A PROJECT For an Equitable and lasting PEACE.

Designed in the year 1643. when the affairs stood in ballance before the second com­ing of the Scots into this Kingdom, from a desire to have kept them out then.

WITH A Disquisition how the said Project may now be re­duced to fit the present conjuncture of affairs, In a Letter sent to divers prudent persons of all sorts. For preventing the Scots bringing an Army into En­land a third time, or making themselves Umpires of our affaires.

By a cordiall Agreement of the King, Parliament, City, Army, and of all the people of this kingdome among our selves.

Pro me praesente Senatus, hominumque praeteria viginti millia vestem mutaverunt.— Quum omnes boni non recusarent, quin vel pro me, vel mecum perirent, armis decertare pro mea salute nolui, quod & vin­cere & vinci luctuosum reip. fore putavi.

Cicero in Orat. ad Quirit. post Redit.

Saluberimum est Reip. si magna Imperia diuturna non sint, ut temporis modus imponatur quibus Juris non potest.

Tit. Liv.

Printed in the yeare 1648.

A LETTER sent to divers prudent Per­sons of all sorts.


I Humbly pray you to take the paines to peruse first the Declaration of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, of the fourth and his Majesties of the twelfth of August. 1642. After them the conside­rations dedicated to the Lord Major and Aldermen of the City in the yeare 1642. Comparing the second sheet ther­of with a part of the Declaration of the Army of the 14. of June 1647. from those words, [But because neither the granting of this alone &c.] to these [we desire that the right and freedome of the people to represent &c.] And in the last place the Project I send you with this, (built upon the same foundation: which was first layed in the Considerations, and which the army once thought firme enough to support their hops of Common and equall right, and freedome to themselves, and to all the freeborn people of this Land,) at as much leisure as you may ob­taine from your many other great occasions, and with as much attention as you may think fit to bestow upon a piece of no more worth, bearing these thoughts in your minde while you are reading it.

1. Whether it had not been honorable for the King and his Party, safe for the Parliament and theirs, and equita­ble for both, to have made a Peace upon the termes therin designed at the time of the writing thereof, which was up­on the first newes of the Scots resolution to come into En­land the second time, and from a desire to have kept them out then by agreeing among our selves.

2. Whether (under favour, and with all humblenesse be it written) it had not been more conducible to the Re­formation and establishment of Religion in the Kingdomes of England and Ireland in Doctrine, Worship, Discipline and Government, according to the Word of God, (which ought to be the onely rule thereof) and to the extirpation of Popery, Superstition, Haeresie, Schisme, Prophanenesse, and whatsoever may be found contrary to found Doctrine and the power of godlinesse: And to the preservation and defence of the Kings Majesties person, and authority, of the rights and liberties of the Parliament of England, and the liberties and publique weale of this Kingdome, for the King and all the subjects thereof at that time to have come to a Peace among themselves upon the said designed termes, than to have continued the Warre by calling in strangers to their respective assistance upon the terms pra­ctised by one side, and in probability designed by the other.

3. Whether it may not be thought more expedient for the two Houses of the Parliament of England, and the [Page 5]whole people thereof, to come to an Agreement with his Majesty upon the same terms at this time notwithstanding the great alteration of affaires in their favour since the Project was designed, than either to ingage in a new War against the Scots, with such a division among Englishmen, as will be an indubitable consequent, if not an antecedent therof, or to admit them to be Ʋmpires in the affairs of En­gland, as they will become, if the differences between his Majesty and his English Subjects should by Gods mercy come to an Accommodation upon their third, as those be­tween his Majesty and the Scots did upon their first bring­ing an Army into this Kingdome.

4. Whether any, and what exception can be taken to the justice or equitablenesse of any particular Article of the Project, even at this time, without having respect to the practicablenesse thereof, whereof perhaps there may be lesse doubt ere long, though I yet see no other suffici­ent ground for it but this, that methinks the tide is turn­ing. Such are the revolutions of humane affairs.

And lastly, in case any of the said Articles shall be judged though neither unjust, nor unequall, yet impracti­cable, as things now stand, whether the said Project may not be reduced to fit the present conjuncture of affaires with some additions, abatements, or alterations; and what alterations, abatements, or additions may be found just and reasonable for the two Houses of Parliament to [Page 6]insist upon, and for his Majesty to yeeld unto in respect of the change and present state of affairs.

Secondly, to passe your censure, and let me know your sense upon all the foresaid particulars with the free­dome of a freeman of this Kingdome, for whom I con­ceive it to be lawfull with due submission to those in Au­thority to conferre together in a private way about the best meanes to recover, and maintaine a lasting Peace in the Realm, especially at a time when there is cause of feare that it may be yet longer discontinued by the coming in of strangers in Armes, which is once more our condition at the present. And in particular, How you conceive the Militia may be setled so, as may bee honourable for the King, and yet safe for his Parliament and Kingdome of England, according as is designed in the Project. Ʋpon the receipt of which favour from you I do hereby engage my selfe to make you a returne of my thoughts upon the fifth and last Article, and by way of Advance do now let you know that to the three first I should make a short Answer in the Affirmative, to the fourth in the Ne­gative.

