A Petition Presented by the Inhabitants of Newport-Pagnell
A Petition presented by the Inhabitants of Newport-pagnell
and the parts adjacent to his Excellency the Lord Generall Fairfax, and the Generall
Councell at White-Hall on Tuesday, Decemb.26. 1648, Desiring the person of the King might
be brought to speedy Justice, and other matters of the like Nature.
1.1. To the Right Honourable His Excellency the Lord Fairfax, Generall of the Parliaments Forces,
and to the Officers of the Excellencies Army now met in Generall Councell.
The Humble Petition of the well-affected in Newport-Pagnell, and the Parts adjacent.
WE are very sensible by whose meanes, and to satisfie whose Prerogative Fancy, our Lives and Liberties have bin ruined and almost destroyed, which our Representatives well resenting (at their first Convention) did by severall Declarations sufficiently satisfie the Kingdome: And for prevention of future Arbitrary Practises over our Persons and Estates, did dismount the tyrannicall Courts of Star-Chamber, High-Commission, and Councell-Table; going yet further, that if the King (in dislike of their just endeavours for the Peoples safety) should make Warre upon the Parliament, it should tend to the dissolution of his Government: In order to which (the King guilty of breach of the Trust aforesaid) That satisfactory Declaration of no more Addresses did abundantly witnesse their just Proceedings, putting us upon expectation of their candid intentions to a just settlement of Peace and Freedome: But now (to our greatest griefe be it spoken) we have found resolutions in our Electives, implying a notorious contradiction of their former just and equitable Principles, giving the King that by Vote which by all the strength and policy of His Royall Party he could never yet attaine to by the sword. All which mischiefes we doe interpret to obnoxious humours (hoping no errors in the Vitals) But in case these Votes should arrive to their intended accomplishment, we are given to beleeve (notwithstanding all the Bloud and Treasure (since the Wars began) that hath been exhausted) we shall be left in a worse condition then before; and by so much the more the rage of that professed Tyrant and his Creatures incensed against us. And in the midst of these our feares and jealousies, there appeared not from our Representatives the least hope of Recovery (notwithstanding Petitionary means hath bin used to rectifie their judgments)
All which, as the subject matter of our saddest thoughts, we humbly present to your Excellency and Officers under your Command: Beseeching you, by all the Deliverances and Victories that God hath duplicated upon this Army, That you be not deluded by the sophistry of a corrupt Party, but to improve your power to the utmost for the establishment of Justice and Freedome: And that your Excellency will be pleased to mediate the Parliament in our behalfe, for these our just desires; And in prosecution hereof, we shall assist your Excellency to the utmost of our Lives and Fortunes.
- THat the Author of the Bloud and Ruines of the three Kingdomes (as we conceive) the Person of the King be brought to speedy Tryall.
- That a strict Enquiry be made after all Persons (of what quality soever, that had a hand in the first or second War, and Justice done according to their demerit.
- That the heavy burthen of free Quarter be wholly taken off, and effectuall care taken for constant pay of the Army, and provision thought upon for paiment of their Arreares.
- That the Capitall and most Antichristian oppression of Tythes be taken away, and that Gleabe-Lands be sold to satisfie Impropriators: Provided their Tenure be not: from Bishops, Deanes and Chapters, or Colledges, or their Estates under Sequestration; And Gospell-Ministers to be maintained by a free Contribution, according to Gospell-Order.
- That no Law be made or continued for the punishing of our persons about matters in Religion, seeing every soule shall stand or fall to his owne Master, no need of tormenting before the time.
- That the Lawes of this Land be translated into English; And that there be a Court of Judicature in each Hundred of every County, where Causes may be equally determined by twelve sworne men Annually chosen by the Freemen of the said Hundred, and not left to depend upon Prerogative Lawyers for Justice, the Obstructors of the Peoples Freedomes.
- That a speedy course may be taken for the suppressing of Ale-houses; They being the very Receptacle and Nursery of Rogues to plot and contrive all manner of villany, and Cause of the great dearth and famine in this Kingdome; And unlesse it be timely prevented, will occasion the starving of many thousand Families.
- That the Desires of the large Petition presented Sept. 11. be taken into speedy Consideration; That it may not discourage the well affected from making future Addresses.
- Lastly, we protest against Community or abridgment of the least title of any mans Property. This being the period of our desires, That the Lawes being grounded upon Reason and Religion, all Persons may be bound alike to subjection.
And your Petitioners shall pray, etc.
1.2. The Answer of the Generall Councell in White-Hall on Tuesday, Decemb. 26. 1648.
To the Petition of Newport-Pagnell, and the Parts adjacent.
THat they had read the Petition, and did very kindly resent and thankfully accept those Expressions first in the preamble of the Petition, of their affections and faithfulnesse, in relation to the publique Justice and Liberties of the Kingdome, and for their desires in the Prayers of the Petition concerning the prosecution of Justice and Freedome: We doe heartily close with your desires in it, and shall endeavour to prosecute the same, as God shall direct and inable us in all honest wayes. And for the last part of the Prayer of the Petition, for mediating with the Parliament concerning those particulars following, They were acquainted, that the most part of the particulars are such as doe relate to publique Justice, and a generall settlement of the Liberties of the Kingdome. The Councell hath taken many of them already into consideration, and are in consideration of some other things remaining; which so soone as they have passed the Councell, you will see publique, and we hope to your satisfaction; and the other particulars that you desire mediation in, either concerning the Reformation of Lawes in being, or the making of new, Particularly the Councell doe let you know, that such things as those are matters of publique Justice and of the Kingdome; they shall so farre as they are proper for their Cognizance take them into consideration in their places and time.