The Diary of Thomas Burton: 28 January 1657-8

Pages 374-379

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


Thursday, January 28,1657–8.

I was with my Lord Howard all the morning, about Sir Robert Collingwood's business. (fn. 1)

His Highness's speech was reported; and it was moved that his Highness be desired to give leave for the printing of it; and a Committee was appointed to attend his Highness for that purpose, viz. Sir Arthur Haslerigge, &c.

Mr. Trevor. I move that you also add, that you will take it into serious consideration.

It was further moved, that his Highness would deliver the paper he spoke of, relating to the account of disbursements.

Mr. Scot. What you do in the business of monies may come freely from this House, without any invitation from any person whatsoever without doors. I speak it without fear or disrespect.

Alderman Gibbes and Mr. Darky. By the rule of Parliament, the grievances of the people ought to be preferred, and then monies: viz. to settle that about the probate of wills (fn. 2) and matters of religion; then will the people more cheerfully open their purses, and will tend to unity.

Mr. Bedford. Take an account of your monies, and if you find them well employed, you may be encouraged to give more monies, if there be occasion.

Mr. St. Nicholas. I move that those that were authors and advisers, in keeping out the members by a long sword, (fn. 3) may be called to an account, that hereafter it may not be drawn into precedent; and that men's persons may not be restrained or imprisoned, sine judice parium, (fn. 4) or sent beyond seas. It may be any of our cases. And further, I move that you set yourselves to the business of settling the people's liberties in this and other points, and exclude all private business for a month.

Colonel Rouse seconded the motion to exclude private business for a month.

Colonel Shapcott. I move that you exclude not Lord Craven's business.

Resolved, that the Committee do also acquaint his Highness that the House will take the matters imparted to them in his speech, into speedy and serious consideration; and that they desire him to communicate the paper to them, relating to the charge and debts.

Mr. Moody, seconded the motion to exclude private business for a month.

Colonel Lister moved, that it be ordered without a motion.

Mr. Onslow moved, that Lord Craven's business be excepted.

Mr. Bond. If you admit of Lord Craven's business, other business will expect to be read; Sir John Stowel's, Lady Powell's, Lord St. John's.

Alderman Gibbes. It will not do much harm to except one private business. As you have gone a little way in Lord Craven's business, dispatch it, and make your order with that exception.

Mr. Speaker. There is an old gentleman, one Sir Robert Collingwood, which you have sent for two hundred miles. I hope you will not keep him a month in town.

Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. Your general orders breed more debate than would dispatch a private business; so I would have no question put.

Sir Arthur Haslerigge. We had it yesterday hinted by one of our prophets, (fn. 5) that we must live long in a little time; and we know not how long we may sit. It may be questioned whether we shall sit a fortnight. We may be all dead. It is hard that we should not have a month to do all this busi ness that is behind. It is not building this or that House that will do. Unless your foundation be sure, I assure you it will not do your work. Princes are mortal, but the Commonwealth lives for ever. It is posterity we must respect; as his Highness tells us, the young children in the womb of their mothers. (fn. 6)

I sat with a sad heart in the place in the gallery, where I have sat seventeen years before, to hear the minister say nothing of what that victorious Parliament did for the ministers, by that large allowance given them, and other great things done by that Parliament. I cannot sit still and hear such a question moved, and bide any debate.

Mr. Scot said he could not sit still, but second such a motion, to hear one speak so like an Englishman; to call it a victorious Parliament.

Mr. Gewen moved, to except Lord Craven's business.

Major-General Boleler moved, to exclude that business also. It will take a month's time, and I have heard some of the persons concerned say they intended to move for longer time.

Mr. Bodurda moved, to set Saturday apart for private business, and exclude it for all the other five days.

Mr. Speaker again moved, that Sir Robert Collingwood be called in, and

His paper was read, and he being not ready at the door,

Mr. Speaker excused him. He was sick and could not stay; but you must wink at it some morning: it will take no time.

The question being put, that no private business be admitted for a month.

Mr. Speaker declared for the Yeas.

Mr. Bacon declared for the Noes; and directed the Noes to go out.

