A Legall Vindication of the Liberties of England

A Legall Vindication
Of the Liberties of England,
And pretended Acts of Parliament
Lately enforced on the PEOPLE:

Reasons assigned by WILLIAM PRYNNE of Swainswick in the County of Sommerset, Esquire, why he can neither in Conscience, Law, nor Prudence submit to the New illegall Tax or Contribution of
Ninety Thousand pounds the MONTH;
Lately imposed on the Kingdom, by a pretended Act of some commons in (or rather out of) Parliament

(ESAY 1. 7.)He looked for Judgment, but behold Oppression; for Righteousness, but behold a Cry.
(PSAL. 12. 5.)For the Oppression of the poor, for the Sighing of the needy; now will I arise (saith the Lord) and will set him in safety from him that would ensnare him.
(EXOD. 6. 5, 6.)I have also heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Ægyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembred my Covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the Burdens of the Ægyptians; and I will rid you out of their Bondage: and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great Judgments.
(ECCLES. 4. 1, 2.)‘So I returned and considered all the Oppressions that are done under the Sun, and beheld the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no Comforter; and in the hand of their Oppressors there was power, but they had no Comforter: Wherfore I praised the dead which are already dead, more then the living which are yet alive.’

London, Printed for Robert Hodges, and are to be sold by him. 1649.



[Page 1]

1.1. REASONS Assigned by WILLIAM PRYNNE, &c.

BEing on the 7th of this instant June 1649 informed by the Assessors of the Parish of Swainswick, that I was assessed at 2 l. 5 s. for three months Contribution, by vertue of a (pretended) Act of the Commons assembled in Parliament, bearing date the seventh of April last, assessing the Kingdom at ninty thousand pounds monthly, beginning from the 25 of March last, and continuing for six months next ensuing, towards the maintenance of the Forces to be continued in England and Ireland, and the paying of such as are thought fit to be disbanded, that so Free-quarter may be taken off; whereof 3075 l. 17 s. 1 d. ob. is monthly imposed on the County, and 2 l. 5 s. 3 d. on the small poor Parish where I live; and being since, on the fifteenth of June required to pay in 2 l. 5 s. for my proportion: I returned the Collector this Answer, That I could neither in Conscience, Law nor Prudence in the least measure submit to the voluntary payment of this illegall Tax, and unreasonable Contribution, (after all my unrepaired losses and sufferings for the publick Libertie) amounting to six times more then SHIP-MONEY, (the times considered) or any other illegall Tax of the late beheaded King, so much declaimed against in our three last Parliaments, by some of those who imposed this. And that I would rather submit to the painfullest death and severest punishment the Imposers or Exactors of it could inflict upon me by their arbitrary power (for legall they had none) then voluntarily pay, or not oppose it in my place and, calling to the uttermost, upon the same, if not better reasons, as I oppugned (a)See my humble Remonstran[?]ce against Ship-money.Ship-money, Knight-hood, and other unlawfull Impositions of the late King and his Councell heretofore. And that they and all the world might bear witnesse, I did it [Page 2] not from meer obstinacy or sullennesse; but out of solid reall grounds of Conscience, Law, Prudence, and publick affection to the weal and liberty of my native Country (now in danger of being enslaved under a new vassallage, more grievous then the worst it ever yet sustained under the late, or any other of our worst Kings) I promised to draw up the Reasons of this my refusall in writing, and to publish them, so soon as possible, to the Kingdom for my own Vindication, and the better information and satisfaction of all such as are any wayes concerned in the imposing, collecting, levying or paying of this strange kinde of Contribution. In pursuance whereof, I immediatly penned these ensuing Reasons; which I humbly submit to the impartiall Censure of all conscientious and judicious Englishmen; desiring either their ingenuous[?] Refutation, if erroneous; or candid Approbation, if substantiall and irrefragable, as my conscience and judgement perswade me they are, and that they will appear so to all impartial Perusers, after full examination.

First, By the fundamental Laws, and known Statutes of this Realm, No Tax, Tallage, Ayd, Imposition, Contribution, Loan or Assessement whatsoever, may or ought to be opposed or levied on the free men and people of this Realm of England, but by the WILL and COMMON ASSENT of the EARLS, BARONS, Knights, Burgesses, Commons, and WHOLE REALM in a free and full PARLIAMENT, by ACT OF PARLIAMENT: All Taxes, etc. not so imposed, levied (though for the common defence and profit of the Realm) being unjust, oppre[?]ssive, inconsistent with the Liberty and Property of the Subject, Laws and Statutes of the Realm; as is undenyably evident by the expresse Statutes of Magna Charta, cap.29,30. 25.E.1.c.5.6. 34.E.1. De Tallagio non concedendo, cap.1.21.E.3. Rot.Parl.n.16. 25.E.3.c.8. 36.E.3. Rot.Parl.n.26. 45.E.3. Rot.Parl.n.42. 11.H.4. Rot.Parl.n.10. 1.R.3.c.2. The Petition of Right, and Resolutions of both Houses against Loans, 3 Caroli: The Votes and Acts against Ship-money, Knight-hood, Tonnage and Poundage, and the Star-chamber this last Parliament, 17. & 18. Caroli. And fully argued and demonstrated by Mr. William Hackwell in his Argument against Impositions; Judg Hutton and Judg Crook in their Arguments, and Mr. St. John in his Argument and Speech against Ship-money, with other [Page 3] Arguments and Discourses of that subject: Sir Edward Cook in his 2 Instit. (published by Order of the Commons House) pag 59. 60. etc. 527, 528, 529, 532, 533 etc with sundry other Re[?]cords and law-books cited by those great Rabbies of the Law, and Patriots of the Peoples Liberties. But the present Tax of Ninety Thousand pounds a Month, now exacted of me, was not thus imposed. Therefore it ought not to be demanded of, nor levied on me; and I ought in conscience, law and prudence to withstand it as unjust, oppressive, inconsistent with the Liberty and Property of the Subject, Laws and Statutes of the Realm.

To make good the Assumption, which is only questionable.

First, This Tax was not imposed in, but out of Parliament, the late Parliament being actually dissolved above two months before this pretended Act by these Tax-imposers taking away the King by a violent death, as is expresly resolved by the Parliament of 1 H.4. Rot.Parl.n.1. by the Parliament of 14 H.4. and 1 H.5. Rot.Parliam.n.26. Cook 4 Institutes p.46. and 4.E.4 44.b. For the King being both the Head, beginning, end and foundation of the Parliament (as Modus tenendi Parliamentum: and Sir Edward Cooks 4. Instit. p.3. resolve) which was summoned and constituted only by his writ now (b)See 1 E.6. cap.7. Cook 7. Report.30,31. Dyer 165. 4 Ed 4.43,44. 1 E.5.1. Brook Commission.19.21. actually abated by his death: and the Parliament (as it is evident by the clauses of the severall Writs of Summons to (c) Cromptons Jurisdiction of Courts. fol.1. Cook 4. Instit. p.9.10 the Lords, and for the election of Knights and Burgesses, and levying of their wages) being onely PARLIAMENTUM NOSTRUN, the Kings Parliament that is dead not his Heirs and Successors; and the Lords and Commons being all summoned and authorized by it to come to HIS PARLIAMENT, there to be present, and conferre with HIM (NOBISCUM, not His Heirs and Successors) of the weighty urgent affaires that concerned (NOS) HIM and HIS KINGDOME of England; and the Knights and Burgesses receiving their wages for, Nuper ad NOS ad PARLIAMENTUM NOSTRUM veniendo, etc. quod sommoneri FECIMUS, ad tractandum ibidem super diversis & arduis Negotiis NOS & Statum REGNINOSTRI tangentibus, as the tenor of the (d)5 Ed.3.m.6. part.2. Dors. Claus. Regist.f.192.200.Writs for their wages determines. The King being dead, and his Writ and Authority by which they are summoned, with the ends for which they were called (to confer with HIM, about [Page 4] HIS, and HIS KINGDOMS affairs, etc. being thereby absolutely determined, without any hopes of revivall; the Parliament it self must thereupon absolutely be determined likewise (especially to those who have dis-inherited HIS HEIRS and SUCCESSORS, and voted down our Monarchy it self) and these with all other Members of Parliament, cease to be any longer Members of it, being made such only by the Kings abated Writ; even as all Judges, Justices of peace, and Sheriffs made only by the Kings Writ or Commission, not by Letters Patents, cease to be Judges, Justices, and Sheriffs by the Kings death, for this very reason, because they are constituted Justiciarios & Vicecomites NOSTROS ad Pacem NOSTRAM, etc. custodiendam; and he being dead, and his Writs and Commissions expired by his death, they can be his Judges, Justices, and Sheriffs no longer to preserve HIS Peace, etc. (no more then a wife can be her deceased Husbands Wife, and bound to his obedience, from which she was loosed by his death, Rom.7.2,3.) And his Heirs and Successors they cannot be, unlesse he please to make them so by his new Writs or Commissions, as all our (e)4 Ed.4 44.1 E.5.1. Brook Commissions. 19.21. & Officer, 25. Dyer. 165. Cook 7. Report.30,31. 1 E.6.c.7. Daltons Justice of Peace, c.3 p 13 Lambert. p.71 Law-books and Judges have frequently resolved upon this very reason, which equally ex[t]ends to Members of Parliament, as to Judges, Justices and Sheriffs, as is agreed in 4 E. 4. 43, 44{,} and Brooke, Office and Officer, 25. Therefore this Tax being clearly imposed not in, but out of, and after the Parliament ended by the Kings decapitation, and that by such who were then no lawfull Knights, Citizens, Burgesses or Members of Parliament, but onely private men, their Parliamentary Authority expiring with the King, it must needs be illegall, and contrary to all the fore-cited Statutes; as the Convocations and Clergies Tax and Benevolence granted after the Parliament dissolved in the year 1640{,} was resolved to be by both Houses of Parliament, and those adjudged high Delinquents who had any hand in promoting it.

2. Admit the late Parliament still in being, yet the House of Peers, Earls and Barons of the Realm were no ways privie nor consenting to this Tax, imposed without, yea, against their consents in direct affront of their most ancient undubitable Parliamentary Right and priviledges, (these Tax-masters having presumed to vote down and null their very House, by their new [Page 5] encroached transcendent power) as appears by the title and body of this pretended Act, entituled by them, An Act of THE COMMONS assembled in Parliament: Whereas the House of Commons alone, though full and free, have no more lawfull Authority to impose any Tax upon the people, or make any Act of Parliament or binding Law without the Kings or Lords concurrence, then the man in the Moon, or the Convocation, Anno 1640. after the Parliament dissolved (as is evident by the express words of the fore-cited Acts, the Petition of Right it self; Acts,[?] for the Trienniall Parliament; and against the proroguing or dissolving this Parliament, 17. Caroli: with all our printed Statutes, (f)14.R.2.1. 15.11.11 H[?] 4.n. 3 [...]. 13 H.4.n.2 [...].Parliament-Rolls, and (g)4.H.7.18. b.7. H 7.27. 16.11.H 7.27. Forres [...]n [...] c.18 f.20. Dyer.92. Brock Parliament. 76.197. Cooks 4 Institutes, p.25. Law-Books:) they neither having nor challenging the sole Legislative power in any age; and being not so much as summoned to, nor constituting members of our (h) See the Freeholders grand inquest, and my Plea for the Lords.[?]ancient Parliaments, (which consisted of the King, and Spirituall and Temporall Lords, without any Knights, Citizens or Burgesses, as all our Histories and Records attest) till 49 H. 3. at soonest; they having not so much as a Speaker or Commons House, til after the beginning of King Ed. the third's reign, and seldom or never presuming to make or tender any Bills or Acts to the King or Lords, but Petitions only for them to redress their grievances and enact new Laws, til long after Rich. the seconds time, as our Parliament Rols, and the printed prologues to the Statutes of 1. 4. 5. 9. 10. 20. 23. 36. 37. and 50. E [...]. 4. 1 Rich. 2. 1. 2. 4. 5. 7. 9. 11. 13. Hen. 4. 1. 2. 3. 4. 8. 9. Hen[?].3. 1. 2. 3. 4. 6. 8. 9. 10. 11. 14. 15. 29. 28. 29. 39. Hen. 6. 1[?]. 4. 7. 8. 12. 17. 22 Ed. 4. and 1 Rich. 3. evidence (which run all in this form, At the Parliament holden, etc. by THE ADVICE and ASSENT OF THE LORDS SPIRITUALL and TEMPORALL and at THE SPECIALL INSTANCE and REQUEST OF THE COMMONS OF THE REALM, (BY THEIR PETITIONSput in the said Parliament, as some prologues have it.) Our Lord the King hath caused to be ordained, or ordained CERTAIN STATUTES, etc.) where the advising and assenting to Lawes is appropriated to the Lords; the ordaining of them to the King; and nothing but the requesting of, and petitioning for them to the Commons, both from King and Lords, in whom the Legislative power principally, if not solely resided; as is manifest by the printed Prologue to the [Page 6] Statute of Merton. 20. Hen. 3. The Statute of[?] Mortemain [...] Ed. 1. 31. Ed. 1. De Asportatis Religiosorum, the Statute of Sheriffs, 9. E. 2. and of the Templers, 17 E. 2. to cite no more. Therefore this Tax imposed by the Commons alone without King or Lords, must needs be void, illegall, and no ways obligatory to the subjects.

3. Admit the whole House of Commons in a full and free Parliament had power to impose a Tax, and make an Act of Parliament for levying it without King or Lords; (which they never did, nor pretended to in any age) yet this Act and Tax can be no ways obliging, because not made and imposed by a full and free House of Commons, but by an empty House, packed, swayed, overawed by the chief Officers of the Army, who have presumed by meer force and armed power, against law and without president, to seclude the major part of the House (at least 8 parts of 10) who by law and custom are the House it self, from sitting or Voting with them, contrary to the Freedom and priviledges of Parliament; readmitting none but upon their own terms. An usurpation not to be paraleld in any age, destructive to the very being of Parliaments; (i) Cooks 4. Institutes p.1.Where all Members ex debito Justiciæ, should with equal Freedom meet and speak their minds: injurious to all those Counties, Cities, Boroughs, whose Knights, Citizens and Burgesses are secluded, and to the whole Kingdom; yea, contrary to all rules of reason, justice, policy, conscience, and their own, Agreement of the people, which inhibit the far lesser part of any Councel, Court, or Committee, to oversway, seclude or fore-judg the major number of their Assessors and fellow-members, over whom they can no ways pretend the least jurisdiction, it being the highway to usher Tyranny and confusion into all Councels & Realms, to their utter dissolution, since the King alone without Lords and Commons, or the Lords alone without King or Commons, may by this new device make themselves an absolute Parliament to impose Taxes and enact Laws without the Commons, or any other forty or fifty Commoners meeting together without their companions do the like, as well as this remnant of the Commons make themselves a compleat Parliament without King, Lords, or their fellow-Members, if they can but now or hereafter raise an Army to back them in it, as the Army doth those now sitting.

