Friday, May 8, 1657. (fn. 1)
Lord Whitlock reported from the Committee appointed
to attend his Highness the Lord Protector, upon the Petition
That the Committee yesterday attended his Highness, who
excused himself that he had made them stay so long, and
desired the Committee to give him another meeting this
morning, which they did accordingly. And his Highness did
desire the Committee to acquaint the House he will give them
a meeting this morning presently, in the Banquetting House.
The House being informed that divers officers of the army
were at the door, with a petition, (fn. 2) to be presented to the House:
Resolved, that these petitioners (fn. 3) shall be called in.
The petitioners were called in accordingly; and being
come to the bar, Colonel Mason did declare, that he, with the
rest present, were come to present to the House a petition
from divers officers of the army; and therewith presented
the said petition, (fn. 4) which was taken in; and after, they withdrew.
||I have here extracted from the printed Journals. See vol. i. p. 367
Disbrowe and Pryde, according to Ludlow, "went to Dr. Owen and
persuaded him to draw up a petition according to their desires." Memoirs, ii. 588.
||Consisting of "two colonels, seven lieutenant-colonels, eight majors,
and sixteen captains, who, with such officers in the House as were of
the same opinion, made up the majority of those relating to that part of
the army which was then quartered about the town." Ibid. p. 590.
||In which they declare, "that they had hazarded their lives against
monarchy, and were still ready so to do, in defence of the liberties of
the nation; that, having observed, in some men, great endeavours to
bring the nation again under their old servitude, by pressing their general to take upon him the title and government of a king, in order to destroy him, and weaken the hands of those who were faithful to the publie; they, therefore, humbly desired that they would discountenance all
such persons and endeavours."
On hearing of this circumstance, "Cromwell sent for Lieutenant-general Fleetwood, and told him that he wondered he would suffer such a
petition to proceed so far, which he might have hindered, since he knew
it to be his resolution not to accept the crown without the consent of
the army; and therefore desired him to hasten to the House, and to put
them off from doing any thing farther therein. The Lieutenant-general
immediately went thither, and desired that the debate on the petition
might be put off till they had received the Protector's answer to what
had been formerly offered to him. To this the House consented."
Ibid. pp. 589–591.