Monday, February 7, 1658–9.
I came late, and found the House in debate upon the report about Horsham, from the Committee of Privileges.
Resolved to agree with the Committee, that a writ issue out
for a new election.
Lord Falkland was called in upon the report from the
Committee of Privileges. (fn. 1)
William King was released this morning upon his petition. (fn. 2)
He has not sat so long in prison as he did in the House.
Sir William Wheeler offered a petition from Major Audley,
that he be released from his imprisonment.
The petition was read, signifying his sorrow for offending
the House, and desiring he may have his liberty to prosecute
at the Committee of Privileges.
Mr. Bish. I move, for that reason, that he be released,
to the end that he may prosecute his petition against us;
which we fear not.
Sir Walter Earle. You drowned an eel when you sent
him to the Tower, where he has a house and good accommodation. He has been but a little while imprisoned. He is in
orders. I hope you will not think him capable of being a
member; so that his reason ceaseth. (fn. 3)
Captain Baynes. I move to have him released.
Mr. Goodrick. I move to have him bound to good behaviour, as usual in dealing with offenders of this kind. (fn. 4)
The orders of the day were called for, and read. The
order was upon the Act for Recognition.
Mr. Fowell and Mr. Fleetwood moved to send into the Hall
for all the members to attend.
Mr. Steward and Mr. Pedley seconded the motion.
Mr. Weaver, Mr. Walter Young, and Mr. Neville. The
mace cannot go without an order, because the Judges and
Commissioners of the Seal are removed to another House. It
cannot be presumed but that your members should attend.
Resolved, that the mace be sent for the members, to attend here according to the duty of their place.
Mr. Weaver. By the orders of the House, a business of
this nature was never taken up. till ten 0'clock. (fn. 5) The House
being full, I question the reason.
The mace being returned, and the lawyers with him, and
the House being very full,
The Act intitled, "An Act of Recognition of his Highness's right, and title to be Protector and Chief Magistrate of
the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and
the dominions and territories thereunto belonging," was read
the second time. (fn. 6)
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I wonder not at this silence in a
business of this weight. I have much weakness upon me. (fn. 7)
The business that we are about, is the setting up a power
over this nation. It will be necessary, for method's sake, to
consider what we have been; what we are, and what we shall
be I must beg patience to look far back. Time was, this
nation had seven kings, and no doubt but the strongest put
down the weakest, against the will of the rest. I never knew
any single person to have power, willing to lay it down.
After it was in one single person, then came in the Conqueror. The Kentishmen stood up for their liberties, and in
some sort, preserved liberty to all the rest. (fn. 8)
Succeeding Kings, sons and others, began to grow very oppressive to the people's liberties. Then rose up the noble
Barons who struggled so long, till with their swords, they
obtained our Magna Charta. (fn. 9) That our Barons were men
of great power, appears by what they compelled the King to
grant; the whole estate being in them and the Bishops, Abbots, and King. They were so great, and sensible of their
The Government was then in King and Parliament, Lords
and Commons sitting altogether. (fn. 10) They withdrew and went
into another House, to make a distinct jurisdiction. Thus
the Lords had all but the power of the purse, which, to this
day, preserved the liberties of the nation. Then the Government was enlarged into three estates, King, Lords, and Commons, and continued thus above three hundred years. (fn. 11)
As all governments have their beginning from time, so
time puts an end to them. The government, continuing so
long, it had contracted rust. The people groaned under
great oppression, both as men and Christians.
The Council Table bit like a serpent; the Star Chamber
like scorpions. Two or three gentlemen could not stir out,
for fear of being committed for a riot. Our souls and consciences were put on the rack by the Archbishop. We might
not speak of Scripture, or repeat a sermon at our tables.
Many godly ministers were sent to find their bed in the wilderness. (fn. 12) The oppression was little less in the lower courts
and in the special courts.
Altars were set up, and bowing to them enjoined. Pictures were placed in Church-windows, and images set up at
Durham, and elsewhere (fn. 13) ; with many other exorbitances
introduced, both in Church and State. The Archbishop
would not only impose on England, but on Scotland, to bring
in the Book of Common-Prayer upon them. They liked it
not, and, as luck would have it, they would not bear it. (fn. 14) He
prevailed with the King to raise an army to suppress them.
The King prevailed with his nobles to conquer them into it.
He went to their country, and finding himself not able to
conquer them, came back.
