Prov. 19.20. Hear counsel and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
Prov. 11.21. Though hand joyn in hand, the wicked shall not be un­punished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.

Printed in the yeer 1653.



BLame us not (seeing it is now high time after our many yeers sufferings and tedious expectation to be delivered from our then declared pressures and grievances) that we (by you declared) the free Commons of England should have leave (for losers may have leave to speak) to tell you that we cannot but with bitterness of spirit declare, That we wonder with what strange and unheard of presidents, this Parliament hath acted, there having never been any visible rule for such acti­ons in or by any Parliament before.

But leaving to speak of things that are past cure, let us come to expostulate with you, about our future security, and that long promised good land, viz. Peace, Freedome, and Justice; promised us at the beginning, and for which we have with the expence of our Lives and Estates, so earnestly contested for.

Was it not unlimited prerogative, Corruptions in Law and Courts of Justice, infringment of our liberties, illegal Taxes and the like, which was by you then declared to be the misery of the Kingdome, a door and inlet to Tyranny and Oppression? And was it not that Regal power might be limited by Law, not proportioned by will? that the constitutions of our Laws might not be destroyed, but reduced to their fundamental purity? that Justice might be executed, and we preserved in our Liberties and Estates?

Give us leave then to the expostulate with you a little: How comes it to pass that (notwithstanding all your promises made [Page 2]so solemnly in the presence of God and the Kingdome) we reap not the harvest of this promised seed-time? How comes it to pass, (we beseech you) that such faire blossoms, yeeld such slender fruits? Whence grows this muttering, nay we may say groaning under, and exclamations against Oppression, Tyranny, and Injustice in our streets, nay Courts of (injustice) Justice we cannot call them, even at the Parliament-door, nay within the Parliament House? How comes it to pass that so many irregular, illegal, nay we may say unparliamentary proceedings are daily acted? Whence proceeds this spirit of Ambition, Contention, Oppression, and Sedition, which reigns so pow­erfully among you? We cannot be seduced to believe, that e­ver this proceeds from principles of Law or Justice; but from principles of Ambition, Usurpation, Pride, Covet­ousness or the like, which is made well known to us by woeful experience, from the power of which, Good Lord de­liver us, &c.

Can it (think you) consist with the Peace and Welfare of the Nation, especially considering the state and temper of the people, that you who should be acting for the Subjects liber­ty should drive on your own particular interests? Is this to discharge the trust which you have in the presence of God so often sworn to performe? Surely so long as you continue thus, we cannot hope for any good, either by or from you.

What made you exclaime so vehemently against preroga­tive? Was it with intent to destroy us by priviledge? Did you exclaime against Injustice in others, that your selves might be singular, yea superlatively unjust? Were corruptions in the Law past cure, so that your Wills must be our supream Law? Was the taking a little of our estates illegal and Tyran­nous in his late Majesty, but in you Justice to take all? Is this the promised recompence for our labour? The return of our expectation, the prize for which we have undergone so many dubious changes in the wilderness of disorder and confusion, and for which we have shed so much blood? Certainly we looked for the good Land of Peace, but behold Oppression? [Page 3]We looked for liberty, but behold slavery! and our end is worse then our beginning.

And now having with sorrow of heart given you some hints of our present insufferable sufferings, take notice (we beseech you) of some of our desires, which in the first place we expect speedy satisfaction.

First, Cast your eyes back into the rock, out of which you were hewn; were you not our fellow-Commoners? Were not every one of us as equally, fully, and properly interested in the safety, welfare, and government: of the Kingdome, as any (or all) of you? Did you not receive your power from us for our good? And have you not declared your selves to be our ser­vants, and to be accountable to us by whom you were impowred and intrusted? Have you not likewise declared, that all intrust­ments are, and ought to be for the good of the Trusters? Up­on this ground we the free Commons of England expect from you the performance and discharge of your duty herein, toge­ther with the following particulars.

Secondly, Have you not declared, that the Law ought to have been the rule of the Kings actions, and must it not be of yours? Certainly you have sometime confest, that they that give Law to others ought not to be above Law, or without themselves? Therefore we do expect, that all unlawful, unparliamen­tary actions, either within or without the House, publickly, or privately, either by the whole House, or any particular member, or any other by them intrusted or improved, be publickely declared against, and that a way be opened for just reparation against all such arbitrary and exorbitant practises.

