Front Page Titles (by Subject) Parliament Once More From the Levellers' Petition to the House of Commons, 1 11th September 1648. a - Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents
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Parliament Once More From the Levellers’ Petition to the House of Commons, 1 11th September 1648. a - Arthur Sutherland Pigott Woodhouse, Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents 
Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents, selected and edited with an Introduction A.S.P. Woodhouse, foreword by A.D. Lindsay (University of Chicago Press, 1951).
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The truth is (and we see we must either now speak [or] for ever be silent), we have long expected things of another nature from you, and such as, we are confident, would have given satisfaction to all serious people of all parties:
1. That you would have made good the supreme [authority] of the people in this honourable House from all pretences of negative voices, either in King or Lords.
2. That you would have made laws for election of Representatives yearly and of course, without writ or summons.
3. That you would have set express times for their meeting, continuance, and dissolution: as not to exceed forty or fifty days at the most, and to have fixed an expressed time for the ending of this present Parliament.
4. That you would have exempted matters of religion and God from the compulsive and restrictive power of any authority upon earth, and reserved to the supreme authority an uncompulsive power only of appointing a way for the public worship,a whereby abundance of misery, persecution, and heart-burning would for ever be avoided.
5. That you would have disclaimed in yourselves, and all future Representatives, a power of pressing and forcing any sort of men to serve in wars, there being nothing more opposite to freedom, nor more unreasonable in an authority empowered for raising moneys. (In all [due] occasions for war,b and [with] a just cause, assistants need not be doubted; the other way serving rather to maintain injustice and corrupt parties.)
6. That you would have made both kings, queens, princes, dukes, earls, lords, and all persons, alike liable to every law of the land, made or to be made, that so all persons, even the highest, might fear and stand in awe [of them], and neither violate the public peace nor [the] private right of person or estate (as hath been frequent) without being liable to accompt as other men.
7. That you would have freed all commoners from the jurisdiction of the Lords in all cases; and to have taken care that all trials should be only of twelve sworn men, and no conviction but upon two or more sufficient, known witnesses.
8. That you would have freed all men from being examined against themselves, and from being questioned or punished for doing of that against which no law hath been provided.
9. That you would have abbreviated the proceedings in law, mitigated and made certain the charge thereof in all particulars.
10. That you would have freed all trade and merchandizing from all monopolizing and engrossing by companies or otherwise.
11. That you would have abolished excise, and all kinds of taxes except subsidies, the old and only just way of England.
12. That you would have laid open all late enclosures of fens, and other commons, or have enclosed them only or chiefly to the benefit of the poor.
13. That you would have considered the many thousands that are ruined by perpetual imprisonment for debt, and provided to their enlargement.
14. That you would have ordered some effectual course to keep people from begging and beggary in so fruitful a nation as, through God’s blessing, this is.
15. That you would have proportioned punishments more equal to offences, that so men’s lives and estates might not be forfeited upon trivial and slight occasions.
16. That you would have removed the tedious burden of tithes, satisfying all impropriators, and providing a more equal way of maintenance for the public ministers.
17. That you would have raised a stock of money out of those many confiscated estates you have had, for payment of those who contributed voluntarily above their abilities, before you had provided for those that disbursed out of their superfluities.
18. That you would have bound yourselves and all future Parliaments from abolishing propriety, levelling men’s estates, or making all things common.
19. That you would have declared what the duty or bussinessa of the kingly office is, and what not; and ascertained the revenue, past increase or diminution, that so there might never be more quarrels about the same.
20. That you would have rectified the election of public officers for the City of London, of every particular company therein, restoring the commonalty thereof to their just rights, most unjustly withheld from them to the producing and maintaining of corrupt interest[s], opposite to common freedom, and exceedingly prejudicial to the trade and manufactures of this nation.
21. That you would have made full and ample reparations to all persons that had been oppressed by sentences in High Commission, Starb Chamber, and Council-board, or by any kind of monopolizers or projectors, and that out of the estates of those that were authors, actors, or promoters of so intolerable mischiefs, and that without much attendance.
22. That you would have abolished all committees, and have conveyed all businesses into the true method of the usual trials of the commonwealth.
23. That you would not have followed the example of former tyrannous and superstitious Parliaments in making orders, ordinances or laws, or in appointing punishments, concerning opinions or things supernatural, styling some blasphemies, others heresies, whenas you know yourselves easily mistaken and that divine truths need no human helps to support them; such proceedings having been generally invented to divide the people amongst themselves, and to affright men from that liberty of discourse by which corruption and tyranny would be soon discovered.
24. That you would have declared what the business of the Lords [w]as, and ascertain[ed] their condition, not derogating from the liberties of other men, that so there might be an end of striving about the same.
25. That you would have done justice upon the capital authors and promoters of the former or late wars, many of them being under your power; considering that mercy to the wicked is cruelty to the innocent, and that all your lenity doth but make them the more insolent and presumptuous.
26. That you would have provided constant pay for the Army, now under the command of the Lord Gen[eral] Fairfax, and given rules to all judges, and all other public officers throughout the land, for their indemnity, and for the saving harmless all that have anyways assisted you, of that have said or done anything against the King, Queen, or any of his party since the beginning of this Parliament; without which any of his party are in a better condition than those who have served you, nothing being more frequent with them than their reviling of you and your friends; [and] the things and worthy acts which have been done and achieved by this Army and their adherents (however ungratefully suffered to be scandalized as sectaries and men of corrupt judgments) in defence of the just authority of this honourable House and of the common liberties of the nation, and in opposition to all kinds of tyranny and oppression, being so far from meriting an odious Act of Oblivion, that they rather deserve a most honourable Act of Perpetual Remembrance, to be as a pattern of public virtue, fidelity and resolution, to all posterity.
27. That you would have laid to heart all the abundance of innocent blood that hath been spilt, and the infinite spoil and havoc that hath been made of peaceable, harmless people, by express commissions from the King; and seriously to have considered whether the justice of God be likely to be satisfied, or his yet continuing wrath appeased, by an Act of Oblivion.
These, and the like, we have long time hoped you would have minded, and [would thereby] have made such an establishment for the general peace, and contentful satisfaction of all sorts of people, as should have been to the happiness of all future generations. And which we most earnestly desire you would set yourselves speedily to effect; whereby the almost dying honour of this most honourable House would be again revived, and the hearts of your petitioners, and all other well-affected people, be afresh renewed unto you, [and] the freedom of the nation (now in perpetual hazard) would be firmly established. For which you would once more be so strengthened with the love of the people, that you should not need to cast your eyes any other ways (under God) for your security. But if all this availeth nothing, God be our guide; for man showeth us not a way for our preservation. * * *
 This appears to be the Petition of 11th September, referred to in the Remonstrance of the Army (Appendix, p. 464) and in the Whitehall Debates (pp. 141-2). But the Large Petition of March 1647 (pp. 318-23) seems also to have been revived at this time, and to have been printed more than once. It is possible that the references to the Petition of 11th September are intended to cover both documents.
[338. (a)]To the Right Honorable, the Commons of England In Parliament Assembled. The humble petition of divers wel-affected persons inhabiting the City of London, Westminster, the Borough of Southwark, Hamblets, and places adjacent [Sept. 15, 1648] (McAlpin Collection).
[339. (a)] tr Religion and God;