A DECLARATION OF THE Several Proceedings of both Houses OF PARLIAMENT, VVith those in the County of KENT Now in Arms against the Au­thority of Parliament, Manifesting their Desires and Endeavors for the avoid­ing of the Effusion of Blood.

ORdered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, That this Declaration and proceedings concerning the business of Kent be Printed and Published.

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

London, Printed for Edward Husband, Printer to the Honorable House of Commons. June 5. 1648.

A DECLARATION OF The several Proceedings of both Houses of Parliament, with those in the County of Kent, now in Arms against the Authority of Parlia­ment; Manifesting their Desires and Endeavors for the avoiding the effusion of Blood.

THe House of Commons had no­tice on Monday the 22 of May last, of the Tumults and Insurrections in the County of Kent, both by some of their own Members, as also by a Letter [Page 4] from the Major and others then at Rochester, wherein they intimate, That the chief ground of the Rising there, was a Rumor given forth, That a Regiment of Horse and Foot was sent for by the Committee, to suppress a Petition intended to be presented to the House; and desire, That those Forces might be stopt from coming into that coun­ty; and, That the extraordinary charges of that City may be taken into consideration; upon which they promise Obedience and conformity, as well to the late Ordinance touching the manner of Addresses to the Houses by Petitioners, as otherwise. Upon consideration of the said Letter, the House appointed a day for the bringing in the Re­port concerning the said Charges, and sent down Three of their own Members, Gen­tlemen of that County, to use their Endea­vors for the pacifying of those Tumults; with a Letter from the Speaker to the Ma­jor and other Gentlemen then at Rochester, where the Tumults first began: which Let­ter is as followeth:

A Letter to the Mayor and other Gentlemen of Rochester.


UPon the reading of your Letter in the House, they have commanded me to return this Answer, That it never was their inten­tion to send any Force into that County to suppress Petitioning, but onely to disperse such as should Tumultuously assemble, under pretence of bring­ing up Petitions to the House, to disturb the Peace of the County and Kingdom, and to offer violence to the freedom of Parliament: But since both by your Letter, and the Relation of Captain Lee and Captain Westrow, they are satisfied of your readiness to yield obedience to the late Declaration of Par­liament, directing the maner of presenting Petitions, they have put a stop upon the marching of those For­ces into that County, so as they shall not advance thi­ther, unless we be necessitated to give further Order, by any more Tumultuous Assemblies of that City or County. This being all I have in Command, I rest.

These three Gentlemen coming into that County, did their best to quiet the County, but could effect nothing but a Cessation, [Page 6] from Wednesday the 24 of May till Satur­day following, 5 of the clock; during which time, the Insurrection did increase to far greater numbers.

While those Gentlemen were in the coun­trey, the Earl of Thanet desiring the Peace of that his native County, on the Wednesday aforesaid did apply himself to the Earl of Pembroke, Lord Lieutenant of that County, to desire him to accompany him to the Committee of Lords and Commons at Derby-house, which he did accordingly; and the Earl of Thanet made several Propositions to that Committee, which he said he was very hopeful would, being granted, remove the Distempers there; and he declared, That what he heard from some of the Gentlemen then in arms gave him this hope. The Committee after much conference with the said Earl, resolved upon some Instructions to be given to him, which on Thursday morning they reported to both Houses, who then passed them, which are as fol­loweth:

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE RIGHT HONORABLE John Earl of Thanet, upon Propositions by him offered, concerning appeasing the Tu­mults in KENT.

I. YOur Lordship is desired to declare to those that are lately risen in Kent, That the Houses have lately published a Declaration con­cerning Petitions to be brought to the Houses, which is herewith delivered unto your Lordship: That when they have delivered up the Towns, Maga­zines and Arms that they have seized, and shall be retired peaceably to their Houses, they may bring and present a Petition to the Houses, according to the said Declaration.

II. Your Lordship shall also declare unto them, That upon their immediate disbanding and depart­ing home quietly to their houses, they shall have Indempnity for what is past.

[Page 8] III. Your Lordship is also desired to return to the Houses, between this and Saturday morning, an Answer, whether they do give obedience to the Parliament in laying down their Arms, delivering up the Magazines, and repairing quietly to their own houses.

The said Earl going into Kent with the Instructions, promised his return on Satur­day morning, which he did accordingly; and then brought a Letter from the Gentlemen in the County, that were then ingaged: wherein they promised an Answer by my Lord of Thanet at five of the clock in the af­ternoon; but none came that day, though the Committee sate late, expecting it. But on the Lords day in the afternoon, Sir Tho­mas Peyton Baronet, one of the ingaged Gen­tlemen, brought a Letter to the Committee at Derby-house, the Earl of Thanet not co­ming with it, for what Reasons it is not known: The Letter is as followeth;

To the Right Honorable, The Committee of Lords and Com­mons at Derby-house.

