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

1st Edition, uncorrected (Date added: March 18, 2015)

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Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics, Volume 4 (1647) (1st edition, uncorrected)

The Liberty of the Freeborne Englishman (John Lilburne in Gaol)

The Liberty of the Freeborne English-Man, Conferred on him by the house of lords. June 1646. John Lilburne. His age 23. Year 1641. Made by G. Glo.

“Gaze not upon this shaddow that is vaine,
Bur rather raise thy thoughts a higher straine,
To GOD (I meane) who set this young-man free,
And in like straits can eke thee.
Yea though the lords have him in bonds againe
LORD of lords will his just cause maintaine.”


Table of Contents


Editor’s Introduction to Volume 4 (1647)

[to be added later]


Publishing and Biographical Information

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Catalogue of the Pamphlets, Books, Newspapers, and Manuscripts relating to the Civil War, the Commonwealth, and Restoration, collected by George Thomason, 1640-1661. 2 vols. (London: William Cowper and Sons, 1908).

  • Vol. 1. Catalogue of the Collection, 1640-1652 [PDF only] .
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Tracts from 1647 (Volume 4)


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

Bibliographical Information

Full title

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

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

London, Printed Anno Dom. 1647.

Estimated date of publication

6 January 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

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

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

The Printer to the Reader.

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

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


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

Abuses checkt, pag. 25.

Acts of the Parliament, pag. 33.

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

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

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


Bastardly Fountain of Englands Kings, pag. 15.

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

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

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

Barons Wars, p. 30, 31.

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

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


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

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

Contents of this Discourse, p. 6, 62.

Common-Councel, p. 27.

Charles Stewarts jugling, pag. 50, 51.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

His gallant Law, p. 16.

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

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

Excommunication for infringing Magna Charta, p. 28.

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

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

Englishmen made slaves by the Normans, p. 90.


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

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

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


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

Greenland Company oppressors, pag. 101.


Heathens more reasonable then the Lords, p. 2.

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

Henry the 1. p. 17.

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

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

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

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


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

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

His end, p. 22.

Judges corrupt, p. 23.

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

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


King is intrusted, p. 34.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

K. Harrold, p. 84, 94.


Lawes made this Parliament, pag. 33, 34.

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

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

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

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

Lords contradict themselves, p. 63.

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

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

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

Lords no Judges according to Law, p. 69.

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

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


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

Massacre of the Jewes in England when pag. 19.

Magna Charta, what it is, p. 26.

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

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

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

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


Normans whence they came, pag. 86, 87.

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


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

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

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

Oath of K. Stephen p. 18.

Oath of Justices, p. 29.

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parliaments greatnesse p. 34, 36, 37.

Prerogative Peerageflowed from rogues, p. 86, 87.

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

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


Questions of great consequence, pag. 101, 102.


Rehoboams folly, pag. 60, 61.

Richard the 1. pag. 19.

Remedy against frand, p. 26.

Richard the 2. p. 30.

Deposed p. 30.

Richard the 3. p. 30, 31.

Rebellion of the King. 90, 51.

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


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

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

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

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

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


Ten Commandements explained, p. 9, 10.

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

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

Towers chargeablenesse of Fees, p. 49.

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

Turkie Merchants, pag. 99.


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

His end, p. 17.

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

William the 2. p. 17.

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

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

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

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

Die Martiis, 23. Junii, 1646.

ORdered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, That John Lilburn shall stand committed close prisoner in the &illegible; of Newgate; and that he be not permitted to have Pen, Inke, or &illegible; and &illegible; shall have accesse unto him in any kind, but onely his Keeper, untill this Court doth take further order. IOHN BROWN, Cler. Parliamentorum.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And since the Parliament.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

First, I will prove, that if it were granted, that the Lords were a &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and had a judicatine power over the Commons, yet the therefor of the Lords dealing with him is illegall and unjust.

Secondly, I will prove that in the Lords were a Judicature, yet they &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible;

Third, I will give some reasons to manifest, that they are no &illegible; &illegible;

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

Fifthly, That by Law and Right, it &illegible; not in the power of tho &illegible; &illegible; the House of &illegible; &illegible; to deligate the legislative power, either to the &illegible; &illegible; or &illegible; nor to any other persons &illegible;

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

Secondly, from the &illegible; &illegible; strength of sound reason.

Thirdly, from the &illegible; St. &illegible; Law of the Kingdome.

Fourthly, from &illegible; &illegible; Parliaments Declarations.

Fifthly, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of England, licenced by publike Authority.

And that I may not raise a &illegible; with &illegible; laying a good Foundation, I will set &illegible; &illegible; and undeniable position, which I &illegible; a &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; latter end of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; printed Protestation against the Lords; which is &illegible;

GOD, the absolute Sovereignty Lord and King, of all things in heaven and earth, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and &illegible; all causes, who is &illegible; &illegible; and &illegible; by no rules, but &illegible; all things &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; will and unlimitted good &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and all things therein, for his &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; will &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; man (his &illegible; &illegible;) the &illegible; &illegible; (&illegible; &illegible; &illegible;) overall the rest of his creatures, &illegible; 1. 26, 28. 29. and &illegible; &illegible; with a &illegible; &illegible; or &illegible; &illegible; a &illegible; &illegible; matter his own image, &illegible; 1. &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; first of which was Adam, a &illegible; or man, &illegible; of the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; out of &illegible; side was &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; mighty creating power of God, was &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; called &illegible; which two are the earthly, original &illegible; as &illegible; and bringers &illegible; all and every particular and individuall man, and woman, that ever breathed in the world since, who are, and were, b. nature and alike in power, dignity, authority, and majesty, none of them having any authority, dominion, or magist real power, one over, or aboue another, but by institution, or &illegible; that is to say, by &illegible; agreement or consent given, derived, or assumed by &illegible; &illegible; and agreement, for the good, benefit, and comfort each of other, and not for the &illegible; &illegible; or damage of &illegible; it being &illegible; irrationall, &illegible; wicked and unjust for &illegible; &illegible; or men whatsoever, to part &illegible; so much of their power, &illegible; shall enable any of their Parliament men, Commissioners, Trustees, Deputies, Viceroyes, Ministers, Officers, and &illegible; to destroy and &illegible; them therewith: And &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; just, divillish and &illegible; it is for any man whatsoever, &illegible; or &illegible; Clergy-men or &illegible; to appropriate and assume &illegible; him else, a power, authority, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; rule, govern, or raigne over any sort of men in the world, without their &illegible; consent, and whosoever &illegible; &illegible; whether Clergy-men, or any other whatsoever, do thereby as much as in them &illegible; &illegible; to appropriate and assume &illegible; themselves the Office and Soveraignty of GOD, (who alone doth, and is to rule by his &illegible; and pleasure) and to be like their Creator &illegible; was the &illegible; of the &illegible; who not being content with their first station, but would be like GOD; for which &illegible; they were throwne downe into &illegible; reserved in everlasting &illegible; under darkenesse, unto the judgement of the great day, Iude—vers. 6. And Adams sin it was &illegible; brought the &illegible; &illegible; him and all his &illegible; that he was not content with the &illegible; 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 ruine, yea, and indeed had been the everlasting ruin & destruction of him and all his, had not GOD been the more merciful unto him in the promised Messiah. Gen. Chap. 3.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ergo. &c.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From all which relations we may observe;

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The King shall answer. I shall doe it.

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

The King shall answer, I grant, and behight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yet so just was the righteous God, that he would &illegible; &illegible; them upon the people of Israel against their own &illegible; and &illegible; not her did they rule as King, till by the &illegible; &illegible; of the people, they chose them, and &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; raigne over them. 1 Sam. 10. 20. 24. 2. Sam. 2. 24. and Chap. 5. 1. 2. and 3. and 1 Kings 38. 39. &illegible; So that heir authority did originally as inherently flow from the people, as well as their speciall &illegible; from God, and they were to &illegible; and govern them by the Law of God, (and not by the rule and Law of their own &illegible;) unto which Law they were to be as &illegible; and subject, as the meanest of the people: yea, and as lyable to punishment, and to have their &illegible; &illegible; to &illegible; charge: As Lieu &illegible; Collonel Lilburne &illegible; &illegible; and fully proved in his late printed Epistle to Judge Reves, pag.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fifty pounds to the Lieutenant.

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

Forty shillings to the Warders.

Ten shillings to the Lieutenants Clarke.

Ten shillings to the Minister.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I. Resolved upon the Question.

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

II. Resolved upon the Question.

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

III. Resolved upon the Question.

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

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

For; in fighting against the Parliament, and seekeing the utter destruction thereof; (as he hath done) no hath fought against the whole Kingdome, and people, whose be rusted, legall, chosen Commissioners, and representation they are: and who therefore have sufficient cause and ground given them, both in the eyes of God, and all rationall men; ever hereafter to renounce and defie him, &c. as he hath done them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ergo. -----

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thirdly, That they are no Judicature at all.

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

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

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

Die Jovis 11. June 1646.

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

John Brown, Cler. Parl.

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

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

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

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

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

Die Lunæ 22. Junii. 1646,

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

Iohn Browne Cler. Parl.

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

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

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

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

A true Copy of their Warrant thus followeth.

Die Martis 23. Junii. 1646.

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

To the Keeper of Newgate his Deputy, or Deputies.

Iohn Browne Cler. Parl.

Exam. per Rad. Briscoe Cler. de Newgate.

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


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

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

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

From my Cock-loft in the Presse yard of Newgate this 13. of June 1646.

iohn lilburn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But look upon &illegible; Warrants, (he &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; committed, and committed, &illegible; &illegible;) and you all not find one legall one amongst them all.

Now, for the second thing before spoken of, in the manner of his tryall; which is, That it might by Law to have &illegible; publike, in the presence of all that had a mind to have heard it, what &illegible; restraint of any.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And here I shall propound some Queries.

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

That for the Merchant-Adventurers, pag. 361.

That for the Turkie-Merchants, pag. 439.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 [* ] Read Daniel, fol. 149.

 [* ] pag.

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

 [b ] Coll. Decl. page &illegible; 663. protestation and covenant.

 [c ] Coll. decl. pag. &illegible; &illegible; 262, 266, 267, 340, 459. 462, 471, 473, &illegible; &illegible;

 [d ] Col. decl. p. &illegible; 490, 750.

 [e ] Col. decl. p. 214.

 [f ] Col. declar. p. 66.

 [g ] ler, 22. 16. 15. 16. 17.

 [h ] Col. declar. 666. 673.

 [* ] Col. Declar. 4.

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

 [k ] Col. declar. p. 738. 140. 845.

 [l ] Pag. 660.

 [** ] Decl. 460. 498. 666. 673.

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

 [n ] Col. declar. 6, 7, 8.

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

 [p ] Pat. Instit. 51.

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

 [q ] 2 part. instit. fol. 52, 53.

 [r ] col. declar. 723.

 [s ] See Cook 2 part instit. f. 187.

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

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

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

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




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

Bibliographical Information

Full title

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

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

Printed Ann Dom. 1646.

Estimated date of publication

1 February 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

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

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

To his honoured friend, Col. Henric

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

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

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

Master Chair man,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Answer.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then the Marshall thinking to bugbear them with the cracking sound of the House of Lords told them, that the Lords had ordered that she should be carried to Bridewell: but one of the Porters wisely answered, that their Lordships Order was for Goalers, and nor for Porters to carry her, and for their parts, they would carry no quick flesh, if he had any dead flesh they would carry it, and so they departed and left their Lordships prerogative drudgery to their prerogative vassals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From Newgate the place
of my &illegible; Captivity.
Feb. 1. 1647.

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

Richard Overton.





4.3. [Several Hands but probably a major role by William Walwyn], [also known as “The Petition of March”], To the Right Honourable and Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament assembled. (March 1647)

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[Several Hands but probably a major role by William Walwyn], [also known as “The Petition of March”], To the Right Honourable and Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of many thousands, earnestly desiring the glory of God, the freedome of the Commonwealth, and the peace of all men.

Estimated date of publication

March 1647 (no day given).

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. ??; Thomason Note: [For the text of the Petition of John Lilburne and the London Levellers drawn up in March 1647. See below: 11 Sept. 1648. E. 464. (19*.)]

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

To the Right Honourable and Supreme Authority of this Nation, the Commons in Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of many thousands, earnestly desiring the glory of God, the freedome of the Commonwealth, and the peace of all men. [n.p.].


That as no Civill Government is more just in the constitution, then that of Parliaments, having its foundation in the free choice of the people; and as the end of all Government is the safetie and freedome of the governed, even so the people of this Nation in all times have manifested most heartie affections unto Parliaments as the most proper remedie of their grievances; yet such hath been the wicked policies of those who from time to time have endeavoured to bring this Nation into bondage; that they have in all times either by the disuse or abuse of Parliaments deprived the people of their hopes: For testimony whereof the late times foregoing this Parliament will sadly witnesse, when it was not onely made a crime to mention a Parliament, but either the pretended negative voice, (the most destructive to freedome) or a speedie dissolution, blasted the fruit and benefit thereof, whilst the whole Land was overspread with all kinds of oppressions and tyranny, extending both to soule and body, and that in so rooted and setled a way, that the complaints of the people in generall witnessed, that they would have given any thing in the world for one six moneths freedome of Parliament. Which hath been since evidenced in their instant &: constant readinesse of assistance to this present Parliament, exceeding the Records of former ages, and wherein God hath blessed them with their first desires, making this Parliament the most absolute and free of any Parliament that ever was, and enabling it with power sufficient to deliver the whole Nation from all kinds of oppressions and grievances, though of very long continuance, and to make it the most absolute and free Nation in the world.

And it is most thankfully acknowledged that ye have in order to the freedome of the people suppressed the high Commission, Star-Chamber, and Councell-Table, called home the banished, delivered such as were imprisoned for matters of conscience, and brought some Delinquents to deserved punishment. That ye have suppressed the Bishops and Popish Lords, abolished Episcopacy, and that kind of Prelatick persecuting government. That ye have taken away Ship-money and all the new illegall Patents, whereby the hearts of all the well-affected were enlarged and filled with a confident hope, that they should have seen long ere this a compleat removall of all grievances, and the whole people delivered from all oppressions over soule or body: But such is our miserie that after the expence of so much precious time, of blood and treasure, and the ruine of so many thousands of honest families in recovering our Liberties, we still find this Nation oppressed with grievances of the same destructive nature as formerly, though under other notions; and which are so much the more grievous unto us, because they are inflicted in the very time of this present Parliament, under God the hope of the oppressed. For, as then all the men and women in England were made liable to the summons, attachments, sentences, and imprisonments of the Lords of the Councell-boord, so we find by wofull experience and sufferings of many particular persons, that the present Lords doe assume and exercise the same power, then which nothing is, or can be more repugnant and destructive to the Commons just liberties.

As then the unjust power of Star-Chamber was exercised in compelling of men and women to answer to Interrogatories tending to accuse themselves and others; so is the same now frequently practiced upon divers persons, even your cordiall friends that have been, and still are punished for refusing to answer to questions against themselves, and nearest relations. As then the great oppression of the high Commission was most evident in molesting of godly peaceable people, for non-conformity, or different opinion and practice in Religion, judging all who were contraryminded to themselves, to bee Hereticks, Sectaries, Schismaticks, seditious, factious, enemies to the State, and the like; and under great penalties forbidding all persons, not licenced by them, to preach or publish the Gospel: Even so now at this day, the very same, if not greater molestations, are set on foot, and violently prosecuted by the instigation of a Clergy no more infallible then the former, to the extreame discouragement and affliction of many thousands of your faithfull adherents, who are not satisfied that controversies in Religion, can be trusted to the compulsive regulation of any: And after the Bishops were suppressed, did hope never to have seen such a power assumed by any in this Nation any more.

And although all new illegall Patents are by you abolished, yet the oppressive Monopoly of Merchant-adventurers, and others, do still remain to the great abridgement of the liberties of the people, and to the extreme prejudice of all such industrious people as depend on cloathing, or other woollen manufacture, (it being the Staple commodity of this Nation,) and to the great discouragement and disadvantage of all sorts of Tradesmen, Sea-faring-men, and hindrance of Shipping and Navigation. Also the old tedious and chargable way of deciding controversies, or suits in Law, is continued to this day, to the extreame vexation and utter undoing of multiudes of Families; a grievance as great and as palpable as any in the world. Likewise, that old, but most unequall punishment of malefactors, is still Continued, whereby mens lives and liberties are as liable to the law, and corporall pains as much inflicted for small as for great offences, and that most unjustly upon the testimony of one witnesse, contrary both to the law of God, and common equity, a grievance very great, but litle regarded. Also tythes, and other enforced maintenance are still continued, though there be no ground for either under the Gospel; and though the same have occasioned multitudes of suites, quarrels and debates, both in former and latter times. In like maner, multitudes of poore distressed prisoners for debt, ly still unregarded, in a most miserable and wofull condition throughout the Land, to the great reproach of this Nation. Likewise PrisonKeepers, or Coalers, are as presumptuous as ever they were, both in receiving and detaining of Prisoners illegally committed, as cruell and inhumane to all, especially to such as are well-affected, as oppressive and extorting in their Fees, and are attended with under-officers, of such vile and unchristian demeanour, as is most abominable. Also thousands of men and women are still (as formerly) permitted to live in beggery and wickednesse all their life long, and to breed their children to the same idle and vitious course of life, and no effectual meanes used to reclaim either, or to reduce them to any vertue or industry.

And last, as those who found themselves aggrieved formerly at the burdens & oppressions of those times, that did not conform to the Church-government then established, refused to pay Shipmoney, or yeeld obedience to unjust Patents, were reviled and reproached with nicknames of Puritans, Hereticks, Schismaticks, Sectaries, or were teartned factious or seditious, men of turbulent spirits, despisers of government, and disturbers of the publike peace; even so is it at this day in all respects, with those who shew any sensibility of the fore-recited grievances, or move in any manner or measure for remedy thereof, all the reproaches, evills, and mischiefs that can be devised, are thought too few or too little to bee laid upon them, as Roundheads, Sectaries, Independents, Hereticks, Schismaticks, factious, seditious, rebellious disturbers of the publike peace, destroyers of all civill relation, and subordinations; yea, and beyond what was formerly, nonconformity is now judged a sufficient cause to disable any person though of known fidelity, from bearing any Office of trust in the Commonwealth, whilest Neuters, Malignants, and dis-affected are admitted and continued. And though it be not now made a crime to mention a Parliament, yet is it little lesse to mention the supreme power of this honourable House. So that in all these respects, this Nation remaineth in a very sad and disconsolate condition; and the more, because it is thus with us after so long a session of so powerfull and so free a Parliament, and which hath been so made and maintained, by the aboundant love and liberall effusion of the blood of the people. And therefore knowing no danger nor thraldome like unto our being left in this most sad condition by this Parliament, and observing that ye are now drawing the great and weighty affaires of this Nation to some kind of conclusion, and fearing that ye may ere long bee obstructed by somthing equally evill to a negative voice, and that ye may be induced to lay by that strength, which (under God) hath hitherto made you powerfull to all good workes: whilest we have yet time to hope, and yee power to help, and least by our silence we might be guilty of that ruine and slavery, which without your speedy help is like to fall upon us, your selves and the whole Nation; we have presumed to spread our cause thus plainely and largely before you: And do most earnestly entreat, that ye will stir up your affections to a zealous love and tender regard of the people, who have chosen and trusted you, and that ye will seriously consider, that the end of their trust, was freedome and deliverance from all kind of temporall grievances and oppressions.

1. And that therefore in the first place, ye will bee exceeding carefull to preserve your just authority from all prejudices of a negative voice in any person or persons whomsoever, which may disable you from making that happy return unto the people which they justly expect, and that ye will not be induced to lay by your strength, untill ye have satisfied your understandings in the undoubted security of your selves, and of those who have voluntarily and faithfully adhered unto you in all your extremities; and untill yee have secured and setled the Common-wealth in solid peace and true freedome, which is the end of the primitive institution of all governments.

2. That ye will take off all Sentences, Fines and Imprisonments imposed on Commoners, by any whomsoever, without due course of Law, or judgement of their equalls: and to give due reparations to all those who have been so injuriously dealt withall, and for preventing the like for the time to come, that yee will enact all such Arbitrary proceedings to bee capitall crimes.

3. That ye will permit no authority whatsoever, to compell any person or persons to answer to questions against themselves, or nearest relations, except in cases of private interest between party and party in a legall way, and to release all such as suffer by imprisonment, or otherwise for refusing to answer to such Interrogatories.

4. That all Statutes, Oathes and Covenants may be repealed so farre as they tend, or may be construed to the molestation and ensnaring of religious, peaceable, well-affected people, for non-conformity, or different opinion or practice in Religion.

5. That no man for preaching or publishing his opinion in Religion in a peaceable way, may be punished or persecuted as hereticall, by Judges that are not infallible, but may be mistaken (as well as other men) in their judgements, least upon pretence of suppressing Errors, Sects or Schisms, the most necessary truths, and sincere professors thereof may besuppressed, as upon the like pretence it hath been in all ages.

6. That ye will, for the encouragement of industrious people, dissolve that old oppressive Company of Merchant-Adventurers, and the like, and prevent all such others by great penalties for ever.

7. That yee will settle a just, speedy, plaine and unburthensome way, for deciding of controversies and suits in Law, and reduce all Lawes to the nearest agreement with Christianity, and publish them in the English Tongue, and that all processes and proceedings therein may be true and also in English, and in the most usuall Character of writing, without any abreviations, that each one who can read, may the better understand their owne affaires; and that the duty of all Judges, Officers, and practicers in the Law, and of all Magistrates and Officers in the Commonwealth may be prescribed, and their fees limited under strict penalties, and published in print to the view and knowledge of all men: by which just and equitable meanes, this Nation shall be for ever freed of an oppression more burthensome and troublesome then all the oppressions hitherto by this Parliament removed.

8. That the life of no person may be taken away, under the testimony of two witnesses at least, of honest conversation; and that in an equitable way ye will proportion punishments to offences, that so no mans life may be taken, his body punished, nor his estate forfeited, but upon such weighty and considerable causes as justly deserve such punishments; and that all prisoners may have a speedy tryall, that they be neither starved, nor their families ruined, by long and lingring imprisonment; and that imprisonment may be used onely for safe custody untill time of triall, and not as a punishment for offences.

9. That tythes and all other enforced maintenance, may be for ever abolished, and nothing in place thereof imposed; but that all Ministers may be paid onely by those who voluntarily contribute to them, or chuse them, and contract with them for their labours.

10. That ye will take some speedy and effectuall course to relieve all such prisoners for debt, as are altogether unable to pay, that they may not perish in prison through the hard-heartednesse of their Creditors; and that all such as have any estates, may bee inforced to make paiment accordingly, and not to shelter themselves in prison to defraud their Creditors.

11. That none may be Prison-keepers, but such as are of approved honestie, and that they may be prohibited under great penalties to receive or detaine any person or persons without lawfull warrant: That their usage of prisoners may be with gentlenesse and civility, their fees moderate and certain, and that they may give security for the good behaviour of their under-Officers.

12. That ye will provide some powerfull meanes to keep men, women, and children from begging and wickednesse, that this Nation may be no longer a shame to Christianity therein.

13. That ye will restraine and discountenance the malice and impudency of impious persons, in their reviling and reproaching the well-affected, with the ignominious titles of Round-heads, factious, seditious and the like, whereby your reall friends have been a long time, and still are exceedingly wronged, discouraged, and made obnoxious to rude and prophane people, and that ye wil not exclude any of approved fidelity from bearing office of trust in the Common-wealth for non-conformity; but rather Neuters and such as manifest dis-affection or opposition to common freedome, the admission and continuation of such being the chief cause of all these pur grievances.

These remedies, or what other shall seem more effectuall to your grave wisdomes, we humbly pray may be speedily applied, and that in doing thereof, ye will be confident of the assistance of your Petitioners, and of all considerate well-minded people, to the uttermost of their best abilities, against all opposition whatsoever, looking upon our selves as more concerned now at last to make a good end, then at the first to have made a good beginning: For what shall it profit us, or what remedy can we expect, if now after so great troubles and miseries this Nation should be left by this Parliament in so great a thraldome, both of body, mind, and estate?

We beseech you therefore, that with all your might whilest he have time, freedome and power, so effectually to fulfill the true end of Parliaments in delivering this Nation from these and all other grievances, that none may presume or dare to introduce the like for ever.

And we trust, the God of your good successe, will manifest the integrity of our intentions herein, and that our humble desires are such, as tend not onely to our owne particular, but to the generall good of the Common-wealth, and proper for this Honourable House to grant, without which this Nation cannot be safe, or happy: And that he will blesse you with true Christian fortitude, suitable to the trust and greatnesse of the worke yee have undertaken, and make the memory of this Parliament blessed to all succeeding Generations.

Shall ever be the fervent desire of your humble Petitioners.




4.4. William Walwyn, A Still and Soft Voice From the Scriptures Witnessing them to be the Word of God. (March/April 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

William Walwyn, A Still and Soft Voice From the Scriptures Witnessing them to be the Word of God.

I Kings. 19.11.12. And he said (to Eliah) come out and stand upon the Mount before the Lord. And behold the Lord went by, and a mighty strong wind rent the Mountaines and broke the Rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind and after the wind came an Earth-quake, but the Lord was not in the Earth-quake.
And after the Earth-quake came fire, but the Lord was not in the fire, and after the fire came a a still and soft voice. And when Eliah heard it, he covered his face with a Mantle, etc.

Printed in the Yeare, 1647.

Estimated date of publication

March/April 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

Not listed in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

A Still and Soft Voice.

As he who is arrived to the full age of a man, and seriously considers, the severall passages and progresse of his fore past life: what he did or understood, when he was a child, a youth, a young man; a meere man, or before he came to be advised, and to consider all things by true rules of reason: is best able to deale with every one in every age and condition, to shew them their vanity, ignorance and mistakings: and to point them out the path of vertue. Experience making the best Schoole-master in things naturall and morall.

Even so is it in Religion, he only can best judge, advise and counsell others, who hath observed and most seriously considered the severall passages and progresse of his owne knowledge in things divine: yet who are so forward to judge and comptrole therein, as meere smatterers and such as have least experience.

I suppose it will be acknowledged, by all experienced Christians, that the greatest number of men and women in the world, are drawne into the consideration and Practice of Religion, by education, and custome of the place where they are bred: and that many never have any other foundation, nor motive to continue therein, then the reputation it brings them: all other religions or wayes of worship being discountenanced and out of credit, such as these are Champions for whats in fashion: ever running with the streame, and crying downe all contrary minded; Vox populi, Vox dei, the Major voice (then which nothing is more uncertain in Religion) is to these as the voice of God: and when they are zealous for vulgar opinions they thinke they are zealous for God and his truth: when they revile, abuse, and hale men before the Magistrates, and even kill and destroy them, they think they doe God good service: being zealous of the traditions of the times: for though truth should be publickly professed: yet to such as hold it only by education and custome: it is in them traditionall, and they are not truly religious; but meere morrall Christians: utterly ignorrant of the cleare Heavenly brightnesse, inherent, in pure and undefiled Religion.

But though it be evident, that there are too too many, who hold their religion, on this fraile foundation, yet it is very comfortable to behold, the sincerity of multitudes of good people in our dayes: who; not content to possesse their knowledg in a traditionall way: doe accustome themselves to try and examine all things.

Yet as it is a hard thing unto men, bred so vainly as most men are, to keepe the golden meane, in naturall or morrall Reformations: so is it difficult to preserve from extreames, in matters of religion, the reason is, because in our tryalls and examinations, we have not that heedfull care, which is absolutely necessary, to free our Judgments from absurdityes or improper things: common and vulgar arguments catching fast hold upon us too suddenly; and so we engage over violently, averring and maintayning without giving due time to our consideration to worke and debate itseife into necessary conclusions.

The first sort of these religious persons: are deadly enemies to examination and tryall of things, we (say they) are not fit to Judge of these matters ne sutor ultra crepidam, is commonly in their mouthes: the Cobier ought not to goe beyond his last: what are the learned for, if these high things fall within the compasse of our capacities, why chuse wee wise and juditious men, more able then our selves, but to reforme, and settle Religion: if you draw them into any discourse, and endeavour to shew them their weakenesse, their only aime is how to entrap you, in your words, and if it be possible to make you obnoctious to authority.

If their ignorance and superstition appeare so grosse and palpable, that (in loving tearmes, and for their better information,) you demand how they come to know there is a God, or that the scriptures are the word of God: their common answer is, doe you deny them: it seems you doe? otherwise why doe you aske such questions? if they offer to proove by some common received argument: and you shew the weaknesse thereof: they’le goe nigh to tell you to your face, and report for certaine behind your back, to all they know, or can know, that you are an Athiest, that you deny there is a God, and deny the Scriptures to be the word of God: nor doe they hate any sort of men so much, as those who are inquisitive after knowledge, judgeing them as busie bodyes, men of unquiet spirits, that know not when they are well, or when they have sufficient: for their parts, they are constant in one, for the substance; their principles are not of yesterday but of many yeares standing: and the most learned and wise are of their way, and why should not others be as well content as they, is it fit (say they) that every one should follow his owne understanding in the worship of God, wee see what comes of it; when men once forsake the beaten Road (the Kings high way) in Religion, into how many by-pathes, doe they runne, nay, whether would they not runne, if our care were not to hedg and keepe them in.

And thus ignorance becomes many times Judge of knowledge: and the most grosse and slothfull; comptroler of the most active in Religion.

Of this sort of men there are very many; and they are made very much use of by worldly Pollititians, who have found by constant experience, that superstition is the easiest meanes to lead a multitude, this way, or that way as their occasions and purposes may require, and on the contrary, that true Religion is in it selfe as oppsite to their unjust ends, as it is to superstition and therefore if they observe any man who out of the principles of true Religion opposeth their ends; at him they let loose these ignorant and morrall Christians, furnish them with reproachfull tales, and falshoods, against him, call him Athiest Infidell, Heritick, Scismatick, any thing: which is as eagerly effected, as wickedly devised: and how to stop these mens mouthes is in my apprehention no lesse a worke then to make white a Blackamore.

Those others who are startled in their consciences, and roused by the word of God, out of this worldly way of religion, or running with the streame, it is a hard matter to hold them to a due pace, in the persute of necessary knowledge or to keepe them to a propper Method, or to obtaine this of them, that they receive nothing as a truth, which they see admiteth of an obsurdity.

But having broke loose from the bands of educated and customary religion, through necessity of conscience, and being anew to begin, they are apt hastily to take in, that which is first offered with any resemblance of truth, and so in an instant, fall into new entanglements.

For if hast, make wast in any thing, it is in pursute after knowledge: and though every considerate mans experience findeth this a truth: though it be contest by all, that there is nothing of greater concernment to man, then the truth of his Divine knowledge: though nothing doth more disturb the minde of man, then error and mistakeing in religion.

Yet is there not any thing wherein men: proceed more irregularly, or more impatiently: either they are over rash and sudden or over fearfull, and irresolute: they approach all discourse with prejudice, and a mind distempered, searching nothing throughly or orderly, but content themselves with an overly examination, and (in my apprehention) are not so disingenious in any thing, as in religion: willingly resigning and forfeiting their understandings, and Judgments, at a cheap rate then Esau did his Birthright: and so continue very long (not truly religious, but) superstitious men, alwayes amazed: neither remembring what themselves or others speake: he that once opposeth them, hath a Wolfe by the cares, hee can neither speake, nor hold his peace, without damage, they take allthings in the worst sence sigh, lament, pitty, or censure, all that sutes not with their opinion or practice: and talk or report of, any man, any thing that comes in their imaginations; those that come behind them in knowledge; are carnall: those before them desperate And therefore it may be very profitable; that the differences betwene true Religion and superstition, be made knowne to these times, more fully than it is, the one being commonly taken for the other.

Now both are best knowne by their effects: for true Religion setleth a man in peace and rest: makes him like unto the Angels, alwayes praising God and saying Glory to God on High, in earth peace, Good will towards men, it is ever provided with good intentions and good desires, maketh the best construction in doubtfull cases, see how true Christian love is described by the Apostle in the 13. to the Corinths. and that is the true Religious mans Character.

On the contrary, superstition troubleth and makes a man wilde, a superstitious man suffereth neither God nor man to live in peace, (as one well observeth from experience) he aprehendeth God, as one anxious, spiteful, hardly contented easily moved, with difficulty appeased, examining our actions after the human fashion of a severe Judge, that watcheth our steps, which hee prooveth true by his manner of serving him, hee trembleth for feare is never secure, fearing he never doth well, and that he hath left some thing undone, by omission whereof, all is worth nothing that he hath done.

But generally now a dayes, (contrary to former tymes) the superstitious mans devotion costs him litle, he hath somuch worldly wit in his zeale, as to save his purse, hot and fiery against heresie and blasphemy, (which are titles he freely bestowes on all opinions, contrary to his own, true or false), he will course his poor neighbour out of all he hath, yea out of the Nation, if he can not course him into his opinion: and all upon pretence of doing God service and for the good of his soule.

As for his body, or estate, thats no part of his care, hee is not so hasty to runn into his poore neighbours house, to see what is wanting there, hee may ly upon a bed, or no bed, covering or no covering, be starved through cold and hunger, over burthened with labour, be sick, lame or diseased: and all this troubles not the superstitious mans (nor the morall Christians) Conscience: he may through want and necessity goe into what prison he will, and ly and rott and starve there: and these kind of Religious people are not halfe so much moved at it, as if he goe to another Church or congregation, then what they approove: if hee doe so, upstarts their zeale; and after him, watch, spy, accuse and informe: and all for the good of his soule: and for the Glory of God.

One would not think it were possible man could be so blind, or so inconsiderate as to immagin, that God would be thus modked, thus madly served, contrary to the whole tenor of the Scriptures, but such are the effects of educated, customary or superstitious Religion.

Whilst the effects of pure and undefiled Religion, are another thing: as Feeding the hungry, Cloathing the naked, Visiting the sick, the Fatherlesse, the Widdowes and Prisoners: and in all things walking as becometh the Gospell of Christ: it will empty the fullest Baggs: and pluck downe the highest plumes.

And whoever serveth God sincerely in this Religion, shall be knowne by his fruites: his light shall so shine before men, that they seeing his good Workes, shall Glorify our Father which is in heaven.

But of these there are few to bee found; and as few that truly labour, to reclaime those many thousands of miserable people that are drencht all their life long in grosse ignorance, and notorious loathsome wickednesse: Yet there is joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more then for ninety nine just persons that need no repentance: Why taike wee so much of Christianity, holinesse, and saintship, whilst wee neglect the lost sheep, or the recovery of our brethren from those Errors of their wayes.

The plain truth is, this grosse neglect of known duty herein, and the generall eagernesse in the lesse necessary parts of zeale and devotion, manifesteth the world is not subdued; that there is little selfe-deniall, little of pure and undefiled Religion as yet in the world: men content themselves with forms of godlinesse, but are regardlesse of the power thereof.

And therefore I have been the lesse troubled in my selfe; for the hard measure I have found: amidst so great a mixture of worldlinesse, ignorance, and superstitious zeale, why should one looke for much ingenuity, these times have but cast an eye towards the materiall parts of true Christianity: It is not yet knowne what it is, in its excellency, the end and issue thereof, is too good to bee deserved, or discerned, by a people that are not yet broad awake, they strike him that brings them more light; then they can well endure.

All the evill and reproach I have suffered, hath beene by occasion of my forwardnesse to do others good: my freenesse in discourse, though harmlesse in it selfe, and intended for good, hath been perverted, misconstrued, and made use of to my prejudice.

I accompt nothing more vain, then to discourse meerly for discourse sake, nay, it is painfull and ircksome to me, to heare a discourse that is not really necessary and usefull, nor doe I know, that I have ever purposely set my self to debate any serious matter, slightly or carelessely, though cheerefully.

And my manner is, whatever is in debate, to search it thorowly, being of an opinion, that, what is really true, stands the firmer, for being shaken: like a house that is built upon a rock.

I have been much troubled, to observe men earnestly engage to maintaine the strongest maximes and principles by weak arguments; the weaknesse whereof, I have endevoured to manifest, that I might discover the weaknesse of such practises, and to make it evident, that fundamentall truthes support all things, and need no supporters: Thou bearest not the root, but the root, thee.

But this my free dealing (with uncharitable or superstitious people) hath found this evill retume, they have reported me, to deny that there is a God, when I have only denyed the validity of a weak argument, produced to prove that there is a God; it being too too common to insist upon meere notionall indigested arguments: so also have I been most uncharitably slandered to deny the Scriptures to bee the word of God, because I have opposed insufficient arguments produced to prove them such: and because at the same time I have refused to shew the grounds inducing me to beleeve them.

Now it hath been my lot to be drawne into discourses of this nature for the most part by timorous, scrupulous, people, in whom, I have discovered so much impatience, and discontent, at the shaking of their arguments, that I have not discerned any reason to open my selfe at that time; yet I never parted with any of them, but I alwayes professed that I did believe, both that there is a God, & that the Scriptures are the Word of God, though I judged their grounds not good; and withall, that if they would be so ingenious as to acknowledge the weaknesse of their arguments, I would then shew them my ground of faith; or if at any time they stood in need, I would not be wanting to the uttermost of my power to supply them, but I have seldome found any, who in the heat of contest and prosecution of dispute, have been qualified, to receive, what I had to say, touching this matter, their apprehension and mine being at too great a distance therein.

But I blesse God it is not so ill with me, as some bad minded men desire, nor as some weak and scrupulous men imagin.

And there are some ingenious men, with whom I have daily converst, that know I doe acknowledge and beleeve there is a God, and that the Scriptures are the Word of God.

Yet the testimony of men in this case to mee is little; my owne conscience being as a thousand witnesses.

That there is a God: I did never beleeve through any convincing power I have ever discerned by my utmost consideration of any natural argument or reason I ever heard or read: But it is an unexpressible power, that in a forcible manner constraines my understanding to acknowledge and beleeve that there is a God, and so to beleeve that I am fully perswaded there is no considerat man in the world but doth believe there is a God.

And, That the Scriptures are the Word of God, I shall clearly make the same profession. That I have not beleeved them so to be, by force of any argument I have ever heard or read, I rather find by experience, most, if not all arguments, produced in prejudice thereof: (Art, argument, and compulsive power, in this case holding resemblance with the mighty strong wind, the Earth quake and fire, distracting, terrifying and scorching the minds of men) but I beleeve them through an irresistible perswasive power that from within them (like unto the soft still voyce wherein God was) hath pierced my judgment and affection in such sort, that with aboundance of joy and gladnesse I beleeve, and in beleeving have that Peace which passeth all utterance or expression; and which hath appeared unto me after so many sad conflicts of a distracted conscience, and wounded spirit, that it is to me a heaven upon earth: It being now long since, I blesse God, that I can truly say, My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise: In other respects, I conceive the most holy upon earth, if they give impartiall care to this voyce, will finde no cause to boast or to finde fault with others, but as Eliah to cover their faces with a mantle.

And truly were it not that too too many pretenders to Religion, are over apt to receive false reports (which is a most uncharitable disposition) and over prone to make the worse construction, which is altogether unchristian, it had beene impossible for any to have abused me in these or any other respects.

But it will be needfull for all such, seriously to lay to heart, that they ought to do as they would be done unto in all things, that he who seemeth to bee religious and bridles not his tongue, that mans religion is vaine.

That he who boasteth to beleeve a God, and the Scriptures to be the Word of God, and glorieth in his ability of exposition thereof: yet applieth it to the discovery of a mote in his brothers eye, rather then a beame in his own: he whose expressions and actions do demonstrate him to say within himselfe, Lord I thank thee, I am not as other men, extortioners, unjust adulterers, nor as this Publican: This man who ever he be, is not yet got through the lesson of the Pharisies; that were wise in their owne eyes, and despised others.

But it would be much more profitable to society and good neighbourhood that there were a more exact accompt taken by every man of his owne wayes; it is verily thought most men neede not goe abroad for want of work, if either pride, covetousnesse, backbiting, unreasonable jealosy, vanity of minde, dotage upon superfluities: with hard heartedness to the poore: were thought worthy of Reformation.

To be zealous in lipp service, or to expresse our devotion, in censuring of others, yeelds neither honour to God, nor good to man.

Who were more blinde, then those who said are wee blind, also? the Angell of the Church of Laodicea, boasted that he was rich, and increased with goods and had neede of nothing: and knew not that he was wretched, and misserable and poor and blind and naked.

Wee have many now a dayes, who are doubly unjust and thinke not of it; they are partiall and favourable in examining and corecting of themselves: and severe towards others, when as they ought to be severe towards themselves: and favourable towards others.

And it is a fault not easily mended: it requires a greater power of true religion to doe it, then the most have as yet attained, if one may judge by the Fruites: and therefore it will be good for every one to neglect that which is behinde, and to presse forward to the marke, for the price of the high Calling of God which is in Jesus Christ: either renounce the Name, or let your practice demonstrate, that you are a Christian.

Hee who greedily receiveth a hard report of his neighbour, is not provided of charitable and loving thoughts as he ought; and if he report any evill, before he be certaine of the truth thereof, hee is a slanderer; and when hee is certaine it is true, if he report it with delight, it argues him of malice.

He who is glad of his neighbours defamation, would not be sory at his ruine: a slanderer would be a murderer but for feare: and therefore, every honest vertuous religious man should shun a slanderer, as he would shun a Serpent.

And thus having said enough to free my self from this slander (if religious people will but study ingenuity, which hath been too much wanting amongst them) the whole course of my actions, writings and discourses, evidencing the contrary to all that throughly know me: and this my profession being added to, satisfie those that know me but by hearsay: I have done: judging it a small thing to be judged of any, or of mans judgement; Who art thou that judgest another mans servant, to his owne master, hee standeth or falleth.

The liberty of my native Country, and the freedome of all consciencious people hath been, and still is pretious in my esteeme: nor shall I be discouraged (by any the unworthy slanders cast upon me) from a just and due prosecution of both, according to my place and calling: I shall make bold to deceive the deceiver and his instruments therein: I should be glad to see the Educated and customary morall Christians become Christians indeed, and cease to persecute: I should exceedingly rejoyce to see the superstitious, become really religious, and to see babes; become strong men in Christ, and all bend their endevours to deliver the captive, and set the oppressed free, to reclaime the vicious, and to labour the saving of the lost sheep of the house of England: To see Charity abound, and all envy, malice, and worldly mindednesse to cease for ever, and not to be named amongst us, as becommeth Saints indeed: to see all men ingenious, loving, friendly and tender-hearted one towards another: but I must neither be silent, nor slothfull till I see it, nor sorow as one without hope of seeing it: but through evill report, and good report, do my duty? patiently expecting a good issue? laboring in all estates to be content; knowing there is no temptation hath taken hold upon others, but may befall unto me. In the mean time, knowing all terrestriall things to be but vain and transitory, my chiefest comfort is, that I desire to know Nothing save Jesus Christ and him crucified: accounting all things as losse and dung, that I may be found in Christ, not having my own righteousnesse which is of the Law, but the righteousnesse which is of God in him.

I have no quarrell to any man, either for unbeleefe or misbeleefe, because I judge no man beleeveth any thing, but what he cannot choose but beleeve; it is misery enough to want the comfort of true beleeving, and I judge the most convincing argument that any man can hold forth unto another, to prove himselfe a true sincere beleever, is to practice to the uttermost that which his faith binds him unto: more of the deeds of Christians, and fewer of the arguments would doe a great deale more good to the establishing of those that stagger: It being not the leaves but the fruit that nourisheth and carrieth the seed with it. Shew me thy faith by thy workes; If I have all faith and have not love, I am as sounding brasse, or as a tinckling cymball, if faith worke, it workes by love: Let us all therefore hence-forth walk in love, even as Christ hath loved, and hath given himseife an offering and a sacrifice for us: to whom bee glory and dominion for ever.


By William Walwyn, Merchant:
(there being a Minister of the same name.)





4.5. John Lilburne, The resolved mans Resolution, to maintain with the last drop of his heart blood, his civill Liberties and freedomes (30 April 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

John Lilburne, The resolved mans Resolution, to maintain with the last drop of his heart blood, his civill Liberties and freedomes, granted unto him by the good, just, and honest declared lawes of England, (his native Country) and never to sit still, so long as he hath a tongue to speake, or a hand to write, til he hath either necessitated his Adversaries, the house of Lords, and their Arbitrary Associates in the house of Commons, either to doe him justice and right, by delivering him from his causelesse and illegall imprisonment, and out unto him, legall and ample reparations, for all his unjust sufferings or else send him to Tyburne: of which he is not afraid, and doubteth not if they doe it, but at and by his death, to doe them (Sampson like) more mischief, then he did them all his life. All which is expressed and declared in the following Epistle, written by Lieut. Coll. John Lilburne, Prerogative Prisoner in the Tower of London, to a true friend of his, a Citizen thereof, Aprill 1647.

Isaiah 1.23, 24. Thy Princes are rebellious and Companions of Thieves, every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they Judge not the fatherlesse, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. Therefore saith the Lord, the Lord of host, the mighty one of Israel, Abel will use me of my adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies.
Acts 13 6, 7, 8. But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadduces, and the other Pharasees, be cryed out in the Councell, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the sonne of a Pharisee: of [...]e hope and resurrection of the dead, I am called in question. And when be had so said, there arosee a dissertion between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was devided. For the Sadduces say that there is no resurrection neither Angel nor Spirit: but, the Pharisees confesse both. And there arose a great cry: and the Scribes that were of the Pharisees part, arose and [...] saying; We find no evill in this man: but if a Spirit, or an Angel hath spoken to him, let us not [...] against God.
Acts 15.8. While he answered for himselfe, Neither against the law of the Jewes, neither against the Temple, nor yet against Caesor, have I offended any thing at all. Verse 16. To whom [...] answered, it is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die before that he which is accused, have the accuser face to face, and have licence to answer for himselfe concerning the crime against him.
Acts 22.25. And as they bound him with things, Paul said unto the Centurion that stood by, is it lawfull for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and be condemned, and verse 28. But Paul said, [...] was free borne.

Estimated date of publication

30 April 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 506; Thomason E. 387. (4.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

TRue friend, after my reall respect presented unto &illegible; &c. I desire to informe &illegible; that I am told, you are very much troubled &illegible; proceedings with the Committee of the House of Commons, upon Munday, the 8. of Feb. 1646. That after I had stood so stisly at the beginning with them, upon the Lawes, Rights and priviledges every free man of the Kingdome, that I should undoe all, and let my sit me hold goe, by answering at last to their Interrogatories, by which you say, I undid all I had done, and &illegible; against me owne declared principles, and not only so but by owning my book, have exposed my selfe to a great deale of hazard and danger, which I might easily have avoyded, if I had not answered their Interiogatory.

Vpon serious consideration hereof, I judge my selfe bound in duty to my selfe, to write these lints unto you, for your satisfaction, and my own vindication, and therefore J shall begin to give you so true and reall a Narrative of my whole proceedings with them, as the utmost of my &illegible; will inable me, part of which you your selfe were an eye and eare witnesse unto, and it was in this manner. About 9. o clock upon the foresaid Munday, Lewis a servant to the Sergeant at &illegible; came to my lodging in the Tower, and shewed me a Warrant he had to take my wife into safe custody, for dispersing some of my last bookes, and I told him it was very hard, for any Committee of Parliament, to send forth a warrant to make my wife a Prisoner, before they had heard her &illegible; for her selfe, or so much as summoned her to appeare before them, and I plainly told him it &illegible; was more then by law they could justifie, but however, I bore so much honourable respect &illegible; the House of Commons, and all its Committees, that I would not perswade my wife to contempt their warrants, but if he pleased to take my word for her appearance, I would ingage my life for her, that she should be punctually at the houre appointed, to waite upon the Committee to know their pleasure: which ingagement he was pleased to take, but with all told me, he had broughts warrant to the Lieutenant of the Tower, to carriemt before the Committee at two a clock in the afternoon, but I told him, unlesse I see and read the warrant, I should not goe, but by force &illegible; compulsion, and &illegible; if he pleased to goe with me to the Lieutenant, and get him to let me read the warrant, I should readily obey it, which he did accordingly, but time being very short, I considered with my selfe what was most fit for me to doe, for I assured my selfe I was to goe before those, divers of which, would bend all their insensed mallice and indignation against me, and make use of all their power and wits, to intrap and insnare me, and therefore, I listed up my soule to my old and faithfull Counceller, the Lord &illegible; and in my ejaculations, pressed my &illegible; and master, with a great deale of grounded confidence and &illegible; of spirit, to declare and manifest his faithfullnesse, in being present with me, to counsell, direct, incourage and stand by me, according to his promise of old (made unto me) in the tenth of Matthew, and to his praise and glory I desire to speake it, he presently came into my soule with a mighty power, and raised me high above my selfe, and gave me that present resolution that was able to lead me, with a great deale of assured confidence to grapple with an whole host of men; But in my owne spirit I was led presently to take care, to doe something for my wife as the weaker vessell, that so she might not be to seek in case she were called before them, and for that end, I drew her presently up a few lines, which I read unto her, and gave her instructions, that upon the very first question they should aske her, she should give them her paper, as her absolute answer to their question: unto which she readily a &illegible; and set her name to it, which verbarum thus followeth.

To the Honourable the Committee of the Honourable, the House of Commons, for suppressing of scandalous Pamphlets. The humble addresses of Elizabeth Lilburne, wife to Lieut. Col. John Lilburn, prerogative prisoner in the tower of London. Feb. 8. 1646.


YOu have all of you taken the Covenant, (for you have made an Order, that no man shall sit in your House, that will not take it) where you have sworn to maintain the fundamentall Lawes of the Kingdome, and for you to examine me upon Interrogatories, is contrary to the fundamentall Law of the Kingdome, (and for me to answer to them, is to be traiterous to my owne liberty) or for you to proceed by any other rules to punish me, for any reall or pretended crime, but what is declared by the Law, is unjust and unrighteous, and therefore I humbly intreat this honourable Committee, seriously &illegible; read and consider the Statute of the 42. of Edward the third, Chapter 3. which thus followeth. “Item, At the request of the Commons by their Petitions put forth in this Parliament, to eschew the mischiefes and dammage done to divers of his Commons, by false &illegible; which often times have made their &illegible; for revenge, and &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; for the profit of the King, or of his people, which &illegible; persons, some have been &illegible;&illegible; which the Parliament is. and sometime caused to come before the Kings Counsell, by &illegible; otherwise upon grievious paine against the Law: It is assented and accorded, for the good governance of the Commons, that no man be put to answer without presentment before Iustices, or matter of record, or by due processe and writ originall according to the old Law of the land, and if any thing from henceforth be done to the contrary, it shall be &illegible; in the Law, and holden for errour. And sutable to this is the 29. chap of Magna Charta, and &illegible; 5. E. 3. 9. and 25. E. 3. 4. and 18. E. 3. 3. 37. E. 3. 18. which are all and every of them confirmed by the Petition of Right, made in the third yeare of the present King, which expresly saith. “No &illegible; ought to be adjudged, but by the lawes established in the Realm, and not otherwise, which &illegible; of Right, you your selves have in every point confirmed, as appeares by the Seatute that abolisheth the Star Chamber, and by the Statute that abolisheth Ship money, and you your selves with your &illegible; lifted up to the most high God, have often sworne, vowed, protested and declared, you will &illegible; preserve and defend, the fundamentall lawes of the land, and square your actions accordingly, and &illegible; the wrath and vengeance of the great God of Heaven and Earth to fall upon you, when you &illegible; to performe what there you sweare to, and declare, and therefore Gentlemen, what thoughts &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; you have towards me, I hope you will be so tender of your own honours and reputations, that &illegible; will not in the least &illegible; deale with &illegible; contrary to the true intent and meaning of the &illegible; lawes, but if you should, I cannot stoop unto &illegible; &illegible; that is contrary to the pattern of the &illegible; mentioned honest, just and good lawes, and if you please to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the benefit of them, I shall be &illegible; to &illegible; with you, whensoever you please, and legally to answer whatsoever I have said and &illegible; and so I humbly take my leave of your honours, and rest.

&illegible; 8. 1646.

Your servant, Elizabeth Lilburne,

And having finished hers, and taken care to get a copy of it, I begun to thinke what to doe &illegible; selfe, and being very confidently perswaded, that they would shew me my book, and aske me if I would owne it for mine, because this was their method the last yeare with me, as you may fully &illegible; in a printed Epistle I writ to you last yeare, when I was a prisoner under the &illegible; at Arms of the house of Commons, which Epistle is dated July 14. 1645.

And in my answer to William Prinus notorious lyes and falshoods, *called Innocency and truth justified, pag. 6. 13, 14. 15. 16.

And therefore &illegible; sell to my pen and thinks but before I had writ a &illegible; of that I intended, my selfe to give into the Committee, my keeper came, and told me it was past one a clock, and therefore full time for us to be gone, being we were to be there by two, and in regard it was so very cold, we marched all the way by land, and comming to the outward Court of of wards before the Committee &illegible; I self to perfect what I had begun, and as I was at worke, out came to me a Citizen and cold me there &illegible; a young Gentleman in a &illegible; &illegible; who looked something &illegible; pressed with a great deale of &illegible; and indignation, that I might be imediately called in to answer for my notorious crime, &illegible; writing the Oppressed mans appressions declared, which I say &illegible; a book of truth and honesty, and &illegible; as I had done, I was called in before the Committee, whose I found (as I conceived them) &illegible; great many of the little better then &illegible; catch-poule Stationers, whose trade it is for divers of them illegally and little better then felloniously, to breake open honest mens houses and I &illegible; Theeves and Rogues, carry away their true and proper goods,* and a very large company of Parliament men, as ever I see at a Committee to my remembrance before, and looking well about me, the most of them were to me men of new faces, and one of them appeared to me, to be one of Pryus infants or Minors, not above 18. yeares old as I conceived, but amongst them all I see not the face of one of my old acquaintance. And after I had rendered my respects to Mr. Corbet, the Chair-man thereof, he took a little book and read the title of it, The Oppressed mans Oppressions declared, &c. and also turned to the last end of it, and read the conclusion, which was subscribed Iohn Lilburn &illegible;, and told me he was commanded by the Committee, to ask me this question, whether I would own that book for mine or no? unto which I answered. Sir, with the favour of this honourable Committee, I shall humbly desire to speake a few words, well said Mr. Corbet, answer to the question.

Sir, said I, if you please to give me leave to speak, well and good, if not, if you please to command me silence I shall obey you. Saith he the question is but short therefore answer to it, either I or no, Sir said I, I am now past a schole boy, and have long since learned to say my A, B, C, after my master, but have now attained to a more ripe understanding, so that I am now able to speak without being dictated unto what I should say, and therefore if you please to give me leave to speak my own words in my owne manner and forme, well and good, if not, I have no more to say unto you: Sir saith he, the question is but short, therefore you are commanded to give a possitive answer to it, unto which I replyed, Sir if you will not let me speak my owne words, in my owne way, I will neither tell you, whether I will owne it or disavow it, and with that he took his pen and writ part of what I said, and read it to me. Sir said I, what you have writ, is not full what I said, and therefore if you please to give me pen, inke and paper, I shall write what I said my selfe, and see my hand unto it, which he refused, but divers of the Parliament men, pressed him to keep me to the question. Vnto which I said, Gentlemen, if you please to give me leave to speak, well and good, if not less come to an &illegible; and command me out of doores, for I will not answer you till I have free liberty to speak, upon which one or two of the Committee said, let him speak, but saith Mr. Corbet, if after you have liberty for to speake, will you &illegible; a possitive answer to the question? yea, Sir said I, that I will, well then speak said he speak. Sir said I what I have to say, is in the first place; in reference to the house of Commons, for apprehending with my selfe, that my &illegible; and speeches this day before the Committee, may be represented to the honourable House of Commons, to my &illegible; and dammage, I therefore judge it convenient for me to fortifie my self as wel as I can, and therfore I desire humbly to declare, that I own the constitution of the honorable house of Commons, as the greatest, best, and legallest interest, that the Commons of England have for the preservation of their Rights and Liberties, and I doe not only owne their constitution but also I honour their authority and power, and the power and authority of all Committees, legally deriving their power therefrom, and shall readily and cheerfully, yeeld obedience to all their commands, provided they act according to the rules of justice, and to the good knowne lawes of the hand, but not otherwise.