4. Suppose this Tax should binde these Counties, Cities, and [Page 7] Burroughs, whose Knights, Citizens and Burgesses sate and consented to it when imposed, (though I dare swear imposed against the minds and wils of all or most of those they represent; (who by the Declarat. Nov. 28 & 30. 1648 Armies new Doctrine, may justly question and revoke their authority for this high breach of Trust; the rather, because the Knights and Burgesses assembled in the first Parliament of 13. E. 3. Rot. Parl. n 8. Did all refuse to grant a great extraordinary Subsidie then demanded of them though not comparable to this) for the necessary defence of the Kingdom against foraign Enemies, till they had conferred with the Counties and Burroughs for which they served, and gained their assents:) Yet there is no shadow of Reason, Law or Equity, it should oblige any of the secluded Members themselves, whereof I am one; or those Counties, Cities or Burroughs, whose Knights, Citizens and Burgesses have been secluded or scared thence by the Armies violence, or setling Members illegall Votes for their seclusion; who absolutely disavow this Tax and Act as un-parliamentary, illegall, and never assented to by them in the least degree; since the onely (l) 39.Ed.3.7. [...]H.7.10. Brock Parl. 26. 40. Cook 4. Instit. p.1.25,26, 1 Jac. cap.1. reason in Law, or equity, why Taxes or Acts of Parliament oblige any Member, County, Burrough or Subject, is, because they are parties and consenting thereunto either in proper person; or by their chosen Representatives in Parliament; it being a received Maxime in all Laws, Quod tangit omnes, ab omnibus debet approbari. Upon which reason it is judged in our 49.E.3.18,19. 21.H.7.4. Brook Customs 6.32. Law-books, That By-Laws oblige onely those who are parties, and consent unto them, but not strangers, or such who assented not thereto. And (whiich comes fully to the present case) in 7. H. 6. 35. 8. H. 6. 34. Brook Ancient Demesne 20. & Parl. 17. 101. It is resolved, That ancient Demesne is a good plea in a Writ of Waste upon the Statutes of Waste, because those in ancient Demesne were not parties to the making of them, FOR THAT THEY HAD NO KNIGHTS NOR BURGESSES IN PARLIAMENT, nor contributed to their expences. And Judge Brook Parliament 101. hath this observable Note, It is most frequently found, that Wales and County Palatines, WHICH CAME NOT TO THE PARLIAMENT (in former times, which now they do) SHALL NOT BE BOUND BY THE PARLIAMENT OF ENGLAND: for ancient Demesne is a good Plea in an action of Waste, and yet ancient Demesne is not excepted: and it is enacted, 2. Ed. 6. cap 28. That Fines and [Page 8] Proclamation shall be in Chester, for that the former Statutes[?] did not extend to it: And it is enacted[?], That a Fine and Proclamation shall be in Lancaster. 5. & 6. Ed. 6. c. 26. And in a Proclamation upon an exigent is given by the Statute in Chester and[?] Wales, 1. E. 6. c. 20. And by another[?] Act to Lancaster, 5. & 6. E. 6. c. 26. And the Statutes of Justices of Peace extended not to Wales and the County Palatine; and therefore an A[?]ct was made for Wales and Chester, 27. H. 8. c. 5. who had Knights and Burgesses appointed by that Parliament for that and future Parliaments by Act of Parliament, 27. Hen. 8. cap. 26. since which they have continued their wages being to be levied by the Statute of 35. H. 8. c. 11. Now, if Acts of Parliament bound not Wales and Counties Palatines, which had anciently no Knights not Burgesses in Parliament to represent them, because they neither personally nor representatively were parties and consenters to them; much lesse then can or ought this heavie Tax, and illegall Act to binde those Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, or those Counties, Cities and Burroughs they represented, who were forcibly secluded, or driven away from the Parliament by the confederacy, practice, or connivance at least, of those now sitting, who imposed this Tax, and passed this strange Act; especially, being for the support and continuance of those Offcers, and that Army who traiterously seised and secluded them from the House, and yet detain some of them prisoners, against all Law and Justice. The rather, because they are the far major part (above six times as many as those that sate and shut them out) and would no wayes have consented to this illegall Tax, or undue manner of imposing it, without the Lords concurrence, had they been present. And, I my self, being both an unjustly imprison[e]d and secluded Member, and neither of the Knights of the County of Somerset, where I live, present or consenting to this Tax or Act, one or both of them being forced thence by the Army, I conceive neither my self, nor the County where I live, nor the Borough for which I served, in the least measure bound by this Act or Tax, but cleerly exempted from them, and obliged with all our might and power effectually to oppose them.

IfObject. any here object, That by the custom of Parliament forty Members onely are sufficient to make a Commons House of [Page 9] Parliament and there were at least so many present when this Tax was imposed: Therefore it is valid and obligatory both to the secluded absent Members and the Kingdom.

I answer, First, That though regularly it be true, that fortyAnsw Members are sufficient to make a Commons House to begin prayers, and businesses of lesser moment in the beginning of the day, till the other Members come, and the House be full; yet 40 were never in any Parliament reputed a compet[?]ent number to grant Subsidies, passe, or read Bills, or debate or conclude matters of greatest moment; which by the constant Rules & usage of Parliament, were never debated, concluded, passed, but in a free and full House, when all or most of the Members were present, as the Parliament Rolls, Journals, Modus tenendi[?] Parliamentum, Sir Edward Cooks 4 Instituts[?], p. 1. 2 26. 35. 36. Cromptons Jurisdiction of Courts, f. 1 etc. 39. E. 3. 7. Brook Parliament. 27. 1. Jac. c. 1. and the many Records I have cited to this purpose in my Levellers levelled, my Plea for the Lo{r}ds, and Memento, p. 10. abundantly prove beyond contradiction; for which cause the Members ought to be fined, and lose their wa[?]ges, if absent without spe[?]cial Licence, as[?]Modus tenendi[?] Parliamentum, 5 R. 2. Par. 2. c. 4. 9. H. 8. c. 16. and A Collection of all Orders, etc. of the late Parliament, pa[?]. 294. 357. with their frequent summoning and fining absent Members, evidence.

Secondly, Though forty[?] Members onely may peradventure[?] make an House in cases[?] of absolute necessity, when the rest[?] through sicknes, & publick or private occasions, are voluntarily[?] or negligently absent; and might freely repair thither to sit or give their Votes if they pleased: yet forty Members never yet made a Common House by custome of Parliament(there[?] being never any such case til now) when the rest (being above f[?]our hundred) were forcibly secluded, or driven thence by an army, through the practice or connivance of those forty sitting, of[?] purpose that they should not over nor counter[?]-vote them; much lesse an House to sequester or expell the other Members, or impose any Tax upon them. Till they shew me such a law, custom or President of Parliament (not to be found in any age) all they pretend is nothing to purpose, or the present case.

Thirdly, Neither forty Members, nor a whole House of Commons were ever enough in any age, by the Custome of [Page 10] Parliament or Law of England, or impose a Tax, or make any Act of Parliament, without the King and Lords, as I have (n)See my Plea for the Lords, and Levellers levelled.already proved; much le[?]sse after they ceased to be Members by the Parliaments dissolution through the Kings beheading; Neither we[?]re they ever invested with any legall power to seclude or expel any of their felow Members (especially, if duly elected) for any Vote wherein the Majority of the House concurred with them, or differing in their consciences and judgements from them; nor for any other cause, without the Kings and Lords concurrence (in whom the ordinary judiciall power of the Parliament resides) as I have undeniably proved by presidents and reasons in my Plea for the Lords, p. 47. to 53. and Ardua Regni, which is further evident by Claus. Dors. 7. R. 2. M. 32. & Mr. Seldens Titles of Honor, p. 737. Banneret Camoys Case, discharged from being knight of the Shire by the Kings Writ and judgment alone, without the Commons vote, because a Peer of the Realm; the practice of sequestring and expelling Commons by their fellow-Commons only, being a late dangerous, unparliamentary usurpation (unknown to our Ancestors) destructive to the priviledges and freedom of Parliaments, and injurious to those Counties, Cities, Boroughs, whose Trustees are secluded; the House of Commons it self being no Court of Justice to give either an Oath or finall Sentence, and having no more Authority to dismember their fellow-Members, then any Judges{,} Justices of peace, or Committees have to disjudg, disjustice, or discommittee their fellow-Judges, Justices, or Committee-men, being all of equall authority, and made Members only by the Kings Writ and peoples Election, not by the Houses, or ot[?]her Members Votes; who yet now presume both to make and unmake, seclude and recal, expel and restore their fellow-Members at their pleasure, contrary to the practice and resolution of former ages, to patch up a factious Conventicle, instead of an English Parliament. Therefore this Objection no waye [...] invalids this first Reason; why I neither can nor dare submit to this illegal Tax in conscience, law, or prudence, which engage me to oppose it in all these Respects.

If any object, That true it is, the parliament by the common Law and Custome of the Realm determines by the Kings death; but by the Statute of 17 Caroli, which enacts, That [Page 11] this present Parliament now assembled shall not be dissolved unlesse it be by Act of Parliament to be passed for that purpose; continues this Parliament still in being, notwithstanding the Kings beheading, since no Act of Parliament is passed for its Dissolution. The only pretext for to support the continuance of the Parliament since the Kings violent death.

To this I answer, That it is a Maxime in Law, That everyAnsw.Statute ought to be expounded according to the intent of those that made it, and the mischiefs it intended onely to prevent, as is resolved in 4. Edw. 4. 12. 12. Edw. 4. 18. 1. H. 7 12 13. Plowd. Com. fol. 369. and Cooks 4. Instit. p. 329, 330. Now the intent of the Makers of this Act, and the end of enacting it, was not to prevent the dissolution of this Parliament by the Kings death (no ways intimated or insinuated in any clause thereof, being a cleer unavoydable dissolution of it to all intents not provided for by this Law,) but by any Writ or proclamation of the King, by his Regal power, without consent of both Houses; which I shall manifest by these ensuing reasons.

First, From the principal occasion of making this Act. The King (as the COMMONS in their *Remonstrance of the stateExact Collec. p.5.6 of the Kingdom, 15 Decemb. 1642, complain) had dissolved all former Parliaments during his Reign without and against both Houses approbation, to their great discontent and the Kingdoms prejudice, as his Father King James had dissolved others in his Reign: and during their continuance adjourned and prorogued them at their pleasure. Now the fear of preventing of the like dissolution, prorogation, or adjournment of this Parliament after the Scotish Armies disbanding, before the things mentioned in the Preamble were effected by the Kings absolute power, was the only ground & occasion of this Law (not any fear or thoughts of its dissolution by the King untimely death) then not so much as imagined, being before the Warrs or Irish Rebellion brake forth) the King very healthy, not ancient, and likely then to survive this Parliament, and many others, in both Houses judgment, as appears by the Bill for trienniall Parliaments. This undeniable Truth is expresly declared by the Commons themselves in their foresaid R[e]monstrance; Exact Collection p. 5. 6. 14. 17. compared together; where in direct terms they affirm, The [Page 12] ABBRUPT DISSOLUTION OF THIS PARLIAMENT is prevented by another Bil, by which it is provided it shall not be dissolved or adjourned without the consent of both Houses: In the Bill for continuance of this present Parliament, there seems TO BE SOME RESTRAINT OF THE ROYAL POWER IN D<I>SSOLVING OF PARLIAMENTS; NOT TO TAKE IT OUT OF THE CROWN, BUT TO SUSPEND THE EXECUTION OF IT FOR THIS TIME and OCCASION ONLY; which was so necessary for THE KINGS OWN SECURITY, and the publick Peace, that without it we could not have undertaken any of these great charges, but must have left both the Armies to disorder and confusion, and the whole Kingdom to blood and rapine.

In which passages we have a clear resolution of the Commons themselves, immediately after the passing of this Act; that the scope and intention of it was only to provide against the Kings abrupt dissolution of the Parliament by the meer royall power in suspending the execution of it for this tim[?]e and occasion only; and that for the Kings own security, (not his Heirs and Successors) as well as his peoples peace and safety. Therefore not against any dissolutions of it by his natural (much lesse his violent) death; which can no ways be interpreted, an Act of his Royall power, which they intended hereby, not to take out of the Crown, but only to suspend the execution of it for this time and occasion, and that for his security: but a naturall impotency, or unnaturall disloyalty, which not only suspends the execution of the Kings power for a time, but utterly destroies and takes away him and it without hopes of revival for ever.

Secondly, the very title of this Act (An Act to prevent Inconveniences which may happen by the UNTIMELY adjourning, proroguing or DISSOLUTION of this present Parliament) intimates as much, compared with the body of it, which provides, as wel against the adjourning and proroguing of both or either Houses without an Act of Parliament, as against the dissolution of the Parliament without an Act. Now the Parliament cannot possibly be said to be adjourned or prorogued in any way or sence, much less untimely, by the Kings death, (which never adjourned or prorogue[?]d any Parliament,) but only by his [Page 13] Proclamation, writ, or royal command, to the Houses or their Speaker, executed during his life; as all our Journals, (||) 6. E. 3. Parl. 2. Rot. Parl 3 6. 5 R. 2. n. 64, 65. 11 R 2. n. 14. 1 [...]. 20. 8 H. 4. n. 2, 7, 27. H. 6. n. 12 28. H. 6. n 8, 9, 11, 29. H. 6. n. 10, 11. 31. H. 6. n. 10, 11. 31. H. 6. n. 22. 30, 49.Parliament Rolls and (*) Cocks 4. Institut p. 25, Dyer. f 203. Law-Books resolve, though it may be dissolved by his death, as wel as by his Proclamation, writ, or royal command. And therefore this title and act coupling adjourning, proroguing and dissolving this Parliament together without consent of both Houses, by act of Parliament, intended only a dissolution of this Parliament by such Prerogative wayes and meanes by which Parliaments had formerly been untimely adjourned and prorogu[?]ed as well as dissolved by the Kings meer will without their assents; not of a dissolution of it by the Kings death which never adjourned nor prorogued any Parliament, nor dissolved any formerly sitting Parliament in this Kings reign, or his Ancestors since the death{ }of King Henry the 4th; the only Parliament we read of dissolved by death of the King since the conquest; and so a mischief not intended nor remedied by Act.

