Tuesday, February 8, 1658–9.
Mr. St. Nicholas. (fn. 1) I find two objections to lie in my way,
in speaking against the Recognition.
1. That we ought not to speak against foundations; as if
that liberty had been taken away by the oath which we took
at the door. But, in answer to that, I hope we are not
spreading of nets, or laying of snares for one another. I have
sworn to be faithful, and I hope in discharging of that faith
I may have liberty to speak; especially finding the faith I
have sworn to the Protector twisted with the liberty of the
2. The Petition and Advice hath laid a foundation already,
and it is too late to deny that now. But, Sir, that is little
above a year old, and can yet scarce speak English for itself.
I conceive it is but a sandy foundation, and that you will not
build upon it. Besides, I pray, observe the manner of obtaining that law; when above two hundred members of the
House duly elected were kept out by force, and many that
voted there, I mean the Irish and Scottish members, there
being then no law in force for them, had no more right to
vote than the vintner at the bar. And, farther, it was carried but by three, and in a precipitant and unparliamentary
But as to the matter of that law, it is somewhere said, that
nothing can be added or taken from it. I wish we do not
draw God's judgment by such light eloquence.
It is said we cannot untie the knots. But I would not
have it said that any knot cannot be untied in this place, and
I. think that that law called the Petition and Advice, is the
most destructive to the nation of any that ever passed within
these walls, because the militia and negative voice are placed
in the single person, with another negative, and charged
King James was wont to say that Kings were made for
Commonwealths, and not Commonwealths for Kings. If you
find that a single person so qualified be not for the good of
the people, and the Commonwealth, I hope you will alter it in
that particular. But if you will confirm as this makes him,
you will put as great power into his hands as ever King had.
I profess, with sobriety and in the singleness of my spirit,
that I know not what the messengers of the people shall then
answer at their return, to such as shall ask what we have done
for their liberties, but only ruina Angliæ.
Now God hath put a power into our Hands; considering
what exceptions have been taken to former endeavours of settlement, let us lay such foundations as shall be free from
such exceptions. So you may well be called a healing Parliament.
I therefore move that the debate be referred to a Grand
Committee of the House.
Sir Robert Goodwin. If ever we were called upon to settle
and compose things, certainly now. Let us eschew what may
cause difference hereafter, that we may be able to answer it to
God and the world.
The Long Parliament did great and glorious things for
the first eight years. Then, I confess, it is best to sigh them
out in sorrowful silence.
But, briefly, as to the Bill. What I shall propound has
been propounded already; that we should proceed to recognize and acknowledge his Highness to be Protector of England, &c. upon good foundations, and in doing so we shall be
true and faithful. Draw it into an Act. But we have another trust from the people to discharge, for our country.
We cannot proceed so far as to establish the House of Lords
now sitting. It would not consist with the fundamental
constitution of the nation. If so, then it is against the law;
against the oath, the greatest tie. But it will be said;
1. We are upon a new footing.
We are a Parliament of England; not setting up a Parliament of France or any other nation.
2. This comes in with a legislative power.
But all the circumstances must be examined.
3. We are his Highness's greatest council.
But we must not alter old laws. A law that took away
the Star Chamber, provided that if any one do an act against
the law of the nation, he shall lie under a great guilt, and be
unable to dispose of any thing that is his own. This law is
in force, but this House of Lords would not consist with the
House, in oath. We must in that be very tender.
Temp. i. Edw. III. A Judge did rule against the oath of
the Supreme Magistrate. This was urged by John Pym in the
beginning of the Long Parliament. What was thought of
this Judge ? He was by the next Parliament condemned to
die, because it was not only done contrary to his own oath,
but the oath of the Supreme Magistrate. (fn. 2)
If we proceed to recognize his Highness, we shall be true
and faithful to him, and build upon a true foundation. It
will preserve him and us, to build upon a good foundation,
and prove a blessing from God to posterity.
Mr. Mitford. That which calls me up is the concern of
my own spirit, and of the public good, and the oath I have
taken. As two hundred men went up with Absalom, (fn. 3) I came
in with the integrity of my conscience, and an oath upon me
religiously done. Every oath carries in the bowels of it a
curse. In the original it signifies a curse. God do so to me,
and more also.
1st. Particular. The safety of his Highness's person. If
that may be provided for, I shall leave all the rest.
2d. Of more public concernment. The present safety and
good of this nation. Yesterdaynight, I had intelligence that
the Hollanders were working day and night, preparing a very
formidable fleet. I am afraid this debate will be long, and it
may retard the proceedings of the Navy. I would have you
put a speedy end to it.
Mr. Drake. I know not how long the debate we are upon
may last. There may be a long interregnum, and many inconveniences may happen to this nation. Yet I am for the
commuting of the Bill. But I would have it, in the meantime,
asserted, that the present Lord Protector is the undoubted
Chief Magistrate or Governor of the three nations of England,
Scotland, and Ireland, &c.
His Highness is admitted by your call and the people's acknowledgment. His authority is materia substrata. The
ascertaining of his power is very necessary. It will avoid the
hindrance of home and foreign intercourse. Justices will
otherwise be slack in performing their offices.
If we should come to a Commonwealth, there would be
twenty kings in a Committee; which would be a greater oppression than the Seven Kings. (fn. 4)
My motion is that you declare his Highness to be the undoubted Governor and Lord Protector of the three nations.