In the last place I do here promise you to keep your Answer to my selfe only if you shall so require me, or if I shal publish it with your leave, yet never to discover your name, if you shall command me to conceale it. In ex­change of which promise I must crave one from you, to [Page 7]suffer no Copie to be taken in writing, nor any new Im­pression to be made either of the Project, or of this Let­ter, untill I may finde the season opportune for the Pub­lication of them, which I do not as yet. And for that reason though I send you them in Print, to ease the trouble of transcribing, I have made sure to have all the Copies in my own keeping. And so I remaine

Sir, Your most humble servant P. D.

UPon second thoughts I finde it necessary for me to give you a briefe account why I did not publish this Project when it was first designed, nor in all the long time sithence elapsed, and yet have thoughts of doing it now. You may therefore please to understand that my purpose at first was to have printed two Copies thereof, the one at London, the other at Oxford, to avoyde the great prejudice of being reputed partiall. But before I could effect this, it came to my knowledge that the writer of the Considerations had found meanes to have them put into the hands of certaine persons of prime quality, and credit in both places, and had found that the corner­stone of his Considerations, and of my Project (borrowed from him) was rejected by some of too great power on both sides, as he foresaw, and fore­told it was like to be. This made me give over my purpose at that time. And from that time the Designe lay by me as a neglected and uselesse piece, till the Army having gotten the King into their power, was upon their march from Newmarket with an intention (as was voyced) to have brought his Majesty up to London without more ado. The apprehension I then had that this might prove very dangerous to the Common-wealth, [Page 8](to the prosperity whereof, and of hit Majesty, if I know my owne heart, it beateth with an equall pulse) stirred me so farre that I was once more determined to have published my concept what, and no more was needfull to be transacted before his Majesties returns to his Palace at Westminster, and to that end had sent this simple Project to a Licencer. In this nick of time forth came the Armies Declaration of the 4. of June 1647. Where­in finding the maine of what I had ever thought very expedient, if not altogether necessary, to be mainely insisted on by Sir Thomas Fairfax, and his Officers and Souldiers, I was much rejoyced to see the work whereunto I desired to have contributed my weake indeavours to be taken into abler hands, and there I left it. Whether his Excellency, and his chiefe Officers (for the opinion of his common souldiers and their Agitators is to me of no regard) be since fallen from what they then declared to be their deli­berate, and determinate judgement, I leave Him, and them to give an ac­count to God, and the World. I am sure tis commonly believed, that they onely made shew of being of the minde at large expressed in the foremen­tioned Declaration to ingratiate themselves with the Kingdome, till by that meanes they had quietly gotten all the strength thereof into their own, and their parties hands: And that they are at present the most averse of any other to a Personall Treaty at London. On the other side it is too mani­fest, that the generality of the City, and Country, are perhaps too violent for his Majesties coming thither without ingaging his Royall word to passe the three Praeparatory Bills, apprehended like to be of hard digestion to his Majesty, and it is further apprehended that the two Houses of Par­liament may also happen to be divided upon this point. Perchance a middle way may be found as faire, and safe, as either of the former, and not impassable either with his Majesty or with the two Houses. This induced me now to submit my conceipt to the censure of wiser men. And if for the ground-work it shall be so happy as to receive any measure of approbati­on from any considerable number of such as your selfe, it is not impossible that I may be thereby emboldened to expose it to the eye of the people, which I conceive to be sharper than the sight of any one, or of any few of the wisest men of the Land. Sir, I crave your pardon for this addition to your trouble, and remained before, and ever.

A PROJECT For an Equitable and lasting PEACE.

Designed in the year 1643. when the affairs stood in the ballance.

Printed in the yeare 1648.

TO THE KINGS Most Excellent MAJESTIE: And to the LORDS and COMMONS assembled in PARLIAMENT.
The humble petition of P. D. a plain Countreyman, a well-wisher of the City, and lover of truth, righ­teousnesse and peace, in his own name, and all theirs that may subscribe hereunto.

Most humbly sheweth,

THat whereas in a Petition of both houses of Parlia­ment presented to your Majesty in the beginning of your Reigne it was declared, That they found it an undoubted right and constant priviledge of Parliament, that no member of Parliament, sitting the Parlia­ment, [Page 12]or within the usuall times of Priviledge of Parliament, is to be imprisoned, or restrained without sentence, or order of the House, unlesse it be for treason, felony, or for refusing to give surety for the peace.

And whereas in the Petition of right, made to your Majesty by the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament in the third yeer of your reigne, it was declared, That no offender, of what kind soever, is exempted from the proceedings to be used, and punishments to be inflicted by the Lawes and Statutes of this your Realme.

