The Diary of Thomas Burton: 21 March 1658-9

Pages 203-223

Diary of Thomas Burton Esq: Volume 4, March - April 1659. Originally published by H Colburn, London, 1828.

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Monday, March 21, 1658–9.

I came late.

Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper informed the House, that on Saturday last, in the afternoon, which was the first day they could be dispensed with from the service of the House, the Lord Fairfax, Dr. Bathurst, Mr. Weaver, and himself, in obedience to the command and order of the House, (fn. 1) went to visit Mr. Speaker, Chaloner Chute, at his house in the country; that they found him very much indisposed in his health, and very infirm and weak; that he was much troubled that he could not attend the service of the House; that it was a very great reviving and comfort to him, to find the House take him into their thoughts and care, and to send some of their members to visit him: for which he desired his most humble thanks might be presented to the House, and that they might be acquainted that he values their service higher than his own life, and that whensoever they shall command him he will wait on them; and did assure them, that as soon as ever his health will permit, and that by advice from his physicians he may do it with safety, he will return to the service of the House: and prayed, that, in the mean time, the House would continue their favour towards him and dispense with his service. (fn. 2)

Mr. Hobart I found speaking. He concluded, that the question be upon the legal right.

Colonel Briscoe. The distribution is but a circumstance of a circumstance.

If the Act of Union was not recited, it was no new law, but known; therefore, not so essential to be read or recited. It is very evident that it should have been thrice read; but you are masters of your own order. There is no recital in the Articuli super chartas, (fn. 3) nor in Magna Charta, so often confirmed. It is not therefore of such absolute necessity. It was his Highness's act, and in his lifetime he does execute this Union accordingly. He is best judge of the testament that makes it.

There was an agreement made by the representative of the people, the Long Parliament. If the change of the government did null or alter it, by the same reason the league with Sweden and Holland may be avoided. I was as much against confirming the laws in a bulk (fn. 4) as any man.

If we should take exceptions against every law that has been made these twenty years, for a punctilio, would that be prudence?

We should foresee storms. Nemo leditur, nisi à seipso. I am satisfied as to the legality of it.

I move that the Scotch members continue to sit here, and that a Bill be brought in to confirm their right. That is agreed to be a very reconciling motion, and may heal all these heats and differences about it.

Sir Thomas Stanley stood up to speak to the question. Some said he had spoke. Others said he spoke only to the withdrawing.

Mr. Speaker. He has spoken to the matter.

Mr. Jenkinson. Though he has spoken; yet to the words of the question he may speak notwithstanding.

Mr. Gewen. Every man that has spoken, has spoken to the right. Therefore, in right, that ought to be the question.

Mr. Blagrave desired to speak to the main question.

Mr. Speaker. You should agree of a question; else your debate will be endless. The question which I found upon your books was, concerning their continuance; but, if I were free to propound a question, I should propose it upon the right. I know the Chair can argue nought, but only collect a question.

Sir Arthur Haslerigge. If the Chair stand up to speak to the orders of the House, and do not speak to them, any member may take him down. It is an undoubted order of the House that the Chair may be taken down. We have heard you a great while.

Mr. Speaker went on, and gathered the whole debate, and propounded a question about the right. That would include every man's sense; for their continuance implies their right.

If it be either upon a prudential right, or legal right, or no right, every man may be satisfied in his vote. I can only explain your debate, and out of that frame a question.

Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I speak to the orders of the House.

Your office is, out of the debate to draw a question; and you are in the right, that the debate has chiefly gone upon the legality of it.

I shall never speak aught in this House which, to the best of my knowledge, I understand not to be just and right.

Your duty is to put a dear question, not complicated; that every one may have his yea and no, clearly. I like your question, but not your explanation.

I am persuaded, if an angel should come from Heaven, there would not one man's vote be altered in this debate; nay, though we should spin out a week longer. I agree that in justice it ought to be put in the legal right, and not to complicate it with equity and legality.

Mr. Secretary. I agree it to be your part to sum up the debate, and draw thence a question. I likewise agree that the question should be clear and not complicated; but I cannot agree that the question upon the legality is a clear question.

Some have gone upon the legal part, some upon the prudential, merely. Others have taken in both. If you put it upon the first, you exclude the two latter. Those that are not clear in point of law, they are excluded. But that of continuing to sit comprehends every man's vote, and is most ingenuous and clear. The debate has wholly gone upon that.