He called a Parliament, which was named the Little, or
Broken Parliament, disbanded not his army, but propounded
that we should give him a great sum to maintain the war
against Scotland. We debated it, but the consequence of
our debate made him fear we would not grant it. We had,
if he had suffered us to sit. Then did Strafford and his
Council advise him to break us and to rule arbitrarily, and
that he had an army in Ireland to make it good. For this
Strafford lost his head. (fn. 15) The King suddenly broke that Parliament. (fn. 16) I rejoice in my soul it was so. He raised the gallantest army that ever was, the flower of the gentry and nobility. The Scots raised too, and sent their declaration into
England, that by the law of God and nature they might rise
up for their own preservation; and thus they came into England. At Newburn the armies met. We were worsted.
God was pleased to disperse our army, and give them the day.
The Scots passed Newburn, and advanced to Newcastle. (fn. 17)
Then some of our nobles, Say, Essex, and Scroop,
humbly petitioned his Majesty for a Parliament. He, seeing
danger, called a Parliament. This was the Long Parliament. The first proposition was to raise money for the Scots.
We gave them a brotherly assistance of 300,000l. They
showed themselves brethren and honest men, and peaceably
returned. Then money was pressed for our own army.
The House, considering how former Parliaments had been
dealt with, was unwilling to raise money till the Act was
passed (fn. 18) not to dissolve the Parliament but by their own consent. It passed freely by King, Lords, and Commons.
This was wonderful; the very hand of God that brought it
to pass; for no man could then foresee the good that Act
The King then practised with the Scots, then with his
army, to assist him against this Parliament, and to make
them sure to his particular interest. Sir John Conyers discovered it, to his everlasting fame. Mr. Pym acquainted the
House. Divers officers of the army, Lord Goring, Ashburn.
ham, Pollard, and others, were examined here. (fn. 19) They all
absented. The House desired of the King, that they might
be brought to justice; but the King sent them away beyond
The King demanded five members, by his Attorney-General.
He then came personally to the House, with five hundred (fn. 20)
men at his heels, and sat in your chair. (fn. 21) It pleased God
to hide those members. I shall never forget the kindness of that great Lady, the Lady Carlisle, that gave
timely notice. Yet some of them were in the House, after
the notice came. It was questioned if, for the safety of the
House, they should be gone; but the debate was shortened,
and it was thought fit for them, in discretion, to withdraw.
Mr. Hampden and myself being then in the House, withdrew.
Away we went. The King immediately came in, and was in
the House before we got to the water.
The Queen, on the King's return, raged and gave him an
unhandsome name, "poltroon," (fn. 22) for that he did not take
others out; and certainly if he had, they would have been
killed at the door.
Next day the King went to the City. They owned the
members. (fn. 23) Thereupon he left the Parliament, and went
from step to step, till he came to York, and set up his
standard at Nottingham, and declared the militia was in him.
The House of Lords then sent down to declare that the
King had broken his trust. The word of the King, seduced
by evil counsel, lost us forty lords. The House declared the
militia to be in them. (fn. 24) That was then a great question.
Commissioners were then sent out in the name of the King
and Parliament. Then was there the King against the Parliament, and Parliament against him. (fn. 25) There was at this
time, no thought to alter Government. We met at Edgehill.
The King went to Oxford, and gave thanks for the victory,
and we at London gave thanks for the victory: (fn. 26) and so it
was in many other battles. Thus the English pushed on
both sides, and much precious English blood was spilt on the
ground. Several propositions, at length, were tendered; but
God hardened his heart. He would not accept. Then we came
to make a new model, and a Self-denying Ordinance. Thereupon this noble Lord (fn. 27) was chosen the Parliament's General.
The Commission as to him, was from the Parliament only; the
name "King" was left out. I appeal to all the world for the
undeniable, the unquestionable victories after that. We had
not one doubtful battle. The King after that never gave
thanks. In process of time, there were propositions, again
and again, seven, eight, or nine times,—at least seven times,—
sent to the King, desiring, for ourselves, our ancient liberties
with our ancient Government, but his heart was still hardened.
Next we shall find him in the Isle of Wight, where the last
propositions were tendered to him. (fn. 28) He would not consent,
though his sword was broken, and he was in the lowest condition. He denied. Many gentleman in this House, of great
worth, foreseeing our troubles, apprehended there was enough
in the King's condescensions for a well-grounded peace. But
the officers of the army were otherwise opinioned. Finding
the King not sufficiently humbled, they thought the good
cause would be betrayed. The officers seized several members. (fn. 29) Those that stayed within, asked for them, but could
not have them.
