THE HUMBLE PETITION Of His Excellency THOMAS Lord FAIRFAX, AND THE General Councel of Officers OF THE ARMY under His Command: To the Honorable, The COMMONS of ENGLAND IN PARLIAMENT, ASSEMBLED.

Die Sabbathi, 20 Januarii, 1648.

ORdered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, That the Petition of the General, and the General Councel of the Officers of the Army under His Command, this day presented to the House, be forthwith printed.

H: Scobel, Cler. Parl. D. Com.

London, Printed for Edward Husband, Printer to the Ho­norable House of Commons. Jan. 22. 1648.

To the Honorable, The COMMONS of England IN PARLIAMENT assembled: The humble Petition of His Excel­lency Thomas Lord Fairfax, and the General Councel of Officers of the Army under His command.

IN our late Remonstrance of the 18th of November last, we pro­pounded (next after the Matters of publique Justice) some Foun­dations for a general Settlement of Peace in the Nation; which we therein desired might be formed and Established in the na­ture of a general Contract, or Agreement of the People. And since then, the matters so propounded being wholly rejected, or no [Page 4] consideration of them admitted in Parlia­ment (though visibly of highest moment to the Publique) and all ordinary Remedies being denied, we were necessitated to an extraordinary way of Remedy; whereby, to avoid the Mischiefs then at hand, and set you in a condition (without such obstru­ctions or diversions by corrupt Members) to proceed to matters of publique Justice, and general Setlement. Now as nothing did in our own hearts more justifie our late un­dertaking towards many Members in this Parliament, then the Necessity thereof, in order to a sound Settlement in the King­dom, and the integrity of our Intentions to make use of it onely to that end: So we hold our selves obliged to give the Peo­ple all Assurance possible, That our op­posing the corrupt closure endeavored with the King, was not in Design to hinder Peace or Setlement (thereby to render our Imploy­ments as Soldiers necessary to be continued) and that neither that extraordinary course we have taken, nor any other proceedings of ours, have been intended for the setting [Page 5] up of any particular Party or Interest, by or with which to uphold our selves in Power and Dominion over the Nation; but that it was and is the desire of our hearts, in all we have done (with the hindering of that imminent evil and de­structive Conjunction with the KING) to make way for a Settlement of the Peace and Government of this Kingdom, upon Grounds of FREEDOM and SAFETY. And therefore because our former overtures for that purpose, being onely in general terms, and not reduc'd to a certainty of particulars fit for practice) might possibly be understood but as plausible pretences, not intended really to be put into effect, we have thought it our duty to draw out those generals into an intire frame of parti­culars, ascertained with such circumstances, as may make it effectively practicable: And for that end, while your time hath been taken up in other matters of high and pre­sent importance, we have spent much of ours in preparing and perfecting such a Draught of Agreement, and in all things [Page 6] so circumstantiated, as to render it ripe for your speedier consideration, and the King­doms acceptance and practice (if approved) and so we do herewith humbly present it to you. Now to prevent misunderstanding of our intentions therein, we have but this to say, That we are far from such a spirit, as positively to impose our private appre­hensions upon the judgements of any in the Kingdom (that have not forfeited their Freedom) and much less upon your selves; neither are we apt in any wise to insist up­on circumstantial things, or ought that is not evidently Fundamental to that Publike Interest for which you and we have declared and ingaged: But in this tender of it, we humbly Desire,


That whether it shall be fully approved by you, and received by the people (as it now stands) or not, It may yet remain upon Record before you, a perpetual witness of our real intentions and ut­most endeavors sor a sound and equal Settlement, [Page 7] and as a Testimony whereby all men may be assured, what we are willing and ready to acquiesce in, and their jealousies satisfied, or mouthes stopt, who are apt to think or say we have no Bottom.


That (with all expedition which the imme­diate and pressing great affairs will admit) it may receive your most mature Consideration and Reso­lutions upon it; not that we desire either the whole, or what you should like in it, should be by your autho­rity imposed as a Law upon the Kingdom (for so it would lose the intended nature of an Agreement of the People) but that (so far as it concurs with your own judgements) it may receive your seal of Ap­probation onely.


That (according to the method propounded therein) it may be tendred to the people in all parts, to be subscribed by those that are willing (as Peti­tions and other things of a voluntary nature are) and that mean while the ascertaining of those cir­cumstances [Page 8] which it refers to Commissioners in the several Counties, may be proceeded upon in a way preparatory to the practice of it. And if upon the ac­compt of Subscriptions (to be returned by those Com­missioners in April next) there appear to be a gene­ral or common Reception of it amongst the people, or by the well-affected of them, and such as are not obnoxious for Delinquency, it may then take place and effect, according to the Tenor and Substance of it.

By the Appointment of His Excellency and the General Councel of Of­ficers. JOHN RUSHWORTH Secr'

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