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Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics Vol. 4 (1647) (2nd ed)

Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics, Volume 4 (1647)
(2nd. revised and enlarged Edition)

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T.78 [1646.10.12] (3.18) Richard Overton, An Arrow against all Tyrants and Tyranny (12 October 1646).

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Tracts from 1647 (Volume 4)

 

T.85 (4.1) John Lilburne, Regall Tyrannie discovered: Or, A Discourse, shewing that all lawfull (approbational) instituted power by God amongst men, is by common agreement, and mutual consent (6 January 1647).

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T.85 [1647.01.06] (4.1) John Lilburne, Regall Tyrannie discovered: Or, A Discourse, shewing that all lawfull (approbational) instituted power by God amongst men, is by common agreement, and mutual consent (6 January 1647).

Full title

John Lilburne, Regall Tyrannie discovered: Or, A Discourse, shewing that all lawfull (approbational) instituted power by God amongst men, is by common agreement, and mutual consent. Which power (in the hands of whomsoever) ought alwayes to be exercised for the good, benefit, and welfare of the Trusters, and never ought other wise to be administered: Which, whensoever it is, it is justly resistable and revokeable; It being against the light of Nature and reason, and the end wherefore God endowed Man with understanding, for any sort or generation of men to give so much power into the hands of any man or men whatsoever, as to enable them to destroy them, or to suffer such a kind of power to be excercised over them, by any man or men, that shal assume it unto himself, either by the sword, or any other kind of way. In which is also punctually declared, The Tyrannie of the Kings of England, from the dayes of William the Invader and Robber, and Tyrant, alias the Conqueror, to this present King Charles, Who is plainly proved to be worse, and more tyrannicall then any of his Predecessors, and deserves a more severe punishment from the hands of this present Parliament, then either of the dethroned Kings, Edw. 2. or Rich. 2. had from former Parliaments; which they are bound by duty and oath, without equivocation or colusion to inflict upon him, He being the greatest Delinquent in the three Kingdoms, and the head of all the rest. Out of which is drawn a Discourse, occasioned by the Tyrannie and Injustice inflicted by the Lords, upon that stout-faithful-lover of his Country, and constant Sufferer for the Liberties thereof, Lieut. Col. John Lilburn, now prisoner in the Tower.

In which these 4. following Positions are punctually handled.
1. That if it were granted that the Lords were a legall jurisdiction, and had a judicative power over the Commons; yet the manner of their dealing with Mr. Lilburn, was, and is illegall and unjust.
2. That the Lords by right are no Judicature at all.
3. That by Law and Right they are no Law makers.
4. That by Law and Right it is not in the power of the king, nor in the power of the House of Commons it selfe, to delegate the legislative power, either to the Lords divided, or conjoyned; no, nor to any other person or persons whatever.
Vnto which is annexed a little touch, upon some palbable miscarriages, of some rotten Members of the House of Commons: which House, is the absolute sole lawmaking, and law-binding Interest of England.

London, Printed Anno Dom. 1647.

The tract is made up of the following parts:

  1. The Printer to the Reader
  2. A Table of the principall Matters contained in this ensuing Discourse
  3. [Main Document]
  4. Other documents - 11 June 1646; 22 June 1646; 23 June 1646
  5. The Humble Petititon of Elizabeth Lilburne
  6. A Writ of Habeas corpus
  7. [The Lords are no judicature at all]
  8. A further discovery of the evill managing of the affaires of Ireland

 

Estimated date of publication

6 January 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 486; Thomason E. 370. (12.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

The Printer to the Reader.

IF thou beest courteous, Reader, contribute but thy Clemency in favourable correctiting the Errata’s (notwithstanding much due care had in so publike a work as this is) as we must acknowledge lye dispersed therin. Pag. 1. line 2. for 32. read 33. p. 4. l. 11. for fifthly r. sixthly. p. 7. 59. r. in the world; see Hof. 8. 4 p. 8. l. 17. for they r. he knowing that when he. p. 10. l. 20. for Rom. r. revelation. l. 29. r. Dan. 43. p. 11. l. 6. for against, r. but by. l. 38. for name, r. hand, p. 12. l. 2. r. and as he. l. 16. for 23. r. 33. l. 38. for his, r. their. p. 13. l. 24 for ver. 11, r chap. 8. ver. 11. p. 15. l. 30. for trivial, r cruel, p. 16. l. 2. for rule r. cover. p. 18. l. 16 for and his, r. and her. p. 19. l. 34. for rerforme, r. performe. p. 21. l. 1. blot out, years of his. l. 27. for this, r. of this King. l. 31. for most &, r. most base &. p. 23. l. 4. for 16. r. 6. p. 24. l. 10. for them, r. him. l. 25. for Realm granted him the ninth peny, r Realm dear, besides the 9. peny they granted formerly at one time for them to his Predecessor. p. 26. l. 20. r have had. l. 31. r. unusuall. l. 35. r. after this. p. 27. l. 2. r. uncounselable. l. 26 r late King. p. 34. l. 3. 457, r 655. l. 6, 264 r 462, p. 39, l. 26, after Charles, r but all his Predecessors received their Crown and Kingdom, conditionally by contract & agreement, I doubt not but the present K. Ch, his &c. p. 40, l. 10. r. by, but a, l 8, after King do, r & that there shold not much more be an account of his Office due to this Kingdom it selfe. p. 45, l. 23 after people, r and comes lineally from no purer a fountain, and well-spring, then from their Predecessors, l 25 blot out Dukes. p, 48. l. 29. that, put in if after. p. 56. l. 8, 404, 406, r. 504, 506, p. 59, l. 34 1641, r. 1646. p. 60, l. 10, 2 Sam: 7: 13, r. 1 King 12: 1. p. 61, l. 17, at the end of justly, r. come by, and. l. 18. at the end of Prophet, r. to K. Rehoboam. (who had assembled 18000. chosen men, which were Warriers to go fight against the house of Israel) p. 72, l. 2, in the margent for 254 r, 264, l. last of the marg, for 4, r. 467, p. 73, l. 15. 16 marg. after 29, insert 46. after Rot. 2, insert 4, p. 75, l. 1, in marg. for 5, r. 9, 4, for 8. r. 18, in marg. for 27. r. 2 part, l. 9. for 58, r. 38. p. 76, l, 19, for own r. other, p. 77, l. 9. in marg, 22 r. 102. p. 79, l. 1. abeas r. Habeas, p. 81, l. 24, r. to deliver to, l. 35, r. at which, p. 84. l. 2, after his honesty, r. his judges cariage, l. 7, for Lordships r. Lobby, p. 86, l. 26 blot out Dukes, p: 87: l: 1: practises r. prises, p. 88, l. 9. King r. Duke, p 91, l. 13. r. and afterwards in England made Odo, p. 92. l. 2. & 3. r. of whose estate l. 36. for unindivalid, r. unvalid, p. 94. l. 21. r. conquirendum, & tenendem sibi & here dibus, adeo libere per gladium sicut ipse rex tenhit Anglia. p. 95. l. 36. r. Comissioners, p. 96. l. 27. for incursion, r. innovation. p. 97. l. 23. r. But in the Knights, p. 97. l. 3. in the marg. for 84, r. 8, 4, 7. p. 98. l. 8. for nor r. for, p. 101, l. 12. for 1646. r. 1645.

A Table of the principall Matters contained in this ensuing Discourse.

A

ANger of God against Israel for their choice of a King, pag. 14.

Abuses checkt, pag. 25.

Acts of the Parliament, pag. 33.

Appeal of Lieut. Col. Lilburn to the House of Commons, how approved on there, pag. 64.

Arlet the Whore, William the Conquerers Dam, page 87.

Arlet the Whore marryed to a Norman Gentleman of mean substance, pag. 91.

B.

Bastardly Fountain of Englands Kings, pag. 15.

Bellamy pag. 1. his basenesse, pag. 2, 3.

Bookes of L. C. Iohn Lilburn before, pag. 3. and since the Parliament, pag. 3, 4, 89.

Books against L. C. Lilburn, p. 1. 4.

Barons Wars, p. 30, 31.

Behaviour of L. C. Lilburn in the House of Lords, p. 64, 65, 69.

Barons in Parliament represent but their own persons, p. 97.

C

Challenges against the Lords, p. 5, pag. 70.

Clergy base inslavers of this land of old, p. 89, 90, 93, 94.

Contents of this Discourse, p. 6, 62.

Common-Councel, p. 27.

Charles Stewarts jugling, pag. 50, 51.

Charles Stewart, not GOD, but a meer man, and must not rule by his will, nor other Kings, but by a Law, pag. 9 10, 11.

Charles Stewart received his Crown and Kingdom by contract, p. 33. and hath broken his contract, pag. 9, 14, 41, 42, 43, 50, 51, 52, 57.

Charles Stewart confuted in His vain proud words, p. 32, 33.

Charles Stewarts Confession and Speeches against himself, p. 40, 41, 56, 57.

Charles Stewart as Charles Stewart, different from the King as King, p. 35.

Charles Stewart guilty of Treason, p. 52, 53, 54, 55, 57.

C.R. ought to be executed, p. 57.

D

Dukes of Normandy, first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh, p. 87.

Dukes, Marquesses, and Viscounts not in England, when the great Charter was made, p. 98.

Davies Sir I. Clotworthies friend his basenesse, pag. 102, 103, 104, 105, 106.

E

Edwardus Rex Segnier, pag. 15, 16, 88.

His gallant Law, p. 16.

Edward the second, p. 26, 27, 57, 58 deposed, and his eldest Son chosen, p. 27, 58, 59.

Edward the third, pag. 27, 28, 29, 30.

Excommunication for infringing Magna Charta, p. 28.

Edward 4. and 5. p. 30, 31.

Earl of Manchesters, and Colonel Kings basenesse, p. 49. 102.

Englishmen made slaves by the Normans, p. 90.

F

False imprisonment it is, to detain the prisoner longer then he ought, p. 81.

First Duke, } >p. 98.
First Marquesse, }
First Viscount. }

First Parliament, in the 19 of H. 1. see pag. 17.

G

Government by Kings, the worst government of any lawfull Magistracie, p. 14.

Greenland Company oppressors, pag. 101.

H

Heathens more reasonable then the Lords, p. 2.

House of Peers illegality, p. 43, 45, 86. and basenesse to the people, pag. 44.

Henry the 1. p. 17.

Henry, Mauds eldest son, King after Stephen, p. 19.

Henry the 3. crowned, and his basenesse, p. 22, 23.

Henry the 4, 5, 7, and 8. p. 30, 31.

Hunscot the Prelates Catchpole, now the Lords Darling, p. 83.

I

John brother to R. the 1. chosen King, p. 19.

His basenesse to the Commonwealth, p. 20, 21, 39.

His end, p. 22.

Judges corrupt, p. 23.

Imprisonment of L. C. Lilburn, p. 63, 66.

Ireland in her distressed condition cheated and couzened by Sir John Clotworthy, and his friend Davies, p. 102. to p. 106.

K

King is intrusted, p. 34.

Kings tyrannicall usurpation, none of Gods institution, pag. 7. 8.

Kings subordinate to Lawes, by God, p. 8. and men, p. 9, 18, 19, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 52, 53, 85, 86.

Kings must not be imposed, but by the peoples consents, p. 7, 20, 32, 41, 60, 61.

Kings deposed, p. 27, 58, 59, 98.

Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses represent the Lawes, p. 97.

King, no propriety in his Kingdome, p. 34. or Cities thereof, or Jewels of the Crown; and as King, not so much as the Subjects in the Kingdoms, pag. 32, 38.

Kings illegall Commands obeyed punished, pag. 35, 52, 53, 54.

Kings are lyable to be punished. pag. 41, 59.

K. Harrold, p. 84, 94.

L

Lawes made this Parliament, pag. 33, 34.

Lieutenant of the Towers basenesse against L. C. Lilburn, pag. 5.48.

Lords cause of loosing the Kingdome at first, p. 93.

Lords no legislative power by consent of the people, p. 45, 46.

Lords may not lawfully sit in the house of Commons, pag. 98, 99.

Lords contradict themselves, p. 63.

Lords power wholly cashiered, p. 40, 47, 92.

Lords overthrown by the Law, see p. 72. to p. 78.

Lords illegality and basenesse against L. C. Lilburn, pag. 47, 48, 65, 66, 67, 84. proved so to be, p. 62, 81.

Lords no Judges according to Law, p. 69.

Lawes included, though not expressed, Kings must not violate, pag. 62.

Lords no Judicature at all, p. 84, 85, 86.

M

Maud p. 17, 18. the Empresse taketh K. Stephen in bat- tel, p. 18.

Massacre of the Jewes in England when pag. 19.

Magna Charta, what it is, p. 26.

Magna Charta’s Liberties confirmed by Hen. the 3. p. 24.

And by Edw. the 2. p. 27. And by Edw. the 3. p. 28, 29.

Members of the House of Commons taxed, p. 100, 101, 102.

Merchant-Adventures p. 99. overthrown, p. 42.

N

Normans whence they came, pag. 86, 87.

Ninety seven thousand, one hundred ninety and five pounds, which was for Ireland, pursed by 4 or 5 private men; see p. 103.

O

Orders Arbytrary and illegall against L. C. Lilburn, p. 2, 47, 48. 63, 64, 66.

Odo the Bishop, & a Bastard seeketh to be Pope, pilleth the Kingdom pag. 91, 92.

Oaths of Kings at their Coronation, p. 19, 26, 28, 31, 32, 33.

Oath of K. Stephen p. 18.

Oath of Justices, p. 29.

Objection about H. 8. alteration of the Oath of Coronation, answered by the Parliament, p. 32.

Order of the house of Commons for L. C. Lilburn, p. 84.

Originall of the House of Peeres pretended power, p. 94.

P

Petition of Right confirmed, p. 33. the Lords break it, p. 2.

Petition of L. C. Lilburns wife p. 72. to p. 78.

Postscript of L. C. Lilburns, p. 6.

People must give Lawes to the King, not the King to the people, p. 85.

Popes judgment refused by the people, to be undergone by the King as insufferable, p. 26.

Power of Lords both of judicative and legislative throwne down, p. 92, 93.

Parliament, what it is, p. 34. their institution, p. 95. The manner of holding them, p. 95. how kept, p. 97.

Parliaments greatnesse p. 34, 36, 37.

Prerogative Peerage flowed from rogues, p. 86, 87.

Proceedings of the Lords against L. C. Lilburn, condemned by the Commons, p. 64.

Parliaments kept in old time without Bishops, Earles, or Barons, Pag. 96, 97.

Q

Questions of great consequence, pag. 101, 102.

R

Rehoboams folly, pag. 60, 61.

Richard the 1. pag. 19.

Remedy against fraud, p. 26.

Richard the 2. p. 30.

Deposed p. 30.

Richard the 3. p. 30, 31.

Rebellion of the King. 90, 51.

Rewards conferred by William the Conqueror, upon his assistants, p. 90, 91.

S

Sir John Clatworthies basenesse, p. 102. to 106.

Stephen Earle of Bollaigne chosen King by free election, p. 18.

When hee was imprisoned by Maud, p. 18, 19. the people restituted him out, and he was set up again, p. 18.

Sheriffes of London; Foot and Kendrick their illegality, pag. 68.

Sentence of the Lords against L. C. Lilburn. p. 70, 71.

T

Ten Commandements explained, p. 9, 10.

Tyrants (Kings) plagued by Gods justice, p. 11, 12, 13, 17.

Tyrannie of Kings, p. 13, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22.

Towers chargeablenesse of Fees, p. 49.

Tryals ought to be publike, and examples for it, page 81, 82, 83, 84.

Turkie Merchants, pag. 99.

W

William the Conquerors History of him, p. 14, 15, 16, 45, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, a Bastard, p. 87.

His end, p. 17.

Westminster Halls inslaving Lawes, Judges, Practises, from William the Tyrants will, pag. 15, 16.

William the 2. p. 17.

Wayes for purchasing liberty and annihilating of the Norman Innovations, p. 25, 29.

Wollastons Letter from L. C. Lilburn, p. 67, 68.

Writs, Warrants, and Mittimusses, how they ought to be made in their formes in the severall Courts, p. 78, 79, 80, 81.

IT is the saying of the God of Truth, by the Prophet, Isa: 32. 15, 16. That he that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his eares from hearing of bloud, and shutteth his eyes from seeing of evill; He shall dwell on high, his place of defence shall be the Munition of Rocks, &c. But on the contrary, he saith; Woe unto them that decree unrighteous Decrees, and that write grievousnesse which they have prescribed, to turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poore of my people, that widowes may be their prey, and that they may rob the Fatherlesse, Chap. 10. 1, 2 Now I, having read over A Book Intitvled, The Freemans Freedome Vindicated, being Lieutenant-Colonell John Lilborns Narative of the Lords late dealing with him, in committing him to New-Gate; and seriously considering of his condition, and of the many base aspersions cast upon him, and bitter invectives uttered against him in some late printed Bookes, but especially that of Colonell John Bellamies, called, A Vindication of the City Remonstrance; which came out, when he was a close prisoner in Newgate, by vertue of as cruell, unjust, and illegal a Warrant as ever was made by those that professe themselves to be conservators of the peoples liberties; yea, and I dare say, that search all the Records of Parliament, since the first day that ever there was any in England, and you shall not find the fellow of that which is against him; The Copy of which (as I find it in that of the JVST MAN IN BONDS) thus followeth;

Die Martiis, 23. Junii, 1646.

ORdered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, That John Lilburn shall stand committed close prisoner in the Prison of Newgate; and that he be not permitted to have Pen, Inke, or Paper and none shall have accesse unto him in any kind, but onely his Keeper, untill this Court doth take further order. IOHN BROWN, Cler. Parliamentorum.

To the Keeper of Newgate, his Deputy, or Deputies, Exam. per Rad. Brisco, Cler. de Newgate.

What can be more fuller of arbytrary Tyrannie, and illegality then this Order expressing no cause, who, nor wherfore; & so not only absolutely against the expresse tenour of the Petition of Right, but contrary to the very practice of the Heathen Romanes, who it seemes had more morallity, reason, and justice in them, then these (pretended Christian) Lords: see Acts 25-27. For saith Festus to King Agrippa &c. When he was to send Paul a prisoner to Rome, It seemeth to me unreasonable to send a prisoner, and not with all, to Signifie the Crimes laid against him.

And although that this Arbitrary & illegal Order was extraordinary harshly executed upon Mr. Lilburn, and thereby he was as it were tyed hand and foot; yet then did Mr. Bellamie watch his opportunity to insult over him, when he knew that he was not able to answer for himself. O the height of basenesse! for a Colonell to be so void of manhood, and to finde no time to beat or insult over a man, but when he is down, and also tyed hand and foot!

One thing in Mr. Bellamies Book I cannot but take notice of especially, and that is this; He there cites some things in a Book called ENGLANDS BIRTH-RIGHT; and because it hath very high language in it, against divers great, and corrupt Members of Parliament, which is sufficient to destroy and crush the Author of it in pieces, if he were known: And therefore that he might load Mr. Lilburn to the purpose, he takes it for granted, that Book is his, although his name be not to it, nor one argument, or circumstance mentioned to prove it his; but the absence of his name, is a sufficient ground to all that knowes him and his resolution, to judge Mr. Bellamy a malitious Lyar in that particular; it being Mr. Lilburns common practice (for any thing I can perceive) to set his name to his Bookes, both in the BBs. days, and since; which Bookes contain the highest language, against the streame of he Times, that I have read, of any mans in England that avouch what he writes. As for instance, His Book, called THE CHRISTIAN MANS TRY ALL, being a Narrative of the illegality of the Star-Chambers dealing with him, and the barbarous inflicting of their bloudy sentence upon him.

Secondly, His Book called, COME OVT OF HER MY PEOPLE, written (it seemes) when he was in Chaines, the fullest of resolution that I have read.

Thirdly, THE AFFLICTED MANS COMPLAINT, written, when he was sick in his close imprisonmen, by reason of his long lying in Irons.

Fourthly, his Epistle to Sir MAVRICE ABBOT, then Lord Major of London, called, A CRY FOR JVSTICE.

Fifthly, his Epistle to the PRENTICES OF LONDON; In both of which, he accuseth the Bishop of Canterbury, of High Treason, and offered, upon the losse of his life, to prove it, when Canterbury was in the height of his glory.

Sixthly, his Home Epistle to the Wardens of the Fleet, when he was in their own custody, and forced to defend his life, and chamber for divers workes together with a couple of Rapiers, against the Wardens and all his men, who had like, several times, to have murdered Mr. Lilburn.

Seventhly, his Answer to the nine Arguments of T. B. which layes lead enough upon the old and new Clergie, the rooters up of Kingdomes and States.

And since the Parliament.

First, His Epistle to Mr. Pryn, which both gaules him, and the Assembly, the thunder-bolt of England.

Secondly, His Reasons against Mr. Pryn, delivered at the Committee of Examinations.

Thirdly, His Epistle wrote when he was in the custody of the Serjeant at Armes, of the House of Commons, which toucheth not a little the corruptnesse acted in that House.

Fourthly, His Answer to Mr. Pryn, in ten sheets of Paper, called INNOCENCIE AND TRUTH JUSTIFIED, a notable and unanswerable piece.

Fifthly, His Epistle to Judge Reeves, called, THE JUST MANS JUSTIFICATION.

Fifthly, His PROTESTATION AGAINST THE LORDS, AND APPEALE TO THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.

Seventhly, His EPISTLE to the Keeper of Newgate, dated from his Cock-loft in the Presse-yard of Newgate, the 23. of June, 1646.

The next Bookes that I have lately seen against L. C. Lilburn, are two rayling ones, made by one S. Shepheard, a fellow as full of simplicity as malice; In both whose Bookes, there is not one Argument, or one sound reason, to disprove, what he pretends to confute. The first of his Bookes, is called, The Famers famed, or an answer to three things written (it seemes) by some of Mr. Lilburns friends, called, First, THE JUST MAN IN BONDS. The second, A PEARL IN A DVNGHILL. The third, A REMONSTRANCE OF MANY THOUSAND CITIZENS, and other Free-born People of England, to their own House of Commons, &c. The second of Shepheards, is called, The false Allarme; or, an Answer to an Allarme, To the House of Lords. The fourth Pamplet I find against L. C. Lilburn, is called Plain English, which last, only gives him two wipes, in his 4. and 12. pages.

Therefore, in regard that the Author of the City Remonstrance Remonstrated, hath put Pen to Paper, to answer part of Mr. Bellamies Book, but hath not medled with any thing of that which doth concern Lieut. Col. Lilburn.

And secondly, Forasmuch, as none that is yet visible have medled with any of the other.

And thirdly, In regard that the man is full of Heroicalnesse, and a zealous lover of his Country, to whom all the honest free-men of England, are extraordinarily oblieged, for his constant, couragious, and faithfull standing, for their just liberties, that both God, Nature, and the Law of the Land giveth them.

And partly in regard that by a late published Book, called, LIBERTY VINDICATED AGAINST SLAVERY, I understand of the Lieutenant of the Towers base, unworthy, illegall, and strict dealing with him, as in many other things, so in keeping him from Pen and Ink; by meanes of which, he is unable to speak publikely for himself, which is a sad, barbarous, base, and inhumane case. That a man should be so illegally dealt with, as he is, and abused in print, and his good name endeavoured Cum privilegio, to be taken away by every Rascall, and yet the poor man not suffered to speak a word for himself. Oh! horrible and monstrous age, that dare without remorse maintain such horrible impiety, and injustice: Surely, I may well say of them, with the Prophet Isa. Isa 5. 20, 23, 24, Woe unto them that call evill good, and good evill, that put darkness for light, and light for darknesse, that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter, which justifie the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousnesse of the righteous from him. Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble; and the flame consumeth the chaffe; so their root shall be rottennesse, and their blossome shall go up as dust; because they have cast away the Law of Jehovah of Hosts, and despised the Word of the holy One of Israel: For he that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just; even they both are an abomination to Jehovah, Prov. 17. 15.

In consideration of all which, together with many more things I shall endeavour (according to that insight I have) in Mr. Lilburnes behalf, to make a little more work, for his enemies, the Lords, and their Associates; But this (as a faire adversary) I shall advise them, either to get stouter Champions that can handle their weapons better then those that have yet appeared, or else their cause will utterly be lost.

I shall not now undertake to answer the particulars in the forementioned Bookes, but leave that to another Pen, and shall give a home provocation, to the best and ablest Lord in England, or the choicest Champion they have, to produce some sound arguments to maintain their jurisdiction, or else their two stooles (called Usurpation and custome) upon which they sit, will let them fall to the ground.

And the method that I shall observe, shall be this:

First, I will prove, that if it were granted, that the Lords were a legall juridisdiction, and had a judicative power over the Commons, yet the manner of the Lords dealing with him is illegall and unjust.

Secondly, I will prove that if the Lords were a Judicature, yet they have no jurisdiction over Commoners.

Third, I will give some reasons to manifest, that they are no Juridicative at all.

Fourthly, That they by Law and Right, are no Law-makers.

Fifthly, That by Law and Right, it lyeth not in the power of the King or the House of Commons to deligate the legislative power, either to the Lords [Editor: illegible word] or conjoyned, nor to any other persons whatever.

Now for the proofe of these; the authority I shall make use of, shall, must be derived from Scripture.

Secondly, from the power and strength of sound reason.

Thirdly, from the declared Statute Law of the Kingdome.

Fourthly, from [Editor: two illegible words] Parliaments Declarations.

Fifthly, and lastly, from the Histories of England, licenced by publike Authority.

And that I may not raise a [Editor: Illegible word] brick without laying a good Foundation, I will set down a stong and undeniable position, which I find at a Post-script at the latter end of Lieutenant Colonel Lilurnes printed Protestation against the Lords; which is thus

GOD, the absolute Sovereign Lord and King of all things in heaven and earth, the original fountain and cause of all causes; Who is circumscribed, governed, and limited by no rules, but doth all things merely and only by His sovereign will and unlimited good pleasure; who made the world and all things therein for His own glory; and who by His own will and pleasure, gave him, His mere creature, the sovereignty (under Himself) over all the rest of His creatures (Genesis 1: 26, 28-9) and endued him with a rational soul, or understanding, and thereby created him after His own image (Genesis 1: 26-7; 9: 6). The first of which was Adam, a male, or man, made out of the dust or clay; out of whose side was taken a rib, which by the Sovereign and absolute mighty creating power of God was made a female or woman called Eve: which two are the earthly, original fountain, as begetters and bringers-forth of all and every particular and individual man and woman that ever breathed in the world since; who are, and were by nature all equal and alike in power, dignity, authority, and majesty — none of them having (by nature) any authority, dominion or magisterial power, one over or above another. Neither have they or can they exercise any but merely by institution or donation, that is to say by mutual agreement or consent — given, derived, or assumed by mutual consent and agreement — for the good benefit and comfort each of other, and not for the mischief, hurt, or damage of any: it being unnatural, irrational, sinful, wicked and unjust for any man or men whatsoever to part with so much of their power as shall enable any of their Parliament-men, Commissioners, Trustees, Deputies, Viceroys, Ministers, Officers or Servants to destroy and undo them therewith. And unnatural, irrational, sinful, wicked, unjust, devilish, and tyrannical it is, for any man whatsoever — spiritual or temporal, Clergyman or Layman — to appropriate and assume unto himself a power, authority and jurisdiction to rule, govern or reign over any sort of men in the world without their free consent; and whosoever doth it — whether Clergyman or any other whatsoever — do thereby as much as in them lies endeavour to appropriate and assume unto themselves the Office and Sovereignty of GOD (who alone doth, and is to rule by His will and pleasure), and to be like their Creator, which was the sin of the devils', who, not being content with their first station but would be like GOD; for which sin they were thrown down into Hell, reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgement of the great day (Jude verse 6). And Adam's sin it was, which brought the curse upon him and all his Posterity, that he was not content with the station and condition that God created him in, but did aspire unto a better and more excellent — namely to be like his Creator — which proved his ruin. Yea, and indeed had been the everlasting ruin and destruction of him and all his, had not GOD been the more merciful unto him in the promised Messiah. Gen. Chap. 3.

Now for the government of England; It hath been by custome principally and for the most part by the tyrannicall usurpation of a King, and therefore it will be requisite to search into the Scripture, and see, whether ever GOD approbationally instituted it, or onely permissively suffered it to be, as he doth all the other evils and wickednesse in the world, and for the better understanding of this, It is requisite, to remember that we find in Scripture, That God was not only Israels husband, and did perform all the offices of a loving husband in his sweet and cordiall embracements of her, and loving dispensations to her, but also he was her KING himself, to raign and rule over her, and to protect and defend her, and being the Lord Almighty, and knowing all things past, present and to come, knew well that Israel would be forgetfull of all his kindnesse; and though he had chosen them out of all the world in a speciall manner to be his peculiar ones; yet they would forsake him, and desire to be like the World; And Moses declares thus much of them after they had enjoyed the good things of God in abundance: But Jesurun waxed fat, and kicked: Thou art waxed fat, thou art grown thicke, thou art covered with fatnesse: then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation, Deut. 32. 15.

And therefore they knowing that when he possessed the Land of Canaan, they would reject him, and desire a King (like all the rest of the Heathens, and Pagans) to reign over them: Yet they being dear unto him, he would not wholly reject them, but gave them a Law for the chusing of a King, and his behaviour, which we find in Deut. 17. 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. in these words: When thou art come into the Lands, which Jehovah by God giveth thee, and shalt possesse it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a King over me, like as all the Nations that are about me. Thou shalt in any wise set him King over thee, whom Jehovah thy God shall chuse, one from among thy Brethren shalt thou set King over thee: Thou mayst not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother: But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, (that is, to bondage or slavery;) to the end, that he should multiply horses: Forasmuch, as Jehovah hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way, (that is to say, ye shall be no more slaves.) Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away; neither shall greatly multiply to himself silver and Gold. And it shall be when he sitteth upon the Throne of his Kingdom, that he shall write him a Copy of this Law in a Book, out of that which is before the Priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall reade therein all the dayes of his life, that he may learn to feare Jehovah his God, to keepe all the words of this Law, and these Statutes, and do them; That his heart be not lifted up above his Brethren, and that he turn not aside from the Commandement, to the right hand, or to the left; to the end, that he may prolong his dayes in his Kingdome, he and his children in the middest of Israel. So that to me it is very cleer, that all Government whatsoever ought to be by mutuall consent and agreement; and that no Governour, Officer, King, or Magistrate, ought to be be trusted with such a Power, as inables him when he pleaseth, to destroy those that trust him; And wickedness [in the highest] it is for any King, &c. to raign and govern by his Prerogative; that is to say, by his will and pleasure, and as great wickednesse it is for any sort of men, to suffer him so to do: For the proofe of this, I lay down my Argument thus, and we will apply it to the King of England in perticular.

He that is not GOD, but a meer man, cannot make his will, a rule, and law, unto himself and others.

But Charles Stewart, (alias Charles Rex.) is not God but a meer man.

Ergo, he cannot make his Will a rule and Law unto himselfe or to the people, of England:

Secondly, He that by contract and agreement receives a Crowne or Kingdome; is bound to that contract and agreement the violating of which, absolves and disingages those, (that made it) from him,

But King Charles received His Crowne and Kingdome by a contract, and agreement, and hath broken His contract and agreement.

Ergo. &c.

Now for the clearing of the first proposition, it is confest by all that are not meer Athists, That GOD alone rules, and governs by his Will, and that therefore things are legall, just, and good: Because GOD wills them to be so. And therefore all men whatsoever must, and ought to be ruled by the Law of GOD, which in a great part is engraven in Nature, and demonstrated by Reason: As for instance, It is an instinct in Nature, that there is a GOD, Rom. 1. or a mighty incomprehensible power. (And therefore it is rationall, that we should not make Gods unto our selves,) and this is the pith of the first Commandement. Nature telling me, There is a God. And therefore secondly, its rationall he only should be worshipped, served, and odored, and that’s the marrow of the second Commandement. And in the third place, seeing nature tells me there is a GOD, reason dictates unto me, that I should speak reverently and honourably of him; And this is the summe of the third Commandement. Fourthly Nature dictating to me, there is a GOD. It is rationall I should set some time apart to do him homage and service;

And seeing the instinct of Nature causes me to look upon him as a Soveraign over me; is but rationall hath he should appoint a Law unto me, for the matter manner, and time of his worship and service; and this is the substance of the fourth Commandement.

Again, seeing nature teacheth me to defend my self, and preserve my life; Reason telleth me in the [Editor: 2 illeble words] it is but just that I should not doe that unto another, which I would not have another doe to me; but that in the affirmative, I should do as I would be done unto; And this is the marrow of the whole second Table of gods Law, from whence, all Lawes amongst men ought to have their derivation: And therefore, because by nature no man is GOD, or Soveraign, one over another; Reason tells me, I ought not to have a law imposed upon me, without my consent; the doing of which is meerly tyrannicall, Antichristian, and Diabolicall, Rom. 13. Yea Reason tells me in this that no Soveraignty can justly be exercised, nor no Law rightfully imposed, but what is given by common consent, in which, every individuall is included; So this proves the latter part of the Argument.

As for the minor Proposition, I think it will not be denied; for I conceive, none that confesse Christ to be come in the fifth will be so Atheisticall, as to affirme the King to be any more then a meer man, subject to the like infirmities with other men; See Acts 12. 22, 23. Dan. 14. 22, 25, 33. and 5. 18, 20, 23.

As touching the second Argument, the whole Current of the Scripture proveth it;, In all the Contracts betwixt GOD and his Creatures. As for instance:

First, with Adam, who by Gods contract (being his Soveraign) was to enjoy Paradice, &c. upon such, and such a condition; but as soon as Adam broke the agreement, GOD took the forfeiture, see Gen. 3. 16, 17, 24. So likewise GOD made a contract with Israel when he gave the Law in Mount Syna (as their LORD and KING) by the hand of Moses: But when they broke their Covenant, God took the forfeiture, though he being a Soveraigne Lord, and governed by nothing but his own Will, forbore long the finall execution of the forfeiture: So in the same case amongst the Sons of Men, that live in mutuall society one amongst another in nature and reason, there is none above, or over another, against mutuall consent and agreement, and all the particulars or individuals knit and joyned together by mutuall consent and agreement, becomes a Soveraign Lord and King, and may create or set apart, for the execution of their Lawes (flowing from their will and mind founded upon the Law of God, ingraven in nature, and demonstrated by reason) Officers, which we call Magistrates, and limit them by what rules they judge convenient; alwayes provided, they be consonant to the Law of God, Nature, and Reason; by the force of which, it is not lawfull for any man to subject himself, to be a slave. For that which is against Nature, and the glory of the Image of God that he created man in, Gen. 9. 6. and so a dishonour to himself, and to his Maker, his absolute and alone Soveraign, cannot justly be done. But to subject to slavery, or to be a slave, is to degenerate from his Originall, and Primitive institution of a Man into the habit of a Beast, upon whom God never bestowed that stile of honour of being creatures created in the Image of their Creator.

And therefore, I am absolutely of Catoes mind, to think, that no man can be an honest man, but he that is a free man, And no man is a free man, but he that is a just man. And for any man in the world, whatsoever he be, that shal by his sword, or any other means thus assume unto himself, and exercise a power over any sorts of men, after this kind against their wills and mindes, is an absolute Tyrant and Monster, not of God, or mans making, but of the Divels linage and off-spring, (who is said to go up and down the world, seeking whom he may devour) who ought to be abhorred of God, and all good men, seeing that such Monsters, commonly called Kings or Monarks, assume unto themselves, the very Soveraignty, Stile, Office, and name of GOD himself, whose Soveraign Prerogative it is, only, and alone, to rule and govern by his will. Therefore when the Sons of men took upon them to execute in this kind, GOD raised up Moses his Servant, to deliver those whom he took delight in, from their tyranny, and to be an Instrument in his Name to ruine and destroy that grand Tyrant Pharoah, and all his Country, Exod. 3. 9, 10. and 5. 5. and 14. 5, 14. 25, 28.

As he journied towards Canaan, God by his Agents destroyed five (Vsurpers or Kings) more, at one bout, Num. 31. 8. and more at the next bout, Num: 32. 33. Deut: 3. 2. 3. And after him, the Lord raised up Ioshua, whom he filled full of the Spirit of Wisdome, Deut: 34. 9 to be his executioner upon such his pretending Competitors, Kings (alias Tyrants.) And the first that I read of was the King of Jericho, whom he destroyed Josh 6. 21. and 10. 28. And the next was the King of Ave, whose Citie and Inhabitants he utterly destroyed, and hanged their King on a tree, Josh 8. 26, 28, 29. The next after them was five Kings, with whom he waged battell altogether, And when he had slain their people, he took the five Kings, and caused his Captains and men of war to tread upon their necks and afterwards he smote them, and slew them, and hanged them on five trees, Iosh 10. 26. The next he destroyed was the King of Makkedah, vers. 28. and vers. 29 he destroyed the King of Libnah, vers. 23. he destroyed the King of Gezer; and the next he destroyed was the King of Hebron, vers. 37. And then he utterly destroyed the King of Debir, and his City, vers. 39. and in chap. 11. Hazer sent to abundance of his neighbouring Kings, who assembled much people together, even as the sand that is upon the Sea-shore, (vers. 4) to fight against Joshua, who utterly destroyed them all vers. 12.—23. which in the next Chapter he enumerates; And after Joshua, the Lord chose Judah, to be his Executioner, as his Deputy, or Vice-Roy, that being a name and title high enough for any man, and the first piece of justice that Judah doth, is upon Adonibezek, who was a great and cruell King and Tyrant, and his thumbs and his great toes he cut off, who himself confessed it, a just hand of God upon him, himself having served threescore and ten Kings in the same manner, and made them gather their meat under his Table, Iudg. 1. 6, 7. But the children of Israel (the Subjects of GOD not onely by Creation, but also by Contract and Covenant) violating their Covenant with their Soveraigne LORD and KING, in not driving out, and utterly destroying the people of Gods indignation (who had robbed him of his Honour, as their Soveraign by creation in yeelding subjection to the wills and lusts of Tyrants, called their Kings, who had thereby usurped upon the peculiar Prerogative Royall of GOD himself, and so put both Tyrants (Kings) and Slaves (his Subjects) out of the protection of their Creator) wherefore they became unto them as thornes in their sides, Iudg. 2. 2, 3. and in a little time they began to rebell against their LORD, and his Lawes, which incensed his anger against them, and caused him to deliver them into the hands of Spoylers, and to sell them into the hands of their Enemies round about, Iudg. 2. 14 And in the 9 chapter Abemilech sought the Soveraignty over the people, and got it with the bloud and slaughter of threescore and ten of his Brethren, but GOD requited, with a witnesse, both on him, and all that had a finger in furthering of his usurpation, vers. 23, 24, 45, 53, 54 for afterward the Tyrant that they had set up destroyed them all for their pains, and in the end had his scull broke to pieces with a piece of a millstone thrown from the hand of a woman, And after many miseries sustained by the people of Israel, for their revolt from their loyalty to GOD, their LORD and KING: Yet in their distresse, hee took compassion of them, and sent them Samuel, a just and righteous Judge, who judged them justly all his dayes.

But the people of Israel like foolishmen, not being content with the Government of their Soveraign by Judges (who out of doubt took such a care of them, that he provided the best in the world for them) would reject their Liege Lord, and chuse one of their own; namely, a King, that so they might be like the Pagans and Heathens, who live without God in the world, which Act of theirs, God plainly declares was a rejection of him,1 Sam. 8. 7. and 10. 9. that he should not reign over them, 1 Sam. 8 7. and chap. 10. 19. But withal, he defendeth vnto them the behaviour of the King, vers. 11, 12, 13, 14, 16. which is, that he will rule and govern them by his own will [just Tyrant like] for saith Samuel, he will take your Sons, and appoint them for himselfe for his Chariots, and to be his horsemen and some shall run before his Chariots, and he will take (by his Prerogative) your Fields, and your Vineyards, and your Oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his Servants, and he will take your men-servants, and your maid-servants, and your goodliest young-men, and your Asses, and put them to his worke, &c. And saith Samuel, you shall cry out in that day, because of your King, which ye shall have chosen unto you: but the Lord will not hear you in that day: And Samuel (in the 12. Chapter,) gives them positively the reason of it, which was, that although GOD in all their straights had taken compassion on them, and sent them deliveries, and at the last, had by himself, set them free on every side; so that they dwelt safely: Yet all this would not content them, but they would have a King to reigne over them, when (saith Samuel) The Lord your God was your King: therefore chap. 19. saith Samuel, ye have this day rejected your God, who himself saved you out of all your adversities, &c. yea, and (in the 19. ver. of the 12. chap.) the People acknowledged that they had added unto all their sins, this evill, even to ask a King; Whereby we may evidently perceive, that this office of a King, is not in the least of Gods institution; neither is it to be given to any man upon earth: Because none must rule by his will but God alone; And therefore the Scripture saith, He gave them a King in his anger, and took him away in his wrath, Hosa 13. 11.

In the second place for the proofe of the minor Proposition, which is, That Charles R. received his Crown and Kingdome by contract and agreement; and hath broken his contract and agreement, I thus prove.

And first, for the first part of the position, History makes it clear, that WILLIAM THE CONQVEROVR, OR TYRANT, being a Bastard, subdued this Kingdome by force of Armes. Reade Speeds Chronicle, folio 413. There being slain in the first Battell, betwixt him and the English about sixty thousand men, on the English party, As Daniel records in his History, fol. 25. And having gained the Country, he ruled it by his sword, as an absolute Conqueror, professing that he was beholding to none for his Kingdome, but God and his sword, making his power as wide as his will (just Tyrant like) giving away the Lands of their Nobles to his Normans, laying unwonted taxes, and heavie subsidies upon the Commons, insomuch, that many of them; to enjoy a barren liberty, forsook their fruitfull inheritance, and with their wives and children as out-lawes, lived in woods, preferring that naked name of freedome, before a sufficient maintenance possest under the thraldome of a Conquerar, who subverted their Lawes, disweaponed the Commons, prevented their night meetings, with a heavie penalty, that every man at the day closing should cover his fine, and depart to his rest, thereby depriving them of all opportunity to consult together, how to recover their liberties; collating Officers all both of command and judicature, on those who were his, which made, saith Daniel, page 46. his domination such as has would have it; For whereas the causes of the Kingdome were before determined in every Shire, And by a Law of King Edward Segnier, all matters in question should, upon speciall penalty, without further deferment, be finally decided in the Gemote, or Conventions held monethly in every Hundred: Now he ordained, That four times in the yeare for certain dayes, the same businesse should be determined, in such place as he would appoint, where he constituted Judges, to attend to that purpose; and others from whom as from the bosome of the Prince all litigators should have justice. And to awake them as miserable, as slaves could be made, He ordered that the Laws should he practised in French, all Petitions and businesses of Court in French, that so the poor miserable people might be gulled, and cheated, undone and destroyed; not onely at his will and pleasure, but also at the will and pleasure of his under Tyrants and Officers; For to speak in the words of Martin, in his History, page 4. He enacted and established strict and severe Lawes, and published them in his own language; by meanes whereof, many (who were of great estate, and of much worth) through ignorance did transgresse and their smallest offences were great enough to entitle the CONQVEROR to their lands, to the lands and riches which they did possesse; All which he seized on, and took from them without remorse. And in page 5. he declares, that he erected sundry Courts, for the administration of his new Lawes, and of Justice, and least his Iudges should bear to great a sway by reason of his absence; he caused them all to follow his Court, upon all removes, Whereby he not only curbed their dispensations which incited them to be great, but also tired out the English Nation with extraordinary troubles, and excessive charges, in the prosecution of Suites in Law.

From all which relations we may observe;

First, from how wicked, bloudy, triviall, base, and tyrannicall a Fountain our gratious Soveraignes, and most excellent Majesties of England have sprung; namely; from the Spring of a Bastard, of poore condition, by the Mothers side, and from the pernitious springs of Robbery, Pyracie, violence, and Murder, &c. Howsoever, fabulous Writers, strive (as Daniel saith) to abuse the credulity of after Ages, with Heroicall, or mircaulous beginnings, that surely if it be rightly considered, there will none dote upon those kind of Monsters, Kings; but Knaves, Fooles, Tyrants, or Monopolizers, or unjust wretched persons, that must of necessity have their Prerogative to rule over all their wickednesses.

Secondly, Observe from hence, from what a pure Fountain our inslaving Lawes, Judges, and Practises in Westminster Hall, had their originall; namely, from the will of a Conqueror and Tyrant, for I find no mention in History of such Judges, Westminster Hall Courts, and such French ungodly proceedings as these, untill his dayes, the burthen of which, in many particulars to this day, lies upon us.

But in the 21. of this Tyrants reigne, After that the captivated Natives had made many struglings for their liberties, and he having alwayes suppressed them, and made himself absolute, He began (saith Daniel, fol. 43.) to govern all by the customes of Normandy; whereupon the agrieved Lords, and sad People of England tender their humble Petition, beseeching him in regard of his Oath made at his Coronation; and by the soule of St. Edward, from whom he had the Crown and Kingdome, under whose Lawes they were born and bred, that he would not adde that misery, to deliver them up to be judged by a strange Law which they understood not. And (saith he) so earnestly they wrought, that he was pleased to confirme that by his Charter, which he had twice fore-promised by his Oath. And gave commandment unto his Iusticiaries to see those Lawes of St. Edward to be inviolably observed throughout the Kingdome. And yet notwithstanding this confirmation, and the Courtiers afterward granted by Henry the second, and King Iohn, to the same effect; There followed a great Innovation both in Lawes and Government in England; so that this seemes rather to have been done to acquit the people, with a shew of the confirmation of their antient Customes and liberties, then that they enjoyed them in effect: For whereas before, those Lawes they had, were written in their tongue intelligible unto all; Now they are translated into Latine and French. And whereas the Causes of the Kingdome were before determined in every Shire, And by a Law of King Edward senior, all matters in question should upon speciall penalty without further deferment, be finally decided in their Gemote or Conventions held monethly in every Hundred (A MOST GALLANT LAW.) But he set up his Judges four times a yeare, where he thought good to be their Causes; Again, before his Conquest, the inheritances descended not alone, but (after the Germane manner) equally divided to all the children which he also altered; And after this King (alias, Tyrant) had a cruell and troublesome raign, his own Son Robert rebelling against him (yea, saith Speed, fol. 430.) all things degenerated so (in his cruell dayes) that time and domestick fowles, as Hens, Geese, Peacocks, and the like, fled into the Forrests and Woods, and became very wild in imitation of men. But when he was dead, his Favourites would not spend their pains to bury him, and scarce could there be a grave procured to lay him in; See Speed, fol. 434. and Daniel, fol. 50. and Martin, fol. 8.

WILLIAM THE SECOND, to cheat and cosen his eldest brother Robert, of the Crown, granted relaxation of tribute with other releevements of their dolencies, and restored them to the former freedome of hunting in all his Woods and Forrests, Daniel fol. 53. And this was all worth the mentioning, which they got in his dayes.

And then comes his brother, Henry the first, to the Crown, and he also stepping in before Robert the eldest brother, and the first actions of his government tended all to bate the people, and suger their subjection, as his Predecessour upon the like imposition had done, but with more moderation and advisednesse; for he not only pleaseth them in their releevement, but in their passion, by punishing the chiefe Ministers of their exactions, and expelling from his Court all dissolute persons, and eased the people of their Impositions, and restored them to their lights in in the night, &c. but having got his ends effected, just tyrant-like, he stands upon his Prerogative, that is, his will and lust; but being full of turmoiles, as all such men are, his Son the young Prince, the only hope of all the Norman race was at Sea, (with many more great ones) drowned, after which, he is said never to have been seen to laugh, and having (besides this great losse) many troubles abroad, and being desirous to settle the Kingdome upon his daughter Maud the Empresse, then the wife of Goffery Plantagines, in the 15. year of his reign he begins to call a Parliament, being the first after the Conquest: for that (saith Dan. fol. 66.) he would not wrest any thing by an imperiall power from the Kingdome (which might breed Ulcers of dangerous nature) he took a course to obtain their free consents, to observe his occasion in their generall Assemblies of the three Estates of the Land, which he convocated at Salisbury, and yet notwithstanding by his prerogative, resumed the liberty of hunting in his Forrests, which took up much faire ground in England, and he laid great penalties upon those that should kill his Deere. But in this Henry the first, ended the Norman race, till Henry the second: For although Henry the first had in Parliament caused the Lords of this Land, to swear to his Daughter Maud and her Heires, to acknowledge them as the right Inheritors of the Crown: Yet the State elected, and invested in the Crown of England (within 30. dayes aftter the death of Henry) Stephen Earle of Bolloign, and Montague Son of Stephen, Earl of Blois, having no title at all to the Crown, but by meer election was advanced to it, The Choosers being induced to make choice of him, having an opinion that by preferring one, whose title was least, it would make his obligation the more to them, and so, they might stand better secured of their liberties, then under such a one as might presume of a hereditary succession.

And being crowned, and in possession of his Kingdome, hee assembleth a Parliament at Oxford, wherein hee restored to the Clergie all their former liberties, and freed the Laity from their tributes, exactions, or whatsoever grievances oppressed them, confirming the same by his Charter, which faithfully to observe, hee took a publike Oath before all the Assembly, where likewise the BBs. swore fealty to him, but with this condition (saith Daniel, folio 69.) SO LONG AS HE OBSERVED THE TENOVR OF THIS CHARTER, And Speed in his Chronicle, fol. 458. saith, that the Lay-Barons made use also of this policie, (which I say is justice and honesty) as appeareth by Robert Earl of Glocester, who swore to be true Liege-man to the King, AS LONG AS THE KING WOVLD PRESERVE TO HIM HIS DIGNITIES, AND KEEPE ALL COVENANTS: But little quiet the Kingdome had; for rebellions and troubles dayly arose by the friends of Maud the Empresse, who came into England, and his Associates pitching a field with him, where he fought most stoutly, but being there taken, hee was sent prisoner to Bristoll. And after this Victory thus obtained, (saith Martin, fol. 29.) The Empresse, with many honourable tryumphs and solemnities was received into the Cities of Circester, Oxford, Winchester, and London; but the Londoners desiring the restitution of King Edwards Lawes, which she refused, which proved her ruine, and the restitution of King Stephen out of prison, and to the Crown again; and after some fresh bouts, betwixt King Stephen, and Duke Henry (Mauds eldest Son) a Peace was concluded betwixt them in a Parliament at Westminster, and that Duke Henry should enjoy the Crown after King Stephen. At the receiving of which, he took the usuall oath, and being like to have much work in France, &c. being held in thereby from all exorbitant courses, he was therefore wary to observe at first, all meanes to get, and retain the love and good opinion of this Kingdom, by a regular and easie government, and at Waldingford, in Parliament (saith Daniel, fol. 80.) made an act, that both served his own turn, and much eased the stomackes of his people, which was the expulsion of strangers, wherewith the Land was much pestered, but afterwards was more with Becket the traytorly Arch-bishop of Canterbury, And after him succeeds his Son Richard the first. (At the beginning of this mans Reigne, a miserable massacre was of the Jewes in this Kingdom,) who went to the holy wars, and was taken prisoner by the Emperour as he came home, of whom (Daniel saith, fol. 126.) that) he reigned 9 years, and 9 moneths, wherein he exacted, and consumed more of this Kingdome, then all his Predecessours from the Norman had done before him, and yet lesse deserved then any. His brother Duke John being then beyond Seas with his Army, was by the then Archbishop of Canterburies meanes endeavoured to be made King, who undertooke for him that he should restore unto them their Rights, and govern the Kingdome as he ought with moderation, and was thereupon,The Kings Oath. (after taking three oathes, which were to love holy Church, and preserve it from all Oppressours, to govern the State in justice, and abolish bad Lawes, not to assume this Royall honour, but with full purpose to rerform: that he had sworn, Speed 534.) crowned King; And because the title was doubtfull, in regard of Arthur the Posthumus Son of Geffery, Duke of Brittain, King Iohns eldest brother (Speed fol. 532) he receives the Crown and Kingdome by way of election, Daniel fol. 127. the Archbishop that crowned him, in his Oration professing, before the whole Assembly of the State, That by all reason, Divine and Humane, none ought to succeed in the Kingdome, but who should bee for the worthinesse of his vertues, universally chosen by the State, as was this man. And yet notwithstanding all this, he assumed power by his will and prerogative, to impose three shillings upon every ploughland, and also exacted great Fines of Offenders in his Forrests. And afterwards summons the Earles and Barons of England to be presently ready with Horse and Arms to passe the Seas with him. But they holding a conference together at Lecester, by a generall consent send him word, That unlesse he would render them their rights and liberties, they would not attend him out of the Kingdome. Which put him into a mighty rage; but yet he went into France, and there took his Nephew Arthur prisoner, and put him to death, by reason of which the Nobility of Britaigne, Anjou and Poictou, took Armes against him, and summon him to answer at the Court of Justice of the King of France, to whom they appeale. Which he refusing, is condemned to lose the Dutchy of Normandy, (which his Ancestors had held 300. yeares) and all other his Provinces in France, which he was accordingly the next yeare deposed of.

And in this disastrous estate (saith Daniel fol. 130.) he returnes into England, and charges the Earles and Barons with the reproaches of his losses in France; and fines them (by his Prerogative) to pay the seventh part of all their goods for refusing his aid. And after this going over into France to wrastle another fall, was forced to a peace for two yeares, and returnes into England for more supplies; where, by his will, lust, and prerogative, he layes an imposition of the thirteenth part of all moveables, and other goods, both of the Clergie and Laitie; who now (saith Daniel) seeing their substances consume, and likely ever to be made liable to the Kings desperate courses, began to cast about for the recovery of their ancient immunities, which upon their former sufferance had been usurped by their late Kings. And hence grew the beginning of a miserable breach between the King & his people, Which (saith he) folio 131.) cost more adoe, and more Noble blood, then all the Warres forraigne had done since the Conquest: For this contention ceased not, though it often had fair intermissions, till the GREAT CHARTER, made to keep the Beame right betwixt SOVERAIGNTY and SUBJECTION, first obtained of this King JOHN, in his 15. and 16. yeares of his yeares of his reigne; and after of his sonne Henry the 3. in the 3. 8. 21. 36. 42. yeares of his reigne (though observed truly of neither) was in the maturity of a judiciall Prince, Edward the first, freely ratified, Anno regni 27. 28. But I am confident, that whosoever seriously and impartially readeth over the lives of King John, and his sonne Henry the third, will judge them Monsters rather then men, Roaring Lions, Ravening Wolves, and salvadge Beares (studying how to destroy and ruine the people) rather then Magistrates to govern the people with justice and equity:Consider, compare, and conclude. For, as for King John; he made nothing to take his Oath, and immediatly to break it (the common practice of Kings) to grant Charters and Freedomes, and when his turn was served, to annihilate them again; and thereby, and by his tyrannicall oppressions, to embroyle the Kingdome in Warres, Blood, and all kind of miseries. In selling and basely delivering up the Kingdome (that was none of his own, but the peoples) as was decreed in the next Parliament (Speed fol. 565. by laying down his CROWN, Scepter, Mantle, Sword and Ring, the Ensignes of his Royalty, at the feet of Randulphus the Popes Agent, delivering up therewithall the Kingdome of England to the Pope. And hearing of the death of Geffery Fitz Peter, one of the Patrons of the people, rejoyced much, and swore by the Feet of God, That now at length he was King and Lord of England, having a freer power to untie himselfe of those knots which his Oath had made to this great man against his will and to break all the Bonds of the late concluded peace with the people; unto which he repented to have ever condescended. And (as Daniel folio 140. saith) to shew the desperate malice this King (and Tyrant) (who rather then not to have an absolute domination over his people to doe what he listed, would be any thing himselfe under any other, that would but support him in his violences.) There is recorded an Ambassage (the most and impious that ever was sent by any Christian Prince) unto Maramumalim the Mover, intituled, The great King of Africa, &c. Wherein he offered to render unto him his Kingdome, and to hold the same by tribute from him, as his Soveraign Lord: to forgoe the Christian faith (which he held vain) and receive that of Mahomet. But leaving him and his people together by the eares (striving with him for their liberties> and freedomes (as justly they might) which at last brought in the French amongst them to the almost utter ruine and destruction of the whole Kingdome, and at last he was poysoned by a Monk.

It was this King (or Tyrant) that enabled the Citizens of London to make their Annuall choyce of a Mayor and two Seriffes, Martaine 59.

The Kingdome being all in broyles by the French, who were called in to the aid of the Barons against him; and having got footing; plot and endevour utterly to extinguish the English Nation. The States at Glecester in a great Assembly, caused Henry the third his sonne, to be Crowned, who walked in his Fathers steps in subverting the peoples Liberties and Freedomes, who had so freely chosen him, and expelled the French: yet was hee so led and swayed by evill Councellors, putting out the Natives out of all the chief places of the Kingdome, and preferred strangers only in their places. Which doings made many of the Nobility (saith Daniel folio 154.) combine themselves for the defence of the publick according to the law of Nature and Reason) and boldly doe shew the King his error, and ill-advised course in suffering strangers about him, to the disgrace and oppression of his naturall liege people, contrary to their Lawes and Liberties; and that unlesse he would reforme this excesse, whereby his Crown and Kingdome was in imminent danger, they would withdraw themselves from his Councell. Hereupon the King suddenly sends over for whole Legions of Poictonions, and withall summons a Parliament at Oxford, whither the Lords refuse to come. And after this, the Lords were summoned to a Parliament at Westminster, whither likewise they refused to come, unlesse the King would remove the Bishop of Winchester, and the Poictonians from the Court: otherwise by the common Counsell of the Kingdom, they send him expresse word, They would expell him and his evill Councellors out of the land, and deale for the creation of a new King. Fifty and six years this King reigned in a manner in his Fathers steps: for many a bloody battell was fought betwixt him and his people for their Liberties and Freedomes, and his sonne Prince Edward travelled to the warres in Africa: The State after his Fathers death in his absence assembles at the New Temple, and Proclaim him, King. And having been six years absent, in the the third yeare of his reigne comes home, and being full of action in warres, occasioned many and great Levies of money from his people; yet the most of them was given by common consent in Parliament; and having been three years out absent of the Kingdom, he comes home in the 16. year of his reign. And generall complaints being made unto him of ill administration of justice in his absence, And that his Judges like so many Jewes, had eaten his people to the bones, & ruinated them with delays in their suits, and enriched themselves with wicked corruption (too comon a practice amongst that generation) he put all those from their Offices who were found guilty (and those were almost all) and punished them otherwise in a grievous manner, being first in open Parliament convicted. See Speed folio 635. And, saith Daniel, folio 189. The fines which these wicked corrupt Judges brought into the Kings Coffers, were above one hundred thousand marks; which at the rate (as money goes now) amounts to above three hundred thousand Markes; by meanes of which he fillled his empty coffers, which was no small cause that made him fall upon them. In the mean time these were true branches of so corrupt a root as they flowed from, namely the Norman Tyrant. And in the 25. yeare of his reigne he calles a Parliament, without admission of any Church-man: he requires certain of the great Lords to goe into the warres of Gascoyne; but they all making their excuses every man for himselfe: The King in great anger threatned that they should either goe, or he would give their Lands to those that should.

Whereupon Humphry Bohun, Earle of Hereford, High Constable, and Roger Bigod, Earle of Norfolk, Marshall of England, made their Declaration, That if the King went in person, they would attend him, otherwise not. Which answer more offends. And being urged again, the Earle Marshall protested, He would willingly go thither with the King, and march before him, in the Vantguard, as by his right of inheritance he ought to doe. But the King told him plainly, he should goe with any other, although himself went not in person. I am not so bound (said the Earle) neither will I take that journey without you. The King swore by God, Sir Earle you shall goe or hang. And I sweare by the same oath, I will neither goe nor hang (said the Earle). And so without leave departed.

Shortly after the two Earles assembled many Noblemen, and others their friends, to the number of thirty Baronets; so that they were fifteen hundred men at Arms, well appointed, and stood upon their own guard: The King having at that time many Irons in the fire of very great consequence, judged it not fit to meddle with them, but prepares to go beyond the Seas, and oppose the King of France; and being ready to take ship, the Archbishops, Bishops, Earles, and Barons, and the Commons send him in a Roll of the generall grievances of his Subjects, concerning his Taxes, Subsidies, and other Impositions, with his seeking to force their services by unlawfull courses, &c. The King sends answer, that he could not alter any thing without the advice of his Councell, which were not now with them; and therefore required them, seeing they would not attend him in this journey (which they absolutely refused to doe, though he went in person, unlesse he had gone into France or Scotland) that they would yet do nothing in his absence prejudiciall to the peace of the Kingdom. And that upon his return, he would set all things in good order as should be fit.

And although he sayled away with 500. sayle of ships, and 18000. men at Armes, yet he was crossed in his undertakings, which forced him (as Daniel saith) to send over for more supply of treasure, and gave order for a Parliament to be held at York by the Prince, and such as had the managing of the State in his absence; wherein, for that he would not be disappointed, he condescends to all such Articles as were demanded concerning the Great Charter, promising from thence-forth never to charge his Subjects, otherwise then by their consents in Parliament, &c. which at large you may reade in the Book of Statutes, for which, the Commons of the Realm granted him the ninth peny: At so deer a rate were they forced to buy their own Rights, at the hands of him that was their servant, and had received his Crown and Dignity from them, and for them: But the People of England not being content with the confirmation of their Liberties, by his Deputies, presse him (at a Parl. at Westminster) the next year to the confirmation of their Charters, he pressing hard to have the Clause, Salvo Jure Coroæ nostiæ put in, but the ‘People would not endure it should be so: Yet with much adoe he confirmes them, according to their mind, and that neither he, nor his heires, shall procure, or do any thing whereby the Liberties of the Great Charter contained, shall be infringed or broken; and if any thing be procured, by any person, contrary to the premises, it shall be held of no force, nor effect, And this cost them dear, as I said before.

So that here you have a true relation, of the begetting, the conception, and birth of Magna Charta, The English-Mans Inheritance, And how much blood and money it cost our fore-fathers before they could wring it out of the hands of their tyrannicall Kings; and yet alas, in my judgment, it falls far short of Edward the Confessors Laws, (for the ease, good, and quiet of the people) which the Conqueror robbed England of, for the Norman practises yet in Westminster-Hall, by reason of their tediousnesse, ambiguities, uncertainties, the entries in Latine, which is not our own Tongwe, their forcing men to plead by Lawyers, and not permitting themselves to plead their own causes, their compelling of persons to come from all places of the Kingdom, to seek for Justice at Westminster, is such an Iron Norman yoak, with fangs and teeth in it (as Lieutenant Colonell Lilburn in his late printed Epistle to Judge Reeves cals it,) That if we were free in every particular else, that our hearts can think of; yet (as the same Author saith) were we slaves; by this alone; the burthen of which singly will pierce, & gaul our shoulders, & make us bow, & stoop even down to the ground, ready to be made a prey, not only by great men, but even by every cunning sharking knave.

Oh, therefore that our Honourable Parliament, according to their late Declaration, would for ever annihilate this Norman innovation, & reduce us back to that part of the antient frame of government in this Kingdome before the Conquerors dayes, That we may have all cases and differences decided in the County or Hundred where they are committed, or do arise, without any appeale but to a Parliament, And that they may monethly be judged by twelve men, of free, and honest condition, chosen by themselves, with their grave (or chiefe) Officer amongst them, and that they may swear to judge every mans cause aright, without feare, favour, or affection, upon a severe and strict penalty of those that shall do unjustly: And then farewell jangling Lawyers, the wildfire-destroyers, and bane of all just, rationall, and right-governed Common-wealths, And for the facilitating of this work, and the prevention of frauds, I shall onely make use of Mr. John Cookes words (a Lawyer in Grays-Inne) in the 66. page of his late published Book, called, A Vindication of the Professours, and Profession of the Law, where he prescribes, A ready remedy against Frauds, which is, That there might be a publike office in every Countie to register all Leases made for any Land in that County, and also all conveyances whatsoever, and all charges upon the Lands, and all Bonds and Contracts of any value; for (saith he) It is a hard matter to find out Recognizances, Judgments, Extents, and other Charges, (and too chargable for the Subject) that so for 12. d. or some such small matter every man might know in whom the Interest of Land remains, and what incumbrances lie upon it, and every estate, or charge not entered there, to be void in Law. And that the Country have the choosing of the Registers in their respective Counties one a yeare, upon a fixed day, and that they have plaine rules and limitations made by authority of Parliament, and severe penalties enacted for transgressing them.

But after this digression, let us return to Mag. Charta, whosoever readeth it (which every men may at large, at the beginning of the book of Statutes) shall find it an absolute Contract betwixt the Kings of England, and the People thereof, which, at their Coronations ever since, they take an Oath inviolable to observe; And we shall find in the dayes of his Prince, who is noted for one of the best that we have, that English-men understood themselves so well, that when the Pope endeavoured to meddle in a businesse betwixt the Scots and the Crown of England, there was letters sent from Lincoln at a Parliament, which did absolutely tell the Pope, that the King their Lord should in no sort undergo his Holinesse judgement therein: Neither send his Procurators (as was required) about that businesse, whereby it may seeme that doubts were made of their Kings title, to the prejudice of the Crowne, the Royall Dignity, the Liberties, Customes, and Lawes of England, which by their oath and duty they were bound to observe, and would defend with their lives. Neither would they permit, (nor could) any usuall, unlawful, and detrimental proceeding (but that which is most observable, is in the next clause, viz.) nor suffer their King, if he would, to do, or any way to attempt the same, Daniel fol. 199.

After the warlike King, succeeded his Son Edward the second, who was continually at variance with his people, although never any before him was received with greater love of the people then he (as saith Daniel fol. 204.) nor over any that sooner left it. His very first actions discovered a head-strong wilfulnesse that was unconcealable, regarding no other company but the base Parasites of of the times, the head of which was Gaveston, which made his Nobles at Westminster, when he, and his Queen was to be crowned, to assemble together, and require him that Gaveston his darling might be removed from out of the Court and Kingdome, otherwise they purposed to hinder his Coronation at that time. Whereupon the King to avoid so great a disgrace, promises on his faith, to yeeld to what they desired in the next Parliament. And at the next Parliament the whole Assembly humbly besought the King, to advise and treat with his Nobles, (who then (it seemes) were abundantly honester then these are now) concerning the state of the Kingdome, for the avoiding of iminent mischiefe, likely to ensue through the neglect of Government, and so far urged the matter, as the King consents thereunto, and not only grants them liberty to draw into Articles what was requisite for the Kingdome, but takes his Oath to ratifie whatsoever they should conclude. Whereupon they elect certain choice men both of the Clergy, Nobility, and Commons, to compose those Articles: Which done, the Archbishop of Canterbury (lately recalled from exile with the rest of his Suffragans,) solemnly pronounced the Sentence of Excommunication (which then was a fearfull thunder-bolt) against all such who should contradict those Articles, which were there publikely read before the Barons, and Commons of the Realme, in the presence of the King; Amongst which, the observation, and execution of Magna Charta is required, with all other ordinances necessary for the Church and Kingdome, and that as the said King had done, all strangers should be banished the Court, and Kingdome, and all ill Councellors removed. That the businesse of the State should be treated on, by the Councell of the Clergy and the Nobles. That the King should not begin any war, or go any way out of the Kingdom, without the common Councell of the same, Daniel fol. 205. Speed fol. 652. But this King, for his evill government breaking his Oaths and Contrasts with his People, was therefore, by common consent in full Parliament, deposed. Which we shall have occasion by and by more fully to speak of, and the Bishop of Hereford as the mouth of those Messengers that were sent by the Parliament, the Body of the State, told him, that the Common-wealth had in Parliament elected his eldest Son, the Lord Edward, for King, and that he must resigne his Diadem to him, or after the refusall, suffer them to elect such a person as themselves should judge to be most fit, and able to defend the Kingdome.

This Prince being crowned, raigned above 50. years, and hath the best commendation for Manhood and Justice of any Prince that went before him, or that followed after him; who yet notwithstanding, though he came in by election, and took the Oath at his Coronation, which his Father took before him, yet he fayled often in the performance of it; Of which the BBp. of Canterbury in an Epistle written to him when hee was in France, tells him home of it, in these words, That it was the safety of Kings, and their Kingdoms, to use grave and wise Councellors, alleadging many examples, out of holy Writ, of the flourishing happinesse of such as took that course, and their infelicity who followed the contrary. Then wills him to remember how his Father (led by evill Councell) vexed the Kingdome, putting to death, contrary to the Law of the Land, divers of the Nobility, and wished him to consider what hapned thereby unto him. Also, to call to mind, how himself at first, through evill Councell about [Editor: illegible word] almost lost the hearts of his people. But afterwards by the great [Editor: illegible word] endeare of his Prelates and Nobles, his affaires were reduced into so good order, as he recovered them, and is reputed the noblest Prince in Christendome; But now again, at present, through the wicked Councell of such as effect their own profit, more then his honour, or the welfare of his People; he had caused Clergy-men, and others, to be arrested and held in prison by undue proceeding, without being indicted or convicted contrary to the Laws of England (which (he saith) he was bound by his Oath at his Coronation to observe, and against Magna Charta, which whosoever shall presume to infringe, are to be by the Prelates excommunicate, so that hereby he incurred no small detriment to his Soule, and to the State, and his Honour, which he doubted (if he proceeded in it) would loose both the hearts of the people, and their ayd, and helpe. Daniel Folio 229. 230. For which the King sharply according to his prerogative power reproveth him; But shortly after, the King found much to doe in the Parliament held at London being earnestly petitioned by the whole Assembly, that the great Charter of Liberties, and the Charter of Forrests might be duly observed, and that whosoever of the Kings Officers infringed the same should loose their place: That the high Officers of the Kingdome should as in former times,* be elected by Parliament; But the King stood stiff upon his prerogative, but yet yeelded that these Officers should receive an Oath in Parliament to do justice unto all men in their Offices, and thereupon a Statute was made and confirmed with the Kings Seal; both for that and many other Grants of his, to the Subjects, which notwithstanding were, for the most part, presently after revoked, Daniel fol. 231. (But for as much as) About this time (in the Statute-Bookes at large, fol. 144. I find) was an excellent Oath made in the 18. of Edw. 3. Anno 1344. intituled, The Oath of the Justices.

I conceive it may be worth the reading, and therefore it is not unnecessary here to insert it, which thus followeth:

YE shall swear that well and lawfully, ye shall serve our Lord the King, and his People in the Office of Iustice, and that lawfully ye shall counsell the King in his businesse, And that ye shall not counsell nor assent to any thing, which may turn him in dammage, or disherison by any manner, way, or colour; And that ye shall not know the dammage, or disherison of him, whereof ye shall not cause him to be warned by your self, or by others and that ye shall do equall Law, and execution of right to all his Subjects rich and poore, without having regard to any person. And that you take not, by your self, or by other, privatly nor apertly, guift nor regard of gold nor silver, nor of any other thing, which may turn to your profit, unlesse it be meat or drinke, and that of small value of any man that shall have any plea, or processe hanging before you, as long as the same processe shall be so hanging, nor after for the same cause, And that ye take no Fee, as long as ye shall be Justice, nor Robes of any man great or small, but of the King himself: And that ye give none advice nor counsell to no man great nor small, in no case where the King is party. And in case that any of what estate or condition they be, come before you in your Sessions, with force and arms, or otherwise against the peace, or against the form of the Statute thereof, made (Stat 2. E. 3. 3.) to disturb execution of the Common-Law, or to menace the people, that they may not pursue the Law; that ye shall cause their bopies to be arrested, and put in prison: And in case they be such, that ye cannot arrest them, that ye certifie the King of their names, and of their misprision hastily, so that he may thereof ordain a conveniable remedy. And that ye by your selfe, nor by others, privily nor apertly maintain any plea or quarrell hanging in the Kings Court, or else-where in the Country. And that ye deny to no man common right, by the Kings Letters, nor none other mans, nor for none other cause: & in case any Letters some to you, contrary to the Law, that ye do nothing by such Letters, but certifie the King thereof, and proceed to execute the Law, notwithstanding the same Letters. And that ye shall do and procure the profit of the King and his Crown, with all things where you may reasonably do the same. And in case ye be from henceforth found in default, in any of the points aforesaid; ye shall be at the Kings will, of Body, Lands, and Goods, thereof to be done, as shall please him; As God you helps, and all Saints.

But now in regard we shall for brevities sake, but only touch at Richard the second, who for his evill government was Articled against in Parliament, Martine fol. 156, 157, 158, 159, 160. Speed fol. 742. The substance of which, in Speeds words were: First, in the front was placed his abuse of the publike treasure, and unworthy waste of the Crown-Land, whereby he grew intollerable grievous to the Subjects, The particular causes of the Dukes of Gloucester and Lancaster, the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, the Earle of Arundel, filled sundry Articles: They charged him in the rest with dissimulation, falshood, losse of honour abroad in the world, extortions, rapine, deniall of Justice, erasures and embezelling of records, dishonourable shifts, wicked Axiomes of State, cruelty, covetousnesse, subordinations, lasciviousnesse, reason to the rights of the Crown, perjuries, and briefly, with all sorts of unkingly vices, and with absolute tyrannie. Upon which it was concluded, That he had broken his Contract made with the Kingdome, or the Oath of Empire, taken at his Coronation, and adjudged by all the States in Parliament, That it was sufficient cause to depose him, and then the diffinitive sentence was passed upon him. And wee shall wholly passe over Henry the 4. 5. and 6. Edward 4. and 5. Richard 3. Hen. 7. and 8. and shall come down to King Charles, and not mention the particular miseries, blood-sheds, cruelties, treason, tyrannies, and all manner of miseries that the free-born people of this Kingdome underwent, in all or most of their wicked raigns, especially in the Barons warres; In which time, the Inhabitants of England had neither life, liberty, nor estates, that they could call their own, there having been ten Battels of note fought in the Bowels of this Kingdome, in two of their Raignes only, viz. Hen. 6. and Edw. the 4. In one of which Pauls there was 37. thousand English ships. Martine fol. 393, 394, 395.

I say we will passe by all these, and give you the Copy of the Oath, that King Edward 2. and King Edward the 3. (by authority of Parliament) took, and which all the Kings and Queens of England since to this day, at their Coronation either took, or ought to have taken, never having (by authority of Parliament, been altered since that I could hear of, by which it will cleerly appeare, that the Kings of England receive their Kingdoms conditionally; The true Copy of which, as I find it in this Parliaments Declaration, made in reply to the Kings Declaration, or answer to their Remonstrance, dated 26, May 1642. and set down in the Booke of Declarations, page 713.

SIR, Will you grant and keep, and by your Oath confirme unto the People of England, the Lawes and Customes granted to them by antient kings of England, rightfull men, and devout to God, and namely the Lawes and Customes and Franchises granted to the Clergie, and to the People, by the glorious king Edward to your power?

Sir, Yee keepe to God, and to Holy Church, to the Clergie, and to the People Peace, and accord wholly after your power?

Sir, Yee do to be kept in all your Domes and Judgments, true and even Righteousnesse, with Mercie and Truth.

The King shall answer. I shall doe it.

Sir, Will you grant, defend, fulfill all rightfull Laws and Customes, the which the COMMONS of your Realme shall choose, and shall strengthen and maintain them to the Worship of GOD, after your power.

The King shall answer, I grant, and behight.

And then the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury at the time of the Coronation goes, or should goe, to the four sides of the Scaffold, where the King is crowned, and declares, and relates to all the People, how that Our Lord the King had taken the said Oath, enquiring of the same people, If they would consent to have him their King, and Liege Lord, to obey him as their King and Liege Lord, who with one accord consented thereunto.

Now, let all the world be judge whether the Kings of England receive their Kingdom’s by contract, yea, or no.

And if they do receive them by contract, as is already undeniably proved before; Then what becomes of that wicked and tyrannicall Maxime, avowed by King Charles (immediatly after his Answer to the Petition of Right, Book Statutes, fol. 1434.) viz. That he did owe an account of his actions to none but GOD alone; And of that erroneous Maxime, mentioned in Book Declaration, pag. 266. viz. That Kingdomes are Kings own, and that they may do with them what they will, as if Kingdomes were for them, and not they for their Kingdomes.

But if any man shall object and say, that King Henry the 8. with his own hands altered this Oath; and therefore it is not the same Oath which King Charles hath taken.

To which, I answer and say, The Parliament in their Declaration grants that King Hen. the 8. &c altered it; but they also say pag. 712. They do conceive that neither he, nor any other, had power to alter it, without an Act of Parliament. And in pag. 708. 709. They say, They well know what Kings have done in this point: But we know also (say they) that what they have done is no good rule alwayes, to interpret what they ought to have done; for, that they are bound to the observation of Lawes by their Oath, is out of question, and yet the contrary practised by them, will appear in all ages, as often. But to put this out of doubt, whosoever reades the Oath taken by this King, which he himself sets down in his Declaration, (Book Declar. pag. 290, 291.) will find no materiall difference betwixt that which hee took, and that which he ought to have taken, saving in that clause of passing New Lawes: But there is enough in that he tooke to prove my assertion, viz. That he received his Crown by a Contract, which further to prove, I alledge the Petition of Right, which whosoever seriously readeth with his Answer to it, shall finde it to be a large and absolute Declaration of a contracted duty betwixt him, and his people, viz. That is was his duty to govern them by Law, and not by his Prerogative Will, And when his first answer to their Petition did not please the Parliament, they pressed him again, out of Right, to give a satisfactory one: Which he, out of Duty doth, saying, Let right be done, as is desired: So that this is a clear demonstration, and enough to prove that there is not only a bare Contract betwixt the King and the People, but also that he is bound by duty to grant such Lawes, as they shall rationally choose, although there were no such Statute, as the 25. of Edward the 3. which they mention in pag. 268, nor no such clauses as they speak of, pag. 706, 707, 714. In the Records of 1 R. 2. Num: 44. and R. 2. Num: 34. and 40.

Again, it will clearly appear, that there is a contract betwixt the King & his People; yea, and such a one, as ties up all his public official actions to be according unto Law, and not according to the rule of his own Will, if we seriously weigh but the Lawes made, and past this present Parliament; but especially that for abolishing the Star-Chamber, and regulating the Councell-Table, the Act for abolishing the high Commission Court, two Acts for the levying and pressing Souldiers and Marriners; and an Act declaring unlawfull and void the late proceedings touching Ship-money, And an Act for preventing vexatious proceedings, touching the order of Knight-hood. And an Act for the free bringing in, and free making of Gun-powder.

But if all this will not serve, let us a little further consider what the Parliament saith, who are the States representative of all the individuals of the State universall of England, Book Declar. pag. 171. 264. 336. 508. 613. 628. 654. 655. 703. 705. 711. 724. 725. 726. 728. 729. 730.

And therefore are the highest, supreamest, and greatest Court, Counncell, and Judge of this Kingdome, pag. 141, 143, 197, 207, 213, 271, 272, 278, 280, 281, 303, 457, 693, 703, 704, 711, 718, 725.

And who may justly be called the legall Conservators of Englands Liberties, 281, 277, 282, 264, 496, 587, 588, 617, 693, 698.

Yea the legall and publike eyes and heart of Englands Politike Body, pag. 213, 278, 340, 690.

Of whom a dishonourable thing ought not to be conceived of them, pag. 281, 654. much lesse to be acted or done by them, pag. 150.

And they say pag. 266. That the King hath not that right to the Towns and Forts in England, which the people in generall have to their estates, the Towns being no more the Kings own, then the Kingdome is his own: And his Kingdome is no more his own, then his people are his own; And if the King had a propriety in all his Towns, what would become of the Subjects propriety in their houses therein! And if he had a propriety in his Kingdom, what would become of the Subjects propriety in their Lands throughout the Kingdom, or of their Liberties, if his Majestie had the same right in their persons, that every Subject hath in their Lands or Goods; and what should become of all the Subjects Interests in the Towns and Forts in the Kingdome, and in the Kingdom it self, if his Majestie might sell them, or give them away, or dispose of them at pleasure, as a particular man may do with his Lands and his Goods; This erroneous Maxime being infused into Princes, that their Kingdoms are their owne, and that they may do with them what they will (as if their Kingdoms were for them, and not they for their Kingdoms) is the root of all the Subjects misery; and of the invading of their just Rights and Liberties, whereas indeed they are only intrusted with their Kingdomes, and with their Towns, and with their People, and with the publike Treasure of the Common-wealth, and whatsoever is bought therewith; And by the known Law of this Kingdom the very Jewels of the Crown are not the Kings proper Goods, but are only intrusted to him for the use and ornament thereof.

As the Towns, Forts, Treasure, Magazine, Offices, and the People of the Kingdome; and the whole Kingdome it self is intrusted unto him, for the good, and safety, and best advantage thereof.

And as this Trust is for the use of the Kingdom, so ought it to be managed by the advice of the Houses of Parliament, whom the Kingdom hath trusted for that purpose, it being their duty to see it discharged, according to the condition and true intent thereof, and as much as in them lies, by all possible meanes to hinder the contrary; and therefore say they, pag. 276. by the Statute of 25. Ed. 3. It is a levying of warre against the King, when it is against his Lawes and Authority, though it be not immediatly against his Person, And the levying of Force against his Person all Commands, though accompanied with his presence, if it be not against his Lawes and Authority, but in the maintainance thereof, is no levying of warre against the King, but for him; for there is a great difference betwixt the King, as King, and the King, as Charles Stuart, And therefore say the Parliament, pag. 279. That Treason which is against the Kingdome; is more against the King, then that which is against his Person, because he is King: for that very Treason, is not Treason as it is against him as a man, but as a man that is a King, and as he hath relation to the Kingdome, and stands as a Person intrusted with the Kingdome, discharging that Trust.

And therefore page 722. that Alexander Archbishop of Yorke, Rob. Delleer Duke of Ireland, Trisiilian L. chief Justice, & the rest in the time of Richard the 2. were guilty of Treason, (and so adjudged by two Acts of Parliament, viz. 11. R. 2. 1. 2. and 1. H. 4. 3. and 4. which to this day are both in force) for levying Forces against the Authority of Parliament, and to put to death divers principall members of both Houses, although they had the Kings expresse Command to do it, and the promise of his presence to accompany them; which yet, for all that, neither would, nor did save their lives, in regard, as they say, page 723. It is a known rule in Law, that the Kings illegall Commands, though accompanied with his presence, do not excuse these that obey him; & therfore if the Kingdom be in danger, and the King wil not hearken to the Parliament in those things that are necessary for the preservation of the peace, and safety of the Kingdome: Shall they stand and look on, whilest the Kingdome runs to evident ruine and destruction? No (page 726) for safety and preservation is just in every individuall or particular, page 44. 150. 207. 382. 466. 496. 637. 690. 722. much more in the Parliament, who are the great and supream legall Councell, from whom there is no legall appeale, as is before declared.

Yea, and in their Declaration of the 19. of May, 1642. page 27, they tell us, that this Law is as old as the Kingdome, viz. That the Kingdom must not be without a meanes to preserve it selfe, which, that it might be done without confusion (say they) this Nation hath entrusted certain hands with a power, to provide in an orderly and regular way for the good and safety of the whole, which power by the constitution of this Kingdome, is in his Majesty, and in his Parliament together.

Yet since the Prince being but one person, is more subject to accidents of nature and chance, whereby the Common-wealth may be deprived of the fruit of that Trust which was in part reposed in him, in cases of such necessity, that the Kingdome may not be inforced presently to return to its first principall, and every man left to do what is aright in his own eyes, without either guide or rule, the wisdome of this State hath intrusted the Parliament with a power to supply what shall bee wanting on the part of the Prince, as is evident by the constant custome and practice thereof, in cases of nonage, naturall disability and captivity, and the like reason doth and must hold for the exercise of the same power, in such cases where the Royall Trust cannot bee, or is not discharged, and that the Kingdome runs an evident and eminent danger thereby; which danger, having been declared by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, there needs not the authority of any person or Court to affirme, nor is it in the power of any person or Court to revoke that judgment (for as they well say in their Declaration of the 26. of May, 1642. page 281.) it is not agreeable to reason or conscience, that it should be otherwise, seeing men should be put upon an impossibility of knowing their duty, if the Judgment of the highest Court should not be a rule and guide to them.

And if the Judgment therefore should be followed, where the question is, who is King, (as before in that Declaration, they have proved it ought) much more, what is the best service of the King and Kingdome, and therefore those that shall guide themselves by the judgment of Parliament, ought, what ever happen, to be secure, and free from all account and penalties upon the grounds, and equity of this very Statute of 11. Hen. 7. Chap. 1.

And again, page 697. (they say, very rationally,) There must be a Judge of the question wherein the safety of the Kingdome depends (for it must not lie undetermined.) And if then there be not an agreement betwixt his Majesty and the Parliament, either his Majesty must be Judge against his Parliament, or the Parliament without his Majesty: It is unsound and irrationall to give it to his Majestie, who out of the Courts is not Judge of the least dammage, or trespasse done to the least of his Subjects, but the Parliament is the Representative Body of the whole Kingdome, and therefore the absolute proper and legall Judge. Besides, If his Majesty (in the difference of Opinions) should be Judge, he should be Judge in his own case, but the Parliament should be Judges between his Majesty and the Kingdome: And if his Majesty should be Judge, hee should be Judge out of his Courts; yea, and against his highest Court, which he never is (nor can be) but the Parliament should only judge, without his Majesties personall consent, which as a Court of Judicature it alwayes doth, and all other Courts as well as it.

Therefore if the King be for the Kingdome, and not the Kingdome for the King; And if the Kingdome best knowes what is for its own good and preservation, and the Parliament be the Representative Body of the Kingdome; It is easie to judge who in this case should be Judge, And therefore the Parliament are bound in duty to those that trust them, to see that the king dispose aright of his trust, being that right that the King hath as King, in the things he enjoyes, is of a different nature, and for different ends, to the right of propriety which a particular man hath in his Goods and Lands, &c. That of propriety is a right of propriety, which a particular man may dispose of, as hee pleaseth according to his own discretion for his own advantage, so it bee not contrary to the publike good; but the right of the King is only a right of trust, which he is to mannage in such wayes, and by such Councels as the Law doth direct, and only for the publike good, and not to his private advantages, nor to the prejudice of any mans particular Interests, much lesse of the Publike, page 700. And therefore (say they) page 687. The King hath not the like liberty in disposing of his own person, or of the persons of his children (in respect of the Interest the Kingdome hath in them) as a private man may have.

But if it shall be objected, that the Parliament, the representative of the Kingdome, are not to intermeddle in the managing of his Majesties trust, because of the Oaths that they have taken, wherein they swear, that His Majesty is supreame Head and Governour over all persons, and over all causes within his Dominions, to which I shal return partly their own answer, p. 703. That notwithstanding this, they are bound to see it managed, according to the true intent & condition therof; (for no man doth nor can give a power to destroy himself) and therefore say they, If we should say the King hath in the Government of his People, Superiors, to wit, the Law (by which he is made) and his Courts, &c. It were no new Doctrine: We have an ancient Author for it, viz. Fleta Book 1. Chap. 17. of substituting of Iudges.

If we should say the King is the single greatest, but lesse then the whole, it were no new learning (it being an undeniable rule in reason, that they that make a thing are alwayes greater then the thing made by them) and certainly this of supreame Head and Governour over all persons in all causes, as it is meant singular (or single) persons rather then of Courts, or of the Body collective, of the whole Kingdome, so it is meant (in curia non in camera) in his Courts, that his Majesty is supreame Head and Governour over all persons, in all causes, and not in his private capacity, and to speak properly, It is only in his High Court of Parliament, wherein, and wherewith his Majesty hath absolutely the supream power, and consequently is absolutely supreame Head and Governour, from whom there is no Appeale. And if the High Court of Parliament may take an account of what is done, by his Majesty in his inferiour Courts, much more of what is done by him, without the Authority of any Courts; And for my part, say, that though the King be the Supream Officer, which is all, and the most he is; yet he is not the supreame Power: for the absolute Supream Power is the People in generall, made up of every individuall, and the legall and formall supream Power is only their Commissioners, their collective or representative Body, chosen by them, and assembled in Parliament, to whom the King is and ought to give an account both of his Office and Actions; yea, and to receive rules, directions, and limitations from them, and by them.

And although King John the 7. from William the Rogue, alias the chiefe Robber, or Conquerour, was so Atheistically, and impiously wicked, as to give away his kingdome of England unto the Pope (as is before declared*) which was none of his owne to give, or dispose of, either to him or any other whatsoever, which the people that lived in those dayes very well knew and understood, and therefore (as Speed in his Chronicles records, fol. 565. in a generall Parliament held in or about the year, 1214. The Prelates, Lords, and Commons, severally and joyntly enacted, That forsomuch as neither King John, nor any other King, could bring his Realme and People to such thraldome, but by common consent of Parliament (which was never done) and that in so doing, he did against his Oath at his Coronation; besides many other causes of just exception; If therefore the Pope thence forwards should attempt any thing therein, the King with all his Subjects should with all their forces and powers resist the same, and rather hazzard all their lives and livelihood, then endure his usurpations.

But if any man should so dote upon those Pageants, Tyrants, Kings, the supposed and pretended annointed of the Lord, as yet not to think it sufficient to prove that not onely the present King Charles, his own acknowledgment and confession will be of force sufficient to pull all Scales of blindnesse from their eyes, and all hardnesse and unbelieviegnesse of heart, from their hearts; His own words in his answer to the House of Commons first Remonstrance, Book Declar. pag. 25. are these.

We have thought it very suitable to the duty of Our place, and pag. 29. and We (saith he) doubt not it will be the most acceptable Declaration a King can make to his Subjects, that for Our part We are resolved duly not only to observe the Lawes Our Self, but to maintain them against what opposition soever, though with the hazard of Our Being: and a little below We acknowledge it a high crime (saith he) against Almighty God, and inexcusable to Our good Subjects of Our three Kingdomes, if We did not to the utmost imploy all Our power, and faculties, to the speediest and most effectuall assistance and protection of that distressed people of Ireland.

And in his Message, 28. April, 1642. page 157. speaking of the Militia, he saith, We conceive it prejudiciall to Our Self, or inconvenient for Our Subjects, for whom We are trusted, and page 167. Himself saith, That if the Prerogative of the King over-whelme the Liberty of the People, it will be turned to tyrannie. And he himself (page 284.) defines tyrannie to be nothing else, but to admit no rule to govern by a mans own will.

But above all the rest, remarkable is his own confession, in his answer to the Parliaments Declaration of the 19. May, 1642. where (in page 152.) He honestly and plainly acknowledgeth that He is to give an account of his Office, not only to God, but also to his other Kingdoms.

