Wednesday, March 23, 1658–9.
I came late and found the House in debate upon the report touching Dartmouth. The question was, whether the
borough by prescription, or their corporation should choose.
The Report of the Committee was against the inhabitants,
and two hours debate were spent about it. The question was
put to agree with the Committee.
Mr. Speaker declared for the Noes.
Colonel Clark declared for the Yeas.
The Noes went out.
Noes 119. Sir John Northcote and Mr. Reynell, Tellers.
Yeas 113. Mr. Higgons and Sir Walter St. John, Tellers.
The question being put to agree with the Committee, it
passed in the negative. The next question moved was to
Sir Henry Vane moved to assert the right of the people,
and save your Committee a trouble. A fundamental right
in the people cannot be taken out by any charter or corporation whatsoever.
The Lord Marquis of Argyle came in this day He went
out with the Noes.
Mr. Turner. I move to clear it, whether it be a corporation, or a borough by prescription.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I have heard it often asserted in
this House for law, that the fundamental right of the people
could not be given away. It was theirs by the law of nature.
Major-general Kelsey. To save charges, I move rather to
lay the business aside wholly. I am well satisfied with the
report, and pray to put the question whether the inhabitants
have a right or no. The competition laid between Boon and
Colonel Morley. You are in the dark. I would, therefore, have it recommitted, lest, being not satisfied in the legality, you be put to dispatch this as you do other things in a
prudential way. (fn. 1)
Mr. Speaker excepted against it.
Lieutenant-general Ludlow moved to assert the right of the
But it was resolved, to recommit it upon the whole debate.
Mr. Streete stood up to have spoken. I suppose it was
touching his own business.
The order of the day was read.
Mr. Speaker acquainted the House touching a mistake in
the report about Poole, as if there had been two indentures;
but there was but one, so the mistake was amended.
After altum silentium.
Captain Hatsell. Divers gentlemen that serve for Ireland
can speak well. I desire to hear what they can say for themselves; and first, as to the point of their withdrawing.
Major Ashton. The gentlemen that serve for Ireland
come in obedience to your service. They are not Irish. (fn. 2) I
am glad that we have that acceptation with the generality of
this House. I shall speak to the matter.
I could willingly withdraw, as to any concern of myself,
and durst well trust the House with my affair. But as I am
a member for Ireland and an Englishman, I cannot. If it
were either personal or criminal, the case were otherwise, but
it is upon a constitution.
The members that come in for that place serve no more for
Ireland than for England. The interest is twisted and complicated, as Lord Coke says. If we should withdraw, what
representatives should we leave here, what would our country
say, that we were complimented but of their right?
I desire to go on as to the matter of right. I shall state
the matter, and pass no judgment.
True, Ireland was anciently a province. Henry II. went
thither (fn. 3) and they made a resignation of their power to him, (fn. 4)
by confirmation of the Pope. He granted it to his son John (fn. 5)
but so, ut non separator ab Anglia. (fn. 6) King John went again
into Ireland, and by Act of Parliament ordained that Ireland
should be governed by all the laws of England. (fn. 7) This was
left in Dublin Castle.
10 Henry VII. came in the statute of Poynings, which made
the statute laws also the same in Ireland, only they had Parliaments, as being most fit for that nation. (fn. 8)
I shall disappoint many in my motion. I think it best that
they should have Parliaments of their own for that very reason, that votes may not be imposed upon you here. There is
a sea between us and Dublin. Divers that came hither to
serve you, came with great hazard.
I must now tell you what the constitution of your affairs
is at present. I look upon your arms (fn. 9) over your doors. I
see nought belonging to an Union. When the war broke out
in 17 Car., England had great care not to lose Ireland, and
once had gained it almost all; till Ormond's and Inchiquein's
revolt, (fn. 10) that you lost it all again but Dublin and Sligo.
