The Diary of Thomas Burton: 26 June 1657

Pages 309-315

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

Friday, June 26,1657.

Resolved, that Sir Oliver Flemyng, Knight, Master of the Ceremonies, do, from this House, go to the several foreign ambassadors and public ministers of state, that are here, to invite them to be present at the solemnity of the investiture of his Highness the Lord Protector, this day.

A Bill, for the adjournment of this present Parliament, from the 26th of June 1657, unto the 20th of January, next ensuing, (at which time all such persons as have been duly elected and returned to serve in this present Parliament, being qualified according to the qualifications in the humble Petition and Advice, and not disabled thereby, are required to give their attendance accordingly,) was this day read the third time; and, upon the question, passed.

Resolved, that his Highness's consent be desired to this Bill.

Ordered, that it be referred to the Commissioners for the Custody of the Great Seal of England, by and with the advice of such of the judges as they shall think necessary to call to their assistance, to prepare and frame a writ, for summoiling the members of the other House of Parliament, to meet at such time and place as shall be appointed by his Highness; and such writ being so agreed on, the Commissioners of the Great Seal are hereby authorized and required to seal and issue forth such writs, unto such persons, as by his Highness, under his sign manual, shall be directed and appointed.

The title of the Bill for discovering, convicting, and repressing of Popish Recusants, (fn. 1) and the oath therein being read,

The question being put, that this Bill be carried up, and presented at this time,

The House was divided. The Noes went forth.

Yeas 88. Major Beake and Major Audley, Tellers.

Noes 43. Colonel Talbot and Colonel Clarke, Tellers.

So it was resolved, that this Bill be carried up, and presented at this time.

The Serjeant brings word, that Serjeant Middleton was at the door, with a message from his Highness. And, thereupon, he was called in; and 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, that he is commanded by his Highness, the Lord Protector, to let this House know, that his Highness is in the Painted Chamber, and desires to speak with this Honourable House; and thereupon withdrew.

Which being done, Mr. Speaker, attended with the whole House, (the Clerk, with the Bills in his hand, and the Serjeant with his mace, going next and immediately before him) went up to the Painted Chamber, where his Highness, attended with his Council, was expecting. The Serjeant carried his mace upon his shoulder, up to the table; where was a chair set for the Speaker, and a form for the Clerk.

The first Bill that was presented was the humble additional and explanatory Petition and Advice of the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, now assembled in Parliament of this Commonwealth: which being read by the Clerk of the Parliament, his Highness gave his consent thereunto. (fn. 2)

Post Meridiem.

The Speaker, with the members, being returned to the House;

Ordered, that it be recommended to his Highness the Lord Protector, as the desire of the Parliament, that his Highness will be pleased to encourage Christian endeavours for uniting the Protestant churches abroad; and that the Lord Deputy, Lord Lambert, Mr. Secretary, Major-General Disbrowe, and Colonel Jones, be desired to present this vote to his Highness the Lord Protector. (fn. 3)

Resolved, that the Public Acts passed this Parliament, be printed at the public charge.

Ordered, that a collection of Public Acts and Ordinances, made in the Parliament begun and held at Westminster, the third day of November, 1640, by Henry Scobell, Clerk of the Parliament, be printed, together with such as have been passed and confirmed this Parliament.

Ordered, that it be recommended to his Highness and the Council, to take some effectual course, upon advice with the judges, for reforming the government of the Inns of Court; and likewise for placing of godly and able ministers there, and providing a sufficient maintenance for their encouragement; and also for reviving the readings (fn. 4) in the several Inns of Court, and the keeping up of exercise by the students there.

This House, according to the Act of Parliament in that behalf, did adjourn itself till the 20th day of January next; (fn. 5) and Mr. Speaker pronounced the same accordingly.


