Monday, December 22, 1656.
A Petition of the Earl of Derby (fn. 1) was read and referred to
The Petition of Captain Ned Lister, against Mr. Maynard,
in the behalf of his wife's portion was read and committed for
Wednesday afternoon at two, in the Inner Court of Wards.
Colonel Rouse against the Petition, desired it might be left
Major-General Howard offered the tenants of Westmorland's petition, but the Speaker said there were two or three
petitions upon the file, to be heard first.
The Petition of the tenants of the manor of Hanslop, in
the County of Bucks, (fn. 2) for lands of 1,000l. per annum, which
they hold by lease, against Thomas Tirrell, Counsellor-atlaw.
He hath cut down the wood where the petitioners ought
to have house-bote; (fn. 3) hath raised more monies out of those
woods and forfeitures, than the purchase cost him; he hath
threatened many of their lives, &c.
Sir Thomas Wroth and Mr. Goodwin. If you receive all
petitions of this nature, there will be no need of paying salaries to the judges. I see nothing in the Petition but what
Westminster-hall may determine. I desire it may be rejected.
Captain Baynes and Mr. Robinson. If it were no more
than the title of this petition, it were reason enough to reject
it; for it is directed to the knights, citizens, and burgesses,
assembled in Parliament. This looks upon us as a House of
Commons; as if the House of Lords were alive. Besides,
the petition in itself is not to be retained; for though it pretend for the Commonwealth; yet it is between party and
party: and the Long Parliament, by ordinance, did declare
that they would meddle with no such business; unless in
cases of mal-administration.
The Master of the Rolls. This day hath brought you work
enough for half a year, and another day will stuff you sufficiently. There is relief enough at law. I would have you
to reject this petition, if it were for no other reason but for the
countenance of justice.
Lord Whitlock. This petition is clearly determinable in
the inferior courts of justice. This gentleman had a lease for
years, determinable at Michaelmas next, and has purchased
the reversion. Now they would overthrow all.
Major-General Disbrowe and Major-General Boteler. It
claims a right for the Commonwealth, and it will be proved
the petitioners are well affected to the Government; the defendant a delinquent under decimation. If there were no
more than between party and party, I should move for rejecting it; but it is the public concernment, profit to the
Lord Chief-Justice. There is nothing in the petition but
what the Courts of Justice may relieve them. I desire it may
Sir Gilbert Pickering. If you do reject it, you will not
do it with disgrace; for it is of public concernment. I
brought in the petition.
Colonel Carter. I would inform the House respecting
Mr. Tirrell. I believe he is not under decimation, for he has
been a colonel for us.
Resolved, That this petition be laid aside.
Lord Fleetwood offered a petition in Serjeant Dendy's behalf, touching some adventures for Ireland by his Highness's
command; but the Speaker directed the petitions ordered to
Lord Whitlock said he would not hinder that petition;
but desired that after that, the petitions might he read in
Major Morgan proposed, for saving time, to read that petition first.
The petition of the tenants of Epworth, (fn. 4) in the Isle of
Axholme, in the county of Lincoln, touching some commons
encroached upon, the lords there setting 12d. an acre upon
them. They desired to be left to law, or relieved here.
Mr. Hall offered another petition from tenants of the same
place. For saving time, he desired both might be considered
together. Both the petitions were read, being much to the
same purpose. The people pretend they are Cavaliers, and
threaten them with swords, &c.
Major Morgan. I am not against the committing of these
petitions, to the end that both parties may be heard. I desire to offer you a petition on the behalf of the participants
and tenants and freeholders, within the Isle of Axholme.
It was directed to be read. It complained against the tumults of the former petitioners, partly occasioned by the instigation of Lieutenant-Colonel Lilburn, (fn. 5) and Major Wildman, (fn. 6) and one Munk; one man killed, and fourteen men
wounded; all laid waste. Complaint was made to the Exchequer, but they could not be relieved there. It was left
out of the Act of Oblivion, upon Major-General Whalley's
report, that the tumults were very rebellious, and would not
be suppressed without armed men.
Mr. Nevil offered a petition to the same purpose.