And whereas by the expresse Lawes and Statutes thereof, that is to say, by the Statute called the Great Charter of the Liberties of England, and by a Statute made in the 28. yeere of the reigne of your most noble Progenitor King Edward the third, it is declared and enacted, That no Freeman may be taken or imprisoned but by the lawfull judgement of his Peers; or by the Law of the Land; nor without being brought to an­swer by due processe of Law:

And whereas by two other Acts of Parliament, the one made in the 38. yeer of your said glorious ancestor, it is ordained and assented That all they that make suggestions to the King him­selfe, be sent with the suggestions before the Chancellour, Treasurer, and his great Councell, and that they there finde sureties to pursue their suggestions, and that then processe of the Law be made against the persons in that manner accused; and that if he that maketh the complaint cannot prove his in­tent against the Defendant by the processe limited as aforesaid, he shall be commanded to prison, there to abide till he hath made gree to the parry of his damages, and of the slander that he hath suffered by such occasion, and after shall make fine and ransome to the King.

According to, and by the meanes of which good Lawes and [Page 13]Statutes so enacted and declared as aforesaid, justice hath heretofore proceeded against all offenders without exception, and all innocent subjects of this kingdome, of what condition soever, have in former times found themselves sufficiently se­cured against false accusers, untill the moneth of January in the seventeenth yeere of your Majesties reigne. At which time Articles of high treason and other misdemeanours having by your Majesties Atturney been preferred against certaine per­sons, among which Articles these two were the principall, That they have traitorously indeavoured to subvert the very Rights and being of Parliaments; and that for the compleating of their trayterous designes, they have indeavoured, as farre as in them lay, by force and terrour to compell the Parliament to joyne with them in their other trayterous designes, and to that end have actually raised and countenanced tumults against the King and Parliament: yet this heavy charge against the said persons, being themselves members of Parliament, was not further prosecuted against them, neither was the suggestor thereof made knowne, through whose default it belongeth not to your Petitioners to inquire or judge, otherwise than in our private consciences, so farre, as the said default is one of the hinges upon which the justice of the late Warre hath been, and ought to be turned. But as one the one side we humbly conceive, that either justice ought to have been pro­secuted against the said accused persons, and the suggestor of the said Articles, according to the Lawes already in being; or if upon this occasion there were any defect found in the above-recited Lawes and Declarations of Law, then some suf­ficient provisionall Ordinance in amendment of that defect might have been devised, and applyed to the present case by the wisedome and authority of your Majesty and your Parli­ament, that justice might have proceeded: So on the other [Page 14]side we hope we may presume to say, (because in truth we think,) that no inconvenience which might have occurred through any legall proceeding either against the said accused persons, or their secret accuser, can any way countervaile the many mischiefes, which have ensued upon the interruption thereof. For in your Petitioners poore observation grounded on divers Declarations of your Majesty and of your two Hou­ses of Parliament,(particularly that of your Majesties of the twelfth of August 1642. and that other of the Lords and Commons of the beginning of the said moneth,) the ob­struction of justice in this case first hath been the scandalous occasion, whether given or taken, of a like stoppage in the case of many other offenders, and more especially of some not long before, and of others soon after by Parliament accused of the same horrid crime of having intended force against the Parliament, which accusation notwithstanding was not further prosecuted against them. And this unluckie disturbance of the due course of justice in the supreme Court and Councell of the kingdome, occasioned a fatall division in it and them, and was the true rise of the two actions at Warre, the one between your Majesty and your Parliament, and the other between the Parliament and your Majesty, which hath since overrun this whole Land with such violence, that no preeminence of the Crowne, or liberty of the Subject, how well established soever, have been able to stand before it; But force throughout prevailing above right, a sea of confused dis­order brake in upon us, and a face of barbarous anarchy for a time covered this whole Realme.

In tender consideration whereof, and prevention of that utter desolation, which must needs speedily overwhelme this miserable kingdome, if an other like floud of civill warre should rise upon it, your Petitioners humbly prostrate at your Maje­sties [Page 15]feet, do there implore your gracious protection: And do most humbly pray your Majesty as they do also your Parlia­ment, that due and speedy justice may passe upon all persons, of what degree or quality soever, that may be found guilty of any intention of over-awing, or over-ruling your Majesty or your Parliament before or since the beginning of the late War; the cursed issue of that highest misdemeanour and treason can be devised against your Majesty and this your kingdome: and respectively declared to be such by your Majesty, and by your two Houses of Parliament. Or if this, in which there seemeth to have been some difficulty in time of peace, should now be grown lesse possible after so long a warre; That then for the time past your Majesty of your owne Princely clemency, and by authority of your Parliament would be pleased to passe an act of oblivion, and to grant your full and free pardon to all the aforesaid respectively accused persons, and to all other that may be guilty of the same misdemeanour and treason; as also to all those that have been involved in the late warre through the failer of due and timely justice in those originall and criticall cases.

