A VINDICATION OR IVSTIFICATION OF JOHN GRIFFITH, Esq AGAINST The horrid, malitious, and unconscionable Verdict of the Coroners Iury in Cheshire:

Which was packt by the means of that Pocky, Rotten, Lying, Cowardly, and most perfidious Knave, Sir HVGH CAVLVELEY Knight, onely to vent his inveterate hatred and malice against me.

Printed in the Yeare, 1648.

A TRVE RELATION of the Businesse that happened betwixt John Griffith Esquire, and one Wil­liam Dod, Servant to Sir Hugh Caulveley, Knight, in Cheshire with the reasons that occasioned the difference, and the manner and acci­dent of his Death.

THe busines begun thus▪ It was my fortune coming from London to Chester, to go with some company to visit Sir Hugh Caulveley who was then prisoner for debt in the Castle of Chester: he was pleased to use me extream civilly, and to invite me the next day to dinner, where I received a great entertainment, and many ex­pressions of love, and friendship from him; and after few days, I went to my own house into Carnarvonshire, where I stayed two or three moneths, but before I returned out of Wales, Sir Hugh Caulveley was re­leased out of prison, and come hom to his owne house in Cheshire, called Lea Hal; where I going to visit him, was received with a great deal of kindnes & after I had stayed with him a fortnight, I invited him to my house into Carnarvo shire, where he stayed with me a week, & before our return back into Cheshire, it pleased God to visit his house with the flux, and diverse of his servants died of it, & one of mine, that caught the disease at his house: He at his return was pleased to say, that God laid this judgment upon him, because he kept a Cook that was a Papist, & said that he should not thrive, as long as he kept him: Whereupon I perswaded him to turn him away, which he did accordingly: And this disease driving him from his house, I went back into Wales to settle my estate, as well as these distracted times would permit me, & there I stayed a matter of 2 months; then I returned back into England again, thinking to visit Sir Hugh Caulveley, and the night that I was to come thither, being earnestly invited by him to doe so: An hower or two before I came to the house, a Boy it seemed died of the Plague, so as before I came thither he & most of his family were gon, but left word where I should find them; so I went to them that night, and assoon as I had spoken to him, I returned & lodged at his house, thinking that there was no danger in the house; for the Boy that died had bin sick above half [Page 2] a year, so that I did believe that he rather died of a Consumption then of the Plague; so the next day I waited on Sir Hugh Caulveley again, and after two or three daies he and his Family did return back again to his own house, he being of the same opinion that I was, that is that the Boy rather died of a Consumption, then of the Plague: At that time I stayed with him five or six dayes, and no sicknesse did appear, nor was there any body sick in the house: but during my stay there, I saw some servants whose faces I had not seen before, and one of them was this man, who they called William Dod, I asked Sir Hugh what he was, he answered me I have taken him to be my Clark, for my other Clark died of the Flux, with all Sir Hugh Caulveley told me that he was an excellent Clark, but that he was a rank Papist. I made him this answer, I wonder you will keep him then, knowing how unfortunate Papists have been to you; it is true said he, but I must keep him a while until I can provide my selfe with another. I made him this answer, I will see Sir, if you plese, if I can help you to one. I pray you do so said he, for this man is not only Papist, but has been most active man all this war against the Parliament, both in Biston Castle, and divers other places; hearing this, I replied to Sir Hugh, Sir, the sooner you part with him the better it will be, for feare least the Committee comes to know that you have entertained so notorious a Papist, and prejudice you in your Composition, having not as yet fi­nished it: indeed said he that is one main reason why I am so willing to part with him, besides I am resolved never to keep Papists, for they alwais bring me ill luck, and indeed as he said, so it happened, for within two or three daies after I was gone from his house, the plague brake out again, and divers fell sick of it, four or five died of it, some others