Sir Walter Earle. You will soon put end to this debate, if you take one question, which you please, and put, if that shall be put; and that will decide it.

Mr. Knightley. If you put it upon the legal part, I shall, as Mr. Secretary says, go near to give my negative. If upon the other, my affirmative. Therefore, put the question if that shall be put.

Mr. Annesley. You rightly represent it to us. You found that question as to continuing, and, if you put any question, you must put that. I move to put, if that question shall be put.

Captain Baynes. I move that we be not led into a mistake. This question was put upon us. The question ought to be put upon the legality.

Mr. Attorney-general. The clear question is to continue to sit. That includes every man's vote. There, every man that has his reason, is included; for that of the non-legality is rather a reason than a question. If it be upon the legal, I am excluded as to any vote. You are a council as well as a court.

Mr. Hungerford. Your great debate has been upon the right, and now you are waving that, and putting it upon another question; which to me seems, that those gentlemen that move it are satisfied there is no right. If you pass it now, upon the continuance, the same will be pressed in the case of the Irish members, and so the right shall never come in question, as to Ireland.

(It was said he spoke, but he answered, he had had such an indisposition these fourteen days that he could not speak.)

It is as clear as the sun that shines, that they have no right. I grant, where the law gives aught it gives a means; but a means being once given, and then taken away, it is clear that both the means and end ceases.

Nought more becomes you than to inquire who execute a legislative power here with you. You excluded some. (fn. 5) If there be an error in the foundation, it cannot be mended. If it be of the first digestion, it is incurable.

They are persons of honour and parts, and serviceable to you, both for help and ornament; but to go upon a prudent consideration singly, it will carry you into bogs and inconveniency.

Why should any sit here, to make a legal imposition upon the nation ? You are likely to lay great charge upon the nation, and how will that look abroad, that you suffer persons to sit here that have no right to sit here, and impose upon them.

They have sat here two Parliaments, but that was upon the Act of Distribution, which is now out of doors. Though they have sat here this Parliament, continual claim has been made. Never could it be made more seasonable than now, when you are passing a law to transact.

I hear much talk of an Union. Why we should applaud that we never saw, I know not. I believe some that applaud it, never saw it. If this of continuance be admitted in this case, the same will be imposed on us in point of Ireland.

I hope none will vote upon a prudential right, to give any one power to pass laws. The Long Robe, that are to defend the law, will never do it. You may vary the question as you please. That of legal right will be most for your honour and advantage. I move that to be your question.

Mr. Annesley. All the service that those two nations can do you, will not recompense the time you have spent about it. The question upon your books is to their continuance; and, whatever be said to the contrary, that will be your question. I shall not say aught to the legal right, nor how much I am satisfied of that, or of another right.

It was not the fault of Scotland, that there was not distribution. It was not likely for thirty to do it against four hundred, so that you cannot take advantage upon your own wrong. You promised it, and you ought to make it good.

That of taking away the old Peers by a piece of a Parliament, was as much against the strictness of the law, as this now in hand. I wonder to see those gentlemen that some time thought fit to vary from the strictness of law, do now, at this time, plead so zealously for the strictness of it, and that in a case which is impossible. I hope they will observe this strict rule hereafter. If his Highness had sent out writs as for the two last Parliaments, there had been no occasion of dispute now. He should deserve thanks for varying the form and coming so near the ancient form. This House has all along dispensed with Acts of Parliament, as in case of non-residency. Should you dispense upon prudentials in one case and not in another? If the Union were not for the interest of England, I should be the first to withdraw.

Two months time has been spent in debate, and no resolution. We lie under an impossibility to keep to the strict rules of the law at this time, but go back as far as we can. Those that sit in the other House, most of them, I believe, are not for a military power, but would have things settled upon a civil and legal foot. They have estates, and I am satisfied they desire not to set up the sword.

I shall rest upon the Providence of God, as to how the question goes.

Mr. Drake. We go upon point of legality, prudence, equity, and continuance. We are now going back to the first, like as he that has learned three or four words of a language, goes back to the letters again.

Mr. Speaker took him down, and said he had spoken to the question on Friday sennight.

Colonel Clark. It is a great while since he spoke. You have heard him half. Pray hear him the other half.

Sir Arthur Haslerigge moved again to the orders of the House.

The proper question, if you do us right, must be upon the legal right.

Mr. Speaker. If that about the continuance be insisted upon, it must be put.

