Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics Vol. 5 (1648)

1st Edition, uncorrected (Date added: May 15, 2015)

This volume is part of a set of 7 volumes of Leveller Tracts: Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics (1638-1659), 7 vols. Edited by David M. Hart and Ross Kenyon (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2014). </titles/2595>.

It is an uncorrected HTML version which has been put online as a temporary measure until all the corrections have been made to the XML files which can be found [here](/titles/2595). The collection will contain over 250 pamphlets.

To date, the following volumes have been corrected:

Further information about the collection can be found here:

2nd Revised Edition

A second revised edition of the collection is planned after the conversion of the texts has been completed. It will include an image of the title page of the original pamphlet, its location, date, and id number in the Thomason Collection catalog, a brief bio of the author, and a brief description of the contents of the pamphlet. Also, the titles from the addendum volumes will be merged into their relevant volumes by date of publication.

Tracts on Liberty by the Levellers and their Critics, Volume 5 (1648) (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

Introduction to the Series

This collection of tracts and pamphlets by the Levellers and some of their critics is different from others in a number of areas: its size, the strict chronological ordering of the texts, the balance in the authorship (with more titles by Richard Overton and John Lilburne), and the conversion of all facsimile versions of the texts to modern typeface.

We have arranged the collection of Leveller tracts and pamphlets in chronological order (where this is possible). We have done this is order to highlight the impact that one tract may have had upon others that were published after it in time. In some cases a number of tracts were direct responses, often refutations, of earlier works. Others were triggered by particular historical events, such as the execution of King Charles I, and so it might be useful to consult this collection alongside the chronology we plan to add to the “Timeline” section of the Online Library of Liberty website.

The balance of authorship of the tracts and pamphlets also played an important role in the selection criteria of the collection. We wanted to have a rough balance between those tracts which were the joint production of several authors designed to express the views of a group such as the soldiers of the New Model Army; those tracts which were clearly the work of a single identifiable author (such as Richard Overton, John Lilburne, or William Walwyn); tracts by supporters of the parliamentary cause (such as William Prynne), and tracts which were written by critics or luke-warm supporters of the Leveller cause and which prompted often spirited replies from the Leveller leadership.

Many tracts have multiple authors or were written anonymously. The authorship of many tracts is disputed by historians so we have attempted to assign authorship on the best evidence available to us. Where we are certain about the authorship (for example, their name might appear on the title page) the name is given without brackets. When the authorship is disputed or uncertain the name is placed in square brackets. Pamphlets without any known author are described as “Anon.”.

A firm date of publication was sometimes given, but often not. The first date in the table of contents for each volume is the estimated time of publication. Sometimes this has been estimated by the date the work was entered into the 17th century London bookseller George Thomason’s collection which forms the basis for much or our knowledge of the Leveller movement. Sometimes a date is provided in the text itself. The date is followed by the author’s name when it is available; then comes the edition of the tract or pamphlet we have used in this collection. It is sometimes a later or revised edition if the original is no longer available. The order in which the texts are listed in each volume is to place texts with detailed dates at the beginning (e.g. 18 October 1647) and texts with only the year at the end.

Many of the titles are very long and rather florid in their style but they give a good sense of the spirited way in which the pamphlets were written. Information about the publisher, when given, is also idiosyncratic with directions sometimes given to help readers find their way to the bookseller - e.g. “to be sold at his Shop at the Signe of the Golden Anchor, neere Pauls-Chaine” - or very creative ways of giving the date of publication, such as “Printed in the yeare the Beast was Wounded 1638”. Where no publisher was given on the title page we indicate this by [n.p.] (no publisher). Occasionally a title with a long name will have become known to modern readers by an abbreviated title, such as [The Petition of September] with the use of square brackets to show that this is an alternate title.

Every effort has been made to transcribe these 17th century political tracts as accurately as possible. They have been checked against facsimile copies of the originals which in many cases were of very poor quality. Some of the problems the editors encountered were the vagaries of 17th century spelling, the faint print of the text in marginal notes and in long quotes in Latin, and the sometimes casual approach to the typesetting of the text. We have made no attempt to modernize the spelling but we have corrected obvious errors such as transposed or missing characters. In many cases the front page of the texts had elaborate even exotic layout of the text which we have attempted to reproduce electronically in some cases. In some of the texts, if there was any space remaining at the end, the author or the printer would insert additional material such as Parliamentary or legal announcements or rebuttals of their opponents’s latest tract, thus making the pamphlet a kind of anthology or even a newspaper. We can’t help but note the similar frustrations of one of the printers who inserted a disclaimer in one of Lilburne’s pamphlets which we quote here:

The Printer to the Reader.

Reader, the shortnesse of time, the absence of the Authour, and the difficulty of the Language in the Charter, not being ordinary Latin, but such as Lawyers use, which is so far above my capacity, that caused me to erre when I used the best skill I could in my Art. Pardon me therefore (I pray thee) and with thy wisdome, learning, and good disposition, help me in this case. And for the faults in the English, the meanest capacity may bee helped thus …

[In John Lilburne, The Charters of London: or, The second Part of Londons Liberty in Chaines discovered (18 December 1646).]

The names of authors and publishers were often deliberately withheld from being published because of the very real fear of arrest and imprisonment. Occasionally a fictitious author’s and publisher’s name would be given to disguise the identity of those involved in publishing the work. Richard Overton even went so far as to openly mock the censors with this amusing fake announcement of the title page:

“By Yongue Martin Mar-Priest, Son to old Martin the Metrapolitane. This is Licenced, and printed according to Holy Order, but not Entered into the Stationers Monopole. Europe. Printed by Martin Claw Clergie, Printer to the Reverend Assembly of Divines and are to be should at his Shop in Toleration Street, at the Signe of the Subjects Liberty, right opposite to Persecuting Court. 1645.”

We have not included the famous “Putney Debates” within the General Council of Officers of October and November 1647 in this collection as these are already online at the Online Library of Liberty along with many other documents. </titles/2183>. The same is true for the Whitehall Debates within the General Council of Officers of December 1648 and January 1649.

In the course of preparing these volumes we have across many items of interest, such as the title page and accompanying poem (see above), the printer’s apology for any errors (see below), as well as many amusing and politically barbed title pages of the pamphlets.

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 they selfe
thus carefull and zealous for
the publicke: especially now
in such extreeme need.

[From William Walwyn’s The poore Wise-mans Admonition (10 June, 1647).]

For additional reading on the Levellers and the history of the English Revolution see this Bibliography.


Editor’s Introduction to Volume 5 (1648)

The year 1648 produced the second largest number of pamphlets, manuscripts and newspapers in the Thomason Tracts collection with 2,036 items (the highest year was 1642 with 2,134 items). They are listed on pp. 582–702 in vol. 1. 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). Catalogue of the Collection, 1640–1652.

For each pamphlet or tract we provide an image of the title page (where available), the full title in text format, the estimated date of publication which is usually taken from the Thomason Collection Catalogue, and the Thomas Catalogue number and page number in the printed catalog where the information was taken. Occasionally the estimated date of publication differs from the date given in the Thomason Collection Catalogue which may be the date Thomas purchased the pamphlet rather than when it was printed. When this occurs, we provide both dates.

Some of the key events of 1648 include the following:

  • Jan.-Apr 1648 continuing Parliamentary opposition to Crown; royalist uprisings in London and provinces; reduction in size of the New Model Army (44,000–24,000); Scots threaten to raise an army to support Charles; hardening of New Model Army’s opposition to Charles
  • Leveller organisations very active in London, Buckinghamshire, Oxford, Cambridge
  • May-Aug. 1648 Second Civil War
  • Levellers support war against Charles
  • defeat of Scottish army at Preston 17 Aug.; defeat of royalist army at Colchester, Essex 27 Aug.
  • 1648–49 Army debates formation of Commonwealth
  • “11 Sept. Petition” signed by 40,000 people; many other petitions to Gen. Fairfax in support of Sept. Petition
  • 28 Sept. City of London’s statement of its “Ancient Liberties”
  • Leveller leader and Parliamentarian Thomas Rainsborough murdered; funeral became a large Leveller demonstration in London
  • 18 Nov. Cromwell and Ireton publish “A New Remonstrance and Declaration from the Army to the King”
  • 7 Dec. Parliament refuses to debate Army’s “Remonstrance”; Cromwell’s opponents removed from Parliament by force by Col. Pride (45 MPs arrested, 146 excluded, only 75 allowed to take seats); what remained of Parliament was nick-named the “Rump Parliament”
  • Nov.-Dec. discussions and debates among army officers, Levellers, and City of London Independents in London, Windsor, Whitehall about future of King and role of Parliament (“Whitehall Debates”); possible trial of Charles; 15 Dec. “Foundations of Freedom, Or An Agreement of the People”; 22 Dec. “Several Proposals for Peace & Freedom by an Agreement of the People”; 28 Dec. “Articles exhibited against the King, and the charge of the Army, against His Majesty”

Trial of King Charles I begins 20 Jan. 1649, death warrant signed 27 Jan., 30 Jan. King executed by beheading.


Publishing and Biographical Information

Publishing information about each title can be found in the catalog of the George Thomason collection (henceforth "TT" for Thomason Tracts). Each tract is given a catalog number and a date when the item came into his possession (thus not necessarily the date of publication). We have used these dates to organise our collection in rough chronological order:

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
  • Vol. 2. Catalogue of the Collection, 1653-1661. Newspapers. Index.

Biographical information about the authors can be found in the Biographical Dictionary of British Radicals in the Seventeenth Century, ed. Richard L. Greaves and Robert Zeller (Brighton, Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1982-84), 3 vols.

  • Volume I: A-F
  • Volume II: G-O
  • Volume III: P-Z


The texts are in the public domain.

This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.


Tracts from 1648 (Volume 5)

5.1. William Prynne, A New Magna Charta (1 January, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

William Prynne, A New Magna Charta: Enacted and confirmed By the High and Mighty States, the Remainder of the Lords and Commons, now sitting at Westminster, in Empty Parliament, under the Command and Wardship of Sir Thomas Fairfax, Lievtenant Generall Cromwell, (our present Soveraigne Lord the King, now residing at his Royall Pallace at White-Hall) and Prince Ireton his sonne, and the Army under their Command. Containing the many new, large and ample Liberties, Customes and Franchises, of late freely granted and confirmed to our Soveraigne lord King Charles, his Heires and Successors; the Church and State of England and Ireland, and all the Freemen, and Free-borne People of the same.

New Magna Charta, Cap. 29. Omni vendemus, omni regabimus, aut differemus Iustitiam, vel rectum.

Printed in the yeere 1648.

Estimated date of publication

1 January, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 593; Thomason E. 427. (15.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

A new Magna Charta.

FIrst for the honour of Almighty God, and in pursuance of the solemne League and Covenant which we made in the presence of Almighty God for the Reformation and defence of Religion, the honour and happinesse of the King, and the peace and safety of the three Kingdomes of England, Scotland, and Ireland, we have granted, and by this our present Charter have confirmed, That the Church of England shall be free to deny the perpetuall Ordinances of Jesus Christ, to countenance spreading heresies, cursed blasphemies, and generall loosenesse and prophanenesse, and that all Lawes and Statutes formerly made against the aforesaid offences for the punishment and restraining thereof shall be utterly repealed, that so all men may freely enjoy and professe what Religion soever they please without restraint: And we will that all Archbishops, Bishops, and their dependents shall be eternally suppressed, and all their Mannours, Lands and possessions sold to defray and advance the Publique Faith. That all Ministers shall be plundered and thrust out of their livings and freeholds by our Committee of plundering Ministers without Oath or legall tryall, upon bare informations of such of their Parishioners who are indebted to them for Tythes, or have any Kinsman to preferre to their livings. And to supply the want of Ministers, That all Officers, Souldiers, Coblers, Tinkers, and gifted Brethren and Sisters, shall freely preach, and propagate the Gospell to the people, and new dip and rebaptize them without punishment.

Item. We will that the Kings Majesties person be maintained, and his Authority preserved, by seizing his Person at Holdenby with a party of horse, and imprisoning him in the Army, indangering his life at Hampton Court, and by colour thereof conveighing him secretly into the Isle of Wight, removing from him all his Attendants, disposing of his Revenue, Children, Forts, Ships, Castles, and Kingdomes, and by this putting in execution these our Votes, That no more addresses be made from the Parliament to the King, nor any Letters or Message received from him: That it shall be Treason for any persons whatsoever to deliver any Message to the King, or receive any Messages or Letters from him, without leave from both Houses of Parliament: That a Committee draw up a Declaration to be published, to satisfie the Kingdome of the reason of passing these Votes, That so the world may beare witnesse with our consciences of our Loyalty, and that we have no thoughts or intentions to diminish His Majesties just power and greatnesse, according to the words of the solemne League and Covenant.

Item, We give and grant to the Freemen of the Realm these Liberties underwritten.

First, that no Sheriffes shall make due returnes of the Citizens and Burgesses elected to serve in Parliament, nor make due Elections of Knights, nor in convenient time, nor the ablest wisest, nor discrectest shall be returned, but all fraud and deceit shall be used in Elections, and persons not duly elected, nor elegible by Law shall be Members of the House of Commons, and those to be our sonnes, kindred, servants, officers and such as will comply with us.

Item, No Member shall sit in the House of Commons with freedome and safety that endeavours to settle Religion in the purity thereof, according to the Covenant, to mantaine the ancient and fundamentall Government of the Kingdome, or to preserve the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, or that layes hold on the first oportunity of procuring a safe and well-grounded peace in the three Kingdoms, or that keeps a good understanding between the two Kingdomes of England and Scotland, according to the grounds expressed in the solemne League and Covenant.

And whoever offends against this Article, we will that such Members be impeached of High Treason by the Army, suspended the House before any particular impeachment, forced to accuse themselves by stating their cases for want of an accuser, and witnesses to prove them criminall, and at the last cast out of the House without answer, hearing the evidence, or privity of those that elected them whose persons they represent.

Item, We grant, that neither we nor any by colour of Authority derived from us shall interrupt the ordinary course of Justice in the severall Courts and Judicatures of the Kingdome, nor intermeddle in causes of private interest otherwhere determinable, save onely our Committees of Indempnities, plundered Ministers, Complaints, Sequestrations, Excize and the Army, who shall judge and contradict the Lawes and Statutes of the Realme, vacate and repeale all Indictments, Verdicts, and Judgements given in Courts of Justice, imprison all manner of persons, and turne them out of their Freeholds, Estates, Goods, and Chattels without the lawfull judgement of their Peers, and against the fundamentall Lawes of the Land.

Item, we will and ordaine that the great and unusuall payments imposed upon the people, and the extraordinary wayes that were taken for procuring moneyes, shall (contrary to the trust reposed in us) be still burthensome, and daily increased more and more upon the people by our bare Votes and Ordinances, without the common consent by Act of Parliament; and in case of refusall, forcibly levyed by Troops of horse and souldiers, according to the law of decolled Strafford, of all which moneyes our selves and Members will be sole treasurers and disposers: Free-Quarter shall be still tolerated, and countenance given by us to the exactions and extortions of the souldiers, to whom we have granted an Ordinance of Indempnity for all murders, fellonies, rapes, robberies, injuries and trespasses committed by them, and all such offences as they shall commit, to the end they may protect us against the clamours and complaints of the oppressed people either by Sea or Land: and we ordaine, that all Free-men shall henceforth be tryed onely by Martiall and Committee Law, and impeached of new high Treason at our pleasure, to consiscate their estates to our Exchequer.

Item, We will that such persons as have done valiantly, and dealt faithfully in the Parliaments cause according to the Declaration of England and Scotland, shall be publikely disgraced and dishonoured, and without cause thrust from their commands and imployments both Civill and Martiall without pay, hearing conviction or reparation for their losses, and that the severall and respective Lievtenants, Governours, and old Garrison Souldiers of the Tower of London, Newcastle, Yorke, Bristoll, Plymouth, Glocester, Exeter, Chester, Pendennis Castle and the Isle of Wight be removed with disgrace by our new Generalissimoes meere arbitrary power, notwithstanding our former Votes and Ordinances for their particular settlement, and new mean seditious Sectaries of our confederacy put into their places.

Item, We will that a just difference be made between such persons as never departed from their Covenant and duty, and such as were detestable Newtralists and oppressours of the people, and to that end we will, that the Commission of the Peace be renewed at the pleasure of our flying Speakers, who are to provide, that such be omitted as agree not with the frame and temper of the Army and us their Lords and Commons sitting at Westminster, and others be added in their places who have complied with the enemy, and oppressed the people, and to that end we agree, that the Earle of Suffolke, Earle of Middlesex, William Lord Maynard, William Hicks, Knight and Baronet, John Parsons Knight, Richard Pigott Knight, Edward King Esquire, Thomas Welcome Esquire, and divers others be omitted, and that John Lockey, Thomas Welby, VVilliam Godfrey, Richard Brian, Sir Richard Earle Baronet, and others of that stamp be added, of whose integrity and faithfulnesse Quere.

Item, We will that for the perpetuall honour of the Lords and Barons of this Realme, whose Ancestors purchased for us with the expence of their lives and bloods from King John and Henry the third, the great Charter, that they shall from henceforth he impeached of High Treason, committed, imprisoned, and put out of the House of Peers, and forfeit their lives and estates to our disposing, if they defend that great Charter, the lives and Liberties of the Subjects and Parliament against a perfidious and rebellious Army, and us the fugitive Lords and Commons, who fled from our Houses to the Army without cause, and there entred into a trayterous Covenant and Ingagement, to live and die with the Army, and to destroy the faithfull Members that stayed behind at Westminster, and all the freedome of this and future Parliaments. And we will that henceforth there shall be no House of Peers, distinct from Commons, but that all Peers and Peerage be for ever abolished, and all great and rich mens estates levelled and made equall to their poorest neighbours, for the better reliefe and encouragement of the poor Saints.

Item, We will that the City of London shall have all her ancient Liberties and Customes in as full and ample manner as her Predecessors ever had, and for that end we will that the Army shall march in a Warlike manner towards that City, and passe like Conquerours in tryumph through the same. That all the Fortifications and Line about it shall be slighted and thrown downe, the Tower taken out of their hands, and put into our Generalls, and fortified to over-awe them; the Militia of the City changed and divided from that of Westminster, and Southwarke, the Lord Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen and some leading men of the Common Counsell, by crafty, sinister, and seigned informations, impeached of high Treason, and other great Misdemeanours imprisoned and disabled, and others by our appointment and nomination put into their places, and the Citizens and Common Counsell-men shall henceforth make no free Elections of Governours and Officers: That White-Hall, the Muse, Minories, Ely-house and other places shall be made Citadells, that the Posts and Chaines in the City and Suburbs be taken away, their Gates and Purcullices pulled downe, their Armes delivered into a common Magazine by our appointment, to disable them from all future possibility of selfe-defence, or disobedience to our imperiall commands, that so they may willingly deliver us up the remainder of their exhausted treasures and estates, when we see cause to require the same, and made as absolute Freemen for all their expence of treasure and blood in our defence, as our English Gally-slaves now are in Algier.

Item, We will that the command of the Navy and all ships at Sea, for the honour of this Nation and our owne, be committed into the hands and government of a Vice-Admirall, (without and against the consent of the Lords) of late but a Skippers Boy, a common Souldier in Hull, a Leveller in the Army, impeached by the Generall for endeavouring to raise a mutiny at the late Rendevouz, and since that taken with a Whore in a Bawdy house, who rode downe in triumph to the Downes to take possession of his place in a Coach and foure horses, with a Trumpeter and some Troopers riding before and after it, sounding the Trumpet in every Towne and Village as they passed, to give notice of his new Excellencies arrivall, and make the common people vaile Bonnet, and strike sale to his Coach, and at his late returne from the Isle of Wight to the Downes was rowed from the ship to the Towne of Deale with the Ensigne in the sterne, the Boatswaine and all the Rowers bare headed, like so many Gally-slaves, (a new kind of state which never any Lord-Admirall in England, though the greatest Peer, yet tooke upon him, but the King onely:) and to maintaine this new pompe and state of his we will and ordain, that all Merchants, as well Natives as Forraigners, shall pay such new Customes, Impositions, and Excize for all manner of goods and Merchandize whatsoever imported, or exported, as we in our arbitrary wisdomes shall judge meet, under paine of forfeiture of all their said goods and Merchandize, and such other penalties as we shall impose.

Item, We will and ordaine for the ease and reliefe of the almost famished poore in these times of dearth and decay of Trade, that Excize shall still be paid by them, and every of them for every drop of small beer they drinke, and for all oyles, dying stuffes, and Mercers wares they shall have occasion to use about their Trades and Manufactures, and that the lusty young souldiers, who are able to worke and get their livings by the sweat of their browes, shall ramble abroad through all the Kingdome, and like so many sturdy rogues, take Free-quarter for themselves, horses and companions from place to place, refusing to work, shall eat up all the provisions in Gentlemens, Yeomens, Clothyers, and other rich mens houses, who formerly relieved the impotent poore with their Almes, and the able with work.

Item, We will that William Lenthall our Speaker for the time being, shall have a Monopoly and plurality of all kind of Officers, for the maintenance of his state and dignity, and recompence of his infidelity, in the deserting the true House of Commons, notwithstanding the selfe-denying Ordinance to the contrary, and to this end we ordaine, that he shall be our perpetuall Speaker, and eternally take five pounds for every Ordinance that passeth the Commons House, with all other incident (new exacted) fees and gratuities; that he shall with this his office enjoy the custody and profits of the great Seale of England, the Dutchy of Lancaster, together with the Mastership of the Rolls, and as many other places as we shall be able to conferre upon him or his sonne; and that his honoured brother Sir John Lenthall for his great affection to and care of the Subjects Liberties committed to his custody, shall have free licence to suffer what prisoners he pleaseth to escape out of prison, and Sir Lewis Dives though Voted by us to be arraigned and tryed for high Treason this Terme, and all persons lying in execution for debts to goe and lie abroad at their owne houses, and make escapes at pleasure to the defrauding of Creditors, without being prosecuted, or put out of his office for the same, provided they alwayes give him a good gratuity for this their liberty of escape.

Item, We will that our distressed Brethren in Ireland may enjoy the benefit of this our new great Charter, and all the liberties therein comprized, and that by vertue thereof the supplies, reliefs, men, moneyes, and the monethly Tax of sixty thousand pounds designed for them, shall be totally interrupted, misimployed, and diverted by King Crumwell and Prince Jreton his son-in-law, to maintaine, pay and recruit their Supernumeraries and the Army here: That the noble and valiant Lord Inchequin who hath done such gallant service against the Rebells, shall be accused and blasted in both our Houses and Pamphlets, and mercenary Diurnall men for a Traytor, and Confederate with the Rebells, by the Lord Liste and his confederates, who wears much of Irelands imbezelled treasure on his back, and hath much more of it in his purse, taking no lesse then 10.l. or 15.l. a day, as Lord Deputy of that Realme, onely for riding about London streets in his Coach in state, and victorious honest Col. Jones discountenanced, discouraged, and both of them removed this Spring from their commands, to advance the Independent cause, and godly party in that Realme.

Lastly, all these new Customes and Liberties aforesaid, which we have granted to be holden in our Realmes of England and Ireland, as much as appertaineth to us we shall observe: and all men of these Realmes, as well Nobles as Commons, shall enjoy and observe the same against all persons in likewise. And for this our Gift and Grant of these Liberties, the Nobles and Commons are become our men from this day forward, of life and limb, and of earthly worship, and unto us shall be slaves and vassalls for ever; and we have granted further, that neither we nor any of us shall procure or do any thing, whereby all or any the Liberties in this Charter contained, shall be ever hereafter infringed or broken: and further we ordaine, that our Postmaster Edmund Prideaux, one of our fugitive & Army-ingaged Members, who byfraud got into that office, and keeps it by force against common right, do send Posts with Copies of this our Charter into all Counties, Cities and Places of our Dominions, for recompence of which service he shall still conciously enjoy that office, and that our Sheriffs, Committees, and new-made Justices cause the same to be speedily published accordingly in all our Countrey-Courts, these being our witnesses to this Charter.

William Lawd L. Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Earl of Strafford,

Sir John Hotham Knight, Governour of Hull, Lievtenant-Generall John Hotham,

All foure beheaded by our command at the Tower Hill for the breach of old Magna Charta and trecherie.

Nathanael Fines, condemned to lose his head by a Councell of War for delivering up Bristoll to our enemies, by us to be one of the Grand Committee forthe safety of this and yet spared Kingdome and Ireland, instead of the exploded Scotch Commissioners.


5.2. William Prynne, The Petition of Right of the Free-holders and Free-men (8 January, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

William Prynne, The Petition of Right of the Free-holders and Free-men of the Kingdom of England: Humbly presented to the Lords and Commons (their Representatives and Substitutes) from whom they expect a speedy and satisfactory answer, as their undoubted Liberty and Birth-right.
Printed in the year, 1648.

Estimated date of publication

8 January, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 583; Thomason E. 422. (9.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

THE PETITION OF RIGHT OF THE Free-holders and Free-men OF THE Kingdom of England

In all humbleness shew unto the Lords and Commons now in Parliament assembled;

THat where as the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons in Parliament assembled, in the third year of his Majesties reign, that now is, did, in their most famous Petition of Right, among other things, claim these ensuing, as their and our undubitable Rights and Liberties, according to the Laws and Statutes of this Realm, viz.

That no Free-man in England should be compelled to contribute to make or yeeld any Gift, Loan or Benevolence, Tax, Tallage, or other such like charge, without common consent by Act of Parliament. That no Free-man may be taken or imprisoned, or disseised of his Free-hold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be &illegible; or exiled, or in any manner destroyed, or be adjudged to death, but by the Lawful Judgment of his Peers by the Law of the Land, and due process of Law.

That the quartering of Soldiers and Mariners in any Freemens houses against their wils, and compelling them to receive them, is against the Laws and Customs of this Realm, and a great grievance and vexation of the people; [Notwithstanding the Commons in this present Parliament, in their Remonstrance of the State of the Kingdom, 15 Decemb. 1641. published to all the Kingdom: That the charging of the Kingdom with billeted Soldiers (complained of in the Petition of Right, as aforesaid) and the Concommitant Design of German Horse, that the Land might either submit with fear, or be inforced with rigor to such ARBITRARY CONTRIBUTIONS, as should be required of them; was a product and effect of the Jesuited Councels, of Iesuites, Papists, Prelates, Courtiers and Counsellors, for private ends. And therefore not to be approved or endured in themselves, or in any Officers or Soldiers under their command, raised purposely to defend, and not invade our just Rights and Properties, especially since the Wars determination in this Realm, since they desire in that Remonstrance, That all Sheriffs, Iustices, and other Officers be sworn to the due execution of the Petition of Right, and those Laws which concern the Subject in his Liberty.] And that all Commissioners for the executing and putting of men to death by Martial Law, (except only in Armies in time of War) are wholy and directly contrary to the Laws and Statutes of this Realm. And did in their said Petition grievously complain, That by means of divers Commissions directed to sundry Commissioners in several Counties, his Majesties people have been, in divers places, assembled and required to lend certain sums of Money to his Majesty (pretended for the publick safety) and many of them, upon their refusal so to do, have had an Oath tendred to them, not warrantable by the Laws and Statutes of this Realm, and been constrained to become bound to make appearance and give attendance before the Privy Councel and in other places, and other of them have been therefore imprisoned, censured and sundry other ways molested and disquieted, and divers other Charges have been layd and levyed on the people in several Counties by Lord Lieutenants, Deputy Lieutenants, Commissioners for Ministers, Justices of Peace, and others against the Laws and free Customs of this Realm. And that divers Subjects have of late been imprisoned without any cause, or any just or lawful cause shewn; and when for their deliverance they were brought before his Majesties Justices by Writs of Habeas Corpora, there to undergo and receive as the Court should order, and their Keepers commanded to certifie the causes of their detainer, no cause was certified, but that they were detained by his Majesties special command, signified by the Lords of his Privy Councel, and yet were returned back to several prisons without being charged with any thing, to which they might make answer according to the Law. And that of late great companies of Soldiers and Mariners have been dispersed into divers Counties of the Realm, and the inhabitants, against their wils, have been compelled to receive them into their houses, and there to suffer them to sojourn against the Laws and Customs of this Realm to the great grievance and vexation of the people. And that divers Commissions under the great Seal had been granted to proceed according to Martial Law against Soldiers, Mariners and others, by colour and pretext whereof some of his Maiesties Subiects had been illegally put to death and executed. And also sundry grievous offendors, by colour thereof, claiming an exemption have escaped the punishments due to them by the Laws and Statutes of this Realm, by reason that divers Officers and Ministers of Justice have uniustly refused or forborn to proceed against such Offendors according to the said Laws and Statutes, upon pretence that the said Offenders were punishable by Martial Law, and by Authority of such Commissions, as aforesaid.

And therefore they did then in their said Petition most humbly pray his most Excellent Maiesty, that no man hereafter be compelled to make or yeeld any Gift, Loan, Benevolence, Tax or such like charge, without common consent by Act of Parliament. And that none be called to make answer, or take such Oath, or to give attendance, or be censured, or otherwise molested or disquieted concerning the same, or the refusal thereof. And that no Free-man, in any such manner, as is before mentioned, be imprisoned or detained. And that his Maiesty would be pleased to remove the said Soldiers and Mariners, and that his people may not be so burthened in time to come. And that the foresaid Commissions for proceeding by Martial Law may be revoked, recalled and annulled. And that hereafter, no Commissions of the like nature may issue forth to any person or persons whatsoever, to be executed as aforesaid; lest by colour of them any of his Maiesties Subiects be destroyed or put to death, contrary to the Laws and Franchises of the Land. All which they then most humbly prayed of his Maiesty, as their Rights and Liberties, according to the Laws and Statutes of this Realm. And that his Majesty also would vouchsafe to declare, that all the awards, doings and proceedings to the preiudice of his people, in any of the premises, shal not be drawn hereafter into consequence or example. To all which the King then fully condescended, and gave this royal Answer in Parliament; Let Right be done as is desired.

These undoubted Rights, Franchises and Liberties, and that our Knights and Burgesses ought to enioy their ancient Priviledges and Freedom, and to be present at all binding Votes and Ordinances, we do here claim and challenge as our Birth-right and Inheritance, not only from his Maiesty, but from both the Houses of Parliament now sitting, who have in sundry printed Remonstrances, Declarations and Protestations, and in the Solemn League and Covenant, oft times promised and seriously vowed and covenanted, in the presence of Almighty God, inviolably to maintain and preserve the same, and to bring the Infringers of them to condign and exemplary punishment, and have engaged all the wel-affected Free-born people of England, by like solemn Protestations, Leagues and Covenants, to maintain and defend the same with their lives and estates: And therefore we at this present not only humbly desire but also require both the said Houses and every Member of them, even in point of Justice, Right, Duty and Conscience, not of favor or indulgence, inviolably, without the least diminution, to maintain, defend and preserve these our Hereditary Rights and Liberties, intailed on us and our posterities by so many Statutes, confirmed and ratified by such a multitude of late Declarations, Protestations, Remonstrances, Vows and Solemn Covenants, wherein they have mutually engaged us together with themselves, and for the preservation wherof against the Kings Malignant Counsellors, and Forces, and Party, (now totally subdued) have of late years put us and the whole Kingdom to such a vast expence of Treasure and Gallant English blood: and likewise pray their publick Declaration against, and exemplary Justice upon the present open professed Invaders and Infringers of them, in a more superlative degree then ever heretofore.

For not to enumerate the manifold Encroachments on, and Violations of these our undoubted Priviledges, Rights and Franchises, by Members, Committees, and all servants, of persons military and civil imployed by both Houses, during the late uncivil Wars, occasioned the inevitable Law of pure necessity, all which we desire may be buried in perpetual oblivion, we cannot but with weeping eys & bleeding hearts, complain & remonstrat to your honors: that contrary to these undoubted rights; Priviledges and Franchises; many of us who have always stood wel-affected to the Parliament, and done and suffered much for it, have partly through the power, malice and false suggestions, either of some Members of both Houses who have born a particular speen against us, but principally through the malice and oppression of divers City and Country-Committees, Governors, Officers, Souldiers and Agents imployed by Parliamentary Authority, been most injuriously and illegally imprisoned, sequestered, plundered, put out of our Offices, Benefices, Livings, Lands, Free-holds enforced to send divers sums of money without any Act or Ordinance, to take unlawful Oaths, enter into bonds to make appearance, and give attendance upon severall persons and Committees, both in the Country, London, Westminster, and other places, for divers moneths together, and have been confined, restrained, and sundry other ways oppressed, molested and disquieted, and utterly ruined; of which when we have complayned to the Houses, we can find either no Redress at all, or such slender and slow relief, as is as bad or worse then none at all. And when we have sought our Enlargement from our unjust imprisonments in a Legal way, by writs of Habeas Corpora, in the Kings Courts; our Keepers have either refused to obey them, or to certifie the causes of our detainer, or else have certified generally, that we were detained by order or command of one or both Houses, or of some Committees or Members of Parliament, whereupon we have been remanded to our respective prisons, without being charged with any particular offence, to which we might make answer according to Law; And if we seek to right ourselves against those who have thus unjustly and maliciously imprisoned, oppressed, plundered and disseised us of our Free-holds, Lands and Goods, by actions of false imprisonment, Trespass, Trover, Assise, or the like at the Common Law, which is our Birthright; These Members and their Servants, who have injured and ruined us, plead exemption from our suits, by reason of their Priviledges, so as we neither can nor dare to sue them; and Committee-men and others, when we sue them for any injuries, Trespasses or oppressions by Land or Sea, plead the Ordinances of Indempnity, to justifie their most unjust and exorbitant actions, warranted by no Law nor Ordinance whatsoever, and by colour thereof stay both our Judgments and Executions at Law, after verdicts given against them for our relief; and force us to travail from all parts of the Kingdom unto Westminster, and there to dance attendance upon Committees of Indempnity, and the like, or many weeks and moneths, til they enforce us to spend more then the dammages we justly recovered, and to release our just Actions and Executions, at the last, contrary to our just Rights and Priviledges, the express Letter of Magna Charta; We will deny, we wil deferr right and justice to no man; And to the very purport of the Ordinances of Indempnity, which never intended to exempt any Committees or other Officers, Agents, Souldiers or Sea-men imployed by the Houses from any unjust or injurious actions done out of private malice, or for private ends, or lucre, without, besides, or against all Ordinances, or from any gross abuses of their power and trust to the peoples prejudices and oppression (all which are now patronized and maintained by pretext thereof) but only to secure them from unjust vexations and suits, for what they sincerely acted for the publike good, according to their trust and duties. And which is yet more sad and dolefull, the very greatest Malignants, who have been most active against the Parliament, and for our good affections and service to it, have burnt down much of our Houses, seized upon our goods and estates, imprisoned, beaten, wounded and mained our persons, imposed heavy taxes on us, indicted us of high Treason for bearing Armes in the Parliaments defence, and enriched themselves with our spoyles and estates; by colour of the Articles of Oxford, Exeter, Winchester, and the like; exempt themselves from our Actions and Arrests, stay our Judgments and Executions after our expence, in suits and Recoveries at the Law, when we have received not one quarter of the damages we sustained by them, by verdict and tryall; and summon us from all parts of the Kingdom, to appear and wait for divers weeks before the Committe of Complaints at Westminster, to our intolerable vexation and expence, where they find more friends and favour commonly then we, and force us to release both our damages and costs of suit to our utter undoing: The very extremity both of Injustice and ungratitude, which makes Malignants to insult and triumph over us, out of whose estates we wer by divers Remonstrances and Declarations of both Houses, promised full satisfaction for all our losses and sufferings in the Parliaments cause; who are now on the contrary thus strangely protected against our just suits against them, for our sufferings by them, and are promised a general act of Indempnity and oblivion (as we hear) to lecure themselves for ever against us, whom they have quite undone; which it obtained, wil break all honest mens herats, and discourage them ever hereafter, to act or suffer any thing for the Parliament, who insteed of recompencing them for their losses and sufferings, according to promise and justice in a Parliamentary way, do even against Magna Charta it self, and all Justice and Conscience, thus cut them off from all means and hopes of recompence or relief in a Legall way, and put Cavaleers into a far better and safe condition, then the faithfulest and most suffering Parliamenteers, a very ingrate and unkind requital.

Besides we cannot but with deepest grief of soul and spirit complain, that contrary to these our undoubted Rights and Priviledges, many of our faithfullest Knights and Burgesses, whom we duly chose to consult and vote for us in Parliament, have through the malice, practise and violence of divers mutinous and Rebellious Souldiers in the Army; and some of their Confederates in the House, without our privity or consents, or without any just or legal cause, for their very fidelity to their Country, for things spoken, done and voted in the Houses, maintaining the Priviledges of Parliaments and opposing the Armies late mutinous, Rebellious, Treasonable and Seditious Practises been most falsly aspersed slandered, impeached, and forced to desert the House and Kingdom too; others of them arrested and stayed by the Army, and their Officers, without any warrant or Authority: others of them suspended the House before any Charge and Proofs against them; others expelled the House, and imprisoned in an Arbitrary and Illegal manner, when most of the Members were forced thence by the Armies violence, without any just cause at all, or any witnesses legally examined face to face, and without admitting them to make their just defence as they desired: And that divers Lords and Members of the House of Peers have likewise been impeached of High Treason, sequestred that House, and committed to &illegible; only for residing constantly in the House, and acting in, and as an House of Parliament, (for which to impeach them of Treason, is no lesse then Treason, and so resolved in the Parliaments of 11. R. 2. & 1. H. 1. in the case of Tresilian and his Companions) when others who dis-honorably deserted the House, and retired to the mutinous Army, then in professed disobedience to, and opposition against both Houses, are not so much as questioned; and all this by meer design and confederacy, to weaken the Presbyterians and honest party in both Houses, which were far the greatest number, and enable the Independent Faction, to vote and carry what they pleased in both Houses; who by this Machivilian Policy and power of the Army (under whose Guard and power, the King, both Houses, City, Tower, Country have been in bondage for some moneths last pass) have extraordinarily advanced their designs, and done what they pleased without any publike opposition, to the endangering of all our Liberties and Estates. Nay more then this, we must of necessity Remonstrate, &illegible; Representative body of the Kingdom, and both &illegible; Parliament, by their late Seditious and Rebellious Army, have not only been divers ways menaced, affronted, disobeyed, but likewise over-awed, and enforced to retract and null divers of their just Votes, Declarations and Ordinances against their Judgments and Wills, to passe new Votes, Orders and Ordinances sent and presented to them by the Army, to grant what demands, and release what dangerous Prisoners they desired of them; to declare themselves no Parliament, and the Acts, Orders and Ordinances passed in one or both Houses, from the 26 of July, to the 6 of August meet Nullities, during the Speakers absence in the Army, by a publike Ordinance then layd aside by the major votes, and at last reforced to passe by a party of one thousand horse (a far greater force then that of the Apprenteses) drawn up into Hide-Park to over-awe the Houses, because the Generall and Army had voted them no Parliament, and their proceedings null. Since which they have to their printed Treasonable Remonstrance of the 18th of August, not only protested and declared against the Members Votes and Proceedings of both Houses, both during the Speakers absence and since, but likewise thus Traiterously and Rebelliously closeup their Remonstrance with this protest and declaration to all the world, p. 23. 24. That if any of those Member &illegible; &illegible; during the absence of the Speakers, and the rest of the Members of &illegible; Houses, did fit or vote in thea pretended Houses then continuing at Westminster, that hereafter intrude themselves to sit in Parliament, before they have given satisfaction to theb respective Houses whereof they are concerning the ground of their said &illegible; at Westminster, during the absence of the said Speakers, and wall &illegible; acquitted themselves by sufficient evidente; That they did not procure nor give their &illegible; unto any of those pretended Votes, Orders or Ordinances, tending to thec raising and levying of a war (on is before (falsly) declared) or for the Kings coming forthwith to London; WE CANNOT ANY LONGER SUFFER THE SAME; but said do that right to the Speakers and Members of both Houses who were* driven away to us, & to our selves with them,d all whom the said Members have endeavoured in as hostile &illegible; to destroy) and also to the Kingdom (which they endeavoured &illegible; &illegible; a &illegible; war) &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; speedy and effect &illegible; course* WHEREBY TO RESTRAIN THEM FROM BEING THEIR OWN AND OURS AND THE KINGDOMS IVDGES, in these things wherein they have made themselvese parties, and by this means to make War; that both they and others who are guilty of and parties to the aforesaid treasonable and destructive practises and proceedings against THE FREEDOM of PARLIAMENT and Peace of the Kingdom, may be brought to condign punishment, (and that) at the judgment of A FREE PARLIAMENT, consisting (duly and properly) of suchf Members of both Houses respectively, who stand clear from, such apparant and treasonable breach as is before expressed: Since which, they have in their General Councel at Putney and in their printed Papers, Voted down the House of Peers and their negative Votes, prescribed the period of this present Parliament, and a new model for the beginning, ending, Members and Priviledges of all succeeding Parliaments received and answered many publick Petitions presented to them, and voted and resolved upon the question the greatest affairs of State, as if they only were the Parliament and Superior Councel both of State and War; voted the Sale of bishops. Deans and Chapters, and Forrest Lands for the payment of their (supposed) Arrears, notwithstanding the Commons Votes to the contrary after sundry large debates; voted against the Houses sending Propositions to the King; to prevent which, as they first traiterously seised up on his person and rescued him out of the custody of the Commissioners of both Houses at Holdenby, and ever since &illegible; him in their power per force from the Parliament, so they have lately conveyed him into the Isle of Wight, and there shut him up Prisoner without the privity and contrary to the desires of both Houses. All which unparaleld insolencies and treasonable practises, we &illegible; to be against our Rights, Freedom and Liberties, and the Rights and Priviledges of Parliament, and of our Members there who represent us, and to his Majesties honor, and safety, in whom we have all a common interest.

And we do likewise further complain and Remonstrate that the Officers and Agitators in the Army, and their confederates in the Houses, have contrary to our foresaid Rights and Liberties many ways invaded and infringed the Rights and Priviledges of the City of London the Parliaments chiefest Strength and Magazine, and Metropolis of the whole Kingdom, which extreamly suffers in and by its sufferings; and that by altering and repealing their New Militia established by Ordinances of both Houses when ful and free, without any cause assigned, against the whole Cities desire; in marching up twice against the City in an hostile manner, not only without, but against the Votes and Commands of both Houses; in dividing and exempting the Militia of Westminster and Southwark from their Jurisdiction and Command; in seising upon and throwing down their Line and Works (raised for the Cities and both Houses securities at a vast expence) in a disgraceful and &illegible; manner; in marching through the City with their whole Army and Train of Artillery in triumph in wresting the Tower of London out of their power, and putting it into the Armies and Generals Custody; in removing the Cities Lieutenant of it without any reason illedged, and &illegible; in a Now one of the Armies choyce; in committing the Lord Mayor, Recorder, Aldermen, and divers Colonel, Captains and Common Councel men and other Citizens of London (who have shewed themselves most active and cordial for the Parliament and impeaching them of such grand Misdemeanors and Treasons, which all the City and Kingdom, and their acculers own consequences inform them they were more guilty of, without ever bringing them to a legal Tryal; only for doing their duties in obeying the Parliament in their just Commands, and standing up for their just defence according to their duty and Covenant, of purpose to bring in others of their own Faction into their places to inslave the City; and commanding two Regiments of Foot to come and quarter in the City, and Ievy some pretended &illegible; to &illegible; by open force, which many by reason of poverty for want of trade and former loans and taxes to the Parliament, &illegible; &illegible; unable to &illegible; And when such affronts and violence is offered to London it &illegible; by the Army, by whose contributions and loans they were first granted and have been since maintained, and that under the Parliaments Notes, who are most engaged to them for then supplies and &illegible; and consistent affections since their first sitting to this present; the Free-holders and Free-subiects in the Country and more remote Counties, must necessarily expect Free-quarter, affconts, pressures and violations of our just Rights and Liberties from them: The rather, because the Garrison Soldiers of the City of Bristol, who not long since refused to receive the Governor appointed them by both Houses of Parliament, have lately seised upon one of the wel affected Aldermen of that City as he was sitting on the Bench with his companions, and carried him away per force, refusing to enlarge, or admit any person to see or speak with him, or bring any provisions to him, til they receive some, moneths Arrears in ready money and good security for al their remaining pay, and an act of Indempnity for this their insolency and injurious action in particular, and all other offences in general, from both Houses. Of which unparaleld oppression and injustice from Soldiers, who pretend themselves the only Saints and Profectors of our Rights and Liberties, we cannot but be deeply sensible, and crave your speedy redress in our Liberties, Rights and Properties.

But that which most neerly concerns us, and which we can no longer endure, is this wherin we expect your present redress; That this degenerated, disobedient and mutinous Army, contrary to the Votes and Ordinances for their disbanding and securing their Arrears in March and May last past, have traiterously and rebelliously refused to disband, and kept themselves together in a body ever since, offering such affronts and violence to the Kings own royal person, both Houses of Parliament and their Members and the City of London, as no age can paralel; and yet have forced the Houses when they had impeached and driven away most of their Members, and marched up in a body against them and the City in a menacing, manner, not only to own them for their Army, but to pass a new Establishment of sixty thousand pounds a moneth for their future pay, to be levyed on the Kingdom (who now expect case from all such Taxes) besides the Excise and all other publick payments; which now they importune the Houses may be augmented to one hundred thousand pounds each moneth, and that they themselves may have the levying thereof: which insupportable Tax being procured by force and menaces, when the Houses were neither full nor free, against former Votes and Ordinances for the Kingdoms ease, and not consented to by most of our Knights and Burgesses then driven away by the Army, and diffenting thereto when present, and being only to maintain a mutinous and seditious Army of Sectaries, Antitrinitarians, Antiscripturises, Seekers, Expectants, Anabaptists, recruited Cavaliers, and seditious, mutinous Agitators, who have offered such insufferable violence and Indignities both to the King, (whose person and life was indangered among them, as he and they confess) the Parliament, City, Country; and so earnestly endeavored to subvert all Magistracy, Monarchy, Ministry, all civil, Ecclesiastical and Military Government, Parliaments, Religion, and our ancient Laws and Liberties (as their late printed Papers evidence) that they cannot without apparant danger to the Parliament, King and Kingdom, be any longer continued together, being now so head-strong that their own Officers cannot rule, but complain publickly against them: And therefore we can neither in point of duty, conscience, law or prudence, subject to pay the said monethly Tax so unduly procured by their violence, were we able to do it, being contrary to our Solemn League and Covenant, for the maintenance of such a mutinous and rebellious Army, who endeavor to enslave and destroy both King, Parliament, City, Kingdom, and monopolize all their power, wealth and treasure into their own Trayterous hands, which they have wel-nigh effected, having gotten the Kings person, the Tower of London, all Garisons and Forces in the Kingdom by Land, and the command of the Navy by Sea; into their power, and put the City and both Houses under the Wardship of their armed guards, attending at their doors and quartering round about them, and forced the run-a-way Speakers and Members not only to enter into and subscribe the solemn Engagement to live and dye with them in this cause, but likewise to give them a ful moneths pay, by way of gratuity, for guarding them back to the Houses, where they might and ought to have continued without any danger, as the other faithful Members did, and to which they might safely have returned without the strength of the whole Army to guard them. And to add to our &illegible; and afflictions, this godly religions Army of disobedient Saints, who pretend only our Liberty and Freedom from Tyranny, Taxes and Oppression, demand not only this new heavy monethly Tax, and the remainder of Bishops, and all Deans and Chapters and Forrest Lands in the Kingdom, and Corporation stocks for their Arrears (which if cast up only during the time of their actual service til the time they were voted and ordered to disband, wil prove very smal or little, their free-quarter, exactions and receipts for the Parliament and Country being discompted) but (which is our forest pressure) do violently enter into our Houses against our wils, and there lie in great multitudes many weeks and moneths together, til they quite ruine and eat out both us, our families, stocks and cattel, with their intolerable Free quarter, and that in these times of extraordinary dearth and scarcity; for which they raise and receive of us of late twice or thrice as much as their whole pay amounts unto, devouring, like so many Locusts and Caterpillars, all our grass, hay, corn, bread, beer, fewel and provisions of all sorts, without giving us one farthing recompence, and leaving us, our wives, children, families, cattel, to starve and famish; the very charge of their free-quarter (besides their insufferable insolencies and abuses of all sorts) amounting in many places to above six times, or in most places to double or treble our annual Revenues. Besides the abuses in their quartering are insufferable; Many of them take and receive money for their quarters double or treble, their pay from two or three persons at once, and yet take Oats and other provisions from them besides, or free-quarter upon others: Some of them demand and receive free-quarter in money and provisions the double or treble the number of their Troops and Companies: Others take free-quarter for their wives, truls, boys, and those who were never listed: Others of them wil be contented with none but extraordinary diet wine, strong beer, above their abilities with whom they quarter, thereby to extort money from them; and if an, complain of these abuses, he is sure to be relieved with an addition of more, and more unruly quarterers then he had before. If they march from their quarters to any randezvouz, or to guard the Houses, they must have victuals and money too, til their return. Divers of the Troopers and Dragooners must have quarter for two or three horses a peece, which must have at least a peck of corn or more every day (though they lye still) both Winter and Summer; their 7200 Horse, and 1000 Dragoons devouring above two thousand bushels of corn (besides grass, hay and straw) every day of the week, and this time of dearth, when the poorer sort are ready to starve for want of bread. In brief, the abuses of free quarter are innumerable, and the burthen of it intollerable, amounting to three times more then the whole Armies pay, who are doubly payd all their pretended Arrears, in the money & provisions they have received only for free quarter upon a just account; and therfore have litle cause to be so clamorous for their pretended Arrears from the State, who have received double their Arrears of us, and yet pay us not one farthing for all our Arrears for quarters when they receive their pay. Which free quartering we do now unanimously protest against, as an high Infringement of our Hereditary Rights, Liberties, Properties and Freedom, and contrary to Magna Charta, the Petition of Right, and warranted by no express Ordinance of Parliament, now the Wars are ended, and the Army long since voted to disband, and such an excessive oppression and undoing heart-breaking vexation to us, that we neither can, nor are any longer able to undergo it.

And therefore we humbly pray and desire this of both Houses of Parliament, as our unquestionable Liberty and Birthright, of which they cannot in justice deprive us, without the highest treachery, tyranny, perjury and injustice; that all these forementioned Grievances and unsupportable Pressures, under which we now groan and languish, may be speedily and effectually redressed without the least delay, to prevent a generall Insurrection of oppressed and discontented people, whose patience, if any longer abused, we fear, will break out into unappeasable fury; and by their publike votes and Remonstrances, to declare and order for our general satisfaction and ease.


That no Habeas Corpus shall be denyed to any free Subject, imprisoned by any Committe whatsoever, or by any Officers or Agents of Parliament: and that any such person shal be bayled and discharged by the Keepers of the Great Seal in vocation time, of the Judges in the Term, upon an Habeas Corpus if no legal cause of commitment or continuance under restraint shal be returned.


That every person who hath been wel-affected to the Parliament, may have free liberty to prosecute his just remedy at Law against every Member of Parliament, Committee-man, Officer or Agent imployed by the Parliament, who hath maliciously or injuriously imprisoned, beaten, sequestred, plundred or taken away his money or goods, or entered into his bounds and possessions contrary to Law, and the Ordinances of Parliament, and the power and trust committed to him, notwithstanding any priviledg, or the Ordinances, or any Orders made for their Indempnity; which we humbly conceive, were only made to free those who acted for the Parliament from unjust suits and vexations, for acting according to their duties, and not exempt any from legal prosecutions for apparent unjust, malicious and oppressive actions and abuses of their trust and power.


That no wel affected person may be debarred from his just and legal actions against Malignants in Commission, or Arms against the Parliament, who have imprisoned, plundered and abused them for their adhering to the Parliament, by colour or pretext of any Articles Surrender, made by the General or any other, or by any future Act of Oblivion, so as they prosecute their Actions within the space of 3 years next ensuing; and that the Committee of Complaint may be inhibited to stay any such proceedings, such Judgments or Executions, as prejudicial to the Parliament, and injurious to their suffering friends.


That all Members of either House of Parliament lately suspended, imprisoned, impeached or ejected by the Armys menaces and violence, without legall tryall may be forthwith enlarged, restored and vindicated, and both Houses and their Members righted and repayred against all such who have violated their Priviledges and Freedom, and freed from the guards and power of the Army.


That the Kings person may be forthwith delivered up by the Army, into the Custody and possession of both Houses under pain of high Treason, in any who shall detain him from them, that so a firm & speedy peace may be established between him and his people, for their comfort. And Cornet Joyce who first seised, and those Agitators who lately intended violence to his Royall Person and Life, may be apprehended and proceeded against.


That the imprisoned Aldermen and Citizens of London may be forthwith enlarged, restored and repayred; and the repealed Ordinance for their new Militia revived; the Tower of London put into the Citizens hands as formerly, and firm Reconciliation made between the City and both Houses.


That the Isle of Wight, and all Garrisons by Land, and the Navy by Sea, may be put into the command and custody of those who enjoyed them by Votes and Orders of both Houses, before the 26 of July last past, unless just exemptions can be taken to any of them by the Houses.


That all Votes and Ordinances formerly made and repealed only by the menaces and over-awing power of the Army may be revived, and all new Votes and Ordinances made by their threats and violence, when divers Members were driven away by their terror, repealed and made voyd; especially that Ordinance for nulling all Proceedings in Parliament, during the Speakers wilful absence, at least five times layd aside, by Vote of the House Commons; and forced to &illegible; by a particular menacing Remonstrance from Sir Thomas Fairfax and the Army, and a party of a thousand Horse drawn up in Hide-Parke to over-awe the Houses, besides an armed Guard then standing at their doors.


That the true grounds of the Speakers and other Members deserting the Houses and repairing to the Army and their entering into an Engagement to the Army, may be fully examined; and what Members subscribed their names thereto: and who of them that sate in the Houses, at any time, during the Speakers absence in the Army.


That all recruited Soldiers in the Army, entertained since the taking in of Oxford, may be presently disbanded without pay, the residue reduced only to five or six thousand; and none to be continued but such, who have taken the Solemn League and Covenant and shal be sworn to be obedient to both Houses commands.


That no Free-quarter shal from henceforth be taken by any Officer or Soldier in any Gentlemans, Husbandmans, Ministers, Merchants or Tradesmans House without his free consent, and pay duly for the same, under pain of death, unless in a March for one night or two upon special service, when no other quarters can be procured, but only in Inns, Alehouses, and common Victualing Houses. And that no Troopers Horses may be allowed Oats or Provender, whiles they lie stil, and are out of actual service.


That all Commissions for Martial Law may be revoked, and all Soldiers, for all Misdemeanors and offences punishable by Law, made and declared to be subject to the Jurisdiction and power of the Judges of Assise, Justices of Peace, and chief Officers in any County and City; and liable to arrests and executions for their just debts, and other Actions at the common Law.


That the Tax for sixty thousand pound a moneth, for the Armies pay, may be wholy remitted and taken off us; and a moderate Assessment only laid on the Kingdom for the necessary relief of Ireland, and pay of such few Soldiers as shal be necessary to continue til the wel-affected in each County be put into a posture to defend it self and the Kingdom.


That Lieut. General Cromwel, Commissary Ireton, and other Members of the House of Commons, residing in the Army, and the Councel of War and Agitators, who compiled and drew up the late insolent and Treasonable Remonstrances and Representations to both Houses, especially that of the fifth of this instant December, may be forthwith apprehended and impeached of High Treason, of which they are far more guilty then any Members or Citizens formerly accused or impeached by their means, out of the ruines of whose estates they desire the satisfaction of their own pretended Arrears.


That the General and Army, together with the Councel of War, Officers and Soldiers of the Army, may be presently sent to, and give an answer to both Houses, whether they continue together as an Army, by vertue of any Commission and Authority derived from the Houses only; and if so, to take an Oath to be obedient to all their just Commands; or else keep together in a body, only by their own private Engagement and Authority as a pretended cal from the people, as John Lilburn in late printed Papers affirmes they do: which, if really true, we can repute them no other, but a most riotous Assembly of Rebels and Traitors against King, Kingdom and Parliament, and their taking of free quarter on us against our wils, no better then Burglary and Felony, for which they ought to suffer death.


That the extraordinary dammages the Kingdom, City and Country have sustained by fre quarter and loss of trade, through the Armies refusal to disband, and late recruits, contrary to the Votes of both Houses for their disbanding (which dammages amount to above twenty times their pretended Arrears) may be satisfied out of their Arrears as far as they wil go, to be totally struck off for that purpose, and the residue out of the estates of such Officers and others who have been the chief instruments of continuing and recruiting the Army, and free quartering them neer the City, and consequently the original causes of these damages. The rather, because it is Sir Thomas Fairfax and the Councel of the Armies own Law and Justice in their Arrogant Representation to the Houses; Decem. 7. 1647. p. 21. where they thus declare their desires. Yet now, IN JUSTICE, we cannot but desire that, besides the levying of the (Cities) Arrears at last, (for which we have been put to stay so long) there may now likewise be SOME REPARATION thought on from the City to the parts adjacent for abeve one hundred thousand pounds damage through the ARMIES attendance here on the Cities defaults and delays; which reparation we (if necessitated thereunto, or called upon by the Country) must in their behalf demand from the City to the ful; and now also (the rather in order to that) we must earnestly desire, that the proceedings against those Citizens and others lately impeached, may be hastened, and out of their fines or confiscations, SOME PART OF REPARATION MAY BE MADE TO THE COUNTRIES ADJACENT FOR THE AFORESAID DAMAGES, which the crimes of those persons (they should have said, the Rebellion and Disobedience of the Officers and Army to both Houses) did first bring upon them, &c. And what reparation of Damages they thus prey from others, who are innocent and no causes of them, is just they should first make themselves, being the real Authors thereof, by their own confession.

All which we humbly pray, as our just Rights and Liberties, in our own and the whole Kingdoms behalf, who shal, by Gods assistance, with our Lives and Fortunes resolutely maintain and defend his Majesties Person and lawful Power, the Ancient Priviledges and Freedom of Parliament, and our own unquestionable Rights, Properties and Franchises (according to our Solemn Vow and Covenant) against all Encroachments, Powers, and private Factions whosover, for the honor, benefit, and safety of us and our posterities, and wil no longer suffer the King, Parliament, City, Country and Kingdom to be enslaved and trambled upon by a dangerous and perfidious Combination of self-ended men, who endeavor nothing but to advance themselves by our publick ruines and confusions.



 [a ] So they term them.

 [b ] To wit, the fugitive Members who withdrew unto & engaged with the Army, and by their engagement are made parties & incompetent Iudgest.

 [c ] No, it was only for their own just defence against the Armys force & rebellious reproaches against them.

 [* ] They ran away before they were driven, & might have set on the said day as wel as others without disturbance, as they did the very next morning after the tumult.

 [d ] A detestable Parenthesis and horrid scandal.

 [* ] This is their maintenance of the Parliaments Priviledges & freedom, & the Liberty of Conscience the Army contends for.

 [e ] This disables all your fugitive Members.

 [f ] Those who treacherously fled to you, brought you up against the City, and signed your Engagement, are no such Members, but ingaged Parties.

5.3. William Prynne, The Machivilian Cromwellist and Hypocritical perfidious New Statist (10 January, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

William Prynne, The Machivilian Cromwellist and Hypocritical perfidious New Statist: Discovering The most detestable Falshood, Dissimulation and Machivilian Practices of L. G. Cromwel and his Confederates, whereby they have a long time abused and cheated both the Houses, City and Country; and the wicked and treasonable things they have done, and unwarrantable means they have used, to carry on their own ambitious Designs.
Printed in the Year 1648.

Estimated date of publication

10 January, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 583; Thomason E. 422. (12.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

THE Machivilian Cromwellist AND Hypocritical perfidious New Statist.

THe Machivilian Practises and Jesuitical Policies of the Cromwellists and Independent Confederacy, in the Houses, Army, City and Country, to accomplish their own ambitious ends, and engross all power into their own hands, by wicked, unjust, and most diabolical means, have been sufficiently laid open to the world by Mr Edwards in his Gangrænaes; and their own Champion, Iohn Lilburn, in his Iuglers discovered, his Letters to Cromwel and others; The Anatomy of the Army; The Grand Design or Discovery of that form of Slavery intended, and in part brought upon the free people of England, by a powerful party in the Parliament, and L. G. Cromwel, Commissary General Ireton, and others of that Faction in the Army; tending to the utter ruine and inslaving of the English Nation: and by other late printed Papers of their own Friends, the Agitators in the Army and City, who charge the Head of that Faction Cromwel (cryed up for the holiest Saint on earth without the least dissimulation, guile or falshood) with these remarkable treasonable Hypocrisies and Contradictions, detestable both to God and Men.

1. With making many solemn and deep Protestations in the House of Commons, in the presence of Almighty God, upon his faith and honor, that the Army should really disband when ever the House should give but the least order or intimation; And yea at the same time giving secret order and &illegible; to &illegible; Creatures in the Army, not to dish and upon any terms, but to keep together and march up to London to force the Houses and City, and compel them by fear to comply with all his unjust desires and designs.

2. With plotting and ordering in his own Lodgings, at a great meeting there on Monday night before Whitsonday last, the securing of the Garrison, Magazine, and Train of Artillery at Oxford seising the Kings own person at Holdenby, and removing him thence into the Army; and giving order to Cornet Ioyce, with as much speed and scerecy as might be, to effect it; which he accordingly did by his special direction; and yet like a subtil Fex. protected to the House, the King and others, that it was done both without his Knowledg and approbation.

3. With impeaching the XI Members, and pressing theirs and others suspent on from the House before any charge or proof of guilt (contrary to all Law, all rules of Iustice, and the Houses Votes) only to strengthen his own Faction in the House, though he knew and acknowledged them to be innocent of the Crimes pretended, in private: and yet exhibiting and printing a most false and scandalous Charge against them, to wound their reputations in publick, by charging them with such crimes, of which he knew himself more guilty then they.

4. With charging the wel-affecting Lords and Commons, who continued sitting and acting in the Houses, when the Speakers and some Members (under pretext of a force past and ended some two or three days before their departing thence) by his Solications and Menaces treacherously withdrew themselves from the Houses to the Army; and the Militia, Common Councel, and Citizens of London, for providing only for their own self-defence by Votes and Ordinances of both Houses; with no less then Treason, in levying a New War against the King, Parliament and Kingdom: When as he and his Confederates only were truly guilty of it, both in seising upon the Kings own person and rescuing him from the Commissioners of both Houses by a strong party of the Army; in causing the whole Army to march up to London in a warlike and assailing posture against the Houses express Orders, and forcing them to repeal their Votes, Ordinances, and yeeld up their Members to their fury; and after that, in marching up with the Army it self to the Houses doors, and City, in triumph, against the Houses express Letters and Orders, with the fugitive Members whom they engaged to live and dye with them in that quarrel, and in possessing themselves of all the Works and Forts about Westminster and of the Tower of London, removing the City Guards, and setting new of their own upon the Houses; marching through the City with their whole Army, like Conquerors, and then throwing down their Line and Ports, first raised for the Houses defence, in a most scornful manner, and beleaguring the disarmed King, City and Houses ever since, with the whole body of the Army (which they have &illegible; recruited to the peoples infinite oppression) to captivate them all to their tyrannical pleasures: Which is a treasonable levying of War, and High Treason in good earnest, uncapable of excuse, transcending that of the impeached Members and Citizens.

5. With forcing the Houses to pass an Ordinance, on the 20. of August last, for declaring all Votes, Orders and Ordinances, passed in one or both Houses, since the force on both Houses, Iuly the 26. until the 6. of August, to be null and voyd; by reason of a force upon the House of Commons, by a company of unarmed boys and apprentices, only on Iuly 26. towards the Evening; who vanished that night and never appeared after: notwithstanding the Speaker and Commons House met and sate the very next morning without any disturbance, met securely at the Fast the next day in Margarets Church, where the Speaker protested, against he honor of his going to the Army under pretext of this sore, as a most dishonorable and unworthy act, which he would rather dye in the House, then be guilty of, to Sir Ralph Ashton and other; and the Friday following most of the Members met, elected a new Speaker, and voted and sate without the least violence or disturbance from the City; til the sixth of August, and passed all Votes, Orders and Ordinances, freely without any colour of force; upon which grounds this Ordinance of repeal, after long debate, was by the major voyce of the Commons House passed four or five times in the Negative, and layd asils, and so ought not by the Rules of Parliament or Justice to be revived. And yet he and his Confederates enforce the Houses to pass this repealing Ordinance upon a meer pretence of force, by a for greater armed force and violence then that of the Apprentices, which they made the only ground of this Ordinance of nullity and repeal, enforced to pass against the haire in this manner. First, by a Treasonable Remonstrance from his Evcellency Sir Thomas Fairfax and the Army under his command, sent to the Houses from the Head-quarters at Kingston, August 19. (but dated the 18.) in which p. 18. they take notice of the Commons carrying it in the Negative against this Nulling Ordinance, and thereupon used such high and treasonable Menaces and Expressions against the Members continuing in it during the Speakers absence, as no age nor persons ever heard or read the like; threatning to take them as prisoners of War, and try them by Martial Law; inhibiting them or any of them, to intrude themselves to sit in Parliament, til they had cleared themselves from giving their assent to any of the Votes, Orders or Ordinances, past in the Speakers absence, and to take speedy and effectual courses to restrain them from being their own, theirs, and the Kingdoms Iudges, and to bring them to condign punishment. Secondly, they put double Guards the next day upon both Houses, who openly threatned at the Doors, to pull out all the Members by head and shoulders that fate and voted in the Speakers absence, if they presumed to intrude themselves, or but enter into the House; Whereupon more Members by fear refrained the House, and went presently out of London, then those who fled to the Army. Thirdly, all the Officers, that were Members, came that morning from the Army into the House, where Cromwel and they made very high and menacing speeches which daunted many. Fourthly, Colonel Desborough came with a party of 1000 Horse drawn up in a body to Hide-park-Corner, threatning to force both the Houses and Members, if this Ordinance passed not. And by this Treasonable force, practise and Declaration, was this nullifying Ordinance, against a thousand fold less force, forced to pass the House when thin and empty, by head and shoulders, against the Rules and Freedom of Parliaments, through a thin House of Commons, when most of the Members were kept and driven away forcibly from it, by the whole Army and their Guards, And to evidence to all the world & posterity, that this Ordinance was wrested from the Houses by meer violence, it was even then by Special Order of the Houses, printed and published with that Treasonable thundering Declaration against the House and Members which procured it; dated the 18, sent the 19, of August, and read that day and the next in the Houses, and the same day (being the 20th) compelled the House to pass it. Which Ordinance declaring all Votes, Orders and Ordinances of one or both Houses to be null and voyd, if procured by force, being thus more forcibly procured then any it repealed, must needs be Felo de se, and declare it self to be more voyd and null then they; which being for the most part made, when the Houses were free by a unanimous Vote, without any division of the Houses, will remain firm and valid; notwithstanding this new forced Ordinance, promoted and carried on, &illegible; passed with greater force then any it repeals.

Besides these detestable Machivilian and Hipocritical practises of Cromwel and his Confederates, be pleased to consider only of three or four more; which wil manifest them the greatest Machivillists and Hipocrites under heaven, never to be credited or confided in hereafter.

1. The first is, his gulling and deluding his own Confederates and Creatures, the busie Agisators imployed by him, to mutiny the Army into publike Rebellion; who underwent the greatest adventure with the hazard of their necks, to accomplish his designs upon the King, Parliament and City, who having served his turn; he now most ungratefully casheers, and endeavours to suppress, apostatizing from his first principles and pretences of seeking the Kingdoms welfare and peoples Freedom, to advance himself, his kindered and allies, though with the Kingdoms and Agitators ruin, playing the meer Jugler, and Hocus-Pocus with them; as their Advocates, Lilburn, Henry Martin, Scot and Rainsborough complain most bitterly, and others of their Fraternity, in sundry of their Pasquills.

2. The 2d is, his and his Confederates treachery and villany towards the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and imprisoned Citizens of London, to whom though they promised all fair quarter, indempnity and security of their first approaches to, and march through the City in triumph; yet soon after they cause them suddenly to be impeached of high Treason, committed to the Tower and other prisons; expell the Recorder (without any legal proof or hearing, from a sudden Report from a packed Committee of those who engaged with the Army) out of the House, and send him to the Tower to accompany the Mayor and Aldermen, where they yet detain them prisoners without any further prosecution; and all this to bring in an Independent Lora Mayor, Aldermen, and others of their own Faction, into their places, and keep them from acting in the City, and being chosen into publike Offices; In pursuance of which design, he and they have endeavoured, and lately threatned, to bring up the Army to quarter in the City this Winter, under pretext of levying Arrears; but in truth to bring in what Common-Councel-men, and other Officers they pleased, of their own Faction, upon the New Elections, and make Allen and Estwick Aldermen; That being prevented of this design, Mr Speaker must discover a New Plot to seize upon the Tower by a company of horse and foot (who must drop out of the clouds) & the Houses too; to bring up the Army to guard them til the new elections be past. But this not taking and proving as false as he that discovered it, there upon a new Ordinance must be suddainly drawnup, and passed in a moment before any notice of it, to deprive the City and Citizens of their free elections of their City Officers and Common Councell men, and make many of the best affected among them, who had any hand in the Cities Engagement &c. uncapable to be elected themselves, or give any voyce in the election of others; to exclude the Presbyterians and Anti-Sectarists, and bring in a New Independent recruit of Cromwels and the Armies Confederates, to undo and betray the City, Parliament and Kingdom, and enthrall them to their bondage; which their Confederacies, Engagements and Treasons against the King, Houses, City and Kingdom, must make them capable of all Offices and Preferments, and disable them from none.

3. The 3d is, his and his Confederates in the Armies damnable Hypocrisie and Dissimulation, both towards the Houses, City and Country, and meer cheating them of their money and free quarter. At first he and they pretended, that if the Houses and City advanced but so many moneths pay for the Souldiers, they should all presently disband, and not trouble the Country more with Free quarter or Taxes, and that they would pay their quarters out of it. Whereupon the pay desired, was sent and received, and yet never a Souldier disbanded, but new recruits, even of Cavaleers against the Parliament, entertained without the Houses Order, nay against it; and no quarters at all discharged: Since which, upon sundry complaints of the Countries oppression by free quarter, they have four or five several times, at least upon receipt of so many weeks pay set down, faithfully engaged to disband their supernumerary Forces, lessen the Army, and pay their quarters; yet no sooner is the money desired, received, but they refuse to do either, and grow more high and insolent in their demands then ever, and more oppressive to the Country. At the last general Randezvouze they made the like promise of disbanding and paying quarters, upon the recipt of forty thousand pounds, which with much difficulty was procured and sent (&illegible; the Forces in Ireland, in great want, and actuall hard service against the Rebels, are like to perish for want of pay, while these Idle droans devour all the money the Houses can take up by any means) and thereupon some supernumerary Forces and Recruits were actually disbanded, and word sent of it to the House; but within a day or two they were all again entertained, and others to boot, by Order from the General and Councell of War, contrary to their Engagement, and the Houses Order; and not one penny payd the Country for free quarter: and within two or three days after, a new Representation (ful of Arrogancy and Insufferable language) must be sent to the Houses, wherein they demand the sixty thousand pounds monethly tax, to be augmented to one hundred thousand; justify their not disbanding the supernumeraries, augmented by them now to such a number, that the whole Kingdom can neither pay, nor quarter them without ruin. And now they make demands of new sums, and then they wil obey the Houses Orders just as they did before; and thus they cheat the Parliament, City and Country of their money, and free quarter too; and though they pretend themselves no Mercenary people, but publike spirited Saints, who regard no pay but higher ends; yet they stick not impudently to press the Houses over and over, against their Votes, and vote it in their Councel of War in opposition to all the Houses; That all Deans and Chapters, Lands, Forrest-Lands, the remainder of Bishops Lands shal be sold, the fines of the Impeached Citizens, and Lords (whose only Treason is, that they are Rich and Faithful to their Country, and opposite to their real Treasons) and the third part of all Delinquents, of the Excise too, in course, designed for payment of their pretended Arrears, since their refusal to disband, and yet must have one hundered thousand pounds a moneth levyed on the Kingdom, besides, for present pay, to maintain them in their mutinies and Rebellions, and ruin the Parliament, King, Kingdom, and dying Ireland.

4. His detestable malicious Charging the XI Impeached Members most falsly, with* holding private intelligence with the Kings party, drawing up and sending Propositions privately to the King, for settling of a peace without the Houses privity; holding Correspondency with disaffected persons, to put conditions up, the Parliament, and bring in the King upon their own terms; undertaking to do more for the King then the Army would do; obstructing the relief of Ireland, favouring Delinquents and Malignants, giving no accompt for the great summes of money they received, driven away the Parliament Members. And thereupon by violent means enforced them to quit the House (and some of them the Kingdom too) though innocent, and not convicted of any of those crimes. And yet himself and his Creatures in the Army, at the self same time and ever since, holding private intelligence with the King and his Party; admitting them into the Armies quarters, and there keeping Cabinet Counsels with the chiefest of them, drawing up, and sending Propositions privatly to the King without the Houses privity, holding correspondency with Sir Edw. Ford, Sir Iohn Bently. Ashburnham, Legge, Dr Hammond, Dr Sheldon, and other desperate Malignants, and confederating with them to put conditions on the Houses, and bring in the King upon his own terms; undertaking to do more for the King then the Scots or Presbyterians, removing him from Hampton Court to the Isle of Wight (put into the hands of Colonel Hammond for that purpose some moneths before) to accomplish his designs the better; obstructed Irelands relief both with men and money almost a year together, and intercepting all the moneys, that should now supply the pressing necessities, to pay his mutinous idle Army, for undoing the Kingdom and eating out the Country: pleaded openly in the House for the exemption of the greatest Malignants in Arms out of the first and second Articles, because the Army had (without the Houses privity) engaged to mitigate their fines and interceed in their favor, though they aggravate the pretended offences of the injuriously impeached Lords and Citizens to the highest, pressed their exemption out of the general pardon and Act of Oblivion; and desire the confiscation of their whole estates: hath hitherto given no Accompt of the vast sums of Money, Horse and Arms he hath received from the State, professing that he cannot do it: and driven many of the faithfullest Parliament Members both out of the House and Kingdom. And therefore deserves to be suspended, imprisoned, cast out of the House, and driven out of the Kingdom as a most Treacherous Impostor and Traytor to the Parliament, City and Kingdom, whose ruine he endevors, to prevent his own.

This is the Faith, Honesty, Sincerity and plain dealing of these Cromwellists and Machivilian Saints; the infamy of the Gospel; the shame of Christianity; the Sinks of all Hypocrisie, Fraud and Treachery, and unsatiable Gulfs of avarice, whose consciences are now so free and large, that they can swallow down the greatest sins, contrive and carry on the grossest Villaries and Treasons against their King and Country, Church and State; betray and impeach their best and dearest Friends, blow up Parliaments, make use of any Iesuitical Policies, and unlawful means and instruments, to accomplish their exemplary, temporal and eternal ruine, if they repent not speedily, which God give them Grace to do in time.



 [* ] The Particular Charge of the Army.

5.4. John Lilburne, A Defiance to Tyrants (28 January, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

John Lilburne, A Defiance to Tyrants. Or The Araignment of Two Illegall Committees. viz. The close Committee of Lords and Commons appointed to examine the London Agents. And the Committee of Plundered Ministers. In two Pleas made by L.C. Lilburne Prerogative Prisoner in the the Tower of London. Wherein is clearely Declared the unjustness, arbitrariness, and absolute unlawfulness of the late proceedings of that close Committee of Lords and Commons against the London Agents. And also, Proving all the proceedings of the Committee of Plundered Ministers in summoning and imprisoning severall Citizens of London, for refusing to pay Tythes, to bee an absolute subversion of the fundamentall Lawes of the Land, and Treason of as high a nature as any the Earle of Strafford lost his head for; They making their Will a Law unto the Kingdome; There being no Law at all in the Kingdome, whereby the London-Priests can claime Tythes, or recover them from any of their Parishoners.
London, Printed for the information of all men, that are not willing to be Priest-ridden and to the slaves to Tyrannie and oppression.

Estimated date of publication

28 January, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, pp. 586–7; Thomason E. 520. (30.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

A PLEA Made by L. Col. John Lilbvrne, Prerogative Prisoner in the Tower of London, the second of Decem. 1647. Against the proceedings of the close and illegall Committee, of Lords and Commons appointed to examine these that are called London Agents, with divers large additions; unto which is annexeda Plea for the said Citizens of London against the Committee for plundered Ministers, for their illegall imprisoning them for refusing to pay Tithes.

ALL Magistraty in England, is bounded by the known and declared Law of England(a) and while they Act according to Law, I am bound to obey them, but when they leave the rules thereof, and walk by the arbitrary rules of their owne wills, they do not act as Magistrates, but as(b) Tyrants, and cannot in such actings challenge any obedience, neither am I bound to yeeld it, but am tied in conscience and duty to my selfe and my native Countrey therein to resist and withstand them, and if their Officers gos about by force and violence to Compell mee to obey and stoop unto their arbitrary and illegall command; I may, and ought, (if I will be true to my native and legall freedomes) by force to withstand him or them, in the same manner that I may withstand a man that comes to rob my house, or as I may withstand a man, that upon the high way by force and violence would take my purse or life from me.

And therefore all Warrants comming from any pretended or reall Committees of Lords and Commons to command me before them, that are not formed according to the Law of England, I ought not to obey, but withstand and resist upon paine of being by all the unbiased understanding men of England esteemed a betrayer and destroyer of the Lawes and liberties of England, for the preservation of which I ought to contest as Naboth did with King Ahab for his vineyard, 1 King. 21, 2, 3, 4, 13. And by the Law of England, no warrant or precesse ought to issue out to summon up any man to any Court of Iustice of England whatsoever, till a complains by a certaine prosecutor be filed or exhibited, in that Court of justice, from whence the warrant, processe or Summons comes, which warrant, processe, or Summons ought expresly to containe the Nature of the Cause to which I am to answere,(c) and the name of my prosecutor or complainants, or else it is not legall, and so not binding, but may and ought to be resisted by mee, and the Court must be sure to have legall jurisdiction over the causes.

Secondly, All the Capacities that either the house of Commons or Lords can sit in, is

First, either as a Councell, and so are to be close, (and for any man whatsoever in that capacitie to come, or offer to come in amongst them, that do not belong unto them, is unwarrantable, and so punishable(d) or else,

Secondly, as a Court of justice, to try and examine men in criminall causes, and in this capacitie they or any of their Committees ought alwayes to Sit open, for all peaceable men freely to behold and see,e or else I am not bound to goe to any triall with them, or answer them a word, and therefore in this sence most illegall is the close Committee of Lords and Commons, for examining those (they call) London Agents, or any other whatsoever.

And, Thirdly, that close Committee is most illegall, being a mixture of Lords with Commons, seeing the Lords are none of their or my Peers and equall by Law, and so cannot; nor ought not to be there to be my examiners, tryers, or Iudges, and a traitor I am to the Lawes and liberties of England, if I stop or submitt to the Iurisdiction or power of such a mixt Committee.(f)

Thirdly, it is contrary to Law, and expresly against the Petition of right, either for this Committee of Lords and Commons; or any other Court of Iustice or Committee whatsoever, to force me or any man to answer to interrogatories against my selfe, or my neer relations.

Fourthly, Neither can they legally goo about to try or punish me for any crime that is triable or punishable at Common Law.(g)

Fifthly, and if in case there be no Law extant to punish their pretended London Agents for doing their duty in prosecuting those just things, that the Parl. hath often declared is the right and due, of all the free men in England, they ought to goe free from punishment; for where there is no Law there can (saith the Apostle Paul) be no transgression(h) but if that Committee or any other power in England shall Commit mee, or any Commoner in England to prison for disobeying their illegall and Arbitary Orders, it is more then by Law they can do; neither ought I to goe to prison, but by force and violence (which I cannot resist) and I ought to see that the warrant be legall in the forme of &illegible; that is to say, that it be under hand and seale and that he or they in law, have power to Commit me, and that the warrant containe the expresse cause wherefore I am Committed, and also have a Lawfull conclusion, viz: and him safely to keep untill he be delivered by due course of Law, and us during the pleasure of this house or Committee, or till this house or Coonmittee do further Order(i) and I may & ought to read the Warrant, and to have a copy of it, if I demand it, without paying any thing for it; and if I be Committed for any Crime not mentioned in the Statute of Ed. 3. Cap. 15.(k) I am Bailable, which I may and ought to tender in person to the parties that Commit me, either (if I have them by me) before I goe to prison, or else as soone as I am in prison, or as soone as I can conveniently get fit baile for me; and in Case I be legally Committed, both for power Matter and forme, and be kept in prison after I have proffered baile (as before) I may bring my action of false imprisonment and recover damages therefore: but besides knowe this, that there is not one farthing token due to the serjant at arms or any other Officer whatsoever, that carries me, to prison, neither is there one peny due to any Goaler whatsoever for fees from me but one bare groat at most;(l) and when I am in prison, I ought to be used with all civillity and human tie: for that great Lawyer, Sir Edward Cook expresly saith,(m) That imprisonment must onely be safe custody, not a punishment, and that a prison ought to be for keeping men safe to be duly tryed, according to the Law and custome of the land but not in the least to punish or destroy them, (or to remaine in it till the party committing please:) and he further saith, in his exposition of the 26 Chap. of Magna Charta.(n) that the Law of the Land favouring the libertie and freedome of a man from imprisonment, and so highly hating the imprisonment of any man whatsoever, though Committed or accused of heinous and edious crimes that by Law it self is not bailable, yet in such a case it alowes the prisoner the benefit of the Write called de odio & aria anciently called breve, de bono & Malo to purchase his liberty by, which (he saith) he ought to have out gratis, which Write is in force to this day, and &illegible; [he saith ibid:] that the Iustices of &illegible; Iustices of Oyer and Termimer, and of Goale delivery have not suffered the prisoner to be long drained but at their next comming have given the prisoner full and speedy Iustice, by due tryall without detaining him long in prison. Nay [saith he] they have been so farre from allowance of his detaining in prison without due tryall, that it was resolved in the case of the Abott of St. Albon by the whole Court, that where the King had granted to the Abott of St. Albon, to have a Goale, and to have a Goale delivery, and divers persons were committed to that Goale for fellony, and because the Abott would not be at the cost to make deliverance, he detained them in prison long time without making lawfull deliverance, that the abbot had for that cause forfeited his franchise and that the same might be seized into the Kings hand.

And in case the party be Committed to prison unjustly, and no Baile will be taken for him, he ought to require a Copy of his Mittimus and to have it gratis, and if I should demand it and it would not he given me, I would not goe unlesse I were Carried by Force, by held and heels, and then I would cry out Murder, Murder,(o) and do the best I could to preserve my selfe tell I had got a Copy of it; for many times, when a man comes to prison the dogged Gaolers will refuse to let me have it [which may be a great detriment unto me] and if I stirre or bussle for it, his will shall be a Law unto me, to dungion me, boult and fetter me, contrary to Law It being [as Andrew Horne saith in his excellent booke called the Mirrour of Iustice in English, Chap. 5. Sect. 1 devision 54. page 231] an abuse of Law that a prisoner is laden with Irons, or put to paine before be he adtained of fellony. &c. And when I am thus in prison [committed by what authority soever] the first thing that I am to doe is to send my friend [be he what he will be] as well a private understanding resolute man, as a Lawyer] for either my selfe or any one I will appoint, may, and ought to plead my cause before any Iudge in England, as well as any Lawyer in the Kingdome, and neither ought by the Iudge to be forbidden, snub’d or browbeaten] to the Chancery for a habeas corpous, if it be out of terme: for as Sr. Edw. Cooke on the 29 Chap. of Magna Charta well(p) saith the Chancery is a shop of Iustice alwayes open, and never adjourned, so as the subject being wrongfully imprisoned; may have Iustice for the Liberty of his person as well in the Vacation time, as in the Tea me, but if it be Tea me time it is most proper to move for the habias corpus at the Kings bench barre, and if the Iudges refuse to grant it unto you [it being your right by Law as the Petition of Right fully declares(q) and the Iudges by their oath [before printed page 10. 34.] are bound to execute the Law impartially without giving care in the least to the unjust command of the parlor any other against it, then you may by the Law indict the Iudge or Iudges for perjury, and if then they shall deny you the benefit of the Law, I know no reason but you may conclude them absolute tirants, and that he foundation of Government is over turned and you [as the Parliam. hath taught you] are left to the naturall remedy to preserve your selves which selfe preservation they have declared no people can be deprived of; see their declarations 1 part booke declar. pag. 207.6, 90, 728, 150.

From my Arbitrary, tyranicall, and
Murthering imprisonment in the
Tower of London this 2 of Dec.

Iohn Lilbbrne, in adversity and prosperity,
and in life and death, always one    
and the same for the liberties of himselfe  
and his native Country.  


BUt while I was concluding this second edition of the London Agents plea, with the fore-expressed additions, newes is brought melthat the Committee of plundred Ministers, summons up Londoners and commits them for none payment of Tythes; for whom I frame a Plea thus. That the houses of Parliament, have already made two Ordinances about Tythes of the 8. of Novem. 1644. and the 9. of August 1647. & by those Ordinances referred the London-Parsons, or Ministers in London, to get their Tyhes according to the statute of the 37. H. 8, 12. which Statute authoriseth such, and such men to be Commissioners therein nominated, or any six of them to make a decree, which decree shall be as binding to the Londoners as an expresse act of Parliament, in which they give the Parsons two shillings nine-pence in the pound, for all house rents, &c. which the Londoners are bound to pay unto their Parsons, if the said Decree had (as by the foresaid Statute it ought to have been) entered upon record in the High Court of Chancery, which it never was nor is not there to be found as Mr. Narborow the Lawyer in Roben-Hoods Court in Bow-Lane London, proved by Certificate under the record-Keepers hand, before Alderman Adams, when he was Lord Major of London; in a case betwixt Parson Glendon of Barkins by Tower-Hill, and one of his Parishoners, viz. Mr. Roberts a Marchant, as I remember, for I was by, and heard all the Plea.

And therefore the Parsons of London, can neither by law nor those Ordinances, recover or justly require, one farthing token of tythes from any Citizen of London.

And for the Committee of plundered Ministers by any pretended authority that yet is visible, to take upon them to execute those Ordinances, or to compell the Citizens of London to pay tythes to their Parsons or Ministers, they have no more authority, or right to do it, then a Theese hath upon the high way to Rob me of my Purse, or life, and for them by the Law of their own will, to take upon them to send Summons to any freeman of England, and to force them to come before them; and without due processe of* Law; to pay so much money to the Parsons, upon any pretence whatsoever, & for unwillingnesse to pay, to commit him or them to Prison, is a crime in my judgement of as high a nature in subverting our fundamentall Lawes and liberties, and seting up an Arbitrary Tirannicall Government, as the Earle of Straford was accused of; and lost his head for: and as well doe the actors in this arbitrary Committee deserve to die for these actions, as traiterous subvertors of our lawes, as the Earle of Straford did for his; against whom in the fist Article of his additionall impeachment of treason, it is alledged, against him, That hee did use and exercise a tower, above, and against; and to the subversion of the said fund, mentall Lawes, extending such his power, to the goods, free-holds, inheritances, liberties, and lives of the people.

And in the six Article of his said impeachment it is laid unto his charge, as a transcendent treasonable crime, That the said Thomas Earle of Strafford, without any legall proceedings, and upon a paper Petition of Richard Rolstone, did cause the said Lord Mount Norris, to be disseized and put out of possession of his free-hold & inheritance, without due processe of Law.

And in the seventh Article, he the said Earle is charged, That in the terme of holy Trinity in the 13 yeare of his now Majesties raigne, did cause a case, commonly called the case of Tenures upon defective Titles, to be made and drawne up wihout any Iury or tryall or other legall processe, without the consent of parties, by colour of which lawlesse procedings, divers of his Majesties subjects (and particularly the Lord Tho: Dillon) were outted of there possessions and disseized of there free-hold by colour of the same resolution, without legall preceedings, whereby many hundreds of his Majesties subjects were undone and their families utterly ruinated.

And in the 8. Article, he is impeached, That upon a petition of Sr Iohn Gilford Knight, the first day of Febr. in the said 13 yeare of his Majesties raigne, without any legall processe, made a decree against Adam Viscount Loftus of Elie, and did cause the said Viscount to be imprisoned and kept close prisoner, on pretence of disobedience to the said decree or order; & without any Legall proceedings, did in the same 13 yeare imprison, George Earle of Kildare against law, thereby to inforce him to submit his title to the manner and Lordship of Castle Leigh (being of great early value) to the said Earl of Strafords will and pleasure, and kept him a yeare a prisoner for the said cause, two moneths he kept him close prisoner*, &c.

Now the Parliament it selfe or the Members thereof, being as Sr. Edward Cooke well declares (In his 4 part &illegible; published for good Law by their owne speciall orders) as subject to the Law, as other men (saving in the freedome of arrests, that so their persons may not be hindred from the discharge of their trust in the house, which their Country hath reposed in them) and unto whome till it be repealed, it is a rule, as well as to any other man in England whatsoever, especially in all actions or differences betwixt party and party; and that Parliament man that still say, that any Committee of Parliament, or the whole house is the Law, shews, and declares himselfe either ignorant of the Law, or a voluntary and willfull deceiver: for what is within their breasts I neither can know, nor am bound to inquire after for to know or take notice of,* neither is any thing therein (till it be legally put in writing, legally debated, pasted, and legally published) binding in the least unto me or any man in England: and indeed to speak properly, the Parliaments worke is to repeale old Laws and to make new ones, to pull down old courts of justice and erect new ones, to make warre and &illegible; conclude peace, to raise money and see it rightly and providently disposed of (but themselves are not in the least to finger it*) it being their proper work to punish those that imbezle and wast it, but if they should finger it and wast it, may not the Kingdome easlly be chatted of its treasure, and also be left without meanes to punish them for its and most dishonorable it is, and below the greatnesse of Legislators stoop to be executors of the Law, and indeed it is most irrationall and unjust they should for if they doe me injustice I am rob’d and deprived of my remedy, and my Appeale it being no where to be made, but to them, whose worke it is to punish all male or evill administrators of justice: and therefore I wish they would seriously weigh there own words in their declaration of the 17 of Aprill, 1646. 2 part booke declarations pag 878. where to the whole Kingdome they declare, that they will not nor any by colour of any authority derived from them, shall interrupt the ordinary courts of justice in the severall Courts and Iudicatories of this Kingdome, nor intermeddle in cases of private interest, other where determinable, unlesse it be in case of &illegible; administration of Iustice, wherein we shall see [say they] and provide, that might be done, and punishment inflicted, is there shall be occasion, according to the Lawes of the Kingdome, and the trust reposed in us.

And therefore saving that by the Law of their owne will, without due course processe of Law, or any visible shadow or colour of Law; the Committee of plundered Ministers will Rob the Citizens of their proper goods, which is not in the least justifiable for as Iudge Crook in the sixty, first pag of his Argument in Mr. &illegible; &illegible; against ship money, saith, that the Lan book called the &illegible; and &illegible; Chap. 5. pag. 8 setting down, that the Law doth vest the absolute, propertie of every &illegible; &illegible; himself; and that they cannot be taken from him out by his (legall) consent, saith, that is the reason, if they be taken from him, the party shall answere the full value, &illegible; in damage, and so (saith judge Crooke) I conceive that the party that doth this wrong to an other, shall besides the damages to the party, be imprisonn’d and pay all each King, which in the Kings bench it the tenth part of as much she &illegible; to the party, so then if the King will on &illegible; the wrong of taking of Goods without consent between party and party, much more will be not by any prerogative take away any mans goods without his assent particular or generall.

But it they will either have your goods or your libertie from you by the Law of their own wills, be sure you play the Englishmen, not foolishly or Willingly to bettary your liberty into their hands, but in this case, part with them as you would part with your purse to a Theese that robs you upon the high way, for the forementioned Lawyer in the forementioned 8 pag. saith, that by the prime Laws of reason and nature (which are the Laws of God) it is lawfull for &illegible; to defend himselfe against an &illegible; power, so hee keep due distance, so that if they will have your goods, let them distraine for them, and then you may replevy them, and thereby at law try the title of their right, and if they will imprison your person, go not but by force, & be sure to stand upon the legality of the warrant, which that you may fully and truly understand the for me of it; I shall give you at large the words of Sr. Edward Cooke in the 2 part of his institutes fol. 590, 591, 592 published by the Parliaments owne authority for good Law, who being expounding the Statute of breaking prison, made in the 1. E. 2. upon the words, with out caust, &c. fo 590. expresly saith, this act speaking of a cause is to be intended of a lawfull cause; and therefore false imprisonment is not within this act.

Imprisonment is a restraint of a mans liberty, under the custody of another, by lawfull warrant in deed or Law lawfull warrant is, when the offence appeareth by matter of record, or when it doth not appeare by matter of Record.

