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Title: A Remonstrance of the State of the Kingdom
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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                           THE STATE OF THE

                    _Die Mercurii 15 Decemb. 1641._

                   It is this day Resolv’d upon the
                       Question, By the House of
            That Order shall be now given for the Printing
                 of this _Remonstrance_, of the State
                           of the ~KINGDOM~.

                   _H. Elsinge Cler. Parl. D. Com._

                 Printed for _Ioseph Hunscutt_. 1641.

                    [Illustration: Decorated panel]

                           The Remonstrance.

THE _Commons_ in this present Parliament assembled, having with much
earnestnesse, and faithfulnesse of affection, and zeal to the publike
good of this Kingdom, and His Majesties honour and service for the
space of twelve moneths, wrastled with the great dangers and fears, the
pressing miseries and calamities, the various distempers and disorders,
which had not only assaulted, but even overwhelmed and extinguisht
the liberty, peace, and prosperity of this Kingdom, the comfort and
hopes of all His Majesties good Subjects, and exceedingly weakned and
undermined the foundation and strength of his own royall Throne; do
yet finde an abounding malignity, and opposition in those parties and
factions, who have been the cause of those evills, and do still labour
to cast aspersions, upon that which hath been done, and to raise many
difficulties for the hinderance of that which remaines yet undone,
and to foment Jealousies betwixt the King and the Parliament; that so
they may deprive him and his people of the fruit of his own gracious
intentions, and their humble desires of procuring the publike peace,
safety, and happinesse of this Realm. For the preventing of those
miserable effects which such malicious endeavors may produce, We have
thought good to declare,

1. _The root, and the growth of these mischievous designes._

2. _The Maturity and ripenesse, to which they have attained before the
beginning of the Parliament._

3. _The effectuall means which have been used for the exterpations of
those dangerous evils, and the Progresse which hath therein been made
by His Majesties goodnesse, and the wisedome of the Parliament._

4. _The wayes of obstruction and opposition, by which that Progresse
hath been interrupted._

5. _The courses to be taken for the removing those obstacles, and
for the accomplishing of our most dutifull and faithfull intentions,
and endeavors, of restoring and establishing the ancient Honour,
Greatnesse, and Security of this Crown and Nation. The root of all
this mischief We finde to be a malignant and pernitious designe of
subverting the Fundamentall Lawes, and principles of Government; upon
which the Religion, and Justice of this Kingdom are firmly establisht.
The Actors and Promoters hereof have been,_

1. _The Jesuited Papists who hate the Laws, as the Obstacles of that
change and Subversion of Religion, which they so much long for._

2. _The Bishops, and the corrupt part of the Clergie, who cherish
formality and superstition, as the naturall effects, and more probable
supports of their own Ecclesiasticall Tyranny, and Usurpation._

3. _Such Councellors and Courtiers, as for private ends have engaged
themselves to further the intrests of some forraign Princes or States,
to the prejudice of His Majesty, and the state at home._

The common Principles by which they moulded and governed all their
particular Councells and actions were these.

_First, To maintain continuall differences and discontents betwixt the
King and the People, upon questions and Prerogative, and liberty, that
so they might have the advantage of sideing with him, and under the
Notions of Men addicted to his service, gain to themselves and their
parties, the places of greatest trust and power in the Kingdom._

_A Second, To suppresse the purity and power of Religion, and such
persons as were best affected to it; as being contrary to their own
ends, and the greatest impediment to that change, which they thought to

_A Third, To conjoyn those parties of the Kingdom, which were most
propitious to their own ends, and to divide those who were most
opposite, which consisted in many particular observations to cherish
the Arminian part in those points, wherein they agree with the Papists,
to multiply and enlarge the differences betwixt the common Protestants,
and those whom they call Puritans, to introduce and countenance such
opinions and Ceremonies as are fittest for accommodation with Popery,
to encrease and maintain ignorance, loosenesse, and prophanenesse
in the people: That of those three parties, Papists, Arminians and
Libertines, they might compose a body fit to act such Counsells and
resolutions, as were most conducible to their own ends._

_A Fourth, To disaffect the King to Parliaments by slanders and false
imputations, and by putting him upon other wayes of supply, which in
shew and appearance were fuller of advantage, then the ordinary course
of Subsidies, though in truth they brought more losse then gain, both
to the King and people, and have caused the great distractions, under
which we both suffer._

AS in all compounded bodies, the Operations are qualified according to
the predominant Element; So in this mixt party, the Jesuited Councells
being most active, and prevailing, may easily be discovered to have
had the greatest sway in all their determinations, and if they be not
prevented, are likely to devour the rest, or to turn them into their
own nature.

In the beginning of His Majesties raign, the partie begun to revive and
flourish again, having been somewhat dampt by the breach with _Spain_
in the last yeer of King _James_, and by His Majesties marriage
with _France_; the interests and Councells of that State, being not so
contrary to the good of Religion, and the prosperity of this Kingdom,
as those of _Spain_, and the Papists of _England_ having been ever more
addicted to _Spain_, then _France_; Yet they still retained a purpose,
and resolution to weaken the Protestant parties in all parts, and even
in _France_, whereby to make way for the change of Religion, which they
intended at home.

The first effect and evidence of their recovery and strength was, the
dissolution of the Parliament at _Oxford_, after there had been given
two Subsidies to His Majestie; and before they received relief in
any one Grievance, many other more miserable effects followed. The
losse of the _Rochel_ Fleet, by the help of our Shipping set forth
and delivered over to the _French_, in opposition to the advice of
Parliament, which left that Town without defence by Sea, and made way
not only to the losse of that important place, but likewise to the
losse of all the strength and security of the Protestant Religion
in _France_. The diverting of His Majesties course of warres from
the West-_Indies_, which was the most facile and hopefull way for
this Kingdom to prevail against the Spaniard, to an expensefull and
successelesse attempt upon _Cales_, which was so ordered, as if it had
rather been intended to make us weary of Warre, then to prosper in
it. The precipitate breach which _France_ by taking their Ships to a
great value, without making recompence to the _English_, whose goods
were thereupon imbar’d, and confiscate in that Kingdom. The peace with
_Spain_ without consent of Parliament, contrary to the promise of King
_James_, to both Houses; whereby the _Palatine_ cause was diserted and
left to chargeable, and hopelesse Treaties, which for the most part
were managed by those who might justly be suspected to be no friends to
that cause.