They seized upon the King, demanded justice, and brought
him to judgment. He would not answer, not owning our authority, because he was accountable only to God; whereas,
God never made such a creature, to govern men, and not to be
accountable to men. Yet he received his judgment, and submitted his head quietly to the block. The edge of justice
struck it off. See the wonderful hand of God! The King
dead, some members of the House, the late General, and
Commissary-general Ireton, they would have it determined,
(which the wisdom of the House thought meet) that not only
this line, nocent and innocent, but that kingship should be
abolished, as dangerous useless and burthensome. (fn. 30) Then there
was an end of one of the three estates. The Lords, most of.
them being gone, the remainder, amazed and troubled at this,
adjourned their House; but never came again unto it. As
they had their beginning from themselves, so they had their
end from themselves. The Commons approved the Lords'
adjournment, and did by them as they had done by the King:
and there was an end of that estate. Two of the three estates
were thus gone. Then, for the third estate, that, God knows!
had been much shattered and broken. Force was much upon
us. What should we do ? We turned ourselves into the Commonwealth. By advice of the soldiers among us, a declaration to that purpose went out from the Army. We continued four years, before we were put an end to. In which
time, I appeal to all, if the nation, that had been blasted and
torn, began not exceedingly to flourish. At the end of the
four years, scarce a sight to be seen that we had had a war.
Trade flourished; the City of London grew rich; we were the
most potent by sea that ever was known in England. Our
Navy and Armies were never better.
Yet, after these estates were ended, we found a new trouble. The wars were not then ended. Waters broke out. A
strong remnant got into Colchester. Our brethren of Scotland
were not so firm upon that great shaking of kingship. We
sent an army into Scotland, to Colchester, to Wales. This
noble Lord (fn. 31) went to the gates of Colchester and conquered,
and put an end to all the English war. Then a general was
sent into Scotland. Our late Protector that died was then
general of all our forces. You know the great mercy. There
we obtained that memorable victory at Dunbar. What care
did the Parliament then take to furnish their army from
London with all necessaries, by land and in ships; all provided with the greatest diligence. None but a numerous
company of good and honest-hearted men could have done
the like. The King of Scots came in with a great army.
Twenty thousand men came suddenly and freely to Worcester.
The people voluntarily rise and assist, in the greatest numbers
that were ever read. The Scotch Army returned, not three
in a company. Man by man they returned in rags. This
battle, the 3d of September, 1651, put an end to all the miseries of war in England and Scotland. Our wars in Ireland
were then not considerable.
This done, it is true here was only remaining a little part
of that triple cord, and you know what became of them. I
heard, being seventy miles off, that it was propounded that
we should dissolve our trust, and dissolve it into a few hands.
I came up and found it so; that it was resolved in a junto at
the Cockpit. I trembled at it, and was, after, there and bore
my testimony against it. I told them the work they went
about was accursed. I told them it was impossible to devolve
this trust. Next day, we were labouring here in the House on
an act to put an end to that Parliament and to call another.
I desired the passing of it with all my soul. The question
was putting for it, when our General stood up, and stopped the
question, and called in his Lieutenant, with two files of musqueteers, with their hats on their heads, and their guns loaden
with bullets. Our General told us we should sit no longer to
cheat the people. The Speaker, a stout man, was not willing
to go. He was so noble, that he frowned and said he would
not out of the chair, till he was plucked out; which was
quickly done, without much compliment, by two soldiers, and
the mace taken: and there was an end of the third estate
also. (fn. 32) I rejoiced then, from the soul, that the question was
not put. But I would have passed the severest sentence upon
those that did this horrid business, that ever was passed upon
men, and would have been from my heart the executioner of
it. But I forgive them now, both the dead and the living.
There was no possibility to dissolve this Parliament, the remaining part of the three estates, but by our own officer. He
only had power. Our enemies had none.
Surely all the English blood was not spilled in vain ? It
was a glorious work of our Saviour to die on the cross for our
spirituals. This is as glorious a work for our civils, to put
an end to the King and Lords. The right is, originally,
without all doubt, in the people. Undeniably and most undoubtedly it reverts to the people: the power being taken
away. Like the gordian knot, it asked but Hercules's (fn. 33) sword
to cut this knot. This done, our General, in 1653, looked on
himself as having all power devolved upon himself: a huge
mistake ! The power was then in the people. If by conquest
he had come in, he might have had something to say. It
was, undoubtedly in the people. It was a mistake in him;
you shall see it. (fn. 34)
He was pleased to select a number of gentlemen, good,
honest men, (fn. 35) hither brought. He gave them power. They
came into this House, and voted themselves a Parliament.
