Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics Vol. 3 (1646) (2nd ed)

Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics, Volume 3 (1646)
(2nd revised and enlarged Edition)

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Key (revised 21 April 2016)

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 1646 (Volume 3)

T.53 (10.5) John Lilburne, Innocency and Truth justified (6 January, 1646).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.53 [1646.01.06] (10.5) John Lilburne, Innocency and Truth justified (6 January, 1646).

Full title

John Lilburne, Innocency and Truth justified. First against the unjust aspersions of W. Prinn, affirmed in the 17th. page of his pamphlet, called A fresh discovery of Prodigious New wandring blazing Stars and Fire Brands, in eight lines of which there is above a dozen of untruths cleerly laid open. Next, by a just moderate reply, to his other pamphlet, called The Lyar confounded, in which the case of Leiu. Coll. Lilburns imprisonment is truly stated, Legally discussed, and vindicated, from the miserable misstatedness thereof by William Prinn. As also by a Cleere Manifestation of the strong and malitious indeavour of W. Prinn, unjustly to take away L.C. Lilburns life, by groundlesse accusing him of High Treason, in designing and plotting to suppresse and cut of this present Parliament by Force of Armes; But Lieu. Coll. Lilburn challengeth William Prinn and all his associates in England to justice and legally prove the same, if he can. Unto whichis annexed a Coppy of a letter written by L.C.L. to one of his special friends when he was in his cruell close imprisonment, in the Common Goale of the Fleet wherein is a large discovery of those soule ravishing Comforts, Ioyes, and Supportations, which he then constantly injoyed, from the Fountains of all Comforts, Published now for the incouragement of the Saints, cheerlfully to suffer afflictions and sorrowes for the sake and cause of their Lord and Master.

Heb. 10. 16, 17, 29. For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certaine fearefull looking for of judgement, and fiery indignation, which shall devoure the adversaries. Of how much sorer punishments suppose ye shall be thought worthy, who hath troden under foot the foes of God, and hath counted the blood of the Covenant, where with he was sanctified an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the spirit of grace.

Math. 10. 22. And ye shall be hated by all men for my sake; but he that endures to the end shall bee saved.

Mic. 5. 20. Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousnesse sake; for theirs in the Kingdom of heaven.

I Pet. 4. 22 Beloved, thinke it not strange concerning the fiery tryall, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.

Printed in the Yeare, 1645.

The pamphlet contains the following parts:

  1. Replies to criticism by William Prinn
  2. Correspondence with Committee of the House
  3. The Humble Petition of divers well affected persons (26 Aug. 1645)
  4. Letter by Lilburn to his friend Cornelius Holland (27 Sept. 1645)
  5. Letter to his Friends
  6. The Humble Petition to the Honourable the House of Commons (20 Nov., 1645)
Estimated date of publication

6 January, 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 413; E. 314. (21.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Innocency and Truth justified, &c.

To all the Lambs, Redremed ours strading on the Mount Sion, having their Fathers name written on their foreheads, ready to be his will and mind, and to follow him whersoever he goes, not loving their lives unto the death, Grace, Mercy, Truth and Perseverance from God the father his multiplyed.

DEare and well beloved brethren, it was the lot and portion of our only Lord and Master Jesus Christ, to be persecuted, reviled, reproached, and counted a Troubler of the World, and one not fit to breath therein: And this even by his owne Countrey men and friends, and if we his servants meet with the same measure, he hath commanded us not to be dismayed or troubled: and the reason is, because the servant is not above the master: And withall, that we might goe on cheerfully in bearing the yoake of our master, he hath ingaged himself to beare part of it with us, and takes all that is done to us for adhearing to him, as done unto himselfe, Acts 9. 4.

And therefore, saith the spirit of God, in all their afflictions, he was afflicted, & the Angel of his presence saved them, Esay 63. 9: Paul, Peter and Iohn, found these sayings of their master true, and had their Portion in afflictions in an extraordinary manner, but yet tasted largely of the faithfulnesse of their masters promise, which was to be with them, in them; which made Paul glory in his tribulations, and to say, that as his afflictions did abound, so much more his consolations; and Pauls portion in these expressions and injoyments, I my selfe have been made partaker of, in my great and pressing tribulations, which I under went in the Bishops dayes, as in this my insuing epistle written in the yeare 1638. to a speciall friend of mine, you may largely understand, and having had a large portion of sorrowes all along both before and since, throughout my Pilgrimage in this present Valle of teares.

And having had my spirit mightily refreshed and carried above the world, and the lash of my bitter adversaries, by calling to mind my by past experience and refreshings, that I have injoyed from that Fountaine of fulnesse, that hath for many yeares together been my sensible injoyed portion: and amongst all the Writings and Declarations of Gods Love and Kindnesse manifested to me in my sorrowes, this following Epistle hath most affected and taken nonspirit with greatest &illegible; which hath made me many times full of longing desires to have it published, for the incouraging of the Saints to incounter with difficulties in the cause and quarrell of their Lord and Master, and not to be afraid of bonds nor imprisonments.

And having lately been extraordinarily pursued with my quondam friend William Prinn, as if nothing but my life and blood would satisfie his turne, I shall not now particularly recite, what hath passed already betwixt us, but refer you to what I have already written, especially my printed reasons, delivered in against him to the Committee of &illegible; in May &illegible; I confesse I take small &illegible; with &illegible; with such a man as William Prinn is, who takes so much elbow roome to tell untruths, without consideration what he saith, as if he had been bread thereunto, and as if there were no God in Heaven to judge righteously or no man left upon earth that had so much honestie in him, as to take notice what he saith, were it not that I were extraordinarily forced by the violence of him, and his partakers, miny of which have but little knowledge, & as little Judgement to judge of things between us; but only because William Prinn saith it, I shall therefore in the first place begin with his booke called, A fresh discovery of prodigient new, wandring blazing Stars, and Fire-brands: And to let passe those bundel of Falshoods contained in the severall Pages of that booke, the bare naming and &illegible; of which, are able to fill a &illegible; &illegible; I shall at present only insist upon a few lines in the 17. Page, and by what you find there, you may judge of all the rest. His words are as followeth.

And not contented herewith, they lately conspired together to exhibit a Petition to the Parliament for present disolving the Assemblle and sending them hence to Countrey Cures (to prevent the setling of any Church Government, to which and they met at the &illegible; &illegible; where &illegible; Coll. Iohn Lilburun (&illegible; Instrument for such a seditions design) &illegible; in the &illegible; and Mr. Hugh Peters suggested the advice which was accordingly inserted in is the Petition, but the Common Counsell man swelling out the designe, when the Petition &illegible; to there hands &illegible; discreetly left out that request as sedition and unjust.

For answer unto which, I desire to &illegible; you that immediately after the losse of &illegible; there were divert persons of severall quallities, Citizens of London, and divert of them of very &illegible; &illegible; met at the &illegible; &illegible; in the Old Jury to confer together, and to consider of something for the good of the City and Kingdome, after so great a &illegible; &illegible; was generally judged to her and after a long debait of many things, the whole company then present, being about 2. or 300. chaseout about 16. persons then present by way of a Committee, to draw up a Petition against the next morning, to be presented to their &illegible; and consideration: and amongst the rest my selfe was fine, but I doe professe for above the third &illegible; of those that were called the committee, I had never converted with them before in thy life, nor &illegible; know their faces, and therefore no wise &illegible; &illegible; judge us such fooles being strangers each to other, as to enter into any conspiracie.

Secondly, That I face in the Chaire, which is most false also, for it was one Mr. Lee a meere stranger to me, and one who to my knowledge I never changed one word with before, in all my life.

Thirdly, he saith &illegible; &illegible; was, for present dissolving the Assembly and sending them home to Countrey cures, which it most untrue; for all that was debaited was, but the proroging of them for a Month or six Weekes, that so they might goe downe into the Association, and use their interest amongst the People for their universall rising to prevent the Kings breaking in amongst them; which was then generally, much feared, and was then looked upon as a designe the which if the King could accomplish) tending to the speedy mine of the Parliament, and the cause they have all this while been a managings and I hope no true lover of the Parliament, will be offended at our good intentions and desires at that time, of so publique distractions for theirs and the Kingdomes preservation; which was the uttermost that to my knowledge was in any mans eye and intention there.

In the fourth place, he saith our conspiracy was to prevent the setling of Church Government, which is a fourth untruth, for that was not any part of our end or meeting, nor to my rememberance any of our debaite.

Fiftly, he saith that Mr. Hugh Peter, suggested the advice, which is a trible untruth for first, he was not there, and to any remembrance, I never saw him there in my life, and therefore, 2. He could not suggest the advice, neither 3. was there at all to my remembrance any such advice, as he speakes of amongst us; for the chiefe advice that was about this businesse, was not from Mr. Peters, but from Major Sallaway of London, one that is reputed a wise and moderate man, and one that will looke well before him, before he leaps, and his advice was given upon this question, being stated amongst us, seeing the King had taken Leicester, which we all looked upon as a great losse, not only to the Kingdome, but especially to the City of London in stopping provisions that used to come out of many Countreys; and seeing, Sir Thomas Fairfax with his Army was at Oxford, and the King in a faire way to take Cambridge, and other places in the Association, the preventing of which wee looked upon to be, of extraordinary consequence to both the Kingdome and City, and therefore &illegible; the question, what in our apprehensions was the best way, to prevent him, and it was agreed upon generally, that speedily to raise the whole Association, was the only present way to prevent him.

And then the second question was, which was the most effectuall way to raise them, and amongst other things, it was conceived by all, that if the Ministers in the Assembly would for a little time rejurne, and the most of them imploy their parts and interests amongst the people, it would be one speciall meanes to effect the thing desireds and Maier &illegible; did then tell us, he thought such a desire would be well pleasing to the Ministers themselves; for saith he, this evening I came from Westminster with a Minister of the Assemblie, (and a notable Presbiterian,) and we had discourse of this very thing, and he to me made it his desire, that if I did come to any meeting where there was any Intention of a publique Petition, that I would use my endeavours, to get the desire of having the Assemblie rejurned for a, little time, that so they might use their utmost endeavours as well as Commanders and Souldiers, to helpe to save the publique, and upon this advice and information, we were swayed to thinke of this.

His eighth or ninth untruth is, that he affirmes we did accordingly insert into our petition, our desire of dissolving the Assembly, which is most false; for it was only that for a short time it might be proroged, as by the Originall of the Petition, yet remaining will be made to appeare.

But in the tenth place saith he, the Common Counsell men smelling out the designe, when the Petition came to their hands, most discreetly left out that request as seditious and unjust; to which I answer, first, the Common Counsell men could smell out no designe about that, for there was no such thing in it as he speakes off and secondly, that which we had put in it about proroging the Assemblie, we our selvs upon debait the next morning blotted out, before ever the Petition was &illegible; and then thirdly, neither what he saith nor what we had once put into the Petition came in it to their hands and therefore fourthly, to give him 13. or 14. untruths to the dozzen in less then 3. &illegible; being he is so constant a trader in them & ingroser of them, they neither did nor could most discreetly leave out that request as seditious and unjust, that never came to their hands, is the Petition in print presented to them will declare and prove.

But if William Prinn say, I have spoken or written in these particular that which is false and so abuse him, I challenge him at the same, or any other place in London, to give me a publique meeting, and let him bring as many of his friends along with him as he pleaseth, and I will to his face by good and lawfull testimony, not only by Independants, but by honest Presbyterians, and good and &illegible; Common wealths men, disprove every particular before mentioned, that he affirmes (not by heare say but positively, as if he had seene and known them all out of his owne knowledge) to be reall truths, and also will make it appeare to his &illegible; in above 40. more Particulars in that booke and a letter, that he is a &illegible; and wilfull falsifyer of the truth, and such an Incendiary against just, honest, and peaceable Common Wealths men, that neither the whole Society of Lawyers, nor the whole Kingdome hath his fellow; and which, if his troublesome spirit continue still in his &illegible; provocations, I shall publiquely in print doe and call it, (in opposition to his late booke called the Lyer confounded) the lying Lawyer confounded.

Surely such uniust, unchristian, and inhumane practises as these are, &illegible; &illegible; stand admiting, that William Prinn who formerly professed to have a conscience, and not only to walks by principles of morallytie, which by nature are engrared in the hearts of the very Heathen, I meane especially to doe as they would be done unto, but likewise by divine principles (which in some measure were demonstrated by his sufferings) that he should be so far degenerated, as to walke and act below the principles of a common Christian, than in my apprehension he commeth short of a civill moralized Heathen, his late bookes being so fraughted with bloody and malitious &illegible; and untruths, as though his greatest designe were to destroy all the generation of the &illegible; that doe but differ from him. I wish he would consider what the Apostle saith Heb. 6. 4. 5. 6. For it is impossible for those that were once enlightned, & have tasted of the heavenly gift, and &illegible; &illegible; partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted of the goodnesse of God and the powers of the world to come, if they shall &illegible; away, to renew them againe unto repentance, seeing they crucifie to themselves the Sonne of God &illegible; and &illegible; him to an open &illegible;

In the second place, I come to examine a few things in his late refutation against me, called the Lyer &illegible; though? confesse for &illegible; owne peace and quietnesse sake, I had intended to have given it no other answer, then what is done in the house of Commons order, that set me at libertie, had not divers of his Abetters so extraordinaryly provoked me by their lies and false reports, as though I had come out of prison by some base wayes or meanes, “and that only upon baile. But that upon I know not what grounds and reasons of Clemency, and Mercy from some persons of great quallitie, in whose power it was and is shall to destroy me: for the head of the plot he mentions in his 27. page. I shall therefore for the present vindication of my reputation, without the desire of picking any new quarrells with any man, mentioned in that his worthlesse and incendiary booke, or without the staining of the reputation of any member of the house of Commons, much lesse of the house it selfe, with whom I hope to injoy a better understanding and a fairer respect, then of late I have done by William Prinns malitious meanes.

I shall begine with what he saith in his second page, That I was a poore obscure Apprentice in London, as though to be Apprentice in London were such a disgracefull thing, as though he that is, or hath been so, must not stand in competition with worthlesse William Prinn: but I was a poore obscure one, and all the reputation I ever gained in the world, was from him, whose servant I was generally reputed to be, and was contented to owne that title for my own emploiment: to which I answer, an Apprentice in London I was indeed, and served divers yeares a master that dealt in Cloth by whole saile, and divers other rich Commodities which was a better trade then ever William Prinn was brought up to in his life and my masters word or bond would be taken for more money upon the Royall Exchange of London, then I am confident William Prinn will ever be worth justly gotten by him, with whom I lived in good repute, & did him more true and faithfull service, then ever William Prinn did the Common Wealth for all his hoasting.

And for my own particular thought, I confesse comparisons are not pleasant, yet being so exceedingly urged unto it, I say, I am the offspring (even in the eyes of the world) of as good, (if not a better & honester) parentage, then W. P. and brought up while I was a youth, as like the sonne of a Gentleman as William Prinn, to bee whose servant in that way he meanes I never was, not never to any man breathing owned, not never counted it an honour to have been so reputed: but alwayes, and to every man living (to my remembrance) that so tooke me I disclamed, yea and with indignation to many, and doe now before God and the World professe, I should have thought the worse of my selfe while I had breathed, if ever I had had any dependance in the least, upon so ungodly and worthlesse a man: though this I say, I accounted is my duty to doe William Prinn and Doctor &illegible; all the free officer of love and service that law in my power, during all the time that I conceived they stood either for God, Goodnesse, or Iustice: And my actions and carriages then towards them were suitable to this principle. Though this &illegible; confesse, God never gave me over to so reprobate a mind, to grow great and get ritches by so unjust deceitfull wayes and meanes, as William Prinn hath done; whose unjust practises (as he is a Lawyer) one of his owne party and an Essex Minister, proclaimed openly upon the Exchange the other day, who said he was a &illegible; and he would prove him so; for said he, he hath taken sees one both sides, and therefore deserves to be turned over the Barr, and never to plead any more, and whose &illegible; will be speedily caractarized in one at Colours by the honest Gentlemen of Gersey, whom he so much wrongeth and &illegible; in the latter end of his booke, and which is already pritie well aid open by Mr. White Minister of &illegible;

And for that of Doctor Bastwicks mentioned by him, in the foresaid second page It is a &illegible; falshood, and for the further answer to which, I refer him to thy answer to Doctor Bastwicks late untrue defence, which by way of Epistle I sent to the Mayor and Corporation of Rye, at my late being in Newgate in September last, where the Doctor with many lyes and vapours, laboured to be chosen &illegible; Burges, and thought his abusing of me there would have done &illegible; businesse for him, but by that Epistle (a Coppy of which William &illegible; I thinke may have for sending for) Helieve I did not a little serve him the back way, For I there (among other things) &illegible; him a bold affirmer of untruths, not in a few things, but in many; thirdly in his 11 page, which I am confident hath well nigh 10 in it, only two or three words in answer to that, which he affirmes in the foresaid page, that if it had not been for him and Bastwick, I had lyin buried in obscurity amongst the rubbish of the &illegible; vulgar, scarce known to any but my selfe; which is very strange, for befored ever saw Prinns fact, I was (as I suppose) a greater traveller, then ever he was in his life: for being borne as &illegible; my Father and mother being both &illegible; and her Father see the greatest part of twice 20. yeares before; that I &illegible; young downe to New Castle by sea, and from thence to my fathers owne hereditory habitation; where beside other education, the best which the Country afforded, I was brought up well neigh 10. yeares together, in the best Schooles in the North, namely, &illegible; Auckland, and New Castle, in both which places, I was not one of the &illegible; Schools Boyes there, and besides my knowledge in the Latins tongue, I was a little entered into the Greeke also. And at New Castle, I did not only know, but also was knowne of the principall men there: and after that came to London, and served divers yeares with a &illegible; that betrusted me, to receive many thousand Pounds, for him of the the greatest Merchants in London that deale for Turkey &illegible; the East countreyes and many times severall dayes in the Worke, &illegible; the Exchange to dispatch my masters businesse, that be betrusted me to doe for him, so that I thinke I was better and farther knowne, before I &illegible; of William &illegible; then himselfe.

I come now to his 4. page, where he cited the Order madvin the house of Commons, January 17. 1644. against me, which authorized the Committee of Examinations to &illegible; me before them, and to examine me about my writing a letter to him at that time, and in the 5. page be saith and affirmes, the Committee May 16. made a Warrant only to &illegible; our before them, though be very, well knowes, that I was attached and a prisoner, and did &illegible; of it to the Committer, (to my rememberance) before his face, that &illegible; very hard in my thoughts that I who had adventured my life, and alwayes declared faithfullnesse to the Parliament, should be clapt by the &illegible; before I was heard: at which one of the Committee then present spain and said, he could not thinke I was a Prisooner: for (saith be) to the Chatre man, it is &illegible; be should be a Prisoner, for our order from the House was only &illegible; him upon which Justice &illegible; acknowledged that it was &illegible; and therefore by Order of the Committee gave me my libertie; and both her and the Committee used me then with &illegible; and respect to William &illegible; great &illegible; you; &illegible; I doe any this for a truth, that after J had been once or twice commanded to withdraw, and being called in at the conclusion of that dayes works, Justice Whitakar spoke unto me to this effect, &illegible; Collonell Lilburn, I am commanded by the Committee here present, to &illegible; you thankes for your Valour, Faithfullnesse, and good service done for the Kingdome, and doe desire you to continue still the same good affection, and doe advise you as a friend, to be moderate and wise, that so you may not loose that good repute that betherto you have deserved from us, and also that you will take heed, that you put nothing in your answer which may doe you hurt, and besure you faile not to being it in according to your promise, and take heed in the interim, you publish nothing, you are a free man, and may goe home and behave your selfe like an hourst man as hetherto you have done, so we paned in my apprehension very good friends, for all William &illegible; mallice.

And that he affirmes a falshood in saying that I was but barely summoned, I desire you to read the Warrant by which I was attached, and then judge, a true copy of which, as I had it from Mr. Rich, so only the Messenger that apprehended me, under his owne hand, thus followeth.

14. May 1645.

At the Committee of the House of Commons for Examinations.

IT is this day ordered, that the Serjent at Armes attending the Hous of &illegible; or his deputy doe forthwith apprehend and bring into safe custodie, before this Committee at the inner Court of Wards at Westminster, the bodies of Lieutenant Collonell John Lilburn, Henry Robbinson and Jane Coe, to answer to such matters at shall be objected against them, and all Constables and other his Majesties Officers and Subjects, are here by required to be aiding and assisting in execution thereof if need require.

To John Hunt Esquire, Serjent at Armes, or his deputy.

Lawrance Whitaker.

Upon the Tuesday next after this, I remember I delivered my reasons in (wherefore I writ my letter to him) in a whole sheet of paper under my hand, at the receipt of which, the committee told me that they were not at leasure to read them, but if William Prinn never called for a further prosecution, I should never heare more from them about that businesse, and so discharged me.

And afterwards in June I caused it to be printed, he and Bastwick still persisting in their mallice against the people of God, in which besaith, there is many false relations, which tend to make the Parliament &illegible; I say there is not one false relation, but all of them I am able by good testimony to prove; and I desire every unprejudiced man that &illegible; it to be judge betwixt him and me, whether it be full of invictions against the Parliament or no.

In his 6, page, he is very much troubled at my answer to 9. Arguments made by &illegible; which I writ in the Fleet above 6. yeares agoe, in the hight of the Bishops tyrannie, yet because it was mine, though done against the Bishops and their Priests, so long agoe (although the Parliament hath condemned them as Antichristian) I must be troubled for it, by William Prinn so great is his mallice against me, although it was princed before he first troubled me, which was many months before the 18. of June, at which time he was the Instrument (as I conceive &illegible; he let full his former businesse, being so justly paid with my &illegible; that he &illegible; meddle no more with them) to get me the second time upon a new businesse attacht a prisoner againe, though he falsly &illegible; the contrary, the copy of the Warrant by which I was apprehended by the same Messenger here after followeth and had it under his owne hand.

12. of June 1644.

At the Committee of the house of Commons for Examinations.

IT is this day ordered, that the Serjant at Armes attending the house of Commons, or his deputy doe forthwith apprehend and bring in safe onstody before this Committee sitting in the inner Court of Wards, at Westminster, the body of Leiutenant Collonell Iohn Lilburne to answer to such matters as shall be objected against him, and all Constables and all other His Majesties Officers and Subjects, are hereby required to be aiding and assisting thereof if need require.

To Iohn &illegible; Esquire, Serjant at Armes or his deputy.

Lawrance Whitakar.

And when I came the next day before the Committee, I found not so faire play as before, for they would neither heare me nor tell me the cause, nor ground to that day, wherefore they imprisoned me.

In the same page, he speakes of a third time, that I was ordered to besent for in custody, but I have forgot when it was, being either a Sleep or &illegible; Trance, when I was so sent for, at which time be saith I lay in the Messengers house, which I never did in my life, but mistakes and untruths are so common with William Prinn, that he hath forgot making conscience of letting his tongue run at randome.

Then he comes to the 19. of Iuly and recites some words that I should speake against the Speaker, though from that day to this present house, I could never see or heare of any man breathing, that would face to face, lay any such thing to my charge, and truly if I should have spoken any such things by way of report, it was to me very strange that Mr. Prity, Mr. Rowson, and Mr. Warly, who on that day in the so it &illegible; gave information to a Committee of Parliament, of some such thing at be there speakes of, and who being informers, if any man ought to be laid hold of, about it, they did, and not J, that neither informed nor appeared in it, and hard measure it is to me, that they the principalls, should goe scot free, and I only brought upon the flage, by the pure and &illegible; &illegible; of my adversaries, and also clapt by the beeles not before but many houses after they had given in their information.

Besides, if I had said any such thing as he reports, I ought (being a free man) to have had a legall proceeding, and not before J was heard, to be clapt by the &illegible; no man that J can meet with, knowes wherefore.

Again, to me it appeares more agreeable to law, that if so high an accusation as (hee speakes off) be laid against any man whosoever, by a man knowne to bee a friend to the publique, that rather the accused, then the accuser should be imprisonned, though I conceive it is but just, that he that accuseth should put in securitie to prosecute his charge, and in case he faile to make it good, to beforth comming to answer the Law in point of reparation to the party accused; and for my part I professe, J am to learne (to conceive,) that any man in England: that professes himselfe to be a man, (and not a god) hath justly by any pretended prerogative or priveledge whatsoever in such a case, exemption from the Iash and rigor of the Law more them my selfe, or the meanest free man in England, and J doe seriously protest, my judgement is, that what single person soever he bee, whether King, Lord, or Member of the House of Commons that creads under foot the Law made by common consent, and Acts &illegible; if he were subiect to none, is an absolute Tyrant, and no Ordinance of God, and so not by any to be obeyed.

And you in the 11. page of your Appendex, called The soveraine &illegible; of Parliamente and Kingdomes. say, that command is in the Magistrates, Authoritie in the Senate, power in the people, yea, and Maiestie in the people in generall: And after ward speaking of Doctor Ferne and his unlimitted power that he invests Emperors and Monarchs with, which is, that it is unlawfull either for a Senate, or the people forcibly to resist, much lesse to depose, take up Armes against or call them to a strict, just account, for their tyrannie, oppression, or misgovernment; Which Tenents you say are directly contrary to Pauls doctrine. Rom. 13. 1. 10. 6. Let every soule be subiect to the highest powers, &c. Which highest powers you there say, are the Senate and people, to whom the Roman Emperors themselves were to be obedient in all iust requests and commands, under paine of damnation, and subiect to the Senates sword of iustice in case of disobedience and misgovernment, and therefore you againe there say, that Kings (even by Penis Doctrine Rom. 13.) &illegible; to be subiect to the higher power and jurisdiction of their Parliaments, the Lawes and Statutes of their Realmes, and to be accountable to them.

But if Kings the greater, must be subiect to the Law, and accountable to the people, then a single Parliament man the lesser needs must be the same, yea, and &illegible; I the whose House of Commons themselves, being according to the constitution of this Kingdome but a part, and not the whole Parliament, being but one of the 3. estates, must and ought to be subiect to the knowne law, and cannot in iustice punish a freeman contrary thereunto, what soever tyrannicall principalls accompany of corrupt men maintaine to the contrary, which is the only way to make the House of Commons odious and contemptable to the people, by puting them upon such things as may be a burthen and a mischiefe to them, and thereby secretly and in an undiscerned way doe the long desired worke of the Royalists at Oxford, by driving the people into such a miserable condition, that they shall rather long for their old bondage and staverit, which was upon them under the King before this Parliament, then any longer waite with patience for their iust and long expected libertie and freedome, promised by and expected from the Parliament.

And for my part I confesse, I am yet in the darke, and at a seruple, whether the House of Commons maintaining 3 estates, that is to say, the House of Commont for the grand in quest of the Kingdome, the House of Peers for the Judges, and the King for the Executioner, can iustlie and legally imprison any Commoner of England by their owne bare authority, without the warrant of the Lords (accounted by themselves) to be the Iudges, and I doe on the contrary side according to the foregoing principall, doe question whether the Lords singly can send for a Commoner of England, and without the &illegible; of the House of Commons at their pleasures, commit him to prison? or whether or no, it be not the just and legall priveledge of the free men of England, that if any estate of Parliament take &illegible; of a crime committed by them, that they ought to be summoned by the House of Commons and so transmitted up to the Lords, and from them be committed if they see cause.

But you will say, they act now by two Estates, that is to say, the Grand inquest, and Iudges; and both of them joyned together, do execute? I answer, to me the case is all one yet, so long as the House of Peers by the House of Commons we owned and reputed for the Judges, and nothing declared to the Commons of England for them groundedly to take notice of the contrary.

Now the laying all the premises together, and William Prins owne confession as a Lawyer, in the 21. page of his booke, that if the Parliament or Committe have committed me to New gate without the cause of My commitment, expressed in the Warrant, I might have had some eculler of complaint of injustice, and breach of MAGNA CHARTA, and the Petition of Right.

To which I answer I desire to be resolved from any conscionable and understanding Lawyer in England, whether in the House of Commons, or out of the House of Commons, whether I have not iust cause to complaine of iniustice, and breach of MAGNA CHARTA, and the Petition of Right, to be imprisoned by Iustice Whitaker, by his owne &illegible; authority contrary to an expresse order of the House, and that before ever I was heard or knew what was laid unto my charge, &illegible; by his &illegible; warrant dated the 14. May 1645 doth appears.

My second quarie is this, whether or no I being a free man of England, and &illegible; tainted with Malignancie against the just freedome of the Nation, I have not iust cause to complain of iniustice, and breach of Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right; for Iustice Whitaker the second time, to imprison me without any legall &illegible; and that before ever I was heard or knew my Accuser or &illegible; &illegible; by his forecited warrant of the 18. of June 1645. doth appeare, yea, and from that day to that present houre, could never come to any hearing whatsoever, nor ever know what &illegible; laid to my charge, nor who was my accuser.

3ly. Whether or no, I have not grounded cause to complaine of iniustice, breach of MAGNA CHARTA, and the Petition of Right, against all those of the house of Commons that principally acted and voted me to prison without expressing any cause of my imprisonment in the Vote or Warrant, by vertue of which I was committed, which Vote or Warrant thus followeth as William Prins in his 6. and 7. pages hath it.

Die Sabbatl. 19, Julii. 1645.

REsolved upon the question, by the Commons assembled in Parliament, that Lieutenant Collonell Lilburn, be forth with taken into custody, by the Serjent at Armes attending this House, and so kept tell the House take further order.

To the Serjent at Armes, attending. on this house, or to his Deputy, &c.

Hen, Elsing Cler. Parl. D. Cott.

And after they had committed me to the Seriants custody, and he to one of his Deputies, and there kept me in durance as a Prisoner, and at the same time refused to accept of Baile for me, though it were desired by one of my friends by way of &illegible; in the House of Commons, and have never legally from that day to this present houre, &illegible; me know the cause of my commitment or my accuser.

Fourthly, Whether or no J have not true cause to complaine of iniustice, breach of MAGNA CHARTA, and the Petition of Right against Mr. Corbet, and the rest of the Committee of Examinations, who commanded me before them upon the &illegible; of Iuly 1645. and refused to declare unto me the cause wherefore they had imprisonned me, and pressed me to answer to interrogatories concerning my selfe, and for refusing, commanded me backe to prison, although they very well knew, that I was sentenced in the Star-Chamber, upon the very same grounds, and also knew that the House of Commons May 4. 1641. had voted, &illegible; that sentence, and all the proceedings against me in Star-Chamber, was not only illegall, and against the Libertie of the Subiect, but also Bloody, Wicked, Cruill, Barberous, and Tyrannicall, the proceedings that were at that time, for the cleerer satisfaction of the world I shall (as neere as I can) here set downe.

Mr. Corbet being in the Chaire, said unto me, Leiutenant Collonell Lilburn I am commanded by the House to demand this question of you? whether did not you upon the 19. of this present Iuly, (being Saterday) at Westminster say, that there were high and great things discovered concerning divers Members of the House of Commons, which reached as high as to the Speaker, who from his owne hands, had sent Three &illegible; Thousand pound to the King to Oxford? unto which I &illegible; Sir J am a Prisonner committed by the House of Commons, but I know not wherefore. I shall therefore, humbly desire to know the cause of my commitment, and then I shall answer you, unto which he said very angerly. Sir The house is not &illegible; to declare unto you, the cause wherefore they commit you unto which I said, then &illegible; have been a long time mistaken. Sir, saith Mr. Corbet, We expect &illegible; you a possitive answer to the questiõ & cõmand you to give it. Wel Sir, then to it I answer thus. I am a free man, yea, a free borne &illegible; of England, and I have been in the &illegible; with my Sword in my hand, to adventure my life and my blood (against Tyrants) for the preservation of my just freedome, and I doe not know that ever J did an Act in all my life, that disfranchised me of my fredome, and by vertue of my being a free man (I conceive) I have as true a wright to all the priveledges that do belong to a free man as the greatest man in England whatsoever he be, whether Lord or &illegible; and the ground and foundation of my freedome I build upon the grand Charter of England, which is published and expressed in the 9. of &illegible; 3. chap. 29. which I humblie crave leave to read to this honorable Committee, and having obtained leave I read as followeth.

No free man shall be taken or imprisonned, or be diseased of his free hold, or liberties, or free customs, or be out lawed, or excited, or any wise distroyed, nor we will not passe upon him, nor condemne him, but by lawfull Iudgement of his Peers, or by the law of the Land, we will sell to no man, we will not deny, or &illegible; to any man either Iustice or Right.

Sir the priveledges contained herein, are my Birthright and inheritance, which priveledges have been ratified and confirmed to the free people of England by that present Parliament, and many Declarations put out against the King for violating of them.

Yet notwithstanding, since the first of May last, I have by authority from the House of Commons, beene three times imprisonned, before ever I knew my accuser, or mine accusation, or ever suffered to speake one word in mine owne defence, which I humbly conceive, it contrary to MAGNA CHARTA, and these priveledges that I ought to enjoy, by vertue of my having an interest therein, and now J am imprisonned by Vote of the whole House. J know not wherefore, therefore till it be made knowne unto me wherefore I am imprisonned, I shall not answer to any of your interrogatories at all, unto which Master Corbet, as also Mr. Whitaker replyed.

Mr. Lilburn be advised in your expressions, and take heed what &illegible; in this &illegible; Gentlemen, I humblie thanke you for your causion given, me but for your advice I desire you to keepe it to your selves, for (I conceive I know well enough what I say, and truly that rough and hard dealing that I find from the Parliament, and their Officers, &illegible; me to expresse my selfe as I doe, for I &illegible; give me leave to tell you, that I was never so affronted and abused in my life amongst my friends as I was by your Serjant at Armes, when he apprehended me, who &illegible; the going into the Hall, tooke me by my sword bolt, and dragged and &illegible; and shooke me, giving me such language, as if I had been the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; in the world, and when I was out of the Hall, when I &illegible; (understanding the nature of a Prisooner) of &illegible; my selfe, and &illegible; giving my sword I am the hands of my friend, to carry home to my wife, as my owne proper &illegible; he would needs by force and violence rob me of it, saying it was his and he would have it, so that I was forced to scuffle to preserve my selfe from being robbed of my owne proper goods, and all &illegible; he did unto me, having no Warrant at all about him, &illegible; meddle with me, nor I not offring the least affront in the world to him.

Time was that he used your enemies (to my knowledge) ten times &illegible; for where Captaine Hide drew his sword in Westminster Hall of purpose to make &illegible; &illegible; there, whom I &illegible; it brought both him & his sword up to the House of Commons door, & by command of divers Members, dilivered them both in the Serjant, yet immediately after during the time of a conference, he &illegible; both him and (for ought I then knew) his sword also got to his comings in Westminster Hall, who being no sooner there amongst them, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of them to draw, and tell to slashing and cutting, having driven the asked people up the very Parliament staires, with a resolution (for any thing I could perceive) to cut all your throats in the House, for the preventing of which, Sir Richard Wiseman, my selfe and divers other Citizens with our swords in our hands freely adventured our lives.

Here upon Mr. Lile stept up, very soberly, and expressed himselfe to this effect. Mr Corbet I desire to know whether or no Mr. Lilburn intends by way of Petition to declare these expressions of his to the House? or whether he intends hereby some other way, as to cast an aspertion of injustice upon the whole House of Commons, and to shew his refractorinesse to answer to their interrogatories?

Where unto I replyed Sir, for petitioning the House, I have no intention to doe it about this businesse, having petitioned long enough to no purpose already in another case, and as for your other expressions, I humbly conceive my words are plaine and he that reads &illegible; may easily, understand them, and if you can expresse them plainer then they are already written, and reach my sense and meaning, I shall willingly subscribe my hand unto them, or if you please to give me pen, inke, and paper, I shall write my owne words my selfe and my name at the bottome of them, where upon divers of them wished me to take heed what I did, I told them, Gentlemen I speake not the words of &illegible; or inconsideratenesse, but of deliberation, having something pondred upon them before I came to you, neither doe I speake the words of lightnesse, as though I would say a thing this houre, and &illegible; from it the next, but I speake that which I will stand to, and live and dye by, humbly submitting my body to your pleasure, so being commanded to withdraw, I said Gentlemen, I humbly crave leave to make one desire more unto you, which is, that you will be pleased to give me a Copy of your question and mine owne answer, but it was denied and so I with drew.

Fiftly, being the House of Commons as William Prinn in the 7. page of his booke saith, made an order in these words.

Die Sabbati 9. August 1645.

ORdered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, that the consideration for finding out the Author of this booke be referred to the Committe of Examinations, and that in case it appeare to be Lilburnes booke, they shall have power to commit him to what prison they please.

Upon comming before whom, I was pressed to answer to interrogatories &illegible; my selfe, for refusing to answer to which, and although I owned not that printed letter that they called mine, and although I see none that came in against me to prove it mine, yet contrary to the order of the House of Commons (as I conceive) I was committed to Newgate by Iustice Whitaker and the rest of that Committee, now the question is whether or no, I have not just caus to cõplain of injustice, breach of MAGNA CHARTA, and the Petition of Right? but for fuller setisfaction, I shall give as neere an account as I can, what passed betwixt the Committee and my selfe, Iustice Whitaker being that day in the chaire, who at my comming in shewed me a printed booke, with Iohn Lilburnes name in the scene and reare of it saying. Mr Lilburne I am commanded by the House of Commons to demand of you this question, whether you know this Pamphlet or no, unto which I seid, Sir I shall desire to speak a few words unto you, well saith he answer to the question, Sir said I, hope you will permit me to speake mine own words, if you will not I shall be silent, take your libertie saith he, well Sir said I that, J have now been a prisoner three weeke, by Vote of the whole House of Commons, without any crime declared or cause expressed. And the last time that I was before this honorable Committee which was upon the 24 of July last, I made it my earnest desire unto you, that you would be pleased to declare unto me, the ground and cause wherefore I am imprisonned, which you then refused, and denyed me, I am now before you the second time, and doe still continue the same humble suite unto you, which is, that you will be pleased to tell me wherefore J am imprisonned, being resolved, that unlesse you will declare unto me, the cause wherefore I am imprisonned, I will not answer to any question or interogatory that you shall aske me.

Whereupon he wrote, and when he had done, he read it to me, upon which I told him, that he had not written halfe my words, and unlesse that he would write them all and that in the same manner that I did speake them, I would not owne one word of that which he had written, well then, Sir (saith he) dictate your owne words, and Ile write them, which I did, and then he read them, and said doth this reach your mind? I told him yes, and if he pleased to give me a copy of them, I would set my hand to that which he had written, but without I had a copy I would not.

Unto which he replyed that the Committee would take that into consideration, but Sir saith he, I hope you will owne your own words. Well Sir said I, it as very well knowne, I doe not use to &illegible; from what I say, so I was commanded to withdraw, and being without in the outward court of wards a pretty while, I was called in againe, and Mr. Whittaker asked me if I were an Officer in the Army, I told him no I had don with that, having had enough of that businesse already. Well then Mr. Lilburn (saith he,) I have &illegible; the Committee here with your answer you made even now, and they looke upon it as the greatest affront and contempt that can be given to the Authority of the house of Commons, that when the house it selfe shall order, that you shall be examined upon a businesse, & you had contemptuously say, you will answer to an interrogatories, therefore they have thought it good to remove you from your present lodging to Newgate.

Well Sir said I, I humbly thanke you, I am very well content, being as ready to goe as you are to command me, and so I withdrew, and being come out, I told my Landlord Knight (in whose custody I was) what they had done, and therefore desired him to goe in and looke for his discharge, so by and by out comes the Serjant at Armes himselfe and tells me, he had a Warrant that I must goe to Newgate, well Sir said I, I desire to see it, Sir said he, it is not directed to you, but to the Keeper of Newgate, will Sir said I, I know the Committee hath more wisedome in &illegible; to direct a Warrant to me to carry my selfe a Prisoner to Newgate, but Sir I am an Englishman, and Englishmen have some priveledges to stand for if they were not &illegible; and I am committed to your custody &illegible; of the House of Commons, and you have committed me to your man Knight, and before I stir out of his custody to goe to Newgate, I will see a warrant.

For I doe assure you Sir, seeing I am so oppressedly deale withall as I am, I will not abate you, nor the greatest man in England the breadth of one halte, of what I know to be my previledge, well Sir saith her, I have a warrant, I will not believe you unlesse you shew it me, and I doe protect unto you unlesse I see and reade it, I I will not step one foot, except you carrie me by force, but shew it me and I will obey you, Sir saith he, I hope you will not be so obstinate, Sir said I few words betwixt you and me are best, for I can be at surly as you can be for your heart, so at last he shewed it me, whereof a true copy thus followeth.

9. August. 1645.

AT the Committee of the House of Commons, for Examination It is this day ordered that upon sight hereof you receive into your custody the body of Lieu. Coll. &illegible; Lilburn, for refusing to answer to such questions as were propounded unto him by this Committee, by order of the house of Commons, and for the reasons he gave for the same, and him safely to keepe in the prison of Newgate, not permitting him to goe out of the same, without further order of the House of Commons, or this Committee.

To the Keeper of Newgate or his deputy.

Lawrance Whittaker.

And having read his Warrant I said well, now Sir I will obey you, and goe immediatly.

And in the 8. page he recites two severall orders made in the House of Commons as followeth.

Die Lunt 11. August 1645.

ORdered upon the question by the Commons assembled in Parliament, that they doe aprove of what the Committee hath done concerning Lieutenant Collonell Lilburn.

Ordered upon the question, that Lieuten. Coll. Lilburn be tryed at the next Quarter Sessions, to be held for the City of London, concerning the contriving, making, devulging and speeading &illegible; notorious scandalls, set forth in his name in a printed Pamphlet, under the title of a letter to a friend, against the Parliament and severall Members of the Commons House, and the care hereof is especially resetted to Mr. Recorder.

And then at the conclusion of that page he affirmes sollemnly, that that which he hath related is the truth, and the whole truth, and nothing but the truth of his case, and of the Parliaments, and Committees proceedings against him, every tittle whereof will be justified, and made good by a cloud of witnesses, being persons of honour, quallity, piety, fidillitie, by the Parliaments and Committees Iournalls, Lilburnes owne pamphlet and himselfe (if he be not past all shame and grace) dares not gaine say it in any particular.

Unto which I answer, that if either Prinn had any grace or shame in him, hee would not dare to affirme so many palpable untruths, with one breath so confidently and truly (in my opprehension) the Kingdome is in a very ill condition, (in reference to their accounts) to have such a man to be &illegible; man in the grand Committee of Accounts, that takes so much delight, and is so habituated to let his &illegible; and pen run at random, in &illegible; knowne untruths so constantly as he doth, have &illegible; (as I have before truly declared) overred against me, 12. or 14. &illegible; in lesse then 8. lines in one of his bookes, and divers in this, betwixt the beginning and this present 8. pag. as particularly in saying I was only summoned, when the Warrants declares I was taken into custody, which I aver to be imprisonment; and in his 6 page, declaring a third time: that I was ordered to be sent for into custody by the said Committee, where upon the Messenger tooke and detained him in his house but for one nights space, where he used him very courteously, which is a tribell falsehood, for there was never such an attachment of me a third time as he speakes of, neither secondly, did he ever detaine or carrie me to his house, neither doe I know where it is; and therefore thirdly, he could not use me courteously at the place where I never came; 20. more instances not only of mistakes, but possitive affirmed falshoods, J could give, preceeding his solemne attestation, that he hath related the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth of my case, page 8.

And as for all that bitter, false, malitious, and railing language that is contained in his three queries expressed in his 9. page, in which he endeavours to render me worse and more odious, then the &illegible; &illegible; villaine, may not, or enemie, the Parliament hath in England: I shall returne no other reply then this, that hee hath mistaken, and misladed my case, yea, and made false relations in many particulars of my case, and therefore I say, his three queries are built upon a false ground and so are absolutely 3. Nonsequeturs.

He affirmes in the 10. page, it is most certaine, I was not so much as once imprisonned by any authority from the house, therfore (saith he) let him shame the Divell and tell his deluded consederates, when, where, and by what authority he was three times imprisonned?

For your affirmation, I leave the world to Judge, whether it be false or no, especially seeing I have before named every particular day, recited the warrants, & the persons, by whome I was attaiched and imprisonned.

In the second place he saith, whereas he avert he was thrice. Imprisonned before ever he knew his accuser or accusation: he writes expresly in the very next words, page 1, 2, 3. &c. that I (namely William Prinn) was his accuser.

I answer, I do now averit, that I was thrice imprisonned before ever I knew my accuser or accusation; & I further say that for 2 of the times, I do not legally & groundedly know the cause of my imprisonment, nor who was my accuser, nor what was my accusation, neither was legally proceeded against, with any crime at all laid unto my charge, though by vertue of the last of the three commitments, I say about a quarter of a yeare, and doe not to this present houre know justly, the ground wherefore J was committed.

And whereas you are pleased to cite some words in the 1. 2, 3, pages of that Epistle which you call mine, truly I have read all those three pages, and can find no such thing as you speake of: It is true in the 12. and 13. pages, there is something hinted, that after I was imprisonned it did appeare once publiquely, that you were my accuser, and for the second, it was privately reported that you were the informer against me, but for the last time of those two, I never had any accusation face to face by any man in the world, though privately I was told you had informed then, as well before as against me.

In his 11. page, he saith that I complaine I was imprisonned before &illegible; I was suffered to speake one word for my selfe; this saith &illegible; is a more audatious &illegible; then all the rest, for answer to which, I say that I was both the times a prisonner before I came to the Committee, or ever spoke one word for my selfe, and as a prisonner was brought to them; and the third time I was committed by the house, and never did in all my life make any defence against a crime at their barre, nay this I further &illegible; that for the two last commitments. I was never informed of the cause of them, by those that committed &illegible; and do further professe, that I remain yet to this houre ignorant of the cause of them but what I have by uncertaine conjecture: therefore I hope J may without offence, retort his owne words backe upon himselfe, which he unjustly saith to me. Othe falsenesse and boldnesse of this matchlesse lyar, whose whole booke (in a manner) is nothing, but a bundle of deliberated untruths, and most malitious invectives, abuses, and standers.

Then in his 12. page, he to my understanding puts the case, that admit, I had been 3. times imprisonned before ever I knew my accuser, accusation, or ever was heard to speake one word for my selfe, yet saith he, there is no such cause for such an out cry as he makes against the Parliaments proceedings, as Arbitrary and unjust: But truly in my apprehension, to use some of his owne phrases, if ever hee had injoyed the honour of being mine, or any other (understanding) Lawyers or Iustices Clarke, he would not have so confidently averred that for law, which hath not (if I understand the Petition of Right) the least couller of law in it; read I pray what he saith in the 10. 11. pages of that booke, for the confutation of himselfe, where to me with one and the same breath, he contradicts what he averain the 12. page, as though he had forgotten, what but a little before he had said: but the old proverb is, Lyars had need of good memories, especially before good examinators: for in his 20 page he takes upon him, to declare the grounds and reasons that put the Parliament upon the thoughts of making the Petition of Right, which was the imprisonment of divers free mens persons, without shewing cause. the debait of which in the Commons House, Aprill 3. the 4, Car: &illegible; begot these 3. insuing Votes.

1. Resolved upon the question, that no free man ought to be detained, kept in prison, or otherwise restrained by the command of the King, or the Privie Counsell, or any other, unlesse some cause of the Commitment, Detainer, or Restraint be expressed, for which by law he ought to be committed, detained, or restrained.

2. That the Writ of &illegible; Corpus may be delayed, but ought to be granted to every man that is committed or detained in prison, or otherwise restrained, though it be by the command of the King, the Privie Counsell, or any other, he praying the same.

3. That if my free man be committed or detained in prison, or otherwise restrained by the command of the King, and privie Counsell or any other, no cause of such commitment, detainer, or restraint being expressed for which by law he ought to be committed, detained or restrained, and the same to be returned upon a &illegible; Corpus granted for the &illegible; party, then he ought to be delivered or bailed.

These Votes and the Lords concurrence with them (saith he) begat the petition of Right after many dayes debaite, which thus states the subjects grievance in this particular, first irrecites Magna Charta, c. 29. and 18. of Edward 3. that no free man should be taken or imprisonned, without being brought to answer by due processe of law; and then Proceeds thus.

Neverthelesse, against the tenor of the said Statutes, and other the good lawes and Seatures of your Realme to that end provided: divers of your Subjects have of late been imprisonned without any cause shewen, and when for their deliverance they were brought before your justices by your Majesties Rites of Habeas Corpus: there to undergoe and receive as the Court should order, and their Keepers commanded to certifie the causes of their detainer: no cause was certified but that they were detained by your Majesties speciall command, signified by the Lords of your Privie Counsell, and yet were returned backe to severall prisons, without being charged with any thing, to which they might make answer according to the Law where upon they pray in this petition, that no free man in any such manner &illegible; before mentioned, be imprisonned or detained: to which the King subscribed this answer, let right be done as is desired,

And &illegible; he demands a question, what is this to Lilburns case? to which? answer, it is expresly to my case, as I have before iustlie declared, and dare reason out the case with him in point of law (though I was never at any Universitie or Inner of Court to study it) before any understanding Common Wealths men in England, though he say and assume, that I was not committed to Prison by the Committee without any cause expressed, which is the most notorious untruth in the world.

For first by the order made the 14, May 1645 it cleerly appeares, that the Messenger was commanded to apprehend me, and bring me in safe custody, which he did accordingly, and if I understand what imprisonment it I being thus taken into safe custody, in the eye and meaning of the law is imprisonment: and I am sure J was saine to presse for my libertie to the Committee, before I could be delivered from my bonds.

Secondly, If you please to cast your eye upon the fore mentioned Warrant made the 18, June 1645, you shall cleerely see it commands the Messenger to apprehend me, and being me in safe custody, which he accordingly did, and though I confesse, he used me civilly like a man, yet I very well remember that be stood &illegible; upon his &illegible; that though he would not by force (as Serjent Hunt afterward did) endeavour to take away my sword from me, yet he intreated me to lay it aside, and to appeare before the Committee like a Prisonner without my Sword, and the reason he gave me was, least I be children (saith he) if you do it not, yea, and J further &illegible; it, that though I waited upon them according to their command, and the Messengers that attached me, I had much &illegible; to be discharged from the Messengers custody upon my owne ingagement, that as I was a Souldier and a Gentleman, I would appeare before them, when they should command me, which was at such an &illegible; upon the next Monday after noon (as I remember) but in regard that the House sate that afternoon about the Kings Letters taken at Nesby, by meanes of which the Committee sate not, I having extraordinary businesse with Lieutenant Generall Cromwell about my owne particular, who then I heard wat in Warwickshire, I used Coll. Walton, and Mr. Holland as instruments to get me leave for a few dayes of Mr. Corbet, upon my owne ingagement to goe downe to the Army, and by these meanes and my owne earnest intreary, I did get leave, and whether this was not a reall imprisonment or no, in the eye and intent of the law, I desire every man that hath any insight therein to be judge betwixt us, and yet I never was heard speake for my selfe before the Messenger tooke me into safe custody, neither was there in his warrant any cause of my restraint expressed.

Jn the third place. I desire you to read the Vote of the House of Commons before mentioned, and daited the 19, of July 1645, which expresly commands me to be taken into safe custody, and so kept tell the House take further order, and the Serjent at Armes himselfe in as violent and base a way laid hands of me, that might be, and apprehended me; J am confident as ever he did the grandest offender that ever the Parliament committed to his custody, and that night committed me a prisonner to his man Knight, who kept me as a prisonner in his owne house, till the 24. of Iuly after, at which time then by a new order (which seemes to me to bee something in the nature of a Habeas Corpus) commanded me to the bar of the Committee of Examinations, who refused to declare to me the cause of my imprisonment though I humblie and earnestly desired but remanded me without any legall tryall backe to the prison from whence J came, and there I remained a prisonner, till by a new order or Habeas Corpus I was upon the 9. of August commanded againe to the Committee of Examinations bar, which Committee then againe refused to declare unto me the cause of my imprisonment, though I earnestly desired it, and would have examined me upon interrogatories against my selfe, for refusing to answer to which, they remanded me againe to prison &illegible; only removed me from the Messengers house to New gate, where J remained in the nature of a close prisonner, till the 14 of October, only this I confesse there is in the Warrant which turned me over thither a cause expressed, wherefore I was sent thether, which was, because refused to answer to such questions as was propounded unto me by the Committee, which warrant and commitment (though made by a Committee of the House of Commons) is as illegall as all the rest, and (in my apprehension) against the very tenor and the true intent and meaning of the Petition of Right, and expresly against the words of the Statute of the &illegible; of Edward 3. 3. which saith, it is inacted that no man be put to answer, without presentment before Iustices, or &illegible; of Record, or by doe processe and writ originally, according to the old law of the land, which Statute is ratified and confirmed by this present Parliament in the act that abollisheth the Star-chamber.

I now returne backe to his 12. page, where he a ecuseth me of lying and falshood for saying that during my imprisonment at Oxford, I was cuinated in my estate, to the value of 6. or 7. hundred pounds, which I left behind me at London, which &illegible; can cleerly make appeare.

To which J answer, I doe affirme such a thing in two printed papers namely my printed petition to the House of Commons, and my printed reasons against himselfe, and that this affirmation is true and not alye. I prove and make appeare &illegible; my Brew-house with the utensills, and other necessaries belonging to it, cost me about 300. l. as good gold and silver as ever William Prinn was owner of, and when I first went our in the Parliaments &illegible; as a Captaine in my Lord Brotkes his Regiment, I let it and the use of the utensills, to one &illegible; a Beewer for 55. l. per annum, with covenants that saving the reasonable allowance of the &illegible; of the utensills, he should deliver it backe to me or my assignes as good as he sound it, but during the time of my imprisonment at Oxford, he let the house run to decry, and gave over brewing in it and run away I doe not know whether, (nor never could see him since) with almost a whole yeares &illegible; and when I came from Oxford I found my house cut of use, and in one place much decayed, part of the roofe being false in, so that the raine both there and in severall other places had done the vessells much hurt, so that I was forced and necessitated, to sell the Lease of the house, and all things belonging to it for 120. l. to Mr. Wright the Armorer in Bishops gate street, and also gave him dayes of payment for it, besides when I went &illegible; I left behind me the greatest part of 1000. l. in debts, that were made in that brew-house, some hundreds of which, he that I betrusted with my businesse received for me, and had received a great deale more, had not my debtors taken advantage of my &illegible; at Oxford, which made some of them tell him to his &illegible; that the King had caused me to be arraigned at Oxford for a Traytor, and they would pay no traytors debts, in so much that when he &illegible; them, some of them, were ready to fall upon him and heare out his braines, as he told me.

Besides, the most of those that J traded with, depended upon the traid of New Castle, which in my imprisonment was lost, and (in a manner) totally decayed, which was the ruine, and the breaking of them; so that when J came home, I sound about 4. or 500. l. of my debts become altogether desperate, which debts, I am able yet by my bookes of accounts, and servants legally to prove. Yet shall I be willing to sell them to William Prinn for 10. Groaes in the pound, and thanke him too, now hee being one of the great accountants of the Kingdome, if he please to joine all these together, he may easily find, they make up the sum I speake of &illegible; and if he please to get the Lords and Commons to repaire this my losse, (as by their Declarations published to the Kingdome, at the beginning of these Warres they promised they would) I doe hereby bind my selfe, that if I cannot by just and lawfull proofe, make good what in my printed petition concerning this particular I have said, I will quite scores with them, both in this my arreares, and all other things whatsoever, that I have any legall and just ground to challenge and expect from them: and I thinke all men that reads this, will say I offer faire, and will not in the least beleive any of his false, untrue, and &illegible; affirmations that there be impudently layes downe.

I come now to his 15. page, where he takes occasion to speake of the Lord of Manchester and &illegible; Castle, and seeing he hath so done, I shall as truly as my memory will inable me, declare the truth of that businesse, which as I gave &illegible; under my hand by way of testimony to Mr. Lile Chaire-man for the Committee last winter that examined the accusation of Lieu. Gen. Cromwell against the Earle of Manchester, which was to this effect, the day before the Lord Manchester quartered at Donkester, at our randevour of the other side of the towne next Yorke, I received orders from Lieu. Gen. Cromwell, (from whom constantly J did receive my orders) to goe & quarter with 4. of my Troops of Dragoones in &illegible; town, and to doe the best we could, with our owne securitie, to keepe the enemie in, that they should not salley out, to doe any mischiefe, in any of the quarters of the Army: and accordingly J marched with foure of my troops, and at the next towne to it, we got the best guides we could, to informe us how the Castle and towne lay, and when we came to the townes end, I ordered Captaine Beamont, with a party on horse backe, to careare into the towne, and get betwixt their draw bridge and the towne, to stop those that were in the towne, from getting into the Castle and sent to second him a party of &illegible; a foot, commanded by my Lieutenant and afterwards followed them with all therest; by meanes of which wee tooke divers borses and prisonners, and that night we all past upon the guard, and the next day being informed, that the mill dame, and the more, might easily be drawed, if we could &illegible; our selves of the Mill which &illegible; closse by their more as soone as it grew darke, myselfe led downe a guard of &illegible; and possessed the mill, and fell to a worke, to let out the mill dam, which was accordingly done, which when I had set in a good forwardnesse, I left Captain Bramones Lieutenant to command that guard, who I knew to be a carefull man, and walked the rounds to visit all the other guards my selfe, and being the next morning informed by some of the Souldiers that the enemies Centinells, called over the wall to mine, and wished they would speake to their commander to fall on, and they professed, they would not shoot a bullet against them, for their Commanders used them basly, and kept their pay from them: upon which information, I inquired of my Landlord who I understood used to goe into the Castle, what store of &illegible; he conceived they had in the Castle? & be told &illegible; he did beleive 4, barrells was the most they had, and with all told me, be was confident, they would upon easie tearmes surrender the Castle, for the gentlemen within (said he) were no Souldiers, nor no great fighters but were altogether given to their pleasures, and about &illegible; a clocke that day or the next, Coll. Keeys, and a Captaine of the Lord Fairefaxes, came and desired me, to grant them libertie, to call to some of the Gentlemen over the wall, which I granted: and they accordingly did, upon which by consent, we on both sides ceased shooting, and they talked very freely each to other, upon which the Gentlemen in the Castle, desired me to come into them; and be merrie with them, &illegible; &illegible; or two, and they would ingage their honours, I should safely and peaceably come out at my desire, unto which I answered, I durst not, having no such Commission from my generall so to doe, then they intreated me to give them leave to come out to me, to be merrie at the Ale-house a little, and they would take my owne ingagement for their safe returne, upon which discourse I presently conceived these Gentlemen had no mind to fight, but were rather desirous, upon reasonable tearmes to be rid of the castle.

The thoughts of which made me to returne them this answer, that at present, I could not satisfie their desire, but I promised them, I would indeavour to doe it with all the speed I could, and therefore desired they would command their men to their guards, as I intended presently to command mine, which I did, and with all speed I could, not me horse, and red away to Donkester, as fall as I could ride to acquaint my Generall with it, who at my comming &illegible; her, was walking our at the townes end next London, with whom I found Lieuten. Generall Cromwell, and the most of his cheife Commanders, and after I had acquainted him particularly with the aforesaid things, I told his Lordship that I conceived, if he would summon the Castle, it was his his owne, which he seemed to slight; I further told him, there was here abouts a great many petty gareisons, which did a great deale of mischiefe to the Countrey, and his honour did not know, but the gaining of this, might be the gaining of many of the other, well saith he, it cannot be done: upon which I continued my importunitie, and did beseech his Lordship to summon it, which made him and others by him to laugh at me, and saith he, you thinke it is nothing but to summon a Castle and take it, if I should summon it, saith he, my Army is ingaged thereby, and (saith he) I am informed it is a &illegible; strong place, and probably may foile my Army by meanes of which I should loose the maidenhead of them, who were never foiled since I commanded them, and be sides (saith he) I will not loose ten men for the gayning of it in regard I doe not Iudge it worth such losse.

Unto which I replyed, my Lord, J will make you one proposition, give mee leave to summon it, and if upon a summons, I doe not carrie it, I will give your Lordship leave to hang me; my Lord I doe not desire, a commission under hand and seal, noe an expresse possitive command, for then if I should not succeed, I confesse your honour were ingaged, indeed, but that which I intreat of your honour, is only to permit me, and to winke at me, and if I should not effect that which I doe confidently beleive I shall, your Lordship in my apprehension is free, in point of honour, and may &illegible; your hands of it as none of your act, but may say it was the act of a rash man, who was resolved inconsiderately to hazard his life, for the doeing of it, but my Lord, as I said before, if I may be permitted to summon it, I will die for it, if upon a summons I doe not carrie it, unto which he said &illegible; gone, thou art a mad fellow, which I tooke for a grant, but yet for all that turned me abour to one of the ablest and understanding it Commanders in the Armie, (as I judged him) and asked his advice, what he thought of it, whether or no all circumstances considered, that had passed betwixt the Earle and my selfe, I might not justifiably, in the eye of a Counsell of warr without any mere adoe Iummon it? and he conceived I might doe it, this I the rather propounded because it behooved me to goe upon a sure ground, in regard I knew that &illegible; my Lords Chaplines Mr. Ash, and Mr. Good, did sit upon my &illegible; for opposing Coll. King, their dearly beloved, and I also knew, that Major Generall Crafford, and his whole faction (which than in that Armie were very great and high) did the same, for my friends of discourse, about that proud unwarrentable, and bloody action of his, in flomming Torke manner as he did, which cost (foolishly) some hundreds of mens lives, for which act I had freely said, he deserved to die, and therefore I was verie confident, if all they put together could doe me a mischeife, being then in that Armie, (for nothing but my justnesse and honestie) as great an eye sore to some of them, as I am to them to this very day, but upon the foresaid grounds I &illegible; with speed, againe to my quarters, and writ them a summons (high enough) for the present delivering of the Castle, &c. Into the hands of my generall for the use of the Parliament, which I sent in by my Drum, and the Governour, very fairely and &illegible; a willing man to yeild, the very next morning after I had been with the Earle, sent me out Articles of surrender, and a Leiuten. Coll. and Major (as I remember) with them to see them made good, and never so much as desired of me, any &illegible; them, upon which they and I rid away to Dewkester, where I found the Earle on Horse-backe, a going to take the hire, and I comming to him told his honour, had summoned &illegible; Castle, and brought his Lordship Articles of surrender, and two Commanders to see there performed on their part, but without any more adoe, in the presence of the companie (which were many) and the presence, and hearing of the Cavaileers, his Lordship fell a calling of me Rogue, Rascall, and base fellow, and asked me whether he or I was Generall, and told me, the Armie was to much troubled with such busie Rogues &illegible; I was, and he would send me same enough from it, and also told me, I deserved to be hanged, and would nor suffer me to speake one word in my owne defence, but turned away from me in a greater fury then ever I see him in, in my dayes; his carriage being a cleere Demonstration to me, that be in a manner scorned to accept of the Castle, because I had taken it. Which carriage, did so vex and perplex my very soule, as I was never more I thinke in my dayes, and so cooled my courage in fighting, that I could never from that day to this present houre, deaw my sword, nor ingage my life in the way of a Souldier, with that freenesse, &illegible; and cheerfullnesse, as formerlle I had done: But by the Lieutenant Generalls meanes, I got my Lord to appoint Commissioners to treat with theirs, for ordering all things for the surrender of the Castle, which was accordingly done, with all the Armes, Ammunition, Horses and Provision in it, saving about 10. or 12. Horses that was allowed the chiefe Officers, with saddles, Pistolls, and Port. mantles, and for my part, though I had extraordinarily hazarded my life, in the gaining of it, and had taken a great deale of paines, yet his honour never gave me, the value of one penny for my labour, though he got by taking the Castle, (which he disposed of) above threescore horse as I remember, and though I faithfully, and honestly, saved the things in the House, and delivered them according to his order July 28. 1644 (to Mr. Goulson Treasurer his man) and sert them to &illegible; where they were boated I know not whether, 30 quarters 4. bushels of Wheat, 38. quarters 7. bushells of Rye, 6. quarters 6. bushels of Pease, 162. Cheeses, 9. Flitches and 39. Peices of Bacon; 9. Farkins, 7. Kits, and 19. pots of Butter, 94. peices of beefe, with some bread, and truly considering our paines, wee might have expected, from my Lords owne hands, a Gratitude: but none we had, saving that we made a little money of some Hay, Coales, and other Turnbring odd things, which I caused honestly, to be distributed amongst my Regiment, to the Officers according to their qualitie, two daies pay: and to the common Souldiers 2. &illegible; 6. d. a man, and for my particular, Mr. Wever gave me a young gray horse, which was but a small incouragement, seeing. I had fought all that summer, and had not received one dayes pay, and had beene shot through my arme, but a little before, at the taking in Sir Francis Wortlys house, and not long before had beene plundered by Col. Kings meanes at Newarke, of all that I had there, to the value of about a 100. l. who contrary to the Articles of agreement, commanded me, & in a manner forced me, to march away with his Regiment armed, which caused their horse to fall upon us, and plunder us almost every man, but as for Col. King himselfe, he fled the danger, and had a care of himselfe: and scaped better then we did, and besides, during all the times we were in &illegible; I and my Regiment of Dragoones, constantly quartered in the Van of the whole Armie; alwayes nigh the Enemies Garrisons, where constantly in a manner, we both sought for both horse next and mans meat, or else with a &illegible; &illegible; of vigilancy, stood upon our guard, also our Souldiers being so poore for want &illegible; pay, that many times my selfe and other of my Officers, were severall times forced to send them money to shoe their horses, and I am confident to this day, have falut short of the payment of it againe, and yet I dare say, I kept the Regiment in as good order, as ever it was from the day it was raised, and passed as readilye and cheerfully upon their duty: And I dare be bold to aver it, I and they passed upon as hard and difficult services, and were in as many ingagements, hazards and perills, for that time, the last summer, as ever any Regiment of Dragoones in England, raised by this Parliament, of the like number was.

And for all William Prinns abusing of me, I for my part, bid defence to him, and all the men in England, justly to brand me with cowardlinesse, in all the ingagements that in these wars J have had, or with unfaithfullnesse, or of base coveteousnesse, indeceiving either the State, my Officers or Souldiers, either in point of one false Muster, or unjustly detaining 6 d. of any of their pay from them, or that ever in all the marches and quarters that I have been in since the waes began, that ever I was privie too, or ever did my selfe; or caused to be plundered, or by any unjust violence, caused to be taken away for my use or profit, directly or indirectly, the value of 12. d. in any kind of goods whatsoever, for I blesse God, I can say with Paul, that I have not unjustly taken or coveted, any mans goods, Gold or Silver.

But one word more of my Lord and tickhill Castle, I was told in the Armie, his Lordship afterward, did verse much threaten me about that businesse, and also by a man of eminency, I was since told, that when his Lordship came to London, at a meeting at the Beare at bridgefoot, before two Lords, and five eminent men of the House of Commons, his honour spoke both very great, high, and disgracefull words of me, about that very businesse, and therefore for the full satisfaction of all the World, J doe here declare, I am ready, willing, and desirous, to bide the publique test, and tryall of any just and legall judicature in England, either with the Earle of Manchester, William Prinn, or any other man in the whole Kingdome.

In the foresaid page, William Prinn boasts, that having (as he saith) thus charged through, and &illegible; his maine Squadron of lyes and scandals against the Parliaments and Committees proceedings, I shall in the third place, a little examine and resure, his mistaken law, his misinterpretation of Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, which had verie ill fortune, to fall into the hands of such a lawlesse Ignoramous.

I answer (and say) alasse poore Prinn, who would saine be accounted a skilfull and couragious Commander, and hath not yet attained to the skill or courage, of the meanest common Souldier, for instead of rouring my maine Squadron, hee doth not so much as gallantly, and like a man of pure mettle, incounter with my Scouts or Forlorne hope, much lesse either like a man of valour, charge and &illegible; my maine Squadron, for in slead of fighting with me and my case, he fights with his owne shadow, and with a fiction of his owne braine, in &illegible; my case, falsifying the truth, my Actions and Sayings, and so wilfully misapplying his wrested law, so that I aver and affirme it, he hath not so much as given my maine squadron (as he calls it) one faire charge; either with sword or pistoll, but like a faint hearted and unskillfull Souldier hath only peeped in my face, and frisked by my right Flanke, and then by the left, and by a swift running horse, hath goe a little into my reare, thinking thereby to nibble at my heele like the old Serpent spoken of in Geneses 3. but alasse it will not doe, and therefore I retort backe his owne words upon himselfe and say, he had need (more then a little) to examine and resure his owne mistaken law, his misinterpretation of Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, which had very ill fortune, to fall into the hands of such a lawlesse Ignoramous; therefore this I say to him, I both dare and am able, J for all his vapours which I esteeme no more then God did Adams fig leaves, with which he would have covered his nakednesse) to meet him, and a whole Squadron of such heady and light men, face to face, upon equall tearms, upon any ground in England, to justifie and maintaine my present cause against him, whether it be Religion, or the publique liberty of the free people of England, the equall tearmes I desire, it no more but this, that I may have as free libertie to speake, write and peint as himselfe, and I will set my hand to what ever I doe, and seale it with my blood.

I come now to his 22. and 23. page, where he goes about to justifie, that my commitment upon the 19. July 1645. was legall, although I never was heard to speake my selfe, and although, I neither knew my accuser, not accusation, and although, there was no cause expressed in the warrant of my commitment, surely William Prinn writes so fast in his 22. and 23. pages, and without consideration what he said before in his 20. and 21. page, that without doubt hee either thinkes or dreames, that it will never be read over by any man that hath braines in his head, or honestie in his heart, to declare his contradictions, and his confuring of himselfe, by that he writes before, of that which followeth after, but his reason wherefore it is legall, is because that as (he saith,) I had that day publikly reported to Jndependent Hawkins, & others at Westminster, divers groundlesse, seandalous, and malitious reports, amounting to no lesse then high Treason, concerning Mr. Speaker and other Members of the House of Commons, in a libellous, illegall, scandalous, seditious way, of purpose to defame and stitreup the people against them and the whole House of Commons, whose destruction by force and violence, he of his confederates had then beene plotting, and since pursued in sundry private meetings.

To which I answer that his whole accusation, as he hath laid it downe, is a most malitious falshood and untruth.

For first, he saith, I had publiquely reported, to Independant Hawkins, &c. J desire to know the men that heard me when I so did, for surely to this very day, I could never see any man that would in the least aver any such thing to my face, as he speakes of.

Besides (secondly) if J had by way of relation, spoken either to Mr. Hawkins, or any man else, any such thing, I could easily and groundedly, procure my Authors, namely, Mr. Pristy, Mr. Rawson, and Mr. Worly, who had that day, as the least 8. or 10. houres, before I was committed, given in information, to a Committee consisting of foure Members of the House of Commons, under their hands, of some such thing as he speakes of, in whose information, I neither had hand, nor finger, and I professe (before the searcher of all mens hearts) I neither knew what they were about, nor what they intended, till a Marchant of London told me, they were gone into the Committe, about some such businesse, and therefore it could not in the least be any designe betwixt them and me, to whose intentions I was not in the least privie, therefore I would saine have Prinn satisfactorily answer me this question, what was the reason that the three Citizens forenamed, that gave the information in under their hands, should goe scot free, and I that was not privie to their designe, nor never acted publiquely in it, should be clapt by the heeles.

Againe, if Prinn be privie to a designe (acted and contrived by me, and my confederates) by force to destroy the House of Commons, as to my understanding be cleerly avers, I say it, and will maintaine it to his face, he is a Traytor, that he doth not make it legally appeare, and that be and the world may know, that I crave neither mercy nor favour at his hands; I bid defiance to him, and all the men in the world, in that particular, and as for all that abusive language that her gives me, in that and the next page, I tell him in his owne words (that if he had beene a grand I &illegible; he would never have said, what there he saith, not &illegible; such mistaken law as there he doth, therefore againe in his owne words (altering but a few) J say unto him, that if poore William had but law enough, to quallifie him, to be the meanest Iustice of peace, his Clarke, or some Recorders, or Clarks of the Assizes, his Clarkes clarke, be might have known, that by the law of the land, no man ought to be committed to prison, upon a bare suggestion of wicked and malicious men, or by their report, taken from the second or third hand, not to bee sent to prison, with a warrant expressing no cause of his restraint.

Againe, whereas in the same page he would compare my case to a Traytors, I say, there is as great a disproportion betwixt them two cases, as there is betwixt William Prinn, and an honest man, in my judgement and I seriously professe, I judge it to be as great, as possible may be, and therefore, for my part, let all the Iudges in the world whatsoever they be, examine me upon interrogatories concerning my selfe in a criminall cause, I iudge it to be against the Law of God, the law of nature (which will have no man to betray himselfe) the law of the Heathen Romans, and the knowne law of this land, recorded in the 28. and 19. chapters of Magna Charta, & the petition of Right, & therefore by the strength of God, for all William Prinns false and unjust law, I am resolved to dye all the deaths in the world, rather then to betray my just and native libertie in this particular. I come now to his 26. and 17. page, wherein he brings me as a man safely arrived in New-gate, and before I insist upon his grand charge against me. I shall crave leave to give you a narrative of my affaires, after I came thether, which thus followeth.

Immediatly after I came to New-gate, divers of my friends and well &illegible; to the publique, went about the framing of a petition, (without my desire,) to the House of Commons, on my behalfe, which I doe beleeve not a little vexed Prinn, Bastwicke, Col. King, and others of my adversaries, (which as I have just cause to conceive,) made them with the assistance of their base and rascally agents, Williams, and &illegible; &c. goe about to make an uproare in the Citie, by framing, posting, and dispersing scandalous paper libells, concerning my selfe, thereby to make me odious, and destroy me, seeing they knew not handsomely how to come off, their unworthy dealing with me, about my imprisonment, which originally rise from their mallice, but having notice of these libellous papers, I presently writ a letter subscribed.

To the Right honourable the Lord Mayor of the honourable Citie of London, these humbly present.

MAy it please your honour to give me leave to present you with a few lines even now by some of my friends in the Citie, I understand, that there is a strange and dangerous paper presented to your Lordship, and other Magistrates of this honorable Citie, as though there would be some rising of many thousands in London, about my selfe, concerning which false & scandalous paper, I iudge it my &illegible; &illegible; assure you; I have no hand nor finger in, neither am I privie, to the framing, writing or divulging of it, neither doe I beleeve, is any friend of mine, or any friend of the Common Wealths, and I doe further assure your honour, I shall rather chuse to &illegible; and dye in prison, then to take any such uniust way for my deliverance. My humble suit unto your honour therefore is, that you will be pleased to acquaint the rest of your brethren herewith, and take in it such a course, as shall seeme best to you, which will be an extraordinary obligation unto him, that is your Lordships and this Cities faithfull servant,

John Lilburn,

From my contented Captivitie in New-gate,
this 11. of August 1645.

And then within a few dayes after this, (namely the 26; of August 1645.) was presented the forementioned petition, which was subscribed with about two or three thousand hands, divers of them Citizens of good qualitie in London, the Copie of which thus followeth.

To the right honorable, the Commons of England assembled in Parliament

The humble Petition of divers well affected Persons, inhabitants of the Citie of London, and Westminster, the Borrough of South warke and places &illegible; &illegible; in the behalfe of Lieu. Col. Iohn Lilburn, now prisoner in Newgate.


THat whereas the above named Lieu Col John Lilburn, hath before this Parliament, with true zeale to God, and affection to his Countrey, ventured his life and estate, in opposing the tyrannicall proceedings of the Bishops, and Star-Chamber, whereby he became, (as God was pleased to order it) a speciall instrument, of their downfall, and for as much as the said Lieu. Col. Lilburn, hath with like zeale, and affection, since the Parliament, neglected all private affaires for your defence, and his countreys service, in the faithfull performance where of, he hath suffered, verie much in his person and estate.

Your Petitioners doe therefore humbly, intreat this honorable house, in respect of the former faithfull services, and hard sufferings, of the said Leiu. Col. Lilburn and for the &illegible; of us your humble supplicants, and other his friends, your faithfull servants abroad, and to prevent the rejoycing triumph and advantage of our common enemies.

That you will be pleased; to order his suddane removall from the infamous prison of Newgate, and to take a review, of the occasion of his restraint, and in your debating thereof, that you will be pleased to make the most favourable construction of the same, and if it may stand with your wisedomes, to give him his speedy inlargement, that you will be pleased to give reliefe to those pressures that remaine upon him, by ordering unto him a competent part of his &illegible; for the support of his wife and familie.

Upon the knowledge of which petition, the house proceeded as followeth.

Die Martis 26. August 1645.

THe House being informed, that divers well affected persons were at the doore with a petition, they were called in, and one of them acquainted the house, in the name of the rest, that they came to present a petition to the Commons house, on the behalf of Lieut. Col. Lilburne, The petition was read, and was for his inlargement from imprisonment in Newgate, and for some present reliefe for him out of his arrears.

Ordered &c.

That Mr. Walker, and Mr. Steele be desired from this House, to manage the proceedings by &illegible; or other wise, to be had against Lieut. Col. Lilburne, now prisoner in Newgate, at the next generall Sessions, to be held for the City of London, and that Mr. Breadshaw formerly desired to attend that service, be discharged of it.

State reports, the answer to be given to the Petitioners, concerning Lieut. Col. Lilburne, which was read, and upon the question assented unto.

The Petitioners were againe called in, Mr. Speaker by command of the House, acquainted them with the answer of the House to their Petition, which was in &illegible; verba.

H. Elsynge, Cleric.

Parl. D. Com,

That Lieut. Col. Lilburne, is justly committed by this House, that for some of his offences, he stands referred to a tryall at common Law: that the House doth not approove of the coming in of this Petition at this time, the cause thus depending, and the party himselfe not acknowledging the justice, nor desiring the mercy of this House: that when there is a fit time for either, the House will proceed accordingly, in the mean time the House hath provided for his convenient maintenance.

H. Elsynge, Cleric. Parl. D. Com.

Die Martis 16. Augusti, 1645.

ORdered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, that Sir John Tenell, doe pay the one hundred pounds remaining of his fine of 600. l. to Lieut. Col. Lilburne, now Prisoner in Newgate, or to such as he shall appoint to receive the same, and that the acquittance of the said Lieut. Col. Lilburne shall be a good discharge, to the said Sr. Iohn Terrell, for the said remaining &illegible; l.

H. Elsynge Cleric. Parl, D, Com.

Which 100. l. I received, and with there money added to it, spent in my imprisonment in charges, managing and following of my businesse &c.

Vpon the receit of these orders, J expected to have been called forth the next sessions after, &illegible; nothing in the world with more eagernesse then I did to come to a publique tryall, but during that sessions it was all in vaine, which made me wait with as much patience as I could, till the next Sessions.

And upon Tuesday or Wednesday the 8. or 9. of Octob. 1645. the sessions began at Newgate, and in the forenoon being somthing treubled that I should lie in prison, and hear nothing from any man in the world as my prosecutor, I intreated a Gentleman that was with me to slep a little way to a friend of mine, being a Counsellor, and desire him to come and speak with me, which he did, and having communicated my mind to him, which was, that seeing I was by order of Parliament turned over to a tryall at the sessions of Newgate, and could heare nothing from the Iudges thereof, either the last sessions, or this present I had an earnest desire to speak with the Lord Major, and the rest of the Iudges there, and intreated him that for his fee he would go to the bar, and make a motion for me, which he refused, giving me some reasons, wherefore he iudged it better and fitter for some honest private friend to go downe and do it for me, whereupon there being with me a young Gentleman, a Marchant of London, I intreated him to oblige me so far to him, as to go to the Court, and to observe his convenient opportunity to speake to the Court for me, which he did, and as himself told me, expressed himself in this manner.

My Lord, I am come from Lieu. Col. Lilburne, now prisoner in Newgate, who presentt his humble service to your Lordship, and the rest of the Judges of this honourable bench, and &illegible; me makes it his humble suit unto you, that you would vouchsafe to honour him so much, as to send for him, that he may come and speake with this honourable bench, which was presently granted, and officers immediatly sent up for me, and at my coming before them, I came close to the barre, and gave them that respect which I conceived was their due, whereupon the Recorder as the month of the Court, demanded of me what I had to say to them?

Vpon which I addressed my selfe to my Lord Major (for he being present, I conceived him to be the chiefe in the Court) and said with as audible a voice as I could, my Lord. I am a freeman of England, and I hope all my actions, are cleare demonstrations unto all that know mee, that I act by principles tending to the preservation of my just freedome, I have now been almost 12. weeks a prisoner: 12 at so long saith the Recorder? yes Sir said I, it wants but 3. dayes of 12. weeks compleat, and my Lord, I was committed without any crime expressed: and by all the friends I have in England, I cannot (from the day of my commitment, to this present houre) learn groundedly the true cause of my imprisonment.

And my Lord in August last, divers well affected Citizens and Free-men of London (being friends of mine) presented the honourable house of Commons with a petition on my behalfe, and by way of answer, they were pleased to make this order in my hand, which is subscribed with the hand of the Clarke of the house of Commons, which order so much as doth concerne this honourable bench, I humbly crave leave to read unto you, which was granted, the very words of which Order thus followeth:

That Mr. Walker, and Mr Steele be desired from this House to manage the proceedings by &illegible; or otherwise, to be had against Lieut. Col. Lilburne, now prisoner in Newgate, at the next generall Sessions, to be held for the City of London, and that Master Bredshaw formerly desired to attend on the service be discharged of it.

Here your Lordship may cleerly see, that I am referred to this bench for a legall tryall, and the time when it ought to have been (by this order) was the last sessions, every day of which, I was ready and expected to have been called out: but your Lordship, and all other being silent, in not (according to the order) calling me out, is a clear demonstration (to my understanding) that neither your Lordship, this bench, nor any other person in England, have any crime to accuse me off, or to lay to my charge. I expected likewise at the beginning of this Sessions to have heard from your honour, but contrary to my expectation, hearing nothing from you, I was full of longing desires, that you might hear somthing from me.

And now being by your Lordships owne favour and grant come before you at this barre, I make it my earnest and humble suite unto your Lordship, that if either your Lordship, or any man else have any thing by way of crime to lay unto my charge, that proclamation (according to the custome of this bench) may be made, that my accusers may come in, and I doubt not but by Gods assistance, to make a cleare, just, and satisfying defence for my selfe, for I am conscientious of my owne actions, sayings, and doings, and my conscience tels me (I blesse God for it) that my innocency, integrity, and uprightnesse, (in reference to my conformity to the lawes of England) is such, that I need not to be afraid of the face or complaint of any man breathing: onely this favour I humbly crave at your honours hands, that in case upon proclamation a charge be laid against me, that then you will be pleased to give me &illegible; or 3. houres time (which is the most that I desire) to read and consider upon the charge, and to recollect my thoughts: which favour if I may enioy from you, I doubt not but to make a full satisfactory and iust defence: whereupon the Court caused inquisition to be made, whether any thing was come into the Court against me or no?

Answer being returned, there was nothing at all, upon which the Recorder, Mr. &illegible; was pleased to tell me that there was nothing come into the Court against me, so that he said, Mr. Lilburn, here is nothing to be laid unto your charge.

Upon which I addressed my selfe to the Lord Mayor, and said my Lord, seeing I am by the House of Commons referred to this honourable bench for a legall tryall, and the bench certified me they have nothing to lay to my charge, I being a free man of England, (a Kingdome that professeth to be governed by Law, and desiring for my part, no longer to live in the Kingdome, and to enjoy the benefits of the liberties thereof, then by my life and actions I declare a submission and subjection to the lawes thereof established) I therefore according to Law, seeing that you have nothing to lay to my charge, humbly intreat your honour, that I may be released from my illegall and unjust imprisonment, for give me leave to tell your Lordship that the law is in a manner, as tender of a free mans libertie, as of his life, and will not have it easily or upon slight grounds taken from him, or when it is taken to be continued; for my Lord, the law doth not &illegible; that a freeman, (whatsoever his crime be) shall be cast into prison and there destroyed, much lesse that a free man shall be committed to prison and there destroyed, having committed no crime, which is my cases but the Law is so tender in her &illegible; of providing for the free men of this Kingdome, that free doth command, that if any free man be committed for what crime soever, or upon what pretence of a crime soever, that he shall not there lye, to be murthered or destroyed, but that he shall with all convenient speed be brought to a publique, open, just and legall tryall; and if he be found a transgressor of the law, to suffer punishment according to the law, and not otherwise, (read the whole petition of Right) or if he have not transgressed the law, that then he shall without delay be delivered, and he punished according to the law, that hath wrongfully molested him, contrary to law, and therefore my Lord, I being a free man of this Kingdome, and arbitrarily kept in prison, and this honorable bench telling me, that there is no crime laid to my charge, I humbly desire of you my iust and long expected libertie, upon which the Recorder stood up and said.

Mr. Lilburn, you desire that of us which lyes not in our power to grant you, for you were not committed by us, the which if you had, we ought then in this case to have given you your libertie: but you are committed by a higher power, even by the House of Commons it selfe, which if you please rightly to consider of that order which you have even now read, you may easily perceive that they have but only made a reference to us to try you according to law; and seeing nothing comes in against you, we are to certifie the house thereof, from whom you are to expect your liberty, and I doe assure you, I will make a motion to them that you may: For which I humblie thanked him, but still addressed my selfe to my Lord Mayor, and said, may it please you to take notice that by the order of the House of Commons, I am referred to this bench to receive a tryall according to law, and you your selvet doe tell me that you have no transgression of the law to lay to my charge, and therefore, I thinke it is just and according to law, that you should give me my libertie; but seeing you tell me you cannot, I have two things to propound unto your Lordship and this bench, and humbly to desire of you, but shall leave you to chuse which of them you please.

First, that seeing I am referred to you for a legall tryall, and you tell me there is nothing I aid unto my charge, and yet tell me you cannot give me my liberty, &illegible; in the first place I humbly intreat your Lordship, and the rest of the bench, to give it me under your hands by &illegible; of Certificate, that here is nothing come in against me, that so I may get some of my friends effectually to declare it to the Hous, and move them for my libertie; or if you judge this &illegible; convenient, then secondly I make it my humble suite to Mr. Recorder, (being a Member of the Honourable House of Commons,) that he will be pleased not only to promise me to move the House, but effectually, cordially, and speedily to doe it, that so I may without delay injoy my long desired and just libertie, and no longer be liable by multitudes of provocations, and my owne pressing and urgent necessities, to &illegible; such a course for my libertie, as will be neither for the honour not credit of those that committed me hither, although it be as little for my profit, for necessity hath no Law: So Mr. Recorder promised me that he would fulfill my desire, and I tooke my leave of them; and an I withdrew, I could perceive divert people (which to me were strangers &illegible; be much affected with my condition, and &illegible; the Lord blesse me for I was an honest man, and stood for their liberties.

Within two or three dayes after this, I writ a letter subscribed, For the right honorable, the Lord Mayor of the honourable Citie of London these humbly present.

MAy it please your Lordship to youthsafe me the libertie, to put your honour in mind of the promises that was made unto me at the late Sessions, where your honour was present, which was, that Mr. Recorder would speedily move the House of Commons, that I according to law and justice, might speedily be delivered from my causelesse imprisonment, I have affirmed the boldnesse to send my wife to present your honour with these few lines, humbly intreating your honour to declare unto her what is done for my libertie, so justly my due, and what I may trust too in reference to it, so craving pardon for my boldnesse, I humblie take my leave, and rest.

My Lord your honour most humble
servant John Lilburn.

New-gate this 11.
Octob. 1645.

And within three dayes after the writing of this letter, I received an order for my discharge, which thus followeth.

Die Martis 14. Octob. 1645.

MR. Recorder acquainted the House, that two Sessions were now passed since Lieu Col. Lilburn was removed to Newgate, and had continued a prisoner there, and that no information or other charge had been yet brought against him, and at this last Sessions, he humblie desired either to be tryed or to be discharged. And it is there upon resolved upon the question, that Lieu. Col. Lilburn be forthwith discharged from his imprisonment.

To the Keeper of Newgate
or his Deputy.

Hen. Elsing.

Cler. Par. D. Com.