recovered, and those that had been in Cabbins, and not sick at all, after a moneths time or there abouts, he gave them leave to goe to another house that he had called Sayton, and there in a low room to continue, they being in number five, three men, and two maids, and he, his Lady, and some few servants went first into Lancashire, and from thence Sir Hugh Caulveley went to York for to take Physick. In the time of his absence I having little recreation but coursing, made a match to run a Grey-hound of mine, against a dog of William Smiths, who lived not far from this house of Sir Hugh Caulveleys, called Sayton, and there being fine Champion fields within a mile of that place, we appointed to meet there with our gray hounds, which we did accordingly, and after that we had beaten all the day for hares, and had decided our match, I being something hungry, sent one of my servants to Sir Hugh Caulveleys house to Sayton to desire the maids to provide me two or three dishes of meat, which they did accordingly, nor indeed durst I go into any [...]le-house for to eate any thing, for fear of the si [...]k [...]es; for Chester was then cruelly infected with the plague, and the people came dayly out of Chester into those parts, being but two miles of Chester; besides divers houses in the Country were infected, so that a man could not certainely know where to goe, without danger. So according to my ap­poyntment I tooke one Mr Powel, and two or three honest Country Farmers along with me, for to eat that meat which I had bespok, & before we had done our supper, (for it was late before we came thither) it fell a raining so hard, and grew so dark, that it was impossible for me to go home that night, being a foot, and having four long durty miles (as any was in England) to the house where I lived at. Besides I had the river of Dee to crosse over; so I and my company resolved to sit and talke all night by the fire side, being five or six in company, besides the servants of the house, and whilst we were sitting by the fire, coms in a kind of a Bayly of Sir Hugh Caulve­leyes, whose name is Richard Maddocks, who would need [...] present me with a dozen of [Page 3] Ale, and did seem to bid me very welcome: After that, the Ale being drunk out, he went away and left me and my company together, where we stayed all night,, & the next morning I paid the maids for the meat, and I and my company parted from Sir Hughs house together, and went every one of us home to our particular dwel­lings, thinking that no exceptions could bee taken at my being there, having so much company with me: but it seems within a day or two after, this Richard Mad­docks being drunk (as it is his constant custome) came and upbraided the maides, saying thus to them: It is very fine; you think that my Master hath nothing to doe with his money, but for you to feast Prince Griffith withall. I can assure you when my Master knowes it, you will have little thanks for it: The maides made answer (as they sent me word) that I had nothing but what I paid for, and that it was not any charge to Sir Hugh Caulveley at all, and that they did beleeve Sir Hugh would not be offended for any civill courtesie that they could doe me; so the businesse ceased for a while, and afterwards Sir Hugh being come from York to his Mother in Laws house which is in Lancashire, he sent over this Dod about some occasion or other to his house into Cheshire, where Maddocks and he contrived to make a difference be­twixt Sir Hugh Caulveley and my selfe, and at Dods returne backe to Sir Hugh into Lancashire, he happened to frame his story so well for his owne advantage and my prejudice, that I having some hampers of cloaths at Sir Hughs house; I was desired to send for them home, and this Maddock, had order to turne away the maides with this expression, that Sir Hugh scorned to keep Maids, that should keep open house, and a Bawdy house for me. This was the first palpable busines wherin I discovered both their hatreds to me, though having given occasion thereof to neither of them, more, then that I did perswade Sir Hugh Caulveley once to turn away Dod (which I beleeve he heard of) and not out of any other malice to him, more then that hee was a Papist, and that I was loath that Sir Hugh Caulveley (being my friend as I thought then) should suffer for entertaining so notorious a Papist, as he was known to be. It being reported by some that he was a Priest.