Thirdly, The prologue of the act implies as much; Whereas great sums of money must of necessity be SPEEDILY advanced & procured for the relief of HIS MAJESTIES ARMY and PEOPLE (not his Heirs or Successors) in the Northern parts: etc. And for supply of othe r HIS MAJESTIES PRESENT and URGENT OCCASIONS (not his Heirs or Successors future occasions) which cannot be so timely effected as is requisite, without credit for raising the said monies; which credit cannot be attained, until such obstacles be first removed as are occasioned BY FEAR, JEALOUSIES and APPREHENSIONS OF DIVERS OF HIS MAJESTIES LOYAL SUBJECTS THAT THE PARLIAMENT MAY BE ADJOURNED, PROROGUED OR DISSOLVED (not by the Kings sodain or untimely death, of which there was then no fear, Jealousy or apprehension in any his Majesties Loyal Subjects, but by his Royal Prerogative and advice of ill Councellors) before justice shall be duly executed upon Delinquents; (then in being, nor sprung up since) publique grievances (then complained of) re[?]dressed, a firm peace betwixt the two Nations of England and Scotland concluded, and before sufficient provisions be made for the repayment of THE SAID MONEYS (not others since) so to [Page 14] be raised: All which the Commons in this present Parliament assembled having duely considered, do therefore humbly beseech your Majesty, th[?]at it may be declared and enacted, etc. <A>ll which expressions, related[?] onely TO HIS late Majesty only, not his Heirs and Successours; and the principal scope of this act[?], to gain present credit to raise moneys to disband the Scotish and English Armies then lying upon the Kingdom, being many yeers since accomplished; yea and justice being since executed upon Strafford, Canterbury, and other Delinquents then complained of; the publick Grievances then complained of (as Star-chamber, High-Commission, Ship-money, Tonnage and poundage, Fines for Knighthood, Bishops votes in Parliament, with their Courts and Jurisdictions and the like) redressed by acts soon after passed, and a firm peace between both Nations concluded before the Wars began; and this preamble's pretentions for this act fully satisfied divers years before the King's beheading; it must of necessity be granted, that this Statute never intended to continue this Parliament on foot after the Kings decease; especially after the ends for which it was made were accomplished: And so it must necessarily be dissolved by his Death.

Fourthly, This is most clear by the body of the act it self: And be it declared and enacted By THE KING OUR SOVERAIGN LORD, with the assent of the LORDS & Commons in this PRESENT PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED, & by the authority of the same, That THIS PRESENT PARLIAMENT Now ASSEMBLED, shall not be DISSOLVED, unlesse it be by ACT OF PARLIAMENT TO BE PASSED FOR THAT PURPOSE; nor shall any time or times DURING THE CONTINUANCE THEREOF BE PROROGUED OR ADJOURNED, unlesse it be By ACT OF PARLIAMENT to be likewise PASSED FOR THAT PURPOSE. And that THE HOUSE of PEERS shall not at any time or times DURING THIS PRESENT PARLIAMENT BE ADJOURNED, unlesse it be By THEMSELVES; or BY THEIR OWN ORDER. And in like manner that THE HOUSE OF COMMONS shall not at any time or times DURING THIS PRESENT PARLIAMENT be adjourned unless it be BY [Page 15] THEMSELVES, or BY THEIR OWN ORDER. Whence it is undeniable, 1. that this act was only for the prevention of the untimely dissolving, Proroguing and adjourning of that present Parliament then assembled, and no other. 2. That the King himself was the Principal Member of his Parliament, yea, our Soveraign Lord, and the sole declarer and enacter of this Law, by the Lords and Commons assent. 3. That neither this Act for continuing, nor any other for dissolving, adjourning or proroguing this Parliament could be made without, but only by and with the Kings Royal assent thereto; which the Lords and Commons assembled in Parl{i}ament in their (*) Exact Collect p.69. 70. 736. 709. 722.Remonstrance of the 26. of May 1642: oft intermin [...] acknowledge, together with his Negative voice to bils. 4. That it was neither the Kings intention in passing this act to shut himself out of Parliament, or create Members of a Parliament without a King, as he professed in his [undefined span nonLatin alphabet]. c. 5. p. 27. Nor the Lords nor Commons intendment to dismember him from his Parliament, or make themselves a Parliament without him; as their foresaid Remonstrance testifies, and the words of the act import: Neither was it the Kings, Lords or Commons meaning by this act to set up a Parliament onely of Commons (much lesse of a remnant of a Commons House selected by Colonel Pride, and his Confederates of the Army to serve their turns, and vote what they prescribed) without either King or House of Peers, much lesse to give them any super-transcendent authority to vote down and abolish the King and house of Lords, and make them no Members of this present or any future Parliaments, without their own order or assent, against which so great usurpation and late dangerous unparliamentary encroachments this very act expresly provides in this clause, That the House of Peers (wherein the King sits as Soveraign when he pleaseth) shall not at any time or times during this present Parliament be adjourned (much less then dissolved, excluded, or suspended from sitting or voting, which is the greater, and that by their inferiours in all kindes, a Fragment of the Commons House, who can pretend no colour of Jurisdiction over them, before whom they alwayes stood bare-headed, like so many Grand-Jury-men before the Judges, and attended at their Doors and Bar to know their pleasures:) [Page 16] unlesse it be by Themselves, or by their own Order. 5. That neither the King, Lords nor Commons intended to set up a perpetuall Parliament, and intail it upon them, their Heirs and Successors for ever, by this Act, which would cross and repeal the Act for triennial Parliamen[?]ts made at the same time, and on the same *Book Parliament. 80. Relation 85. Dyer 85. day in Law; but to make provision only against the untimely dissolving of this, till the things mentioned in the Prèamble were accomplished and setled; as the Preamble, and those oft repeated words, any time or times during the continuance of this present Parliament, conclude; and that during His Majesties Reign and life, not after his death; as these words coupled with The relief of his Majesties Army and People; and for supply of His Maje[?]sties pres[?]ent a[?]nd urgent occasions in the Preamble manifest. Therefore this Act can no wayes continue it a parliament after the Kings beheading; much lesse after the exclusion both of the King and Lords House out of parliament by those now sit[?]ting, contrary to the very letter and provision of this Act; by which devi[?]ce the King alone, had he conquered and cut off, or secluded by his Forces the Lords and Commons House from sitting, might with much more colour have made himself an absolute parliament, to impose what Taxes and Laws he pleased, without Lords or Commons, on the people, by vertue of this Act, then those few Commons now sitting since his tryall and death doe. 6. The last clause of this Act, And that all and every thing or th[?]ings whatsoever DONE OR TO BE DONE (to wit, by the King or His Authority) for the adjournment, proroguing or dissolving of THIS PRESENT PARLIAMENT, CONTRARY TO THIS PRESENT ACT, SHALL BE UTTERLY VOID and of NONE EFFECT: Now death, and a dissolution of this parliament by the Kings death, cannot (as to the King) be properly stiled, a Thing done, or to be done (by Him) for the adjournment, proroguing or dissolving of this parliament, contrary to this present Act; which cannot make the Kings death utterly void[?] and of none effect, by restoring him to his life again. Therefore the dissolution of the parliament by the Kings death, is cleerly out of the words and intentions of this Act, especially so many yeers after its Enacting. 7. This present Parliament and every [Page 17] Member thereof, being specially summoned by the Kings Wr[?]it, only to be HIS Parliament and Councell, and to conferre with HIM of the great and urgent affaires concerning HIM and HIS Kingdom; and these Writs and Elections of them, returned unto HIM and HIS COURT by Indenture, and the persons summoned and chosen by vertue of them appearing only in HIS Parliament, for no other ends but those expressed in HIS WRITS; it would be both an absur[?]dity and absolute impossibility to assert, that the Houses intended by this Act to continue this Parliament in being after the Kings beheading or death: unless they that maintain this paradox be able to inform me and those now sitting, how they can conferr and advise with a dead King of things concerning Him and His Kingdom; and that even after they have extirpated Monarchy it self, and made it Treason to assert or revive it; and how they can continue still HIS Parliament and Councell whose head they have cut off: and that without reviving or raising him from his grave, or enstalling His right Heir and Successor in His Throne to represent His Person; neither of which they dare to doe, for fear of losing their own Heads and Quarters too, for beheading him. This Tax therefore being imposed on the Kingdom long after the Kings beheading, and the Parliaments dissolution by it, must needs be illegall and meerly void in Law to all intents; because not granted nor imposed in, but out of Parliament; by those who were then no Commons nor Members of a Parliament, and had no more authority to impose any Tax upon the Kingdom, then any other forty or fifty Commoners whatsoever out of Parliament, who may usurp the like authority by this president to Tax the Kingdom or any County what they please, and then Levy it by an Army or force of Armes, to the peoples infinite, endless oppression and undoing: This is my first and principall exception against the Legality of this Tax, which I desire the Imposers and Levyers of it most seriously to consider; and that upon these important considerations from their own late Declarations.

First, themselves in their own Declaration of the 9th February, 1648. have protested to the whole Kingdom: That they ar[?]e fully resolved to maintain; and shall and will uphold, preserve, and ke[?]ep the fundamentall Lawes of this Nation, for, and concerning [Page 18] the PRESERVATION OF THE LIVES, PROPERTIES and LIBERTIES OF THE PEOP[?]LE, with all things incide[?]nt thereunto: which how it will stand with this Tax imposed by them out of Parliament, or their Act concerning New TREASONS; I desire they would satisfie me and the Kingdom, before they levy the one, or proceed upon the other against any of their fellow[?]-Subjects, by meer arbitrary armed power against Law and Right.

Secondly, themselves in their Declaration, expressing the grounds of their late proceedings, and setling the present Government in way of a Free-State, dated 17. Martii, 1648. engage themselves: To procure[?] the well-being of those whom[?] they serve: to renounce oppression, arbitrary power, and all opposition to the peace and Freedome of the Nation: And to prevent to their power, the reviving of Tyrannie, Injustice, and all former evils (the only end and duty of all their Labors) to the satisfaction of all concerned in it. 2. They charge the late King for exceeding all His predecessors in the destruction of those whom he was bound to preserve; To manifest which they instance in The Loanes, unlawfull Imprisonments, and other Oppressions which produced that excellent Law of the Petition of Right; which were most of them again acted, presently after the Law made against them, which was most palpably[?] broken by him almost in every part of it, very soon after His solemn Consent given unto it. (1)Is not this the Armies & their own late and present practise? His imprisoning and prosecuting Members of Parliament, for opposing His unlawfull Will: and of divers (2)Alderman Chambers the eminentest of them, is yet since this Declaration discharged by you for his loyalty and conscience only. worthy Merchants for refusing to pay Tonnage and Poundage, because NOT GRANTED BY PARLIAMENT; yet (3)And is it not so by you now, and transmitted unto the Exchequer to be levyed? exacted by HIM expresly against Law; and punishment of many (4)And do not you now the same, yea, some of those very good Patriots[?]? good Patriots, for not submitting to whatsoever he pleased to demand, though NEVER SO MUCH IN BREACH OF THE KNOWN LAW. The multitude of projects and Monopolies established by Him. His design [...] and charge to bring in (5)Are not the Generals and Armies Horse and Foot too, kept up and continued among us for that very purpose, being some of them Germans too? Germane-Horse, to awe us INTO SLA- [Page 19] VERY: and his hopes of compleating all by His grand project of (6)Not one quarter so grievous as the present Tax imposed by you for the like purpose. Ship-money, to subject EVERY MANS ESTATE TO WHATSOEVER PROPORTION HE PLEASED TO IMPOSE UPON THEM. But above all the English Army was laboured by the King to be engaged against THE ENGLISH PARLIAMENT. A th<i>ng of that (7)And is it not more unnaturall in those now sitting, to engage the English Army, raised by the Parliament of England, and covenanting to defend it from violence against the very Parliament of England and its Members, and that successively twice after one another, and yet to own and support this Army without righting those Members? STRANGE IMPIETY and UNNATURALNESS for the King of England, to sheath their swords in one anothers bowels, that nothing can answer it but his owne being a Foraigner: neither could it easily have purchased belief, but by his succe[?]eding visible actions in ful pursua[?]nce of the same. As the Kings coming in person to the (8) Was not Pride's and the Armies comming thither to seise, and actually seising above Forty, and secluding above Two hundred Members, with Thousands of armed Horse and Foot, a thousand times a greater offence, especially after so many Declarations of the Houses against this of the Kings?House of Commons to seise the five Members, whether he was followed with (9)Was not Humphrey Edwards now sitting, an unduly elected Member, one of them thus armed? some hundreds of unworthy deba[?]uched persons, ar[?]med with Swords and Pistols, and other Armes; and the[?]y attending at the Doore of the House, ready to e[?]xe[?]cu[?]te whatsoever their Leader should command them. The oppre[?]ssions of the Councell-Table, Star-Chambe[?]r, High-Commission, Court-Martiall, Wardships, Purveyances, Afforestations, and many others of like nature, (equalled, if not farr exceeded now by sundry Arbitrary Committees and Sub-Committees, to name no others in all manner of Oppressions and Injustice) concluding thus: Upon all these and many other unparalleld offences, upon his breach of Faith, of Oaths and Protestations; upon the cry of the blood of England and Ireland: upon the tears of Widows and Orphans, and childless Parents, and millions of persons undone by him, let all the world of indifferent men judg, whether the Parliament (you mean your selves only which made this Declaration) had not sufficient cause to BRING THE KING TO JUSTICE: And [Page 20] much more you if you imitate or exceed him in all or any of these, even by your own verdit?

3. Themselves charge the King with profuse Donations of salaries and pensions to such as were found, or might be made fit Instruments and promoters of Tyranny: which were supplied not by the legal justifiable revenue of the Crown, but by Projects and illegal ways OF DRAINING THE PEOPLES PURSES; all which mischief and grievance they say wil be prevented in their free State; though the quite contrary way; as appears by the late large donation of some thousands to Mr. Hen. Martin is accomptable to the State for ab[ov]e 3700 l. which the Committee of accounts in two years time could never bring him to account for, and yet hath 3000 l. voted him lately for moneys pretended to be disbursed; to whom and for what, quere.Henry Martin, the Lord Lisle, Commissary General Ireton and others of their Members and Instruments, upon pretence of Arrears, or Service, some of them out of the moneys now imposed for the releife of Ireland. And must we pay Taxes to be thus prodigally expended?