And in the second place, I desire to speake a few words of my thoughts of this Committee, but I was exceedingly interrupted, not only by the Chairman, but also by other Members of the House, and very much pressed to give an answer to the question, which made me say, Mr. Corbet, if you &illegible; to let me goe on in my own way, well and good, if not I have no more to say to you, for I came not hither of my owne head, to make a complaint unto you of my own, but I was sent for by you, (as I conceive) in a criminall way, so answer something before you, in which regard, it behoves me to stand upon the best guard that either law, reason, or judgement can furnish me with, and being that I apprehend, I am so much concerned in my present appearance before you, it exceeding much concernes me, to be very considerate and wise, in managing my business before you, therefore &illegible; you please, let me goe on to speak out what I have to say, and I thinke in conclusion, I shall give you as possitive an answer to the question as you desire.

So up stepped a welth Gentleman, one Mr. Harbert, as I remember his name, & desired Mr. Corbet to let me speak on, for saith he, you heat him promise to give you a possitive answer to your question.

Well then saith Mr Corbet, but will you as soone as you have spoken give a possitive answer to the question? Yea, Sir said I, (and clapt my hand upon my breast) upon my credit and reputation will I, then goe one saith he.

Well then Sir said I, two words concerning this Committee, and that at present I have to say is this, that I looke upon this Committee, as a branch deriving its power from the House of Commons, and therefore honour it, and I looke upon you in the capacitie you sit here, as a Court of justice, and I conceive you look upon your selves in the very selfe same capacity, but in case you do not, I have no more to say unto you, neither if ye be not a Court of Justice, doe I conceive have you in law, any power at all to examine me. But none of them replying upon me, made me take it for granted, they took themselves for a Court of justice, and therefore I went one and said, if you so doe, that is own your selves for a Court of justice, then I desire you to deale with me as it doth become a Court of Justice, and as by law you are bound, which is to let me have a free, open, and publique hearing. For Gentlemen, you have all of you taken the Covenant, in which you have lifted up your hands to the most high God, and sworne to maintaine the lawes of the Land. And it is the law of the land, that all Courts of Justice ever have been, are, and ought to be held openly and publiquely, (not dose like a Cabinet Counsell) from whence no Auditers are, or ought to be excluded,* and therefore as you would not give cause to me to Judge you a company of forswarne men, I desire you to command your doore to be opened that so all the people, that have a mind to heare and see you, and beare witnesse, that you proceed with justice and righteousnesse, may without check or comptrole, have free accesse to behold you, they behaving themselves like civill men. But here arose a mighty stir by some Parliament men, who declared, fiery indignation in their very countenances against me, but especially, a Gentleman that fate on the left hand of the forementioned Gentleman in the fur jacket, who pressed vehemently to hold me close to the question, and keep to their Committee proceedings, but truly I conceived the Gentleman to be but a very young Parliament man, and one that neither had read, not understood the lawes of England, and therefore Sir said I to him, to stop your mouth, I tell you, I blesse God, I am not now before a Spanish Inquisition, but a Committee of an English Parliament, that have sworne to maintaine and preserve the lawes of the Kingdome, and therefore Mr. Corbet, I know you are a Lawyer, and know and understand the lawes of the Kingdome, and I appeale to your very conscience, whether my desire of an open and publique hearing, be any otherwise then according to Law, sure I am Sir, it was the constant practise of this very Parliament at the beginning thereof that in all their Committees whatever, where they sat to heare and examine criminall causes, that they alwayes sate open, and I speake it out of my own knowledge, that you were then angry with any man amongst your selves, that did presse or move that you might sit in a cabinit and clandestine way, and truly Mr. Corbet, I thinke this Committee would take it very ill at my hands, if I should affirm you are more unjust & unrighteous now, then you were at the beginning for I my self, had about shalfe a score publique hearings at a Committee about my Star-Chamber businesse, and therefore being now before you, upon a businesse in my thoughts, of as much concernment to me as that was: I beseech you, let me have the same fare and just play now, that then I had, and give not &illegible; &illegible; cause to me and others, to say your actions and proceedings are unrighteous and &illegible; and therefore you sit in holes and corners, and dare not abide the publique view of your &illegible; which will be too clear a demonstration to all the world, that your deeds are evill, Iohn &illegible; 10, 21. Well Sir said Mr. &illegible; here is company enough to heare you, therefore you may goe on, true it is Sir, here is enough or my &illegible; but I see never a one of my friends: therefore if you please to command the &illegible; to be not wide open, well and good, if not I will not say one word more unto you, so I was commanded to withdraw, which I did. And being called in againe, Mr. Corbet told me, he was commanded by the Committee to aske me the question againe, whether I would owne the book &illegible; no? But I told him I was the same man now, that I was when I withdrew, and therefore I said &illegible; they would command and order the doore to be openned, that every man that had a mind to &illegible; in, might come in without &illegible; or molestation, I would returne as answer it all.

With that one of the Gentlemen said, the doore is open, and so it was, and whether they had given a private Order to the doore keeper so to doe I know not. Well Mr. Corbet said I, it is not an accidentall or casuall openning of the doore will serve &illegible; turn, but an orderly and legall openning of it, as that which ought to be done of &illegible; and justice, and therefore Mr. Corbet, it you please as you are Chair-man of this Committee, to command the &illegible; to be set and stand wide open, I shall goe on, it not, I shall be silent.

Well then doore keeper (saith he) set open the doore, now Sir said I, with your favour, I shall expresse my selfe a little further to this Committee, whereupon I openned a written paper I had in my hand, and began to looke upon it, but Mr. Corbet told me, the question was so &illegible; that it needed no long answer to it, and therefore I might spare the labour of using my paper Good Sir &illegible; &illegible; beseech you, afford me but so much priviledge as you doe every &illegible; Lawyer, that pleads his Clients cause for a see before you, to whom you never deny the benefit of pleading by also help of his notes or papers, and I know no reason why I should be denyed the same priviledge in my own case, and therefore I humbly intreat you, to afford me the benefit of looking upon my own paper, but said Mr. Corbet, how came you to write these paper? did you know before hand what we would say to you? O Sir said I, you may remember I was severall times before you in this manner the last year, and I very well remember the method of your illegall proceedings with me then,* and being by you summoned now again to come before you, I did very strongly conjecture, that you would tread in the method of your old steps of Interrogatories, and therefore I judged it but wisedome and foresight in me, to sit my selfe for you, and accordingly I have writ down the substance of what I haue to say to you in this paper, saith Mr. Corbet, give me the paper and we will consider of it, no Sir said I, I beseech you excuse me, for you have been so hasty with me, that I had no time to copy it over, and I doe not love to part with my papers in this nature, without keeping copies of them, but if you please to let me goe on, either to read it to you, on to say it by heart to you, now and then looking upon it I shall very willingly give you a true copy of it under my band. I &illegible; you Mr. Corbet, said the aforementioned, Mr. Harbert &illegible; him goe on, which he assented unto, and I purposely past over the preamble of it, having already us I told them touched upon it, and begun in that place, where mention is made of the Star-Chamber. With which Sir William &illegible; interrupted me, and said Mr. Corbet, I doe not like nor approve of raiking up these things, much lesse in comparing us to the Star Chamber, therefore I wish Mr. Lilburne would be perswaded to for beare these dishonourable expressions, for they are not handsome. Good Mr. Corbet I beseech you heare me a little, for under Sir Williams favour, I doe not compare you to the Star Chamber, but if you would not be compared unto it, then you must not walk in its unjust, &illegible; illegall ways, but Sir said I, for Sir Williams further satisfaction, I desire to let him know, I doe &illegible; the true and just power of the House of Commons, as much as himselfe, and have &illegible; my life and blood, for the preservation thereof, &illegible; really and heartily, in the singlenesse and uprightnesse of my soule, as any man that at this day sits within the Walls of that house, whatever he be, and I have still the same love and affections, to the just interest of that house, and &illegible; same zeale to maintaine it that ever I had, and it doth not in the least repent me of what J have formerly done or suffered for it, though I thinke by their late dealings with me, I have as true and &illegible; cause administred unto me by them, to &illegible; at any man in England either hath or ever &illegible; & therefore Sir, under your favour, although I be very unwilling like a simple man, to part with &illegible; just & legal rights to this Committee, a branch of the Honourable House of Commons, it doth &illegible; in the least therefore follow, that I am disaffected or disrespective of the just interest & power of &illegible; House of Commons, but rather it doth follow, that I am the same man now that ever I was &illegible; & Sir under your favour I tell you, it is neither for the honour, interest nor benefit of the house &illegible; Commons, for any of its Committees, to swallow, down or destroy, the publique interest and liberties of the people, the preservation of which, (by their owne Declarations*) being the principall end wherefore the people chuse and trusted them to sit where they doe, and therefore Sir, I pray you, let me goe on, which was granted, but before I could get through my paper, there was a &illegible; hutly burly amongst the Parliament men, being extreamly &illegible; at &illegible; per which many of them expressed in their speeches to Mr. Corbet, and desired him to silence me in the way I then was in, and hold me to the question-Gentlemen said I this is very strange proceedings, that you will neither let, &illegible; alone, nor let me speake. Be it knowne unto you, that I conceive J stand in need neither of &illegible; nor favour from you, but only what reason, Law and justice affords me, neither doe I crave any &illegible; priviledge at your hands, but what the Earle of Strafford injoyed from you, (although you &illegible; &illegible; judged him the greatest of offenders) which was a free and uninterrupted liberty to &illegible; for himselfe, in the best manner he could, and to make the best defence for himselfe, that &illegible; all the &illegible; and parts he had, would inable him to doe, and sure I am this is a priviledge due by law to every &illegible; Rogue, & Theese,* which I am sure the arrantest &illegible; that is &illegible; at Newgate Sessions (for the notorioust of crimes) injoyes this priviledge as his right by law, to speake his owne words, in his owne manner, for the best advantage of himselfe, to his own understanding, and it is very strange to me, that I who am a free man of England, and am not conscious to the committing of us crime against the Law, shall not be suffered by a &illegible; of Parlament, that have solemnly &illegible; to maintaine the lawes, to injoy that legall &illegible; to speak my owne word; in my owne manner, for my most advantage and best defence, that is &illegible; nor legally, nor cannot be denyed, at any &illegible; or Sessions, to the most capitall, bloody, and &illegible; Rogue in England. Truly Gentlemen, I must plainly tell you, I never was convicted of any crime &illegible; that did in the least disfranchise me of my hereditary and legall Rights and Liberties, nor &illegible; was legally in the least made uncapable of injoying the utmost benefit and priviledge that the &illegible; of England will afford or hand out to any legall man of England, But have at your command, &illegible; times and often adventured my life and all that I had in the world, &illegible; the maintenance and &illegible; of the lawes and liberties of England, with as much uprightnesse of &illegible; and as much man &illegible; &illegible; and resolution, as any member of the House of Commons what ever he be, and therefore I tell &illegible; before this Committee, or any power in England, what ever it be, shall rob me of my just &illegible; recompence of reward for all my labours, travels and hazards (which recompence of reward is the injoyment of the just priviledges and benefits of the good lawes of the Kingdome, I will spend my heart blood against you, yea, if I had a million of lives, I would sacrifice them all &illegible; you, and therefore seeing you have all of you solemnly listed up your hands to the most high God: and sworne to maintaine the Lawes of the Kingdome, I desire you for your owne credits &illegible; to deale with me so, as not to give me to just cause, to &illegible; your faces, you are a company of forsworne men, and so to publish & declare you to the whole Kingdome. VVith this Mr Wever, Burgesse for Stamford spoke, “Mr Corbet, I conceive such reproachfull and dishonourable expressions as Mr. Lilburn gives us to our faces, is not to be induced or suffered, and therefore I beseech you, let us be sensible of the honour due to our Authority, and the house whereof we are Members.

Good Mr. Corbet, I intreat you heare me, for J desire to let that Gentleman know; J am very consident I have not you said any thing that is dishonourable to the legall and lust interest and power either of this Committee, or the house of Commons whereof you are Members, and Sir if I should, I conceive you are enough to beare witnesse against me, and I thinke you judge your selves sufficiently indowed with power to punish &illegible; if I should doe as that Gentleman pretends, I have done, and truly Mr. Corbet, J must againe aver it before you, that I am no contemner nor despiser of the just and legall authority of the house of Commons, neither doe I desire to affront or reproach this Committee, but I pray consider, I am but a man, and a prisoner under many provocations, and to be so &illegible; &illegible; upon as I am, by halfe a dozen of you at a time, and interrupted in making my legall defence, and not suffered to speake my own words, is very hard and it is possible hereby, I may be provoked to heat, and in heat say that that is not convenient and sitting, the which if J should doe I hope you Mr. Corbet, have understanding enough to iudge, and to reprove me for it, and truly Sir upon your reproofe, if I can possibly apprehend and see I have done &illegible; I shall presently &illegible; you &illegible;

But here abouts, my wise seeing Mr. Wever so furious upon me as he was, burst out with aloud voice & said, “I told thee often enough long since, that thou would serve the Parliament, and venter thy life so long for them, &illegible; they would hang thee for thy paines, and give thee Tyburn for thy &illegible; and I told thee besides, thou shouldst in conclusion find them a company of unjust, and untighteous judge’s, that more sought themselves, and their owne ends, then the publique good of the Kingdome, or any of those that faithfully adventured their lives therefore.

But J desired Mr. Corbet, to passe by what in the bitternesse of her heart being a woman she had said unto them, and desired him to let me conclude my paper, and then J would give him a possitive answer to their question, which was granted, and I read out my paper, the true copy of which at large thus followeth.

To the Honourable Committee of the Honourable House of Commons, for suppressing of scandalous Pamphlets.

The humble Addresses of Lieut. Col. John Lilburne, Prerogative Prisoner in the Tower of London. Feb. 8. 1646.

MAy it please this honourable Committee, this any I see and read a warrant under the hand of Mr. Miles Corbet, directed to the Lieutenant of the Tower, to bring me before your honours, sitting in the inner Courts of wards, at two a clock this present afternoon, but no cause wherefore is expressed in the &illegible; therefore in the first place, I desire and humble &illegible; this honourable Committee, to take &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and &illegible; the constitution, authority and power of the honourable house of commone, and looke upon it in its constitution, at the greatest and legall, best interest that the Commons of England both, and of all the Committees thereof, that legally and justly derive their power therefrom, and act according to the Law and just customes of Parliament, within their bounds, unto all whose commands so farre at the established law of England requires me, I shall &illegible; all cheerfull and ready obedience, but having the last yeer very large experience of the arbitratry and illegall proceedings of some Committee or Committees of the House of Commons, and the Chair-man or Chair-men thereof, and fearing to meet with the like now againe, by way of prevention I am necessitated humbly to declare unto this honourable Committee, that in the dayes of the Star-Chamber, I was there sentenced for no other cause, but for refusing to answer to their interrogateries or questions, and upon the 4. of May, 1641. the honourable house of Commons, whereof you are Members upon the report of Mr. Francis Rouse made these ensuing Votes.

Resolved upon the question.

That the sentence of the Star Chamber given against John Lilburn is illegall and against the the liberty of the Subject, and also bloody, wicked, cruell, barberous and tyrannicall.

Resolved upon the question, that reparations ought to be given to Mr. Lilburn for his imprisonment, sufferings and losses, sustained by that illegall sentence.

Here is your own iust and legall Votes in my own case, to condemne as illegall and uniust; all inquisition proceedings upon selfe accusing interrogatories, and your Votes are sutable to the ancient and fundamentall lawes of this land, as appeares by the 29. chap. of Magna Charta, and the 5. E. 3. 9. and 25. E. 3. 4. and 28, E. 3. 3. and 37. E. 3. 18. and 42. E. 3. 3. the words of which last cited Statute thus followeth.

“Item at the request of the Commons by their Petitions, put forth in this Parliament, to &illegible; the mischiefes and dammages done to divers of his Commons by false accusers, which often times have made their accusations more for revenge and singular benefit, then for the profit of the King or of his people, which accused persons, some have been taken, & sometime caused to come before the Kings Counsel by &illegible; &illegible; otherwise, upon grievous paine against the law. It is assented and accorded, for the good governance of the Commons, that no man be put to answer without presentment before Iustices or matter of record, or by due processe and writ originall, according to the old Law of the land, and if any thing from henceforth be done to the contrary, it shall be void in the Law, and &illegible; for &illegible;*

All which forementioned good Lawes are all and every of them confirmed by the Petition of right made in the third year of the present King Charles, which expresly saith, no man ought to be adjudged but by the lawes established in the Realme, and not otherwise, which Petition of right, &illegible; your selves in this present Parliament have in every point confirmed, as appeares by the &illegible; that &illegible; the Star-Chamber, and by the Statute that &illegible; &illegible; and you your selves with your hands lifted up to the most high God, have often &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and declared, &illegible; will maintaine, preserve and defend the fundamentall lawes of the land, and &illegible; your &illegible; accordingly, and imprecate the wrath and &illegible; of the great God of Heaven and &illegible; to &illegible; upon you, when you cease to performe what there you sweare to and declare. And therefore honourable Gentlemen, what thoughts soever of indignation and displeasure you have towards me, I hope you will be so tender of your owne &illegible; and reputations that you will not in the least endeavour, to deale with me contrary to the &illegible; and meaning of the for &illegible; good and iust &illegible; But if you should, I cannot, nor shall not willingly &illegible; unto &illegible; tryall, that is contrary to the pattern of the forementioned honest, iust and &illegible; lawes, and if you please to &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; of them, J shall be ready to ioyne issue with you, whomsoever you please, without &illegible; any &illegible; pity or compossion as your bands, and legally to answer whatsoever J have said or done.

But under the favour of this honourable Committee, I doe humblie conceive it will neither being nor honourable for the house of Commas to punish me either for a pretended or reall crime committed by me in a hard, tedious, provoking and uniust imprisonment, while my case is depending before themselves, and I by themselves extreamly delayed in receiving iustice and right, therefore I make it my humble suite unto this honourable committee, to represent my iust desire to the honourable house of commons, that they would first adiudge my cause betwixt the house of Lords and me, which &illegible; been dependant before them about this 8, moneths, and either according to the lawes and constitutions of the land, iustisie me or condemn the, and then in the second place, when they have done righteous and true iudgement in this, then I desire them if they have any reall or pretended crime or crimes &illegible; to my charge, committed by me in my present, hard, &illegible; and extraordinary provoking imprisonment, whilst J am managing my businesse before them, that then they would proceed according to law with me, and according thereunto to punish me without mercy or compassion, which proposition I hope is so rationall, that in iustiece it cannot be denied me. So humbly taking leave of your honours, I subscribe my selfe.

From the outward Court of Wards 8. day of February. 1646.

A true and faithfull servant to the
honourable House of Commons,
to be commanded
by them according
to law and justice
but no further.

John Lilburne.

And having concluded my paper, now Mr. Corbet said I, if you please lets goe to the question, well then said he will you renounce this booke or no? Sir said I, I had rather give you leave to heugh me in ten thousand peeces, then renounce any act of mine, done by me upon grounded, mature and deliberate consideration, and therefore Sir, somethings before hand premised, J shall give you a possitive and satisfactory answer to the question.

And therefore in the first place, I desire you and all here present to take notice, that I doe not return you an answer to your question out of any opinion that J am bound in duty or conscience unto your Authority to doe it, because you command me to doe it, for I know J am (actively) only to obey you in lawfull things, which this is not in the least, for by law no man what ever is bound to betray himselfe.

Nor secondly, J doe not return you an answer to it, as though I were bound by any law in England there to; for I have before punctually proved it to your faces out of my paper, that it is altogether unlawfull by the law of the land, to presse or force me to answer to interrogatories. Neither lastly, doe I answer your interrogation, out of any base tymerousnesse to &illegible; the liberties & priveledges of the lawes of England, or to save my from selfe your insenced indignation, and therefore protesting that my answering your question, neither is, shall or justly can be drawn into president in future time, to compell me or any other free men of England, to answer to interrogatories, and therefore having (premised these things) affirmatively, I re-return you an answer to your question out of this consideration, that when I pend that book, I was inwardly exceedingly pricked forward to it, and framed it, with a resolution to lay down my life in the justification of it. And secondly, J return you an answer to the question out of this consideration, that upon your summons, I came before you with an absolute resolution to owne and avow that booke, (though I have been much by some of my friends perswaded to the contrary) alwayes provided I could get somethings effected before I did owne it, which I have already done, (that so I might set it in a way to come to a legall justification.) For first J have got the doore openned, that so I might have a publique hearing as my right by law. And secondly, J have obtained liberty (though with much a doe) to declare before you, in the presence and hearing of all these people, the illegallity of all yours, and all other Committees proceedings, inforcing the free men of England, (against the known and fundamentall lawes, of the land, and your own oather,) to answer to selfe accusing interrogatories, and now having fully effected what I desired and thirsted after, I come now with as much willingnesse and readinesse to answer to your question, as you are to have me answer to it, and avowedly I tell you, I invented, compiled and writ that booke, and caused it to be printed and dispersed, and every word in it I will own and avouch to the death, saving the Printers Erratas, which if you please to give me the booke, and liberty of pen and inke. I will correct and amend them under my own hand, and return you the booke again, with my name annexed, under my own hand at the conclusion of it. Well then said Mr. Corbet, take the book and pen and inke, and goe mend it, truly Sir, said I, I have but one good eye to see with, and yet for that, I am forced to use the helpe of spectacles, and I have very much this day wrained the strength of my eyes, with reading and writing, and besides the booke is five sheets of paper, so that it is almost impossible for me seriously and carefully (with my weak eyes) to read it over this night, but if you please to give me but any reasonable time, I will be very punctuall in returning it to you againe; so I had tell Wednesday in the afternoone given me, and accordingly I amended the faults under my own hand, which principally were litterall and yet ball faults, and at the conclusion of the booke. I writ, examined and avowed by me John Lilburn, 10. Feb. 1646.

And upon Wednesday, I inclosed the book with a copy of my forceited paper that I read at the Committee) in a letter sealed to Mr. Corbet the Chairman of the foresaid Committee, the true copy of which letter thus followeth.


ACcording to my promise, I have corrected the Printers Erratas, and subscribed my hand thereto, and sent you back inclosed the very book you delivered to me with a true copy of my paper I read before you at the Committee, which is all I have at present to trouble you with, but to subscribe myselfe.

From my prerogative,
illegall and tyrannicall
imprisonment, in the tower of London
this 10. of February 1646.

A true and faithfull friend to the
Common wealth of England, and
your reall servant, if you will be
true to the publique trust reposed in you,
and act for the preservation of the fundamentall lawes
of the land, Iohn Lilburn.

But after this little digression, J return to the rest of that which followed at the Committee, which was to this effect, as soone as I had ownd the book, and received the book from Mr. Corbet, I said Gentlemen, you having as I perceive done with me, I shall humbly crave liberty to make one motion to this Committee, for the discharge of my wife, for by vertue of your warrant she is a prisoner, for dispersing some of my bookes, and truly gentlemen she is my wife, and set at worke to doe what she did at the earnest desire of me her (unjust imprisoned) husband, and truly I appeale to every one of your own consciences, whether you would not have taken it very ill at the hands of any of your wives? if you were in my case, and she should refuse, at your earnest desire to doe that for you that she by my perswasions hath done for me, therefore I intreat you to set her at liberty, and set the punishment of that her action upon my score, so with one consent she was discharged, for which I thanked them. Now Gentlemen with your favour and patience I humbly intreat you to heare me but one word more, which is this, I was the other day &illegible; or at least plundered, and had my house violently, forceably, & without any colour of law or conscience entred, & an Iron latch drawn, as I am informed by one whittaker a book-seller, who dwels in Pauls Church-yard, who with others &illegible; high &illegible; and violaters of the law, loaded away, as I am informed three &illegible; with my &illegible; and proper goods, that I bought with my owne proper monie, and he pretended he did it by vertue of a warrant from this Committee, therefore I humbly desire to know, whether &illegible; Committee will avow his action, and &illegible; him out in what he hath so done? No saith Mr. Corbet, he had no such power from this Committee, as forceably to enter your house, nor to meddle with any of your goods or bookes, but only at randome to seize upon all of this booke where he could find them. Well gentlemen, then here is a high act of violence and contempt &illegible; the law committed, for here is my house by violence entered, and so many of my goods as they pleased to seize upon carried away, none belonging to me being present to see what they did, and my doores by them left wide open, for any that had a mind to goe in and take away, and rob me of all the rest of my goods that they left, for which actions I hope I shall obtaine justice in time, but in regard you say your warrant did not authorize him to take any of my bookes, but The Oppressed mans Oppressions declared, and yet he tooke away abundance of severall other bookes besides that, which I bought with my monie I hope this honourable Committee will be so just as to command him faithfully to restore me them all again, or at least all but the hundred of the present bookes in controversie, and I was fairely promised I should have them, but as yet I have found no performance at all, though truly I doe conceive there was as many books carried away by him as stood me in about twenty or thirty pounds, for there was the greatest part of a thousand of my bookes, called London Charters, the printing of &illegible; with the paying for the copies of the originall Charters, &c. (which I had out of the Record office in the Tower) cost me almost twenty pounds, besides a great many of severall &illegible; And at my withdrawing, the people &illegible; out, they never would answer to close Committees any more, being the doores by law ought to be open, which they never knew before. Now friend, I know you are acquainted very well with some able and honest Lawyers, and therefore I pray doe me the favour as inquire of them, whether all these things laid together, it be not an act of Fellony in the forementioned whittaker, &c. thus forceably to enter my house, and without any reall or pretended warrant to take away my goods; but if it be not fellony, I desire to know of them, what effectuall course, I may take in law, to obtaine my just and legall satisfaction for this illegall wrong, and making these catch-poule Knaves (who are as bad if not worse then the Bishops Rookes and Catch-poules) examples to all their fellow Knaves and Catch-poules.

Thirdly, I desire to know, whether by law, any free mans house in England can be broken open, or forceably entered under any pretence whatever? unlesse if be for fellony and treason, or a strong and grounded suspition of fellony or treason, or to serve an execution after judgement for the King?

Fourthly, if any person or persons whatever, shall indeavour to break open, or &illegible; enter my house, or any other free mens of England, upon any pretence what ever, but the forementioned, or some other that is expresly warrantable by the known law, whether according to Law or no, I may not stand upon my owne defence in my owne house being my Castle and Sanctuary, and kill any or all of those that so illegally (though under specious authoritive pretences) shall assault me.

Fiftly, whether in law it be not as great a crime in the foresaid whittaker, &c. &illegible; to enter my house, and carrie away my own goods lawfully &illegible; by, under a pretence of a warrant signed by a single Member of the House of Commons, commonly called a Chair-man of a Committee. As for Sir William Beacher &illegible; of his Majesties Privie Counsell, Old Sir Henry Vame a Privie Counceller, and (if I mistake not then) Secretary of State, and Mr. Laurance Whittaker that old corrupt Monopolizer, now Member of the House of Commons; by vertue of Regall, or Councell-Board authoritie, to &illegible; the pockets, or break open the study doors of the Earle of Warwick, the Lord Say, Mr. Hambden, Mr. Pym, Mr. &illegible; or any other of those that was so served after the breaking up of the short Parliament, for which by this present Parliament (as I am credibly informed from knowing and &illegible; hands) Sir William Beacher was committed to the Fleet, Mr. Laurance Whittaker to the Tower, and old Sir Henry Vame, who as it is credibly said was this principall actor in this businesse, and was in this present House of Commons, strongly moved against, againe, and againe, and in all probability had &illegible; soundly for it, if it had not been for the interest that his Son young Sir Henry had in Mr. &illegible; Pym, and the rest of his bosome associates, who as it plainly (now appeares, for ends besides the publique, had use to make of him against me Earle of Strafford, who was one of the &illegible; men that stood in their way, and &illegible; them from possessing themselves of those high and mighty places of honour and profit that is now too much apparent they then aspired unto, and therefore truly when I seriously cast my eye upon their continued serious of actions, (especially of late) my conscience is overcome, and J am forced to thinke that there is a great deale of more truth in many of the charges fixed upon them, in those two notable Declarations of the Kings, (then at the first reading of them, I conceive there was) the first of which is the 12. of August, 1642. and begins book &illegible; 1. part pag. 514. some notable passages of which Mr. Richard Overton and my selfe have published in the 6 pag. of out late discourse, called The &illegible; of Oppressed &illegible; unto which I shall desire &illegible; one more, and that is of their partiallity in judgement, which the King chargeth them with (ibim) page 516 “That they threw out of their house some Monopolizers, as unfit to be Law-makers, because their principles was not fit for the present turns of the powerfull party there, and kept in other as great Monopolizers as those they threw out, because they did comply with them in their ends, and the King instances Sir Henry Mildmer, and Mr. Laurance Whittaker, both of whom, for all their transgressions, still sit in the &illegible; And if it be an act of treason to exercise an Arbitrary and tyrannicall power (for so it was charged upon the Earle of Strafford, &c.) then I will maintain it, Mr. Laurance Whittaker is guilty of it, for he hath severall times done it unto the free men of England, &illegible; upon me in particular, as at large you may read in my book called Innocency and Truth, justified, to the apparent hazard of my life and being, for which I will never forgive him, tell he hath acknowledged his fault, and made me &illegible; and just satisfaction, the which if he do not the speedier, seeing by his unreasonable priviledge, as he is a Parliament man, that by law I cannot meddle either with his body or goods, I will by Gods assistance (seeing I have no other &illegible;) pay him with my pen, as well as ever he &illegible; paid since his eyes was open, cost it what it will and therefore I now advise him, if he love his owne reputation, without any more &illegible; to acknowledge his &illegible; by giving me legall satisfaction.

The King second Declaration, is an answer to the two &illegible; Declaration of the proceeding of the Treaty at &illegible; 1643. and in the second part book &illegible; pag. &illegible; printed Anno 1646. where in pag. 101. he chargeth them possitively, “that the maintenance and advancement of Religion, justice, liberty, propriety and peace, are really but their stalking &illegible; and neither the ground of their &illegible; nor of their demands, and I for my part must ingeniously protest and declare unto you, that the dealings of both houses with me, and others of the Kingdome: best friends is such, that as sure as the Lord lives, I should &illegible; against my own soule, if I should not really beleeve this particular charge of his Majesties to be most undeniable true and just, and to my understanding he there gives notable demonstrations to evince and cleare the forementioned charge, I shall only instance that in pag. 112. 113. VVhere his Majestie framing an answer to something they say in their Declaration about the Iudges, and Members of Parliament, he saith. “That by never having appeared at all in the favour, excuse or extenuation, of the fault of those Iudges (who are to answer for any unjust judgement, in all which his Majesty lest them wholly to their consciences, and whensoever they offended against that, they wronged his Majesty no lesse then his people.) And by his being yet so carefull of those Lords and Gentlemen, it may appeare that his Majestie conceires, that those only adhere to him, who adhere to him according to law. And whether the remaining part of the Houses be not more apt to repealt their own impeachments and proceedings against those Iudges, (if they conceive they may be made use of and brought to adhere to them) then his Majestie is to require they should, may appear by their requiring in their 14 propositions, that Sir John Bramston (&illegible; by then selves of so great misdemeanors) may be made chiefe Iustice, and by their freeing and returning Iustice Barkly, (accused by themselves of high Treason) to sit upon the bench, rather then free and imploy Iustice Mallet, who was not legally committed at first, but &illegible; from the bench to prison by a troop of Horse, and who after so many &illegible; imiprisonment, remaines not truly &illegible; but wholly without any knowledge of what crime he is suspected.

And indeed their partiallity in doing justice and judgement, &illegible; no one man in England (I thinke more, then in old Sir Henry Vame, who by all men that I can talke with that knowes him and his practises, renders him a man as full of guilt (in the highest nature) and court basenesse, as any man what ever that was there. For I have credably been told by one that sate in the short Parliament, “that he was the maine and principall man, that instrumentally brok up that Parliament, for in the House in the Kings name he strongly moved for twelve Subsidies, when he had no such Commission from his Majestie, but did it of purpose to set the Parliament in a heat, and make them fly high against the King, of which heat he took advantage, and then went to the King, and incensed him against them, and thereby provoked him to break it up, on set purpose to save himselfe from being questioned about his dangerous and desparate Monopoly of Gun-powder, and other of his illegall Knaveries, in which he was deep enough even over both boots and shooes. For Sir Iohn Eveling was the old powder master, and then Sir Henry Vaine stept in, and justled him out, and got in one Mr. Samuel Cordwell one of his own servants that waited upon him in his Chamber, who had the sole Monopoly of making all the powder in England, and furnished power for &illegible; into the Tower, which powder was sold out commonly for 18. per. l. at the first hand, besides the charge of getting first a warrant from the Counsell board, to the Lord Newport, then master of the Ordinance, to sell such and such so much powder, which warrant besides the losse of time and trouble, cost deare enough, then there was a second warrant from the Lord Newport, to be obtained to the officers of the Ordnance to deliver the powder out, according to the warrant of the Counsell board, and then there was a third warrant to be got from the officers of the Ordnance to the particular Clarke that kept the powder, all which besides trouble, cost, money, besides a fee of a mark which was paid by the buyer to the officers of the Ordnance, for every last of powder they delivered, and the forementioned Cordwell, Sir Henry Vaines Gun-powder Agent, constantly ingaged to bring in every moneth to the Tower 20. last, there being 24. barrells in every last, and 100.l in every barrell, and besides he (as the principall instrument of setting this dangerous Monopoly on foot) forced the Marchants, and sea men, many times for divers dayes together, to stop their viages to their great and extraordinary detriment, till they would give large bribes, or were forced to use some other indirect means, to obtaine his warrant, &c. to get powder out of his unjust Monopolizing hands to furnish their ships, for which notwithstanding they were forced to pay above double the price for it, (nay almost trible) according to the rate it was sold at before his Monopoly.

Yea, and by this meanes, he wickedly and illegally disfurnished all the Countryes in the Kingdome, as is notoriously known to all the Deputy Lieutenants, by meanes of which he laid the King some open to the invasion and over-running of a forraign enemy, which did create, nourish and foment, strange and strong jealoufies in the people, that there was some strange and desparate designe upon them to inslave and invasolize them, which was no little occasion of our present warres, by blowing of coales to the fomenting and increasing of devisions betwixt the King and the people.

Yea, and besides all this, he was not one of the least of Canterburies Creatures, being not a little active in the Star-Chamber, to serve his ends, the smart of which with a witnesse, I am sure my shoulders selt. For upon the 13. of Feb. 1617. in the 13. yeare of the present King, the Lord Coventry, Earle of Manchester, Lord Newburgh, old Sir Henry Vaine, Judge Bramstone, and Judge Jones, in the Star-Chamber sentenced me for refusing to take an illegall oath to answer to their Interrogatories to pay to the King 500.l to be bound to my good behaviour to be whipt through the street to Westminster, and there to be set upon the Pillory, and then to remaine in prison tell I conformd to their tyrannicall commands. Which decree or sentence you may at large read in the 1, 2, 3. pages of my printed relation of my Star-Chamber sufferings, as they were presented by my Counsell, Mr. Bradshare, and Mr. Iohn Cook, before the Lords at there Bar, and proved by witnesses, the 13. Feb. 1645. the barbarous execution of which you may read not only in that relation, but also in a large relation of it, made and printed by me, that yeare I suffered, called the Christian mans tryall, and lately reprinted by Mr. William Larnar in Bishops-gate street, and in my bookes also then made, called, Come out of her my people, the afflicted mans Complaint, A cry for justice, my Epistle to the Aprentizes of London, and my Epistle to the Wardens of the fleet, which foresaid sentence the House of Commons after a long and judicious examination and debaite, thus voted.

Die Martis, May 4. 1641.

Mr. Rouse this day reported Iohn Lilburn his cause, it was thereupon ordered and resolved upon the question as followeth.

Resolved upon the question,

That the sentence of the Star-Chamber given against Iohn Lilburn is illegall and against the liberty of the Subject, and also bloody, wicked, cruell, barbarous and tyrannicall.

Resolved upon the question.

That reparations ought to be given to Mr. Lilburne for his imprisonment, sufferings, and losses sustained by that illegall sentence.

Ordered that the Committee shall prepare this case of Mr. Lilburnes to be transmitted to the Lords, with those other of Dector Bastwicks, Doctor Leighton, Master Burton, and Mr. Pryu.

Hen. Elsing Cler. Dom. Com.

And though it was a matter of foure yeares before I could get this my ease transmitted to the Lords, the obstructing of which I cannot attribute to any, but principally to that old crafty Fox, Sir Henry Vaine, (who I am confident of it hath long since deserved the Ax or Halter) and and his powerfull interest and influence, especially by his sonne, young Sir Henry, though (Mathiavel like) he faces and lookes another way, who for all his religious pretences, I for my part thinke to be as crasty (though not so guilty a) Colt as his Father, which I beleeve I could easily and visibly demonstrate, which I groundedly apprehend I have sufficient cause administred unto me to doe, especially for some suttle, cunning, but mischievous late &illegible; by as guilded instruments as himselfe, but at present for my own interest sake I will spare him, though (my fingers itches,) yet I must tell him, I am very confident for all his disguises, he will shortly be known to consciencious, men, to be but at the best (if he be no more) then one of the prerogative quench coales, to keep the people in silence, from acting and &illegible; &illegible; deliver themselves from slavery and bondage.

And when, came amongst the Lords, they the 13, Feb, 1645 decreed, that that sentence, and all proceedings thereupon shall forth with before ever totally vacuated, obliterated, and taken of the file in all &illegible; where they are yet remaining, as illegall, and most unjust, against the liberty of the Subject, and law of the land, and Magna Charta, and unfit to continue upon &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; said Lilburn shall be forever absolutely freed, and totally discharged from the said &illegible; and all proceeding, thereupon, as fully and ample as though never any such thin, had &illegible; &c.

Which &illegible; you may at large read in the foresaid relation, yea, and by an other decree, ordered &illegible; &illegible; And down into the House of Common, they send my Ordinance for their concurrance, &illegible; is there again bluckt up, as I may too justly conceive by the powerfull and unjust &illegible; of the forementioned old, tyrannicall Monopolizer, Sir Henry Vaine, for which by Gods &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; I have no other remedy, nor meane: left me, to obtain my right, and the I, &illegible; of the Kingdome, &illegible; am resolved to pay him, (and all that I can groundedly know and heare joynes and concur, with him to destroy me, and hinder me of justice and my right which should preserve me and keep me and mine alive) cost it hanging, burning, drowning, strangling, poysoning, starving, cutting to peices, or whatever it will or &illegible; yea, though it &illegible; me all the interest I have in the world, in any or all the great ones there of, put Lien. Gen. Cromwell into the number.

And therefore J desire not only your selfe, (but all impartiall Readers that reads these lines) to judge whether it be not the hight of partiallity and injustice in the House of Commons, to &illegible; him to sit and vote there, especially they having throwne out divers others, for ten times lesse faults then he is publiquely known to be guilty of, and I desire you to satisfie me, whether or no the people for their owne wellfare are not bound, and may not groundedly petition the House of Commons to throw out him, who is so great a transgressor and violater of the Lawes of England, and therefore altogether unfit to be one of those that maketh and gives lawes unto the free men of England, for in my apprehension if there were no more to be laid unto his Charge, but to have been so unjust and unrighteous a Iudge, as to have had a finger in inflicting a sentence that is voted by the house of Comons in the dayes of their verginity, purity and uncorruptnesse, (to what it is visibly now, yea, himselfe sitting as a Member there) to be not only illegall, and against the liberty of the Subject, but also bloody, wicked, cruell, barbarous, and tyrannicall, it alone were legally and justly cause enough for ever to eject him. O England, England! woe unto thee! when thy chosen preservers turne to be thy grand destroyers, and in stead of easing thee of thy grievances, with a high hand of violence protect from justice those that commit them, and thou seest it and knowest it, and yet art like a silly Dove without heart, and dates not open thy month wide to reprove it, and indeavour by petition or otherwise the amending of it, surely and undeniably that body, who, or what ever it be that is not able to evacuate its exerements, is nigh unto the giving up the Ghost, or bursting out into such botches and ulcers, that it shall be an eye sore to all that behold it, and stinke in the lostrels of all men, that have their senses.

But with your patience, I will trace this old Fox a little further, and see how he hath plaid his cards since this Parliament fare, and to let &illegible; his unfaithfull dealings with his master the King, whose Secretary of State he was, and yet could not, or would not keep his secrets, (which is an act base enough in itselfe) although as J have been told by one very neare and &illegible; unto him, his places he injoyed under the King, were worth to him, 8 100 l. per annum, but having as before as truly observed, before this Parliament (by acts of basinesse done, as he was a &illegible; and a Courties Counseller) can himselfe over boots and &illegible; and seeing that it was impossible for him and all his confederates, to break of this Parliament, as they did the late short Parliament, therefore it behoved him for the safety of his own head, to lay his designes so, as that he might by the swaying party merit preservation to himselfe, which to doe, being as he was a Secretary, &illegible; to all the King and Courts principall secrets, though he was under an Oath, and the strictest obligation of secrecie that could be, yet they must all out, and out they went, as in the case of the Earle of Strafford, of which I have, heard some great ones say, it was scrued to the highest pin, if it were not higher then in honestly &illegible; justice it should, but all this was done, that he might not only save himselfe, but gaine an esteeme in the present Parliament, and so be in a possibillity, by the interest of his son, Sir Henry, (although to men that were halfe blind, there was, and I thinke still is a seeming enmity betwixt him and his Father) in time to make himselfe amonds, for his 8000.l a yeare by his places, which by disserting of the King (to save himselfe) he was &illegible; to loose, (and indeed it is commonly reported, that in his place as one of the Committee of the King revenue, he hath learned to &illegible; his own Engers well) and the first or grand step of honour he attained to, by the Parliament, was to be made Lord Lieutenant of the County of Durham, and the wars comming one &illegible; the King and Parliament, to indeare himselfe againe &illegible; the King (knowing that the chance of warre was &illegible;) he sent his second son, Sir George Vaine to &illegible; upon &illegible; serve the King, who in person was a &illegible; &illegible; in the battell of Edge-Hill, with the rest of his fellow Courtiers, but to make up his case the more with the King, though himselfe &illegible; with the Parliament, where as a seeming friend to them, he was able to doe the King truer service, yea, and did it then if he had been with him, for instead of protecting, preserving, securing and defending the County of Durham, (of which he was Lieutenant) according to the duty of his place, and those many importunare desires expressed into him by the well affected Gentlemen of the Country, which were all in vaine, for in stead of preserving the Country, he sent his Magazine of Atmes from his Castle at Raby, (by his &illegible; principall servants, Mr. William Conyers Steward of his land, and Mr. Henry Dingly his Soliciter at law) as a present for the King, to the Earle of New-Castle, then in Atmes at New Castle against the Parliament, who might then have been easily suppress at his comming to New Castle, if old Sir Henry Vaine had been true to his trust the Parliament &illegible; in him.

And that he sent them is visible enough, for they carried them openly and avowedly in the day time through the Country, boasting of their act both in their going and comming, and at New Castle from the hand of one of the Earles servants or Officers, received, a note for the receipt of those armes, that so when time should serve, Sir Henry Vaine might have it to justifie his good service done for his Majestie in being the &illegible; instrument of raising the Earle of New Castles Army, and giving the King so great a sooting in the North as there he had, for his &illegible; being sent to the Kings Generall so openly, publiquely and avowedly as they were, though his person were with the Parliament, yet it made all people there to conclude that he was himselfe absolutely for the King against the Parliament, which presently (his influence in those parts being great) got the Earle of New Castle a mighty repute and credit, and made those that were really for him to be impudent and bold in their attempts, and made abundance of Newters then to declare, (all or most of whom might at the first have been made serviceable to the Parliament, if they had been looke to be times) and the most of those few of cordiall, well affected Gentlemen, were immediately forced to &illegible; and leave all they had behind them, and the &illegible; that stayed, were immediately taken prisoners and destroyed, (as well as the other) in their estates, for which Sir Henry Vaines land and estate, ought in justice and conscience to goe to the last penny of it, to make them satisfaction, being the &illegible; instrumentall cause of all their losses, woe and misery, and of all the woe and misery of the whole North, occasioned by the Earle of New-Castles forces, and those that were &illegible; to be raised to destroy them, which if they had never had a being, there had never been no need of the Scots comming into this Kingdome to our deare bought ayde, the evill consequences of whose comming, I am afraid England this twise seaven yeares will not &illegible; of without a great deale of blood shed and misery, the yoak of Presbyterian bondage alone, (besides then co-operations, if not co sharing in the Civill government of England, to the unspeakable prejudice to the freemen thereof) which they brought with them over &illegible; this Kingdome, which is likely to prove 100. times worse then the tyranny and Lordlinesse of the Bishops. One thing more about Sir Henry Vaine I desire you to take notice of, and that is further to demonstrate, that his servants carried the Armes, not of their owne heads, but by his command, or at least good liking, is this, that he never complained to the Parliament of it, nor never indeavoured to have them punished for it, but rather protected and defended them, so that those that complained of them, as well as of himselfe, by reason of his greatnesse, could never be heard nor obtaine justice, though it was with some zeale followed by my Father, & my Vnkle Mr. George Lilburn, with other Gentlemen of the same Country, as you may partly read in Englands Birth Right pag. 19. 20. 21.

All this while, if the King lost the day and the Parliament prevailed, here was himselfe and his son, young Sir Henry to make good his interest here, so that of which side soever the &illegible; went, the old crafty Fox was sure in his owne thoughts co stand upon his leggs, and be no looser, but perceiving the King likely to goe down the weather, by the Scots comming in, he whistles away his son Sir George Vaine from the Kings Army. And though the Parliament had upon the 20 May 1642 voted. That when soever the King in &illegible; war upon the Parliament, it is &illegible; of the trust reposed in him by his people, contrary to his oath, and tendeth to the dissolution of this Government. And that whosoever shall serve or assist him in such warres, are &illegible; by the fundamentall lawes of this Kingdome, and have been so adjudged by two Acts of Parliament, viz. 11. &illegible; 2. and 1 ll. 4:

And yet notwithstanding, though Sir George Vaine did both serve and assist the King actually at the battell at Edge-Hill, yet as soone as any footing by the Parliament is gotten in the County of Durbam, he is by his Father, (and I thinke I might say brother too) for it is impossible if young Sir Henry were honest and true to the publique interest of his Country, according to what he seemingly prosesses, and would be thought to be, that his father and brother should doe such actions as they have done and dayly doe, and escape scot free, and no man to be heard that complains of them, but rather crushed and destroyed, which could not be, if he and his interest did not support them in all their basenesse) I say Sit George is by his Father sent down into the Country, as the only fit man to govern it, by deserving well at the hands of the Parliament for being with the King at the battell of Edge-hill, and therefore his made the receiver of the Kings sequestered revenue there, worth to his particular a great many hundreds pounds per annum, and is also made chiefe Deputy Lieutenant, yea, as it were Deputy Lord Lieutenant, Iustice of peace and quorum, Committee man and Chair-man of the Committee, and hath also the Posse commitatis of the whole County put into his hands, as being the fittest man to be High Sheriffe there, yea, and now &illegible; that County, whatever a King is in his Kingdome, that saying of &illegible; chap. 5, 19. concerning the power of &illegible; &illegible; being too truly verified of him and his father, in &illegible; to their acted and executed power in that &illegible; County, that whom they will they set up, (yea, even as arch blades as Sir George himselfo) and whom they will they pull down, and all the people there in a manner trimble and feare before them.

But this is not all, for the Parliament upon the clearing of the Country, sent a Magazine of Ammunition and &illegible; downe, which was landed and laid up at Sunderland in the possession of my Vnkle, Mr. George Lilburn, one of the Deputy Lieutenants, and Iustices of Peace, &c. of the County, which Sir George Vaine by his supreame prerogative sent for away, and put into his Fathers Castle of &illegible; and laid in store of Provisions there, but I will not say he sent for some scores of Cavieliers from a Castle in Yorkshire to come and take possession of it so soone as he had so done, but this I will say, that they did come and take possession of it with a great deale of case, and it cost the Country some thousands of pounds before they could take it againe. So here you have at present a briefe relation of the game that Sir Henry Vaine hath plaid this many yeares together, by meanes of which he hath got a great estate, but I may say an ill estate, to leave to his son Sir Henry principally, a man for all the experience I have had of him, (and I have had not a little) no whit inferior in my apprehension to his Father in Mathiavels principles, for all his guilded professions, and truly it is very strange to &illegible; what the Family of the Vaines hath deserved of this Kingdome, that they must have so many thousands pounds a yeare out of the Kingdomes Revenue, in its present great and extraordinary poverty, as they have, never any of which ever &illegible; the shedding of one drop of blood for the Parliament or Kingdome. And besides the two sonnes before mentioned, there is a third lately come out of Holland that was a Captain there, and though he hath not one foot of Land in the County of Durbam, yet he is as I am informed lately made a Iustice of peace, and hath besides profitable and gainefull Offices there. I pray Sir, what doe you thinke such doings as this (of which the Parliament is full, as I could easily declare) doth portend to the whole Kingdome, doe you thinke that it portends lesse then &illegible; vassolage and slavery to the whole Kingdome, by a company of base and unworthy men, setup by the people, whom they may if they please pull downe by calling them home, and chuse &illegible; men in their places, in a new Parliament to call them to a strict accompt, without doing of which the lawes and liberties of England are destroyed, and our proprieties utterly overthrow, that doe and will tyrannise ten times worse &illegible; us, then ever our prerogative task-masters of old did.

Sir, sure I am by the antient, good, just and unrepealed laws of England, it is inacted, that a Parliament should be &illegible; every yeare once or more oftner &illegible; &illegible; for the maintenance of the lawes, and the redresse of &illegible; mischiefes and &illegible; which dayly happen, 4. E. 3. 14. and 36. E. 3. 10. And by the act made this present Parliament in the 16. yeare of the King, called an Act for the preventing of inconveniences hapning by the long intermission of Parliaments, there it is provided, in case the King doe not performe his duty to the Kingdome, in summoning of Parliaments as he ought; that then we shall have a Parliament once in 3. yeare whether he will or no, as appeares by the Act itselfe, which most excellent. Act is altogether &illegible; to the Kingdome, if we must have a perpetuall Parliament, and therefore an everlasting Parliament is the greatest abridgement and detrustion to our lawes, liberties, and proprieties that possibly can be imposed upon us, the present Parliament men being in their owne principles unpuestionable, lawlesse, & uncontrowleable (and so art a kind of Monsters, &illegible; of the Divells creation then Gods, for he never created and made any man lawlesse) during all whose sitting as they by their actions order the matter, we have no propriety in our lives, liberties, estates or trades, for all of them are subject to be destroyed by a Vote, and &illegible; sometimes it may be carried but by the Vote of one of Dr. &illegible; &illegible; or &illegible; &illegible; Prynt Minors or Infants, it may be but of 18. yeares old, &illegible; year as younger &illegible; &illegible; to be by law that can sit in that House, nay to such a hight of &illegible; are these &illegible; &illegible; grown, that they by Vote (without law or reason) take our liberties from us, upon my &illegible; and false report of any of their Members, or any of their &illegible; Catch &illegible; &illegible; either the hearing us speak for ourselves, or so much as telling us the cause wherefore &illegible; imprisonned, and this the last yeare in every particular was my portion, by the &illegible; of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Speaker of the House of Commons, Dr. &illegible; and that base and &illegible; &illegible; fellow, Col. Edward King, who divers yeares agoe deserved to be hanged for &illegible; &illegible; trust reposed in him by the Parliament, &illegible; this was lately the portion of Major &illegible; by the means of M Hollis, Sir Walter &illegible; Sir Phillip &illegible; Sir Sam. Luke & the rest of there &illegible; trusty and doubty Associates. O brave Parliament! Which by its constitution and &illegible; practises, was a Bulwarke to secure the Commons of England from being &illegible; up and destroyed, by the prerogative and wills of the Kings of England, but having now &illegible; first station, destroyes us with unknown, unlimited and arbitrary priviledges, more then &illegible; the prerogatives of any King of England, since the first day of Magna Chartas &illegible; and are unaccomptable for any thing they say and doe, yea, and doe not only act the Parliamentary power, but also a regall power, yea, and though they count themselves the &illegible; Iudges in the Kingdome, yet contrary to law, justice, reason, and conscience, take upon them for fees, (which I may call bribes), to plead causes before Iudges of their own making, who dare as well eate their fingers ends, as displease them, and then in conclusion it may be the &illegible; same causes by way of appeale comes before themselves as supreme Iudges, and judge you how those causes must goe in which they have been, and it may be are Hackney Counsellers, which they ought not in the least to be, it being not only contrary to law, but the &illegible; of Iudges that any Iudge should give Counsell or be a Counseller.

Yea, Parliaments in former times used to be so carefull in the discharge of their &illegible; for the welfare of the people that did chuse and be trust them, that they would &illegible; nothing upon the people that might be a burthen to them, without &illegible; them first &illegible; &illegible; Sir Edward Cooke that learned Lawyer in the 4. part of his &illegible; Chap. of the high Court of Parliament, fol. 14 declares his words are as followith, which is printed by the present Parliaments Speciall order.

It is also the law of the Parliament, that when any new device is &illegible; on the Kings &illegible; in Parliament, for his aid or the like, the Commons way answer that they &illegible; the Kings &illegible; and are ready to aid the same, only in this new device they dare not agree, without &illegible; with their Countryer, whereby (saith he) it appeareth that such conferences is warrantable by the law &illegible; of Parliament. And folio 34. (he saith) that at the Parliament bolden in the 9 &illegible; &illegible; a &illegible; was made for a subsidy to be granted of a new kind, the Commons answered, that they would &illegible; conference with those of their severall &illegible; and places, who had put &illegible; a trust, before they treated of any such matter. See my booke called Innocency and truth justified, pag. 60.

But now things by the present Parliament are so carried, as if they were absolute Lords overal the estates of &illegible; & every individuall in the Kindom, that chuse and trusted them, and as though they might leavie upon them at their wills what they pleased, and dispose of it how they pleased, even to their own particular pockets to the inrichment of their particular selves. See the Opressed mans Oppressions declared, pag. 22, 35. Regall &illegible; p. 101, 104, 105, 106. and Londons account.

So that the People now, are without a &illegible; to preserve them from being followed up by unlimited prerogative & unknown priviledges &illegible; by them &illegible; by their own &illegible; if they vote to set up &illegible; on the turkish &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; it because they vote and declare it, and if they vote into their owne &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; (we must give) them unto them, or if they vote to &illegible; unto themselves, all our &illegible; and children &illegible; must part with them to them, because, they vote it, and have no remedy in helpe ourselves, because we have trusted them, (O brave Parliament &illegible;) though we never intended them in the least any power at all to doe what they list, nor any other power, but only &illegible; to the best of their understandings. (according to justice &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible;) &illegible; provide for our greater &illegible; and better well being, which they &illegible; before they &illegible; got the King and his party downe, did honestly confesse, book &illegible; &illegible; pag. &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the Iudges to an account, and to punish them if they should &illegible; the law and justice of the Kingdome, either by the King &illegible; letters, commands or threats, which the law &illegible; saith, they are not in the least to regard, in the administration of justice, 9. &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; E. 5. &illegible; &illegible; E. 3. 9. 14 E. 3. 14. 11., &illegible; &illegible; And if they see cause to call the &illegible; &illegible; &c. to account, to know and see, if the publique Treasure of the &illegible; be &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; according to the &illegible; and uses that it is assigned &illegible; &illegible; for the good preservation, &illegible; &illegible; protection of the Kingdome and not to be &illegible; or &illegible; in ends or uses not warrantable not justifiable.