Mr. Boscawen. I look upon the Act of Union as a national sin, if any ought to be. The Covenant, (fn. 6) every honest man ought to hold to that. That was the Union, indeed. Therefore, I cannot consent to the Act of Union, now pleaded. That war was not lawful, if it did not prosecute the ends of the Covenant. We were, by covenant, equally obliged to maintain the privileges of their Parliaments and of our own. If the conquest be not lawfully got, it cannot be lawfully kept. Restitution ought to be made. That Union was made but by the fag end of the Long Parliament, so had no legal foot. Those gentlemen made it for a Commonwealth. That makes me like it the worse.

Scotland will not think themselves obliged to keep that Union longer than till they can break it. Portugal lies upon the skirts of Spain, yet lies in the heart of it, (Altum risum) which kept it one hundred years, (fn. 7) yet did never gain by it.

I would have the question wholly waved; for if I were now to answer before the tribunal, I could not answer it to justify that war, or the breach of the Covenant; and to build upon the Union made by those Commonwealth-men, I cannot consent.

Mr. Trevor. I can offer you no new matter. Therefore, I thought not to trouble you. I shall not dispute the breach of the Covenant, or the lawfulness of that war. You find them united. I would rather have you make much of that Union, and strengthen it, rather than dispute it. To exclude them from a legislature is to reduce them to a perfect slavery.

The distribution, as to the number of thirty, stands by a law which we have known these ten years, and must own it for a law till you repeal it.

If I had been conscious to myself that I had spoken, I should not have run the hazard to be called down. I am clearly satisfied to give my vote for the legal right. The Union was concluded by an authority which then carried all the face of authority in this nation. If we dissolve this contract, we open a door for dissolving all contracts. If there be any thing defective, the succeeding power is obliged to make it good. The public faith is obliged. It is prudent to be just, prudent to be honest, prudent to be safe. If, upon the whole, on the legality, the equity, prudence, or conveniency, or any of them, you will go, the proper question, and clearest, is to put it upon the continuing of their sitting.

Mr. Rigby. I have as great a desire that they should be united; but for them to sit here, upon the account of prudence or conveniency, to make laws when those that are most for them are not satisfied of the legality, I cannot consent, before we make a law for them to give them a right.

The great question is coming on, as to transacting, to which I shall consent, provided it may be with preservation of that which is for the interest of those that trust me, and for my posterity.

I move to put the question upon the legal right.

Mr. Juxton. Put the question, if the question for continuance shall be now put.

Colonel West. As not one native (fn. 8) may be here, then sixty are the quorum; and it may happen that it will be in their power to impose laws upon us.

Yourself propounded before you took the chair, a question, that they ought to sit, which was an expedient that I well liked. The legal right seems to be waved. And I believe those gentlemen that are for their sitting, are satisfied in it, that they have no right. I grant it is prudence to keep faith, and our words; but we must keep our words with God and men. We came here under a promise to preserve the rights and liberties of the people. There is not such a word in the Petition and Advice, that his Highness shall call a Parliament of England, Scotland, and Ireland. Nor is it in the explanation, nor can an explanation admit of any explanation. As to the argument, that Scotland is flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone, therefore they must sit here: so our wives and children are. Must we, therefore, bring them to sit here? I am not against their sitting; but not till they have a law.

If the war had been with (fn. 9) Scotland, where had you been? They would have imposed magistracy upon you, and laws. It was the justest war that ever was begun. We were upon our defence. As to that of the commander, cited per Mr. Bulckley, (fn. 10) that never quartered in any House but where God was worshipped in purity, they always lie in the best quarters; but to go all over Scotland, he would be of another principle.

The proper and choice question is upon the legal right, else you conclude the debate about the Irish.

Sir Walter Earle. The former part of that gentleman's speech did contradict his middle part and his conclusion; for it went upon inconveniency to have any members; for if sixty be a quorum, and may none of them be natives, (fn. 11) that reaches to all expedients; and when you have made it a law, that objection lies still.

Colonel West, to explain.

I said, that by the law his Highness was to call Parliaments of England, Scotland, and Ireland. I did not name the Petition and Advice.

Lieutenant-general Ludlow. He was not reflected upon. No crime was laid to him. If every man should answer to what part of his speech is excepted against, when would your debate end?

Mr. Bodurda. I move, that the door be shut till you agree on a question.

Mr. Goodwin. The question concerning continuance leads to settlement, and I like that question best. I beseech you, propose that question, or propose whether it shall be put.