Fourthly, They therein promise and engage, That the good old Laws and Customs of England THE BADGES OF OUR FREEDOM (the benefit whereof our Ancesters enjoyed long before the conquest, and spent much of their blood to have confirmed by the Grea[?]t Charter of the Liberties) and other excellent Laws which have continued in all former changes, and being duly executed, are THE MOST JUST, FREE and equal of any other Laws in the world; shall be duly continued and maintained by them; the LIBERTY, PROPERTY and PEACE OF THE SUBJECT BEING SO FULLY PRESERVED BY THEM, and the common interest of those WHOM THEY SERVE. And if those Lawes should be taken away, all Industry must cease; all misery blood and confusion would follow, and greater Calamities, if possible, then fel upon us by the late Kings misgovernment, would certainly involve all persons, under which they must inevitably perish.

5. They therein expresly promise. p. 26. To order the revenue in such a way, That the publick charges may be defrayed; The [...]Nota.Souldiers pay justly and duly setled: That free-quarter may be wholy taken away and THE PEOPLE BE EASED IN THEIR BURTHENS and TAXES: And is this now all the ease we feel; to have all Burthens and Taxes, thus augmented; and that against Law by pretended acts made out of Parliament, [Page 21] against all these good old Lawes and Statutes, our Liberties and Properties, which these new Tax-Masters have so newly and deeply engaged themselves to maintain and preserve without the least diminution?

Thirdly, Both Houses of Parliament joyntly, and the House of Commons severally in the late Parliament, with the approbation of all & consent of most now sitting, did in sundry (||) Exact. Collect p. 5 6. 7. 14. 342. 492[?] Remonstrances and Declarations published to the Kingdom, not only Tax the King and his evil Counsellors for imposing illegal Taxes on the Subjects, contrary to the forecited acts; the maintenance whereof against all future violations and invasions of the Peoples Liberties and Properties they made one principal ground of our late bloody expensive wars; but likewise professed; (*)Exact Collect. p. 28. 29. 214. 263. 270. 491. 492. 495, 496. 497. 660. That they were specially chosen and intrusted by the Kingdom in Parliament and owned it as their duty to hazzard their own lives and estates for preservation of those Laws and liberties, and use their best endeavours that the meanest of the Commonalty might enjoy them as their birthrights, as well as the greatest Subject. That EVERY HONEST MAN (especially THOSE WHO HAVE TAKEN THE LATE PROTESTATION, and Solemn League and Covenant since) IS BOUND TO DEFEND THE LAWS and LIBERTIES OF THE KINGDOM against WIL and POWER, which imposed WHAT PAYMENTS THEY THOUGHT FIT TO DRAIN THE SUBJECTS PURSES, and supply THOSE NECESSITIES (which their il Counsel had brought upon the King and Kingdom) And that they would be ready TO LIVE AND DYE with those WORTHY and TRUE-HEARTED PATRIOTS OF THE GENTRY OF THIS NATION and others, who were ready to lay down their lives and fortunes for the maintenance of THEIR LAWS and LIBERTIES: with many such like heroick expressions. Which must needs engage me (a Member of that Parliament, and Patriot of my Country) with all my strength and power to oppose this injurious Tax, imposed out of Parliament, though with the hazard of my life and fortunes; wherein all those late Members who have joyned in these Remonstrances are engaged by them to second me; under paine of being adjudged unworthy for ever hereafter to sit in any Parliament or to be trusted by [Page 22] their Counties and those for whom they served. And so much the rather to vindicate the lat[?]e Houses honour and reputation from those predictions and printed aspersions of the beheaded King; (||) Exact Collect. p. 285. 286. 298. 320. 322. 378. 379. 381. 513. 514. 515. etc. 618. 619. 620 623. 547. etc. A Collect. etc. p. 100. 102. etc. 117.That the maintenance of the Laws, Liberties, Properties of the People, were but only guilded dissimulations and specious pretences to get power into their own hands, thereby to enable them to destroy and subvert both Lawes, Liberties, and Properties at last. And not any thing like them, to introduce Anarchy, Democracy, Parity, Tyranny in the Highest degree, and new formes of arbitrary Government, and leave neither King nor Gentleman: all which the people should too late discover to their costs and that they had obtained nothing by adhering to and compliance with them, but to enslave and undoe themselves, and to be last destroyed. Which royal Predictions many complaine we finde too truely verified by those who now bear rule, under the Name and visour of the Parliament of England, since its dissolution by the Kings decapitation, and the Armies imprisoning and seclusion of the Members who above all others are obliged to disprove them by their answers as wel as declarations to the people, who regard not words but reall performances from these new keepers of their Liberties; especially in this FIRST YEAR OF ENGLANDS FREEDOM engraven on all their publick Seals, which else will but seal their Selfdamnation and proclaim them the Archest Impostors under Heaven.

Secondly, should I voluntarily submit to pay this Tax, and that by vertue of an Act of Parliament made by those now sitting, (some of whose Elections have been voted void; others of them elected by *See Cooks 4 Instit. p.10. new illegall Writs under a new kind of Seal, without the Kings Authority, stile, or Seal, and that since the Kings beheading, as the Earl of Pembroke, and Lord Edward Howard, uncapable of being Knights or Burgesses by the Common Law and custome of Parliament, being Peers of the Realm (if now worthy such a Title) as was adjudged long since in the Lord Camoyes case, Claus. Dors. 7. R. 2. m. 32. and asserted by Master Selden in his Titles of Honor, part. 2. c[?]. 5. p. 737. seconded by Sir Edward Cook in his 4 Institut. p. 1, 4, 5, 46, 47, 49.) As I should admit these to be lawfull Members, and these unlawfull void Writs to be good in Law; so I should thereby tacitly admit, [Page 23] & ex post facto assent to some particulars against my knowledg, judgment, conscience, Oaths of Supremacy, Allegiance, Protestation, and solemn League and Covenant, taken in the presence of God himself, with a sincere heart[?] and reall intention to perform the same, and pers[?]evere therein al the days of my life, without suffering my self directly or indirectly, by whatsoever combination, perswasion or terror to be withdrawn therefrom. As first, That there may be and now is a lawfull Parliament of England actually in being, and legally continuing after the Kings death, consisting only of a few late Members of the Commons House, without either King, Lords, or most of their fellow-Commons: which the very Consciences and judgments of all now sitting, that know anything of Parliaments, and the whole Kingdom if they durst speak their knowledg, know & beleeve to be false, yea against their Oaths and Covenant. Secondly, That this Parliament (so unduly constituted and packed by power of an Army combining with them) hath a just and lawful Authority to violate the Priviledges, Rights, Freedomes, Customs, and alter the constitution of our Parliaments themselves; imprison, seclude, expel most of their fellow-members for voting according to their consciences; to repeal what Votes, Ordinances and Acts of Parliament they please, erec[?]t new Arbitra[?]ry Courts of war and Justice to arraign, condemn,[?] execute the King himself, with the Peers & Commons of this Realm by a new kind of Martial law contrary to Magna Charta, the Petition of Right, and Law of the Land: dis-inherit the Kings posterity of the crown, extirpat Monarchy, & the whole house of Peers, change and subvert the ancient Government, Seals, Law , Writs; legal proceedings, Courts, and coin of the Kingdom; sell and dispose of all the Lands, Revenues, Jewels, goods of the Crowne, with the Lands of Deans and Chapters, as they think meet; absolve themselves (like so many antichristian Popes) with all the Subjects of England and Ireland, from all the Oaths and engagements they have made TO THE KINGS MAJESTY, HIS HEIRS AND SUCCESSORS: yea, from their very Oath of Allegiance, notwithstanding this express clause in it (which I desire[?] may be seriously and conscienciously considered by all who have sworne it) I do beleeve and in Conscience am resolved, that neither the Pope, NOR ANY PERSON WHATSOEVER HATH POWER TO[?] [Page 24] ABSOLVE ME OF THIS OATH, OR ANY PART THEREOF, which I acknowledge by good and full Authority to be lawfully ministred unto me, and DO RENOUNCE ALL PARDONS AND DISPENSATIONS TO THE CONTRARY: dispense with our Protestations, Solemn League and Covenant, so lately *A collect. etc. pag. 327, 358, 359, 399, 404, 416, 420, etc. 694, 751, 768, 769 798, 802 806, etc. 878, 879, 889.zealously urged and injoyned by both Houses on Members, Officers, Ministers, and all sorts of People throughout the Realm: dispose of all the Forts, Ships, Forces, Offices and Places of Honour, Power, Trust or profit within the Kingdom to whom they please; to displace and remove whom they will from their Offices, Trusts, Pensions, Callings, at their pleasures without any legall cause or tryall: to make what new Acts, Lawes, and reverse what old ones they think meet, to insnare, inthral our Consciences, Estates, Liberties, Lives: to create new monstrous Treasons never heard of in the world before; and declare rea[?]ll treasons against King, Kingdome, Parliament, to be no treasons, and Loyalty, Allegiance, due obedience to our knowne Lawes, and consciencious observing of our Oaths and Covenant (the breach whereof would render us actuall Traytors and perjurious persons) to be no lesse then High Treason, for which they may justly imprison, dismember, disfranchise, displace and fine us at their wills (as they have done some of late) and confiscate our persons, live[?]s to the Gallowes, and our estates to their new Exchequer; (a Tyranny beyond all Tyrannies ever heard of in our Nation, repealing Magna Charta, c. 29. 5. E. 3. c. 6. 25. Edw. 3. cap. 4. 28. Ed. 3. c. 3. 37. E. c. 18. 42. E. 3. cap. 3. 25. Ed. 3. cap. 2. 11. R. 2. c. 4. 1. H. 4. c. 10. 2. H. 4. Rot. Par. N. 60. 1. E. 6. c. 12. 1 Mar. c. 1. The Petition of Right, 3 Caroli, and laying all our *See Cooks 3 Inst. p.2, 21, 22, 23. Laws, Liberties, Estates, Lives in the very dust after so many bloody and costly years wars to defend them against the Kings invasions) rayse and keep up what forces they will by Sea and Land, impose what heavy Taxes they please, and renew, increase, multiply and perpetuate them on us as often and as long as they please, to support their own encroached, more then Regall, Parliamentall, Supertranscendent Arbitrary power over us, and all that is ours or the Kingdoms,[?] at our private and the publique charge against our wils, judgments, consciences, to our absolute enslaving, and our three Kingdoms ruine,[?] by engaging them one against another in [Page 25] new Civill wars, and exposing us for a prey to our Forraign Enemies. All which, with other particulars, lately acted and avowed by the Imposers of this Tax, by colour of that pretended Parliamentary Authority by which they have imposed it, I must necessarily admit, acknowledg to be just and legall by my voluntary payment of it, of purpose to maintain an Army, to justifie and make good all this by the meer power of the Sword, which they can no wayes[?] justifie and defend by the Lawes of God or the Realm, before any Tribunall of God or Men, when legally arraigned, as they shal one day be. Neither of which I can or dare acknowledg, wit[?]hout incurring the guilt of most detestable Perjury, and highest Treason, against King, Kingdom, Parliament, Laws and Liberties of the people; and therfore cannot yeeld to this Assessment.

Thirdly, the principal ends and uses proposed in the pretended Act and Warrants thereupon for payment of this Tax, are strong obligations to me, in point of Conscience, Law, Prudence, to withstand it; which I shall particularly discuss.

The First is, the maintenance and contin[?]uance of the present Army and Forces in England under the Lord Fairfax. To which I say, First, as I shall with all readiness, gratitude and due respect, acknowledg their former Gallantry, good and faithfull Services to the Parliament and Kingdom, whiles they continued dutifull and constant to their first Engagements, and the ends for which they were raised by both Houses, as far forth as any man; so in regard of their late monstrous defections, and dangerous Apostacies from their primitive obedience, faithfulness, and engagements in disobeying the Commands, and levying open war against both Houses of Parliament, keeping an horrid force upon them at their very doors; seising, imprisoning, secluding, abusing, and forcing away their Members, printing and publishing many high and treasonable Declarations against the Institution, Priviledges, Members and Proceedings of the late, and Being of all future Parliaments; imprisoning, abusing, arraigning, condemning and executing our late King, against the Votes, Faith, and Engagements of both Houses, and dis-inheriting His posterity, usurping the Regall, Parliamentall, Magistraticall, and Ecclesiasticall power of the Kingdom to their Generall-Councell of Officers of the Army, as the supreme swaying Authority of the Kingdom, and attempting[?] to alter and subvert the ancient Government, [Page 26] Parliaments, Laws and Customs of our Realm: And upon serious consideration of the ordinary, unsufferable Assertions of their Officers and Souldiers uttered in most places where they Quarter, and to my self in particular, sundry times, *Can or will the King himself say more, or so much as these, if he invade and conquer us by Forraign forces? And were it not better for us then to submit to our lawful King, then so many thousand perfidious usurping pretended Conquerors of us, who of late pretend they were no other but our sevants? That the whole Kingdom, with all our Lands, Houses, Goods, and whatsoever we have, is theirs, and that by right of Conquest, they having twice conquered the Kingdom: That we are but their conquered slaves and Vassals, and they the Lords and Heads of the Kingdom: That our very lives are at their mercy and courtesie. That when they have gotten all we have from us by Taxes and Free-quarter, and we have nothing left to pay them, then themselves will seise upon our Lands as their own, and turn us and our Families out of doors: That there is now no Law in England (nor never was, if[?] we beleeve their lying Oracle Peters) but the Sword; with many such like vapouring Speeches and discourses, of which there are thousands of witnesses: I can neither in Conscience, Law, nor Prudence assent unto, much less contribute in the least degree for their present maintenance, or future continuance, thus to insult, inslave, and tyrannize over King, Kingdom, Parliament, People at their pleasure, like their conquered Vassals. And for me in particular to contribute to the maintenance of those, who against the Law of the Land, the priviledges of Parliament, and liberty of the Subject, pulled me forcibly from the Commons House, and kept me prisoner about two months space under their Martiall, to my great expence and prejudice, without any particular cause pretended or assigned, only for discharging my duty to the Kingdom, and those for whom I served in the House, without giving me the least reparation for this unparallell'd injustice, or acknowledging their offence (and yet detain some of my then fellow-Members under custodie by the meer power of the Sword, without bringing them to Triall) would be, not only absurd, unreasonable, and a tacit justification of this their horrid violence, and breach of priviledg, but monstrous, unnaturall, perfidious, against my Oath and Covenant.