By matter of Record, as when the party is taken upon an Inditement at the suite of the King, or upon an Appeal at the suite of the Party: when it doth not appeare by matter of Record, as when a felony is done, and the offend by a lawfull Mitimus is committed to the Goale for the same. But between these two cases, there is a great diversitie: For in the first case, whether any Felony were committed, or no, If the offender be taken by force of a Capias the warrant is Lawfull; and if he breake Prison, it is a felony albeit no felony were committed. But in the the other case, if no felony be done at all, and yet he is committed to prison for a supposed Felony, and breake Prison, this &illegible; no Felony, for there is no cause. And the words of this Act, are[a] [milesse the cause for which he was taken require such a judgement] so as the cause must be just, and not beigned; for things feigned require no judgement.

If A. give B. a mortall wound, for which A. is committed to Prison, and breaketh Prison, B. dyeth of the wound within the yeare, this death hath relation to the stroke; but because relations are but fictions in Law, and fictions are not here ewended, this escape is no felony, 11 H. 411 Plowd. Coun. 401 Coler case.

Seeing the weight of this businesse, touching this point, to make the escape, either in the party, or in the Goaler felony, dependeth upon the lawfullnesse of the Mitimus, it will be necessary to say somewhat hereof: First, It must be in writing, in the name, and under the Seale of him that makes the same, expressing his office, place and authority, by force whereof he maketh the Mitimus, and to be directed to the Goaler or keeper of the Goale or Prison: Secondly, It must containe the case [as it expresly appeareth by this Act[b] unless the cause for which be mistaken &c.] but not so certainly as an Inditement ought, and yet with such convenient certainty, as it may appeare judicially, that the offence requires such a judgement; as for high treason, to we, against the person of our Lord the King; or for the counter &illegible; of the money of our Lord the King; or for Petty Treason; namely, for the death of such a one, being his master; or for felony, &illegible; for the death of such a one, &c. or for Burglary or Robert, &c. or for fellony, for Stealing of a House, &c. or the like, so as it may in such a Generally appeare judicially, that the offence requires such a judgement.*

And this is proved both by reason, and authority. By reason; first, for that it is in case of felony [&illegible; which doth induce, or draw on the last Punishment] and therefore ought to have convenient certainty, as it is aforesaid. Secondly, Also it must have convenient certainty, for that a voluntary escape is felony in the Goaler. Thirdly, If the Mitimus should be good generally [for felony] then, as the old rule is, [the ignorance of the Iudge should be the calamity of the innocent:] for the truth of the case may be, that he did steale Charters of Land, or wood Growing, or the like, which in Law are no felonies; and therefore in reason, a case of so high a nature concerning the life of man, the convenient certainty ought to be shewed.

By Authority, The constant forme of the inditement, in that case for escape, either by the Party, or voluntarily suffered by the Goaler, is, That he was arrested [for suspicion of a certaine felony, namely, for the death of a certain man, M. N. feloniously, slaine, or the like; for the inditement must rehearso the effect of the Mitimus, which directly proverb, that the cause in such a generall certainty ought to be shewed. vid. 25 E. 3. fol. 42.

Also if a man be indited of Treason, or indited or appealed for Felony, the Capias thereupon, whereby the party is to be arrested, comprehendeth the cause (and therefore much more the Mitimus) where the party is to be arrested, having no such ground of Record, as the Capias hath; must, pursuing the effect of the Capias, comprehend the case in convenient certaintie, 25 E. 3. fol. 42. Pl. 32. there ought to be a certaine cause; and in the same leafe Pl. 35. in case of breaking of Prison, the cause of the Imprisonment ought to be shewed.

If a man bee indited (that hee breake Prison felonioust, &c.) generally, it is not good; for the indictment ought to rehearso the specialtie of the matter according to the Statute, that he being Imprisoned for felony, &c. brake Prison: We have quoted many other bookes, which though they be not certainly reported, as might have been wished, yet the judicious Reader will gather fruit of them. But see before the exposition of Magna Chrata, Chap. 29. [by &illegible; law of the Land] and observe well the words of the Writ of Habeas Corpus, for a direct proofe, that the cause ought to be shewed.

Lastly, see, hereafter in the exposition of the Statute of Articuli cleri the resolution of all the Iudges of England; the answer to the 21 and 22 objections, which we will in no sort abridge for the Excellency thereof; but referre you to the fountain themselves.

Hereupon it appeareth, that the common Warrant or Mitimus, to answer such things as shall be objected against him, is utterly against law.

Now as the Mitimus must containe the cause, so the conclusion must be according to law; viz: The Prisoner safely to be keepe, untill he be delivered by due order Law, and not until be that made it, shall give order or the like.

Iohn Lilburne.

Ian. 1648.



 [a ] See the Petition of right and Sr. Edw Cooke, 4. part institutes, Chap. high Court of Parliament.

 [b ] See King. Iames his speech to the Parl. at &illegible; Hall. &illegible; and 1 p. book Decl. p. 150. & my Book called the out crye of oppressed Commons. p. 16. 17. 18. and my Epistle to Mr. Martin of the 31. May. 1647. called Rash Oaths & p. 56.

 [c ] See Cooke 2 part institutes upon the 29. Chap. of Magna Charta. fo. 52. 53. & 590. 591. & regall tirany, p. 78. 79. 80. 81. & vox plebis, p. 37. & my plea before Mr. Marten of the sixt. Nov. 1646. called an anotomy of the Lords tirany. p. 5. 7. 8.

 [d ] See Cooks 2 part. insti. foll. 103. 104. & 4 part insti. Chap. High Court of Parlm. and the book called the manner of holding Parlmts. Mr. Prims relation of the triall of Coll. Nath. Fints, p. 13. & regall tirany. p. 82. 83.

 [(e) ] See 2 part institutes, fol. 103. 104. & my Book called the resolued mans resolution, p. 56 and regall tyrannie p. 81. 82, 83. and Mr. Prims relalation of Col. Nath. Finis his tryall. p. 11, 12, 13.

 [f ] See my gran plea and my letter 11. Nov, 1647 to every Indviduall Member of the house of Commons. See Sr. Edw. Cooks exposition of the 14 and 29 Chap. of Magna Charta in his 2 part institutes & regall tyrannie p. 43, 44, 72, 73, 74, 85, 86. & vox plebis p. 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, and my apistle to the L. of the Tower the 30. Ian. 1646. called the opressed mans opressions declared pa. 17, 18, 19.

 [g ] See vox plebis p. 38. my Anatomy of the Lords tyrannie. p. 10. and Thompsons plea against Marshall Law.

 [h ] Rom. 4. 15. Englands birthright p. 1, 2, 3, 4. & the resolved mans resolution p. 24, 25, 26.

 [i ] See the proves in the third Marginall note at the letert c.

 [k ] which Statute you may read before p. 6. & take notice of this, that all misdemeanours whatsoever are bailable.

 [l ] See the 3 E. 1 Chap. 26 & 4 E. 3, 10, & 23. H. 6, 10 & Nast. plea fo. 31. 7. vox plebis p. 55, 56, 57, & my late Epistle to Col. West late Leift of the Tower called the oppressed mans oppression declared p. 3, 4. 1 part Cooks insti. Lib. 3, chap. 13, Sect, 701. fol. 368, where he positively declares it was the native and ancient rights of all English men, both by the statute and common Law of England, to pay no fees at all to any administrators of Iustice whatsoever, or any Clearke or officer whatsoever, officiating under them, who were onely to receive there Fees, Wages, and Salleries of the King, out of the Publique treasure. See also a part institutes fol. 74. 209. 210. the Publique treasure of the Kingdome being betrusted with the King for that and such ends: see also that excellnt booke in English, called the Mirror of Iustice Chap. 5. Sect. &illegible; pag. 231, and Iudge Huttous argument in Mr. Hamdens case: against ship mony, pag. 41.

 [m ] See 1 part institutes lib, 3, Chap, 7, Sect. 438 fo. 260 & the 2 part fo. 43, 315, 590. see my book called the oppressed mans oppressions declared p, 3 vox plebis p. 47, 55. 56. & liberty vindicated against slavery p, 14, 15, 16.

 [n ] in his 2 part institutes fol. 42, 43. which is exceding well worth your reading see fo. 315, 316. 590, 591 see the mirrour of Iustice in English Chap, 5, Sect. 1. devision, 53, 54, 55, 57, 58, pag. 231.

 [o ] only this is to be taken notice of, that if I commit an offence before the view of a Iudge or Iustices sitting upon the Bench I ought to goe to prison with or by his verball command, with any officer of the Court he shall Command me to goe with, only he ought to enter a Mittiter and send it after me when the Court riseth, and I may if I please proffer him baileto answere the Law when he Committe me, which he ough not to refuse and if he do, it is fals imprisonment if my pretended or reall crime were bailable and my action I may have against him.

 [p ] in his 2 part institutes fo. 52. 53. in which pages you may read the very words of an habeas Corpus as also in the 79. 80. 81. pages of Regall tirany where you may have them in English, as well as Latin.

 [q ] upon which habeas corpus, if you be brought up to the barr, you ought if wrongfully imprisoned, clearely to be discharged without baile, & with baile if justly imprisoned if your crime be bailable or else the Iudge forsweares himselfe for which you may indict him for perjury and also have an action at Law: for false imprisonment against him that falsly committed you, or they that forced you hither, yee & in diverse cases against the Iaylor himselfe, who ought not by Law [upon their perills] to receive or detaine you, but by a legall warrant flowing from a legall power, as before I have more fully noted, see also 1. p. book decla. pa. 205.

 [* ] And what due processe of Law is, you may read in the 2 part instituts upon the 29 Chap. of Magna Charta, and vox plebis pag. 11, 12, 14, 15, &c. and my booke called The resolued mans resolution, page 3, 4, 5, 6, &c. and my grand Plea against the Lords, and Thompsons Plea against the new tirants at Windsore executing Marshall Law.

 [* ] All which charges you may at larg reade in the 123, 124, 125 pages, of a book called Speeches and Passages, printed for W. Cooke, a. Furnivalls-Inne gate in Holborne, 1641.

 [* ] see Englands birthright p 3. 4. 5, 6, 7, 8.

 [* ] for the third Article in the first impeachment of the Earle of Straford in the abovesaid book pag 118 runs thus; that the better to inrich and in able himselfe to to go thorow with his traiterous designes, he hath detained a great part of his Majesties revenue, without giving legall account, and hath taken great sums out of the Exchequer, converting them to his owne use when his Majesty was neccessitated for his owne urgent occasions, and his army had been along time unpayd.

 [[a] ] See Magna Charta Chap. 1.

 [[b] ] 9 E. 4. 26. 41. ass. 5. 22. E. 3. Coron. 242, 243, 248. 43. E. ibid. 424. 3. E. 3. ibid. 312, 328, 333, 345, 346. 2. E. 3. fol. 1. 26. ass. 51. 21. E. 3. 13. 27. ass. 42. 27. ass. pag. 116. 15. E. 2. Coron. 38. 9. H. 4. 1. 10. H. 4, 7. 11. H. 4, 11. 8. E. 2. Coron. 422, 430, 431. 27. H. 6. 6, 7. 36. H. 6, 33. 1. R. 3. cap. 3. 2. H. 5. cap. 7. 21. H. 7, 17.

 [* ] 25 E. 3. 42. B. Coron. 134. 32. E. 3. Coron. 248. 9. E. 4. 52.

5.5. Henry Parker, Of a Free Trade (5 February, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

Henry Parker, Of a Free Trade. A discourse Seriously Recommending to our Nation the wonderfull benefits of Trade, especially of a rightly Governed, and Ordered Trade. Setting forth also most clearly, The Relative Nature, Degrees, and Qualifications of Libertie, Which is ever to be inlarged, or restrained according to that Good, which it Relates to, as that is more, or lesse ample. Written by Henry Parker Esquire.

(Greek text)
Doing all things thou doest none: Businesse too vast makes thee a Drone.

London: Printed by Fr: Neile for Robert Bostock, dwelling in Pauls Church-yard, at the Signe of the King’s Head, 1648.

Estimated date of publication

5 February, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 589; Thomason E. 425. (18.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFULL JOHN KENRICK Alderman of London, Governour of the Merchant Adventurers of England. TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFULL ISAAC LEE, Deputy of the said Company of Merchant Adventurers residing at Hamburgh.

To all other Deputies, Assistants and Members of the said Famous Company.

Worthy Gentlemen:

IF in this brief Argument (which here treats of your Charters, and maintains your priviledges) there be any thing beseeming an Advocate of yours: I desire the intire advantage thereof may redound solely to your selves. For indeed the Merit of your Cause is such, as would require an able Orator: and when I first applyed my self to serve you herein, I perceived your interest was the same as the Common interest of all Merchants, and that could have no termination, but in the common interest of our Nation: But if there appear any Error, or Fayler in these papers: if the workmanship be found too unworthy of the stuffe: I shall then desire of all my Readers, that the blame may be onely mine: and that none but my self may suffer the least disadvantage by my defects, and disabilities. I am certain all wise, impartial Judges will distinguish betwixt that which is mine in this weak peece, and that which is yours: and if they cast some disdain upon me for not pleading your cause, as I might: they will not proceed to a condemnation of your cause, for being no better pleaded here then it is.

In Queen Elizabeths dayes a Tract to this very purpose was Printed by Mr. Wheeler (a learned Gent: that preceded me in this place) were that Tract now re-printed, perhaps our Times would be better satisfied in this Case. It came not to my sight, till after I had formed the lump of this, and given it all those rude lineaments almost, which it now bears: and I was induced then to persist in my resolution of finishing this, and not of retroceding; the rather; because I saw my stile and method varied much from his: because, the face of the times (which has great influence upon the State and fate of Merchandize) was not the same when He wrote, as it is now:, because, his Tract was in bulk more then twice, as great as mine; because, He might give some light to me in some things, and I adde some to Him in other things; and so both might be more effectuall for the ends proposed by both, then either: because, if He was more satisfactory in matters of this particular Company, I had some thoughts in my self, that I was more proper for the affairs of Merchants in generall. These reasons kept from abortion this Essay of mine at that time: but for how long a space it was repreived, I cannot prognosticate: nor do I much regard how soon its fatall houre approaches, so the businesse which it aymed at may survive, and prosper. Gentlemen, my reputation in this case must run some hazard, and stand or fall, as the vogue of this age pleases: yet my intention is to be judged of onely by you; wherefore let that onely finde your fair acceptation, and favourable construction, and that shall be a sufficient encouragement to

Hamb: Decemb. 30.

Your Worships obliged,
faithfull Servant,



Man is taught by the rules of Wisdom to begin at the End of his Actions, and to give the first place in his intention, to that which is to have the last in Execution. Now the end of this discourse is improvement of Trade; and it being a thing of late much controverted by divers; whether Freedome in Trading be a proper means, or no, to improve Trade: These two Termes (Freedome and Trade) must be the subject matter of this Discourse. As for Trade the word is plain, and needs no explanation: and the thing is as obvious to every mans understanding, and so needs no definition. I will therefore premise something very briefly concerning the value, and importance of Trade, that my end here aymed at, to which my intention must needs give the precedence, may not seem inconsiderable to any: and then cursorily from my first Terme, I shall addresse my self to my second.

My Lord Cook in his Commentary upon our Great Charter (where the Merchants contentment is so prudently provided for) tels us, that Traffick is the Merchants livelihood, and that the livelihood of the Merchant is the life of the Common-weal, such as the King himself, and every Subject of the Land has an interest in. He observes also that the Merchant is the good Bayliffe of the Realme, aswell to export Native, as to import forrain Commodities for the benefit and necessary defence of the same. This Politick Argonante in Law amongst matters of Law, thinks it no extravagance to deliver his judgement of matters in Trade; and if we rightly analyse his judgement herein, we shall finde, that not a word of it falls to the earth without its due weight. The Merchant indeed has a great dependance upon him both of Land and Water men, and is often commander of great summes of ready mony (greater then other men commonly though better landed, and estated can raise upon suddaine, publick exigences) and so in his gowne at home he is a proffitable member of the the Commonwealth to but look upon him in his imployment serving the State by his traffick, and so he is more then profitable, He is necessary to the well beeing, nay to the beeing of the State. Those things which he exports conduce perhaps more to profit, and things imported to securance: yet tis well intimated here that both exportation, and importation do conduce to both. Native Commodities more immediatly afford us Treasure: yet Treasure is as well firmamentum belli, as ornamentum pacis: and forrain commodities more usually are materialls for Shipping, Armes, supplyes in times of dearth, and distresse, &c. yet sometimes we retayle the same to strangers for gaine, and thereby convert them into ornaments of peace, as well as instruments of defence. How prodigiously did Antwerpe formerly in a very few yeares aggrandize it selfe? and what an excesse of splendor has Amsterdam attaynd to since? yet (for ought I know) Nature has bestowde no more previledge upon those two Townes whereby to advance themselves with such facility: then it has upon Bristoll, & Newcastle amongst us. Sure then, the Hollander and Fleming may infuse this secret into us from that wonderous degree of opulence, and pompe, which both by Trade have ascended unto; that importation of exotick commodities, if subtilly managed, may become as great an improvement, as exportation is to others. It is visible in the Hollander that the mines of Perne are as serviceable to Him, as to the poore Indian, that diggs in them: that the Furrs of Rushia are equally parted betwixt Him and the Muscovite: that the plaines of Cots-would, and Lemster do as well graze his sheepe, as they do the Englishman. And there was a time when the Antwerpian might have boasted as truly, that Arabia was his gardine, that Spayne was his Orchard, that Norway was his Forrest. That City (’tis true) which abounds with commodities of its own, has an easier, & shorter way to prosperity then that City which is destitute of the like helpe, and opportunities, and yet experience discovers daily to us, that some Cities which have little of their own, being industrious, flowe with more abundance, and swim in greater superfluity; then some other sloathfull Cities, that naturally want nothing. Hence is the difference betwixt the Merchant and the Husbandman, the Husbandmans thrift is in vendendo, not emends as old Cato tells him: But the Merchant has found out a way, how he may be emax, and vendax in the same thing, and often times the retaylor findes the second sale more beneficiall to Him, then the first was to the Proprietor. Nay even the more unusefull Crawmerys of Nirinlurgh though they argue no thrift in them, that buy them at last hand, yet they also are no contemptible mines of Gold and silver to those which make, or buy them for a second utterance. Furthermore, if from Merchandize it selfe, and these good Bayliffes of the Realme, which so actively purvey in all parts of the world habitable, and uninhabitable for Treasure, armes, and all other things, that partaine to pleasure, helth, and necessity: if from them, we turn to the instruments, of their negotiatious our Ships, the wooden walls, and fortification of our State, of what respect ought these to be? Even these (under God) in times of Peace prevent War: in times of War procure Peace: in times of plenty they releive our Friends abroad, in times of dearth they releive us at home. For examples, tis losse of time to offer any in this argument, every man can tell how stupendiously Tyre, Sydon, &c. of old, and Venice, Belgia and other latter Signioryes have flourisht since by the gaines of Merchandize, whilst their puissance, and magnificence has been more raised, and propagated by Merchant, then either by the Husbandman, souldier, or Scholler. Tis admirable to see what vast revenues are purchast’ by some Nations (especially where Democracy takes place) out of meere commerce; and how far other Nations in the mean time (especially such as are swayde by Monarchs) though more commodiously situated, and advantagiously qualified otherwise do neglect the same. The reason hereof may be, because in popular States the Merchant usually has more share in administration of publick affaires: whereas in Monarchies, those that have the charge of the rudder, have commonly little insight into Trade, and as little regard of Traders. Howsoever either some singular happinesse has hitherto attended Spaine, and Portugal, or else doubtlesse the feats of Merchandice have been in more then ordinary esteeme with their Kings: for both these have not onely inriched their own homes by Sea adventures, but also acquired thereby greater Dominions then their own. For indeed besides those purchases which have been made in the East Indies, we see in Mexico, and Peru, there is a new Hemisphere adjoyned now to that old half world, which the Assyrians, Persians, Grecians, Romans with so much sweat, and blood laboured to subjugate heretofore. And if the Sun find no degree in all his circuit, where He can obscure himself from the Crown of Spaines Subjects; the thanks thereof is due to the Art of an old Navigator: and probably had Hen: 7. given as much credit to Columbus as Ferdinand did, either the Austrian Family had not spread its wings so wide, or the Kings of England had not been so closely intrenched within the foure British Seas, as now they are. But I purposely wave the ostentation of many, and great instances, and therefore the whole weight of this Argument shall onely be hung upon the single epitome (as it were) of this pety jurisdiction here, wherein we now reside.

All the Land-intradoes, which tillage or pasturage yeelds to this Town of Hamburgh are not much more considerable then some Gentlemen and Esquires inherit in England; yet the wilde Ocean, as these restlesse Copemen plow it with their Fleetes, and harrow it with their nets; (though they creep into that too through a River, not wholly at their command) is forced to pay them as great a Tribute, and ample a rent as three the richest and goodliest Counties of England are annually worth. Neverthelesse England more abounding with all habiliments, and necessary accommodations of Trade, and seeming to be as much courted by the circumambient Sea, as any part of the Universe, for want of incouragement to her Merchants at home, and Plantators abroad owes little of her grandour, and power to that Element. Forrein Nations easily become greater gainers by trading into England, then the English can by trading abroad: ’tis too probable, that Forrein Merchants reserve an intire gain to themselves out of all their own Commodities brought in hither: yet share a half profit with us, in all our Commodities exported hence by them. And thus whilest we leave many benefits to our emulous hostile neighbours, which by the same industry (as they commendably use) might by us be anticipated to our own behoof; our own supine sluggishnesse is the cause that we remain so much the weaker, and our Enemies become so much the stronger. Thus much of the advantages of traffick; thus much of the necessity of that noble profession, which teaches us to be the curious, & laborious marriners of all the worlds Oceans, Straits, and Creeks; if we have any desire to be more formidable to our Enemies, or more aidfull to our Friends, or more gainfull to our selves, this may be held sufficient.

From the benefit, I come now to the Freedom of Trade: I mean, that particular degree of freedom, which is at this day pleaded for, and patroniz’d by some, that professe themselves no unfriends to Trade. Herein this method shall conduct me: In the first place, I shall inquire, whether that Freedom, which is affected by these times can stand with due order, and discipline, or not: secondly, whether Trade probably can flourish, or not, without due order and discipline: and in the last place, I shall answer such Arguments, as are framed for liberty, and do militate against our Order and Discipline.

Liberty in a right acception, and understanding, is that which delivers, and exempts us from some evill noxious, and offensive to us; such as is oppression, too much restraint, &c. but it includes not any wilde condition, such as leaves us loosly in all things to our own discretion. That famous Roman, that had the happines to set Greece (in that age the Eye of the world) at liberty, and did break in sunder the yoke of Macedon, when He saw in the people too much wantonnesse, and immoderation, He advised them to more continencie, and to retire into narrower bounds; Vt saltem meram libertatem non haurirent. Herein he seemed wisely to distinguish betwixt that sheere, unmixt freedom, which uses to intoxicate us, and to bring detriment, and danger with it; and that allayed, or mixt freedom, which God, and Nature have made so sweet to all Generous mindes: whose property it is ever, to set restraints to it self in some things, as well as to take restraints off from us in other. In politicks, there are Free Monarchs, and there are Free Subjects: and the freedom of Monarchs is not incompatible with the freedom of Subjects: for neither is it necessary to the freedom of a Prince, that He should be unlimitable in all things, and beyond controll as well when He destroys, as when He saves: nor to the freedome of a Subject to live absolved from all Laws, and obedience. Without all question, He is the freest Prince that has the most power to do good, and the least to do harm: and He is the freest Subject, who is to pay his obedience to the mildest Laws, and indulgentest Magistrates. So in Ethicks: He injoyes the purest and most refined freedome in his own breast, which has the least furious passions to serve, and the least impetuous appetite to master; not He that is becalmed, as it were, and finds no mobility at all in his spirit. The variovs Luminaries in Heaven have their distinct magnitudes, motions, and stations: and the blessed Intelligences in the Heaven of heavens (nay even those spirits that are falne from blessednesse) retain severall distances of power, place, and office. All these things prove to us, that restraint, and liberty, are relative things, and not to be accounted simply good, or simply bad in themselves. When restraint deprives us of that good which is in temperate liberty it degenerates into oppression: when it onely saves to us that good, which is in harmonious order, it is fully answerable to Liberty. So liberty when it onely discharges us from that evill, which is in oppression, it approaches to the perfection of Order: but when it dissolves all Order, it precipitates us headlong into confusion.

Liberty is either intensive, or extensive, and both wayes it must be reduced to a just standart: for if it be in degree too void of temperature, and qualification the ruder sediment of the people cannot bear it, it strangely inebriates them: and if the degree of it be moderate, yet the dilatation of it to too many makes it incommodious. There are two vitious extreames in government; the one is rigorous, and makes nothing lawfull, or safe to any: the other is remisse, and leaves all things free and safe to all: now by the consent of all; that extreame, which straitens too much, is not so desperately ill, as that which inlarges too much. The reason is, because those which govern are fewer in number then the governed: and therefore clashing, and confusion (which must needs inevitably follow, where all limits, and restraints are taken away) is lesse dammageable amongst a few, then it would be amongst many.

Liberty therefore may well be compared to fresh waters, it is potable, and sweet whilst it endures a just confinement in the vaines and channells of the earth. But when it once refundes it selfe into the bosome of the briny Ocean, it retaynes no longer its former rellish. And even so we must censure of Liberty by the last, whilest it produces good effects it remains Liberty, the name and thing agree well: but when it supplyes to us no good at all, or bereaves us of some good greater then it supplyes, it remaines no more then the shadow, or meere misnomer of Liberty. Exempli gratiâ: If all Land-inclosures were every where layde open, and all evidences cancelled, upon which mens private interests, and proprieties depend, many poore men would expect to have their conditions meliorated; yet undoubtedly their expectations at last would faile them; and together with community in all things a generall confusion of all persons, and things would breake in to the fatall destruction both of poore and rich.

Our common Proverbe puts us rightly in mind, that he which dwells every where, dwells no where: that every mans interest is no mans intrest, & that every mans businesse is no mans busines: now this being true in matters of Husbandry, and in all other interests, and negotiations, why should it not be as true in matters of commerce, for if agriculture generally be more necessary then trade: and if confusion in agriculture be more mischeivous then confusion in Trade, yet by the same consequence confusion in trade? is as mischievous to Traders, as confusion in tillage would be amongst those that till the earth.

Thus much of the word Freedome generally taken, I must now speake more particularly of that Freedome, whose expedience, or inexpedience is so much question’d in the busines of Trade.

Freedome and restraint are things opposite (we see) yet both admitting of severall degrees, and limitations, they are not so opposite but that some kinde of restraint may be reconciled to some kinde of freedome, for in as much as it is sometimes convenient to be restrained, though not alwaies, and from all things; and sometimes it is inconvenient to be loosed, or inlarged though not alwaies, and from all things: in regard that restraint at sometimes onely upholds Order, and liberty at other times introduces confusion: Our mayne Quære, is onely this; Whether that restraint in Trade which hitherto has been establish’t amongst such and such Companies of Merchants, be conducing to Order, or no: And whether that Freedome of Trade which irregular Interlopers dispute for be the usher of confusion, or no.

For the just discussion of this, the benefit of Order, regulation, and approved discipline amongst Merchants, is to be considered and brought into the scole of this hand, whilst the advantage of opennes, loosenesse, and unconfinednesse in trading is to be brought into the other.

For out of all question, liberty is not to be poized by the meer sound of its name, but by the solid priviledges which it brings with it, & in like manner restraint is not to be rejected except one ly for the certaine, substantiall disadvantages which are found to accompany it. Let us then draw up an exact ballance.

The 1. Benefit which we now injoy by our government, and incorporation is in things appertaining to Gods worship, & the true Religion: though we live amongst Lutherans, Papists, Jews, Mahometans, Pagans: Yet we have a free exercise of our Religion, and in some places the Ordinances are as duly, profitably, and comfortably administerd amongst us, as if we were in the bosome of our own Church.

How much this priviledge tends to the honor of God, the propagation of the true faith, how much to the prosperity of trade (Godlinesse having not onely the promises of the world to come, but also of this life) & how much to be bewail’d the want of the Word, and Sacraments is amongst our Merchants in Spaine, Italy, Portugal; let all men judge. Yet how this divine blessing can be continued amongst us, after that we are bound together by no links of Association, but that we may trade at large arbitrarily where we list, how we list, and when we list, is worthy to be considered; and I beleive all men who have a true fence, and tincture of Religion in their hearts will consider it seriouslly. The next benefit is in matters of Justice: Though we are far distant from our own Judges & Courts, and cannot have timely recourse to the remedie of our owne Laws, nay though we should otherwise be exposed to the snares, and rigors of forrein Laws, and Magistrates, we are now (in matters where appeale is not requisite) tryed by men of our own Religion, of our own Nation, and education, and such also as are present upon the place.

All Partners that enter into a joynt Trade for the most part Covenant here mutually, and voluntarily in all cases of dispute, and doubt to stand to the judgment of this Court, I never saw any Indentures hitherto without that expresse clause in them. Nay even strangers here have often declined their owne Tribunals, and submitted their cases to our decisions, and I never yet heard of any of them that departed not from our Court fully satisfied both with our Justice, and expedition: it cannot therefore be expected, that our own Merchants which know so well what a priviledge it is to be judged by Merchants, especially being present upon the place, and such as guide their judgments by the same Merchants Law, as is in force in England, should not set a great price upon this especiall priviledge. Hen: the 4th. and Hen: the 7th. were as wise Kings as ever raign’d in England, and when the one of them granted our Charter, & the other inlarged the same, the main consideration, which both of them had in their eyes, was the prevention of many mischiefs empeachments, & obstructions which at that time sensibly oppressed Merchants, and confounded Trade, ob defectum boui, & sani Regiminis.

A Third Benefit which we are now capable of by being incorporated into Companies is, that hereby we are inabled to do many egregious works of charity, which by our disfranchisement would all be utterly lost, and extinguisht.

The Merchant Adventurers are but one branch of the Merchants of England, and the Merchants here residing are but one branch of the Merchants Adventurers, yet how many hundreds has this branch sustained, and releived in cases of necessity? and how many widowes, and poore families doth it constantly feed and refresh? About 16 yeers since, when the expedition of Marquise Halmilton had miscarried here in Germany many, sick, distressed souldiers that were the wofull splinters of his broken army came hither, and were not onely saved from peristing, but also shipt for England at this Companies charge. M: Ant: Bedingfield was then our Deacon, and had the charge of the poores box, he is now a Parliament man, and can averre upon his knowledge that this society issued no lesse at that time within 6 months space then 400 pound, for such devout purposes.

A Fourth Benefit afforded by our present Government, is, that hereby we are render’d far more considerable instruments to serve and honour our own Country, then else we should be, and that not onely in Trade, but also in diverse other eminent, publick Offices.

As we are now imbodied, and compacted, we can by our common seales raise great summes of mony: We are in a qualification to entertaine Princes, to oblige Cities, to procure right, and timely intelligence, and sometimes to prevent publick misunderstandings: and so to merit much oftentimes of the Nation, from whence we are.

That formidable Armado which in 1588 was designed to swallow us up, had inprobability been far more fatall then it was if it had been appointed sooner, and arrived when Queen Elizabeth was not so well appointed as it found her afterwards. And yet this is well known, that Gresham and other Merchants by taking up the monys at Genoa, and our Company by doing the like at Keeler Mart in Holsteine: did so prevent Philip that his Invasion was retarded thereby for a whole year, and that retardment being so much to the disadvantage of Spaine, and to the advantage of England, was under God a powerfull meanes of preserving us. Charles the 5th. by calculation found that in Antwerpe 20000 Soules, and in all the Low Countries at least 60000 had a lively-hood, and subsistance from the English Trade: wherefore when he was very resolute to bring the inquisition into Antwerpe, and remained unmoovable against all other arguments, and supplications of that Town: yet this motive, that the English Company would be dislodged by introducing of that rigor, diverted him from his purpose.

Also when the same Charles had transferred all his signiories, & Dominions to his son Philip, that branch of the Merchant Adventurers appeared in gallant state to grace those Solemnities, consuming above 2000 Crowns in sumptuous furniture, shewes and triumphall arches. In the yeer 1581. likewise the Duke of Alanson in the same City was entertained by 80 English Merchants of the same Company, all bravely mounted on horse back, apparelled in black velvet, & most of them with brooches & chains of gold about their necks: for which they received thanks from Queen Elizabeth and the Lords of her Councell. The King of Bohemia, and some of our Kings Nephews (besides diverse Embassadors) have found some seemly receptions also from us here at Hamburgh, and from our brethren at Roterdam, upon severall occasions, but I forbeare prolixity in this point. An other excellent singular Benefit of our government is, that thereby we are put into a capacity of injoying all that is good and profitable in union, and all that is good, and profitable in division withall. Take away that Order, and Harmony that is now setled amongst us, and has been setled by all our Kings, and countenanced by all our Parliaments from Hen: the 4th. till this very day, and as fully confirmed by this Parliament as by any: and our Trade will become instantly both stragling, and confused: and as a stragling Trade will deprive us of whatsoever is good in union, so a confused Trade will abridge us of all that is good in a due method, and distribution.

This may be demonstrated most plainly in a military bodie: 20000 men well armed, and imbattaild, are of greater force, then 40000 drawn together in an unformed, undigested heap; and when that shall be accounted an Army of so many Souldiers effective, this shall be despised as a rout of so many men rudely conglomerated, and thronged together. For ’tis not sufficient that there be together in one Feild a due proportion of Commanders and Souldiers, of Horse and Foot, of Arms offensive, and defensive: all these must be severally ranged, and distantly imployed: the Commander must move here, the Souldier there, the Horse must charge here, the Foot there; such a Regiment must be assigned its post here, such a Brigade must advance there: wise men know experimentally, that there is an art in division sometimes, such as in many cases gives life to Union: and it is as true on the contrary: that the queintest division makes miserable Musick, when it is not subservient to Union. For let a Battail be marshall’d in all its members, and parts according to the most exact rules of souldery either ancient, or moderne: yet if the Trumpets sound contrary points of warre, if the superior Commanders give contrary Orders, if all these curiously fashion’d digestions, and divisions be not inspirited with one, joynt designe, which like the soul is to over-rule all the Organs, what can be expected from this great, moliminous frame? Now if we make any doubt whether or no the use of Tacticks be as great in mercatorian, as in military affairs let us come to neerer application, and bend our selves to consider, as well what the want of union, as what the want of distribution usually occasions amongst Traders.

Union amongst Merchants cannot be denyed to be of exceeding great importance, for in all places where we six our residence, we see, it makes us more valuable, and acceptable: Whilest we are lookt upon as an orderly, united Society, we are known to be able to make, or direct a Trade in or from any one Town, or Province. How soon was Bruges in Flanders despoyl’d of its fame, and opulence after our Company withdrew from it? and how soon did Antwerpe transcend Bruges in fame, and opulence after our Commodities were stapled in Brabant? When ’twas too late, Bruges, besides inlargement of former priviledges, could offer us moneys, and descend to strange intreaties for the wooing and winning of our return: but Antwerpe had first prevailed with us, and having prevailed, it sent forth its Magistrates to meet, and welcome us with processions. And well it was for Antwerpe, that the English were so taken with their civilities, for in the space of 60 or 70 yeers, whereas it had, before it was our Mart, not above foure able Merchants, and six Ships, it became the glorious Magazine of all Europe. The like instance might be given in Stodt, and Hamburgh, the same cause that now makes Hamburgh rich, did once do the like at Stodt: and the same cause that made Stodt poore, may hereafter perhaps work the same effect in Hamburgh. Who sees not therefore that from the benefit which strangers receive from us, whilest we are thus associated, and made capable or marrying our Company to them, arise those reciprocall obligations, and speciall dowries, as it were, which they by their concordates confirm unto us? Where we are unprofitable, we must expect to be held despicable: and what what extraordinary profit can other Nations expect from our Merchants, when they appear onely as so many individuall persons, of stragling Traders.

The English had at the Narre in Leisland a good Trade, and good sales for our Native Commodities for a while, but about 1565. divers strangling Merchants resorted thither out of England and so brought themselves, and their wares into great contempt. Divers of them went about the Town with Cloth in their arms, and Measures in their hands, and so when they had shamefully imbased our English Draperies, to the disreputation of our Countrey, and decay of themselves, the Lords of the Councell at the next Parliament were inforced, for prevention of the like sordid, Pedlar-like traffick thereafter, to comprise the Narre within the Muscovie Companies Charter.

Thus is Union, or a politick Association amongst Merchants beneficiall to the places where we trade, and by resultance beneficiall to our selves, and in the last resort beneficiall to our whole Nation: for all these interests are so interweaved, that the benefit of the Stranger is requited with the benefit of the English Merchant; and the benefit of the English Merchant is to be regarded as the benefit of the English Nation. For in some things that which immediately advantages the English Merchant, advantages mediately the English Nation: even as in other things that which immediately brings prosperity to the English Nation, mediately brings prosperity to the English Merchant. This is to illustrate the Commodities which flowe from our Union, now the Commodities which flowe from a due distribution, and division in Trade are no lesse visible. The whole world almost is now aptly cantoniz’d amongst several Societies of our Merchants, whilest some trade East, some West, some neerer, some further off; and were it not for this apt partition, it would unavoidably fall out, that some Mart Towns would prove over-pester’d, or like a Common of Pasture over-layd, whilest others in the mean time would be left utterly unfrequented. And sure if the world were not spatious enough for all our Traders, some pretence might be framed, why all men ought to be licenced in all places: but since the contrary is most true, and no man is so straited for want of roome, but that He may trade in some places to his own advantage, though he be bounded that he may not trade in all places to other mens disadvantage: nothing but an emulous desire to interfere with others, and to incumber trade could provoke men to be opposite to our regular distributions. I need not amplifie hereupon, tis enough that I further refer to the example of our thriving Neighbours in Holland; whosoever will behold Order in its beauty, and perfection amongst Merchants there, He may observe them so politickly associated, and their Associations so equally distributed, that no one impedes the other abroad, nor no one Town ingrosses all Trading to it self at home.

Hitherto I have instanced in the manifold expediences of Order, and Government, especially in matters of piety, equity, charity, and policy as well in relation to the Common weal of Merchants, as to the Common-weal of England: now whether there be any thing in freedom of Trading that can preponderate, and excell all these, I leave to all sober men to discern; if there be, I wish it may prevail, and obtain a just preference before all these: if there be not, more need not be inferred out of these premisses: sober men cannot be affected with the name, or empty sound of a relative, that is rather to be judged by its circumstances, effects, and additions then by it self: sober men cannot but distinguish betwixt that true freedome which alwayes dis-inthrals us of some evill, and that shadowy ghost of freedome, which often denudes us of our greatest priviledges. I hope I have now discharged, what was to be expected from me in my first point, and made it apparent that the freedom in Trade which is to be admeasured, and ballanced with all these expediences here enumerated had not need to be of large extension.

It remains now that I come to my next head, and therein inquire whether trade be likely to flourish or no, being stripped, and robbed of all those powers and preeminences which our Charters convey to us.

I have hitherto lookt upon Merchants as Travaylers sojourning abroad, I must now come neerer, and looke upon them as very Merchants, buying, seeling, bartering, bargaining, &c. with other Nations; & from generall Order, and harmony amongst Merchants, I must come to instance in such, and such species of that Order, and harmony, which has hitherto been so fortunate to them. And first let us looke into that provision of our Government, which limits the education, and admission of Apprentices, & though I have not leisure to cite all our rules concerning the same which are very many, & each of them very usefull, yet consider the sumum genus it self, see if the breeding of Apprentices be not absolutely necessary. Grant to all without exception an open license to trade at large, & who will indure the strict duty and bondage of Apprenticehood? and yet without that strict duty, and bondage, who can be sufficiently instructed, and prepared to gaine all those Arts, and subtilties, which we know are absolutely necessary to all Traders. In all sciences, and occupations breeding is necessary, but amongst Merchants it is more then ordinarily necessary: For if Divines may pretend somthing to divine, secret illapses from above; and souldiers by their generall tacticks learned in one Countrey, may be qualified for command in all Countries; and if agriculture be a skill that depends much upon naturall sagacity: yet with Merchants ’tis far otherwise. For unto a Merchant not onely a breeding, but a particular breeding in such or such a place, in such or such a Trade is requisite. He that is experienced to trade in Russia is not thereby inabled to trade in Spaine, and he that can deale warily enough with Indians, Turks and Barbarians, is not alwaies prepared enough to cope with the Jews, Hans Townes, and Hollanders. Questionlesse to license all men to trade without breeding, nay without the particular advertisements, and preparations of such a breeding is to send men naked into battell, and to render them up as a prey to vulpine, circumventing neighbours. I might here take occasion to commend the training up of our Youths on this side the seas, as it is publickly advantagious, there being infused into them thereby somthing of the Souldier, and somthing of the Scholler, and indeed (if I am not deceived) there is commonly instilled somthing into them, that better qualifies them to serve the State, then what we see in meere Schollers or Souldiers. I wish our young gallants which learn in France to weare ribbons, and in Spain and Italy to be perfidious, and do worse things, did alwayes return home as much improved, and as well accomplisht as our Merchants use to do. But this is not within my lists, and that thought shall supersede me.

For our next evidence, we may appeal unto our many Orders made to prevent, and reform, the ill and faulty making or Cloth, and other English woollen Commodities, without which Orders all our Manufactures would be falsified, and corrupted, and consequently our Nation disparaged, all buyers of Cloth at home, and abroad abused, and Trade it self much desolated. At the sollicitation of our Merchants, wholsome Statutes have been Enacted, and to second them strict Proclamations have been publisht: and to back them the Merchants have appointed Officers, furnisht stipends, and applyed divers other preventions, that our Draperies might be kept to their just measures, weights, and numbers; yet we find all is too little. The Clothiers begin to sophisticate of late more then ever, and all our power will be insufficient to withstand them; except the State reach forth their helping hands yet further; and do more exactly poize both our ends and pretensions. The clamors of the Clothiers against the Merchants priviledges arise chiefly from this offence, though they are commonly palliated with other pretexts, and tis a wondrous thing, that when they are sensibly gainers by transgressing Laws, and we are as sensibly at a charge to maintain them, they should be so well, and we so ill interpreted.

In my Lord Cooks opinion nine parts of ten of all our English Staple Commodities, are such as we sheere from the Sheeps back, we had need therefore be carefull how abuses break in upon us in these Commodities, and how we countenance those that are the abusers, and yet thereby discountenance the zealous reformers of the same. M: Anth: Wither is now a Justice of Peace about London, He was once imployed by the Merchant Adventurers besides others about reforming of these abuses, let it be inquired what a liberall yeerly stipend He obtained for the same.

In the third place we may produce our many prudent Orders against mis-shipping, whereby, first, the Shipping of the Kingdom is the better maintained, in as much as by our government it is not permitted to any particular men for cheapnesse sake either to ship in forrein bottoms, or in vessels of our own that are undefensible. Secondly, by our regularity in shipping many fraudulent attempts of such as use to steal customes, bribe searchers, colour strangers goods, &c. are disappointed. Thirdly, by the due observation of our rules, whilest we ship our goods hand in hand together we go stronger through the Seas, are in lesse fear of Rovers, and other dangers. We also are lesse injurious to our common Trade, yea and to particular persons amongst our selves: in as much as now we forestall not one another, nor bring down our common prices by the precipitate haste of some few; by this means also forrein buyers are accommodated by their certainty, knowing in due season when to repair to our Marts; and we are not disaccommodated by our uncertainty, because we know when to sell, and when to forbear selling, and thereby we keep our Commodities from being blown upon, either by having our Ware-houses too full at sometimes, or too empty at others.

In the fourth place, the many Cautions, Orders made by us for the reglement of our sales may justly be here cited: by some of these, we are limited to such certain shew-dayes partly for our own ease, and partly for the buyers advantage. The Cities of Lubeck and Bremen have lately been urgent with us to set more shew-dayes here at Hamburgh then two in a week: but we seeing our Trade no ampler, then it is at present, found the inconvenience of altring our Shew-dayes, and so denied them satisfaction in that point. By others of our Orders we are restrained from giving gratifications to Merchants or Brokers, from all pety sales, and retails, which (if allowed) would reduce us soon to ignoble, vulgar Pedlars: by others we are bound from giving credit without liquid Bils, and specialties, also from pawning Bils, or rebating under such a certain rate, and hereby we prevent many Suits with strangers, and many strifes amongst our selves. By others we are inhibited from allowing Tare out of the Mart Town, or out of due time, or without due inspection: and we are all convinced, that were it not for regulation in this matter of Tare, there were no abiding in Germany. How our Trade languishes in Holland at this time by reason of Oppression in matter of Tare is known too well, our Councell Table in King James his dayes took notice of it, and sought the redresse of it: and sure our Merchants hitherto have onely continued trading there, out of some hope of better times, and conditions hereafter, as Husbandmen use to manure the earth in times of dearth, as well as in times of plenty. Commissioners from Lubeck and Bremen seconded by the Senate of this Town have assailed us lately, and eagerly pressed us to allow the same Tare, as is in Holland, but our answer was resolute, that rather then to submit to such a thraldome we should be forced to abandon all Trade in Germany.

Many more instances then these (if it were not for prolixity) might be made: but as those which have any knowledge in Merchandice will acknowledge these are matters of grand moment, and importance: so to other men that are ignorant, or carelesse of our affairs, more would be to little purpose. I will onely adde this, that as we injoy many conveniencies by being an united, imbodied Fraternity, so by vertue of the same we are guarded and protected from many inconveniences. As we have a jurisdiction amongst us, we are inabled upon all new emergencies to contravene new devised arts of fraud, and circumvention in bargaining, selling, &c. by making new Orders against them.

Also as we are a Corporation, we are armed thereby with a competence of power to inforce, & execute our Orders so made, and if any violence of forrein States, and Potentates contrary to our Intercourses, and Treaties of amitie enterposes to our prejudice, or if any new Tolls, imposts, or exactions oppresse us, we are in this posture better qualified to relieve, or vindicate our selves, then else we should be. A thousand private men intending their own particular interests as so many particular men, having no common purse, nor publick Officers to solicite the busines of them all, cannot expect that authority with forrein States, nor hope to make so vigorous a resistance against oppressions and innovasions, as one hundred Merchants may, that are closely linked, and cemented together under one, and the same policie. For want of such policie, all other Nations were long since eaten out of their Trade by the Antwerpians, and Esterlings, and had the Merchant Adventurers been destitute of those powers, and immunities which Hen: the 4th. Hen: the 7th. and other famous Kings of England establisht amongst them, they also had been long since driven out of Trade in like manner.

One man is woolvish to another, as the old Proverbe advertises, nay when Bears will not prey upon Bears, nor woolfes upon woolfes, man will scarce prey upon any other then man. And yet this notwithstanding private man to private man is not so unnaturall; as Nation is to Nation: for amongst particular men the primary Lawes of our Creation, which injoyne us to do as we would be done unto, and to be kindest to them that are neerest in kinde, are not so totally abrogated to us, and eraced out of our consciences, as they are amongst Nations.

If there be any fiercer feude, and violenter antipathy then other, tis commonly seen amongst those States that are most consanguineous, and neerest conjoyned in other relations, and as for doing to other Nations, as we would have done unto us; that sems a ridiculous principle amongst Stats-men, inasmuch as to do justice to a stranger when he is plaintiffe against a Native, is no lesse reputed then to do injustice to a Native: and to let slip any advantage whatsoever that is offered us of spoyling forreiners, is the same accounted as to spoile domesticks.

Republicks have no breasts, or seats where any such thing as conscience or true honour can reside; were it not for fear of requital, and return of injuries from those that are injured, all people would be at the same passe, as Argiers is now at.

That bold Roman that expostulated with Alexander, why it might not be as lawfull for him to seize boats, as it was for Princes to invade whole Empires, seemed to conceive that the Laws of Nature extended to communities of men, as well as to individualls: but alas that would neither justifie his private roving at sea; nor condemne Alexanders royall roving by land.

In matters of warre Monarchies especially, and in matters of Trade Republicks, lay hold of all advantages, as if their patrimoniall rights were never bounded by any thing but invincible difficulties, and necessities, nor honour had any rules to measure things by but those of profit, and disprofit.

This is the reason why the Jewish Lumbards are odious for their excessive gains exacted, and extorted out of all such as they contract with, and therefore are pursued as petty Pirats: but the Hollanders and Hans Townes for the same exploits done more publickly are extolled as great Merchants, nay are crowned as glorious Conquerors. We that live here in Hamburgh, and our Brethren in Holland are too sensible of this: our often removals from one Mart Town to another, to ease our selves of insupportable pressures most fedifragously brought in upon us, have preserved that life in our English Trade that is yet remaining in it: yet the vast expences of our removings have left us in a sad condition.

This concludes my two first points: I am now in order to answer such arguments as are brought for a free Trade, and such objections as are urged against our priviledged way of Trading.

The first Argument is founded upon this maxime: Bonum quo communius, eo melius: If Merchandize (say our Adversaries) be good for the Common-weal, then the more common it is made, the more open it is layd, the more good it will convey to us. But all grant Merchandize to be good, Ergo. Ans. To detect the fallacies of this Argument: we must confesse that this maxime is true of all such good things as are absolutely, or infinitely good: yet we may deny that Merchandize is either absolutely, or infinitely good. For first, Merchandize secundum quid, that is, if it be rightly managed, and regulated may be profitable to such a man, or such a State: but (we all see) that Merchandize at sometimes, for want of good government, and order, undoes many private men, and in their undoing proves injurious to the State. Secondly, Merchandize may be reckoned amongst good things, but not amongst things infinitely good, therefore though the diffusion, or inlargement of it may bring profit to the State unto such bounds, and degrees; yet this is no proof, but that there are bounds, and degrees beyond which it may not be diffused, nor can be inlarged without disprofit. Those good things which are ample enough to satisfie all, may be extended to all, and the further they are extended, the more good they do: but Trade is not of that amplitude as to satisfie all men in all places, and at all times, and therefore not within the same Maxime. If there were in the fruits, and increase of the earth an over-flowing abundance to sustain all, and answer all mens desires without our labour and sweat, then hedges and ditches would be to no purpose: but since the earth is not so profuse of its favours, nor so immense in its revenues, we must maintain mounds, and terriers; priority of possession, expence of toyl, purchase, &c. must be regarded, or else we shall all be soon at a losse.

Before the Land of Canaan was fully stockt, Abraham and Lot might intercommon freely, and graze their Herds sociably in all places where they travelled; but in processe of time, when their flocks became more numerous, and when consequently the surface of that milk-and-honey-flowing Countrey began to shrink before them, they were both necessitated to journey severall wayes, and to provide for themselves more fixt, and distinct habitations. The water is a more unmeasured element then the earth, and therefore formerly it was ever held a common patrimony to all: yet since Navigation is improved to this degree, even this also is now disterminated, and made subject to imaginary lives for avoiding of incroachments, and strife about fishings, &c. And not onely navigable Rivers, but Seas, and Oceans begin to submit to particular Proprieties, and to own the speciall prerogatives of such, and such signiors. Lawyers say, Cujus est Solum, ejus est etiam usq; ad Cœlum: wherefore if neither Aire, Water, nor Land resist the Laws of propriety, we cannot think the Trade of Merchants is a thing more emptie, and uncapable of limits and rules, then any of the Elements: if our grounds may be pester’d with cattell; if Ponds may be over-stockt with Fish; if the several Climates of the lower Region be severally peopled, and frequented with fowl that seem to understand their severall seasons: we can hardly imagine that such a Countrey, or such a Mart Town in such a Countrey should not be over-charged with too great a confluence of Merchants.

Second Argument. That which seizes too great matters into the hands of too few, and so is in the nature of a Monopoly, has been alwayes condemned as a preventing Trade, and held injurious to the major part of mankind: but such is the Trade which priviledged, and incorporated Merchants drive, &c.

Ans. The force of this Objection is, that if Trade may not be set at liberty to all, yet it may be set at liberty to more then it is, except we will incur the name and blame of Monopolists. In behalf of the Merchant Adventurers who have, I think, the fullest Charters, & have ever met with the greatest oppositions, though I am not so well acquainted with other Companies, I may with much confidence give these Answers hereunto. First, though Wools endraped be the main matter of our Trade, yet we deal not onely in those Draperies, but also in all kinds of Wares, and, other Merchandizes. Secondly, neither doth our Company alone transport these Draperies: all other English Merchants, nay the Hans Towns, and all other Strangers in amity with the Crown of England, at their pleasure may buy, and vend again all sorts of English Wares that are fully manufactured, as uncontrollably as they bring in their own Commodities. Wherefore it cannot be said that this chief Trade of the Kingdom is ingrossed, or monopoliz’d by us in either of these two respects, for as much as our priviledges neither confine that Trade to us alone, nor us to that Trade alone.

Thirdly, The name of Monopolists cannot be fixed on them in respect of the bounds allotted them for their Trade: for by calculation we finde there are above 6000 persons free of our Company, and from the Some in France to the Scaw in Germany, (the nihil ultraes of our commerce) is no extraordinary proportion, for such a proportion of men, let the number of the Merchant Adventurers be compared with the number of all other Merchants, and then compare this space of earth in France and Germany with all the globe besides; and it will soon appeare, that the confines of our Trade are rather too narrow, then otherwise. Some hundreds, nay thousands of our Company that are capable of our freedome by service, or by Patrimony are faine to leave their callings, & to betake themselves to other imployments: and necessity hath now taught us to confine our selves to a certaine stint of Apprentices, in regard that our Trade is too narrow for our Traders, & therefore whilest we are inforced to break out, what can invite other men thus to break in, and to invade our precincts?

Fourthly, The price that is set upon our priviledges cannot condemne us of monopolie; for if a sufficient number could not be admitted by service, or patrimony: yet the State hath left a door open for any that are qualified for trading to be admitted upon a meane, inconsiderable rate.

Any Out Port Merchant might have had his freedome for 25. l. sterling, and any of London for 50. l. and those which neglected that opportunity, are yet capable for the double summe.

Fifthly, The stint which we set upon our selves in buying cloth cannot be objected to us, as savouring of monopolie: For first the whole Company by common advice, and consent sets this stint for its own good; and as the whole Company best understands its own interest, so neither has it, or can it have any interest, but such as is consistent with the interest of the State. 2ly, the Company had never resolved upon any such stint, but in contemplation of the narrownesse of Trade: and so far is this stint from making trade more scarce, that it self was ordained meerly as some ease and remedie against the scarcity of Trade.

We know well that tis possible for some one Merchant to exceed fourty others in purse, or credit; yet sure it cannot be expedient for the Common-wealth, that one Merchant should graspe too much, and swell up to an excessive bulk, whilest fourty other Merchants being overshadowed by him, can attain to no growth at all. Thirdly, As the stint of Clothes is now set, it remains larger then is made use of by diverse, the fourth part of our Merchants scarce ever buyes to the fourth part of Clothes that is allowable by the stint, wherefore it is a most indirect and preposterous thing to call that a monopolie, or straitning of Trade; which is the onely remedie against monopolie, & the meer effect of straitnesse in Trade.

They which know the difference betwixt Common certain, and Common sans number; and see how the Husbandman in dressing his vine, makes it more fruitfull by paring away the luxuriant products of its fertility, wil easily judge by these stints, that the Merchants were grown too numerous for their Trade, and not that their Trade was grown too copious for their mannaging. Sixtly, As our Trade cannot be called an ingrossing Trade, or a monopolie in respect of any other of its priviledges or powers, so neither can it be accused thereof in regard of our covinous, false dealing in Marchandize. Tis true, our Company in Qu: Elizabeths daies found such opposition from the Hans Townes, and in that bando which was procured against us, to remoove us from Stadt, the main pretence was monopolie used by the English Merchants, but for a further Account of that matter, we are to be informed: that the Hans Towns had antiently by their great skill in Merchandize, made themselves very famous, and procured to themselves priviledges in many Countries. Amongst other Nations also that did priviledge them, the English was not the last, or least.

In London therefore they had the Steelyard assigned them with power to exercise Merchant Law there, for their own better regulation: and amongst many other old immunities, they were to pay for wares brought in, and carried out one and a quarter per cemum custome, and no more.

This Custome whilest the cheife Trade of the land was in Wooll undraped, was no great losse to us: but after that the ful Art of clothing was made ours in Ed: the 3ds. daies, and the Wooll Trade was almost quite decayed, our State found that it lost exceedingly by passing out cloth at the old Custome, and that the Hans Towns priviledges were diverse other waies abused to our publick detriment. Hereupon after some contests, (Ed: the 6th. raigning Anno 1550.) the said priviledges were lookt into, and fourd both defective in themselves, and also forfeited by diverse breaches of conditions: the formalities of their incorporation were so voide, that none could safely contract with them, and therefore being detected of diverse injuries in colouring of forrein goods, not within the verge of their priviledges, and other falshoods: it appeared, that they were such an uncertain, misconstituted body, that they were not liable to any account, nor answerable for any trespasse.

This procured a judgment to annull, and abrogate the Hans Towns priviledges, and in Anno 1557. under Phil: and Mary, our Customes were improoved from 14. d. to 6. s. 8. d. per Cloth payable by the English, and 13. s. 4. d. by strangers, and this improovement did but equall the old Custome of wooll undraped. Till the death of Q: Mary, whilest Spain and England were united, the Hans Townes seeing their profit so far impared, and Trade in England in so good a measure advanced, grew sullenly envious, but durst attempt nothing.

Neverthelesse Anno 1564 when Queen Elizabeth was at enmity with the Spanyard, with more resumed courage the Hans Towns laboured to suppresse the growth of our Merchandize: and therfore to make the King of Spaine their abettor against us in Germany, and the Netherlanders, they made themselves parties against us in Spaine, by furnishing armes, amunition, &c. Thus some acts of hostility were done on both sides, Queen Elizabeth in a defensive way seized some of their Ships sent to supply the Spanyard, and the Spanyard at their solicitation banisht us out of the Low Countries, and caused us to be interdicted Germany also.

Anno 1567. the English Merchants being expelled out of the Netherlands, contracted for entertainment at Hamburgh for 10 yeers: these 10 yeers being expired, no longer residence could be had there, inasmuch as all the Hans Towns could not injoy us wholly to themselves, & for any one to injoy us, they thought it unequall, and prejudiciall to the rest.

From Hamburgh we remooved to Embden, and there the same parties prosecuting and renewing their clamors of a monopolizing Trade in the English, a new Edict from the Emperor Anno 1582. was thundered out against us. The Grave of Embden nothing troubled at this Edict, sent his Chancellor Doctor Moller, since Syndicus of Hamburgh to the Spiers, who there defended the English Trade against the slanderous imputation of monopolie, and for a while gave such satisfaction, that the Emperours Edict was not put in execution against us.

Queen Elizabeth also in 1595. wrote thus to the Emperour, Monopolium de quo Hanseatici subditosnostros criminantur calumniæ potius quam veræ accusationis rationem per se ferrevidetur. To wipe off this calumny, we can also instance in severall letters of attestation under the Common Seals of Antwerpe, Midlebourgh, Embden, Stadt justifying our faire, and just manner of trading: and if such legible proofs be not so available, wee could appeal to all the places where ever we resided, as so many visible arguments, prooving fully for us, that our way of traffick hath not been onely blamelesse, and just, but also strangely fortunate and propitious.

From Embden (for the Spanyard prevailing in Freisland had now made those parts dangerous to us) we betook ourselves to Stadt, and there we continued till 1597. so desirous was each of the Hans Towns singly to have harboured us, if all jointly had not envied that single advantage: and being there then disaccommodated, 10. or 11. of the cheife Towns under the States sent to invite us, and made offers of large accommodations amongst them.

We may further take notice, that Ed: the 6th. reserved for the Hans Towns after forfeiture of their priviledges, as ample a freedome of commerce, as for any strangers whatsoever: That Queen Mary restored the said Towns upon ingagement that their inordinate Trade should be forborne, and this ingagement being violated, She yeelded to a new Treaty about a fit moderation of their Intercourses. Yet the Hans Towns did not onely neglect to send Commissioners within the time perfixed, but at the same time publisht an Edict at Lubeck, prohibiting all Trade with the English, Queen Mary for her husbands sake was much a freind to the Austrian familie, and for the Austrians sake to these Easterlings, and therefore she offered again another Treatie in 1557. but this offer was rejected likewise with an opprobrious pretence, that in England they could expect no competent Judges of their cause. If they durst not trust their cause to England in Q: Maries dayes, because it was a Monarchy, then they judged dishonorably of all Monarchies: if they made no difference of Monarchies, but diffided in it, because it was a forrein State, where they should not be their own Judges, this reflects also upon all forrein States: but the truth is, they had an ill cause, and so were diffident of all Judges, but themselves. Howsoever Queen Elizabeth in 1560. offered yet a new Moderation, and this not accepted of from the beginning of her Reign, she commanded they should be used here as her own Subjects, and better then any other Forreiners. This is also most certain, till She saw her Subjects driven from Hamburgh in 1578. and an exaction of 7¾. per centum set upon all English Goods at Lunenburgh in 1579. and all the English generally ill Treated at Dantzig, Deventer, &c. and not onely her Enemies of Spaine assisted by them, but other Princes also exasperated against Her, She made little difference betwixt them and her own Subjects. I hope this will be a sufficient justification of our English Trade: and now since it appears, that this opposition was procured to us by strangers and enemies, that sought not to reduce us to a fair Trade, but to eject us out of all Trade: me thinks it should be very unworthy of any Englishman to make use of the same Objections.

3. Arg: That Trade which is not onely complained of by Strangers, but Natives also, and in all ages has encountred with so many Complainants, is likely to be a Monopolie, or some private, anticipating, indirect way of commerce: but such is that of all Merchants incorporated by particular Charters, &c. All priviledged Merchants, especially the Adventurers of England (whose priviledges are lookt upon as so ample) have had Adversaries alwaies to wrestle, and contest with both abroad, and at home: yet this may be truly said of them (as of Cato) they have been as often absolved, as accused: and their Patrons have ever been far more honorable, then their Adversaries. Clothiers, Interlopers, some Officers of the Outports, and Court projectors have molested them on the one side: but on the other side Parliaments, Kings, Privy-Councellors, and the wisest of Statesmen have protected them, and their Cause; and upon a full, and due hearing it continually appeared, that their friends had honourable, but their opposers dishonourable ends. As for the Clothier, He stomacks much that He must be so strictly held to the Statute, and may not digresse from the just weight, and measure, that is there set for his Clothes. The Interloper takes offence, that without contributing for Himself, He may not injoy the benefits of that policy, which is maintained at other mens charge: that the same hedges which keep other men from trespassing him, should keep him from trespassing other men. The Outport Officer is prevented of some bribes, for stolne customes, false-colour’d goods, &c. by the regular shipping of our Merchants, and by our Ministers, which keeps too severe a check upon him, and therefore his indignation is raised. In the mean time the begging Courtier, He finds it profitable for the Common-wealth, that accusations should be favoured, and that all Complainants should be heard: for whether the Complaints be true or false, just, or unjust, profit comes in to Him both wayes, and the Innocent must gratifie him for his quietus est, as well as the nocent for his impunity. King James anno 1613. found that his Progenitors had been deceived in their Grants to us, and therefore suspended and sequestred our Priviledges: but in anno 1616. and 1617. after that the Merchants had been drained of 20, or 30000 l. and Cockayns new project (so obstructive to Trade) was falne to the ground of it self, the same ancient Charters, and Liberties were revived with more honourable testimonials then ever; the Courtiers were again sensible that King James and his Progenitors had been well advised in their Grants.

The Merchants Adventurers long before the Art of Endraping Cloth was introduced into England, had Priviledges abroad from the Dukes of Brabant, and other Potentates. Edw: the 3d. having transplanted the Manufacture out of the Netherlands, for the better watering, and cherishing of it, confirmed to the said Adventurers whatsoever had been granted in the yeer 1248. by John D: of Brabant. Hen: the 4th. seeing the good effects of his grandfathers indulgence, added a more beneficiall and large Charter of priviledges in Feb: 1406. H. 5. H. 6. Edw: 4. and R. 3. were followers of that good example by severall ratifications, But H. 7. seeming to transcend all his Predecessors in policie, and desiring to testifie the same by his care of Merchants, proceeded further to dilate their priviledges, and preeminences. Polydor Virgil gives him this Encomium: Mercateres &illegible; sæpenumerò pecuniâ multa data gratuito juvabat, ut Mercatura (Ars una cunctis eque mortalilus tum commoda, tum necessaria) in suo regno copiosier esset. In his Reigne (enmities and hostilities interrupting our commerce with the Burgundians) we had a Staple provided for us at Calais; and then under our own Soveraigne, within our own Dominions we saw our own fellow Subjects as tenderly entertained with divers Franchises, and Indulgences, as if they had capitulated with a strange Prince.

Since H. 7. all his Successors have confirmed, or inlarged what was granted before; within few yeers also this King; and since that, this Parliament in 1643. have added strong ratifications, and that not without honourable acknowledgements of this famous Companies services to the publick. Moreover in the times of Hen: 4. and Hen: 7. some Complaints were preferred by Clothiers, &c. against the Merchant Adventurers: but after due examination, and hearing, the Company had a favourable issue, and not onely obtained a fuller establishment of former Charters, but also new expresse clauses against stragling Merchants, and all other intermedlers, that might empeach, or disturbe their Trade. Other Informations were under Edw: 6. exhibited against the same Company by some of their own Brethren: but after the Councell Table had taken a full cognizance thereof, the two chief of the Informers were committed to the Fleet, and the rest were Fined, and more strictly injoyned to submit to the Companies Orders for the future. The same Informers also not so acquiescing, made new addresses to the Parliament held after by Queen Mary: but the busines was soon quashed there also, and the accusers without further remedie dismissed.

The like or more grievous Complaints were revived by the Clothiers, &c. in Queen Elizabeths dayes, but what event did attend them? after that the Cloth Trade was set at liberty for a while, after that the George at Westminster was made as free a Mercat for Cloth as Blackwell-Hall in London, and upon triall the poore people of Wiltshire, Glocestershire, &c. saw their miseries not relieved, but increased by dissolving the Company of Merchant Adventurers: The Lords of the Councell anno 29 Eliz: to prevent mutiny in those parts, were fain to send for the Merchant Adventurers, and desire them cheerfully to proceed in their Trade, to which no countenance, nor assistance from them should be wanting for the future.

Alderman Cockayns Project in King James his dayes was guilded over with a more specious pretext then that in Queen Elizabeths, and when our Company was at that time dissolved, Trade was not absolutely layd common (as before) without all manner of regulation: but to prevent general confusion (which had proved it self continually so fatall) a new Company was erected, and incorporated: yet neither so could this project prosper, or subsist. King James in his Proclamation Anno 1617. publisht for the restitution of our Company and its ancient Priviledges, (after that the consumption, and miserable languishment of Trade for above two yeers space had better instructed him) attestated to the world the excellent method, and discipline of our ancient Corporation, and how ineffectuall his new, looser jurisdiction had proved for the vending of our English Cloth-manufactures. And it should seem this was sufficient to satisfie the world, yet the Courtiers would not be so satisfied: for they thought they had gratified the Common-wealth in restoring the ancient Company of the Adventurers, and that they had gratified the Merchant Adventurers in restoring them to their due rights, and therefore to inclose by bargain for themselves a gratification of 20, or 30000 li. was no ill office.

There is another clog remaining upon our Trade to his day, and it is continued still upon the same reason: the Merchant Adventurers at first were stinted to a certain number of Clothes, which number in their exportations they might not exceed: now it appears since to the State, that that number was too strait, and that it is very inexpedient for Trade to circumscribe our Merchants rigorously with that stint; and yet notwithstanding Courtiers must be still feed for releasing Trade of this inexpedience. The Earl of Cumberland in Queen Elizabeths dayes was sweetned with a Present for obtaining an inlargement of our stint; but that Present how is become a Rent, and is successively granted by Patent; and though the Patentee be a single person, and cannot be said properly to gratifie the Common-wealth, yet He receives such a yeerly revenue in consideration that the Common-wealth shall not be disserved: and this revenue it self being an Incumbrance upon our Draperies, and raised out of Woollgrowers, Clothiers, Merchants Retailors, and so charging Trade in generall, is no leise then a disservice it self to the Common-wealth. Thus we see our Charters have been often times, and severall wayes attempted against: and yet if they had not been so much shaken, their power of resistance had not been so experimentally known; for the more the Anchor is straitned, the faster hold it ever gains.

4th. Arg: Since every man is presumed to be most knowing in that Craft wherein He has been bred up; we may presume the Clothiers in matters of cloth to be more knowing then the Merchant.

Ans. First, in the making of Cloth we deny not but there may be more skill in the Clothier then in the Merchant: but the question here is about the uttering and vending, not about working or preparing of cloth: and therfore, it follows not that the breeding of the Clothier does so much inable him to sell cloth, especially in great quantities, and that to forrein Nations, as the Merchants: but rather the contrary, even by the truth of the same granted rule. Forasmuch as there is not onely an Art and Mysterie in the sale of cloth as aforesaid, but also an Art more abstruse, eminent, and exquisite then that is which consists in the Mechanicall way of making and dressing the same.

Secondly, the State is not to consider what is most beneficiall to the Merchant, what to the Clothier separatim, or whether the benefit of the one alone, or of the other be more to be favoured, but how they may be both favoured conjunctim, and how the State may be most benefited by twisting their interests both together. Now then generall interest of the State requires that all our lanificia, or English commodities be raised in price unto other Nations as high as may be without injustice, or inconvenience, and that as many persons and professions in England as may be, may come to be sharers in the generall interest. If the question then be, whether the Merchants interest, or the Clothiers do more conduce to this publick reason of State; sense it self will presently distinguish, that the Merchants advantage is more compliant with the publick then the Clothiers. For the Clothiers ayme is to drown that gain, which the Merchants industry and imployment now serves for, and which by his service is kept within the bounds of our own Island, to the maintaining of so many families at home, and busying so many men, and Ships abroad, and thereby to abridge the same the more to Natives, the more it is publicated unto strangers. The Hollanders are so subtill as to clog our English Woollen manufactures with great Impositions, and to free their own of the same, that the prices of their meaner Draperies may be raised up to our better ones, or the prices of our better Draperies may be beaten down to their meaner ones: but our subtiltie must be for the pleasure of our Clothiers to intercept from the Merchants all that livelihood which they now earn, and by vilifying of our own Wares to prostitute the same unto Strangers: nay and by the same means to expose themselves to the danger of having worse treatance from forreiners, then now they have from their own Countreymen.

Thirdly, if more regard be had of the Clothier, then of the Merchant, or State, yet constant experience teaches us, that this favour and preference which the Clothier challenges herein above the Merchant, is no reall favour, nor preference at all. For it has been alwayes seen, that the setting at liberty of the Merchants Trade has proved more obstructive to the Clothier then to the Merchant, in as much as the Merchant has a more large imployment, and can better subsist without the Clothier, then the Clothier can without the Merchant. Moreover as it doth not alwayes fall out, that the breaking up of the Merchants Trade brings any present quicknesse to Trade: so if it doth, that quicknesse never lasts; ’tis but bonum presens; ’tis but like cold water to a scaverish man, it procures some short refreshment, but repays that short refreshment within a short space after with a prolongation of sharper extremities. So it proved it in Qu: Elizabeths times; so it proved in King James his times; and so it is likely to prove hereafter: wherefore if men of Mechanicall education will onely contemplate present things, and neither look forward nor backward, Statesmen may, and must disaccommodate them for the present, that they may be accommodated the better for the future.

5th. Arg: That power in private men which onerates the chief Commodities of the Realm with arbitrary impositions to maintain it self, is dangerous: but such is the Merchants power, &c. Ans. Our Companies ordinary charge is scarce considerable in respect of the great summes we deal for; and the extraordinary charge is alwayes drawn on by some extraordinarie, unavoidable inconvenience: for example, the removals of our Residence from one Mart Town to another is commonly a great burthen to us, but that burthen is undertaken to avoid some greater detriment, and without it either we should loose old priviledges, or be made to submit to some new exactions: or be some other way aggrieved in a worse degree. Now this is for the common good, and we may rather expect favour from the Kingdom, then disfavour for such services.

Secondly, we have a Bill now in the Houses, prepared for His Majesties Assent, and in that Bill the future Impositions of our Company are reduced to a certaintie.

Thirdly, there is an absolute necessity of these Impositions, for neither can our Trade prosper without government, nor government be maintained without some charge: neither is our government necessary onely for our selves, but also for the Clothier, for as much as we are a good skreen, or bank betwixt the Merchant stranger, and the English Clothier, and were not the prices of our clothes kept up by us, and that partly by the charge of our government, the Clothier would be more inslaved to the Stranger, then now He is.

Lastly, our Accounts are kept most exactly, and audited punctually, and the hands through which all things passe are so many that there can be no error, nor fraud. The Hans Towns in Germany, anciently 72. in number, found it expedient to incorporate, and maintain a common correspondence: for which end Lubeck of the Wendish, Brunswick of the Saxon, Dantzig of the Prusse, and Cullen of the Westphalish Towns was appointed to be chief; and the chief of all was Lubeck. These Towns so united for adjusting all common, and particular interests obtained severall places of Residence in England at London, in Norway at Bergen, in Russia at Novograde: in the Netherlands at Antwerpe: and in each of these residencies they had their Alderman, Assistants, Secretaries, Treasurers, Stewards, and other Officers, by whom their publick affairs were administred, and Merchant Law was exercised. Wherefore if the expence of their government was more then countervailed by the benefit of their unity; and if they were gainers by that expence, why should that be imprudent in us which was prudent in them? or why should that be dammage to us, which was profit to them?

The ordinary pleas for Freedom are thus answered, and the Objections against Reglement in Trade removed; we will now onely re-inforce all that has been said in a word, or two.

The most solid glory, and magnificence that ever dazel’d humane eyes upon earth: was that of Solomons royall Court, at that time, when his unparralleld wisdome had made Silver as stones in Jerusalem, and Cedars as vulgar as Sycamores used to be in other places.

Tis written of his raigne (by an inspired Author) that it made Silver of no account, that in one yeer there flowed into his Exchequer 666 Talents of pure Gold; that besides all his Masses of Ophir gold, he abounded with other various Treasures, precious stones, &c. such as the Merchants of Spices, the Governours of the Countrie, and the Kings of Arabia did import. Solomon was no warriour, nor born Lord of many Nations, nor did his Jewish Signiory extend it selfe over any large Tract in the universe: tis onely written of him, that he had at Seala Navie of Tarshish with Hirams, & the same Navie once in 3 years returned home fraighted with gold, silver, ivory &c. Hiram being hitherto straitned in the mediterranean Seas, could not gaine the Stronds of Arabia, Persia, India, China, &c. without incompassing the Capes or Africa, and crossing the Suns torrid line: but upon terms of partnership Solomon is now able to let him in to that Southern Ocean by a way far more compendious.

Pharaoh on the further side of the red sea is Solomons neer Allye: and the Edomites on this side are his tributary servants: hereupon things are so composed betwixt the Jews, and Tyrians, that it is as beneficiall for the Tyrians to serve the Jews with their skill in Astronomy, and Hidrography, as for the Jews to serve the Tyrians with their harbours, and ships. Therefore the Queen of Sheba (till her eyes were ascertained with substances) might well withhold her beleife from entertaining, that stupendious report which was blowne about the world concerning Solomon; and well might her spirit after sinke within her, when her eyes had once encountered with the radiant Majesty of Solomon, whereby the blasts of Fames Trumpet were so far drowned, and transcended. Of all Solomons successors we read of none but Jehosaphat, that ever thought of rigging new navies in Ezion-geber; and He neverthelesse though he had the Edmites his homagers, and was also much renowned for his wisdome, and grandour, found this designe unfeasible, and the way to Ophir altogether unpassable. This is a cleer chrisis to indicate how profound the judgment, and how broad the comprehension of Solomon was, before whom (till apostacie had alien’d his God from him) no difficulties were able to stand: yet ’twas not so admirable in Solomon, that he amassed such incredible treasures, as that he amassed them by Peacefull arts, and not by the dint of his sword.

The tragicall exploits of Alexander, and Cæsar, may be accounted magna, & splendida Latrocinia, if they be compared to the feats of Merchandize excercised by Solomon and the other Kings of Tyre and Arabia; and yet we may doubt too, whether the spoile of the East to Alexander, or of the West to Cæsar were equall in value to all Solomons Cargazoons.

Whilest the cruell depredations of war impoverish, dispeople and by horrid devastations root up, and so shrinke (as it were) great Empires into small Provinces: Merchandise on the other side beautifies, inriches, impowers little States, and so alters their naturall dimensions, that they seem to swell as it were, into spacious Empires. This martiall Hero has inscribed upon his Statue: that he has faught so many picht battells, that he has: &illegible; his rapid lightnings spread a suddain conflagration over so many Kingdomes; that with the losse of 100000 fellow Souldiers he has purchased the slaughter of 1000000 Enemies, at least such as he would needs make, and &illegible; his Enemies. But in the mean time that gentle unbloody Prince which by his severall dispersed Carricks visits each climate of the world onely to plunder the Earths caverns of her Mettalls, or the Rocks of their Diamonds, or the Deepe it self of its pearles; merits to be celebrated for the common benefactor of mankind, as well for the necessaries which he convaies unto other Nations, as for the more pretious wares which he recovers out of the darke abisse of nature, and relades for the use of his own Subjects.

Howsoever this one instance of Solomon (to lay aside all other instances of Princes, that have engaged themselves in such like mercatorian negotiations) makes it plain, that the most Majesticall of all Kings that ever raigned, was the most ample adventurer that ever traffickt, and that he had not been so great a Prince, if he had not been so ample a Merchant: for it is more then probable that al the Tributes of Judæa were inconsiderable in comparison of the returns which Tarshish did afford.

It must needs follow therefore from the same very instance, that the devouring, piraticall Trade of war is not so honourable, or so fit to magnifie Princes, and make happie Nations, as that ingenious just Art of commerce, which may be exercised without rigor, or effusion of blood.

I shall then close up all with this application to our own Nation: if Merchandise be truly noble: if the raises which streamed so plentifull from Solomons diadem were more supplyde by traffick, then by tribute; let not England totally neglect Merchants. Let us look into the causes that make Trade so dead amongst us at present, and the fittest remedies that possibly may recover it. In the East Indies we know who they are, that by cruelty have opprest us; In Russia we may take notice who they are, that by subtilty have supplanted us. Here in Germany our Priviledges are ill kept; in Holland they are worse.

In many Countries the manufactures in Silkes, and Cotton woolls increase. In High, and Low Germany the store of sheep is increased, and of late the kinde of them especially in Silesia is much improoved, hereby, and by the help of Spanish woolls, nay of English woolls too & Fullers Earth daily exported against Law, our English Draperies are extreamely brought low.

The late obstructions and calamities of civill war in our Kingdome, concurring with other annoyances done us by the Kings Agents abroad, and millitary Commissions upon the Sea, have added more to our ruine. Moreover, in other things the Times seeme to looke towards a Reformation, but in matters of Trade Order and regulation it self is opposed, and confusion under the Name of Liberty is now more then ever publickly pleaded for. The King by his Proclamation had formerly abetted his Progenitors grant to us, and the Parliament lately has corroborated the Kings Proclamations, yet nothing can secure us against intruding Interlopers. By this meanes Merchandize is brought to a low ebbe, 20 Ships yearly in former times did attend us here in Hamburgh, now 6. are sufficient to supply us, and though our Company be in this Consumption, some other Companies waste away worse then ours. All these mischeifs perhaps are not remediable, yet let us use the best remedies we can, and such as are most seasonable.

In Platoes Opinion those Common-wealths were most likely to prosper where learned men ruled, or Rulers were learned. Within the circle of Platoes learning let us comprehend the mysteries of commerce. In Solomons dayes that kinde of learning did wonderfull things towards the advancing of States; and of late as Venice a City of Merchants has been the Bulwark of Europe against the Turk: so the States in the United Provinces by Trade more then Arms, have gotten the sword of Arbitration into their hands. Spain, and France, and other Nations no ware fain to court those Merchants, which not long since were belowe their scorn. Let it then be lawfull to propose: either that a certain number of able Merchants may be made Privy Councellors: or so many Privy Councellors specially designed to intend matters of Trade; or let some other Honourable Councell be impowred solely to promote the Common-weal of Merchants.

By the King.

A Proclamation for the better Ordering the Transportation of Clothes, and other Woollen Manufactures into Germany, and the Low-Countreys.

WHereas We have taken into our Princely Consideration the manifold benefits that redound to this Kingdom by the Manufacture of Woollen Clothes, and the Transportation and venting thereof in forrein parts: and finding how much good government, and managing the said Trade in an Orderly way will conduce to the increase, and advancement of the same: We for the better settling of Order therein for the time to come, have thought fit with advice of Our Privy Councell, to declare Our Royall pleasure herein: And do therefore hereby strictly will and Command, that no Person, or Persons, Subject, or Subjects of this our Realm of England, shall at any time from and after the Feast of Purification, &c. now next coming, Ship, transport, carrie, or convay, or cause to be shipped, &c. either from Our City and Port of London, or from any other City, Town, Port, Haven, or Creek of this Our Realm of England by way of Merchandice any White-clothes, coloured Clothes, Clothes dressed, and Died out of the Whites, Clothes called Spanish Clothes, Bayes, Kersys, Perpetuanoes, Stockings, or any other English Woollen commodities unto any the Cities, Towns, places in Germany, or the 17. Provinces of the Netherlands, save onely, and except to the Mart, and Staple-towns of the Fellowship of Merchant Adventurers in those parts for the time being, or to one of them.

And further, to the end that the said Trade may be hereafter reduced, and continued in an orderly and well govern’d course: We do hereby declare Our Royall pleasure to be, that the Fellowship of Merchant Adventurers shall admit into their Freedom of their said Trade all such our Subjects dwelling in our City of London, and exercised in the Profession of Merchants: and not Shop-keepers, except they give ever their Shops, as shall desire the same, for the Fines of 50 li. apiece; if they shall take their Freedom before Midsommer next; And that the said Fellowship shall likewise receive and admit into their Freedom such our Subjects of the Outports of this Our Kingdom, as being exercised in the Trade of Merchants shall desire the same, paying them 25 li. apiece for their Fine or Income: if they shall take their said Fredom before Michaelmas next. And that the Sons, and Servants of such as shall be so admitted, as aforesaid, shall pay to the said Fellowship at their severall admissions thereunto the summe of 6--13--4. apiece. And that all such persons, as shall not accept, and come into the said Freedom before the dayes herein prefixed, shall pay the double of the Fines before limited respectively, in case they shall afterwards desire to be admitted into the said Fellowship.

And Our further will, and pleasure is, and We do hereby command and inhibit all, and every of our Subjects, not being Free of the said Fellowship of Merchant Adventurers, that they, or any of them shal not presume to Trade in any the fore-named Commodities into any the parts or places of Germany, or Low-Countreys from or after the said Feast of Purification next ensuing, upon pain of Our high displeasure, and of such punishments as Our Court of Star-Chamber, whom We especially charge with the execution of Our Royall pleasure herein, shall think fit to inflict for such contempts.

White Hall: Decemb. 7. 10. of Our Reign. 1634:

Die-Merc. 11. Octob. 1643.

An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons in Parliament Assembled.

For the upholding of the Government of the Fellowship of Merchant Adventurers of England, to the better maintenance of the Trade of Clothing, and Woollen Manufacture of the Kingdom.

For the better incouragement and supportation of the Fellowship of Merchant Adventurers of England, which hath been found very serviceable and profitable to this State: and for the better government, and regulation of Trade, especially that ancient and great Trade of Clothing, whereby the same will be much advanced to the Common good, and benefit of the people: The Lords and Commons in Parliament do Ordain: that the said Fellowship shall continue, and be a Corporation, and shall have power to levie moneys on the Members of their Corporation, and their goods, for their necessary charge, and maintenance of their Government: and that no person shall Trade into those parts, limited by their Incorporation, but such as are Free of that Corporation, upon forfeiture of their goods. Provided, that the said Fellowship shall not exclude any person from his Freedom, and Admission into the said Fellowship which shall desire it by way of Redemption, if such person by their custome be capable thereof, and hath been bred a Merchant, and shall pay 100 li. for the same, if He be Free, and an Inhabitant of the City of London, and trade from that Port, or 50 li. if He be not Free, and no Inhabitant of the said City, and trade not from thence: and that the said Fellowship shall have power to imprison Members of their Company in matters of their government, and to give such an Oath, or Oaths, to them as shall be approved of by both Houses of Parliament. Provided, that all rights confirmed by an Act of Parliament, or ancient Charters, shall be hereby saved. And the said Lords and Commons do further Ordain, That withall convenient expedition, a Bill shall be prepared in Order to an Act of Parliament to be passed in this present Parliament, for the further setling, and full confirming of the Priviledges to the said Fellowship, with such other clauses, and provisions as shall be found expedient by both Houses of Parliament. This Ordinance to remain in full force, untill a Bill or Act shall be prepared and passed, according to the intent and true meaning of this Ordinance. And it is Ordered, that this Ordinance be forthwith Printed and publisht, that all persons concerned therein may take notice thereof, as appertaineth.

Jo: Browne Cler:Par.

H: Elsyng Cler: Par. Dom. Com.


5.6. Henry Marten, The Parliaments Proceedings justified (7 February, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

Henry Marten, The Parliaments Proceedings justified, in Declining A Personall Treaty with the King, Notwithstanding the Advice of the Scotish Commissioners to that purpose. By Henry Marten Esquire, a Member of the Commons House.
London, Printed for John Sweeting at the Angel in Popes-head Alley, 1648.

Estimated date of publication

7 February, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 589; Thomason E. 426. (2.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

The Parliaments proceedings Justified in Declining a Personal treaty with the King.

To the English Readers.

Dear fellow Citizens,

MY late endeavours of this kind were bestowed upon a few Strangers, i telling them that the waters were yours, and not theirs, wherein they went about to fish: my present desire (from a double engagement I finde upon me, one of my own making, the other made when I was born) is to shew you, that you are the fish they went about to catch. First in a net which they spread for the whole shoal of you, where you were represented; being disappointed there, they go to it now with paper Angles, laying for you (man-meal) what you may be most apt to bite at, according to your severall pallats, as they are probably set, some to the Court-way, some to the Presbyterian, or, as they are disgusted, some with your Honorable drudges, and others with your gallant champions.

These new Peter-men (more dangerous to you in point of profit, as wel as in point of honour, then those that fetch your Herring from off your coasts) are the Scotish Commissioners: and these four considerations which I have enumerated, are the corner stones whereon they build their confidence of perswading some of you, that five persons trusted by another Kingdom for quite another purpose, should settle your peace, should manage your affaires of Church and State, with more advantage to you, then that numerous Body that was entrusted by you, hath adventured for you, & must partake with you of all the good or ill their councell shall produce. But since it is possible for a stander by to see more then a Player, and since we might perhaps hope to find as much faithfulness in &illegible; as we have done treachery in many of our own country-men, let us consider in this advice &illegible; unto and rejected by the Parliament, not from what hand it comes, but upon what foot it stands.

The particulars insisted on, are these.

First, (before the primum quærite, and with more earnestness then the unum necessarium,) That there be a treaty upon all the Propositions, and that a personal one; & that for that end, the King be invited to come to London, with honor, freedom, & safety, as the most equal, fairest, and just way to obtain a well grounded Peace.

The most equal. How like Umpires they speak? not like Councellers; or as if they had entered into a Covenant with the King, as well as with us, whereas I thought it had been their &illegible; have managed the Agreement with the common enemy, to the most advantage of their confederates, and not as persons indifferent, wherhen the Hounds catch the Hare, or the Hare deceive the Hounds: I have not skil enough to distinguish such Ambodexters from detestable Neuters.

Secondly, The fairest! What is that? the smoothest, easiest way, why every fool can tell you, that the easiest way to Peace, is by leting your enemy do what he list; and so they would have it on this side Tweed: and so they would say, but for shame. Therefore the fairest way of couzening you, is not by surrendering up your Liberties all at once, but by suffring you to be formally disputed out of every one of them, and by drawing on your shackles link by link.

Thirdly, Peace is then in a just way, when the disturbers thereof are so suppressed, as the disturbed cannot, or need not fear a new disturbance from them.

Neque enim ad Pacem via rectior ulla est,

Quam belli Authores, Marte Perire suo.

Where they say the King should be invited to London, they mean admited, for He hath invited Himself. But why to London? His houses (as He calls them) sit at Westminster, White-Hall is in Middlesex, unless they can confide more in Colonel Titchbourn, then in Colonel Hammond.

Then he is to be received with honor, freedom, and safety. What honor He is capable of, that shall come with a Pass like an enemy, where he might have staid with the dignity of a King, I know not; but I beleeve if ever the Parliament did Him any wrong, it was with giving Him, after the desertion of His Trust, the same respect which is usually rendered unto the Kingly Office, when duly administred.

As for safety, the Parliament should not do it Self honor, if whosoever they please to send for, upon a Treaty, might not come and go with all the safety in the world.

As for freedom, though I confess, the consideration of restraint doth very much invalidate the credit of a grant made by a person restrained; yet since a Prisoner may be as voluntary an Agent in many things as an other; and since Liberty it self, is as valuable to Him, as any thing that can be received from Him; especially, considering the danger of His being loose, I see no reason why we should so easily give Him His freedom, who hath made us pay so dear for ours. But now come their Reasons.

Argu. 1. The sending of Propositions without a Treaty hath bin often without success, and the new Propositions are less to the advantage of the Crown, then the former; and so no reason to expect better satisfaction, then formerly we had.

Ans. This is a two-edged Argument, and therefore if it should be beaten down to the Fencers pate, he might be hurt with either side of his own weapon; for do they not confess, that if the new Propositions were as much or more advantagious to the Crown, then the former, a treaty might be dispenced withal, and yet better satisfaction expected then formerly we had?

Again, Doth it not intimate, that if we admit Him to a Treaty, He needs not greatly care what our Propositions be?

There is a little mistake too in matter of fact; for Propositions have been sent as well with a Treaty as without, and still returned with the same success, unless by Treaty they mean a Personal one; and that indeed we have not yet been so inconsiderate, as to venter upon. Therefore say these Councelors, do it now, which Reason stands good to justifie what we, in the Votes of January, lately resolved, far otherwise then they advised us. Thus, addresses, and applications to the King, by Propositions with treaty, and without, when He was in a considerable condition for strength, and when he was not, have been often assayed without success; therefore we will make no more addresses nor applications unto Him.

Arg. 2. The Kings removal from His Parliament, is acknowledged by the Houses in several Declarations, to be the chief cause of all the war, mischief, and calamities of the Kingdoms, then His Majesties presence with his Parliament, must be the best, if not the onely remedy, to remove our troubles.

Answ. In their first Argument, they mentioned Treaty and left out Personal; so in this they speak for a personal presence, nor caring whether there be a Treaty, or no; so they can bring Him in upon us. But weigh their Reason: First, they quote our own Declarations in such places, as themselves do not beleeve the truth of. For I would ask them, if His absence from the Parliament of England be so pernicious here, why is not His absence from the Parliament of Scotland as formidable to that Kingdom? Why do they not imploy all this earnestness in procuring to themselves the blessing of His company?

Then (allowing it true against us, who affirmed it,) the consequence thereof will hang thus; My groom being drunk, and falling asleep with a candle by him, hath set my stable on fire, and burnt it down to the ground; therefore his awaking and coming to himself will set it up again. Because Agag by drawing his sword, had made many women childeless, it seemed to be Sauls opinion. That the putting up his sword again would restore the children to their mothers: But the ways of God were more equal in that case, where by the way you shall observe two remarkable Acts of retaliating justice; One of the Kings had his thirst after mans blood quenched with his own; and the other, for thinking that Laws did not extend to the punishing of Kings, was himself punished with being unkinged.

Argu. 3. In a Personal Treaty the Commissioners of both Kingdoms may give Reasons for the Equity and Expediency of our desires, but without a Treaty or giving Reasons for asserting the lawfulness and expediency of the Propositions to be presented, they may be esteemed Impositions.

Answ. Here they would make you beleeve, that if there were a Treaty, they would joyn with your Commissioners in pleading your Cause against the King; and all the while they are telling you so, do joyn with Him in pleading for a Personal treaty against your Commissioners in Parliament. But admit they would be true to their trust, and would remember on which side they were first retained; What kinde of Reasons be they, that enemies use to shew one another in their treaties? One party saith, such and such things we will have, or the war shall go on; and the other, such and such things you shall accept, or do your worst; and if there happen any communication besides of it is concerning the advantages or disadvantages, standing out, the probability or desperateness of relief; but our shewing the King how expedient the things we ask him, would be for us is a sure way to be denied; how expedient for Him, as sure a way to be laughed at.

