A PETITION OR DECLARATION, Humbly desired to be presented to the view of His most Excellent Majestie; By all his MAJESTIES most Loyall and Duti­full Subjects.

Shewing the great danger and inconve­niences that will happen both to the King and King­dome, if either His Majestie or His People de­sert His Grand and most faithfull Councell, the High Court of Parliament.


London Printed, 1642.


Humbly sheweth

THat his Maiesty having first declined, and after deser­ted and since by force of Armes prepared to invade his Great Councell (as we conceive) doth now expect a concurrence therein according to severall messages and commands, not onely from divers persons of both houses of Parliament, but also from all his loving Sub­iects, amongst whom we of the Citie of London are no inconsiderable n [...]mber.

That we conceive (as the case now stands) that it cannot be, but a most impious and mischievous thing in us, either to forsake, or by arms to seek the d [...]struction of that sacred Court; for these Reasons.

First, because in former ages this Kingdome hath very seldome re­linquisht its representative, elected, intrusted Councell, and when it hath, it hath soon found cause to repent that Treachery, and instability, & commonly that Repentance proved fatall both to King & kingdom.

Secondly, That private Councell by which his Majesty is incensed against his generall Councell, [...]bscures it self from the world; neither the [...] names nor qualities, nor their grounds of exception are declared or avowed. And since his Majestie is now attended by so many Peers, Councellors of state, Judges, and Lawyers, and hath sufficient Forces to commence warre, and cannot be imagined to obey the conduct of meere private reason, in a matter of such transcendent consequence, we a [...]e apt to thinke, that the promoters of this horrid warre would not conceale themselves and their grounds, if they were not Papists, Prelates, Delinquents, necessitous Courtiers, or such mercinary Sword­men, as no Nation nor age ever expected faith or pietie from. And there is a rumour here spread, that divers of the Nobles now in his Majesties traine departed not from hence without great solicitation, and have not that freedome now of advice, or of accesse to his Majestie, or re­cesse to the Parliament, as was expected, nor does any thing under their hands publikely testifie, how fare they adjudge this Parliament [Page 2] trayterous, or this warre gainst it justifiable. And yet policy, justice, honour must needs inforce this, and doth challenge it both from his Majestie and from them.

Thirdly, we having lived nearer and beene more jealously intentive eye and eare witnesses of Parliamentary proceedings, then remoter count [...]ies, have not beene able to discover any disloyaltie in the major part of Lords and Commons, but on the contrary, have seene all the slaunders of their enemies, detected of villanous falshood and malice, as in the maine matters of ingrossing the publike treasure to their owne use, or seeking to corrupt the Militia of the Land, that thereby they might tirannize over King and kingdome, we beleeve, we see, we know the contrary, and so must needs all sober men.

Fourthly, if his Maiestie did not relie upon allegations without proofes, and if those allegations also were not full of uncertaintie and insuffiency many times, no blood need to be shed in this difference, a legall debate even in Parliament it selfe would sift out the [...]ruth to the satisfaction of all the kingdome, and neither the Orators tongue, nor the souldiers arme (whom none but times very calamitous use to im­ploy) neede here to be ingaged: for sometimes his Maiestie professes to have honorable thoughts concerning the Parliament, blaming onely the too great influence which some malignant partie hath upon both houses, yet his Maiestie names no malignants, nor specifies the nature of that influence; sometimes his Maiestie chargeth by name some few of each House, and promiseth particular charges, but publisheth none, sometimes his Maiesty inveigheth against some particular Votes of the maior part of both Houses, condemning them as treasonable, and ap­parently illegall, but taketh no issue, nor assigneth any legall tryall, nor alloweth any appeale from his owne breast and Sword, and though in very te [...]rmes no warre is confessed against the Parliament, yet it is ma­manifestly levied against Sir John Hotham, &c. for being an Actor un­der the Parliament, and treason is fixed upon all such as obey the or­dinance of both Houses: and yet both Houses themselves must not be thought to be aymed at; and as there is uncertaintie in the parties charged so there is the like in the crimes imputed, for sometimes the ordinance concerning the Militia, beares the burthen of all, sometimes some other plots & conspiracies of bringing in an arbitrary power, and Aristocraticall usurpation over King and kingdome, both are intima­ted, and a more satisfactory narration of particulars are promised, but we see no such thing as yet pe [...]formed. And thus the case not being yet rightly stated, nor the certaine traytors nominated nor the certaine [Page 3] treasons declared, nor [...]ny other interpreter of Law, but his Maiestie alone without any of his Peeres or Judges admitted, yet we are mo­ved to betray that treshault assembly, whom all law, conscience and interest, nay, all that is sacred or can be neare or deare unto us, bindes us to defend with our lives, till wee are clearely convinced of their falshood to us.