The charging of the Kingdom with Billetted Souldiers in all parts of
it, and that Concomitant designe of _Germane_ horse, that the Land
might either submit with fear, or be enforced with rigour to such
Arbitrary Contributions, as should be required of them. The dissolving
of the Parliament in the second yeer of His Majesties raign, after a
Declaration of their intent, to grant five Subsidies.

The exacting of the like proportion of five Subsidies after the
Parliament dissolved, by Commission of Loan; and divers Gentlemen and
others imprisoned for not yeilding to pay that Loan, whereby many of
them contracted such sicknesses, as cost them their lives. Great summes
of Money required and raised by Privy Seals. An unjust and pernicious
attempt to extort great payments from the subject, by way of _Excise_;
and a Commission issued under Seal to that purpose. The Petition of
Right, which was granted in full Parliament, blasted with an illegall
Declaration, to make it destructive to it self, to the power of
Parliament, to the Liberty of the Subject, and to that purpose printed
with it; and the Petition made of no use, but to shew the bold and
presumptuous injustice of such Ministers as durst break the Laws, and
suppresse the Liberties of the Kingdom, after they had been so solemnly
and evidently declared.

Another Parliament dissolved, 4 _Car._ the priviledge of Parliament
broken, by imprisoning divers Members of the House, detaining them
close prisoners for many months together, without the liberty of using
Books, Pen, Inke, or Paper, denying them all the comforts of life, all
means of preservation of health, not permitting their wives to come
unto them, even in time of their sicknesse. And for the compleating of
that cruelty, after yeers spent in such miserable durance, depriving
them of the necessary means of Spirituall consolation, not suffering
them to go abroad to enjoy Gods Ordinances, in Gods House, or Gods
Ministers to come to them, to administer comfort unto them in their
private Chambers: and to keep them still in this oppressed condition,
not admitting them to be Bayled according to Law, yet vexing them
with Informations in inferiour Courts, sentencing and fining some of
them for matters done in Parliament, and extorting the payments of
those Fines from them, enforcing others to put in security of good
behaviour, before they could be released.

The imprisonment of the rest which refused to be bound, still
continued; which might have been perpetuall, if necessity had not, the
last yeer, brought another Parliament to relieve them; of whom, one
died, by the cruelty and harshnesse of his imprisonment, which would
admit of no relaxation, notwithstanding the imminent danger of his
life, did sufficiently appear by the declaration of his Physitian:
And his release, or at least, his refreshment, was sought by many
humble Petitions. And his blood still cries either for vengeance, or
repentance of those Ministers of State, who at once obstructed the
course, both of his Majesties Justice and Mercy.

Upon the dissolution of both these Parliaments, untrue and scandalous
declarations published, to asperse their proceedings, and some of their
Members, unjustly to make them odious, and colour the violence which
was used against them. Proclamations set out to the same purpose; and
to the great dejecting of the hearts of the people, forbidding them,
even to speak of Parliaments.

After the breach of the Parliament, in the fourth yeer of his Majesty,
Injustice, Oppression, and Violence, broke in upon us, without any
restraint or moderation; & yet the first project, was the great sums
exacted thorow the whole Kingdom, for default of Knight-hood, which
seemed to have some colour and shadow of a Law; yet if it be rightly
examined by that obsolete Law which was pretended for it, it would be
found to be against all the rules of Justice, both in respect of the
persons charged, the proportion of the Fines demanded, and the absurd
and unreasonable manner of their proceedings.

Tonnage and Poundage hath been received without colour or pretence of
Law: Many other heavy impositions continued against Law; and some so
unreasonable, that the summe of the charge, exceeds the value of the
Goods. The Book of Rates lately inhansed to a high proportion; and
such Merchants as would not submit to their illegall and unreasonable
payments, were vexed and oppressed above measure; and the ordinary
course of Justice, the common Birth-right of the subject of _England_,
wholly obstructed unto them. And although all this was taken upon
pretence of guarding the Sea, yet a new and unheard of Tax of
Ship-money was devised, upon the same pretence. By both which, there
was charged upon the subject neer 700000 l. some yeers; and yet the
Merchants have been left so naked to the violence of the Turkish
Pyrats, that many great Ships of value, and thousands of his Majesties
subjects have been taken by them, and do still remain in miserable

The enlargement of Forrests, contrary to _Charta de Foresta_, and the
composition thereupon. The exactions of Coat and Conduct-money, and
divers other Military charges. The taking away the Arms of the Trayned
Bands of divers Counties. The desperate design of engrossing all the
Gun-powder into one hand, keeping it in the Tower of _London_, and
setting so high a Rate upon it, that the poorer sort were not able to
buy it, nor could any have it without License; thereby to leave the
severall parts of the Kingdom destitute of their necessary defense;
and by selling so dear that which was sold, to make an unlawfull
advantage of it, to the great charge and detriment of the subject,
the generall destruction of the Kings Timber, especially that in the
Forrest of _Dean_, sold to Papists, which was the best Store-house of
this Kingdom, for the maintenance of our Shipping. The taking away of
mens right, under colour of the Kings title to Land between high and
low water-Marks. The Monopolies of Sope, Salt, Wine, Leather, Sea-Cole,
and, in a manner, of all things of most common and necessary use. The
restraint of the Liberties of the subjects in their habitation, Trades,
and other Interests. Their vexation and oppression by Purveyors, Clerks
of the Market, and Salt-Peeter-men. The sale of pretended Nuzances, as
Buildings in and about _London_, conversion of Arrable into Pasture;
continuance of Pasture, under the name of depopulation, Have drawn many
Millions out of the subjects Purses, without any considerable profit
to his Majesty. Large quantities of Common, and severall Grounds, have
been taken from the subject, by colour of the Statute of Improvement,
and by abuse of the Commission of Sewers, without their consent, and
against it. And not onely private Interest, but also publike faith
have been broken, in seizing of the money and Bullion in the Mint;
and the whole Kingdom like to be robb’d at once, in that abominable
project of Brasse Money. Great numbers of his Majesties subjects,
for refusing those unlawfull charges, have been vext with long and
expensive suits; some fined and censured, others committed to long and
hard imprisonments and confinements, to the losse of health of many, of
life in some; and others have had their houses broken up, their goods
seized; some have been restrained from their lawfull Callings: Ships
have been interrupted in their Voyages; surprized at Sea in an Hostile
manner, by Projectors, as by a common Enemy: Merchants prohibited to
unlade their Goods in such Ports, as were for their own advantage, and
forced to bring them to those places which were most for the advantages
of the Monopolizers and Projectors.