  • 1. See supra, pp. 148–155,169.
  • 2. And to twenty-two other Bills, public and private; among these, "An Act for Preventing of the multiplicity of Buildings, in and about the suburbs of London, and within ten miles of the same." Journals. Immediately followed, according to a publication at the time by authority, " The solemn investiture, or happy inauguration of his Highness." On this occasion, the supporters of the Protector's chair, were the ambassadors extraordinary from France and the United Provinces. Before these, the House, the Judges, Lord Mayor, &c., Mr. Speaker displayed his ingenuity, discovering, by the aid of Alexander and Aristotle, Moses and Homer, David, Solomon, and "the noble Lord Talbot, in Henry the Sixth's time," what appropriate moral lessons a sovereign might be taught by the robe, the bible, the sceptre, and the sword. According to Sir P. Warwick's Memoirs, (1813), p. 420, the "purple velvet robe, lined with ermines, was put on by the Earl of Warwick; a rich bible with studs of gold, presented by Whitlock, and a sceptre and a sword delivered by the Speaker," who thus proceeded:— " When you have all these together, what a comely and glorious sight it is, to behold a Lord Protector, in a purple robe, with a sceptre in his hand, a sword of justice girt about him, and his eyes fixed upon the bible." Mr. Speaker having concluded, and "his Highness standing thus adorned in princely state, according to his merit and dignity, looking up unto the throne of the Most High," after a commendatory prayer by Dr. Manton, "the people giving several great shouts, and the trumpets sounding, his Highness sat down in the chair of state, holding the sceptre in his hand." See Mercunus Politicus, No. 369; Part. Hist. xxi. 152–159. From the following passage, which serves to discover the Protector in the undress of private life, it appears that this learned Presbyterian (of whom see supra, p. 89, note ) had before performed the office of courtchaplain on a similar occasion, unless, with an error in the date, it be the same:— "When Cromwell took on him the Protectorship, in the year 1653, the very morning the ceremony was to be performed, a messenger came to Dr. Manton, to acquaint him that he must immediately come to Whitehall. The doctor asked him the occasion. He told him he should know that when he came there. The Protector, himself, without any previous notice, told him what he was to do; i. e. to pray upon that occasion. The doctor laboured all he could to be excused, and told him it was a work of that nature which required some time to consider and prepare for it. The Protector replied, that he knew he was not at a loss to perform the service he expected from him, and opening his study door, he put him in with his hand, and bid him consider there, which was not above half an hour. The doctor employed that time in looking over his books, which, he said, was a noble collection." See " Life of Dr. Manton," (1725), p. 20, in Dr. Harris's Lives, (1814), iii. 4. It might be supposed that Lord Clarendon had met with this anecdote, as occurring in 1657, for he says, most incorrectly, as the previous pages have sufficiently shown, that till the Protector " sent a message to the Parliament, they had not provided for his inauguration, nor indeed considered it." History (1712), iii 597. A few days after, the Protector was publicly announced to the city of London, as head of the government, under the new constitution. The Under-Secretary Moreland thus writes to Mr. Pell, at Zurich. " Whitehall, 2–12th July 1657.—By the inclosed you will have an account of our yesterday's solemnities, throughout the city: the proclamation being made by the mayor and aldermen, (that is, by their officers, and they themselves being present, as likewise many of the Lords of the Council, and other persons of quality who assisted in the solemnity.) The last week was the inauguration in Westminster Hall, where the Speaker presented My Lord Protector with an imperial sceptre, a rich robe, such as the kings formerly wore, and lastly a sword, and all under the title of the Lord Protector and Chief Magistrate of the Commonwealth of England," &c. Lansdowne MSS. 755, No. 163. It is remarkable that a short time before this pompous display, designed to confirm the Protector's elevation, which his courtiers probably little expected to have been so transient, he received that warning of its insecurity, the lethalis arundo, from the infliction of which, according to some, he never recovered. Among the Pell papers, are the titlepage and preface of " Killing no Murder," with the following accompaniment from the Under-Secretary, probably the first notice of that famous production. "Whitehall, 4–14th June, 1657.—only between you and me, there has been the most dangerous pamphlet lately thrown about the streets, that ever has been printed these times. I have sent you the preface, which is more light, but believe me, the body of it is more solid, I mean as to showing the author's learning, though the greatest rancour, malice, and wickedness, that ever man could show. Nay, I think, the Devil himself could not have shown more." Ibid. No. 141.
  • 3. It appears, from Thurloe's State Papers, that the Protector had patronized and pensioned Mr. John Dury, a friend and correspondent of Boyle; whom Dr. Birch mentions as having " spent many years in his travels, engaged in his scheme for reconciling the Lutherans and Calvinists." See " Life of Robert Boyle," (1744) pp. 77,299.