But as the Parliament saith page 701. This is a strange Paradox, that his Majesty by his own Confession owes an account to his other Kingdomes of his Office and Dignity of a King in this kingdome it self, where he resides, and hath his being and subsistence.

And in page 311. He acknowledgeth God hath entrusted Him with his regallity for the good of his People; and if it be for their good, then not for their mischief and destruction; but God hath entrusted him, and how is that? The truth is, God is no more the Author of Regall, then of Aristocratical power, nor of Supreame, then of Subordinate Command. Nay, that Dominion which is usurped, and not just, whilest it remains Dominion, and till it be legally again divested, refers to God as its Author and Donor, as much as that which is Hereditary (and permissively from God, and not approbationally instituted, or appointed by him,) And that Law which the King mentioneth, is not to be understood to bee any speciall Ordinance, sent from Heaven by the Ministry of Angels, or Prophets, (as amongst the Jewes it sometimes was.) It can be nothing else amongst Christians, but the actions and agreements of such and such politike Corporations.

Power is originally inherent in the People, and it is nothing else but that might and vigour, which such and such a Society of men contains in it self, and when by such and such a Law of common consent and agreement, it is derived into such and such hands, God confirmes the Law: And so man is the free and voluntary author, the Law is the instrument, and God is the establisher of both (as the observator in the first page of the first part of his most excellent observations, doth observe) And though Kings make a huge matter of that saying of God, by me Kings Raigne: as though there were some superlative naturall, inbred, inherent deity, or exellency in Kings above other men; yet we may say, and that truly: That by God all mankind lives, moues, and have their being, yea, and raignes, and governs as much by God (in their inferior orbs (of cityes, hundreds, wappentakes, and families) as well as Kings in their Kingdoms, yea, though God himselfe in an extraordinary, and immediate manner, chose and appointed Saul, David, and Solomon, to be Kings of Israel;

Yet so just was the righteous God, that he would so impose them upon the people of Israel against their own wills and minds, neither did they rule as King, till by the common consent of the people, they chose them, and appointed them to raigne over them. 1 Sam. 10. 20. 24. 2. Sam. 2. 24. and Chap. 5. 1. 2. and 3. and 1 Kings 38. 39. 40. So that heir authority did originally as inherently flow from the people, as well as their speciallassignation from God, and they were to rule> and govern them by the Law of God, (and not by the rule and Law of their own will) unto which Law they were to be as obediant and subject, as the meanest of the people: yea, and as lyable to punishment, and to have their transgressions layd to their charge: As Lieutenant Collonel Lilburne hath notably and fully proved in his late printed Epistle to Judge Reves, pag.

These things rightly considered doth condemn those two maxims, for wicked, ungodly, and tyrannicall which are layd downe so in the booke of Declarations: pag. 199. 3. 4. viz. That the King can do no wrong, The second is, that the King is the fountaine of justice.

But to returne againe to the Kings own word, he saith pag. 313. We were unworthy the trust reposed in us by the Law and of our descent from so many great and famous Ancestors; if we could be brought to abondon that power, which onely can enable us to performe what we are sworne to in protecting our people and the Lawes. What can be said more plaine then this, to prove him an Officer of duty & Trust? But seeing he speakes of his Ancestors; Let me tell him, that if he had no better title to his Crown, then to claime it his by a kind of Divine Right from his Progenitors, and because he is the next Heire to King James; It would be by Scripture a very weak title.

We find in Scripture, that Salomon a younger Son, &c. was made King, principally because of his fitnesse to govern, when divers of his elder brethren went without the Crown, And if any in the world might have pleaded the priviledges of being next heire, Davids Sons, and Sons Sons might, in regard of that large promise that was made to David that his Sons should sit upon the Regall Throne for many Generations.

Again, the King page 443. ingages to maintain the Priviledges of Parliament, as far as ever any of his Predecessours did, and as farre as may stand with that Justice which he owes to his Crown, which, what that is, I have before declared, and is very fully declared in that Oath which he himself hath taken, page 291. although it fall, and is very short of that he ought by law and right to take; so that now I have fully proved, I am confident of it, without any starting hole left for contradiction; That the King receives his Crown by contract and agreement, unto which by Law and Right he is bound and tied. I thought to have here inserted some excellent passages for the further illustration of the Position out of the first and second parts of the Observations, and a late Book, called Maximes unfolded: But in regard I have (I am afraid) been over-tedious already; I will refer you to the bookes themselves, or (in case they be hard to come by) to that abridgment of the marrow of them, which you shall finde in an excellent and rationall Discourse of Mr. Lilburns, against those Vipers and grand Enemies to the Liberties of England, the monopolizing Merchants, in his Book, called Innocenciẽ and Truth justified, page 57, 58, 59, 60, 61.

I come now to the last branch of the minor Proposition, which is

THAT KING CHARLES HATH BROKEN HIS CONTRACT AND AGREEMENT.

And for the proofe of this, I must lay downe this assertion.

That the Parliament is the only, proper, competent, legall, supreame Judge of this, as well as of all other the Great Affaires of the Kingdom, as is before largely proved: And for further illustration, reade Book Declar. pag. 100, 112, 171, 172, 170, 202, 693, 716.

Now in the next place, let us consider what the Parliament in their publike Declaration say of the King, who confesses himself, as well as the Parliament; asserts and proves it, that his Oath taken at his Coronation tyes him, to raigne and govern according to Law. Yet whosoever seriously reades over the first Petition, and remonstrance of the State representative of England, commonly called the House of Commons, who onely and alone have and ought to have that title. Pag. 264. 336. 508. 613. 628. 654. 655. 703. 705. 711. 724. 725. 726. 728. 729. 730.

The House of Peers being meer usurpers and inchroachers, and were never intrusted by the people, (who under God the fountaine, and Well-spring of all just power) as well legislative as other, with any legislative power, who meerly sit by the Kings prerogative, which is a meer bable, and shaddow, and in truth, in substance is nothing at all, there being no Law-making-power in himselfe, but meerly, and onely at the most, a Law-executing-power, who by his Coronation Oath, that he hath taken, or ought to have taken, is bound to passe and assent to all such Lawes, as his people or Commons shall chuse, as is largely (by the forecited Declarations of the Parliament) proved. Now if he have not a legislative power in himselfe, as the Lords themselves (by joyning with the Commons in their Votes and Declarations) do truly confesse, and notably prove; how is it possible for him to give that to them which is not inherent in himselfe? Or how can they without palpable usurpation, claime and exercise a Law-making-power, derivatively from the King alone when he hath none in himselfe? which they themselves confesse, and prove: wherefore, how can the House of Commons the representative body of England, without willfull perjury, having so often sworne to maintaine the Liberties of England, and without being notoriously guilty of Treason to themselves and others, and all those that chuse them, and trusted them; suffer the Lords to continue in their execution of their usurpations? many times to the palpable hazard, yea, almost utter ruin of the Kingdome, by their denial, thwarting and crossing of those things that evidently tends to the preservation of the whole Kingdome, and by their pretended legislative power, destroy whole families, and fill the Jayles of London at their pleasure, (contrary to Law and right) with COMMONS (with whom they have nothing to do) without being controled by the Trustees of the people, the HOUSE of COMMONS, although they be legally appealed to for that end (witnesse Mr. Lilburne) Mr. Staveley prisoner in the Fleete, Mr. Learner for himselfe and servants, Mr. Overton, &c.) to their everlasting shame, and disgrace is spoken; Oh therefore awake, awake, and arise with strength and resolution, ye chosen and betrusted ones of England, the earthly arme & strength thereof, and free your Masters and betrusters the whole State of England from those invading, usurping, Tyrannicall Lords, Bondage, and Thraldoms, left to your shame they do it themselves, and serve them as they did the Bishops; for preservation your selves say is just, Pag. 44. 150. 207. 496, 637 [Editor: illegible word] 226.) and is as antient a Law as any is in the Kingdome, Pag. 207. And you have also the 17. Aprill last, declared, that you will suffer no arbitrary tyrannicall power to be exercised over the freemen of England, but the Lords do it, therefore if ye be true, and just men, such who would be believed and trusted, do as you say; before the Lords by their plots with the enemies of the freedoms of England (such as wicked English and Scots Lords, and other prerogative Courtiers, and corrupt Clergy, and patentee Monopolizers, and contentious wrangling jangling, and pety fogging Lawyers) and by their own impudent and uncontrouled injustice; imbroyle this Kingdome in a second warre, they and their associates, and confederates having been the cause of the by-past warres, not for any love to the Liberties of England though that was their pretence, but meerly out of malice to the raigning and ruling party at Court, whose utmost desire was to unhorse them, that so they might get up into the saddle, and ride & raigne, and rule like Tyrants themselves, they loving (at this very day) the King-Prerogative Tyranny, and oppression as dearly as any of these at Court, which they complained of, witnesse their dayly actions, and the actions of all their fore-mentioned faction, which is lively characterised in a late Discourse, called [A Remonstrance of many thousand Citizens, and other Free-born People of England, to their owne House of Commons] and will more fully be laid open shortly in the second part of it.

But if the Lords think they are wronged by this digression, and that their right to their Legislative power is better then is here declared;

I desire their Lordships, or any other for them, to let the Kingdom know, what better right they have to sit in Parliament, then the old Popish Abbots had, that are long since, as Incrochers, abolished; Or then the Bishops, or the Popish Lords, that are lately defunct, do. Sure I am, the right they had, was as good as any their Lordships have, flowing from one and the same fountain with them; namely the Kings will and pleasure, commonly called, The Kings Prerogative, demonstrated by his Letters Pattents, which in such a case is not worth a button as is clear by the Law, and the very principles of Reason, and that the Lordly Prerogative honour it self that they enjoy from the King (which was never given them by common consent, as all right, and just honour, and power, ought to be) is a meer boon and gratuity, given them by the King, for the helping him to inslave and envassalise the People, and from their Predecessors whom William the Conqueror, alias, the Theefe and Tyrant; made Dukes, Earles, and Barons, for helping him to subdue, and enslave the free Nation of England, and gave them by the Law of this own will, the estate of the Inhabitants the right owners thereof, to maintain the Grandeur of their Tyranny, and Prerogative Peerage; And therfore their Creator the King doth in his Dce. p. 324 ingeniously declare, that their title to their legislative power is only by bloud, And if so, then not by common consent or choyce of the People, the onely and alone Fountain of all just power on earth, and therefore void, & null, and at the best but a meer fixion and usurpation, and the greatest or best stile they gave themselves in their joynt Declaration with the House of Commons, page 508 is, That the House of Peers are the Hereditary Councellors of the Kingdome, and what right they have thereby to make the People Lawes, I know not (neither is it declared there, by what right they came by their Hereditary Councellorship: Nor yet is it there declared what it is; So that I understand not what they mean by it, which I desire them to explaine; for sure I am, it is a maxime in Nature and Reason, That no man can be concluded but by his own consent, and that it is absolute Tyranny, for any what (or whom)-soever, to impose a Law upon a People, that were never chosen nor betrusted by them to make them Lawes; But in that Declaration in the next line, The chosen and betrusted House of Commons (the only & alone Lawmakers of England, the King and Lords consent to their Votes, Lawes and Ordinances, being but in truth a meer Ceremony, and usurped formality, and in the strength of Law, (which justly is nothing else then pure reason, neither addes strength unto them, nor detracts power from them) is royally, truly, and majesterially stiled and called, the representative Body of the whole Commons of the Kingdome, and so are in abundance of other places, before cited. Yea and whosoever seriously reades, and considers the third Position, laid down, page 726 and laid down in the name of the Parliament; shall see indeed, and in truth, the power of the Lords wholly cashiered: their words are these. That we did, and do say, that a Parliament may dispose of any thing, wherein the King or any Subject hath a right in such a way as that the Kingdome may not be in danger thereby, and that if the King being humbly sought unto by his Parliament, shall refuse to joyn with; them in such cases, the Representative Body of the Kingdome (that is to say, the House of Commons alone, the Lords representing no Body, but themselves, and their Ladies, neither challenge they any such title, but call themselves meerly Hereditary Councellours) is not to sit still, and see the Kingdome perish before their eyes, and of this danger they are Judges, and Judges superiour to all others (I beseech you mark it well) that legally have any power of judicature within this Kingdome. Where are you my Lords? And what say you to this, your own ingenious confession? For yours it is, for any thing I know to the contrary, unlesse you were all asleep when you past it.

Nay, further (My Lords) If the Representative Body bee the Parliament, as is here confessed and averred, and that Representative Body be the House of Commons, and none else, as before is proved, and the House of Commons, or Representative Body be the Parliament, as here they are called; then (My Lords) what say you to that inference from hence drawn, and naturally flowing and arising from the premises, and proved by your first Position, laid down in the fore-cited page, 726. which is, That the Parliament hath a power in declaring Law, in particular cases in question before them, and that which is so declared by the High Court of Parliament, being the highest Court of Judicature, ought not afterwards to be questioned by his Majesty, or any of his Subjects, for that there lyeth no Appeal from them, to any Person or Court whatsoever; so that the right and safety both of King and People, shal depend upon the Law, and the Law for its interpretation upon the Courts of Justice, which are the competent Judges thereof, and not upon the pleasure and interpretation of private persons, or of Publike, in a private capacity. Good-night (my Lords) unlesse you will make a little more buzling, and so make the stink a little more hot in the Nostrils of all men that have the use of their sences, before your snuffe go cleer out, the which if you do, it will (I am confident) but cause it to go out with a witnesse.

And therefore look to it, and remember the Star-Chamber, the Councell-Table, and High Commission: Where are they all? but in the grave of reproach, contumely, disgrace, and shame. And give me leave to tell you of the common Proverb now abroad, of Canterbury, and Strafford, That if in the dayes of their prosperity (which were as high and great as yours are, or ever were) they had thought they should have beene pulled down by the common People (whom they strongly laboured to enslave) and by their unwearied cryes to the eares of Englands supreame Judges for Justice, were justly by them condemned to the block, and lost their wicked Lordly Heads, in the presence of many of those that they had tyrannized over; they would have been more moderate, just, and righteous, in their generations then they were.

Apply it (my Lord:s) and remember Mr. Lilburn, &c. and the tyrannie you have exercised upon him, for many weekes together, both in Newgate, and the Tower of London, in locking him up close prisoner, without the use of Pen, Ink, or Paper, and not suffering his friends, nor wife (that singular comfort and help that the wife God provided for poor fraile man) to set her foot within his Chamber door, for about three Weekes together, nor she, nor any of his friends to deliver to his hands (though in the presence of his Keeper) meat, drink, or money, and yet you never allowed him 2. d. to live on, that I could heare of, and then unjustly sentence him 4000. l. and 7 years Imprisonment in the Tower. &c. there to be tyrannized over by one of your own Creatures, Col. West Lieutenant there of, who hath divers weeks divorced him from his wife, and denyed him her society (unlesse she would be a prisonor with him, and then what should become of them both, and of their children (having no Lands to live upon) and tost already from one Jayle to another, for many years together, to his great charge) although he was but onely committed to be kept in safe custody, and from writing scandalous Bookes, which the Lieutenant told him, he could not doe, unlesse hee kept his wife and friends from him, but as well he might have said, I must also lay you in a Dungeon, where you shall neither see day-light nor enjoy a candle, It being almost impossible to keepe a man so strictly, but he will write, if he have day-light, and candle-light, and so accordingly he hath commanded and executed, that neither his wife nor any of his friends should speak with him, but in the presence of his Keeper, And that the Warders at the Gate take the names and places of abode of all those that come to see him, That so the Lords may have them all down in their black and mercilesse book, and know where to find them, when the day of their fierce indignation shall more fully smoke against him and all those that have visited him. Which some of the Warders have told some of his friends (to terrifie them) as not far of: And this cruelty exercised upon him by the Lieutenant, is more then legally can be done to a Fellon, Murderer, or Traytor, and yet this is his portion, although hee offered to engage his promise to the Lieutenant, when he first went in before his brother Major Lilburn, and another Major, that as hee was a Christian, and a Gentleman, that hee would suffer his wife and friends, according to Law and Right to have free accesse unto him, he would promise him not to write a line, nor reade a line written while he enjoyed that priviledge, which the Lieutenant refused, but executed his pleasure upon him. And then got their Lordships to make a new illegall Order, that he might be kept, as he had kept him. Now for the Lords to do this to him, seeing some of them were Actors in his bloudy Sentences in Star-chamber, for which transcendent injustice and sufferings, he never had a peny recompence asyet though he saith in his fore-mentioned answer to Mr. Pryn, he hath spent divers hundreds of pounds to procure it, and though he lost not a little that yeere he lay prisoner in Oxford for the Parliament: see, innocency and truth justified. Pag. 21. 22. And although the Earle of Manchester and Collonel King detaine his pay from him, which he earned with the hazard of his life (Pag. 47. 65. 70.) and besides all this, while he and others have been fighting for liberty and freedome for the whole Kingdome; he hath been robbed and deprived of his trade, by the monopolizing Merchant Adventures, Pag. 462. Whose knavery and illegall practices, he notably anatomizeth, and layeth open in the aforesaid booke from pag. 46. to pag. 63. To the Parliaments credit, and reputation be it spoken, to suffer such vipers to eat out the bowels of this poore Kingdome, yea, and to set them in the Custome-house, and Excise Office, to receive the treasure of the Kingdome, whose lives and estates for their illegall and arbitrary practises, are forfeited to the state, as there he proveth it. Now after all this, for the Lords to commit him for 7. yeares to so chargeable a place, as the present Lieutenant of the Tower makes the Tower by his will to bee: and takes no care to allow him one penny of the Kings old allowance (which was, to finde the prisoners their meat, drink, and lodging, and to pay the Lieutenant, &c. his fees according to the antient, legall, and just customs of the place. What is it else in their Lordships intentions, but to starve and destroy the honest man, and his wife, and children: for according to the information I have; the fees that have bin demanded there are;

Fifty pounds to the Lieutenant.

Five pounds, & a mans upper garment, to the Gentleman-Porter.

Forty shillings to the Warders.

Ten shillings to the Lieutenants Clarke.

Ten shillings to the Minister.

Thirty shillings, per week, for suffering the prisoners to dresse their own diet, and about so much a week for Chamber-rent; besides what it costs them for their diet.

And all this demanded without any coulor of Law, Justice, or right, as is largely proved by a late booke called Liberty vindicated against Slavery.

Oh, ye Commons of England, what neede have you to be combined together to maintaine your common interest against these usurping cruel and mercilesse Lords, and to take speciall heede that by their charmes and Syren-like songs; you be not divided about toyes, into factions, to your own destruction, and ruine, that being visibly the game (to the eyes of rationall men) which they and their agents have now to play, and by the foote you may easily judge what the beare is.

But now after this necessitated digression; let us returne back to the King, and to his forfeiting his trust, which is to protect his people from violence, and wrong, and governe them according to law. Let us consider what his, and our supreame legall, and rightfull Judges; The House of Commons, the State representative of England; in their Petition, and Remonstrance, presented to him at Hampton Court (15. December 1642. and which begins book declaration, pag. 1. and ends pag. 21.) Say: And we shall cleerly finde that they evidently make plaine to the King, and the whole Kingdome; That his 17. yeers raigne was filled up with a constant continnued Act of violating the Lawes of the Kingdome, and the Liberties of his people. Yes, in pag. 491. They plainly say that before this Parliament the Lawes were no defence nor protection of any mans right: all was subject to will and power, which imposed what payments they thought fit, to draine the subjects purses, and they who yeelded and complyed; were countenanced, and advanced: and all others, disgraced, and kept under; that so mens minds made poore and base, and their liberties lost and gone; they might be ready to let go their religion; And the rest of the regall tyrannicall designes; there most acutely anatomised, to which I referr the reader, as a peece extraordinary much worth the reading.

And though the King (this Parliament) signed divers good Lawes as though he intended to turne over a new lease; Yet the Parliament tell him plainly, that even in or about the time, of passing those bills; some designe or other hath been on foote, which if it had taken effect; would not onely have deprived us of the fruits of those bills; but would have reduced us to a worse condition of confusion then that wherein the Parliament found us. see pag. 124. in which the King himselfe was a principall acter. And so they charge him to be pag. 210. 211. 216. 218. 221. 227. 228. 229. 230. 493. 494. 496. 563.

Yea, and they plainly declare, that the King had a finger in the Irish Rebellion: for all his many solemn protestations to the contrary: and that at the very begining, by his immediate warrant; licensed Commanders to go over to them, and hindred supplies from going to suppresse them, pag. 70. 98. 116. 567. 568. 569. 622.

Yea, and though he were so quick against the Scots, as immediately (upon their declaring themselves to maintaine their rights) to proclaime them traytors; yet notwithstanding (though the King vowed and protested that his soule abhorred the Irish Rebellion;) it was about three moneths before the Parliament could get him to proclaime them traytors: And when he was by them forced to proclaime them traytors; His Majesty gave speciall Command, that, but forty of them should be printed, and not one of them published till farther directions given by his Majesty, pag. 567.

Yea, and besides all this; contrary to his Oath; he refuseth to passe the bill for the Militia although it was often prest upon him by the Parliament, as the onely way and meanes to settle and preserve the peace of the Kingdome: and also with drawes himselfe from the Parliament; with a designe to levy warre against them, whereupon for the discharge of their duty and trust, and the preservation of the Kingdome, the 20. May 1642. book declar. pag. 259. they past three votes, viz.

I.

Resolved upon the Question.

That it appeares, that the King (seduced by wicked Councel) intends to, make warre against the Parliament (who in all their consultations and actions) have proposed no other end unto themselves, but the care of his Kingdome, and performance of all duty and loyalty to his person.

II.

Resolved upon the Question.

That whensoever the King maketh warre upon the Parliament; It is a breach of the trust reposed in him by his people: contrary to his Oath; and tending to the dissolution of his Government.

III.

Resolved upon the Question.

That whosoever shall serve or assist him in these warres; are traytors by the fundamentall Lawes of this Kingdome, and ought to suffer as traytors 11. Rich. 2. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. and 6. 1 Hen. 4. 4.

From the two last votes, I will draw some arguments which naturally flow from them. And first for the second Vote, which is, that whensoever the King maketh warre against the Parliament; it is a breach of the trust reposed in him by his people, &c. But the King hath set up his Standard of defiance against that Parliament, (which he summoned to sit at Westminster, and had passed an Act of Parliament that there they should &illegible; so long as they pleased) yea, and hath actually proclamed and levyed war against them; therefore he hath broke the trust reposed in him by his people: which was, to protect and defend them: (not to ruine and destroy them) and hath violated his publick Oath, and so is willfully forsworne, and hath also strongly endeavoured the utter dissolution of the Government of this Kingdome, Pag. 248. 503. 508. 509. 576. 580. 584. 617. 665.

For; in fighting against the Parliament, and seekeing the utter destruction thereof; (as he hath done) he hath fought against the whole Kingdome, and people, whose betrusted, legall, chosen Commissioners, and representation they are: and who therefore have sufficient cause and ground given them, both in the eyes of God, and all rationall men; ever hereafter to renounce and defie him, &c. as he hath done them.

Now from the 3. Vote which is: That whosoever shall serve or assist him in these warres; are Traytors: and ought to suffer as Traytors: from whence by way of inference I draw this argument.

That. If the Minor principall (that is to say the Accessarie or assistant) be guilty of Treason; Then much more is the Major principall (that is to say the chiefe mover, and beginner, or originall actor, and setter on) guilty of treason himselfe.

But by this vote the Minor or principall (the assister) is declared and proved guilty of Treason;

Ergo, the Major principall, the King; who sets all his assistants at worke; is much more guilty of Treason.

Now let us consider of those two Statutes which the Parliament alledge; for the proveing of the 3. vote.

That of the 11. R. 2. was the Law by which the five great Traytors (as Speed calles them folio. 732.) were impeached, namely, Robert de Uere Duke of Ireland, Alexander Nevile Arch-Bishop of Yorke, Michael de-la-Poole Earle of Suffolke, Sir Robert Trisillian that false Iustitiar, and Sir Nicholas Brambre, that false Knight of London: whose crime was, for being the heads with many others; to advise the King, by his regall power to annihilate certaine things passed lately by act of Parliament, and to destroy the chiefe men of both houses, that had been chiefe sticklers for the good of the Common Wealthland by the Kings consent, the Duke of Ireland, did levye forces for that end, But by the Lords that were for the Common Wealth; was soone vanquished, and forced to fly into France where he was slain by a wild Boare, Martine foli.149. But yet notwithstanding, his associates, and Iudges, viz. Fulthrop, Belknap, Carey, Hott, Burgh, and Lockton, were the first day of the Parliament arrested of treason as they sate in Iudgement on the Bench, and most of them sent to the Tower: for giving it under their hands, that it was lawfull for the King to abrogate that which was lately done in the Parliament: (because as they wickedly said, he was aboue the law, Speed, folio 731.) Trisillian the chiefe Iustice prevented by flight, his apprehension when his fellowes the Iudges were taken; but afterwards was catcht and brought to the Parliament in the fore-noone, where he had sentence to be drawne to Tyburne in the after-noone and there to have his throat cut, which was done accordingly. Sir Nicholas Brambres turne was next. And after him, Sir Iohn, Earle of Sailsbury, and Sir James Barney, Sir Iohn Bouchamp of Holt, Stuart of the Kings Houshold: Iohn Black Esquire: and Simond Burley, who onely, as Speed saith, folio 733. had the worship to have his head struck off. The Duke of Ireland, the Arch Bishop of Yorke, the Earle of Suffolke, and others had their Estates confiscated to the Kings use by Act of Parliament. And as Martin saith, folio 149. The rest of the Judges had been served as Robert Trisillian was, if (upon the importunate, and uncessant request of the Queene) their lives had not been redeemed by their banishment; , O gallant and brave Justice.

It is true, and so confessed by the Parliament, that these Statutes of 11 R. 2. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. were abolished by the 21. R. 2. 12; But it is averred by them that they were revived by 1 H. 4. 3. 4. 5. 9. and still stand in force to this day, which is a reall truth.

And in the 2. place, let us consider well the Parliaments publick Declarations, and we shall see they hold it out full enough: We will begin with their Declaration to the States of Holland, pag. 636. where they plainly affirme, that the King (not his evill Councellers) hath now at last resolved to set up his royall Standard, and draw his sword for the destruction and ruine of his most faithfull and obedient people, whom by the lawes and constitutions of this Kingdome he is bound to preserve and protect. Yea, and in their answer (sent to his Messenger from Nottingham) August 25. 1642. pag. 580; They tell him plainly, that though they have used all meanes possible to prevent the distractions of this Kingdome, which have been not onely without successe, but there hath followed that which no ill Councell in former times hath produced, or any age hath seene, namely those severall Proclamations and Declarations against both the Houses of Parliament, whereby their actions are declared Treasonable, and their persons Traytors, and thereupon your Majesty hath set up your Standard against them, whereby you have put the two Houses of Parliament, and in them this whole Kingdome, out of your protection (and as I may truly say, have thereupon virtually ceased to be King) so that untill your Majesty shall recall those Proclamations and Declarations, whereby the Earle of Essex and both Houses of Parliament, and their adherents and assistants, and such as have obeyed, and executed their commands, and directions, according to their duties; are declared traytors, or otherwise, delinquents; And untill the Standard, set up in the pursuance of the said Proclamations, be taken downe, your Majesty hath put us into such a condition, that whil’st we so remaine, we cannot by the fundamentall priviledges of Parliament, the publike trust reposed in us, or with the generall good and safety of this Kingdome; give your Majesty any other answer to this Message. The same language they speake to him in their Petition, pag. 584. And in their Message, pag. 585. And in their Petition, 587. And in their Declaration, pag. 576; They say plainly that the King, seduced by wicked Councell, doth make warre against his Parliament, and people. And in their Petition sent by Sir Philip Stapleton, to the Earle of Essex, to be presented to His Majesty, pag. 617. They say positively; His Majesty warres against the Parliament and subjects of this Kingdome, leading in his own person an Army against them, as if he intended by conquest to establish an absolute and unlimitted power over them, and by his power, and the continuance of his presence, have ransacked, spoyled, imprisoned, & murthered divers of his people, yea, and doth endeavour to bring over the Rebels of Ireland, and other forces from beyond the Seas; And in their Declaration, and resolution, after the King had proclaimed the Parliament, and the Earle of Essex Traytors, pag. 508. 509. They call that very Proclamation an attempt so desperate, and so transcendently wicked, that the Lords and Commons do unanimously publish and declare, that all they who have advised, contrived, abetted, or countenanced, or hereafter shall abett and countenance the said Proclamation; to be Traytors, and enemies to GOD, the King & Kingdome, and to be guilty of the highest degree of Treason that can be comitted against the King and Kingdome, & that they will, by the assistance of Almighty God, and of all honest English Protestants, and lovers of their Country; do their best endeavours (even to the utmost hazard of their lives, and fortunes) to bring all such unparalleld traytors to a speedy and exemplary punishment. Be sure you be as good as your word: for GOD, of all villains; abhors faith-breakers: and take head, by your actions, and treatyes with the unjust and false King Charles, one of the Monsters of the earth; you do not give a just, and visible cause of ground; not onely to all rationall men in England, but in the world (that knowes, reades, and understands your often solemn sworne Oathes, vowes, Protestations, and ingagements) to judge you a forsworne, false, and perjured Generation, and fit to be abhorred of GOD, and all good men; for to speake truth, and right: Hath not Charles Stewart committed treason against King Charles? sure I am he hath done it against the KINGDOME of ENGLAND, and that I prove by your own grounds; thus.

The Proclamation that you so much cry out of; comes out in his name and stile, pag. 503. 404. 406. 507. And therefore his:

Ergo. -----

For he ownes his own Proclamations, and Declarations, and jeeres you for a company of simpletons for declaring it otherwise. His words, (pag. 248.) are; All our answers and Declarations have been and are owned by us, and have been attested under our hands: if any other had been published in our name, and without our authority; It would be easy for both Houses of Parliament to discover and apprehend the Authors: And we wish that whosoever was trusted with the drawing, and penning of that Declaration (namely the Parliaments, dated 19. of May 1642.) had not more authority or cunning to impose upon or deceive a major part of those votes by which it passed; then any man hath to prevaile with us to publish in our name any thing but the since and resolution of our own heart. And since this new device is found out in stead of answering our reasons, or satisfying our just demandes, to blast our Declarations, and answers, as if they were not our own; (a bold senselesse imputation) we are sure that every answer and Declaration published by us, is much more our own, then any one of those bold threatning and reproachfull Petitions, and remonstrances are the acts of either or both houses Yea, and as if all this were not enough to be done by a trust sufficiently for ever to declare the forfeiting of his trust and Kingly Office; the King himself hath caused the Iewels of the Crown to be pawned, to buy instruments of warre, to butcher and murther his people; who never gave him any power, and authority, for any other end, but to protect, defend, and preserve them: neither did he ever in his life, injoy any other power, either from God, or man, but for that end; yet in his speech to the people of SALOP, he declares he will melt down all his own Plate, and expose all his land to sale, or morgage, (though it be none of his, but the Kingdomes) that so he may the faster cut the throats, and shed the innocent blood of those his brethren, that betrusted him with all he had, or hath, for their good and welfare. Yet to fill up the measure of his iniquity; he, (not his evill counsellors) hath given Commission to his Commissioners of Array, Sheriffes, Mayors, Justices, Bailiffes, or any other whatsoever, to raise Force, and to kill and slay all such as should hinder the EXECVTION of his Royall command, or put the Ordinance of Militia (though it were for their own preservation) in Execution, pag. 581. And the same bloody murdering Commissions he hath given to his Instruments in Scotland & Ireland, to Butcher, destroy, and ruinate the people there. So that to sum up all, the Parliament told him plainly in their late letter sent to him at Oxford, That he was guilty of all the innocent blood shed in England, Scotland, and Ireland, since these wars, which is the blood of thousands of thousands: For which, if all the sons of men should be so base and wicked, as not to doe their duty, in executing justice upon him (which Legally may and ought to bee done, by those especially who have Power and Authority in their hands:) Yet undoubtedly, the righteous God will, and that I am confident in an exemplary manner, in despight of all his bloody add wicked protectors and defenders. For GOD is a just GOD, and will revenge innocent blood even upon Kings, Judg. 1 6, 7. 1 Kings 21. 19. & 22. 38. Isa. 30. 33. Ezek. 32. 29. --- and will repay wicked and ungodly men, Isai. 59. 18. Therefore I desire those that shall thinke this a harsh saying; to lay down the definition of a Tyrant in the highest degree, and I am confident their own Consciences will tell them it is scarce possible to commit or doe that act of Tyranny that Charles Stewart is not guilty of; and therefore, de jure, hath absolved all his people from their Allegeance and Obedience to him, and which, the Parliament are bound in duty and conscience, De facto, to declare, and not to bee unjuster to the Kingdome, then their predecessors have been: which, in part, I have already mentioned; and shall, to conclude, onely cite some particulars of the Parliaments just dealing with Edward the second (who was not one quarter so bad as C.R) who being called to account by “the Parliament for his evil government, and being imprisoned at Kenelworth-Castle; the Parliament sent Commissioners to acquaint him with their pleasure, the Bishops of Winchester, Hereford, and Lincoln, two Earls, two Abbots, foure Barons, two Justices, three Knights for every County; and for London, and other principall places (chiefly for the five Ports) a certain number chosen by the Parliament. And when they came to him, they told him, the Common-wealth had conceived so irreconcileable dislikes of his government, the particulars whereof had been opened in the generall Assembly at London, that it was resolved never to endure him as King any longer: That, (notwithstanding) those dislikes had not extended so far, as for his sake to exclude his issue; but that with universall applause, and joy, the Common-wealth had in Parliament elected his eldest sonne, the Lord Edward, for King. They finally told him, that unlesse he did of himselfe renounce his Crown and Scepter; the people would neither endure him, nor any of his children, as their Soveraigne: but disclaiming all Homage and Fealty, would elect some other for King, not of the Blood.

The King seeing it would be no better; amongst other things told them, “That he sorrowed much, that the people of the Kingdom were so exasperated against him, as that they should utterly abhorre his (any longer) rule and soveraignty; and therefore he besought all there present, to forgive him; and gave them thanks for chusing his eldest sonne to be their King, which was greatly to his good liking, that he was so gracious in their sight.

Whereupon they proceeded to the short Ceremony of his Resignation, which principally consisted in the surrender of his Diadem, and Ensignes of Majesty to the use of his son the new King. Whereupon Sir William Trussel, on the behalfe of the whole Realm, renounced all homage and allegeance to the Lord Edward of Carnarvan, late King: The words of the definitive Sentence were these:

I William Trussel, in the name of all men of the Land of England and all the Parliament, Procurator resigne to thee Edward the Hamage that was made to thee sometime: and from this time forward now following, I defy thee and deprive thee of all Royall power; and I shall neuer be attendant to thee, as for King, after this time.

But if any object: It is true, Subjects and people have, de facto, done this unto their Kings; but they cannot doe it, de jure, for that Kings are above their people, & are not punishable by any, but God; I answer, God is the fountain, or efficient cause of all punishment; But, as to man, instrumentally; he inflicts by man: And though he be our supream Lord and Law-Maker, & hath for bodily and visible transgressions of his Law, appointed a visible and bodily punishment in this world, for the transgressors thereof, and man for his instrumentall executioner, and never (ordinarily) doth it immediately by himself, but when his Instrument (Man) failes to doe his duty: and being a God of order; hath appointed a Magistrate, or an impowred man, as his and their executioner, for the doing of justice: and never goeth out of this Road, but in extraordinary cases, (as he doth) when the Magistrate is extraordinarily corrupted in the executing of his duty: and in such cases, God hath raised up particular or extraordinary persons to be his executioners. And therefore God being no respecter of persons, hath by nature created all men alike in power, and not any, lawlesse, and none to bind each other against mutuall agreement and common consent: and hath expresly commanded, Man, his rationall creature, shall not tyrannize one over another, or destroy (by any intrusted power) each other; but that the intrusted, (Kings as well as others) shall improve the utmost of their power and strength, for the good and benefit, protection and preservation of every individuall Trustee.

And whosoever he be, that shall improve his intrusted power, to the destruction of his impowrers; forfeits his power. And God the fountain of Reason and Justice, hath endued man with so much reason, mercy, humanity, and compassion to himself and his own Being, as by the instinct Nature to improve his utmost power for his own preservation and defence: which is a Law above all lawes and compacts in the world. Declar. April 17. 1641. And whosoever rejects it, and doth not use it; hath obliterated the Principles of Nature in himselfe, & degenerated into a habit worse then a beast, and becomes felonious to himselfe, and guilty of his own blood. This, Israel of old, (the Lords peculiar people) understood as well as the people of England, although they had no expresse positive law, no more then we in England have to rebell, or withdraw their obedience & subjection from those Magistrates or Kings that exercise their power and authority contrary to the nature of their trust: which is plain and cleare, without dispute, in the case of Rehoboam, who was the son of Solomon, who was the sonne of David, who was assigned King by GOD, and chosen and made King by the common consent of the people of Juda and Israel, 2 Sam. 7. 13. And who by vertve of Gods promise to him and his seed to be Kings over his people; had more to say for his Title to his and their Crown, I am confident of it, then all the Princes in the world have to say for their claim, and childrens, to their Crown. For Rehoboam was not onely the sonne of Solomon, who was in a manner intailed by God himselfe unto the Crown; but he was also made King at Shechem by all Israel, 1 King. 12. 1. And afterwards Jeroboam the son of Nebat, Solomons servant, and all the congregation of Israel, went to Rehoboam to claim the making good of the GREAT CHARTER of Nature, viz. to claim relaxation of oppression, and protection according to justice, that is to say, that he should doe to them (in governing them justly) as he would have them to doe to him, (in yeelding him subjection and obedience:) this being the whole Law of GOD both Naturall and Morall; and therefore they tell Rehoboam, that the King this Father had broke their Charter, and made their Yoak grieuous (which you may read of in Chap. 4.) Now therefore make thou (observe, they doe not say, Most gracious Soveraigne; nor, Most excellent Majesty) the grievous service of thy Father, and his heavy yoak which he put upon us, lighter, and we will serve thee. But the King rejecting the advice and counsell of his old and good Counsellors: which, as we may say, was to govern them according to Law, contained in Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, &c. and not to rule and governe them according to his Prerogative, or perverse will: For they tell him, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, (mark it well) and answer them, and speak good words to them; then they will bee thy servants, for ever. But he forsook the counsell of the old men (which wee may call GOOD COMMONWEALTHS-MEN,) and followed the advice of his youngmen (which we call the Cavaliers, or men for the Prerogative) And (saith the Text) he answered the people roughly, saying, My Father made your yoak heavy, and I will adde to your yoake: My Father also chastised you with whips, but I wil chastise you with Scorpions, 1 Kings 12. 3, 4 5, 6, 7, 8, 14. But (saith the Text, vers. 15) when all Israel saw that the King hearkened not unto them, the people answered the King, saying, What portion have we in David? Neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse. To your Tents, O Israel. Now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed to their tents, and revolted, or rebelled against the House of David, and called all the cõgregation of the people together, and (with an unanimous consent) made Jeroboam King over all Israel, as Rehoboam was over Juda; (having both an assignation from GOD, 1 King. 11. 11, 12, 13, 26, 29, 30, 31, 35, 37, 38. and a solemne legall publick (all and Election from the people, 1 Kings 12. 2, 3, 20, 21.) and of his Regality and Kingship, as legally and justly by God himselfe approved, by sending his Prophet to bring the kingdom back to Solomons son) to command him and Juda, &c. (Observe, he calls them not Rehoboams people) not to goe up nor fight against their brethren the children of Israel. Which command, as most just, they observed, vers. 21, 22, 23, 24. Yea, and God himselfe, (in the 14. chapter and 7. verse) beareth witnesse that he himselfe exalted Jeroboam from among the people, and made him Prince over his people Israel, and rent the Kingdome from the house of David, and gave it unto him. And afterwards, when God upbraids him, it was not because he was an usurper, a traytor, or a rebell against his masters son King Rehoboam; but because he had not been as his servant David was, (who followed him with a perfect heart,) but had done evill above all that was before him in making him other Gods, and molten Images, to provoke me (saith God) to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back. So that here is a cleare demonstration, that it is lawfull in the sight of God, as well as in the sight of Man, for a people to with-draw their obedience from that Magistrate, or King, that refuseth to govern them by legall justice; but oppresseth them contrary to the end of the trust reposed in him (which was never for their woe, but for their weale,) and so breakes that tacit contract, that by vertue of his Induction into his Office, is Naturally and Rationally implyed to be made, although it never be expressed, It being as the Parliament saith, (Book Declar. Pag. 150.) irrationall to conceive that when the Militia of any is committed to a Generall, although it be not with any expresse condition; that he shall not turne the mouthes of his Cannons against his own Souldiers for, (say they) that is so naturally and necessarily implyed, that its needlesse to be expressed, insomuch, as if he did attempt, or confind any such thing against the nature of his trust and place, it did, Ipso facto, estate the Armie in a right of disobedience, except we thinke that obedience binds men to cut their own throates, or at least their Companions.

Having laid this foundation, I will come now to speak something of those five particulars, which is before-mentioned and laid down in the sixth page of this Discourse; which are thus expressed.

First, if it were granted, that the Lords were a legall Jurisdiction, and had a judicative power over the Commons; yet, the manner of the Lords dealing with Lieut. Col. Lilburn, is illegall and unjust.

Secondly, That if the Lords were a Judicature, yet they have no jurisdiction over Commoners.

Thirdly, That they are no Judicature at all.

Fourthly, That they by Law and Right, are no Law-makers.

Fifthly, That by Law and Right, it lyeth not in the power of the King, nor in the House of Commons it self, to delegate the legislative power, either to the Lords divided or conjoyned, nor to any other persons whatsoever: For the first of these, viz. That the manner of the Lords proceeding with Lieu. Col. Lilburn, was, and is illegall, is cleer; and that I prove thus:

The Law requires; that before the body of a Free-man be attached, or summoned to a Bar of Justice, to answer a Chage; that there shall be an originall Declaration, or Charge, filed in the Court, before so much as either the Writ, Attachment, or Warrant go out, to seize upon, or summon the party accused. See Sir Edw. Cookes 2. part. Institut. f. 46, 50, 51. Read the Statute, &c. quoted in those Margents; but there was no such matter in Mr. Lilburns case: For although, as he declares in his book, called The Freemans freedome vindicated, page 3, the Lords (10. June, 1646. sue out a Warrant, to summon him, upon sight thereof, to answer such things, as he stands charged with before their Lordships, concerning a Pamphlet, entituled, The just mans justification; or, A Letter by way of Plea in Barre. And accordingly, the 11 of June, 1646. he appeared at their Bar, expecting there to have received a written Charge according to Law and Justice, which they both refused to shew him, or let him know, whether they had any such legall Charge, or no, against him; but presse him (contrary to the Petition of Right, and the Law of the Land) to answer to Interrogatories concerning himself (a practice condemned by themselves in his own case, Feb. 12. 1645.) in the annihilating his unjust Sentence in the Star-Chamber. (Reade his printed Relation thereof page 1, 2, 3, and the last) Which forced him to deliver in at their Bar, his legall and just Plea and Protestation, against their usurping jurisdiction over Commoners; which you may reade in The Freemans freedome vindicated, page 5. 6. Vpon which they commanded him to withdraw; and then (pag. 7.) make an Order to commit him; in these words.

Die Jovis 11. June 1646.

IT is this day ordered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, That Lieut. Col. John Lilburn, shall stand committed to the Prison of Newgate, for exhibiting to this House, a scandalous and contemptuous Paper, it being delivered by himselfe at the Barre this day; And that the Keeper of the said Prison, shall keepe him safely, untill the pleasure of this House be further signified: and this to be a sufficient Warrant in that behalfe.

John Brown, Cler. Parl.

To the Gentleman-Usher of this House, or his Deputy, to be delivered to the Keeper of Newgate.

I cannot hear, that he either at this time, misbehaved himself, either in word, or gesture towards them; but gave them as much respect at this time, as if he had been one of their own Creatures.

But away to Newgate he goes, and Iune 16, 1646, directs his appeale to the Honurable House of Commons, which you may read in the fore-mentioned booke, pag. 9, 10, 11. “Which appeale the House of Commons read, approved of, and committed to a speciall Committee, which Committee met, and examined his businesse, and as I am informed from very good hands, made a vote to this effect.

“That his proceedings with, and protestations against, the Lords delivered at their barre, and his appeale to the House of Commons, was just, and legall, which they in justice ought to beare him out in: which Report, Collonel Henry Martin (that couraragious and faithfull Patriot of his Country) as Chairman of that Committee; is to report to the House:

But immediately after the reading of this Appeale to the House, out comes the fore-mentioned booke in prynt, which it seemes did something startle the Lords, who had let him lie quietly in Newgate till then, without so much as sending him the Copy of any charge; But upon this, they send a Warrant againe for him, which, as I finde it in the 4. page of the Just man in Bonds thus followeth.

Die Lunæ 22. Junii. 1646,

ORdered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, that Lieutenant Collonel Iohn Lilburne now a prisoner in Newgate, shall be brought before their Lordships (in the High Court of Parliament) to morrow morning by 10. of the clock, and this to be a sufficient Warrant in that behalfe.

Iohn Browne Cler. Parl.

To the Gentleman Usher of this House, or his Deputy, to be delivered to the Keeper of Newgate or his Deputy.

And accordingly the next day, Lieutenant Collonel Lilburne was brought up to their barre, and being called into the House, was commanded to kneele; which he refused to do, for what reasons; he is best able to declare: which I hope he will not faile to do, as soone as he enjoyes the liberty, and priviledge to have pen, inke, and paper, which by law he cannot be debarred of, neither can it justly be denyed to the greatest Traytor in England. And surely the Lords give a cleere demonstration to the whole Kingdome to judge, that their own consciences tell them, that he is an honest, and a just man, and their dealing with him is base, wicked, illegall, and unjust, that they dare not suffer him to enjoy pen, inke, and paper (to declare the truth of his cause to the world) which they have most unjustly, and unrighteously kept from him, by speciall Order, for above three moneths together. So that by the paw, a man may judge of the whole body, that is to say; by their Lordships dealing with him, a wise man may easily see what they would do to all the Freemen of England; if their power were answerable to their wills, which would be to make them as great slaves as the Pesants in Franee are (who enjoy propriety neither in life, liberty, nor estate) if they did not make us as absolute vassals as the poore Turks are to the Grand Seigneour, whose lives, and estates he takes away from the greatest of them, when he pleaseth.

Therefore; O all ye Commons of England marke well, and eye, with the eye of Jealousie, these Lords the sons of pride, and tyranny: And not onely them, but all their associats, or Creatures, especially in the House of Commons: (if any such be there) for, assure your selves, enemies they are, and will be, to your liberties, and freedoms, what ever their specious pretences are to the contrary, it being a Maxim in nature, that every like, begets its like; Therefore, trust them not, no more then you would do a Fox with a Goose, or a devoureing Wolfe, with a harmelesse Lambe, what ever they say or sweare, having so palbably and visibly, in the case of Mr. Lilburne, broken all their Oathes, Protestations, Vowes, and Declarations to maintaine the Lawes of the Land, and the Liberties of the People.

But let us returne to their 2. summoning him to their Barre, who being commanded to kneeles refused: and without any more discourse, or so much as showing him any legal charge; they Commanded him to withdraw, and for this cause alone (hhe behaving himselfe this time also respectively enough (saving in the Ceremony of kneeling) they commit him close prisoner to Newgate.

A true Copy of their Warrant thus followeth.

ORdered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, that Iohn Lilburne shall stand Committed close prisoner, in the Prison of Newgate, and that he be not permitted, to have pen, inke, or paper, and none shall have accesse unto him in any kinde, but onely his Keeper, untill this Court do take further Order.

To the Keeper of Newgate his Deputy, or Deputies.

Iohn Browne Cler. Parl.

And so from this 23. of June, to the 11. of July then ensuing, he was locked up close, and neither his Wife, Children, Servants, Friends, Lawyers, or Councellers permitted to have accesse unto him, nor they never sent him word what they intended to do; And all this while the Lords are picking matter against him, having none it seemes when they first summoned him to their barre, to grownd the least pretence, or shaddow of a Charge against him: and knowing his resolution to stand to his liberties, they lay provocations upon him, & cõmit one act of injustice (with a high hand) upon the neck of another, to provoke him to let some words fall, or do some actions to ensnare himselfe, that so they might have some coulor for their future proceedings with him. And divers bookes coming out in his behalfe, by some (as it seemes) who wished him well, which to the purpose nettles the Lords, for their cruelty towards him; Serieant Finch, as one of his Majesties Councel, preferrs certaine Articles against him, in the House of those Peers by way of Charge, but sends him no Copy of it, although it was impossible for him being so close as he was) to get a Copy of it himselfe: the greatest part of which is taken out of his booke, called The Freemans Freedome vindicated, and his Epistle to Mr. Wolaston the Jaylor of Newgate, both of them made by him in Newgate, many dayes after the Lords had Cõmitted him; which letter of his to Mr. Wollaston, for the excellent matter therein, we will insert heere verbatim.

SIR,

I this morning have seen a Warrant from the House of Lords, made yesterday, to Command you to bring me this day at 10. a clocke before them, the Warrant expresseth no cause wherefore I should dance attendance before them; neither do I know any ground or reason wherefore I should, nor any Law that compels mee thereunto; for their Lordships sitting by vertue of Prerogative-parents, and not by election or common consent of the People, haue, as Magna Charta (and other good Lawes of the Land) tels me, nothing to do to try me, or any Commoner whatsoever in any criminall case, either for life, limb, liberty, or estate: but, contrary hereunto, as incrochers, and usurpers upon my freedomes and liberties; they lately, and illegally endeavored to try me a Commoner at their Bar, for which I under my hand, and seale, protested to their faces against them, as violent, and illegal incrochers upon the rights, and liberties of me, and all the Commons of England (a copy of which &c. I in Print herewith, send you) and at their Bar I openly appealed to my competent, proper, legall Tryers, and Judges, the Commons of England assembled in Parliament (for which, their Lordships did illegally, arbitarily, and tyrannically, commit me to prison into your custody) unto whom divers dayes agoe I sent my Appeale &c. which now remains in the hands of their Speaker, if it be not already read in their house, unto which I do, and will stand, and obey their commands.

Sir. I am a free-man of England, and therefore I am not to be used as a slave or Vassall by the Lords, which they have already done, and would further doe. I also am a man of peace, and quietnesse, and desire not to molest any, if I be not forced thereunto: therefore I desire you as you tender my good, and your own, take this for an answer, that I cannot without turning trayter to my liberties; dance attendance to their Lordships Barre: being bound in conscience, duty, to God, my, self, mine, and my Country; to oppose their incroachments to the death: which by the strength of God, I am resolved to do. Sir, you may, or cause to be exercised upon me, some force or violence to pull and drag me out of my chamber, which I am resolved to mantain, as long as I can, before I will be compelled to go before them; and therefore I desire you, in a friendly way, to be wise and considerate before you do that, which it may be, you can never undoe.

Sir. I am your, true and faire conditioned prisoner, if you will be so to me,

iohn lilburn.

And the next day aftere Serjente Finch exhibited his Artiicles, being the 11, July 1646. Lieutenant Colonell Lilburne is, by vertue of a warrant to the Sheriffe or Sheriffes of London M. Foot, and Mr. Kendrik (who contrary to Law refused to give him a Coppy of has warrant, although hee sent for it by Mr. Bisco the Clerk of Newgate,) brought up to the Lords barr, in a most base Contumelious, and reproachfull maner, the substance of that Warant, being to command him to the Lords Barr to heare his charge read. But before he was called in; hee, by his Keeper, sent word to the Lords, “That they being not his Peers, and Equals; were none of his LEGALL JUDGES, and so had no jurisdiction over him: and therefore hee would not stoop unto, or acknowledge, their authority and jurisdiction over him in this particular: which he desired a-fore-hand to acquaint them with: And that he must be forced, out of conscience to that duty he owes to Himselfe, his Liberties, and the Liberties of his Countrey: (seeing their LORDSHIPS would neither be satisfied with his Protestation, nor Appeale to the COMMONS; nor yet with his refusing to kneele at their Bar, nor consult with the House of COMMONS about the legality of their proceedings; but the third time to send for him, who, they knew, could not, in this case, stoop unto them; as though they were resolved to tread the Liberties of all the COMMONS of ENGLAND, under their feet. And therefore seeing that they increased in their illegall an unwarrantable presumptiõ) he said, he must increase in his just detestation of their actions, and incroachments. In testimony of which, hee was resolved to come in with his HAT ON, and to STOP his EARES when his charge was offered to be read, which (as I understand) he accordingly did.

And having liberty sometimes to speak to them, being commanded to withdraw three times, and brought in again; he told them to this effect, with a great deal of resolution, “That they were (not onely) not his Judges, but the manner of their proceeding with him, was against all Law and Justice: yea, contrary to their own judgement lately given by themselves in February last in his own case, of the Star-Chamber, and of the Petition of Right. For (said he) My Lords, the warrant that commanded me to your Barre; did summon me up to answer a criminall charge: And being at your Bar, I pressed you, again and again, to see it, and earnestly intreated you, that if you had any legall charge in writing against me, that it might bee produced: But (contrary to Law and Justice) you refused to do it, & contrary to all law (just High Commission-like) pressed me to answer Interrogatories concerning my self, which forced & ensnared me to deliver in my Protestatiõ against you. And I have since apppealed to my Legall Judges, the COMMONS of ENGLAND, assembled in PARLIAMENT; who have received, accepted, read, and committed my appeale, and promised me justice in it. And, my Lords, I tell you to your faces. These are the MEN that ONELY and ALONE have THE SUPREAM POWER of ENGLAND residing in them; who, when you have done all, and the worst you can, they both must, and will, bee your Judges and mine. But (my Lords) if you will not joyne issue with me there, that you may know I neither feare you nor your Charge, nor decline a legall proceeding about it; preferre your charge against me in any Court of Justice in Westminster-Hall, or any other Court in England, that hath a legall jurisdiction over me; and I will answer you: The which if you refuse, and will still persevere in your incroachmens upon my Rights and Liberties; know (my Lords) that here to your faces, I bid defiance to you to doe the worst you can to me, being resolved to spend my heart blood against you in this way. My Lords (said he) are not you the men that first engaged this kingdome in this present warre? And you pretended and swore, it was for the maintenance of the lawes and liberties of England: But (my Lords) if you dissembled, or were in jest; I am sure (said he) I was reall, and in good earnest. And therefore (my Lords) before you shall wrest out of my hand, my essentiall liberties and freedomes, and that which makes me a man, and to differ from a beast (having already run the hazards of so many deaths for the preservation of them as I have done); I tell you plainly and truly, I will by the strength of GOD, venture my life and blood as freely and resolutely against you in this particular, as ever I did in the field against any of the Cavaliers: (who, you told us, endevoured and intended to destroy the lawes and liberties of England) And some of your selves know that that was resolutely enough.

And much more, as I understand he told them then, which I leave to the relation of his own pen and hand, which I beleeve the world will shortly see.

But they went on, and sentenced him two thousand pounds to the King for his present contempt at their Barre, and two thousand pounds for his pretended crimes contained in their Articles, which they took pro confesso, because he would not heare them read.

But in regard that his wives late petition delivered to the House of COMMONS, September 23. 1646. doth notably and excellently set forth the illegality of the manner, &c. of the Lords proceedings with him; we judge it very necessary here to insert it, not only for the proof of the thing in hand, but also for her exceeding commendations in so close following her husbands businesse, in his great captivity, with such resolution, wisdome and courage as she doth, whose practice herein may be a leading, just, and commendable president for all the wives in England that love their husbands, and are willing to stand by them in the day of their tryall. Her petition thus followeth.

To the Chosen and betrusted Knights Citizens and Burgesses, assembled in the high and supream Court of PARLIAMENT.

The Humble Petition of Elizabeth Lilburne, wife to Lieu. Col John lilburne, who hath been for above eleven weeks by-past, most unjustly divorced from him, by the House of Lord, and their tyrannicall Officers, against the Law of God, and (as she conceives) the Law of the Land.

Sheweth,

THat you only and alone are chosen by the Commons of England to maintain their Laws, and Liberties, and to do them justice and right;a which you have often befor God and the World sworn to do:b yea, and in divert of your Declarations declared; it is your duty (in regard of the trust reposed in you) so to doe;c without any private aimes, personall respects, or passions whatsoever;d And that you think nothing too good to be hazarded in the discharge of your consciences for the obtaining of these ends:e And that you will give up your selves to the uttermost of your power, and judgement; to maintain truth, and conforme your selves to the will of God;f which is to doe justice andg right, and secure the Persons, Estates, and Liberties of all that joyned with you;h imprecating the judgments of Heaven to fall upon you when you decline from these ends:* you judging. it the greatest scandal that can be laid upon you, that you either do or intend to subvert the Lawes, Liberties, & freedoms of the people.i Which freedoms, &c. you your selves call, The cõmon birth-right of English-men,k who are born equally free, and to whom the law of the land is an equal inheritance: and therefore you confesse in your Declar. of 23. Octob. 1643.l It is your duty to use your best endevours, that the meanest of the Cõmonalty may enjoy their own birth-right, freedom & liberty of the laws of the land, being equally (as you say) intitled thereunto with the greatest subject. The knowledge of which, as coming from your own mouthes, and Pen, imboldned your Petitioner, with cõfidence, to make her humble addresse to you, & to put you in mind, that her husband above 2 moneths agoe made his formal & legall appeale to you against the injustice and usurpation of the Lords acted upon him which you received, read cõmitted, and promised him justice in: But as yet no report is made of his busines, nor any relief, or actual justice holden out unto him; although you have since found time to passe the Cõpositions & pardons for the infranchising of those that your selves have declared Traytors and Enemies to the Kingdom: which is no small cause of sorrow to your Petitioner, and many others, that her husband, who hath adventured his life, and all that hee had in the World, in your lowest condition for you; should bee so slighted & disregarded by you, as though you had forgot the duty you owe to the kingdom, and your many Oathes, Vowes, and Declarations:** which neglect hath hastened the almost utter ruine of your Petitioner, her husband, and small Children. For the Lords in a most tyrannicall and barbarous manner (being encouraged by your neglect) have since committed her husband, for about three weeks, close prisoner to Newgate, locked him up in a little room, without the use of pen, ink, or paper (for no other cause but for refusing to kneel at the Bar of those, that by law are none of his Judges.)m The cruell Jaylors all that time refusing to let your Petitioner, or any of his friends to set their feet over the threshold of his chamber door, or to come into the prison yard to speak with him, or to deliver unto his hands, either meat, drink, money, or any other necessaries. A most barbarous & illegall cruelty! so much cõplained of by your selves in your Petition & Remonstrance to the King, 1. Decemb. 1641.n and detested & abhorred there, by you, as actions & cruelties being more the proper issues of Turks, Pagans, Tyrants, and men without any knowledge of God, then of those that have the least spark of Christianity, Honour, or justice in their breasts. And then while they thus tyrannized over your Petitioners husband; they command (as your Petitioner is informed) Mr. Sergeant Finch, Mr. Hearn, Mr. Hale, and Mr. Glover, to draw up a Charge against your Petitioners husband, without giving him the least notice in the world of it, to fit himself against the day of his tryall: but contrary to all law, justice, and conscience, dealt worse with him, then ever the Star-chamber did; not only in keeping his Lawyers from him, but even all maner of Councellors & Friends whatsoever, even at that time when they were about to try him: and then of a sudden send a Warrant for him to come to their Bar (who had no legall authrity over him) to hear his charge read: where he found the Earle of Manchester (his professed enemy, and the only party (of a Lord) concerned in the businesse;) to be his chief Judge, contrary to that just Maxime of law, That no man ought to be both party & judge; (a practice which the unjust Star-chamber it self in the days of its tyranny, did blush at, and refuse to practise, as was often seen in the Lord Coventries case, &c.) And without any regard to the Earl of Manchesters impeachment (in your House) of treachery to his countrey, by L. Gen. Cromwel, which is commonly reported to be punctually and fully proved, & a charge of a higher nature then the Earl of Straffords, for which he lost his head: And which also renders him, so long as he stands so impeached; uncapable, in any sense, of being a Judge. And a great wrong and injustice it is to the kingdome; to permit him; and to himself, if innocent; not to have had a legall tryall ere this, to his justification or condemnation. And besides all this, because your Petitioners husband stood to his appeal to your Honours, and would not betray Englands liberties; which you have, all of you, sworn to preserve, maintain, and defend: they most arbitrarily, illegally, and tyrannically, sentenced your Petitioners said husband to pay 4000. l. to the King (not to the State) & for ever to be uncapable to beare any Office in Church or Common-wealth, either Martiall or Civill, and to lie 7. years a prisoner in the extraordinary chargeable prison of the Power; where he is in many particulars illegally dealt withall, as he was when he was in Newgate.

Now forasmuch as the Lords, as they claim themselves to bee a House of Peers, have no legall judgement about Commoners, that your Petitioner can heare of, but what is expressed in the Statute of the 14. Ed. 3 5. which are delayes of justice, or error in judgement in inferior Courts only; and that with such limitations and qualifications as are there expressed; which are that there shall be one Bishop at least in the judgement, & an expresse Cõmission from the King, for their medling with it. All which was wanting in the case of your Petitioners husband, being begun and ended by themselves alone. And also seeing that by the 29 of Magna Charta, your Petitioners husband, or any other Commoner whatsoever; in criminall cases, are not to be tried otherwise then by their Peers: which Sir Ed: Cook in his exposition of Magna Charta, (which book is printed by your own speciall authority) saith, is meant [equals] fol. 28. In which (saith he, fol. 29.) are comprized Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen Citizens, Youngmen, & Burgesses of severall degrees; but no Lords of Parliament. And in p. 46. he saith: No man shall be disseised [that is, put out of seison, or dispossessed of his freehold; that is, saith he, lands or livelihood, or of his liberties or free customes,] that is, of such franchises and freedoms, and free customes as belong to him by his free Birth-right, unlesse it be by the lawfull judgement, (that is, verdict of his Equals; that is, saith he, of men of his own condion:] or by the law of the land; that is (to speak it once for all) By the due course & processe of law. And, saith he, no man shall be in any sort destroyed unlesse it be by the verdict and judgement of his Peers, that is, equals, or by the law of the land. And the Lords themselves in old time did truly confesse: That for them to give judgement of a Commoner in a criminall case is contrary to law; as is clear by the Parliaments record in the case of Sir Simon d’ Bereford 4. Ed. 3. Rot. 2. (the true copy of which is in the hands of M. H. Martin) & they there record it, That his case who was condemned by them for murdering King Edw. 2. shal not be drawn, in future time, into president, because it was contrary to law, they being not his Peers, that is, his Equals. And forasmuch as the maner of their proceedings was contrary to all the former ways of the law publickly established by Parliament in this kingdom, as appears by severall Statuteso which expresly say, “That none shall be imprisoned, nor put out of his free-hold, nor of his, franchises, nor free customes, unless it be by the law of the land, and that none shall be taken by Petition, or suggestion made to the King, or to his Councel, unlesse it be by indictment, or presentment of good and lawfull people of the same neighborhood, where such deeds be done, in due manner, or by processe made, or by Writ original at the common-law. Which Statutes are nominally and expresly confirmed by the Petition of Right, by the Act made this present Parliament for the abolishing the Star-chamber; and thereby, all acts repealed that formerly were made in derogation of them. But contrary hereunto, the Lords (like those wicked Justices spoken of by Sir Ed. Cookp in stead of trying her husband by the law of the land; proceed against him by a partiall tryall, flowing from their arbitrary will, pleasure, and discretion, &c.* For, though they summoned him up to their Bar, June 10. 1646. to answer a Charge; yet they refused to shew it him, or give him a Copy of it, but committed him to Newgate Iune 11. 1646, (although he behaved himself then with respect towards them both in word and gesture) meerly for refusing to answer to their Spanish Inquisition-like Interrogatories, and for delivering his legall Protestation, Their Mittimus being as illegall as their summoning of him, and their own proceedings with him. Their commitment running, To be kept there: not till he be delivered by due course of Law; but, During their pleasure: which Sir Edw. Cooke saith, is illegallq and then locked up close, that so he might bee in an impossibility to understand how they intended to proceed against him.

Wherefore your Petitioner humbly prayeth, to grant unto her husband the benefit of the law, & to admit him to your Bar himself, to plead his own cause, if you be not satisfied in the mãner of his proceedings, or else according to law, justice, & that duty and obligation that lyeth upon you; forthwith to release him from his unjust imprisonment: & to restrain & prohibit the illegal & arbitrary proceedings of the Lords, according to that sufficient power instated upon you, for the enabling you faithfully to discharge the trust reposed in you, and to vacuate this his illegall sentence and fine, and to give him just and honorable reparations from the Lords, and all those that have unjustly executed their unjust Commands: It being a Rule in Law, and a Maxime made use of by your selves in your Declaration 2. November, 1642.r That the Kings illegall commands, though accompanied with his presence, do not excuse those that obey them; much lesse the Lords: with which the Law accordeth, and so was resolved by the Judges; 16. Hen. 6.s And that you will legally and judicially examine the Crimes of the Earle of Manchester, and Colonell King, (which the Petitioners husband, and others, have so often complained to you of,) and do exemplary justice upon them, according to their deserts: or else, according to Law and Justice, punish those (if any) that have falsly complained of them.t And that you would, without further delay, give us reliefe by doing us justice.v All which, she the rather earnestly desireth, because his imprisonment in the Tower is extraordinary chargeable and insupportable: (although by right, and the custome of that place, his fees, chamber, and diet, ought to be allowed him, and paid out of the Treasure of the Crown,) he having wasted and spent himself with almost six years attendance, and expectation upon your Honours for justice and raparations against his barbarous sentence, &c. of the Star-chamber, to his extraordinary charge and dammage, and yet never received a penny; and also lost divers hundred pounds, the year he was a prisoner in Oxford Castle for you. Neither can he receive his Arrears (the price of his blood) for his faithfull service with the Earl of Manchester, although he spent with him much of his own money.

And the last yeare by the unadvised meanes of some Members of this Honourable House, was committed prisoner for above 3. Moneths, to his extraordinary charges and expences: And yet in conclusion he was releast, and to this day knoweth not wherefore he was imprisoned: For which, according to Law and Justice, hee ought to receive reparations; but yet he never had a peny.

All which particulars considered, doe render the condition of your Petitioner, her husband and children, to be very nigh ruine and destruction, unlesse your speedy and long-expected justice, prevent the same. Which your Petitioner doth earnestly intreat at your hands, as her right, and that which in equity, honour, & conscience, cannot be denied her.w

And as in duty bound, she shall ever pray, that your hearts may be kept upright, and thereby enabled timely and faithfully to discharge the duty you owe to the Kingdome, according to the Great Trust reposed in you: And so free your selves from giving cause to be judged men that seek your selves more then the publike good.

We will only speak two or three words to one thing, more fully mentioned in her Petition; and to another thing not mentioned at all in her Petition, very requisite to be taken notice of, in the manner of his Tryall; which is, That by Law it ought to have been publike.

Now for the first of these, which is the illegallity of all their Warrants, they committed him by; learned and grave Sir Edward Cooke, in his most excellent, worthy, and pretious Exposition of the 29. Chapter of Magna Charta, his 2. Part. Institut. fol. 52. saith thus;

Now seeing that no man can be taken, arrested, attached or imprisoned, but by due processe of Law, and according to the Law of the Land, these conclusions hereupon do follow,

First, that a commitment by lawfull Warrant, either in deed, or in law, is accounted in law, due processe, or proceeding of Law; and by the Law of the Land, as well as by processe, by force of the Kings Writ.

Secondly, That he, or they, which do commit them, have lawfull authority.

Thirdly, that this Warrant or Mittimus be lawfull, and that must be in writing, under his hand and seale.

Fourthly, the cause must be contained in the Warrant; as for Treason, Fellony, &c. or for suspition of Treason, or Fellony, &c. Otherwise, if the Mittimus, contain no cause at all [it is illegall] And if the prisoner escape, it is no offence at all; Whereas, if the Mittimus contained the cause; the escape were Treason or Fellony, though he were not guilty of the offence: and therefore, for the Kings benefit, and that the prisoner may be the more safely kept; the Mittimus ought to contain the cause.

Fifthly, the Warrant or Mittimus containing a lawfull cause, ought to have a lawfull conclusion, viz. and him safely to keep, until he be delivered by Law, &c. and not untill the party committing doth further order; And this doth evidently appear by the Writs of Habeas Corpus, both in the Kings-Bench, Common-Pleas, Exchequer, and Chancery. See pag. 52, 53. 2. part. Institut.

Out of the Kings Bench, REx Vicecom. London. Salutem. Pracipimus vobis quod corpus, A. B. in custodia vestra detent. ut dicitur, una cum causa detentionis suæ (quocunq; nomine præd. A. B. censeatur in eisdem,) habeatis coram nobis apud Westm. Die Jovis prox. post, Octab. St. Martini ad submittend. & recipend. ea, quæ curia nostra de eo, ad tunc, & ibidem ordinari contigerit in hac parte, & hoc nullatenus omittatis periculo in cumbente: & habeatis ibi hoc breve. Teste Edw. Cook 20. Novemb. Anno Regni nostri 10.

THe King to the Sheriffs of Lon. greeting. We command you, that you have the body of A. B. (now detained in your custody as is said) together with the cause of this detention by what Name soever the said A. B. be called therein) before Vs at Westminster, upon Thursday, Eight dayes after the Feast of St. Martins, to submit, and receive what Our Court shall then and there order concerning him. Faile not hereof, at your perill: and see that you have there this Writ. Witnesse, Edw: Cook, 20. Nov. and the Tenth Yeare of Our Raign.

This is the usuall forme of the Writ of Habeas Corpus, in the Kings-Bench, vide Mich. 5. Edw. 4. Rot. 143. Coram Rege, Kesars Case, under the Test of Sir John Markeham.

In the common pleas for any man priviledged in that Court, & the like in the Exchequer. REX Vicecom. London. salutem. Præcipimus vobis quod habeatis Coram Justiciariis nostris, apud Westm. Die Jovis prox. post quinque Septiman. Pasche, corpus A. B. quocunque nomine censeatur, in prisona vestra, sub custodia vestra detent. ut dicitur, una cum die. & causa captionis & detentionis ejusdem, ut iidem Justiciar. nostri, visa causa illa, ulterius sieri fac. quod de jure, & secundum legem, & consuctudinem Regni nostri Angliæ for et faciend. & habeatis ibi hoc breve. Test, &c.

THE King to the Sheriffes of London, greeting. We command you, that you have before Our Justices at Westminster, upon Thursday next five weekes after Easter, the Body of A. B. by what Name soever he be called, being detained in your Prison under your custody, together with the day and cause of his Caption, to the end, that Our said Justices having seen the cause, may further doe, that which of right, and according to the Law and Custome of Our Realm of England ought to have done, or have there this Writ: Witnesse, &c.

The like Writ is to be granted out of the Chancery, either in the time of the Term; (as in the Kings-Bench) or in the vacation: for the Court of Chancery is officina justicia, and is ever open and never adjourned; so as the subject being wrongfully imprisoned, may have Justice for the liberty of his person; as well in the Vacation-time, as in the Terme.

By these Writs, it manifestly appeareth, that no man ought to be imprisoned, but for some certain cause; and these words, Ad subjiciend & recipiend, &c. prove, that cause must be shewed: for otherwise, how can the Court take order therein, according to Law?

And this is agreeable with that which is said in Holy History, sine ratione mihi videtur, mittere vinctum in carcerim, & causas eius non signifie But, since we wrote these things, & parted over too many other Acts of Parliament; see now the Petition of Right, Anno tertio Caroli Regis: resolved in full Parliament by the King, the Lords Spirituall and Temporall, and the Commons which hath made an end of this question (if any were) Imprisonment doth not only extend to false imprisonment, and unjust; but for detaining of the prisoner longer then hee ought, where hee was at the first lawfully imprisoned.

If the Kings Work come to the city deliver to the prisoner; If he detain him, this detaining is an imprisonment against the law of the land &c.

But look upon all the Warrants, (by virtue of which the Lords committed, and committed, close committed Lte. Col. Lilburne) and you all not find one legall one amongst them all.

Now, for the second thing before spoken of, in the manner of his tryall; which is, That it might by Law to have been publike, in the presence of all that had a mind to have heard it, without any restraint of any.

This I find to be claimed by Mr. Pryn, at the tryall of Colonell Nat. Fines, in the 11. page of his relation thereof; which he desired, “That they might have a publike hearing, and that the date might be set open, and none excluded that would come in; the which (he saith) he desired the rather; because, the Parliament, the representative Body of the Kingdome, had ordered a fair and equall tryall; which he conceived (as he told the Councell of Warre) was to be a free and open one, agreeable (as he saith) to the proceedings of Parliament, and all other Courts of Justice in the Realm, which stand open to all; and from whence, no Auditors are, or ought to be excluded.

To which Mr. Dorisla answered, that it was against the stile & conrse of a Court-Marshall to be publike and open; and therefore, it might not be admitted upon any tearmes.

Unto which Mr. Will. Pryn replyed; “that hee was a common-Lawyer, and by his profession, his late Protestation, and Covenant, bound to maintain the fundamental laws of the kingdome, and liberty of the Subject, which he told the Councell of Warr, they themselves had taken vp Armes, &c. to defend and maintain; And, saith he, by the Lawes and Statutes of the Realm, all Courts of Justice ever have been, are, and ought to be held openly and publikely, not close, like a Cabinet-Councell; Witnesse, all Courts of Justice at Westminster, and else-where; yea, all our Assizes, Sessions, wherein men, though indicted but for a private Fellony, Murder, or trespasse, have alwayes oFpen tryals: He goes on, and in the 12. page thereof, tells him; that not only Courts of common-Law, but the Admiralty, and all-other Courts, proceeding by the Rules of either of the civill, or canon-Law, the proceedings have ever been publike, and the Courts open, and even in late proceedings by Martiall Law, before a Conncell of Warre, at the Guild-Hall of London, at the tryall of Mr. Tompkins, Chillenden and others, it was publike and open in presence of both Houses of Parliament, and the whole City; no comers being thence excluded. And he positively tels the Councell of Warre, a little further; that it was both against the laws, and subjects liberty (as he humbly conceived) to deny any prosecutor, or subject, an open tryall.

And he gives divers reasons there, for it; he goes on, and in the 13. page saith, That the Parliament when it sits as a Councell, to consult, debate, or deliberate of the great and weighty affaires of the Kingdome, is alwayes private, and none but the Members or Officers of either House admitted to their consultations and debates. But (saith he) as the Parliament is a Court of Justice, to punish Malefactors; so the proceedings of both, or either House are alwayes publike, as appears by the late Tryall of the Earle of Strafford, in Westminster-Hall, and infinite other presidents of antient and present time;

To which, I may adde, the Tryall of William Laud, late Archbishop of Canterbury. And this practice is suitable to what we read in Scripture; that among the Iewes, the Iudges sate openly in the City Gates, the most publike place of all. And truly, he or they that will not suffer Justice to be executed and administred openly, bewrayes their own guiltinesse; and do thereby acknowledge, that they are ashamed of their cause. For, saith Christ, John 3. 20, 21. Every one that doth evill, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, least his deeds should be reproved (or discovered;) but he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

But so far were the Lords, from this just way, of permitting Lieutenant Col. Lilburn, a publike tryall; that the first time hee came before them, Iune 11. 1646. After he was come into the House, some of his friends, and some strangers stept in, as by Law and Justice they might; But the Earl of Manchester (as Speaker of that House) commanded them all to withdraw, which they were forced to doe.

And this I averre, not by hear-say, but out of knowledge. And the second time he came before them, which was 23 Iune 1646. It was little otherwise, his friends being turned out of doores, though some of his enemies, scoffers, and deriders, were permitted to stay: And the third time, which was upon the 11. Iuly, 1646; as I understand, he had much adoe with the dore-keepers, to get his wife to be admitted in; though a great many of the Sheriffes Sharks and Caterpillars, that accompany the Hang-man to Tyburn, the day he doth execution, were freely admitted; & Hounscot the tyrannicall Prelates old-cruell Catchpole, and now the Lords speciall Darling, and Favourite, a man transcendent in basenesse, and wickednesse, and therefore more fit for their Lordships, with some others of their own creatures, were admitted in, as parties fit to bear false witnesse against him, and make false reports of his, and his honesty.

And Lieutenant-Colonel Lilburns friends were so far from being admitted into the Lords House, to see and behold the justnesse of their proceedings; that the doore of the Painted-Chamber was locked, and strongly guarded against them: and if any of them in the croud got in there, they had a second barre at their Lordships doore; and if by great chance, they at the opening thereof, crowded in; the Officers that stood at the inner doore, took special care to hinder them from admittance there.

Oh the height of injustice and basenesse! at the doing of which, or hearing of it, the Lords may justly blush for shame; if they had either any honesty, or ingenuity left in them: and thus much for the first Position.

I come now to the second; which is, That if the Lords were at Iudicature, yet they have no jurisdiction over Commoners. But this is so fully proved in Mrs. Lilburns Petition, that I shall need to say no more to it; but referred the judicious Reader thereunto, and to a Printed Letter written by Mr. R. OVERTON, a prisoner in Newgate (committed thither by the Lords) to Colonell HENRY MARTIN, a Member of the Honourable House of Commons; which Letter, is a most notable rationall peece, worth the reading.

I passe now to the third, which is to give you some reasons, to manifest, that the LORDS are no Judicature at all,

But, [Editor: illegible word] I shall crave leave to informe the Reader that the foregoing discourse, was made and finished above two moneths agoe, and hearing that there was “an Order from the Committee appointed by the House of Commons to consider of the priviledges of the Commons of England, to bring Lieutenant Collonel Lilburne up before them; I conceived he would then be at liberty to write himselfe, and his discourse I thought might adde much to strengthen the things I drive at, and desire to declare and prove, and therefore I have sate still without makeing any progresse, to finish this discourse, till this present conclusion of this present moneth of November 1646. And my expectation I have not failed: for he hath published two notable discourses of his own, and some friend of his, a third, and therefore I shall earnestly desire the studious and inquisitive Reader, for the further illustration and proofe of the first and second positions layd down in pag. 6. and already handled in pag. 63. 64. 65. 78. &c. seriously to read over the 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. pages of his first book called Londons Liberty in Chaines discovered, printed Octob. 1646. And the 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 11. 14. 22. pages of his speech to the aforesaid Committee Nov. 6. 1646. and since by him published in print, and called, An Anatoamy of the Lords Tyranny. And the 23, 24, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44. 46. 47. pages of his friends booke called (Vox Plebis a most notable discourse) In the 26, 27, 28. 29. 31. 32. pages of which, you may reade his Charge and sentence in the House of Lords.

Now having promised this, I returne to the third thing to be handled, which is to give you some reasons, to manifest that the Lords House are no Judicatour at all.

And for the illustration of this, I shall desire it may be considered, that no judicature can justly be erected, or set up, unlesse it legally derive power from those that have a legall power to erect, constitute, or institute it, and I thinke this will be granted of all sides.

And therefore let us make inquisition, who (according to law and right in England) have an originall and true power to erect judicatures, and I say, onely the legall Commissioners of the people, commonly called the Commons of England Assembled in Parliament, and not the King, who is not to give a law unto his people, but his people unto him, as is before largely proved, pages 37; 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43. And as he confessed in his Coronation-Oath, that he hath taken, or ought to have taken, which you may read before, pag. 31. 32. and which is declared by the statute of provisoes of benefices made Anno. 25. Ed. 3. Annodom. 1350. which you may read in the statutes at large, pag. 157. about the midst of which you have these words. “whereupon the said Commons have prayed our said Lord the King, that sith the right of the Crowne of England, and the law of the said Realme is such, that upon the mischiefes, and damages, which happen to his Realme, he ought, and is bound by his oath, with the accord of his people, in his Parliament, thereof to make remedy and law, and in removing the mischiefes and damages which thereof insue, that it may please him thereupon to ordaine remedy, (and it followes in these words.)

“Our Lord the King seeing the mischiefes and damages before mentioned, and having regard to the said statute, made in the time of his said Grandfather, and to the causes contained in the same, which statute holdeth alwayes his force, and was never defeated, repealed, nor adnulled in any point, and by so much he is bounden by his Oath, to cause the same to be kept as the Law of his Realme, though that by sufferance and negligence it hath been sithence attempted to the contrary, &c.

But the House of Peeres neither derive nor challenge their Iudicature, not in the least, either from Commons in generall: or from their Commissioners, Deputies, Trustees, or Representors in Parliament Assembled, and therefore are no legall Iudicature at all.

And that they do not derive their power, either from the people (under God the absolute and alone fountaine of all true power) or their Commissioner, read before pag. 45. where you shall finde, that the King (their groundlesse creator) saith, they have their power by blood, and themselves claime it, from no truer fountaine, then by vertue of their being the Sons of prerogative, Lords, Earles, Dukes, or Barrons.

Now if you please to reade the Chronicles of this Kingdome, you shall find that this thing called prerogative flowes meerly from the wills and pleasures of Robbers, Rogues, and Theeves, by vertue of which they made Dukes, Earles, Barrons, and Lords, of their fellow Robbers, Rogues, and Theeves, the line all issue, and progeny of which, the present House of Peers are, having no better right nor title, to their present pretended judicature, then meer and absolute usurpation, and the will and pleasures of the potent and enslaving Tyrants, alias Kings, of this Kingdome: for I read in Speeds Chronicle, pag. 413. 416. 417. and in Daniel pag. 27. 28. That,, the Normans in France, “came antiently of a mixt people from the Norwegians, Swedens & Danes, & practising practises upon the Coasts of Belgia, Frizia, England, Ireland, and France, and proceeded in their hardy and wicked courses even to the Mediterranean Sea: which drove the French to such extremity, that King Charles the bald, was forced to give unto Hasting a Norman Arch-Pirate, the Earldome of Charters to asswage his fury exercised upon his people, and also King Charles the Grosse, granted unto Godfrey the Norman part of Newstria, with his Daughter in Mariage: yet all this sufficed not but that the Normans by force of Armes, seated themselves neere unto the mouth of Sein taking all for their own, that lay comprised betwixt that River, and the River Loyre: which Country afterwards took the name of Normandy, from those Northern guests, at which time King Charles the simple, confirmed it unto Rollo their Captaine, and gave unto him his Daughter Gills in Mariage: which Rollo with divers misdoers and outlawed men were forced to flye out of their own Country : which Rollo of the Danishrace was the first Duke of Normandy, whose Son William was the second Duke of Normandy, and Richard his Sonne was the third Duke of that Country, And his Sonne Richard the second, was the fourth Duke thereof, And Richard the third his Sonne was the fifth Duke of Normandy; And Robert his brother, and Sonne to Richard the second, was the sixth Duke of Normandy, who was Father to our William the Conqueror, who was the seventh Duke of Normandy, whom Duke Robert begat of one Arlet, or Arletice a whore, and a mean woman of Phalisia in Normandy, who was the Daughter of a Skinner, & being resolved to go visite the holy Sepulcher, having no more Sonnes but William his bastard, he calles his Nobility together, and tells them; In case I dy in my journey, (as he did) I have a little Bastard, of whose worthinesse I have great hope, and I doubt not but he is of my begetting: him will I invest in my Dutchie, as mine heire: and from thenceforth I pray you take him for your Lord; which they did. And this Bastard in his youth having many sharp bouts and bickerings, with Roger de Tresny, and William Earle of Arques, brother to Duke Robert, and Sonne to Richard the second, &c. who lay claime to the Dutchie, as right and true heires to it, but William the Bastard, being too hard for them all, and by these wars grew to great experience in feates of Armes which with his marying of Matild, the Daughter of Baldwin the fifth, Earle of Flanders, a man of great might and power; provoked the French King to fall upon him, to abate his greatnesse, and curbe his pride: but, bastard William twice defeating two powerfull Armies of the Kings with great overthrowes, broke the heart of the King of France, which gave the bastard Duke of Normandy, joyfull peace: in which calme, the King makes a journey over into England, to visite King Edward the Confessor his kinsman; who had had his breeding in Normandy, by Duke Richard the second, the bastards Grandfather. And after his returne back againe; St. Edward the King of England dyeth. Whereupon, William the bastard busieth his thoughts how to obtaine the Crowne, and Scepter of England, unto which he makes certaine pretended claimes, as being granted unto him by King Edward; which was but a weake pretence, as King Harold in his answer to him informes him; (Speed. 404.) telling him that Edward himselfe coming in by election, and not by any title of inheritance; his promise was of no validity, for how could he give that wherein he was not interessed? And though William the bastard urgeth to Harold his Oath given him in Normandy; yet he answered his Embassadour that his Masters demand was unjust, for that an Oath extorted in time of extremity, cannot binde the maker in Conscience to performe it, for that were to joyne one sin to another: and that this Oath, was taken for feare of death, and imprisonment; the Duke himselfe well know: but (said he) admit it was voluntary and without feare; could I then a Subject without the allowance of the King, and the whole State, give away the Crownes successor to the prejudice of both? Speed. fol. 403. 404.

“But although the bastard Duke had no better claime but this, which was worth just nothing at all; (Reade before pag. 20. 21. 24. 27. 28. 39. 60. 61.) Yet notwithstanding William the bastard purseveres in his proud, wicked, and bloody intentions: and calles an Assembly of the States of Normandy together, and with importunate solicitations solicits them to supply him with money (the very sinews of war) to carry on his intended invasion of England; but they unanimously refuse and decline it. At length seeing this protraction and difficulty in general, he deals with his deerest and most trusty friends in particular, being such as he knew affected the glory of action and would adventure their whole estates with him; As William Fitz-Auber, Count de Bretteville, Gualtar Gifford Earle Longueville, Roger de Beaumont, with others, especially his own brothers by the mother, whom he had made great; as Odo Bishop of Baynox, and Robert Earle of Mortaign: and unto these he shewed his pretended right and hope of England, (wherein preferment lay) even to the meanest amongst them, onely money was the want, which they might spare neither should that be given nor lent without a plentiful increase. With such faire words he drew them so on, that they strove who should give most. And by this policie he gathered such a masse of money, as was sufficient to defray the warre. And not onely wan he the people of his own Provinces to undertake this action, but drew by his faire perswasions and large promises, most of the greatest Princes and Nobles of France to adventure their persons, and much of their estates with him; as Robert Fitz-Harrays Duke of Orleance, the Earles of Brittaigne, Ponthieu, Botogne, Poictcu, Maine, Nevers, Hicsins, Aumal, le Signieur de Tours, and even his mortall enemy Martel Earle of Anjou, became to be as forward as any. Besides, to amuze the Court of France, and dazzle a young Prince then King, he promised faithfully if he conquered this Kingdome, to hold it of him, as he did the Dutchy of Normandy, and doe him homage for the same. And then to make all sure with Pope Alexander (whose thunder-bolts of Excommunication were then of extraordinary dread and terror) he promised him to hold it of the Apostolick See, if hee prevailed in his enterprize. Whereupon the Pope sent him a Banner of the Church, with an Agrus of gold, and one of the haires of St. Peter, which was no small cause of prevailing, the base Clergy being then at the Popes beck, and more minding their own particular self-interest, then the welfare of their own native Countrey, or the lives, liberties & estates of their brethren according to the flesh; & thereupon were the principall instrumentall cause, that William the Bastard, commonly called, William the Conqueror, had so easie an entrance to the possession of this kingdome. Speed fol. 403. 404. 405. 406. 413. 417. Daniel fol. 28, 29, 35, 36. By means of which, the Clergy betraied their native Countrey to Robbers and Pirats, and left the poore Commons to the mercilesse fury of mercilesse men. And I wish they doe not now again the same with poore England, now in her great distractions: for their interest is visible not to be the publickes; but their pride, covetousnesse, and greatnesse. Therefore, O yee Commons of England, beware of them, and take heed you trust them not too much, lest you be so deluded by them, to your ruine and destruction.

And when William by their means principally, as Daniel saith, fo. 36. had got possession of the Kingdom, as you may partly before read, p. 14, 15, 16, 17.) how extraordinary tyrannically he dealt with the poor natives and inhabitants, “By changing their laws, and robbing them of their goods, and lands, at his will and pleasure, and gave them away to his Norman Robbers. And the poor Englishmen having all their livelihoods taken from them, became slaves and vassals unto those Lords to whom the possessions were given. And if by their diligence afterwards, they could attain any portion of ground; they held it but onely so long as it pleased their Lords, without having any estates for themselves, or their children, and were oftentimes violently cast out upon any small displeasure, contrary to all right. Daniel fo. 47. Speed 421, 423, 425. Insomuch that in those days it was a shame even among Englishmen, to be an Englishman, Speed. fol. 422. 429. By means of all which, he bestowd great rewards upõ all those great men that came along with him, and made them by his will the great men of England to help him to hold the people in subjection, bondage and slavery: for he made William Fitz-Auber the Norman (the principall man under him to help for his designe) Earle of Hartford, who singly of himselfe took upon him, meerly by the power of his own will, to make Lawes in his own Earldome. And unto Allayn, another of his Comrades, or trusty and well-beloved Consins, he gave all the lands of Earle Edwin, whereon he built a Castle, and whereof he made the Earldome of Richmond. And unto William of Warren, another of his Norman Robbers & Murderers, he gave the Earldome of Surrey. Speed fol. 437. And unto Walter Bishop of Durham, another of his Comrades, he sold the Earldome of Northumberland, who there by the law of his owne will, maintained Murderers and Rogues, and there was murdered himselfe.

And unto his Brothers (who came of his mother Arlet the Whore, who after William the Bastard was borne, was married to Harlain, a Norman, a Gentleman but of mean substance) Odo and Robert, he gave the Earldome of Ewe, and Mortaigne. Speed 417. Daniel 32. And afterwards Odo Earle of Kent, and after that in his absence Vice-Roy of England. And how this Beggar (now set on Horse-back) governed this poore distressed kingdome, let the Conquerors own speech declare, recorded by Speed, fol. 431. At the time when William came out of Normandy, & found his brother Odo (a Bishop as well as an Earle) at the Isle of Wight, with divers Noble men and Knights his attendants then going to Rome with an expectation there to be Pope, being grown extraordinary rich with his polling of this poore Kingdome. Vpon which, the King in presence of his Nobles, thus spake:

Excellent Peeres, I beseech you hearken to my words, and give me your counsell. At my sailing into Normandy, I left England to the government of ODO MY BROTHER, who (a little further in his speech hee saith) hath greatly oppressed England, spoyling the Churches of land and rents, hath made them naked of Ornaments, given by our predecessors, and hath seduced my Knights, with purpose to train them over the Alps, who ought to defend the land against the Nations of Scots, Danes, Irish, and other enemies over-strong for me. And (a little below that) my brother, saith he, to whom I committed the whole kingdom, violently plucketh away their goods, cruelly grindeth the poore; and, with a vain hope, stealeth away my Knights from me, and by oppression hath exasperated the whole land with unjust taxations. Consider therefore, most NOBLE LORDS, and give mee, I pray you, your advice, what is herein to be done: And in conclusion the King adjudged him to prison, yet not as a Bishop, (who then, it seemes, had large exemptions, but as an Earl, subject to the lawes and censure of his King. Which accordingly (saith Speed) was done, upon seizure of estate, this Prelate was whose found so well lined in purse, that his heaps of yellow mettle did move admiration to the beholders.