And howsoever that for the time to come the Militia of the kingdome may by act of Parliament be for ever setled in such a way, as may safegard the Parliament, and all the Members of both Houses thereof, and above all your Majesties sacred per­son aswell against all tumultuary assemblies of the people, as from all attempts by way of force, though under pretence of authority from the King. Which we humbly conceive is not impossible to be done without making a divorce between the Scepter and the Sword, which have been for so many ages joy­ned in marriage by the providence of God, and Law of the Land. And that in and by the same act of Parliament severe defences may be made against all other unlawfull practises that [Page 16]may be found to be any way to the prejudice of that intire freedome, which ought to be maintained in all Parliamentary proceedings by all that wish well to their King or Coun­trey.

That immediately upon the passing of this Act, the whole souldiery in this kingdome may be disbanded, the Committees for the safety of the respective Counties dissolved, and that your Majesty thereupon returning to Westminster, all other matters, either now in difference between your Majesty and your Parliament, or between the two Houses thereof, or men­tioned in your Majesties most gracious Message of the twenti­eth of January 1641. or in any other Propositions and desires either of your Majesty or of the Lords and Commons, especi­ally those which concern the purity of Religion, & of the Wor­ship of God, and right government of his Church, may by the united authority of your Majesty and of your Parliament be setled in such a manner, that the Throne of the kingdome of Jesus Christ may be erected in the due height thereof in this Realme, and the Throne of his Vicegerent therein may not be abased, nor any liberty of any the freemen of this kingdom in­fringed in the least degree without your Majesties and their free and full consent in Parliament; it being (as we humbly conceive) altogether unjust and unlawful, and therfore clearly cannot be either profitable or durable for the Kings or Sub­jects of England to attempt the making of any change, even to the better, of the Lawes and present Government in any other fashion.

That (as the most probable and powerfull meanes to put an end to all strife, and to prevent all partialitie, or suspicion of partialitie in these supreme Resolutions,) all the Members of both Houses of Parliament may by an Ordinance be enjoyned to take such an Oath as may be devised for the sure binding [Page 17]them to give their Votes according to their consciences in all things put to the question. And that for the further security and comfort of your people, your Majesty would be graciously pleased not onely to give free admittance to such Committees of both Houses of Parliament, as may be chosen by them hum­bly to represent the reasons of their Resolutions to your Maje­sty, and to give satisfaction to any doubts your Maje­sty upon advisement with your Privy or Learned Counsel may have about them, before the giving of your conclusive voice, but that of your Princely grace you would condescend so farre as to oblige your self likewise by a voluntary Oath not to deny any thing that to the best of your understanding so informed, as aforesaid, shall be really for the good of your Subjects, and that may advance the true Protestant Religion, oppose Popery and Superstition, secure the Law of the Land, (upon which is built as well your Majesties just Prerogative, as the proprietie and libertie of the Subject,) confirme all just power and privi­lege of Parliament, and render your Majesty and your people happy by a good understanding: which are your Majesties owne gracious words of engagement in two of your Messages from Notingham.

That because the desires and mindes of the Commons of this kingdome cannot certainely be understood by the Votes of their Representants in any one Parliament, (upon which, and many other prudent considerations it hath been by our wise Ancestors provided, that the Parliament ought to be held at least once every year; after the making of which provisiō it was long before any Parliament was continued to a greater length;) That it may be agreed, that immediately after the establishment of all things abovesaid in the manner aforesaid, this present Parliament shall be dissolved by the free consent of both Hou­ses. But that before the dissolution thereof there may be an [Page 18]Act passed for the assurance of an annuall Parliament in the same manner that a trienniall is now assured, with these neces­ary sup plementall additions thereunto.

1. One for the regulating of Elections in such a manner that they may be more free and lesse chargeable, as well to the Countrey, as to the persons in competition; and that re­turnes may not be so wholly in the power of the Sheriffe, and of that party he favoureth, as hitherto they have bin; and that some more ready, easie, and certaine way may be devised for the judgement of the lawfulnes and truth of returnes, then hath beene in use of late, to the manifest hazard of the publique liberty, if there should be such a conspiracie of Sheriffes as may be imagined.

2. Another for the safe conducting of the Members of both Houses of Parliament to the place appointed for the hold­ing of the Parliament, and for their like safe return into their Countries, by the Sheriffs of the respective Counties through which they are to passe, being therunto required. But this only as oft as the Parliament may happen to be as­sembled without any signification of the personall plea­sure, and command of the King for the time being.

3. And a third, as well for the prevention of the unseasona­ble dissolution of Parliaments without the consent of both houses, as for the assurance of the dissolution of e­very Parliament within the space of one yeere, and for the making of two Sessions thereof at such times, as by the two houses shall be thought most convenient.