So that all the world may cleerly see, that for all William Prinnt and his Associats inveterate mallice, I have had a farre comming of, and an honorable deliverance from my imprisonment; but before I conclude, I must returne againe to his sencelesse book called the Lyar confounded, which came out the same day, that J was freed from my imprisonment, in the 17. page of which he taketh occasions to speake of printed libells of mine (as he is pleased to call them) and of a letter written by an utter Barrester to his speciall friend, concerning my imprisonment, and affirmes that they are but malicious, scandalous libells, and fire brands of sedition, to excite the ignorant vulgar, and Separates of his faction, against the Parliament, and promote some Anabaptists long agitated, and late detected conspiracie; to root out the members of this Parliament by degrees; beginning with Mr. Speaker, whom if they could cut of, all the rest would easily follow: and if this succeeded not, then to suppresse and &illegible; of this Parliament, by force of Armes, and set up a new Parliament of their owne choice and faction, to which conspiratie all Lilburne &illegible; papers, &c. were but so many preparitives and incentives to prepare the people to joyne with, and assist them in this damnable traitorly plot.

To which I answer, that William Prinn it so lavish of his tongue, that few regards what he saith, And J am very confident that he cannot in the least make any part of this affirmation good, unlesse it be by witnesses, that makes as little conscience what they say as himselfe, I could pay and &illegible; William Prinn about this charge, having already taken a little paines to discover the bottome of it since I got my libertie, and severall times I have beene with the Lord Mayor of London about it, who once had out Williame in his power, that made it his worke to got up and downe London, reporting, that I was the bend of a faction, of 30000 men, who had a bloody designe in hand, but in regard there are more considerable persons concerned in it, then W.P. and in regard I take no delight to contest with more then absolute necessitie, I shall reserve the &illegible; of William Prinns deep designe in this groundlesse accusation, to take away my list, for a reserve unto these lines, in which J doubt not but to cudgell him, as foundly as ever he was in his life, and also electly make it appeare, that his study and practice is principally to be an &illegible; against honest, peaceable, and well meaning men; and to blow the coales of division in the state and Kingdome, to the apparent hazard and danger thereof, being in this particular an absolute &illegible; of whom it was said before he was born, Gen. &illegible; that he should be a wild man, his hand will be against every man, and every mans hand against him, and in my conception one maine visible and of his so doing, is a proud and pecuniary end, that so he might be popular and esteemed some body in that he contests with every bodie (though himselfe knowes not wherefore) the ready way to beget unto himselfe multitudes of clients, thereby to fill his pockets with the unjustices of contention and strife;

Whereas if William Prinn were truly for the peace and prosperitie of the Common Wealth, (and not absolutely for his owne interest) he would importune the Parliament, to make a few plaine and easie (to be understood) lawes, which might command the speedy ending of all differences betwixt man and man, amongst some competent judges of the same neighbourhood, where the difference doth arise, and in case of difficultie of judgements, to have no other appeale, but either to their &illegible; Countie Assizes, or the next Parliament, where the truly contentions, and unwilling to be at peace, might be soundly paid for their jangling, which way would rid the Kingdome of one of the unprofitable kind of cattle remaining in it, namely William Prinn, and his jangling Associates who at the best are but an uselesse rabble, appropriating, lying and purse-milking generation.

But as for his bitter charge of high treason against me, I blesse God, J groundedly know the innocency and integritie of my heart to be such, that I may and doe with confidence sound a loud Trumpet of desyance to him and all his Associats in England, groundedly to fix upon me, and legally to prove against me, the least appearance or suspition of any such thing, as he publiquely in print, (licenced thereunto by Authority,) declares me guilty of, to the view of the whole Kingdome, namely, that I have conspired with other Separates and Anabaptists to root our the Members of this Parliament by degrees, beginning with Mr. Speaker, whom if we could cut off, (he saith) all the rest would easily follow: And if this succeeded nor, then to suppresse and cut of this Parliament by force of Armes, and set up a new Parliament of our owne cholee and faction.

Looke to it Prinn I advise you, and put fotth all your skill to make your charge good, for this J doe protest, I am resolved by the strength of God, to put you to it, and to have against you both law and justice; if there be any to be had in England: Or else I am resolved to lye in the dust, for so large experience have I had of this maxim, that honesty is the best policie, that it makes me considerly beleeve, uprightnesse begen boldnesse, and that as Solomon saith, he that walketh uprightly, walketh surely, and that the righteous are as bold as a Lyon, and therefore W. Prinn &illegible; not, but I may live to see the time that equitie, justice and truth shall flourish and take place.

Surely having so many potent and bitter enemies as I had when I was in prison, if they or he, had had any just ground for this that he saith, they would have tript up my heeles, and laid me in the kennell without mercy or compossion; but the honourable house of Commons discharging me out of New-gate by vote, as they did, is a cleere demonstration to me, (and I thinke to the whole Kingdome) that they judge me to be an honest man, and free from any such thing as Prinn maliciously accuseth me off; and their dealing with me in that particular, makes me confidently beleeve that the most of them intends to doe me justice and right, not only against my former oppressors, but also against my late ones, for taking my liberty (contrary to their own Law) away from me, which Law made, this present Parliament in the act for abolishing the Starchamber saith, that from henceforth no count, Councel, or place of Judicature, shall be erected, ordained, constituted or appointed, within this Realm of England, or dominion of Wales, which shal have, use, or exercise the same, or the like jurisdiction, as is or hath been used, practised or exercised in the said Court of Starchamber: And he it further provided & enacted, that if any Lord Chancelour, or keeper of the great Seal of England, Lord Treasurer, keeper of the Kings Privie Seal, President of the Councell, Bishop, temporall Lord, Privie Counsellor, Judges or Justice whatsoever, shall offend or do any thing contrary to the purpoet, true intent and meaning of this Law, then he or they shall for such offence, forfeit the sum of good of lawful money of England, unto any party grieved, his executors, or administrators, who shall really presecute for the same, and first obtain judgment, thereupon to be recorded in any court of Record at Westminster, by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, wherein no Essoine, protection, wager of law, and prayer, priviledge, injunction or order of restraint, shall be in any wise prayed, granted, or allowed, nor any more then one imparlence.

And if any person against whom any such judgment or recovery shall be had as aforesaid, shall after such judgement or recovery offend again in the same, then he or they for such offence, shall forfeit the sum of a 1000. l. of lawfull money of England, unto any party so grieved, his executors, or administrators, who shall really prosecute for the same, and first obtaine judgement thereupon, to be recorded in any court of Record at Westminster, by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information, in which no Essoigne, protection, wager of law, and prayer, priviledge, iniunction, or order of restraint, shall be in any wise prayed, granted, or allowed, not any more then one imparlence.

And if any person against whom any such second judgement or recovery shall be had as aforesaid, shall after such iudgment or recovery of offend again in the same kind, and shall be thereof duly convicted, by inditement, information, or any other lawful way or means, that such person so convicted, shall be from thenceforth disabled, and become by vertue of this act uncapable, Ipso facto, to bear his, and their said office, and offices respectively, and shall be likewise disabled to make any gift, grant, conveyance, or other disposition or any of his lands, tenements, heriditaments, goods, or &illegible; or to take any benefit of any gift, conveyance, or legacy to his own use.

But it may be obiected, what is this to you, who have not to deal with any Courts here named, but with Committees of Parliament, who are branches of a legislative and arbitrary power, and so not tyed to this rule? to which I answer thus, that though I have to deal with those that are not here named, yet (I conceive) they are intended aswell as any exsprest: Again I say, a Committee of the House of Commons, is not the whole Parliament, no not the whole House of Commons it selfe, according to their owne principles, and therefore in my iudgement, they are not to act contrary to a known and received law, and therefore cannot iustly imprison any man contrary thereunto, neither by a Committee of theirs, nor by the whole House of Commons it self, they being not recording to their own principles, the whole Parliament but a part of it, and therefore that which is established by the whole (as &illegible; is by; Estates, and an ordinance by a Estates) cannot iustly be &illegible; by apart &illegible; the House of Commons, but one estate, much lesse by one of their Comittees, which is but a &illegible; of this one estate, but much lesse can it iustly be done, by a Comittee that had no power at all given them by any one estate, to do with me as they did: and therefore (for my part) I iudge a law to be a law, untill it be made void by all the 3. estates that made it, or at least by the a estates ioynely, that takes upon them to make ordinances in this time of necessity, to make void a law at present, and besides an ordinance, I iudge to be an ordinance, and binds those that made it as well as others, till such time as the same power that made it, do abrogate it, or at least, till such time as as great and declared a necessity compell the House of Commons one estate, to act singly by an order, as doth now the a estates of Peeres, and Commons, to &illegible; by an ordinance, and therefore I am absolutely of this mind, that &illegible; Committee of the House of Commons, nor the whole House of Commons &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; imprison me, or any other, contrary to a law, against &illegible; at present there is not some ordinance made both by them and the Peeres &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; to overthrow it. But I have severall times been imprisoned &illegible; &illegible; and by vote of the House of Commons it self, contrary to a knowne law, &illegible; this present Parliament by themselves, against which there is at present no ordinance published and declared by them and the Peeres, for the cognisence of: &illegible; (I say) they are tyed in Justice according to the renour of this law, to give me reparations against those persons that were chief instruments, either in Committees, or in the House of Commons it selfe, to vote and take away my liberty &illegible; me, contrary to this law, and for my part, I do accordingly expect my reparations, for my late causelesse molestations and imprisonments, for as the proverb is, honest men will alwaies be as good as their words, but J (according to charity) iudge the maior part of them to be honest men, and therefore do Iustly exspect, that they will make good to me, &c. their owne voluntary ingagements votes, oathes, protestations, and declarations, in which they have protested before heaven and earth, and called the great God therof to hear witnesse, that their designes, aymes, and intentions, were pure for the preservation of the laws, liberties, and proprieties of the free men of this Kingdom.

And whereas Prinn and other time servers do keep such a stir about the priviledges of a Parliament man, as if one single Parliament man had as much and as many priviledges, prerogatives, and immunitives, as the whole, or as if there were a kind of Drity or infallibity conferred upon every member of the house of Commons, as soon as he comes within their doors, a though after that time he were no more subiect to law, nor could do any more evill (I say) such parafires and flatterers may as iustly be called the Parliaments wicked Councellors, as ever Strafford, Canterbury, Digby, or Cottington, might be called the Kings, and for my part, I iudge such principles is destructive to the peace and welfare of a common-wealth, as in maintaine that a King hath no other rule to walk by but his own will, and that he is accountable to none for his actions, but God onely: and for the priviledges of Parliament, I think I cannot be bound to take notice of any, but what is publiquely declared, but no such priviledge (that I yet ever knew of) is declared, that a Parliament man, or a Committee of Parliament, may do by me or another, as of late I have been dealt with and therefore I conceive, I may iustly say without breach of their priviledges, that I have been uniustly dealt with in my late imprisonment, to be imprisoned so contrary to the known and declared laws, I have been without either cause shown, or a legall tryall.

And for my part my iudgement is, that no government can be iust or durable, but what is founded and established upon the principles of right reason, &illegible; and &illegible; justice, equity and conscience, and sutable to these principles were my actions and carriage towards the Parliament, during my late imprisonment in Newgate, as by the Coppy of this ensuing letter will appear, which then followeth.

To his much honoured and approved friend, Mr. Cornelias Holland, Member of the honourable House of Commons, present these.


I Am informed, it is conceived by the honourable House of Commons, that I have said or done somthing tending to the dishonour or disturbance of the Parliament, and that thereupon they have apprehended iust cause to commit me Prisoner to Newgate:

Sir, I was divers times before apprehended by Messengers, and after committed to safe custody, without cause shown, or witnesse brought forth to accuse me of any thing, twice I have been examined upon interrogatories, in way of crimination against my selfe, all which I apprehend to be contrary to the Law of this land, and against the rules of common equitie and justice, and so not justifiable in any authority whatsoever.

That the liberty of my Countrey, and a iust Parliamentary authority, have been and are precious in my esteem, both my former, and latter services and sufferings in their iust defence will sufficiently witnesse.

Much instigation there hath been against me, by some who are opposite to me in iudgement, about matters of Religion, and many evill Offices have been done unto me (God forgive the Authors thereof) I have beene much afflicted, and somewhat I may (unawares) have been provoked, there being no perfection in me, nor any others on earth. Yet my iudgement is, that the well being of the whole Nation (wherein my owne is necessarily included) doth (under God) depend on the iust proceeding, and quiet continuation of this present Parliament, and I professe it never entered into my thoughts, to speake or do any thing rending to their dishonour or disturbance, neverthelesse if I have said or done any thing, which to the apprehension of that wise and honourable House seemeth to tend thereunto, it is my extream grief, and I am heartily sorry for the same, and if you shall be pleased to represent me to the honourable House in these my humble and true expressions, it may be a mean to mitigate their displeasure conceived, and to restore me to a better construction, and their iust favour, which is the earnest desire of him who is,

Your most humble servant,

John Lilburn.

From the prison of Newgate,
     this 27. Sept. 1645.

I shall now-take a little liberty to declare unto the world my condition from time to time, that so (for all Mr. Prinns reproaches) they may cleerly see, I have drawn on no designe, but that which is iust and honest: I shall begin with my imprisonment by the Bishops, in which (besides the losse of my liberty, and of those grounded hopes that I had of a comfortable living in the Low-Countreys by my industry, and besides all those cruelties that I endured in that captivity) I lost (besides all this) the present affection of my Father, and it was upon this ground, he being then in a long tedious and chargeable suite for all his land, which had lasted and continued some scores of yeeres, and cost him some thousands of pounds, and having not long before my imprisonment been heard before the King and his Privie Councell, where my Father (for all the extraordinary potency of his adversaries at Court, who were of the highest rank there) had a fair proceeding, but afterwards I coming into trouble, and contesting with the Bishop of Canterbury, the crafty subtile For (when he perceived that I was not of a flexible disposition, but refused to stoop to his will) fell pell-mell upon my Father, (who then was not out of the bryars) and so frighted him (as then by his potencie he could do any man in England) that he looked for nothing but suddain destruction from him: And all this he did to get him to be the instrument to make me bend and submit, but God comming in with strength to enable me to withstand this tempeation, it caused no small anger to proceed from my Father towards me, which made me resolve (after I was freed from my imprisonment in the Fleet) to go beyond Sea as a Factor, which I was prest unto by some in London, but the House of Commons making so much use of my imprisonment, and illegall sufferings under the Bishop: and with all went on solegally and iustly in the examination and voting of my busines, that it gave grounded hoper to me that I should be possessor of a speedy & large reparation from them, and the rest of my uniust Judges in the Starchamber, which moved me to think of feeling of my self in England, that so I might both follow a calling for my livelihood in the world, and also my businesse in the Parliament, and accordingly my Vnkle Mr George Lilburne, and my self, fell into propositions of managing of a Brew-house and about 1000. l. he put in into it, and not long after I married, where I blesse God with industry and paines, I in short time raised a compitent trade in a house, that had none in it before, and within a short time after upon agreement betwixt us, he turned it all over to me:

But these wars immediatly coming on, I gave it over (as before is mentioned) the stock according to my books, in debts, &illegible; and other things laid out about it, amounting to above 1500. l. and so successefull was the blessing of God upon my endeavors, that I never compounded (for all the losses I had that yeare, I was in Oxford) either with my Unkle or any other creditor I had, but have in a manner) faithfully paid and discharged all my debts, though when I gave over, I was necessitated to put of many of my commodities at easie rates, and by reason of hast, lost in one parcell of coales, I am confident above 200. l. that in two months after I had sold them they would have given me.

Well then into the wars I went, where I am confident all the while I was in them, I plaid the part both of an honest, active and stout Commander, and was as ready and willing to adventure my life as any man J marched a long with, at Kenton field, was I plundered, and at Branford lost I (in a manner) all that I had, and after a long fight there with a handfull of men against the Kings whole Army, my person after I had severall times scaped the danger of drowning, was taken a prisoner, and this I dare say of that peece of service, that the Parliament, the Citie, and the whole Kingdome, owes not more to any one particular number of Commanders and Souldiers, and for one particular ingagement, then they doe to my selfe and the rest that was in that at Branford, who (under God were not only) the &illegible; of the Traine of &illegible; (which then with a slender guard was at &illegible;) but also of the whole Citie, and consequently of the Kingdome, although we were sent thither without Ammunition.

For when we had the &illegible; first, we had neither provision, (that I &illegible; of) of March, Powder and Bullet; but were necessitated to ransacke the &illegible; and houses in the town for our present supply, and although I &illegible; freely adventured my life there is any man whatsoever, and put forth the utmost of my skill, resolution and &illegible; yet I had but a little ground for it, having resolved to give over my foot company to my Lieutenant, which was upon this ground, immediatly after &illegible; &illegible; I was from Northampton sent &illegible; to London upon speciall businesse, by my Colonell, the truly honorable Lord Brooke, and divers of my friends in London, pressed me to give over my foot command, and take the charge of a troop of Horse, in the new Armie, under the Earle of Warwick, unto whom (with a Citizen known to him) I went to desire a Commission for that end, who wished me to bring unto him a Certificate of my fitnesse from any of the Aldermen or Militia men of &illegible; in London, and it should be done, unto whom I went, and had from divers of them upon my bare desiring of it, this which followeth.

VVEE whose names are here under written, being of the &illegible; for the Militia of London, and others, doe upon our knowledge, testifie that Capt. John Lilburn is a man both faithfull, able, and fit to be Captaine of a Troop of Horse (having shewed his valour at the batell of &illegible; as we are credibly informed) unto which service we desire he may be admitted, and for that &illegible; of his friends Citizens of London, will furnish him with horse for that purpose.

&illegible; 11. Novemb. 1643.

&illegible; Worner. &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible;
&illegible; Wright. William Gibbs. Thomas &illegible;
Richard Chambers. John Towse. John &illegible; Knight.
John &illegible;

And after I had goe this certificate before I went for my Commission to the Earle of &illegible; I went to my Lord Brooke, (whom I found at Esses house with the Lord Generall) and after I had acquainted him with my intentions, and desired him to settle my foot company upon my Lieutenant, his Lordship replyed, Lilburn the King is at Coalburn, and I doe verily beleeve, we shall speedily have an other &illegible; with him, and therefore I intreat thee doe nor leave me, and my Regiment now, for I hope we shall be at him, and the wars will be at end before then canst get a troop of horse raised, and therefore if thou leavest me now, I shall thinke thou art either turned covetous, and therefore would have a troop of horse for a little more pay, or else thou act turned Coward, and therefore would leave thy foot company, now when we are going to fight, and J doe beleeve (saith he) shall doe it to morrow; unto which I replyed, my Lord, it is not &illegible; for me to make comparisons with you, but this give me, leave to tell your honour, that because you shall know that I am as free from covetousnesse or cowardlinesse as your selfe, J will take my horse (for all it is so late) and post away to Branford to your Regiment, and fight as resolutely to morrow, as your Lordship shall, although I have already surrendred up my company to my Lieutenant; and promised him to solicite your Lordship to confirme him in it, so away I went, and (I thinke) it was about 9. a clocke at night before I got thither, and this I am sure off, that in the morning when we had the Alarum, all the horse left us, which were about 10 or 12. troops, and Lieu. Col. &illegible; drew out so much of Col. &illegible; Regiment as was there, and that part of our Regiment which was there having neither Col. Lieu. Col. nor Serjant Maior to order and command them, did faire and easily on their owne &illegible; march out of the towne towards London, of which when I heard, I galloped after them, and put them to a stand, at the head of whom, I made the best incouraging speech I could, and &illegible; those Colours that were mine into my owne hands, and desired all those that had the spirits of men, and the gallantry of Souldiers, and were willing resolutely to spend their bloud for the good of their Countrey, and to preserve that honour that they had lately gained at &illegible; battell, to follow mee (who promised not to leave, them, so long as I was able to fight with them) which promise by Gods assistance I performed, and had those whose hearts failed them, to march backe againe to London.

Upon which they all faced about without any more dispute, and I led them up &illegible; the field where their fellow Souldiers the Red &illegible; were, which ground with them we maintained divers &illegible; together in a bloudy fight, like resolved men, although I beleeve, we were not &illegible; effective fighting men against the Kings whole Armie, who hotly plyed us from severall places both in front and &illegible; with &illegible; and &illegible; and we had neither breasts-worke, nor &illegible; nor any other defence, but one little bricke house, and two or three hedges.

And having lost my libertie here in this fight, I endured a hard imprisonment at Oxford, and stood as close to the Parliaments cause there, as any prisoner whatsoever, and I am sure spent not a little money there, and was &illegible; ready to helpe &illegible; poore man to the utmost of my abilitie, as the richest man there, and have divers &illegible; of money that I &illegible; unto the Parliaments prisoners there, to keepe them from starving, yet owing me, but I must confesse at my comming out from thence, my Lord Generall Essex used me the most honourable and noblest of any man, that ever J yet had to &illegible; with in the Parliaments service, which J have often acknowledged, and judge my selfe still obliged in point of gratitude to doe as long as I live.

But having some invitation to goe downe to Lieu. Gen. Cromwell (my old friend that goe me my libertie from the Bishops Captivitie) in the Earle of Manchesters Armie, which I found then at Lincolne with whose men on that day they attempted the storming of the castle there, I freely adventured my life, though I had no particular command amongst them, and after the gaining of that, I was made Major to Col. King, my Commission bearing date the 7. October 1643. and soone after, I had this Commission, I came to London, during which time Col. King imprisoned divers of his Officers, and divers of the townes people, and some of Lieu. Gen. Cromwells Troopers, for assembling together at a private meeting in a most dispitefull and disgracefull manner, so that when I came downe to Boston againe I found all things in peeces which I was so far from fomenting as Col. King, himselfe cannot but acknowledge that I put forth the utmost of my &illegible; to soulder together, and pacified Captaine Cambridge my owne Lieutenant, &illegible; and the honest people in the Towne, who if I had not been, had immediatly &illegible; against him, before ever he had beene well &illegible; in his governmentship, of Boston and Holland. I also rid to Steford to Lieu. Gen. Cromwell, with whom and his officers and Souldiers, I used the best of my interest, to make peace, which I accordingly did, although divers of the Souldiers in Lieuten. Gen. Regiment &illegible; so exasperated, that they were resolved either to lay downe their Armes, or to get him punished for abusing of them, and be comming to the Lieutenant Generall to Steford, was so well pleased with me, and what I had done for him, that he immediatly gave a Commission of his owne making under his hand, to my eldest brother in these words.

BY vertue of a Commission to me directed, from the right honorable Edward Earle of Manchester, Serjant Major Generall of all the associated &illegible; of Essex, Norfolke, &illegible; Lincoln, Cambridge, &c. authorizing me to raise a Regiment of Horse in the County of Lincolne, I doe hereby constitute and appoint you to raise and &illegible; what horse and men you can in the &illegible; of &illegible; on Holland and in the parts of &illegible; in Lincolnshire, and to &illegible; and take all such &illegible; as have beene plundered and sold by Souldiers, and the same to imploy to the service of the Kingdome and Parliament, given under my hand at Steford the 19. day of Decemb. 1643.

Edward King.

To Capt. Robert Lilburn.

And upon farther discourse betwixt him and the Lieu. Gen. who with his &illegible; was shortly to leave Lincolnshire, and &illegible; to his Generall, &illegible; Col. King the &illegible; and fittest man then that he knew in Lincolnshire, &illegible; &illegible; of the &illegible; he and Col. King immediatly sent &illegible; post to the Earle of Manchester at Cambridge, for the &illegible; and inlarging of his Commission, and after I had given the Earle an account as exactly as I could, of things in Lincolnshire, and particularly of his carriage at Boston, which he particularly inquired of me, I rendered him as acceptable as I could to my Lord, out of no other &illegible; in the world, but that the publique affaires might flourish and prosper which J &illegible; much hoped he would be an instrument in part to effect, and I brought him from my Lord a Commission to be governour of the Citie of Lincoln, and the County thereof, and continued an extraordinary and fair, &illegible; &illegible; with him a good while after, till such time that his two &illegible; (the &illegible; of &illegible;) Mr. Lee and Mr. &illegible; set us together by the &illegible; (the proper and true worke of the &illegible; of the most of that &illegible;) which two did add such &illegible; of such to the &illegible; of his pride, that he &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; as an &illegible; and by his &illegible; and the will of his Bishop Lee, would make us march backward and forward as he pleased when and where he had a mind, without calling a Counsell of War to &illegible; with his Officers, whose lives were principally to be ingaged in the things hee went about, the first finder &illegible; with which I my selfe was, and yet at that &illegible; time obeyed the &illegible; from which &illegible; forward the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and greater, in so much that when we &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; Newarke, although he received some thousands of pounds of the Lincoln Committee (as some of them have told me) to pay his Officers and Souldiers with, yet (for my part) I could not get one 6. d. of it, although I paid my quarters all the time I was under his command, both for my selfe, wife, &illegible; and horses, and spent above (I dare safely say it) 100. l. of my owne money, besides what I received as my pay from him, although as some of the Committee of Lincoln (doe in the 19, Article exhibited to the House of Commons against him, and now in print, affirme) he hath received vast sums of the Countreys money, amounting to about 10000. l. much of which they say he hath levied in an illegall and &illegible; way, and issued our accordingly.

And although William Prinn be so impudent in the fourth page of his booke, falsly to affirme that Col. King imprisoned and &illegible; me, for my seditious and schismaticall carriages; yet I affirme and will maintaine it, that my carriage was as peaceable, quiet, just and as free from janglings or contestations as any Officer that ever Col. King had under him, and I am confident it William Prinn inquire of the best sort of the inhabitants of Boston, that were not the Col servants and meer creatures, he will heare of a better report of me then of him, and Col. King himselfe will confesse, that he never imprisoned me in his dayes, nor never had any just cause so to doe, and for his cashering of me, I know not that ever he did so, for I my selfe was &illegible; of his company, and forsooke it, but I confesse I did the best I could to &illegible; him, first of his Regiment of horse and Dragoones, which Col. &illegible; had at Newarke, and then secondly of his Governmentship of Lincoln and Boston, and did the best I could to bring him to a Councell of Warre for all his miscariages in his Generallship, as he indeavoured to have himselfe &illegible; (although he was never but a Captain of Dragoons before) & I am confident, had it not been for the interest of his two Chaplains with the Earle of Manchesters two (&illegible;) &illegible; namely Mr. Ash and Mr. Good, whose interest with their Lord J beleeeve in that particular over-ruled his judgement, and truth it selfe, although at Lincoln Citie he was pressed unto it by very considerable persons, in regard that the Committee there had a very high charge against him, and also the &illegible; Aldermen, and towne Clarke of Boston, had another as high, which they came to Lincoln on purpose to present unto his Lordship. And thirdly divers Officers in his Army had a charge as high as either of the former against him, which J &illegible; confident if they could have gotten justice (as they ought to have had at the hands of my Lord being his Generall) would legally and justly have reached to his life, for all the &illegible; flourishes that now he makes, and both Prinn and &illegible; in his behalfe.

But it may be objected by some, that I speake &illegible; out of &illegible; there being &illegible; ground for what I say against him, seeing I and others accuse him for receiving great summes of money of the Countrey, which he never did, and hath already taken his oath of it, and therefore as little truth there is in all the rest as in that.

For answer to which, I shall at present only desire you to read the copie of a few papers which I have lately received from the hands of one of the chiefest of the Committee in Lincoln, and then iudge betwixt Col. King and his &illegible; the copie of which papers &illegible; followeth.

18. January. 1644. at the Committee for &illegible;

Colonel Edward King, according to the letter or warrant sent unto him, &illegible; the 12. day of this instant Jan. appeared before this Committee the day above said, and upon oath declared, that neither himself, nor any other to his use received or collected any monies to the use of the Common-wealth, but only issued out warrants by commission from the Earle of Manchester for the levying of some &illegible; which monies were collected and paid to Mr. Cornwallis, of &illegible; and Mr. Edward &illegible; of &illegible; Treasurers appointed for receiving the same, and that he did issue out warrants to the said Treasurers, for the payment of some of the said monies to the Souldiers, and other Officers, according as he received order from the said Earle, which warrants remain in the hands of the said Treasurer?

Ed. Hartly Reg.

Jan. 9. 1643.

Received the day and year above-written, of The Cornwallis Esquire, Treasurer of the parts of &illegible; and Lindsey, the sum of 1350. pounds, I say received the sum of 1350. pound,

per me Edward King.

To Mr. Cornwallis Treasurer as Lincolne.

I pray you pay upon sight of this Note to this bearer Tho. &illegible; 500. pounds, and this shall be your warrant,

Boston, Jan. 24. 1643.

Edward King.

Jan. 26. 1643.

Thom. &illegible; &illegible; then servant to Col. King.Received by the appointment of Col. King, the sum of 500. l. for the service of the State, of Tho. Cornwallis Esquire, Treasurer to the Committee at Lincolne, I say received the day and yeare &illegible; written, 500. l.

per me Thom. &illegible;

To Mr. Cornwallis Treasurer.

Pay unto the bearer hereof John Cole, the sum of 350. l. and this shall be your warrant, Given under my hand this 26. of Jan. 1643.

Edw. King.

Ian. 26. 1643.

Cole &illegible; then his servant & of his lifegardReceived the day and date abovesaid, of Mr. Cornwallis Esquire, the sum of 350. l. by the appointment of Col. King, I say received the sum of 350. l.

per me Iohn Cole.

To Mr. Cornwallis Treasurer, Ian. the 30. 1643.

Pay unto Mr. &illegible; Commissary, the sum of 200. l. for any use, and this shall be your warrant.

Edw. King.

Received upon the sight of this Note, of Mr. Cornwallis Esquire, at this present, the above mentioned sum of 200. l.

per me Rich. &illegible;

For Mr. Cornwallis Treasurer.

Pay unto Thom. &illegible; upon sight hereof, the sum of &illegible; l. and this &illegible; be your warrant, dated this 6th. of February, 1643.

Ed. King.

Febr. &illegible; 1643.

This Howett was then a me &illegible; servant to him.Received the day and &illegible; above written, of Thom. Cornwallis Esquire Treasurer to the Comittee at Lincoln, by the appointment of Col. King, for the payment of his Souldiers, I say received the sum of 700. l.

Tho. Howett.

To Mr. Cornwallis Treasurer,

According to the order of the Committee of Parliament, I desire you to pay unto Capt. &illegible; &illegible; the sum of 400. l. the 6th of Febr. 1643.

Edw. King.

Febr. 8th. 1643.

Received the day and year above-written, of Thom. Cornwallis Esq. Treasurer to the Committee at Lincolne, the sum of 400. l.

D. &illegible;

To Mr. Cornwallis Treasurer,

This Howett &illegible; then his servant,I pray you pay unto Tho. Howett, the sum of 600. l. and this shall be your warrant, Given under my hand this 13. of Febr. 1643.

Edw. King.

Febr. 18. 1643.

Received of Thom. Cornwallis Esquire, Treasurer to the Committee at Lincoln by the appointment of Colonell King, the sum of 600. l. for the payment of the souldiers, I say received,

per me Tho. Howett.

Sir, I pray pay to Capt Dickons to enable his Troop to match, 95. l. and to Mr. Skipper to pay the State-Regiment at Gainesborow 400. l. I hope in this strait you will be carefull to use all diligence to get up monies, I remaine,

Your most faithfull friend

Edward King.

Sterford the 26th. of February 1643.

Received of Mr. Thom. Cornwallis, by the appointment of Colonel King, the sum of 95. pounds, this 26. of Febr. 1643.

per me Will. Dickons.

Febr. 27. 1643.

Received the day and year above-written by me Rich, Skipper, of Mr. Cornwallis Treasurer, by &illegible; of Colonel Kings order for his use, the sum of 400. l.

per me Richard Skipper,

Mr. Cornwallis I desire you to pay this bearer upon sight hereof, the sum of 100. pounds, for the service of the State,

Sterford this 28th. of Febr. 1643.

Edw. King.

Febr. the 29. 1643.

his servant,Received the day and year abovesaid of Tho. Cornwallis Esquire, according to him directed from Colonell King, for the use of the State, the sum of 100 pound, I say received the sum of 100. l.

per me Rich. &illegible;

To Mr. Cornwallis Treasurer.

I pray you &illegible; unto Tho. Howett, the sum of &illegible; l. and this shall be your warrant, Given under my hand this 8th. of March, 1643.

March, the 18th. 1643.

Received by the appointment of Colonel King towards the payment of his Souldiers, the sum of two hundred pounds, I say received the said sum of Tho Cornwallis Esquire, Treasurer to the Comittee at Lincolns,

per me Thomas Howett.

To the Treasurer to the Committee at Lincoln, Tho. Cornwallis Esquire.

These are to require you forthwith to pay unto the bearer hereof &illegible; &illegible; the sum of two hundred pounds, and for so doing this shall be your &illegible;

Given under my hand this 26th of March, 1644.

Edward King.

March 26. 1644.

Received this day of Thomas Cornwallis Esq. two hundred pounds, according to this Note,

per me Sam. Leight, witnesse Rich. &illegible;

March, 27. 1644.

Received of Thom. Cornwallis Esquire, the sum of 293. pounds, I say received.

Edw. King.

11. Novemb. 1643.

Mr. Watson pay unto Mr. Parnell 30. pound for my use, and this shall be your warrant,


Edward King.

11. Novemb. 1643.

Received in full of this warrant 30, pound,

per me Thom. &illegible;

After all these &illegible; with Col. King, I ceased to be his Maior, and was afterwards made Lieut. Col. to the Earle of Manchester: Regiment of &illegible; my commission bearing date the 16. of May, 1644. with whom I served faithfully and honestly, and being over active, his Lordship (in a manner) spoyled a souldier of me, by his abosing of me about the taking in of Tickhill Castle; which made me many times and often desirous to throw up my Commission before ever the new Moddle was mentioned; but Lieut. Gen. Cromwels &illegible; of &illegible; to the &illegible; made me hold it, much against my own mind, and then when the new Moddle came, he would have had me to continue, but I could him, I could not, in regard the Parliament had voted that all the officers in that modle must take the Covenant, which I could him I could not doe, and besides, I could him that I had &illegible; the Parliament faithfully out of a principle of conscience, (which to me was a greater, tie then all the humain &illegible; in the world,) and never to my knowledge had given them just cause to distrust me, and if now after so much experience of my faithfulnes they distrusted me, I was resolved not to serve a &illegible; matter: so I was totally left out.

Whereupon my thoughts were fixed upon going into Holland, to follow my trade for my living, and having some money by me, I began to think about laying it out upon cloth, but enquiring after the state of that trade, I &illegible; it locked up under the unjust and tyrannicall &illegible; he of a company of &illegible; &illegible; (&illegible; called &illegible; Adventurers) who by an illegall &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; Seale of England, had ingrossed the sole trade of cloth, and all woollen &illegible; the Low-Countreys, into a few lawlesse &illegible; hands, by meanes of which, they deprive not onely all the free men of London, &c. of the benefit of their freedome, and that which &illegible; their right as really as their cloaths they weare, but also set up a thing that is destructive to the welfare of the whole Kingdome, as particularly, their foundation is not upon a law made by common consent in Parliament, (and therefore uniust and illegall) as is largely declared in my iudgement throughout the whole petition of Right, but meerly founded upon the bases of Prerogative, backt with the broad Seal of England, and truely, I would that those Gentlemen that stile themselves Marchant Adventurers, would remember that the Earle of Strafford had as much to iustifie himself in his proceedings, and did many times produce the Kings hand and Seal, to authorize him to do what he did, and to warrant him in the acting thereof; and yet notwithstanding because he acted arbitrarily, against the sence and mind of the law, to the ruine and destruction of the freedome of the people, he dyed as a Traytor for so, and for my part I am of the same iudgement, that the chief procurers and preservers of this Monopoly, do deserve as much as &illegible; for first, they have acted, and still do, against the known Law of this Land, as the Author of a late printed book, called a discourse for free trade, in the 6. 7. 12. 39. 43. pages of his book doth clearly prove.

Secondly, They have not onely acted against the law for many years together, but they have (by vertue of their illegall patent) assumed to themselves as arbitrary a power, as ever Strafford did, yea, and a legislative power to make laws, as if they were &illegible; absolute and intire Parliament, as appears in his 13. page. first by that wicked oath of their owne framing, which they impose upon all that will be one with them, the words of which thus follow.

You swear by &illegible; God, to be good and true to our Soveraigne Lord the King that &illegible; it, and to his Heires and Successors Kings of this &illegible; you shall be obedious and assistant to Mr. Governour, or his Deputy, and assistants of Marchant-Adventurers, in the parts of Holland, Zealand, &illegible; &illegible; and within the &illegible; and Marches of &illegible; as also in East-Freezeland, or any other &illegible; or &illegible; on this or that side the Seas, where the said Company are or shall be priviledged. All statutes and ordinances not repealed, which have been made, or shall be made by the said Governour, or his Deputy and Fellowship, you shall to your best knowledge truly hold and keep in singular regard to your self, in hurt or &illegible; of the Common-wealth of the said Fellowship, or else bring condemned, and orderly demanded, shall truly from time to &illegible; content and pay unto the Treasuree for the time being, all and every such &illegible; and penalties which have and shall be limitted and set for the transgressors and &illegible; of the same.

The &illegible; and privities of the aforesaid Fellowship you shall seal, and not &illegible; and if you shall know any person &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; intend any hurt, &illegible; or &illegible; to our Soveraigne Lord the King, &illegible; unto his Lands, or to the fellowship aforesaid, or the priviledges of the same, you shall give knowledge thereof, and doe it to be known to the said Governour, or his Deputy: and you shall not colour or &illegible; any &illegible; goods, which are not free of this Fellowship of Marchant-Adventurers of England. It help you God.

Besides which oath, they have an other called a &illegible; oath; of their owne making, which are to them in the nature of Statutes and these they force and compell men to take, and detaine mens freedomes from them if they refuse to &illegible; the former, although they have served faithfully 7. or 8. yeares apprentiship to masters of their owne or the like Corporation; by meanes of which, they doe (as much as in them lyes) destroy them, and all that depends upon them.

Thirdly, they assume to themselves an arbitrary power, to impose sines at their pleasure upon the freemen of England against their will, (yea, and contrary to law, iustice, equitie and reason) read pag. 15. 30. 31. 34. all whose practises in that booke specified, tends not only to the subvertion of the law, the &illegible; of an arbitrary power, but also the inslaving and impoverishing of the people, and the ruining and destruction of the Kingdome, and so (in my apprehension) &illegible; within the limits of Straffords charge, and that their practises doth tend to the inslaving of the people, and the ruine of the Kingdome, I prove thus.

1. They restraine all men to trade but themselves.

Secondly, They have restrained the shipping of cloth, only to those certaine times which they are pleased to nominate.

Thirdly, They have restrained the shipping of cloth in any other ships but their owne.

Fourthly, They have restrained the landing of cloth at any place but Rotterdam.

Fiftly, They have restrained the selling of cloth there at any other times, &illegible; when they please.

Sixtly, They have restrained the buying of any more cloth, but such a number as they are pleased to appoint.

From which bondages and slaveries, follow these mischiefes to the Kingdome.

1. By this meanes, they extraordinarily bring downe the prices of Cloth &illegible; and that I make appeare two wayes, first, In that they stint the number of cloths that shall be sent, which is not one for many that would be sent if trade were open, so that thereby they can picke and chuse, and buy at what rates they please. 2. they take such courses amongst themselves by shipping at certaine times, by meanes whereof in all the intervenings betwixt their shippings, they have advantages to beat the poore Clothiers downe to their owne rates, and to buy of them when they please, and at what rates they please, being that most Clothiers are not able to keep their cloths upon their hands, no, nor to follow their trades, unlesse they have a present market, which is a mischiefe not only to the Clothiers, in lessening their prices, but it is a mischiefe to those that breed sheepe, and to the owners of land themselves, for if cloth he cheap, wooll must needs be cheap, yea, and sheep also, and consequently land likewise.

Againe, when they have bought their cloth, no ships must carrie it but their owne, which is a mischiefe first to &illegible; in Generall, &illegible; that hereby none shall be imployed but they that will be their slaves, and be content with what wages they will give them, and observe such rules &illegible; they will have them, besides, this is a mischiefe to every Merchant that hath not a part in those ships, because they force every man to pay almost double &illegible; &illegible; what he might have it carried for &illegible; another ship, if hee were left to his &illegible;

3. They land it all at Rotterdam, where they will keep their ware-house doors &illegible; and not sell one peece of cloth, till they &illegible; get their owne price, which &illegible; times &illegible; 50. l. or 60. l. profit in the hundred, and sometimes more, by in &illegible; of which in hansing of cloth, beene thereby inabled to sell it at &illegible; high rates, the Hollander is incouraged to set up a trade of making Woollen-cloth, Shoes, Stockings, &c. although he be sorted to pay excessive rates, both for workemanship and materialls (in comparison of &illegible; in England) having little of himselfe, but what he hath from other parts at deare rates, but in regard our &illegible; Marchant-Adventurers, (the destroyers of mankind) sell their cloth at such excessive high rates there, the Hollander is able to sell as cheap as they, and to make ten cloths for one, that formerly he used to doe, read page 26. and if Flanders should tread in the Hollanders foot steps, what would become of our cloth trade? therefore, down with these destroying, wicked, and devouring Monopaliting Marchant-Adventurers, who are as great enemies (in their Kind) to the peace and prosperitie of this Kingdome, as ever Strafford and Canterbury went, and therefore let us have a free trade, for they by their wicked and England destroying practices, have trayterously undermined the basis and foundation of our Common Wealth, and given away our cloth trade, our riches and Sinews to the Hollander, impoverished, inslaved and depopulated our Kingdome, by sending thousands of our Natives, and Handycraft Trades-men over thither, to follow their callings (for the profit of strangers) meerly to get bread for subsistance I because in the land of their &illegible; they were ready to slaeve for want of imployment, whereas a free &illegible; one or two yeares space would fetch them all backe againe, and thereby re-impeople our owne Countrey, to furnish them and thousands more poore people here, with fulnesse of imployment, and in a little season restore us to the sole making of cloth, and (in a manner) wholy destroy the Hollander? great cloth making trade; for if trade were &illegible; and this destructive Monopoly downe, it would not only increase &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of cloth making in England, and also &illegible; the price of &illegible; here, by reason there would be many more buyers, which would be not only againe to the Clothier, and also to the Farmer, but by consequence to the Land owner, and which by reason of multitudes of trades, (who would be content with a &illegible; gaine) that so they might returne their money quicke and often, which would lessen the price of cloth beyond &illegible; and by consequence beare it so low, and yet bring in a &illegible; gaine, that the Hollander must be forced to give over his great trade of cloth-making.

A second thing besides all these things which is very considerable &illegible; this, &illegible; by reason of this Monopoly, A few men have &illegible; only the sole exporting of Woollen Commodities there, but will in a little time (if continued as they have began &illegible;) have the sole importing of all commodities from thence, by &illegible; whereof, they will make us at home buy them of them at what rates they please, but if trade were open, &illegible; will be sold at lesse by &illegible; &illegible; in the 100 then I am confident they sell in house them 100.)

A third thing considerable is this, that &illegible; can not well be made without &illegible; &illegible; none whereof (&illegible;) the Hollanders hath, but what they have out of England, the sending away of which, by the law of this Land (if I be &illegible; &illegible;) is &illegible; but &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; to stands &illegible; with the &illegible; of the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; to &illegible; for &illegible; it over, &illegible; &illegible; of them (as same reports) makes &illegible; &illegible; themselves by so doing, &illegible; &illegible; as they to &illegible; their businesse, being all their &illegible; are &illegible; Rotterdam, &illegible; they in a &illegible; of comming to the knowledge of transgressory in that kind, being all the rest of the ports in Holland are open for them to land &illegible; whereas &illegible; the trade were free, Factors would be dispersed to every port in Holland, whose interest and profit would then tye them to have a care to watch every man, that should bring Fullers earth ever thither; because the preventing of which, would &illegible; the Hollander to make cloth, and so England might have the sole trade &illegible; themselves.

A fourth thing considerable is this, that this Monopoly &illegible; all the rest of Marchants, Saylors, Clothiers, Clothworkers, Spinners, &c. and inableth the Monopolizing Marchants, in a prerogative, arbitrary and tyrannicall manner, both to King it and Lord it over the rest of their &illegible; and makes thousands and ten thousands to become very poore men, and &illegible; &illegible; meerly to make themselves rich, although they be both as honest, as free, and free &illegible; as themselves, which meanes with others of the like nature, hath (in my Iudgement) been the only instrumentall cause of all the wars and miseries in England at this day, for this Monopoly and others (making the Monopolizers rich) makes them the great men in the Common Wealth, and wofull and sad &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; when any tryall of then &illegible; to the publique &illegible; (being acted by the principalls of &illegible; themselves) makes them easily without contest, &illegible; to all kind of &illegible; &illegible; pression of what &illegible; &illegible; and so betray the liberties of the whole Common-Wealth, and by their examples lead others into the same wickednesse with &illegible; witnesse their willing &illegible; from time to time unto &illegible; Money, &illegible; &illegible; Money, Knight Money, Ship Money, coate and Conduct Money, &illegible; of all &illegible; &illegible; and all manner of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; would impose a for if they had nor &illegible; slaves, such tyrants as Strafford and &illegible; &illegible; could me &illegible; &illegible; them not the Common-Wealth.

So that (J &illegible; conceive) I may Iustly say of them and their &illegible; &illegible; Mr. Iohn &illegible; the 13. page of his speech, April 12. 1641. said of the Earle of Strafford, &illegible; that they are &illegible; with the peace, the Wealth, the &illegible; of a Nation, and that their practices are destructive to justice, the &illegible; of &illegible; to industry, the spring of wealth, no value which, is the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the prosperitie of a Nation can only be procured, confirmed and inlarged.

Their practices in taking away &illegible; rights and freedoms, being not only &illegible; to &illegible; away peace and so &illegible; the Nation with wars, but doth corrupt &illegible; and &illegible; such a malignity into it, &illegible; produceth the effects of Warre; therefore in the next page, (&illegible; &illegible;) as for industry and &illegible; who will take &illegible; &illegible; that, which when he hath gotten is not his &illegible; Or who will fight for that wherein he hath no other interest, but such &illegible; &illegible; to the wall of &illegible;? the ancient incouragement to men, that were to defend their Countreys &illegible; this, that they were to hazard their persons for that which was their owne, (namely say I) their liberties, freedomes, &illegible; and properties, but by this &illegible; way &illegible; Monopolizing Marchants, &c. (which hath &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; in England) no man hath any &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; freedome, or &illegible; of any thing else &illegible; his owne, but he goes &illegible; and saith &illegible; such &illegible; &illegible; have an ill opinion upon the courage of a Nation, by &illegible; the &illegible; of the people: A servile condition doth for the most part beget in men a slavish &illegible; and disposition, those that live so much (say I) under the whip and servile Engines of Monopolizing Marchant Adventurers, &c. as were, and still are frequently used by them, (as he saith) may have the dreggs of valour, sollennesse, and stubbornnesse, which may make them prone to mutinies and &illegible; but those noble and gallant affections, which put men on brave designes and attempts, for the preservation and inlargement of a Kingdome, they are hardly capable off.

Therefore (saith he there) shall it be treason to embose the Kings coine, though but a peece of 12. d. or 6. d. and must it not needs be the effect of a greater treason, to embose the spirits of his Subiects, and to set a stamp and Character of servilende upon them, whereby they shall be &illegible; to doe any thing for the service of the King or Common wealth.

He goes on, and in the 15. page. he lays downe the great argument of &illegible; that may presse the letting loose of an Arbitrary practice over free men, the same that is now obiected for the Marchant Adventurers, that they are rich men and the state in great necessitie, and they able to furnish them with great sums of money.

But he answers when war threatens a Kingdome, by the comming of a &illegible; &illegible; it is no time then to discontent the people, to make them &illegible; of the presone Government, and more inclinable to a change, the supplyes which are to come in this way, will be unready, uncertaine, there can be no &illegible; of them, no dependance upon them, either for time or proportion, and if some money be gotten in such a way, the distractions, divisions, distempers, which this course is &illegible; to produce, will be more &illegible; to publique safety, then the supply can be advantagious to it.

And this I am confident daily experience will witnesse, that this way of getting money, is the only way to get a &illegible; and loose a shilling besides the &illegible; of the hearts and cordiall affections of all the people, that are &illegible; by such an &illegible; course as this is which is exceeding dangerous in times of distraction, there being no way in the world so durable and safe, and so effectuall to &illegible; a people to a distressed &illegible; &illegible; a loving and &illegible; carriage, cordiall respect, and universall iustice, without regard of persons, and I say, and will maintaine it whosoever he be, that in his actions and &illegible; them &illegible; and practises the contrary to these principles, is no friend to common freedome and iustice, &illegible; a &illegible; or Scholler to &illegible; whose principall it is, that Princes (and &illegible;) &illegible; to &illegible; at &illegible; not in, but over their Subiects (and people) and for the archieving of the &illegible; ought to &illegible; to themselves, no greater good, then the spoiling and &illegible; the spirits of &illegible; Subiects (and people) not no &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; common freedome, neither ought they to &illegible; and perish any servants, but such as are &illegible; fit for &illegible; and oppression, nor depresse and prosecute any as enemies, but such as are gracious with the populary for noble and gallant acts, a fit character for our times.

And therefore to this purpose &illegible; of observation, is that passage in the &illegible; page of the &illegible; observations, upon some of his Maiesties late answers and expresses, the words &illegible; follow, to be a delight to &illegible; &illegible; is growne &illegible; with Princes, to be publique &illegible; and &illegible; and to &illegible; &illegible; those Subiects whom by &illegible; they ought to protect, it held Cæser-like, and therefore &illegible; Borgins by &illegible; crueltie and treachery hath gotten &illegible; in the Calender of &illegible; and of spirited Heroes, and our English Court of late years hath drunk &illegible; of this &illegible; poison, for either we have seen favorites raised to poll the people, and taxed again to pacify the people, or else (which is worse for the King and people too) we have seen Engines of mischief, preserved against the people, and upheld against law, meerly than mischief might not want incouragement.

But to return again to Mr. Iohn &illegible; speech against Strafford, which speech of him with Mr. Solicitor St. Iohns speech against ship, money, and also Judge &illegible; and Iudge Crooks argument against Ship-money in Mr. Iohn Hamdent case are worth evevery honest English mans buying to keep in his house, that he may learn something out of them, what by nature he is borne unto, and what is the end and foundation of governement, and in his 18th. page he saith, that Straffords crime is an offence that it contrary to the end of Government, the end of Government was to prevent oppressions, to limit and remain the excessive power and violence of great men, to open the passages of Justice with indifferency towards all, this arbitrary power is apt to induce and incourage all kind of insolencies. Another end of government (saith he) is to preserve men in their estates, to secure them in their lives & liberties it is the end of government that vertue should be cherish, &illegible; supprest, but where the arbitrary and unlimited power is set up, a way is open, not only for the security, but for the advancement and incouragement of evil, such men as art opprest for the execution and maintenance of this power, are only capable of preferment, and others who will not be instruments of any uniust commands, who make a conscience to do nothing against the laws of the Kingdome, and liberties of the Subiect, are not only not passable for imployment, but subiect to much iealousle and danger; this may I say &illegible; my own particular, is one of the &illegible; sayings in all this speech.

Again (saith he) it is the end of government, that all accidents and events, all counsels and designes should be improved to the publique good, but this arbitrary power is apt to dispose all to the maintenance of it self, the wisdom of the Councell. Table, the authority of the Courts of Iustice, the industry of all the officers of the Crowne have been must carefully exercised in this, the learning of our Divines, the &illegible; of our Bishops, have been moulded & disposed to the same effect, which though it were begun before the Earl of Straffords imployment, yet it hath been exceedingly furthered & advanced by him, and say I, is still to this day, prosecuted by many of his disciples and schollars in great places, both Clergy men and others, and particularly the Monopoly-Marchant Adventurers, therefore I say againe downe with &illegible; and give them Straffords reward.

He comes to the &illegible; &illegible; where he laies down one of the Earl of Straffords obiections, which is, that he is a Counsellor, & might not be questioned for any thing which he advised his Maiesty according to his Conscience, the ground is true, there is a liberty belongs to Counsellors, and nothing corrupts counsell &illegible; we then fear, he that will have the priviledge of a Counsellor, must keep within the iust bounds of a Counsellor, those matters are the proper subiects of counsell, which in their &illegible; and occasions may be good or beneficiall to the King or Common wealth, but such &illegible; as these, the subversion of the laws, violation of liberties, they can never be good or iustifiable by &illegible; circumstance or occasion, and therefore &illegible; being a Counsellor, makes his fault much more &illegible; as being committed against a greater trust, and in a way of much mischief & danger, lest his Maiesties Conscience and iudgement (upon which the whole course and frame of his government do much depend) should be poysoned and infected with such wicked principles and designes; And this he hath endeavoured to doe, which by all laws, and in all times hath in this kingdome been reckoned a crime of an high nature.

I come now to his 25. page, where he laies it to the Earl of Straffords charge, that he had often insinuated it unto the King, that he by his own will may lay any tax or imposition upon his people, without their consent in Parliament, this hath now (saith Mr. John &illegible;) been five times adiudged by both Houses, in the case of loanes, in condemnning the Commission of excise, in the resolution upon the saving, offered to be added to the petition of right, in the sentence against Manwaring, and now lately in condemning the Ship-money, and if the Soveraign power of the King can produce no such effect as this, the obligation of it is an aggravation, and no &illegible; of his offence, because hereby he doth labour to interest the King against the iust grievance and complaint of the people: now I say, if the King cannot by his own will lay fines and impositions upon his people, much lesse can the Marchant-Adventurers doe it, therefore they deserve exemplary punishment for practizing such a thing as this is, which they constantly do, especially seeing they know very well it hath been so often condemned as illegal and uniust in the King, and urged upon the Earle of Strafford, at an aggravation of his treason.

Again in the second place, seeing they know that the petition of Right doth condemn the King and his Privie Councell for making and administring of oaths, not made by common consent in Parliament, and seeing the Parliament (as they very well know) was lately so hot and angry or the Bishops and their convocation, for assuming unto themselves the boldnesse to make an oath, although they were invested with a more colourable authority to iustifie them therein, then these can pretend; how exemplary ought the punishment of these men to be, for their &illegible; and boldnesse after the knowledge of all this, to force and presse upon the freemen of England an oath, of their owne framing and making, yea, and to keepe their freedomes from them, because (out of Conscience) they dare not take them, which at this present day is the condition of one Mr. Johnson, late servant to Mr. Whitlocke, one of the &illegible; Country Monopoliting Marchants, which is all one in nature with the Monopoly of Marchant-Adventurers.

Againe I desire it may be considered, that if they had a legall power to make an oath (as they have not in the least) yet their oath for the matter of it, is one of the most wickedest that I have read or heard of, for if you observe it, it ties those &illegible; take it to be obedient and assistant to Mr. Governour, or his Deputy, and Assistants of Marchant Adventurers, in all places where they are, or shall be priviledged. All Statutes and Ordinances not repealed, which have been made, or shall be made, by the said Governour, or his Deputy and Fellowship, you shall to your best knowledge truly hold.

I am confident that neither all the oaths established in England by law, nor any one of them &illegible; so absolutely and &illegible; as this, for here is no caution so farre as it is iust, or so farre as it is according to the word of God, or so farre as it is agreeable to the lawes established, in England, so that I dare boldly say it, that Mr. Governour of this Monopoly, takes a &illegible; absolute &illegible; and unquestionable power upon him, &illegible; any King of England that I &illegible; of fince William the Conquerer.

Secondly observe, This oath tresmen to be Rebels (point-blanke) against the law of England, established by common consont, which will not give to the King himselfe, the power here exercised, much lesse to Mr. Governour of the Marchant-Adventurers, who is but one of his subiects.

Thirdly observe, this oath ties those that take it, to be papists, in some &illegible; for they must swear by an implicite faith, to be observant in what Mr. Governour &illegible; establish, though it be never so unjust, or else they are perjured: for my part my judgement is freely this, that the gallower, is too good for the framers, &illegible; and shickt prosecutors of this oath; and to my understanding the desires of theft men, are either to make England a land of slavery, ignorance, and beggery, or else a land of perjury: therefore my advice to those Marchants and other Free-men of England, that petition against these Monopoliters, for the taking away their patent, it this, that they would not only doe that, but also that they would draw up a charge by way of Articles against them, that they may receive aswell as Strafford a legall tryall for their lives, and likewise for all their estates, for all their illegall and arbitrary practices, which they have exercised for so many yeares by past as they have done, to the ruine and destruction of thousands of honest men in this Kingdome, and to the damage and detriment of the whole Land; yea, and that they would resolve to follow them with as much eagernes as ever they did Strafford, when they shut up their shopps, and by thousands went to Westminster daily to &illegible; for Justice against him: For the Parliament in the first of their Remonstrances, dated 15. &illegible; 1642. beginning in the 3d. page of the book of Declarations, &illegible; up the benefits that this present Parliament had done the Kingdome, and amongst other things, they say there in the 14. page; The Monopolies are all supprest, whereof some few did prejudice the Subject above a million yearely, the &illegible; &illegible; hundred thousand pounds, the wine three hundred thousand pounds, the &illegible; must &illegible; exceed both, and sale could be no lesse then that, besides the inferiour Monopolies, which if they could be exactly computed, would make up a great sum.

That which is more beneficiall then all, is this, that the root of these evils is taken away, which was the arbitrary power pretended to be in his Majestie, of taking the Subject, or charging their estates without consent in Parliament, which is now declared to be against law, by the judgement of both Houses, and likewise by &illegible; of Parliament.

Another step of great advantage is this, the living grievances, the evill Counsellors and actors of these mischiefes have been so quelled by the justice done upon the Earle of Strafford, the flight of the Lord &illegible; and Secretary &illegible; the accusation and imprisonment of the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, of Judge &illegible; and the impeachment of divers other Bishops and Judges, that it is &illegible; not onely &illegible; be an ease to the present times, but a preservation to the future.

But it may be objected, that the ordinance of this present Parliament is for the continuance of this Company, and therefore it is not so great an evill &illegible; you speak off.

To which I answer in the first place, in the very words of the fore-mentioned book, this (under correction) cannot hold plea, for the said ordinance passed with this proviso and clause of (reservation by the wisdom of both Houses) that all rights confirmed by act of Parliament, or ancient Charters, should be thereby saved, so that it is rightly conceived, that this ordinance is not binding, not of any restraining nature.

Secondly, The Parliament hath declared in most of their Declarations, that all their intentions and designes are and shall be for the maintaining the lawes and liberties of England, and for making the people more free and happy &illegible; But not lesse free and more miserable; read their declaration about the preservation of Hall, and there you shall in the book of declarations pag. 458. 459. find these words, that as in all our indeavours since this Parliament began, we intended wholy the advancement of his Majesties honour and safety, and there gaining of the ancient (though of late years much invaded) rights, lawes, and liberties, being (as they there affirme) the birth-right of the Subjects of this Land; And in the next Declaration, they reckon up a great many of his Majesties then present actions, which they there say rends necessarily to the losse of our libertie, and the subversion of the law of the Kingdome; and further they therefore, that the King and his evill Counsellors, have designed all to slavery and confusion, in the opposing of all which (pag. 464.) they desire the concurrance of the well disposed Subjects of this Kingdome, and shall manifest by their courses and indeavours, that they are carried by no respects but of the publique good, which they will alwaies preferre before their owne lives and fortunes; And when their troubles did increase upon them, and the King begins to declare that he is in good earnest indeed, pag. 497. 498. they say, therefore we the Lords and Commons are resolved to expose our lives and fortunes for the defence and maintenance of the just &illegible; and liberties of the Subject, &c. and therefore we do here require all those who have any sence of piety, honour or compassion, to help a distressed State, especially such as have taken the protestation, and are bound in the same duty with us, unto their God, their King, and Countrey, to come in to our aid and assistance. And therefore I dare not let it have entertainment in my heart, that the Parliament werein jest when they made these Declarations, or that they never in truth intended what they here have said, but in my apprehension, if they should by a law or ordinance establish the fore-mentioned oppression, and England destroying Monopoly, they should overthrow the law of the land, and the libertie and freedome of the People, for the proof of which &illegible; the 12. H. 7. and the 3. &illegible; the words of this last Statute especially, carry weight and strength with them, and thus followeth. Whereas divers Marchants have of late obtained from the Kings most excellent Majesty, under the great Seal of England, a large Charter of incorporation for them and their Company, to trade into the Dominions of Spaine and Portugall, and are also most earnest suitor, to obtain the like from his said Majesty for &illegible; whereby none but themselves, and such as they shall &illegible; as being more Marchants, shall take the benefit of the said Charter, disabling thereby all others his Majesties loving Subjects of this Realme of England, and Wales, who during all the time of her late Majesties &illegible; were in &illegible; respects greatly charged, for the defence of their Prince and Countey, and therefore ought indifferently to enjoy all the benefits of this most happy peace. And also debarring them from that free enlargement of common traffique into those Dominions, which others his Majesties Subjects of his Realme of Scotland, and Ireland doe injny, to the manifest impoverishing of all owners of ships, Masters, &illegible; Fisher-men, Clothiers, Tuckers, Spinsters, and many thousands of all sorts of handy crafts men, besides the decrease of His Majesties Customes, Subsidies, and other impositions, and the ruine and decay of Navigation, together with the &illegible; of our woolls, cloth, cotne, and such like commodities; &illegible; and growing within this his said Maitsties Realme of England, and the inhansing of all French and Spanish comodities, by reason of the insufficiencie of the Marchants, they being few in number, and not of abilitie to keep the great number of our ships and &illegible; men a worke, and to rent the great store of commodities, which this His Maseshes Dominion of England doth yeeld. And by meanes that all owners and &illegible; with divers others, (if these incorporations should continue) shal be cut of from their ordinary meanes of maintenance and preserving their estate. And finally by reason that all French and Spanish commodities shall be in a few mens hands: In respect whereof, as for many other &illegible; growing thereby, much hurt and preiudice must needs redeund to all His Maiesties loving Subiects of this his highnesse Realme of England, if reformation for the prevention of so great an evill be not had in due time: For remedy whereof, be it inacted by the Kings most excellent Maiestie, the Lords Spirituall, and temporall, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authoritie of the same, That it shall and may &illegible; lawfull to & &illegible; his Maiesties Subiects of this his highnes Realme of England and Wales from henceforth at all times to have free libertie to trade into and from the Dominions of Spaint, Portugall and France, in such sort, and in &illegible; free a manner, as was at any time, sithence the beginning of this his highnesse most happie reigne in this his Realme of England, and at any time before the said Charter of Incorporation was granted, paying to the Kings most Excellent Maiestie, his Heires and Successors, all such customes, and other duties, as by the Lawes and &illegible; of this Realme ought to be paid and done for the same, the said Charter of Incorporation, or any other Charter, Grant, Act, or any other thing else heretofore made or done, or hereafter to be done, to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

And that it is against the libertie of the people, the loud cry that was against this and all such like parents at the beginning of this Parliament, doth declare, &illegible; and the continuall cryes of the generallity of the people of the land in all Parliaments against it, and the many and divers &illegible; of severall Countyes, and multitudes of severall sorts of Citizens lately exhibited to the Parliament &illegible; fully declare, and for my part, were it that these present unjust Monopolizers had &illegible; the whole burthen of the &illegible; in England themselves, and all other men &illegible; nothing for the Parliament, I thinke there had beene some grounds for them to have desired the Parliament to have made them Lords and Kings, and all other men slaves but themselves &illegible; but in regards: that many others of &illegible; &illegible; he have beene far more forward in laying out themselves and estates for the publique good, then they who for the most part of them, have rather believed themselves like &illegible; then &illegible; and true Patriots to their Countrey. I &illegible; &illegible; but all these true and constant well affected Englishmen that &illegible; by them should looke upon them &illegible; to the peace, freedome, and &illegible; of our &illegible; &illegible; and &illegible; by all just &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the Parliament, to make them all at least Hewers of wood, and drawers of water, and I hope &illegible; long, seen: honest and flout Commanders that are behind hand for their &illegible; that have been venturing their lives abroad, while they have beene making us slaves at home, will ioyne together to the Parliament in a petition for the Arreats, of themselves, and Souldiers, and for want of other supplyes, earnestly to desire that the Merchant Adventurers may be forced to pay into the State the 18; 295. 1. mentioned in the foresaid booke, page 48. and all other sums of money that they have illegally levited, by their illegall patent under the broad Seale of England; and I hope some honest Common Wealths man, will presse that clause of Mogna Charta home to the Parliament, which saith, Justice and Right we will sell to none, we will deny to none, that so they may not compound for a lesser sum, then that which by Iustice, Equitie and Right, the Kingdome ought to have from them.

Againe if Strafford and Canterbury, had so heavie a doome, for perswading Regall power only to subvert the lawes and liberties of England; what doe these men deserve that have seene their punishment before their tyes and yet endeavour with all their might to perswade Parliamentary power to make us slaves by a law? after we have spent the blood of so many thousand gallant English men for the preservation of our freedomes, for saith the Parliament in their Declaration, page 694. whatever be our inclination, &illegible; would be our condition, if we should got about to overthrow the lawes of the land, and the propriety of every mans estate, and the libertie of his person, all three of which (I aver it) the Monopolizing Marchant Adventurers have done for many yeares together, without any remorse of conscience, and their latter practises are worse then the beginning, in regard their indeavours tends to the putting the Parliament upon that which is contrary to the nature of the trust reposed in them by the &illegible; Kingdome, which according to their owne words page 150. is to provide for the weale of the people, but not for their wot, which principle, it notably discussed by the Author of the printed observations upon some of his Majestles late answers and expresses (who it commonly repured to be one in a speciall manner to be imployed by the Parliament) who saith page 1. speaking of the King whose Regall power the Parliament now executes, (and therefore the people have just ground to be very watchfull that no &illegible; by them be made upon their liberties, that nature, reason, and the freedomes of the fundamentall lawes of England, invest them with) we see that power is but secondary and &illegible; in Princes, (and say &illegible; counsells likewise) the fountaine and efficient cause is the people, and from hence the inference is iust, the King though he be &illegible; &illegible; (that is the single greatest) yet he is &illegible; &illegible; minor (that is the universall lesse or lesser then the whole) (for saith he) if the people be the true efficient cause of power, it is a rule in nature, that whatsoever is the efficient cause of a thing, made is greater then the thing that is made, and hence it appeares that at the founding of Authorities, when the consent of Societies conveys rule into such and such hands, it may ordaine what conditions, and prefix what bounds it pleases, and that no disolution ought to be thereof, but by the same power it had its constitution, and for my part I say it is contrary to nature, and the end of trust, that the trusted, should doe him that trust a mischiefe by it, as the Monopolizing Marchant Adventurers would have the Parliament to doe, bee goes on and saith, the King acknowledgeth by his Coronation oath, &illegible; it &illegible; to protect his people, (the same duty say I, the Parliament &illegible; more &illegible; relation owes to those that chuse them) and (saith he) I hope under this &illegible; protect, he intends nor only to shield us from all kind of evill, but also to &illegible; us to all kind of politicall happinesse according to his utmost power, and I hope he holds himselfe bound thereunto, not only by his oath but also by his very office, and by the end of his severaigne dignitie.

Therefore (saith he) if Ship-money, if the Star-Chamber, if the High Commission, if the Votes of the Bishops, and popish Bords in the upper House &illegible; inconsistant with the well face of the Kingdome, not only honour but justice it &illegible; challengeth that they be abolisht, the King ought not to account that a profit or strength to him, which is a losse and wasting to the people, not ought he to thinke that &illegible; to him, which is gained to the people: The word Grace sounds better in the peoples mouths then in his, his dignitie was erected to preserve the Commonaltie, the Commonaltie was not created for his &illegible; and that which &illegible; the end in far more honourable and valuable in nature and publicie, then that &illegible; the meanes. This directs us then to the transcendant &illegible; or pitch of all politiques, to the parament law that shall give law to all humane Lawyers whatsoever, &illegible; that is the safety of the people, the law of prerogative it selfe, is subservant to this law, and were it not conducing thereunto, at were not necessarie not &illegible; Neither can the right of conquest he pleaded to acquiet Princes of that which is &illegible; to the people as the Authors or ends of all power &illegible; for &illegible; force &illegible; &illegible; the course of nature, or &illegible; the renour of the law, and if it could, there were more reason, why the people might iustifie force to regain due &illegible; &illegible; prince might to subvert the same. And its a shamefull stupiditie in any man to &illegible; that our &illegible; did not fight more nobly for their free customes and lawes, of which the &illegible; and his &illegible; had its part &illegible; them by &illegible; and &illegible; them they which put them to such &illegible; For it &illegible; &illegible; to me that any Nation should be bound to contribute its owne &illegible; &illegible; meerly to &illegible; Tyranny, and support Slaverie, and to make that which is more excellent, a prey to that which is of lesse worth. And &illegible; a native Prince, if meere force be right, may &illegible; his Subiects is well as a stranger, if he can frame a sufficient party, and yet we see this was the foolish &illegible; of &illegible; who having &illegible; and rejected out &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; of &illegible; Tribes, ridiculously lought to reduce them &illegible; &illegible; the strength of two.

&illegible; now from, the cause, which conveyes Royalty, and that for which it is conveyed, to the nature of the conveyance, the word trust is &illegible; &illegible; the Kings popres, and therefore I dot conceive that the King does &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; interest in Crowise is not &illegible; of by a meere &illegible; of the &illegible; but &illegible; &illegible; & &illegible; and indeed all &illegible; &illegible; without any &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; them and their Subiects, have acknowledged that there did the &illegible; and &illegible; trust upon them; nay, Heathen Princes that have beene absolute, &illegible; acknowledged themselves servants to the publique, and borne for that &illegible; and &illegible; &illegible; that they would manage the publique Wealt, it being well &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; non &illegible; that &illegible; that the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; their &illegible; and we cannot imagine in the fury of war (when lawes &illegible; &illegible; least vigour) that any &illegible; can be &illegible; cumrised in power, but that if he should turne his Canons upon his owne Souldiers, they were Ipso facto absolved of all obedience: and of all oaths and tyes of Allegiance whatsoever, from that time, and bound by higher duty to seeke their owne preservation by resistance and defence: Wherefore if there be such &illegible; trusts, and reservation of all publique commands, though of the most absolute nature, that can be supposed; we cannot but admit that in all well formed Monarchies, where Kings prerogative hath any &illegible; this must be one necessary condition, that the Subiect shall live both safe and free, &illegible; Charter of Nature intitles all Subiects of all Countries whatsoever to safety by its supreime law.

And in page the fourth (he saith) that which resules then from hence it, if out Kings receive all Royalty from the people, and for the behoofe of the people, and that by a speciall trust of safety and liberty, expresly by the people limitted, and by their owne grants and oaths varified, then our Kings cannot be said to have so unconditionate and high a propriety in all our lives, liberties and possessions, or in anything else to the crowne appertaining, as we have in their Dignitie, or in ourselves, and indeed if they had, they were not borne for the people, but meerly for themselves.

And in page 6. speaking of the greatest Monarchies, this condition (saith &illegible;) is most naturall and necessary, that the safety of the people is to be valued above &illegible; right of &illegible; as much as the end is to be preferred before the meanes: it is not iust &illegible; possible for any nation so to &illegible; it selfe, and to resigne in owne interest to the will of one Lord, (or Lords) as that that Lord (or Lords) may destroy it without injury, and yet to &illegible; no right to preserve &illegible; &illegible; For since all &illegible; power is in those which obey, they which contract to obey to their owne ruine, or &illegible; so contracted, they which esteeme such a contract before their owne preservation, are &illegible; out to themselves, and rebellious to nature, most excellent is that Authors &illegible; this booke, in proving the end of trust, which alwayes ought to be for the good of those that trust, and not for the trusted to walke by the rule of his owne will towards those that &illegible; him, as though he intended by vertue of the power &illegible; conserted on him, to carrie himselfe so towards those that trust him, as though they were his &illegible; and Slaves, and had given &illegible; power to tread them under his feet, and by their &illegible; to advance himselfe in honour and riches, and thereby invest himselfe with such a Maiestie, is though &illegible; were never to be called to account for the managing of his &illegible; by those that trust &illegible; which is but a foolish, idle and tyrant like conceipt, for if a Corporation of men, chase a Steward to receive their rents, and manage their businesse for their good, but &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; their money &illegible; not &illegible; their good and profit, but for &illegible; owne particular, and when they shall visibly see that, and shall there upon command him to give up his accounts, and he shall say no, you have trusted me, and thereby have declared you judge &illegible; &illegible; for your &illegible; and to question or doubt, me &illegible; to &illegible; your owne Iudgement, and therefore I owe you &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; am I to give you any, because it is my Iudgement, So would not every &illegible; man &illegible; &illegible; answer not only &illegible; &illegible; but also uniust, and arguing a great deal of guilt and busenesse to be in such a Stewards breast, and although such a Steward should returne such a Lordly answer to his masters, yet for all this, may not his masters use their utmost power and authority to compell him to give up his accounts? yea, and in case he have abused his trust, to casheere and inflict the extremity of the law upon him, for so doing &illegible; and seek out for an other honester man them himselfe, to put into his place.

For saith the same Author, (as it conceived) in the second part of his observations pag. 6. the end of all authority in substitutes is, that the Kingdom may be duely and safely served, and not that the Kings (or any other trusteys) meere fancy may be satisfied, and page the 8th. (he saith) that right which a Prince hath in his people, is by way of trust, and all trust is commonly limited more for the use of the party trusting, then the party trusted, in some cases also there are mutuall proprieties, and so the King ownes us as his Subjects, and we owne him as our King, but that owner-ship which we have in him at our King, is of a satre more excellent and high nature, then that owner-ship which the King hath in us, as his Subjects. And the same Author in his maximes unfolded, pag. 15.

I come now (saith he) to the fourth &illegible; or eight, which is Reglum a Die, not a fair, neca se, which is neither singly from God, nor from those that are his, (his Subjects, not from himselfe, but which is Jus ad Regnum, his right to his Kingdome, and such a trust as he must answer for to his Parliament, and his Parliament to his people, and therefore Parliaments in former times used tobe so carefull for the welfare of the people that betrusted them, that they would impose nothing upon the people that might be a burthen to them, without acquainting them first with it: as Sir Edward Cooks that worthy Patron of his Countrey, in the fourth part of his institutes, doth declare, his words folis 14. are as followeth.

It is also the law and custome 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, onely in this new device they dare not agree; without conference with their Countries: whereby (saith he) it appeareth, that such conference is warrantable by the law and custome of Parliament. And folio 34. (he saith) that at the Parliament holden in 9. E. 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 Counties and places, who had put them in trust, before they treated of any such matter: so that it clearly appeareth to me, that there is not that Elbow-roome left to the whole Parliament, much lesse to a part of it, but much lesse to foure or five members of it, to make innovations or inrodes at their pleasure, upon the peoples estates, proprieties, and liberties, especially of those who are as free borne as any of themselves, and in their lives and actions have ventured as much, and as farre as any of them, to preserve their native liberties, proprieties, and freedoms, for all that instaving doctrine that is now prated of by some, and lately practised by others, for I say from what it before said, that by how much the more the trust it great, that is reposed in the Parliament, by so much the more they ought in Justice and honesty to be &illegible; &illegible; under, and cordiall in the execution of their trust, and to have a speciall care not so make those worse, but better that trust them, not lesse free, but more free: but Sir Edward Cooke in the second part of his institutes, folio 47. being there expounding of Magna Charta, chap. 29. saith, that generally all Monopolies are against this great Charter (and his reasons art) because they are against the libertie and freedome of the Subject, and against the law of the land, and he there gives instances of; &illegible; particulars, upon his exposition of the word liberty, contained in that Charter, and the first runs in these words.

King H. 6. granted to the Corporation of Dyers within London, power to search &c. and if they found any Cloth dyed with Log-wood, that the Cloth should be forfeit, and it was &illegible; that this Charter concerning the forfeiture, was against the law of the land, and this statute of Magna Charta, for no forfeiture can grow by letters patents: look to it Marchant-Adventurers.

Secondly (saith he) it signifieth the freedomes that the Subjects of England &illegible; for example, the Company of Marchant-Taylors of England, having power by their Charter to make Ordinances, made an ordinance, that every brother of the same society should put the out half of his Cloaths to be dressed by some Cloth-worker free of the same Company, upon pain to forfeit ten shallings, &c. and it was adiudged that this ordinance was against law, because it was against the liberty of the Subject, for every Subject hath freedom to put his cloaths to be dressed by whom he will, and so of other like things, and so it is, if such or the like grant had been made by his betters patents. (Observe this you Lord Mayor, and court of Aldermen of London.)

3. So likewise, and for the same reason (saith he) He grant be made to any man, to have the sole making of cards, or the sole dealing with any other trade, that grant is against the liberty and freedom of the Subject, that before did or might lawfully use that trade, and consequently against this great Charter, And saith he in folio &illegible; every oppression against law, by colour of any usurped authority, is a kind of destruction, for when any thing is prohibited, all that is prohibited with it, where by the thing prohibited is like to come to passe, or take place, and it is the worst oppression that is done by colour of Justice.

And in the third part of his institutes, folio &illegible; commenting upon the statute of the &illegible; law. 3. which statute is absolutely against Monopolists, and Monopolizers, and he there positively saith, that they are against the ancient and fundamentall laws of this Kingdome, that he may be understood what he meanes by monopoly, be thus defines it.

A Monopoly is an institution or allowance by the King, by his grant, commission or otherwise, to any person or persons, bodies politique or corporate, of or for the sole buying, selling, making, working, or using of any thing, whereby any person or persons, bodies politique of corporate, are sought to be restrained of any freedom or liberty that they had before, or hindred in their lawfull trade, and he there saith, that the law of this Realm against monopolies, is grounded upon the law of God, expressed Deut. 14. 6. No man shall take the &illegible; or the upper milstone to pledge, for be taketh a mans life to pledge. Where by it appeareth that a mans trade it accounted his life, because it maintaineth his life, the monopolists that taketh away a mans trade, taketh away his life, and therefore in so much the more odious, because he is &illegible; &illegible; a man of blood, against these inventors and propounders of evill things, the holy Ghost hath spoken, Rom. 1. 30 Inventores malorum &c. &illegible; sunt north. The inventers of evill &c. are worthy of death.

He there goes on to prove the evill of them, and the great punishment that they de &illegible; that are procurers of them, and therefore to draw to a conclusion of this, I say it is &illegible; just, that the Marchant-Adventurers should be punished according to the utmost &illegible; of the Law, for all the time they have and shall act by vertue of their illegall parent, to the ruine of so many thousands as are destroyed by their means, and when they shall get it to be confirmed by an ordinance or a law, they deserve to be accounted the destroyers of mankind, in procuring a law, both against nature and reason, the grounds of all just lawes: For as the Author of the book called the Doctor and Studient saith, fol. 4. the law of nature specially considered, which is also called the Law of reason, pertaineth only to Creatures reasonable, that is man, which is created in the Image of God. And this law (saith he) ought to be &illegible; aswell amongst Jews and Gentiles, at amongst Christian men, and this law is alway good and righteous, stirring and inclining a man to good, and abhorring evil, and as to the ordering of the deeds of man, it is prefered before the law of God (amongst men) and it is written in the heart of every man, teaching him what it to be done, and what to be fled, and because it is written in the heart, therefore it may not be put away, he is it ever changeable by no &illegible; of place, &illegible; times. And therefore against this Law, prescription, statute, nor custome, may not prevail. And if any be brought in against it, they, be no prescriptions, statutes, nor customes, but things vold, and against Justice, and all other lawes, aswell the lawes of God, is the acts of men, as other be grounded thereupon, and a little further he saith, that this law of reason reached that good is to be loved, and evill to be fled. Also that them shalt do to another, that thou wouldest an other shall do to thee. Also than we may do nothing against truth. Also that a man must live peaceably with others. That Justice is to be done to every man, and that wrong is not to be done to any man and, also that a trespastor is worthy to be punished, and such other.

And in fol. 7. (he saith) that the law of man be just, and right wise, two things be necessary, that is to say, wisedom, and &illegible; &illegible; wisdom, that he may judge after reason, what is to be done for the Communality, and what it expedient for a peaceable conversation, and necessary &illegible; of them. Authority that he have authority to make laws, for the law as named of ligart, that is to say, to &illegible; But the &illegible; of a wiseman doth &illegible; &illegible; the community, if he have no rule over them. Also to every good law be required these properties, that is &illegible; says that it be honest, right-wise, possible in it selfe, and after the custome of the Country, &illegible; for the place and that, necessary and profitable, and also &illegible; that it be not capious by any &illegible; &illegible; sentence, or &illegible; with any private wealth, but all made for the Common wealth.

And &illegible; I see I was &illegible; of my trade, and &illegible; greater &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; fighting for justice, liberty, and freedome, then I was before I was at a &illegible; &illegible; with my &illegible; what to do to provide for my selfe and family, which whosoever doth not saith St &illegible; worse then an Infidell, and although I knew I had &illegible; antagonists in the House of Commons (although I had never done them hurt to my knowledge but had freely upon all occasions adventured my &illegible; with my &illegible; in my hand, both before the &illegible; and also figer) I &illegible; up &illegible; resolusion, being determined to use the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and if I perished, I &illegible; whereupon I drew my petition to the House of Commons for my &illegible; and justice and &illegible; from my unjust Iudges in the Star-chamber, I laboured by all the friends I had in that House, month after month, to get my petition read: but could not, whereupon I &illegible; and delivered &illegible; or 300. of them to the Members, &c. one morning as they went into the House, but could not prevail to get it read for all that, and to &illegible; me, and &illegible; my businesse, and make me odious in the House, I was two severall times illegally clapt by the heeles by Mr. Laurence Whitaker, Chaire man of the Committee of Examinations, whose illegall, irregular, and arbitary proceedings, not only with me, but also with divers other free-men of England, makes me judge him a man fitter to answer at the barre of justice (if there were any justice to be had) for his former misdemeaners before the Parliament began, and also for those since, then to be a Member of the House of Commons, and a Chair-man in a speciall Committee, whose &illegible; illegall proceedings with divers free-men of England, tends (as much as in him lies) to the alienating of the hearts of the Parliaments friends from them, and to the pending of their proceedings odient and &illegible; to them, but if &illegible; justice &illegible; or any of his friends think I seandallize him, and do him wrong, &illegible; this upon my utmost perill, that I will (according to the law of England if I may have such a proceeding) legally prove and make good, what I now here &illegible; but I confesse, I do by experience see it, it is rather a midnesse and folly, then any thing else, for a man to expect justice, where the &illegible; accused are Iudges in their &illegible; &illegible; contrary to that received maxime of the law, that &illegible; &illegible; ought to be Iudge in his owne case, and this I do confidently &illegible; &illegible; that if his priviledge &illegible; a &illegible; of the House did not protect him, again it the law, that his &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; not legally satisfie (according &illegible; the known and fundamentall lawes of the Land) those injustices that he hath done to the free &illegible; well afficted men of England.

But although I &illegible; those foyles in my businesse, I was resolved not to give it over, and there &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; to my &illegible; &illegible; faithfull &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Cromwell, to &illegible; assistance, by way of letter, to some of his friends, the Copy of which thus followeth.

GEntlemen, being at this distance from London, I am forced to trouble you in a businesse which I would have done my self, had J &illegible; there, it is for &illegible; Col Lilburne, who hath dont hoth &illegible; and the Kingdome good &illegible; otherwise J should not have made use at such friends as you are, &illegible; hath a long time &illegible; the House of Commons with a petition, that he might have &illegible; according to their votes, for his former sufferings and losses, and some satisfaction for his arrears, for his service for the &illegible; which hath been a long time due unto him: To this day &illegible; &illegible; got his Petition read, his attendance hath proved very expensive, and hath kept him from other imployment, and I believe that his former losses and &illegible; services (which have been very chargeable) considered, he doth find it a hard thing in these &illegible; forth &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; to &illegible; &illegible; it is a griefe to see men mine themselves through their affection and faithfulnesse to the publique, and so few lay it to heart: It would be an honour to the Parliament, and &illegible; encouragement to those that faithfully serve &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; were made for the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of those when have lost all &illegible; And &illegible; &illegible; you that this neglect of those &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; you &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; in this Army, who have observed oftentimes their wives and children have &illegible; who have lost their times and lives in the Kingdome service: I wish it were &illegible; to &illegible; That which I have to request of you it, that you get him the best assistance to get his petition read in the House, and that you will &illegible; him all lawfull favours and iustice in it, I know he will not be unthankfull, but adventure himself as freely in the service of the Kingdom, as hitherto he hath done, hereby you shall lay a speciall obligation upon your servant.

July the 10th.

Oliver Cromwell.

Having got this letter, and bringing up good news from Lampart, of the rouring of Goring, I was in very good hopes to have got my petition forward, and speedily to have had some benefit by it, but insteed of the good I iustly expected, I was &illegible; clapt by the heels in the Sarlant at Arms custody, but for what cause I protess. I do not groundedly to this day know, &illegible; it were because I was earnest in presenting my petition, and crawing law, iustice, and right, according to Magna Charta, which as Sir Edward Cooke in the 2d. part of his institutes fol. 56. saith, is the best birth-right the Subject hath, for thereby his goods, lands, wife, children, his body, life, honour, and estimation, are protected from injury and wrong: but I was dealt with much like the proceedings of that Iudge he speaks off. fol. 55. who (he saith) first &illegible; and then he heareth: and lastly compelleth to confesse, and &illegible; and marre lawer at his pleasure, like as the Centurion in the holy History did in St. Paul, for the Text saith, Acts 22. 24. 27. that the chiefe Captain commanded him to be brought into the Castle, and bade that he should be examined by scourging, that he might know wherefore they cryed so against him, and verse 27. then the chief Captain came and said unto him, tell me act thou a Roman? he said yea, but saith noble, Sir Edward Cooke there, good iudges and Iustices abhorre these courses.

And after I had endured above three months imprisonment (a great part of which was close imprisonment in New-gate) by much strugling and striving I obtained my libertie, and hoping that those that had dealt so ill with me, would for their owne honour and reputation sake (if they would for nothing else) be a little sensible of &illegible; and necessity, and therefore having had a fair proceeding at the Committee of &illegible; I prefered my petition to the House, which there was &illegible; Nov. 10. 1645. which thus followeth.

To the honourable the House of Commons now assembled in the High Court of Parliament.

The humble Petition of Iohn Lilburne, &illegible; Col.

To all &illegible; sheweth,

THat your Petitioner having suffered abundance of &illegible; barbarous cruelty by &illegible; of an illegall &illegible; made against him, in the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; is by the Copyy of his Petition &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; formerly preferred to this &illegible; House, and by your owne Votes made the 4th. of May, 1641. upon the examination of the petition will appear) which Votes are as followeth, First, that the sentence of the Star-chamber given against him illegall, is against the liberty of the Subject, and also bloody, wicked, &illegible; barbarous, and tirannicall. Secondly, that reparation ought to be given to him for his imprisonment, sufferings, and losses, sustained by that illegall sentence. And then also it was ordered that care should be taken to draw up his case, and transmit it to the Lords: but by reason of multitude of businesse in this honourable House, there hath been no further proceeding in it since. And these distractions comming on, your Petitioner took command under the Right Honourable, Robert Lord &illegible; with whose Regiment he adventured his life freely and resolutely, both at &illegible; field, and &illegible; where he was &illegible; prisoner, and carried away to Oxford; where within a short time after his comming, the King sent to the Castle to your Petitioner, the now Earle of Kingston, the Lord &illegible; the Lord &illegible; and the Lord Andover, to &illegible; your Petitioner with large proffers of the honour and glory of Court preferment, to forsake the Parliaments parry, and to ingage on his party: upon the sitting and concerning of which, your Petitioner was within few dayes after laid in irons, and kept an exceeding close prisoner, and forced severall times to march into Oxford in irons, to judge Heath, before whom he was arraigned for high Treason for drawing his sword in the cause of the Common-wealth, and suffered multitudes of miseries, in his almost twelve-months captivity there: in which time be lost above 600. l. in his estate that he left behind him at London, (as he is clearly able to make appeare) and immediately after his comming from thence, he took command in the Earle of Manchester Army, his commission as &illegible; of Foot, bearing due the 7th. October. 1643. which lasted till the 16th. of May, 1644. at which time he was authorised by Commission as Lieut. Col. to command a Regiment of Dragooners. In which services having been in many ingagements, he hopes it will easily appeare that he hath not onely &illegible; himselfe honestly and faithfully, but also valiantly and stoutly, in the middest of many discouragements, God crowning time of his indeavours with successe, especially at the taking of &illegible; Castle, and Sir &illegible; &illegible; Garrison, at which place your Petitioner was &illegible; through his &illegible; The premises considered, he humbly beseecheth this Honourable Assembly to &illegible; that Iustice which you so happily began for your Petitioner, and to give &illegible; &illegible; for &illegible; and redious imprisonment, and heavy &illegible; by the Star-chamber decree, he having waited 4. yeers with patience for that &illegible; though he lost by his imprisonment all that he had, and was deprived of a profitable calling, being then in the way of a Factor in the Low-Countries, and also to take of the Kings fine: and to consider his service with the Earl of Manchester, wherein he faithfully adventured his life, spent a great deal of his own money, and lost at Newarke, when Prince &illegible; raised the siege, almost an 100. l. being &illegible; from the Crowne of the head, to the soale of the foot, besides his former losses at &illegible; and &illegible; and that you would be pleased for his present subsistance, to appoint the present &illegible; of so much of his present arrears, as you in your great wisdoms shall think fit to supply his urgent & pressing necessities, there being now due to him 600. l. and upwards, and that Col. &illegible; may be commanded to accompt with the Petitioner, which formerly he hath refused to &illegible; though commanded by his &illegible;) and to give him &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; in due by the State in his service, & to pay him what he hath received for the petitioner, & detained from him,

And be shall pray, &c.
John Lilburne.