Colonel White. This question will not answer what you intend, upon your debate. It does not determine the law nor right. It leaves it still liable to a dispute. You leave out both prudential and legal right.

Mr. Speaker took him down. He spoke 9th March. (fn. 12)

Major Beake stood up.

Mr. Speaker took him down. He spoke 12th March. (fn. 13)

Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. It is a mistake. There is no such thing upon your book. Upon your papers it may be.

In order of nature, legal right must be considered before any prudential. Never was any precedent, that one member should be admitted, unless the legality of his sitting could be asserted; and if never allowed for one, why should we admit it for thirty? It is a lessening of our authority. If you will have your acts thoroughly received abroad, make them upon a legal foot.

I have constantly attended this question, and the legal right came always in. A learned person told you, that you could put no other question but that of the legal right. Let not a mistake in the papers of your predecessors mislead you from that which is the natural question.

Major Beake. Your papers stand in need of an index expurgatorius. I see the Chair is not infallible. I did not speak to this question; but I spoke not for myself, but that you would hear the gentleman at the bar, viz. Colonel White, who spoke to the legality, and concluded that that might be the question.

Colonel Terrill. The question is gravida facto, has been ten days in travail. It is a big-bellied question, perplexed and complicated. I would have the question go singly, either upon the legality, the prudence, or the equity of it. Go upon any of them. I am free to give my vote. First, begin with the legality, which is most natural and ingenuous.

Colonel Birch. I move to put the question upon their continuance.

Sir Henry Vane. Here are two questions before you; and every one is free that the question be put, whether either question shall be put. Why should we lose time? but put the question upon what is most natural, upon the legality, and whether that question shall be now put.

Mr. Grove. The first question that is seconded ought, in reason, to be first put. It is some men's judgment that, in order of nature, the legality ought to have preference. Others are of opinion that the other is the natural question. Pray put it. off your hands. We go on very slowly. Some gentlemen say here that the people take notice of our obstructions. We have great matters to despatch.

Mr. Bodurda. The whole debate has run upon the continuance.

Mr. Neville. In the case of Major-general Overton, (fn. 14) when you voted his imprisonment illegal and unjust, prudence happily would have continued him in prison. Prudential right depends upon legality.

I move that the question be upon the right, and leave out the word "legal." A worthy and faithful person of that nation, Lord Swinton, (fn. 15) desired it that their legal right might be asserted.

Mr. Bayles. Some are for a legal right, others for a prudential. None will deny but that prudential is rational, and ratio est anima legis. Then, if it is prudent, it is a legal act of both. I would have the question be upon the continuance.

Sir Richard Temple. Dolus versatur in universalibus.

This is a general question. At York there was a court (fn. 16) that was mixed of law and equity, and when a point of law came in question, they had recourse to equity; and contra.

Here is a legal right and a prudential right. Let them both have your sense; and first put it upon the legal.

There will be but a vote for their continuance, if you put it otherwise than upon the legal part; and by that means it will be, every Parliament, liable to the same exceptions.

I would, have your books perused, and see if there be a word of continuance. It only related to their sitting, which you had determined by their not withdrawing.

Sir Walter Earle moved, that the books be read. It was found that it only related to their sitting.

A gentleman stood up to speak, and one moved that he being first in Mr. Speaker's eye might be heard.

Mr. Godfrey. No man can be judge who was first in your eye. None but yourself can see with your eyes. Let no man undertake that judgment, but that you should see with your own eyes.

Mr. Bulkeley. You have clearly told us that the proper question is upon the continuance. Why then should we dispute it ? Keep us to that question.

Mr. Reynell. You are free enough to offer a question out of the whole debate. The whole stress has been laid upon law. Prudence has but come in, by the by. The law of nations and nature, and all laws, have been urged for the defence of their right. Declare it upon any law, be it fundamental or what you will, I shall agree to it. This you told us would be the question that you would propound if you were free. (fn. 17) I suppose you are free, and it is the most natural add proper question.

Mr. Godfrey. Put the question, if it shall be put.

You are not now proceeding in & judiciary way. Here is no party defending before you. If Scotland be one party, England shall be another, and Ireland a third; and then, which prevails, shall carry it.

Mr. Speaker said, his very worthy friend had spoken to the merit, and so took him down; and prayed them to keep to the question.

Mr. Howe. I perceive the House grows very empty, so do our bellies. I pray you would adjourn for an hour.