But they were never in the least be trusted with a power to protect and &illegible; &illegible; their own Members in all manner of treachery and basenesse &illegible; by them against the Kingdome, (as I could easily instance they have, done to divers) and to cheat and &illegible; them of great and vast sums, of their, money, and yet not to be liable to be called to any account for it. See Mr. Andrew Burrells, &illegible; to the Parliament of England, and the state of Irish affaires presented to the Parliament by the Committee of adventures in London, for Ireland, and Regall &illegible; Pag. 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106 in which pages &illegible; declared, that a right &illegible; Gentleman of the House of Commons, Sir &illegible; &illegible; and his agent Mr. Davis, have put in their particular pockets, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of the money &illegible; for the relief of Ireland, and I have heard that the foresaid Committee of &illegible; had &illegible; Sir &illegible; &illegible; to the purpose in the House of Commons, about &illegible; l. that they possitively say he hath in his hands, if as I am informed, he had not by a great &illegible; of industry found some very great Citizens &illegible; (contrary to the law,) in transporting beyond the Seas, Silver and Gold, who improved all their interest to keep him from complaining, and it is thought prevailed on purpose with the said Committee to &illegible; prosecuting, Sir &illegible; &illegible; that so he might &illegible; &illegible; them, for their transportations, nay it is &illegible; though some &illegible; their fingers soundly about this businesse, for I have from very good hands heard, there are some notable blades about London, that can easily discover so many great men about London capitally &illegible; with transporting of the Kingdome treasure beyond the Seas, that if there were any that would doe &illegible; justlee &illegible; &illegible; the penalty of the lawes, divers hundreds of thousands of pounds might &illegible; be raised to be put into the publique purse, only it were worth the Commons of Englands serious &illegible; to &illegible; that three quarters of it were not put into particular Parliament mens pockets. Oh for a new chosen Parliament to find out that almost &illegible; &illegible; that &illegible; amongst divers of this Parliament, about mighty sums of the publiques money, &illegible; &illegible; holdly &illegible; it, that all the businesse against Strafford, &illegible; Lord Keeper Finch, Lord Chief Iustice &illegible; &illegible; Iudge &illegible; Barron Trever, Sir George &illegible; The Farmers of the Custome-house, Alderman Abell, Mr. &illegible; and the rest of their Cater-piller &illegible; &illegible; was never when they were openned, more odious to the people, then the villanny and &illegible; of divers of the present Parliament men would evidently appeare, if there were any uncorrupted and impartiall &illegible; &illegible; it open, which &illegible; they are, is impossible to be found or had, they being generally and &illegible; (in a manner) so corrupted with &illegible; the States money, that for my part I am very &illegible; of it, they dare not rip &illegible; one anothers knavery, for reare he that first begins gets a &illegible; himselfe before he hath done. Yea, I have observed it for divers moneths together, that it is a common practice in the House of Commons, that as soone as a Soldier is chosen a Parliament man, of whose honesty, &illegible; and boldnesse, many people had high thoughts of, &illegible; &illegible; him, and &illegible; up his lips, which gifts doe &illegible; 23. 8. Deut. 16. 19 &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; within a moneth or six weekes very commonly, order that he shall have his Arrears can up and paid him, or else a Vote for &illegible; or 5000, l. for one losse or another, so that for my part &illegible; though a man be never so gallant when he is in the field, yet such bewitching baites of money &c. is in the House of Commons, that as soone as he comes to sit there, he is in my thoughts three quarters spoyled, yea, and it may be in a very little time will be an enemy to that &illegible; and down right honesty, he in the field professed so that for my part, of all the late Commanders that have been chosen to sit in the House, (they are so taken with the Silver &illegible; of that House) that I &illegible; my part? wis? not give a groat a dozen for them, (to doe the Common wealth service in their present place) unlesse it be one or two at most amongst them, therefore say I, let us earnestly comtest for the inioyment of our iust, nationall liberties and the long and antient just laws of England to have every yeare a fresh and new Parliament, to call this to in &illegible; for all our money they have had, and all the iniustice they have done us without which we are destroyed, both in our lawer, liberties and proprieties, but if any shall &illegible; the Kingdome in generall will &illegible; great hazards by a new choise, I say no, for it never &illegible; base men be chosen, if we have a fresh Parliament every yeare, to sit three or four score dayes &illegible; most, it will be as a rod kept over their heads to awe them, that they shall not dare to doe the Kingdome one thousand part of that iniustice that this Parliament hath done, for feare the next Parliament they shall be questioned, and then loose their heads or estates. Therefore in the Kingdomes good In generall, it is worth the indeavouring to get the same &illegible; in an annuall act, that now is in the &illegible; made the 16. yeare of the King, & to settle the government of the Kingdome, either by the King againe, or some other way that the Parliament shall think sit, by chusing out a Committee amongst themselves to manage the great affaires of the Kingdome, till the next free and new chosen Parliament, for now we are under a Law, when Parliament men please to destroy us, and when the Law will not reach us, then their wills shall, tell which &illegible; done, England shall never inioy iustice, impartiallity, but be in the absolute condition of at perfect vassolage and slaverie, as either the Turks in Turky, or the &illegible; France, or the &illegible; in &illegible; having neither the inioyment of liberty nor propriety now; it being I wil maintain it, the greatest act of breach of trust that ever the King did in his life when he passed the Act called the Act to prevent inconveniencies, by untimely dissolving the Parliament, made 1641. to let both houses sit as long as they pleased, and so make sitting in Parliament a Monopoly and heriditary to them and their heires for ever, which is such a palpable and visible violation of our essentiall and fundamentall liberties, that it is lesse to be indured by the honest free men of England, then any act of iniustice, or violence that ever he did to us in his life; for this is to universall that it absolutely destroyes both our lawes, liberties, trades, and proprieties, and makes us all perfect and absolute slaves, but Parliament men and their new made and created creatures, there being nothing wanting but the Kings consent to the twelfth Proposition, that both houses by law may levit upon the People, what money they please, and doe with it what they please, and never be accountable, and therefore I will add a fist thing, to those things of greatest evill mentioned by &illegible; in &illegible; &illegible; dedicatory, before my booke called &illegible; Charters of London, and pray from the Popes &illegible; &illegible; Kings unlimitted Prerogatives, Parliaments unknown priviledges, the Lord Major, Court of Aldermen, and the rest of the prerogative Common-Counsell men of London, &illegible; saith, but especially from an everlasting Parliament, Good Lord deliver honest John Lilburne.

Now Sir, I come to speak a few words unto the state that &illegible; are in by reason of the &illegible; I have brought upon my selfe, (a you thinke) by owning of my booke, to which I answer.

Alasse! I professe it seriously, death it selfe is more acceptable to me, then to live, and be without cause destroyed in a Gaole, what should I be affraid of? For &illegible; know God in Iesus Christ, is my reconciled father, in the strength of which I have walked stedfastly above &illegible; ten yeares, so that I without doubt know he hath instore for me a crown of eternall glory in the Kingdome of glory, And cursed &illegible; that is afraid of &illegible; that shall die, and of the &illegible; of man which shall be made as grasse, and forget test the Lord his make, that stretcheth forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the Earth, Esay 11. 12, 13. And truly to extraordinary large experience have I had of God, unsadomable loving kindnesse and truth, that there is nothing out sinne can make me afraid, (For the Lord is on my side, I will not feare what man can doe unto me, Psal. 118. 6. and 56, 4. 11. Heb. 13. 6) which I am principally tyed from by that overdowing, bounty, & goodnesse, that I have taisted in God.

And for my wife and children which most troubles me, unto whom I ought, and I hope have and doe beare a husband and fatherly affection unto, yet alasse, shall I for love of them sin against my owne soule, and be silent, when my conscience from sound grounds tells me God would have me to speake, to reprove the perversnesse and stiffe neckednesse of an Hypotriticall, uncircumcised, in heart generation of men, that under specious pretences goe about to inslave their native Country, and so by consequences strongly endeavour to destroy my wife and Children as well as my selfe, who must undeniably perish, if I should live with them, if the law and justice of the Kingdome be overthrowne, which cannot in likelyhood be avoyded, it God should not open the mouthes of some to speake, reprove and informe, and God having &illegible; me with a Talent, yea, and by my unjust imprisonment, put on opportunity into my hand to improve it for his advantage and glory, accursed should J be in my own apprehension, if I should tye it up in a Napkin and hide it.

And besides when all ordinary meanes failes, to contest for my right (without the injoyment of which, my wife and children in the eye of reason must perish and be destroyed) In my understanding is the only way to obtaine it, but if in the persuit of my present contest I should loose my life, I can lay it downe with a great deale of comfort, and commit my wife and children with a great deale of confidence, in the faithfullnesse and care of God, who hath manifested so much unto me in all the straites and extremities that ever I was in, for the faithfull discharge of my duty to him in endeavouring to keep my consolence unspotted before him, I pray read my Epistle dated 11. Nov. 1638 and printed at the latter end of my answer to Pryn, called Innocency and truth justified.

Besides, in my present imprisonment, I am strips of all industrious meanes to provide for my wife and children, and am much more in the rode way by expences to destroy them, then to lay up six pence for their future subsistance, and which it long continued, in the eye of reason, I must either cat them, or they me. And therefore being in many straights in my owne spirit, and under many capitall oppressions, contrary to the law and justice of the Kingdome, I looked up to God, and plucktup my resolution, and put pen to Paper on purpose if it were possible to give them a provocation to bring the forth to a publique tryall, that so it possible I could I might know what to must to, and yet so carrying my businesse; that I would in my own &illegible; have the law of the land of my side, and advantages sufficient to tender my &illegible; &illegible; and &illegible; for their unjust proceedings &illegible; and therefore it was that I &illegible; &illegible; before &illegible; forementioned Committee owned my book &illegible; at manner that I did, which &illegible; had nor, the credit of the &illegible; &illegible; been blasted, and &illegible; other great inconveniences to me would have followed.

And &illegible; &illegible; well, that though divers in the house of Commons were &illegible; the book! yet by law they themselves in their Arbitrary way, could not try me for it, the &illegible; if they should or had attempted, I should have shewed them their owne &illegible; and Declarations, where they sweare and declare to maintain the lawes and liberty of the land, and should, &illegible; shall say &illegible; as Tamer said to &illegible; after he had in his unadvised rashnesse &illegible; to &illegible; for being with child by what &illegible; but when &illegible; was &illegible; &illegible; sint to &illegible; Father on &illegible; saying, &illegible; be man who &illegible; are, am I with child, &illegible; I pray thee, &illegible; these, the &illegible; and &illegible; and &illegible; And &illegible; acknowledged them and said, &illegible; &illegible; more righteous their I &illegible; because I gave her not to &illegible; my &illegible; and he &illegible; her &illegible; more &illegible; 38, 14, 15, 16 &c.

Even so should I have said, if they should have &illegible; upon me with fury to have &illegible; me (&illegible; &illegible; booke) In their Arbitrary and Parliamentary ways (and &illegible; upon me &illegible; as much heat for standing upon my legall priviledge, as &illegible; did upon &illegible;, when he &illegible; her to be burnt) whose &illegible; whose Covenants? whose Declaration and Protestations &illegible; &illegible; In all of which you have solemnly ingaged before the presence of the great God of &illegible; at &illegible; and all the world, that you will &illegible; the lawes and liberties of the land. Yes, the House of Commons in their most excellent Declaration of the 19. April; 1646. book &illegible; part folio, &illegible; expresly say, &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; of the &illegible; given some &illegible; &illegible; proceedings, stopped the usuall &illegible; of &illegible; inforced the Parliament, &illegible; the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; to impose and require many great and unusuall payments from the good subjects of the Kingdome, and to take extraordinary &illegible; for &illegible; of moneys for their many pressing &illegible; it having pleased God to reduce our &illegible; &illegible; a more hopefull condition then heretofore &illegible; declare, (marke this well) That we &illegible; &illegible; nor any by colour of any &illegible; derived &illegible; us, shall &illegible; the &illegible; &illegible; of justice &illegible; the severall Courts and Iudicatories of &illegible; Kingdome, not inter meddle in cases of Private interest of &illegible; where &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; case of male administration of &illegible; &illegible; we shall &illegible; and provide, that &illegible; be done, &illegible; inflicted as those shall be &illegible;, according to the laws of the Kingdome, and the trust reposed in us, which else where they say, is to provide for the peoples weale, but not for their &illegible; and in other of their Declarations they declare, That the &illegible;, and the ordinary course of justices is the common &illegible; of every subject of England, and that the Law is in case of tryall, they declare it to be &illegible; and the same with that expressed in &illegible; forementioned &illegible; &illegible; 1. &illegible; book &illegible; pag. &illegible; 7. 38. 39. 77. 278. 458. 459. 660. 845. see also The &illegible; of the &illegible; pag. 8, 9, 10. The Out-tryes of Oppressid Commons, pag. 7, 8. and Vex Plobis, pag. &illegible; &illegible; 15. &illegible; &c.

And therefore if I be in an error, or have committed an evill in the judgement of the Parliament, for standing upon my legall priviledges against them, verily by the men whose are these, am I seduced, deluded, and led into error, discerne I pray you, whose are these, these &illegible; Declarations, Protestations, Oathes, Vowes, and Covenants, the benefit of which! ought to &illegible; the which if they let me, I shall let you know I was not, nor am not altogether &illegible; to know my owne priviledges at the Common Law, for I know it they indict me, (tell they have wholly &illegible; government) it must be in the Kings name, and for committing a crime against him, & this is expresly the form of their &illegible; & I am sure I can be found guilty of no crime committed against him, unless it be at their command, for drawing &illegible; sword & fighting against him &illegible; his Army, & in this &illegible; &illegible; their own Ordinances and Declarations, where they promise to beare me &illegible; for so doing, and I am sure this is a good and sufficient plea before one of their owne Iudges, who hath no other power but what he derives from one of their owne Ordinances, which if he shall hang or destroy me, or any man, for actions done expresly in obedience to their Ordinances, for any thing I know he ought to be hanged as a wilfull must &illegible; for destroying &illegible; for doing actions in obedience to that &illegible; (and expresly commanded by them) from which he hath all his power, and hath no other power to sit as a Iudge, but by vertue of an Ordinance of the two Houses.

But if they should condemne me for this action, what doe they else but condemne in &illegible; the whole Parliament, and all that have in these warres adhered to them.

But if they should happen to indict me, for acting, committing, or indeavouring to act, or commit treason, rebellion, or insurrection against the Parliament &illegible; very much question according to Law, and the present constitution of the Kingdome, whether any such indictment can be made or no, but if it can? I wonder then the Parliament doth not then try the &illegible; in the severall prisons of London, that &illegible; and professedly have drawn their swords against them to destroy them, yea, and glory in it as their duty so to doe, and truly it is the greatest injustice in the world, to let those goe &illegible; free that are guilty in the highest nature, and to punish him or them that is not in the hundred degree so guilty, and yet this is my case, where if here I could not &illegible; myselfe, (although believe I should be able to give them good store of strong and &illegible; reasons, which now I will not &illegible; to you) but yet they would goe one and presse me to plead to the indictment, I should desire to see and know, whether or no, my Iury of twelve men of my &illegible; were all legall men or no, yea, and something more besides.

And in the first place, if I were indicted for treason, I might by law, except against 35. Jury men without rendering any reason for it, set the &illegible; H. 6. folis. 26. &illegible; H. &illegible; folio &illegible; Stam. Pleas Crowne, folio &illegible; &illegible; 3. part Institutes, folio 24. and 27. and then I might except against so many as I could declare bore me a particular &illegible; for pre-judgement is a good challenge by the law, for the common law of the land &illegible; that a Iury men must be in different and impartiall before he be sworne, &illegible; Stamfords Pleas of the Crowne, lib. 3. &illegible; 158. and pritten in his discourse of the lawes of the Land, folio 12. and 25. &illegible; 3. chap. 3, 12. Ass. plea. &illegible; pre-Challenge 42. 101. 120. 142. &illegible;.*

And so within the compasse of malicions men against me would come all the Presbyterians, that have taken the League and Covenant, in the second Article of which &illegible; part fol. 4. 2. 5. they have illegally and unjustly sworne to destroy and extirpate all Here &illegible; one of which they judge me to be, because I will not take that ilegall Oath, nor be conformable to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Presbytery, and so have sworne to destroy me, before I be legally convicted, which in wicked and unlawfull.

For a man bound by an Oath before, to doe that which he is to doe upon the indictment; evidence and proofe thereof, is partiall, and not in different, see &illegible; 1. part institutes libr. 1. chap. 12. sect. 234. pag. 156. who saith expresly, &illegible; must be men without all &illegible;.

And by the Statutes of 1. H. 5. 3. and &illegible; &illegible; 6. 19, It is inacted, that no parson shall be &illegible; to passe in any inquest (or Iury) upon tryall of the &illegible; of a &illegible; or &illegible; inquest betwixt &illegible; party in plea it all nor in plea personall, whereof the debt or &illegible; dammage declared, amount to forty makes, if the same person, (or Jurer) &illegible; not lands or tenements of the yearly value of forty shillings, alwayes provided that the party to betryed doe make his challenge. And by the Statute of 17. Eliz chap. 6. It is inacted, that in all cases where any &illegible; to be returned for try &illegible; of any issue, or issues ioyned in the Kings &illegible; Common pleas, and the &illegible; or before &illegible; of assize, shall every one of them have estate of free hold in lands, &illegible; or &illegible; to the yearly value of 4. l. as the least, and the Sheriffe or other Ministers, unto whom the &illegible; of the &illegible; shall appertaine, shall not returne in any such pannell, any person, unlesse &illegible; &illegible; dispend foure pound by the yeare at the least, of free hold out of &illegible; &illegible;, within the &illegible; where the issue is to betryad, upon paine to forseit for every person so returned in any such &illegible; that cannot dispend 4. l. free hold, 20s.

It is true that by the Statute of the 33. H 8. 13. it is inacted. That every person and persons being the Kings naturall Subject borne, which either by the name of a Citizen, or of a &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; any other name, doth injoy and use the liberties and priviledge, of any City, Burrough, or &illegible; where be dwelleth, and &illegible; his abode, being worth in moveable goods and substance to the cleare value of 40 l, be from henceforth admitted in try all of &illegible; and selon is in every &illegible; and Gaole delivery kept and &illegible; in and for the liberty of such Cities, Burroughs and &illegible; are, albeit they have no freehold, provided alway, that this act doe not extendin any &illegible; of wise, to any Knight, or Esquire, dwelling, abiding, or resorting in, or to any &illegible; City, &c. And &illegible; by vertue of having been a Lieutenant Colonel, am an Esquire, as may easily be proved &illegible; of the Herauld of Aimes Office, and therefore in what place soever I am or shall be &illegible; &illegible; lawfully make my exceptions against every man of my &illegible; that is not worth in free &illegible; &illegible; per annum.

And besides, if none of these will doe me good, I have this last remedy that I am confident, I shall legally and fully prove any charge whatever, that in that booke I lay upon the Parliament in generall, or any member of it in particular, if I may from them injoy the benefit of the law, and then I pray what doe they &illegible; or I loose by owning and avowing the &illegible; booke.

But if you thinke &illegible; by owning of my booke, they are there by so exasperated, that &illegible; the hazard of being destroyed by them by an act of power and will, to which I answer, by that law neither you nor any man in England is safe, but &illegible; to be destroyed at their pleasure, &illegible; the lesser part of themselves, are liable by that law every houre to be destroyed by the &illegible; of the Major part, and then the Major part are liable every &illegible; to be destroyed for a company of Tyrants and for sworns perjured men (for &illegible; king all their Oaths which they &illegible; taken is mantaine the law of the Kingdome, and like absolute &illegible; have made their will a law) by any company or multitude of men stronger then themselves, which if they should goe this way to work they would every houre be justly in feare of, but if they should be so farre be &illegible; and &illegible; &illegible; to run the hazard of their owne deserved &illegible; by destroying me by an act of power in cold blood, by the law of their owne will, I for my owne particular should be no looser by my translation from an earthly death, to an eternall life, and therefore I feare not their malice, nor &illegible; not a straw for the worst they can doe to &illegible; being (notwithstanding the feare of your selfe, and other of my friends) resolved so to provoke them, that they shall either be &illegible; & forced out of meer fear or shame to do me justice & right, by making & hearing any report (&illegible; in the bands of sluggish Mr. Henry Martin, whose prisoner principally I &illegible; &illegible;) judging my case, and setting me free at liberty, and giving me legall reparations for my illegall and unjust sufferings, &illegible; out of meere madnesse, surie and revenge, to send me &illegible; to be rid of me, of which I am not in the least afraid, and doubt not but if God should so forsake them, and the Devil &illegible; &illegible; lead them as there to being me, but at and by my death, I should (Sampson like, Iudges 16. 18. 29. 30.) doe them &illegible; mischiefe then I did them all my life, by &illegible; away the two maine pillars, that &illegible; their &illegible; to &illegible; &illegible; in house of tyranny.

And therefore, if you would avoid the evill you feare to come upon me, I &illegible; you to proffe Mr. Martin (with whom I know you are acquainted) to make my report to the house, which he hath so unjustly &illegible; in his hands so many moneths, to my unspeakable prejudice, and the unconceiveable prejudice of the whole Kingdom, and if he should say, that their house are not in a temper to doe either me, or the Kingdome concerned in me, justice, or right, and therefore it is better for borne then made, left their house by Vote confirme what the Lords have done to me, to answer which I must tell you, I am as sure as that I am a man, that I have the Law of England on my side against the Lords, and which I thinke is unanswerably demonstrated in the foremen ioned books, and therefore let their house be in never so bad a temper, I most earnestly intreat you to presse him to endeavour to make in, and so quit his hands &illegible; &illegible; not what the issue be, so he doe but discharge his duty, by attempting and endeavouring to make it, and take some of his Comrades to be are witnesses &illegible; and send me the names of those that in that House stand up against me to hinder and pervert the justice of the Kingdome, in this particular case of mine, and I shall thinke him an honest man, and that he hath done his duty in endeavouring to obtaine justice and right for me, at the hands of those that ought impartially to hand it out to me, or the meanest Commoner and legall man of England, but this Sir I doe assure you, that if I &illegible; upon good grounds know the names of those that interpose their power & parts to hinder me of that justice &illegible; right which is &illegible; due in this particular, by the good, just and unrepealed law of the Kingdome, I will pay them with my pen upon the posts of London, and to the view of the whole kingdome, as well as all the wit, braines and parts I have will in able me to doe, cost it what it will, I pray Sir presse Mr. Martin but to indeavour the making of my report, for while it is in his hands, I am tyed in a manner by him hand and foor, and cannot as I would stir for my own good, till he hathrid his hands of it, one halfe of whose ill dealing with me, I should never beare not take from all the &illegible; &illegible; I have in the world, which I must be necessitated in a large Epistle shortly to signifie to him, and publish his dealing with me to the world.

In the next place, if you desire to prevent that evill that you &illegible; will be fall to me, then I pray you improve your utmost interest amongst the Commons of England in City and County, to petition to the House of Commons, either according to justice and right, to justifie or condemne me, and in case they will not receive, read and satisfactorily answer their Petitions, then I intreat you improve all your interest in them, to get them publiquely and avowedly to remonstrate and declare the Parliaments unjust dealings with them to all their fellow Commons of England, &illegible; I may not be necessitated to fun the hazard of making my single appeale against them to all my fellow Commons, as well in the Army, as City and Country, which before I will be destroyed in prison without cause, I both must and will doe, though I should loose my life the next day after for so doing.

But now before I conclude, in regard I intend to make this Epistle publique, I will communicate to your consideration, two things of &illegible; concernment to me, and the first is a peace of justice of the House of Lords in its kind, as excellent as theirs to me is, and it is the case of one Mrs. Elizabeth walter, the breviat of which as the her selfe gave it me in writing with her &illegible; subscribed to it, I shall recite here verbatum, saving some of the Marginall notes.

The proceedings of Mrs. Walter in the Parliament with the House of LORDS

SHrove-Sunday last is seaven year since my husband left me in this comn with three children, a house and family, and left me but seaven pence for the reliefe of me and them. I followed him into the Country two hundred miles of this place, and came to him where he was in one Chapels house, who wrought such dissention betwixt us, that as soone as he see me, he took the &illegible; and by the Contents of that book he swore he would never more live with me, and fell to &illegible; &illegible; most cruelly, and turned me out of doors.

  • 1  My first Petition was the beginning of this Parliament.
  • 2  See their Order of the 2. Iune 1641.
  • 3  See their Order of the 23. Iun. 1641.
  • 4  See their Order of the 27. Novemb. 1641.
  • 5  See their order of the 10. July, 1641. and 2. of Aprill, 1642.
  • 6  Vpon the 12. May, 1642.
  • 7  See their order of the 13. May, 1642.
  • 8  See his notable Decree, made 13. May, 1642.
  • 9  See their order of the 1. Iune, 1646, and the Commissioners order of the 22. June, 1646.
  • 10  See their order of the 23. Nov 1646, and their order of the 1. Feb. 1646.
  • 11  See their order of the 28. Nov. 1646.
  • 12  See the Moderate Intilligence, upon the 23. Feb. 1646.
  • 13  See their order of the &illegible; Feb. 1646.
  • 14  See their fatall order of the 23. Feb. 1646.
  • 15  Whose husband Mr. Stavely, was lately high Sheriffe of Leicester-shire, and a Committee man, and whose said, wife is suspected extraordinarily guilty of a kind of processed & open incontinency, yet the house of Lords committed him prisoner to the &illegible; about two years ago, for refusing to pay her Alley money, to support her in her professed wickedness, where they have kept him prisoner to this &illegible; day, a brave contradicting &illegible; of justice, and worthy to be founded out abroad for their Lordships deserved commendations.

On which I returned back to London, and &illegible; it &illegible; to the House of Peers, 1 for some reliefe for me &illegible; my children: who sent for my husband up, &illegible; &illegible; at a full hearing, my husband being in place, before three score Lords, having nothing to alledge against me but that he would not live with me, &illegible; &illegible; ordered by his owne consent out of two &illegible; pounds a yeare, to pay me three score pounds &illegible; &illegible; and further what Estate should fall to him, either by the death of Grand-mother or mother, I should &illegible; the one halfe thereof, for the reliefe of me &illegible; three children, 3. which is five hundred &illegible; a yeare more, All which orders my husband &illegible; never obey, but still stood under contempt. 4. The the house referred it to the Iudges, &illegible; and Heath, 5. to draw a sequestration for my life, according to Law, which they did, 6. and Brought it to the house, and the House confirmed it, 7. &illegible; it to my Lord Keeper, who &illegible; it in Chancery, 8. and set it out under the greatfuale of England, I having all this while received nothing from the Estate, the great seale being made &illegible; I petitioned to the house in &illegible; last, 1646, for the new broad seale, which was granted &illegible; 9. and I therewith sequestred part of the Estate, but never &illegible; but one five pounds thereof.

In the &illegible; time my husband petitions to the house for a re-hearing, (alledging he could prove incontinency against me) it was granted him, and comming with our Counsell to the barre, my counsell pleaded his severall contempts, at which time &illegible; were dismissed, then he petitions againe, gets of his contempt, paying me my arrears, 10. which was &illegible; hundred pounds, before he should have a &illegible; then be petitions againe, and then I was ordered to suspend the arrears till after the hearing, 11. then we had a hearing Counsell of both sides meet, without witnesses, on his side there was nothing or &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; were laid upon me, 12. then the Lords refered it is all the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; was due to a woman by the law, &illegible; who reported there &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; they dissinnulled all their forms orders &illegible; took of &illegible; &illegible; 14. and &illegible; the cause, though my Counsell cited to them severall cases, of &illegible; that were found guilty of incontinency, As Stavely, 15. Dutton and others.

I have spent above foure hundred pounds in the suite, and &illegible; me less without &illegible; as at the beginning.

The Judges report was but verbal which is &illegible;

At the giving me an estate, there was three &illegible; or &illegible; score lords, at the &illegible; it away, there was not above twelve or fourteen, and two of them &illegible; against it, which was my Lord North and Moulgrave.

My Counsell were Mr. Maynard, Mr. Herne, and Mr. &illegible;

Elizabeth Walter.

Now I pray you friend judge and consider, whether or no these Lords be not a company of brave and gallant conscionable men, fit to be our Law makers indeed, that can make a poore Gentlewoman dance above 6. yeares attendance for a little &illegible; to &illegible; her and her children alive, (for you see that when her husband left her, he left her &illegible; &illegible; and did not forsake her for any undutifullnesse or incontinancy but rather &illegible; he might have elbow &illegible; enough to live as incontinent as his lost pleased and yet in conclusion to expose the poore Gentle-woman and her three children in the eye of reason to a perishing and starving condition, after the hath spent above 400. l. to obtaine that at their &illegible; that in it selfe &illegible; as just, equitable and conscionable, as anything in the world can be, &illegible; they have made her order upon order, for the possessing of her just desire &illegible; full I thinke for I have read them all) as it is possible to be comprised in paper, and I desire not only you, but all the Ladyes and Gentlewomen in England, yea, all the Fathers of &illegible; creatured, to consider what a sad thing it is, that if they shall bring up their daughters wall, and bestow large portions upon them, and marrie them, and their husbands shall &illegible; them tell he hath got three or foure children upon them, and then at his pleasure without any just cause given him by his wife, (for the satisfying of his lust, upon a whore or &illegible;) shall leave his wife and children to the wide world, and not allow them fix &illegible; to live upon, and then (which is worst of all) to be In such a condition, that they have no legall way to compell him to doe it, (for it &illegible; by the gallant, but not unspotted justice of the House of Lords to this Gentle woman, there is none) and yet they can find some to commit Mr. Stavely to prison, for refusing to pay his wife ally-money, who I my selfe have heard him, &c. say, lives in the highest professed, and &illegible; incontinency that a woman can, I pray answer me this, whether these very Lords doe not by these two forementioned actions visibly declare, that they are greater friends to whores and Rogues then to honest & chastmen & women? & whether injustice & oppression be not more delightsome to them, then justice, right cousnesse and truth? and whether &illegible; no it is possible to be in a worse & a sadder condition, then when &illegible; men as these &illegible; at the Helon, and govern the stearn of it, not by true, just, rationall principled, but by the &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; principle of their owne crooked, partiall, and &illegible; wills. &illegible; England, England! woe, woe unto thee, in this thy present sad condition, which thou &illegible; &illegible; will not &illegible; and which thou feeleft, but wilt not feele, but stoop Isakar like, unto the burthen, and not &illegible; any rationall course for thy preservation, from being &illegible; &illegible; and a prey to every fortnight enemy, which &illegible; necssity thou must be in conclusion, in the way that is now &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the Lords of Commons, or both of them put together, may doe unto thee what they please, without any controle, because they are thy Magistrates, and thou with all submission must &illegible; unto a, &illegible; of necessity thou art guilty as a wilfull &illegible; in &illegible; the blood of all the &illegible; for endeavouring to protect their King from thy violent and furious hands, who is a hundred times more secured and fortified, &illegible; the expressed and declared law of the Kingdome, &illegible; the Parliament is, who now doe what they list, yea, levie money upon us, and put it in that own pockets, and pretend we must not question them, and &illegible; them wherefore they &illegible; because, we have trusted them. Oh brave Parliament principles indeed! fitter for the &illegible; Turke, then for English Parliament men.

The second thing I shall declare to you, is the scandalous and base dealing of William &illegible; with me, a fellow to unworthy and base, and so fraught with malice and blood &illegible; and so habituated in telling lyes and falshoods, that a man of unspotted worth, honour and integritie, would scorne (as &illegible; saith chap. 30. &illegible;) to set him with the dogs of his flock, who &illegible; about this 3. yeares hath been an agent in the hands of the Divell, maliciously and &illegible; to indeavour (with all his might) the destruction of the generation of the righteous, &illegible; with the blood of the Lamb in this land and Kingdome, and either to have them &illegible; hanged, &illegible; or banished, of which when I as a &illegible; &illegible; advertised him, as you may read &illegible; printed Epistle to him, dated 7. Ianuary &illegible; and in my printed &illegible; delivered into the Committee of Examinations, dated 23. Iune, 1645, the man was &illegible; so full of fury as though he would &illegible; me up at a mouthfull, and tossed and &illegible; me at Committees, so as if &illegible; would have beat me to dust and powder, as you may partly read in my printed Epistles, &illegible; 25. Iuly, 1615. and December 1645. Yea, and one day in Westminster Hall laid violent &illegible; upon me, having any sword in my hand, to provoke me to strike him, that so I might loose my hand by striking in the face of the Judges, fitting in the Kings bench &illegible; Westminster hall, &illegible; afterwards his two great Comrades Dr. &illegible; and Col King, having &illegible; the &illegible; meanes, (&illegible; Patron) got me &illegible; &illegible; by the heeles, from the 19. of Iuly 1649. to the &illegible; of October. 1645. I was by the whole house of Commons honourably released, as &illegible; may read in the 34. pag. of &illegible; and truth justified, but yet in that unjust and &illegible; imprisonment, I was ordered by the House of Commons to be tryed at New-gate &illegible; for my life, by the powerfull influence of &illegible; Speaker and Mr. Gline, Recorder of London, in which businesse I have just cause to thinke that &illegible; had more than a finger, because &illegible; when he see I was likely honourably to be delivered as a spotlesse and innocent man, he frames a booke, and publisheth it &illegible; and dedicates it to Mr. Speaker, in which book called The Lyar confounded, he possitively &illegible; me of a most transcendent crime, viz. that I have &illegible; with other Separates and &illegible; to &illegible; &illegible; the Members of this Parliament by degrees, beginning with Mr. Speaker, &illegible; &illegible; they could &illegible; &illegible; (&illegible; &illegible;) all the &illegible; would easily follow: and if this &illegible; not, then to suppresse and &illegible; off this Parliament by force of Armes, and set up a new Parliament of our owne &illegible; and section, by this &illegible; &illegible; Piyn &illegible; himselfe a perfect Knave, and enemie to the Kingdome, in that he knew me guilty of such a thing, and never to this day &illegible; question me or prosecute me for it, and if it be but one of his false malicious suggestions, then he proves, and declares himselfe a lyar to &illegible; so notorious a falshood upon him that now, as well as formerly in this and all other things, &illegible; defiance to him, see my answer to this in the 25. page of my booke called Innocency and truth Justified, yea, and in the &illegible; false scandalous and transcendent lying booke of his, beside scores of lyes, he &illegible; &illegible; 13. or, 14. upon me in lesse then I, lines as I have truly declared in the 4, 5, 6. pages, of the last &illegible; &illegible; booke and there offered to his face, publiquely to prove what there I say against him, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; and &illegible; fellow &illegible; never embrace my challenge there made to him, &illegible; &illegible; so much as in any of his late &illegible; lines, return one word of answer that ever I could see to what there I justly fix upon him, and therefore by his &illegible; in their particular, though he &illegible; printed scores of sheets since, have given me just cause now to proclaime him so notorious and base a lyar, that he is not ashamed &illegible; and publish above a dozen in &illegible; lines.

But the &illegible; unworthy fellow, like one of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; was &illegible; from the beginning, John &illegible; 44. knowing that I was fast by the &illegible; under a great indignation of the house of Lords, and knowing that my businesse by way of appeale was depending in the house of Commons, and ready for a report, that he might blast my reputation and credit, and so by consequence destroy me and mine, some weekes agoe at the house of Commons but, (as I have been informed from many good hands) made amost false &illegible; and lying report of me, that I was in their debt above 2000. l. which I had little be &illegible; then not &illegible; them of and in his late booke published since, and dedicated to the House of Commons, called the Sword of Christian Magistracy supported, in the 10. 11. pages of his Epistle, he strongly endeavours to make me more odious and capitall, then the late be headed Arch Bishop of Canterbury, and there and else where in his base lying booke, press to them to punish me as semerely as they did him, although I am confident he is not able to fix any crime upon me, but that I am honester and juster then himselfe, and stands for the lawes and liberties of England, which he endeavours to destroy and overthrow, and set up a perfect &illegible; as by his late printed books is to evident, and though in this book as well as the Epistle, he hath so many bitter charges against me, yet in regard I have proved him so base and notorious a lyar already, which by his not vindicating of himselfe, he to my understanding &illegible; to be true, I shall only at the present &illegible; as briefe an answer as I can, to that most notorious lye of his laid do &illegible; in the &illegible; p. of his said Epistle, (after he hath expressed the Lords linity to me, in not murthering and destroying of me as he would have them, for no crime in the world, but for maintaining the just and good lawes of the Kingdome, which they have all often sworne to preserve,) he expresseth himselfe in these words.

“And yet this obstinate seditious ungratefull &illegible; in stead of a &illegible; pardon for his most insolent unfaint like &illegible;* contempts against the whole House of &illegible; and severall particular &illegible; of it, because your honourable House of Commons, will &illegible; him upon his Libelleus Petition, (against all Law and justice, &illegible; &illegible; of the Lords,* and their priviledges) in this his &illegible; &illegible; (viz. The Oppressed want oppressions declared) railes &illegible; upon your honours then the House of Peets, not only clamouring, upon you for arrears of pay, (when as there is not one &illegible; &illegible; to him, for ought he could make appeare upon the reference of his Petition to the Committee of Accounts, who gave him a charge of above &illegible; l. received from the Earle of Manchester and his &illegible; &illegible; besides free quarter which he tooke, of which he never yet gave it is account) but like a most &illegible; unworthy creature, &illegible; with some Malignants, in the Tower (who have furnished him &illegible; &illegible; law and Records, to drive on their designes,) he &illegible; &illegible; you, &c.

Now for answer to which charge of &illegible; l. that he falsely saith I received, for my owne &illegible; &illegible; the world, I shall give you this account, that by Commission under the hand and &illegible; of &illegible; &illegible; of &illegible; dated &illegible; 7 day of October, &illegible; I was made Major of a foot Regiment to Col. Edward King, and then the 16. of May, &illegible; I was made Lieutenant Colonel to the Earle of &illegible; Regiment of Dragoons, which listed till about or unto the last of Aprill, 1645 at which time I delivered the Troop and &illegible; up to Col. John &illegible; neare &illegible; By the first Commission there is due to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; for 223. dayes service, at 24 &illegible; &illegible; and by the second Commission there is &illegible; to me 612. l. 10. &illegible; for 350. &illegible; service at 31. &illegible; per &illegible; both being &illegible; 2. s. of all which during my service under the Earle of &illegible; (I aver it) I never it &illegible; 200 l. as pay for all &illegible; lyes, &illegible; true, that &illegible; upon the 20. of December, &illegible; I &illegible; &illegible; Mr. Nesthrop, Col. Kings Treasurer, as Mr. Tilsons House in Boston, by the hands of &illegible; &illegible; then my Lieutenant, &illegible; &illegible; In Sir &illegible; &illegible; Regiment, the &illegible; &illegible; 5. 1. l. 1. s. 10. d. for &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; out for Col. King at London by his own order, &illegible; guilt Sword, a &illegible; Cost &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Silver &illegible; 10. year as of &illegible; for his wives &illegible; &illegible; Cornet and rich banners, &illegible; part of Stockings, one Crimson velvet saddle, one his &illegible; &illegible; saddle, and one Scarlet saddle &illegible; furnitures &illegible; three pair of &illegible; sutable, and a &illegible; and padlock to &illegible; them in, and then also I laid out for him 25. l, 1. s. 6, d. and delivered &illegible; &illegible; a bill of particulars, and received my money of his man, for 7. year as of fine gray cloth, &illegible; &illegible; trimming, three paire of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Gloves, &illegible; &illegible; scale, a Part &illegible; &illegible; and forty paire of &illegible; &illegible; for partage &illegible; carriage from London to &illegible; of &illegible; l. &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; l. But I hope Col. King doth not &illegible; to make either me or the State to pay for all &illegible; his bravery.

After this I laid out for divers other particulars mentioned in a note, which I gave &illegible; him and his clarke, &illegible; 4. a. &illegible; &illegible; d. which money I received In February, 1643. and being &illegible; of the town of &illegible; under &illegible; &illegible; often &illegible; in lay out small &illegible; of money &illegible; &illegible; fall things to the value of above 50. l. the particulars of which I alwayes gave him &illegible; his clearke under my hand, and received my money in reference to such a &illegible; dated such &illegible; as by my notes and receites under my own hand with him and &illegible; Clarke willfully &illegible; I also the 13. Ianuary 1643. at &illegible; received of his Clarke 200. l. which was laid &illegible; is followeth. Paid to Captaine &illegible; for the Colonels company, and Lieutenant Cols. &illegible; and Capt. &illegible; as a little towne within little a mile of &illegible; upon the &illegible; &illegible; houseness the beath, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; to &illegible; Durings Capt. 15. I, paid to Capt. Wrogs &illegible; I, paid to him that Commands Capt. Arers men as Quartermaster upon the be &illegible; of their Quarters neare &illegible; 4. l. that he is to be accountable for, and six pound for &illegible; by the Cols: &illegible; paid by his order to Iohn &illegible; and Iohn Hugger two of his Soldiers, &illegible; &illegible; them to Cambridge 2. l. laid out to my Soldiers as &illegible; my rowle of the 27. &illegible; appears &illegible; l. 3. &illegible; &illegible; d. paid for &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; paid for carrying &illegible; at severall times to &illegible; and &illegible; 11. &illegible; 4. d. and this note his Clearke &illegible; selfe did a little while after the said &illegible; Ianuary perfect, and he received particular &illegible; from the severall Officers upon their acknowledging they had received the above said &illegible; of me, and I dare &illegible; sayer, I was &illegible; exact in perfecting all such accounts as this with his &illegible; as an &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; England is &illegible; keeping his bookes, as by the notes of particulars in his hands &illegible; &illegible; a &illegible; and then for my Soldiers with him, they were so &illegible; mustered under the Collonels note by one of his owne creatures, that it was &illegible; &illegible; man had a mind &illegible; it, to have paid the &illegible; especially &illegible; I or any under my particular command, being in enmity with his Muster master, and besides I aver it, that if one &illegible; we made a muster, and the &illegible; &illegible; we &illegible; &illegible; her, if my one of the Soldiers that was in his muster &illegible; the week before, were absent by sicknesse the second time, although he lay, sicke in the very same Towne, and though we named the house where &illegible; was &illegible; and were ready to goe to shew him to the Muster Masten, yet so exact was Col. King. that I nor my Lieutenant was not trusted with the &illegible; of my particular &illegible; Soldiers, and as for the payment of them, their money was most commonly received and paid by my Lieutenant, yet I commonly &illegible; the &illegible; for it under my hand, in as exact a way as it was possible to make it, viz. received such a day, so much money, far so many dayes pay, for &illegible; &illegible; two &illegible; three Corperalls, and so many common Soldiers. My Lieutenant, himselfe usually received his owne money, and I received of Tho. &illegible; the Cols. man at three severall payments, about three score pound is, which in my receipts I mentioned as my owne particular pay.

Besides this in February and March, 1643. I received of the said &illegible; &illegible; and one Mr. Browne, by Col. Kings appointment, betwixt two and three hundred pounds, in part of payment for &illegible; things delivered at his earnest &illegible; in his straights, into his Magazine at Boston, at least by 20. l. in the hundred cheaper then he there paid at the same time for the like, the exact copy of which particulars, as I had them under the hand of his &illegible; Magazine keeper (the originall it selfe to my remembrance being delivered to Mr. &illegible; at &illegible;) thus followeth.

A note of all the Swords, Belts, and Holsters for Pistols, and Bandeliers That Major Liburne caused to be brought &illegible; the Magazine at Boston.

February 5. 1643. Received from London by Major Lilburne appointment, two hundred and &illegible; Swords, &illegible; &illegible; immediately after by Major Lilburne &illegible; appointment, five hundred Swords, Feb. 1643. Received from Thomas Forman at Lyn, by &illegible; Lilburnes appointment, we chest of Swords, containing two hundred, received in Aprill, after from Major Lilburne, that his men brought into the Magazine and &illegible; them to my so a &illegible; twenty Swords, &illegible; received in Swords 1010.

Received of Major Lilburn &illegible; pair of Holsters for Pistols, and three hundred &illegible; for Swords, received of Mr. Wood and Mr. Wind by Major Lilburnes appointment, &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of soldiers, all these Svvords, &illegible; for Pistols, Svvord &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; were received &illegible; the Magazine from Major Lilburn, &illegible; what &illegible; &illegible; paid &illegible; for &illegible; of the &illegible; I &illegible; not.

By me Richard &illegible; keeper of the Magazine in Boston.

Now if you please to read the 42, 43, 44. and 46. pages of &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; Truth &illegible; and the 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. pages of my painted Epistle to &illegible; &illegible; called &illegible; images &illegible; &illegible; you shall largely and particularly &illegible; the cause of Kings &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; which &illegible; principally for his &illegible; in my &illegible; to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; our sat all &illegible; at Newarke, at which time, all accounts betwixt him his clarke and &illegible; was even &illegible; my owne particular pay, and betwixt 100. and 100. l. for the foresaid swords, &c. &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; when I was going away, I brought him in a true account &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; due to &illegible; for them, and what I had received, and I am sure this &illegible; his answer, he &illegible; &illegible; money &illegible; &illegible; then, but as soone as any came in he would care to &illegible; so &illegible; I went to Bedford, any Generall, as in the two last &illegible; bookes, you may &illegible; and &illegible; to &illegible; where we had notable bussing, to bring King to a Councell of Warre, for his grosse and palpable knaverit and treachery, but we could not bring him to the touchstone, because the Earle of Manchester and his two Chaplins, Ash and Good, protected him in his &illegible; after that being at the seidge of Yorke, &illegible; Tredwell a Cutler, living now at the Lyon &illegible; &illegible; pressing me to perfect the account with him for the Swords I had of him, and being in a straight how to get my money from King, who I knew was mad at me, for &illegible; him so hard, I went unto Dr. Staines and complained to him, who gave me this &illegible; &illegible;

“By vertue of my Commission of Auditor Generall for the whole Association and Army, and by vertue of my Lord of Manchesters present Order, these are to require you to give an accompt, what moneyes or payments have been made to Major Iohn Lilburn, Captaine Elbert Lilburn, and Captain Lieutenant Henry Lilburn, and to send it by the &illegible; hereof, Given under my hand, by my Lord of Manchesters warrant this 11. of Iune, 1644:

“Also you are to give an account under your hand, what moneys Major Iohn &illegible; &illegible; received of you for Swords, Belts, Bandaleers, Holsters, &c. delivered into the Magazine of Boston.

To Thomas &illegible; Clerke to Col. King and pay master to the forces there.

per me Will, &illegible;

This warrant I sent away to Boston by a carefull hand to my wife, to follow the Clarke, Kings meniall servant for an account, but none she could get, and then after &illegible; &illegible; &c. we came into Lincolnshire, where I met with the foresaid Mr. Tredwell, who pressed me for some money due to him for the foresaid Swords, and I went to Col. King with him &illegible; at Boston, and after an outside complement in his Hall, I told him I had got Auditer Generall to send his warrant to his man for an account, but it would not be obeyed, and therefore I was come to him my selfe with my friend to desire him to pay me the rest of the money due to me, for the Swords, &c. he had had of me, that so I might pay my friend that which I owed him, for some of them, whereupon he told me he had none of me, unto which I replyed you will not offer to say so, for at your earnest intreaty I provided them for you, at cheaper rates a great deale then here you could have them, and by your expresse order delivered them unto your Magazine keeper, who under his hand hath acknowledged unto me the receipt of them, and you your selfe hath often been at the Magazine with &illegible; to view them, and thanked me for the cheapnesse and goodnesse of them, and hath also under your owne hand sent me divers orders for the issuing them out, at which the man was in a mighty fury, and &illegible; a raging at me, and bid me before my friend as if I had been a dog, get me out of his doors, wherupon told him he was a base impudent lying fellow, and if he &illegible; &illegible; so much manhood as to come &illegible; of his own doores, I would cudgell his coat for abusing me, but he plaid the coward and &illegible; not &illegible; and so we parted. Now let all the rationall men in England judge where the fault &illegible; that my account was not made up, and upon this Mr. Tredwell and my selfe went to &illegible; where we fully &illegible; Lieutenant Generall Cromwell acquainted how it was with us, who by his earnest importunity with the Earle of Manchester, got him as I remember to order Mr. &illegible; to pay Mr. &illegible; 150. l. which he received of him, and &illegible; J perceiving before &illegible; left Boston, that Col. King intended to play the Knave with me. I reserved above 200. &illegible; of my Houlsters which he should have had from me in my owne hands, and afterwards &illegible; Mr. &illegible; of Boston in his shop &illegible; sell some of them for me, and the rest by the Earle of Manchesters expresse order, Col. Edward &illegible; in his necessity had of me, for which &illegible; remember I received 40. l. of M. &illegible; and besides reserved about 20. l. worth of Sword belts which I was necessitated to bring to London, and have them still in my owne hands, and should willingly take for them lesse by 5. l. then what they cost me, and so much for King.

And now in the second place, for money received by me when I was Lieutenant Colonel of Dragoones, in which service I am sure I spent divers moneths and never received a penny, no not so much as to buy me a horse shooe, being forced to lend my Soldiers money divers times to shooe their horses, part of which I lost for my reward, and I am sure that from Feb 1643. to September 1644. which was 7. moneths time, I received not six pence pay, and then as we marched to Banbury leager, at Daintery towne, I and other of my Officers received at the hands of the Northompton Committee. 800. l. as part of six weekes pay, 215. l. of which Major &illegible; my Major had for his troop, and Capt. Beamayt &illegible; l. for his troop, and Capt. Abbot, 180. l. for his troop, and my selfe for my troop 220. l. which then by my muster roule and debenter daited from the 25. March, to the 26. of August, 1644. &illegible; being 22. weekes consisted of my selfe, Lieutenant, Cornet, Quarter master, two Sergeants, three Corporalls, two Drums, and 85. common Soldiers, which said money at that Townes end was immediately paid to the troop, every Common Soldier having out of it five weekes pay to pacifie the mutinie they were in, and I am sure there was not one Soldier in the muster roule but had it to a penny, and the Officers staid for theirs tell we came to Banbury, where I sent my Quarter-master and other Quarter-masters to Mr. Golson the Treasurer for the rest of the six weekes pay, which every troop then and there received, and I am sure mine was faithfully disposed of according to the Muster Roule to a penny, only as I remember, one or two had lost their lives at the Castle before the last money came, and then after that seidge we marched to the seidge of Crowland, a service hard and difficult enough, Where my Cornet received 100. of the Cambridge Committee, in part of the foresaid debenter, out of which I paid my Officers and all my Soldiers then in being 14 dayes pay, Which according to the rules and practice of Warre I thinke is more then J needed &illegible; to have done, for 14 dayes pay according to the forementioned Debenter comes to almost 130. l. all the slaine and dead payes of which tell the next &illegible; I might if I Would justly have mode my ovvn. and then in my absence at Stamford as I remember my Lieutenant made a new muster, from Whom I received three Weekes pay, and he himselfe paid the Soldiers their pay, I thinke iustly, for when I came down to them at &illegible; Richard Stones, neare Huntlington, heard no complaints from any of them, Where I also paid them 14 dayes pay I had received for them at London, and they having lately at Melton Mobury had a Skirmish with Sir &illegible; &illegible; some of my Soldiers were wanting which my Lieutenant told me he did &illegible; believe were slaine, upon which at his desire, as I remember I paid three Soldiers that he had listed since the last muster, but I was a looser by the bargain, for the Soldiers supposed to be slaine were only prisoners, whose pay after their deliverance I faithfully in &illegible; &c. paid unto them, and this is all the pay to a penny I received as an officer of Dragoons, being in all 91, dayes pay, wch for me, comes to 92. l. &illegible; after this being in London, Dr. &illegible; told me my brother Robert owed him 10. l. which he lent him, which he intreated me to pay him, which I condiscended to, if he Would get me a Warrant from my Lord for 20. l. which he did, and I received ten pounds of the Treasurer, and he ten pound more, and I gave him a receipt &illegible; 20. l. So here is a true account for all the money and pay I received, and I was &illegible; &illegible; to come to a true accompt, but having alwayes truly sought for it, for when the new Modell was a framing, I was by no &illegible; man &illegible; a good command in it, but seeing that &illegible; there was such bitter designes against the poore people of God, who then as well as now were strongly indeavoured to be destroyed by them who with all their might they had indeavoured to preserve, and also the lawes and iustice of the Kingdome to my understanding in a very &illegible; condition, I plainly told Litutenant Generall Cromwell, I would &illegible; for &illegible; and Carrets before I would fight to set up a povver to make my selfe a slave, which expression be relished not Well, Whereupon I told him Sir I Will (if I Were free to fight againt) never serve a iealous master While I live, for the Parllament by their late Vote &illegible; declared a iealousie in all men, that Will not take the Covenant, Which I can never &illegible; &illegible; any other of their oathes, and therefore seeing I have served them faithfully, and they are grovvn iealous of me Without cause, after so much assured experience of my faithfullnesse, I Will never in the mind I am novv of &illegible; them as a Soldier, While I breath, let them get Whom they please and doe what they please.

And upon my ceasing the life of a Soldier, I with much industry and difficulty upon the 10 November, 1645, got a Petition read in the House of Commons for my Arrear, &c. which Petition you may read verbatum with the Houses answer to it, in the 64, 65, 66, 67. pages of &illegible; &illegible; and Truth instified, where you will find they order: That it be &illegible; to the Committee of accounts, to cast up and state the accounts of Lieut. Col. Lilburn, and to &illegible; What it due to him to this house.

Ordered that it be referred to the Committee of acconuts to call Col. King, and Dr. Stane before them and to state their accounts, and What is due to Lieut. Col. Lilburn from either of them.

And though it were strange to me to be referred to William Prin my mortall, malicious and deadly enemy, yet I went to the Committee of accompts, and what passed betwixt us, you may read in the 68, page of the last mentioned book, the sum of which was, William Pryn being in the chair, tendered to me an oath, which was to this effect, that J should sweare what what was due unto me, and what I had received, and what free quarter I had had, what horses and armes from the State, which oath for the reasons there mentioned I refused to take, and am still resolved rather to loose all my money, & to be hanged, before I will make my self such a slave, by depriving my selfe of the &illegible; of the good and just law of England, by taking such a wicked and unlawfull oath, knowing very well that by the law of England, as well as the Law of God, a man is not bound to sweare against himselfe, where either his own honour, credit or profit is concerned.

And therefore having besides been plundered of divers of my papers concerning my Soldiers and Muster rowles at the seidge of Nowark, whereby Kings meance I lost foure horses, my port &illegible; and cloathes, &c. to the value of almost 100.l. and was stript from the Crown of the head to the sole of the foot, and forced to march divers miles without either hat, cap or Perewig, (having lately before lost my haire with sicknesse and cruell usage in Oxford Castle, by William Smith, that &illegible; Turke) breaches or dublet, bouts or shoots, over hedge and ditchs for the safety of my life.

By reason of the losse of which papers, it was impossible for me upon my oath to give an exact account, and besides I never in my service dreamt of any such soing, walking then by that rule that was established in the Ordinances then in being, thinking that if the Army Comittee that was set over us to looke to us* and the Counsell of Warre that was to punish us for any the least misdemeaner committed, had nothing to say to me nor accuse me of, that I should have had my accounts audited and signed by those persons named in the Ordinances under whom I &illegible; and not be brought to a Committee at London, that was not in being when I ingaged my &illegible; nor had all the while I was a Soldier no power over us, nor never was in the sield to know that belongs unto a Soldier, and are meerly in my apprehension intentively erected to cheat &illegible; insnare honest & faithful Commanders of their just due, though for my part I do acknowledge I have no particular charge concerning my selfe against any of that Committee but &illegible;

And when I told them I had my commissions ready to justifie my service, and craved so much money as my right for my faithfull service, and therefore desired them to let me receive a charge what moneys, &c. they could fix upon me, and I shall either acknowledge it or disprove &illegible; but they told me they could doe nothing in my businesse unlesse I would take the oath, then I told them I must and would repair againe to the House of Commons that sent me thither, so I was dismist without receiving any charge, though I earnestly desired &illegible; and so it remained and I followed my other businesse about obtaining reparations from the houses about my Star-Chamber sufferings, which when I had got it into a good forwardnesse to divert and disinable me to follow it by Pryus meanes, as I conceive, I was summoned to come before the Committee of Accounts with a warrant in these words.

By vertue of an Ordinance of Parliament of the 12. of February, 1643. for taking the generall accounts of the Kingdome, these are to require you to appeare before as of the Committee &illegible; by the said Ordinance at the House of Sir Freeman in &illegible; London, on Wednesday, &illegible; at ten of the clock in the forenoone hereof faile you not dated the 9. of March, 1646.

To Lieut. Col. Iohn Lilburne.

Authony Biddul, Thomas Hodges.

Robert Ellis, Iohn-Gregory.         

Thomas Bramfield, Henry Hunter.

Richard Burren, Humplrey Foord.

And comming before them, I desired to know their pleasure with me, and Mr. Pryn being in the Chair told me to this effect, Lieut. Col. you were some months agoe with us, by vertue of an order of the House of Commons about your accompts, and we gave you time ever since to state them, but we hearing nothing from you, according to our espectation about them, wee have sent for you to cleare your selfe of above two thousand pounds that is fixed upon you to be received of Mr, Goulsone the treasurer, Mr. Weaver, and Col. King, unto which I replyed to this effect, with the favour of this Committee, I by my owne seeking procured the Order from the House of Commons that gave you particular cognizence of my accounts, and accordingly I of my own accord brought it to you, being not compelled the &illegible; by any man, & according to that which J conceived just I &illegible; desired of you, that the parties concerned in my accounts might by you be &illegible; to come before you, & that face to face I might receive a charge of what monys they had paid me, that so I might either confess it or disprove it, and then &illegible; your certificate for that which is behind, as due to me, which I am very confident in &illegible; hundreds of pounds for any pay, for my &illegible; faithfull and industrious service, and truly Gentlemen, you refusing this unto me as you did, and would have had me upon my oath to &illegible; charged my selfe, which J for my part though you have an Ordinance of Parliament to authorise you so to doe, did, and still doe concerve it unjust, and therefore without hope from you departed to seeke my right, in a more legall and just way from those that sent me, &illegible; these was the tearmes upon which we then parted, and I am sure you neither desired not commanded me any more to come to you, neither did I promise to come to you, and besides &illegible; losse of time, &illegible; no losse to you nor the State, but to me, in which debt the State is, and &illegible; to them, and assure your selves, if I had not afluredly known that the State is in my debt, I would never have taken so much paines, to have run through so many difficulties to have got my accounts audited.