The annexed Petition thus followeth.
To the Honourable House of Commons now assembled in the High Court of Parliament.

The humble Petition of John Lilburne Prisoner in the Fleet.

To all &illegible; sheweth,

THat in December next will be three years, your petitioner upon suppos all of sending over certain books of Dr. &illegible; from Holland into England, was by Dr. &illegible; &illegible; without any examination at all) sent to the &illegible;-house prison, and from thence within three dates removed to the Fleete, where he abiding prisoner in &illegible; Terme following, was proceeded against in the Honourabled Court of Star-chamber, where your Petitioner appearing (and entring of his name, for want of money, his name was struck out again) and he refusing to take an oath to answer to all things that should be demanded of him (for that your Petitioner concerned that oath to be dangerous and illegall) without any &illegible; &illegible; him, for his refusing the said oath, he was prosecuted and censured in the laid Court most hearily being fined 500. l. to the King, and sent prisoner to the Fleet, and in Easter Term following, was whipped from the Fleet to Westminster with &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; receiving at least 200. stripes and then at. Westminster he was set on the &illegible; the space of a hourts and over and above the &illegible; of the Court) at the warden of the Fleets command, &illegible; about an houre and a &illegible; after which most &illegible; sufferings, was again returned, into the Fleet close prisoner, when thought his said sufferings, the next morning he &illegible; sick of an extreame fever, should not have admittance for his Child &illegible; to let him blood &illegible; his &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of the said day &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Westminster to the &illegible; himself &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; in the Fleet ever since. Where in &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; both hands and leggs, which &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; six months and &illegible; &illegible; small &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; in which &illegible; &illegible; a months sicknesse, most dangerous &illegible; &illegible; former &illegible; which time of &illegible; &illegible; have most &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; they would &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; for their &illegible; and they have denied &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; as &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; great &illegible; and to &illegible; him &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and &illegible; have kept her servant &illegible; him, and has &illegible; &illegible; that it he had not been &illegible; by stealth of his &illegible; prisoners, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; from any food at all, for above the space of 10. &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; out of &illegible; have relieved him; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; for both to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and besides all this, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; him, to &illegible; &illegible; of his &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of his life, &illegible; &illegible; not been rescued and saved by &illegible; prisoners of the &illegible; house. In which &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; your poore petitioner hath &illegible; a prisoner for the &illegible; of &illegible; &illegible; and a had &illegible; is &illegible; still &illegible; continue in the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of the Fleet, who hath &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; that he &illegible; &illegible; he must observe the man that hath so great &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; &illegible;

All which his deplored condition, and lamentable miscries, he most humbly presenteth to this most honourable assembly, beseeching them to be pleased to cast an eye of compassion towards him, and to &illegible; him such reliefe from his censure and &illegible; imprisonment, &illegible; &illegible; good to your &illegible; who other life is like to perish under &illegible; hands of &illegible; &illegible;

And your &illegible; shall &illegible; &illegible; (as in duty he is bound) to the Lord to &illegible; and prosper this honourable Assembly,

John Lilburne.

At the debate of which there was not a little opposition by some, who (as I conceive) thought I was not capable of enjoying justice, although to my knowledge I never doe an act in all my life that put me out of the protection of the law, or that tended to the diffranchizing me of being a &illegible; and Freeman of England, and therefore ought to enjoy as great a priviledge in the enjoyment of the benefit of the Law of England, as any &illegible; Denizon of England whatsoever, by what name or title soever he be called, the issue of which debate, so much as I have under the clarks band, thus followeth.

Die &illegible; 10. Nov. 1645.

Ordered &c. That the Vote formerly passed in this House, concerning the proceedings against Lieut. Col. Lilburne in the Star-chamber be forthwith transmitted to the Lords.

Ordered &c. That it be referred to the Committee of accounts &illegible; up and state the accounts of Lieut. Col. Lilburne, and to certifie what is due to him to this House.

Ordered that it be referred to the Committee of accounts to call Col. King, and Dr. &illegible; before them, and to state &illegible; accounts, and what is due to Lieut. Col. Lilburne from either of them.

Ordered &c. That Mr. Sam. &illegible; do make the report concerning Lieut. Col. Lilburne touching the businesse of Mr &illegible; on wednesday morning next, the first businesse.

H. &illegible; Cler. Parl. D. Com.

The last of which orders seem to me to be a bug-bear and scare-crow, to fright me from following my petition any further, and gives me some hint who it was that was so hot against me, but for my part I fear the person, nor face, or no man breathing, for Honestly say I, is the best policy, and uprightnesse begets boldnesse, but it is strange to me what Mr. Sam. &illegible; can report of me, seeing to my knowledge) I never speake two words into him in my life, not he to me, but the busines is about Mr. &illegible; from whom I crave neither mercy not favour, for what I said concerning him in the house, I Judg it my duty to do and if it were to do again tomorrow upon the &illegible; grounds I would do it, either against him, or the dearest friend I have upon &illegible; and what can Mr. &illegible; say to me, more then he can to Mr. &illegible; &illegible; who was as deep in the information as myself, and what can he say to either of us, seeing we produced the party to the House that told it us, who for any thing, I know to the contrary, avers it to this day for a truth, although he was imprisoned for it.

But secondly, I much wonder the House, after I have had so much hard and unjust usage from divers of its members, should turn me over to William Prinn, at the Committee of accounts, who I say, hath neither Justice nor honesty in him, and who is my deadly and implacable enemy, as they well knew, and who hath most falsly, maliciously and inverately endeavoured to take away my life from me, by Ivingly and unjustly in his last book accusing me of high Treason: truly when I first heard I was turned over to him, this came into my mind, that it had been a little too grolle in the eies of the world, for my adversaries to have again themselves committed me to prison, but me thoughts I heard some of them say, however we will be even with him, for we will send him to W. P. who will doe the best he can to commit him, if there he should refuse the oath of accounts, or if he cannot get him upon that hugge, he will one way or other vexe him as bad as an imprisonment.

Well, but for all this, to the Committee of accounts I went (and shewed them my orders) where I found William Prinn in the Chaire, and I confesse the Marchants that were of the Committee, used me very civilly, and I laboured to demean my self towards them with respect, but for my antagonist, I found that from him, which before I went I looked for, and after some discourse, he tendred unto me an oath, which was to this effect, that I should swear 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 I refused to take, it being very strange so me considering my case, who in my fore-mentioned petition complain of Col. King to the House, that he not onely keeps my pay from me, that he received for me, but also refuseth to give me a note under his hand, for what was my due under him, and therefore there pray, he may be commanded to do me justice and right; although he hath for a long time refused to do either, and besides (as I told them) I could not upon my oath give them a just account what I had received of Col. King, seeing I lost my papers, &illegible; all my Horses and cloths at &illegible; and was stript naked, and forced in that condition (without either boots or shooes) to march on foot over hedge and dirch (to save my life) about 8. or 10. miles, and never &illegible; that day (to my remembrance) received any pay of him. But saith W. P. if you lost your papers, why might not be lose his, for he was plundered as well as you? To which I answer, He that kept his accounts did not use to goe and fight as I did, and besides, Colonell King though you say he was plundered, yet I avert it &illegible; was not plundered and stript, for he came home in the &illegible; he wore, but I was forced to come without mine: And besides, I was in an Army where there was a Councell of Warre established, and a Committee by Ordinance of Parliament dated January &illegible; 1643. And another dated 10. October, 1644. appointed to look after all such things as by oath was required of me, to give an account of, to whom for my pore J conceive I was to be accountable for any miscarriages, (if any had been) in that Army, and if they be not able to make any just complaint against me, I ought not to be forced by oath to purge my self before a Committee that was not then in being, and for my particular, I &illegible; I would have burnt or &illegible; my Constitution before I would have accepted of it upon the &illegible; demanded of one by this path, and in that very Ordinance it is ordained, that the Earle of Manchesters certificate to two of the Committee, and the Commissary Generall, shall be sufficient authority to them to subscribe our warrants, which shall be sufficient to demand our moneys, for our pay, and for my part I require but the benefit of this Ordinance, which was the declared condition upon which I went on with my imployment there, and this is that I beg, which hitherto hath been denied me, which I conceive is not just.

Again, I shall freely declare the maine reason, which makes me that in point of honesty, in being true to my liberty and freedome (which J call my birthright) I cannot submit to that oath, is this, I conceived all lawes and ordinances in such cases as this is, ought to be universall, to bind all, and not so restrictive as the additionall ordinance of accounts is, which ordinance dated Iune 16. 1645. hath this proviso or exemption (of Peeres, Assistant, or Officer of the House of Peeres, or Member, or Officer of the House of Commons) for my part, I iudge myself as free a man (though otherwise I defate not to make any comparisons) as any of them, and I conceive, I ought not to be in bondage to that Law or Ordinance, that they themselves will not stoop unto, and that which confirmes my judgement herein is, their owne words in their booke of Declarations, fol. 694. where answering the Kings charge laid upon them in point of slavery (they say) for therein we must needs be as much patients as Agents, and must every one in our owne turne suffer our selves, whatsoever we should impose upon others, as in nothing we have laid upon others, we have ever refused to doe, be suffer our selves, and that in a high proportion.

But lest some men might think I had received great store of monies, and not disposed them according to the ends I received them for, and therefore avoid this oath, to keep in my hands what I have I answer, all the while I was with Col. King, the Souldiers were frequently mustred, and most constantly not one passed the muster, unlesse he were upon the place, although he were seek in the same Towne where they were paid, and though I often gave my receit for the money to Colonell Kings servant Thomas Howett, who paid the money, yet most commonly my Lieutenant received the money, and disposed (I dare say) faithfully and iustly, and if either he or I should have defranded any of them but of six pence, we should have been sure to have heard of it to our shame, and for my owne pay, so much of it as I received, it was from his man (Thomas Howett) who alwaies had my &illegible; my hand for it: And from before Newark businesse, till we marched in Banbury, I never received a penny for my selfe, either of him, or my Lord Manchester, which then was but six weekes halfe pay, and because my souldiers were promised six weekes pay, as the rest of the Army had, and had but three weekes pay sent them, which set them all in a mutiny at Northampton, in the appeasing of which, J had almost lost my life amongst them, and was necessitated at &illegible; (to get them to match) to pay the common souldier all my own pay, and all my Officers, and to ingage my credit to them for their money, which wee received at &illegible; And after this, there was at severall times paid to my Selfe and Officers, seven weekes pay: as I remember, so that there never came any quantitie of money into my hand; and as I said before, we had a Committee and a Counsell of Warr to oversoe us, that we did justice, and if the least cattle could have beene found against men (of all the men in the Armie) I was sure to have heard of it. And as for Horses and &illegible; I never had to &illegible; remembrance from the State for my selfe, either Horse, Saddle &illegible; Pistoll, but what I won with my Sword, and for my Regiment, I and the rest of my Officers, recruited it over and over both with Horse and Armes, with our industry and resolution, without 6. d. charge to the State, and as for free quarter, I never had any all the while I was with Col. King and after I commanded my Dragoones, I and they for the most part &illegible; the bread of leopardy and hazard, being constantly quartered in the desparatest place in the Armie, &illegible; &illegible; as &illegible; be to the enemies Garrisons, which were many in Yorkeshire, where we many times fought both for horse meat and mans meat, and for my part, I thinke this was free prize to us, being not at that time within the possibilitie of Contribution to the Parliament, but J doe confesse some free quarter I had in the Parliaments quarters, but it was not much, as I can clearly demonstrate when time comes I shall receive my money, and I should upon that condition I might have into supply my necessities, allow a great for every penny worth of free quarter I have really had, although I have three severall times beene pillaged to a good value, and although I have &illegible; a good while for my pay, and although I have spent within lesse then this twelve months, above 300. l. in seeking for it, which in my apprehension is very hard, considering that &illegible; as divers of the Committee of &illegible; affirme in their printed Articles against him, that he received of them and their countrey about 10000. † to pay his Officers and Souldiers, yea, and I say divers of them told me he had divers thousands of pounds from them while we were at Newarke for that end: and yet be never had the honesty to let me have one farthing of it, and also received provisions of the Countrey, gratis, (as by divers I was truly informed) and made most constantly both Officers and Souldiers to buy it.

And my Lord of Manchesters provision of money by Ordinance, to pay his Armie was very large, and the Countreys made us beleeve they made very good payment, and yet if all the rest were like my particular, we received but a very small proportion of it, which makes me wonder what &illegible; &illegible; of the rest; surely it is either in those mens pockets that hath no right to it, or else it is sunke into the ground, foe by the Ordinance of the 22. Ianuary 1643. and others, the allowance is 8449. l. a weeke, besides the &illegible; of the five and twentieth part, and also the third part of the Sequestrations, which were worth not a little, and for my part I doe seriously protest, J spent a great deale of my owne money, besides the pay I received in my Lord of Manchesters service, and therefore doe iustly expect the performance of the Covenants and Contracts, made with me by Ordinance of Parliament, having faithfully performed my part, and this is but first (in my iudgement) both by the law of nature, the law of nations, and the law of God, which saith Levit. 19. 13, Thou shall not defraud thy Neighbour, neither rob him. The wages of him that is hired, shall not abide with thee all night, untill the morning. And &illegible; &illegible; 14, 15. Thou shall not oppresse in hired servant that is poore and needy, whether he be of thy bee then, or of thy strongers &illegible; are in thy land, within thy &illegible; At this day their shall give him his hire, neither shall the &illegible; goe downe upon it, for he is poore, and setteth his heart upon it, least he cry against thee unto the Lord, and it be sin unto thee, and in the &illegible; of Jer. 13. God pronounceth a woe against all such men, as detaine and keepe backe, the hirelings, and the servants wages, the words are these. Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousnesse, and his Chambers by wrong, that useth his neighbours service without wages, and giveth him not for his worke. Yea and God threateneth to iudge such men at thus practice, &illegible; 3. 5. And I will come neete to you to iudgement, and J will be a swift witnesse against the &illegible; and against the Adulterers, and against false Swearers, and against those that oppresse the Hiteling in his wages, the Widdow, and the Fatherlesse, and that turne aside the Stranger from his right, and feare &illegible; me saith the Lord of Hosts.

But you will say the State wants money, and therefore cannot pay you. To which I answer of have before declared that the Parliament by their owne Ordinances did provide a sufficient proportion for us, which the Countrey saith, they made pretty good payment of, and seeing it was provided for us, and we received it not, wee ought to know what is become of it, and for my part I am resolved before I will loose &illegible; I will doe the best I can to know what is become of it, though I bee &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; a body for my points.

But it &illegible; &illegible; that much of it was laid out by the Parliaments after appointment see other uses then to the payment of that Armie for which it was raised, to which I answer, that in iustice it ought to be repaid &illegible; againe, and truly I doe conceive &illegible; &illegible; there were a Just strict and severe course taken with all Sequestrators, Collectors, Receivers and Treasurers, that have cozoned the state of their mony in their &illegible; offices, there would be mony enough (I verily beleeve) found to defray all charges, for there is a greater reason (in my Judgment) that he should &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; hundreds and thousands from the State (yea and other hazard the &illegible; it &illegible; of supply, and breeds &illegible; burning &c. which in time may break out into very great mischiefes) then &illegible; steales 5. s. or 6. &illegible; or more, and it may be doth it for pure necessitie, having it may be lost all he hath by the enemie and hath also his &illegible; &illegible; from him, and hath not at present a bit of bread to put into his mouth, nor knowes not where to get any.

And I have &illegible; &illegible; of a Committee &illegible; it London that received betwixt two and three thousand pounds for sequestred goods, and never &illegible; for pence of &illegible; for the &illegible; and yet when they come to give up their accompts, they are not &illegible; to the State, but the State is in their debt for their partner and &illegible; the same Committee hath &illegible; &illegible; 40 and 50000l. in land, in a Countrey of &illegible; and &illegible; London, and yet there is not (as I am &illegible; &illegible;) &illegible; I. brought to accompe; so that laying these things together with it. Parliaments &illegible; &illegible; in &illegible; of their Declarations, I cannot thinke that saith bee &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the price of my blood) &illegible; first &illegible; in &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of &illegible; they &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; them, that every &illegible; &illegible; good service &illegible; &illegible; to be done &illegible; Commander or Souldier serving or to &illegible; therein, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; answer the greatnesse of this Kingdome &illegible; the &illegible; of &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; him, of &illegible; made the &illegible; they intended alike to all &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible;

And secondly, in page &illegible; they declare, that whatsoever money, Plate, &c. is brought in, shall not at all be imployed upon any other occasion then to the purpose they pretend to raise it for, and therefore the moneys levled upon the Association which was appointed to pay the Earle of Manchesters Armie, ought to be imployed for that end and no other.

Thirdly, Their words in folio 498. being then in great straites ares and we doe require all those that have any sence of piety, honour, or compassion, to helpe a distressed state, and to comein to our ayde and assistance, words sufficient to have set the heart of every man a fire, that hath any sparkes of gallantry in his breast, and therefore not easily to be forgotten by those that made them, if there be any sparkes of honesty in their hearts.

In the last place, the Parliament orders that the Vote formerly passed in this house concerning the proceedings against Lieu. Col. Lilburne in the Star-Chamber be forthwith transmitted to the Lords, and likewise ordered that my sine should be taken of, which single Order I got transmitted up to the Lords, and in a few dayes it there passed into an Ordinance in these words.

&illegible; Primo die Decemb. 1645.

IT is this day ordered by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, that Lieu. Col. Lilburne be discharged of the fine set upon him in the Star-Chamber.

John Browne Cleric. Parliamentorum.

But although this order of the 10. Novemb. 1645. for the transmission of my whole case up to the Lords, I cannot get it done by all the interest I have, although contrary to the tenour of Magna Charta (which saith iustice and right we will deny to none, we will deface to none) I have waited almost this 5. yeares, for that very end, to my extraordinary charge, and expences, although I had these Votes and Orders following, almost 5. yeares agoe.

Die &illegible; 4. May. &illegible;

Mr. Rouse this day reported John Lilburne 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 John Lilburne is illegall, and against the libertie of the Subiect, 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 Dr. Bastwicks, Dr. Leighton, Mr. Barton, and Mr. Prin.

Hen. &illegible; Cler.

D. Com.

The Parliament in their first Declaration pag. 13. complaines that multitudes were called to the Councell-Table, who were tyred with long attendance there, but I wish they would be quicker, but what should be the reason I do not know, wherefore I cannot get my case transmitted, I would those that hinder it would tell me, I should exspect no justice from them, and this would be plain dealing, I hope I may without offence (making no application of it) resite what Machiavel in his Prince fol. 138 saith of Alexander 6. that he never did any thing else then deceive men, and never meant otherwise, and alwaies found whom to work upon: yet never was there man would protest more affection, nor aver any thing with more solemn oaths and observe them lesse then he, therfore saith Machiavel, it is more advantagious for a Prince to seem to be pitifull, faithfull, mild, religious, and of integrity, then to be so indeed, and saith the Translator in his Epistle to the Reader, their are many who practise Machiavels principles, and yet condemn him, who willingly (saith he) would walk as Theeves do, with close lanthornes in the night, that they being &illegible; and yet seeing all, might surprize the unwary in the dark.

But it may be demanded who would you have your reparations from? I answer, from those that lawlesly imprisoned me, and those that lawlesly and cruelly passed sentence against me, and those that lawlesly and barbarously made &illegible; order against me.

At the inner Star-Chamber the 18. of &illegible; &illegible; 1638. &illegible;

Lord Arch-Bishop of Canterbury. Lord Privie Seale. Lord &illegible;
Lord Keeper. Earl Marshall. Lord &illegible;
Lord Treasurer. Earl of Salisbury. Mr. Secretary Cooke,
Mr. Sec. Windebanke.

Whereas John Lilburne, prisoner in the Fleet, by sentence in Star-Chamber, &illegible; this day suffer condigne punishment for his severall offences, by whipping at a &illegible; and standing in the &illegible; and as their Lordships were this day inforthed, during the time that his body was under the said execution, undaciously and wickedly, did not onely utter sundry scandalous speeches, but likewise scottered divers Copies of seditious books among the people that beheld the said execution, for which very thing (among other offences of like nature) he hath been censured in the said Court by the aforesaid sentence: it is therefore by their Lordships ordered, that the said Iohn Lilburn should be laid alone, with from on his hands and legges in the Wards of the Fleet, where the basest and meanest sort of prisoners are used to be put, and that the Warden of the Fleet take especiall care to hinder the resort of any persons whatsoever unto him. And particularly that he be not supplied with money from any friend, and that he take especiall notice of all letters, writings, & books brought &illegible; him, and seize and deliver the same unto their Lordships, and take notice from time to time who they be that resort unto the said person &illegible; the said Lilburne, unto speak with him, and inform the board thereof. And it was Iustly ordered, that all persons that shall be hereafter produced, to receive corporall punishment; according to sentence of that Court, or by order of the board, shall have their garments searched before they be brought forth, and neither writing nor other thing suffered to be about them, and their hands likewise to be bound during the time of their punishment. Whereof, together with the other premises, the said Warden of the Fleet is hereby required to take notice, and to have especiall care that this their Lordships order be accordingly observed.

Examined by Dudly Carleton.

Besides these above-named, the most of which were present at my sentence (&illegible; I remember) there was my Lord Chiefe Iustice Bramston, and Sir Henry Vane the elder. And Dr. Lamb, Dr. Aliote, and Dr. Guine committed me.

But some may say your Antagonists are great, and it will be hard to get justice of them, I answer and say, a just and a righteous Iudge is no respecter of persons, but will do justice upon great ones as well as mean ones.

But some will say (is it hath been objected by some to me already) what justice can you exspect from the Lords, seeing they have made Mr. Peter Smart spend 4. or 500 l. with following his businesse before them, after it was transmitted from the House of Commons, and yet he hath not got one penny, although he be ready to starve. To which I answer and confesse it is a hard case, but yet it doth not therefore follow, because Mr. Smart is foyled in his businesse, that I must give over ruine, my principle is this, to go on with that busines that is iust and honest, though it have never so many difficulties accompanying it, and my ground ariseth from Gods promise, which is, &illegible; be with his in all just things, and from those incouragements that I find in the 12, Heb Again, if I be transmitted up to the Lords, and cannot get forward there, I am no worse then now I am but I confident beleeve I shall get forward, out of the former experiencies of that justice that I have found there, and I will instance 2. particulars, first when I was a prisoner in the Fleet, and had like to have beene murthered by the jaylors, I was laine to &illegible; up my door, and keep them out of my lodging for 17. weeks together, and in &illegible; &illegible; of my &illegible; I writ an Epistle in 2. sheets of Paper to the Magistrates of London, and one sheet to the prentices thereof, which was thrown among them one day when they were at their recreations in Moor-fields, which had like to have &illegible; the Bishop of Canterburies ruine, for the throwing of which, my maid was taken and carried before Sir Marrit Abbet, then Lord-Mayor of London, where there was witnesse that appeared to justifie the thing to &illegible; upon which the Lord-Mayor committed her to prison without a warrant, shewing cause wherefore he committed her, upon which, I in her behalfe the beginning of this Parliament complained of him, for commiting her to prison contrary to law, and Sir Morris was summoned to answer my complaint, and appeared in his gold chain, and velvet gowne, with a great train of Citizens, and I had &illegible; especially that pleaded for me in point of Law, namely, the right honourable the Lord Brooks, and Lord Roberts, and he had &illegible; in especiall manner in plead for him, namely, the Earl of Bristol, and the then Bishop of Lincoin, which 4. did canvas it soundly in point of law, and in the conclusion (&illegible; all the rest of that Committee) ordered Sir Morris Abbot to pay unto her &illegible; l. (which he did) for imprisoning her 3. daies contrary to the petition of Right, which commands the cause of the imprisonment to be expressed in the warrant: &illegible; gallant piece of justice I say.

Secondly, May 4 1641. the King accused me of high Treason, and before the Lords bar was I brought for my life, where although one Littleton servant to the Prince, swore point blank against me, yet had I free liberty to speak for my self in the open House, and upon my desire that Mr. Andrews might also declare upon his oath what he knew about my busines, it was done, and his oath being absolutely contradictory to Mr. Littletons, I was both freed from Littletons malice, and the Kings accusation at the bar, of that whole House: and for my part I am resolved to speak well of those that have done &illegible; justice, and not to doubt they will deny it &illegible; till such time as by experience I find they do it.

Besides, Mr. Smarts case and mine are different in this particular, for any thing J can understand, all those that did him wrong, have their estates sequestred, and the State being in great necessity, it is iudged convenient at present by divers, that the publique should be supplyed before him (though I confesse I conceive he ought in point of law and justice, first to be satisfied, in regard they first wronged him, long before the State tooke any cognisance of any wrong done unto it by them) but for my particular I have not onely to do with those whose estates are sequestred, but some of my adversaries still sit in both Houses, and besides, 1. of them, namely the Earle of Arundel, and the Bishop of London, as I am credibly informed compleatly enjoy their rents and estates, and are neither sequestred, nor are they friends to the Parliament, and therefore I conceive there can be no colour nor pretence to deny me satisfaction from them, and for my part (by the strength of God) J am resolved (though I be repulsed again and again) to follow in with all my might, so long as either I have tongue to speak, or hand to write, and to do the best I can to make them as weary, that I know shall deny me justice and right, as ever the importunate widdow did the unrighteous Judge, when she made him say, although he neither feared God, nor regarded man, yet because she troubled him, he would do her justice, Luke 18. 5.

But it may be you will say the House of Commons is not at leasure, by reason of the publique, I answer, lesse then an hours time will serve my &illegible; in this particular, and it is very strange in 5. yeares space so much time cannot be found from the publique to transmit my busines, so particularly taken notice of in their first declaration to the Kingdom, sure I am they can find time enough to settle great and rich places upon some of themselves, and to enjoy them, for all their own Ordinance to to the contrary, yea, and I know some of them that at this day hath &illegible; of places, and I say the thing I desire of them is more iustly my due, then any of their great places are theirs, and therefore I hope they have no true cause to be angry with me for craving iustice at their hands, being it was the end wherefore they were chosen and &illegible; and that which they have sworn to do.

But you will say the time is not now in point of prudence so seasonable, you may spoyle your businesse with being too violent. I answer, away with Machiavel and his politiques, and besides, it may be I have staid so long, that without ruine and destruction I can stay no longer, for give me leave to add one thing more to all the rest going before, that having by the Bishops means lost the affection of my Father formerly, which made me that I never when I last begun the world, aske him for any portion, neither did I in all my life receive 6. d. of him (for all Bastwicks lies in his book against me) under that notion and consideration, and he and I of late years falling into a better harmony one with another then formerly we were, I iustly expected some assistance from him in my present straits, by way of portion, but I find this answer ready at hand: Son, I would fain fulfill thy desire, but at present I cannot, for thou knowest our Country was betrayed by those that should have preserved it, and for my affection to the publique, I lost all that ever the enemy could singer of mine, namely, all my stock, my corne, and houshold goods, and the rents of my lands, all the time that the Earl of Newcastle had the North, and now though I have my and, yet being in the &illegible; of &illegible; I &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; nor &illegible; had Preparation for any of my &illegible; of the &illegible; of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; their with advantage, who should have preserved &illegible; but did not, so that &illegible; a manner, am as new to begin the world as thy selfe &illegible; should have a little &illegible; &illegible; to have &illegible; some things in our present age, &illegible; those complained of in the Parliaments first Declaration, and from thence &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; (in my apprehension) of all &illegible; obstruction of &illegible; &illegible; in the Kingdom, but I am &illegible; I have been too &illegible; already and therefore &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of that another &illegible; &illegible; you seriously &illegible; and &illegible; upon what here &illegible; &illegible; to you, and be not too subject to passe your &illegible; upon it, untill you have well weighed it, and let him enjoy your &illegible; to God for direction and courage.

From my house in Party &illegible;
neare Bishops gate, this present
Decemb. &illegible; &illegible;

That is yours, and the Common-
Wealths, &illegible; death.

John Lilburne.

&illegible; Reader in regard of those &illegible; &illegible; that are abroad, by the enemies to libertie and freedome, the Stationers and their Beadle &illegible; in &illegible; open free mens houses, closers, &illegible; and dearest, and taking away goods writings and what ever they please, and for want of freedome through &illegible; of them to &illegible; to the &illegible; &illegible; after this my coppie, many &illegible; escaped the &illegible; which I desire thee with thy pen as thou readest to amend, but especially these which follow. [  ] Page 3. line &illegible; read this for the &illegible; 3 &illegible; experiences for &illegible; p. 5 l. 40, r. for a little time put into it, p. 7. l. 5. r. for being &illegible; &illegible; l. 16. r. &illegible; for imployment, p. &illegible; l. 15. r. &illegible; &illegible; for &illegible; only. l. 28. r. as I remember, p. 10. l. &illegible; assisting in execution hereof, p. &illegible; l. &illegible; r. then for them, p. &illegible; l. 2. r. I on thee for I doe on thee. l 16. r. &illegible; for have p. 15. l. 15. r. whether seeing, p. 16 l. 3. r. weekes for &illegible; p. 17. l. 17. r. W. P. for he, p. 18. l. &illegible; r. by whom, for by what authoritie, p. 19. l. 32. r. may not be delayed, p. &illegible; l. 3. r. &illegible; for rights l. 10 r. &illegible; is before mentioned l. &illegible; r. &illegible; for &illegible; p. 21. l. 4. r. right for might be, l. 40. r. &illegible; for &illegible; p. 24 l. 26. r freenesse for friends, p 27. l. &illegible; r. speake for my selfe, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; hee and his for he of his, p. 18. l. &illegible; r. nor for not, p. 29. l. 18. r. and the Prisoners shall pray, &c. p. 12. l. 18. r. &illegible; for &illegible; p. 33. l. 38. r. promise for &illegible; p. 14. l. 7. r. and that at, l. 19. r. but &illegible; &illegible; l. 38. r. &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; p. &illegible; l. 17. r. &illegible; for appropriating, p. 37. l. &illegible; r. for the people &illegible; take cognisance of, l. &illegible; r. were and are for were &illegible; p. 42 l. 21. r. for Capt. for to Capt. p. 43. l. 36. r. false and &illegible; &illegible; 44. r. offer in p. 45. l. &illegible; r. &illegible; for state, l. 30. r. and for his, l. 36 r. to &illegible; to him, p. 46. l. &illegible; r. &illegible; for &illegible; p. 47. l. &illegible; r. times at his tryall produce, l. 34. r. keep no &illegible; l. &illegible; r. &illegible; for &illegible; p. 48 l. &illegible; r. &illegible; for impoverishing, p. 49. being for &illegible; l. 4. r. &illegible; for &illegible; I &illegible; (in a manner) restore, p. 10. l. &illegible; r. them for themselves, p. &illegible; l. 39 r. &illegible; for perish, p. &illegible; l. &illegible; r. &illegible; for &illegible; p. &illegible; l. &illegible; r. aligation for obligation, p. 15. l. 35. r. 12. &illegible; 7. 8, 3. l. 6. p. 56. l. 23. r. time &illegible; p. &illegible; l. 5. r. devoyce for power. l. 17. &illegible; for &illegible; l. 18. r. lawes for Lawyers, p. 60. l. 16. r. 35. for 25. l. 17. r. Kingly for singly, p. &illegible; l. 33. r. and that he, p. &illegible; l. 17. r. never for ever, p. 64. l. 2. r. &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; that you give him your bell, l. 14. r. prosecuting for presenting, p. 65. l. 2. r. that for the, l. 34. r. long for large, p. 67. l. 33. r. of for or, l. 38. r. iudged for iudge, p. 69. l. &illegible; r. his for our, p. 70. l. 22. r. Col. King, p. 71. l. 26. r. thereby hazards the lesse, p. &illegible; l. 14. r. deferre for deface.

T.54 (8.26) Richard Overton, Divine Observations upon the London Ministers Letter against Toleration (24 January, 1646).

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T.54 [1646.01.24] (8.26) Richard Overton, Divine Observations upon the London Ministers Letter against Toleration (24 January, 1646).

Full title

Richard Overton, DIVINE OBSERVATIONS Upon the London-Ministers Letter against TOLERATION: By his Synoddicall, Priest-byter-all, Nationall, Provinciall, Classicall, Congregationall, Superlative, Un-erring, Clericall, Accademicall Holynesse, Reverend Yongue MARTIN MAR-PRIEST, Sonne, and Heire to Old Martin the Metrapolitane. Wherein the Toleration of His Sacred Person with the whole Independent Fraternity, (by what Name or Title soever dignify’d or distinguished, whether Anabaptists, Brownists, or the like,) is justifyed by the Reasons of the London-Ministers, which they urge against Toleration; and themselves, by their own Reasoning, condemned.

Psal. 7. 15. They have made a pitt, and digged it, and are fallen into the ditch that they have made.

1 Cor. 1. 20. Where is the Wise? Where is the Scribe? Where is the Disputer of this world? Hath not God made foolishnesse the wisedome of this world?

The Reverend Authour desires such as have received offence at the 6, 7, and 8. Pages in his Ordinance for TYTHES Dismounted, to repaire for satisfaction to the last Clause hereof.

EUROPE, Printed by Martin Claw-Clergy, Printer to the Reverend Assembly of Divines, and are to be sold by Bartholmew Bang-Priest, at his shop in Toleration-street, at the signe of the Subjects Liberty, right opposite to Persecution-Court. 1646.

Estimated date of publication

24 January, 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 416; Thomason E. 317. (15.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

To Our Reverend, Learned and Religious Brethren, the Prolocutour and the rest of the Assembly of Divines, now sitting in holy Conspiracy at King &illegible; the Seventh’s Chappell, at Westminster, &illegible; by fowl to the Two Houses of Parliament; These present.

REverend and Beloved BRETHREN, (for so I have Authority from your own secred President.) I cannot but take notice of your &illegible; vigilancy, and &illegible; endesvor: after this endlesse worke of Uniformity; that rather then you will loose the vantage of an opportunity, out of your &illegible; Providence, you can even create Opportunity it self, and then like the Godly, able, Orthodox of the Land indeed, most Prudently, in all Presbyterian Pitty, lay hold on the advantage, to consuming your endeavoured Uniformity: for after your so many spirituall, mysticall Conspiracies, the miraculous result of your must Seraphicke late Consultations for its present settlement, both &illegible; my Piety into an holy Admiration, that now I confesse your Policy high surpass’d my Sanctity; for upon the first of January, where the Injunctions &illegible; Generall Assembly in Scotland came into your grave and Learned Assembly against Toleration of Independency in this Kingdom & that read in your Reverend Audience, you had so ordered Superior. &illegible; that even in then very instant of time, (fast as if it had been &illegible;) this Most juditious argumentative Letter of the London Ministers, (from that Syon-Colledge-conspiracy,) should present it self; whereas the Learned Mr. Hinderson, forthwith in a Scotch Rapture, cryed out of the great Providence of GOD, saying, Doubtlesse no other but God was the Father of Two such Blessed Twins! that at one instant of time, so many godly, Learned and Orthodox of the 2. Kingdoms, should so happily concurre and meet with their desires, and advice for this generall Uniformity: Indeed is war a Providence neatly and plausibly &illegible; and doubtlesse would have done the deed, but that there is one thing that spoiles all, The Lord &illegible; the Tokens of Lyars, and maketh Diviners and,Jsai. 44. 25. &illegible; wise men backwards, and maketh their knowledge foolishnesse: But bire’s not all: The Assembly’s Anathama against Toleration, at that instant of time, it given into the HOUSE. O, there’s a Divine Providence indeed! Sure, our Syon Colledge is even Presbyterializ’d into the &illegible; Mobile, or else that supercelestiall Assembly at Westminster is REFORMD into the Emperiall Heaven, that &illegible; &illegible; Providence it self is thus in their dispose; an exaltation even into the Throne of God: Where are our Presbyters &illegible; They even are set as girls in the Temple of God, shewing themselves that they are gods indeed, by the working of Sathan, with all power, and &illegible; and lying wonders: Providence after Providence, &c. to deceive: All which I have &illegible; discovered, and in all Dedicatory humility represent unto your venerable &illegible; those my Observations upon this Letter; that happily you may take notice therein of a &illegible; Providence of God indeed, that such Godly, Learned, Orthodox Divines, &illegible; the Ministers of the City of London, should be so &illegible; in their wisedome, that their reasons against Toleration should inevitably conclude Toleration, condemne themselves, and their Presbytry, which I have endeavoured to evidence to the whole world, and leave it to the publike Tryall, either to stand or to fall by such their Reasoning, and against this &illegible; proffer, to have our &illegible; tryed by their own touch-stone, the Presbyters themselves cannot except: If I &illegible; then let me &illegible; your Churches &illegible; which themselves are pleased to put upon it, a Coat of divers Colours, pag. 1. Thus then for the prizse.


When all &illegible; are examined by the Word, then that which is best may be held fast.

Martin. This plainly grants an equity to the holding fast, or practising that with all freedome, which every man in his own understanding, by such examination shall so discover; or otherwise, Wherefore shall any have liberty of Examination after their understandings, seeing otherwise they cannot examine, if after their understandings, they may not practise, for what is written, is written for our learning, and consequently for our Practise; So that your Monopolizing all Liberty and Judgement into your own hands, is condemned by the equity of your owne Argument; If you will be sole Judges, you may besole Examiners too, for after wee have examined, if your judgement &illegible; us the practise, wee are never the neere, for Faith without Workes &illegible; dead. Wee may be sure, what ever our Examination &illegible; which entrencheth upon your Lordliness over your Brethren, &illegible; Pompe and Preheminence, your Ordinance for Tythes, your Congregationall, Classicall, Provinciall, Nationall Courts, &c. to expect determination concerning the same, to be of like effect, with that of the Lord Bishops, when it was put to Vote in the Lords &illegible; whether the Bishops had a Right by Law to Vote therein; Or like into your Answer given by your Committee, to Mr. Tomber 12. Arguments against Infant, Baptisme specifyed in his &illegible; pag. 2. Or rather more like unto the Answer which &illegible; the High-Priest gave unto Paul, when he had declared, that he had lived in all good Conscience unto that day: &illegible; him on the mouth, (Acts 23. 1, 2.) with the Presbyterian clutter-fist of iniquity.

Lond. &illegible; The &illegible; and endeavours of the Independents Toleration, at this time extreamly it unseasonable and &illegible; &illegible; 1. The Reformation of Religion is not yet &illegible; and setled among us, according to our Covenant: And why may not the Reformation be raised up at last to such purity and perfection, that truly tender Consciences may receive abundant Satisfaction, for ought that yet appeares?

Martin. But what Reformation is that, according to the Covenant, that you intend, till which our endeavours are extreamly unseasonable and &illegible; Sure wee must accept it in your owne Presbyterian sense, and what that is, is evident to the whole world, by your Pollitick endeavours, both private and publick, to be no other, but an absolute enslaving both of Parliament and People unto your Presbyterian Dictates in all matters Evangelicall and Spirituall; which is no other, but the very Spirit, Marrow, root, and Quinticense of Popery, against which, that very Covenant, in its genuine intent, expresly doth engage us and our Posterity in the fundamentall Extirpation thereof out of the Three Kingdomes; for indeed that preheminence is no other but an absolute Arrogation of Popish Supremacy, and spirit of Infallability, for plurallity of Persons in that arrogation, doth not alter the nature and essence of the thing arrogated, it is as well Popish Supremacy in a Synod, Classis, or the like, as in one man.

So that our Covenant doth engage us in the totall Extirpation of LORD PRESBYTERS, their Classes, Ordinances, &c. as well as of their Grandfather the Pope, their Fathers the Lord &illegible; their Courts, &illegible; &c. before them: Well, &illegible; it seems till this Popish &illegible; Prerogative (the &illegible; of your &illegible; after your sense of the Covenant) be absolutely &illegible; you judge it unseasonable and &illegible; Truly, (&illegible; end and beloved &illegible;) I submit unto your judgements herein, for to &illegible; is in the End, to crush the &illegible; in the shell, to prevent this approaching Papall &illegible; Tyranny and &illegible; of our Birthrights by the Independents Indeavours for a timely Toleration, before it be absolutely Presbyterian, will utterly annihilate and frustrate your designe, so that in your sense, it must needs be extreamly unseasonable indeed, when our mouthes are sowed up, our hands tyed behind us, our feet-fettered, then in your Presbyterian sense, comes in Our Season; &illegible; if before it he unseasonable and preproperous, that implyes, that then it will be seasonable; when the &illegible; is &illegible; you will give us leave to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Indeed we are obliged to &illegible; &illegible; Sanctities in the &illegible; degree, that you will be but pleased to &illegible; &illegible; mouth with a &illegible; Before, it is too soon, and after, it will be too late: And thus the truly tender Consciences may receive abundant satisfaction for ought that yet appeares, have their Persons banish’d or imprisoned, their goods Plundered and confiscate, their houses pull’d downe, and &illegible; made of the Timber to hang their tender Consciences out, to take the Presbyterian Ayre; soe no better as yet appeareth, and this is already evident both in their Writings and Sermons: (See &illegible; Sermon before the House, latter and of his Book.) And if they thus shew their teeth before they have full power to bite what will they doe, when their power is absolute; their &illegible; will be &illegible; if the future may be indged by the present, as all the &illegible; of the Wicked &illegible; Prov. 12. 10. And then wee shall be same (they having all Judgement in their hands) none shall be judged to be of truly &illegible; Consciences, but such as are Presbyteriall, such as will be awed ly their Power and Tyranny, the rest must stand upon their &illegible; Well, wee must stay till Reformation, according to the Covenant, be &illegible; setled, and what your sense is, is evident; but what Reformation is that the Covenant it self doth intend? Is it not a Reformation (after the &illegible; Letter of it) according to the Word of God? As for your Presbytery, though by your selves, in your late Petition for it’s establishment, &illegible; and &illegible; it to be the Ordinance of Jesus Christ, yet in the Judgement of the Parliament, it was Voted false and scandalous, and the highest title they ever voted upon it, was &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; therefore, not jure Divine: and it not jure Divine, then our Covenant which doth engage &illegible; in a Reformation, according to the Word of God, which is such an one, as is absolutely jure Divine, doth not engage &illegible; at all &illegible; Presbytrie, which by the Parliaments &illegible; confession, &illegible; but jure divine but rather to be &illegible; and the Parliament themselves, if they will but practise according to their owne Votes, cannot &illegible; us thereto by &illegible; of our Covenant, but are to Protect us and our Posterity from it; not suffering Presbytery no more then Papistry and &illegible; which are but jure &illegible; to insult and &illegible; over us, our Conscience, Persons or Estates; for if by our Covenant they be bound to safe-guard Us from the &illegible; of Papistry and &illegible; (the Two first divisions of the great City Babylon,) because they are but jure &illegible; then they are equally thereby bound to Protect us from the Tyranny and Oppression of Presbyters, (the third Division,) for themselves say, it is but jure &illegible; And yet, forsooth, you challenge the Precedency, your &illegible; be served first, as though you were the Children, and the Independents the &illegible; The Independents might rather &illegible; that the endeavours of the Presbyters are &illegible; and &illegible; till Independency be setled; for the Parliament never yet Voted Independency to be jure &illegible; neither are your selves able to prove it so to be.

Lon. Min. 2. It is not yet &illegible; what the Government of the Independents is, &illegible; would they ever &illegible; to let the world know what they &illegible; in that point, &c.

Martin. If it be unseasonable (according to your reasoning,) for such Independents, whose Government is not made known to the World; (for that is the reason of your Argument, for you state the unseasonablenesse in the non-knowledge, &c.) then for such whose Government is made knowne, must needs be seasonable, after the same reasoning.

But Reverend MARTIN, with his Brethren, where you dignify and &illegible; by the names of &illegible; &illegible; &c. have declared their Discipline to the whole World, &illegible; by their Preachings, Writings, and &illegible; practise, even unto this day: See the Confession of the 7. Churches. See Mr. Turners model, &illegible; An &illegible; &illegible; for &illegible; &illegible; Therefore the endeavours of Reverend MARTIN, and his Independent Brethren, must now be seasonable, ever from your own reasoning.

But I must needs tell you by the way, you need not much urge the only seasonablenes of yours from the knowledge thereof: I pray you, what is it? can you tell your selves? You tell the Independents of their reserves, but what may they say of yours? for wee have yours but in part, and that neither presented, but by Peece-meals; now a little, and then a little, and still reserves in the rear, yea innumerable, still, for any thing we can perceive, which are but yet hammaring out to the temper of the People; what they are, is best known to your selves: what is knowne, is not so beautifull, as to make all others unseasonable and præpreperous: If drawn into a Modell, I think it will rather affright then allure; for in the Bulke, it is no other then a Bundle of Tyrannicall Ordinances, and wicked Lawes over our Consciences, Persons, and Estates, to corment us in endlesse Suits and Appeales from Court unto Court, Congregationall, Classicall, Provinciall, Nationall, &c. with mercilesse Mulcts and Penalties upon our Persons, as your Thundering Ordinance for the Covenant, your Plundering Ordinance for Tythes, your Monopolizing Ordinance for Preaching, your Romish Episcopall Ordinance for Ordaining of Ministers, your devouring Ordinance for the better establishment of your Directory, your High-Commission, Star-chamber Ordinance for the Lords Supper, &c. witnesse to the whole World: and truly, whether this Presbyterian Modell of your Government be so honourable, to make all others unseasonable, I leave to the woefull experience of those against whom this Modell of Ordinances is in force, yea, even to the whole World, to judge.

But not to detract from the integrity of those Independents, you here intend, it is evident, that hitherto the Assembly have suppress’d the bringing in of their Modell, that they (by all their unwearied endeavous, could never attain an equall and just liberty thereunto, either by dispute or otherwise, as the copy of their Remonstrance touching that businesse doth declare. Now let the World judge, whether this be fair and reasonable dealing, such as becomes the Ministers of the City of London. First to suppresse the delivery, and then like Scholast Synodicall Disputants, to urge the non-delivery, as an Argument against their Toleration. ’Tis a slout Argument, if but followed; If it be in force to any, it is to the suppressors not the suppressed.

Lon. Min. Secondly, their desires and endeavours are unreasonable, and unequall its divers regards. 1. Because no such Toleration hath been established (so farre as we know,) in any Christian state, by the Civill Magestrate.

Martin. It seems Holland, Poland, Transilvania, &c. where free Toleration of all sorts of Independents is established by Civill Magestrates, are not Christian States, because they are not wholly Presbyterializ’d, Tolerating none but Presbyterian: So that in your sense, they are no further Christian then they are Presbyterian: So that if this Parliament should tollerate any other but your selves, it seems you make account to Unchristen them all, your Bull is prepared against them, you have told them what they must expect, the censure of Infidells, Heathens and Hereticks, an Excommunication ipso facto, for they must not be Christian. But in case there were no such Toleration in any State professing Christianity, yet that were no Argument against Toleration, for Evangelicall Precept is not derivative from Humane President: The practise of Emperours, Kings, States or the like, is no Evangelicall Rule; for Evangelicall Right, must have Evangelicall Authority, which one would have thought had been known to Evangelicall Ministers, such as you stile your selves.

Lon. Min. 2. Because some of them have solemnely profess, that they cannot suffer Presbytry, and answerable hereto is their practise in those places where Independency prevailes; Therefore their Toleration is unreasonable and unequall.

Martin. If their Toleration be unreasonable and unequall, because some of them solemnly professe, (which I scarse beleeve,) that they cannot suffer Presbytry; then by the same reason, the Toleration of Presbytry is much more unreasonable, and unequall, because all of them doe solemnly professe, that they cannot, neither will they suffer Independency; though Independents could suffer them, would but the Parliament, according to their own Covenant and Lawes, knock off their Horns, pluck out their Tusks, break their Jaws, pare their Nailes, that they neither Push, goar, trush, bite, scratch or devour any more: for if it be in force to all, for that denyall by some, it is much more forceable to all, where all deny: So that, if the denyall of Toleration be a sufficient Argument, (as it seems according to the Reason of the Lon. Min.) against the Toleration of such denyers, then what must become of the Presbyters? The same pit that they have digged for others, they must be consent to fall into it themselves.

Lon. Min. Many mischieses will inevitably follow upon this Toleration, and that both upon Church and Common-wealth. First to the Church.

Bitten heart-burnings among Brethren, will be fomented and perpetuated to Posterity.

Mar. The reason of this Argument in this; That which will occasion heart-burnings, foment and perpetuate them to posterity, is not to be tollerated in a Common-wealth. Therefore, if I prove an Universall Tolleration will be an occasion of allaying of heart-burnings to posterity, Persecution the contrary, then by the Argument of the Lon. Min. such Tolleration is lawfull, and that which they so ignorantly prosecute, unlawfull.

That which occasioneth murmurings, repinings, fears, jealousies, conspiracies, insurrections, rebellions, &c. begetteth heart-burnings, and perpetuates them to Posterity; and so by your Argument, not to be Tollerated: And on the contrary, That which doth not beget murmurings, &c. doth not beget heart-burnings, or perpetuate them to Posterity, but tendeth to alloy them, and prevent them, and so by your own reasoning to be tollerated.

But Persecution, or Non-Tolleration which you plead for, occasioneth and begetteth murmurings, repinings. &c. for it enrageth the Conscience, then which, nothing is more neare and dear unto us, and a wounded Conscience, (saith Solomon,) who is able to bear it? Wee had rather loose our lives then deny our Faith; and what will not men doe for their lives? this suggesteth and provoketh to Conspiracies, Jnsucrections, Rebellions, &c. as Holland, France, Germany, Jreland, Scotland and England &c. have felt by woefull experience: Nothing is more desperate and resolute, then an enraged Conscience, it is of a Lyon-like nature in its fury, it beareth on a man, even to the shedding and laying down of his life; no dangers, no attempts, though never so difficult, never so desperate, can beare it down; it will venture, though it perish, and on the contrary, (to usemine own words in the Arraignment, pag. 12.) it is a Lambe, if appeased, and nothing more mild, more gentle and loving then it. Enraged, it is like the wild bure out of the Forrest; pleased, it is like the Dove from the Arke; no greater friend, no greater foe; Oppression (saith the Wise man) will make a wise man mad; a very worme will turne again, if troad upon; It may beget wrath, but never can beget Love, and that which doth so, must needs beget heart-heart-burnings and perpetuate them to posterity; Therefore by your owne grant, not to be Tollerated: Thus the Fowlers are caught in their owne snare.

Lond. Min. The life and power of godlinesse, will be eaten out by frivilous Disputes, and vaine janglings.

Mart. The Reason of this Argument, is this, That which cateth out the life and power of godlinesse, in the judgement of the Lon. Min. is not to be tollerated. Whence I Reason.

That which preventeth the breaking and spreading forth of Knowledge in the Word of God, esteth up the life and power of godliness.

But Non-tolleratition, your silensing all Disputes, tryall of Doctrines, and confining unto all your Dictates, preventeth & suppresseth the breaking forth, encrease and growth of knowledge; for by faire and equall Reasonings, and tryall of Doctrine, light would daily break forth and encrease; as common experience doth witnesse.

How could you have been converted to Presbytry? How could the Rottenness of Popery, Episcopacy, &c. have been discovered, and spread through the Kingdome, had it not been for Preachings, Writings, Disputations, tryall of Doctrine, &c.

Therefore your Non-Tolleration, and suppressing of all Disputes, &c. cateth up the life and Power of Godlinesse; and therefore not to be setled.

Thus farre the London-Ministers and MARTIN are agreed: Surely their Letter is a close couched Presbyterian Designe of comming over to Independency; He promise you, this is a faire step at the first, and pretty cunningly carried: we gratulate our so happy concurrence; Sirs, You are all heartily welcome to our Sanctuary in TOLERATION-STREET, and we acknowledge our selves deeply engaged to the London Ministers, for their good service to our cause: Be therefore encouraged, Reverend & beloved Brethren, goe on and prosper, wee are not offended at your Policy, to Reason thus covertly for us; wee well know, that Rome was not built in a day.

But let us proceed, and see what further Assistance your Reasons affords.

Lond. Min. The whole course of Religion in private Families will be incorupted and undermined.

The Reason of which Argument is this.

Martin. That which interrupteth and undermineth the course of Religion, in private Families, is not to be setled.

The edge of which Reason, I thus turne against you.

That which tendeth to the making of Hypocrites, Fearers, and pleasers of men more then of God, must needs interrupt and undermine the purity of Religion in private Families.

But the coercive Power, which you so plead for, doth so, for &illegible; &illegible; multitudes, (as common experience doth too much &illegible;) for fear of bodily punishment, deprivation of their goods, losse of their Places, Trading, &c. to dissemble with their Consciences, even practise contrary thereto, and temporise with the Time, which is an absolute perversion of the power of Godliness in them Therefore.

Lon. Min. Reciprocall duties between Persons of neerest and &illegible; relation, will be extreamly violated.

Mar. The reason hereof is, That which is destructive to reciprocall duties, is to be abominated; the which I thus retort upon your owne heads. That which setteth Father against &illegible; sonne against Father, &illegible; freiad against another, King against Parliament, Parliament against King, Kingdom against Kingdome, and divideth Nations and People amongst themselves, and enrageth them one against another, extreamly violated. Reciprocall Duties betweene Persons of neerest and dearest relation.

But so doth Persecution; For where this principle it, of foreing the contrary-minded, will they, will they, it engendereth and begetteth feares and jealousies one of another; and when one knoweth the other is his mortall enemy, it maketh each other to stand in defyance and defence one against the other, even to the drawing of the sword, especially when one thinks he can conquer the other, which makes them lie in wait for blood, witnesse our Armies of this Kingdome; and hereupon they wallow in one anothers blood: Yea, what will not the oppressed doe against the oppressour; Tyranny is the another of Conspiracies, &illegible; Repinings, &c, which at length break forth (after they have gotten strength,) into open Rebellions, Insurrections, &c. Therefore Non-Toleration extreamly violateth reciprocall dueties between Persons of nearest and dearest Relation.

Lon. Min. 9. 10. All &illegible; Sects &c. (See the Letter.)

Mar. The marrow of these two is this, That Independency is not to be Tolerated, because other Sects and Heresies, under that notion, will seek to be tollerated: But in case they should not, them by the vertue of your Argument, it should be tollerated: So that, by your own grant, its Toleration is only accidentally unequall; not absolutely in respect of it self; but casually in respect of others. Therefore, why are you so &illegible; against the equity of its Toleration, seeing from your own Argument, it is equall. If it be good to tolerate that, and evill to tolerate &illegible; &c. you must not forbeare the good, to avoid the evill, doe evill, that good may come of it, but must doe the thing that is just and equall in it self; that is, tolerate the Independents, whom you title Brethren, godly and learned, and doe to them, as you say of them, what ever becomes of us; wee neither expect nor crave your mercy: If we cannot have Justice on earth, wee appeal unto the God of heaven, and meekly and freely submit, to suffer for his Name, with our hearts rejoycing, that wee can be counted worthy so to doe.

L. Min. Secondly, (mischiefs) to the Common-wealth; for thereby the Kingdome will be weakned by Scandalls and Divisions, &c.

Mart. The reason of this Argument is, That which tendeth not to keep all in Peace and Civill Society, but reduceth them to Divisions and scandals, that is not to be established by your thus reasoning: But Non-toleration keepeth not all, but one predominant Sect in Unity, dividing all others from it; persecuting, reviling, upbraiding, and reproaching them, though never so honest, godly, conscienscious, sober, meek, and neighbourly, with lyes, scandalls, nick-names, as Anabaptists, Brownists, &illegible; Hereticks, &illegible; new wandering Blazing-Starres & Firebrands, pernitious matiners, &illegible; Generation, schismaticall, Anti-Parliamentary, &illegible; &illegible; daring, presumptuous, &illegible; libellous, scandalous, seditious, insolent, blaspheraous, seditious Trampetiers, revilers of God, despisers of Government, resisters of Higher power, stirrers up of Sedition and insurrection, Anabaptisticall Sectaries, New furious Sectaries, &illegible; conspiratours, &illegible; of Parl. Anti-covenanters, audatious, contemptuous Libellers, New furious Ringleaders of Sedition, House-creepers, Incendiaries, Royling Rabshakeh’s publick &illegible; Affronters of Parl.*blasphemers against the Assembly of Diviner, &. which are no other then termes of provocation and wrath of vengeance and ignomy, tending to the breach of the generall &illegible; of Unity, Peace, and Civill Society, which must needs extreamly weaken the Kingdom, for the Kingdome lies in the Unity of the People. Therefore your Non-Toleration ought in no wise to be established.

L. Min. It is much to be doubted, least the power of the Magestrate, &c. See Letter.

Martin. The reason hereof is, Those that are Anti-Magesteriall, or weaken the Magesteriall Power, are not to be tollerated: But your intended Prelaticall Presbytry is Anti-Magisteriall: &illegible; you have brought your Hogges to a faire market, held in Toleration-street at the signe of the Subjects Liberty, &c.

Minor proved.

Those that would not have all coercive Power in the Magestrates, hands, are Anti-Magesteriall, and weakners of the Magestrates Power.

But Presbytry would not have all coercive Power onely in the hands of the Magestracy, but laboureth to encroach, as much as possibly it can into its own hands, as continued practise doth evidence. Therefore, by the London Ministers own reasoning, Presbytry is Anti-Magesteriall, and not to be setled.

On the contrary. Those that would have all Civill Power, preserved intire in its own proper Magesteriall compasse, are not in the least Anti-Magisteriall.

But Reverend MARTIN, with his Independent Brethren, would have it intirely preserved in its own Magesteriall compasse; they would not have it wrested or perverted to this or that Sect, to this or that Religion, but would have it, yet, expose their lives to have it preserved precisely in its own property.

Therefore, Reverend MARTIN, and his Brethren are not Anti-Magesteriall: But in all faithfulnesse, acknowledge themselves not onely ly bound to pray for all in lawfull Authority, but even to spend their Lives and Estates in their Just Defence, against all opposition, encroachment and usurpation thereof, whatsoever: And to this our practise, hath given Witnesse, even when Magestracy was in greatest danger of subvertion; for when the Parliament had no other helpe under God, then we stuck closest to them; even, when the King came in a Hostile manner for the 6. MEMBERS in the House; while the degenerate Temporizing Presbyters, stood as farre off, as from Scotland to Westminster; and have continued unspotted in our Fidelity to them, even unto this very day.

And this I dare be bold to affirme, That if the King should conquer and confound the Parliament, the now Parliamentized-Presbyters, even the Clergy in generall, would therewith be Royalized, rather then loose their severall Parsonages, and that which is now Antichristian, Episcopacy, would then be as Christian as ever it was in their esteemes; for they’l tell you, That they must submit unto the Higher Powers, and the Powers that are, are of God; and that cures all.

If you doe but consider, they have even reserv’d an help at a dead lift, they tell us now, That a Bishop and a Presbyter is all one, and thereupon retaine their old Ordination, derived from a forraign Power, and so goe forth, and ordaine other young Bishops; So that if the King should subdue us, they are still in their Episcopall Ministry, and a little Royall Reformation would continue their places. Then they would take Covenants, Preach and pray against the Parliament, as much as ever they did against the King: Thus, rather then they would be confounded themselves, they would let true Magesteriall Parliamentary Government goe to confusion; and in that Day of Tryall, scarce any would be found to witnesse against Him, except the now despised handfull of Separates.

And yet wee must be cast out of the Parliaments Protection, by this Temporizing Faction of Presbyters: Ingratefull Inhumanity! Heare O &illegible; and judge O Earth!

BUt whereas his Holiness, out of a late spirituall Rapture, at that Inquisition Ordinance of the Supper, hath in the 6, 7. and 8. pages of the Ord. for Tythes Dismounted, even spurn’d at Synodean prodigy in the Highest Orbe; whereupon through the weaknesse of some, and malice of others, I am misconstructed to be Anti-Parliamentory: I would have such, the Two Honourable Houses of Parliament, and the whole World know, That there was not, nor is to this day, the least thought, or intent in my heart against Magesteriall Government, either therein, or in any thing else that I have written; And of this I take God to Record, as I shall answer it at the great and Dreadfull Day of Judgement, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed; Onely respecting Presbyterian deprivation, or corruption too much diffused (to my hearts grief) into the Two Houses, by the bewitching subtilty, and over-powering Policy of that prevalent, deceitfull, Synodean Faction; and so my writing there, is not against that High and Honourable Court, or any thing in their Magesteriall capacity, but simply against the Presbyterian Exorbitancy, in the Names of the LORDS and COMMONS stretched beyond the limits and Precincts of their Magesteriall Function. As for the Congregational, Classicall, Provinciall, Nationall Courts and grievances, there mentioned, I was forced, in Equity and Iustice, to use them in their Names, in whose they were owned and published, else how could I have discharged my Duty in the reproofe of the one, or discovery of the other; so than my virulency and bitterings there, is onely against Presbyterian Competitors, and &illegible; into the Office and Royalty of my most Soveraigne Lord, the King of Kings, CHRIST JESUS; against all tyrannicall encroachers, and usurpers of our Birth-rights, Liberties, and freedoms in Persons and Estates, under what pretence, notion or Title soever.

So that in plain English, the proper morrall and genuine intent of those 3. pages, is a meer contestation and defyance of your Presbyterian Tyranny, whether in the name of the two Houses, or otherwise gloss’d or presented; labouring thereby only to brush off the superiour Title of the Two Houses from it, that it might be cleerly discovered in its proper ugly Presbyterian shape, unto the Kingdome; only to pluck off its Parliamentary cloak, that we might the better discerne that Synodean, Presbyteran Monster. That the People, under that specious Magisteriall vizor, may not entertaine that deadly venomous Presbyterian Serpent into their bosomes, and be destroyed unawares.

Thus I am resolved to oppose Tyranny it selfe, where ever I find it, mangre the malice of Devills, and terrour of the mighty Rulers of this Earth, yea, even of the sturdy Presbyters themselves; though I, and all that’s mine perish, Ile doe it: were there a Parliament of no lesse then Emperours, Kings and Princes competitours with it, I would spare them in my just testimony against it, no more then I would so many beggers upon a dunghill, for I have not the truth of my GOD, nor the love of my Country in respect of Persons.

And this my contestation and defyance of Presbytry, is no otherwise against it, but onely as it is Exorbitant, Tyrannicall, Prelatticall, Cruell and Ambitions; as for honest, meek, Evangelicall Presbytry, I am ready, through the Power of my God, to seal it with my blood, even &illegible; of an unfained love thereunto. So that in brief, my enmity is onely against Tyranny, where ever I find it, whether in Emperour, King, Prince, Parliament, Presbyters, or People.

Thus Reader, thou hast my own proper sense, as being best expounder of my own words, for no man knoweth the heart of man, but himself: All other I utterly disclaime, and onely own that fore-mentioned Sense, and thereto subscribe.



Who hath &illegible; the Coat of Divers Colours, MARTIN, or &illegible; London-Ministers?



 [* ] See Prynt Fresh Discovery. pag. 17. Contents of the 4. Sect.

T.55 (8.27) Thomas Johnson, A Plea for Free-Mens Liberties (26 January, 1646)

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.55 [1646.01.26] (8.27) Thomas Johnson, A Plea for Free-Mens Liberties (26 January, 1646).

Full title

Thomas Johnson, A Plea for Free-Mens liberties: or The monopoly of the Eastland marchants anatomized by divers arguments (wch will also serve to set forth the unjustnesse of the marchant-adventurers monopoly,) and proved illegall, unnaturall, irrationall, against the honour of the nation, tending to its ruine and vassalage, procured by evill counsellors: and lastly treasonable: with a short comment upon their oath, worthy of every mans serious perusall. Penned for the publique good, by Thomas Johnson marchant.

Estimated date of publication

26 January, 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 417; Thomason E. 319. (1.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

The Prologue to all the Commons of England.

VVOrthy Freemen of England, the former publique Magistrates of this Kingdom, by their Machivilian empoysoned principles, and specious pretentes of common good, whereas nothing lesse was intended, have most cunningly and frandently cozened you of your native freedoms, to which by the fundamentall lawes and constitutions of the Kingdom, yee were born unto, & secretly by wicked patents have stolne away your Birth-right, to set up the particular and self interests of private societies: One of which I here present to your serious consideration, as a great grievance and burthen under which the honest Clothier especially, and thousands of poore people groane: yee know for what this Kingdom hath almost been wasted to asbes, yee have spent so much of your estates and blood, viz. the subjects liberty, to which all civil government is subservient. My advice to all is this, especially that clothiers and others, who are deeply interessed, that as they love their blooding dying Country, their deliverance from so great a thraldome, they would by patitioning, and all lawfull &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; with the Parliament, for the removall of this and all other pressures. They are bound in duty to God, in justice to you, in discharg all of so great a trust committed into their hands, to ease you of all unjust grievances, intolerable burthens, be therefore active in the work. For very importunities sake, your indeavours will be crowned with a happy successes and (if you &illegible; &illegible;) &illegible; the &illegible; of your &illegible; which shall &illegible; be the desire of &illegible; who is willing to &illegible; you.

Thomas Johnson.

WHosoever survayes this hand in her radiant and shining luster with community and freedom, cannot but say, a &illegible;! oh how great a change I for indeed, this Kingdom is a corporation or society of men under one form of civil government, made by common consene in Parliament, who are all bound by the law, to maintain common freedom, and the generall good of each other.

But particulars, Patent societies swelling with a Iuciserian spirit, in desiring to advance into a higher room then their fellows, did by setuptitlous Patents incorporate themselves, exclusively became destructive to the whole body, and subverters of the true ancient priviledges of the people, and of all societies, those of Marchants are the worst, having no foundation on the lawes; The fellowship and charter of those that stile themselves Marchants of East-land, is a monopoly of this kind, according to the true genuine sence of the word monopoly, relating to a private company, who ascribe unto themselves the sole exercise and benefit of such a trade, wherein every subject hath equall freedome with them, all which this monopoly doth, and is illegal, being contrary to magna Charta, the petition of right, Statutes of monopolies, with divers others, and in particular these 3. following: 1. is of the 14. of Edw. 3. 2. Jrem, Where it is contained in the great Charter, that all Marchants shall have safe and sure conduct to go out of the Realm of England, and to come, and abide, and go through the Realme of England of well by water as by land: we at the request of the Prelates, Earles, Barons, and Commons, will and grant for us, and for our heirs and successors, that all Marchants, Denizens, and Foraigners (except those which be of our enmity) may without let, safely come into the said Realme of England, with their goods and Marchandize, and safely tarry and safely return, paying the customs, subsidies, and other profits reasonably thereof due, so alwaies, that franchise and free customes reasonably, granted by us and our ancestors to the City of London, and other cities and good Towers of our Realm of England, be to them saved. The 2. is of &illegible; Ed. 3. 3. That the ordinance made before this time upon taking of sorts of wools in every County, be wholy nulled and defeated, and that every man, as well stranger as privy from henceforth may buy wool, according as they may agree with the seller, as they were wont to do, before the said ordinances, and that the sea be open to all manner of marchants, to passe with their marchandize where it &illegible; please them. By both these statutes it evidently appeareth, that every Englishman may transport his commodity without molestation, to what port beyond sea he pleaseth, and make sale for his best advantage, every Englishman being a native denizen and privyman of this kingdom, according to the true meaning of the law for it is imaginable to me, that the law should provide better for aliens, then her own children, the 3. is of 12. H. 7. 4. viz. as followeth To the discreet Commons in this present Parl. sheweth unto your discreet wisdoms, the Marchant Adventurers inhabiting and dwelling in divers ports of this Realm out of the City of London, that where they have their passage, resort, course and recourse with their goods, wares, and marchandize in divers &illegible; and parts beyond the sea, aswel into Spain, Portugal, Britan, Ireland, Normandy, France, &illegible; Venice, &illegible; Eastland, Freezeland, and other divers and many places, regions and countries being in league and &illegible; with the King our soveraign Lord, there to buy and sell, and make their exchanges with the said goods, wares, and marchandizes, according to the law and custom used in every of the said regions and places, and there every person freely to use himself to his most advantage, without exaction, fine, imposition, or contribution to be had or taken of them, to, for, or by any English person or persons. &c. By which Statute, all marchants, aswell those inhabiting in divers parts of the Kingdome, as of the City of London, as also every free born subject, is acknowledged as his right to have freedom to trade to the said parts mentioned and to divers other regions and countries without subjection of any patent or paying any exaction, fine, &c. for in that the &illegible; saith, every person freely to use himself to his most advantage, without exaction, &c. to be had or taken of them, or any of them, to, for, or by any English person, or persons, it clearly holds &illegible; that the marchant, and consequently every man that useth comerce in these parts, ought not to come under the obedience of any oppressing corporation whatsoever: now Donst and the East-land being expressed in the slainte, which are the principall parts to which these East land marchants are priviledged by their monopoly, and indeed the crown and glory of the rest for venting our native commodities, as also the other included, when the &illegible; saith and other divers and many places, regient, and countries, I hope every honest man willbe willing with heart and hand to endevour the recovery of our birthright which the law so evidently makes our owne from these unjust oppressors.

2. Contrary to the light of nature, which teacheth men to walk by congruity and equality, not to oppresse, because they would not be oppressed, not to take away any mans right, because they would not have another use the same, measure to them. Which principles of nature are engraven upon the nature of heathens, who certainly will rise up in judgement one day against these men that sell us for slaves in our own land.

3. It is irrationall, reason being the fountain of all honest laws, gives to every man propriety and liberty: propriety of interest, freedom of enjoyment and improovement to his own advantage, from that propriety take away freedom, & a considerable part is gone nay we see it by expenence, that those who have berest us of our liberty, have made hold with our propriety, and indeed if prerogative may take away the one, why not the other from the same principles? so that it appears to be rationall, that every native who hath propriety of goods, wares, and marchandize, hath freedom to transport them to any part beyond Seat, and there convert them, to his own profit, it being his true and proper inheritance so to do, it is very strange to my understanding, that one man should do the work, and another man receive the wages I mean, that the honest clothier who has toyled much in the making of his cloth shall not have the benefit to sell it here for his own gain to ship it for more profit, but being debarred of freedom in both, must make sale to them, in whose power it into give him what price they please, whereby he is cheated of the fruit of his labour.

4. That the monopoly is against the honour of the Nation, because by it the people are put in a condition of vassalage in their own country, it takes away industry the spring of wealth, the hearts of the people being brought to servility and not able by reason of this, and other the like patents to imploy themselves, cannot chuse but procure sad effects if not timely prevented, for.

5. The patent was illegally procured by the solicitation of evil Counsellors, under the broad seal of England, in the 25 year of the raigne of Queen Elizabeth, it being of no longer standing under spectous pretences, as the profit of her then Majesty, the good of the Kingdom, &c. whereas by it the natives have his weakned and spoiled, which will easily appear, if we consider these particulars.

1. By reason of this Patent, thousands of poor people are in a condition of beggery, who otherwise might maintain themselves in honest callings, by the making of cloath, and other woollen manufactures, by carding, spinning, wearing, &c. and certainly this one thing throughly considered, should stirre up the bowels of every truly noble spirited Englishman, to double his strength, if it were possible, as hundred sold, in all just wayes, for the removall of so great an obstraction.

2. The poor Clothier suppressed, none being to made to these parts but the company, the clothier makes not half the cloathes he might: and for those he doth make they being of a confederacy, and having all the priviledge of buying in their own hands, by reason whereof, many times he is forced to sell them at a far less price then they cost him in making, or else to keep them till the next year, which discourages and slackens the clothier in the prosecution of his calling, and causeth some to fail, others to give over, and those which remain, many of them scarce can make a living.

3. This Monopoly greatly impareth the trade of cloth, those who are judicious affirm that 5000 cloths more then are, would be made, shipped, and expended yearly in those parts to which they are authorised to trade to, which I verify beleeve & prove thus, all the cloth they ship, some extraordinary times excepted, it but to 1. or 2. Towns, and there residing their Factors, who making sale to the Burger, he sendeth the cloth up and down the Country, from whence ariseth many mischiefs the Countries not being furnished as they should: as also the selling at such excessive rates, causeth the Datch to make cloth in an aboundant manner, & to be satisfied with it, though it be exceeding course and again, there being divers Kingdoms, Dominions, Dukedomes Countries, Cities, and Towns, to which by their patent they are licenced, what advantage would the young marchant have, having so vast a compasse, how active would he be from Town to Town, from City to City, from one Country to another, and selling cheap, would invite forraigne parties to set a true estimate upon our native commodities, and certainly were trade free, Sweedland, and Powerland, would vent much cloth, whereas the company is not able to satisfie the Eastland it self, by reason of the smalnesse of their stock, it may be easily conceived, that such a small Company of private men, are never able to suffice such famous Kingdoms and Dukedomes to which they onely are licenced to traffick.

6. It causeth a great decay of Navigation, which sustaineth the mariners, so that by this and other the like patents, the Saylorie greatly greatly supprest.

7. It obstructeth returnes, divers of the most stable commodities which our Country stands in, need of, are imported by them, viz. flax, hemr, pot-ashes, pitch, tarre, course linnen packing, canvas with divers other very considerable marchandize, now they bring over when they please, and what they please, and sell at what price they please, which cannot but have sundry evil concomitance. 1. Our Country is not satisfyed with that variety and conveniency it should: and 2. By reason the Citizen gives such an unreasonable rate to the marchant, the poor have all excessive dear, giving many times half as much more then the comodity is worth, or then it would be sold for were the trade but open, from which and such other dealings it in, that the people are unconscionably wasted, and weakned, and therefore what ere it cost us, lets have this ravenous patent down, whereby there would be all these gallant effects: multitudes of poor maintained the clothier raised, the trade of cloth greatly augmented by reason that thousands might be vented more, then are the number of merchants increased, the art of navigation furthered and lastly, an universal benefit to the whole nation, from the plenty of marchandize imported which we should have at far easier and more valuable considerations. Ob. But if trade be free, the Alien will expect freedom also. As I see no ground but aliens paying custom, provided alwaies that wee enjoy as full and large priviledges with them, they ought to have the like here with us but secondly suppose the State should prohibit strangers, yet there is no shadow or colour of right reason, that we who have equall liberties in the lawes have ventured our estates and lives so freely, to preserve them, should be deprived of our inheritance, and therefore for further satisfaction, I shall here insert part of their charter, that every one may judg whether it be just or no: Forasmuch as we be credibly informed &c. that you our Subjects marchants, and others, exercising and using the &illegible; and seat of marchandize, one and from any our Dominions through the sound into the Realmes, Kingdoms, Dominions, Dukedomes, Countries, Cities and Towns, of Norway, Swethia, Poland, and the territories of the same Kingdoms, as also into &illegible; and Liestand, under the dominion of the King of Pole, Prussia, and also Powerland, from the river of Odera Eastward, and also Ry and Revill in Liestand King Kingsbrough, Elbinge, Brownsbrough, and Dansick in Brusia, Copenhaven and Elsenore in Dansk: except the Nerve, and the territories thereof belonging at also into the sland of Finland, Goteland, Eweland, and Barutholme, within the Sound aforesaid, by one consent are willing to gather, congregate, and assemble your selves into one fellowship, and to be one body incorporate and politique, indeed, and in name; wee considering that your purposes in this behalf are very lausable, do therefore not onely approve and ratifie the same, but will you to persevere in your good minds and purposes, to the establishment and perfection thereof, and earnestly desiring that our marchants and their successors haunting the said Kingdomes, Dominions, Countries, Cities and Townes, before mentioned or any of them, for merchandize, in and through the Sound of the Kingdome of Denmark (except before excepted) may from henceforth profit and increase as prosperously as any marchants of this Land have aforetime increased and profited, & do grant for us, our heires and success us that from hence forth there be and shall be of the said Fellowship, one Governour, and one Deputy, or Deputies, and foure and twenty assistants of the land fellowship; and that they, or the major part of them, may make Statutes, Lawes, and ordinances: and that the aforesaid Governour, or Deputie, or Deputies, and their successors, or the major part of them, as is aforesaid then present, as often as need shall be; the said Statutes, Laws, and ordinances, shall and may execute and put unexecution aswell within our Realme of England, as within the said Realmes, Dominions, Cities, and Countries, and every of them: and for that divers persons, our subjects, being not brought up in marchandize through their ignorance and lack of knowledge, commit many inconventency, we willing to resist and prevent them, and intending to further the expert marchant in their lawfull and honest trade: will, and by our Regall Authority we Command, and also prohibite and forbid by these presents, that no subject of us, our heirs, or successors, which is not, nor shall bee by force of these presents made free of the said Felloship shall by any maner of meanes at any time hereafter inter meddle in the trade of Marchandize; or by any meanes buy and sell, or use any traffique into the said parts of Eastland, and Countries aforesaid, or any of them, (except before excepted,) upon pain to incur our indignation: as also to pay such fines, and amencements, and to suffer imprisonment, and such other paines due to the Transgresson of the said statutes, ordinances, and constitutions of the said Fellowship, or to the said Governour or his Deputy and assistance aforesaid, shall seeme meere and conveniene, any Law, Statute, Custome, or Ordinance, to the contrary thereof, many other things notwithstanding &c.

And do further by these presents inhibit and forbid, all and every our subjects, and the subjects of us our heires and successors, not being licenced and authorized by vertue of these presents, to traffique in and to the said Countries, Kingdoms, Towns and places before recited, or use any manner of trade in and to them, contrary to the tenor of these presents upon pain to incurre the displeasure of us, our heires and successors, and to be fined, payned, and imprisoned, according to the severall discretions and laws of the officers of the said former severall Companies and their successors, witnesse our self at Westminster, the 17. of August, in the 11. year of our Raigne.

I no sooner made a surveyal of this cruel engine, what intollerable breaches & inrodes it hath continually made upon us, but was call into a sudden admiration, that so free 2 people as England, should suffer themselves so violently to be ground to power, which I shall illustrate to be treasonable in the practisers of it by these position: 1. If to survender a Castle by the Captain of that Castle through fear and cowardize, and not from any compliance with the enemy be treason, as was adjudged in the Parliament 1. Rich. 2. then is this a treasonable patent, for besides the place, there is onely a losse of the adjacent parts, but by this patent our lawes, liberties, nay our very lives, in pursuance of both the former, are subjected to will and tyranny, he that walks in the exercise of freedom, according to law, it subject to their counter commands, and to be fined, payned, and imprisoned and to suffer such other punishments as to them shall seem meet and convenient.

If to kill a judg upon the bench be treason, because of malice, not to the person, but to the law, then is this a treasonable patent, here is not onely a malice to the law, but a most butcherly weapon killing and destroying of it, these 2. cannot dwell together, for the life of the patent, so far as it extends, is the death of the law, which stops its free course for the benefit of the people, and makes it meerly a dead letter, a carkas without a soul, a power being given to Mr. Governour and his companions, to make laws, statutes, and ordinances which power is more and far greater then belongs to the chief magistrate to give, or can legally or justly be exercised by any but the Parliament, and therefore not to be received by any person or persons whatsoever, and certainly those laws, and all that government derived from Queen Elizabeths broad seal commission are according to the lusts of these men, being extrajuditiall, in that they are above the sphære of the law. 2. Contrary to the law, if the endeavouring the subversion of the ancient fundamentall lawes and government of this Kingdom, and to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government be treason, as was adjudged in the case of the Earle of Strafford, and in the case of Sir Robert Berkeley, by the first article of impeachment by the House of Commons, July 6. 1641, then is this a treasonable patent, for here is not onely an indevour, but an actuall surrender of both law and government, which have made England a free people, and what more ancient or fundamental, then those laws which gratify the Commons; and by which they injoy their very lives, here is an arbitrary government introduced, & put into the hands of those whom the subject doth not own to have any right of power and rule, and that in so high a nature as can be no lesse then monarchicall, for what can a monarchicall power be, but to make lawes, and to punish the transgressors according to those lawes, by coefiscation of goods, imprisonment, or taking away the life of the vassals, all which they may doe by their patent, and certainly this company of Marchants of East-land, who have practized arbitrarily for so long a time as they have done, against the liberties of the natives deserve for all their cruelties to be proceeded against as publique delinquents to the State.

As touching their oath, it is one of the worst (I am confident) that ever was made, which I shall here insert for every mans knowledge. You shall swear to be good and true to our Soveraign Lord the Kings Majesty, and to his Heir is and Successors, you shall be obedient and assistant to Mr. Governour, his Deputy, and Deputies, and assistants of marchants of East land, all statutes and ordinances which bee, or shall be made by the said Governour, or by his deputies, and assistants standing inforce, you shall truly hold and keep, having no singular regard to your self, in hurt or prejudice of the common-weal of the said fellowship, you shall heal, and not bewray, and if you shall know any manner of person or persons which intend any burk, harm, or prejudice to our said Soveraign Lord the Kings Majesty, or unto his land, or to the foresaid fellowship or priviledges of the same you shall give knowledge there of, and do it so be known to the said Governour or his deputy, and you shall not colour or free any Forraigners goods not free of the said fellowship, all which you shall hold and keep to the uttermost of your power, or else being justly condemned for making default in any of the premises, you shall truly from time to time, being orderly demanded, content and pay to the treasiner of this Company for the time being, all and every such mulcts and penalties which have beene or shall be limitted and set for the transgressors of the same. So God you help.

Lieutenant Col. Lilburn in his late book called Innocency and Truth justified, being an answer to Mr. Frivs look, called the lyar confounded, hath these passages, pag. 53. And in the the second place, seeing they know, viz. the merchant adventurers that the Petition of Right doth condemn the King and his Privie Counsell for making and administring of oaths, not made by common consent in Parliament, and seeing the Parliament as they very well know, was lately so angry at the Bishops, and their convocation, for &illegible; to themselves the boldnes to make in oath, although they were invested with a more colourable authority to justifie them therein, then these can pretend, how exemplary ought the punishment of these men to be for their impudence and boldnes, after the knowledge of all this, to force and presse upon the freemen of England, an oath of their own framing and making, and to keep their freedoms from them, because out of Conscience they dare not take them, which at this present day is the condition of one Mr. Johnson late servant to Mr. Whitlock one of the East Country Monopolizing Merchants, which is all one in nature with the Monopoly of Merchant Adventurers: And not onely do they most unjustly iustly keep my freedom from me, for which I have so often ventured my life in the Northern service this present warres, and to which I was born by the law, although I have served 7. years according to the Custome of the City of London, but most inhumanely have taken from me my place of Factorship in the Eastland, and all because I have rejected their monopoly and Diabolicall oath, and this was the gallant service of Mr. Burnel Governour and his associates, the 3. Octob. 1645. but I expect to see Justice (that banished exile return in all her glory, and these oppressing task-masters called to a just account: for certain I am, that the law never gave them authority to make an oath, or to force it upon my conscience; besides the oath containe to many perjucies, in the second branch it ties the swearer to be assistant to Mr. Governour and his confederates in all their dishonest proceedings. In the third branch, to keep all their pernicious laws and Ordinances; which Lawes and Ordinances are to deprive the subject of his right, and this will not satisfie, but to all that are to be made, O intollerable burthen! whither will this bottomlesse pit go? here is &c. &c. &c. and in memorable company of &c. In the fourth branch, to keepe all their cozening secrets and underhand dealings in the pursuance of their patent. And in the fifth branch, for making default in any of the premises, that is, for forswearing himself, which he doth that keeps it, aswell as he that keeps it not because be swears not in truth, in judgment, and in righteousnes, to pay such mulcts and penalties which have been or shall be limitted and set for the transgressors of the same, as if such great crimes could be washed away with a pennance: for my part I am clear in this point, that whosoever he bee that bends & yeelds obedience to this or the like oath, deserves not the name of an englishman surely their designes are to use the expression of Lieu. Col. Lilburn in page the 54. of his book speaking against the merchant adventures, to make England a land of slavery, ignorance and beggery, or else a land of perjury: I have now learned the meaning of the Scripture Rev. 13. 16. 17. And he causeth all both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads, that time might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name: which relates as I conceive to all monopolics whatsoever, Jublata causa tollitur effectus, take but away these Merchants patents, and all other of the like nature, and there will a sudden way appear to the relief of the honest, comfort and tranquility to the whole Nation: for the effecting wherof, if I shall but irritate the courteous Reader, it is price sufficient for him whose desire it is not to live, but in the truth.


T.56 (8.28) John Selden, Tyth-gatherers, no Gospel Officers (27 January, 1646)

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.56 [1646.01.27] (8.28) John Selden, Tyth-gatherers, no Gospel Officers (27 January, 1646).

Full title

John Selden, Tyth-gatherers, no Gospel Officers. Or, Certaine briefe observations concerning the institution and paying of tythes, whereby it appears that men were never compelled to the payment of them in the Old Testament, nor did ever practice it in the New: that the Gospel contributions were all voluntary accounted as a free gift, not a debt; the apostles themselves, not only choosing to labour with their owne hands, but requiring all their successours to doe the like, that they might not bee chargeable to any of their disciples. Together with some quotations out of Mr. Selden, a Member of the House of Commons, his History of Tythes, for the writing whereof he was much troubled by the Episcopall tythmongers of those times, from whom the Presbyterian church-publicans of these days, have learnt to persecute with far greater violence, all such as doe but speak against their Gospel-taxations.

Estimated date of publication

27 January, 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 417; Thomason E. 319. (2.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

The Epistle to the Reader.

Christian Reader:

THis little Pamphlet would not have needed a preparatory Epistle, were there not amongst us a very great generation who are parties in the point I speak of; I shall therefore crave leave to propound unto them, before they read it, whether the Clergy-bellies of these times can bee any whit better Christians, than Demetrius the Silver-Smith with his Craftsmen, Act 19. 19. 20. &c. whilst they cry out, Great is the God of tithes! Sacred is the duty of tithes! of tythes we fill, and swift, hold belly, hold; were it not for tythes learning would be neglected, the Ministery despised, and wee must take paines like other filly people of the &illegible;: Let us rather craw the Prisons full, as wee doe our guts with tythe pigs, of all such as sacrilegiously refuse to pay us tythes.

Let me likewise intreat them to consider, whether it were not the same Tyth-spirit, the spirit of covetousnesse, which caused the Masters of the Damsell, out of whom Paul cast the evill spirit, Act. 16. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. &c. not only to hang backe from receiving the Gospell, but even to persecute the Apostles for cutting off that Divelish gaine which the evill spirit had wont to bring them? Let them interrogate their owne consciences, whether they believe it to bee Scripture or good doctrine, that a gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous, Ex. 23. 8. Deut. 16. 19. that it destroyeth the heart, Ecclesiastes 20. 29. corrupting their very understandings, in such manner, that they even perswade themselves to be in the right, when they were never more in the wrong: Let such, I say, who alwayes had, and still have the faculties of their soules imprinted with this gift or rather theft of tithes, consider and suspect themselves to be no competent Judges, how much this Gospel-tithing favors of &illegible; &illegible; and is inconsistent with the subjects propriety.