Our Propositions might indeed be more properly termed of Grace then Peace, because we give Him therein the honor of granting what we are able to give our selves without Him: Propositions though, and not Impositions, because we leave it in His power to deprive Himself of that Honor, without forcing Him to take His Office up again; and yet I beleeve, if the chance of War had turned the Dy on his side, as it did on ours, we should have had Impositions from Him upon Impositions, and of another kinde of nature; and so should our dear Brethren too in their turn, and that for having made themselves our Brethren; I mean the generality of the Nation: the Negotiators perhaps, and Treators of both Kingdoms might have saved their own stakes well enough.

Argu. 4. The King may have some just desires to move for the Crown, and for Himself, as that He may have His Revenue, and that He may be restored to His Royal Government, which may be done with greater honor and satisfaction unto Him by a Treaty then otherwise.

Answ. As for the Kings being restored to the Crown, as well officio, as beneficio; I thought every body had understood that the Propositions, being signed on His part, that was the onely thing to have been performed on ours. In respect whereunto the things we sent, might well be esteemed Suppositions; and if the greatest Honor and Satisfaction of the conquered, must be aymed at by the Conquerors; I dare say, both these Considerations would better be complied with, by submiting wholly to Him, then by treating at all with Him.

Arg. 5. A personal Treaty with the King, is the best way to beget a mutuall confidence between him and his Parliament, it is the best way to cleer His doubts, and to remove all difficulties; and it is the absolute best way to give and receive mutual satisfaction.

Answ. Do you mark how they talk still of mutuallity? Of equal giving and receiving? As if the Parliament and their Prisoner were upon a Level.

Besides no treaty can indeed be altogether equal betwixt the King, and the peoples Parliament, for be deals but for himself and perhaps for some of his own Family or Posterity, they for two whole Nations. Again, she matters to be Treated on, concern him in the extent, or the Retrenchment of his power to do hurt: They concern us in our wel being, if not in our being. Hic prudam petit, noc salutam. And therefore if the Parliament should not make the best use in your behalf, of those advantages which God hath put into their hands, they were not only indiscreet for themselves, but unfaithfull towards you.

It is true, that the enterview of friends doth use to strengthen friendship, but the meeting of enemies is a new way to Reconciliation. A confidence, I confess, it would argue, though not in him, of us, (for God Almighty, not he, hath trusted him with us already) yet in us of him, but such a one as would be less for our credit then a diffidence, unless we could see some change wrought in the affections of him, or of his party.

Arg. 6. We cannot expect that his Majesty wil grant in terminis, whatsoever Propositions shall be sent unto him, nor can every thing in the Propositions be of that Importance, as that the not granting of it ought to binder the peace, neither will be Houses of Parliament, give ful power to thir Commissioners, to make alterations in the Propositions, as they shall see cause upon debate; wherefore a personall Treaty with his Majesty in London, is the most probable and expedient way to remove or reconcile all differences.

Answ. Wee had Reason to expect without any plenipotentiary authority delegated unto Commissioners, as is used in cases of a doubtfull war; That the King should have granted in terminis, whatsoever Propositions the Parliament thought fit to send him, especially being to be made up into Laws, whether he consider us as a free people, and therefore fit to give our selves the Law, or as his victors, and therefore fit to give it him.

If some few things in the Propositions were of less Importance then the rest; could any man have Imagined, that rather then he would grant them, he should hinder his own Inlargement, and his Reception into so fine an office?

The words [at London] seem to be foisted in by the Printer, for they have no more dependance upon any one syllable in the half dozen of Reasons then Warwick-Castle hath.

The way to remove or reconcile al differences betwixt the King & us, had been worth the shewing before the war began, that it might have bin prevented. But for the Parliament (when after so long & serious consideration, they had Resolved upon what tearms they would re-admit the King to the Excercise of his function, had addressed themselves 6 or 7 times unto him, had reduced their desires into 4 particulars, whereof one was necessary to our safety, some others not to be abated for honors sake, and put them into the form of Bils. Whereby, if he had passed them, he had been owned for King again, though he should have denyed all the rest) to be perswaded to let go their hold, to turn all loose again, and go to it a new with Syllogisms, whether we shal be freemen or slaves to hazard a gained cause upon a treaty; I say not a personal one, but a Treaty upon all the propositions, is a thing which I think the King (though he doth desire and press it) cannot be so weak as to flatter himself with the hope of ever bringing it about.

Obj. His presence may breed division and continue our troubles, and when his Majesty desired to come hither from Oxford with freedome and safety, it was thought unfit, and denyed by the Houses, and the Commissioners from Scotland. Look ye (Countreymen) the Scottish Commissioners are on our side once again, and dispute against the King, but how long it will last? you shall see.

Sol. That argument now hath no force at all, for the case of affairs, the Kings condition and ours, (which were given for reasons in that answer to his Majesty) are quite altered from what they were then. Then the King had armies in the field, he had garisons and strong holds to return to. Now he hath none of these. And his Majesty offers a full security against all hostility or danger that can be expected, by granting to the Houses the power of the Militia by sea and land, during his reign.

Rep. First, A man might tell them, that sure the King hath still as many Armies in the field, as we have Garrisons as many, and strong holds, or else his granting or not granting our Propositions for peace, could not be so considerable to us, as they would make it.

Secondly, what ever they think, Sir Thomas Fairfax knows he hath indeed no open force at all, and yet the objection hath force enough, for the Parliament knowes that there is need of keeping of Sir Thomis Fairfax and the army under his command, or else they would not put the Kingdome to the charge of sixtie thousand pounds per moneth; they are not ignorant, that besides their first enemyes (who are rather kept under then brought in) there is a daily swarme of discontented persons in all parts, some from the unquietnesse of their own disposition, some for want of employment, some for want of what they earned when they were employed, others for pure want, some from unsatisfaction in point of Church-government, and not a few from a wearinesse of expecting the issue of our Parliaments longanimity towards the common enemy, and whether it be their purpose rather to continue us for ever in our distractions, then to settle the Commonwealth without him, who first diserted it, and is to this day set in his heart, upon being either an absolute Tyrant over us, or no King; I leave you now to reckon how strong the presumption is, that when such a paire of bellowes shall come to blow the ashes from off the coales, that were (as I told you,) raked up but not put out, when such a brand shall be brought into the midst of a house full of biruminous matter in every corner thereof, we may assure our selves to find our divisions heightned, and our troubles renewed.

But they tell you (so grossely, as if they did not mean to cozen you,) you may be fully secured against all the dangers of his comming into the thickest of you, by the offer he makes us of treating after he shall be with us concerning the power of our &illegible; for he declares himselfe plainly, that no one particular desired by us, shall be understood to be so granted by him, as not to be null and void, in case the whole be not agreed betwixt us, from whence you may gather, that either we must not be safe at all, or else we must be content with that shadow of safety that is to determine, (at the latest) with his breath in stead of all other things which the Parliament can propose for the present Peace, or for the future weal of England or of Ireland; and indeed some of his freinds with whom I have occasion to converse, will by way of discourse ask me what a Devil We would have besides the strength of the kingdome by Sea and Land? let him have that but for a month, and he shall ask nothing else. I answer them almost in their kinde: the prince of the aire (whom they mention so often) seemes more reasonable in his demands then our heavenly Father, for where God requires the whole heart, he will accept a little peece whereby he craves in effect no lesse then all, since he is sure God will have no partnership with him. When a Serpent would obtaine an entrance, he needs not capitulate save for his head, it is not so with other creatures. The power of the Sword is to a Monarch of absolute necessity for the maintenance of his tyrannicall government, and that power had need to be alwayes actuated; the same in the hands of a Parliament (or the representatives of a free Nation) is not so much the power of the Sword as of the Buckler, and will not be exercised at all, but in cases of Rebellion or Invasion; if all the quarrell betwixt the Parliament and the King were (as is preached in some Pamphlets and libelled in some Sermons) which of them should domineer over the people, the forenamed offer might perhaps serve their turne; and yet I should advise them to consider that if the temptations of the Court, either by Sugar-plums, or by bug-bears, have beene able (as by sad & frequent experience appeares) to deboche so many of the peoples deputies in this very Parliament, as (if they were altogether in the Commons House againe, and could but perswade most of those Moderate Members to joyne with them whose estates during the late warre have lyen in Roundheaded quarters) might carry what Vote they pleased without much opposition, though for the making a Forrest of all England, and a God of Nimrod. I should advise them (I say) to consider that the like inference may in short time work upon the Members of the Army, and then the Heyfer indeed is Ours, that is, of our breed, and for us to keep; but her service will be his to plough his ground for him, and bring him home that croppe, which all his Bazan-Buls, and nobly descended horses have beene foyled in.

7. Argument

Arg. 7. Which the Commissioners call a farther Answer to their owne Objection, is indeed a seventh Reason newly thought on, and borrowed out of the Parliaments Reply to the Kings Message of the 11. of Sept. 42. [All this notwithstanding as we never gave your Majesty any just cause of with drawing your self from your great counsell, so it hath ever been and shall be far from us, to give any impediment to your Return, or to neglect any proper means of curing the distempers of the Kingdomes, and closing the dangerous breaches betwixt your Majestie and your Parliament, according to the great trust which lies upon us, and if your Majestie shall now be pleased to come back to your Parliament without your forces, we shall be ready to secure your Royall Crown and dignity with our lives and fortunes, your presence in this great counsell being the only meanes of any Treaty, betwixt your Majesty and them with hope of successe.


An. All this cannot relate to all that which hath beene done since September 42. he that saith if you shall now be pleased, doth not tell you at what time soever you shal be pleased; he that offers you fair termes if you come without your forces, would be thought to imagin you have forces to come with.

One while the Reasons of our former Dclarat. go for nothing, because the Kings condition and Ours are quite altered from what they were then; another while, and that within foure or five lines we must be held to our old refused offers, notwithstanding any alteration of affaires.

8. Argument.

8. Arg. If they were esteemed enemies to the Parliament and the peace of the kingdome who advised the King to withdraw from his Parliament? what estimation will the world have of them (scil. the Parliament) who after such a Declaration will not suffer him to returne to his Parliament, when he offers to cast himselfe into their armes?


Ans. This whole Island (I meane the highest authority therein) did justly esteem them enemies to the Parliament and the Peace of the kingdomes that advised the King to withdraw from the Parliament? but since he hath followed that advice, hath fought against them, hath despised all overtures of reconciliation with them, the knowing part of the world will esteeme them no lesse enemies that shall for base and sinister ends advise the Parliament to receive him, and shall injuriously asperse the Parliament for declining that advice, especially considering how falsely it is affirmed that he cast himselfe into Our armes: The fact standing thus; when Our armes had made his Head-quarters too hot for him, he cast himselfe into the Scottish Army, and they (like men of honour,) understanding by how they were entertained, delivered up into Our hands all the strengths and priosoners (among whom he was one) that had come to theirs in England.

9. Argument.

Arg. 9. If so kinde an offer shall be refused, and the King driven to dispaire, it is to be feared, these Kingdomes shall be involved into greater difficulties then ever.


I will admit for once that the King hath yet some good thing to offer, and some goodnesse of will to offer it unto the Parliament. Do they not deale hardly with Us who will not suffer us to refuse a kindnesse, to say no we thank him, without beckning him into dispaire, and threatning Us with an involution of such difficulties as never were, nor (as is to be hoped) will be? And therefore I do hold that as Pharaoh was then most kinde to the Israelites when he slighted all their poore addresses, so the Lord was then their compleate deliverer when he shut out all communication with their oppressors, by drawing off a Sea betwixt them.


5.7. [John Lilburne], A Declaration of some Proceedings of Lt. Col. John Lilburn (14 February, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[author not clear, but signed by John Lilburne, John Wildman, John Davies, Richard Woodward], A Declaration of some Proceedings of Lt. Col. John Lilburn And his Associates: With Some Examination, and Animadversion upon Papers lately Printed, and scattered abroad. One called The earnest Petition of many Free-born People of this Kingdome: Another The mournfull Cries of many thousand poor Trades-men, who are ready to famish for want of Bread, or, The Warning Tears of the Oppressed. Also a Letter sent to Kent. Likewise a true Relation of Mr. Masterson’s Minister of Shoreditch, Signed with his owne hand. Published by Authority, for the undeceiving of those who are misled by these Deceivers, in many places of this Kingdom.

Prov. 18.17. He that is first in his Cause, seemeth just, but his neighbour commeth and feareth him.
2 Tim. 3.13. But Evill men, and Seducers, shall wax worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

London. Printed for Humphrey Harward, and are to be sold at his Shop, the Crown and Bible at budge-Row-End, near Canning-street. Anno Domini 1648.

Estimated date of publication

14 February, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 592; Thomason E. 427. (6.).

Editor’s Introduction

This pamphlet also includes two other tracts:

[18 January 1648][Anon.], [The Petition of 18 January 1648], To the Supream Authority of England, the Commons Assembled in Parliament, The earnest Petititon of many Free-born People of this Nation. [n.p.].

[22 January 1648][Anon], The Mournfull Cryes of Many Thousand Poor Tradesmen, who are ready to famish through decay of Trade. Or, The warming Tears of the Oppressed. [n.p.].

Text of Pamphlet

A Declaration, &c.

THere can be nothing more evident to any that will give themselves leave maturely to weigh and compare the past and present state of affaires in this Kingdome with an impartiall Judgement, than that all the pressures formerly imposed, the late Warre, the present distempers, and future threatned danger thereby, doe all grow out of the same root, and flow from the same fountaine; and will lead, if they be pursued, to one and the same end, Even that which was first in the intention of the first Designers, The setling of Tyranny, and inslaving the People. And although he that shall look upon these things only en passant, will scarce believe that such different Principles and pretentions as are held out to view, should serve the same ends. And though it should seem there could be nothing at greater distance to the intention of some, who are abused into these distempers, than to promote slavery and hasten ruine. Yet they who are uninteressed and uningaged in them, and instructed in, and convinced of the Grand Designe of those who began our troubles, and how it is still carryed on; can both see the Artifice by which they are raised and fomented, and the End to which they tend, and where at they are like to arrive; There is no need to reckon up what the state of this Kingdom was before the breaking out of these troubles, being in such condition of wealth, and all mnaner of prosperity, as made it the Subject of Envie to those who knew not what was designed against it. But no lesse than an absolute Tyranny would please the King, to command the hearts of his people by a just Government, according to the Lawes, and the Limits of his Trust, and thereby to command their persons, and purses, and all; for the good of all, was beneath Royallity. And that it was fitter for a King to take, than ask, was then State Doctrine, and the practise suitable. We were to be modelled to a forreign pattern, and in pursuance thereof, all manner of Arbitrary exactions, and impositions were laid upon the people, the particulars will not be forgotten this Age, and need not a recapitulation. A Consumption had seized the people, and their usuall Physick was denyed them; and when twas grown dangerous even to sigh for a Parliament, the Kings necessities by the stiries in Scotland inforce him to call one. But that was not the first the King had broken, and he then knew well enough when it would not serve his turne, and verefie Edicts, How to keep it from serving the people for the recovery of their Liberty: His necessities encrease; this present Parliament is called; and in regard of so many broken before, this was not able to serve the necessities of the Kingdome, unlesse it were put beyond his power to break; And therefore was continued by Law till the Houses by joynt consent should dissolve it; Now the King being fast, as to usuall Court Stratagems, hath recourse to force, deales with one Army, tempts another, frustrate in both; impeacheth Members, comes himselfe to fetch them, nothing takes; He retires into the North, resolves a Conquest of the Parliament, the People, the Lawes, and though to blind the short-sighted multitude, He forbids the repaire of Papists to the Court, yet his principall Assistants in it are those his good Subjects; He set up his Standard, raiseth an Army, maketh Warre against the Parliament and Kingdome, and put it to the tryall of the Sword, whether he shall govern by the Lawes, or by his Will without Law. In the prosecution of which appeal to the Lord of Hosts, he hath lost his Cause, which stands determined against him by a full Conquest of all his forces; And thereby an happy opportunity given, not only to deliver from those late Exactions, and to make their returne impossible, but for the recovery and establishment of all that just Freedome that may make a people happy, as they stand in the Naturall Constitution, and Civill Consociation, and distinct and mutuall relations of the people of England; if themselves hinder not.

The way of force being at an end, but there being no end of the malice of our Enemies, but the slaverie of the Nation, and the ruine of all those faithfull Patriots that hath hitherto hindred it.

They convert now their whole industry to the mannage of that Maxime (Divide and Rule) as to the only Engine left them to attaine their ends, yet this is not now first in practice amongst them, it hath had its part during all the time of the Warre (though not so strenuously pursued, while they had other hopes) by raising and fomenting of factions, and divisions in all places, Armies, Councels, Cajoling all sorts by all those Artifices, whereby their Interests, humours, and discontents, might be wrought upon. Thus they have had their Emissaries under every disguise, who have laboured to divide the people among themselves; and Characterize that division by distinguishing Names, and to divide them all from the Parliament by severall pretences; that it being naked of the protection of their force, might be unable to protect the people by their Authority. The Pulpits have served the Kings Interest, while they thought they pursued their owne. (The Instruments putting them on, being a New Malignant party, under a disguise, they not discerning they were acted by the old one, through the entremise of these,) and while they have divided the people, they have lest them lesse able to defend themselves: Division among themselves is not al, they divide also from the Parliament: for the people being wont to believe what ever they hear from that place, by those men, have from thence been abated in their respect and opinion of the Parliament. Hence the City Remonstrance, and hence the first visible turne to their Actings toward the Parliament: The same Instruments tell the souldiers of their Arrears, strengthen their reflections upon their merit, help them to heighten the sense of their present wants, and sufferings, and in the meane time labour all they can possibly, both in the Houses, and among the people, to hinder the advancing or levie of moneys to satisfie them. And what workings there hath been, both toward, and in the Army under the Command of Sir Thomas Fairfax, to breed faction and division there, to irritate it, or to break it, by whom it was done, and whose interest those men carried on, all men know. And how incredible soever it seem, yet even the Cries for liberty, endeavors of levelling perfectly play the Kings Game; his Tyranny can with greater ease overflow a levell, then where it meets with the opposition of the power of the Kingdom in the Parliament. The Instruments of those designes, know that it is impossible for Tyranny ever to grow again upon Us, till that power be taken away, or disabled, by which it hath been broken, and our right recovered; and that so long as the people acknowledge their Protectors, and own their Protection, they will be safe under it. The Woolves perswade the Sheep, if the Dogs were away, there would be a happy peace between them. The difficulty now is, to make the Sheep believe they are Woolves that make the overture.

The truth is, tis the greatest pity in the world that plain and simple integrity, and well-meaning innocency should be deceived. But their unhappinesse is, there is nothing easier, it is necessary the Serpent & the Dove should go together, else he that only consults his own Candor and Integrity, will never believe that another mans Propositions or Designs have any worse principle. When Absolon went about to dethrone his father, there followed him three hundred men from Jerusalem, that went in the simplicity of their hearts, knowing nothing: the man pretended only a Religious Vow, and these poor, believed him, And every age produceth sufficient numbers of as little foresight; and there is no doubt, but if many among those that promote the dividing destructive Agreement of the people, and indeavor an Anarchicall levelling, had had but as much light to have judged the designs of their leaders, and to have foreseen the end of their motions, as they have good meaning, their Musters had never swelled to the numbers they account them, though in that there is very little credit to be given to their own Roll.

It hath not been the least part of the Art of those that drive on these designs, to imploy such to serve their turns, whose former merit might seem to priviledge a mistake in their duty, and that it must be ingratitude at least, if not cruelty in the Parliament to proceed to any severe animadversion against men of so much merit as the Leaders, or so large and good affection as their followers.

In which Stratagems, they have not failed, for by the Parliaments lenity and forbearance toward such men, (in hope they would see their mistakes, and return to the wayes of their duty and safety,) they are grown to that height, both by making Combinations; Printing and dispersing all manner of falser and scandulous Pamphlets and Papers against the Parliament, to debauch the rest of the people, gathering monyes, and making Treasurers and Representors of themselves, as it is necessary to obviato by present and effectuall means. And the Parliament can no longer suffer them in these seditions wayes, without deserting their trust in preserving the Peace of the Kingdom and the freedome and property of peaceable men.

Among all the Instruments they have out witted to carry on their designs with this sort of people, there are none have visibly done them more service then Lieutenant, Col. Iohn Lilburn, a man who hath made himselfe sufficiently known to the world, by those heaps of scandalous Books and Papers that he hath either written, or owned against the House of Peers, and such as have done him greatest courtesies; filled with falshoods, bitternesse, and ingratitude, whereby he hath given himself a Character sufficient to distinguish him (with the Judicious) from a man walking according to the rules of sobriety, and the just deportment of a Christian: ’Tis true, he suffered much from the Bishops, in the time of their exorbitancies, and he was one of the first the Parliament took into their care for liberty and redresse. But the present temper of his spirit, gives some ground to beleeve, that he added much to the weight of his pressures, by his want of meeknesse to bear what Providence had laid him under.

’Tis also true, that he hath done good service for the Parliament, and adventured his life, and lost of his blood in the Common Cause. But some that know him, well observe, that he brought not the same affections from oxford, that he was carried prisoner thither withall, though indeed he hath also done service since that time. And the Parliament hath not been unmindfull either of his sufferings, or of his services, but hath given him severall sums: of money, notwithstanding the Committee of Accounts reported to the House, that in their judgements there was nothing due to him.

But let his services be as great as himself, or his friends will have them, yet ’tis possible for a man to reflect too much upon his own desert, and mens overvaluing their services, have oftentimes produced such subsequent Actions, as have buried their first merit in a punishment.

It is very probable, many of those that he misleads into these dangerous Actions, look upon him as a Martyr in the Cause against the Bishops; and believe that all his zeal is only for the promotion of Righteousnesse, and just things, and for the Vindicating and Asserting the peoples liberty against Oppression and Violence, and that only by Petition, and indubitably just, and allowed way for all men to seek their grievances by, and by which they may without offence, addresse to any authority or greatnesse whatsoever.

To take off this disguise, and disabuse well meaning men, who cannot judge him by his Character drawn of himself, by himself, in his severall books; It will be necessary to give the world a Narrative of what his deportment and carriage was toward the House of Peers, upon which he was imprisoned, it having yet been spread to the World, only as he and his friends have pleased to dresse it, all which is taken out of the Records of that House, and is as followeth.

UPon the publishing of a Book by him written, called, The just mans Iustification, and complaint thereof made to the House; It was Ordered the 10. of Iune, 1646. That Lieutenant Colonel Iohn Lilborne shall appeare, and answer such things as he stands charged with, concerning a Book entituled, The just mans Iustification. The 11. of Iune he appeared, and there delivered at the Barre a paper, entituled, The Protestation, Plea, and Defence of Lieut. Col. Iohn Lilborn, given to the Lords at their Barre, the 11. of Iune, 1646. with his Appeal to his proper and legall Tryers, and Judges, the Commons of England assembled in Parliament. In which Protestation, after he hath acknowledged an Obligation to the House, for dealing justly and honourably with him in a Parliamentary way, in a businesse of his, lately before that House, you that he would not submit to any Judgement of this House against him in a criminall Cause; but would rather undergoe all deaths or miseries which the wit of man can devise, or his power and Tyranny inflict; And closeth his Protestation in these words, Therefore doe from you, and from your Bar, as Inchroachers and usurping Judges, appeal to the Barre, and Tribunal of my competent, proper, and legall Tryers and Judges, the Commons of England assembled in Parliament: which Protestation being contrived, and prepared by him upon premeditation, and given in at the Barre with so much contempt of and affront unto the Priviledges of this House, It was upon consideration thereof had, Ordered that the said Lieutenant Collonel Iohn Lilborn should stand committed to Newgate, for bringing into the House a scandalous and contemptuous paper, And that the Keeper of Newgate doe keep him in safe custody.

The 23. of Iune following, the House Ordered he should be brought into the House as a Delinquent, being formerly committed as a Delinquent. At which time being brought to the Barre according to the said Order, he refused there to kneele, which is the constant posture, and so known to be; and accordingly practised by all who are sent for as Delinquents by either of the Houses. And upon that refusall, the House Ordered, That he should for that his contempt to the House, be committed close prisoner to Newgate, And that none be suffered to resort to him, nor any pen and inke to be allowed him, untill the House should take further Order therein, And it was then further Ordered, That the Kings Counsell, with the assistance of Mr. Hailes, Mr. Herne, and Mr. Glover, should draw up a Charge against him with all convenient speed, and that they should advise with the Judges herein, and acquaint them with precedents: Which Charge being by the said Councell drawn up into certaine Articles, and brought into the House by Mr. Nathaniel Finch, his Majesties Serjeant at Law. Iuly 10. Containing matter of high crimes, and misdemeanors, (and such as only concerned the House of Peers in the Priviledges thereof, and some of their Members, of which matters, We are certainly the unquestionable and undoubted Judges) which Charge was then and there read. And it was then Ordered, That the said Iohn Lilborne should be brought to the Barre next day, which was done accordingly. And he being there, was required to kneel at the Barre (as is usuall in such cases) and to hear his Charge read, that he might make his defence thereto, he did not only refuse to kneel, as before he had done, but when the House commanded his Charge to be read, he said he would not hear, and upon reading thereof he stopped his cares with his finger. Being commanded to withdraw (after the House had taken this his contemptuous carriage into consideration) it was Ordered, That he should be called in again, and admonished, and told, that by his stopping of his ears, his ill language, and contemptuous and scornfull deportment, he had deprived himself of what favour he might have had in the House. And commanded him againe without stopping of his ears to hear his Charge. He answered, he had appealed from this House (as not his competent Judges) to the House of Commons, to which he would stand so long as he had any bloud in his body. The House again commands his Charge to be read, and he again told them he would not hear it, And accordingly he again stopped his eares while it was readings being asked what he said to his Charge, he answered he heard nothing of it, had nothing to doe with it, tooke no notice of it, but would stand to his Protestation, having appealed from this House, and protested against it, as unrighteous Judges, to those Judges who were to judge him and them, namely the House of Commons assembled in Parliament. Being again commanded to withdraw, the House took his refusall as an Answer pro Confesso to the whole matter of his Charge. And taking into consideration, the high contempt to the honour and dignity of the House of Peers, shewed by his words and speeches at the Barre, which were also contained in his Charge. It was amongst other things adjudged, That Lieutenant Colonel Iohn Lilborne for his high contempt to the honour of the House, should be imprisoned in the Tower of London, during the pleasure of the House. And upon consideration of the whole matter of his Charge, it was likewise amongst other things adjudged, that he be imprisoned seven years.

Had this Contemptuous carriage been shewed to the meanest Court in the Kingdome, or to a single Justice of the Peace, he would certainly have been committed for misbehaviour. Courts and Magistrates are no longer able to execute the duty of their places, and discharge their trust in the administration of Justice, than they keep up and maintain their Dignity and Authority from the tramplings and contempt of Delinquents. And there is no doubt but these approaches made by Lieutenant Colonel Iohn Lilborne, and carried even within the walls of the Lords House with so little losse, was a maine encouragement to that generall assault and force upon both Houses, upon the 26, of Iuly last, by that Rable of Reformadoes, and of the Prentices set on and encouraged, by the known Malignant-then-ruling-part of the City. This carriage of his might seem sufficient to discover the Man, and being known, might warn every well-tempered and peaceable disposition, to take heed of engaging in any Designe that may be the conception of such a Spirit: the birth whereof can portend nothing but Distraction and confusion. And the better yet to undeceive welmeaning men, who may perhaps believe the Results and productions of the late frequent, and numerous meetings of him, and his party, in and about the City, are of a contrary: omplexion and tendency, and can serve no other end than a firme and speedy setling the peace and tranquillity of the Kingdome, which all good men desire and should promote; They may here take notice of what was delivered to the Houses of Parliament, by Mr. Masterson Minister of Shoreditch, who was present at one of those meetings, And which was also (after many denials, tergiuersations, and prevarications, by the said Lieutenant Colonel Iohn Lilborne, and the lie given (or words that signified as much) to Mr. Masterson in the House of Commons (who was confronted there with him at the Barre) confessed by himselfe, in every particular one only excepted. The whole Relation whereof is here printed from the Copie, signed by the said Mr. Masterson with his own hand, and is as followeth.

At a meeting in Well-Yard, in, or neer Wapping, at the house of one Williams a Gardiner, on Monday the 17 of Ianuary. 1647.

THere were Assembled Lieutenant Colonel Iohn Lilburn, Iohn Wildman, (with many others) debating a Petition, when I and one Robert Malbor of Shorditch Parish came in; anon after we entred the Room, one Lieutenant Lever Objected against the manner of their Proceedings, and said, That he liked well enough the particulars of the Petition, but he did not like the manner (namely) of Petitioning the House of Commons, for (said he) They have never done us any Right, nor will they ever do us any: To this Lieutenant Colonel Iohn Lilburn Answered, We must, said he, own some visible Authority for the present, or else we shall be brought to Ruine and Confusion: but when we have raised up the spirits of the people through the whole Kingdom (whether it be nine dayes hence, or a moneth, or three moneths, when the House shall be fit to receive an Impression of Justice) We shall FORCE them to grant us those things we desire.

Lieutenant Colonel Iohn Lilburn did then and there Affirm, That the People of London had appointed ten or twelve of their Commissioners, (whereof he the said Lilburn was one) though he said likewise, that the honest Blades in Southwark did not like the word Commissioners. These Commissioners were appointed to promote the Petition, and send out Agents into every City, Town, and Parish, (if they could possibly) of every County of the Kingdome, to inform the people of their Liberties and Priviledges; and not only to get their hands to the Petition, for (said he) I would not give three pence for ten thousand hands.

A plain man of the Company Objected against that way of Proceeding, thus: Mr. Lilburn (said he) we know that the generality of the People are wicked, and if (by the sending abroad of your Agents into all the Parishes of the Kingdom) they come to have power and strength in their hand, We may suppose, and fear they will cut the throats of all those who are called Roundheads, that is, the honest, godly, faithfull men in the Land. Lieutenant Colonel Lilburn Answered, Pish (said he) do not you fear that, he that hath this Petition in his hand, and a Blue Ribband in his Hat, need not fear his throat cutting; or this Petition in your hand, will be as good as a Blue Ribband in your Hat to preserve your throat from cutting. It was further Objected by one of the Company that sat at, or neer the upper end of the Table, That it was not fit to disturb (or to that purpose) the House at this time, seeing they had made such excellent Votes concerning the King, and had appointed a Committee to hear, and report all our grievances. Lieutenant Colonel Lilburn Answered, Do you know, said he, how those Votes were procured? (or words to that effect.) Some Answered, No; nor did they care, since the Votes (as they apprehended) were so excellent; Lieutenant Colonel Lilburn said he could tell them. There was (said he) a bargain struck between Crumwell, Ireton, and the King, and the bargain was this, They (namely Lieutenant Generall Crumwell, and Commissary Generall Ireton) by their influence on the Army, should estate the King in his Throne, Power, and Authority; and for their Reward, Crumwell should receive (or had received) a Blue Ribband from the King, and be made Earl of Essex, and his son Ireton, either Lord Lieutenant, or Field Marshall of Ireland: and this he (the said Lieutenant Colonel Lilburn) said he would make good to all the world.

Lieutenant Colonel Lilburn said further, that certain Information of this comming to a Member of the House of Commons, our good (or best) friend: I need not name him, said he, I suppose you all know him; his father was a Parliament man, and a Knight, but he is dead, and this Gentleman his son is of his Christian name (as they call it) a man of a good Estate. This Gentleman, said he, takes upon him a noble Felton resolution, that (rather then a Kingdome should be inslaved to the lust of one man) he would dispatch him (namely Crumwell) wherever he met him, though in the presence of the Generall Sir Thomas Fairfax himself, and for that end, provided, and charged a Pistoll, and took a Dagger in his Pocket, that if the one did not, the other should dispatch him. The said Lieut. Col. Iohn Lilburn, (being asked how it came to passe that he did not effect it, and Act according to his resolution? Answered, The Gentleman (said he) communicating his resolution to a Member of the House of Commons, a Knight whom he judged faithfull, the Gentleman was by this Knight shut up in his Chamber in White Hall a whole day; and the Knight dispatched an expresse to Crumwell, to inform him of the Gentlemans Resolution; whereupon, Crumwell (apprehending his person in danger) called a pretended day of Humiliation; there he was reconciled to the Officers of the Army, drew up a Declaration to the House, which begat and produced those Votes. Vpon this John Wildman said, That he knew three other men (at the same time) had taken up the same Resolution of killing Crumwell, and there was not one of them that knew the Intentions of another: likewise the said Iohn Wildman said, That he would never trust honest man again for Crumwels fake.

Lieutenant Colonel Lilburn, and the said Iohn Wildman (speaking promiscuously in the Commendation of the said Petition) one or other or both of them affirmed, That this Petition was of more worth and value, then any thing they had ever yet attempted; and that some great Malignants (as they are called) told them, that if they were not ingaged to the person of this King, and had personally served him, they would ingage with them; and the said Malignants gave them incouragement to go on with it, saying, it was the most rationall piece that they had seen: And that they (the people assembled) might understand how the Petition had wrought already, they affirmed that it (the Petition) had made the Lords House to quake, and the Commons themselves to stinke: and that before the Petition was two dayes old, or had been two dayes abroad, the Lords (I shall not need to name them, said he, but the greatest Earls of them in Estate, in Authority and Popularity) sent to us a creature of their own to Article with us, and offered (so we would desist from promoting the Petition) to consent to all our priviledges and liberties that we desired in our Petition, so that we would abate them their Legislative power. Lieutenant Colonel Lilburn said further, When they saw we would not desist, they (the Lords) offered us thirty thousand pounds, if we would yet sit down, and lay the Petition aside: nay, more said he, but here the said John Wildman interrupted him, and said, Prethee do not tell all, but Lilburn replied, He would, and they should hereby see their (the Lords) basenesse, whereupon going on, he said, This morning they sent to this Gentlemans Chamber (laying his hand upon Wildman) at the Sarazens head in Friday-street, and offered him, that if we would forbear to Promote this Petition, they would be content for their heirs and successors, to cut off the Legislative power from them by Ordinance or Act for ever, so we would let them quietly injoy the Legislative power for their lives.

Lieutenant Col. Lilburn told them, That they (the Commissioners) had their constant meetings on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in the evening at the Whalebone; and the other three dayes at Southwark, Wapping, and other places, with their friends; and that upon the next Lords day they were to meet at Dartfort in Kent, to receive an account of their Agents, (from Gravesend, Maidstone, and most of the choice Townes in that County) how they had promoted the businesse there.

Lieutenant Colonel Lilburn drawing a Paper-Book from under his short Red Coat, and turning over the leaves of it, told them that there were certain Letters, one to Colonel Blunt, another (as I remember) to Sir Anthony Welden; and that he said, he wrote himself likewise divers Letters to our friends the well-affected of such and such a County, whose names I remembred not: he the said (Lieutenant Colonel) told them likewise, That because the businesse must needs be a work of charge (there being thirty thousand Petitions to come forth in Print to morrow, and it would cost money to send their Agents abroad, though the honest souldiers now at White Hall would save them something in scattering them up and down in the Counties) they had therefore appointed Treasurers, namely Mr. Prince, Mr. Chidly, and others, and Collectors, (whose names as I remember, he did not reade) who should gather up from those that acted with them, of some two pence, three pence, six pence, a shilling, two shillings, half a Crown a week: and thus promising to meet them the next night, he tooke leave.

But immediately before his departure told them, that they shut him up in the Tower the night before, but they should not have his company these fourteen nights for it. This is the summe and sence of that which was delivered, and affirmed in the House of Lords, at the conference, and in the Commons House by

Geo: Masterson.

BY this testimony of Mr. Masterson (which was all but one particular, as was said before, confessed by Lieutenant Colonel Iohn Lilburn himselfe) Its hoped all men truly conscientious will take heed how they comply with these men, who have conceived those black designes in the dark, and think to bring them forth by murders and assassination; certainly these Councels look as if they were suggested from him that is a Murtherer from the beginning, and yet many are drawn into the same guilt, danger, and disservice to the peace of the Kingdome. The Conspiracy seemes to be formed, and the actings to be at hand, Treasurers chosen, Collectors appointed, moneys gathered, Emissaries sent abroad to stirre up the people; Murders and assassinations are undertaken, and Lilburn, and Wildman know the Instruments. Can any man now that desire to have Peace, and prosperity setled, and conserved, and that abhorres to think of Confusion of all things, and the effusions of innocent bloud, wonder if the Parliament takes care in discharge of their Trust, to make abortive these monstrous conceptions, and prevent the like for the future, by present securing in order to punishing the Authors of these?

To say any thing further upon this relation seems needlesse, it being not imaginable, That after so clear and full a discovery, there should be found any man, either so simple, or so wicked, as not to discover the monster under the mask, to see the danger, hate the design, and feare the Event; and that will not flie from the Councels & Companies of these Pests and Incendiaries, who while they cal themselves Christians, do yet project, or else at least conceal, and applaud designed mothers and assassinations. And that all men may the better see, what is like to be the end to which these actions tend, let them here take this account given from a sure hand in forreign parts, Namely, that a Priest, a Chaplaine of a forrain Minister of State, whose name (which is to be concealed) seemes to make him an English man, was lately employed hither as a Spie, and at his returne gives this account to his Master, and to other Confidents, That there are foure hundred Missionaries now in London, and in the Army, under severall disguises, and that some of them act the Preacher, all which, with all diligence attend the service of their Mission, with hope to give a very good account to their Superiours: Are not these Designes, these Councels, and the violent carrying thereof, more like to be the Doctrine of those Wolves under Sheeps skins, than of any man that hath resigned up himself to be led by the Spirit of God?

But that which covers all is, that you doe but Petition, and addresse to the House of Commons, with much seeming respect and deferencie. But, what account you make of their Authority, is seen by Lieutenant Colonel Lilburns Answer to Lieutenant Levet his Objection, and what account of all the Parliament hath done, in asserting and vindicating the just freedome of the Nation, is seen in the said objection. And how farre you meane to attend upon, and acquiesce in the Judgement of the House, to which you addresse, is likewise seen in some of the Letters mentioned by Mr. Masterson, to be sent to their friends, the wel-affected of such and such a County. That, to all the peaceable and wel-minded people in Kent, who desire present Peace, Freedome, Justice, and common Right, and good of all men, is, as followeth, the Originall whereof is ready to be produced when occasion is.

Worthy Gentlemen, and dear Friends,

OVr bowels are troubled, and our hearts pained within us, to behold the Divisions, Distractions, heart-burnings, and contentions which abound in this distressed Nation, and we are confounded in our selves upon the foresight of the confusion and desolation, which will be the certain consequence of such divisions, if they should be but for a little time longer continued; there are now clouds of bloud over our heads again, and the very rumors and fears of Warre hath so wasted Trading, and enhaunsed the price of all food and cloathing, that Famine is even entring into your gates; and doubtlesse, neither pen nor tongue can expresse the misery, which will ensue immediately upon the beginning of another Warre; Why therefore O our Country men, should we not every man say each to other, as Abraham to Lot, or Moses to the two Israelites, Why should we contend each with other, seeing we are brethren? O that our advice might be acceptable to you, that you would every man expostulate each with other, and now while you have an opportunity, consider together, wherefore the contention hath been these six or seven years! Hath it not been for freedome and Instice? O then propound each to other the chief principles of your freedome, and the foundation of Iustice, and common Right, and questionlesse, when you shall understand the desires each of other, you will unite together inviolably to pursue them.

Now truely in our apprehensions, this work is prepared to your hands in the Petition, which we herewith send to you; certainly, if you shall all joyne together to follow resolutely, and unweariedly, after the things contained in that Petition, the bloud and confusion which now threaten us may be prevented, and the sweet streames of Iustice will run into your besomes freely without obstruction; O that the Lord may be so propitious to this tottering Nation, as to give you to understand these things which belong to your Peace and welfare!

Many honest people are resolved already to unite together in that Petition, & to prosecute the obtaining it with all their strength; they are determined, that now after seven years waiting for Justice, Peace, and Freedome, they will receive no deniall in these requests which are so essentiall to their Peace and Freedome; and for the more effectuall proceedings in this businesse, there is a Method and Order setled in all the Wards in London, and the out Parishes and Suburbs; they have appointed severall active men in every Ward and Division, to be a Committee, to take the speciall care of the businesse, and to appoint active men in every Parish, to read the Petition at set meetings for that purpose, and to take Subscriptions, and to move as many as can possibly, to goe in person when the day of delivering it shall be appointed; and they intend to give notice of that time to all the adjacent Counties, that as many of them as possibly can, may also &illegible; with them the same day; and the like orderly way of proceeding is commended to severall Counties, to whom the Petition is sent, as to Hartfordshier, Buckingham, Oxford, Cambridge, Rutlandshier, &c. And we cannot but propound to you the same Method, as the best expedient for your union, in pursuing after a speedy settlement of your Peace and Freedome, therefore in brief we desire,

1. That you would appoint meetings in every Division of your County, and there to select faithfull men of publick spirits, to take care that the Petition be sent to the hands of the most active men in every Town, to unite the Town in those desires of common right, and to take their subscriptions.

2. That you would appoint as many as can with convenience, to meet at Dartford, the 23. of this present January, being Lords day, and we shall conferre with you about the Matters that concerne your Peace, and common good and Freedome.

Wee shall at present adde no more but this, that to serve you, and our whole countrey in whatsoever concerns its common peace and wellfare, is, and alwayes shall be, the desire and joy of

Your most Faithfull Friends and Servants
which came from London from
many other friends upon this

Dartford this 9. of Jan.

Iohn Lilburn.          


Iohn Davies.          

Richard Woodward.

VVell minded People,

YOU who are apt to resolve and Act upon the bare consultation of your own unexperienced innocency, look to your selves, there is a design upon you; you perhaps cannot believe, that this tendernesse and trouble of Bowels professed, should tend to tear out your owne; that these breathings after Justice should subject you to the worst Tyranny, and that these men are reducing the Kingdome into Atomes, while they cry out, and complaine of Division; but a Poyson is offered you in this sweet wine, and all these sugred words serve but to sweeten that &illegible; in your mouth, which will be bitternesse in your belly; there is a book in the Bait, and all those seeming prudentiall directions in the close of this Letter, serve but to teach you how to destroy your selves with the greatest dexterity and infallibility. The poyson is in the middle, which (if you will take these State-Montebanks words) many honest people are resolved already to take, that is, To unite together in the Petition, and to prosecute the obtaining of it with all their strength; and they are determined, that now after so long waiting for Iustice, Peace, and Freedome, they will receive no denyall in these requests: Here’s the second part of the 26 of Iuly, to the same Tune to a syllable: There was a Petition, and so is here; there was an Vnion of the Rabble, so here must be an Vnion; there was an Horrid, and Barbarous force and violence; here must be a Prosecution with all their strength: The people of divers whole Counties solicited to be present at the delivery of it, and must be ingaged to it by presubscriptions: Can this, all their strength, all this number, this determination to take no dentall, be lesse then a War, or lesse then a forcing of the Legislative power? Be warned to take heed of such dayes works as the 26 of Iuly, it hath, and will cost some dear: Only the difference is, The Actors in this intended Rebellious and Treasonable force, in the judgement of these infallible Censors of Piety and Honesty, must be honest men: But if they be men so qualified, let them take heed of this Conspiracy, that they may continue so still, and let not those nimble Prestigiators juggle them into Sedition and Treason, before they consider whither they are going.

The Truth is, you mean to stir up the people, and make your selves the leaders; and then ’tis not one man alone that wil be armed with Pistol and Dagger. And it will not be then, either a Blue Ribond in the Hat, nor a Petition in the Hand, that wil be a sufficient defence to any of those, whose either Religion and Conscience, Wisdom and Judgment, Integrity and sense of Duty, or more large Estate, and desire to defend his propriety, shal have made them the object of your levelling fury. But any one of those qualifications may make a man as guilty to you, as to write and read did those, who had the unhappiness of so much learning in the days of your Predecessors, Iack Straw and his Associats.

But let us examine your Petition it self, magnified, as Lilburn and Wildman affirm, by the greatest Malignants, for the most rational Peace they had seen, and which they perswade them by all means to promote, an acknowledgment of theirs to be specially noted they have never yet been so zealous for the peace of the People, if it took not beginning from their suggestions, ’tis certainly promoted by their help. They also giving out that no man is more the Kings then Lilburn; And ’tis known to all, that while Lilburn was in the Tower, he still maintained a close Conversation and aquaintance with the principle dangerous men and especially with David Jenkins, now a prisoner in New-gate for his Treasons. But if it be a Petition to the House, why is it Printed and Published to the people, before the presenting of it to the House? Is it to get the approbation of multitudes? What need of that? If what is asked be reasonable and just, and good for the publike, it needs no other qualification for its acceptance, nor arguments for its grant; though it were only the private suggestion of a single man: If it be not so, the Petitioners, though very many more then wil own this, ought not to be gratified with the wrong of all the rest. The whole Iudgment of the Kingdom, is in the Iudgment of the Houses; you can represent your own pressures, but not those of all the Kingdom, for you are not all the Kingdom. You may account that your pressure, which others, and as many as you, may judg their benefit; and the Houses trusted by all, must judg what is good for all.

To the Supream Authority of England, the Commons Assembled in Parliament.

The earnest Petition of many Free-born People of this Nation.


THAT the devouring fire of the Lords wrath, hath burnt in the bowels of this miserable Nation, until its almost consumed.

That upon a due search into the causes of Gods heavy Judgments, we find[a] that injustice and oppression, have been the common National &illegible; for which the Lord hath threatned woes, confusions and desolations, unto any People or Nation; Woe (saith God) to the oppressing City. Zeph. 3. 1.

That when the King had opened the Flood-gates of injustice and oppression[b] upon the people, and yet &illegible; declared that the people, who trusted him for their good, could not in, or by their Parliament require any account of the discharge of his trust; and when by a pretended negative voice[c] to Laws, he would not suffer the strength of the Kingdom, the[d] Militia, to be so disposed of, that oppression might be safely remedies, & oppressors brought to condign punishment but raised a War[e] to protect the subvertors of our Laws and Liberties, ans maintain Himself to be subject to no accompt, even for such oppressions, and pursuing after an oppressive power, the Judg of the Earth, with whom the Throne of iniquity can have no fellowship, hath brought him &illegible; and executed fierce wrath upon many of his &illegible;

That God expects Justice from those before whose eyes he hath destroyed an unjust generation Zeph. 3. 6. 7. and without doing justly, and releeving the oppressed, God abhors fallings and prayes, and accounts himself mocked. Esa. 5 8. 4 5, 6 7. Mic. 6. 6, 7, 8.

That our eyes fail with looking to see the Foundations of our Freedoms and Peace secured by this Honorable House, and yet we are made to depend upon the Will of the King, and the Lords, which were never chosen or betrusted by the People, to redress their grievances. And this Honorable House, which formerly declared, that they were the representative of al England, & betrusted with our Estates, Liberties and Lives, 1 part Book of Decla. 264. 382. do now declare by their practise, that they will not redress our grievances, or settle our Freedoms, unless the King and the Lords will.

That in case you should thus proceed, Parliaments wil be rendered wholly useless to the People, and their happiness left to depend solely upon the Will of the King, and such as he by his Patents creates Lords; and so the invaluable price of all the precious English blood; spilt in the defence of our freedoms against the King, shal be imbezelled or lost; and certainly, God the avenger of blood, wil require it of the obstructors of justice and freedom. Iudges 9. 24.

That though our Petitions have been burned, and our persons imprisoned, reviled, and abused only for petitioning, yet we cannot despair absolutely of all bowels of compassion in this Honorable House, to an inslaved perishing people. We still nourish &illegible; hopes, that you wil at last consider that our estates are expended, the whole trade of the Nation decayed, thousands of families impoverished, and merciless Famine is entered into our Gates, and therefore we cannot but once more assay to pierce your cares with our dolefull cries for Iustice and Freedom, before your delays wholly consume the Nation. In particular we earnestly intreat:

First, That seeing we conceive this Honorable House is intrusted by the People, with all power to redress our grievances, and to provide security for our Freedom, by making or repealing Laws, errecting or abolishing Courts, displacing or placing Officers, and the like: And seting upon this consideration, we have often made our addresses to you, and yet we are made to depend for all our expected good, upon the wils of others who have brought all our misery[f] upon us: That therefore in case this Honorable House, wil not, or cannot, according to their trust, relieve and help us; that it be clearly declared; That we may know to whom, as the Supream power, we may make our present addresses before we perish, or be inforced to file to the prime Laws of nature[g] &illegible; refuge.

2. Thus as we conceive all Governors and Magistrates, being the ordinance[h] of man, before they be the ordinance of God, and no Authority being of God, but what is erected by the mutuall consent of a People: and seeing this Honorable House alone represents the People of this Nation; that therefore no person whatsoever, be permitted to exercise any power or Authority in this Nation, who shal not clearly and confessedly, receive his power from this House, and be always accountable for the discharge of his trust, to the People in their Representers in Parliament: If otherwise; that it be declared who they are which assume to themselves a power according to their own Wills, and not received as a trust from the People, that we may know to whose Wils we must be subiect, and under whom we must suffer such oppressions, as they please, without a possibility of having Iustice against them.

3. That considering, that all iust Power and Authority in this Nations, which is not immediately derived from the People, can be derived only from this Honorable House, and that the People are perpetually subiect to Tyranny, when the Iurisdiction of Courts, and the Power and Authority of Officers are not clearly described, and their bounds and limits[i] prefixed; that therefore the Iurisdiction of every Court or Indicature, and the Power of every Officer or Minister of Iustice, with their bounds and limits, be forthwith declared by this honorable House; and that is be enacted, this the Iudges of every Court, which shal exceed its Iurisdiction, and every other Officer or Minister of Iustice, which shal &illegible; with matters not coming under his Cognizance, shall &illegible; the forfeiture of his, and their whole estates. And likewise, that all unnecessary Courts may be forthwith abolished; and that the publike Treasury, out of which the Officers solely ought to be maintained,[k] may be &illegible; to the lesse Charge.

4. That whereas there are &illegible; of Complaints of oppression, by Committees of this House, determining particular matters, which properly appertains to the Cognizance of the ordinary Courts[l] of Iustice; and whereas many persons of faithful and publike spirits, have bin, and are dayly &illegible; vexed, Imprisoned by such Committes, sometimes for not answering Interrogatories, and sometimes for other matters, which are not in Law Criminall; and also without any legal warrants expressing the cause, and commanding the Jaylor safely to keep their bodies, untill they be delivered by due course[m] of Law; And by these oppressions, the persons and estates of many are wasted, and destroyed: That therefore henceforth, No particular cause, whether Criminal or other, which comes under the Cognizance of the ordinary Courts of Iustice, may be determined by this House, or any Committee thereof, or any other, then by those Courts, whose duty it is to execute such Laws as this honorable House shal make; and who are to be censured by this House in case of injustice: Always excepted, matters relating to the late War, for Indempnity for your Assisters; and the exact Observation of al articles granted to the adverse[n] Party: And that henceforth, no Person be molested or Imprisoned by the wil or arbitrary powers of any, or for such Matters as are not Crimes,[o] according to Law: And that all persons Imprisoned at present for any such matters, or without such legall warrants as abovesaid, upon what pretence, or by what Authority soever, may be forthwith releast, with due reparations.

5. That considering &illegible; a Badg of our Slavery to a Norman Conqueror, to have our Laws in the French Tongue, and it is little lesse then brutish vassalage to be bound to walk by Laws which the People[p] cannot know, that therefore all the Laws and Customs of this Realm be immediately written in our Mothers Tongue[q] without any abreviations of words, and the most known vulgar hand, viz. Roman or Secretary, and that Writs, Processes, and Enroulments, be issued forth, entered or inrouled in English, and such manner of writing a aforesaid.

6. That seeing in Magna Charta, which is our Native right, it’s pronounced in the name of all Courts, That we wil sel to no man, we will not deny, or defer to any man either Justice or Right, notwithstanding we can obtain no Justice or Right, neither from the common ordinary Courts or Judges, nor yet from your own Committees, though it be in case of indempnity for serving you, without paying a dear price for it; that therefore our native[r] Right be restored to us, which is now also the price of our blood; that in any Court whatsoever, no moneys be extorted from us, under pretence of Fees to the Officers of the Court, or otherwise: And that for this end, sufficient sallaries or pensions be allowed to the Iudges, and Officers of Courts, as was of old, out of the common &illegible; that they may maintain their Clerks and servants, and keep their Oaths uprightly; wherein they swear to take no &illegible; Cloaths, or other rewards except meat and drink, in a smal quantity, besides what is allowed them by the King; and this we may with the more confidence claim as our Right, seeing this honorable Horse hath declared, in case of Ship-money, and in the case of the Bishops Canons that not one peny, by any power whatsoever, could be leavied upon the people, without common consent in Parliament, and sure we are that the Fees exacted by Iudges and Clerks, and Iaylors, and all kind of Ministers of Iustice, are not setled upon them by Act of Parliament, and therefore by your own declared principles, destructive to our property;[s] therefore we desire it may be enacted to be death for any Iudg, Officer, or Minister of Iustice, from the highest to the lowest, to exact the least moneys, or the worth of moneys from any person whatsoever, more then his pension or sallary allowed from the Common Treasury. That no Iudg of any Court may continue above three yeares.

7. That whereas according to your own complaint in your first Remonstrance of the[t] State of the Kingdom, occasion is given to bribery, extortion and partiallity, by reason, that judicial places, and other Offices of power and trust, are sold and bought: That therefore for prevention of all iniustice, it be forthwith enacted, to be death for any person or persons whatsoever, directly or indirectly, to buy, or sell, or offer, or receive moneys, or rewards, to procure for themselves or others, any Office of power or trust whatsoever.

8. Whereas according to Iustice, and the equitable sense of the Law, Goals and Prisons ought to be only used as places of safe custody, until the constant appointed time of tryall, and now they are made places of[u] torment, and the punishment of supposed offenders, they being detained many years without any Legal tryalls: That therefore it be enacted that henceforth no supposed offender whatsoever, may be denyed his Legal tryall, at the first Sessions, Affixes, or Goal delivery, after his Commitment[w] and that at such tryal, every such supposed offender be either condemned or acquitted.

9. Whereas Monopolies of all kinds have been declared by this honorable House, to be against the Fundamentall Laws of the Land, and all such restrictions of Trade, do in the consequence destroy not only Liberty but property: That therefore all Monopolies whatsoever, and in particular that oppressive Company of Merchant Adventurers be forthwith abolished, and a free trade restored, and that all Monopolizers may give good reparation to the Common-wealth, the particular parties who have been damnisied by them, and to be made incapable of bearing any Office of power, or trust, in the Nation, and that the Votes of this House Novemb. 19. 1640. against their siting therein, may be forthwith put in due execution.

10. Whereas this House hath declared in the first Remonstrance of the(x) State of the Kingdom, that Ship-money, and Monopolies, which were imposed upon the people before the late War, did at least amount to 1400000 l. per annum, and whereas since then, the Taxes have been double and treble, and the Army(y) hath declared that 1300000 l. per annum, would compleatly pay all Forces and Garisons in the Kingdom, and the Customs could not but amount to much more then would pay the Navy, so that considering the vast sums of moneys, raised by imposition of money, the fifth and twentieth part, Sequestrations, and Compositions, Excise, and otherwise, it’s conceived much Treasure is concealed: that therefore an Order issue forth immediatly from this Honorable House, to every Parish in the Kingdom, to deliver in without delay to some faithful persons, as perfect an accompt as possible, of all moneys Leavied in such Town, City, or Parish; for what end or use soever, since the beginning of the late War, and to return the several receivers names, and that those who shal be imployed by the several Parishes in every Shire or County, to carry in those accompts to some appointed place in the County, may have liberty to choose the receiver of them, and that those selected persons by the several Parishes in every County or Shire, may have liberty to invest some one faithful person in every of their respective Counties or places, with power to sit in a Committee at London or elsewhere, to be the General Accomptants of the Kingdom, who shal publish their Accompts every moneth to the publick view, and that henceforth there be only one Common Treasury where the books of Accompts may be kept by several persons, open to the view of all men.

11. Whereas it hath been the Ancient Liberty of this Nation, that all the Free-born people have freely elected their Representers in Parliament, and their Sheriffs and(z) Iustices of the Peace, &c. and that they were abridged of that their native Liberty, by a Statute of the 8. H. 6. 7. That therefore, that Birth-right of all English men, be forthwith restored to all which are not, or shal not be legally disfranchised for some criminal cause, or are not under 21 years of age, or servants, or beggers; and we humbly offer. That every County may have its equal proportion of Representers; and that every County may have its several divisions, in which one Representer may be chosen, and that some chosen Representatives of every Parish proportionably may be the Electors of the Sheriffs, Iustices of the Peace, Committee-men, Grand-jury men, and all ministers of Iustice whatsoever, in the respective Counties, and that no such minister of justice may continue in his Office above one whole year, without a newa Election.

12. That all Statutes for all kind of Oaths, whether in Corporations, Cities, or other, which insuare conscientious people, as also other Statutes, injoyning all to hear the Book of Common Prayer, be forthwith repealed and nulled, and that nothing be imposed upon the consciences of any to compel them to sin against their own consciences.

13. That the too long continued shame of this Nation, viz. permission of any to suffer such poverty as to beg their bread, may be forthwith effectually remedied: and to that purpose that the Poor be enabled to choose their Trustees, to discover all Stocks, Houses, Lands, &c. which of right belong to them, and their use, that they may speedily receive the benefit thereof; and that some good improvement may be made of waste Grounds for their use; and that according to the promise of this honorable House, in your first Remonstrance, care be taken forthwith to advance the native commodities of this Nation, that the poor &illegible; have better wages for their labor; and that Manufactures may be increased, and the Herring-fishing upon our own Coasts may be improved for the best advantage of our own Mariners, and the whole Nation.

14. Whereas that burthensom Tax of the Excise lies heavy only upon the Poorer, and most ingenious industrious People, to their intolerable oppression; and that all persons of large Revenues in Lands, and vast estates at usury, bear not the least proportionable weight of that burthen, whereby Trade decays, and all ingenuity and industry is discouraged: That therefore that oppressive way of raising money may forthwith cease, and all moneys be raised by equal Rates, according to the proportion of mens, estates.

15. That M. Peter Smart, Doctor Leighton, M. Ralph Grafton, M. Hen. Burton, Doctor Bastwick, M. William Prinne, Lievt. Conell Iohn Lilburne, the heires and executors of M. Brewer, M. Iohn Turner, and all others that suffered any cruelty, or false illegall imprisonment, by the Star-Chamber, the high Commission, or Councell-Board, as M. Aederman Chambers, and all others that suffered oppression before the Parliament, for refusing to pay illegall imposts, customes, or Shipmoney, or yeeld conformity to Monopolizing Patentees, may (after 7. years attendance for justice and right) forthwith by this House receive legall and just reparations out of the estates of all those without exception, who occasioned, acted in, or procured their heavy sufferings, that so in future Ages men may not be totally discouraged to stand for their Liberties and Freedomes, against Oppressors and Tyrants.

16. Whereas we can fix our eyes upon no other but this honourable House for reliefe in all these our pressing grievances, untill we shall be forced to despaire, we therefore desire, that the most exact care be had of the right constitutions thereof: And therefore we desire that all Members of this House chosen in their Novage, may be forthwith ejected, and that all Votes for suspension of Members from this House may be forthwith put in execution; provided, that the House proceed either finally to expell them, that others may be elected in their stead, or they be restored to serve their Countrey: And likewise that all Lawyers who are Members of this House (by reason of their &illegible; power over Judges of their owne making) may wholly attend the peoples service therein, and that every of them may be expelled the House who shall hereafter plead any cause before any Court or Committee whatsoever, during his Membership in this House: And we further desire, that every Member of this House may be enjoyned under some great penalty, not to be absent above three dayes, without the expresse license of this House, and not above one month without the licence of the place by which they are betrusted: And likewise that no Law may be passed, unlesse two third parts of all the Members of this House be present, and that the most speedy care be had to distribute Elections equally throughout the Nation.

Now whereas the particular requests in our Petitions, are for the most part never debated in this House, but when we are at any time rightly interpreted in our meanings and intentions, we onely receive thankes for our good affections, or promises that in due time our desires shall be taken into consideration, and by such delayes our distractions are daily increased, and our burdens made more heavy; therefore we desire, that a Committee be forthwith appointed by this honourable House, who may be enjoyned under some penalty, to sit from day to day, untill they have debated every particular of our requests, and reported their sense of the justnesse and necessity of them to this House, that we may attend for an answer accordingly; and that a time be fixed when such a Committee shall make their report. And we further desire the same Committee may be invested with power to heare all our other complaints, and offer sutable remedies to this honourable House, and to bring in the Appeales of any persons from the Iudges at Westminster, to this honourable House, against their injustice, bribery, or illegall delay and oppression.

Now O ye worthy Trustees! let not your eares bee any longer deafe to our importunate cries, let not our destruction be worse then that of Sodome, who was overthrown in a moment. Let us not pine away with famine and bee worse then those who die by the sword. Oh dissolve not all Government into the prime Lawes of nature, and compell us to take the naturall remedy to preserve our selves, which you have declared no people can bee deprived ofb. Oh remember that the righteous God standeth in the congregation of the mighty, and judgeth among the gods, and saith, Howc long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked, defend the poor and fatherless, do justice to the afflicted and needy, deliver the poor and needy, and rid them out of the hands of the wicked,

And your Petitioners shall ever pray, &c.

’TIs indeed called a Petition, but the whole frame and matter of it is nothing else but a Calumnie against those they seem to petition, charging upon their account all those Evills that are upon the Kingdome, and a great number more imaginary ones which they have created, and make men believe they are pressed with; and publish all this to the Kingdome, to render the Parliament odious to the People, to divorce their affections, and withdraw their assistance, without which, the Common Enemy know very well, they are not able to settle the peace and tranquillity of the Kingdome from forraigne and domestick Force, and calme and compesce those civill and intestine æstuations, the remaining distempers of our late (almost mortall) Disease, (of which the motions of the Petitioners are a very considerable part) that thereby a faire way might be paved for a free and equall course of Law and Justice, (which is a fitter meanes to preserve peace, then restore it) whose lower voice cannot be heard while the Drums beat, or the People tumultuate. It pursues that common and hatefull Maxime, Calumniate boldly, something will stick. It runs in generals, which ever covers deceipt: why descend you not to particulars? The Cries are loud against injustice, oppression, bribery, exacted, extorted Fees, and can you name no man that is guilty? You would make all the World believe you were in an iron furnace, and that the Kingdome were an Hell to its Inhabitants; and yet tell not who hurts you: But ’tis casier to calumniate then accuse, and yet to accuse, then to prove. Be not abused by them that serve their designes by you; Accuse no man falsly, though upon others informations; look upon the File in which false accusers march, and consider who may be like to the Leader. A good name is above riches, ’tis sooner taken away then restored: name those Oppressors you complaine of, bring forth the matter and the proofe, and then if you have not justice, you may have reason to complaine. You complaine of unnecessary Courts, and Courts exceeding the limits of their jurisdiction, you desire the one to be abolished, and the other to be limited; neither is here any particular: Hath not this Parliament taken away the Starre-Chamber, High Commission, all the Bishops Courts, the Cours of Wards? and are not all the jurisdictions of the other Courts well knowne? What have any of the Petitioners suffered by those Courts transgressing their limits? or what are the unnecessary Courts you meane? was it your modesty, or want of matter, that you omit particulars? Untruths are boldly affirmed upon heare-say; why are you silent in the things that presse your selves?

A word or two to your Margent, and then the particulars of the Petition it selfe shall be a little toucht upon. The Margent you have filled, with Authorities and Quotations of Magna Charta, Statutes, Comments on them, Declarations of &c. Speeches in Parliament; to what purpose serve these? Would you have the Parliament bound in their Parliamentary proceedings by precedent Lawes? Were not those Lawes made by Parliament, and is it not the proper work of the Parliament, to repeale, as well as to make Lawes? Els why doe you desire in your twelfth Particular, to have the Statutes there mentioned repealed? Either put out your Margent, and deceive not the ignorant with a shew of that which signifies nothing, or els reconcile it with your text; unlesse you meane to say, you will appoint the Parliament what Lawes they shall repeale, and by what they shall &illegible; themselves. If it be onely to tell them what hath been dont before, you may take notice, that there are those in that House, to which you addresse, that can as well tell what the Law now is, or heretofore was, without your index, as they are able to judge what is necessary for the &illegible; or for the future, without your advice or intimation. But you would faine make the People believe, the Parliament neither have wisdome enough to know how, not &illegible; enough to make them willing to discharge their trust, unlesse you direct and incite them.

The Petition is large; to give it an answer in propertion, were to write a volume, which few could buy, and fewer would read: and perhaps there is something of policy in the length, least their seduced numbers should be satisfied by a just confutation. Yet because perhaps there are some among them of that sort of people, to whom a word is enough; therefore they may please to consider, ’Tis called onely the Petition of many Free-borne people of this Nation; ’tis not then, by your own confession, of all, or of the major part: remember this, and be modest for once, act not as if you were all. But why many Free-borne People of this Nation? are there any Englishmen that are not Free-borne? why doe you distinguish your selves? what need of that Epithete, while you addresse to the House of Commons, who have asserted, and by the blessing of God upon the Councells and Forces of the Parliament, vindicated the English Freedome from the Common Enemy, under the slavery of whom, by these your dividing distempers, and weake and out-witted designes, you seek to returne, and carry the Kingdome with you.

To give it the more Authority, the prefacing part of it is forc’d to speak Scripture; but not with the Idiome of the Spirit that wrote it, your Hebrew hath much of Ashdod, the breathings of that Spirit are purity and peace; and the fruits of that Spirit are love, joy, peace, and the rest of that Catalogue.

You begin with a sad complaint, that the fire of the Lords wrath hath been among us, which must be acknowledged; and it may be justly conceived it is so still; what meane else the distempers of the people, that will not be healed, and the actings of division, together with the Cries for peace? But to say as you do, that it is almost consumed, were to lie against the truth, and sin against that mercy which he hath remembred in the middest of his wrath. This Kingdome hath found the effects of the rowlings of his bowells, while it hath been under his chastising rod, that bush hath burned, but ’tis not consumed; and ’tis an evidence that God is in it. ’Tis true, in many places of the Land the scarres of great wounds remaine, but not as in Germany; the lands in England are not untilled for want of men, the thistles grow not in the furrowes of the field, the Oxen are yet strong to labour, and the Sheep bring forth their thousands; if you had not intended an ill use of the complaint, the matter would have borne a mixture of thanks: but it seems you had rather God should lose the praise of his mercy, then you would omit this Engine, to move the People to murmure and discontent.

’Tis true, that for injustice and oppression God hath threatned woes, confusion and desolation to any People or Nation; but if your search had been as due as you affirme it was, you might have found other besides those, which you may light upon perhaps, if you would make a review. It is not to be denied, that oppression and injustice cause loud cries to heaven, onely remember justice is to render to every one his owne, and not to doe to another what you would not should be done to you.

The rich may be oppressed as well as the poore, propriety is to be preserved to all: and a poore man that oppresseth the poore, is like a sweeping raine that leaveth no food.

You observe the Kings oppressions and how God hath brought him low, and executed fierce wrath upon his adherents. Why will ye suffer your selves to be abused by those adherents, into those dividing destructive courses whereby you contribute directly to the restoring of the Kings affaires; you are acted by his Counsells, and you will not see it, and every man shall be the Enemy of the people that tels you of it, and if his party shall againe get head to the indangering of the Kingdome, which God forbid, thank your owne petulant importune and unseasonable interpellations of those Councells, by which through the blessing of God, your deliverance had been perfected, if your selves had not hindred; can you believe the Kings Counsells are changed: or that he wants a party waiting an oportunity to bring that upon you which you feare and complaine of? why doe you then give them hope and the Parliament worke, who have yet so much to doe to preserve the vitalls and recover strength, that they cannot attend to prescribe a topike to cure the Morphew on the face? trust them with your cure, and allow it time, over-hasty ones prove palliate ones, and not found. It is the Patients part to declare his griefe, and take his Physick, but he must let the Physitian write the Recipe, if he desires the cure should succeed.

That your Petitions were burned, and your selves imprisoned onely for petitioning, serves to irritate and inrage those whom you have misled and deceived, a Petition may well deserve to be burned and the Petitioners punished, if the matter be unjust, false, scandalous, seditious, read over some of your old copies, and see if there be none of those faults, ’tis true, it is your liberty to Petition, and it is also your duty to acquiesce in the Parliaments jugement upon it; a Petition is to set forth your grievances, and not to give a rule to the Legislative Power, if you meane it shall be an Edict, which you must compose, and the Parliament must verifie, call it no more a Petition.

You say your Estates are expended, how come you then to lay Contributions upon your selves for the promoting these destructive designes: is that the way to reimburse your selves? or is it to enable you to fly to the prime laws of nature for refuge? your Margent will teach the Legislative Power to suspect you, and that if you be not wicked, it is because perhaps you may not have oportunity or strength enough, which it will be therefore their care to prevent: and however perhaps it may be true, that these sad troubles have caused some diminution in your Estates, yet if you had used as much diligence since in your owne callings, as you have done in those you lesse understand, and had let out the current of your thoughts, which have been misimployed about Politiques, to the Oeconomy of your families, the account of losse had not run so high, and your private reflections (if ever you assume the trouble of viewing your selves) had imbraced you with the smiles of a sweeter peace within, and your actions abroad had lesse procured the guilt of others.

Thousands of families you say are impoverished, and mercilesse Famine is entring into your Gates, and therefore You will once more essay to pierce their ears with your dolefull cries for Justice and freedome, before the Parliaments delayes consume the Nation. What justice, what freedom is it you mean? Which of all the particulars in your Petition being granted, will be able to turn this famine you so aggravate, into a plenty? what an odious aspersion is this, to lay upon the Parliament, to make them hatefull to all men? To tell the World in Print, That there is something in their power (for otherwise you say nothing) that they delay, whereby this Dearth and Famine, as you call it, is upon the Kingdom? Have you learned this from those of old? That whenever Famine, Pestilence, or any publicker calamity, invaded the World from the just hand of God, then to cry out, Throw the Christians to the Lions, attributing to them the cause of all, as you do now to the Parliament. Do you not know that the unseasonable seed-time in 1646. and the unkindly Spring following, might well cause a Dearth, which is not yet in England, (through the mercy of God) as it is in other places? And do you think it is in the power of the Parliament to give a Law to the Heavens, to restrain the Pleiades, or loose Orion, to give or withhold rain? can the Parliament make windows in heaven, or create a plenty? Why do you say you care not what, and abuse the people without blushing?

Your large Petitory part in 16 Articles, might well receive a very short Answer, That it offers many things as grievances that are removed, desires many things that are already granted, of which you will take no notice, that you may multiply the Odium, mistake the present state of things, as if all were an unformed matter, or abrasa tabula fitted for the projection of a new modell, or for the compiling of a new body of Laws.

He that will build a City upon a Plain, hath the place obedient to his projections, and succeptible of any form; And if he be not prejudiced by forreign extrinsicall observations, to which he will conform his lines, he may exemplifie the best Ideas his minde offers him: But he that would reedifie or beautifie an old one, will meet with many things that will not submit to pure technicall rules; And where it will not, it is not presently to be pulled down, or set on fire. Rome had a greater beauty and uniformity as it was built by its first Kings, then after the Burning by the Gaules, and Rescue by Camillus, where each man built as it was most Commodious for him, and not as it was most comely, or convenient for the whole: And yet Catiline and his Complices were judged Traytors for designing to burn it, and it was only becoming Nero to put it into flames.

The dispute is not now of what is absolutely best if all were new, but of what is perfectly just as things now stand: It is not the Parliaments work to set up an Vtopian Common-Wealth, or to force the people to practise abstractions, but to make them as happy as the present frame will bear. That wise Lawgiver of old, acknowledged that he had not given his people the Laws that were absolutely best, but the best they were able to receive. The perfect return of health after sicknesse, is to be left to nature and time; he that will purge his body, till there remain nothing peccant, will sooner expell his life, then the cause of his sicknesse. And he that out of a desire to repaire his house, shall move all the foundations, will sooner be buried in the ruines of the old, then live to see the erection of a new structure.

1. You forget that universall rule of Justice (to do as you would be doneby) which is not only one of those con-nate and common Notions which are written in the hearts of all, which every one capable of reason, and under wrong, can quote from that internall writing, though he that inferrs the injury, will not: And it is given also as a Compendium of the Law, and an Universall rule of Christian Practice, by him who is the one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy; To whose Commands and Dictates, whoever will profess contradiction, and pursue a contumacious disobedience, is more worthy the name of a Renegado then a Christian.

Upon forgetfullnesse of this rule it is, that you would by force spoil the Lords of their part of the Legislative power, which they hold by a claim of an older date then any of the Petitioners can shew for their Land: Ask your selves the question, Would any of you be content to be disseized of his Land, to which he can derive a title, or prescribe to for so long a time? And your contumelious expression of Patent Lords might have been spared, seeing the Houses have resolved that none shall be made Peers of Parliament hereafter, but by consent of both Houses, whereby your Representors and Trustees have a Negative voice against any such Creation for the future? Were it not to inlarge this particular beyond what is intended for the rest, you might be informed, That there were Princes of the people, and heads of the Tribes, amongst the Israelites; and the first choyce of them, when they were new come up out of Ægypt, and were then receptive of any form, was not by the people, but by Moses; and as it is expresse of the Priesthood, so it is evident in the rest of the Tribes, that the first of the first line was still Prince of the Tribe.

And the longest lived, best governed, most Potent and florishing Common-wealths that ever the sun saw, have alwayes had their Orders of Nobility or Patricians, in succession from Father to Son, preserved with a kinde of Religion in a cleer distinction from the people: Those two of Old Rome, while a Common-wealth, And Venice at present, are known Examples. But this particular with divers others concerning Government, require a fuller Tractate then this occasionall glaunce.

2. Secondly (besides their right) there is at least a very great conveniency, if not a necessity, that the Legislative power should be in several and distinct bodies for the review of what might else be perhaps at first overseen: There is scarce any man but findes, that revising in the morning his evenings conceptions, he meets with something or other to be added or altered.

3. Are not all Officers and Ministers of Iustice, and all other Civill Officers, all military Officers both by sea and land, chosen, and put into their places, by both Houses of Parliament, wherein, as in all other things, the Commons have a Negative Vote?

4. Is not there a Committee that hath been a good while since appointed to receive Informations of grievances, and propound them with remedies to the House? What addresse have you made to them? Have they refused to take your Informations? Why doe you complain before you have been refused redresse?

5. You complaine of the imprisonment of faithfull and publike spirits, for matters not criminall, and would have no imprisonment to be but for crimes, according to Law. But are there not some actions in these unsetled times that may deserve a punishment, for which no former Law hath explicitely provided any? You would have no man kept in prison longer, than till he be delivered by due course of Law. You know there are two wayes of delivery by due course of Law; And he that hath deserved the one should not complaine he is still a Prisoner; And for what is a Crime, the party guilty is no Judge; it cannot be denyed, that as the Parliament is the supream Judge, so it is the most competent; and if they Judge it necessary, that seditious Incendiaries should be restrained, for the Peace of the Kingdome, must they give an account to the Delinquents of the reason of their Actions?

6. You would have the Lawes in our known tongue, and all writings and proceedings in the present knowne hands; they have been so heretofore; What are you now the better for it? Which of you understand the Saxon Lawes, written in the then vulgar tongue? And the Norman-French, though not they Nationall, yet was very generally understood. And if most of the Petitioners shall look upon the language of two or three Centuries past, they will meet with so many words they understand not, as will disable their understanding of the sense of those they doe. And if those which are in other tongues, were in English, there were a possibility you might mistake them, as well as you doe those that already are so. And if there should be a disuse in the Courts, of writing those hands which now are obsolete to vulgar use, the reading of those hands might in time come to be lost, and thereby a losse of all the Records that are written in them.

7. If any shall denie to doe you Justice, according to Magna Charta, unlesse he may sell it, why doe you not accuse the man? Strike not through all by such oblique insinuations, but let the guilty bear his shame and punishment. You might have taken notice, that the Parliament hath doubled the salaries of the Judges: but to pay all ministeriall Officers from the publick Treasurie, were to waste the States treasure to maintaine the quarrels of the contentious against them that are peaceable.

8. You would have no Judge continue for above three years; What shall he doe the rest of his life? Were not this to put them upon the temptation of the unjust Steward? You will say he may returne to private practice at the Barre againe. Will any of you when he hath set up for himself for the space of three yeares, be content to serve journeyman for the rest of his life? If it be so comely or easie a matter, Why did Lieutenant Colonel Lilburn refuse the Command of a Troup of Horse offered him in the Army of Sir Thomas Fairfax, because he had the title of a Lieutenant Colonel before, And would not accept of lesse than a Regiment? Consider who they are that binde heavie burthens for other men, and grievous to be borne, but themselves will not touch them with one of their fingers.

9. For the buying of Offices; suppose both parties agreed, yet he must have a large purse who can buy of a Parliament, and ’twill be hard where so many must be bribed to be secret in all.

10. For that speedy tryall of offenders; your desire may interferre with Justice, matter cannot be alwayes presently proved, Will you free a man accused of murther done the day before the Assises, because that which hath vehement presumptions, cannot have a legall Evidence till some dayes after.

11. The Monopolies you so much complain of are condemned by Law, You may take your course against any, and no man can hinder you. If there be any Monopolizer in the House, why doe you not declare it to the House, and prove it? Have they not formerly put out some for that offence? if there be none there, that piece might have been spared.

12. You complain, That the Members of the House of Commons are chosen onely by Free-holders, and not by all the free-borne people of the Kingdome. If you conceive it be an Injury to all the rest, that they are chosen only by Free-holders, Consider seriously, and then tell Us, whether it be not an injury to all the rest, that they so chosen must be directed and ordered by you. Tell the world how you came by your Priviledge, To make a Collection of such as this is, of some things good; with a mixture of divers mistakes in the rest, and then magistically obtrude it upon the House, presently to passe and confirme, the highest affront to the Legislative power, and the highest injury to your free-borne fellowes that can be well imagined.

13. You take notice of the shame of the Nation, by the begging of the poor, and it is undeniably a great one, and Peace being setled, the remedy of it were one of the most desirable things to be undertaken, and this Kingdom wants not materialls for industry, and there is not any doubt, that the encouragement of fishing in this Kingdome, might produce it a profit of exceeding value; but doe You not know that the Parliament hath had so hard a taske to preserve the Land, that they have had no time left to improve those advantages of the Sea? neither can they give industry to men, which if any will exercise in it, they may be sure of all acceptation. And certainly that, and divers other things for the good of the Kingdome have been thought upon by the Parliament (though you would faine have the world believe they mind nothing, unlesse You be their remembrancers) and had been in effect before this time, had not such consultations been diverted by the necessity of providing against these, and some other distempers. In the meane time, till care can be taken for prevention of beggery, increase not their number by the addition of your selves; neglect not your Callings, forbear your clandestine Contributions, You may perhaps thrive in your own way, but your unhappy and ill advised Statizing will ruine your selves, and hath a naturall tendency to the ruine of the Kingdome.

14. You complaine of the heavie burthen of the Excise, and there again you pretend to be the Advocates of the poore, but in nothing are you more the Kings Atturneys, That standing and constant Revenue being that, which of all others with greatest case, supplyed the Exigencies of the Warre when it was hottest, and contributed most to the breaking of the Enemy. Every thing must serve to heighten your discontent, and to stirre up the ignorant people. Otherwise tis obvious enough to every discerning eye, that as tis least grievous of all other wayes, because it passeth from a man unseen, so it cannot but be most Equall, because every man is in a sort his owne assessor, it being in his owne power by his frugallity, to reduce it to as small a summe as he please, the greatest burthen of it lying upon things not necessary, lesse necessary, or, if necessary, yet there in such a proportion, as those which are for the use of the richer sort have the greatest imposition, there being nothing but only strong beer, wherein the poore seeme to be touched, which for the too much abuse of it, and that even by the poore, it may justly afford something toward the maintenance of the publick, while it is so deeply accessary to the undoing of many private persons. For that other, that it is the decay of Trade, and the discouragement of all ingenuity and industry, You may, if you will but send some of your Emissaries into the united Provinces, be informed there, That that people could never find a foundation of money for those vast charges they were forc’d to be at, to defend themselves from those who tyrannized their Liberties, and to settle the free State they have since managed, till they had fallen upon the Excise; And that notwithstanding it, their Trade is so growne upon them since, that they have in a great measure engrossed it from the rest of Europe, and yet have little matter to raise it upon, but their Industrie, which is not so discouraged by the Excise, but it produceth that effect, and were worth our Imitation; but there was but a word intended, If twere necessary, there is nothing more easie than to justifie this way of Levie by Excise, before all other wayes whatsoever.

15. You doe very magisterially appoint the House how to regulate their Members, and especially those of the long robe, who by no meanes may exercise their calling, because they are called thither to serve the publique; Other Gentlemen have their rents and profits come in without their owne particular care, and they who have trades can drive them by their partners and servants, only these whose employments must be personall must needs suffer losse in their Estates, because they are Members. And what reason is there why a just Judge, who judgeth according to Law, and proceeds according to the rules of the Court, should be awed by, or afraid of, the person of any, though a Member of the House? for though that House be a Iudge of the Iudges, yet the Judge in his Court is Superiour in that qualification to whosoever pleads at his Barre.

Your Epilogue might have been spared; the first part of it, in regard the Committee You desire hath been long appointed, to whom any man hath Liberty to bring his grievances, and there is doubt they will be received, and their sense of the justnesse and necessity of them be reported to the House, though tis probable ’twill not please you concerning yours, unlesse it be your own sense also.

Your second might be with more Justice retorted; Poore deluded people! When will yee begin to turne a dease Eare to those who seduce you? When will you remember your duty, and come out of your dreame, in which you have believed that you are all the people, and therefore supreame, and have arraigned all men in a suitable Style? Act not a part, dissemble not with Heaven, remember you are in the light and view of omniscience; Complain not of Famine before you feele it, lest you provoke him that can send it. There is a difference between scarcity and Famine. God is the God of order, forbear to endeavour any further to dissolve all government into Confusion, lest you compell the Parliament to prevent it in your just punishment; Remember that God stands in your Clandestine Conciliables, as well as in the Congregation of the Mighty, and as he requires of Magistrates to defend the poore and needy, so he hath also forbidden to countenance a poore man in his cause.

Together with this Petition, there was at the same time brought to the House of Commons, by Colonel Barkstead, another scandalous printed paper, of which two quires had been delivered to one Lazarus Tindall, a private souldier of Captaine Groomes Company, in the Regiment of the said Colonel, the papers were delivered to him, to spread among the souldiers of that Regiment, and that same person that delivered them, told him he should have one thousand of the large Petitions also, to disperse in that Regiment, so soon as they were reprinted, which they were about to do in a smaller leter, for the saving of charges. By which it appears that paper also springs from the same root with the foresaid Petition, of which it also takes notice, and helps to promote the same ends with it; and who ever shall put himselfe to the trouble to read them both, will finde them speak the same Language, and discern the same spirit in them both; and is yet more evident by the latter clause of the first Marginall note, which were Lilburns words to a syllable, at the Barre of the House of Commons; And by that paragraph of the paper, which begins [have you not upon such pretences] &c. which were Wildmans words at that meeting in Well-yard, which is mentioned in Mr. Marstersons relation, and at the Commons Barre; and by the last clause of the next paragraph, which were the words of Lilburn and Wildman, or one of them, at the Barre of the House of Commons, and are also to be found in the Petition it selfe, so as a very dim fight may discerne it to be a Whelp of the same litter.

The mournfnll Cryes of many thousand poor Tradesmen, who are ready to famish through decay of Trade.

Or, The warning Tears of the Oppressed.

OH that the cravings of our Stomacks could be heard by the Parliament and City! Oh that the Tears of our poor famishing Babes were botled! Oh that their tender Mothers Cryes for bread to feed them were ingraven in Brasse! Oh that our pined Carkasses were open to every pitifull Eye! Oh that it were known that we sell our Beds and Cloaths for Bread! Oh our Hearts faint, and we are ready to swoon in the top of every Street!

O you Members of Parliament, and rich men in the City, that are at ease, and drink Wine in Bowls, and stretch your selves upon Beds of Down, you that grind our faces, and flay off our skins, Will no man amonst you regard, will no man behold our faces black with Sorrow and Famine? Is there none to pity? The Sea Monster drawes out the brest, and gives suck to their young ones, and are our Rulers become cruell like the Ostrich in the Wildernesse? Lament. 4.3.

OH ye great men of England, will not (think you) the righteous God behold our Affliction, doth not he take notice that you devour us as if our Flesh were Bread? are not most of you either Parliament-men, Commitee-men, Customers, Excise-men, Treasurers, Governors of Towns and Castles, or Commanders in the Army, Officers in those Dens of Robbery, the Courts of Law? and are not your Kinsmen and Allies, Colectors of the Kings Revenue, or the Bishops Rents, or Sequestratours? What then are your ruffling Silks and Velvets, and your glittering Gold and Silver Laces? are they not the sweat of our brows, & the wants of our backs & bellies?

Its your Taxes, Customs, and Excize, that compells the Countrey to raise the price of food, and to buy nothing from us but meer absolute necessaries; and then you of the City that buy our Work, must have your Tables furnished, and your Cups overflow; and therefore will give us little or nothing for our Work, even what you* please, because you know we must sell for moneys to set our Families on work, or else we famish: Thus our Flesh is that whereupon you Rich men live, and wherewith you deck and adorn your selves. Ye great men, Is it not your plenty and abundance which begets you Pride and Riot? And doth not your Pride beget Ambition, and your Ambition Faction, and your Faction these Civil broyles? What else but your Ambition and Faction continue our Distractions and Oppressions? Is not all the Controversie whose Slaves the poor shall be? Whether they shall be the Kings Vassals, or the Presbyterians, or the Independent Factions? And is not the Contention nourished, that you whose Houses are full of the spoils of your Contrey, might be secure from Accounts, while there is nothing but Distraction? and that by the tumultuousnesse of the people under prodigious oppression, you might have fair pretences to keep up an Army, and garrisons? and that under pretence of necessity, you may uphold your arbitrary Government by Committees, &c.

Have you not upon such pretences brought an Army into the bowels of the City? and now Exchange doth rise already beyond Sea, and no Merchants beyond Sea will trust their Goods hither, and our own Merchants conveigh their* Estates from hence, so there is likely to be no importing of Goods, and then there will be no Exporting, and then our Trade will be utterly lost, and our Families perish as it were in a moment.

O ye Parliament-men hear our dying cry, Settle a Peace, settle a Peace! strive not who shall be greatest untill you be all confounded. You may if you will presently determine where the supream Power resides, and settle the just common Freedomes of the Nation, so that all Parties may equally receive Iustice, and injoy their Right, and every one may be as much concerned as other to defend those common Freedoms; you may presently put down your Arbitrary Committees, and let us be Governed by plain written Lawes, in our own Tongue, and pay your Ministers of Justice out of a common Treasury, that every one may have Justice freely and impartially.

You have in your hands the Kings, Queens, and Princes Revenue, and Papists Lands, and Bishops, and Deans, and Chapters Lands, and Sequestred Lands, at least to the value of eighteen hundred thousand pounds by the year, Which is at least five hundred thousand pounds a year more then will pay the Navy; and all the Army, and the Forces which need to be kept up in England and Ireland; and out of that the Kingdoms debts would be paid yearly; whereas now you run further into Debt daily, and pay one thousand pounds by the day at least for use Money. Besides you may if you will Proclaim Liberty, for all to come and discover to a Committee of disingaged men, chosen out of every County, one for a County, to discover to them what Monies and Treasure, your own Members, and your Sequestrators, &c. have in their hands, and you may by that means find many Millions of Money to pay the publique Debts. You may find 30000. li. in Mr. Richard Darley’s hand, 25000. li. in Mr. Thorpes hand*, a Member of Yours, who first Proclaimed Sir Iohn Hotham Traytor. And thus you may take off all Taxes presently, and so secure Peace, that Trading may revive, and our pining, hungry, famishing Families be saved.

And O ye Souldiers who refused to disband, because you would have Iustice and Freedom, who cryed till the Earth ecchoed, Iustice, Iustice; forget not that cry, but cry speedily for Peace and Iustice, louder then ever. There is a large Petition of some pittifull men, that is now abroad, which contains all our desires, and were that granted in all things, we should have Trading again, and should not need to beg our Bread, though those men have so much mercy, as they would have none to cry in the Streets for Bread.

Oh though you be Souldiers, shew bowels of Mercy and Pity to a hunger-starved People; Go down to the Parliament, desire them to consume and trifle away no more time, but offer your desires for us in that large Petition, and cry Justice, Justice; Save, save, save the perishing People; O cry thus till your importunity make them hear you.

O Parliament men, and Souldiers! Necessity dissolves all Laws and Government, and Hunger will break through stone Walls; Tender Mothers will sooner devour You, then the Fruit of their own womb, and Hunger regards no Swords nor Canons. It may be so great oppressours intend tumults, that they may escape in a croud, but your food may then be wanting as well as ours, and your Arms will be hard dyet. O heark, heark at our doors, how our children cry Bread, Bread, Bread; and we now with bleeding hearts, cry once more to you, pity, pity an oppressed, inslaved People: carry our cries in the large Petition to the Parliament, and tell them, if they be still deaf, the Teares of the oppressed will wash away the foundations of their houses. Amen, Amen, so be it.

It seemes to be written by some of the Professors of Rhetorick in Newgate, or Ludgate, whose long practice of that kind of Oratory had made him as great a stranger to truth, as to blushing. The whole matter of it composed of so grosse an hypocrisie, that it scarce deserves that name; mixed with impudency, and lyes, of the same Genius with the Petition, boldly affirming in generals, and brins gnot forth one particular with proofe. Where are those famishing bakes? and where are those pining carkasses? Why are they not brought forth to the view of some pitifull eye? You cry for pitie, why shew you not the object? Where are those faces black with sorrow and famine? Spend no longer your breath in vaine, Let the famishing pined Carkasses, those black faces be seen, the view gives a deeper impression then heare-say. If you be not of those that have said in their hrarts, There is no God, (though your paper abuse the repetition of that sacred Name) Remember that the al-seeing God beholds your hearts, and knowes your distempers, murmurings, and black designations as well as your wants, And sees with what a frontlesse boldnesse you affirme any thing, be the untruth never so notorious. The language looks more like the ebullition of wine than the cries of want.

You complaine of the rising of the Exchange abroad, that Merchants will not trust their goods hither, and our Merchants convey their Estates. And what is the reason thinke you they doe so? (if the matter of fact be true) Why an Army is brought into the bowels of the City. Doth one Regiment of Horse, and one of Foot make an Army in your account? And is White-hall, and the Mewes, in the bowels of the City? The Parliament hath had a guard these five yares; when it was furnished from the City, and places within the lines, it was held a great grievance. And what security the Parliament had by it was evident on Monday the 26. of Iuly last, when either by the Cowardise, or Complyance of the then guard, so horrid and dishonourable a violence was put upon the Houses by an inconsider able Rabble of people. And what a danger to trade these Regiments are like to be, You might be able to judge, if you would but make an Estimate of the Millions the City suffered in, when the whole Army, whereof these Regiments are a part, marched in Armes through the City, upon the sixt of August, after they had been sufficiently irritated by some of the City: Yet you are not able to bring so much as a loaf of bread to the account of losse to the City by all their march, though the shops were open, and the market furnished.