And set the 2000. l. and above, you say I am to account for, it is very strongs to me how it is possible to fix such a charge upon me, having never received I am confident 200. l. of the Earle of Manchester, or any under him, for all my service under his command* and for the money for my Soldiers, it was most commonly paid unto my officers, and besides it was so little, and so seldome, and so well knowne before we received it, to the Soldiers, how much it was, that it was impossible for me or any under me, to &illegible; them, much I esle of any such sums, to be compared to 2000. l. And therefore I make it my &illegible; desire unto this Committee, that I may receive a particular charge from you in writing, and that J may not be tyed up to a few dayes to answer it, but that I may have some comperent time allowed me, that so I may not be hindred &illegible; disinabled to perfect my businesse now depending before the Lords, which I have already made a good progresse into, and have got a decree for 2000. l. for my Star Chamber sufferings, and am dayly to waite upon them to perfect an ordinance they intend to make and send downt to the house of Commons, to inable me effectually to receive the full benefit of their decree, and J hope Gentlemen, you &illegible; not hinder me to follow my business, by comanding me to wait here upon you, when I must of necessity be waiting upon the Lords or the Commons, and if you should command me to waite here, and I not come, by reason of my &illegible; as Westminster, which J am sure some of you knowes of, you would got neare to take it for a contempt, yea, and for it, it may be clap me by the heels, by meanes of which my businesse with the houses would utterly be undon, and therfore I desire some competent &illegible; but as I remember it was possitively told me they could not give me such a particular charge as &illegible; before I had taken the oath, but yet divers of the Merchants said, God forbid they should hinder me from following my businesse at Westminster, especially seeing as one of them said, my businesse before the &illegible; obtained by my own solicitation, which they conceived I would not so earnestly have followed unlesse it had been for my owne advantage, and hoped for benefit, notwithstanding the &illegible; of 2000. l. &c. against me, but Mr. Pryn pressed that I might speedily come againe, that so the state might not suffer by reason of the moneys I had received, and &illegible; them stood charged with. Truly Gentlemen for all this charge, I am very &illegible; shall make it evident that I have been, and &illegible; as free from defrauding the State, or any of my officers or &illegible; of a penny as any man in England that ever the Parliament imployed, and I am sure that I am not in the Parliaments debt, but they in mine, and seeing that which J seeke from them is but some hundreds of pounds, and the businesse I am now of following of concernment to me, two thousand pounds thick, I pray give me leave for a time to lay the lesser concernment aside, that so J may not be disinabled to prosecute the obtaining of the greater, and Sir, if you Mr. Pryn thinke I am not responsible to answer the charge, you may either put in a barre to make stoppage of the money I expect to receive by my decree, or else I will put you in good securitie to answer this charge. With which the Committee was satisfied, and demanded of me what time I would demand, but I told them I conceived it not &illegible; for me to make my demand, before I heard how long time they were willing to give me, and they bid me take a &illegible; or six weeks, for which I thanked them, but with all to d them, I would be with them &illegible; if I got my businesse &illegible; but if I could not get it done, J told them I thought I should scarce be able to wait upon them, tell I had perfected that, so they left it indifferent. And this relation which here I have made for the substance of it, is a reall truth, I doe protest it in the &illegible; and presence of God, and therefore dear friend. I pray you judge and consider seriously of the bitter and implacable mallice of this lying and base follow Will am Pryn, for I doe assure you to &illegible; remembrance I failed not to be at Westminster every day the Parliament fate, to follow my &illegible; businesse, from the day of my being before he said &illegible; of accounts, to the day of my unjust imprisonment, in New gate by the Lords, which I am confident of, William Pryn by his secret and close &illegible; had a finger in, and that he laboured by all the &illegible; &illegible; he could to &illegible; me from obtaining my said two thousand pounds, for immediately upon my good successe in the Lords house, his brother in Evill Doctor Bastwick, put in his businesse of purpose to &illegible; so they all &illegible; still before I had likely without rub to obtaine my just desire, and being a &illegible; obtained quick dispatch there, and as I was informed &illegible; thousand pounds, for &illegible; &illegible; although I am confident of it, my bodily suffer in &illegible; was twenty time, more then his, and I am confident of it in the eye of reason there was twenty times more visible ground for his sufferings &illegible; mine, I having not writ a line against the Bishops, &c. not medled with them, tell they forced me to flye London, and hee had avowedly writ divers provoking, and invective bookes against them before his sentence in the Star-Chamber. And besides I am confidently &illegible; Pryn was the maine instrument to provoke his &illegible; Tyburne deserving comrad?, and extraordinary great associate, Colonel Edward King to arrest me upon he 14. of April 1646. in a false and fained action of two thousand pound, for calling him Trayron which I ever he is to the Parliament (if a man can commit &illegible; against them) having as will easily be proved, (if the Parliament would doe any justice upon knaves and Villains) betrayed his trust reposed in him derivitine from and by the Parliament at Crowland, &c. which said unjust arrest did not only disinable me to follow my businesse, but necessitate me to write that &illegible; Epistle to Judge Reeve, dated the 6, of Iune, &illegible; now in print, and called the Iust mans &illegible; in which I have so truly, and lively pictured, the said unworthy follow King, that I beleeve all the picture drawers in England cannot mend it, and being necessiiated by way of defence to touch the Lord of Manchesters exceeding guilty conscience for protecting Col. King from the &illegible; contrary to justice and right and the Law martiall established by ordidance of Parliament under which authority they both fought, though Jam apt to thinke neither of them ever &illegible; anything that had more danger in it then a Rat, yet I say forth at very Epistle the Earle of Manchester as to me is visibly caused me upon the to of Iune &illegible; to be summoned up to the Lords barre, who by law &illegible; of my Iudges* being not my Peers and Equalls, and there himselfe being Speaker, would contrary to &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; upon &illegible; for which &illegible; necessitated in writing to &illegible; against &illegible; which &illegible; you may read in the 5.6 &illegible; The &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; let which they unjustly committed me, and for which to this &illegible; I lye by the heeles, so not doubting but I have &illegible; &illegible; your objection, &illegible; &illegible; God, and rest, your faithfull and true friend ready to say downe his life for the liberties of his &illegible; John Lilburn.

From my unjust captivitie in the Tower of London, for the almost destroyed lawes and liberties of England, which condition I more highly price though in misery enough outwardly, then the uisablest best condition of any Member whatsoever that sits in either or both houses, being all and every of them for sworne, having all of them taken oathes to maintaine the Lawes and Liberties of the Land, and yet in their dayly practice destroy them of which sit and wickednesse they are all of them guilty, in regard they all sit there in silence, and doe not publiquely and avowedly to the whole Kingdome according to their duty declare their dislike of their crooked, unjust and Englands destroying wayes, this 30. April. 1647.

John Lilburne.



 [* ] Which he was so &illegible; of, that he did print 13. or 14. in eight lines, as you there may read, pag. 4, 5, 6. see also pag. &illegible; ibim.

 [* ] As lately what &illegible; the Book-seller, &illegible; did mine the other day, loading away 3. Porters with my proper and truly come by goods, for which by Gods assistance I intend to arraign them as fellons, and hang them if Law will doe it.

 [* ] See Mr. Pryus relation of Colonell Fines his tryall, pag. 11, 12, 13. and Regall Tyranny discovered, pag. 81, 81, 83.

 [* ] Which you may fully read in the forementioned Epistle daited Iuly 25. 1645. and Innocencency and Truth justified.

 [* ] See the Out cryes &illegible; Oppressed Commons. pag. 4, 5, 6, &illegible; and Regall &illegible; pag. 33, 34, &illegible; 72, 73.

 [* ] See 1. H. 7. fol. &illegible; in Sir &illegible; Straffords case.

 [* ] Which the Parliament is.

 [* ] See 28. E. 3. 13. &illegible; H. 6. 29.

 [* ] Thought a calumnister for my books are no Libels having my name to them to justifie them.

 [* ] Who I say justly deserves it, for &illegible; under their &illegible; the fundamentall lawes and liberties of England, as in my case they have &illegible; which &illegible; will &illegible; against the &illegible; and all &illegible; &illegible; lying associates in England.

 [* ] See the Ordinance for the Earle of Manchesters Army of the 25. July 1642. b. d, 2. pt. f. 275, 276. 278. and of the 10. Aug. 1643. fol. 286. and of the 11. Oct. 1643. f. 360. and of the 20. Jan. 1643. f. 413. 414, 415. 416. and of the 15. May 1644. f. 492, 493. and of the 26. Sept. 1644. f. 451, 452. and compare them altogether and see if the Committee of accounts, or their selfe accusing oath be in any of them, and if not, why am I required to take it.

 [* ] It is true, when I was a prisoner in New gate by the House of Commons, they upon the petition of some of my friends in London, (which you may read in Innocency and Truth justified, pag, 29. &illegible; sent me 100. l. which I was told was in part of my arrears, though I did, and still doe loke upon it, as a gratitude of the house, for so unjustly imprisoning me, as then they did, or else of Mr. Speaker who was the principall instrument of clapping me by the heeles, without ever hearing me speake one word for my &illegible; or examining one witnesse against me, or ever to his day telling me wherefore I was so imprisonned.

 [* ] Se Magna Charta, Chap. 29. and the Petition of Right which confirmes it Cooke 2. part institutes fol. 27, 38, 46, 47, 48. Vox Plebis, pag. &illegible; 33, 39, 40, 41. Regall tyranny, page 43, 44, &illegible; 76. Londons Liberty in Chains discovered, pag. 68, 69, the Oppressed &illegible; oppressions declared, pag. 17, 18, in the &illegible; cryes of oppressed Commons, pag. 2, 3, 4, also the Anotomy of the Lords tyranny.




4.6. Anon., A Solemne Engagement of the Army (5 June 1647)

Bibliographical Information

Full title

Anon., A Solemne Engagement of the Army, under the Command of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax; with a Declaration of their Resolutions, as to disbanding; and a brief Vindication of their principles and intentions in relation to divers scandalous things suggested against them. Together with the representations of the dis-satisfactions of the Army, in relation to the late Resolutions for so sodain disbanding: shewing the particulars of their former grievances; wherein they did remaine unsatisfied: and the reasons thereof, unanimously agreed upon, and subscribed by the Officers and Souldiers of the severall Regiments, at Rendezvous neare New-Market on fryday and saturday June 4. and 5. Presented to the generall, and by him to be humbly presented to the Parliament. With his Excellencies Letter to the Speaker June the 8. sent with the same.
London; Printed for George Whittington, at the Blew Anchor in Cornhill neare the Royall Exchange. 1647.

Estimated date of publication

8 June 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 517; Thomason E. 392. (9.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet



of the Army under the Command

of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax;

with a Declaration of their Resolutions,

as to disbanding; and a briefe Vindication

of their principles and intentions in relation

to divers scandalous things suggested

against them.

Together with the representations of the dis-satisfactions of the Army, in relation to the late Resolutions for so sodain disbanding: shewing the particulars of their former grievances; wherein they did remains unsatisfied: and the reasons thereof, unanimously agreed upon, and subscribed by the Officers and Souldiers of the severall Regiments, at the Randezvous neare New-Market on fryday and saturday June 4. and 5.

Presented to the Generall, and by him to be humbly presented to the PARLIAMENT.

With his Excellency’s Letter to the Speaker June the 8. sent with the same.

London; Printed for George Whittington, at the Blew Anchor in Cornhill neare the Royall Exchange.



In my Last I promised to send you by the next an Account of the Proceedings and Resolutions of the Army at the Iate Randezvous: I have sent you the same in two Papers unanimously agreed upon there, by both Officers and Souldiers: I finde in one of them divers things which your later proceedings since the Resolution of disbanding may have given satisfaction unto: But the Army having then no knowledge thereof, it was thus passed and delivered to mee, and I cannot but send it to them: you may see what they then did remaine unsatisfied in.

Understanding, that his Majesty and your Conumssioners were much straitened and disacconimodated in the House at Childerley, I went thither yesterday to advise with your Commissioners about the disposal of his Majesty, for more conveniency to himselfe and them, then that place did afford: The Conunissioners were pleased wholly to refuse giving of any advice or opinion at all in the businesses and therefore the King declaring his Resolution not to goe Holdenby, unlesse he were forced, yet complaining much of the inconveniency he suffered where he was, and pressing for a remove to New-Market, and your Commissioners not Judging it inconvenient for him to be there: I ordered Col. Whalley this day to attend his Majesty, and the Commissioners thither, with a trusty and sufficient Guard of two Regiments of Horse, which accordingly was this day done, and his Majesty, with the Commissioners, gone to New-Market, but not through Cambridge. This businesse taking up the sole time yesterday, and it being necessary his Majesty should be disposed of Before the place of Randezvous could well be resolved on, this morning at a Councell of Warre, it was judged inconvenient, and scarce possible to draw to a Randezvous to morrow early enough to dispatch anything; Therefore it is appointed on Thirsday morning at nine of the Clock: and in regard of his Majesties going to New-Market, it was thought fit by the Councell of Warre, that the place of Randezvous might be altered from New-Market-Heath to Triploe- Heath, five miles from this Towne: I shall take care that your Commissioners if they come to New—Market, may have notice of this alteration from the former appointment.

I remaine

Your most humble servant,

Cambridge June 8. 1647.


For the Honorable William Lenthall, Esquire, Speaker of the
Honourable House of Commons.






The Command of his Excellency


Read, assented unto, and subscribed by all

Officers, and Souldiers of the several Regiments,

at the generall Randezvous, neare

Newmarket, on the fifth of June,


Whereas upon the Petition intended and agreed upon in the Army, in March last, to have been presented to the Generall, for the obtaining of our due and necessary concemments as Souldiers; the Honourable House of Commons being unseasonably prepossessed with a Copie thereof, and (as by the sequell we suppose with some strange misrepresentations of the carriage and intentions of the same, was induced to send down an Order for suppressing the Petition, and Within two or three dayes after, upon further misinformation, and scandalous suggestions, of the like or worse nature, and by the indirect practice of some malitious and mischievous persons (as we suppose) surprizing or otherwise abusing the Parliament. A Declaration was published in the name of both Houses, highly censuring the said petition, and declaring the Petitioners, if they should proceed thereupon, no lesse then enemies to the State, and disturbers of the publick peace. And whereas at the same time and since, divers eminent Officers of the Army have been brought into question and trouble about the said Petition, whereby both they and the rest of the Officers were disabled, or discouraged for the time, from further acting or appearing therein on the souldiers behalfe; And whereas by the aforesaid proceedings and the effects thereof, the souldiers of this Army (finding themselves so stop’t in their due, and regular way of making knowne their just grievances, and desires to, and by their Officers were enforced to an unusuall (but in that case necessary) way of correspondence and agreement amongst themselves, to chose out of the severall Troops and Companies severall men, and those out of their whole number, to chose two or more for each Regiment, to act in the name and behalfe of the whole souldiery of the respective Regiments, Troops and Companies, in the prosecution of their rights and desires in the said Petition, as also of their Just vindication and writing in reference to the aforesaid proceedings upon and against the same, who have accordingly acted and done many things to those ends, all which the souldiers did then approve as their owne Acts. And whereas afterwards, upon the sending downe of Field-Marshall Skippon, and those other Officers of the Amiy that were Members of the House of Commons, to quiet distempers in the Army, fresh hopes being conceived of having our desires againe admitted to be made knowne, and considered in a regular way, and without such misrepresentations as formerly, the Officers and souldiers of the Army (except some few dissenting Officers) did againe Joyne in a representation of their common grievances, and the Officers (except as before) did agree upon a Narrative accompt of the grounds, rise, and growth of the discontents in the Army, and their proceedings in relation thereunto, with an overture of the best expedients, to remove or satisfie the same, both which were presented to the same Members of the House, and by them reported to the House, and whereas the Parliament having thereupon voted, and ordered some particulars, onely toward satisfaction of our grievances, hath since proceeded to certaine resolutions of sodaine, disbanding the Army by peeces, which resolutions being taken, and to be executed before full or equall satisfaction given to the whole Army, in any of the grievances, before effectuall performance of that satisfaction in part, which the preceeding Votes seem’d to promise, as to some of the grievances, and before any consideration at all of some others most materiall, (as by the result of a generall Councell of Warre on Satterday, May 29.) was in generall declared, and is now more fully demonstrated, in particular by a representation there upon, agreed unto by us: we all cannot but looke upon the same resolutions of disbanding us in such manner, as proceeding from the same malicious, and mischievous Principles and intentions, and from the like indirect practices of the same persons abusing the Parliament, and is as the former proceedings against us before mentioned did, and not without carnall and bloudie purposes (for some of them have not stuck to declare or intimate) after the body of the Army should bee disbanded, or the souldiers divided from their Officers: then to question proceed against, and execute their malicious intentions upon all such particular Officers, and souldiers in the Army, as had appeared to act in the Premisses in the behalfe of the Army; and whereas upon a late Petition to the Generall from the Agitants, in behalfe of the souldiers (grounded upon the preceeding considerations relating to the same resolutions of disbanding the same generall Councell of Warre to prevent the danger, and inconveniences of those disturbings, or tumultuous actings, or confluences which the dissatisfaction and Jealousie thereupon also grounded, were like sodainely to have produced in the Army to advise the Generall, first to contract the Quarters of the Army, and then to draw the same to an orderly Randezvous for satisfaction of all, and that his Excellencie would immediately send up to move and desire the Parliament to suspend any present proceeding upon the said Resolution of disbanding, to resume the Consideration of the grievances, and desires sent up from the Army, and not to disband it in pieeces before just and equall satisfaction given to the whole; And where as some of the Regiments appointed for disbanding, upon notice thereof withdrawing themselves from the Quarters adjacent to the appointed Randezvous, & drawing towards the Head Quarters; and the contracting the Quarters according to the said advice of the Councell of Warre.

Wee the Officers and Souldiers of severall Regiments hereafter named, are now met at a generall Randezvous, and the Regiments appointed us aforesaid to be disbanded, have not appeared, nor can appeare; but are resolved not to appeare at the severall and respective Randezvous, appointed as aforsaid for their disbanding; and divers other thing have bin done by severall other partyes, or Members of the Army, necessarily relating to the good & concernment of the whole in these affaires: Now for as much as wee know not how far the malice, Injustice, and Tiranicall Principells of our enemies, that have already prevailed so far to abuse the Parliament and the Army (as is afore mentioned) in the past proceedings against the Army may further prevaile to the danger and prejudice of our selves, or any officers, or Souldiers of the Army, or other persons that have appeared to act anything in behalfe of the Army, or how far the same may further prevaile to the danger or prejudice of the Kingdome in raising a new warte, or otherwise: Therefore for the better prevention of all such dangers, prejudices, or other inconveniences that may ensue; and withall for better satisfaction to the Parliament and Kingdome, concerning our desires of confering to the authority of the one, and providing the good and quiet of the other, in the present affaires of disbanding, and for a more assured way whereby, that affaires may come to a certaine issue, (to which purpose we herein humbly implore the present and continued assistance of God, the Righteous Judge of all) wee the Officers and Souldiers of the Army subscribing here unto; doe hereby declare, agree, and promise, to and with each other, and to, and with the Parliament and Kingdome as followeth.

1. That wee shall cheerfully and readily disband when thereunto required by the Parliament or else shall many of us be willing (if desired) to ingage in further Services either in England or Ireland, having first such satisfaction to the Army in relation to our Grievances and desires heretofore presented, and such security; That we of our selves (when disbanded, and in the condition of private men) or other the free-bome people of England (to whom the consequence of our Case doth equally extend) shall not remaine subject to the like oppression, injury or abuse, as in the premisses hath been attempted and put upon us while an Army by the same men’s continuance, in the same credit and power (especially if as our Judges) who have in these past proceedings against the An-ny so farre prevailed to abuse the Parliament and us, and to endanger the Kingdome; and also such security that we our selves, or any member of this Army or others, who have appeared to act any thing in behalfe of the Army in relation to the premisses before recited, shall not after disbanding be any way questioned, prosecuted, troubled, or prejudiced for any thing so acted, or for the entring into, or necessary prosecution of this necessary agreement: (we say) having first such satisfaction and security in these things as shall be agreed unto by a Councell to consist of those generall Officers of the Army (who have concurred with the Army in the premisses) with two Commission Officers, and two Souldiers to be chosen for each Regiment, who have concurred, and shall concur with us in the premisses and in this agreement. And by the major part of such of them who shall meet in Councell for that purpose when they shall be thereunto called by the Generall.

2. That without such satisfaction and security, as aforesaid, we shall not willingly disband, nor divide, nor suffer our selves to be disbanded or divided.

And whereas we finde many strange things suggested or suspected to our great prejudice concerning dangerous principles, interests and designes in this Army (as to the overthrow of Magistracy, the suppression or hindering of Presbytery, the establishment of Independent government, or upholding of a generall licentiousnesse in Religion under pretence of Liberty of Conscience, and many such things) we shall very shortly tender to the Parliament a Vindication of the Army from all such scandals to cleare our Principles in relation thereunto, and in the meane time we doe disavow and disclaims all purposes or designes in our late or present proceedings to advance or insist upon any such interest, neither would we (if we might and could) advance or set up any other particular party or interest in the Kingdome (tho imagined never so much our own) but shall much rather (as far as may be within our spheare or power) study to promote such an establishment of common and equall night and freedome to the whole, as all might equally partake of but those that doe by denying the same to others, or otherwise render themselves incapable thereof.





4.7. [William Walwyn], The poore Wise-mans Admonition unto All the plaine People of London, and Neighbour-Places. (10 June 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[William Walwyn], The poore Wise-mans Admonition unto All the plaine People of London, and Neighbour-Places. To strengthen them in the houre of temptation, that they may be happy and exemplary instruments to all other People, in preserving the City, Parliament, and whole Nation, from imminent and sudden destraction.

Eccles. 37.16. Prov. 16.20. Eccles. 7.21. Prov. 1.32, 33.
Let reason goe before every enterprize, and counsell before every action.
He that is wise in his businesse, shall finde good, and he that trusteth in the Lord is blessed.
Wisdome shall strengthen the wiseman, more then ten mighty Princes that are in the city.
For ease slayeth the foolish, and the prosperity of fools destroyeth them.
But he that obeyeth me (saith wisdome) shall dwell in safety, and be quiet from feare of evill.

Printed in the Yeere 1647.

Estimated date of publication

10 June 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 518; Thomason E. 392. (4.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

A Declaration, or Representation from his Excellency, Sir Tho. Fairfax, and of the Army under his Command, Humbly tendred to the Parliament.

THAT we may no longer be the dis-satisfaction of our friends, the subject of our enemies malice (to worke jealousies and misrepresentations upon) and the suspition (if not astonishment) of many in the Kingdome, in our late or present transactions and conduct of businesse, we shal in all faithfulnesse and clearnesse professe, and declare unto you, those things which have of late protracted and hindred our disbanding, the present grievances which possesse our Army, and are yet unremedied, with our desires, as to the compleat settlement of the liberties, and peace of the kingdome, which is that blessing of God, then which (of all worldly things) nothing is more dear unto us, or more pretious in our thoughts, we having hitherto thought all our present enjoyments (whether of life or livelihood, or nearest relations) a price but sufficient to the purchase of so rich a blessing; that we, and all the free-born people of this Nation, may sit down in quiet under our Vines, under the glorious administration of Justice, and righteousnesse, and in the full possession of those Fundamentall Rights and Liberties, without which we can have little hopes (as to humane considerations) to enjoy either any comforts of life, or so much as life it selfe, but at the pleasures of some men, ruling meerly according to will, and power.

It cannot be unknown what hath passed betwixt the Parliament and the Army, as to the service of Ireland. By all Which, together with the late proceedings against the Army, in relation to their petition and grievances, all men may judge what hath hindred the Army from a ready engagement in that service, and without further account or Apologie as to that particular, then what passages and proceedings themselves (already made publicke), doe afford, we doe appeale to your selves, whether those courses, to which the Parliament hath (by the designes and practises of some) been drawne, have rationally tended to induce a cheerfull and unanimous undertaking of the Army to that service, or rather to break and pull the Army in pieces with discontent and dishonour, and to put such disobligations and provocations upon it, as might drive it into distemper, and indeed discourage both this Army and other Souldiers from any further engagement in the Parliaments service. And we wish all men would (with us) upon the whole carriage, seriously consider, whether (in the intentions of those who have by false informations, and misrepresentations put the Parliament upon such wayes) the timely and effectuall reliefe of Ireland, seem really to have been intended, or rather (with the breaking, or disbanding of this Army) to draw together, or raise such other forces, and of such a temper as might serve to some desperate and distructive designes in England. For which, (besides the probable suspitions from their carriage of the businesse) we have beforehand, in the transaction thereof, had more then hints of such a designe, by cleare expressions to that purpose, from many of the Officers of the Army, that have been perswaded, and appeared most forward, to engage as for Ireland, on the tearmes proposed. And, that such a designe hath all along been driven, seemes now too evident, by the present disposing of those Forces that have been engaged for Ireland, by the endevours of some, to gain a power from the Parliament of ordering those Forces for some service in England, and by the private listings of men for service there, without any publick authority of Parliament. And (all this) by the same persons, who have all along, appeared most active, and violent in the late proceedings against the Army.

As to the just discontents and dis-satisfactions of the Army, in relation to their grievances, and their non-compliance to the late orders for sudden disbanding by peece-meale (before more full and equall satisfaction were given to the whole) we desire you to look back to the Papers already published, of the grievances themselves, the Narrative of the Officers, and the late Papers from the generall Counsell of Warre at Bury, and late generall Randezvouz neare Newmarket: and (we thinke) your late resuming the consideration of these things (as to a further satisfaction) doth much justifie the desires and proceedings of the Army, in the past particulars, hitherto.

And though (had we (upon our first addresses) for our undoubted Rights and Dues) found a free, and candid reception, with a just consideration, and a reasonable satisfaction, or at least a free answer therein, we should have been easily perswaded to have abated or forborne much of our Dues, and not to have enquired into, or considered (so farre as we have) either the possibilities there are for more present satisfaction of Arreares, or the credit of future securities proposed, yet since upon these former addresses, we have found such hard dealing, as in the said Papers is set forth, and those additionall (though hitherto but partiall) satisfactions, comming so hardly as they have, we finde no obliging reasons in the least, to decline or recede from what is our due; but rather still to adhere unto our desires of full and equall satisfaction, in all the things mentioned in the aforesaid Papers, not onely in behalf of our selves, and the Army, but also the whole Souldiery throughout the whole Kingdome, who have concurred, or shall concurre with us in the same desires.

And to all our former desires, as Souldiers, we cannot but adde this (wherein we find our selves so nearly concerned in poynt of Justice and Reputation) that more care, and a stricter course may be taken for making good all Articles granted upon Surrenders, according to the true intent and meaning of them. As also for Remedy and Reparation in case of any breach; (and this) without those delayes which divers have found, as prejudicial to them or more, then if they had been totally denied the performance of them.

Nor will it now (wee hope) seeme strange or unseasonable to rationall and honest men, who consider the consequence of our present case, to their own, and the Kingdoms, (as well as our) future concernments in point of right, freedome, peace and safety, if (from a deepe sence of the high consequence of our present case, both to our selves (in future) and all other people) we shall, before disbanding, proceed, in our own and the Kingdoms behalf, to propound, and plead, for some provision, for our, and the Kingdoms satisfaction, and future security in relacion to those things, especially considering, that we were not a meere mercinary Army, hired to serve any Arbitrary power of a State, but called forth and conjured, by the severall Declarations of Parliament, to the defence of our owne and the peoples just rights, and liberties, And so we tooke up Armes, in judgement and conscience to those ends, and have so continued them, and are resolved according to your first just desires in your Declarations, and such principles as we have received from your frequent informations, and our own common sence concerning those our fundamentall Rights and Liberties, to assert and vindicate, the just power, and Rights of this Kingdome in Parliament for those common ends premised, against all arbitrary power, violence and oppression, and against all particular parties, or interests whatsoever. The said Declarations still directing us to the equitable sence of all Laws and constitutions as dispencing with the very Letter of the same, and being supreame to it, when the safety and preservation of all is concerned, and assuring us, that all authority is fundamentally seated, in the office, and but ministerially in the persons, neither doe or will these our proceedings (as we are fully and in conscience perswaded) amount to any thing, not warrantable before God and men, being thus far, much short of the common proceedings in other Nations, to things of an higher nature then we have yet appeared to. And we cannot but be sencible of the great complaints, that have been made generally to us of the Kingdome, from the people where we march, of arbitrarinesse and injustice, to their great and insupportable oppressions.

And truly such Kingdomes, as have according both to the law of Nature and Nations, appeared to the vindication and defence, of their just rights and liberties, have proceeded much higher, As our brethren of Scotland: who in the first beginning of these late differences, associated in Covenant, from the very same grounds and principles (having no vissible form, either of Parliament or King to countenance them) and as they were therein justified, and protected by their own, and this Kingdome also, so we justly shall expect to be.

We need not mention the States of the Netherlands, the Portugals, and others, all proceeding upon the same Principles of right and freedome, And accordingly the Parliament hath declared it no resistance of Magistracie, to side with the just Principles, and law of Nature and Nations, being that Law upon which we have assisted you. And that the Souldiery may lawfully hold the hands of that Generall, who will turne his Cannon against his Army on purpose to destroy them; the Sea-men the hands of that Pylot, who wilfully runnes the Ship upon a Rock, (as our brethren of Scotland argued.) And such were the proceedings of our Ancestors of famous memory, to the purchasing of such Rights and Liberties as they have enjoyed through the price of their blood, and we (both by that and the later blood of our deare friends and fellow Souldiers, with the hazard of our own) doe now lay claim unto.

Nor is that supreame end, (the glory of God) wanting in these cases, to set a price upon all such proceedings of Righteousnesse and Justice, it being one witnesse of God in the World to carry on a Testimony against the Injustice and unrighteousnesse of men, and against the miscarriages of Governments, when corrupted or declining from their primitive or originall glory.

These things we mention, but to compare proceedings, and to shew that we are so much the more justifiable, and warranted in what we do, by how much we come short of that height and measure of proceedings, which the people in free Kingdomes and Nations have formerly practiced.

Now having thus farre cleared our way in this businesse, we shall proceed to propound such things as we do humbly desire for the selling and securing of our own and the Kingdomes common right, freedome, peace, and safety, as followeth.

1. That the Houses may be speedily purged of such members, as for their Delinquency, or for Corruptions, or abuse to the State, or undue Elections, ought not to sit there: whereof the late elections in Cornwall, Wales and other parts of the Kingdome afford too many examples, to the great prejudice of the peoples freedome in the said elections.

2. That those persons, who have, in the unjust and high proceedings against the Army, appeared to have the will, the confidence, credit, and power, to abuse the Parliament, and the Army, and indanger the Kingdom in carrying on such things against us (while an Army) may be some way speedily disabled from doing the like or worse to us (when disbanded, and disperst, and in the condition of private men) or to other the free-born people of England in the same condition with us, and that for that purpose, the same persons may not continue in the same power (especially as our and the Kingdoms Judges in the highest trust) but may be made incapable thereof for future.

And if it be questioned who these are, we thought not fit particularly to name them in this our representation unto you, but shall very speedily give in their names, and before long shall offer what we have to say against them, to your Commissioners, wherein we hope so to carry our selves, as that the world shall see we aime at nothing of private revenge, and animossities, but that justice may have a free course and the Kingdome be eased, and secured by disenabling such men (at least) from places of Judicature who desiring to advantage, and set up themselves, and their party in a generall confusion have indeavoured to put the Kingdom into a new flame of warre, then which nothing is more abhorrent to us.

But because neither the granting of this alone, would be sufficient to secure our own, and the Kingdoms rights, liberties, and safety either for the present age or posterity, nor would our proposing of this singly be free from the scandal, and appearance of faction or designe onely to weaken one party, (under the notion of unjust or oppressive) that we may advance another (which may be imagined more our own) we there fore declare.

That indeed wee cannot but wish that such men, and such onely might be preferred to the great power and trust of the Commonwealth, as are approved, at least, for morall righteousnesse; And of such wee cannot but in our wishes preferre those, that appeare acted thereunto by a principle of Conscience and Religion in them. And accordingly we doe and ever shall blesse God for those many such Worthies, who, through his providence, have been chosen into this Parliament, And, to such mens endeavours (under God) wee cannot but attribute that Vindication, (in part) of the peoples Rights and Liberties, and those beginnings of a just Reformation, which the first proceedings of this Parliament appeared to have driven at, and tended to, though of late obstructed, or rather diverted to other ends and interest by the prevailing of other persons of other principles and conditions.

But yet wee are so farre from designing, or complying to have an absolute or arbitrary power fixed or settled for continuance, in any persons whatsoever, as that, (if we might be sure to obtaine it) wee cannot wish to have it so in the persons of any, whom wee could most confide in, or who should appeare most: of our own opinions or principles or whom wee might have most personall assurance of, or interest in, but wee doe, and shall much rather wish, that the Authoritie of this Kingdome in Parliaments (rightly constituted, that is, freely, equally and successively chosen, according to its originall intention) may ever stand and have its course. And therefore wee shall apply our desires, chiefly to such things, as (by having Parliaments setled in such a right Constitution) may give most hopes of Justice and Righteousnesse, to flow downe, equally to all, in that its ancient Channell, without any Overtures, tending either to overthrow, that foundation of Order and Government in this Kingdome, or to ingrosse that power for perpetuity into the hands of any particular persons, or party whatsoever.

And for that purpose, though (as wee have found it doubted by many men, minding sincerely the publique good, but not weighing so fully all consequences of things) it may and is not unlike to prove, that, upon the ending of this Parliament, and the Election of New, the Constitution of succeeding Parliaments, (as to the persons Elected) may prove for the worse many wayes, yet since neither in the present purging of this Parliament, nor in the Election of New, wee cannot promise to our selves, or the Kingdome, an assurance of Justice, or other positive good from the hands of men, but those who for present appeare most righteous and most for common good (having an unlimited power fixed in them during life or pleasure) in time, may become corrupt, or settle into parties, or factions, or, on the other side, in case of new Elections, those that should so succeed, may prove as bad or worse then the former. Wee therefore humbly conceive, that, (of two inconveniences the lesse being to be chosen) the maine thing to be intended in this case (and beyond which humane providence cannot reach, as to any assurance of positive good) seemes to be this, viz. to provide, that however unjust or corrupt the persons of Parliament-men, in present or future, may prove, or whatever ill they may doe to particular parties (or to the whole, in particular things,) during their respective termes, or periods, yet they shall not have the temptation or advantage of an unlimited power fixt in them during their own pleasures, whereby to perpetuate injustice and oppression upon any, (without end or remedy,) or to advance and uphold any one particular party, faction, or interest whatsoever, to the oppression or prejudice of the Communitie, and the enslaving of the Kingdome untol all posteritie, but that the people may have an equall hope, or possibilitie, if they have made an ill choice at one time, to mend it in another, and the members of the House themselves may be in a capacitie, to tast of subjection as well as rule, and may so be inclined to consider of other mens cases, as what may come to be their owne. This wee speake of, in relation to the House of Commons, as being entrusted, on the peoples behalf, for their interest in that great and supreame power of the Common-wealth, (viz. the Legislative power, with the power of finall judgement,) which being, in its own nature, so arbitrary, and in a manner unlimited (unlesse in point of time) is most unfit and dangerous (as to the peoples interest) to be fixt in the persons of the same men during life, or their own pleasures. Neither, by the originall Constitution of this State, was it, or ought it to continue so, nor does it (where-ever it is, and continues so) render that State any better then a meere Tyranny, or the people subjected to it, any better then Vassalls: But in all States, where there is any face of common freedome, and particularly in this State of England (as is most evident, both by many positive Lawes, and ancient constant custome) the people have a right to new and successive Elections unto that great and supreame trust, at certain periods of time, which is so essentiall and fundamentall to their freedome, as it is, cannot, or ought not, to be denied them, or withheld from them, and without which the House of Commons is of very little concernment to the interest of the Commons of England. Yet in this wee would not be mis-understood, in the least, to blame those Worthies of both Houses, whose zeale to vindicate the Liberties of this Nation, did procure that Act for continuance of this Parliament, whereby it was secured from being dissolved at the Kings pleasure, (as former Parliaments had been) or reduced to such a Certainty, as might enable them the better to assert and vindicate the liberties of this Nation, (immediately before so highly invaded, and then also so much endangered.) And these wee take to be the principall ends and grounds, for which, in that exigency of time and affaires, it was procured, and to which wee acknowledge it hath happily been made use of, but wee cannot thinke it was by those Worthies intended, or ought to be made use of, to the perpetuating of that supreame trust and power in the persons of any during their owne pleasures, or to the debarring of the people from their right of Elections (totally new) when those dangers or exigencies were past, and the affaires and safety of the Common-wealth would admit of such a change.

Having thus cleared our Grounds and Intentions (as wee hope) from all scruples and misunderstandings, in what followes we shall proceede further to propose what wee humbly desire for the selling and securing of our owne and the Kingdomes Rights and Liberties (through the blessing of God) to posterity, and therefore, upon all the Grounds premised, we further humbly desire as followeth,

3. That some determinate period of time may be set, for the continuance of this and future Parliaments, beyond which none shall continue, and upon which new Writs may of course issue out, and new Elections successively take place according to the intent of the Bill for Trienniall Parliaments.

And herein we would not be misunderstood to desire a present or suddain dissolution of this Parliament, but only (as is exprest before) that some certaine period may be set for the determining of it, so as it may not remaine (as now) continuable for ever, or during the pleasure of the present Members, And we should desire that the period to be now set for ending this Parliament, may be such as may give sufficient time for provision of what is wanting and necessary to be passed in point of just Reformation, and for further securing the Rights and Liberties, and selling the peace of the Kingdome. In order to which we further humbly offer.

4. That secure provisions may be made for the continuance of future Parliaments, so as they may not be adjournable or dissolveable at the Kings pleasure, or any other wayes then by their owne consent during their respective periods, but at those periods each Parliament to determine of course as before. This we desire may be now provided for (if it may be) so as to put it out of all dispute, for future, though we thinke of right, it ought not to have beene otherwise before.

[And because the present Distribution of Elections for Parliament Members is so very unequal, and the Multitude of Burgesses for decayed or inconsiderable Towns (whose Interest in the Kingdom would in many not exceed, or in others not equal, ordinary Villages) doth give too much and too evident Opportunity for Men of Power to frame Parties in Parliament to serve particular Interests, and thereby the Common Interest of the whole is not so minded, or not so equally provided for: We therefore further desire,

5. That some Provision may be now made for such Distribution of Elections for future Parliaments, as may stand with some Rule of Equality or Proportion, as near as may be, to render the Parliament a more equal Representative of the whole, as for Instance, That all Counties or Divisions and Parts of the Kingdom (involving inconsiderable Towns) may have a Number of Parliament-Men allowed to their Choice, proportionably to the respective Rates they bear in the Common Charges and Burdens of the Kingdom, and not to have more, or some other such like Rule.]

And thus a firme foundation being laid in the authority and constitution of Parliaments for the hopes, at least, of common and equall right and freedome to our selves and all the free-born people of this Land, we shall for our parts freely and cheerefully commit our stock or share of interest in this Kingdome, into this common bottome of Parliaments, and though it may (for our particulars) goe ill with us in one Voyage, yet we shall thus hope (if right be with us) to fare better in another.

These things we desire may be provided for by Bill or Ordinance of Parliament to which the Royall Assent may be desired: when his Majestic in these things, and what else shall be proposed by the Parliament, necessary for securing the Rights and Liberties of the people, and for selling the Militia and Peace of the Kingdome, shall have given his concurrence to put them past dispute. We shall then desire that the Rights of his Majestic and his posterity may be considered of, and setled in all things, so farre as may consist with the Right and Freedome of the Subject, and with the security of the same for future.

5. We desire, that the right and fredome of the people, to represent to the Parliament by way of humble Petition, their grievances (in such things as cannot otherwise be remedied then by Parliament) may be cleared and vindicated, That all such grievances of the people may be freely received & admitted into consideration, and put into an equitable and speedy way, to be heard, examined, and redressed (if they appeare reall) and that in such things for which men have remedy by law, they may be freely left to the benefit of law, and the regulated course of Justice, without interruption or checke from the Parliament, except in case of things done upon the exigency of Warre, or for the service and benefit of the Parliament and Kingdome in relation to the Warre, or otherwise, in due pursuance and execution of Ordinances or Orders of Parliament.

More particularly (under this head) we cannot but desire, that all such as are imprisoned, for any pretended misdemeanor, may be put into a speedy way for a just hearing and triall, and such as shall appeare to have beene unjustly and unduly imprisoned, may (with their liberty) have some reasonable reparation according to their sufferings and the demerit of their oppressors.

6. That the large powers, given to the Committees or Deputy Lieutenants during the late times of Warre and destraction, may be speedily taken into consideration, That such of these powers as appeare not necessary to be continued, may be taken away, and such of them as are necessary may be put into a regulated way, and left to as little Arbitrarinesse, as the nature and necessity of the things wherein they are conversant will beare.

7. We could wish that the Kingdome might both be righted & publikely satisfied in point of Accounts, for the vast summes that have been levyed and paid, as also in divers other things wherein the Common wealth may be conceived to have beene wronged or abused; But we are loath to presse any thing, that may tend to lengthen out further disputes or contestations, but rather such as may tend to a speedy and generall composure, and quieting of mens minds, in order to Peace, for which purpose we further propose.

8. That (publique Justice being first satisfied by some few examples to posterity out of the worst of excepted persons, and other Delinquents, having past their Compositions) some course may be taken (by a generall Act of oblivion or otherwise) whereby the seeds of future Warre, or fewds, either to the present age, or posterity, may the better be taken away, by easing that sence of present, and satisfying those feares, of future Ruine or Undoing, to persons or families, which may drive men into any desperate wayes for selfe preservation or remedy, and by taking away the private remembrances and distinction of parties, as farre as may stand with safety to the rights and Liberties wee have hitherto fought for.

There are (besides these) many particular things which wee could wish to be done, and some to be undone, all, in order still to the same ends, of common right, freedome, peace, and safety. But these proposalls aforegoing, being the principall things wee bottome and insist upon, wee shall (as wee have said before) for our parts acquiesce for other particulars in the Wisdome and Justice of Parliaments. And whereas it hath been suggested or suspected, that in our late, or present proceedings, our design is to overthrow Presbytery, or hinder the settlement thereof, and to have the Independent governement set up, we doe clearely disclaime, and disavow any such designe; We onely desire that according to the Declarations (promising a provision for tender consciences) there may some effectuall course be taken according to the intent thereof, And that such, who, upon conscientious grounds may differ from the established formes, may not (for that) be debarred from the common Rights, Liberties, or Benefits belonging equally to all, as men and Members of the Commonwealth, while they live soberly, honestly, and inoffensively towards others, and peacefully and faithfully towards the State.

We have thus freely and clearely declared the depth and bottome of our hearts and desires in order to the Rights, Liberties and Peace of the Kingdome, wherein we appeale to all men, whether we seeke any thing of advantage to our selves, or any particular partie whatever, to the prejudice of the whole, & whether the things we wish and seek, do not equally concern & conduce to the good of others in common with our selves, according to the sincerity of our desires and intentions wherein, (as we have already found the concurrent sence of the people in divers Counties by their Petitions to the Generall, expressing their deepe representment of these things, and pressing us to stand for the Interest of the Kingdome therein, so,) we shall wish and expect to finde the unanimous concurrence of all others, who are equally concerned with us in these things, and wish well to the Publique. And so trusting in the mercy and goodnesse of God to passe by and heipe any failings or infirmities of ours, in the carriage or proceedings hereupon, we shall humbly cast our selves and the businesse upon his good pleasure, depending onely on his presence and blessing for an happie issue to the peace and good of this poore Kingdome, in the accomplishment whereof, wee desire and hope, that God will make you blessed Instruments.

June 14th 1647

By the appointment of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, with the Officers and Souldiery of his Army, Signed,




4.8. [Signed by John Rushworth, attributed to Henry Ireton], [Declaration of the Army], A Declaration, or, Representation From his Excellency, Sir Thomas Fairfax, And the Army under his command, Humbly tendred to the parliament (14 June 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[Signed by John Rushworth, attributed to Henry Ireton], A Declaration, or, Representation From his Excellency, Sir Thomas Fairfax, And the Army under his command, Humbly tendred to the parliament, Concerning the iust and Fundamentall Rights and Liberties of themselves and the kingdome. With Some humble Proposals and Desires. June 14, 1647. By the appoyntment of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, With the Officers and Souldiers of his Army, Signed John Rushworth, Secretary.
London, Printed for George Wittington at the Blew Anchor in Corn-hill, neere the Exchange. 1647.

Estimated date of publication

14 June 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

Not listed in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Deare Friends;

ALTHOUGH ye and your families, are they who in all publike calamities do suffer most, yet seem ye altogether insensible of your owne danger untill it be directly upon you, yee looke not into publike affaires your selves, but trust wholly unto others; and if they either through weaknesses wilfulnesse, corruption or treacherie faile in their trust or tume oppressors and tyrants, ye remaine liable to be deluded and betrayed by them into tumults, wars, miseries and bondage.

But believe it, yee have need to look about you, and that very quickly, to see into affaires your selves, and understand how things go, for ye are likely very speedily to be put upon the greatest triall of your wisdom and faithfulnesse that ever men were put upon; which if ye withstand or get cleare through with an upright mind, your peace, freedome, and happinesse will certainly be continued, but if ye yeeld yee will involve yourselves, your wives, children and servants into far greater miseries and extremities then those ye have already past through.

The case is briefly and truly thus, ye remember in what a languishing distracted condition ye were in, before the warre was betrusted to the present Army, then called, The new Modell, and with what faithfulnesse, diligence, expedition and courage thay have vanquished the enemy, restored you to your trades and livelihoods, which ye cannot with any conscience, but thankfully acknowledge and remember.

But what they by their fidelity and activity gained abroad, is through want of care utterly destroyed at home; for whilst they supplant the enemy in strength, he is supplyed with authority, and so in effect made Master of that strength by which he hath been vanquished.

Ye will wonder how it should be so, and yet if yee shall judge the tree by the fruits, which is so infallible a rule that it cannot deceive you, ye shall find nothing more evident.

For, what Authority now extant can ye name, that affords this Army any countenance or encouragement? nay, that hath not manifested a jealousle and hatred of them, and that most unjustly, seeing the Army is still the same it was, minding the safety, peace, freedome and happinesse of all peaceable people without any difference at all.

But herein it consisteth, Authority is changed and hath proposed other ends to it selfe now at last, then when this Army was first raised; those men that saw a necessity of their raising, which appeared from the languishing condition of the Kingdome under the former Forces, had then the major Vote and the opposite party were esteemed disaffected favourers of the enemy, Remon.’s to the honest proceedings of the House at that time, but are now become by the addition of divers ill affected men of knowne malignity out of the quarters redeemed from the enemy, the swaying party weigh down the ballance, and decree all.

From hence proceeds this different aspect upon the Army; the late bitter Declaration against them for endeavouring to petition their owne Generall in an orderly and peaceable way, for that which many by their losse of health, and all of them by induring the hardships and extremities of war, and hazarding their lives, have dearly earned; these are now judged enemies to the State, disturbers of the peace, even of purpose to turn the faces of honest men against them, and all to maintains the unjust cause, and work out the wicked designes of tyrants and oppressors.

Divers men by corruptions are growne rich, from small estates or nothing to be very wealthy; and finding that this Army and such as love them, because they love their Country, are inquisitive and unwilling to see the State abused, and the people defrauded, fearing that the mountaines of wealth they have raised, may yet be returned to their right owners, or the common stock, and that their unjust actions may undergo scrutiny and tryall, have for prevention thereof, desperatly resolved to embroyle us in a new warre, and bring all to the former confusion, if not utter desolation; finding by experience, that they can fish best in troubled waters and escape best in the presse; that corruption and injustice is no otherwise mantainable, but by might and force, and for that very end and purpose have contrived to engage you against the Army, and those that wish them well, by which policle they suppose all your thoughts wil be diverted from thinking upon them and their corruptions.

In order to this, the Army and their friends are made odious to you, as Sectaries, even as heretofore the well-affected party were rendered hateful to you as Puritans; they provoke the Army what they can, by declaring them disturbers of the peace, molesting divers of their Officers and Souldiers, sleighting petitions of many thousands of good and godly people, and burning some of them by the common Hang-man, and by many other signes giving them to see what they and their friends are like to suffer after disbanding, hoping hereby to put them upon extremities and enforce them to stand upon their guard, and capitulate for their safety, which they will interpret rebellion, and hold forth to you as a true ground of destroying them, inciting you from thence to take up Armes, and engage in their unjust quar-rell, even for the maintenance of their exorbitant wills, and ambitious ends, yea and defence of their lives and ill-gotten estates.

The heads of this designe are the corrupt men in the House of Commons, even such as have been fon-nerly of the enemies party abroad, and done him services here at home, by discovering our counsels (as appeareth by interception of some of their letters,) partaking with the conspirators in the City (as in Wallers plot) opposing the raising of this Army, (by which the worke hath been so speedily ended) appearing crosse in all debates of the House for redresse of grievances, or relief of the oppressed and much abused people, constantly manifesting, That they have proposed other ends to themselves, then the common good of the Nation.

Assistant to these is the Mayor of London, hitherto past over, (when the well-affected party had most sway in the City) as a man favouring the enemy, and never manifesting any affection to the Parliament, in their undertaking to make us a free people: also many of the Aldermen and great men of the Citle whose interest depends upon Prerogative, and is supported by the subjection of the plaine people.

The City Militia likewise in reference to this project was altered, because the former men who had shewed themselves faithfull to the Common-wealth and City, were not (it seems) judged fit instruments for this secret work; and yee the Commoners of London likewise, they hope, will by some deceitfull trick or other follow, though to the destruction of your selves, your wives and families.

This makes them so confidently give out, that if the Army will not disband, that ye the plaine men of this City, your sons and servants shall make a new Army to compell them; they verily thinke yee are not so well principled as to collect your thoughts (on such a sudden as they intend to surprize you) and consider what a dangerous businesse to the whole Kingdome ye go about, but that ye will doe it for no other reason, but because they bid you: that ye will forget the good services that the Army have done, the speedle overthrow of a powerfull enemy, the so sudden recovery of trading by the ending of a long and languishing warre, which if continued, had in probability utterly wasted your Traine Bands, and hazzarded the ruine both of City and Kingdome.

These benefits (they think) they can easily make you forget, with old tales of private mens preaching, Conventicles, rebaptizing; and now by clamours of rebellion, and contempt of authority, which both the present necessity, and the common safety of the People requireth as a duty, and is purposely procured by themselves, for the maintenance of their tyranny and corruptions.

But look back into what is past, and survey the actions of these men, their weekly donations of great sumines amongst themselves, their pride and Lordlinesse: Compare them with the Army; see if the Army have not made themselves poor, to make the Common-wealth rich, whil’st these men have made themselves rich and us poore.

Consider whether these men, and their Agents, who shall be most forward to egg you on, and cry an Alarme, have not made advantages of your troubles, swolne great by the losse of your Friends and Neighbours bloods, whil’st they that ingaged most heartily, are disrespected, the poor Souldiers unpaid, the widdow and fatherlesse by warre little regarded, so small recompence made, as there is scarce a livelihood afforded to them that have lost their limbs out of affection to their Countrey, whil’st those that shall appeare most earnest for a new warre, are such as know the way very well how to thrive by it, have gained thousands by the former, found the sweetnesse of having the Common-wealth money at their dispose: And as they have been liberall every week, in converting the Common-wealths Treasury to their owne particular coffers, so hope they (with all possible speed, and by all indirect means) to be yet more bountifull, and for every hundred, give one another a thousand.

Consider, that warres are easily and suddenly, and out of a heat begun, but very hardly and slowly ended: Let late experience make us wise, so to foresee evills, as we may prevent them. The Scots will be ingaged againe, and forraigne Forces called in, which is already attempted by private Agents, from the aforesaid conupt and ill-affected party in the Parliament.

This Citie may avoid all their malice, and crush all their wicked designes in the birth, before they come forth, if they will but abate their unjust and causelesse eagemesse against men of different opinions, and equally consider the just cause, desires and intentions of the Arrnie, and the peaceablenesse of those people in the Citie and Countrey, who did lately petition for libertie, and that their ends herein are evidently the good and peace of all men.

Take it to heart also, that we are in as much bondage as before this Parliament; all sorts of men are insensible of it, and full of complaints; the very oppressions cried out upon at the beginn’ g of this Parliament, and removed, are not onely now again practised, but many new ones brought upon us; besides that which alone amounts to all the rest, the EXCISE, which (upon pretence of paying publike debts, and supplying other to-be-invented necessities) is like to be a lasting burden upon us.

Customes are still as much inhanced as ever, without any convoy and protection of Merchants, which is the end of paying them, and the poore Seamen and Marriners wrack’d to the utmost point of extreamity: infinite sums have been dispended, and yet debts both unpaid, and the publike Treasury emptied.

Consider the grievances complained of in the late Petition which was burned, and collect from thence what usage ye are like to finde, unlesse ye resolve to sit downe under oppression, and expect no redresse of grievances, which those honest men petitioning for in a discreet, peaceable, and humble manner, were abused, reproached, some of them imprisoned, the rest threatned, all tenned seditious, and what not, even as men formerly were for moving against Ship-money, and the oppressions of those times.

In this lamentable condition, the honest and plaine people being still now, as they were then, in greatest danger, and wicked men most secure, and not only most countenanced by Authority, but endeavoured to be brought into all places thereof; judge, ye citizens of London, and other neighbour-places, whether the Army have not just cause, to stand upon their guard, and whether it be not high time for them again to appear for the defence and protection of the distressed people of this land; judge likewise what kind of enemies to the common wealth, peace, freedom, and safety of this Nation they are that shal oppose them herein, how inexcusable and evidently guilty of procuring their owne bondage, and maintaining abused authority, to their owne misery, if not destruction: yet this is the strong temptation wherewith ye are likely very suddenly to be assaulted.

The bait they will use will be the suppressing of Hereticks and Schismaticks, which henceforth ye shall find to be but nick-names for any that oppose Tyrants and Oppressors, by which they have ever endeavoured to make those odious to the rude multitude, whose honestie and conscience could not otherwise be blemished.

Looke therefore with a cleare eye upon the Army and those that love and affect them, whether in Parliament or elsewhere, and see if they be not the truest promoters of just freedome, least advancers of themselves; and when ye are tried, may ye prove like gold seven times fined in the fire; so shall your wisdome, faithfulnesse, thankfulnesse and integrity appeare in this sad day of Englands greatest extremity, when a major vote of Parliament must of necessity be disobeyed.

But this is an age of wonders: what greater wonder I pray, is there in this Nation, then a continuall Parliament, already drawing to the end of the seventh yeare; or that this Parliament should begin in suppressing the High-commission, Star-chamber, Bishops, Popish Lords and all oppressors, make a most bloody war against them, subdue them by a faithfull Army, and now act, tolerate, and Justifie the same oppressions, under other notions, hate none so much as those that abhor oppression, and likewise vex, molest, and suffer to be hanged those very Souldiers that preserved their own lives, even in their greatest extremities, and that for actions necessarily and warrantably performed in prosecution of their own services.

And because all admonitions are most acceptable when the causes thereof are cleared, and proved to be good and just, by true examples, and forcible reasons, I will give an instance for your better satisfaction, in the things whereof I forewame you, and so fore-arme you, Yee cannot but remember, that as those peaceable people who were at the beginning of this Parliament, called Round-heads, and afterwards Independents, and by such other Titles as best please the Clergy to devise, and the rude multitude to expresses did adventure their lives voluntarily day and night, in guarding and defending the Parliament against all their enemies, who were like to swallow them up, before they had either guard or Army to take their part; and did not this worthy Army the like unto them, when no other Army could doe the bus’inesse?