Mr. Jenkinson. As to the order of the questions, I may compare it to an adjournment for a longer or a shorter time. The longest time should be first put; so this question, being the farther, as to the legal right; for, if they have a legal right, I can easilier give my vote for their continuance.

I move that the question be put upon the legal right, whether it shall be put.

Sir Walter Earle. The other question ought to be put, it being first moved, seconded, &c.

Lieutenant-general Ludlow stood up. It was cried, he spoke.

Lord Falkland. It is unbecoming the dignity of this House to cry, "He spoke, he spoke!" and not stand up and say how and what he spoke.

Colonel Birch moved for the question, upon continuance.

Lieutenant-general Ludlow. That gentleman in red moved contrary to what your sense is upon the whole debate. I move it be upon the legal right, lest we bring ourselves also to sit upon a prudential foot. I would have us all sit upon a legal foot.

Sir James Harrington. Justice should be our rule. When it is insisted upon by any member, that he is not satisfied unless the question of the legality be first put, we ought to satisfy one another. God judges amongst the gods. The question now offered gave your predecessor his death. (fn. 18) I move to have the question put upon the legality.

Sir Thomas Wroth. I highly approve your ingenuity, to say, if it were in your power you would put it upon the legality, which, in my conscience, is the most natural proper question.

He launched into the merit, and the Chair took him down.

Mr. Reynolds. I move that Sir Thomas Wroth be heard out. Some gentlemen (meaning Sir Walter Earle) took a liberty to stand up twenty times a day.

Sir Walter Earle stood up to vindicate himself, and to speak to the orders of the House.

Sir Richard Temple took him down to orders.

Mr. Speaker took them all down, and said, that worthy gentleman of the Long Robe might have forborne that expression of speaking twenty times.

There was a great noise and confusion, whether the young or the old knight should be heard.

Sir Richard Temple was heard first; and said it was a reflection upon Mr. Reynolds.

After Sir Richard Temple had done,

Sir Walter Earle went on.

I am willing to be called to the bar, if I offered you aught that was not for your service, or against your orders.

Sir John Northcote. I appeal, if there ought to be interlocutory discourses between members, as was between those two knights ? If you keep us not to order, we shall not only spend our time, but our strength in vain. I am sorry you are hindered from putting the question.

Mr. Speaker said that the question he found, and must still affirm, is about the continuance.

Mr. Trenchard. I have heard that now, which I never in my life heard in Parliament. I move that the natural question is upon the legal right. That must first be determined.

Mr. Weaver. The question propounded was not the first question. That which, in your own sense, is collected, ought to be the question; that is, upon the legality.

Mr. Solicitor-general. Till the sense of the House be known by a determination, you cannot wave the question. You must, if it be insisted upon, put it upon the continuance.

Mr. Scot. By your own judgment the legal right ought to be put, else you leave things liable still to exception, and the Chief Magistrate under a doubt, whether to call them in this manner or no. He knows not what to do. He is in a snare. So the Scotchmen, they know not what to do, unless you resolve where the right is. If you put the other question, I can give my vote neither way. If upon the prudent account, I may give my affirmative. If upon a legal, I must give my negative.

Mr. Bence. I wonder those that had the power in their hands did so little contend for legal strict rules, and wave them so much then when they had the power.

He was taken down by the Chair.

Colonel Okey took exception against those reflections.

Mr. Bulkley took him down.

Serjeant Maynard moved to spare all reflections.

Colonel Eyre moved that the first question be put upon legal right.

Serjeant Maynard. You cannot recede from the question for continuance, till the whole House be satisfied to wave it.

He launched into the merit, and the Chair took him down; yet he went on, and was heard out. I could not well hear his motion. He concluded to put. the question of continuance.

Sir Richard Temple moved for an addition to the question; that a bill be brought in for confirming their right.

Mr. Boscawen. I move that the question be, that they continue to sit during this Parliament; for if your question be once put, that it shall be put, we cannot speak to the words of the question.

I am informed that most of them are chosen, neither according to the laws of Scotland nor of England.

Mr. Young. There can be no quorum of their election now, for the rules at the Committee of Privileges were, for a month to make their claim, and it is two months since.

The question was going to be put.

Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I have not spoken to the question, but only to the orders of the House. I move an addition, viz. "Having no legal right."

It seems, it was moved by Mr. Sadler; for he said this addition ought to be put, being firsted, seconded, and thirded.