Being thus prepared, I shall desire them with mee to observe, that the Levites being excluded from possessing any inheritance in the land of Cannan, unlesse the Lord had given them his owne portion and inheritance the tythes, Deut. 18. 1. 2. they must have starved; and yet we finde not that the Lord gave them any compulsive power for lavying and bringing in this contribution of tythes: But under the Gospell, where the whole land is open and free to all alike, to Clergy as well as to Laity, to purchase and keep possession of, where the Apostles practice was to labour with their owne hands, 1 Thess. 2. 9. and Pauls expresse command to all in generall, that if any would not worke hee should not eat, 2 Thess. 3. 10. for a supposititious illegitimate tribe of Levi, who are not above the five hundreth part of the Kingdom (there being upon calculation thought to be not above one Clergyman to every 500. men and women) to lay claime to, and by violence possesse themselves of the tythes of all encrease, free of all charges, which in valuation is better then if the fifth part of the whole land were divided amongst them for gleab-land, whereof most of them have some small pittance besides their tythes, is the greatest cheat and robbery which was ever practised; I say yet more briefly, that if the whole Kingdome were to bee divided into 500. parts, the Clergy (as I said before, being but as one to 500. by computation) besides the free denization which they enjoy in common withall other people, run away with about one hundred and twenty five shares, I mean with about one hundred and twenty five times as much as any of their fellows; Oh prodigy of Covetousnesse I but I must decipher it more cleerly.

Suppose there were 500. men and women in a Country Parish, and all the land in that Parish to be worth 2000 l. by the yeare; the Minister, who is but one of the aforesaid 500. pretends 200 l. for his tithes of the abovesaid 2000 l. cleer of all charges, which said charges on all arrable grounds one with another, for manuring, seed-corne and reaping, &c. or of stocking pasture ground, together with the hazard of a small crop, or death of cattell, is so great, as that the land-lords to bee free of paying tythes, the tenth sheafe cleere of charges, had better give the fifth acre of all their lands for gleab-land unto the Minister.

Thus then their tythes of 2000 l. amount in valuation unto the fifth part of 2000 l. which is 400 l. & this 400 l. for the Minister being taken out of 2000 l. which is the whole revenue of the Parish land, there remaines 1600 l. to be divided amongst 499. men and women, who are the Parishioners, which is not full 3 l. 4 s. 1 d. &illegible; a peere, whereas the minister devours 400 l. which is more than any 124. of his Parishioners enjoy, upon such a calculation, supposing them to be all poore, or all rich alike. And yet the unfatiablenesse of these Clergy-bellies is not herewith content, but they lay claime to tithes on house rent, and the truth part of whatsoever any person of any profession, doth any wayes lawfully advance, to be due unto the Minister of the Gospel both by the law of God and man, unlesse some speciall custome, composition or priviledge of the place allowed by law, exempt him: They are the very words of that Episcopall, Presbyteriall, Ambodexterous Tythe-Champion (for Tythes are a common motto to both parties.) Dr. Burgesse, an eminent member of this present Assembly, in a Discourse of his entituled. A new discovery of personall Tythes, or the tenth part of mint cleare gaines, &c. p. 1. as I finde it observed in John the Baptist, Chap. 2. about Christs order and the Disciples practice concerning the Ministers maintenance, &c.

But why tro did not the Dr. with his brethren in covetousnesse, as well claime tythes of children, as of fruit and personall gaines, whereof we finde not the least mention in either of the Testaments? Surely they would not continue so indulgent, they would not hate us our children, could they but get it once enacted, that it might bee lawfull for them to fell tythe children in the market as well as tythe pigs: and to deale clearly, the Leviticall law, from whence they seeke to colour tythes, subjected every first borne, whether it were of man or beast, unto this tax of tithes, it fell unto the Priests share, Lev. 13. 2. c. 22. 29. Numb. 18. 15. the Leviticall Priest was to have the first borne of children, unlesse they were redeemed, and our English Priests, could they but get an Ordinance of Lords and Commons for it, as well as tythes, I should not trust their curtesies.

Tell me, good Reader, who ever thou art, didst thou ever think these fair pretending Clergymen, every one whereof having devoured above 124. of his brethren by divine right, as they alleadge, their tythe patent which they say God granted the, should be yet thus Canine-like hungry: this craving as of their own meer phantasie & invention to lay title unto the tenth part of all clear gains besides, which would be many times more then the Leviticall tithes amounted to (the gaine of handicraft mysteries and trading, being by manifold, more considerable than the encrease of all the land in England?) and that which is yet more irrationall and pestiferous, they will have it whether we will or no, they wrest it from us by violence, they rob us of it: ’Tis not my desire thou shouldest take this calculation upon trust: Nature hath taught every reasonable man Arithmeticke enough to make triall of it, the truth thereof, when thou thy self perceivest and consideress the consequence, I shall not so much desire thee to stand amazed, as to contribute thy ingredient for curing our Clergymen of this their desperate covetousnes, which is Idolatry, Col. 3. 5. Farewell.

To the Reverend Assembly of Divines at Westminster.

Men, Brethren, and Fathers:

I Could not choose but give you notice of a Designe discovered unto mee, of no small a party which at present is conspiring, how the possessions of Bishops, Deanes and Chapters, &c. which by our Ancestors were intended for publique and pious uses, may become their peculiar inheritances, and totally discourage posterity from all charitable legacies, when they shall see them alienated to such quite contrary purposes.

I understand likewise of severall Petitions by multitudes of the most conscientious free-borne subjects of England, demonstrating how unjust it is, that a small number, who in complement call themselves our Ministers, should at their owne pleasure become our Masters and so contrary to the subjects liberty, force from us the fifth part of the whole Kingdome in valuation without either articles or consent, and that which is worst of all, even not to be longer endured by such as make conscience of any thing, they lay claime to is by Divine right, and for such services, as to many seem little lesse than Antichristian, or Idolatrous: ’Tis frivoleus for you to distinguish between a conscience truly informed, and contrarily; for, unlesse you will pretend your arguments to be like the peace of God which passeth all understanding, Phil. 4. 7. you must unavoidably permit men, even every particular man for himselfe, to resolve the whole Scripture and every part thereof into a full perswasion of his owne heart concerning whatsoever he is to practise or believe, Rom. 14. 5. 22. 23. either grant this, or burne your Bibles, how many soever differing translations, with their whole impressions, as have been brought unto you, since you doe but teach your Lay-people to suspect them all, whilst you your selves will not be ruled by any, in any mans judgement besides your owne.

A word to the wise should be enough; It is of so great interest and consequence to this whole Kingdome, for our respect or other, to demolish and root out the &illegible; memory of this Tith-Idoll, which all other Reformed Christians have long since abominated, that it concernes you to looke out some other maintenance lesse scandalous, and more Gospel-like.

But you’l say perhaps, you have maintenance allotted you by Ordinance of Parliament: what an Ordinance of Parliament? I reverence Ordinances of Parliament; &illegible; me thinke, you should rather &illegible; for refuge to Christs Ordinants; Ordinances of Parliament are repealable, what one Parliament bistowes upon you, another Parliament may take away, but Christs Ordinances, are like himselfe, unchangeable; what ever you thinke of him, doubtlesse you cannot leave him for a better Master: Try then a little, compare the Ordinances together, looke before you leap, if ye be Men, if Christians, consider which may prove the surest, the better title.

Christ ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live by the Gospell. 1 Cor. 9. 14. that is, they should have such a livelihood as is set out, and warranted by the Gospel, which is the free benevolence and bounty of their brethren, and if you will have it in Christs owne words unto the &illegible; Disciples, That into whatsoever house they enter they should remain eating and drinking such things as were set before them, Luk. 10. 5. 7. 8. and having food and rayment they should be there with content, 1 Tim. 6. 8, On the other side:

The Lords and Commons in Parliament assembled, Die Veneris, 8 Novemb. 1644. Ordaine that every person or persons within the Realme of England and Dominion of Wales, shall pay all and singular tithes, offerings, oblations, obventions, rates for tithes, and all other duties commonly known by the name of tithes, unto the respective owners both Lay and Ecclesiasticall.

This is the effect of Christs Ordinance, with that of the Lords and Commons in Parliament: I shall not seek to make enmity betwixt them, and I hope every Reader, will, in time, see how far forth they will run parallel. What will you more then? Our Saviour, you see, has by an Ordinance of heaven provided for you both food and rayment, requiring you by his Apostle Paul to be therewith content.

But me thinke I heare you murmuring that this Gospel maintenance, being by the Spirit of God termed a free gift, 2 Cor. 8. 4. Phil. 4. 17. a matter of bounty, and not grudging, 2 Cor. 9. 5. you have not the conscience, what ever your practice &illegible; to think you may command it at your pleasure, have it whether your &illegible; will or no; and ’tis irksome to your high &illegible; to suppose your selves their Almesmen, and live on their benevolence. But what advantage have you by your tithe Ordinance? how, I pray, will you get your tithes, if the people will not pay them? how can you force them to it, if the people be resolved on the contrary? Oh! I know your meaning, you’l distraine their goods, imprison their persons, and with some vexations accursed act or other, you’l take away their lives, and all they have together: but are you so stout and stardy (not being perhaps above one for a thousand of your Lay-brethren) as to imagine that a Regiment of Blackcoats, can, with a bare humane Ordinance of tithes, defeat a whole Nation, both of their Christian and Civill priviledges? beleeve &illegible; bold Souldiers, you will finde hard service of &illegible; the peoples eyes begin to be open, and if you discover the &illegible; of your &illegible; covetousnesse a little more, they will, questionlesse, so far reflect on the expresse clear words in our Saviours Commission unto his true Disciples, saying, Freely you have received, freely give, Mat. 10. 8. that your &illegible; praying and preaching will grow contemptible, and our exercising Weavers, Feltmakers; &illegible; &c. be found more to resemble trust Ministers of the Gospel, them your learned Doctorships. But because I see some of you are not ashamed to be thought Politicians, who take for granted that you may & ought to be provident, no lesse then your Lay brethren, both for your selves and families; I hope I shall not prove an unwelcome Monitor, if I be instant with you to &illegible; seriously, whether it be for your benefit to wave Christs Ordinance, and adhere unto the Parliaments for maintenance.

&illegible; the Lords and Commons have been beautifull unto you, most transcendently beautifull, no Protestant State did ever doe the liked (I wish it were well considered) they give you tithes with an &c. offerings, oblations, &c above a tenth part, even above the fifth in a just valuation, of all that the land produceth: But what if they should give you halfe, or three quarters of all we have? can you enjoy it longer then good people please to pay it you? I hope, it will not be impertinent, towards meaning you from a Canonicall obedience, by minding you that there have been many laws agreed on in Parliament, which never had execution afterwards, for want of a secondary, and more effectuall assenting of the people in generall, whom the Parliament does but represent. You know, likewise, much may be said, both from Law and Custome, in behalfe of the Kings Prerogative, Revennes, and not much lesse than a boundlesse subjection, and yet you see, how little be hath of either for the present; a Prince can reigne no longer over the persons of his subjects, than bee can master their affections; A usurped tyrannicall power is of &illegible; continuance, but the free consent and love of a people, is that only, which makes all Empire durable and happy.

&illegible; then forth &illegible; &illegible; that a Nation which &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of so &illegible; &illegible; (&illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; upon all &illegible; &illegible; &illegible;) with the lesse as so &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; from the &illegible; &illegible; of &illegible; &illegible; will &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; both &illegible; and &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; which &illegible; with their &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of their &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; their &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of their &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; things, and you &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; when they for &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible;

&illegible; then a &illegible; which &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; upon the peoples &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; your &illegible; &illegible; their Christian &illegible; &illegible; which to many of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; with &illegible; evill &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible;

&illegible; &illegible; take &illegible; much &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; upon your &illegible; &illegible; was &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; &illegible; to &illegible; of you, and &illegible; &illegible; enough (for they have &illegible; &illegible; and &illegible; to you beyond desert) &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &c.

&illegible; &illegible; Friends, they are &illegible; &illegible; after, and of, &illegible; your &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; like enough &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; your &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; (&illegible; &illegible;) you may yet sure will.


&illegible; &illegible; 10. read of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; neither &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible;.

Certaine briefe Observations concerning the institution and paying of tythes in the Old Testament, with the Ministers maintenance in the New; neither of which was levied in a compulsive manner, nor could possibly becomes sweet favour in the nostrills of the Lord, had they not beene given freely, as a matter of bounty, not gradgingly.

HAving often in my saddest thoughts bewayled the lamentable condition, which Gods dearest people are brought into, through that accursed yoake of a forced uniformity, which is endeavoured to be put upon their consciences, and casting about what evill spirit it was, that had so vast a malignant influence throughout the world; at last, it appeired cleerly unto my understanding, that it could not possibly, for the most part, bee any other, besides that Grand Idol or rather divell of covetousnesse, which is the root of all evill and mischiefe that happeneth unto mankind, Col. 3. 5. 1 Tim. 6. 10. Act. 19. 19. 20. c. 16. 16, 17, 18, &c.

Then; pondering with my selfe, how this Imp of covetousnesse, as it produced persecution, was suckled and maintain’d; I found at last, that it must necessarily be both begotten and continued by that specious golden wedge of Gospel-tythes, which an illegitimate Tribe of &illegible; had at first, only Ackon-like, purloyned from their brethren, but afterwards presumptuously &illegible; upon God himselfe, that both they and their successors, might with an uncontroleable security live and dye forfeting upon the farnesse thereof.

But if any man perceive not how it comes about, that a covering after tythes begets persecution; I answer, that these &illegible; as Esaiah describes those of his time, 56. 11. terming them greedy dogs, which can never be satisfied, are so intent upon the gaine which commeth from their quarters, (that since they cannot for shame require contributions from such as refuse out of conscience to joyne with them in Church duties) they put themselves upon inveying with all manner of exasperation and bitternesse, against all such as differ from them, whether in discipline or doctrine, continually insencing both their Parishoners and Civill Magistrates against them as Heretickes, such as hold dangerous opinions destructive to the State, not to be endured upon any quarter and composition, because no accommodation can bee to their purpose wherein Tythes are not the prine pall article to be agreed upon.

In contemplation hereof, I put my selfe againe to search the Scripture, (though I know there is scarce any one how vile soever, whether for practice or opinion only, who pretends not to be Gospel-proofe, but I speake to such of whom John the Evangelist said, Scarth the Scriptures for in them yet thinke to have eternall life, Joh. 5. 39. to such I say, who would be thought to have the Scripture for their rule, and really expect salvation by living according to that rule) and am willing to give a faithfull, though briefe relation thereof, on such particulars I mean, as have not to my knowledge beene published by others, to shew how vaine the ground is of pretending Gospel-tythes, and how dangerous to continue them.

The first place I meet with speaking &illegible; Tythes is Gen. 14. 20. where Abraham is &illegible; to give Melchisedeck &illegible; of all, that is, of all the spoile only, which he had in the victory against the &illegible; Kings in rescuing of his brother Let. whom they had taken prisoner, as you may see in the same Chapter: and though it be objected that the Apostle Paul seemes to tell the Hebrews that Abraham give &illegible; of all things unto Melchisedeck Heb. 7. 2. yet you may find that the same Apostle in v. 4. whilst he would magnifie the preheminence of Melchisedeck in his relation of receiving tythes, before Abraham paying tythes, instances only in his paying him tythes of the spoyls, but had Abraham paid tythes of all things he possessed, the Apostles argument might have thereby been so much more improved, if he had urg’d it. But this paying tythes unto Melchisedeck was supereminently typicall, as Melchisedeck was a type of Christ, Heb. 8. 4. 5. and in that respect only, Paul &illegible; that Melchisedeck received tythes of Abraham blessing him that had the promise, and without &illegible; the &illegible; is blessed of the greater, Heb. 7. 6. 7. for even the tribe of Levi is said to pay tythes &illegible; Melchisedeck in the loynes of Abraham, Heb. 7. 9. 10. and the Levites could not be properly said in the same time and respect, both to pay tythes in Abraham, and yet receive tythes in Melchisedeck, so that this is no Scripture for their purpose; the very tribe of Levi paid tythes unto Melchisedeck, and therefore neither they, nor a supposititions offspring of theirs much lesse, pretend with any other than a &illegible; &illegible; and countenance, to derive a just grant and title from Melchisedeck for receiving tythes; but besides these words of Pauls to the Heb. 7. 5. The Levites who received the office of Priest-hood, had commandement for receiving tythes according to the Law, doe plainly teach us that the payment of tythes, the tenths of all encrease, as our selfe seeking Clergy will have it understood, began not till the law was given, and that the Levites had the Priesthood entailed upon their Tribe, and consequently that till then there was no commandement for paying them, nor any body warranted to receive them.

Gen. 18. 20. 21. 22. We finde that Jacob when &illegible; went to Laban at Padan-Aram to take a wife, being on the way of &illegible; so called anciently, but by him named Bethel, v. 19. in the morning alter his vision, he made a vow unto God, saying, If God will be wish me and keepe me in &illegible; way that I goe, and will give me bread to eat, and vaimens to part also that I came again to my fathers house in &illegible; then, of all that &illegible; shalt give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee.

Upon this occasion it will not be &illegible; to remember that all vows ought to be voluntary; such is this promising of Jacob, and Abrahams paying tythes unto Melchisedeck, neither of them being commanded, nor so much as usually practised from Abraham his full paying to this time of Jacobs vowing them: for if Jacob had been obliged, or but accustomed to pay tythes from the time that Abraham first paid them unto Melchisedeck, this present vowing of his would have been different from the nature of a vow, which is of some new thing not customarily, much lesse obligatorily performed before; nay, it might have seemed a kinde of deriding God Almighty, in pretending to doe some extraordinary service, prefixing thereunto the sacred preamble and title of a vow, but in the upshot, not so much as promise more, than was both due and ordinarily discharged before: then secondly, these tythes Jacob vowes not to begin to pay them, till he returne unto his fathers house in peace, which we know was many years after, and is a certaine argument that till their he made no reckoning of paying a continuall fixed tythe or tenth part of what God gave him, at least we see no example of it.

Levit. 27. 30. 32. &illegible; &illegible; all the tythe of the land both of the seed of the ground, and of the fruit of the trees is the Lords, it is holy to the Lord and every tythe at bullock and of sheep, and of all that &illegible; under the red, the tenth of all shall be holy unto the Lord: and v. 34. ’tis said, these are the &illegible; &illegible; of the Lord by Moses unto the children of Israel in &illegible; &illegible; so that before that time, there was no &illegible; &illegible; for paying of &illegible;

These &illegible; being &illegible; set apart by &illegible; Lord, are in Numh. 18. 21. 24. appropriated unto the &illegible; of Law, but neither to be enjoyed by the Levites, nor paid by the Israelites, untill they came into the land of Canaan, as appeares in that the Lord &illegible;. I have given is &illegible; therefore shall they possesse &illegible; inheritance among the children of Israel, v. 24. that is, in the land of Canaan, as is likwise imposed upon Aaron, v. 20. for before that time, both Aarons and the other families of the Levites had their proper inheritances and possessions, as had the other Tribes, Deut. 18. 8.

Here then we may observe, that by Gods ordinance there was no tythes of any thing due, save of the seed of the ground, of the fruit of the trees, and of foure footed beasts, Lev. 27. 30. 32. both fish and fowls were free, much lesse doe we finde here any tythes, any excise put upon mens labours; that was likely thought a duty to be exacted and collected rather by Publicans, then by a consecrated Tribe of Levi, concerning whom the Lord said, that, from what time their tythes grew due, it should be a law for ever throughout their generations, that among the children of Israel they possesse no inheritance, Num. 18. 23. which I much wonder how such as claime tythes at this day doe yet dispence withall; I meane, how these pretended Clergy-men should both receive tythes, and yet enjoy all manner of inheritances and possessions in common with the Laity.

Then; as we finde in Numb. 18. 29. the Levites were cut of their tythes to pay the one tenth for an offering unto Aaron and his family, who was also of the Tribe of Levi, Gen. 4. 14. and for this respect, as also in that the Lord gave him the offerings of all hallowed things, whether meat-offerings, sin-offerings or trespasse-offerings, v. 8. 9. he was also to have no inheritance in the land of Canaan, the Lord promising him to be his part among the children of Israel, v. 20. Now, unlesse this pretended Tribe of Levi, can finde out one besides the Pope, who like Aaron, has as good a title to the heave-offering, as they themselves have unto the tythes of all; me thinks they should be jealous of their owne title, and let it fall to ground for shame, if not for modesty.

Besides the tithes of all encrease, the lewes were with their houshold to eat another tenth the &illegible; at Ierusalem in the sight of God, Deut. 14. 23. but if the way were far, so that they could not carry the tithes &illegible; conveniently, then they might sell it at their homes, and carrying the mony unto Ierusalem, buy what their hearts desired, and there, &illegible; it before the Lord, rejoycing with their housholds, v. 24, 25, 26. This &illegible; some conceive to be due of feasting two years in three, though the text may well be understood of every year, v. 23. for all that I &illegible; to the contrary.

But I wonder whether they were thus to spend a whole &illegible; in feasting, as the text seems to &illegible;, v. 23. 26. and the &illegible; even to this day spend both much money and time in feasting, or whether they saw a part thereof thus spent at Jerusalem, leaving the rest for the benefit of the Levites, as they did the other tithes.

Then we finde Deut. 14. 28. 29. & c. 26. &illegible;. that every third years they were to lay up one tenth in store at their owne &illegible;, for the use of the Levites, strangers, fatherlesse and widows; so that by this calculation, they paid and spent two tenths yearly, if not full three tenths every third year, of all their cattell, and what the earth produced.

David tells us, P. 110. 4. That our Saviour was a Priest after the order of Melchisedech; and Paul saies that be pertained unto another Tribe, whereof no man served at the altar; and that it was evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; concerning which tribe Moses spake nothing touching the Priesthood, Heb. 7. 13, 14. & v. 12. if the Priesthood be changed, them of necessity must there be a change of the Law: from whence, together with v. 5. which &illegible; that the &illegible; of Levi, who received the office of Priesthood had a commandment to take tythes according to the Law; it followes:

1. That the Leviticall tither, the tenths of all things are as much abollished as the Leviticall Priesthood it selfe, v. 12. so that the present Ministers under the Gospel can no more pretend unto the one, than to the other.

2. What ever tythes were due unto Melchisedech, the same became due afterwards, and were payable unto our Saviour, who was a Priest after the order of Melchisedech, (at the whole Leviticall Priesthood was typicall, a shadow of heavenly things, Heb. 8. 4. 5.) and of whom Melchisedech was a type; that is, they were to be fulfilled in our Saviour, to whom only all homage and subjection is due from Abraham, and his posterity, and from whom only both Abraham and his posterity are to expect their blessing: so that as our Saviour, laid no claime, nor received &illegible; or Leviticall tythes which Paul saies must necessarily be changed with the Priesthood: much lesse ought they who will approve themselves &illegible; Ministers and followers of Christ, to bee, so greedy after them, since it renders them so much unlike their Master.

Being evident then that &illegible; or materiall tythes have never beene due, &illegible; Saviour that other Priest as Paul calls him, arose after similitude of Milchisedech, who was not made a Priest after the law of &illegible; commandement, Heb. 7. 15. 16. it followeth that all such &illegible; have, or doe exact and compell men to pay them tythes, doe but &illegible; them in effect, and thereby become accountable both to God and man.

Mr. Roberte in a Treatise entituled The &illegible; of the Gospell &illegible; tythes due to the Ministery by the word of God. c. 7. &illegible; 52. &c. saies to this purpose, that our Saviour received tythes in the New Testament, and endeavours to prove it from these words to the Heb. 7. 8. Here &illegible; dye that receive tythes, but there be receiveth them of &illegible; is it witnessed that &illegible; &illegible; and will have whatsoever is spoken of Melchisedech, to be meant of Christ from v. 13. 14. v. &illegible;. He of whom: &illegible; are spoken &illegible; to another tribe, whereof no men served at the altar, for it is evident that &illegible; Lord sprang out of Judah.

But how unwarrantably, or little to the purpose, will easily appear, if we consider not only who this is that the Apostle saith, &illegible; tythes and liveth, distinguishing him from those who received tythes and dyed; but also what this there signified, which is likewise differenced from here; and if the men which received tithes and dyed, and he which receiveth tithes and liveth for ever, be not one and the same (which may well &illegible; reconciled, whilst the one was typicall, and the other the &illegible;) then must there needs bee two receiving of tithes, which how far forth so ever they be considered on, or spun out in &illegible; discourses; what will it make to the pretence of a whole tenth of every thing to bee &illegible; due unto the Clergy?

Suppose Christ did, or doth still, in some sense receive tithes: ’tis in no other sense, be it what it will, than in the very same sense, wherein be received them under the Law even when he was on earth; or &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; ascended into heaven both as our High Priest and sacrifice v. 27. which would evidently condemne all such of most &illegible; &illegible; and blasphemy, who should lay claime to them by such &illegible; &illegible;

Doe wee finde it any where commanded to give &illegible;, real tithes of all we have unto our Saviour? did he take or so much as require them when he was on earth &illegible; Aaron and Melchisedech did? it not the Priesthood which the Apostle there speaks of changed, v. 12. and therewithall the very law even that of tithes changed, as well as other particulars thereof, as that which made nothing perfect, v. 39.

But the truth is, that if tithes have any establishment by Abrahams giving Melchisedech the tenth of all his spoyles, it would follow, that the Clergy should primarily have the tenth of all prize-goods and spoyles of War, particularly of these present Wars of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and so much plainly affirmed by Mr. &illegible; Roberts in his Revenue of the Gospel, c. 6. p. 30. 31. which I hope not only the Souldiery, but the State also will seriously consider of, and discharge a good conscience, by making restitution to them, or requiring an account of their judgement in this behalfe.

And now as touching what is said in the New Testament concerning the Ministers maintenance, I find: not there the least footsteps that tythes or any first allowance instead thereof was either made payment of, or commanded; it was left to be a free-will offering, as most sutable to the Gospel; only the equity there of is hinted at in severall passages; as, The workman is worthy of his meat, Matth. 10. 10. The labourer is worthy of his hire, Luke 10. 7. Who goeth to Warfare any time at his owne charge? Who planteth a vineyard and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who seedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? even so hath the Lord ordained that they which &illegible; the Gospell should live by the Gospell, 1. Cor. 5. 7. 14. They which minister about holy things, live on the things of the Temple, &illegible; they which wait on the altar are partakers with the altar, 1. Cor. 9. 13. This is all that the New Testament &illegible; us, and that by way of equity only, how to proportion &illegible; a maintenance to the Ministers of the Gospell.

Then, as touching both the Ministers and Beleevers practice in this particular, 1. Paul tells the Corinthians that he had kept himself from &illegible; burthensome unto &illegible;, and so &illegible; resolved &illegible; keep himselfe at the &illegible; of Christ was in him, and that no man should &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of his in the Regions of &illegible;, 2 Cor. 11. 9. 10. But in his first Epistle to the Corinthians, c. 9. v. 15. 18. 23. he insinnates, that it were better for him to dye, than that this &illegible; of his, of not making the Gospell chargeable should be prevented; neither was this Paul &illegible; &illegible; himselfe only, but it seems be gave &illegible; and &illegible; others as &illegible; them, expresse order that their Ministery likewise should &illegible; become burthensome unto the Corinthians, 2 Cor. 12. 16. 17. 18.

And when he came to &illegible;, he called the Elders of the Church together, Act. 20. 17. and having had a large discourse with them wherein he told them that he had not &illegible; to declare &illegible; &illegible; all the counsell of God, v. 27. hee put them notwithstanding in minds againe how he had coveted no mans silver, nor gold, nor apparrell, yea that they themselves knew, how those hands of his had ministred unto his necessities, and to them that were with them, v. 33. 34. adding that he had shewed them all things, how that so labouring they ought to support the weake, v. 35.

The same Paul with Silvanus and Timotheus, told the &illegible; that they wrought with labour night and day that they might not bee chargeable to any of them, and that they might be an example unto them to doe the like, even unto them of the Ministery, if there be any who could say with Paul that they had power to eat and drinke, that they had power to forbeare working as well as any of the Apostles, 1 Cor. 9. 4. 5. 6. Even such I say, are required by Paul, Silvanus and Timotheus to worke with labour and travell night and day that they may not be chargeable unto any, 2 Thes. 3. 8. 9.

However we may not thinke so uncharitably of the Primitive Christians, that they did not, and that liberally too, contribute unto their Ministers, I meane, such as were able: Paul beares witnesse of their readinesse both to the Romans, Corinthians and Philippians, certifying us that they were willing even beyond their power, 2 Cor. 8. 3. 4. and that in so large a measure, as the text saies in severall planes that they sold their possessions, and persed them to all men as they had need, laid them &illegible; the Apostles seet, or had all things in common, so that no man said, that ought of the things hee possessed was his owne, Acts 2. 44. 45. Chap. 4. 32. 35.

But as the Scripture sayes, not many noble, not many rich were called, 1 Cor. 1. 26. so it is cleare in all history, that the poverty of the Primitive Christiane was generall; and so it may have been observed to be in all ages even till these present dayes; from whence wee finde it so often objected to the disparagement of such as now seeke after truth, what are they but a company of poore, base, contemptible people, such as have nothing to lose? as if there were nothing worth Insing besides the rich mens Idols, of superfluity and &illegible; who in consequence to their owne saying, must thinke nothing besides these worth getting: But alas I have not such poore contemptible Christians, in these mens account, soules to lose, as well as they? He promise them, they have soules to save, better then they: The truth is, they want the temptation of wealth and greatnesse, which too too commonly overswayes men from seeking after truth, as it pleases God to discover it by peace-meales, and in such manner only, as we grow capable to receive it; being apt to thinke they were the poore Christians of whom it was said, that from John Baptist untill the Apostles time the Kingdome of heaven suffered violence, and the violent took it by force, Mar. 11. 12. I hope the Reader will pardon this digression, and so I returne to the point againe.

It is acknowledged then that under the Gospell, a competent and comfortable maintenance is due unto the Ministery; yet this the Apostles did, not only, not capitulate for, but Paul alleadges two most craphaticall reasons, which might prevaile with any man that were not a very &illegible;, or had any sparks of piety remaining in him, that they should betake themselves to any lawfull calling, and worke even night and day with their owne hands, as hee did, rather then be reduced to need the benevolence of their brethren, saying, It is more blessed to give than to receive, Act. 20. 35. and that the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for their children, 2 Cor. 2. 14.

And if at any time the Apostles did stand in need, and that the Disciples, of their owne Christian disposition, gave them any thing, the Apostles still received it as a gift, 2 Cor. 8. 3. 4. a matter of bounty, c. 9. 5. expresly declaring that they sought not theirs but them, 2 Cor. 12. 13. 14. Nay, Paul would not have accepted of a gift, even to the reliefe of his necessities, had it not beene rather to give them an occasion to shew forth the fruits of their proficiency of their charity, that it might so much the more abundantly redound to their account, Phil. 4. 15. 16. 17. Had Paul been the most eminent &illegible; of his time, as hee was no meane one; had he studied to deliver this notion of his in &illegible; of highest expressions; I cannot conceive how it was possible to out got himselfe herein; but we must impute it to the sufficiency of this Spirit which gave him matter of glorying above all other Apostles, 1 Cor. 15. 10. 2 Cor. 11. 21. 23.

Thus we finde in sundry Scriptures declared, and particularly in Namb. 18. 20. Deut. 10. 9. and 18. 1. Jos. 13. 4. &illegible; 44. 28. that in the distribution of the land of &illegible; amongst the &illegible; the tribe of Lord was to have no inheritance, the Lord promising that he would be their inheritance; but in regard that he had assigned unto them all his owne lot and share, which was the tythes of all that the &illegible; &illegible; Lov. 27. 30. 32. besides that of &illegible; beasts, as also all things &illegible; whether meat offerings, sin offerings or trespasse offerings, v. 8. 9. which was larger stock and proportion than if they had had assigned them these part of the whole land of Canaan; it may be demanded, to what purpose then does God say he will be the Levites portion? I answer, that it may likely bee the Lords intention, that the Levites whom hee &illegible; drawne unto himselfe by a neerer relation of office and service, should not have any certaine permanent inheritance in Canaan, as the other Tribes, but that they should &illegible; upon the tythes, and such other duties as God had first assumed unto himselfe, and then allotted unto them, which being more uncertaine, because of the Israelites would not pay them these duties, these tithes, I finde no coercive power appointed to compell them thereunto, the Lord would notwithstanding have then relye thereon, or rather on himselfe, who promised to be their inheritance, their portion, that is to provide for the Levites, though their brethren should faile of paying tythes; for in other respects the Lord was the inheritance of all the Israelites, all alikes bee failes not to take care and charge of all that trust in him: just so is it with Christs Minister in the New Testament; a maintenance is due unto them from their brethren, but in such a manner, that whosoever will not give them any, cannot be compelled unto it; and from such as give it them, they are to acknowledge it as a gift, 2 Car. 8. 4. Phil. 4. 17.

But least it should bee thought a bare assertion of mine, that they was no compulsive power allotted by God for constraining the Israelites to pay their tithes; let the Reader be pleased to observe how it is said in Samuel, that the sonnes of &illegible; came with a flesh hooke, and striking it into the pot when the people offered sacrifice, tooke all the meat that came up for the Priest, and this they did perform sometimes when they so pleased, 1 Sam. 2. 13. to 16. but we finde they were called sommes of &illegible; for is, v. 12. and the text sayes, their sin was very &illegible; before the Lord, and that for this cause &illegible; abhorred the offering of the Lord v. 17. Besides we see in Malachi 3. 9. 10. Nehem. 13. 10. 11. 11. when the people refused to pay tythes, the Lord complained of them accordingly by his Prophets, but never gave the Magistrate order to punish them for it, or so much as reprehended him for omitting it.

But let &illegible; debate the case a little further with these greedy &illegible; &illegible; doe we not &illegible; by &illegible; how few of them would be &illegible; that their &illegible; their &illegible; should &illegible; &illegible; them, not suffering them to depart, when they found opportunity to remove themselves unto a larger maintenance? and yet if their Parishioners should say, Sir, you expect, require; nay, even competius, hitherto, to pay you tithes, the tenth part of all we have; but now there is a godly man; who would be glad of the opportunity to administer unto us such spirituall things as our soules delight in, and stand to our free will offerings for his maintenance, who would bee abundantly satisfied with one halfe, even any portion what ever it bee, that commeth from us voluntarily.

Wee entreat you therefore give us leave to make use of this advantage in favour both of our purses and our soules: doe you finde these selfe-seeking Clergimen would bee contented to lay downe their pretended Commission? No, ’tis too too evident they would not: Their pretences are; Our livings are given us for our lives, we have as good a title to them as you have to your lands; Nay, they sticke not to flie higher, and even Bishop-like to argue their tenour, providentia Dei, by divine right.

But is this equall brethren? Does Christianity engage us to renounce our Civill rights, our very reason? may these Clergymen who in complement sometimes please to call themselves our Ministers, our servants, (though like their Great Grandfather the Pope who subscribes servour Dei, even whilst hee expects that Kings and Emperours should wait upon him) and have their livelihoods out of our purses, thus &illegible; become our Masters, intrude themselves at first upon us whether we will or no, continue with us as long as they themselves list, take upon them to keep us from the Ordinances when they will, preach what trush and trumpery they please, exact the tithes, which in effect is one &illegible; part of our whole estate, as is made appeare upon calculation in the Epistle to the Reader, and yet leave us it their owne pleasure, when it makes for their advantage? &illegible; his Priest when he could get no more &illegible; imployment, agreed with him by the yeare for 10 &illegible; of silver, a suit of apparell, and his dyes, Judges, 17. 10. 11. but so sophe as hee met with opportunity of becomming Priest unto a whole Tribe, he laid hold thereon with joy, c. 18. v. 19. 20. even thus these Merchants of the Gospel; none in appearance at first more diligent and officious then they untill they got into a Benefice or lecture endeavouring themselves what possibly they can, that, besides their tithee, they may raise the price of their benevolences; but if a more sat Parsonage present it selfe, quit &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; is their practicall divinity, they account it the greatest fully under heaven to refuse it.

For this cause like enough the Answerer of Mr. Pryus 12. Questions used these words concerning them, pag. 20. May it not will be said according to Micah 3. 11. that the Clergy teach for hire, and Prophesie for many, which God by him exclaimed against in his time? doth not the same Prophes say truly of them, v. 5. bee that &illegible; not into their mouthes, they even prepare War against him? do they not with the most prostitute Popelings ery out, No penny, no Pater noster? Is not maintenance, maintenance, the burthen of all their Parlour or Pulpit pastime? and why should they so sacrilegiously set a price on that which is but supposititions, the phancie of their owne braines, the reall truth whereof God required all true Disciples to give for nothing? Mat. 10. 8. Es. 55. 1. 2. or why should people bee forced to buy the chaffer of these Clergy-merchants, rather then the wares or labour of a Shoomaker or porter? would not such dealing be damned for an unjust monopoly, which yet these Encroachers practise without a Patent, if any but themselves should doe the like? Nay, why must we be forced to pay these mercenary Clergymen for such counterfeit service and ministration which others will discharge better, and that for nothing? Is not this the greatest infringing of the Subjects propriety which the Kingdome suffers? I say not this to undervalue the Ministery of the Gospell, or to diswade an ample and abundant maintenence to such as truly labour in Gods Vineyard; but to exaggerate the heynousnesse of those that doe not only set, as they pretend, the &illegible; treasure of the Gospell, the unvaluable Word of God to sale as if it were an unholy thing, Heb. 10. 29. but as much as in them lyes, compell all people and Nations by fire and sword to buy trash and trampery in stead thereof, and that at what price they themselves please.

I know this Controversie will not easily be reconciled; our English Belly-Priests will doubtlesse struggle for their tythes, with no lesse subtillity and &illegible; than the Popish did, for their Supremacy and Peter pence when the Reformation first began; the truth is, they still plead prescription for them in England, though they were long since damned by all Reformed Churches of Scotland, Sweadland, &illegible; France, Germany, the &illegible; and United Provinces, not without the &illegible; &illegible; against of Gods people amongst us ever since, as is evident in their owne and other mens writings upon Record; but bad Lawes, as well as Oathes, are better broke then kept, sitter to be repealed than continued: I wish therefore, amongst such other hard questions and arguments, as have been put to them formerly, in this behalfe, they would likewise take into consideration these few Queries.

What is the difference betwixt a Ministers calling, and any other, whether Handicraft or Tradesmans? wherein are they distinguished? What is requisite to make them both legitimate? Is there not an outward Call, and an inward Call to either of them?

Whether may it now adayes bee infallibly discerned that a Minister is truly called to preach unto a people, any otherwayes, than by the peoples calling of him?

Whether ought a Minister once called and accepted of to preach unto a People or Parish, leave the said Parish or People all his life time upon any pretence whatsoever, without consent of those that first called him?

Whether may a Minister be said to be truly called, who is put upon a Parish, contrary to the wills and approbation of the whole or major part thereof, as is the condition of most Parishes, according to the present Lawes of England?

Whether may such a Minister as is once called to teach in any Parish, withdraw himselfe without being called away by God that called him thither? How may a Minister know when God truly calls him from one Parish to another? Whether is it not most probable that such are not called by God, but run away, who remove from a leane Benefice or Lecture unto a sat one?

Whether did God ever really call any man to the Ministery of the Gospell, without enduing him with gifts sit for such a Calling? What are the necessary signes, gifts, and qualifications of such a Calling?

Whether is it not one necessary qualification of a Minister truly called to divide the word of truth aright, 2 Tim. 2. 15. to bold fast the faithfull word as it hath been taught, and be able by sound doctrine, both to exhort and to convince the &illegible; Tit. 1. 9.

Whether have the Papist, Lutheran, Calvinist, or Anabaptist, Presbyterian or Independant, (any one, or either of them more then the other) any infallible way of exhorting and convincing &illegible; according to Pauls rule to Titus? If they have, why doe they not show it unto their brethren? If they have not, is it not a &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; no true Ministers, no true Christians, that doe not beare with their &illegible; three untill they can convince them?

If it be not in the Clergies power to make it infallibly appeare unto me, that such a one is a Minister unto me, my Minister, after a more &illegible; nor any other manner, than such a one, the very same, by which a man is, or becomes a Servingman unto me, my Servingman, to wit, because I have accepted of, and entertained him into my service; &illegible; what reason may this Minister require the tithes of my estate, whether I will or no, when this Servingman can recover nothing, but what I my selfe will give him or agree for with him? what reason can bee given why every man (if a pretended Minister will be so shamelesse to put him to it) should not capitulate and article with a Minister for his paines, his service, as well as with a Servingman, a Porter? Why may not a Carpenter or Tayler be put upon every Parish, whether the Parish will or no, as well as a Minister; and each of them pretend to doe the worke of the whole Parish in generall, and of every one in particular, compelling them to pay him for it, though he did no works for them, through their default, as well as the Minister?

But that I may be the better induc’d to render all reverence and other dues, which these Clergymen lay claime to, ’tis necessary that I be a little further satisfied concerning the demonstrative verify of so extraordinary a Calling, as they pretend to be invested with, or how they have any &illegible; above all other beleevers, who joyntly so long since were by Peter declared to be a royall Priesthood, 1 Pet. 1. 9.

For all that I can understand, these Clergymen were borne &illegible; naked as well as others; their education at Schools and University (&illegible; say no more) is no better than their fellows, and, in briefe, they are very &illegible; to be distinguished from other men, untill they begin to feel an itching, a longing after Tith-crops, by which (for all that can be discerned) they judge themselves to be ripe, and expect only Gods call unto the Ministery.

Thus far, (I meane till they grow tith-sicke) their progresse is not difficult, the world can apprehend it as well as they themselves; but now forsooth, the &illegible; of Gods house devours them &illegible; Ps. 69. 9. and all &illegible; as may be &illegible; them, must know they have no rest in spirit, through &illegible; &illegible; desire that God would call them to preach the &illegible; &illegible; good people, like enough, enquire and cast about &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; for some vacant Parsonage or &illegible; suddenly one brings newes of 10. 20. 30. 40. or 50. pounds worth of tithes, or other benevolences, which may be compassed, if God so please, (this phrase must in, that God may beare the blame, untill this new Evangelist be pleased;) hee gives them a gracious hearing and acceptance, but finding it too small, inferiour to his tavenous appetite, he still with Moses alleadges, that the Lord hath not yet appeared to him, Exod. 4. 1. Hee doth not apprehend himselfe to be sufficiently called, and thus in the best seeming manner he can, he devours, untill some great Cedar falls to warme him by, untill the stalled Oxe bee killed to feast him with, untill a far Parsonage of 100. 200. or 300. pounds a year grow void, which no sooner happens, but the first to al thereof pierces both his ears, that they stand listning continually, untill his Scoutes, some friend or other propound it to him, which is no sooner mentioned, but as if he were impatient, that his Predecessor had injured him to dye no sooner, he breaks out with Samuel, saying, Speaks Lord, for thy servant heareth, 1 Sam. 3. 10. in briefe, their rule it, God calls them not to small games, they are confident he will not doe them so much injury, he will not have them serve him for nothing, much like to what the Devill said of Joh. c. 1. 9, 10, 11. but if a fat Benefite be mentioned, they runne in full assurance that their God (God Mammon) calls them.

Dear Reader, is this the truth? then ponder on it, and weigh well the consequence thereof; let not thy understanding but any longer captivated; be not superstitious, and thou shalt see greater things than these, Joh. 1. 50.

Cast then thy &illegible; a little on all such as pretend unto the Ministery among us; consider their different wayes and doctrines, and thou shalt finde many of them to agree no lesse then opposites, then contradictions.

Some of them hold the Church of Rome to be a true, though &illegible; and corrupted Church; others, that whosoever lives and dyes in the beliefe thereof, cannot possibly attaine salvation. Some hold the Ministery in the Church of Rome to be a false Ministery, not knowing otherwise how to excuse their separation from it &illegible; Others dare not do so (no more then of their Baptisme) as knowing their owne Ministery to be derived successively from that of Rome. Some hold Episcopacy to be of Divine right a Others say as much for Presbytery; and not a few there be who affirm no peculiar government at all to be by Divine right. Some hold we are &illegible; by &illegible; &illegible; by &illegible; &illegible; without good workes. Some hold that Christ could not bee just and equall, &illegible; he had dyed for all the world alike, even all that would believe on him: Others thinke Christ might possibly have lost his labour, had he not dyed for a set number only, for his Elect, who therefore cannot finne at all, or possibly miscarry though they sinne never so much. Some hold we are justified by Christs passive obedience only, and that for all his active obedience, he might have said, hee was unprofitable as touching mans redemption: Others affirme that not only Christs passive obedience, but his active also, were both necessary to our justification and his owne. To bee briefe, (for volumnes of this nature may recounted.) Some hold the &illegible; of Infants to be obligatory: Others beleeve it may as well, if not better be dispenced withall. Now, there are I say, in the Church of England men that teach all these contradictory doctrines, who yet pretend to have had an expresse calling unto the Ministery from God, extraordinary in respect to their Lay-brethren: They all stile themselves Gods Ambassadours to us, they tell us that Christs words in Luke 10. 16. are as clearly to be understood of them and their successours in their respective generations, as of the 70. Disciples themselves: to wit, He that heareth you, &illegible; me, and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent &illegible; Thus doth each of them &illegible; the Divinity both of their Ministery and Doctrine upon the people, because it brings in their &illegible; their maintenance, with such execrable threatnings, to those that will not receive them, that they poore soules, having their judgements &illegible; by superstitious feares, cannot choose but swallow them down &illegible; uncasted.

But since their Doctrines doe appeare so contradictory to such as are not hoodwink’d; since no one of them can prove his Ministery to be trust &illegible; the others; nay, since it is agreed on amongst themselves that their Ministery is one and the same, wee cannot with any shew of reason be required to beleeve them otherwise, than all alike, that is, so far forth only as &illegible; &illegible; fully &illegible; thereof in our &illegible; &illegible; Rom. 14. 5. which upon the very first reflection trust needs conclude, that, since the callings and doctrines of them all cannot &illegible; be &illegible; implying contradictions, so cannot the calling of either of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; they as have the false something, &illegible; is evident by &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible;

But to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; I have prov’d, were not &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; came into the land of Canaam, &illegible; that end of Tribe of Levi, for particular expresse purposets to wit, besides others, that they should give one tenth thereof for a heave-offering unto the High Priest, Num. 18. 27, 28, 29. who was to sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem, and the said Tribe of Levi was to attend and doe the service of the Tabernacle, Num. 3. 7. 8. and was only required to receive either of their brethren the Jewes, the other eleven Tribes which came out of the loynes of Abraham, Heb. 5. 7. and neither they the said Tribe of Levi, nor the High Priest to have any other portion or inheritance besides the tithes, Numb. 18. 20. 23. 24, from whence amongst others, we may draw these few observations.

1. According to the Laviticall law, the tithes of the land of Canaan only were payable, and that in the land of Canaan only, and from the Jewes their brethren only; But these pretended &illegible; lay claime to the tithes of all the world, from all sorts of Nations, to be due unto themselves the Clergy.

2. The Jewish Lavites were a peculiar Tribe, upon whom the tithes were entailed from one generation to another, and by a Statute to endure for ever, they were to have no other inheritance, Numb. 18. 23. but were to rely upon the Lord, who promised to be their portion: But these, who are no more of Lavi his kindred than the Great Turks, allusing unto their wayes, not much unlike the Jesuits, or rather Romulus, such of all Nations who are fittest for their turnes, by tricks and shifts, seducing whom they can, through a pretence of superstitious zeale, lay claime, rob, and run away with the fifth part of all their neighbours goods, wherein, notwithstanding, they have so little trust, and lesse confidence in Gods promise, which was to be a portion unto the Israelitish Lavites, in whom there was no guile; that they lay up, board and purchase, as if they knew their posterity were bastards, and not to bee provided for, neither by tithes, nor Gods providence: And

3. Whereas the true Lavites were to give for a heave-offering unto the High Priest of the family of &illegible; one tenth of all those tithes, our English Lavites, &illegible; their High Priest and head the Pope was banished out of England, pretend to pay (when they cannot avoid it, for they are slow enough in payment) unto the King: I know not what first &illegible; instead thereof, and indeed they made him so far forth their High Priest to beare their &illegible; that what ever they have of &illegible; &illegible; questioned for, they cast upon his back.

I know the common &illegible; and objection which is made against &illegible; maintenance, is wit, that most men are so backward to all good duties, especially in matter of expence, that if they be not both rated and compelled to pay, they will not pay at all, or not their shares proportionably: and that if there be not both a certain &illegible; round allowance, such as have hitherto applyed themselves to study for service of the Church, will grow discouraged-betake themselves to other callings, and by this meanes the Gospell become contemptible, through want of an able and learned Ministery: To this I answer, that it is evident by experience that such Ministers of the Congregationall way as have good parts, and are consciousnable in their callings, although they leave every one of their Congregation to contribute as God has enabled them according to the purpose of their owne hearts, not grudgingly, which was Pauls rule, 2 Cor. 9. 5. I say, that such have a maintenance equall (if not exceeding) to what the tithes produced in the Bishops times, or may doe againe hereafter if they were to be continued. Secondly, for such as will not put themselves to study for the Churches service, unlesse they be encouraged by maintenance; I say, they are guilty of a &illegible; surpassing symony, a namelesse sinne, a sinne so infamous, as none were found in the Gospel-time so vile and desperate to commit it, and give occasion unto a law at once expressely both to name it and condemne it, &illegible; Magus his sin was not so great as theirs, hee would have bought the gifts of the Holy Ghost, these men would sell them if they had them; &illegible; Magus thought so well of the Holy Ghost, that he would have purchased it with money, Act. 8. 18, 19. But these sons of covetousnesse are so basely lordid, that they will not accept of it gratis, unlesse they may, at same time, have a Great, a Monopoly to impose the counterfeit gifts thereof upon the people, at an enhanced, overgrowne excised rate. Thirdly, such men doe plainly by their practise declare to all the world, that there &illegible; no difference between the calling of such backney Ministers, and the calling of a Merchant, Cobler, or any Handicraftman, but that it is indifferent, and all alike, free for every one to betake himselfe to which of them he pleases, and thinkes will prove most gainsome and beneficiall to him: And lastly, &illegible; &illegible; bee the Clergies due by Divine right, &illegible; is determitted by that great &illegible; of the Assembly, Dr. Burges, with sundry &illegible; of the &illegible; &illegible; their are all the Lay-men of England highly guilty of &illegible; who withhold them by &illegible; but if by a meere &illegible; a Parliamentary-law, only they lay claime unto them, then may it the &illegible; be repealed, since it so much intrenches upon the subjects propriety in generall, and upon the most tender consciences of many in particular.

And when they are admonished to labour with their hands from Pauls example, rather then be chargeable unto the people, 1 Thess. 2. 9. they answer, that though Paul did labour, yet it was of his owne good will and curtesie, there was no obligation for it, and seeke to prove it by those words of Pauls, where he sayes, it Cor. 9. 6. have not Paul and &illegible; a power, as well as the other Apostles, to forbeare working? to which I reply, that Paul and &illegible; had the same power to forbeare working, which the brethren had to forbeare giving them maintenance, the one could not be compelled to worke, neither might the other be forced to set me at and drinke before them, or any others, much lesse if they were persons addicted unto idlenesse.

But I presume it will not be pleaded in Pauls behalfe, that he or any body else might lawfully passe their time in idlenesse, especially since &illegible; finde that Pauls expresse command unto the Thessalonians, was, that of any would not &illegible; he should not &illegible; 12 Thess. 3. 10. So neither is it pretended that Christians may lawfully refuse administring to the necessities of their brethren, especially, of such as teach them spirituall things.

2. Paul cannot be said to require any other power of forbearing to worke, then what the other Apostles had, or made use of, and we may not imagine of them, that they were idly given; doubtlesse they omitted no opportunity of imploying their time, as might be most advantagious and edifying unto the brethren, and upon this supposition they were to spend the whole day, even all their dayes, between providing for their owne livelihood, their health, and the propagation of the Gospell; now besides &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and &illegible; was necessary for keeping them alive, which they must have got by labouring with their owne hands, or else have beene supplyed therewith from the brethren, if the brethren did supply Paul with food and &illegible; then might he have forborne to worke, as he &illegible; 1 &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; he must have spirit so much more time with labouring in the &illegible; and doctrine, a &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; he must not have &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; was said before, but by Pauls practice ’tis evident he might not forbeare &illegible; when his &illegible; maintenance, would have proved &illegible; to the brethren.

But in conclude; Our Saviour &illegible; &illegible; of the Gospel Ministery, lest his Disciples, being ignorant how to demorne themselves, &illegible; goe about to carve their owne maintenence, when hee first sent them out to preach the Gospell, he charges them expressely, saying, freely yet have received, freely give, Matth. 10. 8. then, that they might not rest any wayes perplexed through feare of want, as such who might apprehend themselves altogether unprovided of necessation, he &illegible; them eat such things as were set before them, Luke 10. &illegible; and that they and their successors in the Ministery of the Gospell, might be the better induced to relye upon the same providence ever after, being returned from their Ministery, he askes them, saying. When I sent you without purse and scrip, and shoots, wanted ye any thing and they said, We &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; 22. 35. whereunto I will only adde, that for those who &illegible; &illegible; themselves Ministers, and will not be contented with such wages and maintenance as Christ appointed them, it is more then suspicious that they have no &illegible; nor portion, neither in the Apostles saith, Ministery nor Gospell.

After I had finished this short Discourse, there came unto my hands Mr. Seldom History of Tythes, which I must needs say, I had not scene before, and am confident it will not be ungratefull unto the Reader, if I here present him with some Quotations which I bring from thence, and what I have observed, it a briefe abstract of the History it self.


&illegible; &illegible; complaines of Pope &illegible; &illegible; about 1060. that Introductions or conveyances of perpetuall right of these were granted to Lay-men. l. 1. op. 10. l. 4. op. 12. &illegible; Sold. c. 6.

&illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Rodulphus &illegible; &illegible;

&illegible; assorted that times were &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; might &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; which was condemned by the &illegible; of &illegible;

&illegible; of &illegible; such as were made &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Canon Prohibemus of the Councell of Latteran held under &illegible; the 3. &illegible; &illegible; to this day &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; as other Lay-inheritances, although none can now be created in France, &c. Seldon Hist. c. 7.

The Canon law of the Greeke Church never commanded any thing concerning tithes. Id. c. 7.

Theodore Balsamen Patriarch of Antioch advises Mark Patriarch of Alexandria, touching the quantity of what was to be offered in the Easterne Churches, that no certaine quantity is appointed by the Canons, and that through the inequality of mens estates (none of them giving any such part to the Church as that it could discover their abilities) which permits not a regular certainty, they were contented with what custome, and free bounty of the givers bestowed. Respons. 57. inter &illegible; Juris Graco Romani.

Pope Gregory in his answer to Austin the Monke, tells him, that the custome is generally to make a quadripartite division of all Church offerings, or tithes; for the Bishop, for his Clergy, for the poore, and for &illegible; of Churches; but admonishes him that to condernesse of the English-Saxon Church, he and his Clergy should still imitate the Community of all things used in the Primitive times under the Apostles. Selden of Tithes. c. 9.

Differences about Tithes were decided by the Sheriffes and Bishops in the Saxons times, and afterwards made determinable in the Bishops Consistory by William the Conqueror, Id. c. 14. sect. 1. & seq.

Temporall Courts did notwithstanding judge of tithes even untill Henry the seconds time, and in certain cases and manner of proceedings till Henry the thirds time. Id. Ibid. sect. 4. 5. 7.

Epiphanius Bishop of Constance in Cyprus about the yeare 380. writing against certaine her crickes of the Primitive times, speaking of the &illegible; or those which thought that Easter must needs be kept on the 14. Moone according to the Law given the Jesus. concerning the Passeover, fearing that observing of it otherwise might subject them to the curse of the law, sayes, they might as well be lyable to the same curse, for not circumcising, for not paying tithes, for not offering at Jerusalem; which is an undeniable argument that in those dayes, and in those parts, they paid no tithes, no more then they did sacrifice, or circumcise, Id. Revew. of Ch. 4.


THe Councells for the first 600. yeares take no notice of tithes, bet of offerings and lands possessed with their Revenues.

All that was received in the Bishopricke or Parish (for both words had but one signification at first) by such as were appointed by the Bishop, was divided into foure parts, whereof one fourth was for maintenance of the Ministery, out of which every Curate had his monthly salary; one fourth to reliefe of the poor, sicke and strangers; one fourth to reparation of Churches, and one fourth to the Bishop of the Diocesse or Parish; but this course was proper to the Diocesse of Rome.

Untill the yeare 800. Lay-men who were Patrons of Churches, shared with their Chaplins, and such Incambents as they put in of all such offerings as were made, as appeares by Councells, and Imperiall Capitularies.

Towards the end of the 400. yeare, some few devouter people began to pay tithes, or rather duties, no proportion being established, for reliefe of the poore, which continued chiefly, if not only for their use, untill about the end of the 800. yeare, at which time they began to be devoted unto Churches, at the sole disposition of the Clergy, not the Parson only, but of some fraternity of Monkes, at the Benefactors choice, yet so that the Doner might appropriate them to what Church he pleased, though it were situate in an other Parish, or pretinct, then where the tithes were to be gathered. That of &illegible; was the first Generall Councell which mentioned tithes about the yeare 1130. and no Canon commanded the payment of tithes, till the &illegible; Generall Councell in the yeare. 1215.


T.57 (3.1) [William Walwyn], Tolleration Justified, and Persecution Condemn’d (29 January 1646).

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T.57 [1646.01.29] (3.1) [William Walwyn], Tolleration Justified, and Persecution Condemn’d (29 January 1646).

Full title

[William Walwyn], Tolleration Justified, and Persecution Condemn’d. In an Answer or Examination, of the London-ministers Letter Whereof, Many of them are of the Synod, and yet framed this Letter at Sion-Colledge; to be sent among others, to themselves at the Assembly: in behalf of Reformation and Church-government, 2 Corinth, II. vers. 14. 15. And no marvail, for Sathan himself is transformed into an Angell of Light. Therefore it is no great thing, though his Ministers transform themselves, as though they were Ministers of Righteousnesse; whose end shall be according to their works.
London, Printed in the Year, 1646.

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29 January 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 418; Thomason E. 319. (15.)

Editor’s Introduction

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Text of Pamphlet

THE LETTER OF THE LONDON, MINISTERS TO THE Assembly of DIVINEs af Westminster; against TOLERATION, mildly examined; AND The mistakes thereof friendly discovered; As well for the sakes of the Independent and Separation, as for the good of the COMMON-WEALTH.

When I call to minde the generall oppression (before the Parliament) exercised upon good people, conscientious in the practice of their religion; and that the Presbyters did not onely suffer as much as any therein, but exclaim’d, and labour’d as much as any there-against: It is a wonder to me, that now that yoke is removed, and a blest opportunity offered by Almighty God, to the people and their Parliament, to make every honest heart glad, by allowing a just and contentfull Freedome, to serve God without hypocrisie; and according to the perswasion of conscience: That one Sect amongst us, that is the Presbyters, that have been yoke-fellowes with us; should not rest satisfied with being free as their Brethren, but become restlesse in their contrivances and endeavours, till they become Lords over us. The wonder is the same, as it would have been, had the Israelites, after the Egyptian bondage, become Task-masters in the Land of Canaan one to another, but that is more in them who have been instructed by our Saviour in that blessed rule; of doing unto others, what they would have others doe unto themselves.

To discover the severall policies the Presbiters have used to get into the chayre they have justled the Bishops out of, whose example they have followed in many particulars; as especially in the politick and graduall obtaining the Ordinance for Licencing, upon a pretence of stopping the Kings writings, but intentionably obtained, and violently made use of against the Independents, Separation, and Cornmonwealths-men, who either sees more, or something contrary to the designes of the Licencer. To signifie to the People, how the Presbiters have laboured to twist their interest with the Parliaments, as the Bishops did theirs with the King, how daily and burdensomly importunate they are with the Parliament, to establish their Government, (which they are pleased to call Christs) and back it with authority, and a compulsive power, (which by that very particular appeares not to be his) To lay open their private juncto’s and councels, their framing Petitions for the easie and ignorant people, their urging them upon the Common Councell, and obtruding them upon the chusers of Common Councell men, at the Wardmote Elections, even after the Parliament had signified their dislike thereof; to sum up their bitter invectives in Pulpits, and strange liberty they take as well there, as in their writings, to make the separation and Independents odious by scandals and untrue reports of them, in confidence of having the presse in their own hands, by which meanes, no man without hazard shall answer them, to lay open the manner and depth of these proceedings, is not the intention of this worke; I only thought good to mention these particulars, that the Presbiters may see they walke in a net, no ’tis no cloud that covers them, and that they may fear that in time they may be discern’d as well by the whole People, as they are already by a very great part thereof.

The London Ministers Letter, contriu’d in the conclave of Sion Colledge, is one of the numerous projects of the Clergy: not made for the information of the Sinod, but the misinformation of the People, to prevent which is my businesse at this time; I will only take so much of it as is to the point in hand, to wit, Tolleration.


It is true, by reason of different lights, and different sights among Brethren, there may be dissenting in opinion, yet why should there be any separating from Church Communion.

Why? because the difference in opinion is in matters that concerne Church Communion: you may as well put the question, why men play not the Hypocrites? as they must needs do if they should communicate in that Church Society, their minde cannot approve of. The question had been well put, if you had said, by reason of different lights, and different sights, there may be dissenting in opinion, yet why should our hearts be divided one from another? why should our love from hence, and our affections grow cold and dead one towards another? why should we not peaceably, beare one with another, till our sights grow better, and our light increase? These would have been questions I thinke, that would have pusled a truly conscientious man to have found an answer for.

That which next followes, to wit, the Churches coat may be of divers colours, yet why should there be any rent in it: is but an old jing of the Bishops, spoken by them formerly in reference to the Presbiters; and now mentioned, to make that which went before, which has no weight in it selfe, to sound the better.


Have we not a Touchstone of truth, the good word of God, and when all things are examined by the word, then that which is best may be held fast; but first they must be knowne, and then examined afterward.

I shall easily concur with them thus farr, that the Word of God is the Touchstone, that all opinions are to be examined by that, and that the best is to be held fast. But now who shall be the examiners, must needs be the question; If the Presbiter examine the Independant and separation, they are like to find the same censure the Presbiters have already found, being examined by the Bishops, and the Bishops found from the Pope: Adversaries certainly are not competent Judges; againe, in matters disputable and controverted, every man must examine for himselfe, and so every man does, or else he must be conscious to himselfe, that he sees with other mens eyes, and has taken up an opinion, not because it consents with his understanding, but for that it is the safest and least troublesome as the world goes, or because such a man is of that opinion whom he reverences, and verily believes would not have been so, had it not been truth. I may be helpt in my examination, by other men, but no man or sort of men, are to examine for me, insomuch that before an opinion can properly be said to be mine, it must concord with my understanding. Now here is the fallacy, and you shall find it in all Papists, Bishops, Presbiters, or whatsoever other sort of men, have or would have in their hands the power of persecuting, that they alwayes suppose themselves to be competent examiners and Judges of other men differing in judgement from them, and upon this weake supposition (by no meanes to be allowed) most of the reasons and arguments of the men forementioned, are supported.

They proceed to charge much upon the Independents, for not producing their modell of Church-government; for answer hereunto, I refer the Reader to the Reasons printed by the Independents, and given into the House in their own justification, which the Ministers might have taken notice of.

I proceed to the supposed Reasons urged by the Ministers, against the Tolleration of Independency in the Church.


1. Is, because the Desires and endeavours of Independents for a Toleration, are at this time extreamly unseasonable, and preposterous For,

1. The reformation of Religion is not yet perfected and setled amongst us, according to our Covenant. And why may not the Reformation be raised up at last to such purity and perfection, that truly tender consciences may receive abundant satisfaction for ought that yet appeares.

I would to God the people, their own friends especially, would but take notice of the fallacy of the Reason: They would have reformation perfected according to the Covenant, before the Independents move to be tollerated: now Reformation is not perfected according to the Covenant, till Schisme and Heresie is extirpated; which in the sequel of this Letter, they judge Independency to be, that their charity thinks it then most seasonable, to move that Independency should be tolerated after it is extirpated: their reason and affection in this, are alike sound to the Independants. Their drift in this, indeede is but too evident, they would have the Independents silent, till they get power in their hands, and then let them talke if they dare, certainly, the most seasonable time to move for tolleration is while the Parliament are in debate about Church Government; since if stay bee made till a Church Government bee setled, all motions that may but seeme to derogate from that, how just soever in themselves, how good soever for the Common-wealth, must needs be hardly obtained.

And whereas they say, Why may not Reformation be raised up at last to such purity and perfection, that truly tender consciences may receive abundant satisfaction, for ought that yet appeares.

Observe, 1. That these very Ministers, in the sequel of their Letter, impute it as Levity in the Independents, that they are not at a stay, but in expectation of new lights and reserves, as they say, so that a man would think they themselves were at a certainty: But tis no new thing for one sort of men to object that as a crime against others, which they are guilty of themselves: though indeed but that the Presbiters use any weapons against the Independant’s, is no crime at all, yea ’tis excellency in any man or woman, not to be pertinacious, or obstinate in any opinion, but to have an open eare for reason and argument, against whatsoever he holds, and to imbrace or reject, whatsoever upon further search he finds to be agreeable to, or dissonant from Gods holy Word. It doth appeare from the practises of the Presbiters, and from this Letter and other Petitions expresly against Toleration, that unlesse the Independants and separation will submit their Judgements to theirs, they shall never be tollerated, if they can hinder it.

Their 2. Reason is that it is not yet knowne what the Government of the Independent is, neither would they ever let the world know what they hold in that point, though some of their party have bin too forward to challenge the London Petitioners as led with blind obedience, and pinning their soules upon their Preists sleeve, for desiring an establishment of the Government of Christ, before there was any modell of it extant. Their 3d. Reason, is much to the same purpose.

I answer, 1. That the Ministers know that the Independent Government for the Generall is resolved upon by the Independents, though they have not yet modelized every particular, which is a worke of time, as the framing of the Presbyteria Government was. The Independents however have divers reasons for dissenting from the Presbyterian way, which they have given in already. And though they have not concluded every particular of their owne, but are still upon the search, and enquiry; yet it is seasonable however to move for toleration, for that the ground of moving is not because they are Independents, but because every man ought to be free in the worship and service of God, compulsion being the way to increase, not the number of Converts, but of hypocrites; whereas it is another case for People to move for establishing of a Government they understand not, having never seene it, as the London Petitioners did, that is most evidently a giving up of the understanding to other men, sure the Presbiters themselves cannot thinke it otherwise, nor yet the People upon the least consideration of it. Besides, the London Petitioners did not only desire, as here the Ministers cunningly say, an establishment of the Government of Christ, but an establishment of the Government of Christ (a modell whereof the reverend Assembly of Divines have fram’d, which they never saw) so that herein, the People were abused by the Divines, by being put upon a Petition, wherein they suppose that Government which they never saw, to be Christs Government. If this be not sufficient to discover to our Presbyterian LayBrethren, the Divines confidence of their ability to worke them by the smoothnesse of phrase and Language to what they please, and of their own easinesse, and flexibility to be so led, I know not what is.

2. The Ministers urge that the desires and endeavours of the Independants for Toleration, are unreasonable, and unequall in divers regards.

1. Partly because no such toleration hath heitherto been establisht (sofar as we know) in any Christian State, by the Civill Magistrate.

But that the Ministers have been used to speake what they please for a Reason in their Pulpits without contradiction, they would never sure have let so slight a one as this have past from them: It seems by this reason, that if in any Christian State a Toleration by the Magistrate had been allowed, it would not have been unreasonable for our State to allow it: The practice of States, being here supposed to be the rule of what’s reasonable; whereas I had thought, that the practice of Christian States is to be judg’d by the rule of reason and Gods Word, and not reason by them: That which is just and reasonable, is constant and perpetually so; the practice of States though Christian, is variable we see; different one from another, and changing according to the prevalency of particular partees, and therefore a most uncertain rule of what is reasonable.

Besides, the State of Holland doth tollerate; and therefore the Ministers Argument, even in that part where it seems to be most strong for them, makes against them.

Again, if the practice of a Christian state, be a sufficient Argument of the reasonablenesse of a Tolleration, our State may justly tollerate because Christian, and because they are free to do what ever any other State might formerly have done. But I stay too long upon so weak an Argument.

2. Partly, Because some of them have solemnly protest, that they cannot suffer Presbitary, and answerable hereunto is their practice, in those places where Independency prevailes.

’Tis unreasonable it seems to tollerate Independents, because Independents would not if they had the power, suffer Presbyters. A very Christianly argument, and taken out of the 5. of Matthew 44. Love your Enemies, blesse them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which hurte you, and persecute you: What, were all our London Ministers forgetfull of their Saviours instructions? Does their fury so farre blinde their understanding, and exceed their piety? Which seems to be but pretended now, since in their practice they would become Jews, and cry out an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Whosoever meddles with them it seems, shall have as good as they bring: Was ever so strange a reason urg’d by a Sect of men, that say they are Ministers, Christs Ministers, Reformers too, that would make the world believe they are about to reduce all matters Christian, to the originall and primitive excellency of Christ and the Apostles, and yet to speak and publish to the world a spleenish reason, so expressely contrary to the precepts, to the practice of Christ and his followers. To Christ I say, that bids us love our enemies, that we may be the children of our Father which is in heaven, who makes the Sun to shine on the evill and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. The Ministers should be like the Master, what a disproportion is here? As if the title were taken up for some other end; we know the Apostle speaks of Ministers that could transform themselves as though they were the Ministers of Righteousnesse; I pray God our Ministers do not so, I would willingly suppresse those fears and suspitions; which doe what I can arise in me, from their words and practice. Sure they had approved themselves better christians, if upon the discovery of so bad a spirit in any of the Independents; as to persecute, had they power (though I beleive, there are not any such) I say, it had been more Christ-like in our Ministers, to have disswaded them from so unmanly, so much more unchristianly a vice, then to have it made an argument for practice in themselves. They might by the same rule, be Jewes to the Jew, or Turke to the Turke, Oppressours to the Oppressour; or doe any evill to others, that others would doe to them: if other mens doing of it, be an argument of the reasonablenesse thereof. But I hope, our Ministers will be so ingenious, as when they see their weaknesses forsake them, it will be both more comfortable to all other sorts of men, and in the end more happy for themselves.

2. Again, I suppose your suggestion to be very false; namely, that the Independents if they had power, would persecute the Presbyters: though let me tell you of all sects of men, those deserve least countenance of a State that would be Persecutors, not because of their consciences in the practice and exercise of their Religion, wherein the ground of Freedome consists; but because a persecuting spirit is the greatest enemy to humane society, the dissolver of love and brotherly affection, the cause of envyings, heart-burnings, divisions, yea, and of warres it selfe. Whosoever shall cast an impartiall eye upon times past, and examine the true cause and reason of the subversion, and devastation of States and countries, will I am confident; attribute it to no other, then the Tyranny of Princes, and Persecution of Priests. So that all States, minding their true interests, namely the good and welfare of the people, ought by all meanes to suppresse in every sect or degree of men, whether Papists, Episcopalls, Presbyters, Independents, Anabaptists, &c. the spirit of Domination, and Persecution, the disquieter and disturber of mankind, the offspring of Satan. God being all Love, and having so communicated himselfe unto us, and gave us commands to be like him, mercifull, as he our heavenly Father is mercifull; to bear with one anothers infirmities: neither does reason and true wisdome dictate any other to us, then that we should do unto others, as we would be done unto our selves; that spirit therefore which is contrary to God, to reason, to the well-being of States, as the spirit of Persecution evidently is; is most especially to be watcht, and warily to be circumscribed, and tied up by the wisdome of the supream power in Common-wealths. I speak not this to the disgrace of Presbyters, as Presbyters; for as such, I suppose they are not Persecutors: forasmuch as I know, some, and I hope there are many more of them, that are zealous and conscientious for that form of Government, and yet enemies to a compulsive power in matters of Religion. But for this end only, namely to beget a just and Christian dislike in all sorts of men, as well Presbyters, as others; of forcing all to one way of worship, though disagreeable to their minds: which cannot be done, without the assistance of this fury and pestilent enemy to mankind, Persecution. I proceed to the Ministers third Reason.

3. And partly to grant to them, and not to other Sectaries who are free-born as well as they, and have done as good service as they to the publick (as they use to plead) will be counted injustice, and great partiality; but to grant it to all, will scarce be cleared from impiety.

To the former part of this argument I gladly consent, that Sectaries have as good claimes to Freedome, as any sorts of men whatsoever; because free-born, because well-affected, and very assistant to their country in its necessities. The latter part of the argument is only an affirmation, without proof; the Ministers think sure it will be taken for truth because they said it, for such a presumption it seems they are arrived to. In the mean time what must they suppose the people to be, that do imagine their bare affirmations sufficient ground for the peoples belief; I would the people would learn from hence to be their own men, and make use of their own understandings in the search and beleif of things; let their Ministers be never so seemingly learned or judicious, God hath not given them understandings for nothing; the submission of the mind is the most ignoble slavery; which being in our own powers to keep free, the Subjection thereof argues in us the greater basenesse; but to the Assertion, that it will be impiety to grant it to all Sectaries.

I answer, First, that the word Sectary is communicable both to Presbyters and Independents, whether it be taken in the good sense for the followers of Christ; for such, all Presbyters, Independents, Brownists, Anabaptists, and all else, suppose and professe themselves to be: or in the common sense, for followers of some few men more eminent in their parts and abilities then other. And hereof the Independents and Presbyters are as guilty as the Separation, and so are as well Sectaries. Now all Sectaries, whether Presbyters, Independents, Brownists, Antinomians, Anabaptists, &c. have a like title and right to Freedome, or a Toleration; the title thereof being not any particular of the Opinion, but the Equity of every mans being Free in the State he lives in, and is obedient to, matters of opinion being not properly to be taken into cognisance any farther, then they break out into some disturbance, or disquiet to the State. But you will say, that by such a toleration, blasphemy will be broached, and such strange and horrid opinions, as would make the eares of every godly and Christian man to tingle; what must this also be tolerated? I answer, it cannot be just, to set bounds or limitations to toleration, any further then the safety of the people requires; the more horrid and blasphemous the opinion is, the easier supprest, by reason and argument; because it must necessarily be, that the weaker the arguments, are on one side, the stronger they are on the other: the grosser the errour is, the more advantage hath truth over it; the lesse colour likewise, and pretence there is, for imposing it upon the people. I am confident, that there is much more danger in a small, but speciously formed error, that hath a likenesse and similitude to truth, then in a grosse and palpable untruth.

Besides, can it in reason be judged the meetest way to draw a man out of his error, by imprisonment, bonds, or other punishment? You may as well be angry, and molest a man that has an imperfection or dimnesse in his eyes, and thinke by stripes or bonds to recover his sight: how preposterous would this bee? Your proper and meet way sure is, to apply things pertinent to his cure. And so likewise to a man whose understanding is clouded, whose inward sight is dimn and imperfect, whose mind is so far misinformed as to deny a Deity, or the Scriptures (for we’l instance in the worst of errors) can Bedlam or the Fleet reduce such a one? No certainly, it was ever found by all experience, that such rough courses did confirme the error, not remove it: nothing can doe that but the efficacy and convincing power of sound reason and argument; which, ’tis to be doubted, they are scarce furnisht withall that use other weapons. Hence have I observ’d that the most weak & passionate men, the most unable to defend truth, or their owne opinions, are the most violent for persecution. Whereas those whose minds are establisht, and whose opinions are built upon firm and demonstrable grounds, care not what winds blow, fear not to grapple with any error, because they are confident they can overthrow it.

3. Independency is a Schisme, and therefore not to be tollerated.

The principall argument brought to prove it, is this; Because they depart from the Presbyter Churches, which are true Churches, and so confest to be by the Independents.

I answer, that this Argument only concerns the Independents, because they only acknowledge them to be true Churches. Whether they are still of that opinion or no I know not, ’tis to be doubted they are not, especially since they have discern’d the spirit of enforcement and compulsion to raign in that Church; the truest mark of a false Church. I believe the Independents have chang’d their minde, especially those of them whose Pastors receive their Office and Ministery from the election of the people or congregation, and are not engag’d to allow so much to the Presbyters, because of their own interest; as deriving their calling from the Bishops and Pope, for the making up a supposed succession from the Apostles, who for their own sakes are enforc’d to acknowledge the Presbyter for a true Church, as the Presbyters are necessitated to allow the Episcopall and Papist Church, true or valid for the substance, as they confesse in the ordinance for Ordination, because they have receiv’d their Ministery therefrom, without which absurdity they cannot maintain their succession from the Apostles. But that the Independents are not a schism, they have and will, I believe, upon all occasions sufficiently justifie: I shall not therefore, since it concerns them in particular, insist thereupon; but proceed to the supposed mischiefs which the Ministers say will inevitably follow upon this tolleration, both to the Church and Commonwealth. First, to the Church.

1. Causelesse and unjust revolts, from our Ministery and Congregations.

To this I say, that it argues an abundance of distrust the Ministers have in their own abilities, and the doctrines they preach, to suppose their auditors will forsake them if other men have liberty to speak. ’Tis authority it seems must fill their Churches, and not the truth and efficacy of their doctrines. I judge it for my part a sufficient ground to suspect that for gold that can’t abide a triall. It seems our Ministers doctrines and Religion, are like Dagon of the Philistins, that will fall to pieces at the appearance of the Ark. Truth sure would be more confident, in hope to appear more glorious, being set off by faishood. And therefore I do adjure the Ministers, from that lovelinesse and potency that necessarily must be in Truth and Righteousnesse, if they think they do professe it, that they would procure the opening of every mans mouth, in confidence that truth, in whomsoever she is, will prove victorious; and like the Suns glorious lustre, darken all errors and vain imaginations of mans heart. But I fear the consequence sticks more in the stomacks, the emptying of their Churches being the eclipsing of their reputations, and the diminishing of their profits; if it be otherwise, let it appear by an equall allowing of that to others, which they have labour’d so much for to be allowed to themselves.

2. Our peoples minds will be troubled and in danger to be subverted, Acts 15.24.

A. The place of Scripture may concern themselves, and may as well be urg’d upon them by the Separation or Independents, as it is urg’d by them upon the Separation and Independents; namely, that they trouble the peoples mindes, and lay injunctions upon them, they were never commanded to lay. And ’tis very observable, the most of those Scriptures they urge against the Separation, do most properly belong unto themselves.

3. Bitter heart-burnings among brethren, will be fomented and perpetuated to all posterity.

I answer. Not by, but for want of a Tolleration: Because the State is not equall in its protection, but allows one sort of men to trample upon another; from hence must necessarily arise heart-burnings, which as they have ever been, so they will ever be perpetuated to posterity, unlesse the State wisely prevent them, by taking away the distinction that foments them; namely, (the particular indulgency of one party, and neglect of the other) by a just and equall tolleration. In that family strife and heart-burnings are commonly multiplied, where one son is more cockered and indulg’d then another; the way to foster love and amity, as well in a family, as in a State, being an equall respect from those that are in authority.

4. They say, the Godly, painfull, and orthodox Ministers will bee discouraged and despised.

Answ. Upon how slight foundation is their reputation supported, that fear being despised unlesse Authority forces all to Church to them? Since they have confidence to vouch themselves godly, painfull, and orthodox, me thinks they should not doubt an audience. The Apostles would empty the Churches, and Jewish Synagogues, and by the prevalency of their doctrine convert 3000 at a Sermon; and doe our Ministers feare, that have the opportunity of a Church, and the advantage of speaking an houre together without interruption, that they cannot keep those Auditors they have; but that they shall bee withdrawn from them by men of meaner lights (in their esteeme) by the illiterate and under-valued lay Preachers, that are (as the Ministers suppose) under the cloud of error and false doctrine? Surely they suspect their own Tenetss or their abilities to maintain them, that esteem it a discouragement to bee opposed, and feare they shall be despised if disputed withall.

5. They say, The life and power of godlinesse will be eaten out by frivolous disputes and vain janglings.

Answ. Frivolous disputes and vain janglings, are as unjustifiable in the people as in the Ministery, but milde and gentle Reasonings (which authority are onely to countenance) make much to the finding out of truth, which cloth most advance the life and power of godlinesse. Besides, a Toleration being allowed, and every Sect labouring to make it appear that they are in the truth, whereof a good life, or the power of godlinesse being the best badge or symptome; hence will necessarily follow, a noble contestation in all sorts of men to exceed in godlinesse, to the great improvement of vertue and piety amongst us. From whence it will be concluded too, that that Sect will be supposed to have least truth in them, that are least vertuous, and godlike in their lives and conversations.

6. They urge, That the whole course of religion in private families will be interrupted and undermined.

Answ. As if the Independents and Separation were not as religious in their private families, as the Presbyters.

7. Reciprocall duties between persons of nearest and dearest relations, will be extreamly violated.

Answ. A needlesse fear, grounded upon a supposition, that difference in judgement must needs occasion coldnesse of affection, which indeed proceeds from the different countenance and protection, which States have hitherto afforded to men of different judgements. Hence was it, that in the most persecuting times, when it was almost as bad in the vulgar esteem to be an Anabaptist, as a murtherer, it occasioned dis-inheritings, and many effects of want of affection, in people of nearest relations; but since the common odium and vilification is in great measure taken off, by the wise and just permission of all sects of men by the Parliament, man and wife, father and son, friend and friend, though of different opinions, can agree well together, and love one another; which shews that such difference in affection, is not properly the effect of difference in judgement, but of Persecution, and the distinct respect and different countenance that Authority has formerly shewn towards men not conforming.

8. They say, That the whole work of Reformation, especially in discipline and Government, will be retarded, disturbed, and in danger of being utterly frustrate and void.

It matters not, since they mean in the Presbyterian discipline and Government, accompanied with Persecution: Nay, it will be abundantly happy for the people, and exceedingly conducing to a lasting Peace (to which Persecution is the greatest enemy) if such a government so qualified be never setled. The Presbyters I hope, will fall short in their ayms. i. ’Tis not certain that the Parliament mean to settle the Presbyterian Government, since they have not declared that Government to be agreeable to Gods Word; although the Presbyters are pleasd, in their expressions, frequently to call their Government, Christs Government. Howsoever, their determination (which may well be supposd to be built upon their interest) is not binding: They are call’d to advise withall, not to controul. 2. In case the Parliament should approve of that Government in the main, yet the Prelaticall and persecuting power of it, we may well presume (since they themselves may smart under it as well as the rest of the people) they will never establish.

9. All other Sects and Heresies in the Kingdome, will be encouraged to endeavour the like tolleration.

Sects and Heresies! We must take leave to tell them, that those are termes impos’d ad placitum, and may be retorted with the like confidence upon themselves. How prove they Separation to be Sects and Heresies; because they differ and separate from them? That’s no Argument, unlesse they can first prove themselves to be in the truth? A matter with much presumption supposd, but never yet made good, and yet upon this groundlesse presumption, the whole fabrick of their function, their claim to the Churches, their preheminence in determining matters of Religion, their eager persuit after a power to persecute, is mainly supported. If the Separation are Sects and Heresies, because the Presbyters (supposing themselves to have the countenance of Authority, and some esteem with the people) judge them so: The Presbyters by the same rule were so, because the Bishops once in authority, and in greater countenance with the People, did so judge them to be.

And whereas they say, That Sects and Heresies will be encouraged to endeavour the like tolleration with the Independents.

I answer, that ’tis their right, their due as justly as their cloths, or food; and if they indeavour not for their Liberty, they are in a measure guilty of their owne bondage. How monstrous a matter the Ministers would make it to be, for men to labour to be free from persecution. They thinke they are in the saddle already, but will never I hope have the reines in their hands.

Their 10th. feare is the same.

2. They say the whole Church of England (they meane their whole Church of England) in short time will be swallowed up with distraction and confusion.

These things are but said, not proved: were it not that the Divines blew the coales of dissention, and exasperated one mans spirit against another; I am confidently perswaded we might differ in opinion, and yet love one another very well; as for any distraction or confusion that might intrench upon that civill peace, the Laws might provide against it, which is the earnest desires both of the Independents and Seperation.

2. They say, Tolleration will bring divers mischiefes upon the Commonwealth: For,

1. All these mischeifes in the Church will have their proportionable influence upon the Common-wealth.

This is but a slight supposition, and mentions no evill that is like to befall the Common-wealth.

2. They urge that the Kingdome will be wofully weakned by scandalls and Divisions, so that the Enemies both domesticall and forraigne will be encouraged to plot and practise against it.

I answer, that the contrary hereunto is much more likely, for two Reasons.

1. There is like to be a concurrence, and joynt assistance in the protection of the Common-wealth, which affords a joynt protection and encouragement to the People.

2. There can be no greater argument to the People, to venture their estates and lives in defence of their Country and that government, under which they enjoy not only a liberty, of Estate and Person, but a freedome likewise of serving God according to their consciences, whcih Religious men account the greatest blessing upon earth; I might mention notable instances of late actions of service in Independents and Seperatists, which arising but from hopes of such a freedome, can yet scarce be paraleld by any age or story.

3. They say it is much to be doubted, lest the power of the Magistrate should not only be weakned, but even utterly overthrowne; considering the principles and practices of Independents, together with their compliance with other Sectaries, sufficiently knowne to be antimagistraticall.

An injurious, but common scandal, this whereof much use has been made to the misleading the People into false apprehensions of their brethren the Seperatists, to the great increase of enmity and disaffection amongst us, whereof the Ministers are most especially guilty: Let any impartial man examine the principles, and search into the practises of the separation, and he must needs conclude that they are not the men that trouble England, but those rather that lay it to their charge: the separation indeede and Independents are enemies to Tyranny, none more, and oppression, from whence I beleeve has arisen the fore-mentioned scandall of them: but to just Goverment and Magistracy, none are more subject, and obedient: and therefore the Ministers may do well to lay aside such obloquies, which will otherwise by time and other discovery, turne to their own disgrace.

In the last place they say, ’tis opposite to the Covenant, I. Because opposite to the Reformation of Religion, according to the Word of God, and example of the best Reformed Churches.

I answer, 1, That the example of the best reformed Churches is not binding, further then they agree with the Word of God, so that the Word of God indeed is the only rule. Now the word of God is expresse for tolleration, as appeares by the Parable of the Tares growing with the wheate, by those two expresse and positive rules, 1. Every man should be fully perswaded of the truth of that way wherein he serves the Lord, 2. That whatsoever is not of faith is sinne; and 3. by that rule of reason and pure nature, cited by our blessed Saviour: namely, whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, that do you unto them.

2. They say it is destructive to the 3. Kingdomes nearest conjunction and uniformity in Religion and Government.

I answer, that the same tolleration may be allowed in the 3. Kingdomes, together with the same Religion and Government; whether it shall be Presbiterian, or Independent, or Anabaptisticall: Besides that I suppose which is principally intended by this part of the Covenant, ’tis the Union of the 3. Kingdomes, and making them each defensive and helpfull to the other, which a tolleration will be a meanes to further, because of the encouragement that every man will have to maintaine his so excellent freedome; which he cannot better do, then by maintaining them all, because of the Independency they will have one upon the other.

3. ’Tis expresly contrary to the extirpation of Schisme, and whatsoever shall be found contrary to sound doctrine, and the power of Godlinesse.

I answer, That when it is certainly determined by judges that cannot err, who are the Schismaticks, there may be some seeming pretence to extirpate them, though then also no power or force is to be used, but lawfull means only, as the wise men have interpreted it; that is, Schisme and Heresie, when they appeare to be such, are to be rooted out by reason and debate, the sword of the Spirit, not of the Flesh; arguments, not blowes: unto which men betake themselves upon distrust of their own foundations, and consciousnesse of their owne inability.

Besides, as the Presbiters judge others to be a Schisme from them, so others judge them to be a Schisme from the Truth, in which sence only the Covenant can be taken.

4. Hereby we shall be involved in the guilt of other mens sinnes, and thereby be endangered to receive of their plagues.

I answer, that compulsion must necessarily occasion both much cruelty and much Hypocrisie: whereof the Divines, labouring so much for the cause, which is persecution, cannot be guiltlesse.