2. No Tax ought to be imposed on the Kingdom in Parliament it self, but in case of necessity, for the common good, as is clear by the Stat. of 25 E. 1. c. 6. & Cooks 2 Instit. p. 528. Now it is evident to me, that there is no necessity of keeping up this Army for the Kingdoms common Good, but rather a necessity of [Page 27] disbanding it, or the greatest part of it, for these reasons: 1. Because the Kingdom is generally exhausted with the late 7 years Wars, Plunders and heavy Taxes; there being more moneyes levied on it by both sides, during these eight last yeares, then in all the Kings Reigns since the Conquest, as will appear upon a just computation: all Counties being thereby utterly unable to pay it. 2. In regard of the great decay of Trade, the extraordinary dearth of cattell, corn, and provisions of all sorts; the charge of relieving a multitude of poor people, who starve with famine in many places, the richer sort eaten out by Taxes and Free-quarter, being utterly unable to relieve them. To which I might adde the multitude of maimed Souldiers, with the widows and children of those who have lost their lives in the Wars, which is very costly. 3. This heavie Contribution to support the Army, destroies all Trade, by fore-stalling and engrossing most of the Monies of the Kingdom, the sinews and life of Trade; wasting the provisions of the Kingdom, and enhancing their prices, keeping many thousands of able men and horses idle, only to consume other labouring mens provisions, estates, and the publick Treasure of the Kingdom, when as their employment in their Trades and callings, might much advance trading, and enrich the Kingdom. 4. There is now no visible Enemy in the field or Garrisons, and the sitting Members boast there is no fear from any abroad, their Navie being so Victorious. And why such a vast Army should be still continued in the Kingdom to increase its debts and payments, when charged with so many great Arrears and Debts already, eat up the Country with Taxes and Free-quarter, only to play, drink, whore, steale, rob, murther, quarrell, fight with, impeach and shoot one another to death as Traitors, Rebels, and Enemies to the Kingdom and Peoples Liberties, as now the Levellers and Cromwellists doe, for want of other imployments, and this for the publick Good, transcends my understanding. 5. When the King had two great Armies in the Field, and many Garisons in the Kingdom, this whole Army by its primitive Establishment, consisted but of twenty two thousand Horse, Dragoons and Foot, and had an Establishment only of about Fortie five thousand pounds a month for their pay; which both Houses then thought sufficient, as is evident by their (o)Collect. etc. pag. 599. 876 Ordinances of Febr. 15. 1644. and April 4. 1646. And [Page 28] when the Army was much increased without their Order, sixty thousand pounds a month was thought abundantly sufficient by the Officers and Army themselves, to disband and reduce all super-numeraries, maintain the Established Army and Garisons, and ease the Country of all Free-quarter; which Tax hath been constantly paid in all Counties. Why then this Tax to the Army should now be raised above the first Establishment, when reduced to twenty thousand, whereof sundry Regiments are designed for Ireland, (for which there is thirty thousand pounds a month now exacted, besides the sixty for the Army) and this for the common good of the Realm, is a riddle unto me, or rather, a Mystery of iniquity, for some mens private lucre, rather then the publick weal. 6. The Militia of every Co[?]unty (for which there was so great contest in Parliament with the late King) and those persons of livelihood and estates in every Shire or Corporation who have been cordiall to the Parliament and Kingdom heretofore, put into a posture of defence under Gentlemen of quality and known integrity, would be a far agreater Guard to secure the Kingdom against forreign Invasions or domestick Insurrections, then a mercenary Army of persons and souldiers of no fortunes, and that with more generall content, and the tenth part of that Charge the Kingdom is now at to maintain this Armie, and prevent all danger of the undoing pest of Free-quarter. Therefore there is no necessity to keep up this Army, or impose any new Tax for their maintenance, or defraying their pretended Arrears, which I dare averr, the Free-quarter they have taken in kinde, and levied in money, if brought to a just account, as it ought, will double, if not treble most of their Arrears, and make them much indebted to the Country. And no reason they should have full pay and Free-quarter too, and the Country bear the burthen of both, without full allowance of all the Quarters levied or taken on them against Law, out of their pretended Arrears.

AndObject. if any of the sitting Tax-makers here object, That they dare not trust the Militia of the Cities and Counties of the Realm with their own or the Kingdoms defence: Therefore there is a necessity for them to keep up the Army, to prevent all dangers from abroad, and Insurrections at home.

IAnsw.[?] answer, 1. That upon these pretences these new Lords may [Page 29] intail and enforce an Army, and Taxes to support them, on the Kingdom till Dooms-day. 2. If they be real Members who make this Objection, elected by the Counties, Cities and Boroughs for which they serve, and deriving their Parliamentall Authority only from the People, (the onely new[?] fountain of all Power and Authority,See their Declaration, 17 March, 1648. pag.1.27. as themselves now dogmatize) then they are but their Servants and Trustees, who are to allow them wages, and give them Commission for what they act. And if they dare not now trust the people, and those persons of quality, fidelity, and estate, who both elected, intrusted and impowred them, and are the primitive and supreme Power; it is high time for their Electors and Masters [the People] to revoke their authority, trusts, and call them to a speedy account for all their late exorbitant proceedings, and mispence of the Kingdoms Treasure; and no longer to trust those with their purses liberties, safety, who dare not now to confide in them, and would rather commit the safeguard of the Kingdom to mercenary, indigent souldiers, then to those Gentlemen, Free-holders, Citizens, Burgesses, and persons of Estate who elected them, whose Trustees and Attourneys onely they profess themselves, and who have greatest interest both in them and the Kingdoms weal, and are those who must pay these Mercenaries, if continued. 3. The Gentlemen and Free-men of England have very little reason any longer to trust the Army with the Kingdoms, Parliaments, or their own Liberties, Laws, and Priviledges safeguard, which they have so oft invaded; professing now, that they did not fight to preserve the Kingdom, King, Parliament, Laws, Liberties and Properties of the Subject; but to conquer and pull them down, and make us conquered slaves in stead of free-men: averring, that All is theirs by conquest (which is as much as the King and his Cavaliers, or any forreign enemy could or durst have affirmed, had they conquered us by Battel:) And if so, then this Army is not, cannot be upheld and maintained for the Kingdoms and peoples common good and safety, but their enslaving, destruction, and the meer support of the usurped power, authority, offices, wealth and absolute domination only of those who have exalted themselves for the present, above King, Parliament, Kingdom, Laws, Liberties, and those that did intrust them, by the help of this trust-breaking Army, who have *Ezek.18.24. lost and stained all the glory of their former noble Victories and Heroick Actions, by their late degenerous [Page 30] unworthy practices, and are become a reproach to the English Nation in all Christian Kingdoms and Churches.

The second end of this heavie Tax, is the support and maintenance of the Forces in Ire[?]land, for which there was only twenty thousand pounds a month formerly allowed, now mounted unto thirty thousand.

To which I answer in the first place, That it is apparent by the printed Statutes of 25. E. 1. c. 6. 1 E. 3 c. 5. 7. 18. Ed. 3. c. 7. 25. Ed. 3. c. 8. 4 H. 4. c. 13. Cooks 2 Institutes p. 528. and the Protestation of all the Commons of England in the Parliaments of 1 Hen. 5. num. 17. and 7. H. 5. num. 9. That no Free-man of England ought to be compelled to go in person, or[?] to finde Souldiers, Arms, Conduct money[?], Wages, or pay any Tax for or towards the maintenance of an[?]y forreign War in Ireland, or any other parts beyond the Sea, without their free consents in full Parliament. And therefore this Tax to maintain Souldiers and the Warr in Ir[?]eland (neither imposed in Parliament, much lesse in a full and free one, as I have proved) must needs be illegall, and no ways obligatory to me, or any other. 2. Most of the ancient Forces in Irel<a>nd (as the Brittish Army, Scots and Inchiqueen's, towards whose support the twenty thousand pounds a month was designed) have been long since declared Rebels, T<r>aytors, Revolters, and are not to share in this Contribution: and those now pretending for Ireland, being Members of the present Army, and to be paid out of that Establishment, there is no ground at all to augment, but to decrease this former monthly Tax for Ireland, over what it was before. 3. Many of those now pretending for Ireland, have been the greatest obstructers of its relief heretofore: and many of those designed for this Service by lot, have in words, writing and print protested they never intend to go thither, and disswade others from going, yet take Free-quarter on the Country and pay too under that pretext. And to force the Country to pay Contribution and give Free quarter to such Cheaters and Impostors, who never intend this Service, is both unjust and dishonourable. 4. If the Relief of Ireland be now really intended, it is not upon the first, just and pious grounds, to preserve the Protestant party there from the forces of the bloody, Popish, Irish Rebels, with whom (if report be true) these sitting Anti-Monarchists seek and hold correspondence, and are now actually [Page 31] accorded with Owen Roe-Oneal, and his pary of bloudiest Papists; but to oppose the Kings interest and Title to that Kingdom (*See Seldens Titles of Honor, p.42. setled on HIM, HIS HEIRS & SUCCESSORS FOR EVER by an express act of Parliament made in Ireland, 33. H. 8. c. 1. and by the Stat. of 1 Jac. c. 1. made in England, yet unrepealed,) and the Protestant remaining party there, adhering to, and proclaiming, acknowledging him for their Soveraign; lest his gaining of Ire[?]land should prove fatall to their usurped Soveraignty in England, or conduce to his enthroning here: And by what Authority these now sitting can impose, or with what conscience any loyal Subject who hath ta[k]en the Oaths of Supremacy, Allegeance, and Covena[?]nt, can voluntarily pay any Contribution to deprive the King of his hereditary right, and undoubted title to the Kingdoms & Crowns of England & Ireland, and alter the frame of the ancient Government and Parliaments of our Kingdoms, See A Collect. p 94. 95. 99. 698 700. 877. 878.Remonstrated so often against by both Houses, and adjudged High Treason in Canterburies and Straffords cases, for which they were beheaded; and by themselves in the Kings own case, whom they decolled likewise (without incurring the guilt of perjury and danger of high Treason, to the loss of his life & estate, by the very laws and Statutes yet in force transcends my understanding to conceive: Wherfore I neither can, nor dare, in conscience, law or prudence, submit to this contribution. Four[t]hly, The coercive power, and manner of levying this contribution, expressed in the Act, is against the Law of the Land, and Liberty of the Subject, which is threefold.

First, Distresse and sale of the goods of those who refuse to pay it; with power to break open their Houses (which are their Castles) doors, chests, etc. to distrain; which is against Magna Charta c. 29. The Petition of Right; The Votes of both Houses in the case of Ship-mony, 1 R. 2. c. 3. and the resolution of our Judges and Law-books. 13. Ed. 4. 9. 20. E. 4. 6. Cook 5 Report, f. 91, 92. Semains case, and 4. Inst. p. 176. 177.

Secondly, Imprisonment of the body of the party till he pay the Contribution, being contrary to Magna Charta, The Petition of Right, The resolution of both Houses in the Parliament of 3 Caroli, in the case of Loans; and 17 Caroli, in the case of Ship-mony, the judgment of our Judges and Law-books, collected by Sir Edward Cook. in his 2 Inst. p. 46[?]. etc. and the Statute of 2. H. 4. Rot. Parl. n. 6. unprinted, but most expresse in point.

[Page 32]

Thirdly, Levying of the contribution by souldiers and force of arms, in case of resistance, and imprisoning the person by like force: adjudged High Treason in the case of the Earl of Strafford, and a levying of war within the Statute of 25. Ed. 3. by the late Parliament, for which he lost his head: and so proved to be at large by Master St. John in his Argument at Law at the passing the Bill for his attainder, Printed by Order of the Commons House.

Fourthly, (Which heightens the illegality of these illegall means of levying it) if any person whose goods are destrained, or person imprisoned for this illegall tax, shall bring his Action at Law, or an Habeas corpus for his relief, the Committee of Indempnity will stay his legall proceedings, award costs against him, and commit him anew till he pay them, and release his suits at Law, and upon an Habeas corpus, their own Sworn Judges (created by them, without any Oath to do equal Justice, etc. to all: but only to be true and faithfull to their new-erected State:) dare not bayl but remaund him against Law; An oppression and Tyranny, far exceeding the worst of the Beheaded[?] Kings; under whom the Subjects had Free-Liberty to sue and proceed at Law both in the cases of Loanes, Shipmony and Knighthood, without any Councel Table[?], Committee of Indempnity to stop their suits, or inforce them to release them; and therefore in all these respects (so repugnant to the Laws and Liberty of the Subject) I cannot submit to this illegall Tax, but oppugn it to the u[tte]rmost, as the most invasive on Laws and Liberties, that ever was.

Fifthly, The time of imposing this illegall Tax, with these unlawfull ways of levying it, is very considerable and sticks much with me; it is (as the Imposers of it declare and publish in many of their new kind of Acts and devices) in the first yeare of Englands Liberty, and redemption from thraldom. And if this unsupportable Tax, thus illegally to be levied, be the first fruits of our first years Freedom, and redemption from thraldom, as they stile it; how great may we expect our next years thraldome will be, when this little finger of theirs is heavier by far then the Kings whole loyns, whom they beheaded for Tyranny and Oppression?

Sixthly, The Order of this Tax (if I may so term a disorder) or rather newnesse of it, engageth me, and all lovers of their Countries Liberty, unanimously to withstand the same. It is the first, I finde, that was ever imposed[?] by any who had been [Page 33] Members of the Commons House after a Parliament dissolved; the Lords House Voted down, and most of their fellow-Commoners secured or secluded by their conn[?]ivance or confederacy with an undutifull Army. Which if submitted to, and not opposed as illegall, not only the King or Lords alone without the Commons, but[?] any forty or fifty Commoners, who have been Members of a Parliament, gaining Forces to assist and countenance them, may out of Parliament now, or any time hereafter, do the like, and impose what Taxes and Laws they please upon the Kingdom, and the secluded Lords and Comm[?]ons that once sate with them, being encouraged thereto by such an unopposed precedent. Which being of so dangerous consequence and exa[?]mple to the constitution and priviledges of Parliament, and Liberties of the People, we ought all to endeavour the crushing of this new Cockatrice in the shell, lest it grow to a Fiery Serpent, to consume and sting us to death, and induce the Imposers of it, to lade us with new and heavier Taxes of this kinde, when this expires (which we must expect, when all the Kings, Bi[?]shops, Deans and Chapters Lands are shared amongst them, sold and spent) as they will quickly be if we patiently submit to this leading Decoy; since (q)Matt. Paris, 517. Bonus Actus inducit consuetudinem, as our Ancestors resolved, Anno 1240. in case of an unusuall Tax demanded by the Pope; whereupon they all unanimously opposed it at first; (r)Ovid de Remed. Amoris.