But you would faine use any pretence to remove these faithfull forces, because you see as long as they are here, you will hardly be able to make use of your pistolls and daggers, or to dissolve all Lawes and Government, or to have recourse to the prime Lawes of Nature. But indeed twere worth the enquirie, what it is that causes this great exporting of Estates, and that hinders all importation, ’tis certainly a disease that must needs destroy, though not in a moment. There hath been a good while a rumour of a pestilence that walketh in darknesse; And hath been known to have infected some that frequent your meetings, and are accounted as your own; and this rumour is not a whispering, it hath spoken almost as loud as some of your Cries for bread, And ’tis the Doctrine of Parity or levelling, bringing all mens Estates to an Equallity; A notion that Merchants, and men of great Trade, are as little edified with, as either the Lords are with being devested of their Honours, and part in the Legislative power, or other Gentlemen to part with their Lands, and therefore having so good meanes to put them out of your reach, which other men have not, may perhaps transport them, not willing their large personall Estates should come under your Distribution, from which there an be no recovery. And if you thinke that Merchandize be good for the Kingdome, and if you have any care of that good, you must consider how to satisfie Merchants, that you intend not to levell; for their Trade runs such an hazzard, and must be managed with such a diligence, and industry, as will hardly receive incouragement from your Vtopian parity. And however the Croud of those that follow you intend no such thing, but thinke these are wayes to secure their own property; yet just suspition is upon many of you. And tis not your bare deniall will serve, good words will not satisfie. You know who said Hayle Master, when the salutation was a watchword. It might be thought there would be nothing of greater deferency and respect, than the addresse of your Petition in the superlative inscription, yet Lilburn told you at the meeting in VVellyard, that when you had once raised the spirits of the people, you would then force the House to grant what you ask. Confide not in your present intentions, remember Hazael. There is not the most clear and Candid soule amongst you that knowes to what (now abhorred) actions he may be driven by the violence of the people, if that Sea shall once break over his bankes, and twill not be then in their power to stop, but only is his that calmeth the Sea and rebuketh the raging of the people, who can say to both, hitherto shalt thou come and no further, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed. But to passe by all the rest, be perswaded to examine the truth of fact with a little more care when you compose your next seditious Harangue; You may take notice, how ill your intelligence hath been in this; It’s possible indeed, much of the publique money may be in Collectors, Receivers, and sequestrators hands, and it were a meritorious service to the Common-wealth to discover it, and would no doubt be of universall acceptance; but be sure you be rightly inform’d, accuse no man falsly, specially in print, ’tis against Charity, to which Grace no Christian should be a stranger. Bring the particulars and proofes to the House, that a course may be taken to bring that money in to supply the necessities of the Common-wealth, which are great; some paines taken to the purpose in this service, will be more worth than all your Petitioning. But for these particulars here produced, they are so farre from truth, as makes your whole paper suspected to proceed from the Father of lyes. You say there is 25000. l. in Mr. Thorps hands, a Member of the House of Commons. He was never appointed or authorised Treasurer, or Collector of any publique moneys, either by the Parliament, or any Committee, or any others, nor ever received one penny of the publique moneys. Mr. Richard Darley was indeed appointed to receive some moneys in the East riding of Yorkeshier, But he never received more himselfe than sixty three pound or therabouts, which was upon occasion of calling the Sequestrators of Beverly to account; At which time his Deputy receiver, Mr. Richard Thornton, being not there, he received it himselfe, and put it to account. All other moneys were received by his said Deputy, who hath from time to time paid out the same, according to such Orders as he received for that purpose. Mr. Darley knowes not particularly what is at present in his Deputies hand, in regard he is here at London, attending his service in the House of Commons, and his Deputy is in Yorkeshier, neither yet can he tell whether he may not have already accounted with the Committee of the County; how ever he knowes it cannot be any great summe, and the account for the whole is ready, when it shall be called for. And so is also the money remaining, when Order shall be given for it. But your famous mistake, is that of your margent concerning Mr. Speaker, The truth of which story upon through inquiry, instead of what you have Printed, is clearly thus, That Mr. William Lenthall Speaker of the House of Commons, never purchased Land, either in his own, or any other mans name since these troubles; neither did Mr. Cole purchase any for him; Mr. Cole died not suddenly, but of a Fever, and that after ten or twelve days sicknes; his wife is still a widdow, and not married either to Lawyer, or any other; there is no sute against her by Mr. Speaker, nor cause of any. You say an hundred such discoveries might be made as this latter, and indeed its true, they may be done with great ease, it is but to sit down and write an hundred particulars what comes upermost, taking only care there be never a true word in them, which the suggestor of this will easily enable you to do, and then there will be an hundred such discoveries made; but indeed he that would take paines to examine both your Petition, and this Paper, and had so little to do with precious time, as so to imploy it, might finde among your Complaints, Suggestions, & Calculations, some convenient number of truths of the same Complexion with these: But as you may know the Lion by his claw, so you may know the Devill by his tongue, he is a liar, and the Father of lies; and certainly this your mistaken confidence may be sufficient to command belief from such as are content to be deceived in all your Generals, for information in which, it is not credible you would take more care, then in these particulars, which both concerned the reputation of particular Gentlemen, and whereof the truth might be inquired out. But now how will you do these Gentlemen right in this, and give them reparations? perhaps your scandalous Paper, by the great diligence of your selves, and Emissaries to spread them, may come to many hands where their just defence may not follow, and perhaps they may escape more proper uses, so as to remain when the Gentlemen shall be at rest, and be a black Epitaph upon their innocency, and an unjust and unworthy Blot upon their fair reputation. If any man shall after this be misled by these guides, it will not be an easie matter to undeceive him, but he is to be Pitied, as one of those who being fallen out with truth, is given up to strong delusions to beleeve a lye. Be yet advised not to seign a necessity, and hold out that as a Vail to your Resolution to dissolve all Laws of Government, it may confound propriety, and levell Estates, the thing perhaps that some aime at: But it may cause a promiscuous mingling of blood too, and in such a confusion as you seek to introduce, it is not impossible you may lose your own in the Croud. Call not up therefore more spirits then you know how to conjure down, &illegible; Spels may fail you, there may be some have Pistols and Daggers, that neither care for your Spels nor you, nor your Petition neither. While you plot tragedies, and indeavor thus to bring them upon the Stage, take heed there enter not some who will neither take their &illegible; from your Prompter, nor Act according to your Poets design.

We shall adde noe further trouble to the Reader, and indeed very much of this might have been spared, as to those who have their parts exercised to diseern good and evill. The evill of this is so written, that they that run might read it, if prejudice did not blinde them, if perhaps there be not also some that do not see, because they will not see; but because there are some, who in the simplicity of their hearts, have followed those Impostors, let them suffer themselves to make halt in this furious march, and a little to consider their leader, and then think whither they are going; let them take a measure of Lilburn by his books filled with falshoods and bitternesse; by his ingratitude to those who have obliged him, by that behaviour in the House of Lords, that wants a name; by the &illegible; and Daggar he speaks of, by which murder was designed, which he cals a noble resolution, by his company, the most desperate Malignants, by their opinion of him, as being wholly the Kings, by all these Actions which tend to stir up the people, to force the power which your Petition acknowledgeth supream, and thereby to dissolve all Government, and mingle all with ruine; then judge impartially, if this be the Character of a Christian, or a Banditte; of a man acted and guided by the Spirit of God, or moved and driven by the Devill: And think if it be becoming men professing Religion to be found in these wayes. To be Religious is no more in despising farms then in adoring them, The power of it is in Conforming the will of man to the will of God, and in all the goings out of that will, either into affection, or action, with an unreserved resignation to give up tho man to be guided still by the &illegible; rule of truth and gooddesse, of which there is sufficions, and cleerely enough laid down in the word of truth, for direction in all things to him that humbly seeks it, of which You should have made more use in sincerity and humility to direct your selves, and lesse in prevaricating and misapplyng it with a spirit of bitternesse, to make it serve for the language in which you would falsly accuse, not your brethren, but your confessed Superiours. Be perswaded to study to be quiet, and doe your owne businesse, to live in peace, and the God of love and peace shall he with you; and leave the publique affaires to those, to whom God and the Kingdome hath committed them; abuse not lenity, but make use of thus much for your faire retreat, and charge no more, nor undertake any further to &illegible; till you be a great deale better studied in, and have more universall comprehension of, that very important, and yet very little known art of Sintizing.



 [a ] Anns 5. 9, 10. 11. 12. Micah 1. 2. 3. Micah 3. 3. 4. 9. 10. 11. 12. Habba 2. 8. 17 &illegible; 3. 3.

 [b ] See the Remonstrance of the State of the Kingdom, Decem. 1641. p. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15.

 [c ] See the Kings Answer to the Parliaments Remonst. of May 19 1642. 1 part book Decla. page 254, 284, 285. See the Kings Answer to the Parl. Decla of May 26. 1641. page 298.

 [d ] See the Ordinance for the Militia, Feb. 1641. 1 book Decla. page &illegible; & pa. 96, 105, 106, 114, 126, 175, 176, 182, 243, 289, 292.

 [e ] See the Parliaments Votes May 20, 1642 1 part Book Decla, 219, see also page 509, 576, 577, 580, 584, 617.

 [f ] See the Kings Decla. of the 12 Aug. 1642. 1 part book Decla. page 522, 526, 528, 548, & pa. 617.

 [g ] See 1 part book decla. pa. 44. 150, 382, 466, 637, 690.

 [h ] See Col. Nath. Fines his Speech against the Bishops Canons, made in &illegible; in a book called Speeches and Passages of Parliament, from 3 Nove. 1640. to June 1641, page 50. 51, 52.

 [i ] See your Remonstrance of the state of the kingdom, book decla. pag, 6, 8. See also the Acts made this Parliament, that abolished the Starchamber and High Commission.

 [k ] See the Statute of Westmin. 1, made 3 Edw. 1 chap. 26, & 20 Edw. 3, 1, and the judges oath made in the &illegible; Edw. 3, Anno 1344, recorded in &illegible; collections of &illegible; fol. 144.

 [l ] See the 29, &illegible; of Magna Charta, and &illegible; Ed. Cooks &illegible; position up it, in his 2, part instit. fol. 187, and the Petition of Right.

 [m ] See the Petition of &illegible; made in the 3 of the King, & Sir Edward COOKS 2 par, insti. fol. 52, 53, 589, 590, 591.

 [n ] See Psal 15, 4.

 [o ] See Rom 4, 15.

 [p ] See the &illegible; Edw. 3, 15, &illegible; 1 Con. 14, 7, 11, 16, 19, 23. See also the English Chronicles, in the Raign of Wil. the &illegible;.

 [q ] See Deut 30, 12, 13, 14.

 [r ] See Sir Ed. Cook in his 1 part insti. lib, 3 chap 13, Sect, 701, fol, &illegible; where he &illegible; declares it was the native & ancient Rights of all Englishmen, both by the Statute & Common Law of England, to pay no Fees at all to any Administrators of justice &illegible; See also 2 part insti. fol, 74, 209, 210, and 176, and he there gives this Reason, why Judges should take no fees of any man for doing his office, because he should be face, and at liberty to do justice, and not to be settered with golden fees, as setters to the subvertion or suppression of truth and justice.

 [s ] See the Articles of high treason in our Chronicles against Iudg Tresilian, in Rich. the seconds time.

 [t ] See 1 part book decla. p. 9.

 [u ] See Sir Edward Cook 1 part Insti. lib. 3 Cha. 7. sect. 438 fol. 260. who expresly saith, that imprisonment must be a safe custody, not a punishment; and that a prison ought to be for keeping men safe, not to punish them See also a par. instit. fol. 589. 590. 591.

 [w ] See the Statute of the &illegible; E. 3. 2. 12 R. 2. 10.

 [x ] See 1 part book decl. pa. 14.

 [y ] See the Armies last Representation to the House.

 [z ] 28. Edw. 1 Chap. &illegible; &illegible; and 13. See 2 part Instit. fo. 174-175 where Sir Ed. Cook positively declares that in ancient times by the common law of England, the Coroner, the high Sheriff, Iustices of Peace, Verdetors of Forests yea and in times of war, the leaders of the Counties soldiers, were chosen in ful county by the freeholders.

 [a ] It hath been a &illegible; me amongst the wisest Legislators, that whosoever means to settle good Laws, must proceed in them with a sinister, or evil opinion of all mankind; and suppose that who soever is not wicked, it is for want of &illegible; & that no State can be wisely confident of any publick minister continuing good longer then the Rod is over him.

 [b. ] See your Declaration of May 19. 1642 1 book dec. pag. 207. And your Declaration Nov. 1642. pa. 728. as also pa. 150.

 [c ] Psal. 83. 1, 2, 3, 4.

 [* ] And since the late Lord Mayor Adams, you have put in execution art illegall wicked docree of the Common Councels whereby you have taken our goods from us. If we have gone to the Inns to fell them to country men; and you have murdered some of our poor wives that have gone to Innes to finde country men to buy them.

 [* ] The Merchants have already kept back from the Tower, many hundred thousand pounds, and no bullion is brought into the Tower, so that mony will be more scarce daily.

 [* ] M. William Lenthall, Speaker of the House, to cover his cozenage, gave 22000 li. to his servant Mr. Cole, to purchase land in his own name, though for his use; which he did, and then died suddenly, and the land fell to his son, and the widdow having married a Lawyer, keeps the land for the childes use, and saith he knows not that his predecessor received any mony from the Speaker, and now Mr. Speaker sueth in Chancery for the land. A hundred such discoveries might be made.

5.8. John Lilburne, The Peoples Prerogative and Priviledges (17 February, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

John Lilburne, The Peoples Prerogative and Priviledges, asserted and vindicated, (against all Tyranny whatsoever.) By Law and Reason. Being A Collection of the Marrow and Soule of Magna Charta, And of all the most principall Statutes made ever since to this present yeare, 1647. For the preservation of the peoples Liberties and properties. With cleare proofs and demonstrations, that now their Lawes and Liberties are nigher Subvertion, then they were when they first began to fight for them, by a present swaying powerfull Faction, amongst the Lords, Commons, and Army, that have already de facto, levelled our Lawes and Liberties to their Arbitrary and Tyrannicall Wills and pleasures, so that perfect Vassalage and Slavery (by force of Armes) in the nature of Turkish janisaries, or the Regiments of the Guards of France, is likely (to perpetuitie) to be setled, if the people doe not speedily look about them, and act vigorusly for the preventing of it. Compiled by Lievt. Col. John Lilburne, prerogative Prisoner in the Tower of London, and published by him for the instruction, information and benefit of all true hearted English-men.
London, Printed in the yeare, when some of the mercinary Officers and Souldiers of Sir Thomas Fairfaxes Army, that were pretendedly raised for to fight for the Liberties and Freedomes of England, avowedly drew their Swords at the House of Commons doore, to destroy those that really stood for their Lawes and Liberties, 1647.

Estimated date of publication

17 February, 1648

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 593; Thomason E. 427. (4.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

To all the peaceable and well minded people of the Counties of Hartfordshire and Buckinghamshire, who desires present peace, freedome, justice, and the common right and good of all men, but more particularly, to all those honest Nown substantive men, that were the promoters and managers of that affectionate Petition for my self, and Mr. Richard Overton, to the House of Common, (about 12. moneths agoe, which is printed in the 10. and 11. pag of the second edition of our book called the Outcryes of oppressed Commons.) But in a most especiall manner to my honest friends, in and about Watford, that lately were in trouble severall Sessions at St. Albons, for not comming to their parish Church to heare Common prayer, &c.

WOrthy Gentlemen, and dearest Country-men. The sencible knowledge of the sufferings of you last named, by your severall times sending to me, and comming to me for advice, drew out my heart according to my weake talent, to bend my braines to the study of something that might be for the effectually future good of yours, (to whom I have so many indeared obligations,) and all the rest of your neighbours, which I here present unto your &illegible; acceptation in this following discourse, or small collection of Statutes, being necessitated to acquaint you, that J have not a little been tossed and tumbled by the mallice of corrupt minded men (who because their deeds are evill, and therefore cannot endure they should come to the view of the Sun) and the presses have been as much as I, or else you bad some weeks ago bad it presented in print to your view, but being (upon the &illegible; of Ian. last,) by the House of &illegible; clap. by the beeles for traiterous and seditious practises against the State, that is to say (is I interpret it) for my carnest and honest endeavouring to promote a righteous, iust, and gallant petition (for the good of my poore Country) which I sent unto you some weeks agoe with a letter, which letter apartly for my vindication, I am necessited bert to insert; which thus followeth virbatum.

WOrthy Gentlemen and deare Friends. The ferveney of your love to me, and your endeavours for my freedome, by petitioning the Parliament, hath taken such deep impression upon my heart that I cannot but often renew my thankfull acknowledgement, and study to serve you in particular, while I endeavour to serve my whole Country in Generall. And truly the best service that I can doe you in this iuncture of time, in my opinion is to study your peace: For if the red Horse of Warre should againe enter into our gates, the paile Horse of famine will certainly tread upon his beeles, and then nothing can be expected but desolation, now the only effectuall meanes to establish your peace, is the healing of &illegible; and that only can be effected by uniting in the common principles of freedome and &illegible; and for that end is the Petition which I have sent you framed, certainly if all the people did but &illegible; the freedome which we petition for opened. And if you did informe them, that those you account the price of your blood, and that you should never disagree nor think any thing worth a war, if those principals of freedom & justice were setled, & if it were cleared to them of how great concernment it is to &illegible; the &illegible; settlement of those, if I say some paines were taken in this may, I am perswaded all people would ioyne together as one man, to cry &illegible; to the Parliament for establishing those foundations of iustice and freedome, that their peace might be secure to them.

O my friends, that God would give you light and power, to see and endeavour after the things which belong to your peace and freedome, before they be bid from your eyes, there is now an opportunity and if this be neglected, I &illegible; God will not be trust us with another, and in reason if we doe not act speedily and &illegible; it will be impossible to prevent Warre and confusion. Now in your actings in this businesse, I desire if my advice might be of any weight with you.

First, that in such places as you cannot gaine liberty to have the Petition read on the first day in the week in the meeting house, there desire as great a meeting of the people some other day as you can get, and read the Petition, and explain it, and then select some active men as Trustees, to take care for gaining subscriptions. 2. Engage as many persons as possible you can, to come to London with the Petition, and to try resolutely to the Parliament, Iustice, Iustice, and we intend to give you notice when we intend here to deliver it, that at the same time you may come up. 3. If you can chuse an Agent to reside here at London constantly to give you constant Intelligence of all affaires and to send you books for your information, bought by a publique stock, which you should be trust with your Agent, J conceive this would be of great concernment to your peace and welfare. I have no more to trouble you with at present, but only to tender you the service of. London this 8th. of Janu. 1647.

Your most faithfull servant that now
againe earnestly desires you with all your might to promote
the Petition.

Iohn Lilburne.

A proeme, to the following collection and discourse.

WHen Israel would turne their backs upon God, (who alone was their King, 1 Sam. 10. 19. & chap. 12. v. 12. 17. 19.) and be like all the Heathen and Pagan natitions round about them, to have a King to rule over them. Deut. 17. 14. God himself layes this expresse command upon them, that they shall in any wise set a King over themselves, from amongst their brethren, and that they shall not in any wise set a stranger over them, which is not their brother, but (saith God) he shall not multiply Horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Ægypt (that is to say, to vassalage, slavery, or the house of bondage.) Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turne not away, neither shall he greatly multiply to himself, silver & Gold.

And it shall be when he siteeth upon the Throne of his Kingdome, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book, out of that which is before the Priests the Levies. And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the dayes of his life, that he might learne to seave the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law, and these statutes and do them. That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, (marke that well) and that he turne not aside from the commandement, to the right hand or to the left. Deut. 17, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

Here is a cleare declaration by God himself, that Kings (the single greatest of Magistrates,) are not to walke (and act upon the people) by the rules of their own wills, but by the law of God, which is as binding to them as the meanest of the people, (and for my part I say and aver, that, that man (whether King or Parliament man) that declares himself to be lawlesse, was never in that condition of Gods creation but of the Divils (And pertinent to this purpose is the comp aint of our antient English Lawyer Andrew Horne, in his Mirror of Iustice in English, ch. 5. Sect. the first, division the first, and second, pag. 225. where complaining of the abusions of the Common law, he saith, the first and chiefe abusion is, that the King is above the law, whereas he ought to be subiect to it, as it is contained in his oath. Which as Sir Richard Hutton, one of his own Iudges in his Argument in Mr. Iohn Hampdens case against Sip-money, pag. 32. (which argument was made before this Parliaments doctrine was broached) saith, that by the Kings Oath, he agrees to give consent to such lawes, as shall (in Parliament) be profounded for the profit and good of the Kingdome, and he further declares, that he is to rule and govern thereby, see also the petition of Right in the following pages, 1. 2, So that by this it clearely appeares, that in his own imagination, nor the opinion of his Iudges, he is neither omnipotent nor unlimited, but his office is an office of trust, conferred upon him for the good of the people. And therefore saith our forementioned Author (Andrew Horne ibim.) the second abuse of the common Law is, That whereas Parliaments ought to bee for the salvation of the soules of Trespassors, twice in the yeare at London, that they are there but very sildome, &illegible; at the pleasure of the King, for subsidies and collections of Treasure, &c. And the Act made the first yeare of this Parliament, in the 16. of the present King, called an Act for the preventing of inconveniences hapning by the long intermission of Parliaments, expresly saith.

Whereas by the Lawes and Statutes of this Realm, the Parliament ought to beholden at least once every yeare, for the redresse of Grievances &c. Which Lawes and Statutes are the 4. Ed. 3. 14. & 36. Ed. 3. 10. (which are printed &illegible; in the following discourse, pag. 9. 12.) and which are expresly ratified and confirmed to be duly kept and observed. In which Acts the Parliament are prescribed their worke what to doe, which is to maintaine the Lawes, and redresse the mischiefes and grievances that dayly happen, but not in the least to our destroy Lawes, unlesse they give us letter for them, nor to make our mischiefes and grievances greater, nor to rob and poule the Kingdome of their treasure by taxations, Excize, &c. and then share it by thousands and ten thousands amongst themselves, which is expresly against the Lawes of the kingdome, for Fee fies in trust, (and they are no more at most,) by the Law of this Land, can give nothing to themselves, and therefore their sharing (as daily they &illegible;) the Common wealths money amongst themselves, is no better then absolute state robbery, against whom an indictment, or an Action of recovery, (if not of death, ought in equity and reason to lye as well as against &illegible; and cheating servants and stewards. And for them for ever to thither themselves from the lash and stroak of justice, or for ever from being called to accompt, for all their Cheats, Robberies, and murthers, by getting the Kings hand to an Act to make them an everlasting Parliament, no more lyes in the Kings power Justly and legally to do, then to give them power to make usual absolute Vassels and Slaves, and to destroy all our Lawes, libertys and propertys, and when they have so done, then to cut the throats of all the men in England besides themselves, therefore it behoves the people to keep up the interest of a Parliament, but yet annually at least to chuse new Parliament ment, to call their predicessors to a strick accompt, and for my part I conceive that not onely by the rules of equity and reason, but by the strength of the Law of the land, (which requires a Parliament to be chosen and held at least ouce every yeare) the people that are willing in the severall Sheires, Cities and Burrowes, may call home their Parliament men; and send new ones in their places to call them to accompt; and to make Laws to punnish such betrayers of their trust, as men, as full of unnaturalnesse, as those that murder and kill their owne fathers; which is an act abhorred even amongst bruts, and yet this very thing is acted upon us by the grandees amongst our trustees; who themselves have told us, that it is as old a law, as any is in the Kingdom, that the Kingdome never ought to be without a meanes to preserve it selfe, 1. part book decl. pag. 207. & pag. 690. And that those things which are evell in their owne nature, cannot be the subject of any command, or induce any obligation of obedience upon any man, by any authority whatsoever, 1. par book pecl. pag. 201. & pag. 150. And therefore, the conclusion that I draw from Gods subjecting of all men equally alike to his law, is by way of advice to all my Countrymen, earnestly to prosecute the obtaining the things desired in the 3 first heads of our great Petition especially (for promoting of which, I am lately as a trayter committed by the House of Commons) that the powers of King, Parliament and people may be destinctly and particularly declared and setled, that we may be no longer in confusion, by having the little ones to be subject to the punishment of the law, & the great ones to be (subject to none, but their lusts & the law of ther own wils, & therfore I do with confidence beleeve those expressions of my imprisoned Comrade Mr. Iohn Wildman in the 11. pag. of his late masculine English peace called truths &illegible; or treachery anatomized, where he saith, that he beleeves the freedome of this Nation will &illegible; be secured, until the extent of the power and trust of the peoples representatives, and the peoples reservations to themselves be clearly declared in reference to the Legislative power.

And for my particular, after the grand and superlative Apostacie of so tall a &illegible; as Lievt. Gen. Cromwell pretended to be, for the liberties and freedomes of the people of this nation? I shall never hereafter in state affaires, (for his sake) trust either my father, brother, or any other relations I have in the world, but shall always to all I converse with, inculcate the remembrance of that &illegible; &illegible; truth or mixime, recorded in the margent of our forementioned large Petition, which is “That it hath been a maxime amongst the wisest Legislators that whosoever meanes to settle good lawes, &illegible; proceed in them with a &illegible; opinion of all mankind, and suppose that whosoever is not wicked, it is for want only of the opportunitie, And that no state can wisely he confident of any publique Ministers continuing good, longer then the rods is held over there heads.

Now as God hath made all men subject to his lawes alike, so in the.

Second place, he hath been very share, positive, and &illegible; in his lawes: see Gen. 2. 17. and 9. 5. 6. &illegible; 20. see also the the 10. 11. 13. 14. pages of my Epistle to Iudge Reeves edition the 2. where these particulars are largely and pithly discursed.

But Iuglers, deceivers, deluders, and Tyrants’s study how to make their Lawes ambiguous and doubtfull, that so the people may continually be together by the eares, in the true understanding of them, that so the mysterious and jugling lawyers (who are the principall makers of them) may under pretence of opening them, continualy pick the peoples pockets, with a kind of Hocus Pocus or Clenly conveiance; and have made them so voluminous, that it shal be almost impossible for an ordinary man ever to reade them over, or if he doe reade them over vet, it shall be impossible for an ordinary braine to carry all the contradictions of them, one against another in his head.

Thirdly, Go I gave all his lawes, and the proceedings therein to his people, in their owne mother tongue, and commanded them to teach them to their Children and Servants (and that their Iudges that did execute them, should sit openly in the Gates) and judged it farre below, and beneath that Iustice that is inherant in him, to give his Lawes, or any proceedings in them; so unto his people, that it was impossible for the most of them, to know them, read seriously so proofe hereof. I the forementioned pages of my Epistle to Iudg Reeves, for writing of which al my present troubles are come upon me.

But juglers, deceivers, deluders, and tyrants, will have their lawes not in the peoples mother tongue, but will have them put into Lattin, or French; that so the people that are governed by them, may never come to understand them,* that so their lives liberties and estates may be at the wills of those &illegible; ride and tyrannise over them, (as Mr. Daniel in his history well observes the people were in Will, the &illegible; time,) and if possible they git their pleadings to be it English, as the people of this Kingdome did theirs (with much strugling in Edward the thirds time) as appeares by that remarkable statute of the 36. Ed. 3. chap. 15. printed in the following discourse page 12. yet they shall be fettered with this bondage, that their ent eyes proces, and procedings shall be in Lattin, and that in such a hand, that not one lattin scholler in twenty shall reade them, and if any follow the command of God, to teach the people the understanding of &illegible; Lawes; O cry the knaves and tyrants like Bishop Gardiner in the book of Marters, open this doore and we are all destroyed; and therefore by any meanes suppresseall such schooles as Henry the third did those schooles, that were in his dayes set up to teach the people the knowledge of Magna Charta; as Sir Edward Cook well declares, in the 3. page of his proeme to his 2. part institutes. And therefore it is that those makke bate firebrand Lawyers in the House of Commons; have bin so transendently active, to hurne and truth in peeces all such honest, and just petitions as have desired our lawes and proceepings therein, may be put into a short plain and easie to be understood method in the English tongu, yea an have made it their study, to grinde to powder the promoters of all such iust & honest, etition as they and their accomplisses &illegible; did in Mr. Iohn Wildmans case and mine, and indeed to speak truly without feare, they are the grand supporters of all corrupt interests in the Kingdome, that make it their study to keepe the people in bondage, and vassolage, and therefore O ye Commons of Enland as one man cry out by petition, speedily to the Parliament; to throw them all out of the House as unsavery salt never to sit there any more unlesse as assistance, who I will maintaine it with my life, have been and still are, (for the preservation of their owne corrupt interest) no small instruments, in the by past and present subversion of our liberties; and occasion of the blood shed, and late warre in the Kingdome, and the main hinderers of the granting, setling and accomplishing, of those many just and righteous things that hath so often bin petitioned for to the Parliament, though hither to all in vaine. O therefore cry, and cry mightily against them as the vermine of the House and Common-wealth.

But because I have longed and still doe, to have this collectio abroad, I shall draw towards a conclusion: and let my Country men here reape the benefit of the answer I sent to the querys of some of my friends, mentioned in the Epistle Dedicatory (which was the originall and principall occasion of my compiling this book) which thuz followeth.

By the statute of Westminster the first, made in the 3. of Edward 1. chap. 26. (which you may reade verbatim in the 7. page of the following collection) their are no fees due from any free man of England to any Officer of Iustice whatsoever, but what they have immediatly from the publique treasure of the Kingdom, for ther sallories or wages; and it is against a Iudges Oath to take any: whose oath you may at large read in the 10. page following, read also that remarkable page in the merror of Iustice pag. 258. 233. for the proof of this, but especially read the marginall notes in the 69. page following and he that exacts any, shal by the formencioned statue pay back again twice as much &c. but it is true by some latter statues (as the 23. Hen. 6. chap. 10. which you may reade verbatim in the 18. 19. following pages) and 33. Hen. 6. 12. and 21. Hen. 7. 17. &c.) there are some small fees to be paid. And also Sir Edward Cook in the 1. part of his institutes (lib. 3. chap. 13. sect. 70. fol. 368.) saith such reasonable fees as have been allowed by the Courts of justice of an ancient time, to inferior ministers and attendants of Courts for their labour and attendance if it be asked and taken of the subject it is no extortion.

But there is none at all due for entring and recording of apperance, nor for the removing upon a Certionary.

But against Sir Edward Cooks opinion in this particular, I offer this to consideration, that by the Petition of right the King himselfe with all his Lords, cannot justifiably lay a penny upon; (nor take a penny from) the meanest man in England, without common consent in Parliament and if the King &c. the greater cannot doe it, then undeniably the Iudges or justices the lesser can much lesse doe it. And besides by the same right, that under pretence of dues or fees by their arbitrary wills and pleasures, they take one farthing from you or me, they may take a penny, yea a shilling, ye a pound, yea a thousand pound, and so ad infinitum, and so Levell and destroy al properrity of meum & tuum; [see for the power of an act of Parliament, the notable arguments of Iudg Hutten & Iudg Cooks in the case of ship money, but especialy the Parliaments votes annexed to those arguments] for which very thing divers of the Iudges in the case of ship money, were this very Parliament impeached of Treeson, and the Bishops for makeing their cannons by the Kings single authority to binde their Cleargies purffes without authority of Parliament, were for that and the like defund of all their power.

a. The presentment is often brought in English; but it it must be entred and recorded in lattin by the statute of the 16. Ed. 3. 15. which you may reade in the 12. following page and no processe is to be awarded, but af- the presentment is entred and recorded in lattin; &c. the presentment must mention the offence, and so &illegible; the writ or processe, as clearly appeares in the last forementioned most notable and remarkable stature; see also Sir, Edward Cooks second part instituts upon the 29. chap, of Magna Charta fol. 51. 52. 53. see Vox plehis page 37. and the merror of Iustice chap. 5. sect. 1. division 98. page 238, nay the last author (in his 233. page division 71.) saith that it is abuse of the Common Law, that any plaint is received to be heard without sureties present, to testifie the plaint to be true.

3. The Iustices siting upon the bench, may verbally commit a man for an offence Iying under their cognizance, but there must be a &illegible; or Commitment entred upon Record: See the 14. Henry 7. fol, 8. in Sir, Thomas Greenes case. See also the 70. page of the following discourse.

4. The Iustices of peace cannot continue a man bound above two or three Sessions at most, and if they continue him more, they may as well continue him for thirteen, and so for thirteen score, for it is a vexation, and the Law gives him remedie, by an action of the case, against the Iustices, wherein they shall be fined to the King for the vexation, and pay damages to the partie Plaintiffe.

5. An Indictment for extortion, must be in the proper County before the Iustices of Oyer and Terminer, or Iustices of the peace.

6. Vpon an arrest, the Officer must declare at whose suit, for what, and what returne the processe hath, see the Countesse of Rutlands case of arrest, in the sixt part of Cookes Reports.

7. For a Plea against an Indictment, for not comming to Church to heare Common Prayer, &c. It is framed to your hand, in the 20, 21, 22, 23. pages of my large Fo. &illegible; to Col. Henry Martin of the 31. of May, 1647. called Rash Oaths, to which I referre you.

8. Thougo you be committed justly and legally, be sure as soon as you are committed (if possible you can) proffer legall Baile, in person to those that commit you, but for this I wholly referee the Reader to the 70, 71, 72. pages of the following discourse, in which I have given some directions to my Country men, how to guide themselves by the rules of the Law of England, in all ordinary molestations that can befall them, by &illegible; malicious men, or Tyrants, saving in the point of panniling of Iurica upon them, in case they come to any triall for their lives, &c. and for that point, I doe wholly referre the Reader to the 24, 25, 26. pages of my notable book called the Resolved mans resolution (where also the cheats and illegallities of Committees procedings are anotamised) and to the 1. part of Sir Edward Cooks Inst. lib. 2. chap. 12. Sect. 234, fo. 156, 157. and his 3. part fo. 32. 33. My &illegible; herein I &illegible; may find a courteous acceptation at the hands of my oppressed friends and Country-men, and I have my reward, and shall therein reioyce, and be incouraged for the future improvement of my poore talent to doe them further service.

From my causelesse captivitie in the Tower of
London, upon a now account, this 17, of Feb.

Iohn Lilburne.

For upon the 19. of Ian. last, the House of Commons committed me to prison, as their prisoner, for treasonable and seditious practises against the state. And unto the power of the House in committing me J stooped, but at their doore desired to be committed by a legall Warrant, which by their own Law (published in Sir Edward Cooks institutes) Votes, and Ordmances, all warrants of commitments whatsoever ought expresly to containe the certaine particular case, wherefore a man is committed, and ought to conclude, and him safely to keep till he be delivered by due course of Law, and for the full proof of this, read the 68, 69. pages of the following discourse, and the 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. pages of Mr. Iohn Wildmans late defence, called Truths Triumph, or Treachery anotamised.

But if the Warrant be in generall words, and be also to keep him during their pleasure, and made by the Parliament, the prisoner is murthered and destroyed by such an imprisonment. For he must either stoop to their wills, and so betray his liberties and sin against his own soule, or else he must remaine in prison till he strave and rot, before any Iudge in Westminster Hall will grant him a Habeas Corpus to bring him up to the batre of Justice, either to receive his punishment according to Law, or else his liberties as uniustly imprisoned, and this made me the other day at the House of Commons, to contest for a legal warrant, before I would goto Prison; but that mercinary Turkish Ianisary, Col. Baxster laid violent hands upon me, telling me expresly he was not either to reason or dispute the Houses commands, but to obey them; & caused his Soldiers to draw their swords upon me, & in halling of me away by force & violence he stabed Magna Charta, & the Petition of Right & c. to the very heart and soule, & did asmuch as in him lyes, by that act destroy all our Lawes and liberties, for if authority must be backt with the sword, to put in execution all their unjust commands, then farwell all law and liberty forever, and accursed be the day, that ever the Parliament raised an Army to fight for the preservation of our lawes and liberties, if now they convert their power, and turne their swords and guns against us by force of armes to destroy our lawes and liberties.

6. Feb. 1647.

John Lilburne.

In the third yeare of the reign of Charles, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland.

AT the Parliament begun at Westminster the seventeenth day of March. An. Dom. 1627. in the third yeare of the reigne of our most gracious Soveraigne Lord, Charles, by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, & c. And there continued untill the 26. day of Iune following, and then prorogued unto the 20. day of October now next ensuing: To the high pleasure of Almighty God, and to the weale publique of this R calme, were enacted as followeth.

The petition Exhibited to his Majestie by the Lords Spirituall and Temporall, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, concerning divers Rights and Liberties of the Subiect; with the Kings Majesties royall answer thereunto, in full Parliament

To the Kings most Excellent Majestie.

HVmbly the weth unto our Soveraigne Lord the King, the Lords Spirituall and Temporall, and Commons in Parliament assembled, That whereas it is declared and inacted by a Statute male in the time of the reigne of King Ed. the first, commonly called Statutum de Tallagio now coucedento,a That to tallage or aid shall be laid or levied by the King or his Heires in this Realme, without the good will and asseur of the Arch Bishops, Bishops, Earles, Barons, Knights, Burgesses, and other the free men of the Commonalty of this Realme. And by authority of Parliament holden in the five and twentieth yeare of the reigne of King Edward the third,b it is declared and inacted. That from thenceforth no person should becompelled to make any loanes to the King against his will, because such loanes were against reason, and the franchise of the Land. And by other Lawes of this Realme it is provided, that none should be charged by any charge or imposition, called a Benevolence, nor by such like charge,c by which the Statutes before mentioned, and other the good Lawes and Statutes of this Realme, your Subjects have inherited this Freedome. That they should not be compelled to contribute to any tax, tallage, aid, or other like charge, nor set by common consent in Parliament. 1. R. 3. 2.

Yet never the lesse of late, divers Commissions, directed to sundry Commissioners in severall Counties, with instructions have issued; by meanes whereof your people have been in divers places assembled, and required to lend certaine summes of money unto your Majestie, and many of them upon their refusall so to do, have had an oath administred unto them, not warrantable by the Lawes or Statutes of this Realme,* and have been constrained to become bound to make appearance, and give attendance before your privie Councell, and in other places: and others of them have been therefore imprisoned, confined, and sundry other wayes molested and disquieted. And divers other charges have been laid and levied upon your people in severall Counties, by Lord Lievtenants, Depmy Lieutenants, Commissioners for Musters, Iustices of Peace, and others by command or direction from your Maiesty, or your privie Councell, against the Lawes and free customes of the Realme.*

And where also by the Statute called THE GREAT CHARTER OF THE LIBERTIES OF ENGLAND,d It is declared and enacted, That no freeman may be taken or imprisoned,St. 37. Ed. 3. 18. or be disseized of his Free hold, or Liberties, or his free Customs, or be outlawed or exiled, or in any manner distroyed, but by the lawfull iudgement of his PEERS, or by the Law of the Land.St. 38. Ed. 3. 9.

St. 42. Ed. 3. 3.And in the eight and twentieth yeare of the reigne of King Edward the third,e it was declared and enacted by authority of Parliament, That no man of what estate or condition that he be, should be put out of his Land, or Tenements, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disherited,St. 17. R. 2. 6. nor put to death without being brought to answer by due processe of Law.

Neverthelesse against the tenour of the said Statutes, and other the good Lawes and Statutes of your Realme to that end provided,f divers of your Subiects have of late been imprisoned without any cause shewed:* And when for their deliverance they were brought before your Iustices by your Majestics Writs of Habeas corpus, there to undergoe and receive as the Court should order, and their Keepers commanded to certifie the causes of their detainer, no cause was certified, but that they were detained by your Maiesties speciall command, signified by the Lords of your privie Councell, and yet were returned back to severall prisons without being charged with any thing to which they might make answer according to law.

And whereas of late great companies of Soldiers and Marriners have been dispersed into divers Counties of the Realme, and the inhabitants against their wills, have been compelled to receive them into their houses, and there to suffer them to sojourne, against the Lawes and Customes of this Realme, and to the great grievance and vexation of the people.

And whereas also by authority of Parliament, in the five and twentieth yeare of the reigne of King Edw. the third,g it is declared and inacted, that no man should be foreindged of life or limbe against the form of the Great Charter and the Law of the land; And by the said Great Charter, and other the Lawes and Statutes of this your Realme, no man ought to be adiudged to death, but by the Lawes established in this your Realme,h either by the Customs of the same Realme, or by acts of Parliament. And whereas no offender of what kind soever, is exempted from the proceedings to be used, and punishments to be inflicted by the Lawes and Statutes of this your Realme: Neverthelesse, of late divers Commissions under your Majestes great Seale have issued forth by which certaine persons have been assigned and appointed commissioners with power and authority to proceed within the land, according to the Iustice of Martiall Law, against such soldiers and Martiners, or other dissolute persons joyning with them, as should commit any murther, robberie, felony, mutinie, or other outrage or misdemeanor whatsoever, and by such summary course and order, as is agreeable to Martiall Law, and as is used in Armies in time of warre, to proceed to the tryall and condemnation of such offenders, and them to cause to be executed and put to death according to the Law Martiall.

By pretext whereof some of your Maiesties Subjects have been by some of the said Commissioners put to death, when and where, if by the Lawes and Statutes of the Land they had deserved death, by the same lawes and statutes also they might, and by no other ought to have been iudged and executed.

And also sundry grievous offendors by colour thereof, claiming an exemption, have escaped the punishments due to them by the Lawes and Statutes of this your Realme, by reason that divers of your officers and Ministers of Iustice have uniustly refused, or forborne to proceed against such offendors according to the same Lawes and Statutes, upon pretence that the said of fendors were punishable only by Martiall law, and by authority of such Commissions as aforesaid, which Commissions and all other of like nature are wholly and directly contrary to the said Lawes and Statutes of this your Realme.

The Petition.They doe therefore humbly pray your most excellent Maiestie, that no man hereafter be compelled to make or yeeld any gift, loane, benevolence, tax, or such like charge, without common consent by act of Parliament. And that none be called to make answer, or take such oath, or to give attendance, or be confined, or other ways molested or &illegible; concerning the same, or for refusal thereof. And that no Freeman, in any such manner as is before mentioned, be imprisoned or detained. And that your Maiestie would be pleased to remove the said Soldiers and Martiners, and that your people may not be so burthened in time to come. And that the foresaid Commissions for proceeding by Martiall Law, may be revoked and annulled. And that hereafter no Commissions of like nature may issue forth to any person or persons whatsoever to be executed as aforesaid, lest by colour of them any of your Maiesties Subiects be distroyed or put, to death contrary to the lawes and franchise of the land.

All which they most humbly pray of your most excellent Maiesty, as their rights and liberties, according to the Lawes and Statutes of this Realme. And that your Maiestie would also vouchsafe to declare that the awards, doings and proceedings, to the prejudice of your people, in any of the premisses, shall not be drawn hereafter into consequence or example. And that your Maiestie would be also graciously pleased, for the future comfort and safety of your people, to declare your royall will and pleasure, That in the things aforesaid all your officers and Ministers shall serve you according to the Lawes and Statutes of this Realme, as they tender the honour of your Maiestie, and the prosperity of this Kingdome.

Which Petition being read, the second of Iune, 1628. The Kings answer was thus delivered unto it.

THe King willeth that right be done, according to the Lawes and customes of the Realme; And that the Statutes be put in execution, that his Subiects may have no cause to complaine of any wrong or oppression, contrary to their iust Rights and Liberties, to the preservation whereof, he holds himself in conscience as well obliged, as of his Prerogative.

But this answer not giving satisfaction, the King was againe petitioned unto, that he would give a full and satisfactory answer to their Petition in full Parliament.

Whereupon the King in person, upon the seventh of Iune, made this second Answer.

My Lords and Gentlemen,

THe answer I have already given you, was made with so good deliberation, and approved by the iudgements of so many wise men, that I could not have imagined but that it should have given you full satisfaction; but to avoid all ambiguous interpretations, and to shew you that there is no doublenesse in my meaning, I am willing to please you in words, as well as in substance; Read your Petition, and you shall have an answer that I am sure will please you.

And then causing the Petition to be distinctly read by the Clerk of the Crowne, The &illegible; of the Parliament read the Kings answer thereunto in these words.

Soit droit fait come est desire. Which is in English, Let Right be done as is desired.

Which being done, the King in person said thus.

THis I am sure is full, yet no more then is granted you in my first Answer; for the meaning of that was, to confirme all your Liberties: knowing according to your own Protestations, that you neither meane, nor can hurt my Prerogative: And I assure you my Maxime is, That the peoples Liberty strengthens the Kings Prerogative, and that the Kings Prerogative is to defend the peoples Liberties.

Ye see now how ready I have shewed my self to satisfie your demands, so that J have done my part, wherefore if this Parliament have not a happy conclusion, the sinne is yours, I am free of it.

And on the last day of the Session, being Iune 26. 1628. His Maiesties speech to both Houses before his Royall assent to the Bils, was this.

My Lords and Gentlemen:

IT may see me strange that J come so suddainly to end this Session, therefore before I give my assent to the Bils, I will tell you the cause, THOUGH I MVST AVOW THAT I OWE AN ACCOVNT OF MY ACTIONS TO NONE BVT GOD ALONE. It is known to every one, that a while agoe the House of Commons gave me a Remonstrance, how acceptable every man may iudge, and for the merit of it I will not call that in question, for I am sure no wise man can justifie it.

Now since I am certainly informed, that a second Remonstrance is preparing for me to take away my profit of Tonnage and Peundage (one of the chiefe maintenance of the Crown) by alledging, that I have given away my right thereof, by my answer to your Petition.

This is so preiudiciall unto me, that I am forced to end this Session some few houres before I meant it, being willing not to receive any more Remonstrances, to which I must give aharsh answer.

And since I see that even the House of Commons begins already to make false Constructions of what I granted in your petition, lest it be worse interpreted in the Country, I will now make a declaration concerning the true intent thereof.

The profession of both Houses, in the time of hammering this petition, was no wayes to trench upon my Prerogative, saying they had neither intention nor power to hurt it.

Therefore it must needs be conceived, that I have granted no new, but only confirmed the ancient Liberties of my subiects. Yet to shew the clearenesse of my intentions, that I neither repent, nor meane to recede from any thing I have promised you, I doe here declare. That those things which have been done, whereby men had some cause to suspect the Liberty of the subiects to be trench’t upon (which indeed was the first and true ground of the petition) shall not hereafter be drawn into example of your prejudice: And in time to come (IN THE WORD OF A KJNG) you shall not have the like cause to complaine.

But as for Tonnage and Poundage, it is a thing I cannot want, and was never intended by you to aske, never meant (I am sure) by me to grant.

To conclude, I command you all that are here, to take notice of what I have spoken at this time, to be the true intent of what I granted you in your petition: But especially you, my Lords, the Iudges, for to you only, under me, belongs the interpretation of Lawes: for none of the Houses of Parliament, joynt or separate (what new doctrine soever may be raised) have any power, either to make or declare a Law without my consent.

This Petition of Right, with the foregoing answer unto it, you shall find printed verbation in the 1431, 1432, 1433, 1434. pages of Francis Pultons collection of the Statutes at large, printed Cum Privelegio, 1640. And unto this I shall annex divers of the most materiallest Statutes for the peoples liberty, so that those that have not 40. s. to lay out for the Book of Statutes, not time to read it over, may for a few pence in this following Plea, or Collection read their chiefest freedomes, that the Statute law of England gives them, which I must confesse are very slender and short to what by nature and reason they ought to be, and so deare to come by, that they rather seeme bondages then freedomes, by reason of pleading them by Hackney, mercenary Lawyers, (whose riches and livelyhood are got by hood-winking the law, and breeding strife and contentions) among the People, and by the corruptions of the Iudges in all ages in executing of them, who continually rather serve the will and lust of the King, or other great men, that helpe them to their places, then the rules of either law, equity, reason, conscience, or justice, and the misery of the people of this Land it is, that there is so many Lawyers in the House of Commons the Law-makers, that it is a vain thing to expect while it is so, (especially they being suffered to plead causes before Judges of their own making, and being Parliament men, they dare not displease them, which brings in a manner all the fat & large grists in Eng. to their mills) a remedy or relief against all those inslaving & distroying abuses of the law, and the execution thereof; and slaves you are, and slaves you must be, doe the best you can, till you take a particular and effectuall course to provide a thorough remedie for these insufferable maladies, and if my advice may be of any weight with you, I desire you seriously to read and weigh it, as I have laid it down in my former bookes and put it but in execution, and I am sure it will cure you. But to goe on to the main thing I intend, which is to give you the foregoing promised collection out of the foresaid book of Statutes at large, I shall begin with the 14. 26. 28. & 29. chaps. of Magna Charta, confirmed in the 9. yeare of Henry the third, which you shall find in the find book of Statutes, fol, 3. 4. which thus followeth, chap. 14.

How Men of all sorts shall be amerced, and by whom.

St. 3. Ed. 1. 6. Regist fo. 86. 184. 187. V. N. B. fo. 47. Fitz. N. B. f. 75. a.A Free man shall not be amerced for a small fault, but after the manner of the fault. And for a great fault after the greatnesse thereof, saving to him his continement. And a Merchant likewise saving to him his merchandise. And any others villaine then ours shall be likewise amerced, saving his wainage, if he fall into our mercy. And none of the said amerciaments, shall be assessed, but by the oath of honest and lawfull men of the vicinage. Earles and Barons shall not be amerced but by their PEERS, and after the manner of their offence. No man of the Church shall be amerced after the quantity of his spirituall Benefice, but after his lay tenements, and after the quantity of his offence. 3. Ed. 1. 6.Fitz Act. fur. left. 34. Br. Amercement. 2. 25. 33. 32. 53. 65. 10. H. 6. fo. 7. 7. H. 6. fo. 13. 19. Ed. 4. fo. 9. 21. Ed. 4. fo. 77. 28. &illegible; pl. 26. Cook l. 8. fo. 28, 59.

Chap. 26. Inquisition of Life and Member.

NOthing from hence shall be given for a &illegible; of Inquisition, not taken of him that prayeth Inquisition of Life or Member, but it shall be granted freely, and not denyed, Stat. 3. Ed. 1. 11. Stat. 13. Ed. 1. 29. Regist. fo. 133. 134.

Chap. 28. Wager of Law shall not be without Witnesse.

Fitz. Ley 78. Bro. Ley 37. Co. inst. fo. 168. a.NO Bailife from henceforth shall put any man to his open Law, not to an oath, upon his own base saying without faithfull witnesses brought in for the same.

Chap. 29. No man shall be condemned without tryall. Iustice shall not be sold or deferred.

10. Ed. 4. fo. 6. Dyer fo. 104. Cook li. 5. fo. 64. lib. 10. fol. 74. lib. 11. fo. 99, Regist. fo. 186. Col. pla. fo. 456.NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his freehold, or liberties, or free customes, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any otherwise distroyed, nor We will not passe upon him, nor condemne him, but by lawfull judgement of his PEERS, or by the law of the land. We will sell to no man, We will not deny or deferre to any man either justice or right. Stat. 2. Ed. 3, 8. Stat. 5. Ed. 3. 9. Stat. 14. Ed. 3, 14. 28. Ed. 3. 3. Stat. 11. R. 2. 10.

The 3. Edward the 1. fol. 25. There shall be no disturbance of free Election.

Cook li. 8. f. 38. 59.ANd because Elections ought to be free, the King commandeth upon, great for feiture, that no man by force of Armes, nor by malice, or menacing shall disturbe any to make free Election St. 9. Ed. 2. 14.

The 3. of Edward the 1. Chap. 6. fol. 25. Amercement shall be reasonable and according to the offence.

Bro. Amerciamẽ: 6. 9. 11. 13. 20. 25. 27. 28. 31. 32. 35. 37. 39. 43. 44.ANd that no City, Borough, nor Town, nor any man be amerced without reasonable cause, and according to the quantity of his Trespasse, that is to say, every freeman, saving his freehold, a Merchant saving his Merchandise, a Villain saving his waynage and that by his or their PEERS. St. 9. H. 3, 14. V. N. B. fo. 47. Regist. fo. 187.

The 3. Edward the 1. Chap. 15. fol. 27. Which prisoners may be made mainpernable, and which not. The penalty for unlawfull bailement.

ANd forasmuch as Sheriffes, and other, which have taken and kept in prison persons detected of felony,Bro. Mainprise 11. 56. 78. and incontinent have let out by replevin, such as were not replevisable, and have kept in prison such as were replevisable, because they would gaine of the one party, and grieve the other: And forasmuch as before this time it was not determined, which persons were replevisable, and which not, but only those that were taken for the death of man, or by commandment of the King, or of his Iustices, or for the Forest: It is provided and by the King commanded,Dyer fo. 170. Fitz. Mainprise 1. 40. that such prisoners as before were outlawed, and they which have abiured the realm, provers and such as be taken with the maner, and those which have broken the Kings prison, theeves openly defamed and known,Bro. Mainprise 54, 57, 59, 60, 75, 78. and such as he appealed by provers, so long as the provers be living (if they be not of good name) and such as be taken for house burning feloniously done, or for false money,Cook li. 11. fo. 29. Fitz. Mainprise 39. or for counterfeiting the Kings seale, or persons excommunicate, taken at the request of the Bishop, or for manifest offences, or for treason touching the King himselfe, shall be in no wise replevisable by the common Writ, nor without writ. But such as be indicted of Larceny by Enquests taken before Sheriffes or Bailifes by their office, or of light suspition, or for petty Larceny, that amounteth not above the value of 12. pence, if they were not guilty of some other Larceny aforetime, or guilty of receit of felons, or of commandment or force,Bro. Main. 6. 9. 11. 19. 22. 30. 48. 50. 51, 53. 58, 63, 64. 73. 78, 91. 94. 97. or of aid of felony done, or guilty of some other trespasse, for which one ought not to lose life or member, and a man appealed by a prover after the death of the prover (if he be no common theese nor defamed) shall from henceforth be let out by sufficient surety, wherof the Sheriffe will be answerable, and that without giving ought of their goods. And if the Sheriffe or any other, let any goe at large by surety that is not replevisable, if he be Sheriffe or Constable, or any other Baylife of fee, which hath keeping of prisons, and therefore be attainted, he shall lose his fee and office for ever. And if the under Shereffe, Constable,V. N. B. fo. 40. or Baylife of such as have fee for keeping of prisons, doe it contrary to the will of his Lord, or any other Baylife being not of fee, they shall have three yearet imprisonment, and make fine at the Kings pleasure. And if any withhold prisoners replevisable, after that they have offered sufficient surety,V. N. B. fo. 41. he shall pay a grievous amerciament to the King. And if he take any reward for the deliverance of such, he shall pay double to the prisoner, and also shall be in the great mercy of the King, St. 27. E. 1. 3. St. 3. H. 7. 31, & 2. P. &. M. 13.Regist. fo. 83. 268.

The 3. of Edward 1. Chap. 26. fol. 30. &illegible; of the Kings Officers shall commit extortion.

Rast. pla. fo. 317.ANd that no Sheriffe nor other the Kings Officer, take any reward to doe his office, but shall be paid of that which they take of the King, and he that so doth, shall yeeld twice as much, and shall be punished at the Kings pleasure. St. 23. H. 6. 10. 4. &illegible; 3. 10.Cook Inst. 308. b.

The 25, of Edward the 1. Chap. 2. 3. 4. fol. 75, 76. Iudgement given against the said Charter, shall be void.

ANd we will that if any judgement be given from henceforth contrary to the points of the Charters aforesaid by the Iustices, or by any other our Ministers that hold Plea before them against the points of the Charters, it shall be undone and holden for nought.

Chap. 3. The said Charters shall be read in Cathedrall Churches twice in the yeare.

ANd we will that the same Charters shall be sent under our Seale to Cathedrall Churchers throughout our Ralme, there to remain, and shall be read before the people two times by the yeare. 28. Ed. 3. 1.

Chap. 4. Excommunication shall be pronounced against the breakers of the said charters.

ANd that all Arch Bishops and bishops, shall pronounce the sentence of Excommunication against all those that by word, deed, or councell, doe contrary to the foresaid Charters, or that in any point break or undoe them, And that the said curses be twice a yeare denounced and published by the Prelates aforesaid. And if the same Prelates or any of them be remisse in the denunciation of the said sentences, the Arch Bishops of Canterbury and Yorke for the time being, shall compell and distrain them to the execution of their dutyes in forme aforesaid.

The 28. of Edward the 1. Chap. 1. fol. 80. A confirmation of the great Charter, and the Charter of the Forest.

THat is to say, That from henceforth the great Charter of the Liberties of England granted to all the Commonalty of the Realme, and the Charter of the Forest in like manner granted, shall be observed, kept, and maintained in every point, in as ample wise as the King hath granted, renewed, and confirmed them by his Charters. And that the Charters be delivered to every Sheriffe of England, under the Kings Seale, to be read foure times in the yeare before the people in the full County that is to wit, the next County day after the Feast of St. Michael, and the next County day after Christmas, and at the next County after Easter, and at the next County after the Feast of St. Iohn. And for these two Charters to be firmely observed in every point and article (where before no remedy* was at the Common Law) there shall be chosen in every Shire Court by the Commonalty of the same Shire, three substantiall Men, Knights, or other lawfull, wise, and well disposed persons which shall be Iustices sworne and assigned by the Kings Letters Patents under the great Seale, to heare and determine (without any other Writ, but only their Commission) such Plaints as shall be made upon all those that commit or offend against any Point contained in the foresaid Charters, in the Shires where they be assigned, as well within Franchises as without: And as well for the Kings Officers out of their places, as for other: and to heare the Plaints from day to day without any delay, and to determine them, without allowing the delayes which &illegible; allowed by the Common Law. And the same Knights shall have power to punish all such as shall be attainted of any Trespasse done, contrary to any point of the foresaid Charters (where no remedy was before by the Common Law) as before is said, by Jmprisonment, or by ransome, or by Amerciament, according to the Trespasse, &c.

The 28, of Edward the 1. Chap. 8. fol. 83. The Inhabitants of every County shall make choise of their Sheriffes being not of Fee.

Stat. 9. E. 2. Stat. 14. E. 3. 7. 28. Ed. 1. 1. THe King hath granted unto his people, that they shall have election of their Sheriffes in every Shire (where the Shrivalty is not of fee) if they list. Chap. 13.

The 28. of Edward the 1. Chap. 13. fol. 83. What sort of persons the Commons of Shires shall chuse for their Sheriffes.

ANd for as much as the King hath granted the election of Sheriffes to the Commons of the Shire, the King will that they shall chuse such Sheriffes, that shall not charge them, and that they shall not put any Officer in authority for rewards or bribes. And such as shall not lodge too oft in one place, nor with poore persons or men of religion. St. 9. E. 2. The Statute of Sherifes.

The 34. Edward the 1. Chap. 4. fol. 91. All Lawes, Liberties, and Customes confirmed.

WE will and grant for us and our heires, that all Clerkes and lay men of our land, shall have their lawes, liberties, and, free Customes as largely and wholly, as they have used to have the same, at any time when they had them best. And if any Statutes have been made by us or our ancestors, or any customes brought in contrary to them, or any manner article contained in this present Charter: we will and grant that such manner of statutes and customes shall be void and frustrate for evermore.

The 34. of Edward the 3. Chap. 6. fol. 92. The curse of the Church shall be pronounced against the breakers of this Charter.

ANd for the more assurance of this thing we will and grant that all Arch Bishops and Bishops for ever, shall read this present Charter in their Cathedrall Churches twice in the year, and upon the reading hereof in every of their Parish Churches shall openly denounce accursed all those that willingly doe procure to be done any thing contrary to the tenour, force and effect of this present Charter in any point and article. In witnesse of which thing we have set our Seale to this present Charter, together with the Seales of the Arch Bishops. Bishops, &c. which voluntarily have sworn, that as much as in them is, they shall observe the tenour of this present Charter in all causes and articles, and shall extend their faithfull aid to the keeping thereof, &c.

The 1. of Edward the 3. Chap. 5. fol. 115. None shall be compelled to goe to war out of the Shire where he dwelleth: But &c.

ITem, the King will that no man from henceforth shall be charged to arme himself, otherwise then he was wont in the time of his progenitors Kings of England. And that no man be compelled to goe out of his shire, but where necessity requireth, and suddain comming of strange enemies into the Realme. And then it shall be done as hath been used in times past for the defence of the Realme. St. 15. Ed. 3. 7. St. 4. H. 4. 13. 25. Ed. 3. 8.

The 2. Edward the 3. Chap. 8. fol. 118. No commandement under the Kings seale, shall disturb or delay justice.

Item, it is accorded and established, that it shall not be commanded by the great Seale nor the little Seale, to disturb or delay common right: and that though such commandements do come, he Iustices shall not therefore leave to doe right in any point. St. 9. H. 3. 29. St. 5. Ed. 3. 9. St. 14. Ed. 3. 14.

The 4. of Edward the 3. Chap. 8. fol. 120. The authority of Justices of Assise, Gaole delivery; and if the pence.

33. Ed. 1. 30. 20. Ed. 3. 6. Fitz. N. S. fo. 251. 1. Ed. 3. 16. 18. Ed. 3. 2. 34. Ed. 3. 1. 13. R. 2. 7. ITem, it is ordained, that good and discrece persons, other then of the places, if they may be found sufficient, shall be assigned in all the Shires of England to take Assises, Iuries, and certifications, and deliver the Gaoles. And that the said Iustices shall take the Assises, Iuries, and certifications; and deliver the Gaols at the least three times a year, and more often if need be. Also there shal be assigned good and lawfull men a every County to keep the peace. And at the time, of the assignments, &illegible; shall be made, that such as shall be indicted or taken by the said keepers of the Peace, shall not be let to mainprise by the Sheriffes nor by none other ministers, if they be not mainpernable by the Law. Not that such as shall be indicted, shall not be delivered but at the Common Law. And the Iustices assigned to deliver the Gaoles, shall have power to deliver the same Gaoles of those, that: shall be indicted before the keepers of the peace. And that the said keepers shall send their indictments before the Iustices, and they shall have power to inquire of Sheriffes, Gaolers, and other, in whose ward such indicted persons shall be, if they make deliverance or letto mainprise any so indicted, which be not mainpernable, and to punish the said Sheriffes, Gaolers, and others if they doe any thing against this Act.

The 4. of Ed. 3. Ch. 10. fol. 122. Sheriffes & Gaolers shal receive offenders without any thing taking.

ITem, whereas in times past Sheriffes and gaolers of Gaoles, would not receive theeves, persons appealed, indicted, or found with the maner, taken and attached by the Constables, and townships, without taking great fines and ransomes of them for their receit, whereby the said Constables and Townships have been unwilling to take theeves and felons, because of such extream charges, and the theeves and the felons the more incouraged to offend: It is inacted that the Sheriffes and Gaolers shall receive and safety keep in prison from henceforth such theeves and felons,3. E. 1. 26. 11. Ed. 4. fol. 4. 32. H. 6. 10. by the delivery of the Constables and townships, without taking any thing for the receipt. And the Iustices assigned to deliver the Gaole, shall have power to heare their complaints that will complain upon the Sheriffes and Gaolers in such case, and moreover to punish the Sheriffes and Gaolers of they be found guilty.

The 4. of Edward the 3. Chap. 14. fol. &illegible; A Parliament shall be holder once every yeare.

ITem, it is accorded, that a Parliament shall be holder every yeare once, and more often if need be Stat. 36. Ed. 3. &illegible;.

The 14. of Edward the 3. Chap. 5. fol. 133. Delayes of iudgement in other Courts shall be redressed in Parliament.

ITem, because divers mischiefes have hapned, for that in divers places, as well as in the Chancery as in the Kings Bench, the common Bench, and in the Eschequer before the Iustices assigned, and other Iustices to heare and determine deputed, the judgements have been delayed, sometime by difficulty, and sometime by divers opinions of the Iudges, and sometime for some other cause: It is assented, established, and accorded, that from henceforth at every Parliament shall be chosen a Prelate, two Earles, and two Barons, which shall have commission and power of the King,2. H. 7. fo. 19 & 22. Ed. 3. fo. 3. to heare by petition delivered to them, the complaints of all those, that will complain them of such delayes or grievances done to them, and they shall have power to cause to come before them at Westminster, or else where the places of any of them shall be, the &illegible; of records and processes of such judgements so delayed, and to cause the same Iustices to come before them, which shall be then present to heare their cause and reasons of such delayes. Which cause and reason so heard, by good advice of themselves, the Chancellor, Treasurer, the Iustices if the one Bench and of the other, and other of the Kings Councell as many, and such as they shall thinke convenient, shall proceed to take a good accord, and make a good judgement. And according to the same accord so taken, the terror of the said record, together with the judgement which shall be accorded, shall be remanded before the Iustices, before whom the plea did depend. And that they hastily goe to give judgement according to the same record. And in case it &illegible; to them, that the difficultie be so great, that it may not well be determined, with our assent of the Parliament, that the said tenor or tenors shall be brought by the said Prelates, Earles, and Barons unto the next Parliament, and there shall be a finall accord taken, what judgement ought to be given in this case. And according to this accord, it shall be commanded to the Iudges, before whom the plea did depend, that they shall proceed to give judgement without delay. And to begin to doe remedy upon this ordinance: It is assented, that a commission and power shall be granted to the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, the Earles of Arundell, and Huntington, the Lord of Wake, and the Lord Raise Basset, to endure till the next Parliament. And though the ministers have made an oath before this time, yet neverthelesse to remember them of the same oath: It is assented, that as well the chancellor, treasurer, keeper of the privieseale, the Iustices of the one Bench and of the other, the Chancellor, Barons of the Eschequer, as the Iustices assigned, and all they that doe meddle in the said places under them, by the advice of the same Arch-Bishop, Earles, and Barons, shall make an oath well and lawfully to serve the King and his people. And by the advice of said Prelate, Earls and Barons, be it ordained to increase the number of Ministers when need shal be, & them to diminish in the same manner. And so from time to time when officers shal be newly put in the said offices, they shal be sworn in the same maner, St. 27. El. 8 Regist. fo. 17. Rast. Pla. fo. 30;

The Oaths of the Iustices, being made Anno, 18. Ed. 3. & Anno Domini 1344. fol. 144.

YE shall sweare, that well and lawfully ye shall serve our Lord the King, and his people in the office of Iustice, and that lawfully ye shall councell the King in his businesse, and that ye shall not councell, not assent to anything, which may turne him in damage or disherison by any maner, way, or colour. And that ye shall not know the damage or disherison of him, whereof ye shall not cause him to be warned by your selfe, or by other, and that ye shal doe equall Law, and execution of right to all his subjects, rich or poore, without having regard to any person. And that ye take not by your self or by other prively nor apartly, gift nor reward of gold nor silver, not of any other thing which may turne to your profit, unlesse it be meat or drinke, and that of small value of any man that shall have any plea or procasse hanging before you, as long as the same processe shall so be hanging, nor after for the same cause. And that ye take no set, as long as ye shall be Iustice, nor robes of any man great or small, but of the King himself. And that ye give none advice nor councell to no man great nor small, in no case where the King is party. And in case that any of what &illegible; or condition they be, come before you in your sessions with force and armes, or otherwise against the peace, or against the for me of the Statute thereof made, to disturb execution of the common law, or to menace the people,2, Ed. 3. 3. that they may not pursue the Law, that yee shall cause their bodies to be arrested and put in prison. And in case that be such, that yee cannot arrest them, that ye certifie the King of their names, and of their misprision hastily, so that he may therof ordain a convenable remedy. And that ye by your selfe nor by other, privily nor apertly, maintain any plea or quarrell hanging in the Kings Court, or elsewhere in the country. And that ye deny to no man common right, by the Kings letters, not none other mans, not for none other cause, and in case any letters come to you, contrary to the law, that ye doe nothing by such letters, but certifie the King thereof, and proceed to execute the law, notwithstanding the same letters. And that yee shall doe and procure the profit of the King, and of his Crown, with all things where ye may reasonably doe 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, land and goods, thereof to be done as shall please him, as God you help and all Saints.

The 10. of Edward the 3. Chap. 1. fol. &illegible; The Iustices of both &illegible; Assise, &c. shall doe right to all men, take no fee &illegible; of the King, nor give councell where the King is party.

FIrst, we have commanded all our Iustices, that they shall from henceforth doe equall Law and execution of right to all our subjects rich and poore, without having regard to any person, and without omitting to doe right for any letters or commandement, which may come to them from us, or from any other, or by any other cause. And if that any letters, writs, or commandements come to the Iustices, or to other deputed to doe law and right, according to the Usage of the Realm, in disturbance of the Law, or of the execution of the same, or of right to the parties, the Iustices and other aforesaid shall proceed and hold their Courts and processes where the pleas and matters be depending before them, as if no such Letters, Writs, or Commandements were come to them: And they shall certifie us and our Councell of such Commandements, which be contrary to the Law, as afore is said. And to the intent that our Iustices should due even right to all people, in the manner aforesaid, without more favour shewing to one then to another, we have ordained and caused our said justices to be sworne, that they shall not from henceforth, as long as they shall be in office of Justice take see nor to be of any man, but of our self, and that they shall take no gift nor reward by themselves, nor by other privily nor apertly of any man, that hath to doe before them by any way, except meat and drink, and that of small value, and that they shall give no councell to great men or small, in case where we be party, or which doe or may touch us in any point, upon pain to be at our will, body, Lands, and goods, to doe thereof as shall please us, in case they doe contrary. And for this cause we have increased the fees of the same our Iustices, in such manner as it ought reasonably to suffice them, St. 2. Ed. 3. 8. St. &illegible; R. 2. 10. Regist to. 186.

The 25 of Edward the 3. Chap. 8. fol. 155. None shall be bound to find men of armes, but by tenure or grant by Parliament.

ITem, it is accorded and assented, that no man shall be constrained to find men of Armes, hoblers nor Archers, other then those which hold by such services, if it be not by common assent and grant made in Parliament, St. 1. Ed. 3. 5. St. 4. H. 4. 13.

The 28. of Edward the 3. Chap. 7. fol. &illegible; No Sheriffe shall continue in his office above one yeare.

ITem, it is ordained and established, that the Sheriffe of the Counties shall be removed every yeare out of their offices,a. H. 7. fol. 5. so that no Sheriffe that hath been in his office by a yeare, shall abide in the same office the year next following. And that no Commission be made to him thereof, or renued for the same yeare following St. 14. &illegible; 3. 7. 32. Ed. 3. 9. 23. H. 6. 8. Rast. pl. fo. 202.

The 34. of Edward the 3. Chap. 4. fol. 180 What sort of people shall be returned upon every &illegible;

ITem, because that Sheriffes and other ministers often doe array their panels in maner of Inquests of people procured and most far of from the Counties, which have no knowledge of the deed whereof the Inquest shall be taken, it is accorded that such panels shall be made of the next people, which shall not be suspect nor procured. And that the Sheriffes, Coroners, and other ministers, which doe against the same, shall be punished before the Iustices that take the sold Inquest, according to the quantity of their Trespasse, as well against the King as against the party, for the quantity of the damage which he hath suffered in such maner. St. 31. &illegible; &illegible; St. &illegible; E. 1. 9. 20. Ed. 3. 6. &illegible; Ed. 3. 11. Regist. fo. 178. Regist. pla. fo. &illegible;

The 36, of Edward the 3. chap. 10. fol. 186. A Parliament shall be holden once in a yeare.

Item, for the maintenance of the said Articles and Statutes and redresse of divers mischiefs and grievances which dayly happen, d Parliament shall be holden every yeare, as an other time was ordained by a Statute. St. 4. Ed. 3. 14.

The 36. of Edward the 3. chap. 15. fol. 187. Pleas shall be pleaded in the English tongue and inrolled in Latine.

ITem, because it is often shewed to the King, by the Prelats, Dukes, Earles, Barons, and all the Comminalty, of the great mischiefes which have happened to divers of the Realme, because the Lawes, Customs, and Statutes of this Realme, be not commonly holden and kept in the same Realm for that they be pleaded, shewed & judged in the French tongue, which is much unknown in the said realm, so that the people which do implead or be impleaded in the Kings Court, and in the Courts of other have no knowledge nor understanding, of that which is said, for them or against them by their Serjeants & other Pleaders: And that reasonably the said Lawes and Customes the rather shal be perceived and known & better understood in the tongue used in the said Realm, & by so much every man of the said Realm may the better govern himself without offending of the Law, and the better keepe, save, & defend his heritage and possessions: and in divers regions and countryes, where the King, the Nobles, and other of the said Realm have been, good governance and full right is done to every person, because that their Lawes and Customes be learned and used in the tongue of the Country: The King desiring the good governance and tranqullity of his people and to put out and eschew the harmes and mischiefs which do or may happen in this behalf, by the occasions aforesaid hath ordained, and established, by the assent aforesaid, that all Pleas which shall be pleaded in any Courts whatsoever before any of his Iustices whatsoever, or in his other places, or before any of his other minister whatsoever, or in the Courts and places of any other Lords whatsoever, within the Realme, shall be pleaded, shewed, defended, answered, debated, and iudged, in the English tongue, and that they be entred and inrolled in Latine.46 Ed. 3. fo. 21. Dyer fo. 2. 99. Cooke li. 8. fo. 163. li. 10. fo. 132. Co. inst. 304. And that the Lawes and Customes of the same Realme, Termes and Processes be holden and kept, as they be and have been before this time, and that by the ancient tearmes and formes of Pleaders, no man be prejudiced, so that the matter of the action be fully shewed in the Declaration and in the Writ. And it is accorded by the assent aforesaid, that this ordinance & Statue of pleading, begin and hold place at the fifteenth of S. Hillary next coming.

The 37. of Edward the 3. chap. 18. fol. 190. The order of persuing a Suggestion made to the King.

ITem, though it be contained in the great Charter, that no man be taken or imprisoned, nor put out of his freehold, without processe of the Law, never the lesse divers people make false suggestion to the King himselfe as wel for malice as otherwise, whereof the King is often grieved,St. 9. H. 3. 29. and divers of the Realm put in damage, against the forme of the same Charter: Wherefore it is ordained, that all they which make such Suggestions shall be sent with the same suggestions, before the Chancellor, Treasures and his grand Counsell,St. 38. Ed. 3. 9. and that they there finde surety to pursue their suggestions, and incurre the same paine that the other should have had if he were attainted, in case that his Suggestion be found evill. And that then processe of the Law be made aganst them without being taken and imprisoned against the form of the said Charter and other Statutes. St. 25. Edward. 3. 4. 42. Ed. 3. 3.

The 42. of Edward the 3. Chap. 1. fo. 93. A confirmation of the great Charter, and the Charter of the Forest: And a repeale of those Statutes that be made to the contrary.

AT the Parliament of our Lord the King, holden at Westminster the first day of May, the two and fortieth yeare of his reigne: It is assented and accorded, That the great Charter, and the Charter of the Forest be holden and kept in all points, and if any Statute be made to the contrary, that shall be holden for none.

The 8. of Richard the 2. Chap. 2. fol. 217. No man of Law shall be a Iustice of Assise, or Gaole delivery in his own Country.

ITem, it is ordained and assented, That no man of Law shall be from henceforth Iustice of Assises, or of common deliverance Gaoles in his own Country. And that the chiefe Iustice of the common Bench be assigned amongst other to take such Assises, and deliver gaoles, but as to the chiefe Iustice of the Kings Bench it shall be, as for the &illegible; part of an hundred yeares last &illegible; was wont to be done, St. 13. H. 4. 2. 33. H. 8. 24.

The 8. of Richard the 2. Chap. 4. fol. 218. The penaltie if a Iudge or Clerke make any false Entry, rase a Roll, or change a verdict.

ITem, at the complaint of the said Communalty made to our Lord the King in the Parliament, for that great disherison in times past was done of the people, and may be done by the false entring of &illegible; rasing of Rolles, and changing of verdicts: It is accorded and assented, that if any Iudge or Clerke be of such default (so that by the same default there ensueth disherison of any of the parties,) sofficiently convict before the King and his Councell by the manner and forme, which to the same our Lord the King and his Councell shall seem reasonable, and within two yeares after such default made, if the partie grieved be of full age, and if he be within age, then within two years after that he shal come to his ful age, he shall be punished by fine and ransome at the Kings wit, and satisfie the party. And as to the restitution of the &illegible; desired by the said Commons, the party grieved shall sue by Writ or otherwise according to the Law, if hee see it expedient for him. St. 8. H. 6. 82.

The 12. of Richard the 2. Chap. 80. fol. 323. How many Iustices of peace there shall be in every County: and how often they shall keep their Sessions.

ITem, it is ordained and agreed, that in every Commission of the Iustices of Peace, there shall be assigned but six Iustices, with the Iustices of Assises, and that the said six Iustices shall keep their Sessions in every quarter of the yeare at the least, and by three dayes if need be, upon pain to be punished according to the discretion of the Kings Councell, at the suit of every man that will complain: And they shall inquire diligently among other things touching their offices, if the said Majors, Bailifes, Stewards, Constables and Gaolers have duly done execurion of the said Ordinances of servants and labourers, beggars and vagabonds, and shall punish them that be punishable by the said paine of an hundred shillings, by the same paine, and they that be found in default, and which be not punishable by the same pain, shall be punished by their discretion. And every of the said Iustices shall take for their wages foure shillings the day, for the time of their foresaid Sessions and their Clerke two shillings of the fines and amerciaments, rising and comming of the same Sessions, by the hands of the Sheriffes. And that the Lords of franchises, shall be contributary to the said wages, after the &illegible; of their part of fines and amerciaments aforesaid. And that no Steward of any Lord be assigned, in any of the said Commissions. And that no association shall be made to the Iustices of the peace after their first Commission. And it is not the intent of this Statute, that the Iustices of the one Bench, or of the other, nor the Serjeants of the Law, in case that they shall be named in the said Commissions, shall be bound by force of this Statute, to hold the said Sessions foure times in the yeare, as the other Commissioners, the which be continually dwelling in the Country, but that they shall doe it, when they may best &illegible; it.

The 13. of Richard the 2. Chap. 6. fol. 225. How many Serieants at Armes there shall be, and with what things they shall meddle.

ITem, at the grievous complaint made by the Commons to our Lord the King in this Parliament, of the excessive and superfluous number of Serjeants at Armes, and of many great extortions and oppressions done by them to the people: The King therefore doth will that they shall be discharged, and that of them and other there shall be taken of good and sufficient persons to the number of thirty, and no more from henceforth. And more over the King prohibiteth them to meddle with any thing that toucheth not their office. And that they doe no extortion nor oppression to the people, upon pain to loose their office, and to make a fine and ransome at the Kings pleasure, and full satisfaction to the parry.

The 20. of Richard the 2. Chap. 3. folio 243. No manshall sit upon the Bench with the Iustices of Assise.

ITem, the King doth will and forbid, that no Lord, nor other of the Country, little or great, shall sit upon the Bench, with the Iustices, to take Assises in their Sessions in the Counties of England, upon great forfeiture to the King: and hath charged his said Iustices, that they shall not suffer the the contrary to be done.

The 2. of Henry the 4. Chap. 23. fol. 253. The fees of the Marshall of the Marshallsey of the Kings house.

ITem, whereas the Marshall of the Marshallsey of the Court of our Lord the Kings house, in the time of King Edward, grandfather of our Lord the King that now is, and before was wont to take the fees, which doe hereafter follow, that is to say, of every person that commeth by Capias to the said Court, foure pence: and if he be let to mainprise till his day, two pence more: and of every person which is impleaded of trespasse, and findeth two mainpernors to keep his day, till the end of the plea, to take for that cause two pence of the defendant: and of every person committed to prison by judgement of the Steward, in whatsoever manner the same be, foure pence: of every person delivered of felony, and of every felon let to mainprise by the Court foure pence: which fees were wont to be taken and paid in full Court, as the King hath well perceived by the complaint of the said Commons thereof made in the said Parliament: The same our Lord the King, to avoid all such wrongs and oppressions to be done to his people, against the good customes and usages made and used in the time of his progenitors, by the advice & assent of the Lords Spiritual & Temporal, & at the supplication of the said Commons hath ordained and established, that if the said Marshall or his Officers, under him, take other fees then above are declared, that the same Marshall and every of his Officers, shall loose their Offices, and pay treble damages to the party greeved, and that the party greeved have his suit before the Stewards of the said Court for the time being.

Also it is ordained and established, that no Servitor of Bills that beareth a staffe of the same Court, shall take for every mile from the same Court to the same place, where he shall do his service any more then one penny, and so for 12. miles twelve pence, and for to serve a Venire facias 12. homines, &c. or a Distringes out of the same Court, the double. And if any of the said Servitors of Bills doe the contrary, he shall be punished by imprisonment, and make a fine to the King after the discretion of the Stewards of the same Court, and also be forejudged the Court, and the same Steward shall have power to make proclamation at his comming to the said Court, in every Country from time to time of all the articles aforesaid, and thereof to execute punishment as afore is said. 9. R. 2 9.

The 4 of Henry the 4 Chap. 23. fol. 259. Iudgements given shall continue untill they shall be reversed by attaint or error.

ITem, where as well in plea reall as in plea personall after judgement given in the Courts of our Lord the King, the parties be made to come upon grievous pain, sometime before the King himself, sometime before the Kings Councell, and sometimes to the Parliament, to answer therof of new, to the great impoverishing of the parties aforesaid, and in the subverson of the Common law of the land:19. H. 6 fo. 39. Dyer fo. 315. 321. 376. it is ordained and established, that after judgement given in the Court of our Lord the King, the parties and their heires shall be thereof in peace, untill the judgement be &illegible; by attaint or by error, if there be errors, as hath been used by the Law as in the time of the Kings progenitors.

The 5. of Henry the 4. Chap. 5. fol. 261. It shall be felony to cut out the tongue, or pull out the eyes of the Kings liege people.

ITem, because that in my offenders doe daily beat, wound, imprison, and maime divers of the Kings liege people, and after purposely cut their tongues, or put out their eyes. It is ordained and stablished, that in such case the offenders that so &illegible; tongues, or puts out the eyes of any the Kings liege people, and that duly proved, and found, that such deed was done of malice prepensed, they shall incur the pain of felony.

The 5. of Henry the 4. Chap. 10. fol. 263. Iustices of peace shall imprison none but in the Common Gaole.

ITem, because that divers Constables of Castles, within the Realme of England be assigned to be Iustices of Peace, by Commission of our Lord the King, and by colour of the said commissions they take people to whom they beare evill will,Cook li. 9. fo. 119. and imprison them within the said Castles, till they have made sine and ransome with the said Constables for their deliverance: It is ordained and established, that none be imprisoned by any Iustice of the Peace, but only in the common Gaole: Saving to Lords and other (which have Gaoles) their franchise in this case.

Now comes in some Statutes of palpable Bondage, about chusing Parliament men, &c. The first I shall give you is the 1. of Henry the 5. Chap. 1. fol. 274. What sort of people shall be chosen, and who shall be the choosers of the Knights and Burgesses of the Parliament.

FIrst, that the Statuts of the election of the Knights of the Shirs to come to the Parliament be holden and kept in all points: adioyning to the same, that the Knights of the Shires, which from henceforth shall be chosen in every Shire, be not chosen unlesse they be resident within the Shire where they shall be chosen,Rast. pl. fo. 446. the day of the date of the Writ of the summons of the Parliament. And that the Knights and &illegible; and other which shall be choosers of those Knights of the Shires be &illegible; within the same Shires in manner and forme as is aforesaid. And moreover, it is ordained and established, that the Citizens and Burgesses of the Cities and Boroughs be chosen men, Citizens and Burgesses &illegible; dwelling and free of the same cities and boroughs, and no other in any wife. 7. H. 4. 15. 8, H. 6. 7. 10. H. 6. 2. 23. H. 6. 15.

The 2. of Henry 5. Chap. 1. and 3. fol. 282. What sort of men shall be Iustices of the Peace.

FIrst, that the Iustices of the peace from henceforth to be made within the Counties of England, shall be made of most sufficient persons dwelling in the same counties, by the advice of the Chancellor and of the Kings Councell, without taking other persons dwelling in forain Counties so execute such office,1. Ed. 3. 16. 34. Ed. 3. 1. except the Lords and Iustices of Assises now named, and to be named by the King and his Councell. And except all the Kings chiefe Stewarde of the Land and Seigniories of the Duchie of Lancaster, in the North parts and in the &illegible; for the time being. 13. R. 2. 7.

Chap. 3. Of what estate those Iurors must be, which are to passe touching the life of man, plea reall, &illegible; forty markes damages.

ITem, the King considering the great mischiefes and disherisons, which daily happen through all the realm of England, as well in case of death of a man, as in case of freehold, and in other cases by them which passe in enquests in the said cases, which be common Iurors and other, that have &illegible; little to live upon, but by such inquests,2. H. 7. fo. 13. 10. H. 7. fo. 14. 9. H. 5. fo. 5. 10. H. 6. fo. 7. 8. 18. 7. H. 6. fo. 44. Dyer fo. 144 Cook Inst. part 1. 171. 2. Rast. pl. fo. 117. and which have nothing to loose, because of their false oaths, whereby they offend their conscience the more largely: and willing thereof to have correction and amendment, hath ordained and established by assent of the Lords and Commons aforesaid, that no person shall be admitted to passe in any enquest upon tryall of the death of a man, nor in any enquest betwixt party and party, in plea reall, nor in plea personall, whereof the debt or the damage declared, amount to forty marks, if the same person have not Land, or Tenements of the yearly value of forty shillings, above all charges of the same, so that it be challenged by the party, that any such person so impanelled in the same cases, hath not Lands or tenements of the yearly value of forty shillings above the charges as afore is said. 28 Ed. 3. 13 8. H. 6. 29.

The 8. of Henry the 6. Chap. 7. fol. 304. What sort of men shall be choosers, and who shall be chosen Knights of the Parliament.

ITem, Where as the election of Knights of Shires, to come to the Parliament of our Lord &illegible; King, in many Counties of the Realm of England, have now of late been made by very great outragious and excessive number of people, dwelling within the same Counties of the Realm of England, of the which most part was of people of small substance,* and of no value, whereof every of them pretended a voice equivalent,1. H. 9. 1. 10. H. 6. as to such elections to be made, with the most worthy Knights and Esquites dwelling within the same Counties, whereby manslaughters, riots, batteries, and divisions among the Gentlemen, and other peoples of the same Counties shall very likely rise and be, unlesse convenient and due remedy be provided in this behalf:2. 6. H. 6. 4. 11. H. 4. 2. 23. H. 6. 15. Raft. pl. fo. &illegible; Our Lord the King considering the premisses, hath provided, ordained, and established by authority of this present Parliament, that the Knights of the Shires to be chosen within the same Realm of England, to come to the Parliaments of our Lord the King, hereafter to be holden, shall be chosen in every County of the Realm of England, by people dwelling and resident in the same Counties, whereof every one of them shall have land or tenement, to the value of forty shillings by the year at least, above all charges, and that they which shall be so chosen shall be dwelling, and resident within the same Counties. And such as have the greatest number of them, that may EXPEND FORTY SHILLINGS by yeare, and above, as afore is said, shall be returned by the Sheriffes of every County Knights for Parliament, by Indentures sealed betwixt the said Sheriffes, and the said choosers so to be made. And every Sheriffes of the Realm of England shall have power by the said authority to examine upon the Evangel &illegible; every such chooser, how much he may expend by the yeare: And if any Sheriffes realm Knights, to come to the Parliament contrary to the said Ordinance the Iustices of Assiles in their Seasions of Assiles shall have power by the authority aforesaid, thereof to enquire. And if by enquest the same be found before the Iustices, and the Sheriffes there of be duly attainted that then the said Sheriffes shall &illegible; pain of an hundred pound, to be paid to our Lord the King, and also that he have &illegible; by a yeare, without being les to mainprise or baile, And that the Knights for the Parliament returned contrary to the said Ordinance, shall loose their wages. 10. H. 6. 2.

Provided alwayes, that he which cannot expend forty shillings by yeare, as afore is said, shall in no wise be chooser of the Knights for the Parliament. And that in every writ that shall hereafter goe forth to the Sheriffes, to choose Knights for the Parliament, mention be made of the said Ordinances.

The 18. of Henry the 6. Chap. 11. fol. 332. Of what yearely value in lands a Iustice of Peace ought to be.

ITem, whereas by Statutes made in the time of the Kings noble Progenitots, it was ordained,1. Ed. 3. 16 18. Ed. 3. 2. 13. R. 2. 7. 17. R. 2. 10. that in every County of England, Justices should be assigned of the most worthy of the same counties, to keep the peace, and to doe other things, as in the same Statutes fully is contained, which Statutes notwithstanding, now of late in many Counties of England the greatest number have been deputed and assigned, which before this were not wont to be, where of some be of small behaviour, by whom the people will not be governed nor ruled, and some for their necessity doe great extortion and oppression upon the people, whereof great inconveniences be likely to rise daily, if the King therefore does not provide remedy; The King willing against such inconveniences to provide remedy, hath ordained and established by authority aforesaid, That no Iustice of peace within the Realm of England in any County, shall be assigned or deputed, if he have not lands or tenements to the value of 20. l. by yeare: and if any be ordained hereafter to be Iustices of peace in any County, which hath not lands or tenements to the value aforesaid, that he there of shall give knowledge to the Chancellor of England for the time being, which shall put another sufficient in his place, and and if he give not the said knowledge (as before) within a moneth after, that he hath notice of such Commissions, or if he sit or make any warrant or precept by force of such Commissions, he shall incur the penalty of 20. l. and neverthelesse be put out of the Commission as before, and the King shall have the one half of the said penalty, and he that will sue for the King the other half, and he that will sue for the King, and for himself, shall have an action to demand the same penalty by writ of debt at the common Law.

Provided alwayes, that this Ordinance shall not extend to Cities, Towns, or Boroughs, which be Counties incorporate of themselves, nor to cities, towns, or boroughs, which have Iustices of peace of persons dwelling in the same by commission or warrant of the King, or of his progenitors. Provided also, that if there be not sufficient persons having lands & tenements to the value aforesaid, learned in the Law, and of good governance within any such County, that the Chancellor of England for the time being, shall have power to put other discreet persons learned in the Law, in such Commissions, though they have not lands or tenements to the value aforesaid, by his discretion. 27. H. 8. chap. 24.

The 20. of Henry the 6. Chap. 8. fol. 336. In what case the Kings Purveyors that would take Cattell, may be resisted.

ITem, it is ordained by the authority aforesaid, that the Statutes before this time made of Purveyors and buyers, shall be holden and kept, and put in due execution. And in case that any purveyor, buyer, or taker, will take and make purveyance, or buy any thing to the value of forty shillings,28. Ed. 3. 12. or under of any person, and make not ready payment in hand, that then it shall be lawfull to every of the Kings liege people to retain their goods and cattels, and to resist such purveyors and buyers, and in no wise suffer them to make any such purveyances, buyings, or takings: And to keep the peace better, every constable, tithingman, or chief pledge of every town or hamlet, where such takings or purveyances shall be made, shall be helping or assistant to the owner, or seller of such things, to be taken against the forme of this Ordinance, to make resistance in the manner aforesaid, in case that such constables, tithingmen, or chiefe pledges be required so to doe, upon pain to yeeld to the party so grieved the value of the things so taken with his double damages: and that none of the Kings liege people be put to losse or damage by the King or any officer for such resistance. And that none of the Kings officers shall cause to be arrested, vexed, or impleaded in the Court of the Marshalsey or elsewhere, any of the Kings liege people for such detaining, or not suffering to be done, upon paine to loose 20. l. the one moity thereof to the King, and the other moity to him which will in such case sue: and that the Iustices of peace in every County, shall have power by authority of this Ordinance, to inquire, hear, and determine as well at the suit of the King, as of him that will sue, of any thing done against this Ordinance, and thereof to make due punishment, and execution, and to award damages to the party plaintife, when any defendant is thereof duly convict, and that upon every action to be taken upon this Ordinance, every party defendant shall be put to answer unto it without the aid of the King, and in such actions to be taken, processe shall be made as in a writ of trespasse, done against the peace, and that in every Commission of Purveyors, buyers, or takers to be made, this Ordinance shall be contained and expressed. And moreover that this Ordinance among other Statutes of purveyors, buyers, or takers before this time made,2. H. 6. 2. 36. E. 3. 6. shall he sent to the Sherifes of every County of England to proclaim and deliver the said Statutes, and Ordinances in the manner and forme contained in the Statute of purveyors and buyers, made the first year of the reign of our said Lord the King, upon the paine contained in the Statute. And moreover the King will and commandeth, that the Statute made the 36. year of King Edward, late King of England, the third after the conquest, touching the purveyors of other persons then of the King, shall be put in due execution. 2. H. 4. 14.

The 23. of Henry the 6. Chap. 10. fol. 340. No Sheriffe shall let to Farme his County or any Bailiwick. The Sheriffes and Bailiffes fees and duties in severall cases.

