parts adjacent to him belonging:" both passed in the negative." Journals.
  • 17. M. P. for Stafford; joint post-master general with Secretary Thurloe.