Major-General Whalley. Part of this isle lying in Not
tinghainshire, and part in Lincolnshire, they have spent
their monies, and now come to knocks. Our forces have been
troubled to suppress the tumults. The Council has been
troubled with the business. I desire it may be referred to a
Committee, either to end the business, or to state the matter
Mr. Speaker. I have a letter to acquaint you with from
Mr. Robinson. I move that the level of Hatfield in Yorkshire, (fn. 7) may also be referred to this Committee; it being all
one business. I am nothing concerned in it, but as it relates
to the county I serve for.
The petition of sixty gentlemen in Hatfield Level, to the
The petition of the. French and Dutch Protestants there, to
the same purpose.
Resolved, that all these petitions be referred to a Committee, to send for papers, persons, witnesses, and records.
The Committee appointed, and to meet on Wednesday in
the Exchequer Chamber, at two o'clock.
Resolved, that all the long robe be added to this Committee.
Mr. Robinson was against it, who moved, and it was
Resolved, that all that come may have voices.
Mr. Speaker. Three petitions more must be read; but I
desire that his Highness's letter may be first read.
The letter was read: first, the superscription, directed to
Sir Thomas Widdrington, Speaker, to be communicated to
the Parliament. Then the name, Oliver Protector. Then
the letter. It was concerning the arrears due to the brigade
of Cheshire, (fn. 8) who bore a great share in the heat of Worcester fight, and ever since have been unpaid.
A petition from the Cheshire brigade to the same purpose,
that they might be relieved, for their arrears, out of the pub
lic lands, the King's, &c.: and that two months' pay in arrear
be paid out of some treasury.
Mr. Robinson and Mr. Speaker proposed that it might be
Resolved, that this petition, with the papers annexed, be
referred to a Committee.
Resolved, that it be referred to the Earl of Derby's Committee.
Resolved, that Major-General Bridge and Major Porter
Per Major-General Lambert.
Resolved, that Major Brooke, Mr. Marbury, and Colonel Ireland be added. .
A petition from Andrew Hall, that has had a great loss by
fire. He desires something like a brief for his relief, that he
may have a collection from churches in Essex, &c.
Mr. Fowell proposed, That this petition may be laid aside.
There is another way, by certificate from justices of Peace,
and directions of his Highness.
Mr. Robinson. This person, if the Bill now before you,
touching rogues, were passed, might come within the compass
of it. I hope you are not going about to grant briefs to all
that will ask them. There are other ways to relieve the petitioner.
This petition was laid aside, without a question.
A petition against Joseph Holland, by John Hervey, for
breach of trust in purchasing of lands. He was dismissed in
Chancery, and has no remedy at law, because an alien is in
Mr. Nathaniel Bacon proposed, that this petition be referred.
Resolved, that this petition be referred to the Earl of
Derby's Committee, and to present their opinion.
Per Colonel White.
Resolved, that Sir Gilbert Pickering and Mr. Godfrey be
added to this Committee. A plot, a jeere. (fn. 9)
Per Major-General Boteler.
Resolved, that Mr. Bampfield, Lord Strickland, and Mr.
Tymbes, be added. A plot, a jeer.
Major-General Howard presented the tenant's petition.
Mr. Speaker took it, and said, two petitions were to be read,
in order, before it; yet opened the title, that it was from
the tenants of Westmoreland against Lord Pembroke, (fn. 10) and
threw it from him upon the table.
Per Lord Whitlock and Mr. Attorney-General.
Resolved, that Mr. Vassall's petition be read on Monday
Colonel Bingham's petition read.
Mr. Berkeley offered Sir John Stowell's (fn. 11) petition, and desired it might be read, on Monday, the second time.
Mr. Speaker. The House has it already.
Mr. Robinson. I desire that the petition may be returned to the gentleman back again. We have had enough of
Mr. Bampfield and Major-General Whalley. The least
you can do is to give it a hearing. It concerns the faith of
the nation; the faith of the Parliament. The last Parliament thought themselves obliged.
Mr. Robinson, admitted to speak again, said, I desire the
gentleman may have it returned. It may hold as long as
James Nayler's business.
Mr. Downing. When the petition is read, there is time
enough to speak against it. I desire the petitions in order
may be read.