They acted high in some things, and soon cracked. Some of
them ran to Whitehall, and returned their power. (fn. 36) Whence
it came, thither it went. Judge whether power could pass
thus, either to or from him.
This not serving the turn, then there was contrived an Instrument of Government, (fn. 37) with our General at the head of it.
This was first delivered to him in Westminster Hall. The
Judges, most that were in town, and the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, were summoned, few knowing
what it was for. There was an oath in this Instrument,
which he took; and after that took upon him the name of
After that, a Parliament was called to confirm this. I was
chosen one of those that the people sent up. Something was
put in the writ, concerning our owning of this government in
that Parliament; but, come hither, some gentlemen were
pleased to say, being in the dark. I remember one learned
gentleman, very well read in Scripture, said openly, that
"other foundation than that could no man lay," (the latter
words left out) Others said that the Parliament and Protector were twins, but the Parliament was the elder brother.
I then said no one Parliament could limit or impose upon
me in any other. This doctrine was not well liked by the
Protector. We were all turned out Such a thing as never
was done ! An oath was made without doors, to be taken by
us, and was set at the door. Those that would take it came
in. Those that would not, were kept out by pikes. (fn. 38) Knowing the privilege, that no power without doors could make an
oath, I went away, and divers more gentlemen.
Those gentlemen that did sit, after five months were raised
without giving any confirmation. It needed not, if other
foundation could no man lay. They did nothing.
Then came the last Parliament, in 1656. I was again
chosen, but not for any particular place; but for the whole
county. When we came I found pikes again; one set to my
breast. I could not pass without a ticket from the Council.
I found in the hall above fifty of us. We joined in a letter
to the Speaker; (fn. 39) declaring our willingness to serve, and that
we were kept out. After two or three days attendance we
were sent to the Council for a ticket. I durst do no such
thing. I had lifted up my hands to God for the privilege
of Parliament. I could not do it. Two hundred were kept
out. Upon this, divers that had been admitted left the
Then the government fell dangerously sick, and it died.
Another foundation was laid; a Petition and Advice; and
this must be the law and the foundation of all! And these
must be the fruits, all we must enjoy, after the spilling of
so much blood and so much treasure ! Pardon me, if I thus
make bare my mind to you.
This was a forced Parliament, because some of us were
forced out; an imperfect Parliament, a lame Parliament, so
much dismembered. We are here the freest, and clearest, and
most undoubted representatives that ever were since the desolation of the three estates, King, Lords, and Commons. I
know not one member kept out: if I did, I would on my
knees beg his admittance. I hope God will direct us how to
get out of this great darkness, as the minister told us that
we have been in since this great desolation. What was done
in the last Parliament is not a sufficient foundation to bring
peace and settlement to this nation. The people of England
were never more knowing and sensible of their privileges and
liberties, nor better prepared to have a settlement from this
free representative. We can do here whatsoever is for the good
of the people. We have power over their purses and persons;
can take away whole laws, or part of them, or make new
ones. (fn. 40) I will tell you what we cannot do. We cannot set
up any power equal to the people; either in one person, or
another House. We are trusted with no such power.
God is the King of this great island, as Mr. Calamy told
us. I hope he is King of our hearts. God has done this
work. King, Lords, and Commons: it was not in our
thoughts at first. Let not us set up what God has pulled
down; not plant what God has rooted up, lest we be said to
build against God.
We see what a confusion we are in. We have not prospered. Our army at Jamaica prospered not. (fn. 41) The trade
and glory of the nation are much diminished. The council
have been exceedingly bewildered. The government you see
twice set up, presently pulled down. The strange oppression
by making Acts of Parliament without a Parliament; (fn. 42) raising monies; denying habeas corpus; sending learned long
robe gentlemen to the Tower, for asserting Magna Charta,
such as all the Kings of England never did; (fn. 43) all this because
we knew not the good mind of God. We were in darkness.
It is God's mercy that we are here to declare ourselves in this
I shall now come to speak to the bill, whether to be committed or not. I confess, I do love the person of the Lord
Protector. I never saw nor heard either fraud or guile in
him. I wish only continuance of wealth, health, and safety
to his family. I wish the greatest of honour and wealth of
any man in this nation to him and his posterity; but this bill
to recognize is a hard word. I never heard of such a bill but
in King James's case; which was to declare him of the undoubted line to the crown, and so having a right to succeed.