Did not yee your selves, and many thousands of others, bestow a great part of your estates freely and voluntarily to help, further, and assist the Parliament in all their publick affaires for the Common-weale, and safety of the people: and yet now, who are more despised, hated and persecuted by means or conivance of the Parliament, then both yee, they, and the Army, who have been their truest and best friends? And likewise, who have been more assessed and extorted in advancing more and more summes to fill their Coffers, then those who gave them most freely and liberally at the first; yea, and too many of them more then they could well spare.

Therefore, deare friends, remember this seasonable and loving premonition, while it is yet time, that when yee have done all yee can, and perhaps past the bounds of your abilities, yee may easily perceive both by former experience your selves, and infinite discontents, murmurings and out-cries of others, that if yee doe not persist both in fulfilling their wils in what they wil command concerning your bodies, and in yeelding what they will demand of your Estates, yea, or refuse them in any jot, or trifle they require, though never so unjust, ye will be subject to loose all ye have done, and their favour too.

These are wonders indeed, besides hundreds of others which might be expressed; but these if well weighed will put you upon examination how it is possible such things as these should be.

The Army doubtlesse doth highly esteme the authority of Parliament, being rightly constituted, and intending the well-fare and safety of the people, and such a Parliament both the Army and the well-affected of the Kingdome thought this would have proved; for which they have fought, as for their own and the peoples liberties.

But when through the policies, feastings, private letters, making use of interests and relations, with many other indirect practices, elections shall be corrupted, and not freely made by the people, but in effect the one part of the Parliament procure the election of the other when by meanes hereof the ill affected party is growne most potent, and the peoples faithfull friends are overpowred, when their courses shall tend idently to make themselves great, upon the peoples ruins, even to prevent the end for which a Parliament is called, is there any just cause to the contrary, but the same necessity and publike safety that justifieth the Parliament against the King, will also justifie the Army against them, by the same rule of right reason, and law of equity, as the souldiers of an Army may oppose the Generall, when he tumeth the mouth of his Cannon upon them.

And all this the Army do not against, but for Parliaments, as the onely orderly meanes for the peoples safety, and freedome now in such a high time of extreame danger, after the tryall of all other lawflill and possible faire and submissive meanes.

It is not to be imagined, that the Army meaneth in any wise to usurpe the government, or give lawes to their brethren; nothing can be more odious to their spirits, or further from their thoughts: their ayme is only to rescue and succour the people that are oppressed, and defend themselves from the malicious plots and practices of wicked men, untill such time as the night constitution of Parliaments be recovered, the Accompt of the Kingdomes Treasury required, and the Authors of our miseries according to justice punished.

The obstruction whereunto is a great number of tyrannicall and oppressive men in the House, against whom just execptions will be evidently made appeare to all the world; if upon offer of proofe, all these enormities should be set into a way of tryall, this great and much threatning designer may be prevented, without trouble, warre or bloodshed, wherein it rests in you at this time to do very much.

If ye forbeare to engage against the Army, whom God hath made his instruments to deliver you, and withall, second their just desires for purging out the corrupt Members of the Parliament, ye will not onely herein be an example of wisdome, fidelity and integrity to the whole Nation, but prevent a world of mischiefs and inconvenience, which otherwise might come to passe by your negligence, or rather slavish obedience.

Ye cannot but perceive, that in the great alteration which is made of the Committee of the Militia and the removall of your knowne Commanders in the forces of London, that they intend to engage you against the Army. Is not this evident to all judicious men? For what neede is there of any such change now at this time, and that onely of such persons as are affected to the Army?

Let not faire shewes or pretences of zeale, religion, or reformation of whatsoever kinde any longer delude you, but observe him for a traitor to his Countrey, that would now entangle you in any unjust warre against a most worthy Army, whom God hath so exceedingly blessed, yea and you also and all of us, by their faithfull meanes and effectuall endeavours.

Looke wisely and narrowly to your Officers of trust in all places, and see that they bring forth fruits suitable to your peace, preservation, and freedome, or else shun them as serpents, whose property is to destroy you.

Be not deluded into a groundlesse beliefe, that the Army do intend any kinde of prejudice to any just interests or propriety in the Common wealth, seeing they have manifested both by word and deed to the world, in despite of the mallice of all their treacherous enemies (though pretended friends) that the outmost extent of their desires, is onely to see equity and justice florish in all Estates, so that no man may be punished under the colour of law or otherwise, without a just cause.

Allow the Army to be as free Englishmen as any whosoever, and your worthy and beloved brethren; have not many of you fought, shed your blood, and adventured your lives in the very same just cause for which they most couragiously do yet (through Gods goodnesse) stand. And would yee now unjustly resigne both that good cause, and so renowned an Army, into the treacherous and bloody hands of such as maliciously hate both them and you, howsoever, they may flatter you at this time for their own base ends, but neither for your own nor the Kingdomes good.

God forbid that so just a cause which hitherto hath been so valiantly prosecuted, should escape so many and violent stortnes, and cruell tempests in the main Ocean, and yet perish in the Harbor, and that only for want of prudence and timely care.

But our hope is, that the same just and good God, who hath hitherto preserved you, the Army, Citie, Parliament, and just cause, will also in his due and appointed time, to his own everlasting praise, and the comfort of all that trust in him, perfect his great worke in justice and righteousness, if in the mean time yee will be so truly wise, as to be thankfull for mercies received, and not forgetfull of the worthy instruments he hath employed for your preservation, but doe them good to your utmost abilitiese in the day of their visitation.

So shall God crown all your labours of love with peace, and both your selves, the whole Nation and posterity with freedome.


The Printer to the Reader.

I Desire thee to amend with thy pen, one fault escaped in the printing, by negligence, and the Authors absence, which is in the 3. page and 10. line, namely secretaries for sectaries: And if there be any more faults (as none liveth without some) I also desire that thou wilt shew thy patience by thy silence, and that thou may rather make a profitable use of the sence, then anywise strive about words; even as thou wouldest except the like favour of me or any other in thy absence, if thou be one that shewest thy selfe thus carefull and zealous for the publike: especially now in such extreeme need. Farewell.





4.9. [William Walwyn], Gold Tried in the Fire, or The burnt Petitions revived. (14 June 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[William Walwyn], Gold Tried in the Fire, or The burnt Petitions revived. A Preface.

Estimated date of publication

14 June 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 519; Thomason E. 392. (19.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Courteous Reader, I shall give thee a short Narative of some passages upon the following Petitions, first concerning-the large Petition: Divers printed coppies thereof being sent abroad to gaine subscriptions, one whereof was intercepted by an Informer, and so brought to the hands of Mr. Glyn Recorder of London, and a member of the Commons House; who was pleased to call it a scandalous, and seditious paper: Whereupon it was referred to Colonell Leighes Committee (it being that Committee appoynted to receive informations against those men who preached without licence from the Ordainers) to finde out the Authours of the said Petition; upon this a certificate being drawn up, and intended by the Petitioners, to have been delivered to the said Committee, for vindication of the said Petition, as will appeare by the certificate herewith printed; and notice being taken of one of the petitioners named Nicholas Tue, who red the said certificate in the Court of Request; for the Concurrence of friends who had not formerly seen nor subscribed the certificate: and for his so doing he was sent for presently before the said Committee, and for refusing to answer to Interrogatories, was presently by them Committed, and still remaineth in prison, it being at the least three Moneths since his first commitment.

Likewise Major Tuledah, was upon complaint of that Committee, the next day committed by the House, but since discharged upon baile, without any just cause shewn for either of their Commitments: and others of the Petitioners abused, and vilified by that Committee; some of them offering to draw their swords upon the Petitioners. All which, with more was ready to be proved to the whole House, but could by no meanes be obtained, though earnestly desired, by a Petition, presently delivered into the House, humbly desiring the examination of these miscarriages; but after eight weekes attendance, with much importunity; after many promises and dayes appointed to take their Petition into consideration, they obtained a very slight answer: which was that they could not like of their Petition.

Occasion being taken sodainely after to commit one of the Petitioners named Mr. Browne to the prison of Newgate; for his importunity in desiring an answer to that Petition, after many promises and delayes. Shortly after the slight answer obtained to the said Petition, the Petitioners thought good to deliver a second Petition to the House, to see if it were possible to obtain a better answer to their just desires; hoping that they would better consider of things, but after attendance and importunity, they obtained an answer in these words. That the Parliament had Voted it a breach of priviledge, scandalous, and seditious, and that Petition, and the large Petition, to be burned by the hand of the Hangman; which was accordingly done by Order of the House, in these words.

Die Jovis 20 May, 1647,

Resolved &c. That the Sheriffes of London and Middlesex, be required, to take care that the Petition and paper be burnt, which accordingly was done, before the Exchange, two dayes after the said Vote and Order of the House.

And shortly after this the Petitioners prepared a third Petition, which is the last Petition herewith printed: and after much importunity with the Members of the House; after almost two dayes attendance, obtained so much favour from one of the Members, as to present that Petition to the House, and after all this could obtaine no other answer to that Petition; but the House after long dispute thereupon passed this Vote.

Upon the 2d. of June 1647. That no answer shall be given to the Petition at the present: and two dayes after the Petitioners attended the House, for a further answer delivering copies of their Petition to the severall Members of the House, but could obtaine no further answer thereunto; but received many vilifying, and disgracefull speeches, from severall Members of the House: and so after a whole dayes attendance, departed without any hope, to receive any answer to their just desires in the said Petition.

And thus I have faithfully, and truly (though briefly) given ye an account of the proceedings upon the ensuing Petitions. Now let the judicious and considerate Reader judge whether the Petitioners have received equall and even dealing herein from this present Parliament: the Petitioners being such who have laid out themselves, both in their persons and purses, far above their abilities; who have not valued their lives, their childrens lives, nor their servants lives, nor estates, to deare for the service of the Parliament and Common-wealth.

And is this the reward they shall receive, after they have thus laid out themselves? Nay, they have just cause to feare that they and their friends are men appointed to utter ruine, and destruction; otherwise what meaneth all the rayling, reviling, and reproachfull speeches of their Ministers, and Agents, out of the pulpit and presse, to stirre up the rude multitude to fall upon them, and destroy them; is not this ingratitude in the highest degree, shall not the very Heathen rise up in judgement against such a generation, of degenerate men as these? Who could say, Si ingratum dixeris, omnia dixeris.

You cannot chuse but take notice of severall Remonstrances, and Petitions presented to the House from these men, who call themselves Lord Major, Aldermen and Commons, of the City of London in Common-councell assembled, what high affronts they have offered to the Parliament; yet they have in some measure by steps, and degrees, answered the Remonstrances, and granted their Petitions, and you may observe what answer they have given to their last Petition, for raising of Horse, &c. (The tendencie whereof may be of very dangerous consequence if well weighed) which is thus. Mr. Speaker by command of the House, exprest unto them the true sense the House hath of their constant good affections to this Parliament; and that no alterations whatsoever can work any change in their duty, and love; for which he is to give them the hartiest thanks of this House.

I could enlarge my selfe, but I affect brevitie, and the judicious and considerate Reader may enlarge himselfe in his own thoughts: well weighing the matter in the said Remonstrances, and Petitions; and upon due consideration may judge whether their Petitions, or the Petitions burnt, vilified, and disgraced, deserve most thanks, or tend most to the safetie of the Parliament, and Common-wealth.

And will henceforth conclude, that as there is little good to be hoped for from such Parliaments, as need to be Petitioned; so there is none at all to be expected from those that burn such Petitions as these.

If the endeavours of good Common-wealths-men in the House could have prevailed, these Petitions had not been burnt, nor the Petitioners abused; but the sons of Zeruiah were to strong for them, that is to say, the Malignants, and Delinquents, the Lawyers (some few excepted) the Monopolising merchants, the sons and servants of the Lords; all these joyning together, over Voted them about 16 Voyces; but God in time, will we trust, deliver the people of this Nation, from their deceipt, and malice; and therefore let us not sorrow as men without hope, nor be discouraged, but goe on and persist, for the just liberties of England, a word to the wise is sufficient. Farewell.

By a well-wisher to truth and peace.

Printed in the yeere 1647.

To the Right Honourable, and supreame Authority of this Nation, the COMMONS in PARLIAMENT Assembled.

The humble Petition of many Thousands, earnestly desiring the glory of God, the freedom of the Common-wealth, & the peace of all Men.


That as no Government is more just in the constitution, then that of Parliaments, having its foundation in the free choyce of the people; and as the end of all Government is the safety and freedome of the governed, even so the people of this Nation in all times, have manifested most hearty affection, unto Parliaments as the most proper remedy of their grievances; yet such hath been the wicked policies of those who from time to time have endevoured to bring this Nation into bondage; that they have in all times either by the disuse or abuse of Parliaments deprived the people of their hopes: For testimony whereof the late times foregoing this Parliament will sadly witnesse, when it was not only made a crime to mention a Parliament, but either the pretended negative voyce, (the most destructive to freedome) or a speedy dissolution, blasted the fruite and benefit thereof, whilst the whole Land was overspread with all kinds of oppression and tyranny, extending both to Soule and Body, and that in so rooted and setled a way, that the complaints of the people in generall witnessed, that they would have given any thing in the world for one six moneths freedome of Parliament. Which hath been since evidenced in their instant and constant readinesse of assistance to this present Parliament, exceeding the records of all former ages, and wherein God hath blessed them with their first desires, making this Parliament the most absolute and free of any Parliament that ever was, and enabling it with power sufficient to deliver the whole Nation from all kinds of oppressions and grievances, though of never so long continuance, and to make it the most absolute and free Nation in the world.

And it is most thankefully acknowledged that yee have in order to the freedome of the people suppressed the High-Commission, Starr-Chamber, and Councel-Table, called home the banished, delivered such as were imprisoned for matters of conscience, and brought some Delinquents to deserved punishment. That yee have suppressed the Bishops and Popish Lords, abolished Episcopacy, and that kinde of Prelatick persecuting government. That ye have taken away Shipmoney, and all the new illegall Patents, whereby the hearts of all the wel-affected were enlarged and filled with a confident hope, that they should have seen long ere this a compleate removall of all grievances, and the whole people delivered from all oppressions over Soule or Body: But such is our misery, that after the expence of so much precious time, of blood, and treasure, and the ruine of so many thousands, of honest families in recovering our Liberties, wee still finde this Nation oppressed with grievances of the same destructive nature as formerly, though under other notions; and which are so much the more grievous unto us, because they are inflicted in the very time of this present Parliament, under God, the hope of the oppressed. For, as then all the men and women in England, were made lyable to the Sommons, Attatchments, Sentences, and Imprisonments of the Lords of the Councell-boord, so wee finde by wofull experience and sufferings of many particular persons, that the present Lords doe assume and exercise the same power, then which nothing is, or can be more repugnant and destructive to the Commons just liberties.

As the unjust power of Star-Chamber was exercised in compelling of men and women to answer to Interrogatories tending to accuse themselves and others; so is the same now frequently practized upon divers persons, even your cordiall friends, that have been, and still are, punished for refusing to Answer to questions against themselves and nearest relations. As then the great oppression of the High Commission was most evident in molesting of godly peaceable people, for nonconformity, or different opinion and practice in Religion, judging all who were contrary minded to themselves, to be Hereticks, Sectaries, Schismaticks, seditious, factious, enemies to the State, and the like; and under great penalties forbidding all persons, not licenced by them, to preach or publish the Gospel: Even so now at this day, the very same, if not greater molestations, are set on foot, and violently prosecuted by the instigation of a Clergie no more infallible then the former, to the extreame discouragement and affliction of many thousands of your faithfull adherents, who are not satisfyed that controversies in Religion can be trusted to the compulsive regulation of any: And after the Bishops were suppressed, did hope never to have seen such a power assumed by any in this Nation any more.

And although all new illegall patents are by you abolished, yet the oppressive Monopoly of Merchant-adventurers, and others, doe still remain to the great abridgement of the liberties of the people, and to the extreame prejudice of all such industrious people as depend on cloathing, or other woollen manufacture, (it being the Staple-commodity of this Nation,) and to the great discouragment & disadvantage of all sorts of Tradesmen, Sea-faring-men, and hinderance of Shipping and Navigation. Also the old tedious and chargeable way of deciding controversies, or suits in Law, is continued to this day, to the extream vexation and utter undoing of multitudes of Families; a grievance as great and as palpable as any in the world. Likewise, that old, but most unequall punishment of malefactors is still continued, whereby mens lives and liberties are as liable to the law, and corporall pains as much inflicted for small as for great offences, and that most unjustly upon the testimony of one witnesse, contrary both to the Law of God, and common equity, a grievance very great, but little regarded. Also tythes, and other inforced maintenance are still continued, though there be no ground for either under the Gospel; and though the same have occasioned multitudes of suits, quarrels, and debates, both in former and later times. In like manner, multitudes of poore distressed prisoners for debt, lye still unregarded, in a most miserable & wofull condition throughout the Land, to the great reproach of this Nation. Likewise Prison-Keepers, or Gaolers, are as presumptuous as ever they were, both in receiving and detaining of prisoners illegally committed, as cruell & inhumane to all, especially to such as are wel-affected, as oppressive & extorting in their Fees, & are attended with under-officers, of such vile & unchristian demeanour, as is most abominable. Also thousands of men & women, are still (as formerly) permitted to live in beggery and wickednesse all their life long, and to breed their children to the same idle and vitious course of life, and no effectuall means used to reclaime either, or to reduce them to any vertue or industry.

And last, as those who found themselves aggrieved formerly at the burthens & oppressions of those times, that did not conforme to the Church-government then established, refused to pay Ship-money, or yeeld obedience to unjust Patents, were reviled and reproached with nicknames of Puritans, Hereticks, Schismaticks, Sectaries, or were termed factious or seditious, men of turbulent spirits, despisers of government, & disturbers of the publick peace; even so is it at this day in al respects, with those who shew any sensibility of the fore-recited grievances, or move in any manner or measure for remedy thereof, all the reproaches, evils, and mischiefes that can be devised, are thought too few or too little to be laid upon them, as Round-heads, Sectaries, Independents, Hereticks, Schismaticks, factious, seditious, rebellious, disturbers of the publick peace, destroyers of all civill relation, & subordinations; yea, and beyond what was formerly. Nonconformity is now judged a sufficient cause to disable any person, though of known fidelity, from bearing any Office of trust in the Common-wealth, whiles Newters, Malignants, and disaffected are admitted and continued. And though it be not now made a crime to mention a Parliament, yet is it little lesse to mention the supreme power of this honourable House. So that in all these respects, this Nation remaineth in a very sad & disconsolate condition; & the more, because it is thus with us after so long a session of so powerfull & so free a Parliament, & which hath been so made and maintained, by the aboundant love and liberall effusion of the blood of the people. And therefore knowing no danger nor thraldome like unto our being left in this most sad condition by this Parliament, and observing that yee are now drawing the great and weighty affaires of this Nation to some kinde of conelusion and fearing that yee may ere long be obstructed by something equally evill to a negative voyce, and that yee may be induced to lay by that strength, which (under God) hath hitherto made you powerfull to all good works: whiles we have yet time to hope, and ye power to help, and least by our silence wee might be guilty of that ruine, and slavery which without your speedy help is like to fall upon us, your selves and the whole Nation; wee have presumed to spread our cause thus plainly and largely before you: And doe most earnestly intreat, that yee will stir up your affections to a zealous love and tender regard of the people, who have chosen and trusted you, and, that yee will seriously consider, that the end of their trust, was freedome and deliverance from all kinde of grievances and oppressions.

1. And that therefore in the first place, yee will be exceeding carefull to preserve your just authority from all prejudices of a negative voyce in any person or persons whomsoever, which may disable you from making that happy return unto the people which they justly expect, and that yee will not bee induced to lay by your strength, untill yee have satisfied your understandings in the undoubted security of your selves, and of those who have voluntarily and faithfully adhered unto you in all your extremities; and untill yee have secured and setled the Common-wealth in solid peace and true freedome, which is the end of the primitive institution of all governments.

2. That yee will take off all Sentences, Fines, and imprisonments imposed on Commoners, by any whomsoever, without due course of Law, or judgement of their equals; and to give due reparations to all those who have been so injuriously dealt withall, and for preventing the like for time to come, that ye will Enact all such Arbitrary proceedings, to bee capitall crimes.

3. That yee will permit no authority whatsoever, to compell any person or persons to answer to questions against themselves, or nearest relations, except in cases of private interest between party and party in a legall way, and to release all such as suffer by imprisonment, or otherwise for refusing to answer to such Interrogatories.

4. That all Statutes, Oaths, and Covenants may be repealed so farre as they tend, or may be construed to the molestation and ensnaring of religious, peaceable wel-affected people, for nonconformity, or different opinion or practice in religion.

5. That no man for preaching or publishing his opinion in Religion in a peaceable way, may be punished or persecuted as hereticall, by Judges that are not infallible, but may be mistaken (as well as other men) in their judgements, lest upon pretence of suppressing Errors, Sects, or Schismes, the most necessary truths, and sincere professors thereof, may bee suppressed, as upon the like pretence it hath been in all ages.

6. That yee will, for the incouragement of industrious people, dissolve that old oppressive Company of Merchant-Adventurers, and the like, and prevent all such others by great penalties, for ever.

7. That ye will settle a just speedy playn and unburthensome way, for deciding of controversies and suits in Law, and reduce all Lawes to the nearest agreement with Christianity, and publish them in the English Tongue, and that all processes and proceedings, therein may be true, and also in English, and in the most usuall Character of writing, without any abbreviations, that each one who can reade, may the better understand their own affaires; and that the duty of all Judges, Officers and practisers in the Law, and of all Magistrates and Officers in the Commonwealth may be prescribed, and their fees limitted, under strict penalties, and published in Print to the view and knowledge of all men: by which just and equitable means, this Nation shal be for ever freed of an oppression more burthensome, & troublesome then all the oppressions hitherto by this Parliament removed.

8. That the life of no person may bee taken away, under the testimony of two witnesses at least, of honest conversation; and that in an equitable way yee will proportion punishments to offences, that so no mans life may be taken, his body punished, nor his Estate forfeited, but upon such weighty and considerable causes as justly deserve such punishments; and that all prisoners may have a speedy tryall, that they bee neither starved, nor their families ruined, by long and lingering imprisonment; and that imprisonment may be used onely for safe custody, untill time of tryall, and not as a punishment for offences.

9. That tythes and all other enforced maintenance, may be for ever abolished, and nothing in place thereof imposed; but that all Ministers may be paid onely by those who voluntarily chuse them, and contract with them for their labours.

10. That yee will take some speedy and effectuall course to relieve all such prisoners for debt, as are altogether unable to pay, that they may not perish in prison through the hard-heartednesse of their Creditors; and that all such as have any estates, may be inforced to make payment accordingly, and not shelter themselves in Prison to defraud their Creditors.

11. That none may be Prison-keepers, but such as are of approved honesty, and that they may be prohibited under great penalties to receive or detain any person or persons without lawfull warrant; That their usage of prisoners, may be with gentlenesse and civility, their fees moderate and certain, and that they may give security for the good behaviour of their under-Officers.

12. That yee will provide some powerfull meanes to keep men, women, and children, from begging and wickednesse, that this Nation may bee no longer a shame to Christianity therein.

13. That yee will restrain and discountenance the malice and impudency of impious Persons, in their reviling and reproaching the wel-affected, with the ignominious titles of Round-heads, factious, seditious, and the like, whereby your real friends have been a long time, and still are exceedingly wronged, discouraged, and made obnoxious to rude and prophane people, and that yee will not exclude any of approved fidelity from bearing office of trust in the Commonwealth for non-conformity; rather neuters, and such as manifest disaffection or opposition to common-freedome, the admission, and continuation of such being the chiefe cause of all our grievances.

These remedies, or what other shall seeme more effectuall to your grave wisdomes, wee humbly pray may be speedily applyed and that in doing thereof, yee will bee confident of the assistance of your Petitioners, and of all considerate well-minded people, to the uttermost of their best abilities, against all opposition whatsoever, looking upon our selves as more concerned now at last to make a good end, then at the first to have made a good beginning: For what shall it profit us, or what remedy can we expect, if now after so great troubles and miseries this Nation should be left by this Parliament in so great a thraldome, both of body, minde, and estate?

We beseech you therefore, that with all your might whilest ye have time, freedome and power, so effectually to fulfill the true end of Parliaments in delivering this Nation from these and all other grievances, that none may presume, or dare to introduce the like for ever.

And wee trust, the God of your good successe, will manifest the sincerity of our intentions herein, and that our humble desires are such as tend not onely to our own particular, but to the generall good of the Common-wealth, and proper for this Honorable House to grant, without which this Nation cannot be safe or happy; And that he will blesse you with true Christian fortitude, suitable to the trust and greatnesse of the worke yee have undertaken, and make the memory of this Parliament blessed to all succeeding Generations.

Shall ever be the prayer of your humble Petitioners.

To the Right Honourable, the Commons of England assembled in Parliament.

The humble Petition of divers well-affected Citizens.


That as the oppressions of this Nation, in times fore-going this Parliament, were so numerous & burthensome, as will never be forgotten; so were the hopes of our deliverance by this Parliament, exceeding great and full of confidence, which as they were strengthened by many Acts of yours in the beginning, especially towards consciencious people, without respect unto their judgements or opinions; So did the gratitude of well-minded people exceed all president or example, sparing neither estates, limbs, liberties, or lives, to make good the authority of this Honorable House, as the foundation and root of all just freedome.

And although wee many times observed to our griefe, some proceedings holding resemblance rather with our former bondage, then with that just freedome wee expected: yet did wee impute the same to the troublesomnesse of the times of warre, patiently and silently passing them over, as undoubtedly hoping a perfect remedy so soon as the warrs were ended: but perceiving our expectations altogether frustrate, wee conceived our selves bound in conscience, and in duty to God, to set before you the generall grievances of the Commonwealth, and the earnest desires of ingenious well-minded people; and for that end did ingage in promoting the Petition in question, in the usuall and approved way of gathering subscriptions, with full intention to present the same to this Honourable House, so soon as it should bee in readinesse: but as it appeareth, a Copy thereof was unduly obtained, and tendred to this Honourable House, under the notion of a dangerous and seditious Paper: Whereupon this House was pleased to order the Petition to the Committee, whereof Col. Lee is Chair-man; and Mr. Lambe, at whose House it was said to be found, to be there examined concerning the same.

Whereupon your Petitioners conceived it their duty to own and avouch the said Petition, and for that end, in a peaceable manner attended that Committee with this humble Certificate hereunto annexed, to bee offered to their wisdomes as opportunity should be ministred: but through some small miscarriage of some few persons (for which your Petitioners were much grieved) your Committee took so sudain and high displeasure, as to command your Petitioners to withdraw, threatning to remove them with a guard, before they had time to turn themselves.

Whereupon your Petitioners caused the Certificate to bee publikely read in the Court of Requests, to take the sense and allowance of many persons, who had not before seen the same, with intent still to present it; which though endeavoured to the utmost, was absolutely refused to bee received. But to our astonishment, occasion was taken against our friend that read the same, so farre, as that hee stands a prisoner to that Committee, and much harsh language, with threatenings and provocations issued from some of the Committee, towards some other of our friends, purposely (as we verily beleeve) to get some advantage, to present us odious to this Honourable House, whose persons and authority hath been as deare in our esteeme as our very lives. And therefore, wee have just cause to complaine to this Honorable House.

1. Of unjust useage from those that indevoured to interupt the gathering of hands in a peaceable way, or to possesse this Honourable House with evill suggestions concerning the intention & purpose of the said Petition.

2. Of hard measure from your Committee in the particulars forementioned, contrary to what wee have deserved, or should have found in former times.

3. Neverthelesse, our liberties, to promote Petitions to this Honourable House, is so essentiall to our freedome, (our condition, without the same being absolute slavery) and our hope of justice from this Honourable House, [is so essentiall to our freedome, our condition, without the same being absolute slavery: and our hope of justice from this Honorable House,] so great in protecting us therein, that wee are not discouraged by what hath passed; but in confidence thereof, do humbly intreat, First, That ye will bee pleased to declare our freedome, to promote, and your readinesse to receive the said Petition, which wee cannot but still looke upon, as tending the generall good of this Nation.

Secondly, That our friends may bee inlarged, and that Yee will discountenance the officiousness of such over-busie informers, as have disturbed the just progresse of that Petition.

Wee are not ignorant, that wee have been, and are like to bee represented unto you, as Heretickes, Schismatikes, Sectaries, seditious persons and Enemies to Civill-government, and the like: but our said Petition is sufficient to stop the mouthes of such Calumniators, and declare us to bee not only sollicitors for our own particulars, but for the generall good of the Common-wealth, and will minister a just occasion to suspect the designes of those, that so frequently asperse us, though their pretences bee never so specious. And trust your wisdomes will timeously discover and prevent any evill intended against us.

And whereas Major Tuledah stands committed by Order of this Honourable House, for some conceived misbehaviour towards some Members of your said Committee; we humbly intreat, that he may be forthwith called to your Barre, and be permitted to answer for himselfe, and that witnesses also may bee heard on his behalfe, that so this Honourable House may bee rightly and fully informed, concerning his cause and demeanour of those Members, the suddain imprisonment of our friends being very grievous unto us.

And your Petitioners shall pray.

To the Honourable Committee of Parliament, sitting in the Queenes Court at Westminister, Colonell Lee being Chair-man.

The Humble Certificate of divers persons interested in, and avouching the Petition lately referred to this Committee by the Right Honourable House of Commons.

Humbly certifying:

That the Petition (entituled, The humble Petition of many thousands, earnestly desiring the glory of God, the freedome of the Common-wealth, and the peace of all men, and directed to the Right Honourable, and supreame authority of this Nation, the Commons assembled in Parliament) is no scandalous or seditious Paper (as hath been unjustly suggested) but a reall Petition, subscribed, and to bee subscribed, by none but constant cordiall friends to Parliament and Common-Wealth, and to bee presented to that Honourable House with all possible speed, as an especiall meanes, to procure the universall good of this long inthralled, and distracted Nation; and wee trust this Honourable Committee will in no measure dishearten the people from presenting their humble considerations. Reasons, and Petitions, to those whom they have chosen (there being no other due and legall way wherein those that are aggrieved can find redresse) but that rather you will bee pleased to give all incouragement therein: In assured hope whereof, wee shall pray.

To the Right Honourable, the Commons of England assembled in PARLIAMENT.

The humble Petition of divers well-affected people in and about the City of LONDON.


That as the authority of this Honorable House is intrusted by the people for remedy of their grievances, so hath it been their accustomed and undoubted liberty in a peaceable manner to present unto this House whatsoever they deemed to be particular or generall grievances: And as yee gave encouragement unto others in the use of this just Liberty, reproving such as endeavoured to obstruct the peaceable promoting of Petitions, so did wee verily hope to have found the like Countenance and protection in promoting our large Petition: but no sooner was the promoting thereof discovered but Mr. Glin Recorder as is commonly reported, hastily & untimely brought it into this House, exclaiming against it, as a most dangerous and seditious Paper, and shortly after the Common-councell in like manner prejudged it, as guilty of danger and sedition, though both without any grounds or reasons affixed, that wee know of.

And as the worke of Mr. Recorder was the occasion (as wee conceive) of an enquirie after the promoters, so also of the hard measure we found at Col. Lieghs Committee, where occasion was suddenly taken to threaten our removal by a guard, to imprison Nicholas Tew, one of the Petitioners, the rest being reviled with odious titles of factious and seditious sectaries, & Major Tulidah another of the Petitioners, not onely reviled and reproached as the rest, but violently hauled, and most boysterously used by Sir Philip Stapleton, and Col. Hollis, who made offer as if they would draw their Swords upon the Petitioners, and Sir Walter Earle lifting up his Cane in a most threatening manner, tooke another by the Shoulder: all which is ready to be certified by sufficient witnesses, and which wee do verily beleeve was done purposely, out of their hatred to the matter of the Petition, to render us as a turbulent people to this Honourable House, to beget a dislike of our Petition, and to frustrate our endeavours in promoting thereof.

Unto which their misinformation of this honourable House, as wee have cause to suspect, may be imputed the occasion of the sudden imprisonment of Major Tulidah without hearing of him, and our so long and tedious attendance for answer to our last Petition, and Certificate, and the misapprehension of this honourable House of our desires in that Petition: For we did not desire (as your answer importeth) that this House should declare their liking or disliking of our large Petition, being not then promoted nor presented by us, but that you will bee pleased to vindicate our Liberty, to promote that Petition, notwithstanding the hard measure we had found, and the aspersions cast upon it, to release the party imprisoned by the Committee, meaning Nicholas Tew, to discountenance those that obstructed the gathering of subscriptions, to call Major Tuledah to your Barre, and to heare witnesses on his behalfe, that so ye might also be rightly informed, as of his cause, so of the demeanour of some Members of that Committee.

Now for as much as the more wee consider the generall grievances of the Common-wealth, the greater cause wee still finde of Promoting the Large Petition, as not discerning any thing of danger therein, except to some corruptions yet remaining, nor of sedition, except as before this Parliament it be in some mens esteems seditious to move, though in the most peaceable manner for remedy of the most palpable grievances: and for as much as wee are hopefull this Honourable House will in due time have good use thereof, for discovery of such as are engaged either directly or by Relations in those corruptions, for removall whereof the Petition is intended, and not knowing for what end so great an effusion of the blood of the people hath been made, except to procure at the least the Particulars desired in that Petition, and that we might know our selves so farre at least to be free men and not slaves, as to be at Liberty to promote Petitions in a peaceable way, to be Judges of the matter thereof, and for our time of presenting them to this Honorable House, without let or Circumvention.

We humbly intreat that you will bee pleased

1. To weigh in Equall ballance the carriage of Mr. Recorder, and-that of the Common-Councell in this weighty cause of prejudging Petitions; and to deale with them as the cause deserveth.

2. To consider of how evill consequence it is, for your Committees to assume a power of imprisoning mens persons, without your Commission, and that yee will not pass over this in this Committee.

3. To receive the Testimonies concerning Sir Philip Stapleton, Coll. Hollis, and Sir Walter Earle, and to deale with them according to the ill consequence of their violent demeanour, and misinformation of this honourable House, tending to no lesse then the obstruction of Petitions, the greatest mischiefe that can befall a people in time of Parliament.

4. That Nicholas Tew may be wholly enlarged, and that no man may henceforth bee committed by an arbitrary power, as hee at the first was, nor without cause shewed, though by lawfull authority.

5. That yee will as yet suspend your sense of our large Petition, untill such time as the Petitioners shall judge it fit to present the same as a Petition unto your wisdomes.

And as in duty bound, wee shall pray &c.

To the Right Honourable the Commons of England Assembled in Parliament.

The humble Petition of many thousands of well-affected people.


That having seriously considered what an uncontroulled liberty hath generally been taken, publiquely to reproach, and make odious persons of eminent and constant good affection to Parfiament and common-wealth, how prevalent indeavours have been, to withhold such from being chosen into places of trust or Counsell, how easie to molest, or get them into prisons, how exceedingly liable to misconstruction, their motions and Petitions in behaife of the publique have lately been.

When we consider what grudgings and repinings, have sinistrously been begotten, against your most faithfull and successefull Army: what arts and devises, to provoke you against them, and to make you jealous of them; what hard measure some of them, both Officers and Souldiers have found in divers respects, in sundry places.

When we consider what change of late hath importunately (though causelessly) been procured of the Committee of Militia in the City of London, and how that new Committee hath already begun to remove from Command, in the Trained Bands and Auxiliaries, persons not to be suspected of disaffection or newtrality, but such as have been most zealous, in promoting the safety of Parliament and City.

When wee consider how full of Armies our neighbor Countries are round about us, and what threatnings of foraine forces, we are even astonished with griefe, as not able to free our selves from apprehensions of eminent danger but are strongly induced to feare some evill intentions of some desperate and willfull persons, yet powerfully working, to blast the just ends of this Parliament, and re-imbroile this late bleeding and much wasted Nation, in more violent wars, distempers and miseries.

And as our earnest desires of the quiet and safety of the Commonwealth, hath necessitated these our most sad observations: So are we constrained to beleeve, that so dangerous an alteration, could not so generally have appeared, but that there is some great alteration befalne, both in counsels and authorities throughout the Land: which we verily conceive ariseth from no other cause, but from the treacherous policy of Enemies, and weaknesse of friends, in chusing such thereinto, as having been unfit for those imployments, some whereof (as is credibly reported) having served the Enemy in Armes, some with moneys; horse, ammunition, or by intelligence, some in commissions of Array, some manifesting constant malignity in their actions, speeches, or standing Newters in times of greatest triall, some culpable of notorious crimes, others lying under heavie accusations, some but are under age, or such who are at present engaged in such courses as in the beginning of this Parliament were esteemed Monopolies.

Now may it please this honourable House, if such as these should remaine, or may have privily crept into your Councels of Authorities (as by the forecited considerations, we humbly conceive cannot but bee judged) what can possibly be expected, by those who have been most active and faithfull in your service, but utter ruine, or the worst of bondage.

For prevention whereof, and of those dangers, warres and troubles that are generally feared, we are constrained earnestly to intreat:

1. That you will be pleased instantly to appoint a Committee of such Worthy Members of this honourable House, as have manifested most sincere affections, to the Well affected, and to authorize them to make speedy and strict inquirie after all such as are possessed of places of Councell, trust, authority or command, who according to law. Ordinance, Reason, or Safety, ought not to be admitted, and that all persons without exception, may be permitted and encouraged to bring in accusations, witnesses, or testimonies for the more speedy perfecting of the Work: and that you will forthwith exclude all such out of all offices of Councell, Trust, Authority, or command, against whom sufficient cause shall bee proved, without which wee cannot see how it is possible for the well-affected to live either in peace or safety.

2. That you will countenance, protect, and succour the cordiall wel-affected in all places, according to their severall cases and conditions, especially in their addresses with Petitions.

3. That you will bee pleased to condesend unto all the just and reasonable desires of your Commanders, Officers & Souldiers, by whose courage and faithfullnesse, so great services have been performed, and severely to punish all such as have any way sought to alienate you from them.

4. That the Militia of London may bee returned to the custody and disposing of those persons of whose faithfullnesse and wisdome in managing thereof, you have had great experience, and that none may be put out of Command in the Trained bands or Auxiliaries, who have been and are of knowne good affection to the Common Wealth,

All which we humbly intreat may be speedily and effectualy accomplished, according to the great necessity and exigency of these distracted times, and as in duty bound, we shall pray, &c.





4.10. [Several hands, calling themselves “Agitators”], A Copie of a Letter Sent From the Agitators of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax’s Armie, To All the honest Sea-men of England. (21 June 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[Several hands, calling themselves “Agitators”], A Copie of a Letter Sent From the Agitators of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax’s Armie, To All the honest Sea-men of England: Heartily and cordially declaring their reall intentions to the peace and prosperity of the Kingdome, and the firme setling and establishing of all the just Interests thereof, into the hands and posessions the right Owners of them. Dated at S. Albans 21. June 1647. Published by the Order and speciall desire of the said Agitators.
London: Printed for R.A. 1647.

Estimated date of publication

21 June 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 522; Thomason E. 393. (33.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

A Letter from the Army to all the honest Seamen of England.

Honoured and deare Friends,

THE great designe of our Enemies being to divide, (and so to destroy) we conceive it the maine businesse of friends to unite, and so to spoile that designe: Now the wayes that are at this day, taken to divide, are misrepresentations of persons and actions (especially of us and ours) to the Kingdome, which that we may prevent, we shall endeavour to informe you (our noble and faithfull friends) of the state of things as followeth: Some five yeares since we by Land and you by Sea, upon the apprehension of apparent danger to the Kingdome, were invited to put our selves into a posture of defence, for the preventing and suppressing of that power then rising, which threatned the Kingdomes ruine, for the avoyding of which (at present) and selling an establishment (for the future) of all the free-home people of England, in the enjoyment of their just Rights and Priviledges, (which was one of the ends of our taking up of Arms) we went with cheerfulnesse to the worke, and after many a sore encounter that you and we have had by Sea and Land, at last (by the blessing of God) came to the end of our worke, hoping now (after such a long and weary journey) to have taken up our rest, and have set down quietly under our vines, and with the rest of the Kingdome to have enjoyed the fruit of our sore travells, but contrary to our expectation and to the amazement and saddening of our spirits, we finde our selves in as bad or worse condition now, then formerly, being denied and deprived of that undoubted right and priviledge which the Subjects of England, in the worst of times, hardly ever were (viz.) petitioning, nay, not onely denied of, but declared against as enemies, for making use of those meanes we were directed to in case of grievances, and so we are now made compleatly miserable. When we see this, we knew whose hand was in it, namely, that here was the same persons and principles working our ruine as formerly, onely in another forme, before by power and open hostility, and now by craft, and policy; which caused us to draw up a Vindication of the afore-said intended Petition, yet nothwithstanding our Vindication we still lie under a sentence of condemnation as enemies to the State. Then we drew up a Letter to the Generall, the Lievtenant-Generall, and the Major-Generall, in which was laid open the sad condition how neere ruine and destruction we were, and the causes of it, as we apprehended, and this we did to incite them to improve all the interest they had in or with any, for us, to prevent the ensuing destruction, especially since we could not be heard in our Petition, but this Letter was conceived to be of dangerous consequence, and so presented to the House, where (after some debates) the results were to send downe Commissioners to the Army, to take a view of the distempers reported to bee in it, and to receive their grievances, and present them to the House.

This a little revived us, hoping we should have them heard and redressed, but suddenly after the receiving of them (without the full redressing of any one of them) we were voted to be disbanded piece-meale, apart, one Regiment from another, so as never any faithfull Army was, being marked out for destruction, wanting nothing but disbanding to hasten execution. Hearing of this we drew up a Petition to our Generall to have a Rendezvouz, at which we might advise what was best to be done (for our owne and the Kingdomes safety) in this case, and there entred into a Contract, a copie of which we have here sent you.

A solemne engagement of the Army, under the Command of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, read, assented unto, and subscribed by all Officers, and Souldiers of the severall Regiments, at the generall Rendezvouz neare Newmarket, on the fifth of June, 1647.

Whereas upon the Petition intended and agreed upon in the Army, in March last, to have been presented to the Generall, for the obtaining of our due and necessary concernments as Souldiers; the Honorable House of Commons being unseasonably prepossessed with a Copie thereof, and (as by the sequell we suppose) with some strange misrepresentations of the carriage and intentions of the same, was induced to send downe an Order for surpressing the Petition, and within two or three dayes after, upon further misinformation, and scandalous suggestions, of the like or worse nature, and by the indirect practice of some malitious and mischievous persons (as we suppose) surprizing or other wise abusing the Parliament. A Declaration was published in the name of both Houses, highly censuring the said Petition, and declaring the Petitioners, if they should proceed thereupon, no lesse then enemies to the State, and disturbers of the publick peace. And whereas at the same time and since, divers eminent Officers of the Army have been brought into question and trouble about the said Petition, whereby both they and the rest of the Officers were disabled, or discouraged, for the time, from further acting or appearing therein on the souldiers behalfe, And wheras by the aforesaid proceedings and the effects thereof, the souldiers of this Army (finding themselves so stopt in their due, and regular way of making knowne their just grievances, and desires to, and by their Officers) were enforced to an unusuall (but in that case necessary) way of correspondence and agreement amongst themselves, to chuse out of the severall Troops and Companies severall men, and those out of their whole number, to chuse two or more for each Regiment, to act in the name and behaife of the whole souldiery of the respective Regiments Troops and Companies, in the prosecution of their rights and desires in the said Petition, as also of their just vindication and writing in reference to the aforesaid proceedings upon and against the same, who have accordingly acted and done many things, to those ends, all which the souldiers did then approve as their owne acts.

And whereas afterwards (upon the sudden sending down of Field-Marshall Skippon, and those other Officers of the Army that were Members of the House of Commons, to quiet distempers in the Army, fresh hopes being conceived of having our desires again admitted to be made known, and considered in a regular way, and without such misrepresentations as formerly, the Officers and Souldiers of the Army (except some few dissenting Officers) did againe joyne in a representation of their common grievances, and the Officers (except as before) did agree upon a narrative Accompt of the grounds, rise and growth of the discontents in the Army, and their proceedings in relation thereunto, with an overture of the best expedients, to remove or satisfie the same; both which were presented to the same Members of the House, and by them reported to the House. And wheras the Parliament having thereupon voted, and ordered some particulars, onely towards satisfaction of our grievances, hath since proceeded to certain resolutions of sudden disbanding the Army by peeces; which resolution being taken, and to be executed, before full or equall satisfaction given to the whole Army in any of the grievances, before effectuall performance of that satisfaction in part, which the preceding Votes seem’d to promise, as to some of the grievances, and before any consideration at all of some others most materiall, as by the result of a generall Councell of Warre on Saturday May 29 was in generall declared, and is now more fully demonstrated in particular by a representation thereupon, agreed unto by us: we all cannot but look upon the same resolutions of disbanding us in such manner, as proceeding from the same malicious and mischievous principles and intentions, and from the like indirect practises of the same persons abusing the Parliament, and is as the former proceedings against us before mentioned did, and not without carnall and bloody purposes (for some of them have not stuck to declare or intimate) after the body of the Army should be disbanded, or the Souldiers divided from their Officers, then to question, proceed against, and execute their malicious intentions upon all such particular Officers and Souldiers in the Army, as had appeared to act in the Premises in the behalfe of the Army: And whereas upon a late Petition to the Generall from the Agitants, in behalfe of the Souldiers, grounded upon the preceding considerations, relating to the same resolutions of disbanding, the same generall Councell of Warre to prevent the danger and inconveniences of those disturbings, or tumultuous actings or confluences which the dis-satisfaction and jealousie thereupon also grounded, were like suddenly to have produced in the Army, to advise the Generall first to contract the Quarters of the Army, and then to draw the same to an orderly Rendezvouz for the satisfaction of all, and that his Excellency would immediately send up to move and desire the Parliament to suspend any present proceeding upon the said resolution of disbanding, to resume the consideration of the grievances, and desire, sent up from the Army, and not to disband it in pieces before just and equall satisfaction given to the whole; And whereas some of the Regiments appointed for disbanding, upon notice thereof withdrawing themselves from the Quarters adjacent to the appointed Rendezvouz, and drawing towards the HeadQuarters; and the contracting their Quarters, according to the said advice of the Councel of War.

We the Officers and Souldiers of severall Regiments here after-named, are now met at a generall Rendezvouz, and the Regiments appointed as aforesaid to be disbanded, have not appeared, nor can appeare; but are resolved not to appeare at the severall and respective Rendezvouz, appointed as aforesaid for their disbanding; and divers other things have been done by severall other parties or members of the Army, necessarily relating to the good and concernment of the whole in those affaires. Now for as much as wee know not how far the malice, Injustice, and Tiranicall Principles of our enemies, that have already prevailed so far to abuse the Parliament and the Army (as is afore mentionid) in the past proceedings against the Army may further prevaile to the danger and prejudice of our selves, or any Officers, or Souldiers of the Army, or other persons that have appeared to act any thing in behalfe of the Army, or how far the same may further prevaile to the danger or prejudice of the Kingdome in raising a new warre, or otherwise: Therefore for the better prevention of all such dangers, prejudices, or other inconveniences that may ensue; and withall for better satisfaction to the Parliament and Kingdome, concerning our desires of conforming to the authority of the one, and providing the good and quiet of the other, in the present affaires of disbanding, and for a more assured way whereby, that affaires may come to a certaine issue, (to which purpose we herein humbly implore the present and continued assistance of God, the Righteous Judge of all) wee the Officers and Souldiers of the Army subscribing hereunto; doe hereby declare, agree, and promise, to and with each other, and to, and with the Parliament and Kingdome as tolloweth.

1. That wee shall chearfully and readily disband when thereunto required by the Parliament, or else shall many of us be willing (if desired) to ingage in further Services either in England or Ireland, having first such satisfaction to the Army in relation to our grievances and desires heretofore presented, and such security, That we of our selves, when disbanded, and in the condition of private men, or other the free-borne people of England, to whom the consequence of our case doth equally extend, shall not remaine subject to the like oppression, injury, or abuse, as in the premisses hath been attempted and put upon us, while an Army by the same mens continuance, in the same credit and power, especially if as our Judges, who have in these past proceedings against the Army so farre prevailed to abuse the Parliament and us, and to endanger the Kingdome; and also such security that we our selves, or any member of this Army or others, who have appeared to act any thing in behalf of the Army, in relation to the premises before recited, shall not after disbanding be any way questioned, prosecuted, troubled, or prejudiced for any thing so acted, or for the entring into, or necessary prosecution of this necessary agreement: (we say) having first such satisfaction and security in these things as shall be agreed unto by a Councell to consist of those generall Officers of the Army (who have concurred with the Army in the premisses) with two Commission Officers and two Souldiers to be chosen for each Regiment, who have concurred and shall concur with us in the premisses and in this agreement. And by the major part of such of them who shal meet in Councel for that purpose when they shal be thereunto called by the General.

2. That without such satisfaction and security, as aforesaid, we shal not willingly disband, nor divide, nor suffer our selves to be disbanded or divided.

And whereas we find many strange things suggested or suspected to our great prejudice concerning dangerous principles, interests and designs in this Army (as to the overthrow of Magistracy, the suppression or hindering of Presbytery, the establishment of Independent government, or upholding of a general licentiousness in Religion under pretence of Liberty of Conscience, and many such things; we shal very shortly tender to the Parliament a Vindication of the Army from all such scandals to clear our Principles in relation thereunto, and in the mean time we do disavow and disclaim all purposes or designs in our late or present proceedings to advance or insist upon any such interest, neither would we (if we might and could) advance or set up any other particular party or interest in the Kingdom (though imagined never so much our own) but shal much rather (as far as may be within our sphear or power) study to promote such an establishment of common and equal right and freedom to the whole, as all might equally partake of but those that do by denying the same to others, or otherwise render themselves incapable thereof.


After this we were commanded to a Rendezvouz by the Parliament and Commissioners sent down with some Votes tending to satisfaction in part, wherein did remain dissatisfaction at present (even to those particular grievances there related) and not security for the future by any thing yet done, especially knowing those were remaining with power in their hands, who could undo all they had done for us, or do as much more against us if disbanded, as may appear in our late Declaration 14. June 1647. To which we refer you. And therefore the Cry of the whole Army and divers Counties also (by their addresses to his Excellency) was not so much for the taking of the present sad effects from us, as for the removal of that Cause which had (at present) and would (for the future) produce the like (if not worse) mischiefes as appeared by the unanimous voyce of the whole Army, crying out, Justice, Justice; Justice against those persons who have fastly aspersed us, against those who have abused the trust reposed in them; and Justice upon those from whom we can expect no security, but rather destruction; which main desire (once granted) would beget satisfaction, and then, and not till then, can we lay down Arms with safety: Thus we have presented you with our condition for your information. Now we desire you and all rational men to judg, and the God of Heaven, and Earth be Judg (between us and those persons who have acted against us) whether ever we have deserved such things at their hands, who have not thought any thing too dear to part with or lay down for their sakes, looking upon them as persons intrusted by and acting for the Weal (not the Woe) of this Kingdom, and though we have suffered much from, and been deprived much by our open Enemies, yet did still expect our professed friends would have dealt better with us, and little thought to have had such a portion from them as to be declared Enemies to the State, even while we were an Army having power in our hands, and they having further occasions to use us: To have this done against us, what will be done if all these considerations were removed? Therefore consider what it is we seek, even that which all creatures of the world do (and Man, the chiefest of all creatures, cannot but do;) viz. self-preservation, in avoyding that destruction which is like (if not prevented) to fall on us and the whole Kingdom with us, as it must needs do, if (when lying under many pressures and grievances as we question not but you (as wel as we) and thousands others in the Kingdom do) we may not petition for redress, but must be voted Enemies; judge you what this wants of the protection of slavery, which, we hope, is the real desires of us all to prevent. And we assure you upon the faith of honest Men and Souldiers, that (what ever may be suggested to you by any) we have no other ayrnes, but that Justice might act in all its parts and to all its ends, as relating to all estates and persons in the Kingdom, that the yokes of Oppression might be taken off the necks of all and Justice equally distributed to all, and the rights of any (though now detained from them) restored, and settled upon them, that so they might not be taken from them, unless they disabled themselves of the enjoyment of them and so doing we trust we shal have the concurrent assistance of (at leastwise not any opposition from any rational Men who love Justice and hate Tyranny, especially from you (deer friends) who together with us, have been imbarlcjued in the same ship, and have passed through many a desperate encounter by Sea as we have by Land, all to free this poor Kingdom from Tyrannical Oppression, (which notwithstanding, you and we feel too much of at this day) who we trust with us, do hate and scorn to be kept any longer under bondage, having purchased our freedom at so dear a rate, (though free born). We shal say no more, but desire you to take heed of all false suggestions, and vain delusions; and know this is our genuine meaning that is here before you, which [being rightly apprehended by you] we hope wil make all the attempts of men, [to divide you from us either by trownes, Favours, or Gratuities, which assure your selves they wil not be wanting in to accomplish their ends] useless, and all the seeds of malice [by them sown] fruitless, unless to bring them to receive that reward for their worke which may be suitable to it, and so in stead of dividing, we hope may prove such an uniting that maybe as a threefold Cord that shal not easily be broken, which if it shal thus unite us, we shal rejoyce in it, and shal be enabled by it to go on in the prosecution of so good a work til we see Oppression, and Oppressors from us, and the Kingdom removed, a firm and happy peace setled, a poor Kingdom from ruin and destfuction delivered, which we hope is and ever shal be your and our joynt desires & endevors of all opposition, and in so doing assure your selvs against we are and wil be yours while you are the Kingdoms and ours, resoluing to be either happy or miserable together.

Yours and the Kingdoms Servants.

June 21. 1647.

Lewes Audley. }Edm. Rolphe.

John Clerke. }Alex. Brafield.

John Carter. }Azariah Husbands.

Joh. Nufon. }Gen. Foot Regiment.

Edm. Vaughan. }

William Allin. Lieutenant Generals Regiment.

Nath. Foxgill. }Collonel Hammons Regiment.

Will. Bridgeman. }

Henry Anderton }Collonel Wallers Regiment.

Robert Mason. }

John Millar. }Collonel Lamberts Regiment.

Richard Colbrand. }

Will. Swallow. }Collonel Lilburns Regiment.

Herbert Feild. }

Barth. Willocke. }Collonel Thomlinsons Regiment.

Richard Clarke. }

Edmund Game. }Collonel Hewsons Regiment.

Daniel Hincksman. }

Nico. Andrews. }Collonel Reads Regiment.

Ralph. Reentis. }





4.11. [Richard Overton], An Appeale from the degenerate Representative Body the Commons of England assembled at Westminster. (17 July 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[Richard Overton], An Appeale from the degenerate Representative Body the Commons of England assembled at Westminster: To the Body Represented, The free people in general of the several Counties, Cities, Townes, Burroughs, and places within this Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales. And in especiall, To his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax (Captaine Generall) and to all the Officers and Souldiers under his Command. By Richard Overton, Prisoner in the infamous Goale of Newgate, for the Liberties and Freedomes of England.

2. Cor. 10. 16. And when all Israel saw (as now England seeth doth the Parliament) that the King would not hearken unto them, the people answered the King, saying, What portion have we in David? And we have no inheritance in the son of Jesse: Every man unto his tents, O Israel, and now David, see to thine owne house: [so all Israel went to their tents.]
Cap. 11.4. Thus saith the Lord, yee shall not goe up nor fight against your brethren, returne every man to his house, for this thing is done of me: [And they obeyed the words of the Lord, and returned from going against Jeroboam.]

London, Printed in the yeare, 1647.

Estimated date of publication

17 July 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 533; Thomason E. 398. (28.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet




the Commons of England Assembled

at Westminster.

To the Body Represented,

The free people in Generall of the severall Counties, Cities, Townes, Burroughes and Places within this Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales.

And in especiall,

To His Excellency, Sir Thomas Fairfax (captaine Generall) and to all the Officers and Soldiers under His Command.

Right Excellent and Illustrious Generall, Honourable and Noble Officers, Faithfull and honest Gentlemen Soldiers, And all other duly respected Fellow Subjects, and free Commoners, of Wales.

This Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales.

It is confessed, that our English Histories and Records of the Actions and Transactions of our Predecessours, both of antient and late times, (so far as I can understand) do not afford me any example or president for any APPEALE from Parliaments to people, neither is there any such liberty provided in the Letter of our law: So that by such as preferre presidents and formalities, formes and figures, before the substance, life and spirit of all just presidents and Lawes, I may probably be censured and condemned for this present enterprize, as an open and desperate enemy to Parliaments and Magistracy, a subverter and destroyer of all Nationall Lawes and Government, and a reducer (to my power) of Kingdomes and people into confusion: To such I shall returne even the late words of (our now degenerate Parliament) That Reason hath no president, for Reason is the fountaine of all just presidents, I Book Decl. fol. 264.298. 709. 726. therefore where that is, there is a sufficient and justifiable president.