The Court of Starchamber hath abounded in extravagant Censures, not
only for the maintenance and improvement of Monopolies, and other
unlawfull taxes; but for divers other Causes, where there hath been
no offence, or very small; whereby His Majesties Subjects have been
oppressed by grievous Fines, Imprisonments, Stigmatizings, Mutilations,
Whippings, Pillories, Gags, Confinements, Banishments; after so rigid
a manner, as hath not only deprived Men of the Society of their
Friends, exercise of their Professions, comfort of Books, use of Paper
or Inke, but even violated that neer Union which God hath establisht
betwixt Men and their Wives, by forced and constrained seperation;
whereby they have been bereaved of the comfort and conversation one
of another, for many yeers together, without hope of relief; if God
had not by his over-ruling Providence, given some interruption to
the prevailing power and Councell of those, who were the Authors and
Promoters of such peremptory and headdy courses.

Judges have been put out of their places, for refusing to do against
their Oathes, and Consciences: Others have been so awed, that they
durst not do their duties, and the better to hold a rod over them, the
Clause _quam diu se bene gesserit_ was left out of their Patents, and a
new Clause _Durante bene placito_ inserted. Lawyers have been checkt,
for being faithfull to their Clients; Sollicitors, and Atturneyes
have been threatned, and some punished for following lawfull Suites:
And by this means all the approaches to Justice were interrupted and
forecluded. New Oaths have been forced upon the Subject against Law;
new Judicatories erected without Law: The Councell Table have, by their
Orders, offered to binde the Subjects in their free-holds Estates,
Suites, and Actions. The pretended Court of the Earl _Marshal_ was
Arbitrary, and Illegall in its being, and proceedings. The Chancery,
Exchequer-Chamber, Court of Wards, and other _English_ Courts have been
grievous in exceeding their Jurisdiction. The estate of many Families
weakned, and some ruined by excessive Fines, exacted from them for
Compositions of Wardships. All Leases of above a hundred yeers, made
to draw on Wardship contrary to Law. Undue proceedings used in the
finding of Offices, to make the Jury finde for the King. The Common-Law
Courts, seeing all Men more inclined to seek Justice there, where it
may be fitted to their own desire, are known frequently to forsake
the Rules of the Common-Law, and straining beyond their bounds, under
pretence of equity to do Injustice. Titles of Honour, Judiciall places,
Serjeantships at Law, and other Offices have been sold for great
summes of Money; whereby the common Justice of the Kingdom hath been
much endangered, not only by opening away of employment in places of
great Trust, and advantage to Men of weak parts; but also by giving
occasion to Bribery, Extortion, Partiality; It seldome hapning that
places ill-gotten are well used. Commissions have been granted for
examining the excesse of Fees: and when great exactions have been
discovered, Compositions have been made with Delinquents, not only for
the time past, but likewise for immunity and security in offending, for
the time to come; which under colour of remedy, hath but confirmed, and
encreased the Grievance to the Subject.

The usuall course of pricking Sheriffs, not observed, but many times
Sheriffs made in an extraordinary way; sometimes as a punishment
and charge unto them; sometimes such were pricked out, as would be
Instruments to execute whatsoever they would have to be done.

The Bishops and the rest of the Clergy, did triumph in the
Suspensions, Excommunications, Deprivations, and Degradations of
divers painfull, learned, and pious Ministers, in the vexation, and
grievous oppression of great numbers of His Majesties good Subjects.
The High-Commission grew to such excesse of sharpnesse and severity, as
was not much lesse then the Romish Inquisition; and yet in many cases
by the Archbishops power, was made much more heavy, being assisted, and
strengthened by authority of the Councell-Table.

The Bishops, and their Courts, were as eager in the Countrey; and
although their jurisdiction could not reach so high in rigour, and
extremity of punishment, yet were they no lesse grievous, in respect
of the generallity, and multiplicity of vexations, which lighting upon
the meaner sort of Tradesmen, and Artificers, did impoverish many
thousands, and so afflict and trouble others, that great numbers,
to avoid their miseries, departed out of the Kingdom, some into
_New-England_, and other parts of _America_, others into _Holland_,
where they have transported their Manufactures of Cloath which is not
only a losse by diminishing the present stock of the Kingdome, but a
great mischiefe by impairing and endangering the losse of that peculiar
Trade of Cloathing, which hath been a plentifull Fountain of Wealth and
Honour to this Nation.

Those were fittest for Ecclesiasticall preferment, and soonest obtained
it, who were most officious in promoting superstition, most virulent in
railing against Godlinesse, and honesty.

The most publike and solemn Sermons before His Majestie were, either to
advance Prerogative above Law, and Decry the propertie of the Subject,
or full of such kinde of invectives; whereby they might make those
odious, who sought to maintain the Religion, Laws, and Liberties of the
Kingdom; and such Men were sure to be weeded out of the Commission of
the peace, and out of all other imployments of power in the Government
of the Countrey.

