THE HUMBLE PETITION OF THE COMMONS OF KENT, Agreed upon at their Generall ASSIZES. Presented to His MAJESTIE the first of August, 1642.

With certain Instructions from the County of Kent, to Mr. Augustine Skinner, whereby the Desires of the said County may be pre­sented by him, to the Honourable House of Commons.

With His MAJESTIES Answer to the aforesaid Petition.

At the Court at York, this fourth of August, 1642.

YORK: Printed by ROBERT BARKER, Printer to the Kings most Excellent Majesty: And by the Assignes of JOHN BILL, 1642.

To the Kings most Excellent Majestie. The Humble Petition of the Commons of Kent, Agreed upon at their Generall ASSIZES.

Most gracious Soveraign,

WE do, with all thankfulnesse, ac­knowledge Your great Grace and favour towards us, and the whole Kingdom; In passing ma­ny good Laws for the benefit of Your Subjects, In promising to ease us of all our grievances; And graciously inviting Us by Your Letter directed to the Judge of Our Assize, full of Love and Care for Your Peoples good, to Petition for redresse of them, promising a gracious Answer; And we should with all humility have presented them to Your Majesty at this time, did not the present great distracti­ons and apprehension of a Civill War (which we ear­nestly pray to God to divert) put us beyond all thought of other grievances. For prevention whereof, we have with all Loyalty of Heart to Your Sacred Majesty, with all Love and Faithfulnesse to our Country, presented [Page] our humble Advice in certain Instructions, to one of our Knights of the Shire now here present with a Com­mittee from the House of Commons, to be presented by him to that Honourable House: The Copy whereof we make bold to annex unto this Petition.

Most humbly desiring Your Most Excellent Majestie, That if it shall please the Houses of Parliament to satisfie Your Majesties just desires in these particular, That then Your Majesty would be graciously pleased, to lay down Your extraordinary Guards, and cheerfully meet Your Parliament, in such a place where Your Sacred Ma­jesty and each Member of both Houses, may be free from tumultuary Assemblies.

And as in all Duty bound, we shall dayly Pray for Your Majesties long Life, and prosperous Reign over us.

Instructions from the County of Kent, to Ma­ster Augustine Skinner, whereby the desires of the said County may be presented by him to the Honorable House of COMMONS.

WHereas a Committee from the House of Commons is now sent down to the Assi­zes, upon a credible Information (as they say) that something should be done to the Disturbance of the Peace of this County.

We, the Commons of Kent, require you Master Augustine Skinner (as our Servant) to certifie to that Honourable House, That you found the County in full Peace, and that there is no ground for any such Information, and that you desire, in our Names, to know the particulars of that Infor­mation, (of which it seems you are ignorant, and the Infor­mer) that this County may have full reparations in Honour against so scandalous an aspersion cast upon them; and that the Informer, of what quality soever, may receive condigne punishment. And that the House of Commons may understand our desires, not only to preserve the Peace of this County, which (with Gods blessing, and the help of the good known Laws of this Kingdome) we are confident we shall maintain, but also of the whole Kingdome, being now in so great a distraction, that every Man stands at a gaze, to see what the event is likely [Page 4] to be, and well weighing what a great fire a small spark may kindle; abhorring and detesting the thought of a Civill War: We farther require you to offer our humble advice, as Faithfull and Loyall Subjects to His Majesty, and good Patriots and Lovers of our Countrey, for setling the Distractions of these times. One principall meanes to effect it, we conceive will be to give His Majesty full satisfaction in His Just Desires, in these foure Particulars.

1. In presently leaving the Town of Hull in the same State it was before Sir John Hothams entrance into it; And delivering His Majesty His own Magazine.

2. In laying aside the Militia, untill a good Law may be framed, wherein care may be taken as well for the Li­berty of the Subjects, as the Defence of the Kingdom.

3. That the Parliament be adjourned to an indiffe­rent place, where His Sacred Majesty, all the Lords and Members of Your House of Commons may meet and treat with Honour, Freedom, and Safety.

4. That His Majesties Navie may be immediately re­stored to him.

Our Reasons are these.

1. For withdrawing your Garrison out of the Town of Hull, we are perswaded your fears and Jealousies of forraign forces, of French, or Danes, or of the Papists at home (an in­considerable Party, especially being disarmed) are long since vanished, the Magazine or a great part of it being removed to London, we conceive Master Major of Hull may safely keep the Town as before.

[Page 5] 2. For laying aside the Militia, we are free from Jea­lousies of Forraign Forces, so that you may have time enough to frame a lasting Law, which notwithstanding, for feare of Inconvenience to the Subjects Liberty, you may, if you so think fit, make the Law a Probationer. Besides, His Majesty, if oc­casion should be, is vested with sufficient power to raise forces for the Defence of the Kingdom, for which onely we are confi­dent His Majesty will employ them. And we should hold our selves worse then Infidels, if, after so many Protestations to maintain the True Religion by Law established, the Sub­jects in the Liberty of their Persons and Propriety of their Goods, and the Priviledges of Parliament, and that He will Govern us by the known Laws of the Land, we should not with full assurance, beleeve in Him and confide in Him.

3. For adjourning the Parliament to another place, His Majesty hath expressed the Reasons, That He was driven away by tumultuary Assemblies, and that he cannot return thither with Honour and Safety: And divers of the Lords are absent, who promise to return back to the House, when they may sit with the Liberty, and that condition that the Peerage of England formerly have done, secured from all menaces, or demanding any Account of their particular Votes; which we conceive to be against the Freedom of Parliament, which by our Protestation we must maintain, and from tumultuarie Assemblies: These having been the Occasions, as we beleeve, that of neer five hundred in the House of Commons, there are but about one hundred and forty left to sit there, and the greater part of the Lords gone away.