And if this Principle must be granted of, and obeyed by all, as by no rationall man can bee denyed, then the Act of Appeale in this nature if grounded upon right Reason is justifiable and warranted, even by That which gives an equitable Authority, life and being to all just Lawes, presidents and formes of Government whatsoever, for Reason is their very life and spirit, whereby they are all made lawfull and warrantable both for Settlement, Administration and Obedience; which is the highest kind of justification and Authority for humaine Actions that can be; for greater is that, which gives Being and justifieth, then that which receiveth and is justified: All Formes of Lawes and Governments may fall and passe away; but right Reason (the fountain of all justice and mercy to the creature) shall and will endure for ever; it is that by which in all our Actions wee must stand or fall, be justified or condemned; for neither Morality nor Divinity amongst Men can or may transgresse the limits of right reason, for whatsoever is unreasonable cannot be justly tearmed Morall or Divine, and right reason is only commensurable and discernable by the rule of merciful justice and just mercy; it is graduall in its Quanlity, but one in its Quality; severall are its Degrees, but its perfection and fulnesse is only in God, and its several Branches and Degrees are only communicable, and derivated from Him, as severall Beames and Degrees of heat from the Body of the Sunne, yet all heat; so in Reason there are different degrees, as, from Morality to Divinity, and under those two heads, severall subordinate Degrees, all derivated and conveyed from the Creator (the originall Fountaine) to the creature, yet all one and the same in nature, the difference only lying in the degree of the thing, not in the thing it selfe; as, a Dwarfe is as much a man as a Gyant, though not so bigge a man; and so, though the gifts and graces of God are one radically, yet different in their species, and all from one and the same spirit, which can Act nothing contrary to its owne nature, and God is not a God of irrationality, and madnesse, or tryranny: Therefore all his communications are reasonable and just, and what is so, is of God.

And upon this Principle, as upon a firme and sure foundation all just Lawes and Governments are founded and erected; and in particular, the fundamentall Lawes and Government of this Kingdome; for, it is a sure and radicall Maxime in our Law, Nihil quod est contra rationem, est licium, Nothing which is against reason is lawfull, Reason being the very life of the Law of our Land: So that should the Law be taken away from its Originall reason and end, it would be made a shell without a kernill, a shadow without substance, a carkasse without life, which presently turnes to putrifaction; and as Reason only gives it a legall Being and life, so it only makes it authoritive and binding; if this be not granted, lust, will, pride, and what the Divell and corruption will, may be a Law; for if right reason be not the only being and bounder of the Law over the corrupt nature of man, that what is rationall (the which injustice and tyranny cannot be) may only and at all times be legall; and what is legall, to be simply and purely rationall, the which mercy and justice must be whensoever, wheresoever, and by whomsoever it be, for in it selfe it is legall, rationall and just, or else all would fall into confusion, disorder, madnesse and cruelty: and so Magistracie would cease, and be converted into inhumanity and tyranny.

So that it being most evident and cleare to the eye of Rationall Man, that this fundamental principle may not (in being to Magistracy it selfe) be expulsed the precincts of Magisteriall Government, but must be preserved (as the apple of its eye) intire and absolute therein, for all present and future supplies, as a sure and safe refuge to fly to in all straites and extremities whatsoever for preservation, safety, removall of oppressions, &c. or else no safety or reliefe from oppression either publique or private, to be lawfully attempted, pursued, or had: So that where that principle is, there legality and authority must be, and is concomitant to, and inseperable there-from, never to be altered while the Sun and the Moone endures; by it Kings and Kingdoms have their essentiall legall Being, without which they cease from being either Kings or Kingdomes. Therefore, that which doth institute, constitute, and authorize the regality of Kings and Kingdomes, certainly must needs be sufficiently authoritive for a particular, as for this expedient of mine, or the like, in case it be found under the protection and authority of the said principle of right Reason; as, I shall clearely evidence it to be.

First then, be pleased to consider, that it is a firme Law and radicall principle in Nature engraven in the tables of the heart by the finger of God in creation for every living moving thing, wherein there is the breath of life to defend, preserve, award, and deliver it selfe from all things hurtfull, destructive and obnoctious thereto to the utmost of its power: Therefore from hence is conveyed to all men in generall, and to every man in particular, an undoubted principle of reason, by all rationall and iust wayes and meanes possibly he may, to save, defend and deliver himselfe from all oppression, violence and cruelty whatsoever, and (in duty to his own safety and being) to leave no iust expedient unattempted for his delivery therefrom: and this is rationall and iust; to deny it, is to overture the law of nature, yea, and of Religion too; for the contrary lets in nothing but selfe murther, violence and cruelty. Now the unreasonable oppression of my selfe, my wife, brother and children, under the Arbitrary tyranny of the Westminster Lords, and the wayes and means that I have used for delivery therefrom considered, and weighed in the ballance of this naturall radicall principle of reason, this mine attempt of Appeale (though of a desparate nature) will be found the only meane wherein I may discerne any probability of reliefe for my selfe, my wife and my brother, to be brought unto iustice, as by and by I shall make both the one and the other more manifest and plaine.

Secondly, necessity is a law above all lawes, and this principle conveyeth and issueth forth authority and power, both to generall and particular cases, even to the taking up of unusuall and unexemplary courses for publique and particular deliverances, and yet such acts warrantable in, and by all sorts and societies of people whatsoever, and the actor, or actors thereof justified thereby: And upon this Principle, the Neitherlanders made an hostile defence and resistance against the King, of Spaine, their then Soveraign Lord, for the recovery of their just rights and freedomes; And upon the same point rose the Scotch up in Armes, and entrcd this Kingdome, without all formall countenance or allowance of King or Parliament, and were justified for that very act by this present Parliament. Yea, and even this Parliament upon the same principle, tooke up Armes against the King. And now (right worthy patriots of the Army) you your selves upon the same principle, for recovery of common right and freedome, have entered upon this your present honourable and Solemne Engagement, against the oppressing party at Westminster, and plead yourselves justhable thereby, and tell them in the fifth pag. of your Declaration, That the Parliament hath declared it no resistance of Magistracie to side with the just principles and law of nature and nations, being that law upon which you have assisted them. So that if I be condemned for a Traytor by all or any of you, whether Scotch, Parliament or Army, for proceeding upon the said iust principles and law of nature, forcommon right and freedom, I tell you plainly, that out of your owne mouthes you shall be judged no less Traytors then my selfe, yea, allowers of that in your selves, which for treason you condemn in others: And if I suffer death by any party of you, all and every such person and persons, deserves to be hang’d, drawn, and quartered for Traytors by the same law, for if it be just against the one, it is also just against the Other, for iustice is no respecter of persons.

Now concerning my necessity to this course for reliefe, I shall by and by make evident and plaine to every common capacity; which being made evident, your Excellency, with the Officers and Soldiers under your command, are bound to endeavour my protection and safety (to your power) with your own in this enterprize of mine, undertaken upon your own principle for common right and freedome, and as well may you deliver one another up to the Gallowes, for this present Solemne Engagement of yours, as not visibly appeare in my vindication and justification together with your own, proceeding upon the very same principle with your selves for the same end.

Thirdly, The equity of the Law is Superiour to the Letter, the Letter being subordinate and subject thereto, and looke how much the Letter transgresseth the equity, even so much it is unequalle, of no validity and force: Yea, if the Law should comptroule and overthrow the equity, it is to be comptrouled and overthrowne it selfe, and the equity to be preserved as the thing, only legally, obligatory and binding. And by this principle (worthy Officers and Soldiers) you have charged the Parliament from their own Declarations to warrant this your present Expedition as in the 4 page of your own Declaration, is made manifest: To which principle, together with your selves, and with them I lay claime to a title for an equall justification and protection from the Letter of the Law, with the edge of that Sword (which both Parliament and Armie by that principle award from themselves) may not be sheathed in my bowells for though I am prisoner in the hands of mine enemies, yet can I not be condemned of them for this enterprize, without their owne condemnation of themselves in theirs against the King. So that in this act I do not outstrip the protection of that, which themselves have declared authorative against the letter of the Law, but am in all iustice and reason as iustifiable as themselves; or as this present Army in either or both their Engagements.

Fourthly, All betrusted powers if forfeit, fall injo the hands of the betrusters, as their proper centure: and where such a forfeit is committed, there is disoblegeth from obedience, and warranteth an Appeale to the Betrusters, without any contempt or disobedience, to the powers in the least; for such an Appeale in that case is not at all from the power, but from the persons, not forsaking the power, but following of it in its retreat to the Fountaine. For as formerly the Parliament averred, and as now this honourable Army assumeth (Armie Declaration, pag. 4) All authority is fundamentally seated in the office, and but ministerially in the persons; therefore, the persons in their Ministrations degenerating from safety to tyranny, their Authority ceaseth and is only to be found in the fundamentall originall, rise and situation thereof, which is the people the body represented; for though it ceaseth from the hands of the betrusted, yet it doth not, neither can it cease from its being, for Kings, Parliaments, &c. may fall from it, but it indureth for ever, for were not this admitted, there could be no lawfull redresse in extremity, yea, magistracy it selfe should be transitory and fading like, as is corruption, of no certaine duration or moment, but it is unchangeable and certaine, man perisheth but it indureth: it alwayes is either in the hands of the Betrusted or of the Betrusters, while the Betrusted are dischargers of their trust, it remaineth in their hands, but no sooner the Betrusted betray and forfeit their Trust, but (as all things else in dissolution) it returneth from whence it came, even to the hands of the Trusters: For all iust humaine powers are but betrusted, confer’d and conveyed by ioynt and common consent, for to every individuall in nature, is given an individuall propriety by nature, not to be invaded or usurped by any, (as in mine Arrow against tyranny is proved and discovered more at large) for every one as he is himselfe hath a selfe propriety, else could not be himselfe, and on this no second may presume without consent; and by naturall birth, all men are equall and alike borne to like propriety and freedome, every man by naturall instinct aiming at his owne safety and weale: And so it is, that there is a generall communication amongst men from their severall innate properties to their Elected Deputies for their better Being, Discipline, Government, Property, and Safety.

Now as no man by nature may abuse, beat, torment or afflict himself, so by nature no man may give that power to another, seeing he may not doe it himselfe, for no more can be communicated to the generall, then is included in the particulars whereof the generall is compounded; for that were to goe beyond it selfe, for Being to goe beyond the power of being, which is impossible. So that if the betrusted act not for the weal and safety of the betrusters, they depart from their iust power, and act by another, which cannot be tearmed either humaine or divine, but unnaturall and divellish, rendring such usurpers as Monsters amongst men. Now these premises considered, I doe confidently conclude (if confidence may be derived from the iust principles of nature) that the transgression of our weal by our trustees, is an utter forfeiture of their trust, and cessation of their power: Therefore, if I prove a forfeiture of the peoples trust in the prevalent party at Westminster in Parliament assembled then an Appeal from them to the people is not Anti-parliamentary, Anti-magesteriall, not from that Soveraign power, but to that Soveraign power. For the evidence whereof I shall first present a discovery of their dealings with me, relating to the publique, and then their common course to the generall.

First then briefly concerning my selfe, upon the 11. of August 1646. the House of Lords sent (without any summons or other due processe for appearance) their Emisaries with a file of Musqueteers who beset mine house and entred the same, one with his drawn sword, and another with a Pistoll ready cock’d in his hand, and surprized me in my bed without any appearance or shew of any warrant eitheir legall or illegall, and in that warlike manner being led, and brought before a Committee of the said house, and afterwards before the house, where being put High Commission like to answer to Interrogatories against my selfe, the which I refusing to answer, & not being willing to yeeld my right as a Comoner into their prerogative clutches, I appealed from them being mine improper incompetent judges, unto the House of Commons, my legall Peers and Equalls, as by the great Charter of England I was bound, which in severall late printed papers I have made evident and clear to the view of all men, I was under pretence of contempt in word and gesture against that house, and for refusing to answer Interrogatories committed to Newgate, there to be kept till their Lordships pleasure should be further signified. And afterwards the House of Comons receiving mine Appeale, I was turned over with mine honoured friend and fellow sufferer in the said cause Lieut. Col. John Lilburn, unto the Committee for consideration of the Commoners Liberties, Mr. Henry Martin possessing the Chair, before whom in our contest betwixt the Lords about the right and freedome of the Commons of England; upon examination of the jurisdiction and prerogative of the one, the right and propertie of the other, we were both found illegally imprisoned, and that Act of the Lords desperate invasion and intrusion upon the Commoners freedoms, and our selves as legally free, as if no such arbitrary warrants had been issued forth against us. Whereupon in contempt and defiance of the Arbitrary domination of the Lords over the Commons, scorning to dance attendance any longer after their arbitrary warrants, resolved that as their Lordships found warrants, so should their Lordships find leggs to obey them, for being free from their arbitrary jurisdiction from the crown of my head, to the sole of my foot, mine should not dance after their pipe. Whereupon I was most incivilly and inhumanely dragged to Newgate headlong through the streets upon the stones through all the dirt and the mire, and being reviled, otherwise abused and beat, I was thrown into the common Gaole amongst Rogues and Fellons, and laid in double Irons. And since this time which was the 3. of November 1646 to this present 8 of Iuly. 1647. I could not prevaile with the Chair-man to make my report unto the House thereby to obtaine any reliefe. But as I am informed, that worthy Gentleman hath neither to been necessitated and inforced to forbearance through an absolute indisposition to iustice in the house, by the prevalency of a powerfull faction therein, though for my part I have been ever utterly averse to that lingring prudence, and have earnestly solicited the contrary, let the issue fall with me or against me.

Further, the tyranny of these Lords not ceasing here against me, they send their Catch poules to my house againe, where finding my wife in with her three small Children about her, tooke her and my brother away and brought them before the Lords prerogative Barre, rifled, plundered, and ransacked mine house exposing my 3. helplesse small children to the streets, and all this before any indictment, presentment, or other due processe of law preceeding. And by reason my wife would not be subiect to the arbitrary and diabolicall accustomary proceedings of that house, to answer to interrogatories, or to make oath against her husband or her selfe, concerning his or her life, liberty or goods, was, together with my brother, himselfe also refusing subjection to the said illegall procedings committed during pleasure to the New prison in Maiden lane, where ever since he hath continued in miserable durance and opression.

And then under the colour of another Order from the said house, most inhumanely and barbarously they dragged her away from that prison, with her tender infant of halfe a yeares of age in her armes headlong upon the stones, through the streets, in the dirt and mire, reviling and abusing her by the way with the scurielous names of Whore Strumpet, &c. and then not allowing her so much humane compassion, as might have been justly expected even from Turks, Infidels and Pagans they denyed her the mercy to be imprisoned with her husband, which either grace or nature might have taught them in the height of their Arbitrary passion, had they the least spark either of the one or the other in them, but as persons voyd of both, without all respect to the Law of God, or of Nature they violently divided her from mee, and in the foresaid most contemptible manner threw her into the filthy Gaole of Bridewell, that common shore, center and receptacle of Baudes, Whores, Pick-pockets &c. though for her own part shee never was, nor ever could be so much as taxed of the least in civility or immodesty either in countenance, word, action or gesture all the dayes of her life, but alwayes lived in all honest and godly conversation; in which infamous place shee hath ever since bin kept in cruel restraint, not permitting her to have the liberty to visite her husband, or to enjoy the comfort of her children about her, or to go a little abroad a with Keeper to take the fresh ayre, though for the want thereof her life hath been visibly and palpably endangered (a benefit ordinarily allowed to Whores and Pick-pockets imprisoned there) though unreasonable Gratuity, and extraordinary Surety was offered therefore to the Keepers. And in this our unnaturall and cruell division in three severall prisons, my selfe in one, my wife in another, my brother in the third, and my three children exposed to the mercy of the wide world; and our selves deprived of all meanes and wayes by industry to procure any livelihood, and all that we had for our subsistance and reliefe seised upon without all lawfull judgement, verdict of our equalls, Indictment, or other due processe of Law preceeding contrary to the Fundamentall Laws of the Kingdom, and under this unreasonable oppression & crueltie without the value of one halfe-peny from the Lords for reliefe, wee are forcibly kept at an extraordinary charge, in those their severall starving, stincking murthering Prison-houses, seven shillings being exacted and extorted weekly for my lodging, three shillings and six pence for my wifes, foure shillings for my brothers, besides the charge of subsistance for us and our children. And being reduced to this miserable condition, I prepared a Petition and Appeale (since published in print) in the behalfe of my wife and brother to the House of Commons, which for the better credence of our miserable condition, was presented by a competent number of women but notwithstanding all the agitation and sollicitation that we could use, an admission thereof into the House (so much as to be read) could not, nor can hitherto be obtained, & all through the prevalent power of a confederate Faction in the House, obstructing all reliefe and redresse of the people; so that, by that deluding over voting party in the House I am deprived and bereft of all meanes and hope of redresse whatsoever: the cause of Lieu. Col. John Lilb. and mine betwixt us as Commoners, and the jurisdiction of the Lords, as Lords depending upon the Determination of Parliament which so far as in the eye of reason we can judge, will never be till this House either be purged of the faqtious party therein, or else a new Parliament called. And the case being so with us, that betwixt Cannot and Will not, no right or justice can be had for us either from King, Parliament, or any Court of justice in the Kingdome whatsoever, and being not able to see my selfe, my wife brother and children perish under hopelesse & endlesse expectation of mercy from the hands of mine enemies, I Am forced to this desperate Attempt for finall destruction or present release, for on deliverance I am resolved by life or death if possibly I may, a sudden death to me being better and rather to be chosen then lingring destruction, the latter being so much the more terrible and cruell, by how much the more tedious then present.

Now therefore being driven thus to this desperate necessity and pinch; and further, the Parliament themselves having declared, that it is the liberty of every subject to enjoy the benefit of the Law and not arbitrarily and illegally be committed to prison, nor to have his or their lives, liberties, goods or estates disseased or taken away, but only by due processe of Law, according to Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, which condemnes all High Commission like Interrigatory proceedings in a mans owne cause, enjoyning speedy Trialls for all causes whatsoever, without any intermission or obstruction to the due course or processe of Law. 1 part. Book Decl. p. 6, 7, 38, 77, 201, 277, 268, 458, 459, 660, 845. But being utterly denyed the Benefit of the Law of the Land, and of the just Declarations of Parliament through an obstructing party in the House: I must therefore, and do hereby in pursuance of my own safety (a principle warranted by the Parliaments owne Declaration to every particular man to provide for, even from the very Law of Nature, 1. part. Book Decl. p. 44 and p. 728.) make mine Appeale, and doe by these presents Actually and formally APPEALE from and against the Members Representative (as in their present mixture with, and continuance of Traytors and Tyrants) assembled at Westminster unto the Body Represented, (the true originall Soveraigne Authority of Parliaments) the free borne Commoners within this Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales for protection and reliefe against those obstructers of justice and judgement to wit, Denzil Hollis, Sir Phil. Stapleton, Sir Wil. Lewis, Sir John Maynard, Major Generall Massey, Mr. Glyn, Recorder of London, and from & against al other their Accomplices & Confederates members in the House of Commons, and charged, June 4. 1647 with High Treason against the Fundamentall Lawes, Rights and Liberties of the Commons of England, by His Excellency, Sir Thomas Fairfax and the Officers and Soldiers under his Command to be prosecuted in behalfe of themselves and the whole Kingdom. In this my Appeale craving no other benefit for my selfe, my wife and my brother, but a speedy deliverance from our severall respective Imprisonments till such times as the House shall be purged and cleansed from those corrupt and putrified members, (the obstructers and perverters of common right and freedom in the House, that I may not be passed upon, or judged in point of publique liberty and freedome, wherein every free commoners right interest and freedome is included by such as are open and declared enemies thereto, for it is most unreasonable and unjust that I should be subjected to the Arbitriment and Determination of mine and the Kingdomes enemies, for in so doing I should not only yeeld up my selfe to destruction, but therein betray the Commoners right and freedom (for which I have thus long contended) now at the last to be delivered up in my condemnation by those men to the Arbitrary jurisdiction of the Lords: For should my cause be overthrowne by the voyce of the oppressour, and this kind of exorbitant Domination setled and entailed to the Prerogative of the Lords, then the lives, persons and estates of the Commoners of England would all be laid waste to the wiles and pleasures of those prerogative usurpers; our lives; our wives, our persons and estates to be deprived, divorsed, imprisoned, & plundered at pleasure, not to be our own any longer, but theirs. And therefore the case being thus in the House and with mee, and in mine, with the Commons of England, I shall and do from henceforth utterly disclaime and renounce all triall and judgement by the degenerate Members Assembled therein, & shall hold all Orders and Ordinances whatsoever proceeding from them, though under the name of the two Houses of Parliament assembled at Westminster, as altogether invallid, and void of all Parliamentory authority and power, not obligatory or binding at all to the people, but to bee opposed and resisted to the death as counterfeit Orders and Ordinances, abusing the name and authority of Parliament, for it is no priviledge of Parliament for Traytors and Tyrants to fit and make Orders and Ordinances of Parliament, and then to publish them under the guize and vizor of that Soveraigne Authority no more then it is for any person to coyne or counterfeit the Image and superscription of the King, for Treason and Tyranny are inconsistent with the Being and priviledge of Parliament; for it is not their sitting upon the benches, or standing within the wals of that House which makes them Parliament men, or their Orders or Ordinances Parliamentory, authoritive and binding, but the discharging of their trust in moving and acting only for the weale and safety of the people [as] I their impowrers and trusters barely for that end. So that in deed and in truth that cannot bee said, or ought to bee reputed an Order or Ordinance of Parliament, which is contrary to their trust and the end of their Election and Session, for being our Parliament Deputys, doth not invest them with a Priviledge to destroy or save as at their pleasure, and to do with us as they list, we cannot do so with our selves, our power over our selves is but for our safety; therefore how can theirs which are but our deputies be for our woe.

Wherfore, so long as those Traytors to their Trust are not removed from their Session, but continued therin, over-powring and over-voting the dischargers of their Trust even so long they are in the maine degenerate from the naturall Essence and Being of the Parliament of England, for if the major part be fallen into the capacity of Tyrants and Traytors, sure their Parliamentary Being is therewith defunct and deceased.

For how can it in that capacity be tituled the Parliament of England? have they not in that degeneration devested and degraded themselves from their betrusted authority of the people, and become no longer their representory Deputies, or Trustees, except tyranny and oppression be the very substance and end of their Trust? certainly tyrants and oppressors cannot be the Representers of the Free-men of England, for freedom and tyranny are contraries, that which representeth the one, doth not represent the other; therefore such as are the representers of Free-men, must be substantial and reall Actors for freedome and liberty, for such as is the represented, such and no other must the figure or representation be, such as is the proportion, countenance and favour of the man, such and so must be the picture of the man, or else it cannot be the picture of that man, but of some other, or of something else, as the picture of a grim, meager, frowning face is, not the picture of an amiable, friendly smiling countenance; so tyranny neither is nor can possibly be the Representor of Freedome; therfore, though such in the House were once otherwise by their election, yet now they have changed themselves into a contrary capacity, and are so to be reputed and esteemed off; and I for my part do so, and no otherwise esteem of them, and do hereby proclaime and protest against them to all the free-men of England and Dominion of Wales, as so many traytors to the safety and weale of the people, both the eleven Members that are charged, and all such as are coactours and voters with them in further oppressions and tyrannies, over-swaying and bearing downe the voters for freedome and justice; imploring and beseeching all lovers of freedome and justice within His Majesties Dominions of England and Wales, as one man to rise up in the cause of the Army for the removall of those obstructors and traytors, and the bringing of them to a speedy and legall triall, that the wicked may be taken from before the face of the King, that his Throne may be established in righteousnesse and judgement, the liberty and freedom of the people recovered from the hands of oppressors and tyrants, and the Kingdom setled in peace and tranquillity, which only is, and ever shall be the prayers and endevours of your Appellant.

Now for the further clearing and making good of mine Appeal, I shal (as I promised before) briefly touch the accustomary course of their oppressive tyrannous cariage to the generality, whereby their degenerate state and capacity will more clearly appeare. But for brevity sake I shall omit the severall new oppressions, exactions and burthens wherewith the people are loaded every where, even till their backs are ready to break as everyman by woful experience can witnesse; and shall only relate to the maine & principall end of their Election and Session, which is for bearing the cries and groanes of the people, redressing and easing their grievances: And as touching this matter, this is their course, in stead of Reliefe for oppression, themselves do oppresse, and which is worst, then stop the mouthes of the oppressed; crutiate and torment, and not suffer the tormented to complain, but even torment them for complaining, sleight, reject and crush their Just and necessary Petitions, which is the highest kind of tyranny in the world, shut their doores and eares against the cry of the people, both of Country and City, yea, though the burthens of the oppressed are so great, that multitudes in a peaceable manner have attended the House daily with Petitions for no other thing, then for the Removall of oppression, and recovery of freedome, according to the fundamentall Lawes of this Kingdom, which they often Declared, covenanted, protested, and sworne with hands lifted up to the most high God to performe faithfully and truly.

Yet these very men contrary to their many Oathes, Covenants, Declarations, Vowes and Protestations, call the Petitioners Rogues, Villains, seditious, factious fellowes, and bid a pox of God on them, offer to draw their Swords at them, lift up their Canes at them in a menacing manner, shake them by the shoulders, and otherwise abuse them, and not only so; but imprison some of them, as Mr. Nicholas Tew, Mr. Browne, and Major Tuliday, the two first of them Prisoners to this houre, the third under Bayle; and they stay not here, but their arogance mounts higher and higher, even vote their Petitions Seditious, breach of their Priviledges, and cause them to be burnt by the hand of the Common hang man, even such petitions wherein was contained the Liberties and freedomes of the Commons of England, and no jot of anything either in word or circumstance that was not just, honest and reasonable, and their sworn duties to performe, and for which was, and is, the very end of their Election and Session to, and in the capacitie of Parliament: Yet these matters, even the Rights and freedomes of the people are rendred matters of Sedition, and to be set on fire and burnt, and that in the most contemptible manner, by the hands of the Common hangman: O most unheard of, unparaleld Treasonl heare O Heavens and judge Oh ye free Commoners of England, &c. where, and what is become of your Lawes, & libertyes: thus would they doe with your persons, even burne them by the hand of the Common hangman, had they but as much power over them as they have over your petitions and papers, and virtually they have don noe lesse for essentally and really they have burnt the Great Charter of England, for in those petitions were contained the cheifest heads of that Charter, by virtue whereof you hold your very lives, liberties, & goods, so that in that Act they did as much as in them lay, set all England on fire, burne and destroy all the lawes, Rights and liberties there of; and if this bee not High Treason, and an open and visible forfeiture of their Parliamentory Being and trust, I would faine know what is: I could adde unto this, their Declaration against the Army, stiling their petition (which was honest just and reasonable and their dutys to grant them effectually,) to be a dangerous petition, and all such to bee enemies to the state and disturbers of the publick Peace as proceeded therein making it enmity to the State, and disturbance of the publicke PEACE, humbly to Petition for the price of their Blood, and Sweat of their Brows, so dearly earned in the purchase of their and our safeties and freedome: and to this I could adde their setling the Militia into the hands of men of their owne faction in the City of London and in other parts of the Kingdome for the violent setlement of their owne pernitious tyrannicall ends, with multitude of other impieties, and cruelties, treacherous and treasonable acts and proceedings against the freedomes of the people, but for brevity sake at this present I shall commend to your pervsall and weighty consideration a most excellent and worthy treatise, intituled Plain truth without Feare, or Flatery, written (as the Title declares) by AMON WILBEE. the contents whereof, as concerning the traitorous partie in the House, I doe hereby actually lay unto their charge, to make them good against that partie upon the perill of my life, and concerning the equity and truth of the Charge therein contain’d against Denzill Hollis & the rest of that traiterous Faction I doe account it and owne it as if writ by my self, though for my part I do seriously professe unto the world that I was till I read it as ignorant of the writing composeing printing publishing or Author thereof as the Child that is unborne, yet such is the equity, honesty and truth thereof that had, I ten thousand lives, I would engage them all for the justification and maintenance thereof, and this will I say concerning that AUTHOR, that He deserves to weare the LAURELL from all that have writ (in that observant natture) since the Parliament began. The matters therein considered together with their desperate suppression of the petitionary endeavours of the well affected of London, besides their slighting, rejecting and refusing all other Petitions of the oppressed inslaved Countries, as from Buckinghamshire, Hartfordshire, &c. Except from Parties which co-operate for the advancement of the Prerogative and priviledge Faction, all others being fob’d off, with a Complementall acknowledgement of the good affections of the Petitioners, and with a Verball returne of thankes, and that the House would take their businesse into further consideration, or the like; which being all, and the most that ever could be obtained from them; when their Aspect was most indulgent towards US, and fairest for our Liberties, I say, those their Treasonable proceedings, Oppressions, and Tyranies duly weighed and considered, how can still their PARLIAMENTARY Being, and Station be granted? If it bee, sure it must bee pictured with the Heeles upward, for I may as well bee parswaded out of my Christen-Name, as made to beleive, it stands derect upon its feete; When I see it plainely reversed before mine eyes, for I shall never while I enjoy my senses, bee so stupid and blockish, to esteeme Ruine for Safety; Retrograde motion for direct Progression: now, this their Trayterous course of stopping and burning Petitions, abusing and imprisoning Petitioners, of it selfe is an absolute election, or putting the people out of the protection of PARLIAMENT; no rationall man can gainesay it; for Oppression is no Protection, offence no Defence. He that will not releife, is no Reliever; and hee that Oppresseth for complainning of Oppression, must needs be a Tyrant in the highest measure. Therefore loving Countrey-men and friends, I beseech you, lay your hands on your hearts & consider, what greater tyrannie and oppression can be, then to be oppressed and so to be deprivd of the means of relief, left hopelesse and helplesse, all passages of succour and support stopped and blocked up, the waters of your reliefe utterly dried up? Oh rub open your eyes for shame, rouse up your spirits, resume and take up your strength and authority into your owne hands, disowne and disclaime those desperate tyrants and traytors, and cast them forth from your trust as dirt and dung, or salt that hath lost its savour, for wherewith now shall they be savoured? Halters and Gallowes is more fit for them then places in Parliament: What, will you be more fearfull of them to bring them to justice, then they were of you to burne your Lawes and your Liberties? for shame never let an English spirit be taxed with that dishonour; you have Othniells, Ehuds, Baraks, and Gideons, before you, even a mighty and puissant vertuous Army, which hath most gallantly and honourably engaged for your and their own safety and protection from those unnatural tyrants and usurpers, to remove them from the Seat of your Authority, and to bring them to justice, that you and your children after you, may be delivered from the feare and prejudice of their cruelties, dwell in peace and safety, enjoy the price of your labour and travell quietly and freely to your selves, be absolute Lords and possessors of your owne, and to be made true andyeall Freemen indeed; fall therefore into their assistance and protection, and trust no longer your perjured traiterous Trustees dissembled at Westminster, but save your selves from that cursed and wicked generation, now is the opportunity, doe not procrastinate nor delay, least your destruction be of your selves, I have discharged the trust of my sufferings unto you, which hath been simply and purely for your sakes, and have not drawne backe my hand from any thing for your weale, which to others have seemed too hot or too heavy to lift, and my conscience beares me witnesse of the honestie and uprightnesse of my heart for your preservation and safety, as its principal aime and intent in this Appellation of mine unto you, I am but one, and can discharge but the duty of one unto you, if you will suffer your selves, your Lawes and your Liberties, to be conquered and destroyed, I cannot help it, it is of your selves, and not of me, I have hitherto done my share, doe you but yours, and the worke will be presently done: I may chance be condemned for a mad-man and foole, but if you sit still and yeeld up your selves, as contented slaves, I cannot see, how you can be excused of madnesse or folly: Come, come, now is no time to sit thrumming of caps, if they will not give us leave, to use our tongues and our pens to present and make knowne our grievances, we must take leave to make use of our hands and swords for the defence and redemption of our lives, our Lawes and our Liberties, from the hand of the destroyer, for our safety must be maintained.

And can any reasonable man conclude, that our protection and assistance of them, and their protection and assistance of us are not relatives, and one dependent on the other? For what is the reason, that we have engaged our lives and estates thus in their defence, but that they should be as faithfull a protection unto us: Now our safety and protection lieth in the full and just enjoyment of our Lawes, our Rights, and Freedomes, and delivery from bondage and thraldome, the which being utterly denyed us, are wee not quite out of their protection, and left to shift for our selves, either to destroy or be destroyed? For can they think that their powerfull Priviledge doth extend not to leave the Commonalty of England so much, as even nature hath instincted in the very wormes of the earth, as exanimate and stupid as a blocke, worse then the bruit beasts of the field, which all to their power will save and defend themselves from mischiefe and harme? Certainely, they cannot expect it, for it is no more then their owne Doctrine hath taught us, and therefore no Blasphemy, Treason or Heresie, for they tell us, Dec. 2. Nov. 16. 6 Booke Dec. 1. Part 696. & pag. 150. That obedience doth not bind us to cut our owne throats, how then, can they expect that we should be our own butchers?

Deare friends, our destruction is beyond the Priviledge of Parliament, it is out of the compasse of that Betrusted Authority; while they move in the Sphere of our safety, their motions are Parliamentary, legall, and authorative, and to be obeyed, defended, and maintained, but on the contrary, the contrary must be concluded, for contraries have contrary consequents. For there is a difference betwixt their Parliamentary, and their owne Personall capacity, and their actions are answerably different; therefore, the rejection, disobedience, and resistante of their personall commands, is no rejection, disobedience, or resistance of their Parliament Authority: So that he that doth resist their personall commands, doth not resist the Parliament, neither can they justly be censured or esteemed as Traytors, Rebells, Disturbers, or Enemies to the State, but rather as Preservers, Conservers, and Defenders thereof.

And upon this principle of justice and reason, they grounded and justified their War against the King, witnesse their owne words, Book Dec. part 1. pag. 276. where they say by the Statute of 25. Edw. 3. It is a leavying of Warre against the King, when it is against his Lawes and Authorities, though it be not immediately against his Person, and the levying of force against his personall commands, though accompanied with his presence, if it be not against his Lawes and Authority, but in maintenance thereof, is no levying of Warre against the King, but for him; for there is a great difference betwixt the King as King, and the King as Charles Steward: Therefore pag. 279. they say, That treason which is against the Kingdome, is more against the King then that which is against his person, because hee is King: for that very Treason is not Treason as it is against him as a man, but as a man that is a King, and as he hath relation to the Kingdome, and stands as a Person intrusted with the Kingdome, discharging that trust: Even so, by the equity of the same reason, the represented Commons of England, in the like case, may justly make the same returne unto the Bodie Representative, as thus: It is a levying of warre against the Parliament of England, when it is against the Lawes, Rights, and Freedomes of the people of England, though it be not immediately against the persons of the Members in Parliament, and a levying of force against their personall arbitrary commands, though accompanied with their presence, if it be not against the Lawes, Rights and Freedomes of the people, but in maintenance thereof, is no levying of war against the Parliament, but for the Parliament, for there is a great difference betwixt Members in Parliament, as Members in Parliament, and Members in Parliament, as they are personally, Philip Stapleton, Denzill Hollis, &c. And therefore well may the Commonality of England reply, That Treason which is against the Commonalty, their Lawes, Rights, and Freedomes, is more against the Parliament, then that which is against their persons, because they are Members of Parliament. For that very Treason is not Treason, as it is against Philip Stapleton, Denzill Hollis, and the like, considered as they are men, but as men that are Parliament Members, and as they have relation to the people in generall, and stand as persons intrusted with their Lawes, Rights, and Freedomes, discharging their trust. This is as directly point blank against the Members in Parliament, as ever it was against the King, they must admit of this principle against themselves, or else they must grant themselves to be Rebells and Traitors in warring against the King, for they had no way, under heaven, or to this day have any way to justifie their leavying and maintaining of warre against him but that; for it was the very Axeltree upon which the equity of their proceedings were moved, and that by which still they stand justifiable in the eye of reason and justice: therefore the Members in Parliament, either in the particular or in the generall, because they are men intrusted in that capacity, may not therefore turne oppressors and tyrants at pleasure, for it is not their being in Parliament, or being Parliament-men, that will justifie their invasions and incursions upon the freedomes of the people; for as themselves have granted concerning the King, that the King is for the Kingdome, not the Kingdome for the King, and that the Kingdome is no more his owne, then the People are his owne: If he had a propriety in this Kingdome, what would become of the Subjects propriety in their Lands throughout the Kingdome, or of their Liberties? Book Dec. 1. part p. 266. even so may the Commonality of England reply to their Parliament-Members, that they are made for the people, not the people for them, and no otherwise may they deale with the people then for their safety and weale, for no more then the people are the Kings, no more are the people the Parliaments, having no such propriety in the people, as the people have in their goods to doe with them as they list. As they will not grant it to be the Prerogative of Kings, neither may wee yeeld it to be the Priviledge of Parliaments, for the safety of the people is the reason and end of all Governments and Governours, Salus populi est suprema Lex, the safety of the people is the supreme Law of all Commonwealths; all other Lawes, Edicts, Ordinances, Orders, &c. (such as most of our late pretended Parliamentarie ones have been) being contradictory thereto, are all traiterous and Antimagisteriall, to be opposed and resisted to the death, and the contrivers, promoters, and actors thereof, to be apprehended, judged and condemned, and executed as traytors to the safety of the people.

And whereas we have engaged our lives and fortunes against the King, to free his person from a traiterous and wicked Counesell about him, and the same they justified for ous by the rule of necessity, and safety, even so and much more, by vertue of the same principle may the body represented doe to the body representative, there being a more desperate and traytorus Counsell therein, for Immedicabile vulnus ense rescidendum est, ne pars sincera trahantur, the putrified and incurable members are to be cut of for the safety of the whole: for it was not the end of our undertakings to pull downe one kinde of oppressors to set up others more desperate and dangerous then the old, to remove a wicked Counsell from the King, and then to set up and tollerate a Counsell more traiterous and wicked in the Parliament, no, our ends and intents were simply against obstructions, and obstructers of justice and judgement, oppressions and oppressors, and to bring such Delinquents and Traytors to justice, whereby all impediments and obstacles to our freedomes might be removed; we did not ingage against them simply because they were concommitant to the King, but because they were seducers and perverters of justice, invaders and destroyers of our just Lawes and Freedomes: Therefore it is in vaine for our Members in Parliament to think that we will justifie or tollerate- the same among them, which we would not indure in the King, to pluck, off the Garments of Royalty from oppression and tyranny, to dresse up the same in Parlament Robes: No, no, that was ever and is farre from our hearts, and wee shall justifie or allow the same no more in the one then in the other, for to allow it in the one is to justifie it in the other, for it is equally unequall in both, and in it selfe resistable wheresoever it is found, for were it not resistable, all defensive war whatsoever were unlawfull: And upon this poynt we moved against the King, the equity thereof arising from an inherent principle of nature, concording with the Commandement of God, for were not tyranny in it selfe resistable, then a man might lawfully murther himselfe or give power to another to be his Butcher, but in regard by the Law of God in nature and in his word both the one and the other is verily unlawfull, therefore such kind of inhumanity and tyranny is to be resisted both in proper person and otherwise, shall we therefore be so inhumane, so unnaturall and diabolicall, to destroy and murther our owne selves, we may as well execute our selves with our own hands, as give leave to others to be our murtherers, for the matter would be all one in the execution, it would only differ in the instrument; therefore if we may not take that leave to our selves, nor give it to another, then wee must resist it in others as well as in our selves, for not to hinder is to give leave, and no hindrance can be without resistance, and if resistance must be, as is of necessity to be granted then in all reason and equity we are bound to use the most efectuall manner of resistance, If our destruction be endeavoured by another, faire means is to be used, but if that will not prevaile, we are bound to kill rather then to be killed: And upon this ground, in case we have to deale with a mighty and furious enemy, we are bound to the utmost of our power, to arme and fortifie our selves for our just and necessary defence, and by force of Armes to repell and beat back the invading assaulting enemy, whether it be an enemy for the confusion and exterpation of our persons, or for destruction and ruine of our Laws, our freedomes and liberties, for bondage and slavery are not inferiour to death, but rather to be more avoyded, condemned and resisted then present destruction, by how much the more that kind of destruction is more languishing then present, and in pursuance of the just and necessary defensive Opposition we may lawfully, and are in Conscience bound to destroy, kill and slay the otherwise irresistable enemy for our own preservation and safety whether in our lives, our Lawes or our liberties: And against the justice of this defensive principle no degrees, Orders or titles amongst men can or may prevaile, all degrees Orders and titles, all Lawes, Customs and manners amongst men must be subject to give place and yeeld thereunto, and it unto none, for all degrees and titles Magisteriall, whether emperiall, regall, Parliamentarie, or otherwise are all subservient to popular safety, all founded and grounded thereon, all instituted and ordained only for it, for without it can be no humane society, cohabitation or being, which above all earthly things must be maintained, as the earthly soveraigne good of mankind, let what or who will perish, or be confounded, for mankind must be preserved upon the earth, and to this preservation, all the Children of men have an equall title by Birth, none to be deprived thereof, but such as are enemies thereto, and this is the ground-worke that God in nature hath laid for all common-wealths, for all Governours and Governments amongst men, for all their Lawes, executions and Administrations: therefore all contrary Governments and Governours are ungodly, unnaturall, diabolicall, and trayterous, to be abhorred, condemned and resisted by all possible ways and meanes whatsoever: And from hence ariseth the true definition of Treason, for indeed Treason is no other then a destruction to humane society or actions overwhelming or apparently tending to the utter over throw of publick safety co-habitation and peace, or to the vassalage, bondage and thraledome of a people or Country; such actions and Actors are only treasonable and trayterous and no other, although it be the custome of tyrants and opressors unhappily intrusted with Imperial Regal or Parliament Authority to proclaim, condemne and execute such cheifly for traytors as are enemies to their opressions and tyrannies, their boundlesse prerogatives, arbitrary Domination, or the like, even as our degenerate Members dissembled at Westminster have done in the late Petitioners case of the Armie, making it a matter of Treason to petition for justice and right.

Now in regard, the Body naturall for its owne safety may prune, amputate and cut of the corrupt putrified Members from the Body Representative, yea utterly renounce, oppose, resist, and dissolve all the Members therein upon totall forfeiture of, and reall Apostacy from the true representative capacity of Parliament, and that this is most evident and cleare; it then inevitably followeth, that this naturall Body, by vertue of its instincted, inherent naturall Soveraignity, may create, or depute any person or persons for their Deputy or Deputies for the removall of those dead, corrupt, putrified Members from the seat and name of their Formall Authority, and for the supression of injustice and tyranny, recovery of liberty and freedome; but it may be, it will be objected, that by reason of distraction, confusion and disorder at such an exigency in the Body naturall, such a new deputation is not likely, or cannot possibly be formally effected, and therefore those forementioned Members though never so corrupt and destructive, must be continued and subjected unto. I answer, that the Body naturall must never be without a mean to save it selfe, and therefore by the foresaid permanent unalterable rule of Necessity and safety, any person or persons (in discharge of their duty to God, themselves and their Countrey) may warrantably rise up in the cause and behalfe of the people, to preserve them from imminent ruine and destruction, such person or persons, doing in that act no more then everie man by nature is bound to performe: For as everie man by the verie bond of nature and neighbourhood, in case his neighbours house be on fire, is bound forthwith without anie formall or verball deputation of the owner, to endeavour the quenching thereof with his utmost power and abilitie; even so and much more may the same bee said and of a whole Countrey or Kingdome, for necessitity in that case of extremity justifies the act of safety and preservation, in anie, though without anie formall election, deputation or condition from the people in generall thereto; for such Formalities must give place unto the maine, being but circumstances in comparison thereof, and a Kingdome or Commonwealth must not be neglected and lost for a trifle; in the cause of popular safety and freedome, wee must not straine at a gnat and swallow a camell, catch at the shadow and loose the substance, dote on formality while we lose our freedomes; we are bound to lay hold on every thing that comes next to hand, rather then perish; it is not the part of the just and mercifull Freemen of England to behold the Politike Bodie of this Commonwealth fallen amongst a crew of thieves, as Hollis, Stapleton, &c. stript of its precious raiment of freedome and safety, wounded and left groveling in its blood, even halfe dead, and passe by on the other side like the mercilesse Priest and the Levite: no, now is the time for the compassionate Samaritane to appeare to binde up its wounds, to powre in wine and oyle to engage in the defence and preservation of a distressed miserable people, for greater love and mercie cannot be amongst men then to take compassion, over the helpelesse and destitute.

Therfore, this Evangelicall principle of mercy (being of the nearest communication to the nature of God) is a warrantable ground for the solemne engagement of the Armie, like the compassionate Samaritan, to bind up the wounds of the almost murthered Lawes and Liberties of England; so that their Christian compassion and pity over the abused, beat, and wounded naturall Body of the land, is as an inpugnable Bulwarke of defence against the violent invective calumnies and reproaches of malitious tongues & Pens, and wil be an undoubted badge of everlasting honor through all generations to come, against which time and envie will never be able to prevaile. And in case they be inforced to a defensive resistance, in so doeing they will be no resisters, despisers, contemners or oppugners of Magistracy, Authority or Government, for tyranny is no Magistracie, therefore the resistance of Tyrants is no resistance of Magistrates, except it be of such so nominally; but really and essentially monsters and pests of humanity; for Magistracy hath its proper compasse and confines, and the actors and actions in that compasse are thereby rendered Magisteriall actors and actions to be obeyed by all, and resisted by none; and so such as are resisters thereof, are no Resisters of Magistracy, Authority and Government; but the resistance of the excursions or actions out of that compasse and capacity, is no resistance of Magistracy or Magistrates, for it is not their persons which makes their Ministrations Magisterial, but their Ministerial Magistration which makes their persons Magisteriall persons: for Magistracy is not inherent or consistent in the person, but in the office; their persons must run a parallell line in their Ministration with their office, or els their formall deputation or Commissions will not inright them into the true definition of Magistrates; for the office is but accidentally consistent in the forme or externall Commission, radically and essentially in the due Ministration.

Now Magistrarcy in its nature, institution, and administration, is for such a kinde of safety Nationall and generall, as wherein every individuall or particular person, of what sort or society soever, may fully and freely enjoy his liberty, peace and tranquillity, civill and humane; it is an Ordinance amongst men and for men, that all men may have an humane subsistance and safety to live as men amongst men, none to bee excepted from this humane subsistance, but the unnaturall and the inhumane, it is not for this opinion, or that faction, this Sect or that sort, but equally and alike indifferent for all men that are not degenerated from humanity and humane civility in their living and neighbourhood: And therfore the destroyers and subverters of humane society, safety, cohabitation and being, are to be corrected, expulsed, or cut off for preservation of safety, and prevention of ruine both publike and private: and thus is Magistracy for the praise of them that doe well, and for the punishment of those that doe evill.

And as for matters of conscience or opinion about Religion or Worship, with which humane society, cohabitation, and safety may freely subsist and stand together, that doth not fall under the power of the Magisteriall sword, either for introduction and setlement, or for extirpation and subversion; for the limits of Magistracy extend no further then humanity, or humane subsistance, not to spirituallity, or spirituall being; and no further, then its owne nature extends, no further may its compulsive power be stretched: And this is the true distinction for matter of subjection, betwixt God and Cæsar, and what is Gods wee must in the first place give unto God, and what is Cæsars, in the second place, freely and readily we must give unto Cæsar; the inward man is Gods prerogative, the outward man is mans prerogative; God is the immediate Lord over the inward, and mediately over the outward, but man is onely Lord over the outward, and though immediate thereover, yet but by Deputation or Commission from him who is thus both over the one and the other: And God who onely knoweth the heart, and searcheth the reines, hath reserved the governation thereof to himself as his own prerogative, and the onely means which he useth in this kinde of Government, that by his Ministers must be dispensed, is onely by the word, not by the sword; for the sword pierceth but the flesh, it toucheth but the outward man, it cannot touch the inward; therefore where by the word (to wit by Doctrine or Argumentation) the proper means to work upon the intellectualls and affections a conversion, is not nor cannot be obtained, there no humane compulsive power or force is to be used, either for plantation or extirpation.

And therefore it was that Christ refused the sword for the promulgation and setlment of his doctrine, for it was spirituall, and such were the weapons he used for that warfare of his; and therefore in immitation of his patterne (and practice of the Apostles) we must rather suffer for matters of faith, then be enforced or enforce thereunto: But it does not therefore follow, that by defensive force we may not maintaine, our naturall humane being and subsistance upon earth; for the contrary doctrine would tend to the utter confusion of humanity, the depopulation of Nations, Kingdomes, and Countries; though for the spirituall warfare, we are confined to spirituall weapons; yet for this humaine naturall warfare, humaine and naturall weapons may and are to be used, each according to its kinde; so that neither the one nor the other, in their distinctive propriety and administration is distructive or contradictory one to another, but both may properly meet and stand together in one individuall, without the least incroachment or prejudice to each others propriety: And if the Magistrate should so farre extend his compulsive force under pretence of religion and conscience, to the destruction of our humane subsistance or being, we may upon the points of your humane subsistance and being, lawfully make our defensive resistance, for in it selfe it is defendable against all opposition or destruction from whence or from whomsoever it shall be. And of this defensive resistance, none in duty can be excused, but in case of an utter depravation of power, for indeed it is granted of all, that where no power is, there no defence can be expected, and in the case of destruction in that kinde, the patient is innocent, and cleare from the guilt of his owne ruine: where nothing is given, there nothing is required; but unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required, Luke 12.48.

Therefore these premises premised, and deliberately weighed, I appeale to all moderate and rationall commoners to judge impartially about this matter, whether now, without all check or scruple of conscience, in maintainance and presuance of this Defensive principle of resistance, we may not every man of us (in duty to our owne natures, and to our native Countrey in generall) to the utmost of our lives and fortunes, be assistant and united to this faithfull Armie that now is, or to whomsoever shall rise up, and appeare in the defensive cause of this Kingdome, for the recovery of our naturall humane rights and freedomes, that all orders, sorts, and societies of the Natives of this Land, may freely and fully enjoy a joynt and mutually neighbourhood, cohabitation and humane subsistance, one as well as another, doing unto all men as we would be done unto; it being against the radicall Law of nature and reason, that any man should be deprived of an humane subsistance, that is not an enemy thereto; hee that is fit for neighbourhood, cohabitation, humane society and fellowship, and will freely comply and submit thereunto, ought not to be abridged of the same in the least measure; hee that shall deny, oppose and resist this, the same as an enemy to mankinde, and is guilty of the highest kinde of Treason that is, and deservs to be stoned, as was Hado children of Israel for his execution of the tirannicall commands of King Rohoboam, with stones that he dye, and to be cast out as the excrements of mankinde, unworthy of humane buriall, as once the Scots served one of their tyrannicall Kings, who after they had drag’d him at an Horses tayle at their pleasure, they threw his body into a Jakes, as Mr. Prin mentions in his power of Parliaments.

And therefore all Decrees, Edicts, Injunctions, Lawes, Ordinances and Orders whatsoever, or from whomsoever, which tend to the extirpation, suppression, or confusion of such a sort or party of men which are not onely meet but free and willing to maintaine, preserve, and uphold humane society, fellowship, tranquillity, and being; doing to all men as they would have all men doe unto them, are all trayterous, antimagisterall unhumane, and diabolicall, and the authors thereof no other then traytors and rebels to the nature of man.

Now therefore except such vipers and pests of humanity be divested from all legislatives and coercive authority, it is not possible that such inhumanities and tyrannies in government can be prevented or removed, for such Governours, such government, such Law-givers, such Lawes: If the wicked and unjust be not removed from the throane of government, it is impossible, that any isuch throane should be established in righteousnesse: therefore as all such tyrannies and inhumanities are resistable and of no man (that is not without naturall affection) to be received or obeyed; so every rationall honest Common-wealths man is in duty bound even from the just principles of divinity, humanity, and reason, with all his strength and might, either by pollicy or by force, or by both, to endeavour the extirpation and removall of such usurpers and oppressors, from the seat and place of Government, and to be ayding and assisting with life, person, and estate, to all ingagements and endeavours to bring such inhumane usurpers to exemplary justice: and this our Common-wealth swarming with such Monsters in nature and humanity, overspreading the whole Land with these tyrannies and oppressions, must either speedily be purged and cleansed, especially in the legislative and compulsive Authority thereof from that unnaturall faction, or else nothing but bondage, tyranny, and oppression remaineth for the inheritance of us, and our children after us.

Now in regard both King and Parliament are become captives through the force and pollicy of a powerfull faction at Westminster, that neither the one, nor the other can be any reliefe or protection to the people from injustice and oppression, both being upon the point dethroaned, the one from his Regall, the other from its Parliamentary Essence and being; So that in effect they are both dead unto the people: And now as the case stands, no publique visible Head, either Regall or Parliamentary, or other appearing on foot in the Kingdome for the people to fly to for succour and reliefe, or protection against the visible destroyers and subverters of their liberties but this renowned and faithfull Army; for it is now the only formall and visible Head that is left unto the people for protection and deliverance.

I shall therefore presume (most excellent Generall, honourable Officers, faithfull Adjutators, and Gentlemen Souldiers) and doe hereby presume in pursuance of my owne safety, and of righteous judgement betwixt the free Commoners Right, and the jurisdiction of the Lords, to make my humble addresse and appeale unto this Army, as to the naturall Head of the Body naturall of the people at this present, wholly (as much as in me lieth) resigning, submitting, and offring my person and cause unto your defensive protection, that in the behalfe of the people to whom I have appealed, you would, as in duty you are bound, contribute your best assistance for the liberty of the one, and just determination of the other, that neither my person nor yet my cause (which is every Commoners case) may be left to the tryall, censure and sentence of mine, and this Kingdomes enemies; but that both person and cause may be protected (as much as in you lieth) from them, and from all mischiefe and prejudice which their malice and violence may attempt against either or both; for the better facillitation and advancement of their owne arbytrary and tyrannicall ends and designes, appealing thus for my selfe and my cause for no other end, but that impartiall justice may freely proceed upon both without respect of persons or things; which I conceive is not reasonably to be expected from the judgement and determination of mine, and this Kingdomes enemies; this is cordially and freely my desire, that if I have done ought that either by the Law of God, of Nature, Reason, or the just Lawes of the Land, worthy of death, or other punishment whatsoever, that then the due execution thereof may be entailed to your just and solemne engagement, that your selves may cause it, and see it performed upon me accordingly without mercy: But if my person, and my cause in the eye of Religion, reason, and the just knowne Lawes, of this Land be found justefiable thereby and those severall afflictions, imprisonments, and miseries upon my selfe, my wife, brother, and Family by the Arbitrary Prerogative of the Westminster Lords be found illegall and tyrannicall, and their proceedings by vertue of their Lordly Prerogative, as actions apparantly, and openly tending to the utter subvertion of the fredomes and rights of the Commons of England, that then also, (as you have engaged your selves for common right to be derived, to every particular) you would actually & effectually make good that engagement to me in particular, not only yeur for the formall and legall deliverance of my selfe, my wife, and my brother (imprisoned also by vertue of their Lordly Prerogative) but also for our just and full reperations according to the Law of the Land, even as the nature of our respective abuses, imprisonments, &c. and the demerit of our Oppressioners shall impartially and justly deserve; and that justice may be answerably executed upon those Usurpers and Oppressors. notwithstanding their greatnesse to the future terrefying of such Prerogative Oppressors and oppressions, preservation and safety of the due right and freedomes of the people both to present and succeeding Posterity; and this is but just and reasonable, for why should not justice touch their Prerogative Lordships, as well as the meanest Commoners, and why should such sufferings at their hands passe without due reperation, for should they, it would be an encouragement to such Arbitrary spirits to be as exorbitant for the future as these; for where there is no punishment, there neither is nor will be any feare: So that if the notorious Act of their Prerogative fury, not only upon me and mine, but upon divers in the like nature, as Liv. Col. John Lilburne, Mr. Larners two servants, &c. be passed by without exemplary punishment and Mulct, the Commons will not be righted, nor will their Lordships be curbed in their exorbitant ambition; for should it be so smothered and passed by, the Commoners right would be more abused and invaded then, which then if wee should never be delivered by you, for by our durance the cause would be still kept on foot in expectation of future such determination; but if so delivered, it would be wounded, if not utterly quashed and destroyed by you, scarce ever to be recovered or reared up againe to this pitch: And this that I require, in point of liberty and reperation is no more, then what your selves have intituled me justly to claime at your hands; for have you not told us (as an Article of your engagement to see it performed before you disband) That all such as are imprisoned may be put into a speedy way for a just hearing and tryall, and such as shall appeare to have beene unjustly, and unduely imprisoned, may with their liberty have reasonable reparations according to their sufferings, and the demerit of their Oppressors (as is expressed in the 11. page your owne Declaration.)