5. It seemes utterly impossible (if such a tolleration should be granted) that the Lord should be one, and his name one, in the 3. Kingdomes.

I suppose they mean by that phrase, it is impossible that our judgements and profession should be one; so I believe it is, whether there be a Tolleration or no. But certainly the likeliest way, if there be any thereunto, is by finding out one truth; which most probably will be by giving liberty to every man to speak his minde, and produce his reasons and arguments; and not by hearing one Sect only: That if it does produce a forc’d unity, it may be more probably in errour, then in truth; the Ministers being not so likely to deal clearly in the search thereof, because of their interests, as the Laity, who live not thereupon, but enquire for truth, for truths sake, and the satisfaction of their own mindes.

And thus I have done with the Argumentive part of the Letter. I shall onely desire, that what I have said may be without prejudice considered: And that the People would look upon all sorts of men and writings, as they are in themselves, and not as they are represented by others, or forestall’d by a deceitfull rumour or opinion.

In this controversie concerning Tolleration, I make no question but the Parliament will judge justly between the two parties; who have both the greatest opportunity and abilities, to discern between the integrity of the one side, and the interest of the other. That the one party pleads for toleration, for the comfort and tranquility of their lives, and the peaceable serving of God according to their consciences, in which they desire no mans disturbance. That the other that plead against it, may (I would I could say onely probably) be swayed by interest and self-respects, their means and preheminence. I make no question but the Parliament, before they proceed to a determination of matters concerning Religion, will as they have heard one party, the Divines, so likewise reserve one ear for all other sorts of men; knowing that they that give sentence, all partees being not heard, though the sentence be just (which then likely will not be) yet they are unjust. Besides, the Parliament themselves are much concerned in this controversie, since upon their dissolution they must mixe with the people, and then either enjoy the sweets of freedome, or suffer under the most irksome yoke of Priestly bondage: and therefore since they are concem’d in a double respect; first, as chosen by the People to provide for their safety and Freedome, whereof Liberty of conscience is the principall branch, and so engag’d by duty: secondly, as Members of the Common-wealth, and so oblig’d to establish Freedome, out of love to themselves and their posterity.

I shall only add one word more concerning this Letter, which is this; That ’tis worth the observation, that the same men are part of the contrivers of it, and part of those to whom ’twas sent; Mr. Walker being President of Sion Colledge, Mr. Seaman one of the Deans, (observe that word) and Mr. Roborough, one of the Assistants, all three Members of the Synod: who with the rest framing it seasonably, and purposely to meet with the Letter from Scotland, concerning Church Government, may well remove the wonder and admiration that seem’d to possesse one of the Scotch grand Divines in the Synod, at the concurrence of Providence in these two Letters: of the politick and confederated ordering whereof, he could not be ignorant.


T.58 (3.2) John Lilburne and Richard Overton, The out-cryes of Opressed Commons (28 February 1646).

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T.58 [1646.02] (3.2) John Lilburne and Richard Overton, The out-cryes of Opressed Commons (February 1646).

Full title

John Lilburne and Richard Overton, The out-cryes of Opressed Commons. Directed to all the rationall and understanding men in the Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales, (that have not resolved with themselves to be Vassells and Slaves, unto the lusts and wills of Tyrants.) From Lieut. Col. John Liburne, prerogative prisoner in the Tower of London, and Richard Overton, prerogative prisoner, in the infamous Gaole of Newgate. Feb. 1646.

Ier. 7.8, 9.10. Behold, yee trust in lying words, that cannot profit. will yee steale, murther, and commit adultery, and sweare falsly, and burneincense unto Baal, and walk after other Gods, whom yee know not, and come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, we are delivered to doe all these abominations.
Verse 16. Therefore pray not for this people, neither lift up cry nor prayer for them, neither make intercession to me, for I will not heare thee.
Mat. 23.14. Woe unter you Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites: for yee devoure
widowes houses and for a pretence make long prayers, therefore you shall receive the greater damnation.
Hosea 4.2.3. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they breake out, and blood toucheth blood, therefore shall the land mourne.

The Second Edition Corrected.

The pamphlet contains the following parts:

  1. The out-cryes of Oppressed Commons
  2. To the right Honourable, the betrusted Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in the Commons House of Parliament (Englands legall, Soveraign power, Assembled.) The humble Petition of the Inhabitants of Buckingham shire, and Hartford-shire, &c. whose Names are hereunto subscribed
  3. Instructions agreed upon as the sence of the Petitioners of Buckinghampshire and Hartford shire.
  4. To the High and Honourable the Knights, Citizens; and Burgesses, in the supreame Court of Parliament assembled, The Petition of divers Young men and Apprentices of the City of London (1 March, 1646)
  5. To the Chosen and betrusted Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, assembled in the High and Supreame Court of Parliament. The humble Petition of Elizabeth Lilburne
Estimated date of publication

28 February 1646. In TT the date of 1647 is given.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 497; E. 378. (13.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

GEntle men, Anti-Magistrates we are not, but owne Magistracy as Gods Ordinance appointed for the good and well being of men kind, Rom. 13. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5, 6. Unto whose power and Authority, in all lawfull things, we both have, and are willing to stoop unto, but no further, neither doe we crave or desire, any favour, priviledge or benefit, but what is given unto us by the good, established, and just Lawes of England (which the Parliament solemnly, haveoften sworne to maintain, of which for our particulars, we have for many moneths been robd of, by the tyranny and usurpation of the Lords, (commonly called the House of Peeres) now sitting at Westminster, who have usurpedly, and contrary to the just and knowne Law of the Land, assumed unto themselves, (by the law of their owne wills) a power in criminall causes, to judge and commit us who are Commoners, which by law they have no authority not in the least to doe, as appeares in the 29. Chapter of Magna Charta, which expresly saith. “No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his free-hold,” or liberties, or free customes, or be out lawed, or exiled, or any otherwise distroyed “nor we will not passe upon him, nor condemne him, but by lawfull judgement of his Peers, or by the law of the Land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny nor deferre to any man either justice or right. And the 3. E. 1. 6. likewise expresly saith, “and that no City, Borough, nor towne, nor any man be amerced without reasonable cause and according to the quantity of his trespasse, that is to say, every free man saving his free hold. A Merchant saving his Merchandize, a Villain(g. H. 3. 14.) saving his waynage, and that by his or their Peers. Which 29. Chap. of Magna Charta, is expresly by name confirmed in the Petition of Right, made in the third yeare of the present King Charles, which absolutely abolisheth all Lawes made in derogation of the said just Law, which Petition of Right, and every clause there in contained, is expresly confirmed by this present Parliament, as appeares by the statute that abolished the Star Chamber, and the statute, that abolished Ship money. And that learned man of the Law, Sir Edward Cooke, in his exposition of Magna Charta, which booke is published to the publique view of the Kingdome as law, by two speciall orders of the present House of Commons, as in the last pag. thereof you may read, who in his exposition of the 14. chap of Magna Charta, 2. part institutes fol. 28. saith, that by Peers, is meant Equalls, and in fol. 29. he saith, “the generall devision of persons by the law of England is either one that is Noble, and in respect of his Nobility of the Lords House of Parliament, or one of the Commons of the Realm, and in respect thereof, of the House of Commons in Parliament, & as there be divers degrees of Nobility, as Dukes, Marquesses, Earles, Viscounts & Barons and yet all of them are comprehended within this word PARES, so of the Commons of the Realme, there be Knights, Esquires, Gentle-men, 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, a PEER to another, though he 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 his exposition of chap. 29. pag. Ibem, he saith no man shall be disseised, that is, put out of seison, or dispossessed of his free-hold, (that is) lands or lively hood, or of his liberties, or free customes, that is, of such franchises, and freedomes, and free customes, as belong to him by his free birth-right, unlesse it be by the lawfull judgement, that is, verdict of his EQVALS, (that is, men of his owne condition) or by the law of the land, (that is to speake once for all) by the due course and processe of Law.

No man shall be in any sort destroyed (to destroy i.e.) what was first built and made, wholly to overthrow and pull downe, unlesse it be by the verdict of his EQVALS, 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 iudgement of his PEERS, that is EQVALS, or according to the Law of the Land, see him, fol. 48. upon this sentence; pro indicium parium suorum, and pag. 50. hee saith it was inacted, that the Lords and Peers of this Realme, should not give iudgement upon any but their Peers, and cites Rot. Parl. 4. E. 3. Num. 6. But the Roule is 4. E. 3. Num. 2. in the case of Sir Simon de Bereford, in which the Lords doe ingeniously confesse, that it is contrary to Law, for them to passe iudgement upon a Commoner, being they are not their Peers, that is EQVALS, which record at large you may read in The oppressed mans oppressions declared, Edition the second. pag. 18, 19 And also in part; in Vox plebis, pag. 40. 41.

So that by what hath been said, it cleerly, evidently, and undeniably appeares by the Law of the Land, and the Lords owne confession, that they are not the Peers or Iudges of Commoners in any criminall cases what soever. And we offer (at our utmost perrill) before any legall power in England, to maintain it by the knowne and declared Law of the Land, (which the Lords themselves, have solemnly covinanted and sworne to maintaine) that the Lords by the Law of England, “have not in the least any Iurisdiction at all over any of the Commons of England in any criminall cases whatsoever. But if the studious and industrious Reader, please to read that notable and late printed booke, called Regall tyranny discovered, he shall find that the Author of that book in his 43. 44. 45, 46, 47, and 86. page, layes downe many strong and solid arguments, to prove “that the House of Lords, have not lustly, neither judicative, nor legeslative power at all in them; and in his 94, 95, 96, 97, 98. he declares from very sound and good authority, “that before William the Conquerer and invader, subdued the rights and priviledges of Parliaments, that the King and the Commons held and kept Parliaments, without Temporall Lords, Bishops, or Abbots, the two last of which, viz. Bishops and Abbots he proves, had as true and good right to sit in Parliament, as any of the present Lords now sitting at Westminster, either now have, or ever had, yea, and out of the 20, 21, pages of that notable, and very usefull to be knowne booke, called, The manner of holding Parliaments in England; before and since the conquest, &c. declares plainly, that in times by past, “there was neither Bishop, Earle, nor Baron, and yet even then the King of England kept Parliaments with their Commons only, and though since by INNOVATION, Earles and Barons, have been by the Kings prerogative Charters, (which of what legall or binding authority they are, you may fully read in the Lords and Commons Declaration this present Parliament) 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 saith Mr. William Pryn, in the 1. part of his Soveraign power of Parliaments, pag. 43. (which booke is commanded to be printed by speciall authority, of the present House of Commons) out of Mr Iohn Vowels manner of holding Parliaments, which is recorded in Holingh; Cron. of Ireland, fol. 127, 128. that in times by past the King and the Commons did make a full Parliament, which authority (saith hee) was never hitherto abridged. Yea, this present Parliament in their Declaration concerning the Treaty of Peace in Yorkshire 20. Septem. 1641. betwixt the Lord Fairfax, &c. and Mr. Bellasis, &c. booke decl. 1. part pag 628. doe declare, first that none of the parties to that agreement, had any authority by any act of theirs, to bind that countrey, to any such Nutrality, as is mentioned in that agreement, it being a peculiar and proper power and priviledge of Parliament, where the whole body of the Kingdome is represented to bind all or any part. And we say the body of the Kingdome, is represented only in the House of Commons, the Lords not being in the least chosen to represent any body at all, yea, and the House of Commons, calls their single order for the receiving of Pole-money, May 6. 1642. 1. part book decl pag. 178. An Order of the House of Parliament, yea, and by severall single orders, have acted in the greatest affaires of the Common-wealth, sometimes against the wills and minds of the Lords, 1. part book decl. pag. 13. 121. 122, 305, 522, 526, 537, 546, 557. book decl. 2. part pag 6, 7, 10, 12. 25. 29. 36. 37. 40, 41. 42. 45. 43, &c. see pag. 877, 878. 879.

And yet notwithstanding all this, the Lords like a company of forsworne men, (for they have often solemnly sworne to maintaine the Law) have by force and violence, indeavoured to their power, and contrary to law, to assume to themselves a judicative power over us, (who are Commons of England in criminall cases) and for refusing to stoop thereunto, have barbarously for many moneths tirannized over us, with imprisonments, &c. And we according to the duty we owe to our native country, and to ourselves and ours, for the preservation of our selves, and the good and just declared lawes and liberties of England, and from keeping our selves and our posterities, from vassalage and bondage, did thereupon according to law and justice, appeale to the honourable House of Commons (as you may truly and largely read in divers and sundry bookes, published by us, and our friends) as the supreame and legall power and judicature in England, whom we did thinke and judge, had been chosen of purpose, by the free men of England to maintaine the fundamentall good lawes and liberties thereof, but to their everlasting shame (and the amazement of all that chose and betrusted them.) We are forced to speake it, we have not found any reall intentions in them, to performe unto us, the trust in that Particular reposed in them by the whole Kingdome, neither, have we any grounded cause to say (in truth) any otherwise of them, but that they are more studious and industrious unjustly in deviding hundred thousands of pounds of the Common wealths money amongst themselves, then in actuall doing to us (in whom all and every the Commons of England are concerned, for what by the wills of the Lords, is done to us to day, may be done to any Commoner of England to morrow) either justice or right, according to their duty, and their often sworne oathes, though we have not ceased continuall to the utmost of our power, legally, and iustly to crave it at their hands, as you may fully read in our forementioned printed bookes. Sure we are; they tell us in their printed Declarations, that they are chosen and betrusted by the people, 1. part bok. decl. pag, 171, 172. 263. 264, 266, 336, 340. 361, 459. 462-508 588, 613, 628. 690, 703, 705, 711 714. 716. 724, 725. 729. And that to provide for their weale, but not for their woe, book decl. 1. part page 150: 81 382. 726. 728.

And they in their notable Declaration of the 2. Novemb. 1642. booke decl. 1 part pag. 700, expresly tell us, that all interests of publique trust is only for the publique good, and not for private advantages, nor to the prejudice of any mans particular interest, much lesse of the publique, and in the same page they further say, that all interests of trust, is limitted to such ends or uses, and may not be imployed to any other, especially they that have any interests only to the use of others, (as they confesse all Interests of trust are) cannot imploy them to their owne, or any other use, then that for which they are intrusted, yea, and page 266. they tell the King, that the whole Kingdome it selfe is intrusted unto him for the good and safety and best advantage thereof, and as this trust is for the use of the Kingdome, so ought it to be managed by the advice of the Houses of Parliament, whom the Kingdome hath intrusted for that purpose, it being their duty to see it be discharged according to the condition, and true intent thereof, and as much as in them lyes, by all possible meanes to prevent the contrary. And in page 687. being answering a charge that the King laid upon them, which was, as they cite it, that we can doe him no wrong, because he is not capable of receiving any, and that we have taken nothing from him, because he never had any thing of his owne to lose, upon which they demand the question, and say, in what part of that Declaration (meaning theirs of the 26. May, 1642.) is this told the King in plain English, or by any good inference? unlesse it must needs follow, that be “cause the King hath not a right of property in the Townes, Forts, Subjects, publique treasure and offices of the Kingdome, nor in the Kingdome it selfe to dispose of it at his pleasure, and for his owne private advantage, but only a trust for the commnn good of himselfe and his Subjects* (as it is most cleare he hath them no otherwise) that therefore he cannot have a property in any of the Lands or goods, as Subiects have in theirs, and yet it is a truth that the more publique any person is, the more interest the publique hath even in those things that belong to him as a private man, in which regard the King hath not the like liberty, in disposing of his owne person, or of the persons of his children (in respect of the interest the Kingdome hath in them) as a private man may have.

And therefore negatively in the second place, we are sure, that the House of Commons, by their owne Declarations, were never intentionally chosen and sent to Westminster to devide amongst themselves, the great offices and places of the Kingdome, and under pretence of them to make themselves rich and mighty men, with sucking and deviding among themselves, the vitall and heart blood of the Common wealth, (viz. its treasure) now lying not in a swound, but even a gasping for life and being, but let us see whether this and other of their late doings, be according to their former protestations, imprecations and just Declarations, which if they be not woe to them, for saith the spirit of God, Eccle. 5. 4. 5. When thou vowest a vow unto God defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fooles, pay that which thou hast vowed. For better it is that thou shouldest not vow, then that thou shouldest vow and not pay, see Deut. 23. 21. 23. That which is gone out of thy lyps, saith God, thou shalt keep and performe, Num. 30. 2. Psal. 76. 21. Iob 22. 27 Eze. 17. 16, 17, 18, 19, Eze. 5. 4. 5. We find in their Declaration of the 5. May 1642. book de. 1. par p. 172 these words, The Lords and Commons therefore entrusted with the safety of the Kingdome, and peace of the people (which they call God to witnesse is their only aime) finding themselves denyed these their so necessary and iust demands (about the Militia) and that they can never be discharged before God or man, if they should suffer the safety of the Kingdome, and peace of the people, to be exposed to the malice of the Malignant party, &c. And in there Remonst. of the 19. of May, 1642. book del. 1 par. p. 195. they say, That the providing for the publique peace, and the prosperity of all his Maiesties Realmes: within the presence of the all seeing diety, we protest to have been, and still to be the only end of all our counsells and indeavours, wherein we have resolved to continue freed and inlarged from all private aimes, personall respects or passions whatsoever. But we wish withall our soules, they had intended, what they here declared, when they declared it, which is too much evident to every rational mans eyes, that sees and knowes their practises, that they did not, or that if they did, that they have broken and falcified their words and promises, and in the same Remonst. p. 214. speaking of those many difficulties they meet with in the discharge of their places, and duty, they say, “Yet wee doubt not, but we shall overcome all this at last, if the people suffer not themselves to be deluded, with false and specious shewes, and so drawn to betray us to their owne undoing we have ever been willing to hazzard the undoing of our selves, that they might not be betrayed by our neglect of the trust reposed in us, but if it were possible, they should prevaile herein, yet we would not faile through Gods grace still to persist in our duties, and to looke beyond our owne lives, estates and advantages, as those who thinke nothing worth the enjoying, without the liberty, peace and safety of the Kingdome: nor any thing too good to be hazzarded in discharge of our consciences, for the obtaining of it, and shall alwayes repose our selves upon the protection of almighty God, which we are confident shall never be wanting to us, (while wee seek his glory) as we have found it hitherto, wonderfully going along with us, in all our proceedings. O golden words! unto the makers of which we desire to rehearse the 23. Mat. 27, Woe unto you Scribes, and Pharisees, Hypocrites, for yee are like unto whited Sepulchers, which indeed appeare beautifull outward, but are within full of dead mens bones, and of all uncleannesse. And in their Remon. May. 26. 1642. p. 281. They declare, “that their indeavours for the preservation of the Lawes and liberties of England, have been most hearty and sincere, in which indeavour, say they, by the grace of God we will still persist though we should perish in the worke; which if it should be, it is much to be feared, that Religion, Lawes, liberties and Parliaments, will not be long lived after us: but saith Christ, Mat. 23. 23, 28. Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites for yee make cleane the outside of the cup, and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excesse. Yee also appeare outwardly righteous unto men, but within yee are full of hypocrisie and iniquity. And in their Decla. of July, 1642. concerning the distractions of the Kingdome, &c p. 463. 464. speaking of the businesse of Hull, they say, “the war being thus by his Maiesty begun, the Lords and Commons in Parliament, hold themselves bound in conscience to raise forces for the preservation of themselves, the peace of the Kingdome and protection of the Subiects in their persons and estates, according to Law, the defence and securite of Parliament, and of all those who have been imployed by them in any publique service for these ends, and through Gods blessing, to disappoint the designes, and expectations, of those who have drawn his Maiestie to these courses and Counsells, in favour of the Papists at home, the Rebells in Ireland, the forraign enemies, of our Religion and peace.

“In the opposing of all which, they desire the concurrence of the well disposed Subjects of this Kingdome, and shall manifest by their courses and indeavours, that they are carried by no respects but of the publique good, which they will alwayes prefer before their owne lives and fortunes. O that we might not too justly say! they are already falne from their words.

And in their most notable Declaration of August, 1642. pag. 498. being in great distresse they cry out in these words, “and we doe here require all those that have any sence of piety, honour or compassion, to helpe a distressed state, especially such as have taken the Protestation, and are bound in the same duty with us unto their God, their King and country, to come in to our aid and assistance, this being the true cause, for which we have raised an Army, under the command of the Earle of Essex, with whom in this quarrell wee will live and dye.

And in their answer to his Majesties message of the 12 of No. 1642. p. 750. they have these words, God who sees our innocency, and that we have no aimes, but at his glory and the publique good, &c. O golden language, but without reall performance, are but an execrable abomination in the sight of God, and all rationall men.

But when these Declarations and Promises were solemnly made, the Authors of them tooke it extreame ill at the hands of the King, when he told them they dissembled, and meerly sought themselves, and their owne honour and greatnesse, which he doth to the purpose in severall of his Declarations, but especially in his Declaration of the 12. August, 1642. pag. where speaking of the earnest desire he had to ease and satisfie his Subjects, he saith, that whilst we were busie in providing for the publique, they were contriving particular advantages of offices and places for themselves, and made use underhand of the former grievances of the Subiect, in things concerning Religion and Law, &c. and in the next pag. speaking of their zeale against the Bishops, &c. He declares their designe, was but of their goodly revenue to erect Stipends to their owne Clergy, and to raise estates to repaire their owne broken fortunes.*

And in the Same Remonstrance pag. 539. he declares, that after many feares and iealousies were begun, they would suffer no meanes to compose it, but inflamed the people, because (he saith) they knew they should not only be disappointed of the places, offices, honours, and imployments they had promised themselves, but be exposed to the justice of the law, and the just hatred of all good men.

All which they in their antient and primitive declarations disdaine, as most dishonourable to be fixed upon them, or supposed ever intentively to be acted by them, especially so visibly that any should be able to see it, and therefore in their 3. Remonstrance, book decl. 1. part pag. 264. “they labour to perswade the people not to destroy themselves, by taking their lives, liberties, and estates out of their hands, whom they have chosen and betrusted therewith, and resigne them up to some evill Counsellours about his Majestie, who (they say) are the men that would perswade the people, that both Houses of Parliament containing all the Peers, and representing all the Commons of England, would destroy the Laws of the land, and liberties of the People, wherein besides the trust of the whole, they themselves in their owne particular, have so great an interest of honour and estate, that we hope it will gaine little credit with any, that have the least use of reason, that such as have so great a share in the misery, should take so much paines in the procuring thereof, and spend so much time, and run so many hazzards to make themselves slaves, and to destroy the property of their estates. But we say in the bitternesse of our soules. O! that their actions and dealings with us, and many other free men of England, had not given too just and grounded cause to judge that the forementioned charge of the King, was righteous, just, and true upon them, and which if their owne consciences were not seared with hot Irons, and so past feeling, would tell them with horror* that he spoake the truth.

And in the forementioned most notable Declaration, pag. 494. one of the principall things they complaine of against the King, and his evill Counsellers is, ‘that they endeavour to possesse the people that the Parliament will take away the law, and introduce an arbitrary Government; a thing (say they) which every honest morall man abhors, much more the wisedome; justice, and piety of the two Houses of Parliament,* and in truth such a charge as no rationall man can beleeve it, it being unpossible so many severall persous, as the Houses of Parliament consists of about 600. and in either House of equall power shall all of them, or at least the Major part, agree in acts of will and tyranny, which make up an arbitrary government,* and most improbable, that the nobillity and chiefe gentry of this Kingdome, should conspire to take away the Law, by which they injoy their estates, are protected from any act of violence, and power; and differenced from the meaner sort of people, with whom otherwise they should be but fellow servants.

And when they come to answer the Kings maine charge, laid to them, in his Declaration, in answer to theirs of the 26. of May, 1642. they say, book decl. pag. 694. “As for that concerning our inclination to be slaves, it is affirmed, that his Majesty said nothing which might imply any such inclination in us, but sure, what ever be our inclination, slavery would be our condition, if we should goe about to overthrow the Lawes of the Land,* and the propriety of every mans estate, and the liberty of his person. For therein we must needs be as much patients as agents, and must every one in his turne suffer our selves, whatsoever we should impose upon others, we have refused to doe or suffer our selves, and that in a high proportion. But there is a strong and vehement presumption, that we affect to be tyrants, and what is that? because we will admit no rule to governe by but our owne wills:* But we wish the charge might not too truly be laid upon you. For our parts, we aver, wee feele the insupportable weight of it upon both our shoulders.

And therefore to conclude this, we desire to informe you, that in severall of their Declarations, they declare and professe, they “will maintaine what they have sworne in their protestations, the which if you please to read, you shall find there amongst other things, that they have sworne solemnly to maintaine the lawfull rights and liberties of the Subject, and every person whatsoever, that shall lawfuly in deavour the preservation thereof and therefore book dec. 2. part pag. 497. they solemnly imprecate the judgements of God to fall upon them, if they performe not their vowes,* promises and duties; and say woe to us if we doe it not, at least doe our utmost indeavours in it, for the discharge of our duties, and the saving of our soules, and leave the successe to God Almighty*.

Now what the liberty of the Subject is, they themselves in their Declarations excellent well discribe and declare; “that it is the liberty of every Subject to injoy the benefit of the law, and not arbitrarily and illegally to be committed to prison, but only by due course and processe of law, nor to have their lives, liberties nor estates taken from them, but by due course and processe of Law, according to Magna Charta and the Petition of Right which condemnes as unjust all Interrogatorie proceedings in a mans owne case, nor to be denyed Habeas Corpusses, nor baile in all cases whatsoever, that by law are baileable, and to injoy speedy tryalls without having the just course of the law, obstructed against them, 1. part book decl. pag. 6, 72, 38, 77. 201. 277. 278. 458, 459. 660, 845.

Yea, in their great Declaration of the 2. Novemb. 1642. book. decl. 1. part. pag. 720 they declare “it is the liberty and priviledge of the people, to Petition unto them for the ease and redresse of their grievances, and oppressions, and that they are bound in duty to receive their Petitions, their own words are these, “we acknowledge that we have received Petitions, for the removall of things established by law, and we must say, and all that know what belongeth to the course and practice of Parliament, will say that we ought so to doe, and that our predicessors 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 agrieved by them, can seeke redresse; yea, in other of their Declarations, they declare, that is, the liberty of the people in multitudes to come to the Parliament to deliver their Petitions, and there day by day to waite for answers to them, [Editor: illegible word] part book. decl page 1. 2 3. 201. 202. 209. 548.

And there is not a little harmony betwixt these their Declarations. and the antient and just Law of the Land, as appeares by the future of 36. E. 3. 10. which expresly saith, that “for maintenance of the Law, and the redresse of divers mischiefes and grievances which dayly happen, a Parliament shall be holden every yeare, as another time was ordained by a statute of the 4. E 3. 14 yea saith learned Sir Edward Cocke in the 3. part of his Instit. chap. high Court of Parliament, fo. 11. One of the principall ends of calling of Parliaments, is for the redresse of the mischiefes and grievances that dayly happen, and therefore (saith he) (Ibim) the Parliament ought not to be ended while any Petition dependeth undiscussed, or at least to which a determinate answer is not made, but truly we are afraid that if this last rule should be observed, this present Parliament must sit till the day of judgment, for we for our particulars may truly say it is the furthest thing in their thoughts, duly to redresse the grievances of the people for care they take none for any thing we can see, but how to accomplish their owne pecuniary ends, and to study wayes how to increase mischiefes and grievances, and to involve the generality of the people, in an everlasting caos of confusion, by making their wills and lusts a law, their envy and malice a law, their covetousnesse and ambition a law, for we for our parts are necessitated to declare (with anxity’ of spirit) that we can obtain no justice nor right at their hands, though we have long since appealed to them for it, yet can we not obtain so much justice from them, as to get our reports made in the House, from their own Committee they themselves appointed to examin our business: neither can we so much as get our businesse publiquely debated in the House (because as it seemes they have no time to spare, to spend to redresse the Commons grand grievances, from their weighty imployments, in unjustly sharing vast summs of the Common wealths money amongst themselves,) although we have not ceased to use all the legall meanes, that both our owne braines, and all the friends and interests we had about London could furnish us with, and when they failed us, God himselfe raised us up divers friends in the Country of our fellow Commons who made our oppressions their owne, and of their selves, before we knew any thing, were about framing a Petition in our behalfe, which as soone as we knew it, we could not chuse but looke upon it (as to us) in the nature of a resurrection from the dead, who we have too just cause to thinke were buried alive, and swallowed up quick in the Canniball breast and mawes, of the man eating and devouring House of Lords. And therefore as Paul in the like case said in the 2 Tim. 1. 16. 17. 18. The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus for he hath oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: But when I was at Rome he sought me out very deligently, and found me. The Lord grant unto him, that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day.

Even so say we in the inlargednesse of our soules, the Lord give merey to the honest, manlike, and Saint-like Inhabitants of Buckingham-shire: and Hartford-shire, for they have greatly and extraordinarily refreshed us, and were not ashamed of our chaines and bonds for the libertys of their Country, and when they were in London sought us out very deligently and found us, and not only so, but the greatest part of ten thousand of them, as we understand subscribed a Petition for us, to the House of Commons, to desire them, according to their duty, to deliver us out of the devouring Pawes, of the tyrannicall House of Lords, and to free us from their arbitrary and illegall power, and divers hundreds, of them at their own costs and charges, through much underhand opposition, came to the Cities of London and Westminster, about or upon the 10. Feb. 1646. but not finding speedy and free accesse to the House of Commons with their Petition, according to their just expectation, their owne primitive practice, and publiquely declared duty: in which regard they left behind them 6. of themselves, as Commissioners for all the rest, to improve their utmost interest to get their Petition to be delivered and read in the House, and gave unto them instructions in writing to explaine some things in the Petition, in case they were called into the House, and then to give a perfect account unto them, what was done about their Petition: but their Commissioners waited with all deligence upon the House, till the 17. or 18. of Feb. 1646. and improved (as we credibly understand) all their interest in all or the most of their own Knights and Burgesses, &c. but could not by all the meanes, they could use get their Petition read in the House, the reason of which we are not able to render, unlesse it be that the Peoples chosen trustees of the House of Commons, are resolved to betray their trust, and to sacriffice the lives, liberties, and proprieties, of all the Commons of England, to the mercilesse tyrannie, and barborous crueltie of the House of Lords, Oh COMMONS of England, awake, awake, and looke seriously and carefully about you, before you be made absolute vassells and slaves, unto the lusts and wills of those that you have preserve alive with your blood and treasure from whom yee deserve better then you find, or are likely to injoy.

The Lord grant unto the foresaid men of Buckingham-shire and Hartford-shire, that they may find mercy of the Lord in the day of their account, and the Lord God grant that their spirits may not faint, flag, nor be weary, but that they may renue their strength, and double and trible their Petition, with all importunity, and solicite all their neighbouring, Countyes to joyn with them, and never give over till they have made them and their posteritie free from the bondage of the Lords, and shakt of all arbitrary power what ever. And the Lord God of Heaven raise up heroically the spirit of all their fellow Commons in all the Counties of England to second them and joyne with them, in that legall, just and righteous worke they have begun, and to glue and knit their hearts and soules together, as Jonathan and Davids was, that they may never part nor be devided, till they have accomplished their iust enterprise, and the good Lord; require all their kindnesses and labour of love, manifefested unto us poore afflicted and greatly distressed prisoners seven fold, into their owne bosomes, Amen Amen.

But now in regard our friends, nor their Commissioners cannot get their Petition to be delivered, in which regard they have all left the City and Parliament, as disparing in obtaining their just end at the present, and are gone downe into the Countrey, truely to acquaint the rest of their friends, how they have been dealt with, we judge it our duty, and that we are so much bound to our selves, and the whole Kingdome: (though we must truly confesse, that at we have no such Commission from the Petitioners nor their Commissioners) as to publish a true Copy of their Petition and instructions, which thus followeth.

To the right Honourable, the betrusted Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses in the Commons House of Parliament (Englands legall, Soveraign power, Assembled.)

The humble Petition of the Inhabitants of Buckingham shire, and Hartford-shire, &c. whose Names are hereunto subscribed.


THat your Petitioners, and the rest of the free-men of England, before the beginning of this Parliament, being almost destroyed of their Lawes, Libertyes, and Freedoms, by the arbitrary machinations, politick designes, and practises of the Pattentee Mnopolizers, and of other arbitrary supplanters and Agents, which laboured to subvert the Fundamentall Constitutions of this Realme, and to set up a tyrannicall Government, tending to the utter vassalage and overthrow of all the free people of this Kingdome, together with their Naturall, Nationall, and Legall Rights and Liberties, God putting into our hands, an opportunity to free our selves from those tyrannies and oppressions; We, for our better weal and happinesse, chose and betrusted your Honours for the same end and purpose; and to that end we have elected, invested, and betrusted you with our indubitable and naturall power and Birth-rights, for the just and legal removall of our Nationall evills; In the expectation whereof, we have waited ever since, your first sitting continually and cheerfully assisting you, with our lives, persons, and estates, being much incouraged thereto by the severall protestations, and Declarations, wherein you have solemnly protested before the great God of Heaven and Earth, and to the whole world declared your upright and well grounded resolutions, to vindicate the just liberties, of every Free-borne Englishman, without exception.

Now therefore, our most humble request unto your honours is, that you would (according to your duties, and the great trust reposed in you) take into your consideration, the slavish condition, that we the free people of England are yet subject unto, by reason of those arbitrary practises that are still continued, acted, and perpetrated upon us by some prerogative men of this Kingdome; whom we humbly conceive, have no power over our bodies or estates they being not Elected thereunto by the free men of England; and therefore may not commit our bodies to prison (contrary to the fundamentall lawes, of this Kingdome) as we suppose hath been done to, some of the free men of this Kingdome without producing any Legall Authoritie, that your Petitioners can here of; for what they did. Wherefore your Petitioners most humble desire is that you would according to the respective Appeales of the said free Subjects unto this supreame House, be pleased to take their cause into the legall Iudgement, and speedie determination of this House, as the whole matter thereof shall be reported unto you, by the honourable Committee, for consideration of the commons Liberties, who have their whole manner of the proceedings against them, together with their respective defences ready to represent unto your honours, and to grant unto them your indubitable justice (according to their late Petitionary, and still constant desires) whereby they may receive the sentence of this House, either for their present justification, or condemnation; that they may not be ruined and undone by an arbitrary and injustifiable Imprisonment. And if that, through the urgent affaires of the Kingdome, your occasions will not afford you so much time, as to consider and expediate their businesse at present: Our humble request is that you would by an order from this House, forthwith set them free out of prison; they giving legall security for their future forth comming, untill such time as time as your honours shall be pleased to hand out to them full and effectuall justice. And that you would be pleased, in case the principall informers and Actors be found guilty, to grant them full and ample reparations according to the Law of the Land. And further, that you would take care for the time to come, to free us and our children from the feare and prejudice of the like Arbitrary and Prerogative proceedings, according to your late promise in your most just declaration of the 17. of Aprill 1646. And your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray, &c.

Instructions agreed upon as the sence of the Petitioners of Buckinghampshire and Hartford shire.

First, the persons imprisoned, Lieu, Col. Iohn Lilburne, Mr. Overton, his wife and Brother, Mr. Larners Brother and Maid, &c.

Secondly, by prerogative men, we mean such as sit to try Commoners, and are not elected by the free choice of the People, (viz. the House of Lords.)

Thirdly, By Arbitrary practises, we meane such as are contrary to the Law of the Kingdome.

As first, for any persons to try those that are not their Peers or Equalls: witnesse Magna Charta. C. 29 3. Ed. 1. 6. Sir Edward Cookes exposition of the 14. and 19. C. of Magna Charta, &c. (as the House of Lords have done some, and would have done all the above mentioned.)

Secondly, For any to imprison men for not answering to Interrogatories in Criminall Causes.

Wee must professe to all the world, we are in an amazement, and almost at a stand, when we consider that the House of Commons, who are chosen and betrusted by the people for no other end in the World, but to maintaine, preserve and defend their Lawes and liberties, and to redresse their mischieses and grievances, and to provide for their earthly happinesse and well-being book decl. 1. part. pag, 150. which they have so often sworne, vowed, protested, and declared to doe, that they should be so negligent in performing their trust and duty, and making good their Oathes, and Vowes, in not doing us justice and right, according to the Lawes of the Kingdome, (who have legally and formally, long since appealed to them for that end,) but suffer before their faces, the tyrannicall House of Lords, arbitrarily and illegally to destroy us; and to tread and trample vnder their feet, the lawes and liberties, of all the Commons of England, and so by consequence make us all Vassells and Slaves, to their tyrannicall lusts and wills.

But confidering that by natures principall, we are bound to the utmost of our power to preserve our selves, and to leave no wayes and meanes unattempted that tends thereunto, we cannot yet sit still, but goe on, and the rather because our Iudges to whom we have appealed to for justice, tell us in their Declaration of the 19. May 1642.1 part book, decl. pag. 207. That this law is as old as the Kingdome. That the Kingdome must not be without a meanes to preserve it selfe, the ground and reason of which Law, extends to the benefit of every particular individuall man in the Kingdome, whose destruction, contrary to the law of the Land is indeavoured by those that should preserve them, which is our case, as well as it was theirs, (in reference to the King) with whom we have to doe, and therefore we desire for the satisfying of all to whom this is directed, to declare out of their owne Declarations, their arguments against the King, when he ceased (as they say, pag. 580, 636.) to extend his legall protect on and justice to them; but this by the way, we must aver, that we are very confident the King is ten times more fortified, and hedged about with the Law of the Kingdome, then they are. Which we demonstrate thus, they are all as they call themselves, Subjects, and therefore though their priviledges be great, as they are Parliament men, yet they are (or at least ought to be) by their owne confession, subject to the severity of the Law, in cases of treason, felony and breach of the peace, 1 part book decl. pag. 48. 278. which is also averred by that able and learned Lawyer, Sir Edward Cook in his 2. par inst. chap of the high Court of Parliament, fol. 25. which booke is published by their owne speciall Order, but we read not in any of their Declarations, that they themselves aver any such thing of the King.

And therefore if by themselves, their arguments be esteemed just and sound against him for not doing his duty (who is much more fortified by law then themselves) then much more when they cease to doe their duty, and in practise destroy the lawes and liberties of the Kingdome, and subject the free men thereof to an Arbitrary and tyrannicall power, (which we aver they have done us) will their owne arguments serve and be sound and good against themselves.

Therefore we desire to declare unto you, that when they apprehended themselves in danger, they sent unto His Majestie the 31. Decem. 1641. book decl. 1 part pag. 44. and desire him that they may have a guard, in which message they have these words. They have therefore their recourse unto your Maiestie, most humbly beseeching you, that if it may stand with your good liking, if they provide for their owne safety, which the very Law of nature* and reason doth allow unto them, it is their humble desire, that they may have a guard out of the City of London, commanded by the Earle of Essex, Lord Chamberlaine of your Maiesties house-hold, of whose fidelity to your Maiestie and the Commonwealth, they have had large experience.

And in their Petition to his Maiestie about the Militia: 1. March 1641. book decl. 1. part pag. 92, 93, 94. after they have told his Majestie what danger they are in, for want of setling the Militia, they use these very words wherefore they are inforced in all humility to protest, that if your Maiestie shall persist in that denyall, the dangers and distempers of the Kingdome are such, as will indure no longer delay. But unlesse you shall be graciously pleased to assure them by these messengers, that you will speedily apply your royall assent to the satisfaction of their former desires, they shall be inforced, for the safety of your Maiesty and your Kingdomes, to dispose of the Militia, by the authority of both Houses, in such manner as hath been propounded to your Maiestie: and they resolve to doe it accordingly.

And a little below, they beseech his Maiestie to be informed by them, that by the Lawes of the Kingdome, the power of raising, ordering, and disposing of the Militia, within any City, Towne or other place, cannot be granted to any Corporation by Charter, or otherwise, without the authority and consent of* Parliament: and that those parts of the Kingdome which have put themselves into a posture of defence against the Common danger have therein done nothing but according to the Declaration and direction of both Houses, and what is iustifiable by the Lawes of the Kingdome.

And in their Declaration of the 19. May 1642. pag 202 they say, wee must maintain the ground of our feares, to be of that moment, that we cannot discharge the trust and duty which lyes upon us, unlesse we doe apply our selves to the use of those meanes, to which the Law hath inabled us in cases of this nature, (viz. to settle the Militia without, and against his consent) for the necessary defence of the Kingdome, and as his Maiesty doth gratiously declare, the Law shall be the measure of his power, so doe we most heartily professe, that we shall alwayes make it the rule of our obedience.

But O say wee! that you had not now forfeited all your credit by notoriously violating your never intended to be kept promises.

And in their Petition to the King about the businesse of Hall, pag 465. 466. they say we shall be ready to settle the Militia, in such way, as shall be honourable and safe for your Maiestie, most agreeable to the duty of Parliament, and effectuall for the good of the Kingdome, that the strength thereof be not imployed against it selfe. And we say we wish it may not, to the setting up of a tyranny of another nature, but worse then the former we groaned under. But we go on to their answer of the Kings positions, which answer is annexed to their great Declaration of the 2. Vo. 1642. where in the third answer pag. 726. they say, that we did and doe say, that a Parliament may dispose of any thing, wherein the King or any Subiect hath a right, in such 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 ioyne with them in such cases, the representative body of the Kingdome is not to sit still, and see the Kingdome perish before their eyes, and of this danger they are Iudges. Here may be an excellent argument drawn from the greater to the lesse, which will undeniably hold good against the Arbitrary and illegall practises of the Parliament, which we in our particulars groane under.

Now all these things considered, we hope it cannot be justly taken ill at our hands by the Parliament, nor by any rationall or understanding man in the Kingdome, though never so much devoted unto implicite, and blind Presbyterian, Synodian obedience, if we for our preservation shall tread in the Parliament steps, by appealing to the People against them, as they did against the King, especially considering they deale worse with us then ever he dealt with them, for he did not actually imprison their bodie, and thereby rob them of their liberties, trades, livelyhoods, and subsistance, and allow them nothing to live upon, and expose their whole families, (to the eye of reason to) an unavoydable, famishing and perishing condition; all and every of which, contrary to the law of the Land, justice, reason and conscience) they have actually with a great deale of Barbarous cruelty done to us, and like deafe Adders stop their cares against all our just cries and Petitions, and are worse then the unrighteous judge, whom no importunity will overcome, and will neither by the law of the land try us, nor allow us, as by law they ought, meanes to live upon, but keep us contrary to all law, equitie, justice, reason and conscience, in prison, to murther and destroy us, and wives and young infants. On! thou righteous and just iudge of all the world, arise, arise, and for thy owne glorious name sake, make bare and naked thy owne soveraign and almighty arme of justice, and visibly to the view of men, doe justice betwixt us, and punish in thine indignation, those of them or us, where the true and just cause of offence and guilt lyes in this particular controversie betwixt us; Oh thou that stilest thy selfe to be a God hearing prayer, and that heares the sighs and groanes of thy distrested ones, heare in Heaven and answer this supplication speedily for thy names sake.

But before we doe solemnly, seriously and actually appeale to the people, as of necessity, if by them we cannot injoy justice and right, and the benefit of the known and unrepealed lawes of the land which is all we crave or desire; (we both must and will: cost it hanging or burning or whatever it will) we desire from their owne words to make our way plaine before hand, and the more to leave them without excuse before God, and all our fellow Commons of England, seeing skin for skin, and all that a man hath, will he give for his life, lob 2.

And therefore in the first place, we must professe in their owne words, in their declaration to the States of Holland; pag 6, 7, that we have no other designe in the world, but not to be destroyed, and save our selves, Lawes, Liberties and freedomes, and let them not say, if we should formally appeale to the people, that we maliciously indeavpur to dissolve the whole frame and constitution of the civill policy and government of this Kingdome, into the originall Law of nature, by arraigning and condemning before the people, the High Court of Parliament, from whence legally there can be no appeale, we doe truly confeste (and owne) the Honourable House of Commons, (whose just interest we honour with all our hearts) to be to us the legall supreame power in the Kingdome, from whom we conceive in law we have no higher appeale, but if the house of Commons will not doe us iustice and right, and so discharge their trust and duty, but suffer the Lords contrary to the Law of the Land (which they have sworne to maintaine) to murther and destroy us, our wives and children, and by consequence the liberty of all the Commons of England, we cannot nor dare not, for feare of being traitorous and fellonious to our selves, sit still and willingly suffer our selves contrary to the good and just Lawes and constitutions of the Kingdome to be destroyed by the Lords; who in Law have no more power to commit our bodies to prison (being Commoners,) then we have to commit theirs.

Therefore, it is not we, but they themselves, that dissolve the legall frame and constitution of the civill policy and government of the Kingdome by suffering will and lust, but not law, to rule and governe us, and so reduce us into the originall Law of nature, for every man to preserve and defend himselfe the best he can, and therefore it must be so (for so it is) we in their owne words pag 690. say in Gods name let the people iudge every man within his owne breast, whether they or we are most guilty of the foresaid charge.

But we come to their owne words in their appealing to the people, and craving their aid and assistance to helpe to preserve them, against those that (they say) contrary to Law would have destroyed them, and we shall begin in the first place with the protestation which they made and tooke the 3. of May 1641 and by an Order of the 5. May 1641. give their approbation to the taking it by any Commoner of England. In the preamble of which, they spend much time to demonstrate, that there have beene and still is a strong indeavour by a Malignant party to subvert the fundameneall Lawes of England, &c. And to introduce the exercise of an arbitrary and tyrannicall government, and therefore they sweare and protest, they will maintaine the lawfull rights and liberties of the Subject, and every person that maketh this protestation, in what soever he shall doe in the lawfull pursuance of the same. And to my power, and as far as lawfully I may, I will oppose and by all good wayes and meanes indeavour to bring to condigne Punishment all such, whether Lords or Members of the House of Commons without exception) as shall, either by force, practice, counsels, plots, conspiracies, do any thing to the contrary, and by their Vote of the 30. of June, 1641. They say, that what person soever that will not take this protestation, is unfit to beare office in the Church or Common Wealth.

Now let us see what use they make of this protestation against the King, and we shall find in the first part book decl. p. 190, 191. The vote of the House of Commons in these words, Resolved upon the Question.

That this house doth declare, that if any person whatsoever shall arrest, or imprison the persons of the Lords and Gentlemen, or any of them: or any other of the Members of either house of Parliament, that shall be imployed in the service of both houses of Parliament, or shall offer violence to them, or any of them, for doing any thing in pursuance of the commands or instructions of both Houses, shall be held disturbers of the proceedings of Parliament, and publique enemies of the State, And that all persons* are bound by their Protestation to indeavour to bring them to condigne punishment. Another Order of the selfe same effect you may read pag 156. made by them 16 Aprill 1642.

And in their Declaration of 26. May 1642. pag. 278. speaking of the Kings proclaming Sir Iohn Hotham a Traytor, without due processe of Law, they “declare it not only a breach of the priviledge of Parliament, but a subvertion of the Subjects common right, yea, and such a breach of the Priviledge of Parliament, as that the very being thereof depends upon it: and therefore (say they) we no wayes doubt, but every one that hath taken the Protestation, will according to his solemn Vow and Oath defend it with his life and fortunes.

And in their Declaration of the 19 May 1642. pag. 214 speaking of the many difficulties that they are forced to incounter with in the discharg of their duty to the Kingdome, they say, “yet we doubt not, but we shall overcome all this at last, if the people suffer not themselves to be deluded with false and specious shewes, and so drawne to betray us to their owne undoing, who have ever been willing to hazzard the undoing of ourselves, has they might not be betrayed by our neglect of the trust reposed in us.

And in their small declaration of the beginning of August 1642. pag. 496, replying unto his Maiesties Answers to their propositions, they say, “And having received so sharp a returne such expressions of bitternesse, a justification and a vowed protection of Delinquents from the hand of Iustice, Demands of so apparent dangers, such manifestations of an intention to destroy us, and with us the whole Kingdome, (and this most clearly evidenced by their subsiquent actions, even since these propositions have been made unto us from his Maiestie, overtunning severall Countries, compelling the Trained Bands by force to come in and joyne with them, or disarming them, and putting their armes into the hands of leud and desparate persons, thereby turning the Armes of the Kingdome against it selfe) it be not fit for us, not only not to yeeld to what is required, but also to make further provison, for the preservation of ourselves, and of those who have sent us hither and intrusted us with all they have, Estates liberty and life, and that which is the life of their lives, their* Religion, and even for the safety of the Kings person now invironed by those who carrie him upon his own ruine, and the destruction of all his people: Atleast to give them warning, that all this, is in danger: That if the King may force this Parliament they may bid farewell to all Parliaments, from ever receiving good by them, and if Parliaments be lost, they are lost; their Lawes are lost, as well as those lately made, as in former times, all which will be cut in sunder, with the same sword now drawne for the distruction of this Parliament, Then if they will not come to helpe the Parliament, and save themselves, though both they and we must perish, yet have we discharged our conscience, and delivered our soules, and will looke for a reward in Heaven, should we be so ill requited upon Earth, by those of whom we have deserved; which we cannot feare, having found upon all occasions, such reall demonstrations, of their love and affection, and of their right understanding and apprehention of our and their common dangers.

And in their large Declaration of the 2. Novemb. 1642. pag. 699 speaking of his Majesties, charge in his Declaration, where he compares them to the Anabaptists mentioned in Mr. Hookers booke, they say, if ever God shall discover the foule Authors of so false a calumny, we doubt not but the Kingdome (that is the universallity of the people) will be very sensible of it, and esteeme that they can never doe themselves right,* but by bringing to condigne punishment, such persons as could find in their hearts to lay so vile an aspertion upon the Parliament, a name that alwayes hath, and we hope alwayes shall be of so great honour and reverence within this Kingdome.

And in the same Declaration, pag. 728. answering his Maiesties charge fixed upon them, of designing the ruine not only of his Maiesties person, but of Monarchy it selfe; And we appeale to all the world, (say they) whither worse words then these can be given us? And whether we may not justly expect the worst actions that the malice and power of the Malignant party about his Majestie can produce? And whether it be not high time for us to stand upon our defence, which nature teacheth* every man to provide for, and this Kingdome unlesse it be very unnaturall, and unmindfull of it selfe, cannot but afford to them whom it hath intrusted and by whom it is represented.

Now from all the forementioned authorities, and arguments of the Parliaments owne Declarations, we draw these conclusions (which naturally flow from them) first that all Majesteriall Power in England whatever, are but Offices of trust, and bound up with this limitation, to be executed for the good of the trusters.

Secondly that it is posible, that all or any, of the severall Majesteriall trustees may forfit their, or its trust.

Thirdly that in case of Forfiting the Majesterycall trust, the trusters (the people) are disobleged from their obedience and subjection, and may lawfully doe the best they can for their owne preservation; but if what hath beene said, be not fully cleare out of all doubt to prove the foresaid deducions. We wil only ad two more proofs at present of there own Authoryties which will put them all out of dispute the first is out of a late sheet of paper, newly Printed according to Order of Parliaments Intitled King Iames his Opinion and Iudgement concerning a Real King and a Tirant, extracted out of his owne speech to the Lords and Commons in Parliament at White-Hall. 1609.

A King (saith King Iames) in a setled Kingdome, binds himselfe to a double oath, to the observation of the fundamentall Lawes of his Kingdome, tacitly, as by being a King, and so bound to perfect, as well the People, as the Law of his Kingdome, and expresly by his oath at his Coranation. So as every just King in a setled Kingdom is bound to observe that Paction (or Covenant) made to his people by his lawes, inframing his government agreeable thereunto, according to that paction made with Noah, after the deluge (Gen. 9. 11.) therefore a King governing in a setled Kingdome, leaves to be a King, and degenerates into a Tyrant, as soon as he leaves of to rule according to his lawes; therefore all Kings that are not Tyrants or perjured will be glad to bound themselves within the Limits of their Laws, and they that perswade them the contrary, are Vipers & Pests, both against them & the Commonwealth, thus for King Iames out of which the Author of that sheet drawes nine inferences or conclusions, the oft of which is in these words. That a King governing in a setled Kingdome as the Kingdome of England is, leaves to be a King, so soone as he leaves of and failes to rule according to his Lawes. And so leaving of to be a King, the government on his part is infringed, so as the people are no longer his subiects to obey him in his lawlesse government then he is, their King governing them according to his Laws, to the same effect is his fixt conclusion, and in the last end of the seventh, he hath these words. That if Kings cease to be Kings, setting up an absolute tyranny over the People, to govern them no longer by the Lawes as free borne liege People, but lawlessly as vassells and slaves, then on the other side the people leaving to be subjects, doe owe them no more obedience, as being none of their Kings, but as usurping tyrants. For as a King turning Tyrant, practising tyranny under the name of prerogative, hath broken the bonds of the Kingdome: so the subjects owe him no more duty of liege people, except they will avow themselves his Slaves, and so betrayers of their own and the publique liberties, which ought to be more precious unto them then their lives and lands. Agam. 8 a King so degenerating into a Tyrant, is by the verdict of K. Iames departed a perjured man &c. & perjured men as they are odious to God, so they bring an execration upon a land, Za. 5. 3. 4. and if so then say we, wo, woe, woe, unto poore England, by reason of the perjuries or forswearing of the dissembling Lords and Commons at Westminster, that have laid aside the Law, and troden under their feet, the liberties of England. And the unreverend Dissembly of Divines, that rob Iesus Christ of his honour and glory, by justing him out of his regallity and Kingship given unto him by his Father, and yet take oathes themselves, and force other men to doe so too, to maintaine the Lawe, and liberties of the Kingdome, and to set up an Ecclesiasticall Church government according to the word of God, and yet set up nothing but a spirituall and temporall tyranny, and with a high hand indeavour the destruction of every man, that indeavours to keep them close to their violated oaths and Covenants, therefore whatsoever the author of the forementioned discourse avers of a King, when he seekes to governe according to his lawes, the same doe we aver of a Parliament, and Parliament-men, that when they cease to execute the end of their trust, which is as themselves say, to provide for the peoples weales, but not for their woes, and doe meerly indeavour to make themselves tyrants over the people, to governe them not by the established lawes, but by their lusts and wills they doe thereby make the people their vassels, and slaves, (as much as in them lyes) and thereby disobleidge the people to obey, stoop or submit, to any of their commands, but in the eye of God and all rationall men, may as justly resist and withstand them, and by force of Armes defend themselves against them, (as a company of forsworne men that have forfeited their Majesterial trusts, and are degenerated into the habits of tyrants) as they withstood, and by force of armes defended themselves against the King, for the further proofe of which in the second place, read their owne words 1. par.b. dec. pag. 156. which thus followes.

For it cannot be supposed that the Parliament would ever by Law intrust the King, with the Militia, against themselves, or the Common wealth, that in trusts them to provide for their weale, nor for their woe. So that when there is certain appearance or grounded suspition, that the letter of the law shall be improved, against the equity of it (that is, the publique good, whether of the body reall or representative) then the commander going against its equity, gives liberty to the commanded to refuse obedience to the letter, for the Law taken [Editor: illegible word] from its originall reason and end, is made a shell without a kernell, a shadow without a substance, and a body without a soule. It is the execution of Lawes, according to their equity and reason, which (as I may say) is the spirit that gives life to authority, the letter kills. Nor need this equity be expressed in the law, being so naturally implyed and supposed in all Lawes that are not meerly imperiall, from that Analogue which all bodies politick hold with the naturall, whence all government and governours borrow a proportionable respect; and therefore when the Militia of an Army is committed to the Generall, it is not with an expresse condition, that he shall not turne the mouthes of his Cannons against his own Soldiers, for that is so naturally and necessarily implyed, that it is needlesse to be expressed, in so much as if he did attempt, or command such a thing against the nature of his trust and place it did ipso facto [Editor: illegible word] the Army in a right of disobedience, except we thinke that obedience binds men to cut their owne throat, or at least their companions.

We shall at present leave the application to them whom it most concernes, and wait as patiently as we can to see the operation of it, which if it be not according to our expectation, we shall be necessicated to put some stronger pills into the next, and so at present conclude and rest.

From our Prerogative Captivity (for the Lawes and the publique liberties of all the Commons of England, against the tyranny and usurpation of the House of Peers) in the prisons of the Tower of London, and Newgate this last of Februa. 1646. Your faithfull and true Countrymen, though commonly (by the Scribes and Pharisees, Hypocrites of our present age) called Heretiques and Schismatiques, and Movers of sedition.
Iohn Lilburn. Richard Overton.

The publisher to the Reader.

Courteous Reader having here some spare roome, I iudge it convenient to fill it up with a notable petition delivered to the House of Commons, the 1. of March 1646. by young men, whose zeale and forwardnesse for their Countrys good, may be a shame to all the old men in the City, the Petition it selfe thus followeth.

To the High and Honourable the Knights, Citizens; and Burgesses, in the supreame Court of Parliament assembled, The Petition of divers Young men and Apprentices of the City of London, humbly


THat out of the grounded confidence we have of the readinesse of this Honourable House, to heare and repaire the grievances of all those for whose well-fare you were chosen and betrusted to take care and provide; and being incouraged unto the same, by severall good*. Ordinances and Declarations, of your owne to that purpose.

Wee whose names are hereunto annexed, although the meanest members of this great Common Wealth; yet having by birth a right of subsistance, here conceive ourselves, (in our proportion) to have as reall an Interest in the Kingdomes enjoyments, as those who in respect of place or other accidents are above us: As also many of us, having under the direction of your Honourable grave Counsell and Guidance, freely adventured our lives, for the Preservation of our Native Rights, and the just Priviledges of our deare Country against the publique violaters of the same: upon these and other serious grounds, we are bold at this time to make our humble addresses to this Honourable and supream Court of Iudicature, (the only refuge under God we have to fly to) And in the first place we cannot but with all the thankfulnesse take notice of the unwearied paines, together with many great and almost intolerable difficulties by you undergone, in the faithfull discharge of your trust, in bringing about the establishment of a well grounded peace. The perfection of which (in relation to the common enemie) seemes now by the blessing of God to be brought neare to a wished period: yet the consumation of this worke being (as it were) the Crown of all our labours; we humbly conceive it may deservedly challenge from you a more then ordinary respect, which we doubt not but that your grave wisedomes are very sencible of: yet (noble Senators) let it seeme no presumption, if wee your poore Petitioners in all humility make knowne the grounds of some feares and iealousies to us apparent in this particular And those are (amongst other great grievances) chiefly derived from the present sence we have of the too much prevalency of that party who have dealt in the late wars, declared themselves disaffected to the peace & welfare of the Kingdome; who now seeme to be in hopes of obtaining that by policy, which they have not been able to doe by force. Cunningly contriving to aggravate and increase differences between the well affected party, and striving to bring an Odium upon all good men, under the distinction of severall tearmes of obloquie and disgrace by such subtle endeavours, labouring to avert the edge of justice from themselves, (who come deservedly under the stroke of it, and to turne it upon those who are most innocent. Strongly indeavouring (and have already affected it in part, to iustle all honest, faithfull, well affected men out of places of trust, office and authority, and to put in Newters, Ambodexters, or persons apparently disaffected: By all these meanes, together with the advantage of the Kingdomes present unsetledness) they seeme to be in a more then probable expectation of getting the reines once more in their owne hands, to the evident indangering, of the Common-wealths speedy ruine, and to the great griefe of your poore Petitioners, and all others who cordially desire the peace and safety of this distracted Kingdome. And further we are bold to make knowne (as more particularly relating to the condition of your Petitioners) That wheras, we [Editor: illegible word] being made free of the City, are injoyn’d by oath to maintaine the Liberties and Priviledges, of the same City; which notwithstanding we are in a great measure disabled to doe, by the intrusion of divers illegall and undue Customes and* Monopolies, (partly about the election and removall of our Magistrates) crept into the dimunition of the antient Liberties of this famous City, whose just immunities we are confident your honours have been and are very tender of.

Wherefore your Petitioners humbly pray, that this Honourable house taking into consideration the Premises, would be pleased by your mature Prudence and Care, to indeavour (as much as possibly you can) to take away all occasions of breaches between the well affected party. And that such as have in these late times of trouble, (by adventuring their lives or otherwise) approved themselves faithfull to their Countrys common good, may without respect to differences, no way prejudiciall to the Commonwealth, impartially injoy their Birth right, Priviledges, and be equally capable with others of the freedom to officiate in places of trust, which they are or shall be chosen unto. And on the contrary, that all these who have disfranchised themselves by Trayterously adhering to the enemy, may be disabled from bearing office, or voting in the Election of officers in the Common wealth, And we further crave, with submission to your Honours grave Approvements, that in regard of the Kingdomes present unsetlednesse, it may not be left destitute of a trusty and sufficient guard to secure it from intestine Broyles, and forraign Invasion. And as for your Petitioners more particular grievances, as they are members of this City; we humbly pray that you would be pleased by your Authority so to provide, that we, as we are or shall be capable of it, may be inabled to injoy the benefit of all ancient Charters and Grants, made and confirmed by severall Acts of Parliament,Especially the 4. Chart. of King Iohn. the Charter of Edw. 2. confirmed by Ed. 3. and his Counsell in Parliament. for the enlargement of our freedomes and Priviledges,, and that whatsoever hath been illegally intruded, may be taken away and made void. And lastly, as some have already desired, we likewise pray, that, if so small a thing may be worthy the intention of this grave and Honourable Assembly, you would be pleased to appoint sometimes of lawfull Recreations for servants, as your wisedomes shall thinke fit.

And your Petitioners, as they have many of them already, according to their duty, freely adventured their lives, and whatsoever was deare to them for the common safety of their Country so they still professe their readinesse, to give their best assistance to the suppressing all arbitrary and tyrannicall power: and to the upholding the fundamentall Rights and Liberties of the free-borne Englishmen, and the just Priviledges of this Honourable House against all that shall set themselves, in opposition of the same.

And be ever bound to pray, &c.

Whatsoever is contained in the Petition, the Subscribers will be ready to make good by particular instances, when they shall be lawfully called to the same.

Courteous Reader, whereas the former Impression was done in hast, there was 2. or 3. words misprinted, which are here mended, you are desired by these to correct those that come to your hand.

Die Lunæ 1 March. 1646.

A petition being stiled the humble petition of Divers Young men and Apprentices of the City of London was this day read, and it is ordered that Alderman Atkin, Col. Venn, and Mr. Vassell, doe from this House give the Petitioners thankes for the expression of their good affections, that they will take thier Petition into consideration in convenient time, and as for that businesse concerning dayes of relaxation is already under consideration and Committee.

Hen. Elsmge Cler. Par. Dom. Com.

And to fill up the sheet I shall desire the judicious Reader seriously to peruse that excellent petition of Ms. Lilburnes, delivered to the House of Commons, the 23. Sept. 1646. and then judge both in point of law; and matter of fact, betwixt the Lords and her husband, the petition thus followeth.

To the Chosen and betrusted Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, assembled in the High and Supreame Court of Parliament.

The humble Petition of Elizabeth Lilburne, Wife to Lievt. Col Iohn Lilburne, who hath been for aboue eleven weekes by past, most unjustly divorsed from him, by the House of Lords, and their tyrannicall Officers, against the Law of God, and (as shee conceives) the Law of the Land

Sheweth.THat you only and alone, are chosen by the Commons of England to maintaine their Lawes and Liberties, and to doe them Iustice and Righta which you have often before God and the World sworne to doeb yea, and in divers of your Declarations declared, it is your duty (in regard of the trust reposed in you so to doec without any private aimes, personall respect or passions whatsoeverd and that you thinke nothing too good to be hazzarded in the discharge of your consciences for the obtaining of these end.e And that you will give up your selves to the uttermost of your power and judgement to maintaine truth, and conforme your selves to the will of God,f which is to doe Iustice andg right, and secure the persons, estates, and Liberties of all that joyned with you,h imprecating the Iudgements of Heaven to fill upon you, when you decline from these ends, you judging it the greatest scandall that can be laid upon you, that you either doe or intend to subvert the Lawes, Liberties, and Freedomes of the People,i which freedomes, &c. you your selves call, the COMMON BIRTH. RIGHT OF ENGLISH-MEN,k who are borne equally tree, and to whom the Law of the Land is an equall inheritance) and therefore you confesse in your Declaration of 23. October 1642l It is your duty to use your best indeavours, that the meanest of the Commonalty, may injoy their owne birth-right, freedome and liberty of the Lawes of the Land, being equally (as you say) intituled thereunto with the greatest subiect. The knowledge of which as comming from your owne mouthes and pen, imboldneth your Petitioner (with confidence) to make her humble addresses to you, and to put you in mind that her husband above two monethes agoe made his formall and legall Appeal to you against the injustice, and usurpation of the Lords acted upon him, which you received, read, committed, and promised him justice in, But as yet no report is made of his businesse, nor any reliefe or actuall Justice holden out unto him, although you have since found time to passe the Compositions and pardons, for the infranchising many of those that your selves have declared Traytors, and Enemies to the Kingdome, which is no small cause of sorrow to your Petitioner, and many others, that her Husband who hath ventured his life, and all that he had in the World, in your lowest condition for you, should be so slighted and disregarded by you, as though you had forgot the duty you owe to the Kingdome, and your many oathes, vowes, and Declarations, which neglect hath hastned the almost utter ruine of your Petitioner her husband and small children: For the Lords in a most Tyrannicall and Barbarous manner, (being incouraged by your neglect) have since committed her husband, for about three weekes close Prisoner to New-gate, locked him up in a little Roome, without the use of Pen, inke or paper for no other cause but for refusing to kneel at the Bar, of those, that by Law are none of his Iudges)m the cruell Iaylors all that time refusing, to let your Petitioner, or any of his friends, to set their feet over the threshold of his Chamber dore, or to come into the prison yard to speake with him, or to deliver unto his hands, either meat, drink, money, or any other necessaries, A most barbarous and illegall crueltie so much complained of by your selves in your Petition and Remonstrance to the King, 1. December 1641.n and detested and abhorred there, by you, as actions and cruelties being more the proper issues of Turkes, Pagans, Tyrants, and men without any knowledge of God, then of those that have the least sparke of christianity, honour or Iustice in their breasts, And then while they thus tyrannized over your Petitioners Husband, they command (as your Petitioner is informed) Mr. Seargeant Finch, Mr. Herne, Mr. Haile, Mr. Glover, to draw up a charge against your Petitioners Husband, without giving him the least notice in the world of it, to fit himselfe 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 Lawyer from him, but even all manner of Counsellers and Friends, whatsoever, even at that time when they were about to try him, and then of a sudden sent a warrant for him to come to their Bar, (who had no legall authority over him) to heare 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 chiefe Iudge, contrary to that just Maxime of Law, that no man ought to be both party and Iudge, A practice which the unjust Star Chamber it selfe, in the dayes 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 Earle of Manchesters impeachment (in your House) of Treachery to his Country, by Lieut Gen. Cromwell, which is commonly reported to be punctually and fully proved, and a Charge of a higher nature then the Earle of Straffords for which be lost his head. And which also renders him (so long as he stand, so impreached) uncapable, in any sence, of being a iudge. And a great wrong and injustice it is unto the Kingdome to permit him, and to himselfe, 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 appeale, to your honours and would not betray Englands Liberties, which you have all of you sworne to preserve, maintaine 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 Marshall or civil, and to lye seven yeares a prisoner in the extraordinary chargeable prison of the Tower, where he is in many particulars, as illegally dealt with all, as he was when he was in Newgate.

Now forasmuch as the Lords as they claime themselves to be 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. 2. 5, which are, delayes of iustice, 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, and an expresse Commission 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. chap. of Magna Charta your Petitioners Husband, or any other commoner what soever, in criminal cases are not to be tryed otherwise then by their Peers, which Sir Edward Cooks, in his Exposition of Magna Charta, which book is printed by your owne speciall authority, saith, is meant Equals, folio 28 In which, saith he, fol. 29 are comprised Knights, Esquires, Gentlemen, Citizens, Yeomen, and Burgesses of severall degrees, but not Lords. And in pag 46. he saith No man shall be disseised, that is, put out of seison or dispossessed of his freehold, that is, such he, Lands or lively hoods, or of his liberties or free customes, that is, of such franchises, and freedomes, and free customes, as belong to him, by his free birth-right, unlesse it be by the lawfull judgement, that is verdict of his Equalls, that is, saith hee, of men of his owne condition: Or by the Law of the land, that, is to speake once for all, by the due course and processe of Law. And saith hee, No man shall be in any sort distroyed, unlesse it be by the verdict and judgement of his Peers, that is Equalls, 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 it cleere by the Parliaments Record in the case of Sir Simon de Hereford 4. Ed. 3. Rot. 2, the Copie of which is now in the hands of Mr. Henry Martin, and they there record it, that his case who was condemned by them for murthering King Edward 2. shall not be drawne in future time into president because it was contrary to Law, they being not his Peers, that is his Equalls. And forasmuch as the manner of their proceedings was contrary to all the formall wayes of the Law publiquely established by Parliaments in this Kingdome, as appeares by severall Statuteso which expressly say, that none shall be imprisoned nor put out of his freehold, not of his franchises nor free customes, unlesse it be by the Law of the land, and thus none shall he taken by Petition or Suggestion made to the King, or to his Counsell, unlesse it be by indictment or presentment of good and lawfull people of the same neighbourhood where such deeds be done, in due manner, or by processe made, by wait originall at the common law, Which Statutes are Nominally and express confirmed by the Petition of Right, by the act made this present Parliament for the abolishing the Star-chamber, and thereby all acts repeated that formerly were made in derogation of them. But contrary hereunto the lords (like those wicked Iustices spoken of by St. Edward Cooke, 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 different For though they summoned him up to their Bar. Jun. 10. 1646. to answer a change, yet they refused to shew it him, or give him a Copy of it, but committed him to New-gate Iune 11. 1646. (although he behaved him selfe then, with respect towards them, both in word and gesture, meerly for refusing to answer to their Spanish Inquisition-like. Interogations, and for delivering his legall Protestition. Their [Editor: illegible word] being is illegall as their summoning of him and their other proceedings with him. Their Commitment [Editor: illegible word] To be kept there not till he be delivered by due course of Law, but During their pleasure, which Sir Edward Cooke such is illegall, and then locked up close, that so he might be in [Editor: illegible word] impossibillity to understand how they intended to proceed against himpq.

*wWherefore your Petitioner humbly prayeth to grant unto her husband the benefit of the Law, and to admit him to your Bar himself, to plead his owne cause, if you be not satisfied in the manner of his proceedings, or else according to law, justice, and that duty and obligation that lieth upon you, forthwith to release him from his unjust imprisonment, and to restrain and prohibit the illegall and arbitrary proceedings of the lords, according to that sufficient power instated upon you, for the inabling you faithfully to discharge the trust reposed in you, and to vacuate this his illegall sentence and fine, and to give him just and honourable reparations from the Lords and all those that have unjustly executed their unjust command; it being a rule in Law and a maxime made use of by your selves in your declaration [Editor: illegible word] 1642.r that the Kings illegall commands, though accompanied with his presence doe not exeuse those that obey them, much lesse the Lords, with which the Law accordeth: and so was resolved by the Iudges, 16. Hon. 6,s And that you will legally and iudicially, examine the crimes of the Earle of Manchester, and Col. King, which your petitioners husband and others have so often complained to you off, and doe examplary iustice upon them, according to their deserts, or else according to law and iustice punish those (if any) that have falslyt complained of them. And that you would without further delay give us reliefe by doing us iustice,u All which she the rather defileth because his imprisonment in the Tower is extraordinary chargeable and insupportable, Although by right, and the custome of that place, his fees, chamber, & diet ought to be allowed him & paid out of the treasure of the Crown, having wasted and spent himselfe with almost six yeares attendance, and expectation upon your honours for justice and reparations 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 hundreds of pounds, the yeare 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 Earle of Manchester although he spent with him, much of his owne 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 he ought to receive reparations, but he never yet had a penny, all which particulars being 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 wright, and that which in equity honour and conscience cannot be denyed her.

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 to the Kingdome according to the great trust reposed in you, and so free your selves from giving cause to be iudged men that sicke your selves more then the publique good. Elizabeth Lilburn.

And to close up all, I shall desire the Reader to take a view of the particular ordinary fees that every compounder payes for the suing out his pardon. First, the ordinance is to be presented by the Chair-man of Goldsmiths hall committee of the House of Commons and there to be read, for passing of which these exorbitant fees are to be paid. To the Speaker of the House of Com. 5. l. to Mr. Hen Elsinge Clerk of the House of Com. 2. l. to the Sergeant at Armes, of the House of Com. 1, l. 10. s. to the inferior Clerks of Mr. Elsings office 10. s. to the Sergeants Clerke 5, s. and to other officers there 5, s. To the Clerk of the Lords House, and Gentleman Vsher of the black Rod, &c. 12. I. To Mr. Soliciter, St. Iohn of the Commissioners of the Great Seale 14. l. the total of which is 35 l. 10. s. and it hath been credibly reported that above a yeare agoe there was above threescore 1000. Delinquents had entered their names for composition at Goldsmiths hall, of whom if there be twenty thousand that hath actually compounded, or intends to doe it, the very fees of them comes to above 700000 l, which goes into the forementioned officers pockets, the Speakers share at 5. l. a man, is 100000. l. ‘and Mr. Solicitors, St. Iohns at five l. a man as much, surely if such large fleece of Money can be put into particular pockets. England shall not be free of Delinquents enough, principally so made, to make particular men rich. But besides all this, the Speakers place as Speaker, and Mr. of the Rowles, and halfe Keeper of the Great Seale, it not easily to be computed, of whom, &c. it may truly be said they have not lesse then the annuall revenue of petty princes, and therefore it becomes them to keep the people in bondage, least they should overthrow their unfadomable, unjust gettings


T.59 (3.3) William Walwyn, A Whisper in the Eare of Mr. Thomas Edwards (13 March 1646).

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T.59 [1646.03.13] (3.3) William Walwyn, A Whisper in the Eare of Mr. Thomas Edwards Minister (13 March 1646).

Full title

William Walwyn, A Whisper in the Eare of Mr. Thomas Edwards Minister. By William Walwyn marchant. Occasioned by his mentioning of him reproachfully, in his late pernitious booke, justly entitled the Gangrana.

Micah. 7.2. The good man is perished out of the earth, and there is none righteous among men : they all lie in wait for blood: every man huntesth his brother with a net.

London, Printed according to Order, by Thomas Paine, for William Ley, at Pauls-Chaine, 1646.

Estimated date of publication

13 March 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 426; E. 328. (2.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

SIR, Your extream fury in driving on a work wherein no charitable well minded Christian takes any comfort, but rather an abundance of griefe, hath made me to conclude, that you are quite deaf on the right Christian care; deaf to all that is good: a man (I fear) altogether without Conscience, or sence of goodnesse: and that you have the use of hearing only on the left side of Machiavilian policy: just as Demetrius the silversmith, that opposed not the doctrine of Christ out of zeale to the Goddesse Diana as he pretended: nor out of any hatred to that doctrine, but as it tended to the losse of his craft and gain: even so you, (as I verily fear) do not indeavour to make odious the severall doctrines and practices of conscienscious people, out of true zeal to any thing you apprehend as truth; or out of hatred to any thing you apprehend as error: but because the doctrines and practices of those you term independents, Brownists, Anabaptists, Antinomians, and Seekers: do all tend to the losse of your craft and gain: in that they all disallow of tythes, as ceremonious and popish, and all contracted for, or enforced maintenance for ministers under the Gospel, as disagreeing to the rule thereof: nay you have further cause against them, for they spoile you not onely of your gaine, but of your glory and domination, things dearer to you then your life: of your glory, in denying your ministry to be successive from the Apostles: of your domination, by denying unto you any more authority to judge of doctrines or discipline, then any other sort of Christian men: and to speak truly, these are sore temptations to such worldly minds as yours, who in your hopes had made your selves sure of the greatest part of all that was taken from the Prelats, and thereby of a foundation of advancing the honour, and splendour, and profit of the Clergy once more in this Nation: It is confest that such provocations as these have not onely produced such reviling accusations, as you bring against conscientious well minded people, but a subversion of the calumniators: as it befell the late Prelats, whose railing, reviling, and molesting of the harmelesse faithfull puritan, under pretence of herisie, schisme, faction, sedition, and the like, being all contrary to every mans knowledge and experience of them: the issue was, the utter extirpation of their calumniators: and that so lately, as might be a warning to you, and such politique worldly men as you are; but that it is (through the wisdom and justice of God) the fate of policy and politique men not to be warned by other mens judgements, but to trust so much to the strength of their braines, that they fear not to trace those very steps that gradatim brought the last Arch bishop to the block, making no conscience of vexing, disgraceing, and undoing of any man, nay thousands of men and families, standing twixt them and their unjust ends: and this too so madly and rashly, as to make themselves adversaries of such, as really aimed at their good, and to preserve them from those precipitations their folly and malice labours to hasten. And this is your case with me, for I am confident and well assured, that amongst all those whom in this your frantick booke you have named, there is not one that opposed your waies more out of love, and seriously for your good, then I have done: for what ever you through want of an experimentall knowledge of me, or upon misreport may judge of me, I am one that do truly and heartily love all mankind, it being the unfeigned desire of my soul, that all men might be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth, it is my extream grief that any man is afflicted, molested, or punished, and cannot but most earnestly wish, that all occasion were taken away: there is no man weake, but I would strengthen: nor ignorant, but I would informe: nor erronious, but I would rectifie, nor vidous, but I would reclaim, nor cruel, but I would moderate and reduce to clemency: I am as much grieved that any man should be so unhappy as to be cruel or unjust, as that any man should suffer by cruelty or injustice: and if I could I would preserve from both; and however I am mistaken, it is from this disposition in me, that I have engaged my self in any publick affairs, and from no other, which my manner of proceeding in every particular busines wherein I have in any measure appeared, will sufficiently evince, to all that have without partiallity observed me: I never proposed any man for my enemy, but injustice, oppression, innovation, arbitrary power, and cruelty, where ever I found them I ever opposed my self against them; but so, as to destroy the evil, but to preserve the person: and therefore all the war I have made (other then what my voluntary and necessary contribution hath maintained, which I wish ten thousand times more then my ability, so really am I affected with the Parliaments just cause for the common freedom of this Nation) I say all the war I have made, hath been to get victory on the understandings of men: accompting it a more worthy and profitable labour to beget friends to the cause I loved, rather then to molest mens persons, or confiscate estates: and how many true and thorow converts have been made through my endeavours: you tempt me to boast, were I addicted to such a vanity, or were I not better pleased with the conscience of so doing. Before this Parliament I was of full years to be sensible of the oppression of the times, being now forty five years of age, having accustomed my self to all kinds of good reading, and to the consideration of all things; but so, as for a long time I took not boldnesse to judge, but upon the approbation of some authors and teachers that had captivated my understanding both in things morall, politique, and religious: in the last of which, being very serious and sincere in my application of things to my own conscience, my grounds being bad, though much applauded, I found much disconsolation therein, great uncertainty, and at last extream affliction of mind, the law and Gospel fighting for victory in me, in which conflict, the Scriptures were taken in more singly, and void of glosse, to my assistance, by the cleare light whereof, I saw the enemies I feared vanquished, which wrought a real thankfulnes in me towards Christ, which increased with the increasings of faith: insomuch as I set my self daily more and more to do his will: and that in a more publick way then formerly: Whereupon an occasion being offered by this honourable Parliament, our minister and parish (James Garlick-hill London) being quite out of order: I, with others, moved for reformation, in doing whereof, how I laboured to have preserved the continuance and well being of our minister: himself, and the ancient that opposed our endeavours, I presume will testifie, but if they should not, there is enow that will, but he was a man that trusted to policy, which in the end failed him: our next indeavours were for the whole ward, wherein after much labour, we so prevailed, that the well affected carryed the choice of Alderman and common councell men, and all other officers in the Ward: my next publike businesse was with many others, in a remonstrance to the Common Councell, to move the Parliament to confirm certain infallible maximes of free Government: wherein the power of Parliament was plainly distinguished from the Kings Office, so plainly, that had it taken effect: few men after due consideration thereof, would through error of judgement have taken part against the Parliament, or have befriended arbitrary power, as too too many did for want of light, but it was stifled in the birth. I was also interrested in all the proceedings of Salters hall, whence much good issued to the whole City and Kingdom; where I beleeve it will be testified by all, I was never heard or observed to propose or second a bad motion, nor far short of any in prosecution of any thing that was good: and when the common enemy was at the highest, and the Parliaments forces at the lowest, I with many others petitioned the Parliament for the generall raising and arming of all the well affected in the Kingdom, and though that also took not its proper effect, and came not to perfection: yet it mated the common enemy, and set all wheels at work at home, was the spring of more powerfull motions and good successes: God so ordering things that no man moves for good, but good in one kind or other comes thereof: and in all that I have at any time done, I ever associated my self with persons of known good affections to Parliament and Common-wealth: that it is my extream wonder that any well-affected person should affirm me to be a man dangerous: I have never shunned the light, all that I have had a hand in hath come to the publick view and touch, and truly there hath not been a just thing promoted or endeavoured to be promoted, that ever I was absent from, if I had a call thereunto: and whereas I have addicted my selfe to know and understand all the severall doctrines and waies of worship that are extant, and for that end have taken liberty to hear and to observe all: it is that I might be able to judge rightly of their differences, to vindicate them when they are wronged: and to advise them for their good: in doing whereof, I have gained much good, there being not any (how light esteeme soever you make of them) but have somthing worthy the observation: and this I must testify for all sorts of them, they are a people the most ready to render love for love, that ever I met withall: and not apt to render evil for evil: they are all universally faithfull to the Parliament, friends to all just government, and enemies to all unjust: but yet there is not any thing I have observed that hath prevailed with me to disclaim the publike ministry, or the parochial congregations & I have yet some hopes to see them reduced into such a condition, as that all things thereunto belonging, may without difficulty be justified: but though I am not in fellowship with those good people you call sectaries, yet I joyn heart and hand with them in any thing that I judge to be right: and tending to the publike good: and love them as heartily as those that are one with me in judgement: sometimes I contest with them somewhat vehemently in arguing, but it is as I conceive for truth, and for their good: and they take it so, and bear with me as I with them: and we meet and part in love, as becometh Christians, nor doth this hinder, but that when any difference befalleth betweene them and the publick ministers, but that I judge as clearly in such cases, as if I had no difference with them, for I esteem it a high part of true religion to promote common justice: and not to be a respecter of persons in judgement, wherein the Scripture is my rule: and that being on their side, I should take part with them therein against my father, minister, or the dearest friend I have in the world: and from hence it is, that when the question is about liberty of Conscience, the Scripture tells me, every one ought to be fully perswaded in his own mind, and that whatsoever is not of faith, is sin: it tells me I must doe as I would be done unto: I would not be enforced to the Parish Congregations, then I must not force them to them, or from their owne: God onely perswades the heart: compulsion and enforcement may make a confused masse of dissembling hypocrites, not a Congregation of beleevers, that seeing our Saviour reproached not those that denyed the resurrection, angels and spirits, nay Joh. 12: 47, 48. &c. he saith plainly (and that by authority from heaven, v 49), He that refuseth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, it shall judge him in the last day. Also in Luke the 9: 54, 55, 56. Insomuch as I see no more warrant now to reproach or punish any man for Religion, but rather that we are all bound in peace and love to reclaime our brother from what wee judge an error in his way: wherein the best and most knowing amongst men in our daies, may be mistaken; being all liable to take truth for error, and error for truth, and therefore there is no cause of strife or compulsion, except for mastery: then which (as I conceive) nothing is more unchristian, neverthelesse I may see a necessary use of a publick ministry, and parish Congregations, and it is my work to perswade others therein, and not to speak reproachfully thereof, as they would not have their way reproached: but then when the question is concerning a maintenance for these publick ministers: and that any shall insist for tythes, or an enforced maintenance, truly in this case the Scripture manifesting to my understanding, tythes to be ceremoniall and Jewish, and sa to cease at the comming of Christ: and that to enforce or enjoyn a maintenance though under anv other notion, is as I apprehend contrary to the rule and practice of the Apostles, how is it possible but I must adhere to them therein: but then that our publick ministers should have no maintenance, therein I wholy dissent, and as it hath been my endeavour to assist the one party to avoid the molestation of their consciences in tythes, & all enforced contributions so have I often proposed a way for the maintenance of the publick ministers, more certain, more quiet for themselves, and lesse irksome to the people, lesse disturbant to the Common-wealth: and thus you may see how through misinformation: you have taken me for an enimy, that have alwaies approved my self your reall friend in all things I apprehended just: and thus you may see how dangerous a man I have been that in all these publick differences have done no man hurt by word or deed: nay at all the meetings I have frequented, whether at Salters hall, the wind mill, or else where, I never heard any man named reproachfully, but I openly shewed the unfitnes thereof: alwaies advising that if any man had ought against any particular person, that he should make it known to those that by law had a right to take notice thereof, and that we should be very cautious in thinking evil of any man upon report and hearsay, especially of any in authority: The truth is, I have been and am of opinion, that it is not good for the Common-wealth, that the ministers should have any power or jurisdiction put into their hands, or that it were good for the ministers themselves, the same having so often proved their ruine, and the disturbance of the people, but do conceive it more safe for them, and more for the quiet of the people, that they be freed from all other employments, except preaching and administring the publick worship of God, according as the Parliament shall ordain, for I look upon you as ministers ordained by the State, and so are to do as they conceive is most agreeable to the word of God, and most beneficiall to the generallity of the people: in setling whereof, you may advise, but are not to urge or be importunate for more power then they see good, and it lesse beseems you to grow passionate, and to move others to be importunate, and by preaching and printing to labour to make their faithfull friends odious unto them, and to magnifie your desires, above their own intentions, and so to beget emulations and parties, threaten judgements and desertions, and turning the scriptures against them and all others that oppose or fulfill not your will, as if they were opposers of the will of God, which you take upon you to know, with the same confidence as the bishops and prelates did, and in the very same manner, and application of Scripture. No interpretation was good but theirs, no ministers the ministers of Christ, but whom they ordeyned by imposition of hands, no government, discipline, or worship, agreeable to the Scriptures, but theirs, no opinion found, but what they allowed, all were sectaries and hereticks, whom they pleased so to denominate: those that opposed them were seditious: disturbers of the peace, a viperous brood, enemies to the state, and subverters of all order and government, and by all means to be extirpated: if any pleaded conscience, they conclude them obstinate, and thus it is with you expresly, so as Mr. Edwards his Gangraena, is indeed but a new edition of Prelaticall doctrine, with some additions appliable to the present times, and his Clergies immediate interest: but trust me, this is extreamly prejudidall to your party, for there is no moderate Presbyterian that can excuse this, and hath beene a hindrance to me in arguing for a publick ministry, besides you soar so high in daring expressions, as if you presumed upon some other way of obtaining your desires, then by allowance of Parliament, which may loose you many friends there, and occasion them to think they have through a mistaken compassion, fostered a frozen snake in their bosomes, that no sooner finds heat and strength, but falls into his serpentine hissing, and stinging his preserver, you have also lost many of your friends abroad, by this unchristian nominating men and women in your Gangraena, and many more you will loose, when they shall consider that you have not taken the known Gospel way of first admonishing of them, but upon bare report, as it were to post them reproachfully to the view of the world, they cannot deem this as the proceeding of a minister of Christ, but rather as a violent hast to do your owne work: trust me, I cannot but impute the great abatement of your sect, the falling from you of so many judicious persons, and the daily great increase of other sects, to no one thing more, then to your inconsiderate rashnes, violent railing, and adventuring on unheard of waies to compasse your ends, for when I have prevailed with some (through debate and argument) to come to our publike Churches, and to hear your sermons, they have found there such abundance of passion, sweat, and labour, not to beget children unto Christ, by preaching the sincere Gospel of Christ, but to revile and reproach, and make odious conscientious well affected people, because of difference in judgement, whereby they have been much discouraged from frequenting those places, affirming that all the accusations you bring against others, are expresly and visibly due to your selves if but indifferently weighed: as where you charge others with pride, ambition, covetuousnes, effeminacy, obstinacy, cruelty, delicacy of pallate, and the like; they have demanded of me with a positive vehemency, whether these were not to be found in you, rather then in those you have condemned for those vices, blaming me very much for going about to excuse the same, insomuch as I verily beleeve, you have no enemy like your self, and am perswaded if you would forsake all corrupt interests, and would consciensciously set your selfe to do the worke of Christ, to labour in his word and Gospel, out of a pure mind, and not for filthy lucre, if you would make it evident by your actions, that you seek not ours, but to win us to God, that you would thereby prevaile more in one halfe year towards your owne comfortable establishment, then you shall in an age by all your by-waies and policies, therefore leave them, and betake your self to the work of Christ, whilst it is called to day: the night of ignorance I presume is past with you: O that truth and this my plain dealing might beget or awaken Conscience in you, and provoke you to cast of the works of darknes, and to put on the armour of light, and henceforth to walk honestly, and not in strife and envying, but to walk in love as Christ hath loved nor is it meet you should esteeme your self a Christian, untill you find your soul possessed with the spirit of true Christian love, which doth no evil to his neighbour, and therefore is the fulfilling of the Law. What though you could prevail (as you endeavour) to work the ruine of all that oppose your judgement or ends? Would it be peace in the latter end? no, assure your self it would be a sulphurious bitternesse and horror of conscience, and therefore sit downe and seriously consider what you are resolved to do, weigh your intentions in the even scales of love, touch and prove them with the touch-stone of love, if you would be esteemed a disciple of Christ, it must bee knowne by love: now love suffereth long, and is kind; boasteth not it self, is not puffed up, doth not behave it seife unseemly, seeketh not her owne, is not provoked to anger, it thinketh not evil, it rejoyceth not in iniquity, but rejoyceth in the truth: beareth all things, beleeveth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things, this is that I would ever whisper in your ear, this being a balsame that often, and well rub’d in, may Cure your Gangraen, and though at first your distemper may cause you to loath it, yet take a little and a little of it, use inwardly and outwardly, constantly, and you will find your disposition to alter and change from one degree unto another, until you come to be a strong and healthfull Christian: of Saul a persecutor, you will become Paul a preacher of peace and reconciliation by Jesus Christ, and bee able to lay down your life for those Brethren you have so much dispised: then will you do as you would be done unto, and in all things disputable allow every one to be fully perswaded in their own minds, and then you will bee sencible, that whatsoever is not of faith is sinne: you will acknowledge it is God only that can perswade the heart, and (doing your duty) patiently waite his leisure for the conversion of your Brethren: the same mind and meeknes will bee in you, as was in Christ Jesus, and you will be mercifull as our heavenly Father is mercifull: you will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoaking flax; then you will see what pure religion and undefiled before God, even the Father, is: you will feed the hungry, cloath the naked, visit the sick, relieve the prisoner, deliver the captive, and set the oppressed free, especially the oppressed for Conscience sake: you will then see error in judgement or misapprehension in worship, to bee but a mote in your brothers eye, compared to a persecuting or molesting, or the reproaching beame in your owne: in a word, would you seriously set your selfe to the studdy and practice of love, you would againe fill your Churches, and without the help of Jewish Tythes, or any unchristian or forced maintenance, preaching the Gospel, would live comfortably of the Gospel and draw all men after you.