ITem, the King considering the great perjury, extortion, and oppression, which be, and have been in this realme, by his Sherifes, under Sherifess and their Clerkes, Coroners, Stewards of franchises,20. H. 7. fo. 12. 21. H. 7. fo. 36. 4. H. 4. 5. Kel. fo. 108. 21. H. 7. fo. 16. Rast. pla. fo. 318. Coke. pla. 365. 3. E. 1. 26. Dyer. fo. 119. Bailifes and keepers of prisons, and other officers in divers counties of this realm, hath ordained by authority aforesaid, in eschewing of all such extortions, perjury, and oppressiion, that no Sherife shall let to farme in any manner his county, nor any of his Bailiwicks, Hundreds, nor wapentakes, nor that the said Sherifes, under Sheifes, bailiaffes of Franchises, nor any other Bailiffe, shall return upon any writ or precept to them directed to be returned, any inquests in any panell thereupon to be made, any Bailiffes, officers, or servants to any of the officers aforesaid, in any panell by them so to be made, nor that any of the said Officers and Ministers, by occasion or under colour of their office, shall take any other thing by them, nor by any other person to their use, profit, or avail, of any person by them, or any of them, to be arrested, or attached, nor of any other of them, for the omitting of any arrest or, attachment to be made by their body, or of any person by them, or any of them, by force, or colour of their office arrested or attached for fine, fee, suit of prison, mainprise, letting to baile, or shewing any ease or favour to any such person so arrested or to be arrested for their reward or profit, but such a, follow, that is to say. For the Sheriffe twenty pence, the Bailiffe that maketh the arrest or attachment foure pence, and the Gaoler, if the prisoner be committed to his Ward, foure pence. And that the Sheriffe, under Sheriffe, Sheriffes Clerke, Steward, or Bailiffe of Franchise, servant or Bailiffe, or Coroner shall not take any thing by colour of his office by him, not by any other person to his use, of any person, for the making of any return or panell, and for the copy of any panell, but foure pence, and that the said Sheriffes and all other officers and Ministers aforesaid, shall let out of prison all manner of persons by them or any of them arrested, or being in their custody by force of any writ, bill, or warrant, in any action personall, or by cause of indictment of trespasse, upon reasonable sureties of sufficient persons, having sufficient within the counties where such persons be so let to bail or mainprise,Fliz. N. B. fo. 251. B. Plow. fo. 60. Coke. l. 10. fo. 101. 37. H. 6. fo. 1. Plow. fo. 60. Dyer fo. 118. 323. 364. 7. Ed. 4. fo. 5. Coke li. 3. fo. 59. li. 10. fo. 99. Rast. pla. fo. 371. 31. El. 9. Dyer fo. 25. to keep their dayes in such places as the said writs, bils, or warrants shall require. (Such person or persons which shall be in their Ward by condemnation, execution, Capias utlagatum or excommunicatum, surety of the peace, and all such persons, which be or shall be committed to ward by speciall commandement of any Iustices, and vagabonds refusing to serue according to the forme of the Statute of Labourers only except.) And that no Sheriffe, nor any of his officers or Ministers aforesaid, that take or cause to be taken, or make any obligation for any cause aforesaid, or by colour of their office, but only to themselves, of any person, nor by any person, which shall be in their Ward by the course of the law, but by the name of their office, and upon condition writen, that the said prisoners shall appeare at the day contained in the said writ, bill or warrant, and in such places, as the said writs, bills, or warrants shall require. And if any of the said Sheriffes or other Officers or Ministers aforesaid, take any obligation in other form by colour of their offices, that it shall be void. And that he shall take no more for the making of any such Obligation, Warrant, or precept by them to be made, but foure pence. And also that every of the said Sheriffes shall make yearly a deputy in the Kings Courts of his Chancery, the Kings Bench, the Common Place, and in the Exchequer of Record, before that they shall return any Writs, to receive all manner of Writs and Warrants to be delivered to them: And that all Sheriffes, under Sheriffes, Clerkes, Bailiffes, Gaolers, Coroners, Stewards, Bailiffes of Franchises, or any other officers or ministers, which doe contrary to this Ordinance in any point of the same, shall loose to the party in this behalfe indamaged, or grieved his treble damages, and shall forfeit the summe of 40. l. at every time that they or any of them doe the contrary thereof in any point of the same, whereof the King shall have the one halfe to be imployed to the use of his house, and in no otherwise, and the party that will sue the other halfe. And that the Iustices of Assises in their Sessions, Iustices of the one Bench and of the other, and Iustices of the Peace in their County, shall have power to enquire, heare and determine of office without speciall Commission, of and upon all them that doe contrary to these Ordinances in any article or point of the same. And if the said Sheriffes return upon any person Cepi corpus or Reddidit se, that they shall be chargeable to have the bodies of the said persons at the dayes of the returns of the said Writs, Bills, or Warrants, in such form as they were before the making of this Act.

The 1. of Richard the 3. Chap. 3. fol. 385. Every Iustice of peace may let a prisoner to mainprise. No Officer shall seise the goods of a prisoner untill he be attainted.

FOrasmuch as divers persons have been dayly arrested and imprisoned for suspection of Felony, somtime of malice, and sometime of a light suspection, and so kept in prison without baile or mainprise to their great vexation and trouble: Be it ordained and established by authority of this present Parliament, that every Iustice of peace in every Shire, City, or Town, shall have authority, and power by his or their discretion, to let such prisoners and persons so arrested, to Baile or Mainprise, in like forme as though the same prisoners or persons were indicted thereof of record before the same Iustices in their Sessions: and that Iustices of Peace have authority to enquire in their Sessions of all manner escapes of every person arrested and imprisoned for felony.Rep. 3. H. 7. 3. 1. & 2. P. & M. 13. 7. H. 4. fo. 47. 44. Ass. Pl. 14. 43. Ed. 3. fo. 24. And that no Sheriffe, under Sheriffe not Escheater, Bailiffe of franchise, nor any other person, take of seize the goods of any person arrested or imprisoned for suspition of felony, before that the same person so arrested and imprisoned, be convicted or attainted of such felony according to the Law, or else the same goods otherwise lawfully forfeited, upon pain to forfeit the double value of the goods so taken, to him that is so hurt in that behalfe, by action of debt to be pursued by like processe, judgement and execution, as is commonly used in other actions of debt sued at the Common law. And that no essoin, or protection be allowed in any such actions Nor that the defendant in any such action be admitted to wage or doe his Law.Cook li. 1 fo. 171. 26. Ass. pl. 32.

I shall here give you a clause of the 2. and 3. of Edw. 6. Chap. 13. fol. 867.

And be it further inacted by authority aforesaid, that if any person doe substrict or withdraw any manner of tyths, obventions, profits, commodities, or other duties before mentioned, or any part of them contrary to the true meaning of this act, or of any other act heretofore made, that then the party so substracting, for withdrawing the same, may or shall be convented and sued in the Kings Ecclesiastical court, by the party from whom the same shal be substracted or withdrawn, to the intent the Kings Iudge Ecclesiasticall shall and may, then and there, heare and determine the same according to the Kings Ecclesiasticall Lawes. And that it shall not be lawfull unto the Parson, Vicar, Proprietory, Owner, or other their Fermors, or deputies contrary to this act, to convent or sue such withholder of tithes, obventions, or other duties aforesaid, before any other Iudge, than Ecclesiasticall. And if any Arch-Bishop, Bishop, Chancellor, or other Iudge Ecclesiasticall, give any sentence in the foresaid causes of tithes, obventions, profits, emoluments and other duties aforesaid, or in any of them (and no appeale no prohibition hanging) and the party condemned doe not obey the said sentence, that then it shall be lawfull to every such Iudge Ecclesiasticall, to excommunicate the said party, so as afore condemned, and disobeying, in the which sentence of excommunication, if the said party excommunicate wilfully stand and endure still excommunicate, by the space of 40. dayes next after, upon denunciation and publication thereof, in the Parish Church, or the place, or Parish where the party so excommunicate is dwelling, or most abiding, the said Iudge Ecclesiasticall, may then at his pleasure signifie to the King in his court of Chancery, of the state and condition of the said party so excommunicate, and thereupon to require processe Deexcommunicate capiendo, to be awarded against every such person, as hath been so excommunicate.

The 13. of Elizabeth, Cha. 12. fol. 1099. Reformation of disorders in the Ministers of the Church.

3. Ed. 6. 12. 5. Ed. 6. 1.THat the Churches of the Queens Majesties Dominions may be served with Pastors of sound Religion: be it inacted by the authority of this Present Parliament, That every person under the degree of a Bishop, which doth, or shall pretend to be a Priest or Minister of Gods holy word and Sacrament, by reason of any other forme of institution, Consecration, or ordering, than the forme set forth by Parliament in the time of the late King of most worthy memory, King Edward the sixth, or now used in the reign of our most gracious Soveraign Lady, before the feast of the Nativity of Christ next following, shall in the presence of the Bishop or Guardian of the spiritualities of some one diocesse, where he hath, or shall have Ecclesiasticall living, declare his assent, anda subscribe to all the Articles of Religion, which only concerne the confession of the true Christian faith, and the doctrine of the Sacraments, comprised in a book imprinted, entituled, Articles, whereupon it was agreed by the Arch-Bishops, and Bishops of both Provinces, and the whole Clergie in the Convocation holden at London in the yeare of our Lord God, a thousand five hundred sixty and two, according to the computation of the Church of England, for the avoiding of the diversities of opinions, and for the establishing of consent touching true Religion, put forth by the Queens authority: and shall bring from such Bishop or Guardian of spiritualties, in writing under his seale authentick, a testimoniall of such assent and subscription, and openly on some Sunday in the time of some publique service afternoone, in every Church where by reason of any Ecclesiasticall living he ought to attend, read both the said testimonial, and the said Articles upon pain that every such person which shall not before the said Feast doe as is above appointed, shall beb (ipso facto) deprived, and all his Ecclesiasticall promotions shall be void, as if he then were naturally dead.

And that if any person Ecclesiasticall, or which shall have Ecclesiasticall living, shall advisedly maintaine or affirme any doctrine directly contrary or repugnant to any of the said Articles, and being convented before the Bishop of the Diocesse, or the Ordinary, or before the Queens Highnesse Commissioners in causes Ecclesiasticall, shall persist therein, or not revoke his error, or after such revocation eftsoones affirme such untrue doctrine: such maintaining or affirming, and persisting, or such eftsoon affirming, shall be just cause to deprive such person of his Ecclesiasticall promotions: And it shall be lawfull to the Bishop of the Diocesse, or the Ordinary, or the said Commissioners, to deprive such persons so persisting, or lawfully convicted of such eftsoones affirming, and upon such sentence of deprivation pronounced, he shall be indeed deprived.

And that no person, shall hereafter be admitted to any Benefice with Cure, except he then be of the age of three and twentie years at the least, and a Deacon, and shall first have subscribed the said Articles in presence of the Ordinary, and publikely read the same in the Parish Church of that benefice with declaration of his unfained assent to the same. And that every person after the end of this Session of Parliament to be admitted to a benefice with Cure, except that within two moneths after his induction, he doe publiquely read the said Articles in the same Church, whereof he shall have Cure, in the time of Common Prayer there, with declaration of his unfeined assent thereto, and be admitted to minister the Sacrament within one yeare after his induction, if he be not so admitted before, shall be upon every such default, ipso facto, immediately deprived.

And that no person now permitted by any dispensation or otherwise, shall retain any Benefice with cure, being under the age of one and twenty years, or not being Deacon at this least, of which shall not be admitted as is aforesaid, within one year next after the making of this act, or within six moneths after he shall accomplish the age of 24. yeares, on pain that such his dispensation shall be meerly void.

And that none shall be made Minister, or admitted to preach or administer the Sacraments, being under the age of 24. years, nor unlesse he first bring to the Bishop of that Diocesse from men known to the Bishop to be of sound Religion, a Testimoniall both of his honest life, and of his professing the doctrine expressed in the said Articles: nor unlesse he be able to answer and render to the Ordinary an accompt of his faith in Latine, according to the said Articles, or have speciall gift and ability to be a Preacher: nor shall be admitted to the order of Deacon or Ministry, unlesse he shall first subscribe to the said Articles.

And that none hereafter shall be admitted to any Benifice with Cure, of or about the value of thirty pounds yearly in the Queens Books, unlesse he shall then be a Batchelour of Divinity, or a Preacher lawfully allowed by some Bishop within this Realme, or by one of the Universities of Cambridge or Oxford.

And that all admissions to Benefices, Institutions, and inductions to be made of any person contrary to the for me or any provision of this Act, and all tolerations, dispensations, qualifications, and licences, whatsoever to be made to the contrary hereof, shall be meerly void in law, as if they never were.

Provided alway, that no title to conferre or present by(a) lapse, shall accrue upon any deprivation, ipso facto, but after six moneths after notiec of such deprivation given by the Ordinary to the Patron.

The 1. of Iames Chap. 10. fol. 1 262. Nothing shall be taken for the report of a Case referred by any Court

FOrasmuch as all exactions, extortions and corruptions are odious, and prohibited, in all well governed Common-weales, Be it inacted, that no person, to whom any order or cause I shall be committed or referred, by any of the Kings Iudges, or Courts at Westminster, or any other Court shall directly or indirectly, or by any art, thift, colour or device, have, take, or receive, any money, fee, reward, covenant, obligation, promise, agreement, or any other thing, for his report or Certificate by writing, or otherwise, upon pain of the forfeiture of 100. l. for every such Report or Certificate, and to be deprived of his office and place in the same Court: the one moity of the said forfeitures to be our Soveraign Lord the King, his heires and successors, the other moity to the party grieved, which will sue for the same, at any time during the said suit, or within one yeare after the same cause discontinued or decreed, and in his default of such suit to him or them that will sue for the same, by originall Writ, Bill, plaint, or Information in his Majesties high Court of Star Chamber, or in any his Majesties Courts of Record at Westminster, in which suit, by Writ, Bill, plaint, or Information, no wager of Law, Essoin, Priviledge, Supersedeas, Protection, or any other delay, shall be suffered or admitted.

Provided neverthelesse, that it shall be lawfull for the Clerke to take for his paines for writing of every such Report or Certificate, 12. d. for the first side, and 2. for every side after, and no more, upon paine to forfeit 10. 2, for every peny taken over and above the said summe, to be had and recovered as aforesaid.

Having given you the most materiall Statutes, that I conceive at present makes for your most advantage, that I can find in the Statutes at large, I shall here insert three or foure Statutes made this present Parliament, that in my judgement is extraordinary well worth your knowledge and understanding, the first thus followes.


Anno 17. Caroli Regis.

An Act for regulating of the Privie Councell, and for taking away the Court commonly called, the Star Chamber.

WHereas by the GREATa CHRTER many times confirmed in Parliament, It is inacted, that no freeman shall be taken or imprisoned or disseised of his free hold or Liberties or free Customes, or be Outlawed or exiled or otherwise destroyed, and that the King will not passe upon him, or condemne but by lawfull judgement of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land; And by another Statute made in theb fifth yeare of the Reigne of King Edward the third, It is inacted, That no man shall be attached by any accusation, nor fore-judged of life or lim, nor his Lands, Tenements, Goods, nor Chattels seised into the Kings hands against the forme of the GREAT CHARTER, and the law of the land. And by another Statute made in the five and twentieth yearc of the reigne of the same King Edward the third, It is accorded, assented and established, that none shall be taken by position, or suggestion made to the King or to his Councell, unlesse it be by Indictment or Presentment of good and lawfull people of the same Neighbourhood where such deeds be done, in due manner, or by Processe made by Writ originall at the Common Law, and that none he put out of his Franchise or Free-hold, unlesse he be by duty brought in, to answer, and fore-judged of the same by the course of the Law, and if any thing be done against the same, it shall be redressed and holden for none. And by another Statute made in the 28 yeard of the Reign of the same King Edward the third, It is amongst other things inacted, that no man of what estate or condition soever he be, shall be put out of his Lands or Tenements, nor taken nor imprisoned, nor disinherited, without being brought in to answer by due processe of Law. And by another Staute made in the 42. yearee of the Reign of the said King Edward the third. It is enacted 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 be done to the contrary, it shall be void in Law, and holden for error. And by another Statute made in the 36, year off the same King Edward the third, It is amongst other things inacted, That all Pleas which shall be pleaded in any courts before any the Kings Iustices, or in his other places, or before any of His other Ministers, or in the Courts and places of any other Lords within the Realm, shall be entred and enrolled in Latine. And whereas by the Statute made in the third yeare of King Henry the seventh, power is given to the Chancellour, the Lord Treasurer of England for the time being, and the Keeper of the Kings Privie Seale, or two of them, calling unto them a Bishop and a Temporall Lord of the Kings most honourable Councell, and the two chiefe Iustices of the Kings Bench and common Pleas for the time being, or other two Iustices in their absence to proceed, as in that Act is expressed, for the punishment of some particular offences therein mentioned. And by the Statute made in the one and twentieth yeare of King Henry the eighth, The President of the Councell is associated to ioyne with the Lord Chancellour and other Iudges in the said Statute, of the third of Henry the seveth mentioned, But the said Iudges have not kept themselves to the points limited by the said Statute, but have undertaken to punish where no law doth warrant, and to make Decrees for things having no such authority, and to instict heavier punishments then by any law is warranted.

And forasmuch as all matters examinable, or determinable before the said Iudges, or in the Court commonly called the Star-Chamber, may have their proper remedy and redresse, and their due punishment, and correction by the Common Law of the Land, and in the ordinary course of justice elsewhere; And forasmuch as the reasons and motives inducing the erection and continuance of that Court doe now cease, and the proceedings, Censures, and Decrees of that Court, have by experience been found to be an intolerable burthen to the Subiect, and the meanes to introduce an Arbitrary power and Government, And forasmuch as the Councell Table, hath of late times assumed unto it self a power to intermeddle in Civill causes and matters, only of private interest between party and party, and have adventured to determine the Estates and Liberties of the Subiect, contrary to the Law of the Land, and the rights and priviledges of the Subiect, by which great and manifold mischiefes, and inconveniencies have arisen and hapned, and much incertainty by meanes of such proceedings hath been conceived concerning mens rights, and estates; For setling whereof, and preventing the like in time to come.

Be it Ordained and Enacted by Authority of this present Parliament. That the said Court commonly called the Star-Chamber, and all Iurisdiction, power, and authoritie, belonging unto, or exercised in the same Court, or by any of the Iudges, Officers, or Ministers thereof, be from the first day of August, in the yeare of our Lord God, 1641. clearly and absolutely dissolved, taken away, and determined, and that from the said first day of August, neither the Lord Chancellour, or Keeper of the great Seale of England, the Lord Treasurer of England, the Keeper of the Kings Privie Seale, or President of the Councell, nor any Bishop, Temporall Lord, Privie Councellor, or Iudge, or Iustice whatsoever, shall have any power, or authority to heart, examin, or determin any matter, or thing whatsoever, in the said Court commonly called the Star-Chamber, or to make, pronounce, or deliver any Iudgment, Sentence, Order, or Decree, or to doe any Iudiciall, or Ministeriall Act in the said Court; And that all and every Act, and Acts of Parliament, and all and every Article, clause and sentence in them, and every of them, by which any Jurisdiction, power, or authority is given, limited, or appointed unto the said Court commonly called the Star-Chamber, or unto &illegible; or any the Iudges, Officers, or Ministers thereof, or for any proceedings to be had, or made in the said Court, or for any matter, or thing to be drawn into question, examined, or determined there, shall for so much as concerneth the said Court of Star-Chamber, and the power and authority thereby given unto it, be from the said first day of August repealed, and absolutely revoked and made void.

And be it like wise enacted, That the like jurisdiction now used and exercised in the Court before the President, and Councell in the Marches of Wales, and also in the Court, before the President, and Councell established in the Northern parts: And also in the Court, commonly called the Court of the Duchy of Lancaster, held before the Chancellor, and Councell of that Court: And also in the Court of Exchequer, of the County Palatine of Chester, held before the Chamberlain and Councell of that Court; The like iurisdiction being exercised there, shall from the said first day of August 1641; be also repealed, and absolutely revoked and made void, any Law, prescription, custome, or usage, Or the said Statute made in the third yeare of King Henry the seventh; Or the Statute, made the one and twentieth of Henry the eighth, Or any Act, or Acts of Parliament heretofore had, or made to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding; And that from henceforth no Court, Councell, or place of Iudicature shall be erected, ordained, constituted, or appointed within this Realm of England, or Dominion of Wales, which shall have, use, or exercise the same, or the like Iurisdiction, as is, or hath been used, practised, or exercised in the said Court of Star-Chamber.

Be it likewise declared, and enacted by authority of this present Parliament, That neither his Majestie, nor his Privie Councell, have, or ought to have any Iurisdiction, power or authority, by English Bill, Petition, Articles, Libell, or any other Arbitrary way whatsoever, to examine or draw into question, determine, or dispose of the Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, Goods, or Chattels, of any the Subiects of this Kingdome; But that the same ought to be tryed, and determined in the ordinary Courts of Iustice, and by the ordinary course of the law.

And be it further provided, and enacted, That if any Lord Chancellor, or Keeper of the great Seale of England, Lord Treasurer, Keeper of the Kings privie Seale, President of the Councell, Bishop, Temporall Lord, Privie Councellor, Iudge, or Iustice whatsoever, shall offend or doe any thing contrary to the purport, true intent and meaning of this Law, Then he or they shall for such offence, forfeit the summe of five hundred pounds of lawfull money of England, unto any party grieved, his Executors, or Administrators, who shall really prosecute for the same, and first obtain judgement thereupon, to be recorded in any Court of Record at Westminster, by action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, wherein no Essoine, Protection, Wager of Law, Aid, Prayer, Priviledge, Injunction, or Order of restraint shall be in any wise, prayed, granted, or allowed, nor any more then one Imparlance. And if any person, against whom any such Iudgement, or Recovery shall be had as aforesaid, shall after such Iudgement, or Recovery offend again in the same, then he, or they for such offence, shall forfeit the summe of one thousand pounds, of lawfull money of England, unto any partie grieved, his Executors, or Administrators, who shall really prosecute for the same, and first obtaine Iudgement thereupon to be Recorded in any Court of Record at Westminster, by action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in which no Essoine, Protection, Wager of Law, Aid, Prayer: Priviledge, Injunction, or Order of Restraint, shall be in any wise prayed, granted, or allowed nor any more then one Imparlance. And if any person against whom any such second Iudgement, or Recovery shall be had as aforesaid, shall after such Iudgement, or Recovery offend againe in the same kind, and shall bee thereof duly convicted, by Indictment, Information, or any other lawfull way, or meanes, that such persons so convicted, shall be from thenceforth disabled, and become by vertue of this Act incapable, Ipso facto, to beare his, and their said Office, and Offices respectively, and shall be likewise disabled to make any Gift, Grant, Conveyance, or other disposition of any his Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, Goods, or Chattels, or to make any benefit of any Gift, Conveyance, or Legacy to his own use.

And every person so offending shall likewise forfeit and loose unto the party grieved, by any thing done contrary to the true intent and meaning of this Law, his trebble dammages, which he shall sustain, and be put unto by meanes, or occasion of any such Act, or thing done, the same to be recovered in any of His Majesties Courts of Record at Westminster, by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, wherein no Essoine, Protection, Wager of Law, Aid, Prayer, Priviledge, Injunction or Order of Restraint, shall be in any wise Prayed, Granted, or Allowed, nor any more then one Imparlance.

And be it also provided and enacted, That if any person shall hereafter be committed, restrained of his liberty, or suffer imprisonment by the Order or Decree of any such Court of Star-Chamber, or other Court aforesaid, now, or at any time hereafter having, or pretending to have the same or like jurisdiction, Power or Authority to commit, or imprison at aforesaid; Or by the Command or Warrant of the Kings Maiestie, his Heires or Successours in their own person, or by the Command or Warrant of the Councell-board, or any of the Lords, or other of his Majesties Privie Councell, that in every such case every person so committed, restrained of his libertie, or suffering imprisonment upon demand or motion made by his Councell, or other employed by him for that purpose, unto the Iudges of the Court of Kings Bench, or Common Pleas, in open Court, shall without delay, upon any pretence whatsoever, for the ordinary Fees usually paid for the same, have forthwith granted unto him a writ of Habeas Corpus to be directed generally unto all and every Sheriffs, Gaoler, Minister, Officer, or other person in whose custody the party so committed or restrained shall be, and the Sheriffs, Gaoler, Minister, Officer, or other person, in whose custody the party so committed or restrained shall be, shall at the return of the said writ and according to the command thereof, upon due and convenient notice thereof given unto him, at the charge of the party who requireth or procureth such Writ, and upon security by his own bond given, to pay the charge of carrying back the prisoner, if he shall be remanded by the Court, to which he shall be brought, as in like cases hath been used, such charges of bringing up and carrying back the prisoner, to be alwayes ordered by the Court, if any difference shall arise thereabout, bring or cause to be brought the body of the said party so committed, or restrained, unto and before the Iudges or Iustices of the said Court, from whence the same writ shall issue in open Court, and shall then likewise certifie the true cause of his deteinour, or imprisonment, and thereupon the Court within three Court dayes after such return made and delivered in open Court, shall proceed to examine or determine whether the cause of such Commitment appearing upon the said return be just and legall, or not, and shall thereupon doe what to justice shall appertam, either by delivering, bailing, or remanding the prisoner. And if any thing shall be otherwise wilfully done or omitted to be done by any Iudge, Justice, Officer, or other person afore mentioned, contrary to the direction and true meaning hereof, That then such person so offending shall forfeit to the party grieved, histrebble dammages, to be recovered by such meanes and in such manner, as is formerly in this Act limited and appointed for the like penaltie to be sued for and recovered.

Provided alwayes and be it enacted That this Act, and the severall Clauses therein contained shall be taken and expounded to extend only to the Court of Star-chamber, and to the said Courts holden before the President and Councell in the Marches of Wales, and before the President and Councell in the Northernparts; And also to the Court commonly called the Court of the Dutchy of Lancaster, holden before the Chancellor and Councell of that Court: And also in the Court of Exchequer of the County Palatine of Chester, held before the Chamberlain and Councell of that Court; And to all Courts of like Jurisdiction to be hereafter erected, ordained, constituted, or appointed as aforesaid, And to the warrants and Directions of the Councell board, and to the Commitments, restraints and imprisements of any person or persons made, commanded, or awarded by the Kings Majestie, his Heires or Successours in their own person, or by the Lords and others of the Privie Councell, and every one of them.

And lastly, provided, and be it enacted, That no person or persons shall be sued, impleaded, molested, or troubled, for any offence against this present Act, unlesle the party supposed to have to offended, shall be sued or impleaded for the same within of two yeares at the most after such time wherein the said offence shall be committed.

Anno XVII. Caroli Regis.

An Act for the declaring unlawfull and void the late proceedings touching Ship money, and for the vacating of all Records and Processe concerning the same.

VVHereas divers Writs of late time, issued under the Great Seal of England, commonly called Shipwrits, for the charging of the Ports, Towns, Cities, Boroughs, and Counties of this Realm respectively, to provide and furnish certain Ships for his Majesties service: And whereas upon the execution of the same Writs, and Returnes of Certioraries thereupon made, and the sending the same by Mittimus into the Court of Exchequer, Processe hath bin thence made against sundry persons pretended to be charged by way of contribution, for the making up of certain sums assessed for the providing of the said Ships, and in especiall in Easter Yearm, in the thirteenth yeare of the Reign of our Soveraign Lord the King that now is a Writ of Scire facias was awarded out of the Court of Exchequer, to the then Sheriffe of BUCKINGHAM-SHIRE, against IOHN HAMDEN Esquire to appeare and shew cause, why hee should not be charged with a certain summe so assessed upon him, upon whose appearance and demurrer to the proceedings therein, the Barons of the Exchequer, adiourned the same case into the Exchequer Chamber, where it was solemnly argued divers dayes and at length it was there agreed by the greater part of all the Justies of the Courts of Kings Bench, and Common Pleas, and of the Barons of the Exchequer there assembled, that the said Iohn Hambden should be charged with the said summe so as aforesaid assessed on him; The maine grounds and reasons of the said Iustices and Barons which so agreed, being that when the good and safety of the Kingdome in generall is concerned, and the whole Kingdome in danger, the King might by writ under the Great Seale of England, command all his Subjects of this his Kingdom, at their charge to provide and furnish such number of Ships with Men, Victualls, and Munition, and for such time as the King should think sit, for the defence and safegard of the Kingdome, from such danger and perill, and that by Law the King might compell the doing thereof, incase of refusall, or restactarinesse, and that the King is the sole Iudge both of the danger, and when, and how the same is to be prevented, & avoided, according to which grounds & reasons, at the Iustices of the said courts of Kings Bench, & Common Pleas, & the said Barons of the Exchequer having bin formerly consulted with by his Majestis command, had set their bands to an extraindiciall opinion expressed to the same purpose, which opinion with their names thereunto was also by his Maiesties command inrolled in the Courts of Chancery, Kings Bench, Common Pleas, and Exchequer, and likewise entred among the Remembrances of the Court of Star-Chamber, and according to the said agreement of the said Iustices, and Barons, judgement was given by the Barons of the Exchequer, that the said IOHN HAMPDEN should be charged with the said summe so assessed on him; And whereas some other Actions and Processe depend, and have depended in the said Court of Exchequer, and in some other Courts against other persons, for the like kind of charge, grounded upon the said Writs, commonly called SHIPWRITS, all which Writs, and proceedings as aforesaid, were VTTERLY against the Law of the Land.

Be it therefore declared and enacted by the Kings most Excellent Maiestie, and the Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That the said chargeimposed upon the Subject, for the providing and furnishing of Ships, commonly called Ship-money, and the said extraiudiciall opinion of the said Iustices and Barons, and the said Writs, and every of them, and the said agreement or opinion of the greater part of the said Iustices and Barons, and the said Iudgement given against the said IOHN HAMPDEN were, and are contrary to, and against the Lawes and Statutes of this Realm, the right of property, the liberty of the Subiects, former resolutions in Parliament, and the PETITION OF RIGHT made in the third yeare of the Reign of his Maiestie that &illegible; is.

And it is further declared and enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all and every the Particulars prayed or desired in the said PETITION OF RIGHT, shall from benceforth be put in execution accordingly, and shall be firmly and strictly holden and observed, as in the same PETITION THEY ARE PRAYED AND EXPRESSED, and that all and every the Records and Remembrances of all and every the Iudgement, Inrolements, Entry and proceedings as aforesaid, and all and every the proceedings whatsoever, upon or by pretixt of colour of any of the said Writs, commonly called Shipwrits, and all and every the Dependents on any of them, shall be deemed and adiudged to all intents, constructions, and purposes to be utterly void and disannulled, and that all and every the said Iudgement, Inrolments, Entryes, Proceedings, and Dependents of what kind soever, shall be vacated and cancelled in such manner and forme as Records use to be that are vacated.

Anno XVII. Caroli Regis.

An Act for the prevention of vexatious proceedings touching the Order of Knighthood.

VVHereas upon pretext of an antient custome, or usage of this Realm of England, The men of full age being not Knights, and being seised of Lands or Rents, of the yearly value of forty pounds, or more (especially if their seising had so continued by the space of three years next past) might be compelled by the Kings writ, to receive or take upon them the order or dignity of Knighthood, or else to make Fine for the discharge or respite of the same; Severall Writs about the beginning of his Majesties reign issued out of the Court of Chancery, for Proclamations to be made in every County to that purpose, and for certifying the names of all such persons, and for summoning them personally to appeare in the Kings presence before a certain day, to be there ready to receive the said Order or Dignity: Vpon returne of which writs, and transmitting the same with their Returns into the Court of Exchequer, and upon other Writs for further inquiry of the names of such persons issuing out of the said Court of Exchequer, Processe by Distring as was thence made against a very great number of persons, many of which were altogether unfit, in regard either of estate or quality, to receive the said Order or Dignity, and very many were put to grievous Fines and other vexations for the same, although in truth it were not sufficiently known how, or in what sort, or where they, or any of them should, or might have addressed themselves for the receiving the said Order or Dignity, and for saving themselves thereby from the said Fines, Processe, and vexations: And whereas its most apparent that all and every such proceedings, in regard of the matter therein pretended, is altogether uselesse and unreasonable; May it therefore please your most Excellent Maiestie that it be by authority of Parliament declared and enacted.

And be it declared and enacted by the Kings most excellent Maiestie, and the Lords and Commons in this Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, That from henceforth no person or persons of what condition, quality, estate or degree so ever shall at any time be distrained or otherwise compelled by any writ, or processe of the Court of Chancery, or Court of Exchequer, or otherwise by any meanes whatsoever, to receive or take upon him or them respectively, the Order or Dignity of KNIGHTHOOD nor shall suffer or undergoe any fine, trouble, or molestation whatsoever, by reason or colour of his or their having not received, or not taken upon him or them the said order or dignity: And that all and every Writ or Processe whatsoever, and all and every proceeding which shall hereafter be had or made contrary to the intent of this Act, shall be deemed and adiudged to be utterly void: and that all and every Processe proceeding, and Charge now depending by reason or colour of the said pretended custome, or writs aforesaid, or of any the dependants thereof, shall from henceforth cease and stand, be and remain discharged and utterly void; Any former Law or Custome, or any pretence of any former Law or Custome, or any other matter whatsoever to the Contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

I shall conclude this collection at present with the Bill of Attainder, past against Thomas Earl of Strafford this present Parliament, as I find it printed in the 303. pag. of a book printed for Will. Cook at Furnifalls Inne gate in Holbourne 1641. called Speeches and Passages of this Parliament, from the 3. Novemb. 1640. to this instant Inne 1641. which thus followeth.

The Bill of Atainder that passed against Thomas Earle of STRAFFORD.

VVHereas the Knights, Citizens, and Burgesses of the House of Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, have, in the name of themselves, and of all the Commons of England, impeached Thomas, Earle of Strafford of high Treason, for endeavouring to subvert the Antient and Fundamentall Lawes and Government of his Maiesties Realms of England and Ireland, and to introduce an Arbitrary and Tyrannicall Government against Law in the said Kingdoms; and for exercising a tyrannous and exhorbitant power, over and against the Lawes of the said Kingdomes, over the Liberties, Estates, and Lives of his Maiesties Subiects; and likewise for having by his own authority, commanded the laying and assersing of Soldiers upon his Subiects in Ireland, against their consents, to compell them to obey his unlawfull commands and orders made upon paper Petitions, in causes between party and party, which accordingly was executed upon divers of his Maiesties Subiects in a warlike manner, within the said Realm of Ireland; and in so doing did LEVIE WARRE against the Kings Maiestie and his liege people in that Kingdome; And also for that he upon the unhappie Dissolution of the last Parliament did slander the House of Commons to his Maiestie, and did councell and advise his Maiestie, that he was loose and absolved from the rules of Government, and that he had an Army in Ireland, by which he might reduce this Kingdome; for which he deserves to undergoe the pains and forfeitures of high Treason.

And the said Earl hath been also an Incendiary of the wars, between the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland: all which offences have been sufficiently proved against the said Earle upon his impeachment.

Be it therefore enacted by the Kings most Excellent Maiesty, and by the Lords and Commons, in this present Parliament, and by authority of the same, that the said Earl of Strafford for the hainous crimes and offences aforesaid, stand, and be adiudged and attainted of high Treason, and shall suffer such pain of death, and incurre the forfeitures of his Goods, and Chattells, Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments of any estate of free-hold or Inheritance in the said Kingdoms of England and Ireland, which the said Earl, or any other to his use, or in trust for him, have or had the day of the first sitting of this present Parliament, or at any time since.

Provided that no Iudge or Iudges, Iustice or Iustices whatsoever, shall adiudge or interpret any Act or thing to be Treason, nor in any other manner than be or they should or ought to have done before the making of this Act, and as if this Act had never been had or made. Saving alwayes unto all and singular persons and bodies, politique and corporall, their Heires and Successors, others then the said Earl and his Heires, and such as claim by, from, or under him, all such right, title, and interest, of, in, and to all and singular, such of the said Lands, Tenements, and Hereditaments, as he, they, or any of them, had before the first day of this present Parliament, any thing herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

Provided that the passing of this present act, and his Maiesties assent thereunto, shall not be any determination of this present Sessions of Parliament, but that this present Session of Parliament, and all Bills and matters whatsoever depending in Parliament, and not fully enacted or determined. And all Statutes and Acts of Parliament, which have their continuance untill the end of this present Session of Parliament, shall remain, continue, and be in full force, as if this Act had not been.

Now after these small collection of Statutes. I shall give you some generall heads of things that I conceive are very necessary for you to know, for the preservation of your lives, liberties, and estates, in this murdering robing plundering, and law and liberty destroying age, and because tythes are of such concernment to al the honest & nown substantive freemen of England; and so dayly a grievance to the conscientious and moral iust men of this Kingdome, by reason of the Priests and persons coveteous indeavouring to rob the people of there truly comeby goods, which they have no right unto, either by the Lawes of God, reason, equity or nature, against which that you may be the better fortified, I shall insert here the plea and answer of William Browne unto the bill of the parson of Stepny, with some marginall notes upon it, and some other things depending upon it. The plea thus followeth.

The Plea & answer of William Brown, one of the defendants to the Bill of complaint of Josuah Hoyle, intituled by the said bil Doctor of Divinity, and vicar of the Parochiall church of Stepney, alias Sticben heath in the County of Midlesex pretended debtor to the Kings Majesty that now is.

THe said defendant by protestation not confessing nor acknowledging any thing in the said bil of cõplaint material against the said defendant to be true, but rather devised & set forth of purpose to put him this defendant to wrongfull vexation costs and charges, and expences in Law; for plea saith, that by the plantifes own shewing forth, the complainant hath no just cause to sue this defendant upon his said bill in this honourable Court, neither is this defendant compellable to answer the same, for that the said complainant by his said bil alleadgeth and saith, that there is and time out of minde (where of the memory of man is not to the contrary) hath been an ancient custome and usage that the inhabitants of the said parish, have alwayes paid unto the Vicars of the said parish for the time being, a composition rate for milch Cowes, orchards, gardens, lands, and sowes, and oblations of poultry, as in the said bil of complaint is set forth, which if any such custome and usage be, the same is triable at the COMMON law, and not in this honourable Court upon the said bill of Complaint: And therefore this Defendant humbly prayeth judgement of this honourable Court, whether he shall make any further answer to the said complainants, Bill of Complaints. Neverthelesse if he this Defendant shall be ordered to make any further, or other answer unto the said Complainants Bill of Complaint, then and not otherwise, this Defendant, all benefit and advantage of exception to the uncertainties & insufficiencies of the said Complainants said Bill, still to this Defendant now, and at all times hereafter saved, for further answer thereunto, this Defendant saith; That be verily beleeveth it to be true, that for some hundred of yeares while the Kingdome groaned under the Papall yoake, and was subiect to the Popes supremacie, Tyths and certaine manner of Tything and other oblations were exacted and taken by the PAPALL Bishops, Parsons, Vicars, and Curates of many Parishes, and of a great part of this Kingdome, untill &illegible; Popes supremacie and iurisdiction within this kingdome, and all appeale to the sea of Rome were abrogated and annulled by divers severall Statutes.* And this Defendant verily beleeveth, that the Popish Bishops, Parsons, and Vicars, and their substitutes, since retained and continued in the Church of England, did afterwards receive and take tythes, and certain manner of tything and other oblations of several parishes within this kingdome, for their wages, Cure and reading the Book of Common Prayer. And this Defendant saith, that the said Inhabitants of the said Parish, in the said bill mentioned or any of them, did never &illegible; or were ever accustomed to pay unto any Vicars of the said parish, the said composition for milch Cowes, Orchards, Gardens, Lands, and Sowes, or other oblations as in the said bill is, and set forth, or any other composition or rate for the same, but only to such Vicars thereof as were made and ordained Ministers by the Bishops, some or one of them. And what composition or rate for milch Cowes, Orchards, Gardens, Lands or Sowes, or other oblations the said Inhabitants or any of them did pay unto any of the said Vicars for the time being of the said parish in the said Bill mentioned, since the abolishing of the Popes supremacie, the same was payed for officiating, reading the book of Common Prayer, and administring, the Sacraments, and preaching according to the Canons and constitutions of the Bishops and their Clergie, *And what composition rate for tythes or other oblations this Defendant or any of the said Inhabitants have payed unto the said Complainant, the same was unduly exacted by the Complainant, so as the said complainant hath no right nor title by colour of any such prescription or custome to have and demand the said composition rate, for the premises or any of them, on this Defendant, as in the said bill is set forth and demanded, for that by authority of this present Parliament the function and Miniministrie of Bishops, Parsons, and Vicars are abrogated and avoided. *And likewise the book of Common prayer, and the administring of the Sacraments, and preaching according to the Bishops Canons and injuctions by authority of this present Parliament, utterly taken away and disannulled. And this Defendant doth conceive no tyth or composition rate for tyth, nor any other oblations for Poultrie are due by law, but have been taken no otherwise then by Iewish or Popish institution,* and provision, as by the Statute made for the payment of tythes, and oblations, whereunto reference being had will appeare, the same being made only for the maintenance of the Popish and prelaticall Clergie and Ministrie and no other. And he this Defendant beleeveth is to be true, and hopeth to prove, that neither by the law of God nor man, any tyths, composition, rates for tyths, or other oblations for poultrie ought to be paid to any persons or Vicars or other Ecclesisticall Minister, or Ministers whomsoever, for this Defendant saith, that by the Parliaments Protestation made by authority of this present Parliament the 5. day of May, 1641. against pepery and popish innovations, all Lawes, Customes, Acts and Ordinances for the payment of tyths or manner of tything, rare or composition for tyths or other oblation to any parson or Vicars of any parish within this Kingdome, their names and offices being Popish and Antichristian, the same having no foundation in the word of God are utterly void and null. And this Defendant denyeth that he ever did, nor now doth combin, practice, or confederate with the other Defendants named in the said Bill or any of them, or with any other person or persons whatsoever to wrong the said Complainant, as in the said Complainants bill is untruly suggested. And without that this defendant had & depastured within the said Parish, eight and twenty Cowes within the said parish, as in the Complainants bill is alledged, or that the Complainant is Debtor or Accountant to the King, or that the said Complainant is unlawfully intituled to have, receive, and take the Viccarage, tyth, or the composition, rate for tyth, and the said oblations as were formerly payed to the POPISH VICCARS, HIS PREDICESSORS if in case the same had been payed, as is the said bill is alledged. And without that any other matter or thing in the said bill of complaint contained materiall or effectuall to be answered unto, and not herein fully answered unto, confessed and avoided, traversed or &illegible; is true: therefore this Defendant humbly prayeth to be dismissed out of this honourable Court, with his reasonable costs and expences in this behalfe wrongfully had and sustained.

&illegible; Fage Senior Councellor.

But what just proceeding Mr. Brown had upon this Plea before the present Barons of the Exchequer, his own Petition to themselves, and to the House of Commons against them, will very fully demonstrate, the first of which thus followeth.

To the Right Honourable His Majesties Barons of the Court of Exchequer.
The humble Petition of William Brown.


THat Iosua Hoyle now Vicar of the Parish of Stepney, ever since he got the Vicarage hath been very troublesome, and vexatious, to your Petitioner, and other the Parishioners there, endeavouring by illegall, forcible and indirect wayes and meaness, to &illegible; from them tythes, and certaine manner of tything, which by law he could not demand nor they compelled to pay, as by their learned councell, they are informed and hope to prove, if they may have the benefit of the Law, which is the inheritance of every free-botne, English man.

That under colour of the Ordinance for tythes the said Mr. Hoyle did take from your petitioner goods of a considerable value, for which your petitioner hath no satisfaction.

That the said Mr. Hoyle the more to vex your petitioner, causelesly served your petitioner with a Subpena to answer a bill in the Court of exchequer for pretended tythes, and other duties to which Bill your petitioner in Michaelmas terme last, answered by advise of his Councel learned in the Law, divers other of the said parishioners being named defendants in the said Bill, but not served till Easter terme last, of purpose to put them to the more charges, and &illegible; them out with Multiplicity of Suits, and unnecessary Expences &illegible; Law.

That the said Mr. Hoyle procured an Order of this Court that your Petitioner should shew cause by a certaine day in the last Terme why your petitioners Plea, and Answer, should not be taken of the file as scandalous, and your Petitioner ordered to pay cost, and make a further and better answer.

That your petitioner in obedience to the order of the Court by his councell Mr. Norbery and Mr. King, attended several dayes to shew cause for allowing his plea and answer, but when that cause was called upon, your petitioners Councellours were not suffered to shew forth to the Court the sufficiencie in Law of your petitioners said plea and answer, Baron Atkins telling your petitioners counsellers that Mr. Fage who subscrib’d the same, his hand should never be received again in that court, & further threatn’d your petitioners councellours saying that if they or any other Councellours should appeare in any such cause, should be debarred from pleading in that Court, whereupon though the said Mr. Norbery & Mr. King were prepared able and ready & had undertaken to maintain your petitioners said plea and answer to be good and sufficient in law, was so over awed by Baron Atkins that for feare to offend him and the Court they were silenced, and so without further debate, or Councel heard, your petitioners Plea was over ruled, and this Answer Judged scandalous, and insufficient, and your petitioner further; ordered to pay forty shillings cost, and make further answer.

That your petitioner is a free-man of England, and by the great Charter of Liberty ought to be under the protection of the Law, and ought not to be condemned unheard, neither agreeth it with the honour and justice of this Court to deny Councell to plead and open their Clyents cases as was done in your petitioners case, which your petitioner hopes you will &illegible; and alow his Councel to be reheard, and to set forth the sufficiencie in Law, of his Plea and Answer, whereby your petitioner may not have cause, or occasion, to Appeale from this Court, or complaine of you to the Parliament for obstructing of Justice, which if your petitioner receive not timely redresse, and reliefe, in the Premises, he must be constrained to do.

That without ever any order, or further processe serving the said Mr. Hoyle for want of further answer hath prosecuted severall processes of contempts against your petitioner, and threatned to lay your petitioner in Goale, upon a Commssion of Rebellion for the same, and hath served your petitioner with a Subpena for forty shillings cost upon your petitioners first plea, and answer, which Mr. Hoyle will without doubt do, if your honour give not present order for stay of further proceedings upon the said last Subpena, and processe of contempt already taken out against your petitioner.

Your Petitioner therefore humbly prayeth, that you wil be pleased for the love and honour of justice and removeing the cause of your petitioners appeale from this Court and complaining of you, that you will give direction for stay of the said cost and proceedings upon the said processes of contempts against your petitioner, and that you wil declare and order that your Petitioners councel may be &illegible; without check or offence and allowed freely to shew out to the Court the sufficiencie in Law of your petitioners plea and answer to the end there may not be afailer of justice through you, and your petitioner left without relief or remedy, by being denied to be heard upon the mirit and equity of his cause according to Law, which in the worst of times, by the worst Iudges was never done to any either in the case of ship-money, or any other cause as Burton Prinn. and Bastwicks cases, all which your petitioner refereth to your honourable consideration.

And prayeth as before he hath prayed. &c.

William Browne.

To the right honourable the Commons assembled in Parliament, the humble petition of Will Brown of Stepney alias Steben heath in the County of Midlesex.


THat Josua Hoyle, Vicar of the parish of Stepney aforesaid, in Michaelmas terme last, exhibited his bill in the Court of exchequer against your petitioner, and divers other parishioners there, for substraction of tythes, to which bill your petitioner by his learned councell pleaded and answered the same terme, but the said Mr. Hoyle obtained an order from that Court, for your petitioner to shew cause, why his plea, and answer should not be taken of the file as scandalous.

That your petitioner according to the order of that Court, the 18. May last, by his counsell Mr. NORBERY and Mr. KING offered to the Court to maintaine his said plea and answer, to be good and sufficient in Law, but Baron Atkins one of the Barons of that Court, would not suffer your petitioners councel to open your petitioners cause, in a threatning manner telling them, that the Councellour who subscribed your petitioners Plea and answer, should never be allowed in that Court, and if they (meaning Mr. NORBERY and Mr. KING) or any other Councellour did appeare in any such cause, they should never againe plead in that Court, and so your petitioners said councell were overawed, and silenced, that without further heareing, or debate, the Court adjudged your petitioners plea, and answer scandalous; and further ordered Mr. Fage who signed the some, his hand should never be allowed to any pleadings in that Court, and your petitioner to pay forty shillings cost to Mr. Hoyle as by the order in the Court in that cause will appeare, which doing of the said Baron Atkins and the said last recited Order are contrary to the rule of justice, and the great Charter of Liberty, wherein it is said Iustice and Right shall de denied to no man.

That the said Mr. Hoyle since, without ever serving the said Order upon your Petitioner, having procured severall processes of contempts against him, for want of further answer, and served him with a Subpena for the 40. s. cost, your petitioner thereupon having petitioned the Barons of that Court for justice, and to have libertie to show forth to the Court, the sufficiencie in law of the said plea and answer, which Mr. NORBERT and Mr. KING had before undertaken to your petitioner to doe, and offered to the Court if they might have been heard, (as they were not) to have maintained for good and sufficient in law, which petition here unto annexed, Baron Trevers having read and acquainted his Brother Atkins with the contents thereof, Baron Atkins replyed and said, let Brown complain if he will, I have done him justice, his businesse shall be no more heard. And thus your Petitioner being deprived, and destitute of all meanes of obtaining right and justice in that Court, is constrained for his own safetie, to for sake his own house and familie, and live as an exile and fugitive, Mr. Hoyle threatning to cast him into prison, upon the said Barons Order, which doubtlesse he will doe to your petitioners undoing, unlesse your petitioner be protected by the justice of this honourable house.

That your petitioner hath largely and many wayes manifested his good affection to the Parliament, in his free and voluntary gifts and contributions, over and above his abilitie, and by his ready payment of all taxes and assessements, having long voluntarily served the Parliament in this war against the enemy, to the often endangering his life, and the much impoverishing his estate, having lost 16. Horses in the Parliaments service, for which he hath not had one penny satisfaction, besides almost 200. l. due to him in Arrears for his service as a Wagoner.

That as your Petitioner is informed Mr. Hoyle by law, cannot sue your petitioner in any Court for substraction of Eyths, then in the Court Christian so called,* the same being now taken away by authority of Parliament.* And so Mr. Hoyle if in case the same were due, as they are not, he hath no meanes or the recovery of the same, but by the Ordinance of this present Parliament, which your petitioner did never oppose whensoever the said Mr. Hoyle did take your petitioners goods upon the same, as sometimes he did amounting to a considerable value.

Your Petitioner therefore humbly prayeth this honourable House will be pleased to take your Petitioner under protection, to stay the contempts and illegall proceedings of Mr. Hoyle in that Court against your petitioner, and to call the said Barons of the Exchequer, and in particular Baron Atkins before you, to answer this Petition, to the end according to your many Declarations, Promises, and Protestations, instice may not be obstructed, or your Petitioner denyed the benefit of the law, or priviledge of a free borne Denizon. And the said Barons receive such condigne punishment for their uniust dealing and proceedings against your Petitioner, as shall seeme meet and agreeable to the wisedome and iustice of this honourable House. The like not any of the Iudges in the worst of times due &illegible; ever doe, that ever your Petitioner heard of: And your Petitioner if he may be protected and allowed by this honourable House, to prosecute this Petition, he will give securitie to make good the contents thereof.

And as in duty bounden, your Petitioner
shall ever pray, &c. Will Brown.

Take notice and marke it well, that though tyths are by law to be sued for in Ecclesiasticall Courts only, yet trebble damages for none payment of tyths, are to be sued for by the same Statute of the 2. and 3. Ed. 6 13. in Civill Courts at the Common Law, and therefore the best plea to a bill of trebble damages, is that you owe the Parson, &c, no tyths at all, and put him to prove the first.

Here you see what gallant Iustice is to be found amongst the Iudges at Westminster Hall that the pleaders of honest causes cannot be suffered to presle the law freely for their Clyents, but must be threatned and commanded to hold their peaces before they have presledfully either law or reason for those that hire them to be their mouths to doe it for them.

Is this to performe their oath? which you may read before, pag. 10. In which they sweare to doe equall law, and execution of right to all kinds of men, rich and poore, without having regard to any person, or persons whatsoever; And that they shall deny to no man common right, by the Kings letters, nor none other mans, nor for no other cause, and in case any letters or commands shall come to them, contrary to the law, that they shall doe nothing by such letters or commands, but proceed to execute the law not withstanding.

Or is not this their dealing, with Mr. Brown and his Councell a cleare demonstration of their breaking their Oaths? and absolutely forswearing themselves. And therefore seeing neither Mr. Brown, nor no man else that complains to the parliament against the injustice of the Iudges, can get the least justice against them, is not this, and other of their visible breaking of their Oaths a true and legall cause to indict them for perjury? upon which if conviction follow, they are ipso facto, disabled for ever to sit Iudges any more, or to be witnesses in any causes whatsoever, berwixt party and party.

For this is to be taken notice of, that if a lury bring in a false verdict against the expresse evidence given in unto them, that thereupon by law, they are to have their houses rased down to the ground, and never to be built againe, their trees puld up by the roots, their ground to lye follow and wast, without tillage or use, their names and their childrens to be infamous, reproachfull, and contemptable, &c. And therefore without doubt, the Iudges punishment for palpable injustice, must needs be much more then theirs. And an excellent piece of justice, and worth the highest commendation, it was in King Alfred, to hang 44. Iustices in one year as murtherers, for their false judgments*.

But seeing the Parsons, Vicars, & curates cannot recover their tyths by law, they have unjustly & illegally got up a custom, to come or send their illegall Agents into mens grounds or houses, to take away their goods and chattells, and men are so foolish as to let them, although by law, if any man under any pretenc of authority whatever, shall dare to endeavour by force to come into a free-mans house, unlesse it be under pretence of Treason or Felony committed, or suspition of Treason, or Felony, or to serve an execution after Iudgement for the King, the free man may stand upon his guard, as against so many Theeves and Robbers; and if he shoot or kill them every one, I know nothing to the contrary, but they have their mends in their own hands, and they, or none for them, can iustly requre any of him or them, that so in his or their own legall defence destroyes them.

And if they take away your goods as usually they doe, you have your remedy at law by way of Replevie to get* your goods againe, putting in baile to the Sheriffe to answer the law against him that distrained your goods, & so you shall bring him to a tryal at law to prove his title or clame to your goods, and this I conceive to be cleare from the Statutes of Marle bridge, in the 52. H. 3. Anno 1267. Chap. 1, 2, 3, 4. 15, 21. and 3. 8. 3. Chap. 17. Compared with Sir Edward Cooks Exposition upon those severall Statutes, in the 2. part of his Institutes, fol. 103, 104, 105, 106, 107. 131, 132, 133. 139. 140, 141. 193, 194, and his discourse in his first part Justitutes, lib. 2. chap. 12. Sect. 219 fo. 143.

But that you may not rest in an implicite beliefe, I shall give you the fore mentioned Statutes verbatum, which thus followeth.

Chap. 1. fol. 16. The penaltie for taking a distresse wrongfully.

WHereas at the time of a commotion late stirred up within this Realme, and also sithence many great men, and divers other refusing to be justified by the King and his Court, like as they ought and were wont in the time of the Kings noble progenitors, and also in his time, but took great revenges and distresses of their neighbours, and of other, untill they bad amends and fines at their own pleasure. And further some of them would not be iustified by the Kings Officers, nor would suffer them to make delivery of such diffresses as they had taken of their own authority: It is provided, agreed, and granted, That all persons as well of high as of low estate, shall receive Iustice in the Kings Court. And none from henceforth shall take any such revenge or distresse of his own authority without award of our Court, though he have dammage or injury, whereby he would have amends of his neighbour either higher or lower. And upon the foresaid Article it is provided and granted, that if any from henceforth take such revenges of his own authority,11. H. 4. fo. 2. 47. Ed. 3. fo. 7. 18. Ed. 3. fo. 48. 41. Ed. 3. fo. 26. 17. Ed. 3. fo. 9. without award of the Kings Court, (as before is said) and be convict thereof, he shall be punnished by fine, and that according to the trespasse. And likewise if one neighbour take a distresse of another without award of the Kings Court, whereby he hath damage, he shall be punished in the same wise, and that after the quantitie of the trespasse. And neverthelesse sufficient and full amends shall be made to them that have sustained losse by such distresses.

Chap. 2. None but suiters shall be destrained to come to a Court.

41. E. 3. fo. 26. 47. E. 3. fo. 7. Fitz. Barre. 281. MOreover none (of what estate so ever he be) shall distrain any to come to his Court, which is not of his Fee, or upon whom he hath no Iurisdiction, by reason of Hundred, or Bayliwick, nor shall take Distresses out of the Fee or place where he hath no Baliwick or Iurisdiction. And he that offendeth against this Statute, shall be punished in like manner, and that according to the quantitie and qualitie of the Trespasse. 3. Ed. 1. 16. Regist fo. 97.

Chap. 3. A Lord shall not pay a Fine for distraining his Tenant.

Fitz. Rascous 20. Bro Trespas 16. 384. Fitz. &illegible; 10. Fitz. Heriot. 5. 5. H. 7. fo. 9. 9. H. 7. fo. 14. 10. H. 7. fo. 2. 10. Ed. 4. fo. 7. 9. H. 6. fo. 20. Fitz. Trespas 196. 3. Ed. 1. 17. Fitz. N. B. fo. 102. c. V. N. B. fol. 48. IF any, of what estate soever he be, will not suffer such Distresses as he hath taken, to be delivered by the Kings Officers, after the Law and Custome of the Realme, or will not suffer summons, Attachments, or Executions of Iudgements given in the Kings Court, to be done, according to the Law and Custome of the Realme, as is aforesaid, hee shall be punished in manner aforesaid, as one that will not obey the Law, and that according to the quantitie of the Offence. And if any, of what estate soever he be, distrain his Tenant for Services and Customes being due unto him, or for any other thing, for the which the Lord of the Fee hath cause to distraine, and after it is found, that the same services are not due, the Lord shall not therefore be punished by Fine, as in the cases as foresaid, if he doe suffer the Distresses to be delivered according to the Law and Custome of the Realme, but shall be amerced as hitherto hath been used, and the Tenant shall recover his damages against him.

Chap. 4. A distresse shall not be driven out of the County. And it shall be reasonable.

Fitz. Barre. 120. 275. Fitz. Distresse 1, 2. 16. Fitz. Avowry 192. 30. Ass. pl. 38. 29. Ed. 3. fo. 23. Kel. fo. 50. 41. Ed. 3. fo. 26. 29. Ed. 3. fo. 24. 41. Ed. 3. fo. 26. 3. Ed. 1. 16. 1. & 2. Ph. & M. 12. 51. H. 3. 28. Ed. 1. 12.NOne from henceforth shall cause any distresse that he hath taken, to be driven cut of the County where it was taken. And if one neighbour doe so to another of his own authority, and without judgement, he shall make fine (as above is said) as for a thing done against the Peace. Neverthelesse, if the Lord presume so to doe against his Tenant, he shall be grievously punished by amerciement. Moreover Distresses shall be reasonable, and not too great. And he that taketh great and unreasonable distresses, shall be grievously amerced for the excesse of such distresses. Regist. fo. 97.

Chap. 15. fol. 20. In what places Distresses shall not be taken.

IT shall be lawfull for no man from henceforth, for any manner of cause, to take Distresses out of his Fee, nor in the Kings high way, nor in the common street, but only to the King or his Officers, having speciall authority to doe the same.

Chap. 20. fol. 21. None but the King shall hold plea of false Iudgement.

Raft pla. fo. 216. Regist. fo. 98. 183. St. 9. Ed. 2. 9. Fitz. N. B. fo. 90. 173. Co. lib. 8. fo. 60. 7. H. 7. fo. 1. 22. Ed. 4. fo. 49. Fitz. Barre. &illegible; Fitz. Trespas 188.NOne from henceforth (except our Lord the King) shall hold in his Court any Plea of false judgement, given in the Court of his Tenants: For such Plea specially belongeth to the Crown and Dignitie of our Lord the King Regist. fol. 15. V. N. B. fo. 16. Fitz. N. B. fo. 17. Raft. pla. fo. 342. Coke pla. fo. 395.

Chap. 21. fo. 21. Who may take Replevins of Distresses.

IT is provided also, that if the Beasts of any man be taken, and wrongfully withholden, the Sheriff, after complaint made to him thereof, may deliver them, without &illegible; gain saying of him that tooke the Beasts, if they were taken out of Liberties. And if the Beasts were taken within any Liberties,Fitz. briefe 511. 842. Fitz. Avowry 87. 221. 231. and the Bailiffes of the Libertie will not deliver them. then the Sheriffe, for default of those Bailiffes, shall cause them to be delivered, Regist. fo. 82. &c.

The 3. of Edward the 1. Chap. 17. fol. 27. The remedie if a distresse be impounded in a Castle or Fortresse.

IT is provided also, that if any from henceforth take the Beasts of other, and cause them to be driven into a Castle or Fortresse, and there within the close of such Castle or Fortresse,Fitz. Faux Iudgment 7, 8. 10. 14. 26. &illegible; Ed. 3. ch. 6. doe withhold them against gage and pledges, whereupon the beasts be solemnly demanded by the Sheriff or by some other Bailiffe of the Kings at the suit of the plaintiffe, the Sheriffe or Bailiffe taking with him the power of the Shire or Bayliwick doe assay to make Replivin of the Beasts, from him that took them, or from his Lord, or from other being servants of the Lord (whatsoever they be) that are found in the place, whereunto the beasts were chased: if any deforce him of the deliverance of the Beasts, or that no man be found for the Lord or for him that tooke them, for to answer and make the deliverance,Dyer. fo. 245. Bro. Riots. 2. 3. Bro. Parl. 198. Fitz. Return de Viscount 17. Co. Inst. 145. &illegible; 3. Ed. 1. ch. 17. Fitz. N. B. fo. 68. V. N, B. fo. 44. after such time as the Lord or taken shall be admonished to make deliverance by the Sheriffe or Bailiffe, if he be in the Country, or neere, or there whereas he may be conveniently warned by the taker, or by any other of his to make deliverance, if he were out of the Countrey when the taking was, and did not cause the Beasts to be delivered incontinent, that the King for the trespasse and despite shall cause the said Castle or Fortresse to be beaten down without recovery: And all the damages that the Plaintife hath sustained in his beasts, or in his gainare, or any otherwise (after the first demand made by the Sheriffe or Bailiffe of the beasts) shall be restored to him double by the Lord, or by him that tooke the beasts, if he have whereof: and if he have not whereof, he shall have it of the Lord, at what time or in what manner the deliverance be made after that the Sheriffe or Bailiffe shall come to make deliverance. And it is to wit, that where the Sheriffe ought to return the Kings writ to the Bailife of the Lord of the Castle, or Fortresse,Bro. Riot. 2. 3. 52. H. 3. 3. 13. Ed. 1. 39. V. N. B. fo. 43. 44. Regist. fo. 85. 52. H. 3. 21. Regist. fol. 81. Fitz. N. B. fo. 68. F. or to any other to whom the return belongeth, if the Bailife of the Franchise will not make deliverance after that the Sheriffe hath made his return unto him, then shall the Sheriff doe his office without further delay, and upon the foresaid paines. And in like manner deliverance shall be made by Attachment of the plaintife made without writ, and upon the same paine. And this is to be intended in all places where the King: writ lyeth. And if that be done in the Marches of Wales, or in any other place where the King: Writs be not currant, the King which is soveraign Lord over all, shall doe right there unto such as will complain.

Now after this businesse of Tyths, which by the universall complaint against it all over the Kingdome, appeares to be an intollerable, and insupportable burthen, I shall a little open unto you, another mischiefe of far more dangerous consequence, and that is the subvertion of our fundamentall lawes and liberties; and the exercising of an Arbitrary, Tyrannicall government, which I find to be the principall crime laid to the charge of the late Earl of Strafford, for which he lost his head upon the Tower Hill at London, in the yeare 1641. And that it was his principall crime, appeares clearly to me by his Bill of Attainder, which you may read before, pag. 29. and by the first Article of his impeachment, which as I find it printed in the 117. pag. of a book called Speeches and Passages of this Parliament, from the 3. of Novemb. 1640. to Iune 1641. printed for Will Crook at Furnifalls Inne gate in Holbourne. 1641. The very words of which thus followeth.

That he the said Thomas Earl of Strafford, hath traiterously endeavoured to subvert the fundamentall lawes and government of the Realmes of England and Ireland, and in stead thereof to introduce an Arbitrary and Tyrannicall Government against law, which he hath declared by trayterous words, councells, and actions, and by giving His Majestie advice by force of Armes, to compell his loyall Subiects to submit thereunto.

Now whether this very traiterous crime of the Lord of Strafford, be not really acted since the warres ended, both by the present House of Lords, and by the present Grandees in the Army, I thinke is obvious to every knowing, rationall, understanding, unbiosed mans eye in England; in that both of them have taken upon them to meddle with things not within their cognizance or jurisdiction, and to out men of their lives, liberties and properties, without any legall processe and proceeding, all the ordinary Courts of Iustice in England being open, where only and alone all causes whatsoever between party and parties desidable by the lawes of this land, are to be tryed and determined and no where else, it being as lawfull for a Iudge, Iustice of peace, or a Constable to make Laws, as for a House of Lords to execute Laws, their legall and proper work, at most upon their own usurped principalls being to make new laws & repeal old laws, to give their consent to raise mony for the preservation of the publique, and to see it be rightly disposed of, (but they themselves ought not in the least to finger it, much lesse by votes to give it to each other, it being contrary to the Law of England for &illegible; &illegible; trust (which they would have us to believe they* are) to give any thing to themselves), to punish all mayle Administrators of Iustice, and to heare and redresse all appeales upon cronious judgements, given or made in any of the Courts in Westminster-Hall, or elsewhere.

Yet notwithstanding have they Arbitrarily and Tyrannically summoned and convened men before them (for things desideable, and determinable only at Common Law) without any due processe of Law, and have taken upon them, contrary to all law, Iustice equitie, and conscience, to be both Informers, Prosecutors, Witnesses, Parties, Iurie, and Iudges, and thereupon have past most illegall, arbitrary, and tyrannicall censures upon the free Commons of England, and thereupon have distroyed and outted them of their lives, liberties, properties, free holds and estates, when as by the fundamentall law of the Land, no Iudge whatsoever, can be Iudge of matter of Law and fact both, it being the proper right of the Iury of 12. men. of a mans Peers or Equalls to be Iudge of matter of fact, which must be proved by legall witnesses duly sworne, and not by the Complainer, Prosecutor, or Partie, and then the Iudge is only to be Iudge in matter of Law.

But in the first place I shal begin with the Grandees or Councel of war of the Armie, who have the most desperatest apostatised from their principles, that it is possible for men to do, and from their pretended patronising of the peoples liberties, and Arbitrarily, and Tyrannically have sought the ruine and utter destruction of all those amongst themselves, that have stuck close to the interest of the People, although they themselves made use of the very same persons and Principalls, to preserve themselves against that which they themselves called Tyranny in Mr. Hollis, and Sir Phillip Stapleton, &c. And that they have so done, I prove by the Pleas of Will. Thompson a late Corporall in the Army, Iohn Crosman a Trooper, John Engram late Capt. Lievt. of the Life Guard, and the Plea for the late Agents, made in Novemb. 1647. Which thus followeth.

A Defence for the honest Nown substantive Soldiers of the Army, against the proceedings of the Gen. Officers to punish them by Martiall Law.

First.THe arbitrary Government of the Army by Law Martiall (which is only necessary when an Army is marching against its enemy, or when no other Court of Iustice in a Land are open and free) was wholly dissolved at the Readezvouz at New market, upon the 4. and 5. of Iune last, and this I prove by these following reasons.

1. They associated themselves only as a company of free Commons of England, to stand together upon the just principles, and law of nature and nations, to recover their own and all the peoples just rights and liberties, see the solemn Engagement upon Iune 4. The words are these We the Officers and Soldiers of the Army subscribing hereunto, doe hereby declare, agree, and promise to and with each other, that we shal not willingly disband, nor divide, nor suffer our selves to be disbanded nor divided, untill we have security, that we as private men or other the free-born people of England shall not remaine subject to the like oppression, iniury, or abuse as have been attempted. Compare the latter end of page the 4. with page 5. And upon their march towards London, in prosecution of his design, whereupon they associated, the General declared in his letter to the City, that they as English men insisted upon the settlement of the peace of the Kingdome, and the liberty of the Subject, which they had right to demand. See the letter from the Generall, and the Generall Officers at Royston upon Iune 10. page 2. 3. And in their further opening of their meaning and intentions in their agreeing together, or associating as before, they declared upon Iune 14. That they were not a mercenary Army, hired to serve the arbitrary power of a State, but continued in armes in judgement and conscience for the defence of their own and the peoples lust rights and liberties. Now the Army thus refusing to serve the Arbitrary power of the State and agreeing together as English men, to stand upon Principles of Right and Freedome, From hence.

1. Its cleare, that the Officers and Soldiers kept in a body, and so were an Army not by the wil of the State, but by their own mutuall Agreement.

2. From thence its as cleare that they not being an Army by the States will, they were not under those rules of Martiall Government, which were given by the will of the State to rule those which were a Military body or Army by their will and power.

3. From thence its also as cleare, as they continuing an Army at that time, not by the States will, power or Command, but their mutuall Agreement, they could be under no other government as an Army but such as they did constitute or appoint for themselves by mutuall agreement, and this leades to 22. Reason, proving the dissolution of the Armies government by Martiall Law.

4. The Soldiers with some Officers of the Army, having by mutual agreement gathered themselves into, or at least continued themselves a Military body or Army, to stand upon principles of right and freedom, did by the same mutual agreement with or engagement to each other frame, constitute or appoint, a forme of government for themselves in their prosecuting that iust design of common right and freedome so themselves and the nation.

The wordes of the Engagement, pag. 4. 5. are those. Wee doe hereby declare, agree, and promise to and with each other, that wee shall not willingly disband, nor divide, nor suffer our selves to be disbanded or divided without satisfaction in relation to our &illegible; and &illegible; heretofore presented, and security that we as private &illegible; other the seed both people of &illegible; &illegible; remaine subject to the like oppression and iniury as have been attempted, &illegible; satisfaction and security to be such as shall be agreed unto by a Councell to consist of these generall Officers of the Army (who have concurred with the Army in the promises) with two Commission Officers, and two Soldiers to be chosen for each Regiment, who have concurred and shall concurre with &illegible; the promises and in this agreement. Hereby a new Councell was constituted &illegible; to all Martiall Law, and Discipline, by whom only they ingaged to be ordeered in their prosecution of the ends for which they associated, and by consequence seeing they continued an Army by their own wils, and only to prosecute those ends of common right and freedome, this Engagement to be ordered only by that new Councell in their prosecution of those ends, extends to a whole rule of them as an Army.

Now that this Councell was wholly new, and in a way diverse or different from all Martiall Courts or Councels of Warre, that ever the &illegible; behold in a marcenary Army, and as different from the Councell by which this Army was fortherly governed appeares thus.

1. The Members of this Councell by which they ingaged to be ordered, are different wholly from the Members of all former Councells in the Army.

1. The quallity of them is different, none but such as concurred in disobeying the Parliament, and in the Principles of common right and freedome, upon which they stood, were to be Members of this Councell, neither the Generall, nor the Lievtenant Generall themselves were to be Members of this Councell &illegible; they &illegible; concurred in owning the Regiments refusall to disband, and in their ingagement or association, and by consequenes they had been no Officers, as will appeare hereafter.

In this all the Orders of Warre and Martiall Lawes were broken, for if the Generall, Lievtenant Generall, and Commissary Gen. Ireton, had not concurred, they could not all have cashiered one Officer that did concurre, all the Soldiers had beene Engaged to oppose them, pay they could not have cashiered one Soldier that joyned in the Engagement, for they promised each to other, not to suffer themselves to be divided before the ends of their Engagements was accomplished.

2. The station of the Members of this new councel in this Army was different from the station of al Members of former Councels, by the Engagement there was to be two Soldiers in no office out of every Regiment to have voices equall to the Generall himself in all votes, a thing never practised nor heard of man Army serving the will of a State.

3. The number of the Members of this Councel is different from al customes and rules of Martiall Discipline.

In this Councel, there was to be but foure of every Regiment with the General Officers which concurred, thus this Councel differed from all Customes in any Army in respect of the Members whereof it was constituted.

2. This new Councell differed from the rules of Warre in the manner of its constitution, this was not to be constituted by the Gens. wil or according to the degrees or officer of men in the Army, but in a Parliamentary way by the Soldiers free election, the Gen. it bound from calling an Officer to the Councell unlesse he be chosen by his Regiment.

3. Reason, proving the dissolution of Martiall Government in the Army.

The Gen. in associating with the Soldiers did in the very Engagement, give away all his power of exercising Martial Disciplin, he engaged to them & they to him, that they would not suffer themselves to be disbanded or divided, till the ends of their uniting were obtained. Hereby he divested himselfe of his arbitrary power of cashlering Officers and Soldiers at his pleasure, the cashlering one Officer or Soldier which associated with the body of the Army in the engagement, is a disbanding, at deviding one part of the Army from another, which he & the Army mutually reciprocally engaged, neither to attempt nor suffer; likewise by this engagement he divested himself of power to command the Soldiers to march to what distance he pleaseth one from an other, this is, an other kinde of dividing the Army which he enaged neither to effect, nor suffer.

4. Reason, proving the dissolution of the Government of the Army, by Law Martiall.

The whole Army by agreement or joynt consent cashiered all Officers at New maker Heath, that would not associate with them, and engage to stand for common right and freedom, though against the Parliament, and so they houted divers Officers out of the field, unhorsed some and rent their cloathes, and be at them: & this in the face of the General which acts weare death by Martiall Law; but this was an actuall declaration that the Army did admit of Officer, by mutuall agreement onely, and therefore Government by law Martiall was dissolved unlesse it had been established by mutuall consent throughout the Army, for Officers at that time being only admitted by mutuall consent they could have no power, but what was betrusted to them by the Soldiers.

2. Plea, But in case the Government of the Army by Law Martiall had not been dissolved by a mutuall ingagement, yet the very being of peace did dissolve it, for in the Petition of* Right its declared &illegible; &illegible; person ought to be adjudged by Law Martiall except in time of Warre and that all Commissions given to execute Martiall Law, in time of peace are contrary to the Lawes and Statutes of the Kingdome, and it was the Parliaments complaint that Martiall Law, was then commanded to be executed upon Soldiers for robbery, &illegible; of murther.

And it was setled as the undoubted right of every Englishman, that he should be punishable only in the Ordinary Courts of justice, according to the Lawes and &illegible; of the Kingdome. By all this it appeares that it is illegall and unjust for the Officers of the Army to try or punish any Agent, or other by Law Martial, upon pretence of Muteny or any other offence: the whole Army stand as Englishmen, and if they offend are not exempted from the proceeding against them, and punishments to he inflicted upon them, by the lawes, and statutes of the Kingdome, and therfore cannot in Iustice be subject also to law martiall, so that all Agents and Soldiers now accused for mutiny, for their late prosecution of publick freedome, according to the agreement of the people, without their Officers consent shall unworthily betray their owne and their Countryes Liberty, if they shall submit to be tryed in any other way then by the knowne Lawes and statutes of the Land.

The forementioned Plea of William Thompson (who was lately a Corporal in Colonell Whaleyes Regiment, and was formerly cashiered at the head thereof, and yet after that imprisoned and indeavoured to be hanged for his honesty) thus followeth.

Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights:

Vindicated against all Arbitrary uniust Invaders of them, and in partcicular against those new Tyrants at Windsore, which would destroy both under the pretence of Marshall Law.


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.

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 self, 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 disselsed of his Freehold or Liberties, or free customes, or be outlawed or exiled, or any other wayes destroyed, nor pest 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, which expresly saith, that no man shall he taken or restrained of his libertie, by petition or suggestion (made unto whomsoever in authority) unlesse is 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 Iustices or matter of record, or by due processe and were &illegible; 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 for* error.

Therefore Sir, for you who are a Generall of an Armie, and other of your Marshall Officers who are are no Civill Court of Iustice, nor authorized with the least legall power in the world to administer Iustice, and execute the law of the land, upon, or unto any of the Commoners of England, to date 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, in the height of arbitrary tyranny, injustice and oppression, and an absolute destruction of the very fundamentall Lawes of England,* the bare endeavonring 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 very words of your own friend Mr. St. Iohn, in his Argument of law concerning the Bill of Attainder of &illegible; Treason of &illegible; 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 &illegible; St. &illegible; Gatein Pauls Church Yard. 1641, who in the 70. page thereof saith, That the &illegible; of the Lawes dissolves the arteries and ligaments that hold the body together he that takes away the Laws, takes not away the allegiance of one Subiect alone, but of the whole Kingdome it was (saith he) made treason by the Statute of the 13. El. for her time, to affirme, that the Lawes of the Realme doe not bind the descent of the Crowne; no Law, no descent at all: No Laws, (saith he,) no Peerage, no ranks or degrees of men; the same condition to all. It’s treason to kill a Iudge upon the Bench, this kills not the Iudge, but the Iudgement. And in page 71. he saith, Its felony to imbezell any of the Iudiciall Records of the Kingdome; this, (viz. the destruction of the law,) sweeps all away, &illegible; from all.

Its treason to counterfeit, a twenty shilling piece, here is a counterfeiting of the Law, we can call &illegible; the counterfeit, not the true coyne our own.

Its treason to counterfeit the great Seale 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 Kingdom no law to punish it.

And therefore advise you as a friend to take heed that you goe no further on in your illegall, arbitrary, tyrannicall and law-destroying practises with and towards me, least when for your own lives you claime the benefit of the Law, you be answered in the words of your foresaid &illegible; in pag. 72. “That he in vaine calls for the help of the Law, that walkes contrary unto Law, and from the Law of like for like; (he that would not have others to have law, why should be have any himself? why should not that be done to him, that himself would have done to another it is true, (saith he Ibid.) we give law to Hares and &illegible; because they be &illegible; of chase, but it was never accounted either crueltie or foule play to knock Foxes and Wolves on the head, as they can be found, because these be Beasts of Prey; the Warrener set, &illegible; for &illegible; and other &illegible; for preservation of the Warren.

And in pag. 76. he saith, in the 11. R. 2. Tresilian, And some other attainted of treason for &illegible; opinions in the subversion of the Law, and some other for plotting the like*.

But if you shall object, that you deale with me as you are a Generall and Officers of an Army by Marshall Law, for endeavouring to make &illegible; or &illegible; in your Armie, or by &illegible; and defaming your reputations, and so drawing your Soldiers from their affection and &illegible; unto you.

I answer in the first place, there can in this Kingdome be no pretence for Martiall Law, &illegible; when the Kingdome is in a generall hurly burly and uproave, and an Armie or Armies of &illegible; &illegible; enemies in the Field, prosecuting with the sword the destruction of the whole, and thereby stopping the regular and legall proceedings of the Courts of Iustice from punishing offenders and transgressors.

But now there being no Armie nor Armies of declared enemies in the field, &illegible; in the possessions of any such men, nor no generall hurly-burlies and uproars by any such &illegible; in the Kingdome, but all such as are visibly subdued and quieted, and all Courts of justice open and free to punish offenders and transgressors; and therefore even to the Armie is selfe and the Officers and Soldiers therein, there is no reason or ground for exercising of Martiall Law, much lesse over Commoners that are not under the obedience of the Army, which is my case.

And that in time of peace, there neither is, nor can be any ground of exercising and executing of Martiall Law; I prove out of the Petition of Right, which was made in the third yeare of the present King, and is printed in Pultons Collection of the Statutes at large, fol. 1431, 1432.* which expresly saith, that by authority of Parliament, in the 25. year of the Reign of King Edward the 3. it is declared and enacted, “That no man shall be forejudged of life or limb against the forme of the great Charter and the law of the land, and by the said great Charter, and other the lawes and Statutes of this Realme, no man ought to be adiudged to death, but by the law established in this Realm.

“And whereas no offender of what kind soever is exempted from the proceeding: to be used, and punishments to be inflicted by the lawes and Statutes of this your Realme: Neverthelesse of late divers Commissions under your Maiesties great Seale have issued forth, by which certaine persons have been assigned and appointed Commissioners, with power and authority to proceed within the land, according to the iustice of MARTIALL LAW, against suth Soldiers and Marriners, or other &illegible; persons ioyning with them, as should commit any MVRDER, ROBBERIE, FELONIE, MVTINIE, or OTHER outrage or misdemean or whatsoever, and by such summarie course and order, as is agreeable to Martiall Law, and as is used in Armies in time of Warre, to proceed to the tryall and &illegible; of such offendors, and them to cause to be executed and put to death according to the Law Martial. By pretixt wherof your Maiesties Subiects have bin by some of the said &illegible; put to death, when and where, if by the lawes and Statutes of the land they had deserved death, by the same lawes and Statutes also they might, and by no OTHER ought to have been been iudged and executed. And also &illegible; grievous offendors, by colour thereof &illegible; an exemption, have escaped the punishment &illegible; to them by the lawes and Statutes of this &illegible; Realm, by reason that divers of your Officers and Ministers of Justice have uniustly refused, or forborn to proceed against such offenders, according to the same laws and statutes, upon &illegible; that the said offendors were &illegible; &illegible; only &illegible; Martiall Law, and by authority of such Commissioners as aforesaid. Which Commissions AND ALL ORDER OF &illegible; NATURE, are wholly and directly contrary to the fall lawes and Statutes of this your Realm.

Therefore &illegible; you have any &illegible; of your own heads and lives, (though you have none of the Liberties and Freedomes of England) I againe as a friend advise you, to take heed what you doe unto me any further in your illegall, arbitrary, and tyrannicall way that hitherto you have proceeded with me &illegible; for I largely understand that Canterbury and Strafford were this Parliament questioned for their arbitrary and tyrannicall actions that they did and acted many years before, and the Lord Kdepds Finch was by this Parliament questioned for actions that he did when he was Speaker of the House of Commons in the third of the present King, An. 1628. and forced to flie to save his head.

In the second place I answer, that if since the warres ended, it was or could be judged lawfull for your Excellencie and your Councell of Warre, to execute Marshall Law: yet you have divested your self of that power upon the 4. and 5. of June last, at Newmarket Heath, you owned the Souldiers and joyned with them, when they were put out of the States protection, and declared enemies, and further associated with them by a mutuall solemn ingagement, as they were a Company of free Commoners of England to stand with them according to the Law of Nature and Nations*, to recover your own and all the peoples Rights and Liberties, the words are these; We the Officers and Soldiers of the Army subscribing hereunto, doe hereby declare, agree and promise to and with each other, that we shall not willingly disband nor divide, nor suffer our selves to be disbandad nor divided untill we have security; that we as private men, or other the free borne people of England, shall not remain subiect to the like oppression, injury, or abuse as have been attempted.

Hereby it appeares, that from this time you and the Souldiery kept in a body, and so were an Army, not by the States or Parliaments will, but by a mutuall Agreement amongst all the soldiers, and consequently not being an Armie by the Parliaments wills, they were not under those rules of Martiall Government which were given by the will of the Parliament and your Excellency could no longer exercise any such power over them, as was allowed you by those Martiall Lawes; nay, the Soldiers keeping in a body, and continuing an Army, only by mutuall consent, did by their mutuall Agreement or Ingagement, constitute a new kind of Councell, whereby they would be governed in their prosecution of those ends for which they associated, and made every Officer is capable of being in that Councell, which did not associate with them in that Ingagement. The words of the Agreement or Ingagement are these: “we doe hereby declare, agree, and promise, to and with each other, that we shall not willingly disband, nor divide, nor suffer ourselves to be disbanded or divided without satisfaction in relation to our grievances and desires heretofore presented, and securitie that we as private men or other the free-born people of England, shall not remain subject to the like oppression and injury as hath been attempted, and this satisfaction and security to be such as shall be, agreed unto by a councell to consist of those generall Officers of the Army, who have concurred with the &illegible; in the premises, with two Commission Officers, and TWO SOVLDIERS to be chosen &illegible; Regiment, who have concurred, and shall concurre with us in the premises and is this Agreement.

So that your Excellency is so farre from having a power to exercise the old Martiall Discipline; that you would have been no Officer or Member of the Councell appointed to governe &illegible; unlesse you had associated with them, and by that Association or mutuall Ingagement, the Soldiers were so far from allowing to their Generall, who ever it should have been (for at that time it was uncertaine) the power of exercising the old Martiall Discipline, that according to the Ingagement no Officer or Soldier can be rightly cashiered unlesse it be by the Councell constituted by that Engagement: so that your Excellency by your owne Engagement have put a period to your power of exercising your old Martiall Discipline, and whatsoever Discipline shall appear to the Army to be necessary, must be constituted by the mutuall consent of the Army, or their representatives, unlesse you and they will disclaim the Engagement at New market, and those principles upon which you then stood, *and yeeld up your selves to the Parliaments pleasure as their hirelings to serve their arbitrary power, like Turkish Jurisaries.

In the third place I answer, that it is against reason, law, conscience, justice and equity, to subject me at one and the same time, or any other free Commoner of England, under the sting and power of two distinct Lawes, and such a bondage as is insupportable, and such a snare of intanglement, that no mans life whatsoever can be safe or secure under it, that I shall be liable to be questioned and destroyed by the common Law of the Kingdome, and then be at the wills of mercenarie Turkish Ianisaries (in case the common Law will not reach me) to be questioned and destroyed by an unjust arbitrary Martiall law; and if it can be justly proved against me that I have made any tumults, the Law and the ordinarie Courts of justice are open, by which and by no other rules and proceedings J ought to be tryed, and if it be said or can be proved, that I have belied or scandalized the Generall, to the taking away of his good name, &c. yet scandalum Magnatum is not to be tried by Martiall Law, nor yet either by the House of Commons, or the House of Lords, but only & alone (now the Star-Chamber is down) by an Action at comon Law, by a Jurie of my equals, & no where else, it being a Maxime in Law, That wher remedy may be bad by an ordinary course in law, the party grieved shall never have his recourse to extraordinaries*: And besides for you to proceed with me, and to be both Parties, Jury and Iudges, is a thing that the Law abhorres.

In the fourth and last place I answer, that the Parliament it selfe, neither by Act nor Ordinance can justly or warrantably destroy the fundamentall liberties and principles of the common Law of England,* it being a maxime in law and reason both, That all such Acts and Ordinances are ipso facto null and void in law, and bind not at all, but ought to be resisted and stood against to the death.

But for them to give you a power by Marshal Law, or under any other name or title whatever, by your arbitrary tyrannicall wills without due course and processe of Law, to take away the Life or Liberty of me, or any free Commoner of England whatsoever, yea, or any of your own Soaldiers in time of peace, when the Courts of Iustice are all open, and no visible declared enemie in Armes in the Kingdome ready to destroy it, is an absolute destroying of our fundamentall Liberties, and a rasing of the foundation of the Common Law of England.

And therfore such a power of Arbitrary Marshal Law, cannot justly by the Parliament in time of peace, &c. be given unto you, (nor if it were) be justly or warantably executed by you.

And besides, both houses themselves by an Ordinance (unlesse they alter the whole constitution of this Kingdome) can take away the life of no free Commoner of England whatsoever, especially in time of peace.

And therefore that which is not within their owne power to do, they cannot by an Order or Ordinance grant power to Sir Thomas Fairfax &c. to do, it being a Maxime in nature, That beyond the power of being there is nor can be no being.

But it is in the power of the Parliament, or the two Houses, or the House of Commons themselves, as the present constitutions of this Kingdome stands, either by Order or Ordinance to take away the life of any free commoner of England.*

And therefore they cannot by an Ordinance or Order, especially in times of peace, give power to Sir Thomas Fairfax by Marshall Law, (unlesse they totally alter the Constitutions of the Kingdome) to take away the life or lives of any free Commoners of England, (which all Souldiers are as well as others,) and therefore it is absolute murther in the Generall and the Councell of Warre, now to shoot to death, hang or destroy any Souldier or other Commoner what ever by Marshall Law, for which they may be indicted at the Kings Bench barre.

And therefore J doe the third time as a friend advise you, to cease your illegall, arbitrary, tyrannicall Marshall Law proceedings with me that am no Souldier, and so nor under the least pretence of your Marshall Iurisdiction, least in time to come you pay as deare for your arbitrarie illegall proceedings with me as Sir Richard Empson and Mr. Edward Dudley Iustices did, who as Sir Edward Cook declares in his 2. and 4. part of his Institutes, where very officious and ready to execute that illegall Act of Parliament made “in the 11. H. 7. cap. 3. which gave power unto Iustices of Assize, as well as Iustices of the Peace (without any finding or presentment by the verdict of twelve men, being the ancient birthright of the Subject) upon a bare information for the King before them made, to have full power and authority by their discretions to heare and determine all Offences or contempts committed or done by any person, or persons against the form, ordinance, effect of any Statute made and not repealed, &c. by colour of which Act of Parliament, shalling (saith he) this fundamentall law (viz. the 29. Chapter of Magna Charta) it is not credible what horrible oppressions and exactions, to the undoing of infinite numbers of people, were committed by them, for which (though I cannot read they shot any man to death, and though they had an expresse Act of Parliament to beare them out, abundantly lesse questionable then an Ordinance for exercising Marshal Law) “they were both indicted of high treason both by the Common Law and Act of Parliament, and in the 2. yeare of Henry 8. they both lost their heads

Therefore from all the premises by way of conclusion, I draw up this protestation against you, that by the lawes and constitutions of this Kingdome, you have not the least Iudicative power in the world over me; therefore I cannot in the least give you any Honour, Reverence, or Respect, either in word, action, or gesture: and if you by force and compulsion compell me againe to come before you, I must and will by Gods assistance keep on my hat, and look upon you as acompany of Murderers, Robbers, and Theives, and doe the best I can to raise the Hue and Cry of the Kingdome against you, as a company of such lawlesse persons, and therefore if there be any Honour, Honesty, and Conscience in you, I require you as a free borne Englishman, to doe me justice and right, by a formall dismissing of me, and give me just reparation for my moneths unjust imprisonment by you, and for that losse of credit I have sustained thereby, that so things may goe no further; or else you will compell and necessitate me to study all wayes and means in the world to procure satisfaction from you, and if you have any thing to lay to my Charge, J am as an English man ready to answer you at the common Law of England, and in the meane time J shall subscribe my self

Your servant in your faithfull discharge
of your duty to your Masters
(the Commons of England) that pay you your wages,

William Thompson.

From my arbitrary and most
illegall imprisonment in Windsore,
this 14. Decem. 1647.

The forementioned Letter thus followeth.

To his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax Knight, Captaine. Generall of the Forces in the Nation for Importiall Justice and Libertie, these present.*

May it please your Excellency,

I Here present unto you a Declaration and Protestation against the illegall and unjust proceedings of your Councell of Warre against me, (I being a free Commoner of England) as in the presence of the just God, before whose Tribunall both you and I shall stand to give an account of all ungodly deeds committed against him. And so I rest,

Your Excellencies servant, if you are a true
servant to the most excellent God for justice
and righteousnesse in the earth, without respect of persons.

William Thompson.

Decemb. 14. 1647.

The Petition thus followeth.

To the right Honourable his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax Knight, Captain Generall of all the forces raised in the Kingdome of England.

The humble Petition of some of your Excellencies Officers and Soldiers being under the custodie of the Marshall Generall.


THat whereas there are misrepresentations of the intentions of the late Agents of the Army and their adherents, by men of corrupt minds, who would make all the end of your own and your Armies noble and valiant Atchievements (under the power of God) fruitlesse, and would destroy justice and righteousnesse from amongst men; and in stead of common good, and equal distribution of justice, would advance a particular selfish interest: & to accomplish their unworthy selfish ends, amongst many other scandals cast upon the late Agents, they have blazed abroad that they intended to murther the King, and that one of them should affirm it was lawfull: And whereas this was reported by one Lievt. Col. Henry Lilburne; it being altogether most abominable in our eyes, and detracts from the purity and righteousnesse of our Principles; tending only to make us odious to the people, for whose good alone we have run not only all former, but also those late hazzards.

We therefore desire that the said Lievt. Col. Henry Lilburne may be speedily seut for to testifie upon Oath (as in the presence of God) who used those words, where those words were used, and when: and what in particular the words were; That so, such a person may come under a publique cognizance, and your Excellencies faithfull servants and souldiers may free themselves and others from such as, pertions.

And your Petitioners shall ever pray, &c.

Will. Eyers.

Will. Bray.

Will. Prior,

Iohn Wood.

George Hassell.

Will. Everrard

Iohn Crosseman.

Tho. Beverly.

Will. Thompson Commoner.

The forementioned plea of Iohn Crosseman, which with his own hands he delivered to the Generall himself, thus foloweth.

TO HIS EXCELLENCY SIR THOMAS FAIRFAX, AND ALL his Officers that pretend to be Executors of Martiall Law.

May it please your Excellency.

I Was convened the 16. December last before certaine of your Officers, that pretendedly called themselves a Court Marshall, who attempted to try me by Marshall Law, for certaine presended crimes, specified in a paper by way of Articles, exhibited by a namelesse prosecuter, 20. dayes after I was a prisoner, only the said Articles were signed by Henry Whaley who calls himself Iudge Advocate. And the same day and time unto the said Officers I delivered in a paper under my hand intituled, Iohn Grosseman his Plea, against the proceedings of the Generall Officers, to punish him by Marshall Law. And after much debate by the said Officers upon the said Plea, the said Officers seemed to be unsatisfied with it, and therefore gave me time till this present Munday, the 20. day Decemb. 1647. to consider with my self, whether J would stand unto the said plea, or give in any other answer.

Having thereupon largely consuleted with my self upon the ends of our late taking up Armes, I can in my own conscience judge them to be no other, but for the destruction of all arbitrary, tyrannicall power in whomsoever, the preservation of our Lawes and Liberties, and the punishment of all those that have endeavoured the destruction of them. And having since the delivery of the said plea read the Petition of Right, from end, to end; And William Thompsons plea, delivered to your Excellency, &c. upon the 14. Decemb. 1647. now in print, intituled Englands Freedome, Souldiers Rights, upon the deep and weighty consideration of all which, J am compelled, out of the sense of avoyding the being too justly esteemed by all understanding, rationall men, a traytor, and subverter of the Lawes and liberties of England, to stand unto my said Plea, without any further answer then this.

That the government of the Army by Law Marshall, is only necessary when the Kingdome is invaded by a forraign enemie, or in a generall hurly burly in it self, being ready to march against a declared professed enemie ready to destroy it with fire and Sword, and thereby shut up the legall administration of iustice upon Transgressors and Offenders in the ordinary course thereof.