Opprime dum nova sunt subiti mala semina morbi:
Principiis obsta; serò medecina paratur
Cum mala per longas invaluere moras,

Being the safest rule of State-physick we can follow in such new desperate diseases, which endanger the whole Body-Politick. Upon which grounds the most consciencious Gentlemen and best Patriots of their Country opposed Loans, Ship-money, Tonnage, Poundage, Knighthood, and the late illegall Impositions of the King and his Councell in the very beginnings of them, and thought themselves bound in Conscience, Law, Prudence so to do, though there were some colourable reasons and precedents of former times pretended to countenance them. And if these Worthies conceived themselves thus obliged to oppose those illegall Impositions of the King and his Councel, though countenanced by some Judges opinions as legall, to their [Page 34] immortal honour, and high esteem both in Country and Parliament, who applauded them as the *Exact Collection p. 5 6. And their own Declarations 17. Mar. 1648. p. 7. etc. principal maintainers of their Countries Liberties; then much more ought I, and all other tenderers of their own and Countries Freedom, to oppose this illegal dangerous Contribution imposed on us by a few fellow-Subjects only, without yea against all Law or President to countenance it, being of greater consequence, and worser example to the Kingdom, then all or any of the Kings illegal projects or Taxes.

Seventhly, the excessivenesse of this Tax, much raised and encreased, when we are so exhausted, and were promised and expected ease from Taxes, both by the Army in their Remonstrance, November 20. 1648. and by the (*) In their Declarations March. 27. 1648. p.26.Imposers of it, amounting to a sixt part, if not a moyety of most mens estates, is a deep Engagement for me to oppose it; since Taxes, as well as (s)Mag. Chart. c. 14. 14[?] E. 3. c. 6. Cook 2. Instit. p. 26. 27. 169. 170. Fines and Amerciaments ought to be reasonable; so as men may support themselves and their Families, and not be undone, as many wil be by this, if forced to pay it by Distresse or Imprisonment. Upon this ground, in the Parliament Records, of 1 and 4 Ed. the Third, we find divers freed from payment of Tenths, and other Taxes lawfully imposed by Parliament, because the People were impoverished and undone by the Warres, who ought to pay them. And in the printed Statutes of 31 Henr. 6. c. 8. 1 Mariæ c. 17. to omit others, we find Subsidies mi[?]tigated and released by subsequent Acts of Parliament, though granted by precedent, by reason of the peoples poverty any inability to pay them. Yea somtimes we read of something granted them by the King, by way of aid to help pay their Subsidies, as in 25. Edward 3. Rastal, Tax. 9. and 36. Ed. 3. c. 14. And for a direct president in point: When (t) Matt. Paris, p. 516Peter Rubie the Pope's Legat in the yeer 1240. exacted an excessive unusual Tax from the English Clergie; the whole Clergy of Berk-shire (and others) did all and every of them unanimously withstand it, tendring him divers Reasons in writing of their refusal, pertinent to our time and present Tax; whereof this was one, That the Revenues of their Churches scarce sufficed to find them daily food, both in regard of their smalness, and of the present dearth of Corns; and because there were such multitudes of poore people to relieve, some of which [Page 35] dyed of Famin, so as they had not enough to suffice themselves and the poore. Whereupon THEY OUGHT NOT TO BE COMP[?]ELLED TO ANY SUCH CONTRIBUTION: which many of our Clergie may now likewise plead most truly, whose Livings are small, and their Tithes detained; and divers people of all ranks and callings, who must sell their stocks, beds, and all their houshold-stuffe, or rot in prison, if forced to pay it.

Eighthly, the principal inducement to bring on the paiment of this Tax, is a promise of taking off the all-devouring and undoing Grievance of Free-quarter: which hath ruined many Countreys and Families, and yet they must pay this heavy Tax to be eased of it for the future, instead of being paid and allowed for what is already past, according to (u)A Collection, etc. pag. 771. former engagements. Against which I have these just exceptions,

1. That the taking of Free-quarter by Soldiers in mens Houses, is a grievance against the very Common-Law it self, which defines every mans House to be his Castle and Sanctuary, into which none ought forcibly to enter against his will; and which with his goods therein he may lawfully (x) See Cook. 5. Report. f. 91, 92.
Semans Case, 7 Rep. Sendels case. Lambert f. 179. Daltons Justice of Peace, 224. 24 H. 8. c. 5.
fortifie and defend against all intruders whatsoever, and kill them without any danger of Law: Against all the Statutes concerning (y)See Rastal Title Parveyers. Purveyers, which prohibit the taking of any mens goods or provisions against their wills, or payment for them under pain of Felony, though by Commission under the great Seal of England. Against the expresse Letter and Provision of the Petition of RIGHT, 3. Caroli. Condemned by the Commons House in their (z)An exact Collect. p.7 Declaration of the State of the Kingdom of the 15. Dec[?]ember, 1641. and charged as an Article against King Richard the second when deposed, in the Parliament of 1 H. 4. nu. 22. Yea, it is such a Grievance, as exposeth the houses, goods, provisions, moneys, servants, children, wives, lives, and all other earthly comforts we enjoy, to the lusts and pleasure of every domineering Officer, and unruly common Souldier. Therefore absolutely to be abolished without any compensation: And to impose an unjust, heavy Tax, and induce people to pay it upon hopes of freeing them from Free-quarter, is[?] but to impose one grievance upon pretext to remove another.

2. There have been many promises, Declarations and Orders of both Houses and the Generall, for taking off Free quarter heretofore, [Page 36] upon the peoples paying in their Contributions before-h[?]and, now; and then none should Free quarter on them, under pain of death: Yet no soone[?]r have they pay'd in their Contribution, but they have been freequartered on as much or more then formerly: the Souldiers, when we tell them of any Orders against Free-quarter, slighting them as so many wast papers, and carrying themselves more unruly: And when complaint thereof hath been made to the Officers, Members, or the Committee for the Army, or in the House; answer hath still been made, That as long as there is an Army on foot, there will be freequarter taken, and there can be no prevention of it, there being a nece[?]ssit[?]y of it: and when any have craved allowance of it, they have f[?]ound so many put-offs and delayes, and such difficulties in obtaining it, that their expences have equalled their allowance; and after allowances made, the moneys allowed have been called for again. So as few have had any allowance for quarters, and most have given over suing for them, being put to play an after-game to sue for them after all their contributions first paid, and not permitted to deduct them out of their Contributions, as in Justice and reason they ought, which they are still enforced to pay without deduction. This pretext therefore of taking a way Free-quarter, is but a shoo-horn to draw on the payment of this Tax, and a fair pretext to delude the People, as they finde by sad experience every-where, and in the County and Hundred where I reside. For, not to look back to the last yeers free-quarter taken on us (though we duly paid our Contributions,) In April and May last past, since this very Tax imposed for taking away Free-quarter, Colonel Harrisons Troopers under the command of Captain Spencer, (who quartered six days together in a place, and exacted and received most of them 3 s. others 3 s. 6 d. and the least 2 s. 6 d. a day for their Quarters, telling their Landlords, that their Lands, and the whole Kingdom was theirs) have put Bathwick, Bathford, Claverton, Combe, Hampton, Soustock, Walcot and Widcombe, small parishes in our Hundred and Liberty, as they will prove upon Oath, and given it me under their hands, to 94 li. 4 s. 3 d. charge; beside their quarters in other parishes of the Hundred, Sir Hardresse Wallers Souldiers upon pretext of collecting arrears of Contribution not due from the hundred, put it to at least 30 l. charge more for free-quarter, they being very rude and disorderly; and [Page 37] no sooner were we quit of them, but on the 22 and 23 of May last, Col. Hunks his Foot under the conduct of Captain Flower and Captain Eliot pretending for Ireland, but prof[?]essing they never intended to go thither, marching from Minehead and Dunster (the next Westerne Ports to Ir[?]eland further from it to oppresse the Country, put Ba[?]thwich, La[?]ngridge, Wolly, Ba[?]thea[?]stan, Katherin and Ford to 28 l. 7 s. and Swainswick (where I live) to about 20 l. expences for two dayes Free-quarter (by colour of the Generals Order dated the first of May, being the rudest and deboistest in all kinds, that ever quartered since the Warrs, and far worse then the worst of Goring's men, whereof some of them were the dreggs, and their Captain Flower, a Cavalier heretofore in arms (as is reported) against the Parliament. Their carriage in all places was very rude, to extort money from the people, drawing out their swords, ransacking their houses, beating and threatning to kill them, if they would not give them two shillings six pence, three shillings, three shillings six pence, or at least two shillings a day for their quarters, which when extorted from some, they took Free-quarter upon others, taking two, three, and some four quarters a man: At my house they were most exorbitant, having (as their Quarter-Master told me, who affirmed to me they had twice conquered the Kingdom, and all was theirs) directions from some great ones above, from some others in the Country (intimating some of the Committee,) and their own Officers (who absented themselves purposely, that the Souldiers might have none to controll them) to abuse me. In pursuance whereof, some thirty of them coming to my house, shouting and hollowing in a rude manner on May 22, when their Billet was but for twenty, not shewing any authority, but onely a Ticket, [Mr. Prynne ― 20] climbed over my Walls, forced my doors, beat my servants and workmen without any provocation, drew their swords upon me, (who demanded whose Souldiers they were, by what authority they demanded Free-quarter, my house being neither Inne, nor Ale-house; and Free-quarter against Law and Orders of Parliament, and the Generals) using many high provoking Speeches, brake some of my windows, forced my strong-beer cellar-door, and took the key from my servant, ransacked some of my chambers under pretext to search for Arms[?], [Page 38] taking away my servants clothes, shirts, stockings, bands, cuffs, handkerchiefs, and picking the money out of one of their pockets; hallowed, roared, stamped, beat the Tables with their Swords and Muskets like so many Bedlams, swearing, cursing, and blaspheming at every word; brake the Tankards, Bottles, Cups, Dishes wherein they fetched strong be[?]er, against the ground, abused my maid servants, throwing beer[?] & other good provisions at their heads, and casting it to the dogs, as no fit meat for Souldiers, and the Heads and Conquerors of the Kingdom, as they called themselves; searched the out-houses for Turkies, which they took for their eggs and young ones, Ve[?]al and Mutton being not good enough for them: They continued drinking and roaring before, at and after Supper, till most of them were mad, drunk, and some of them dead drunk under the Table. Then they must have 14 Beds provided for them (for they would lye but two in a Bed) and all their linnen washed: My Sister answering them, that there were not so many beds in the house, and that they must be content as other Souldiers had been, with such beds as could be spared; they thereupon threatned to force open her Camber door, and to pull her and her children out of their beds, unlesse she would give them three shillings a peece for their beds, and next dayes quarters; and at last forced her for feare of their violence (being all drunk) to give them eighteen pence a peece, assoon as they were forth of doors, and six pence a peece the next day, if they marched not; whereupon they promised to trouble the House no more. Upon this agreement all but eight (who were gone to bed) departed that night, and the rest the next morning. But I going to the Lecture at the Bath, some thirty of them in my absence came about ten of the clock, notwithstanding the moneys received of my Sister for their Quarters, re-entred the house, and would have Quarters again, unlesse she would give them three shillings a peece; which she refusing, they thereupon abused and beat the servants and workemen, forced them to drink with them all that day and night, swearing, cursing, roaring like so many Furies and Devils, brake open my Parlour, Milk-house, and Garden-doors, abused my Pictures and brake an hole in one of them; and hacked my Table-boards with their Swords from one end to the other, threw [Page 39] the chairs, stools, meat, drink about the house; assaulted my Sister, and her little children, and Maid-servants with their naked swords, threatning to kill them, and kick them to gelly, shot at them with their Musquets, forced them out of the house to save their lives: which I hearing of, repaired to my house, and finding them all so Bedlam mad, and that they would not hearken to any reason, nor be quieted, I thereupon rode to seek their Captain and Officers at Bath, who purposely absented themselves: and not finding them till the next morning, I acquainted the Captain then (as I had done the first night by Letter) with all these unsufferable outrages of the Souldiers (contrary to the Generals Order to carry themselves civilly in their Quarters, and abuse none in word or deed) which would render him and them odious, not onely to the Country and Kingdom, but all Officers and Souldiers who had any civility in them, and be a disparagement to the Generall, by whose Proclamation he ought to be present with his Company, to keep them in good order, under pain of cashiering: And therefore I expected and required Justice and Reparations at his hands; the rather, because I was informed by some of his own Souldiers and others, that they had not been so barbarously rude, but by his incouragement: which if he refused, I should complain of him to his Superiours, and right my self the best way I might. After some expostulations, he promised to make them examples, and cashier them, and remove them forthwith from my house: But the onely right I had, was, that more of his Company repaired thither, making all the spoil they could, and taking away some brasse and Pewter, continuing there till neer four of the clock; and then marched away onely out of fear I would raise the Country upon them; many of whom profered me their assistance: but I desired them to forbear till I saw what their Officers would do; who in stead of punishing any of them, permitted them to play the like Rex almost in other places where they quartered since, marching but three or four miles a day, and extorting what money they could from the Country by their violence and disorders. Now, for me, or any other to give moneys to maintain such deboist Bedlams and Beasts as these (who boasted of their villanies, and that they had done me at least twenty pounds spoil in Beer [Page 40] and Provisions, drinking out five barrels of good strong Beer, and wasting as much meat as would have served an hundred civill persons) to be Masters of our Houses, Goods, Servants, Lives, and all we have, to ride over our heads like our Lords and Conquero[?]urs, and take Free-quarter on us, amounting to at least a full yeers contribution, without any allowance for it, and that since the last Orders against Free-quarter, and Warrants for paying in this Tax to prevent it for the future, issued; is so far against my Reason, Judgment and Conscience, that I would rather give all away to suppresse discard them, or cast it into the fire, then maintain such graceless wretches with it to dishonour God, enslave, consume, ruine the Country and Kingdom; who every where complain of the like insolencies; and of taking Free-quarter since the ninth of June, as above two hundred of Colonel Cox his men did in Bath the last Lords day; who drew up in a Body about the Majors house, and threatned to seise and carry him away prisoner for denying to give them Free-quarter, contrary to the New Act for abolishing it. Lastly, This pretended Act implies, that those who refuse to pay this contribution without distresse or imprisonment shall be still oppressed with Free-quarter: And what an height of oppression and injustice this wil prove, not only to distrain and imprison those who cannot in conscience, Law or prudence submit to this illegall Tax, but likewise to undo them, by exposing them to Free-quarter, which themselves condemn as the highest pest and oppression, let all sober men men consider: and what reason I and others have to oppose such a dangerous, destructive president in its first appearing to the world. In few words; As long as we keep an Army on foot, we must never expect to be exempted from Free-quarter or Wars, or to enjoy any peace or setlement: and as long as we wil submit to pay contributions to support an Army, we shall be certain our new Lords and Governors will continue an Army to over-aw and enslave us to their wils. Therefore the onely way to avoid free-quarter, and the cost and trouble of an Army, and settle peace, is to deny all future contributions.

