Guibon Goddard's Journal
January 1654-5

Sponsor

History of Parliament Trust

Publication

Author

John Towill Rutt (editor)

Year published

1828

Pages

Citation Show another format:

'Guibon Goddard's Journal: January 1654-5', Diary of Thomas Burton esq, volume 1: July 1653 - April 1657 (1828), pp. CXXVII-CXXXIII. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=36731 Date accessed: 25 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


Highlight

(Min 3 characters)

January 1654–5

Wednesday, Jan. 10, 1654–5. The House resumed the debate upon the bill declaring and settling the Government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging.

The question being put, that a conference shall be had with the Lord Protector, concerning this bill, before the bill be ingrossed,

The House was divided. The Yeas went forth. Yeas, 95. General Disbrowe and Colonel Jones, Tellers. Noes, 107. Sir Richard Onslow and Colonel Morley, Tellers. So it passed in the negative.

Monday 15. Resolved, that none shall stay above in the chamber, during the time of prayers in the House; and that, immediately before prayers, the Sergeant do go up and require all the members to come down.

A Bill, intituled an Act touching lunatics and idiots, was, this day, read the first time; and was ordered to be read the second time on this day fortnight.

An Act for the uniting of Ireland into the Commonwealth of England, the re-establishing the Courts of Judicature there, the placing of Judges in the said Courts, and making a great seal, and other seals, to be used in Ireland, was read the first time.

Ordered that this Bill be read again on this day se'nnight.

Mr. Read reports from the Committee, to whom the books called " The Twofold Catechism," and other books of John Biddle, and to whom the business touching Theauro John was referred. (fn. 1)

In pursuance of the order of the 12th of December, the Committee for printing did meet, and resolved to send for John Biddle. Who, being sent for and examined, whether he did own the books referred to the consideration of this Committee; and whether he gave any order for the printing and publishing of the said books.

He refused to give any other answer; but that he had formerly given his answer to the House, to the which he did adhere. And that both he and his books being already judged, (fn. 2) it was to no purpose to be examined concerning the same.

Whereupon, they ordered that Biddle should be remanded; and the Committee proceeded in the consideration of the book called " The Twofold Catechism."

The Committee, in pursuance of the former order, took into consideration the book called " The Apostolical and True Opinion concerning the Holy Trinity revived and asserted, and a Confession of Faith touching the Three Persons."

Several passages in the book called " The Two-fold Catechism," quoted by the Committee, were read.

Resolved, that this House doth agree with the Committee in this vote, that the whole drift and scope of the book called "The Two-fold Catechism," written by John Biddle, is to teach, and to hold forth many blasphemous and heretical opinions.

That this House doth agree with the Committee, that, in the preface of the said Catechism, the author thereof doth maintain and assert many blasphemous and heretical opinions, and doth therein cast a reproach upon all the catechisms now extant. (fn. 3)

Several passages contained in the book called " The Apostolical and True Opinion," quoted by the Committee, were now read. (fn. 4)

Resolved, that this House doth agree with the Committee, that the said book is full of horrid, blasphemous, and execrable opinions, denying the Deity of Christ and of the Holy Ghost.

That it be referred to the Committee for printing, to bring in a Bill for punishment of the said John Biddle. (fn. 5)

That all the printed books, entituled, " The Two-fold Catechism," be burnt by the hand of the common hangman.

That the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex be authorized and required to see the same done accordingly, in the New Palace at Westminster, on Friday next, at nine of the clock; and at the Old Exchange, London, at three of the clock on the same day.

That the Master, Wardens, and Assistants of the Company of Stationers, London, be required immediately to make search for all the printed books entituled " A Two-fold Catechism," and seize all the said books, and deliver them to the Sheriffs.

That it be referred to the same Committee, to consider of the articles preferred against Mr. Akehurst; and to examine the business; and to report the same, with their opinion to the House.

That it be referred to the same Committee, to consider of the information given to the House against — Hammings, with power to send for him, and to examine the business, and to report the same to the House.

Ordered, that the rest of the said report be taken into consideration on Wednesday morning next.

Wednesday 17. The House proceeded in the consideration of the Bill, declaring and settling the Government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging.