We must here take for granted the government, the Petition
and Advice, which was not done in a free Parliament. It may
be skinned over for a time, but will break out. The people
are not pleased. What foundation soever is built, let it rise
from us, that are the clear representatives. For the authority
itself, it appears by that Petition that the Protectorate was
for his life; but it appears hot how he appointed his successor; we must not take that upon trust, but be fully satisfied. I would not have this committed at present; but let it
lie here. Never begin with the person first, but agree what
trust he shall have. I forget not the great cause of our mischiefs, the influence of the kings over the judges. To make
the King judge of necessity; that cut all our purses, that
brought all our evil upon us. I would have us seriously advise
and consider what we may do, as the people's representatives.
The way of wisdom is everlasting peace. There is no danger
to the nation, so long as this representative sits here. They
are the supreme power. The way to prevent fire is to do our
duties. We shall be preserved from the fire of hell and the
fire of men. Let us let this rest, and consider of foundation
stones. If a single person be thought best, to be accountable
to the people for mal-administration, I shall submit to the
Mr. Bulkeley. The gentleman has done the House a great
deal of right in the narrative; yet he has something omitted
whereby those gentlemen that were then at school, whereof I
am one, may be misled. I shall collect his omissions of part
of the history.
Self-defence, undoubtedly, is in this House. The King
protected delinquents against justice. This was one of the
causes of war. Exorbitancy, in the Church Government;
toleration of popery; many causes of the war.
You engaged in a war. God was pleased to give an answerable success. We held forth the grounds of our war, and appealed to God, angels, and men, that success should not mislead
us. We engaged the whole body on this score: all with confidence that we should all hold to the case as then stated.
True, in the latter part; you were more successful; but your
army was less exorbitant at first. You were engaged upon a
solemn league and covenant, (fn. 44) as highly and solemnly as could
be to engage men's hearts. This was a link to the three nations. This was thrown behind your door as an almanack out
of date. (It was said so here.) We sent away our brethren
with frowns. After Colchester surrendered, (fn. 45) proposals went
to the King, and personal addresses. I was one sent, so can
give the better account. They were persons, generally, of as
great ability and integrity as the nation had We brought a
good return; but, we being not then ripe for the mercy of
peace, it was blasted. This deserved a debate, a solemn debate. There were near three hundred; a great House in
those days. It was taken up on Monday morning, and continued all that night till next morning. I cannot say it was
without interruptions, for we had papers of terrors from the
army sent in to us. There was a story of the long sword, (fn. 46)
by that gentleman. I wish I had never heard it. We came
to a question, and it was carried with a vote, (no question
then of the Government) sixty against it. Many votes of
aged persons were lost, and interruptions, else there had been
two to one. The House adjourned.
The next morning (fn. 47) I found Colonel Pryde at the door,
and heard one by him tell him, "This is the person." I came
through pikes and muskets. I was arrested by that gentleman. He asked my name. I would not tell him. I said I
was a member. He said, "You have a mark upon you. You
are a noted man." I asked for my charge. When he saw I
would not go quietly, two ushered me up into Surrey Court,
where I found thirty, and fifteen came after. We were kept
in hold that night; then ushered to Whitehall; and kept
there till next day two o'clock, without food or conveniency.
We were carried to the King's Head, and other inns, with
great reproach. To prison we had coaches, because it was
dirty weather. It is said, it was not done in this House. I
could say it was contrived here; and somewhat else too. Five
members were appointed to examine every member upon the
point of that vote, what his judgment was.
A government was brought in; a Commonwealth, I was
going to say; a monster was introduced, and that was dis
solved, without either coroner or inquest upon it. (fn. 48) This
brought another change. It is new to me that ever it was
moved to resign up their power to a single person. If that
gentleman refused, I shall honour him for it. It is said the
After this we had an Instrument of Government, which
had much of good in it, but in the bowels of it took away
your rights. That liberty was not left you which is your
due: not that I would set the crown upon the head of the
people. I gave my attendance to that Parliament that was
called by it. Never Parliament gave out their spirits and
labours, to make a happy government and foundation for
posterity as they did. That unhappily fell from the gentleman, "other foundation," (fn. 49) &c.; that might have been
spared. But at length it was submitted to our debate; and
if that had gone on, it had provided well to circumscribe the
single person: only it had not another House in it.