That if it shall be made appeare upon sufficient proofe that your Majesties sacred person was in any apparent danger, or hazard by those tumults at Westminster, which have been al­leaged for the reason of your departure from thence, that in that case it may be publiquely declared and recorded, that your Majesty was not to blame in withdrawing your selfe from [Page 19]your Parliament there, the rather because your Majesty hath since been pleased to make many gracious offers to give a meet­ing again to your Parliament, if they would adjourne to any other place, and this as well before, as after the beginning of the late unnaturall Warre. But if upon due examination it should be found that your Majesties beliefe of the malice of cer­taine persons against your sacred person, (which you thought you had too great reason to feare they intended to seize,) and of the evident danger not your selfe onely, but your Royall Consort, and the Princes your children were in by the tumults raised and countenanced by the said persons hath been ground­ed only upon misinformation, and that the failer of the timely discovery of the falsehood and maliciousnesse of such informa­tion happened also through your Majesties owne default, in not having taken the course by Law directed to that end; that in this case your Majestie of your owne meere motion may be graciously pleased to acknowledge, and command this to be publiquely recorded as an errour, for the preventing of the like in future times.

That if all, or any of the Lords, Knights, Citizens and Bur­gesses, who before, or after the beginning of the late Warre withdrew themselves from the Parliament, cannot make it e­vidently appeare that they could not continue there with such safety of their persons, and plenary freedome of voting, as all members of Parliament of right ought to enjoy, that in this case they, or such of them as shall faile in full proof of the point abovesaid, may for ever be disabled to fit againe in this, or any future Parliament in this kingdome; and may be further censured in such a manner, as to the wisedome of the respe­ctive Houses of Parliament shall seeme just and meete. And that howsoever no such Member of either House may be read­mitted without making a publique acknowledgment of, and [Page 20]submission for their faults, no danger, how great or certaine so­ever, being sufficient to excuse them for having failed in their duty to their King & country, either by concealing their minds, or by deserting their stations, before any one of them lost any one drop of his bloud, which hath been the occasiō of so much bloudshed of their fellow subjects: It being visible that there could have been no breach between your Majesty and your two Houses of Parliament, if all their respective Members had conti­nued at Westminster, and had there avowed their be [...]ng of the same judgement, which they have since discovered otherwhere.

That the publique debt contracted by occasion of the char­ges of the late warre may be borne by the partakers therein on that side, which cannot make it appeare that they had just cause to take up armes because they could not obtaine justice by the Law of the Land, in some thing that was either of absolute necessity to be maintained for the publique weale, or at least of such importance as was worthy to be contended about by arms; (there being no other sufficient cause for the beginning of a ci­vill Warre, even by them that have unquestionable authority to make one:) And if both parties should chance to faile in the proofe thereof, (which is not impossible in the generall, howsoever it may fall out in this particular case,) that in this e­vent either every private man may beare such part of the dama­ges as hath fallen to his share, or else that such course may be taken for the dividing of this heavie burden among all them that are of ability to beare any part thereof, as may make it most easie to all, and oppressive to none of them.

That if your Majesty should think, or be perswaded, that the Lords and Commons now assembled in Parliament at West­minster are incompetent judges of the three last mentioned points, in respect of their being reputed parties in the late War, to whom notwithstanding for the honor of the Parliaments of [Page 21] England, we hope neither your Majesty, nor those Members of either House, which have taken part with your Majesty will be unwilling to referre either the examination, or decision of those points so neerly and highly concerning your Majesty and them; if the foresaid Lords and Commons at Westminster shall be willing to binde themselves by such an Oath as hath beene above designed: Yet if we should be mistaken herein, or at least in the third point, (which we do our selves observe to be of a different nature from the two former, the main questiō in them being of matter of fact onely, whereas the chiefe controversie in the last point may happen to be about matter of right:) and if all the former articles being by God's grace assented unto on both sides, the happy conclusion of these unhappy broyles should stick only there; In that case we crave leave in all humility to propound whether this difference may not be ac­commodated by some such expedient as this: your Majestie to make choyce of a certaine number of those Lords and Com­mons which have continued in the Parliament at Westminster, and they to chose a like number of those that have withdrawn themselves from thence by occasion of the late troubles, and ei­ther all, or the third of the three last points aforesaid to be com­mitted to the determination of the major part of the said elect­ed persons in all that a major part of them shall agree in. But in whatsoever they may happen to be equally divided, the arbitra­ting of such point, or points to be referred to some one, or to the major part of some unequall number of such strangers fa­mous for wisdome and justice, as may be joyntly chosen by your Majesty and the aforesaid Lords and Commons at West­minster for the finall Umpirage of such matter, or matters, as cannot be resolved without the admission of forein arbitrement, which is not without precedent in this kingdome. The which expedient, with all the former and ensuing parts of this [Page 22]our humble Petition, with ourselvs, we do, and ever shall accor­ding to our duty with all lowlinesse submit to the censure and resolution of your Majestie and of your parliament, when we have first here sincerely professed out abhorring the least thought of prescribing any thing to those whom we ought to obey, or of raising any third partie in armes, though never so great a multitude of Officers, and souldiers, and of the poor ruined people of the Kingdome should testifie their adhering to us in our humble desires by subscribing hereunto.