So that here you have the true story of the subversion of the ancient manner of Parliaments, & the ancient Lawes and Liberties of Government of this Kingdome, and a Law innovated, and introduced, flowing meerly frõ the will of a Bastard, Thief, Robber & tirant. You have here also a true Declaration of the original rise of the pretended legislative power of Earles, Lords, and Barons, the Peers, Competitors, and trusty and wel-beloved Cousins, and Hereditary Counsellors of our Kings, which was meerly and only from the wills and pleasures of this cruell and bloudy Tyrant, and his Successors; And no better claime have our present house of Peers either for their legislative power, or judicative power, then this, as is cleerly manifest by their own fore-mentioned Declaration, cited pag. 45. and therefore say I, are no legall Judicature at all, nor have no true legislative, or law-making power at all in them; having never in the least derived it from the people, the true legislaters and fountain of power; from whom only, and alone, must be fetched all derivative power, that either will or can be esteemed just: And therefore the Lords challenging all the power they have by their bloud, and deriving it from no other fountain but the Kings Letters-Pattents, flowing meerly from his will & pleasure; I groundedly conclude, they have thereby no judicative power; no, nor legislative power at all in them: for the King cannot give more to them, then he himself hath; and he hath neither of these powers, (viz. a judicative power, nor a legislative power) inherent in him; as is strongly, undeniably, and unanswerably proved before, in pag. 43, 44, 46, 47, 60, 61.

And therefore away with the pretended power of the Lords; up with it by the roots, and let them sit no longer as they do, unlesse they will put themselves upon the love of their Country, to be freely therby chosen as their cõmissioners to sit in Parliament (for I am sure, in right, all their actions now, are unbinding, and unindivalid) which becomes you.

O all ye Free-men or Commoners of England, out of that duty you ow to your selves, yours, and your native Country, throughly, and home, to set forth, by Petition to your own HOVSE of COMMONS, and to desire them speedily to remove them, before the Kingdome be destroyed, by their crosse, proud, and inconsistent interest: for little do you know, what Scotch-ale divers of them are now a brewing.

Read the Histories of William the Conqueror, and you shall easily find, that the pride and contention of those English-men that were called Lords amongst themselves, was no small cause of the losing of this Kingdome to that Tyrant: for saith Speed, fol. 409. After the Normans had slain King Harold, and overthrown his Army, the two great Earles of Yorkshire, and Cheshire, Morcar and Edwine coming to London, where the Londoners, &c. would gladly have set up Edgar Atheling the true Heire to the Crown, to have been their Captain Generall, to have defended them from the powerfull Norman Invaders, who now was exceedingly fleshed with his victory, and now likely to over-run the whole Land: yet such was the pride and basenesse of these two great Lords, that the misery, distresse, and fearfull estate of their native Country, could not disswade from their ambition, plotting secretly to get the Crown to themselvs, which hindered that wise and noble design, and totally lost their native Country.

O COMMONS OF ENGLAND, therefore beware of them, and have a jealous eye over them; and take heed, that when it comes to the pinch, they serve you not such another trick again.

For I am sure, their interest is not yours, nor the publikes, neither is it consistent with their ends, that you should enjoy Justice, or your undeniable and just rights, liberties, and freedomes.

And well to this purpose, saith Daniel (pag. 36.) “That after the Bishops and the Clergy had shewed their aversnesse, to the erecting of that probable meanes that was propounded to hinder the theevish invader) the Nobility, considering they were so born, and must have a King (and therefore considering of his power) made them strive, and run head-long, who should bee the first to pre-occupate the grace of servitude, and intrude them into forraign subjection.

So that the poor Commons (like a strong vessell, that saith hee (might have been for good use) were hereby left without a stern, and could not move regularly, trusting and resting it seemes too much upon those Lords; which I call the broken Reeds of Egypt, by whom they were undone.

But for the further cleering of the Originall of the House of Peers pretended power, I shall desire the understanding Reader, to read over a little Treatise, printed in Anno, 1641. called The manner of holding of Parliaments in England, in the 28. pag. hee saith, “King Harold being overcome, William the 1. King and Conqueror, having obtained the Soveraignty, according to his pleasure bestowed Dignities and Honours upon his companions, and others: Some of them so connext and conjoyned unto the Fees themselves, that yet to this day, the possessors thereof may seem to be inabled, even with the possession of the places only: as our Bishops at this day, by reason of the Baronies joyned unto their Bishoprickes, enjoy the title and preheminence of Barons in highest Assemblies of the Kingdome in Parliament: he gave and granted to others Dignities, and Honours, together with the Lands and Fees themselves: hee gave to Hugh Lupas his kinsman (a Norman, and sonne to Emma, sister to the Conqueror by the Mother) the Earldome of Chester, Ad conquirendum Angliã per Coronam (that is in English, to conquer and hold to himself and his Heires, as free by the Sword, as the King of England held it by his Crown) to HANNVSRVFVS (then Earl of Britain in France) the Earldome of Richmond. Ita libere & honorifice, ut eundem Edwinus Comes antea tenuerat (that is, in English) as freely and honourably, as Edwine Earle held it before.) And the Earldome of Arundel (which Harrold possessed) he granted with a fee unto Roger of Montgomeny.

And in page 33. the same Author declares, “That Kings sometimes not regarding the Solemnities of Ceremonies and Charters have only by their becks suffered Dignities and Honours to be transferred.

So that by what I am able to gather out of ancient Histories; William the Conquerour absolutely subdued the Rights and Priviledges of Parliaments held in England before this time: The manner of holding of which, as the same Author (in his first page) declares, was by the discreet sort of the Kingdome of England rehearsed, and shewed unto the Conquerour; which (as hee saith) he approved of. And the same doth John Minshew; say in his Dictionary published and printed at London, July 22. 1625. fol. 526. his words are these: In England the PARLIAMENT is called for the debating of matters touching the Common-wealth, and especially the making and correcting of Lawes: which Assembly, or Court, is of all other the highest, and of greatest authority, as you may read in Sir Thomas Smith, de Re. Angl. lib. 2. cap. 1. & 2. Cambd. Brit. & Compt. Juris. fol. 1. And see the Institution of this Court, Polydor Virgil, lib, 1. 1. of his Chronicles, referreth after a sort, to Henry 1. yet confessing, that it was used before, though very seldome. You may find, saith he, in the former Prologue of the grand Customary of Normandy, That the Normans used the same meanes in making their lawes. In a Monument of Antiquity showing the manner of holding this Parliament in the time of King Edward, the sonne of King Etheldred, which (as the Note saith) was delivered by the discreeter sort of the Realm, to William the Conqueror, and allowed by him. This writing began thus: Rex est Caput, &c. See more, saith he, of the course and order of this Parliament, in Compt. Juris. fol. 1. &c. And VOWEL, alias Hooker, in his Book purposely written of this matter; Powels book called the Atturneys Academy. Read Mr. William Prynnes first part of the SOVERAIGNE POWER OF PARLIAMENTS AND KINGDOMES, printed by the authority of this present Parliament, pag, 42, 43, 44.

William the Conqueror havivg (as to me is clearly evident) subdued Parliaments, their power, authority, priviledges and jurisdiction; did set up by the absolute law of his own will for his Compeeres, Couzens, and Connsellors, such men who had most pleased him in vassalizing and enslaving this kingdom and the people thereof; in whose steps severall of his successors after him did tread, So that the kingdome was ruled and governed by the King, and his Prerogative Nobles, and by lawes flowing from their wils and pleasures, and not made by common consent, by the peoples commissions assembled in Parliament, as it is now at this day; but he and his successors giving such large Charters to their Compeeres and great Lords, as to one to be Lord great Chamberlain of Englands, another Lord Constable of England; to another, Lord Admirall of England, &c. By meanes of which they had such vast power in the kingdome, (having then at their beck all the chiefe Gentlemen and Free-holders of England, that used to wait upon them in blew Jackets: so that they were upon any discontent able to combine against their Kings, their absolute creators, and hold their noses to the grind-stone, and rather give a Law unto them, then receive a law from them: in which great streits our former Kings, for curbing the greatnesse of these their meere creatures, now grown insolent; were forced to give new Charters, Commissions and Writs unto the Commons (then generally absolute vassals,) to choose so many Knights and Burgesles, as they in their own breasts should think fit to be able, by joyning with them, to curb their potent and insolent Lords, or trusty and well-beloved Cousins, which was all the end they first called the Commons together for; yet this good came out of it, that by degrees the Commons came to understand in a greater measure, their rights, and to know their own power and strength. By means of which, with much struggling, we in this age come to enjoy what wee have, by Magna Charta, the Petition of Right, and the good and just Lawes made this present Parliament, &c. which yet is nothing nigh so much as by right we ought to enjoy: For the forementioned Author of the book called, The manner of holding Parliaments in England, as 20, 21. pages declares plainly, that in times by-past, there was neither Bishop, Earle nor Baron; and yet even then Kings kept Parliaments. And though since by incursion, Bishops, Earles and Barons, have been by the Kings prerogative Charters summoned to sit in Parliament; yet notwithstanding the King may hold a Parliament with the Commonalty or Commons of the Kingdome, without Bishops, Earles and Barons.

And before the Conquest he positively declares, it was a right, that all things which are to be affirmed or informed, granted or denied, or to be done by the Parliament, must be granted by the Commonalty of the Parliament; who (he affirmes) might refuse (though summoned) to come to Parliament, in case the King did not governe them as he ought, unto whom it was lawfull in particular to point out the Articles in which he misgoverned them.

And suitable to this purpose, is Mr. John Vowels judgment; which Mr. Pryn in his above-mentioned book, pag. 43. cites out of Holinsh. Chro. of Ireland, fol. 127, 128. His words (as Mr. Pryn cites them) are thus: “Yet neverthelesse, if the King in due order have summoned all his Lords and Barons, and they wil not come; or if they come, they will not yet appear; or if they come & appear, yet will not do or yeeld to any thing: Then the King with the consent of his Commons, may ordain and establish any Acts or Lawes, which are as good, sufficient, and effectuall, as if the Lords had given their consents; but on the contrary, if the Commons be summoned, and will not come, or coming, will not appear; or appearing, will not consent to do any thing, alleadging some just, weighty, and great cause: The King in those cases* cannot with his Lords devise, make or establish any Law. The reasons are, when Parliaments were first begun, and ordained, THERE WERE NO PRELATES OR BARONS OF THE PARLIAMENT, AND THE TEMPORALL LORDS were very few, or none; and then the King, and his Commons did make a full Parliament; which authority was never hitherto abridged.

Again, every Baron in Parliament doth represent but his owne person, and speaketh in he behalf of himself alone.

But the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, are represented in the Commons of the whole Realm; and every of these giveth not consent for himself, but for all those also, for whom he is sent: And the King with the consent of his COMMONS, had ever a sufficient and full authority, to make, ordain, and establish good wholesome Lawes for the Common-wealth of his Realm.

Wherefore, the Lords being lawfully summoned, and yet refusing to come, sit, or consent in Parliament, cannot by their folly abridge the King and the Commons, of their lawfull proceedings in Parliament.

Thus, and more, John Vowel, alias Hooker, in his order & usage how to keep a Parliament (which begins in the foresaid History: pag. 121. and continues to pag. 130. printed Cum Privilegio.) And Sir Edward Cook in his Institutes on Magna Charta, proves, That the Lords and Peers in many Charters and Acts, are included under the name of the Commons or Commonalty of England. And in his Exposition of the second Chapter of Magna Charta. 2. part Institutes. fol. 5. He declares, that when the Great Charter was made, there was not in England either Dukes, Marquesse, or Viscounts: So that to be sure, they are all Innovators and Intruders, and can claime no originall or true interest to sit in Parliament, sith they are neither instituted by common consent, nor yet had any being from the first beginings of Parliaments in England, either before the Conquest, or since the Conquest; nor the first Duke (saith Sir Edward Cook, Ibidem) that was created since the Conquest, was Edw. the black Prince, In the 11. year of Edw. the third: and Rob. de Vere Earl of Oxford, was (in the 8. year of Richard the 2.) created Marquesse of Dublin in Ireland; And he was the first Marquesse that any of our Kings created.

The first Viscount that I find (saith he) of Record, and that sate in Parliament by that name, was John Beumont, who in the 8: yeer of Hen. the 6. was created Viscount Beumont.

And therefore, if Parliaments be the most high and absolute power in the Realm as undeniably they are: for (Holinshed in his fore-mentioned Chronicle, in the Description of England, speaking of the high Court of Parliament, and authority of the same, saith pag. 173. thereby Kings and mighty Princes, have from time to time, been deposed from their Thrones, lawes either enacted or abrogated, offendors of all sorts punished, &c.)

Then much more may they disthrone or depose, these Lordly prerogative Innovators and Intruders; and for my part, I shall think that the betrusted Commissioners of the Commons of England, now assembled in Parliament, have not faithfully discharged their duty to their Lords and Masters, the people, their impowerers, till they have effectually and throughly done it.

And if the Lords would be willing to come, and sit with them as one house, as formerly they have done, (Read the fore-mentioned Discourse of John Vowel, printed in Hollinsheds Chronicles of Ireland, pag. 123: Sir Edward Cookes 4. part Institutes, chap. 1. pag. 2. and the fore-mentioned book, called Vox Plebis, pag. 39, 40.) Yea, though conditionally they might sit as Peers; yet they ought not to do it: for this were for the Peoples Trustees, the House of Commons, to give away their true and legislative power; which originally is only inherent in them (THE PEOPLE) which is the next, and the last thing I should prove.

But in regard the Discourse is swolne so big already, and the present time being the season for publishing what I have already said, which were impossible to come out this Moneth or sixe Weekes, if I should throughly handle this Proposition, as by Gods assistance. I intend, which will take up a Discourse almost half as big as the fore-going:

For, first, I must shew and prove; That the people in generall are the originall sole legislaters, and the true fountain, and earthly well-spring of all just power; And

Secondly, That all the power which the house of Commons hath, is meerly derivative and bounded within this tacit Commission, to act only for the good of those that betrusted them, and not for their mischiefe, in the least.

And here I shall propound some Queries.

Whether or not, they have not done and acted some things prejudiciall and mischievous so the generality of the Kingdome, and destructive to the fundamentall Lawes and Liberties thereof? Which in the affirmative, I shall answer; Yea, and prove it in divers particulars, out of their own late published large book, being the second part of the Collection of Ordinances, Declar. &c. where I finde three Ordinances, viz.

That for the Merchant-Adventurers, pag. 361.

That for the Turkie-Merchants, pag. 439.

Thirdly, That for the Greenland Merchants, pag. 646.

Of all three, of which I say as Sir Edward Cooke, in the second part of his Institutes, fol. 51.

And the fourth part Institutes, fol. 41. saith, of the Statute of the 11. of Henry 7. chap. 3. (for executing of which Justice, Dudley, and Empson lost their lives) that they are made in the face of the ancient and fundamentall Law of the 29 and 30. chapters of Magna Charta, &c.

And that they are unjust and injurious Ordinances, which in duty they are bound to abrogate, and to punish the procurers of them in regard those very Ordinances, if continued, will render the Parliament the (Commissioners of the people, and the great interest of their preservation) odious, abominable, and contemptible in their eyes, and do them more mischiefe, then an Army of twenty thousand Cavaliers: for such palpable injustice, as in these very Ordinances, is done to the whole Kingdome, will in time destroy the Parliament; though now they had never a professed enemy in the world; and true friends to their professed enemy the King, they are, who put them upon this work: And let them take warning by those that were formerly the setters up of Pattentees, (and therby destroyers of the peoples legal and just liberties) for it was not only that they were set up by an unbinding authority of the Kings which made them illegall, but that they were against & destructive to the fundamentall Lawes and liberties of the Land.

And therefore the house of Commons in its first purity, before any of them was corrupted with assessing, treasuring, and disposing of the Common-wealths money in Clandestine Wayes, not in the least allowed by the known and just Law of the Land, and which to the Common-wealth they are not able to give an account of, as indeed, and in truth they ought, of all the monies they have raised.

I say the house of Commons, at the first beginning of their straights, when they would render themselves amiable and lovely in the eyes of their Impowrers, the people that trusted them; They tell them in their first and most excellent Declaration, 1. par. Col. Declar. pag. 14. That they have supprest all Monopolies, whereof some few did prejudice the Subject, above a Million yearly; the Soap an hundred thousand pounds; the Wine three hundred thousand pounds; the Leather must needs exceed both, and salt could be no lesse then that; besides the inferiour Monopolies.

Was this an excellency in the peoples Commissioners at the beginning?

And can it be lesse now, then the greatest of basenesse in them, to do the quite contrary: Yea, and that after so much bloud hath been shed, and so much money spent, and so many Oaths and Covenants sworn and taken, to preserve the fundamentall Lawes and Liberties of the Kingdom?

And here I must fall extreamly foule upon Sr. WALTER EARLE, GILES GREENE, IOHN ROLL, GEORGE TOMPSON, ALEXANDER BENCE, all Parliament men, for their unjust and illegall Order made at the Committee of the Navy and Customes, Novemb. 12. 1646. which is published in print, on purpose to conjure the Officers of the Customs, to take care to put the aforesaid patentee Monopolizing Ordinance of the GREENLAND COMPANY in due execution according to its true intent and meaning, and that before they passe any entry or other warrant for any Fins or gills, wrought or unwrought, or for any sort of Whale Oyle, or other Oyle; to call to their assistance the Officer or the Officers of the Greenland Company, if any such be appointed for the place, to view the same, thereby to proceed according to the Ordinance of Parliament, (which Ordinance is dated the 6. of May 1646.) which AVTHORISETH THEM TO CEISE UPON ALL SVCH COMMODITIES, that are brought in by any other free Merchants that are not of this Company: by meanes of which they ingrosse all the trade into their own hands, and sell their Commodities for double the rate, that others (if they might be suffered to bring them in) would sell them;

O brave and gallant slavery and bondage! The dear, but unwelcome purchase of all our blood and money!

The next querie that will arise will be this. Whether some particular Parliament men have not outscript the bounds of their Commission?

And here I shall answer affirmatively likewise: or else, as Samuel said to Saul, what meanes this bleating of the Sheepe in my eares, and the lowing of the Oxen which I heare? So say I, if all be right, what meanes MAJOR GEORGE WITHERS Complaint against Sir Richard Onsley, and Sir Poynings Moore; and Mr. IOHN MVSGRAVES loud Complaint and impeachment of treason against Mr. Richard Barwis, which he hath largely published in severall bookes to the view of the world, called A WORD TO THE WISE. ANOTHER WORD TO THE WISE. YET ANOTHER WORD TO THE WISE? In which he also accuseth Mr. Lisle the Chairman of the Committee, of great injustice for making a false Report to the House. And what meanes the grievous Complaint of divers Gentlemen of the County of Durham against OLD SIR HENRY VANE, which is printed in ENGLANDS BIRTHRIGHT. pag. 19. 20. 21? And Lieutenant Collonel Lilburnes Complaint against him, in his late booke called LONDONS LIBERTIES IN CHAINES DISCOVERED, pag. 54? And what meanes Lieutenant Collonel Iohn Lilburnes pittifull Complaints in divers of his bookes against severall Members of the HOVSE of COMMONS; but especially against Justice LAVRANCE WHITAKER?

(See Innocency and Truth justified, pag. 12. 15. 16. 63. 64. And Londons Liberty in Chaines discovered.) And what meanes his pittifull Complaints in his Epistle to Iudge, REEVE, &c. against the Earle of Manchester, and Collonel Edward King of Lincolnshire, whom he accuseth for being Traytors to the trust reposed by the PARLIAMENT in them? And yet is so farre from obtaining Justice against them, that he is clapt by the heeles in the exceeding chargeable prison of the Tower of London by their meanes.

And what meanes that extraordinary Complaint of Mr. ANDREWES BVRRELL, in his printed REMONSTRANCE TO THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND, against the CHIEFE MEN that are mannagers of the NAVIE, viz, THE EARLE of WARWICK, Mr. GILES GREENE Chairman of the Committee of the Navy, Mr. SAMVEL VASSALL, and the 2. Mr. Bencis Members of the same Committee, &c? To whose charge he layes little lesse then TREACHERY TO THE WHOLE KINGDOME, and cousening and cheating of the publicks monyes, yea, such is his CHARGE there against them, that if he be able to make it good; THEY DESERVE NO LESSE THEN HANGING. And it seemes he is able sufficiently to do it, for they dare not call him to account, but let him go at Liberty, which demonstrates to all understanding men, They know their own guiltinesse.

And a thing of as high a consequence is he lamentable Complaint made against Sir Iohn Clotworthy and his friend Mr. Davis, &c. about their cousening and cheating poore and bleeding Ireland, of much of the monies that should have relieved it, which Complaint is called The State of the Irish offaires, for the Honourable Members of the Houses of Parliament, as they lie represented before them, from the Committee of Adventurers in London, for lands in Ireland, sitting at Grocers Hall, for that service, and printed at London by G. MILLER dwelling in the Black-Fryers. The abstract of which, with some additions, are inserted in a written paper, which I had from a good hand which followeth thus.

A further discovery of the evill managing of the affaires of Ireland, wherein it doth plainly appeare, that above the fourth part of the monies levied for Ireland is pursed by 4. or 5. private men to the value of 97195. l.

THat presently after the trouble did breake forth in Ireland, there was one Mr. John Davis of the Irish Nation came for England, who was trusted by the Parliament with 4000. l. worth of Provisions, and appointed Commissary for the disposall of those goods for the English and Scottish Armies in Ireland.

The said Mr. Davis using indirect wayes, by feasting and bribing the Officers, having spent 100.l. upon them in a week, as he himselfe hath acknowledged, and by that meanes he obtained his desire, for he valued the goods which he delivered to the Armies at such unreasonable high prizes, that in this imployment for the space of 8. or 9. months, he so manageth the businesse, that he makes the parliament indebted unto him 12195. l.

And it will be made manifest by sufficient testimony that before he was put into this imployment, he was not worth 200.l. but with feasting and bribing the Commanders of the said Armies;

He obtaines such an accompt in writing, having such friends to assist him, that he procures Generall Ladyes letter of recommendation for his good service, setting forth how seasonable the provisions came to the Army: but no mention made that the Parliament sent the goods.

That after the said Mr. Davis had procured this letter, he comes for England, the troubles here being great, the Parliament had not time to heare him, so he continued in, and about London for the space of two yeares or thereabouts.

In which time he was reduced to a meane and low condition, in so much (as he hath acknowledged) he had much a do to get money to buy food for himself & his wife: yet in this low Condition he puts in Propositions to the Committee of Parliament, to deliver 60000. l. in Provisions, Armes, and Cloth, to be paid out of the Ordinance for Ireland which was for above three times as much; but he was to have the first mony that came in upon the said Ordinance, onely 20000. l. was alotted otherwise.

The Committee of Adventurers for Ireland were sent for and treated with all, to know if they would serve in, and deliver those provisions for Ireland, who at the first refused to agree by way of bargaine, alledging that they would make use of the said Ordinance to serve it with all expedition, expecting no profit: but the Committee of Parliament said that there was necessity of making agreement by way of contract: whereupon the Committee of Adventurers for Ireland did give in Propositions that they would serve, and deliver those provisions 7000. l. in 60000. l. under the prises Mr. Davis had given in: notwithstanding M. Davis delivered the goods & had his prizes for those goods & provisions, but did fail in all his undertakings both in the time of delivering the goods: and also the goods he served were generally very bad: as doth appeare by the Testimony of one of the Parliaments Commissioners in Ireland, which Testimony, and the prises Mr. Davis had, is here inserted, The reasons why M. Davis had this employment before those Citizens, are many I shall name one: the cessation of Armes in Ireland being ended, divers Commanders came over from thence into this Kingdom, who knowing Mr. Davis of old, in respect of his large bribes given them, did desire the Committee of Parliament, that Mr. Davies might be the man for the providing and furnishing of provisions for the service of Ireland, alleadging they knew him well; as for the Citizens, they were more fit to keepe shops, then to take care of a Kingdom.

These Commanders above-mentioned, are those who were for the Parliament one year, and the next year sided and joyned with the Irish Rebels: these are the men who gave this good report of Mr. Davies.

That Mr. Davies hath made a second bargain with the Committee of Parliament for 45000. l. worth of goods, the which mony is fully paid him, and the 60000. l. also formerly mentioned, and this Committee have allowed him his pretended Debt of 12195. l. out of the money appointed by Ordinance of Parliament only for Ireland, and not to pay any debt, although never so reall.

Mr. Davies in the moneth of July, 1646. hath made a third agreement for 140000. l. to deliver so much in Arms, Provisions, & other necessaries, the money part of it, to be paid out of the Excise and the rest by a new Ordinance of Parliament, for levying of monies for the service of Ireland, the Committe of Adventurers having formerly declared in their book formerly set forth by them, which was presented to divers Members of Parl. in the Moneth of Jan. 1645. wherein the Committee do alleadge, that if they might have had the managing of that service of 60000. l. in a Committee-way, they would have saved the State 15000. l. in the said sum of 60000. l. of the prises allowed Mr. Davies, and would have furnished better goods; and Mr. Davies after his first agreement, had also allowed him 2500. l. to get in the mony: if 15000. l. could have been saved in 60000 l. what might have been saved in 245000. l. by that accompt there might have beene saved above 61000. l. and better commodities furnished. There is a Parliament man named Sir John Clotworthy, that hath been the said Mr. John Davies his chiefe friend, to assist him in all his bargaines aforesaid: this is that Sir Iohn Clotworthy against whom the Committee of Adventurers for Ireland, formerly petitioned the Parliament, that he might give accompt foe 24000. l. received by him of the Aduenturers money; for the which, to this very day he hath given no accompt: and the Committee do verily believe, he never will give any accompt for the said money: So what with Mr. Davies 12195. l. which he so falsely got and the 61000. l. formerly mentioned, and the monies Sir I. Clotworthy detaines in his hands, being 24000. l. as aforesaid, amounts in the whole to 97195. l. which is above the fourth part of the money alotted for the service of Ireland, for these 2 or 3 years past. This being considered, it is no marvell that the cry of Ireland is so loud. That in Septemb. and October, 1644. there was by order of Parliament three meetings of the Adventurers of Ireland, usually sitting at Grocers Hall London, four Parliament men then present, sent us a Committee from the Parliament; namely, Sir I. Clotworthy, Mr. Reynalds, Major Jepson,

Sir I. Clotworthy moving at all the several meetings for money, it was desired by the Adventurers, that there might be a new Committee chosen by the Adventurers. Sir I. Clotworthy shewed his dislike unto that motion; saying, if they would have a Committee, it should consist of 4 Parliament men, 4 Irish men, and 3 Citizens: the Irishmen were such, who not above 3 weekes before had sided with the Irish Rebels, and these four to three Citizens: this favoured not well. The Adventurers much distating this, were all going away: at last it was granted the Adventurers to chuse the Committee: whereupon 4 Aldermen and 16 Merchants, very able men, were chosen newly, Sir I. Clotworthy, as appeares, disliking this Committee, the businesse was managed by a Committee above, and the Committee of Citizens have been as ciphers. At the said meeting, there were two Citizens Adventurers did offer unto fit I. Clotworthy, and the committee then present, that they would undertake to serve 1500. l. worth of cheese and butter, good sound cheese at 2. d. per l. and good butter at 4. d. ob. per l. and to receive the money out of the Ordinance of Parliament, at sixe moneths, or as it came in: But sir Iohn in the audience of all he people then presen, made this answer; that cheese and butter was too saucie for them, and that the souldiers in Ireland would be content with bread and water: this did much discourage the Adventurers to hear him speak after this manner. But observe, sir Iohn Clotworthy did so assist his friend Mr. Davies, that hee had 3. d. ob. per l. for the same commodity which was offered by the Adventurers for 2. d. per l. on may judge what that will come to in a quantity: you may observe that Mr. Davis and his Partners did buy the goods aforesaid upon the credit of the said Ordinance of Parliament, the which might have been done by some of the Adventurers who would have delivered better Provisions, and have saved the State 61000. l. in the severall percels aforementioned: all the wivele, eaten, and mustie Corne that could be had, these undertakers did buy up at cheape rates, and so in other Commodities, the basest trumperie that could be had which they delivered for the said service of Ireland.

The said Mr. Davis had 3. partners which are by their callings Cheesemongers, viz. Mr. Thomas Radberd, Mr. John Chesson, and Mr. Dennis Gauden: I shall set forth unto you what these men have been.

First of all in the yeare 1640. they were undertakers and did deliver Provisions for the Bishops Army against the Scots, which Provisions being returned, the said undertakers bought most of the same Provisions under the fourth part the King paid for them, yet it hath been observed that this mony hath not thriven with them, for they have had great losses especially one of them by Sea.

That about 3. yeares since, Mr. Radberd and his partners having good store of Butter on their hands, procured one to petition a Committee of Parliament: setting forth in his Petition that he was a Merchant, and that he did desire their Order for transportation of 1800. Firkins of Butter for Ireland, which being granted by vertue of the said Order; Radberd and his partners shipped 1800. Firkins of Butter, and so it passed the River upon the said Order: the Vessell laden with this Butter put into Dover Peere, and there continued for 3. or 4. dayes, as the Mr. hath acknowledged: the wind coming fayre, the ship put forth of the Peere at night, and the next morning the Mr. with his Ship and goods came safe before Dunkirke upon Order from the said Mr. Radberd and his partners, the Mr. hath also acknowledged that the Order for their transporting of the Butter for Ireland was onely to coullour the businesse: the Butter was unladen and sould at Dunkirke, for the accompt of Mr. Radberd and his partners.

That John Chesson at the beginning of the troubles of this Kingdome, when the Parliament was lowe, and the Kings party looked very bigg upon us, then he cryes a King, a King; but of late he faced about, cryes a Parliament, a Parliament: that when the King do was brought to a very low condition, the Adventurers for Ireland and others well affected did disburse in mony and goods for Ireland above 5000000. l. and to this day have not been repaid any part thereof, at that time Mr. Radberd & his [Editor: illegible word] partners aforementioned would not trust the State with 5.l.> And yet notwithstanding they with their partner Mr. Davis and the men that have the mannaging, & are undertakers for all the service of Ireland, although to the great dammage and losse of this Kingdome, and likewise to the Kingdome of Ireland, and a very great discouragement to the Adventurers & all other persons wel affected to the safety of both Kingdomes.

Thus you may perceive that those who have been most affectionate and helpfull to the Parliament and Kingdome, adventuring their lives and Estates for them, having almost disbursed their whole Estates are now scarce looked upon; and those who have not at all assisted the Parliament, but stood as Neuters, & have sought themselves and their own advantages: these are the men who run away with so many thousand pounds while many faithfull friends to the Parliament, and true lovers of their Country fare ready to perish for want of Foode.

Can it be immagined, that the said undertakers for Ireland, were more able to provide the goods aforesaid, better and cheaper, or so cheape as the Committee of Adventurers could have done? And is divers Citizens did trust the Parliament upon their bare words in times of distresse with above 5000000. l. what would not these men have trusted the Parliament upon an Ordinance to have their mony paid them within very few months? and it cannot be otherwise immagined.

These things with divers others, as also the Parliament mens continually fingering great sums of mony out of Goldsmiths-Hall, into their own particular pockets, for this pretended losses, disbursments, and pay, before any of the poor necessitated people of the Kingdome have theirs, abundance of whom stand sometimes more in need of it then they, yea and better deserve it then divers of them, and ought in justice and conscience to go in an equall forvvard proportion vvith them, and their injoying their vast and great places for all the Cloake and maske of their self-deniall Ordinance, and the ingrossing of most of the Lavv practise in the kingdome into the hands of their petty fogging Lavvyers, I saye these things for the more preservation of the kingdom, deserve seriously to be looked into, and told plainly and honestly unto them, vvith an earnest desire of their reformation, and not of their destruction, that so they, and all that love their just interest may have cause to say. Faithfull are the wounds (or reproofes) of a freind, but deceitfull are the kisses (or flatterings) of an enemy, vvhich taske shall be the earnest and to cordiall endeavours of him that is a true lover of Englands happinesse and prosperity. N. B.

FINIS.

Endnotes

 [* ] Read Daniel, fol. 149.

 [* ] pag.

 [a ] Coll. of decl. pag 254. 336. 382. 508. 613. 705. 711. 716. 721. 724. 716. 721. 724. 730.

 [b ] Coll. Decl. page 661, 663. protestation and covenant.

 [c ] Coll. decl. pag. 68, 172, 262, 266, 267, 340, 459. 462, 471, 473, 583, 690.

 [d ] Col. decl. p. 464, 490, 750.

 [e ] Col. decl. p. 214.

 [f ] Col. declar. p. 66.

 [g ] let., 22. 16. 15. 16. 17.

 [h ] Col. declar. 666. 673.

 [* ] Col. Declar. 4.

 [i ] Col. declar. p. 264. 281. 494. 497. 654. 694. 696.

 [k ] Col. declar. p. 738. 140. 845.

 [l ] Pag. 660.

 [** ] Decl. 460. 498. 666. 673.

 [m ] Magna Charta 29. Sir E. Cook. 2 part Instit. fol. 28. 29. Rot. 2. e. 3.

 [n ] Col. declar. 6, 7, 8.

 [o ] 5. Ed. 3. 5. 25. Ed. 3. 4. 28. E. 3. 3. 37. Ed. 3. 8. 38 Ed. 3. 9. 42 Ed. 3. 3. 17 Ri 2. 6. Rot. Parl. 43. E. 3. Sir lo. Alces case, num. 21, 22, 23, &c. lib. 20. fol. 74. In case declar. Marshalses, see Cook, 2. part. Instit. fol. 464

 [p ] Pat. Instit. 51.

 [* ] Rot. part 2. 1. H. 4. mem. 2. num. 1. 27. Instit. f. 11. Book declar. 58, 39, 278, 845.

 [q ] 2 part. instit. fol. 52, 53.

 [r ] col. declar. 723.

 [s ] See Cook 2 part instit. f. 187.

 [t ] 3. E. 33. 2. R. 2. 5. 37. E. 3. 18 38 E. 3. 9. 12. R. 2. 11. 17. R. 2. 6. 22. p. & M. 3. 1. El. 6.

 [v ] 9. H. 3. 29. 2. E. 3. 8. 5. E. 3. 9. 14. E. 3. 14. 11. E. 2. 10.

 [w ] col. declar. 127, 174, 244, 253, 282, 284, 285. 312, 313. 321, 322, 467, 490, 514, 516, 520, 521, 532, 533, 534, 535, 537, 539, 541. 543, 555, 560.

 [* ] Cromptons jurisdictiõ of courts, fo. 84 Hon. 7. 18. H. 7 14. 1. H. 7 27. Parliament 42. 76 33. H. 6. 17. d-judged accordingly prerogative. 134.

 


 

T.86 (9.1) John Taylor, The World turned Upside Down (28 January, 1647).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.86 [1647.01.28] (9.1) John Taylor, The World turned Upside Down (28 January, 1647).

Full title

John Taylor, The World turned upside down: OR, A briefe description of the ridiculous Fashions of these distracted Times. By T. I. a well-willer to King, Parliament and Kingdom.
London: Printed for Iohn Smith. 1647.

Estimated date of publication

28 January, 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 490; Thomason E. 372. (19.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

The VVorld turned up-side-down.

THe Picture that is printed in the front

Is like the Kingdom, if you look upon’t:

For if you well do note it as it is,

It is a Transform’d Metamorphosis.

This monstrous Picture plainely doth declare

This Land (quite out of order) out of square

His breeches on his shoulders do appeare,

His doublet on his lower parts doth weare;

His boots and spurs upon his armes and hands,

His gloves upon his feet, (whereon he stands)

The Church o’re-turn’d, (a lamentable show)

The Candlestick above, the light below;

The Cony hunts the Dogge, the Rat the Cat,

The Horse doth whip the Cart, (I pray marke that)

The Wheelbarrow doth drive the man (oh base)

And Ecles and Gudgeons flie a mighty pace.

And sure this is a Monster of strange fashion,

That doth surpasse all Ovids Transformation.

And this is Englands case this very day,

All things are turn’d the clean contrary way;

For now, when as a royall Parliament,

(With King, and Peers, and Commons whole consent)

Have sate above six years, with paines and cares,

And charge, to free us from our griefs and feares;

For when many a worthy Lord and Knight,

And good Esquire (for King and Countreyes Right)

Have spent so much time with great toyle, and heed,

All Englands Vicious garden how to weed.

So like a Wildernesse ’twas over-runne,

That though much hath been done; all is not done.

The Devill doth perswade, entice and lurke,

And force bad men to set good men aworke.

That whilst the Worthies strive to right our wrongs,

And give to each man, what to him belongs;

Whil’st they take paines to settle all things heere,

An Irish Devill doth madly domineere.

From Hells blacke Pit, begirt with Romish Armes,

Thousands of Locusts are in Troups and Swarmes,

More barbarous then the Heathens, worse then Jewes,

Nor Turkes or Tartars would such tortures use,

Sure that Religion can no waies bee good,

That so inhumanely delights in Blood:

Nor doth that Doctrine from the Scriptures spring,

For to rebell against God and the King.

Nay (further) murder, ravish, spoile, deflowre,

Burne and lay wast depopulate, devoure,

Not sparing Infants at the breast or wombe,

(To die where first they liv’d, their birth, their tombe)

’Tis said no Serpent, Adder, Snake, or Toade,

Can live in Ireland or have their aboade:

’Tis strange that she those Vipers doth not kill,

That gnawes her bowells, and her blood doth spill,

Can Irish Earth kill all things venemous,

And can shee nurse such Vermin Mischievous:

Her owne sonnes Native, worse then strangers borne,

They have their Mothers Entrailes rent and torne,

Yet still her indulgencie, harbours those,

And feeds those Rebells that do breed her woes:

God (in thy mercie) give her strength and ayd,

And courage, make her foes and ours dismay’d,

Thou Lord of Hosts, thine owne cause take in hand,

Thy foes (thine Antichristian foes) withstand;

Defend thy truth, and all our Armies guide;

Our Enemies to scatter and devide.

Thus leaving Ireland (with my hearty prayers)

To Btitaine backe againe my Muse repaires:

Where I perceive a Metamorphosis,

Is most preposterous, as the Picture is,

The world’s turn’d up-side-downe, from bad to worse

Quite out of frame, The Cart before the Horse.

The Felt-maker, and sawcie stable Groome

Will dare to pearch into the Preachers roome;

Each Ignorant, doe of the Spirit boast,

And prating fooles brag of the Holy Ghost,

When Ignoramus will his Teacher teach,

And Sow-gelders and Coblers dare to preach,

This shewes, mens wits are monstrously disguis’d,

Or that our Countrey is Antipodis’d.

When as the Lords Prayer is almost neglected,

And all Church Government is quite rejected,

When to avoid a Romish Papists name,

A man must be unmannerly, past shame,

When he that doth shew reverence, doth offend,

And he seemes best, that will not bow or bend,

When he that into Gods House doth not come,

As to a Stable, or a Tipling Roome,

Is counted for a Popish Favorite,

And branded so, despis’d, and scorn’d with spite.

When he that (of his waies) doth conscience make,

And in his heart doth world, flesh, feind forsake,

Loves God with all his soule; adores no pelfe,

And loves his Neighbour, as he loves himselfe;

This man is rare to finde, yet this rare man

Shall have the hatefull name of Puritan:

When execrations pierce the firmament,

And oathes doe batter ’gainst heavens battlement:

When imprecations, and damn’d blasphemies,

In sundry cursed volleys, scale the skies,

When men more bruitish then the Horse or Mule,

Who know not to obey, presume to rule,

Thus Church and Common-wealth, and men, all are

(Much like the Picture) out of frame or square.

And if ’twere possible our fathers old

Should live againe, and tread upon this mould,

And see all things confused, overthrowne,

They would not know this Countrey for their own.

For England hath no likelihood or show

Of what it was but seventy years ago;

Religion, manners, life, and shapes of men,

Are much unlike the people that were then,

Nay, Englands face, and language is estrang’d,

That all is Metamorphis’d chop’d, and chang’d,

For like as on the Poles the World is whorl’d,

So is this Land the Bedlam of the World;

That I amazed, and amated am,

To see Great Britain turn’d to Amsterdam,

Mens braines and wits (two simples beat together)

From thence, mix’d and compounded, are sent hither.

For Amsterdam is landed (as I heare)

At Rye, or Hastings, or at Dover Peere,

At Harwich, Ipswich, Sandwich, or at Weymouth,

And at Portsmouth, Dartmouth, Plymouth, Falmouth,

At Yarmouth, and at the Ports of Tinmouth,

And Westward unto Bristow, and to Monmouth;

From all these Mouthes, and more, mad sects are sent,

Who have Religion all in pieces rent,

One would have this, another would have that,

And most of them would have they know not what.

God give us peace, and ease us of our paine,

And send those Sects, from whence they came againe.

The Papist and the Schismatique; both grieves

The Church, for shee’s like Christ (between two Thieves)

I tooke the Covenant twice of late,

Where I protested not to innovate.

T’avoid all Popish Rite, and to express

Obedience to what Englands Church profess,

My Loyalty unto my King is bent

With duty to the Peeres and Parliament,

With Prayers, and my best service for them all,

That on them may heavens chiefest blessing fall,

That with one heart, as one man, with one mind,

(For Gods great glory) they may be combinde,

And never vary, but go boldly on,

To end the good worke which they have begun.

This is the Sum (with ne’er shall be forsooke)

Of what I in the Covenant have tooke,

But, for all this, I may be mannerly

In Gods House, and be free from Papistrie;

I hope I may put off my hat, and bee

Allow’d to kneel, and pray, and bow my knee,

When as divine Command bids, onely then

I’le bow to God, and not to Saints or Men,

And from those duties I will never vary,

Till death, or order do command contrary.

Th’ Almighties Name be ever prais’d and blest,

That Romish Superstition is supprest,

We have no Abbies, Abbots, Friars or Monks,

Nor have we Nuns, or Stews allow’d for Punks,

We have no Masses, nor no Mas-Priests heere,

But some are hang’d, and some are fled for feare.

All those that are so bold to stay behind,

I wish they may like entertainement find;

Beades, Bables, Relliques, Tapers, Lamps or Lights,

We have no superstitious Romish Rites,

We seeke our Pardons from our heavenly hope,

And not by workes or favour from the Pope;

To Saints we make no prayer or intercession,

And unto God alone we make Confession;

We hold no reall Presence in the Bread.

And wee doe know King Charles our supreame head

(Beneath God, who hath plac’d him in his Throne)

For other Supreame, we acknowledge none.

No purgatory, Image, Wood, or Stone,

No Stocke, or carved Blocke, we trust upon,

Nor is our Church discretion here so little,

As to baptize with creame, with salt and spittle.

We have as many Sacraments, as Heaven

Ordain’d; which are but two, and Rome hath seven.

We doe not christen Bells, and give them Names

Of Simon, Peter, Andrew, John, and James;

We use no Pilgrimage, or Holy water,

Nor in an unknowne tongue our prayers scatter;

All these, and many more, in Rome are us’d,

Which are by us rejected and refus’d.

And yet too many faults, alas remaines,

Which are the Churches, and the Kingdomes staines,

The Church Tryumphant is most cleare from spots,

The poore Church Militant hath still some blots,

Here’s all unperfect, something’s still amisse,

And nothing’s blest, but in Eternall Blisse.

Meane time, till wee amend, and leave our crimes,

The Picture is the Emblem of the times.

FINIS.

 


 

T.87 (9.2) John Lilburne, The Oppressed Mans Oppressions declared (30 January, 1647).

Editing History:

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.87 [1647.01.30] (9.2) John Lilburne, The Oppressed Mans Oppressions declared (30 January, 1647).

Full title

The Oppressed Mans Oppressions declared: Or, An Epistle written by Lieut. Col. JOHN LILBURN, Prerogative-prisoner (by the illegall and arbitrary Authority of the House of Lords) in the Tower of London, to Col. Francis West, Lieutenant thereof: In which the oppressing cruelty of all the Gaolers of England is declared, and particularly the Lieutenants of the Tower· As also, there is thrown unto Tho. Edwards, the Author of the 3. Vlcerous Gangraenes, a bone or two to pick: In which also, divers other things are handled, of speciall concernment to the present times.

Prov. 21.7. The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
Prov. 21.15. It is joy to the just to do judgment, and chap. 29.10. The blood-thirsty hate the upright but the just seek his soule.

Estimated date of publication

30 January, 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 490; Thomason E. 373. (1.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Sir,

IT is the saying of the Spirit of God, in the 12. Prov. 10. That a righteous man regardeth the life of his Beast, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. How far your actions, and carriages with me, that am more than a Beast, have been point-blank contrary to the first part of that divine Sentence, but consonant to the conclusion of it; is very easie to demonstrate with Pen and Ink, to the view of the World; and as facill to your face, before any competent Judges to justifie and prove: And this is the Theme I have chosen a little to insist upon at this present time: but being resolved, to be as concise as I may, I shall not now make any ample repetition of your harsh dealing with me at the first; in divorcing me by the Law of your own Will from my Wife, and getting the Lords to make an Order to bear you out in it after you had done it; and, that I should speak with none of my friends, but in the presence and hearing of my Keeper, &c. Which cruell Order, meerly obtained and got by your solicitation, the Reader may read in the 35. p. of Vox Plebis. Therfore, in regard that the Author of that book hath pretty wel discovered your cruel and illegal dealing with me, at my first coming to the Tower, especially in the 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, pages thereof: And the Author of the said book, called Regal tyrannie discovered, in the 48, 49, pages, And my self hath pretty well laid it open in the 16, 17, 18, 20. pages of my printed Relation before the Committee of the honourable house of Commons, Novemb. 6. 1646. called An Anatomy of the Lords tyrannie, to which I refer the Reader, and in regard you are not ashamed of your cruel and illegal carriages towards me, but persevere in them (as though you would justifie one tyrannie, with backing it with continual acts of tyrannie) I shal therfore go on as effectually and punctually as I can, more fully to anatomise you, and your unjust, illegal, cruel, and unrighteous dealing with me, and for matter of fact, shal say nothing to your charge, but what I wil justifie before any legal Authority in England.

But in the first place, I desire to let you understand, that I am a free-born English-man, and have lived a legall man thereof all my dayes, being never yet convicted of any attempt or design undertaken, or countenanced by me, that did tend to the subversion of the Fundamentall Lawes and Constitutions thereof; but have alwayes sided with the Parl. it self, who hath pretẽded nothing so much, as the preservatiõ of the laws, liberties, & Fundamental Freedoms of Englãd, and the peace and tranquility of the peoples as you may read in their own Declarations, 1 part vol. Dec. pag. 172, 195, 214, 281, 342, 464, 498, 663, 666, 673, 750. for the preservation of which, I have constantly, couragiously, and as freely adventured my life, as any of themselves, what ever he be: And therfore in every particular, have just and grounded cause to expect the utmost priviledge and benefit that the Law of England will afford any man whatever, that is under the obedience and subjection thereof: Nay ever, having to do with those men as my Judges, that made all or the most of these Declarations, and who have also declared, it lyes not in their power to inslave or invasalize the people, being trusted for their good, not for their mischief, to provide for their weal, but not for their woe, 1 part Col. Dec. pag. 150. 214. 266. 267. 494. 497. 636. 659. 660. 694. 696. and who in these and other of their own Declarations, imprecate and pray that the wrath and vengeance of Heaven and Earth may fall upon them, and theirs, when they cease actually to performe what verbally they there declare, unto which I say AMEN: And there they protest, vow, and swear, they will maintain the fundamentall Lawes, and Liberties of the people, and therefore in that respect, you cannot groundedly in the least, think, that I should Issacar-like stoope willingly unto any other burthens, impositions, or Commands layd upon me, by you, or any other whatsoever, that are not warrantable and justifiable by the fundamentall Lawes of the Land, and whether your practises have been so with me, I will compare them to the Law, and leave every rationall man to judge.

First I do not finde any Law that makes Prisons, places of execution, punishment, or torment, but onely places of safe custody: for, the Law of England (as Sir Edward Cooke in the second part of his institutes fol. 28. excellently declares) is a Law of mercy, (yet as he then said, so I much more say now) it is now turned into a meer shaddow, which is the most we now enjoy of it) and therefore as the author of the late booke, called Liberty vindicated against Slavery, very wel saith p. 7. from Sir Ed. Cook in the 1. part of his instit. f. 260. that by Law, prises are ordained not for destruction, but for securing of mens persons, until they be brought forth unto due & speedy tryal, (for being in prison, they are under the most especiall protection of the Law, and the most tender care thereof) and are therefore to be humanly, courteously, and in all Civility, ordered and used; otherwise Goalers are not Keepers, but tormentors and executioners of men untryed, and uncondemned, but this were not (salvo custodire) to keepe men in safety, weich the Law implyes (and is all it requires) but (destruere) to destroy before the time, which the Law abhors and detests, yea and that prisoner (though never so notorious in their crimes) may be the more honestly and carefully provided for, and the better and more civilly used, and to the end, that Goalers and Keepers of prisons, should not have any colour or excuse, for exacting any thing from prisoners, (under what colour or pretence soever, whether the same be called fees, or Chamber-rent) who are in custody of the Law: It is provided, and declared by the Law, that all Prisons and Goales what ever, be the Kings, for the publike good, and therefore are to be repaid and furnished as prisons at the common Charge, see Cooke on the 1. E. 2. Statutum de frangentibus prisonum, in his 2. part institutes fol. 589. and on the 26. Chap. of Magna Charta fol. 74. Ibem, and on the statute of Westminster.

The first Chap. 26. fol. 209. 210. Ibem.

Yea and the Law takes care that in case the prisoner when he is in prison, have no meanes of his own to live upon, that then by the publike he is to be maintained, 14. Eliz. 5. 21. Iames 28. Vox Plebis, pag. 57. for a freeman of England (as I am) “is not brought to prison to be starved with cold, or hunger, but to the end justice upon him may be done: The prison, at most, in Law, is but a safe preserver, but not a distroyer of the prisoner, who with all convenient speed according to Law, is to come to his tryall, and either according unto Law to be condemned, or else to be delivered in convenient time without delay, 4 E. 3. 2. See my answer to Mr. Pryn, called Innocency and Truth justified, pag. 32. who by Law is never to remaine in prison above 6. moneths at most, for Goale deliveries are by the 4. E. 3. 2. to be kept and made 3. times a yeare, which is once in foure moneths, and oftener if need shall be.

And as the authour of Vox Plebis pag. 55. saith, out of “Stamf. pl. Cor. f. 30. Imprisonment by Law, is (neither ought to be) no more then a bare restraint of Liberty, without those illegall distinctions, of close and open imprisonment, and therefore Bracton fo. 18. saith, that if a Goaler keepe his prisoner more close then of right he ought, whereof the prisoner dieth, this is fellony in the Goaler.

And Horne, in the mirrour of Justice pag. 288. “saith that it is an abusion of the Law that prisoners are put into Irons, or other paine, before they are attainted. And pag. 34. 36. he reckons the sterving of prisoners by famine, to be among the crimes of homicide in a Goaler.

And we finde in the 3. E. 3. Fitz. H. Tit. pl. Cor. 295. “that it was fellony at Common Law, in Goalers to compell their prisoners by hard imprisonment to become approvers, whereby to get their goods: which Law is since confirmed by the statute of 14. E. 3. Chap. 10. with some inlargement; as to under keepers of prisons, and the penalty of the Law, and that Goalers having done this, have been hanged for it; you may read 3. E. 3. 8. Northampton, Fitzh. pl. Cor. 295. and else-where, but this for a tast to them.

In the second place, I will tell you what the Law saith about Goalers Fees. The mirrour of Justice pag 285. saith that it is an abusion of the Law, that prisoners or others for them, pay any thing for their entries into the Goale, or for their goings out: this is the Common Law; there is no see at all due to any Goalers whatsoever by the common Law. See what the Statutes say. The statute of Westminster 1. Chap. 26. being the 3. E. 1. 26. saith, that no Sheriffe, nor other the Kings Officer, take any reward to do his Office, but shall be paid of that which they take of the King, and he that so doth shall yeeld twice as much, and shall be punished at the Kings pleasure, under which word Officer, is concluded Goaler, Coronor &c. so Sir Edward Cooke 2. part institutes fol. 209. Stamf. pl. Cor. 49. nay, by the statute of 4. E. 3 10. Goalers are to receive theeves, and fellons, taking nothing by way of fees for the receipt of them, so odious is this extortion of Goalers, that very theeves and fellons are exempt from payment of fees. It is true, that by an incroaching statute upon our liberties, made in the 23. H. 6. 10. there is a fee given to the Goaler to be paid him by his prisoner, but yet it is very small, the words of the statute are those; “nor that any of the said Officers and Ministers by occasion or under colour of their Office, shall take any other thing by them, nor by any other person to their use, profit, or availe of any person by them or any of them to be arrested, or attached, nor of any other of them for the omitting of any arrest or attachment to be made by their body, or of any person by them or of any of them, by force or colour of their Office, arrested or attached for fine, fee, suit of prison, mainprise, letting to baile, or shewing any case for favour to any such person so arrested, or to be arrested for their reward or profit but such as follow; that is to say, for the Sheriffe 20. d. the Bayliffe which maketh the arrest or attachment 4. d. and the Goaler, if the prisoner be committed to his ward four pence; and that the Sheriffe, under-Sheriffe, Sheriffes Clerk, Steward, or Bayliffe of Franchise, Sheriffe or Bayliffe, or Coroner, shal not take any thing by colour of his office by him nor by any other person to his use of any person for the making of any return or pannell, and for the copy of any pannel, but 4. d.

“And it followes in the same Statute, that all Sheriffes, under-Sheriffes, Clerks, Bayliffes, Goalers, Coroners, Stewards, Bayliffes of Franchises, or any other Officers or Ministers, which do contrary to this Ordinance in any point of the same, shall lose to the party in this behalf indammaged or grieved, his treble dammages, and shall forfeit the sum of 40. l. at every time they or any of them do the contrary thereof in any point of the same, whereas the King shall have the one half to be employed in the use of the house, and in no otherwise, and the party that shall sue, the other half.

But (as Sir Edward Cook well observes, on the 25. chap. of Magna Charta, 2. part Institut. fol. 74.) after the rule of the Common-Law was altered, and that the Sheriffe, Coroner, Goaler, and other the Kings Ministers, might in some case take of the subject; it is not credible what extortions and oppressions have hereupon ensued. So dangerous a thing, it is, to shake or alter any of the Rules or Fundamental points of the Common-Law, which in truth are the main Pillars and Supporters of the Fabrick of the Common-wealth, as else-where I haue noted more at large viz. fol. 51, 210, 249. ibim. see the Preface to the 4. part of his Reports and the 4. part of his Institutes cap. of the High Court of Parliament, f. 41.

Now sir, having laid this sure foundation, I will assume the boldnesse, to compare your dealings with mee, to the fore-mentioned rules that the Law prescribes you; And first to matter of usage, you know very well, you of your own head at first kept my wife from me, and made me a close prisoner, as in the fore-mentioned bookes pag. it is truly declared.

And then secondly, although you could not but know that by the Lords, &c. in the Star-Chamber, I, for about four years together before this Parliament, under-went a great destruction by them both in my body, goods, and trades and since this Parliament, have spent many hundred pounds to obtain my just reparations (besides other great losse I have had) yet have not got a penny, and being a younger brother, and in Land have not 6. d. incoming in the year; and being robbed of my trade, calling, and livelyhood, by the Merchant-Monopolizers: so that I could not with freedome transport one Cloth into the Low-countries, to get any lively-hood thereby: all which, above a year agoe, I was necessitated publikely to declare, in answer to William Pryns lyes and falshoods, in my book called Innocency and Truth justified, which there you may read, especially in pag. 39, 43, 47, 48, 62, 65, 70, and how being committed to your custody in the Tower, the chargeablest Prison this day in all England, and where I am denyed the just and legal usage and allowance that the King himself used to allow all prisoners committed to this place, although those that had great estates of their own, into their own hands and possession, whose allowance was to find them diet, lodging, and pay their fees, Vox Plebis, p. 50, 56. 57.

Nay, when I came in, and desired you, that I might have my diet from my wife out of the town, which I did for two reasons.

First, for safety, having heard much of sir Thomas Overburies being poysoned when he was a prisoner in the Tower.

Secondly, for the saving of money, which stood me much upon; but you absolutely denied me that legal and just priviledge, and tyed me either to fast, or haue my diet from the Cookes in the Tower.

Thirdly, being thus committed to this extraordinary chargeable expensive place, and being in so mean a condition, as I must ingeniously confesse I was, you took in the third place, the ready way to sterve & destroy me and of your own head, ordered your Warders to take the names and places of habitation, of all those that came to see me, or speak with me, a destructive bug-bear to any captived prisoner, which the Law of England doth not in the least authorize and inable you to do: but this was not all, but in the fourth place, my friends, though they gave their names, were by your Warders, set on by your self (for upon your score, I must, and do lay it all) exceedingly in words abused; and divers of them turned away, and not suffered to come and speak with me: O bloody and cruell man ! what is this else, but an absolute Declaration of your resolved intention, to destroy me in my imprisonment under your custody? which the Law abhors: but it for the sake of the Law, or for my sake, you will not square your dealings with me, according to the known and declared law of the kingdome, then for your own sake, I desire you to remember your Predecessour, Sir Gervose Elmayes, who was indicted by the name of Gaoler of the Tower of London, and hanged upon Tower-hill, for consenting to the poysoning of Sir Thomas Overbury, Vox Plebis, pag. 48.

In the fifth place, seeing by all the fore-mentioned wayes & meanes you could not scare all my friends from me, and so by consequence, destroy me.

Then you devise another way, and set one of your old Mastive dogs upon me, to baite and to worry me with lyes, reproaches, and calumniations: and for that end, printed and published a most base & scandalous book against me, thereby to make me odious to all men whatsoever, that would believe that book, which was published against me at such a time; when by your self, my hands were fast tyed behind my back, being kept by your order very strictly from Pen, Ink, and Paper, and so in a condition unable publikely to vindicate my self, and much importunity was I forced to use to your selfe, before I could obtain leave from you to answer it, and necessitated to tye my selfe by promise to such and such conditions: and amongst the rest, that you should read it all over, before it was published: And I, for my part, performed my promise, and was necessitated to give the originall into your hands in such haste, that I could not take a Copy of it: out of whose hands, I could not get it, til I was in some respect necessitated to an arbitration: and being not able to doe what I would for my own vindication, I was in a manner compelled by you to be content with what I could do, which was to accept a submission from him for my wounded, rent, and torn reputation by him: although, if I could have accomplished what I desire, I should first have published my answer to his lyes: and then if he had had a mind put it to arbitration, but necessity hath no other Law but a stooping to it: but I was in hope, that I should have found so much candor and ingenuity in you, and your Agent, old John White, as that I should not have had the like abuses from you after that arbitration, that I had before it, from you both· but in regard that he at the gaol, as my friends informe me, doth not cease in his rancour and venim against me; I must be necessitated to publish my answer to him; especially, seeing as I conceive, Thos. Edwards the cankered Gangrena [Editor: Illegible word] in confederacy with him: But [Editor: Illegible words] the inserting of his recantation, or acknowledgment, and referre the Reader for a full relation of that arbitration, to the 59, 60, 61, 62, 63 pages of my late book, called Londons Liberty in Chains discovered; the aforesaid acknowledgment thus followeth:

I John White, one of the Warders of the Tower of London, doe acknowledge, that I have unjustly wronged Lieut. Col. John Lilburn, in, and by writing, and publishing in print, in such sort as I did; that he was the Writer, Author, or Contriver of a book called Liberty vindicated against Slavery, and of a printed letter thereunto annexed; and of a Book or Treatise, called An Alarum to the House of Lords: for all which, and for the unjust and scandalous matters and language alleadged and used by me, in my said booke, reflecting upon the said Lieut. Col. Lilburn, I am heartily sorry: and in testimony thereof; I haue hereunto subscribed my hand the 8. day of October, 1646.

Iohn VVhite.

John Strangewayes. } Knights.
Lewis Dyves. }
John Glanvil. }
William Morton. }
Henry Vaughan. }

Christopher Comport,
Warder in the Tower.

Sixthly, after all this, by meanes of my wifes Petition, which was delivered to the house of Commons 23. Septemb. 1646 and which you may read in the last mentioned book. pap. 65, 66, 67, 68 &c. by means of which, there was a Committee of the honourable house of Commons appointed, to hear and receive my complaint against the Lords, and the 6. of Novemb. 1646. was the last time I was before the Committee; where I had an opportunity, in part, to declare unto them, your illegal dealing with me: which Declaration, you may read in the 17. 18, 20. pages of that relation, now in print; and I must confesse unto you, I did think that you durst not have run the hazzard of persevering in your illegal dealings with me: but in regard you doe, it cleerly demonstrates unto me, that you judge the streames of Justice so muddy and corrupted (by the interest and power of your Lords, and their factions, who would have no other rule, but their own base and corrupt will to walk by, and therefore lay the rule of the Law and Justice aside) that they will never run cleer, nor purely again, to punish such transgressors as you are.

But that you may know (although I have had exceeding hard measure, in being so long delayed in the making of my report) that I am not out of hopes, not in despaire, I give you this fresh charge, and tell you, that after I had done with the Committee, your next illegall designe that you executed upon me, was, that my friends could not-passe your guard, unlesse my keeper were there present to conduct them unto me; by means of which, some of them have been forced to come four severall times, before they could find him at the Gate; & others have been forced to stay, and sit in the guard an hour, and sometimes two, expecting his coming; without whose presence, they could not have accesse to me; and divers of them in the time of their stay at the Guard, examined whether they be not Independents, or no; & whether they never preached in Tubs, or no : And if they answer crosly to the questions, as well they may, then they are fallen upon, and both they and I in words exceedingly abused: and I am told, that an old tall man in black, with a great staffe in his hand, is not wanting to play his part, which I judge to be Mr. White.

Now sir, is not this the height of illegality cruelty, tyrannie and bloud-thirstinesse in you, thus to deal with me; indevouring thereby strongly to scare away all my friends from me? For, who in so many difficulties and abuses would come to visit a man, unlesse he bore a very great affection to him: the which, if he do, the continual meeting with these base and unwarrantable affronts, in conclusion will make him weary.

And truly sir, let me tell you, this is not to use me with civility, and humanity in my imprisonment, as the Law requires I should: but this is to torment, punish, and destroy me, which, the Law, and all just and honest men abhor and detest.

In the 7. place, being in the condition that I am in, and being guilty of no legall crime in the world; unlesse it be for being over honest and zealous for the preservation of the just and publique Liberties of the Kingdom; I know no reason, why I may not enjoy the utmost priviledge and liberty in the Tower, that any prisoner in it doth enjoy: yet notwithstanding, not many weeks agoe, I was but going with a fellow-prisoner in the path that leads to the Record-office; and coming back to my Lodging under the Gate, that is just against the Traytors Gate, I met your pretended-Gentleman-Goaler, and immediatly Mr. Comport, my Landlord and Keeper, came and delivered a message from you to me, which was to this effect: That Mr. Lieutenant did understand, that I was beyond the Ring; but it was his pleasure, that I should forbear to go any more beyond it: Vnto which, I replyed, Landlord, I had only thought, that to go beyond the Ring, had been for a man when he came to it, to have turned on the right hand, and so to have gone, as if he would have gone out at the Gate, which I did not in the least: for I turned on the left hand with one of my fellow-prisoners, and walked in the path that goes to his Chamber, and divers other Chambers of my fellow-prisoners, which path they do and may walk in every day in the week, and every hour in the day. And therefore, tell your Master from me, I shall not obey his order, for I have as good right to enjoy any priviledge within the Tower, as any prisoner in it: and therefore will walk, that way again, seeing all my fellow-prisoners enjoy the same liberty.

In the 8. place, the other night there being a friend with me about 6 or 7 a’clock at night, I walked out of my chamber with him; which is a priviledge that all my fellow-prisoners enjoy: and he having a candle and lanthorn in his hand, passing under Cole-Harbour Gate, I was roughly and suddenly demanded whither I went? And I replyed, along with my friend, to conduct him as farre as my liberty would extend (which was down to the Ring, which is, as I conceive, at least three or foursore yards, on this side of the gate where your guard stands) I was replyed unto in these words, Sir, you shall not goe: At which, looking well about me (it being very dark) to see who it was, that was so malipert, I perceived it to be your self (who had with you, as I conceived, some of your Warders) unto which I replyed: Truly sir, I do not like the word shall; it is but unhansome language, to tell me, I shall not go.

No sir, I say (said you) you shall not go; for you ought not to stir out of your chamber after candels are lighted.

Truly sir (said I) I know no such order. Vnto which, you replyed, Well, then sir, I now give you such an order: and I bid you give it to these that would obey it; for I would not: and I gave you the reason of it; which was, that I was a free-born Englishman, a Kingdom that pretends (at least) to be governed by Law, and not by Wil, & I am not to be subject unto those orders in my imprisonment, that have no other Warrant, but the Goalers Will. Neither will I willingly be subject in the Tower unto any other orders, but what are consonant and agreeable to the fundamental Laws of the Kingdome.

Vnto which you replyed; Sir, you shall obey my orders, and I will make you.

Sir, said I, I will not obey your orders; nor you shall not make me: And I tell you to your face, I scorn both you and your orders, and that I value you not, the paring of my naile.

Vnto which, you replyed, Sir, I will make you; for I will locke you fast enough in your chamber: And I bid you do your worst, that either you could, or durst do, I cared not a straw for you: But I bad you take notice of this, by the way; that if you locked me up by the power of your own unbinding will, and did not make your doores very strong, I would make work for your Carpenters, by breaking them into as many pieces as I could.

You replyed, you would make them up again. And I told you, I would break them again.

You told me, you ordering us to keep our Chambers after candle was lighted, was for your own security.

I shall now take liberty, to return you a more ful answer to this, then I did before to you, which is this; That I for my part, for all the gold in London, would not give just cause to be counted so base and unworthy, to do upon deliberation that action, that I would not justifie to the death: But if I should in the least, step aside, I should contract unto my self that guilt, which I am confident, all the enemies I have in England, are not able in the least to fixe upon me: For, I understand by the Law of this Kingdom, that he that is committed to prison for Felony, or Treason; although really and truly he be guilty of neither, yet if he break prison, and be taken again, he shal dye like a Fellon or Traytor that is legally convicted, 1. E. 2. de frangentibus prisonam. See Cookes 2. part. instit. fol. 590, 591. For his slight, in the eye of the Law, argues guiltinesse.

And besides, my friend and I had a horn Lanthorn and Candle, which put all out of suspition of going out in the dark.

But thirdly, what ground have you, vpon any pretence what ever framed by your self, to lock me up in my chamber, as soone as candels are lighted, seeing I am in a moated and double-walled Prison, where you have not only a Train-bond, but also great store of your Warders to secure me?

And therefore, I tell you plainly, I shal never condescend to bee locked up sooner then that convenient hour of 8. a clock, the accustomed hour of the place, which is much sooner then they are in other prisons, that I have been in.

Fourthly, if under pretence of your security, I should give way for you to confine or lock me up in my chamber at candle-light, which then was before five a clocke, may not you as well and as groundedly upon the same pretence (if you please to say it is for your security) keep me locked vp in my chamber till 12. a clocke; yea, the whole day, if you please: And if I should suffer this in the least, what am I lesse then traitorous to my selfe, and to my liberties, to give you a power by your own meer will, to make and impose a Law upon me, whensoever you shall please to say that its for your securitie; when the Law provides and enjoynes you no more, but to keep me in safe custodie within your prison, and to use me and all that come to me, civillie, and with all humanitie, and leaves me not in the least to your will, but only in some extraordinarie cases, as in doing or offring violence to the Goaler, or Goalers, or to my fellow-prisoners, to the apparent breach of the peace of the prison: and yet in this, the Law is extraordinarie tender of the prisoners safetie: but none of this I have not in the least done, either to you, or the poorest boy belonging to you, not by Gods assistance wil not: but yet on the contrarie, before you shal make me a slave to your will, you shal have the heart-bloud out of my body.

Now in the last place, I wil compare the fees taken and demanded in the Tower with those the Law gives; and what they are, you may fully read before.

Now, by the Author of Vox Plebis, who to mee seemes to bee a knowing man in the practises of the Lieutenants of the Tower, who in his 48. 49. pages, saith, That there is demanded for the admittance of an Earl I 60. l. for a Baron 80. l. for a Knight and Baronet 70. l. for a Baronet 60. l. for a Knight 50. l. and for an Esquire 40. pound, and 30. s. a week of every prisoner for liberty to buy and dresse his owne diet, and 10. s. 15. s. 20. s. per weeke, for their Chamber-rent, and of some more.

For Sir Richard Gurney sometimes Lord Mayor of London, & now prisoner in the Tower, hath paid as I have heard him aver it 3. l. a week for his chamber-rent; and in the time of a Predecessour of yours, dieted 3 weeks at the Lieutenants table; for which hee had the impudencie to demand of him for it 25. l. per week. ô horrible and monstrous extortion and oppression: and yet this is not all, for the last mentioned author in his 48. pag. saith, There is a new, erected Office, and an intruded Officer, called the Gentleman Goaler, one Yates, a busie fellow, who pretends to a fee of 50. s. to be paid him, at the going away of every prisoner, pag. 51. ibim.

But yet this is not all: for in p. 49. of the late printed book, called Regal Tyrannie discovered, he saith, that the Gentleman Porter demands for his fee 5. l. and a mans upper garment: 40. s. to the Warders, 10. s. to the Lieutenants Clarke, 10. s. to the Minister; and divers of my fellow-prisoners tell me, that their Keepers have and do demand of them, either their diet, or 5. s. a week, for locking them up at night in their Chamber, and opening their chamber-dores.

O horrible and monstrous injustice, oppression, and crueltie, to demand and take these fees; whereas, by Law, there is not one farthing taken of all these fees due to be paid by the prisoner, but one bare great at most, and that given away by an oppressing and incroaching law upon our antient and just liberties, as is before truly observed.

And yet prisoners are detained in prison by your will, after they are legally discharged, because they will not pay these undue and unjust fees, which at this very day is Sir Henry Andersons case, and hath formerly been others; as the Author of Vox Plebis truly observes: although the arrantest Rogue & Thief that ever breathed, had, or hath, as true a right to any purse that ever he did, or shal take from an honest man upon the high-way by force and violence, as you or any other hath to any of the fore-mentioned fees. O yee proud and impudent man, that dare assume unto your selfe of your own head, more then a regal power, to levie and raise mony by the law of your own will, vpon the free people of England.

Sir, let me tel you, this very thing was one of those things, that was the Earl of Straffords great Crimes, for which hee paid very dear; and it is not impossible, but you and others that use it, may pay as dear for it in conclusion: therefore, look to it, and thinke of it.

And if you please to read the Petition of Right, made by the Lords and Commons unto this King, in the 3. of his Raign, you shall find in the beginning of it, they shew him that by the statute of the 34. E. 1. called Statutum de tallagio non concedendo; that no tallage or aid shall be laid or levied by the King or his Heires in this Realm, without the good will and assent of the Arch-bishops, Bishops, Earles, Barons, Knights Burgesses, and other the free-men of the Commonalty of this Realm, and by authority of Parliament holden in the 25. E. 3. it is declared, and enacted; that from thence-forth no person should be compelled to make any Loanes to the King against his will; because such Loanes were against reason, and the franchise of the Land, and by other Lawes of this Realme, (viz. 1. E. 3. 6. 11. R. 2. 9. 1. R. 3. 2.) it is provided; That none shall be charged by any charge or imposition, called a benevolence, nor by such like charge by which the statutes before-mentioned, and other the good lawes and statutes of this Realm, your subjects have inherited this freedome; that they should not be compelled to contribute to any taxe, tallage, aid, or other like charge, not set by common consent in Parliament. All which, the King confirmes.

And by the statute made this present Parliament, that abolished Ship-money; All and every the particulars, prayed or desired in the said Petition of Right, shall from henceforth be put in execution accordingly, and shall be firmly and strictly holden and observed, as in the same Petition they are prayed and expressed: yea, in this very statute it is declared and enacted to be against Law, for his Majesty upon any pretence what ever, to levie money of the people of England, without common consent in Parliament.

And truly sir, let me tell you without fear or flattery, that if your great Masters the Lords, & the true prerogative friends of the house of Commons, had any true and reall intentions to preserve the Fundamental Lawes and Liberties of England, or had any time to spare (to punish those that justly and groundedly infringe them, and doe, as much as in them lies, to destroy them) from their weighty employment, of dividing great and vast summes of the Common-wealths money amongst themselves, without either doing justice and right in the like nature to any man breathing, unlesse it be themselves, or some of their sons, kinsmen, or near friends; whose Principles are to serve their ends to the breadth of a haire in all they enjoyn them; they would scorn to give cause to be reputed so base and unworthy as they are, to deny the King the power (unto whom ever and anon, they give such glorious and transcendent titles unto) to levie and raise money without common consent in Parliament; when they allow every paltery Jaylor in England to do it at his pleasure; yea, and for any thing I can perceive abet and countenance him in it: for they will not, nor have not done, all this long Parlament, any man any effectuall Justice against them that have complained of them, but every man is crushed, and in a manner destroyed, that meddles any thing to the purpose with them.

I pray sir, tell me, whether this be to keep the Solemn League and Covenant (which now is made a cloak for all kind of knavery and villanie) which they and you took with your hands lifted up to the most high God, and swore to maintain the Fundamental Lawes and Liberties of the Kingdome: But this I dare boldly tell you, you never intended it, as by your practises, appears.

But sir, in the second place, I should desire to know of you, the reason why Jaylors are so impudent and oppressive as they are, and go so scot-free from punishment (though often complained of) as they do.

Truly, for my part, I am not able to render any more probable one then this; That is may be some powerfull Parliament-man, or men, are sharers with them in their profits (for as grose, if not groser things, are commonly reported, yea printed of some of them: See the 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, &c. pages of the fore-mentioned book, called Regall Tyrannie discovered) and therefore must, and do improve their interest and power, to protect them in their knaveries and oppressions. For, within these few daies, I was talking with an understanding knowing Gentleman, that came to visit me; and he told me, he durst venture his life to make it evident to any rationall man in the world; that there is one Goaler about this Citie, that makes of his Prison above 20000, l. a year, and commits all manner of villanies, and yet no Justice can be had against him, though hee hath often and powerfully been complained against to the Parliament it self, where he said, he had more favour, countenance, and protection, then the honest man that complained of him; yea, more then them all, put all in one.

Now sir, in the last place, I come to acquaint you, what monies I have paid, since I came to the Tower for my Chamber-rent only; the 10. of July last I came hither, and you sent me to the Lodging where I am, with extraordinarie strict and severe command upon my Keeper, who within certain daies after I came to him, demanded chamber-rent of me at a great deale higher rate then I pay, and I told him necessitie had no law; and I therefore desired him to ask me reasonably, and he should see what I would say to him: So at last, he asked me 15. s. a week, I told him I knew well the lawes of all Prisons in England and 15. s. a week was a great deale of money for bare Lodging; but in regard it was with me, as it was, conditionally that hee for his part would use me, and those my friends that should come to to see me, with civilitie and humanitie, I would give him 15. s. a week, and find my own linnen besides, protesting unto him, that the first time he used me, or any that came to see me, churlishly, I would not pay him one peny more of money; and I must ingenuously confesse, I have no cause in the least to complain of the man in point of civilitie, nor he of me in performing my promise: for I have paid him, though it hath been with some straights to me, betwixt 20. and 30. l. which I am now able no longer to pay.

And therefore I desire you, according to your duty which by law you are bound unto, to provide me a prison gratis: for I professe unto you, no more rent I can, nor will pay, though it cost me a dungeon (or as bad) for my pains. And truly, Sir, I shall deale ingeniously with you, and give you the true reason wherefore I condescended to pay chamber-rent at first, and have done it so long; It was because I had extraordinary potent adversaries to deale withall, viz. the House of Lords, or Peeres, as they are called, who had pretty-well managed their dealings with me like tyrants, in keeping very strictly my friends from me, and also pen, ink, and paper, that so I was debarred of all ability in the world, to publish to the view of the whole kingdome, my own innocency, and their inhumane and barbarous tyranny, which they knew well enough I would doe, if I had not been debarred of all meanes to doe it, and then fell upon me, and transcendently sentenced me to pay 4000. l. &c. and illegally and unjustly entred notorious crimes against me in their records. And you know I told you at my first comming to the Tower, I was refreshed at the hopes of my being freed from my close imprisonment; but your falling so heavily upon me as you did, struck me to the heart and made me beleeve it was possible I might have been destroyed before I should have an opportunity publickly to cleare my own unspotted innocency in reference to the Lords, and to anatomize their tyranny; both of which my soul thirsted after: and therefore if I had been able, I would have purchased an opportunity to have done it, though it had cost me 20. l. a week. And truly, Sir, I have done my doe, and in despite of all the Lords, published, and truly and faithfully stated my cause to the view of the whole Kingdome. First, in my Wives Petition, delivered by her to the House of Commons, Septem. 23. 1646. which I pen’d and framed my selfe without the help or assistance of any Lawyer in England. And secondly, in my Book called, Londons Liberty in Chains discovered. And thirdly, twice before the Committee of the Honorable House of Commons. The last discourse of which I published to the view of all the Comons of England, and called it, An Anatomy of the Lords tyranny. And besides, some of my friends, or well-wishers have done it excellent well for me, in those two notable Discourses called, Vox Plebis, and, Regall Tyranny discovered, which will live when I am dead; and be (I hope) as good as winding-sheets unto the Lords; and therefore I am now ready for a Dungeon, or Irons, or Death it self, or any torture or torment that their malice can inflict upon me; and seeing that I cannot by any means I can use, get my report made to the House of Commons, and so enjoy justice and right at their hands, (which I beg not of them as a Boon, but chalenge of them as my due and right) by reason of the Lords, and the rest of their Prerogative Co-partners influence into the House Commons, to divert them from the great affairs of the Kingdome, in doing justice and right unto the oppressed, and putting them upon making Lawes, Edicts, and Declarations, to persecute and destroy the generation of the righteous, and so bring the wrath and vengeance of heaven and earth upon them and theirs: (Read Mr. Thomas Goodwins Sermon preached before them Feb. 25. 1645. called, The great Interest of States and Kingdomes) and also lay a great blot of reproach upon them by all the rationall men in the world, for endevouring to destroy a generation of peaceable and quiet-minded men, that have contributed all they had and have in the world, for their preservation; and by whose undaunted valour and blood-shed, as principall instruments they enjoy liberty at this day, to sit in the House of Commons, and to be what they are. (Sure I am, the Spirit of God saith, That he that rewardeth evill for good, evill shall not depart from his House, Prov. 17. 13.) And yet for any thing I can perceive, the best reward is intended these men from those they have done so much for, is ruine and destruction, that so that Antichristian office and fanction of Priesthood, newly transformed into a pretended godly and reformed Presbyter, may again be established, although by the second Article of the Covenant (now more magnified by the sonnes of darknesse add blindnesse, then the Book of God) they have expresly sworn to root up that Function by the roots. The words of the Covenant are, That we shall in like manner, without respect of persons, endevour the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy, (that is, Church government by Archbishops, Bishops, their Chancellors and Commissaries, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Arch-Deacons, and all other Ecclesiastical officers depending on that Hierarchy) superstition, heresie, schisme, prophaneness, &c. Mark the sentence, And all other Ecclesiasticall Officers depending on that Hierarchy. In the number of which are those pretended reformed presbyter-Ministers, that either sit in the Assembly, or are in any other place in the Kingdom, that officiate by vertue of their Ordination, which they had from the Bishops, or any, by vertue of their Authority. And I will maintain it with my life, that he is a forsworn man (whether he be Parliamentman or other) that hath taken the Covenant, and doth contribute any of his assistance, to maintain, preserve, and uphold that Ordination of the Presbyterian Ministers, that they received from the Bishops; or punish, any man for writing preaching, or speaking against it, or any other wayes endevouring the destruction or extirpation thereof. For the expresse words of the Covenant are, that we must endevour the extirpation of all Officers (without exception) depending on that Hierarchy; part of which, all the fore-mentioned Ministers are, being ordained Priests and Deacons by the Bishops, and have no other Ordination to this very day, but what they had fro them. But if they shal say, they were ordained by them not as Bishops, but as Presbyters; I answer, This is a simple foppish distinction: For as well may the Bishops say, They were not ordained by the Pope, or his Bishops, quatenus as Pope or Bishops but quatenus as Presbyter, or Presbyters, and so are in every particular as lawfull Ministers as any of these men that have their ordination from them, and yet have endevoured to draw the whole Kingdom into a Covenant sinfully to extirpate them that are Christs Ministers upon their own Principles, as really, truly, and formally, as any of themselves. But in the second place, if they were ordained Presbyters by the Bishops, not as Bishops, but as Presbyters, then are these present reformed Ministers lesse then Presbyters. For the Author to the Hebrewes, chap. 7 v. 7. saith, Without all contradiction, the lesse is blessed of the better, or greater. And I desire the learned Presbyters to shew me one example in all the New Testament, that ever any Officer ordained another Officer in the same Office and Function that he himselfe was in. Thirdly, I desire to know of these reformed Presbyterian Ministers, that seeing as they themselves confesse, the Bishops Office and Function was and is Antichristian, how is it possible their Ministeriall Function, or Ordination, can be Christian, that like a streame flowed from them the fountain? Sure I am, Job demands this question; Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? And by the same Spirit of God he answers; Not one. Job. 14. 4. And James interrogates, saying, Doth a Fountain send forth at the same place, sweet water and bitter? Or can the Fig-tree, my brethren, beare Olive-berries? either a Vine; Figges? Therefore in a positive negation he concludes, that no Fountain can both yeeld salt water and fresh.

And therefore seeing THOMAS THE GANGRENA, the Rabshakeh Champion of the new sprung-up Sect in England of Presbyters, who may more truly and properly, be called Schismatickes, then any of those he so brands; for they have separated from their Ghostly Fathers the Bishops, and yet are glad to hold their ordination, and are therefore schismaticall.

And therefore seeing in his last GANGRENA he hath fallen so point-blank upon me, for no other cause but for standing for the Fundamentall Lawes of England; which, if he had not an absolute desire to be notoriously forsworn, he might know his Covenant binds him to doe the same. But seeing he there playes the simple man to fight with his own shadow, and doth not in the least meddle, for any thing I can perceive (by so much as I have read of his Book, which, so near as I could find, was every place where I was mentioned) with the Statutes and other Legall Authorities, as I cite in my wives petition, and else-where, to prove, That all the Commoners of England ought in all criminall cases to be tryed by their Peeres, that is, Equals; and that the House of Lords, in the least, are not the Peeres of Commoners: And therefore seeing seemingly by that ulcerous book, he hath given me something to answer that concerns me, I will really and substantially give him something to answer, that in good earnest concerneth him, and all the rest of his bloody-minded pretended reformed fellow-Clergy Presbyters; that lying, deceitfull, forsworn, and bloody Sect, of whom it is true that the Prophet said of the Prophets of old, That they make the people to erre, and bite with their teeth, and cry peace; and he that putteth not into their mouthes, they even prepare warre against him, Micah 3. 5. And that at present I have to put to him to answer, shall be certain Arguments which I made when I was close prisoner in irons in the Fleet, against the then Episcopall Ministers of the Church of England, and will serve in every particular, against the present Presbyteriall Ministers, and you shall find them thus laid down in the 23. page of my Book called, An Answer to 9. Arguments written by T.B. and printed at London 1645.

First, This every lawfull Pastor, Bishop, Minister, or Officer in the visible Church of Christ, ought to have a lawfull call, and be lawfully chosen into his Office, before he can be a true Officer in the Church of Christ, Acts 1. 23, 24, 25. & 6. 3. 5, 6. & 14. 23. Gal. 1. 1. Heb. 5. 4.

But the Ministers and Officers in the Church of England, (as well Presbyterian as Episcopall) have not a lawfull call, neither are lawfully chosen to be officers in the Church of Christ. See the Book of Ordination of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, as also the Directory, and compare them with the Scripture.

Therefore all your Ministers are false and Antichristian Officers. Rev. 9. 3. and 13. 2. and 16. 13.

Secondly; the doing of those actions that belong to the execution of an Office, doth not prove a man to be a lawfull Officer, but a lawfull power instating him into his Office. Acts. 8. 4. 11. 19. 20. and 18. 24, 25, 26. 1 Cor. 14. 29. 30, 31. 1 Pet. 4. 10.

But all the Ministers in the Church of England have nothing to prove the lawfulnesse of their standing in the Ministery, but the actions of a Minister, and are not in the least able to prove that they are instated into their Ministery by vertue of a lawfull power and authority.

Therefore they are no true Ministers of Christ, but false and Antichristian Ministers of Antichrist.

Thirdly, againe in the third place upon your own grounds I frame this Argument.

Those that by their Ministery do not accomplish the same ends, that the Ministery of the Apostles did, are no true Ministers.

But the Ministers of the Church of England do not accomplish the same ends by their Ministery, that the Ministery of the Apostles did, 1 Cor. 11. 2.

Therefore your Ministers are no true Ministers of Iesus Christ.

But Gangrena one word more at present to you, seeing in the 217. 218. pages of your late 3. Gangrena, you fall so exceeding heavie upon me, and my honest Camerade Mr. Overton, and say that these 2. audacious men, their dareing bookes shall escape without exemplary punishment, and instead thereof be countenanced and set free, I do as a Minister pronounce (but I say it is as one of Sathans) that the plague of God will fall upon the heads of those that are the cause of it.

Come Antagonist, let us come to a period; for I hope, for all your mallice you are not yet so farre gone beyond your selfe as to desire to have me hanged or killed, and then condemned and adjudged, and therefore I will make you 2. faire propositions.

First, (in reference to the Lords whose Goliah and Rabshaca-like Champion you are) that if you please to joyne with me in a desire to both Houses, I will so far go below my selfe, and my present appeale now in the House of Commons, (alwayes provided it may be no prejudice to the benefit I justly expect from my said appeale) and joyne with you in this desire, that there may be by both Houses, a proportionable number thereof, mutually by themselves chosen out, to set openly, and publickly in the painted Chamber, where I will against you by the established Lawes of this Land, maintaine against you and all the Lawyers you can bring, this position (which is absolutely the contest betwixt the Lords and me) THAT THE LORDS AS A HOVSE OF PEERS, HATH NO JVRISDISCTION AT ALL OVER ANY COMMONER IN ENGLAND, IN ANY CRIMINALL CASE WHATSOEVER, and if you will, I will wholly as in reference to the contest betwixt you and me, stand to the vote, and abide the judgement and sentence of that very Committee, whose vote upon the fore-mentioned tearmes, if you will tye your selfe, I will tye my selfe, either actively to execute, or passively to suffer and undergo it.

In the second place, because so farre as I am able to understand your meaning, in your fore-mentioned pages, you would have me dealt withall, as the Earle of Strafford, and the Bishop of Canterbury was, for indeavouring (as you say) with so much violence, the overthrow of the three Estates, and the Lawes of the Kingdome, and in the stead of the fundamentall Government and constitution of this Kingdome, to set up an Vtopian Anarchy of the promiscuous multitude and the lusts and uncertains fancies of weake people, for Lawes and Rules.

Now in regard of the distractions of the Kingdome which are many, and that they might not be made wider by new bookes from either of us, I shall be very willing for peace and quiets sake, to joyne with you in a Petition to the House of Commons, to appoint a select Committee publickly to examin all things that are a misse in your bookes and myne, and to punish either, or both, according to Law and Iustice without partiality, and I appeale to all rationall men in the world, whether I have not offered fayre or no.

But in regard I know not whether you will imbrace my preffer, I shall speake a little more for my selfe, and reduce all to these three heads.

First, whether the Lords have by the known Law of the Land any jurisdiction of the Commons, or no?

Secondly, whether in the Parliaments own publick declaration in Mr. Prinns soveraigne power of Parliaments, and in the Assemblies exhortation to the solemn legall Covenant, and other Presbyterian books, licenced by publike authority, and others sold without controule, there be no more said to justifie and maintain, that which Gangrena calles Vtopian Anarchy, then in any bookes whatsoever published by these he calles Sectaries.

Thirdly, whether or no that out of my own words, in my booke, called INNOCENCIE AND TRVTH JVSTIFIED, there can any thing be drawn to justifie the Lords in that which now I condemn them in? as Gangrena affirmes, pag. 157. 158.

For the first, see what the ninth Chapter of Magna Charta saith.

No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his free hold, or Liberties, or free Customes, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any otherwise destroyed, nor we will not passe upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawfull judgment of his PEERS, or by the Law of the Land.

See the 3. of E. 1. ch. 6. And that no City, Borough, or Towne, nor any man be amerced without reasonable cause, and according to the quantity of his trespasse, 9. H. 3. 14. that is to say, every free man, saving his freehold, a Merchant saving his Merchandise, a villain saving his waynage, and that by his or their Peers.

Now here is the expresse Law of the Land against the Lords jurisdiction over Commons in criminall cases.

Now in the second place, let us see what one of the ablest expositors of the Law that ever writ in England, saith, of this very things and that is Sir Edward Cooke, in his exposition of Magna Charta 2. part institutes, which book is published by two speciall orders of the present House of Commons, as in the last page thereof you may read: who, in his expounding the 14 Chapter of Magna Charta, p. 28. saith, Peers signifies, Equalls, and pag. 29. he saith, the generall division of persons by the Law of England, is either one that is noble, and in respect of his nobility, of the Lords House in Parliament; or one of the Commons of the Realms, and in respect thereof, of the House of Commons in Parliament, and as there be divers degrees of Nobility, as Dukes, Marquesses, Earles, Viscounts, and Barrons, and yet all of them are comprehended within this word, PARES; so of the Commons of the Realme, there be Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen, Citizens, Yeomen, and Burgesses of severall degrees, and yet all of them of the COMMONS of the Realme, and as every of the Nobles is one Peere to another, though to be of a severall degree, so is it of the Commons; and as it hath been said of men, so doth it hold of Noble-women, either by birth, or by marriage, but see hereof Chap. 29.