A clause was tendered to the Bill in these words: " That, the Parliament sitting, the Lord Protector, by consent of Parliament, shall dispose and order the militia, for the peace and good of the Commonwealth; and, that in the intervals of Parliament, the Lord Protector, by the advice and consent of the major port of the council, shall dispose and order the said militia, for the ends aforesaid." Which was read the first time.

And the question being put, that it.be read a second time, the House was divided. The Yeas went forth. Yeas, 50. Colonel Montague and Captain Maidston, Tellers. Noes, 89. Colonel Matthews and Lieutenant-Colonel Baynes, Tellers So it passed in the negative.

The question being propounded, that the Bill be ingrossed, in order to its presentment to the Lord Protector, for his consideration and consent: and this House doth declare, that, without an agreement thereunto by the Lord Protector and Parliament, it ought not to be, in part or in whole, made use of as a law, or become binding to the people.

The question being put, that these words, " ought to be," stand in the question; it passed with the negative.

The question being put, that the word " it" shall be in the question, instead of the word "ought," the House was divided. The Yeas went forth. Noes, 114. Sir Richard Onslow and Mr. Bulkeley, Tellers. Yeas, 66. Lord Cleypole and Lord Broghill, Tellers. So it passed in the negative.

Resolved, that this Bill, intituled, " An Act for declaring and settling the Government," be ingrossed, in order to its presentment to the Lord Protector for his consideration and consent, and that if the Lord Protector and the Parliament shall not agree thereunto, and to every article thereof, then this Bill shall be void and of none effect.

Resolved, that the House be resolved into a Grand Committee, oh this day sevennight, touching public debts.

Friday 19. Resolved, that the Act declaring and settling the Government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, be now read.

Eodem Die, post Meridiem. A clause was tendered to this Bill in these words: " that the Lord Protector, the Parliament sitting, shall dispose and order the militia and forces, both by sea and land, for the peace and good of the three nations, by consent of Parliament; and that the Lord Protector, with the advice and consent of the major part of the council, shall dispose and order the militia, for the ends aforesaid, in the intervals of Parliament." Which was read the first time.

The question being put, that this clause be read the second time. The House was divided. The Yeas went forth. Noes, 101. Sir William Boteler and Sir John Witterong, Tellers. Yeas, 97. General Disbrowe and Colonel Sydenham, Tellers. So it passed in the negative.

A proviso was tendered to this Bill, in these words: " Provided that, whereas the militia of this Commonwealth ought not to be raised, formed, or made use of, but by common consent of the people assembled in Parliament; be it therefore enacted, that the said militia, consisting of trained forces, shall be settled as the Lord Protector and the Parliament shall hereafter agree, in order to the peace and safety of this Commonwealth, and not otherwise." Which was read the first time.

Resolved, that this proviso be read the second time. The said proviso was read the second time, accordingly.

The question being put, that the debate of this business be now adjourned till to-morrow morning, the House was divided. The Yeas went forth. Yeas, 98. Lord Herbert and Colonel Jones, Tellers. Noes, 29. Sir Richard Onslow and Mr. Bulkeley, Tellers. So it was resolved, that the debate of this business be adjourned till to-morrow morning.

Saturday 20. Resolved, that the vote of the fifth of January instant, whereby, in order to a particular Bill distinct from the Government, it was resolved, that the yearly sum of ten hundred thousand pounds, should be paid out of the receipt of the Exchequer, for the purposes therein mentioned, be vacated.

And the same, by command of the House, was vacated, in the presence of the House accordingly.

The House proceeded in the debate adjourned yesterday, upon the proviso then in debate.

Eodem Die, post Meridiem. The question being propounded, that these words, " Provided that whereas the militia of this Commonwealth ought not to be raised, formed, or made use of, but by common consent of the people assembled in Parliament," be part of the proviso.

The House was divided. The Yeas went forth. Yeas, 109, Sir Richard Onslow and Colonel Birch, Tellers. Noes, 82. Lord Broghill and General Disbrowe, Tellers. So it passed with the affirmative.

And the whole proviso being put to the question, it was resolved that this proviso be part of the Bill.

A proviso was tendered to this Bill; " that no future Lord Protector shall consent to take away the negatives, hereby declared to be in the Lord Protector."

And the question being put, that this proviso be received, it passed in the negative.

Resolved, that the debate upon this Bill, and the present debate in the House, be adjourned till Monday morning.