The petition of Edward Dendy read, set forth, that he had
200l. per annum, land in Ireland, settled upon him, for his
eminent services, per the Lord Deputy, and the Commissioners, but he is now put to trouble by the adventurers, and Sir John Barrington particularly. He desires the suits may
cease. Some Acts of Parliament whereby the adventurers
claim, are with a saving of former grants.
Lord Fleetwood. There is another petition to the same
purpose of Sir Hardress Waller. I desire it may be referred
to the same Committee. .
Lord Lambert proposed, that all the adventurers may be
considered by the same Committee.
Resolved, that these Petitions be referred to the Committee for Irish Affairs, to Report their opinion.
Lord Fleetwood, Colonel White, and Colonel Holland.
The adventurers have not their due encouragement. Many
obstructions lie in the way, which hinders your plantation.
They desire it may be referred to the Committee to find out
an expedient to further that work.
Mr. Attorney-General and Mr. Margetts rose to second
the motion, that the obstructions might be considered, and an
expedient found out, to remove it.
Major-General Howard proposed, that Mr. Disbrowe be
added to this Committee. This motion had like to have
thrust out the business.
Dr. Clarges and The Master of the Rolls proposed, that the
business of the inhabitants of Gloucester might be referred
to the same Committee. They have lands assigned them in
Ireland, for their losses; valued, per last Parliament, at
10,000l. They suffered their houses to be burned down for
your service. They have done eminent service for you.
Major-General Whalley proposed, that they might have
some recompense out of Ireland. Colchester was considered
in the like kind. They have done you service which ought
not to be forgotten. You had not sat here, I believe, but
for them. They only hindered the king's coming to London.
I desire it may be referred to the same Committee.
Major Morgan. This is settled already, by Act of Parliament, to the value of 10,000l.
Captain Crofts and Mr. Attorney-General. True, it is
settled by Act of Parliament; but the Commissioners for the
adventures of Ireland send them hither, and these Commissioners back again to Ireland. It is the fault of the Act that
it is not said who shall execute it.
Mr. Robinson. Hull suffered in the same kind; and
Lyme, and divers other places, which ought to he considered.
Resolved, that the explanation of this Act, touching the
allowance of 10,000l. to Gloucester, for their losses in this
service, be referred to the same Committee to find out an expedient, &c.
The Petition of Captain John Arthur was read.
He hath done good service: First, took up arms in Dorset, till betrayed and taken prisoner by Sir Antony Ashley
Cooper. Hath laid out 2000l. and odd, which he borrowed,
and pays interest for it at 8l. per cent., which comes, by
single interest, to 1500l. He is threatened daily to be arrested for the sums aforesaid, being unable to pay them.
Mr. Bond. The Committee of Dorset gave him public
faith for it. He is very poor, and hath suffered much for
you. I desire it may be referred to the Earl of Salisbury's
Captain Baynes. I am against the petition, and all of this
kind, for the poor people's sakes, who increase their charge
by staying here, and undo whole families, as in the Long Parliament. I know you are not able to satisfy them.
Mr. Robinson. Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, by whom this
gentleman suffered, may satisfy him; for we are not able, at
present, to do it. We shall put the poor people to charge by
attending, and do them no good. I wish it were referred to
the gentlemen that serve for Dorset, to find out a way to satisfy the petitioner.
Mr. Butler. Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper has done you
good service, (fn. 12) and the petitioner doth not say his sufferings
were by him.
The petition of Edward Scot of Scot's Hall, read.
He married Katharine, daughter of Lord Goring. (fn. 13) She
eloped from him, and at Oxford, and other places, had children by other men. She hath contracted great debts, &c.
Desires he may be divorced from her, that those children may
be declared bastards, and not inherit his estates, and that
he may be relieved against those debts. He would have some
of the long robe consider it and give their opinion.
Major-General Kelsey. I have an Act in my hand for this
gentleman's relief, if you please to read it. It will shorten
your business. I am satisfied in the matter of fact.