And in Chap. 29 pag. 46. Ibim: he saith, no man shall be disseised, that is, put out of seison, or dispossessed of his freehold (that is) Lands, or livelihood, or his liberties, or free Customs, that is, of such franchises, and freedoms, and free Customs, as belong to him by his birth-right, unlesse it be by lawfull judgment, that is, verdict of his equalls (that is men of his own condition) or by the Law of the Land, (that is, to speake it once for all) by the due course, and processe of Law.

No man shall be in any sort destroyed, (to destroy id est; what was first built and made, wholly to overthrow and pull downe) unlesse it be by the verdict of his equalls, or according to the Law of the Land.

And so saith he is the sentence (neither will we passe upon him) to be understood, but by the judgment of his Peers, that is equalls, or according to the Law of the Land, see him page 48. upon this sentence, per judicium Parium suorum> and page 50. he saith it was inacted that the Lords and Peers of the Realme should not give judgment upon any but their Peers: and cites, Rot. Parl. 4. E. 3. nu. 6. but making inquiry at the Record-Office in the Tower, I had this which followes, from under the hand of Mr. William Colet the Record-Keeper.

Out of the Roll of the Parliament of the fourth yeare of Edward the third.

The First Roll.

Records and Remembrances of those things which were done in the Parliament summoned at Westminster, on Munday next after the Feast of Saint Katherine, in the yeare of the Reigne of King Edward the third, from the Conquest, the fourth, delivered into the Chancery, by Henry de Edenstone Clerk of the Parliament.

The judgement of Roger de Mortimer.THese are the Treasons, Felonies, Wickednesses, done to our Lord the King, and his people, by Roger de Mortimer, and others of his confederacie. First of all, whereas it was ordained at the Parliament of our Lord the King, which was held next after his coronation at Westminster, that foure Bishops, foure Earles, and six Barons, should abide neere the King for to counsell him; so alwayes that there may be foure of them, viz. one Bishop, one Earle, and two Barons, at the least. And that no great businesse be done without their assent, and that each of them should answer for his deeds, during his time. After which Parliament, the said Roger Mortimer, (not having regard to the said assent) took upon himself Royall power, and the government of the Realm, and encroacht upon the State of the King, and ousted, and caused to be ousted, and placed Officers in the Kings House and else-where throughout the Realm at his pleasure, of such which were of his mind, and placed John Wyard and others over the King, to espy his actions and sayings; so that our Lord the King was in such manner environed of such, as that he would not doe any thing at his pleasure, but was as a man which is kept in Ward.

Also whereas the Father of our LORD the KING, was at Kenilworth, by ordinance and assent of the Peeres of the Land, there to stay at his pleasure for to be served as becommeth such a Lord, the sayd Roger, by Royall power taken unto himselfe, did not permit him to have any money at his will; and ordered that hee was sent to Barkly Castle, where, by him and his, he was traiterously and falsly murthered and slain.

But that which is to my purpose, is Roll the second, being the judgement of Sir Simon de Bereford, which verbatim followeth thus.

The Second Roll.

ALso, in the same Parliament, our Lord the King did charge the said Earles and Barons, to give right and lawfull judgement, as appertained to Simon de Bereford, Knight who was aiding and counselling the said Roger de Mortimer in all the treasons, felonies, and wickednesses, for the which, the foresaid Roger so was awarded and adjudged to death, as it is a known and notorious thing to the said Peeres, as to that which the King intends.

The which Earles, Barons, and Peeres, came before our Lord the King in the same Parliament, and said all with one voyce, that the foresaid Simon was not their Peere, wherefore they were not bound to judge him as a Peere of the Land.

But because it is a notorious thing, and known to all, that the aforesaid Simon was aiding and counselling the said Roger in all the treasons, felonies, and wickednesses abovesaid, (the which things are an usurpation of Royall power, Murther of the Liege Lord, and destruction of Blood-Royall) and that he was also guilty of divers other felonies and robberies, and a principall maintainer of robbers, and felons: the said Earles, Barons, and Peeres did award and judge, as Judges of Parliament by the assent of the KING the same Parliament, that the said Simon as a traitor, and enemy of the Realm, be drawn and hanged. And thereupon it was commanded to the Martiall, to doe execution of the said judgement. The which execution was done and performed the Munday next after the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle.

In the same Roll.

Agreement not to bee drawn into example.And it is assented and agreed by our Lord the King, and all the Grandees in a full Parliament, that albeit the said Peeres, as Judges of Parliament, took upon them in the presence of our Lord the King, to make and give the said judgement by the assent of the King, upon some of them which were not their Peeres, and that by reason of the murder of the Liege Lord, and destruction of him which was so new of the Blood-Royall, and sonne of the King; that therefore the said Peeres which now are, or the Peeres which shall be for the time to come, be not bound or charged to give judgement upon others then upon their Peeres, nor shall doe it: (But let the Peeres of the Land have power) but of that for ever they be discharged and acquit, and that the aforesaid judgement now given, be not drawn into example, or consequent for the time to come, by which the said Peeres may be charged hereafter, to judge others then their Peeres against the Law of the Land, if any such case happen, which God defend.

Agreeth with the Record,

William Colet.

It is the saying of the spirit of God Eccle. 4. 9. 12. two are better then one, and a threefold cord is not easily broken, so that to prove my position true for all the Rabshaca Language of Gangrena, I have first the fundamentall Law point blank on my side, and 2. the Judgment of one of the ablest Lawyers that ever writ in England and his Judgment authorised (as good and sound) by the present House of Commons, to be published to the view of the whole Kingdome, and 3. the Lords own confession, for if you marke well, the 2. last lines, of the forecited record, you shall finde, they ingeniously confesse and declare, that it is against the Law of the Land, for them to judge a Commoner, and for further confirmation of this, reade Vox Plebis pag. 18. 19. 36, 37, 38, 39. 40, 41, 42. 44. 45. But if the Vicerous Gangrena please to read a late printed booke, called Regall Tyranny discovered, he shall finde that the author of that Book, in his 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 86. pages, lays down many strong arguments to prove, That the House of Lords have no Legislative power at all. And in his 94, 95, 96, 97. pages, he declares & proves, That before will the Conqueror subdued the rights and priviledges of Parliaments, [the King and the Commons held and kept Parliaments without temporall Lords, Bishops, or Abbots. The two last of which, he proves, had as true and as good a right to sit in Parliament, as any of the present Lords now sitting at Westminster, either now have, or ever had.

For the second thing, which is, Whether or no there be not in the present Parliaments Declarations, and in the Assemblies exhortation to take the Covenant, and in Mr. Prynnes Soveraigne power of Parliaments, and other Presbyterian books publickly licenced, and others sold without controll, as much, if not more, said, to set up, or maintain that which Gangrena calls Vtopian Anarchy, then in any Book what ever published by those he calls Sectaries: And I averre it positively, There is, and shall joyn issue with Gangrena to prove it in every particular. Therefore let him publish an exact Catalogue of any of our Positions, when he pleaseth, and I doubt not, but to make it evident, that it cannot justly by them be counted any vice in us, to tread in their steps, especially seeing they have accounted them so full of piety, truth and honesty; as they have done.

Now first, for the Parliaments Declarations, read but the Kings answers to them, and you shall easily see he layes it as deeply to their charge of endevouring to set up Anarchy, as Gangrena doth either to mine or Mr. Overtons; yea, and instances the particulars, and tels them plainly, The Arguments they use against him, will very well in time-serve the people to turn against themselves.

And as for Mr. Prynnes Soveraigne power of Parliaments, I never read more of that Doctrine (in any Book in all my life) that Gangrena so much condemnes in me, &c. then in that very Book, which is licenced by Mr. White, a member of the House of Commons, and in his dayes as stiffe a Presbyterian as Gangrena himselfe. See his 1. part Sover. pag. 5, 7, 8, 9, 19, 26, 29, 34. 35, 36, 37. But especially 42, 43, 44, 47, 57, 92. And 2. part, pag. 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46. & 73, 74, 75, 76. & 3. part. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. & 61, 62, 63, 64, 65. & 131, 132, 133.

And 4. part, pag. 10, 11, 15, 16. See his Appendix there, unto pag. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. and 11:12, 13, &c.

Besides these, see the first and second part of the Observations; Maximes unfolded; the case of Ship-money briefly discoursed; A new Plea for the Parlement; A fuller Answer to a Treatise, written by Dr. Fern, with divers others.

Now for the third thing, which is the tryumph Gangrena makes in his 3 part Gangrena, pag. 158. which is, that in my book, (called Innocency and Truth justified, which I published the last year, 1645.) I give that to the Lords, which now I in 1646. in many wicked Pamplets would take away from them: such new light, saith he, hath the successe of the new modell; and the recruit of the house of Commons brought to the Sectaries: Well I will the man stand to this? if hee will, then I desire the impartiall Reader to judge betwixt us, and turn to the 11, 12, 36, 37, 74. pages of that book: in which pages, is contained all that any way makes to his purpose; or else turn to the 157 pag. of his book, and see, if in all my words there quoted by him, there is any thing that carryes the shadow of giving that to the Lords, that now I would take from them; for there I am a reasoning with Mr. Pryn, or the house of Commons, not upon my principles, but their own.

And therefore, I say, a Committee of the house of Commons, is not the whole Parliament; no, nor the whole house of Commons it self, according to their own principles, which is the only clause he can fix upon.

And good Mr. Gangrena, is it not as just, and as man-like in me, if I be set upon, by you, when I have no better weapons to cudgell you with, then your own, to take them from you, & knock your pate, as to make use of my own proper weapons, to cut you soundly, or any other man that shall assault me to the hazzard of my Being; & this is just my case, that you count such a disgrace unto me.

But say you there, I have owned their legislative power, and their judicative power over Commons: Therefore, you draw an inference to condemn me from mine own practise. Alas man! may not I lawfully seek or receive a good turn from the hands of any man; and yet as lawfully do my best, to refuse a mischief from him?

But secondly, I answer, what though the 4. of May, 1641. I stooped to a tryal at the Lords Barre, upon an impeachment against me, by the King, doth that ever the more justifie their Authority, or declare me to be mutable and unstable? No, not in the least; for you cannot but know the saying of that most excellent Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. 13. 11. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things, So say I to you; five or six yeares ago, I knew nothing but the Lords Jurisdiction was as much more above the House of Commons (over Commons) as their Robes and Grandeur in which they sate was above them; especially seeing at all Conferences betwixt both Houses, I see the members of the house of Commons stand bare before the Lords: for which action I now see no ground for, especially having of late read so many bookes which discourse upon the Lords jurisdiction, which was upon this ground about a moneth or six weeks.

A Gentleman, a Member of the house of Commons, and one that I believe, wisheth me well, bid me look to my self; for to his knowledg, there was a design amongst some of the Lords (the grounds of reasons of which, he then told me) to clap me by the heeles, and to fall so heavie upon me, as to crush me in pieces, or else make me at least an example, to terrifie others, that they should not dare to stand for their Rights.

And being thus fore-warned, I was half armed, which made me discourse upon every opportunity with any that I thought knew any thing of the Lords Jurisdiction, and I found by a generall concurrence, that the 29. Chap. of Magna Charta, was expresly against the Lords Jurisdiction over Commoners in all criminall cases: And upon that ground I protested against them: and then upon further inquiry I found Sir Edward Cooke Judgment expresly against them, and is before recited: which book, Mr. Gangrena, I must tell you, is published since my first tryall before the Lords, and was not publikely in being when I then stooped unto their Jurisdiction; and then coming prisoner to the Tower, one of my fellow-prisoners very honestly told me of the fore-mentioned Record of Sir Simon de Bereford, which presently with all speed under M. Colets hand I got out of the Record-Office:

All which just and legall authorities and testimonie makes me so stiffe against the Lords, as I am; and I hope I shall continue to the death against them in the thing in question betwixt us, as unmoveable as a brazen Wall, come hanging, come burning, or cutting in pieces, or starving, of the worst that all their malice, and the ulcerous Gangrena Priests put together can inflict: For all that I principally care for, is to see if the thing I engage in, be just; and if my conscience upon solid and mature deliberation, tell me it is, I will by the strength of God, if once I be engaged in it, either go through with it, or dy in the midst of it, though there be not one man in the world absolutely of my mind, to back me in it.

But lastly, admit in former times, I had been as absolute a Pleader for the Lords Jurisdiction over Commons, as now I am against them.

Yet truly, a man of Mr. Gangrenaes coat, is the unfittest man in the Kingdom to reprove me for it: For his Tribe, I mean of Priests and Deacons, those little toes of Antichrist, now called reformed Presbyters, are such a Weather-cock, unstable generation of wavering minded men, as the like are not in the whole Kingdome.

For their Predecessours in Henry the 8. dayes, were first for the Pope. and all his Drudgeries, and then for the King and his new Religion, and then 3. in his time, returned to their vomit again: and then 4. in Edward the 6. dayes, became by his Proclamation godly reformed Protestants: and then 5. in Queen Maries dayes, by the authority of her and her Parliament (which Parliament, I do aver it, & will maintain, had as true a ground to set up compulsive Popery, as this present Parliament hath to set up compulsive Presbytery) became for the generality of them bloudy and persecuting Papists: And then 6. by the Authority of Queen Elizabeth and her Parliament (who had no power at all, no more then this present Parliament, to wrest the Scepter of Christ out of his hands, and usurpedly to assume the Legislative Power of Christ, to make Lawes to govern the Consciences of his people; which they have nothing at all to do with, He having made perfect, compleat, and unchangeable, Lawes himself, Esa 9. 6, 7, and 33. 20, 22. Acts 1. 3. and 3. 22, 23. and 20. 26, 27. 1 Cor. 11. 1, 2. 1 Tim. 6. 13, 14. Heb. 3. 2, 3, 6) became again a Generation of pure and reformed Protestants, and have so continued to this present Parliament: But now like a company of notorious forsworn men (who will be of any Religion in the world, so it carry along with it profit and power) after they have for the generality of them, taken and sworn six or seven Oaths, that the Bishops were the only true Church-government, and that they would be true to them to the death.

Yet have now turned the 7th. time, and ingaged the Parliament and Kingdom in an impossible-to-be-kept oath and Covenant, to root up their ghostly Fathers the Bishops as Antichristian, from whom, as Ministers they received their Life and Being.

Yea, and now the 8th. time haue turned & fallen from that Covenant and Oath, by which they made all swear that took it; not onely to root out Bishops, but all Officers whatsoever that depend upon them: in the number of which, are all themselves, having no other ordination to their Ministery, but what they had from them, and so are properly, really, and truly dependents upon them; and yet now of late have by themselves and instruments, as it were forced the House of Commons to passe a vote, to declare themselves all forsworn, that had a finger in that vote, and so a people not fit to be trusted: For, by their late Vote, no man what ever must preach and declare Jesus Christ; but he that is ordained; that is to say, unlesse they be depending on the Bishops by Ordination, or else on the Presbyters, who are no Presbyters, unlesse they depend on the Bishops for their Ordination; for they have no other: and what is this else, but to punish every one that shal truly endeavour the true and reall performance of the Covenant? Truly, we have lived to a fine forsworn age, that men must be punished, and made uncapable to bear any office in the Kingdome, if they will not take the Covenant.

And then if they do take it, it shall be as bad, if they will not forswear themselves every moment of time, that the Assembly shal judg it convenient, and the house of Commons vote it.

And truly, there is in my judgment a good stalking-horse for this practise in the Assembly of Dry-vines (alias Divines, Deut. 32. 32, 33. Esa 44. 52.) Exhortation to take the Covenant, in these words, and if yet there should any oath be found, into which any Ministers or others have entred, not warranted by the Lawes of God and the Land, in this case, they must teach themselves and others, that such Oaths call for, repentance not particularly in them; that is to say, that neither the Covenant, nor any other Oath whatsoever, that they have before, or hereafter shall take, binds them any longer then the time that they please to say it, is not warrantable by the Lawes of God, & the Land, and so by this Synodian Doctrine, a man may take a hundred Oaths in a day, and not be bound by any of them, if he please.

Besides, I would fain know, if by the Parliaments so eager pressing of the Covenant, they do not presse the hastening of many of their own destructions: For by the Covenant every man that takes it, is bound thereby to maintain and preserve the fundamental lawes of the Kingdome, with us every day troden under foot, by some of the members of both Houses arbitrary practices, not onely towards Cavaliers, (for which they have some colour by pleading necessity) but also towards those of their own party, that have as freely and uprightly adventured their lives to preserve the lawes and liberties of the Kingdome, as any of themselves: for justice and right effectually they have scarce done to any man that is a suiter to them. And therefore I here chalenge all the Members of both Houses, from the first day of their sitting to this present houre, to instance me, that man in England, that is none of themselves, nor dependance upon themselves, that they have done effectuall justice to, though they have had thousands of Petitioners and Complainants for grand grievances before the Parliament; some of which have, to my knowledge, even spent themselves with prosecuting their businesse before them, and run themselves many hundred pounds thick into debt to manage their businesse before them, and yet to this houre not one peny the better; and yet they can finde time enough since I came prisoner to the Tower, to share about 200000. l. of the Common-wealths mony amongst themselves, as may clearly be particularized by their owne newes bookes licenced by one of their own Clerkes. O horrible and tyrannie all wickednesse. Was a Parliament in England ever called for that end, as to rob and poll the poore common people, and to force those that have scarce bread to put in their mouthes, to pay excise, and other taxations, or else to rob and plunder them of all they have, and then share it amongst the members of both houses; as 10000. l. to one man, 6000. l. to another, 5000. l. &c. to another, and this many times to those that never hazarded their lives for the Weal-publique; no, nor some of the never intended, I am confident of it, good to the generality of the people; but that they should be as absolutely their vassals & slaves (if not more) as ever they were the Kings. O thou righteus and powerfull Judge of Heaven and Earth that of all the base things in the world, hatest & abhorrest dissemblers & hypocrites. Jer. 7. 9, 10, 11. 12. to 16. Matth. 23, deal with these the greatest of Dissemblers thy self, who like so many bloudy and cruell men, have ingaged this poor Kingdom in a bloudy and cruell war, pretendedly for the preservation of their lawes and liberties; when as God knowes by a constant series of actions, they declare they never truly and really intended any such thing, but meerly by the bloud and treasure of the people, to make themselves tyrannicall Lords and Masters over them: So that for my part, if I should take the Covenant, I protest it before the God of Heaven and Earth, without fear or dread of any man breathing, I should judge it my duty, and that I were bound unto it in duty, in conscience, by vertue of my oath, to do my utmost to prosecute even to the death, with my sword in my hand, every member of both houses, that should visibly ingage in the destruction of the fundamentall Lawes & Liberties of England, and prosecute them with as much zeal, as ever any of them prosecuted the King: for tyrannie, is tyrannie, exercised by whom soever; yea, though it be by members of Parliament, as well as by the King, and they themselves have caught us by their Declarations and practises, that tyrannie is resistable; and therefore, their Arguments against the King, may very well serve against themselves, if speedily they turn not over a new leaf: for what is tyrannie, but to admit no rule to govern by, but their own wils? 1 part col. declar. pag. 284, 694.

But Tho: Gangrana, one word more to you; your threatening to write a book against liberty of Conscience, and toleration of Religion: I pray let me ask you this question, if the Magistrate, quatenus as Magistrate, be Judge of the Conscience, and thereby is indowed with a power to punish all men that he judgeth, conceiveth, or confidently believeth, are erroneous and hereticall; or, because in Religion he differeth from the magisterial Religion in the place where he lives; Then I pray tell me, whether all Magistrates, quatenus as Magistrates, have not the very same power? And if so, then doth it not undeniably follow, that Queen Mary and her Parliament did just in her dayes, in making a law to burn those Heretiques, that dissented from her established Religion? who were as grose in their tenents in the then present Magistrates eyes, as any of your Sectaries tenents are now in the present Magistrates eyes: and if you, and your bloody-brethren of the Clergy-Presbytery, shal ingage the present Parliament and Magistracie, to prosecute the Saints and people of God, under pretence of heretical Opinions, I wil upon the hazzard of my life justifie and prove it against you, and the present Parliament, that you and they thereby justifie Q. Mary in murdering and burning the Saints in her dayes; yea, and all the bloudy-persecuting Roman Emperors, that caused to be murdered thousands of the Saints, for bearing witnesse to the testimony of Jesus; yea, and all the persecutions of the Jewes, against Christ and his Apostles; yea, and the putting them to death, and so bring upon your own heads all the righteous bloud shed upon the Earth, from the dayes of righteous Abel, to this present day, Mat. 23. 29, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35. which I warrant you will bring wrath and vengeance enough upon you.

Now Mr. Lieutenant, a few words more to you, and so conclude; I desire you in the next place, not only to provide me gratis, a prison-Lodging, for I can pay Chamber-rent no longer; but also to provide me my diet, according to the custome of the place; for you cannot but know, and if you do not, I now tell you that the King was alwayes so noble and just, as to do it to all the Prisoners he committed to this place, of what quality soever: of the truth of which,* Col. Long, Col. Hollis, and Mr. Selden, &c. now members of the house of Commons, can informe you; and how that themselues, when they were the Kings prisoners here in the 3. of His Raign (for speaking and acting freely in the Parliament) were maintained by the King, according to their qualities, though some of them had great estates of their own, in their own possessions and enjoyments; and now, as the newes-books tell me, are voted 5000. l. a piece, for their then illegal sufferings.

And Sir, the Lords who committed me hither, have in a great measure the Kings Revenue in their hands at their dispose; and therefore, I expect, now I seek for it, they shall be as just as their Master (whom they have so much condemned for injustice) and provide for me, according to my quality. And, Sir, I must tell you, that I am very confident I have as many noble qualities in me, and as much of a man in every respect, as any of those that sent me hither; (For Titles of Honour, without Honesty and Justice, are no excellenter then a gold ring in a Swines snout;) Yea, and have given as large a declaration of it to the view of the world, as any of them, what ever, hath done. And therefore, Sir, if they shall deny me this peece of justice and equity, I will, by Gods assistance, tell them as well of it, as ever they were told in their lives.

But, Sir, in the third place, if this faile me, I desire you to speake to them to allow me interest for my two thousand pounds, (it being scarce twice so much as I have spent since I first became a suiter for it,) that they the last year decreed me, for my illegall, bloody, barbarous, and inhumane sufferings by the Star-Chamber; which, I dare confidently say, were more tormenting then all the sufferings of the above-mentioned Gentlemen and their co-partners. (See my printed Relation of it made at the Lords Barre 13. Feb. 1645.) For which, as I understand, there is 50000. l. reparations voted them by the House of Commons,) that so I may have something of my own to live upon. For without some of the three fore-mentioned things be done for me; I must either perish, or run exceedingly into debt, which, I professe, I am very loath to to doe: or lastly, live upon the alms of my friends, which, I confesse, is not pleasant unto me. And besides, the freest horse, or horses in the world, with continuall riding, may not onely be wearied, but also jaded and tyred.

But if they will not yeeld that I shall have my lodging gratis, and my diet found by them, nor interest for my many yeares expected, and long-looked-for 2000. l. that last yeare they decreed me; nor the remainder of my just Arrears, (which yet is divers hundreds of pounds, that I faithfully, valiantly, and dearly earned with the losse of my blood) to maintain and keep me alive, and my wife and small children.

Then, as my last request, I intreat from you, to desire them to call me out to a legall tryall, and by the law of the Kingdome, (but not their arbitrary wils) either to be justified or condemned. And here, under my hand, I professe, I crave nor desire, neither mercy nor favour at their hands, but bid defiance to all the adversaries I I have in England, both great and small, to doe the worst their malice can unto me; alwayes provided, I may have a legall tryall, by my Peeres, my Equals, men of my own condition; according to the just, established, unrepealed, fundamentall law of the Land, contained in Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right: And truly, Sir, if upon these tearmes they will not call me out, but resolve to keep me here still, I will, by Gods assistance, before many moneths be expired, give them cause (with a witnesse) to call me out: for here, if I can help it, I will not be destroyed with a languishing death, though it cost me hewing to peeces as small as flesh to the pot. For if it had not been that my report hath lain so long dormant in the hands of Col. Henry Martin, the glory of his Age amongst Parliament men, for a lover of his Countrey; whose credit and reputation I ingeniously confesse, I should be very loath in the least (if I could avoid it) to bespatter.

But in regard by all the meanes and friends I can use to him, I cannot get him to make my report; though I desire nothing at his hands but a bare indeavour of the discharge of his duty, to quit himselfe of it, let the issue be good or bad, all is one to me, so it were but done, or endeavoured to be done: I had long since made a formal appeal to the people, but in regard of my constant hard usage both from divers Lords and Commons and their Jaylors, and other instruments, & the many unresistable prickings forward of my own spirit, which presseth me rather to hazzard the undergoing of Sampsons portion, Judg. 16. 21. then to be forced to degenerate from the principles of Reason (the King or chiefe of all Creatures) into the habit of a bruit beast, and so to live a slave or vassal under any power under the Cope of Heaven, whether Regal or Parliamentary or what ever it be.

And therefore, having now with a long deliberated deliberation, committed my wife and children to the tuition, care, and protection of a powerful God, whom, for above these ten years, I haue feelingly, and sensibly known as my God in Jesus Christ; who with a mighty protection, & preservation hath been with me in six troubles, and in seven, and from the very day of my, publique Contest with the Bishops; hath inabled me to carry my life in my hands, and to have it alwayes in a readinesse, to lay it down in a quarter of an hours warning, knowing that he hath in store for me a mansion of eternal glory.

All these things considered, I am now determined, by the strength of God, if I speedily haue not that Justice, which the Law of England affords me, which is all I crave, or stand in need of, no longer to wait upon the destructive seasons of prudentiall men: but forthwith to make a formal Appeal to all the Commons of the Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales, and set my credit upon the tenters to get money to print 20000. of them, and send them gratis to all the Counties thereof: the ingredients of which shall be filled with the Parliaments own Declarations and Arguments against the King, turned upon themselues, and their present practise, and with a little Narrative of my Star-chamber tyrannicall sufferings; and those I haue there to complain of, are first Dr. Lamb, Guin, and Aliot, for committing me. And 2. Lord-Keeper Couentry, Lord Privie-Seal Manchester (that corruptest of men, whose unworthy Son, is now, and hath been for some years, the chiefe Prosecutor of my ruine, for no other cause, but that I have been honest, valiant, and faithfull, in discharging the trust reposed in me, which he himself was not) my L. Newburgh, old Sir Henry Vane (a man as full of guilt, as any is in England, whose basenesse & unworthinesse I shall anaromize to the purpose) the L. chiefe Justice Bramston, & Judg Jones, who sentenced me to the Pillory, and to be whipt, &c. And then 3. Canterbury, Coventry, Manchester, Bishop of London, E. of Arundel, Earle of Salisbury, Lord Cottington, L. Newburgh, Secretary Cook, & Windebanke, who sentenced me to ly in irons, and to be starved in the prison of the Fleet; With a short Narrative of my usage by Lords and Commons this present Parliament; and conclude with a Declaration of what is the end, wherefore Parliaments by law ought & should be called which is, to redresse mischiefes & grievances, &c. but not to increase them, 4. E. 3. 14. & 36. E. 3. 10. to provide for the peoples weal, but not for their woe, Book Declar. 1. part. pag. 150. and yet notwithstanding all the trust reposed in them, and all the Protestations they have in their publique Declarations, made, faithfully, without any private aimes, or ends of their own, to discharge it: And notwithstanding all the bloud and money, that hath been shed, and spent at their beck and commands, I would fain have any of them to instance me any one Act or Ordinance, since the wars begun, that they have done or made, that is for the universall good of the Commons of England, who have born the burthen of the day. Sure I am, they have made several Ordinances to establish Monopolies against the Fundamental Lawes of the Kingdom, and thereby haue robbed free-men of their trades and liveli-hoods, that at their command have been abroad a fighting for maintaining the Law; and in practise, annihilated Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right: So that a man (though of their own Party) may perish, if committed by a Parliament-man, or Parliament men, before he can get the Judges to grant an Habeas Corpus, to bring him and his cause up to their Bar, there to receive a tryal (secùndum legem terræ) that is according to the Law of the Land, although the Judges be sworn by their oathes to doe it.

So Sir, desiring you seriously to consider of the premises, which I could not conveniently send you, but in print, I rest

Your abused Prisoner, who is resolved
to turn all the stones in England,
that lye in his way, but he wil have
right and justice against you,

John Lilburn, semper idem.

FINIS.

Endnotes

 [* ] Who as I have lately heard, confessed hee spent his Maj. 1500. l. while he was a prisoner heere.

 


 

T.88 (9.3) Anon., London’s Account; or a Calculation of the Arbitrary and Tyrannicall Exactions, Taxations (1 February, 1647).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.88 [1647.02.01] (9.3) Anon., London’s Account; or a Calculation of the Arbitrary and Tyrannicall Exactions, Taxations (1 February, 1647).

Full title

Anon., LONDON’S Account: OR, A Calculation of the Arbitrary and Tyrannicall Exactions, Taxations, Impositions, Excises, Contributions, Subsidies, Twentieth Parts, and other Assessements, within the Lines of Communication, during the foure yeers of this Unnaturall Warre. VVhat the totall summe amounts unto, What hath beene disbursed out of it, and what remaines in the Accomptants hands.
Imprinted in the Yeere, 1647.

Estimated date of publication

1 February, 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 491; Thomason E. 373. (2.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

To any Reader that loves Reason or Understanding.

YOu that reade, I would have you know and consider this great oppression that hath been said upon all men, (except the Members of both Houses) hath occasioned me to spend some few houres to make a Calculation of that masse of wealth which hath been within these foure yeeres collected in London, and the Parishes comprehended within the Weekly Bills. I doubt not, but all have paid who were able, (and none escaped but my former exception.) Now if thy support be not out of those unlawfull Taxes, (by which meanes thou mayst be prejudicate) Reade and judge; and thou canst not but finde that I have written, as being free from favour, falshood, and partiality: For I have omitted the Taxes laid on all Halls and Companies, which hath been great and large summes; besides divers Trades lyable to the Excise, it must needs be farre greater.

But thou mayst perceive or guesse by the bignesse of the Paw, of what a huge bulk and body the Beast is, as well as the Author can; and know, all the Counties and Cities in England and Wales, have likewise beene charged to the uttermost. I confesse I have purposely omitted the Charge for Armes, and I did it, in regard they invested themselves of all which His Majesty was owner of at London, Hull, and all other places they could, which cost them nothing (but the taking.) We leave to consideration, the direfull effects of the issues of those collections, which only hath beene the Causes of shedding Innocent Blood, (if our Lawes be Judge) Ruined the Kingdome, most intollerably dishonoured our mercifull and Gracious King, Queene, the Prince, withall the Royall Issue, and useing all the cruelties, and Avaritious demenours upon the Persons, Lives, Liberties, Estates and Consciences of as many as have dared either to be Protestants or true Subjects; to the encrease of Theeves and Beggars, to the making of Widows and fatherlesse Children, to the plucking downe of the divine vengance upon this afflicted Land, to maintaine and inrich only factious, contentious, and insolent persons, the shame of Kingdome and City.

Londons Account, &c.

IT is (saith the wisest of Kings and men) the greatest of afflictions and oppressions, when subjects and servants rule; and if this Kingdome in generall, and this City in particular, hath not found this Truth, then they are both to learne what Affliction and Oppression is. But (to confirme its verity) I have here (and I hope it will not be expected exactly, because I protest I have not seen any Roll of Setlement of any one parish, and therefore have no guide to this my Calculation, but first, the order for assessing, and next, the order for a review, lest any through favour or friendship were not fully assessed. This considered, see what a masse of treasure in this City (and her Weekly Bills) hath been levyed towards the Kings, the Kingdomes, and her owne ruine. And leave the Reader to judge by these few particulars, how neere the truth this Calculation comes; yet herein is not comprehended neither Pole-money, Royall Subsidies, sale of the Irish Lands, (because these passed by Royall consent) and was at the Parliaments disposure and had they not been diverted from their proper intendments, doubtlesse would have done more then discharged them: Nor that voluntary Contribution to the reliefe of the poore distressed Protestants in Ireland: Nor that fast and loose trick by inviting such as formerly had paid summes in for Land in Ireland, to pay half as much more; for which halfe (if an Order speake truth) they shal have as much Land, as for their former summes paid; and I assure you, both of these were not inconsiderable.

Now, to leven the lump of factious and contentious persons, the first course must be to fill the peoples eares with oppressions of Conscience, and infringements of Liberties, (pills covered with gold, that are treason and poyson within.) Then to displace solid Magistrates and grave Citizens, lest if such good men were in authority, they might sowre our lump before it was (by our usurping Masters) well kneaded, by understanding mens speculative insight into their proceedings. Those must be removed, and in their steads, covetous sharks, and griping men, (such as never knew faire dealing) shallow braind fooles, and little better then insolent persons, (men that desire the place, not deserve it) must be elected in their roomes, whose ignorance proclaimes what they are in their daily consenting to they knew not well what. For oppression of conscience, who can justly alledge (that is a Royall and a loyal subject) that that is an oppression which the Law hath established? But the same forme of Doctrine and Discipline which was established in the Church of England, by Parliaments, in blessed Queene Elizabeths Raigne, disputed and defended by her successor, King James, (of happy memory) and the opponents so satisfied, they consented and subscribed thereunto; maintained and (to his uttermost) defended by our now most gracious and mercifull Soveraign with the hazard of his life, and according to Law performed in his Chappels and Cathedrall Churches. Now if any Church within His Maiesties Dominions, did wilfully or carelessly omit what the Law enioyned, it is no oppression to compell them thereunto, for the Law doth it. But doe not those who have cryed out of the oppression of their tender consciences, straine gnats, and swallow beetles? Are their consciences so tender against Uniformity of Prayer, (yea and the Lords Prayer too) and yet consider not how often they have sworne to submit to it, and their Superiours that imposed it? Obedience is better then sacrifice. Wherefore all that doe adhere to such, doe deserve our Saviours woe. Observe but Gods Judgment on these men, that cannot agree either in doctrine or discipline, their daily invective pens doe witnesse this for a truth. For our Liberties, we had them, and enioyed them, whilst we maintained the Lawes; since we have violated those, we are in worse condition then Turkish slaves: for who is it that enioyes life or livelyhood longer then the beneplacite of his fellow-Subiects? And if God (for our sinnes) hath decreed us slaves, better it is to be so to a Royal King, then to those whose cruelties we already so much have had tryal of. Our Pulpits and Declarations thunder into the eares of the people, the unlawfulnesse of Ship, Coat, and Conduct money; As I wil not justifie them, so (under favour) I cannot conceive them unlawful in a time of necessity. And could it be otherwise then an urgent need, when His Maiesties Subiects of Scotland were in Armes against the Kings Honour, Crowne and Dignity, marching to infest this our peaceable Kingdome, with the calamities of Warre? Besides, if such Levies were against former Lawes, what need we then of our late Acts, that from thence forward no Levies should be laid upon the Subiect, til it passed by an Act of Parliament; for was it formerly unlawful, the Law would have censured it; and now we know it is so. I admire what those men can alledge, that craved, and had this Act passed, to curb the prerogative of Kings, and yet are the first violators of the same Law themselves, whilst they are sitting in the same place, as they were when they craved to have the same Law enacted.

Since, they have acknowledged the Lawes cannot question the King for a Breach, (but it can question all and every Subject.) But the Doctrine and Discipline of the Church of England, established by law, and the Subjects liberty, hath been, and ever will be maintained and defended against all Sectaries and contentious men, by more abler pens: And therefore I will returne to the Cities inconsideratenes, and desire them (since the hardnesse of their hearts disswades them) to beleeve, at least they would fancie what the whole Kingdome grones under. And withall to call to mind, that they were not onely the causers, but they are still the continuers, and maine actors of all its miseries. That since His Maiesties mercies so often tendred cannot, their owne follies so plainly evidenced (to so great oppression) may reduce their iudgements, to know to whom rightly they doe owe their obediecce, for the Disciples are not above their Master, and obedience is first commanded to Emperours and Kings, and next, to those whom they set over us.

I desire to shew my selfe a true Patriot, and doubt not but al Loyall and faithfull Subjects will doe the like; as for those who have done otherwayes, God and King Charles (upon their true Repentance) take them into favour and forgive them; And I would not have them offended if I say their owne factions hath caused their own fractions, and the slye and under-hand Courses of many of them hath made them in this world too hastily Rich; And all such doe make little conscience of any thing they undertake, for from the beginning the Lawes of God or man was not, nor to their end shal not be their guide. It is worth your consideration to remember how peny-wise you were at the beginning of this long-winded Parliament, refusing the loane of but 100000. l. except His Maiesty would condescend, some conceive, to an everlasting Parliament, for an assurance of your repayment, (which if you be all re-paid, tis wel) But since you have embraced an authority is desired to be made lawful, and by that unlawful power forced so many uniust Taxes, as hath (as you shal see anon) amounted to above seuenteene millions and an halfe of pounds within these foure yeeres; I may say as the Replyer said to you, You have done, but did you ever understand what you did doe? besides the Loanes, plunder, and the many Sequestrations, (which I have heard are no fewer then 80000. in England and Wales) which your sharking Committee-men resolve to give no good account of: And so know you have been in general pound foolish; for look but upon the issue, it is but a cipher to that which hath been collected.

But you may obiect, There is not so much come to the Parliaments hands.

That cleeres not the Charge, were it iust, I see no reason but it should. And as some of our now Magistrates and griping Citizens know it, Uniust——The report goes, neere halfe the said Collections are fleeced away by sharking Officers——which is and wil be an everlasting shame, and Gods curse wil attend it, on them and theirs, in regard it hath maintained a most bloody and native Warre against God, his Church, our Soveraigne, his Loyal Nobility, Gentry and Commonalty, and the blood of thousands doth cry aloud to the Almighties Tribunall for vengeance on the causers of these unnaturall divisions. Your inconstant and wavering thoughts first commenc’d this Warre; your hands and purses (by fraud and violence) have maintained it; and if (from the bottome of your soules) you repent not of it, God in the fulnesse of his time will be avenged on you for it. Let the Lawes of God and the Land be your rule, then I doubt not but we may enjoy peace again. And though the Replyer to your Remonstrance told you, it is in the Parliaments power to ruine you, they and he knowes (if you resolve to be honest) the contrary. In the mean time, God in mercy look down upon our dread Soveraign, whom you (originally) have necessitated, and iniured most uniustly, with our Queene, Prince, and the rest of the Royall issue. Preserve (O Lord) and prolong his life, because a more religious, gracious, and mercifull King never reigned in this Kingdome, nor ever was a good King more abused by Subiects, nor more undeservingly worse spoken of. Good God confound and scatter all those that delight in, or make a trade of rebellious warre; let them fly and be disperst like dust before the wind: This shall be mine, and ought to be the prayer of all loyall Subjects, and true Patriots.

And now behold (I may say in part) the summes which have been assessed, payed, and received in London, and her Weekly Bils only.

I conceive in the 129. parishes, there cannot be fewer inhabitants then the number of 600000. Families, out of that proportion I doubt not for their Twentieth part, not lower have been assessed then 400000 my reasons are, first, by the Ordinance the Assessors were to estimate all men, and so setle them. Now these being factious men, fetled not according to reason or judgement, but (for the Cause sake) according to their will, malice, and spleene. I confesse the Ordinance gave way that men might ease themselves (if over-rated) by declaring upon oath their worth; but this remedy was worse then the disease, for thereby they must discover their estates, or pay what they were assessed at. To discover their estates, endangered their credit, which could not but occasion their ruine, and so necessitated to pay summes far above mens abilities. Secondly, all Halls of Corporations have been largely estimated, & great store of men of known ability forced to pay large summs: Now if you consider every Corporation and man that paid 1000. l. at the rate all are valued at one with another, hath paid for 49. more then himselfe, and so for greater or lesser summes accordingly, for rating these 400000 families one with another but at 20. l. a family, it amounts to for the whole, } 8: 000000
The 50 Subsidies granted, if I have not been misinformed, every Subsidy is 2800. l. which for the 50. is } 0: 140000
The weekly Fast dayes, 400000. families for six months, rating each family 6. d. a week, though the greatest part paid 1. s. and 2. s. but rate them one with another at 6. d. a week, it amounts for 6. months to } 0: 240000
The assessement for bringing in the Scots, though none were to be assessed but such as would not take their oathes they were not worth 1000. l. yet it could not amount to lesse then } 0: 100000
8: 480000
Now to bring this into an Annuall Calculation to the severall summes following, which by Orders hath been levyed by Excises, take the fourth part of the summe above, and you shall find it } 2: 120000
The weekly assessement to maintaine the Armie from 400000 families, at 6. d. a family one with another, and not without just cause, for I know a poore Porter was compelled to pay 12. d. or go a souldier, and no able housholder but payed far larger, and for any thing I could learne, all payed that received not almes. This for six months, amounts to } 0: 240000
There is not vented it this City in Grocery ware, lesse then 600000. l. a yeere, which at 1. s. per l. is for the yeere 0: 030000
There is not vented in all sorts of Mercery ware in this City, lesse then 500000. at 1. s. per l. 0: 025000
There is not vented by Silkmen lesse then 400000. a yeere, at 1. s. per l. 0: 020000
There is not vented of all sorts of Haberdashers ware lesse then 500000. l. a yeere, at 1. s. per l. 0: 025000
There is not vented by Salters and Oylemen lesse yeerly then 600000. at 1. s. per l. 0: 030000
There is not vented by Linnen Drapers in generall lesse then 600000. l. a yeere, at 1. s. per l. 0: 030000
There is not vented by Woollen Drapers lesse then 500000. l. a yeere, at 6 d. per l. 0: 012500
Holsters of all sorts cannot vent lesse then 100000 a yeere, at 1. s. per l. 0: 005000
Upholsters in their several dealings 80000 l. a yeer, at 1. s. per l. 0: 004000
Stationers and Paper-sellers 80000. a yeere, at 1. s. per l. 0: 004000
Leather-sellers and Trunk-makers in these times 200000. at 1. s. per l. 0: 010000
Ironmongers in generall 300000 a yeere, at 1. s. per l. 0: 015000
Spanish Tobacco there cannot be lesse imported then 200000. l. weight, at 1. s. per l. is 0: 020000
English Plantations 1200000, at 2. d. per l. 0: 010000
Six shill beere in 400000, families, admitting one family with another spend but 20. barrels a yeere each family, it is 8: 000000. of barrels, at 6. d. the barrell, amounts to 0: 200000
Strong Beere and Ale vented in Innes, Cooks houses, Ale-houses, and Chandlers, of all which in the 129 parishes there cannot be lesse then 8000. if every of these draw but one barrell a week, it is 416000. which at 2. s. per barrell amounts to 0: 041600
Strong beere and ale in private houses, if 200000. of them spend but 2. barr. a yeer apiece, it is 400000. bar. at 1. s. per bar. 0: 020000
Wine of all sorts, there is not lesse imported yeerly then 20000. Tonnes, at 5. l. a Tonne, 0: 100000
Butchers and Poultrers for 400000 families, for they must all eate, now one with another cannot spend lesse then 8. s. a weeke, for if some poorer sort spend but 5. s. and lesse they cannot spend in a family, others spend 15. 20. 30. yea 40. s. a weeke: But as above at 8. s. a week one with another, it is 8000. l. a week, at 1. s. per l. and for the yeere 0: 416000
The Annuall Revenue of the Crowne they say is eleven hundred thousand pounds a yeere, but I place here but 1: ——
4: 378100.

Which for the foure yeeres is seventeene millions, five hundred and twelve thousand foure hundred pounds. 17. mil. 512400. l.

I doubt not but it will be expected this yeerly large Income in this City onely should have as large, or (indeed as the Publique Faith stands, indebted) farre larger issues, else it cannot be engaged without unsufferable fraud from the Kingdoms oppression. But since all their Orders, and Speeches to this City, have expressed no other issues but the Armies pay, consider, that if this City alone hath for these foure yeeres maintained tenne thousand Poor, pay every soulder 8. d. a day for the whole yeere, so he should have no free Quarter nor Plunder since he is payd, or should be for the whole yeere, excepting Sundaies, and that amounts to but 104333. l. 15. s. But I here adde the Sundayes, and cast it for 365 dayes to the yeer, allotting the 17333. l. 15. s. to pay all their Officers as duly, yet all together is but 121666. l.
Grant they likewise maintaine 2000. Horse, pay these for 313 dayes 2. s. 6. d. a day, it amounts to but 78250. l. But for the payment of their Officers, adde the 52 dayes, which is 13000. l. and both these summes for the whole yeere is but 91250. l.
Grant twenty of His majesties Ships, great and small, be employed yeerly, allotting to every Ship 100 men, which is for the whole 2000 men, though few or none are so well manned, pay these 2000 fifteen shil. a month for the whole yeere, their wages amounts to but 18000. l. but to pay Officers in them, adde 2000. l. more, and all makes but 20000. l.
Victuall these 20 Ships with 2000. allotting every man 8. d. a day for the whole yeere, it amounts to little more then 24433. l.
Grant you have 30. merchants Ships great and small in the service, hire them one with another mann’d, victualled, and furnished for the Warre at 200. pounds a month, (and so you may doe) say they are in your service nine months in the yeere, it is but 54000. l.
311349: —
These charges I am certain are the maine ones, and with the largest that this City ever was put to, and were it well examined, I conceive a third part of every charge here was not employed from hence alone, for all Counties had their share in pay of the Army, how it is possible for such large incomes to be so much indebted, since the issues are not answerable, as you shall see by that should remaine for ballance is to me a riddle, since the yeers rest that this Credit, hath, stands indebted to the Debit. 4: 066751
4: 378100

Grave Booker shews th’ Aspects, and Lilly helps

To lick those Meteors (as Bears their whelps)

Into his fancies shape: But could these two

Can count the Stars (which few but they can doe)

Make a just ballance to this large Account,

The Danish Tycho Brahe they’l surmount.

FINIS.

 


 

T.89 (9.4) John Harris, The Royal Quarrell, or Englands Lawes and Liberties vindicated (9 February, 1647).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.89 [1647.02.09] (9.4) John Harris, The Royal Quarrell, or Englands Lawes and Liberties vindicated (9 February, 1647).

Full title

John Harris, The royal Quarrell, or Englands Lawes and Liberties vindicated, and maintained, against the tyrannicall usurpations of the LORDS. BY That faithfull Patriot of his Country Sr. John Maynard, A late Member of the House of Commons, but now Prerogative Prisoner in the Tower of London. BEING A legall Justification of him, and all those other Lords and Aldermen, unjustly imprisoned under pretence of Treason, and other misdemeanours; the proceedings against them being illegall, and absolutely destructive to Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right. ALSO His Protest against the Lords jurisdiction over him, and his Appeale unto the Common Law, for tryall, proved both reasonable, and legall. By SIRRAHNIO, an utter enemy to tyrannie and injustice.
London, Printed for Ja. Hornish, February 9. 1647.

Estimated date of publication

9 February, 1647. Listed in TT as 9 Feb. 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 590; Thomason E. 426. (11.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

THE ROYALL QUARREL, Or Englands Laws and Liberties defended and maintained against the usurpations of the Lords; By that worthy Patriot of his Country Sr. Iohn Maynard (a late Member of the House of Commons,) &c.

Gentle Reader.

QUi multa inquirit, est industrius, sed qui nihil curat torpidute est, et qui nihil precipit stupidus, &c. He that searcheth out many things is industrious, but he that cares for nothing is slow and dull, and he that perceives nothing stupid or sencelesse.

And truly now, in these our dayes Ignorance is made the mother of devotion, & be esteemed the wisest man that knows the least; England is Antipodized, and every vertue hath met a contrary, in stead of real righteousnesse, formall professions, avarice and oppression, in stead of charity and compassion grace is become a banquerout, and up start greatnesse playes the Tyrant, plain-dealing is dead and flattery hath the chiefe preferment, knaves are respected and honest men persecuted, truth and loyalty is esteemed Treason Law is become lust, and to be honest and open hearted is the only crime, Oh stupied generation! who hath bewitched you? Are Englishmen become like Esops Frogs? Are you weary of enjoying the benefit of Law, that you are so forward to lend your aid, to destroy it? Have you so freely drawn your swords against the Tirany of one, and will you subject your selves, nay lend your lands to set up a hundred Tirants? will you stand still and see your friends and fellow sufferers that joyned with you in your late cries for justice and freedome, and with all their might laboured to preserve you from being inslaved; they that with the hazard of their lives and losse of their bloods always both in publique and private, opposed all arbitrary power whatsoever, whether in the King, Parliament, or Army? will you I say stand still and see them made presidents of your own ruine? can you be so sottish to fancy security to your selves, if you let them suffer. If the law be not binding in one particular, it cannot in another, and if it protect not one it cannot protect another. Have you not seen injustice trample upon your lawes? and Tiranny envassalize the persons of your friends? Hath not will prevailed against reason, and the lust of a prevailing faction been made your law, and are not all these actings become so many presidents whereby you, and all the free borne people of England shall be made slaves unto futurity?

May not another party whether forraigne or domestique, prevailing by power or policy, justifie their imprisoning mens persons during pleasure, and without laying any particular crime according to Law to their charge, by the proceedings of Parliament against L. C. Lilburne and Mr. Iohn Wildeman?

May they not if they be stronger then we, give us Laws, and force us to submit unto the dictates of their own wils, and tell us if we complaine, our owne Army did as much which were our servants.

Surely friends did you but really consider the evill consequence of these actings, you would stand amazed, and wonder at your stupidity;

Have you not had examples enough within this seven yeares? Have not you been vexed and perplexed with the Arbitrary proceedings of Commitiees? whereby your very Property, and liberty was destroyed? what part of your estates could you, or can you call your own? what Law can take place against their will, for your protection? and notwithstanding, all their Declarations, and solemne imprecations, whereby they call the great God of Heaven and Earth to beare record, that they had no other marke before their eyes, then the preservation of the established Law of the Land, and the peace and prosperity of this Nation; yet (as if they thought England had no Remembrancer, nor Israel no God) they have falsified all engagements, and to keepe up their rotten Interest, have levelled out Lawes, and are become Antimagistratticall, Antijusticiaries and absolute Tirants, ruling by power and policy, not by reason or honesty: Sed vindex erit Deus populi sui: The just God will be the avenger of his People, and it is not twenty thousand armed men, that can secure a Tyrant Conqueror, muchlesse tyranicall Statist’s, being but so many trustees for the peoples good, not ruine.

Magistratus velle non debet, nisi quod publici expediat. The Magistrate ought not to will or command any thing but what is expedient for the publique good, so saith the scripture, The Magistrate is the minister of God, to thee for Good; &c. and not for evill, for preservation not for destruction; and when any person or persons in power, act not according to that role, the very end of their power is subverted; and they degenerate from the very essence of Magistracy and become Tyrants.

But not to draw out time any longer in discovery of generalls; I come now to the present particular grievance, which though two or three particular persons suffer under; yet every individuall Englishmans interest is involved and bound up in their sufferings.

But first give me leave to enforme you, and I desire that you will alwayes heare in mind, that the Parliament have constantly pretended to endeavour the preservation of the established Laws of the Land, contained in Magna Charta; and the Petition of Right, especially those that concerne the peoples freedomes: and amongst their resolutions of Ian. 15. 1647, they have declared their resolutions to preserve unto the people of England their established Lawes, although they make no more addresses to the King.

But how they have proceeded in performing those declared resolutions made so lately, be your own judges.

In the 19th Chap. of Magna Charta it is enacted, That no freeman shall be taken a imprisoned or be deseized of his freehold or liberties, or free Customes or be outlawed, or any otherwise destroyed: nor will we not passe upon him, nor condemne him but by Lawfull iudgement of his Peeres, or by the Law of the Land; we will sell to no man, we will deny to no man we will not deny or deferre to any man either justice or right, &c.

And in the eight and twenty yeare of the Raigne of King Edward the third, it was declared and enacted by authority of Parliament, That no man of what estate or condition he be, should be put out of his Land or Tenements, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disherited, nor put to death without being brought to answer by due processe of Law.

And in the five and twentieth yeare of Edward the third, It was enacted, That no man should be before-udged of life or Limbe, against the forme of the great Charter and the law of the Land, &c. And by the great Charter and other the Lawes and Statutes of this Realme, No man ought to be adjudged to death but by the lawes established in this Realme, viz. either by the customes of the same Realme, or by acts of Parliament.

And the Statut of the 42. Ed. 3. Chap. 3. saith thus, Its assented and accorded for the good governance of the Commons, that no man be put to answer, without presentment before justices or matter of Record, or by due processe, or writ originall according to the old law of the Land.

And the Statut of 25 Ed. saith, That no man shall be taken by Petition, or suggestion made, to the King, or his Councell; unlesse it be by indictment, or presentment of his good and Lawfull people of the same neighbour-hood where such deeds be done, in due manner, or by processe made by writt originall at the Common Law, see the Statute of 37 of Ed. 3. &c.

And the Statute of the 1 and 2 of Philip and Mary. Chap. 10. exprest saith, That all treasons, shall be tryed according to the course of the Common Law.

And the Statute of the first of Ed. 6. C. 12. and 5. and 6. of Ed. 6. C. 11. It is enacted, that no man shall be accused and adjudged, for treason, without the testimony of two sufficient witnesses, according to the forme of the Law.

All which Lawes, and customes are claimed and challenged, at the Englishmans inheritance by the Parliament, held in the 3-yeare of our present King, in the Petition of Right. See [Editor: illegible word] collections printed cum privilegio. 1640. pag. 1431, 1432, 1433, 1434.

Now let us examine whether our Grandees, have made good their late resolutions: of [Editor: illegible word] fifteen.

The Law saith no man shall be taken by Petition, or suggestion made to the King or his Councell, and the Parliament calls themselves, the Kings grand Councell; And yet L Col. Lilburne, and Mr. Wildman, upon the single information of Mr. Masterson, have since been committed, one to the Tower, the other to the Fleet, and no legall crime laid to their charge, nor no witnesses appearing, or being examined, whereby the least coulourable crime could be made out against them;

2. The Law saith, no man shall be adjudged or condemned, or otherwise destroyed save by judgement of his Peers, or the Law of the Land; nor no man shall be put to death without being brought to answer by due processe of Law; and further, No man ought to be adjudged to death, but by the lawes established in this Realme, viz. either by the customes of the said Realme, or by acts of Parliament, &c.

But contrary to these Lawes, they haue imprisoned Sr. Iohn Maynard, a Member of the House of Commons, and detained him in Prison twenty weeks without shewing any cause, more then their will and pleasure; and also contrary to Law and equity, have transferred him up to the Lords to be tryed for his life, giving and acknowledging the Lords a jurisdiction over the Lives and estates of Commoners, notwithstanding that by the Great Charter it is provided that no Commoner shall be adjudged for life or limbe, any otherwise then by the judgement of his Peers or equals, viz. men of his owne condition.

Now that you may clearely understand the state of Sr. Iohn Maynards case in relation to his commitment, and contect with the Lords I will in every particular give you an account, according to that certaine information which I have received, together with my own knowledge, being an observer of most passages therein.

But first be pleased to take notice, That Sr. Iohn Maynard was one of the eleven Members which was accused by the Army, and the very gentleman against whom L. G. Crumwell confessed at Colbrook that they had nothing, but only desired that he might be put in among the rest because he was a busie man against him and his friends, and of this both my selfe and many more are witnesses.

2ly, Take notice that though the greatest number of the eleven impeached members had liberty to travell, yet he was commanded to be taken into custody during pleasure and it pleased them to keep him prisoner twenty weeks without shewing any cause: but after that they had brought their designes about, and got the strength of the City into their hands then they cast about how to make him an example of their fury (Iustice I cannot call it) to affright the Citizens; and finding that by no legall course this could be effected, they combined together to frame Articles of impeachment against him, and transferred him to the House of Lords to try him by Ordinance, hoping that Sr. Iohn would have submitted to the Lords jurisdiction over him a Commoner, and yeelded to their judgement; which if they could have effected, doubtlesse (such is the malice of his implacable enemy L. G. Crumwell) should have been death; that so he might have been made a President for such proceedings by Ordinance against the Lives of men; and then by the very same rule L. Col. Lilburne Mr. John Wildman or any other whatsoever, that shall appeare an enemy to their tiranny or injustice, might in the same manner have been accused by the Commons, and adjudged by the Lords, who are parties in tyranny and injustice, and by this meanes no man be left free, but all men be made vassals to the corrupt wills of knaves and Perfidious Parasites.

3ly, But to come close to the matter: There hath been and at this time is three parties in the House of Commons; first, a Royall party. 2. A Reall party. 3. An hypocriticall party; or if you please thus, a Party for the King, a party for the Scotch Presbytery, and a party, for party Royall, partly reall Independency. For the Royall or Kingly party they have been crushed by the power and prevalency of the two other parties, and those that have remained, have been forced to shrowd themselves under the maske of Presbyteratus, though Royall, not reall ones; For the second, though it is to be feared there were too few Reall Presbyters; namely, men meerely godly and conscientious, and that sought the good of their Country, yet by the assistance of those seeming Friends the Royall Presbyters, they were enabled to hold the third party to hard meat, and maugre all the socret machinations of their opposers, did with a high hand keep up their owne interest: which the Royall Independent party grieving at, and repining at, subtilly closing with those reall Independent Members, and secretly infusing Principles of dislike unto the department of that party into them, they never left insinuating, till they had engaged them to act a part from the House, as an honest Party, pretending to deliver an oppressed enslaved People; and to that purpose severall Letters were sent as representations to the Army, of the honesty and integrity of themselves, and endeavours to lay scandals upon those which they designed if possible, to ruine; And to this end, they voted in the House the disbanding and dividing of the Army, and by private letters and insinuations, animated the Army to disobey those Commands, all or most of them sitting or acting with the House, untill such time as they had made the difference betwixt the House and the Army so irreconcileable, that they knew there was no visible meanes to make up the breach betwixt them, and then many of them flew to the Army, with whom they engaged pretendedly to live and dye in the Vindication of the just Rights and Freedomes of the free People of England; but they intended, as is now apparent, their owne honour and promotion, the onely end of their pretended endeavours and gilded Declarations, being nothing else, but to weaken the interest of that Party which they had designed to destruction.

Having thus as they conceived made all sure, and that it was impossible for that party any longer to oppose them; They began to Charge those Persons which they called the Obstructions of Iustice, and Perverters of our Lawes; and when it was expected that after all this Thunder there would have been a mighty slorme, and that a Charge would have come against foure score or a hundred; The mountaine Groaned, and brought forth a thing like a Charge of eleven Members; but neither Earle of Manchester, Stamford, Lenthall, Barwis, Darlay, Thorpe, not none of those 30000. l. Gallants so much as mentioned; O incomparable Crumwell, impartiall justice, What! Mus parturiant montes; Must forty Thousand men be engaged to remove eleven Members? what, could Eleven members out-vote all the House beside; If there were more why not all charged? so by no meanes, they side with us, they are guilty persons and therefore must close with us to secure themselves: And so it appeares they do; for now we plainly see the Reall Presbyter, and Reall Independent party, over-awed by the Royall Presbyter and Royall Independent; for the same party that before the Army joyned seemingly with the honest Presbyterians for self-security, joyne, with the strongest side and leaves their late friends exposed to the implacable fury of their now insulting adversary.

But to proceed, the Grandees of the Army having thus by Power and policy invested themselves with the ruling power both in Parliament and Kingdome, the Lords or at least the major part of them (having no other prop to support their rotten corrupt interest but the Sword, & an humble Declaration of a few fawning Spaniels who gape for honour;) they are now calling about how to confirme the Peoples beliefe that all their late clamour and disturbance was upon some good ground; and therefore some persons must be pickt out for a solemne Sacrifice; and accordingly, they have pickt out three men viz. one Lord and one* Commoner, and one Citizen; But by the way take notice as before, they have chosen such persons as shall be sure to doe them but little hurt, by telling tales; for Sir John Maynard hath not been in the House long, and by that meanes knowes little of their jugling; but did hee know as much as Mr. Waller or M. Speaker he should have a reward or a Place to stop his mouth withall.

But I say, having made all this stirre there must be some body made an example (and saith Cromwell Sir Iohn Maynard is my old enemy, opposed me and M. Soliter Sir. Iohn in the project of Draining the Fennes, when I appeared against 50000. of my Countrimen, whom formerly I had stood for; and therefore now I have an opportunity to quit scores with him; besides, unlesse some be made examples, wee shal to be feared, and therefore a way must be found out to take* him off.

In order to which, because they knew they could not doe it neither by Bill of Attainder nor Indictment; therefore it must be done by Articles, and an Ordinance, and the Lords must be made Judges, and Sir I. Maynard must be summoned to appeare before the Lords on Saturday. Febr. 5, 1647. to receive a Charge of high Treason and other crimes and misdemeanours &c. Which being contrary to the rules of Equity, Law, and conscience, Sir Iohn could not submit unto, by reason that in so doing he had not only betrayed his own life, in owning his greatest adversaries to be Iudges, but also betrayed the native and ancient Liberties of every individuall Englishman, whose interest in that particular is involved in his, and his sufferings for the Vindication thereof; Theirs, they all being bound to stand by, and vindicate him in the maintenance thereof.

Therefore (It being Sir Iohns Principle, as not to betray his own or Countries Freedomes, so not to endeavour to deminish or lessen that respect which belonged to such persons of honour) to avoid the censure of incivillity, and to the end that the Lords might if they pleased prevent the enforcing him to protect against their jurisdiction over him, he upon mature consideration on Febr. 4. being the day before he was to appeare, sent these two following letters by a friend, directed as followeth.

To the Right Honourable my singular good Lord, Edward Earle of Manchester; Speaker of the House of Peers.

My Lord,

I Received an Order in the name of this Honourable House, whereby I am appointed to appeare before you, to receive a charge of Articles of High Treason and other Crimes, &c. Upon which accompt I have made bold to write these inclosed Lines, humbly desiring that they may be communicated to your House.

Sir, I am your Lordships most humble
Servant,

Iohn Maynard.

My Lords,

I Am for Monarchy, and upon all occasions I have pleaded for the preservation of the interest of this Honourable House: But my Lords, I being now summoned to appeare before your Lordships, for no lesse (as I conceive) then my life, upon an impeachment of High Treason, I am (being a Commoner) necessiated to challenge: the benefit of Magna Carta, and the Petition of Right, which is to be tryed by a Jury of my equals or men of my own condition, by an Indictment, before the Iudges in the ordinary Courts of Iustice in Westminster Hall who by the Law of this Kingdome; we appointed to be the Administrators thereof; and by the expresse lawes of the Kingdome; I am not to be proceeded against (for any crime whatsoever, that can be laid unto my charge) any other way then by the declared and expressed rules of the known and established Laws of the lond, as is undeniably evident by the expresse words of the Petition of Right, (which being an English man.) I Challenge as my Birth Right and Inheritance, and I rather presume to make this addresse unto this Honourable House, because I find upon Record, that in the case of Sir Simon De Bereford this Honourable House have engaged never to iudge a Commoner againe; because its against the Law of the Land, he not being their Peer or Equall.

This I humbly leave to the consideration of this Honourable House, and take leave to rest.

Your Lordships most humble Servant.

Iohn Maynard.

Notwithstanding which letter it appeares, the Lords thought Sir John Maynard had but jested, when indeed he was in good earnest; and being called into the House, desired, that forasmuch as the Lords assumed to themselves the title of the supream judicature, and so ought to be an example unto all other Courts, and forasmuch as all other Courts did sit open for all to heare and see that therefore the doores might be opened, there being a Lady, and Gentlewomen, his wife, and children and many other worthy Gentlemen at the doore which desired to hear what he had done, or for what he was in such a manner accused and proceeded against, or words to that purpose; To whom answer was returned, that it had not been the custome of that House to open the doores since this Parliament, to whom Sir John replyed. That he was sorry their Lordships had forgot their own honour so much, and not observed the custome of their predecessors* in former Parliaments.

And he further said, my Lords, here are many antient and honourable families, whom both for former relation, and their own vertues I highly honour, and its my grief of heart to heare what the people report concerning you, they say my Lords, that you act like a Councell Table, or High Commission, therefore I beseech your Lordships, as you render your own honour, its the doores be opened, and doe not give me cause to wish for the Councell Table againe, rather then to see you make good the sayings of the people, by such proceedings against me.

After some other words, they commanded him to kneele and heare his charge, which he refused, and told them, that would argue delinquency, neither could he receive any charge from them, for severall reasons, which was contained in a paper which he desired might be read, but they refused, and commanded him to withdraw, which being done, after some debate, they fined him 500 l. for refusing to kneele at their barre, and immediately they called him in, and told him that they had fined him, and that he must kneele down and heare his charge; to which he answered. That he did so highly honour their Lordships, that he would fall prostrate on his face, and let them tread on him. Then they told him he must kneele, he answered them that he had a very prostrate soule, and he would kneele to pray for them, that their honours might be preserved, and that iustice might run from them as a streame, &c. which having said, he againe rose and came toward the doore, offering to take leave of their Lordships, but they told him he must heare his charge, and commanded it to be read, which was done accordingly, but when the Cleark began to read Articles. Sir John enterrupted him, and said, my Lords, the very first word destroyes all that you have to doe; there is the very height of illegallity in that word. Articles for my Lords, there is but two legall wayes to try a man for his life, viz. either by Bill of Attainder, or Indictment, but because the summe of what he speke in relation to that point is contained in his Protest which he left in the House. I shall omit that, and give you the copie of it verbatum.

The Plea and Protest of Sir John Maynard, Knight of the Bath; (and a late Member of the Honourable House of Commons,) delivered by him at the Lords

THe life of a freeborne man of this Kingdome is not to be tryed but by Bill of Attainder, and not to be condemned, but either by Act of Parliament upon the said Bill, or by the way of an Indictment at the Common law. Articles are no Bill for Attainder, for a Bill of Attainder must passe both Houses, and cannot become an Act of Parliament without the Kings assent. By an Ordinance of the 15. of Ianuary last, both Houses have resolved, and declared to the Kingdome, that they will make no further addresses or applycation to the King. And therefore, sit hence there can be no proceeding by Bill of Attainder, to bring on an Act of Parliament. I doe pray the benefit of the law of the land; the enjoyment whereof is declared by the said resolution of the 15. of Ianuary to all the people of this Kingdome.

Iohn Maynard.

After they had locked him into their House, and forced him thought (at their doore) to stand till they had read his charge, though by him many times interrupted, and asking whether they were reading a charge against the Earle of Pembroke, which he said was an honest Gentleman, and as innocent as [Editor: illegible word] he was perswaded, and answer being returned by the Lieutenant of the Tower that it was a charge against Sir Iohn Maynard, he publiquely speake unto them. That he neither heard nor took notice of what they did, nor said, and for his part he protested against all their proceedings as altogether against Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, and that he wish’t now for the Councell Table againe rather then such proceedings.

So having made an end of reading his Charge, they dismissed him, and sent him to the Tower as their prisoner, and ordered him fourteen dayes hence to be brought before them againe, but to what end no body knowes, for let them bee assured, they shall never be able with their twenty thousand men to keep up their pretended jurisdiction over Commoners, and thereby destroy all our ancient lawes and liberties: for certainly if we would not be subiect to the unlimited power of the King, who was their Creator, we will never submit unto six or seaven Lords who are but his Creatures.

And now having given you to the best of my remembrance the summe of what passed between the Lords, and Sir Iohn Maynard, though not so fully as he delivered it, yet I dare affirme it to be all the most materiall passages thereof. Give me leave to add somewhat by way of justification of Sir Iohn Maynard, in this his protesting against the Lords, as incompetent Judges, and appealing to the common law of the Kingdome.

First, I will plead Reason. Secondly Law.

First, Reason. Should Sir Iohn Maynard have submitted to the Lords jurisdiction over him, he could not have possibly avoided destruction, and that for this cause. The parties prosecuting Sir Iohn, are a few Grandees of the Army and their adherents, viz. Those Commons and Lords that joyned with the Army against the other party remaining behind in the House: now if two men equally interested, have a difference with a third, and get him into their power, can you imagine that one of these two prevailers can be a competent Judge of the conquered party, & the other a competent accuser; certainly if the accuser be an enemie, and the Iudge an enemie too; the party to be accused and adiudged cannot in the eye of reason look for other then absolute destruction: Now this is clearly Sir Iohn Maynards case, and the case of all the Lords and Aldermen that were accused and imprisoned: for the matter of the charge against them, is for doing such and such acts against the Parliament and Army*. And if you aske what they meant by Parliament, I must needs say the Lords and Commons, and who brought a force upon the Lords and Commons? why the Lords and Commons; and so one party of the Lords and Commons accuse another; and because the Law which should be the Vmpire in this businesse, cannot do that which they would have it, therefore they will devide their forces, and one half shall be the accusers, and the other half the Iudges, and thus what the Law cannot make a crime, they will, and by this time I know all rationall men will say Sir John had reason to doe what he did in relation to protest against the Lords as incompetent Iudges.

Secondly, Sir Iohn Maynard had not only Reason, but Law on his side.

His plea and protest is grounded upon the established Law of the Kingdome, for by law there is but two wayes whereby* a mans life can be taken from him, viz. either by the customes of the Realm, or the Law of the land, that is, either by Bill of Attainder, or Bill of Indictment.

By Law the Lords have no jurisdiction over him as a Commoner, he not being their Peer or Equall, besides the manner of their proceedings, is altogether illegall. Articles are nothing in law, neither can any man be tryed legally by Articles.

Nay further, suppose it were granted that Sir John were guiltie of the highest Treason that can be imagined, yet if there be no established Law whereby his life may be legally taken away, he ought not to be destroyed or adiudged by any other way, neither by Martiall Law, nor Ordinance, For where there is no Law, there (saith the Apostle) can be no transgression.

Nay further, their dealing with Sir John, plainly demonstrates, that it is only a design upon his life, seeing there is no colourable ground why they (if they intended only the satisfying of Iustice) should not have proceeded at first in the ordinary legall way by Bill of Indictment, seeing if he be culpable of such crimes as they pretended, the common law will take his life with lesse trouble, and more satisfaction to all parties, then this under hand dealing, whereby they endeavour to iuggle him out of his life.

Nay further yet, their proceedings with Sir Iohn Maynard is altogether illegall, in respect that they adiudge that Treason which is not enacted to be Treason by the Statute of the first of Hen. chap. 10. Wherein that uncertaine proviso, viz. That the Judges in case of any act not particularised and supposed to be Treason; should deferre iudgement, and transferre the case to the King and Parliament, who might declare it Treason, &c. And enacted that in times to come, nothing should be esteemed Treason, but what was litterally contained in the Statute of 25. Ed. 3. and 2. And in the 1. of M. Cust. 1. This was againe confirmed, that nothing should be adiudged High Treason, Petty Treason, or Misprison of Treason, but what was declared and expressed in the 25. of Edward 3. Chapter 2. &c.

So that if the pretended Treasons laid unto the charge of Sir Iohn Maynard, and the rest of those Gentlemen now imprisoned, be not Treason according to the litterall sense of that Statute, his or their lives cannot, ought not to be taken from them, by any way or meanes whatsoever; and if they adiudge him or them, for any such pretended Treason, by any wayes or meanes contrary to the known Lawes and prescript rules thereof, it is wilfull murther in the persons adiudging or executing such sentence or punishment.

And now O yee free people of England, J beseech you lay to heart your condition; when tyranny rides tryumphant, and Iustice goes a begging, what can you thinke will be your portion.

When they domineered over Liev. Col. John Lilburne, they then had a seeming pretence for what they did, they could cry out he was a factious fellow, a Sectarie, &c.

But now you see they cease not to prosecute others which are none of their despised Sectaries, Mr. Wildman was never accused with faction nor Sectarisme, nor Sir John Maynard neither, but yet for all that, be he Sectary, or no Sectary if he stand in their light, and oppose their promotion, their ambition leads them to endeavour his destruction.

And deare Country-men consider, by the same rules that the Lords may iudge Sir John Maynard, they may iudge another, and so 10000. And if any man oppose the Lords usurpations, the Commons perfidiousnesse, or the Armies Tyranny, The Armie or Commons may accuse, and the Lords sentence, and what the Law will not condemne, they will and then farewell all your Lawes and liberties, which you have so gallantly comested for.

And O you Soldiers which say you drew your swords for our defence, but now keepe them to make us vassals, you that engaged not to disband or divide, nor suffer your selves to be disbanded or divided, till our and your owne freedomes were secured, and yet now contrary to your engagement and declarations, strengthen the hands of Tyrants to destroy us and your selves too, Oh timely return to your former Principles! Cry out for Law and Liberty cry out out for justice till you make the Tyrants tremble, let them know that you scorn to serve their lawlesse ambition, and that it was for the securing your liberties & lawes which you ventured your lives for; could we but see you acting for our deliverance we should with joy labour to maintaine you, but it is a double misery to be enforced, to toyle and take paines, to keepe an Army to destroy us: Act then as English-men; and doe not suffer your selves to be guld into a slavery.

And lastly O ye Lords and other the Grandees of the Commons and Army, that like Iohn drive on furiously to meet your ruine, remember the actings of your predecessors, the Prelate, Councell table, High Commission, and Star-Chamber, are they not all buried in the Tophet of shame and confusion, and if you walk in their wayes, shall you not receive their reward? yes, surely the wicked shall perish in their owne imagination, and their names shall be forgotten, forever.

And now O Cromwell if thou hast either honesty or integrity left, observe how the Lord traceth thee in thy secret walkings, and while their is hope return and do thy first workes, seek not not to build thy honour up in blood, for it will choak thy offspring, and make thy name most odious: the dayly imprecations of the innocent injured friends, of those which thou destroyed, wil be a terour, and affright thy soule: O labour therefore to be good as great and lay aside ambition, for Cui usui immensæ divitiæ, malè parta, malè dilabuntur; to what use serves excessive wealth or riches, since what is ill got, is often as ill spent; What will it profit thee to gaine the whole world, and loose thy owne soule?

Postscript.

LOving friends, whether Reall Presbyterians, or reall Independents, or others, all you that are unbiased, and act not meerly for your owne ends, you that desire the peace of England, and would not by your Neutrallity, become accessary to your own and Englands destruction, now if ever, now if ever, appeare for the vindication of your freedomes: oh consult your own safety! stand not on slender Punctillo’s, but unite speedily in principles of common concernment; what will it advantage you to see those that are of a contrary party made presidents for your ruine, if the law be not a protection to your supposed enemy, it cannot be a protection to you, for by the same rule that one is imprisoned, contrary to law, another, and another may, and if one may be imprisoned contrary to law, only because an Army, or a few envious ambitious persons will have it so, by the same rule if they please they may accuse all the rich men in the Kingdome, and make every man that hath money a Traytor; and set up Judges sutable to their owne wils which shall not dare to disobey them, and then we shall be sure to have a rich Army, and a bloody Parliament, but a beggerly destroyed Nation: Gentlemen consult with reason, and be not swaid with interest any longer Sir John Maynards case is yours, yea and every individuall English man in this Nation; and if he suffer by this contest; and fall into the hands of his and your enemies, rest assured, he leades but the way to which you must follow, for the same principle that leades them to endeavour his ruine, will direct them to your also; if ever you shall appeare an enemy to their tyranny.

Therefore I beseech you lay aside all disputes, and joyn as one man in vindicating his and your owne liberties, let us as one man in vindicating his and our own liberties, let us as one man goe up to the House of Commons and demand Sir Iohn Maynard and the rest of our imprisoned friends to be delivered up unto a legall tryall, according to the law; suffer not your lawes to become uselesse, and your selves to be made the worst of slaves, viz. To be subject to ruine at the pleasure of a few Tyrants.

And it is worthy your observation, that there are at this time above threescore in the House of Commons, and many in the house of Lords which are guilty of the very same crimes, which they accuse the Lord &illegible; Sir Iohn Maynard, and the late Lord Mayor and Aldermen withall; nay further, they have since voted and acknowledged that to be a Parliament which sate during the Speakers absence; and if a parliament, their actions and commands were as legall as theirs now, and whosoever acted, or did any thing by vertue thereof, ought, what ever happen to be secure, it being their own principle, That he who guids himselfe by the determination of Parliament, ought not to be condemned, but to rest secure &c.

And if those which obeyed the command of Parliament then, be now lyable to question, by the same rule, they that shall obey now, if another party prevaile, are, or may be lyable also; and then who can with safety obey the commands of Parliament, if this proceeding be once drawn into president.

And therefore as you are Englishmen, act wisely and speedily for the preservation of the due power of Parliaments, and let not one fiction thus domineer to the ruin of your selves and Countrey: J beseech you Gentlemen, act vigorously and couragiously, for the securing of Englands freedomes, or else resolve to live Slaves, and dye Beggers.

FINIS.

Endnotes

 [* ] Note, Sir John Maynard was not in or neere London, when that tumult was made, or the Engagement entred into.

 [* ] If Cromwell can get Sir Iohn Maynards head for Treason, then Sir Iohns estate being forfeited: his Mannor at Islum in Suffolke, lies very well for Cromwels purpose, and hee commanding in chiefe, how dare they deny it if he demand it.

 [* ] See Sir Edw. Cooke 2. part. inst. which is published for good Law to the whole kingdome, by the speciall authority of the present House of Commons.
Who in his exposition of the first cha. of the Statute of Marlebridge, fol. 103, 104. expresly saith. That all causes ought to be heard, ordered, and determined before the Iudges of the Kings Courts, openly in the Kings Courts, whether all persons may resort; And in no Chambers, or other private places, for the Iudges are not Iudges of Chambers, but of Courts, and therefore in open Court. &c.

 [* ] There can be no treason committed against the Army.

 [* ] But Ordinances of King & Lords, King and Commons, or Lords and Commons, are no law of the land, See their own Law, published in the 2. part of Sir Ed. Cooke inst. fol. 47. 48. and 3. part inst. fol. 22. and 4. part inst. fol. 23. 25. 48. 292.

 


 

T.90 (4.2) [Richard Overton], The Commoners Complaint: Or, A Dreadful Warning from Newgate, to the Commons of England (10 February 1647).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.90 [1647.02.10] (4.2) [Richard Overton], The Commoners Complaint: Or, A Dreadful Warning from Newgate, to the Commons of England (10 February 1647).

Full title

[Richard Overton], The Commoners Complaint: Or, A Dreadful Warning from Newgate, to the Commons of England. Presented To the Honourable Committee for consideration of the Commoners Liberties. Wherein (as in a Glasse) every Free-man of England may clearly behold his own immanent insufferable bondage and slavery under the Norman-Prerogative-Men of this Kingdom, represented by the present sufferings of Richard Overton; who for his just Vindication of the Commoners Rights and Freedoms against the Arbitrary Domination of the House of Lords, hath by them bin imprisoned these 6 Months in the Goal of Newgate, his wife and brother also by them most unjustly cast into Maiden Lane prison: And from thence, she (with her tender babe of half a years age in her armes) was, for refusing active subjection to their Arbitrary Orders, dragg’d most barbarously and inhumanely head-long upon the stones through the streets in the dirt and mire (as was her husband formerly (Novemb. 3. 1646) for the said cause) worse then Rebels, Traytors, Thieves, or Murtherers, to the place of execution: And in that most contemptible and villainous manner cast into the most reproachful, infamous Goal of Bride-well: And their 3 small children (as helplesse Orphans bereft of father and Mother, Sister and Brother) exposed to the mercy of the wide world. Whereunto is annexed the repsective Appeales of his wife, and of his brother, unto the High Court of Parliament, the Commons of England assembled at Westminster.

Isa.59.14. And judgment is turned backward, and justice findeth afarre off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.

Printed Ann Dom. 1646.

Estimated date of publication

1 February 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 491; Thomason E. 375. (7.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

To his honoured friend, Col. Henric

Martin, a Member of the House of Commons, and Chairman to the honourable Committee, for consideration of the Commoners Liberties, and in him, to all the Members of the said Committee; The Humble Information & Complaint of Richard Overton, prisoner in the infamous Goal of New-Gate; concerning the barbarous cruelties, and inhumant practises of the house of Lords (and of their Prerogative-Agents) exercised upon himself, his wife, children, and whole family, since his legall tryall before the said honourable Committee.

Jam. 213. He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath, shewed no mercy.

Psalm. 41. 1, 2. Blessed is he that considereth the poore, the Lord will deliver him in the time of trouble, the Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive, and he shall be blessed upon the Earth.

Master Chair man,

AS Bondage and Liberty are two contraries, so you cannot truly consider the one, but you must reflect your eye upon the other: For, though one be so destructive to the Being of the other, that, where the one is, the other cannot be; yet, each by other is more eminently distinguished: And looke how much the one is exceeding the other, by so much the other is deficient, & loseth of its property: for, quorum unum altero latius est, non sunt re unum.

Therefore, I humbly conceive, that, to the consideration of the Commoners Liberties, the usurpations, encroachments, & destructions thereof, fall inavoydably into like consideration, even so, as the one cannot be truly considered without the other: If you will cast your eye upon the glory and beauty of the one, your eare must be open to the cry and complaint of the other; And therefore, answerably, as you are by the Soveraign power of the Land ordained and deputed for the due and grave consideration of the Commoners Liberties, you are by the same Authority also impowred for the reception of all Petitions, Informations, and Complaints of the Afflicted Commoners, touching their Birth-right, Liberties, and Freedomes, and thereof to judge, and accordingly to make Report unto the House.

Wherefore Sir, I shall presume to present this honourable Committee, with the late most barbarous inhumanities, and Turkish Cruelties, by the most Arbytrary Tyrannicall House of Lords, and their Prerogative-Butchers perpetrated upon my self, upon my wife, my three smal children, upon my brother, and the rest of my family, in all, consisting of 8 persons, all committed and acted since the late legall consideration and tryal of my cause before you, yet still depending upon the Report of this honourable Committee: As for their former illegal usuapations over me, I shal omit their repetition, they being already made publike unto the world, & only acquaint you with the latter.

See the defiance, & the Arrow against tyrannie. But first, I shal present you with those their illegal cruelties which concern my self (they falling first in order) together with the mutual passages concerning the same, betwixt their Instruments and me, then answerably I shal descend to their barbarous unheard of inhumanities (such as never were acted by their Norman Progenitors, since the Prerogative-Foundation of that Norman house was ever laid, or ever since they bore the name of an House of Peers) now lately upon the 6. and 8. of this instant Ian. 1646, most villainously perpetrated upon my wife, children, and the rest of my family, and commit the mutual passages on both sides (faithfully pend and presented) unto your grave and judicious consideration, to judge impartially betwixt us: And all that I in the behalf of my self, & of mine, shall crave from this honourable Committee, is but the Benefit of what the Lord himself hath commanded, Lev. 19. 15. Ye shall do no unrighteousnesse in judgment, thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty, but in righteousnesse shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

If I be found a transgressour, then let me speedily suffer my doome; but if I be found none, then let me have speedy reliefe: I crave no favour, nor boon at your hands; it is onely justice which I desire, and thats but a reasonable suit; a suit, which of Pagans, Turks, & Infidels would not be condemned, and therefore justly may be expected from you.

Thus, then Sir, give me leave to acquaint you, that after my last departure from you in the Palace yard (Novemb. 3. 1646.) and that I was cleared from your presence, and the presence of my friends, and was only left in the hands of my Gaolers, my indignation and detestation (fore-uttered in your presence in the inward Court of Wards) against the Arbytrary tyrannie and usurpation of the house of Lords over the Commoners natural & legal Freedomes and Rights, and over mine in particular burst out afresh; and upon consideration, whether I should be so base to my Country, and to my self in particular, as to yeeld these Arbytrary Lords, so much Villain-service, as to become their Lordships Prerogative-Porter, to carry my self to the stinking, lowsie, barbarous Goal of Newgate again or no; I resolved in my self, that as in heart I defied all injustice, cruelty, tyrannie, and oppression, all arbitrary usurpation and usurpers whatsoever, so in person (come life, come death, come what come would) I would not be so treacherous to my own selfe, to my wife and children, and especially to this Nation (the Land of my Nativity) in general, as personally to yeeld my active submission of any limbe that was mine (either in substance, or in shew) in the least, to any Arbitrary Vipers or Pests, Egyptian Grashoppers, Norman Invaders and Destroyers of the Commoners legal inheritance and birth-right, their liberties and freedoms confirmed to them, both by divine, naturall, and humane Right: or once to set one leg before another in subjection or attendance to any of their Canibal, Canker-worm, Arbytrary Orders Warrants, Significations of their pleasures (so flatly contrary to all good laws, justice, and equity) being as so many Mothes in the Royall Roabe of the State, or rather as so many Wild-Bores out of the Forrest, to root up, devour, disfranchise and destroy this Nation of all her antient legall immunities and freedoms, root and branch; yea, and of those tender Plants and Seeds of the Commoners Rights & Liberties, which, in the dreadfull face of so many late turbulent, tempestuous, impetuous Gifts of opposition rage, bloud-shed, and fury have been implanted and sown in the oppressed Common-field of the state, the which for want of their own naturall Dew and Rain from the Superiour Orbe of Authority, but with-held by some Luciferean Angels of State, Regal, Parliamentary, Sinodian, Sottish and Scottish; the natural, free-Commoners of England have been forced to wet, moysten, and mature the same with their bloud, their flesh, and their bones, &c. that those tender Plants of freedome, equity and justice, might take root, be preserved, spring up, flourish, and bring forth fruit, if not for themselves, yet for their Posterities.

And upon these or the like considerations, I told my Jaylors, that if they had no other Order or Warant for the remanding back of my person to the Goal of New gate I would not set one leg before another in subjection thereto; but was fully resolved, that if they would have me back to the Goale, they should carry me.

But (Sir) least the rarity and strangenesse of this Act should incurre yours and the Committees unjust censure and condemnation, like as of the inconsiderate multitude, whose judgments are guided by custome, more then by reason; be pleased to consider, that,

All State-Deprivation of life, limbe, goods, liberty or freedome, either is, or should be, all and every particle thereof, the just execution of the Law executing: For in Equity, the Action executing is indivisible from the Law, and only & precisely proper thereto and not at all to the party executed: yea, though a man legally guilty of death should be condemned by the same legall Authority (or rather by persons therein intrusted) to cut his own throat; yet were he in equity not bound thereunto, but in so doing should be guilty of his own blood. And the Law of our Land makes no man his own Executioner, but hath provided Ministers and Executioners, as Majors, Sheriffes, Constable, Goalers, Hangmen, &c. for that very end and purpose: And the Law of God leaves it as a matter out of all doubt and dispute, and nature itselfe teaches, that no man shall be his own Butcher or Executioner, for in so doing, he should sin against his own flesh, which is a thing most unnaturall and inhumane.

But my rejection of carrying my own Body to the Goale, was no other but the refusall to be my own Executioner therein: for though it were not of that degree of cruelty and inhumanity to my own flesh, as to cut my own throat; yet was it of the same nature and kind. And therefore if the one must be condemned as unjust, illegall and unnaturall, so must the other in its kind, so that as I was not bound, with my hands to cut my own throat, so with my feete, I was not bound to carry my selfe to prison.

And from hence is it (as I conceive) that the Law hath provided Portage with Carts, Sledges, or the like, for Malefactors to the place of Execution, that they might not any wayes (either actually or apparently) be guilty of their own Execution, a thing abhominated and abhorred of nature.

But if it be objected, it is onely in Capitall matters, as of death, and the like, I answer, that from the equity whereon that is founded, the other is necessarily implyed, one equity being relative and essentiall unto both, and so need not be expressed in the lesse: for by the equity and authority for the greater, the like is justified and commanded to be for the lesse, for omne majus includit minus the lesse is included in the greater, so that the equity in the greater cannot be denyed to the lesse.

Therefore, in case I were legally a prisoner, yet were I not bound therby to set one leg before another in my own executiõ although there were no precise prescript therfore in the letter of the law to discharge me therof, which needs no further probation; yet for exemplary illustration, be pleased to consider, that in the case of a Generalls Commission, it is needlesse to enjoyn him by litterall expression, not to turne the mouthes of his Cannons against his own Souldiers, for that is so necessarily and naturally implyed, that it is needlesse to be expressed: & as it is in the millitary, even so & much more is it in the pollitick capacity, the millitary being but thereto subservient.

Yet further, though the letter of the Law should enjoyn its Condemnants to be their own executioners, yet were that by its own equity condemned, nuld, and made voyd, for the letter must be subject to the equity: and look how much the letter transgresseth the equity, even so much it is unequall, and is of no validity or force, for the Law taken from its originall reason and end is made a shell without a kernel, a shaddow without a substance, a Carkesse without life: for the equity and reason thereof is that which gives it a legall being and life, and makes it authoritative and binding, if this be not granted, injustice may be a Law, tyranny may be a Law, lust, will, pride, covetousnesse, and what no? may be Lawes; for if equity be not the bounder of the Law, over the corrupt nature of man, all will fall into confusion, and one man will devoure another.

Besides, as no man by Law may be his own Judge, so by the same reason no man may be his own Executioner, for as in equity it appropriateth sole Judgement to it self, so to it selfe it maketh sole Challenge to its execution: for the contraction and unity of reason betwixt them may not be divided. So that in reason as it is bound to the one, in reason it is bound to provide for the other, & the guilty be suspended from both, and to the Law wholly made passive, both for Judgment and execution.

But, if any, for want of president, shall condemn this Act of mine; to such its proved rationally will answer, that reason hath no president; for, reason is the fountain of all just presidents, and so used, granted and applyed by this very Parliament. 1 Book. declar. fol. 264. 298. 709. 726.

And from this accustomary pedant vassalage formerly the pursevants (and such like catchpole devouring vermine) have made use for argument sake against those which have complained of their Imprisonment to the Parliament, saying, they did not carry them to prison, but, that they went into prison; But I think I have prevented the use of that objection against me.

Thus Sir, if the Law impose no such obligation upon its Subjects, then can that which is contradictory thereto so vassalage any? if the Law fetch not that within its compasse and bounds, then much lesse may that which is coutrary thereto, which was my then present condition, for I was not in their hands, then under any legall warrant of the Law of the Land, but under an arbitrary order of the House of Lords, directly contrary to the very Being of the Law of the Land: Therefore for me to be my own Executioner or its Executioner upon my selfe (for going or carrying cannot be denyed to be in a great measure its Execution) were to prefere the Law of Lust, or Will, before the Law of the Land: to do more for that Power which is contrary to the very being of the Law, then the very Law it selfe doth require in its own behalfe, and if that were not to make the Law of none effect, judge ye. To do that homage to such a power which is not due to the Law (for no more is due to the Law then the Law doth require, and the Law doth require no more then its due) is to make Lust and Will predominant thereto, to make Will to take the Will of the Law, to abrogate Law, and in the roome thereof to introduce an arbitrary power.