Fiftly, divers exceptions taken against the Parliament much insisted on, as that they may vote the King to be at London when he is at Yorke, or declare treason to be loyaltie, and loyaltie treason, &c. savour of meere merriment, and require no other answer, if the sadnesse of the times would allow it, for though generall consent inable the Par­ment very farre, whilst it is not abused, yet that being all the Basis of their power when that shall fall away (as it doth when grosly abused) all derivative power vanishes with it; and Story tells us that the King­dome s [...]metimes hath causelesly out of levetie and love of noveltie, be­trayed the Parliament, but no Age ever saw one Parliament that pro­ved treacherous to the whole kingdome.

Sixtly, as we see none but good fruits in this publike Councell, so we see none but bad in its private opposite, for when we see his Maie­sty at the same time raysing Forces here against a Parliament, not iustly convinced of treason, and yet not affording his ready assistance to supplies for Ireland, whilst many Protestants are murdered daily there for want of the same, and that by the hands of those bloody miscreants whom his Maiestie never mentions without horror. And when wee see all intentions of forces abiured, and with such high imprecations disclaymed, except for a guard onely, and yet as soone as Forces are in­creased thereby, open defiance proclaimed to all which adhere to the Parliament in orders made for publique safetie. And when we see the in­trusting of the publike Militia into faithfull hands by Authority of the whole state thundred against as oppressive to the Subiect, and yet at the same time, Commissions of Array issued out to such as may Lord Ri­vers, &c. the said Commissions being as illegall and vexatious, and dangerous, and so generally known to be; as the Ship-Scot was, when we see these things and many other like we grieve, we bleed inwardly for his Maiesty, & it seemes prodigious to us that so gentle a Prince should indure so much, so many yeares together for such Ministers sakes con­trary to the prayers and advertisements of this whole glorious Brittish Monarchy.

Seventhly, his Majestie rests onely in generalls (which according to his Majesties owne words amount to just nothing, for as generall complaints of subverting Law, and subjecting both King and King­dome [Page 4] to lawlesse Arbitrary rule, are pressed against the Parliament, so nothing but generall promises, of making us a happy people, and con­senting to all just requests, are uttered by his Ma [...]estie: at this present when his Maje [...]tie prefers private advise before publique, yet he attributes generally all due respe [...]t to Parliaments: And when his Majestie takes up the Sword against the Parliament, the highest Court of Law in England, and not condemned, but by Edict Law onely, (no Peere, Judge, &c. appearing in the condemnation) yet this sword is said to be taken no meerely to protect the Law; This strange persecution of a Parliament, and all its favourers, by fire and sword, which to our ordinary ap [...]rehensions seemes so dismall and fa­tall, especially at this time, when it is as great a benefit to Popish Re­bels in Ireland, as it is a scourge to loyall Protestants in England▪ & this must seeme not only to stand with his Majesties generall expressions of Grace, but in a generall sense it is it self an a [...]t of Grace.

And this is not wonderfull, for we know that whilst the Ship-scos, and all other Projects and M [...]nopolies lay heavvest upon us, in all our sore grievances and violations, generall expressions of Grace did ever accompany them, though they r [...]ther added than diminished to the weight of our sorrows. And therefore we have now the lesse reason to comfort our selves with generall assurances, especially since deeds of hostility faile not to attend our sweetest words of clemency; Nay, and in the same Manifestoes, as we finde professions favouring all of Law, right, and limited power▪ so we finde withall intermingled di­vers positions placing the King beyond all Law, right and limitation, and reducing Parliaments to lesse power than ordinary Courts.

In all submissive humility therefore we humbly prostrate our selves before his Majesties feet, with the pious tender of these our earnest sup­plications.

First, That it would please his Majesty, in a war of this confound­ing nature to the three Kingdomes at once, and to the true Religion, in them to have recourse to the impartiall advise of former ages, rather then of this.

Secondly, to abandon the Councels of Papists, as well such as goe to Church by dispensation, as not, and as well such as send instru [...]tions from beyond the Sea, as those which are here more visible; and in the same manner to reject the advertisem [...]nts of Delinquents, Prelates, Souldiers, &c. whose known interests makes them incompetent ad­visers in this case, no age having a paralell to it, and if his Majesty conceives publike advise to be partiall at this time; yet to let the king­dome [Page 5] know what private advise is hearkened to, and what the quality and grounds of it is, for the better vindication of his Majesties Ho­nour, and the more full satisfaction of all true Protestants.