Mr. Annesley. This is as disorderly an addition as ever was offered to you.

Mr. Salway snarled at it.

Mr. Howe and others, insisted upon it, to have the addition added.

Some had moved that nought might be offered that might make the House ridiculous.

Sir Richard Temple excepted against it.

Query, if Mr. Bulkley said it not, for he seemed to justify it.

Sir Henry Vane. Your question is upon persons continuing to sit as members, before you have determined whether they are members or no. Whether they are capable or no, or there be any other disability upon them, they shall continue sitting this present Parliament. There is a question upon their right; so that the addition is not improperly offered.

Mr. Swinton. I know not how to answer my trust, if I shall not speak my thoughts. Something of advantage is put upon the question. If it were put upon the right, I should be loth to give my negative to it; but, as it is stated, I shall not know how to give my affirmative. I would, therefore, have it plain and clear.

I am humbly of opinion, the way to do the Commonwealth right, this House right, that nation right, is to put it upon a fair issue, whether they have a right, and ought to continue.

Mr. Swinfen stood up to answer Sir Henry Vane's objection.

Major Burton. We shall never have done if we sit thus to hear one answer another.

The question was put, if the question shall be now put.

Mr. Speaker declared for the Yeas.

Mr. Neville declared for the Noes.

The Noes went out, after a little dispute. Sir Arthur Haslerigge was appointed Teller, but would not come in.

Noes, 120. Sir Henry Vane and Colonel White, Tellers.

Yeas, 211. Mr. Annesley and Mr. Secretary Thurloe, Tellers.

So it passed in the affirmative.

Sir Henry Vane would have yielded, but the Yeas would not have it.

Sir Arthur Haslerigge, when he came in, said, "We have lost it by one hundred."

The main question was put, that the members returned to serve for Scotland shall continue to sit this present Parliament.

The House was divided. The Yeas went forth.

Mr. Serjeant Maynard and Mr. Bulkeley, Tellers for the Yeas.

Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Neville, Tellers for the Noes.

But, the Yeas being withdrawn, the question was yielded by the Noes. The Yeas were called in again, and it was

Resolved, that the members returned to serve for Scotland, shall continue to sit as members during this present Parliament.

Sir Thomas Willis, Ralph Delavall, Philip Howard, and Sir Christopher Wyvell, were against the question. Lord Swinton was withdrawn. (fn. 19)

Sir Arthur Haslerigge and Mr. Neville presently moved that the legality of the Irish members be first debated. It was to prevent precedency of the prudential part, as was in the case of Scotland, which had only primogeniture to plead for it.

It was endeavoured to justle out that motion with other matter, as to the last business, and that a bill be brought in to confirm the right of Scotland. The House sat till almost four, and adjourned the debate at large. (fn. 20)

It happened in the Council Chamber that some hot words passed from a member to Sir Arthur Haslerigge. He told him that all the laws made in the fag-end of the Long Parliament were not of force, and spoke very reproachfully of that Parliament; and told Sir Arthur Haslerigge that it was he that endeavoured to make himself and Sir Henry Vane the great Hogen Mogens, to rule the Commonwealth. The same expression as to those words, fag-end, happened to be said in the House. (fn. 21)

The member that ruffled Sir Arthur Haslerigge thus, was of no great quality. He took it heavily out, and wished he had been hanged up, and three or four more, and their posterity rooted up, rather than have acted so highly, and now come thus to be reproached. The great things of taking away kingship, House of Lords, war with Scotland and Ireland and Holland, and public sales were all in that time.

This was presently noised abroad, and very ill resented by the army. (fn. 22) I doubt it may breed ill blood; for every man that acted, begins to say, " What did I do in that fag-end of a Parliament, and how shall I be indemnified but by my sword ? We will not give the cause away."

Never did two words work such an alteration in one day in the face of affairs. Query, the consequence? if not appeased.

No Committees sat, it was so late; though Mr. Bacon attended in the House.