And therefore as their Lordships in that their arbitrary capacity found Warrants, so should their Lordships find Leggs to obey them, for I was resolved, mine should not be enslaved to that their usurpation to do their Arbitrary Drudgery, I would rather loose my life, then in that kind to do them that vassalage: My Leggs were borne as free as the rest of my Body, and therefore I scorne that Leggs, or Armes, or hands of mine should do them any villeine-service for as I am a Freeman by Birth, so I am resolved to live and dye, both in heart word and deed, in substance and in shew, maugre the Arbitrary mallice of the House of Lords: yea if ought else I can devise to shew my actuall enmity and defiance against their arbitrary power, i’ll do it, though it cost the life of me, and myne, and therefore I care not who lets them know, that, that Act of mine was done in despite and defiance of their Warrant.

But in case you object, that I knew well enough, that if I would not go, they would carrie me, therefore it had been better for me to have gone, then to have exposed my selfe to their cruelty.

I Answer.

1. If I had known they would have hanged me, must I therefore have hanged my selfe?

2. A good conscience had rather run the hazard of cruelty then to abite an haires bredth of contestation and opposition against illegality, injustice, and tyranny.

3. If they had had any legall jurisdiction over my leggs, then at their Commands my leggs were bound to obey: And then (in that case) I confesse it had been better to obey, then to have exposed my person to the cruelty of threatning mercilesse Goalers: But being free from their Jurisdiction from the Crowne of my head to the Soale of my foote, I know no reason, why I should foote it for them, or in the least dance any attendance to their Arbitrary Warrants; their Lordships may put up their pipes, except they will play to the good old tune of the Law of the Land, otherwise their Orders and Warrants are never like to have the Service of my leggs or feet, for they were never bred to tread in their Arbitrary Steps, but I shall leave their Orders and their execution to themselves. And therefore, Sir, concerning that action of mine, I shall continue in the said esteeme thereof, till my defence be made voide, and it be legally proved, that by the Law of the Land, I was bound to set one legge before another in attendance to that Order.

And further touching this matter, I desire you to remember, that in the inward Court of Wards, when I discovered those resolutions, in the Audience of divers Gentlemen there present, unto you, I told you, that I was no longer under the Arbitrary power of that illegall warrant of the Lords, but under the power of the House of Commons, from which I was resolved not to depart, which in some measure you seemed to oppose, whereat I demanded of you, How then I came there? And if I were not brought thither by vertue of an Order from that Committee? So that though being formerly Commanded by the Lords Order to be kept in the Custody of Newgate till their pleasures should be further signifyed, whereof to that time there had been no further signification at all, yet notwithstanding I was brought from thence by vertue of an Order from that Committee, contrary to the end and intent of that Order of the Lords, so that I conceived, & still do conceive that though that Warrant were not void of it selfe, yet were it made voide by that Order of their own, under the power and protection of which Order I was, so that being there, I would not depart from the roofe & verge of your Authority, and this you know was the substance of my words, and thereupon indeed, I sate me downe in the window, and told my Goaler, (but one at that time being present) that if he would have me to prison, he should carry me: no withstanding you would give him no further charge of me, for conceiving from the equity of the Law (which though contradicted by the letter is absolutely binding and valid) that I could not be remanded back unto prison without a new Commitment, I demanded of you, if you would commit me? and I told you, that is you would, I then would goe, but that you plainly denied with an absolute No, then I asked you if you would command me to go and I would, but that you also denyed, then I told you, that if you would but intreate me for formallity sake, (without any relation to that Order of the Lords) to go, I would go, but if you would neither commit, command, nor intreat me, then I would not go, nothing then being against me for my imprisonment, but that Order of the Lords, And as I was resolved I told you, that I would not obey it to set one leg before another after its humour. Therefore Sir, how you can blame me, either of illegality or so much as of disrespect unto you, or this Honourable Committee I cannot see, for no Law did I break, and to prevent all misconstructions I offered you more, then by Law I needed to have done.

Sir,

Had there been the letter of the Law directly against me, yet if it were contradicted by the equity of the Law, I had not been at all bound thereunto, except to oppose it: for the Letter if it controll and overthrow the equity, it is to be controlled and overthrowne it selfe, upon perill of treason to the equity, and the equity to be preserved as the thing onely legally obligatory and binding.

But (Sir) there was neither letter nor equity of the Law against me, but that which was directly contrary to both: for the Lords warrant was directly oppugnant and destructive both to the legall letter and equity.

Therefore (Sir) I conceive that I was in no measure bound thereunto, but was as free legally, as in case that warrant of the Lords never had been. So that I had good cause, in case you would have had me part with my liberty, to demand, if that you would commit me, command me, or entreate me, and upon your denyall of all these to tell you, that then I would not go: For do you think that I am such a foole to part with my liberty, for nothing? Sir, our liberties have been bought at a dearer grace, then so to be trifled and slighted away, especially to captivate the same to the exhorbitant wills of the Lords, and to cast my selfe in prison during their boundlesse pleasures.

Had you committed me, commanded me, or entreated me; and thereupon I had gone, and been caught in my own net, yet had I been delivered from a worse, and of two evills the lesse is to be chosen, for thereby the pretended power of the House of Lords over me (even in its very formality) had been utterly routed; and my selfe absolutely cleared from their prerogative Bondage. But at that time you were not aminded to do it, but left me to their Lordships Arbytrary power.

But now Sir, I would not have you think from these demands of mine, that I would be subject to an arbitrary power more in you then in the other, for truly in those demands there was tacitly couched a supposition of that which I knew could not be granted, and therefore I was the freer in my proposall thereof, having an assurance that they would never be granted, yet I thought I would make try all, but and if I had been imprisoned thereon, after I had given their Lordships that Fob, you should have heard from me with a witnesse; for I cannot suffer oppression and be silent.

Sir excuse my prolixity about this matter, for by reason of the rarity and the common condemnation thereof, I have therefore the more enlarged my selfe, for the better removall of all scruple thereon. Now Sir I shall further acquaint you with the mutuall proceedings betwixt the Goalers and me, and judge indifferently and impartially betwixt us.

Thus Sir, as I have told you, having declared my set resolution to my attendant Goalers, away I was borne to the Boate, and when I was landed at Black-Fryers, they would have forced me along up the hill on my feete, yea, they intreated me, but at that time I was not minded to be their DRVDG, or to make use of my feet to carry the rest of my body to the Goale, therefore I let them hang as if they had been none of my own, or like a couple of farthen Candles dangling at my knees, and after they had dragged me in that admire-able posture a while, the one took me very reverently by the head, and the other as reverently by the feete, as if he had intended to have done Homage to His Holinesses great Toe, and so they carried me: but truly Sir, I laughed at the conceit in my sleeve. But this their reverend usage did not continue long, for they grew verie irreverend and deboyst of a sudden, for ever when they were a little wearie, they let my bodie fall upon the stones, and then againe most vallarrouslie like men well appointed for the Cause, they tooke me by the head and shouldiers, and just as if I had been a dead Dog, they drag’d and trayl’d my body upon the stones, and without all reverence to my cloth, drew me through the dirt and mire, and plucked me by the hair of the head, just as if the Iohn of all Sir Johns had got little Martin by the feathers, notwithstanding the peoples severall exclamations against their inhumane incivility and tyrannie towards me, and their severall desires to carrie me in a Chaire: And indeed in case I had been legallie their prisoner, yet had they no authoritie, to keepe me in evill custodie, incivilie or innumanely to use me, but were bound onely to keep me in safe custody, and therein to use me like a man, and therefore in case they would not have so honoured me, as to have made me a Chairman, they might have carried me in a Porters Basket, or in a Cart, (provided it had not been Westward) or in some other such decent necessary Toole, And in this like unheard of barbarous manner they brought me into the lower roome in Newgate; called the Lodge, and there they threw me down upon the Bords, and having Sir Edward Cookes 2. part instit. upon Magna Charta the Mr. Briscoe offered to wrest it out of my hands: Then I demanded of him if he intended to rob me, and he told me he would have it from me whether I would or no.

To whom I replyed, that he should not, if to the utmost of my power I could preserve it from him, and I would do my utmost, where upon I clapped it in my Armes, and I laid my selfe upon my belly, but by force, they violently turned me upon my back then Briscoe (just as if he had been staving off a Dog from the Beare) smote me with his fist, to make me let go my hold, whereupon as loud as I could, I cryed out, murther, murther, murther. And thus by assault they got the great Charter of Englands Liberties and Freedoms from me; which I laboured to the utmost of power in my to preserve and defend, and ever to the death shall maintain, and forthwith without any warrant poore Magna Charta was clapt up close prisoner in Newgate, and my poore fellow prisoner derived of the comfortable visitation of friends: And thus being stript of my armour of proofe, the Charter of my legall Rights, Freedoms, and Liberties, after the aforesaid barbarous manner they hurried me up into the common Goale, and as they carried me up staires, as their custome is, when they bring in a fellon, they gave 3. knocks at the door, and so they cast me into that Goale as a fellon, and then because they would be sure I should have a paire of prerogative fetters, they clapt 2. great Irons with a Chaine betwixt them upon my leggs, and Ile assure you, Sir, me thought they were the comlyest gingling Spurres that ever I wore in my life, and if your worship will be but pleased to travell with me to the Land of Liberty, come but and take horse at Newgate, and you shall be furnished Ile warrant you, after the gallantest manner, and if need be for the conduct, we caraise up the Trained Bands of Newgate, even thousands, and ten thousands of lice to guard you: which indeed and in truth may too soone be the generall portion of all the best Members in the House, if you be not active, vigulant, and faithful to your friends.

And in those Irons I continued that night and till the next day at evening, and then Woleston the vice Master Goaler of Newgate sent to me by one of his substitute Goalers, the Turn-key, to speake with me below, to whom I returned this answer, go tell your master that I do not owe him so much service, as to come downe to him to speak with him in Irons, he knowes well enough where I am, if he have any businesse with me let him come and speak with me, and he came againe, and againe, with the like message; and I returned the same answer: in the meane time one of his underling Goalers asked me if I would pay for my Irons, and then they should be knocked off, but I told him, I neither set him a work to knock them on, neither would I set him a work to knock them off, and he that sets you a work let him pay you your wages, for you shall not have a farthen of me, then departing and as I conceive, acquainting Woelston there with, he returned againe with his hammer in his hand, and told me, he must knock them off, and so he did: And when I came down to Woleston, he would needs have made me believe, that I sent to speake with him, and to desire him to take off my Irons, and to be removed to the Masters side againe; but I told him no such matters, for indeed that was farre from me, in thought, word, or deed: for I scorne to crouch or debase my Spirits to the lawlesse cruelty of any mercilesse tyrants or Goalers whatsoever: they may devoure my Carkase, and make that bend and break with their cruelty, but I trust in God, that in heart and action to the umost of my power in the pursuance of justice and truth, I shall bid defiance to the last gaspe of breath to all their oppressions and tyrannies whatsoever.

Now Sir, having discovered their oppressions and grievances against me, I shall now make bold to present this honorable Committee with the salvage and barbarous inhumanity exercised upon my Wife, and upon the rest of my Family: Thus then be pleased further to consider, that those Norman Prerogative-Invaders, have not been here with content thus to rob me in particular of my just liberty and freedome, and for these six moneths to incarcerate and corrode my person in their prerogative-devouring-jawes of Newgate, but to fil up the measure of their iniquity against me, they send forth their Blood-hounds, the Bishops old Catch-poles, the Master and Wardens of the Company of Stationers, to surprize my wife and my brother, and to bring them up to their Prerogative-Barre, who for refusing to be intangled and enslaved to their High-Commission Star-chamber-bondage of catching Interrogatories, were both upon the sixth of this instant January 1646. committed by them to Mayden-lane-prison. But being not therewith content, the next day, without all remorse or compassion over my helplesse children, just as if they had intended to destroy me root and branch, they send forth their Catch-poles again to my house to fetch away my Brother-in-law, and my sister (his wife) which, for their present necessity, were forced to live with me, and onely remained for the over-sight, ordering and tendance of my three children in the absence of their Father and Mother. But he being out of the way; & she, by the great mercy of God, escaping their hands, (through their ignorance of her face) fled, & hid her selfe and some adjacent neighbours (touched with compassion and pitty over the poore, afflicted, destitute, helplesse children) took them, for the present, into their houses; and so, Father, Mother, Children, and All, being driven out of House and home, the Doores were shut up; and I, and mine, exposed to utter ruine and confusion by those insulting, domineering, mercilesse Usurpers and Tyrants, The House of Lords.

But here, their most inhumane, tyrannicall desires not ceasing, out of the boundlesse limits of their arbitrary domination, they issue forth yet another prerogative-order against my wife, not counting it miserable and dishonourable enough, that she should lye in the Goale at Mayden-lane, but, as much as in them lyes, for ever to obliterate the honour of her modesty, civility, and chastity; they order, that she shall be cast into the most infamous Goale of Bride-well, that common Centre and receptacle of bauds, whores, and strumpets, more fit for their wanton retrograde Ladies, then for one, who never yet could be taxed of immodesty, either in countenance, gesture, words, or action.

Now, this order being brought to her by the City Marshall to command her away to Bride-well, she thereupon refused (as by Law she was bound, as hath been proved before this Honourable Committee in the case of Lieut: Coll. Iohn Lilburne, and of mine) to yeeld in the least manner any subjection or obedience thereto, but to the utmost testimony of her weake power made opposition and resistance against it, for in plain down-right termes (like a true bred Englishwoman brought up at the feet of Gamaliel) she told the Marshall that she would not obey it, neither would she stir after it, so much as to set one legg before another in attendance thereto: yet, Sir, this rejection and contempt here of the Lords usurped jurisdiction was not uttered without all due respect and acknowledgment of your indubitable Authority, for she told him, that if he brought any Order or Warrant from the House of Commons, she would freely and willingly yeeld all humble obedience and subjection thereto, which was as absolute an evidence of her acknowledgment and submission unto Englands legitimate lawfull authority as the other was of defiance and contempt to all arbitrary usurpation whatsoever.

Now the Gentleman Goaler hearing her resolution and honest intentions for the freedoms of her Country, that rather then she would yeeld any subjection or connivence to the arbitrary usurpations of any, how great or powerfull soever, she would expose her selfe to the mercilesse cruelty of the whole House of Norman-prerogative tyrants, I say no sooner had this Turky-cock Marshall heard of her uprightnesse to the Commons of England, but up he brisled his feathers and looked as bigg and as bugg as a Lord, and in the height and scorne of derision (just as if he had been Speaker to the House of Peers protempore) out he belched his fury and told her, that if she would not go, then she should be carried in a Porters Basket, or else draged at a Carts Arse.

But she modestly reply’d that he might do as it seemed good unto him, for she was resolved on her course, but thereat his worship being put into a prerogative chase; out he struts in his Arbitrary Fury, as if he would have forthwith leavied whole Armies, and Droves of Porters and Cart-men, to advance the poore little harmlesse innocent woman and her tender Babe to Bridewell:

But going (as I conceive to consult with their Lordships what was best to be one) he upon his returne finding her constant to her honest and just resolutions, out againe he slings in his wonted fury, and finding some of her friends attending to see the event of the businesse, he shut them out of the doores and abused them with infamous scurrilous reproaches, nicknames, and derisions, with severall menacies to imprison them, threatning them to fetch a warrant to bring them before the now (present pretended illegall) Lord Mayor of London; but departing in that insolent turbulent chase, he sent for a couple of Porters, but when they came to her, like honest & discreet men, they told him, that they would not meddle with a woman that was with child, and had a young sucking Infant in her Armes, least in so doing they might doe that to day which they might answer for to morrow.

Then the Marshall thinking to bugbear them with the cracking sound of the House of Lords told them, that the Lords had ordered that she should be carried to Bridewell: but one of the Porters wisely answered, that their Lordships Order was for Goalers, and not for Porters to carry her, and for their parts, they would carry no quick flesh, if he had any dead flesh they would carry it, and so they departed and left their Lordships prerogative drudgery to their prerogative vassals.

Then forth againe goes this their Lordship; furious Champion with his prerogative Commission of Array, to raise up new Forces to encounter this weak woman, and her tender Babe on her breast, and having leavied a Cart for the prerogative Warres of the House of Peers, which being brought under the conduct of that most puissant Marshall of London to the prison Gate, the Car-man hearing what this beleagred woman was, wisely refused to lay any hands on her, and departed in peace.

Then this grim Phylistin of the House of Peers, being thus deferred of his forraigne forces, mustered up his Life Guard of Goalers servants, or hangmen Deputies, and therewith resolved to storme her, and advancing to her Chamber doore, first he attempted to circumvent her by his pollicy with fair, hypocriticall, specious promises of his and their Lordships favour and grace, in case she should open the doore and submit her selfe, but she slighted his proffers, & contemned all favour flowing from that most bitter and corrupt prerogative Fountaine.

Whereupon he caused his men to break open the doore, and entring her Chamber, struts towards her like a Crow in a gutter, and with his valiant lookes like a man of mettle assailes her and her Babe, and by violence attempt to pluck the tender Babe out of her Armes, but she forcibly defended it, and kept it in despite of his Man-hood: then he and Christopher Marshall his brother Sam. Tolson, and divers of his servants by the Marshalls Command example & Authority laid violent hands upon her, and drag’d her down the staires, and in that infamous barbarous manner, drew her headlong upon the stones in all the dirt and the mire of the streetes, with the poore Infant still crying and mourning in her Armes, whose life they spared not to hazard by that inhumain barbarous usage, and all the way as they went, utterly to defame and render her infamous in the streets, the fellowes which dragged and carried her on two Cudgels, calling her Strumpet and vild whore, thereby to possesse the people, that she was no woman of honest & godly Conversation, whom they so barbarously abused, but a vile strumpet or whore, and were dragging to Bridewell that common shore & sinke of Bauds & Whores, &c.

For no man could reasonably imagin that any modest civill woman should be so shamefully used, especially in her way to Bridewell; which dishonourable infamous usage was a sufficient matter to blast her reputation for ever, and to beget such a perpetuall odium upon her, that for the future (if ever delivered from her bondage) she should not passe the streetes upon her necessary occasions any more without contumely and derision, scoffing, hissing, and poynting at her, with such or the like sayings, as, see, see, there goes a Strumpet that was dragged through the streetes to Bridewell, and this is the honour that their Lordships are pleased to conferre on the free Commoners wives who stand for their Freedoms and Liberties.

A Charg against the house of Lords Now Sir, I humbly desire this Honourable Committee to consider, whether it be reasonable or sufferable, or any wise sutable to the freedoms of the Commons of England, or to the great trust reposed in you, either for you to suffer, or for them to usurpe such an unlimited prerogative jurisdiction, to deprive husbands of their wives, and wives of their husbands; Fathers and Mothers of their Children, and Children of their Fathers and Mothers; cast them into severall infamous tormenting prisons, hale and drag in most barbarous manner, the Commoners wives and their tender Infants upon the stones of the streetes through all the dirt, and the mire, as if the Commoners, their wives and Children were but as dirt and mire under their Lordships feet, to be trod and trampled upon at their pleasure; also to reproach, revile, and dishonour modest, chaste, and civill women with the imputation and scandall of whores, strumpets, &c. expose whole families to ruine, rout them out of house and home, and instead of pitty and compassion over such tender Infants whom they have made Orphants to their Arbitrary pleasures to turne them (without all remorse and compunction of heart) to the mercy of the wide world, and not in the least to looke after them, take any charge or care over them, or to send them or their imprisoned Parents so much as a crum of bread, or a drop of pottage for their comfort or reliefe; but as much as in them lyes, to expose such tender innocent babes with their parents to famin for want of sustenance and reliefe, as also to send forth their armed men in an hostile manner, with musquets, swords, pistols, &c. to besert and assault the Commoners Houses; forcibly to enter their Bed-Chambers with drawn swords, and pistols ready cocked, even while such persons are in their beds also dayly to commit Burglary, flat fellony, break in peeces the Commoners doores, burst open their locks, their Trunks, Chests, Deskes, &c. pick their pockets, ransacke their, houses, plunder, rob, steale, and felloniously beare away their proper goods and livelyhood, as also to shutt up such as are most faithfull for the freedoms of the Commons of England, close prisoners, deprive them of the benefit of pen, ink, and paper, of the comfortable countenance and visitation of friends, tumble and tosse them from Goale unto Goale, lay most unreasonable fines upon them, as of 2000.l. or the like, ten times beyond the estate of persons so fined, censure them to seven yeare imprisonment, endeavour to enforce the Commoners wives, to dip their hands to the blood of their husbands, and to betray their friend and faithfull lovers of their Country into their mercilesse hands, impose oathes upon servants to betray their Masters Councels, and secrets, imprison, fine, censure, and molest the Commoners of England, for their vindication and defence of the great Charter of their Liberties, and freedoms, for appealing from their usurped jurisdiction to the House of Com: and for refusing to be againe entangled in the Star-Chamber High-Commission abolished Bondage of Interrogatories and the like; as also for those Lords to overturne the fundamentall Lawes of this Kingdom, both for liberty, property, and freedome, endeavouring the Introduction of an Arbitrary Government, and to crush and destroy all such as shall adventure the discoverie of their oppressions or shall (as legally they are bound) resist their arbitrary proceedings, stop all free progresse in the Law, commit the Compter Serjeants, and such Ministers of the Law unto prison for arresting their sons or kindred for debt, and that by the authority of that House, as a contempt offered thereto. All which insufferable oppressions, and cruelties with manifold others, I can and will (God permitting) justifie and prove to their faces, if I shall be called thereto. And I do hereby, before this honourable Committee, and consequently before the whole Commons of England, both represented and representative, Charge the House of Lords (which usually assemble at Westminster and which do arrogate unto themselves a Parliamentarie title, and power without the free election and common consent of the free borne people of England) with those forementioned usurpations and devastations of the Commoners Liberties and Freedoms: Which Charge I am ready everyday upon the peril of my vital blood to make good against them, for the case of Lieutenant Col. Iohn Lilburn of Mr. Learner, of mine, & of some others, if but duly considered, is sufficient to evidence and confirme the truth thereof to every common capacity, as also to their Pregogative Lordships everlasting shame & confusion of face, if not to the utter extirpation of that their unlimited Arbitrary Domination and power, the which I shall faithfully endeavour to the utmost of my power for the freedome and weale of the rest of my Nationall Brethren the free borne Commons of England, though in that hot and desperate service I, and mine, wife, children and all be devoured by their unreasonable cruelty.

Thus Sir having made my complaint unto you, and in mine, to this Honourable Committee, the complaint of the whole Commons of England, all being equally interrested with me in this contest betwixt the Lords and the Commoners both in life, limb, liberty, and estate; I present my cause, and in mine, the cause of the whole Commons of England to your grave and judicious consideration: for, looke what is done unto me or to any other (though never so meane or of inferiour degree) for mine or their vindication and maintenance of the just Rights and freedoms of the Commons of England, is as done unto the whole Commons of England, for by chose their insultings all as well as one, are made lyable to the unlimited cruelty and oppression of their prerogative jurisdiction. And if they may rule by prerogative, then farwell all liberty and property!, all Lawes, justice, and equity; and if it must be so, I pray you beare us no longer in suspence and expection of redresse, but forthwith let our Doom be proclaimed to the whole world, that the Commons of England may know what to trust to; that we may loose our labour no longer in petitioning, appealing, complaining, and seeking for reliefe at your hands, that such as will may sit down as contented slaves with halters about their necks to be hanged up till the pleasure of that House (forsooth) shall be further signified.

Now Sir, I shall use no other provocations, incitations or Arguments to this Honourable Committee, to the discharge of their duty, but shall altogether leave the whole matter hereof to your consciences, whether for justice or injustice, mercy or cruelty; for my part I care not though you and all men forsake me, so long as I know the Lord liveth, who will once judge every man according to his deeds, whether good or evel, and then I am sure I shall have righteous judgment, without respect of persons; and against that, to deprive me thereof, neither the gates of Hell nor the powers of Earth are able to prevaile; that is my comfort, my hope and support, against all afflictions tryalls, and troubles: And therefore in that sure confidence though I be thus enthralled & encompassed on every side with Bands & Afflictions, I am resolved not to yeeld an haires-bredth of subjection, no, not so much, as the appearance of subjection either in word or deed to any arbitrary power, orders, significations of their pleasures, &c. maugre their Prisons, Irons, Halters, &c. either for me or mine: And this I pronounce to this Honourable Committee and to the whole Commons of England in open defyance and contempt of the Arbitrary Domination of the House of Peers, their usurpation and incroachments over the Rights and freedoms of the Commons of England; come what come will, or what the utmost of their usurped might and power can inflict upon me for it,

I scorne their mercy, and dare them to do their worst: let them find Prisons, Dungeons, Irons, Halters, &c. Ile find Carkesse Neck, and Heeles, for one in contempt to their usurped jurisdiction; for resolved I am to break before I bend to their oppressions, &c. Sir I am

Yours and all mens for     
their just Rights and        
Freedoms, faithfull, to the
death.                           

Richard Overton.

FINIS.

 


 

T.91 (10.9) [Overton or Lilburne], A Reall Persecution or, The Foundation of a general Toleration (13 February, 1647).

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Title:"The Picture of an English Persecutor or, a Foole Riddeen-Mate(??state, slave) : Presbeterian Sectary"

The Rider's Speech Bubble: I should ??

The Ridden's Speech Bubble: My cursed speeches against Presbetry declares unto the world my foolery.

Page in Book: Martin's Eccho ?? ?? Martin ?? Mar- Preist

Caption below cartoon: For opposing Authority, Reviling the Assembly, Slandering the Governmnet by Presbytry and disturbing the ministers at the time of their publique exersis by giveing up bills in mockery calling the ministers preistsrideing slaves, horse leeches Cormorants gorbellyd Idoll consistory of devills etc : hath not this discoverd Ishmaels carnell Spitis persecuting godly Isaaks.

Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.91 [1647.02.13] (10.9) [Overton or Lilburne], A Reall Persecution or, The Foundation of a general Toleration (13 February, 1647).

Full title

[Overton or Lilburne], A Reall Persecution or, The Foundation of a general Toleration, Displaied and Portrayed by a proper Emblem, and adorned with the same Flowers wherewith the Scoffers of this last age have strowed their Libellous Pamphlets. Collected out of several books of the Sectaries to discover to world their wicked and abusive language against godly Presbyterian Ministers.

London, Printed for J.H. and are to be sold in Popes head Alley, 1647.

Estimated date of publication

13 February, 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 494; 669.f.10 (114.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Esay. 18. 22. Now therefore be ye not mockers, &c. 1 Pet. 3. 13. And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good. Vers. 14. But to you that suffer for righteousnesse sake, happy are ye, be not afraid of these men nor troubled. Vers. 16. Having a good conscience that whereas them that thus speak evil of you as of evil doers, they may be ashamed that thus falsly accuse you, &c.

1. MArtins Eccho, pag. 16. Loving friends and neighbours, stand still gaping with your mouths open, and quietly bow down your backs whilst you are bridled and sadled, and let the holy humble gentle Presbyterians get up and ride, &c.

2. Theyle deal very gentle with you, though the Proverb be, Set a beggar on horse-back and he will ride to the Devil.

3. Though they have spurs, yet they will not use them; yet if they do chance to gall your backs and shoulders, and force you to cry out, &c.

4. Then you shall have liberty to leap out of the frying pan into the fier, by making your appeal to the Common-councell of Presbyters.

5. Here you shall have Rehoboams answer, our fathers the Bishops chastis’d you with whips, but we will chastise you with scorpions, &c.

6. For the same power which was lately resident in an Arch-bishop, is inherent and of divine right in every Presbyter.

7. Hath not the Protestant Religion been lockt up in the brest of the Assembly.

8. Hath not your Faith been pind on their sleeve, and you must take the result of them whether it be right or wrong.

9. You have ingag’d to suppresse Prelacy, High-Commission, &c. thus you have beat the bush, but the Presbyterians have caught the bird.

10. Thus to shun the smoak, you have leapt into the fier.

11. Pag. 7. 8. Be ye mounted upon your great Horses, that trundle you to and fro from London to Westminster.

12. Mount all your Cannons, and advance like mighty men of valour, &c. even whole black Regiments of you into the Fields.

13. Pag. 21. Presbytery is but a shift at a pinch, what good the Devil will have of it, I know not.

14. Who knows the luck of a lowzy cur, he may prove a good dog.

15. Pag. 5. 6. Sir John Presbyters life is like neither, to be long nor good.

16. He will be brought to some sudden untimely end, perhaps to hanging.

17. Presbytery shall have but a short time to do mischief in, and then the people will sing, Hey tosse the Devils dead.

18. The Synod shall speedily be dissolv’d, and the Devil chaind up.

19. Rejoyce oh England, Presbytery shall shortly have never a child to vex thee, or to suck up thy fat.

20. Then farewell Assembly of Divines dissembled at Westminster, Sir Simon Synod and his son Presbyter Jack.

21. Pag. 5. The barbarous Caniball Sir John Synod, &c.

22. Let him suffer his teeth and nayles to be pluckt out and cut off by an Independent Barber.

23. That hereafter he may never bite or scratch more.

24. Well Sir Simon, if you will not mend your manners, Martin will observe all your postures.

25. An Martin will set Christopher Skale-skie, Rowland Rattle-priest, Martin Claw-clergy, and Bartholmew Bang-priest upon your back.

26. And in time these will pull down your Synod, and your sphear about your ears.

27. Behold a Troup comes, Sir Simon Martin is of the tribe of Gad.

28. Though a Troup of Sir Johns overcome him for a time, yet he will overcome him at last.

29. Martin is resolv’d to jeer you out of your black Cloaks and Cassocks.

30. Martin intends no longer to dally with you, but to handle you without mittins.

31. He’le thwack your Cassocks, and rattle your jackets.

32. He’l stamp upon the panch of your villany, and squeeze out the garbidge of your iniquity.

33. He is resolved to beat you and your son Jack into a mouse hole.

34. Ther’s not a man of Martins, but is a man of valouri and mettall.

35. These all hate a Tithe divouring Priest, as they hate the Devil.

36. You stif necked Priests, turn to Martin, lest his fierce wrath confound you and your whole posterity.

37. Harken you rebellious Assembly to Martin, and persecute no more.

38. Persecution hath a thousand Jack-tricks to block up all passages, and stop all mouths.

39. Pag. 2. He turn’d Reverend Imprimatur, and here was all as sure as the Devil and Presbyter could make it.

40. Pag. 14. We imploy Doctor Featley’s Devil to make up a Description of the Anabaptists.

In the Nativity of Presbytery.

41. That the Devil made the urchin Sir John Presbyter an abject, a fugetive newly come out of Scotland.

42. Pag. 5. Like his father the Devil, he delights in black.

43. That he is fitter to be a weather-cock, then a Divine.

44. Onely the evil spirit of Mercury presents him to be the Devils goathead.

A Pamphlet against Tithes.

45. The sabred Ordinance of Tithes was wisely thought on before the Directory.

46. Because he is worse then an Infidel, and denies the faith that provides not for his Family.

47. My Lord the Defendant, smels of a fat Benefice.

48. See, his pockets are full of presbyterian Steeples, the Spires stick under his girdle.

49. Ha, ha, ha, Instead of weather-cocks, every Spire hath got a black box on it.

50. Instead of Moses, Aaron, and the two Tables, we shall have Sir Simon, and Sir John, holding the late solemn League and Covenant.

51. And then that spotlesse sacred Ordinance of Tithes, the two Tables of our Presbyterian Gospel, painted on all the Churches in England.

52. O brave Sir Simon, the bels in your pockets chime all in; ours chime all out.

53. I pray you give us a funeral Homely for your friends before you depart, here is twenty shillings for your pains.

54. Tis Sacriledge to bring down the prise, as it was in the beginning, is now, and shall be ever more, world without end.

55. Our temporizing Doctors are not so simple to swim against the stream.

56. Their Religion moves upon the wheel of the State.

57. I would your Lordships would call in your Ordinance for Tithes, and turn them to the peoples good wils.

58. Then we should have a tithe Pig sold for a peny.

Sacred Decretall.

59. The Ordinance permitting none to Preach but such as are Ordained, is a Patten of the Spirit worse then the Monopoly of Soap.

60. Therefore we wisely consulted of a Committee of Examination to be chosen out of us.

61. It must not be esteemed a Court of Inquisition, that’s Popery.

62. Onely an inlet to a thorough Reformation, that’s a goodly name, may do much good.

63. O ye two houses of Parliament, make an other Ordinance, that all the martins may be made to fly the three Kingdoms the next Midsummer with Cuccoes and Swallows.

64. That so we may have a Blew-cap Reformation, amongst bats, owles, jackdaws, & woodcocks.

65. Then Blew-cap for us.

A Bil given up at M. Calamy’s Church as followeth.

66. You are desired to remember the Priest-Ridden-slaves that went about to gather hands for the disbanding, Sir Tho. Fairfaxes Army.

Reverend Assembly, up arise and jog,

For you have fairly fisht, and caught a frog:

Now you have sate four years, pray can you tell

A man the way, that Christ went down to Hell.

In these two years, what can a wise man think,

That you have done ought else, but eat and drink;

Presbytery climb’d to the top of fame,

Directory and all from Scotland came;

O monstrous idlenesse, alack and welly,

Our learned Clergy mind nought but their belly.

Iude 17, 18, 19.

Beloved, remember the words that were spoken by the Apostles and our Lord Iesus Christ.

How they told you there should be mockers in the last times, who should walk after their ungodly lusts.

These are they that separate themselves sensual having not the spirit.

These are they that make it their common practise and delight to cast reproach and contempt upon the Gospel, and the faithful Messengers and Ministers thereof.

London, Printed for J. H. and are to be sold in Popes head Alley. 1647.

 


 

T.92 (4.3) [Several Hands but probably a major role by William Walwyn], [also known as “The Petition of March”], To the Right Honourable and Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament assembled (March 1647).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.92 [1647.03] (4.3) [Several Hands but probably a major role by William Walwyn], [also known as “The Petition of March”], To the Right Honourable and Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament assembled (March 1647).

Full title

[Several Hands but probably a major role by William Walwyn], [also known as “The Petition of March”], To the Right Honourable and Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of many thousands, earnestly desiring the glory of God, the freedome of the Commonwealth, and the peace of all men.

 

Estimated date of publication

March 1647 (no day given).

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. ??; Thomason Note: [For the text of the Petition of John Lilburne and the London Levellers drawn up in March 1647. See below: 11 Sept. 1648. E. 464. (19*.)]

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

This Petition, along with several others from May 1647, is reprinted in Lilburne's "Rash oaths unwarrantable" (31 May, 1647) (T.97).

Text of Pamphlet

To the Right Honourable and Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of many thousands, earnestly desiring the glory of God, the freedome of the Commonwealth, and the peace of all men. [n.p.].

Sheweth,

That as no Civill Government is more just in the constitution, then that of Parliaments, having its foundation in the free choice of the people; and as the end of all Government is the safetie and freedome of the governed, even so the people of this Nation in all times have manifested most heartie affections unto Parliaments as the most proper remedie of their grievances; yet such hath been the wicked policies of those who from time to time have endeavoured to bring this Nation into bondage; that they have in all times either by the disuse or abuse of Parliaments deprived the people of their hopes: For testimony whereof the late times foregoing this Parliament will sadly witnesse, when it was not onely made a crime to mention a Parliament, but either the pretended negative voice, (the most destructive to freedome) or a speedie dissolution, blasted the fruit and benefit thereof, whilst the whole Land was overspread with all kinds of oppressions and tyranny, extending both to soule and body, and that in so rooted and setled a way, that the complaints of the people in generall witnessed, that they would have given any thing in the world for one six moneths freedome of Parliament. Which hath been since evidenced in their instant &: constant readinesse of assistance to this present Parliament, exceeding the Records of former ages, and wherein God hath blessed them with their first desires, making this Parliament the most absolute and free of any Parliament that ever was, and enabling it with power sufficient to deliver the whole Nation from all kinds of oppressions and grievances, though of very long continuance, and to make it the most absolute and free Nation in the world.

And it is most thankfully acknowledged that ye have in order to the freedome of the people suppressed the high Commission, Star-Chamber, and Councell-Table, called home the banished, delivered such as were imprisoned for matters of conscience, and brought some Delinquents to deserved punishment. That ye have suppressed the Bishops and Popish Lords, abolished Episcopacy, and that kind of Prelatick persecuting government. That ye have taken away Ship-money and all the new illegall Patents, whereby the hearts of all the well-affected were enlarged and filled with a confident hope, that they should have seen long ere this a compleat removall of all grievances, and the whole people delivered from all oppressions over soule or body: But such is our miserie that after the expence of so much precious time, of blood and treasure, and the ruine of so many thousands of honest families in recovering our Liberties, we still find this Nation oppressed with grievances of the same destructive nature as formerly, though under other notions; and which are so much the more grievous unto us, because they are inflicted in the very time of this present Parliament, under God the hope of the oppressed. For, as then all the men and women in England were made liable to the summons, attachments, sentences, and imprisonments of the Lords of the Councell-boord, so we find by wofull experience and sufferings of many particular persons, that the present Lords doe assume and exercise the same power, then which nothing is, or can be more repugnant and destructive to the Commons just liberties.

As then the unjust power of Star-Chamber was exercised in compelling of men and women to answer to Interrogatories tending to accuse themselves and others; so is the same now frequently practiced upon divers persons, even your cordiall friends that have been, and still are punished for refusing to answer to questions against themselves, and nearest relations. As then the great oppression of the high Commission was most evident in molesting of godly peaceable people, for non-conformity, or different opinion and practice in Religion, judging all who were contraryminded to themselves, to bee Hereticks, Sectaries, Schismaticks, seditious, factious, enemies to the State, and the like; and under great penalties forbidding all persons, not licenced by them, to preach or publish the Gospel: Even so now at this day, the very same, if not greater molestations, are set on foot, and violently prosecuted by the instigation of a Clergy no more infallible then the former, to the extreame discouragement and affliction of many thousands of your faithfull adherents, who are not satisfied that controversies in Religion, can be trusted to the compulsive regulation of any: And after the Bishops were suppressed, did hope never to have seen such a power assumed by any in this Nation any more.

And although all new illegall Patents are by you abolished, yet the oppressive Monopoly of Merchant-adventurers, and others, do still remain to the great abridgement of the liberties of the people, and to the extreme prejudice of all such industrious people as depend on cloathing, or other woollen manufacture, (it being the Staple commodity of this Nation,) and to the great discouragement and disadvantage of all sorts of Tradesmen, Sea-faring-men, and hindrance of Shipping and Navigation. Also the old tedious and chargable way of deciding controversies, or suits in Law, is continued to this day, to the extreame vexation and utter undoing of multitudes of Families; a grievance as great and as palpable as any in the world. Likewise, that old, but most unequall punishment of malefactors, is still Continued, whereby mens lives and liberties are as liable to the law, and corporall pains as much inflicted for small as for great offences, and that most unjustly upon the testimony of one witnesse, contrary both to the law of God, and common equity, a grievance very great, but litle regarded. Also tythes, and other enforced maintenance are still continued, though there be no ground for either under the Gospel; and though the same have occasioned multitudes of suites, quarrels and debates, both in former and latter times. In like maner, multitudes of poore distressed prisoners for debt, ly still unregarded, in a most miserable and wofull condition throughout the Land, to the great reproach of this Nation. Likewise Prison-Keepers, or Goalers, are as presumptuous as ever they were, both in receiving and detaining of Prisoners illegally committed, as cruell and inhumane to all, especially to such as are well-affected, as oppressive and extorting in their Fees, and are attended with under-officers, of such vile and unchristian demeanour, as is most abominable. Also thousands of men and women are still (as formerly) permitted to live in beggery and wickednesse all their life long, and to breed their children to the same idle and vitious course of life, and no effectual meanes used to reclaim either, or to reduce them to any vertue or industry.

And last, as those who found themselves aggrieved formerly at the burdens & oppressions of those times, that did not conform to the Church-government then established, refused to pay Shipmoney, or yeeld obedience to unjust Patents, were reviled and reproached with nicknames of Puritans, Hereticks, Schismaticks, Sectaries, or were termed factious or seditious, men of turbulent spirits, despisers of government, and disturbers of the publike peace; even so is it at this day in all respects, with those who shew any sensibility of the fore-recited grievances, or move in any manner or measure for remedy thereof, all the reproaches, evills, and mischiefs that can be devised, are thought too few or too little to bee laid upon them, as Roundheads, Sectaries, Independents, Hereticks, Schismaticks, factious, seditious, rebellious disturbers of the publike peace, destroyers of all civill relation, and subordinations; yea, and beyond what was formerly, nonconformity is now judged a sufficient cause to disable any person though of known fidelity, from bearing any Office of trust in the Commonwealth, whilest Neuters, Malignants, and dis-affected are admitted and continued. And though it be not now made a crime to mention a Parliament, yet is it little lesse to mention the supreme power of this honourable House. So that in all these respects, this Nation remaineth in a very sad and disconsolate condition; and the more, because it is thus with us after so long a session of so powerfull and so free a Parliament, and which hath been so made and maintained, by the aboundant love and liberall effusion of the blood of the people. And therefore knowing no danger nor thraldome like unto our being left in this most sad condition by this Parliament, and observing that ye are now drawing the great and weighty affaires of this Nation to some kind of conclusion, and fearing that ye may ere long bee obstructed by somthing equally evill to a negative voice, and that ye may be induced to lay by that strength, which (under God) hath hitherto made you powerfull to all good workes: whilest we have yet time to hope, and yee power to help, and least by our silence we might be guilty of that ruine and slavery, which without your speedy help is like to fall upon us, your selves and the whole Nation; we have presumed to spread our cause thus plainely and largely before you: And do most earnestly entreat, that ye will stir up your affections to a zealous love and tender regard of the people, who have chosen and trusted you, and that ye will seriously consider, that the end of their trust, was freedome and deliverance from all kind of temporall grievances and oppressions.

1. And that therefore in the first place, ye will bee exceeding carefull to preserve your just authority from all prejudices of a negative voice in any person or persons whomsoever, which may disable you from making that happy return unto the people which they justly expect, and that ye will not be induced to lay by your strength, untill ye have satisfied your understandings in the undoubted security of your selves, and of those who have voluntarily and faithfully adhered unto you in all your extremities; and untill yee have secured and setled the Common-wealth in solid peace and true freedome, which is the end of the primitive institution of all governments.

2. That ye will take off all Sentences, Fines and Imprisonments imposed on Commoners, by any whomsoever, without due course of Law, or judgement of their equalls: and to give due reparations to all those who have been so injuriously dealt withall, and for preventing the like for the time to come, that yee will enact all such Arbitrary proceedings to bee capitall crimes.

3. That ye will permit no authority whatsoever, to compell any person or persons to answer to questions against themselves, or nearest relations, except in cases of private interest between party and party in a legall way, and to release all such as suffer by imprisonment, or otherwise for refusing to answer to such Interrogatories.

4. That all Statutes, Oathes and Covenants may be repealed so farre as they tend, or may be construed to the molestation and ensnaring of religious, peaceable, well-affected people, for non-conformity, or different opinion or practice in Religion.

5. That no man for preaching or publishing his opinion in Religion in a peaceable way, may be punished or persecuted as hereticall, by Judges that are not infallible, but may be mistaken (as well as other men) in their judgements, least upon pretence of suppressing Errors, Sects or Schisms, the most necessary truths, and sincere professors thereof may bee suppressed, as upon the like pretence it hath been in all ages.

6. That ye will, for the encouragement of industrious people, dissolve that old oppressive Company of Merchant-Adventurers, and the like, and prevent all such others by great penalties for ever.

7. That yee will settle a just, speedy, plaine and unburthensome way, for deciding of controversies and suits in Law, and reduce all Lawes to the nearest agreement with Christianity, and publish them in the English Tongue, and that all processes and proceedings therein may be true and also in English, and in the most usuall Character of writing, without any abreviations, that each one who can read, may the better understand their owne affaires; and that the duty of all Judges, Officers, and practicers in the Law, and of all Magistrates and Officers in the Commonwealth may be prescribed, and their fees limited under strict penalties, and published in print to the view and knowledge of all men: by which just and equitable meanes, this Nation shall be for ever freed of an oppression more burthensome and troublesome then all the oppressions hitherto by this Parliament removed.

8. That the life of no person may be taken away, under the testimony of two witnesses at least, of honest conversation; and that in an equitable way ye will proportion punishments to offences, that so no mans life may be taken, his body punished, nor his estate forfeited, but upon such weighty and considerable causes as justly deserve such punishments; and that all prisoners may have a speedy tryall, that they be neither starved, nor their families ruined, by long and lingring imprisonment; and that imprisonment may be used onely for safe custody untill time of triall, and not as a punishment for offences.

9. That tythes and all other enforced maintenance, may be for ever abolished, and nothing in place thereof imposed; but that all Ministers may be paid onely by those who voluntarily contribute to them, or chuse them, and contract with them for their labours.

10. That ye will take some speedy and effectuall course to relieve all such prisoners for debt, as are altogether unable to pay, that they may not perish in prison through the hard-heartednesse of their Creditors; and that all such as have any estates, may bee inforced to make paiment accordingly, and not to shelter themselves in prison to defraud their Creditors.

11. That none may be Prison-keepers, but such as are of approved honestie, and that they may be prohibited under great penalties to receive or detaine any person or persons without lawfull warrant: That their usage of prisoners may be with gentlenesse and civility, their fees moderate and certain, and that they may give security for the good behaviour of their under-Officers.

12. That ye will provide some powerfull meanes to keep men, women, and children from begging and wickednesse, that this Nation may be no longer a shame to Christianity therein.

13. That ye will restraine and discountenance the malice and impudency of impious persons, in their reviling and reproaching the well-affected, with the ignominious titles of Round-heads, factious, seditious and the like, whereby your reall friends have been a long time, and still are exceedingly wronged, discouraged, and made obnoxious to rude and prophane people, and that ye wil not exclude any of approved fidelity from bearing office of trust in the Common-wealth for non-conformity; but rather Neuters and such as manifest dis-affection or opposition to common freedome, the admission and continuation of such being the chief cause of all these our grievances.

These remedies, or what other shall seem more effectuall to your grave wisdomes, we humbly pray may be speedily applied, and that in doing thereof, ye will be confident of the assistance of your Petitioners, and of all considerate well-minded people, to the uttermost of their best abilities, against all opposition whatsoever, looking upon our selves as more concerned now at last to make a good end, then at the first to have made a good beginning: For what shall it profit us, or what remedy can we expect, if now after so great troubles and miseries this Nation should be left by this Parliament in so great a thraldome, both of body, mind, and estate?

We beseech you therefore, that with all your might whilest he have time, freedome and power, so effectually to fulfill the true end of Parliaments in delivering this Nation from these and all other grievances, that none may presume or dare to introduce the like for ever.

And we trust, the God of your good successe, will manifest the integrity of our intentions herein, and that our humble desires are such, as tend not onely to our owne particular, but to the generall good of the Common-wealth, and proper for this Honourable House to grant, without which this Nation cannot be safe, or happy: And that he will blesse you with true Christian fortitude, suitable to the trust and greatnesse of the worke yee have undertaken, and make the memory of this Parliament blessed to all succeeding Generations.

Shall ever be the fervent desire of your humble Petitioners.

 


 

T.93 (4.4) William Walwyn, A Still and Soft Voice From the Scriptures Witnessing them to be the Word of God (March/April 1647).

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T.93 [1647.03] (4.4) William Walwyn, A Still and Soft Voice From the Scriptures Witnessing them to be the Word of God (March/April 1647).

Full title

William Walwyn, A Still and Soft Voice From the Scriptures Witnessing them to be the Word of God.

I Kings. 19.11.12. And he said (to Eliah) come out and stand upon the Mount before the Lord. And behold the Lord went by, and a mighty strong wind rent the Mountaines and broke the Rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind and after the wind came an Earth-quake, but the Lord was not in the Earth-quake.
And after the Earth-quake came fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire came a still and soft voice. And when Eliah heard it, he covered his face with a Mantle, etc.

Printed in the Yeare, 1647.

Estimated date of publication

March/April 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

Not listed in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

A Still and Soft Voice.

As he who is arrived to the full age of a man, and seriously considers, the severall passages and progresse of his fore past life: what he did or understood, when he was a child, a youth, a young man; a meere man, or before he came to be advised, and to consider all things by true rules of reason: is best able to deale with every one in every age and condition, to shew them their vanity, ignorance and mistakings: and to point them out the path of vertue. Experience making the best Schoole-master in things naturall and morall.

Even so is it in Religion, he only can best judge, advise and counsell others, who hath observed and most seriously considered the severall passages and progresse of his owne knowledge in things divine: yet who are so forward to judge and comptrole therein, as meere smatterers and such as have least experience.

I suppose it will be acknowledged, by all experienced Christians, that the greatest number of men and women in the world, are drawne into the consideration and Practice of Religion, by education, and custome of the place where they are bred: and that many never have any other foundation, nor motive to continue therein, then the reputation it brings them: all other religions or wayes of worship being discountenanced and out of credit, such as these are Champions for whats in fashion: ever running with the streame, and crying downe all contrary minded; Vox populi, Vox dei, the Major voice (then which nothing is more uncertain in Religion) is to these as the voice of God: and when they are zealous for vulgar opinions they thinke they are zealous for God and his truth: when they revile, abuse, and hale men before the Magistrates, and even kill and destroy them, they think they doe God good service: being zealous of the traditions of the times: for though truth should be publickly professed: yet to such as hold it only by education and custome: it is in them traditionall, and they are not truly religious; but meere morrall Christians: utterly ignorrant of the cleare Heavenly brightnesse, inherent, in pure and undefiled Religion.

But though it be evident, that there are too too many, who hold their religion, on this fraile foundation, yet it is very comfortable to behold, the sincerity of multitudes of good people in our dayes: who; not content to possesse their knowledg in a traditionall way: doe accustome themselves to try and examine all things.

Yet as it is a hard thing unto men, bred so vainly as most men are, to keepe the golden meane, in naturall or morrall Reformations: so is it difficult to preserve from extreames, in matters of religion, the reason is, because in our tryalls and examinations, we have not that heedfull care, which is absolutely necessary, to free our Judgments from absurdityes or improper things: common and vulgar arguments catching fast hold upon us too suddenly; and so we engage over violently, averring and maintayning without giving due time to our consideration to worke and debate itselfe into necessary conclusions.

The first sort of these religious persons: are deadly enemies to examination and tryall of things, we (say they) are not fit to Judge of these matters ne sutor ultra crepidam, is commonly in their mouthes: the Cobler ought not to goe beyond his last: what are the learned for, if these high things fall within the compasse of our capacities, why chuse wee wise and juditious men, more able then our selves, but to reforme, and settle Religion: if you draw them into any discourse, and endeavour to shew them their weakenesse, their only aime is how to entrap you, in your words, and if it be possible to make you obnoctious to authority.

If their ignorance and superstition appeare so grosse and palpable, that (in loving tearmes, and for their better information,) you demand how they come to know there is a God, or that the scriptures are the word of God: their common answer is, doe you deny them: it seems you doe? otherwise why doe you aske such questions? if they offer to proove by some common received argument: and you shew the weaknesse thereof: they’le goe nigh to tell you to your face, and report for certaine behind your back, to all they know, or can know, that you are an Athiest, that you deny there is a God, and deny the Scriptures to be the word of God: nor doe they hate any sort of men so much, as those who are inquisitive after knowledge, judgeing them as busie bodyes, men of unquiet spirits, that know not when they are well, or when they have sufficient: for their parts, they are constant in one, for the substance; their principles are not of yesterday but of many yeares standing: and the most learned and wise are of their way, and why should not others be as well content as they, is it fit (say they) that every one should follow his owne understanding in the worship of God, wee see what comes of it; when men once forsake the beaten Road (the Kings high way) in Religion, into how many by-pathes, doe they runne, nay, whether would they not runne, if our care were not to hedg and keepe them in.

And thus ignorance becomes many times Judge of knowledge: and the most grosse and slothfull; comptroler of the most active in Religion.

Of this sort of men there are very many; and they are made very much use of by worldly Pollititians, who have found by constant experience, that superstition is the easiest meanes to lead a multitude, this way, or that way as their occasions and purposes may require, and on the contrary, that true Religion is in it selfe as oppsite to their unjust ends, as it is to superstition and therefore if they observe any man who out of the principles of true Religion opposeth their ends; at him they let loose these ignorant and morrall Christians, furnish them with reproachfull tales, and falshoods, against him, call him Athiest Infidell, Heritick, Scismatick, any thing: which is as eagerly effected, as wickedly devised: and how to stop these mens mouthes is in my apprehention no lesse a worke then to make white a Blackamore.

Those others who are startled in their consciences, and roused by the word of God, out of this worldly way of religion, or running with the streame, it is a hard matter to hold them to a due pace, in the persute of necessary knowledge or to keepe them to a propper Method, or to obtaine this of them, that they receive nothing as a truth, which they see admiteth of an obsurdity.

But having broke loose from the bands of educated and customary religion, through necessity of conscience, and being anew to begin, they are apt hastily to take in, that which is first offered with any resemblance of truth, and so in an instant, fall into new entanglements.

For if hast, make wast in any thing, it is in pursute after knowledge: and though every considerate mans experience findeth this a truth: though it be contest by all, that there is nothing of greater concernment to man, then the truth of his Divine knowledge: though nothing doth more disturb the minde of man, then error and mistakeing in religion.

Yet is there not any thing wherein men: proceed more irregularly, or more impatiently: either they are over rash and sudden or over fearfull, and irresolute: they approach all discourse with prejudice, and a mind distempered, searching nothing throughly or orderly, but content themselves with an overly examination, and (in my apprehention) are not so disingenious in any thing, as in religion: willingly resigning and forfeiting their understandings, and Judgments, at a cheap rate then Esau did his Birthright: and so continue very long (not truly religious, but) superstitious men, alwayes amazed: neither remembring what themselves or others speake: he that once opposeth them, hath a Wolfe by the eares, hee can neither speake, nor hold his peace, without damage, they take allthings in the worst sence sigh, lament, pitty, or censure, all that sutes not with their opinion or practice: and talk or report of, any man, any thing that comes in their imaginations; those that come behind them in knowledge; are carnall: those before them desperate And therefore it may be very profitable; that the differences betwene true Religion and superstition, be made knowne to these times, more fully than it is, the one being commonly taken for the other.

Now both are best knowne by their effects: for true Religion setleth a man in peace and rest: makes him like unto the Angels, alwayes praising God and saying Glory to God on High, in earth peace, Good will towards men, it is ever provided with good intentions and good desires, maketh the best construction in doubtfull cases, see how true Christian love is described by the Apostle in the 13. to the Corinths. and that is the true Religious mans Character.

On the contrary, superstition troubleth and makes a man wilde, a superstitious man suffereth neither God nor man to live in peace, (as one well observeth from experience) he aprehendeth God, as one anxious, spiteful, hardly contented easily moved, with difficulty appeased, examining our actions after the human fashion of a severe Judge, that watcheth our steps, which hee prooveth true by his manner of serving him, hee trembleth for feare is never secure, fearing he never doth well, and that he hath left some thing undone, by omission whereof, all is worth nothing that he hath done.

But generally now a dayes, (contrary to former tymes) the superstitious mans devotion costs him litle, he hath somuch worldly wit in his zeale, as to save his purse, hot and fiery against heresie and blasphemy, (which are titles he freely bestowes on all opinions, contrary to his own, true or false), he will course his poor neighbour out of all he hath, yea out of the Nation, if he can not course him into his opinion: and all upon pretence of doing God service and for the good of his soule.

As for his body, or estate, thats no part of his care, hee is not so hasty to runn into his poore neighbours house, to see what is wanting there, hee may ly upon a bed, or no bed, covering or no covering, be starved through cold and hunger, over burthened with labour, be sick, lame or diseased: and all this troubles not the superstitious mans (nor the morall Christians) Conscience: he may through want and necessity goe into what prison he will, and ly and rott and starve there: and these kind of Religious people are not halfe so much moved at it, as if he goe to another Church or congregation, then what they approove: if hee doe so, upstarts their zeale; and after him, watch, spy, accuse and informe: and all for the good of his soule: and for the Glory of God.

One would not think it were possible man could be so blind, or so inconsiderate as to immagin, that God would be thus mocked, thus madly served, contrary to the whole tenor of the Scriptures, but such are the effects of educated, customary or superstitious Religion.

Whilst the effects of pure and undefiled Religion, are another thing: as Feeding the hungry, Cloathing the naked, Visiting the sick, the Fatherlesse, the Widdowes and Prisoners: and in all things walking as becometh the Gospell of Christ: it will empty the fullest Baggs: and pluck downe the highest plumes.

And whoever serveth God sincerely in this Religion, shall be knowne by his fruites: his light shall so shine before men, that they seeing his good Workes, shall Glorify our Father which is in heaven.

But of these there are few to bee found; and as few that truly labour, to reclaime those many thousands of miserable people that are drencht all their life long in grosse ignorance, and notorious loathsome wickednesse: Yet there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more then for ninety nine just persons that need no repentance: Why talke wee so much of Christianity, holinesse, and saintship, whilst wee neglect the lost sheep, or the recovery of our brethren from those Errors of their wayes.

The plain truth is, this grosse neglect of known duty herein, and the generall eagernesse in the lesse necessary parts of zeale and devotion, manifesteth the world is not subdued; that there is little selfe-deniall, little of pure and undefiled Religion as yet in the world: men content themselves with forms of godlinesse, but are regardlesse of the power thereof.

And therefore I have been the lesse troubled in my selfe; for the hard measure I have found: amidst so great a mixture of worldlinesse, ignorance, and superstitious zeale, why should one looke for much ingenuity, these times have but cast an eye towards the materiall parts of true Christianity: It is not yet knowne what it is, in its excellency, the end and issue thereof, is too good to bee deserved, or discerned, by a people that are not yet broad awake, they strike him that brings them more light; then they can well endure.

All the evill and reproach I have suffered, hath beene by occasion of my forwardnesse to do others good: my freenesse in discourse, though harmlesse in it selfe, and intended for good, hath been perverted, misconstrued, and made use of to my prejudice.

I accompt nothing more vain, then to discourse meerly for discourse sake, nay, it is painfull and ircksome to me, to heare a discourse that is not really necessary and usefull, nor doe I know, that I have ever purposely set my self to debate any serious matter, slightly or carelessely, though cheerefully.

And my manner is, whatever is in debate, to search it thorowly, being of an opinion, that, what is really true, stands the firmer, for being shaken: like a house that is built upon a rock.

I have been much troubled, to observe men earnestly engage to maintaine the strongest maximes and principles by weak arguments; the weaknesse whereof, I have endevoured to manifest, that I might discover the weaknesse of such practises, and to make it evident, that fundamentall truthes support all things, and need no supporters: Thou bearest not the root, but the root, thee.

But this my free dealing (with uncharitable or superstitious people) hath found this evill returne, they have reported me, to deny that there is a God, when I have only denyed the validity of a weak argument, produced to prove that there is a God; it being too too common to insist upon meere notionall indigested arguments: so also have I been most uncharitably slandered to deny the Scriptures to bee the word of God, because I have opposed insufficient arguments produced to prove them such: and because at the same time I have refused to shew the grounds inducing me to beleeve them.

Now it hath been my lot to be drawne into discourses of this nature for the most part by timorous, scrupulous, people, in whom, I have discovered so much impatience, and discontent, at the shaking of their arguments, that I have not discerned any reason to open my selfe at that time; yet I never parted with any of them, but I alwayes professed that I did believe, both that there is a God, & that the Scriptures are the Word of God, though I judged their grounds not good; and withall, that if they would be so ingenious as to acknowledge the weaknesse of their arguments, I would then shew them my ground of faith; or if at any time they stood in need, I would not be wanting to the uttermost of my power to supply them, but I have seldome found any, who in the heat of contest and prosecution of dispute, have been qualified, to receive, what I had to say, touching this matter, their apprehension and mine being at too great a distance therein.

But I blesse God it is not so ill with me, as some bad minded men desire, nor as some weak and scrupulous men imagin.

And there are some ingenious men, with whom I have daily converst, that know I doe acknowledge and beleeve there is a God, and that the Scriptures are the Word of God.

Yet the testimony of men in this case to mee is little; my owne conscience being as a thousand witnesses.

That there is a God: I did never beleeve through any convincing power I have ever discerned by my utmost consideration of any natural argument or reason I ever heard or read: But it is an unexpressible power, that in a forcible manner constraines my understanding to acknowledge and beleeve that there is a God, and so to beleeve that I am fully perswaded there is no considerat man in the world but doth believe there is a God.

And, That the Scriptures are the Word of God, I shall clearly make the same profession. That I have not beleeved them so to be, by force of any argument I have ever heard or read, I rather find by experience, most, if not all arguments, produced in prejudice thereof: (Art, argument, and compulsive power, in this case holding resemblance with the mighty strong wind, the Earth quake and fire, distracting, terrifying and scorching the minds of men) but I beleeve them through an irresistible perswasive power that from within them (like unto the soft still voyce wherein God was) hath pierced my judgment and affection in such sort, that with aboundance of joy and gladnesse I beleeve, and in beleeving have that Peace which passeth all utterance or expression; and which hath appeared unto me after so many sad conflicts of a distracted conscience, and wounded spirit, that it is to me a heaven upon earth: It being now long since, I blesse God, that I can truly say, My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise: In other respects, I conceive the most holy upon earth, if they give impartiall care to this voyce, will finde no cause to boast or to finde fault with others, but as Eliah to cover their faces with a mantle.

And truly were it not that too too many pretenders to Religion, are over apt to receive false reports (which is a most uncharitable disposition) and over prone to make the worse construction, which is altogether unchristian, it had beene impossible for any to have abused me in these or any other respects.

But it will be needfull for all such, seriously to lay to heart, that they ought to do as they would be done unto in all things, that he who seemeth to bee religious and bridles not his tongue, that mans religion is vaine.

That he who boasteth to beleeve a God, and the Scriptures to be the Word of God, and glorieth in his ability of exposition thereof: yet applieth it to the discovery of a mote in his brothers eye, rather then a beame in his own: he whose expressions and actions do demonstrate him to say within himselfe, Lord I thank thee, I am not as other men, extortioners, unjust adulterers, nor as this Publican: This man who ever he be, is not yet got through the lesson of the Pharisies; that were wise in their owne eyes, and despised others.

But it would be much more profitable to society and good neighbourhood that there were a more exact accompt taken by every man of his owne wayes; it is verily thought most men neede not goe abroad for want of work, if either pride, covetousnesse, backbiting, unreasonable jealosy, vanity of minde, dotage upon superfluities: with hard heartedness to the poore: were thought worthy of Reformation.

To be zealous in lipp service, or to expresse our devotion, in censuring of others, yeelds neither honour to God, nor good to man.

Who were more blinde, then those who said are wee blind, also? the Angell of the Church of Laodicea, boasted that he was rich, and increased with goods and had neede of nothing: and knew not that he was wretched, and misserable and poor and blind and naked.

Wee have many now a dayes, who are doubly unjust and thinke not of it; they are partiall and favourable in examining and corecting of themselves: and severe towards others, when as they ought to be severe towards themselves: and favourable towards others.

And it is a fault not easily mended: it requires a greater power of true religion to doe it, then the most have as yet attained, if one may judge by the Fruites: and therefore it will be good for every one to neglect that which is behinde, and to presse forward to the marke, for the price of the high Calling of God which is in Jesus Christ: either renounce the Name, or let your practice demonstrate, that you are a Christian.

Hee who greedily receiveth a hard report of his neighbour, is not provided of charitable and loving thoughts as he ought; and if he report any evill, before he be certaine of the truth thereof, hee is a slanderer; and when hee is certaine it is true, if he report it with delight, it argues him of malice.

He who is glad of his neighbours defamation, would not be sory at his ruine: a slanderer would be a murderer but for feare: and therefore, every honest vertuous religious man should shun a slanderer, as he would shun a Serpent.

And thus having said enough to free my self from this slander (if religious people will but study ingenuity, which hath been too much wanting amongst them) the whole course of my actions, writings and discourses, evidencing the contrary to all that throughly know me: and this my profession being added to, satisfie those that know me but by hearsay: I have done: judging it a small thing to be judged of any, or of mans judgement; Who art thou that judgest another mans servant, to his owne master, hee standeth or falleth.

The liberty of my native Country, and the freedome of all consciencious people hath been, and still is pretious in my esteeme: nor shall I be discouraged (by any the unworthy slanders cast upon me) from a just and due prosecution of both, according to my place and calling: I shall make bold to deceive the deceiver and his instruments therein: I should be glad to see the Educated and customary morall Christians become Christians indeed, and cease to persecute: I should exceedingly rejoyce to see the superstitious, become really religious, and to see babes; become strong men in Christ, and all bend their endevours to deliver the captive, and set the oppressed free, to reclaime the vicious, and to labour the saving of the lost sheep of the house of England: To see Charity abound, and all envy, malice, and worldly mindednesse to cease for ever, and not to be named amongst us, as becommeth Saints indeed: to see all men ingenious, loving, friendly and tender-hearted one towards another: but I must neither be silent, nor slothfull till I see it, nor sorow as one without hope of seeing it: but through evill report, and good report, do my duty? patiently expecting a good issue? laboring in all estates to be content; knowing there is no temptation hath taken hold upon others, but may befall unto me. In the mean time, knowing all terrestriall things to be but vain and transitory, my chiefest comfort is, that I desire to know Nothing save Jesus Christ and him crucified: accounting all things as losse and dung, that I may be found in Christ, not having my own righteousnesse which is of the Law, but the righteousnesse which is of God in him.

I have no quarrell to any man, either for unbeleefe or misbeleefe, because I judge no man beleeveth any thing, but what he cannot choose but beleeve; it is misery enough to want the comfort of true beleeving, and I judge the most convincing argument that any man can hold forth unto another, to prove himselfe a true sincere beleever, is to practice to the uttermost that which his faith binds him unto: more of the deeds of Christians, and fewer of the arguments would doe a great deale more good to the establishing of those that stagger: It being not the leaves but the fruit that nourisheth and carrieth the seed with it. Shew me thy faith by thy workes; If I have all faith and have not love, I am as sounding brasse, or as a tinckling cymball, if faith worke, it workes by love: Let us all therefore hence-forth walk in love, even as Christ hath loved, and hath given himseife an offering and a sacrifice for us: to whom bee glory and dominion for ever.

Amen.

By William Walwyn, Merchant:
(there being a Minister of the same name.)

FINIS

 


 

T.94 (10.10) [Richard Overton], A new found Stratagem framed in the old Forge of Machivilisme (4 April, 1647).

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T.94 [1647.04.04] (10.10) [Richard Overton], A new found Stratagem framed in the old Forge of Machivilisme (4 April, 1647).

Full title

[Richard Overton], A New Found Stratagem framed in the old Forge of Machivilisme, and put upon the Inhabitants of the County of Essex. To destroy the Army under his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, and to inslave all the Free-born of England on a sudden: Manifested and laid down, in certain animadversions, upon a Clandestine, illegall Petition, contrived, made, and privatly printed, by a destructive party in London: and then by them sent down to the Ministers of the county of Essex, to publish as on the last Lords day, 4. April, to the people, with directions to take their subscriptions in two sheets of paper: which being done: So many of the Subscribers as can, are to be desired to meet at Stratford Langton, the 18. instant Aprill, and so to come and present the same to both Houses, as the Petition and sense of the whole County : whereas it was never propounded to the County, nor ever heard of among them, before it came down ready in print, from London, to be published by their Ministers, in there severall parishes. With certain Observations and Cautions on the same, conducing to the information, and publick good of the whole Kingdome.

Psalme 37.12, 13. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth· The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is comming.

Published principally for the Meridian of the County of Essex, but may serve for all the Counties of England, 1647.

Estimated date of publication

4 April, 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 503; E. 384. (11.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

A new found STRATAGEM:

Framed in the old Forge of Machiavelisme, and put upon the Inhabitants of the County of Essex:

The which intended, Clandistine, dissembled, deceitfull Petition, (not more spetious then treacherous) is as followeth, viz.

To the right honourable, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, Assembled in Parliament

The humble Petition of the Inhabitants of the County of Essex.

Humbly sheweth,

THat in alexigencies having freely, & with the first engaged themselves to the uttermost hazard of their lives, and exhausted their estates, for the support of the Kingdome, in its native rights, and liberties, & by the blessing of God, the successes have been answerable in some degree to their desires, by which we sit in peace and your selves in security, with a full possession of the hearts of the people, and now fearing least by the miscarrying on, of the military charges beyond the necessity of the worke, and the ability of the people, now much weakned by a dearth, sharper then the late devouring sword; you should hazard the losse of your selves, and friends, not so much the alienation of their affections (which yet. Is not to be neglected) as their disablity to serve you which may arise from the Army now on foot, after six moneths cessation of all hostility here, and so bleedingly called, for to the saving of another Kingdome:

And also from so numerous a party in this County, shortly by their quarters like to equall all precedent charges, and to surmount the worst, and heaviest of our former taxes, especially by the manner of being imposed on us

Your Petitioners doe humbly offer to your prudence, the speedy disbanding of the Army, as a plenary expedient against the worst, that in generall may be feared by you and us, and the removall of it from the County, by which you shall continue absolute Masters, and disposers of them, and theirs in all your pious and faithfull undertakings for the future; and that God will assist you for all your safeties, it shall be the dayly prayers of your Petitioners.

Certain Animadversions and Observations upon the said Petition.

O Foolish men of Essex! who hath be witched you? yee did run well, who hath hindred you? for indeed ye were with the first, and most forward, in assisting the Parliament, for the recovering and regaining our then lost Lawes and liberties and (to your everlasting fame be it spoken) yee have (according to the narrative part of the Petition) both hazarded your lives, and exhausted your estates, in the common cause of the Kingdome; but yee are not alone. And will yee doe and suffer all these things in vain, if it be yet in vain? Will yee now foolishly (through the delusion of a treacherous party of corrupt members in both Houses, and covetuous ambitious Clergy, who seeke by fayned words, and false pretences to insnare, and inslave you, and to make themselves Lords over you) deprive your selves of all the blessed fruits which yee are likely, and may (by Gods blessing) suddenly reape and enjoy? if yee your selves doe not let, by being induced causlesty to Petition: or act, for the disbanding of that Army, by whom God hath given you such answerable successes as your selves mention, and caused you as yee confesse) to sit in peace, and the House in security, in which your free acknowledgment, I acknowledge you, farre more noble then the House themselves; for instead of giving God so much glory, or shewing themselves so much as verbally thankfull, by any such acknowledgement, they committed Major Tewledy the other day, only because he told Hollis Earle, and others in effect, the same thing.

And whereas it is said in the pretended Petition that the Parliament is in full possession of the hearts of all the people, how true this claw-back insinuation is, I appeale to your own hearts and aske, whether yee do not heare more clamours and complaints then ever heretofore, and doe not see more injustice, cruelty, and oppressions exercised and executed by the Parliament, then ever was by the King, and feel more abundant, and heavy pressures and impositions laid upon you, (even to your necessary food and raiment, and the fruit of your own laboures) then ever were in the worst of former times? so that the people, abhor them and all their actions, they are weary of their burdens; and how then can yee affirme that the Parliament is fully possessed of the peoples hearts, when as they are rather possessed of their hates?

As for that subtill suggestion of feare, in which is implied a specious pretence of a care to avoid a future inconuenience, viz. least by carrying on the Military charges beyond the necessity of the worke (as if there were now no need of the Army, and that if it was disbanded, yee should be troubled no more with such military taxes and charges) and the ability of the people, (as if Essex was so poore and eaten up, which hath been least troubled with quartering) now much weakned with a dearth (not more I hope then other Countries (sharper then the late devouring sword (God for bid, doe not bely God) you should hazard the losse of your selves and friends, and not so much the alination of their affections, as their disability to serve you &c. It is both groundlesse and senslesse for if this Army were now disbanded, the Parliament would still carry on the military charge, by raising them another in this Armies stead, and to that end they have both nominated certain officers which they intend to imply therein, and voted the raising of 60000 l. a moneth to maintain it and the forces in Ireland: So that the taking away this Army, will not take away the military charge from you, and the Parliament it seems would never the lesse hazard the losse of your good affections, and ability to serve them, and therefore yee may even spare that your great care for them, and it is very probable you may suddenly (if you doe not already) find that they have no such great care of you.

And where it is said that by quartering so us any of them, their quarters are like shortly to equall all precedent charges, & to surmount the worst and heaviest of your taxes, especially by the manner of their being imposed on you: Your Taxes sure have either been few, and very small in respect of others, or else the quartering of this Army which is (as I have heard) content with ordinary provisions, and will not abide I am confident longer then is convenient with you, and payeth quarters so often as it receiveth pay, cannot amount to such your incomparable prejudice, as those high and hyperbollical> expressions (of amounting and surmounting) doe sound forth, and import: and as for the manner of their being imposed on you, I doe beleeve it is neither forceably, nor disproportionably: but this particular his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, their Generall (who was never yet taxed for any irregular quarterings) can more distinctly answer; and so I have done with the narative part of your pretended, or intended Petition.

Now whereas in the conclusion, or Petitionary part, yee are humbly to offer the speedy disbanding of the Army, as a plenary expedient, against the worst that may in generall be feared by you and them, and to have it removed out of your County, that so the Parliament (as yee must say, but I hope doe not wish) may be absolute Masters and disposers of you and yours for the future &c. I would have you observe that here is a dainty gul, a notable peece of machiavilisme put upon you, not only to make you the instruments of removing those, who as they have redeemed your rights and liberties, are also ready and willing, and the principall meanes, as the things now stand, to defend and maintain your liberties, and to keep you and yours from sudden vasalage and slavery; but also in plain termes voluntarily to offer your selves slaves; as, that the Parliament shall be the absolute Masters and disposers of you and yours: I hope yee know better what belongs to your own inherent power and native rights, then to make your servants your Masters, or so to own them: as to let your Stewards, have absolute command over you, and all you have; who by the duty of their places are to give you an account of what they have done for you, and how they have disposed that they have already had of you: Thus much for the opening of the Petition: And now I will shew you the illegality, inequality, and ill consequences thereof, if yee be so fond as to subscribe the same, and proceed therein.

1. For the illegallity: That which is to go under the name of a County or Corporation ought to be first publickly propounded to all the Inhabitants of that County or Corporation, that there may be a generall meeting, debate, & consultation about the matter intended, and to be concluded, by & among themselves: Otherwise it is clandestine, and surruptitious comprehending rather faction, then publick concurrence & therefore may justly be rejected: And such is this Petition, For it was never publickly propounded, nor debated, or consulted by the Inhabitants of the County of Essex, but was (as manifestly appears) secretly devised, and framed by a private party, of Lords and Commons, yea, and ready printed, before the matter was either made known or published among you; and then it was sent down to the Ministers to publish on the fourth of this instant moneth, with order to take your subscriptions in two sheetes of paper, now is not here an obtrusion on your priviledges and immunities, and an illegall, unjust and indirect course used, both in the framing of this petition, and getting your subscriptions? (even just such meanes as Parliament men, use in the elections of new members) and therefore it is not to be accepted, but the contrivers ought rather to be found out and punished; and again it wants one qualification, which is especially requisite in all Petitions, and much more in such as concerns the publick, and are presented to the Parliament, that is necessity of the thing desired, but this is not petitio nessec[Editor: illegible word], a necessary petition for, if the Parliament intend his Army (as they say) for Ireland it is much more necessary to keep them in a body intire, then to disband them; for then they will disperse, and most will depart to their own homes, and never goe upon the service: and in case they doe nor intend or [Editor: illegible word] shall goe for Ireland, then it is as needfull to keep them together, for seeing that the Parliament doe conclude that there is yet a necessity of keeping up an Army still within this Kingdome, is it not better (I pray you) to have this Army which we know, and of whose fidelity and Christian behaviour we have hade such sufficient experiment continued, then a new Army raised, of I know not whom and what? It may be of such as the generall part of the Earle of Essexes, or Massies Brigade, and others were; whose ill manners, besides other unseen all consequences yee wil unhappily find to be a mountain to your backs in comparison of the present Mole hill quarterings.

And now for the inequality of this Petition : it containes mighty earnest desires to have this Army speedily disbanded, seems to complain greatly of their quartering but never moves or mentions one word that their arreares may be paid them, or that from henceforth more constant pay may be made them, that so they may for the future pay their [Editor: illegible word] better. Have they deserved for all they have done Country-men) for you, and the whole Kingdome, no better reward, then to be disbanded and turned off with nothing? What not so much as their due (the price of their lives) for preserving of yours? Is this equall? Are yee also unjust and ingratfull? Aske your daily Thresher, your plow-man, and dayes Labourer if they will be contented with the like dealing? A bad accompence; yet, let them be, comforted. God is their [Editor: illegible word] and their great reward.

As for the evill consequences of this Petition (or of the like) incase yee should persist and proceed therein, and that it should (as it ought not to) be granted, they are many and more then I, or you, or the most part of this blind Kingdome, doth or can fore-see or apprehend but I will only hint at one head or two, and so commend all to the judgements of the world and your consideration.

By all appearances (and to me it is visible) that there is a strong endevour and designe by a company of false, traiterous, and deceitfull men; in both Houses of Parliament, and of proud, coveteous Priests, who have combined in one, for the accomplishment of their owne domination & power over us, suddenly to inthrall & inslave us; that so they may keep their abominable actions from being questioned, and themselves from deserved shame and justice, and there is no let for them in the way to it but this Army, the which they know right well will not be corrupted, but doth expect to have their Oathes and Declarations fulfilled, and therefore doe these ill men work by all means possibly to disband and dissolve it, and in particular by the contriving and sending you this Petition to own and subscribe, that they may take thereby a seeming just cause, as desired of the Country, to proceed in their distructive purpose, the which if they can bring to passe, then will they raise up an Army of wicked men, ready, and reserved for that end, which shall be a standing Army for their defence, in the execution of all their injustice and oppressions, and by the helpe of the inland Garrisons (whereof I am sure there is now no need) will they tyrannize (not like Lords and Kings, but worse then either great Turke, or grim Tarter) over us: and and where then I pray, is our Lawes and our liberties, for which this Army hath fought; and which they have redeemed for us with their sword, and for which we have paid so deare? And thus yee will have the last clause of the Petition fulfilled really, to your sorrow and woe; for yee shall not more be ruled by a known Law, as free men of England, but curbed and governed by the sword, as the Peasants be of France, and the inslaved Bores of Flanders who indeed (as your Petition is) are wholly and all they have at their lawlesse Masters dispose, Nay they will not tyrannize over your bodies only, but your soules also; for then you must put on the Presbyterian yoake; it is already so agreed between them and our dear Brethren of Scotland, and because they cannot otherwise set up amongst us that antichristian inslaving government, they will doe it by the sword, and so we shall have a Religion established, as Mahomet established his Alchoran, for if yee will not obey, yee must expect either smart, pecuniary punishment, or destroying, imprisonment: and yee may see the proud Priests footing even in this Petition: is it not commended unto them, and are not they to attempt you on a sudden, and to surprise your judgements by fained words and speeches? and I beleeve you see not their end in it, it is because they know that this Army is generally an enemy to their pride, and pompous Lordly livings, crying down their Diana, their Tyth-monging and unlawfull calling, wheresoever they come, whereby their trade (for so they make their preaching only and alone to be) is in danger to be set at naught; and it is by their craft (as Demetrius said) that they get their wealth, and therefore would they stir up you, under the pretence that the quartering of the Army, is a burden to you, to Petition to have them disbanded, at least to have them removed.

But I hope Country-men yee are more wise, then to be acted by other mens councels, to father a child that is none of your own, that was formed, borne, and brought forth, before it came to your knowledge or sight: can any man tell better then your selves, where your shooe pincheth you, and what is most expedient for you to doe? Never render your selves so rediculous, as to be led like children and fooles by the nose; to be made stalking horses for other mens designes, whose interests are dissonant, and inconsistant with yours.

As for this poor Army, what evill hath it done, wherein hath it so highly offended? for which of all its good deeds is it so oppressed, despised, hated, and persecuted? Is it (when all others falsified) for proving faithfull, or for accomplishing your deliverance, beyond your own faith or expectation) in so short a time: pardon them these offences, another Nation would doe it, and hold them dear, their very enemies cannot but justifie them, and yet so great is their malice towards them, that because they petitioned the House but for their Arrears, an act of indempnity to save them harmelesse, a more constant pay, that they might be able to pay their quarters, and some few other most just and reasonable things; they unjustly declared against them in print, as mutinous, and obstructers to the releife of Ireland, wheras (God knowes) there are many thousands spare Soldiers besides in this Kingdome, whom they might if they would) send thither.

And when their Officers, Lieutenent generall Hamond, Commissary Ireton, and others appealed to the House: and desired that these malicious suggestions might be proved, or the Authors punished, and the Army vindicated; they could not obtain so much as civill right, as the authors of these false aspertions which were Rossiter and Harley) to be called forth; an act both base and shamefull but what is to be expected, where justice is fortified with impudence.

One word more to you sweet men of Essex. Whose poultery hath this Army destroyed? whose goods have they spoyled, or whose sheep or calves have they stolne, or whose persons have they confronted, terrified or abused in their Houses, or what markets have they hindred by robbing of passengers, and infesting the roades and high wayes, as too many others yee know who have been lesse provoked, have done? If none of this be done, what just cause then have yee, I say yee, more then all other Counties, where they have been, to complain or petition against them? I could tell you: that yee have every man sat at home under his Vine, and under his fig tree with full tables in peace and safety, when these poor soules have been in the field in the face of death, in frost, snow, rain, cold, heat, wet, and dirt, by day, by night, in hunger and thirst, to keep back from you, and to suppresse the fury of your bloodthirsty enemies: and can you, or any christian man think on this, and so ill reward this precious Army? In reason it is impossible, but experience proves the contrary, so full of bitternesse, rage and malice, hath the Devill filled the hearts of some men against them; but of you I have better hopes, presuming that yee will not be so easily removed from your own steadfastnesse, nor be perswaded through the deluding subtilty of any, to act in the least against those, who have indured so many difficulties, passed so many perrils, obtained so many victories, and never accounted their own lives deare unto them for your sakes. Whatsoever others may doe, either, through ignorance or malice, yet let it not be said, that the County of Essex (a County that hath alwaies been esteemed prudent and religious) did shew it selfe ingratfull or despightfull to the preservers both of their religion and lives.

Truly in my thoughts this Army can never be enough requited, for doe wee not at this day, (next under God) by them enjoy all wee have? Have not they subdued our enemies, and removed our feares, and caused us to dwell in safety? And are not they a contented, patient, well governed people, can you say that God is not amongst them? then certainly they that hate and despite them are of the Devill.

For my part (Country-men and all others whom it may concern) I hold nothing more expedient for you, and me, and all true English men (seeing the publick adversary is subdued, and our Parliament so averse, and indisposed to do us justice and establish our liberties) then to petition forthwith effectually, to have justice speedily, and impartially executed, and our Lawes and liberties established, and a just account rendered of all the monies they have received: and without question when these just things are done, the Army will of its own accord cease and lay down. I account this that unum Necessarium, that one necessary thing, which is now principally to be minded in the Kingdome, & not to petition about quarterings, and removings, and preachings, and places, and any thing indeed, rather then this very, only thing, without which all other our outward enjoyments are nothing, was but one thing done (Law, and liberty established) the wheels of our State would goe easily, commands would be pleasant, discontents would be removed, injustice, oppression and Treason would be banished, and supplanting dividing spirits would be utterly disappointed. In the meane time till this be done, it is the best and only way for the Countries and free commoners of England, to preserve this Army in power and being, and to petition that it may still stand and be continued, and that others (rather then it) may be sent into Ireland, that so in case these just demands be denied, contrary to duty, Oath and Covenant, the poore Commons may have a shelter and defence to secure them from oppression and violence, and his Excellency and every Soldier under him by the duty of his place, and vertue of the Protestation, is bound thereunto. Who knoweth whether wee may not yet have as great need of this Army, as we have ever had? For it is evident and all men may see, that our native rights and liberties are now in more hazard, then they were at the first, and that we are more in jeoperdy, of them by a close trayterous party (our pretended friends) then wee were by our publick professed foes. And our greatest, and most dangerous enemies, are now they of our own House.

Sweet friends, I am a meer stranger to you, but one that am a true lover of my Country, and therefore thought good, as a Member of the same body politicke with you, to give you a few animadversions, with some cautions, and observations; concerning the subtill and deceitfull, dissembled practises, wherewith your homebred adversaries, goe about to make you instruments of your own misery and mischief. And lastly, mark this I beseech you and consider it seriously.

Why cannot the Parliament as well send over those Officers and Soldiers they have intended for a new Army here, to serve in Ireland, as these of this Army? Can they give the Kingdome a satisfying reason? It is more then I and many more can apprehend, if they can: But if here ly not a deep mistery, no better then close treacherie. I am grosly mistaken. Let none therefore so farre delude you, as to draw you to petition for the disbanding of this Army, no, both for your honour and security, discountenance and disclaime it and all such practises and conspiracies against it, for such deeds will favour more of ignorance, malice and invie then of any prudence, justnesse, or necessity, and whereas in the close of the Petition, it is said that the disbanding of this Army is a plenary expedient against the worst in generall that may be feared, let them by no meanes under pretence of benefit, ease, or advantage, deceive you, for it is apparent, and will yet be made more manifest that the disbanding, or otherwise dissolving of this Army, is the only plenary expedient to render us Vassals and slaves, to the will of our enemies, and to bring upon us the worst of miseries, and that suddenly and insensibly, for alasse we are at the pit brinke, and see not.

FINIS.

 


 

T.95 (4.5) John Lilburne, The resolved mans Resolution, to maintain with the last drop of his heart blood, his civill Liberties and freedomes (30 April 1647).

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T.95 [1647.04.30] (4.5) John Lilburne, The resolved mans Resolution, to maintain with the last drop of his heart blood, his civill Liberties and freedomes (30 April 1647)

Full title

John Lilburne, The resolved mans Resolution, to maintain with the last drop of his heart blood, his civill Liberties and freedomes, granted unto him by the good, just, and honest declared lawes of England, (his native Country) and never to sit still, so long as he hath a tongue to speake, or a hand to write, til he hath either necessitated his Adversaries, the house of Lords, and their Arbitrary Associates in the house of Commons, either to doe him justice and right, by delivering him from his causelesse and illegall imprisonment, and out unto him, legall and ample reparations, for all his unjust sufferings or else send him to Tyburne: of which he is not afraid, and doubteth not if they doe it, but at and by his death, to doe them (Sampson like) more mischief, then he did them all his life. All which is expressed and declared in the following Epistle, written by Lieut. Coll. John Lilburne, Prerogative Prisoner in the Tower of London, to a true friend of his, a Citizen thereof, Aprill 1647.

Isaiah 1.23, 24. Thy Princes are rebellious and Companions of Thieves, every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they Judge not the fatherlesse, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of host, the mighty one of Israel, Abel will use me of my adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies.
Acts 13 6, 7, 8. But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadduces, and the other Pharasees, be cryed out in the Councell, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the sonne of a Pharisee: of [...]e hope and resurrection of the dead, I am called in question. And when be had so said, there arosee a dissertion between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was devided. For the Sadduces say that there is no resurrection neither Angel nor Spirit: but, the Pharisees confesse both. And there arose a great cry: and the Scribes that were of the Pharisees part, arose and [...] saying; We find no evill in this man: but if a Spirit, or an Angel hath spoken to him, let us not [...] against God.
Acts 15.8. While he answered for himselfe, Neither against the law of the Jewes, neither against the Temple, nor yet against Caesor, have I offended any thing at all. Verse 16. To whom [...] answered, it is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die before that he which is accused, have the accuser face to face, and have licence to answer for himselfe concerning the crime against him.
Acts 22.25. And as they bound him with things, Paul said unto the Centurion that stood by, is it lawfull for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and be condemned, and verse 28. But Paul said, [...] was free borne.

This tract contains the following parts:

  1. The resolved mans Resolution
  2. To the Honourable Committee of the Honourable House of Commons, for suppressing of scandalous Pamphlets. The humble Addresses of Lieut. Col. John Lilburne, Prerogative Prisoner in the Tower of London. Feb. 8. 1646.
  3. The proceedings of Mrs. Walter in the Parliament with the House of LORDS
  4. A note of all the Swords, Belts, and Holsters for Pistols, and Bandeliers That Major Liburne caused to be brought into the Magazine at Boston.

 

Estimated date of publication

30 April 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 506; Thomason E. 387. (4.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Isaiah 1. 23, 24. Thy Princes are rebellious, and Companions of Thieves, every one loveth gifts, and followith after rewards: they Judge not the fatherlesse, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hast, the mighty one of Israel, Abel will use me of my adversaries, and avenge me of nine enemies.

Acts 13 6, 7, 8. But when Paul rerceived that the one part were Sadduces, and the other Pharasees he cryed out in the Councell, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the sonne of a Pharisee: of little hope and resurrection of the dead, I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissertion between the Pharisees and the Sadduces: and the multitude was devided.For the Sadduces say that there it no resurrection neither Angel nor Spirite but the Pharisees confesse both. And there arose a great cry: and the Scribes that were of the Pharisees part, arose and strove saying; We find no evill in this man: but if a Spirit, or an Angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God.

Acts 15. 8. While he answered for himselfe, Neither against the law of the Jewes, neither against the Temple, nor yet against Caesar, have I offerded any thing at all. Verse 16. To whom it was answered, it is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to dye before that he which is accused, have the accuser face to face, and have licence to answer for himselfe concerning the crime against him.

Acts 22, 25. And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the the Centurian that stood by, is it lawfull for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and be condemned, and verse 28. But Paul said, that I was freebome.

TRue friend, after my reall respect presented unto [Editor: illegible word] &c. I desire to informe you that I am told, you are very much troubled at the proceedings with the Committee of the House of Commons, upon Munday, the 8. of Feb. 1646. That after I had stood so stifly at the beginning with them, upon the Lawes, Rights and priviledges every free man of the Kingdome, that I should undoe all, and let my firme hold goe, by answering at last to their Interrogatories, by which you say, I undid all I had done, and went against my owne declared principles, and not only so but by owning my book, have exposed my selfe to a great deale of hazard and danger, which I might easily have avoyded, if I had not answered their Interogatory.

