TO THE SUPREAM AUTHORITY, THE PARLIAMENT OF THE Common-wealth of ENGLAND. The humble Petition of divers well-affected People, inhabiting the City of London and places adjacent; in behalf of the Common-wealth.


THat although our hearts were enlarged with joy and thankfulness, for your late Voting the Law and all its Proceedings to be in English, and for constituting the Honourable Committee for Regulating the Courts of Justice; yet remembring that the first Remonstrance of this Parliament, took notice of the tedious, chargeable, and corrupt practifes in Law, as one of the greatest Grievances of the Nation, promising speedy and effectual relief therein; And that nevertheless the Corruptions are still increased, and the Burthen become more intolerable: We trust it will admit a favourable construction at this time to give you to understand, that our doubts and fears begin to abound in us, that the same cause which hath hitherto frustrated the first good intentions of Par­liament in this great work, will also render your present Resolutions (if not altogether fruitlesse, yet) very im­perfect, and not answerable to the necessities of the Common-wealth.

Of which our fears we cannot acquit our selvs, whilest so many Members of this Supream Authority) professing the Law) are possessed of so great places, amounting to one, two, or 3000l per annum, and the several places of one, to 6000l per annum, all arising from corrupt or unnecessary Practices and Proceedings, in Law; and whilest others of them pursue their pleadings for unreasonable Fees, in every Court; And now appear daily at the Honourable Com­mittee, for no other end (as we humbly conceive) but either to obstruct, weaken, or pervert the Work.

Pardon us, we beseech you, that we cannot chuse but judge this worthy our Fear, for unto this cause onely, we ascribe the continuance and encrease of those corruptions, during all the time of this Parliament, which otherwise (as we conceive) would never have continued.

And that these may appear no vain or groundless imaginations, divers well meaning Clerks have been already threatned and otherways discouraged, for giving in their Informations and Propositions, and from attending the Honourable Committee in order to a Regulation, by some Lawyers now Members of Parliament; And as for those that are not Members, their numbers are so great, and their influence so powerful, by their monopolizing all Plead­ings to themselves, excluding all others though never so able; That except this Supream Authority do by some ex­traordinary means restrain their Operations, it wil be almost impossible to bring this great Work to a happy and desireable issue.

But what ever means shall appear necessary to your wisdoms, ye have this to strengthen you; That it is a work most acceptable to God: For if there [...]e a generation of men yet remaining amongst us, that turn judgement into Gall, and the fruit of Righteousness into Hemlock, that oppress the Widdow and Fatherless, and turn aside the Stranger from his Right, that feed upon afflicted Prisoners, and nourish the cruelty of Goalers, Lawyers are the men. It is then a Work for Gods glory, to reduce them to a [...] condition, which is to be done throughly, and with all your might; And when in so doing your ways shall be well pleasing to the Lord, he will make even your enemies to be at peace with you,

Nor can any Work (as we humbly conceive) be more acceptable to the people, as freeing them not onely from innummerable vexations, but from an excessive charge; their unnecessary Fees drawing from amongst them yearly, almost as much as the necessary charges of the Common-wealth.

In all which respects we are exceedingly encouraged (as the most effectual means to remove all obstacles hinder­ing so good and necessary a Work, and of so great ease and advantage to the People) in most humble manner to entreat;

1 That no practising Lawyer (while such) may continue a Member of this Supream Authority, nor be permitted to Sit or Vote in the Honourable Committee for Regulation.

2 That no person whatsoever, possessing any place of profit belonging to the Law, or to any Court of Justice, may (whil'st he is so possessed) be continued a Member either of the Parliament, or of that Honourable Committee. But yet in due respect to the honour of the Parliament, that the Honourable Mr Speaker may be provided of an allowance sutable to the Honour of his place.

3 That all people may be at liberty either to plead their own Causes, or to retain either Lawyers or other their Friends, and that they may have equal Freedom and respect, in all Courts and places whatsoever.

4 That the Honourable Committee for Regulation, may be Ordered to take special care in clearing the passages and proceed­ings in all Causes, in such manner, as that they may come speedily and with small charge to the Juries: Which (as we humbly conceive) is the most just and speedy way of Tryal of Causes, that the World affords, or we can desire; were the passage to them quit of those many Lab'rinths that have been devised by Lawyers: And that an affixt time, as four or six Months at the most, may be expresly set; wherein every Cause shall, from its beginning be finally ended.

5 That those Clerks, and all other persons whatsoever, may have easie and free admittance to the Honourable Committee for Regulation, and receive encouragement from this Honourable Parliament, in their tender of such Proposals, as they desire to offer for the furtherance of so just and necessary a Work.

All which we humbly submit to the wisdom of this Supream Authority; And as in duty bound— Shall ever pray, &c.

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