Sir John Lenthall. I am for a single person to govern
this nation. We have had good success under them. A
kingdom is but a great family.
To prevent inconveniences, I would have the single person
to be declared, and to be regulated and bounded as soon as
may be, that he may not impose upon us. We have suffered
in our laws, liberties, and properties; and we may unravel
this Government so far as to bring us where we were.
We cannot be so disingenuous as not to admit the other
House to be part of the Constitution. If a better Government had been presented, I should probably have been of
their opinion. I think it but cynical and fanciful. I had rather have a cottage here, than a glorious palace in the air.
I would have his Highness made as great as ever was King
in England, that he may defend the Protestant religion.
My motion is, that you proceed to pass the Bill, and the
sooner the better.
Mr. Nathaniel Bacon. It was well moved that 2,000l. a
day would be given by the Hollander, for you to spend time
in these long speeches. (fn. 5)
It is our undoubted constitution to be governed by a single
person and a Parliament. There never was any other Government, neither in England nor Scotland. There have
been three hundred sessions of Parliament in England since
the Conquest (per Sir Edward Coke.)
The Long Parliament, at first, never dreamt of any other
Government. A change of Government was never moved in
Parliament till by the late Lord Protector, yesterday ten
years. A single person was voted useless, and you yourselves
voted useless also.
I could tell you current stories of the tyranny of a Commonwealth. Look into Carthage; Athens. See Sir Walter Raleigh. (fn. 6) Every man had liberty to find out the richest
to destroy for himself.
Therefore I would have his Highness, by a previous vote,
declared to be Protector and Chief Magistrate, and Governor
of these nations. Else a fortnight's time may be spent in
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. It is against the orders of the
House, to move us by arguments of fear, or any other arguments without doors. They ought not to be made use
of within this House, so as to pass great things over on that
account. We should be above it. We came to serve God
and our country, and not to make business of greatest concernment to be huddled over in haste. Let us lay foundations for posterity.
Sir Walter Earle. We have had stories of flat-bottomed
boats, but we did always esteem of them accordingly.
Mr. Edgar. We cannot bring the constitutions of the
Saxons, Romans, or Normans, to our purpose.
The Long Parliament had good things in it: de mortuis
nil nisi bonum. They had a good constitution. Other Parliaments had not so good a constitution. By our oath we
are not so bound up, but we may dispute it.
One side would have no Lords at all; others, none of
those, consilium magnatum, very ancient, if my book fail not.
But in the country whence I come, the people are much
discontented that the ancient nobility should be neglected and
set aside. I speak not for those that have forfeited. Ubi
culpa, ibi pœna. The laws are great protectors of their privileges. I am no Leveller. It is as much justice to give a
man honour as any pecuniary debt. No, I am for a House
of Lords, upon this ground; because ancient. The elder
ought to have priority over the younger. I am a younger
brother myself, and I honour my elder. I would not have
oaths to be the foundation of your declaration.
Peace and justice are the pillars of a Commonwealth. The
Temple was not built in time of war. (44 Psalm.) An equal
distribution of justice, hence came all powers. The Lord
Protector has printed it to the eyes, that it is his principle to
be advised by Parliament. I am much taken with it. He
agrees that the purse is yours. I should thence think that he
admits you also a property in the sword. I have no way to
know his heart, but from his mouth. I never saw the Lord
Protector but twice, and he did publish the same things that
I speak of. The sweetness of his voice, and language so
sweet, that he has won my heart. I never had the least favour from him, and hope I shall never deserve his frown.
I find the people well satisfied with his Government.
Mr. Trevor. This Bill ought to be committed. Yet there
is much fit to be resolved beforehand, which is too big for a
Committee. First, to declare his Highness to be the lawful
Chief Magistrate. This will not admit of delay. The rest of
things may bear their time.
I shall not debate the merits of the title. I shall not
urge the arguments we brought in with us. If we doubt
whether there was and is a lawful Chief Magistrate, by what
authority came we here?
I see gentlemen not willing to take that. Yet we have
either sworn to a thing not in being, or else he is lawful
Chief Magistrate. If it be said the acknowledgment is but a
form, it is such a form as never Parliament sat without it.
When we are gone hence, those that come after us will dispute our authority. It is the wisdom of all Parliaments to provide for peace. The peace of the people should be the main
consideration of a Parliament. This is a full free Parliament
(some few exceptions against the form, but few, or none,
against members) but if we dispute away their right of these
things, we shall be neither full nor free.
The worst of princes never wanted recognition. It is at
the people's charge, that all Governments are obtained and
settled. There was never more need of a prudent and
patient Parliament, to fix our peace upon a civil interest.
None except against the person. We are content to declare
he shall be so; let us declare that he is so. To defer this, is
at once to leave the people loose from all authority. The
people were lately delivered from this fear oh the death of his
Mr. Higgons. This is the first Parliament that ever I sat
in, so that I might be silent; yet the business being of consequence, I shall give you my opinion.