Many noble Personages were Councellors in name; but the power and
authority remained in a few of such, as were most addicted to this
partie; whose resolutions, and determinations were brought to the
Table, for countenance, and execution, and not for debate, and
deliberation; and no Man could offer to appose them without disgrace,
and hazard to himself: Nay, all those that did not wholly concurre
and actively contribute to the furtherance of their designes, though
otherwise, persons of never so great Honour, and Abilities, were so
farre from being employed in any place of Trust, and power, that they
were neglected, discountenanced, and upon all occasions injured and

This Faction was grown to that height, and entirenesse of power, that
now they began to think of finishing their Work, which consisted of
these three parts.


_The Government must be set free from all restraint of Laws concerning
our Persons and States._


_There must be a Conjunction betwixt Papists and Protestants in
Doctrine, Discipline, and Ceremonies; only it must not yet be called


_The Puritans under which name, they include all those that desire
to preserve the Laws, and Liberties of the Kingdom, and to maintain
Religion in the power of it; must be either rooted out of the Kingdom
with force, or driven out with fear. For the effecting of this, It was
thought necessary to reduce =Scotland= to such Popish superstitions,
and Innovations, as might make them apt to joyn with =England=, in
that great change which was intended. Whereupon new Canons, and a new
Liturgy were prest upon them; and when they refused to admit of them,
an Army was raised to force them to it, towards which the Clergie, and
the Papists were very forward in their contribution. The Scots likewise
raised an Army for their defence; and when both Armies were come
together, and ready for a bloudy encounter, His Majesties own Gracious
disposition, and the Councell of the English Nobility, and Dutifull
submission of the Scots, did so farre prevail against the evil Councell
of others, that a Pacification was made, and His Maiesty returned with
Peace, and much Honour to =London=._

The unexpected reconciliation was most acceptable to all the Kingdome,
except to the malignant partie, whereof the Archbishop and the Earle
of Strafford being heads, they and their faction begun to enveigh
against the Peace, and to aggravate the proceeding of the States, which
so incensed His Majestie, that he forthwith prepared again for Warre.
And such was their confidence, that having corrupted and distempered
the whole frame and Government of the Kingdome, they did now hope to
corrupt that which was the onely means to restore all to a right frame
and Temper again: to which end they perswaded His Majestie to call
a Parliament, not to seek Counsell and advice of them, but to draw
Countenance and Supply from them, and engage the whole Kingdome in
their Quarrell: and in the mean time continued all their unjust Levies
of Money, resolving either to make the Parliament pliant to their Will,
and to establish mischief by a Law, or else to break it; and with more
colour to go on by violence, to take what they could not obtain by
consent. The ground alledged for the justification of this Warre was

That the undutifull Demands of the Parliaments of _Scotland_, was a
sufficient reason for His Maiestie to take Armes against them without
hearing the Reason of those Demands, And thereupon a new Armie was
prepared against them, their Ships were seized in all Ports, both of
_England_ and _Ireland_, and at Sea. Their Petitions reiected; their
Commissioners refused Audience. This whole Kingdome most miserably
distempered with Levies of Men and Money, and Imprisonments of those
who denied to submit to those Levies. The Earle of _Strafford_ past
into _Ireland_, caused the _Parliament_ there to declare against the
_Scots_, to give foure Subsidies towards that War; and to ingage
themselves, their lives and fortunes for the prosecution of it, and
gave directions for an Armie of eight thousand foot, and one thousand
horse to be levied there, which were for the most part Papists. The
_Parliament_ met upon the thirteenth of _April_, one thousand six
hundred and fourtie. The Earle of _Strafford_ and Archbishop of
_Canterbury_ with their Partie so prevailed with His Maiestie, that
the _House of Commons_ was prest to yeeld to a Supply for maintenance
of the Warre with _Scotland_, before they had provided any reliefe for
the great and pressing Grievances of the people, which being against
the fundamentall Priviledge and proceeding of _Parliament_, was yet in
humble respect to his Maiestie, so far admitted, as that they agreed
to take the matter of Supply into consideration, and two severall
dayes it was debated. Twelve Subsidies were demanded for the release
of Ship-money alone; A third day was appointed for Conclusion when the
Heads of that Partie begun to fear the people might close with the King
in satisfying his desire of Money: But that withall they were like to
blast their malicious designes against _Scotland_, finding them verie
much indisposed to give any countenance to that Warre.

Thereupon they wickedly advised the King to break off the _Parliament_,
and to return to the wayes of Confusion, in which their own evill
intentions were most like to prosper and succeed.

After the _Parliament_ ended the fifth of _May_, one thousand six
hundred and fourty, this Partie grew so bold, as to counsell the King
to supply Himself out of his Subiects states by his own power, at
his own Will, without their consent. The very next day some _Members
of both Houses_ had their Studies and Cabinets, yea their Pockets
searched: Another of them not long after was committed close prisoner
for not delivering some Petitions which he received by authoritie of
that _House_, and if harsher courses were intended (as was reported) it
is very probable that the sicknesse of the Earl of _Strafford_ and the
Tumultuous rising in _Southwarke_, and about _Lambeth_, were the causes
that such violent intentions were not brought to execution. A false and
scandalous Declaration against the _House of Commons_ was published, in
his Maiesties Name, which yet wrought little effect with the people,
but onely to manifest the impudence of those who were Authors of it.

A forced Loan of Money was attempted in the Citie of _London_.

The Lord Major and Aldermen in their severall Wards enioyned to bring
in a list of the Names of such persons as they iudged fit to lend, and
of the summe they should lend. And such Aldermen as refused so to do
were committed to prison.

The _Archbishop_ and the other _Bishops_ and _Clergie_ continued the
_Convocation_, and by a new Commission turned it to a _Provinciall
Synod_, in which by an unheard of presumption, they made _Canons_
that contain in them many matters contrarie to the Kings Prerogative,
to the fundamentall Laws and Statutes of the Realm, to the right of
_Parliaments_, to the Propertie and Libertie of the Subiect, and
matters tending to sedition and of dangerous consequence, thereby
establishing their own Vsurpations, justifying their Altar-worship, and
those other superstitious Innovations which they formerly introduced,
without warrant of Law.