Monday 22. His Highness the Lord Protector, being in the Painted Chamber, and the Parliament, with their Speaker, by his command, attending him there, was pleased to dissolve this Parliament. (fn. 6)

Footnotes

1 See supra, p. cxv. " Thomas Tany, Goldsmith, who by the Lord's voice that he heard, changed his name from Thomas, to Theauraw John Tany, on the 23rd of November, 1649, living then at the Three Golden Keys, without Temple-bar, London. He was then, and before, a blasphemous Jew." Athen. Oxon. (1692) ii. 200 note.
2 See Ibid. pp. cxv. cxvi. note.
3 He complains of " all catechisms" as "generally being so stuffed with the supposals and traditions of men, that the least part of them is derived from the word of God. For when councils, convocations, and assemblies of divines, justling the sacred writers out of their place in the church, had once framed articles and confessions of faith, according to their own fancies and interests, and the civil magistrate had, by his authority, ratified the same, all catechisms were afterwards fitted to those articles, and confessions, and the scripture either wholly omitted, or brought in only for a show; not one quotation, amongst many, being a whit to the purpose." Preface, pp. 1, 2.
4 They probably neglected to read, or, at least, to regard with attention, the following address to the "christian reader," from the pious and learned author, whose mens conscia sibi recti still upheld him, On evil days though fallen, and evil tongues. "I beseech thee, as thou tenderest thy salvation, that thou wouldst thoroughly examine the following disputation, in the fear of God, considering how much his glory is concerned therein; and at any rate forbear to condemn my opinion as erroneous, till thou art able to bring pertinent and solid answers to all my arguments; for thou must know, that though I have contested with sundry learned men, yet hath none hitherto produced a satisfactory answer to so much as one argument. Farewell." See " A Short Account of the Life of John Biddle, M. A. sometime of Magd. Hall, Oxon" (1691,) p. 16. According to Wood, this life was first published in 1682, in Latin, under the title of " Joannis Bidelli, (Angli,) Acad. Oxoniensis quondam Artium Magistri celeberrimi, Vita." It was attributed to " John Farington, J.C.T. of the Inner Temple." Athen. Oxon. (1692), ii. 202, note.
5 " In this case," says his earliest biographer," nothing less than capital punishment could he expected. Which notwithstanding, the prisoner hare a composed and cheerful mind, hoping in God, whose cause he suffered for, for a happy event. "Neither did this hope deceive him, for the Protector, for reasons of his own interest, dissolved that Parliament; and the prisoner, after about six months imprisonment, obtained his liberty, at the Court of the King's, or Upper Bench, by due course of law. "Neither was he any whit discouraged by these dangers and sufferings, but betook himself to his former exercises for propagating truth, and the honour of Almighty God, concerned therein " Short Account, p. 7.
6 After a long speech, abounding in scriptural allusions, and thus uncourteously concluding: " I think it my duty to tell you, that it is not for the profit of these nations, nor for common and public good, for you to continue here any longer, and therefore I do declare unto you, that I do dissolve this Parliament.'' See Whitlock's Memorials, pp. 592–599; Parl. Hist. xx. 404–431. On the representatives of Charles Stuart, in this Parliament, and their manœuvres, see vol. iii. p. 551, note. "The Protector," says Whitlock, "began to be weary of the Parlia ment, and some of his Council were not backward to promote what they perceived he was inclined to have done." He adds, that there was "much debate at Whitehall about dissolving the Parliament." Memorials, p. 592. "Quinque mensibus jugiter altercando attritis," says Dr. Bates, "res suas Cromwellius hisce in comitiis nequicquam potuerit promovere. Nec in Senatu solummodo vigent Spiritus Democratici, sed in Exercitu." Elenchus, p. 290. (After the debates and altercations during five months, Cromwell could not serve his purpose by these assemblies. Nor did the spirit of democracy prevail only in the senate, but also in the army.) Then, having mentioned & project of the army, for bringing Cromwell before the Parliament as a criminal, Dr. Bates thus proceeds: " Certè Præfecti trium Equitatûs millium et qui Peditatûs manui non contemnendæ prærant, ea de re apparanda et ordinanda propinquis in ædibus Somersettanis alibique sæpiuscule convenerunt. Sed anteaquam in procinctu res foret, pervenit, prodente Prideo, in aurem Cromwellii, qui comitia properantiùs abrogando, admolitiones istas antevertit, Præfectosque militari Sacramento, in posterum solutes exauctorat." Ibid. pp. 290, 291. (It is certain that the officers of 3000 