I find most that discourse of Parliament, say of it, that
this is such a crisis of time as never was; and that on this
depend the happiness and glory of the nation. I hope the
prudence will be such that we shall oblige the generations to
We have had to combat together about the privileges of
our country. I cannot see how the rights of the people or
their liberties are endangered or injured by a single person;
while the laws give every man what is his own. It is my
opinion (what! should I speak of my opinion, when in such a
majesty and wisdom ?), the wisest men's opinion was for that
monarchy, where all innocent men were safe, and nocent punished. Commines, (fn. 7) that French statesman, knew all Governments,
and agreed the monarchy of England to be the most
By princes St. George's cross was planted upon the walls
of Jerusalem. By princes were all great achievements. (fn. 8)
After sixteen hundred years experience of this government
by a single person, shall we now go to change ? Your great
ally, the French, is threatened on every hand. The King of
Spain, once on his knees, is now on horseback, by the Austrian family being possessed of the empire. (fn. 9) Let fus settle
this at home, and we shall carry on our business in Flanders.
Mr. Chaloner. When I came first to the door of this
House, I made no more doubt that my Lord Protector was
the supreme magistrate, than that you sit here; but by what
I have heard since I came, that which was clear to me then,
is now a doubt. I hear an interregnum much spoken of.
What doth an interregnum signify, but that we are without
a government at present, and therefore you are not now to
recognize, but to elect; not to declare a Chief Magistrate,
but to make one.
Those threatenings from the Dutch, are but tricks. If
this had not been brought in, you might have gone a great
way in the business of paying your army. The fault is not
in the country.
As to the Bill, it is but short. It is not a speech. (fn. 10) It
is a Bill. Debate it in parts. I shall address myself to the
principal verb, and that is, recognition. It must be handled.
It must be touched. There can be no recognition, before a
cognition. From whence was that ?
1. It is said, from the people, and so testified by the Bill.
Where did these people meet? In their collective body,
or by representatives? Not in their collective. I know
no House, no field, that could contain them. (fn. 11) I value not
the addresses, because I know how they were procured. If
you should set up a Committee of addresses, as there is of
privileges, there would be as many complaints for fasle addresses, as for false elections. The people are only in their
representative. I am sure there hath been no recognition yet,
by you, who are here the representative body.
2. The Judges affirm it. They sit at Westminster, and
I wonder not at this. The long robe will sit and do justice
though a tyrant be in the throne. The Judges sat under
Richard III., while he suffered them to judge by law.
3. The Council hath proclaimed him.
They did wisely, to prevent confusion and blood. But, by
this objection, you may see the rare affection of a single person, who, when he dies, endangers the peace of a whole
4. We do sit here by this authority, and by that we cognize him.
It is easy to make it appear, that a Parliament called by
one that had no authority to call them, yet, being come together, they are a lawful Parliament, and what they do is
lawful. Richard III., Henry IV., V., and VI., were all
usurpers, and yet their laws were good and unquestionable.
Let no man say, that his Highness is not Lord Protector.
I never thought the contrary. I believe he is, and that it
may be made out; but it is not yet made out to us, and it is
not fit for the representatives of the people to contest they
know not what.
Besides, the Bill is not well penned, not in a Parliamentary state. Every secretary must know his master. If I
be a secretary to a Lord; to a Lord temporal I ought to
write not as to a Lord spiritual. Every secretary ought to
write what is to pass a Parliament, not as he writes his mysteries. The style of a Parliament ought to be plain and
perspicuous, grave, majestic, and commanding.
The form of the Bill ought to have been thus: "Whereas,
by the humble Petition and Advice," and so recite the whole
Act, as to the nomination of a successor. Then it should
have followed, that "in pursuance of the said Act, the late
Lord Protector did nominate and appoint," &c., reciting the
manner of his Highness's declaration, naming in whose presence, and that it was under the great seal. This would have
been more plain, parliamentary, and full of satisfaction. Let
all these things be examined at a Committee. (fn. 12)
Mr. Skipwith. Let it be examined by what authority the
ancient constitution was taken away by a handful of the
House of Commons. (fn. 13) I would, in the first place, acknowledge his Highness, as is moved. He, we, are called by the
law, and chosen so. I know no law to take away the House
Mr. Steward. In this dilemma, you must either acknowledge this government, or else you will ravel into all that has
been done since 47.
Either we have an old government lawfully established, or
a new government. The authority that set it up was as lawful as that which took it away. If not lawfully taken away,
your debate is at an end. A great many reflections yesterday might have been spared.
I am bound to defend the acts of the last Parliament. I
know no force. The interest of the nation never will be stood
to so much as they did. I was scandalized at keeping out
your members, and absented myself two or three months.
You had lost your purse and balance, those you have restored
to you by them.
A perpetual law was established by the old Government.
Not only now determined as to time, three years; but contracted to half by the quantity, 25,000l. (fn. 14) You have now
bounded his Highness by the laws of the nation, that he
cannot, without violation of the laws and his oath, break in
upon your property.
A greàt weight is in your oath. He is owned by all the
people of England. We have all, or the most of us, recognized his Highness in that capacity. We have done it as the
people's representatives. If another man authorize me to do
an act, it is his act. The single question is, whether we shall
all do, what we have severally done. Malice itself cannot
fasten on our Supreme Magistrate, and this is something, to
me of a divine suffrage.
My motion is, that it may pass with all speed.
Mr. Attorney-General. I would have all things past, to
pass away. You are now to make laws to settle. Faults
have been in all times, and are easily found. If we stand to
strict formalities, we must look further back than is meant.
The people, I believe, are willing to forgive and forget all.
We are now to go on to settlement. The Parliament did
still kick off some of the prerogatives which were exorbitant.
No man is so unwise, but he will circumscribe the Chief Magistrate. I hope we shall have a concurrence. I have served
here many years. I find no man give just exception against
the man. Without guile or gall, (fn. 15) was a good expression.
