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THE SPEECH OF His Highneſs the Lord PROTECTOR, MADE To both Houſes of Parliament at their firſt meeting, on Thurſday the 27th of January 1658.

As alſo the SPEECH Of the Right Honorable Nathaniel Lord Fiennes, one of the Lords Keepers of the Great Seal of England, made at the ſame time.

Publiſhed by His Highneſs ſpecial Command.

LONDON, Printed by Henry Hills and John Field, Printers to His Highneſs the Lord Protector: And are to be ſold at the ſign of the ſeven Stars in Fleet ſtreet over againſt Dunſtan's Church.


The Speech of His Highneſs the Lord Protector, made to both Houſes of Parliament at their firſt meeting, onThurſday the 27th of Janu­ary, 1658.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

I Believe there are ſcarce any of you here, who expected ſome Moneths ſince to have ſeen this great Aſſembly at this time, in this place, in peace; conſidering the great and unexpected Change which it hath pleaſed the all-diſpoſing hand of God to make in the midſt of us: I can aſſure you, that if things had been according to our own fears, and the hopes of our enemies, it had not been thus with us: And therefore it will become both you and me, in the2 firſt place as to reverence and adore the great God, poſſeſſor of Heaven and Earth, in whoſe hands our breath is, and whoſe are all our ways, becauſe of his Judgements; ſo to acknowledge him in his goodneſs to theſe Lands, in that he hath not added ſorrow to ſorrow, and made the period of His late Highneſs his life, and that of the Nations peace to have been in one day.

Peace was one of the Bleſsings of my Fathers Government; a mercy after ſo long a Civil War, and in the midſt of ſo great Diviſion which that War bred, is not uſually afforded by God unto a People in ſo great a meaſure.

The Cauſe of God, and theſe Nations, which he was ingaged in, met in all the parts of it, as you well know, with many enemies and great oppoſition; The Ar­chers, privily and openly, ſorely grieved him, and ſhot at him, yet his Bow aboad in ſtrength, and the Arms of his hands were made ſtrong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.

3As to himſelf, He died full of days, ſpent in great and ſore Travail; yet his eyes were not waxed dim, neither was his natural ſtrength abated, as it was ſaid of Moſes, He was ſerviceable even to the laſt.

As to theſe Nations, He left them in great Honor abroad, and in full Peace at home: all England, Scotland and Ireland dwelling ſafely, every man under his Vine, and under his Fig-tree, from Dan even to Beer ſheba.

He is gone to Reſt, and we are entred into his Labors; and if the Lord hath ſtill a Bleſſing for theſe Lands (as I truſt he hath) as our Peace hath been lengthned out to this day, ſo ſhall we go on to reap the Fruit, and gather the Harveſt of what his late Highneſs hath ſown, and laid the foundation of.

For my own part, being by the Pro­vidence of God, and the Diſpoſition of the Law, my Fathers Succeſſor, and bear­ing that Place in the Government that I4 do, I thought it for the Publique good to call a Parliament of the Three Nati­ons, now united, and conjoyned together into one Commonwealth, under one Go­vernment.

It is agreeable not onely to my Truſt, but to my Principles, to govern theſe Nations by the Advice of my two Houſes of Parliament; I finde it aſſerted in the Humble Petition and Advice which is the Corner-ſtone of this Building, and that which I ſhall adhere to) That Par­liaments are the great Councel of the Chief Magiſtrate, in whoſe Advice both he and theſe Nations may be moſt ſafe and happy. I can aſſure you I have that eſteem of them: And as I have made it the firſt Acts of my Go­vernment to call you together, ſo I ſhall further let you ſee the value I have of you, by the Anſwers that I ſhall return to the Advice that ſhall be given me by you, for the good of theſe Nations.

5You are come up from your ſeveral Countreys, as the Heads of your Tribes, and with hearts (I perſwade my ſelf) to conſult together their good: I can ſay I meet you with the ſame deſires, ha­ving nothing in my deſign, but the maintenance of the Peace, Laws, Liber­ties, both Civil and Chriſtian, of theſe Nations; which I ſhall always make the Meaſure and Rule of my Govern­ment, and be ready to ſpend my life for.

We have Summoned you up at this time to let you know the ſtate of our Af­fairs, and to have your Advice in them: And I believe a Parliament was never Summoned upon a more important oc­caſion.

It is true, as I have told you, We are, through the goodneſs of God, at this time in Peace; but it is not thus with us becauſe we have no Enemies: there are enough both within us and without us, who would ſoon put an end to our6 Peace, were it in their powers, or ſhould it at any time come into their powers.

It will be becoming your Wiſdoms to conſider of the ſecuring of our Peace againſt thoſe, who, we all know, are, and ever will be our implacable Enemies; what the means of doing this are, I ſhall refer unto you.