I am engaged, in my place and calling, to promote a House
of Lords. Those Lords that were faithful, it were the greatest dishonour that ever were to kick them out. You have it
materially before you. I hope it is the purpose of this House
that the Government be submitted to them. It was hastily
done. Holding fast the head: that is to say, a single person
and another House, you may debate the parts. It is improperly moved to reject it, and not to proceed upon it.
Unless the chief magistrate have this approbation, every
rascal may affront the chief magistrate. He may be arrested,
which a member of this House has a privilege against. I
would have that about the other House laid aside, and take
the recognition singly. Let that about the other House come
singly, as to qualifying them; to prevent returning to that
government, which that worthy gentleman in his motion aims
at. To acquiesce in that which they see against the sense of
the nation, were madness.
Mr. Scot. It was moved that you first digest a government, and then fit the person. The last motion does antici
pate your resolution. We may have liberty to propound any
government to the people. Salus populi will warrant it. I
am not fond of any child of my own. I shall say as Hushai
said, (fn. 50) "What God and this people do, I shall acquiesce in."
If bound by the Covenant, (fn. 51) you must restore the House of
Lords as it was, and the like by the King. His last expression
is a felo de se. I shall mind you of one hiatus, the first
rape committed on this House, by the apprentices that came
here (fn. 52) and told us we must vote the King here in safely. After
the scabbard was thrown away, we must call home our irreconcileable enemy, to be at his pleasure. If the House
had held to it, it had been too hot for you. We denied it.
There was discourse at the door, too much countenanced.
They said our guts should be about our ears if we did
not vote it. The attack oh the Train Bands was countenanced and abetted by the profane Cavaliers. Still God
bore witness against that family; that cursed family! I may
call it so yet. None adheres to it but he carries mischief
with him. Many of us were forced to go to the army for
safety; while others sat safely here and made laws. All
these things were done flagrante bello, interruptions on both
sides. I confess I was one of that Parliament that sat. As
to the privilege of Parliament, it has been sufficiently told
you. The Covenant was not called an Almanack. (fn. 53) By virtue of that Covenant I took myself obliged to all I did.
This was hammered in Scotland, (fn. 54) — and agreed to
destroy the King's person, if he will not carry it so as to preserve religion and liberty. (fn. 55) I must then stand and fall by
the judgment of those gentlemen, whether we had cause to
fear that the King would break all these liberties and privileges. It is impossible any man should delight in a man of
so much blood as the King was. The King was not the supreme power. He was seven or eight times sent to with propositions, (fn. 56) and would not yield. Had he been quiet after
he was delivered up to us by the Scots, (fn. 57) knowing him to be
our King— (fn. 58) So long as he was above-ground, in view,
there were daily revoltings among the army, and risings in
all places; creating us all mischief, more than a thousand
Kings could do us good. It was impossible to continue him
alive. I wish all had heard the grounds of our resolutions
in that particular. I would have had all our consultings in
foro, as any thing else was. It was resorted unto as the last
refuge. The representative, in their aggregate body, have
power to alter or change any government, being thus conducted by Providence. The question was, whose was that
blood that was shed ? It could not be ours. Was it not the
King's, by keeping delinquents from punishment, and raising
"Brought first unto defence, until he's at the wall,
And then he must offend: that is agreed by all."
The vindictive justice must have his sacrifice somewhere.
The King was called to a bar below, to answer for that
blood. (fn. 59) We did not assassinate, or do it in a corner. We
did it in the face of God, and of all men. (fn. 60) If this be not a
precept, the good of the whole, I know not what is; to pre
serve the good cause, a defence to religion and tender consciences. I will not patronize or justify all proceedings that
We sat four or five years in the posture of a Commonwealth, and fought more in that time than ever before; Scotland and Ireland all lost; Dublin and Derry only left. I
remember the cadency of the words, infallible evidence, that
the Scots would endeavour to restore the King to his patrimonial rights. To prevent them from making England the
seat of war, we went to their own doors. The General sent
out a declaration, calling God to witness that he intended
nothing of domination, but only to assert the interest of the
The Dutch war came on. If it had pleased God and his
Highness to have let that little power of a Parliament sit
a little longer,—when Hannibal is ad portas, something
must be done extra leges—we intended to have gone off
with a good savour, and provided for a succession of Parliaments; (fn. 61) but we stayed to end the Dutch war. We might
have brought them to oneness with us. Their Ambassadors
did desire a coalition. This we might have done in four or
five months. We never bid fairer for being masters of the
whole world. Not that I desire to extend our own bounds.