Vpon serious consideration hereof, I judge my selfe bound in duty to my selfe, to write these lines unto you, for your satisfaction, and my own vindication, and therefore J shall begin to give you so true and reall a Narrative of my whole proceedings with them, as the utmost of my memory will inable me, part of which you your selfe were an eye and eare witnesse unto, and it was in this manner. About 9. o clock upon the foresaid Munday, Lewis a servant to the Sergeant at Armes came to my lodging in the Tower, and shewed me a Warrant he had to take my wife into safe custody, for dispersing some of my last bookes, and I told him it was very hard, for any Committee of Parliament, to send forth a warrant to make my wife a Prisoner, before they had heard her speake for her selfe, or so much as summoned her to appeare before them, and I plainly told him it was more then by law they could justifie, but however, I bore so much honourable respect unto the House of Commons, and all its Committees, that I would not perswade my wife to contempt their warrants, but if he pleased to take my word for her appearance, I would ingage my life for her, that she should be punctually at the houre appointed, to waite upon the Committee to know their pleasure: which ingagement he was pleased to take, but with all told me, he had brought a warrant to the Lieutenant of the Tower, to carrie me before the Committee at two a clock in the afternoon, but I told him, unlesse I see and read the warrant, I should not goe, but by force and compulsion, and therefore if he pleased to goe with me to the Lieutenant, and get him to let me read the warrant, I should readily obey it, which he did accordingly, but time being very short, I considered with my selfe what was most fit for me to doe, for I assured my selfe I was to goe before those, divers of which, would bend all their insensed mallice and indignation against me, and make use of all their power and wits, to intrap and insnare me, and therefore, I lifted up my soule to my old and faithfull Counceller, the Lord Jehovah and in my ejaculations, pressed my Lord and master, with a great deale of grounded confidence and cleernesse of spirit, to declare and manifest his faithfullnesse, in being present with me, to counsell, direct, incourage and stand by me, according to his promise of old (made unto me) in the tenth of Matthew, and to his praise and glory I desire to speake it, he presently came into my soule with a mighty power, and raised me high above my selfe, and gave me that present resolution that was able to lead me, with a great deale of assured confidence to grapple with an whole host of men; But in my owne spirit I was led presently to take care, to doe something for my wife as the weaker vessell, that so she might not be to seek in case she were called before them, and for that end, I drew her presently up a few lines, which I read unto her, and gave her instructions, that upon the very first question they should aske her, she should give them her paper, as her absolute answer to their question: unto which she readily assented and set her name to it, which verbatum thus followeth.

Elizabeth Lilburne
Lilburne, Elizabeth
Feb. 8. 1646.

To the Honourable the Committee of the Honourable, the House of Commons, for suppressing of scandalous Pamphlets. The humble addresses of Elizabeth Lilburne, wife to Lieut. Col. John Lilburn, prerogative prisoner in the tower of London. Feb. 8. 1646.

Gentlemen,

YOu have all of you taken the Covenant, (for you have made an Order, that no man shall sit in your House, that will not take it) where you have sworn to maintain the fundamentall Lawes of the Kingdome, and for you to examine me upon Interrogatories, is contrary to the fundamentall Law of the Kingdome, (and for me to answer to them, is to be traiterous to my owne liberty) or for you to proceed by any other rules to punish me, for any reall or pretended crime, but what is declared by the Law, is unjust and unrighteous, and therefore I humbly intreat this honourable Committee, seriously to read and consider the Statute of the 42. of Edward the third, Chapter 3. which thus followeth. “Item, At the request of the Commons by their Petitions put forth in this Parliament, to eschew the mischiefes and dammage done to divers of his Commons, by false accusers which often times have made their accusation more for revenge, and for the benefit and for the profit of the King, or of his people, which accused persons, some have been taken[Editor: illegible word] which the Parliament is. and sometime caused to come before the Kings Counsell, by writ otherwise upon grievious paine against the Law: It is assented and accorded, for the good governance of the Commons, that no man be put to answer without presentment before Iustices, or matter of record, or by due processe and writ originall according to the old Law of the land, and if any thing from henceforth be done to the contrary, it shall be void in the Law, and holden for errour. And sutable to this is the 29. chap of Magna Charta, and the 5. E. 3. 9. and 25. E. 3. 4. and 18. E. 3. 3. 37. E. 3. 18. which are all and every of them confirmed by the Petition of Right, made in the third yeare of the present King, which expresly saith. “No man ought to be adjudged, but by the lawes established in the Realm, and not otherwise, which Petition of Right, you your selves have in every point confirmed, as appeares by the Statute that abolisheth the Star Chamber, and by the Statute that abolisheth Ship money, and you your selves with your hands lifted up to the most high God, have often sworne, vowed, protested and declared, you will maintaine preserve and defend, the fundamentall lawes of the land, and square your actions accordingly, and imprecate the wrath and vengeance of the great God of Heaven and Earth to fall upon you, when you [Editor: illegible word] to performe what there you sweare to, and declare, and therefore Gentlemen, what thoughts soever of displeasure you have towards me, I hope you will be so tender of your own honours and reputations, that you will not in the least indeavour to deale with me contrary to the true intent and meaning of the forementioned lawes, but if you should, I cannot stoop unto any tryal that is contrary to the pattern of the forementioned honest, just and good lawes, and if you please to let me [Editor: illegible word] the benefit of them, I shall be ready to joyne issue with you, whensoever you please, and legally to answer whatsoever I have said and done and so I humbly take my leave of your honours, and rest.

Your servant, Elizabeth Lilburne,

And having finished hers, and taken care to get a copy of it, I begun to thinke what to doe for my selfe, and being very confidently perswaded, that they would shew me my book, and aske me if I would owne it for mine, because this was their method the last yeare with me, as you may fully read in a printed Epistle I writ to you last yeare, when I was a prisoner under the sergeant at Arms of the house of Commons, which Epistle is dated July 14. 1645.

And in my answer to William Prinns notorious lyes and falshoods, *called Innocency and truth justified, pag. 6. 13, 14. 15. 16.

And therefore it fell to my pen and ink, but before I had writ a quarter of that I intended, my selfe to give into the Committee, my keeper came, and told me it was past one a clock, and therefore full time for us to be gone, being we were to be there by two, and in regard it was so very cold, we marched all the way by land, and comming to the outward Court of wards before the Committee sate I fell to perfect what I had begun, and as I was at worke, out came to me a Citizen and told me there was a young Gentleman in a fur jacket who looked something a squire, pressed with a great deale of choler and indignation, that I might be imediately called in to answer for my notorious crime, for writing the Oppressed mans appressions declared, which I say is a book of truth and honesty, and just as I had done, I was called in before the Committee, where I found (as I conceived them) a great many of the little better then theevish catch-poule Stationers, whose trade it is for divers of them illegally and little better then felloniously, to breake open honest mens houses and the Theeves and Rogues, carry away their true and proper goods,* and a very large company of Parliament men, as ever I see at a Committee to my remembrance before, and looking well about me, the most of them were to me men of new faces, and one of them appeared to me, to be one of Pryns infants or Minors, not above 18. yeares old as I conceived, but amongst them all I see not the face of one of my old acquaintance. And after I had rendered my respects to Mr. Corbet, the Chair-man thereof, he took a little book and read the title of it, The Oppressed mans Oppressions declared, &c. and also turned to the last end of it, and read the conclusion, which was subscribed Iohn Lilburn semper idem, and told me he was commanded by the Committee, to ask me this question, whether I would own that book for mine or no? unto which I answered. Sir, with the favour of this honourable Committee, I shall humbly desire to speake a few words, well said Mr. Corbet, answer to the question.

Sir, said I, if you please to give me leave to speak, well and good, if not, if you please to command me silence I shall obey you. Saith he the question is but short therefore answer to it, either I or no, Sir said I, I am now past a schole boy, and have long since learned to say my A, B, C, after my master, but have now attained to a more ripe understanding, so that I am now able to speak without being dictated unto what I should say, and therefore if you please to give me leave to speak my own words in my owne manner and forme, well and good, if not, I have no more to say unto you: Sir saith he, the question is but short, therefore you are commanded to give a possitive answer to it, unto which I replyed, Sir if you will not let me speak my owne words, in my owne way, I will neither tell you, whether I will owne it or disavow it, and with that he took his pen and writ part of what I said, and read it to me. Sir said I, what you have writ, is not full what I said, and therefore if you please to give me pen, inke and paper, I shall write what I said my selfe, and set my hand unto it, which he refused, but divers of the Parliament men, pressed him to keep me to the question. Vnto which I said, Gentlemen, if you please to give me leave to speak, well and good, if not lets come to an issue and command me out of doores, for I will not answer you till I have free liberty to speak, upon which one or two of the Committee said, let him speak, but saith Mr. Corbet, if after you have liberty for to speake, will you returne a possitive answer to the question? yea, Sir said I, that I will, well then speak said he speak. Sir said I what I have to say, is in the first place; in reference to the house of Commons, for apprehending with my selfe, that my carriage and speeches this day before the Committee, may be represented to the honourable House of Commons, to my detriment and dammage, I therefore judge it convenient for me to fortifie my self as wel as I can, and therfore I desire humbly to declare, that I own the constitution of the honorable house of Commons, as the greatest, best, and legallest interest, that the Commons of England have for the preservation of their Rights and Liberties, and I doe not only owne their constitution but also I honour their authority and power, and the power and authority of all Committees, legally deriving their power therefrom, and shall readily and cheerfully, yeeld obedience to all their commands, provided they act according to the rules of justice, and to the good knowne lawes of the hand, but not otherwise.

And in the second place, I desire to speake a few words of my thoughts of this Committee, but I was exceedingly interrupted, not only by the Chairman, but also by other Members of the House, and very much pressed to give an answer to the question, which made me say, Mr. Corbet, if you please to let me goe on in my own way, well and good, if not I have no more to say to you, for I came not hither of my owne head, to make a complaint unto you of my own, but I was sent for by you, (as I conceive) in a criminall way, to answer something before you, in which regard, it behoves me to stand upon the best guard that either law, reason, or judgement can furnish me with, and being that I apprehend, I am so much concerned in my present appearance before you, it exceeding much concernes me, to be very considerate and wise, in managing my business before you, therefore if you please, let me goe on to speak out what I have to say, and I thinke in conclusion, I shall give you as possitive an answer to the question as you desire.

So up stepped a welth Gentleman, one Mr. Harbert, as I remember his name, & desired Mr. Corbet to let me speak on, for saith he, you hear him promise to give you a possitive answer to your question.

Well then saith Mr Corbet, but will you as soone as you have spoken give a possitive answer to the question? Yea, Sir said I, (and clapt my hand upon my breast) upon my credit and reputation will I, then goe one saith he.

Well then Sir said I, two words concerning this Committee, and that at present I have to say is this, that I looke upon this Committee, as a branch deriving its power from the House of Commons, and therefore honour it, and I looke upon you in the capacitie you sit here, as a Court of justice, and I conceive you look upon your selves in the very selfe same capacity, but in case you do not, I have no more to say unto you, neither if ye be not a Court of Justice, doe I conceive have you in law, any power at all to examine me. But none of them replying upon me, made me take it for granted, they took themselves for a Court of justice, and therefore I went one and said, if you so doe, that is own your selves for a Court of justice, then I desire you to deale with me as it doth become a Court of Justice, and as by law you are bound, which is to let me have a free, open, and publique hearing. For Gentlemen, you have all of you taken the Covenant, in which you have lifted up your hands to the most high God, and sworne to maintaine the lawes of the Land. And it is the law of the land, that all Courts of Justice ever have been, are, and ought to be held openly and publiquely, (not close like a Cabinet Counsell) from whence no Auditers are, or ought to be excluded,* and therefore as you would not give cause to me to Judge you a company of forswarne men, I desire you to command your doore to be opened that so all the people, that have a mind to heare and see you, and beare witnesse, that you proceed with justice and righteousnesse, may without check or comptrole, have free accesse to behold you, they behaving themselves like civill men. But here arose a mighty stir by some Parliament men, who declared, fiery indignation in their very countenances against me, but especially, a Gentleman that sate on the left hand of the forementioned Gentleman in the fur jacket, who pressed vehemently to hold me close to the question, and keep to their Committee proceedings, but truly I conceived the Gentleman to be but a very young Parliament man, and one that neither had read, nor understood the lawes of England, and therefore Sir said I to him, to stop your mouth, I tell you, I blesse God, I am not now before a Spanish Inquisition, but a Committee of an English Parliament, that have sworne to maintaine and preserve the lawes of the Kingdome, and therefore Mr. Corbet, I know you are a Lawyer, and know and understand the lawes of the Kingdome, and I appeale to your very conscience, whether my desire of an open and publique hearing, be any otherwise then according to Law, sure I am Sir, it was the constant practise of this very Parliament at the beginning thereof that in all their Committees whatever, where they sat to heare and examine criminall causes, that they alwayes sate open, and I speake it out of my own knowledge, that you were then angry with any man amongst your selves, that did presse or move that you might sit in a cabinit and clandestine way, and truly Mr. Corbet, I thinke this Committee would take it very ill at my hands, if I should affirm you are more unjust & unrighteous now, then you were at the beginning for I my self, had about halfe a score publique hearings at a Committee about my Star-Chamber businesse, and therefore being now before you, upon a businesse in my thoughts, of as much concernment to me as that was: I beseech you, let me have the same fare and just play now, that then I had, and give not [Editor: illegible word] just cause to me and others, to say your actions and proceedings are unrighteous and unjust and therefore you sit in holes and corners, and dare not abide the publique view of your actions which will be too clear a demonstration to all the world, that your deeds are evill, Iohn 3. 10, 21. Well Sir said Mr. Corbet here is company enough to heare you, therefore you may goe on, true it is Sir, here is enough of my enemies but I see never a one of my friends: therefore if you please to command the doore to be not wide open, well and good, if not I will not say one word more unto you, so I was commanded to withdraw, which I did. And being called in againe, Mr. Corbet told me, he was commanded by the Committee to aske me the question againe, whether I would owne the book or no? But I told him I was the same man now, that I was when I withdrew, and therefore I said unlesse they would command and order the doore to be openned, that every man that had a mind to come in, might come in without let or molestation, I would returne as answer it all.

With that one of the Gentlemen said, the doore is open, and so it was, and whether they had given a private Order to the doore keeper so to doe I know not. Well Mr. Corbet said I, it is not an accidentall or casuall openning of the doore will serve my turn, but an orderly and legall openning of it, as that which ought to be done of right and justice, and therefore Mr. Corbet, it you please as you are Chair-man of this Committee, to command the doore to be set and stand wide open, I shall goe on, if not, I shall be silent.

Well then doore keeper (saith he) set open the doore, now Sir said I, with your favour, I shall expresse my selfe a little further to this Committee, whereupon I openned a written paper I had in my hand, and began to looke upon it, but Mr. Corbet told me, the question was so short that it needed no long answer to it, and therefore I might spare the labour of using my paper. Good Sir [Editor: illegible word] I beseech you, afford me but so much priviledge as you doe every mercenary Lawyer, that pleads his Clients cause for a fee before you, to whom you never deny the benefit of pleading by also help of his notes or papers, and I know no reason why I should be denyed the same priviledge in my own case, and therefore I humbly intreat you, to afford me the benefit of looking upon my own paper, but said Mr. Corbet, how came you to write these paper? did you know before hand what we would say to you? O Sir said I, you may remember I was severall times before you in this manner the last year, and I very well remember the method of your illegall proceedings with me then,* and being by you summoned now again to come before you, I did very strongly conjecture, that you would tread in the method of your old steps of Interrogatories, and therefore I judged it but wisedome and foresight in me, to fit my selfe for you, and accordingly I have writ down the substance of what I haue to say to you in this paper, saith Mr. Corbet, give me the paper and we will consider of it, no Sir said I, I beseech you excuse me, for you have been so hasty with me, that I had no time to copy it over, and I doe not love to part with my papers in this nature, without keeping copies of them, but if you please to let me goe on, either to read it to you, or to say it by heart to you, now and then looking upon it I shall very willingly give you a true copy of it under my hand. I pray you Mr. Corbet, said the aforementioned, Mr. Harbert let him goe on, which he assented unto, and I purposely past over the preamble of it, having already as I told them touched upon it, and begun in that place, where mention is made of the Star-Chamber. With which Sir William Strickland interrupted me, and said Mr. Corbet, I doe not like nor approve of raiking up these things, much lesse in comparing us to the Star Chamber, therefore I wish Mr. Lilburne would be perswaded to for beare these dishonourable expressions, for they are not handsome. Good Mr. Corbet I beseech you heare me a little, for under Sir Williams favour, I doe not compare you to the Star Chamber, but if you would not be compared unto it, then you must not walk in its unjust, and illegall ways, but Sir said I, for Sir Williams further satisfaction, I desire to let him know, I doe honour the true and just power of the House of Commons, as much as himselfe, and have adventured my life and blood, for the preservation thereof, as cordially, really and heartily, in the singlenesse and uprightnesse of my soule, as any man that at this day sits within the Walls of that house, whatever he be, and I have still the same love and affections, to the just interest of that house, and the same zeale to maintaine it that ever I had, and it doth not in the least repent me of what J have formerly done or suffered for it, though I thinke by their late dealings with me, I have as true and grounded cause administred unto me by them, to repent as any man in England either hath or ever will & therefore Sir, under your favour, although I be very unwilling like a simple man, to part with my just & legal rights to this Committee, a branch of the Honourable House of Commons, it doth not in the least therefore follow, that I am disaffected or disrespective of the just interest & power of the House of Commons, but rather it doth follow, that I am the same man now that ever I was before & Sir under your favour I tell you, it is neither for the honour, interest nor benefit of the house of Commons, for any of its Committees, to swallow down or destroy, the publique interest and liberties of the people, the preservation of which, (by their owne Declarations*) being the principall end wherefore the people chuse and trusted them to sit where they doe, and therefore Sir, I pray you, let me goe on, which was granted, but before I could get through my paper, there was a great hurly burly amongst the Parliament men, being extreamly nettled at my paper which many of them expressed in their speeches to Mr. Corbet, and desired him to silence me in the way I then was in, and hold me to the question-Gentlemen said I this is very strange proceedings, that you will neither let let alone, nor let me speake. Be it knowne unto you, that I conceive J stand in need neither of mercy nor favour from you, but only what reason, Law and justice affords me, neither doe I crave any other priviledge at your hands, but what the Earle of Strafford injoyed from you, (although you your selves judged him the greatest of offenders) which was a free and uninterrupted liberty to speak for himselfe, in the best manner he could, and to make the best defence for himselfe, that possible all the wit and parts he had, would inable him to doe, and sure I am this is a priviledge due by law to every Mutherer, Rogue, & Theefe,* which I am sure the arrantest Villaine that is arraigned at Newgate Sessions (for the notorioust of crimes) injoyes this priviledge as his right by law, to speake his owne words, in his owne manner, for the best advantage of himselfe, to his own understanding, and it is very strange to me, that I who am a free man of England, and am not conscious to the committing of a crime against the Law, shall not be suffered by a committee of Parlament, that have solemnly sworne to maintaine the lawes, to injoy that legall priviledge to speak my owne word; in my owne manner, for my most advantage and best defence, that is [Editor: illegible word] nor legally, nor cannot be denyed, at any Assizes or Sessions, to the most capitall, bloody, and arrantist Rogue in England. Truly Gentlemen, I must plainly tell you, I never was convicted of any crime at all that did in the least disfranchise me of my hereditary and legall Rights and Liberties, nor ever was legally in the least made uncapable of injoying the utmost benefit and priviledge that the law of England will afford or hand out to any legall man of England, But have at your command, many times and often adventured my life and all that I had in the world, for the maintenance and preservation of the lawes and liberties of England, with as much uprightnesse of heart and as much man love, courage and resolution, as any member of the House of Commons what ever he be, and therefore I tell you before this Committee, or any power in England, what ever it be, shall rob me of my just exacted recompence of reward for all my labours, travels and hazards (which recompence of reward is the injoyment of the just priviledges and benefits of the good lawes of the Kingdome, I will spend my heart blood against you, yea, if I had a million of lives, I would sacrifice them all against you, and therefore seeing you have all of you solemnly lifted up your hands to the most high God: and sworne to maintaine the Lawes of the Kingdome, I desire you for your owne credits sake to deale with me so, as not to give me to just cause, to avouch it to your faces, you are a company of forsworne men, and so to publish & declare you to the whole Kingdome. VVith this Mr Wever, Burgesse for Stamford spoke, “Mr Corbet, I conceive such reproachfull and dishonourable expressions as Mr. Lilburn gives us to our faces, is not to be induced or suffered, and therefore I beseech you, let us be sensible of the honour due to our Authority, and the house whereof we are Members.

Good Mr. Corbet, I intreat you heare me, for J desire to let that Gentleman know; J am very confident I have not you said any thing that is dishonourable to the legall and just interest and power either of this Committee, or the house of Commons whereof you are Members, and Sir if I should, I conceive you are enough to beare witnesse against me, and I thinke you judge your selves sufficiently indowed with power to punish me if I should doe as that Gentleman pretends, I have done, and truly Mr. Corbet, J must againe aver it before you, that I am no contemner nor despiser of the just and legall authority of the house of Commons, neither doe I desire to affront or reproach this Committee, but I pray consider, I am but a man, and a prisoner under many provocations, and to be so rufly falne upon as I am, by halfe a dozen of you at a time, and interrupted in making my legall defence, and not suffered to speake my own words, is very hard and it is possible hereby, I may be provoked to heat, and in heat say that that is not convenient and fitting, the which if J should doe I hope you Mr. Corbet, have understanding enough to iudge, and to reprove me for it, and truly Sir upon your reproofe, if I can possibly apprehend and see I have done amisse I shall presently cry you peccavic.

But here abouts, my wise seeing Mr. Wever so furious upon me as he was, burst out with aloud voice & said, “I told thee often enough long since, that thou would serve the Parliament, and venter thy life so long for them, till they would hang thee for thy paines, and give thee Tyburn for thy recompence and I told thee besides, thou shouldst in conclusion find them a company of unjust, and untighteous judge’s, that more sought themselves, and their owne ends, then the publique good of the Kingdome, or any of those that faithfully adventured their lives therefore.

But J desired Mr. Corbet, to passe by what in the bitternesse of her heart being a woman she had said unto them, and desired him to let me conclude my paper, and then J would give him a possitive answer to their question, which was granted, and I read out my paper, the true copy of which at large thus followeth.

To the Honourable Committee of the Honourable House of Commons, for suppressing of scandalous Pamphlets.

John Lilburne
Lilburne, John
8. day of February. 1646.

The humble Addresses of Lieut. Col. John Lilburne, Prerogative Prisoner in the Tower of London. Feb. 8. 1646.

MAy it please this honourable Committee, this any I see and read a warrant under the hand of Mr. Miles Corbet, directed to the Lieutenant of the Tower, to bring me before your honours, sitting in the inner Courts of wards, at two a clock this present afternoon, but no cause wherefore is expressed in the warrant therefore in the first place, I desire and humbly entreat this honourable Committee, to take [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] and [Editor: illegible word] the constitution, authority and power of the honourable house of commons, and looke upon it in its constitution, at the greatest and legall, best interest that the Commons of England both, and of all the Committees thereof, that legally and justly derive their power therefrom, and act according to the Law and just customes of Parliament, within their bounds, unto all whose commands so farre as the established law of England requires me, I shall yield all cheerfull and ready obedience, but having the last yeer very large experience of the arbitratry and illegall proceedings of some Committee or Committees of the House of Commons, and the Chair-man or Chair-men thereof, and fearing to meet with the like now againe, by way of prevention I am necessitated humbly to declare unto this honourable Committee, that in the dayes of the Star-Chamber, I was there sentenced for no other cause, but for refusing to answer to their interrogateries or questions, and upon the 4. of May, 1641. the honourable house of Commons, whereof you are Members upon the report of Mr. Francis Rouse made these ensuing Votes.

Resolved upon the question.

That the sentence of the Star Chamber given against John Lilburn is illegall and against the the liberty of the Subject, and also bloody, wicked, cruell, barberous and tyrannicall.

Resolved upon the question, that reparations ought to be given to Mr. Lilburn for his imprisonment, sufferings and losses, sustained by that illegall sentence.

Here is your own iust and legall Votes in my own case, to condemne as illegall and uniust; all inquisition proceedings upon selfe accusing interrogatories, and your Votes are sutable to the ancient and fundamentall lawes of this land, as appeares by the 29. chap. of Magna Charta, and the 5. E. 3. 9. and 25. E. 3. 4. and 28, E. 3. 3. and 37. E. 3. 18. and 42. E. 3. 3. the words of which last cited Statute thus followeth.

“Item at the request of the Commons by their Petitions, put forth in this Parliament, to escew the mischiefes and dammages done to divers of his Commons by false accusers, which often times have made their accusations more for revenge and singular benefit, then for the profit of the King or of his people, which accused persons, some have been taken, & sometime caused to come before the Kings Counsel by writ or otherwise, upon grievous paine against the law. It is assented and accorded, for the good governance of the Commons, that no man be put to answer without presentment before Iustices or matter of record, or by due processe and writ originall, according to the old Law of the land, and if any thing from henceforth be done to the contrary, it shall be void in the Law, and holden for errour.*

All which forementioned good Lawes are all and every of them confirmed by the Petition of right made in the third year of the present King Charles, which expresly saith, no man ought to be adjudged but by the lawes established in the Realme, and not otherwise, which Petition of right, you your selves in this present Parliament have in every point confirmed, as appeares by the statute that abolisheth the Star-Chamber, and by the Statute that abolisheth Ship-money and you your selves with your hands lifted up to the most high God, have often sworne, vowed, protested and declared, you will maintaine, preserve and defend the fundamentall lawes of the land, and square your actions accordingly, and imprecate the wrath and vengeance of the great God of Heaven and Earth to fall upon you, when you cease to performe what there you sweare to and declare. And therefore honourable Gentlemen, what thoughts soever of indignation and displeasure you have towards me, I hope you will be so tender of your owne honours and reputations that you will not in the least endeavour, to deale with me contrary to the pattern and meaning of the formentioned honest, just and good lawes, and if you please to let me enjoy the benefit of them, I shall be ready to ioyne issue with you, whomsoever you please, without craving any mercy, pity or compossion at your hands, and legally to answer whatsoever J have said or done.

But under the favour of this honourable Committee, I doe humblie conceive it will neither be just nor honourable for the house of Commons to punish me either for a pretended or reall crime committed by me in a hard, tedious, provoking and uniust imprisonment, while my case is depending before themselves, and I by themselves extreamly delayed in receiving iustice and right, therefore I make it my humble suite unto this honourable committee, to represent my iust desire to the honourable house of commons, that they would first adiudge my cause betwixt the house of Lords and me, which hath been dependant before them about this 8, moneths, and either according to the lawes and constitutions of the land, iustifie me or condemn me, and then in the second place, when they have done righteous and true iudgement in this, then I desire them if they have any reall or pretended crime or crimes to lay to my charge, committed by me in my present, hard, unjust and extraordinary provoking imprisonment, whilst J am managing my businesse before them, that then they would proceed according to law with me, and according thereunto to punish me without mercy or compassion, which proposition I hope is so rationall, that in iustiece it cannot be denied me. So humbly taking leave of your honours, I subscribe my selfe.

A true and faithfull servant to the
honourable House of Commons,
to be commanded
by them according
to law and justice
but no further.
John Lilburne.

And having concluded my paper, now Mr. Corbet said I, if you please lets goe to the question, well then said he will you renounce this booke or no? Sir said I, I had rather give you leave to heugh me in ten thousand peeces, then renounce any act of mine, done by me upon grounded, mature and deliberate consideration, and therefore Sir, somethings before hand premised, J shall give you a possitive and satisfactory answer to the question.

And therefore in the first place, I desire you and all here present to take notice, that I doe not return you an answer to your question out of any opinion that J am bound in duty or conscience unto your Authority to doe it, because you command me to doe it, for I know J am (actively) only to obey you in lawfull things, which this is not in the least, for by law no man what ever is bound to betray himselfe.

Nor secondly, J doe not return you an answer to it, as though I were bound by any law in England there to; for I have before punctually proved it to your faces out of my paper, that it is altogether unlawfull by the law of the land, to presse or force me to answer to interrogatories. Neither lastly, doe I answer your interrogation, out of any base tymerousnesse to betray the liberties & priveledges of the lawes of England, or to save my from selfe your insenced indignation, and therefore protesting that my answering your question, neither is, shall or justly can be drawn into president in future time, to compell me or any other free men of England, to answer to interrogatories, and therefore having (premised these things) affirmatively, I return you an answer to your question out of this consideration, that when I pend that book, I was inwardly exceedingly pricked forward to it, and framed it, with a resolution to lay down my life in the justification of it. And secondly, J return you an answer to the question out of this consideration, that upon your summons, I came before you with an absolute resolution to owne and avow that booke, (though I have been much by some of my friends perswaded to the contrary) alwayes provided I could get somethings effected before I did owne it, which I have already done, (that so I might set it in a way to come to a legall justification.) For first J have got the doore openned, that so I might have a publique hearing as my right by law. And secondly, J have obtained liberty (though with much a doe) to declare before you, in the presence and hearing of all these people, the illegallity of all yours, and all other Committees proceedings, inforcing the free men of England, (against the known and fundamentall lawes, of the land, and your own oathes,) to answer to selfe accusing interrogatories, and now having fully effected what I desired and thirsted after, I come now with as much willingnesse and readinesse to answer to your question, as you are to have me answer to it, and avowedly I tell you, I invented, compiled and writ that booke, and caused it to be printed and dispersed, and every word in it I will own and avouch to the death, saving the Printers Erratas, which if you please to give me the booke, and liberty of pen and inke. I will correct and amend them under my own hand, and return you the booke again, with my name annexed, under my own hand at the conclusion of it. Well then said Mr. Corbet, take the book and pen and inke, and goe mend it, truly Sir, said I, I have but one good eye to see with, and yet for that, I am forced to use the helpe of spectacles, and I have very much this day wrained the strength of my eyes, with reading and writing, and besides the booke is five sheets of paper, so that it is almost impossible for me seriously and carefully (with my weak eyes) to read it over this night, but if you please to give me but any reasonable time, I will be very punctuall in returning it to you againe; so I had tell Wednesday in the afternoone given me, and accordingly I amended the faults under my own hand, which principally were litterall and verball faults, and at the conclusion of the booke. I writ, examined and avowed by me John Lilburn, 10. Feb. 1646.

And upon Wednesday, I inclosed the book with a copy of my forecited paper that I read at the Committee) in a letter sealed to Mr. Corbet the Chairman of the foresaid Committee, the true copy of which letter thus followeth.

Iohn Lilburn
Lilburn, Iohn
10. of February 1646.
Sir,

ACcording to my promise, I have corrected the Printers Erratas, and subscribed my hand thereto, and sent you back inclosed the very book you delivered to me with a true copy of my paper I read before you at the Committee, which is all I have at present to trouble you with, but to subscribe myselfe.

A true and faithfull friend to the
Common wealth of England, and
your reall servant, if you will be
true to the publique trust reposed in you,
and act for the preservation of the fundamentall lawes
of the land, Iohn Lilburn.

But after this little digression, J return to the rest of that which followed at the Committee, which was to this effect, as soone as I had ownd the book, and received the book from Mr. Corbet, I said Gentlemen, you having as I perceive done with me, I shall humbly crave liberty to make one motion to this Committee, for the discharge of my wife, for by vertue of your warrant she is a prisoner, for dispersing some of my bookes, and truly gentlemen she is my wife, and set at worke to doe what she did at the earnest desire of me her (unjust imprisoned) husband, and truly I appeale to every one of your own consciences, whether you would not have taken it very ill at the hands of any of your wives? if you were in my case, and she should refuse, at your earnest desire to doe that for you that she by my perswasions hath done for me, therefore I intreat you to set her at liberty, and set the punishment of that her action upon my score, so with one consent she was discharged, for which I thanked them. Now Gentlemen with your favour and patience I humbly intreat you to heare me but one word more, which is this, I was the other day robd or at least plundered, and had my house violently, forceably, & without any colour of law or conscience entred, & an Iron latch drawn, as I am informed by one Whittaker a book-seller, who dwels in Pauls Church-yard, who with others like high contemners and violaters of the law, loaded away, as I am informed three porters with my true and proper goods, that I bought with my owne proper monie, and he pretended he did it by vertue of a warrant from this Committee, therefore I humbly desire to know, whether this Committee will avow his action, and heare him out in what he hath so done? No saith Mr. Corbet, he had no such power from this Committee, as forceably to enter your house, nor to meddle with any of your goods or bookes, but only at randome to seize upon all of this booke where he could find them. Well gentlemen, then here is a high act of violence and contempt of the law committed, for here is my house by violence entered, and so many of my goods as they pleased to seize upon carried away, none belonging to me being present to see what they did, and my doores by them left wide open, for any that had a mind to goe in and take away, and rob me of all the rest of my goods that they left, for which actions I hope I shall obtaine justice in time, but in regard you say your warrant did not authorize him to take any of my bookes, but The Oppressed mans Oppressions declared, and yet he tooke away abundance of severall other bookes besides that, which I bought with my monie I hope this honourable Committee will be so just as to command him faithfully to restore me them all again, or at least all but the hundred of the present bookes in controversie, and I was fairely promised I should have them, but as yet I have found no performance at all, though truly I doe conceive there was as many books carried away by him as stood me in about twenty or thirty pounds, for there was the greatest part of a thousand of my bookes, called London Charters, the printing of which with the paying for the copies of the originall Charters, &c. (which I had out of the Record office in the Tower) cost me almost twenty pounds, besides a great many of severall other sorts. And at my withdrawing, the people cryed out, they never would answer to close Committees any more, being the doores by law ought to be open, which they never knew before. Now friend, I know you are acquainted very well with some able and honest Lawyers, and therefore I pray doe me the favour as inquire of them, whether all these things laid together, it be not an act of Fellony in the forementioned Whittaker, &c. thus forceably to enter my house, and without any reall or pretended warrant to take away my goods; but if it be not fellony, I desire to know of them, what effectuall course, I may take in law, to obtaine my just and legall satisfaction for this illegall wrong, and making these catch-poule Knaves (who are as bad if not worse then the Bishops Rookes and Catch-poules) examples to all their fellow Knaves and Catch-poules.

Thirdly, I desire to know, whether by law, any free mans house in England can be broken open, or forceably entered under any pretence whatever? unlesse if be for fellony and treason, or a strong and grounded suspition of fellony or treason, or to serve an execution after judgement for the King?

Fourthly, if any person or persons whatever, shall indeavour to break open, or forceably enter my house, or any other free mens of England, upon any pretence what ever, but the forementioned, or some other that is expresly warrantable by the known law, whether according to Law or no, I may not stand upon my owne defence in my owne house being my Castle and Sanctuary, and kill any or all of those that so illegally (though under specious authoritive pretences) shall assault me.

Fiftly, whether in law it be not as great a crime in the foresaid Whittaker, &c. forceably to enter my house, and carrie away my own goods lawfully come by, under a pretence of a warrant signed by a single Member of the House of Commons, commonly called a Chair-man of a Committee. As for Sir William Beacher Clark of his Majesties Privie Counsell, Old Sir Henry Vaine a Privie Counceller, and (if I mistake not then) Secretary of State, and Mr. Laurance Whittaker that old corrupt Monopolizer, now Member of the House of Commons; by vertue of Regall, or Councell-Board authoritie, to search the pockets, or break open the study doors of the Earle of Warwick, the Lord Say, Mr. Hambden, Mr. Pym, Mr. [Editor: illegible word] or any other of those that was so served after the breaking up of the short Parliament, for which by this present Parliament (as I am credibly informed from knowing and good hands) Sir William Beacher was committed to the Fleet, Mr. Laurance Whittaker to the Tower, and old Sir Henry Vaine, who as it is credibly said was this principall actor in this businesse, and was in this present House of Commons, strongly moved against, againe, and againe, and in all probability had sparred soundly for it, if it had not been for the interest that his Son young Sir Henry had in Mr. John Pym, and the rest of his bosome associates, who as it plainly (now appeares, for ends besides the publique, had use to make of him against the Earle of Strafford, who was one of the chiefe men that stood in their way, and hindred them from possessing themselves of those high and mighty places of honour and profit that is now too much apparent they then aspired unto, and therefore truly when I seriously cast my eye upon their continued serious of actions, (especially of late) my conscience is overcome, and J am forced to thinke that there is a great deale of more truth in many of the charges fixed upon them, in those two notable Declarations of the Kings, (then at the first reading of them, I conceive there was) the first of which is the 12. of August, 1642. and begins book Decl. 1. part pag. 514. some notable passages of which Mr. Richard Overton and my selfe have published in the 6 pag. of out late discourse, called The out-Cry of Oppressed Commons unto which I shall desire to ad one more, and that is of their partiallity in judgement, which the King chargeth them with (ibim) page 516 “That they threw out of their house some Monopolizers, as unfit to be Law-makers, because their principles was not fit for the present turns of the powerfull party there, and kept in other as great Monopolizers as those they threw out, because they did comply with them in their ends, and the King instances Sir Henry Mildmer, and Mr. Laurance Whittaker, both of whom, for all their transgressions, still sit in the House. And if it be an act of treason to exercise an Arbitrary and tyrannicall power (for so it was charged upon the Earle of Strafford, &c.) then I will maintain it, Mr. Laurance Whittaker is guilty of it, for he hath severall times done it unto the free men of England, yea upon me in particular, as at large you may read in my book called Innocency and Truth, justified, to the apparent hazard of my life and being, for which I will never forgive him, tell he hath acknowledged his fault, and made me legalland just satisfaction, the which if he do not the speedier, seeing by his unreasonable priviledge, as he is a Parliament man, that by law I cannot meddle either with his body or goods, I will by Gods assistance (seeing I have no other remedy) pay him with my pen, as well as ever he was paid since his eyes was open, cost it what it will and therefore I now advise him, if he love his owne reputation, without any more adoe to acknowledge his fault by giving me legall satisfaction.

The King second Declaration, is an answer to the two Houses Declaration of the proceeding of the Treaty at Oxford 1643. and in the second part book Decl. pag. 100 printed Anno 1646. where in pag. 101. he chargeth them possitively, “that the maintenance and advancement of Religion, justice, liberty, propriety and peace, are really but their stalking horses and neither the ground of their warre nor of their demands, and I for my part must ingeniously protest and declare unto you, that the dealings of both houses with me, and others of the Kingdomes best friends is such, that as sure as the Lord lives, I should sin against my own soule, if I should not really beleeve this particular charge of his Majesties to be most undeniable true and just, and to my understanding he there gives notable demonstrations to evince and cleare the forementioned charge, I shall only instance that in pag. 112. 113. VVhere his Majestie framing an answer to something they say in their Declaration about the Iudges, and Members of Parliament, he saith. “That by never having appeared at all in the favour, excuse or extenuation, of the fault of those Iudges (who are to answer for any unjust judgement, in all which his Majesty left them wholly to their consciences, and whensoever they offended against that, they wronged his Majesty no lesse then his people.) And by his being yet so carefull of those Lords and Gentlemen, it may appeare that his Majestie conceives, that those only adhere to him, who adhere to him according to law. And whether the remaining part of the Houses be not more apt to repeale their own impeachments and proceedings against those Iudges, (if they conceive they may be made use of and brought to adhere to them) then his Majestie is to require they should, may appear by their requiring in their 14 propositions, that Sir John Bramston (impeacht by them selves of so great misdemeanors) may be made chiefe Iustice, and by their freeing and returning Iustice Barkly, (accused by themselves of high Treason) to sit upon the bench, rather then free and imploy Iustice Mallet, who was not legally committed at first, but fecht from the bench to prison by a troop of Horse, and who after so many moneths imiprisonment, remaines not truly impeacht, but wholly without any knowledge of what crime he is suspected.

And indeed their partiallity in doing justice and judgement, appeares in no one man in England (I thinke more, then in old Sir Henry Vaine, who by all men that I can talke with that knowes him and his practises, renders him a man as full of guilt (in the highest nature) and court basenesse, as any man what ever that was there. For I have credably been told by one that sate in the short Parliament, “that he was the maine and principall man, that instrumentally brok up that Parliament, for in the House in the Kings name he strongly moved for twelve Subsidies, when he had no such Commission from his Majestie, but did it of purpose to set the Parliament in a heat, and make them fly high against the King, of which heat he took advantage, and then went to the King, and incensed him against them, and thereby provoked him to break it up, on set purpose to save himselfe from being questioned about his dangerous and desparate Monopoly of Gun-powder, and other of his illegall Knaveries, in which he was deep enough even over both boots and shooes. For Sir Iohn Eveling was the old powder master, and then Sir Henry Vaine stept in, and justled him out, and got in one Mr. Samuel Cordwell one of his own servants that waited upon him in his Chamber, who had the sole Monopoly of making all the powder in England, and furnished power for [Editor: illegible word] into the Tower, which powder was sold out commonly for 18. per. l. at the first hand, besides the charge of getting first a warrant from the Counsell board, to the Lord Newport, then master of the Ordinance, to sell such and such so much powder, which warrant besides the losse of time and trouble, cost deare enough, then there was a second warrant from the Lord Newport, to be obtained to the officers of the Ordnance to deliver the powder out, according to the warrant of the Counsell board, and then there was a third warrant to be got from the officers of the Ordnance to the particular Clarke that kept the powder, all which besides trouble, cost, money, besides a fee of a mark which was paid by the buyer to the officers of the Ordnance, for every last of powder they delivered, and the forementioned Cordwell, Sir Henry Vaines Gun-powder Agent, constantly ingaged to bring in every moneth to the Tower 20. last, there being 24. barrells in every last, and 100.l in every barrell, and besides he (as the principall instrument of setting this dangerous Monopoly on foot) forced the Marchants, and sea men, many times for divers dayes together, to stop their viages to their great and extraordinary detriment, till they would give large bribes, or were forced to use some other indirect means, to obtaine his warrant, &c. to get powder out of his unjust Monopolizing hands to furnish their ships, for which notwithstanding they were forced to pay above double the price for it, (nay almost trible) according to the rate it was sold at before his Monopoly.

Yea, and by this meanes, he wickedly and illegally disfurnished all the Countryes in the Kingdome, as is notoriously known to all the Deputy Lieutenants, by meanes of which he laid the King some open to the invasion and over-running of a forraign enemy, which did create, nourish and foment, strange and strong jealousies in the people, that there was some strange and desparate designe upon them to inslave and invasolize them, which was no little occasion of our present warres, by blowing of coales to the fomenting and increasing of devisions betwixt the King and the people.

Yea, and besides all this, he was not one of the least of Canterburies Creatures, being not a little active in the Star-Chamber, to serve his ends, the smart of which with a witnesse, I am sure my shoulders felt. For upon the 13. of Feb. 1645. in the 13. yeare of the present King, the Lord Coventry, Earle of Manchester, Lord Newburgh, old Sir Henry Vaine, Judge Bramstone, and Judge Jones, in the Star-Chamber sentenced me for refusing to take an illegall oath to answer to their Interrogatories to pay to the King 500.l to be bound to my good behaviour to be whipt through the street to Westminster, and there to be set upon the Pillory, and then to remaine in prison tell I conformd to their tyrannicall commands. Which decree or sentence you may at large read in the 1, 2, 3. pages of my printed relation of my Star-Chamber sufferings, as they were presented by my Counsell, Mr. Bradshare, and Mr. Iohn Cook, before the Lords at there Bar, and proved by witnesses, the 13. Feb. 1645. the barbarous execution of which you may read not only in that relation, but also in a large relation of it, made and printed by me, that yeare I suffered, called the Christian mans tryall, and lately reprinted by Mr. William Larnar in Bishops-gate street, and in my bookes also then made, called, Come out of her my people, the afflicted mans Complaint, A cry for justice, my Epistle to the Aprentizes of London, and my Epistle to the Wardens of the fleet, which foresaid sentence the House of Commons after a long and judicious examination and debaite, thus voted.

Die Martis, May 4. 1641.

Mr. Rouse this day reported Iohn Lilburn his cause, it was thereupon ordered and resolved upon the question as followeth.

Resolved upon the question,

That the sentence of the Star-Chamber given against Iohn Lilburn is illegall and against the liberty of the Subject, and also bloody, wicked, cruell, barbarous and tyrannicall.

Resolved upon the question.

That reparations ought to be given to Mr. Lilburne for his imprisonment, sufferings, and losses sustained by that illegall sentence.

Ordered that the Committee shall prepare this case of Mr. Lilburnes to be transmitted to the Lords, with those other of Doctor Bastwicks, Doctor Leighton, Master Burton, and Mr. Pryn.

Hon. Elsing Cler. Dom. Com.

And though it was a matter of foure yeares before I could get this my ease transmitted to the Lords, the obstructing of which I cannot attribute to any, but principally to that old crafty Fox, Sir Henry Vaine, (who I am confident of it hath long since deserved the Ax or Halter) and and his powerfull interest and influence, especially by his sonne, young Sir Henry, though (Mathiavel like) he faces and lookes another way, who for all his religious pretences, I for my part thinke to be as crafty (though not so guilty a) Colt as his Father, which I beleeve I could easily and visibly demonstrate, which I groundedly apprehend I have sufficient cause administred unto me to doe, especially for some suttle, cunning, but mischievous late underhand dealings by as guilded instruments as himselfe, but at present for my own interest sake I will spare him, though (my fingers itches,) yet I must tell him, I am very confident for all his disguises, he will shortly be known to consciencious, men, to be but at the best (if he be no more) then one of the prerogative quench coales, to keep the people in silence, from acting and striving to deliver themselves from slavery and bondage.

And when, came amongst the Lords, they the 13, Feb, 1645 decreed, that that sentence, and all proceedings thereupon shall forth with before ever totally vacuated, obliterated, and taken of the file in all Courts where they are yet remaining, as illegall, and most unjust, against the liberty of the Subject, and law of the land, and Magna Charta, and unfit to continue upon Record, and that the said Lilburn shall be forever absolutely freed, and totally discharged from the said sentence and all proceeding, thereupon, as fully and ample as though never any such thing had been, &c.

Which where you may at large read in the foresaid relation, yea, and by an other decree, ordered me to [Editor: illegible word]. And down into the House of Common, they send my Ordinance for their concurrance, which is there again blockt up, as I may too justly conceive by the powerfull and unjust interest of the forementioned old, tyrannicall Monopolizer, Sir Henry Vaine, for which by Gods assistance, seeing I have no other remedy, nor meanes left me, to obtain my right, and the Iustice of the Kingdome, I am resolved to pay him, (and all that I can groundedly know and heare joynes and concur, with him to destroy me, and hinder me of justice and my right which should preserve me and keep me and mine alive) cost it hanging, burning, drowning, strangling, poysoning, starving, cutting to peices, or whatever it will or can, yea, though it tooke me all the interest I have in the world, in any or all the great ones there of, put Lien. Gen. Cromwell into the number.

And therefore J desire not only your selfe, (but all impartiall Readers that reads these lines) to judge whether it be not the hight of partiallity and injustice in the House of Commons, to suffer him to sit and vote there, especially they having throwne out divers others, for ten times lesse faults then he is publiquely known to be guilty of, and I desire you to satisfie me, whether or no the people for their owne wellfare are not bound, and may not groundedly petition the House of Commons to throw out him, who is so great a transgressor and violater of the Lawes of England, and therefore altogether unfit to be one of those that maketh and gives lawes unto the free men of England, for in my apprehension if there were no more to be laid unto his Charge, but to have been so unjust and unrighteous a Iudge, as to have had a finger in inflicting a sentence that is voted by the house of Comons in the dayes of their verginity, purity and uncorruptnesse, (to what it is visibly now, yea, himselfe sitting as a Member there) to be not only illegall, and against the liberty of the Subject, but also bloody, wicked, cruell, barbarous, and tyrannicall, it alone were legally and justly cause enough for ever to eject him. O England, England! woe unto thee! when thy chosen preservers turne to be thy grand destroyers, and in stead of easing thee of thy grievances, with a high hand of violence protect from justice those that commit them, and thou seest it and knowest it, and yet art like a silly Dove without heart, and dares not open thy month wide to reprove it, and indeavour by petition or otherwise the amending of it, surely and undeniably that body, who, or what ever it be that is not able to evacuate its exerements, is nigh unto the giving up the Ghost, or bursting out into such botches and ulcers, that it shall be an eye sore to all that behold it, and stinke in the nostrels of all men, that have their senses.

But with your patience, I will trace this old Fox a little further, and see how he hath plaid his cards since this Parliament sate, and to let pass his unfaithfull dealings with his master the King, whose Secretary of State he was, and yet could not, or would not keep his secrets, (which is an act base enough in itselfe) although as J have been told by one very neare and deare unto him, his places he injoyed under the King, were worth to him, 8000 l. per annum, but having as before as truly observed, before this Parliament (by acts of basinesse done, as he was a Courtier and a Courtiers Counseller) ran himselfe over boots and shooes and seeing that it was impossible for him and all his confederates, to break of this Parliament, as they did the late short Parliament, therefore it behoved him for the safety of his own head, to lay his designes so, as that he might by the swaying party merit preservation to himselfe, which to doe, being as he was a Secretary, privie to all the King and Courts principall secrets, though he was under an Oath, and the strictest obligation of secrecie that could be, yet they must all out, and out they went, as in the case of the Earle of Strafford, of which I have, heard some great ones say, it was scrued to the highest pin, if it were not higher then in honestly and justice it should, but all this was done, that he might not only save himselfe, but gaine an esteeme in the present Parliament, and so be in a possibillity, by the interest of his son, Sir Henry, (although to men that were halfe blind, there was, and I thinke still is a seeming enmity betwixt him and his Father) in time to make himselfe amends, for his 8000.l a yeare by his places, which by differring of the King (to save himselfe) he was likely to loose, (and indeed it is commonly reported, that in his place as one of the Committee of the King revenue, he hath learned to lick his own fingers well) and the first or grand step of honour he attained to, by the Parliament, was to be made Lord Lieutenant of the County of Durham, and the wars comming one betwixt the King and Parliament, to indeare himselfe againe unto the King (knowing that the chance of warre was doubtful) he sent his second son, Sir George Vaine to waite upon and serve the King, who in person was actuallt at, and in the battell of Edge-Hill, with the rest of his fellow Courtiers, but to make up his case the more with the King, though himselfe stand with the Parliament, where as a seeming friend to them, he was able to doe the King truer service, yea, and did it then if he had been with him, for instead of protecting, preserving, securing and defending the County of Durham, (of which he was Lieutenant) according to the duty of his place, and those many importunare desires expressed unto him by the well affected Gentlemen of the Country, which were all in vaine, for in stead of preserving the Country, he sent his Magazine of Armes from his Castle at Raby, (by his two principall servants, Mr. William Conyers Steward of his land, and Mr. Henry Dingly his Soliciter at law) as a present for the King, to the Earle of New-Castle, then in Armes at New Castle against the Parliament, who might then have been easily supprest at his comming to New Castle, if old Sir Henry Vaine had been true to his trust the Parliament reposed in him.

And that he sent them is visible enough, for they carried them openly and avowedly in the day time through the Country, boasting of their act both in their going and comming, and at New Castle from the hand of one of the Earles servants or Officers, received, a note for the receipt of those armes, that so when time should serve, Sir Henry Vaine might have it to justifie his good service done for his Majestie in being the principall instrument of raising the Earle of New Castles Army, and giving the King so great a footing in the North as there he had, for his Armes being sent to the Kings Generall so openly, publiquely and avowedly as they were, though his person were with the Parliament, yet it made all people there to conclude that he was himselfe absolutely for the King against the Parliament, which presently (his influence in those parts being great) got the Earle of New Castle a mighty repute and credit, and made those that were really for him to be impudent and bold in their attempts, and made abundance of Newters then to declare, (all or most of whom might at the first have been made serviceable to the Parliament, if they had been lookt to betimes) and the most of those few of cordiall, well affected Gentlemen, were immediately forced to fly and leave all they had behind them, and the rest that stayed, were immediately taken prisoners and destroyed, (as well as the other) in their estates, for which Sir Henry Vaines land and estate, ought in justice and conscience to goe to the last penny of it, to make them satisfaction, being the true instrumentall cause of all their losses, woe and misery, and of all the woe and misery of the whole North, occasioned by the Earle of New-Castles forces, and those that were necessitated to be raised to destroy them, which if they had never had a being, there had never been no need of the Scots comming into this Kingdome to our deare bought ayde, the evill consequences of whose comming, I am afraid England this twise seaven yeares will not [Editor: illegible word] of without a great deale of blood shed and misery, the yoak of Presbyterian bondage alone, (besides then co-operations, if not co sharing in the Civill government of England, to the unspeakable prejudice to the freemen thereof) which they brought with them over Tweed to this Kingdome, which is likely to prove 100. times worse then the tyranny and Lordlinesse of the Bishops. One thing more about Sir Henry Vaine I desire you to take notice of, and that is further to demonstrate, that his servants carried the Armes, not of their owne heads, but by his command, or at least good liking, is this, that he never complained to the Parliament of it, nor never indeavoured to have them punished for it, but rather protected and defended them, so that those that complained of them, as well as of himselfe, by reason of his greatnesse, could never be heard nor obtaine justice, though it was with some zeale followed by my Father, & my Vnkle Mr. George Lilburn, with other Gentlemen of the same Country, as you may partly read in Englands Birth Right pag. 19. 20. 21.

All this while, if the King lost the day and the Parliament prevailed, here was himselfe and his son, young Sir Henry to make good his interest here, so that of which side soever the [Editor: illegible word] went, the old crafty Fox was sure in his owne thoughts co stand upon his leggs, and be no looser, but perceiving the King likely to goe down the weather, by the Scots comming in, he whistles away his son Sir George Vaine from the Kings Army. And though the Parliament had upon the 20 May 1642 voted. That when soever the King in both war upon the Parliament, it is a breach of the trust reposed in him by his people, contrary to his oath, and tendeth to the dissolution of this Government. And that whosoever shall serve or assist him in such warres, are Traitors by the fundamentall lawes of this Kingdome, and have been so adjudged by two Acts of Parliament, viz. 11. R. 2. and 1 ll. 4:

And yet notwithstanding, though Sir George Vaine did both serve and assist the King actually at the battell at Edge-Hill, yet as soone as any footing by the Parliament is gotten in the County of Durbam, he is by his Father, (and I thinke I might say brother too) for it is impossible if young Sir Henry were honest and true to the publique interest of his Country, according to what he seemingly professes, and would be thought to be, that his father and brother should doe such actions as they have done and dayly doe, and escape scot free, and no man to be heard that complains of them, but rather crushed and destroyed, which could not be, if he and his interest did not support them in all their basenesse) I say Sit George is by his Father sent down into the Country, as the only fit man to govern it, by deserving well at the hands of the Parliament for being with the King at the battell of Edge-hill, and therefore his made the receiver of the Kings sequestered revenue there, worth to his particular a great many hundreds pounds per annum, and is also made chiefe Deputy Lieutenant, yea, as it were Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Iustice of peace and quorum, Committee man and Chair-man of the Committee, and hath also the Posse commitatis of the whole County put into his hands, as being the fittest man to be High Sheriffe there, yea, and now in that County, whatever a King is in his Kingdome, that saying of Daniel chap. 5, 19. concerning the power of Nebuchadnezzar being too truly verified of him and his father, in reference to their acted and executed power in that poor County, that whom they will they set up, (yea, even as arch blades as Sir George himselfo) and whom they will they pull down, and all the people there in a manner tremble and feare before them.

But this is not all, for the Parliament upon the clearing of the Country, sent a Magazine of Ammunition and Armes downe, which was landed and laid up at Sunderland in the possession of my Vnkle, Mr. George Lilburn, one of the Deputy Lieutenants, and Iustices of Peace, &c. of the County, which Sir George Vaine by his supreame prerogative sent for away, and put into his Fathers Castle of Raby and laid in store of Provisions there, but I will not say he sent for some scores of Cavieliers from a Castle in Yorkshire to come and take possession of it so soone as he had so done, but this I will say, that they did come and take possession of it with a great deale of ease, and it cost the Country some thousands of pounds before they could take it againe. So here you have at present a briefe relation of the game that Sir Henry Vaine hath plaid this many yeares together, by meanes of which he hath got a great estate, but I may say an ill estate, to leave to his son Sir Henry principally, a man for all the experience I have had of him, (and I have had not a little) no whit inferior in my apprehension to his Father in Mathiavels principles, for all his guilded professions, and truly it is very strange to me what the Family of the Vaines hath deserved of this Kingdome, that they must have so many thousands pounds a yeare out of the Kingdomes Revenue, in its present great and extraordinary poverty, as they have, never any of which ever hazarded the shedding of one drop of blood for the Parliament or Kingdome. And besides the two sonnes before mentioned, there is a third lately come out of Holland that was a Captain there, and though he hath not one foot of Land in the County of Durham, yet he is as I am informed lately made a Iustice of peace, and hath besides profitable and gainefull Offices there. I pray Sir, what doe you thinke such doings as this (of which the Parliament is full, as I could easily declare) doth portend to the whole Kingdome, doe you thinke that it portends lesse then absolute vassolage and slavery to the whole Kingdome, by a company of base and unworthy men, setup by the people, whom they may if they please pull downe by calling them home, and chuse honester men in their places, in a new Parliament to call them to a strict accompt, without doing of which the lawes and liberties of England are destroyed, and our proprieties utterly overthrow, that doe and will tyrannise ten times worse over us, then ever our prerogative task-masters of old did.

Sir, sure I am by the antient, good, just and unrepealed laws of England, it is inacted, that a Parliament should be holden every yeare once or more oftner if needed again for the maintenance of the lawes, and the redresse of divers mischiefes and grievances which dayly happen, 4. E. 3. 14. and 36. E. 3. 10. And by the act made this present Parliament in the 16. yeare of the King, called an Act for the preventing of inconveniences hapning by the long intermission of Parliaments, there it is provided, in case the King doe not performe his duty to the Kingdome, in summoning of Parliaments as he ought; that then we shall have a Parliament once in 3. yeare whether he will or no, as appeares by the Act itselfe, which most excellent. Act is altogether fruitlesse to the Kingdome, if we must have a perpetuall Parliament, and therefore an everlasting Parliament is the greatest abridgement and detruction to our lawes, liberties, and proprieties that possibly can be imposed upon us, the present Parliament men being in their owne principles unpuestionable, lawlesse, & uncontrowleable (and so art a kind of Monsters, rather of the Divells creation then Gods, for he never created and made any man lawlesse) during all whose sitting as they by their actions order the matter, we have no propriety in our lives, liberties, estates or trades, for all of them are subject to be destroyed by a Vote, and that sometimes it may be carried but by the Vote of one of Dr. Bastwicke [Editor: illegible word] or [Editor: illegible word] or Pryns Minors or Infants, it may be but of 18. yeares old, [Editor: illegible word] year as younger [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] to be by law that can sit in that House, nay to such a hight of tyrannie are these [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] grown, that they by Vote (without law or reason) take our liberties from us, upon any [Editor: illegible word] and false report of any of their Members, or any of their [Editor: illegible word] Catch poale without either the hearing us speak for ourselves, or so much as telling us the cause wherefore we are imprisonned, and this the last yeare in every particular was my portion, by the meanes of William [Editor: illegible word] the Speaker of the House of Commons, Dr. Bastwicke and that base and low order fellow, Col. Edward King, who divers yeares agoe deserved to be hanged for betraying the trust reposed in him by the Parliament, and this was lately the portion of Major [Editor: illegible word] by the means of M Hollis, Sir Walter Earle, Sir Phillip Stapleton, Sir Sam. Luke & the rest of their right trusty and doubty Associates. O brave Parliament! Which by its constitution and primitive practises, was a Bulwarke to secure the Commons of England from being carved up and destroyed, by the prerogative and wills of the Kings of England, but having now [Editor: illegible word] first station, destroyes us with unknown, unlimited and arbitrary priviledges, more then all the prerogatives of any King of England, since the first day of Magna Chartas establishment and are unaccomptable for any thing they say and doe, yea, and doe not only act the Parliamentary power, but also a regall power, yea, and though they count themselves the greatest Iudges in the Kingdome, yet contrary to law, justice, reason, and conscience, take upon them for fees, (which I may call bribes), to plead causes before Iudges of their own making, who dare as well eate their fingers ends, as displease them, and then in conclusion it may be the very same causes by way of appeale comes before themselves as supreme Iudges, and judge you how those causes must goe in which they have been, and it may be are Hackney Counsellers, which they ought not in the least to be, it being not only contrary to law, but the oathes of Iudges that any Iudge should give Counsell or be a Counseller.

Yea, Parliaments in former times used to be so carefull in the discharge of their Duties for the welfare of the people that did chuse and be trust them, that they would impose nothing upon the people that might be a burthen to them, without acquainting them first with [Editor: illegible word] Sir Edward Cooke that learned Lawyer in the 4. part of his Institutes Chap. of the high Court of Parliament, fol. 14 declares his words are as followith, which is printed by the present Parliaments Speciall order.

It is also the law of the Parliament, that when any new device is moved on the Kings behalfe in Parliament, for his aid or the like, the Commons may answer that they tendred the Kings estate and are ready to aid the same, only in this new device they dare not agree, without conference with their Countries, whereby (saith he) it appeareth that such conferences is warrantable by the law and custome of Parliament. And folio 34. (he saith) that at the Parliament holden in the 9 Edw.3 when a motion was made for a subsidy to be granted of a new kind, the Commons answered, that they would have conference with those of their severall countries and places, who had put them in trust, before they treated of any such matter. See my booke called Innocency and truth justified, pag. 60.

But now things by the present Parliament are so carried, as if they were absolute Lords overal the estates of all & every individuall in the Kindom, that chuse and trusted them, and as though they might leavie upon them at their wills what they pleased, and dispose of it how they pleased, even to their own particular pockets to the inrichment of their particular selves. See the Opressed mans Oppressions declared, pag. 22, 35. Regall Tyrannie p. 101, 104, 105, 106. and Londons account.

So that the People now, are without a Bol-worke to preserve them from being followed up by unlimited prerogative & unknown priviledges exercised by them [Editor: illegible word] by their own principles if they vote to set up popery on the turkish Alkoran [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] it because they vote and declare it, and if they vote into their owne pockets [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] (we must give) them unto them, or if they vote to monopolise unto themselves, all our wives and children we must part with them to them, because, they vote it, and have no remedy in helpe ourselves, because we have trusted them, (O brave Parliament principles) though we never intended them in the least any power at all to doe what they list, nor any other power, but only rationally to the best of their understandings. (according to justice [Editor: illegible word] right reason) and provide for our greater happinesse and better well being, which they them selves before they had got the King and his party downe, did honestly confesse, book Decl. I pag. [Editor: illegible word] to call the Iudges to an account, and to punish them if they should pervert the law and justice of the Kingdome, either by the Kings flatteries, letters, commands or threats, which the law expressly saith, they are not in the least to regard, in the administration of justice, 9. [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] E. 5. [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] E. 3. 9. 14 E. 3. 14. 11., [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word]. And if they see cause to call the Lord Treasury &c. to account, to know and see, if the publique Treasure of the Kingdome be [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] according to the end and uses that it is assigned [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] for the good preservation, safety and protection of the Kingdome and not to be imbezzled or wasted in ends or uses not warrantable nor justifiable.

But they were never in the least be trusted with a power to protect and beare out their own Members in all manner of treachery and basenesse committed by them against the Kingdome, (as I could easily instance they have, done to divers) and to cheat and cozen them of great and vast sums, of their, money, and yet not to be liable to be called to any account for it. See Mr. Andrew Burrells, Remonstrance to the Parliament of England, and the state of Irish affaires presented to the Parliament by the Committee of adventures in London, for Ireland, and Regall Tyranny Pag. 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106 in which pages it is declared, that a right reverend Gentleman of the House of Commons, Sir John Clotworthy and his agent Mr. Davis, have put in their particular pockets, 97195 l. of the money raised for the relief of Ireland, and I have heard that the foresaid Committee of Londoners had [Editor: illegible word] Sir John Clotworthy to the purpose in the House of Commons, about 2400 l. that they possitively say he hath in his hands, if as I am informed, he had not by a great deale of industry found some very great Citizens tardy (contrary to the law,) in transporting beyond the Seas, Silver and Gold, who improved all their interest to keep him from complaining, and it is thought prevailed on purpose with the said Committee to cease prosecuting, Sir John Clotworthy that so he might cease prosecuting them, for their transportations, nay it is verily though some lickt their fingers soundly about this businesse, for I have from very good hands heard, there are some notable blades about London, that can easily discover so many great men about London capitally tardy with transporting of the Kingdome treasure beyond the Seas, that if there were any that would doe impartial justice swiftly securing the penalty of the lawes, divers hundreds of thousands of pounds might easily be raised to be put into the publique purse, only it were worth the Commons of Englands serious looking to it that three quarters of it were not put into particular Parliament mens pockets. Oh for a new chosen Parliament to find out that almost unfathomable knavery that is amongst divers of this Parliament, about mighty sums of the publiques money. I dare boldly aver it, that all the businesse against Strafford, Canterbury, Lord Keeper Finch, Lord Chief Iustice Brimstone, brethren Iudge Bartlet, Barron Trever, Sir George Ratcliffe, The Farmers of the Custome-house, Alderman Abell, Mr.Calvert and the rest of their Cater-piller Monopolisers was never when they were openned, more odious to the people, then the villanny and roguery of divers of the present Parliament men would evidently appeare, if there were any uncorrupted and impartiall judges to lay it open, which as they are, is impossible to be found or had, they being generally and [Editor: illegible word] (in a manner) so corrupted with fingering the States money, that for my part I am very [Editor: illegible word] of it, they dare not rip up one anothers knavery, for feare he that first begins gets a [Editor: illegible word] himselfe before he hath done. Yea, I have observed it for divers moneths together, that it is a common practice in the House of Commons, that as soone as a Soldier is chosen a Parliament man, of whose honesty, valour and boldnesse, many people had high thoughts of, but [Editor: illegible word] him, and low up his lips, which gifts doe Ezekiel 23. 8. Deut. 16. 19 Eccles. [Editor: illegible word] within a moneth or six weekes very commonly, order that he shall have his Arrears cast up and paid him, or else a Vote for 4 or 5000, l. for one losse or another, so that for my part I [Editor: illegible word] though a man be never so gallant when he is in the field, yet such bewitching baites of money &c. is in the House of Commons, that as soone as he comes to sit there, he is in my thoughts three quarters spoyled, yea, and it may be in a very little time will be an enemy to that gallantry and down right honesty, he in the field professed so that for my part, of all the late Commanders that have been chosen to sit in the House, (they are so taken with the Silver baites of that House) that I profess for my part? will not give a groat a dozen for them, (to doe the Common wealth service in their present place) unlesse it be one or two at most amongst them, therefore say I, let us earnestly contest for the inioyment of our iust, nationall liberties and the long and antient just laws of England to have every yeare a fresh and new Parliament, to call this to an account for all our money they have had, and all the iniustice they have done us without which we are destroyed, both in our lawes, liberties and proprieties, but if any shall [Editor: illegible word] the Kingdome in generall will find; great hazards by a new choise, I say no, for it never such base men be chosen, if we have a fresh Parliament every yeare, to sit three or four score dayes at most, it will be as a rod kept over their heads to awe them, that they shall not dare to doe the Kingdome one thousand part of that iniustice that this Parliament hath done, for feare the next Parliament they shall be questioned, and then loose their heads or estates. Therefore in the Kingdomes good in generall, it is worth the indeavouring to get the same proviso in an annuall act, that now is in the trianiall made the 16. yeare of the King, & to settle the government of the Kingdome, either by the King againe, or some other way that the Parliament shall think fit, by chusing out a Committee amongst themselves to manage the great affaires of the Kingdome, till the next free and new chosen Parliament, for now we are under a Law, when Parliament men please to destroy us, and when the Law will not reach us, then their wills shall, tell which be done, England shall never inioy iustice, impartiallity, but be in the absolute condition of as perfect vassolage and slaverie, as either the Turks in Turky, or the pesants France, or the Boors in Flanders having neither the inioyment of liberty nor propriety now; it being I wil maintain it, the greatest act of breach of trust that ever the King did in his life when he passed the Act called the Act to prevent inconveniencies, by untimely dissolving the Parliament, made 1641. to let both houses sit as long as they pleased, and so make sitting in Parliament a Monopoly and heriditary to them and their heires for ever, which is such a palpable and visible violation of our essentiall and fundamentall liberties, that it is lesse to be indured by the honest free men of England, then any act of iniustice, or violence that ever he did to us in his life; for this is to universall that it absolutely destroyes both our lawes, liberties, trades, and proprieties, and makes us all perfect and absolute slaves, but Parliament men and their new made and created creatures, there being nothing wanting but the Kings consent to the twelfth Proposition, that both houses by law may levie upon the People, what money they please, and doe with it what they please, and never be accountable, and therefore I will add a fift thing, to those things of greatest evill mentioned by me in my Epistle dedicatory, before my booke called The Charters of London, and pray from the Popes unwritten [Editor: illegible word], Kings unlimitted Prerogatives, Parliaments unknown priviledges, the Lord Major, Court of Aldermen, and the rest of the prerogative Common-Counsell men of London, implicite saith, but especially from an everlasting Parliament, Good Lord deliver honest John Lilburne.

Now Sir, I come to speak a few words unto the state that you are in by reason of the trouble I have brought upon my selfe, (a you thinke) by owning of my booke, to which I answer.

Alasse! I professe it seriously, death it selfe is more acceptable to me, then to live, and be without cause destroyed in a Gaole, what should I be affraid of? For I assuredly know God in Iesus Christ, is my reconciled father, in the strength of which I have walked stedfastly above these ten yeares, so that I without doubt know he hath instore for me a crown of eternall glory in the Kingdome of glory, And cursed be he that is afraid of war that shall die, and of the feare of man which shall be made as grasse, and forget test the Lord his maker, that stretcheth forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the Earth, Esay 11. 12, 13. And truly to extraordinary large experience have I had of God, unfathomable loving kindnesse and truth, that there is nothing but sinne can make me afraid, (For the Lord is on my side, I will not feare what man can doe unto me, Psal. 118. 6. and 56, 4. 11. Heb. 13. 6) which I am principally tyed from by that overflowing, bounty, & goodnesse, that I have taisted in God.

And for my wife and children which most troubles me, unto whom I ought, and I hope have and doe beare a husband and fatherly affection unto, yet alasse, shall I for love of them sin against my owne soule, and be silent, when my conscience from sound grounds tells me God would have me to speake, to reprove the perversnesse and stiffe neckednesse of an Hypocriticall, uncircumcised, in heart generation of men, that under specious pretences goe about to inslave their native Country, and so by consequences strongly endeavour to destroy my wife and Children as well as my selfe, who must undeniably perish, if I should live with them, if the law and justice of the Kingdome be overthrowne, which cannot in likelyhood be avoyded, if God should not open the mouthes of some to speake, reprove and informe, and God having betrusted me with a Talent, yea, and by my unjust imprisonment, put on opportunity into my hand to improve it for his advantage and glory, accursed should J be in my own apprehension, if I should tye it up in a Napkin and hide it.

And besides when all ordinary meanes failes, to contest for my right (without the injoyment of which, my wife and children in the eye of reason must perish and be destroyed) In my understanding is the only way to obtaine it, but if in the persuit of my present contest I should loose my life, I can lay it downe with a great deale of comfort, and commit my wife and children with a great deale of confidence, in the faithfullnesse and care of God, who hath manifested so much unto me in all the straites and extremities that ever I was in, for the faithfull discharge of my duty to him in endeavouring to keep my consolence unspotted before him, I pray read my Epistle dated 11. Nov. 1638 and printed at the latter end of my answer to Pryn, called Innocency and truth justified.

Besides, in my present imprisonment, I am stript of all industrious meanes to provide for my wife and children, and am much more in the rode way by expences to destroy them, then to lay up six pence for their future subsistance, and which it long continued, in the eye of reason, I must either eat them, or they me. And therefore being in many straights in my owne spirit, and under many capitall oppressions, contrary to the law and justice of the Kingdome, I looked up to God, and pluckt up my resolution, and put pen to Paper on purpose if it were possible to give them a provocation to bring the forth to a publique tryall, that so it possible I could I might know what I must do, and yet so carrying my businesse; that I would in my own apprehension have the law of the land of my side, and advantages sufficient to render my adversaries [Editor: illegible word] and contemptable for their unjust proceedings with me and therefore it was that I that proposed before the forementioned Committee owned my book in that manner that I did, which if I had not, the credit of the book would have been blasted, and divers other great inconveniences to me would have followed.

And therefore knowing very well, that though divers in the house of Commons were [Editor: illegible word] the book; yet by law they themselves in their Arbitrary way, could not try me for it, the which if they should or had attempted, I should have shewed them their owne Oathes and Declarations, where they sweare and declare to maintain the lawes and liberty of the land, and should, as shall say to them as Tamer said to Judah after he had in his unadvised rashnesse condemned him to death for being with child by what [Editor: illegible word] but when she was brought forth she said to Judah her Father in law saying, saying to the man who [Editor: illegible word] are, am I with child, [Editor: illegible word] I pray thee, [Editor: illegible word] these, the signes and [Editor: illegible word] and [Editor: illegible word]. And Judah acknowledged them and said, she had been more righteous than I am because I gave her not to Shiloh my son and he knew her agonie more Ge. 38, 14, 15, 16 &c.

Even so should I have said, if they should have falne upon me with fury to have tryed me (for writing my booke) In their Arbitrary and Parliamentary ways (and falne upon me with as much heat for standing upon my legall priviledge, as Judah did upon Tamar, when he judged her to be burnt) whose Oathes? whose Covenants? whose Declaration and Protestations are all these? In all of which you have solemnly ingaged before the presence of the great God of Heave at Earth and all the world, that you will maintaine the lawes and liberties of the land. Yes, the House of Commons in their most excellent Declaration of the 19. April; 1646. book [Editor: illegible word] part folio, 879 expresly say, that although the necessity of the war given some disturbance to all proceedings, stopped the usuall course of justice, inforced the Parliament,for the preservance of this court to impose and require many great and unusuall payments from the good subjects of the Kingdome, and to take extraordinary wayes for procuring of moneys for their many pressing reasons, it having pleased God to reduce our affaires into a more hopefull condition then heretofore we doe declare, (marke this well) That we will not, nor any by colour of any authority derived from us, shall interrupt the ordinary course of justice in the severall Courts and Iudicatories of this Kingdome, nor inter meddle in cases of Private interest of [Editor: illegible word] where determinable, unlesse it be a case of maleadministration of justice where we shall see and provide, that right be done,and punishment inflicted as those shall be [Editor: illegible word], according to the laws of the Kingdome, and the trust reposed in us, which else where they say, is to provide for the peoples weale, but not for their woe and in other of their Declarations they declare, That the law, and the ordinary course of justices is the common birthright of every subject of England, and that the Law is in case of tryall, they declare it to be one and the same with that expressed in my forementioned paper, see 1. part book Declaration pag. 4, 7. 38. 39. 77. 278. 458. 459. 660. 845. see also The Anatomy of the [Editor: illegible word] pag. 8, 9, 10. The Out-cryes of Oppressed Commons, pag. 7, 8. and Vex Plebis, pag. 13, 14, 15, 16 &c.

And therefore if I be in an error, or have committed an evill in the judgement of the Parliament, for standing upon my legall priviledges against them, verily by the men whose are these, am I seduced, deluded, and led into error, discerne I pray you, whose are these, these Remonstrances, Declarations, Protestations, Oathes, Vowes, and Covenants, the benefit of which I ought to infer the which if they let me, I shall let you know I was not, nor am not altogether [Editor: illegible word] to know my owne priviledges at the Common Law, for I know it they indict me, (tell they have wholly altered the government) it must be in the Kings name, and for committing a crime against him, & this is expresly the form of their indictment & I am sure I can be found guilty of no crime committed against him, unless it be at their command, for drawing my sword & fighting against him and his Army, & in this I shall plead their own Ordinances and Declarations, where they promise to beare me harmlesse for so doing, and I am sure this is a good and sufficient plea before one of their owne Iudges, who hath no other power but what he derives from one of their owne Ordinances, which if he shall hang or destroy me, or any man, for actions done expresly in obedience to their Ordinances, for any thing I know he ought to be hanged as a wilfull murtherer for destroying me for doing actions in obedience to that power (and expresly commanded by them) from which he hath all his power, and hath no other power to sit as a Iudge, but by vertue of an Ordinance of the two Houses.

But if they should condemne me for this action, what doe they else but condemne in me the whole Parliament, and all that have in these warres adhered to them.

But if they should happen to indict me, for acting, committing, or indeavouring to act, or commit treason, rebellion, or insurrection against the Parliament, I very much question according to Law, and the present constitution of the Kingdome, whether any such indictment can be made or no, but if it can? I wonder then the Parliament doth not then try the Cavieleers in the severall prisons of London, that avowedly and professedly have drawn their swords against them to destroy them, yea, and glory in it as their duty so to doe, and truly it is the greatest injustice in the world, to let those goe scot free that are guilty in the highest nature, and to punish him or them that is not in the hundred degree so guilty, and yet this is my case, where if here I could not defend myselfe, (although believe I should be able to give them good store of strong and pulling reasons, which now I will not communicate to you) but yet they would goe one and presse me to plead to the indictment, I should desire to see and know, whether or no, my Iury of twelve men of my equalls were all legall men or no, yea, and something more besides.

And in the first place, if I were indicted for treason, I might by law, except against 35. Jury men without rendering any reason for it, see the 32. H. 6. folio. 26.[Editor: illegible word] H. 7. folio 19 Stam. Pleas Crowne, folio 198, Cookes 3. part Institutes, folio 24. and 27. and then I might except against so many as I could declare bore me a particular mallice for pre-judgement is a good challenge by the law, for the common law of the land, that a Iury men must be in different and impartiall before he be sworne, see Stamfords Pleas of the Crowne, lib. 3. folio 158. and Britten in his discourse of the lawes of the Land, folio 12. and 25. [Editor: illegible word] 3. chap. 3, 12. Ass. plea. 30 Bre-Challenge 42. 101. 120. 142. 156.*

And so within the compasse of malicions men against me would come all the Presbyterians, that have taken the League and Covenant, in the second Article of which [Editor: illegible word] part fol. 4. 2. 5. they have illegally and unjustly sworne to destroy and extirpate all Heretiques one of which they judge me to be, because I will not take that ilegall Oath, nor be conformable to Scotch, Antichristian Presbytery, and so have sworne to destroy me, before I be legally convicted, which in wicked and unlawfull.

For a man bound by an Oath before, to doe that which he is to doe upon the indictment; evidence and proofe thereof, is partiall, and not in different, see Cookes 1. part institutes libr. 1. chap. 12. sect. 234. pag. 156. who saith expresly, Jurors must be men without all exceptions.

And by the Statutes of 1. H. 5. 3. and 1. H. 6. 19, It is inacted, that no parson shall be admitted to passe in any inquest (or Iury) upon tryall of the death of a man, or in any inquest betwixt party, or party in plea reall, nor in plea personall, whereof the debt or the dammage declared, amount to forty markes, if the same person, (or Jurer) have not lands or tenements of the yearly value of forty shillings, alwayes provided that the party to be tryed doe make his challenge. And by the Statute of 17. Eliz chap. 6. It is inacted, that in all cases where any Juror to be returned for tryall of any issue, or issues ioyned in the Kings bench, Common pleas, and the Exchequer, or before any courts of assize, shall every one of them have estate of free hold in lands, tenements or Hereditaments to the yearly value of 4. l. at the least, and the Sheriffe or other Ministers, unto whom the meeting of the Pannell shall appertaine, shall not returne in any such pannell, any person, unlesse he may dispend foure pound by the yeare at the least, of free hold out of ancient demesne, within the county where the issue is to betryed, upon paine to forfeit for every person so returned in any such pannell that cannot dispend 4. l. free hold, 20s.

It is true that by the Statute of the 33. H 8. 13. it is inacted. That every person and persons being the Kings naturall Subject borne, which either by the name of a Citizen, or of a freeman or of any other name, doth injoy and use the liberties and priviledge, of any City, Burrough, or Towne where be dwelleth, and make his abode, being worth in moveable goods and substance to the cleare value of 40 l, be from henceforth admitted in try all of murthers and felons in every session, and Gaole delivery kept and holden in and for the liberty of such Cities, Burroughs and Townes are, albeit they have no freehold, provided alway, that this act doe not extend in any manner of wise, to any Knight, or Esquire, dwelling, abiding, or resorting in, or to any such City, &c. And I, by vertue of having been a Lieutenant Colonel, am an Esquire, as may easily be proved one of the Herauld of Aimes Office, and therefore in what place soever I am or shall be tryed may lawfully make my exceptions against every man of my Jury that is not worth in free land 4.l. per annum.

And besides, if none of these will doe me good, I have this last remedy that I am confident, I shall legally and fully prove any charge whatever, that in that booke I lay upon the Parliament in generall, or any member of it in particular, if I may from them injoy the benefit of the law, and then I pray what doe they gaine or I loose by owning and avowing the foresed booke.

But if you thinke that by owning of my booke, they are there by so exasperated, that I had the hazard of being destroyed by them by an act of power and will, to which I answer, by that law neither you nor any man in England is safe, but liable to be destroyed at their pleasure, yet the lesser part of themselves, are liable by that law every houre to be destroyed by the loss of the Major part, and then the Major part are liable every houre to be destroyed for a company of Tyrants and for sworne perjured men (for the king all their Oaths which they have taken to mantaine the law of the Kingdome, and like absolute Tyrants have made their will a law) by any company or multitude of men stronger then themselves, which if they should goe this way to work they would every houre be justly in feare of, but if they should be so farre be stuped and besotted as to run the hazard of their owne deserved ruine by destroying me by an act of power in cold blood, by the law of their owne will, I for my owne particular should be no looser by my translation from an earthly death, to an eternall life, and therefore I feare not their malice, nor care not a straw for the worst they can doe to me, being (notwithstanding the feare of your selfe, and other of my friends) resolved so to provoke them, that they shall either be necessitated & forced out of meer fear or shame to do me justice & right, by making & hearing my report (now in the hands of sluggish Mr. Henry Martin, whose prisoner principally I now am) judging my case, and setting me free at liberty, and giving me legall reparations for my illegall and unjust sufferings, or else out of meere madnesse, furie and revenge, to send me to Tyburne to be rid of me, of which I am not in the least afraid, and doubt not but if God should so forsake them, and the Devil so farre lead them as there to bring me, but at and by my death, I should (Sampson like, Iudges 16. 18. 29. 30.) doe them more mischiefe then I did them all my life, by pulling away the two maine pillars, that upheld their unfairly to be [Editor: illegible word] in house of tyranny.

And therefore, if you would avoid the evill you feare to come upon me, I entreat you to presse Mr. Martin (with whom I know you are acquainted) to make my report to the house, which he hath so unjustly kept in his hands so many moneths, to my unspeakable prejudice, and the unconceiveable prejudice of the whole Kingdom, and if he should say, that their house are not in a temper to doe either me, or the Kingdome concerned in me, justice, or right, and therefore it is better forborne then made, lest their house by Vote confirme what the Lords have done to me, to answer which I must tell you, I am as sure as that I am a man, that I have the Law of England on my side against the Lords, and which I thinke is unanswerably demonstrated in the forementioned books, and therefore let their house be in never so bad a temper, I most earnestly intreat you to presse him to endeavour to make it, and so quit his hands of it, I care not what the issue be, so he doe but discharge his duty, by attempting and endeavouring to make it, and take some of his Comrades to beare witnesse of it and send me the names of those that in that House stand up against me to hinder and pervert the justice of the Kingdome, in this particular case of mine, and I shall thinke him an honest man, and that he hath done his duty in endeavouring to obtaine justice and right for me, at the hands of those that ought impartially to hand it out to me, or the meanest Commoner and legall man of England, but this Sir I doe assure you, that if I can upon good grounds know the names of those that interpose their power & parts to hinder me of that justice and right which is my due in this particular, by the good, just and unrepealed law of the Kingdome, I will pay them with my pen upon the posts of London, and to the view of the whole kingdome, as well as all the wit, braines and parts I have will in able me to doe, cost it what it will, I pray Sir presse Mr. Martin but to indeavour the making of my report, for while it is in his hands, I am tyed in a manner by him hand and foot, and cannot as I would stir for my own good, till he hath rid his hands of it, one halfe of whose ill dealing with me, I should never beare nor take from all the professed adversaries I have in the world, which I must be necessitated in a large Epistle shortly to signifie to him, and publish his dealing with me to the world.

In the next place, if you desire to prevent that evill that you feare will be fall to me, then I pray you improve your utmost interest amongst the Commons of England in City and County, to petition to the House of Commons, either according to justice and right, to justifie or condemne me, and in case they will not receive, read and satisfactorily answer their Petitions, then I intreat you improve all your interest in them, to get them publiquely and avowedly to remonstrate and declare the Parliaments unjust dealings with them to all their fellow Commons of England, that I may not be necessitated to run the hazard of making my single appeale against them to all my fellow Commons, as well in the Army, as City and Country, which before I will be destroyed in prison without cause, I both must and will doe, though I should loose my life the next day after for so doing.

But now before I conclude, in regard I intend to make this Epistle publique, I will communicate to your consideration, two things of speciall concernment to me, and the first is a peace of justice of the House of Lords in its kind, as excellent as theirs to me is, and it is the case of one Mrs. Elizabeth Walter, the breviat of which as she her selfe gave it me in writing with her [Editor: illegible word] subscribed to it, I shall recite here verbatum, saving some of the Marginall notes.

Elizabeth Walter
Walter, Elizabeth

The proceedings of Mrs. Walter in the Parliament with the House of LORDS

SHrove-Sunday last is seaven year since my husband left me in this tomn with three children, a house and family, and left me but seaven pence for the reliefe of me and them. I followed him into the Country two hundred miles of this place, and came to him where he was in one Chapels house, who wrought such dissention betwixt us, that as soone as he see me, he took the Bible and by the Contents of that book he swore he would never more live with me, and fell to beat me most cruelly, and turned me out of doors.

  • 1 My first Petition was the beginning of this Parliament.
  • 2 See their Order of the 2. Iune 1641.
  • 3 See their Order of the 23. Iun. 1641.
  • 4 See their Order of the 27. Novemb. 1641.
  • 5 See their order of the 10. July, 1641. and 2. of Aprill, 1642.
  • 6 Vpon the 12. May, 1642.
  • 7 See their order of the 13. May, 1642.
  • 8 See his notable Decree, made 13. May, 1642.
  • 9 See their order of the 1. Iune, 1646, and the Commissioners order of the 22. June, 1646.
  • 10 See their order of the 23. Nov 1646, and their order of the 1. Feb. 1646.
  • 11 See their order of the 28. Nov. 1646.
  • 12 See the Moderate Intilligence, upon the 23. Feb. 1646.
  • 13 See their order of the 18. Feb. 1646.
  • 14 See their fatall order of the 23. Feb. 1646.
  • 15 Whose husband Mr. Stavely, was lately high Sheriffe of Leicester-shire, and a Committee man, and whose said, wife is suspected extraordinarily guilty of a kind of processed & open incontinency, yet the house of Lords committed him prisoner to theFleet about two years ago, for refusing to pay her Alley money, to support her in her professed wickedness, where they have kept him prisoner to this very day, a brave contradicting peece of justice, and worthy to be founded out abroad for their Lordships deserved commendations.

On which I returned back to London, and put it to the House of Peers, 1 for some reliefe for me and my children: who sent for my husband up, 2. and at a full hearing, my husband being in place, before three score Lords, having nothing to alledge against me but that he would not live with me, they then ordered by his owne consent out of two hundred pounds a yeare, to pay me three score pounds a year and further what Estate should fall to him, either by the death of Grand-mother or mother, I should have the one halfe thereof, for the reliefe of me and my three children, 3. which is five hundred pounds a yeare more, All which orders my husband would never obey, but still stood under contempt. 4. The the house referred it to the Iudges, Foster and Heath, 5. to draw a sequestration for my life, according to Law, which they did, 6. and Brought it to the house, and the House confirmed it, 7. and ordered it to my Lord Keeper, who decreed it in Chancery, 8. and set it out under the greatfuale of England, I having all this while received nothing from the Estate, the great seale being made voide, I petitioned to the house in May last, 1646, for the new broad seale, which was granted me 9. and I therewith sequestred part of the Estate, but never received but one five pounds thereof.

In the meane time my husband petitions to the house for a re-hearing, (alledging he could prove incontinency against me) it was granted him, and comming with our Counsell to the barre, my counsell pleaded his severall contempts, at which time we were dismissed, then he petitions againe, gets of his contempt, paying me my arrears, 10. which was five hundred pounds, before he should have a re-hearing, then be petitions againe, and then I was ordered to suspend the arrears till after the hearing, 11. then we had a hearing Counsell of both sides meet, without witnesses, on his side there was nothing or little proves, and he feared no small aspertions were laid upon me, 12. then the Lords refered it is all the judges that know what alley money was due to a woman by the law, 13. who reported there was second among his obeyers, they dissinnulled all their former orders and took of their former stations 14. and dismissed the cause, though my Counsell cited to them severall cases, of women that were found guilty of incontinency, As Stavely, 15. Dutton and others.

I have spent above foure hundred pounds in the suite, and now and left without reliefe as at the beginning.

The Judges report was but verbal which is not ordinary.

At the giving me an estate, there was three score or four score lords, at the taking it away, there was not above twelve or fourteen, and two of them testified against it, which was my Lord North and Moulgrave.

My Counsell were Mr. Maynard, Mr. Herne, and Mr. Nudigan.

Elizabeth Walter.