But now there is no forraigne enemie upon the march against England, nor no generall Hurly Burly in the Kingdome by professed and declared enemies against the peace thereof ready to destroy it with fire and sword, but all at the present is visibly in peace and quietnesse, and the Courts of iustice all open to punish all manner of offenders whatsoever, (yea Souldiers in Armes that have taken the States pay*) who only in times of peace (as this is) are solely to be punished by the rules and proceedings of the known and declared law of England, and by no other rules whatsoever.

And therefore it being now time of peace, there is no need of Marshall Law, neither can your Excellency, nor any other under you upon any pretence whatsoever, derived from any power whatever, execute it upon paine of being esteemed and iustly iudged to be absolute executers of an Arbitrary and tyrannicall power, and grand destroyers of our Lawes and liberties, and so in time may receive the Earle of Straffords doome, one of whose principall crimes I understand war, That he in Ireland, in time of peace (when he was Generall of an Army on foot) shed the blood of Warie, by executing a Souldier by Marshall Law, when the Courts of iustice were open.

And therefore I doe absolutely protest against the name and power of your pretended Court Marshall. And doe further declare, that I iudge my self bound in conscience with all my might power, and strength, both by words, actions, and gestures, now I know so much as I doe, to oppose, as the case now stands, all Marshall Courts whatsoever, and to judge my self a Traytor to the lawes and liberties of England, if I should doe any action that might but seeme to support, or countenance that law and liberty destroying power of Marshall Law, and can neither esteem nor iudg him an honest, iust, & troubled English man, that now hereafter (so much in print being declared against it) either executes it, or stoops unto it, So with my humble service rendred to your Excellency, I commmend you to the tuition of the just and powerfull God, and rest,

From my uniust captivity and imprisonment in
Windsore, which is both against the
Law of England, and our Agreement at
New Market, (the 4. and 5. Iune last)
this 20. of Decemb. 1647.

Your honours faithfull servant
and Souldier to the death, so
you turn not the mouth of your
own Cannons against me to destroy me.

Iohn Crosseman.

The forementioned Letter or Plea of Captain John Ingram, thus followeth.

To his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, these present.

May it please your Excellency,

I Was condemned the 20. Decemb. 1647. by divers Officers assembled together in the manner of a Court Marshall, for speaking before them my own Conscience and judgement with sobernesse, about Maior Cobits businesse. Now in justification of my self, I must declare unto your Excellencie, that in all Councells whatsoever, the members thereof ought without check, controule, molestation, or feare of ruine and destruction, freely to speak and declare the dictates of their iudgement and consciences. And undoubtedly the denyall thereof, would render all Councells whatsoever, uselesse and vaine. And its no lesse then the hight of tyranny in any prevailing par tie in a Councell to usurp such a power, as by terrors, censures, or force, to stop the mouths of those who are of different opinions, and against whose arguments or saying they offer no reasons.

And its no Iesse against law, and justice, yea, the common light of nature, for the members of that Councell (who were the only offended parties, to assume to themselves to be prosecutors, witnesses, Iury and Judges, as they did in my case.

And therefore I am resolved in the strength of God, never to betray my innocencie, by acknowledging an offence according as the censure, of my accusers require, when my conscience beares me witnesse, that as in the fight of God I did my duty, so I doe freely declare, that I am still clearely satisfied. That since our association by mutuall Ingagement at New-Market to stand as free Commons of England, for common right and freedome. And since our constituting a new Councell to be our directer in the manner of prosecuting those publique ends of justice, right and freedome, there is no assembly, but that new constituted Councell only which is a competent Iudge of the Actions of any Member in the Armie, and in his prosecution of the ends aforesaid. And of this nature I conceive was Maior Cobits case.

And I must further declare, that I am not only willing, but I account it my honour to be under your Excellencies conduct, so long as you shall act according to the first principles manifested in the Commission I received from your Excellency, according to the publique declaration of the Souldiery upon Triplo Heath, for Iustice, Iustice. And according to the Solemn Ingagement, neither shall any man be more obedient to your, Excellencies commands, tending to those ends, then my self.

But I must declare, that I clearely apprehend the highest injustice of executing Marshal Laws in time of peace, those lawes are appointed for cases of necessity and extremltie, when the Armie is marching against an enemie, and its then only justifiable, either because other Courts of justice are not open, or there cannot be a timely prosecution of offenders in those Courts. But when all other Courts of justice are open, and no enemie in the field to obstruct a free accesse to them, and when every Souldier is punishable in those Courts, and by the known lawes of the land for any crime or offence; I conceive common justice dictates Marshall Lawes to be null otherwise two Courts not subordinate each to other, claiming the iurisdiction over a Souldier supposedly offending, when the Known Lawes shall have acquitted him, he may suffer by the will of a Court Marshall. And therefore the Petition of Right complained of executing such Marshall Lawes in time of peace. Which Petition being granted, it remaineth as a valid Act of Parliament against it. And the Earle of Strafford was impeached of High Treason for proceeding against and condemning the Lord Mount Norris by Marshall Law, though the sentence was not executed.

Upon all these considerations, I cannot but be confident that the justice and conscience which dwels in your Excellencie, will compell you to restraine the proceedings of that Assembly of Officers against me, who are my accusers. And I hope your Excellencie is so carefull of your honour and reputation in the peoples eyes, that you will not suffer my place to be taken from me, unlesse my declining from the ends for which I associated with the Armie can be proved against me, or else some crime which according to law and justice merits such a censure. And I am not yet conscious to my self of the least unfaithfullnesse, but doe remaine as ever,

December 23.

Your Excellencies humble servant Iohn Ingram, whom
since they have cashiered because he was too honest and quick
sighted for them, and whom I heare hath a larger discourse
comming out against their unjust proceedings with him.

The proceedings of the Grandees at Windsore being so furious, unjust, and illegall as they were, in which they led the Generall on hoodwink as their stalking Horse, to the pits brink of his own ruine and destruction, and to the Apparent hazzard of shedding more innocent and precious blood, of extraordinary choice English men, and sweet Christians, and to the visible rooting up by the roots of the fundamentall lawes and liberties of England, and in its place set up and executed an arbitrary, tyrannicall government of Marshall Law: by the rules and justice of which, they might have as well, as justifiably, and as warrantably condemned to death all the free men of England, as those Souldiers they did. The serious meditating upon all which, perplexed my very spirit, and therefore I drew out my pen to make an assay upon the Generall, thereby if it were possible to stop those most desperate and unjust proceedings. The substance of which Letter thus followeth.

To his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, these present.

May it please your Excellency,

HAving hoard that your Excellency should say there was a great deale of reason in your apprehension in Thompsons plea, And you wished the Officers would well weigh it, and returne an answer to It.

And being yesterday at the House of Commons doore, I met with divers of your Officers, and in particular with Quarter Master Generall Ireton, who in his discourse with me, was pleased to say, That the late Plea for the Agents was full of falsehoods and mistakes, and my self in discourse came close to him before many people, and proferred him to maintaine before any competent Iudges in England, upon the perill of a sufficient disgrace to prove by the genuine sense of your own Declarations, and the Lawes of England, that there was not a false nor mistaken sentence in it all.

Now may it please your Honour, having many Obligations, upon me to your particular selfe, not only as I am an English man, but also as a sufferer. And being much perplexed in my own spirit at those many late unworthy actions that are done, pretendedly by vertue of your Authority, by men of a powerfull and corrupt instaence in your Armie, the disgrace and danger of which lyes very deep upon your selfe, which I am afraid in conclusion will cost you very deare, yea, the head upon your shoulders, if you persevere or suffer them to persevere in their late mirthering, arbitrary, tyrannicall, illegall wayes; and therefore out of that reall and strong affection, that I truly beare unto your Excellency, J am compeld to propose and offer unto your Honour, that if you please under your hand to grant safe comming and going to my self and a friend or two, and indempnitie for our discourse, upon the debate, we will come and waite upon your Excellency at Windsore; And against all your Officers in and belonging to your Army, maintaine the legallity and rationality of every line and sentence of Thompsons Plea, and the Plea for the Agents (the printers faults excepted) your Excellency in your own person at the dispute, sitting as Moderator and Iudge. So with my heartiest and truest service presented to your Honour, I humbly take my leave of your Excellency, and rest.

From my most iliegall and unjust
Captivity, which I am confident
is continued by the powerfull
influence of some great Officers
in your Armie,* this 23.
December 1647.

As true and faithfull a servant to you, as any
you have in your Army, though an absolute
abherrer and detestor of the late actions of
your pretended Councell of Warre.

John Lilburne.



I have assigned the prisoners at Windsore to waite upon your Excellency for an answer to this my Letter, and I desire further to let you know, that if your Officers be unwilling to imbrace my desires herein, It will be a cleare demonstration to your Excellency, and all the people of the whole Kingdome, that they have jugled with, deceived and deluded you, and brought you into life and honour destroying snares.

Iohn Lilburne.

This letter of mine was delivered to the Generals own hands as I have been informed by some that was by, but I have not received the least answer unto it, which makes me conclude, that Cromwell and Ireton, and there under Creatures are convinct in their consciences, that there is not the least shaddow or ground in the world, for them in times of peace to execut Marshall Law, the full knowledge of which, they would not willingly the Generall should be possessed with, as it is probable at such a dispute as before I offer and am ready to performe, he might be, and so might be sorry, for that murder committed upon the Soldier, that was shot at Ware, for which I am sure Cromwell, Ireton, Paul Hobson, yea and my Brother Henry Lilburne (if he were one that had a hand in the causing of him to be shot) as well as all others that had, may by the Law of England be apprehended, indicted, and tryed as wilfull murderers; and I am sure in the eye of the Law of God or England, no plea can save their lives, in any one of whose condition, (in the eye of the Law, to be tyed to live in England) that had a hand in that mans willful murder I would not be for al the gold in England, and let me without contempt, give this advice to the two great fore mentioned Nimrods of the Army, (whose present power is bent to suppresse our fundamental laws and liberties, and to build up, and establish the highest of Tyranny and protect Tyrants) to turne over a new lease and turne honest, if they have any graines thereof left within them, and bend not their parts and power, to plead for and protect the present tyrannicall House of Lords in their unjust usurparions, and to destroy me in my unjust imprisonment (which I know is only continued by their power and meanes) for doing my duty to my selfe, country, and posterity, to oppose them therein, least they necessitate and compell me for the preservation of my selfe, wife and children, to finde out a man that shall dare, in the night of all there unlimited potency, and unbounded great nesse, to indict them both for murderers, at the Kings bench barre, or elsewhere, and shall dare to indict the judges for perjury &c. if they shall dare to obey any command in England, that shall command them not to doe justice and right in that particular.

And now O unworthy and dishonourable Cromwell, (that I averre and will justifie to thy face) that brought and drew me into my first contest with the Earle of Manchester, und when thou hadest served thy ends of me, viz. to helpe to pull him downe from His Major Generall-ship) left me in the Bryers to be worried, and torne in peeces by him; and now keepest me in Prison (to the apparent hazard of my totall destruction) by thy power and influence, for being true to those principles of reason, truth and iustice, that I will iustifie to thy face, thou wast as high in as my selfe, when thou engaged me against Manchester, the Earle of Essex &c. though now thou art visably and desperately apostatized from them, to thy shame & eternall dishonour be it spoken, but seeeing (as my owne soule tells me) by thy meanes, I cannot get one dram of iustice, at the hands of the House of Commons, upon my complaint aganst the present tyrannicall usurping house of Lords, I here proclaine an open defiance to thee as a professed &illegible; my to the fundamentall lawes and liberties of my native country, to doe the worst &illegible; &illegible; me, a man in some sence almost devoured, by the Tyranny of thy fellow grand Tyrants in England, under which I have transendantly suffered this eleven yeares together, and therefore seeing the &illegible; and the rest of thy Tyrannicall &illegible; in the present house of Lords, and their &illegible; &illegible; Sr. John, and Nat. Fines, &c. in the house of Commons necessiruously compells me to &illegible; &illegible; straits and extremities as you do &illegible; &illegible; my own subsistance from me,* & yet according to Law, & the Iust custom of the Tower where in Prisoner wil not allow me a subsistance according to my quality, out of the publique treasure, or those that most uniustly and illegally commited me, by meanes of which in the eye of reason I am likely shortly to perish, and be destroyed, yet in these great straits, in the might and Strength of God I say to thee O Cromwell, with an undaunted resolution, as the the three children did to that grand Tyrant Nebuchad-nezzar, when he was ready to throw them into the hot fiery furnace, O Cromwell I am not carefull for all thy greatnesse, to tell thee thy owne; and to let thee to know that the God whom I serve, is able to deliver me, from thy power, and greatnesse; But if not, be it known unto thee O Cromwell, that I will not serve thee nor worship or stand in feare of thy tyrannicall power, or that golden or painted Image, the present House of Lords, which in thy Imaginations and fancy thou hast lately set up, that so in time thou mavest be one thy selfe.

Now upon these Pleas and Protestations of the forementioned honest men, comming so thick upon them, with the gallant and heroicall carriage of divers of the other prisoners at Windsore, with the late thunders of Mr. Sidgwick and precious Mr. Saltmarsh, these new Tyrants the Grandees, had such a curb put into their mouth, that it so stopped the furiousnesse of their bloody and murthering Carreare, that they were (as my often Intelligence gives me to understand) confounded and amazed amongst themselves, and therefore set their Imps and underhand pentionary Agents at worke, to perswade the honest Agent Prisoners to close in love and union, with some litle kind of (though it were but seeming) reluctancy of spirit, and then the Generalls almightinesse (in whom those &illegible; Grandees, place as great an omnipotency as ever the Courtiers or Cavialeers did in the King, the more to serve their wicked and desperate &illegible; for this I dare confidently say, if his Excellency would not let his Creator Cromwell rid him, he should shortly and as scarcely charge him with as impeachment of Treason, and breach of trust, as ever he did the Earle of Manchester, by meanes of which, his Lordship hath of lare been very &illegible; and gentle to his greatnesse Lievt. Gen. Cromwell) should pardon all their iniquities, and passe by all their transgressions, and forthwith one of &illegible; &illegible; is called, that so they may more closely and cowardly smite with the fist of wickednesse, that being too much the apparent end of all their howling lamentations, Which God &illegible; but nothings unto him, and without amendment of &illegible; and doing justice and iudgement, &illegible; the &illegible; and oppressed, and breaking all the heavie yoaks, are adious and abommable in his fight Esay &illegible; 4, 5, 6, 7. and Mioah 5, 6, 7, 8.

And after the first (which was by their Diurnall Mercuries sufficiently blown and founded over London) to salve up their own reputations and credits, which than was very much blasted, and to preserve their own; offering greatnesse, the tumbling down of which they were afraid of by the great &illegible; the &illegible; &illegible; at their roots with, in their thundring discourse for the &illegible; and his answering of the late 4. bills before they were sent him, &illegible; of which were &illegible; demonstrations, to high and mighty Cromwell and Ireton, that the Scats would &illegible; them and get away their late admired and &illegible; upon darling the King from them, and then spoil all their expected Court greatnesse, in wearing a welsh Gue Gue, the George and a bleue ribbin, with the title of (at least) Earl of Essex, and Lievtenant, or Generall Field Marshall of Ireland, and so perceiving thereby that the interest of the Scots was likely to be joyned with that of the Kings and so Royallisme and Presbytery would shortly swallow up forceable and factious Independency, especially if the interest of the honest Nown-Substantive Levellers (as the King their Quandum good Lord (in his &illegible; left at Hampton Court when they sent him to the Isle of Whight) lately christned them, as he had severall times done the Parliament, in his severall Declarations published the beginning of these warrs) should not be indeavoured to be united to them againe, that so now in their necessity and straights, they might once againe make close &illegible; of them to shit in, and when they had done, to throw them behind the doore (as formerly they had) as unfit to remaine in their fight till they needed them againe.

And therefore to kill two birds with one stone upon their fast they release the prisoners as the mind of God, when without doubt they had resolved it before, as the only expedient to reinbalm their justly lost reputation. And secondly as the only meanes to reimpinioante them into the good thoughts of those men, they and their late royall friends lately christned Levellers, and to add strength unto the last, the two chiefe of the Grandees Cromwell and Ireton, came to the Parliament to heighten them in their votes against the King, because he had for taken his first love, and would not be content with that price that they would give him, to let them reign and rule under him, the which if he would have taken, no doubt but he might have com’d in to have joyntly with them oppressed and rid the people, but because it may be the Scots scared if he came in by the Grandees of the Army, they and hee might joyn together to chastise them for all their old former provocations given unto both, and therfore out of meer safety (it may be) to themselves outbid the Grandees to gaine the Kings affection, at which they are mad, and therefore to preserve their own greatnesse, and to gaine if it be possible, the lost affections of the honest Nown-Substantive Englishmen, they flie high both against him and the Scots, that so they may if possible induce them to joyne with them in a new war, (which is their interest and trade) without giving or offering unto the people the least valuable consideration for all the blood they have already lost, and are more amply like to loose upon the ingaging in a new &illegible; yea, or intending them any, which for my &illegible; I doe abhorre, and shall disward, and hinder by all the interest I have in England, not to undertake, unlesse the antient hereditary, just and native &illegible; of all Englishmen indiffinently, be particularly and clearly holden out unto them, and secured with strong and good security, that so Englishmen as Englishmen may be united, and then when that is done, my heart blood I will venture against any interest in the world that shall fight against it. For to fight as hitherto we have done, to pull downe own sort of Tyrants to set up another as had if not worse then the former, I think is the greatest madnesse in the world.

Now having at present done with the &illegible; of the Army, there being so much truly declared of them in that most notable book called Putney Protects, (the truth of which, the &illegible; &illegible; of their Champions dare not with his pen deny, no not forsworne Lieutenant Edmond Chillington himself, their choice darling) that it here saves me a labour.

But before I come to touch upon the arbitrary tyrannicall proceedings of the present House of Lords, I shall first insert another piece of injustice (which should have come in before) of the Iudges in Westminster Hall, from whose grose and habituated injustice ariseth the principall miserie of this Nation, from age to age, who immediately before this Parliament, gave away all the estates of all the free men of England at one judgement to the King, for by the same right he by his wil could by his Ship-writs take six pence from us, he may take all we have, and by the same right he takes our estates, he may take all our lives. And if for that judgement they had all been hanged that had a hand in it, as by the practice of this Kingdome, in like or lesser cases, Iudges hath been, these that now survive them would have been wary so visibly to forsweare themselves by doing palpable iniustice as they doe. For the forementioned learned Author Andrew Horne in his merror of justice, pag. 238. devision 108. saith expresly. That it is an abuse, that Iustices and their Officers, who kill people by their false iudgement, be not destroyed as other murderers, which King Alfred caused to be done, who caused 44. Iustices in one year to be hanged as murderers for their false iudgements.

The case that I shall set down, is Mr. Henry Moores, my Quandum fellow prisoner in the Fleet, and the most lamentable and deplorable unjust dealing of the Iudges with him, you may briefly understand by his Petition which thus followeth.

To the Right Honourable the Lords and Commons assembled in both Houses of Parliament.

The Humble Petition of Henry Moore Merchant.


That whereas your Petitioner in Hillary Tearm Anno 16. Caroli Regis, after a verdict, obtained a Iudgement in his Maiesties Court of Kings Bench of 7000. l. debt and 7. l. 12. d. dammages against Thomas Wright who afterwards was charged in execution for the same, in the custodie of Sir Iohn Lenthall Knight, then and yet Marshal of the said Court, and the said Wright being so in execution for Composition, offered your Petitioner above 8000. l. and security for the residue of the said debt, all the same appearing to be true by Records and by proceedings in Chancery under the Great Scale of England, but before any part thereof satisfied, the said Sir Iohn Lenthall suffered the said Wright to escape out of Execution.

Your Petitioner therefore in Hillary Terme 17. Caroli Regis. Ten dayes before the end of that Terme, caused an action of debt to be brought for the said 7007. li. 12 d. at your Petitioners suit for the said escape, and then filed a declaration against the said, Sir Iohn Lenthall for the same. But the said Sir Iohn to deprive your petitioner of the said debt, and all remedie for the same, in Trin. 18. Caroli Regis, notwithstanding your Petitioner had severall Rules against Sir Iohn Lenthall for judgement upon his declaration so filed in Hillary 17. He the said Sir Iohn Lenthall procured an Order to be made by Sir Iohn Brampston Knight, and Sir Thomas Mallet Knight in open Court, that your petitioners Declaration filed in Hillary 17. should be filed as of Easter Tearme the 18. contrary to justice, the law of this Kingdom, the libertie of the Subjuct, and the rules of the said Court, as your petitioner is advised. And for that your petitioner being so advised that the said Order doth utterly barre your petitioner of his said debt. Your Petitioner severall times publiquely in Court and otherwise moved the Iudges to alter the same, but could not prevaile, as appeareth by the Order of the said Court, and for that, that notwithstanding your petitioners earnest solicitation for his judgement due by the rules of the said Court for the space of above foure yeares together, and his great expence after 15. Orders made in the said Court, the now Iudges of the said Court, Mr. Iustice Bacon, and Mr. Iustice Roll hath confirmed the same, as appeareth by an Order by them made, per Hillar. 22. Caroli Regis now readie to be shewed.

In tender consideration of the premises, that your petitioner according to the Law filed his declaration in Hillary 17. when the prisoner was escaped and at liberty, and for that the said Iudges Order contrary to Law barreth your petitioner from prosecuting upon that declaration, and bindeth your petitioner to file his declaration as of Easter terme 18. Caroli, when the said Marshall aleadged that he had retaken the said prisoner again and that he was dead, and that your petitioners debt is destroyed by the said Iudges Order, to your petitioners dammage above 10000l. And for that other debts may be destroyed by the like. If men be barr’d from the benefit of their just Records duly fil’d as the petitioner is, contrary to the Lawes of the Kingdome, and the libertie of the Subiect, which appeares to be done (in this Cause) by the Orders themselves.

Your Petitioner humbly craveth releise according to his damages. And your Petitioner shall pray.

Henry Moore.

Which petition the said Moore delivered to Col. Henry Martin, and divers other Parliament men, but can not so much as get his petition read in the House, upon whom he hath long attended, and still waiteth, & most earnestly, and deplorably cryeth out to be releived from this intollerable oppression, by which the said Moore is damnified (as in his printed complaints to the House he declares) above ten thousand pound, to the hazzard of his utter ruine.

Now I shal here crave the liberty, to insert the epittomy of my own cruel & barbarous sufferings, with this desire to al that reads it, seriously to consider that what hath befaln me, by the seruell tyrany of by past Tyrants and oppressors, if not strongly remedied and repaired, may for future be incouragement for the present Tyrants to inflict (when they dare for fear of being dismounted) the like if not worse upon the first Nown-Substantive Englishman, that shall resolutely stand in their way.* The summe of what I have here to insert, I shall lay down in the very words that I delivered in print to the Members of the House of Commons at the House doore, the 23. Novemb. last, which thus followeth.

A new complaint of an old grievance, made by Lievt. Col. Iohn Lilburne, Prerogative prisoner in the Tower of London. Novemb. 23, 1647. To every Individuall Member of the Honourable House of Commons.


MY exceeding urgent necessities, and my extraordinary sufferings by your neglectia doing me justice and right, according to your many oaths and declarations, presseth me above measure still to play the part of the poore importud are widdow, mentioned in the Gospel, and to resolve whatever befalls and never to give over till I have attained her end, viz. Iustice.

You may please truly to take notice (and the rather because many of you are new Members that in the year 1637. and 1638. I suffered a most barbarous sentence by the Star Chamber, occasioned by two false oaths sworne against me by Edmond Chillington, now a Lievtenant under Col. Whaly, and by my refusing to answer interrogatories against my self, in executing of which sentence the 18. of April 1638. I was tyed to a Carttayle at Fleet bridge, and whipt through the streets to Westminster, and had given me above the number of 500. stripes, with a threefold knotted corded whip, the weeles made in my back thereby being bigger then Tobacco pipes, &c. And set two &illegible; upon the Pillory bare head in an extraordinary hot day, and a gag put into my mouth above an houre, to the almost renting of my jawes in sunder See my printed relation of my businesse before the Lords bar the 13. Feb. 1645. where all this with much more is proved upon Oath.

And upon that very day, 10. Iudges of the said Star Chamber made an Order to murther and starve me,* the very words of which Order being, that the said Iohn Lilburn shall be laid along with irons on his hands and leggs, in the wards of the Fleet, where the basest and meanest sort of prisoners are used to be &illegible; and that the Warden of the Fleet, take especiall care to binder the resort of any persons what soever unto him, and particularly, that he be not supplyed with money from any friend. And yet they not any for them during all my imprisonment never allowed me the value of one farthing taken to live upon, but executed the said Order upon me with so much barbaritie, that my pining, &illegible; condition, was a thousand times worse, and lesse to be indured, then any sudden death whatever, under which without doubt I had perished, had it not been for the timely rellese of this Parliament, by which said sufferings I was rob’d of a profitable trade, in the flower of my dayes.

And being by you set at liberty the first weeke of your sitting, I was by the malice of one Littleton a Courtier, by the Kings especiall command arrested of high Treason, and the 4. May 1641. by the Kings own direction, I received a kind of an Arraignment at the Lords bar, where the said Littleton most falsely swore point blanke against me, to the apparant hazzard of my life and being if he had not been contradicted by the oath of his own friend Mr. Andrewes a Counceller, upon which day and at that very time, the House of Commons were so sencible of my sad and suffering condition, that they were pleased upon the report of Mr Francis Rouse to make these Votes for me.

Resolved upon the question, That the sentence of the Star Chamber given against Iohn Lilburne, is illegall and against the liberty of the Subiect, and also bloody, wicked, cruell, barbarons, 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.

And yet I never had to this houre one penny of reparations, although J dare safely say it, I have spent above a thousand pound one way and another in following you therefore, above the space of seaven yeares, which is alonger time, for any thing, I can read of in Scripture, then ever the importunate widow followed the unrighteous Iudge (that neither feared God nor reverenced man) and yet obtained justice at his hands.

That upon my deliverance, by the assistance of one of my friends, I betook my self to a trade for my livelyhood, and of my own and my &illegible; friend, stockt it with almost 1500. l. ready money, and the late wars comming on, at the desires of many eminent men of this Kingdome my then choice friends, I left my trade, and in iudgement and conscience girded my sword unto my thigh, with an honest resolution to spend my heart blood for the preservation of the lawes and liberties of my native country, which then the Parliament by their Declarations, made me and the Kingdome believe was endeavoured to be destroyed by the King and his evill Councell. And having like a man of undaunted resolution adventured my life at Edgehill and Brainford, with good and advantagious successes to the Parliament, though with ill to my self, being to a good value plundered at both places, and at the last taken prisoner, where by the inhumaine barbaritie of severall Lords and others, I was divers times in danger after quarter given (before I came at Oxford) to be buin in pieces, being pinioned with my armes behind me, and tyed to another, and forced on foot through all the dirt and mire to march two dayes together. And being arrived a prisoner at Oxford Castle, J was visited by foure Lords, (viz. the Lord Newarke, now Marquesse of &illegible; the Lord Dunsmore, now Earle of Chithester, the Lord Mattravers now Earle of Arundell, and the Lord Andiver) as messengers from the King (as they told me) and in his name proferred whatever in reason I could desire, in his then prosperous condition, so J would forsake the Parliament, and my present principles, and desire his pardon which they all unanimously promised to get for me, but I told their Lordships they were mistaken in me if they thought I was to be courted out of my principles, and as for his Maiesties pardon I told them I scorned either the craving or accepting of it, having in obedience to the Parliaments then commands done nothing but what I did then believe was just and legall, and for which I would willingly lay my life down, and the desiring or accepting of a pardon would argue guiltinesse, which I told them I believed I had no need to confesse. Whereupon I was clapt in irons night and day, forcd to lye in my cloaths upon the flore, &illegible; up close in a Chamber, when I had not a penny of money about me, being lately plundered of all I had, and a centry set at my doore, that I could not speak with any of my fellow prisoners, to borrow a penny to buy me bread, by meanes of which I was exposed to the greatest of straights, and immediately in irons arraigned as a Traytor, before Sir Robert Heath, and Sir Thomas Gardner, &c. for levying war against the King, &illegible; from the Parliament, and I pleaded to my indictment, telling the Iudge, I girded my sword unto my thigh in judgement and conscience, by vertue of the greatest authority in the land, with a resolution to speed the last drop of my blood, for the preservation of the just lawes and liberties of my native country, being seduced thereunto by no flesh alive, acting not by an implicite faith, but upon principles of iudgement and understanding, in the defence whereof I told him I was then as ready to dye by a halter, as before I had been either by a Bullet or a Sword, and having escaped that danger of hanging by a letter of the Speakers of this House, threatning unto them, Lex talienes, As you may read in the first part book Decl. 802. 803.

I contracted there, by hard usage, a desperate and dangerous sicknesse, of which I lay speechlesse divers dayes, the inhumanity of the barbarous Marshall Smith, being such toward me, that he would neither suffer Phisitian, Apothecary, Surgion, nor Nurse to come neare me, and though some Gentlemen then in bonds with me, got a poore half starved Prisoner to looke to me, yet he was clapt up twice close Prisoner for helping me in those great straights, and I could not freely inioy his helpe, till I purchased it for money at the hands of one of Smithe cruell tormentors.

By which imprisonment (besides my large expences there) I lost at London in debets, &c. (my Debtors taking the advantage of my araignment for treason, would as they said pay us Traytors debts) about 600. l. every penny of which lay upon mine own particular shoulders. And comming out with the same Principles I went in, I be took my selfe to my sword againe, having refused here at London; divers places of ease profit & honour & with much resolution & integritie, in the midest of many discouragements, I fought under the Earle of Manchesters command so long, tell (by his and others visible apostatising from the first declared ends, and by the wickednesse, treachery basesse, and perfidiousnesse J found there) I had lost all my principles, and could not for all the world any longer kill Caveleeres, in whose service I was plundered the third time at Newarke, to the value almost of 100 l. besides many scores of pounds of my owne mony in that service I spent, more then ever there I received, there being due unto me at this day, for my arreares there, the greatest part of a thousand pounds, as I doubt not upon just and &illegible; grounds clearely when you please to make appear.

That at the laying down my command* J rigorously, with all the interest J had in England betook my selfe to an earnest prosecution to obtaine at the hands of your house, my iust and long expected and promised reparations from my cruell Star-Chamber Iudges, (one of which viz. old Sir Henry Vaine sits in your House at this day) in the following of which I met with such hard and unreasonable measure (not only from the hands of your house it self,* but also from its Committees, in being chuslesly tossed and tumbled out of the hands of one Messenger to another, and from one Goale to an other) that it made me almost as weary of the Land of my nativity as ever the &illegible; were of &illegible; when the cruell Tyrant Pharoah made them to make bricks without straw, especially when I considered that all this was done unto me by those for the saving alive, and preserving of whom, J had so often, freely, and resolutely, with my sword in my hand adventured my life, and in the dayes of their greatest straights and calamities been as faithfull to them, as ever Jonathan was to David, when he hazzarded ruine and distruction from his father for siding with him. Yea, and if it had then been in my power, could have done a thousand times more then I did, verily believing they &illegible; &illegible; performed their just Declarations to the Kingdome. But before the storm of your indignation was well blown over the fearcenesse of which had almost overwhelmed me, behold such a furious tempest the 10. of Iuly 1646. driseth against me by the House of Lords, as if it would have blown me into an other Horzian, or have Metamorphased me into the shape and habit of a bruit beast, and have robbed me of all things that might give me the denomination of a man, LEVELLING thereby the Liberties and freedomes of all the Commons of England, unto their arbitrary, Lordly wills. And having about 18. moneths ago fled unto you (as justly I might) for shelter, protection, and justice against them, which by my severall Pleas before your Committees I have proved you ought long since to have afforded me; and having the 11. of this instant in halfe a sheete of Paper, presented (here at your doore, as now I doe to your hands) an abstract of the Lords tyrannicall; illegall dealing with me. And of all by way of Plea, I have for my selfe to say; with a desire to stand or fall under your Judgement there upon, which yet J cannot obtaine from you, and therefore referring you to that Abstract, and to my Grand Plea before Mr. Maynard upon the &illegible; October last, and my Additionall Plea annexed unto it, for all the particulars Scrave and challenge at your hands as my right and &illegible; I adjure you before Heaven and Earth, and before the Lord Ichavah, and his mighty and glorious Angells, without any more delay, to adjudge my cause betwixt the Lords and me, either to my justification or condemnation; and to doe me Justice and right by helping me to my owne, kept from me by you, and doe not by your 7. yeares delay of justice, lay more provocations upon me, then my strength and ability is able to beare, and then go about to distroy me, for my crying out of your oppression; when in the eye of reason I have no other remedie left me in this world but that, or to distroy my selfe, wife and Children, which even nature it self &illegible; or else to live upon the kindnesses of those, that in future time to my reproach shall (as some from whom I should little have expected it have lately done) hit me in the teeth with it, which makes the proffer of their courtesies a scorn unto me, and the thoughts of not being able to repay them againe; a burthen to my spirit. And therfore to conclude, let me in the bitternesse of my spirit, say unto you as the unrighteous Judge said unto himselfe, although by your actings towards me, you declare that you neither feare God, nor, reverence &illegible; yet for my necessitie and pressing importunitier sake, now at last to doe &illegible; and right; for if I must dye by yours, and the Lords murthering oppression, I am resolved if I can helpe it, I will not dye alone, nor in a corner in silence. Therefore helpe me unto my owne, to leave subsistance unto my Wife and Children, that they may not beg their bread when I am dead and gone. And if nothing but my blood will serve my cruell adversaries, if they be men, I challenge the &illegible; of them in England, &illegible; to hand, with his sword in his hand like a &illegible; to put a period to my dayes, being ready to inswer any man in England, Lord or Commoner, that hath any thing to lay to my &illegible; Either.

First as a nationall man: Or,

Secondly, as a resolved man; Or,

Thirdly, as an English man.

In the last of which I shall desire no more favour then every Trayter, Rogue, or Martherer, that is arraigned for his life at Newgate Sessions injoyes, viz. the benefit of the declared knows law of England. And so at present I rest.

From my most illegall, starving,
and murthering tyrannical, imprisonment in
the Tower of London, this 23 Novem.
1647. going into the eight yeare of my
fruitlesse expecting justice from the dease
and hard hearted house of Commons.

Tour oppressed friend,
that landly cryes out to you for iustice &illegible;

Iohn Lilburne.

Be pleased to take notice, that divers hundreds of this halfe sheete of paper I delivered the day of the date of it to the Parliament mens own hands at their doore, and the Soldiers, and the by Standers, and while I was delivering them at there doore out came Mr Iohn Ashe the clothier to me, (a man that hath fingered about ten thousands pounds for his pretended losses of the States mony, besides what he hath got as Chair man to the Committe for composition at Gold Smiths Hall, which if common same he not a lyar, hath been largely profitable to him, as well as other of the like places are said to be to others of his bespoted bretheren) and told me to this effect, that he had formerly honoured me for my great sufferings, but I had of &illegible; Ioyned with David Ienkins to destroy this Parliament, which he was pleased to say was the bases and foundation of the peace, and being of this distressed Commons wealth, for which I very well deserved to be executed, as he said; unto which, with a good resolution I replyed: (&illegible; my back against their house doore.) to this purpose: Sir, I scorne your &illegible; and charge, of joyning with Iudge Ienkins, or any other whatsoever, either to destroy the Parliament, or the Common wealth, for I am the same man in principles, that ever I was, and as &illegible; to mine, as Iudge Ienkins is to his, though you, and the most of the Members of your Home, be changed from yours, & Sir I tel you, that before ever I see Judg Jenkins face, I had law &illegible; to deale with twenty such as you are, though I confesse I have lost nothing in that particular, by my &illegible; with him, but have gained, much by my imprisonment with him, in the knowledge of the Law, but Sir, I retort your owne words, back upon you, and &illegible; that it is you, and such as you are, by that palpable injustice, that so acted by you, that will not only destroy this House, but &illegible; the totall diffruction of the whole Kingdome, for I my selfe have waited upon you seaven yeares for Iustice, to my large expence, but yet cannot obtain one dram of right, from your hands, although you can finde time enough to shaire the Common, wealths money amongst your salves, by thousands and ten thousands, &illegible; whereas you say, that I deserve to be executed, I would have you to know, I scorne your courtesie or mercy, and &illegible; you from me to tell your house, that I am ready to answer the whole house or any particular Member in it according to the Law of the Kingdome, at any barre of Iustice in England, &illegible; and where they please, without &illegible; or desiring the least drame of favour or &illegible; at their hands, and here upon the Gentleman went away as though he had had a flee in his &illegible;

And by and by came out of the House an ancient man (as I was told, called Mr. &illegible;) and he rusly demanded where the &illegible; was that delivered those bookes, one of which he had in his hand, and I having my back fast against their doore, and looking him full in the face, &illegible; him after this manner, that I was he, that not only delivered them, but also made them, and would justifie them to the death; saith he can you expect any good at our hands to give as such language as at the conclusion of it you doe? unto which I replyed; Sir, I wish you had not given me too much cause, by your delaying to doe me justice, and night, and &illegible; and &illegible; as you have done from one Goale to another, to give you a great deale &illegible; whereupon hee departed and left me, and I went on giveing away the aforesaid papers.

But now in regard I can neither obtaine law nor justice, at the hands of the House of Commons, either upon my Star-chamber Iudger, nor yet upon, nor against the present House of Lords, most barbarous, tyrannicall, arbitrary, and murdering dealing with me, and seeing it is clearely discovered every day more then other, and obvious in my apprehesion to every rational mans eye, that the designe of the present seeming sanctified swaying faction; (which who they principally are, I have named before) is totally to subject the freemen of this Kingdome to vassaledge and slavery, and subdue there fundamentall lawes and liberties, by crushing in peices (arbitrarily and tyrannically,) cuery cordial hearted and Noun-Substantive English man, that due peepe out in the least to owne his freedome and liberties, or stand for them, thereby demonstrating that they have learned their lesson well, from that old guilded Fox the Lord Say, whose maxime it is (if he be not wronged) that it is as dangerous to let the people know their liberties and freedomes, as to lot a stomackt House know his strength, and therefore it is, that my Lord and the rest of his new factionated Independents (who in my Judgement are grown more tyrannicall already, then either the Episcopulls of old, or the late swaying Presbyterians I have so many Beagles and &illegible; not only to shall at, but to bite the &illegible; of every mast they can find out, that dare presume to write, print, or publish any light or information to the people; and if they hold on but a little longer as they have begun, it is to be feared they will make it death, as the great Turke doth, for any man to keep a printing presse. And seeing they have (in my eyes) laid aside the studying the Gospell of truth and peace, or practising any thing that is commended by it, and are totally studying and practising of &illegible; and are closing and dabbing with the interest of the publique Priests, to make the publique pulpits sound forth their rotten praises, and uphold their new confused Babell sandy interest, though in this book (by reason of the great distractions of the kingdome) I thought to have been very tender of the House of Commons and its committees: yet because slavery and tyranny is already got over the threshold, I must furnish my friends with some weapons to keep it out of the kitchine and Hall, least it get possession speedily of the whole house, and for that end I shall insort my Defiance to Tyrants in a plea, which thus followeth.

A Defiance to Tyrants. Or a Plea made by Lievt. Col. Iohn Lilburne Prerogative Prisoner in the Tower of London, the 2. of Decemb. 1647. Against the proceedings, of the close and illegall Committee of Lords and Commons, appointed to examine those that are called London Agents, with divers large additions, unto which is annexed a Plea for the said Citizens of London against the Committee for plundered Ministers, for their illegall imprisoning them for refusing to pay Tithes.

ALL Magistracy in England, is bounded by the &illegible; and declared Law of England,a and &illegible; they Act according to Law, I am bound to obey them, but when they leave the rules thereof, and walk by the arbitrarie rules of their own Wilt, they doe not act as Magistrates, but asb Tyrants; and cannot in such actings challenge any obedience, neither &illegible; I bound to &illegible; it, but &illegible; in conscience and &illegible; to myself and my native Country, therein to resist and withstand them, and if their Officers goe about by force and violence to Compell me to obey and stoop unto their arbitrary and illegall command; I may, and ought (if I will be true to my native and legall freedoms) by force to withstand him or them, in the same &illegible; that I may withstand &illegible; that comes to &illegible; my house, or as I may withstand &illegible; man that upon the highway, by force and violence, would take my purse or life seem me.c

And therefore all Warrants comming from any pretended or reall Committees of Lords and Commons to command me before them, that are not formed according to the Law of England, I ought not to obey, but withstand and resist upon &illegible; of being by all ambiused understanding men of England esteemed, a &illegible; and destroyer of the Lawe, and liberties of England, for the preservation of which, I ought to contest as Naboth did with King Ahab for his vineyard, 1 King. 21. 2, 3, 4, 13. And by the Law of England, no warrant or processe ought to issue out to summonup any man to any Court of Justice in England whatsoever, till a complaint by a certain prosecutor be filed or exhibited, in that Court of &illegible; from whence the warrant, processe, or Summons comes, which warrant, processe, &illegible; Summons ought expresly to containe the nature of the cause to which I am to answer, and the name of my prosecutor or complemants, or else it is not legall, and so not binding, but may and ought to be resisted by me, and the Court must be sure to have legall jurisdiction over the causes,

Secondly, All the Capacities that either the House of Commons or Lords can sit in, it.

First, Either as a Councell, and so are to be close, (and for any man whatsoever in the Capacitie to come, or offer to come in amongst them, that doe not belong unto them, is unwarrantable, and so punishable,d or else.

Secondly, As a Court of Iustice, to try and exemine men in criminall causes, and in this capacitie they or any of their Committees ought alwayes to Sit open, for all peaceable men freely to behold and see,(e) or else I am not bound to go to any tryall with them, or answer them aword, and therefore in this sense most illegall is the close Committee of Lords and Commons, for examining those (they call) London Agents, or any other whatsoever.

And Thirdly, that Close Committee is most illegall, being a mixture of Lords with Commons, seeing the Lords are none of their or my Peers and Equalls by Law, and so cannot, nor ought not to be there, to be my examiners, tryers or Judges, and a traytor I am to the lawes and liberties of England, if I stoop or submit to the jurisdiction or power of such a mixt Committee.f

Thirdly, It is contrary to Law, and expresly against the Petition of right, either for this Committee of Lords and Commons; or any other Court of justice or Committee whatsoever, to force mee or any man to answer to interrogatories against my self, or my neer relations.

Fourthly, Neither can they legally go about to try or punish me, for any crime that is triable or punishable at Common law.g

Fiftly, and if in case there be no Law extant, to punish their Pretended London Agents for doing their duty in prosecuting those iust things, that the Parliament hath often declared is the right and due of all the free men in England, they ought to goe free from punishment, for where there is no Law, there can (saith the Apostle Paul) be no transgression,h but if that Committee or any other power in England shall Commit me, or any Commoner in England to prison, for disobeying their illegall and Arbitrary Orders, it is more then by Law they can doe, neither ought I to goe to prison, but by force &illegible; violence (which I cannot resist) and I ought to see that the warrant be legall in the form of it, that is to say, that it be under hand and seale, and that he or they in law have power to commit me, and that the warrant contain the expresse cause wherefore I am committed, and also have a lawfull conclusion, viz., and him safety to keep untill he be delivered by due course of Law, and &illegible; during the pleasure of this House or Committee, or till this house or Committee doe further order, and I may and ought to read the warrant, and to have a copie of it, if I demand it, without saying any thing for it, and if I be committed for any crime not mentioned in the statute of 3. Ed. 1 Chap. 14. 4. I am Raileable, which I may and ought to tender in person to the parties that Commit me, either (if I have them by me)ik before I goe to prison, or else as soone as I am in prison, &illegible; as soon as I can conveniently get fit baile for me; and in case I be legally committed, both for power, matter and for me, and be kept in person after I have proffered baile (as before) I may bring my action of false imprisonment, and recover damages therefore: but besides know this, that there is not one farthing token due to the Serient as Armes or any other Officer whatsoever, that carries me to prison, neither is there one peny due to any Gaeler whatsoever for fees from me, but one bare groat at most; I and when I am in prison, I ought to be used with all civilitie and humanitie; for that great Lawyer, Sir Edw. Cool expresly saith, in That imprisonment must only be a safe custodie, not a punishment, and that a prison ought to be for keeping men safe to be duly tryed, according to the Law and custome of the Land, but not in the least to punish or destroy them, (or to remaine in it till the party committing please) and he further saith, in his exposition of the 26. chap. of Magna Charta, it that the Law of the Land favouring the libertie and freedome of a man from imprisonment, and so highly hating the imprisonment of any man whatsoever, though committed or accused of heinous and odious crimes, that by law it self is not baileable, yet in such a case it allowes the prisoner the benefit of the Writ called de odio & aria, anciently called breve, de bono & Malo to purchase his liberty by, which (he saith) be ought to have out gratis, which writ is in force to this day, and therefore (he saith ibid.) that the Iustices of assize, Iustices of Oyer and Terminer, and of Gaole delivery have not suffered the prisoner to belong detained, but at their next comming have given the prisoner full and speedy iustice, by due tryall without detaining him long in prison. Nay (saith he) they have been so far from allowance of his detaining in prison without due tryall, that it was resolved in the case of the Abot of St. Albon, by the whole Court, that where the King had granted to the Abott of St. Albon, to have a Gaole, and to have a Gaole delivery, and divers persons were committed to that Gaole for selony, and because the Abott would not be at the cost to make deliverance, be detained them in prison long time without making lawfull deliverance, that the Abott had for that cause forfeited his franchise, and that the same might be seized into the Kings hand.lmn

And in case the party be committed to prison unjustly, and no Baile will be taken for him, he ought to require a Copy of his Mittimus, and to have it gratis, and if I should demand it and it would not be given me, I would not goe unlesse I were carried by force, by head and heeles, and then I would cry out Murder, Murder,o and doe the best I could to preserve my self till I had got a Copy of it; for many times, when; man comes into prison the dogged Gaoler will refuse to let me have it (which may be a great &illegible; to me) and if I stirre or busle for it, his will shall be a Law unto me, to durgean me, belt and fetter me, contrary to Law. It being (as Andrew Horne saith in his excellent book called the Mirrour of justice in English, Chap. 5. Sect. 1. devision 54. pag. &illegible;) an abuse of Law, that a prisoner is laden with irons, or put to paine before he be attainted of fellony, &c. And when J am thus in prison (committed by what authority soever) the first thing that J am to doe, is to send my friend (be he what he will be) as well a private understanding resoluteman, as a Lawyer) for either myself, or any one I will appoint, may and ought to plead my cause before any Iudge in England, as well as any Lawyer in the kingdome, and neither ought by the Iudge to be forbidden, snub’d, or browbeaten) to the Chancery for a Habeas Corpus, if it be out of Tearm: for as Sir Edward Cook on the 29. chap. of Magna Charta wellp saith, the Chancery is a shop of iustice alwayes open, and never adiourned, so as the subiect being wrongfully imprisoned; may have justice for the liberty of his person as well in the Vacation time, as in the Tearme, but if it be Tearm time, it is most proper to move for the Habeas Corpus at the Kings bench barre, and if the Judges refuse to grant it unto you (it being your right by Law, as the Petition of right fully declare,q and the Iudges by their oath (before printed pag. 10. 36.) are bound to execute the Law impartially, without giving care in the least, to the unjust command of the Parliament, or any other against it) then you may by the Law indict the Iudge or Iudges for Perjury, and if then they shall deny you the benefit of the Law, I know no reason but you may conclude them absolute Tyranes, and that the foundation of Government is overturned, &c you (as the Parliament hath taught you) are left to the naturall remedy to preserve your selves which self preservation, they have declared no people can be deprived of; see their declarations, 1. part book decl. p. 207. 690. 728, 150.

From my arbitrary, tyrannicall, and
Murthering imprisonment, in the
Tower of London this 2. of Decemb.

Iohn Lilburne, in adversity and prosperity,
and in life and death, alwayes one
and the same for the liberties of himself,
and his native Country.


BVt while I was concluding this second edition of the London Agents plea, with the foreexpressed additions, newes is brought me that the committee of plundered Ministers, summons up Londoners, and commits them for non payment of Tythes; for whom I frame a Plea thus. That the houses of Parliament, have already made two Ordinances about tythes of the 8. of Novem. 1644. and the 9. of August 1647. and by those Ordinances referred the London-Parsons, or ministers in London, to get their tythes according to the statute of the 17. H. 8. 12. which statute authorised such, and such men to be Commissioners as are therin named, or any fix of them to make a decree, which decree shall be as binding to the Londoners as an expresse act of Parliament, in which they give the Parsons two shillings nine-pence in the pound, for all houserents, &c. which the Londoners, are bound to pay unto their parsons, if the said decree had (as by the foresaid statute it ought to have been) entred upon record in the High Court of Chancery, which it never was nor is &illegible; her to be found as &illegible; the Lawyer, in &illegible; court in Bow-lane London proved by certificate under the Record-keepers hand, before Alderman Adams, when he was Lord Mayor of London; in a case betwine Parson Glendon of Barkins by Tower-hill, and one of his Parishoners, viz. Mr. Robert a Merchant, as I remember for I was by, and heard all the Plea.

And therefore the Parsons of London, can neither by Law nor those Ordinances, recover or justly require, one farthing token of Tythes from any Citizen of London.

And for the Committee of plundered Ministers, by any pretended authority that yet as visible, to take upon them to execute those Ordinances, or to compel the Citizens of London to pay sythes to their Parsons or Ministers, they have no more authority or right to due it, then a Thief hath upon the high way to rob me of my purse, or life, and for them by the Law of their on he will, to take upon them to send Summons to any Free-man of England, and to force them to come before them; & without due processe of* law, to pay so much money to the Parsons, upon any pretence whatsoever, and for unwillingnesse to pay, to commit him or them to prison, is a crime in my Judgement of as high a nature in subverting our fundamentall lawes and liberties, and seting up an Arbitrary Tyrannical government, as the Earle of Strafford was accused of; and lost his head for; and as wel do the actors in this arbitrary Committee deserve to dye for these actions, as Trayterous subverters of all lawes, as the Earle of Strafford did for his, against whom in the fift Article of his aditionall Impeachment of treason, it is alledged against him, That he did use and exercise a power, above and against; and to the subversion of the said fundamentall Lawes, extending such his power, to the goods, free-holds, inheritances liberties, and lives of the people.

And in the sixt Article of his said impeachment, it is laid unto his charge, as a transcendent treasonable crime, That the said Thomas Earle of Strafford, without any legall proceedings, and upon a paper Petiton of Richard Rolstone, did cause the said Lord Mount Norris, to be disseized and put out of possession of his free-hold and inheritance, without due processe of Law.

And in the seventh Article, he the said Earle is charged, That in the terme of holy Trinity, in the 13. yeare of his now Maiesties raigne, did cause a case commonly called the case of Tenures upon defective Titles, to be made and drawne up without any Iury or Tryall, or other legall Processe, without the consent of parties, by colour of which lawlesse proceedings, divers of his Maiesties subiects (and particularly the Lord Tho. Dillon) were outed of their possessions, and disseized of there free-hold, by colour of the same resolution without Legall proceedings, whereby many hundreds of his Maiesties Subiects were undone, and their Families utterly &illegible;

And in the 8. Article, he is impeached, That upon a petition of St. Iohn Gilford Knight, the first day of Febr. in the said 13. yeare of his Maiesties raigne, without any legall processe, mode a decree against Adorn Viscount Lottus of Elie, and did cause the said Viscont to be imprisoned and kept closes Prisoner, or pretence of disobedience to the said decree or order; and without any Legall proceedings, did in the same 13. yeare imprison. George Earle of Kildare against law thereby to inforce him to submit his Title to the Manner and Lordship of Castle Leigh (being of great yearly value) to the said Earle of Strafford, wil and pleasure, and kept him a yeare Prisoner for the said cause, two Monethes whereof he kept him close Prisoner, & c.

Now the Parliament it selfe or the Members thereof, being as Sr. Edward Cook well declares (in his 4, part instituts, published for good Law, by their own speciall orders) as subject to the Law, as other men (saving in the freedome of arrests, that so their persont may not be hindred from the discharge of their trust in the house, which their Country hath suposed in them) and unto whom all it be repealled, it is a rule, as well as to any other man in England whatsoever, especially in all actions or differences betwixt party and party and that Parliament man that shall say, that any Committee of Parliament, or the whole houses is the Law, shewes and declares himselfe either ignorant of the Law, or a voluntary & wilfull deceiver: for what is within their breasts I neither can know, nor am bound to enquire after for to know or take notice of,* neither is any thing therein (till it be legally put in writing, legally debated, passed, and legally published) binding in the least unto me or of any man in England: and indeed to speake properly, the Parliaments worke is to repeale old Lawes, and to make new ones, to pull downe old Courts of Justice, and erect now ones, to make warre and conclude peace, to raise money, and see it rightly and providently disposed of (but themselves are not in the least to finger it) it being their proper work to punish those that imbezle, and wast it, but if they should finger it and wast it, may not the Kingdom easily be cheated of its treasuer, and also be left without meanes to punish them for it? and most dishonourable it is, and below the greatnesse of Legslators, to stoop to be executors of the law, and indeed it is most irrationall, and unjust they should, for if they doe me injustice I am robed and deprived of my remedie, and my Appeale, it being no where to be made but to them, whose worke it is to punish all male or evill administrators of justice: and therefore I wish they would seriously weigh their owne words in their declaration of the 17. of Aprill, 1646. 2. part book declaration, page 878. where to the whole Kingdome they declare that they will not nor any by colour of any authority derived from them, shall interrupt the ordinary course of justice in the severall Courts and Iudicatories of this Kingdome, nor intermeddle in cases of private interest, otherwhere determinable, unlesse it be in case of male administration of Iustice, wherein we shall see [say they] and provide, that right be done, and punishment inflicted, as there he occasion, according to the lawes of the kingdome, and the trust reposed in us.

And therefore seeing that by the law of their owne will, without due course or pocesse of Law, or any visible shadow or colour of Law; the Committe of plundered Ministers will Rob the Citizens of their proper goods, which is not in the least justifiable, for as Iudge Crook in the 61. pag. of his Argument in Mr. Hampdens Cause against ship money, saith, that the Law book called the Dr. and studient, chap. 5. pag. 8. setting down, that the Law doth vest the absolute, property of every mans goods in himself; and that they cannot be taken from him but by his (legall) consent, saith, that is the reason if they he taken from him, the party shall answer the full value thereof in damage, and so (saith Iudge Crook) I conceive that the party that doth this wrong to another, shall besides the damages to the party, be imprisoned and pay a fine to the King, which in the Kings bench is the tenth part of as much as he payeth to the party, so then if the King will punish the wrong of taking of Goods without consent between party and party, much more will be not by any prerogative take away any mans goods without his assent particular or generall.

But if they will either have your goods or your libertie from you by the Law of their own wills, be sure you play the Englishman, not foolishly or willingly to betray your liberty into their hands, but in this case, part with them as you would part with your purse to a Theese that robs you upon the high way, for the forementioned Lawyer in the forementioned 8. pag. saith, that by the prime Laws of reason and nature (which are the Lawes of God) it is lawful for a &illegible; to defend himself against an &illegible; power, so he keep due distance, so that if they will have your goods, let them distraine for them, and then you may replivie them, and thereby at law try the title of their right, and if they will imprison your person, goe not but by force, and be sure to stand upon the legallity of the warrant, which that you may fully and truly understand the forme of it; I shall give you at large the words of Sir Edward Cook in the 2. part of his institutes, fol. 590, 591, 592. published by the Parliaments own authority for good law, who being expounding the Statute of breaking prison made in the first &illegible; 2. upon the words, without cause, &c. fo. 590. expresly saith this act speaking of a cause, is to be intended of a lawfull cause; and therefore &illegible; imprisonment is not within this act.

Imprisonment is a restraint of a mans liberty, under the custodie of another, by lawfull warrant indeed or in law, lawfull warrant is, when the offence appeareth by matter of record, or when it doth not appeare by matter of Record.

By matter of Record, as when the party is taken upon an Jndictment at the suit of the King, at upon an appeale, at the suit of the party: when it doth not appeare by matter of Record, as when a felony is done, and the offender by a lawfull Mittimus is committed to the Gaole for the same. But between these two cases, there is a great diversitie: for in the first case, whether any felony were committed, or no, If the offender be taken by force of a Capias, the warrant is lawfull, and if he break prison, it is felony, albeit no felony were committed. But in the other case, if no felony be done at all, and yet he is committed to prison for a supposed Felony, and break prison, this is no felony, for there is no cause. And the words of this Act are, unlesse the cause for which he was taken require such a iudgment, so as the cause must be just, and not seigned, for things feigned require no judgement.

If A. give B. a mortall wound, for which A. is committed to Prison, and breaketh prison, B. dyeth of the wound within the yeare, this death hath relation to the stroke, but because relations are but fictions in Law, and fictions are not here intended, this escape is no felony, 11. H. 4. 11. &illegible; com. 408. &illegible;

Seeing the weight of this businesse, touching this point, to make the escape, either in the party, or in the Gaolers felony, dependeth upon the lawfulnesse of the Mittimus, it will be necessary to say somewhat hereof: First, it must be in writing, in the name, and under the seale of him that makes the same, expressing his office, place and authority, by force whereof he maketh the Mittimus, and is to be directed to the Gaoler or keeper of the Gaole or prison: Secondly, it must containe the case (as it expresly appeareth by this* Act, unlesse the cause for which he was taken, &c.) but not so certainly as an Indictment ought, and yet with such convenient certainly, as it may appeare judicially, that the offence require such a iudgement; as for high treason, to wit, against the person of our Lord the King; or for the counterfeiting of the money of our Lord the King; or for petty treason; namely for the death of such &illegible; one, being his master; or for felony, to &illegible; for the death of such a one, &c. or for Burglary or Robbery, &c. or for felony, for stealing of a Horse, &c. or the like, so as it may in such a generality appeare judicially, that the offence requires such a judgement.

And this is proved both by reason, and authority. By reason; first, for that it is in case of fellony, (which doth induce, or draw on the last punishment) and therefore ought to have convenient certainty, as it is aforesaid. Secondly, Also it must have convenient certainty, for that a voluntary escape is felony in the Gaoler. Thirdly, If the Mittimus should be good generally, (for felony) then, as the old rule is, (the ignorance of the Judge, should be the calamity of the innocent:) for the truth of the case may be that he did steale &illegible; of Land, or wood growing, or the like, which in law are no felonies and therefore in reason, in a case of so high nature, concerning the life of man, the convenient certainty ought to be shewed.

By Authority, the constant forme of the Jndictment, in that case for escape, either by the party, or voluntarily suffered by the Gaoler, is, That he was arrested for suspition of a certaine felony, namely, for the death of a certain man, M. N. feloniously slaine, or the like; for the Indictment must rehearse the &illegible; of the Mittimus, which directly proveth, that the cause in such a generall certainty ought to be shewed, vid. 23. E. 3. fo. 42.

And if a man be indicted of treason, or indicted or apealed for felony, the Capias therupon, wherby the party is to be arrested, comprehendeth the cause (and therefore much more the Mittimus) whereby the party is to be arrested, having no such ground of Record, as the Capias hath; must pursuing the effect of the Capias, comprehend the case in convenient certainty, 21. E. 3. fol. 42. pl. 32. there ought to be a certain cause; and in the same leafe, pl. 35. in case of breaking of prison, the cause of the imprisonment ought to be shewed.

If a man be indicted (that he break prison feloniously, &c.) generally, it is not good, for the indictment ought to rehearse the specially of the matter according to the statute. that he being imprisoned for felony, &c. brake Prison: We have quoted many other books, which though they bee not so certainly reported, as might have bin wished, yet the judicious Reader will gather fruit of them. But see before the exposition of Magna Charta, cap. 29. (by the Law of the Land) and observe &illegible; the Writ of Habeas Corpus, for a direct proofe, that the cause ought to be shewed.

Lastly, see, hereafter in the exposition of the Statute of Articuli cleri, the resolution of all the Judges of England; the answer to the &illegible; and 22. objections, which we will in no &illegible; abridge for the excellency thereof; but &illegible; you to the fountaines themselves.

Hereupon it appeareth, that the common Warant or Mittimus, to answer to such things as shall be obiected against him, is utterly against Law.

Now as the Mittimus must containe the cause, so the conclusion must be according to law; viz. The Prisoner safely to be kept, untill he be delivered by due order of Law, and not untill he that made it, shall give order or the like.

John Lilburne.

Ianuary 1647.

I had here an intent largely to have insisted upon the Lords tyrannicall exercise of their illegall usurpations, upon divert of the free Commons of England, besides my self, whom they have most Arbitrarily and tyrannically without all shaddow of Law (saving the lawlesse, unlimitted* tyranny of their own meer unbounded wills and pleasures) sent unto severall Gaoles in this Kingdome, but because my time hath been exceedingly prevented, and my &illegible; frustrated by those late stormes, and ungrounded, fluttering, bellowing, whirl-wind tempests, that hath lately been (most falsely, uniustly and maliciously) raised against me by an English Tertullus Orator, called Mr. Marsterson, the false and lying Sepheard of Shoreditch neer London; whose impeachment of me at the Lords and Commons Barre (of designing the destructs on and overthrow of the present Parliament, although it hath made a great ecchoing and &illegible; in the Kingdome) I no more valew then a blast of wind, but let malice it self in all its hight doe the worst it can.

Yet I say by these new stormes, I have been a little diverted from my purpose, in fully painting the Lords at present, and therefore because I judg it more then time to have this discourse abroad, I shall suspend the full execution of my intentions till my late speeches at the House of Commons barre come to the publique view, where I have drawn their Pictures as lively (I beleeve) as any picture drawer in England ever did.

And therefore I shall only at present confusedly fill up this spare paper, and I shall begin with my proposition which I sent to the Speaker of the House of Commons, which he caused to be read in their House, and which verbatum thus followeth.

The Proposition of Lievt. Col. John Lilburne, prerogative prisoner in the Tower of London, made unto the Lords and Commons assembled at Westminster, and to the whole

Kingdome of England, Octob. 2. 1647.

I Grant the House of Lords according to the Statute of the 14. Ed. 3. chap. 5. to have in law a iurisdiction for redressing of grivances, either upon illegall delayes, or illegall iudgements given in any of the Courts at Westminster Hall, provided, they have the Kings particular Commission therefore, and all other the legall Punctilloes contained in that Statute, which jurisdiction and no other, seems to me to be confirmed by the Statutes of the 27. Eliz. chap. 8. and 31. Eliz. chap. 1.

But I positively deny, that the House of Lords, by the known and declared Law of England, have any originall Jurisdiction over any Commoner of England whatsoever, either for life, link, liberty, or estate, which is the only and alone thing in controversie betwixt them and me. And this position I will in a publique assemely, or before both Houses, in law debate, with any 40. Lawyers in England that are practisers of the Law, and I will be content the Lords shall chuse them every man, and is after I have said for my self what I can, that any three of these forty Lawyers sworn to deliver their judgements according to the known law of England, give it under their hands against me, I will give ever my present contest with the Lords, and surrender my self up to the punishment and sentence of the present Lords and Commons.

Provided at this debate, I may have 6. or 10. of my own friends present to take in writing all that passeth thereupon. Witnesse my hand and seale in the presence of divers witnesses in the Tower of London, this 2. of October, 1647.

Iohn Lilburne.

And to conclude this book, I shall only add a breviate of my grand Plea against the Lords, as I delivered it to the House of Commons, in half a sheet of paper the 11 Nov. which thus followeth.


 [† ] For Andrew Horne declares p. 219. that it is an abuse of the common Law, that Iustices and their Officers, who kill people by false judgement, be not destroyed, as other murtherers, which King Alfrid caused to be done, who caused 44. Iustices in one yeare to be hanged as murtherers, for their salse judgements, and page 241. he saith, that he hanged Arnold because he saved Boylife, who robbed the people by cullour of distresses, whereof some were by selling distresses, some by extortions of fines, &c.

 [† ] See that notable discourse of him in &illegible; Projects, and also in a little book, &illegible; the Grand Design, and the justification of Sir Iohn &illegible; prisoner in &illegible; Tower called the Royall Quarrell.

 [* ] But saith the aincient Lawyer Andrew Horne, in his Mirror of justice, chap. 5. Sect 1. de. 3. page 225. it is an abuse of the common Law of England, that the Lawes and customes of the Realme, with their occasions are not put in writing, whereby they may be known, so as they might be knowne by all men.

 [† ] See Mr. Nat. Fines his notable speech against the Bishops Cannons made 1640 and printed in a book called Speeches and passages prsnted for Will-Crook at Furnivals Inne gate in Holborne 1641. page 49. 50. 51. and the house of Commons vote Dec. 15. 1640. &illegible; page 328. and the statute made this Parliament that abolished Eccelesiasticall Iurisdiction.

 [a ] 34. Ed. 1. chap. 1.

 [b ] 25. Ed. 3. Rot. Par.

 [c ] 25. Ed. 1. 6. 1. Ed. 3. 6. 11. R. 2. 9. 1. R. 3. 2.

 [* ] Oaths Ex Officio unlawfull.

 [* ] All Magistracy in England is bounded by the law thereof.

 [d ] 9. H. 3. 29.

 [e ] 28. Ed. 3. 3.

 [f ] 25. Ed. 3.

 [* ] Imprisonment without cause shewed is illegall. See also Cooks 2. part institutes, upon the 29. chap. Magna Charta.

 [† ] Compulsive billiting of Soldiers unlawfull, and it is very observable that the King at the time of this complaint had warres with France.

 [g ] 25 Edw. 3. 9.

 [h ] No man ought to be adiudged but by the established lawes. 9. H. 3. 29. 5. Ed. 3. 9. 25. Ed. 3: 4. 18. Ed. 3. 3.

 [† ] Marshall law altogether unlawfull in England in times of peace especially, and therefore that Soldier of Col. Robert Lilburnes Regiment that was lately &illegible; at the Rendezvouz necre Ware, was meerely murthered.

 [† ] All the administrators of the law, are to execute their places according to the law and not otherwise.

 [† ] And the reason was because in this his first answer be doth not grant that the things claimed in the Petition as they are laid down, are the lawes, rights, and liberties of England, and so had left it in the Iudges breasts to have given their Iudgements as well against as with the Petition, but his second answer, let right be done as is desired, is full to the purpose.

 [† ] Especiall in the 2. Edition of my Plea in bar, to Iudge Reeves reprinted Aug. 1647. and called the inst mans iustification, & my book called the resolved mans resolution, pag. 19, 20. 21, 22. and my epistle to Mr. Martin of the 31. May, called rosh oaths unwarrantable, pag. 27. 28. 48, 49, 50. See also Englands Birth Right, pag. 30. 31. 32, 33.

 [* ] Chap. 8. and 13.

 [† ] 36. Ed. 3. 12. 14. R. 2. 11. See also the wages of the Clerke of the peace, in the Statutes of 27. H. 8. 16. and 5. Eliz. 12. and 13. Eliz. &illegible;.

 [* ] This is a Statute of bondage and losse of liberty.

 [† ] Suits for withholing of tyths shall bee in the Eccllesiasticall Court and no where else.

 [a ] Dyer fo. 377.

 [b ] Cook l. 6. fo. 29.

 [a ] Dyer fo. 377. 346. 369. Co. ll. 6. fo. 29.

 [a ] 9. H. 3. 29.

 [b ] 5. E. 3. 9.

 [c ] 25. E. 3. 4.

 [d ] 28. E. 3. 3.

 [e ] 42. Ed. 3. 3.

 [f ] 36. Ed. 3.

 [† ] This is a mistake of the councell that drew the plea, for tythes by the statute law of this Kingdome, are only recoverable in the ecclesiasticall courts, and not at the common law, as fully and clearly appeares by the 1 of Ed. 6. chap. 13: and the ecclesiasticall Iurisdiction is totally abolished by act of Parliament, this present Parliament anno Caroli Regis 17. so that by law the Parsons can recover no tythes.

 [* ] Penalty for maintaining the authority of the Bishop of Romo 5. Eliz. chap. 1. Penalty to draw any subjects from their obedience to the King to the Roman religion. Idem.

 [† ] The names, functions and stiles of Bishops are taken away. Ord. 9. Octob. 1646. and their Episcopall iurisdiction and power with their tythes, vicarages, personages, &c.

 [* ] See the 13. Eliz. chap. 12.

 [* ] Hierarchy exterpated root and branch, and government by Prelacy, whereof Vicars be part. See the Ordinances of the 9. of Octob. and the 16. Novemb. 1646 2. part book decl. fol. 922. 932. see also the Covenant.

 [† ] See the Ordinances of the 3. Ian. 1644. and 23. August, 1645. Parl. Decl. 2. part fol. 715. 716.

 [* ] Tyths are not due iure divino, and at this present there is no law to compell their payment Cook Rep. 2. Quen. d. Winchester.

 [* ] 2. & 3. Ed. 6. 13. Coe. li. 2. fol. 43.

 [* ] See the act of the 17. of C.R. for abolution of Ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

 [* ] See Andrew Horns mirror of iustice in English, chap. 5. Sect. 1. pag. 239. 240. 241. 242. &c. printed for Mat. Walbank at Grays Inne gare, 1646 where all their crimes are set down, which book is most extraordinarily well worth your reading.

 [* ] Which writs of Replevy, you may have out of the Cusiters office belonging to every County, but get at one and the same time a writ of Replevin, a writ of Al as and a writ of Pluries, which list Writ runs with a penaltie, and if the Sheriff doe not execute it, there lyes an attachment against him, and in case he return that the goods are sold, and gone before he could repleve them, or drove into another County, then you may have a Capias in withernam to distrain and take the parties own goods, that caused the first goods to be distrained, or any of those that had a hand in distraining, and no supersedeas whatsoever will lye to controule, or dam the writ, or hinder the execution of it, which writs with all other in force, you may read in the Law book called the Register, by the help of which, you may make all the Parsons in England goe whistle for their Tyths Which Register doth very well deserve your care and pains by authority to be translated into English.

 [* ] And &illegible; but a &illegible; belief, so I say and wil maintain it against all the procters of the present House of Lords have in England, &illegible; they have no more right to their pretended legislative power &illegible; a thiefe that by force take my purse from me. Nor no more right to be called the legislator of England, then a man to be called an honest womans husband, that by force and violence robs her of her virginitie, and so commits a rape upon her, and by threat to save her life compells her to hold her peace. And I desire all the Commons of England seriously to consider how the Lords that flow from William the Conquerers sword, and the meer will of his successors can rationally pretend to a legislative power, when in their joynt Declarations with the present House of Commons they have declared the King their Creator hath none, but is bound by his Coronation oath to pass all such lawes as the folk or Commons shall chuse, and what greater evill can there be in the world, then seeing that all legislative power in the nature of it is Arbitrary, that for life an arbitrary power should be placed in the Lords, and heriditary in their sons, be they fooles or knaves, therefore up with them by the roots, and let no power hereafter be exercised in England, but what acknowledgly flowes as a trust from the people, or their Representatives, and who are subiect as other men to the Lawes.

 [* ] See Paultons collection of statutes p. 1431. 1432.

 [† ] See Sir Edw. Cooks Exposition hereof in his 2. part Institut. fol. 46, 47, 50, 51.

 [* ] Se the 5. Ed. 3. 9. & &illegible; Ed. 3. 4. & 28. Ed. 3. 3. & 37. Ed. 3. 18. & 42. Ed. 3. 3. and the Petition of Right in the third of the King, and the Statutes that abolished the Starre-Chamber and Ship-money, made this present Parliament; and Lievtenant Col. Iohn Lilburnes Book called the Resolved mans Resolution, p. 2, 3, 8, 9. and his Grand Plea against the Lords, pag. 7, 8, 9.

 [* ] Well saith Sir Edward Cook in the &illegible; part of his &illegible; fol. 48. that every oppression against law by colour of any userped authority, is a kind of destruction: for when any thing is forbidden; all that tends to it is also forbidden; and it is (saith he) the worst oppression that is done by colour of justice. See also Lib. 10. fo. 74. in the case of the Marshalsea.

 [† ] And therefore you, with your dealings with me, that &illegible; a free Commoner of England, and so not in the least under your Marshall. Discipline (but solely and only under the discipline of the known declared, and established: Lawes of England) by your arbitrary, tyrannicall actings upon me, have absolutely as much as in your lyes, destroyed the fundamentall Lawes of England, and therefore are as absolute Hedge breakers and Levellers as ever were in this Kingdome.

 [* ] Read also to this purpose Mr. Iohn &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; the &illegible; &illegible; Strafford, the 12. of &illegible; &illegible; Iohn Battler, &illegible; specially p. 5. 6. 8. 9. 13. 18. 23. 24.

 [* ] And in the 1. 2. 3. pages before.

 [† ] See the 9. H. 3. 29. 5. Ed. 3. 9. & 25. Ed. 3. 4. & 28. Ed. 3. 3.

 [† ] Yet it is very observable, that at the very time when this Martiall Law complained of was executed; the King had warres with France, a forraign enemie, but there is no such thing now; and therefore the Army, or the grand Officer; thereof have not the least shadow or pretence to execute it in the least, or to deale with me a free Commoner, as they &illegible; done.

 [* ] See the late Plea for the Agents, printed before. pag. 42, 43, 44.

 [† ] See the ingagement in the Armies book of Decl. pag. 24, 25, 26, 27.

 [* ] And if you do what are you better then a company of Rebels & Traytors to the Parliament, for your then opposing their power, authority, orders, and ordinances.

 [† ] As is cleare by the Statutes of 3. Ed. 1. 33. & 37. Ed. 3. 18. & 38. Ed. 3. 9. & 42. Ed. 3. 3. & 2. R. 2. 5. & 12 R. 211. 5 part Cookes reports. pag. 125. & 13. H. 7. Kelway & 11. Eliz. Dier. 285. & 30. Affiz. pla. 19. & Liev. Col. John Lilburnes Grand Plea of 20. October 1647. pag. 7. 8.

 [* ] See Vox Plebis pag. 38. & Lievr. Col. Jo. Lilburnes Anatomie of the Lords Tyranny, pag 10.

 [† ] See 8. H. 6. fol. 21. & Eliz. Dier 220. & Dr. Bonbams case, 8. part of Cooks Repots and Lievt. Col. Jo. Lilburnes grand Plea, pag. 10.

 [* ] See Mr. Henry Martins answer to the Scotchpapers, called the Independency of England at the last end.

 [† ] But besides all this I doe confidently believe, that the Parliament never gave power unto the Generall since the wars ended to execute Martiall Law, neither doe I believe that some chiefe Executors of Martiall Law, have any Legall Commission from the Parliament, who never that I could heare of, ever gave power unto the Generall of himself to make generall Officers: and besides, all the Parliament men that are Officers in the Army were, (as I have been groundedly told formerly) taken off by an Ordinance of both Houses, which was never repealed since.

 [* ] See Sir E. Cooks 2 part institut. fo. 47, 48. & 3. part, fol. 22. and 4. part, fol. 23. 25. 48. 291. all of which bookes are published for good law to the Kingdom by 2. speciall Orders of the present House of Commons, as you may read in the last pa. of the second part institut. see also the Petition of Right.

 [† ] See the Armies Declaration of the 14. Iune, 1647. Book of their Declarations, pag. 39. and their Letter from Royston to the Lord Mayor of London, of the 10. Iune. 1647. which the Printer hath neglected to print in their book of Declarations.

 [* ] See 2. part Instit. fol. 51. & 4. part. fol. 41. 196. 197. but especially read their Jndictment virbatim set down ibid. fo. 198, 199.

 [† ] Which you may read before, pag. 1, 2, 3, & 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51.

 [* ] For whom the Statute law in such a condition, hath appointed punishments to be inflicted upon them in the ordinary Courts of iustice, either for false musters, cheating the Soldiers of their pay, or for lucer giving them leave to depart, or for the Souldiers going from their Cullours without lawfull leave, or for imbeasing Horse or Armes, &c. Sec the 18. H. 6. 19. and 2, and 3. Ed. 6. 2. and 4. and 5. P. and M. chap. 3. and 5. Eliz. 5. and 5. Iames. 25.

 [† ] Whom those godly, pious and righteous Gentlemen of the Councell of Warre tryed for his life, for no other crime, but for his honesty, in prosecuting that just paper called The Agreement of the People, and his life was saved but by two voices, O malicious and bloody men!

 [† ] See the 5. Article in the impeachment of the Earl of Strafford. Se also the 15. and 19. Article of that Impeachment.

 [* ] Viz. Lievt. Gen. Cromwell, & is potique Sonne in Law, Com. Gen. Ireton, who are I will maintaine it the principall supporters, upholders, abetters, preservers, and defenders of the usurping House of Lords, in all their usurpations, illegall oppressions, tyranny, and murthering crueltie, for which if there were any justice to be had, they &illegible; better to be impeached of High Treason, for subverters of our lawes and liberties, then the &illegible; of Strafford, did in that before their eyes, they have seen his severe punishment, and yet walk in &illegible; steps.

 [* ] For the Parliament owes me for my just &illegible; the greatest part of a 1000. pound and my Ordinance for 1000. l. reparations against my uniust Star-chamber Iudges, bathlayd dorment in their house this two yeares, although since then, I know severall of there owne Members, to whom out of the publique money they have given 5000 l. a &illegible; that I will upon the lesse of my life evidently make it good, never suffered one hundreth part, of that which I did before this Parliament, and yet I am told some of them &illegible; received all there 5000. pounds.

 [† ] And then they and some of there Pencionary Imps, lyingly get their Diurnall Mercuries to print to the view of the whole Kingdome, that they all had acknowledged their faults, and cry’d peccavie, when as some of them that are named in the Diurnall so to doe, have told me that it is the falsest lye in the world, for they never did any such thing, but ever did and still doe abhorre the thoughts of such a base and wicked acknowledgement.

 [† ] For opposing whose interest till the peoples liberties were first setled, they sought the ruine and destruction of all those in the Army that appeared against it.

 [† ] Which is clearely evident, by both their pleading and plotting for the supportation of the Lords usurped Legislative power, which I will maintaine it against Cromwell and Ireton, they have no more right to, instict justice, then a thiese and robber hath to apurse which he takes by force upon the high way, which pretended legislative power alone, hath brought all the warrs upon this Kingdom, for if they at first had concurred to the Ordinance of the Militia, the King could never have been able to have raised an Army, and to continue an arbitrary power for life, and also hereditarily to their heites, be they fooles or knaves, is the greatest vossalage and bondage that can be, therefore I say again down with them.

 [† ] It is worth the taking notice, the Speaker is Sir John Lenthalls brother, and it is almost grown to a common proverb in England, that Parliament mens neer Allyes as well as themselves are above the reach of all law and justice, which I am sure if they look not speedily well about them, will destroy them every man.

 [* ] And it is the clearest demonstration to me in the world, that the present men in power alwayes intended to walk in the oppressive & tyranous ways of the Star-chamber, High commission, & councel board, in that they have done no man effective iustice or right that suffered by them, least their own Acts should be binding presidents to pay their own Acts should be binding Presidents, to pay themselves by in future times.

 [† ] The substance of which, with my defence against them in open Star Chamber, and when I stood upon the Pillory at Westminster, you may largely read in the relation of my first sufferings, called The Christian mans tryall, reprinted by Will. Larner 1641. now dwelling at the black boy within Bishops. Gate.

 [* ] Which Order you may read at the last end of my above mentioned relation.

 [* ] Which I did upon this ground, at the first medalizing of Sir Tho. Fairfaxes Army, the Parliament voted that none should beare office in that new Modell but he that would take the Covenant, whereupon though I was prosered better imployment then before I ever had, yet I told Lieu. Generall Cromwell whose white Boy then I was, that upon them tearmes I scorned to be so base as ever againe to draw my sword for the Parliament, for heither to I had served them, faithfully and uprightly out of principles of Conscience, and not as a Mercenary, for their money, and what &illegible; soever be was, that should grow iealous of me without a cause. I would never againe upon &illegible; tearmes in the world serve that Master any more. As for, the Covenant every Knave and Rascal that had no more conscience then a dog, would take either it or any other with whatsoever for his own advantage, and for his gaine and profit breake it as soon as he had taken it, but J told him, I for my part was compelled to be honest out of a principle of conscience, and not out of the fort of Oaths. And besides I for my particular would never be such a Traytor to the lawes of my God, and to the liberties of my native Country, as to take such an insnaring, intangling, dishonourable Scotch Oath.

 [* ] Who by Mr. Speakers &illegible; Commiteed me at eight a clock at night, without hearing me, though at your doore, or without seeing those that accused me, and afterward made an Order to arraign me for my life at Newgate Sessions, and yet &illegible; me without telling me wherefore I was imprisoned. See my book called Innocency and Truth iustified.

 [a ] See the Petition of right, and Sir Edw. Cooks 4. part institutes, Chap. high Court of Parliament.

 [b ] See King Iames his speech to the Parl. at White Hal 1609. and 1. par. book Ded. pag. 150. and my book called the Outcryes of oppressed Commons. pag. 16, 17. 18. and my Epistle to Mr. Martin of the 31. May 1647. called Rash Oaths, pag. 56.

 [c ] See Cooks 2. part inst. upon the &illegible; chap. of Magna Charta, fo. 52. 53. and fo. 590, 591. and regall Tyrany, p. 78. 79. 80, 81. and Vox Plebis, p. 37. and my plea before Mr. Martin of the 6. Novem. 1646. called an anatomy of the Lords tyrany, pag. 5. 7. 8.

 [d ] See Cooks 2. part. inst. fol. 103. 104. & 4. part inst. Chap. High Court of Parlm. and the book called the manner of holding Parlmts. & Mr. Prinns relation of the triall of Col. Nath Fines p. 13. and regall tirany, pag. &illegible; 83.

 [e ] See 2. part inst. fol. 103, 104. and my book called the resolved mans resolution, p. 56. and regall tyrany p. &illegible; 82, 83. & Mr. Prinns relation of Col. Nath. Fines his tryall, p. 11, 12, 13.

 [f ] See my grandplea, and my letter 11. Nov. 1647. to every Jndividuall Member of the House of Commons, See Sir Edw. Cooks exposition of the 14. and 29. Chap of Magna Charta in his &illegible; part inst. and regall tyranny, p. 43, 44, 72, 73, 74, 85, 86. and Vox Plebis, pag. 38, 39, 40, 41, 42. and my Epistle to the Lievt. of the Tower the 13. Ian. 1646. called the oppressed mans oppressions declared, p. 17. 18, 19.

 [g ] See Vox Plebis, p. 38. my anatomy of the Lords tyrany, p. 10. and Thompsons plea against Marshall Law.

 [h ] See Rom. 4. 15. Englands Birth right, p. 1. 2, 3, 4, and the resolved mans resolution, p. 24, 25, 26.

 [i ] See the proofes in the third Maginall note at the letter C.

 [k ] Which Statute you may read before, p. 6. and take notice of this, that all misdemeanore whatsoever are Baileable.

 [l ] I See the 3. E. 1. c. 26. and 4. E. 3. 10. and 23. H. 6. 10. Rast. plea. fo. 31. 7. Vox Plebis. p. 55, 56. 57. and my late Epistle to C. West late Liev. of the Tower, called the oppressed mans oppressions declared, p. 3, 4. 1. part Cook inst. Lib. 3. chap. 13. Sect. 71. fol. 368. where he positively declared, it was the native & ancient, rights of all Englishmen, both by the Statute and Common Law of England, to pay no fees at all to any administrators of justice whatsoever, or any Clarke or Officer whatsoever officiating under them, who were only to receive their Fees, Wages, and Salleries of the King, out of the publique treasure. See also 2. part inst. fol. 74. 209. 210. The Publique treasure of the Kingdom being betrusted with the King for that and such ends: see also that excellent book in English, called the Mirror of justice, chap. 5. Sect. 1. pag. 231. and Iudge Huttons argument in Mr. Hamdens case against ship money, pag. 41.

 [m ] See 1. part inst. lib. 3. Chap. 7. Sect. 438. fo. 260. and the 2. part fo. 43, 315, 590. see my book called the oppressed mans oppressions declared, p. 3. Vox plebis p. 47, 55. 56. and liberty vindicated against slavery, p. 14, 15, 16,

 [n ] in his 2. part inst. fol. 42, 43. which is exceeding well worth your reading, see fo. 315, 316, 590, 591. see the mirror of justice in English, chap. 5. Sect. 1. devision 53, 54, 55, 57, 58. pag. 231.

 [o ] Only this is to be taken notice of, that if I commit an offence before the view of a Iudge or Iustices fitting upon the Bench I ought to goe to prison with, or by his verball command, with any officer of the Court he shall Command me to goe with, only he ought to enter a Mittiter & send it after me when the Court riseth, and I may if I please proffer him baile to answer the Law when he Commits me, which he ought not to refuse, and if he doe, it is false imprisonment, if my pretended or reall crime were baileable, and my action I may have against him.

 [p ] In his 2. part inst. fo. 52, 53. in which pages you may rend the very words of an Habeas Corpus, as also in the 79, 80, 81. pages of Regall tiranny, where you may have them in English, as well as Latin.

 [q ] Vpon which Habeas Corpus, if you be brought up to the barre, you ought if wrongfully imprisoned, clearely to be discharged without baile, and with baile if justly imprisoned if your crime be baileable, or else the Iudge forsweares himself, for which you may indict him for perjury, and also have an action at Law for false imprisonment against him that falsely committed you, or they that forced you hither, yea, and in divers cases against the Gaoler himself, who ought not by law (upon their perills) to receive or detaine you, but by a legall warrant flowing from a legall power, as before I have more fully noted. See also 1. p. book decl. p. 201. And you are to know, that any house keeper that stand not committed of crimes, but are legall men, paying scot and lot (though they be no subsidie men) are good baile, and if refused, you have your action of false imprisonment against him that so doth, and you are further to know, that if the prisoner he in a Country Gaole, who is to be brought up to the Bar in Westminster Hall upon the Have as Corpus, that he is only to beare his owne charges, but by law is not bound to beate the Gaolers, or to pay him any thing for bringing him.

 [* ] And what due processe of Law is, you may read in the 2. part institutes upon the 29. Chap. of Magna Charta, and Vox Plebis pag. 11, 12, 14, 15. & c. and my book called The resolved mans resolution, page 3, 4, 5, 6. & c. and my grand plea against the Lords, and Thompsons plea against the new Tyrants at Wind fore executing Marshall Law.

 [† ] All which you may at large reade in the 123, 124, 125. pages of a book called Speeches and Passages printed for Wil. Cook. at Furnivalls-Inne gate in Holburn, 1641.

 [* ] See Englands Birth-right p. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

 [† ] For the third Article in the first impeachment of the Earle of Strafford in the above said book page 118. runs thus; that the better to inrich and inable himselfe to go thorow with his traiterous designs, he hath detained a great part of his Maj revenue, without giving legal account and hath taken great sums out of the Exchequer, converting them to his own use, when his Maiesty was necessitated for his owne urgent occasions, and his Army had been a long time unpaid.

 [† ] See Magna Charta, Chap. 29.

 [* ] 25. E. 3. f. 42. &illegible; Coron. 134. 32. li. 3. Coron. 248. 9. &illegible; 4. f. 52.

 [* ] 9. E. 4. f. 26. 41. ass. 5. 22. E. 3. Coron. 242, 243, 248. 43. E. ibid. 424. 3. H. 3. ibid. 312. 328. 333, 345. 346. 2. E. 3. fo. 1. 26. ass. 51. 22. E. 3. 13. 27. ass. 42. 27. ass. pag. 116. 15. E. 2. Coron. 38. 9. H. 4. 1. 10. H. 4. 7. 11. H. 4. 11. 8. E. 2. Coron. 422. 430. 431. 27. H. 6. 7. 39. H. 6. 33. 2. R. 3. cap. 3. 2. H. 5. cap. 7. 21. H. 7. 17.

5.9. William Prynne, The Levellers Levelled to the very Ground (21 February, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

William Prynne, The Levellers Levelled to the very Ground. Wherein this dangerous Seditious Opinion and design of some of them; That it is necessary, decent, and expedient, now to reduce the House of Peeres, and bring down the Lords into the Commons House, to sit and Vote together with them, as one House. And the false absurd, grounds whereon they build this Paradox, are briefly examined, refuted, and laid in the dust. By William Prynne, Esquire.

Prov. 19.10. Delight is not seemly for a Foole; much lesse for a Servant to rule over Princes.
Eccles. 10.5,7. There is an evill I have seen under the Sun, as an errour which proceedeth from the Ruler; I have seen Servants upon Horses, and Princes walking as Servants upon the earth.

London : Printed by T.B. for Michael Spark, 1647.

Estimated date of publication

21 February, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 594; Thomason E. 428. (7.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet


It was the Apostle Pauls Doctrine; and that he likewise gave in speciall charge to Titus c. 3. 1. Pat them in minde to be subject to principalities and Powers, to obey Magistrates, to bee ready to every good work: But this Doctrine now is little lesse then Heresie, and meere Arbitrary Tyranny, in the opinion of a New Generation of Levellers, and seditious Sectaries, sprung up among us since the Warres; the very persons of whom Peter prophecyed in the latter times;a Who despise Dominion; presumptuous, selfe-willed, they are not afraid to speake evill of Dignities, and the things that they understand not, and shall perish in their owne corruption. How active and industrious these Fire-brands of Sedition have been by writing and petitioning to extirpate Monarchy and Magistracy, Nobility and Gentry; and how they move every stone to pull downe the House of Peeres, and levell the Lords to the Commoners, by bringing them downe into the Commons-House to sit and vote together with them as one, or else not to sit or vote at all, is visible to most; and how many thousands of ignorant simple people they have ingaged to confederate with them in this pernicious designe, hath been already discovered in part to the Houses; the false suggestions and dangerous consequencies whereupon it is grounded, I shall succinctly discover, to undeceive the seduced people, and take them off from such a desperate attempt, which will prove destructive both to the Parliament, and themselves too in conclusion.

These Lilburnists and Levellers pretend, that it is not fit the Lords should fit and vote in a distinct House by themselves, as they have done of latter times, but that they and the Commons should now sit all together in one House, (to wit, the House of Commons, theb ONELY SOVERAIGNE POWER OF THIS KINGDOME, as they stile it) as they did of* old at first, and be new moulded into a single House; that so Bills, Ordinances, Votes, and businesses of Parliament might passe with more expedition upon one Debate and Vote, and not stay the Debates and Votes of two distinct Houses ere they be consummate. And because the Lords are but few in number, the sonnes of Conquest, not of election, representing onely themselves, but not the Commons of England, represented onely by the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses chosen and intrusted by them; therefore it is just and reasonable the Lords should be levelled and brought down to the Commons House to sit and Vote with them; and not enjoy any distinct or negative Votes among themselves, as now they doe.

To answer these pretences, I shall not insist upon thec Lords ancient and undoubted Right to sit and Vote in Parliaments long before the Conquest, from the first beginning of Parliaments to this present: Nor on their activity and readinesse in all ages, to oppose with the losse and hazzard of their estates, heads, lives, the encroachments of our Kings upon the Subjects Liberties, and vindicate the peoples freedomes, in thed Reigns of King John, Henry the 3. Edward 2. Richard 2. and other oppressive Princes, against whose invasions of the Kingdomes Lawes and Rights they have ever beene the principall Bulwarkes; and of late the chiese procurers of this present Parliament, and undertakers of our defensive warre against the King, wherein the Earle of Essex, Lord Brook, Lord Willoughby, and others of them first appeared; Nor yet to debate their ancient and undoubted power and right of Judicature in civill and criminall cases of Commoners as well as Peers, in all times and Ages since there were Parliaments, of which there are infinite presidents in Histories, Parliament Rols and Journalls, and sundry disclaimers of the whole House of Commons of being Judges in Parliament, as in 1. R.2. Rot. Parl. n. 38, 39, 40. 1 H. 7. Rot. Parl. n. 79. and Plac. Corone. nu. 11. to 17. and other Rolls: I shall wholly addresse my selfe to answer such Allegations as are most pertinent, touching the point of reducing both Houses into one, in such manner as is projected.

First then I answer, what though it be probable by Modus tenendi Parliamentum, that the King, Lords and Commons anciently sat in one roome, and went in at one commou doore in King Edwards the Confessors time; yet it follows not, they all sat and voted together, as one intire house: no more then it follows; all the Judges and Officers of the Kings Courts of Chancery, Kings Bench and Common Pleas sit in one common Room, and go in at one doore, at Westminster Hall: therefore they all sit, judge and heare causes together, and are or ought to be reduced to one Court; and do not judge, and heare causes severally, nor ought to do it: there being no one Author or record of credit extant, which proves directly, that the Lords and Commons did ever sit, vote, or act together as one intire house, and passe Billes, Judgements, Ordinances, Orders, by one undivided and united Vote; the thing which should be proved.

