Saturday, April 16, 1659.
Mr. Cooper prayed.
Mr. Speaker took the chair at nine.
Colonel Grosvenor. I took notice of a great number of
people called Quakers, in the Hall yesterday and to-day. (fn. 1) I
wish you would take some course with the Petition that has
laid a long time before you; and that they be dispersed.
Mr. Annesley. They are a fanatic crew. I would have
their Petition referred to a Committee, to put it off your
Mr. Fowell. I move to whip them home as vagrants.
Mr. Danby. I move that a law be provided to suppress
that railing against the ministers.
He instanced what Mr. Bulkeley and Dr. Reynolds (fn. 2) had
overheard some of them say: "the priests and lawyers are
bloody men, give them blood to drink."
Sir Walter Earle. I except against the title "friends,"
and "the Parliament so called," in the Petition. (fn. 3)
The petition was read. It was directed for "The Speaker
of the Commons assembled in Parliament; these are for him
to be read to the House of Commons." (fn. 4)
Sir William D'Oyly. I am against proceeding against
them as vagrants; but would refer the business to a Committee.
Mr. Swinfen. Order them, every of them, to go to their
calling, and apply themselves to the law, which is their protection.
Captain Baynes. I move to clear them, and make them
innocent persons. Many of them were imprisoned for not
taking the oath of abjuration.
Major-general Kelsey. No reasoning by scripture will
convince them; (fn. 5) for they make that but a nose of wax. (fn. 6)
They call miscalling the ministers speaking the truth. The
justices of the peace do well to imprison them. (fn. 7) I cannot be
a pleader for them. Disturbers of the peace, they deserve it.
They will not conform to the law.
As to those that lie imprisoned for not taking the Oath of
Abjuration, I would release them. I would have some time
for their continuance in prison; but not an unlimited extent.
Call two or three of them to come in, and advise them to
return to their homes, and you will command by your members, that if any be illegally imprisoned, which does not yet
appear, they may be released.
Mr. Fowell. The justices of peace cannot imprison for
not taking the Oath of Abjuration.
Colonel West. I cannot justify them in their affronts to the
ministers. Refer it to a Committee to hear their grievances,
which is the right of the commoners of England, and that
gentleman (fn. 8) was mistaken who moved to whip the commoners
Mr. Lechmere. You are not, as a Christian Magistracy,
bound to bend your laws to every Pretender's conscience. I
am against referring it to a Committee. Who dare attend it,
unless the gentleman who spoke last? I dare not. They
refuse to answer upon oath, which is juramentum purgationis.
All that were imprisoned at the time of the Protector's death
for contempt of court, were, of course, then delivered by law
if they looked after it.
Their language is as little justifiable as the— (fn. 9) of
Rome. For their railings against the ministers, see their
books. The question will be, whether you will dispense
with that cast of the hat. I have known when you could
not bear some petitioners coming hither. You have sent out
members to receive their address. To rid your hands of this
business, do as Mr. Swinfen moved.
Colonel Kenrick. Refer it to a Committee. You receive
and examine petitions without respect of persons.
Mr. Steward. They complain not of any thing done contrary to law, but according to law. Though they seem but a
small number, yet lesser beginnings have grown to great
heights. In their books I find a denunciation of judgment.
They will easily believe they are the persons appointed by
God to execute this judgment. They are not of that simplicity as is moved, but wolves under sheep's clothing.
Mr. Stephens. Some I look on as persons seduced. Those
I pity. Others, as seducers; those I pity not. The Jesuits have too great a stroke amongst them. (fn. 10) Let them
repair to the Committee of Grievances. It will fall out that
most are imprisoned for transgressing a fundamental law.
I hope you will not dispense with their contempt.
The question was read, as to their repairing to their habitations, &c.; but—
Colonel West moved, that the first question was for a
Committee; and prayed that might be first put.
Mr. Scot. Refer it to the several knights of the shire
to send to the Justices at the next sessions, to inquire into
this business, and to redress their grievances according to
Mr. Attorney-general. Till the ordinary course fail, they
ought not to apply to you.