Ninthly, The principal end of imposing this Tax to maintain the Army and Forces now raised, is not the defence and safety of our ancient and first Christian Kingdom of England, its [Page 41] Parliaments, Laws, Liberties and Religion, as at first; but to disinherit the King of the Crown of England, Scotland, and Ireland, (to which he hath an undoubted right by common and Statute Law; as the Parliament of 1 Jacobi ch. 1. resolves) and to levie War against him, to deprive him of it: To subvert the ancient Monarchical Government of this Realm, under which our Ancesters have always lived and flourished, to set up a New-Republick, the oppressions and grievances whereof we have already felt (by increasing our Taxes, setting up arbitrary Courts and Proceedings to the taking away the lives of the late King, Peers, and other Subjects, against the fundamental Laws of the Land, creating new monstrous Treasons never heard of in the world before, and the like;) but cannot yet enjoy or discern the least ease or advantage by it: To overthrow the ancient constitution of the Parliament of England, consisting of King, Lords, and Commons, and the Rights and Priviledges thereof: To alter the fundamental Laws, Seals, Courts of Justice of the Realm, and introduce an arbitrary government at least, if not Tyrannical, contrary to our Laws, Oaths, Covenant, Protestation, See An Exact collection: and a collection of publick Orders, etc. p.99. 698. 700. 877. 878.publick Remonstrances and Engagements to the Kingdom and forreign States, not to change the Government, or attempt any of the Premises. All which being no less then High Treason by the Laws and Statutes of the Realm (as Sir Edward Cook in his 4. Institutes ch. 1. and Mr. St John in his Argument at Law, upon passing the Bill of Attainder of the Earl of Strafford (both printed by the Commons special Order) have proved at large by many Precedents, Reasons, Records; and so adjudged by the last Parliament in the cases of Strafford and Canterbury, who were condemned and executed as Traitors by Judgment of Parliament, and some of these now sitting, but for some of those Treasons upon obscurer Evidences of guilt, then are now visible in other: I cannot submit thereto, without incurring the Crime and Guilt of these severall High Trea[?]sons, and the eternal, if not temporal punishments incident thereunto, if I should volu{n}tarily contribute so much as one penny or farthing towards such Treasonable and disloyal ends as these, against my Conscience, Law, Loyalty and Duty, and all my Oaths and Obligations to the contrary.

Tenthly, The payment of this Tax for the premised [Page 42] purposes, will (in my poor judgment and conscience) be offensive to God and all good men, scandalous to the Protestant Religion, dishonourable to our English Nation, and disadvantagious and destructive to our whole Kingdom, hindering the speedy settlement of our Peace, the re-establishment of our Laws and Government, abolishing of our Taxes, disbanding of our Forces, revivall of our decayed Trade, by the renewing and perpetuating our bloody uncivill Warrs; engaging Scotland, Ireland, and all forreign Princes and Kingdoms in a just War against us, to avenge the death of our late beheaded King the dis-inheriti[?]ng of his posterity, and restore his lawfull Heirs and Successors to their just, undoubted Rights, from which they are now forcibly secluded; who will undoubtedly molest us with continuall Warrs (what-ever some may fondly conceit to the contrary) till they be setled in the Throne in peace upon just and honorable terms, and invested in their just possessions. Which were far more safe, honorable, just, prudent, and Christian for our whole Kingdom voluntarily and speedily to do themselves, then to be forced to it at last by any forraign Forces; the sad consequences whereof we may easily conje[?]cture, and have cause enough to fear, if we now delay it, or still contribute to maintain Armies to oppose their Titles, and protect the Invaders of them from publick Justice. And therefore I can neither in conscience, piety nor prudence, ensnare my self in the guilt of all these dangerous consequences, by any submission to this illegall Tax.

Upon all these weighty Reasons, and serious grounds of Conscience, Law, Prudence, (which I humbly submit to the Consciences and Judgments of all conscientious and Judicious persons, whom they do or shall concern) I am resolved by the assistance and strength of that Omnipotent God (who hath miraculously supported me under, and carried me through all my former sufferings for the Peoples publick Liberties with exceeding joy, comfort, and the ruine of my greatest enemies and Opposers) to oppugne this unlawfull Contr{i}bution, and the payment of it to the uttermost, in all just and lawfull wayes, I may; And if any will forcibly levie it by distresse or otherwise, without Law or Right (as Theeves and Robbers take mens goods and Purses) let them doe it at their [Page 43] own utmost perill. I trust God and men will in due season do me justice upon them, and award me recompence for all theirinjuries in this kinde, or any sufferings for my Countries Liberties. How-[?]ever, fall back, fall edge, I would ten thousand times rather lose life, and all I have, to keep a good conscience, and preserve my native Liberty, then part with one farthing, or gain the whole world with the losse of either of them; and rather die a Martyr for our Ancient Kingdom, then live a Slave under any new Republick, or remnant of a broken, dismembred, strange Parliament of Commons, without King, Lords, or the major part of the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses of the Realme, in being subject to their illegal Taxes, and what they call Acts[?] of Parliament, which in reality are no Acts at all to binde me, or any other subject, to obedience, or just punishment for Non-obedience thereunto, or Non-conformity to what they stile the present Government of the Armies modeling, and I fear, the Jesuites suggesting, to effect our Kingdoms and Religions ruine.



(PSAL. 26. 4, 5.)I have not sate with vain persons, neither will I go in with Dissemblers: I have hated the Congregation of evill doers, and will not sit with the wicked.

[Page 44]
[Ornamental vases pattern.]


SInce the drawing up of the precedent Reasons, I have met with a printed Pamphlet, intituled, An Epistle written the 8th day of June, by Lieutenant Colonel John Lilburn, to Master William Lenthal Speaker to the remainder of those few Knights, Citizens and Burgesses[?] that Col. Thomas Pride at his late purge thought convenient to leave sitting at Westminster, (as most fit for his and his Masters designes, to serve their ambitious and tyrannicall ends, to destroy the good old Laws, Liberties and Customs of England, the badges of our Freedom, as the Declaration against the King, of the 7th of March, 1648. p. 23. calls them) and by force of Arms to rob the people of their lives, estates and properties; and subject them to perfect vassallage and slavery, etc. who (and in truth no otherwise) pretendedly stile themselves, The Conservators of the Peace of England, or the Parliament of England, intrusted and authorized by the consent of all the people thereof, whose Representatives by Election (in their Declaration last mentioned, p. 27. they say) they are; although they are never able to produce one bit of Law, or any piece of a Commission to prove, that all the people of England, or one quarter, tenth, hundred or thousand part of them authorized Thomas Pride, with his Regiment of Souldiers, to chuse them a Parliament, as indeed it hath de facto done by this PRETENDED MOCK-PARLIAMENT: And therefore it cannot properly be called the Nations or Peoples Parliament: but Col. Prides and his Associates, whose really it is: who, although they have beheaded the King for a Tyrant, yet walk in his oppressingest steps, if not worse and higher.

In this Epistle, this late great champio[?]n of the House of Commons, and fitting J [...]cto's Supremacy, both before and since the Kings beheading, who with his Brother His Petition and Appeal, & his Arrow of Defiance. See Mr. Edwards Gangrena, 3 pa. pag. 154. f. 204.Overton and their Confederates, first cryed them up as, and gave them the Title of The Supreme Authority of the Nation: The onely Supreme Judicatory [Page 45] of the Land: The onely formall and legall Supreme power of the Parliament of England, in whom alone the power of binding the whole Nation by making, altering, or abrogating Laws, without either King or Lords, resides, etc. and first engaged them by their Pamphlets and Petitions, against the King, Lords, and Personall Treaty, (as he and they print and boast in Pag. 11, 29.this Epistle, and other late Papers) doth in his own and his Parties behalf (who of late so much adored them, as the onely earthly Deities and Saviours of the Nation) now positively assert and prove

First, 'ThatPag. 34, 35. Commissary General Ireton, Colonel Harrison, with other Members of the House, and the General Councel of Officers of the Army, did in several Meetings and Debates at Windsor, immediatly before their late march to London to purge the House, and after at White-hall, commonly stile themselves the pretended Parliament (even before the Kings beheading) a MOCK PARLIAMENT, a MOCK POWER, a PRETENDED PARLIAMENT; & NO PARLIAMENT AT ALL: And that they were absolutely resolved and determined TO PULL UP THIS THEIR OWN PARLIAMENT BY THE ROOTS, and not so much as to leave a shadow of it; yea, and had done it, if we (say they) and some of our then FRIENDS in the House, had not been the Principal Instruments to hinder them: We judging it then of two evils the least, to chuse rather to be governed by THE SHADOW OF a PARLIAMENT, till we could get a reall and a true one (which with the greatest protestations in the world they then promised and engaged with all their might speedily to effect) then simply, solely and onely by the will of Sword-men, whom we had already found to be men of no very tender consciences.

If then these leading, swaying members of the new pretended purged Commons Parliament and Army, deemed the Parliament even before the Kings beheading,a Mock-parliament, a mock-power, a pretended Parliament, yea, no parliament at all; and absolutely resolved to pull it up by the roots as such, then it necessarily follows, First, That they are much more so after the Kings death, and their suppression of the Lords House, and purging of the Commons House to the very dregs, in the opinions and consciences of those now sitting, and all other rationall men. And no wayes enabled by Law to impose this or any other new Tax or [Page 46] Act upon the Kingdom, creating new Treasons and Penalties. Secondly, that these grand saints of the Army and Stearsmen of the Pretended Parliament knowingly sit, vote and act there against their own judgements and consciences, for their own private, pernicious ends. Thirdly, that it is a baseness, cowardize, and degeneracy beyond all expression, for any of their fellow-members now acting, to suffer these Grandees in their Assembly & Army, to sit or vote together with them, or to enjoy any Office or command in the Army, or to impose any tax upon the People to maintain such Officers, Members, Souldiers, who have thus villified, affronted their pretended Parliamentary Authority, and thereby induced others to contemn and question it: and as great a baseness in others for to pay it upon any terms.

Secondly he there affirms that (d)Pag. 26, 27Oliver Crum[?]wel by the help of the Army at their first Rebellion against the Parliament, was no sooner up, but like a perfidious, base, unworthy man, etc. the House of Peers were his only white boys, and who but Oliver (who before to me had called them in effect both Tyrants and Usurpers) became their Proctor, where ever he came; yea and set his son Ireton at work for them also; insomuch that at some meetings, with some of my friends at the Lord Wha[?]rtons lodgings, he clapt his hand upon his breast, and to this purpose, professed in the sight of God upon his conscience, THAT THE LORDS HAD AS TRUE A RIGHT TO THEIR LEGISLATIVE & JURISDICTIVE POWER OVER THE COMMONS AS HE HAD TO THE COAT UPON HIS BACK, and he would procure a friend, viz. Master Nathaniel Fiennes, should argue and plead their just right with any friend I had inEngland. And not only so, but did he not get the General and Councel of War at Winsor (about the time that the Votes of no more addresses were to pass) to make a Declaration to the whole world, declaring, THE LEGAL RIGHT OF THE LORDS HOUSE, & THEIR FIXED RESOLUTION TO MAINTAIN & UPHOLD IT? which was sent by the General to the Lords by Sir, Hardresse Waller: and to indea[?]r himself the more unto the Lords in whose house without all doubt he intended to have sate himself, he requited me evil for good; and became my enemy to keep me in Prison, out of which I must not stirre, unless I would stoop and [Page 47] acknowledge the Lords jurisdiction over Commoners; and for that end he sets his agents and instruments at work to get me to do it: yet now they have suppressed them.

Whence it is most apparent, 1. That the General, Lieutenant Generall Cromwel, Ireton, Harrison, and other Officers of the Army now sitting as Members, and over-ruling all the rest, have wittingly acted against their own knowledges, Declarations, Judgments, Consciences in suppressing the Lords Hous[?]e; and depriving them of ther Legislative and Jurisdictive Right and power, by presuming to make Acts, passe sentences, and impose Taxes without them, or their assents in Parliament. 2. That this Tax enforced upon the Commons and Kingdom, for their own particular advantage, pay and enrichment, is in their own judgment and conscience, both unjust and directly contrary to the Laws of the Realm, being not assented to by the Lords: and therefore to be unanimously and strenuously opposed by all who love their own or Countries Liberties, or have any Nobility, or Generosity in them.

Thirdly, he (e)Pag. 34. 39, 40. 56, 47. there asserts in positive terms in his own behalf, and his confederates; That the purged Parliament now sitting, is but a pretended Parliament, a mock-Parliament; yea, and in plaine English, NO PARLIAMENT AT ALL, but the shadow of a Parliament. That those Company of men at Westminster, that gave Commission to the High Court of Justice to try and behead the King, etc. were no more a Parliament by Law or Representatives of the People, by the rules of Justice and Reason, then such a company of men are a Parliament or Representative of the People, that a company of armed Theeves choose and set apart to try, judge, condemne, hang or behead any man that they please, or can prevaile over by the power of their Swords, to bring before them by force of arms, to have their lives taken away by pretence of JUSTICE, grounded upon rules meerly flowing from their Wills and Swords. That no Law in England authoriseth a company of servants to punish and correct their Masters, or to give a Law unto them, or to throw them at their pleasure out of their power, and set themselves downe in it; which is the Armies case with the Parliament, especially at Thomas Pride's late purge, which was an absolute dissolution of the very Essence and being of the [Page 48] House of Commons: to set up indeed a MOCK-POWER, and a MOCK-PARLIAMENT; by purging out all those, that they were any way jealous of, would not Vote as they would have them; and suffering and permitting none to sit but (for the Major part of them) a company of absolute School-boys, that will, like good Boys, say their Lessons after them their Lords and Masters, and vote what they would have them: and so be a skreen betwixt them and the people, with the name of Parliament, and the shadow and imperfect image of Legal and Just Authority to pick their pockets for them by Assessments and Taxations; and by their arbitrary and tyrannical Courts and Committees (the best of which is now become a perfect St[?]ar-chamber, High-Commission, and Councel-board) make them their perfect slaves and vassals. With much more to this purpose.