In 1653, you had a total recovery of that nation. You
had no mind to lose it. An Act was made in the Little Parliament, 1653, which was a good Act to encourage your plantation there, and an act of distribution to the soldiers and adventurers. The first tax that was laid upon them was by
that Parliament. Then came an ordinance of his Highness
Then comes the Parliament in 1656, and attaints all the
rebels. Till then, there was no power to dispose of their estates. All was brought in to his Highness; 9,000l. per mensem
imposed upon them, and on them to this day.
Now, if the Long Parliament, and all powers since, have
the care of us hitherto, how come we now to be shaken off?
Will you lay a tax upon us, and we have no representatives?
If the Petition and Advice be a law. to impose new taxes on
us, surely it is, as to our right of sitting here? You will
either refund our money to us and give us a Parliament of
our own, or else allow us our possessory right. We are not
here as trespassers, but in obedience to your service.
Sir Thomas Stanley. I am not to speak for Ireland, but
for the English in Ireland.
The burthen of assessments is insupportable, by reason of
the inequality of the representatives, thirty to four hundred.
It is impossible to make any addition to what has been said in
the case of Scotland. The only difference is that they have
an Act of Union. Ireland being more naturally united, and
inseparably, in the substance, needs not so much the formality
of a law. Language, habit, laws, interest, in every respect,
the same in kind. They differ only in degrees, as a child
does from a man. Ireland may say they were born free.
The members for Ireland, and the electors, are all Englighmen, who naturally claim a right to have votes in making laws
by which they must be governed. They have fought your battles, obtained and preserved your interest, designed by the
famous Long Parliament, obtained by blood, fought for by
prayer solemnly. If it be improved, it may bring great glory
to God, and good to this nation.
If upon a natural account, they have more equity than
Scotland, they have, upon a just account, as much right as
they, except in a little formality.
Why then may not this House, that can do miracles, make
infants men, bastards legitimate, bondmen free: why may
they not do ordinary things? They have done that for Scotland. They being both one thing, why should not they be
put both in one case? As to the point of withdrawing, when
your sense is known, I shall freely submit.
Captain Whalley. It is a maxim in Parliament, equitas sequitur legem.
I found not much in it. (fn. 11)
Mr. Annesley. They desire to hear what is objected
against their right, and they will answer it as well as they
Mr. Speaker was going to put the question.
Mr. Weaver stood up. I should have been glad to have
heard what right in law they have to sit. Nought is offered
yet, as to the legal part.
There cannot be a greater violation of the rights and
liberties of the people, than to bring in persons hither to
impose laws upon you. I have a particular relation to that
nation, and shall serve them in aught, but cannot admit
them to sit, till you declare it by law. I would rather they
should have a Parliament of their own.
I shall acquiesce in your vote for Scotland, though I must
still say they have no right of law.
I would have your question, upon the legal right of the
Mr. Gewen. It were better both for England and Ireland
that they had Parliaments of their own. I know not if it is
meant that salus populi is for England or for Ireland. The
native liberty of the people, is to be bound by no laws but
such as they make themselves. That which hath been done,
may be done. If fifty could make a law, (fn. 12) well may sixty, if
they watch their opportunity. Have we not taken an oath
to maintain the rights and liberties of the people? Is not
this the right of the people to have none but themselves
to impose Jaws upon them ?
Venienti occurrite morbo. It is neither safe, just, nor
honourable to admit them. Let them rather have a Parliament of their own.
Mr. Stingsby Bethel. The first question moved was about
their legal right. I pray that may be the question.
Mr. Thomas. No man here but is sworn, by covenant or
otherwise, to maintain the privileges of Parliament. How
does that consist with our privilege, to admit strangers?
I would gladly hear what legal right they have. I never
knew any admitted upon a prudential right. (fn. 13)
Mr. Annesley. Divers things ought to be considered
before you put the question. I shall not dispute the legal
right. I cannot find a law for it You have voted those
words out. (fn. 14)
England is in no danger of thirty members from Ireland;
but if thirty from Scotland should join with them, much
mischief might ensue. Whatever has been offered as to the
right of Scotland is the same for Ireland, except that of the
Act of Union, which is not admitted for a law. If you
speak as to the conveniency in relation to England, much
more is to be said why they who serve for Scotland should
sit here. It is one continent, and elections are easilier determined; but Ireland differs. It is much fitter for them to
have Parliaments of their own. That was the old constitution. It will be difficult to change it, and dangerous
for Ireland. They are under an impossibility of redress.
