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your people; return unto your parliament, and so unto your lawful power; return unto your parliament, and so unto your state and glory; where, when your royal assent hath confirmed those necessary privileges, which may keep whole the consciences and estates of your most loyal subjects, all this our body falls into atoms, and your majesty alune remains in glory, to be beheld the preserver of those privileges, which all our long and faithful endeavours have consulted with your majesiy.

A TRUE COPY

OF THE

PETITION OF THE GENTLEWOMEN,

AND

TRADESMEN'S WIVES,

IN AND ABOUT THE CITY OF LONDON,

Delivered to the honourable the knights, citizens, and burgesses of the

house of commons, assembled in parliament, on February the fourth, 1641; together with their several reasons, why their sex ought thus to petition, as well as the men; and the manner how both their petitions and reasons were delivered: Likewise, the answer, which the honourable assembly sent to them, by Mr. Pym, as they stood at the house-door.

London, printed for J. Wright, 1642. Quarto, contaiuing eight pages.

To the honourable knights, citizens, and burgesses of the house of commons,

assembled in parliament.

The humble petition of the gentlewomen, tradesmen's wives, and many

others of the female sex, all inhabitants of the city of London, and the subụrbs thereof.

With lowest submission shewing, THAT we also, with all thankful humility, acknowledging the un

wearied pains, care, and great charge, besides hazard of health and life, which you, the noble worthies of this honourable and renowned assembly have undergone, for the safety both of church and commonwealth, for a long time already past; for which not only we your bumble petitioners, and all well affected in this kingdom, but also all other good christians are bound now and at all times to acknowledge ; yet, notwithstanding that many worthy deeds have been done by you, great danger and fear do still attend us, and will, as long as popish lords and superstitious bishops are suffered to have their voice in the house of peers, and that accursed and abominable idol of the mass suffered in the kingdom, and that arch-enemy of our prosperity and reformation lieth in the tower, yet not receiving his deserved punishment. All th

under correction, give us a great cause to suspect, that God is angry with us, and to be the chief causes, why your pious endeavours for a further reformation proceed not with that success, as you desire, and is most earnestly prayed for, of all that wish well to true religion, and the flourishing estate, both of king and kingdom ; the insolencies of the papists and their abettors raiseth a just fear and suspicion of sowing sedition, and breaking out into bloody persecution in this kingdom, as they have done in Ireland, the thoughts of which sad and barbarous events make our tender hearts to melt within us, forcing us humbly to petition to this honourable assembly, to make safe provi, sion, for yourselves and us, before it be too late.

And whereas we, whose hearts have joined chearfully with all those petitions, which have been exhibited unto you, in the behalf of the purity of religion, and the liberty of our husbands, persons, and estates, recounting ourselves to have an interest in the common privileges with them, do with the same confidence assure ourselves to find the same gracious acceptance with you, for easing of those grievances, which, in regard of our frail condition, do more nearly concern us, and do deeply terrify our souls; our domestical dangers, with which this kingdom is so much distracted, especially growing on us, from those treacherous and wicked attempts, already are such, as we find ourselves to have as deep a share, as any others.

We cannot but tremble at the very thoughts of the horrid and hideous facts, which modesty forbids us now to name, occasioned by the bloody wars in Germany; his majesty's late northern army, how often did it affright our hearts, whilst their violence began to break out so furiously, upon

of those, whose husbands or parents were not able to rescue? We wish we had no cause to speak of those insolencies, and savage usage and unheard of rapes, exercised upon our sex in Ireland; and have we not just cause to fear, they will prove the fore-runners of our ruin, except Almighty God, by the wisdom and care of this parliament, be pleased to succour us? Our husbands and children, which are as dear and tender unto us, as the lives and blood of our hearts, to see them murdered and mangled, and cut in pieces before our eyes; to see our children dashed against the stones, and the mother's milk mingled with the infants blood, running down the streets; to see our houses, on flaming fire, over our heads : Oh how dreadful would this be! We thought it misery enough, though nothing to that we have just cause to fear, but few years since, for some of our sex, by unjust divisions from their bosom comforts, to be rendered in a manner widows, and the children, fatherless; husbands were imprisoned from the society of their wives, even against the laws of God and nature, and little infants suffered in their fathers banishments: Thousands of our dearest friends have been compelled to fly from episcopal persecutions, into desert places, amongst wild beasts, there finding more fa.

the persons

vour than in their native soil ; and in the midst of all their sorrows such hath the pity of the prelates been, that our cries could never enter into their ears or hearts, nor yet, through multitudes of obstructions, could never have access, or come nigh to those royal mercies of our most gracious sovereign, which we confidently hope would have relieved us; but, after all these pressures ended, we humbly signify, that our present fears are, that unless the blood-thirsty faction of the papists and prelates be hindered in their designs, ourselves here in England, as well as they in Ireland, shall be exposed to that misery, which is more intolerable than that which is already past, as namely, to the rage, not of men alone, but of devils incarnate, as we may so say, besides the thraldom of our souls and consciences, in matters concerning God, which of all things are most dear unto us.

