Sir Robert Harley, K.B., (1579-1656) and the 'character' of a puritan - British Library Research Repository
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Journal article

Sir Robert Harley, K.B., (1579-1656) and the 'character' of a puritan

1989

Abstract

IN February 1621 Thomas Shepherd caused a furore in the House of Commons by attacking the bill 'for the Punishment of divers Abuses on the Sabaoth-day' at its second reading. It was, he said 'very inconvenient and indiscreete' and 'it savours of the spirrit of a Puritan', and he called Walter Earle, who had preferred the bill, a 'perturbator of the Peace'. The Commons were so scandalized that Shepherd was ordered to withdraw from the debating chamber, and his angry outburst and high words were widely reported, both in parliamentary diaries and by men who were not members of the Parliament. In a letter to Sir Dudley Carleton, the English ambassador in the Hague, his correspondent John Chamberlain noted 'yesterday one Shepheard, a lawier, was throwne out of the house and disabled for euer beeing there, for a speach the day before against a bill concerning the sabaoth, wherin girding and glauncing at the puritans, and seeking to make them ridiculous, him self grew foolish and profane'. In a draft letter to Sir Horace Vere, who was commanding the English volunteer force in the Palatinate, the Herefordshire gentleman, Sir Robert Harley of Brampton Bryan, recorded that 'one Shepharde, a lawyer that was of the lower house, made an Intemp[er]at speech against a bill, which was to restraine the profanation of the sabboth, & Inveyed with somebitterness against puritanes sayinge that there were many snares to catch poore papists, but not so much as a mouse trap to catch a puritane. Whereupon the house put hym out, & because I think the parliament will not proceede to define a Puritane, I take the bouldness to present your Lordship with his Caracter, which bill if it should pass the lower house, the upper would never lett it come to the hassard of receauing Royall assent.'

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Metadata

  • Resource type

    Journal article

  • Institution
    • British Library

  • Journal title
    • British Library Journal

  • Volume
    • 1989

  • Article number
    • 10

  • Publisher
    • British Library

  • Place of publication
    • London, UK

  • ISSN
    • 2056-2829

  • Official URL
  • Rights statement
  • Rights holder
    • British Library Board