We are well, if we can preserve peace at home. If you be
fain to fight Holland over again, it is vain to conceal it.
That gentleman says the Parliament went out, and no complaining in the streets, nor enquiry after them. (fn. 62) That is according to the company men keep. Men suit the letter to
their lips. It is as men converse. I never met a zealous assertor of that cause, but lamented it, to see faith broken, and
somewhat else. I will say no more. It was as much bewailed, at the Instrument of Government. A petition, the day
after the Parliament was dissolved, from forty of the chief
officers, the Aldermen of the city of London, and many
godly divines, (except the rigid Presbyters, too well-wishers
to Mr. Love's treason, (fn. 63) ) besought to have that Parliament
restored. But the Protector, being resolved to carry on his
work, threatened, terrified, and displaced them; and who
would, for such a shattered thing, venture their all ? You
have had five changes. This is the fifth, and yet the people
have not rest. It may be the people may think of returning
to that again, or it may be to another government.
The Romans continued Consuls one hundred years. There
were endeavours to bring in kingship, and many lost their
heads for it. Brutus's own sons died under the axe, rather
than their father would suffer kingship. Then came the Decemviri, to collect the best laws in all nations, still jussu populi, to make peace and war; to make laws; to make magistrates; to frame twelve tables to be standing laws.
I would not hazard a hair of his present Highness's head.
Yet I would trust no man with more power than what is good
for him and for the people. I had rather have 100l. per annum,
clear, than 200l. accountable. He is yet at the door. If you
think of a single person, I would have him sooner than any
man alive. Make your body, and then fit your head, if you
please; one head; else we must debate all the limbs over again,
either in a Grand Committee, or by twenty or thirty gentlemen. In the mean time lay this Bill aside. (fn. 64)
Major Beake. I shall not take up much of your time, to
relate or answer all the stories. Though they have said much,
yet those that come after them may find gleanings.
Those stupendous providences may he observed by other
men. They draw this conclusion, that the state of a Commonwealth is best for the grandeur and splendour of a nation;
that the opposite to a single person is the best government,
and that no Government can be but what has its power
from this House.
When that woful discrimination was made between the
good people of this nation, and the engagement pressed, it
was a sad and lamentable time with the best of men, and
reached the bowels of your best friends. The worthy patriarch that preached (Dr. Reynolds) felt it. (fn. 65) They were not
such halycon days, but they brought tears from the eyes of
the best men. If ever a godly ministry were browbeaten and
put under deck, it was at that time. A Petition was put up
to this House on behalf of the godly ministers by two worthy
persons, one serves for Worcestershire. I shall ever honour
them for owning that cause at that time. All errors, opinions, and blasphemies, got root in that time; levelling
principles, (fn. 66) agreement of the people, (fn. 67) nothing monstrous
but that time produced. When we make the comparison,
we may bless God we are on this side the waves and surges
that those times produced.
I am for the commitment of the bill. I see nothing in it
to cause delay. It is too late to say that all the power is in
this House. See your constitution. Not but that much in
that Petition and Advice may admit debate, so it touch not
the fundamentals. The Boaz and Jachin of Solomon's Temple, (fn. 68) you cannot alter. That is not in the people. It is
disputable to me that all power is in the people. If so, the
people in Parliament represented, have power. Then the
last had the power. If any thing be urged as to force, it
makes all that was formerly done as inefficacious. This is as
valid as any act formerly done. I know not how they will
deliver themselves from this dilemma. I wished there had
been no bar. Yet, I bless God for it, a great good produced
out of a great evil. To dispute him here, is to question foundations. It nulls the obligation without doors. Either we
swear to him, as our Supreme Magistrate, or else to a nonentity. We are met to declare a supreme magistrate; not to
make a Chief Magistrate, as is said. This bill was only
brought in to obviate what was working without doors, to
alter your Government. All the world will think he had a
good title, and now we are so sceptical as to question it. You
will contract a greater trouble than you are aware of. My
motion is, that you refer it to a Committee.
Mr. Nathaniel Bacon. Repetitions do but breed trouble.
I would neither have it laid aside, nor committed. Will you
refer it to a Committee, either grand or priyate ? Let it be
debated in the House, beginning with, "Be it enacted."
Mr. Slarkey. Through the various changes of good and
evil, we are arrived at the present posture we are in. These
worthy gentlemen (fn. 69) need not say any thing to justify them
selves, nor to look back at what is past.