Secondly, when, by whom, and upon what occasion the Houses first came to be divided, is altogether uncertain, for ought appeares by history or records.e Sir Edward Cook conceives, that both houses sat together in 5. & 6. Ed. 3. and that about that ime, or a little after, they were first divided, when the Commons first chose a Speaker. But the Records of these Parliaments do not necessarily warrant his conjecture herein; since they speak only of the meeting together of the three Estates in Parliament, (as now they oft times do, on the first and Iast day of the Parliament, at conferences, passing Bills, and upon other occasions) not of their sitting and voting together. For my part, I conceive the division of the Houses farre more ancient, for this reason, because our historians writing of our ancientest Parliaments, as well before as after the Conquest, do many times make mention only of ourf Kings, Archbishops, Bishops, Earles and Barons present in them, not of any Elders of the people, Senators, Knights or Commons to represent the people, (which at other times they speak of) as present in our Parliaments, and Councells: occasioned only as I conceive, by the distinction of their sitting places and debates. unlesse it be granted, that many of our ancient Parliaments were held without Commons, Knights, and Burgesses, (as some affirm) but never without Peers & Lords; which would much invalid the Commons authority, and that supream jurisdiction of theirs which the Levellers now plead for. But admit they sat together in one roome in Edward the third his reigne, yet it is clear to me, their debates, votes, judgement, were long before distinct as now they are, by that memorable passage in Stephanides (transcribed out of him byg Master Selden; concerning the judgment given in Parliament at Northampton against Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury, in the eleventh yeare of King Henry the second, Anno Domini 1165. Where the Bishops, Earles, and all the Barons of England, resolving upon the Kings motion there, that Becket refusing to appeare in Parliament, upon summons to answer the complaint against him, being neither hindered by sicknesse, nor sending any reasonable excuse for his not appearing, should forseit all his moveable goods, and be at the Kings mercy: thereupon there arose a difference between the Bishops, and Barons, which of them should pronounce the judgement: the Barons alleadged, that the Bishops ought to pronounce it, because he was a Bishop, and they but Laymen; the Bishops Ecclesiasticall persons, and his fellow Priests, and Bishops. To which one of the Bishops answered; it belonged to the Barons and not to them, because it was no Ecclesiasticall but Secular judgement; that they sat there as* Barons, not as Bishops: you are Barons, and we are Barons: here we are Peeres. But you insist in vain upon the reason of our Order: for if you regard in us our Ordination, you ought likewise to consider the same in him: Now in this that we are Bishops, we cannot judge our Archbishop and Lord. The King hearing this controversie about pronouncing the judgement, was moved, & thereupon this controversie ceased: and the Bishop of Winchester, (then Henry de Bloys) being at last enjoyned to give the judgement, pronounced it against his will. There being no mention, speech, or interlocution of the Commons in this whole Parliamentary debate or censure, but onely of the King, Bishops and Barons; it makes it more then probable to me, that even then the Houses were divided; at least, that they sat and voted not together but distinctly: and if the Commons were present, yet it is most cleare, the Barons only were the Judges, and gave and pronounced the sentence in Parliament, even without the Commons. Of which more in some other Treatise.

Thirdly; admit, the division of the Houses no ancienter then King Edw. the third, yet their division being made at first upon good grounds, to prevent confusion and delayes, and to passe things with more mature advise and deliberation upon double debates, and second cogitations, and continued constantly ever since upon good grounds, without any alteration oropposition. And this division of them being ratified and approved by the Law and custome of Parliament, The Parl. Rolls, and Journalls, yea confirmed by sundry* Acts of Parliament, and among others by 31. H. 8. c. 10. 33. H. 8. c. 21. 3. Jac. c. 1. it can be no way just, nor safe, nor convenient, nor honourable, to confound them both together now, in the manner propounded, yea a cleare dissolying of the Parliament being contrary to the Act for its continuance, & a breach of the solemn League, Covenant, and all engagements, to obey and defend BOTH HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT; and a great dishonour to to the Lords, who cannot without apparent perjury and ignominy submit thereto: without whose full and free consents, and the Kings too by speciall act of Parliament, it is no wayes feasible, if by it,

Fourthly, it will introduce a world of contradictions, confusions, absurdities, and inconveniences, as these particulars evidece. First, both these houses, as they are now divided, have, (and always since their divisions have had) their severall distinct Speakers, and one chief cause of the division (ash Sir Edward Cook conceives) was the Commons chusing of a continuall Speaker. If then you will unite both Houses into one; you must have either these two Speakers in that one house (which would breed confusion and disturbance, and be like two heads upon one mans neck;) Or but one, both for Lords & Cõmons, who then cannot debate nor Vote distinctly, but joyntly with the Commons. If but one, then which of the two shall be the man? Not the Commons Speaker, because they had no Speaker at all before the Houses were divided, & so can claim none when reunited. And the Lords Speaker being of greatest antiquity, Dignity, and Superiour to the Cõmons in place and degree, ought of right to be preferred, and enjoy the Speakers place upon the reducement. And how a Peere; who is not* elected either a Member or Speaker by the Commons, can by the Law of the Land, or custome of Parliament be Speaker of, and for the Commons, as their mouth and representative; or a meere Commoner, a Speaker to the Lords to represent them, transcends my Law and skill; and wil require 7 yeares time to settle and resolve. Secondly, if the Houses be united, then how and where shall the Lords, and their assistants sit, and how and where the Cõmons? If all promiscuously, this would unlord, unpeere them, and make the meanest Commoner their equall: If distinct, then why not in distinct Houses still, as well as Classes and Seats? Or shall the Lords sit covered and the Commons sit bare, as now they doat meetings and conferences of both Houses? This would be but ill Physick for the Commons this winter season, and too great a penance to such of them who have crazy heads, and weak legges, to stand bare so long, and some of their spirits (especially those who are the Levellers best friends) I doubt are so high, they would hardly brook such a pennance and daily observance. Thirdly, If the Houses be reduced into one, then theiri manner of voting and dividing being distinct and different, as all know: the one by a generall Ay, and No; the other by a particular Content and not content, beginning at the puny Lord: the one determined by dividing the House, to take the Poll; the other without dividing: the one having no power to enter a Protestation of dissent, the other enjoying it: the one power to vote by Proxy, the other onely in person without proxy: then whether shall both retain these their differences still in voting, which will bring absolute confusion, and much delay: or else the Lords vote as the Commons do, or the Commons as the Lords? If the Lords only as Cõmoners, that were a disparagement and disadvantage to them, and a meanes to deprive them of their priviledges and votes as Peers, the Commons now having above twenty to one for number. If the Cõmons shall vote as Lords, that would make them Peers; and make each Vote if given particularly by the poll, & the entring of protestations, spend above half their time. Fourthly, if both houses should be mingled together, then the Lords alone must be judges, and give Oathes and judgement as now they do, in writs of Error and other causes, with which the Commons are not to intermddle; or the Lords and Commons joyntly. If the Lords alone, then why should both Houses be united, or they the onely Judges in the Commons House, or presence, which their greatnesse doubtlesse would not well digest? If Lords and Commons joyntly, this would subvert and alter the ancient proceedings and judgements of Parliament, and give the Commons a new power of Judicature and giving Oathes, and reversing errours, they never claimed nor enjoyed.

Fifthly, if the Houses be thus confounded, then what will become of their distinct Servants, Officers, Clerkes, Doorekeepers, & c.? Shall both continue? that were a superfluity and needlesse charge: Shall one of them he discharged? then whether the Lords on Commons? and whether the black Rod will not be quite casheered with the Lords house? will be a greate question, and require much time to resolve. Sixtly, if both Houses be new-modelled into one, then what will become of all the Assistants of the Lords house? they certainly must be cashiered, especially such who are onely employed as Messengers to the Commons House, of which there will be no use at all when they sit together. Eighthly, what will become of the forme of endorsing all Bils sent from the Commons to the Lords: Soit bayle al Seignieurs: les Seigneurs ont assentus: and the old forme of reading Bils thrice in both Houses ere they can passe them; and so of our Acts of Parliament? In respect therefore of all these severall contradictions and inconveniencies which can hardly be reconciled, and no wayes altered, but by speciall Act of Parliament (if by it) without dissolving the present Parliament, to please a company of seditions ignorant Lovellers and Schisinaticks, who never pondered all these particulars; it can neither be convenient nor safe to confound both Houses together into one, as is endeavoured and desired.

Fiftly, the Act of 16. Caroli Regis, entituled, An Act for the preventing of incõveniences, happening by the long intermissions of Parliaments; (made with abundance of care and pains this Parliament, before the King’s departure) distinguesheth the house of Commons from the house of Lords; prescribes an oath in hæc verbe, to the Lord Chancellour, Lord Keeper, and Commissioners of the great Seal of England, You shall swear, that you shall truly and faithfully issue out, and send abroad all Writs of Summons to Parliament FOR BOTH HOUSES. And in default thereof, enacts, That THE PEERS of this Realm shall be enabled and ENJOYNED to meet in the old Pallace of Westminster, AT THE USUALL PLACE THERE, on the third Monday on November: and that they, or any twelve or more of them THEN AND THERE ASSEMBLED shall issue out Writs in usuall form, under the hands and seals of twelve or more of them, to the respective Sheriffs, and other Officers, for the electing of Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of Parliament. That on the third Monday in January, and second Tuesday in March, ALL AND EVERY THE PEERS OF THE REALM shall make their appearance and assembly at THE PALLACE aforesaid; and shall EACH OF THEM be liable unto such pains and censures for his and their NOT APPEARING AND SERVING then and THERE in Parliament, as if be or they had been summoned by Writ under the great Seal of England, and had not appeared and served, and to such further pains and censures as BY THE REST OF THE PEERS in Parliament assembled THEY SHALL BE JUDGED UNTO: And that the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses assembled IN THE COMMONS HOUSE of Parliament, shall be liable to such pains and censures as he or they shall be adjudged unto.

After wch it enacts, That neither the HOUSE OF PEERS nor THE HOUSE OF COMMONS shall be adjourned within fifty dayes at least, after the meeting thereof, unlesse it be by the free consent OF EVERY THE SAID HOUSES RESPECTIVELY: And that the PEERS assembled in Parliament, may FROM TIME TO TIME choose and declare such person TO BE SPEAKER FOR THE SAID PEERS as they shall think fit: And that the said Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, shall and may FROM TIME TO TIME DURING THEIR ASSEMBLY IN PARLIAMENT, choose and declare one of themselves to be SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, as they shall think fit: VVhich said SPEAKERS, as well for the said PEERS as HOUSE OF COMMONS RESPECTIVELY, shall be perfect and conpleat Speakers FOR THE SAID HOVSES RESPECTIVELY, and shall have as full and large power, jurisdiction and priviledges, to all intents and purposes, as any SPEAKER OR SPEAKERS OF EITHER OF THE SAID HOUSES RESPECTIVELY heretofore have had and enjoyed. Therefore the levelling and reducing of both Houses into one, or abolishing the Lords House and Peerage, will utterly null and repeal this Act, (the best that was ever yet made for the Kingdomes safety, and Parliaments advantage) and deprive both Parliament, Kingdome and people of all future benefit by it, (which I wish our Levellers and Lilburnists seriously to consider) and likewise null and repeal the Act to prevent Inconveniences which may happen by the untimely adjourning, proroguing or dissolving of this present Parliam. An. 17. Car. which enacts, That THE HOUSE OF PEERS shal not at any time or times be adjourned during the present Parliament, unlesse it be BY THEMSELVES OR THEIR OWN ORDER: And in like manner, that THE HOUSE OF COMMONS shall not at any time or times during this Parliament, be adjourned, unlesse it be BY THEMSELVES, OR BY THEIR OWN ORDER. Which I hope both Houses, as they desire their own continuance, and being of the Parliament, will well advise of; and all those whom Lilburn or his Emissaries have seduced to engage against the House of Lords, or levell them to the Commons.

Sixthly, admit the Houses might without any inevitable mischiefes and contradictions, be modeled, and united into one, yet to bring downe the Lords into the Commons House, to sit and Vote like Commons with them, is no wayes tollerable, or to be thought on but with indignation, for these reasons. First, because the whole Commons House it selfe, when they present their Speaker to the King and Lords (which will be abolished by this union) or when any Bills are to be passed by the Royall Assent, upon thek beginning and ending of every Parliament, and upon some other speciall occasions have alwayes used to goe up and wait upon the House of Lords in person, yea to stand bare at their Barre, and to send their Members in person* up to the Lords upon any Message, Coference, or other occasion; but never did the whole House of Peeres in any age come downe in person to the Commons House, or any Peeres of late bring Messages to them, but onely send them by some Assistants, as Judges, Masters of Chancery, &c. Therefore now to talk of bringing down the House of Peeres to sit with the Commons in their House, (all one, as to reduce a Noble mans Dining-roome to his Hall or Kitchin, and levell the roofe and upper roomes of a house with the lowermost floore) is such a dishonour and affront to the Lords, that none but degenerate and ignoble spirits can so much as heare or think of it with patience, nor no Peere resent it but with just scorne and contempt, and rather dye then consent unto it, without whose consents it cannot be done without both Houses ruine: And to bring up the House of Commons to sit and Vote joyntly with the Peeres, would be to advance the Cõmons above their degree, not level the Lords; to make some men Lords before they are Gentlemen, & every Commoner no lesse then a Lord, which would too much puffe and bladder them with pride, and make them slight those whom they represent; who being but Commoners, cannot be represented by Peeres, or any sitting and Voting in the House of Peeres, by the true fundamental Law and Custome of Parliaments, as Sirl Edward Cooke resolves. Secondly, if the Lords should bee brought downe into the Commons House, (which is much like the reducing of the head and shoulders of the naturall body, into the belly or legges, which would make a Monster and destroy the man) there would be no roome for them, their Officers and Assistants, unlesse enlarged and metamorphosed into another forme. Thirdly, If the Lords must bee brought downe into the Commons House, then the* King and Prince as well as they, or else they must be totally excluded the Parliament, or sit alone by themselves in the House of Lords, without any Lords to attend them: An indignity which no King or Prince can brooke, and no modest Commoner seriously thinke of but with detestation; nor Lord, nor King consent to, but by force and violence; and without their voluntary consents it will not be valid, but destructive.

Seventhly, The false pretext for it, of expediting Bills, Ordinances, and Votes, is an absurd and ignorant fancie of overhasty spirits, who would act all things in a hurry without good deliberation: For first, nothing ought to bee done in Parliament but upon full and mature debate and deliberation of all the circumstances and probable consequences of it in future time (a thing now seldome considered:) Diu deliberandum quod semel statuendum, &, Festina lente, are safe rules in Parliament, especially in passing publike Acts and Ordinances, in making Warre or Peace, or any Nationall Leagues and Agreements. Secondly, Hasty Dogges bring forth blinde Whelpes: and hasty Votes, over sudden Councels and Motions, lame, blinde, contradictory, unjust, and inconsiderate Orders, Ordinances, Acts, which must either be corrected, supplyed, or repealed by Additionals, of which we have had too many experiments since this Parliament; which in many Votes, Ordinances, Orders, and Impeachments hath made more haste then good speed; and Voted sometimes both absurdities and impossibilities (witnesse the Commons Votes, for the Tryall of Mac-Guire and Mac-Mohun in the Kings-Bench, the very first day of the Terme, before any Indictment drawne, found, or any Jury summoned to finde it; for the Tryall of Judge Jenkins in the Kings-Bench, by a short day, for Treason aleaged to be committed in Wales, before any Indictment found in the Country, or removed into Court, and the like;) which I only mention to satisfie and answer the Objectors, nor to defame the House or Houses, whose Honours and Reputations have beene much blemished, through the inconsiderate rashnesse of some ignorant Members, who poasted on such Votes and Impeachments. Thirdly, this dividng the Houses will breed infinite disorder and confusion, not expedition, in their proceedings, as the premises manifest, and destroy their very formes and method; upon which ground Sir* Edward Cooke writes they were first divided. Fourthly, it will be a great retarding and obstruction to publike Justice, especially in Writs of Errour, and all such things which the Lords may dispatch or judge without the Commons House; where many hundreds of Petitions and businesses heard and Voted above seven yeeres since, doe yet stick without report, or transmission to the Lords (to the great dishonour and scandall of their proceedings and speedy justice) which had* been dispatched and ended many years past, had they first petitioned to the Lords for redresse. So as the Lords House is clearly no cause of delay, but the Commons rather, through their long debates or want of method, which debates would bee increased and lengthned by adding of the Lords unto them, who can now debate and determine things apart, and resolve two or three things, or more, whiles the Commons are debating one: And therefore, if delay be the onely cause of reducing the Lords House to the Commons, the Commons certainly are rather to be reduced then the Lords, and may bee better spared of the two (even byk Lilburnes and his Confederates Libells and Petitions) their delayes being not a quarter to one so many, nor one quarter so long as the Commons, as themselves must and do acknowledge. Eightly, this whole design is a direct breach of the solemn League and Covenant, a subversion of the Law and Custome of Parliaments, a device to destroy both Houses, under pretext of reducing them into one; an engine to dissolve this present, and all future Parliaments; to alter the fundamentall Lawes and Government of this Kingdom, to unking the King, unprince the Prince, unlord the Lords, and quite destroy their House (almost effected by expulsions, and impeachments of most of their Members by degrees, who have scarce enough left to make up an house, which it is high time for them & the Commons to observe;) yea, a project to extirpate Monarchy and Nobility, and set up a popular Anarchy and Polarchy: And therfore who ever hath plotted and fomented it, is more guilty of high Treason then Straford, Canterbury, or the Gun-powder Traitors, and deserves a severer punishment then they underwent, even by the hands of the Parliament it self, and all that are wel-wishers to Parliaments or Kingdom, though no friends to Peers.

Ninthly, this division of the Houses is; First, a great honour to the Parliament and Houses, savouring of greater Majesty, State, and Order, then their joyning into one, and giving every estate its* &illegible; place and ranke. Secondly, a great case and benefit to the Subject, who may make his Addresses and Petitions to either at his election for reliese. Thirdly, a great dispatch and expedition to all publike affaires, one House fitting and preparing them for the Debat, & concurrence of the other, at one and the same time, as Committees of each House prepare and expedite businesses for the whole House. Fourthly, a means of more speedy justice, by the Commons preparing of Articles and evidence for complaints and impeachments, presented by them to the Lords, whiles they are dispatching other businesses; and their hearing Writs of Errour, and other causes, whiles the Commons are upon other debates; which they could not do in one house, but joyntly together, and successively, not with so quick dispatch, and such good order as now. Fifthly, a thing very necessary and advantagious to the Kingdom and people, and safest for the Parliament, in that the Lords upon their second debates and conferences with the Judges and others, many times amend and rectifie divers errours, imperfections, and mistakes in the overhasty Votes, yea & deliberate Orders, Ordinances, Bils and Declarations of the Commons, which the Commons acknowledge by their assents unto their amendments; and oft times the Commons stay some Votes, Orders, Bils, Ordinance, sent down to them by the Lords; and their severall amendments and dislikes, with the conferences and debates occasioned thereupon, and second considerations of Businesses, Votes, Ordinances, Orders, Bils, Declarations, and the like, make them more profitable, compleat and valid, and lesse liable to exceptions and evasions then else they would have been. In all which respects, this division of the Houses, and the Lords and Kings negative voyces rightly considered and used, are not onely convenient, but expedient and absolutely necessary for the publike good, whatever Lilburn and his ignorant Levellers fancy to the contrary.

I shall therefore close up this with that wholesome and seasonable advice of Solomon, Prov. 24. 21, 22. My sonne feare thou the Lord and the King, and meddle not with those WHO ARE GIVEN TO CHANGE; For their calamity shall rise suddenly, and who knoweth the ruine of them both?

Object.There is onely one Objection to be removed, wherewith I shall arme the Levellers, that so I may leave nothing unanswered, that may be hereafter insisted on. And that is, this passage in Modus tenendi Parliamentum, We must know, that for the granting of such help and ayd (to the King) it &illegible; That All The Peers Of The Parliament Agree: And we must understand, that two Knights which come to the Parliament for the &illegible; and Countries out of which they come, have a greater voyce in Parliament TO GRANT, then THE GREATEST EARL in England: And after the same manner the Procters for the Clergie, or Clerks of the Convocation-house for one Bishoprick, have a greater voyce in Parliament, if they all agree, then the Bishop himself: And this is true in all things which ought to be granted or denyed to the party, or are to be done therein. And this is manifest, Because The King May Hold A Parliament With The Commomalty And Commons Of The Kingdom Without Bishops, Earls And Barons; yet so, as they be summoned to the Parliament, although no Bishop, Earl or Baron come according to their summons: Because In Times Past, Neither Was There Bishop, Earl Or Baron; and yet Even Then Kings Kept Their Parliament. But it is far otherwise on the other side; for though the Commonalty, to wit, Laity and Clergie were summoned to the Parliament (as of right they ought to be) yet for some certain causes they would not come; as if they did pretend, that the King did not govern them as he ought, and in speciality point out the Articles in which be misgoverned them, as he ought; Tunc Parliamentum Nullum Est &illegible;l then there is no Parliament at all, though all the Archbishops, Bishops, Earls and Barons, and all the Peers should be present with the King: And therefore it behooveth that all things which ought to be affirmed or informed, granted or done by the Parliament, should be granted by the Commonalty of the Parliament; which consists of three degrees or kinds assembled in Parliament, to wit, of the Practors of the Clergie, the Knights of the Shires, the Citizens and Eurgesses, who represent the whole Commonalty of England, and not of Noble men; because every one of them is for his own proper person present at the Parliament, and for no other: Which Masterm John Vowel in his Order and Usage how to keep a Parliament; seconds in these words:

If the King in due order have summoned all his Lords and Barons, and they will not come; or if they come, they will not yet appear &illegible; or if they come and appear, and will not doe nor yield to any things THEN THE KING WITH THE CONSENT OF THE COMMONS MAY ORDAIN AND ESTABLISH ANY ACTS OR LAWS 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 comming will not appear, or appearing will not consent to do any thing, alledging some just, weighty or great cause, the King in those cases cannot with the Lords devise, make or establish any Law. The reasons are these; When Parliaments were first began and ordained, there were no Prelates or Barons of the Parliament, and the temporal Lords were very few or none, and then the* King and his Commons did make a full Parliament; which authority was NEVER YET ABRIDGED. Again, every Baron in Parliament doth represent his own person, and speaketh in the behalf of himself alone; but in the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, are represented the Commons of the whole Realm; and every of these giveth consent, not onely for himself, but for all those also for whom he is sent: And the King with the consent of the Commons,n HAD EVER A SUFFICIENT AND FULL AUTHORITY TO MAKE, ORDAIN AND ESTABLISH GOOD AND WHOLSOME LAWS FOR THE COMMON-WEALTH OF THE REALM: Wherefore the Lords being lawfully summoned, and yet refusing to come, sit or consent in Parliament, CANNOT BY THEIR FOLLY ABRIDGE THE KING OR THE COMMONS OF THEIR LAWFULL PROCEEDINGS IN PARLIAMENT. So he.

From which two passages it may be probably inferred; first, that a Parliament may now be held, and Acts and Laws made by the King and Commons alone, without the Lords; but not by the King and Lords without the Commons; and so their sitting in Parliament is not simply necessary, so as they may quite be taken away and reduced to the Commons house. Secondly, that they have no negative voice, but ought to assent to whatever the Commons shall vote to be good and necessary for the Commonwealth.

Answer.To which I answer; first, that the compiler of the first Treatise, is both unknown, & the time who it was first compiled, not so ancient as is imagined by some hundreds of yeers: It is said in the preface, it was first composed in Edward the Confessor’s time, and shewed to William the Conquerour, & approved and used by him: but he that made this Preface to it (addes) That it was used IN THE TIMES OF HIS SUCCESSORS KINGS OF England, and therefore lived long after the Conquerours time) and so writes but at random, not of his own knowledge, there being no History nor Record to warrant any such thing: and by his Discourse touching the Members places and sitting in Parliament, manner of Marshalling the Bishops and others, and by other passages, it should seem, a great part of this Treatise is but of late composure: As for its exemplification by King Henry the second, and his sending it into Ireland, and King Henry the fourth his exemplification of it there, I find no warrant for it, but Siro Edward Cooks assertion, and that grounded upon a bare report from another: these exemplifications (for ought I can learn) being neither of them extant, nor yet so much as once mentioned by Master Richard Bolton (a great Antiquary) in his Collection of the Statutes of Ireland: Besides, the election of* two Knights to serve for every County, two Citizens for every City, and two Burgesses for every Burrough, and the Procurators of the Clergy, cannot be proved by any History or Records extant, to be formally chosen by Writ, and sent to the Parliament, in Edward the Confessors reign; nor that all those assistants wch this Treatise mentions did then sit or were present in Parliaments, in such manner & form as is expressed in this Treatise: Yea, the very objected passage, & reason therin rendered, proves it self to be of punier date then the Confessors or Conquerours dayes. Secondly, admit it as ancient as the Confessor or Conquerour, then it is apparent, that even in those times the Houses either sate not, at least voted not both together, as is pretended: For first, this Treatise distinguisheth the Bishops, Earls and Barons, as distinct ranks and degrees of Parliament, both from Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, throughout the Treatise: Secondly, it distinguisheth them in the times and dayes of their calling in the beginning of the Parliament, and in their fines for not appearing: Thirdly, in the charge the King gives to them: Fourthly, in the places and manner of their sitting, all the severall orders of Peers, and Assistants of the Lords house being mentioned, as sitting together, without any Knights, Citizens or Burgesses sitting among them. And he addes, that between the Bishops, Earls, Barons, all must keep their places, and the Steward of England is to look to this, THAT NONE SIT BUT AMONG HIS PEERS AND EQUALS: Fiftly, he subjoyns, That the Justices of England are no Justices in Parliament, unlesse so far forth as new tower shall be assigned and given them then by the KING AND THE PEERS of the Parliament: That the Peers of the Parliament are to examine Petitions BY THEMSELVES: That the King shall assigne five skilfull Clerks of the Parliament: the first where of shall be Minister to serve the Bishops; the second, the Procters of the Clergie; the third, the Earls and Barons; the fourth, the Knights of the Shire; the fift, the Citizens and Burgesses: who shall write and register their severall answers and doubts to the King; that all doubtfull cases are to be put in writing, and delivered to the Clerk of every degree; that so every DEGREE BY IT SELF MAY GOE THERE BY IT SELFE AND DEBATE IT, and then bring their ANSWER AND ADVICE IN WRITING; and if any discord arise, that the businesse be handled and amended by all the Peers of the Kingdom: And that none of all the Peers may depart from Parliament, unlesse be have obtained leave OF THE KING, and of ALL HIS PEERS. All which proves the devision and distinction of the Houses in that Age, in Votes and Debates.

Thirdly, both these Writers grant; First, that the Commons can doe or conclude nothing without the Kings presence and consent: Secondly, that all the Lords ought to be summoned to the Parliament, and if they appear not, that they shall be amerced: Thirdly, that ALL PEERS OF THE REALME OUGHT TO AGREE TO WHAT IS GRANTED OR PASSED IN PARLIAMENT; so are their words: Therefore if all the Peers, or the major part of them disagree, no ayde can be granted nor Act passed, by their own confessions: and by the same reason they affirm, that the King and Lords, or either of them alone, without the Commons, can grant or enact nothing that is firme or stable; nor yet the Commons themselves without the Kings assent; they must of necessity grant, that the King and Commons without the Lords can do nothing, that is binding to the Kingdom, the Lords assent being as requisite as theirs, and they entrusted by the Laws, Statutes and Custome of the Realm, to consent and dissent in the granting of aydes, and making Laws as well as the King and Commons, and have a share in both as well as they.

Fourthly, the holding of a Parliament, granting of aydes and making Laws by the King and Commons, without the Lords, is onely in one speciall case of obstinacy and extremity in the Lords; which never yet fell out, nor is likely to happen: To wit, when the Lords are all summoned to Parliament, and yet wilfully refuse to appear, sit or agree to any thing propounded by the King and Commons joyntly, without giving a sufficient reason for their so doing: To conclude therefore from such a remote possibility of a case which never yet fell out, nor is likely to do, the necessity of the Lords reducement at this present, or in future times to the House of Commons, or the abolition of the House of Peers, or their negative voyce, is as great nonsence and frenzy, as to argue; that all the Lords and Commons ought presently to be sent to Bedlam, because one of our Parliaments was stiled, Insanum Parliamentum, The mad Parliament, and they may possibly prove now as mad as the Parliamẽt was then reputed; as they will do in good earnest, if they should go about to levell the Lords, and detrude them to the Commons house, as these mad Sectaries and Levellers would perswade them.

Fiftly, neither of these Writers were good Lawyers, Historians or Antiquaries versed in Parliament Records: for first, ouro Law-books are expresse in point, That no Law nor Act of Parliament can be made by the King and Commons without the Lords concurrent assent, no more then by the King and Lords without the Commons: And Sir Edward Cook (the greatest Lawyer in this latter age) is positive, in his 4. Inst. c. 1. (where he writes particularly of Parliaments) f. 25. There is NO ACT OF PARLIAMENT BUT MUST HAVE CONSENT OF THE LORDS, the Commons, and royall assent of the King, as appeareth by RECORDS AND OUR LAW-BOOKS: Therefore this fancy of theirs, that the King and Commons may make Laws without the Lords, is a cleer mistake even in point of Law; which the very form and penning of all our Statutes (Be it enacted by the King, &c. THE LORDS SPIRITUALL AND TEMPORALL, and Commons in this present Parliament assemblea; and the like) refutes: Secondly, all our Historians and Antiquaries concur herein, That there can be no Parliament, nor ever was in any age since Parliaments were in England, held by the King and Commons alone without the Lords; there being no such Parliament ever heard or read of, neither do these Authors instance in any one President; therefore this ground of their opinion, That in times past our Kings kept their Parliaments, when & before there were any Bishops or temporall Lords, is a meer groundlesse assertion, contradicted by all our Antiquaries and Historians; which alwayes make mention of Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots, Dukes, Princes, Earls, Lords and Barons in our ancientest Parliaments, but* no mention at all of any Knights of Shires, Citizens and Burgesses: Thirdly, all our Parliament Rolls contradict this fancy, that there can be no Act nor Ordinance of Parliament without the Lords consent as well as the Commons; as is evident by the penning of all our printed Acts, and by 6 Edw. 3. Rot. Parl. n. 5. 17 E. 3. n. 59, 60. 43 E. 3. n. 3, & 10. 14 R. 2. n. 14, 15. 13 H. 4. n. 25. with many more: yea, the Lords presence in Parliament hath at all times been so absolutely necessary and expedient; that our Parliaments from time to time have been adjourned from the day that they were first appointed to sit, till some few days after; upon this very reason, That All The Lords (by reason of the soul weather, shortnesse of summons, or some other occasion) were not yet come up to the Parliament, OR SOME OF THE LORDS NOT COME; and the Declaration of the causes of calling the Parliament by the Lord Chancellour, or chief Justice, and all Parliamentary businesse deferred till their comming, (as well as because some of the Knights and Burgesses were not come, nor all the Writs for their elections returned:) upon which reason, and the absence of some Lords, the first day of the Parliaments sitting, hath been oft adjourned, as the Parliament Rolls of 6 E. 3. nu. 1. 6 E. 3. Parl. 2. n. 5, 6, 8, 9. 13 E. 3. Parl. 2. n. 4. 15 E. 3. n. 5. 17 E. 3. n. 2. 6. 18 E. 3. n. 1, 2, 5. 20 E. 3. n. 5. 21 E. 3. n. 4. 22 E. 3. n. 1. 25 E. 3. n. 1. 29 E. 3. n. 4. 36 E. 3. n. 1. 37 E. 3. n. 1. 42 E. 3. n. 1. 50 E. 3. n. 1. 51 E. 3. n. 3. 1 R. 2. n. 1, 2 R. 2. n. 1. 3 R. 2. n. 1. 4 R. 2. n. 1. 5 R. 2. Parl. 1. n. 1. & Parl. 2. n. 1. 6 R. 2. Parl. 1. n. 1. & Parl. 2. n. 1. abundantly* manifest, it being the custome of all former Parliaments to Debate, Vote and determine nothing but in FVLL PARLIAMENT, when all, or the most part of the Members of both Houses were present, and not in a thin or empty House, when above half or three parts were absent: an innovation of dangerous consequence, brought in of later times, and fit to be redressed, for which some Parliaments and Parliamentary proceedings have beenp repealed and judged voyd by Parliament; especially when accompanied with any armed forces and violence, over-awing the Houses or their Members: to prevent which in former ages, by theq ancient law and custome of Parliament, a Proclamation usually was and ought to be made at Westminster in the beginning of every Parliament THAT NO MAN, VPON PAIN TO LOSE ALL THAT HE HAD, SHOVLD DVRING THE PARLIAMENT, in London or Westminster, or the Suburbs, &c. wear any privy coat of Plate, OR GOE ARMED, or use any Games, Playes, Justs, and other pastimes, or shewing Shewes during the Parliament: The reason whereof was, That the high Court of Parliament should not thereby be disturbed, nor the Members thereof (which are TO ATTEND the arduous and urgent businesse of the Church and Common-wealth) be thereby WITHDRAWN OR FORCED AWAY: as is apparent by 5 E. 3. nu. 5. 6 E. 3. nu. 2, 3. 6 E. 3. Parl. 2. n. 2. 6 E. 3. Parl. 4. n. 4, 5. 13 E. 3. n. 1. 14 E. 3. n. 1. 14 E. 3. Parl. 21. n. 2. 15 E. 3. n. 2. 17 E. 3. n. 3. 20 E. 3. n. 1. 24 E. 3. n. 1. 25 E. 3. n. 5, 8. & Stat. 2. n. 4. A law and custome now fit to be revived. Fourthly, the very Writs of Summons for the Lords, and of election of Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, refutes this grosse mistake, requiring them all to appear personally in Parliament, on such a day, at such a place, and there to treat of the great and urgent affairs of the Realm, not onely with the King himself, but cum Prælatis, MAGNATIBUS ET PROCERIBUS dicti Regni nostri; with the Prelates, Noblemen and Lords of our said Realm: And therefore to dream of holding a Parliament, or making Lawes without the Lords, is a sign of an intoxicated brain. Fiftly, I find in 21 E. 3. nu. 58. 21 E. 3. n. 60. 37 E. 3. n. 12, 34. 50 E. 3. n. 12, 13. and the yeer-book of 39 E. 3. 7. b. that the King and Lords in Parliament* have made binding laws without the Commons, in some cases, but not the King and Commons without the Lords: And in the Parliament of 6 E. 3. Parl. 2. n. 7. the Commons had license to depart the parliament, but the Lords were commanded to attend the King the next morning, to advise him: So that there is far more colour in point of Presidents to prove, that the King and Lords may make Laws and grants of aydes, (as the Lords did by and for themselves, 3 E. 3. n. 4, 5. & Parl. 2. 13 E. 3. n. 7.) without the Commons, then the King and Commons without the Lords.

Sixtly, to this, that the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses in parliament, have a greater voyce then the greatest Earl in parliament, because they represent the Countries, Cities and Burroughs from whence they come, and the Earl but himself.

I answer, first, that the reason holds not; for if this were true then every Knight, Citizen and Burgesse that serves for the greatest Counties, Cities and Burroughs, should have a greater voyce and power in the Commons house, then those that serve for lesser, and the smallest, because they represent, and assent, and vote for more Freeholders, Citizens and Burgessers then they; and by the same reason, the lesser and poorer Peers should have a lesser voyce in the Peers house then the greatest and richest; which we know is false and absurd. Secondly, many Peers are of greater worth, value, estate and interest in relation to the Kingdom, then many poor Burroughs; and therefore by this reason their voices should be greater then both Burgesses serving for them. Thirdly, every Peer votes not onely for himself, but for all the Nobility and whole State and Kingdom whereof he is a member, as well and as much as any Commoner; and therefore his voyce is as great as theirs.

As to the Lords negative voice in Parliament, I answer, first, the King, common Laws and Statutes of England, have ever allowed and acknowledged it in all Ages: Secondly, to deny them this Priviledge, is to make the whole house of Peers meaner then the meanest Burgesse, who hath a negative voyce in all debates and votes that passe the Commons house; yea, to deny them to be freemen, and make them worse then the Philistine Lords, who had a negative voyce, 1 Sam. 29. 2, to 12 And to make them give their cõsents to whatever the Cõmons shall carry by their plurality of Votes (though it be but by one or two) is to set up Popish blind obedience, and implicit faith, yea, to destroy that liberty of conscience and judgement which the Objectors, Levellers and Army do pretend they sight, and so earnestly contest for. Thirdly, there are sundry presidents in our Parliament Rolls, of the Lords negative voyces in Parliaments; I shall instance onely in two or three, The first in print, in the Statute of Marlbridge, 20 H. 3. c. 3. The Bishops and Clergie importuned the Lords, that they would consent, that all such as were born afore Matrimony should be legitimate, as well as those who were born within Matrimony, as to the succession of Inheritance, for so much as the Church accepteth such for legitimate. And ALL THE EARLS AND BARONS WITH ONE VOICE answered, NOLUMUS, &c. WE WILL NOT CHANGE THE LAWS OF THE REALM which hitherto have been used and approved. Here the Lords negative voyce hindered the alteration of the common Law, against the Bishops and Clergies importunate Vote to change it. So in the Parliament of 28 E. 3. nu. 25. the Commons desired, that any man attainted upon a writ of Oyer and Terminer, might bring his Attaint hanging the suits against the other. To this the answer on the Roll is, THE LORDS WILL NOT ALTER THE ORDER OF THE LAW. The like negative answer you may read in 21 E. 3. n. 12, 29. 1 R. 2. n. 34, 69, 111. 2 R. 2. n. 57, 58. Parl. 1. & Parl. 2. n. 48. and sundry other Rols. Therefore to inferre any thing from these erronious passages against the Lords Louse, Votes, Judicature or negative voyce, is but the blind following of the blind, and contradict all Parliament Records, History, Antiquity and Law it self, and approve and establish their authority, judicature and distinction from the Commoners.

Finally, it is evident by the Parliament Rols of 6 E. 3. Parl. 2. n. 3. 13 E. 3. Par. 2. n. 7, 8. 15 E. 3. n. 6, 7, 9, 17, 18, 35, 37. 17 E. 3. n. 9, 11, 12, 59. 18 E. 3. n. 10. 21 E. 3. n. 4, 5, 70. 22 E. 3. n. 3, 4, 29. 22 E. 3. Parl. 2. n. 6, 7. 27 E. 3. n. 4. 29 E. 3. n. 10. 36 E. 3. n. 6, 7. 40 E. 3. n. 8. 42 E. 3. n. 7. 47 E. 3. n. 5, 6, 12. 50 E. 3. n. 3, 8, 9, 10 14. 51 E. 3. n. 18, 19. 1 R. 2. n. 12, 13. 2 R. 2. n. 10, 23, to 29. 2 R. 2. Parl. 2. n. 6. 4 R. 2. n. 9, to 16. 5 R. 2. n. 13, to 31. 6 R. 2. n. 9, 10, 11. 6 R. 2. parl. 2. n. 14, 15. 6 R. 2. parl. 3. n. 8, 9. 7 R. 2. n. 11. 7 R. 2. Parl. 2. n. 10, 11. 13 R. 2. n. 6. 15 R. 2. n. 15. 16 R. 2. n. 6. 17 R. 2. n. 6, 17, 18. 20 R. 2. 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 16, 17. 21 R. 2. n. 8, 9, 16, to 21. That the Lords and Commons in the Parliaments of King Edward the third, and Richard the second, were distinct both in their debates, consultations, councels, petitions, votes, and places of sitting too, 50 E. 3. n. 3, 8. Sir John Knevet Chancellour of England, having declared the causes of calling that Parliament before the King, Lords and Commons, willed them to goe together, THE LORDS BY THEMSELVES, AND THE COMMOS BY THEMSELVES, and speedily to consult and give answer. After which the Commons were willed to depart TO THEIR ACCUSTOMED PLACE, being the Chapter house of the Abbot of Westminster, whither they went. In which place they likewise sate, 2 R. 2. n. 10. & 4 R. 2. n. 9. And in 15 E. 3. n. 17. 47 E. 3. n. 5, 6. 50 E. 3. n. 8, 9. 51 E. 3. n. 18, 19. 1 R. 2. n. 12, 13, 14. 5 R. 2. n. 14. 6 R. 2. Parl. 2. n. 15. 7 R. 2. Parl. 2. n. 10, 11. The Commons came to THE LORDS HOUSE, and required that certain of the Lords, there named, WOULD VOUCHSAFE TO CONFER WITH THE COMMONS; whereupon they went to the Chamberlains chamber to confer with the Commons: And at other times they were appointed to goe and consult with the Commons at some other place by the Lords order. In 2 R. 2. Parl. 1. n. 23. the Commons required, that some five or six of the Lords might be appointed to come and discourse with them; THE LORDS DENIED THAT, saying, The same was the guise of two or three Parliaments before. But the use was, That the Lords should among themselves choose a certain number, and the Commons the like, and that they should confer together, which they would do: for if the Commons would not dissever themselves, neither would they the Lords: To the which order the Commons agreed. And 4 H. 4. n. 10. The Commons desiring the King that certain speciall Lords might be assigned to treat with them about affairs for the common benefit of the Realm: It was condescended unto, with this protestation specially entred by the Kings command, that it ought not to be done of right OR CUSTOME, BUT ONELY OUT OF THE KINGS SPECIALL GRACE; which the Commons then acknowledged.

A pregnant evidence both of their distinct Houses and consultations, except onely at private Committees and Conferences; Yea, the Commons had anciently such an high esteem of the Lords fidelity, wisdom, abilities, councel and experience, that in 15 E. 3. n. 17. The Commons pray that unto the Wednesday then next ensuing, the Articles they then presented to the King, might be committed to certain Earls, Barons, Bishops and other WISE MEN there named by them, TO BE AMENDED: which &illegible; King granted. And in 13 E. 3. Parl. 1. n. 11. 21 E. 3. n. 5. 7. R. 2. Parl. 2. n. 19, 20. 17 R. 2. n. 17. and sundry other Rolls, The Commons professe THEIR INABILITY AND INSUFFICIENCY TO ADVISE THE KING in some MATTERS OF PEACE, WARRE, and safeguard of the Seas, for that THEY PASSED THEIR CAPACITY, AND UNDERSTOOD NOT THE TERMS OF THE CIVILL LAW, and some words in Truces; and therefore WHOLLY REFERRED THEMSELVES in these things to THE KING AND THE LORDS, AND THE KINGS COUNSELL, to do therein as they should seem meet, being men of greater wisdom and experience in State-affairs of this nature, then themselves, in which they had little or no Insight. And in 2 H. 4. n. 11. The whole house of Commons claim, and the King grants and confirms; and in 9 H. 4. n. 21. (entituled, The indempnity of the Lords and Commons) The Lords and Commons seriously claim this as a speciall ancient priviledge belonging to both the Houses, to sit and debate upon things in Parliament severally by themselves in their distinct Houses, in the Kings absence (whose presence might over awe them, and hinder their free debates;) which they both claimed, and the king confirmed to them IN ALL TIMES TO COME, and that no report should be made to the King of any debate, vote or ayde granted, till the Lords and Commons be all agreed, and that by THE SPEAKERS MOUTHES. Which ancient priviledge so long since claimed, granted, confirmed and enjoyed ever since, not onely proves the ancient distinction of both houses, but utterly subverts the Levellers project, who would strip both Houses at once of this great priviledge, which the Commons deemed their greatest immunity (seeing they durst speak their mindes, and vote more freely among themselves, then in the presence of the King and Lords, for fear of incurring their displeasures) by reducing both houses into one. The serious consideration whereof, and of the promises, will I trust for ever take them off from their dangerous absurd designe of Levelling and reducing the Lords House to the Commons, and lay the ignorant, illiterate prosecutors of it, levell with the dust: the rather, because the King and Lords in Parliament, have not onely joyntly and severally judged Commoners themselves in Parliament for such Treasons, & other misdemeanours as are properly triable in Parliament, not at the common Law, as is evident byr infinite Presidents; but even Knights of the Shire, and other Members of the Commons House it self, in point of misdemeanours, undue Elections, and priviledges of Parliament; as is apparet by 16 R. 2. n. 6, 13, 14. Sr Phillip Courtney’s case, returned one of the Knights for the County of Devon, 17 R. 2. n. 23. Roger de Swinerton’s case, 5. H. 4. n. 38. Thomas Thorp his case, elected knight for the County of Rotland, whose election was heard, examined and adjudged by the Lords in Parliament to be good, at the Commons request; and 31 H. 6. n. 25, to 30. Baron Thorp’s case, Speaker of the Commons house, whose priviledge was solemnly debated before, and adjudged against him by the Lords in Parliament; who therupon by the King’s direction, commanded the Commons to choose and present a new Speaker; which they accordingly did the next day. Yea, the whole House of Commons in the Parliament of 1 H. 4. n. 79. Remonstrated to the King, and voluntarily confessed That THE JUDGMENTS IN PARLIAMENT APPERTAIN ONELY TO THE KING AND TO THE LORDS, and NOT UNTO THE COMMONS; and that THE KING AND LORDS EVER HAD IN ALL TIMES, AND SHALL HAVE OF RIGHT THE JUDGMENTS IN PARLIAMENT: And the King then declared to the Commons, that this Order shall be observed and kept IN ALL TIMES TO COME, and that in cases of Commoners and Members of the Commons house it self, as well as of Peers; as is cleer by Thorp’s case forecited, and by 5 H. 4. n. 71, 78. the printed Statute of 5 H. 4. c. 6. Richard Chedders case, and 4 H. 8. c. 8. Richard Strode his case, Burgesse for Plimton in the County of Devon; where the King and Lords at the Prayer and Petition of the Commons, provide remedies against the breaches of the priviledges of the Commons themselves and their servants, which themselves alone bail us sufficient power to right and determine; the power of judicature being not in them, but in the King, Lords and houses of Peers alone; who long before the Conquest had the power of Judicature, as is evident by Brampton, and Master* Selden, in the case of Earl Goodwin, in a Parliament held in the yeer 1052. wherein Edward the Confessor appealed to THE EARLS AND BARONS against this Earl, for the murther of his Brother Alfred in these words, Domini COMITES & BARONES terre, &c. Volo quod inter Nos in ista appellatione RECTUM JUDICIUM DECERNETIS & DEBITAM JUSTITIAM FACIATIS. And therfore it is the very extremity of injustice to deny them this their ancient Heredetary right, and priviledge now, and transfer it to the Commons house, who never enjoyed it in any former Age, and can make no right, nor lawfull claim unto it at this present.



Page 3. line 1. H. 7. read H. 4.


 [a ] 2 Pet. 2. 11.

 [b ] Lilburns and Overtons Petitions, and late Letters. The agreement of the people. The remonstrance of many 1000 to their owne House of Comons, and others.

 [* ] Methinkes these New Lights should not cry up and and revive old Presidents & Patterns, no more then old clothes, fashions or Ceremonies.

 [c ] See Mr. Seldens Tit. of Hon.par. 2. c 5 Spelm. Concil. Tom. 1. Mr. Lamb. Archa. Modus teacndi Parliamen orum, Truth triumphing over falshood, p. 56. to 76. Cooks 9. Report, The Preface, &illegible; 4. Inst c. 1.

 [d ] See Mat. Pa. Mat. west m. walsingham, Holinshed, Speed, Grafton Trussel, Daniel & The. 1. 2. 3. Par. of the Soveraign power of Parliaments.

 [e ] 4. Instit. p. 2. & n.

 [f ] See Spelman Concil. Tom. 1. Seldens titles of honour. part 2. 6. 5. Truth triumphing over falshood. p. 56. &c.

 [g ] Titles of Honour, part 2. Chap. 5. p. 705. 706.

 [* ] See Petrus Blesensis. De Instit Episcopi Bibl. Patrum Tom. 12. pors 2. p. 447.

 [* ] And the Act for Trienniall Parliament, made this Parliament.

 [h ] Instit. 4. p. 2.

 [* ] Cook 4. In. stit. p. 8. 46. 47.

 [i ] Cook 4. Instit. p. 34. 35.

 [k ] Cook 4. Inst. p. 28. 33. H. 8. c. 21. 3. Jac. c. 1.

 [* ] See 5. R. 2. n. 16.

 [l ] Instit. 4. p. 8, 46, 47.

 [* ] See Cook 4. Inst. p. 14, 15.

 [* ] Instit. q. 2.

 [* ] Witnesse Dr. Levtons, Dr. Bastwicks, Mr. Burtons, my own, Mr. Walkers, Mr. Foxleys, the Chesterwars and many others, about Shipmoney, and other grievances.

 [k ] His letter to a friend, his letters to Henry &illegible; and Cromwel, Innocency and Truth justified, Englands Birth-right, the late Petition of many free-born people of England

 [* ] 31 H. &illegible; c. 10.

 [l ] So the Latin, the English being nonsence, and mistranslated in many places.

 [m ] Holinshead Chron. of Irel. p. 127, 128.

 [* ] In what age was there ever such a Parliament of King and Commons onely?

 [n ] A grosse mistake without president to warrant it.

 [o ] Instit. 4. p. 12.

 [* ] See the Free holders grand Inquest. p. 5, to 16.

 [o ] 22 E. 3. 3. b. 7 H. 7. 14. 11 H. 7. 27 Br. Parl. 107. Plowdens Coun. f. 79. Crompton’s Jurisdiction, f. 8. Fortescue, c. 18 f. 20. 4 H. 7. 6. 8. Dy. 92. Bro. 134. 39 E. 3. 7.

 [* ] See Mr. Seldens Titles of Honour, part 2. c. 5. Spelmanni Concil. Tom. 1. Truth triumphing over falshood, p. 50, to 70. The grand Inquest, p. 8, to 16.

 [* ] And 8 H. 4. n. 28, 30, 54. 9 H. 4. n. 1. 1; H. 4. n. 1.

 [p ] See 21 F. 3. n. 16. 1 H. 4. &illegible; Parl. 22, 25, 66. 39 H. 6. c. 1. Statutes of Ireland, 10 H. 7. c. 23. 21 R. 2. c. 12. 31 H. 6. c. 1. 17 E. 4. c. 7.

 [q ] Cook 4 Inst. p. 14 & 2 E. 3. c. 3.

 [* ] See the Free holders grand Inquest.

 [r ] 4 E. 3. n. 3, to 8. 21 E 3. 11. 65 50 E 3. n. 15, to 38. 1 R 2. n. 35, to 44 4 R. 2. n. 17, to 25 7 R. 2. n. 15, to 26. &c.

 [* ] Titles of Honour, part 2. c. 5. sect. 6.

5.10. John Lilburne, The Prisoners Plea for a Habeas Corpus (4 April, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

John Lilburne, The Prisoners Plea for a Habeas Corpus, Or an Epistle writ by L.C. Joh. Lilburne prerogative prisoner in the Tower of London the 4. of Aprill, to the Honourable Mr. W. Lenthall Speaker of the House of Commons. In which is fully proved, that the Judges are bound by Law and their Oaths to grant a Habeas Corpus to any prisoner whatsoever that craves it, by whomsoever committed, and to deny it (whosoever commands the contrary) is to forsweare themselves, for which they may be in Law indicted for perjury, and upon conviction, are for ever to be discharged of their office, service and councell. In which is also declared the usurpation of Mr. Oliver Crumwell, who hath forcibly usurped unto himselfe the Office of L.G. in the Army, for almost 12. moneths together, and thereby hath robbed the Kingdome of its treasure, under pretence of pay, which he hath no right unto, and by the power of the said Office hath tyrannized over the lives, Liberties, and estates of the freemen of England in a higher manner then ever Stratford or Canterbury did, all which John Lilburne will venture his life according to the Law of the Land to make good, unto which he hath annexed his Epistle which he writ to the Prentices of London the 10th of May 1639 when he was like to be murdered in the Fleet by the Bishops, as now he is like to be murdered in the Tower, by Crumwell and his tirannicall fellow Grandees.

Estimated date of publication

4 April, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, pp. 606–7; Thomason E. 434. (19.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

The Prisoners Plea for a Habeas Corpus

Or an Epistle writ by L.C. Joh. Lilburne prerogative prisoner in the Tower of London the 4. of Aprill, to the Honourable Mr. w. Lenthall Speaker of the House of Commons. In which is fully proved, that the Iudges are bound by Law and their Oaths to grant a Habeas Corpus to any prisoner whatsoever that craves it, by whomsoever committed, and to deny it (whosoever commands the contrary) is to forsweare themselves, for which they may be in Law indicted for perjury, and upon conviction, are for ever to be discharged of their office, service and councell. In which is also declared the usurpation of Mr. Oliver Crumwell, who hath forcibly usurped unto himselfe the Office of L.G. in the Army, for almost 12 moneths together, and thereby hath robbed the Kingdome of its treasure, under &illegible; of pay, which he hath no right unto, and by the power of the said Office hath tyrannized over the lives, Liberties, and estates of the freemen of England in a higher manner then ever Straford or Canterbury did, all which John Lilburne will venture his life according to the Law of the Land to make good, unto which he hath annexed his Epistle which he writ to the Prentices of London the 10th of May 1639 when he was like to be murdered in the Fleet by the Bishops, as now he is like to be murdered in the Tower, by Crumwell and his tirannicall fellow Grandees.

Mr. Speaker.

IT is the saying of the Spirit of God, That a righteous man regardeth the life of his &illegible; but the tender mercies of the &illegible; as cruelty, Prov. &illegible; 10. And if a righteous man regardeth the &illegible; of &illegible; much more of a man, that did or doth him service; but he that to such a one rewardeth evill for good, declares to the purpose, that his tender mercies is cruelty indeed; but whether your dealings in particular, and the dealings of your House in generall have been so &illegible; &illegible; yea or no, I will not now determine, but at present leave it to the consciences of you and them &illegible; you have any left] to Iudge.

But Sir, give me leave to put you in minde that I have contrary to all Law and Iustice been &illegible; almost two yeers a prisoner in the Tower of London; committed originally by those [viz. the &illegible; of Lords] that at your Bar the 19. Ian. last &illegible; and in &illegible; good meesure proved[a] by Law &illegible; no more power to &illegible; then so many Turks or Tarters hath; But that day I was by &illegible; of your House a new committed to prison, who if you please believe the learned opinion of your brother Lawyers, Mr. &illegible; Prin, declared in his late plea for the Lords jurisdiction &illegible; Commoners, your House in Law hath not so much power to &illegible; me, as the Lords hath, and they none at all.

But howsoever, whether they have or have not, I ought by &illegible; when I am committed, by whomsoever to be brought to a speedy triall, as is excellently well proved and illustrated by Sir Edward Cooke in this &illegible; the 29 Chap of Magna Charta[b] The Law of England &illegible; extreame tender and favourable of a mans freedome &illegible; &illegible; And therefore it hath appointed officers and ministers, to &illegible; the &illegible; three times a yeere or oftner[c] if need be, because &illegible; eye of the Law, the prison is a bad, or a hard &illegible; or &illegible; And besides that all men committed for any trespasse &illegible; for which he is not to lose life or member shall be[d] be led, &illegible; Goale by the common law of England saith Sir Edward &illegible; being the pledge or surety of him that could finde noe other, &illegible; therefore by the ancient common law of England, Treason &illegible; Felony (in case the party that had committed it, could find &illegible; baile) was baileable; And in case the prisonner be long &illegible; should be, detained in prison, and denied to be bailed according the law, the law hath provided a Habeas Corpus[e] for his &illegible; to bring his body and cause up before the Iudges, with a Habeas Corpus is not to be denied to any that craves it, whether he be &illegible; or[f] noe.[g]

And to deny it to any man what ever that craves it, let his &illegible; which he is comitted for be it what it will, is to deny him the benefit of the Law of the Land, for &illegible; the returne of the Habeas Corpus, it doth not Iudicially appeare for what cause he is inprison, but &illegible; on the returne it will appeare: and if upon the returne it doth appeare, that he is &illegible; contrary to the knowne and declared Lawes of the Land; the Iudges are bound by their &illegible; without any more adoe to deliver him whosoever commands to the contrary; And if it appeare, &illegible; he is legally committed for a crime in Law, that is bailable, they are to baile him, and if his &illegible; be not bailable, they are to turne him back from whence he came, and all this clearly &illegible; “by Sir Edward Cooke, upon the 29 chap, of Magna Charta fol. 55. published by your selves &illegible; Law; And by the Iudges answere to the 25 Articles or objections that Richard Bancroft &illegible; bishop of Canterbury, exhibited in the name of the whole Clergy (then high enough) in &illegible; Tearme, in the the third yeer of King Iames, to the Lords of the privy counsell &illegible; the Iudges of the Realme, for incroaching (as they &illegible; upon &illegible; Ecclesiasticall jurisdiction, where in their &illegible; Article, they complaine against the Iudges in Westminster &illegible; that they command and cause the Sheriffe to bring before &illegible; into their Courts, parties so committed by the &illegible; Iudges, to prison, that by the Laws of the Land, they ought not to deliver untill the Ecclesiasticall Courts were satisfied, and yet by their owne discretion set them at liberty; without not &illegible; thereof given to the Ecclesiasticall Iudges, &c. Vnto which al the Iudges of England, and all &illegible; Barrons of the Exchequer, upon mature deliberation & consideration, in Easter Tearme &illegible; with one unanimous consent, “that if the party imprisonned be in Law not bailable, yet we &illegible; [say they] upon complaint to send the Kings Writ [of a Habeas Corpus] for the body and &illegible; cause, And if in the returne no cause, nor no sufficient cause appeare, then we doe [as we &illegible;] set him at liberty; otherwise upon removing the body, the matter appeare to be of Ecclesiasticall cognizance, then we remit him againe, and this we ought to doe in both cases, say &illegible; And in the 22 Article the Clergy complains, “that some of the temporall Iudges are &illegible; to such an innovating humor upon their jurisdiction given them by Law, that they have delivered certaine lewd persons fined and imprisoned by them, for greivous crimes, to &illegible; treading &illegible; Kings supreame Ecclesiasticall authority under their feet: unto which the Iudges answer, &illegible; doe not neither will we in any wise impunge the Ecclesiasticall authority, In any that &illegible; unto it, but if any by the Ecclesiasticall authority commit any man to prison, upon complaint unto us that he is imprisoned without just cause, and if they will not certifie unto &illegible; the particular cause, but generally, without expresing any particular cause, whereby he it &illegible; appeare unto us to be a matter of Ecclesiasticall cognizance, and his &illegible; just, &illegible; we doe and ought to deliver him, and this is their fault, and not ours; and although some &illegible; us have dealt with them to make some such particular Certificate to us, whereby we may be &illegible; to Iudge upon it as by Law they ought to doe, yet they will by no meanes doe it and &illegible; their error is the cause of this, and no fault in us, for if we see not a just cause of the parties imprisonment by them, then we ought, and are bound by Oath to deliver him; And they &illegible; conclude, that the Iudges doing what they ought, and by their Oaths are bound to doe, they are not, nor ought no to be questioned therefore.

And that a Habeas Corpus, is not by law to be denied to any prisonner, whatsoever his crime be, &illegible; whomsoever committed, I further make appeare thus.

First, a man in execution for debt, is by the Law of the Land not bailable, and yet a Habeas Corpus cannot nor ought to be denied[h] to him.

Secondly, a man excommunicated is not baileable by Law, and &illegible; Law a Habeas Corpus cannot nor ought not to be denied to &illegible;[i] such, and soe for all offences whatsoever; And among &illegible; against unjust imprisonment, the Law of the Land &illegible; this remedy amongst many others, as the Writ de homine &illegible; and the Writ &illegible; and the Writ ponendo &illegible; and the Writ of false imprisonment, and an action of &illegible;[k] case, upon a false returne made upon such a Habeas Corpus.

Thirdly, It is against the Iudges Oath to deny it, in which Oath, he sweares to do equall Law &illegible; execution of right to all people, rich or poore, without having regard to any person; and that &illegible; dexy to no man common right, by the Kings letters, nor none other mans, nor for no other &illegible; and in case any letters come to you, contrary to the Law, that ye doe nothing by such letters, &illegible; the King thereof, and proceed to execute the law, not &illegible; the[l] letters.

&illegible; a Habeas Corpus is part of the Law of the Land, which &illegible; Iudges ought to grant to all men that demand them, by whom &illegible; committed, although their crimes be unbaileable. &illegible; the Iudges denying of it to any man whatsoever that craves &illegible; their Oath, by doing of which they forsweare &illegible; and so are liable to be indicted for perjured persons, upon conviction of which they for ever &illegible; their places and are for ever to be uncapable to be Counsellers, &c. as appeares by an act of &illegible; of the 11 H. Rot Parl. no. &illegible; m. not printed in the statute booke, but is printed in the 3 &illegible; instituts fol. 224. 22.

Fourthly; To deny a Habeas Corpus is against Magna[m] Charta, and the Petition of Right made in the third of the King, &illegible; the act that abolished[n] the Starre-Chamber made in the &illegible; of the King, yea against your own declarations, as appeares, &illegible; dec. pag. 6, 8.

Fifth, To deny it, is to rob the people of their declared and &illegible; birthright, viz. the Law of the[o] Land, and so to &illegible; all the ends wherefore we fought in the late Warrs against &illegible; King, which was principally to preserve our Laws and Liberties.

Sixtly, To deny it, is to contemne the declared authority of Parliament, who in all their &illegible; Protestations, Vows, Covenants and Declarations have sworne, Vowed, promised and &illegible; they will maintaine unto the people their Laws and Liberties, and againe and &illegible; imprecated the wrath and vengeance of Heaven to fall upon them when they doe it[p] not solemnly declaring they have no aimes at themselves, but wholly at the publique; &illegible; Habeas Corpus, is an essentiall part of their Laws and &illegible;

And therefore to deny it, is to contemne the Parliaments &illegible; And for then to suffer it, is to render them a &illegible; for sworne men, and so never fit hereafter to be trusted.

But if it shall be objected that if you should maintaine the &illegible; you could not now, or in your by past straights, preserve &illegible; selves and the Kingdome against the King.

To which I answer, there is a great disproportion in &illegible; (and so adjudged by your selves[q] betwixt that Law &illegible; concernes a single person, the King (who had so much caused the Laws to be broken as in &illegible; first Remonstrance you declared before this Parliament as he did) and his prorogative, and betwixt that law that concernes millions of people (that never had a hand in being guilty in &illegible; such thing,) viz. all that are or hereafter shall be in the Kingdome.

And besides, though the people in assisting you against the King, suffered you in the time &illegible; open and denounced warre, to doe, and did themselves, many things that were not consonant to &illegible; strickt letter of the Law of England, walking then in that great extremity by that rule of &illegible; reason, that vniversall safety is above all Law, and that necessity hath no law, which caused them &illegible; present to winke, at the stopping the usuall and ordinary course of justice, and to beare &illegible; many other enormities in you besides, especially in the arbitary proceedings of your illegall &illegible; yet they never assisted you against the King, with any such intention to helpe you &illegible; him or his exorbitant and Tirannicall will, that you should then become their &illegible; Lords and masters (and they your persit vassails and slaves) and tread under your feet their &illegible; and fundamentall Lawes and liberties; and destroy their properties; but rather, that &illegible; might by you, be see in a better condition then you found them, and their Lawes and &illegible; in a purer streame and Channell, by regulating the insufferable exorbitancies of the &illegible; and abridging both the delayes and charges of Law Suites, &c. according to &illegible; promise in your Masculine first Remonstrance 1 Part booke decla page 15. and that at the &illegible; of the warrs (which you in your late declaration against the Scots Commissioners, of the fourth of March, 1647. declare is now at an end page, 5. 16.) they might by you, according to &illegible; many Solemne declarations and ingagements, be put in the full possession and injoyment &illegible; the deare-bought-fruit of all their labours, expences, travells and hazards that they have &illegible; in assisting you in the late warre against the King, principally so their Laws and liberties: &illegible; all this you fully &illegible; your excellent declaration of the 17 of April. 1647. 2 part &illegible; page. 879. where you declare, “It is your intentions and earnest desires to obtaine &illegible; end of the primitive institution of all government, viz. the safety and weale of the &illegible; and though by the necessity of the warres, (you confesse) you have been compelled to &illegible; many irregular things, yet upon the reducement of your affaires; We doe declare (say &illegible; that we will not, nor any by colour of any authority derived from us, shall interrupt the ordinary Courts of &illegible; in the severall Courts and judicators of this Kingdome, nor &illegible; in cases of private interest otherwhere determinable, unlesse it be in case of male &illegible; of justice, wherein we shall see and provide that right be done, and panishment inflicted punishment there shall be occasion, according to the Lawes of the Kingdome, and the Trust reposed in &illegible;

But the warrs are ended, and your affaires (if you by your covetuousnesse and selfishness: (&illegible; deviding the publique treasure against Law, reason and justice amongst your selves] &illegible; them not againe] &illegible; to a very good condition, the ordinary courts of justice being all &illegible; where solv, only, and alone the Law ought to the executed, if not in the least degree pertaining &illegible; House; the executing of the Law making or legislative power, being their proper and &illegible; worke.

And therefore if you would ever be &illegible; for honest men, [who it is commonly said are &illegible; as &illegible; as their words) then it is high time for you to make good your declarations, and &illegible; &illegible; the exercising of all your arbitrary and illegall power in executing Laws, and let the &illegible; and proper Courts of Iustice only doe it, lest the people never give credit to you any &illegible; for men of faith, truth or honesty; but by your tirannising over them and robbing them &illegible; benefit of their Laws, they be necessitously provoked and compelled to rise up against you, &illegible; you for all your cruelty, with the severity exercised upon them, as you have rewarded &illegible; their love, bounty and kindness, towards you; and when you cry out to them for law and &illegible; they Preach unto you your owne doctine, which by soliciter St. Iohn, you preached to the &illegible; of Straford, in his argument of Law against him pag, 70. vizt.

That he in vaine calls for the helpe of the law, that walks contrary unto Law, and &illegible; the Law of like for like he that would not have others to have law, why should &illegible; have any himselfe? Why should not that be done to him, that he himselfe would &illegible; done to another? its true (saith he) we give law to Harts and Deare, &illegible; they be beasts of Chase, but it was never accounted either cruelty or foule play &illegible; Foxes or Wolves on the head, as they can be found, because they be beasts of &illegible; The Warrenner sets traps for Poulcats, and other vermine for preservation &illegible; the Warren.

And that cruell tirant Adoni Bezek, found the righteous God, a just executer of the Law of &illegible; for like upon him, who after his thumbs and his great toes were cut of; said, three score and &illegible; Kings having their Thumbs, and their great toes out off, gathered their meat under my table &illegible; leave done, so God saith the Pagan] hath &illegible; me, Iudges 1. 6, 7. And saith the Apostle &illegible; chap. 2. 13. &illegible; shall have judgement without mercy that hath shewed no mercy.

But Sir if you should object against me, as some ignorant men doe, that your House is above &illegible; &illegible; of the Land, and therefore are not tied by them, nor bound to act according to them.

I answer positively no: you are not in the least above the laws, but while they are Laws and &illegible; they are as binding unto you, as the meanest men in England, and you have no &illegible; of exemption from the lash of them, either for treason, &illegible; of breach of the[r] peace) And excellent well worth observation is that of Sir Ed. Cooke in his 4. &illegible; ch. high Court &illegible; Parli. fol. 37. where speaking of the attainder in Parliament of &illegible; Cromwell Earle of Essex in the 32. H. 8. who by the Parliament was condemsed of high Treason, & yet was never called to answer in any of the Houses &illegible; Parliament: of the manner of whose proceedings against him, he saith, let oblivion take it &illegible; &illegible; it may be, if not, however let silence cover it; for saith he, the more high and absolute the &illegible; of the Court is, the more just and honourable it ought to be in the Proceeding, & to give &illegible; of justice to inferiour Courts, which kinde of proceedings of the Parliament with the &illegible; &illegible; be &illegible; as altogether illegall, and cites the 29. chap. of Magna Charta, &c. &illegible; prove it against the Law of England; and to prove it to be against the Law of God, he &illegible; &illegible; 3. 9. & 18. 21. & Devt. 17. 10. & 19. 15. 17. & Iosh. 7. 19. 20. 12. 23. Iudg. 20. 21. 3. 4. & Iob. &illegible; And that it is against the Law of reason ingraven in the hearts of Heathens the cits Act 25. &illegible; where the very Pagan Magistrates, answer to the lews, when they pressed for judgement &illegible; Paull, “That it is not the manner [or Law] of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused, have the accuser face to face, and have license to answer for himselfe concerning the crime laid against him; who when they were to send him prisoner to &illegible; by the very light of Nature declared, “That it seemed unreasonable, to send a Prisonner and not with all to signifie the crime laid against him, Act. 25. 27. And in fol. 35. ibi. he saith that by Order of Law a man cannot be attained of high treason, unlesse the offence in law be high he ought &illegible; &illegible; be &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; of High &illegible; by authority of Parliament (&illegible; &illegible; time &illegible; been used) &illegible; &illegible; &illegible; ought specially to be &illegible; &illegible; that the &illegible; of Parliament is the highest and most honourable Court of justice, and ought (as hath been said) give example to inferior Courts. And in pap 14. ibim, declaring the danger that &illegible; to the &illegible; when any of the maxims, or fund, mentall Law of the Kingdome is altered, which was great &illegible; Empson and Dudlys rigid, executing that unjust act of Parliament of the 11 H. 7. 3. he hath &illegible; words. A good &illegible; to Parliaments to leave all causes to be measured by the Golden and &illegible; &illegible; of the Law and not to the &illegible; and crooked &illegible; of &illegible; or will or pleasure.

But Secondly, I put a cleare distinction betwixt you Legislative power, and jurisdictive &illegible; and I grant you have a legall proportion of Legislative power inherent in you &illegible; to the present constitution of the Kingdome; to &illegible; those Laws that are amisse, and to make better &illegible; their places, always provided you walke by the rules of common equity and reason, which I positively conceive and Iudge, a Law to all Legislators in the world.

And therefore for you to goe about to punish me, or any other man whatsoever, for any pretended crime whatsoever by an unknowne Law, made after any fact is committed, I am absolutly of opinion is the greatest injustice in the world. And that I illustrate thus.

My action done or acted, is either a crime or no crime, a crime it cannot be, unlesse it be &illegible; transgression of a knowne and declared Law in being before the act done, (so saith the Apostle where there is no Law there can be not ansgression, Rom 4. 15.) and if so, to punish me for that act, which is no crime, or at least was no crime declared when I committed it, or to punish me any other wayes; or by any other manner, then by that law against which I have transgressed is expressed, and prescribed, is the highest of injustice, and the most righteous and justest man in the world, under such principall or tenets, can never be safe, being always in liberty, estate, and life; liable to be leveled or destroyed, by the will, mallice and pleasure of the present swaying grand faction, in which condition a man differs nothing from a brute beast, but a shape. And therefore Mr. Speaker all your Legislative power put forth to make a Law to punish men after their pretended crimes committed: I judge to be the desperatest injustice and wickednesse that ever was committed, or acted in the world, by men that had professed and fought for Law and justice all which are so fully proved, in the 1, 2, 3, 4. pages of Englands birthright, and the 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. pages of the second edition of my epistle to Iudge Reves, and in the 11, 12, 13, 14. pages of Mr. Wildmans Truths Triumph, And in the proem of my late booke, called the people prerogative, and the 12. 13, 14, 15. 16. &c. Sir Iohn Maynards case truly stated, And the Plea of A. B. a Citizen of London published by Lionel Harbin Gentleman pag. 11, 15, 76, 17, 18. That I at present judge it is irrationall to adde any more reasons to justifie them, then to light a candell to the Sun when it shins in its brightnesse.

And therefore Mr. Speaker I earnestly intreat you, and by the duty of your place require you, to communicate these lins to your House, in the conclusion of which I humbly from them desire.

First, to yeild me my two thousand pounds, already adjudged me from my Starr-Chamber (bloody and cruell) judges, or else.

Secondly, if they judge it not proper by law, for the jurisdiction of their House, that they would throw it out of doores, and totally leave it to the common Law. Always provided that I may without interruption, have my legall remedy against the Earle of Salisbury, and old Sir Henry &illegible; my potent and bloody adversaries, who by their inhumane and &illegible; decrees in Starr-Chamber in the yeers 1637. and 1638. &illegible; against[s] me, would have murdered, starved and destroyed me, And.

Thirdly, that your House immediatly give me but one half &illegible; my arreares, that they justly owe me (for the whole) to inable me to live, and follow my businesse, And.

Fourthly, that they adjudge my appeale against the Lords, that so I may &illegible; way or another get my liberty, or else freely and wholy leave me to the common Law, without over awing or terrifying the Iudges from granting me a Habeas Corpus, which I conceive you cannot in the least legally forbid them to be, especially considering by the forementioned act that abolisheth the Starre-Chamber, you have enacted a pennalty, upon all these Judges that shall deny a Habeas Corpus to any that demand it, although committed by the King himselfe; yet the Iudges are there in joyned without delay or any pretence whatsoever to grant it.

And therefore Mr. Speaker, I earnestly intreat you throughly to acquaint your House with my present necessitated desires, and to take some effectuall course, &illegible; by their meanes I may not starve &illegible; Prison, as in the condition I am in &illegible; of necessity in time[t] I must, &illegible; you keep me in prison (and lay no &illegible; at all to my charge) and allow &illegible; not the value of one farthing token to live upon, to keep me, my wife and &illegible; children alive, and yet keep almost three thousand pound of my just and legall right from me, which is now all (after my 11 yeers sad sufferings) I have &illegible; me in the world to pay my debts and to live upon.

But Sir if you and your House will not take some speedy and effectuall course &illegible; my legall releise, seeing that a Habeas Corpus is my right by Law, and seeing the last Tearme I could get never &illegible; Lawyer to move for one for me, although I indeavoured it, as much as if &illegible; life had lain upon it, and yet could &illegible; prevaile with any to venture to doe &illegible; for feare the indignation of your &illegible; or the Grandees of the Army &illegible; destroy[v] them as without &illegible; ground it hath done others, the &illegible; and tyranny of whom doth &illegible; over awe them, of which every &illegible; your selves remarkably &illegible; in the 8 page of your forementioned first Remonstrance; And seeing &illegible; in Prison, I cannot come to the Kings Bench Barr to move for my selfe, if &illegible; House will, doe any thing that is sutable to Law and justice, which is all &illegible; mercy and pitty I crave at your hands, then I must of necessity be &illegible; as you in your great straights did, to cry out to all those, that had any sence of &illegible; honour or honesty, to come in to aide a distressed Stare 1 part be. decl. p. &illegible; earnestly and mournfully, to cry out allowd to all the honest Noune substantive men &illegible; about the City of London, to pitty and &illegible; &illegible; distressed and oppressed estate and condition; and rather then to: after me to &illegible; murdered and starved in Prison by the Tyranny of Cromwell and his &illegible; that have now visably turned their backs of God, (of the Liberties their native Country, of common honestly, humanity and justice) to use &illegible; utmost indeavours to bring me to the Bar of justice, there to receive a &illegible; according to the knowne Law of England for my life, and that justice &illegible; partiallity, mercy, pitty or compassion may be executed upon me, either to &illegible; condemnation or justification, which is &illegible; the favour, pity or compassion crave from all the adversaries I have in the world.

And for that end Mr. Speaker, I shall with all earnestnesse and industry, &illegible; deavour to get as many of them as I can the first day of the next Tearme to &illegible; up by 6 or 7 a clocke in the morning, in person to Westminster hall, &illegible; deliver me a Petition to the Iudges there sitting, in the very following &illegible;

To the Honourable the Iudges of the Kings Bench.

The Humble Petition of Levt. Col. Iohn Lilburne Prisoner in &illegible; Tower of London.


THat your Petitioner is an Englishman, and thereby intailed, and intituled to the &illegible; all the Laws of England which &illegible; your Oaths[x] you are sworne indifferently and &illegible; without feire or partiallity is administer &illegible; to all &illegible; rich and poore, without having regard to any person, notwithstanding any command whatsoever to the contrary.

Now for as much as a Habeas Corpus is part of the Law &illegible; England, and ought not by Law to be denied to any man[y] whatsoever that demands &illegible; which though your &illegible; earnestly indeavoured the last Tearme to obtaine, yet &illegible; prevaile with his Counsell to move for it, although &illegible; hath almost this two yeers been detained in prison in &illegible; Tower of London, without all shaddow of Law or just &illegible; and by the Lievtenant thereof, hath been divorced from &illegible; society of his wife, debarred from the free accesse of &illegible; friends, deprived of the use of Pen, Inke and Paper: all &illegible; usages are against the expresse, Lawes and Statutes of &illegible; Land; your Petitioners birthright and inheritance.

Therefore your Petitioner humbly prayeth, according to his right, and your Oaths, the benefit of a Habeas Corpus (and that he may have it gratis according to the &illegible; of the land and you Oathes) to bring his body and &illegible; before you in open Court, there to receive your award and judgement, according to the declared Law of England.

Iohn Lilburne.

And your Petitioner shall pray, &c.

And now Mr. Speaker I desire to acquaint your House, with my intentions to bring my self up &illegible; Kings bench barre, the first cay of the next Tearme, who I hope will not so far subvert the &illegible; as to goe about to hinder me, but there meet me according to law and justice, with whatsoever they have to lay unto my charge, and not still keepe me in Prison, by will and force of Armes, without laying any crime at all unto my charge, and there think to murder or starve me, unlesse &illegible; stoope to their tyrannicall lusts and wills; which if they doe Mr. Speaker, it is not the &illegible; palpable iniustice that I have undergone by you in particular and them in generall, as I &illegible; evinced and fully proved to your faces in my speech the 19. of Ian. last at your open barre, which you may now reade in my Whip to the House of Lords page 19. 20. 21. 24. 25. 26. But &illegible; shall doe this, then I shall absolutly conclude the levellers, viz. Cromwell and his grandee* faction &illegible; good earnest already de facto levelled all our lawes and liberties, to their own corrupt lusts and wills, and have made England already, to become like Turkey, London like Constantinople, the Army (that was raised to preserve our lawes liberties and freedomes) like the great Turks guard of Jarisaries, that will put all his commands in execution, whether it be right or wrong, And White Hall and the Muse, like the Seralia (in Constantinoppe being the place of Rendezvouz or lodging of the tyrants, mercenary law and liberty destroyers.

For truly Mr. Speaker I must say and &illegible; it that Mr. Oliver Cromwel hath destroyed all our lawes and liberties and properties, and set up an absolute tyrannicall arbitrary Government by sword (and principally over all those that have fought in the sincerity of their hearts for the Parliament and their Country) for worse then ever Strafford or &illegible; attempted to doe, for which they lost their heads, who yet in comparison to &illegible; were but fooles and chickins, scarce daring to think what &illegible; &illegible; executed and acted. But Mr. Speaker if you would know the reason, why I doe not call him Leivt. Gen. Cromwell, it is &illegible; I would correct a vulgar cheat amongst the people, which of right take him now to be &illegible; Gen. to the Army, when as indeed and in truth he is no such thing rightfully; for &illegible; the &illegible; of the present Generalls Army by the self denying (alias cheating) Ordinance, no member of either House was to have any Office in the Army, yet at the speciall desire of divers &illegible; petitioners in London (who now are by Cromwell christened Levellers) & the General & his Councell of War, the Parliament by speciall Ordinance made Mr. Cromwell Leivt. Gen. of the &illegible; that Army for six moneths (reserving still for ought I ever could hear, the sole making of Generall Officers (of the Army) in their own hands, and never gave it in the least to the &illegible; and after the expiration of the six moneths, continued him by an other speciall Ordinance &illegible; six moneths longer, but I could never heare that after the expiration of that six moneths they &illegible; it againe; And if they did (which I confidently believe the contrary,) yet I am sure &illegible; a yeare agoe, he, (and at I remember all the rest of the Colonells in the Army, that were &illegible; made members of the House) were by speciall Ordinance taken from their commands in the Army, so that I am confident I may safely and positively cal him a palpable usurper, of his &illegible; place and Office of Leivt. Gen. of the Army; and if so, then he is no better them a Robber, and a Theif, in forcing money from the Parliament and People (as he hath done, for his pay; and ought in equity and justice at least to make restitution of every penny he hath taken since he &illegible; cashiered, and hereafter to retire out of the Army (that Soldier being no better then a foole &illegible; will obey him) and take no more.

Nay he is not only a Theife, a Robber and usurper but he is an absolute murderer too. which I &illegible; maitain upon my life to prove him to be at the Kings bench bar, and there or at the Assises &illegible; &illegible; sheire he may and ought by the declarad law of England to be indicted, and ought in justice, law and conscience to loose his life for that wilful, malicious premeditated and forethought of &illegible; that he committed upon the Soldier of my brother Col. Robert Lilburnes Regiment, for Mr. Cromwell being indeed and in truth no Officer but a palpable usurper, had not the least shaddow or colour to meddle to adiudge the Soldier to death or cause him to be shot for any &illegible; marshal crime whatsoever, but.

Secondly, if Mr. Oliver Cromwell should prove himself an Officer of the Army then, (which I am consident he never &illegible; or legally doe,) yet that would doe him no good to save his life for that murder, for it being done in a time of peace and not of warre [although an Army be upin in the Kingdome] and all the ordinary Courts of justice free and open, where law and iustice &illegible; spenced and administred according to its usuall manner, where only and alone all Soldiers as well as all other Englishmen, that are no Soldiers ought by the law of this land to be punished and no where else, the law having made particular provision therefore, yea almost for every crime that in time of peace, is imaginable a Soldier can commit, all which is fully proved in the 11. pag of the forementioned Plea of A. B Citizen of London, and in my forementioned book called the Peoples prerogative. pag 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, but especially pag 53, 54. and in the 55, 56. pages thereof, you may read my letter which I sent to Windsor to the Generall, the 23. Decemb. 1647. by way of challenge, to all the Officers in his Armie, to dispute that point with them before the Generall, viz. that it now being time of peace be nor his Counsell of Was cannot by Marshall Law put any man whatsoever (Souldier &illegible;) to death, but it is absolute murther. And is so declared by your own authoritie in &illegible; premitive puritie and virginitie, in the 3. part of the Lord Cooks institutes, chapter of murder, fol. 52. Where he positively declares, it hath in law been often so resolved, and there gives &illegible; and undeniable reasons for it, and I am sure the Earle of &illegible; paid for it to the purpose. And therefore Mr. Speaker I doe absolutely conclude Mr. Oliver Cromwell to be a murderer, with which I now charge him, and require you as you will hereafter answer it, to a quaint your house that J doe hereby require him at their hands as a murderer of a Souldier of Co. Ko. Lilburnes Reg. neer Waire, this last Winter, 15. No. 1647. called Rich. Arnell, And that they forthwith commit him as a murderer, to prison, without Baile or &illegible; according to the law of the land, and I Iohn Lilburne am ready to enter into &illegible; according to Law, to prosecute him, and to make good the charge upon my life against him, by way of indictment according to the known law of the land, either at the Kings bench bar in Westminster Hall, or else at Hartford Assises.

Sir you may please to remember, that at your open barr the 19. of Ian. last, I delivered a formall impeachment against him, and his sonne in Law the pretended Comissary Gen. Ireton, being the very same things but in a farie transcendent nature, that they positively accused Mr. Hall is &c. of reason for; And I offered before you all (as you very well know) upon my life so make it good, and am still ready and willing to doe it, but the justice you did the kingdome was to commit me to prison for my faithfulnesse and therefore truly Sir, J must in good earnest tell you, that my urgent oppressing necessitie, and your, & Sir Henry Vaine, and Cromwels, unparraleld &illegible; toward me are so great and transcendent, that unlesle I speedily injoy, and really possesse some effectuall justice from you, J must be compeld to throw all care and seare aside, and pluck up the same resolution in reference unto you, that I did toware’s the Bishops after they had caused to give me upon the 18. of Aprill 1638. with knotted cords 500. stripes in lesse then 2. boures time, and set me upon the pillorie imediatly after, and there put a gag in my mouth for an boure and a halfe to the almost renting my iawes in sunder, and imediatly after this, in the common &illegible; of the Fleete laid me in Irons upon both my armes and legs, night and day, all which was done unto me by the bloody and wicked decree of mercilesse and &illegible; Sir Henry Vaine Senior, and the Earle of Salsbury, Lord Chiefe Iustice Bramston, & c. at which time J sent Canterbury and there it of his bloody brethren word, that for all that, they had caused to be done unto me, or could farther doe unto me, I was not in the least afraid of them, for J neither feared an Axe at Tower Hill, nor a Stake in Swithfield, nor a Halter at &illegible; nor whipping at a Carts arsse, nor a &illegible; in the Palace yard, nor gagging, nor cutting of eares and nose, nor burning in the fore head and decks, nor yet banishment with Iohn to &illegible; For I verily believe if you should send me thither I shall there find Christ, which by his spirit will unfold the revelation unto me, and then I would write it and send it abroad into the world, which would vex you as il as Sampson did the Philistims, ad prove as fatall to your decaying, tottering, spirituall, &illegible; Anti-Christian Kingdome, as his Foxes with fire brands at their tayles, were to the Philistims Corne. And therefore at you loue &illegible; almost ruinated Kingdome, looke to it, and know that the faster you kick, the harder J will spur you, and the more you fling the claser I will stick and cleave fast unto you, for you are plants (which I groundedly know) the Lord never planted, and therefore undoubtedly be will pluck you &illegible; Mat. 15. 13. And therefore by the might power and strength of my God. Psal. 118. 14 Esay &illegible; 2. who is the worker of all my workes in me, and for me, Esay 26 12. I am resolved come life one death, seeing you by force have called me to it, to shew my self valiant for the truth of God, &illegible; 9. 3. which message Mr. Speaker you may read in the 34. pag of my book called, Come out of &illegible; my people, printed at Amsterdam, 1639.

And truly Mr. Speaker, if you compell and force me to such a course, J shall deale ingeniously with you, and acquaint you before hand, with my epistle J writ to the Apprentices of London upto the 10 of May, 1639. the copy of which I shall hereunto annex, the effects of which was like to have saved &illegible; the Hang man a labour, in reference to the Bishop of Canterbury, the like of which in reference to you and Cromwell, &c. I shall not feare to write againe, and set my credit upon the tenter hooks, if it be possible to get money to print enough to send all over England, &illegible; the issue be what it will, I can but dye, and say I, better any way, then to be murdered and &illegible; by you in a bose and a corner in silence. But I am confident I shall fix such a charge upon Cromwell, &c. as shall clearly make them apparent to be the arrantest Iuglers, Dissemblers, Hypocrites, Apostates, and Lyars, that ever breathed in the world, that professed honesty,(a) and sincerity, yea to be tyrannicall monsters in comparison of Strafford, and Canterbury, who were estecmed bad enough in their generation.

For though the Earle of Strafford caused to be condemned the Lord Mount Norris, a Member of the Irish Army, by Marshall Law, over which Army the Earle was Generall by lawfull Commission, which act of his notwithstanding, was &illegible; &illegible; against by your house as an act of treason in &illegible; the law, which act was strongly pressed upon him as a most hainous crime, by Mr. Glyn, decorder of London, and a member of your house being assigned so to doe by you, to which he made a more notable defence for himself by a thousand degrees, then J am confident Cromwell is able to make to justifie his Martiall Law actions, whose defence you may partly read in a printed &illegible; thereof, printed 1647 pag 11, 12, 13.

Yet though he were esteemed very bad in his generation, he never had so much impudence, to &illegible; with, trendeavour to condemne to death a meer Commoner, as Mr. Cromwell hath done in the case of William Thompson a meer Commone, as he hath fully proved himself to be, in his &illegible; and impartiall printed relation, dated from White Hall the 12. March, 1647. whom upon the &illegible; Fol. 1647. he took from the House of Commons doore, and most illegally by word of mouth, adsorce of Armes committed prisoner to his Mercinary &illegible; at Whitehall, where to the &illegible; levelling & subverting of Magna Charta, and the Petition of Right, &c. he hath passed upon him a sentence by Marshall Law, to be shot to death, and your House (who should be the preservators and conservators of the lawes and liberties of England) take no notice of the poore mans dying condition, to redecem him as you ought in duty and conscience to doe, out of the churches of that grand Vsurper and Tyrant Cromwell, and to punish him, &c. severely therefore, but by your &illegible; you rather seem to justifie that murdering and tyrannicall action, yea and so carrie you &illegible; in it, as though you were resolved without check or comptroule, to give him leave to murder and destroy all the honest men in England at his will and pleasure, that he beares a &illegible; the full discovery of the evill consequence of which single president of Thompson, will be word the Kingdome, knowledge, which in due time to your eternall shame amongst men, it may be &illegible; may enjoy, which is may be may in time bring Cromwell for all his arbitrarie proceedings again and subvertion of the fundamentall law of the land, to the punishment of Empson and Dudley Privie Consellours to Henry 7. who yet had an Act of Parliament to authorise their proceedings of whom and their arraignments and ends, you may read in the 2 part institutes fo. 51. and &illegible; part. fo. 208. and 4. part fo. 41, 196, 197, 198. and in Iohn Speeds Cronicles, &illegible; 978, 983.

But Sir, before J totally conclude, I cannot but acquaint you, what a lving, desperate, &illegible; malicious design, Cromwell some moneths agoe had to destroy me, and take away my life, who &illegible; his mercenary Emisaries, Paul Hobson, and Lievt. Col. H. L. groundlesly raised a &illegible; all over the Army, that I had told the foresaid Leivt. Col. that some of the late Agents had a design or intention to murder and kill the King, which was and is the most notoriousest and &illegible; in the world, for I doe protest before men and Angels, I never said any such thing in all &illegible; life to any man breathing, nor never was so told from any of the Agents or any of their friend &illegible; and I will iustifie what I now say with my life, against any man breathing that shall have so &illegible; basenesse and impudency to affirme the contrary against me, viz. that ever be heard me &illegible; words, yet upon this complotted and contrived lye of Cromwell, and his pencionary creatures (for no other can I iudge it) be writ his Letter to Col. whaty, the Kings Gaoler at &illegible; Court, that he had certain intilligence of the Agents intent to murder and kill the King, &illegible; letter whaley shewed to the King, upon which false suggestion and lye of Cromwell and his consederates own framing, the King sled (no doubt with Cromwells privitie, knowledge, and good &illegible; king) into Cromwells mouse trap in the Isle of Whight, and after his departure it was bruited &illegible; Cromwells instruments, all up and down the Armie, City, and Country, that J was the original reporter of it, from whence to the hazard of my life they drew this inference, viz. That Iohn &illegible; in the Tower, who pretendedly stood so much for law and iustice, was one of the Conspirator to kill or murder the King, without all shadow of law, and further said, that he that without &illegible; collour of law would not stick to have a hand in murdering the King, would not stick without &illegible; collour of law, if he had power in his hands, to destroy all those that stood in his &illegible; &illegible; by measuring me by their own practises, and by their own principles, laid down by their &illegible; Solicitor St. Iohn, in his plea, of Law against the Earle of Strafford) and therefore it is necessarie (said they) to keep him fast in the Tower, & this, or the substance of it with much confidence &illegible; reported by men of qualitie to divers desperate &illegible; on(b) purpose (as I cannot but conceive) to set them &illegible; me to stab me or cut my throat, some of whom told me of &illegible; againe, protesting they could not believe that report of &illegible; but I wondered and stood amazed from whence it should &illegible; rise, having for my self protested againe and againe upon many discourses with my friends, &c that J could never see &illegible; law in being in England to inable the two Houses of Parliament it selfe, to draw up a charge or impeachment &illegible; the King, to inable them formally and judicially to try &illegible; for his life, either for willfull murder or misgovernment, &c. and to take away his life by a law made expost &illegible; I then declared, and for my part still &illegible; thinke is not just, And an impeachment by the Parliament, which they iudged legall was &illegible; highest that ever I knew any man to attempt(c) or desire) &illegible; I could never learn perfectly till I lately spoke to him of &illegible; that were in prison at Windsor, and see and read &illegible; petition to their Generall, earnestly to presse and desire &illegible; to search into the bottome of that false and groundlesse &illegible; which its believed usurping, tyrannising, Cromwell, would never suffer him to doe, be being &illegible; Lord and Master, a copy of which petition you may read at large in the 52. pag. of my &illegible; book, called the Peoples prerogative, but I must take a fit time of purpose to discover &illegible; this desperate plot of Cromwell, and his associates against my life, and the reputation, and &illegible; of the gallant and honest Agents, and their Noun Substantive Associates, who by him and &illegible; fellow Tyrants, are nicknamed and baptized Lovellers, which title (as I have in my last &illegible; book fully proved) is only proper for himself, and his fellow granders, who have already actually Levelled all our liberties, lawes, properties, and lives, to their tyrannicall, law lesse wills and &illegible; so that really the quandom free men of England, cannot say they can injoy any of them, larger then the Grandees will and please, yet to that hight of tyranny are they grown in the very &illegible; that even in the Generalls Regiment of Horse, some of their weather cock Mercinary Officers, have already commanded the Souldiers, not to goe or ride a &illegible; out of their quarters without leave at their perils, not to talke nor discourse of newes, or of state affaires, with any &illegible; or Souldier, so that if they doe a little longer proceed as they have already begun, verily, &illegible; Englishmen shall not differ from bruit beast but in shape, and shall be worse then ever &illegible; &illegible; a were in that tyrannicall age of William the Conquerer, whose tyranny, is lively set forth in the beginning of that notable book called Regal Tyranny, a true parallell of which, if I have &illegible; more imployment then I find in a prison, may shortly be the worke of my pen, but at present I shall take my leave of you, desiring now at last for you if it be possible you may turne honest and &illegible; me some justice, before feare, vengeance, and iudgement sweep you from off the land &illegible; of the living, to the place of recompence of all Tyrants and oppressors, and so I rest.

from my most illegall, and murdering imprisonment it the Tower of &illegible; this 4. April, 1648. going in the eight yeare of my &illegible; expecting justice from the House of Commons, who now make it their principall study and worke, to cheat and deceive the poore people of the Kingdome of their money, in &illegible; it for other pretences, and then share and devide it by thousands and ten thousands amongst themselves, and suffer the poore Widowes and Orphants, that have lost their husbands and &illegible; in the wars, (and have long waited at their doores for their deare bought wages, without &illegible; reliese or compassion) to dye and starve for hunger and cold, whose blood cryes loud in the &illegible; of the Lord of hosts for wrath and &illegible; upon them.