Mr. Annesley. Now I have read the Petition I am against
either committing the Petition or calling them in. The
Petition is unreasonable, and declares their desire that is
neither consonant to the laws of God or man. Declare also
the petitioning tumultuous. Unless you declare against the
thing itself, you will be troubled next week with as many.
Mr. Reynolds. I move that it be referred to a Committee,
to clear your members of the scandal laid upon several
They say they are imprisoned for meeting together in the
fear of God, for not swearing, for visiting their friends, and
speaking the truth; all which are in themselves good, and it
is a strong reflection.
If you pass this, the people will think all is true that they
say, and that you will not question it, because so many members are concerned. I am one.
Some moved for a Committee to go out to them; others to
send the Serjeant; others to call them in. Others moved for
declaring that this House doth take notice of their tumultuous assembling themselves together, and their contempt of
Mr. Reynolds. Change the word "tumultuous" for "numerous."
Mr. Attorney-general. Every assemblage of persons of an
unlawful number, is tumultuous.
Mr. Jenkinson was against the word "tumultuous."
Mr. Thomas was for the word "ministers" to be added.
Mr. Gewen. This minds me of what Solomon says, (fn. 11)
"Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his
own conceit." I would have the word "tumultuous," for
they are so in petitioning against the magistracy.
Lieutenant-general Ludlow in favour. (fn. 12)
Mr. Boscawen. You will give them too great a reputation
abroad, to say they are numerous. They will be thought
Sir Walter Earle and Mr. Shaw were against the word
"petitioners;" for their address appeared not to be a petition.
Resolved, that the answer to be given to the persons that
presented this paper is, that this House hath read their paper,
and the paper thereby referred to; and doth declare their
dislike of the scandals thereby cast upon magistracy and
ministry; and doth therefore order, that they and other
persons concerned, do forthwith resort to their respective
habitations, and there apply themselves to their callings, and
submit themselves to the laws of the nation, and the magistracy they live under.
Mr. Goodrick moved, that Colonel West deliver this answer.
Others moved that the Serjeant might do it.
Colonel West said he was most unfit, in regard he moved for
a Committee; and therefore moved that the Serjeant might
The question was put, if the Serjeant-at-Arms do return
the aforesaid answer, to the persons that presented the aforesaid papers to the House.
Mr. Speaker declared for the Noes.
Mr. Higgons and another young gentleman, declared for
It was held not fit to divide for such a trifle. The Yeas
should have gone out. Therefore it was ruled that they
might be called in.
Colonel Bennet. I move against calling them in.
Colonel Eyre. For your bearing public testimony against
them, I would have them called in; and their hats taken off
before they come in. (fn. 13)
Sir John Coplestone. I move that Moore, and two or
three of the most considerable, be called in.
Moore was a justice of peace. One of them, worth
10,000l., is in nomination to be an Alderman of Colchester.
His name James Furnas.
Others moved to take the first at hand, lest you call
a tumult about the doors.
The Serjeant went out with the mace, with two or three of
their names that were most considerable.
It was ordered that he should take off their hats, and tell
them they must only hear Mr. Speaker.
They were called in, two of them, with their hats off.
Mr. Speaker declared the judgment.
They strove to speak, but were not permitted; only one
of them as they went out said, "The name of the righteous
shall live; but the name of the wicked shall rot."
Mr. Poole moved, that this vote be printed. (fn. 14)
Mr. Annesley. I hope the time is not lost.
Now it is over, I would have you apply yourselves in
a Grand Committee, upon the report from the Committee of
Inspections. Money answers all things.
Mr. Reynolds. I second it; but first give a little light
to your Committee by a debate in this House, as was usual;
that you may not tumultuate your debate. If this be done,
which is in the bottom of the bag, and must be done, we
shall, I hope, be able to buoy up our reputation, so as to be
a nation again.
Mr. Scawen made a report (fn. 15) touching the balance; rather
particularly, for the three nations. (fn. 16)
He further reported a claim of Lord Marquis Argyle
for 12,000l., charged by order of the Protector and Council,
upon the excise in Scotland, part paid. (fn. 17)
The House rose at almost one.
The Committee of Privileges sat upon the business of
Mr. Hewley was in the Chair.
They sat late, and were so equally divided upon the
question, that there was ten and ten; and it came to the Chair
to cast it.