This was the onely exceptions Dod could take against me, untill I found out his roguery of endeavouring to set a difference betwixt Sir Hugh and my selfe, having no just ground for to do it, more then what his spleen and malice could in­vent, and indeed finding Dod and Maddocks wholly bent to make a difference be­twixt us; I must confesse I endeavoured what I could to crosse their intentions, and to preserve that friendship which formerly had been betwixt Sir Hugh Caulveley, and my selfe, and to that intent, I hearing that Sir Hugh was come out of Lancashire to his Sisters house called Lyne in Cheshire, I went purposely to wait on him with an intent to inform him of the truth of the businesse: and comming to salute him, I per­ceived him something cooler in his expressions of kindnesse unto me then formerly he had been: whereupon I told him, Sir I understand that Dod and Maddocks have abused us both, by informing you of a thing that is as false (as God is true.) Ther­fore I shall desire you to send for Maddocks, for I heare that he is in this house, and I shall prove him a Rogue to his face, Maddocks was instantly called up into a Gal­lery, and in the presence of Sir Hugh Caulveley, his Lady, and his sister, Mistris Lee; I told Maddocks, that I wondred extreamly at his basenesse, having nothing to do [...] but to invent lyes, for to set friends together by the eares: hee denyed that he had done it, although I knew the contr [...]y, whereupon I told him, I warrant you will deny, that you say when you are drunke, that you care not six pence for your Master Sir Hugh Caulveleyes service, and that you never got anything by him; [Page 4] Maddocks did not onely deny it, but withall replyed that what I said was false▪ I made him no answer, but with my Cane I layd him over the Coxcombe, and so parted with him at that time; and presently I went out of Mistris Lees house to a Lodging that I had within a mile and a halfe of that place, and the next day I went towards my owne house near Chester; but by the way as I went home, I cal­led at a Town called Sayton, where most, if not all the Inhabitants of that towne are Sir Hugh Caulveleys tennants. I sent for divers of them which I had formerly seen in Maddoks his company, and I asking them whether they never heard Maddoks rayle at his Master Sir Hugh Caulveley, they made answer, he is never drunk but he do [...]h so, and then men most commonly speak truth, and I wonder sayd they that Sir Hugh will keep him, for Maddocks constantly sayes hee cares not six pence for his service, and that he never got anything under him. I made answer to them, honest friends will you justifie this under your hands, yes said they, and upon our oaths too, whereupon I drew a note to that effect, and gave it them to subscribe, which they did willingly: and as soon as I got the note signed, I presently sent it to Sir Hugh, and writ to him to this effect.