Wherefore (truly honoured and faithfull Armie) thinke it not strange that thus in particular I have presumed to cast myselfe and my cause into the verge of your solemne engagement for the publique, for my cause in it selfe is generall, and every free borne Commoners case in the Kingdome, and my person one of that generall for which you have solemnely engaged and declared your selves for safety, deliverance, and protection; now you cannot engage and declare for the generall, but the particulars thereof must be joyntly and severally intituled thereto: Therefore this which I thus claime and expect from your hands, you cannot in justice and honour to your owne undertakings deny me; if you doe, you must deny your selves, and your solemne engagement, and so render your selves to the Kingdome as others have done before you, even deluders and deceivers of the people, and thereby instate the people into a just capacity of Insurrection against you, as well as your selves are now against others.

But being fully perswaded of the uprightnesse and innocency of your intentions, I shall expect that your workes will give witnesse to the truth of your words; for otherwise, they will bee but as empty shels, or as a dead letter to the people: Be therefore quick and active, and bee not demur’d, protracted and delayed by the old beaten subtile Foxes of Westminster into your owne, and our destruction: Can you imagine that they intend you any good? what have they done I pray you as hitherto, but fob’d, befool’d, and deluded you; say and unsay, backward and forward, hither and thither, no man knowes whither, and all but to circumvent, delude, and delay you, that they might gather time and ground.

For they well know what it is that hath lost the affections of the people, you must not think, they can be so insensible, as therof to be ignorant; and now they would run you upon the same rock whereon they have split themselves, to wit, the distaste of the people, that your wounds may be their cure; and assure your selves your ruine if you trace in their steps will be swifter then theirs; therefore thinke not to dally with, and beare the people in hand (as they have done before you) with faire promises, engagements, Declarations, Remonstrances, &c. and not to put the same into speedy execution; for the affections of the people will not admit of delayes, quick expedition will sharpen, but protraction will turne the edge of their spirits; If you dally with us, and befoole our expectations too long, we shall turne our pens, our hearts, and our hands against you, for our affection and concurrence with you, is but for our safety and protection, expecting more faire and honest dealing from you, then ever we could obtaine from the hands of our false Trustees at Westminster; have a care therefore how you interpose your owne light, and follow their Ignis fatuis, into their delusions and delayes, for if you doe not timely beware, your friends will become your enemies, their spirits begin to decline, and their tongues are busied with feares and surmises, therefore from the inch you may judge of the elle; though for a: while the Countries may beare the burthen of your Quarters with patience, yet assure your selves, in a small time they will turne impatient, clamour and cry out against you; for the Countries cannot, as indeed there is no reason they should, indure to be oppressed; for such and so great hath beene their oppression, that it is in vaine to suppose, that an additionall oppression will gaine an acceptance or tolleration amongst them; you doe but now the worke of the enemy, for if you will play but a while with their Rattles and Gew-gawes, they will be provided, (what though the redemption of time and the losse of your credits) to give you an encounter, and then be sure the people must suffer, their blood and their treasure must pay for your negligence, therefore expect that the mischiefes of your demurres will be set uppon your account, when all flesh shall appeare, every man to receive according to his deeds.

Therefore right worthy and faithfull Adjutators, be advised to preserve that power and trust reposed in, and conferred upon you by the body of the Army intire and absolute, and trust no man, whether Officer or Souldier, how religious soever appearing, further then hee acts apparantly for the good of the Army and Kingdome: marke them which would and doe bring you into delayes and demurres, let their pretences be what they will be, their counsels are destructive; I am afraid, that your Officers are not too forward to interpose all delayes; therefore as I dare not totally condemne them, but honour them so farre as they have dealt honourably in your engagement, I onely advise you to bee cautious and wary; and keepe up your betrusted power and authority, and let nothing be acted, done, or concluded, without your consent and privity, for by that meanes the cause in a clandestine underhand manner may be given away; and what doe you know, but there is a designe amongst you, to take the power of all Adjutation from the hand of the private Souldier? for why must your late papers bee published, By the appoyntment of his Excellencie, Sir Thomas Fairfax and the Councell of Warre, as your Remonstrance and others, and not as formerly, by his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax with the officers and Souldiers of the Armie? are not the Souldiers as authoritive as formerly, or are they cast out, as if they had nothing to doe with the businesse? Sure I cannot judge that you will altogether bee befooled of your power; if you doe, I am sure we shall all be befooled with you; if that once be accomplished, then farewell our hopes in the Armie; for I am confident, that it must be the poore, the simple and meane things of this earth that must confound the mighty and the strong: therefore your Officers that seeke not themselves, and have no sinister ends nor designes in their brests, will be contented that your betrusted power be preserved intire in your hands till the end of your worke be accomplished; and rather then they will any wayes seeme to infringe it, be continued in their addition to your adjutation onely for advise and consultation, not for controll and conclusion, not desiring a negative voice any more in your Adjutation, then they and you would allow the King in the great councell of Parliament; that so the sence and minde of the Armie may not be prevented or denyed: If I erre in this caution and advice, I am sure that I erre not in my faithfull affections to your solemne engagement, and therefore the better to be excused; for my intentions are honest and upright therein, not minding mischiefe or prejudice against any, but solely and simply ayme and intending the good of the Army and Kingdome thereby.

If you wil own me & my cause, I shal take it as a grateful & acceptable service of love & affection, not only to my selfe but to the almost destroyed freedomes of the Commoners of England; if not, I have reckened my cost, and can in this cause for my Countrey upon honest and just priviledges, lay downe my life, as freely and as willingly, as my most malicious enemies can make it a sacrifice to their fury: Doe therefore, as it seemeth good in your owne eyes; I have discharged my conscience, and what I have done, I have done; and commit the issue thereof unto God, And so remaine,

From my Prerogative Captivity in Newgate (the Lords benediction) July 10. 1647.

Yours and this Kingdomes faithfull friend and servant for the just Lawes, Rights, and Freedomes of the people, to the death,

Richard Overton.

Certaine Articles for the good of the Common wealth, presented to the consideration of his Excellencie, Sir Thomas Fairfax, and to the Officers And Souldiers under his Command.

By R. O.
Concerning Parliaments,

1. That for the future, the election and expulsion of Parliament Members may be so setled in the Electors, that none may be hindered, debard, or expulsed from serving his Country under any colour or pretence whatsoever, as for refusing the Covenant or other wise without order first, assent or concurrence of their Countrey.

2. That for the better security of the interest and power of the people, all titles, by Prerogative, Priviledge, Pattent, Succession, Peerage, Birth or otherwise to sit and act in the Assembly of Parliament, contrary to, and without the free choice and Election of the People, be utterly abrogated, nuld and made voide, and that all such so sitting, may be removed from sitting therein.

3. That the authority of Parliament may bee preserved and secured for the future from the obstructions and prejudice of a negative voyce in any person or persons whatsoever.

4. That every County may have liberty to choose some certaine number amongst themselves, to inquire and present to the Parliament, what be the just Lawes, Customes, and Priviledges of each County, and that those County Commissioners, be bound to receive all, and every impeachment, and impeachments, by any person or persons whatsoever, of the respective Counties, against any of their owne respective Knights or Burgesses in Parliament, for falsifying and betraying, his or their Countries trust, or any wise indeavouring the introduction of an arbitrary power in this Land. And that the said Commissioners have power and be firmely bound to impeach and attach in the name of their respective Counties, their said Member or Members, and to bring him or them to a legall and publique tryall. That in case such be found guilty, justice may be executed, and others in their roome, by the free choyce of the People bee sent. And in case any such Commissioner, or Commissioners shall refuse to prosecute any such complaint or impeachment, that then hee or they be ajudged guilty of Treason.

Articles concerning Courts of Judicature, offices and Officers of the Law.

1. That all Courts which are not established by the just old Law of the Land: and all illegall offices, and Officers, belonging to the same, and all other vexatious and unnecessary Courts, be abolished by act of Parliament. And that provision bee made that for tyme to come, no Courts or Officers whatsoever may be obtruded upon the free Commoners of England, either by Royall grant, Pattent, Act of Parliament, or otherwise contrary to the old Law of the Land.

2. That according to the old Law and custome of the Land, long before, and sometime after the Conquest, There may bee Courts of Judicature for the speedy tryall and determination of all causes, whether Criminall or Civill, erected and established in every Hundred, for the ease and benefit of the Subject, to be holden according to the old custome once or twice every moneth, for the ending of all causes Criminall and Civill whatsoever, which shall happen in the respective Hundreds. That the Freemen of England may have a sudden, quick and easie dispatch of their suits, and be eased also of their vexations and chargable travellings from all parts of the Kingdome, for processe and tryall of their suits unto Westminster Hall.

3. That all such Officers, as by the ancient and common Lawes of this Nation, are illegible, and to be chosen by the free Commons, as Mayors, Sheriffes, justices of peace, &c. may be left to the free Election of the people, in their respective places, and not otherwise to bee chosen. And that all such publique affaires (now in being) Not so elected and allowed, may be forthwith removed, and others by the free choice of the people be constituted in their roomes.

Articles concerning Goales, Goalers, and Imprisonment.

1. That the extortions, and oppressive fees of Goalers may bee redressed and eased, and that strict and severe provision be made against all Goalers, and their deputies, to restraine them for the future from the like extortions and cruelties, now frequent in all Goales of the Land. And that there may be a strict and severe Inquisition after the blood of such prisoners as have beene murthered and starved by the cruelties of Goalers, that so the persons guilty thereof may have justice executed upon them.

2. That no Prisoners be put in irons, or to other paine, before conviction and condemnation.

3. That there may be cleanly and wholesome provision made in all the Goales of England, for the lodging of Prisoners, at the charge and cost of the State, and that no fees for Chamber-rent, for entering or deliverance, or any thing in lieu thereof, be exacted or demanded under a severe penalty.

4. That neither the high Court of Parliament, nor any other inferior Court or Magistrate whatsoever, may commit any free man of England to prison upon any pretended contempts, as is frequent in these dayes, but onely for transgression and breach of the knowne Lawes of the Land. And for the future (to award the free Commons of England from the revenge of arbitrary spirits,) that strong provision be made by Act of Parliament to that end.

5. That there may be a severe penalty provided against all Goalers and their Deputies, which shall receive any prisoner persons whatsaever, without a lawfull charge or commitment drawne up in writing, according to the true forme of the Law, with a lawfull cause therein expressed, and with a lawfull conclusion, him safely to keepe untill hee shall be delivered by due processe or Law, according to Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, and not at the will and pleasure of the Committee.

6. That strong provision be made against all such Goalers as shall detaine any person or persons in prison after a lawful] discharge, as is frequent in all the Goales of the Land, whereby many poore free Commoners of England have been starved and dyed of hunger.

7. That all criminall persons that are condemned and reprived, may be acquit and set free.

Articles concerning the Lawes, and corruptions thereof, with other publique Grievances.

1. That all Lawes of the Land (lockt up from common capacities in the Latine or French tongues,) may bee translated into the English tongue. And that all records, Orders, Processes, Writs, and other proceedings whatsoever, may be all entered and issued forth in the English tongue, and that in the most plaine and common Character used in the Land, commonly called Roman, or Secretary, and that without all or any Latine or French Phrases or Tearmes, and also without all or any abreviations or abridgements of words, that so the meanest English Commoner that can but read written hand in his owne tongue, may fully understand his owne proceedings in the Law.

2. That no free Commoner of England be inforced to put either by the high Court of Parliament, or by any subordinate Court, Officer or Minister of lustice, whatsoever in the Land to make Oath, or to answer to any Interrogatories concerning himselfe in any criminall case, concerning his life, liberty, goods or free-hold. And that neither the High Court of Parliament, not any subordinate Court, Officer or Minister whatsoever, before Indictment, presentment, verdict of 12 men, or other due processe of Law, may take away any free Commoners life, liberty, goods, or free-hold, contrary to the State of Magna Charta, cap. 29.25. Edw. 3. cap. 4.28. Edw. 3 cap. 3.41. Edw. 3.c.3. 1 Eliz. cap. 1 &c.

3. That all Statutes made for the compulsion of persons to heare the Common Prayer Booke, and for the exercise of other Popish Rits, and Ceremonies, may be abrogated and taken away, and that all and singular persons indicted, imprisoned, or otherwise molested upon the aforesaid Statutes may be inlarged and relieved.

4. That neither Membership in Parliament, Office nor function, whatsoever in the Magistracy of the Land, may be any protection or demurre in any wise against the due processe or course of the ancient and common Lawes of this Realme, but that in all cases of treason, murther, Burglary, and fellonie, in all Actions, Suites, and civill proceedings whatsoever, the greatest Man or men in the Realme, may be made equally lyable at all times and seasons, and in all places in the Land to the tryall, sentence and execution of the Law, with the meanest Commoner.

5. That all wicked persons that shall beare false witnesse against any free man of England concerning his life, liberty, goods or free-hold upon legall discovery, and probation thereof, be adjudged, and condemned of their lives, liberties, and free-holds, according to that which they would have done unto their Neighhours.

6. That the cruell practise of imprisoning Debtors may be provided against, and that due Rights and properties may be recovered upon more mercifull tearmes then by way of imprisonment.

7. That according to the Law of God, and the old Law of the Land, matters of theft may not be punished with death, and that such Malefactors may make satisfaction either by just restitution to the party wronged, or by an answerable servitude, and that such offenders upon the second conviction (lawfully had) be brand markt visibly in the most eminent part of their face, and confind to a singular habit. And upon the third lawfull conviction, to be put to perpetuall servitude, for the benefit of the State, saving to the party wronged, a competent deduction thereon, for restitution according to the theft. that upon all occasions of warre, such Bond-men may be taken for the Military service, and the impressing of free-men on that behalfe in some measure spared.

8. That every English Native, who hath goods, Wares and Merchandize, may have freedome to transport the same to any place beyond the Seas, and there to convert them to his owne profit, it being his true and proper inheritance to doe, according to the Statutes of 14. Edw. 3.2.12. Hen. 7.6. and therefore to the end the old trade ingrosing Company of Merchants may be dissolved, and the like for the future prevented.

Concerning the Clergy.

1. That the grievous oppressions by Tythes and forced-maintenance for the Ministry be removed, and that the more easie and Evangelicall practice of contribution be granted, and confirmed for the benefit of the Subject, and his freedome therein, for prevention of the Lordlinesse, in and the Commotions, oppressions and, tyrannies, that might happen by the Clergy.

Concerning Schooles.

That all ancient Donations for the maintenance and continuance of Free-Schooles which are impropriate or converted to any private use, and all such Free-Schooles which are destroyed or purloyned of any freedome for propriety may be restored and erected againe, and that in all parts or Counties of the Realme of England, and Dominion of Wales destitute of Free-Schooles (for the due nurture and education of children) may have a competent number of Such Schooles, founded, erected, and indowed at the publique charges of those respective Counties and places so destitute, that few or none of the free men of England may for the future be ignorant of reading and writing.

Concerning Hospitalls.

That all ancient charitable Donations towards the constant reliefe of the poor, impropriate, and converted to other use, and all Hospitalls that are either impropriate, corrupted or vitiated from their primitive constitution and end, or be deprived of any of their franchise, profits or emoluments, may be restored, relieved, and rectified, and safely preserved to the reliefe and maintenance of poore Orphants, Widowes, aged and impotent persons, &c. And that there be a convenient number of Hospitalls, founded, erected, and constituted in all the Counties of England and Wales, at the publique charge of the respective Counties, for the good education and nurture of poore fatherlesse or helplesse children, maintenance and reliefe of poore widowes, aged, sick, and lame persons. And to that end, that all the Gleabe-Lands in the Kingdome, may be converted to the maintenance and use of those charitable houses.

Concerning Commons inclosed.

That all grounds which anciently lay in Common for the poore, and are now impropriate, inclosed, and fenced in, may forthwith (in whose hands soever they are) be cast out, and laid open againe to the free and common use and benefit of the poore.

Concerning Petitions.

That strong provision be made that neither the Parliament, nor any inferior Court, Officer, or Minister of the Law whatsoever, may in any wise let, disturb, or molest any person or persons, from contriving, promoting or presenting any Petition or Petitions concerning their grievances, liberties, to the High Court of Parliament.





4.12. [Signed by Several People, but attributed to John Wildman], The Case of the Armie Truly stated (15 October 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[Signed by Several People, but attributed to John Wildman], The Case of the Armie Truly stated, together with the mischiefes and dangers that are imminent, and some sutable remedies, Humbly proposed by the Agents of five Regiments of Horse, to their respective Regiments, and the whole Army. As it was presented by Mr. Edmond Bear, and Mr. William Russell, October 15. 1647. unto his Excellency, Sir Thomas Fairfax. Enclosed in a Letter from the said Agents: Also his Excellencies Honourable Answer thereunto.

Deut. 20.8. What man is there that is fearfull and faint hearted? let him go and returne unto his house, least his brethrens heart faint as well as his heart,
Judg. 7.7. And the Lord said unto Gideon, by the three hundred men that lapped, will I save you and deliver, the Midianites into thine hand, and let all the other people go, every one unto his place.

London: Printed in the Yeare, 1647.

Estimated date of publication

15 October 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 564; Thomason E. 411. (9.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

The Case of the Army truly stated, togegether with the mischiefes and dangers that are imminent, and some sutable remedies. Humbly proposed by the Agents of five Regiments of Horse, to the respective Regiments and the whole Army.

Whereas the grievances, dissatisfactions, and desires of the Army, both as Commoners and Soldiers, hath been many months since represented to the Parliament; and the Army hath waited with much patience, to see their common grievances redressed and the rights and freedomes of the Nation cleared and secured; yet, upon a most serious and conscientious view of our Narratives, Representations, Ingagement, Declarations, Remonstrances, and compairing with those the present state of the Army and Kingdome, and the present manner of actings of many at the Head Quarters, we not only apprehend nothing to have been done effectually, either for the Army or the poore oppressed people of the nation, but we also conceive, that there is little probabillitie of any good, without some more speedy and vigorous actings.

In respect of the Army, there hath been hitherto no publique vindication thereof, about their first Petition, answerable to the Ignominie, by declaring them enemies to the State, & disturbers of the peace: No publike clearing nor repairing of the credit of the Officers, sent for about that petition as Delinquents: No provision for Apprentizes, Widowes, Orphans, or maimed Souldiers, answerable to our reasonable addresses propounded in their behalf: No such Indempnitie, as provideth security, for the quiet, case, or safety of the Soldiers, disbanded or to be disbanded. No securitie for our Arreers, or provision for present pay, to inable the Army to subsist, without burthening the distressed Country. And in respect to the rights and freedomes of our selves and the people, that we declared we would insist upon, we conceive there is no kind or degree of satisfaction given: there is no determinate period of time set when the Parliament shall certainly end: The house is in no measure purged, either from persons unduly elected, or from Delinquents, that appeared to be such at the Armies last insisting upon their rights, or since: the “honour of the Parliamentary authoritie not cleared, and vindicated from the most horrid injustice of that Declaration against the Army for petitioning, nor of suppressing and burning Petitions, abusing and imprisoning Petitioners: But those strange presidents remaine upon Record, to the imfamy of Parliamentary authority; and the danger of our own and the peoples freedomes: The people are not righted, nor satisfied in point of accompts, for the vast summes of money disbursed by them. None of the publique burthens, or oppressions, by arbitrary Committees, injustice in the Law, Tythes, Monopolies, and restraint of free trade, burthensome Oathes, inequalitie of Assessements, Excize, and otherwise are removed or lightned, the rights of the people in their Parliaments concerning the nature and extent of that power, are not cleared and declared. So that we apprehend our own & the peoples case, little (if in any measure) better, since the Army last hazarded themselves for their own and the peoples rights and freedomes. Nay, to the griefe of our hearts, we must declare, that we conceive, the people and the Armies case much impaired, since the first Randezvouz at New Market, when that solernne ingagement was entred into: And that from the consideration.

That the Armies Engagement, Representations, Declarations, and Remonstrances, and promises in them contained, are declined, and more and more dayly broken, and not only in some smaller matters, wherein the Armie and the Kingdome are not so neerly concerned, but in divers particulars of dangerous consequence to the Army and the whole Nation. As,

First, In the Engagement, pag. the 5. the Armie promised every Member thereof each to other, and to the Parliament and Kingdome, that they would neither disband nor divide, nor suffer themselves to be disbanded or divided untill satisfaction should be given to the Army in relation to their grievances, and desires; and securitie that neither the Army nor the free borne people of England, should remaine subiect to such injuries, oppression, and abuse, as the corrupt party in the Parliament then had attempted against them.

Secondly, The Traine of Artillery is now to be disbanded, before satisfaction or securitie is given to the whole Army in relation to themselves, or other the free borne people, either in respect to their grievances or desires. And when the strength or sinewes of the Army be broken, what effectuall good can be secured for themselves or the people in case of opposition?

Thirdly, The Army is divided into quarters so farre distant, that one part is in no capabilitie to give timely assistance to another, if any designe should be to disband any part by violence sodainly, although neither our grievances nor desires as Soldiers or Commoners are redressed or answered. And as we conceive this dividing of the Army before satisfaction or securitie as aforesaid, to be contrary to the Armies intention in their Engagement, at the said Randezvouz, so we conceive it hath from that time given all the advantage to the enemies, to band and designe against the Armie, whereby not only pay hath been kept from the Soldiers, and securitie for arreers prevented, but the kingdom was indangered to have been imbroyled in blood, and the settlement of the peace and frecdome of the Nation, hath been thus long delayed.

The whole intent of the Engagement, and the equitable sense of it, hath been perverted openly, by affirming, and by sinister meanes making seeming determinations in the Counsell, that the Army was not to insist upon, or demand any securitie, for any of their own or other the free borne peoples freedoms or rights, though they might propound any thing to the Parliaments consideration; and according to that high breach of their Engagement, their actions have been regulated, and nothing that was declared formerly, to be insisted upon, hath been resolvedly adhered to, or claimed as the Armies or the peoples due, and we conceive it hath been by this meanes, that the Soldier hath had no pay constantly provided, nor any security for Arreers given them, & that hitherto they could not obtain so much, as to be paid up equally with those that did desert the Army, it not being possitively insisted upon, although in the Remonstrance of Iune, 23. pag. 11. It was declared, that it should be insisted upon resolvedly, to be done before the Thursday night after the sending that Remonstrance, and its now many moneths since Fourthly, In the prosecution of this breach, there hath been many discouragements of the Agitators of the Regiments, in consulting about the most effectuall meanes, for procuring the speedy redresse of the peoples grievances, and clearing and securing the native rights of the Army, and all others the free Commons.

It hath been instilled into them, that they ought not to intermeddle with those matters, thereby to induce them, to betray the trust the Regiments reposed in them; and for that purpose, the endeavours of some hath been to perswade the Soldiery, that their Agitators have medled with more, then concerned them. In the Declaration of Iune 14. pag. It was declared that the Army would adheare to their desires of full and equall satisfaction to the whole Soldiery of the Kingdome in Arreers, Indempnity, and all othre things mentioned in the papers, that contained the grievances, disatisfactions and desires who did then, or should afterward concurre with this Army in these desires.

But many thousands who have concurred with this Army, are now to be sent for Ireland, or to be disbanded with two moneths pay, before any securitie for Arrears, or sufficient Indempnitie, or any satisfaction to any desires as Soldiers or Commoners, then propounded; so now our Declaration is forgotten, and the faith of the Army, and his Excellency broken, for it may be remembred, that his excellency often promised, that the same care should be taken for those, that concurred, that should be for this Army, therefore if this course be driven on, what better can wee expect for our selves in the end?

Sixtly, In the same Declaration, June 14. pag. 6. it is declared that the Army took up Armes, in judgement and conscience, for the peoples just rights and liberties, and not as mercenary Souldiers, hired to serve an arbitrary power of the State, and that in the same manner it continued in armes at that time, and pag. 7. of the same Declaration, it was declared that they proceeded upon the principles of right and freedome, and upon the law of nature and Nations: But the strength of the endeavours of many hath been, and are now, spent to perswade the Soldiers and Agitators, that they stand as Soldiers only to serve the State, and may not as free Commons claime their right and freedome as due to them, as those ends for which they have hazzarded their lives, and that the ground of their refusing to disband, was only the want of Arrears and Indempnitie.

Seventhly, In the Remonstrance June 23. pag. 14. compared with pag. 15. it was declared, that such extraordinary courses should be taken as God should direct & enable them thereunto, to put things to a speedy issue, unles by the Thursday then imediately following, assurance and securitie were given to the Army and Kingdome, that the things desired in the Declaration, Iune the 14 should be speedily granted and setled.

But there hath been ever since, a totall neglect of insisting possitively upon the redresse of those grievances, or granting those desires of the Army as Soldiers. That the Declaration of June the 14. pag. the 3. refers unto, as formerly expressed, and not so much as one of those desires, as Commoners of England in the behalfe of themselves and others, (propounded in the same Declaration, pag. 6, 9, 10, 11.) hath been insisted upon possitively; neither setling a determinate period, wherein the Parliament shall certainly end, nor purging the House, nor clearing the rights of the people, in petitioning, nor the righting of them in accounts, &c. so that by these declinings of the Army, from insisting resolvedly upon the peoples, and the Armies own rights, both are after long expectations, as farre from right and freedome, as though there had been no man to plead their cause. And herein it is to be observed, that the neglect of insisting upon our most just desires, hath given enemies such secret incouragement, that they shufle off any desires, though propounded, as to be insisted upon, as may be mentioned in that our just desire, of recalling publikely the Declaration, inviting al to desert the Army, & professed to be insisted upon, in the same Declaration, June 23. pag. 11. which notwithstanding to this day was never publiquely recalled; so likewise the desire of vindicating the Parliaments honour, in relation to a publique disowning the order to suppresse our first Petition, and many others.

Eightly, In the declaration of Iune 14. pag. 10. as in all other Remonstrances and Declarations, it was desired, that the rights and liberties of the people might be secured, before the Kings businesse should be considered. But now the grievances of the people are propounded to be considered after the restoring him to the regall power, and that in such a way according to the proposals viz, with a negative voice, that the people that have purchased by blood what was their right, of which the King endeavoured to deprive them, should yet solely depend on his will, for their reliefe in their grievances and oppressions; and in like manner the securitie for the Armies Arrears is proposed, to be considered after the businesse of the King be determined, so that there is a totall declension since the method formerly desired, in the selling the peace of the Nation.

Ninthly, It hath been alwayes professed and declared, that the Army was called forth and conjured by the Parliaments Declarations, for defence of the peoples rights, against the forces raised by the King, and for delivering the King from his evill Councell, who seduced him to raise the war, and bringing Delinquents to condigne punishment. But now through the Armies countenance and indulgence, those conquered enemies, that were the Kings forces, abuse, reproach, and againe insult over the people, whose freedome was the grounds of the Armies engagement, yea, the Kings evill Councellors, that concurred in designing all the mischiefes in the Aings late warre against the people, are againe restored to him, and are admitted free accesse without check into all the Armies quarrels, whereby they are restored to a capacitie of plotting and designing mischiefe against the Armie and kingdome.

Tenthly, When imminent ruine, to the whole nation was apprehended, by meanes of the multitudes of corrupted Members in Parliament, diverting and obstructing all good proceedings; then the purging of the House in part, from one kind of Delinquents, was againe insisted upon, and a solemn Protestation was passed in the remonstrance from Kingstone, pag. 21. That the Armie would not permit those to sit in the House, that usurped the name and power of Parliamentary authoritie, when the Parliament was by violence suspended, and endeavoured to raise a warre to distroy the Parliament and Army, but that they would take some effectuall course to restraine them from sitting there, that the people might be concluded only by those Members that are free from such apparant treacherous breaches of their trust.

But hitherto this Engagement for purging the House from those Delinquents, (whose interest ingages them to be designing mischiefe against the people and Army) is declined and broken, to the black reproach and foulest infamie of the Army; and now these strong cords are cut in sunder and so forgotten, that there are no visible endeavours or intentions, to preserve the honour of the Armie, in its faithfullnesse to its Engagement and Protestation.

Thus all promises of the Armie to the people that Petitioned his Excellencie and the Army to stand for the National interest, freedomes and rights, are hitherto wholly declined, and the law of nature and nations now refused by many to be the rule by which their proceedings should be regulated; they now strip themselves of the interest of English men, which was so ill resented when it was attempted by the mallice of the enemies. And thus the peoples expectations that were much greatned, and their hopes of reliefe in their miseries and oppressions which were so much heightned are like to be frustrate, and while you looke for peace and freedome, the flood-gates of slaverie, oppression and miserie are opened upon the Nation, as may appeare by the present manifold dangers that incompasse about the Army and the whole Nation.

The mischiefes, evills, and dangers, which are and will be the necessary consequence of the Armies declining or delaying the effectuall fulfilling of its first Engagement, Promises and Declarations or of its neglect to insist possitively upon its first principles of common right and freedome.

Whereas its now many moneths since the Army declared (In answer to the Petitions of divers Counties, and from the sense of an absolute necessitie thereof,) that they would insist upon the peoples interest; as in the Declaration of June 14 pag. 13. And yet no reliefe for the people in any of their oppressions, by arbitrary powers, Monopolies, iniustice in the proceeding at Law, Tythes, Excize, &c. is effectually procured; nor any greater probabillitie of future helpe is visible then was before; no foundations of freedome being yet laid; and yet the Soldiery burthening the country with free quarters and occasioning greater taxes. These five mischiefes and dangers ensue inevitably.

First, The love and affection of the people to the Armie, which is (an armies greatest strength) is decayed, cooled, and neere lost; its already the common voice of the people, what good hath our new Saviours done for us? What grievances have they procured to be redressed? Wherein is our condition bettered? or how are we more free then before?

Secondly, Not only so, but the Army is rendred as an heavie burthen to the people, in regard more pay is exacted dayly for them, and the people find no good procured by them, thats answerable or equivolent to the charge, so that now the people begin to cry lowder for disbanding the Army then they did formerly for keeping us in Armes, because they see no benefit accruing, they say they are as likely to be oppressed and inslaved both by King and Parliament, as they were before the Armie engaged professedly to see their freedomes cleared and secured.

Thirdly, Whilst the peoples old oppressions are continued, and more taxes also are imposed for pay for the Army, they are disabled dayly more & more for the mantaining of an Army for their preservation, for they beginne to say, they can but be distroyed by oppression, and its all one to them, whether it be by pretended friends or professed enemies, it were as good, say they, that the King should rule againe by prerogative; we were slaves then to his will and we are now no better; we had rather have one tyrant then hundreds.

Fourthly, By this meanes, distractions divisions, heart-burnings and jealousies are increased, to the imminent danger of ruine to the Army and Kingdome; the people are inclined to tumults crying out, will none procure reliefe for us: shall we alwayes be deluded with faire words, and be devoured by oppressors? wee must ere long rise up in armes, and every one catch what he can: thus confusion is threatned.

Fiftly, The Army is exposed to contempt and scandall, and the most black reproaches, and infamies are cast upon them, the people say, that their resolutions not to disband, were because they would live idly on the peoples labours, and when the Souldiers are constrained to take free quarters, this (saith the people) is for freedom, and right, to eat the bread out of our childrens mouths: so that many Souldiers are ashamed of themselves, and feare that the people should rise to distroy them: you will doe nothing for us, (say they) we are vexed by malignant ludges for conscience sake, by arbitrary Committes in the Country, and at Parliament, ordering one thing this day, and recalling it the next, to our intollerable vexation, injustice in the law is the same, and we buy our right at as a dear rate as ever. Tithes are inforced from us double and treble. Excise continues, we can have no accompts of all our moneyes disbursed tor the publicke, more is dayly required, and we know not what is become of all we have paid already, the Souldiers have little pay, and the maimed Souldiers Widowes and Orphans are thrust upon us to be parrish charges.

Secondly Whereas the Engagement is broken, and the first principles deserted or neglected, these mischiefes and dangers have ensued.

1. The enemies are incouraged and imboldned to proceed in prejudice to the people & the Army as formerly: they may receive hopes upon the armies own words in their Generall Counsells, that the army will not oppose or disturbe them in their proceedings, to deprive the Armie and people of their native rights, if they can abuse the Parliament, or surprize them as formerly, they may say for themselves, the Army hath declared that they stand only as Souldiers, and will not insist upon any possitive demand of their own and the Nations freedomes; and was it not this that imboldned the enemies formerly to suppresse our first petition, and declare us enemies, for petitioning? they thought we would have stood only as mercenary Souldiers, hired to serve their arbitrary power, and not remembered that we by their invitation took up armes in judgment and conscience, to preserve the nation from tyrannic and opression, and therefore were oblieged to insist upon our rights and freedomes as Commoners, and surely it hath been upon this ground, that they kept us without money so long, thinking we would not or durst not insist upon our demands of that which is due to us, and upon this ground we judge the Parliament hath proceeded of late to increase the peoples oppressions, by an Ordinance for trible dammages, to be paid by all that refuse (though for conscience sake) to Pay Tythes, and an Ordinance to locke up the printing presses against whom they please, which was in the Bishops time complained of, as one of the great oppressions, and have slighted just petitions, and neglected to consider, and redresse the prisoners grievances and oppressions and the sufferings of conscientious persons, by the uniust statutes against Conventicles so stiled, & statutes for Common prayer Book, and enforcing all to come to Church, and all other the peoples grievances.

2. From the Armies declining their first principles, the same corrupt Members remain in Parliament that caused the Army to be proclaimed enemies for petitioning, and its to be observed that through the influence of those in the house, there was never any publike vindication of the Armyes honour, and of the justice of their petitioning at that time. and can the Army be safe, so long as its old declared enemies are in power and doe but watch the fittest opportunity to worke any mischief, but not only those enemies remain in power, and watch to destroy you, but 65. at least that lately voted and endeavoured to raise a new work to destroy the Armie, are suffered to vote in the Parliament though the Army hath protested solemnly, they would not suffer those usurpers to sit there, or that they would be concluded by those that were coactors in such treasonable breaches of their trust.

3. Through the Armies dividing contrary to the Engagement, and neglecting to insist upon the first Declaration, the enemies have had power and opportunity, to prevent them of their constant pay, and obstruct all proceedings to security for Arreares, whereas otherwise the enemies would not have dared to presume to obstruct good proceedings, and to prosecute their designes against the Army.

4. Through the Armies back-sliding from the Remonstrance, and Protestation from Kingston, August 18. those that lately endeavoured to raise a warre against the Parliament and Army, continue in the House, and have passed an Ordinance, wherein those betrayers of their trust are acknowledged to have been a House of Parliament, when the Parliament was forced away and suspended, and the Army having declared them to be no Parliament, and his Excellency slighted their Command, at Colebrooke, professing he knew no Parliament, to which he should send, are by this made guilty of the highest treason, and so a snare is layd for his Excellency and the Army, that when the enemies shall have the advantage, they may be declared traytors, for declaring against the Parliament, and disowning their authority, so that if some speedy remedy be not applyed, no man knowes how soon the enemy may prevaile to destroy his Excellency, the Army and Kingdome by this meanes: and the policy of the enemy is to be observed, that they would never suffer that Declaration to be debated in the House, that was published at the Armies marching towards London; wherein those that usurped the power of a Parliament, when the Parliament was suspended, were declared to be no legall Parliament: but the Declaration and Remonstrance of August 18. wherein the Army protested against the sitting of those usurpers in the House, may together be made the ground of their declaring us Traytors upon any advantage, for disowning, and declaring against the supreame authority of the Nation, in case those usurpers shall continue to be acknowledged an house of Parliament, as it remaines at present by the late Ordinance of August 20. procured to be passed by those Vsurpers themselves sitting judges of their own case.

5. By this neglect and declining of the Army, The Parliament is returned to their old delatory way of proceeding, neither insisting upon the relieving the people speedily and effectually in any of their grievances, nor providing constant pay for the Army, nor security for Arreares; so that the delayes that are occasioned through the Armies declining their first principles are as distinctive to the Army and Kingdome, as if there were direct actings by the Army against the Kingdomes peace.

6. Through the same declension of the Armies first principles, and the good and necessary method propounded for setting the nation in peace and freedome before the Kings businesse be considered, the King is likely to recover his old capacity, before the peoples freedoms (which they have redeemed out of the hands of him and his forces by blood) be cleared and established securely, and likewise before any security be given for Arreares; and then what probability there is, that then there should be any good security of pay obtained for the Army that conquered him, and for the freedoms of those that assisted them, let any rationall man judge? It may more certainly be expected, that he will provide for the pay and Arreares of his own Souldiery rather then of ours. And likewise by the same meanes, the Armies and their assistants indempnity, is propounded to receive its strength from the Kings consent; whereas not onely his sign of, or consent to any act is wholly null and void in Law, because he is under restraint, and so our indempnity, will be insufficient, if it shall depend in the least, on his confirmation. But also its the highest disparagement to the supream authority of this Nation, the Parliament, that when they have commanded an Army upon service against the King, they should not have sufficient power to save them harmlesse for obedience to their commands, and also its the highest dishonour to the Army, that they should seeke to the conquered enemy to save them harmlesse for fighting against them, which is to aske him pardon, and so will remaine as a perpetuall reproach upon them, if render therntraytors to psterity.

7. Through the Armies declining its first principles, to insist upon satisfaction and security as Souldiers and Commoners before disbanding or dividing the Army, is it now likely to be so far scattered into severall quarters, that it shall be in no capacity, to insist upon security for arreares, sufficient indempnity, or upon any its own or the nations rights, in case they shall be still denyed them.

8. It is to be considered that the enemies on the one hand, and the other increase dayly in their boldnesse, confidence, and strength, whilest securitie for the armies arreers, and constant futlire pay (so long as it shall be continued) are not provided, and and the rights and freedomes of the people are not cleared and secured, & the armie may divide, in case one part should insist upon the first just principles, and be faithfull thereunto, and another part should by flatteries, preferments, feare or negligence decline or desert them, and let it be considered what strength that would adds to the enemies, and how far it will indanger the ruine of the armie and kingdome.

Now we cannot but declare, that these sad apprehensions of mischiefes, dangers and confusion gaping to devoure the armie hath filled our hearts with troubles, that we never did, nor doe regard the worst of evills or mischiefes that can befall our selves in comparison to the consequence of them to the poore Nation, or to the security of common right and freedom, we could not but in (reall not formall fained) trouble of heart for the poorc Nation and oppressed people, breake forth and cry, O our bowels! our bowels! we are troubled at the very heart to heare the peoples dolfull groanes, and yet their expected deliverers will not heare or consider, they have run to and fro, and sighed He even wept forth their sorrowes and miseries, in petitions, first to the King then to the Parliament, and then to the armie, yet they have all been like broken reeds, even the armie it selfe upon whom they leaned have pierced their hands, their eyes even taile with looking for peace and freedome, but behold nothing but distraction, oppression and trouble, and could we hope that helpe is intended, yet the people perish by delayes, we wish therefore that the bowells of compassion in the whole armie might yeame towards their distressed brethren, and that they might with one consent say each to other, come let us joyne together speedily to demand present redresse for the peoples grievances, and securitie for all their and our own rights and freedomes as Soldiers and Commoners. Let us never divide each from other till those just demands be answered really and effectually, that so for the peoples case as many forces as are not absolutely necessary may be speedily disbanded and our honour may be preserved unspotted, when they shall see, that we minded not our own interest, but the good, freedome, and welfare of the whole Nation. Now to all that shall thus appeare we propound.

That whatsoever was proposed to be insisted on either, in the Declaration of June the 14. or the Remonstrance Iune 23 and in the Remon. from Kingstone, August 18. be adhered to resolvedly, so as not to reced from those desires, untill they be throughly and effectually answered: more particularly, that whereas it appeares by possitive lawes and antient just customes, that the people have right to new successive elections for Parliaments, at certain periods of time, and that it ought not to be denyed them, being so essentiall to their freedome, that without it they are no better then slaves, the nature of that legislative power, being arbitrary: and that therefore it be insisted on so possitively, and resolvedly, as not to recede from it.

1. That a determined period of time, be forthwith set, wherein this Parliament shall certainly be desolved, provided also that the said period be within 9. or 10. moneths, next ensuing, that so there may be sufficient time for selling of peace and freedome.

2. Whereas all good is obstructed and diverted by the power & influence of Delinquents, the late usurpers, &: undu elected ones in the Parliament, that therefore it be possitively & resolvedly insisted on; that the house be forthwith purged, from al that have forfited their trust, or were unduly elected, but especially that an order be passed forthwith, for the expelling all those from the house, who sate in the late pretended Parliament, & that likewise a severe penalty be ordered to be imposed on every of those usurpers that shall presume to sit in the House, for the passing of such an order, before they shall have given sufficient evidence, that they neither voted for a new warre, or for the Kings comming to London upon his own tearmes.

3. Wheras his Excellencie & the whole armie, were guilty of the highest treason if the pretended Parliament had been a legall Parliament, and its apparent that they were no legall Parliament, that therefore it be possitively and resolvedly insisted upon, that the Declaration of the army upon their last march up to London be forthwith publikely owned, and approved of by the Parliament, and that the same publique approbation be Passed upon the Remonstrance, & protest sent from Kingstone August 18.

4. Whereas Parliaments rightly constituted are the foundation of the hopes of right and freedome to this people, and whereas the people have been prevented of Parliaments, though many possitive lawes have been made for a constant succession of Parliaments, that therefore it be possitively and resolvedly insisted upon, that a law paramount be made, enacting it, to be unalterable by Parliaments that the people shall of course meet without any warrants or writs once in every two yeares upon an appointed day in their respective Countyes, for the election of their representors in Parliament, & that all the freeborn at the age of 21. yeares and upwards, be the electors, excepting those that have or shall deprive themselves of that their freedome, either for some yeares, or wholly by delinquency, and that the Parliament so elected and called, may have a certaine period of time set, wherein they shall of course determine, and that before the same period they may not be adjurnable and disolvable by the King, or any other except themselves.

Whereas all power is originally and essentially in the whole body of the people of this Nation, and whereas their free choice or consent by their Representors is the only originall or foundation of all just government; and the reason and end of the choice of all just Governors whatsoever is their apprehension of safety and good by them, that it be insisted upon possitively. That the supreame power of the peoples representors or Commons assembled in Parliament, be forthwith clearly declared as their power to make lawes, or repeale lawes, (which are not, or ought not to be unalterable) as also their power to call to an account all officers in this Nation whatsoever, for their neglect or treacheries in their trust for the peoples good, and to continue or displace and remove them from their offices, dignities or trust, according to their demerrits by their faithfulnesse or treacherie in the businesse or matters where with they are intrusted. And further, that this power to constitute any kind of governors or officers, that they shall judge to be for the peoples good, be declared, and that upon the aforesaid considerations it be insisted upon, that all obstructions to the freedome and equallitie of the peoples choice of their Representors, either by Pattenti, Charters or usurpations, by pretended customes, be removed by these present Commons in Parliament, and that such a freedome of choice be provided for, as the people may be equally represented. This power of Commons in Parliament, is the thing against which the King hath contended, and the people have defended with their lives, and therefore ought now to be demanded as the price of their blood.

That all the oppressions of the poore by Excize upon Beare, Cloath, Stuffes, and all manufacturics, and English commodities; be forthwith taken off, and that all Excize be better regulated, and imposed upon forraign commodities, and a time set wherein it shall certainly end, if there be a necessity of its present continuance on such commodities.

5. Whereas the people have disbursed such vast sums of money, by Pole-money, Subsidies, proposition money, Contribution, the five and twentieth part, viewes and reviewes of the same monethly assessements, Excize, and other wayes, and such vast sums have been collected and enforced by Sequestrations, Compositions, sale of Bishops lands, and other wayes, that the whole charge of the forces by sea and land might have been defrayed to the utmost farthing, and yet many millions of money remained if all that hav been disbursed freely or enforced, had been faithfully brought into the publike treasury, and improved for the publique use only: therefore, in respect to the peoples right, and for their ease, and for better and more casie provision of money for the Soldiery, that it be insisted upon possitively, that faithfull persons be chosen to receive accounts in every part of the kingdome, especially considering that former Committees for accounts were constituted in a time when corrupt men over powred the Parliament, and that they have done no service in discovering moneys since their constitution; and herein its to be insisted on that all without distinction, as well parliament men as others, may be equally accountable to persons chosen for that purpose.

Now herein its further to be insisted on, that whereas the time was wholly corrupt when persons were appointed to make sale of Bishops lands, and whereas Parliament men, Committee men, and their kinsfolkes were the only buyers, and much is sold, and yet its pretended, that little or no money is received, and whereas Lords, Parliament-men, and some other rich men, have vast sums of arreers allowed them in their purchase, and all their moneys lent to the state paid them, while others are left in necessitie, to whom the state is much indebted, and so present money that might be for the equall advantage of all, is not brought into the publique Treasury by those sales Its therefore to be insisted on that the sale of Bishops lands be reviewed, and that they may be sold to their worth, and for present moneys, for the publike use, & that the sale of all such be recalled, as have not been sold to their worth, or for present moneys.

And it is further offered, in consideration that the Court have occasioned the late warre, and reduced the state to such necessity, by causing such vast expence of treasure, that therefore whereas the many oppressions of the people, and the danger of absolute tyrany, were the occasion of the expence of so much blood, and whereas the people have bought their rights and freedomes, by the price of blood, and have in vaine waited long since, the common enemie, hath been subdued for the redresse of their grievances and oppressions, that therefore it be demanded as the peoples due, which ought not to denyed to the Army or to them, that before the King hath his Court and lives in honour, yet before his businesse be further considered, because the people are under much oppression and misery, it be forthwith the whole worke of the Parliament, to heare or consider of, & study effectually redresse for all common grievances and oppressions, and for the securing all other the peoples rights and freedomes, besides all these afore mentioned, and in particuler.

First, that all the orders, votes, ordinances or declarations, that have passed cither to discountenance petitions, suppresse, prevent or burne petitions, imprison or declare against petitioners, being dangerous presidents against the freedom of the people, may be forthwith expunged the Journall books, and the injustice of them clearly declared to all the people, and that in such a declaration the soldiery be vindicated, as to the right and equity of their first petition.

That all those large sums of money that were aloiyed to needlesse pretended Officers of the Court which did but increase wickednesse and prophanenesse, may be reserved for a publiqve treasure to be expended in paying those forces that must be maintained for the peoples safety, that so through a good and faithfull improvement of al the Lands pertaining to the Court, there might be much reserved for leaving publique charges, and easing the people.

And its further offered, that whereas millions of money have been kept in dead stocks in the City of London the Hals and Companies, and the free men of the City could never obtaine any account thereof, according to their right; That therefore a just and strict account may be forthwith given to all the freemen of all those dead stocks, & whereas there hath been nothing paid out of those, nor for the lands pertaining to the City, whiles the estates of others have been much wasted, by continuall payments, that therefore proportionable summs to what other estates have payd, may be taken out of those dead stocks, and lands which would amount to such vast sums, as would pay much of the soldiers arrearcs, without burthening the oppressed people.

And its further offered, that forrest lands, and Deanes and Chapters lands be immediately set appart for the arrears of the Army, and that the revenue of these and the resedue of Bishops lands unsold till the time of sale maybe forthwith appoynted to be paid unto our Treasury, to be reserved for the soldiers constant pay. And its to be wished that only such part of the aforesaid lands be sold as necessity requires, to satisfie the soldiery for arreares, and that the resedue be reserved and improved for a constant revenue for the State that the people may not be burthened, and that out of the revenues publique debts may be paid, and not first taken out of their own purses to be repayed to them.

And its further offered for the peoples ease, that the arreers of all former assessements be duly collected from those who have sufficient estates, and have not been impoverished by the warre.

And whereas its conceived that the fees of receivers of customes and Excize if they were justly computed, would amount to neere as much as the Armies pay, its therefore offered that speedy consideration be had of the multitude of those officers and their excessive fees, & profits, as 500. 600. 1000. 1200. l. per annum. And wheras that many Excize men appoint whom they please as their substitute, and alow what they please for their pay, that the officers may be few, and constant stipends allowed them, none exceeding 200. l. per annum, that so more moneys may be brought into the publike treasury.

And for the case and satisfaction of the people, its further to be insisted on, that the charge of all the forces to be kept up in the kingdome by sea or land, be particularly computed and published, and that all taxes that shall be necessary, may be wholly proportioned, according to that charge; and that there be an equall rate propounded throughout the kingdome in all assessements, that so one town may not beare double the proportion of another of the same value.

4. That all Monopolyes be forthwith removed, and no persons whatsoever may be permitted to restraine others from free trade.

5. That the most sad oppressions of prisoners be forthwith cased and removed, and that no person that hath no estate reall or personall, nor any person that shall willingly yeeld up his estate to satisfie his creditors may be detained in prison to the ruine of their persons and families, and likewise, that no person imprisoned in a criminall cause, may be detained from his legall tryall any longer then the next tearme.

6. That all Statutes, for the Common prayer book, and for enforcing all to come to Church, whereby many religious and conscientious people are dayly vexed and oppressed, be forthwith repealed and nulled. As also that all Statutes against Convinticles, under the pretence of which, religious people are vexed for private meetings about the worship of God, may be likewise repealed and nulled.

7. That all the oppressive statutes, enforcing all persons though against their consciences to pay Tythes, whereby the husbandman cannot eate the fruit of his labours, may be forthwith repealed and nulled.

8. That all statutes enforcing the taking of oaths, as in townes corporate, the oath of Supreamacy, &c. Wherein either the whole oaths, or some clauses in them, are burthens, and snares to conscientious people may be repeated and nulled.

9. That it be declared that no person or Court shall haye power or be permitted to enforce any person to make oath, or answer to any Interrogatories concerning himself, in any criminall case.

10. That a Committee of conscientious persons be forthwith selected to consider of the most intollerable oppressions by unjust proceedings in the law, that with all the lawes might be reduced to a smaller number, to be comprized in one volume in the English tongue, that every free Commoner might understand his own proceedings, that Courts might be in the respective Counties or Hundreds, that proceedings might become short and speedy, and that the numberlesse grievances in the law and Lawyers, might be redressed as soone as possible.

11. That all priviledges and protections above the law, whereby some persons are exempted from the force and power thereof, to the insufferable vexation and ruine of multitudes of distressed people, may be forthwith abbrogated.

12. That all the antient rights and donations belonging to the poore, now imbezled and converted to other uses, as inclosed Commons, Alms houses, &c. throughout all parts of the land, may be forthwith restored to the antient publique use and service of the poore, in whose hands soever they be detained.

Many other grievances are and ought to be redressed, but these as they are propounded, we conceive might be in a very short time redressed to the reliefe of many distressed ones, and to a generall ease; or at least, put into a way, wherein there might be visible hopes of remedie, and therefore these might be demanded as due to the people, though we desire the Counties might be encouraged to represent all their other grievances also for speedy redresse.

7. Generall head. That it be insisted on, that such Indempnitie be forthwith given both for the Soldiery and all that gave them assistance, and shall provide securely for their quiet, case and safety, and prevent all chargeable journeys to London, to seek after and waite upon Committees.

8. That in some of the fore mentioned wayes, security be given for arreers forthwith, that as soone as the rights and freedomes of the people be secured according as its hereupon propounded, and the other desires of the Army in relation to their particular freedome from pressing, and provision to be made in a certaine and no dishonourable way for maimed soldiers, Widowes, and Orphans, that shall continue during their lives, that then the Armes may be disposed into the hands of the faithfull well affected of the Nation, which may be so formed into a military posture, as to be ready on all occasions of service, and as many of the forces that are kept in constant pay, as shall not be absolutely necessary for the preservation and safety of the people, may be as speedily as possible disbanded, that they may not be a burthen to the Nation.

9. Whereas mercy and justice are the foundations of a lasting peace, its necessary to be insisted on (for the healing differences as far as possible,) That all those whose estates have been sequestered, and yet were not in armes for the King, or gave any actuall assistance to him in men, money, or armes, plate, horse, &c. in the late warre, that all such be discharged forthwith from their sequestrations; and that all such as have compounded, may not be enforced, to pay the five or twenteth part, seeing their whole estates were so long under sequestration: and that all those that have not compounded, who were in Armes for the King, may be compelled forthwith to compound, provided, that their Compositions be so moderate, as none may exceed two yeares revenue, that their families be not ruined, and they put upon desperate, attempts against the peace of the Nation to preserve themselves.

These things propounded are no more then what we conceived, should have been thoroughly done long since, being as to the principall of them but the substance and equitable sense of our former declarations, Remonstrances, and representations, And therefore though our restlesse desires of the peoples good, and of the welfare of the Army, have constrained us, thus publiquely to state our case, and the remedie accotding to the best improvement of the small Tallent of understanding that God hath given freely to us? yet let not the matter be prejudged because of the unworthy Authors, neither let it be thought presumption. It may be remembred that the Fathers danger made a dumb child to speake, and the Armys yea all the peoples dangers and miseryes have wrested open our mouthes, who had otherwise been silent in this kinde to the grave, and let it not be thought that we intend the division of the Army, we professe we are deeply sensible and desire all our fellow soldiers to consider it.

In case the union of the Army should be broken, (which the enemie waite for,) ruine and destruction will breake in upon us like a roaring sea, but we are much confident that the adhearing to those desires and to that speedy way of attaining our just ends for which we first ingaged, cannot be interpreted to be a desire of division, but the strongest vigorous endeavours after union, and though many whom we did betrust have been guilty of most supine negligence, yet we expect that the same impultion of Judgement and conscience that we have all professed, did command us forth at first for the peoples Freedome, will be againe so effectuall, that all will unannimusly concurre with us, so that a demand of the peoples and Armyes rights shall be made by the whole Army as by one man, that then all the enemies to, or obstructors of the happy settlement of common right, peace and freedome, may heare of our union and resolution, and their hands may be weake, and their hearts may fayle them, and so this Army that God hath cloathed with honour in subduing the common enemic, may yet be more honourable in the peoples eyes, when they shall be called the Repayrers of their breaches, and the restorers of their peace, right, and freedome.

And this is the prayer, and shall alwayes be the earnest endeavours of.

The Armies and all the peoples most faithfull servants,

Lievt. Gen.{ Robert Everard. Com. Gen.

{ George Sadler

{ George Garret.Col. Fleetwood.

{ Thomas Beverly.

{ William Prior, { Matthew Weaty.

{ William Bryan.Col. Whalyes.{ William Russell.

{ Richard Seale.

C. Riches.{ John Dober..

{ William Hudson.

{ Agitators.

Gilford, October 9, 1647.


A Copy of a Letter from the Agents of the aforesaid five Regiments of Horse, unto his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax.