As for those blemishes you labour by your Gangreen to stick upon mee, I beleeve your labour will be lost, except in the opinion of such as know me not: but to acquit my selfe farther, and to free them from prejudice, to what I have said I add thus much more.

In your 96. page, you have me in these uncharitable expressions, one Mr. Walwyn a seeker, and a dangerous man, a strong head: truely in the mind you were in, when you wrote this Gangreen, I am heartily glad I appeared not worthy of your Commendations, certainly you have been extreamly covetous of informations, you seeme to have suckt them in with greedinesse, and swallowed them without chewing; tis pitty an evil intent should be better served; your informations to my knowledge of many particulars as that of Mr. Lilburnes and others, and my self, have been such to you, as if they had been made of purpose to shame you to all the world, I a seeker, good now; whose your author? Am I one because I know many, and have been amongst them often, that I might know them fully; so have I been with all other judgements, but I carry with mee in all places a Touch-stone that tryeth all things, and labours to hold nothing but what upon plain grounds appeareth good and usefull: I abandon all nicities and uselesse things: my manner is in all disputes reasonings and discourses, to enquire what is the use: and if I find it not very materiall, I abandon it, there are plain usefull doctrines sufficient to give peace to my mind: direction and comfort to my life: and to draw all men to a consideration of things evidently usefull, hath been a speciall cause that I have applyed my selfe in a friendly manner unto all: but hence it is that some have said I am a great Anabaptist, others (upon as good ground) a great Antinomian: and you a seeker: mistake me not, I do not esteeme these as names of reproach, no more then to be called Presbyterian or Independent; nor doe I take upon me peremptorily to determine what is truth, and what is error, amongst any of them: all have a possibility of error: I judge all Conscienscious, and to hold their severall judgements upon grounds of scripture: to them appearing, and so long cannot but hold them: and why any should controule another, I cannot disceme: had I all the power or strength in the World at my disposing, in cases of religion I conceive I should sinne, if I should do more then in a loving way offer my argument, and gently perswade to what I conceive is both evidently true, and really usefull: and thus have I done amongst those my loving friends, whom you judge seekers: for though I do fully assent with them that now in these times there is no such ministry as the Apostles were, endowed with immediate power from on high, by imposition of whose hands, the Holy Ghost was conferred, enabling to speak with tongues, and do miracles, in a most wonderfull manner, and to speake to all men, the infallible word of God: and that convincingly to the Consciences of gain-sayers: yet am I not thereby of opinion that we may not make use of those things they have left unto us in the scriptures of the mind and will of God; or that it is not profitable to follow their examples so far as we are able in all things, for what though the effects are now weake, in comparison of theirs, yet are they such as bring great satisfaction with them: I have often perswaded with them that they should not reject what they may with much comfort make use of, because they cannot find what they seek, & for ought I know are not like to find in this world: see now what a seeker you have found of me: I once heard you at Christ-Church, which few seekers will do, but never but once, for I was not so blind a seeker, as to seek for Grapes of thornes, or Figgs of thistles: and why I pray you a dangerous man? indeed, by some reall dangerous men, I have been accounted so some whereof are falne into the snare they laid for all the well affected in this City; but that ever I was accounted so by any that conversed with me, that was a knowing well-affected man, I do not beleeve, and I beleeve I could produce thousands of knowing well-affected persons, that if they heare I am engaged, and doe appeare in any publick businesse, though they know no title thereof, will adventure odds; it is both just and necessary, and therefore you incline me to beleeve that you labour for beliefe onely amongst the weake, ignorant, rash, or ill affected people, with whom Credit and repute is not worth the having: well, your last appellation you bestow upon me is a strong head, and what would you have understood by this? Would you have your disciples stand aloof and not dare to hold discourse with me, lest I should open your designes, and make it appeare how much it concerns your corrupt interrest to keep their heads in ignorance and a superstitious weaknesse: is it because I know whose maxim, this is Rustica gens, optima Flens, pessima ridens: Is it because my hearing is so good as not to bee perverted by Closing doctrines, or because my smelling serves my turne to smell a Fox, or Wolfe, though in Sheeps clothing, or is my seeing so strong that it dispels the magick mists of sophisticated art: or is it because my taste discerneth the brackishnesse of flattery, from the pure sweetnesse of plain dealing: or do you mean head strong, because I am not likely nor could ever be drawn to dance after your Pipe.

Doubtlesse these are the causes that any strong head troubles you: neverthelesse, as strong as it is, you see a small knock from your hard hand hath so opened it, that I can hardly shut it again, but lie shut it presently, onely thus much, I cannot see how authority can passe over this unparaleld use of the presse which you have taken, to name in publike so many of their faithfull adherents in so reproachfull a manner, to tax their proceedings in the proceedings of their Committees, to affirme and declare to all the world, that the victorious successes of the Parliaments forces, is but the increase of errors and herisies, that sectaries of all sorts get places of profit and power, and be the men all in request for offices and employments: in the which, you make your self the judge of what is error and herisie, and who is a sectary: in all which you are as likely to be mistaken as any man: for none are such in your calender, but such (as at first I told you) who stand twixt you and your profit, glory and domination: so as a man may be a reall good Christian, and a most cordiall friend to the Parliament, and neverthelesse be exploded by you for a sectary, or an heretick: one thing more, you, and such as you are (if you be not changed since you wrote your Gangraena, as I heartily wish you were) doe extreamly abuse this Nation, in laying the main weight of the reformation (intended) upon the reduceing of mens judgements and practice in Religion to union and uniformity, whereas the main weight of all resteth, in extirpating the popish prelaticall spirit of persecution and molestation for conscience: as the main thing that oppressed all sorts of conscientious people before the Parliament, and since; and that which cannot fail to disturbe and vex any nation where it remaineth, but the truth is, without it you cannot keep your self aloft: without it you cannot compell a maintenance: distinguish a Clergy, nor have power over mens persons by their consciences, but grant you the power you desire, and you are master of all, and then see who dares open his mouth, or move his pen in this argument: your present confidence proceeds from the mist you have raised, but it is not yet thick enough, nor will our english braynes prove so muddy as to afford matter for thickning, I beleeve and hope it is now at thickest, and when your hopes are greatest, you will find your self in a fogge: to hold men in ignorance or bondage is not a work either for honest men or good Christians, but abhorred by both, and beleeve it, truth is become too strong to admit of either in this age: and we trust the honourable Parliament that are chosen to preserve us from both, will not fail to preserve us, though you should do the worst you can, and whereas you commend them to the love of God and his truth, and the hating of all sects and schismes, I in all humility and true love to all that honour God, and desire the welfare of England, do most heartily pray, that they may hate all persecuting sects with a perfect hatred: all enforcing and compulsive schismaticks, as the onely cause of all trouble and distraction.

To conclude, If you be so ill as your word, and bring forth such evill fruit once every month, and that we whose names you have blasted, can find a licencer, (as we hope we shall) that will do but so much for Christ, as yours hath done for B. We shall I doubt not, find a new way of innocculation, and produce grapes out of your thorns, and figges out of your thistles, and fetch abundance of good out of your evil: but more happy will it be for you if you repent, (once a month shall I say) once every houre, and in token thereof, use your uttermost indeavour to promote this or the like petition to the honourable Parliament, whereby you will make some amends for the evill you have done by this your book.

William Walwyn
Walwyn, William
Humbly sheweth,

That as with all thankfulnes we acknowledge your unwearied labours to remove the grievances and dangers of the Common wealth, so are we exceedingly grieved to observe the manifold unexpected difficulties which at severall times have obstructed your proceedings, amongst which we conceive the differences in Religion to be the greatest, and of most importance.

In your considerations whereof, being an affair of so tender a nature, so apt to be mis-understood, and such as hath miscarried in all former Parliaments, to the great disturbance of this Nation, and to the great affliction of conscientious people, we humbly conceive you have not in any thing shewed greater regard to the glory of God or greater care of the welfare of the people, then in proceeding therein with so cautious and advised a deliberation: giving time and opportunity to your wisedoms, rightly to understand the word of God in that point which most concerneth tender consciences, to hear, try and examine all that can or may be said or writ thereof, and we trust you will in the end produce that which shall be agreeable to the will and mind of God, and to the quiet of all wel-affected people.

And although your progresse therein hath not been with so much speed, or such severity towards tender Consciences, as some importunely have desired, yet have we good cause to beleeve that you have been guided therein by the good hand of God, who in due time will (we doubt not) bring you to such an issue, as neither your selves, nor any others (well minded) shall have cause to repent, or ever to alter.

And therefore we most earnestly intreat that you will not through any importunity be induced to hasten your proceedings in this weighty cause (wherein least error may prove very prejudiciall) beyond what upon your mature deliberation shall appeare to be just and necessary: there being as we humbly conceive, no greater breach of the priviledge or abatement of the power of Parliament, then for any to do more then humbly to informe or advise you in this, or any other negotiation.

Blessed be God though the differences are many in point of judgement throughout your quarters, as they have been alwaies throughout the world, and will be so long as knowledge is imperfect: yet being amongst consdonable, quiet, well-affected people, they are not properly to be called divisions,

And though we cannot but fear there are some wicked Polititians that endeavour by all means to make them such, and thereby to distemper and distract all your undertakings, and to make the same advantagious to their unjust ends, yet are we confident (through Gods protection) their endeavours shall be fruitlesse (except to draw confusion on themselves) God having blessed the people in generall with a cooler spirit, and greater wisdom, then by dividing among themselves, or not adhering unto you, to become a prey to any enemy; and hath produced universally in them, as in us your humble Petitioners, a resolution to defend the just power and priviledge of this honourable House, against all delusion or opposition whatsoever, to the last penny of our estates, or last drop of our bloods, beseeching you to go on with the same caution and godly resolution, to perfect those just works you have undertaken, according as God shall direct you, both for the manner and the season: for his way is best, and his time most seasonable.

And as in duty bound, we shall ever pray, &c.

To conclude, if you shall do this conscionably and effectually, I am confident henceforward you will not be able to do any thing against the truth, but for the truth which is the unfeigned desire of him who cannot but earnestly desire your reformation, and eternall happinesse:

William Walwyn

LONDON, Printed according to Order, by Thomas Paine, for William Ley, at Paules-Chaine, 1646

T.60 (3.4) William Walwyn, A Word More to Mr. Thomas Edwards (19 March 1646).

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T.60 [1646.03.19] (3.4) William Walwyn, A Word More to Mr. Thomas Edwards Minister (19 March 1646).

Full title

William Walwyn, A Word More to Mr. Thomas Edwards Minister, by William Walwyn Marchant. Concerning the Nationall Covenant.

Judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgement.

London, Printed according to order, by Thomas Paine. 1646.

Estimated date of publication

19 March 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 427; Thomason E.328 [20]

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Text of Pamphlet


Untill I perceive the contrary, I cannot but hope that I have prevailed something with you towards a change of your mind, and that you have begun to repent you of the evill you have done by publishing your book entituled the Gangreen: and doe wish my whisper had come so timely to your eare, as to have prevented the second edition, but repentance is never too late, and I earnestly desire it may be hearty in you, for furtherance whereof, having in my last forgotten to declare my judgement concerning the Nationall Covenant, wherein either you are entangled, or whereby you entangle others, forcing such an interpretation thereupon, as to bind all that have taken the same, to endeavour the establishment of a compulsive Presbyterian Government: directly contrary to the whole scope of the new Testament.

To remove this error, if you be consciencious there in: or to prevent the evil intended, and to undeceive those that misunderstand the Covenant, I shall at this time manifest unto you in what sence I tooke the same: conceiving my self obliged so to do, chiefly in duty to the publick, but withall, in due respect to my own good name, having been questioned by some, how it could stand with my Covenant, that I should be opposite in my judgement and endeavours to the government you intended, or be so serious an Advocate for liberty of Conscience? and I discerned a necessity of doing hereof at this instant of time, by occasion of a sermon I lately heard at Pauls: wherein all were supposed to be breakers of the Covenant, that did not insist and be importunate for such a government, & so much power as the assembly of divines should think fit, or to that effect; urging with such vehemency of expression, the pursuance of the Covenant in that sence, with such threats of judgements, and strong provocations, that I was amazed thereat, and had more feared the issue, but that I knew those honourable persons to whom he spake, were endued with wisdom to discerne whose worke he did: though I confesse it was done so artificially, as to have deceived the very choisest of men.

The two first articles of the Covenant, are only materiall to the point in question: and therefore I shall declare in what sence I took them, not medling with any other part thereof.

The first Article is thus. That we shall sincerely, really, and constantly through the grace of God, endeavour in our severall places and callings, the preservation of the reformed Religion in the Church of Scotland, in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, against our common enemies: by this I did binde my self to indeavour in my place and calling, the preservation of the Reformed Religion in the Church of Scotland, in doctrine, worship, discipline, and government, against our common enemies, that is, that our common enemies shall not in any sort disturbe our brethren the Covenanters of Scotland, in the enjoyment of their Religion, and that form of Church Government which they conceived most agreeable to the Word of God: my bond being of force onely against our common enemies, and in no measure as justifying or judging of the form of government, be it Presbyterian, or any other. And I verily beleeve, thousands that chearfully took the Covenant in reference to mutuall aid and assistance of them against our common enemies, did not know or understand what their Government was, and should they alter their government to some other forme, I hold my self bound in duty to defend them therein against our common enemy, and do judg the honourable Parliament of Scotland as free to alter, as for ours to establish what God shall direct them, and the people there as free to move for the removall of any thing they find prejudiciall in their goverment, as we are here.

By the next words in the Covenant, I binde my selfe (in like manner) to indevour the reformation of Religion in the Kingdoms of England and Ireland, in doctrine, worship, discipline and Government, according to the word of God, and the example of the best reformed Churches: here the Word [3] of God is my particular and expresse rule, for the best Reformed Churches may need reformation, and can at best only minister an occasion of consideration of what is good in them, and agreeable to that word, but that word is still my unerring rule, and not reformed Churches. Withall, so farre as reformed Churches are in use in this case, I could not but esteem that Church the best reformed, where no coercive power is admitted, where there is no compulsion or molestation for Conscience sake, or matters of Religion, the word of God being clear and evident in that point. And truly so far as matters of Conscience and Religion can be intrusted (for I conceive no truly consciencious person in the world can absolutely intrust the regulation of his Conscience in the worship of God to any authority) but so far as it can, in this Nation of ours, I am certain it belongeth onely to the Parliament to judge what is agreeable to the word of God and not unto the Assembly, who were conveened by the Parliament to hear their advice, but reserving all power of determination to themselves, as no wise delegable to any others, and God hath blessed all their undertakings in a wonderfull manner, by the hands of Conscienscious people, because of their just and tender regard unto their freedom in Religion, notwithstanding all importunity to the contrary.

And where in the next place I bound my self to endeavour to bring the Churches of God in the three Kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in Religion, confession of Faith, forme of Church goverment, Directory for Worship and Catechisme, I conceive my bond is of force onely as I understand these or any of these to be agreeable to the word of God (which I must understand with my own understanding, and not by any others) and then also my endeavour for conformity, must be only by lawfull and just means, not by compulsion or enforcement, but by love, light, and argument: which was the way of our blessed Saviour and his Apostles, and in so doing, wee and our posterity after us may live in faith and love, & the Lord may delight to dwell in the middest of us: for God is love, and he that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him: Nor do I conceive the Conscience of the Parliament to be any otherwise obliged, then a particular mans Conscience, their votes and results being issues of particulars, and as they only are intrusted, so I trust and am confident they will understand with their owne understandings, and preserve us in our liberties, not only as we are men, but (Christians namely, in a liberty to be fully perswaded in our own minds, in all things appertaining to Gods worship,) and protect us in the peaceable practice of our consciences, against all kinds of molestation.

And how strange soever this may seem to you, unto me it seemeth most equal: because otherwise, a consciencious man (that of all men is the most precious in the sight of God, and should be so in the judgement of law and authority) of all men would be the least free, and most liable to disturbance, for allow unto such a one all the comforts that this world can afford, and but abridge him of his liberty of worshipping God according to his Conscience, his life in an instant becomes burthensome to him, his other contentments are of no esteeme, and you bring his gray hairs with extreame sorrow to the grave: for of all liberty liberty of Conscience is the greatest: and where that is not: a true Christian findeth none.

In the second Article I bound my selfe to endeavour the extirpation of heresie, schisme and whatsoever shal be found contrary to sound doctrine &c. Whereby it is supposed and urged that I am expressely bound against liberty of Conscience; but as I said before: judge not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgement: by heresie you understand all doctrines that are not agreeable unto yours: though you are not infallible: by schisme you understand the declining or forsaking the Presbyterian Government or congregations: in which sence you were a schisme from the Prelaticall Church: (but I entreat you speedily to explain by grounds of scripture what heresie is, and what schisme is: to which you will stand.) Most commonly by heresiy in the covenant, you understand heretick, and by schisme schismatick, and where in the covenant the word extirpation is applyed to heresie and schism, you apply it to the rooting up of hereticks: and schismaticks: but in all this I conceive you are extreamly mistaken.

However, when I tooke the Covenant I considered what heresie was, and I found that heresie is not: but where a man forsakes an infallible and knowne truth, and professeth the contrarie, for vile and worldy respects, as may appear by the words of the Apostle, to Titus, Chap. 3. v. 10. 11. A man that is an heretick, after the first or second admonition reject: knowing that he that is such, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himselfe, so as if I should know that you in the Bishops time did understand and beleeve upon sure grounds of scripture, that libertie of Conscience was due to every Christian, and in respect unto the truth thereof did plead and suffer for the same: and yet after that by the justice of this Parliament, you were delivered from that oppression and molestation for conscience sake: and stated in freedom: if after this, to gain honour profit or preferment, you shall be so subverted, as to practice the same oppression towards others, (that differ with you in judgement or way of worship) as was injuriously inflicted upon you: and strongly and clamourously, importune for power to suppresse consciencious people, this scripture as I conceive, judges you an heretick: one that sinneth, and is subverted and condemned of himselfe: if your conscience condernne you, God you know is greater then your Conscience, and will not acquit you. I dare not peremptorily take upon me to judge you in this sad condition, but that error in judgement, or blindnes in understanding, though very erronious and grosse, is heresie, I do not beleeve, but do rather conceive it an invention of some corrupt Clergy-men (to cause hatred among the people about opinions, thereby to divide them in affection, it being their maxim, (as well as other polititians) divide and master them,) and to have some colour of enforcing their interpretation of scripture as a rule upon all men, and to punish all opposers. And truly you shal do a good office if you shall open the eies of your friends in this particular, and not suffer them any longer to judge according to the rule of corrupt prelats and persecuting bishops, nor continue so violent against such as differ from them in judgment, but to judge others to bee consciencious as well as themselves, and beare with others, as they would be born withall themselves: being ever mindfull that none are now infallible.

And as concerning schism, I judge it not to be, but where an unpeaceable, and violent perversnesse appeareth, a disposition impossible to hold fellowship withall, and hee onely a schismatick that is such, and not an honest quiet spirited person, that out of conscience and difference in judgement, cannot walk in Church fellowship with me, this being also another invention, (as I beleeve) of corrupt prelats and persecuting bishops, to find occasion against Consciencious people, and by vexing them, to make them draw in their yoak, wherein also you shall doe well to open the eies of your friends, and help them to distinguish rightly of heresie and schisme, that so they may know what they have covenanted to extirpate, and what not.

And though I should find such heresies and schismes, and am bound by my Covenant to extirpate them; I must doe it in a way that is justifiable, I must not (as you seem to judge) endeavour to root out the hereticks and schismaticks, by banishment imprisonment or death, but by gentle and Christian means: that is, by perswasion, admonition, and information endeavour to reclaime them, and when that availeth not, I am only to reject them: or to hold no familiar society with them; According to this sence I took these two articles of our Nationall Covenant, and so did divers others that I know, nor do I discerne that I strained the naturall or genuine sence thereof in a tittle. If I am mistaken, I shall thank you or any other by grounds of scripture to shew me my error, but if this sence be good, you had need to warne your friends to take heed what they heare, for strange inferences are made from those two articles in the covenant: but I hope what I have said will satisfie all considerate consciences, and suffice to acquit me from breach of covenant, though I earnestly endeavour for liberty of conscience, wherein I am fully perswaded, the glory and truth of God, and good of all mankind is really involved; otherwise I would never have moved my tongue or pen in this argument.

And if I shall be so happy by what I have done, as to bee an instrument to reduce you into a charitable demeanor towards tender Consciences, I shall rejoyce more then to see a miracle: for I still remaine most earnestly desirous of your reformation, and eternall happinesse.

William Walwyn

T.61 (8.29) Anon., The World is turned Upside Down (8 April, 1646)

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T.61 [1646.04.08] (8.29) Anon., The World is turned Upside Down (8 April, 1646).

Full title

Anon., The world is turned upside down. To the tune of, When the King enjoys his own again.

Estimated date of publication

8 April, 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 431; Thomason 669. f. 10. (47.)

Editor’s Introduction

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Text of Pamphlet


To the Tune of, When the King enioys his own again.

LIsten to me and you shall hear,

News hath not been this thousand year:

Since Herod, Cæsar, and many more,

You never heard the like before.

Holy-dayes are despis’d,

New fashions are devis’d.

Old Christmas is kickt out of Town.

Yet let’s be content, and the times lament,

You see the world turn’d upside down.

The wise men did rejoyce to see

Our Saviour Christs Nativity:

The Angels did good tidings bring,

The Sheepheards did rejoyce and sing.

Let all honest men,

Take example by them,

Why should we from good Laws be bound?

Yet let’s be content, &c.

Command is given, we must obey,

And quite forget old Christmas day:

Kill a thousand men, or a Town regain,

We will give thanks and praise amain.

The wine pot shall clinke,

We will feast and drinke.

And then strange motions will abound.

Yet let’s be content, &c.

Our Lords and Knights, and Gentry too,

Doe mean old fashions to forgot:

They set a porter at the gate,

That none must enter in thereat.

They count it a sin,

When poor people come in.

Hospitality it selfe is drown’d.

Yet let’s be content, &c.

The serving men doe sit and whine,

And thinke it long ere dinner time:

The Butler’s still out of the way,

Or else my Lady keeps the key,

The poor old cook,

In the larder doth look,

Where is no goodnesse to be found,

Yet let’s be content, &c.

To conclude, I’le tell you news that’s right,

Christmas was kil’d at Nasbie fight:

Charity was slain at that same time,

Jack Tell troth too, a friend of mine,

Likewise then did die,

Rost beef and shred pie,

Pig, Goose and Capon no quarter found.

Yet let’s be content, and the times lament,

You see the world is quite turn’d round.

T.62 (8.30) James Freize, Every mans Right (18 April, 1646)

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T.62 [1646.04.18] (8.30) James Freize, Every mans Right (18 April, 1646).

Full title

James Freize, Every mans Right: or, ENGLANDS PERSPECTIVE-GLASSE. Wherein may be seen, every mans Case, Face, Birthright, and just Liberty. Whereunto is added; The Copie of a Letter written by a Prisoner in the Fleet, unto a worthy Member of the House of Commons: Expressing the necessitie of Justice, and the illegality of Imprisonment of men for Debt. Composed (primarily) for the Meridian of London and VVestminster, and may prove very profitable, to inlighten the eyes of all the Commons of England, in this year of our long-expected Reformation, and Suppressions of Injustice, Tyranny, and Oppression, Anno 1646.

Prov. The soul of the wicked desireth evill, his neighbour findeth no favour in his eyes. It is joy to the just to do judgement, But destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. To do justice, and judgement, is more acceptable then sacrifice.

Prov. 24.23, 24. It is not good to have respect of persons in judgement (for) he that sayeth to the wicked, thou art righteous, him shall the people curse, and Nations shall abhorre him.

Prov. 31.8, 9. Therefore open thy mouth wide, in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction; Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Eccles. 4.1. So I considered all the oppressions that are done, and behold the Tears of such as be oppressed, and they have no comforter, and on the side of their oppressours there is power, but the oppressed have no comforter.

Job. 24.25. And if it be not so now, who will (or can) make me a Liar, and make my speech nothing worth.

Fear not the face of the mighty, neither be dismayed at the looks of the haughty, for their end shall be suddainly.

Printed, Anno 1646.

Estimated date of publication

18 April, 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 433; Thomason E. 340. (2.)

Editor’s Introduction

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Text of Pamphlet

The Copie of a letter written unto the worthy Member of the Honourable house of Commons, Mr. Henry Martin, Apr. the 18. Anno 1646.

Honoured Sir,

THe many guifts and graces displaying themselves in you, and by them setting forth your zeal to Gods glory, and your Native Countries welfare, together with the hopes of comfort we apprehend in the restoration unto the place you possessed, when the Ordinance of Parliament passed for release of prisoners for debt, and others as unjustly restrained; incourages me to addresse my self unto you, not only in mine own particular, but also, for and in the behalf of all, suffering imprisonment for Debt, in those times in which the whole Kingdome is become Banckrupt; and inforced by a strong hand to work his peace for the restoration of her Liberty, Laws, and Religion in its purity, according to the &illegible; and only rule, The Word of God. Yet we poor creatures, whom the Lord by his just afflicting hand, hath berest of all their estates, through severall crosses and losses by Sea and Land, are still afflicted, imprisoned, and oppressed by those, who doubtlesse in their hearts, conceit themselves wiser then their Creator, and by that their phantastick wisdome, endeavour, by most cruell oppression and tyranny, over their brethren (like to the Alcumist) to extract something out of nothing; viz. Satisfaction of debts out of their Brethren, who have nothing, being berest long before by the just hand of heaven. Onely here is the difference; The Lord after his just judgement inflicted on us, did in mercy suffer us still to enjoy the liberty of our persons, and thereby the future use of our endeavours for subsistence, and the common ayre to breath in; But these most cruel,Mich. 7. 1, 3, 1, 5, 6. mercilesse, unjust, persecuting Nimrods, have not only (by that abominable Statute of Bancrupt) berest us of all the remainder of our Estates, to the very covering of our nakednesse; but also have most cruelly shut us up in their severall prison houses for 8. 10. 20. yeers 30. yeers together, There their blood thirstie Soules (like so many Cainballs) feeding upon our bodies and lives, thinking to extract satisfaction for their debts out of the very ruins of our poore soules and lives, depriving us (in these their soul-destroying houses) of the very ayre, by the Lord alotted in common to every Creature to breath in, where our conditions is farre worse then the fellons case, who commonly within 2. or 3. moneths after their Commitment to prison, are by the Law, either aquitted of their Imprisonment, or by deprivation of life released out of their miserable sufferings; whereas our misery of Imprisonment for Debt, is continued many yeeres, and seldome ends, but by a violent (untimely, or naturall) deprivation of our lives in extreame misery.

Shall we the Inhabitants of England, who professe the true Knowledge, Honour, Love, and feare of God, and the Rule of true Christian Charity. prove more cruel to our Brethren and fellow Members of the same Common Wealth, then Turkes and Pagans, who knowes not God in a saving way, or the unjust judge in the Gospel who cared neither for God nor man, yet because of the poore widdowes uncessant importunity, he did her justice, by granting her just request, (God forbid) farre be it, from this so knowing a nation, to mock God thus, in slighting, and neglecting him their Just and dreadfull God, in these his three chiefest attributes, of Mercy, Judgement, and Justice, in stopping their eares from the hearing lamentable cries, of the oppressed, and becoming dumb to speak in the behalfe of the afflicted, oppressed, and long imprisoned, or to judge their righteous cause in a free current without respect of persons, and yet (with greife of heart be if spoken) our severall uncessant humble requests, have now continued more then Five yeeres, crying, knocking, and calling at the doores of the honourable Assembly of Parliament; for Justice, and Release, from this our unjustly inslaved Thraldome; But hitherto have we reaped no fruits of our humble and just desires; For their faces have been bid, & their eares stopped against the cryes of our afflictions, so that (as yet) none of our oppressions and wrongfull sufferings are redressed (as in duty both to God and Man, they ought long since to have bin) and then doubtlesse our enemies had bin long ere this time at peace with us, & the Land should have injoyed rest; For when the wayes of men please the Lord, then (and not till then) shall their very enemies be at peace with them; For what do I require of thee O man saith the Lord; but to execute Justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God, to relieve the Widdow, the Fatherlesse, and the stranger, and to let the oppressed, and long imprisoned go free; for in these things I delight saith the Lord: But my soule abhoreth the wayes, of wickednesse, Injustice, Tyrannie, and Oppression.

The long neglect of Justice (I think) hath brought downe these heavie Judgements from the just hand of heaven upon this Kingdome in speciall, where God and his Statutes are so cleerly known, but whether they be as truly practised or not, I refer to your Judgement, and to the due consideration of all such as truly love and feare God.

For now ye purpose to keepe under the People of God for Bond men and Bond women unto you; But are there not with, you even with you, sinnes against the Lord your God? And because we have not from the first sought the Lord, after a due order, and in the true practice and faithfull execution of Justice, Judgement, and mercy: Therefore hath the Lord God made this breach upon us, as at this day to the Kingdomes woe.

The neglect of Justice, Judgment, and mercie (and the practise of the contrary by the Israelites) informed the Lord to become an enemy unto them, to swallow them up by his judgments of Plague, Pestilence, Famine, and the Sword, and also to destroy all their strong holds and places of habytation in the Land, and to increase unto &illegible; Mourning, Lamentation, and Woe, and can we, who are guilty of the same transgressions (if not more) being but wild branches of that Olive tree, presume to receive more favours from the hand of that most just God, then those his peculiar chosen people the Israelites? Certainly no, For what measure ye mere unto the poor, afflicted, and oppressed, shall be measured to you again, Oh that there were some just Jehoshaphat, to give some speedy and strict charge, for the due execution of justice, between man and man, in a free current without respect of persons, and without the taking of Fees, Gifts, (alias Bribes) and otherwise stiled New-years gifts. The 2d. of Chron. 19. 5, 6, 7, 9. 10. verses. Or that there were in that honourable Assembly, some undaunted zealous Nehemiah, to stand up for the birth-right and just liberty of his brethren (according to the true intent of his being called to that place of trust) & to inforce justices, take its free current without respect of persons (or the wages of Balaam) in despight of all wicked, abhominable, opposers of the same: Nehem. 5. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. verses. And I wish also from my heart, that the 58, and 59. Chapters of Isaiah, the 58. Psalme, the 6. of Jeremiah, and the 22. of Ezekiel, were truly looked into, piously considered, and well weighed by all the Inhabitants of the Land, from the highest euen to the lowest of them, and that they might open their mouthes in the cause of the oppressed, and such as are appointed (by cruelty and tyranny) for destruction, that they might open their monthes and judge righteousnesse, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

I will say no more for this present, but onely from my poor oppressed and afflicted soul, most earnestly and uncessantly wish and pray for the prosperity of Sion, and the peace and flourishing state of this Kingdome. Beseeching you also in the bowels of compassion to think upon your afflicted, oppressed, and long-imprisoned Brethren, to cast your eyes upon these inclosed papers; Intituled, An Appeal to Heaven; and the other called, A Declaration and appeal to all the free-born People of England; and then (as the Lord shall direct you) to prove a Moses for our delivery out of this Egyptian bondage of unjust imprisonment, which is the most earnest and humble sute of him who is and will be

From my chamber of close imprisonment
in the Fleet, since the 11 of Febr. 1645.
(contrary to the Subjects liberty, and
the Parliaments own vote, in the case of
Sir Rich, Wiseman and thers, complaining
of their close imprisonment in the
year 1641.) this &illegible; of April, 1646.

Your assured friend in
the Lord, to serve
you in what he may
to his power,

James Frese.

Woe unto that Kingdome and people, where the wicked walke on every side (without controul) and the vilest men are exalted to places of eminencie and trust,Isai. 10. 1, 2, 3, 4. that they may oppresse and do violence with both hands, yea, that they may the more effectually exercise their cruel tyranny of injustice and oppression (without let or hindrance) upon the poore, the needy, the afflicted, oppressed, and long imprisoned, in especiall upon such as honour, love, and feare God, and most earnestly wish the peace and prosperity of this Kingdome, some such as these have been brought to most untimely ends by Jaylor, and their substitutes, others quite lamed by their Iron fetters, others of them have suffered unjustly, most cruel and heavie afflictions in severall prison houses and denns of cruelty, from some (eminently supports) Jaylors, and their cruel substitutes, yet hitherto none of these oppressed Christians have been righted; but rather discouraged from seeking any redresse, their severall Articles exibited against Jaylors, extreamly slighted, and themselves still exposed to the inhumane rage and unlimited crueltie of these Jaylors, and their hellish substitutes, to be by them (if not murthered) yet beaten, abused, reviled daily, and starved to death, and decreppit by Irons, for instance the prisons of the Kings Bench, the Fleete, and Newgate.

Behould they tread upon the poore, they afflict the needy, they murther the innocent, and crush the prisoners under their feet, before the face of the most high, not regarding the Lord of Hosts, nor his Power, nor his Justice, nor his Judgements, although he hath divided them, in setting the Prince against the people, the Father against the Sonne, and one friend against another, and hath set the sword as a destroyer of them all, yet they still provoke the Lord of Hosts, the God of Justice unto wrath and indignation against themselves, by neglecting the due execution of Justice, Judgements and mercy, in a free current (without respect of persons, and the wages of Balaam) &illegible; Fees, Newyeers-gifts, and Bribes: It seemeth &illegible; Riddle, not only to me, but also to many thousands in the Kingdome, that the greatest Contest betweene King and Parliament, being for the Liberty of the subiect (and hath been the cause of so much efusian of Christion blood for almost 5. yeers together) the Peers of the Realme constantly enjoying the same, and yet the commonalty hitherto most unjustly debarred of the same, and still inslaved (as formerly) unto the arbitrary will and power of a few mercinarie Lawyers whose profession and gayne inslaves them to the will and disposition of the very worst and skum of men and women, and ingages them (as hirelings) to maintaine their cause at any barre of justice (so called) for the price of iniquity; I meane for their fee of ten or twenty shillings, be the cause never so bace and unjust, so by them mayntained. It is therefore to be considered, whether it be agreeable to justice, and the freedome and prosperity of this Nation, that the prosperity and flourishing state of a few Lawyers, Atturneys, Jaylours, and their adherents should be preserved before, the just liberty, peace, and well being of this whole Nation and their posterities, and whether it savour of Christianity or any Charity, to inslave your brethren to their works, and unjust wills, & to coope them up (as a bird in a cage) in your prison houses, and not to provide for their subsistence there, or for their determinate time of delivery from thence; but expose them to the oppression of their adversaries, and the severall mercies cruelties of Jaylors and their cruell substitutes for many yeers, or whether the inrichment of a few Lawyers, Atturneys, Solicitors, Clarkes and Jaylors, be to be preferred before the flourishing Peace and tranquility of this whole Nation, and also whether it be according to Gods Law (whose people we professe our selves to be) that justice should not be executed nor administred unto the poore of the Land in particular, nor to all in generall, without the price and reward of iniquity, I meane without paying to Judges, Lawyers, Atturneys, Clarkes, Jaylours, their deputies and servants, their severall great (unjust) exacting Fees, Fees I say, and Newyeers gifts (besides Bribes) for expedition, and setting downe of a sause for hearing, or else it may be staved off by many jugling tricks and devices of our Lawyers from being heard, since the 44th. yeer of Queene Elizabeths Rayne untill this present, especially in the Court of Chancery, where the succeeding Orders (like so many vipers) still &illegible; up and devour all the preceeding Orders, of that Court, and one cause of 40. l. value, produceth at the least 700. severall orders before it be determined, and the expence of that Suite (on the Plaintifs part only) amount unto 2500. l. at the least, these and such like causes (and the severall commitments upon the same) makes Lawyers and Jaylours laugh, and both plantiff and defendant to come heavily home by weeping crosse, to the utter ruin of them and their posterity, and at the last inforces them to sell their Lands to their Lawyers, and Atturneys. We reade that Samuel judged Jsrael many yeeres, yet we reade not, that he nor any of his Servants and subordinate Officers exacted or recived any fees and rewards of the people for the administration of Justice, or that the people were barred from pleading their causes (but only by Lawyers, Advocates, and Atturneys) or that ever there were such a generation of men, or Instruments of contention knowne, or appointed by Gods Law, to the overthrowing of many a poore and righteous mans cause, by their severall tricks and unjust devices tending meerly for their owne ends, and sell-advantage of private gayne, although to the apparent inslaving of the Nation, and ruine of the People.

Who, but some Lawyers, are (for these 5. yeeres past) conceived to be the only obstructors of Magna Charta, in poynt of the Subjects Liberty, and inslaving their persons in their severall prison-houses, notwithstanding the peoples severall Remonstrances, Petitions, Declarations, and appeales unto the honourable houses of Parliament, and Commonalty of the Land, and instead of reliefe, their miseries have been augmented to them, by the crueltie of Jaylors (who are countenanced) and the poore Prisoners complaints, rejected and themselves discouraged from exhibiting any further complaints against them, for Justice and Reliefe? who but Lawyers make merchandise of Justice, and confine the practise of the same, unto the Latine Tongue, and Pedlars French, like unto the Masse Priests, who in like manner confine the Service of God to the Latine Tongue that they may make merchandise of the word of God, and by keeping the people in Ignorance, inforce them (like slaves) to walke by their light, as the Lawyers and Atturneys do by this Nation; For their Tongues devise mischief, working deceitfully, because they love evill more then good, contention more then Peace, and lying, and swearing, more then to speak the truth, because contention, strife, and debate, is the only thing that brings the price of gayne, Riches, Honour, and Presetment unto their Miti of contention and profession.

The Lord in mercy looke upon the deplorable, afflicted, oppressed, and distressed Estate of this distracted Kingdome, and now at the last (after five yeeres expectation) be pleased to open the eyes, and incline the hearts of the honourable Assembly in Parliament, unto the speedy and free execution and administration of Justice, Judgment, and Mercy, in a cleere current without respect of persons, or the wages of Balam, that so the wrath of God may be appeased, his present Judgements diverted, and the poore, afflicted, oppressed, and long imprisoned,Psal. 123. 4. relieved and released, and also inabled to reape the fruits of justice against their oppressours. And the high and honourable Court of Parliament also,Psal. 140. 3. thereby cleerly acquitted of and from the severall blemithes fastued on them (not only in this Kingdome but also in other Countries) for the neglect of the due administration of Justice (according to expectation upon their first Summons and convening) and the restoration of the Commonalty unto their just and ancient Birth-right of Liberty,Psal. 142. 6. according to Magna Charta, and the late Petition of Right, ratified and confirmed by his now Majesty, more then 4. yeers since.

I do also therefore in all humility, most humbly, and earnestly, implore the high and Honourable Assembly, Piously to consider, That the miseries happening to one man, at one time, may redound to another man the next, and that the same divine hand of power which at the first, did cast us downe into the dust of reproach, misery, and oppression, is also able at his pleasure, to bring the mightiest, the richest, yea, the proudest downe to the like dust of misery, and bands of oppression; Beseeching them also to consider, that if any their carses were the same with us, whether, they then would be willing & contented thus to suffer, & to be oppressed by the indirect practise of the Law, and Tyrannie of Jaylors, and their hellish Instruments; To be by them close imprisoned, put in Irons, starved, yea murthered in Goale (I trowe not) yea, I am consident that they would account it a great measure of cruelty inflicted on them, or their posterity; and have not many thousands of ancient families in this Kingdome, (by imprisonment) been brought to utter ruine and destruction, and have not I knowne divers personages, nobly desended of very ancient Families in this Kingdome, that have perished miserably in Goal, and their misery not pittied by any, nor their death no more regarded by the Jaylour, nor any his Substitutes, then the barking of a Dogg. These things piously considered (according to the Rule of Christian Charity) it is then to be wished, that the sacred Rule of our Saviour Christ might speedily be put in practice amongst the Innabitants of this Land; from the highest to the lowest of them. To do as we desire others should &illegible; to us, and not like Camballs, out of meere malice and revenge, (and the great gayne by contention) to devoure one another in prison houses, that so the God of Justice, Love, Mercy, and Peace, may receive us againe to mercy, and returne unto us, with healing in his wings. For behold, wickednesse and oppression shall not deliver those that are given to it,Note this &illegible; And there is a time wherein one man ruleth over another, to his own burs, And because sentence against evill doers is not speedily executed; therefore the hearts of the Sons of Belial is fully set in them to do evill with both hands: For they lye in wayte for blood, they haunt their Brethren with the net of cruelty and oppression. The best of them is as a Briar, or as a Thorny bedge unto his &illegible; afflicted Brother; And if it be not so now, who will make &illegible; a lyer, and make this my speech nothing worth, Jobe 14. 25. For thus saith the Lord, who art them, that &illegible; shouldest be afraid of men that shall die, and the Sons of men which shall be made as Grasse, and forgestest the Lord thy maker, because of the fury of the oppressour, as if he were ready to destroy; Feare not the reproach of men, be not dismald at their lookes, neither be afraid of their revilinge; for the Moth and the Worm shall eat them, horror, confusion, and eternall destruction shall take hold of them. And where (then) is the fury of the oppressour? I am he that comfort thee; for I am a just, and a righteous God, who bring Princes to nothing, and make all the Judges of the Earth as vanity; Therefore fear not man, whose breath is in his Nosthrils, for wherein is he to be accompted of; Behold I the Lord execute Righteousnesse and Judgement, for all that be oppressed; Therefore be not afraid of their faces, nor of their haughty and proud looks, for I am with thee.

Imprisonment may be compared to Hell

Where punishment, among them shall excell,

And Hels musick is, to curse and swear

And ban, their wicked friends, so do they there;

As they in Hell, shall daily howl and cry,

For to obtain some case, or liberty,

So men in prison daily make complaint,

How they with grief and hunger pine and faint,

And are tormented by the Jaylors still

With iron fetters, abused at their will:

Yet these unto Delinquents, Traytors, Papists, Knaves,

Yeild liberty, give moneys, onely make us slaves,

That loyall are, no Enemies to th’ state;

This is our lot, this is our cruell fate,

And fruits we reap for our fidelity,

From these vile &illegible; of all disloyalty,

Who most of them being none other then,

Fiends of hell, walking in shapes of men,

Acting &illegible; pleasure, on us all

That are their captives, lying in Bonds and thrall:

Yet we these five years past, no right can have

Though we the same full oft with tears did crave,

Of King and Parliament to grant, but that

Which they themselves full oft, have sworn flat,

For to maintain, the liberties and right

Of five-born Subjects, and thereto have plight

Their faith, their covenant, and their Protestation,

Yet for all this, we still reap molestation,

Anguish and sorrow, afflicts our hearts and will,

Cruelty of Jaylors, doth torment us still:

If Lawes, if oaths, if vowes, if Protestation,

If covenant with God, produce such reformation,

Then Judges, Lawyers, Atturneys, Jaylors, all

This Kingdomes glory, unto your lot must fall.

Then Bribes and Fees all Hellish gain,

Shall flourish to the peoples pain,

And sorrow grief and misery,

Shall still possesse the Commonalty,

For justice, judgement, and mercy,

Are grounded on true piety,

But want of justice in this land,

Hath brought on all, Gods heavie hand.

Be carefull then, suppresse the Imphes, make sure

Your Rights and Liberties, may still endure

To future ages, posterity then may

Have cause, to blesse your memories for aye:

For God, is God of Unity, of Love, and Peace alone,

But these men for deceit and strife,

the like of them there’s none.

Probatum est.

For whatsoever is not of God is from the Divell. But injustice, contention (and the instruments of the same) Oppression, Bribery, imprisonment of men unjustly, starving, and murthering of men in Goal, are not from God; Therefore from the Divell: And whosoever doth them, doth the will of his father the Divell; for he is a murtherer from the beginning, and the grand Enemy to Justice, Love, Mercy, and Peace. Therefore if we be of God, we must then do the works of God, and manifest the fruits of the same. And these are the works of God; To execute justice and judgement, to shew mercy, to relieve the Widdow, the fatherlesse, and the stranger, and to let the oppressed go free. Let us therefore now at the last (by suppressing of Contention, Injustice, Tyranny, and Oppression, and the wicked instruments of the same; And by a speedy administration of justice, judgement, and mercy) try the Lord our God, and see if the Lord will not forthwith powr down his mercies on us, withdraw his present judgements (of Devision, Sword, and Plague) from us, and heal the Land; and so become a father of mercies, a God of comfort and consolation, unto us, and our posterity after us.

It is to be wished, that the Lawes of England favoured of as much justice and mercy, and were but as truly executed without respect of persons, as the Lawes of some Forraign Nations are, & that there were some honest men appointed, for the Visitation of Prisons every first Munday in the Month, for to restrain the cruelty of Jaylours, and to know the causes of mens Imprisonment; To whom the prisoner declaring himself by Petition, declares the reall value of his estate (and as in the presence of God, affirms the contents of his Petition to be the whole truth) unto which the Commissioners then subscribe. Let the Creditors see this Petition, and by the next Visitation day, either disprove the contents thereof, or else the Petitioner to be set free, upon the assignement of the two third parts of the said declared Estate unto them. In the mean time, the Creditors, or party imprisoning the Debtor, are to take care for his subsistance in Goal, and to discharge all just Prison fees.

And if the Creditor happen to disprove the said Debtors Petition before the said Commissioners, and prove that he hath concealed some part of his estate; then (for a punishment to such a deceiver) his whole estate is, by the said Commissioners assigned to the Creditors, and both he, his wife, and children, deprived of their third part of the same; and the said fraudulent Debtor is then also adjudged to stand in the Pillory (and a hole punched or bored through his ear.) But upon the Debtors discovery of his whole estate (be it more or lesse) really and truly, then the Commissioners do forthwith assigne two third parts of the said estate to the Creditors, and the other part thereof unto the said Debtor, for and towards the future subsistence of himself and his wife, and education of his children: And further, that if any Debtor, do of purpose take up goods & monies, with an intent to defraud (and take a prisoner as his surety) by assigning over in trust the said estate to some of his friends (this being proved) then the said Commissioners have power to assigne all the said estate unto the Creditors, prohibiting (by proclamation) all persons from paying or delivering unto the said cheating Debtor any monies, goods, or Lands, or to any other persons for his use, but only unto the Creditors; And the said Cheator or fraudulent Debtor, is then also adjudged to stand three hours in the Pillory, and to have then both his Nosthrils slit up (by the common Hangman) or some base Hounds-Cut:) Such a course as this, truly and justly put in execution here in England, would soon increase the number of honest men, and produce (if not inforce) honest and plainer dealing, from, and amongst all men, and it would also destroy the great number of Deceivers, Oppressors, Extortioners, and Gentlemen-cheaters, as well as common-Cheaters, and all Knights of the Post, common Bail-men, and all such cunny-catching deceitfull companions. The opening of this gap (I doubt not) will draw upon me, the rage and malice (if not the curse) of all Knights and Gentlemen Jaylours and their Substitutes, as also the revengefull fury of some evill-minded Lawyers, Atturneys, Clarkes, Soliciters, Sergeants, and Bumbayliffes: From whose Milles (by this meanes) the great gainfull waters of contention, fraud, injustice, and oppression, will be dreyned dry, theit deceitfull craft fall to the ground, and their Goddesse Diana quite drowned in the Sea of Englands Peace and Tranquility.

Truth from Injustice, may hap to reap some Blame,

Yet truth shall stand, Injustice shall reap the shame.


Gentle Reader,

I Pray thee to accept of this small Treatise for the present, and if this unjust bondage of Imprisonment, be any longer continued, upon the Commonalty of this Land, then expect a more larger Relation, and Declaration of the many severall oppressions, indirect practises, and abuses of the severall Courts, and Committees, as also of the severall murthers and cruelties, by Jaylors committed on prisoners, when, where, on whom, and by whom; so farre forth as God shall enable me, and give me life and health. In the mean time I remain, thine and the Kingdomes friend and well-wisher, and a professed Enemy to all instruments of Injustice, Tyranny, and Oppression.

For the Lord upholdeth my soul, he, even the God of Justice, Judgement, and Mercy, is on my side, and taketh my part against all those that seek to destroy my soul; Therefore will I not fear what man can do unto me.


This year of Hope, 1646.

T.63 (3.5) [William Walwyn], A Word in Season (18 May 1646).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.63 [1646.05.18] (3.5) [William Walwyn], A Word in Season: to all sorts of wel minded people in this miserably distracted and distempered nation (18 May 1646).

Full title

[William Walwyn], A Word in Season: to all sorts of wel minded people in this miserably distracted and distempered nation. Plainly manifesting, that the safety and wel-being of the Common-wealth under God, dependeth on the fidelity, and stedfast adherence of the people, to those whom they have chosen, and on their ready compliance with them. Also, That the destruction and bondage of the Common-wealth in generall, and of every good minded man in particular cannot be avoided, if the people, through want of consideration, shall give eare to any other counsels or counsellers.

Proverb. 2.11,12. Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee, to deliver thee from the way of the evill man, from the man that speaketh froward things.

Published by Authority. London, Printed by Thomas Paine, and are to be sold by Edward Blackmoore, at his shop in Pauls Church-yard at the Signe of the Angell. 1646.

Estimated date of publication

18 May 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 439; Thomason E.337 [25]

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

SINCE, (as the Scripture speaketh) no man hateth his own flesh, but loveth and cherisheth it; and that naturally, every man seeketh his owne good: it is very strange, (seeing we have the helpe of reason, of experience, of the Word of God) that the right way, which leadeth to that end, should be so hard, and difficult to be found, certainly, it cannot be so in it self; God hath been more good to man, then to make things necessary hard to come by.

The difficulty will rather be found to arise by our own default, from our want of a patient, setted, serious, and religious consideration of things, wherby we are continually liable upon all occasions to be misled, either by our owne evill and eager desires, or by the evill examples of others, or by evill (though long setled) customes; or by the perswasions of politique deceivers, into such wayes, which though they seeme to be strewed with Roses and perfumes, yet are the wayes of death, and when we least suspect, bring us to destruction.

Our blessed Saviour therefore bids us to be wise as Serpents, because whilst we live in this world we have to do with Serpents, and to beware to wolves that come to us in sheepes clothing; To be innocent as doves, is a most blessed temper of spirit, but very unsafe and liable to every ginne, and bird of prey, if the wisdome of the Serpent be not joyned therewith: Now all the helps of reason, of experience or the word of God, produce not this wisdom without consideration; advised, deliberate consideration, (such as few in this Nation are accustomed unto) without which that which is called knowledg or understanding, is not true knowledge nor understanding, serving to no publique use at all, except to distract and distemper, and vex and destroy a Nation. It is the voyce of God himselfe: my People will not consider, they will not understand, without consideration it is impossible to understand anything as we ought, & without understanding (true considerate understanding) man is like unto the beasts that perish: nor had this Nation ever been thus miserable as it hath bin, is, and is like to be, but for want of this kind of consideration, in the People; so that it may be as truly said of this, as of the pervers, rash, inconsiderat Nation of the Jewes; thy distruction is of thy self O England. And if ever there were a cause to study & put in practice the wisdom of the Serpent: to beware of foxes that come to us in sheeps clothing: if ever there were a time requiring the uttermost of wisdom and consideration in all sorts of people, rich and poore, high and low, one with another; now there is a cause, now is the time.

For never to this day, were those who are trusted with the care of the Common wealth, so beset and surrounded with difficulties; with unexpected appearances of strange thinges, such as no age can parralell, of so high and great concernment, as the least miscarriage therein, may in a moment of time make void all their long, their faithfull and painefull endevours, and involve us all into the most misserable bondage, that ever over-whelmed any People.

And therefore (however any sort of man may delude themselves) if we doe not all joyntly and unanimously (laying aside all disaffection for differences in Judgment in Religion) patiently, setledly and seriously, deliberate and consider what every one of us ought to doe, in reference to their preservation; abandoning all passion, and willfull prosecution of perverse and prepostrous things; all jarring and repining at their proceedings; this Nation cannot be safe or happy, nay cannot but be miserable and wretched.

For the greatest and most superlative freedome, of this Nation (and wherin the safty and well-being thereof doth reside) consisteth in this; That Lawes cannot bee made. Government (Ecclesiasticall or Civill) cannot be established or Altered: Warre cannot bee levied, nor Peace concluded, nor Monyes raised, nor any thing done, but by the Authority of those whom the people themselves doe chuse for Parliament: and entrust as their Commissioners, with full and compleat power for Their good. Had it not been by this just Authority, We had never been Freed, from the Tyranies, oppressions and cruelties of the High Commission, Star-Chamber, and Councel-board: from the burthenous Execution of the Forrest-law, Court of Honor, Commissions of Waste: from the Extortions, and Exorbitances, in the Courts of justice, Chancery, Requests: from Ship-money (for remission wherof, no lesse than Twelve Subsidies were required) and from all those other innumerable Patents, Projects, Illegall warrants, and Imprisonments: Things which the whole Land long groned under; though (now removed) the benefit be unworthily forgotten, or misattributed to an Act of grace. Had it not been for this Authority; the Court of Wards had never been abolished, and that for many Ages hath oppressed the Land.

Had not this Authority, opposed; the King had been furnished with monyes to have Warred upon our Brethern of Scotland, in his first attempt upon that Nation. This Authority, in the worst of all former Times, when the strongest Force and Power was upon them, ever stuck closest to the interest of the People, nor did the People, in the worst of Times, ever forsake them, but maintained Their power, and Priveledges, their Essence and authority, whensoever they called upon them for helpe and assistance, nor hath this just and powerfull Authority been more true to the Commons that chose them, then to those worthy Lords and Patriots, that at any time have assisted them for the common good of the Nation, preserving their Honours with as true affection as the liberties of the People; no man can name the time that (intentionally) this Authority ever did injury to any just intrest either at home or abroad, but have borne and suffered much, from those that have made an ill use of their lenity and credulity.

All which is necessary to be remembred, and seriously considered in this instant of time, because if these things be seriously laid to heart, it may happily expel those poysonous vapors, with which our ayre begins to be infected, we have a generation of forgetfull, ingratefull people, who because the Parliament cannot yeild unto all they desire, (without extreame thraldom to the people, in things Ecclesiasticall and Civill) are degenerate into a malevolent disposition, murmuring and repining at all their proceedings, and making hard constructions of their Just endevours; and by politique and subtill meanes, labour to alienate the hearts of their friends from them, and to incline them to give eare to other Connsels, laying open their infirmities (which they should rather goe backward to cover) and would (if they could) possesse the world that there is a sort of men that would settle Religion more purely, performe and interpret the Covenant more exactly, and doe justice more speedily, and more sincearely then this just Authority, whom the people themselves have chosen; nay, there are fames abroad, that there are catalogues taken of any thing that may possibly beare a bad or sinister construction, to be shewed to the people, in the day of their extremity, if such a day can be procured.

And for what end all this? Why, you shall not faile to be told it is for the glory of God, the setting up of the Kingdome of Jesus Christ, and the everlasting Good of the soules of the people, and the like: but take yee heed how yee heare or give credit to these Syren songs; these charmes of Dalilah, are but to deprive Sampson of his strength, to rob the people of their Power: It is a sad proverb, but Court Logick hath proved it so frequently true, that it may be related without suspition of blasphemy. In nomine Domini incipit omne malum; When the Devill transformes himselfe into an Angell of light, to make his delusion currant, he is necessitated to use such language: For which cause our blessed Saviour advised us to be Wise as Serpents, lest wee bee beguiled by their subtill glosing dissimulations.

But as the Apostle saith in another case, If an Angell from heaven preach any other doctrine, let him be accursed. So in this case, if any, though in the shape of an Angell of light, of strength, of powers, or dominations, shall endevour, by any meanes whatsoever, to divide you from those you have chosen, either in affection, or assistance, you are to hold them for the most accursed Traitors that ever trode upon English ground, and to use all lawfull meanes to bring them to condigne punishment; being well assured, that whatsoever is pretended; the intent can be no other then to extirpate for ever the foundation of the freedom and safety of the People: which once done, a ready way is made for any thing that can make a people wretched and miserable, without hope of remedy.

And therefore be advised in time, before you are engaged too farre, and be confident, those inconveniences you have fancyed to your selves (and wherein you are like enough to be mistaken) if they should indeed prove reall ones, yet were you better to have patience, and by loving discourses and prudent meanes endevour to worke a better information, (which time may produce, as by experience in your selves you cannot but know) rather then through impatience and violent importunity, to cast your selves upon a remedy that must necessarily be destructive to the whole people of the Land: For once suppose or admit that any (pretending whatsoever, piety or authority) may more properly judge of law (or religion so far as concerns the publick) or give interpretation of oaths or covenants, or treaties, or transactions, or any thing which is of public concernment, then those whom the people have chosen: and farewel common freedom for ever, who ever those are you would so prefer, as far as in you is, in so admitting or supposing, you betray the great freedome of the Nation, and set Masters over the Parliament, then which there can be no greater Treason.

Be not flattered and deluded out of your birthright: Consider, whatever you are, you are but a part of the whole people, it is impossible that you can give the sense and mind of all the Commons of England: Nay, if you could, it is not lawfull for you to doe it, otherwise then by a becomming information, and to rest satisfied when you have so done: You are not entrusted by the People, you are not Chosen to that end: But this just Authoritie is a power chosen, and entrusted; and you are to know, that they are absolutely Free to follow the dictate of their own Understandings and Consciences, informed by the Word of God, by principles of right reason, and all other good meanes, as is most probable to conduce to the safetie and weale of the people; which they lately and worthily have declared to be the end of the Primitive Institution of all Government.

Whosoever shall tell you, that either themselves or any others will ever doe you more good then those you have chosen; make no scruple to owne them for deceivers, that Absolon-like, kisse and wooe you, of purpose, to enslave you.

What though some things may not be done so perfectly, or so inexcusably as you could wish: Consider, they are but men, subject to the same passions and infirmities as your selves; they are not like some ancient Fradulent great Councells, that have maintained the Canons and Decrees thereof to be infallible: Nay, they are so farre from such delusion, that they have many times altered their owne Orders, Ordinances, and Acts, upon further or better information, and doe not refuse, nor reject Petitions and Informations duely offered by any peaceable persons, few, or many, and as readily follow the advices of others (which they approve) as their owne immediate apprehensions and Councells.

And, as a sure testimony of their faithfulnesse and sinceritie; doe but seriously consider, how exceedingly God hath blessed them, viz. with the affections of the people, with power and strength in the field, with deliverance from many most desperate Plots, and out of many sore and difficult exigents, that their enemies have bin as Chaffe before their Armies: What force hath beene too mightie, or place too strong for their Achievement? And now, that they have all, as it were, in their owne command (by the same good providence of God) would you now, because they cannot please you in every particular, except they shall goe against their owne Consciences, gladly see them trodden upon and brought under: Surely, if you would but open your eyes, you could not but see, that the hand of God is still with them, and will not be shortned: He hath already brought low the mightie, and reproved, vanquished even Kings for their sakes, and for theirs whom they represent: And doe you now thinke, that any shall be able to lay their honour in the dust? You cannot certainly be many, that have beene thus blinded, or deluded: Nor can you possibly long continue in so bad a mind. A little consideration must necessarily change your minds, and God I trust, will prevent you with his converting grace, and will not suffer you to be tempted above your power. However, this is most visible to all considerate men, that there are multitudes of honest Religious people that remain immaculate in their affections to this Honourable Parliament, & are truly thankful for their unwearied labors, in recovery of the long lost Liberties of this great Nation, & stand firmly resolved to maintaine and defend with their lives and estates, their just power and priviledges, against all opposition, circumvention, or delusion whatsoever; And those who shall cease to doe this, through any conceived cause or provocation, they shall esteeme them the most treacherous upon earth, and not worthy the name of true Englishmen or Christians.

This, by generall discourse & observation, is found to be a knowne truth; and therefore, it is earnestly hoped, the Honourable Parliament will no whit abate of their resolutions, to make this Nation absolutely free and happie; notwithstanding the manifold new Discoveries of strange Apparitions, if they but please to consider seriously the true Englishmans temper, they will find, they have multitudes more with them then against them; and that in times to come this shall be an English Proverb, As certaine to perish, as those that openly oppose, or would secretly undermine a Parliament.


T.64 (10.6) John Lilburne, The Just mans justification (6 June, 1646).

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ID Number

T.64 [1646.06.06] (10.6) John Lilburne, The Just mans justification (6 June, 1646).

Full title

John Lilburne, The Just mans justification : or A Letter by way of Plea in Barre; Written by L. Col. John Lilburne, to the Honourable Justice Reeves, one of the Justices of the Common-wealths Courts, commonly called Common Pleas. Wherein the sinister and indirect practices of Col. Edward King against L. Col. Lilburne, are discovered. 1. In getting him cast into prison for many weekes together, without prosecuting any charge against him. 2. In arresting him upon a groundlesse action of two thousand pounds in the Court of Common Pleas; thereby to evade and take off L. Col. Lilburns testimony to the charge of high Treason given in against Col. King, and now depending before the Honourable House of Commons. In which Letter is fully asserted and proved that this cause is only tryable in Parliament, and not in any subordinate Court of Justice whatsoever.

Levit. 19.15. Yee shall do no unrighteousnesse in Iudgement, thou shalt not respect the person of the poore, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousnesse shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

The pamphlet contains the following parts:

  1. A Letter by way of Plea in Barre
  2. To the Right Honourable, the Representative Body of the Commons of England
  3. Articles exhibited against Col. Edward King
Estimated date of publication

6 June, 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 443; E. 340. (12.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet


HAving lately taken upon my self that boldnesse to speak with you, as you are one of the publique Judges of the Kingdome, about an honest poor man that was unjustly and without any legall authority cast into prison, and finding a very courteous, faire and rationall carriage from your Honour towards me at that time, imboldeneth me the more at this time (being extraordinarily necessitated thereunto) to write a Letter to you in my own behalfe. I being upon the fourteenth of April last arrested at Westminster, upon an action of Trespasse, by the Bayliffes thereof, at the suit of an unjust and troublesome man, commonly called Colonell Edward King; and the Bayliffes pretended it was for so many thousand pounds (although I am confident that I never was six pence in his debt in my life) that they must have extraordinary Baile for my appearance.

So that I was forced to give them two house-keepers in Westminster, and one stranger, or else in their mercilesse hands I must remaine, although I was very hard following of my businesse to perfection with the Parliament, which hath stucke there almost six yeares, to my extraordinary cost, charge, and losse of time, and although I am confident that it is as just a cause as any is in the world, and hath so been adjudged by both Houses of Parliament, as in this inclosed printed relation you may reade.

I must ingenuously confesse that it did somewhat trouble me to be arrested in that manner, having never before in my life bin arested to my remembrance, and I was the more troubled in regard that my Ordnance for my reparation, which lastly passed in the Lords House, was depending in the House of Commons, I was affraid that it might there stick, if I were diverted from following it, and I did not know but this &illegible; &illegible; do it.

And Being in a longing expectation for the Terme, to see my Antagonists Declaration, I found in it that it is an Action of Trespasse for 2000 l. pretending that I said in October last, that Col. King was a Traytor, and I would prove him one, and for taking away his good name which I scarce believe he ever had in his life, and considering with my selfe what to do, I was resolved to make a &illegible; at the Barr of the Common Pleas (where you are the eldest, and chiefest Judge, that Col. King and I. being both Soldiers, were in that condition to be governed by the Lawes Martiall which were published with the Stamp of Parliamentary Authority by the &illegible; thereof: And he having committed many grievous crimes against the Letter and true meaning of them, I complained to the Earle of Manchester thereof, being both his Generall and mine; and at the same time, divers Gentlemen of the Committee of Lincoln, as Mr. Archer &c. having Artickles of a very high nature against him, &illegible; my Lord to a tryall of him at a Councell of Warre, and at the very same time, the Major, Aldermen and Towne Cleark of Boston, came to Lincoln to my Lord, with Artickles of a superlative nature against King their Governour, but could not get my Lord to let us injoy Justice at a Councell of Warre, according to all our expectations, and as of right we ought to have had, which at present saved his head upon his shoulders.

Yet notwithstanding others endeavoured to try whether justice could be had against him in the Parliament, and for that end, in August 1644 Mr. Mussenden, Mr. Wolley and divers others of the Committee of &illegible; did exhibit Artickle of a very high nature to the House of Commons against him, and to speake their own words in their 4th Artickle, they say.

That when he was last before &illegible; &illegible; sent for a Captaine who kept Crowland, who obeyed his command, yet sent word to him of the danger that that Towne was in, and therefore &illegible; his second pleasure which was that he should &illegible; who accordingly did, the Gentlemen of the Country, &illegible; the enemy, procured Major &illegible; to &illegible; 100. &illegible; to keepe Crowland, which he &illegible; of, tooke all, that any without order from him should come into his &illegible; and commanded &illegible; to be gone, who accordingly departed, the Enemy presently surprized the Town, and those few that he had lest in it, by which meanes he &illegible; the Town unto the Enemy, which was not regained without much charge hazard, and losse of many mens lives.

And in the 12th. Artickle, they plainly accuse him for betraying the Parliaments Garrison of &illegible; these Artickles with the rest, having there hung ever since without a finall determination, King knowing that I was a main witnes against him in divers of the things laid to his charge, and &illegible; a malignant and inveterate mallice against me, for opposing him in his unjust and unwarrantable actions, (while I was his Major, and for discovering of them, and often complayning of him to the Earle of &illegible; and Lievt. Gen. Crumwell &c.) to be revenged of me, did upon the 19th. day of July 1645, plot, &illegible; and by lying and &illegible; suggestions to some members of the House of Commons, caused me to be committed as a prisoner, and as a prisoner, by vertue of that his unjust procurement, I lay till the 14th. of October 1645. to my extraordinary charge and dammage, yea, and to the hazard of my life, as I could easily, truly, and undenyably demonstrate.

And yet neither he nor any man for him ever prosecuted any charge against me, for although I lay so long, yet was I delivered before ever I knew truly and legally wherefore I was imprisoned, as appeares by the following Coppy of my releasement.

Die Martis 14. October, 1645.

MR. Recorder acquainted the House, that two Sessions were now passed, &illegible; Lievtenant Colonell Lilbourn was removed to Newgate, and had continued a prisoner there, and this no information or other charge had &illegible; yet brought against him, and at this last Sessions, he humbly desired either to be tryed or to be discharged, and &illegible; &illegible; thereupon resolved upon the question, that Lievtenant Colonell Lilbourn be &illegible; discharged from his imprisonment.

To the Keeper of Newgate or his Deputy.

Hen. Elsing. Cler. Parl. D. Com.

And that King was the Instrumentall cause of my imprisonment, appeares clearly to me, by what I find recorded by his good friend and my grand enemy Mr. Prinne in the latter end of the &illegible; Page of his booke intituled the Lyer confounded, and by what I find recorded under Kings hand in the 8th. page of his co-partner. Doctor Bastwicke Booke, written against my selfe, for although Doctor Bastwick be now my bitter Enemy, and his hand be with Kings to the Information which Doctor Bastwick there saith was put into the House of Commons against me: yet I am &illegible; to thinke that King was the King leader in it, because at that time there was no visible nor professed breach of friendship betwixt Doctor Bastwick and my selfe.

Vpon which provocation by King, it might be, and I do believe it to be true, that J might be free in my discourse at severall times of King, and the forementioned charge &illegible; Treason given into the House of Commons against him, and J am very confident it will be made good by sufficient proofes and witnesses, according to the rules of Warre, when it there comes to a tryall, but do not own the words specified by him in every particular.

Therefore J conceive it unjust, irration all, and Anti-Parliamentary, for an inferiour and subordinate Court, as the Court of Common Pleas is, to medle with this businesse, it being now dependent in Parliament, the supream Court, and unjudged there as yet, although the prosecutors &illegible; at their utmost perill to prove their charge against him.

Therefore my Lord, in my apprehension, Kings former mallice manifested about my commitment, and his present bringing me before you, are meer evasions and tricks to terrify me and all others from prosecuting him in Parliament, and also (under favour) your medling with it in your Court, it being still depending in Parliament, and not by them referred to you, is an incroachment upon their Priviledges, and J am the rather confirmed in this opinion, when I seriously read over Mr. Prinnes Booke, cal’d the &illegible; of cowardice and &illegible; he being Colonell Kings very good friend and councellor, and therefore his words in this case are of the more weight and authority &illegible; 1. 12. being a professed adversary to me, who citing the Rolles of Parliament of the 1. R. 2. num. 38, 39, 40. which containes the case of &illegible; and Weston, hath these observations and inferences from them, in the 7th. page thereof.

That it is to be remembred, that Ieffery Martin Clearke of the Crown made this very Record, and delivered it thus written in this present Roll, with his own hand, therefore saith he, from this memorable Record, J shall onely observe these few particulars.

1. That the Surrender of Townes, or Castles to the Enemy, through Cowardice or Treachery, is properly examinable and tryable onely in Parliament.

Jt being a detryment to the whole Kingdome, and so fit to be determined by the representative Body of the Kingdome.

2. That the Cowardly delivering up of any Town or Castle by the Governour thereof, to the Enemy, is a Capitall Offence, deserveth death, and likewise the losse of it through his &illegible; or default.

3. That every Governour, who takes upon him the custody of any Fort or Town, is obliged in point of Trust, and duty, under Pain of DEATH to defend is to the &illegible; extremity.

4. That the concurrent consent of a Councell of Warre or Souldiers, to render up a Town to the Enemy before utmost extremity, for the saving of the Houses, Lives and Goods of the Soldiers or Inhabitants, &illegible; no excuse at all to justify or &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Governours dishonourable &illegible; and offence.

5. That those who are accused of such an unworthy Surrender of any Town or Castle ought to be apprehended and kept in safe custody, till their Tryalls be past, and not suffered to go at large.

6. That a Governour giving timely notice of the Enemies apporach, of the weakenesse of the Garrison, his &illegible; for &illegible; &illegible; and repulsing of the Enemy for a season, will no &illegible; excuse his surrender of a Town or Castle, unlesse he hold it out to the utmost extremity, or Surrender it by the consent of those, who entrusted him with the Custody thereof.

7. That the violent Battery of the Walles, or drayning of the Dykes of any Castle or Citie, or any breach made &illegible; them by the Enemy (though extraordinary powerfull) are no sufficient causes or &illegible; for any Governour to Surrender them upon composition to the Enemy, while there is sufficient victuals, men, or ammunition to desend them; And that they must in no wise be surrendred, without consent of those who put in the &illegible; &illegible; the greatest part of the Souldier, be &illegible; the victuals or ammutionn quite spent, and all hopes of reliefe dispayred of utterly upon good grounds.

Which is cleare by the Case of Weston, who made a better defence of the Castle of Out &illegible; with 38. men onely, against more then 8000. Enemyes, (who &illegible; assaulted, battered it for 6. dayes together, with &illegible; great Commons and other Engines, and pleaded farre more in his defence of his surrender of it, then many now can do, for surrendring of Townes and Castles of far greater importance, then this Castle was, and yet for all this Weston in full Parliament, was adjudged to death for it.

Thus far the words of an adversary to me, and Kings especiall friend and councellor, and therefore of the more weight and authority. Titus 1. 12., 13.

Therefore my Lord, laying all these things together, as 1. Col. King and J being both Soldiers’ under one Generall, namely the Earl of Manchester, who was authorized by Parliament to govern his Army by Martiall Law, which Law was plainly printed by the same authority, and openly published to the view of every Commander, Officer & Souldier; for transgressing against which Artickles, many in a martiall way have lost their lives, and no other visible Rule that J knew off, was to be the Rule and Judge of our actions, or offences, but that Law, unto the power and authority of which, both Col. King and my selfe did voluntarily stoop, and therefore (as I humbly conceive) wee are not to be tryed by the Rules of the Common Law, (which I thinke no man in the world fully and truly knowes) for our actions committed in our souldier condition, which is the true cause betwixt him and me. 2. I did my duty according to the trust reposed in me, By the State Legall & representative, and by my Generall from whom I had my Commission, and according to the private commands of Lievtenant Generall Crumwel, which was to be faithfull in my place, and to complain, either of Col. King, or whomsoever I groundedly knew, did any action, that tended to the ruine of Salus &illegible; The safety of the People, or the State univresall, and he promised me upon his Honour and Reputation, that he would doe the best he could to have justice done, which is the very life of all societies or Common Wealths, and that without which, the People cannot be happy or safe; yea, & he gave me the reason, wherefore he so earnestly tyed me to it, which was because our Generall with his Army was to march out of Lincoln, Shire, and that Country being lately wonne out of the hands of the Cavaliers, there being very few of that Country at that time that desired Command under the Generall, (saith he) wee are necessitated to make use of Col. King, and to make him governour of Boston and Holland, upon whom he &illegible; then as an active popular man, who promised to do mighty things for the good of that Country, and the Publique.

But in regard divers of the chiefe men of Boston do mislike him, I have therefore (saith he) in his behalfe engaged my selfe to them for him, that he shall be faithfull, just and honest towards them, and therefore in regard I have no large experience of the man, and of his temper, I principally looke upon thee Lilbourne, and thy Lievtenant Colonel, whose faithfulnesse. I can rest upon, & for both of whom I have used my interest, to place on purpose with him, that so if he should breake out to the dishonour of my ingagement, and the detriment of the publique, I may from time to time be sure to know of it, that so it may be prevented before it be past remedy.

But King being pussed up with his Command, tooke upon him an absolute regall tyranicall authority over all his Officers, but especially those that were betrusted in Commission as well as himselfe, and to do his chiefe actions by the rule of his own will, without their privity or advice, which tended to the ruine of all that were under him, and consequently of that whole country, he having treacherously lost Crowland and Boston put in extream danger, by his absolute wilfulnesse, if not treachery, the making known whereof, with his cariages at Newarke Siedge &c. cost me in sending posts to the Earle of Manchester, and Lievtenant Generall Crumwell, then, in or about Camebridge, I am very confident 20. or 10. l. which so madded him, that he imprisoned Major Rogers for dating to go and complain against him, I being in those straights in regard of the charge I had taken upon me, that I durst not stir my selfe, till all was cleare, without feare or danger of an enemy, he having already by the Law of his own will, &illegible; his Lievtenant Colonell, without ground or cause, and endeavoured the apparent destruction of Capt. Camebridge, and all the honest, zealous and conscientious men, under his command, which to me was an ill Omen of his intentions.

Therefore I say, so soon as I durst leave my charge, I &illegible; away to Bedford, where I found my Generall, and Lievetenant Generall Crumwell, and could them both fully of Kings cariage, and that he commanded his forces to march forward and backward, where, and when he pleased, without the advice, &illegible; and consent of his Field Officers &c. who were to ingage their lives a thousand times more then himselfe, in managing the designes he let them about, and that the Committee of Lincolnshare had paid him diverse thousands of pound, to pay his Officers and Souldiers at Newarke Sledge, but J could not heare that he paid one penny to any Officer there, and for my own part J am sure J could not get a penny from him, although J am confident J tooke as much paines both night and day, and hazarded my person as freely, and as often as any Major at that Leaguer did.

So likewise, although the Country sent in great store of provision for his Regiment gratis, yet he and his under Sutlers, made both my selfe and other of his Officers and Souldiers, pay ready money for a great part of it, to their extraordinary &illegible; provoking them thereby to mutiny, and so full was he of arrogancy pride and contention (contesting with and, or most of the chiefe Commanders there) that Sir Iohn Mildrum told me, that he &illegible; such a fire of contention amongst them that he dorst scarce call a Councell of Warre to confuse how to manage their busines, for fear King should set them all together by the carres, and so destroy the busines, being there continually in contestation with my Lord willoughby, Col. &illegible; Sir Mytes Hubbard, Sir Iohn Pagraffe and divers of the Lincoln Committee &c. which did so trouble and distract the old Knight Sir Iohn Meldrum, our commander in chiefe, that he knew not well what to do, when Rupert came upon us, by reason of our own distractions a-among our selves.

And I dare confidently averre it upon my conscience, that hee (namely King) was one of the greatest instruments of our overthrow and ruine, and therefore if Thomas Earle of Lancaster, (as Mr. Prinne in the a page of the foresaid booke recordeth) was proclaimed a Traytor, by the whole Army in the 12. yeare of King Edward the second; for departing in discontent from the Army, at the siege of Barwick, by meanes whereof it was not taken, and the siege raised; then I desire to know what Colonell King deserveth, that at the siege of Newark carried himselfe so, that hee did raise discontents, and little better then mutinies, by meanes whereof the siege was not only raised, but the whole Army in a manner destroyed, to the extraordinary danger of the whole Kingdome.

I also told my Lord that after the articles of agreement was concluded, Colonell King commanded, (and in a manner forced me) contrary to the Agreement, to march away his Regiment in a hostill manner, with their armes, &c. by meanes of which we were set upon by their horse, and forcibly disarmed, which did also occasion the plundering of us, as violaters of our Covenant and contract; to the disparagement of the whole army, yea, and the Parliament it selfe, and to the extreme hazard and danger of abundance of our lives; yet King was so honest, and valiant, that as soone as he saw the storme fall upon us, he fairely left us, and shifted for himselfe, without being plundered as we were, at which bout I lost well nigh 100 l, being plundered from the crowne of my head to the sole of my soot.

I further told him, that the Towne of Boston had been in extreame danger, for after &illegible; was discerted, and Ruperts forces possessed of it, and daily newes brought into Boston, that Rupert would affault it on both sides the river; I moved Colonell King, that seeing the armes of his owne Regiment &c. was lost, and he in no possibility to defend the Towne of himselfe at the present, that therefore (the Towne being of that consequence, that if it should be lost, the Enemy might presently make it, the absolutest strong Towne in England for themselves) that he would forthwith send to Colonell Walton, then Governour of Linne, to intreat him to land him at his great need and strait 4. or 500 men, to defend the Towne, till such time that he could get his owne Regiment againe together, which he absolutely refused, and told me plainly that he would never send for another to command and affront him in his owne Jurisdiction, which the Linne men would do, (he said) if they come, at which I being excreedingly troubled, that he should preferre his owne domination before the preservation of so considerable a Towne and Garrison, it made mee beleeve hee intended to betray it.

Whereupon I went to Mr. Major, then as I remember, at Alderman Tilsans, and told them both, with some others, that their Towne was in extraordinary danger to be lost, and they all undone, if they did not looke about them presently, and told them all the discourse I had had with their unjust oppressing Governor, and told them I conceived all was not right, and therefore I judged my self bound in duty and conscience both before God and man, to tell them what I apprehended of things, and how neare their danger and ruine was at hand, and if they would not helpe to save themselves according to the law of Nature, their ruine be upon themselves; they desiring of me to let them know, what I would advise them to, I told them my advise was, for as many of them to go with me to Colonell King, once againe, as they thought sit, and let us joyntly presse him to send to Linne for men, and if he would not do it, that then we might do it without him.

Vpon which, we went, and at first found him obstinate till (as I remember) Alderman Tilson could him that if he would not joyne with them, they would write to the Governour without him) upon which he was drawn to subscribe, but my Lord of Manchester and the Governour of Lyne, or some others in authority; being mindfull of us in our straits, had ordered Col. Waltons Major, Major Franckling, a stout and gallant man, with about 400. men, to come by Sea to us, & as I remember, his orders were, that he should secure Boston; upon the arivall of whom, Col. King immediately commanded them out of the Town, to go and besiedge Crowland, which a litle before by treachery or his own absolute wilfull negligence, he had given up unto the declared Traytors, and professed enemies of the State and Kingdome.

Of which as soone as I fully understood, I went to Major Frankling, and desired to see his order by vertue of which he came to Boston, and told him how things stood with us, and in what temper I conceived my Colonel to be, and therefore entreated him to be sensible of the trust reposed in him, and of his own Honour, and reputation, professing unto him, that if he at the command of Col. King, marched away with all his men, considering his orders; and the condition which the Town was in, I should look upon it as a meer design betwixt him and Col. King to betray the Town indeed, telling him how weak and unfortified the Towne was, in a manner all round about, being in divers places easy for a man with a Pike staffe to leap over it, and therefore there was no way in the eye of reason to preserve it, seing the Enemies intention (as wee heard) was to fall upon it, unlesse his men stayed in it, or at least the major part of them.

Whereupon he went to Col. King, and (as I remember) in Alderman Tilsons Hall, debated with him his positive command, and with much a doe prevailed that himselfe and a great part of his Soaldiers should stay to defend the Town, and my selfe being left by Col. King, with the consent of the Major and Aldermen, to take care of the towne, I went to Major Frankling, and desired him to go with me to Colonell King, to know what Amunition he had in his Magazine, who assured us upon his reputation, that he had a hundred barrels of powder, and all things fitting besides, and therefore bid us take no care for Ammunition and, being very busie in sending away men, guns, &c. to the intended leaguer of Crowland.

I did not go to the Magazine, to see whether be had told us truth or no, he having taken a quantity of powder with him, and another sent him, he sends his warrant to the Magazine Keeper, for ten barrels more, nor signifying one word of his mind to me, who was then betrusted with the Towne, upon the reciet of which old Mr. Coney the Magazine keeper, came and told me that he had received an order from the Colonell, to send him ten barrels of powder, and saith he what shall I doe, for there is but ten barrels in all in the Magazine.

At the hearing of which I stood amazed, and could him it could not be possible, for (said I) such a day I went to the Colonell with Major Frankling, and he did assure us that he had 100. barrels in store, but Mr. Coney assured me, that there was not one more then 10, the which if wee send to him, there is none to keep their guards (saith he) I asked him if there were not a private store-house for powder, and he told me none at all, then we began to reckon how many barrels were gone out, since he assured Major Frankling and my selfe that he had 100 in store, and all that both the Magazine Keeper, and my selfe could reckon, with those 10 in his hands, and all he had since that day delivered out was (as I remember) 24 or 26:

Whereupon I went to Alderman Tilsons, and asked him whether the Major, himselfe, and the rest of his Brethren, had not a private Magazine, and he told me no, but asked me wherefore I demanded such a question of him, whereupon I could him all the story, &illegible; which he stood amazed, and from him I went to Colonell Kings wise, and desired to know of her, whether shee knew of any private Magazine of powder that her husband had, and shee told me no.

Then I told her all the businesse, and said to her, that I wondred her Husband should assure Major Frankling and my selfe, that he had 100 barreles of powder, when he had but 28, and that he should send for all that he had left, out of the Garison, assuring her that if the ten barrels he had sent for, should be sent him, we should not have one left in the Magazine to defend the Towne with, being then in expectation of the Enemy to Assault us, I told her for my part I could not pick out the English of it.

And I being by the Generall sent post to London to the Committee of both Kingdome, about his marching to take Lincolne againe, and from thence to march to York, to joyne with the Scots, I in the third place ceased not to put that (which lay upon me as a duty) forwards, as soone as an opportunity served, and renewed my complaint against him at Lincolne, and desired it might receive a faire hearing before the Generall and a Counsell of Warre, and that justice might be done according to the rules of Warre, and Mr. Archer and others of the Committee of Lincolne, drew up a very bainous charge against King, and laboured hard for a triall, and in the third place the Major, Aldermen, and towne Clerke, of Boston, came to Lincolne with their Articles against him, which were home enough, and to my knowledge pressed Leu. Gen. Cromwell, to use all his interest in my Lord, that they might be admitted to make them good, before him, and a Counsell of warre, but we could not all prevaile, the reason of which I am not able to render, vnlesse it were that his two Chaplains &illegible; and Garter, prevailed with the Earles two Chaplaint, Mr. Ash and Good, to cast a cleargy mist over their Lords eyes, that he should not be able to see any deformity in Colonell King, but this I dare confidently say, if there we had, had but faire play, and justice impartially, King had at surely dyed, at ever malifactor in England did, and to use the words once againe of his owne bosome friend, and Counseller, Mr. Prince, in page the 6 of the fore cited book, if the late Baron of Graystock, who was a Lord, and one of the &illegible; of the Realme, and had taken upon him safely to keep to the a foresaid Grandfather (King of England) the towne of Barwick: The said Barron perceiving afterward, that the said Grandfather, addressed himselfe to ride into France, the said Barron (without command of the said Granfather) committed the said towne of Barwick to a valiant Esquire Robert Deogle, as Leiu. to the said Barron, for to keep safe the towne of Barwick to the said Grandfather, and the said Barron went as an horse-man to the said parts of France, to the said Grandfather, and there remained in his company. Daring which time an assault of warre, was made upon the said Towne of Barwick, by the said Scott, and the said Robert as Leiu. to the said Barron, valiantly defended the same, and at last by such forceable assaultes, the said Towne was taken upon the said Robert, and two of the sonnes of the said Robert there staine in the defence of the same, notwithstanding that the said Barron himselfe, had taken upon him the safeguard of the said Towne, to the said Grandfather, and departed himselfe without command of the said Grandfather, and the said towne of Barwick lost, in the absence of the Barron, he being in the company of the said Grandfather, in the parts of France, is aforesaid, It was adjudged in Parliament, before his Peares, that the said Towne was lost, in default of the said Barron, and for this cause he had judgment of life, and member, and that he should forfeit all that he had. I say if this Lord, deserved to dye who left a Deputy so manfully to defend the Towne, and also was himselfe with the King in the service, much more King, meerly in reference to Crowland singly, who being Governer thereof, and having placed Captaine Cony therein as his Deputy, with a company of men, sent for him in a brave to humour to Newwarke, when he had no urgent necessity for him, unlesse it were that the world might see the bravery of his Regiment, wch by his agumentation imounted to about 1400, when Cap. Cony certified him, that the Towne being generally Malignant &c would be in great danger by the Beverkers of being lost if he should come away, yet notwithstanding King sent to him againe, and did command him away, and put in a guard of slander and unlase men, which presiged alosse of it to the Committee residing in Holland, upon which they acquainted &illegible; Gennerall; &illegible; then Deputy, Governour of the Ile of Ely, and &illegible; &illegible; him to send a strong guard to preserue and keep it, and he accordingly sent (as I remember) Captaine Underwood, astout man with about a 100 souldiers &c. of which when King heard, he was exceding mad, and did write a most imperious bitter letter, to command them out of his Jurisdiction, where upon they were necessitated to depart, and leave Crowland to his owne slender and &illegible; guard, by meanes of which, within a little while after the Enemy had advantage to supprise that Towne without oposition or difficulty, and did it, so that to speake in the words of the Articles remaining in Parliament against him, he betrayed that Towne, which was not &illegible; without much hazzord and losse, the expence of a prear deal of treasure and many mens lives, the blood of all which &illegible; upon his head, for the lesse of which alone (&illegible; his treachery both to the state universall and representative) he ought to dye without mercy, by the Morall and undispensable Law of God, made long before that ever the Jewes were a Nation, or had any Ceremoniall Law given unto them, which Law is expressed in Gen 9 5, 6. where God speaking to Noah and his sons, saith thus: “And surely your blood of your &illegible; will I require: at the hand of every beall will I require it, and at the hand of man: at the hand of every mans brother will I require the life of man.