This I can aſſure you, That the Ar­mies of England, Scotland and Ireland, are true and faithful to the Peace and good Intereſt of theſe Nations, and it will be found ſo, and that they are a conſiſting Body, and uſeful for any good ends; and if they were not the beſt Army in the world, you would have heard of incon­veniencies, by reaſon of the great Arrear of Pay which is now due unto them, whereby ſome of them are reduced to great neceſſities: But you ſhall have a partiular account of their Arrears, and I doubt not but conſideration will be had thereupon, in ſome ſpeedy and effectual way. And this being matter of Money,7 I recommend it particularly to the Houſe of Commons.

You have, you know, a War with Spain, carried on by the advice of Par­liament; He is an old enemy, and a potent one, and therefore it will be ne­ceſſary, both for the honour and ſafety of theſe Nations, that that war be vigo­rouſly proſecuted.

Furthermore, the Conſtitution of Af­fairs in all our neighbor Countreys, and round about us (as well friends as ene­mies) are very conſiderable, and calls upon us to be upon our Guard both at Land and Sea, and to be in a poſture able to maintain and conſerve our own State and Intereſt.

Great and powerful Fleets are pre­paring to be ſet forth into theſe Seas, and conſiderable Armies of ſeveral Na­tions and Kings are now diſputing for the Maſtery of the Sound with the ad­jacent Iſlands and Countreys; among which is the Roman Emperor, with8 other Popiſh States; I need not tell you of what Conſequence theſe things are to this State.

We have already interpoſed in theſe Affairs, in ſuch manner as we found it neceſſary for the intereſt of England; and matters are yet in ſuch a condition in thoſe parts, that this State may, with the aſsiſtance of God, provide that their differences may not prejudice us.

The other things that are to be ſaid I ſhall refer to my Lord Keeper Fiennes, and cloſe up what I have to ſay with onely adding two or three particulars to what I have already ſaid.

And firſt, I recommend to your care the People of God in theſe Nations, with their Concernments. The more they are divided among themſelves, the greater prudence ſhould be uſe to cement them.

Secondly, The good and neceſſary work of Reformation, both in Manners and in the Adminiſtration of Juſtice, that Profaneneſs may be diſcountenan­ced9 and ſuppreſſed, and that Righte­ouſneſs and Juſtice may be executed in the Land.

Thirdly, I recommend unto you the Proteſtant cauſe abroad, which ſeems at this time to be in ſome danger, having great and powerful Enemies, and very few Friends; and I hope and believe that the old Engliſh zeal to that cauſe is ſtill among us.

Laſtly, My Lords, and you Gentle­men of the Houſe of Commons, That you will in all your Debates maintain and conſerve Love and Unity among your ſelves, that therein you may be the patern of the Nation, who have ſent you up in Peace, and with their Prayers, that the Spirit of Wiſdom and Peace may be among you: and this ſhall alſo be my prayer for you; and to this let us all add our utmoſt endeavors for the making this an happy Parliament.


About this transcription

TextThe speech of His highness the Lord Protector, made to both Houses of Parliament at their first meeting, on Thursday the 27th of January 1658. As also the speech of the right Honourable Nathaniel Lord Fiennes, one of the Lords Keepers of the Great Seal of England, made at the same time.
AuthorEngland and Wales. Lord Protector (1658-1660 : R. Cromwell).
Extent Approx. 9 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 6 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A81036)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 119010)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 144:E968[1])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationThe speech of His highness the Lord Protector, made to both Houses of Parliament at their first meeting, on Thursday the 27th of January 1658. As also the speech of the right Honourable Nathaniel Lord Fiennes, one of the Lords Keepers of the Great Seal of England, made at the same time. England and Wales. Lord Protector (1658-1660 : R. Cromwell), Fiennes, Nathaniel, 1607 or 8-1669. Speech of the Right Honourable Nathaniel Lord Fiennes., Cromwell, Richard, 1626-1712.. [2], 9, [1]; 30, [2] p. printed by Henry Hills and John Field, printers to His Highness the Lord Protector: and are to be sold at the sign of the seven Stars in Fleetstreet over against Dunstan's Church,London :[1659]. (Lord Fiennes' speech (E.968[2]) has separate pagination and separate title page, with imprint: London, printed for Henry Twyford, in Vine Court, Middle Temple, 1659; also published separately as Wing F882.) (Annotation on Thomason copy E.968[1]: "Feb: 2. 1658".) (On t.p.: "Published by His Highness special command.") (With a final blank leaf.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Great Britain -- History -- Commonwealth and Protectorate, 1649-1660 -- Early works to 1800.

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ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-04 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A81036
  • STC Wing C7191
  • STC Thomason E968_1
  • STC ESTC R207688
  • EEBO-CITATION 99866726
  • PROQUEST 99866726
  • VID 119010

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