I hear of none to remove him, nor in competition with him.
Why should not we willingly own him, and cheerfully, against
whom there are no exceptions? There has been debate
enough. While we stand doubting here, I doubt we shall
breed greater doubts in the minds of the nation. Then why
should not we declare this as is moved ? Else it will breed
Mr. Neville. I wish the questions were regularly before
you, that we might speak to them. There are three questions before you.
1. To lay the recognition aside.
2. To commit it, which is proper and regular.
3. To declare a previous vote.
I wish a Bill had been brought in.
It has been said that the Chief Magistrate is King, and
that his office is hereditary. If nothing has been done to
take away those powers, then Charles Stewart has undoubted
I am for a single person, a senate, and a popular assembly;
but not in that juggling way. King, Lords, and Commons
I cannot like. This man is, at least, actually, if not legally,
settled the Chief Magistrate.
As to the objection of fears, never was greater quiet and
peace for three months, than when the last Government was
in debate, and why should it not be so now.
Since the dissolving the old Government, we have had
many alterations without success, which hath happened because every Government hath had some flaw in it which hath
not yet been seen.
It was not the civil war that altered our Government, but
tendencies to the alteration of Government that caused the
civil war. It is in. your power, as the sovereign power of
the nation. Impenum fundatur in dominatione, that is an
infallible maxim. The people are not like a young heir that
hath squeezed wax, (fn. 16) by which being once bound, it is too late
after for him to repent. If one have power to do any thing,
he may and will do it.
William the Conqueror came in with an intent to seize all
the lands. He was only prevented by the privilege of the
Church; that saved us. I mean the Church of Rome, not our
Church, if we have any.
The Barons got a great share, and having a considerable
part of the land, and no part in the Government, they began
to stir and ruffle with the King; and in fine got authority,
and gave laws both to King and Commons, until King Henry
VII.'s time. He designed to weaken the hands of the nobility and their power. But Henry VIII. did more by dissolving many of the abbeys, and distributing their lands
among the Commons.
The Commons, till Henry VII., never exercised a negative
voice. All depended on the Lords. In that time it would have
been hard to have found in this house so many gentlemen of estates. The gentry do not now depend upon the peerage. The
balance is in the gentry. They have all the lands. (fn. 17) Now
Lords, old or new, must be supported by the people. There
is the same reason why the Lords should not have a negative
voice, as that the King should not have a negative; to keep
up a sovereignty against nature. The people of England
will not suffer a negative voice to be in those who have not a
natural power over them. And for the Militia, that power
which was to be employed for the preserving of laws, that
was employed against them. No power will acquiesce in the
taking away their own power. When we are naturally free,
why should we make ourselves slaves artificially ?
Let us not return to the Government of the Long Parliament. It was an oligarchy, (fn. 18) detested by all men that love a
Commonwealth: so that whosoever lays that upon us, it was
not the Government contended for. We that are for a Commonwealth, are for a single person, senate, and popular assembly; (fn. 19) I mean not King, Lords, and Commons. I hope
that will never be admitted here. I shall speak to it afterwards.
The Petition and Advice settled power in a prince to have
kingly authority over a people. Never think that settling
such powers as are not consistent with a free people, can do
your business. There will be hauling and pulling, and irregular proceedings: witness many late exorbitances in the Government, of which I will not say you ought to call them to
a severe account that have been instrumental; but this I
will say, that either you ought to call them to account, or to
mend the constitution, so as there may be no danger for the
future. It will be in vain to recognize any body, till you
have provided for the liberty of the people.
I shall move that this Bill be laid aside, and to declare the
Protector to be Chief Magistrate. He is the fittest person of
any man in England. I would have him so; but leave it not
to Westminster-hall to interpret what is meant by the Chief
Magistrate. I could wish he were a magistrate, as supreme
as the nation will bear at this day; but I know not what misrepresentations may be made of it.
Your David, that had shed a great deal of blood, was as
safe as any man, while you were settling the Government.
There is no danger of this pious person. I would have you
declare this man to be Chief Magistrate, under such rules
and limitations as you shall agree upon. And let this be debated in a Grand Committee.
Sir William D'Oyley. I move that he be declared to be
Protector, according to the known laws of the nation, and
privileges of Parliament.
Mr. Bodurda. I shall not be long at this time of day. I
can inform the gentleman that there was an Act of Recognition of his Highness in the former Parliament. The House
thought fit to postpone it in that case, but the reason is not
so in this case. There are two heads.
1. The consequence of the arguments objected.
2. The consequence of the thing laying it aside.
It is proposed not to take for granted the Petition and
1. Because it was not a free Parliament.
By what law were all public lands sold ? Was the Parliament free, or the major part turned out for wranglers,
though by the majority of the nation, thought to be as fair
gamesters as those within ? The Army were sent to, and the
Parliament agreed to the reason they gave for keeping them
out. I could speak of private Acts, Acts of Oblivion, and
divers acts of consequence which will fall by it, if now we go
into a Commonwealth. Consider you will find a great part
of the lands of the balance in those lands at Goldsmiths'-hall.
The Petition and Advice was made as freely as any law
since the beginning of the Long Parliament. Never was
property settled better than in that. The 1,300,000l. (fn. 20) was the
hardest article that ever was. It was there asserted to be the
undoubted right of the people, that no tax be laid but by
This House had been full of your enemies. That chair
had been filled by those that would have been the Protector
as much as any man here.