May it please your Excellency,

From the deep sense of our duty to God, to our native Country, to your Excellency, to this Army, and to our selves, and to posterities to come, we find such obligations upon our consciences, written naturally by the finger of God in our hearts, that we cannot behold the honour of God to be impaired, the workes of his hands the land of our nativity, your Excellency, this Army, our selves, or posterities, ready to be swallowed and devoured up in confusion, thraldome and ruine, and to sit still, and not arise in the strength of his might, to contribute our best endeavours for the prevention thereof: for, God hath given no man a talent to be wrapt up in a Napkin & not improved, but the meanest vassall in the eye of the Lord is equally oblieged and accomptable to God with the greatest Prince or Commander under the Sun, in & for the use of that talent betrusted unto him: and therefore we presume that your Excellency (who does acknowledge your selfe a creature of, ir servant to the same God) will not think it strange, of judge iis disobedient or refractory, that we should, as we have presumed. State the case-of the Army, how declined from its first principles of safety, what mischiefes are threatned thereby, and what remedies are sutable for prevention, which herewith we do humbly present & offer unto your Excellencie: for, Sir should you, yea, should the whole Parliament or Kingdome exempt us from this service, or should command our silence if forbearance, yet could not they nor you discharge us of our duties to God, or to our owtt natures, for we must be accomptable, if judgment will come for the deeds done in our flesh, whether good or evill: and hee that hath not improved and put forth his talent to use, shall be bound hand and foot, & cast into the lake of eternall vengeance: Therefore, whether God or Man in this case must be obeyed, judge you So that we are bold from our sense of your Excel, piety, honesty and uprightnesse to God and to your Countrie, that in this our discharge of our duties to both, we shall not incur your displeasure or discountenance, but that you will freely commit us and the issue of our endeavours to God, & if it be of him it will stand; & from our consciences we attest, and protest in the presence of this all seeing diety, as we desire safety in this life, or in that which is to come, we have no other then cordiall & faithfull intents and resolutions to the undoubted safety and weale of our native Countrie, to Parliaments, your Excellencie, and this Armie, in this businesse represented in these inclosed Papers, & we do utterly abhorre and renounce all secret or private designes, or interest under the same, together with all that is contrary to the plaine and vulgar sense expressed in the premises thereof. And if by any one your Excellencie shall be suborned, that we are transgressors of all order and forme, and in that sense only to look upon us We desire to mind your Excellencie, that the law of nature & nations attested in our own publike Declarations & Papers may be an answer to such for the justification of our present expedient, for all formes are but as shadowes & subject to the end, & the safety of the people is above all formes, customes, & and the equitie of popular safettie is the thing which justifieth all formes, or the change of formes for the accomplishment thereof; and no formes are lawfull longer then they preserve or accomplish the same. If our dutie bind us when we see our neighbours house on fire, to wave all formes, ceremonies or complements, and forthwith (not waiting for order or leave) to attempt the quenching thereof without further scruple, as thereunto called of God, we say if we be so oblieged & called in the case of a particular, then much more are we oblieged and called, when we behold the great Mansion House of this Common wealth, and of this Army (wherein all the families of the Nation are contained) on fire, all ready to be devoured with slaverie, confusion and ruine, & their nationall native freedome (the price of their treasure & bloud) wrested out of their hands, as at this present appeareth to our best understandings: And therefore in this exigencie & straight of extremity, we from the very dictates of Divinity, Nature & Reason ingraven in our hearts could not otherwise chuse, with quiet and peace to our consciences [which no mortall man can take from us or suppresse the over powring motives thereof] but consider with our selves what we should do to award those threatning mischief es from this Nation and Army, and to that end we find nothing more effectuall then to knit our selves together with this fixed resolution, to part with our lives and all that is neare and deare unto us, before we part with our freedomes; and in relation thereunto we the Agents to five Regiments of your Horse, have after our weak manner in this our Representation directed to our respective Regiments and to the whole Army, discharged our duties; And we presume we have not erred from the equitable sense of our solemn Engagement, or from the just maximes and matters contained in our Declarations, Remonstrances, &c. from the which we are resolved not to receed. Thus humbly craving your Excellencies favourable construction on our innocent intentions and endeavours, we (as we alwayes have been) cordially remaine,

Your Excellencies and this Nations
faithfull Servants and Soldiers to
ftand or fall with you and it, for
common Right and Freedome.

Edward Trevers. }Lieut. Gen.

Edmon Bear. }

George Garret. }Com. Gen.

Jeremiah Cole. }

William Prior. }Col. Fleetwod.

William Bryan. }

John Fletcher. }

John Dober. }Col. Riches.

William Hudson. }

Matth. Wealey, }Col. Whaleys.

William Russel. }

Hemstead, October, 15. 1647.

We appoint Edmond Bear and William Russell above said, in our names to present this Letter, together with our Representation, entituled The cafe of the Army, &c. to his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax.

Upon the presentation to, and serious perusall thereof by his Excellency, the sum of his answer was to this effect. That he judged their intentions were honest, and desired that every one of a publique spirit would be acting for the Publique, and that for his part hee had freely ventured his life for common right and freedome, and should freely engage it againe, adding further, that he thought it meet it should be presented to the Generall-Councel.

Octob. 18. 1647




4.13. [John Wildman], A Cal to all the Souldiers of the Armie, by the Free People of England (29 October 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[John Wildman], A Cal to all the Souldiers of the Armie, by the Free People of England. 1. Justifying the Proceedings of the Five Regiments. 2. Manifesting the necessity of the whole Armies joyning with them, in all their faithfull endeavours, both for removing of all Tyranny and oppression, chiefly Tythes and Excise, and establishing the just liberties and peace of this Nation. 3. Discovering (without any respect of persons) the chiefe Authors, contrivers and increasers of all our miseries, especially the new raised hypocrits, by whose treacherous practices, all the just intentions and actions of the Adjutators and other well minded Souldiers, have been made fruitless.

Isaiah 58. 6. Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickednesse, to undoe the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed goe free, and that yee breake every yoak?
Mat. 23. 27, 28. Woe unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hipocrites; for yee are like unto whited Sepulchres, which indeed appear beautifull outward, but are within full of dead mens bones, and all uncleannesse.
Even so, yee also outwardly appeare righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisie and iniquity.

Printed in the yeare 1647.

Estimated date of publication

TT1, p. 566; Thomason E. 412. (10.)

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

Several items are listed separately in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

TO THOSE FIVE REGJMENTS OF THE ARMT, WHO HAVE already declared themselves to stand for maintenance of our just liberties, and for removall of those heavie oppressions, mentioned in that worthy discourse, intituled, THE CASE OF THE ARMY: AND To all, who intend to joyne timely and speedily with them.

YEE, true lovers of Justice and the Common-wealth, the work which yee have undertaken, is so just and necessary, that yee cannot but be exceedingly comforted in the very thoughts thereof, ye have justice and necessity on your side, which will powerfully draw all free-principled men of all estates and conditions unto you, nor can ye faile of good successe, unlesse contrary to the will and mind of God, who hath moved your hearts, and raised you to this so excellent, eminent and needfull a worke, yee give ear in aniwise to the Syrene-songs of flatterers, temporizers, neuters and hypocrits.

As for martiall-force, wee know you to be of such undanted courage, fidelity and valour, as that yee will incurre no danger in that kind, but what yee may easily prevent and avoide, if yee be so wise, provident and circumspect as wee hope, besides, yee may be consident, that no just mans conscience will suffer him to oppose you, and as for the unjust, God hath made them as chasse before you.

Take heed of crafty polititians and subtill Machivelians, & be sure to trust no mans painted words, it being high time now to see actions, yea, and those constantly upright too; if any man (by bringing forth unexpected bitter fruits) hath drawn upon himselfe a just suspition, let him justly bear his own blame, such a one is no more to be trusted whatsoever be pretended, untill he as farre exceed others, as he hath come short, in prosecution of your just ends and purposes.

One of the surest markes of deceivers, is to make faire, long and eloquent speeches, but a trusty or true-hearted man &illegible; more to doe good actions, then utter deceitfull orations; & one of the surest tokens of confederates in evill, is not only when one of his fellowes is vehement, firy or hot in any &illegible; pursuits, to be patient, cold or moderate to pacify his partner, and like deceitfull Lawyers before their Cliants to quallify matters; but sometimes seeme to discord or fall out, and quarrell in Councels, reasonings and debates; and yet never the lesse in the end to agree in evill; which they doe purposely, to hold upright men in a charitable (though doubtfull) opinion, that if such and such a man be not godly and upright, they know not whom in the world to trust, whiles in the meane time, under the vizards of great professions, gilded with some religious actions, they both deceive the world, and bring their wicked designes and selfe-interests to passe.

Those of you, that use your thursday general-Councels of late, might have observed so much of this kind of jugling, false-hood and double dealing as might have served to some good use at this point of extreamity, but truly most that have beene there have beene deluded, to our great griefe; which appeareth by the unreasonable proceedings of that Court; as in many things, so especially in their debates about the aforesaid Case of the ARMT, now published and subscribed by you.

Where in though the Generall was so ingenuous, as to move for the publicke reading thereof, yet the Commissary Generall Ireton, and Lievtenant Generall Cromwell, yea, and most of the Court, would and did proceed to censure & judge both it and the Authors and promoters thereof, without reading it, and ever since doe impudently boast and glory in that their victory.

It is very wonderfull, that such understanding men, should so soone fall in the same pernitious courses of those late impeached fugitives, their predecessors, Hollis and Stapleton, seeming to account all other men meer fooles but themselves; and because they were able to carry al things (as it were with a strong streame) in the House according to their own wils, they thought that either all other men abroad were blind, or must necessarily be of their mind: but as they were in some degree, so will these in a greater measure, be taught some new lessons of better manners; and in Gods owne time, will be forc’t also to acknowledge, that a sincere conscience will bear out in the day of tryall, when a wounded conscience (with wicked acts and false tricks) will bewray guiltinesse, and make the party odious.

In the Councell they held forth to you, the bloody Flagge of threats and terrous, talk’t of nothing but Faction, dividing principles, Anarchy, of hanging punishing, yea, and impudently maintained that your Regiments were abused, and the aforesaid Case, not truly subscribed, and did appoint a Committee Ad terrorem; and abroad they hold forth the white-flag of accommodation and satisfaction, and of minding the same thing which yee mind, and to be flesh of your flesh, and bone of your bone; and to invite you to their head-quarters, where they hope either to worke upon you, as they have most lamentably done upon others, even to betray your trust, confound both your understandings and Councels, corrupt your judgements, and blast your actions; and though they should not prevaile with you, yet there they keepe so great a state and distance, that they suppose yee will not dare to make good the things yeee have published.

But if yee be as wise as yee had need, keepe both from thence altogether, and as much at a distance from these pretended friends, as ye did once from open enemies; beleive it (if yee please) yee may as well hazzard at Hampton-Court as where they are, for the King and they are become one, as by the ensuing discourse is made manifest.

If yee doe adventure to goe thither, beware that yee be not frighted by the word ANARCHY, unto a love of Monarchy, which is but the gilded name for Tyranny; for Anarchy had never been so much as once mentioned amongst you, had it not been for that wicked end; ’tis an old thred-bare trick of the prophane Court, and doth amongst discreet men shew plainly who is for the Court, & against the liberties the people, who, when soever they positively insist for their just freedomes, are immediatly flap’t in the mouthes with these most malignant reproaches, O, yee are for Anarhchy, yee are against all Government, yee are Sectaries, sedicious persons, troublers both of Church and State, and so not worthy to live in a Common-wealth; there shall be a speedy course taken both against you and such as you: Away with all such from Parliament doores and head-quarters.

And if yee can escape these delusions, as through Gods assistance (wee trust) yee will, and not be satisfied with halfe or quarter remedies, or things holding a shadow only of good, without the substance, we cannot in the least, doubt of your good successe, being firmly resolved to stand by you, and to live and dy with you.

Yee had need to bee well armed and fortified against the devices that will bee put upon you, Ireton (yee know) hath alredy scandalized the Case of the Army in the generall counsel where, by his owne, and his consederats craft and policy, he raigneth as sole master, in so much as those friends yee have there (which wee hope, yee will see in dew time not to bee few) find it to little purpose to shew them selves active in opposing him: and as hee undertooke, so hath he answer-dy your Case, wherein hee sheweth himselfe soe full of arte & cunning smooth delusion (being skilled in nothing more) that if yee did not censibly know the things to be really and experimentally true, which yee have therein exprest and published, ’tis ten to one but he would deceive you.

This is certaine, in the House of Commons, both he and his Father Cromwell, doe so earnestly and palpably carry on the Kings designe, that your best friends there are amazed thereat, and even ready to weep for griefe to see such a sudden and dangerous alteration; and this they doe in the name of the whole Army, certifying the House, that if they doe not make further addresse to the King, they cannot promise that the Army will stand by them; if they should find opposition; and what is this, but as much in effect, as in the name of the whole Army, to threaten the House into a compliance with the King your most deadly enemy, and who if things go on thus, will deceive both you and them, yea, and all that act most for him?

To what purpose then should you either debate, conferre or treate, with such false sophisters, or treacherous deceivers as these, who like the former Courtiers can alwaies play the hypocrites, without any check of conscience? To what end should yee read, or spend time, to consider what they either write or speake, it being so evident that as they did intend, so they proceed to hold you in hand till their work be done?

But if you will shew your selves wise, stop your eares against them; resist the Devill and he will fly from you: hold not parlee with them, but proceed with that just work yee have so happily begun, without any more regarding one word they speak, for their consciences being at liberty to say or do any thing which may advance their owne ends, they have great advantage against you, whose consciences will not permit you to say or do any thing but what is just & true, & what yee mean to performe, they having shamfully proved themselves to be large promisers, thereby to deceive both you and all the people, but the worst performers that ever lived.

And therefore, certainly, ye have no warrant from God to treat either with them or their deceitfull instruments, who will be speedily (in great numbers) sent amongst you; but as ye know most of them for evill, so are ye to avoid them, as the most venemous Serpents: & faill not in this your just enterprize to cast yor selues chiestly upon God in the use of all the knowledge, experience, means and power wherewith he hath furnished you; and secondly upon the people, who will be ready with all their might and strength to assist you; whil’st yee are fathfull & reall for them; joyne and be one with them in heart and hand, with all possible speede in some substantiall and firme AGREMENT, for just freedom and common right, that this nation may no longer slote upon such wavering uncertain and sandy foundations of Government, which have been one of the greatest causes both of all your, & our predicessors miseries.

Otherwise, if ye be not at a sume establish’t certainty of all particulars therein, conducing both to the prosperity and safety of the People, we see no other remedy, but that now after all your victories, both ye and wee will come to live that dying life, even at the cruell mercies of most wicked Tyrants and blood oppressors.

Thus yee may assure your selves, if ye now suffer your strength either to be wrong or flattered one of your hands (though it be a most sad thing to speake) before many moneths passe, both yee and wee are like to be driven, yea, and even glad to begge our bread; and why is it they keepe you still so poore as they have a long time done (to the great griefe of us all) but that yee might not be able to helpe or stirre more then as many prisoners? Yea, they intend when they are advanced to the hight of their preferment, thus many both of you and us, shall be whipt, or banished as vagabons, starved in prisons, or hanged on Gallowses by dosens, scores and hundreds, as the eves and murderers.

Therefore let the foresight and consideration of these sad rewards of all our good services, which are fast hatching for us, make you wise and provident in time, who have sufficient power with our assistance, to defend both your selves and us; and the rather use all lawfull meanes to prevent, then to be in any wise forced to repent, worke which it is called to day; the night commeth on a pace, even the blacknesse of darknesse, of a most wicked accommodation, and then no man can worke: Up therefore and be doing what is just, and the Lord our God will assist you, and wee shall spend our lives and &illegible; with you. Fare well.

A CALL TO ALL THE SOULDIERS OF THE ARMY, by the free People of England.

FAITHFUL friends, ye and we have had so much experience of all sorts of men, that if now wee bee any longer deceived, wee are to complain of none but our selves; for as concerning the King, yee know the whole time of his reign before this Parliament, &illegible; time of most intolerable oppression, as his deferring and &illegible; up of Parliaments, knight-hood and loane-money, &illegible; of customes and impost, cruell and bloody censures in &illegible; and high Commission, selling of Offices, bribery and &illegible; in all Courts, extention of law-suits, multitudes of &illegible; and projects, Ship-money, coate and conduct money, innovation in Religion, and continuall oppression of conscience.

And as his first warre was made purposely to betray Rochell, (that ancient Sanctuary of the Protestants) so now by the same his arbitrary power, he raiseth a bloody warre against his owne native Country of Scotland, purposely to betray and enslave both us and them; so that a verier tyrant then King Charles, even when this Parliament began, was not living upon earth.

And our hopes (ye know) were very great, that this Parliament would have punished him in the first place, as the chiefe author of our miseries; but so it proved, that he no more abused his Office, then they instantly fell to abuse their trust, and frustrate our hopes; for they let him alone, and fall only upon his evill Councellors; by which treacherous meanes they gave him opportunity to raise a warre against the People, which yee full dearely know, proved a very cruell and bloody one, to the destruction of many thousand worthy men and families, all which seemeth too soone to be forgotten.

A great part of which time, the Parliament so managed the warre as if they intended meerly to robbe and spoyl the People, by pilling and polling them with variety of new devised taxes, especially with that unmercifull taxation of EXCISE; which (like the disease called the woolfe) both eateth the flesh and sucketh the blood of the midle and poorer sort, and so to moold and fashion the people, to beare such heavy burdens as the King should impose upon them, with the lesse grudging and repining.

But in the very point of time, when both the Parliament and their Armies under Essex and Manchester, had all shamefully betrayed their trusts, and that all wel-affected people were ready to be given up into his merciles hands, naked & stript of all their wealth and strength, even then, it pleased God by undiscernable meanes, to raise the now modle and put power into your hands, which wee thankfully acknowledge, ye so faithfully, industriously and valiantly employed, as soon curbed the pride and power of the King, and freed the land from all his cruell and bloody forces.

Yet whiles ye were thus busie abroad for good, the Parliament and City doe confederate, and are as industrious at home for evil; as to admit none to bear office of any trust or command, but such as would submit to the Covenant and Presbytery; an Ordinance is brought into the House, and countenanced against opinions in Religion, of a more bloody and dangerous consequence then any that ever was in the high Commission; a Committee is appointed and exercised with most vile parciallity, by Colonell Leigh and his accomplices, against godly peaceable People, for preaching without their deceitfull Cleargies Ordination; the House of Lords imprison Commoners at their pleasure, Larner, Lilburne, Overton, Tew and others, and the House of Commons approve thereof, and give up the liberties of the people to any.

Their own Committees arbitrary commitments, and the violent behaviour of their own members are justified, whiles those whom they abuse, are upon false suggestions unheard, imprisoned; and in conclusion, they blush not to burne just Petitions by the common hang-man.

Indeed, there were no end of reckoning up the innumerable treacheries, and mischieveous practices of this your Parliament, their intolerable pride, and covetous in-riching of themselves, their children and alliances, their allowance of the oppressions of all Committees and Courts, that should be courts of justice, but are indeed forges of oppression and injustice: And in all these times, and amidst all businesses, what is there done for the people? If in the beginning, they removed one oppression, (as if they repented themselves) they have brought in two in place thereof; and ever and anon, their grand Master the King, must be treated withall; his honour and authority (for sooth) that ever sought most violently the ruine of you and us, must be tendred, and have propositions sent to him, and the poore ignorant people must be deluded by this Parliaments double dealing, as if all the peoples peace and happinesse depended only on him, who ever oppressed them to his utmost power: All his plots to ruine the honest party in the Parliament and City, must not in the least be layed either to his charge, nor almost to any others, but searcht’ into by halves and hudled up, like Deering, and Walers plots and the like; the Earle of Manchesters teachery as foule as any, not so much as questioned.

And untill the wickednesse of the House of Commons came to such a masse, that they had plotted your disbanding, and thereby gave you just cause to stand upon your own guard, there appeared no hope, but that we & ye with all who had al-waies stood for common freedome, against both Kingly, Lordly, and Parliamentary tyranny, should have been made the objects of their scorne, and subjects of their malice, and had ere this, been delivered up as slaves into the cruell hands of the King their Master.

But God hath put it into your hearts to take care both of your selves and us, and by your wisdome and resolution wrought a mighty alteration: Ye of the plainer sort, were thought by him who is only wise, to be the meetest instruments for so great a work, and wee are grieved, that those who were raised by your valour to places of honour and greatness, should so soon despise the way of the Lord, and should not still make use of you, in finishing the work so happily begun.

Your Adjutators (we hear) are esteemed but as a burthen to the chief Officers, which we judge to be the reason, that all things now are in such a languishing condition; our hopes dy daily within us, and we fear ye will to soon give your selves and us, with our joynt and just cause, into their hands: Yee should have considered, that they along time staggered, before they engaged with you, and certainly had never engaged, but that they saw no other way nor means to shelter and preserve themselves, from the power of Hollis and Stapleton with their confederates.

We have now too much cause to fear, that your and our good, or the promoting of the common freedome of the Nation, was the least part of their care or intention; for they no sooner by your unanimous resolution, became Masters of the King, Parliament and City, and thereby of a power to doe whatsoever good, was desirable either by you or us, but they wholy despise and neglect you; for notwithstanding your joynt engagement, and thereby your just power of voting with them, in all things concerning the Army as an Army, or as members of the common-wealth, they (at Branford or Hunslow) made an agreement with the Parliament, without your knowledge or consent; and likewise, both against your sound advice and their engagement, permit the usurpers of Parliament authority to sit and vote in the House, not considering, or (at least) not regarding how impossible it is, to promote the good of the people, to punish Delinquents, or to bring any security to you or us, whilest they are there.

Ye persist never the lesse in your care of the common good, and urge again and again, that these intruders be removed out of Parliament, and in the end prevail with your chief officers, to present to the Parliament, and publish to the world a Declaration, and therein a Protestation against their sitting there, in very large and fit expressions; notwithstanding all which, these corrupt and rotten members still retain their places, and the chief domineering Officers of the Army, Cromwell and Ireton sit with them, without any endeavour to dismisse them thence; and not only so, but seem insensible or regardlesse of all the evill that hath been done by them, in endeavouring to make a new warre, or to bring in the King, upon most unjust, unsafe, and unconscionable tearmes.

Surely we cannot but grieve to consider, how the Parliament have spent their time since yee entred the City; the House of Lords still imprison Commoners without controle, Lilburne continueth most unjustly and shamelesly a prisoner in the Tower, and Manchester at liberty.

People from many Counties petition against the oppression of Tithes, without any relief at all, but made more grieveous by a most unreasonable Ordinance; the Assembly of Parsons continue sitting, to the great charge of the people, whil’st they hatch nothing but mischief.

No just nor equall way is ordered for due and timely payment of you in the Army, but is omitted of set-purpose, that free quarter may make you odious, and in the people against you; and nothing is now so much minded by your Officers and their Parliament, then how to please, satisfy and establish the King, who hates both you and us with an inveterate hatered; and were your Officers of the same mind they have sometimes been, he would hate them in the like manner, but it appeareth, he by his insinuations hath so wrought upon their affections, that he and they seem to be of one heart, and of one mind, so that all their care is to please him; and that they may doe it the more effectually (swallowing up their duty to God, their engagement with you, their Declaration and protestation, with all the innocent blood that he hath spilt) they for his sake, forbear to clear the House, of so many of his trusty friends, who in the countersiut Parliam. so vehemently endeavoured his speedy comming to London, where certainly your Officers earnestly desire to have him otherwise why are they so impottunate (after his denyall of the Propositions) to present their weak and lante Proposals to the House, and so to prepare them, or some result thereof to be sent to him for his agreement and consent? why make they an Idoll of him, and beare him up so high in the eyes and fancies of the people, as if he were in there esteem, the very light of their eyes, and the breath of their nostrels?

Why are they so familliar with Ashburnham and others his chief agients? Why permit they so many of his deceitfull Clergy to continue about him? Why doe themselves kneele, and kisse, and fawne upon him? Why have they received favours from him, and sent their wives or daughters to visit him, or to kisse his hand, or be kissed of him?

Oh shame of men! Oh sin against God! What, to doe thus to a man of blood; over head and eares in the blood of your dearest friends and fellow Commoners? To him that thirsteth for your blood, yea, and theirs too, however they flatter and befools themselves. Hear oh Heavens, and regard oh earth, if this in these exceed not the wickednesse of the most wicked upon earth?

And think ye oh friends, to escape the severe judgement of Almighty God, who by your silence and want of reproofe of these things, give countenance thereunto, for your officers durst not go on in these unworthy courses, but that they presume upon you to back them: For alas, what are they without you, but as so many single persons, ready to be hunted by all the great parties in the land? So that ye are in effect, the abetters of all their evill courses, the Bauds and Panders to their adulterate practices with the King; nor can ye make amends for your so sinfull neglect, but by a speedy impeachment of him, and exemplary punishment of them, for their private tampering with him, who if he were a politick tyrant when this Parliament began, how bloody a one hath he proved himselfe ever since?

Wee beseech you therefore, yea, we beg of you all Commanders and Souldiers, that are yet untainted in your integrity, and have not yet bowed your knees to Baal, that yee will not betray your selves, your just cause and us so unworthily, nor seem to distrust that power and wisdome of God, by which ye have done so great and mighty workes; but that now ye will be bold and couragious for your God and for his people, and for justice against all ungodlinesse and unrighteousnesse of men, without respect of persons.

And before it be to late deal plainly with Ireton, by whose cowardy or ambicious policy, Cromwel is betrayed into these mischievous practices; & by whose craft the power of your Adjutators is brought to nothing; and by whose dissimulation many of them are corrupted, and become treacherous unto you; none but flatterers, tale-bearers and turn-coats are countenanced by him: let him know yee know him, and hate his courses; your generall councels by his imperious carriage, are like unto Star-chambers; a plain man is made an offender for a word.

And if Cromwell Instantly repent not, and alter his course, let him know also, that ye loved and honoured just, honest, sincere and valiant Cromwell, that loved his Country, and the liberties of the people above his life, yea, and hated the King as a man of blood, but that Cromwell ceasing to be such, he ceaseth to be the object of your love.

And since there is no remedy, ye must begin your worke anew, ye are as ye were at Bury, ye are no strangers to the way, ye have already made a good beginning, wherein we rejoyce, ye have men amongst you as fit to governe, as others to be removed, AND WITH A WORD, YEE CAN CREATE NEW OFFICERS, necessity hath no law, and against it there is no plea, the safety of the people is above all law; & if ye be not very speedy, effectuall, and doe your worke throughly, and not by halves as it hath been, yee and wee perish inevitably.

What your Generall is yee best know, but ’tis to late to live by hopes, or to run any more hazzards, none can deceive you but whom ye trust upon doubtfull tearmes; be ware of the flattery and sophistry of men: bargain with your Officers, not to court it in fine or gaudy apparrell, nor to regard titles, fine fare or complements; those that doe, are much more lyable to temptations then other men; a good conscience is a continuall feast; and let your outside testifie that ye delight not to be Souldiers, longer then necessity requires.

Draw your selves into an exact councell, and get amongs you, the most judicious and truest lovers of the people ye can find, to helpe you; and let your end be justice without respect of persons, and peace and freedome to all sorts of peaceable people, establish a free Parliament, by expulsion of the usurppers: free the people from all burthens and oppressions speedily and without delay; take an exact accompt of the publick treasure, that publick charges may be defrayed by subsidees, Tythes abolished, the lawes and proceedings therein regulated, and free quarter abandoned.

Let nothing deterre you from this so just and necessary a worke, none will oppose you therein, or so long as ye continue sincere and uncorrupted; for all sorts of people have been abused, Kings have abused them, Parliaments have abused them, and your chief Officers have most grosly deceived the honest party: be confident none will oppose, and be as confident, that thousands and ten thousands are ready and ripe to assist you.

Be strong therefore, our deare true harted brethren and fellow Commoners, and be of good courage, and the Lord our God will direct you by his wisdome, who never yet failed you in your greatest extremities; stay for no farther, looke for no other Call: for the voice of necessity is the Call of God; al other waies for your imdempnity are but delusive, and if yee trust to any other, under the fairest promises, yee will find your selves in a snare.

Whom can yee trust, who hath not hitherto deceived you? Trust only to justice, for God is a God of justice, and those that promote the same shall be preserved; free the Parliament from those incendiaries with all your might; the true and just patriots (yea, all but deceivers) therein long for your assistance; & that being effectually done, ye may safely put your selves and the whole Nation, upon them both for provision indempnity and just liberty.

In the meane time, let your friends that are about the King, be sure to keepe him, as they keep their lives, and not to part with him upon any tearmes, till you can referre him to a free Parliament; if you doe not this, but that any agreement be now made with him, yee will find that in an instant, his Judges and Lawyers, and Lords and Priests, will be your Judges, and what rebels ye appeare in their eyes both yee know, & some of your friends have already felt sufficiently; a free Parliament therefore only can secure both you and us.

Let no policy, art or stratagem divide you in affection, or separate your Regiments far distant from one another, for that must necessarily be your unavoidable ruine; beware of Neuters, and such as have carried two faces under one hood, hollow-hearted or aspiring men, such as Say Wharton, Fines, Vaine, St. Johns, &c. the greatest deceivers his day living; above all harden not your consciences by a custome in dissimulation, as some eminent professors amongst you have lamenrably done, as knowing that none are so hatefull in the sight of God as hipocrits.

Doe what yee can to recover the credit of your Army, which hath beene betrayed and lost, as shamefully as the publick saith (both which deserve sevese punishments) for if once yee loose your reputation, yee will soon be but as a meere shadow; therefore be very carefull of keeping a good, upright and sincere conscience before God, and then yee need not feare what men can doe unto you.

But in these and all other things, the wisdome and goodnesse of God (wee trust) will be your guide, to leade you into all the pathes of righteousnesse, unto whose will and mind if yee carefully give care, yee shall certainly be blessed in all your undertakings.





4.14. [Several Hands], An Agreement of the People for a firme and present Peace, upon grounds of common-right and freedome (3 November 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[Several Hands], An Agreement of the People for a firme and present Peace, upon grounds of common-right and freedome; As it was proposed by the Agents of the five Regiments of Horse; and since by the generall approbation of the Army, offered to the joynt concurrence of all the free Commons of England. The Nmaes of the Regiments which have already appeared for the Case, of The Case of the Army truly stated, and for this present Agreement, viz.

Of Horse: 1. Gen. Regiment, 2. Life-Guard, 3. Lieut.Gen. Regiment, 4. Com.Gen. Regiment, 5. Col. Whaleyes Reg., 6. Col. Riches Reg., 7. Col. Fleetwoods Reg., 8. Col. Harrisons Reg., 9. Col. Twisdens Reg.
Of Foot: 1. Ge, Regiment, 2. Col. Sir Hardrosse Wallers Reg., 3. Col. Rainsboroughs Regiment, 5. Col. Overtons Reg., 6 Col. Lilburnes Reg., 7. Col. Backsters Reg.

Printed Anno. Dom. 1647.

Estimated date of publication

3 November 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 566; Thomason E. 412. (21.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

An agreement of the People, for a firme and present Peace, upon grounds of Common-Rights.

Having by our late labours and hazards made it appeare to the world at how high a rate wee value our just freedome, and God having so far owned our cause, as to deliver the Enemies thereof into our hands: We do now hold our selves bound in mutual duty to each other, to take the best care we can for the future, to avoid both the danger of returning into a slavish condition, and the chargable remedy of another war: for as it cannot be imagined that so many of our Country-men would have opposed us in this quarrel, if they had understood their owne good; so may we safely promise to our selves, that when our Common Rights and liberties shall be cleared, their endeavours will be disappointed, that seek to make themselves our Masters: since therefore our former oppressions, and scarce yet ended troubles have beene occasioned, either by want of frequent Nationall meetings in Councell, or by rendring those meetings ineffectuall; We are fully agreed and resolved, to provide that hereafter our Representatives be neither left to an uncertainty for the time, nor made uselcsse to the ends for which they are intended: In order whereunto we declare,


That the People of England being at this day very unequally distributed by Counties, Cities, & Burroughs, for the election of their Deputies in Parliament, ought to be more indifferently proportioned, according to the number of the Inhabitants: the circumstances whereof, for number, place, and manner, are to be set down before the end of this present Parliament.


That to prevent the many inconveniences apparently arising from the long continuance of the same persons in authority, this present Parliament be dissolved upon the last day of September, which shall be in the year of our Lord, 1648.


That the People do of course chuse themselves a Parliament once in two yeares, viz. upon the first Thursday in every 2d. March, after the manner as shall be prescribed before the end of this Parliament, to begin to sit upon the first Thursday in Aprill following at Westminster, or such other place as shall bee appointed from time to time by the preceding Representatives; and to continue till the last day of September, then next ensuing, and no longer.


That the power of this, and all future Representatives of this Nation, is inferiour only to theirs who chuse them, and doth extend, without the consent or concurrence of any other person or persons; to the enacting, altering, and repealing of Lawes; to the erecting and abolishing of Offices and Courts; to the appointing, removing, and calling to account Magistrates, and Officers of all degrees; to the making War and peace, to the treating with forraign States: And generally, to whatsoever is not expresly, or implyedly reserved by the represented to themselves.

Which are as followeth,

1. THat matters of Religion, and the wayes of Gods Worship, are not at all intrusted by us to any humane power, because therein wee cannot remit or exceed a tittle of what our Consciences dictate to be the mind of God, without wilfull sinne: neverthelesse the publike way of instructing the Nation (so it be not compulsive) is referred to their discretion.

2. That the matter of impresting and constraining any of us to serve in the warres, is against our freedome; and therefore we do not allow it in our Representatives; the rather, because money (the sinews of war) being alwayes at their disposall, they can never want numbers of men, apt enough to engage in any just cause.

3. That after the dissolution of this present Parliament, no person be at any time questioned for anything said or done, in reference to the late publike differences, otherwise then in execution of the Judgments of the present Representatives, or House of Commons.

4. That in all Laws made, or to be made, every person may be bound alike, and that no Tenure, Estate, Charter, Degree, Birth, or place, do confer any exemption from the ordinary Course of Legall proceedings, whereunto others arc subjected.

5. That as the Laws ought to be equall, so they must be good, and not evidently destructive to the safety and well-being of the people.

THese things we declare to be our native Rights, and therefore are agreed and resolved to maintain them with our utmost possibilities, against all opposition whatsoever, being compelled thereunto, not only by the examples of our Ancestors, whose bloud was often spent in vain for the recovery of their Freedomes, suffering themselves, through fradulent accommodations, to be still deluded of the fruit of their Victories, but also by our own wofull experience, who having long expected, & dearly earned the establishment of these certain rules of Government are yet made to depend for the settlement of our Peace and Freedoms, upon him that intended our bondage, and brought a cruell Warre upon us.

For the noble and highly honoured the Free-born People of ENGLAND, in their respective Counties and Divisions, these.

Deare Country-men, and fellow-Commoners,

For your sakes, our friends, estates and lives, have not been deare to us; for your safety and freedom we have cheerfully indured hard Labours and run most desperate hazards, and in comparison to your peace and freedome we neither doe nor ever shall value our dearest bloud and wee professe, our bowells are and have been troubled, and our hearts pained within us, in seeing & considering that you have been so long bereaved of these fruites and ends of all our labours and hazards, wee cannot but sympathize with you in your miseries and oppressions. It’s greife and vexation of heart to us; to receive your meate or moneyes, whilest you have no advantage, nor yet the foundations of your peace and freedom surely layed: and therefore upon most serious considerations, that your principall right most essentiall to your well-being is the clearncs, certaintie, sufficiencie and freedom of your power in your representatives in Parliament, and considering that the original of most of your oppressions & miseries hath been either from the obscuritie and doubtfulnes of the power you have committed to your representatives in your elections, or from the want of courage in those whom you have betrusted to claime and exercise their power, which might probably proceed from their uncertaintie of your assistance and maintenance of their power, and minding that for this right of yours and ours we engaged our lives; for the King raised the warre against you and your Parliament, upon this ground, that hee would not suffer your representatives to provide for your peace safetie and freedom that were then in danger, by disposing of the Militia and otherwise, according to their trust; and tor the maintenance and defense of that power and right of yours, wee hazarded all that was deare to us, and God hath borne witnesse to the justice of our Cause. And further minding that the only effectual meanes to settle a just and lasting peace, to obtaine remedie for all your greivances, & to prevent future oppressions, is the making clear & secure the power that you betrust to your representatives in Parliament, that they may know their trust, in the faithfull execution whereof you wil assist them. Upon all these grounds, we propound your joyning with us in the agreement herewith sent unto you; that by vertue thereof, we may have Parliaments certainly cal’d and have the time of their sitting & ending certain & their power or trust cleare and unquestionable, that hereafter they may remove your burdens, & secure your rights, without oppositions or obstructions, & that the foundations of your peace may be so free from uncertainty, that there may be no grounds for future quarrels, or contentions to occasion warre and bloud-shed; & wee desire you would consider, that as these things wherein we offer to agree with you, are the fruites & ends of the Victories which God hath given us: so the settlement of these are the most absolute meanes to preserve you & your Posterity, from slavery, oppression, distraction, & trouble; by this, those whom your selves shall chuse, shall have power to restore you to, and secur you in, all your rights; & they shall be in a capacity to tast of subjection, as well as rule, & so shall be equally concerned with your selves, in all they do. For they must equally suffer with you under any common burdens, & partake with you in any freedoms; & by this they shal be disinabled to defraud or wrong you, when the lawes shall bind all alike, without priviledge or exemption; & by this your Consciences shall be free from tyrannie & oppression, & those occasions of endlesse strifes, & bloudy warres, shall be perfectly removed: without controversie by your joyning with us in this Agreement, all your particular & common grievances will be redressed forthwith without delay; the Parliament must then make your reliefe and common good their only study.

Now because we are earnestly desirous of the peace and good of all our Country-men, even of those that have opposed us, and would to our utmost possibility provide for perfect peace and freedome, & prevent all suites, debates, & contentions that may happen amongst you, in relation to the late war: we have therefore inserted it into this Agreement, that no person shall be questionable for any thing done, in relation to the late publike differences, after the dissolution of this present Parliament, further then in execution of their judgment; that thereby all may be secure from all sufferings for what they have done, & not liable hereafter to be troubled or punished by the judgment of another Parliament, which may be to their ruine, unlesse this Agreement be joyned in, whereby any acts of indempnity or oblivion shalbe made unalterable, and you and your posterities be secure.

But if any shall enquire why we should desire to joyn in an Agreement with the people, to declare these to be our native Rights, & not rather petition to the Parliament for them; the reason is evident: No Act of Parliament is or can be unalterable, and so cannot be sufficient security, to save you or us harmlesse, from what another Parliament may determine, if it should be corrupted; and besides Parliaments are to receive the extent of their power, and trust from those that betrust them; and therefore the people are to declare what their power and trust is, which is the intent of this Agreement; and its to be observed, that though there hath formerly been many Acts of Parliament, for the calling of Parliaments every yeare, yet you have been deprived of them, and inslaved through want of them; and therefore both necessity for your security in these freedomes, that are essentiall to your well-being, and wofull experience of the manifold miseries and distractions that have been lengthened out since the war ended, through want of such a settlement, requires this Agreement and when you and we shall be joyned together therein, we shall readily joyn with you, to petition the Parliament, as they are our fellow Commoners equally concerned, to joyn with us.

And if any shall inquire. Why we undertake to offer this Agreement, we must professe, we are sensible that you have been so often deceived with Declarations and Remonstrances, and fed with vain hopes that you have sufficient reason to abandon all confidence in any persons whatsoever, from whom you have no other security of their intending your freedome, then bare Declaration: And therefore, as our consciences witnesse, that in simplicity and integrity of heart, we have proposed lately in the Case of the Army stated, your freedome and deliverance from slavery, oppression, and all burdens: so we desire to give you satisfying assurance thereof by this Agreement wherby the foundations of your freedomes provided in the Case, &c. shall be setted unalterably, if we shall as faithfully proceed to, and all other most vigorus actings for your good that God shall direct and enable us unto; And though the malice of our enemies, and such as they delude, would blast us by scandalts, aspersing us with designes of Anarchy, and community, yet we hope the righteous God will not onely by this our present desire of selling an equall just Government, but also by directing us unto all righteous undertakings, simply for publike good, make our uprightnesse and faithfulnesse to the interest of all our Countreymen, shine forth so clearly, that malice it selfe shall be silenced, and confounded. We question not, but the longing expectation of a firme peace, will incite you to the most speedy joyning in this Agreement: in the prosecution whereof, or of any thing that you shall desire for publike good, you may be confident, you shall never want the assistance of

Your most faithfull fellow-Commoners, now in Armes for
your service.

Edmond Bear }Lieut. Gen. Regiment.

Robert Everard }

George Garret }Com. Gen. Regiment.

Thomas beverley }

William Pryor }Col. Fleetwoods Regiment.

William Bryan }

Matthew Weale }Col. Whalies Regiment.

William Russell }

John Dover }Col. Riches Regiment.

William Hudson. }

Agents coming from other Regiments unto us, have subscribed the Agreement to be proposed to their respective Regiments, and you.

For Our much honoured, and truly worthy Fellow-Commoners, and Souldiers, the Officers and Souldiers under Command of His Excellencie Sir THOMAS FAIRFAX.

Gentlemen and Fellow Souldiers;

THe deepe sense of many dangers and mischiefes that may befall I you in relation to the late War, whensoever this Parliament shall end, unlesse sufficient prevention be now provided, hath constrained Us to study the most absolute & certain means for your security; and upon most serious considerations, we judge that no Act of Indempnity can sufficiently provide for your quiet, ease, and safety; because, as it hath formerly been, a corrupt Party (chosen into the next Parliament by your Enemies meanes) may possibly surprize the house, and make any Act of Indemnity null, seeing they cannot faile of the Kings Assistance and concurrence, in any such actings against you, that conquered him.

And by the same meanes, your freedome from impressing also, may in a short time be taken from you, though for the present, it should be granted; wee apprehend no other security, by which you shall be saved harmlesse, for what you have done in the late warre, then a mutuall Agreement between the people & you, that no person shall be questioned by any Authority whatsoever, for any thing done in relation to the late publike differences, after the dissolution of the present house of Commons, further then in execution of their judgment; and that your native freedome from constraint to serve in warre, whether domestick or forraign, shall never be subject to the power of Parliaments, or any other; and for this end, we propound the Agreement that we herewith send to you, to be forthwith subscribed.

And because we are confident, that in judgment and Conscience, ye hazarded your lives for the settlement of such a just and equall Government, that you and your posterities, and all the free borne people of this Nation might enjoy justice & freedome, and that you are really sensible that the distractions, oppressions, and miseries of the Nation, and your want of your Arreares, do proceed from the want of the establishment, both of such certain rules of just Government, and foundations of peace, as are the price of bloud, and the expected fruites of all the peoples cost: Therefore in this Agreement wee have inserted the certaine Rules of equall Government, under which the Nation may enjoy all its Rights and Freedomes securely; And as we doubt not but your love to the freedome and lasting peace of the yet distracted Country will cause you to joyn together in this Agreement.

So we question not: but every true English man that loves the peace and freedome of England will concurre with us; and then your Arrears and constant pay (while you continue in Armes) will certainly be brought in out of the abundant love of the people to you, and then shall the mouthes of those be stopped, that scandalize you and us, as endeavouring Anarchy, or to rule by the sword; & then will so firm an union be made between the people and you, that neither any homebred or forraigne Enemies will dare to disturbe our happy peace. We shall adde no more but this; that the knowledge of your union in laying this foundation of peace, this Agreement, is much longed for, by

Yours, and the Peoples most faithfull Servants.



WE desire you may understand the reason of our extracting some principles of common freedome out of those many things proposed to you in the Case truly stated, and drawing them up into the forme of an Agreement. Its chiefly because for these things wee first ingaged gainst the King, He would not permit the peoples Representatives to provide for the Nations safety, by disposing of the Militia, and otherwayes, according to their Trust, but raised a Warre against them, and we ingaged for the defence of that power, and right of the people, in their Representatives. Therefore these things in the Agreement, the people are to claime as their native right, and price of their bloud, which you are obliged absolutely to procure for them.

And these being the foundations of freedom, its necessary, that they should be setled unalterably, which can be by no meanes, but this Agreement with the people.

And we cannot but mind you, that the ease of the people in all their Grievances, depends upon the selling those principles or rules of equal Government for a free people, & were but this Agreement established, doubtlesse all the Grievances of the Army and people would be redressed immediately, and all things propounded in your Case truly stated to be insisted on, would be forthwith granted.

Then should the House of Commons have power to helpe the oppressed people, which they are now bereaved of by the chiefe Oppressors, and then they shall be equally concerned with you and all the people, in the settlement of the most perfect freedome: for they shall equally suffer with you under any Burdens, or partake in any Freedome. We shall onely adde, that the summe of all the Agreement which we herewith offer to you, is but in order to the fulfilling of our Declaration of Iune the 14. wherein we promised to the people, that we would with our lives vindicate and cleare their right and power in their Parliaments.

Edmond Bear }Lieut. Gen. Reg.

Robert Everard }

George Garret }Com. Gen. Reg.

Thomas Beverley }

William Pryor }Col. Fleetwood Reg.

William Bryan }

Matthew Wealey }Col. Whaley Reg.

William Russell }

John Dober }Col. Rich Reg.

William Hudson }

Agents coming from other Regiments unto us, have subscribed the Agreement, to be proposed to their respective Regiments and you.




4.15. [Signed by Several], To the supream Authority of England, the Commons in Parliament assembled [The Petition of November] (23 November 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[Signed by Several], To the supream Authority of England, the Commons in Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of many free-born people. Together with a Copy of the Order of the Commitment of five of the Petitioners, viz. Mr. Thomas Prince, and Mr. Samuel Chidley in the Gate-House. Capt. Taylor, Mr. William Larner, and Mr. Ives in Newgate. As also some Observations upon the said Order.

Estimated date of publication

23 November 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

Not listed in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet


That as the ground of the late war between the King and you, was a contention whether he or you should exercise the supreame power over us, so its vain to expect a settlement, of peace amongst us, untill that point be clearely and justly determined, that there can be no liberty in any Nation where the Law giving power is not solely in the people or their Representatives.

That upon your Invitation, the people have hazarded their lives, consumed their estates, lost their trades, and weltered in blood to preserve that your just authority, and therein their own freedoms.

That notwithstanding, for attributing the supream authority of this Nation to this Honourable House, which alone represents the people, we have been accounted the off-scouring of the land, we have had our Petitions burned, our persons imprisoned, and many other wayes abused.

That when the ears of the chosen deliverers were stopped, the Law of Nature enjoyned us to addresse our selves to the Army, from whom we had reason to expect relief, according to their many promises and engagements.

That those promises seeming to be wholly forgotten by the ruling part of the Army; it pleased God to raise up the spirits of some Agents therein, to consider of an agreement of the people upon grounds of common right; & to offer it to the Generall Gouncell of the army for their concurrence; the matter wereof (seriously debate being had thereupon) was so far from being disallowed, that a necessity of ending this Parliament at the day prefixed therein, was concluded; the providing tor a constant succession of Parliaments thought necessary, that the people should be more equally represented was confessed; and a certain rule to be set between the people and their representative was judged fit, and the supream authority of this nation acknowledged by that Councell to be where the Agreement placeth it: And particularly Lievtenant General Cromwell, and Commissary General Jreton declared, that in case they did not Act for the settlement of those freedoms, yet they would never oppose.

That those Agents in further discharge of their duty to their Country; did not long since present unto this Honourable House the said Agreement, with a petition relating thereunto.

That the same Agreement, with another Petition, was lately offered to the Generall, by a worthy Commander, and divers Officers of the Army, at the first generall Rendezvouz neare Ware: and all that was done in a further prosecution, was a peaceable proposing of the same Petition, to the Souldiery, for their concurrence: and we wonder that we should now be reputed mutinous, to offer a Petition to the Souldiery when it was esteemed formerly good service to draw them to an ingagement.

That notwithstanding all this clear open and legal dealing, in those our friends, for the performance of their solemne engagements, both they and we, who adhered to them, are reproached and slandered with imputations of plottings and designing not only the Kings death, in a base murderous way; and of imbrueing the nation in blood, but of strange endeavours to levell all mens estates, and subvert all Government and although the scandals are but the same which the open enemies formerly cast upon your selves, yet our just endeavours for freedom, are so ill resented by this meanes, that some of us are imprisoned, and others threatned to be proceeded against as persons disaffected to this Honourable House, whereas the true object of our enemies mallice is, that authoritie of yours, which we labour to preserve. Yet such is our sad condition, as our actions and intentions are in like manner misapprehended by you, though we doubt not but the Agreement duly weighed, will demonstrate all such reproaches to be only the invention of wicked men to exasperate you against us.

And therefore we beseech you in your bowells of compassion to an oppressed people, to review and debate impartially the particulars of that Agreement of the people, wherein many thousands have already concurred: And to suffer us by your countenance, to use our Native Liberty, in moving the people for an happie union amongst themselves, in selling those foundations of Common freedom; that thereby this honourable house, may with more assurance of the peoples alliance, proceed forthwith (without attending for the assent and concurrence of any other) to deliver them from all kind of tyranny and oppression.

And that you would be pleased to account of the sufferings of our dear fellow Commoners Co. Ayers, Ca. Bray, and others at the severall Rendezvouz of the Army, only for their just and peaceable persuance of freedome.

And especially that you will make inquisition for the blood of that Soldier, viz. Richard Arnall of Col. Lilburns Regiment, which was shot to death neere Ware.

And we further desire, that without prejudice against our persons, it might be laid to heart, that the large effusion of blood, and the many spoyles made in the late War, cannot be justified upon any other ground, then the settlement of those freedoms contained in the Agreement, and in your just indeavours to clear and secure those you may expect the blessing of peace and prosperity,

And your petitioners shall pray.

Die Martis. November, 1647.

Resolved, that Thomas Prince, Cheesemonger, and Samuel Chidley be forthwith committed prisoners to the prison of the Gate-house, there to remain prisoners during the pleasure of this House, for seditious and contemptuous avowing and prosecuting of a former Petition and paper annexed, stiled an agreement of the people, formerly adiudged by this house, to be destructive to the being of Parliaments, and fundamentall government of this kingdom.

Hen. El. Cl. Par. Dom. Com.

By vertue of an Order of the House of Commons, these are to require you to receive from the Sergeant at armes his deputie or deputies, the bodies of Thomas Prince, Cheese monger, and Samuel Chidley into the prison of the Gate house Westminster, and them safely to detain as your prisoners, untill the pleasure of the house be signified to you to the contrary, and for so doing this shall be your Warrant.

William Lenthall, Speaker.

Dated 23. Novemb. 1647.

To the Keeper of the prison of
the Gate house of Westminster.

O men of England that love your freedom I beseech you observe the injustice, arbitrarynesse, and tyranny of this your Parliament, who have invited you, and caused your deare friends to expend their blood upon pretences to deliver you from injustice and arbitrary powers. See their Rmon. of May 26. 1642.

1. Observe their palpable injustice in stiling an humble, rationall and iust petition (presented in a peaceble manner) a seditous and contemptuous, avowing a former petition, these men declared formerly, that they ought to receive petitions, though against things established by law, and now when a petition striks at their corrupt interest, its seditious because its against a vote of theirs, and what damnable endeavours here are to deceive you Commons, they represent these mens petition as a contempt of them when they rendred them the highest honour in their petition.

2. Observe their injustice in committing these your brethren without laying any crime to their charge, by the law, sedition nor faction is no crime, for no man knows what is sedition or faction, but they put unknown reproachfull tearms upon their just petition to deceive you, and let me informe you, that these treacherous dissemblers that put these infamous tearms upon the petition, durst not suffer this petition to be printed with their votes concerning it, for when they ordered the votes should be printed, an honest member moved that the petition it selfe might be printed with them, that the people might see the reason of such votes, and these Hypocrites opposed it with rage and fury, will ye be alwayes thus abused O yee Commons.

3. Observe the falshood and lyes in their vote. First, these petitioners did not avow any former petition or paper annexed, as this vote say they did. 2ly. The House did never adiudge the Agreement to be distructive to the being of Parliments, &c. but only the petition of the Agents of the Army, they never durst debate the Agreement, lest they should be forced by the strength of reason to consent to it, they shut their eyes and will not see, for many of the greatest opposers have confessed its iust, but they love not the light because their deeds are evill. But seeing it was never debated in one particular, could a iudgement be passed upon it, and have you not a wise, faithfull Parliament, that would not debate the particulars of such great concernment to settle a peace.

4. Observe how these men exercise an absolute tyranny over you, ruling by their crooked wills, and damnable lusts, they commit your fellow Commoners to prisons amongst Theeves and Murtherers, only for begging for their fredoms, and this during their pleasure, that is, till their base malicious humors be satisfied. According to law and justice, imprisonment is only for safe custody of persons, untill the appointed day of tryall in the ordinary Courts of justice, and it was the Councell table and High Commission that ruled by their lusts, which imprisoned men during their pleasure, and yet these Apostates dare in the face of the sun proclaime their wickednesse and arbitrarinesse, by committing men during their lust. Certainly their consciences tell them that these faithfull, honest petitioner did not offend, for if they had known any offence, they would have been ready to have proceeded against them, or reserved them for tryall which they intend not. O yee Commons of England! can you still beare it? to see your freedomes undermined, and your brethren abused, and presidents made daily for inslaving you to the wills and lusts of tyrants, when will you shew your selves English men? O now! now is the opportunity. O! that you might see even in this your dayes the things that belong to your peace and freedom, before they be hid from your eyes.





4.16. [Several Hands], “The Putney Debates”, The General Council of Officers at Putney. (October/November 1647) [elsewhere in the OLL]

[insert TP]

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[Several Hands], “The Putney Debates”, The General Council of Officers at Putney. These important debates are not included in this collection of tracts. They are available at the Online Library of Liberty website from the book Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents, selected and edited with an Introduction A.S.P. Woodhouse, foreword by A.D. Lindsay (University of Chicago Press, 1951). </title/2183>.

Estimated date of publication

28 October - 1 November 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

Several items are listed separately in TT.

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

Puritanism and Liberty, being the Army Debates (1647-9) from the Clarke Manuscripts with Supplementary Documents, selected and edited with an Introduction A.S.P. Woodhouse, foreword by A.D. Lindsay (University of Chicago Press, 1951). <</title/2183>



4.17. [Signed by Several, attributed to John Lilburne], Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights (14 December 1647).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[Signed by Several, attributed to John Lilburne], Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights: Vindicated against all arbitrary unjust Invaders of them, and in particular against those new Tyrants at Windsore, which would destroy both under the pretence of Marshall Law. Or, The just Declaration, Plea and Protestation of William Thompson, a free Commoner of England, unjustly imprisoned at Windsore. Delivered to his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, and that which is called his Councell of Warre, the 14 of December, 1647. Unto which is annexed his Letter to the Generall, wherein the said Plea was inclosed. Also a Petition of the rest of his Fellow-Prisoners to his Excellency.

Estimated date of publication

14 December 1647.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 577; Thomason E. 419. (23.)

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

May it please your Excellency,

I am by birth a free Commoner of England, and am thereby intailed or intituled unto an equall priviledge with your selfe, or the greatest men in England, unto the freedome and liberty of the Lawes of England, as the Parliament declares in their Declaration of the 23. of October, 1642. 1 part Book Decl. pag. 660. And the 29. Chap, of Magna Charta expresly saith, That no man shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold or Liberties, or free customes, or be outlawed or exiled, or any other wayes destroyed, nor past upon nor condemned, but by the lawfull Iudgement of his Peers (or equalls) and that by due course, or processe of the Law of the Land,1 which expresly saith, that no man shall be taken or restrained of his liberty, by petition or suggestion (made unto whomsoever in authority) unlesse it be by indictment or presentment of good and lawfull men where such deeds be done: and that no man whatsoever be put to answer (any crime whatsoever) without presentment before justices or matter of record, or by due processe and Writ originall, according to the old Law of the Land: and if anything from henceforth be done to the contrary, it shall be void in law, and holden for2 error.

Therefore Sir, for you who are a Generall of an Army, and other of your Marshall Officers, who are no Civill Court of Justice, nor authorized with the least legall power in the world to administer Justice, and execute the Law of the Land, upon, or unto any of the Commoners of England, to dare or presume to restraine, imprison, trie or meddle with me, as you have done, who am in no other capacitie in the world, but barely and altogether as a Commoner of England, is the height of arbitrarie tyrannie, injustice and3 oppression, and an absolute destruction of the very fundamentall Lawes of England, the bare endeavouring of which cost the Earl of Strafford his head. And what the doome of him is that destroyes the fundamentall Lawes of the Land, I shall give you out of the words of your own friend Mr. St. John, in his Argument of law concerning the Bill of Attainder of high Treason of Thomas Earl of Strafford, at a Conference in a Committee of both Houses of Parliament, printed by G.M. for John Bartlet at the signe of the gilt Cup neere S. Austins Gate in Pauls Church-Yard 1641. who in the 70. page thereof saith. That the destruction of the Lawes dissolves the arteries & ligaments that hold the Body together: he that takes away the Lawes, takes not away the allegiance of one Subject alone, but of the whole Kingdome: it was (saith he) made treason by the Statute of the 13. Eliz. for her time, to affirme, that the Lawes of the Realms do not bind the descent of the Crowne; no Law, no descent at all: No Lawes, saith he, no Peerage, no ranks or degrees of men;4 the same condition to all. Jt’s treason to kill a Judge upon the Bench, this kills not the Judge, but the Judgement. And in pag. 71. he saith, Jt’s Felonie to imbezell any of the Judiciall Records of the Kingdome; this, viz. the destruction of the Law, sweeps all away, and from all.

It’s treason to counterfeit a twenty shilling piece, here is a counterfeiting of the Law, we can call neither the counterfeit, nor the true coyne our owne.

It’s Treason to counterfeit the great Scale for an Acre of Land, no property hereby (viz. the destruction of the Law) is left to any Land at all: nothing Treason now, either against King or Kingdome, no Law to punish it.

And therefore I advise you as a friend to take heed that you go no further on in your illegall, arbitrary, tyrannicall and Lawdestroying practises with and towards me, least when for your owne lives you claime the benefit of the Law, you be answered in the words of your foresaid friend in pag. 72. “That he in vaine calls for the help o