To the Right Honourable the Lords in the High-Court of Parliament assembled. The humble Petition of the Parishioners of Ackeliffe in the County Palatine of Durham. April 6. 1642.

Humbly sheweth,

THat the Petitioners have a long time been destitute of a Conscientious Minister to the great prejudice of their soules, and griefe and sorrow of heart, and about the Moneth of June last their Vicar Doctor Carr, who was Chaplaine to the late Earle of Straford, and Prebend of Durham, died, and about September last, M. Daniell Carwardine was nominated for a Clerke to the said Vicaridge of Ackeliffe by M. Smart senior, Prebend of Durham, according to the Customes and Statutes of that Cathe­drall Church, whereby your Petitioners were exceeding joyfull in hopes and assurance that their soules should have been committed to the charge of one so able and conscientious, and one whom they in their soules approve of and desire; but the Prebends of the said Church refused to confirme the said M. Carwardine so nominated as aforesaid, whereupon your Lordships were petitioned, and the said Custome exactly proved, by the testimonies of Nicholas Hobson about 90. yeares of age, and Robert King in October last, since which time the great affaires of the Kingdome not admitting the full and finall determination thereof, M. Smart tooke institution for the said Vicaridge himselfe in favour to your Petitioners, and for preserving his owne rights, least the said Uicaridge should fall into the Lapse: And the Bishop of Durham did write Letters directed to the Church-wardens and others, appointing M. Carwardine to officiate in the said Pa­rish as Curate untill the businesse were determined by your Lordships, and thereupon M. Carwar­dine did enter, and was admitted.

But so it was that one George Leake who was Curate under Doctor Carr, who daily goeth from Ale-house to Ale-house, where he continueth drinking whole dayes and nights, and when he commeth from Church justifieth others to goe with him, being a most scandalous, deboist, drunken man, hath violently entred into the said Church, locked up the Pulpit-doore, broke vi­olently into the said Uicaridge-house, expelled the said M. Carwardine without any lawfull au­thority, so as your Petitioners are deprived of a godly, learned Preacher, and the said Leake, to the great sorrow of your Petitioners, and scandall of Religion doth officiate the place.

May it therefore please your good Lordships to commiserate the sad condition of your Petitioners, and by an expresse Order of your Lordships House settle the said M. Carwardine in the Vicaridge of Ackeliffe, or to appoint the said M. Carwardine to officiate according to the former appointment of the Bishop of Durham, and direction of M. Smart untill the full determination of the businesse before your Lordships, and that the said George Leake may be summoned before your Lordships to answer such his ryotous disturbance and other his misdemeanours aforesaid,

And your Petitioners shall pray, &c.

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