His Highness may dissolve you, if he please, within this
hour. If so, then they that come next may do all this. If
ever there was an opportunity to settle the nation, certainly
now. If there be a breach or rupture now, it will be found
that some friends will support the cause. Major-generals
may return with a breach in the city and in the country.
Consider the consequence of the fact. I got no fish when
the waters were troubled. (fn. 21) I have no more privilege but as
any commoner by this Government.
Let us clear this business. Some would have it in a Grand
Committee. Some would lay it aside. I have heard it said,
every man may speak as often and as long as he will. How
then shall we in a Committee find out the constitution of
Government. If it come to that, I shall speak while I have
breath against a Republic.
My motion is for a previous vote, that his Highness is lawful Magistrate, &c.
Mr. Solicitor-General. I shall not trouble you with a long
speech. The history of the past times is very sad. I hope
we shall now look forward. I do agree with those gentlemen (fn. 22) that would have it better worded.
The question lies narrow, whether those words, shall stand
in the Bill, that his Highness is Lord Protector, &c. that
your Committee may build upon that. I am not of their
opinion that would have it laid aside. Foreign nations will
say, you are debating whether his Highness be Chief Magistrate. What will all people that have owned the Govern
ment say ? I doubt judges and justices of peace will all be
at a stand. I hope we shall not part, till this be resolved,
if those words shall stand. I hope there will be no negative.
Colonel Terrill. We do but beat the air. It is granted
by all that his Highness is Protector, and should be owned as
Chief Magistrate. I shall neither defend nor maintain any of
the actions done. I shall not depend on the Petition and
Advice. We shall do him greater honour to declare him by
this House, which will be a most firm foundation. We find
him in the place. Let us acknowledge him in the power.
We cannot recognize, without looking back, which I would
not do; cognize we may, which looks forward: but whether
by the Bill before you, or by any other way, I am indifferent.
The question will be, whether we shall take the Bill up at a
rebound. I would agree that it might be taken for granted;
that the Bill may be committed, granting his Highness to be
Protector for life, with some limitation. I am sorry to see
that his Highness cannot pass without something else. I am
for declaring him Chief Magistrate, but not with what goes
along with it, (fn. 23) and which is intended to be received with it,
and keep him company.
I would have something put in to bound it. Monarchy
unbounded is but supreme tyranny. If nothing go along
with it, I am afraid we shall give away all our liberties.
Therefore, I would have the Bill committed, with power given
to your Committee to add, amend, and expunge.
Colonel Birch. Plain dealing is best. There are two
ways to destroy a Bill.
1. A Grand Committee.
2. Like a pin in a wall; if you cannot knock it down with
an axe, hang so much on it as to break it down.
I am one of those that would not lose the least of the people's liberties. This Bill before you is the best to clear something, and to make way to gain the rest by degrees and in
All the time of the war there was no questioning of the
foundation. I take it to be a man's mind, what he speaks.
First and last it was always declared to maintain the rights
of the people to three estates. How we came to lose it, the
foundation: it was an irresistible necessity. Two parts
were turned out of the House; it was a truth. It arose from
a thing called an Agreement (fn. 24) and Proposals. When the
Jesuits had fought in the field against you, then they got
in here. Some were in your Army, dippers and creepers;
when that army, once out of the way, went further out of the
way. The enemies of our religion brought all this upon
us. See what congregations we had in 43, and what now.
It is questioned whether we have a Church in England; (fn. 25)
questioned, I doubt, whether Scripture or rule of life
is in England. I hope I shall be able to answer God and
good men, and bad men if they ask me, that what I move is
just. We are now resorting to old foundations. Will not
those enemies bring us in still new devices ? It has been said
that Parliament men have desired some time, to kuow the minds
of those that sent us. It would give no satisfaction to tell
them we have spent so much time in debating whether we shall
have a single person. When I was in the Army, some said,
"Let us not go this way, lest the war be ended too soon."I
am afraid this is the aim of some here. If you set up hungry
bellies, the nation will be starved, before their bellies be filled.
My motion is for the previous vote, and then to refer it
to a Committee; but that is too great a power for a Committee. Make it part of the Bill, and put it before you
The question was loudly called for, and the Speaker standing up.
Colonel Bennet. Other questions ought to precede, lest
by stepping into this question, we do a thing we understand
1. As to the Bill itself. We are not of one commpn understanding in the words of the question.
Some offer, that the Chief Magistrate intended is another
than in the Petition and Advice. I cannot tell what power
he has (I know not his person), or how consistent it is with
our liberties. If we are about to do a thing contrary to our
understandings, it will not be improper to stay you from the
question, till we are better informed. I suppose it is the same
we are sworn to at the door.
When I hear such interpretations and glosses upon the
oath and the Covenant, which I never expected, I doubt
such an interpretation will be put upon this, if we easily pass
it. It is meet there should be a recognition singly; but I
hope we may stay awhile, and commit it so as to have liberty
to debate the parts. That which came first to your hands,
let it go first off your hands.
Mr. Raleigh. I scarce see one man against the question
of a single person; but we resolve not of the person that
must accept these conditions. I second what was moved,
that we resolve here to recognize a single person to rule
Mr. Hungerford. I thought in the morning to have found
a long speech. I would have the Bill committed with laying, as a foundation, this proviso, "That his Highness is the
lawful and Chief Magistrate, and Lord Protector of the
Commonwealth of England."