There is no way to punish judges in case of bribery.
To come over here to complain he must bring the justice of
his cause. No taxes can be abated, impose what you will.
Anciently, on records, we find that the records of Ireland
would never be trusted by sea. Shall we now trust the
people, and would not trust the parchments ? Ireland must
have the disadvantage every way.
As you are reducing yourselves to your ancient consti
tution, why has not Ireland the same ? Why not Lords and
Commons there? They have owned the single person.
They never forfeited their right. Nothing hinders their
restitution but the thirty members coming hither.
Their grievances can never be redressed. Elections can
never be determined. Though they were but a province,
there were their courts of justice, and Parliaments, as free
Nine thousand pounds per mensem upon them, and but six
thousand upon Scotland; very disproportionable. I shall
have my share, what interest soever prevail, whether England or Ireland. You go about to make them foreigners.
Scotland pays no customs. Ireland pays not only customs,
but increase of customs: 2s. a beast in Lord Strafford's
time; and now 6s. 8d. is exacted.
I pray that they may have some to hear their grievances
in their own nation, seeing they cannot have them heard here.
Mr. Hewley. I move, first, to assert Magna Charta, the
Petition of Right, and propositions sent to the King. (fn. 15)
Settle your own foundations before you take in this. Let
some application be made to the Protector, to know why
these men are brought in upon us; or rather, apply to the
Great Protector. Seek God, lest we be in confusion before
we be aware!
Sir Arthur Haslerigge moved to adjourn.
He was called to speak to the Chair. He said he looked
on nobody but the clock. The reason of looking to the
Chair was that one might not brow-beat another; and
because we were to speak to the Chair.
I am ready to give my negative to what I have heard
from Mr. Annesley, that there is neither law nor justice
in it. I see the House in a great musing. The Committee
of Grievances are to sit this afternoon.
Sir James Harrington. I move to adjourn till to-morrow.
Yesterday you left out law; now it is said there is no
Mr. Bristow. If there be no law, there is more equity.
If you please, put the question for their continuance, this
Parliament, and bring in a Bill to confirm them.
Mr. Neville moved to adjourn, because divers were to speak.
After a little debate about adjourning, the question was
put, if the question for the continuing of the Irish members
shall be now put. It passed in the affirmative.
The main question was put.
Mr. Speaker declared for the yeas.
Mr. Reynolds declared for the noes.
The House was divided. The yeas went out, (contra in the
case of Scotland) per Speaker's mistake.
Yeas 156. The Earl of Linlithgow and Mr. Secretary
Noes 106. Lord Lambert and Mr. Annesley, Tellers.
So it was resolved that the members returned to serve for
Ireland shall continue to sit as members in this present Parliament.
Colonel Birch, Mr. Trevor, Mr. Secretary, Mr. Bodurda,
and others, moved to resume the debate about transacting, &c.
to-morrow morning, and nought to intervene; but after halfan-hour's debate it was laid aside: and the House adjourned
generally till to-morrow morning at eight.
Colonel Morley admitted it to be an old question, but it
might be dressed up with several new additions. He would
not have us surprised; nor our debate locked up.
The House rose at two. The Chair behaves himself like a
Busby (fn. 16) amongst so many school-boys, as some say; and takes
a little too much on him, but grandly.
The report of Haslemere, in Surrey, was made. Hooke
was cast out, and Westbrook admitted.
The Grand Committee of Grievances sat.
Colonel Terrill was in the chair.
Lady Conwath's Petition was offered, and Lady Worcester's report (fn. 17) offered per Mr. Baldwin, but both put off till
There was a very numerous Commiteee, and Lady Jermyn's title to the office (fn. 18) was discussed at the bar by all sides.
Query, of the event ? Lady Withrington told me her title
was very clear. (fn. 19)