Mr. Onslow. The Yeas must go out, because it is a new business. Agreed after by Mr. Speaker.

Yeas 92, went out. Sir Arthur Haslerigge and Colonel Lister, Tellers.

Noes 84. Mr. Onslow and Mr. Nichols, Tellers. So it was resolved in the affirmative.

Major Beake. There is a necessity of taking that point into consideration, about the title of the other House; which you have by your Petition and Advice joined in the co-ordinate power with you in passing of laws. I shall also leave it to your consideration if you will do any thing in relation to what is twisted in it, the title of the supreme magistrate. Which you will debate first I leave to you, and move that it may be taken up to-morrow morning.

Colonel Shapcott. I second that motion, that those two great things may be your serious debate. It was never known that there were two Houses of Commons. If they be not an House of Lords, you cannot be a House of. Commons. If God should bless us in a right understanding about the other title, other things would fall in course. I move that you take it up to-morrow.

Mr. Weaver. I should support that motion, if I thought it would answer the end of obviating the dangers which his Highness mentions in his speech; and that you would consider of what may be grateful to the people; and that you would suspend the title of the other House, and let them go on with the power you have given them. None will interrupt them; and if you will add any more, you may. But as to that of power co-ordinate with you, it will bide some debate before that be yielded.

We know with what difficulty good laws passed the natural lords in former times. It is fit we, that were not privy to your debates upon which you made those resolutions, (fn. 7) should have the liberty to debate it over again. I move that you first take into consideration the matters of his Highnesses speech.

Mr. Drake. There can be no greater expedient to obviate those dangers his Highness speaks of, than by coming to a settlement. I fear me, those that hold this, aim to shake off Parliamentary government, and to bring us under an arbitrary power. My motion is that you take up this debate to-morrow morning.

Mr. Speaker drew up and read a question to this purpose, and was going to put it.

Mr. Scot. You are now moved to a dissolution of your settlement, both as to the names of your supreme magistrate and the other House, even by those that were for it; and not by any of us. Why must we have it unsettled? What defence will a name above another name give you ?

He was going on, and was taken down by Colonel Carter; but this was held improper by Mr. Weaver and Mr. Speaker.

Mr. Scot went on, and said, I am never more willing to speak than the House is to hear me, knowing my own insufficiency. You were pleased to come to resolutions in the absence of scores, hundreds of your members excluded; (fn. 8) and I cannot avoid saying we thought it to be not proper, yet you know those were done ex parte.

I rather move that you let this debate alone till all your members be come in. If you please, that the House may be called over, else those that come in afterwards will not be privy to the grounds upon which you come to that resolution.

Mr. Trevor. Take your rise of this debate from the question which you were upon before, about the message to the other House, which will lead you into the whole; and if you please to alter the other title, I shall not disagree.

Major-General Kelsey. It is properly moved you to take up the debate about the answer to the other House, and that will lead you into the whole.

Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. That is the properest motion. You would not make a complicated and perplexed question. Some are neither for another House, nor for the title; and if you put the question to return an answer to the other House, you tacitly admit, such a House, without further debate.

Resolved, that this House do take up the debate to-morrow morning, about the answer to be returned to the message brought the other day by Justice Windham and Baron Hill.

The House rose at one o'clock. I was at Gray's Inn this afternoon; so know not what committees sat.


  • 1. See supra, p. 220, note §. p. 271, note ‡.
  • 2. See vol. i. p. 8, note ‡, Vol. ii. p. 283.
  • 3. This Speaker was one of those who, at the first meeting of the Parliament, Sep. 17, 1656, "offering to go into the House, were, at the lobby-door, kept back by soldiers." His name is among the ninetythree who remonstrated on the occasion. Parl. Hist. xxi. 26, 37. See vol. i. p. 262, note ‡.
  • 4. By a High Court of Justice, or the Council, instead of the verdict of a jury; and thus, without the judgment of their Peers.
  • 5. The two preachers.
  • 6. See supra, p. 364.
  • 7. He was one of the excluded members. See supra, p. 374, note ‡.
  • 8. The remonstrants were ninety-three. See supra, p. 374, note ‡.