Tuesday, March 29, 1659.
I came late.
Colonel White. I move to call in the old Peers, and to
advise with these persons that you have now voted to
transact with, how it may be practicable, and to consider the
It seems the bill touching the perpetuity of the revenue
had been offered as the bill to transact upon.
Mr. Neville. I move to debate the negative voice, before
you transact; and also, whether you will stand bare or
no. It is likely I shall not stand bare. This may beget
differences between us. Transact is a new word.
Mr. Annesley. I am as much against catching cold as any
body; but would not now have us debate upon a ceremony.
When I see any of the old Peers there, it may be then
I shall consider whether I will stand bare or no.
Sir Henry Vane. The state of your affairs is no more
than going upon prudential conclusions, as in this case,
and in the cases of Ireland and Scotland. And before you
make a law now, you change from the writ that brought you
hither and the constitution in being.
Before you make laws, I would have you consider it, and
clear your constitution.
Lord Falkland. If it only concerned myself, I should
stand bare to the meanest servants of those persons; but as a
member of this House, I would take off my head sooner
than my hat. Therefore, clear circumstances first, to prevent
heats and differences.
Mr. Grove. I move that Sir Henry Vane be called
to the bar for saying, you go upon prudentials. It is an
arraigning of all your votes, and be a person never so great,
I believe it would not be borne abroad; and why you should
bear it here, I know not, be he never so wise.
Mr. Bulkeley. I second that he be called to the bar. Be
he never so wise or great, it will not be borne. I would
never have such a thing pass here, without bearing testimony
against it. I would have him called to the bar; or, at
least, that he may be forewarned not to let fall the like expression again.
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. I pray we may be preserved from
heats, and answer one another with reason. We are in an
extraordinary time as ever was in England. We sit partly
upon a legal, and partly upon a prudential footing. I have
no mind to disturbances. This time of year requires to look
about us. Our enemies are watchful. We ought not to quarrel with one another. It is neither for our honour nor safety.
I thank God, it is otherwise with me than when I came to
the Long Parliament, first. I could not then endure any
body that differed from me in judgment; but I am now come
to that spirit, through the fear of God, and more discretion
than I had then. We must bear with one another in meekness, and it is better for us to debate in what manner we
will transact, before the messengers be at the doors.
Mr. Knightley. I move that heats be forborne, and that
you bear with one another. I would have you consider
whether you will go up, bare, or no.
Colonel Birch. (Some cried Sir Thomas Birch.) I am
as much against heats as any. Whence came that heat? It
was averred unto you that what you did was upon a prudential account; that you are a prudential constitution, as
the little Parliament, (fn. 1) who voted themselves a Parliament. (fn. 2)
If what the gentleman moved from the bar, had not been
moved, I would have done it.
Sir John Northcote. I move that you receive the bill that
is offered, and consider how you will proceed with that other
House, as to your members behaving themselves.
Dr. Charges. I move to resume the debate upon the Bill of Recognition, and then to refer it to a grand or select Committee. But as to legal and prudential right, if I should ask
Sir Arthur Haslerigge, whether he who serves for a borough
be a prudential or legal member, he will say, he serves upon
a legal right. (fn. 3) I think upon a prudential; for there is no Act
of Parliament for it, no law since Henry V., but what may
be questioned. All since have been upon prudential. All
laws made by one House of Parliament have no precedent.
It was but an assumption or declaration of their power,
as was said in case of the little Parliament. It was much of
Lord Marquis Argyle. I cannot speak to the order of your
House, nor to the manner of your proceedings, uno dato incommodo. When a bill is offered, you may take it in or
reject it: I would therefore have it taken in and read.
Mr. Bulkeley offered the said bill, which was read. It was
for taking away all laws, statutes, and ordinances, concerning
the excise, and new impost, after— (fn. 4) years, and concerning customs, tonnage, and poundage, after — (fn. 4)
months, after the death of his Highness, the Lord Protector;
and all laws concerning the same to be after that time null.
Mr. Knightley. I move not to cast it out; but I dislike
part of it as to the customs, for life, and excise. They may
be for fifty or sixty years. (fn. 5)
Sir Arthur Haslerigge. We cannot be in a worse condition by the bill than we are; but I would not have it done
hastily, nor a day appointed for the second reading. Therefore, let it lay by till a fit opportunity, that in the mean time
we may consider of it.