SIr, Although you would not seem to give credit to what I said of Mad­docks, yet I hope, that since his neighbours do justifie him to be a lying Knave, you will doe your selfe and me so much right as to turn him out of your service, and in doing so, you will engage me to continue,

Your obliged Friend and faithfull Servant, JOHN GRIFFITH.

Sir Hugh Caulveley sent me this answer, or much to this purpose.

SIR, I wonder you will trouble your selfe about my Servants, it is to no purpose; for I will keep what Servants I please in spite of your teeth.

HUGH CAULVELEY.

THis answer I took to be as it was, that is, too uncivill to send to any Gentle­man, having never deserved it at his hands: whereupon I sent for a noble friend of mine, Colonell Iohn Booth, and after that I had acquainted him with the busi­nesse, I desired him to goe to Sir Hugh Caulveley, and to tell him that his letter was so uncivill, that I could not chuse but resent it, and that I did desire the per­formance of one of these two things, that was either to turne away those two Rogues Dod and Maddocks or to fight with me; Sir Hugh sent me this answer by my Friend, that is, that hee would not fight with me; nor could hee possibly part with these men, unlesse he were undone; for his excuse was, that none but them understood the managing of his estate: but gave me leave to take what course I pleased with them; Dod going to London about Sir Hughs occasions, I having notice of it, I writ to Mr. Briscow Clark of New gate, and acquainted him both of his being in towne, and what a notorious Papist he was (if not a Priest) and that he had (during this war) beene constantly in arms against the Parliament. Upon this information Mr. Briscow, caused him to be apprehended in London, and Mr. Briscow being out of the way, he made an escape by one meanes or other from the Pursuivants, and so got againe into the Countrie to his Master Sir Hugh Caulveley, who lived then at his house in Cheshire, called Sayton, and within a day or [Page 5] two after the time Dod came down, I was to run my Grey-hound against a Grey-hound bitch of one M. Duttons of Hatton. The appointment was made a fortnight before, nor did I expect Dods being in the Countrey untill I came, a fryday morning near Sayton, which was the day and place that we had appointed to meet at: but com­ming within halfe a mile of the town, I met a servant of my own, who comming back from the Poast house at Chriselton with my letters, as he was passing through Sayton, (which was the direct Road from Chriselton to my house) he met (as he said to me) with one Iohn Hoskins a retainer of Sir Hugh Caulveleys, and he whispers him in the Eare, as if it had beene a great secret, and desired him to tell me that I should not by any meanes come into the town; for Dod was newly come from London, and had brought with him a warrant from the Generall Sir Thomas Fairfax for to disarme me, and that there was twenty or thirty men with muskets and other armes for to cease upon me if that I came into Sayton, and my servant swore to me that he saw above twenty lusty young fellows, whose faces he did not know, and desired me not to goe thither, unlesse I intended to be either hurt or killed: but for all my mans discourse, and the message that was brought me, I re­solved (knowing my self free from any guilt) either to get into Sayton or to pe­rish, rather then that it should be said that I promised Gentlemen to meet them, and afterwards that I durst not come; so I took my horse and rid up into the middle of the town, but no man durst offer to disarm me, or to meddle with me: So I went presently a coursing, and most of those men that were sent to disarme me, came along into the fields with me, and some of them told me that Sir Hugh and Dod had sent for them that morning, and told them that they had a warrant from the Generall, and desired their assistance: These honest men desired to see it, and Sir Hugh and Dod having none of shew them, they refused to meddle with me at all, and I understanding the malitious plot which they intended against me, I purposely to vex Sir Hugh and his Champion Dod, sent for a fidler, and during the time my fellow Coursers were drinking a cup of Ale, we having run our Match: I and my Fidler rid up to Sayton, and from one end of the towne to the other, I made the Fidler play a tune called Roger of Caulveley: This I did to shew, that I did not fear to be disarmed by them, and they may thank themselves for it, for if they had not first endeavoured to mischiefe me, I should not trouble my selfe to have vext them. Nay Sir Hugh was so malitious that no body in Sayton durst let me come into their houses, although there were divers Ale-houses, for Sir Hugh Caulveley threatned either to turne them out of their houses, or to set their houses a fire about their eares, if they did suffer me to drink in any of them: Besides there was parti­cular notice taken of those men which went a Coursing with me, and those which were his tenants, he checked them the next day to some purpose since that time I met with Major Haughton, Sir Hugh Caulveleys Brother in-law, who told me that if I had stept then, (when the Fidler was with me) but one yard or two out of the high way, that they intended to have shot at me with a dozen muskettiers out of Sir Hugh Caulveleys house; you may guess by this what continuall mallice Sir Hugh and his servant Dod had against me: when this plot fayled them, Sir Hugh tries an other way to mischiefe me as I was credibly informed, and as it appeared after­wards by Dods discourse, that was, he sent into Lancashire for his brother-in-law one Major Houghton, and one Captaine Houghton, two gallant Gentlemen, thinking to have engaged them in a Quarrel against me: but he failed in his designe, for the Gen­tlemen were so noble and discreet, that they would not quarrel with any man with­out [Page 6] just occasion, and especially with me that was a thousand times readier to serve either of them, then to give them the least just occasion of offence; when Dod saw that there was no likely hood of a quarrell betwixt us, then he reported about the Countrey that he had brought me a Challenge from Major Haughton, and that I durst not fight with him: but refused to give him a meeting: and this was not sufficient, but Dod likewise reported in all companies where he came, that I was a base cowardly fellow, and that it was a shame for any Gentleman to keepe mee company: and one Captain Waulthers standing by, did not onely reprove him for talking so basely of me, but had likewise beaten him, if the company that was by had not stopt betwixt them: and I am confident Captaine Waulthers will justifie this to be true, whensoever he is called upon. Then let the World judge whether I had not reason to recent it.