They imposed a new Oath upon divers of his Maiesties Subiects, both
_Ecclesiasticall_ and _Lay_, for maintenance of their own Tyrannie,
and laid a great Tax upon the Clergy for supply of his Maiestie; and
generally they shewed themselves very affectionate to the Warre with
_Scotland_, which was by some of them stiled _Bellum Episcopale_, and a
prayer composed, and enioyned to be read in all Churches, calling the
_Scots_, _Rebels_, to put the two Nations into blood, and make them
irreconciliable. All those pretended _Canons_ and _Constitutions_ were
armed with the severall Censures of _Suspension_, _Excommunication_,
_Deprivation_, by which they would have thrust out all the good
Ministers, and most of the well affected people of the Kingdome, and
left an easie passage to their own Designe of Reconciliation with
_Rome_. The _Popish_ party enioyned such Exemptions from the _Penall
Laws_ as amounted to a Tolleration, besides many other encouragements,
and Court favours: They had a Secretarie of State, S^{ir}. _Francis
Windibank_, a powerfull Agent for the speeding of all their desires,
a _Popes Nuntio_ residing here to act and govern them according to
such influences as he received from _Rome_, and to intercede for
them with the most powerfull concurrence of the forraigne Princes
of that religion: By his authoritie the _Papists_ of all sorts,
Nobility, Gentry, and Clergie were convocated, after the manner of a
_Parliament_, new Iurisdictions were erected of _Romish Archbishops_,
Taxes levied, another State moulded within this State independant in
Government, contrary in interest and affection, secretly corrupting
the Ignorant, or negligent professors of our Religion, and closely
uniting and combining themselves against such as were sound, in this
posture waiting for an opportunitie by force to destroy those whom
they could not hope to seduce. For the effecting whereof, they were
strengthened with Armes and Munition, encouraged by superstitious
Prayers enioyned by the _Nuntio_ to be weekly made for the prosperitie
of some great designe. And such power had they at Court, that secretly
a Commission was issued out, intended to be issued to some great
Men of that profession for the levying of Souldiers, and to command
and employ them according to private Instructions, which we doubt
were framed for the advantage of those who were the contrivers of
them: His Maiesties Treasure was consumed, his Revenew anticipated,
His Servants and Officers compelled to lend great summes of Money;
Multitudes were called to the _Councell Table_, who were tired with
long attendances there, for refusing illegall payments. The _Prisons_
were filled with their Commitments; many of the Sheriffes summoned
into the _Starre Chamber_, and some imprisoned for not being quicke
enough in levying the Ship-money, the people languished under grief,
and fear, no visible hope being left, but in desperation. The Nobility
began to be wearie of their silence, and patience, and sensible of
the dutie and Trust which belongs to them: and thereupon some of the
most eminent of them did petition His Maiesty at such a time when evil
Councels were so strong that they had reason to expect more hazard
to themselves, then redresse of those publike evils for which they
interceded, whilest the Kingdome was in this Agitation and distemper,
the _Scots_ restrained in their Trades, impoverished by the losse of
many of their Ships, bereaved of all possibility of satisfying His
Majestie by any naked Supplication, entred with a powerfull Army into
the Kingdome, and without any hostile Act or spoil in the Countrey as
they passed, more then forcing a passage over the _Tyne_ at _Newborne_,
neer _Newcastle_, possessed themselves of _Newcastle_, and had a fair
opportunitie to presse on further upon the Kings Armie: but dutie and
Reverence to his Majestie, and brotherly love to the _English_ Nation,
made them stay there, whereby the King had leasure to entertain better
Councels, wherein God so blessed and directed him, that he summoned the
great Councell of Peers to meet at _Yorke_, upon the twentie fourth
of September, and there declared a Parliament to begin the third of
Novemb. then following. The Scots the first day of the great Councell,
presented an humble Petition to His Majestie, whereupon the Treatie
was appointed at Rippon. A present Cessation of armes agreed upon:
and the full Conclusion of all differences referred to the wisedome
and care of the Parliament. At our first meeting all Oppositions
seemed to vanish, the mischieves were so evident, which those evil
Councellors produced, that no Man durst stand up to defend them. Yet
the work it self afforded difficultie enough. The multiplied evils and
corruption of sixteen yeers strengthened by custome and authoritie,
and the concurrent interest of many powerfull delinquents were now to
be brought to iudgement and Reformation. The Kings Houshold was to be
provided for, they had brought him to that want, that he could not
supply His Ordinarie, and necessarie expences, without the assistance
of his people. Two Armies were to be paied, which amounted very neer to
80. thousand pounds a moneth; the people were to be tenderly charged,
having been formerly exhausted with many burthensome Proiects. The
difficulties seemed to be insuperable, which by the Divine Providence
we have overcome. The Contrarieties incompatible, which yet in a great
measure we have reconciled. Six Subsidies have been granted, and a Bill
of Poll-money, which if it be duely levied, may equall six Subsidies
more in all: Six hundred thousand pounds. Besides we have contracted
a Debt to the Scots of 220. thousand pounds; and yet God hath so
blessed the endeavours of this Parliament, that the Kingdom is a great
gainer by all these charges. The Ship-money is abolished, which cost
the Kingdome above 200. thousand pounds a yeer. The Coat and Conduct
money, and other militarie charges, are taken away, which in many
Countreys amounted to little lesse then the Ship-money. The Monopolies
are all supprest, whereof some few did preiudice the Subiect, above a
Million yearly. The Soape an hundred thousand pounds; the Wine three
hundred thousand pounds; the Leather must needs exceed both: and Salt
could be no lesse then that, besides the inferiour Monopolies, which
if they could be exactly computed, would make up a great summe. That
which is more beneficiall then all this is, that the root of these
evils is taken away, which was the arbitrarie power pretended to be in
his Maiestie, of taxing the Subiect, or charging their estates without
consent in Parliament, which is now declared to be against Law by
the iudgement of both Houses, and likewise by an Act of Parliament.
Another step of great advantage is this: the living Grievances, the
evil Councellors and actors of these mischiefs have been so quelled,
by the justice done upon the Earl of Strafford, the flight of the Lord
_Finch_, and Secretarie _Windibank_. The accusation and imprisonment of
the Archbishop of Canterbury, of Iudge _Bartlet_, and the impeachment
of divers other Bishops and Iudges, that it is like not onely to be
an ease to the present times, but a preservation to the future. The
discontinuance of Parliaments is prevented by the Bill for a Trienniall
Parliament, and the abrupt dissolution of this Parliament by another
Bill; by which it is provided it shall not be dissolved or adiourned
without the consent of both Houses. Which two Laws well considered, may
be thought more advantagious then all the former, because they secure a
full operation of the present remedie, and afford a perpetuall Spring
of remedies for the future: The Star-Chamber, the High Commission,
the Courts of the President, and Councell in the North, were so many
forges of miserie, oppression, and violence, and are all taken
away, whereby men are more secured in their persons, liberties, and
estates, then they could be by any Law or Example for the regulation
of those Courts, or Terror of the Iudges; The immoderate power of the
_Councell Table_, and the excessive abuse of that power is so ordered
and restrained, that we may well hope that no such things as were
frequently done by them, to the prejudice of the publique libertie,
will appear in future times but onely in Stories, to give us and our
posteritie more occasion to praise God for His Maiesties goodnesse,
and the faithfull endeavours of this _Parliament_. The _Canons_, and
the power of _Canon_ making, are blasted by the Vote of both _Houses_.
The exorbitant power of _Bishops_, and their Courts, are much abated,
by some Provisions in the Bill against the _High Commission Court_.
The authors of the many innovations in Doctrine and Ceremonies; The
Ministers that have been scandalous in their lives, have been so
terrified in iust complaints and accusations, that we may well hope
they will be more modest for the time to come; either inwardly
convicted by the sight of their own folly, or outwardly restrained by
the fear of punishment. The _Forrests_ are by a good Law reduced to
their right bounds; The encroachments and oppressions of the _Stannarie
Courts_; The Extortions of the Clerk of the Market, and the Compulsion
of the Subiect to receive the Order of Knighthood against his will,
paying of Fines for not receiving it, and the vexatious proceedings
thereupon for levying of those Fines, are by other beneficiall Laws
reformed and prevented. Many excellent Laws and provisions are in
preparation for removing the inordinate power, vexation, and usurpation
of _Bishops_, for reforming the pride and Idlenesse of many of the
Clergie, for easing the people of unnecessarie Ceremonies in Religion,
for censuring and removing unworthy and unprofitable Ministers; and
for maintaining godly and diligent Preachers through the Kingdome:
Other things of many importance for the good of this Kingdome, are
in proposition, though little could hitherto be done, in regard of
the many other more pressing businesses, which yet before the end
of this Session, we hope may receive some progresse and perfection.
The establishing and ordering the Kings Revenue, that so the abuse
of Officers, and superfluity of expences may be cut off, and the
necessarie disbursments for his Majesties Honor, the defence and
government of the Kingdome, may be more certainly provided for. The
regulating of Courts of Iustice, and abridging both the delayes and
charges of Law Suits; The setling of some good courses for preventing
the exportation of Gold and Silver, and the inequality of exchanges
betwixt us and other Nations, for the advancing of native Commodities,
increase of our Manufactures, and well ballancing of Trade, whereby
the Stock of the Kingdome may be increased, or at least kept from
impairing, as through neglect hereof it hath done for many yeers
last past; For improving the Herring fishing, upon our own Coasts,
which will be of mightie use in the imployment of the poore, and a
plentifull Nurserie of Mariners for inabling the Kingdome in any
great Action. The oppositions, obstructions; and other Difficulties
wherewith we have been encountred, and which still lye in our way with
some strength and much obstinacie are these: The malignant Partie
whom we have formerly described, to be the Actors and promoters of
all our miserie, they have taken heart again; They have been able to
preferre some of their own Factors and Agents to degrees of honour, to
places of Trust and imployment even during the _Parliament_. They have
endeavoured to work in His Maiestie ill impressions and opinions of Our
proceedings, as if we had altogether done our own work, and not His,
and had obtained from him many things very preiudiciall to the Crown,
both in respect of Prerogative and Profit. To wipe out this slander,
We think good onely to say thus much: That all that We have done, is
for His Maiestie, His greatnesse, Honor, and support, when We yeelded
to give 25000. l. a moneth for the relief of the Northerne Countreys,
this was given to the King, for he was bound to protect his subiects,
they were his Maiesties evill Counsellors, and their ill instruments
that were actors in those grievances which brought in the Scots: and if
his Majesty please to force those who were the authors of this warre to
make satisfaction, as he might justly and easily doe, it seemes very
reasonable that the people might well be excused from taking upon them
this burthen, being altogether innocent, and free from being any causes
of it.