Who so shed &illegible; &illegible; by man shall his blood be shed, for in the Iueage of God made be man, reade Revel. 13. 10. But King, though his owne hands did not murder the souldiers that lost their lives in taking it in againe, yet he was the true fountaine and cause wherefore their blood was shed, Deut. 22. 8. Judg. 9. 24. 2. Sam. 12. 9. having apparently, by his wilfulnesse and treachery, lost the Towne; and therefore, wilfull blood being upon his &illegible; he ought to make a legall satisfaction, and &illegible; by his owne blood: I wish with all my soul: the Parliament (your Lordship, and all the rest of the Judges of this Kingdome) would seriously consider and ponder upon this unrepealable law of God, that so wilfull murderert and blood thirsty men might not escape the hands of Justice, and so bring wrath from God upon the whole Kingdome, Gen. 4. 10, 11, 12. Deut. 19. 10. Pial. 206. 38. Jer. 7. 5, 6. and 19. 2. 4. Lament 4. 13, 14. &illegible; 4. 2, 3. Joel 3. 19. &illegible; 2. 8. which cannot be expiared but by the blood of him that shed it, &illegible; 35. 33. Deut. 19. 12, 13. &illegible; Sam. 4. 11, 12, 1 King. 1. 5. 6. 31, 32, 33. and 21. 19. and 2 King. 9. 7. 8, 9, 10. 36. 33. and Chap. 14. 2, 3, 4. but especially that you would thinke upon the grand Murtherer of England (for by this impartiall Law of God there is no exemption of Kings, Princes, Dukes, Earles, Barons, Judges, or Gentlemen, more then of Fisher-men, Coblers, Tinkers, and Chimney-sweepers) upon whose shoulders all the innocent blood that hath in such abundance been shed in this Kingdome, &c. Iyes, for which reckoning I am sure the score is not acquitted in the account of God, nor ought it not to be in the account of man, For if the innocent and righteous blood of our Abel, cry’d so loud for vengeance in the eares of God, against Cain, that God cursed him and all he went about: How much more will the blood of thousands, and ten thousands of innocent persons, that hath been lately shed in England, cry loud in the eares of God, for wrath and vengeance against those that have been the true &illegible; and cause of it, for shed it is, and upon some body the guilt of it lyes; and therefore it is but a solly and madnesse, for the King, Parliament, or People, to talke of peace, all inquisition be made for Englands innocent blood, and Justice done upon the guilty, and wilfull &illegible; of it, for besides the Law of God in Gen. 9 he saith plainly, Numb. 35. 31. That there shall no satisfaction be taken for the life of a murtheres, but that he shall surely be put to death, and in vers. 33. God declares that the shedding-innocent blood &illegible; and polluteth a Land, and that, that cannot be cleased of the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it, and for the innocent blood that &illegible; &illegible; in Jesus &illegible; (although a King) God sent bands of the Caldeans, Syrians, Moathies, and Ammonites to destroy Judah, an remove them out of his sight, for the sinnes of &illegible; their King, and for the innocent blood that he had shed, (which the text saith) The Lord would not pardon, 2 King. 24. 2, 3, 4. “Yea, and because Saul (though a King) slaw some of the &illegible; contrary to the Covenant made with them, God sent afamine upon all Israel for three yeares, for that very innocent blood shed by the King, and there was no expiation, or satisfaction to be made therefore, but by the blood of him that had shed it; and therefore because he himselfe was dead and his blood could not be had, seven of his sons (of his owne blood) must and was hanged up to make satisfactions therefore, Saw. 2. 21. 1, 2, 3, 4. to the 9.

My Lord, the unsufferable provocation of Colonell King, forceth me to present these lines unto you, and I doubt not, but these will tend to his long deserved ruine; and therefore to speake in the words of his friend Mr. Prinne, in a case of the like nature “It is the just hand of God, many times so farre to dementate the very wisest politirians, as to make themselves the principall contrivers of their owne infamy and ruine: for his Knavery, lying in a hole as it were, now he hath by his awesting mee, and bringing me before your Lordship (who I conceive have nothing to do with the businesse, being it is dependant in Parliament the supream Court of the Kingdome,) necessitated me to publish the whole state of the businesse betwixt him and me to the view of the world, because at your Barre I cannot make a plea at large to the whole &illegible; of the Articles, but must be tyed up, as I am told, to a single plea, that is to say, to plead either guilty, or not guilty, unto which I cannot without snares yeeld unto, besides I must, as I am told, plead at your Barre by Serjeants at Law, none of which I know, and therefore will not trust them, come ruine and destruction, and whatever will of me. Againe, my Lord, I must there be tryed by a Jury that neither knowes mee, nor I them, nor knowes any of Kings habituated knavery, nor understands any thing of Martiall Law, the only rule to try him and me in this case, and that which is &illegible; of all, they are chosen (as I am told) by the under Sheriff, of which kind of creatures I never heard any great commendation for their honesty, but have heard of much judging and packing betwixt them and such kind of crafty and large conscioned fellowes, as my Adversary King the Lawyer is, Againe, my Lord, that which is the greatest mischiefe of all, and the oppressing bondage of England ever since the Norman yoke, is this, I must be tryed before you by a Law (called the Common Law) that I know not, nor I thinke no man else, neither do I know where to find it, or reade it, and how I can in such a case be punished by it, I know not: For, my Lord, I have been with divers Lawyers about this very businesse, I cannot find two of them of one mind, or that can plainly describe unto &illegible; what is the way of your goings; so that I professe I am in the darke amongst briers and thornes, and fast in a trap by the heeles, and enemies round about me ready to destroy me, if I be not very wary with my tongue and which way to get out, or how, or to whom to call to for help I know not, for such an unfathomable gulfe have I by a little &illegible; found, the Law practises in Westminster Hall to be, that seriously I thinke there is neither end nor bottom of them, so many uncertainties, formalities, puntillo’s, and that which is worse, all the entryes and proceedings in Latine, a language I understand not, nor one of a thousand of my native Country men, so that my Lord, when I read the Scripture, and the House of Commons late &illegible; Declaration, it makes me thinke that the practizes in the Courts at Westminster, flow not from God nor his Law, nor the law of Nature and reason, no nor yet from the understanding of any righteous, just or honest men, but from the Devill, and the will of Tyrants.

First my Lord, the House of Commons declaration April 17. 1646 tels me, that their intentions are not to change the ancient frame of Government within this Kingdome, but to obtaine the end of the Primitive institution of all Government, the safty and weale of the people, (atmost goulden saying) but I am sure it cannot be for the peoples safety, nor welfare, to have their lives, liberties, and estates, Judged by a laws the &illegible; and proceedings of which are in Latine, and so without there understanding, there cases in Heathen Greeke or Pedlers French, and so beyond their knowledg, and man of their rules in the orracles of Judges breasts, whose Judgments many times have been destructive to the lives liberties and estates, of all the free men of England, witnesse there late Judgment in shipmoney &c. neiteer are such practices agreeable to the Ancient constitutions of Kingdoms.

And secondly when God gives his law unto the sonnes of men, he doth it plainly, without ambiguous termes, and in their &illegible; language, as first for Adam, the law God gaue him was plaine and short, with a declared penalty annexed unto it, Gen. 2. 16. 17. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the Garden thou mayest freely care. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. And his law in the 9. of Gen. about murther is as plaine as this, for who so sheadeth mans blood (saith he) by man shall his blood be shed, for in the Image of God made he man, and so likewise when God comes to give a law unto &illegible; as a nation, yea and that law which we call the Morrall law, and observe as binding to us to this day, he doth it in plaine words, without ambiguous or doubtfull &illegible; short and in their owne tongue Exo. 20 and that the people might be at a certaintie, Moses as his Minister, and officer, writ, and reade it in the audience of the people, unto which they &illegible; their consent, Exo. 24. 4. 6. and after that God writ them himselfe with his finger, and delivered them to Moses. that so the people might be taught them, Exo. 24. 12. & 31. 18. and chap. 34. yea, and in this plainnesse, was all the &illegible; God &illegible; unto them, which he did not only barely take, and so let the people goe seeke them where they could find them, but he also with Majestie, proclaimes them openly and as if that were not enough, that so they might know the Law and not in the least plead ignorance of it, Moses declares it to them againe, and againe Deu. 5. & chap. 6. & chap. 9. & 11. Yea and commands them to reach their Children, and to speak of them, when they sit in their house, and when they go abroad, and when they &illegible; downe, and rise up. yea and that they should &illegible; them upon the posts of their houses, and up in their gates Deu. 11. 19. 20. yea and that they should write them very plainly Dent. 27. 8. and the reason is because the just God hath done, and will doe just and righteous things, and will not be so unjust as to punnish men for &illegible; a law they know not, and therefore saith Moses to Israel in the behalfe of the just God, and his law, Its not hidden from thee, neither is it farre off It is not in Heaven, that thou shouldest; say who shall go up for us to Heaven, and bring it unto us, that wee may heare it, and doe it; neither is it beyond the Sea, that thou shouldest say, who shall go over the Sea for us, and bring it unto us, that wee may heare it, and doe it: But the word is very high unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou must doe it, so (saith he) I have set before thee this day &illegible; and good, death and evill &illegible; 30. 11. 12. 13, 14. 19. yea and that the generations to come, might not think that God dealt &illegible; with them, in exacting obedience from them, who lived nor in Moses &illegible; to heare the Law so sollemoly &illegible; he delivers it a stnading Law (in future generations) unto the Priests Elders, and people, that at the end of every seaven Yeares, in the solemnity of the yeare of release, in the feast of Tabernacles: When all I shall is com to appeare before the Lord thy God, in the place which he shall choose: Thou shalt read this Law before all Israell in their &illegible; Gather the people together, men and women, and children, and thy stranger that is within thy &illegible; that they may heare, and that they may learne, & feare the Lord your God, and observe to doe al the words of this Law: And that their Children which have not knowne any thing, may &illegible; and learne to feare the Lord your God, as long as you live, Deut. 31. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. So wee see how just and exact God is to the people, in giving them a short, plain and easie to be understood Law, in their owne tongue, and not in the language of strangers, and what care be takes to have it published and taught unto the people.

But if wee will but impartially read our English histories, wee shall clearely find, that the tedious, unknowne, and impossible to be understood, common law practises in Westminster Hill, came in by the will of a Tyrant, namly William the Conquerer, who by his sword conquered this Kingdome, and professed he had it from none but God and his sword Danniel 42. subdued their honest and just law (Speed 424.) cummonly called the law of Edward the Confess and as Daniel saith fol. 44. set up new termes, new constitutions, new formes of pleas, new offices, and Courts, and that whereas (saith he fol. 46) before the causes of the Kingdome were determined in every Shire, and by Law of King Edwad se. all matters in question should upon especiall penalty, with out further deferment, be finally deculed in their Gemore or conventions held monthly an every hundred, he ordained, that fower 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 for that purpose, and others from whom, as from the be some of the Prince, all litigators should have justice, and from whom was no appeale, and made his Judges (saith Martin in his history folo 5.) follow his Court upon all removes, which tired out the English Nation, with extreordinary troubles and excessive charges in the prosecution of their suites in Law, and saith fol 4. he also enacted, and established strait and severe Lawes, and published them in his owne language (as all the practizes of the Law, and all petitions and businesse of the court were) by meanes whereof many (who were of great estate, and of much worth) tough ignorance did transgresse, and their smalest offences, were gerat enough to intitle the Conquerour to the lands, and riches which they did possesset all which heseized on and tooke from them without remorse.

And although the agrieved Lords, and sad People of England, humbly petitioned him, that according to his oath (twice formerly taken) that he would restore them the Lawes of St Edward, under which they were born and bred, and not adde unto all the rest of their misery, to deliver them up to be judged by a strange Law they understood not, whose importunity so faire prevailed with him, that he tooke his oath the third time, to preserve their Lawes, and liberties, but like a prejur’d Tyrant, never observed any of his oaths, and the same (saith Danul Fol. 43.) did Henry the first, Henry “the second, and King Iohn. &c. and yet notwithstanding these followed (saith he) a great innovation, both in the Lawes and Government of England, so that this seems rather to be done to acquit the People, with the show of the continuation of their ancient Customes and Liberties, then that they enjoyed them in effect. For the little conformity between them of former times, and these that followed upon this change of State, and though there may be some veines issuing from former originals, yet the main stream of our Common law, with the practice thereof, flowed out of Normandy, notwithstanding all objections can be made to the counary, and therefore I say it came from the Will of a Tyrant.

But it may be objected, that the Law it selfe, is not now either in French or Latine, and therefore not so bad as you would make it.

I shall answer in the words of Daniel, Follio 251. That it is true, upon the Petition of the Commons to Edward the third, He caused Pleas which before were in French, to be &illegible; in English, that the Subjects might understand the Law by which he houlds what he hath, and is to know what he doth, a blessed Act, and worthy so great a King; If he could thereby have rendred the same also perspicuous, it had been a worke of eternall honour, but &illegible; (&illegible; he) is the Fate of Law, that in what language soever it speaks, it never speaks plain, but is wrapt up in such difficulties and misteries, (as all &illegible; of profit are) as it gives more afliction to the People, then it doth remedy, & therefore when Magna Charta, after many a bloudy &illegible; and the purchase of many hundred thousands of pounds, was obtained and confirmed by Edward the first, in the 27. year of his Raign, divers Patrons of their Country, as Sir Edvvard Cook. in his Proom before the second part of his &illegible; declares, that after the making of Magna Charta, &c. divers learned men in the Lawes, (that I may use the words of the Record) kept Schooles of the Law in the &illegible; of London, and taught such as resorted to them, the Lawe, of the Realm, taking their foundation from Magna Charta, and Charta de Forrestis, which the King sought to impeach, and therefore, in the 19th yeare of his Raign, by his Writ, commanded the &illegible; and Sheriffes of London, to suppresse all such Schooles, under great penalties, (such &illegible; are Tyrants, to the Peoples knowledge & understanding of their Lawes and Liberties, that so they may rule by their wils and pleasures, for the impugning and &illegible; of which &c. this wicked and leud King, was dis-throned, at the doing of which, he confessed, that he had been mis-guided, and done many things &illegible; of now (too late) &illegible; repented, which if be were to govern again, be would become a new man, and was most sorrowfull to have offended the State, as it should thus utterly reject him, but yet gave them thanks that they were so gracious unto him, as to elect his eldest sount for King.

And Henry the third in the 7. 8th yeares of his Raigne confirmed the great Charter, which notwithstanding he continually broke them, and fetcht over the Poictonians, by the advice of his evill Councell, to over-awe his People, and &illegible; late their Liberties, wherefore his Nobles &c. sent him expresse word, That unlesse he would omend his doings they would expell him and his evil Counceltors out of the Lord, and deal for the creation of a new King, Daniel. Fol. 154.

But I desire not to be mis-understood, for in the harshnes of my expressions against the Common Law, I put (to J conceive) a cleare distinction of it, from the Statute Law, which though there be many faults in it, as I could easily show, yet I desire not here to say any greater evill of it then this, that the 28, 29. Chap. of Magna Charta, the Petition of Regir., and the late Act for &illegible; the Star-Chamber, are gallant Lawes, and &illegible; I can find in the whole vollnmnious Booke of &illegible; for in my apprehension they &illegible; &illegible; short, in a sufficiently providing for that which lately the Honourable House of Commons saith is the end of all Government, (the safety and weale of the People, so in my judgement, they do not positively and legally hold out a sufficient security to hedge &illegible; to keepe in peace and to preserve the splendor and glory of that underived &illegible; and King ship, that inherently resides in the People. or the State universall, (the representation or derivation of which, is formally and legally in the State &illegible; &illegible; and none &illegible; (whose actions ought all to tend to that end) against &illegible; &illegible; usurpations, and violence of all it’s creatures, officers and Ministers, &illegible; the number of which are Kings themselves, from whom, and for whome they have all their Power and authority, as the executions of their will and mind, for their good and benefit, to whom they are accountable for the faithfull discharge of that trust reposed in them, as not onely Scripture, but nature and reason, dothfully prove, yea, and our own writers, especially the late Observator, and Mr. Prinne, in his Soveraign power of Parliaments, and Kingdomes, printed by speciall authority from the house of Commons.

1. Although Magna Charta be commonly called the English mans inheritance, because it is the best in that kind he hath, and which was purchased with so much brave English bloud, and money, by our fore-fathers, before they could wring it out of the hands of their tiranicall Kings (the successours of William the Conquerer) as I have largely elsewhere clearly manifested, yet alas in my aprehension, it falles short of Edward the Consissours lawes, which the Conquerer rob’d England of, and in stead of them, set up the dictates of his own will, whose Norman rules, and practizes to this day yet remaines in the administrations of the Common Law at Westminster Hall, by reason &illegible; their rediousnesse, ambiguities, uncertainties, the entryes in Lattine (as bed as the French) because it is not our own tongue, 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 Kingdome, to seeke for justice at Westminster, which is such an iron Norman Yoke, with fangs and teeth in it, that if wee were free in every particular elce, that our hearts can thinke of, yet were we slaves by this alone, the burthen of which singly, will pierce and gail our shouldiers, and make us bow and stoop to the ground, ready to be made a prey, not onely by great men, but even by every cunning sharking knave.

O therefore that your Lordshp would desire and solicite our honourable Parliament, according to the late Declaration, forever to annihilate this Norman innovation, and reduce us back to that part of the ancient frame of government in this Kingdome. before the Conquers dayes, and that wee may have all causes and differences decided in the County, or Hundred, where they are committed, or do arise, without any appeal but to a Parliament, and that they may monthly be Iudged by twelve men, of free and honest condition, chosen by themselves, with their grave or chiefe Officer amongst them, and that they may sweare to judge every mans cause eright, without Feare, Favour, or affection, and then farewell jangling Lawyers, the wild-fire destroyers, and bone of all just, rationall, & right governed Common-wealths; and for the faciliating of this worke, and the prevention of Frauds, I shall onely &illegible; of Mr. Iohn Cooks words a Lawyer of Grayes Inne, in the 66. page of his late published Booke called a vindication of the proffessors, and presession of the Law, where he prescribes a ready remedy against frauds, which is that there might be a publique Office in every County, to register all Leases made for any Land, in that County and also all Conveiances whatsoever, and all charges upon the Lands, & all Bonds, and Contracts of any valles, for (saith he) it is a &illegible; matter, to findout all Recognizances, Iudgements, extents, and other charges, and too chargeable for the Subject) that for 12d. or some such small matter, might know in whom the interest of Land remaines, and what incumbrances lye upon it, and every estate or charge not entred there to be void in Law, and that the country have &illegible; chusing of the Registers in their respective Counties once a yeare, upon a fixed day, and that they have plain rules &illegible; &illegible;, made by the authority of Parliament, and severe penalties nocted for the transgressing them.

My Lord, I hope you will not be offended at me for my plainesse, especially if you consider the necessities laid upon me, for I professe really, I am not able to imagine any other remedy for my preservation but this, (having had my Petition about this businesse, above a month in divers of my friends hands in the House of Commons, but cannot get it read.

And having contested this 7. yeares, with all sorts, and kind of persons, that would destroy me, and having often been in the field, amongst Ballets and Swords, to maintain the Common Liberties and Freedomes of England, against all the traytorly oppugners thereof, and having by the goodnesse of my God, escaped many dangers and death, and being in my own apprehension, ready to be ruinated and destroyed, by a weapon, inferior to a Taylors Bodkin, (namely) a Formallity, or Puntillo in the Law, it hath ronzed up my spirits, to charge it with a Souldiers pure resolution, in a new and unwonted manner, being necessitated to cast all care behind me, and say unto myselfe, that as hitherto I have not lived by any mans favour and grace, so, for my own safety, I will now be affraid of no mans indignation or displeasure, cost what it will, and if J perish, I perish.

2. &illegible; your Lordship, or any other great man, be moved with choller or indignation against me, (as I desire you may not) and shall, endeavour to doe me a mischiefe, for this my plain, dealing, I hope I shall be kept out of danger, by the authority of the Parliaments own Declarations, but especially by those words of theirs, in their exhortation to men to take their Covenant, which are thus.

And as for those Cleargy men, who pretend, that they (above all others) can not Covenant to extirpate Episcopall Government, because they have (as they say) taken a solemne hath to obey the Bishops, in lieitis & honestis, they can tell and if they please, that they that have sworn obedience to the Lawes of the Land, are not thereby prohibited from endeavouring by all lawfull we &illegible; the abolition of those Lawes, when they prove inconvenicue &illegible; mischievous &c.

And I am confident, that if J fall into the hands of those that made the Covenant, (who are the firtest interpreters of it) I shall doe well enough; But from the Sect of the Adamites, that would have no man live in England that are honester then themselves, and from the late London Remonstrators, that would have all men disfranchized (although never so honest) that are not of their minds, and Judgements, and who doe, and would rob the representative body of all the Commons of England, of their Legislative power, and from the Executors of strange and unknown Lawes, which destroy and undoe men, (though never so upright) by formallities and puntillo’s, good Lord &illegible;

Your Lordships Servant, and a true bred Englishman,


From my House in Halfe-Moon
&illegible; &illegible; Petry-France, &illegible; Bishops
&illegible; Lond. Iune, 6th 1646.

The forementioned Petition thus followes,

To the Right Honourable, the Representative Body of the Commons. OF ENGLAND: In Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of Lievt. Col. Iohn Lilbvrne,


THat upon the differences betwixt the King, and Parliament, the Commons of England, for the defence and preservation of their Lawes and just Liberties, by authority of Parliament were necessitated to take up Armes, for the suppression of the Forces raysed by the King. In this Warre against the Parliament, the Forces raysed by the King. In this Warre against the Parliament, the Forces raysed in the Eastern Association, were committed and entrusted under the command of the Earle of Manchester, as Major Generall there, from whom your Petitioner had a Commission to be Major to Col. King, and particular instructions, and private directions, from Lievt. Gen. Crumwel, to take and give unto them, or one of them, (upon all occasions) Information, and Intelligence, of the State and condicion of Liccoln-Shire, under the command of the said Colonel King, and of the cariage and, behaviour of the said Col. King, towards the Country, and Souldiery, and how he discharged his place and trust. Which your Petitioner with all faithfulnesse and diligence did accordingly, to his extraordinary expences, not neglecting any advantage, or oportunity, which might further the publicke service, or discover the designes of the Enemy, or the said Col. Kings miscariage and neglect, of his trust and duty, the said Col. King taking upon him anunlimited and unwarrantable power destructive to the trust reposed in him.

&illegible; upon your Petitioners discovery and making known both unto the Earl, & L. Gen. Crumwel, (according to his instructions and trust reposed in him) the malignancy, insolencies, and unfaithfulnesse of the said Col. King, to the State, in the neglect of his charge, & his bad usage of the Country, to the great dis-service of the Parliament, and danger of the losse of the whole Country, (Crowland being by him betraid unto the Enemy, and was not regained, without great charge and hazard, yea; and the losse of many mens lives, the said Col. King was thereupon discharged, and put out of all his commands, and offices, (being then very many, and profitable) but was not brought to tryall for his said offences, at a Councell of Warre, which your Petitioner and others much endeavoured to have done. Whereupon Mr. Miessenden, Mr. Wolley, & divers others (Gentlemen of quality) of the Committe of Lincoln, in August 1644. exhibited to this Honourable House, severall Articles, (since printed) a Coppy whereof is hereunto annexed, against the said Col. King, thereby chargeing him with severall Treasons, Insolencies, setting up and exercising an Arbitrary, exorbitant, and unlimited power, over the Country, and Souldiery, with many other insolencies, and foule misdemeanors, all which are yet depending before this honourable House, and not yet determined, being some of them, for, or concerning the losse and surrender of Townes to the Enemies, through his treachery or negligence, and so the offence Capitall, and properly examinable, and onely tryable in Parliament, as appeares Rot. Parl. 1. Rich. 2. Nu. 38. 39. 40. Rot. Parler. Rich. 2. Num. 17. 22.

Now the said Col. King, being privie to his owne guiltinesse, and well knowing your Petitioner to be a principall witnesse for the proofe of divers of the said Articles, out of his mallice and wickednesse to your Petitioner upon a groundlesse complaint, & untrue surmises, made by him to this Honourable House, in &illegible; last, procured your Petitioner to be committed to the custody of the Serjeant at Armes, attending this honourable House, your Petitioner being thence removed to Newgate, but he, nor any other, prosecuting any charge against him, after he had lyen about 13, weakes there, he was discharged of his imprisonment by order of this House.

And the said Col. King, the more to vex, and unjustly trouble your Petitioner and to the end to take away his testimony, and deterre others from appearing against the said Col. King, upon his tryall upon the said Articles, a little before Easter Tearme last, caused your Petitioner to be arested at his own suite, upon an action of 2000l, for pretended words, alleadging by his Declaration, that your Petitioner should have said that the said Col. King was a traytor, and he gives forth in speeches, he will undoubtedly recover the same against your Petitioner, and thereby utterly ruine, him, and is indeed verry likely to doe the same, by these his sinister practizes, if by this Honourable House, your Petitioner be not relieved & protected, according to justice and equity.

Your Petitioner therefore humbly desires this Honourable House will be pleased, in regard your Petitioner hath not done or said any thing against the said Col. King, but what will be proved when he shall be brought to Tryall before this honourable House, upon the said Articles and Charge; and for that your Petitioner cannot at Law give any Plea in Bar, or justification of the words pretended to be spoken by him, untill the said Col. King be either convected, or acquitted upon his Tryall, upon the said Articles and charge, to give Order, and direction to the said Col. King, and to the Iustices of the &illegible; of Common Pleas, (where the Action dependeth) to &illegible; and no further proceed upon the said Action of 2000l. against your Petitioner. And for the good, and satisfaction of the Kingdome, and the &illegible; and vindication of your Petitioners integrity and faithfulnesse in what he hath said or done touching the premyses, to bring the said Col. King to tryall (in a Parliamentary way) that to be may receive condigne punishment for the injuries and wrongs he hath done, and wherewith he is charged in the said Articles.

And your Petitioner shall pray, &c.

Courteous Reader, if I had had roome here should have been an Errata, but the principall fault passed the Presse, in Page 14. line 16. read, which King Edward 2. for which the King.

Articles exhibited against Col. Edward King, for his insolencies and misdemenors in the County of Lincoln, to the Honourable House of Commons, in August 1644. by Mr. Mussenden, Mr. Wolley, and divers others of the Committee of Lincoln.

Imprimis, That to the great discouragement of the County, he doth openly declare, his slighting of all mens good affections to the Parliaments service, by expressing that he valueth not that men should do the Parliament service voluntarily, but that he would by his power force them to serve.

2. That he doth pay those great summes of money raysed by him out of the Country, onely to whom he pleaseth against all equity and justice, notwithstanding the Lord of Monchesters Order to the contrary.

3. That he hath publickly declared his slighting the ordnances of Parliament, & done very many tyranicall & arbitrary actions, by imprisoning divers persons at his pleasure, and exacting great sums of money, at such time when necessity could be no plea, with many other particulars.

4. When he was before Newark he sent for a Captain who kept Crowland, who obeyed his command, yet sent word to him of the danger that town was in, and therefore desired his second pleasure, which was that he should march, who accordingly did, the Gentlemen of the Country, fearing the enemy, procured Major Ireton to send a 100. Musqueriers to keep Crowland, which he hearing of took ill that without order from him any should come into his liberties & commanded them to be gone, who accordingly departed, the enemy presently surprized the town, and those few that he had lest in it, by which meanes he betrayed the town unto the enemy, which was not regained without much charge, hazard, and losse of many mens lives.

5. That he gives protections for securing both person and goods, to those who are professed enemies to the Parlament.

6. That he imployeth such officers, as are altogether unfit for the Countryes service.

7. That he doth most grossely and unworthily affront and abuse the wel-affected Gentry of the Country.

8. That he doth encourage desperate Malignants, and animateth them against the wel-affected.

9. That he & his officers have imprisoned men wel-affected to the Parliament, and caused their houses, chests, trunks, &c. to be searched for pewter, brasse, & linnen, and threatned that they would make it cost one of them his whole estate, and that one of his officer, would not take three hundrd pounds for his own satisfaction.

10. That at the &illegible; before Newark such provision as the country had voluntarily and freely sent in to Col. Kings quarters at &illegible; for the maintenance of the souldiers, his officers would not deliver without money, although they had not pay, to the extream oppression and discouragement of the Country.

11. That he sent three warrants to Capt. &illegible; at &illegible; to take away a great quantity of Wooll which was bought by Mr Rawson one of the Committee, and paid for with his own money, and so the said Rawson is likely to lose his estate, although he hath been a sufferer both for Church and common wealth this twenty yeares, and hath &illegible; him a malignant, both in his words and letters, as much as in him did lye.

12. That when the enemy took Grantham, they being &illegible; from one part of the town, wheeled about to fall upon the other side, or a place cal’d the Spittle-gate, which &illegible; being then Major of the town perceiving, commanded Col. King, being then &illegible; of a Company thereto match with his Company to defend that place, Col. King answered, that be scorned to be commanded by him, and rather then he would be commanded by him, he would take his company and let the enemy into the town, and he delayed so long, before he would go, that the enemy was entred at the said Port, before he came thither, by which meanes he betrayed that town.

13. That when Commissary Iames had brought in certain sheep from a malignant for the reliefe of the fiedge at Newarke, being then in great want, Col. King caused the the said sheep to be restored to the malignant, and told the Commisary that he deserved to be hanged, with divers other threatning and reviling speeches; notwithstanding he had order from Sir John Meldrum and the Committee for the taking of them.

14. That Colonel King having promised the Lord of Manchester to raise a great number of Horse and Foot, the said Col. King, as did appeare, not knowing how to rayse so great a number, did to the great discouragement of the Country, take this course; in the first place he cashiered Major Syler, with him three hundred Voluntiers, which served on their own charge, who with the townsmen had alwaies defended the town of Boston, that he might press them to serve under him for pay; And secondly, he did sieze upon & detain four or five of the Foot Companies belonging to the Lord Willoughby and did cashiere some of the Captaines, because they refused to forsake my Lord to serve under him.

15. That the Troopes of Colonel Crumwel, which were lost at Coleby and Waddington were treacherously or ignorantly betrayed by Colonel King.

16. That to the great discouragement of the Country, he doth oppose and quarrell, with such as have been most serviceable to the Country, and such in whom the power of Religion is most eminent (viz) L. G. Crumwel, Mr Ram and others, & that he imprisoned divers other very godly men, and that for exercising the very power of godlinesse, which he did in a very vile manner, and still continueth an utter enemy &illegible; men, as namely, L. C. Berry, Major Lilburne, Capt. Cambridge, and others.

17. That to the great discontent and discouragement of the Country, he and his Officers did quarrell with, & slight the Committee at Lincoln, which was setled by ordnance of Parl. who were men of the best estates, quallity & integrity, and such as were especially commanded to serve the Country, and publickly villifying them and their actions, and assuming their power without any authority.

18. That before this War began, he was an open and publick scoffer of religious men.

19. That he is a man of a turbulent & factious spirit, of mean condition & estate for so absolute a command, that he hath received vast sums of money, amounting to about 20000l. much of which he hath levied in an illegall and obscure way, and issued out accordingly for which it is desired he may give a speedy accompt, & likewise of the rest of his actions.

20. That in a factious & seditious manner he did employ some Agents to deliver &illegible; Ribbonds to such as would stand for him, and &illegible; themselves his friends, to the great terrour and discontent of the Country, and the hazard of raysing a dangerous mutinie.

21. That he kept about twenty men to wait on him, whom he called his Life guard, to whom he gave extraordinary pay though they were exempted from all duty, except it were to wayt upon him, advance his reputation and awe and affright the Country.

22. That he did awe and gain the Country wholly after him, and that he might with better colour &illegible; falsly stiling himselfe Lievtennent Generall of the County of Lincoln.


T.65 (3.6) William Walwyn, An Antidote against Master Edwards (10 June 1646).

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T.65 [1646.06.10] (3.6) William Walwyn, An Antidote against Master Edwards his old and new Poyson (10 June 1646).

Full title

William Walwyn, An Antidote against Master Edwards his old and new Poyson: intended to preserve this long distempered Nation from a most dangerous Relaps. Which his former, his later, and next Gangrenous Book is likely to occasion, if not timely prevented. By William Walwin.

Deut. 22.33. Their Wine is the poyson of Dragons, and the cruell venime of Aspes.
Rom. 3.13. Their throat is an open sepulcher, with their tongues they have used deceit, the poyson of Aspes is under their lips.
Proverbs 22.10. Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out: yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

London, Printed by Thomas Paine, dwelling in Red-Crosse-street, in Goldsmiths-Alley, over-against the signe of the Sugar-loafe. 1646.

The pamphlet contains the following parts:

  1. An Antidote against Master Edwards
  2. A GRAINE MORE, And no more
Estimated date of publication

10 June 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 444; Thomason E.1184 [4]

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Though God hath given unto Mr. Edwards, parts and abilities, wherewithal to acquire a comfortable life, in a just and good way, and wherein hee might bee helpefull unto many, and hurtfull unto none; neverthelesse hee seemeth unhappily to have placed his contentment in being a Master and Comptrouler of other mens judgements and practises in the worship of God, (wherein the Word of God and a mans owne conscience is only to governe): and thereupon (necessarily) finding opposition from al consciensious people, hee growes most passionately impatient, and even violently madd against all such as either plead their cause, or take their part; plainly manifesting, throughout the whole course of his preaching and writing, that he would esteem it his greatest felicity, if he could prevaile with authority, or provoke any others to the perpetuall molestation and destruction, of all that will not (though against their consciences) submit to those rules which he approveth.

Now the piety and justice of this Honourable Parliament, having so lately freed this long oppressed Nation, from this very kind of Tyranny, in the Bishops and Prelaticall Clergy, and very many judicious, and considerate persons (through a blessed opportunity, freedeme of discourse, and cleerer search of Scripture then heretofore) being fully satisfied in their understandings, that to compell or restraine, any peaceable person in matters of faith, and the worship of God, is as reall a sinne, and as odious in the sight of God as murther, theft or adultery, and thereupon engaging themselves in the just defence of liberty of conscience, Master Edwards his worke (of bowing all to his rule) falls out to be very difficult, and impossible (by any arguments drawn from the word of God) to be effected, or proved just.

And this also, insteed of qualifying his spirit, or stopping him in his race, hath set him all on fire, that he rageth like an Irish, ravenous and hungry woolfe, deprived of his prey by generous and true English Mastives, that watch both night and day to save the harmlesse and benefitiall sheep (the Independants and Separatists) who from the begining of these our troubles, to this very day, have continually without repining contributed their fleece for clothing, and their limbes and lives for nourishment, and strength, to preserve not only their owne liberties, but the just liberties of this Nation; Yet nothing abateth the madnesse of this prophet; but even (as is to be feared) against his owne conscience, and as if hired thereunto by some politique Balacks, hee flieth from one hill to another, from authority to authority, hath his parables and his offerings, and Satan like, would tempt the Lord himselfe to fall downe and worship him, to go against his owne declared will, and to stir up a persecuting spirit in the Magistrate, against this his beloved Israel, to compell them to worship him (as doe the Hipocrites) against their minds and consciences, then which nothing could be more abominable in his sight.

And though he cannot but see the hand of God against him, and that notwithstanding all his opposition, or any others, the numbers of them are daily increased, and that their faithfulnesse to the Parliament & common-wealth, hath caused them to grow in favor with al the People; though (if he would speak his heart) he must as Baalam, perforce acknowledge there is no enchantment against Jacob, nor any divination against Israel; no prevailing for a coersive power, against this good people, in a time of refreshment from any just Authority: Yet persists he in his ungodly resolution, and seeing and knowing that God will by no meanes answer his eager desire, of cursing this part of his people; he seemeth to grow desperate, and like as Saul when God had cast him off, and refused to answer him, either by Urim or Vision, betooke himselfe to the witch of Endor, even so this most unhappy man, betaketh himselfe to Machivillian policy, for execution of his cruel purposes against them: and finding no just or judicious party that will afford him any countenance, or assistance, he applyeth himselfe to any that hate them, though enemies to the common-wealth, hazarding the doing of their work, so that with them, and by them, he may but doe his owne, whereunto the weaknesses of many wel minded people ministreth to great an advantage, their rashnesse and to easie credulity, being all the foundation which he hath now left, to build his hopes upon, for if these would but a while suspend their belief, and patiently consider the things he hath spoken or is about to publish, and would thereupon with-draw themselves from his wicked and delusive counsels, and insteed thereof would fall to councelling of him to forsake his violent Rayling, and reviling, of a people they know to be faithfull, it were then impossible for him to effect his unjust designes, wch also (if effected) must necessarily be the bondage or ruin of all sorts of wel minded people, as wel Presbiterians as others (however his charmings may for the present flatter them) that must and will be the conclusion, if they continue to take in his poysonous counsells, how pleasing soever they seem to a pallat corrupted by long custome; they are poysonous, and will in time both swell and destroy them.

And therefore unto this sort of people, doe I at this time principally addresse this discourse by way of Antidote, to prevent the working of his banefull Counsels, and to frustrate his accursed ends.

This unjust man, knoweth all just and judicious men, cannot but oppose his unjust designes, and therefore it is, he hath denounced so many of them by name in his books, as his enemies, his ablest enemies they are, and the more powerfull, because they are all knowne to be really faithfull to the Parliament: In this case saith Machivel there is but one help, that is, they must be brought into disgrace, and disrepute, with the people, for if these remain in credit, the people will give eare unto them, be rightly informed by them & be in no capacity to be deceived: well saies Mr. Edwards, how shall they be sufficiently reproached: Why saies Machivel, seek out unto your ayd honest zealous persons of godly life, and good repute in the world, such as you know are fiery hot against errours and heresies so called, and unto them sadly complaine of the dayly infinite increase thereof, & intreat their assistance in the extirpation of them, & for that end desire them to collect their memories, what they have heard in any discourse, what they have any waies observed or knowne, to proceed from such and such men, naming divers, that are taken and reputed to be either grand Hereticks, and Schismatiques themselves, or the defenders and maintainers of them, by word or writing, tell them you have heard that such and such, hold such and such blasphemous opinions, at such and such a time uttered, such & such horrible speeches, pray them to consider how exceeding necessary it is such things were knowne, and made publique to all the world, lest through ignorance such blasphemous and hereticall persons in time get into offices of Magistracy, if not into the Parliament it seife; lay before them the danger if it should be so, and intreat them (for prevention) that they will thrust themselves into all meetings, companies, and societies, to provoke discourses, and to take notice of what they observe, or can any waies learne of any of them or any others, and it shall be your care to divulge them to the world, in the strongest colours your Art can give them: And (saith Machivel) as they through eagernesse, will over-heare and make things worse then they were either spoken or intended, so it must be your care to make them rather wors then better, then their relations, you must be sure to cast durt enough upon them, some will stick, and a little (amongst those you would pervert) will suffice to blemish the clearest and most able amongst them, and to deprive them of all credit and repute for ever.

If you observe any man to be of a publique and active spirit, (though he be no Independent or Separatist) he can never be friend to you in your work, and therefore you are to give him out, to be strongly suspected of whoredom, or drunkennesse, and prophanesse, an irreligious person, or an Atheist, and that by godly and religious persons, he was seen and heard blaspheming the holy Scriptures, and making a mock of the Ordinances of Christ, or say he is suspected to hold inteligence with Oxford, or any thing no matter what, somewhat will be beleeved, you cannot be ignorant how much this hath prevailed against divers able persons.

If you see any such man but once talking with a Papist, or (though not) you may give out that very honest men suspect him to be a Jesuit: If any one but demand of you or any others, how you know the Scriptures to be the word of God, give it out for certain he denieth them, or if any put questions concerning God or Christ, or the Trinity, you have more then enough to lay accusations upon them, that shall stick by them as long as they live, if you will follow this my counsell throughly saith Machivel (as in part you have done) you cannot faile of your end, you can never want matter, you shall (amongst those you deceive) be taken for a most zealous, holy, and religious man, you may write book upon book, great and large ones, and make good profit (or great renowne) by them, and in after ages, be recorded as a famous Author.

Moreover if you prosecute this course, you may haply hereby not only hold your friends firme unto you, ready upon all occasions to petition what you would have them, or to doe any thing you shall require them, but you shall be sure to hold them for ever devided from your adversaries, in all things, they shall not regard any thing, though never so just or good, if they see they have but a finger therein, nay if you work wisely, you need not dispaire of dividing your most powerfull adversaries amongst themselvs, doubts & jelousies being of great force:

And you know it is an undoubted truth, a house divided within it selfe cannot stand.

This is Machivels way; and this hath been Mr. Edwards his way; and in this way hee goeth on, but the way of God have they not knowne, or rather have they not despised the way of the Lord.

This is the Poyson by which he hath envenomed the hearts and understandings of thousands (in themselves) honest, religious people, too too easily misse-led, for want of knowledge or consideration of these Machivelian courses; men that being sinceare in their owne intentions, are easily deluded by the least pretence of zeal and godlinesse.

And however his heart may be hardned that he will not regard any thing, that hath been written unto him; you that have been deceived by him, are not so farre gone but you may yet recover, & become untainted, with the least savour of his spirit, and in time abominate his waies:

But surely then you must consider things more seriously then hitherto you have done, you must suspect your owne waies, and compare them once more with the waies of God, commended to you in his holy Word; That is the only Antidote that is able to expell the Poyson you have taken, or shall be offered in his next book; you know the word of God is mighty to the casting down of strong holds, & to bring into subjection all Machivelian Imaginations.

I shall therefore pray you in reading his next book which (it is to be feared) is reserved for an accursed purpose, and to second some worke of Darknesse; that you will with open eyes see how farre, and how plausible Machivel may go with colours of religion transforming himselfe into an Angell of light.

Also that you will not hastily give credit to any thing spoken by him a professed adversary, lest in so doing, you become guilty of bearing false witnesse against your neighbour.

That you will consider and marke those that cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them: Rom. 16.17.

That you will mind a speciall part of that doctrine to be expressed in the fourteenth Chapter thorow-out, and the beginning of the fifteenth, which I entreat you to reade without prejudice or preoccupation of judgment; and then I cannot doubt, but liberty of conscience will appeare more just in your eyes, then it hath done, and confesse that your selves cannot live without it.

That you will lay to heart how dangerous it may prove to the Common wealth, and to the cause you have hitherto joyntly maintained, (God prospering you in so doing) if by any policies you should stand divided from those your brethren of other judgments; beleeve it, the hand of Joab is in all your divisions, what-ever you see or judge, your common enemy, is the fomenter of them; and under what notion or colours soever they appeare, they are a common enemie to you both, that labour to divide you, and in the end, you will find it to be so to your cost, if not to your ruine.

An ancient Philosopher (somewhat to this purpose) hath a fable, That the Wolves being at long and deadly war with the sheep, and not prevailing by force; but contrary to their expectation almost vanquished: Resolved to try what they could doe by policie, and thereupon desired a treaty, which the sheep simply and easily granted: The principall thing in the treaty, which the Wolves insisted on, was, that the sheepe would but discharge & send away their dogs, and then there would be no cause of warre at all, but they should live quietly one by another, urging withall, that the dogs were of a quarrelsome disposition, had been the beginners and continuers of the war, that they were of a different nature & temper from the sheep, maintain’d the war only for their own ends, and in probability were like enough to make a prey of the sheep themselves, and the like; if they would discharge them, they would give them what security themselves would desire, for assurance of their peaceable neighbourhood. The poor sheep soon weary of the charge and trouble of war, yeelded thereunto, and discharged their dogges, their strongest help, (whereby they had not only preserved themselves, but by many battels and maine force had even quite vanquished the Wolves) wch was no sooner done, but the Wolves in short time muster up their force, (the dogs being out of call) and when the sheep least suspected, fell upon them and destroyed them utterly.

I conceive this could never have been effected, but that the Wolves had conveyed some of themselves into sheepes cloathing, who by flattering and dissembling cariage, got themselves into credit with the sheepe, and so perswaded to this goodly treaty, and wrought them to those destructive conditions.

And (if well considered) this fable (though dogs and Christians hold no fit comparison) may demonstrate, that whosoever doth, or shall endevour to perswade the godly and honest Presbyters to abandon, discourage or molest their faithfull, helpfull, valiant and assured friends of other judgements (whom Mr. Edwards would have to be used worse then dogs) they are at best, but Wolves, or Wolves friends, and seek the destruction of all honest people, of what judgement soever.

And whether Master Edwards do expresly ayme at so horrid an issue, or not; for certaine, his workes and endevours do mainly tend thereunto, and will help on the wicked purposes of any that intend the destruction of the sheepe.

But, blessed be God, we are not as sheepe without a shepherd, wee have had, and still have faithfull & resolved shepherds set over us by providence, in a most just and orderly way, a Parliament (the terror of the wicked, and comfort of the just) that for these 5 years and upwards, have been a strong Tower of defence to the sheep of the Lords Pasture, to all the godly party in the Land: and though many of our froward and weak sheepe have many times been tampring & harkening after offers and conditions as dangerous to the whole flocke, as the discharging of that strength, the Wolves most feared; yet hath the wisdom of those our faithfull Shepherds hitherto prevented the same; and according to the true rules of wisdom have made most use of those whom the Wolves most feared.

And we trust the same God that endowed them with such a new modelising wisdome, as hath been successefull to the astonishment both of their friends and enemies, will still guide and direct them, when the policies of the enemies, are most busie and strongly working; and when the weaknesse and frowardnesse of their friends are most troublesome & importunate for destructive things, yea though some should be wrought upon so farre, as to shew a wearisomnesse of these their Shepherds; the same God will then we doubt not, shew his mighty power and wisdome in them, and thereby preserve this whole Nation, from a most dangerous Relaps, which otherwise were to be feared:

The whole flock is their charge, God hath made them Overseers of the whole, and to our joy and comfort they have hitherto shewed, a greater care to preserve the whole People, then to please any part of them; in unreasonable things: and in so doing they have been (and cannot but be) blessed and prosperous:

And notwithstanding Mr. Edwards his venomous poyson, blowne abroad by his unhappy quill, to blast and destroy the repute of honest, religious, and faithfull men, yet (the tree being knowne by his fruite) the Parliaments wisdome expelleth his poyson and sheweth no disrespect to any honest religious person, and every juditious man followeth their worthy example therein: and when you that are weak and have been misled, and tainted with his poyson, shall consider it, your judgments I trust will be rectified, and strengthened so sufficiently, that you will no longer judge of men according to his malitious accusations, but according to their workes and what you see them doe:

Which if you doe, wee shall have done with his poysonous, and scandalous bookes, which serve for nothing but to deceive and destroy the people; great quietnesse will follow thereupon, and you will soone finde a nearer way to a finall end of your troubles, then the wrangling way he hath proposed, for if once you were united you would have no enemies; your warre would be at an end; your peace would be sure, and all the people safe and happy;

Which is my only ayme in this work and my most earnest desire:


A GRAINE MORE, And no more.

Observing by some passages and occurrences of late, that all the labour bestowed towards the conversion and reducing of Master Edwards into a truly, charitable, and Christian disposition, hath proved no other, then as the washing of a Blackamoore; and thereupon, daily expecting a poysonous issue from his infectious braine. To prevent the mischiefe that might ensue: I prepared this little Antidote, intending to have had it in such a readinesse, as that it should have met his poyson in the instant he first spread it, wherein I did my part, but the Printers mistake hindred it.

Those therefore that have read his new Gangrenous and scandalous book, and doe find themselves any whit tainted with the poyson thereof, and have slept upon it: My friendly advise is, that they take double the quantity of this Antidote: that they reade this little Treatise twise over, and consider every part of it seriously and deliberately, and if they are any thing farre gone, and in danger: then it will be necessary they adde thereunto a good quantity more of true Christian love, it will be somewhat hard to find, there being abundance every where of that which is counterfeit, the best of which will do more hurt then good; and therefore it will be needfull you get the help of some that by experience can distinguish the true from the false, and such a one I can assure you is also very hard to find: but without it there is no hope, and with it there is infallible certainty of recovery.

If there were not much false and counterfeit love abroad, this wretched man with all his cursed diligence could never have been furnished with matter to have sweld his poysonous bulck to so vast a greatnesse.

And truly had those whoever they are that gave those malicious informations concerning me, as he reciteth them if they had had, but one scruple of true Christian love in them they never had administered to his (so unmanly) occasion.

I blesse God, I have through diligent seeking found this pretious liquor, and have enough to spare upon those his unadvised intelligencers, and through the power thereof can freely forgive their evill intentions, which my conscience assures me, I never deserved from any, I ever conversed withall, or that ever knew me.

As for himselfe, if passion and fore-judging did not blind mens understandings, and that most men are transported with flashy fancies, and are unapt to consider things judiciously, it would evidently appeare, that he hath not in any measure answered, either my Whisper or the Word more, both which wil live in despite of his utmost venome, and wil conceme him, and all such deceivers as he is, being there set forth in their truest colours, nor is his neglect of them, any other but a device to keep mens eyes off from reading or regarding them, wherein he hath indeed dealt very pollitiquely, and like one fully possest with a true Machivillian spirit, which more evidently appeareth in laying his charge upon me in such subjects, as wherein he knoweth the presses in these times are not admitted the lest measure of freedome, & if I should insist upon the mistakes, & nullities in the charge, I should be inforc’d to use the names of some persons, I much esteeme for that publique affection I have seen in them, and for the un-interupted friendship I have had with them, which is no waies sutable to my spirit: insomuch as I am yet unresolved what course to take, besides, since it concernes only my particuler, and that of necessity it will occasion a bulk in print beyond my temper, the world being also opprest with books of particuler contest, I beleeve I shall incline to forbeare, though I am not certaine.

As for those who know me, or throughly know him, with al those I shal remain unprejudiced in my repute, though he should have spet al his venome at once, and as for those that neither know him nor me, I shal (and I think may) safely trust my credit to the operation of my Antidote, & to the most powerful addition of true Christian love, wch (were there need in this cause) would cover abundance of evill: love is the balsome which in my Whisper I really commended to his use, but either he will not use it, or takes not that paynes to rub it in which I advised, but though I have cast my pearle amisse, and have sped accordingly; that shall not hinder or abate my esteem of so pretious a Jewell, it is the delight of life, and the joy of Heaven, and whilst I live I trust I shall live in love, and when I dye, that I shall dye in this love, and Rise and remain Eternally in love, that is in God (for God is love) in whose presence there is fulnesse of joy; at whose wright hand there are pleasures for evermore; and full amends for all reproches.

Imprimatur, John Bachiler.
May 26. 1646

T.66 (3.7) John Lilburne, The Free-mans Freedom Vindicated (16 June 1646).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.66 [1646.06.16] (3.7) John Lilburne, The Free-mans Freedom Vindicated (16 June 1646).

Full title

John Lilburne, The Free-mans Freedom Vindicated. Or A true Relation of the cause and manner of Lievt. Col. Iohn Lilburns present imprisonment in Newgate, being thereunto arbitrarily and illegally committed, by the House of Peeres, Iune 11. 1646. for his delivering in, at their open Barre, under his Hand and Seal, his Protestation, against their incroaching upon the Common Liberties of all the Commons of England, in endeavouring to try him, a Commoner of England, in a criminall cause, contrary to the expresse tenour and forme of the 29. Chap. of the great Charter of England, and for making his legall and iust appeal to his competent, propper and legal Tryers and Judges, the Commons of England, in Parliament assembled.

The pamphlet contains the following parts:

  1. Letters
  2. The Protestation, Plea, and Defence of Lievtenant Colonell IOHN LILBVRNE.
  3. To the right Honourable the chosen and Representative body of England Assembled in Parliament. The humble Petition of L. C. Iohn Lilburne A Free man of England.
  4. A Postscript, containing a generall Proposition
  5. Declaration of the House of Commons, published 27. Ianu. 1641
Estimated date of publication

16 June 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 445; E. 341. (12.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

TRue bred Englishmen, that have a life to lay down, for the defence of your just Liberties and Freedomes, (for to such alone I direct my speech) against all incroachers, destroyers, and usurpers thereof, (be they what they will be) I desire to let you understand, that I your Countryman amongst many others, have imbarqued all that I have in this world, in this one vessell, cal’d the good Ship of good Hope, sayling in the troublesome Seas of England, bound for the long desired Port, called the safe injoyment of Englands liberties and freedomes, the direct roade tending thereunto, is the path of Iustice, without the sayling in which roade, it is forever impossible to arive there; And therefore fearing my Venture should lately miscarry, I tooke upon me the bouldnesse to write an Epistle to Judge Reeve, one of Englands Pilots, which hath occasioned a desperate Storm to arise against me in particular, though there be nothing but wholsome and sound advice therein contained.

And perceiving by my late being with the Judge, that it was not well taken, nor likely to provide for my safety, against Col. Edward King, one of Englands rotten members, and branches, fit for nothing but to be cut off, out of Englands pleasant and fruitfull Vineyard I thereupon writ further instructions to my Atturney, to draw up my Plea, which thus followeth.

To his faithfull and much respected friend and Attorney, Mr. Goorge Ingram, at his Chamber in Cliffords Inne, these.

John Lilbvrne
Lilbvrne, John

IN the cause wherein Colonell Edward King is plantive against me, in an action for pretended words spoken by me again(st) him: I entertained you to be my Attorny, whereupon you appeared for me, and received Kings declaration the last Tearme to which I am now to plead, I desire you therefore to plead to the same, that the said Edward King long before the pretended words alleadged by the declaration, to be spoken viz. in August 1644. was by Master Muffenden and Master Wolley and divers others of the Committee of Lincolne, accused and charged before the Honourable House of Commons of high Treason, for his betraying the towne of Crowland unto the Enemy, as by the fourth Article of the said charge (whereunto reference being had) will appeare. And by the twelf Article of the said charge, the said Edward King is accused for the negligent losse and delivery up of Grantham to the Enemy, which is adjudged to be high Treason, Rot. Parl. 7. Richard 2. Num. 38. 39. 40.

And for further plea, that the said charge was before this action brought, and yet is still depending, and only examinable and triable in Parliament, neither is the said Colonell King yet acquited or tried for the same, besides plead also that I am a witnesse so the proofe of the said Charge, and so not compellable to make further answer, or other plea then this, untill the said King have had his triall upon the said Charge of high Treason in a Parliamentary way. This I hope the Court will accept and approve of, for a satisfactory and plenary answer and plea to his declaration, which you may draw up in forme as you shall find cause, whereunto I doe Authorize you, and for this pleading, this shall be your warrant and discharge, this I thought good to doe for the preventing of any colourable advantage, Colonell King might seeme to have, or any waies take through my neglect, or for want of a warrant to you to plead to his declaration, a judgment should passe for him against me by default.

I have written to Master Justice Reeve, setting forth the true state of the cause, a printed coppy I left at his house for him, which I perceive he hath perused, another I send you here inclosed, whereby you may be the better informed, and inabled to draw up my plea, and what you shall doe herein according to this warrant, I shall allow, in testimony whereof to this my warrant I have subscribed my hand, and set to my seale this ninth day of June 1646. and rest,

Your affectionate and faithfull friend

Sir, if you think fit to shew this to Judge Reeve or any other I shall approve of it.

Being moved out of mature consideration, to give him these instructions, because, (as I told him) if I should plead in a formall way to the Plea, guilty, or not guilty, I should thereby be the beginner of a dangerous president of destructive consequence to the wholl Kingdome, because that if a man intrusted, did turn traytor, and a company of honest men did endeavour, according to their duty, and to avoid the grievous sinne of perjury, did endeavour to bring him to condigne punishment for his treason, & for that end, referred Artickles of high treason in Parliament against him, with their names to them, and they, by reason of many publicke businesses, by reason of the warres in, & distractions of the Kingdome, cannot conveniently, for halfe a yeare, a yeare or more, try and adjudge the busines, the traytor or accused person, being a crafty fellow, full of ill gotten money, and corrupt Alies, and because that his tryall is delayed, he picks quarrels against his just prosecuters, and arests them in actions of 2. or 3000l. at the Common Law, for calling him (as really he is) traytor, and tosseth and tumbleth them, yea and it may be, by an unjust Puntillo in Law, brings them unto unavoidable ruine, by Common Law, which principally is inherent in the oracles of erring Iudges breasts, who it may be, two houres before he passeth sentence, is not resolved what to decree for Law, and so by this meanes every honest man that complaines of a knave or traytor in the Parliament, or is a party interested, in making good the charge against him, may by such wayes and meanes (by reason of delay in iudgement, which is not his fault) be brought by his cunning adversary into the Common Law Bryers, as I am by King, who ought by Law to be in Prison fast by the heeles) and so all honest men forever discouraged in such a cause, to complain of such transgressours, let them act treason against the State universall and representative, and do what they will; and this is just my case with Col. Ed. King, as by my printed letter to Iudge Reeve, I have truly & clearly declared.

But by my foresaid instructions sent to my attorney, I gave him authority (if he pleased) to shew them to the iudge, which for ought I know to the contrary he did, which it may be may occasion a complaint from him, or some others against me to the Lords, for immediately upon it, I am summoned before them, their warrant thus followeth.

Die Mercurij 10. June, 1646.

IT is this day ordered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, that Liev. Col. Lilburn, shall forthwith upon sight hereof, appeare before the Lords in Parliament, to answer such things as he stands charged with before their Lordships, concerning a Pamphlet, intittuled, the Just mans justification, or a Letter by way of Plea in Barr. And hereof he shall not faile, as he will answer the contrary at his perill.

Ioh. Brown. Cler. Parl.

To the gentleman Usher attending this House, or his Deputy.

The Officer comming Iune 11th. last past to my House, about 6. of the Clock in the morning, cal’d me out of my Bed, and after I had read his warrant, I told him that if there were not a tye of respect laid upon me to the Lords, for their faire and courteous dealing with me about my busines, that was lately depending before them, I would not in the present case, obey their warrant, nor twenty more of the like nature, but would defend my selfe in my own house (which is my Castle) against all that in such cases they should send unto me, to the death, because they have by the Law, no authority at all to mak me dance attendance upon them, in the present case, or to try me a Commoner, in any Criminall cause whatsoever, either for Life, Limb, liberty or estate, which I told him was the case now in and, for his own warrants did sumon me to appeare to answer a charge then before their Lordships, and this I wished him to tell them must be my plea at their Barre at which, having promised him to appeare, he departed, so sitting my selfe in the best manner the present In-comes of God inabled me for the brunt.

I tooke my Journey towards Westminster, and in the streets meditating, desired God according to his wonted manner to direct me, I presently had contrived in my own brain, without any humane help in the world, a Protestation and appeal, my heart being set up so high to go on with it, although it should be present death unto me, so I took sanctuary at a friends lodging to compile it in a method, which being done I transcribed it faire with my owne hand, and then set my hand and seale unto it, and being loth to run so high a contest with the House of Peers if by any meanes possible I could avoid it.

I repaired to a Lord a member of that House, and told him my whole heart in my intentions, shewed him my paper, and read part of it to him, and desired him to fill some more of the Lords of it, if he judged it convenient, that so they might a little better consider of it before they brought me to their Barre, and forced me to doe that that would tend to their extaordrnary dishonour, or my ruine and distruction, and doe it I both must and would by Gods assistance (I told him) if they called me to their Barre, telling him I judged it as base an action in me (both in the sight of God and man) to betray my knowne and fundamentall liberties, as with my owne hands to cut my owne throat, protesting unto him, that if he and the rest of the Lords indevoured to destroy Magna Charta and to tread, it under their feet, as they would doe if they medled with me in this case, I would draw my sword against them every man as freely as I would doe against the King, and the desperatest Cavalier with him, with much more that then I told him he departed to the House, and I imediatly by water followed him, and what he did in it I doe not fully know, but I was not called in till about one a clock:

And being commanded to their Barr, the Earl of Manchester (their Speaker) commanded Master Smith to show me my printed Epistle to Iudge Reeves, and asked me (to this effect) if I know that booke, and whether I did not leave (or cause to be left) one of them at Iudge Reeves house for the Iudge himselfe.

Unto which I replyed, my Lord, if it may stand with the pleasure of this House, I desire to know whether or no you have any formall or legall charge against me in writing, if they had I desired to see it? that so I might read it, and then I would give them an answer to their question

Whereupon after a little pawze and looking one upon another, the Earle of Stamford stept up and with much zeale pressed his Lordship to hould me to the question, (so saith the Earle of Manchester) answer to the question.

My Lord (said I) under favour, I conceive the thing I desire of your Lordship, is very just and rationall (& so it is if you consider their owne summons which expresly commands me to appeare before them to answere a charge) but if nothing will serve your turne but a possitive answere to the question, then my Lord there is an answere in writing under my hand and seale, which I will justifie and maintaine to the death, I beseech you it may be read;

And with this I gave my paper to Master Smith their Cleark then at their Barre: Whereupon the Earle of Lincolne stept up and said to the Speaker, my Lord what have wee to doe with his paper? command him to answer to the question.

Lieutenant Colonell Lilburne (saith the Earle of Manchester) the Lords command you to answer positively to the question, unto which I replyed my Lord, in that paper in Master Smiths hand is my answer to the question, and to all others whatsoever that you shall ask me, and no other answer I have to give you, neither shall I, and if that will satisfy you well and good, if not, seeke it where you can have it, for I for my part shall give you no other, where upon I was commanded to withdraw.

And one of the Lords commanded the Cleark to give me my paper, (for saith be, what shall wee doe with it) but I refused to take it, and tould them, I would not medle nor make with it, there it was, and it was enough to me, that I had delivered it at their open Barre, do what you will with it, for my Lords, I am as carelesse as you are, whether you will read it or no, so the Cleark threw it after me, but I would not medle with it, but withdrew, the words of which thus followeth.

The Protestation, Plea, and Defence of Lievtenant Colonell IOHN LILBVRNE.

Given to the Lords at their Barre, thursday Iune 11th. 1646. with his Appeall to his competent, propper, and legall tryers and Judges, the Commons of ENGLAND, assembled in PARLIAMENT.

John Lilbvrne
Lilbvrne, John
My Lords,

THis morning I received a summons under your Clearks hand, to appeare upon sight thereof before your Lordships in Parliament, to answer such things as I am charged with before your Lordships, touching a Booke called by your Warrant, a Pamphlet intituled, the Iust mans Iustification, or a Letter by way of Plea in Barre. My Lords I tould your Messenger, Mr. Bakers sonne, that your Lorships had dealt friendly, honourably, and fairely with me in my apprehension, in my late businesse, being in a legall and Parliamentary way, transacted, first by the House of Commons, and so brought before your Lordships, which did lye as a tye upon my spirit, by way of Obligation, and now I would repay it, in laying aside (so far at present my priviledge, as I am a Commoner of England) as in obedience to your summons (salvo jure) to appeare at your Barre, although (as I told him) your Lordships, by Magna Charta and the Law of this Kingdome have nothing to doe with me, being a Commoner in any judiciall way, to try me in a criminall cause either for life, limb, liberties or estate, which is now the present case betwixt your Lordships and me, as appeares by your own summons, and this I desired your messenger to tell your honours must of necessity be my plea at your Barr.

But that it may appeare that I do nothing headily or rashly either in contempt of your just rights and powers, which I desire you may long enioy, alwaies provided, you endeavour not my ruin and destruction with them, neither out of any desire in the least to contest with you, which in me to doe, (I acknowledge) would argue abundance of ingratitude, it being my principle to do to others as I would be done to myself; and as much as in me lyes, to endeavour to live in peace with all men.

But to be robbed of my life, or give way to be made a slave to any whomsoever, either by a voluntary giving up, or in silent suffering to be taken from me, my native, naturall, just legall and hereditary freedomes and liberties, I am resolved rather to undergo all extremities hazards, miseries, and deaths, which possibly the wit of man can devise, or his power and tirany inflict.

And therefore my Lords, you being Peeres as you are called, merely made by prerogative, and never intrusted or impowred by the Commons of England, the originall and fountaine of Power, Magna Charta the English mans legall birth right and inheritance, so often bought and redemed with such great seas of blood, and milions of money, hath justly, rationally, and well provided that your Lordships shall not sit in judgment, or passe sentence in Criminall causes, upon any Commoner of England either for life, limbe, liberty or estate, but that all Commoners in such cases shall be tryed only by their Peeres and equalls, that is to say their fellow Commoners, as is amply and effectually declared in the 29. ch. of that great Charter, which previledge & immunity cannot justly be taken away from the free Commoners of England by any power whatsoever on Earth, without a better and larger given in the roome of it, for all betrusted powers must and ought to be for the good of the trusters, Book decl. Pag. 150.

And this Charter in al ages hath in an especiall manner been maintained, preserved and defended by our Progenitors, and in a speciall manner confirmed by 5. of Edward 3. ch. 9 the words be these, that no man from henceforth shall be attached by any accusation, nor fore-judged of life nor limb, nor his land Tenements goods or chattles, seised upon otherwise then by the forme of the great Charter, which is further confirmed by the said King, in the 25. of his Raigne, ch. 4. and by the petition of Right-made in the third yeare of this present King; and the Act made for the abolishing the Star-chamber &c. made this present Parliament, therefore my Lords as a free Commoner of England, I doe here at your open Barre protest against all your present procedings against me in this pretended Criminall cause, as unjust and against the tenor and forme of the great Charter (which all of you have sworn unviolably to observe and caused the Commons of England to doe the same. And therefore my Lords I doe hereby declare and am resolved as in duty bound to God, my selfe, Country, and posterity, to maintaine my legall liberties, to the last drop of my blood, against all opposers whatsoever, having so often in the field &c. adventured my life therefore, and doe therfore from you and your Barre (as incrochers and usurping Judges) appeale to the Barre and tribunall of my competent, proper and legall triers and Judges, the Commons of England assembled in Parliament: in testimony whereof, to these presents I have set my hand and seal, this present eleventh day of June, 1646.


And being not long without, the Gentleman vsher came civelly to me, and told me I must put off my sword and give it to some of my friends, for I must go a prisoner to Newgate, so desiring to see my Commitment, and to have a coppy of it before I stird to go, I had it accordingly, which thus followeth.

Die Iovis 11 Iune 1646.

IT is this day Ordered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, that Lievtenant Colonell Iohn Lilburne 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, & that the Keeper of the said Prison shall keepe him in safely, untill the pleasure of this House be further signified, and this to be a sufficient Warrant in that behalfe.

Ioh. Brown Cler. Parl.

John Lilbvrne
Lilbvrne, John
June 11. 1646
To the Gentleman Vsher of this House, or his Deputy, to be delivered to the Keeper of Newgate.

My usage to me semes very strange, that for doing my duty, in a just way to bring Col. King to condigne punishment, I should be so tost and tumbled as I am, by his meanes, (that per Iure, ought to dye for his offence or at least by Law should be in durance, till he receive his just doom) clapt formerly by the heeles, (as in my epistle to Iudge Reeve is justly declared) and lately at Kings suite arrested upon an action of two thousand pounds, and brought into Court, that have nothing to doe with the businesse, it being dependant in Parliament, and there tyed up to such rules, formallities, and Puntillo’s, as all the reason I have, cannot understand, and then for writing my Plea, threatned, and told by the Judge himselfe I had forever undone my selfe, by endeavouring to root up by the roots, the fundamentall law of England, by which I enjoy my life, and all that I can call mine, though as I told his Lordship, although he were a Judge, yet under his Lordships favour I conceived he was in an error, I having not in the least, medled with any fundamentall, known or visible Law of England.

For the Law that I medled withall, was meerly, and onely an invisible, uncertain, and unknown Law, that resided in the Oracle of his Lordships breast, and his fellow Iudges, which (as I told him) I thought no man in England knew besides themselves, no nor I thought they themselves neither, no not two houres before they decreed, and adjudged it for Law.

And yet for all this I must be forced to dance attendance (contrary to Law) to answer a charge without forme or fashion in Law, at the Barre of the House of Peeres, who knew very well, or at least wise might know, that I knew as well as themselves their power, jurisdiction, and the Prerogative Fountain, from whence they sprung, as well as any of themselves, having sometimes discoursed of that subject freely with some of them.

And having lately (though unwillingly) contested with those, to whome by nature and interest, I am a thousand times more related unto then to them, meerely out of this principle, that I will not be a slave unto, nor part with my just liberty to any.

But I clearly perceive the hand of Joab to be in this, namely, my old back friend the Earle of Manchester the fountaine (as I conceive) of all my present troubles, who would have hanged mee for taking a Castle from the Cavaliers in York shire; but is so closely glu’d in intrest to that party, that he protected from justice Colonell King, one of his own Officers, for his good service in treacherously delivering or betraying Crowland to the Cavaliers, and never called, nor that I could heare, desired to call to account his Officer, or Officers, that basely, cowardly, and treacherously, betrayed and delivered Lincoln last up to the enemy, without striking one stroke, or staying till so much as a Troope of Horse, or a Trumpeter came to demand it, his Lordships Head hath stood it seemes too long upon his shoulders, that makes him he cannot be quiet, till Lievt. Gen. Crumwels Charge against him, fully proved in the House of Commons, be revived, which is of as high a nature I believe, as ever any charge given in there, the epittomy of which I have by me, & his Lordship may live shortly to see it in print by my meanes, and for my Lord of Stamford, at present I desire him to remember but one Article, made at the de-livery of Exeter, which it may be, may in time coole his furious endeavour to enslave the free People of England, the earthly Lord and Creator of his Creator, who I am confident do, and will scorn to be made slaves & vasssals, by the meer Creatures of their Creature the King. So being straightened in time at present, I bid you farewell, and rest.

Your faithfull Countryman, and a free Commoner of England.
From my Cock-loft in the Presse Yard of Newgate,
June 11. 1646

To the right Honourable the chosen and Representative body of England Assembled in Parliament.

John Lilbvrne
Lilbvrne, John
Iune 16. 1646

The humble Petition of L. C. Iohn Lilburne A Free man of England.


THat your petitioner hath and doth look upon this Honourable House, as the chosen and betrusted Commissioners of all the Commons of England, in whom alone (by right) resides the formall and legall supreame power of England, and unto whom all the Commons of England have given so much of their Power, as to inable you alone, to doe all things whatsoever for their weale, safety peace and prosperity, the end of all Government, as is most excellently, by your Honourable declaration of the 17. of April last declared.

The knowledge and understanding of which, hath made your petitioner as a Commoner (in his Countries straits and necessities) to take up armes as his duty, to fight against the King (the servant of the Common wealth) and all the forces raised by his Authority (who sought to destroy the end of Government, the safety and weale of the people) and to be faithfull in your said service, in the midst of many deaths; contemning and slighting, the large proffers of the Kings Honours and preferments, sent unto him by foure Lords, when he was a prisoner for you at Oxford, for which he was imediatly laid in Irons night and day, lockt up close in a room, a Centinell set at his dore, that so he might not speak with any whosoever, forced to lye on the floore, kept without one farthing of allowance although he carried not one penny with him to the prison.

And within a few daies after was (for his continued resolution) arraigned (in Irons) as a Traitor for his life before Judge Heath, before whom he pleaded to his indictment, professing unto him at the open barre (when he pressed your petitioner to save himselfe) that he your supplyant was not seduced by any to take up armes, but did it out of a principle of duty to himselfe, his country and the Paliament, and that he was resolved to spend his blood in the defence of his owne and his Countries liberties; also your petitioner upon the same grounds, hath often been in the field since, and done good services, and hath continued faithfull in all his ingagements, and is resolved (by the strength of God) so to doe to the death.

Now for as much as the liberties and freedomes contained in the 28. & 29. chap. of the great Charter of England, are the best legall inheritance that your petitioner hath, and for the preservation of which, yee have so often sworne to spend your lives and fortunes, and injoyned the people that trusted you to doe the same, and for the maintaining of which, your petitioner hath run the hazard of so many deaths and miseries as he hath done, amongst which liberties and priviledges this is not one of the least (as your petitioner humbly conceives) that all Commoners whatsoever in criminall causes shall be tried by their equals or fellow Commoners; nevertheles the House of Lords (commonly so called) summoned your petitioner to their Barre to answer a criminall charge there, contrary to the tenour of the great Charter so often confirmed, and although your petitioner told their Messenger, and afterwards some of themselves, that by Magna Charta they had nothing to doe with your petitioner in such a case, and that if he were called, he must and would plead this at their Barre, cost it him what it would, and also intreated one of themselves, to acquaint the rest of his fellow Lords, that he must and would protest against them, and appeale to his competent proper and legall tryers and judges your Honours.

Yet notwithstanding they forced your Petitioner to their Bar, and would have compel’d him, contrary to Law, reason, and Conscience, and to the fundamentall liberty of all the free People of England, (so adjudged in his own case of the Star-chamber &c, by your honours and themselves) to answere to Interrogatories concerning himselfe, without shewing him any formall and legall charge in writing, although he earnestly desired to see it, if they had any, which was refused, and your Petitioner pressed again and again with much vehemency, by their Speaker, to answer verball questions, which forced your Petitioner to deliver at their open Bar his Protestation, in writing under his hand and seale, as also his appeal to your Honours, his competent, proper and legall Tryers and Iudges; a true Coppy of which is hereunto annexed, for which alone, they committed your Petitioner to Newgate prison, (as appeares by the Coppy of their commitment hereunto annexed) all which your Petitioner humbly conceives, tends to the disfranchizing him of his just liberties and freedomes, (and so to the making him a slave) and to the violation of their own Oathes and Covenants, and to the utter subversion, and alteration of the fundamentall Lawes and government of this Kingdome, for the preservation of which, so much blood and treasure hath already been spent.

Your Petitioner therefore, as a free-man of England, (who to his knowledge never did any act that deserveth the forfeiting of his birth-right) humbly appealleth to your honourable Bar and Justice, as his proper, competent, legall tryers and Iudges, and humbly prayeth.

For as much as he is a free Commoner of England, and ought not to be proceeded against, nor his liberties and freedomes to be taken from him, in any arbitrary or extrajudiciall way. And for that their Lordships have no power, nor jurisdiction, according to the Law and constitutions of this Kingdome, to try and adjudge any free Commoner thereof, for any criminall causes whatsoever, concerning life, limb, liberty, or estate; And for that your Petitioner is imprisoned, contrary to the form and tenour of the great Charter of England, and therefore altogether illegall, and meerly arbitrary; That your Honours will be pleased, according to your unparaleld Declaration of the 17th of April last, whereby is set forth, that you will not exercise, nor suffer to be exercised by any other, any arbitrary power, but that you will provide for the safety and weal of the People, (the primitive end of all government) according to the great trust reposed in you, and committed to you, by your Impowrers, the Commons of England, you will take your Petitioner into your protection, and not suffer him any longer to be kept in prison, and spoyled of his Franchizes and liberties. But according to the said Charter of liberties, your Protestations, Oaths and Declarations, the lawes and Statutes of this Kingdome, he may freely be inlarged out of prison, and restored to his just libertie, with iust reparations for his damages, for the great wrongs done unto him, by his reproachfull imprisonment in the infamous prison of Newgate, and the vindication and freeing of the whole Kingdome (according to their long and iust expectation) from the like usurpation, and encroachment of their iust rights and privledges, and your Petitioner shall ever be ready to spend his life for you, and his Countries iust liberties, and in obedience to all iust authority, to answer any Charge, when the same shall be in a legall way brought against him.

And your Petitioner (as in duty bound) shall ever pray to God, to enable you to go on, to finish, and perfect the great things expected from you, according to the trust reposed in you.
Iune 16. 1646

A Postscript, containing a generall Proposition.

GOD, the absolute Soveraign Lord and King, of all things in heaven and earth, the originall fountain, and cause of all causes, who is circumscribed, governed, and limited by no rules, but doth all things meerly and onely by his soveraign 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 man (his meer creature) the soveraignty (under himselfe) over all the rest of his Creatures, Gen. 1. 26. 28. 29. and indued him with a rationall soule, or understanding, and thereby created him after his own image, Gen. 1. 26. 27. and 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 soveraign and absolute mighty creating power of God, was made a female, or Woman cal’d Eve which two are the earthly, original fountain, as begetters and bringers forth of all and every particular and individuall man and woman, that ever breathed in the world since, who are, and were by nature all equall and alike in power, dignity, authority, and majesty, none of them having (by nature) any authority dominion or majesteriall power, one over or above another, neither have they, or can they exercise any, but meerely by institution, or donation, that is to say, by mutuall agreement or consent, given, derived, or assumed, by mutuall consent and agreement, for the good benefit and comfort each of other, and not for the mischiefe, hurt, or damage of any, it being unnaturall, irrationall, sinfull, 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 undoe them therewith: And unnaturall, irrationall, sinfull, wicked, unjust, divelish, and tyranicall it is, for any man whatsoever, spirituall or temporall, Cleargy-man or Lay-man, to appropriate and assume unto himselfe, a power, authority and jurisdiction, to rule, govern, or raign over any sort of men in the world, without their free consent, and whosoever doth it, whether Cleargy-man, or any other whatsoever, doe thereby as much as in them lyes, endeavour to appropriate & assume unto themselves the Office and soveraignty of God, (who alone doth, and is to rule by his will and pleasure) and to be like their Creator, which was the sinne 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 chaines, under darknes, unto the judgement of the great day. Iude ver. 6. And Adams 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 mercifull unto him in the promised Messiah. Gen. Chap. 3.

From my cock-loft in the Presse yard Newgate.

Iune 19. 1646.

per me Iohn Lilburne.

Curteous Countrymen to fill up this vacant place I shall desire thee to reade the words of the Declaration of the House of Commons, published 27. Ianu. 1641. which you shall find in the 41. pag. of the booke of Declarations thus.

And this House doth further declare, That all such persons as have given any Councell, or endeavoured to set or maintain division or dislike, between the King and Parliament, or have listed their names, or otherwise entred into any combination or agreement, to be ayding, or assisting, to any such counsell or endeavour or have perswaded any other so to doe, or that shall do any the things above mentioned; And shall not forthwith discover the same to either House of Parliament: or the Speaker of either of the said Houses respectively, and desclaime it, are declared Publique Enemies of the State and Peace of this Kingdome, and shall be inquired of, and proceeded against accordingly.

Secondly the three Votes of both Houses May 20. 1642. which you shall find in the book of Declarations pa. 259.

Resolved upon the Question

1. That it appeares, That the King (seduced by wicked Counsell) 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 Kingdoms, and the performance of all duty and loyalty to His Person.

Resolved upon the Question.

2. That whensoever the King makes 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 this Government.

Resolved upon the Question

3. 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, and ought to suffer as Traitors. 11. Rich. 2. 1. Hen. 4.

Joh Browne Cler. Parliament.

3. The Declaration of both Houses in pa. 576. in these words, Whereas the King &c.

4. The words in their Declaration for the vindication of Ferdinando Lord Fairfax. as you shall find pa. 914. in these words, The said Lords &c.


T.68 (3.9) [William Walwyn], A Pearle in a Dounghill (23 June 1646).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.68 [1646.06.23] (3.9) [William Walwyn], A Pearle in a Dounghill (23 June 1646).

Full title

[William Walwyn], A Pearle in a Dounghill. Or Lieu. John Lilburne in New-gate: Committed illegally by the House of Lords, first for refusing (according to his Liberty) to answer Interrogatories, but protesting against them as not being competent Judges, and appealing to the House of Commons. Next committed close prisoner for his just refusing to kneel at the House of Lords Barre.

Estimated date of publication

23 June 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 447; Thomason E.342 [5]

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

ALTHOUGH most of States and States men be of late turned upside down like a wheele, yet this worthy valiant and publique spirited Gentleman (unto whom his Nation is as much bound to, at least as to any one, all things considered) is the very same man (both in principles and practise) whom the Bishops so long imprisoned in the Fleet by a most cruell and barbarous sentence, which they procured in the Star-chamber against him, and so was whipt, gag’d and pilloried, yea and in his close imprisonment almost famished and murthered.

And all because he would not submit to be examined against himselfe, betray his friends, accuse his brethren, nor sell the lawfull rights and just liberties of England, for a messe or morsell of base preferment, whose fidelity, constancy and integrity the Parliament justified, and condemned that sentence as illegall, bloody, and tyranicall, delivered him out of prison, adjudged him worthy of reparation, abolished Episcopacy, the Starchamber, High Commission, Councell-table and many such arbitrary proceedings.

All which being duely and seriously considered, may it not seeme very strange, that this so famous a man still holding forth the same tenets and practise now in time of Parliament and Reformation, should be now againe in Newgate as he was once before, by an Order from the House of Commons, both in lesse then a twelve moneth? Is it not because there is a Popish and Episcopall party under other pretences as busie working in the Kingdome now as ever? And as he was a speciall instrument of the Bishops overthrow, so those their agents are the prime causers and workers both of his ruine, and all that will take his part, if posibly they could once get that Decree scaled and un-altered, so that their should not be Separate or Sectary any more mentioned.

And though his malicious adversaries will not be warned of their Downfall, and are as mad against him, because he will not bow before them, as ever Hamon was against Mordecay; yea and more shamelesse and bloody, then ever his former adversaries in sending him to Newgate, the basest of prisons, and shewing plainly they thirst much more after his pretious life, then ever Kain did after Abels, his apparently proceeding of a present discontent, and theirs of a long forged malicious intent and therefore if God permit these wicked men thus to prevaile over the Godly, it is to crowne the sufferings of the one with glory, and to reward the persecutions of the other with misery.

But to take a view of his actions, wee find by such credible proofe, that his very adversaries shall not be able to contradict (yea and themselves did never the like) passing by both what he did, and suffered under the Episcopall tyranny, because large volumnes thereof are extant, and beginning, since his deliverance out of the Fleet prison at the beginning of the Parliament:

In the first place, hath he been ingratefull to his Deliverers, or perfidious to his Country? No his ingagements was with the first in this present warre; to defend his Country, and forseeking a comfortable and profitable way of living; his actions at Westminster-hall, Keintonfield, and Brainford, his cariage at Oxford in Iron Chaines, against strong temtations, and upon tryall for his life their will witness: his fidelity, magnanimity, and undaunted resolution to the Parliament and Commonwealth, and that in such measure that not many, if any of this age can shew the like testimony.

And for such as would recapitulate his actions and sufferings since, let them trace him in his service to the State, under the Earle of Manchester, and defending the publique freedomes since, and they will find that with the losse both of his blood, estate and many hazards of his life, he hath performed Noble services, as the taking of Tickle castle. Sir John Wortleys house and the like, in all which, malice it selfe cannot accuse him, either of Cowardice or Covetousnesse.

No nor yet of carelesnesse, not deeming it sufficient to be faithfull himselfe, but alwaies held a watchfull eye over the actions of others, and as bold in discovery of the Fraud, Treachery, Cowardice, Cruelties, plundering and Covetousnesse, of false hearted friends, as valiant in fight against the enemies:

And now if you will begin to think why a man so faithfull in all his waies should be so lyable to trouble as he hath been (for he hath been divers times in Pursevants hands and so committed by Committees) if you shall consider how this Pearle comes to be cast upon this Dounghill, you will find, the faithfulnesse of his heart towards God and all good People, and the freenesse of his tongue against all kinde of injustice or unworthinesse in whomsoever, is the only cause and no other.

And if you seriously weigh things, you will confesse it would grieve any good mans heart, that Treachery, Cowardice, Cruelty, plundering and Covetousnesse have bin too too slenderly punished, and faithfullnesse so many waies discouraged, and that it is a very sad thing in a time so zealously pretending to reformation:- That any quiet people should be punished and reproached, for worshiping and serving of God according ‘to their conscience, and (that trouble house) Conformity as much Cried up as in the Bishops times.

That the Presse should be stopt in time of Parliament, as barring all free intormations, and admitting only what appointed Lycencers shall allow; doth it not even breake the hearts of all knowing good People, to see the doors kept shut in Committees, and men examined against themselves, and for refusing to accuse themselves, sent to Prison; and that free Commoners, who by the Lawes of the Land, are not to be adjudged of life, limb, liberty or estate, but by Commoners: should at the pleasure of the Lords, be lyable to their summons, and attachment by Pursevants, to their Oath ex officio, to their examination in criminall causes, to selfe-accuseing, and to imprisonment during their pleasures, the chosen Commons of England, the SUPREAME POWER, standing by like a cypher, as unconcerned, meer lookers on; this is that which puts wise men past all patience, asking, for what it is that this Nation hath ingaged in such, in so deadly a war? For what it is so much precious blood hath been spilt, so many Families wasted, so much treasure consumed, so many Widowes and fatherlesse children made miserable? Is all this to take down the High Commission, Star-chamber, and Councell-Board: and to set up the Lords with the like power, to oppresse the Commons? It had been well say they, this had been declared, when our Money, Plate, Horse, and voluntary Contributions, were first desired. But then other things were mentioned, though now neglected.

We had (say they) as many Lords before the Parliament as since, and it was often boasted they should remove our grievances, as well as a Parliament, but it was done by addition, and increase of more, not by Substraction; God forbid a Parliament should doe so. But why then (say they) are we now subjected to the Lords? Is it not sufficient that they are Lords over their Tennants, but they must be Lords over the People; that every one must be at their summons, at their command, at their imprisonment, yea to Newgate; why not whipping, gagging, hanging? Oh, they are but green in their power, and do not know what the People will beare, nor what the Peoples friend (that should be) the HOUSE OF COMMONS will suffer; hereafter may be time enough, they are yet the Peoples most gracious Lords, intending to the most knowing, faithfull and religious, no worse then Newgate for the present.

And why presume ye thus Oh ye Lords? Set forth your merit before the People, and say, for this good it is, that we will raign over yee. Remember your selves, or shall wee remember yee? Which of ye before this Parliament, minded anything so much as your pleasures? Playes, Masques, Feastings, Huntings, Gainings, Dauncings, with the appurtenances. If you owed any man money, or abused any man, what law was to be had against you? What Patients and Projects did you suppresse, or so much as move against; (nay had not a hand in?) What fearfull enemies you were to Shipmoney, and to the proceedings of the High Commission, Star-chamber, and Councell board, indeed your goodnes was inexpressible, and undiscernable, before this Parliament.

But though you cannot excuse all, you will say, you that are the good Lords were then over topt with the evill, will you then be tryed by what good you have done since this Parliament, and since the expulsion of the Popish Lords and Bishops, where will you begin? What thinke you of the stay at Worcester, till the Enemy was provided at Shrewsbury, a shrewd beginning for poor England? Or what thinke you of the Earle of Bedfords busines at Sherburn Castle, or of the enemies escape at Brainford, or at Oxford or at Dennington, and to close all with that memorable but shamefull defeat in the West; It must needs be remembred how the warre thrived, whil’st any Lord was imployed: and how powerfull the enemy is grown, since the New Modell, wherein there is not one Lord.

It was wont to be said when a thing was spoil’d, that the Bishops Foot had been in it, and if the LORDS MEND NOT, it will be said so of them, and justly too.