If then their Principal admirers, who confederated with the Army, and those now sitting, in all their late proceedings; and cryed them up most of any, as the Parliament and supreme Authority of England before, at, and since the late force upon the House, and its violent purgation, do thus in print professedly disclaim them, for being any real Parliament or House of Commons, to make Acts or impose Taxes upon the people; the secluded Members, Presbyterians, Royallists, and all others, have much more cause and ground to disavow and oppose their usurped Parliamentary authority and illegal Taxes, Acts, as not made by any true English Parliament, but a Mock-Parliament only.

Fourthly, He therein futher avers: (f) Pag. 52. 53. 56. 57. 58. 59.'That the death of the King, in Law indisputably dissolves this Parliament, ipso facto, though it had been all the time before never so intire and unquestionable to that very hour. That no Necessity can be pretended for the continuance of it; the rather, because the men that would have it continue so long as they please, are those who have created these necessities on purpose, that by the colour thereof they may make themselves great and potent. That the main end wherefore the Members of the Commons house were chosen and sent thither, was, To treat and conferr with King Charles and the House of Peers, about the great affairs of the Nation, etc. And therefore are but [Page 49] a third part, or third estate of that Parliament, to which they were to come and jo[?]yn with, and who were legally to make permanent and binding Laws for the people of the Nation. And therefore having taken away two of the three Estates that they were chosen on purpose to joyn with to make laws, the end both in reason and law of the peoples trust is ceased: for a Minor joyned with a Major for one and the same end, cannot play Lord paramount over the Major, and then do what it please; no more can the Minor of a Major; viz. one Estate of three, legally or justly destroy two of three, without their own assent, etc. That the House of Commons sitting freely within it's limited time, in all its splendor of glory, without the awe of armed me[?]n, neither in Law, nor in the intention of their Choosers were a Parliament; and therefore of themselves alone have no pretence in Law to alter the constitution of Parliaments, etc. concluding thus: For shame let no man be so audaciously or sottishly void of reason, as to call Tho. Prides pittifull Junto A PARLIAMENT, especially those that called[?], avowed, protested and declared again and again those TO BE NONE that sate at Westminster, the 26, 27 etc. of July 1647. when a few of their Members were scared away to the Army, by a few hours tumult of a company of a few disorderly Apprentices. And being no representative of the People, much lesse A PARLIAMENT, what pretence of Law, Reason, Justice or Nature can there be for you to alter the constitution of Parliaments, and force upon the people the shew of their own wills, lusts and pleasures for Lawes and Rules of Government, made by a PRETENDED EVERLASTING, NULLED PARLIAMENT, a Councel of State, or Star-Chamber and a Councel of War, or rather by Fairfax, Cromwell and Ireton.

Now if their own late confederates and creatures argue thus in print against[?] their continuing a Parliament, Jurisdiction, Proceedings, Taxes, and arbitrary pleasures, should not all others much more doe it, and oppose them to the utmost upon the selfe-same[?] ends?

Fifthly, He there likewise affirmes, (g)pag. 53, 54. 59. 41. that those now sitting at Westminster have perverted the ends of their trusts[?] [Page 50] then ever Strafford did: 1. In not easing the people of, (but[?] encreasing) their greivances. 2, In exhausting their Estates to maintain and promote pernicious Designes to the peoples destruction. The King did it by a little Ship-mony & Monopolies; but since they began, they have raised and extorted more mony from the People and Nation then half the Kings since the Conquest ever did; as particularly: 1. By Excise, 2 Contributions. 3 Sequestrations of lands to an infinite value. 4. Fift part. 5 Twentyeth parts. 6 Meal-mony. 7 Sale of plundered goods. 8 Loanes. 9 Benevolencies. 10. Collections upon their fast days. 11 New impositions or customs upon Merchandize, 12 Guards maintained upon the charge of private men. 13 Fifty Subsidies at one time. 14 Compositions with Delinquents to an infinite value. 15 Sale of Bishops lands. 16 Sale of Dean and Chapters lands: and now after the wars are done. 17 Sale of King, Queen, Prince, Duke and the rest of the Childrens revenues. 18 Sale of their rich goods which cost an infinite sum. 19 to conclude all, a Taxation of ninety thousand pounds a month: and when they have gathered it pretendingly for the Common-wealths use, divide it by thousands and tenn thousands a peece amongst themselves, and wipe their mouthes after it, like the impudent Harlot, as though they had done no evill; and then purchase with it publick Lands at smal or trivial values: O brave Trustees! that have protested before God and the world, again and again in the day of their straits they would never seek themselves, and yet besides all this divide all the choicest and profitable[?]st Places of the Kingdom among themselves. Therefore when I seriously consider, how many men in Parliament and elsewhere of their Associates (that judge themselves the onely Saints and Godly men upon the earth) that have considerable (and some of them vast) estates of their own inheritance, and yet take five hundred, one, two, three, four five thousand pounds per annum Salaries, and other comings in by their places, and that out of the too much exhausted Treasury of the Nation, when thousands not only of the people of the world, as they call them, but also of the precious redeemed lambs of Christ, are ready to starve for want of bread. I cannot but wonder with my self, whether they have any conscience at all within them or no; and what they think of [Page 51] that saying of the spirit of God, That whoso hath this worlds goods, and seeth his brother hath need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him[?] (which he absolutely doth that any way takes a little of his little from him) how dwelleth the love of God in him) 1 John 3. 17. These actions and practices are so far from being like the true and reall children of the most High, that they are the highest oppression, theft and murther in the wor[?]ld, to rob the poor in the day of their great distresse by Excise, Taxations, etc. to maintain their pomp, superfluities and debauchery[?], when many of those from whom they take it, do perish and starve with want & hunger in the mean time, and be deaf and Adamant-hearted to all their TEARES, CRYES, LAMENTATIONS, MOURNFUL HOWLINGS, GROANES. Without all doubt, these pretended, Godly Religious men, have got a degree beyond those Atheists or Fools, that say in their hearts, there is no God. Psal. 14. 1. and 53. 1. 3. In quite destroying the peoples essentiall Liberties Laws and Freedoms, & in leaving them no Law at all (as M. Peters their grand Teacher averred lately to my face we had none) but their meer will and pleasures; saving Fellons Laws, or Martiall Law, where new Butchers are both Informers, Parties, Jury-men and Judges, who have had their hands imbrewed in blood for above seven these years together, having served an apprentiship to killing of men for nothing but money, and so are more bloody[?] then Butchers that kill sheep and calves for their own livelihood; who yet by the Law of England, are not permitted to be of any Jury for life and death: because they are conversant in sheddi[n]g of blood of beasts, and thereby through a habit of it may not be so tender of the blood of men, as the Law of England, Reason and Justice would have them to be. Yea, do not these men by their swords, being but servants, give what Laws they please to their Masters the pretended Law-makers of your House, now constituted by as good and legall a power as he that robs and kills a man upon the highway.

And if this be the verdict of their own Complices & Partizans concerning them & their proceedings, especially touching their exhausting our Estates by Taxes, and sharing them among themselves in the time of famine and penury (as the [Page 52] great Officers of the Army and Treasurers who are Members now doe, who both impose what Taxes they please, and dispose of them to themselves and their creatures as they please, contrary to the practice of all former ages, and the rules of reason and justice too) are not all others bound by all bonds of conscience, Law, Prudence to withstand their impositions and Edicts unto death, rather then yeild the least submission to them?

Sixthly, He there avers, proves and offers legally to make good, before any indifferent Tribunal, that 'the (h)Pag. 2. 15. 27. 29. 33. 34. 35. 41. 53. 57, 58, 59, 64. 65, 75.Grandees and over-ruling Members of the House and Army are not only, a pack of dissembling, Jugling Knaves and Machevillians, amongst whom in consultation hereafter he would ever scorn to come, for that there was neither faith, truth nor common honesty amongst them: but likewise Murtherers; who had shed mens blood against Law, as well as the King, whom they beheaded; and therefore by the same Texts and arguments they used against the King, their blood ought to be shed by man, and they to be surely put to death without any satisfaction taken for their lives, as Traytors, Enemies, Rebels to, and (i)See Pag. 91. 32 conspirators against the late King (whom they absolutely resolved to destroy though they did it by Martial Law) Parliament, Kingdome and the peoples Majesty and Soveraignity; That the pretended House and Army are guilty of all the late crimes in kinde, though under a new Name and notion, of which they charge the King in their Declaration of the 17. of March 1648. that some of them more legally deserve death, then ever the King did: and considering their many Oathes, Covenants, Promises, Declarations, and Remonstrances to the contrary (with the highest promises and pretences of good for the people and their declared Liberties that ever were made by men) the most perjured, pernicious, false, faith and Trust-breakers, and Tyrants that ever lived in the world: and ought by all rationall and honest men to be the most detested and abhorred of all men that ever breathed, by how much more under the pretence of friendship and brotherly kindness they have done all the mischiefe they have done in destroying our Lawes and liberties; there being no Treason like Judas his Treason, who betrayed his Lord and Master with a kisse, etc. And shall we then submit to their Taxes and new Acts, or trust them with our estates, lives, liberties, and [Page 53] the supreme power, if such now in their own late adorers eyes?

Seventhly, He there asserts, (k)P. 57. 34 That whosoever stoops to their new change of Government and Tyranny, and supports it, is as absolute a Traytor both by Law and Reason, as ever was in the world; If not against the King, PRINCE CHARLES, (heir apparent to his Fathers Crow[?]n and Throne) yet against the peoples Majesty and Soveraignty[?]. And if this be true, as it is, That this purg'd [?]ParliamentIS NO PARLIAMENT AT ALL; then there is neither legal Judges nor Justices of Peace in England. And if so, then all those that are executed at Tiburn etc. by their sentence of condemnation are meerly murthered, and the Judges and Justices that condemned them are lia[?]ble in time to be hanged (and that justly) therefore for acting without a just and legal Commission: eitherfrom TRUE REGAL OR TRUE PARLIAMENTARY POWER: (except in corporations only where they proceed by ancient Charters in the Ancient Legal form).

And if this be Law and (l)Luk. 19. 14. 27. 6. 12. 13. 14 Gospel (as no doubt it is) then by the same reason, not only all legal proceedings, Indictments, Judgments, Verdicts, Writs, Tryals, Fines, Recoveries, Recognisances, and the like before any of our new created Judges and Justices since the Kings beheading in any Courts at Westminster, or in their Circuits, Assisses, or quarter Sessions, held by new Commissions, with all Commissions and Proceedings of Sheriffs, are not only meerly void, illegal, & coram non judice to all intents, with all Bills, Decrees, and Proceedings in Chancery, or the Rolls; and all Judges, Justices Sheriffs, now acting, and Lawyers practising before them in apparent danger of High-Treason both against King, Kingdom, they neither taking the Oathes of Judges, Supremacy or Allegiance as they ought by Law; but only to be true and faithful to the new Erected State; but likewise all votes and proceedings before the pretended House or any of their Committees, or Sub-Committees in the Country, with all their Grants and Offices, Moneys, Salaries, Sequestrations, Sales of Lands or goods, Compositions etc. meer Nullities and illegal acts, and the proceedings of all active Commissioners, Assessors, Collectors, Treasurers, etc. and all other Officers imployed to levy and to collect this illegal tax to support that usurped Parliamentary Authority, and Army, which [Page 54] have beheaded the late King, dis-inherited his undoubted Heir, levyed war against and dissolved the late Houses of Parliament, subverted the ancient Government[?] of this Realm, the constitution and Liberties of our Parliaments, the Lawes of the Kingdom, with the Liberty and property of the people of England, no less then High Treason in all these respects, as is fully proved by Sir Edward Cook in his 3. Institutes, ch. 1. 2. and by Mr. St. John in his Argument at Law at the attainder of the Earl of Strafford, both published by the late Commons House Order; which I desire all who are thus imployed, to consider; especially such Commissioners who take upon them to administer a new unlawful Ex-Officio Oath to any to survey their Neighbours and their own estates in every parish, and return the true values thereof to them upon the new prov'd rate for the 3 last months contribution, and to fine those who refuse to do it (a meer diabolical invention to multiply perjuries to damne mens souls, invented by Cardinal Woolsy, much enveighed against by Father Latimer in his Sermons, condemned by the expresse words of the Petition of Right providing against such Oathes; and a sna[?]re to enthrall the wealchier sort of people by discovering their estates, to subject them to what future Taxes they think fit) when as the whole House of Commons in no age had any power to administer an Oath in any case whatsoever, much le[?]sse then to conferre any authority on others to give such illegall Oathes, and fine those who refuse them, the highest kind of Arbitrary Tyranny both over mens Consciences, Properties, Liberties; to which those who voluntarily submit deserve not only the name of Traytors to their Country, but to be (m)Exod. 21. 5. 6. boared through the ear, and they and their posterities to be made Slaves for ever to these new Tax-masters and their Successors; and those who are any wayes active in imposing or administring such Oathes, and levying illegall Taxes by distresse[?] or otherwise, may and will undoubtedly smart for it at last; not only by Actions of Trespasse, false Imprisonment, Accompt, etc. brought against them at the Common Law, when there will be no Committee of Indempnity to protect them from such suits, but likewise by inditements of High Treason, to the deserved losse of their Estates, Lives, and ruine of their families when there wil be no Parliament of purged Commoners, nor Army to secure, nor legal plea to acquit them from[?] the guilt and [Page 55] punishment of Traytors both to their King and Country; pretended present sordid fear of loss of Liberty, Estate, or the like, being noSee 1. H. 4. Rot. Par. n 97. excuse in such a case and time as this, but an higher aggravation of their crime: the Rev. 21. 8.FEARFUL being the first in that dismall list of Malefactors, who shall have part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstome, which is the second death; even by Christs own sentence.

(JOHN 18. 34.)To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witnesse unto the truth.
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authority, crime, dearth, famine, posterity, suffering, trade, want, war, waste

Source text

Title: A Legall Vindication of the Liberties of England

Author: William Prynne

Publication date: 1649

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Bibliographic name / number: Wing (2nd ed.) / P3996A Physical description: [2], 55, [1] p. Copy from: British Library Reel position: Wing / 2038:30

Digital edition

Original author(s): William Prynne

Language: English

Selection used:

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Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

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Genre: Britain > pamphlets

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