But I hearing that Major Gilbert Haughton was returning out of Cheshire into Lancashire, I went purposely to a place one night being the 23 of January where he and Captain Houghton, was to passe by the next day, with no other intent, but to hin­der mistakes from hapning betwixt us; and to give him thankes for former favours which I had received from him, and to assure him that I was then as much his ser­vant as ever I had been before, in despight of those that thought to make us foes: so we met friends and parted very good friends, which I beleeue was not pleasing news either to Dod or to S. Hugh Caulveley: and after I parted from Major Houghton, the same evening I went through Sayton (being the direct way to my house) where I stayed a while, and afterwards resolved to go homewards: my horses I gave to my Groom and my Footman to lead as far as the Church, purposely to ease the Mare I rid upon, and my selfe, for the lane was very durty and my Mare lame, being new­ly prickt in her fore-foot, which made me willing to have her led to that place, and I with the other two Gentlemen which were with mee resolved to walke to that place, where I appointed my servants to stay for me, the fields being very dry, and a pleasant and a usuall walke, so our horses being gone, we went the usuall foot-way which goes just by Sir Hugh Caulveleys gate, and no sooner were wee come over the stile, but (contrary to my expectation,) I perceived Dod comming towards us, who might easily have got out of the way if it had pleased him: but he came va­pouring with a great staffe in his hand purposely (as I thought then) to out-dare me: but since that time I heard that hee had been to visit some friends in the coun­trey, at a town called Hanley, some two miles from Sayton▪ which was more then I knew at that instant, but seeing him so armed I drew my sword thinking to get betwixt him and the gate, and so to have carried him away with us, and to have sent him safe up to London, from whence he broke prison: but wee both being some­thing neare the gate, we strove for it, and it was my fortune, the truth is, first to get under it, and Dod finding that there was no going back, without danger of being carryed away, made him as it seems resolve to make his way, thinking his Masters house his securest place, and without delaying any time, he up with his staffe & laid at my head as hard as he could drive; but I bore it off with much adoe, although my sword was extreamly bent with the blow, as Peter Harris Sir Hugh Caulveleys groom can witnesse that he saw my sword bent, although hee saw not the stroake, for Dod strook at me before Peter Harris or any other came in sight, and after I had received his stroak, I struck at him againe, and hit him either on the head or on the arme, I know not well whether, but we closed and so fell down together, he holding mee by the [...] of the head, as I can prove by a friend of his, unto whom (since that [Page 7] day) Dod made his brag [...] how he then beat me, and pluckt me by the haire. I de­sired him then to loosen his hands out of my hair, but instead of doing it, he cries out for helpe; there being divers servants and workmen about the house, and the Towne close by, which were most of them Sir Hugh Caulveleys Tennants. The ser­vants and workmen instantly came to assist him, which the two Gentlemen that were with me perceiving it, the one thinking to make him loose his hold, shot a pistol at him, that was onely charged with beaten Pepper; but that would doe no good, nor make him let goe, and the other Gentleman finding an absolute necessity of our getting away, he clapt a pocket pistoll to Dods Buttocks, that was onely charged with hail-shot, not with any intent to kill him, but onely to frighten him, so as to make him loose his hands from my haire, which Dod did as soone as he was shot, so I and my two friends hastened away, (as it concerned us so to do) for the servants and workmen that were about the house (as it I heard afterwards, and as I did then suspect) came with a fowling peece, and divers others armes, for to assault us, if we had stayed never so little longer; At my comming away I took up Dods staff, and carried it away with me, and I left my own Cane and my hatband be­hinde me: and before we got to our horses, we could heare divers cry, you Rogues, Rogues, come back if you dare; and indeed we having no desire to be beaten, rid away, and resolved to let them call us what they pleased: It was (upon my salva­tion) not my intention to kill him, and the world may easily judge that I might as easily a thrust him with my Rapier, as cut him; Dod having first assaulted me with his staffe, and if it had not been for my sword, he might have knock out my braines, so violent a blow he made at me. Besides, if we had intended to kill him, we should have charged our pistols rather with bullets, then with beaten pepper, such small shot as would hardly kill a sparrow, and for the Gentleman that did it, he never saw Dod before that time, nor if Dod were living, doe I beleeve could he know him again, if he should meet him: Therefore it could be no intended ma­lice in him, having never spoken to him, or seen him before, and how a Jury can find this murther, I admire, for England is not a countrey to hire Braves for to kill men, or if it were, doth any body beleeve, that any Gentleman would undertake so wicked an imployment, that is both odious to God & man? nay in Italy it self where Braves are used, what are they that do it? only the scum and rascallity of the people, and I hope no English man has the heart to thinke, that a Gentleman (upon any tearmes whatsoever,) would undertake to murther a man without any occasion given him: And indeed it grieves me to finde that our English nation affords such a crew of perjured villaines, I must needs tearme them so, having no more co­lour or ground for their verdict, but what you see in this paper: I finde the English proverb verified, that is, Like master, like man; and indeed their Land lord, Sir Hugh Caulveley is a most notorious one, as I can make it appeare by divers, which have heard him (as well as my selfe,) sweare to any thing almost, and performe nothing; and I cannot but pitty these ignorant tenants of his, who it seemes thinke themselves bound to sweare any thing that their Land lord would have them to doe. And I have heard Sir Hugh Caulveley often say, that a man should never be powerfull in his countrey, unlesse he would keep knaves about him, to swear for their ma [...]ers advantage. And more he said to me, that he had divers which for Rock­myjock (as Sir Hugh Caulveley tearmes it,) which is money in his English, that would sweare almost any thing he would have them, and indeed I beleeve that either his Rockmyjock, or promises, if not performances of leases, were not spared [Page 6] [...] [Page 7] [...] [Page 8] for the obtaining of this Jury and Verdict. I and the Gentlemen which were with me, were so farre from thinking the wound mortall, that we stayed in the countrey a week after this accident happened, nor did we think it possible he could die of that hurt, or else we would have got our friends so to look after the businesse, that Sir Hugh Calveley should not have packt (as he did) a Jury of Devils, to accomplish his abundant malice against me; when Iames Dunne, who is both a tenant and retai­ner to Sir Hugh Caulveley, came and told me on Sunday at noon, being the 30 of January 1648. that the day before, being Saturday, Dods father came to his house, and told Dunne that the Surgeons told him that his son could hardly live till the next morning. But withall, Dods Father told Iames Dunne, that his sonne had cleared Mr Griffith, and that it was not he that had killed him, but that it was one Lieutenant Davis that did it; but withall, he said that his sonne forgave us all. Then how can they make it wilfull murther, when Lieutenant Davis never saw him or spoke to him before that time, nor ever had any difference with him. But put the case that Lievtenant Davis had intended to kill him, doe not you believe, that he (being a Souldier) would haue rather shot him into the head, body, or belly, thē into the buttocks, knowing certainly those parts to be more mortall places then the Arse: Therefore let the world judge how malitious and blood-thirsty Jurers those are, to give so unjust, and so unconscionable a Verdict as I heare they have done; God for­give them for it, for they extreamely stand in need of it.

