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Newsletters - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3 
The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660, ed. C.H. Firth (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899). 4 vols.
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Nov. 29, 1656.—
Tuesday2 . . . it was moved in the House that day, that in respect they had but 16 dayes then to sitt, and many bills were under consideration that could not bee finished without a longer time of sittinge, that his Highnesse might be moved by that Committee for a longer time, but the House inclined not to that motion. . . .3
December 13, 1656.—
f. 122.Wednesday last the House expected a desolution, or an adjournment, but hearing nothing from his Highnes concerninge eather,1 they have dayly since continued their sitting, which hath bin solely about James Naylor the Quaker; for having judg’d him guilty of blasphemy, an aposter,2 and seducer of the people, it was endeavoured by some to give him judgement of death answerable to that offence, but the adverce parte (not of inferior quallytie to the other) answering that hee was not guilty of that crime by any knowne lawes of this Nation, but onely by circomstances, deduccions, and conclusions that was made by themselves of the whole matter in question, hee owning Christ that suffered at Jerusalem in whom onely hee had hoopt for salvation, and [that] whoever rob’d him of any of his attributes was in his judgment a b[l]asphemer, but if the people cryd Ho[sa]nna to him and that ajudg’d a crime, it was in them that said it, and not soe much in him that suffered it, and consequentley the punishment to be inflicted on them, and not himselfe. After this it was endeavored to bring his judgment of intended death within the compasse of the Mosaicall lawe, which was likewise answered that the whole thereof ought to bee aswell put in execution as any part, and this hath since put all to a stand. As its thought many dayes debate will bee spent yett before judgment will bee given therein.3
Jan. 6, 165.—
f. 128.Yesterday the House heard a report of the businesse of Rodney and Cole (uppon which the Lord Commissioner Lisle did charge the Lord Whitelock to bee equally guilty with himself as to the irregular proceeding therein); the House resolved [against] Cole herein, [and] voted the decree in the case to be surreptitiously procured, and the proceedings irregular. The Lord Whitlocke cleering himselfe, the House was mov’d that some exemplary punishment might bee inflicted on the Lord Lisle, and after much debate herein the House laid it aside for the present.1 This day they were upon advance of moneyes, and it was proposed that 12d. a head per annum might bee layd upon all the people of the 3 Nations, except such as were day labourers att or under 2d. per diem and such likewise as lived upon almes.2 Butt in respect present moneyes were wanting it was rather desired that 300000li. might be speedily advanced by way of subsidy, but neither of these came to any result, the house adjourning the further [debate] thereof till Thuresday next.3 The Lord Protector haveing sett at liberty Sir Henry Vane and Mr. Feake, the latter of them yesterday att Allhallowes endeavoured to worke upon a great auditory upon pretence of the unjustnes of his sufferings.
[2 ]November 25.
[3 ]By Article VII. of the Instrument of Government a Parliament was to be summoned every third year, and could not be adjourned, prorogued, or dissolved, without its own consent. But by Article XXIII. the Protector might, ‘when the necessities of the State shall require it,’ summon with the consent of his Council a parliament other than these triennial parliaments, and these additional parliaments could not be dissolved for three months after their meeting. This Parliament came under Clause XXIII., had met on September 17, and might be dissolved on December 10, which would be three lunar months after the date of its meeting.
[1 ]December 10.
[2 ]I.e. impostor or apostate.
[3 ]The following notes on the further proceedings of the House are from a newsletter of December 23 amongst the Carte Papers, vol. ccxxviii. The debate on Naylor is reported at great length in Burton’s Diary:
[1 ]See Burton’s Diary, i. 19, 300-304; Commons’ Journals, vii. 479.
[2 ]Compare Burton, i. 293.
[3 ]A letter from the Carte MSS. (lxxiii. 18) gives the following account of the situation as it appeared to a staunch supporter of the government: ‘This poore nation,’ wrote Major-General Boteler to Montagu, on January 9, 1657, ‘is in a tottering condition, not so much (I make account) from the preparations of the enemies abroade, as from the contrivances of those within our bowells, and our unwillingnesse in Parliament, at least our delatoriness to obviat and prevent them, nay I wishe our enemies do not take more encouragement from our proceedings than our friends do or can. We have not all this time raysed one penny towards the Spannish warre, nor are like to do after this rate we go till we heare of him upon our border I thinke, but instead of hastening that great concernment we have more minde to take away the Militia and lessen our army, as though we had the greatest calme of peace that ever yet we sawe. All these things, and many more I might speake of, considered together with our unsettlement in point of Government me thinks threaten us sorely, yet that his Highness and Council have a through sense of them as I perceive by some discourse last night the officers had with his Highness is some reviving to my hopes, which I profess to you have beene witheringe this month apace, and now I hope God will direct to some speedy prevention, which is much better than a late remedy.’