Yoors to serve you (if you would
but faithfully serve your native Country) till death, Iohn Lilburne,
that neither feares a Tyrant
nor loves an Oppressor.

The forementioned Letter to the Apprentices of London thus followeth:

To all the brave, couragious, and valiant Apprentizes of the honourable City of London, but especially those that appertain to the worshipfull Company of Clothworkers, (of which company, if J live I hope to be a Free man.)

THe kind and heartie salutation, together with the &illegible; deplorable complaint of me Iohn Lilburne, a most miserable, distressed, and cruell, oppressed, exceeding close prisoner in the Common &illegible; of the Fleet, against all law, equitie, iustice and conscience, in which condition I am like to be murthered and devoured, in my innocency, and for my courage and boldnesse for my Prince and Country, against the Capitall and open enemies thereof, the &illegible; Prelates and their most wicked confederate, and for my love to the welfare, and prosperitie of all my faithfull fellow-Subiects &illegible; Apprentizes.

WOrthy fellow Prentizes it is a Maxim in mortality, that the glory of the great and Soveraigne Creator, and the Common good of &illegible; Kingdom or City, ought to be preferred before a mans own particular liberty or welfare.

The knowledge and consciousnesse of which, hath made me for the glory of my God, the good of my Country, and the future good of you my fellow Prentizes, to abdicate all, and hazard and jeopard my estate, hopes, and fortunes in his world (which in outward liklihood would have been no small portion) yea my sweet life and liberty. For being banished from my Masters service (who liveth neare Londonstone) in June or July next will be two yeares; for no offence nor trespas in the world but only because the Prelats knew that I was a familiar acquaintance and Visiter of that Noble and renowned D. Bastwick, who stood out valiantly, bravely and couragiously against them, for the honour of his God, the good of his Prince and Country, and the prosperity of you my fellow Prentizes.

My exilement was into Holland, where I spent my time, not like a drone, but for the welfare of England, and all true hearted English men, I both with my purse and person laboured both night and day, for the accomplishment of which, I both early and late without wearinesse, travelled without the assistance of any mans purse but my owne, and my industry, by boat, and shiping by water, and on my feet by land, of which the enemies here to the King and State being informed by their Scouts in Holland they out of mallice, and envie at me for my good service to this land, at my coming over againe cast me in the Gate house prison in Decemb. last was 12. Moneths, but as the Lord ordered it by his overruling providence, it was for a thing I was cleare of (as I truly declared unto the Nobles, and Peere; of the land when I was before them)[a] yet they kept me wrongfully in Prison ever since; against all law iustice equity, and conscience, exercising such bloudy tyranny, murdering cruelty, devouring oppression (in laying me in Irons, keeping me 15. months together closs Prisoner keeping my victuals & friends from me, & beating threatning & most shamfully abusing those that came to see me & relieve me, threatning & exercising cruelty upon the poor Prisoners, that but seem to favour & pitty me) that the like example of cruelty I dare maintain it, is not to be found among the Heathent, and pagans, Turkes and Infidels, (as I have truly in my late grievous lamentaced and just complaint to the right honourable the Lord Major of the City of London intituled A Cry for Justice and the right worshipfull Aldermen his brethren, and all the rest of the grave and worthy Citizens published and which I have more largely in 3. severall bookes in print, being forced by unheard cruelty thereunto) declared and published unto the view of England, Scotland, Ireland and Holland, which if you be pleased to inquire after, you may meet with in the City.

But now to come to the thing, I desire of you my fellow Apprentizes, it is but thus much, that &illegible; I am in the hands and custodie of corrupt cruell, oppressing, murthering, poysoning, starving &illegible; Hangmen jaylors (as I have truly declared in my last weeks complaint before named &illegible; Coppy of which I have sent you) and seeing all hopes of lively hood is taken away from me &illegible; that I now live and subsist by the miraculous power and providence of the great omnipotent &illegible; of Heaven and earth. And I having had a grievous and dangerous sicknesse well nigh these 11. moneths by reason of my cruell whiping, to the number of at least 500. strips;[b] and long lying in Irons upon both hands, and leggs night and day, with other barbarous tyranny and cruelty: and seeing that now my friends are not suffered to come at me, to look to me in my weaknesse nor bring me victualls, and I daring not to eate any for feare of being poysoned (as I truly told the Warden not many dayes agoe) but what my owne friends deliver into my own hand, in regard severall Prisoners have here been poysoned and other murthered, for one of which Murcy my upper keeper was arraigned at Newgate, and my under keeper hath been a Hangman, being fittest for that imployment, being of such a doged churlish and cruell disposit on that he seemes to be a man without humanity.

&illegible; is consideration of all the premises, (most worthy fellow Apprentizes) with multitudes of &illegible; deplorable grievances, which time will not suffer me to let down, I being now out of all &illegible; hopes, if you get not speedy redresse for me, but that shortly my life and blood in cruell &illegible; imprisonment will be shed and taken away.

Threfore my earnest and importunate request & desire unto you, (my loving fellow Apprentizes) is but this, that you would be pleased to take my aforesaid, iust and miserable complaints &illegible; I have sent you, and by hundred or thousands goe in a faite and peaceable way in my &illegible; to the honourable Lord Maior of this City, and define him that at it may be read to him in &illegible; hearing, and importune him without rest, that J may be forthwith removed out of this &illegible; Prison, to any other prison in the City for the safty of my life, where if I may have but &illegible; liberty of a faithfull subiect which my supported innocency doth challenge for me, and which &illegible; Lawes of my Soveraign Lord King CHARLES doth afford unto me, I will put in sufficient &illegible; without exception for my safe imprisonment, to answer at all times, whatsoever shall be &illegible; against me, by the mightiest and potentest of my enemies.

&illegible; take notice of this, that for my own part (God is my witnes) I doe not send unto you to &illegible; a tumult, or uproare, that so, for feare of the Law, and the rigor of justice for my offence, J &illegible; escape by flight, and so save my life, no, J scorne now to &illegible; for I was never barne to be &illegible; &illegible; for to flie, and my unspotted and untainted innocencie is such that I dare with inward peace &illegible; boldnesse abide the touchstone, and the extremitie of the Law, and a publike tryall before the &illegible; potentate in England, for I desire no mercie nor favour at any of my adversaries hands, &illegible; only the benefit of my Soveraigns Lawes, and in the maintaining of my innocency. I doe here &illegible; it, that if I had absolute libertie to goe whether I please, J would &illegible; to flie, for I &illegible; by the might and strength of my God, for the honour of my King and Country, and &illegible; good of future generations, to fight it out so long as I have a legge to stand on, and to wage &illegible; warre so long as I have drop of blood in my &illegible; with the domestick and home &illegible; &illegible; of the King and State, for I have a Souldiers heart within my innocent breast. And with my &illegible; adversaries, the &illegible; of which is the devill, that devouring Lyon, and the Prelate of &illegible; that guilty Traytor, (as upon the losse of my life I will maintains) and with the Lord &illegible; coventry, that uniust and unrighteous Iudge (that passed a wicked and unlawfull censure &illegible; me) and My &illegible; those murthering, poysoning starving, and grand &illegible; against all &illegible; which by the strength of God, (if I live) I will prosecute the Law for all my &illegible; sustained &illegible; them.

Oh! therefore my fellow Apprentizes, I cry out unto you, to provoke you to zeale for God, &illegible; his glory, and to courage and boldnes to stand for liberties and priviledges, which are granted &illegible; us by the Parliament lawes of this Land, against the wicked Prelates supported with the power assistance of the unjust Lord keeper.

My hope is I shall not need to presse you with multiplicity of arguments (oh my fellow Prentizes) to fulfill my forced desire in regard it was so just and equall, and in regard I am like to be &illegible; for innocency, and eye for eye, tooth for tooth, skin for skin, and all that a man &illegible; will be give for his life, for the safty of which I am pressingly forced to send in this &illegible; unto you.

The fulfiling of what I desire you, cannot in the least, lay ye open to the punishment or &illegible; of Justice, in regard my iust complaint doth arise from lawlesse oppression, and wrong, for &illegible; liverance from which I have already used exceeding much faire, peaceable and lawfull &illegible; from time to time, without intermission, with multitudes of humble petitions both to the &illegible; and the Nobles joyntly, and severally, yea and with mornfull petitions supplicated the &illegible; Queen of Bohemia to solicite the King her Brother about me, which I caused to be seat to &illegible; friends; and acquaintance at the Hage, to be delivered to her; but by reason of the greatnesse &illegible; the Prelate of Canterbury, and the Lord Keeper, and the Warden of the Fleet (from all of which &illegible; have suffered the height of misery and wrong, I can have no redresse or answer to any of them &illegible; they daily load me with more and more cruelty, for my complaining of purpose to take away &illegible; life for my unspoted innocency,

Wherefore unto all you stout and valiant Prentizes, I cry out murther, murther, murther &illegible; murther, wherefore as you pitty the most miserable and deplorable codition of me who an &illegible; stout and coragious (though sore) afflcted fellow Prentize, give the Lord Major no rest, till &illegible; by the assistance of the noble Lord protector, fullfill my just and equall desire, that so my &illegible; blood may be preserved, that I may live in future time, to doe my King and Country &illegible; this honourable and noble City, of which I am a most oppressed member, faithfull and true &illegible; which if I were delivered from my cruell condition, and were well of my weaknesse &illegible; sicknesse which I have had for many moneths together, were able to doe, if need did require, &illegible; with sword or Pen. For if I have a good cause to ground my quarrell &illegible; ‘I durst venture to combat with any man whatsoever, that steps upon the ground &illegible; perished in the battell, for my Mother did not beare me to be a Coward, or a Son of base &illegible; slavish feare.

Now if you should inquire what I am, I truly answer in the expression of the world, ‘I am &illegible; second Son of a Gentle man in the North parts of England, 200. miles from hence, &illegible; of an ancient and worshipfull Family (according to the estimation of the world) and about &illegible; and two yeares of age: whose predecessors have been men of valour, and did with their &illegible; good service to that noble Prince Henry the 8. at the conquest of Bulloign in France, and &illegible; Father in his youthfull dayes in his service at the Court, ware a gold Chain as the badge and &illegible; very of an Illustrious and Noble Earl of this land.

‘And for my Mother she was a Courtier borne, bred, and brought up, where she ended her &illegible; whose Father &illegible; Houshold Officer to that famous Queen Elizabeth, and afterwards to &illegible; King James. But alas, alas my kindred, though some of them be rich and great in the &illegible; have all long since left me, in regard of the greatnesse of my adversaries whose power they &illegible; straid of, and I have not one of them to stand by me: wherefore if my fellow Apprentizes &illegible; not now at a pinch lend me some spedie help, now my life lyes at the stake, and it like every &illegible; to be taken away by bloody Gaolers in the Fleet, I am like in a few dayes to perish in my &illegible; condition, for verily there is but a step betwixt me and death.

So remembring my kindest love unto you all, desiring speedily to heare from you, and &illegible; good successe you have, I commit you to God and rest.

Your faithfull, stout and couragious fellow Apprentize (though now in the depth of &illegible; and distresse) Iohn Lilburne.

From the murdering prison called the Fleet, the cruellest Geole I think this day under the &illegible; he 10, day of this 5. moneth of May, in the yeare of remembrances 1639.


 [a ] As you may readin my late printed speech, called a Whip for the present house of Lords, pag. 14, 15, 16, 17. and which is absolutly and fully proved by Mr. Lionel &illegible; in his plea the 17. present for the imprisoned Aldermen of London, &c. pag, 11, 15, 16, 17,

 [b ] in the 2 part instit. fol. 42, 43, also fol. 186, 189, 515 and 1 part instit. lib. 3, chap, 7. Sect. 438. fol. 260. the oppressed mans oppressions declared pa. 1. 3. 4. & a Whip for the Lords pag, 2, 25.

 [c ] 4 E. 3. chap, 2, prined in the peoples prerogative pag. 6.

 [d ] See 3. Ed. 1. 15. printed in tho peoples P. pag. 6.

 [e ] See 2 part instit. fol. 186. 189.

 [f ] See 2 H. 5. ch. 2. & 11, ch. 10. Pettion of Right in the C. R. bag case 11. part works reports & 2. p. insti. fol. 615. 616.

 [g ] which you may read at large in the 2. part instit. fol. 191, 602. to fol. 618.

 [h ] 2 H. 5, ch. 2. and 11. H. 6. chap. 10.

 [i ] 2. part insti. fol. 614. 615. 616.

 [k ] See 2. part insti. fol. 42. 43. 53. 55. 187.

 [l ] See his Oath at large printed in Pultons coll. of &illegible; fol. 154. and my late booke called the peoples prerogative pag. 10.

 [m ] bide 2. part insti. fol. 53. 55.

 [n ] both which you may read in the people perrogative page 1, 2, 3, 23, 24, 25.

 [o ] 1 part &illegible; dec. page 7. &illegible; 39, 77, 201, 278, 459, 650, 660, 845.

 [p ] See and compare together 1 part bo. decl. p. 17. 18, 214, 264-266, 267. 340. 462, 464. 466. 473, 588-666, 673, 690. 750.

 [q ] 1 part boo. decl. 205, 266, 276, 687, 690, 700.

 [r ] 4 part insti. chap. high Cou. Parli. fol. 25. 1 part boo. decl. p. 48. 278.

 [s ] Which bloody sentences you may at large read 1, 2, 3, 4. p. of my relation before the Lords Feb. 13. 1645.

 [t ] See my lamentable complaint made at your Barr in my speed &illegible; the 29 &illegible; 1647. called a Whippe for the Lords pag. 20. 21. 22.

 [v ] For I know and am able to prove it that whem Cromwell and his confederates accused the eleven Members of Treason, they had all their matter in a manner against them to seek, and I will prove to this effect to Crumwells face, that when by the Counsell, &c. it was demanded of him, both at St. Albons, and Colbraeke what he had against Sir Iohn Maynard, he positively answered he at present did not well know, but he was a busie prating man, and therefore must be in, that soe he might be taken out of the way.

 [x ] Which is printed in Pultons col. of Statutes fol. 144. and the people prorogative p. 10.

 [y ] See 2 H. 5. cha. 2 Petition of Right 3. C R. the act that abolisheth ship money 17. C. R. 2 part insti. fol. 53. 55. 65. 615 616. See 26. ch of Magna Charta and Sir Ed. Cooke exposition upon it, fol. 42 & 3 Ed. 1. ch. 26. and the exposition upon it in 2 part insti. fol. 210. and the Statute of the 11 H. 4 Nu. 28. not printed in the Stat. book but is printed in the 3 pt. insti. fol. 146. 224. 225.

 [* ] For in my Whip &illegible; the Lords I have &illegible; proved that fact &illegible; the absolutest Le &illegible; in England, &illegible; those honest men &illegible; nick-name &illegible; to be the &illegible; supporters of &illegible; and property in the whole Kingdome page 2 3.

 [† ] For I am sure the End of Strafford was generall of an Army in Ireland by legall Commission, and did but doe that which, many generalls there before him had done, and by Martiall law caused the Lord Mount-Norris to be condemned to dye, and by this Parliament he was therefore strongly impeached of treason, and amongst other things lost his head therefore, and yet the Lord-Mount Norris is alive to this day, but the Soldier condemned by Cromwell an Vsurper is shot to death in the time of full peace, Ergo. he undeniably deserves to dye.

 [(a) ] Which is already prittie well done in those two looks called Putney Proiects, and Westminster proiect.

 [(b) ] And yet at the same time Cromwels agents and instruments amongst honest men in London, reported me to be an absolute Cavilier, and stuck not with confidence to declare J was commonly &illegible; with Judge Ienkins, &c. in the Tower, hoping thereby to destroy my reputation amongst honestmen for ever.

 [(c) ] But yet in reason and equity J cannot apprehend a reason, why a King (who is but a &illegible; creature as well as any other man, and at most is but a Magistrate of trust) for murder, &illegible; &illegible; not be as liable to punishment amongst men, as any other man, (though I confesse I &illegible; could see any thing by the Law of England to declare the King of England so) for this I &illegible; sure of, God the Supream King, never created any man whatsoever lawlesse, which he must &illegible; be, that is free and above the punishment of all law, and I am sure nature and reason &illegible; me to hold or tye my Fathers hands, (at least) it with them he should doe so unnaturall &illegible; as to goe about to destroy me, and therefore seeing in my apprehension there is a defect in &illegible; particular in the Law of England, I shall for the future wish, desire, and endeavour by all &illegible; and iust wayes and moanes, that all whatsoever may be bounded by law, and subject to &illegible; punishment of the Law, prosessing before all the world, that J know nothing that makes a &illegible; a Magistrate over me but law, and while he walkes by the rules of that Law which make him &illegible; Magistrate, I shall own him as a Magistrate, but when he tramples it under his feet, and walkes &illegible; the law of his own will, I for my part in such a condition cannot own him for a Magistrate.

 [[a] ] see my examinations and defence at the Star-Chamber barre &c. called the Christian mans tryall reprinted by William Larnar at the black boy in Bishops gate street.

 [[b] ] Which with much &illegible; was punctually &illegible; before the &illegible; upon oath the &illegible; Feb. 1645. &illegible; &illegible; printed relation &illegible; you may &illegible; page. 3. 4.

5.11. Sir Robert Filmer, The Anarchy of a Limited or Mixed Monarchy (10 April, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

Sir Robert Filmer, The Anarchy of a Limited or Mixed Monarchy. Or, A succinct examination of the fundamentals of monarchy, both in this and other kingdoms, as well about the right of power in kings, as of the originall or naturall liberty of the people. A question never yet disputed, though most necessary in these times.

Lucan. Lib. 3. Libertas (–) Populi quem Regna cohercent Libertate Perit: – Neq, enim libertas gratior ull est Quam Domino servire bono. Cladian.

Printed in the year, 1648.

Estimated date of publication

10 April, 1648.

Thomason Tracts Catalog information

TT1, p. 611; Thomason E. 436. (4.).

Editor’s Introduction

(Placeholder: Text will be added later.)

Text of Pamphlet

The Preface.

WE do but flatter our selves, if we hope ever to be governed without an Arbitrary power. No: we mistake, the question is not, whethher there shall be an Arbitrary power; but the only point is, who shall have that Arbitrary power, whether one man or many: there never was, nor never can be any people governed without a power of making Laws, and every power of making Laws must be Arbitrary: for to make a Law according to Law, is contradictio in adjecto: It is generally confessed that in a Democratie, the Supream or Arbritrary power of making Laws is in a multitude; and so in an Aristocracy the like Legislative or Arbitrary power is in a few, or in the Nobility. And therefore by a necessary consequence in a Monarchy the same Legislative power must be in one; according to the rule of Aristotle, who saith, Government is in One, or in a Few, or in Many.

This antient Doctrine of Government, in these latter daies hath been strangly refined by the Romanists, and wonderfully improved since the reformation especially in point of Monarchy, by an opinion that the people have originally a power to create severall sorts of Monarchy, to limit and compound them with other formes of Government, at their pleasure.

As for this naturall power of the people, they find neither Scripture, reason, or practice to justifie it: for though severall Kingdomes have severall and distinct Laws one from an other: yet that doth not make severall sorts of Monarchy: Nor doth the difference of obtaining the Supreame power, whether by Conquest, election, succession, or by any other way make different sorts of Government. It is the difference onely of the Authors of the Laws, and not of the Laws themselves that alters the forme of government, that is, whether one man, or more then one make the Laws.

Since the growth of this new doctrine of the Limitation and Mixture of Monarchy, it is most apparent that Monarchy hath bin crucified (as it were) between two Theeves, the Pope and the People; for what principles the Papists make use of for the power of the Pope above Kings; the very same by blotting out the word Pope, and putting in the word People, the Plebists take up to use against their Soveraignes.

If we would truly know what Popery is, we shall find by the Lawes, and Statutes of the Realme, that the main, and indeed, the only point of Popery is the alienating and withdrawing of Subjects from their obedience to their Prince, to raise Sedition and Rebellion: if Popery and Popularity agree in this point, The Kings of Christendome that have shaken off the power of the Pope have made no great bargain of it, if in place of one Lord abroad, they get many Lords at home within their own Kingdoms.

I cannot but reverence that form of Government which was allowed and made use of for Gods own people, and for all other Nations. It were impiety, to think, that God who was carefull to appoint Judiciall lawes for his chosen people would act furnish them with the best forme of government: or to imagine that the rules given in divers places in the Gospel by our blessed Saviour and his Apostles for obedience to Kings should now, like Almanacks out of date, be of no use to us because it is pretended we have a Forme of Government now, not once thought of in those daies. It is a shame and scandal for us Christians to seek the originall of Government from the inventions or fictions of Poets, Orators, Philosophers, and heathen Historians, who all lived thousands of years after the Creation, & were (in a manner) ignorant of it: and to neglect the Scriptures which have with more authority most particularly given us the true grounds and principles of Government.

These Considerations caused me to scruple this moderne piece of Politicks touching Limited and Mixed Monarchy, and finding no other that presented us with the nature and meanes of Limitation and Mixture, but an anonymus Authour: I have drawn a few brief observations upon the most considerable part of his Treatise, in which I desire to receive satisfaction from the Author himself if it may be, according to his promise in his Preface; or if not from him, from any other for him.


THere is scarce the meanest man of the multitude but can now in these daies tell us that the Government of the Kingdome of England is a Limited and Mixed Monarchy: And it is no mervail since all the disputes and arguments of these distracted times both from the Pulpit and the Presse do tend and end in this Conclusion.

The Author of the Treatise of Monarchy hath copiously handled the nature and manner of Limited and Mixed Monarchy, and is the first and onely man (that I know) hath undertaken the task of describing it, others onely mention it as taking it for granted.

p. 3. Doctor Ferne gives the Author of this Treatise of Monarchy this testimony, that the Mixture of government is more acurately delivered and urged by this Treatise then by the Author of the Fuller Answer. And in another place Doctor Ferne saith, he allows his distinction of Monarchy into Limited and Mixed.

p. 13. I have with some diligence looked over this Treatise, but cannot approve of these distinctions which he propounds, I submit the reasons of my dislike to others judgements. I am somewhat confident that his doctrine of Limited and Mixed Monarchy is an opinion but of yesterday, and of no antiquity, a meer innovation in policy, not so old as New England, though calculated properly for that Meridian. For in his first part of the Treatise which concerns Monarchy in Generall, there is not one proof, text, or example in Scripture that he hath produced to justifie his conceit of Limited and Mixed Monarchy. Neither doth he afford us so much as one passage or reason out of Aristotle, whose books of Politicks, and whose naturall reasons are of greatest authority and credit with all rationall men next to the sacred Scripture: Nay, I hope I may affirme, and be able to prove that Arist. doth confute both limited and mixed Monarchy, howsoever Doctor Ferne think these new opinions to be raised upon Arist. principles.p. 6. As for other Polititians or Historians, either divine or humane, ancient or modern, our Author brings not one to confirm his opinions, nor doth he, nor can he shew that ever any Nation or people were governed by a limited or mixed Monarchy.

Machivell is the first in Christendome that I can find that writ of a Mixed Government, but not one syllable of a Mixed Monarchy: he, in his discourses or disputations upon the Decades of Livy falls so enamored with the Roman Common-wealth, that he thought he could never sufficiently grace that popular government, unlesse he said, there was something of Monarchy in it: yet he was never so impudent as to say, it was a mixed Monarchy. And what Machivell hath said for Rome, the like hath Contarene for Venice; But Bodin hath layed open the errors of both these, as also of Polibius, and some few others that held the like opinions. As for the Kingdome of England if it have found out a form of Government (as the Treatise layeth it down) of such perfection as never any other people could; It is both a glory to the Nation, and also to this Author who hath first decipher’d it.

I now make my approach to the Book it self: The title is, A Treatise of Monarchy. The first part of it is, of Monarchy in Generall: Where first, I charge the Author, that he hath not given us any definition or description of Monarchy in Generall: for by the rules of method he should have first defined, and then divided: for if there be severall sorts of Monarchy, then in something they must agree, which makes them to be Monarchies, and in something they must disagree and differ which makes them to be severall sorts of Monarchies: in the first place he should have shewed us in what they all agreed which must have been a definition of Monarchy in Generall, which is the foundation of the Treatise; and except that be agreed upon, we shal argue upon we know not what; I presse not this maine omission of our Author out of any humor of wrangling, but because I am confident that had he pitched upon any definition of Monarchy in Generall, his own definition would have confuted his whole Treatise: Besides I find him pleased to give us a handsome definition of Absolute Monarchy, from whence I may infer, that he knew no other definition that would have fitted all his other sorts of Monarchy, it concerned him to have produced it, lest it might be thought there could be no Monarchy but Absolute.

What our Author hath omitted, I shall attempt to supply, and leave to the scanning. And it shall be a reall as well as nominall definition of Monarchy. A Monarchy is the government of one alone. For the better credit of this definition, though it be able to maintain it self, yet I shall deduce it from the principles of our Author of the Treatise of Monarchy.

We all know that this word Monarch is compounded of two Greek words, Μόν&illegible; and χεν, χεν, is imperare, to govern and rule, μν&illegible; signifies one alone. The understanding of these two words may be picked out of our Author.p. 1. First, for government he teacheth us, it is Potestatis exercitium, the exercise of a morall power; next he grants us,p. 12. that every Monarch (even his limited Monarch) must have the Supream power of the State in him, so that his power must no way be limited by any power above his, for then he were not a Monarch, but a subordinate Magistrate. Here we have a fair confession of a supreame unlimited power in his limited Monarch: if you will know what he meanes by these words supream power, turn to his 36 page, there you will find, Supream power is either Legislative, or Gubernative, and that the legislative power is the chief of the two, he makes both supream, and yet one chief: the like distinction he hath before, where he saith, The power of Magistracy, in respect of its degrees, is Nomotheticall or Architectonicall:p. 5. and Gubernative or Executive: by these words of Legislative, Nomotheticall and Architectonicall power, in plain English, he understands, a power of making Laws; and by Gubernative and Executive, a power of putting those Laws in execution by judging and punishing offenders.

The result we have from hence is, that by the Authors acknowledgment, every Monarch must have the Supream power, and that supream power is, a power to make laws: and howsoever the Author makes the Gubernative and Executive power a part of the Supream power; yet he confesseth the Legislative to be chief, or the highest degree of power, for he doth acknowledge degrees of Supream power;p. 40. nay, he afterwards teacheth us, that the Legislative power is the height of power, to which the other parts are subsequent and subservient, if Gubernative be subservient to Legislative, how can Gubernative power be supream?

p. 12.Now let us examine the Authors Limited Monarch by these his own rules, he tells us, that in a moderated, limited, stinted, conditionate, legall or allayed Monarchy, (for all these tearms he hath for it) the Supream power must be restrained by some Law according to which this power was given, and by direction of which this power must act, when in a line before he said, that the Monarchs power must not be limited by any power above his: yet here he will have his Supream power restrained; not limited, and yet restrained; is not a restraint, a limitation? and if restrained, how is it supream? and if restrained by some law, is not the power of that law, and of them that made that law above his supream power? and if by the direction of such law only he must govern, where is the Legislative power which is the chief of Supream power? when the Law must rule and govern the Monarch, and not the Monarch the Law, he hath at the most but a Gubernative or Executive power:p. 14. if his authority transcends its bounds, if it command beyond the Law, and the Subject is not bound legally to subjection in such cases, and if the utmost extent of the Law of the land be the measure of the Limited Monarchs power, and Subjects duty, where shall we find the Supream power that Culimen or apex &illegible;p. 16. that prime χ&illegible;, which our Author saith, must be in every Monarch: The word χ&illegible;, which signifies, principality and power, doth also signifie, principium, beginning; which doth teach us, that by the word Prince, or principality, the principium or beginning of Government is meant; this, if it be given to the Law, it robs the Monarch, and makes the Law the primum mobile, and so that which is but the instrument, or servant to the Monarch, becomes the master. Thus much of the word χν.

The other word is Μόν&illegible;, solus, one alone: the Monarch must not only have the Supream power unlimited,p. 15. but he must have it alone (without any companions.) Our Author teacheth us, He is no Monarch if the Supream power be not in one. And again he saith, if you put the apex potestatis, or supream power,p. 17. in the whole body, or a part of it, you destroy the being of Monarchy.

p. 25.Now, let us see if his mixed Monarchy be framed according to these his own principles: First, he saith, in a mixed Monarchy the soveraign power must be originally in all three Estates. And again, his words are, the three Estates are all sharers in the Supream power———the primity of share in the supream power is in One. Here we find, that he that told us the supream power must be in one, will now allow his mixed Monarch but one share only of the supream power, and gives other shares to the Estates: thus he destroies the being of Monarchy by putting the Supream power or culinen potestatis, or a part of it in the whole body, or a part thereof, and yet formerly he confesseth,p. 5. that the power of Magistracy cannot well be divided, for it is one simple thing or indivisable beam of divine perfection, but he can make this indivisable beam to be divisable into three shares. I have done with the word Μόν&illegible;, solus, alone.

I have dwelt the longer upon this definition of Monarchy, because the apprehending of it out of the Authors own grounds quite overthrows both his Monarch Limited by law, and his Monarch Mixed With the States. For to Govern, is to give a Law to others; and not to have a Lave given to Govern, and limit him that Governs: And to govern alone is not to have sharers or companions mixed with the Governor. Thus the two words of which Monarchy is compounded contradict the two sorts of Monarchy which he pleads for; and by consequence his whole Treatise, for these two sorts of limited and mixed Monarchy take up (in a manner) his whole Book.

I will now touch some few particular passages in the Treatise.

p. 2.Our Author first confesseth, it is Gods expresse ordinance there should be Government, and he proves it by Gen. 3. 16. where God ordained Adam to rule over his Wife, and her desires were to be subject to his; and as hers, so all theirs that should come of her. Here we have the originall grant of Government, & the fountain of all power placed in the father of all mankind, accordingly we find the law for obedience to government given in the tearms of honor thy Father: not only the constitution of power in generall, but the limitation of it to one kind (that is, to Monarchy, or the government of one alone) and the determination of it to the individual person & line of Adam are all three ordinances of God. Neither Eve nor her Children could either limit Adams power, or join others with him in the government, and what was given unto Adam was given in his person to his posterity. This paternal power continued monarchicall to the Floud, and after the Floud to the confusion of Babel when Kingdomes were first erected, planted, or scattered over the face of the world; we find Gen. 10. 11. It was done by Colonies of whole families, over which, the prime Fathers had supream power, and were Kings, who were all the sons or grand-children of Noah, from whom they derived a fatherly and regall power over their families. Now if this supream power was setled and founded by God himself in the fatherhood, how is it possible for the people to have any right or title to alter and dispose of it otherwise? what commission can they shew that gives them power either of limitation or mixture? It was Gods ordinance, that supremacy should be unlimited in Adam, and as large as all the acts of his will: and as in him, so in all others that have supream power, as appears by the judgement and speech of the people to Joshuah when he was supream Governour, these are their words to him, All that thou commandest us wee will do, whosoever he be that doth rebel against thy commandement, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou commandest him, he shal be put to death: we may not say that these were evill Counsellours or flattering Courtiers of Joshuah, or that he himself was a Tyrant for having such arbitrary power. Our Author, and all those, who affirm, that power is conveyed to persons by publick consent, are forced to confesse, that it is the fatherly power that first inables a people to make such conveyance, so that admitting (as they hold) that our Ancestors did at first convey power, yet the reason why we now living, doe submit to such power is, for that our Fore-fathers every one for himself, his family, and posterity, had a power of resigning up themselves and us to a supream power. As the Scripture teacheth us, that supream power was originally in the fatherhood without any limitation, so likewise reason doth evince it, that if God ordained that Supremacy should be, that then supremacy must of necessity be unlimited, for the power that limits must be above that power which is limited, if it be limited it cannot be supream: so that if our Author will grant supream power to be the ordinance of God, the supream power will prove it self to be unlimited by the same ordinance, because a supream limited power is a contradiction.

The monarchicall power of Adam the Father of all flesh, being by a general binding ordinance setled by God in him & his posterity by right of fatherhood, the form of Monarchy must be preferr’d above other forms, except the like ordinance for other forms can be shewed: neither may men according to their relations to the form they live under to their affections and judgments in divers respects prefer, or compare any other form with Monarchy. The point that most perplexeth our Author and many others is, that if Monarchy be allowed to be the ordinance of God, an absurdity would follow, that we should uncharitably condemn all the comunities which have not that form, for violation of Gods ordinance, and pronounce those other powers unlawfull: if those who live under a Monarchy can justifie the form they live under to be Gods ordinance, they are not bound to forbear their own justification, because others cannot do the like for the form they live under; let others look to the defence of their own government: if it cannot be proved or shewed that any other form of government had ever any lawfull beginning, but was brought in, or erected by rebellion, must therefore the lawfull and just obedience to Monarchy be denied to be the ordinance of God.

To proceed with our Author, in the 3 page, he saith, the Higher Power is Gods ordinance: That it resideth in One or more, in such or such a way, is from humane designment, God by no word binds any people to this or that form, till they by their own act bind themselves. Because the power and consent of the people in government is the burden of the whole Book, and our Author expects it should be admitted as a magisteriall postulation without any other proof then a naked supposition, and since others also maintain that originally Power, was or now is in the People, and that the first Kings were chosen by the People: they may not be offended, if they be asked in what sense they understand the word [People] because this, as many other words hath different acceptions, being sometimes taken in a larger, other whiles in a stricter sense. Literally, and in the largest sense the word People signifies the whole multitude of mankind, but figuratively and synecdochecally it notes many times the major part of a multitude, or sometimes the better, or the richer, or the wiser, or some other part; and oftentimes a very small part of the people, if there be no other apparent opposite party hath the name of the people by presumption.

If they understand that the entire multitude, or whole people have originally by nature power to chuse a King, they must remember that by their own principles, and rules by nature all mankind in the world makes but one People, who they suppose to be born alike to an equall freedome from subjection, and where such freedome is, there all things must of necessity be common, and therefore without a joynt consent of the whole people of the world, no one thing can be made proper to any one man, but it will be an injury, and an usurpation upon the common right of all others; From whence it follows, that naturall freedome being once granted, there cannot be any one man chosen a King without the universall consent of all the people of the world at one instant, nemine contradicente. Nay, if it be true that nature hath made all men free; though all mankind should concur in one vote, yet it cannot seem reasonable, that they should have power to alter the law of nature; for if no man have power to take away his own life without the guilt of being a murtherer of himself, how can any people confer such a power as they have not themselves upon any one man, without being accessories to their own deaths; and every particular man become guilty of being fels de se?

If this generall signification of the word People be disavowed, and men will suppose that the people of particular Regions, or Countries have power and freedome to chuse unto themselves Kings; then let them but observe the consequence: Since nature hath not distinguished the habitable world into Kingdomes, nor determined what part of a people shall belong to one Kingdome, and what to another, it follows that the originall freedome of mankind being supposed, every man is at liberty to be of what Kingdome he please, and so every petty company hath a right to make a Kingdome by it self, and not only every City, but every Village, and every Family; nay, and every particular man a liberty to chuse himself to be his owne King if he please, and he were a mad man that being by nature free would chuse any man but himself to be his own Governour. Thus to avoid the having but of one King of the whole world, we shall run into a liberty of having as many Kings as there be men in the world, which upon the matter, is to have no King at all, but to leave all men to their naturall liberty, which is the mischief the Pleaders for naturall liberty do pretend they would most avoid.

But if neither the whole People of the world, nor the whole people of any part of the world be meant: but only the major part, or some other part, of a part of the world: yet, still the objection will be the stronger. For besides that nature hath made no partition of the world, or of the people into distinct Kingdomes, and that without an universal consent at one and the same instant no partition can be made: yet if it were lawfull for particular parts of the world by consent to chuse their Kings, neverthelesse, their elections would bind none to subjection but only such as consented; for the major part never binds, but where men at first either agree to be so bound, or where a higher power so commands: Now there being no higher power then nature, but God himself; where neither nature nor God appoints the major part to bind, their consent is not binding to any but only to themselves who consent.

Yet, for the present to gratifie them so far as to admit that either by nature, or by a generall consent of all mankind, the world at first was divided into particular Kingdomes, and the major part of the people of each Kingdom assembled, allowed to chuse their King: yet it cannot truly be said that ever the whole people, or the major part, or indeed any considerable part of the whole people of any nation ever assembled to any such purpose; For except by some secret miraculous instinct they should all meet at one time, and place; what one man, or company of men lesse then the whole people hath power to appoint either time, or place of elections, where all be alike free by nature? and without a lawfull summons it is most unjust to bind those that be absent. The whole people cannot summon it self, one man is sick, another is lame, a third is aged, and a fourth is under age of discretion: all these at some time or other, or at some place or other might be able to meet, if they might chuse their own time and place, as men naturally free should.

In Assemblies that are by humane politique constitution, the superior power that ordains such assemblies, can regulate and confine them both for time, place, persons, and other circumstances: but where there is an equality by nature, there can be no superior power, there every Infant at the hour it is born in hath a like interest with the greatest and wisest man in the world. Mankind is like the sea, ever ebbing or slowing, every minute one is borne, another dies, those that are the people, this minute, are not the people the next minute, in every instant and point of time there is a variation: no one time can be indifferent for all mankind to assemble, it cannot but be mischievous alwaies, at the least to all Infants, and others under age of discretion; not to speak of women, especially Virgins, who by birth have as much naturall freedome as any other, and therefore ought not to lose their liberty without their own consent.

But in part to salve this, it will be said that Infants and Children may be concluded by the votes of their Parents. This remedy may cure some part of the mischief, but it destroies the whole cause: and at last stumbles upon the true originall of government. For if it be allowed, that the acts of Parents bind the Children, then farewell the doctrine of the naturall freedome of mankind, where subjection of Children to Parents is naturall, there can be no naturall freedome. If any reply, that not all children shall be bound by their Parents consent, but onely those that are under age: It must be considered, that in nature there is no nouage, if a &illegible; be not borne free, she doth not assigne him any other time when he shall attaine his freedome: or if she did, then Children attaining that age should be discharged of their Parents contract. So that in conclusion, if it be imagined that the people were ever but once free from subjection by nature, it will prove a meer impossibility ever lawfully to introduce any kind of government whatsoever without apparent wrong to a multitude of people.

It is further observable, that ordinarily Children and Servants are far a greater number then Parents and Masters, and for the major part of these to be able to vote and appoint what government or Governours their Fathers and Masters shall be subject unto, is most unnaturall, and in effect to give the Children the government over their Parents.

To all this it may be opposed, what need dispute how a People can chuse a King, since there be multitude of examples that Kings have been, and are now adaies chosen by their People? The answer is. 1. The question is not of the fact, but of the right, whether it have been done by a naturall, or by an usurped right. 2. Many Kings are, and have bin chosen by some small part of a People, but by the whole, or major part of a Kingdom not any at all. Most have been elected by the Nobility, Great men, and Princes of the bloud, as in Poland, Denmarke, and in Sweden; not by any collective or representative body of any Nation: sometimes a factious or seditious City, or a mutinous Army hath set up a King, but none of all those could ever prove they had right or just title either by nature, or any otherwise for such elections: we may resolve upon these two propositions. 1. That the People have no power or right of themselves to chuse Kings. 2. If they had any such right, it is not possible for them any way lawfully to exercise it.

You will say, There must necessarily be a right in some body to elect, in case a King die without an Heir. I answer, No King can die without an Heir as long as there is any one man living in the world, it may be the Heir may be unknown to the people, but that is no fault in nature, but the negligence or ignorance of those whom it concerns. But if a King could die without an Heir, yet the Kingly power in that case shal not escheat to the whole people, but to the supream Heads and Fathers of Families; not as they are the people, but quatenus, they are Fathers of people, over whom they have a supream power divolved unto them after the death of their soveraign Ancestor, and if any can have a right to chuse a King, it must be these Fathers by conferring their distinct fatherly powers upon one man alone. Chief fathers in Scripture are accounted as all the people, as all the Children of Israel, as all the Congregation, as the Text plainly expounds it self, 2 Chr. 1.2. where Solomon speaks to All Israel, that is, to the Captains, the Judges, and to every Governour, the Chief Of The Fathers, and so the Elders of Israel are expounded to be the chief of the Fathers of the Children of Israel, 1 King. 8.1. and the 2 Chr. 5.2.

If it be objected, That Kings are not now (as they were at the first planting or peopling of the world) the Fathers of their People, or Kingdoms, and that the fatherhood hath lost the right of governing. An answer is, That all Kings that now are, or ever were; are, or were either Fathers of their People, or the Heirs of such Fathers, or Usurpers of the right of such Fathers: It is a truth undeniable that there cannot be any multitude of men whatsoever, either great, or small, though gathered together from the severall corners and remotest regions of the world, but that in the same multitude considered by it self, there is one man amongst them that in nature hath a right to be the King of all the rest, as being the next Heir to Adam: and all the others subject unto him, every man by nature is a King, or a Subject: the obedience which all Subjects yeild to Kings is but the paying of that duty which is due to the supream fatherhood: Many times by the act either of an Usurper himself, or of those that set him up, the true Heire of a Crown is dispossessed, God using the ministry of the wickedest men for the removing and setting up of Kings: in such cases the Subjects obedience to the fatherly power must go along and wait upon Gods providence who only hath right to give, and take away Kingdomes, and thereby to adopt Subjects into the obedience of another fatherly power: according to that of Arist: πά&illegible;ι γ χ β&illegible;λε&illegible; βασιλέια &illegible;. A Monarchy or Kingdome will be a fatherly government. Ethic. l. 8. c. 12.

However the naturall freedome of the People be cried up as the sole means to determine the kind of government, and the Governours: yet in the close, all the favourers of this opinion are constrained to grant, that the obedience which is due to the fatherly power is the true and only cause of the subjection, which we that are now living give to Kings, since none of us gave consent to government, but only our Fore-fathers act and consent hath concluded us.

Whereas many confesse that government only in the abstract is the ordinance of God, they are not able to prove any such ordinance in the Scripture, but only in the fatherly power, and therefore we find the Commandement that enjoynes obedience to Superiours given in the tearms of Honour thy Father: so that not onely the power or right of government, but the form of the power of governing, and the person having that power, are all the ordinance of God, the first Father had not onely simply power, but power Monarchicall as he was a Father immediately from God; For by the appointment of God as soon as Adam was Created he was Monarch of the World, though he had no Subjects; for though there could not be actuall government untill there were Subjects, yet by the right of nature it was due to Adam to be Governour of his posterity: though not in act, yet at least in habit Adam was a King from his Creation: And in the state of innocency he had been Governour of his Children, for the integrity or excellency of the Subjects doth not take away the order or emineacy of the Governour. Eve was subject to Adam before he sinned, the Angels who are of a pure nature are subject to God: which confutes their saying, who in disgrace of civill government or power say it was brought in by sin: Government as to coactive power was after sin, because coaction supposeth some disorder which was not in the state of innocency: But as for directive power the condition of humane nature requires it, since civil society cannot be imagined without power of Government: for although as long as men continued in the state of innocency they might not need the direction of Adam in those things which were necessarily and morally to be done, yet things indifferent that depended meerly on their free will might be directed by the power of Adams command.

If we consider the first plantations of the world which were after the building of Babel when the confusion of tongues was, we may find the division of the earth into distinct Kingdomes and Countries by severall families, whereof the Sons or Grand-children of Noah were the Kings or Governours by a fatherly right, and for the preservation of this power and right in the Fathers, God was pleased upon severall Families to bestow a Language on each by it self, the better to unite it into a Nation or Kingdome, as appears by the words of the Text, Gen. 10. These are the Families of the Sons of Noah, after their generations in their Nations, and by these were the Nations divided in the earth after the &illegible; Every one after His Tongue After Their Families in their Nations.

The Kings of England have been gratiously pleased to admit, and accept the Commons in Parliament as the representees of the Kingdom, yet really and truly they are not the representative body of the whole Kingdom.

The Commons in Parliament are not the representative body of the whole Kingdome, they do not represent the King who is the head and principall member of the Kingdome, nor do they represent the Lords who are the nobler and higher part of the body of the Realme, and are personally present in Parliament, and therefore need no representation. The Commons onely represent a part of the lower or inferior part of the body of the People, which are the Free-holders worth 40 s. by the year, and the Commons or Free-men of Cities and Burroughs, or the major part of them. All which are not one quarter, nay, not a tenth part of the Commons of the Kingdome, for in every Parish for one Free-holder there may be found ten that are no Free-holders: and anciently before Rents were improved there were nothing neer so many Free-holders of 40 s. by the year as now are to be found.

The scope and Conclusion of this discourse and Argument is, that the people taken in what notion, or sense soever, either diffusively, collectively, or representatively, have not, nor cannot exercise any right or power of their own by nature either in chusing or in regulating Kings. But whatsoever power any people doth lawfully exercise, it must receive it from a supreame power on earth, and practice it with such limitations as that superior power shall appoint. To returne to our Author.

He divides Monarchy into {Absolute,

p. 6.Absolute Monarchy (saith he) is, when the Soveraignty is so fully in one, that it hath no limits or bounds under God but his owne will. This definition of his I embrace; And as before I charged our Author for not giving us a definition of Monarchy in general, so I now note him for not affording us any definition of any other particular kind of Monarchy but onely of absolute, it may peradventure make some doubt that there is no other sort but only that which he calls absolute.

Concerning absolute Monarchy, he grants, that such were the antient Eastern Monarchies, and that of the Turk and Persian at this day, herein he saith very true. And we must remember him though he doe not mention them that the Monarchs of Judah and Israel must be comprehended under the number of those he calls the Eastern Monarchies: and truly if he had said that all the antient Monarchies of the world had been absolute I should not have quarreld at him, nor doe I know who could have disproved him.

Next it follows, that Absolute Monarchy is, when a people are absolutely resigned up, or resigne up themselves to be governed by the will of One man——where men put themselves into this utmost degree of subjection by oath and contract, or are borne and brought unto it by Gods providence. In both these places he acknowledgeth there may be other means of obtaining a Monarchy besides the contract of a Nation,p. 12. or peoples resigning up themselves to be governed, which is contrary to what he after saies, that the sole mean or root of all Soveraignty is the consent and fundamentall contract of a Nation of men.

Moreover the Author determins, that Absolute Monarchy is a lawfull government, and that men may be borne and brought unto it by Gods providence, it biads them, and they must abide it because an oath to a lawfull thing is obligatory. This position of his I approve, but his reason doth not satisfie, for men are bound to obey a lawfull Governour, though neither they, nor their Ancestors ever took oath.

p. 7.Then he proceeds, and confesseth that in Rom. 13. the power which then was, was Absolute: yet the Apostle not excluding it, calls it Gods ordinance, and commands subjection to it; so Christs commands Tribute to be paid, and paies it himselfe; yet it was an arbitrary tax, the production of an absolute power. These are the loyall expressions of our Author touching absolute or arbitrary Monarchy: I doe the rather mention these passages of our Author, because very many in these daies doe not stick to maintain, that an arbitrary or Absolute Monarch not limited by law, is all one with a Tyrant, and to be governed by one mans will, is to be made a slave: It is a question whether our Author be not of that mind when he saith, absolute subjection is servitude, and thereupon a late friend,p. 54. to limited Monarchy, affirmes in a discourse upon the question in debate between the King and Parliament, That to make a King by the standard of Gods word is to make the Subjects slaves for conscience sake. A hard saying, and I doubt whether he that gives this censure can be excused from blasphemy. It is a bold speech to condemn all the Kings of Judah for Tyrants, or to say all their Subjects were slaves. But certainly the man doth not know neither what a Tyrant is, or what a Slave is: indeed the words are frequent enough in every mans mouth, & our old English Translation of the Bible useth sometimes the word Tyrant, but the Authors of our new Translation have been so carefull as not once to use the word, but onely for the proper name of a man, Act. 19. 9. because they find no Hebrew word in the Scripture to signifie a Tyrant, or a slave. Neither Arist: Bodin, nor Sir Walter Rawleigh (who were all men of deep judgement) can agree in a definition or description of tyranny, though they have all three laboured in the point. And I make some question whether any man can possibly describe what a Tyrant is, and then tell me any one man that ever was in the world that was a Tyrant according to that description.

I return again to our Treatise of Monarchy, where I find three Degrees of absolute Monarchy:

  • 1Where the Monarch, whose will is the law, doth set himself no law to rule by, but by commands of his own judgement as he thinks fit.
  • 2When he sets a law, by which he will ordinarily governe, reserving to himself a liberty to vary from it as oft as in his discretion he thinks Fit, and in this the Soveraign is as free as the former.
  • 3Where he not only sets a rule, but promiseth in many cases not to alter it,3. but this promise or engagement is an after condiscent or act of grace not dissolving the absolute Oath of subjection which went before it.

For the first of these three, there is no question but it is a pure absolute Monarchy; but as for the other two, though he say, they be absolute, yet in regard, they set themselves limits or laws to govern by, if it please our Author to term them limited Monarchs, I will not oppose him, yet I must tell him that his third degree of absolute Monarchy is such a kind, as I believe, never hath been, nor ever can be in the world. For a Monarch to promise and engage in many cases not to alter a law, it is most necessary that those many cases should be particularly expressed at the bargain making: Now he that understands the nature and condition of all humane laws, knows that particular cases are infinite and not comprehensible within any rules or laws, and if many cases should be comprehended, and many omitted, yet even those that were comprehended would admit of variety of interpretations and disputations, therefore our Author doth not, nor can tell us of any such reserved cases promised by any Monarch.

Again, where he saith, An after condiscent or Act of grace doth not dissolve the absolute Oath of subjection which went before it, though in this he speak true, yet still he seems to insinuate, that an Oath only binds to subjection, which Oath, as he would have us believe, was at first arbitrary: whereas Subjects are bound to obey Monarchs though they never take oath of subjection, as wel as children are bound to obey their parents, though they never swear to do it.

Next, his distinction between the rule of power, and the exercise of it, is vain; for to rule, is to exercise power:p. 7. for himself saith, that Government is, potestatis exercitium,p. 1. the exercise of a morall power.

Lastly, whereas our Author saith, a Monarch cannot break his promise without sin: let me adde, that if the safety of the people, salus populi, require a breach of the Monarchs promise, then the sin, if there be any, is rather in the making, then breaking of the promise, the safety of the people is an exception implied in every Monarchicall promise.

p. 12.But it seems these three degrees of Monarchy do not satisfie our Author, he is not content to have a Monarch have a law or rule to govern by, but he must have this limitation or law to be ab externo, from somebody else, and not from the determination of the Monarchs own will, and therefore he saith, by originall constitution the society publick confers on one man a power by limited contract, resigning themselves to be governed by such a law, also before he told us,p. 13. the sole means of Soveraignty is the consent and fundamentall contract, which consent puts them in their power, which can be no more nor other then is conveyed to them by such contract of subjection. If the sole means of a limited Monarchy be the consent and fundamentall contract of a Nation, how is it that he saith, A Monarch may be limited by after condiscent? is an after condiscent all one with a fundamentall contract with originall and radicall constitution? why ye: he tells us, it is a secundary originall constitution, a secundary originall, that is, a second first: And if that condiscent be an act of grace, doth not this condiscent to a limitation come from the free determination of the Monarchs will? If he either formally, or virtually (as our Author supposeth) desert his absolute or arbitrary power which he hath by conquest, or other right.

p. 8.And if it be from the free will of the Monarch, why doth he say the limitation must be ab externo? he told us before, that subjection cannot be dissolved or lessen’d by an Act of grace comming afterwards, but he hath better bethought himself, and now he will have acts of grace to be of two kinds, and the latter kind may amount (as he saith) to a resignation of absolute Monarchy. But can any man believe that a Monarch who by conquest or other right hath an absolute arbitrary power, will voluntarily resigne that absolutenesse, and accept so much power only as the people shall please to give him, and such laws to govern by as they shall make choice of? can he shew that ever any Monarch was so gratious or kind-hearted as to lay down his lawfull power freely at his Subjects feet? is it not sufficient grace if such an absolute Monarch be content to set down a law to himself by which he will ordinarily govern, but he must needs relinquish his old independent commission, & take a new one from his Subjects clog’d with limitations?

Finally, I observe, that howsoever our Author speak big of the radicall, fundamentall, and originall power of the people as the root of all Soveraignty: yet in a better moode he will take up and be contented with a Monarchy limited by an after condiscent and act of grace from the Monarch himself.

Thus I have briefly touched his grounds of Limited Monarchy; if now we shall aske, what proof or examples he hath to justifie his doctrine, he is as mute as a fish: only Pythagoras hath said it, and we must believe him, for though our Author would have Monarchy to be limited, yet he could be content his opinion should be absolute, and not limited to any rule or example.

The maine Charge I have against our Author now remaines to be discussed, and it is this, That instead of a Treatise of Monarchy, he hath brought forth a Treatise of Anarchy, and that by his owne confessions shall be made good.

First, he holds, A limited Monarch transcends his bounds if he commands beyond the law, and the Subject legally is not bound to subjection in such cases.

Now if you aske the Author who shall be judge, whether the Monarch transcends his bounds, and of the excesses of the soveraigne power. His answer is,p. 16. There is an impossibility of constituting a judge to determine this last controversie ——— I conceive in a limited legall Monarchy there can be no stated internall Judge of the Monarchs actions,p. 17. if there grow a fundamentall variance betwixt him and the community ——— there can be no Judge legall and constituted within that form of government. In these answers it appears, there is no Judge to determine the Soveraignes or the Monarchs transgressing his fundamentall limits: yet our Author is very cautelous, and supposeth onely a fundamentall variance betwixt the Monarch and the Community, he is ashamed to put the question home. I demand of him if there be a variance betwixt the Monarch and any of the meanest person of the Community, who shall be the Judge? for instance, The King commands me, or gives judgment against me: I reply, His commands are illegall, and his judgment not according to law: who must judge? if the Monarch himself judge, then you destroy the frame of the State, and make it absolute, saith our Author, and he gives his reason: for to define a Monarch to a law, and then to make him judge of his owne deviations from that law, is to absolve him from all law. On the other side, if any, or all the people may judge, then you put the Soveraignty in the whole body, or part of it, and destroy the being of Monarchy. Thus our Author hath caught himself in a plaine dilemma: if the King be judge, then he is no limited Monarch. If the people be judge, then he is no Monarch at all. So farewell limited Monarchy, nay farewell all government if there be no Judge.

p. 14.Would you know what help our Author hath found out for this mischief? First, he saith, that a Subject is bound to yeild to a Magistrate, when he cannot, de jure, challenge obedience, if it be in a thing in which he can possibly without subversion, and in which his act may not be made a leading case, and so bring on a prescription against publike liberty:p. 17. Again, he saith, if the act in which the exorbitance or transgression of the Monarch is supposed to be, be of lesser moment, and not striking at the very being of that Government, it ought to be borne by publick patience, rather then to endanger the being of the State.p. 49. The like words he uses in another place, saying, if the will of the Monarch exceed the limits of the law, it ought to be submitted to, so it be not contrary to Gods law, nor bring with it such an evill to our selves, or the publick, that we cannot be accessary to &illegible; obeying. These are but fig-leaves to cover the nakednesse of our Authors limited Monarch formed upon weak supposals in cases of lesser moment. For if the Monarch be to govern only according to law, no transgression of his can be of so small moment if he break the bounds of law, but it is a subversion of the government it self, and may be made a leading case, and so bring on a prescription against publick liberty, it strikes at the very being of the Government, and brings with it such an evill, as the party that suffers, or the publick cannot be accessory to: let the case be never so small; yet if there be illegality in the act, it strikes at the very being of limited Monarchy which is to be legall: unlesse our Author will say, as in effect he doth, That his limited Monarch must governe according to law in great and publick matters onely, and that in smaller matters which concerne private men or poor persons, he may rule according to his own will.

p. 17.Secondly, our Author tells us, if the Monarchs act of exorbitancy or transgression be mortall, and such as suffered dissolves the frame of Government and publick liberty, then the illegality is to be set open and redresment sought by petition, which if failing prevention by resistance ought to be, and if it be apparent and appeale be made to the consciences of mankind, then the fundamentall laws of that Monarchy must judge and pronounce the sentence in every mans conscience, and every man (so farre as concernes him) must follow the evidence of Truth in his own soul to oppose or not to oppose, according as he can in conscience acquit or condemne the act of the governour or Monarch.

Whereas my Author requires, that the destructive nature of illegall commands should be set open: Surely his mind is, That each private man in his particular case should make a publique remonstrance to the world of the illegall act of the Monarch, and then if upon his Petition he cannot be relieved, according to his desire, he ought, or it is his duty to make resistance. Here I would know, who can be the judge, whether the illegality be made apparent; it is a maine point, since every man is prone to flatter himselfe in his owne cause, and to think it good, and that the wrong or injustice he suffers is apparent, when other moderate and indifferent men can discover no such thing: and in this case the judgement of the common people cannot be gathered or known by any possible meanes; or if it could, it were like to be various and erronious.

Yet our Author will have an appeale made to the conscience of all Man-kind, and that being made, he concludes, the fundamentall Lawes must judge and pronounce sentence in every mans conscience. Whereas he saith, The Fundamentall Lawes must judge,p. 18. I would very gladly learne of him, or of any other for him, what a Fundamentall Law is, or else have but any one Law named me that any man can say is a Fundamentall Law of the Monarchy:p. 38. I confesse he tells us, that the Common Lawes are the foundation, and the Statute Laws are superstructive; yet I think he dares not say that there is any one branch or part of the Common Law but that it may be taken away by an Act of Parliament: for many points of the Common Law (de facto) have, and (de jure) any point may be taken away. How can that be called Fundamentall, which hath and may be removed, and yet the Statute Lawes stand firme and stable? it is contrary to the nature of Fundamental, for the building to stand when the foundation is taken away.

Besides, the Common Law is generally acknowledged to be nothing else but common usage or custome, which by length of time onely obtaines authority: So that it followes in time after government, but cannot got before it, and be the rule to Government, by any originall or radicall constitution.

Also the Common Law being unwritten doubtful and difficult, cannot but be an uncertaine rule to governe by, which is against the nature of a rule, which is and ought to be certaine.

Lastly, by making the Common Law onely to be the foundation, Magna Charta is excluded from being a Fundamentall Law, and also all other Statutes from being limitations to Monarchy, since the Fundamentall Lawes onely are to be judge.

Truly the conscience of all Man-kind is a pretty large Tribunall for the Fundamentall Lawes to pronounce sentence in. It is very much that Lawes which in their owne nature are dumb, and alwayes need a Judge to pronounce sentence, should now be able to speak, & pronounce sentence themselves: such a sentence surely must be upon the hearing of one party onely, for it is impossible for a Monarch to make his defence and answer, and produce his witnesses, in every mans conscience, in each mans cause, who will but question the legality of the Monarchs Government? Certainly the sentence cannot but be unjust, where but one mans tale is heard. For all this the conclusion is, Every man must oppose or not oppose the Monarch according to his owne conscience. Thus at the last, every man is brought by this Doctrine of our Authors, to be his owne judge. And I also appeal to the consciences of all mankinde, whether the end of this be not utter confusion, and Anarchy.

p. 18.Yet after all this, the Author saith, this power of every mans judging the illegall acts of the Monarch, argues not a superiority of those who judge over him, who is judged; and he gives us a profound reason for it; his words are, it is not authorative and civill, but morall residing in reasonable creatures, and lawfull for them to execute. What our Author meanes by these words, (not authorative and civill, but morall) perhaps I understand not, though I think I doe; yet it serves my turne that he saith, that resistance ought to be made, and every man must oppose or not oppose, according as in conscience he can acquit or condemn the acts of his governour; for if it inable a man to resist and oppose his Governour, without question tis authorative and civill, whereas he addes, that morall judgement is residing in reasonable creatures, and lawfull for them to execute; he seemes to imply that authorative, and civill judgement doth not reside in reasonable creatures, nor can be lawfully executed: Such a conclusion fits well with Auarchy, for he that takes away all Government, and leaves every man to his owne conscience, and so makes him an Independent in State, may well teach that authority resides not in reasonable creatures, nor can be lawfully executed.

I passe from his absolute and limited Monarchy, to his division or partition (for he allowes no division) of Monarchy into simple and mixed, viz. of a Monarch, the Nobility and Community.

p. 25.Where first, observe a doubt of our Authors, whether a firme union can be in a mixture of equality, he rather thinks there must be a priority of order in one of the three, or else there can be no unity. He must know that priority of order doth not hinder, but that there may be an equality of mixture if the shares be equall, for he that hath the first share may have no more then the others: so that if he will have an inequality of mixture, a primity of share will not serve the turne: the first share must be greater or better then the others, or else they will be equall, and then he cannot call it a mixed Monarchy where only a primity of share in the Supream power is in one: but by his own confession he may better call it a mixed Aristocracy or mixed Democracy, then a mixed Monarchy,p. 56. since he tells us, the Houses of Parliament sure have two parts of the greatest legislative authority, and if the King have but a third part, sure their shares are equall.

The first step our Author makes, is this, The soveraigne power must be originally in all three; next he finds, that if there be an equality of shares in three Estates, there can be no ground to denominate a Monarch, and then his mixed Monarch might be thought but an empty title:p. 25. Therefore in the third place he resolves us, that to salve all, A power must be sought out wherewith the Monarch must be invested, which is not so great as to destroy the mixture, nor so titular as to destroy the Monarchy, and therefore he conceives it may be in these particulars.

p. 26.First, a Monarch in a mixed Monarchy may be said to be a Monarch (as he conceives) if he be the head & fountain of the power which governs & executes the established Laws, that is, a man may be a Monarch though he doe but give power to others to govern and execute the established Laws, thus he brings his Monarch one step or peg lower still then he was before: at first he made us believe his Monarch should have the Supream power, which is the legislative; then he falls from that, and tells us, A limited Monarch must govern according to law onely; thus he is brought from the legislative to the gubernative or executive power only; nor doth he stay here, but is taken a hole lower, for now he must not govern, but he must constitute Officers to govern by laws; if chusing Officers to govern be governing, then our Author will allow his Monarch to be a Governour, not else: and therefore he that divided Supream power into legislative and gubernative, doth now divide it into legislative and power of constituting Officers for governing by Laws, and this he saith is left to the Monarch. Indeed you have left him a faire portion of power, but are we sure he may enjoy this? it seems our Author is not confident in this neither,p. 38. and some others doe deny it him: our Author speaking of the government of this Kingdome, saith, The choice of the Officers is intrusted to the judgement of the Monarch for ought I know, he is not resolute in the point, but for ought he knows; and for ought I know his Monarch is but titular, an empty title, certaine of no power at all.

The power of chusing Officers only, is the basest of all powers; Aristotle (as I remember) saith, The common people are fit for nothing but to chuse Officers, and to take accompts: and indeed, in all popular governments the multitude perform this work: and this work in a King puts him below all his Subjects, and makes him the onely Subject in a Kingdome, or the onely man that cannot Govern: there is not the poorest man of the multitude but is capable of some Office or other, and by that means may sometime or other perhaps govern according to the laws, onely the King can be no Officer but to chuse Officers, his Subjects may all Governe, but he may not.

Next, I cannot see how in true sense our Author can say, his Monarch is the head, and fountain of power, since his doctrine is, that in a limited Monarchy, the publick society by originall constitution confer on one man power, is not then the publick society the head and fountain of power, and not the King?

Again, when he tels us of his Monarch, that both the other States as well conjunction as divisim be his sworn subjects, and owe obedience to his commands: he doth but flout his poor Monarch, for why are they called his Subjects and his Commons? he (without any complement) is their Subject, for they as Officers, may governe and command according to Law: but he may not, for he must judge by his judges in Courts of Justice onely: that is, he may not judge or governe at all.

2. As for the second particular, the sole or chiefe power in capacitating persons for the Surpeame power. And

3. As to this third particular, the power of convocating such persons, they are both so far from making a Monarch, that they are the only way to make him none, by choosing and calling others to share in the Supreame power.

4. Lastly, concerning his Authority being the last and greatest in the establishing every Act, It makes him no Monarch, except he be sole that hath that Authority: neither his primity of share in the Supreame power, nor his Authority being last, no, nor his having the greatest Authority doth make him a Monarch, unlesse he have that Authority alone.

Besides, how can he shew that in his mixed Monarchy the Monarchs power is the greatest? The greatest share that our Author allowes him in the legislative power is a negative voice, and the like is allowed to the Nobility and Commons: And truly a negative voice is but a base tearme to expresse a Legislative power, a Negative voice is but a privative power, or indeed no power at all to do any thing, onely a power to hinder an Act from being done.

p. 26.Wherefore I conclude not any of his four, nor all of them put into one person makes the state Monarchicall.

This mixed Monarchy just like the limited ends in confusion & destruction of all Government: you shall hear the Authors confession: That one inconvenience must necessarily be in all mixed Governments, which I shewed to be in limited Governmẽts,p. 28. there can be no constituted legall Authorative Judge of the fundamentall controversies arising between the three Estates: If such do rise it is the fatall disease of those Governments for which no salve can be applied. It is a case beyond the possible provision of such a Government, of this question there is no legall judge. The accusing side must make it evident to every mans conscience ——— the appeale must be to the community, as if there were no Government, and as by evidence consciences are convinced they are bound to give their assistance. The wit of man cannot say more for Anarchy.

Thus have I picked out the flowers out of his Doctrine about limited Monarchy, and presented them with some brief Annotations, it were a tedious worke to collect all the learned contradictions, and ambiguous expressions that accur in every page of his platonique Monarcy, the booke hath so much of fancy that it is a better piece of Poetry then Policy.

Because many may thinke that the maine doctrine of limited and mixed Monarchy may in it self be most authenticall and grounded upon strong and evident reason; although our Author perhaps have failed in some of his expressions, and be liable to exceptions. Therefore I will be bold to enquire whether Aristotle could find either reason or example of a limited or mixed Monarchy, and the rather because I find our Author altogether insists upon a rationall way of justifying his opinion. No man I thinke will deny but that Aristotle was sufficiently curious in searching out the severall formes of Common-wealths and Kingdomes, yet I do not find that he ever so much as dreamed of either a limited or mixed Monarchy: Severall other sorts of Monarchies he reckons up. In the third booke of his Politiques he spends three whole Chapters together upon the severall kindes of Monarchy.

First, in his fourteenth Chapter he mentions four kindes of Monarchy.

  • The Laconique or Lacedemonian.
  • The Barbarique.
  • The Æsymneticall.
  • The Heroique.

The Laconique or Lacedemonian King (saith he) had only Supreame power when he was out of the bounds of the Lacedemonian territories, then he had absolute power, his Kingdome was like to a perpetuall Lord Generall of an Army.

The Barbarique King (saith Aristotle) had a power very neere to tyranny, yet they were lawfull and paternall, because the Barbarians are of a more servile nature then the Grecians, and the Asiatiques then the Europeans, they do willingly without repining live under a masterly Government, yet their government is stable, and safe because they are paternall and lawfull Kingdomes, and their guardes are Royall and not tyrannicall, for Kings are guarded by their owne Subjects, and Tyrants are guarded by strangers.

The Æsymneticall King (saith Arist.) in old time in Greece, was an elective Tyrant, and differed only from the Barbarian Kings in that he was elective and not paternall, these sorts of Kings because they were tyrannicall were Masterly: but because they were over such as voluntarily elected them they were Regall.

The Heroique were those (saith Aristotle) which flourished in the heroicall times, to whom the people did willingly obey, and they were paternall and lawfull, because these Kings did deserve well of the multitude either by teaching them arts, or by warring for them, or by gathering them together when they were dispersed, or by dividing lands amongst them: These Kings had Supreame power in war, in sacrifices, in Judicature.

These four sorts of Monarchy hath Aristotle thus distinguished, and after summes them up together, and concludes his Chapter as if he had forgot himself, and reckons up a fift kind of Monarchy, which is saith he, when one alone hath Supreame power of all the rest, for as there is a domesticall Kingdome of one house, so the Kingdome of a City, or of one or many Nations is a family.

These are all the sorts of Monarchy that Aristotle hath found out, and he hath strained hard to make them so many: First for his Lacedemonian King, himselfe confesseth that he was but a kind of military Commander in war, and so in effect no more a King then all Generals of Armies: And yet this No-King of his was not limited by any Law, nor mixed with any companions of his Government, when he was in the wars out of the confines of Lacedemon, he was as Aristotle stiles him Αγοάτω, of full and absolute command, no Law, no companion to govern his Army but his owne will.

Next for Aristotles Æsymneticall King, it appears he was out of date in Aristotles time, for he saith, he was amongst the ancient Greekes ν τος χαίοις λλησιν. Aristotle might well have spared the naming him (if he had not wanted other sorts) for the honour of his owne Nation: for he that but now told us the Barbarians were of a more servile nature then the Græcians, comes here and tels us that these old Greeke Kings were elective tyrants. The Barbarians did but suffer tyrants in shew, but the old Græcians choose tyrants indeed: which then must we thinke were the greater slaves, the Greeks or the Barbarians? Now if these sorts of Kings were tyrants, we cannot suppose they were limited either by Law, or joyned with companions: Indeed Arist. saith some of these tyrants were limited to certaine times and actions, for they had not all their power for terme of life, nor could meddle but in certaine businesses, yet during the time they were tyrants, and in the actions whereto they were limited, they had absolute power to do what they list, according to their owne will, or else they could not have been said to be tyrants.

As for Aristotles Heroicke King, he gives the like note upon him that he did upon the Æsymnet, that he was in old time χτι πα ωι&illegible;ς χ&illegible;&illegible;ν&illegible;ς in the heroick times. The thing that made these heroicall Kingdomes differ from other sorts of Kingdomes, was only the meanes by which the first Kings obtained their Kingdomes, and not the manner of Government, for in that they were as absolute as other Kings were without either limitation by law, or mixture of companions.

Lastly as for Arist. Barbaricke sort of Kings, since he reckoned all the world Barbarians except the Græcians, his Barbaricke King must extend to all other sorts of Kings in the world, besides those of Greece, and so may go under Aristotles sift sort of Kings, which in generall comprehends all other sorts, and is no speciall forme of Monarchy.

Thus upon a true accompt it is evident that the five severall sorts of Kings, mentioned by Aristotle are at the most but different, and accidentall meanes of the first obtaining or holding of Monarchies; and not reall or essentiall differences of the manner of Government, which was alwayes absolute, without either limitation or mixture.

I may be thought perhaps to mistake, or wrong Aristotle in questioning his diversities of Kings: but it seemes Aristotle himselfe was partly of the same minde, for in the very next Chapter when he had better considered of the point, he confessed that to speake the truth, there were almost but two sorts of Monarchies worth the considering, that is his first or Laconique sort, and his sift or last sort where one alone hath Supreame power over all the rest: thus he hath brought his five sorts to two. Now for the first of these two, his Lacedemonian King he hath confessed before, that he was no more then a Generalissime of an Army, and so upon the mater no King at all; and then there remaines onely his last sort of Kings, where one alone hath the Supreame power. And this in substance is the finall resolution of Aristotle himself, for in his sixteenth Chapter where he delivers his last thoughts touching the kindes of Monarchy, he first dischargeth his Laconick King from being any sort of Monarchy: and then gives us two exact rules about Monarchy, and both these are point blanke against limited and mixed Monarchy, therefore I shall propose them to be considered of, as concluding all Monarchy to be absolute and arbitrary.

Arist. pol. l. 3. c. 16.1. The one rule is, that he that is said to be a King according to Law, is no sort of government or Kingdome at all: &illegible;τι νόμον &illegible;αοιλυς ςν δ&illegible; πολο&illegible;ίιας.

2. The second rule is, that a true King is he that ruleth all according to his owne will, &illegible;τι τν υ&illegible;&illegible; β&illegible;ληοιν.

This latter frees a Monarch from the mixture of partners or sharers in government, as the former rule doth from limitation by lawes.

Thus in briefe I have traced Aristotle in his crabbed and broken passages touching diversities of Kings, where first he findes but four sorts, and then he stumbles upon a fift, and in the next Chapter contents himselfe onely with two sorts of Kings, but in the Chapter following concludes with one, which is the true perfect Monarch who rules all by his own will: In all this we find nothing for a regulated or mixed Monarchy, but against it.

Moreover whereas the Author of the treatise of Monarchy affirmes it as a prime principle that all Monarchies (except that of the Jewes) depend upon humane designment, when the consent of a society of men, and a fundamentall contract of a Nation, by originall or radicall constitution confers power. He must know that Arist. searching into the originall of government shewes himselfe in this point a better Divine then our Author, and as if he had studied the book of Genesis, teacheth that Monarchies fetch their petigree from the right of fathers, and not from the gift or contract of people, his words may thus be englished. At the first Cities were Governed by Kings, and so even to this day are Nations also: for such as were under Kingly Government did come together, for every house is governed by a King who is the eldest, and so also Colonies are governed for kindred sake. And immediately before he tels us that the first society made of many houses is a village, which naturally seemes to be a Colonie of a house, which some calt fosterbrethren, or Children, and Childrens Children.

So in conclusion we have gained Aristotles judgement in three maine, and essentiall points.

  • 1A King according to Law makes no kind of Government.
  • 2A King must rule according to his own will.
  • 3The originall of Kings, is from the right of Fatherhood.

What Aristotles judgement was two thousand years since, is agreeable to the doctrine of the great modern politician Bodin: Heare him touching limited Monarchy; Unto Majesty or Soveraignty (saith he) belongeth an absolute power not subject to any Law. ——— chief power given unto a Prince with condition is not properly Soveraignty or power absolute: Except such conditions annexed to the Soveraignty, be directly comprehended within the laws of God and nature. ——— Albeit by the sufferance of the King of England, controversies between the King and his people are sometimes determined by the high Court of Parliament, and sometimes by the Lord Chief Justice of England: yet all the estates remaine in full subjection to the King, who is no wayes bound to follow their advise, neither to consent to their requests. ——— It is certaine that the lawes, priviledges, and grants of Princes have no force but during their life, if they be not ratified by the expresse consent, or by sufferance of the Prince following, especially Priviledges. ——— Much lesse should a Prince be bound unto the Laws he maketh himself, for a man may well receive a Law from an other man, but impossible it is in nature for to give a Law unto himself, no more then it is to command a mans self in a matter depending of his owne will. The Law saith, Nulla obligatio consistere potest, qua à voluntate promittentis statum capit. The Soveraigne Prince may derogate unto the laws that he hath promised and sworn to keep, if the equity thereof be ceased, and that of himself without the consent of his subjects, ——— the Majesty of a true Soveraigne Prince is to be known when the estates of all the people assembled in all humility present their requests and supplications to their Prince, without having power in any thing to command, determine or give voice, but that that which it pleaseth the King to like, or dislike, to command or bid is holden for Law: wherein they which have written of the duty of Magistrates have deceived themselves in maintaining that the power of the people is greater then the Prince: a thing which causeth oft true subjects to revolt from their obedience to their Prince, and ministreth matter of great troubles in Common-wealths, of which their opinion there is neither reason nor ground, for if the King be subject unto the assemblies and decrees of the people, he should neither be King nor Soveraigne, and the Common-wealth neither Realme nor Monarchy, but a meer Aristocracy ——— So we see the principall point of Soveraigne Majesty and absolute power to consist principally in giving Laws unto the Subjects in generall without their consent. Bodin de Rep. l. 1. c. 8.

To confound the state of Monarchy, with the popular or Aristocratically estate is a thing impossible, and in effect incompatible, and such as cannot be imagined for Soveraignty being of it self indivisible, how can it at one and the same time be divided betwixt one Prince, the Nobility, and the people in Common? The first marke of Soveraigne Majesty is to be of power to give Laws, and to command over them unto the subjects, and who should those subjects be that should yeild their obedience to the Law, if they should have also power to make the Laws? who should he be that could give the Law? being himself constrained to receive it of them unto whom himself gave it? so that of necessity we must conclude, that as no one in particular hath the power to make the Law in such a state, that then the state must needs be a state popular. ——— Never any Common-wealth hath been made of an Aristocracie, and popular estate much lesse of the three estates of a Common-weal ——— such states wherein the rights of Soveraignty are divided, are not rightly to be called Common-weals, but rather the corruption of Common-weals, as Herodotus has most breifly, but truly written ——— Common-weales which change their state, the Soveraigne right and power of them being divided find no rest from Civill wars and broiles, till they againe recover some one of the three formes, and the Soveraignty be wholy in one of the states or other ——— where the rights of the Soveraignty are divided betwixt the ‘Prince and his Subjects, in that confusion of state there is still endlesse stirs and quarrels for the superiority, untill that some one, some few or altogether have got the Soveraignty. Id. lib. 2. c. 1.

This Judgment of Bodins touching Limited and Mixed Monarchy is not according to the mind of our Author, nor yet of the Observator, who useth the strength of his wit to overthrow Absolute and Arbitrary Government in this Kingdome, and yet in the main body of his discourse lets fall such truths from his pen as give a deadly wound to the Cause he pleads for, if they be indifferently waighed and considered, I will not pick a line or two here and there to wrest against him, but will present a whole Page of his Book, or more together, that so we may have an entire prospect upon the Observators mind, Without society (saith the Observator) men could not live, without Laws men could not be sociable; and without Authority somewhere to judge according to Law, Law was vaine: It was soone therefore provided, that Laws according to the dictate of reason should be ratified by common consent: when it afterward appeared, that man was yet subject to unnaturall distruction by the tyranny of entrusted Magistrates, a mischief almost as fatall as to be without all Magistracy. How to provide a wholsome remedy therefore was not so easie to be invented, it was not difficult to invent Laws for the limiting of Supream Governors, but to invent how those laws should be executed, or by whom interpreted, was almost impossible, Nam quis Custodiet ipsos Custodes, to place a Superior above a Supream was held unnaturall; yet what a lifelesse thing would Law be without any Judge to determine and force it? If it be agreed upon, that limits should be prefixed to Princes and Judges to decree according to those limits, yet an other inconvenience will presently affront us: for we cannot restrain Princes too far, but we shall dis-able them from some good: long it was ere the world could extricate it selfe out of all these extremities, or find out an orderly means whereby to avoid the danger of unbounded Prerogative on this hand, and to excessive liberty on the other, and scarce has long experience yet fully satisfied the minds of all men in it. In the Infancy of the world when man was not so artificiall and obdurate in crucity and oppression as now, and policy most rude. Most Nations did chuse rather to subject themselves to the meer discretion of their Lords, then rely upon any limits, and so be ruled by Arbitrary Edicts then written Statutes. But since tyranny being more exquisite, and policy more perfect, especially where learning and Religion flourish, few Nations will endure the thraldome which usually accompanies unbounded and unconditionate Royalty: Yet long it was ere the bounds and conditions of Supream Lords was so wisely determined or quietly conserved as now they are: for at first when as Euphori, Tribuni, Curatores, &c. were erected to poise against the seale of Soveraignty, much blood was shed about them, and States were put into new broiles by them, and some places the remedy proved worse then the disease. In all great distresses the body of the people were ever constrained to rise, and by force of the Major party to put an end to all intestine strifes, and make a redresse of all publike grievances: But many times calamities grew to a strange height before so cumbersome a body could be raised, and when it was raised, the motions of it were so distracted and irregular, that after much spoile and effusion of blood, sometimes only one tyranny was exchanged for another: till some was invented to regulate the motions of the peoples molimenous body. I think arbritrary rule was most safe for the world: But Now since most Countries have found an art and peaceable order for publick Assemblies, whereby the people may assume its owne power to do it selfe right without disturbance to it self or injury to Princes: He is very unjust that wil oppose this art or order. That Princes may not be Now beyond all limits and laws, nor yet to be tied upon those limits by any private parties: The whole community in its underived Majesty shall convene to do justice, and that the convention may not be without intelligence, certaine times and places, and formes, shall be appointed for it reglement, and that the vastnesse of its own bulke may not breed confusion, by vertue of election and representation, a few shall act for many, the wise shah consent for the simple, the vertue of all shall redound to some, and the prudence of some shall redound to all: and surely as this admirably composed Court which is now called a Parliament, is more regularly and orderly formed then when it was called mickle Synod of Wittena-gemot, or when this reall body of the people did throng together at it: so it is not yet perhaps without some defects which by art and policy might receive farther amendment: some divisions have sprung up of late between both Houses, and some between the King and both Houses by reason of incertainty of jurisdiction, and some Lawyers doubt how far the Parliament is able to create new formes and precedents, and has a jurisdiction over it self: All these doubts would be solemnly solved: But in the first place the true priviledges of Parliament belonging not only to the being and efficacy of it, but to the honor and complement of it would be clearly declared, for the very naming of priviledges of Parliament, as if they were chimeras to the ignorant sort, and utterly unknown unto the learned, hath been entertained with soorne since the beginning of this Parliament.

In this large passage taken out of the Observator which concernes the originall of all Government, two notable Propositions may be principally observed.

First, our Observator confesseth arbitrary or absolute government to be the first, and the safest government for the world.

Secondly, he acknowledgeth that the jurisdiction is uncertaine and the priviledges not cleerely declared of limited Monarchy.

These two evident truths delivered by him, he labours mainely to disguise. He seemes to insinuate that arbitrary Government was but in the infancy of the World, for so he termes it, but if we enquire of him, how long he will have this infancy of the world to last, he grants it continued above three thousand years, which is an unreasonable time for the world to continue under age: for the first opposers he doth find of arbitrary power were the ephori, tribuni, curatores, &c. The ephori were above three thousand years after the Creation, and the tribuni were later; as for his curatores I know not whom he meanes, except the Master of the Court of Wards. I cannot English the word curator better. I doe not believe that he can shew that any curatores or et cæteras which he mentions were so ancient as the ephori. As for the tribuni he mistakes much if he thinkes they were erected to limit and bound Monarchy, for the state of Rome was at the least Aristocraticall (as they call it) if not popular, when tribunes of the people were first hatched. And for the Ephori, their power did not limit or regulate Monarchy, but quite take it away; for a Lacedemonian King in the judgement of Aristotle was no King indeed, but in name onely, as Generalissimo of an Army, and the best polititians reckon the Spartan Common-wealth to have been Aristocraticall and not Menarchicall, and if a limited Monarchy cannot be found in Lacedemon, I doubt our Observator will hardly find it any where else in the whole World; and in substance he confesseth as much when he saith, Now most Countries have found out an art and peaceable order for publique Assemblies, as if it were a thing but new done, and not before, for so the word Now doth import.

The observator in confessing the Jurisdiction to be incertaine and the priviledges undetermined of that Court that should bound and limit Monarchy, doth in effect acknowledge there is no such Court at all: for every Court consists of Jurisdictions and Priviledges, it is these two that create a Court, and are the essentials of it: If the admirably composed Court of Parliament have some defects which may receive amendment, as he saith, and if those defects be such as cause divisions both between the Houses, and between the King and both Houses, and these divisions be about so maine a matter as Jurisdictions, and Priviledges, and power to create new Priviledges, all which are the fundamentals of every Court, (for untill they be agreed upon, the act of every Court may not onely be uncertaine, but invalid, and cause of tumults and sedition:) And if all these doubts & divisions have need to be solemnly solved, as our Observator confesseth: Then he hath no reason at all to say that Now the conditions of Supream Lords are wisely determined and quietly conserved, or that Now most Countries have found out an art, and peaceable order for publick affaires, whereby the people may resume its own power to do it self right without injurie unto Princes, for how can the underived Majesty of the people by assuming its own power, tell how to do her selfe right, or how to avoid doing injury to the Prince, if her jurisdiction be uncertain, and Priviledges undetermined?

He tels us Now most Countries have found an art, and peaceable order for publick Assemblies: and to the intent, that Princes may not be Now beyond all limits and Laws, the whole community in tis underived Majesty shall convene to do Justice. But he doth not name so much as one Country or Kingdome that hath found out this art, where the whole Community in its underived Majesty did ever convene to do Justice. I challenge him or any other for him to name but one Kingdome that hath either Now or heretofore found out this art or peaceable order; We do hear a great rumor in this age of moderated and limited Kings, Poland, Sweden, and Denmark are talked of for such; and in these Kingdomes, or no where is such a moderated Government, as our Observator meanes, to be found. A little enquiry would be made into the manner of the Government of these Kingdomes, for these Northern people, as Bodin observeth, breathe after liberty.

First for Poland, Boterus saith, that the Government of it, is elective altogether, and representeth rather an Aristocracie then a Kingdome: the Nobility who have great authority in the Diets, chusing the King, and limiting His Authority, making His Soveraignty but a slavish Royalty: these diminutions of regality began first by default of King Lewis, and Jagello, who to gaine the succession in the Kingdome contrary to the Laws, one for his daughter, and the other for his son, departed with many of his Royalties and prerogatives, to buy the voices of the Nobility. The French Author of the book called the Estates of the world, doth informe us that the Princes Authority was more free, not being subject to any Laws, and having Absolute Power, not onely of their estates, but also of life, and death: Since Christian Religion was received, it began to be moderated, first by holy admonitions of the Bishops and Clergy: and then by services of the Nobility in war: Religious Princes gave many Honours, and many liberties to the Clergy and Nobility, and quit much of their Rights, the which their successors have continued. The superiour dignity is &illegible; to two degrees, that is, the Palatinate and the Chastellcine, for that Kings in former times did by little and little call those men to publike consultations, notwithstanding that they had absolute power to do all things of themselves, to command, dispose, recompence and punish of their own motions: since, they have ordained that these dignities should make the holy of a Senate. The King doth not challenge much right and power over His Nobility, nor over their estates, neither hath he any over the Clergy. And though the Kings Authority depends on the Nobility for His election, yet in many things it is absolute after he He is chosen: He appoints the Diets at what time and place He pleaseth, He chooseth Lay Councelors, and nominates the Bishops and whom He will have to be His Privy Counsell: He is absolute disposer of the Revenews of the Crown: He is absolute establisher of the decrees of the Diets: it is in His power to advance and reward whom He pleaseth He is Lord immediate of His Subjects, but not of His Nobility: He is Soveraigne Judge of His Nobility in criminall causes. The power of the Nobility daily encreaseth, for that in respect of the Kings election they neither have law, rule, nor forme to do it, neither by writing nor tradition. As the King governs His Subjects which are immediately His with absolute Authority, so the Nobility dispose immediately of their vassals, over whom every one hath more then a regall power, so as they entreat them like slaves. There be certaine men in Poland who are called Earthly Messengers or Nuntios, they are as it were Agents of Jurisdictions, or circles of the Nobility: these have a certaine Authority, and as Poterus saith, in the time of their Diets these men assemble in a place neer to the Senate House, where they choose two Marshals by whom but with a tribune-like authority they signifie unto the Counsell what their requests are. Not long since their authority and reputation grew so mightily, that they now carry themselves as heads and governours, rather then officers and ministers of the publike decrees of the State: One of the Counsell refused his Senators place to become one of these officers. Every Palatine, the King requiring it cals together all the Nobility of His Palatinate, where having propounded unto them the matters whereon they are to treate, and their will being known, they choose four or six out of the company of the Earthly Messengers, these deputies meet and make one body, which they call the order of Knights.

This being of late years the manner and order of the government of Poland, it is not possible for the Observator to find among them that the whole community in its underived Majesty doth ever convene to do Justice: nor any election or representation of the Community, or that the people assume its owne power to do it self right. The Earthly Messengers though they may be thought to represent the Commons, and of late take much upon them, yet they are elected and chosen by the Nobility as their agents and officers. The Community are either vassals to the King, or to the Nobility, and enjoy as little freedome or liberty as any Nation. But it may be said perhaps, that though the Community do not limit the King, yet the Nobility do, and so he is a limited Monarchy. The Answer is, that in truth though the Nobility at the choosing of their King do limit his power, and do give him an oath: yet afterwards they have alwayes a desire to please him and to second his will, and this they are forced to do to avoid discord, for by reason of their great power they are subject to great dissentions, not only among themselves, but between them and the order of Knights which are the earthly messengers: yea the Provinces are at discord one with another: and as for Religion, the diversity of Sects in Poland bred perpetuall jars and hatred among the people, there being as many Sects as in Amsterdam it self, or any popular government can desire. The danger of sedition is the cause, that though the Crown depends on the election of the Nobility; yet they have never rejected the Kings successour, or transferred the Realme to any other family but once, when deposing Ladistaus for his idlenesse (whom yet afterward they restored) they elected Wencelaus King of Bohemia. But if the Nobility do agree to hold their King to his conditions, which is not to conclude any thing but by the advise of his Counsell of Nobles, nor to choose any wife without their leaves, then it must be said to be a Common-weal, not a Royalty, and the King but only the mouth of the Kingdome, or as Queen Christina complained that Her Husband was but the shadow of a Soveraigne.

Next, if it be considered how the Nobility of Poland came to this great power; it was not by any originall contract, or popular convention, for it is said they have neither Law, rule nor forme written or unwritten for the election of their King; they may thanke the Bishops and Clergy: for by their holy admonitions and advise, good and Religious Princes to shew their piety were first brought to give much of their Rights and Priviledges to their Subjects, devout Kings were meerely cheated of some of their Royalties. What power soever generall Assemblies of the Estates claime, or exercise over and above the bare naked act of Counselling, they were first beholding to the Popish Clergy for it: it is they first brought Parliaments into request and power: I cannot find in any Kingdome but onely where Popery hath been, that Parliaments have been of reputation, and in the greatest times of Superstition they are first mentioned.

As for the Kingdome of Denmarke I read that the Senators who are all chosen out of the Nobility, and seldome exceed the number of 28, with the cheif of the Realme do choose their King. They have alwaies in a manner set the Kings eldest Son upon the Royall Throne. The Nobility of Denmarke withstood the Coronation of Frederick 1559, till he sware not to put any Noble man to death untill he were judged of the Senat, & that all Noble men should have power of life and death over their Subjects without appeal, and the King to give no office without consent of the Councell. There is a Chancelour of the Realme before whom they do appeal from all the Provinces and Islands, and from him to the King himselfe. I hear of nothing in this Kingdome that tends to popularity; no Assembly of the Commons, no elections, or representation of them.

Sweden is governed by a King heretofore elective, but now made hereditary in Gustavue time: it is divided into Provinces: an appeale lieth from the Vicount of every teritory to a Soveraigne Judge called a Lamen, from the Lamens to the Kings Councell, and from this Councell, to the King himself.

Now let the Observator bethinke himself, whether all, or any of these three Countries have found out any art at all whereby the people or community may assume its owne power, if neither of these Kingdomes have, most Countries have not, nay none have. The people or Community in these three Realms are as absolute vassals as any in the world; the regulating power if any be, is in the Nobility: Nor is it such in the Nobility as it makes shew for. The election of Kings is rather a formality then any real power, for they dare hardly choose any but the Heire, or one of the blood Royall: if they should choose one among the Nobility, it would prove very factious; if a stranger, odious, neither safe. For the Government though the Kings be sworne to raigne according to the Laws, and are not to do any thing without the consent of their Councell in publick affaires: yet in regard they have power both to advance and reward whom they please, the Nobility and Senators do comply with their Kings, and Boterus concludes of the Kings of Poland, who seem to be most moderated, that such as is their valour, dexterity, & wisdome, such is their Power, Authority, and Government. Also Bodin saith, that these three Kingdomes are States changeable and uncertaine, as the Nobility is stronger then the Prince, or the Prince then the Nobility, and the people are so far from liberty, that he saith, Divers particular Lords exact not only customes, but tributes also, which are confirmed and grow stronger, both by long prescription of time, and use of Judgements.

The End.

5.12. [Anon.], The Free Mans Plea for Freedom (18 May, 1648).

Bibliographical Information

Full title

[Anon. Signed by “R. L., a Member of the Army”], The Free Mans Plea for Freedom, Against the Arbitrairie unwarrantable actions and proceedings of the Apostate Associates, commonly called by others, Levellers. Wherein is briefly discussed how unsuitable they walke to common Right and Freedom, being more Arbitrairie and Tyrannicall then any the oppose, wanting only a power to exercise their Crueltie. By. R