Front Page Titles (by Subject) Whitehall Dec. 26 1648. Generall Councell. - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 2
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Whitehall Dec. 26 1648. Generall Councell. - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 2 
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 (Camden Society, 1894). 4 vols.
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Whitehall Dec. 26 1648. Generall Councell.
The Sixth Reserve in the Representative read and debated. Afterwards read thus
(As an expedient.)
That the said Representatives may not exercise the power of imediate Judgment in particular questions of right or wronge between one private person and another. Nor may they give imediate judgment upon any man’s person or estate for any offence which does not extend imediately to the hurt or damage of the publique, nor for any such offence may they proceede to the takeing away of life or limbe, unless before the fact done it were soe provided against by express law then in force, nor may they inflict or awarde other punishment for such an offence not soe provided against beforehand, save where it is clearely against the generall law of humane society, and where the vindicacion or secureinge of the publique interest does require such Justice.
1. Question. Whether the Sixth Reserve shall pass as it now stands or noe.
Carried in the Negative, Nemine contradicente.
That the Representative may not give Judgment upon any man’s person or estate where noe law hath bin before provided, save only in calling to account and punishing publique officers failing in their trust.
2. Question. Whether this clause now read shalbe put to the question as part of the Reserve or noe.a
Soe that it was carried in the Affirmative.
Question 3. Whether this clause now read shall pass as part of the Reserve as it is.
Soe that it was carried in the Affirmative as part of the Reserve.
C. E. petition of the well affected in Newport Pagnell and parts adjacent.
To his Excellency the Lord Fairfax, Generall of the Parliament forces &c. and to the officers of your Excellencie’s Army now mett in Generall Councell. (Read.)
4. Question. Whether there shall bee any addition made to the 6th reserve or noe.
Soe that it passt for noe addition to that Reserve.
Adjourned till Fryday about 10 of the clock in the morneinge.
The Petitioners call’d in.
Answer returned by Comm. Generall Ireton.
Wee have read your petitition, and the Councell have appointed mee to returne you this answer for the present. That they doe very kindlie resent, & thankfullie accept those expressions first in the preamble of the petition of your affections & faithfulnesse in relation to the publique Justice & the liberties of the Kingdome, and for your desire in the prayer of the petition, concerning our prosecution of justice & freedome, they doe heartily close with your desires in itt, & shall indeavour to prosecute the same as God shall direct & inable them in all honest wayes.
And for the last part of your prayer of the petition, for mediating with the Parliament concerning those particulars following, I am to acquaint you, that as the most part of the particulars are such as relate to publique justice & a generall settlement of the liberties of the Kingdome, the Councell hath taken many of them already into consideration, and are in consideration of some other thinges remayning, which soe soone as they have passed the Councell you will see publique, and wee hope to your satisfaction; and the other particulars that you desire mediation in particularly, either concerning the reformation of laws in being, or the making of new, the Councell commanded mee to lett you know that such thinges as those are matters of publique justice & of generall settlement of the liberties of the Kingdome, they shall soe farre as they are proper for their cognizance take them into consideration in their place & time.a
[a ]This is the sixth Reserve in the original Agreement, and the fifth in the Agreement as presented on January 20, 1649. The difference is that the sixth Reserve originally began, “That the Representatives intermeddle not with the execution of any law, nor give judgment,” &c. Both versions conclude “punishing publique officers for abusing or failing in their trust,” so that these three words are probably accidentally omitted in the report of the proceedings of December 26, printed above. For the formulas adopted in November, 1647, see vol. i., pp. 407, 408.
[a ]A large number of petitions both from the army and different counties were presented to Fairfax in December and January, 1648-9. See Rushworth, vii., 1374, 1388, and the Moderate for those months, pp. 200, 210, 211, 214, 223, 224, 231, 233, 239, 251, 263, 285.