Now I pray you friend judge and consider, whether or no these Lords be not a company of brave and gallant conscionable men, fit to be our Law makers indeed, that can make a poore Gentlewoman dance above 6. yeares attendance for a little reliefe to keep her and her children alive, (for you see that when her husband left her, he left her with seven pence, and did not forsake her for any undutifullnesse or incontinancy but rather that he might have elbow room enough to live as incontinent as his lust pleased) and yet in conclusion to expose the poore Gentle-woman and her three children in the eye of reason to a perishing and starving condition, after she hath spent above 400. l. to obtaine that at their hands, that in it selfe is as just, equitable and conscionable, as anything in the world can be, (and after they have made her order upon order, for the possessing of her just desire, so full I thinke for I have read them all) as it is possible to be comprised in paper, and I desire not only you, but all the Ladyes and Gentlewomen in England, yea, all the Fathers of Feminine creatures, to consider what a sad thing it is, that if they shall bring up their daughters well, and bestow large portions upon them, and marrie them, and their husbands shall live with them till he hath got three or foure children upon them, and then at his pleasure without any just cause given him by his wife, (for the satisfying of his lust, upon a whore or whores) shall leave his wife and children to the wide world, and not allow them six pence to live upon, and then (which is worst of all) to be In such a condition, that they have no legall way to compell him to doe it, (for it seemes by the gallant, but not unspotted justice of the House of Lords to this Gentle woman, there is none) and yet they can find some to commit Mr. Stavely to prison, for refusing to pay his wife ally-money, who I my selfe have heard him, say, lives in the highest professed, and open incontinency that a woman can, I pray answer me this, whether these very Lords doe not by these two forementioned actions visibly declare, that they are greater friends to whores and Rogues then to honest chast men women? whether injustice oppression be not more delightsome to them, then justice, righteousnesse and truth? and whether or no it is possible to be in a worse a sadder condition, then when such men as these sit at the Helm, and govern the stearn of it, not by true, just, rationall principles, but by the crooked, injust and perverst principle of their owne crooked, partiall, and depraved wills. Oh England, England! woe, woe unto thee, in this thy present sad condition, which thou feelt, will not feel, and which thou feelest, but wilt not feele, but stoop Isakar like, unto the burthen, and not take any rationall course for thy preservation, from being as arbitrary and a prey to every forthright enemy, which of necssity thou must be in conclusion, in the way that is now stood, lastly if the Lords of Commons, or both of them put together, may doe unto thee what they please, without any controle, because they are thy Magistrates, and thou with all submission must stoop unto it, then of necessity thou art guilty as a wilfull murtherer, in shedding the blood of all the Cavieliers, for endeavouring to protect their King from thy violent and furious hands, who is a hundred times more secured and fortified, when the expressed and declared law of the Kingdome, then the Parliament is, who now doe what they list, yea, levie money upon us, and put it in that own pockets, and pretend we must not question them, and take them wherefore they doe so, because, we have trusted them. Oh brave Parliament principles indeed! fitter for the great Turke, then for English Parliament men.

The second thing I shall declare to you, is the scandalous and base dealing of William Prin with me, a fellow so unworthy and base, and so fraught with malice and bloodthirstinesse, and so habituated in telling lyes and falshoods, that a man of unspotted worth, honour and integritie, would scorne (as Iob saith chap. 30. 10) to set him with the dogs of his flock, who at about this 3. yeares hath been an agent in the hands of the Divell, maliciously and causelessly to indeavour (with all his might) the destruction of the generation of the righteous, purchased with the blood of the Lamb in this land and Kingdome, and either to have them burnt, hanged, kild, or banished, of which when I as a welwisher advertised him, as you may read in my printed Epistle to him, dated 7. Ianuary 1645. and in my printed reasons delivered into the Committee of Examinations, dated 23. Iune, 1645, the man was fild so full of fury as though he would eate me up at a mouthfull, and tossed and tumbled me at Committees, so as if he would have beat me to dust and powder, as you may partly read in my printed Epistles, dated 25. Iuly, 1615. and December 1645. Yea, and one day in Westminster Hall laid violent hands upon me, having my sword in my hand, to provoke me to strike him, that so I might loose my hand by striking in the face of the Judges, sitting in the Kings bench to Westminster hall, and afterwards his two great Comrades Dr. Bastwick and Col King, having by the Speakers meanes, (Prins Patron) got me uniustly clap by the heeles, from the 19. of Iuly 1649. to the 14. of October. 1645. I was by the whole house of Commons honourably released, as you may read in the 34. pag. of Innocency and truth justified, but yet in that unjust and unrighteous imprisonment, I was ordered by the House of Commons to be tryed at New-gate Sessions for my life, by the powerfull influence of Mr. Speaker and Mr. Gline, Recorder of London, in which businesse I have just cause to thinke that Pryn had more than a finger, because this when he see I was likely honourably to be delivered as a spotlesse and innocent man, he frames a booke, and publisheth it Cum privilegio and dedicates it to Mr. Speaker, in which book called The Lyar confounded, he possitively accuseth me of a most transcendent crime, viz. that I have conspired with other Separates and Anabaptists to toot out the Members of this Parliament by degrees, beginning with Mr. Speaker, whom if they could cut off (the Limb) all the rest would easily follow: and if this succeeded not, then to suppresse and cut off this Parliament by force of Armes, and set up a new Parliament of our owne house and faction, by this hainess charge, Pryn manifesteth himselfe a perfect Knave, and enemie to the Kingdome, in that he knew me guilty of such a thing, and never to this day durst question me or prosecute me for it, and if it be but one of his false malicious suggestions, then he proves, and declares himselfe a lyar to fix so notorious a falshood upon him that now, as well as formerly in this and all other things, bide defiance to him, see my answer to this in the 25. page of my booke called Innocency and truth Justified, yea, and in the same false scandalous and transcendent lying booke of his, beside scores of lyes, he fathers positively 13. or, 14. upon me in lesse then I, lines as I have truly declared in the 4, 5, 6. pages, of the last mentioned booke and there offered to his face, publiquely to prove what there I say against him, but the lying and paulterry fellow durst never embrace my challenge there made to him, and never so much as in any of his late voluminous lines, return one word of answer that ever I could see to what there I justly fix upon him, and therefore by his silence in their particular, though he durst printed scores of sheets since, have given me just cause now to proclaime him so notorious and base a lyar, that he is not ashamed to tell and publish above a dozen in 8. lines.

But the cowardly unworthy fellow, like one of Satans brood, who was a lyar from the beginning, John 8. 44. knowing that I was fast by the heales under a great indignation of the house of Lords, and knowing that my businesse by way of appeale was depending in the house of Commons, and ready for a report, that he might blast my reputation and credit, and so by consequence destroy me and mine, some weekes agoe at the house of Commons but, (as I have been informed from many good hands) made a most false groundlesse and lying report of me, that I was in their debt above 2000. l. which I had little [Editor: illegible word] them of and in his late booke published since, and dedicated to the House of Commons, called the Sword of Christian Magistracy supported, in the 10. 11. pages of his Epistle, he strongly endeavours to make me more odious and capitall, then the late beheaded Arch Bishop of Canterbury, and there and else where in his base lying booke, press to them to punish me as severely as they did him, although I am confident he is not able to fix any crime upon me, but that I am honester and juster then himselfe, and stands for the lawes and liberties of England, which he endeavours to destroy and overthrow, and set up a perfect tiranny, as by his late printed books is to evident, and though in this book as well as the Epistle, he hath so many bitter charges against me, yet in regard I have proved him so base and notorious a lyar already, which by his not vindicating of himselfe, he to my understanding grants to be true, I shall only at the present returne as briefe an answer as I can, to that most notorious lye of his laid downe in the 12. p. of his said Epistle, (after he hath expressed the Lords li nity to me, in not murthering and destroying of me as he would have them, for no crime in the world, but for maintaining the just and good lawes of the Kingdome, which they have all often sworne to preserve,) he expresseth himselfe in these words.

nd yet this obstinate seditious ungratefull wretch, in stead of a having pardon for his most insolent unsaintlike Libele,* contempts against the whole House of Peers, and severall particular Members of it, because your honourable House of Commons, will not tolerate him upon his Libelleus Petition, (against all Law and justice, in front of the Lords,* and their priviledges) in this his mutinous Libell, (viz. The Oppressed want oppressions declared) railes more upon your honours then the House of Peers, not only clamouring, upon you for arrears of pay, (when as there is not one farthing due unto him, for ought he could make appeare upon the reference of his Petition to the Committee of Accounts, who gave him a charge of above 1100. l. received from the Earle of Manchester and his officers only, besides free quarter which he tooke, of which he never yet gave it his account) but like a most seditious unworthy creature, confederated with some Malignants, in the Tower (who have furnished him with mistaken law and Records, to drive on their designes,) he threateneth you, &c.

Now for answer to which charge of 1100. l. that he falsely saith I received, for my owne vindication to the world, I shall give you this account, that by Commission under the hand and feete of the Clark of Manchester, dated the 7 day of October, [Editor: illegible word] I was made Major of a foot Regiment to Col. Edward King, and then the 16. of May, [Editor: illegible word] I was made Lieutenant Colonel to the Earle of Manchesters Regiment of Dragoons, which lasted till about or unto the last of Aprill, 1645 at which time I delivered the Troop and payment up to Col. John Obely neare Abington. By the first Commission there is due to me some 125. for 223. dayes service, at 24. s. per diem, and by the second Commission there is due to me 612. l. 10. 11. for 350. dayes service at 31. s. per diem, both being [Editor: illegible word] 2. s. of all which during my service under the Earle of Manchester (I aver it) I never received 200 l. as pay for all Pryns lyes, tis true, that upon the 20. of December, 1645. I received of Mr. Nesthrop, Col. Kings Treasurer, at Mr. Tilsons House in Boston, by the hands of Mr Stoddert then my Lieutenant, now a Captaine In Sir Harthesse Wallers Regiment, the sum of 51. l. 1. s. 10. d. for so much hid out for Col. King at London by his own order, [Editor: illegible word] guilt Sword, a Plush Coat with [Editor: illegible word] and Silver Cloths 10. year as of Bluth for his wives german Cornet and rich banners, two pairs of Stockings, one Crimson velvet saddle, one his maidens saddle, and one Scarlet saddle with furnitures, three pair of bouissers sutable, and a box and padlock to pack them in, and then also I laid out for him 25. l, 1. s. 6, d. and delivered him in a bill of particulars, and received my money of his man, for 7. year as of fine gray cloth, with fur trimming, three paire of spurs, soldiers bootes, Gloves, a Barter scale, a Part [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] and forty paire of great Port for portage and carriage from London to Boston of 255. l. or 2. d. per. l. But I hope Col. King doth not intend to make either me or the State to pay for all that this bravery.

After this I laid out for divers other particulars mentioned in a note, which I gave unto him and his clarke, 23. l. [Editor: illegible word]. s. [Editor: illegible word]. d. which money I received In February, 1643. and being [Editor: illegible word] of the town of [Editor: illegible word] under John, that often occaision to lay out small sums of money so that all things to the value of above 50. l. the particulars of which I alwayes gave him and his clearke under my hand, and received my money in reference to such a note dated such a day) as by my notes and receites under my own hand with him and his Clarke willfully opened. I also the 13. Ianuary 1643. at Lincolne, received of his Clarke 200. l. which was laid out is followeth. Paid to Captaine Cottons for the Colonels company, and Lieutenant Cols. [Editor: illegible word] and Capt. Bres at a little towne within halfe a mile of [Editor: illegible word] upon the hill in the house neare the heath, [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] paid to Capt. Durings Capt. 15. I, paid to Capt. Wrogs [Editor: illegible word] I, paid to him that Commands Capt. Aryes men as Quartermaster upon the beating up of their Quarters neare Lincole, 4. l. that he is to be accountable for, and six pound for himselfe by the Cols: order, paid by his order to Iohn Deon and Iohn Hugger two of his Soldiers, to carrie them to Cambridge 2. l. laid out to my Soldiers as per my rowle of the 27. December appears 27. l. 3. 2. [Editor: illegible word] d. paid for wringing at these fights: Lincolne, 33. paid for carrying [Editor: illegible word] at severall times to [Editor: illegible word] and Stedford, 11. l. 4. d. and this note his Clearke and my selfe did a little while after the said 13. Ianuary perfect, and he received particular [Editor: illegible word] from the severall Officers upon their acknowledging they had received the above said sum of me, and I dare boldly say it, I was as exact in perfecting all such accounts as this with his work, as an [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] England is in keeping his bookes, as by the notes of particulars in his hands will manifestly appeare, and then for my Soldiers with him, they were so constantly mustered under the Collonels nose by one of his owne creatures, that it was impossible if his man had a mind unto it, to have paid the leavie, especially either I or any under my particular command, being in enmity with his Muster master, and besides I aver it, that if one would we made a muster, and the next weeke we made another, if my one of the Soldiers that was in his muster route the week before, were absent by sicknesse the second time, although he lay, sicke in the very same Towne, and though we named the house where she was sick, and were ready to goe to shew him to the Muster Master, yet so exact was Col. King. that I nor my Lieutenant was not trusted with the pay of my particular sick Soldiers, and as for the payment of them, their money was most commonly received and paid by my Lieutenant, yet I commonly gave the receipt for it under my hand, in as exact a way as it was possible to make it, viz. received such a day, so much money, far so many dayes pay, for my Ensigne, two Sergeants, three Corperalls, and so many common Soldiers. My Lieutenant, himselfe usually received his owne money, and I received of Tho. Hunter the Cols. man at three severall payments, about three score pound is, which in my receipts I mentioned as my owne particular pay.

Besides this in February and March, 1643. I received of the said Thomas Hunter and one Mr. Browne, by Col. Kings appointment, betwixt two and three hundred pounds, in part of payment for divers things delivered at his earnest defence in his straights, into his Magazine at Boston, at least by 20. l. in the hundred cheaper then he there paid at the same time for the like, the exact copy of which particulars, as I had them under the hand of his to one Magazine keeper (the originall it selfe to my remembrance being delivered to Mr. Weaver at Lincolne) thus followeth.

A note of all the Swords, Belts, and Holsters for Pistols, and Bandeliers That Major Liburne caused to be brought unto the Magazine at Boston.

February 5. 1643. Received from London by Major Lilburne appointment, two hundred and ninety Swords, were received immediately after by Major Lilburnes appointment, five hundred Swords, Feb. 1643. Received from Thomas Forman at Lyn, by Maior Lilburnes appointment, one chest of Swords, containing two hundred, received in Aprill, after from Major Lilburne, that his men brought into the Magazine and allowed them to my son Shepherdson, twenty Swords, so I received in Swords 1010.

Received of Major Lilburn 80. pair of Holsters for Pistols, and three hundred belts for Swords, received of Mr. Wood and Mr. Wind by Major Lilburnes appointment, we soon found collers of [Editor: illegible word], pistol bandaleers were received take the Magazine from Major Lilburn, but what moneyes hath bought it paid in for most of them I know not.

By me Richard Coney keeper of the Magazine in Boston.

Now if you please to read the 42, 43, 44. and 46. pages of Innocency and Truth iustified, and the 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. pages of my painted Epistle to Iudge Reeves; called The iust mans iustification you shall largely and particularly see the cause of Kings killing [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] which was principally for his endeavouring in my apprehension to being [Editor: illegible word] for our fatall [Editor: illegible word] at Newarke, at which time, all accounts betwixt him his clarke and me was even saving my owne particular pay, and betwixt 100. and 100. l. for the foresaid swords, [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] [Editor: illegible word] when I was going away, I brought him in a true account [Editor: illegible word] any band what was due to me for them, and what I had received, and I am sure this was his answer, he had no money in booke then, but as soone as any came in he would care to pay me, so away I went to Bedford, any Generall, as in the two last mentioned bookes, you may read, and afterwards to Lincoln, where we had notable bussing, to bring King to a Councell of Warre, for his grosse and palpable knaverie and treachery, but we could not bring him to the touchstone, because the Earle of Manchester and his two Chaplins, Ash and Good, protected him in his basenesse, after that being at the seidge of Yorke, Mr. Tredwell a Cutler, living now at the Lyon near Fleet-Bridge, pressing me to perfect the account with him for the Swords I had of him, and being in a straight how to get my money from King, who I knew was mad at me, for protesting him so hard, I went unto Dr. Staines and complained to him, who gave me this insuing warrant.

“By vertue of my Commission of Auditor Generall for the whole Association and Army, and by vertue of my Lord of Manchesters present Order, these are to require you to give an accompt, what moneyes or payments have been made to Major Iohn Lilburn, Captaine Elbert Lilburn, and Captain Lieutenant Henry Lilburn, and to send it by the bearer hereof, Given under my hand, by my Lord of Manchesters warrant this 11. of Iune, 1644:By vertue of my Commission of Auditor Generall for the whole Association and Army, and by vertue of my Lord of Manchesters present Order, these are to require you to give an accompt, what moneyes or payments have been made to Major Iohn Lilburn, Captaine Elbert Lilburn, and Captain Lieutenant Henry Lilburn, and to send it by the bearer hereof, Given under my hand, by my Lord of Manchesters warrant this 11. of Iune, 1644:

“Also you are to give an account under your hand, what moneys Major Iohn Lilburne hath received of you for Swords, Belts, Bandaleers, Holsters, delivered into the Magazine of Boston.

To Thomas Howet Clerke to Col. King and pay master to the forces there.

per me Will. Staine.

This warrant I sent away to Boston by a carefull hand to my wife, to follow the Clarke, Kings meniall servant for an account, but none she could get, and then after Marston-Moore we came into Lincolnshire, where I met with the foresaid Mr. Tredwell, who pressed me for some money due to him for the foresaid Swords, and I went to Col. King with him then at Boston, and after an outside complement in his Hall, I told him I had got Auditer Generall to send his warrant to his man for an account, but it would not be obeyed, and therefore I was come to him my selfe with my friend to desire him to pay me the rest of the money due to me, for the Swords, he had had of me, that so I might pay my friend that which I owed him, for some of them, whereupon he told me he had none of me, unto which I replyed you will not offer to say so, for at your earnest intreaty I provided them for you, at cheaper rates a great deale then here you could have them, and by your expresse order delivered them unto your Magazine keeper, who under his hand hath acknowledged unto me the receipt of them, and you your selfe hath often been at the Magazine with me to view them, and thanked me for the cheapnesse and goodnesse of them, and hath also under your owne hand sent me divers orders for the issuing them out, at which the man was in a mighty fury, and fell a raging at me, and bid me before my friend as if I had been a dog, get me out of his doors, wherupon told him he was a base impudent lying fellow, and if he durst manifest so much manhood as to come out of his own doores, I would cudgell his coat for abusing me, but he plaid the coward and durst not stir, and so we parted. Now let all the rationall men in England judge where the fault was that my account was not made up, and upon this Mr. Tredwell and my selfe went to Lincoln, where we fully made Lieutenant Generall Cromwell acquainted how it was with us, who by his earnest importunity with the Earle of Manchester, got him as I remember to order Mr. Weaver to pay Mr. Tredwel 140. l. which he received of him, and [Editor: illegible word] I perceiving before first left Boston, that Col. King intended to play the Knave with me. I reserved above 200. paire of my Houlsters which he should have had from me in my owne hands, and afterwards got Mr. Jackson of Boston in his shop to sell some of them for me, and the rest by the Earle of Manchesters expresse order, Col. Edward Rossiter in his necessity had of me, for which and remember I received 40. l. of M. Weaver, and besides reserved about 20. l. worth of Sword belts which I was necessitated to bring to London, and have them still in my owne hands, and should willingly take for them lesse by 5. l. then what they cost me, and so much for King.

And now in the second place, for money received by me when I was Lieutenant Colonel of Dragoones, in which service I am sure I spent divers moneths and never received a penny, no not so much as to buy me a horse shooe, being forced to lend my Soldiers money divers times to shooe their horses, part of which I lost for my reward, and I am sure that from Feb 1643. to September 1644. which was 7. moneths time, I received not six pence pay, and then as we marched to Banbury leager, at Daintery towne, I and other of my Officers received at the hands of the Northampton Committee. 800. l. as part of six weekes pay, 215. l. of which Major Evers, my Major had for his troop, and Capt. Beamont 105. l. for his troop, and Capt. Abbot, 180. l. for his troop, and my selfe for my troop 220. l. which then by my muster route and debenter daited from the 25. March, to the 26. of August, 1644. [Editor: illegible word] being 22. weekes consisted of my selfe, Lieutenant, Cornet, Quarter-master, two Sergeants, three Corporalls, two Drums, and 85. common Soldiers, which said money at that Townes end was immediately paid to the troop, every Common Soldier having out of it five weekes pay to pacifie the mutinie they were in, and I am sure there was not one Soldier in the muster route but had it to a penny, and the Officers staid for theirs till we came to Banbury, where I sent my Quarter-master and other Quarter-masters to Mr. Golson the Treasurer for the rest of the six weekes pay, which every troop then and there received, and I am sure mine was faithfully disposed of according to the Muster Route to a penny, only as I remember, one or two had lost their lives at the Castle before the last money came, and then after that seidge we marched to the seidge of Crowland, a service hard and difficult enough, Where my Cornet received 100. of the Cambridge Committee, in part of the foresaid debenter, out of which I paid my Officers and all my Soldiers then in being 14 dayes pay, Which according to the rules and practice of Warre I thinke is more then I needed in strictnesse to have done, for 14 dayes pay according to the forementioned Debenter comes to almost 130. l. all the slaine and dead payes of which tell the next muster, I might if I Would justly have made my own. and then in my absence at Stamford as I remember my Lieutenant made a new muster, from Whom I received three Weekes pay, and he himselfe paid the Soldiers their pay, I thinke iustly, for when I came down to them at Sir Richard Stones, neare Huntington, heard no complaints from any of them, Where I also paid them 14 dayes pay I had received for them at London, and they having lately at Melton Mobury had a Skirmish with Sir Marmaduke Langdon, some of my Soldiers were wanting which my Lieutenant told me he did confidently believe were slaine, upon which at his desire, as I remember I paid three Soldiers that he had listed since the last muster, but I was a looser by the bargain, for the Soldiers supposed to be slaine were only prisoners, whose pay after their deliverance I faithfully in Glocestershire, paid unto them, and this is all the pay to a penny I received as an officer of Dragoons, being in all 91, dayes pay, wch for me, comes to 92. l. And after this being in London, Dr. Staines told me my brother Robert owed him 10. l. which he lent him, which he intreated me to pay him, which I condiscended to, if he Would get me a Warrant from my Lord for 20. l. which he did, and I received ten pounds of the Treasurer, and he ten pound more, and I gave him a receipt for 20. l. So here is a true account for all the money and pay I received, and I was never unwilling to come to a true accompt, but having alwayes truly sought for it, for when the new Modell was a framing, I was by no meane man profited a good command in it, but seeing that visibly there was such bitter designes against the poore people of God, who then as well as now were strongly indeavoured to be destroyed by them who with all their might they had indeavoured to preserve, and also the lawes and iustice of the Kingdome to my understanding in a very bad condition, I plainly told Lieutenant Generall Cromwell, I would die for Turneps and Carrets before I would fight to set up a power to make my selfe a slave, which expression be relished not Well, Whereupon I told him Sir I Will (if I Were free to fight againe) never serve a iealous master While I live, for the Parllament by their late Vote hath declared a iealousie in all men, that Will not take the Covenant, Which I can never doe, nor any other of their oathes, and therefore seeing I have served them faithfully, and they are grown iealous of me Without cause, after so much assured experience of my faithfullnesse, I Will never in the mind I am now of serve them as a Soldier, While I breath, let them get Whom they please and doe what they please.

And upon my ceasing the life of a Soldier, I with much industry and difficulty upon the 10 November, 1645, got a Petition read in the House of Commons for my Arrear, which Petition you may read verbatum with the Houses answer to it, in the 64, 65, 66, 67. pages of Innocency and Truth iustified, where you will find they order: That it be refered to the Committee of accounts, to cast up and state the accounts of Lieut. Col. Lilburn, and to certifie What it due to him to this house.

Ordered that it be referred to the Committee of accounts to call Col. King, and Dr. Stane before them and to state their accounts, and What is due to Lieut. Col. Lilburn from either of them.

And though it were strange to me to be referred to William Prin my mortall, malicious and deadly enemy, yet I went to the Committee of accompts, and what passed betwixt us, you may read in the 68, page of the last mentioned book, the sum of which was, William Pryn being in the chair, tendered to me an oath, which was to this effect, that J should sweare what was due unto me, and what I had received, and what free quarter I had had, what horses and armes from the State, which oath for the reasons there mentioned I refused to take, and am still resolved rather to loose all my money, & to be hanged, before I will make my self such a slave, by depriving my selfe of the benefit of the good and just law of England, by taking such a wicked and unlawfull oath, knowing very well that by the law of England, as well as the Law of God, a man is not bound to sweare against himselfe, where either his own honour, credit or profit is concerned.

And therefore having besides been plundered of divers of my papers concerning my Soldiers and Muster rowles at the seidge of Nowark, where by Kings meane I lost foure horses, my port mantle and cloathes, &c. to the value of almost 100.l. and was stript from the Crown of the head to the sole of the foot, and forced to march divers miles without either hat, cap or Perewig, (having lately before lost my haire with sicknesse and cruell usage in Oxford Castle, by William Smith, that mercilesse Turke) breaches or dublet, bouts or shoots, over hedge and ditchs for the safety of my life.

By reason of the losse of which papers, it was impossible for me upon my oath to give an exact account, and besides I never in my service dreamt of any such thing, walking then by that rule that was established in the Ordinances then in being, thinking that if the Army Comittee that was set over us to looke to us* and the Counsell of Warre that was to punish us for any the least misdemeaner committed, had nothing to say to me nor accuse me of, that I should have had my accounts audited and signed by those persons named in the Ordinances under whom I served and not be brought to a Committee at London, that was not in being when I ingaged my life nor had all the while I was a Soldier no power over us, nor never was in the field to know that belongs unto a Soldier, and are meerly in my apprehension intentively erected to cheat and insnare honest & faithful Commanders of their just due, though for my part I do acknowledge I have no particular charge concerning my selfe against any of that Committee but Pryn.

And when I told them I had my commissions ready to justifie my service, and craved so much money as my right for my faithfull service, and therefore desired them to let me receive a charge what moneys, &c. they could fix upon me, and I shall either acknowledge it or disprove it, but they told me they could doe nothing in my businesse unlesse I would take the oath, then I told them I must and would repair againe to the House of Commons that sent me thither, so I was dismist without receiving any charge, though I earnestly desired it, and so it remained and I followed my other businesse about obtaining reparations from the houses about my Star-Chamber sufferings, which when I had got it into a good forwardnesse to divert and disinable me to follow it by Pryns meanes, as I conceive, I was summoned to come before the Committee of Accounts with a warrant in these words.

By vertue of an Ordinance of Parliament of the 12. of February, 1643. for taking the generall accounts of the Kingdome, these are to require you to appeare before as of the Committee indicted by the said Ordinance at the House of Sir Freeman in Cornwell London, on Wednesday, next at ten of the clock in the forenoone hereof faile you not dated the 9. of March, 1646.

John Lilburne
Lilburne, John
To Lieut. Col. Iohn Lilburne.
Authony Biddul, Thomas Hodges.
Robert Ellis, Iohn-Gregory.
Thomas Bramfield, Henry Hunter.
Richard Burren, Humplrey Foord.

And comming before them, I desired to know their pleasure with me, and Mr. Pryn being in the Chair told me to this effect, Lieut. Col. you were some months agoe with us, by vertue of an order of the House of Commons about your accompts, and we gave you time ever since to state them, but we hearing nothing from you, according to our expectation about them, wee have sent for you to cleare your selfe of above two thousand pounds that is fixed upon you to be received of Mr. Goulsone the treasurer, Mr. Weaver, and Col. King, unto which I replyed to this effect, with the favour of this Committee, I by my owne seeking procured the Order from the House of Commons that gave you particular cognizence of my accounts, and accordingly I of my own accord brought it to you, being not compelled thereunto by any man, according to that which I conceived just I earnestly desired of you, that the parties concerned in my accounts might by you be summoned to come before you, that face to face I might receive a charge of what monys they had paid me, that so I might either confess it or disprove it, and then when your certificate for that which is behind, as due to me, which I am very confident in divers hundreds of pounds for any pay, for my hazardus, faithfull and industrious service, and truly Gentlemen, you refusing this unto me as you did, and would have had me upon my oath to have charged my selfe, which I for my part though you have an Ordinance of Parliament to authorise you so to doe, did, and still doe conceive it unjust, and therefore without hope from you departed to seeke my right, in a more legall and just way from those that sent me, and these was the tearmes upon which we then parted, and I am sure you neither desired not commanded me any more to come to you, neither did I promise to come to you, and besides this losse of time, is no losse to you nor the State, but to me, in which debt the State is, and as I to them, and assure your selves, if I had not assuredly known that the State is in my debt, I would never have taken so much paines, to have run through so many difficulties to have got my accounts audited.

And set the 2000. l. and above, you say I am to account for, it is very strongs to me how it is possible to fix such a charge upon me, having never received I am confident 200. l. of the Earle of Manchester, or any under him, for all my service under his command* and for the money for my Soldiers, it was most commonly paid unto my officers, and besides it was so little, and so seldome, and so well knowne before we received it, to the Soldiers, how much it was, that it was impossible for me or any under me, to count them, much lesse of any such sums, to be compared to 2000. l. And therefore I make it my earnest desire unto this Committee, that I may receive a particular charge from you in writing, and that I may not be tyed up to a few dayes to answer it, but that I may have some competent time allowed me, that so I may not be hindred or disinabled to perfect my businesse now depending before the Lords, which I have already made a good progresse into, and have got a decree for 2000. l. for my Star Chamber sufferings, and am dayly to waite upon them to perfect an ordinance they intend to make and send downt to the house of Commons, to inable me effectually to receive the full benefit of their decree, and I hope Gentlemen, you wil not hinder me to follow my business, by comanding me to wait here upon you, when I must of necessity be waiting upon the Lords or the Commons, and if you should command me to waite here, and I not come, by reason of my businesse at Westminster, which I am sure some of you knowes of, you would goe neare to take it for a contempt, yea, and for it, it may be clap me by the heels, by meanes of which my businesse with the houses would utterly be undon, and therfore I desire some competent time, but as I remember it was possitively told me they could not give me such a particular charge as I desired, before I had taken the oath, but yet divers of the Merchants said, God forbid they should hinder me from following my businesse at Westminster, especially seeing as one of them said, my businesse before the mass obtained by my own solicitation, which they conceived I would not so earnestly have followed unlesse it had been for my owne advantage, and hoped for benefit, notwithstanding the charge of 2000. l. against me, but Mr. Pryn pressed that I might speedily come againe, that so the state might not suffer by reason of the moneys I had received, and before them stood charged with. Truly Gentlemen for all this charge, I am very confident shall make it evident that I have been, and am as free from defrauding the State, or any of my officers or Soldiers of a penny as any man in England that ever the Parliament imployed, and I am sure that I am not in the Parliaments debt, but they in mine, and seeing that which I seeke from them is but some hundreds of pounds, and the businesse I am now of following of concernment to me, two thousand pounds thick, I pray give me leave for a time to lay the lesser concernment aside, that so I may not be disinabled to prosecute the obtaining of the greater, and Sir, if you Mr. Pryn thinke I am not responsible to answer the charge, you may either put in a barre to make stoppage of the money I expect to receive by my decree, or else I will put you in good securitie to answer this charge. With which the Committee was satisfied, and demanded of me what time I would demand, but I told them I conceived it not convenient for me to make my demand, before I heard how long time they were willing to give me, and they bid me take a moneth or six weeks, for which I thanked them, but withall told them, I would be with them sooner if I got my businesse done, but if I could not get it done, I told them I thought I should scarce be able to wait upon them, tell I had perfected that, so they left it indifferent. And this relation which here I have made for the substance of it, is a reall truth, I doe protest it in the sight and presence of God, and therefore dear friend. I pray you judge and consider seriously of the bitter and implacable mallice of this lying and base follow William Pryn, for I doe assure you to my remembrance I failed not to be at Westminster every day the Parliament sate, to follow my foresaid businesse, from the day of my being before the said Committee of accounts, to the day of my unjust imprisonment, in New gate by the Lords, which I am confident of, William Pryn by his secret and close designes had a finger in, and that he laboured by all the ways as he could to hinder me from obtaining my said two thousand pounds, for immediately upon my good successe in the Lords house, his brother in Evill Doctor Bastwick, put in his businesse of purpose to clog mine , so they all sate still before I had likely without rub to obtaine my just desire, and being a Presbyter, obtained quick dispatch there, and as I was informed foure thousand pounds, for his damages, although I am confident of it, my bodily sufferings was twenty times more then his, and I am confident of it in the eye of reason there was twenty times more visible ground for his sufferings then mine, I having not writ a line against the Bishops, not medled with them, tell they forced me to flye London, and hee had avowedly writ divers provoking, and invective bookes against them before his sentence in the Star-Chamber. And besides I am confidently perswaded Pryn was the maine instrument to provoke his [Editor: illegible word] our Tyburne deserving comrad?, and extraordinary great associate, Colonel Edward King to arrest me upon he 14. of April 1646. in a false and fained action of two thousand pound, for calling him Traytor, which I aver he is to the Parliament (if a man can commit treason against them) having as will easily be proved, (if the Parliament would doe any justice upon knaves and Villains) betrayed his trust reposed in him derivitive from and by the Parliament at Crowland, which said unjust arrest did not only disinable me to follow my businesse, but necessitate me to write that fatall Epistle to Judge Reeve, dated the 6. of Iune, 1646, now in print, and called the Iust mans Iustification, in which I have so truly, and lively pictured, the said unworthy fellow King, that I beleeve all the picture drawers in England cannot mend it, and being necessitated by way of defence to touch the Lord of Manchesters exceeding guilty conscience for protecting Col. King from the gallowes, contrary to justice and right and the Law martiall established by ordinance of Parliament under which authority they both fought, though Jam apt to thinke neither of them ever kild anything that had more danger in it then a Rat, yet I say forth at very Epistle the Earle of Manchester as to me is visibly caused me upon the 10. of Iune 1646. to be summoned up to the Lords barre, who by law are none of my Iudges* being not my Peers and Equalls, and there himselfe being Speaker, would contrary to law have killed me upon interrogation, for which I had necessitated in writing to protest against that which protest you may read in the 5.6 in The Free mans freedome vindicated, let which they unjustly committed me, and for which to this day I lye by the heeles, so not doubting but I have fully justified your objection, I commit yet to God, and rest, your faithfull and true friend ready to say downe his life for the liberties of his Country. John Lilburn.

From my unjust captivitie in the Tower of London, for the almost destroyed lawes and liberties of England, which condition I more highly prize though in misery enough outwardly, then the visablest best condition of any Member whatsoever that sits in either or both houses, being all and every of them for sworne, having all of them taken oathes to maintaine the Lawes and Liberties of the Land, and yet in their dayly practice destroy them of which sin and wickednesse they are all of them guilty, in regard they all sit there in silence, and doe not publiquely and avowedly to the whole Kingdome according to their duty declare their dislike of their crooked, unjust and Englands destroying wayes, this 30. April. 1647.

John Lilburne.
FINIS.

 

Endnotes

*

Which he was so free of, that he did print 13. or 14. in eight lines, as you there may read, pag. 4, 5, 6. see also pag. [Editor: illegible word]. ibim.

*

As lately Whataker the Book-seller, did mine the other day, loading away 3. Porters with my proper and truly come by goods, for which by Gods assistance I intend to arraign them as fellons, and hang them if Law will doe it.

*

See Mr. Pryns relation of Colonell Fines his tryall, pag. 11, 12, 13. and Regall Tyranny discovered, pag. 81, 81, 83.

*

Which you may fully read in the forementioned Epistle daited Iuly 25. 1645. and Innocencency and Truth justified.

*

See the Out cryes of Oppressed Commons. pag. 4, 5, 6, [Editor: illegible word] and Regall Tyranny pag. 33, 34, [Editor: illegible word], 72, 73.

*

See 1. H. 7. fol. [Editor: illegible word] in Sir Humphrey Straffords case.

*

Which the Parliament is.

*

See 28. E. 3. 13. [Editor: illegible word] H. 6. 29.

*

Thought a calumnister for my books are no Libels having my name to them to justifie them.

*

Who I say justly deserves it, for treading under their feet the fundamentall lawes and liberties of England, as in my case they have done which will sustain against the [Editor: illegible word] and all thy gangling lying associates in England.

*

See the Ordinance for the Earle of Manchesters Army of the 25. July 1642. b. d, 2. pt. f. 275, 276. 278. and of the 10. Aug. 1643. fol. 286. and of the 11. Oct. 1643. f. 360. and of the 20. Jan. 1643. f. 413. 414, 415. 416. and of the 15. May 1644. f. 492, 493. and of the 26. Sept. 1644. f. 451, 452. and compare them altogether and see if the Committee of accounts, or their selfe accusing oath be in any of them, and if not, why am I required to take it.

*

It is true, when I was a prisoner in New gate by the House of Commons, they upon the petition of some of my friends in London, (which you may read in Innocency and Truth justified, pag, 29. lent me 100. l. which I was told was in part of my arrears, though I did, and still doe loke upon it, as a gratitude of the house, for so unjustly imprisoning me, as then they did, or else of Mr. Speaker who was the principall instrument of clapping me by the heeles, without ever hearing me speake one word for my selfe or examining one witnesse against me, or ever to his day telling me wherefore I was so imprisonned.

*

See Magna Charta, Chap. 29. and the Petition of Right which confirmes it Cooke 2. part institutes fol. 27, 38, 46, 47, 48. Vox Plebis, pag. 32, 33, 39, 40, 41. Regall tyranny, page 43, 44, 75, 76. Londons Liberty in Chains discovered, pag. 68, 69, the Oppressed mans oppressions declared, pag. 17, 18, 19, the Outcryes of oppressed Commons, pag. 2, 3, 4, also the Anotomy of the Lords tyranny.

 


 

T.96 (9.5) Edward Sexby, William Allen, Thomas Shepherd, For our Faithfull and ever Honored Commanders (6 May, 1647).

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T.96 [1647.05.06] (9.5) Edward Sexby, William Allen, Thomas Shepherd, For our Faithfull and ever Honored Commanders (6 May, 1647).

Full title

Edward Sexby, William Allen, Thomas Shepherd, For our Faithfull and ever Honored Commanders, the Right Honorable his Excellency, Sir Thomas Fairfax, Major Generall Skipton, Lieutenant Generall Cromwell presented to them in the behalfe of eight Regiments of Horse, by three private Soldiers, who were sent from the Quarters by the Soldery of the forementioned Regiments, wherein they manifest to the world their reall affections to this Common-Wealth, and their forward and brotherly assistance, towards the reliefe of Ireland: if not by some diverted.

Estimated date of publication

6 May, 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 507; Thomason 669. f. 11. (9.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

FOR OVR FAITHFVLL AND EVER HONORED COMMANDERS, THE RIGHT HONORABLE HIS EXCELLENCY, SIR Thomas Fairfax, Major Generall Skipton, Lieutenant Generall Cromwell, presented to them in the behalfe of eight Regiments of Horse, by three private Soldiers, who were sent from the Quarters by the Soldery of the forementioned Regiments, wherein they manifest to the world their reall affections to this Common-Wealth, and their forward and brotherly assistance, towards the reliefe of Ireland:

If not by some diverted.

May it please your Honours,

WEE who have (for these two yeares, past) been by your honours conducted through many dangers, and by providence have been hitherto protected, who have often seen the devouring sword of a raging enemy drawn forth against us, threatning destruction to us, and now see them vanquisht, and our selves seemingly setled in peace and safety, are yet sensible of a more dangerous storme hanging over our heads, then ever the malice of our open enemies could have contrived or their fury caused to fall upon us, which unlesse diverted, strikes not only at our liberty, but also at our lives. To whom (next to our Maker) shall we fly for shelter but to your honours, our Patrons, and Protectors, from what secondary meanes shall we expect our deliverance, but from that hand that hath so often been ingaged with us? And from that heart that hath as often been so tender over us; and carefull for our securities.

Can we suffer and you not sympathise? Can we be proclaimed Rebels and your Honours remain secure: Ah, dear Sirs! Let your wonted care for us be further demonstrated, cease not to speak for us, who together with your selevs, and in obedience to your commands, have adventured all that is deare to us, for the Kingdomes safety.

Hath any thing been desired by us that hath not been promised us, or then wee have just cause to expect, if there hath, then let it and the authors thereof perish? But can the Parliament upon mis-information passe us for enemies, and wee not therein perceive the designes of our Enemies? Can wee be satisfied with a complement, when our fellow Soldiers suffer at every Assize, for acts meerly relating to the Warre? Is it not our lives wee seek for? Where shall wee be secured, when the meer envy of a malicious person is sufficient to destroy us? Were our Enemies in the field with their swords in their hands, wee should expect no more then a bare command, and a divine protection in our endevoures to free our selves but it is another; and a farre worse Enemy that wee have to deal with, who like Foxes lurke in their Dens; and cannot be dealt with, though, discovered, being protected by those who are intrusted with the Government of the Kingdome; it is the griefe of our hearts, that wee cannot desire our own security, without the hazard of your Honours, if but in speaking in our behalfe: When shall we see Justice dispenced without partiality, or when shall the weal publike be singly sought after & endevoured; can this Irish expedition be any thing else, but a design to ruine & break this Army in peeces, certainly reason tels us it can be nothing else; otherwise, why are not those who have bin made instruments in our Countries deliverance, again be thought worthy to be employed? Or why are such (who for their miscariages have been cast out of the Army) thought fit to be intrusted, and those members of the Army encouraged and preferr’d to that service, when they are for the most part such, as (had they considered their just demerrits) might rather have expected an ejection then imployment: Wee are sensible, yea, far more sensible of the bleeding condition of Ireland, (crying aloud for a Brotherly assistance) then those forward undertakers in this present designe manifest themselves to be, and shall willingly contribute the utmost of our abilities towards their reliefe, when wee shall see this to be the only thing sought after, and indevoured; but wee are confident, that your Honours cannot but perceive, that this plot is but a meer cloake, for some who have lately tasted of Soveraignity, and being listed beyond the ordinary spheare of Servants, seek to become Masters, and degenerate into Tyrants: We are earnest therefore with your Honours, to use your utmost endevours, that before any other or further propositions be sent to us, our expectations may be satisfied, which if they are not, wee conceive our selves, and our friends, as bad as destroyed, being exposed to the mercilesse cruelties of our malicious enemies, and shall your Honour, or any other faithfull Servant to the State, be appointed for the Service of Ireland, and accept of that imployment, we must of necessity (contrary to our desires) shew our selves averse to that service, untill our just desires be granted, the just Rights and liberties of the Subjects of England, vindicated and maintained; (and then) as God and our owne consciences beare us witnesse, shall we testifie to the Kingdom the integrity of our hearts to the service of Ireland, and our forward actions shall demonstrate the sincerity of our expressions in reference to that imployment, once more we are earnest with your honours for your assistance, without it we are like to be wholly ruind, and having obtaind it, may be inabled, as in duty we are bound to expresse our selves,

These three Gentlemen Soldiers
whose names are hereto subscribed,
delivered the Letter in be halfe of
the whole, Edward Sexby, Will. Allen,
Thomas Sheppherd.

Your Honours and the Kingdomes
most faithfull and obedient servants,
whose names are here to annext,
as agitating in behalfe of
their severall Regiments.

 


 

T.97 (9.6) John Lilburne, Rash Oaths unwarrantable (31 May, 1647).

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T.97 [1647.05.31] (9.6) John Lilburne, Rash Oaths unwarrantable (31 May, 1647).

Full title

John Lilburne, Rash Oaths unwarrantable: And the breaking of them as inexcusable. Or, A DISCOURSE, shewing, that the two Houses of Parliament had little ground to make those Oaths they have made, or lesse ground to take, or presse the taking of them, being it is easie to be apprehended, they never intended to keep them, but onely made them for snares, and cloaks for knavery, as is clearly evinced by their constant arbitrary and tyrannicall practices, no justice nor right being to be found amongst them; by meanes of which they have declaratorily, and visibly lost the very soule and essence of true Magistracy, (which is, the doing of justice, judgment, equity and right) and are become a dead carkasse. In which is also a true and just DECLARATION of the unspeakable evill of the delay of justice, and the extraordinary sufferings of Lievtenant Colonell John Lilburne, very much occasioned by M. Henry Martins unfriendly and unjust dealing with him, in not making his Report to the House. All which with divers other things of very high concernment, are declared in the following discourse, being an Epistle written by Lievtenant-Colonell John Lilburne, Prerogative-prisoner in the Tower of London, to Colonell Henry Marten, a Member of the House of Commons, and Chaire-man to the Committee for consideration of the Liberties of the Commons of England. May 1647.

Eccles. 5.2.4. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter any thing before God; but when thou vowest a vow unto God, deferre not to pay it: for he hath no pleasure in fooles: pay that which thou hast vowed
Numb. 30.2. If a man vow a vow unto the Lord, or sweare an oath to hind his soule with a bond, hee shall not breake his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.
Deut. 23.21. VVhen thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the Lord thy God will surely require it of thee, and it will be sin to thee.
Jer. 4.2. And thou shalt sweare the Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousnesse.
Ezek. 17.15,16,19. Shall he break the Covenant, and be delivered? As I live, saith the Lord God, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the middest of Babylon he shall die; and my covenant that he hath broken, even it will I recompence upon his own head.
Hos. 4.2,3. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they breake out, and bloud toucheth bloud; therefore shall the land mourn.
Ier. 6.19. Heare O earth, behold I will bring evill upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not harkened to my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

This tract contains the following parts:

  1. Rash Oaths unwarrantable
  2. To the right honourable and supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of many thousands, carnestly desiring the glory of God, the freedome of the Common-wealth, and the peace of all men ("THat as no Civill Government is more just in the constitution, then that of Parliaments")
  3. To the honourable the Committee of Parliament sitting in the Queens Court at Westminster, Colonell Lee being Chaire-man (19 March, 1646)
  4. To the Right Honourrable, the Commons of ENGLAND assembled in PARLIAMENT. The humble Petition of divers well-affected Citizens ("THat as the oppressions of this Nation, in times fore-going this Parliament were so numerous and burthensome")
  5. TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE THE COMMONS OF ENGland assembled in Parliament. The Humble Petition of divers well affected people in and about the City of London. ("THat as the Authority of this Honourable House is intrusted by the people for remedie of their grievances")
  6. To the Right Honourable the Commons of England Assembled in Parliament. The humble Petition of many thousands of well affected People ("THat having seriously considered what an uncontrouled liberty hath generally been taken")
  7. The Armies Petition. TO HIS EXCELLENCY SIR THOMAS Fairfax, Generall for the Parliaments Forces. The humble Petition of the Officers and Soldiers of the Army under your Command ("THat ever since our first ingagement in the service for the preserving the power of this Kingdome in the hands of the Parliament")
  8. A Declaration of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament (30. March, 1647)

 

Estimated date of publication

31 May, 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 513; Thomason E. 393. (39.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

SIR, When Israel degenerated from the Law of her Soveraigne Lord and King, and followed her own crooked wayes, the Lord himself, as one that was not delighted in her destruction, but rather with her preservation, cries out against her, to make her ashamed of the evill of her wayes. How is the faithfully city become a harlot? it was full of judgement, righteousnesse lodged in it, but now murders. Thy silver is become drosse, thy wine mixt with water. Thy Princes are rebellion and companions of theeves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards; the judge not the fatherlesse, neither doth the cause of the widdow come unto them. Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts, the mighty one of Israel, ah, I will ease me of my adversaries, and avenge me of my enemies, Isa. 1. 21, 22, 23, 24.

Sir, an enemy to you he is not, that shall cordially and heartily tell you of you faults, with a desire to reclaim you from the evill of your wayes by so doing, &illegible; 141. 5. which task though unpleasant in it selfe, he that never in his life knew how to flatter, nor play the hypocrite and dissembler, is urgently necessitated now &illegible; his own preservation, to undertake.

And therefore Sir, to give you your due and right, I must ingenuously and knowledge, that I have for a long time looked upon you, as one of the great &illegible; of the Liberties of the Commons of England, and your name amongst all just and unbiassed men, hath been extraordinary famous this present Parliament therefore, and for this you suffered an expulsion of the House, and a reproachfull an unjust imprisonment in the Tower of London, by the guilded men of the time who (you then discovered) carried two faces under one hood; & many moneths (if not some yeares) you continued an ejected person from your just place in two House: And since your re-admission again, have there in your Speeches behave your selfe so gallantly for your Countrey, that your name and fame hath loud been spread abroad by it: Yea give me leave to tell you, that one of your own Members esteemed very honest, but by me too prudentiall; that is to say, too cowardly and too much for himselfe and his selfish interest, in a time when a Northern tempest was likely to arise, told me in the Tower, that the true lovers &illegible; Countrey in England were more beholden unto M. Henry Marten for &illegible; sincerity, uprightnesse, boldnesse and gallantry, then to halfe, if not all thou that are called conscientious men in the House. And truly Sir, having had the happinesse (for so I esteemed it) often to be in your company, I have admired those gallant discourses for the Liberty of this Nation that have flowed from you so that when I first made my appeale to the House of Commons the 16. of June 1646. and heard that my businesse was referred to a Committee where M. Marten had the Chaire, I was not a little refreshed, being even where I would have wished and desired to be; thinking that you, of all the men in the House of Commons, would have been the most sensible of me and my condition: &illegible; must deale truly with you, I found it otherwise: For after, by the earnest &illegible; citation of my wife and friends, you and the Committee had examined my &illegible; and passed (as I was informed) gallant and excellent Votes upon it; but yet you (by your negligence and delay, if not wilfulnesse) exasperated the spirits of the House of Lords against me, and exposed me to their mercilesse fury and devouring indignation, by delaying my Report: And truly Sir, I must give this commendation of them, That the tender mercies of the House of Lords are cruelty: For, upon your examining my businesse, and not reporting it, they tooke courage to themselves, and lock’d me up most illegally, barbarously and tyrannically in Newgate above three weeks close prisoner, from the society of my wife, children, or friends; and would neither suffer me to receive either meat, drink, money, nor any other necessaries, from the hands of my wife, maid, or friends; nor suffer my wife to come into the Prison-yard to speake with me before my Keepers out of my window; the story of which you may more fully read in the 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. pages of my late printed Book called Londons Libertie in chaines discovered; and in my Speech before your selfe (at the Committee) now in print, and called An &illegible; of the Lords tyrannie, pag. 3, 4, 5, 6. and in the second Edition of the Outcries of oppressed Commons, pag. 21, 22, 23. All this while my wife and friends following you day by day, with all the importunity in the world, to beg and intreat of you to make my Report, for want of which I was likely to be destroyed by the devouring House of Lords; but you would not do it: so that in some sense I may complaine with Iob (in reference to you, and the rest of my timorous friends in the House) My kinsfolke have failed me, my familiar friends have forgotten me, and mine acquaintance are verily estranged from me, Job 19. 13, 14. which did hearten the tyrannicall House of Lords, further to go on with their cruelty and tyrannie towards me; and then upon the 11. of July 1646. at their Barre, past a most lawlesse, illegall, and unjust sentence against me, To pay foure thousand pound to the King, to be seven yeares a prisoner in the Tower of London, and for ever to be uncapable to beare any Office or Place in military or in civill government, in Church or Commonwealth, as more at large you may read in the Sentence it selfe, printed in the 30, 31, 32, 33, 34. pages of a little book called Vox Plebis: and what illegall cruelty and tyrannie I have since suffered and indured in my imprisonment in the Tower of London, even to the hazzard of my life and being, and the destruction of my wife and helplesse children, you may largely read in severall printed Books; as Liberty vindicated against Slavery, pag. 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23. Londons Liberty in chaines discovered, pag. 31, 32, 33, 34. Regall tyranny discovered, pag. 1, 47, 48, 49, 62, 63, to 78. but especially in my late Epistle to Col. West the Lievtenant of the Tower, called, The oppressed mans oppressions declared.

And after the fore-mentioned Sentence, being committed to the Tower, there to be kept onely in safe custody for seven yeares, as by the Warrant you may read printed in Vox Plebis, pag. 34, 35. I was by the Lievtenant thereof with out ground or cause, most illegally divorced from the society of my wife, &illegible; by himselfe, who afterwards obtained by his owne solicitation, an Order for he indemnity from the Lords, the severity of which by him was executed upon me for above eleven weeks together, as by the fore-mentioned Books you may fully understand, and when by my wives Petition, and my owne, both of which you may read in the 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 71, 72. pages of my Book called, Londons Liberty in chaines, I had obtained the just priviledge to be heard before a Committee appointed by the House of Commons on purpose, where you your selfe against (to my then great refreshment) was in the Chaire, before whom I had two hearings upon two severall dayes, and I must ingenuously confesse, I had as faire and just play before you, as any man in England could desire, having free liberty, without interruption, to speake whatsoever I in my owne understanding, conceive might be for my benefit and advantage, to your praise and honor, in that particular of your well doing I desire to speake it, and my last discourse then with you and the Committee, was so abundantly satisfactorie and well pleasing unto you that your selves by speciall order the 6. Novem. 1646. commanded me to bring it in unto you in writing, upon the 9. of Novem. next, which I accordingly did and since printed it, not doubting then but within fourteen daies after, I should have been a freeman, freely set at libertie as unjustly imprisoned, and against the good and knowne Law of England, for as high as this, if not higher, I have been informed was the result of the Committee then, and the temper of your House towards justice a thousand times better then now it is.

Sir, I must confesse, I desired you then upon some weighty reasons which I gave you, to forbeare the Report foure or five daies, but when I see that thing fell not out according to my expectation, I sent immediately to you with &illegible; earnestnesse speedily to make my Report, and you gave those I sent to you very faire words, which truly I must tell you, would &illegible; the bellies of me, my wife nor children, nor procure us money to buy bread to doe it; whereupon having high thoughts of your honesty, and your gallant integrity to the love of the Liberties of the Commons of England, grounded (as I conceived) upon a good foundation, and backed with high and resolved resolutions, I did not onely with all the honourable respect I could, send my wife unto you, to beseech and intreat you, to be sensible of my trying condition, and to doe me and all the Commons of England (who were and are not a little concerned in me) that justice and right, as without further delay to make my Report to the House for me, but I also sent unto severall of my friends in the House and City, in the most candidnes manner I could, that I knew had a familiar acquaintance with you, earnestly pressing them to improve all their interest in you, to get you to make my Report and when I could not prevaile with you that way, I writ a few importuning lines to you, and the like to others of my friends, which I knew were dear unto you, and when that would not doe, I sent some of your owne Countrey-men unto you, whose Commissioner and representer you are, to improve their utmost interest in you, and I also gave you a gentle touch or two in print of my great suffering by your neglect. Sir, in short, wanted I a wife, I should not I am confident of it, use so much wooing to the fairest and vertuest woman in England, though with a rich portion in Lands and money, to obtaine her for my wife, as I have done to you to make my Report, having (I protest it before the presence of God) left no just meanes (and others though I perish, I will never take) unattempted, that all the wits and braines I have could think of, to obtaine this peece of reasonable justice at your hands to make my Report for me to the House, which you are bound in duty, conscience, justice and honour to doe for mee long since, without one tenth part of that importunate solicitation, that I for the greatest part of a yeare together have used to you.

Sir, I pray remember the 29. Chap. of Magna Charta, which requires you not only to doe impartiall justice, but speedie justice without delay: the unrighteous Judge though at last he did justice, yet he is called the unrighteous Judge because he would not do it speedily, but suffered the poor widdow to pump and importune him for it; but say I to you, I wish my Judges were not worse then the unrighteous Judge.

But Sir, seeing it is to no purpose, I can no longer now forbeare, but must write you my mind to the purpose, cost it what it will, being now at present as carelesse of you, as you are and have been of me, and my long (but I will not say unsupportable) sufferings, though I might truly say it, if it were not that I had a full, faithfull, and soule-satisfying God, to rest and rely upon, and the distresses and hardly to be undergone portion of my wife and little infants: But Sir, I beseech you, give me leave, before I &illegible; into the deep, a little mildly to expostulate with you, in a friendly way before we fall out, and to demand this question of you, what I have said or done to you, to give you any tolerable cause to deale thus with me, as you have done, as by your delay of your duty to destroy me, and given me too jus cause in reference to you, to say with David, Psal. 55. 12, 13, 14. For it was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me, that did magnifie himself against me, then I would have hid my self from him; but it was thou, &illegible; &illegible; mine equall, my guide, and mine acquintance, we took sweet counsell together: And truly Sir, the evill doings of a friend are the most piercing and wounding, and the least to be indured, and the most odious to God, and detestable amongst all rationall and gallant men, Jer. 9. 4. to the 9. Ch. 12. 6. and Ch. 20. 10, 11, 12. But Sir, if you have nothing to lay to my charge in reference to your self, I desire to know if you have any thing to accuse me of in reference to the publike, have I deerted my interest? or betraid the Liberties of my fellow Commons of England? or have I been sluggish, slothfull, or cowardly in mannaging the businesse I have in hand? or have I been impatient in my sufferings, & by my madness and folly destroyed my business? or given grounded advantage to my adversaries? If all or anie of these can be justly laid to my charge, I desire not to be spared.

But Sir, if you can say nothing against me by way of miscarriage to you in particular, or the publike in generall, then I pray you give me leave to demand of you this question, What have you to say for your selfe, that you have thus delayed to make my report, and thereby over and over, againe and againe have hazzarded my destruction and utter ruine, contrary to law, honestly, justice, reason and conscience?

If you should say, it is not seasonable, and that the temper of your House is such that to make it, it would do me nor the Kingdome no good, but rather a mischief, in hazzarding the confirmation of the Lords tyranny towards me by a vote of your House, whose spirits are extreamly exasperated against me above all men in England. To answer which, what do you else then hereby give me too just cause to say of your House, in which so many that professe honesty sit, though it bee but little demonstrative by their actions, that you are a corrupted and degenerated generation of men, that are fallen from doing of Justice to the executing of Tyranny, and from maintaining, defending, and protecting (according to your duty, and the end of your sitting where you do) the Lawes and Liberties of the Commons of England, to the betraying, subverting and destroying them, and so have all of you forfeited your trust, and your Parliamentary power, which (as you your selves say, 1. part. Book Decl. p. 150.) was given you to provide for the Peoples weales, but not for their woes, and have thereby absolutely absolved and discharged the people from all subjection to you, and given them cause that sent you, to call you home, and chuse honester men in your places, to call you to a strict accompt for all your tyranny, oppression and trechercy, and know what you have done with all their money; which they may justly (by your own arguments against the King) do: See the second Edition of the Outcries of oppressed Commons, p. 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

And in case of disobedience from you to your trusters, and impowers the severall Shires, Countreyes, and Corporations that choose you, what do you else, then thereby give them cause to look upon you, as you have this foure or five years looked upon the King, and deale by you, as you have dealt with the King, even to wage war against you, for betrayers of your trust, which they and the whole Kingdome reposed in you, who are now degenerated from a just House of Parliament (the end of calling of which by the Law, is to redresse mischiefs and grievances that daily happen, 26. E. 3. 12. but not to augment and wholly increase them) into a conspiracy and consederacy of lawlesse, unlimited, and unbounded men, that have actually destroyed the Lawes and Liberties of England, and that will have no rule to walke by but their owne corrupted and bloody wills, and thereby have set up the highest Tyranny that can be set up in the world, against which, by your owne principles, the Kingdome may justly rise up in Armes as one man, and destroy all the fore-said conspirators without mercy or compassion, as a company of devouring Lions, ravening Wolves, and crafty Foxes, that would destroy the poore flocks of lambs, and sheep of this distressed Kingdome, the people and Inhabitants thereof; for take away Law (as the Parliament in a transcendent measure hath done) and deny us justice and right, as is constantly in a great measure done unto us by the Parliament: And what are we now better then the brute beasts of the field? the weakest of which are torne in pieces, devoured, and destroyed by the strongest, for remedie &illegible; which the Parliament against the King took up Armes, and when they had no Law of the Kingdome to warrant them in so doing, they make use of the law of nature and reason, and tell the King, Book Dec. 1 part pag. 207.

That this Law is as old as the Kingdome, that the Kingdome must not be without a meanes to preserve it selfe; but in which of our Statutes this is writ, I never yet could heare, see, nor read of, and am very sure it is no where but in their own Declarations, and ingraven in the heart of man as a principle of nature and reason, which as they very well and justly say, teacheth a man or Kingdome to preserve its selfe, 1 part Book Dec. pag. 44. 93, 94. 112, 123. 202. 465. 466. 726, 728. see 2. Edition of the Outcries, pag. 12, 13.

And if this Doctrine be true, as you avouch it is, then it will much more serve against your selves then the King, because the King is so fenced about with the Lawes of the Kingdome, that it is impossible for a man or Magistrate to bee more, and if you are but a betrusted power, impowered pro tempore, by the people, for no other end in the world, but to provide for their weale and happinesse, and to redresse their mischiefs and grievances unfortified at all, by the established knowne and declared Law of the Kingdome, degenerate from your trust; destroy their Liberties, and trades, overthrow their Lawes, and the Bounds that establish meum & tuum, and tyrannize over their persons ten times worse then ever the King did, or his wicked and evill Ministers of Justice, the Judges and Parentee Monopolizers, especially all of whom you cannot deny but he at the beginning of your Session surrendred up to you to be punished by you according to Law & Justice, which in them you extreamely perverted and tooke bribes, for the acquitting the capitallest of them, and otherwise made use of them to do more mischiefe since to the Common-wealth then ever they had done before, by assuring any thing for Law that you would propound to them, by meanes of which you with your wicked and unbounded Priviledges, have dared to exercise the absolutest and grandest tyranny over the lives, liberties, trades, properties, and estates of the Freemen of England, that ever was, I dare positively aver it, since it was a Nation, governed by an established and declared Law, to your eternall and everlasting shame I speake it: so that truly, if the Freemen of England seriously look upon all your late publike, and to us visible actions, and compare them with their former enjoyments, they may justly take up Miach’s lamentation and say with him to you, The good man is perished out of the earth, and there is none upright amongst you men: they (or you) all lie in waite for blood: they (or you) hunt every man his brother with a net: that they, or you, may do evill with both hands earnestly, the Prince asketh and the Judge asketh for a reward, and the great man he uttereth his mischievous desire, so they wrap it up, (therefore woe unto the Parliament, for) the best of them is as a briar, the most upright is sharper then a thorne hedge, the day of thy watchmen, and thy visitation cometh, now (with a vengeance) shall bee their perplexity; therefore, O all ye understanding Commons of England, in reference to your Parliament Trustees, trust ye not in a friend, put ye no confidence in a guide, for your enemies are the men of your owne House, Micah 7. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Therefore M. Martin, I professe it before you, and all the world, that were I rationally able, I would make no scruple of conscience to help forward with my sword in my hand, the distruction of every lawlesse, tyrannicall, treacherous man amongst you, that I should groundedly know to be a ring-leader in the fore-said transcendent vilenesse, then I should to help to destroy so many rats or devouring vermin; and by your owne fore-mentioned Principles, Declarations, Protestations, Oathes, Actions and doings, it will undeniably be justified to be lawfull for all the Commons of Englands to do the same towards you.

But now Sir, let us come to some particulars, in the first place the 29. Chap. and the most excellent Petition of right, which I call the English-mans legall treasure, doth clearly condemne all the practises amongst you, for they expressely say, that no Freeman shall be taken and imprisoned, or be disseized of his freehold or liberties, or free-customes, or be out-lawed, or exiled or any otherwise destroyed, nor we will not passe upon him nor condemne him, but by lawfull judgement of his Peers, (that is to say equalls, or men of his owne condition) or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either iustice or right, and that no man be imprisoned without cause shewed, or expressed in his Warrant of Commitment, nor no man refused Habeas Corpus’s for any cause whatever, nor no man taken by Petition, nor suggestion made to our Lord the King, nor his Counsell, unlesse it be by Indictment or Presentment of his good and lawfull People of the same neighbourhood where such deeds be done, (25. E. 3. 4.) in due manner, or by Processe made by Writ Originall at the common Law; nor that none be put out of his Franchises, nor of his Free-holds, unlesse he be duly brought in to answer, and fore-judged of the same by the course of the Law, and that no man hereafter be compelled to make or yeeld any guist, bond, benevolence, taxe, or such like charge, without common consent by Act of Parliament; Now compare your daily and hourly action; to those good, just, and unrepealed Laws, and blush for shame.

But to wipe all this off, you will it may be say the same, that is said in your Declaration of the 17 of Aprill 1645, Booke Decl. 2 part pag. 879. That the end of the Primitive institution of all government, is the safty and weale of the people, which is above all Lawes, and therefore the Kingdome being imbroyled in warre, necessitated, nacessitie compells you to doe many actions contrary to the knowne Lawes of the Land, without the doing of which actions, wanting the puntillo of the Kings consent, you could not save your selves, nor the kingdome, will admit all this for a truth, I pray then why doe you impose such illegall, devilsh, impossible to be kept, contradicting Oaths, and Covenants, upon all the Freemen of England? upon such fever penalties that all men must be disfranchised or destroyed that will not take them, and in them without any provisoes, cautions, limitations, or declared exceptions, and reservation, tye them to maintaine the Law of the Land, and the lawfull rightes and liberties of the Subjects of England, is not this to force men to sweare to contradict and oppose to the death all your actions, and to destory you for doing those actions, because they are contrary to the Law, and Liberties of England? O yee, forsworne men, for so I may call you all, that have taken these illegall, damnable, hellish, and soule insnaring Oaths, because ye do your selves, and suffer to be done daily, such things as tends to the absolute distruction of the Lawes, and the lawfull Liberties of the freemen of England, which by all these Oaths you have sworne to maintaine and defend, with all your might, and yet there is not one just, nor righteous man amongst you, that dare avowedly and publiquely, to the whole Kingdom protest against all the rest, but by parsilent patient and constant seting there owne approve of all their actions: O ye unworthy forsworne men in the highest degree, for this may too justly be the stile, and title of all, and every one of you without exceptions, in the condition of the visablest best of whom, for Millions of Gold I would not be, for if perjuries, swearings, and false swearings be so odious, abominable, and detestable unto God as in Scripture he declares they are, read Exod 20. 7. Lev. 19. 11. 12 Num. 30. 2. Deut. 23. 21. 22. 23. Psal. 15. 4. Eccl. 5. 4. 5. Ezek. 17. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. Jer. 24. 10, Zek. 5. 3. 4. 9. 8. 16. 17.

Then woe, woe, and vengance upon earth is your undoubted portion, if &illegible; everlasting woe, and indignation in the world to come.

But that I may not be sentenced for rashnes in saying this which is not in your Oath, and Covenants, I will site your owne words, and leave them to your judgement to passe sentence upon them.

First, in your Protestation of the 5 of May 1641, I find you sweare in these words, To maintaine and defend the lawfull Rights and Liberties of the Subject, and every person that maketh this Protestation, in whatsoever he shall doe in the lawfull pursuance of the same.

And secondly, in your Vow and Covenant, which you commanded to be taken throughout the whole Kingdome, You vow in the presence of Almighty God the Searcher of all hearts that you doe in your Conscience beleeve, that the forces raised by the two Houses of Parliament, are raised and continue for their iust defence, and for the defence of the true Protestant Religion, (which what that is I thinke never a one of your selves knowes,) And Lawes and Liberties of the Subject, against the Forces raised by the King and a little below you all that tooke that Oath, declare, vow, and covenant, to assist all &illegible; that shall take this Oath, in what they shall doe in &illegible; thereof and if so, then I aver it for a truth, that all the men of England that have taken this Oath, are bound to assist me, or any other whatsoever that shall oppose the Lord; and Commons sitting at VVestminster, for their apparant indeavoring the distruction of the Liberties of the Subject.

And in the third place, in the preamble to the League and Covenant, fram’d in Scotland, and most basely, illegally, and unjustly, obtruded upon England, and the Freemen thereof, with an unsupportable penalty, I find that amongst the things, the Fraimers of it had before their eyes, this is one, viz.

The true publique Liberty, safety and Peace of the Kingdome, wherein every ones private condition is included, And in the third Article of the Covenant, you and all those that took it, sweare sencerely, really, and constantly, in your severall conditions, to endeavour with your estates and lives, mutually to preserus the Rights and Privileges of the Parliament; and the leiberties of the Kingdome, and I am sure the Parliament hath often declared (though in action; they have visablely denied it) that they have no Privileges for the destruction of the Kingdome, but for the preservation of it, nor no Privileges for the over-throwing of good and wholsome Lawes, but for the defending and preseruing of them, not no Privileges for the trampling under their feet the Liberties of the Kingdome, but to maintaine them in their luster and glory, and what they are, you may in part read before, and in your owne Declaration.

First part booke Decl. page 6. 7. 38. 39. 77. 123. 201. 202. 209. 277. 278. 458. 459. 548. 660. 720. 845. see the second edition of the out-cryes of oppressed Commons. page 8.

I shall give you but one notable instance, of the most rememberable Vengence of God upon the Hungarians for breaking and violating their Faith and Covenant, made with the Turke, and it is in the Turkish History made of the Life of Amurath the second, the sixt King of the Turkes: In which History the fourth edition, printed by Adam &illegible; 1631, I read that the Hungarians, were much distressed by inrods and spoyles made by the said Amurath, whereupon the States and great men of Hungary chused Vladislaus King of Polonia, for their King, and Captaine Generall, and he made that, famous man Huniades his Generall in Transliluania, who obtained severall most notable Victories against the Turkes, as you may read in the foresaid History folio 267. 269. 273. 277. one of which is extraordinary remarkable; that Huniades with 15000. tought a pitcht-field with about 80000. Turkes and after five houres there &illegible; feirce and bloody fight, totally overthrew the Turkey by, &illegible; of sword, and just about that time Scanderbeg that famous &illegible; and wonder of his age for gallant achevements, revolted from the Turke, which with his great losses be the valiant Hungarians, so &illegible; old Amurath, that in a very great feare of himselfe and his Kingdome, be made a peace, (to his owne particuler great losle,) for ten yeares with &illegible; &illegible; the catulations whereof were, First, that Amurath withdraw all his forces and garrisons, should clearely depart out of Sernia, and restore the same unto the possession of George the late Dispot., the right Lord and Owner thereof, (then in armes and confideracy with the Hungarians) Delivering also freely unto him his two sonnes Stephen and George, who was berest of their sight, he had long time keept in straite prison. Also, than from henceforth he should make no claime unto the Kingdome of Moldavia, nor to that part of Bulgaria, which he had in the late Warres lost, And finally, that he should not invate nor molest the Hungarians, nor any part of the kingdome, during the whole time of that peace, and to paie 40000. Duckats for the Ransome of Carambey one of his Generalls, which conditions by solome Oath were confirmed, King Vladislaus taking his Oath upon the Holy &illegible; and Amurath (by his Ambassoders) upon their Turkish Alcoron, inviolable to observe the ten yeares peace, and Amurath forthwith faithfully performed those things that he was presently to doe, folio 292. but by the perswadtion of divers Princes, but especially of Iulian the Cardinall, the Popes Legat, who in his large and set speech in a full convention, urged that against a persidious enemie, (as the Turke was) it is lawfull for a man to use all canning, force and deceit, deluding craft with craft, and fraud with fraud, and saith he, by craft the Turke first passed into Europe, and by little and little be crept into that Kingdome, and never kept faith with any. It is sometimes lawfull for the common-weale sake, neither to stand to our Leauges, nest her to keepe our faith with them that be themselves faithlesse; lawfull saith he it is to breake unlawfull Oaths, especially such as are thought to be against right reason, and equitie, therefore saith he make no conscience of the League you made with the Infidell, upon which the King. Vladislans condescended to be absolved by the Cardinall, from his Oath and Covenant, and prepaires for wars against the Turkes, and the Turke with his army met him, and pitched battle within Atvarna, that fatall place to the Hungarians, and when the battle came close to be joyned, it was cleare of the Christians sides, who had put to flight both the wings of the Turkish armie, insomuch that Amurath dismayed with the slight of his Souldiers, was about to have &illegible; himselfe out of the maine battle, had he not bin stayed by a common souldier, who laying hands upon the raines of his bridle stayed him by force, and sharply reproved him for cawardize: And Amurath seeing the great slaughter of his men, and all brought into extreame danger, beholding the picture of the crucifix in the displayed ensignes of the voluntarte Christians, pluckt the writing out of his bosome, wherein the League was comprised, and holding it up in his hand with his eyes cast up to Heaven, said.

Behold thou crucified Christ, this is the League thy Christians in thy name made with me, which they have without cause violated. Now if thou be a God, as they say thou art, and as we dreame, revenge the wrong now done unto thy Name, and me, and shew thy power upon thy perjurious people, who in their deeds devy thee their God. Whereupon there began a most cruell and feirce fight, the successe of which within a little while wholy fell to the Turkes, who having staine King Vladislans, and discomforted his Army, Huniades that most valiant Captaine was forced to fly for his life, and it is observable, that in this battle were destroyed all the chiefe Authors and Actours (yea Iulian himselfe) in breaking the Oath, Covenant, and League, they had made with the Turke, Folio 297. 298. which overthrow proved a fatall and dismall blow to the Hungarians, which may be a good warning to all men in the world, not rashly to enter into an Oath or Covenant, but deliberately, and with a resolved resolution enviolably to keepe and observe it, which is impossible for any man breathing to do yours.

For first I read in the 1 Eliz. Chapter 1 that all and every Arch-Bishop, Bishop, and all and every other Ecclesiasticall Person, and other Ecclesiasticall Officer, and Minister, of what estate, dignity, preheminence, or degree, soever he or thay be, or shall be, and all and every temporall Judge, Justice, Mayor, and other lay or temporall Officer, and Minister, and every other person having your highnesse fees or wagges within this Realme, or any your Highnesse Dominions &c. shall take that Oath following, viz.

THat the King is the onely supreme Governour of this Realme, and of all other his Highnesse Dominions and Countries, as well in all Spirituall or Ecclesiasticall things or causes, as Temporall.

And a little below all that takes it (which all you Parliament men) must and ought to doe, or else you cannot sit, as by the Stature of the 5 Elz. 1. appeares, sweares and promises, that from henceforth I shall beare faith and true Alleagence to the Kings Highnesse, his Heires, and lawfull Successors, and to my power shall assist and defend all jurisdictions, priviledges, proheminencies, and authorities, granted or belonging to the Kings Highnesse, his Heires, and Successors, vnited and annexed to the imperiall Crowns of this Realme.

And by the Oath of Allegiance inacted the 3 of Jam. chapter 4. which principally and originally was made for Popish Recusants to take and for such men of England as traviled beyond the Seas to serve any Forraigne State, or Prince, though of late yeares as I am informed, imposed upon all Members of Parliament before they are admitted to sit there, in which Oath, you and every one that takes it, sweares and declares in your Conscience before God and the World, that our Soveraigne Lord King Charles is lawfull and rightfull King of this Realme, and of all other his Majesties Dominions and Countries, and that the Pope, neither of himselfe, nor by any Authority of the Church or Sea of Rome, or by any other meanes with any other, (marke the last clause well) hath any power or authoritie to despose the King, or to dispose any of his Majesties kingdomes or dominions, or to authorise any Forraigne Prince to invade or annoy him, or his countries, or to give liscence or leave to any of them to beare Armes, raise Tumults, or to offer any violence or hurt to his Majesties Royall Person, State, or Government, or to any of his Majesties Subjects within his Dominions.

And a little below, he that takes that Oath sweares, I will beare Faith and true Allegiance to his Majestie, his Heares, and Successors, and him, and them will, defend to the uttermost of my power, against all conspiracies and attempts whatsoever, (marke the word whatseover) which shall be made againct his or their Persons, their Crowne and Dignitie, by reason or colour of any such Sentence or Declaration, or otherwise, (marke the word otherwise well,) and will doe to my best endeavour to disclose or make knowne unto his Majesty, his Heires, and Successors, all treasons and treacherous conspiracias, which I shall know or heare of, to be against him or them, And below the Oath saith, I do beleeve, and in conscience am resolued, that neither the Pope, nor any person whatsoever, (note the foure last words well) hath power is absolute me of this Oath, nor any part thereof, which I acknowledge by good and full authoritie to be lawfully ministred unto me, and doe renounce all Pardons and Dispensations to the contrary, and all these things I do plainly & sincerely acknowledge and sweare, according to these expresse words by me spoken according to the plaine and common sence, and understanding of the same words, without any equevocation, or menthall evation, or secret reservation, whatsoever: And I doe make this recogniction and acknowledgement heartily, willingly and truly, upon the true faith of a Christian. So helpe me God, And adde unto these your fore-mentioned Covenants, and upon them all I conclude it is impossible for any man breathing to keepe them.

Now Sir, set aside the evill ingredients of these two Legall or Statute Oaths fore-mentioned, which were easie in my judgement to be evinsed, especially that clause of the Oath of Supreamicy, recorded 1 Eliz. 1 the expresse words of which are, That the King is the onely Supreme Governour of this Realme, and of all other his Highnesse Dominions and Countries, at well in all Spirituall or Ecclesiastiall things or causes, as Temporall.

To say nothing of the Temporal part of it, I will desire you to satisfie me in two or three things of the Spirituall.

First, whether or no Jesus Christ, by God the Father was not appointed to be the perfect Law-maker, and Law-giver, unto his visible Church on earth under the Gospell? and so to settle it, that there should be no roome at all left for Kings, Parliaments, or any other power on earth to adde to, or detract from what he by the eternally and everlasting assignment of his Father was to doe in that particuler?

Secondly, whether or no he hath beene faithfull in executing fully the will of his Father in this particuler?

Thirdly, whether or no, to deny his faithfulnesse, or to set up in the Spirituall Church, House, or City of Jesus Christ, the dictats, lawes, or injuntions, or commands of Kings, Parliaments, or any other earthly power whatsoever be not an absolut denyall of the faithfulnesse of Jesus Christ, a calling the Scripturea lie, and false thing and a Declaration that he that we owne of our annointed Mesias or Seviour is a Theese Deluder, and false Prophet, and not the true reall and great Prophet, profeised of old to be sent into the world, as the Atoner of man unto God, the King of Saints, as well as the King of Kings, unto whom all power in Heaven and Earth was to be committed to make absolute, perfect, sperituall Lawes, unalterable, unchangable, by any King, Parliament, or Potentats whatsoever?

Fourthly, whether there can be greater treason committed on earth, by man against Jesus Christ, then to disclaime and renounce him and his absolut Kingship? by swearing that either the Pope, or any King, Parliament, or Potentats, are the head, or onely supreame Governour in their severall Kingdomes Dominions, or Jurisdictions, in all Sperituall or Ecclesiasticall things or causes?

Lastly, whether Kings, Parliaments, and Magestraites, as Kings, Parliaments, and Magestrates, have any thing at all to doe with the Sperituall House, City, or Church of Christ on earth? and whether that if any of them clame any interest, power, or authority, in the Church of Christ, it be not by vertue of their Saintship? not Kingship, and whether or no the worship and service of the soule, spirit, or inward renewed man, be not the absolute alone and onely right of God? and as much his single due without compettitors, as the obedience and subjection of the body, outward man, and estate is the right and due of Cæsar, Kings, Parliaments, or Potentats?

But Sir to returne back againe unto the Oath, I beseech you let me aske you, whether are not those men forsworne that have taken the formentioned Oaths, and then within a little while after give men commissions to fight with, kill and slay the very same man they had so sworne unto, for the tenur of the Earle of Essex Commission was to kill and slay all those that opposed him, and in the head of that Army who opposed him was the King, who was as possibly to have been killed in the battle as any other in the Army. Nay Sir, is it not the highest of contradictions, that when you have authorized men three or foure yeares to fight against the King and have taken him prisoner and so keep him, yet you shall force men, (although they be freely chosen by their Country before you will admit them to set in your house,) to take the fore recited Oaths to be true to the King: truely for my part the Oaths to me are so notablely penned, that I know not with what evasions or distinctions, you, or any of you that have taken the said Oaths, are able rationally to free your selves, (considering your actions) from being forsworne and perjured if a man may so call it befor conviction. I pray you Sir, give me leave here to recite your late negative Oath, and so whether it be not point blank against the Oaths of Allegience and Supremisie, before recited, the negitive Oath begins thus,

I A. B. do sweare from my heart, that I will not directly nor indirectly adheare unto or willingly assist the King in this Warre or in this cause against the Parliament, nor any forces raised against the two Houses of Parliament in this Cause or Warre, and I do likewise sweare that my comming and submitting my selfe under the power and protection of the Parliament, it with any manner of designe whatsoever, to the prejudice or proceeding of this present Parliament, and without the direction, privity, and advise of the King, or any of his counsellor Officers other then what I have now made knowne, so helpe me God, and the contents of this Booke.

This is the Oath that all the Cavaliers take (or by your orders ought to take,) before they can make their composition, therfor I pray you let me aske you these question.

First, whether or no this Oath called the Negative Oath, be not absolutely point blanke opposit against the Oaths called the Oaths of Suppremisie and Allegience?

Secondly, whether or no, are not all those Cavaliers that take this Negative Oath that have taken the two former absolutly forsworne and perjured, and what trust or confidence is to be put in perjured Persons, I leave you to judge;

Thirdly, Whether or no, are not the Parliament it self the maine instruments of these mens perjury, in forcing many times this negative Oath and others upon them against their wills, mindes, and consciences, and so for any thing they know, send them headlong to the devill, which is one of the most wickedest actions in the world:

Now Sir to conclude this point; I would faine in the third place know, how it is possible for any of you to sweer in truth, in judgement, and in righteousnesse, as you ought. Iere. 4. 2. When you take or make Oaths by formes, the ingredients of which admits in your own understandings of various interpretations, so that you are but in a doubting condition, whether that sense you take it be the true sense, or no? and so hereby the end of an Oath is frustrate in you, for by Gods appointment, it ought to be the end of all controvercy and strife. Heb. 6. 16. but to you these Oaths are but the beginning of them, and so in that perticular alone altogether unlawfull.

Fourthly, Seeing Iesus Christ in the fist of Matth. 34. 35, 36, 37. expresly saith, Sware not at all, neither by heaven, for it is Gods throne; nor by the earth, for it is his foot-stool; neither by Hierusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one haire white or black. But let your communication be yea, yea, nay, nay; for whatsoever is more then these, commeth of evill. and the Apostle Iames, chap. 5. 12. saith, but above all things my brethren, sware not neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other Oath: but let your yen, be yen; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

And seeing that in all the New Testament, there is not the least rule at all, for any that professe the fear of God, to forsware at all, in any case whatsoever, unlesse it be, that a ground for swearing can be fetched from that of the sixth of the Hebrewes. 16. which if it can, it is but in one case only, namely, for confirmation of that truth which a man delivers for the ending of all strife, as I conceive betwixt party, and party, but that which a man swears, he must be sure of it, and that hee knowes it in his own knowledge to be true, or else bee sweares not as God requires, as before is truly observed.

Now Sir, these things premised and seriously considered, I desire to know of you, from whence you, or any Parliament upon earth fetcheria and derives your Power, Ground, or Authority, to make and impose such formes of Oathes, as the Oathes of Supremacy and Allegiance are? or the Oathes of your Vowes and Covenants before mentioned are? that have not only so many dubious things in every one of them, but also are expresly against the positive command of Christ, the Anointed King of Saints as well as King of kings, and by whom Kings rule; for my part I protest it freely before the God of heaven and earth, I think it as lawful for me to cut mine own throat, as to take all or any of your forementioned unwarrantable Oathes, for he that hath said, Thou shalt not kill. hath also said, thou shalt not in that manner swear. And I would fain know of you, what confidence the Parliament upon sollid grounds, can put upon any men in England that are so ready and willing to swallow your oathes? that now are become nothing else but cloaks of knavery, and breeders of strife and mischief? therefore for shame say them all down and presse them no more upon any man whatsoever for he that consciensiously make nothing of an Oath, will make as little of breaking his Oath whensoever it shall make for his profit, ease or preferment, whereas to him that conscienciously scruples an Oath, his bare word, promise, or ingagement, is the sencerest tye in the world, which he would not willingly violate for all the earth.

But Sir, to return to your forementioned grand Objection, That your Houses are not in a temper to hear my report and to do me justice upon it, I pray Sir what is the reason of it? Is it because there is a Faction of great men in it that hates my person? and therefore though my cause be never so just, yet they will do me no right? and if so, then I tell you plainly without fear they are a company of Factions knaves, and not a company of righteous Judges, who ought in judgement to be so impartial that they should not regard or respect persons, but the justnesse of their cause.

Or Secondly, it is because I have not the Law of the Land sufficiently on my side, and if so, it is the easier judged against me, but why did you receive and approve of my appeple to your house at first, but know Sir, that although I be no Lawyer, yet I dare throw the gantlet to all the Lawyers in England; and against them all before any Legall Barre in England will plead my own cause my selfe and justifie and prove the Lords proceedings with me, to be point blanke against the good, old, and unrepealed Law of England; and this I will do at my utmost, perrell, yea let the Lords (in the front) put their lying Champion William Prinn, the basest and lyingest of men, who in less then eight lines, hath told and printed twelve or thirteene notorious lyes against me, see Inocencie and truth justified, page 4. 5. 6. and hath such a firey zeale to my distruction that in his late booke called, The Sword of Christian Majestracy supported, hee would have the two Houses without Law, by the power of their owne wills to hang me, for no other cause in the world, but for being zealous and couragious in standing for the Laws and Liberties of England: which you and he have sworne, vowed, and covenanted, to maintaine, preserve, and defend, and for which you have shed (at least in pretence) so much English blood Oh brave Prinns a fit man indeed to be a Privy-Counseller to the great Turke, whose will is his Law.

Or in the third place, it is because the Lords are so great that you dare not do me justice and right? for feare of displeasing them, and if so, why doe you not tell the Kingdome so (for it is not a little conserned in the contest betwixt the Lords and myself) that we may follow your former &illegible; to know the names of them, among them that are enemies to our Liberties and just Freedome, and so indeavour to give them their just deserts: For I read in the 547, 548. pages of the first part book Declaration, that upon a lamentable show of many thousands of poore people in and about the City of London, the House of Commons appointed a conference with the Lords, where Mr. Hollin, whose actions demonstrats thereby his ambition is not to be lesse then a Duke, or a petty King, though not in title yet in power and domination one of the chiefest stickler then against the King, in the whole house, (and one of the chiefest Beginners, Causers, and Promoters of the by-past warres against the King) pressed the Lords at there Barre, to joyne with the house of Commons in their desire about the Militia and further (with many expressions of the like nature) desired in words to this effect, that (of that desire of the House of Commons were not assented too) those Lords who were willing to concur in would find some means to make themselves knowne, that it might be knowne who were against them, and they might make it knowne to them who sent them: yea in page 557 ibins it is positively aver’d, that he required the names of all those of that House which would not discharge that they then called ther Kingdom, so the &illegible; notable Declaration at Oxford, the ninteenth of March 1643. page 10. 11. 12. and Mr. Hollis his owne printed Speech, and if this fore recited practis were just then, it is also in the like case just now, yea and the rather because our case is ten times worse now then it was then, and our Lawes and Liberties (principally by the House of Lords means, and their Arbitrary consederates in the House of Commons) are now a giving up (to the eyes of all rationall and knowing impartiall men) their last breath; yea, and verily there is but one step betwixt Us the Commons of England and perfect and absolute slavery, which I for my part had rather be hanged, if it were possible, ten thousand times over then indure; but Sir, remember that you in your excellent Declaration of the 19. May 1642. 1. part book Declaration. pag. 207. tell us, that this law is as old as the Kingdom, that the Kingdom must not be without a means to preserve it self; and I say by your own declared principles, that if you, our ordinary and legall means, will not preserve us, but rather destroy us, we may justly by extraordinary and rationall means preserve our selves, and destroy you our treacherous destroyers.

Or lastly, is it because your House hath already done the last Act of Justice that ever they intended to doe for the Commons of England, (there Impowerers, Lords, and Masters,) and therefore I cannot expect the making of my report: indeed Sir, I ingniously confesse unto you, I think this is the true reason indeed, enough you do not in plain English words tell us as much, yet by your actions you undeniablely declare it; for truly many say that there is no Iustice nor right to be had at your hands; and for our Laws, they only serve you to destroy us at your pleasure, or to serve your ends, when your hot burning malice is incensed against us; which if they serve for your ends, they shall be your engines to undoe us. But they do not in the least serve to defend or protect us against you, but when we should use them against any of you, as justly we may: See your own excellent Declaration of the 26. May 1642. 1 part book Declar. p. 278. Sir Ed. Cookes 4. part institut. chap. of the High Court of Parliament; they are esteemed and made by you of no more worth and strength, then Samsons green uithes, with which he was bound, which at his pleasure he brook, as a thred of tow is broken, when it toucheth the fire. Iudg. 16. 9.

As for instance by the 1. Eliz. cap. 2. it is inacted, That whosoever shall not diligently and faithfully, having no lawfull or reasonable excuse to be absent, endeavouring themselves to resort to their Parish-Churches or Chappels accustomed, or upon reasonable let thereof, to some usuall place where Common Prayer, and such service of God (marke it well) shall be used, shalbe dealt with as is contained in the foresaid Statute, which Statute is confirmed by the stat of the 23, Eliz. cap. 1. and the penalty increased, as &illegible; you may read, which Statutes are also confirmed by 29. Eliz. 6. & 35. Eliz. 1. 3. Jans. 4. Now Sir, I pray you take notice that these and the like laws, doth nor say, He that will not come to Church to hear Sermons, or Directory, but he that doth not come to some usuall place where Common Prayer, and such, (marke that) service of God shall be used, shall be punished so and so, as in 1. Eliz. chap. 2. and by the 23. Eliz. chap 1. He that doth not repaire to some Church, Chappell, or usuall place of Common-Prayer, shall forfeit 201. a moneth, and be bound to his good behaviour, &c.

And the other Statutes all refer still, to the place where Common-prayer it used, see the Statute of Conventicles, being the 35. Eliz. chap. 1.

Now Sir the present Parliament having taken away the Common-Prayer, and set up a Directory, which these lawes never knew, nor mention; the sting of these Lawes are gone in that particular; for how can I in Iustice, be Indited for not comming to heare Common-Prayer, when the Parliament (that now exerciseth an absolute law-making, and regall power) will not suffer it, under severe penalties to be read or remain in being in Parish Churches.

And that the Parliament hath taken away Common prayer appears, by their printed Ordinance of the third of January 1644. and by their Ordinance of the twenty three of August 1645. Booke Declaration 2 Part, Folio 715. 716. yea in the last recited Ordinance, the Parliament ordaines, that the said Booke of Common-Prayer should not remaine or be henceforth used in any Church, Chappel, or place of publick Worship within the Kingdom of England and Dominion of Wales, and that the Directory for publick Worship should be from thenceforth used, pursued and observed; And is further ordained there;

That if any Person or Persons whatsoever, shall at any time or times hereafter use, or cause the aforesaid Book of Common-Prayer to be used, in any Church, Chappell, or in any other publick place of Worship, or in any other private place or Family whatsoever within the Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales, that then every shall Person offending therein, shall for the first offence forfit the sum of 5. l. for the second offence the sum of ten pound, and for the third offence, shall suffer one whole yeares imprisonment, without baile or mainprise.

And is it there further ordained, that all Common-Prayer Bookes remaining in Churches or Chappells, shall within a moneth after the pulishing of this Ordinance, be by the Church-Wardens, &c. under the penalty of forty shilling carried unto the Committes of the respective Countries, where they shall be found, to be disposed of as the Parliament shall direct.

And besides the Parliament by Order and Ordinance, hath not as yet to this day appointed any punishment at all, for men that doe not come to their parish Churches or Chappels to heare sermons, or the Directory, or that meet in privat houses, commonly called Convinticles: Therefore though I stay seven yeares from Church, and constantly meet in private houses, there is by the Parliaments principalls neither Law nor Ordinance in force for any Judge or Justices of the Peace to indict me or any other, or any otherwise to molest or trouble me.