Now, the remembrance of all these fearful accidents afore-mentioned do strongly move us, from the example of the woman of Tekoa, to fall submissively, at the feet of his Majesty, our dread sovereign, and cry, Help O King, help, Oye, the noble worthies, now sitting in parliament: And we humbly beseech you, that you will be a means to his majesty, and the house of peers, that they will be pleased to take our heart-breaking grievances into timely consideration, and add strength and encouragement to your noble endeavours; and, further, that would move his majesty, with our humble requests, that he would be graciously pleased, according to the example of the good King Asa, to purge both the court and kingdom of that great idolatrous service of the mass, which is tolerated in the Queen's court; this sin, as we conceive, is able to draw down a greater curse upon the whole kingdom, than all: your noble and pious endeavours can prevent, which was the cause, that the good and pious King Asa would not suffer idolatry in his own mother; whose example, if it shall please his majesty's gracious goodness to follow, in putting down popery and idolatry, both in great and small, in court and in the kingdom throughout, to subdue the papists, and their abettors, and by taking away the power of the prelates, whose government, by long and woeful experience, we have found to be against the liberty of our conscience, and the freedom of the gospel, and the sincere profession and practice thereof, then shall our fears be removed, and we may expect, that God will pour down his blessings, in abundance, both upon his Majesty, and upon this honourable assembly, and upon the whole land.

For which your new petitioners

Shall pray affectionately, &c.

you

The Reasons follow : IT may be thought strange, and unbeseeming our sex, to shew ourselves, by way of petition, to this honourable assembly; but the matter being rightly considered, of the right and interest we have, in the common and publick cause of the church, it will, as we conceive, under correction, be found a duty commanded and required.

First, Because Christ hath purchased us, at as dear a rate, as he hath done men; and therefore requireth the like obedience for the same mercy, as of men.

Secondly, Because in the free enjoying of Christ, in his own laws, and a flourishing estate of the church and commonwealth, consisteth the happiness of women, as well as men.

Thirdly, Because women are sharers in the common calamities, that accompany both church and commonwealth, when oppression is exercised, over the church or kingdom, wherein they live, and an unlimited power hath been given to the prelates, to exercise authority over the consciences of women, as well as men; witness Newgate, Smithfield, and other places of persecution, wherein women, as well as men, have felt the smart of their fury.

Neither are we left without example in scripture, for when the state of the church, in the time of King Ahasuerus, was, by the bloody enemies thereof, sought to be' utterly destroyed; we find that Esther the Queen and her maids fasted and prayed, and that Esther petitioned to the king, in the behalf of the church ; and though she enterprised this duty, with the hazard of her own life, it being contrary to the law, to

appear before the king, before she were sent for; yet her love to the church carried her through all difficulties, to the performance of that duty.

On which grounds, we are emboldened to present our humble petition unto this honourable assembly, not regarding the reproaches, which may, and are by many cast upon us, who do, well weighing the preinisses, scoff and deride our good intent. We do it, not out of any selfconceit, or pride of heart, as seeking to equal ourselves with men, either in authority or wisdom; but according to our places, to discharge that duty we owe to God, and the cause of the church, as far as lieth in us, following herein the example of the men, which have gone in this duty, before us.

A relation of the manner how it was delivered, with their answer, sent by

Mr. Pym.

THIS petition, with their reasons, was delivered the fourth of Februrary, 1641, by Mrs. Anne Stagg, a gentlewoman, and brewer's wife, and many others with her, of like rank and quality; which when they had delivered, after some time spent, in reading of it, the honourable assembly sent them an answer by Mr. Pym, which was performed in this manner.

Mr. Pym came to the common's-door, and called for the women, and spoke unto them, in these words: Good women, your petition and the reasons have been read in the house, and is thankfully accepted of, and is come in a seasonable time, * You shall, God willing, receive from us all the satisfaction, which we can possibly give to your just and lawful desires. We intreat you to repair to your houses, and turn your petition, which you have deli

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vered here, into prayers at home for us ; for we have been, are, and shall be, to our utmost power, ready to relieve you, your husbands and children, and to perform the trust committed unto us, towards God, our king, and country, as becometh faithful christians and loyal subjects.

THE

VINDICATION OF THE PARLIAMENT,

AND THEIR PROCEEDINGS :

Or, their Military design proved loyal and legal.

A TRE ATISE

Wherein these things are ingenuously and sincerely handled; to wit,

1. That the militia, as settled by the parliament, is lawful. 2. That it is lawful for us to obey it, so settled by them. 3. That the parliament is not by us to be deserted. 4. That, in aiding the parliament, the king is not opposed. 5. That the parliament, as the case stands, may not confide in the

king. 6. That this necessary defensive war of theirs is indubitably justifiable.

Pulchrum pro Patria mori.

London, printed in the year, 1642. Quarto, containing thirty-four pages.

THE main thing now looked upon, and pried into by all eyes, is the

nature of this present martial and military design, undertaken by the parliament. Now, although much hath been written by many upon this subject, yet divers well-disposed and well-affected persons are very unsettled, and unresolved what to think thereof; and the reasons hereof I conceive to be these, to wit:

1. That compendious kind of writing, which some use, in laying down only the particular head, by way of assertion, without either amplification, application, or proof; whence he, who is not informed, or thoroughly insighted into the truth, and nature of that which is affirmed, is ready to conclude it a fallacy, Petitio quæsiti, et dare, net believe it upon the author's bare word.

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