Mr. Hewley. It is a short point to acknowledge: first to
settle a being before a well-being: nothing so natural. This
single question will settle us all; you may debate the powers
Mr. Swlnfen. What I shall speak, shall only be to ripen
the question. This was raised in order to give directions to
your Committee, and is matter of great consequence. The
subject, his Highness; the act, Recognition. That which we
give freely, is quickly done, when freely done by a general
assembly, as here. I would not have the question perplexed.
The nearer our oath, the nearer the thing. There is nothing
in the oath requiring us to inquire into that Act; nor more
in this question, but that the House, by a previous vote,
make it part of the Bill to recognize his Highness to be the
undoubted rightful Lord Protector and Chief Magistrate.
Let the oath be reconciled to your question, and it will pass
with unanimity. Now that the question is moved, we cannot
go off, without declaring him Protector. I hope you will
not include any monies, or other powers.
Mr. Freeman. You have here the bodies of three nations before you. All offer to you the diseases, none offer
the cures. I cannot add more than what is said of his Highness. We are but to light our candles to the sun. The late
Protector was declared Protector without a Parliament. His
Highness might have forced us to do what we ought to do;
but so much sweetness and goodness. He might have brought
an army to your bar, to have forced this.
Lord Fairfax took him down, and moved that he be called
to the bar, for naming an army to be brought to this bar.
Mr. Reynolds. I move that, it being a first offence, he be
not called to the bar, but he may well explain.
Colonel Birch. He ought not to have taken him down.
Haply, he would have explained, if you had let him go on.
Mr. Attorney-General. I cannot justify the word. I am
sorry it should fall from one of the long robe; but he should
be heard out. I may speak a word, and, if you take me at
half, you may take me at the worst.
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. He was gone past explaining. I have never known, but in such a case, he might be
Mr. Freeman explained. Such force has been formerly.
I would not justify what is illegal. I desire we may be governed by the laws. I would have his Highness recognized
with all the honours; and with this design, that Commons
may not kick down crowns, nor crowns Commons. I conclude with Colonel Birch's motion. (It was against the
orders of the House to name him.)
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I am exceedingly against this
Colonel White took him down, saying, that he could not
speak till a question was propounded.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I may speak against propounding
the question. Though I spoke much yesterday, to the
trouble of the House, I may to this question speak as much
Serjeant May nard. I hope the gentleman will not speak
so much to the question as was said yesterday; yet to this
question, he may speak.
Captain Baynes. It was against the orders of the House
to name Colonel Birch.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I hope it shall never be in our
thoughts, by a previous vote, to declare this person to be
rightful, undoubted Protector, &c., and thus determine the
question about the rights of the people. If this pass, you
may sit to-day and be dissolved to-morrow. Yet the undoubted right of the people is, for the Parliament not to be
dissolved till all their grievances be heard; though the practice has been otherwise.
We must labour to behold the will of God. The Protectorship was granted to the late Protector for life, with
power to declare a successor. Shall not we examine this ?
Now if this was not done, if no successor was declared, if
God prevented it, do we think that it becomes us to set up
one? It is a setting up what God has pulled down, and
planting what God has plucked up. You put us to petition
for our liberties.
It is most necessary first to declare the people's rights, the
fundamental rights. One Parliament may take into consideration what another has done. Let the Bill be committed.
Were ever such things done in 500 years, as in these last
five years, to take the people's monies and liberties by a
power without doors ? Let us not pass a question that the
wisdom of the nation shall say we had not thought on. I
perceive the generality is for a single person. I am not satisfied. If the wisdom of the House settle it so, I shall submit. If of God, it will stand; if not, it will wither. I
would have the things for the people go hand in hand, that
the Chief Magistrate still be accountable.
I have delivered my opinion to you in his fear, God's
fear, that we may have a settlement, not to shatter, but to
establish; that this little world may give laws to the great
world. We arc got free. We may make ourselves slaves if
we please. We are going one step to it, by this vote. There
is no danger while we sit here. I move now to rise. It is
Mr. Weaver. The question called for, ought not to be the
question in your hands. The proper question is for commitment of the Bill. A business of greater consequence than
every man here is aware of. The question comes not in singly.
There is much complicating in it. I am against the Bill
wholly, not because it came from a private hand. Yet it
had been more honourable if it had moved first from the
House. All liberty and power are fundamental in the
In 54, the first block then laid in your way was the Recognition at the doors, (fn. 26) and you know what followed. It was
then six days contended. Give me leave to offer Judge
Hale's (fn. 27) expedient, after debating six days together, that the
single person in possession shall be the single person that shall
exercise the supreme magistracy of these nations, with such
powers, limitations, and qualifications as the Parliament afterwards shall declare. This was proposed, as what would be
satisfactory, both within doors and abroad.
A gentleman looked more like a parasite of France, (fn. 28) than
an Englishman, that said we could not take away the Constitution, nor meddle with the Petition and. Advice. (fn. 29)
This expedient will answer all. Commit the rest.
Mr. Godfrey. I rise, not to take up your time, but to second that motion, which will draw into consent most of our
minds and judgments, and because it had good success when
offered by Judge Hales, I hope that expedient will have the
same effect now as then; but to pass it generally, leaves fears
with me. If passed in the bare terms of the oath, it concludes us. I doubt, you will be bound up to the interpretation of your oath, in the largest sense.