The main objection is, that it appears not that his Highness was declared. I believe some here can satisfy you. But,
cui bono, the people have manifested their satisfaction already, both by addresses, and by sending us hither. They
have sent us hither to represent them, by his Highness's call.
We have owned him in our assembling, in taking pur oaths
at the door, and there is a greater acknowledgment in that.
Cui bono is not all, but cui non malum.
The right of call is as essential a part of a Parliament as
any. This very act has acknowledged him to be Chief Magistrate. I would not have us put the nation in that danger,
as to ask the question. I find nothing in this Bill, of the
Lords' House. I would as cheerfully and readily conclude
this business, which will be of great consideration to the quiet
and settlement of the nation.
Mr. Knightley. We have no cause to dislike one another's
nest. I would have it committed. I would have the word
"declare." Take your rise, not from addresses from the
counties, but from the judges' and sheriffs' proclamation of
it, and your being called hither by it. I would have it debated in a Grand Committee.
Colonel White. I wish the sins of the nation may be forgiven and remembered no more.
The Government of this nation is not the administration,
but the laws. For proof of this, have recourse to former
precedents of kings' oaths, of the present oath of his Highness. One king pulled down another, and they declared one
another tyrant; the judges were the same; the laws the
same. The judges were never touched for execution of the
law. You have heard of several changes of Government;
yet the learned judges have not doubted to take commission
from all those powers, upon that supreme law, salus populi,
the law fundamental.
The law is a dead letter only, the difference is in the Administration. I suppose the Government intended by this Bill,
is this fundamental law. This was in the late King, by way
of trust, which he forfeited. The root of all former miseries
was about the Militia. This proved a bloody quarrel.
I would have you settle this fundamental and other fundamentals, before you settle any single person; else you will
leave them to danger and uncertainty. I hope you will so
leave it, that it may neither be danger to the Government,
nor snare to the governed. It is dangerous to swerve from
the fundamentals. Witness Major-Generals.
I doubt wringing of the nose will bring blood. I doubt, if
we look back, we shall find much dissatisfaction; if forward,
we may do much for satisfaction; at least, the satisfaction
of the people. You will not feast your eyes with any Government that has been since 48.
I observe characters of great designation upon his Highness, I am sure without flattery. Set upon the pinnacle by
Providence, I cannot but conclude there is the hand of God
in it. I never saw his person in my life.
I would have some previous votes. I shall offer,
1. In order to the Government fundamental, that you will
declare that the law is the Government of the nation.
2. That this Government, in the hands of person or persons, is by the way of trust and office.
3. That this shall be committed to his Highness by way
of office and trust, with such limitations as you shall after
I would have it committed to a Committee of the whole
House, that may bring you in a Bill or Bills to settle these
things as well for the Government as the Administration.
If I have said any thing amiss, it is not out of design, but
Mr. Manley. I would ask one question: by what authority you sit here, if you come in upon new foundations ? We
are at stake, as well as his Highness.
There is no better foundation for your proceeding than
the Petition and Advice. It is a great honour that this
Bill came first into this House. The question, I hope, is
merely as to the expression of it. Here is evidentia rei.
There needs no affidavit.
The Courts of Westminster Hall evidence it; the army:
your meeting here acknowledged it.
I hope there is no competitor. It is said abroad, you intend a Commonwealth.
It will beget great confidence at home and terror abroad.
I would have it amended at this table.
Mr. Neville. The proper question to debate is, whether
to commit it or no; if you will take that up at this time of
Mr. Trevor. I would not have you adjourn indefinitely,
to leave this business, sine die. I have but a short speech
Resolved, that this debate be adjourned till to-morrow, at
Mr. Weaver. The business of Mr. Streete was appointed to-morrow, that he answer his charge. I would have that
Serjeant Maynard. I move that nothing intervene: for
the gentleman's speech may prove as long as the speech we
had to-day, (fn. 70) which lasted from nine to twelve. If you go on
at this rate, to have one speech a day, the Dutch will give
you 2,000l. a day to do so.
The Attorney-General seconded that motion.
Resolved that nothing intervene, and the House rose at
almost two o'clock.
The Grand Committee for Religion sat the first time; Mr.
Bacon in the chair. A Sub-Committee was appointed to inquire how Biddle came to be released, being imprisoned for
blasphemy. (fn. 71)
Another Committee was appointed to bring in a Bill to remedy the inconvenience touching the approbation of ministers;
the same Committee to bring in a Bill for Commissioners for
ejecting of scandalous ministers. T. B. (fn. 72) unus.