When we undertooke the charge of the army, which cost above 50000.
pound a moneth, was not this given to the King? was it not his
Majesties army? were not all the Commanders under contract with his
Majesty at higher rates and greater wages then ordinary? and have not
we taken upon us to discharge all the brotherly assistance of three
hundred thousand pounds which we gave the Scots? was it not toward
repaire of those dammages and losses which they received from the
Kings ships, and from his ministers? These three particulars amount
to above 1100. thousand pound, besides his Majesty hath received by
impositions upon merchandise at least 400. thousand pounds; so that
his Majesty hath had out of the subjects purse since the Parliament
began, one million and halfe, and yet these men can be so impudent,
as to tell his Majesty, that we have done nothing for him. As to the
second branch of this slander, we acknowledge with much thankfulnesse
that his Majesty hath passed more good Bils to the advantage of the
subjects then hath been in many ages; but withall we cannot forget,
that these venomous counsels did manifest themselves in some endeavours
to hinder these good Acts: And for both Houses of Parliament wee may
with truth and modesty say thus much, That we have ever been carefull
not to desire any thing that should weaken the Crowne either in just
profit or usefull power. The trienniall Parliament, for the matter of
it, doth not extend to so much as by Law we ought to have required,
there being two Statutes still in force for a Parliament to be once
a yeere, and for the manner of it, it is in the Kings power, that it
shall never take effect, if he by a timely summons shall prevent any
other way of assembling. In the Bill for continuance of this present
Parliament, there seemes to be some restraint of the royall power in
dissolving of Parliaments, not to take it out of the Crowne, but to
suspend the execution of it for this time and occasion onely, which
was so necessary for the Kings owne security, and the publique peace,
that without it wee could not have undertaken any of these great
charges, but must have left both the armies to disorder and confusion,
and the whole Kingdome to blood and rapin. The Starchamber was much
more fruitfull in oppression then in profit, the great fines being
for the most part given away, and the rest stalled at long times. The
fines of the high Commission were in themselves unjust and seldome or
never came into the Kings purse. These foure Bils are particularly
and more specially instanced, in the rest, there will not be found
so much as a shadow of prejudice to the Crowne. They have sought
to diminish our reputation with the people, and to bring them out
of love with Parliaments: the aspersions which they have attempted
this way, have beene such as these, That we have spent much time and
done little, especially in those grievances which concerne Religion.
That the Parliament is a burden to the Kingdome by the abundance of
Protections which hinder Justice and Trade, and by many Subsidies
granted much more heavy then any they formerly endured; to which
there is a ready answer: If the time spent in this Parliament be
considered in relation backward to the long growth and deep roote of
those grievances, which wee have removed, to the powerfull supports
of those delinquents which wee have pursued, to the great necessities
and other charges of the Common wealth for which we have provided:
or if it be considered in relation forward to many advantages, which
not onely the present but future ages are like to reape by the good
lawes and other proceedings in this Parliament, we doubt not but it
will be thought by all indifferent judgments that our time hath beene
much better imployed then in a farre greater proportion of time in
many former Parliaments put together; and the charges which have beene
laid upon the Subjects, and the other inconveniences which they have
borne will seeme very light in respect of the benefit they have and
may receive. And for the matter of Protections, the Parliament is so
sensible of it, that therein they intend to give them whatsoever ease
may stand with Honour and Justice; and are in a way of passing a Bill
to give them satisfaction. They have sought by many subtile practices,
to cause jealousies and divisions betwixt us and our brethren of
_Scotland_, by slandering their proceedings and intentions towards
us, and by secret endeavours to instigate and incense them and us one
against another. They have had such a party of Bishops and popish
Lords in the House of Peeres, as hath caused much opposition and delay
in the prosecution of delinquents, hindred the proceedings of divers
good Bils passed in the Commons House, concerning the reformation of
sundry great abuses and corruptions both in Church and State. They
have laboured to seduce and corrupt some of the Commons House, to draw
them into Conspiracies and Combinations against the libertie of the
Parliament: And by their instruments and agents they have attempted
to disaffect and discontent his Majesties Army, and to ingage it for
the maintenance of their wicked and trayterous designes, the keeping
up of Bishops in their Votes and functions, and by force to compell
the Parliament to order, limit, and dispose their proceedings in such
manner as might best concurre with the intentions of this dangerous and
potent faction: And when one mischievous designe, and attempt of theirs
to bring on the Army against the Parliament, and the City of _London_
had been discovered and prevented, they presently undertooke another
of the same damnable nature, with this addition to it, to endeavour
to make the Scotish Army neutrall, whilst the English Army which they
had laboured to corrupt and invenome against us by their false and
slanderous suggestions should execute their malice to the subversion
of our Religion and the dissolution of our government. Thus they have
beene continually practizing to disturbe the peace, and plotting the
destruction even of all the Kings Dominions, and have employed their
emissaries and agents in them all for the promoting of their divellish
designes which the vigilancie of those who were well affected hath
still discovered and defeated before they were ripe for execution in
_England_ and _Scotland_: only in _Ireland_ which was farther of, they
have had time and opportunity to mould and prepare their worke, and
had brought it to that perfection that they had possessed themselves
of that whole Kingdome, totally subverted the government of it, rooted
out Religion, and destroyed all the protestants whom the conscience of
their duty to God, their King and Countrey would not have permitted
to joyne with them, if by Gods wonderfull providence their maine
enterprize upon the City and Castell of _Dublin_ had not beene detected
and prevented upon the very eave before it should have beene executed.
Notwithstanding they have in other parts of that Kingdome broken out
into open rebellion, surprised Townes and Castles, committed murders,
rapes, and other villanies; and shaken off all bonds of obedience to
his Majesty, and the lawes of the Realme; and in generall have kindled
such a fire, as nothing but Gods infinite blessing upon the wisdome and
endeavours of this State will be able to quench it: and certainely had
not God in his great mercy unto this Land discovered and confounded
their former designes, we had been the Prologue to this Tragedy in
_Ireland_, and had by this time been made the lamentable spectacle of
misery and confusion. And now what hope have we but in God, when as the
onely means of our subsistance, and power of reformation is under him,
in the Parliament; but what can we the Commons without the conjunction
of the House of Lords, and what conjunction can wee expect there,
when the Bishops and Recusant Lords are so numerous and prevalent,
that they are able to crosse and interrupt our best endeavours for
reformation, and by that meanes give advantage to this malignant party
to traduce our proceedings. They infuse into the people, that we meane
to abolish all Church government, and leave every man to his owne fancy
for the service and worship of God, absolving him of that obedience
which he owes under God unto his Majesty whom wee know to be intrusted
with the ecclesiasticall law as well as with the temporall to regulate
all the members of the Church of _England_ by such rules of order
and discipline as are established by parliament which is his great
Councell, in all affaires both in Church and State. We confesse our
intention is and our endeavours have been to reduce within bounds that
exorbitant power which the prelates have assumed unto themselves so
contrary both to the Word of God, and to the Laws of the Land, to which
end wee past the Bill for the removing them from their temporall power,
and imployments, that so the better they might with meekenesse apply
themselves to the discharge of their functions, which Bill themselves
opposed, and were the principall instruments of crossing it.

