The Humble Petition of the Knights, Gentlemen, Freeholders and others Inhabitants of the County of Oxford.


THat the Petitioners being very sensible of those pressures under which the whole Kingdome growneth; and having ever since this happie Parliament began, with patience waited for a finall redresse, and a perfect reformation of the Church and State; seeing much hath been indeavored for the ease of our grievances, and much more might have beene done, had it not beene (as we humbly conceive) for the opposition of the ill affected parties of Popish Lords and Bi­shops; as not being the first in this way of Petitioning, are constrained to represent to your Honours our just feares and distractions, arrising from that Barbarous and bloody rebellion in Ireland, wherein innocent blood of many thousand Protestants hath beene cruelly and inhumainely shed, without respect to Age or Sect, threatning the subvertion of the Protestant Religion, and the irreparable losse of that Kingdome; to the emboldning of the Popish and malignant parties of this Kingdome to the like attempt if opportunity be put into their hands, which may produce (which God forbid) as sad effects in this, from the not passing the Bill for impressing of Souldiers, wherby a sufficient aide may be sent, to the speedy reliefe of our Brethren in Ireland, from the late unparalleld breach of the Privilige of Parliament, from the not putting of this Kingdome into a posture of defence, and the Cinque Ports into safe hands in whom the King and Parliament may confide; notwithstanding the many Petitions put up in this behalfe: from the Papists not beeing disarmed, and forsaking their owne houses, and privately living in places where they are not knowne: which justly casts jea­lousies into us, that they have in hand some desperate plot as yet undiscovered: from the great increase of Arminianisme in our Vni­versity, and the insolency of that partie: From the not punishing of Delinquents; and from the continuance of many corrupt and scandalous Ministers, which grow more impudent and incorrigible by the delay of punishment: Lastly, from the not concenting of this Honorable House with the House of Commons, in the passing of many motions for the common good. All which have beene the cause of the totall decay of Trade and want of coyne throughout the Kingdome, to the great impoverishing thereof, and without which it will not be able long to subsist.

We therefore your Potitioners, doe humbly pray, that a speedy remove all of these our grievances with the causes; and of the Votes of the Popish Lords and Bishops out of this Honorable House, which (we humbly conceive) are not consistent with the Honour of the King and Parliament, and the safety of this Kingdome, and your Petitioners to the utmost hazard of our lives and estates will be ready to defend the King and Parliament against all opposers whatsoever.

The Heads of the Petition.

1. THankes, to be given to the Lords for voting downe the Bishops, with our earnest desire that they would doe as much for the Popish parties.

2. That our sea Townes, Forts, and Castles, may be speedily garded and put into the custody of such, which in whom we may safely confide.

3. That the Kingdome may be put into a posture of defence.

4. That for the better disarming of Papists an oath may be administred, not onely to the Masters of Families, but to their Servants and Tennants, for the better finding out where their armes are, since the former courses of searching only, are most commonly frustrated.

5. That all Papists may be enioyned to keepe their owne houses in these dangerous times, that they may not have their meettings in London and else­where, whereby they may know each others minds, and so enabled to put in execution their dangerous designes.

6. That they would be pleased to have an especiall eye unto the Vniversity of Oxford, that that Seminarie might not be over-whelmed with Popery, Arminianisme, and superstition, that their Alters, Images, and Crucifixes, may be demolished, that Governours of Colledges may be questioned, where­fore they did not demolish them, according to the order set forth by the House of Commons.

7. That a Preaching Ministrie may be planted throughout the whole diocesse, since there are neere upon 280. Parishes, and not above thirty Mini­sters that are constant Preachers.

8. That they would be pleased to take into consideration the multiplicity of dignities and preferments that some Heads of Houses, every where you shall finde some to enioy a rich Lordship worth many 100. per annum, a Denery, a Preband, and two fat Parsonages, and seldome Preach at either.

9. That further care may be taken for the suppressing of the Rebells in Ireland.

London, printed for F. L. and W. W. 1641.

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