And lastly, that because there is small cause to hope that this Kingdome can be at peace againe either within it selfe, or with your Majesties other kingdomes, untill it and they have made their peace with God; and because there is too much cause to feare that his all-seeing and all-discerning Majesty hath been highly provoked by more than one of those meanes, which hath been used to pacifie him, and namely at first by the long continued neglect of publique humbling our souls before him, for the preventing, or speedy determining of a like bloody Warre in this kingdome, of which we seemed so sensible in Ireland; and since by appointing diverse daies to that end by the divided authority of your Majesty and of your Parliament, by fasting on those dayes to strife and debate: but chiefely by presuming to come into the dreadful presence of God upon those dayes with much lesse outward expression of humble re­verence and fear, then hath been shewed by heathen in the like occasion; and with hearts fraught with bitternesse and wrath, and hands full of violence and bloud: and by the many dis­consonant Confessions, Petitions, and thanksgivings have been put up to his Divine Majestie upon those and other days: That in amendment of all these and other our failings, and o­ver-doings, and for the cleansing of all your Majesties Realms, from the blood wherewith they are certainly defiled, (if [Page 23]adventure any party, or person may wash his or their hands from the guilt thereof,) some one or more daies, soone after that of your Majesties meeting with your parliament, may up­on their petition be set apart by your Majesty for a most so­lemne humiliation of all the people of all your Dominions. And (as a necessary preparative thereunto) that there may be a convenient number of godly wise persons chosen by your Majestie, your two Houses of the Parliament of this kingdom, and the Commissioners of the parliament of Scotland, and that they may be authorized and commanded to make a pru­dent and diligent enquiry after all the most crying sinnes of all the Nations under your Majesties government, and those in speciall for which it may most probably be collected that God hath visited them all in circuit these last yeeres; as also after the most proper meanes to appease the fierce wrath gone forth a­gainst your Majestie and them, and to prevent the like in time to come.


A part of the DECLARATION of his Excellency Sir Thomas Fairfax, now Lord Fairfax, with the Officers and Souldiers of his Army, signed John Rushworth Secretary, and dated June 14. 1647. Printed in the year 1648.

To the Reader.

MY purpose herein is as to furnish you with the abovementio­ned Declaration at a cheaper rate then buying the whole volume so to convince the Army of the expedience, or ra­ther necessity which lieth on his Excellency and his Offi­cers to vindicate themselves from the common imputation mentioned in the Postscript of the foregoing generall Let­ter to that end only, and not from any evill affection towards his Excellency or any of them, excepting Levellers of what rank soever, of whom the Wri­ter of that Letter doth here publiquely professe his resolute and utter dislike, wishing them speedily to repent, least they be overtaken by that heavie sen­tence pronounced against them.

PROV. 24.21, 22.

My son feare thou THE LORD, AND THE KING, and med­dle not with them that are given to change;

For their calamity shall rise suddenly, and who knoweth the ruine of THEM BOTH?

ANd Levellers all must be (though perchance all intend not so) that would have no King in England; In which respect I shall not easily be­lieve that any Nobleman, Knight, or Gentleman should conspire to pull down that Monarchy, upon which all the advantage he hath above other men doth entirely depend: although divers be given out in the whispers of that party to be favourers of that wild designe. Whom I hereby pray not to despise this advertisement, but to take some occasion speedily to declare against it, before it to be too late. And as for the Levellers themselves, [Page 26]and their quondam Agitators in Army, City, or Countrey, since they allow of extemporary Lay-preaching, I hope they will take no offence at my having given them a text not to talk, but to think upon: which I wish them in their most serious thoughts to compare with that other, 1 John 4.20. and then to aske themselves, whether upon the same reason it be not a certain truth, that he who saith he feareth God, and yet feareth not the King, i.e. the Soveraign Power of what kind soever, which God hath set over him, whether in one, or few, or many, is you know what. For he that feareth (that is, honoureth) not the King, whom he hath seen, how should he feare God whom he hath not seen? In despising those whom God hath placed in authority, and in that re­spect called gods, the authority of God himselfe is despised. They have not re­jected thee, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them, said God to Samuel, when the people of Israel had an itching to be altring the Government. But I will here break off this discourse wherein my Love to the mens persons and souls, though I hate their opinions and practises hath a little impertinently engaged me to fill up this spare Paper.

A Part of the Armies DECLARATION of the 14. of June 1647.