For what other have they been, but a meer Clog to the HOUSE OF COMMONS in all their proceedings? How many necessary things have they obstructed? How many evill things promoted? What devices have they had of prudentials and expedients, to delay and pervert what is good: and subtill policies to introduce things evill.

It is easie to discerne who are their Creatures in the House of Commons, and how they were made theirs, constantly manifesting themselves, by their evill and pernitious partakings against the Freedome of the People, by whose united endeavours, Monopolies in Trades of Merchandize, Oppressions in Committees, Corruptions in Courts of Justice, grosse abuses in our Lawes and Lawyers are maintained, and the Reformation intended in all things, performed by halves, nay, quite perverted, and a meer shadow given for a substance, to the astonishment of all knowing free born Englishmen, and to their perpetuall vexation and danger; Because to know, or find fault, or discover these things, to preserve just freedome, and to withstand their Exorbitances: is the most hatefull thing to these Lords, of any thing in the world, Newgate (in their esteem) is too good for all such.

And this is the only crime for which this worthy man is made the subject of their malice, a man that hath discovered more of the liberties of England, then any one man alive; a man that hath resisted all kinds of Oppressions, with the perpetuall hazard of his life, liberty and estate.

And must no place but Newgate be his habitation? Is this the reparation for his damages, and recompence for his faithfull service? Must he be here reserved a sacrifice to appease the displeasure of the late reconciled enemies of the Common-wealth.

Thou do’st well O England, to give up this thy firstborn LILBURNE, the SON of thy STRENGTH, and high RESOLUTION, for FREEDOME; If thou intendest to become a Bond slave again, to either King, Lords, or any others: for he will never submit either body of mind to any kind of slavery.

But certainly those Worthyes in the House of Commons, that consider what the People have done and suffered for their libertyes will never suffer so foule a deed, it cannot be but they intend the uttermost of just freedome to the People, and love those best, that most know and affect true liberty, and are greatest opposers of exorbitant power in whomsoever; and consequently cannot but instantly deliver this just man, and in him all Englishmen, from the like oppression: and henceforth reduce the Lords to a condition suteable to the freedome of the People, and consistent with the freedome of Parliaments.

The People are become a Knowing and Judicious People, Affliction hath made them wise, now Opression maketh wise men mad, ther’s no deluding wise men, it is all one to them, who oppresseth them, oppression they cannot but hate, and if Parliaments do in deed and in truth really deliver them, they will love Parliaments, as performing the trust reposed in them, and the end for which Parliaments were ordained, otherwise they will abominate them, because, for a people to be made slaves, by, or in time of Parliament, is like as for a man to be betrayed or murthered by his own father; which God of his mercy preserve both People and Parliaments from, and that for ever.

June, 1646

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T.287 [1646.06.18] William Ball, Constitutio Liberi Populi. Or, The Rule of a Free-born People (18 June, 1646)

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T.287 [1646.06.18] William Ball, Constitutio Liberi Populi. Or, The Rule of a Free-born People (18 June, 1646).

Full title

William Ball

Constitutio Liberi Populi.




Free-born People.





In Deum Omnia.

Printed, Anno Dom. 1646.

Estimated date of publication


Thomason Tracts Catalog information


Malcolm/Editor’s Introduction

Little information has survived about William Ball of Barkham, esquire. He and his friend Sir Francis Pile, baronet, to whom he dedicated “Constitutio Liberi Populi. . . ,” were both from Berkshire. Ball was probably the William Ball, attorney of the Exchequer Court’s Office of Pleas. If so he started out writing as a royalist pamphleteer but apparently had a change of heart by 1645 when he stood for, and was elected to, the Long Parliament for Abingdon. Certainly the views expressed in this tract published the following year would have placed him among the radicals.

The preface of the present tract is dated 12 May 1646, the month Charles I surrendered. The probable publication date was 18 June 1646. The collapse of the royal cause with the surrender of the king had provoked urgent discussion about the appropriate shape of a future government. Concerns that had arisen during the first winter of civil war, when Parliament was negotiating with the king, reemerged with greater force. Again there was the danger, as radical supporters of Parliament saw it, that members of the Commons eager for a settlement might betray the cause.

Ball’s tract makes it clear, however, that he was a champion of popular, not parliamentary, sovereignty. He insists that if a people are free-born as the English are, ultimate power resides in them, not in their government. That being so if either the king or Parliament attempted to deprive them of their rights, the people were entitled to resist. In this he differs from the Levellers who looked to representative government to protect the people. When Levellers referred to appeals to the people, they meant new elections. Their goal was to make parliaments more truly representative.

“Constitutio Liberi Populi” appeared in a single edition. Other tracts by Ball would follow. In 1648 he engaged in a lively published exchange with the imprisoned royalist judge, David Jenkins, over the power of kings and the role of the people. There is uncertainty over Ball’s activities after 1648. Although he was not purged from the Long Parliament by Colonel Pride in December of that year, he did not serve in the Rump Parliament that succeeded it. Ball’s friend Pile had been elected to Parliament about the same time as Ball and, like Ball, was not excluded during Pride’s Purge but does not seem to have sat in Parliament after that event. Both men may have been so distressed by the army’s purge of Parliament that they chose to abandon their seats. Such behavior would have accorded with Ball’s views about sovereignty residing with the people. In any event Ball continued to publish during the 1650s.

Text of Pamphlet

Constitutio Populi Liberi. Or, the Rule of a Free-Born People.

First, Reason is Queen-Regent of Human Affaires; by the sight whereof men discern to walke in the prudent paths of Morality and Policy, even as by the Light of the Day they discerne to tread the paths of the Earth. And albeit that this interior light of understanding is in Divine things darkened, by the fall of our first Parent, yet doth the Eternall Light ever communicate to Mankind sufficiency of Reason (I intend for worldly things) thereby to direct his goings out, and comings in (according to the unnecessitating determination of God) as it were by a cloudy Daylight, though not a cleare Sunshine, whereby the Actions of men may severally be discerned.

2. Not long since I wrote a small Treatise, intituled, Tractatus de jure Regnandi, et Regni, or the Sphear of Government,1 the which albeit I conceived that I had squared it according to the Rule of Reason; yet some conceive, that it wants its true proportion, or line, and that I have too much extended the Innate liberty of the Free-born People of England: to satisfie (or otherwise convince) such, I have published this Epitome of State-Rule, or Government, desiring all men to weigh, and consider what I have written, not with the Prejudicating Eye of Affectation (which many times misleadeth apprehensive judgments) but with the Ballance of Reason to ponder every Graine, and if the weight be just, and levell to approve, and accept of it; if somewhat too light, to adde of their own understandings what is deficient.

3. It is certain, that had Man never fell from his state of Innocence, there had been a superiority, or rather priority in Nature (viz. That the Parent should have been known and reverenced as the Instrumentall cause of the Child, &c.) but there had been no soveraignty, and consequently no subjection; for had there been no sinne there had been no need of a justiciating Power, nor a Subject to which that Power could have determinated, or terminated itself; every man’s Actions would have been regulated by the Eternall Law, written in the hearts of men; So that there had been no need of Additionall, or Nationall Lawes. Wherefore (by the way) I cannot assent to the Opinion of that Gentleman (Fortescue) who said, that all Mankind should have been governed by the Lawes of England, if Adam had not sinned in Paradise; for by his favour if Adam had never sinned [in School-Reason, or Divinity] he had either always lived in Paradice, or else finished a compleat thousand years (which the Apostle Peter calls a Day with God, 2 Pet. 3.8.) and then had he either been assumed into Heaven alive, or else (if God had decreed a separation between his Soul and Body) he had yeelded himself into the hands of his Creator, sine dolore mortis, sine timore paenae, without pain of death, or fear of punishment, and had left his Earthly habitation to his posterity, who should have possessed and enjoyed the same, without any the least contention, or controversie, regulated only by the Eternal Law aforesaid. But (to return) no sooner sinne, but with it subjection entered as a curse, and therefore God said to woman, that she should not only bring forth in pain (which God would have dispenced withall if she had not sinned) but also that her desire should be subject to her Husband, and he should reign over her, Gen. 3.16. It is very probable that if she had not sinned, she should notwithstanding have tendered a reverence to her Husband as more noble in Sex and created before her in time but she should not have rendered a subjective Obedience, if disobedience had not made her subject.

4. And albeit that subjection is a scourge of sinne, yet it hath pleased the Almighty according to his divine will, to cause some Persons, and Nations, to be more subject than other some; many times enthralling, and enslaving them by Tyrannicall, or Imperious Instruments for their sinnes (as the sacred Bookes of the Judges, Kings, and Chronicles sufficiently declare) and upon their Humiliation, or for other secret causes known to his Divine wisdome, he hath mercifully released, or mitigated their yoak, as the sacred Writ yea and human Records testifie at large. And sometimes God hath done this by speciall, or miraculous meanes, as he did to the people of Israel; sometimes by ordinary wayes, as the Florentines (albeit of late enslaved) purchased their liberty of the Emperour for money, and so also did other Cities of Italy, and elsewhere in Europe, others by plain defiance and Arms, have regained their Freedome (that is, to dispose of themselves) as did the Cantons of Switzerland, the Provinces of Holland, Zeland, &c. and either of these wayes may be said to be just; for Id Iuris est, quod Nationis est, that is lawfull, or Law which a Nation generall approveth, or admitteth of; and there need no speciall Warrant from God for anything that they shall do agreeable to their Naturall, or Human Reason, anymore than it needed to the petty Kings and people of Sodom, and Gomorrah (instanced in my former Treatise) or to the Nation of the Jewes in the time of the Machebees. And albeit that a Nation in generall should approve, and admit an erroneous Law (as I know not any Nation, State, or Parliament that is infallible) yet such Law ought to be kept, and observed as a Law, because men have power to tie and oblige themselves to inconveniences (if God prevent not and prudent Reason dictate not the contrary) as to conveniences, and their Errour being Nationally generall, must either be admitted of all persons (comprehended within their Rule) as legall just, or else permitted, because it is constituted by the highest Power human, from which there is no appeale but to God, who in his good time will either mercifully illuminate their understandings or reform their Errour, or justly chastise them for their perseverance in Errour.

5. And the Rule of a Free-born People, or a People free to dispose themselves consists in that, wherein the People in generall constitute or determine themselves, not in that wherein they are constituted; or determined, tanquam ab alio agente, by some other instrumentall cause, for then are they not free. So that it is destructive to the very Essence of their Freedome not to be able to determine themselves to that which they conceive to be Bonum commune, that being their adaequate, and proper object. And this they must not be able to do sometimes only, and originally, but perpetually, otherwise, deficiunt a libertate proprie loquendo, & sunt tantum liberi secundum quid, vel denominative; they cease to speak truly, to be free, and are only free in Denomination or a kind of Titulary Freedome; for naturall Reason dictates, that everything ceases to continue, when the Form thereof, or the Originall Form ceases to be; so that if a people can Originally dispose or determine themselves, and cannot afterwards Actually do it, their Original power, or form of disposing or determining themselves ceases to be—But it is to be noted, that no People in the world (intending to be free) subditi potius quam subjecti, and who have either conserved their Originall Freedome, or Actually regained it, do, or did ever grant a Power to one, or more or constitute a Power in one, or more that should be destructive to their intended Originall Freedome; For as John Cook of Gray’s Inne Barrester, in his Epistle Dedicatory, in a Booke entituled the Vindication of the Professours, and Profession of the Law,2 hath ingeniously said; All Power and Authority is given for preservation, and edification, nothing for destruction and desolation; so that albeit a People, or Nation, to avoid disorder, do constitute a Ruler, or Rulers to conserve Order and do generally consent to direct their human Affaires according to such Rules as shall be by him, or them, or both given or prescribed; yet they ever intend that such Rules must not be directly opposite, or against the Law of Nature, or their Naturall Liberty. If they be, they may chuse whether, or no they will admit, or receive them; they constitute, or institute their Ruler or Rulers their power extensive, but not primitive, or intensive, that is to say, their innate and inseperable Freedome ever intended to dispose, or determine themselvs, In bonum commune prout omnibus visum erit, this they never part, or parted withall; for at what time soever they should do it, they cease to be Populus liber, or liberi subdita, a free People, or a People which are freely under a Law by common consent as aforesaid—And of this I shall instance a similitude in Nature: The Element of Water is not of itselfe extensively coloured, but is apt or applicable to receive any colour; yet it is intensively white (it being Nature’s Innocent Originall colour) as is sufficiently discerned, when it is converted into Snow, or congealed into Ice, or praecipitated Torrent-like, by an extraordinary fall. So People or Nations are not of themselvs extensively regulated but apt or applicable to receive any Rule, which they, whom they institute, or intrust, shall apply unto them; howsoever they are intensively free to dispose themselves (it being their Natural-Innocent-Originall Rule) as is sufficiently discerned by the severall Alterations of Government in Athens, Rome, Geneva, Switzerland, Holland, and many other places, where the people’s affections have been either congealed by their over-domineering Lords (as it were creatures of the second Region of the Aire) or (Torrent-like) have been praecipitated by an extraordinary fall, occasioned by some violent disturbers of their common Liberty (τὸ ἀνθρόπινον ἀγαθὸν) the generall benefit of Mankind. For my part, Anathema be to such, who desire to deprive a King of His just Prerogative; Anathema be to such, who desire to deprive a Parliament of their just Priviledge: but Anathema Maranatha3 be to such who should any way desire to deprive a Free-born People of their just Liberty, or Propriety.

6. Nor can I conceive, but that the English Nation, or People are (if rightly considered) one of the most freest Nations in the World; for they cause, or require their Kings to take their Oaths to conserve their Lawes and Liberties, before the Crown actually invest their Temples; thereby shewing that they reserve, and intend their generall Liberty and Propriety. And albeit, that a King of England have his Ius Regnandi, or Right of Reigning by Inheritance as I have instanced in my former Treatise; yet illud jus quamvis sit quoad potentiam, sive officium potestatis derivativum, est tamen quoad exercitium potestatis Relativum, that Right of Reigning, although it be derivative in respect of the King’s personall Authority, or rather Office for Authority, yet is it relative in respect of his Exercising, or performing that Authority; for though the people obey the King as their chiefe Ruler, or Magistrate before his Oath taken, yet it is ever with reference, or relation, that He should take His Oath for their preservation, and good in generall, and performe the same; otherwise they have recourse to their primitive, or intensive power, as in the case of Edward the second, from whom Sir William Trussell, Speaker of the Parliament, in the name of all men, or people of England, constrained, or took his Royall Office, or Authority; or to speak more truly, deprived him of it, without any former precedent, exercising the intensive power of the people; for Trussell said not to EDWARD the second, in the Name of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, or in the Names of the Commons assembled in Parliament, but in the Name of all men or people of England, &c. thereby expressing, or manifesting the People’s Primitive, or intensive Power, more than the Parliament’s secundary or extensive Authority.

7. And as the English Nation, or People cause their Kings formally to swear, or take their Oaths to conserve their Lawes, and Liberties; so they cause the Parliament (I meane the Body collective, or representative of the People, viz. the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses) to take their Oaths (if not formally) yet at the least virtually, to conserve their generall Liberty, and Propriety, to do all good they may for the places that intrust them; all which they faithfully promise at their Elections. So that the English Nation, or People never gave, or voluntarily assented, that their Kings, or Parliaments, or Both, should have an absolute Domineering, or Arbitrary power over them, but only a Discretive, or Legall Authority intended ever for their good in generall; their ever reserved, and as it were Essentiall Propriety.

8. Wherefore I cannot but marvell at such (whether Kingly Royalists, or Parliamentary Realists, in this case it makes no matter) as by a kind of Idolizing King, or Parliament, or King and Parliament, would suppose, or perswade the People that their Lives, Liberties, and Proprieties are disposable by King, and Parliament, ad Placitum; one John Cook of Graye’s Inne Barrister,4 by me already cited, hath in his Vindication of the Professours, and Profession of the Law inserted, that I have in my former Book, intituled, The Spheer of Government,5 introduced a dangerous Opinion, by putting, or stating a supposition, or rather a Praesuppositive case, that if King, and Parliament, or King, or Parliament, should make an Act that they would, and might dispose of all Subjects’ Estates in England (he should have added ad Placitum, for those are my words) that in such case the Counties, Cities, and Townes corporate might if not remedied declare, and protest against such an Act, if violated, then they might defend themselves by Armes. And to convince this my Assertion, in the next Page, he sayes, if the supream Court be not supream to all intents, it is not supream to any intent, because there is an higher above it. This is no good consequence; for a Power (and consequently a Court of Power) may bee supream to some things, yet not to all. The King of Polande, for life, is supreame to appoint what place he thinks fit within the Precincts of the Dominions of Poland for the convening or assembling the Diets, or Courts of the Peers Spirituall and Temporall of that Kingdome; and the King of Poland is also supreame to censure, or punish any of his owne Tenants, and Vassals, or Slaves; yet is he not supreame to censure, or punish any of the chiefe Nobility, but by consent of his Assembly, or Court of Peers; nor can hee meddle with any of their Tenants, Vassals, or Slaves; or determine absolutely of Peace or Warre, &c. In the Common-Wealth of Geneva (which he calls a pure Democracy) the People in generall are supreame to nominate, or elect Two Hundred which are the Grand-Councell; and those Two Hundred are supreame to nominate, or elect the Twenty five, and yet not supreame to elect the foure Syndiques, or Annuall Governours, or rather Rulers, &c. So that it is no good consequence (as afore-said) to affirme that, if the Supreame Court be not supreame to all intents, it is not supreame to any intent, because there is another above it. For in Geneva it is evident, that the Two Hundred or Grand-Councell, is the supreame Court, and yet not supream to all Intents; the People indeed, or Common-Wealth in generall, (which are the supreame Power, though not Court) are supreame to all Intents; but of that hereafter.

9. But the Gentleman sayes, that there are in the Kingdome so many thousand Acres of Land, either the Parliament may settle, and determine the Right of all their Acres (hee meant surely those Acres) or not of any one of them, for there is no medium, &c. But what is this to the purpose, of the Parliament having a power to dispose of all Subjects’ Estates ad placitum? Who knowes not, but that the Parliament can determine the Right of all Acres in England, in foro judicii, as v. g. the Parliament can determine whether White Acre belong to Right to Oakes, or Stiles, let the Title of either of them be never so difficult, or obscure, and the Parliament can determine whether or no, Oakes or Stiles have forfeited their Propriety of, or to White Acre for Delinquency, &c. Moreover the Parliament can (which no other Court can doe) applicare in necessitatem Regni, apply to, or for the necessity of the Kingdome so much of the profits of White Acre, as to them shall seeme convenient; provided that the cause, or causes thereof be made manifest, that Oakes, Stiles, and all men may (if they will) take notice thereof; and provided also, that an Accompt be given how and which way the profits of White Acre have beene for such cause, or causes applied, and disposed of; for no Free-born Englishman (much lesse the Nation in generall) ought to be deprived of any his Right, or propriety without good cause. Notwithstanding the Parliament of England cannot disponere ad Placitum, dispose at their will and pleasure barely of White Acre (no, nor of one Acre of waste in England) v. g. that whereas White Acre belongs of Right to Oakes, Stiles shall notwithstanding have it because it is their will and pleasure; this they cannot doe; for at what time they should do it (albeit I suppose it almost impossible that they should do it, as I have formerly instanced) they faile, or fall from the Protection of the People, and usurpe to themselves an absolute Arbitrary and irregular Power, destructive to the generall good of the People and consequently cease to be a Parliament, and become Tyrants and Oppressors.

10. I cannot therefore but somewhat admire, that a Lawyer, and one that seemeth unto me to have understood Logic, should be (having been as it seemes to me sometimes seasoned with Intellectuals) so unsound in his Intellectuals, as not to distinguish between Disposing at Pleasure, and Determining of Right, or setling according to Right, being things of a different species, and not magis, or minus, in the same species. But it is not amisse to take a little notice how the Gentleman opposes himself; in his Book Page 4. he sayes, it is resolved in the Earl of Leicester’s Case, that an Act of Parliament against the Law of God and Nature is void; but this must be cautiously understood (sayes he) that I speak not of secundary, or lesse principalls of Nature, &c. Pray let him tell me, whether to dispose of Oakes’, or Stiles’ white Acre ad Placitum, be not directly against the Law of God and Nature; the Decalogue sayes, Thou shalt not steale; Thou shalt not desire thy Neighbour’s house, &c. And Nature dictates, doe, as thou wouldst be done unto. Now he, or they that dispose at their owne pleasure, of their Neighbour’s Acre, or Acres, do steale, for that he, or they deprive their Neighbour, or Neighbours of their Right, and Propriety; they covet also, for that they desire, and acquire to themselves a power of disposing at pleasure; they oppose also directly the Law of Nature, for they would not have anyone to dispose of their Propriety ad Placitum, or at their own wills, and therefore ought not to doe it to another; so that if the King and Parliament should make an Act, or King, or Parliament make an Ordinance, that they might dispose of all Subjects’ Estates, ad Placitum, &c. they oppose the Law of God and Nature, and even by his own citation, and assertion, it is void. And I am sure it is also directly opposite to the Rule, frame, and constitution of a free Nation (such as are the English, being no Turkish, or Muscovian slaves) where the Rulers and Governours are but intrusted (as I in my former Treatise have instanced) for the generall good of the Nation. And the Gentleman, albeit he hath cavelled at me in the latter end of his Book, yet hath he confessed, and acknowledged as much in his Epistle Dedicatory in two severall places. The first is by me already cited, notwithstanding I will mention the words again; which are, all Power and Authority is given for Preservation, and Edification, nothing for destruction, and desolation; the others in the same page are, for by the fundamental constitutions of this Kingdom, and the very frame and series of Government, the Power is intrusted into their hands to superintend and supervise all other Courts of Justice. Now surely if Power be intrusted to the Parliament (as truly it is) then can they not go beyond their Trust to dispose of the Free People of England their Estates, ad Placitum, but only to determine of them, ad Rectum, or Ius, or to apply them ad necessitatem Regni, to or for the necessity of the Kingdome, of which necessity they are the Judges. The Gentleman sayes, that many a man marries a widow that would be gladly rid of her children. For my part, I know not whether, or no, the Gentleman be married; or whether he have married a Maid, or Widow, but I am sure (if he rightly consider it) he may be glad to be rid of his sickbrain begotten Childe [his Asserveration that the Parliament is unlimited, and consequently may dispose of all the Subjects’, or Peoples’ Estates, ad Placitum] for I verily believe, that no man found in his Intellectuals will harbour it, or give it entertainment, nor can himself sustain it.

11. I grant him that the Parliament is the highest Court extensive (viz. to conserve the Rule, Order, &c.) but the People in generall (viz. the Counties, Cities, and Towns corporate) are the highest, or greatest Power Intensive, in that they are the efficient, and finall cause under God, of the Parliament. Now the efficient and finall causes are the most noble of causes, nor are they, or can they be subject, or subordinate to their owne effects, so farre forth as they are causes of such effects; so that the Parliament can never deprive the Counties, Cities, and Towns Corporate, by an Act, or Ordinance whatsoever, of their innate, and inseparable Right and Power of Electing, or creating Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, de futuro, or for time to come, whereby a Parliament might be instituted, or assembled by any other way, than by way of free Election. No more can the Parliament deprive the free People, or Nation of England, of their Generall Liberty, and propriety, for in these things the Sphear of the Parliament’s Activity is circumscribed by the Nation’s large Bulke of Primitive, or intensive Power. Wherefore the Gentleman mistakes when he sayes page 89. It is impossible that the supreame Court in any Kingdome should be limited, &c. In these Precedents, amongst free Nations all supreame Courts are de facto, limited; as in Aragon, Geneva &c.

And for my part, I cannot find that the Parliament Practiceth an unlimited or absolute Power, for amongst other things they have instituted Committees, and Sub-Committees of Accompts, not only to vindicate themselves from the scandall imputed by some, (viz. that the Parliament should exact more from the people than the necessity of the Kingdome required, &c.) but also to give the people a generall satisfaction, how, and which way their Estates are applied, and imployed for the Necessity of the Kingdome.

12. And now I think good further to satisfie the Gentleman and such as adhere or incline to his opinion aforesaid, concerning the Primitive or Intensive power of a free People. I have already said that a free People are ever free to dispose, and determine themselves in Bonum commune, prout omnibus vissum erit, to a generall common good, as it shall seeme good to themselves: and that they never part, or parted with this power, for that at what time soever they should doe it they cease to be Populus liber, or liberi subditi, a free People &c. And to make this Assertion more conspicuous, and plaine, I instance this simile; Joint Free-holders, or Free-holders jointly, let a Lease for one thousand, or two thousand yeares, if the World endure so long, with reservation notwithstanding of a continuall acknowledgment to themselves, or otherwise the said Lease shall determine, and cease to be, and it shall be lawful for the said Free-holders, their Heires, or Successours to reenter into the said Free-hold, or Free-holds, and to dispose and settle them, at their pleasure. Even so a free Nation, or People let a Lease of their power for one thousand, two thousand, ten thousand yeares if the World so long endure, (no matter what time) to their Rulers (whom they institute and intrust) in which they give and grant power to them of Determining conserving, and applying their Liberties, Rights, and Proprieties justly, So to the particular good of every man, as may not repugne the generall good of all; so to the generall good of all men, as may not annihilate the particular good of one unjustly, or indirectly; with reservation notwithstanding of a continuall acknowledgment to, or for themselves, that they (viz. the Nation, or People) are the efficient cause of their power, by electing, and creating them; and that they are not to domineer over, or dispose of their Liberties, and Proprieties, ad placitum, but only to determine of them ad Rectum, and apply them to the generall good of the Kingdome, according to the necessity of the Kingdome, Nation, or People, as aforesaid; if otherwise their Power determines, and ceases to be; and it may be lawfull for the Nation or People to re-enter viz. to make use of their first primitive power, and to dispose and settle themselves at their pleasure, or as they shall think good. And even as the Free-holders cease not to be Free-holders, notwithstanding their long Lease, for that there is a Reservation of a continuall acknowledgment due unto them, and a power of Re-entry in case of Breach of Covenants, and the like; even so a free Nation, or people, cease not at any time to be free, notwithstanding their long Lease of Trust, for that there is a Reservation of a continuall acknowledgment belonging unto them (viz. that they are the efficient cause, de saeculo in saeculum, from Age to Age) and they have likewise a power of using their power primitive, and intensive, or power alwayes intended and reserved, in cases aforesaid. Notwithstanding, as the Free-holders cannot re-enter, but only in case of Breach of Covenant aforesaid; for if otherwise they do it, they are meere usurpers, and Oppressours; so the free Nations, or people cannot use their primitive, or intensive power, but only when the fundamental frame of their Efficient Power and their Liberties, and Proprietie are destroyed or violated ad placitum, as aforesaid, if otherwise they doe it they are meer Rebels and Anarchists, for they have intrusted all their other Judiciall Power concerning Determination, Conservation, and Application to their Rulers.

13. The Gentleman whom I have formerly cited hath said in his Book, that he never heard or read of anything more prejudiciall to the Parliament’s Authority, than my Assertion in my last Book, and in this, (viz. that the Parliament cannot dispose of the Free-people, or Subjects’ Estates here in England, ad placitum; but I must tell him that I never read of a more prejudicious, or pernicious to the Parliament, than to say that they may doe it; for what say many of the vulgar; if the Parliament may dispose of our Estates at their pleasure, how shall wee know that they will not? If any man tell them, that it is very unlikely, that so many will never consent to doe such a thing, for that they might by that means enslave their own Posterities. What say they, if they can dispose of all the Subjects’ Estates ad placitum, for ought we know they might exempt themselves, their Heires, and Successours; and likewise for ought we know they might make a Law that they will no more be Elected, or created by the Counties, Cities, and Townes Corporate, but by a perpetuall Denomination by, or from themselves. And what can be of more dangerous consequence, than that such an Opinion, or Opinions as these should once take root in the mindes of the Common People? And what can sooner cause them to take root than that they finde and reade a printed Booke allowed of to that purpose? But if one tell the vulgar, that the Parliament cannot dispose of the Subjects’ Estates ad placitum, or meerly at their pleasure, but that they can only apply in an equall way the Estates of the People to, or for the necessity of the Kingdome, of which Necessity they are the Judges; and likewise that the PARLIAMENT cannot make a Law, or Ordinance, that the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses, shall, or may be appointed, or denominated by themselves (thereby to alter the frame and constitution of this NATION) but that they must perpetually from Age to Age be Elected, or created by the Counties, Cities and Towns Corporate; then they begin to harbour a better Opinion, and are more inclinable to undergoe their Ordinances. And I believe that the intent why the HONOURABLE HOUSE OF COMMONS published lately a Declaration the Seventeenth of April, 1646.6 Ordered to be read in Churches, was to undeceive the People that they never had any thought to dispose of their Estates ad placitum, and so forth; for they expresly say, and Declare, To maintain the Ancient and Fundamentall Government of this Kingdome, to preserve the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, &c. Wherefore I would not have the Gentleman, or any other to run beyond the marke; I like not Quid nimis, it hath been the cause of many Enormities in Church and Common-wealth. For my part I wish, as I have ever wished, and formerly expressed myselfe, that the King might enjoy his just Prerogative (as some call it) or Right of Reigning; and I wish, and desire as much as any other, that the Parliament might sustain their Priviledges, and Judicatory Power. But I could never suffer, nor would I if it were in my power any way to prevent it, endure that my Nation, or Fellow-Subjects should be enslaved by any Exorbitant Power (Potentate or Potencies) Forrain or Domestic; And I doubt not, but that the Ruler of Heaven and Earth will by his Divine Providence establish such Rulers and Rules in this KINGDOME, as may be a meanes to conserve this Nation from slavery and thraldome, AMEN.

Furthermore, having in my former Treatise and in this affirmed that the Parliament is the supreame Power Judicatory to censure and determine all matters doubtful, and disputable (for such hath been the constitution of this Kingdom for many Ages) I conceive therefore that the Parliament may, and have only Power to settle what form of Religion they shall think good; and albeit they should erre therein (as Parliaments may erre, and some de facto have erred) yet their Ordinances oblige Iure humano; that is, men ought either to obey such Ordinances, or if otherwise their Consciences dictate such Ordinances to be erroneous, they ought to undergoe such penalties as should be by them inflicted if they should impose or ordain any such. And as it is in the power of the Parliament to inflict penalties, so is it in their power to mitigate penalties, or inflict none at all for matter of Religion; wherefore for my part I greatly honour and reverence the care that the Parliament seemeth to take, and which the Honourable House of Commons have published in their Declaration 17. April 1646. already mentioned, That they have not as yet resolved how tender Consciences, such as differ not in Fundamentals may be provided for, so as may stand with the peace of their soules, and peace of the Kingdome; thereby intimating that they intend not to use severity, for matters of Religion meerly (a course though practiced by Pagans, befitting no men, much lesse Christians) but rather by clemency to induce men to embrace, or follow such Orders, or Ordinances touching Religion, as they shall institute. Moreover, I cannot but greatly blame such as would save men’s Consciences wrackt and enforced in disputable matters, or Tenets of Religion; such as blame Domineering in others, and yet would exercise it themselvs not considering what the Apostle Pet. hath written, I. Pet. 5.3 μηδ’ ὡς κατακυριεύοντες τῶν κλήρων ἀλλὰ τύποι γινόμενοι τοῦ ποιμνίου that Rulers should not be as over-domineering Lords or Christ’s Flock, but as Types, or examples to the flock; nor do such consideratly weigh the Apostles’ words, Gal. 6.1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spirituall, restore such a one in the spirit of meeknesse, considering thy selfe, least thou also be tempted. He bids them not menace, much lesse persecute for errour, nay the Apostle directly forbids it, Gal. 5.15. But if ye bite, and devour one another take heed ye be not consumed one of another, as if he had said, if ye break the Bond of Christian Charity, take heed least God give you not over to your malicious intentions and practices, by which ye may become Instruments one to destroy another. The holy Apostle likewise Rom. 14.10. forbiddeth men directly not so much as to judge a Brother for things indifferent, or for things which Christian Liberty in Christ giveth leave unto; for saith he, We shall all stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ: but it may be some will say, these, and such like Councels, or Precepts of the Apostle were spoken, or delivered by him concerning meeknesse, to be used in admonishing our Brethren, in errours meerly of Practice not of Doctrine, or in things not cleerly expressed in Scripture, not in things evident and plain in Scripture. To such I answer; what are the great matters in debate and controversie, or rather small matters in great strife, and contention now adayes agitated, but either matters meerly Practicall or exteriour Formes of Worship and Ceremonies, whether tollerable, or intollerable; or else matters obscure, or but by probable Arguments deducible out of Scripture, as Lay-Elders (a Businesse now of dayes, of no small consequence) whether they be not sufficiently warranted by this Text I Tim. 5.17. Let the Elders that rule well, be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the Word and Doctrine; the Greek hath it, οἱ κοπιῶντες ἐν λόγῳ καὶ διδασκαλίᾳ “labouring in Word and Doctrine,” and from hence it must be deduced forsooth, that there were some Elders that did not labour in the Word and Doctrine, and consequently that such were Laymen. Truly others that are as sound in their judgments (it may be) as those that make this Deduction, will say that the meaning of that Text is this viz. Presbyters (or Elders) that rule well be accompted worthy of double honour in respect of the younger or inferiour; but chiefly such as beside their care, and ordinary performance of their charge labour extraordinarily in Preaching, and exhorting or edifying; even as one might say, let Civill Magistrates that govern well be counted worthy of double honour, in respect of other ordinary, and inferiour Persons; but chiefly such as beside their care, and ordinary performance of their Offices, according to their Oathes, and Duties, labour extraordinarily for the Publique good, by advising, and consulting. I doe not finde that it could be deduced from this last inference, that Clergiemen were, or ought to be Civill Magistrates; nor can I finde that it can well be deduced from the Apostle’s words, that Laymen ought to be Presbyters, or Church-Elders: and yet a great deale of stirre is kept about this businesse, and such like; And some would faine have their but probable Deductions, if so much, to be Orthodoxal Expositions, and so to be held de jure Divino, that’s no presumption. But by the favor of such, I would fain know whether they are infallible, or no; if no, why would they then impose their Expositions de Jure Divino; if they are infallible, I would gladly know how they now come by such an extraordinary gift of Infallibility, and that the World (by their own acknowledgment) hath wanted it for so many Ages, as they say, in all Ages since the Apostles’ time; as I have said, that in Civill Affaires there should not be Quid nimis; so I say in Church-Affaires and wish that men (for alas what are we all but men) would not take upon them Quid nimis, especially in matters either indifferent, or else obscure, and difficult or such as may admit of severall interpretations, and Constructions. I will instance for Example sake one Text of Scripture; viz. ἐν ἀρχῇ ἦν ὁ λόγος &c. In the beginning was the word, &c. All Divinity tells us that Eternity is Identicum nunc, the selfe-same now, and that it hath neither Prius or Postivius, beginning, or ending; what beginning then can the Eternall Word (or Sonne of God) have? No beginning in time, because Eternall, nor in Nature because Increate. What beginning then? Or what may the word Beginning in that place signifie? Some will have the meaning of that Text to be this; In the beginning when the World was created, the word (verbum mentis) of the Father’s understanding was, and so if that were in the Beginning, that was before all Beginning; but this is no good consequence, sayes an Arrian, for the word might bee before the World, and yet be a patre tanquam effectus a causa, be as an effect caused by God the Father, and so have some beginning (as every effect hath) though before the World and to hold this is Heresie, for that the Father is not causa filii, but only Principium filii, not the cause, but naturall beginning of the Sonne. Others will have the meaning to be thus; in that beginning, or instant (which was, and is ever, or Eternall) wherein the Father knew formally his Essence, and Attributes, he spake, or begot the word of his mind, or understanding, being a Terme of his infinite Knowledge, not produced by necessity, or will, but emanating, or flowing as it were by naturall faecundity. Others will have the meaning to be thus; in that beginning or instant aforesaid, wherein the Father knew not only formally his Essence, and attributes, but also all creatures possible and existent he spake or begot the word of his mind or understanding; for say they, the word which is the Terme of the Father’s infinite Knowledg, is a perfectissima, & plenissima cognitione ejus, from his most perfect, and fullest knowledge; and from hence arise divers Arguments pro & contra, not only between the Thomists, Scotists, and other School-men, but also amongst other sorts, or Sects of Christians; but must men for these or the like disputable differences cut one another’s throats, or persecute one another? God forbid, there is not the least warrant in the New Testament for it. In the time of our blessed Saviour’s passing his humanity on the Earth, some there were casting out Devils in his Name, whom his Disciples forbad because they followed not Christ as they did; but our Saviour rebuked them, and bade them suffer them, and let them alone, saying he, or they that are not against us, are with us, adding moreover that it was not likely that any one should doe a miracle in his Name and speak ill of him. Our Saviour said not, that such as workt miracles in his Name should confesse, and speake all that ought to be confessed, and spoken of, or to his honour; but that such as spake not ill of him should (if they confessed his Name) be permitted, or suffered in this World. And shall not we then suffer one another in matters of Religion? Shall we ambitiously compasse our Neighbour’s goods, or meanes, under pretence of Religion, thereby scandalizing Christianity. No! Let all self-ends be abolished, and Peace and Union be embraced that we of this Nation may become an Elisium of comfort of Christian Charity, and mutuall Amity, one to another, and a Precedent of them all to other Nations.

William Ball

William Ball, “Tractatus de Jure Regnandi & Regni: or, the Sphere of Government,” (25 October) 1645. Wing B597.


John Cook, “The Vindication of the Professors and Profession of the Law. By way of Answer to a printed Sheet intituled Advertisements of the New Election of Members for the House of Commons,” [6 February] 1646. Thomason Tracts E320 (17).


This expression means a thing accursed.


See reference on p. 287.


See Ball, “Tractatus,” 13.


“A Declaration of the Commons of their true Intentions concerning the Government of the Kingdom, the Government of the Church, the present Peace, etc.” (London), April 17, 1646. Wing E2562. Note by George Thomason states that four thousand copies were ordered to be printed, distributed throughout the “county,” and set up in every parish church.


T.67 (3.8) [William Walwyn], The Just Man in Bonds (23 June 1646).

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T.67 [1646.06.29] (3.8) [William Walwyn], The Just Man in Bonds (29 June 1646).

Full title

[William Walwyn], The Just Man in Bonds, or, Lieut. Col. John Lilburne close prisoner in Newgate, by order of the House of Lords.

Estimated date of publication

23 June 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 447; Thomason E.342 [2]

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Since this worthy gentle mans case is mine, and every mans, who though we be at liberty to day, may be in Newgate to morrow, if the House of Lords so please, doth it not equally and alike concerne all the people of England to lay it to heart, and either fit both our minds and necks to undergoe this slavery, or otherwise thinke of some speedy and effectuall meanes to free our selves and our posterity there from.

This noble and resolute Gentleman Mr. Lilburne, then whom his countrey has not a truer and more faithfull servant, hath broke the Ice for us all, who being sensible that the people are in reall bondage to the Lords (and that the Lawes and Statutes providing to the contrary, serving them in no stead) hath singly adventured himselfe a Champion for his abused country men, nothing doubting but that he shall thereby open the eyes, and awake the drowsie spirits of his fellow Commoners, or rather Slaves (as the case now stands) with them; and likewise animate the representative body of the people, to make use of that power wherewith they are trusted to free us, themselves, their and our posterities, from the House of Lords imperious and ambitious usurpation.

Object. Some through ignorance, or poverty of spirit, may (peradventure) judge Mr. Lilburne a rash young man for his opposing himselfe against so mighty a streame or torrent of worldly power, which the Lords now possesses. To such I answer, 1. That the power of the House of Lords, is like a shallow, un-even water, more in noise then substance; If we could distinguish between what is theirs of right, and what by encroachment, we should soone find that they have deckt themselves with the Commoners brave feathers, which being reassumed, they would appeare no better arrayed then other men, even equall by Law, inferior in uprightnesse, and honesty of conversation: We should then find that they are but painted properties, Dagons, that our superstition and ignorance, their owne craft and impudence have erected, no naturall issues of lawes, but the extuberances and mushromes of Prerogative, the Wens of just government, putting the body of the People to paine, as well as occasioning deformity, Sons of conquest they are and usurpation, not of choice and election, intruded upon us by power, not constituted by consent, not made by the people, from whom all power, place and office that is just in this kingdome ought only to arise.

2. Mr. Lilburnes opposing himselfe against this exorbitant and extra-judiciall power of the Lords, ought rather to be admired by us a pitch of valour we are not yet arrived too, through the faintnesse of our spirits, and dotage upon our trades, ease, riches, and pleasures, then censured by us as rash or furious. He that dares scale the walls of an enemie, or venture himselfe upon the utmost of danger in the field, is not judged rash but a valiant man, unlesse by those low spirits that dares not doe as he hath done. Let us therefore rather blame our selves for want of fortitude, then accuse him, as having too much.

Consider I pray the great danger we are in, if the Lords thus presume to clap a Commoner of England in close prison, even now when the Commons of England are sitting in Parliament, who are put in trust, and enabled with power to protect the people from such bondage (yea and so suddainly after they have in effect declared, that they will doe it, in their Declaration of the 17. of April last) what injuries will not these Lords doe to us, when the Parliament is ended, and the people have none of their owne Commons nor Trustees to protect them, heare their cryes, nor redresse their grievances; What prison or dungeon will then be base enough, what punishment or torture great enough for them, that are not cowardish enough so to be slaves and bond-men? And so is not the last errour, like to be worse then the first?

Death it selfe is more tollerable to a generous spirit, then close imprisonment, besides the continuall feares that such an inhumane practice brings with it, of private murther or poisoning, as there are manifold examples of such cruelties, of which Overberies was not one of the least who was poisoned in the Tower, and to salve or colour that wickednesse, it was strongly given out and avouched that he murthered himselfe, though afterwards divers were hang’d for it, and the Earle of Somerset and his Countesse hardly escaped. Sir Richard Wiseman was moped and stupified with his close imprisonment, and what mischiefes (of divers sorts) may be done to honest and faithfull Mr. Lilburne upon this renued opportunitie by the Lords (as he had too much formerly by the Bishops, though contrary to all equitie and justice, yea and even to the Lords owne reparations which lately they voted and alotted to him) whiles he is now close prisoner in their owne hands, who know him to be their chiefest opposite in all their usurpations and encroachments upon the Commoners freedomes? doth it not concerne all the Commons of England to consider and prevent the same, especially their great and generall Counsell in Parliament assembled.

Lay to heart I beseech you O YEE HOUSE of COMMONS, that neither your selves nor your children can plead any immunitie or security from this cruelty and bondage of the House of Lords, if now yee be slack or negligent, but yee may justly expect and feele the smart thereof upon you and your posterity, as well as we upon us and ours, at least after you are dissolved, and dismissed from your Authorities. And is not this one of the maine points for which yee have put your selves, us, and so many of this Nation as stand in your defence, to the effusion and expence of so much blood and multituds of estates?

If yee did intend to expose this Kingdome to the miseries of warre for no other ends but that one kind of Arbitrary government, Starchamber, or High Commission Power, might be abollished, and others of these kinds established over us, why would yee not tell us in due time, that wee might have both spared our lives and estates, and not made so many souldiers, Widowes and fatherlesse to mourne at the Parliaments gates, for the manyfold wants occasioned by your service, and made us sooner like humble vassals, to present our selves like slaves upon our knees at the House of Lords Barre, and suffer our eares to be bored through with an aule, in testimony that wee are their bond-men for ever.

But if yee would either free your selves of this suspition, or us of those just feares, then shew your selves to be such worthies as doe truly deserve that title, by using this happy oppertunity which God hath put into your hands, and making us free-men; it being the maine cause for which wee used and intrusted you; and as a present signe of your fidelity and magnanimitie, let your reall intentions in the generall appeare by the exactnesse and speedinesse of your delivering of this your owne, and his Countries faithfull servant Mr. Lilburn from prison with all due reparations.

Banish all base fears, for there be more with you then against you, and the justnesse of your cause will daylie increase both your number and power, for God is alwaies present where Justice is extant, and yee cannot but observe by manifold experiences that he not only loves and protects just men, but by his Almighty power so abaseth all their Enemies, that they shall flee before him and his, like the dust before the wind: If yee will but take example by the courage and justice of your owne Armies, and doe as they doe, doubtlesse the same God who hath prospered them will also prosper you, yea and be with you, in all your proceedings whilst yee are with him, but if yee forsake him, (by denying, selling, or delaying justice, contrary to your duties, Oaths, Covenants, Protestations, and declarations) he will also forsake you, as he hath in all ages (even his owne People for their injustice, sins, and abominations) and stirred up both forraigne and intestine enemies to revenge his just quarrell and true cause against them.

For more particular information, these ensuing lines will be a speciall meanes.

Upon the 22. of June 1646. the House of Lords sent an Order to the Keeper of Newgate, to bring Mr. Lilburn before them upon the 23. thereof at ten a clock, wherof he having notice that morning, wrot a letter to the said Keeper, declaring his just liberties and the House of Lords usurpation thereof, contrary to Magna Charta and other fundamentall Lawes of this Kingdome and that he would not go to them willingly, but had appealed and petitioned to the House of Commons, and therefore he desired the Keeper to take heed what he did, lest he could not recall any violent action, not grounded upon Law:

And after Mr. Lilburn had sent the said letter by his wife, together with the printed coppy of his protestation against the House of Lords illegal proceedings against him as a Commoner, & his appeale & Petition to the House of Commons, as his competent Judges, but shee not finding the Keeper at Newgate prison, nor at his owne house, & the hour of his appearance before the House of Lords near aproching, shee delivered the same to the Sheriffs of London, being then in Guild-hall at the Court of Aldermen, where doubtles both the said letter and book were read, and as Sheriffe Foote informed her, that they sent a messenger to Newgate with their answer, what it was, is not yet knowne.

But if it came at all, it was not in due time, for after the deputy Keeper and his assistants had attended halfe an hour for Mr. Lilburns comming from his chamber to go with them before the House of Lords at the time appointed, and upon his constant refusing to go willingly with them (or so much as to open his Chamber doore, but shut it in token of his constant opposing so unjust a power over him a free borne English man) and before the messenger whom he sent to Guild-hall with their consent, had returned with an answer (and whose returning they promised to attend) [they brake open his doore, tooke him away to Westminster] and no messenger was sent (who yet wee have heard of from the Court of Aldermen.

When they had brought him to the painted chamber next the House of Lords doore, where he attended with his Keepers almost two houres before he was called in, (as it seemeth) the House of Lords servants and attendants, taking notice of the intercourse of Parliament men and others speaking to him told their masters thereof, and lest their usurpation of the Commons liberties, and his just cause should be manifested as well by word, as by writing, the Lords did call his Keepers and commanded them that they should speedily charge him to hold his peace, and speake with none at all; but to be altogether silent untill he was called in before them to answer their interrogatories.

Unto whom he returned this answer, and had them tell the same to the House of Lords who sent them, that he would not hold his peace, but speak with any man who in the way of love spake to him, so long as he had his tongue, except the Lords should put a gag into his mouth as their Fellow Lords the Bishops did to him 8 yeares agoe, on the Pillory at Westminster, after they had caused him to be whipt from the Fleet prison thither, and after he had told them their spirituall usurpations, as it doth these Lords their temporall encroachments on free mens liberties.

Then he being called into the House of Lords, was commanded by their Keeper of the Black-Rod to kneele before them, which he absolutely refused to doe, and after their still urging, and his constant refusing, they asked him the reason, he answered that he had learned both better Religion and manners then to kneele to any humane or mortall power how great so ever, whom he never offended, and far lesse to them whom he had defended with the adventure both of his life and estate, yea and withall the friends he could make: whereupon they not only returned him to Newgate prison, but commanded him to be kept close-Prisoner, as appeareth by these ensuing orders.

Die Lunae 22. Junij 1646.

Ordered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, that Lieu. Col. John Liburne now a prisoner in Newgate, shall be brought before their Lordships in the [High Court Of PARLIAMENT] to morrow morning by ten of the clock: And this to be a sufficient warrant in that behalfe.

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

Joh. Brown Cler. Parliamentorum.

Die Martis 23. Junij. 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 only his Keeper, until this Court doth take further order.

To the Keeper of Newgate his deputy or deputies.

Joh. Brown Cleric. Parliamentorum.

Exam. per. Rec. Bristoe Cleric. de Newgate.


T.69 (3.10) William Larner, A Vindication of every Free-mans libertie (June 1646).

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T.69 [1646.??] (3.10) William Larner, A Vindication of every Free-mans libertie against all Arbitrary power and Government (June 1646).

Full title

William Larner, A Vindication of every Free-mans libertie against all Arbitrary power and Government, Or, A Letter of William Larner, Prisoner, to Sir Henry Vane junior, a Parliament man: Wherein is set forth his unjust Imprisonment, and cruell hard dealings towards the said William Larner.

The pamphlet contains the following parts:

  1. Letter
  2. To the Right honourable, the Lords assembled in Parliament. The humble Petition of Hellen Larner,
Estimated date of publication

June 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

Not listed in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Honoured Sir,

IT is not unknown unto you, my suffering condition, being in some measure set forth unto you, in my Letter of the 3d. of April last past, which I sent you then: I expected according to your undertaking and promise, you would have done somewhat whereby I might either have been freed from these my bands, or otherwise brought to triall, according to Law, and not thus to have suffered me to languish in prison, as many more do. The House of Commons have declared, that they will not exercise any Arbitrary power, or suffer it to be done by any other, but according to the fundamentall Lawes of this Kingdome, Justice and right to be done to every man without respect of persons: Besides, you have bound your selves by Oath unto, and by a Law confirmed the Great Charter of Liberties, for the preservation whereof we have adventured all, in assisting you against the oppugners thereof.

But now contrary to your Oathes, Protestations, Lawes and Statutes of this Kingdome, am I still detained in prison, to the ruining and utter undoing of my wife and family, all means of subsistence and livelihood being taken from us, yet you seem regardlesse of it, as if it were a matter that concerned you nothing. Sir, I pray you to consider, that if the oppressions and severall grievances of men in particular be not redressed, what avails your generall Laws? If you that are Members of the House, refuse to present our grievance and just complaints, to the House, what hopes can we have to receive any comfort of relief there, whatsoever good that Honourable House intends us? So as indeed you that neglect or refuse to open your mouths (being bound by Oath and the duty of your place thereunto for us) in presenting our Petitions, conditions and sufferings, to that Honourable House, may you not be truly said to be such as are the betrayers of our Liberties, covertly doing more disservice to the Parliament and State, then the Enemy that openly fighteth against them: The Enemy discovers themselves (by oppugning the Laws and our liberties) what they be; but you whilest you retard the delivering up of our complaints, thinking the fault to be in the House, causes us to conceive hard thoughts against them, brings us into a dislike of their government, and thus you do the work of the Enemy; and by thus neglecting us, do the Parliament more harm, and in time (if not provided for) will prove more dangerous then all the machinations and attempts of the adversary: For, the people begin already to look upon you, as men carrying on your own designes and peculiar and private interests, under the Veil of publike pretences, and that your care is how to get great Offices and places for your selves and your friends, and while you suffer us the Commons to be spoiled of all, to lie in Prisons, and undergo all miseries, wants and extremities, you be nothing troubled thereat, so long as your selves fare well; this is utterly a fault in many of you, of no little blemish and shame for you, and cannot be imputed to be little lesse then meer madnesse, in thus exasperating our spirits, and alienating our affections from you, and yet to stand upon so high tearms with the contrary party.

Till you by actions manifest, as by your words you have declared to the world, to be the men you professe and would seem to be, I and others shall doubt that you intend nothing lesse then our good, or peace. For hitherto you have sworn and protested, but all as yet in vain: For these our Bonds and Imprisonments shew them to be (hitherto) emptinesse and Winde; and if this be continued, these courses will make the people hate you, and as you have been regardlesse of their burthens and complaints, so (I fear) when you shall expect and most need their help, they will dissert you.

Sir, are we a free-born people, or are we born slaves? What I pray you, makes you to differ? who brought you into that House? whether your own greatnesse and power, or the peoples love and Election? If by the people, how comes it then to passe, that their grievances and complaints be so little minded, and themselves so contemptible in your eyes? (as if meer slaves:) Beware, lest losing and neglecting them, you lose not your selves: Excuse my plainnesse and freedome; for if I hold my peace, I see destruction; by putting my self forth this way, I may happily save you and my self, in awaking you out of this drowsinesse, carelesnesse (of our common liberty) with which you are so deeply overtaken.

You see in what condition you have brought us, even into a condition worse then slavery, yea, worse then death; for in death sorrow is not remembered; bread is provided for the slave, but we your prisoners (loaden with sorrow, broken with affliction) mewed up in your prison houses, oftentimes wish for death and cannot finde it, nor any bread you provide for us, hunger-starved men, and we pine in prisons, not pitied, not lamented.

Sir, if I have offended, if I have transgressed any known law, I then crave the benefit of the Law, the liberty of a Free-man; that, either according to the same I may be tried for my justification or condemnation, or otherwise; that I may be holden no longer from my charge and* calling, in this my tormenting Prison.

You have confirmed Magna Charta, and many other good Lawes since made in favour of our Liberties, and yet unrepealed; which if they were duly put in execution, I then should not doubt but to come forth out of prison, to the confusion of the faces of such as prosecutes, and maliciously informs against me: In the beginning of this Parliament you brought us out of Prisons, approved our standings and sufferings against the Exorbitant and Arbitrary power and Government of the Starchamber, Councell Table, and high Commission Court. These your incouragements made us bold, did you finde us ungrateful? We are the same men still, we have the same affections to you, and if by you we may receive one Ordinance, viz. The Ordinance of Justice, then assure your selves, we to our abilities will not be wanting to you, but will be ever ready to spend and be spent for you: Thus hoping you will at length answer the expectation of a Free-man of England wrongfully imprisoned, and no longer adde to the sins of the Prelates, to the increasing of wrath, by imprisoning and unjustly tormenting, just and free persons. In expectation whereof, Sir I am, and will remain

From the Prison in Maiden-lane this
3. of June, 1646
Yours in all due respects to his power:
Will: Larner.

To the Right honourable, the Lords assembled in Parliament.

The humble Petition of Hellen Larner, in the behalf of her husband William Larner, and their two servants, John Larner, and Jane Hale.

William Larner
Larner, William

THat your Petitioners husband, hath now stood committed more then 8. Weeks, and their servants in the Fleet four Weeks, upon a false suggestion of Hunscots (the Stationers Beadle) a malicious adversary of your poor petitioners husband.

Your Petitioner most humbly beseecheth your Honours, to commiserate our deplorable condition, whose meanes of livelihood, depends solely upon their calling and liberty, and therefore according to your noble clemencie, to be pleased to assigne unto them, their liberty out of Goal, free of all prison fees:

And your Petitioner as bound, shall pray, &c.
William Larner.

T.70 (3.11) [Richard Overton], A Remonstrance of Many Thousand Citizens (7 July 1646).

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Bibliographical Information

ID Number

T.70 [1646.07.17] (3.11) [Richard Overton], A Remonstrance of Many Thousand Citizens, and other Free-born People of England, To their owne House of Commons (17 July 1646).

Full title

[Richard Overton], A Remonstrance of Many Thousand Citizens, and other Free-born People of England, To their owne House of Commons. Occasioned through the Illegall and barbarous Imprisonment of that Famous and Worthy Sufferer for his Countries Freedoms, Lieutenant Col. John Lilburne. Wherein their just Demands in behalfe of themselves and the whole Kingdome, concerning their Publick Safety, Peace and Freedome, is Express’d; calling thoise their Commissioners in Parliament to an Account, how they (since the beginning of their Session, to this present) have discharged their Duties to the Universallity of the People, their Sovereign Lord, from whom their Power and Strength is derived, and by whom (ad bene placitum) it is continued.
Printed in the Yeer. 1646.

Estimated date of publication

7 July 1646.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 450; E. 343. (11.)

Note: This pamphlet has an engraving of John Lilburne behind prison-bars which we have used as the title image of this collection.

The Liberty of the Freeborne Englishman (John Lilburne in Gaol)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

WEE are well assured, yet cannot forget, that the cause of our choosing you to be Parliament-men, was to deliver us from all kind of Bondage, and to preserve the Common-wealth in Peace and Happinesse: For effecting whereof, we possessed you with the same Power that was in our selves, to have done the same; For wee might justly have done it our selves without you, if we had thought it convenient; choosing you [as Persons whom wee thought fitly quallified, and Faithfull, for avoiding some inconveniences.

But ye are to remember, this was only of us but a Power of trust, [which is ever revokable, and cannot be otherwise,] and to be imployed to no other end, then our owne well-being: Nor did wee choose you to continue our Trust’s longer, then the knowne established constitution of this Commonly-wealth will justly permit, and that could be but for one yeere at the most: for by our Law, a Parliament is to be called once every yeere, and oftner (if need be,) as ye well know. Wee are your Principalls, and you our Agents; it is a Truth which you cannot but acknowledge: For if you or any other shall assume, or exercise any Power, that is not derived from our Trust and choice thereunto, that Power is no lesse then usurpation and an Oppression, from which wee expect to be freed, in whomsoever we finde it; it being altogether inconsistent with the nature of just Freedome, which yee also very well understand.

The History of our Fore-fathers since they were Conquered by the Normans, doth manifest that this Nation hath been held in bondage all along ever since by the policies and force of the Officers of Trust in the Common-wealth, amongst whom, wee always esteemed Kings the chiefest: and what (in much of the formertime) was done by warre, and by impoverishing of the People, to make them slaves, and to hold them in bondage, our latter Princes have endeavoured to effect, by giving ease and wealth unto the People, but withall, corrupting their understanding, by infusing false Principles concerning Kings, and Government, and Parliaments, and Freedoms; and also using all meanes to corrupt and vitiate the manners of the youth, and strongest prop and support of the People, the Gentry.

It is wonderfull, that the failings of former Kings, to bring our Fore-fathers into bondage, together with the trouble and danger that some of them drew upon themselves and their Posterity, by those their unjust endevours, had not wrought in our latter Kings a resolution to rely on, and trust only to justice and square dealing with the People, especially considering the unaptnesse of the Nation to beare much, especially from those that pretend to love them, and unto whom they expressed so much hearty affection, (as any People in the world ever did,) as in the quiet admission of King James from Scotland, sufficient, (if any Obligation would worke Kings to Reason,) to have endeared both him and his sonne King Charles, to an inviolable love, and hearty affection to the English Nation; but it would not doe.

They choose rather to trust unto their Policies and Court Arts, to King-waste, and delusion, then to justice and plaine dealing; and did effect many things tending to our enslaving (as in your First Remonstrance; you shew skill enough to manifest the same to all the World:) and this Nation having been by their delusive Arts, and a long continued Peace, much softened and debased in judgement and Spirit, did beare far beyond its usuall temper, or any example of our Fore-Fathers, which (to our shame,) wee acknowledge.

But in conclusion, longer they would not beare, and then yee were chosen to worke our deliverance, and to Estate us in naturall and just libertie agreeable to Reason and common equitie; for whatever our Fore-fathers were; or whatever they did or suffered, or were enforced to yeeld unto; we are the men of the present age, and ought to be absolutely free from all kindes of exorbitancies, molestations or Arbitrary Power, and you wee choose to free us from all without exception or limitation, either in respect of Persons, Officers, Degrees, or things; and we were full of confidence, that ye also would have dealt impartially on our behalf, and made us the most absolute free People in the world.

But how ye have dealt with us; wee shall now let you know, and let the Righteous GOD judge between you and us; the continuall Oppressours of the Nation, have been Kings, which is so evident, that you cannot denie it; and ye yourselves have told the King, (whom yet you owne,) That his whole 16. Yeeres reigne was one continued act of the breach of the Law.

You shewed him, That you understood his under-working with Ireland, his endeavour to enforce the Parliament by the Army raised against Scotland, yee were eye-witnesses of his violent attempt about the Five Members; Yee saw evidently his purpose of raising Warre; yee have seen him engaged, and with obstinate violence, persisting in the most bloody Warre that ever this Nation knew, to the wasting and destruction of multitudes of honest and Religious People.

Yee have experience, that none but a King could doe so great intollerable mischiefes, the very name of King, proving a sufficient charme to delude many of our Brethren in Wales, Ireland, England, and Scotland too, so farre, as to fight against their own Liberties, which you know, no man under heaven could ever have done.

And yet, as if you were of Counsell with him, and were resolved to hold up his reputation, thereby to enable him to goe on in mischief, you maintaine, The King can doe no wrong, and apply all his Oppressions to Evill Counsellors, begging and intreating him in such submissive language, to returne to his Kingly Office and Parliament, as if you were resolved to make us beleeve, hee were a God, without whose presence, all must fall to ruine, or as if it were impossible for any Nation to be happy without a King.

You cannot fight for our Liberties, but it must be in the Name of King and Parliament; he that speakes of his cruelties, must be thrust out of your House and society; your Preachers must pray for him, as if he had not deserved to be excommunicated all Christian Society, or as if yee or they thought God were a respecter of the Persons of Kings in judgement.

By this and other your like dealings, your frequent treating, and tampering to maintaine his honour, Wee that have trusted you to deliver us from his Opressions, and to preserve us from his cruelties, are wasted and consumed (in multitudes) to manifold miseries, whilst you lie ready with open armes to receive him, and to make him a great and glorious King.

Have you shoke this Nation like an Earth-quake, to produce no more than this for us; Is it for this, that ye have made so free use, & been so bold both with our Persons & Estates? And doe you (because of our readings to comply with your desires in all things) conceive us so sottish, as to be contented with such unworthy returnes of our trust and Love? No; it is high time wee be plaine with you; WEE are not, nor SHALL not be so contented; Wee doe expect according to reason, that yee should in the first place, declare and set forth King Charles his wickednesse openly before the world, and withall, to shew the intollerable inconyeniences of having a Kingly Government, from the constant evill practices of those of this Nation; and so to declare King Charles an enemy, and to publish your resolution, never to have any more, but to acquite us of so great a charge and trouble forever, and to convert the great revenue of the Crowne to the publike treasure, to make good the injuries and injustices done heretofore, and of late by those that have possessed the same; and this we expected long since at your hand, and untill this be done, wee shall not thinke our selves well dealt withall in this originall of all Oppressions, to wit Kings.

Yee must also deal better with us concerning the Lords, then you have done? Yee only are chosen by Us the People; and therefore in you onely is the Power of binding the whole Nation, by making, altering, or abolishing of Lawes; Yee have therefore prejudiced Us, in acting so, as if ye could not make a Law without both the Royall assent of the King (so ye are pleased to expresse your selves,) and the assent of the Lords; yet when either King or Lords assent not to what you approve, yee have so much sense of your owne Power, as to assent what yee thinke good by an Order of your owne House.

What is this but to blinde our eyes, that Wee should not know where our Power is lodged, nor to whom to aply our selves for the use thereof; but if We want a Law, Wee must awaite till the King and Lords assent; if an Ordinance, then Wee must waite till the Lords assent; yet ye knowing their assent to be meerly formall, (as having no root in the choice of the People, from whom the Power that is just must be derived,) doe frequently importune their assent, which implies a most grosse absurditie.

For where their assent is necessary and essentiall, they must be as Free as you, to assent, or dissent as their understandings and Consciences should guide them: and might as justly importune you, as yee them. Yee ought in Conscience to reduce this case also to a certaintie, and not to waste time, and open your Counsells, and be lyable to so many Obstructions as yee have been.

But to prevaile with them (enjoying their Honours and Possessions,) to be lyable, and stand to be chosen for Knights and Burgesses by the People, as other the Gentry and Free-men of this Nation doe, which will be an Obligation upon them, as having one and the same interest: then also they would be distinguished by their vertues, and love to the Common-wealth, whereas now they Act and Vote in our affaires but as intruders, or as thrust upon us by Kings, to make good their Interests, which to this day have been to bring us into a slavish subjection to their wills.

Nor is there any reason, that they should in any measure, be lesse lyable to any Law then the Gentry are; Why should any of them assault, strike, or beate any, and not be lyable to the Law, as other men are? Why should not they be as lyable to their debts as other men? there is no reason: yet have yee stood still, and seen many of us, and some of your selves violently abused without repairation.

Wee desire you to free us from these abuses, and their negative Voices, or else tell us, that it is reasonable wee should be slaves, this being a perpetuall prejudice in our Government, neither consulting with Freedome nor Safety: with Freedome it cannot; for in this way of Voting in all Affaires of the Common-wealth, being not Chosen thereunto by the People, they are therein Masters & Lords of the People, which necessarily implyes the People to be their servants and vassalls, and they have used many of us accordingly, by committing divers to Prison upon their owne Authority, namely William Larner, Liev. Col. John Lilburne, and other worthy Sufferers, who upon Appeale unto you, have not beene relieved.

Wee must therefore pray you to make a Law against all kinds of Arbitrary Government, as the highest capitall offence against the Common-wealth, and to reduce all conditions of men to a certainty, that none hence-forward may presume or plead any thing in way of excuse, and that ye will leave no favour or scruple of Tyranicall Power over us in any whatsoever.

Time hath revealed hidden things unto us, things covered over thick and threefold with pretences of the true Reformed Religion, when as wee see apparently, that this Nation, and that of Scotland, are joyned together in a most bloody and consuming Warre, by the waste and policie of a sort of Lords in each Nation, that were male-contents, and vexed that the King had advanced others, and not themselves to the manageing of State-affaires.

Which they suffered till the King increasing his Oppressions in both Nations, gave them opportunity to reveale themselves, and then they resolve to bring the King to their bow and regulation, and to exclude all those from managing State-affaires that hee had advanced thereunto, and who were growne so insolent and presumptuous, as these discontented ones were lyable to continuall molestations from them, either by practices at Counsel-table, High-Commission, or Starre-chamber.

So as their work was to subvert the Monarchiall Lords and Clergy, and therewithall, to abate the Power of the King, and to Order him: but this was a mighty worke, and they were nowise able to effect it of themselves: therefore (say they,) the generallity of the People must be engaged; and how must this be done? Why say they, wee must associate with that part of the Clergy that are now made underlings, and others of them that have been oppressed, and with the most zealous religious Non-conformists, and by the helpe of these, wee will lay before the Generalitie of the People, all the Popish Innovations in Religion, all the Oppressions of the Bishops and High-Commission, all the exorbitances of the Counsell-board, and Star-chamber, all the injustice of the Chancery, and Courts of Justice, all the illegall Taxations, as Ship-mony, Pattents, and Projects, whereby we shall be sure to get into our Party, the generalitie of the Citie of London, and all the considerable substantiall People of both Nations.

By whose cry and importunity we shall have a Parliament, which wee shall by our manifold wayes, alliant, dependant, and relations soone worke to our purposes.

But (say some) this will never be effected without a Warre, for the King will have a strong party, and he will never submit to us; ’tis not expected otherwise (say they) and great and vaste sums of money must be raised, and Souldiers and Ammunition must be had, whereof wee shall not need to feare any want: for what will not an opprest, rich, and Religious People doe, to be delivered from all kinds of Oppression, both Spirituall and Temporall, and to be restored to purity and freedome in Religion, and to the just liberty of their Persons and Estates?

All our care must be to hold all at our Command and disposing; for if this People thus stirred up by us, should make an end too soon with the King and his party, it is much to be doubted, they would place the Supreme Power in their House of Commons, unto whom only of right it belongeth, they only being chosen by the People, which is so presently discerned, that as wee have a care the King and his Lords must not prevaile; so more especially, wee must be carefull the Supreme Power fall not into the Peoples hands, or House of Commons.

Therefore wee must so act, as not to make an end with the King and his Party, till by expence of time and treasure, a long, bloody and consuming War, decay of trade, and multitudes of the highest Impositions, the People by degrees are tyred and wearied, so as they shall not be able to contest or dispute with us, either about Supreame or inferiour Power; but wee will be able, afore they are aware, to give them both Law and Religion.

In Scotland it will be easie to establish the Presbyteriall Government in the Church, and that being once effected, it will not be much difficult in England, upon a pretence of uniformity in both Nations, and the like, unto which there will be found a Clergy as willing as wee, it giving them as absolute a Ministery over the Consciences of the People, over the Persons and Purses, as wee our selves aime at, or desire.

And if any shall presume to oppose either us or them, wee shall be easily able by the helpe of the Clergy, by our Party in the House of Commons, and by their and our influence in all parts of both Nations, easily to crush and suppress them.

Well (saies some) all this may be done, but wee, without abundance of travell to our selves, and wounding our owne Consciences, for wee must grosly dissemble before God, and all the world will see it in time; for wee can never doe all this that yee aime at, but by the very same oppressions as wee practised by the King, the Bishops, and all those his tyranicall Instruments, both in Religion, and Civill Government.

And it will never last or continue long, the People will see it, and hate you for it, more then ever they hated the former Tyrants and Oppressours: were it not better and safer for us to be just, and really to doe that for the People, which wee pretend, and for which wee shall so freely spend their lives and Estates, and so have their Love, and enjoy the Peace of quiet Consciences?

For (say they) are not Wee a LORD, a Peere of the Kingdom? Have you your Lordship or Peerage, or those Honours and Priviledges that belong thereunto from the love and Election of the People? Your interest is as different from theirs, and as inconsistent with their freedoms, as those Lords and Clergy are, whom wee strive to supplant.

And therefore, rather then satisfie the Peoples expectations in what concernes their Freedoms, it were much better to continue as wee are, and never disturbe the King in his Prerogatives, nor his Lords and Prelates in their Priviledges: and therefore let us be as one, and when wee talke of Conscience, let us make conscience, to make good unto our selves and our Posterities those Dignities, Honours and Preheminencies conveyed unto us by our Noble Progenitours, by all the meanes wee can; not making questions for Conscience sake, or any other things; and if wee be united in our endeavours, and worke wisely, observing when to advance, and when to give ground, wee cannot faile of successe, which will be an honour to our Names for ever.

These are the strong delusions that have been amongst us, and the mystery of iniquity hath wrought most vehemently in all our affaires: Hence it was that Strafford was so long in tryall, and that he had no greater heads to beare his company. Hence it was that the King was not called to an account for his oppressive Government, and that the treachery of those that would have enforced you, was not severely punished.

That the King gained time to raise an Army, and the Queene to furnish Ammunition; that our first and second Army was so ill formed, and as ill managed; Sherburn, Brainford, Exeter, the slender use of the Associate Counties, the slight garding of the sea, Oxford, Dermington, the West Defeate, did all proceed from (and upon) the Mystery of Iniquity.

The King and his Party had been nothing in your hands, had not some of you been engaged, and some of you ensnared, and the rest of you over-borne with this Mystery, which you may now easily perceive, if you have a minde thereunto, that yee were put upon the continuation of this Parliament, during the pleasure of both Houses, was from this Mystery, because in time these Politicians had hopes to worke, and pervert you to forsake the common Interest of those that choose and trusted you to promote their unjust Designe to enslave us; wherein they have prevailed too too much.

For Wee must deale plainly with you, yee have long time acted more like the House of Peers then the House of Commons: Wee can scarcely approach your Door with a Request or motion, though by way of Petition, but yee hold long debates, whether Wee break not your Priviledges; the Kings, or the Lords pretended Prerogatives never made a greater noise, nor was made more dreadfull then the Name of Priviledge of the House of Commons.

Your Members in all Impositions must not be taxed in the places where they live, like other men: Your servants have their Priviledges too. To accuse or prosecute any of you, is become dangerous to the Prosecutors. Yee have imprisonments as frequent for either Witnesses or Prosecutors, as ever the Star-chamber had, and yee are furnished with new devised Arguments, to prove, that yee onely may justly doe these grosse injustices, which the Starre-Chamber, High-Commission, and Counsell-board might not doe.

And for doing whereof (whil’st yee were untainted,) yee abolished them, for yee now frequently commit mens Persons to Prison without shewing Cause; Yee examine men upon Interogatories and Questions against themselves, and Imprison them for refusing to answere: And ye have Officious servile men, that write and publish Sophisticall Arguments to justifie your so doing, for which they are rewarded and countenanced, as the Starre-Chamber and High-Commission-beagles lately were.

Whilst those that ventured their lives for your establishment, are many of them vexed and molested, and impoverished by them; Yee have entertained to be your Committees servants, those very prowling Varlets that were imployed by those unjust Courts, who took pleasure to torment honest conscionable People; yet vex and molest honest men for matters of Religion, and difference with you and your Synod in judgement, and take upon you to determine of Doctrine and Discipline, approving this, and reproaching that, just like unto former ignorant pollitick. and superstitious Parliaments and Convocations: And thereby have divided honest People amongst themselves, by countenancing only those of the Presbitry, and discountenancing all the Separation, Anabaptists and Independents.

And though it resteth in you to acquiet all differences in affection, though not in judgement, by permitting every one to be fully perswaded in their owne mindes, commanding all Reproach to cease; yet as yee also had admitted Machiavells Maxime, Divide & impera, divide and prevaile; yee countenance onely one, open the Printing-presse onely unto one, and that to the Presbytry, and suffer them to raile and abuse, and domineere over all the rest, as if also ye had discovered and digested, That without a powerfull compulsive Presbytry in the Church, a compulsive mastership, or Arristocraticall Government over the People in the State, could never long be maintained.

Whereas truely wee are well assured, neither you, nor none else, can have any into Power at all to conclude the People in matters that concerne the Worship of God, for therein every one of us ought to be fully assured in our owne mindes, and to be sure to Worship him according to our Consciences.

Yee may propose what Forme yee conceive best, and most available for Information and well-being of the Nation, and may perswade and invite thereunto, but compell, yee cannot justly; for ye have no Power from Us so to doe, nor could you have; for we could not conferre a Power that was not in our selves, there being none of us, that can without wilfull sinne binde our selves to worship God after any other way, then what (to a tittle,) in our owne particular understandings, wee approve to be just.

And therefore We could not referre our selves to you in things of this Nature; and surely, if We could not conferre this Power upon you, yee cannot have it, and so not exercise it justly; Nay, as we ought not to revile or reproach any man for his differing with us in judgement, more then wee would be reviled or reproached for ours; even so yee ought not to countenance any Reproachers or revilers, or molesters for matters of Conscience.

But to protect and defend all that live peaceably in the Commonwealth, of what judgement or way of Worship whatsoever; and if ye would bend your mindes thereunto, and leave your selves open to give care, and to consider such things as would be presented unto you, a just way would be discovered for the Peace & quiet of the land in generall, and of every well-minded Person in particular.

But if you lock up your selves from hearing all voices; how is it possible you should try all things. It is not for you to assume a Power to controule and force Religion, or a way of Church Government, upon the People, because former Parliaments have so done; yee are first to prove that yee could have such a Power justly entrusted unto you by the People that trusted you, (which you see you have not,) we may happily be answered, that the Kings Writt that summons a Parliament, and directs the People to choose Knights and Burgesses, implyes the Establishment of Religion.

To which wee answere, that if Kings would prove themselves Lawfull Magistrates, they must prove themselves to be so, by a lawfull derivation of their Authority, which must be from the voluntary trust of the People, and then the case is the same with them, as between the People & you, they as you, being possessed of no more Power then what is in the People justly to intrust, and then all implications in the Writts, of the Establishment of Religion, sheweth that in that particular, as many other, we remain under the Norman yoke of an unlawfull Power, from which wee ought to free our selves; and which yee ought not to maintaine upon us, but to abrogate.

But ye have listned to any Counsells, rather then to the voice of us that trusted you: Why is it that you have stopt the Presse; but that you would have nothing but pleasing flattering Discourses, and go on to make your selves partakers of the Lordship over us, without hearing any thing to the contrary: yea, your Lords and Clergy long to have us in the same condition with our deluded brethren, the Commons of Scotland, where their understandings are so captivated with a Reverend opinion of their Presbytry, that they really beleeve them to be by Divine Authority, and are as zealous therein, as ever the poore deceived Papists were.

As much they live in feare of their thunder-bolts of Excommunication, and good cause they have, poor soules, for those Excommunications are so followed with the civill Sanction, or secular Power, that they are able to crush any opposer or dissenter to dust, to undoe or ruine any man: so absolute a Power hath their new Clergy already gained over the Poore People there, and earnestly labour to bring us into the same condition, because if wee should live in greater Freedome in this Nation, it would (they know,) in time be observed by their People, whose understandings would be thereby informed, and then they would grow impatient of their thraldome, and shake off their yoake.

They are also in no lesse bondage in things Civill, the Lords and great Men over-rule all, as they please; the People are scarce free in any thing.

Friends, these are known Truths.

And hence it is, that in their Counsells here, they adhere to those that maintaine their owne greatnesse, and usurped rule over us, lest if wee should here possesse greater liberty, then their vassalls the People in Scotland, they might in short time observe the same, and discharge themselves of their Oppressions.

It is from the mystery of iniquity, that yee have never made that use of the People of this Nation, in your warre, as you might have done, but have chosen rather to hazard their coming in, then to Arme your owne native undoubted friends; by which meanes they are possessed of too many considerable strengths of this Nation and speak such language in their late published papers, as if they were not payed for their slow assistance.

Whereas yee might have ended the Warre long ere this, if by Sea or Land you had shewed your selves resolved to make us a Free-People; but it is evident, a change of our bondage is the uttermost is intended us, and that too for a worse, and longer; if wee shall be so contended, but it is strange you should imagine.

But the truth is, wee finde none are so much hated by you, as those you thinke doe discerne those your purposes, or that apply themselves unto you, with motions tending to divert you from proceeding therein: for some yeers now, no condition of men can prevaile with you, to ammend any thing that is amisse in the Common-wealth.

The exorbitances in the Cities Government, and the strivings about Prerogatives in the Major and Aldermen, against the Freedoms of the Commons, (and to their extreme prejudice,) are returned to the same point they were at in Garrawayes time, which you observe, and move not, nor assist the Commons; Nay, worse then in his time, they are justified by the Major, in a book published, and sent by him to every Common-Counsell-man.

The oppression of the Turky Company, and the Adventerers Company, and all other infringements of our Native Liberties of the same nature, and which in the beginnings of the Parliament, yee seemed to abhominate, are now by you complyed withall, and licensed to goe on in their Oppressions.

Yee know, the Lawes of this Nation are unworthy a Free People, and deserve from first to last, to be considered, and seriously debated, and reduced to an agreement with common equity, and right reason, which ought to be the Forme and Life of every Government. Magna Charta it self being but a beggerly thing, containing many markes of intollerable bondage, & the Lawes that have been made since by Parliaments, have in very many particulars made our Government much more oppressive and intollerable.

The Norman way for ending of Controversies, was much more abusive then the English way, yet the Conquerour, contrary to his Oath introduced the Norman Lawes, and his litigious and vexatious way amongst us; the like he did also for punishment of malefactours, Controversies of all natures, having before a quick and finall dispatch in every hundred.

He erected a trade of judges and Lawyers, to sell justice and injustice at his owne unconscionable rate, and in what time bee pleased; the corruption whereof is yet remaining upon us, to our continuall impoverishing and molestation; from which we thought you should have delivered us.

Yee know also, Imprisonment for Debt, is not from the beginning; Yet ye thinke not of these many Thousand Persons and Families that are destroyed thereby, yee are Rich, and abound in goods, and have need of nothing; but the afflictions of the poore; your hunger-starved brethren, ye have no compassion of; Your zeal makes a noise as farre as Argiere, to deliver those captived Christians at the charge of others, but those whom your owne unjust Lawes hold captive in your owne Prisons; these are too neere you to thinke of; Nay, yee suffer poor Christians, for whom Christ died to kneel before you in the streets, aged, sick and cripled, begging your halfe-penny Charities, and yee rustle by them in your Coaches and silkes daily, without regard, or taking any course for their constant reliefe, their sight would melt the heart of any Christian, and yet it moves not you nor your Clergy.

Wee intreat you to consider what difference there is, between binding a man to an Oare, as a Gally-slave in Turkie or Argiere, and Pressing of men to serve in your Warre; to surprize a man on the sudden, force him from his Calling, where he lived comfortably, from a good trade; from his dear Parents, Wife or Children, against inclination, disposition to fight for a Cause hee understands not, and in Company of such, as he hath no comfort to be withall; for Pay, that will scarce give him sustenance; and if he live, to returne to a lost trade, or beggery, or not much better: If any Tyranny or cruelty exceed this; it must be worse then that of a Turkish Gally-slave.

But yee are apt to say, What remedy, men wee must have? To which we answer, in behalfe of ourselves, and our too much injured Brethren, that are Pressed; That the Hollanders our provident Neighbours have no such cruelties, esteeming nothing more unjust, or unreasonable, yet they want no men; and if ye would take care, that all sorts of men might find comfort and contentment in your Government, yee would not need to enforce men to serve your Warres.

And if yee would in many things follow their good example, and make this Nation a State, free from the Oppression of Kings, and the corruptions of the Court, and shew love to the People in the Constitutions of your Government, the affection of the People, would satisfie all common and publike Occasions: and in many particulars wee can shew you a remedy for this and all other inconveniences, if wee could find you inclinable to heare us.

Yee are extreamely altered in demeanour towards us, in the beginning yee seemed to know what Freedome was; made a distinction of honest men, whether rich or poor, all were welcome to you, and yee would mix your selves with us in a loving familiar way, void of Courtly observance or behaviour.

Yee kept your Committee doores open, all might heare & judge of your dealings, hardly ye would permit men to stand bareheaded before you, some of you telling them, ye more regarded their health, and that they should not deem of you, as of other domineering Courts, yee and they were one, all Commons of England; and the like ingenious carriage, by which ye wanne our affections to that height, that ye no sooner demanded any thing but it was effected; yee did well then, who did hinder you? the mystery of iniquity, that was it that perverted your course.

What a multitude of precious lives have been lost? What a masse of moneys have been raised? What one way was proposed to advance moneys, that was refused by you, though never so prejudiciall to the People, allowing your Committees to force men to pay or lend, or else to sweare that they were not worth so or so: the most destructive course to tradesmen, that could be devised, fifty intire subsidies, to be lent throughout London, if not procured, yet authorized by you; never the like heard of, and the Excise that being once setled, all other assessments should cease.

Notwithstanding in few moneths comes forth Ordinance upon Ordinance for more moneys, and for the Customes, they were thought an oppression in the beginning, and being (so high,) an hinderance to Trade, and extreamly prejudiciall to the Nation, neverthelesse is now confirmed, with many augmentations, in so much as men of inferiour trading finde great trouble to provide moneys for Customes, and have so many Officers to please, that it is a very slavery to have any thing to doe with them, and no remedy; the first Commissioners being more harsh and ingenious, then the late Farmers, and the last worse then the former.

Truly it is a sad thing, but too true, a plaine quiet-minded man in any place in England, is just like a harmelesse sheep in a Thicket, can hardly move or stirre, but hee shall be strech’d, and loose his wooll: such Committees have ye made in all Cities and Counties, and none are so ill used as honest Godly men.

Ye have now sate full five yeeres, which is foure yeeres longer then wee intended, for wee could choose you but for (at most) one yeere; and now we wish ye would publish to all the world, the good that you have done for us, the liberty ye have brought us unto: if yee could excuse your selves, as ye use to doe; by saying it hath been a time of warre; that will not doe: for when the warre might in the beginning have been prevented, if yee had drawn a little more blood from the right veine, and might often (ere this) have been ended.

Occasion hath been given away, and Treated away, and now, when through the faithfulnesse of the New Modell, yee have almost forc’d an end, and have no great part to effect: now againe, at the instigation of those that love their Kings more then all this Nation, and their owne, his Sacred or holy Majestie, must againe be treated with, their Nationall and Solemne League and Covenant with their God, binding them to be respecters of Persons in judgement: and to preserve His Person in the defence of the true Protestant Religion, and Libertie of the People; that hath constantly against all perswasion and Obligation, done what ever he could to subvert both: if this be not the height of the mystery of iniquitie, what is higher.

But let not these be deceived, nor thus under zealous expressions deceive you; wee wish your soules may no further enter into their secret: For God will not be mocked, nor suffer such grosse Hypocrisie to passe without exemplary punishment: And if yee beleeve there is a God; yee must beleeve it; and if yee doe beleeve it, and consider the wayes yee have troad, and truely repent, shew it by walking contrary to what yee have done, or purposed to doe, and let us quickly and speedily partake thereof: For God is a God that taketh vengeance, and will not suffer you to goe on to our ruine.

Wee have some hopes ye will; for amongst you, there have been alwayes faithfull and Worthy men, whose aboundant grief it hath been to observe the strange progresse of the Chosen men of the Common-wealth, and have strove exceedingly on all occasions to produce better effects, and some Christians of late produced to their praise.

Others there are, that have been onely misled by the policies, and stratagems of politick men, and these, after this our serious advice, will make you more seriously studdie the common Interrest of this Nation: others there are, and those a great number, that are newly chosen into your house, and wee trust are such as will exceedingly strengthen the good part, that hitherto hath been too weake to steere an even course amidst so many oppositions and crosse waves.

But henceforth joyn’d all in one will be able to doe and carry on whatsoever is just and good for the Common-wealth, the more just and good, the more easily effected, for such things are easily to be made evident to all men, and can never faile of the uttermost assistance of all well-minded People.

And therefore wee would not have you to be discouraged in attempting whatsoever is evidently just, for Wee will therein assist you to the last drop of our bloods: Feare neither the Anakims, nor the sonnes of the Gyants, For the LORD our God, hee will stand by you in all things that are just, and will blesse and prosper you therein.

Forsake, and utterly renounce all craftie and subtill intentions; hide not your thoughts from Us, and give us encouragement to be open-breasted unto you: Proclaime afore-hand, what yee determine to doe, in establishing any thing for continuance; and heare all things that can be spoken with or against the same, and to that intent, let the imprisoned Presses at liberty, that all mens understandings may be more conveniently informed, and convinced, as faire as is possible by the equity of your Proceedings.

Wee cannot but expect to be delivered from the Norman bondage, whereof wee now as well as our Predecessours, have felt the smart by these bloody warres; and from all unreasonable lawes made ever since that unhappy conquest; as wee have encouragement, wee shall informe you further, and guide you, as we observe your doings.

The Worke yee must note is ours, and not your owne, though ye are to be partakers with us in the well or ill doing thereof: and therefore ye must expect to heare more frequently from us then yee have done, nor will it be your wisedome to take these Admonitions and Cautions in evill part.

If yee consider well, yee may wonder Wee are no tarter: Ye may perceive, wee have not yet left our true English confidence, but are willing that both you, and all our Neighbour Nations should know, that wee both see and know all stratagems and Policies that are laid in waite to entrap, and so to enslave us, and that wee bid defyance to their worst our enemies can doe; we know wee have stoore of friends in our Neighbour Countries.

Our head is not yet so intoxicated with this New mystery of Iniquity, but that a reasonable Cordiall Administered by your hand, will set us fast in our seat.

Yee are not to reckon that yee have any longer time to effect the Great Worke wee have entrusted unto you: for wee must not loose our free choice of a Parliament once every yeer, fresh and fresh for a continuall Parliament.

For so, if a present Parliament be mistaken in their understandings, and doe things prejudiciall, We may so long remain under these prejudices, that the Common-wealth. may be endangered thereby, nor doe wee value a Trieniall Parliament: before three yeeres come to an end, Grievances and Mischiefes may be past remedy.

And therefore our advice is, that yee Order a meeting of the chosen of Parliament-men, to be expresly upon one certaine day in November yeerly throughout the Land in the Places accustomed, and to be by you expressed, there to make choice of whom they think good, according to Law, and all men that have a Right to be there, not to faile upon a great penaltie but no summons to be expected.

And if any Person without exception, shall write Letters, or use any endeavours to incline the choosers to choose any man, or use any meanes to disturbe or pervert them from a free Choice, then that all such sinister dealing be made punishable, or a most haynous crime.

And that a Parliament so chosen in November, succeeding yeere by yeere, may come instead of the preceeding Parliament, and proceed with the Affaires of the Common-Wealth; nor would wee have it in the Power of our Parliament, to receive any Member from his Place or service of the House, without the consent had of those Counties, Cities and Burroughs respectively that choose him; great inconveniences depending thereon, whereof wee have scene and felt too much.

Now, if yee shall conscionably performe your Trust the yeer ensuing, and order the Parliaments to succeed as aforesaid, then Wee shall not doubt to be made absolute Free-men in time, and become a just, plenteous and Powerfull Nation; All that is past will be forgotten,