  • 4. These appear to have been discussions of law-points by the more learned lawyers. "The first Reader of Lincoln's Inn" was appointed in 1463. "The first Reader of Gray's Inn" was John Spelman, Esq. in 1516. " Readings," says my author, (in 1708) "have continued till within about twenty years." Among the " Orders made to be observed, in all the four Inns of Court, June 22,1567," it was directed that " none be admitted to plead at any of the Courts of Westminster, to subscribe any action, bill, or plea, unless he be a Reader or Bencher in Court, or five years Utter Barrister." See " A New View of London," (1708) ii. 663,696, 702.
  • 5. The Protector had, till now, retained the Chancellorship of the University of Oxford, to which he had been elected in 1650. That office was probably regarded as no longer compatible with his confirmed sovereignty. Thus, according to Wood, "he resigning, his eldest son, commonly called Lord Richard Cromwell, was elected into his place, and installed at Whitehall, 29th July." Athen. Oxon. (1692), ii. 792. Mr. Moreland writes to Mr. Pell, the day after, that "the Vice-Chancellor and six Doctors, in their robes," were deputed on this occasion. The following passages, chiefly from the same correspondence, will serve to show, on the best authority, some of the subjects of the Protector's attention and anxiety during this adjournment, and that his sovereignty was no sinecure:— " July 17.—The Council are now sworn. They are not all assembled as yet (being very many of them out of town), so that we know not what alterations will be. It is observed by some here that the Lord Lambert has not yet taken the new oath." Lansdowne MSS. 755, No. 165. " July 30.—Mr. Secretary has lately taken one Colonel Saxby," (see vol. i. p. 354, note, and supra, p. 312,) an arch conspirator." Ibid. No. 169. " August 10.—Yesterday morning, there was one Gardiner apprehended in Whitehall, with two pistols, charged, in his pockets, to have murdered his Highness." Ibid. No. 175. " December 17.—We have taken eight Jesuits and priests, and hope to take many more. There are to my knowledge above five hundred in London." Ibid. No. 258. " December 24.—The Royalists are certainly conspiring to involve us all in blood, and have their businesses very ripe." Ibid. No. 260. " December 25,1657.—This being the day commonly called Christmas, and divers of the old clergymen being assembled with people of their own congregating, in private, to uphold a superstitious observation of the day, contrary to ordinances of Parliament, abolishing the observation of that and other the like festivals, [see vol. i. pp. 229,230] and against an express order of his Highness and his Privy Council, made this last week; for this cause, and also in regard of the ill consequences that may extend to the public, by the assemblings of ill-affected persons at this season of the year, wherein disorderly people are wont to assume unto themselves too great a liberty, it was judged necessary to suppress the said meetings, and it was accordingly performed by some of the soldiery, who, at Westminster, apprehended one Mr. Thisscross, he being, with divers people, met together in private. " In Fleet Street, they found another meeting of the same nature, where one Dr. Wilde was preacher. And, at Exeter House in the Strand, they found the grand assembly, which some (for the magnitude of it,) have been pleased to term the Church of England, it being (as they say,) to be found no where else, in so great and so compact a body; of which congregation one Mr. Gunning was the principal preacher, who, together with. Dr. Wilde, and divers other persons, were secured, to give an account of their doings. Some have since been released, the rest remain in custody at the White Hart in the Strand, till it shall be known who they are." Mercurius Politicus, No. 396. Dr. George Wilde, according to Wood, had been one of Laud's chaplains, and at this time, " kept up a religious meeting for the loyalists in Fleet Street." After the Restoration, " he was made Bishop of Londonderry." He died in 1665. Athen. Oxon. (1692) ii. 252. Mr. Gunning, who was distinguished in the Savoy conference, and at length rewarded with the Bishoprick of Ely, where he died in 1684, was now a frequent public disputant; not only with papists, but, according to his biographer, "he found out the sectaries, and would frequently dispute with them in their several congregations; the Presbyterian, Independent, Anabaptist, Quaker, Brownist, Socinian." He printed " A Contention for Truth, in two Public Disputations, in the Church of St. Clement Danes, Nov. 26,1657, between Mr. Peter Gunning and Mr. Henry Denne, upon Infant Baptism." In his "congregation at the chapel of Exeter House, in the Strand, he duly performed all parts of his office according to the church of England. The Usurper often sent for him, and reproved him for this practice. It is strange that reproof was his ratio ultima. Whether some extraordinary regard to his person softened him, or whether he was pleased with such assembling of the Cavaliers, that he might know who were most zealous, and where to find them, we are left to guess." See "Lives of English Bishops" (1731), pp. 251, 259. Moreland to Pell.—" December 31.—We have lately taken in hold some suspicious men in the city, which were assembled on Christmasday, pretending to devotion, but intending really to undermine the present government. They much threaten that they will do strange things very suddenly. The Parliament will sit shortly, and then we shall have more news." Lansdowne MSS. 755, No. 262. See No. 274. The following passage, "a spot of azure in a cloudy sky," may serve to discover how the Protector's confirmed greatness had tempted the English nobility to court his alliance:— "November 12.—Yesterday was the wedding-day of his Highness's daughter, the Lady Frances, to the Earl of Warwick's grandchild, Mr. Rich. Within a month will be another, of his eldest daughter, Marie, to the Earl of Faulkenbridge." Ibid. No. 240.