NOw having thus far cleared our way in this businesse, we shall proceed co propound such things as we do humbly desire for the setling and securing of our own and the kingdomes common right, freedome, peace, and safety as followeth,

1. That the Houses may be speedily purged of such Mem­bers as for their delinquency or for corruptions, or abuse to the State or undue Elections ought not to sit there, whereof the late Elections in Cornwal, Wales, and other parts of the kingdom afford too many examples, to the great prejudice of the peo­ples freedom in the said Elections.

2. That those persons, who have, in the late unjust and high [Page 27]proceedings against the Army, appeared to have the will, the confidence, credit, and power, to abuse the Parliament and Ar­my, and endanger the kingdome in carrying on such things a­gainst us (while an Army) may be some way speedily disabled from doing the like or worse to us (when disbanded & disperst, and in the condition of private men) or to other the free-borne people of England in the same condition with us; and that for that pu [...]pose the same persons may not continue in the same power (especially as our and the kingdoms Judges in the highest trust (but may be made incapable thereof for future.

And if it be questioned who these are, we thought not fit par­ticularly to name them in this our Representation to you, but shall very speedily give in their names; and before long shall of­fer what we have to say against them to your Commissioners, wherein we hope so to carry our selves, as that the world shall see we aim at nothing of private revenge and animosities, but that justice may have a free course, and the kingdom be eased, and secured by disinabling such men (at least) from places of ju­dicature, who desiring to advantage and set up themselves and their party in a generall confusion, have endeavoured to put the kingdom into a new flame of war, then which nothing is more abhorrent to us.

But because neither the granting of this alone would be suf­ficient to secure our own and the kingdoms rights, liberties, and safety, either for the present age or posterity; nor would our Proposals of this singly be free from the scandall and appearance of Faction or designes only to weaken one party (under the no­tion of unjust or oppressive) that we may advance another (which may be imagined more our own) we therefore declare,

That indeed we cannot but wish, that such men, and such only, might be preferred to the great power and trust of the Common-wealth, as are approved, at least of morall righteous­nesse; [Page 28]and of such we cannot but in our wishes prefer those, that appear acted thereunto by a principle of conscience and religi­on in them.

And accordingly, we do and ever shall blesse God for those many such Worthies, who through his providence, have beene chosen into this Parliament, and to such mens indeavours (un­der God) we cannot but attribute that Vindication (in part) of the Peoples Rights and Liberties; and those beginnings of a just Reformation, which the first proceedings of this Parliament appeared to have driven at, and tended to, though of late ob­structed, or other diverted to other ends and interests, by the ☞ prevailing of other persons, of other principles and conditions.

But yet we are so far from designing or complying to have an absolute or Arbitrary power signed, or setled, for continu­ance, in any persons whatsoever, as that (if we might be sure to obtaine it) we cannot wish to have it so in the persons of any, whom we could most confide in, or who should appear most of our opinions, or principles, or whom we might have most per­sonall assurance of, or interest in; But we do and shall much ra­ther wish, that Authority of this kingdom in Parliaments (right­ly constituted) that is, freely, equally, and successively chosen, according to its originall intention) may ever stand and have its course. And therefore we shall apply our desires, chiefly to such things, as (by having Parliaments setled in such a right constitu­tion) may give most hopes of justice, and righteousnesse to flow down equally to all, in that its antient channel, without any o­vertures tending either to overthrow that foundation of Or­der, and Government in this kingdom; or to ingrosse that pow­er for perpetuity into the hands of any particular persons, or party whatsoever.

And for that purpose, though (as we have found it doubted by many men, minding sincerely the publick good: but not [Page 29]weighing so fully all consequences of things) it may, and is not unlike to prove that upon the ending of this Parliament, and the election of new, the constitution of succeeding Parliaments (as to the persons elected) may prove for the worse many waies, yet since neither in the present purging of this Parliament, nor in the election of new, we cannot promise to our selves, or the king alone, an assurance of justice or other positive good, from the hands of men, but those who for present appear most righ­teous and most for common good (having an unlimited power fixed in them during life or pleasure) in time may become cor­rupt, or settle into parties or factions: or, on the other side, in case of new elections, those that should so succeed, may prove as bad, or worse then the former.