And we do here declare, that it is farre from our purpose or desire
to let loose the golden reynes of discipline, and government in the
Church, to leave private persons or particular Congregations to take up
what forme of divine Service they please; for we hold it requisite that
their should be throughout the whole Realme a conformity to that Order
which the Lawes enjoyne, according to the Word of God: and we desire
to unburthen the consciences of men of needlesse and superstitious
ceremonies, suppresse innovations, and take away the monuments of
Idolatry. And the better to effect the intended reformation we desire
there may be a generall Synod of the most grave, pious, learned, and
judicious Divines of this Island, assisted with some from forraine
parts professing the same Religion with us, who may consider of all
things necessary for the peace & good government of the Church, and
represent the results of their consultations unto the Parliament to
be there allowed of and confirmed, and receive the stamp of authority
thereby to finde passage and obedience throughout the Kingdome. They
have malitiously charged us that wee intend to destroy and discourage
learning, whereas it is our chiefest care and desire to advance it
and to provide a competent maintenance for conscionable and preaching
Ministers throughout the Kingdome, which will be a great encouragement
to Schollers, and a certaine means whereby the want, meanesse, and
ignorance to which a great part of the Clergy is now subject, will be
prevented. And wee intend likewise to reforme, and purge the fountaines
of learning the two Universities, that the streames flowing from thence
may be cleere and pure, and an honour and comfort to the whole Land.
They have strayned to blast our proceedings in Parliament by wresting
the interpretations of our Orders from their genuine intention. They
tell the people that our medling with the power of Episcopacy, hath
caused sectaries and conventicles, when idolatry and popish ceremonies
introduced in the Church by the command of the Bishops have not onely
debarred the people from thence, but expelled them from the Kingdome.
Thus with _Eliah_ we are called by this malignant party the troublers
of the State, and still while we endeavour to reforme their abuses,
they make us the authours of those mischiefes we study to prevent: for
the perfecting of the worke begun and removing all future impediments,
we conceave these courses will be very effectuall, seeing the religion
of the Papists, hath such principals as doe certainely tend to the
destruction and extirpation of all Protestants when they shall have
opportunity to effect it.