I hope it will not give reason and ground of jealousy, that
you pass not this so hastily as is moved you. What is represented to the judgments of this House under care and
caution, will not be called jealousy, but your duty and prudence. And there is great reason to cautionate any prejudice that can be upon our rights and liberties, by a general
question. There have been great sufferings by the after constructions upon general terms, whether in subscriptions, votes,
or oaths. You will, uno statu, give all that is granted in the
Petition and Advice. That has been urged to you, on the
construction of the oath: One constituent power in that oath,
the single person, made that use of it. It may, nay, it must,
be so construed.
If you shall pass the general question, that he is Supreme Magistrate, and do no more, and rise after your vote,
and then be dissolved, all the Judges in Westminster Hall
would be bound by that vote. They would judge according
to the law in being, the Petition and Advice, for that, de facto,
is the law. Their work is not to question the power that
made it. Therefore I desire that expedient may be added.
I aim not at all to divert your question, but to make you
more safe. We are not secure, as some move the question,
unless something go along with it.
I think your appearance by his writ and call, owns him to
be the single person: so that it is not the question, single person, or not single person. That is all at an end. Take caution against all the mischiefs that may follow, if it pass barely,
and I shall freely concur with the question. It will put out
all jealousies from men's minds, and at the same time, it will
put you into a way of settling all things that are for the good
of the people.
Mr. Gott. I shall not go back to times past, nor look forward to Oceana's
(fn. 30) Platonical Commonwealth; things that are
not, and that never shall be. We go about to grasp more,
and lose that which we would have. I would have it plainly
stated. We have a copy to write by, the oath we have taken.
I would not have a debate about saying what we have sworn.
His Highness's oath to us is also considerable. These are
fundamentals. The last Parliament, though I was excluded, (fn. 31)
did pen this with a great deal of care and caution. I would
have us do so: neither add nor diminish from the oath. I
would have the words of the recognition penned in the words
of the oath. As Pilate said, "What I have written, I have
written;" so what I have sworn, I have sworn. Our oath
has bounded us and him too, to rule according to lex et consuetude Angliœ.
I move to have the question in the very words of the oath.
Mr.—. (fn. 32) If you should absolutely make him Lord
Protector, you unbend him from that oath, unless you add,
that he shall govern according to law.
Mr. Goodrick moved to the same purpose.
Mr. Jenkinson. To add those qualifications, serves to con
elude that you intend not to qualify the Chief Magistrate in
Lieutenant-general Ludlow. The term is ambiguous, to
rule according to law. I would have you first determine
what you mean by law.
The great quarrel between the King and us, was the Militia. Either he or we were guilty. I look on myself as
guiltless of that blood. My conscience went along with the
Parliament, after the King was brought to justice.
When the interest of the nation was suitable to government
by Kings, (but that was when the constitution was another
thing than now it is,) the people might live peaeeably and be
happy under kings. This House of Lords must be a council of war.
I honour his Highness as much as any man that speaks
here. It will not appear that they are his best friends that
wish this for him. If we take the people's liberties from
them, they will scratch them back again. I doubt those gentlemen that contend for the covenant, (fn. 33) are for King, Lords,
and Commons. I doubt they would see this man dragged at
a horse's tail, and King Charles set up.
I would have things settled for the Protector's honour and
safety. (fn. 34) Such as shall desire to settle that upon him, which
is not for the interest of the nation, will be injurious to the
nation and to him.
Mr. Bulkeley. I am called up to defend what I said of
the covenant. I did it to invite us to unity and brotherly
All is gone when you give this vote, that is comprised in
the Petition and Advice. Those powers are so great, that I
had rather vote him in as King, upon the terms of former
Kings, than give him this that is moved. We are between
Scylla and Charybdis. I would not have too little power
given, nor too great. This does actually give and put a royal
construction upon whatever you have, contained in the Petition and Advice. He may deny it. He may die, which I
fear more. I would trust him more than any man; but we
must not trust that. I would have those gentlemen that
think of another government, lay it aside, and only look to
the fitting the Government to this single person, making it
neither too wide nor too narrow. If it be not a present
investiture of him actually with whatever is granted by the
Petition and Advice, I wish I could learn it otherwise from
the gentlemen of the long robe, if that vote does not add nor
I take him not to be a person ambitious of power, but to
rule with the love of his people, not to grasp at greatness.
My motion is, for the additional words moved to the question.
Colonel Matthews. I hope here is no driving of parties in
this House. I am confident it is not his Highness's aim to
grasp power, to the swallowing up the people's liberties. I
am for what is offered. I would not substract any thing that
is just for the Lord Protector to have, that he may see our
desire to set him upon a clear foundation.
I move for the additional words to the question.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge moved for opening the windows for
the safety of the House.
Captain Baynes. I wonder what is the necessity for this
previous vote. We are returned to the law of nature. It is
said in the Bill the people have all acknowledged him. I
thought the people had been only here. Either he is so, or
he is not so. If so, there is no necessity for this House declaring him so. If not, there is need of some consideration.
The Bill makes it hereditary. Where it speaks of successor, it mentions nothing of the Petition and Advice. It is
fit you should be satisfied whether he be so. It should be
made out. It makes him Supreme Magistrate, and gives
him as great a power as ever King of England had. I would
know what the words mean, if it give him not the executive
and legislative power as fully as any King. Consider whether
you do not put yourselves out of a capacity of recalling your
liberties, by this step. First, you settle a monarch; one estate before the other two.