When in the first place you may perceive by what I have here set down, how that Dod and his Master Sir Hugh Caulveley endeavoured severall wayes to mischiefe me, if not to take away my life. Secondly, how that I did not turne the poynt of my Ra­pier against Dod, as it was in my power, although I was first assaulted by him, and last of all I beseech you consider that Dod acquitted me of his death; upon which considerations and divers others it is easie to conclude how extreamly I suffer by the partiallity of a simple Jury, consisting of fearfull Tennants, swayed by the influence of a Land-lord to abandon their honesty to my disadvantage: Thus much I thought fit to publish for my Vindication, and for satisfaction not onely of my friends, but of all other people of honour and honesty, as I doubt not there are many that will peruse this paper with an impartiall eye, and will afford me a just if not a favoura­ble construction, which is all that I desire or crave at their hands.

JOHN GRIFFITH of Llyne.

The Reasons of my going out of the Countrey, were these:

First, the sicknesse being at Chester, it was uncertaine when the Assizes would be, there being none a long time before, nor any speech, or likely­hood of any, when I came away.

Secondly, The Accident happening under Sir Hugh Caulveleys gate, and amongst his owne Tennants, I knowing him to be so malitious a villain, that I was sure that he would (if it were possible) pack a Jury, and make it unbaylable, as I heare he hath done; which Verdict (if the Act had been done in any other place) I am confident would not have given so, nor was it likely that any (but either he or his Tenants) could have done so un­just a thing. Then let the world judge, whether I had not reason to secure my selfe, untill I could have a certaine time of tryall, rather then to lye in prison (God knowes how long) and so to be subject to the malice of Sir Hugh Caulveley, who is a man, that has neither Honour, Honesty, nor Conscience, as all they that know him can justifie, as well as my selfe.

Thirdly, Sir Hugh Caulveley having made his brags, that he would sell his house (called Llee Hall) nay part with all his whole estate, rather then not to be revenged of me. I beseech you therefore consider, whether I had not reason to take care of my selfe and to keepe out of prison, lest during my restaint, he and my enemies at London (as I have divers and powerfull ones too) might joyne together and so ruine me right or wrong; as they did almost once upon lesse ground or colour for it, and I know Sir Hugh Caulveley to be so arrant a Devill, that he will leave no way untryed, rather then not to destroy me: for he sent his servant to one Master Baule in the Countrey to desire him to joyne with him, to petition the Parliament against me: and why should not I as well suspect, that he will send up to London to those that are my adversaries there, and so make a strong party against me? which reasons indeed made me shun his malice for a while, untill I could make it appeare palpable unto the world, as I hope this relation will doe; which (upon my salvation) is every [...]ittle of it as true as it is possible for any thing to be related.

FINIS.

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