Thirdly, Have you not declared, That no free Commoner ought or might be dis-infranchised of his liberty without Indite­ment, and that the fining and imprisoning men without due process of Law, was a breach upon the Law, and destructive to the subjects liberty? How comes it then to pass, that since your declaring it to be so unjust in others, you have so frequently used it your selves, to the reproach of the Nation, and breach of the trust reposed in you by us? What prison hath been free; nay, what County or Corporation but hath some sufferers, be­ing imprisoned by the arbritary, subject destroying power of your Committees, who for the most part are composed of such as your selves; men without souls, unconscionable wretches? the misery whereof we expect a speedy redress of, it being your own declared duty, and sutable to both law and conscience: that being no way lawful in you, which was by you condemned in others.

Fourthly, Did you not complaine that the Kings favourites spent the Kingdomes money, and converted the publick stock to private uses? and may not we the poor Commons complaine now of the like, or rather worse practises, considering the vast sums of money levied upon us, which rather increase then de­crease; notwithstanding the incredible sums by you received, by Excise, Bishops lands, Deans and Chapters, Kings Revenues, Delinquents Estates, &c. with many other hellish inventions whereby you grind the face both of the Gentry and Common­alty of this Nation, to the utter decay of Trade and Com­merce.

Besides, hath not much (nay, I may say the greater part) of these been shared amongst your selves, thousands in a morning? but for what memorable service we know not, unless it be for keeping us in perpetual slavery.

Fifthly, How you, exclaimed against his late M [...]jesty, for protecting Delinquents, and keeping them from tryal: How comes it to pass then that you your selves have protected and abetted so many false and Traitorous members, under pretence of priviledge? We conceive (by your leave) the late Kings [Page 5]prerogative was a far better plea then your priviledge, there­fore we expect a speedy suspension of all persons charged with any crime; and that all persons that have acted to the prejudice of the Kingdome (by cozenage, injustice) or otherwise, be speedily brought to condigne punishment.

Lastly, Forasmuch as it is pretended, that (notwithstanding the vast sums of moneys that have been raised) the State are not able to maintaine war with the Dutch, and maintaine our stand­ing Army without taxations, &c. We answer, That forasmuch as it is apparent, that vast sums of money remain in the hands of several Ministers of State, (as Parliamentmen, Committee­men, Excisemen, Sequestrators, &c.) unaccounted for, to our great loss and prejudice, we desire, that you would speedily call them to an exact account of all such sums of money by them received and detained, and to employ it for the service of the Kingdome, which would somewhat abate our heavy burthen, under which our backs are ready to crack.

Much more might be said, but we shall for this time conclude, desiring and expecting the due execu­tion of justice and judgement; and that all means be used for the ease, peace, and safety of our dominions. That our burdens may be removed, the accounts of the Kingdome perfected; the Publike Faith, and other Publike debts satisfied; our grievous burthens by tax­ations and otherwise eased; and our Petitions for Peace and Justice from time to time (without danger of being murthered by you Red-coated-slaves) freely received. And so we expect the fulfilling of these our desires, immediately laying aside all by-respects and self-ends; and unanimously act for the good of the nation, giving a speedy testimony thereof by walking [Page 6]in the wayes of justice and righteousness, that thereby we may be secured in our just rights and liberties; which if you neglect to do, we shall not only be neces­sitated to curse the time we ever intrusted you; (which we have already repented us of) but also to prose­cute you as persons wholly bent to destroy our lives and liberties, and to let confusion and desolation break in upon us. Therefore seriously consider of what we have laid open to you, and neglect not this faire oportunity put into your hands to do good; for if you do, the vengeance of God shall dog you at the heels, and you shall be abhorred both of God and man, and we shall be driven to take such a course as providence and our pressing necessities shall lay before us, and leave the issue thereof to God, who is able to direct and protect us in all our undertakings.

These are the Resolutions of us
the distressed Commonal­ty of England.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.