And as for the Ordinance of the 26 of April 1645 and the Order of the House of Commons, the 31 of December 1646 they onely declare they dislike and their intentions to proceed against all such persons as shall take upon them to preach, or expound the Scriptures in any Church or Chappell, or any other publike place, except they &illegible; ordained either here, or in some other reformed Churches, &c. but it saith not a word to any of those that heare them, or any that comes not to their parish Churches but meet in privat houses, neither doth it authorise any Judges, Justices of peace, or any other persons whatsoever, to punish those unordained preaching persons, but reserves the power of punishment to themselves, without declaring as yet what it is.

And yet notwithstanding all this, That all men that use the Common-Prayer, are &illegible; to the punishments before recited, multitudes of honest, godly consciencious persons well-affected men to the Parliament, & who have ventred al they have for its preservation, are continually indicted and punished by the Parliaments Judges and Justices of peace, for not comming to there Parish Churches to heare common prayer, for there are no other Statutes to authorise them to punish any for not comming to their parish Churches, but those very Common prayer Statutes, O brave Parliament Justice, what is this else but perfect imaging or playing at Hocus poesis?

Sir, I beseech you let me aske you this question, if an Ordinance of Parliament be not as strongly valievd, and as forciable to take away a Law, as contrary to the Law, to create and impower a Judge or Justice to execute a Law in force? and whether or no, that Judge that is made by Ordinance of Parliament be not an absolute Murtherer, and a Contemner of the Parliaments authoritie. (in the opinion of all that hold the present Parliaments principalls,) if he shall take away a mans life, or otherwise punish him for transgressing of a Law, which the Parliament by Ordinance hath taken away, and said a sever penalty upon any man that shall obscrue or doe the thing injoyned and commanded by that Law? & how can a Judge in truth and righteousnesse sweare to execute the Law when &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; power in him, but is made by a power opposet to the Law, see the 27. Hen. 8. 24.

In the second place by the Statutes of 1 Edw. 6 chap. 12. &. 39. Eliz. chap. 15. the stealing of Horses, Geldings, or Mares, and the fellonous taking away in the day time (as well as the night,) of any money, goods, or &illegible; being of the value of five shillings, or upwards, in any dwelling house or houses, or any part thereof, or any out-house or out-houses belonging, and used to, &illegible; with any dwelling house or houses, although no person shall be in the said house or out-houses, at the time of such fellonie committed, shall to both cases loose the benifit of their Clergy, and die without Mercy.

And yet the present Parliament gives authority to divers persons; to doe both the forementioned things, that is to say, to take horses and goods away by force, against the wills and minds of the Owners, and that before they be legally convicted, of any crime, which although they sweare to maintaine the Law, yet this is absolutly against the Law, as Sir Edward Cooke there owne magnified author in his third part institutes chapter 103. folio 228. declares, which Booke is published by their own authority and command, and he there expressely saith, that regularly the goods &c. of any Delinquent cannot be taken and seized to the Kings use, before the same be sofited.

Secondly, the same cannot be inventoried, and the Towne charged therewith before the Owner be indicted of record.

And amongst other authorities, as Britton, Fleta, Bracton, &c. which he there makes use of, he sites the 1 Richard the third chapter 3. by which it is inacted and declared that neither Shriffe Escheater Bayliffe of franchise, or any other person take or seize the goods of any person arrested, or imprisoned for suspiton of fellony, before he be convicted or attaint of the fellony, according to the lawes of England, or before the goods be other wise lawfully forfeited upon paine to forfit double the value of the goods so taken to the party grieved.

From which and the other Authorities he there makes use of, he saith these two conclusions are manifestly proved.

First, that before indictment, the goods or other things of any Offender cannot be searched, inventored, or in any sort seized, nor after indictment seized, and removed, or taken away before conviction or attainder.

Secondly, that the begging of the goods or state of any Delinquent accused or indicted of any treason, fellony, or any other offence, before he be convicted and attainted, is utterly unlawfull, because before conviction and attainder, as hath been said, nothing is forfeited to the King, nor grantable by him: And besides it either maketh the prosecution against the Delinquent more principitate, violent, and undue, then the quiet and eqaall Proceeding of the Law and Justice would permit, or else by some under-hand compossition and agreement stop or binder the due course of Justice, for examplary Punishment of the Offender.

And lastly, (saith he) when the Delinquent is begged, it dischargeth both Judge, &illegible; and witnesse, to doe their duty.

And yet for all this, many times the Souldiers imployed by the Commanders of the Parliaments presents warre, are commanded and inioyned be their Commanders authorised thereunto by authoritie derived from the Parliament, to take away Horses goods, &c. for the supporttation and preservation of the present forces, which it may be at that time were in great necessitie and danger, and the souldiers refusing in that particuler to obey his or there Commander might by the Articles of Warre made by Ordinance of Parliament hazard his life, yea and it may be actually hanged first, yet poore men when the Parliament have served their turnes of him or them, to pay him his Arreares, for all his hazards and dangers, &illegible; is by their Judges and Ministers (made be the Parliament it selfe) for the very fore-mentioned actions done in obedience to their commands, arraigned, indicted, and hanged as a fellon therefore; see the Marginall Notes of the second Apology of Sir Thomas Fairfax’s Souldiers, (this is just as the builders of Noa’s Arke were served) for (or after) their making it: Oh admirable Parliamentary Justice! worthy for their praise to be recorded to future Generations, as an everlasting memoriall of their unpresidented justice and gratitude; and yet if any particular man of the Parliament, or any of their vermine Catchpoles, have a spleen at a man, it is easie for him to get a Warrant from the Chaire-man of some particular private Committee, to go and search such a mans house that never professed enmity against the just proceedings of Parliament, and breake open his doors, and take away (at their pleasure) so many or much of his proper goods, as they please; Oh pure Justice! without spot or blemish!

Nay, any of their Catchpole Rogues or Caterpillars can forceably enter any freemans house, when &illegible; is in it, and load away divers Porters with his proper goods, and that without the seeming Authority of any Law or Statute, Order, or Ordinance of Parliament, nay without the Warrant of any private Committee, though in Law such a Committees Order is not worth one straw; &illegible; and when this is complained of to a Committee of Parliament, not one &illegible; of justice can be had for it: And truly Sir, besides other instances of this, I will onely aver it to be lately my owne, for one of M. Corbets and Justice Whitakers Catchpoles (Whitaker the Bookseller in Pauls Church-yard London) did the very forementioned thing to me, of which I complained at my last being before a Committee of your House, but could not have one &illegible; of Justice, though I pressed it hard; see the relation of it in print, called The resolved mans Resolution, pag. 12. 13.

Sir, I pray, is not this unspotted Iustice? and yet, is it not as good as the generality of that which now &illegible; flowes from both Houses?

In the third place, by the Statute of the &illegible; Eliz. Chap. 2. it is inacted that all and every Jesuites, Seminary Priests, and other Priests whatsoever (marke the word whatsoever) made and ordained out of the Realme of England, or other her rightnesse Dominions, or within any of her Majesties Realmes, or Dominions, marke well the word within, by any Authority, Power or Jurisdiction, derived, challenged, or pretended from the See of Rome since the first yeare of her Reigne, shall within forty daies after the end of that Session of Parliament, depart out of the Kingdome, &c.

And be it further enacted, That it shall not be lawfull to or for any &illegible; Seminary Priest, or other such Priest, Deavon, or religions or &illegible; person whatsoever, being borne within this Realme, or any other her highnesse Dominions, and heretofore since the said Feast of the nativity of S. John Baptist, in the first yeare of her Majesties Reigne, made, ordained, or professed or hereafter (marke the word hereafter) to be made, ordained, or professed by any Authority, or Jurisdiction, derived, challenged or pretended from the See of Rome, by or of what name, title or degree soever the same shall be called or known, to come into, be or remaine in anie part of this Realm, &c. (mark the last sentence well) after the end of forty daies, otherwise then in such speciall cases, and upon such speciall occasions onely, and for such time only as is expressed in this Act: and if he doe, that then every such offence shall be taken and adjudged to be high Treason, and every person so offending, shall for his offence be judged a Traytor, and shall suffer losse, and forfeit as in case of high Treason.

And it is there further enacted, That whosoever shall wittingly or willingly receive, relieve, comfort, aid or maintaine any such person before-mentioned, being at liberty out of prison, knowing him to be such as before is expressed, shall also for such offence be adjudged a fellon, without benefit of Clergie, and suffer death, lose and forfeits, as in case of one attainted of Fellony.

And this Parliament hath made a solemne League and Covenant, and voted, that no man shall sit in Parliament without taking it, nor no man beare any Office without taking it, and you have voted, and in severall places made the Freemen of England uncapable to give a voice to choose an Officer, if they will not take it; in the second Article of which unjust, unrighteous and wicked contradicting Covenant, all those that take it, sweare to extirpate Popery, 1 part Book Decl. fol. 425. and yet notwithstanding the Judges and Justices of peace made by the present Parliament, force the Freemen of England against their wills and minds, and the Allegation of the fore-mentioned Law and Covenant, to pay Tythes (the root and support of Popery) to a generation of new upstart Romish Priests, (or Synodian Sion Colledge Jure divino men) that have no other Authority and Power to stand by in their function of Presbyterie, but what they challenge and derive from Rome, having alreadie avowedly in print renounced and scorned any Jurisdiction, either from the Parliament, or the people of their Parishes, by vertue of which their owne avowed claime, they are ipso facto, within the lash and reach of the fore-mentioned Statute, and may be any Freeman of England be indicted at the Assizes or Sessions, for Traytors, and ought without mercy (by the strength of that Law) to suffer as Traytors; and all those that pay Tythes or otherwise maintaine them, after they know they have renounced the deriving of their Power and Jurisdiction from the Parliament, and challenge it Jure divino, derivitive from the Pope, may be indicted as Fellons, and ought to die as Fellons.

Now Sir, is it not a piece of gallant justice in the Parliaments Judges, Justices, and illegall Committee-men? to put freemens persons in prison without Baile or Maineprize, and to plunder (and I think I may say rob) divers of them of their goods and cattels, for refusing to support Popery (after they have sworne to extirpate it) by paying of Tythes to a company of Popish Presbyterian Priests, that scorne to derive any power from the people of their Parishes, and have already publikely and avowedly renounced the Parliaments Power and Authority, and doe actually and really claime and assume unto themselves an Ecclesiasticall or Clergie Authority derivitive from Rome.

Fourthly the Law of England hath provided an universall remedy, for all the men of England to recover their debts by, from those that are indebted to them, the benefit of which Law, the present Parliament both doe and will injoy, and at their pleasure will sue anie freeman in England that is not one of themselves, but are so fortified with their big swolne priviledges, that no man shall dare to meddle either with their persons or estates, though they owe never so much, and yet divers of them will neither (of themselves) pay use nor principall, although originally the exemption of their persons from Arrests be not a priviledge given them for themselves in reference to their particulars, but for the good of the Kingdome and People that choose them, that so by the malice of any prerogative man, or enemy to the just Libertie of the Commons of England, they might not by malicious Arrests be molested, troubled diverted or hindered, for doing their Countrey faithfull service in the place they had chosen them unto: But when this priviledge was first given them, (which in its selfe is just in its institution, though now by the present Parliament-men abused in its execution, it remained in them but for certaine weeks, for then Parliaments were very short, being by the ancient and just unrepealed Law of the Land, to be chosen once every year or oftner if need required, 4. E. 3. 14. & 36. E. 3. 10. it being impossible to be conceived that ever they thought then, that any Parliament in England should remaine seven years to the cheating, cozening, and devouring of particular multitudes of men of their particular debts, which now are likely by some Parliament-men, to be so long owing them, that they will not be claimable or recoverable by Law, when this Parliament is ended, which by its long sitting is, and is more evidently like to be the greatest subversion of Englands Lawes, Liberties, and Freedomes, of any thing that ever was done in England: King Charles his seventeen years mis-government before this Parliament (as you in your Declarations call it) was but a flea-biting, or as a mouldhill to a mountain, in comparison of what this everlasting Parliament already is, and will be to the whole Kingdome, and therefore I say, and will maintaine it upon the losse of my life, that the Commons of England may bid adieu to their Lawes, Liberties, Freedomes, Trades and Properties, unlesse they speedily take a course for the electing of a new Parliament, for the Members of this Parliament (many of them to my knowledge) judge themselves subiect to no rule, nor to be governed by any law, but say, that they are above Magna Charta, and the most excellent Petition of Right, and may abolish them, although there be divers things in them so founded upon the principles of pure reason, (which by the fundamentall Maximes of the Law are unalterable, Doctor and Student, Ch. 2. fol. 4, 5. see Innocency and truth justified, p. 62.) and the Morall Law of God, that it is impossible for any power whatsoever to abolish them, that is not greater then God, or hath not derived a just power from him to dispence with his unchangeable Lawes, one of which is, That Justice shall never be sold. nor impartially administred, which is with other most excellent, rationall and unalterable things ratified expressely, in the 29. Ch. of Magna Charta, besides all therest of most excellent things in those two Lawes confirmed, many of which are of universall concernment to all the sons of men, under any just Government in the world: and as for those things contained in them, that are rationally in processe of time upon just experimentall grounds alterable, and changeable, if you will give us better in their places, doe when you will, without the doing of which by your own grounds and principles, you cannot justly change them, being impowered and chosen by us to provide for our weale, but not for our woe, to provide for our better being, but not for our worse being. 1 part Book Dec. p. 150.

Againe, fifthly, the Law of England hath provided, That whosoever breaks the peace shall be punished, or whosoever layes violent hands upon a man, and if any man doe it to a Parliament-man he will trounce him for it, but they themselves can breake the peace, and lay violent hands without cause upon the Freemen of England, and then make what lying reports to the House they please, and get their bodies committed to prison, and that without hearing them, and all this did M. Hollis and Sir Walter Earl the other day to Major Tuliday.

Againe, sixthly, you your selves have declared, that you have received Petitions for the removall of things established by Law, and (say you) we must say, that all that know what belongeth to the course and practice of Parliament will say, that we ought so to doe, and that our Predecessors and his Majesties Ancestors have constantly done it, there being no other place wherein Lawes that by experience may be found grievous and burthensome can be altered or repealed, and there being no other due and legall way, wherein they which are aggrieved by them can seeke redresse; 1 part Book Dec. p. 720. Yea, and in severall of your Declarations you have defended and maintained, that the concourse of people at Westminster to deliver and waite for answer to their Petitions is both just and lawfull, 1 part Booke Dec. p. 123. 201. 209.

And yet now of late you are growne to that passe, that you reject and will not receive Petitions if they crosse your humours, although they be for nothing but the obtaining Justice, according to the just and unrepealed long practised Law of England, and this was the case of the honest Buckinghamshire and Hartfordshire men in their late Petition: see the scond Edition of the Outcries of oppressed Commons, p. 9, 10, 11, 12.

Yea, and when divers honest Citizens of London, and as firme friends to you in the day of your straits as any was in England, were about a Petition for the redresse of divers things amisse, and the establishment of their just Lawes and Liberties, for which divers of them by your command, have freely ventured their lives: the Petition by one of your informing Catchpoles, was stollen out of M. Thomas Lamb’s house, and by M. Glyn Recorder of London, and one of your owne Members brought into your House, and there in a great heat voted (as I am informed) a seditious paper, which whether it be so or no, let the world judge by the &illegible; of it, which thus followeth.

To the right honourable and supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament assembled.

The humble Petition of many thousands, carnestly desiring the glory of God, the freedome of the Common-wealth, and the peace of all men.

Sheweth,

THat as no Civill Government is more just in the constitution, then that of Parliaments, having its foundation in the free choice of the people; and as the end of all Government is the safetie and freedome of the governed, even to the people of this Nation in all times have manifested most heartie affections into Parliaments as the most proper remedie of their grievances; yet such hath been the wicked policies of those who from time to time have endeavoured to bring this Nation into bondage; that they have in all times either by the disase or abuse of Parliaments deprived the people of their hopes: For testimony thereof the late times foregoing this Parliament will sadly witnesse, when it was not onely made a crime to mention a Parliament, but either the pretended negative voice, (the most destractive to freedome) or a speedie dissolution, blasted the fruit and benefit thereof, whilst the whole Land was overspread with all kinds of oppressions and tyranny, extending both to soule and body, and that in so rooted and setled a way, that the complaints of the people in generall witnessed that they would have given any thing in the world for one six moneths freedome of Parliament. Which hath been since evidenced in their instant & constant readinesse of assistance to this present Parliament, exceeding the Records of former ages, and wherein God hath blessed them with their first desires, making this Parliament the most absolute and free of any Parliament that ever was and enabling it with power sufficient to deliver the whole Nation from all kinds of oppressions and grievances, though of very long continuance, and to make in the most absolute and free Nation in the world.

And it is most thankfully acknowledged that ye have in order to the freedom of the people suppressed the high Commission, Star-Chamber, and Councell-Table, called home the banished, delivered such as were imprisoned for matters of conscience, and brought some Delinquents to deserved punishment. That ye have suppressed the Bishops and Popish Lords, abolished Episcopacy, and that kind of Prelatick persecuting government. That ye have taken away Ship-money and all the new illegall Patents, whereby the hearts of all the well-affected were enlarged and filled with a confident hope, that they should have seen long ere this a compleat removall of all grievances, and the whole people delivered from all oppressions over soule or body: But such is our miserie that after the expence of so much precious time, of blood and treasure, and the ruine of so many thousands of honest families in recovering our Liberties, we still find this Nation oppressed with grievances of the same destructive nature as formerly, though under other notions; and which are so much the more grievous unto us, because they are inflicted in the very time of this present Parliament, under God the hope of the oppressed. For, as then all the men and women in England were made liable to the summons, attatchments, sentences, and imprisonments of the Lords of the Councell-boord, so we find by wofull experience and sufferings of many particular persons, that the present Lords doe assume and exercise the same power, then which nothing is, or can be more repugnant and destructive to the Commons just liberties.

As then the unjust power of Star-Chamber was exercised in compelling of men and women to answer to Interrogatories tending to accuse themselves anothers; so is the same now frequently practiced upon divers persons, even your cordiall friends that have been, and still are punished for refusing to answer to questions against themselves, and nearest relations. As then the great oppression of the high Commission was most evident in molesting of godly peaceable people, for non-conformity, or different opinion and practice in Religion, judging all who were contrary-minded to themselves, to bee Hereticks, Sectaries, Schismaticks, seditious, factious, enemies to the State, and the like; and under great penalties forbidding all persons, not licenced by them, to preach or publish the Gospel: Even so now at this day, the very same, if not greater molestations, are set on foot, and violently prosecuted by the instigation of a Clergy no more infallible then the former, to the extreame discouragement and affliction of many thousands of your faithfull adherents, who are not satisfied that controversies in Religion, can be trusted to the compulsive regulation of any: And after the Bishops were suppressed, did hope never to have seen such a power assumed by any in this Nation any more.

And although all new illegall Patents are by you abolished, yet the oppressive Monopoly of Merchant-adventurers, and others, do still remain to the great abridgement of the liberties of the people, and to the extreme prejudice of all such industrious people as depend on cloathing, or other woollen manufacture, (it being the Staple commodity of this Nation,) and to the great discouragement and disadvantage of all sorts of Tradesmen, Sea-faring-men, and hindrance of Shipping and Navigation. Also the old tedious and chargable way of deciding controversies, or suits in Law, is continued to this day, to the extreme vexation and utter undoing of multitudes of Families; a grievance as great and as palpable as any in the world. Likewise, that old, but most unequall punishment of malefactors, is still continued, whereby mens lives and liberties are as liable to the law, and corporall pains as much inflicted for small as for great offences, and that most unjustly upon the restimony of one witnesse, contrary both to the law of God, and common equity, a grievance very great, but litle regarded. Also tythes, and other enforced maintenance are still continued, though there be no ground for either under the Gospel; and though the same have occasioned multitudes of suites, quarrels and debates, both in former and latter times. In like maner, multitudes of poore distressed prisoners for debt, ly still unregarded, in a most miserable and wofull condition throughout the Land, to the great reproach of this Nation. Likewise Prison-Keepers, or Goalers, are as presumptuous as ever they were, both in receiving and detaining of Prisoners illegally committed, as cruell and inhumane to all, especially to such as are well-affected, as oppressive and extorting in their Fees, and are attended with under-officers, of such vile and unchristian demeanour, as is most abominable. Also thousands of men and women are still (as formerly) permitted to live in beggery and wickednesse all their life long, and to breed their children to the same idle and vitious course of life, and no effectual meanes used to reclaim either, or to reduce them to any vertue or industry.

And last, is those who found themselves aggrieved formerly at the burdens & oppressions of those times, that did not conform to the Church-government then established, refused to pay Ship-money, or yeeld obedience to unjust Patents, were reviled and reproached with nicknames of Puritans, Hereticks, Schismaticks, Sectaries, or were tearmed factious or seditious, men of turbulent spirits, despisers of government, and disturbers of the publike peace; even so is it at this day in all respects, with those who shew any sensibility of the fore-recited grievances, or more in any manner or measure for remedy thereof, all the reproaches, evills, and mischiefs that can be devised, are thought too few or too little to bee laid upon them, as Roundheads, Sectaries, Independents, Hereticks, Schismaticks, factious, seditious, rebellious disturbers of the publike peace, destroyers of all civill relation, and subordinations; yea, and beyond what was formerly, non-conformity is now judged a sufficient cause to disable any person though of known fidelity, from bearing any Office of trust in the Common-wealth, whilest Neuters, Malignants, and dis-affected are admitted and continued. And though it be not now made a crime to mention a Parliament, yet is it little lesse to mention the supreme power of this honourable House. So that in all these respects, this Nation remaineth in a very sad and disconsolate condition; and the more, because it is thus with us after so long a session of so powerfull and so free a Parliament, and which hath been so made and maintained, by the aboundant love and liberall effusion of the blood of the people. And therefore knowing no danger nor thraldome like unto our being left in this most sad condition by this Parliament, and observing that ye are now drawing the great and weighty affaires of this Nation to some kind of conclusion, and fearing that ye may ere long bee obstructed by somthing equally evill to a negative voice, and that ye may be induced to lay by that strength, which (under God) hath hitherto made you powerfull to all good workes: whilest we have yet time to hope, and yee power to help, and least by our silence we might be guilty of that ruine and slavery, which without your speedy help is like to fall upon us, your selves and the whole Nation; we have presumed to spread our cause thus plainely and largely before you: And do most earnestly entreat, that ye will stir up your affections to a zealous love and tender regard of the people, who have chosen and trusted you, and that ye will seriously consider, that the end of their trust, was freedome and deliverance from all kind of temporall grievances and oppressions.

1. And that therefore in the first place, ye will bee exceeding carefull to preserve your just authority from all prejudices of a negative voice in any person or persons whomsoever, which may disable you from making that happy return unto the people which they justly expect, and that ye will not be induced to lay by your strength, untill ye have satisfied your understandings in the undoubted security of your selves, and of those who have voluntarily and faithfully adhered unto you in all your extremities; and untill yee have secured and setled the Common-wealth in solid peace and true freedome, which is the end of the primitive institution of all governments.

2. That ye will take off all Sentences, Fines and Imprisonments imposed on Commoners, by any whomsoever, without due course of Law, or judgement of their equalls: and to give due reparations to all those who have been so injuriously dealt withall, and for preventing the like for the time to come, that yee will enact all such Arbitrary proceedings to bee capitall crimes.

3. That ye will permit no authority whatsoever, to compell any person or persons to answer to questions against themselves, or nearest relations, except in cases of private interest between party and party in a legall way, and to release all such as suffer by imprisonment, or otherwise for refusing to answer to such Interrogatories.

4. That all Statutes, Oathes and Covenants may be repealed so farre as they tend, or may be construed to the molestation and ensnaring of religious, peaceable, well-affected people, for non-conformity, or different opinion or practice in Religion.

5. That no man for preaching or publishing his opinion in Religion in a peaceable way, may be punished or persecuted as hereticall, by Judges that are not infallible, but may be mistaken (as well as other men) in their judgements, least upon pretence of suppressing Errors, Sects or Schisms, the most necessary truths, and sincere professors thereof may be suppressed, as upon the like pretence it hath been in all ages.

6. That ye will, for the encouragement of industrious people, dissolve that old oppressive Company of Merchant-Adventurers, and the like, and prevent all such others by great penalties for ever.

7. That yee will settle a just, speedy, plaine and unburthensome way, for deciding of controversies and suits in Law, and reduce all Lawes to the nearest agreement with Christianity, and publish them in the English Tongue, and that all processes and proceedings therein may be true and also in English, and in the most usuall Character of writing, without any abreviations, that each one who can read, may the better understand their owne affaires; and that the duty of all Judges, Officers, and practicers in the Law, and of all Magistrates and Officers in the Common-wealth may be prescribed, and their fees limited understrict penalties, and published in print to the view and knowledge of all men: by which just and equitable meanes, this Nation shall be for ever freed of an oppression more burthensome and troublesome then all the oppressions hitherto by this Parliament removed.

8. That the life of no person may be taken away, under the testimony of two witnesses at least, of honest conversation; and that in an equitable way ye will proportion punishments to offences, that so no mans life may be taken, his body punished, nor his estate forfeited, but upon such weighty and considerable causes as justly deserve such punishments; and that all prisoners may have a speedy tryall, that they be neither starved, nor their families ruined, by long and lingring imprisonment; and that imprisonment may be used onely for safe custody untill time of triall, and not as a punishment for offences.

9. That tythes and all other enforced maintenance, may be for ever abolished, and nothing in place thereof imposed; but that all Ministers may be paid onely by those who voluntarily contribute to them, or chuse them, and contract with them for their labours.

10. That ye will take some speedy and effectuall course to relieve all such prisoners for debt, as are altogether unable to pay, that they may not perish in prison through the hard-heartednesse of their Creditors; and that all such as have any estates, may bee inforced to make paiment accordingly, and not to shelter themselves in prison to defraud their Creditors.

11. That none may be Prison-keepers, but such as are of approved honestie, and that they may be prohibited under great penalties to receive or detaine any person or persons without lawfull warrant: That their usage of prisoners may be with gentlenesse and civility, their fees moderate and certain, and that they may give security for the good behaviour of their under-Officers.

12. That ye will provide some powerfull meanes to keep men, women, and children from begging and wickednesse, that this Nation may be no longer a shame to Christianity therein.

13. That ye will restraine and discountenance the malice and impudency of impious persons, in their reviling and reproaching the well-affected, with the ignominious titles of Round-heads, factious, seditious and the like, whereby your reall friends have been a long time, and still are exceedingly wronged, discouraged, and made obnoxious to rude and prophane people, and that ye wil not exclude any of approved fidelity from bearing office of trust in the Common-wealth for non-conformity; but rather Neuters and such as manifest disaffection or opposition to common freedome, the admission and continuation of such being the chief cause of all these our grievances.

These remedies, or what other shall seem more effectuall to your grave wisdomes, we humbly pray may be speedily applied, and that in doing thereof, ye will be confident of the assistance of your Petitioners, and of all considerate well-minded people, to the uttermost of their best abilities, against all opposition whatsoever, looking upon our selves as more concerned now at last to make a good end, then at the first to have made a good beginning: For what shall it profit us, or what remedy can we expect, if now after so great troubles and miseries this Nation should be left by this Parliament in so great a thraldome, both of body, mind, and estate?

We beseech you therefore, that with all your might whilest he have time, freedome and power, so effectually to fulfill the true end of Parliaments in delivering this Nation from these and all other grievances, that none may presume or dare to introduce the like forever.

And we trust, the God of your good successe, will manifest the integrity of our intentions herein, and that our humble desires are such, as tend not onely to our owne particular, but to the generall good of the Common-wealth, and proper for this Honourable House to grant, without which this Nation cannot be safe, or happy: And that he will blesse you with true Christian fortitude, suitable to the trust and greatnesse of the worke yee have undertaken, and make the memory of this Parliament blessed to all succeeding Generations.

Shall ever be the servent desire o your humble Petitioners.

And the Prerogative-men of London, which are ready to be Associates with you in inslaving the people, petition against it, and had thanks returned to them for it; and M. Lamb sent up for to a Committee as a Delinquent, and divers hundreds of his Fellow-petitioners came up with him, with a Certificate to avow the Petition, which was as followeth.

To the honourable the Committee of Parliament sitting in the Queens Court at Westminster, Colonell Lee being Chaire-man,

The humble Certificate of divers persons here present interested in, and avouching the Petition lately referred to this Committee by the right honourable the House of Humbly certifying,

Commons:

THat the Petition entituled, The humble Petition of many thousands earnestly desiring the glory of God, the freedome of the Common-wealth, and the peace of all men; and directed to the right honourable and supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament assembled, Is no scandalous or seditious Paper, as hath been unjustly suggested, but a reall Petition, subscribed, and to be subscribed by none but constant cordiall friends to Parliament and Common-wealth, and to be presented to that honourable House with all possible speed, as an especiall meanes to procure the universall good of this long inthralled and distracted Nation. And we trust this honourable Committee will in no measure dishearten the People from presenting their humble considerations, reasons, and petitions to those whom they have chosen, (there being no other due and legall way wherein those that are aggrieved can find redresse*) but rather that you will be pleased to give all incouragement therein: In assured hope whereof we shall pray, &c.

But the Citizens with their Certificate could not be permitted to deliver it, but were with violence thrust out of the Committee-Chamber, and a Guard called for to set them packing with a vengeance: and being below in the Court of Requests, some of them desired M. Nicolas Tew audibly to read the Certificate to the whole company, that so all of them might fully understand it; for which action he was by the said Committee (without any authority at all then from the House) committed prisoner to the Serjeant at Armes, where to this day hee remaines; a most unjust and illegall action, and tending to the utter destruction of the greatly impoverished man, by his often late and most illegall and unjust vexatious imprisonments, first, by the House of Lords to the Fleet, secondly, he was most illegally by the present Lord Mayor of London, fetched out of his shop and committed to Newgate, for having had in his custody one of the Petitions promoted by the Citizens of London: and now thirdly, most illegally committed by M. Hollis, and the rest of his arbitrary and tyrannicall Committee, who had not the least power either by Law or from the House so to doe it.

And when the said Committee rise, the said Citizens by M. Denzill Hollis Sir Philip Stapleton, Sir Walter Earle, and reverend Sir Samuel Luke, with other of their right worthy comrades, the planters of tyranny, injustice and oppression, were abused and called by some of them rogues, villains, seditious, factious fellowes, and violent hands laid upon them, offering to beat and cane them, and to draw their swords upon them, and haled and pulled some of them to make them prisoners by the law of their owne will, and then the fore-mentioned Members of the House made a most false, unjust and untrue report the next day unto the House of the said Citizens carriage, and particularly of Major Tulidah by meanes of which the House of Commons outstripped the Pagan Judges of Paul in injustice, Act. 25. 17. and past a vote to commit or condemne Major Tulidah to prison, without hearing or examining any witnesses against him, or so much as hearing him to speake one word for himselfe, although he waited then at the door of purpose expecting to be called in to speake for himselfe, which was not affoorded unto him, (his fore-mentioned adversaries being both Informers, Jurors and Judges) but without any more adoe clapt by the heels.

Which act of the House of Commons is an act of so much basenesse and injustice, that the very Heathen and Pagan Romanes will rise up in judgement against these imaginary pretended Christians, who by the single light of nature were able to answer Pauls adversaries, when they would unjustly have had judgement against him, that it is not the manner (or Law) of the Romanes (then Infidells, Pagans, and Hearthens,) to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused, have the accusers face to face, and have license to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him, Act. 25. 17.

But Major Tulidah being in prison as well as M. Nicholas Tue, their fore-said friends and fellow-Citizens the next day framed a Petition to the House of Commons.

Upon the reading of which Petition, M. Denzill Hollis, and Sir Philip Stapleton, knowing their owne guilt and how basely and unworthily they had abused not onely the said Major Tulidah and his friends, but also the House, in telling and reporting unto them such lies and falshoods of them as they themselves had done, they themselves being the truly guilty persons, and knowing very well that if Major Tulidah, &c. had comed to the Bar, as both he and his friends desired, their basenesse, lies, and falshoods, would have been laid open to their faces before the whole House: to prevent which they themselves became and were the principall instruments at the hands of the House to get him his liberty, although themselves were the principall instruments to get the House to clap him by the heels, yea and have set their agents and instruments also upon honest M. Tue, to get him to frame a few lines by way of Petition to the House for his liberty, which he absolutely refusing, to this very day remaines in the messengers hands a prisoner at Westminster, to the apparent ruine and destruction of the poore man, contrary to all Law and Justice, there being no colour of law or justice for his first commitment, and as little law for the continuation of it; which clearly appeares by the Speakers arbitrary and tyrannicall Warrant, which thus followeth.

BY vertue of an Order of the House of Commons, these are to require you, that Nicholas Tue now in your custody, be continued in safe custody untill the pleasure of the House be &illegible; to you to the contrary: And for so doing this shall be your Warrent.

William Lenthall, Speaker.

To Edward Birkhead Esquire, Serjeant
and Armes attending the House of Commons.

I do nominate and appoint George Brag, and Henry Radley, Gentlemen, to be my lawfull Deputies, for the due execution of this Warrant, dated the 19. of March, 1646.

Edward Birkhead Serjeant at Armes.

I pray Sir, be judge your selfe, whether this Warrant of M. Speakers be not absolutely point-blank against the Law, (which you have all sworne to maintaine) and against the very words of the most excellent Petition of right, made in the third yeare of the present King, which expressely requires, that in all commitments, the cause of the commitment shall be expressed, which is not in this, and so poor M. Tue is deprived of his legall and hereditary priviledge, to seek at Kings-Bench Barre, &c. for a habies corpus, and the rather because this tyrannicall warrant hath no legall conclusion as it ought to have, viz. and him safely to keep untill he be delivered by due course of Law, as Sir Edward Cook your owne learned Oracle of the Law declares in his 2. part of Institutes fol. 52. which is printed by your own special order, and yet by your House (or at least your Speaker) who ought to bee the Conservators of the Law, and severe punishers of the violators of it, poor M. Tue must be without the least shadow of cause disfranchised, spoyled and robbed of the benefit of the Law, and must by your wills remaine in prison till it be the pleasure of your House to do justice, which I am confident in the way you goe, and have lately gone, must be till doomes-day in the afternoone, for I am sure, you have lost the very soule, essence, and being of true Magistracie, which is to doe justice, judgement, and right, and to relieve the afflicted, the helplesse, fatherlesse, and widdow, and to let the oppressed goe free; and are I will maintaine, degenerated into the notoriousest packe of Tyrants that ever in the world were assembled together since Adams creation, that professed Humanity, Morality, and Christianity, minding visibly nothing in the world, but pleasure, oppression, tyranny, cheating and cousening the whole Kingdome of its treasure and revenue, trades, lives, bloods, liberties, and properties; for which (I protest before the Almighty God) in my judgement, you deserve nothing out to be pulled out by the eares, and throwne out to the dunghill, and be trodden under-foot by all men that have but the least sparks of justice, honor, conscience or honesty in them, & I profess I cannot fully acquit one man of you that sits there, being all of you (in the eye of both law and reason) Accessaries into the Principals, by your base, silent, tame and patient sitting there, and not protesting against their Actions professedly and publikely to the whole Kingdome, Acts 7. 58. compared with Chapter 8. 1, & Ch. 22. 24. where Paul positively accuseth himselfe, for being guilty of the murder and blood of righteous Stephen, although wee read not that he either &illegible; an actor in throwing him out of the City, or stoning him, but only that he stood by and see it, but declared nothing against it; therefore say I to you, partake not with them in their evills by continuing with them, but be divided from them, least you partake of their plagues, which must unavoidably, speedily, and powerfully come upon them, to their transcendent and exemplary destruction, if God &illegible; (as undoubtedly he is) a God of righteousnesse, justice, and truth.

But now Sir, seeing that to maintaine the good Lawes of the Land and to abolish the bad ones, and to redresse the mischiefs and grievances that daily happen, 4. E. 3. 14. & 36. E. 3. 10. see The resolved mans Resolution, pag. 19. are &illegible; maine and principal ends wherefore Parliaments are called, and being it is impossible for you the peoples chosen and betrusted Stewards or Commissioners &illegible; know the grievances of the people, your Empowerers, earthly Creators, Lord and Masters, if you take away the liberty of declaring them unto you, which you have done, let me a little demonstrate, whether or no that you, by your late burning their Petitions &c. refusing to hear their grievances, have not positively and visibly declared that you have forfeited your essence and being, & absolutely nullified the end of your sitting, and are from a company of faithfull and carefull Shepheards, appointed to preserve the being and well-being of this poore Common-wealth, become to be a company of devouring Lions and ravening Wolves who deserve to have all the Mastie Doggs in the Kingdome let loose about your eares, to worry and pull you in pieces, and so destroy you, before you have totally wasted and destroyed this poore Kingdome, already in the hie rode way to be destroyed by you.

But to returne to the Citizens Petitions to your House, after they had been so sleighted about their Certificate, by the aforesaid Committee, and so abused by M. Hollis, Sir Philip Stapleton, and Sir Walter Earle, that base coward, that ran away, betrayed, or at least in a groundlesse pannick feare, deserted Dorchester in Dorsetshire, when it was well and plentifully provided with Ammunition, &c. and also so behaved himselfe at Corfe-Castle, that he deserves to bee stiled the chiefe of base, unworthy, and cowardly men; and after that M. Nicholas Tue, and Major Tuliday, was (as is before declared) most unjustly imprisoned, the said honest Citizens presented the House with a Petition, which thus followeth:

To the Right Honourrable, the Commons of ENGLAND assembled in PARLIAMENT.

The humble Petition of divers well-affected Citizens.

Sheweth,

THat as the oppressions of this Nation, in times fore-going this Parliament were so numerous and burthensome, as will never be forgotten; so were the hopes of our deliverance by this Parliament, exceding great and full of confidence, which as they were strenthned by many Acts of yours in the begining, specially towards consciencious people, without respect unto their judgments or opinions; So did the gratitude of well-minded people exceed all president or example, sparing neither estates, limbs, liberties, or lives, to make good the authority of this Honorable House, as the foundation and root of all just freedome.

And although we many times observed to our grief, some proceedings holding resemblance rather with our former bondage, then with that just freedome wee expected: yet did we impute the same to the troublesomenesse of the times of warre, patiently and silently passing them over, as undoubtedly hopeing a perfect remedy so soon as the warres were ended: but perceiving our expectations altogether frustrate, we conceived our selves bound in conscience, and in duty to God, to set before you the generall grievances of the Common-wealth, and the earnest desires of ingenuous well-minded people: and for that did ingage in promoting the Petition in question, in the usuall and approved way of gathering subscriptions, with full intention to present the same to this Honourable House so soon as it should be in readinesse: but as it appeareth, a Copy thereof was unduly obtained, and tendred to this Honourable House under the notion of a dangerous and seditious Paper: Whereupon this House was pleased to order the Petition to the Committee, whereof Col. Lee is Chairman; and Mr. Lambe at whose House it was said to be found, to be there examined concerning the same.

Whereupon your Petitioners conceived it their duty to own and avouch the said Petition, & for that end, in a peaceable manner attended that Committee with this humble Certificate herunto annexed, to be offered to their wisdomes as opportunity should be ministred: but through some small miscarriage of some few persons (for which your Petitioners were much grieved) your Committee took so suddain and high displeasure, as to command your Petioners to withdraw threatning to remove them with a guard, before they had time to turn themselves.

Whereupon your Petitioners caused the Certificate to be publikely read in the Court of Requests, to take the sence and allowance of many persons who had not before seen the same, with intent still to present it; which though endeavoured to the utmost, was absolutely refused to be received, but to our astonishment, occasion was taken against our friend M. Nicholas Tue that read the same, so far, as that he stands a prisoner to that Committee, and much harsh language, with threatnings and provocations issued from some of the Committee, towards some other of our friends purposely (as we verily beleeve) to get some advantage, to represent us odious to this Honorable House, whose persons and authority hath been as deare in our esteeme as our very lives. And therefore, wee have just cause to complaine to this Honorable House,

1. Of unjust usage from those that endeavoured to interrupt the gathering of hands in a peaceable way, or to possesse this Honorable House with evill suggestions concerning the intention and purpose of the said Petition.

2. Of hard measure from your Committee in the particulars fore-mentioned contrary to what we have deserved, or should have found in former times.

3. Neverthelesse, our liberties, to promote Petitions to this Honorable House is so essentiall to our freedome, (our condition without the same being absolute slavery) and our hope of justice from this Honorable House, is so essentiall to our freedome, our condition, without the same being absolute slavery: And our hope of justice from this Honorable House so great, in protecting us therein that we are not discouraged by what hath passed, but in confidence thereof, do humbly intreat,

First, That ye will be pleased to declare our freedome, to promote, and your readinesse to receive the said Petition, which we cannot but still looke upon, as tending to the generall good of this Nation.

Secondly, That our friends may be inlarged and that Ye will discountenance the officiousnesse of such over-busie informers, as have disturbed the iust progresse of that Petition.

We are not ignorant, that we have been, and are like to be represented unto you, as Hereticks, Schismaticks, Sectaries, seditious persons, and Enemies to Civill-government, and the like: but our said Petition is sufficient to stop the mouthes of such calumniators, and declare us to be not only sollicitors for our own particulars, but for the generall good of the Common-wealth, and will minister a just occasion to suspect the designes of those, that so frequently asperseus, though their pretences be never so specious. And we trust your wisedomes will timeously discover and prevent any evill intended against us.

And whereas Major Tuledah stands committed by Order of this Honourable House, for some conceived misbehaviour towards some Members of your said Committee; we humbly intreat, that he may be forthwith called to your Barre, and be permitted to answer for himselfe, and that witnesses may be also heard on his behalfe, which justice could never yet be obtained, that so this honourable House may be rightly and fully informed, concerning his cause and demeanour of those Members, the suddain imprisonment of our friends being very grievous unto us.

And your Petitioners shall pray.

The specified certificate you will read before in pag. 35.

But finding no benefit to themselves by this Petition, although they followed it extraordinary close, and at the doore presented it to all the Members in print, and therefore imediately upon it they frame another, and having got a competent number of hands to it, they presented it in writing, And afterwards in print, to all the Members that would receive it, the true copy of which thus followeth.

TO THE RIGHT HONOVRABLE THE COMMONS OF ENGland assembled in Parliament. The Humble Petition of divers well affected people in and about the City of London.

Sheweth,

THat as the Authority of this Honourable House is intrusted by the people for remedie of their grievances, so hath it been their uncustomed and undoubted liberty in a peaceable manner to present unto this House whatsoever they deemed to be particular or generall grievances: And as ye gave encouragement unto others in the use of this just Liberty, reproving such as endeavour to obstruct the peaceable promoting of Petitions, so did we verily hope to have found the like countenance and protection in promoting our large Petition: but no sooner was the promoting thereof discovered, but Mr. Glin Recorder as is commonly reported, hastily and untimely brought it into the House, exclaiming against it, as a most dangerous and sedition, paper, and shortly after the Common Counsel to like manner prejudged it, as guilty of danger and sedition, though both without any grounds or reasons affixed, that we know of.

And as the worke of Mr. Recorder was the occasion (as we conceive) of an inquiry after the promoters, so also of the hard measure we found at Col. Lieghs Committee, where occasion was suddenly taken to threatten or remove by guard, to imprison Nicholas Tew, one of the Petitioners, the rest being reviled with odious titles of factious and seditious Sectaries and Major Tulidah another of the Petitioners, not only reviled and reproached as the rest, but violently hauled, and most boysterously used by Sir Philip Stapleton, and Col. Hollis, who made offer as if they would draw their Swords upon the Petitioners, and Sir Walter Earle lifting up his Caen in a most threatning manner, took another by the shoulder: all which is ready to be certified by sufficient witnesses, and which we doe verily beleeve was done purposely, out of their hatred to the matter of the Petition, to render us as a turbulent people to this Honourable House, to begit a mislike of our Petition, and to frustrate our endeavours in promoting thereof.

Unto which their misinformation of this honourable house, as we have cause to suspect, may be imputed the occasion of the sudden imprisonment of Major Tulidah without hearing of him, and our so long and redious attendance for answer to our last Petition and Certificate, and the misapprehension of this honourable house of our desires in that Petition: For we did not desire (as your answer importeth) that this house should declare their liking or disliking of our large Petition, being not then promoted nor presented by us, but that you will be pleased to vindicate our Liberty, to promote that Petition, notwithstanding the hard measure we had found, and the aspertious cast upon it, to release the party imprisoned by the Committee, meaning Nicholas Tew, to discountenance those that obstructed the gathering of subscriptions, to call Major Tulidah to your Bar, and to beare witnesses on his behalfe, that so he might be also rightly informed, as of his cause, so of the demeanor of some members of that Committee.

Now for as much as the more we consider the generall grievances of the Common wealth, the greater cause we still find of promoting of the large Petition, as not discerning any thing of danger therein except in some corruptions yet remaining, nor of sedition, except as before this Parliament it be in some mens esteemes seditious to move, though in the most peaceably manner for remedy of the most palpable grievances; and for as much as we are hopefull this Honourable House will in due time have good use thereof, for the discovery of such as are ingaged either directly or by Relations in those corruptions, for removall whereof the Petition is intended, and not knowing for what end so great an effusion of the blood of the people hath been made except to procure at the least the particulars desired in that Petition, and that we might know our selves so same at least to be free men and not slaves, as to be at liberty to promote Petitions in a peaceable way, to be Iudges of the matter thereof, and for our time of presenting them to this Honourable House, without let or circumvention.

We humbly intreat that ye will be pleased

1. To weigh inequall Ballance the carriage of Mr. Recorder, and that of the Common Counsell in this weighty cause of prejuaging Petitions, and to deale with them as the cause deserveth.

2. To consider of how evill consequence it is, for your Committees to to assume a power of imprisoning mens persons, without your Commission, and that ye will not passe over this in this Committee.

3. To receive the Testimonies concerning Sir Philip Stapleton, Col. Hollis, and Sir Walter Earle, and to deale with them according to the ill consequences of their violent demeanour, and misinformation of this Honourable House, tending to no lesse then the obstruction of Petitions the greatest mischiefe that can befall a people in time of Parliament.

4. That Nicholas Tew may be wholly inlarged, and that no man may hence forth be committed by an Arbitrary power, as he at the first was, nor without cause shewed, though by lawfull Authority.

5. That ye will as yet suspend your sense of our Large Petition, untill such time as the Petitioners shall judge it fit to present the same as a Petition unto your wisedomes.

And as in duty bound we shall pray, &c.

But this Petition being against Mr. Hollis, and Sir Philip Stapleton, the Captains and heads of the subverters of our Lawes, liberties, and freedomes, after it was debated, it was, as your Diurnall tells me, upon the 20 of May, 1647. &illegible; 1. To be a high breach of Priviledges. 2. That it was seditious. 3. That this Petition and the former, intituled, The humble Petition of many thousands, &c. should be burnt at the Exchange in Cornewell, and the Pallaceyard at Westminster, Saterday next. Which as I am informed was accordingly done, by the hands of the common hang-man.

Vpon which the petitioners not being willing to be bafled out of their liberties in making known their grievances, (without the injoyment of which they are perfect* slaves) they resolve to attempt a Petition once more, though divers of them rather desired to remonstrate against you to the whole Kingdome, for a company of tyrannicall destroyers, and treacherous betrayers (contrary to your oaths, and the duty of your places) of the Lawes, Liberties, and Freedomes of England. And having discoursed my selfe with some of them, and perceiving they were resolved to petition once again, I told them I conceived they had nothing else to petition for, as things at present stood with your house, but these two things, viz. That seeing the House had voted they had broken their priviledges, by petitioning unto them for redresse of their grievances, without declaring wherein, how, or after what manner, or giving any reasons at all, wherefore they burnt their honest Petition, that therefore they would be pleased forthwith, publiquely and distinctly to declare unto the whole Kingdome, what their priviledges are, and when, how and after what manner they came by them, that so in future time through ignorance, in not knowing their priviledges, they might not run upon the pricks of their indignation, and the Hang-Mans.

2. That they would also be pleased to declare and dictate to them, what, (how and after what manner) they should petition for; the next time they would vouchsafe to give them leave to Petition to them, that so their Petition might not againe be burnt by the hands of the common Hang-man; and I withall told them the house of Commons answer to their last Petition, did necessarily and iustly lead them as it were by the hand, to such a petition as this; but they rejected it, and framed one of their owne, the Copy of which thus followeth.

To the Right Honourable the Commons of England Assembled in Parliament.

The humble Petition of many thousands of well affected People.

Sheweth:

THat having seriously considered what an uncontrouled liberty hath generally been taken, publiquely to reproach, and make odious persons of eminent and constant good affection to Parliament and common wealth, how prevalent indeavours have been, to withhold such from being chosen into places of trust or Counsell, how easie to molest, or get them into prisons, how exceedingly liable to misconstruction, their motions and Petitions in behalfe of the publique have lately been.

When we consider what grudgings and repinings, have sinistrously been begotten, against your most faithfull and successefull Army: what arts and devises, to provoke you against them and to make you jealous of them; what hard measure some of them, both Officers and Soldiers have found in divers respects in sundry places?

When we consider, what change of late hath importunately (though causlessely) been procured of the Committee of Militia in the City of London, and how that new Committee hath already begun to remove from Command, in the Train’d bands and Auxiliaries, persons not to be suspected of disaffection or newerality, but such as have been most zealous, in promoting the safety of Parliament and City.

When we consider how full of Armies our neighbour Countries are round about us, and what threatning of fortain forces, wee are even astonished with griefe as not able to free our selves from apprehension of eminent danger, but are strongly induced to feare some evill intentions of some desperate and wilfull persons, yet powerfully working to blast the just ends of this Parliament, and re-imbroile this late bleeding and much wasted Nation in more violent warres, distempers and miseries.

And as our earnest desires of the quiet and safety of the Common wealth, hath necessitated these our most sad observations: So are we constrained to beleeve, that so dangerous an alteration, could not so generally have appeared, but that there is some great alteration befaine, both in Counsels and authorities throughout the land; which we verily conceive ariseth from no other cause, but from the treacherous policie of enemies, and weaknesse of friends, in chusing such thereinto, as have been unfit for those imployments, some whereof (as is credibly reported) having served the enemie in Armes, some with moneys, horse, ammunition, or by intelligence, some in Commission of Array, some manifesting constant malignity in their actions, speeches, or standing Newters in times of greatest tryall, some culpable of notorious crimes; others lying under heavie accusations, some that are under age, or such who are at present ingaged in such courses as in the beginning of this Parliament were esteemed Monopolies.

Now may it please this honourable House, if such as these should remain, or may have privily crept into our Counsells or Authorities (as by the forecited considerations, we humbly conceive cannot but be judged) what can possibly be expected, by those who have been most active and faithfull in your service, but utter ruine or the worst of bondage.

For prevention whereof, and of those dangers, warres and troubles that are generally seated we are constrained earnestly to intreat.

1. That you will be pleased instantly to appoint a Committee of such worthy members of this honourable House, as have manifested most sincere affections, to the well affected, and to authorize them to make speedy strict inquiris after all such as are possessed of places of Counsell, trust, authority or command, who according to law, Ordinances, Reason or safty, ought not to be admitted: and that all persons without exception may be permitted and incouraged, to bring in accusations, witnesses, or testimonies for the more speedy perfecting of the worke: and that you will forthwith exclude all such out of all offices of counsell, trust Authority or command, against whom sufficient cause shall be proved, without which we cannot see how it is possible for the well affected to live either in peace or safety.

2. That you will countenance, protect, and succour the cordiall well affected in all places, according to their severall cases and conditions, especially in their addresses with petitions.

3. That you will be pleased to condiscend unto all the just and reasonable desires of your Commanders, Officers, and Soldiers, by whose courage and faithfulnesse, so great services have been performed, and severely to punish all such as have any way sought to alienate you from them.

4. That the Militia, of London may be returned to the custody and disposing of those persons of whose faithfullnesse and wisedome in managing thereof, you have had great experience, and that none may be put out of Command in the Trained Bands, or Auxiliaries, who have been and are of known good affection to the Common wealth.

All which we humbly intreat may be speedily and effectually accomplished, according to the great necessity and exigency of these distracted times, and as in duty bound, we shall pray, &c.

And having presented it in writing, a day, two or three after they presented it publiquely in print to the members of the House, the issue of which as I have it out of your own Diurnall was thus.

Die Mercutis 2 Junii. 1647.

A Petition stiled, the humble Petition of many thousands of well affected people, was this day read.

The question being put, whether an answer shall be given to this Petition at this present, the house was devided the year went forth.

Sir John Evelin of Wiles, Sir Michael Levisay tellers for the yea, with the yea, 112.

Mr. Hollis, Sir William Luis, tellers for the no, with the nots 128. so that the question past with the negative.

But the Petitioners going up some few dayes after for an answer to their petition, and being extreamly in base provoking and insufferable language abused by that worshipfull Gentleman, Major Generall Massie, &c. which provoked divers of them to send in a paper to Mr. Speaker as their last farewell, the copy of which thus followeth.

Mr. Speaker, divers Citizens have been here attending for an answer of a Petition delivered by Sir William Waller on Wednesday last, their desire is that the house may be acquainted that the petitioners have seen the Vote of the House, and have discharged themselves from further attendance for the present, and will notwithstanding still seeke just and equitable meanes for to ease the grievances of this poore distracted Kingdome, and comfortably put an end to the groanings of this miserable distressed nation.

And having sent it in, away they came, and now in my apprehension have no other course to take, but to remonstrate and justly to declare to all the Commons of England, and the Army, the &illegible; illegall and tyrannicall dealing of the House of Commons with them, and to presse them by force of Armes to root up and destroy these tyrants, which without any scruple of conscience they may doe, if it were lawfull for the two Houses to levie warre against the King for tyranny declared by them, seeing I am sure there is a hundred times greater and more visibler, and if it be true as Sir Simon Synod, and the John of all Sir Johns now cryes out and sayes that it is not lawfull in any case to fight against the legall Magistrate, then I am sure Sir John and Sir Simon are a company of grand Traytors, and ought principally to be hanged, for being the chiefe Incendiaries in their Pulpets, &c. to the by past warres against the King, who I will justifie it upon the losse of my life, by the established law of England, the declared government thereof, is a thousand times more senced about and secured, (so farre as Law can secure) then the unjust, law and liberty destroying Lords and Commons assembled at Westminster are.

And secondly, I will justifie it, that if the principalls, or law of reason and nature for preservation &illegible; be a sufficient ground to take up Armes against the King and his party as the Houses of Parliament have declared they are, then the Kingdome and Army have much more true grounds to take up Armes against them for tyranny visibly, avowedly, and professedly acted, a hundred times more higher and transendent then ever he did, that is yet declared. And a most reall difference there is betwixt the action of them two in this particular.

I clearly find by all that J can yet read of either side, published to the view of the Kingdome, (and J thinke that I have read and wayed almost all that is extant) that the King by the law of his will did not impose Monopolies and Ship money, &c. vpon the free men of England, but was made to beleeve by his Judges and Counsell at Law, (being those helpes or assistance that the law of the Kingdom had appointed him to be counselled by out of Parliament) that he might impose those things by right, or force of the Law of the Kingdome. See the dispute in Mr. Hamdens case of Ship-money, in the latter end of Judge Huttons Judge Crookes arguments against Ship money, pag. 2. 3. 4, 5. printed by authority of this present Parliament, and the Declarations of both sides, 1. and 2. part Col. Decl. And indeed to speake according to the declared Law of England, the Iudges and his counsell at Law were principally to be blamed, and not the King. See your own Remonstrance of the 19 May, 1642. 1. part book Decl. pag. 199. 304. and the reason in Law is because, “the Law commands the Judges and Justices of peace, and all the rest of the Administrators of it, not to delay or disturb common Iustice and right, for any command from the King, (or any other) signified by the Great Seale, or privie Seale, or any other wayes, and though such commands doe come the Iudges and Iustices shall not therefore leave to doe right in any point, but shall doe common right, according to the common Law, as though never any such command had been, see the 29 chap of Magna Charta, and 2. E. 3. 8. and 14. E. 3. 14. and 11. R. 2. 10. And to performe this in every particular, every Iudge and Iustice of peace is sworne, as appeares by their oathes recorded in Poulsons book of Statutes, folio 144. and made in the 18. yeare of Edward 3. Anno; 1344. which also you may verbatum read, in the 29: pag. of a late printed book called Regas tyranny. And it was the duty by law that this Parliament ought to the whole Kingdome, to have made all those false and wicked Ship-money Judges examples of terror to future generations. (As King Alfred before the conquest did for as Andrew Horne in his miror of Iustice pag. 296. saith, “that Iudges and their Ministers who destroy men by false judgement, ought to be destroyed as other murtherers, which King Alfred did, who hanged in one yeare 44. Iudges as murtherers, for their false judgements against the Law, whose particular crimes and names he specifieth pag. 296. 297. 298. 299. 300. &c. But to your everlasting shame be it spoken, you took bribes of some of them, after the King had surrendred them up to your justice, and after that you had impeached them of high Treason, and imprisoned them, you set them at liberty to sit upon the seat of justice* to passe sentence upon the lives, liberties and properties of the free-men of England, and if I mistake not, one of them continues a Judge in your Commission to this very day, by meanes of which base and wicked practises of yours, (I meane the two Houses) this poore Kingdome under the pretence of Law, hath bin by you fild wth more oppression & injustice, then ever it underwent in so short a time since the Norman Conquest, there being neither pure Iustice nor Right to be had according to law at the hands, either of your Iudges or Iustices of peace, being in every particular as corrupt as either the House of Lords or Commons, Tyburne, or at least to row at Oates as slaves, being the fittest portion for the most part of them, there being never such out-cryes in the Kings time against his Judges and Justices, as yours denying dayly the benefit of Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, to any free-man that a knavish Parliament man appears against; as I could easily enumerate divers instances if it were seasonable, but I will keep it in banke for a representation for the Army or the next Parliament, where I hope they will take speciall care, what ever they doe with the present base Judges and Iustices of peace; to provide an act of Parliament, that we may have our lawes (where they are ambigues and doubtfull) made as plaine as can be made, and all our proceedings in law in English, briefe and short, in plain English words, and quickly to be discided. And that it shall be treason in any Iudge, or Iustices, by vertue of any command whatsoever, to pervert the Common law, and the Common Iustice of the Kingdome, and without such a law, and an Annuall Parliament to see it executed, the constitution of which in point of Elections, had extraordinary need to be amended, for now some Counties chusing about 50. As Cornewell and others none, as the County of Durham, and their corporations many times made by bribes given to corrupt Courtiers, to obtaine the Kings Letters, patents, (which meerly flowes from his will) to inable them to chuse two Burgesses for Parliament, in divers of which &illegible; and &illegible; Corporations throughout the Kingdome, any base fellow, for 20. or 30. l. may by so many voices as will make him a Burgesse of Parliament and divers of &illegible; corporations, &illegible; for a great part of Inns and Ale houses, will be sure to chuse no other Parliament men, but such as are given to deposednesse, expensivenesse, wickednesse; and drinking, or at least some Ninnie and Grole, &illegible; by a great man, that as Dr. Bastwick saith, hath no more wit in him, then will reach from his nose to his mouth. And this is the true reason why our Parliament men in all ages have so little regard to the Common and iust liberties of the Kingdome, or to the iustice and equity of the lawes they make. And therefore as I said in the 54. pag. of Londons Liberties, so I say now to you, that it would be more rationall and a great deale fuller of justice and equity, to destroy all these illegall Corporations, and fix upon them the certain number of Parliament men, be they 600. 500. or 400. or more or lesse, as by the common consent shall be thought most fit, and equally to proportion to every Country, to chuse a proportionable number, sutable to the rates, that each County by their bookes of rates, are assessed to pay towards the defraying of the publique charge of the Kingdome, and then each County equally and proportionably, by the common consent of the people thereof, to divide it selfe into Divisions, Hundreds, or Weapontacks, that so all the people (without confusion or tumult) may meet together in their severall divisions, and every free man of England, as well poore as rich, whose life estate &c. is to be taken away by the law, may have a Vote in chusing those that are to make the law, it being a maxim in nature, that no man iustly can be bound without his own consent, and care taken that this may be once every yeare without faile, and to hold for a certain number of dayes, without which this Kingdome will never be free from warres, misery and commotions; but from this present Parliament. I neither looke for good to my particular selfe, or the Kingdome in generall, the constant and uninterrupted serious of all your visible actions, being a visible and cleare demonstration to the eyes of every unbiosed, impartiall and rationall man in England, of an absolute violation of the lawes and liberties of England, and setting up a perfect tyranny, declaring thereby both in the sight of God and man, that you have sold, and given up your selves to worke and act all manner of wickednesse and impietie, admitting no other rule either of reason, law, or justice, to square your actions by, but your own perverse and crooked wills, being an absolute kind of monsters of the Divells, but not of Gods creation, who never made any man lawlesse as you avowedly professe your selves to be, robbing and poling the poore Kingdome by all manner of illegall taxations, Excise, &c. and then sharing it amongst your selves, making nothing of fifty thousand pounds at one breakfast in one morning, for ten of your owne Members, viz. Mr Denzel Hollis, Mr Walter Long, &c. and for all your Hypocriticall, cheating, and selfe denying Ordinance, within a little while after, (as I am informed) in &illegible; Mr. Long (as I am told) worth five thousand pounds per Annum, viz. the Register of the Chancery, and make the two Speakers, (both of whom have been impeched if not of treason, yet of high misdemeanors, & were never yet iustly cleared and acquitted) keepers of the great Seale of England, to raise up their justly lost repute with the people, thereby declaring that it is your study and delight, to make use of the corruptest and basest of men amongst you, to tyrannize over the people, and yet the worst amongst you are so pure and holy, that you must not be touched, questioned, or called to an account for any thing that you say or doe, so that your pretence to all our liberties, estates, trades proprietres and lives, is not the law of the kingdome,* but your owne inherent corrupt lusts, and unbounded wills, so that the difference betwixt you and the King is visible enough, and that we have got by our exchange of our former government for your tirannicall domination, for I never read nor heard that the King in the worst of his raign, within it selfe simply considered, was I thinke bad enough and not to be justified, and which I my selfe felt as much as any man in England, (yet compared to yours was glorious and beautifull) for did he ever cause to be burnt by the hands of the Common hangman, the Petitions of those that he by his Declarations had invited to Petition to him, and who in his greatest straites, had been most hazardous for him, and truest and firmist to him, both of which you have done, as is before proved. Neither in the second place, did I ever read that he did proclame and declare such men to be Rebells and Traitors, but for going about to make their just and pressing grievances knowne, which you have done to the Army, (yea, to such an Army, as I thinke I may iustly say in every particular the world never had any) as may larger appeare by their Petition, and your declaration, which as it is printed by themselves, or some of their friends, thus followeth.

The Armies Petition.
TO HIS EXCELLENCY SIR THOMAS

Fairfax, Generall for the Parliaments Forces. The humble Petition of the Officers and Soldiers of the Army under your Command.

Sheweth,

THat ever since our first ingagement in the service for the preserving the power of this Kingdome in the hands of the Parliament, we have in our severall plates served them with all faithfullnesse, and although we have laine under many discouragements, for want of pay and other necessaryes, yet have we not disputed their commands, disobeyed their Orders, nor disturbed them with petitions, nor have there any visible discontents appeared amongst us, to the incouragement of the enemie, and the impediment of their affaires, but have with all cheerfullnesse done Summer service in Winter seasons, improving the utmost of our abillities, in the advancement of their service, and seeing God hath now crowned our indeavours with the end of our desire (viz. the dispersing of the pulique Enemie, and reducing them to their obedience) the King being now brought in, our brethren the Scots now satisfied and departed the Kingdome, all danger seemingly blown over, and peace in all their quarters.

We (imboldned by the many fold promises and Declarations to defend and protect those that appeared and acted in the service) doe herewith humbly present to your Excellency, the annexed Representation of our desires, which we humbly beseech your Excellency to recommend or represent in our behalfe unto the Parliament, and your Petitioners shall ever honour and pray for your Excellency, &c.

The humble Representation of the desires of the Officers and Soldiers of the Army, under the command of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, presented first to his Excellency, to be by him presented to the Parliament.

1. Whereas the necessity and exigency of the warre hath put us upon many actions, which the law would not warrant, nor we have acted in a time of setled peace, we humbly desire that before our disbanding, a full and sufficient provision may be made by Ordinance of Parliament, to which the royall assent may be desired)* for our indemnity and security in all such cases.

2. That Auditors and Commissioners may be speedily appointed and authorized to repaire to the Head quarters of this Army, to audite and state our accompts, as well for our former service, as for our service in this Army, and that before the disbending of the Army, satisfaction may be given to the Petitioners for their Arrears, that for the charge trouble and losse of time, which we must otherwise necessarily undergoe in attendance for obtaining of them, may be prevented, we having had experience that many have been reduced to miserable extremity, even almost starved for want of reliefe, by their tedious attendance, and that no Officer may be charged with any thing in his accompts, that doth not particularly concerne himselfe.

3. That those who have voluntarily served the Parliament in the late war, may not hereafter be compelled by presse or otherwise, to serve as Soldiers our of this Kingdome, nor those who have served as Horse-men, may be compelled by presse, to serve on foot in any future case.

4. That such in this Army, as have lost their lives, and the wives and children of such as have been slaine in the service, and such Officers and Soldiers as have sustained losses, or have been preiudiced in their estates, by adhering unto the Parliament, or in their persons, by sicknesse or imprisoment under the Enemy, may have such allowance, and satisfaction, as may be agreeable to iustice and equity.

5. That till the Army be disbanded as aforesaid, some course may be taken for the supply thereof with money, whereby we may be inabled to discharge our quarters, that so we may not for necessaries be forced to be beholding to the parliaments Enemies, burthensome to their friends, or oppressive to the Country, whose preservation we have alwayes indeavoured, and in whose happinesse we shall still reioyce.

Courteous Reader,

The foregoing is a true copy of the Petition promoting in the Army, which the Parliament are too much offended with, and therefore let the righteous God and all ingenious men iudge, if the desires of this Army be not rationall, &illegible; and equitable, and let the Lord of Heaven and Earth behold what here is desired, to occasion such a Declaration against this innocent &illegible; any the Officers thereof, as is here unto annexed, and let men that love &illegible; and hate tyrants, looke about and consider if it be not the &illegible; of those few men that abuse the Parliament, maliciously making odious reports to the House of the actions of that Army, in the worse sence they can devise, as Stepleton, Hollis, Luke, and Earle, lately did in the like &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; act of cõmitting Ma. Tulidah without ever hearing &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; on &illegible; so much formerly complained of by the &illegible; and enact of the highest iniustice in the world to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and when both his friends and himselfe did &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; might be brought to their barie, that the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; informed of the demeanor of these Members &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; that Maior Tulidah should discover them at &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; enemies to the legall and iust liberties of the people, (which to prevent) they became the only instruments to get him his liberty, and with us hearing they forthwith got him released.

A Declaration of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament.

Die Martis, 30. Martii. 1647.

THat the two Houses of Parliament having received information* of a dangerous Petition, with representations annexed, tending to put the Army in a distemper and muteny, to put conditions upon the Parliament, and obstruct the reliefe of Ireland, which hath been contrived and promoted by some persons in the Army. They doe declare their high dislike of that Petition, their approbation and esteem of their good Service, who first discovered it and of all such Officers and Soldiers as have refused to joyne in it, and that for such as have been abused and by the parswasion of others drawn to subscribe it; if they shall for the future manifest their dislike of what they have done, by forbearing to proceed any further in it, it shall not be looked upon as any caus to take away the remembrance & sence the houses have of the good service they have formerly done, but they shall still be retained in their good opinion, and shall be cared for with the rest of the Army in all things necessary and fitting for the satisfaction of persons that have done so good and faithfull service, and as may be expected from a Parliament, so carefull to performe all things appertaining to honour and justice; as on the other side it is declared, that all those who shall continue in their distempered condition, and goe on in advancing and promoting, that petition shall be looked upon and proceeded against as enemies to the State, and disturbers of the publique peace.

Die Martis 30. Martii. 1647.

Ordered by the Lords assembled in parliament, that this Declaration be forthwith printed and published.

John Brown Cler. Parliamentorum.

Now Sir to conclude the tyrannicall house of Lords having most illegally, barbarously, &illegible; and unjustly committed me to person, and sentenced me under whose tyranny you are willing to suffer me to perish and then by your and their whisling, and &illegible; Curs to be spitter and reproach me in print, thereby strongly indeavouring to make me as odiou in the eyes of the sons of men, as Job was in all his botches, and &illegible; pocre I, must be kept in &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; pen or inke, accesse of friends or any &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and so deprived of all means to vindicate my &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; write in my owne behalfe, and set my name to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; alwayes ready to owne and iustifie my lines, and to seale &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; blood, yet my wife must be made a prisoner, and fetched upto your arbitrary Committees for dispersing of my bookes, and the book women in Westminster &illegible; that sell them, must have their shops and houses searched and rob’d of all my bookes, by your Catch-poules, and if you suspect any for printing of them, they must be sure to be dealt worse with then it they were Traytors and enemies to their Country, and have their houses rob’d, and spoyled of their goods and presses, with which they earne bread for them and their families, and carried away by force, before any legall tyrall, or conviction of any crime, contrary to the lawes of the land, which possitively declares, that no free man of England forfeits his lands, goods or livelyhoods, tell he be convicted of a crime. 1. R. 3. 3. Cookes 2. part institutes, chap 103. fol. 228. 229. See the Petition of Right, yea and their bodies imprisoned most tyrannicall and illegally, without baile or maineprize, although there be no collour in law for the pretended cause of their commitment, nor no power in law for any Committee of your house to commit a printer, or any other free man in England to prison. See the law authorities mentioned in Judge Jenkins late printed papers. And when the prisoner according to the law of the Kingdome sues for a Habias Corpus, which legally cannot be denyed to any prisoner whatsoever, and by vertue thereof be brought before the present Judges of the Kings bench, Justice Bacon, and Justice Rowles yet contrary to law and their owne oathes (which oaths are before mentioned) they refuse to deliver the prisoner so uniustly imprisoned, or to take baile for his forthcomming, but returne him back to prison againe, there contrary to law and iustice to be kept without bail or maineprize. Oh horrible tyrannie oppression, and iniustice, and yet as I am certainly informed, this was the case of Mr. Thomas Paine a Printer the last tearme.

Nay your Catchpoules by their owne power, can and have forceably entered and felloniously and illegally carried away my proper and truly com’d by goods to a large value, for which though I complained to your Committee, yet could I not obtaine from their hands one dram of Justice, See my examination before them, called the resolved mans resolution, pag. 12.

Nay, this is not all for when your members and the Lords and their catch-poules creatures, have sufficient railed at me, and reproached me, and tyed up my hands; by depriving me of all meanes (as they thought) to publish any thing for my owne defence, then they as I conceive ioyne together, and git some lying Presbyter assemblie man or other, (for the Author concealing his name, and I not able to find it out, I apprehend, and iustly conceive, I have iust cause to lay it to them it being so sutable to the constant meants, they and their Creatures, use to set up their new reformed Kingdome) to frame, contrive and publish to the view of the world, a Recantation in my name (that J my selfe, though my name be to it, had not the least finger in, or knowledge of) thereby to render me odious to the purpose, and to declare me a weather cock &illegible; and as saffel, and easie in changing my former avowed just principles, as the Lords and Commons, and assembly men at westminster are, to change theirs; But Sir, if God permit, I shall take a more fit: opportunity to anotomize, that grosse price of Parliamentry, assembly knavery. And therefore I must plainly tell you, seeing the Lords and Commons it Westminster have dealt so varb rously and isle; ally with &illegible; as they have done,* and are worse then the unrighteous Iudge, that upon no importunity will doe me Justice, I am now in good sober resolved earnest, determined to appeale to the whole Kingdome and Army against them, and it may be thereby come &illegible; with them, and measure unto them as they have measured to me, and doubt not but to make it evident; that though some of your members call the Army Rebell, and Traitors, for contesting with those that gave them their power and authority; that they themselves are reall Rebells and Traitors, to the trust reposed, in them by the free people of England, their Emperors, Lords, and Masters. And that the Army are really and truly a company of Rogues, Knaves, and traiterors Villains to themselves and their native Country, if they should disband upon any tearmes in the world, till they have brought them to exemplary Justice, and made them vomit up the vast sums of the publiques money, that they have swall, well down in other devowing &illegible; mawes, and firmly setled the peace and iustice of the Kingdome, which that they may faithfully and cordially doe is and shall be the daily prayer of him that hath been and will be againe, your true friend if you will repent of your &illegible; and slacknesse, and manifest your selfe to be more firme, active, and valourous for the good of your Country, Iohn Lilburn.

FINIS.

Endnotes

 [* ] Declarat. 2. Novemb. 1642. 1. part book Decl. p. 720.

 [* ] Read your owne words, in Col. decl. pag. 720.

 [* ] Which if they had bin made examples of terror you would have got no Iudges to have executed your arbitrary, illegall and &illegible; commands.

 [* ] For Col. Burch a Member of the House of Commons, before another Member and the Lieutenant of the Tower, did over before them the other day to iudge &illegible; when he questioned the legality of their proceedings, that they did not stand upon the Law, nor warrant their actions thereby, but saith he we have conquered you by the Sword, and by the Sword we will hold it. Therefore looke about you Free men of England, give the Tyrants their deserts.

 [* ] In this we desire no more then the City and Parliament have done before us, notwithstanding their many notable and home Declarations against the King.

 [* ] The informers are said to be Col. Rossiter, and Col. Harlow, both members of the House of Commons, and the Army likewise,

 [* ] And not with me, but also with Mr. Overton his wife and brother, and Mr. Larners man and maid, who are all yet in prison, and can have nor obtain any iustice from either of your hoases.

 


 

T.98 (4.6) Anon., A Solemne Engagement of the Army (5 June 1647).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.98 [1647.06.05] (4.6) Anon., A Solemne Engagement of the Army (5 June 1647).

Full title

Anon., A Solemne Engagement of the Army, under the Command of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax; with a Declaration of their Resolutions, as to disbanding; and a brief Vindication of their principles and intentions in relation to divers scandalous things suggested against them. Together with the representations of the dis-satisfactions of the Army, in relation to the late Resolutions for so sodain disbanding: shewing the particulars of their former grievances; wherein they did remaine unsatisfied: and the reasons thereof, unanimously agreed upon, and subscribed by the Officers and Souldiers of the severall Regiments, at Rendezvous neare New-Market on fryday and saturday June 4. and 5. Presented to the generall, and by him to be humbly presented to the Parliament. With his Excellencies Letter to the Speaker June the 8. sent with the same.
London; Printed for George Whittington, at the Blew Anchor in Cornhill neare the Royall Exchange. 1647.

Estimated date of publication

8 June 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 517; Thomason E. 392. (9.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

A

SOLEMNE ENGAGEMENT

of the Army under the Command

of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax;

with a Declaration of their Resolutions,

as to disbanding; and a briefe Vindication

of their principles and intentions in relation

to divers scandalous things suggested

against them.

Together with the representations of the dis-satisfactions of the Army, in relation to the late Resolutions for so sodain disbanding: shewing the particulars of their former grievances; wherein they did remains unsatisfied: and the reasons thereof, unanimously agreed upon, and subscribed by the Officers and Souldiers of the severall Regiments, at the Randezvous neare New-Market on fryday and saturday June 4. and 5.

Presented to the Generall, and by him to be humbly presented to the PARLIAMENT.

With his Excellency’s Letter to the Speaker June the 8. sent with the same.

London; Printed for George Whittington, at the Blew Anchor in Cornhill neare the Royall Exchange.

1647.

Mr SPEAKER:

In my Last I promised to send you by the next an Account of the Proceedings and Resolutions of the Army at the Iate Randezvous: I have sent you the same in two Papers unanimously agreed upon there, by both Officers and Souldiers: I finde in one of them divers things which your later proceedings since the Resolution of disbanding may have given satisfaction unto: But the Army having then no knowledge thereof, it was thus passed and delivered to mee, and I cannot but send it to them: you may see what they then did remaine unsatisfied in.

Understanding, that his Majesty and your Conumssioners were much straitened and disaccommodated in the House at Childerley, I went thither yesterday to advise with your Commissioners about the disposal of his Majesty, for more conveniency to himselfe and them, then that place did afford: The Conunissioners were pleased wholly to refuse giving of any advice or opinion at all in the businesses and therefore the King declaring his Resolution not to goe Holdenby, unlesse he were forced, yet complaining much of the inconveniency he suffered where he was, and pressing for a remove to New-Market, and your Commissioners not Judging it inconvenient for him to be there: I ordered Col. Whalley this day to attend his Majesty, and the Commissioners thither, with a trusty and sufficient Guard of two Regiments of Horse, which accordingly was this day done, and his Majesty, with the Commissioners, gone to New-Market, but not through Cambridge. This businesse taking up the sole time yesterday, and it being necessary his Majesty should be disposed of : Before the place of Randezvous could well be resolved on, this morning at a Councell of Warre, it was judged inconvenient, and scarce possible to draw to a Randezvous to morrow early enough to dispatch anything; Therefore it is appointed on Thirsday morning at nine of the Clock: and in regard of his Majesties going to New-Market, it was thought fit by the Councell of Warre, that the place of Randezvous might be altered from New-Market-Heath to Triploe- Heath, five miles from this Towne: I shall take care that your Commissioners if they come to New—Market, may have notice of this alteration from the former appointment.

I remaine

Your most humble servant,

T. FAIRFAX

For the Honorable William Lenthall, Esquire, Speaker of the
Honourable House of Commons.

A SOLEMNE

ENGAGEMENT

OF THE

ARMY

Under

The Command of his Excellency

Sr. THOMAS FAIRFAX,

Read, assented unto, and subscribed by all

Officers, and Souldiers of the several Regiments,

at the generall Randezvous, neare

Newmarket, on the fift of June,

1647.

Whereas upon the Petition intended and agreed upon in the Army, in March last, to have been presented to the Generall, for the obtaining of our due and necessary concernments as Souldiers; the Honourable House of Commons, being unseasonably prepossessed with a Copie thereof, and (as by the sequell we suppose with some strange misrepresentations of the carriage and intentions of the same, was induced to send down an Order for suppressing the Petition, and Within two or three dayes after, upon further misinformation, and scandalous suggestions, of the like or worse nature, and by the indirect practice of some malitious and mischievous persons (as we suppose) surprizing or otherwise abusing the Parliament. A Declaration was published in the name of both Houses, highly censuring the said petition, and declaring the Petitioners, if they should proceed thereupon, no lesse then enemies to the State, and disturbers of the publick peace. And whereas at the same time and since, divers eminent Officers of the Army have been brought into question and trouble about the said Petition, whereby both they and the rest of the Officers were disabled, or discouraged for the time, from further acting or appearing therein on the souldiers behalfe; And whereas by the aforesaid proceedings and the effects thereof, the souldiers of this Army (finding themselves so stop’t in their due, and regular way of making knowne their just grievances, and desires to, and by their Officers) were enforced to an unusuall (but in that case necessary) way of correspondence and agreement amongst themselves, to chose out of the severall Troops and Companies severall men, and those out of their whole number, to chose two or more for each Regiment, to act in the name and behalfe of the whole souldiery of the respective Regiments, Troops and Companies, in the prosecution of their rights and desires in the said Petition, as also of their Just vindication and writing in reference to the aforesaid proceedings upon and against the same, who have accordingly acted and done many things to those ends, all which the souldiers did then approve as their owne Acts. And whereas afterwards, upon the sending downe of Field-Marshall Skippon, and those other Officers of the Army that were Members of the House of Commons, to quiet distempers in the Army, fresh hopes being conceived of having our desires againe admitted to be made knowne, and considered in a regular way, and without such misrepresentations as formerly, the Officers and souldiers of the Army (except some few dissenting Officers) did againe Joyne in a representation of their common grievances, and the Officers (except as before) did agree upon a Narrative accompt of the grounds, rise, and growth of the discontents in the Army, and their proceedings in relation thereunto, with an overture of the best expedients, to remove or satisfie the same, both which were presented to the same Members of the House, and by them reported to the House, and whereas the Parliament having thereupon voted, and ordered some particulars, onely toward satisfaction of our grievances, hath since proceeded to certaine resolutions of sodaine, disbanding the Army by peeces, which resolutions being taken, and to be executed before full or equall satisfaction given to the whole Army, in any of the grievances, before effectuall performance of that satisfaction in part, which the preceeding Votes seem’d to promise, as to some of the grievances, and before any consideration at all of some others most materiall, (as by the result of a generall Councell of Warre on Satterday, May 29.) was in generall declared, and is now more fully demonstrated, in particular by a representation there upon, agreed unto by us: we all cannot but looke upon the same resolutions of disbanding us in such manner, as proceeding from the same malicious, and mischievous Principles and intentions, and from the like indirect practices of the same persons abusing the Parliament, and is as the former proceedings against us before mentioned did, and not without carnall and bloudie purposes (for some of them have not stuck to declare or intimate) after the body of the Army should bee disbanded, or the souldiers divided from their Officers: then to question proceed against, and execute their malicious intentions upon all such particular Officers, and souldiers in the Army, as had appeared to act in the Premisses in the behalfe of the Army; and whereas upon a late Petition to the Generall from the Agitants, in behalfe of the souldiers (grounded upon the preceeding considerations relating to the same resolutions of disbanding the same generall Councell of Warre to prevent the danger, and inconveniences of those disturbings, or tumultuous actings, or confluences which the dissatisfaction and Jealousie thereupon also grounded, were like sodainely to have produced in the Army to advise the Generall, first to contract the Quarters of the Army, and then to draw the same to an orderly Randezvous for satisfaction of all, and that his Excellencie would immediately send up to move and desire the Parliament to suspend any present proceeding upon the said Resolution of disbanding, to resume the Consideration of the grievances, and desires sent up from the Army, and not to disband it in pieeces before just and equall satisfaction given to the whole; And where as some of the Regiments appointed for disbanding, upon notice thereof withdrawing themselves from the Quarters adjacent to the appointed Randezvous, & drawing towards the Head Quarters; and the contracting the Quarters according to the said advice of the Councell of Warre.

Wee the Officers and Souldiers of severall Regiments hereafter named, are now met at a generall Randezvous, and the Regiments appointed us aforesaid to be disbanded, have not appeared, nor can appeare; but are resolved not to appeare at the severall and respective Randezvous, appointed as aforsaid for their disbanding; and divers other thing have bin done by severall other partyes, or Members of the Army, necessarily relating to the good & concernment of the whole in these affaires: Now for as much as wee know not how far the malice, Injustice, and Tiranicall Principells of our enemies, that have already prevailed so far to abuse the Parliament and the Army (as is afore mentioned) in the past proceedings against the Army may further prevaile to the danger and prejudice of our selves, or any officers, or Souldiers of the Army, or other persons that have appeared to act anything in behalfe of the Army, or how far the same may further prevaile to the danger or prejudice of the Kingdome in raising a new warre, or otherwise: Therefore for the better prevention of all such dangers, prejudices, or other inconveniences that may ensue; and withall for better satisfaction to the Parliament and Kingdome, concerning our desires of confering to the authority of the one, and providing the good and quiet of the other, in the present affaires of disbanding, and for a more assured way whereby, that affaires may come to a certaine issue, (to which purpose we herein humbly implore the present and continued assistance of God, the Righteous Judge of all) wee the Officers and Souldiers of the Army subscribing here unto; doe hereby declare, agree, and promise, to and with each other, and to, and with the Parliament and Kingdome as followeth.

1. That wee shall cheerfully and readily disband when thereunto required by the Parliament or else shall many of us be willing (if desired) to ingage in further Services either in England or Ireland, having first such satisfaction to the Army in relation to our Grievances and desires heretofore presented, and such security; That we of our selves (when disbanded, and in the condition of private men) or other the free-bome people of England (to whom the consequence of our Case doth equally extend) shall not remaine subject to the like oppression, injury or abuse, as in the premisses hath been attempted and put upon us while an Army by the same men’s continuance, in the same credit and power (especially if as our Judges) who have in these past proceedings against the Army so farre prevailed to abuse the Parliament and us, and to endanger the Kingdome; and also such security that we our selves, or any member of this Army or others, who have appeared to act any thing in behalfe of the Army in relation to the premisses before recited, shall not after disbanding be any way questioned, prosecuted, troubled, or prejudiced for any thing so acted, or for the entring into, or necessary prosecution of this necessary agreement: (we say) having first such satisfaction and security in these things as shall be agreed unto by a Councell to consist of those generall Officers of the Army (who have concurred with the Army in the premisses) with two Commission Officers, and two Souldiers to be chosen for each Regiment, who have concurred, and shall concur with us in the premisses and in this agreement. And by the major part of such of them who shall meet in Councell for that purpose when they shall be thereunto called by the Generall.

2. That without such satisfaction and security, as aforesaid, we shall not willingly disband, nor divide, nor suffer our selves to be disbanded or divided.

And whereas we finde many strange things suggested or suspected to our great prejudice concerning dangerous principles, interests and designes in this Army (as to the overthrow of Magistracy, the suppression or hindering of Presbytery, the establishment of Independent government, or upholding of a generall licentiousnesse in Religion under pretence of Liberty of Conscience, and many such things) we shall very shortly tender to the Parliament a Vindication of the Army from all such scandals to cleare our Principles in relation thereunto, and in the meane time we doe disavow and disclaime all purposes or designes in our late or present proceedings to advance or insist upon any such interest, neither would we (if we might and could) advance or set up any other particular party or interest in the Kingdome (tho imagined never so much our own) but shall much rather (as far as may be within our spheare or power) study to promote such an establishment of common and equall right and freedome to the whole, as all might equally partake of but those that doe by denying the same to others, or otherwise render themselves incapable thereof.

FINIS.

 


 

T.99 (4.7) [William Walwyn], The poore Wise-mans Admonition unto All the plaine People of London, and Neighbour-Places (10 June 1647).

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Bibliographical Information

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T.99 [1647.06.10] (4.7) [William Walwyn], The poore Wise-mans Admonition unto All the plaine People of London, and Neighbour-Places (10 June 1647).

Full title

[William Walwyn], The poore Wise-mans Admonition unto All the plaine People of London, and Neighbour-Places. To strengthen them in the houre of temptation, that they may be happy and exemplary instruments to all other People, in preserving the City, Parliament, and whole Nation, from imminent and sudden destruction.

Eccles. 37.16. Prov. 16.20. Eccles. 7.21. Prov. 1.32, 33.
Let reason goe before every enterprize, and counsell before every action.
He that is wise in his businesse, shall finde good, and he that trusteth in the Lord is blessed.
Wisdome shall strengthen the wiseman, more then ten mighty Princes that are in the city.
For ease slayeth the foolish, and the prosperity of fools destroyeth them.
But he that obeyeth me (saith wisdome) shall dwell in safety, and be quiet from feare of evill.

Printed in the Yeere 1647.

Estimated date of publication

10 June 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 518; Thomason E. 392. (4.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Deare Friends;

ALTHOUGH ye and your families, are they who in all publike calamities do suffer most, yet seem ye altogether insensible of your owne danger untill it be directly upon you, yee looke not into publike affaires your selves, but trust wholly unto others; and if they either through weaknesses wilfulnesse, corruption or treacherie faile in their trust or turne oppressors and tyrants, ye remaine liable to be deluded and betrayed by them into tumults, wars, miseries and bondage.

But believe it, yee have need to look about you, and that very quickly, to see into affaires your selves, and understand how things go, for ye are likely very speedily to be put upon the greatest triall of your wisdom and faithfulnesse that ever men were put upon; which if ye withstand or get cleare through with an upright mind, your peace, freedome, and happinesse will certainly be continued, but if ye yeeld yee will involve yourselves, your wives, children and servants into far greater miseries and extremities then those ye have already past through.

The case is briefly and truly thus, ye remember in what a languishing distracted condition ye were in, before the warre was betrusted to the present Army, then called, The new Modell, and with what faithfulnesse, diligence, expedition and courage thay have vanquished the enemy, restored you to your trades and livelihoods, which ye cannot with any conscience, but thankfully acknowledge and remember.

But what they by their fidelity and activity gained abroad, is through want of care utterly destroyed at home; for whilst they supplant the enemy in strength, he is supplyed with authority, and so in effect made Master of that strength by which he hath been vanquished.

Ye will wonder how it should be so, and yet if yee shall judge the tree by the fruits, which is so infallible a rule that it cannot deceive you, ye shall find nothing more evident.

For, what Authority now extant can ye name, that affords this Army any countenance or encouragement? nay, that hath not manifested a jealousle and hatred of them, and that most unjustly, seeing the Army is still the same it was, minding the safety, peace, freedome and happinesse of all peaceable people without any difference at all.

But herein it consisteth, Authority is changed and hath proposed other ends to it selfe now at last, then when this Army was first raised; those men that saw a necessity of their raising, which appeared from the languishing condition of the Kingdome under the former Forces, had then the major Vote and the opposite party were esteemed disaffected favourers of the enemy, Remora’s to the honest proceedings of the House at that time, but are now become by the addition of divers ill affected men of knowne malignity out of the quarters redeemed from the enemy, the swaying party weigh down the ballance, and decree all.

From hence proceeds this different aspect upon the Army; the late bitter Declaration against them for endeavouring to petition their owne Generall in an orderly and peaceable way, for that which many by their losse of health, and all of them by induring the hardships and extremities of war, and hazarding their lives, have dearly earned; these are now judged enemies to the State, disturbers of the peace, even of purpose to turn the faces of honest men against them, and all to maintaine the unjust cause, and work out the wicked designes of tyrants and oppressors.

Divers men by corruptions are growne rich, from small estates or nothing to be very wealthy; and finding that this Army and such as love them, because they love their Country, are inquisitive and unwilling to see the State abused, and the people defrauded, fearing that the mountaines of wealth they have raised, may yet be returned to their right owners, or the common stock, and that their unjust actions may undergo scrutiny and tryall, have for prevention thereof, desperatly resolved to embroyle us in a new warre, and bring all to the former confusion, if not utter desolation; finding by experience, that they can fish best in troubled waters and escape best in the presse; that corruption and injustice is no otherwise mantainable, but by might and force, and for that very end and purpose have contrived to engage you against the Army, and those that wish them well, by which policie they suppose all your thoughts wil be diverted from thinking upon them and their corruptions.

In order to this, the Army and their friends are made odious to you, as Sectaries, even as he