To the High Court of Parliament of England, Scotland, and Ireland:
The humble Petition of Richard Ford, Nathaniel Manton, and Thomas Papillon, of London, Merchants.


THat your Petitioners taking notice that the fishing Ships lately re­turned from Greenland, had taken onely two Whales, whose Oyle and Finnes are but a drop to that Ocean which the necessary occasions of this Common-wealth require: Your Petioners presumed that this Honourable House, would for this season suspend that Law which prohibites the Importation of those Commodities from Forraign parts; and in confidence thereof did presently cause to be bought in Holland, a very large quantitie of Oyle and Finnes, earnestly awaiting the Resolution of this Honourable House thereupon: And in the mean time having an offer made them by one Thomas May, Agent for Major John Harris, of a certain Licence, which they both pretended the said Harris had obtained from his Highness, the Lord Protectour and his Honourable Councell, for the free Im­porting of 1500 Tunns of Whale Oyle and Whale Finnes by him or his Assignes, they did pay unto the said Harris 900l. upon the exhibiting and assignment of the said Licence before the Commissioners of the Customes: And did thereupon give order to their Factors in Holland; presently to lade for this Port of London 200 Tunns of Oyle, and 100 Tunns of Whale Finnes, and for the Port of Hull one other hundred Tunns of Whale Oyle, in confidence that they should enjoy the be­nefit of the said Licence.

But your Petitioners have since understood and are satisfied, that the said pre­tended Licence was never signed by his Highness, but forged by the said Harris and his complices; and the said Harris notwithstanding his Highness order to ap­prehend him, being fled and escaped with the said money, your Petitioners are in apparent danger, not onely to lose the said 900l. which they have paid, but also to their utter ruine to incurre the penaltie of the Law upon all that very considerable quantitie of Oyle, and Whale Finnes aforesaid, when they shall arrive, of which they are in dayly, expectation, and therefore do humbly pray, in regard that they cannot seasonably countermand their orders,

That it may please this Honourable House, to take their sad condition so farre into your gracious consideration, as to afford them such relief and protection for their said goods against the rigor of the Law, as to your wisedomes shall be found most agreeable to equitie, and the pressing exi­gencie of their case, that they and theirs may not at once be ruined in their innocencie, by the wretched circumvention of so notorious an Impostor.

And your Petitioners shall ever pray, &c.

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