I hope the gentlemen in the Other House, that have fought
against the negative voice, and for the militia, and got their
estates by it, will not now turn contrary. I said, indeed, (fn. 35)
four of them would not balance two knights. I. will explain
this. There are forty knights in this House, that represent
more than the property of all the Other House. The House
of Lords, heretofore, could draw to the field half the nation.
They had great dependencies. They had a foundation, a propriety, which was sufficient to support a third estate. The
old Lords did stand in balance by their propriety.
We are not at the root and bottom of our business, The
first thing is, to see the materials. All government is built
upon propriety, else the poor must rule it. All nations are
so. Let us therefore consider things before persons. (fn. 36) It
was said, Moses was a king. You will find he was not so.
The Jewish commonwealth was founded in propriety; and
for fear of swallowing it up, and lest that Commonwealth
should turn to a change, the year of Jubilee was appointed,
that all lands should be restored, to balance proprieties. The
Lacedæmonian Government was founded on propriety.
The constitution of King, Lords, and Commons, can never
be suitable to this nation, as now constituted.
When the Lords were not able to maintain themselves,
some of them truckled under the King, some under the Parliament, as they could shift; and by late experience, what a
screen and complete balance were the Lords between the King
and the people ? Do all that they could, the King, and themselves to boot, were most of them broken in pieces under the
The people were too hard for the King in property; and
then in arms too hard for him. We must either lay the
foundation in property, or else it will not stand. Property,
generally, is now with the people; the government, therefore,
must be there.
If you make a single person, he must be a servant, and not
a lord; major singulis, minor omnibus. If you can find a
House of Lords to balance property, do it. Else, let a senate
be chosen by the election of the people, (fn. 37) on the same account. There must be a balance. (fn. 38)
Sir Henry Vane. (fn. 39) I rise not to trouble you at this time.
Either adjourn for an hour, or till to-morrow. The more
you see into it, the more you will see, when you come to embowel it. I hope you will take care Dot to be surprized.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I move to adjourn till to-morrow
Mr. Reynell. I move to adjourn: There are many gentlemen to speak, and much to be said, both in relation to
yourselves and the supreme magistrate.
Mr. Grove. I move that you adjourn till to-morrow, and
limit men from long speeches, and that those that have spoken
may speak no more.
Mr. Reynolds. I believe, if that honourable gentleman (fn. 40)
that brought in the Bill, were here, he would move for the additional words; but for the honour of your House, I would
have you not to pop off the question; but do it unanimously,
and in a full House.
Serjeant Maynard. By giving the Chief Magistrate this
title, you determine nothing about the legislative, which was
never in the King. Only the executive power is in question.
I would have no surprize to any, but would have it worded
according to every man's conscience. I would have the question divided; for, if put generally, you will conclude some
men's votes. I am against the adding those words in this
question. It does imply a negative, quoad nos. You engage yourselves by a vote. The Bill has no life nor being
till all be agreed on. It signifies nothing, till the Bill be
passed. I would think of judges very ill, that should judge
laws in fact. I would have you divide the question.
Mr. Attorney-general. Propound the whole question, and,
lest any should be surprized, let the last be first.
Sir Henry Vane. There is much to be said to the whole
matter, before a question is propounded. You will surprize
men that have not spoken to it. It becomes not the gravity
of this House.
Mr. Bulkeley. Rather than dissatisfy that worthy gentleman, let him be heard speak first; and then state your
Mr. Wharton. I move to propose the question; and then
put the question, whether that shall be the question tomorrow.
Mr. Danvers. Many gentlemen are to speak. I would
not have us limited.
Colonel Terrill. I would have no man suspected to speak,
the things over again, that have been spoken. It is against
the orders of the House, to limit us to a question. Let us
spend to-morrow, and then limit us to the question.
Mr. Barton. To a business of this nature, I come as
rawly as ever. You are not come so near a question. I do
not know but I may speak to it, and many gentlemen that
want strength. Let us not suppose that disingenuity, that
any man will speak over again. It is against a fundamental
order that any man should have his liberty of speech taken
Mr. Bulkeley. Unless it be to provoke obstructions from
abroad, I wonder why it should be so striven for, to delay it,
and spin out the debate with long speeches.
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. 1 would have us adjourn.
I shall not speak much, nor can speak much to the purpose;
but I desire not to hinder any man to speak.
Sir William Wheeler. In such cases men were never suffered to speak over again.
Mr. Reynolds. It is against a fundamental order to limit
any man as to speaking. I never heard so prudent and grave
a debate as has been for two days together.
Serjeant Maynard. If that gentleman had spoken this in
another place, he should have been called to another place;
for it is no such thing as a fundamental order of the House.
There is nothing so usual, as to tie men up from speaking the
same things over again.
The House rose at four of the clock, without agreeing
upon any question to be taken up to-morrow; only adjourned
the debate till to-morrow, and nothing to intervene. (fn. 41)
The Committee of Privileges sat in the Star Chamber, Serjeant Waller in the chair, upon the business of Colchester,
between Maidstone, Barrington, and Shaw. Counsel were
heard on both sides.
The Committee for ministers in Wales sat in the Exchequer Chamber, Serjeant Seys in the chair. Our Sub-Committee for approving and ejecting ministers met there, and
adjourned to the Speaker's Chamber, and thence, till tomorrow afternoon, for want of a Committee.