It is necessary in the first place to keep them in such a condition,
as that they may not be able to do us any hurt, and for avoyding of
such connivence and favour as hath heretofore been shewed unto them,
That his Majesty be pleased to grant a standing Commission to some
choice men named in Parliament, who may take notice of their encrease,
their counsels and proceedings, and use all due meanes by execution of
the Lawes to prevent all mischievous designes, against the peace and
safety of this Kingdome. That some good course be taken to discover the
counterfeit and false conformity of Papists to the Church by colour
whereof persons very much disaffected to the true religion have beene
admitted into place of greatest authority and trust in the Kingdome.

For the better preservation of the Lawes and liberties of the Kingdome,
that all illegall grievances and exactions be presented, and punished
at the Sessions, and Assizes: and that Judges and Justices be very
carefull to give this in charge to the grand Jury, and both the
Sheriffe and Justices to be sworne to the due execution of the petition
of right and other Lawes: That his Majesty be humbly petitioned by both
houses to employ such Counsellours, Ambassadors, and other Ministers in
mannaging his businesse at home and abroad, as the Parliament may have
cause to confide in, without which wee cannot give his Majesty such
supplies for support of his owne estate, nor such assistance to the
protestant party beyond the Sea, as is desired. It may often fall out
that the Commons may have just cause to take exceptions at some men for
being Counsellors, and yet not charge those men with crimes, for there
be grounds of diffidence which lie not in proofe: there are others
which though they may be proved yet are not legally criminall, to be a
knowne favourer of papists, or to have beene very forward in defending
or countenancing some great offenders questioned in Parliament, or to
speake contemptuously of either Houses of Parliament, or Parliamentary
proceedings, or such as are factours or agents for any forraine Prince
of another Religion, such are justly suspect to get Counsellors places
or any other of trust concerning publique imployment for money: For all
these and divers others wee may have great reason to be earnest with
his Majesty not to put his great affaires into such hands, though we
may be unwilling to proceed against them in any legall way of charge
or impeachment: that all Counsellors of State may be sworn to observe
those Lawes which concerne the Subject in his libertie, that they may
likewise take an oath not to receive or give reward or pension from any
forraine Prince, but such as they shall within some reasonable time
discover to the Lords of his Majesties Councell: and although they
should wickedly forsweare themselves, yet it may herein doe good to
make them knowne to be false and perjured to those who imploy them, and
thereby bring them into as little credit with them as with us. That his
Majesty may have cause to be in love with good Counsel and good men, by
shewing him in an humble and dutifull manner, how full of advantage
it would be to himselfe, to see his owne estate setled in a plentifull
condition to support his honour, to see his people united in waies of
duty to him, and endeavours of the publique good; to see happinesse,
wealth, peace and safety derived to his owne Kingdome, and procured
to his Allies by the influence of his owne power and government. That
all good courses may be taken to unite the two Kingdomes of _England_
and _Scotland_ to be mutually ayding and assisting of one another for
the common good of the Island, and honour of both. To take away all
differences amongst our selves for matters indifferent in their owne
nature concerning Religion; and to unite our selves against the common
enemies which are the better enabled by our divisions to destroy us
all, as they hope and have often endeavoured. To labour by all offices
of friendship to unite the forrain Churches with us in the same cause,
and to seeke their liberty, safety, and prosperity, as bound thereunto
both by charity to them, and by wisdome for our owne good. For by
this meanes our owne strength shall be encreased, and by a mutuall
concurrence to the same common end, we shall be enabled to procure the
good of the whole body of the Protestant profession. If these things
may be observed, wee doubt not but God will crowne this Parliament with
such successe as shall be the beginning, and foundation of more honour
and happinesse to his Majesty, then ever yet was enjoyed by any of his
Royall Predecessors.



Transcriber's Note

Archaic and inconsistent spelling and punctuation has been reproduced
as printed.

Illegible or unclear letters have been imputed to form the word
expected in the context.

The following changes have been made to the text as printed:

Page 33: "whereupou" has been changed to "whereupon".

Page 37: "wher-by" hyphenated across a line break has been rendered as

Page 37: A full stop has been inserted after "Vote of both Houses".

Page 39: "ex-exchanges" hyphenated across a line break has been
rendered as "exchanges".

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