Transcripts from Lawrence Whitaker's Diary of Proceedings in the House of Commons, 1643-1647

  • Reference
      GB 133 Eng MS 452
  • Dates of Creation
      n.d. [late 19th century]
  • Physical Description
      205 x 164 mm. 1 volume (53 folios);

Scope and Content

Transcript by W.A. Shaw of extracts from the diary of Lawrence Whitaker, covering the period 1 September 1643 to 5 February 1646/7.

Administrative / Biographical History

Lawrence Whitaker (1579?-1654) was a politician during the English Civil War. He served in Parliament at various times from the 1620s, and in January 1641 he was returned as MP for Okehampton, Devon. Despite earlier favour at court his Puritan sympathies probably inclined him towards the Parliamentary side and he soon turned away from the court. Whitaker joined the important Recess Committee in September and chaired the Inquisitorial Information Committee in January 1642. He served on various commissions and committees. Most notably he helped draft the New Model Army ordinance in 1645, chaired the committee on church government in 1645-6, and agreed to try the King, although he did not sit on the trial commission in 1648. Whitaker kept a diary of proceedings in the House of Commons from 1642 to 1647.

Source: Valerie Pearl, 'Whitaker, Laurence (1577/8-1654)', rev., Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press -

Location of Originals

The British Library, Manuscript Collections, holds the original manuscript of the diary of Lawrence Whitaker (ref.: GB 0058 Add MS 31116 ).