  • 1. See supra, p. 150, note †.
  • 2. Journals.
  • 3. See vol. ii. p. 435.
  • 4. See supra, p. 195, ad fin.
  • 5. See vol. iii. pp. 241, 249.
  • 6. See vol. ii. p. 214, note *. "The model of the Covenant sent from Scotland," says Rushworth, "being presented to the two Houses in England, Aug. 28, was, after some small alterations, consented to; and by an order of the Commons, Sep. 21, 1643, printed and published; and next day appointed to be taken publicly into St. Margaret's Westminster, by the House of Commons and the Assembly of Divines. "Mr. Philip Nye was ordered to make an exhortation; Mr. John White to pray before, and Dr. George after, the exhortation; and Mr. A. Henderson, one of the Commissioners from the Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland, made also a speech. " The Covenant was read, and then notice was given that each person should immediately, by swearing thereto, worship the great name of God, and testify so much outwardly by lifting up their hands. Then they went up into the chancel, and subscribed their names in a roll of parchment; in which this Covenant was fairly written. But, before it was tendered to the people, the two Houses ordered the Assembly of Divines to frame an exhortation, to be read before the taking it." Among "the two hundred and twenty-eight names of the Commons that took the Covenant," are "Ol. Cromwell," and "Hen. Vane, Jan." There was an engagement, (Art. 3.) "to preserve and defend the King's Majesty's person and authority," immediately followed by this qualifying condition, "in the preservation and defence of the true religion and liberties of the kingdoms." By Art. 2, they engage, in "defence of the true religion," to "endeavour the extirpation of popery, prelacy, superstition, heresy, schism, profaneness, and whatsoever shall be found to be contrary to sound doctrine, and the power of godliness," of course, in the infallible judgment of the covenanters. "Oct. 2. The King, (little expecting to leave a son prepared to subscribe, and swear, as, ex animo, See vol. iii. p. 372, note*.) issued a proclamation, that whereas a paper, entitled, A Solemn League and Covenant for Reformation, &c. was ordered by the Commons to be printed; which, under specious expressions of piety and religion, is nothing but a traitorous combination against him and the established religion and laws, in pursuance of a design to bring in foreign forces to invade the kingdom. He, therefore, charges all his subjects, on their allegiance, not to take the said traitorous covenant, as they will answer the contrary at their peril." Hist. Col. (1708,) v. 208–216.
  • 7. Sixty years; from 1580 to 1640.
  • 8. Not one member for England or, Wales.
  • 9. In favour of.
  • 10. See supra, p. 177.
  • 11. See supra, p. 211.
  • 12. Ibid. p. 97.
  • 13. Ibid. p. 146.
  • 14. See supra, p. 161.
  • 15. Lord of the Counsel. See supra, p. 187.
  • 16. See vol. i. p. 17, note.
  • 17. See supra, p. 204.
  • 18. See supra, p. 160.
  • 19. See supra, pp. 187, ad fin. 214.
  • 20. "The courtiers," says Mr. Bethel, "after they found the want of law, made prudence their refuge, arguing that for the obliging the Scotch and Irish nations, their members ought to be admitted. To which was answered, that nothing could be more provoking to those two nations, than fraudulently to give them the name of having members in Parliament, when in truth, by their late elections, they had few or none, most of them being chosen at Whitehall, whereof some had even never been nearer Scotland, than Gray's-Inn. "Yet the question was at last brought barely on, whether the Scotch and Irish members should sit, or not; and by the help of their own votes, (who were, contrary to common justice and right reason, suffered to vote in their own case,) it was carried in the affirmative, that they should sit in Parliament." Brief Narrative, pp. 348, 350. "We endeavoured," says Ludlow, "to remove the Scottish and Irish members, who had intruded themselves into the House, and to have the question put, 'whether those members chosen by Scotland, ought, by the law of the land, to sit as members of this Parliament.' "The court would by no means permit the question to be put in this manner, but moved that it might be thus proposed, in the following words: 'whether the House thought fit that those returned from Scotland, should sit as members of this Parliament ?' By this means, turning a question of right into a question of conveniency. "Because our question was first proposed, we insisted that it might also be first put; and likewise moved, that those sent from Scotland and Ireland, being the persons concerned in the question, might be ordered to withdraw, and not be permitted to sit judges of their own case: and this we thought we might with more reason demand, because their own party had already waved the legality of their election, by the form of words they had used in the question they had proposed. But the pretended members for Scotland and Ireland, except Mr. Swinton, who modestly withdrew, [see supra, p. 219,] as they had debated their own case with much confidence, so, by the support of the court, they resolved to decide it in their own favour. "When we saw ourselves thus overpowered by violence and number, we had the question put for leaving out the words, by the law of the land,' which, being carried in the affirmative, and therefore to be entered in