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper. There is nought can destroy
us like that which we like. I am apt to suspect this bill. It
is an admitting all those laws to be good, for settling
tonnage and poundage. The bill ought not to have been
brought in, but by your order. I would have a bill brought in that may settle and establish the tonnage and poundage
for so many years, lest this be a precedent, to admit so
many laws together. Therefore reject this bill, and bring in
Sir William Wheeler. True, no member ought to bring
in a bill concerning money, because it is an imposing upon
the subject. But he has answered himself. It is no bill for
money; but to take off that law which must be admitted for
a law. It brings back our purses again into the Commons.
Appoint this day se'nnight for the second reading.
Sir Walter Earle. I would have this bill rejected. If
you do ought, do it by a positive and an affirmative act.
Tonnage and poundage was ever granted so. I would therefore have another bill, as offered to you.
Mr. Swinfen. I thought this bill would have been more
welcome to you. That which did most scorch the debate of
transacting, was that those laws should be perpetuated, and
now they say, those are no laws. This makes me shake.
Their mind is to let us come to no settlement.
I hearkened, to hear the danger of the precedent. He
tells you of ill precedents coming out of good subjects.
I see no ill precedent in it. To take away the charge of the
nation will never do the nation harm. This does neither
make them laws nor not laws. Therefore, I would have this
read a second time, now.
Mr. Scot. None doubts but this law is better than the
other. To retrench the time is very acceptable; but why
we should go to it so switched and spurred, I know not.
I would have it brought in to-morrow; and let it come in by
Mr. Reynolds. I move for Mr. Knightley to be heard
again. In 16 Caroli, a bill was offered by Lord St. John,
who, though a favourite for agreeing against ship-money (fn. 6) ,
yet for bringing in a bill touching the customs, (it was
to continue it, being within three months of expiration,) he
had a check for it, so just was Parliament.
I would have this bill laid aside, and the Attorney-general
or the Solicitor-general to bring in another bill.
Colonel Birch. This quite differs. One was to continue
the customs; this is to take off the time. It is not for the
service of any of us to acknowledge that for law at one time,
and not law at another time; as, to serve the interest. You
must now either speak to the rejecting of it or not at all.
Sir Robert Goodwin. I shall not speak for rejecting the
bill; but it comes in irregularly. It came in with good intentions. A bill must not only be bonum, but bonè. (fn. 7) If you
will bring in a bill for a grant of it, I shall consent to it;
otherwise, it may be for forty or fifty years. (fn. 8) A precedent
in the people may amount to a law; but in the single person
it signifies nought.
Mr. Bulkeley. I did bring in this bill with a good intention, and shall not be satisfied till this fundamental right
of the people be settled.
I looked on it as the privilege of any member to bring in a
bill. It does not dispute whether they be laws or no. It
will be a means to prevent future fighting, whether they
shall be laws or no. We have felt the danger of leaving these
things so doubtful. If you please to let it be brought in by
some person from whose hands it will be more acceptable.
I offered you the substance before I offered it.
Mr. Raleigh. I do not take this to be a bill for money.
I believe the laws that settle these things to be of force, till
you repeal them.
I would not have this bill read the second time now;
but appoint another day. It may be made a good bill, to
retrench the time, which is perpetual, for ought I know.
Mr. Neville. There being no law of force for the excise,
as I think in my conscience there is none, I would have a bill
brought in for granting the excise, and another bill for the
customs for some time. There must be words of granting.
Mr. Fowell. It will not sound well abroad to reject a bill
of this nature. How will the commoners of England take it? It may be made a good bill. I pray to read it
I went to write letters, and found them in hand still with
the debate till one o'clock, and then the House rose and
adjourned the debate.
Mr. William Turner, mayor of the borough of Hertford,
had been that morning at the bar, where, in the presence of
the House, he did rase and put out of the indenture, the name
of William Packer, Esquire; and, instead thereof, did insert,
and put into the said indenture, the name of James Cooper,
Esquire; (fn. 9) which being done, the said Mayor, and deputy to
the Commonwealth in Chancery withdrew.
Resolved, that the bill (fn. 10) be read the second time on Thursday next. (fn. 11)
The Committee of Privileges sat and heard out Colonel
Gorges and Sir William Wyndham's election to Taunton,
against Bovett and Palmer. The business was very foul on
Bovett's side, but clear, nemine contradicente, on the other
side. It put out the business of Newcastle, which was
appointed for the same day.