Sir Thomas Wroth. It is not every man's luck to have a
good wife. No man in this House has so bad a wife. It is
fit the gentleman should be relieved, that bastards may not
inherit his estate. He is a person of ancient family, (fn. 14) and
highly injured by the debts she has contracted. We were
petitioned in the Long Parliament. The Lord Chief-Justice
has settled alimony upon her, but she deserves no more than
a dog. I would have it cut off, and that the Bill be read.
Mr. Robinson. It is no jesting business. It is a sad case
to have such a wife; and to have a posterity put upon him
that is none of his own. I desire the petition may be referred
to a Committee, to hear both parties, and then judge.
Lord Strickland. I would not have us to suppose this business to be so, till we have examined it. As the petitioner is
a person of quality, so is she; but for us to judge parties
unheard, is very unequal. By this mean's any man that is
weary of his wife may.be quit of her by petition.
Mr. Attorney-General. This business is notorious. The
matter of fact is but too true. I wish there were a law in general provided for this. It is only fit for a Parliament. She
sought for alimony (fn. 15) in the Chancery, but durst not prosecute
it. It may as well be heard upon a bill as upon the petition,
as in Sir John Brooke's case the other day. (fn. 16)
Mr. Bodurda. I propose, that the gentleman may be called
in, to own his petition, though against his wife. I hear he is
a very weak man, and under some restraint.
Colonel Welden. I spoke with the gentleman last Friday,
and I affirm that he did own the petition.
Mr. Bampfield. The business may be heard upon the
Bill as properly as upon the petition; and though he be a
weak man, as is pretended, his wife ought not to abuse him.
Colonel Whetham. As weak as he is reported to be, he
has been a captain in your service.
Mr. Bond proposed, that the Bill might be read. The
case upon the petitions in the old Parliament is very notable.
Major-General Disbrowe. We shall grow angry at one. (fn. 17)
I desire the Bill may not be read, but refer it to a Committee.
Mr. Recorder. It is not parliamentary, under colour of a
petition, to bring in a Bill. It is giving too hasty credit to a
business of this nature. By this rule a Bill may be brought
in to every petition. Again, it is very unequal to condemn,
before parties are heard on both sides.
Mr. Berkeley proposed, that it might be referred to a select
Resolved, that this petition be referred to a Committee to
examine both parties and to bring in a Bill if they think fit.
To meet to-morrow in the Duchy Chamber.
Mr. Speaker. If you please but to sit two hours, I shall
be ready to sit with you. (He offered this twice). If you
will observe order, two hours will dispatch it; or otherwise
Mr. Robinson proposed to rise, and not read any more at
this time of the day.
Major-General Howard proposed to read the tenants' petition, otherwise appoint it to be read the first thing on Monday next.
A great confusion for half an hour; five or six constantly
up at a time to offer petitions.
Resolved, that the petitions now upon the table be read on
Monday next in order.
In the midst of this vote, divers petitions were cast upon
the table in a very confused way, and excepted unto per Mr.
Robinson, Mr. Ashe, junior, and Mr. Bampfield, as anti-parliamentary.
Colonel Markham stood up very often to offer a petition,
but he could not get in, and was very angry with Mr. Robinson for interrupting him. Colonel Markham said, that he
took more liberty to speak than any man, and had spoke two
or three times to this business. Mr. Robinson stood up to
justify himself, and reflected upon Colonel Markham as if new
members were not well acquainted with these proceedings.
High dispute seemed likely to arise, but Mr. Speaker determined the controversy by leaving the chair, without a question.
Mr. Skippon told me, as I came home, that they were at
very high words both in their seats and at the door. Query,
How they will be friends, for Mr. Robinson has a very good
memory of, &c.
A quaker woman, as we came out, told the Speaker and
every one that passed by, that justice was turned into wormwood, and equity into gall; adding, the mouth of the Lord
hath spoken it.
Colonel Whetham offered a petition in the behalf of Colonel
Mr. Speaker said he had also a copy of very good verses
from the same hand, to offer. (fn. 18)
The grand Committee of religion could not sit for want
of number. There was a Committee for a petition in the
Speaker's chamber. Dr. Clarges had the chair.
Few other Committees sat, except the Scotch Committee.
Cousin Robert Blackiston dined here, and I drew over his
petition, in Mr. Bowes's behalf, to be counsel. Spent the