The Remonstrance and Complaints of the Poore Commoners of England
Complaints of the poore Commoners of ENGLAND
Their humble addresses and resolutions for a present relief therein.
THat after the frequent pretences, of a blessed Reformation; and the many assurances of setling a wel-conditioned peace, in this now-unhappy Iland; the only issue of our six years late troubles and vast expences, hath been, Religion wasted into a libertinisme of Factions; Three Kingdomes inflamed with most bitter enmities; and this Nation consumed by the lamentable calamities of an unnaturall and bloudy War.
That for more then twelve Moneths since, the Managery of the whole Power and Authority of this Kingdome, hath remained in the hands of a prevailing Party: and the only end of this is, The confusion of a wel-temper'd Government, The abandoning of wholsome Laws, and the purity of Justice troubled and overtopped by an Arbitrary Jurisdiction over the lives and fortunes of a Free-born people.
To this end Garrisons are still continued throughout the whole body of this Kingdome; a Navy is kept at Sea, and an Army Free-quarter'd in every corner of this Land; for the maintenance whereof, Gods patrimony is seiz'd on: The Free-holds of many thousands conscientious persons Sequestrated and exposed to sale, and all of us surcharg'd with unsupportable impositions to secure our own bondage.
All which notwithstanding, Distractions are still multiplied; the Publick debts increased daily; Mutinies and Insurrections continually suspected, and almost numberlesse Families of innocency and worth, Crying to God for vengeance; impoverished, and at present ready to perish for want.
Hereupon, Religion is scandaliz'd, Husbandry is neglected, Commerce abandoned, and Trades decayed; whereby the necessaries of our livelyhood are grown scrace and dear: House-keeping is disabled, and all imployments discontinued.
Insomuch, that besides the just provocations of Gods vengeance upon us, by the crying sins of this Age, (which God hath blinded to impenitency) blasphemy, profanenesse, Rebellion, hypocrisie, rapine, murther, cruelty, and all kinds and degrees of uncharitablenesse: (the scene of our calamities being only chang'd, and not withdrawn) We the poor Commoners, with this whole Nation, (which can never be quieted, by the tyranny of a prevailing power) and clearly behold a convincing evidence in the present state of these our distempers, that (without some speedy remedy) they must necessarily be devoured by Famine or the Sword, or live cow'd and discontended, under the cruelty of a pretented Conquest.
2. In prevention whereof it is their humble desire,
That all persons of publick trust do immediately apply themselves to remove the forementioned Grievances; and that every able man within our languishing Dominions, (according to his power) do contribute his best assistance to vindicate their respective rights and settle the peace of a distracted people. And they do also further declare, that upon their backwardnesse therein, they shall conceive themselves freed of all ingagements for the publick interests, and (calling Heaven and earth in their behalf to attest their innocency in this particular) will forthwith apply themselves to any Party, and to all expediencies that may serve to secure them against the present dangers.