Thirdly, To make a further guesse at some of his Majesties Coun­cellors, by those false slanders of Treasons which they have powred into his Majesties eares, and are now disproved to all the world.

Fourthly, That his Majesty would not admit of any crime in the Parliament, but such as beares the stamp and form of a legall and judi­ci [...]ll accusation; and instead of generall invectives, to publish the cer­tain kinde of Treasons, and names of Traytors, and the certainty of his Majestie evidence and how far his Majesty will refer the tryall there [...]f to any peace [...]le tre [...]ty, laying down the sword in the meane time, witho [...]t o [...] a [...]vanta [...]e [...] either side, for if the offence of the P [...]r­liament be tha [...] they h [...]ve been t [...]o ze [...]lo [...]s of the safety of the King­dome, in making Ordinances to settle the Militia, Then the question is only, whether or no the King hath such a sole interest in the Towns, For [...]s, &c. [...]nd st [...]ength of the Kingdome, as that he may a [...]e intrust them to suspected Substitutes, in time [...] danger, without gene­rall advise, nay contrary to generall consent. And th [...]s [...]eemes a strange ground for such an uncouth dismall war, at such a time as this, when it makes our Lords and Commons worse Rebels then the Irish, and chuses rather that the Protestant Religion, together with the Crowne there sh [...]ll perish, then any truce shall be granted here, or any umpirage admitted. It cannot but be better that the State of Scotland were in­treated to mediate and arbitrate in this difference, then that so unse­sonable and unnaturall a war should be waged. For if Sir John Hotham be not fitter to be trusted than Captain Leg, and my Lord of Warwicke then Sir Iohn Pennington, yet the Kings interest is not altered, nothing but the subordinate person is changed, and if this be not allowed to a parliament, the Subject hath no remedy nor power of defence in any danger when the King mistakes both his friends and foes: but if this be allowed, the King suffers nothing by it. He which serves the State faithfully, must needs serve the King faithfully, (it is to be wished, the contrary were as true) a generall defection is not to be feared, nor could be redressed if it should happen, and except in case of generall defection, the State cannot chuse to the disadvantage of the King: But if the Militia be not the main cause of this war, if any other super-emer­gent exceptions, against any particular persons, in, or out of Parlia­ment may be taken▪ this may be debated, and accommodated legally without blood, except one side will declare it self not to be sa [...]isfied [Page 6] otherwise then by blood. Till these things be better cleared no Force ought to be used, and if the King will admit of no truce, it will not be said that the Parliament takes up Armes against the King, but the whole kingdome in its representative Court defends it selfe against such as have seduced, and uniustly incensed the King, and such, as though they have usurped the Kings person, and word, and command, yet have not so true a right to his vertue, and authoritie, nor ought to bee held so friendly thereunto as the Parliament.

Fiftly, not to make the Parliaments arbitrary power in declaring Law, &c. any ground of charge since this strife betweene prerogative and libertie must be decided, and by the Law it selfe without some in­terpreter cannot, and since his Maiestie does not claime that sole inter­pretation, and since the Parliament cannot be suspected therein.

Sixthly, to judge of the Councellours and Fomenters of this warre by the favour which it beares to the Irish Rebellion, and the disagree­ment thereof with his Majesties former gracious professions: and at least to hearken to a truce till the Irish warre be ended, except the Lords and Commons seeme more detestable Traytors than the Irish Rebells.

Seventhly, That his Maiestie will let us know something in parti­cular concerning our priviledges, in and out of Parliament, and what latitude of authority and power shall be granted to the representative body of the whole Kingdome, even when his Maiestie likes better of private advise; and also how farre his Maiestie will grant his Royall Prerogative to be within the Cognizance and Declaration of the Lords and Commons, because in our understanding to have no right, and no impartiall Judge of that right, and to have no limits, and no knowne limits is one and the same thing.

Now therefore our humble and heartie desires to his Majestie are, that he would be gratiously pleased to condiscend to these so necessary things, now that so streaming a Comet of bloody aspect hangs over our heads, and so abominable a warre is commenced amongst us, it will fa­cilitate a happy and faire accommodation, it will disappoint the greatest adversaries of the Church and State, it will make his Majesties raigne more blessed now, and his story more candid and unstayned with blood hereafter.

And his Maiesties most humble Petitioners shall ever pray, &c.

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