the Journal, we let fall words in the House to insinuate that they were not a legal Parliament, having no countenance from the authority by which they acted. "As to their prudential way of admitting the Scots and Irish, on the account of conveniency, we said, that the laws of this assembly, though it were granted that they were a legal Parliament, would not bind the people of Scotland, who are not governed by the Common Law of England; and therefore, that it was unreasonable that those chosen by that nation should have any part in making laws for the people of England: and that it was intolerable, that they who had fought against a Commonwealth, should be consulted with in the framing our constitution, and so vote us out of that with their tongues, which they could never fight us out of with their swords. But all our arguments were answered by calling for the question, which they carried by a great number of votes." Memoirs, (1698,) ii. 626–628. "H. Cromwell, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland," thus communicates "to Secretary Thurloe," his apprehensions as to the unfavourable result of these discussions:— "March 21, 1658–9. It is no wonder that magni conatus should nihil agere, where there are so many actors, one against another, what is done being only the act of that little difference of power, whereby the predominant party exceeds the other. My opinion is, that any extreme is more tolerable than returning to Charles Stuart. Other disasters are temporary, and may be mended, those not." See "Thurloe State Papers," vii. 635. "General Monk," not yet prepared to declare for Charles Stuart, though not ill disposed to improve an opportunity, either in behalf of Charles Stuart or of himself, (see supra, p. 50, note †,) thus expresses "to Secretary Thurloe," his "good will towards his Highnesse," and a loyal anxiety for the stability of his government; commencing, like most hypocrites in an age of religious profession, with the attractive language of prayer and piety:— "Leith, March 22, 1658–9. I am sorry to heare your debates are so long; and your businesse goes soe slowlie on. I pray God, unite your hearts, soe that you may settle things that may be for his glory, and the peace of the nations. " I much wonder they should question the Scotch Commissioners to sit in Parliament, being the country is united to England. I am sorry to heare that any of the Scotch officers should be acting to divide and distract you. I could wish you had written to mee the names of them. "I heard of Colonel Ashfield and my Lieutenant-colonel; and if there be any more, I shall desire to heare their names, and I shall write to them. If they were heere, these two could signifie but a little, as little as any two officers in Scotland; but I could wish his Highnesse would command them away to their commands, which I think would bee the best course. "As to what they are pleased to say, that the rest of the forces in Scotland are of their opinions, I assure you, that they are much deceived; for there are no forces can be quieter than these are, and shall bee satisfied with any thing his Highnesse and Parliament shall settle. And thus much you may be confident of." Ibid. p. 638. "Colonel Ashfield," is named by Ludlow, first of "the officers," of whom "one party, known to be well affected to the Commonwealth, chiefly consisted." Of this officer, Ludlow adds the following anecdote:— "Colonel Whalley, whom Richard had lately made Commissarygeneral of the horse, meeting with Colonel Ashfield, in WestminsterHall, and discoursing with him concerning the other House, about which their sentiments were very different, the Commissary-general fell into such a passion, that he threatened to strike the Colonel, who thereupon daring him to do it, Whalley chose rather to make his complaint to Mr. Richard Cromwell. Colonel Ashfield being summoned to appear, the pretended Protector threatened to cashier him as a mutineer, for speaking in such a manner to a general officer of the army. But the Colonel desiring a fair and equal hearing by a council of officers, he was ordered to attend again. At the time appointed it was contrived that Colonel Gough, Colonel Ingoldsby, Colonel Howard, Lieutenant-colonel Goodrick, and other creatures of the Court should be present to decide the matter in dispute, who unanimously enjoined Colonel Ashfield to acknowledge his fault, and to ask the Commissary General's pardon for the same: but their endeavours herein proved ineffectual, for the Colonel denying that he had offended the Commissary General, refused to desire his pardon." Memoirs, ii. 632, 633.
  • 21. See supra, p. 209.
  • 22. "The army," however, at this time, according to Ludlow, was "divided into three parties, and neither of them much superior to the other in number. "One party was known to he well affected to the Commonwealth. A second party was known by the title of the Wallingford House or Army-party, who had advanced Mr. Richard Cromwell, in expectation of governing all as they pleased. "The third party was that of Mr. Richard Cromwell, who, having cast off those that had taken the pains to advance him, joined himself to men that were more suitable to his inclinations; particularly those that were officers in the Scots and Irish forces. But his Cabinet Council were Lord Broghill, Colonel Philip Jones, and Dr. Walkins," afterwards Bishop of Chester. Memoirs, ii. 631, 632.