horse, and no small number of foot, met frequently in Somerset House and elsewhere, to contrive and carry on that design. But before they could mature their purpose, they were betrayed by Pride to Cromwell. He averted the danger, by immediately dissolving the Parliament, and exacting from the officers a military oath, to secure their future allegiance.) The anecdote which I quoted, (supra, p. 65, note ,) appears to have been borrowed from Dr. Bates. He says: "Imò unus eò provectus est audaciæ, ut palàm pronunciare non dubitarit, è Regia potiùs stirpe adsciscendum aliquem ad Monarchiam tam propè accedentibus, quàm sibi sceptrum et coronam Cromwellius arrogaret." Ibid. p. 289. (One had the boldness to say openly, that it were better to invest a prince of the royal race with the monarchy, to which they seemed to be approaching, than that Cromwell should arrogate to himself the crown and sceptre.) "The Representative sitting at Westminster," says Ludlow, " though garbled as he thought fit, proving not sufficiently inclined to serve his designs, but rather by prudence yielding to the strength of the present stream, in hopes the people might in time recover their oars, and make use of them for the public good; he grew impatient, till the five months allowed for their sitting should be expired; during which time he was restrained by that which he called the Instrument of Government, from giving them interruption. "And though they differed not in any material point from that form of government which he himself had set up, unless it were in reserving the nomination of his successor to the Parliament; yet did the omission of this one thing so enrage him, that he resolved upon their dissolution. "The five months of their session, according to the soldier's account of twenty-eight days to the month, being expired, they were ordered to attend him in the Painted Chamber, where he made up, with words and passion, what he wanted of matter to charge them with, accusing them of endeavouring to bring all things into disorder and confusion, by raking into the Instrument of Government, which he extolled very highly." Memoirs, (1698,) ii. 509, 510. The Protector had been otherwise described, even as an undoubted pater patriæ, in a diurnal of this time; which has oddly intermixed political information with ribaldry most vulgar and disgusting; scarcely exceeded after the Restoration. "The speeches of the Lord Protector to the Parliament, shewing his desires, that he aimed not so much to be Protector of the People, as that the people, under him, should be protectors of themselves; and enjoy a lasting happiness, under a safe, mild, and soft government." See "Mercurius Fumigosus, or the Smoking Nocturnal, communicating dark and hidden news, out of all obscure places in the Antipodes, whether in fire, air, earth, or water. For the right understanding of all the mad merry people in the land of darkness. From Wedneseve, Aug. 30, to Wedneseve, September 6, 1654, p. 124." On the severities by which this usurpation was too often sustained, Bishop Warburton has remarked, in his Notes on Lord Clarendon, that "Cromwell would have been as clement a conqueror and usurper as Julius Cæsar, had he had as much knowledge in literature and no more in human nature." History of Rebellion, (1826,) vii. 296. "One of the most ridiculous pieces of cruelty that was ever heard of in the world," as justly characterized by the journalist I am about to quote, was exhibited by a contemporary prince; no usurper, but an acknowledged legitimate. The reader will probably recollect Voltaire's Mazeppa, whom Lord Byron has immortalized; though the retaliation of the reigning Duke, for the loss of his venison, was princely, indeed, compared with the vengeance of the noble, for the deepest injury which a husband can sustain. "Letter from Hamburg, Feb. 26, 1655–6, S.V. The last week, several waggoners, coming from Breslaw, in Silesia, upon their way in the Duke of Saxony's country, perceived a stag, with a man upon his back, running with all his might. Coming near the waggons, he suddenly fell down. The waggoners drawing nigh him, the poor man, sitting on his back, made a pitiful complaint, how that, the day before, he was by the Duke of Saxony, for killing a deer, condemned to be bound with chains upon that stag, his feet bound fast under the stag's belly, with an iron chain soldered, and his hands so chained to the horns. "The miserable man begged earnestly that they would shoot him, to put him out of his pain, but they durst not, fearing the Duke. Whilst they were talking with him, the stag got up again, and ran away with all his might. The waggoners computed that he had run in sixteen hours, twenty-six Dutch miles at the least, which makes near one hundred of your English miles." Mercurius Politicus. No. 300. " From March 6 to March 13, 1655–6."