To the High Court of Parliament of the Common-wealth of ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, and JRELAND.

The humble Petition of a great number of Imprisoned Free-men for Debt, of the City of London, which yet lye in Lud­gate, under the cruell rigour of the Norman yoke of bondage and slavery, by the cruelty and oppression of their obdurate Creditors.


That Imprisonment of the Body for Debt, is con­trary to the Law of GOD, to Reason. Justice, and charity, and to the Common-law of this Nation, as appeareth by severall Statutes; the restraint of Men and Womens persons in Prison paying no Debts but defrauding the Creditors, and satisfying the tyrannicall wills of the said Creditor, Lawyer, and Goaler.

That some of your Petitioners where Committed be­fore the of October, 1653. And although very Poore, by reason of losse of Trade, as also by Suretiship; yet by the injurious practises of their Adversaries, com­bining with deceitfull Lawyers are by indirect proceedings in the Law, unjustly detained to [...] utter Ruine of them and their Families.

O [...]e [...]s of your Petitioners, are confined close Prisoners for small matters of Contro­ver [...], only out of the cruelty of their Adversaries, and so still remaine under their vexa­tious Imprisonment.

O [...]ers of your Petitioners, are detained by Outlaries and other Prosses at the States S [...]ite, and cannot obtaine their just Liberties.

The Premisses piously considered, Your poore Petitioners humbly pray; That your Honours, would speedily breake this Cruell sinfull yoke by the rule of Righteousness, Justice, and Mercy, and to cause an Act of Parliament to be p [...]st for all such as are now in Prison, to Examine, heare, and determine all Causes and D [...]fferences whatsoever, betweene Creditors and Prisoners, with small Charges; so that all Differences concerning Prisoners, may bee ad­judged and determined (as also Charities of, and belonging to Prisons, which hath been unjustly detained, or mis-imployed) speedily, without pleading of Councill, least your Petitioners perish; And that there may be Provision made in the said Act, that all Debters to Prisoners may be compelled to make Restitution unto them without any further charge in Law; so as all Prisoners may be forthwith freed and discharged from their Imprisonments.

That so not only Wee, our Wives, Children, and Friends, but this whole Nation, may have just cause to blesse God for You, and to eter [...]ize your Names to Posterity; for the Speedy accomplish­ment whereof, Your distressed Petitioners doe daily pray, &c.

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