My Lords,

WE have seen the Instructions from your Lordships to the Right Honorable the Earl of Thanet; Upon consideration of which, we have thought fit to return this Answer to your Lordships,

That we have cause to believe, there are many persons now about your Lordships, who endeavor to infuse into you, very sinister opinions of our pro­ceedings, in relation to the safety of this County at this time; who, when we shall be admitted to a fair and equal hearing, will appear to be the greatest Di­sturbers thereof themselves. And that our inten­tions are free from all other ends then Natural De­fence, We humbly beseech your Lordships to un­derstand, That we are in a firm Resolution to observe the Declaration of the Houses; and for the maner of presenting our Petitions and Complaints will fol­low the Directions in the said Declaration. But sa­ving to our selves always the liberty of preserving the most ancient and inviolate Freedoms of this County, We must desire your Lordships to put a fair interpretation upon our purposes of continuing within the safeguard of our Arms, till we have as­surances from your Lordships, that the clamors of those above against us, have had no success in their [Page 10] enraged Design of engaging this County in Blood and Ruine, when they finde never so small a dimi­nution of their Arbitrary power, so long exercised over us, endeavored to be taken from them; not doubting but upon the presentation and fair rece­ption of our Petition and just Complaints, the Hou­ses will give such seasonable relief therein, as will abundantly discover the inclination of this County to Peace and Amity.

My Lords, This is the Accompt we can give you of this County by the hands of the noble Lord the Earl of Thanet, whom also we have desired to inform your Lordships further, That our present posture tends not to offer violence to the Parliament, nor suffers acts willingly unbeseeming our fair in­tentions; but do and shall take strict care to repress, wheresoever we finde it, the incensed Spirit we see in the people: which how it hath been raised, we shal in due time be able to make appear, and so we rest

My Lords,
Your Lordships most humble Servants,
  • Thomas Peyton.
  • John Darel.
  • Thomas Palmer.
  • Ja: Hales.
  • Thomas Hardres.
  • George Newman.
  • Thomas Godfrey.
  • Matthew Hammon.
  • Iames Newman.
  • Tho: Cau [...]top.
  • Edward Whitton.
  • Will: Hugessen.
  • Richard Lee jun.
  • Tho: Engeham.
  • Iames Darel.
  • R: Wilkinson.
  • Ed: Roberts.
  • Phil: Wareld Mayor of Rochester.

[Page 11] It must not be omitted, That before this, something more was done by the House of Commons, to shew their desire of prevent­ing bloodshed; On Saturday about five in the [...]fternoon, one Mr. Sherman Minister of Lee near Detford came to the House, in­forming them, That he had been with some of the Commanders thereabouts, and de­manded of them what they desired, or would give them satisfaction: They an­swered him, That they would be quiet, so they might have an Indempnity for what they had done. The House hoping that by this they might be pacified without force, gave to Mr. Sherman the Instructions in­suing, of which no account hath been given.

INSTRUCTIONS For Mr. Abraham Sherman Mini­ster at Lee.

YOu are desired to declare to those that are lately risen about Greenwich and Detford, That the Houses have lately published a Declaration con­cerning Petitions to be brought to the Houses; [Page 12] That when they have delivered up the Towns, Ma­gazines and Arms that they have seized, and shall be retired peaceably to their houses, they may bring and present a Petition to the Houses, according to the said Declaration.

You shall also declare unto them, That upon their disbanding and departing home quietly to their houses before two of the clock to morrow morning, they shall have Indempnity for what is past.

REported from the Committee at Derby-house, read, and upon the Question assented, and Ordered to be presently Sign­ed, and sent a way with Mr. Sherman.

On Monday the 29 of May last, The Let­ter was reported to the Houses that Sir Tho­mas Peyton brought, which being read and considered of, The Houses seeing all their former Endeavors for an Accommodation fruitless, and the resolution of the ingaged party in that County to continue in Arms, without and against their Authority: And being informed, that by the said party [Page 13] some Maritine Forts were surprized, others beleaguer'd, and divers Ships in the service of the Parliament withdrawn from their Obedience: The said Houses, in discharge of their duty, and care of the Peace and Safety of the Kingdom, passed this insu­ing Vote:

THe Lords and Commons assembled in Parlia­ment do Declare, That they do leave the whole managing of the Business of Kent to the General.

After which Vote, the General marching into the County, The House received infor­mation, that those in Arms there sent a Trumpeter to the General, desiring him to grant a Pass to their Commissioners, to Treat according to Order of Parliament: which Trumpeter said, That Squire Hales was their General, Sir Thomas Peyton Lieute­nant General, and Sir Iohn Many Major Ge­neral. His Excellency returned Answer by [Page 14] a Trumpeter of his own, That whilest they continued in Arms without and against the Authority of Parliament, and doing acts of Hostility, to the disturbance of the peace of that County, he could not admit of a Treaty, nor lose time in prosecution of them; But if they shall forthwith lay down Arms, and disperse themselves, he doubted not of the Mercy of the Parliament to those who are abused and deluded; and of their Justice against such onely as shall appear to have bin the chief and most eminent Actors and Fomentors of this Rebellion.

By this that hath bin done, all men may see That the Endeavors of both Houses, in transacting of this business, did manifestly tend to peace; and that if they had bin in any measure really complyed with, There might have been an happy settlement and compo­sure in that County before any Ingage­ment.

A Narrative of these Proceedings hath been lately made by Members of both Hou­ses by their command, To the Lord Major, Aldermen, and Common-Councel of the [Page 15] City of London: who, after their return of Thanks to both Houses for their condescen­tion, in Declaring to them their aforesaid Proceedings, Did Declare themselves fully satisfied therewith; and did desire, That the Houses would be pleased to publish the same in Print, for the Satisfaction of other their fellow-Citizens, and Subjects of the Kingdom.


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