We therefore humbly conceive, that (of two inconvenien­ces, the lesse being to be chosen) the main thing to be intended in this case (and beyond which humane providence cannot reach, to any assurance of possitive good) seems to be this, viz to provide, that however unjust, or corrupt, the persons of Par­liament men, in present, or future may prove, or what ever ill they may do to particular parties (or to the whole in particu­lar things) during their respective termes, or periods, yet they shall not have the temptation, or advantage of an unlimited power fixt in them, during their own pleasures, wherby to per­petuate injustice, or oppression upon any (without end or reme­dy) or to advance, or uphold any one particular party, faction or interest whatsoever, to the oppression or prejudice of the Com­munity, and the inslaving of the kingdom unto al posterity, but that the people may have an equall hope, or possibility, if they have made an ill choice at one time, to mend it in another, and the Members of the House themselves may be in a capacity to taste of subjection, as well as rule, and may be inclined to consi­der of other mens cases, as what may come to be their own. This [Page 30]we speak of in relation to the House of Commons, as being in­trusted on the peoples behalfe, for their interest in that great and supreme power of the Common-wealth (viz. the Legisla­tive power with the power of finall judgement) which being in its own nature so arbitrary, and in a manner unlimited (unlesse in point of time) is most unfit, and dangerous (as the peoples interest) to be fixt in the persons of the same men during life, or their own pleasures. Neither by the originall constitution of this state, was it, or ought it to continue so, nor does it (where­ever it is, and continues so) render that State any better then a Tyranny, or the people subjected to it any better then Vassals. But in all States, where there is any face of common freedome, and particularly in this State of England, (as is most evident both by many positive laws, and ancient constant custome) the people have a right to new, and successive elections unto that great and supreme trust, at certain periods of time, which is so essentiall and fundamentall to their freedom, as it cannot, or ought not to be denied them, or withholden from them, & with­out which the House of Commons is of very little concernment to the interest of the Commons of England.

Yet in this we would not be misunderstood in the least, to blame those Worthies of both Houses, whose zeale to vindicate the Liberties of this Nation, did procure that Act for Continu­ance of this Parliament, whereby it was secured from being dis­solved at the Kings pleasure (as former Parliaments had been) as reduced to such a certainty as might inable them the better to assert, and vindicate the liberties of this Nation (immediately before so highly invaded, and then also so much indangered.) And this we take to be the principall ends, and grounds for which in that exigency of time, and affairs it was procured, & to which we acknowledge it hath happily been made use of, but we cannot think it was by those Worthies intended, or ought [Page 31]to be made use of, to the perpetuating of that supreme trust, and power in the persons of any, during their own pleasures; or to the debarring of the people from their right of elections (to­tally now) when those dangers or exigencies were past, and the affairs, and safety of the Common-wealth would admit of such a change.

Having thus cleared our grounds and intentions (as we hope) from all scruples and mis-understandings: in what follows we shall proceed further to propose what we humbly desire for the setling and securing of our own, and the kingdoms rights and liberties (through the blessing of God) to posterity. And there­fore upon all the grounds premised we further humbly desire as followeth:

3. That some determinate period of time may be set for the continuance of this and future Parliaments, beyond which none shall continue, and upon which new Writs may of course issue out, and new elections successively take place according to the intent of the Bill for Trienniall Parliaments.

And herein we would not be mis-understood to desire a pre­sent or sudden dissolution of this Parliament, but only (as is ex­prest before) that some certain period may be set for the deter­mining of it, so as it may not remain (as now) continuable for ever, or during the pleasure of the present Members; and we should desire that the period to be now set for ending this Par­liament, may be such as may give sufficient time for provision of what is wanting, and necessary to be passed in point of just re­formation, and for further securing the rights and liberties, and settling the peace of the kingdom. In order to which we fur­ther humbly offer.

4. That secure provision may be made for the continuance of future Parliaments, so that they may not be adjournable or dissolvable at the Kings pleasure or any other wayes, then by their own consent during their respective periods, but at those [Page 32]periods each Parliament to determine of course as before. This we desire may be now provided for, (if it may be) so as to put it out of al dispute for future, though we think of right it ought not to have been otherwise before.

☞ And thus a firme foundation being laid in the authority and constitution of Parliaments for the hopes, at least, of common and equal-right and freedom to our selves and all the free-born people of this land, we shall hereby for our parts freely and cheerfully commit our stock or share of interest in this king­dome into this common bottome of Parliaments. And though it m [...]y (for our particulars) go ill with us in one voyage; yet we shall thus hope (if right be with us) to fare better in another.

These things we desire may be provided for by Bill or Ordi­nance of Parliament, to which the Royall assent may be de­sired, and when his Majesty in these things, and what else shall be proposed by the Parliament necessary for securing the rights and liberties of the people, and for settling the Militia and peace of the Kingdome shall have given his concurrence to put them past dispute, we shall then desire that the rights of his Majesty and his posterity maybe considered of and setled in all things, so far as may consist with the right and freedom of the subject, and with the security of the same for future.

Thus the Army the last yeer: The lip of sincerity, as of Truth is stable for ever. Let them now declare their being still of the same mind in the last, and capitall Article, the Peace is made. They under God shall have the honour to have made it, And the whole Kingdom will blesse them. For though by the Oath of Supremacy I have often taken, I think my selfe obliged to adde, That his Majesty shall have great cause well to advise upon it before he part with his Privilege of dissolving all future Parliaments without the consent of the Houses, upon the experience he hath had of doing it but in one; yet by his Majesties having heretofore declared his inclination to treat upon the Pro­posals of the Army, I presume this expedient to agree that Article, (the hardest of all other to be agreed,) would not stick with his Majesty.


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