4. For the Restitution of the Navie, our Reason is, That the Neighbour Nations do take notice, that His Ma­jesties Navie is detained from him, which if not suddenly [Page] restored, may turn to His Majesties dishonour, whose honour, by our Protestation, we are bound to maintain.

Another means, we conceive, to settle the States and Minds of the Subjects, is a free, generall, and large pardon: which since His Majesty hath so graciously offered we desire and expect to receive, and if any Man do dislike it, he may be excepted, and the generality of the Subjects not hindred of their good, and His Majesties Grace and Goodnesse.

His Majesties Answer to the humble Petition of the Commons of Kent, agreed upon at their gene­rall Assizes, and presented to His Majesty the first of August.

HIS Majestie hath with great satis­faction in the Loyalty and affection of the Petitioners considered this Petition, with the Instructions an­nexed to their Knight of the Shire, and hath expresly commanded me to return this His An­swer, in these Words:

That the Petitioners are not more eased and satisfied with the good Laws His Majestie hath passed, then His Majestie himselfe is plea­sed with that way of obliging His Subjects, nei­ther hath He ever made the least Promise or profession of repairing or redressing the grievan­ces of His People, which he hath not been, and alwaies wil be ready to perform.

His Majestie cannot blame the Petitioners [Page 8] to be apprehensive of a civill War, since the present distractions (grounded upon no visible cause, to which His Majestie could, or can yet applie a remedy) threaten no lesse confusion. But His Majestie doubts not, that the Petitio­ners and all His good Subjects, do well under­stand, That His Majestie hath left no way unat­tempted, which in Honour or Wisdom could be consented to, to prevent that confusion.

That after so many Injuries and Indignities offered to Him, so many combinations and con­spiracies against Him, He departed so much from His own Majestie, and the Justice due to it, That He required no other reparation, then to have His Town, Goods, and Navie (taken and kept by violence from and against Him) to be restored to Him: The power of making Laws without Him, by the way of Ordinances (and that in particular, concerning the Militia) to be disavowed. And that a safe Place might be a­greed on, where He might be present with His great Councell, for the composing all misun­derstandings, and making the Kingdom happy.

That before any Answer returned to His Ma­jestie (whil'st with all patience and hope His Majestie forbore any action or attempt of force, [Page 9] according to His promise) Sir John Hotham issu­ed out of Hull in the Night, burned the Houses, and murthered the Persons of his fellow Sub­jects (though He knew His Majestie quietly ex­pected an Answer to His reasonable and neces­sary demands) and hath since exercised most barbarous cruelty upon a Drummer then taken Prisoner by him.

That those Propositions made by His Maje­stie, and mentioned by the Petitioners, in their Instructions, are dissented from, and His Maje­stie not suffered to enjoy what is as unquestio­nably His own, as any thing His Subjects can call most theirs, upon pretence there is some trust on foot to dispossesse His Majestie of them: Whether any such trust be derived from the Petitioners: Themselves best know.

That a Generall is made to command His Subjects against Him, and Forces already marching with Canon towards Him, under the conduct of the Lord Brook, whil'st all Labour and Endeavour is used, to cut off all Succour and Supply from His Majesty, as from a For­raign Enemy.

When the Petitioners, and all other His Maje­sties Subjects have weighed this, and considered [Page 10] that these strange unheard of proceedings must be the effects of desperate Resolutions, and that all this calamity is brought upon this Na­tion, to wrest from His Majestie His Just Rights, when no sober man can see the want of any thing which is in His Majesties power to grant, and necessary for the peace and full happinesse of the Kingdom.

That when all encouragement is given, scan­dals raised, and provocations used to incense the People against His Majesty, and to publish Petitions and Declarations against the known Laws and established Government: The Peti­tioners, and all other His Majesties good Sub­jects (who out of a true sense of the distraction and ruine the Commonwealth must speedily fall into through these distempers have prepa­red sober and moderate Petitions and Animad­versions for the peace of the Kingdom) have been discountenanced, censured and impriso­ned in a Lawlesse Arbitrary way, when no of­fence have been committed by them, of which the Law hath taken notice: That all their Rights, Interests, and Priviledges, which they were born to, by the good known Lawes, are [Page 11] taken from them, or subjected to an unintelligi­ble Arbitrary power and resolution, which de­stroyes their confidence and assurance even in Innocencie it self; They will think it time to provide for their own security, by Assisting His Majestie for the defence of His Person, preser­vation of the true Protestant Religion, and maintenance of the Law of the Land, and Liberty of the Subject; of the which, as the Petitioners care is very eminent, and deserves all protection, thanks, and estimation from His Majesty; So His Majesty will venture His Life and His Crown with them, in that Quarrell.

Lastly, least any of the Petitioners may un­justly suffer for making or presenting this hum­ble, dutifull, and modest Petition to His Maje­stie; His Majestie Declares, That He will with His utmost power and assistance protect and de­fend them against any power whatsoever, which shall question them for so doing; And to that purpose advertiseth them, That they are not obliged to yeeld Obedience to any Pursui­vants, Sergeants, or Messengers, who shall en­deavour to molest them for doing their Duty, and discharging their Consciences therein. [Page 12] And that the whole County of Kent may know His Majesties gracious acceptance of this ex­pression of their Duty and affection unto Him: 'Tis His Majesties pleasure, that this His An­swer, together with the Petition and Instru­ctions, be Read in all the Churches and Chap­pels of that County.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.