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ble thanks ; hath concited us, though, in regard of our present condition, not so much considerable, to address ourselves also, in all humility, to this honourable assembly, whom we conceive the only means,

under God, for our redress, beseeching you to persist, as you have · honourably begun, in working a period of these ruinating distractions.

And though the present calamity doth nút so immediately reflect upon your petitioners: Yet we, considering the loss of so many of our fellows lives, the daily hazard the rest are exposed to, and fore seeing the face of our own ruin, in our masters present condition, as also prizing our parents' and friends' lives, and livelihoods, as dearly as our own, hold ourselves engaged by the laws of conscience and nature, to be no less sollicitous, for the bleeding condition of this church and state; in regard, though servants, we are subjects, and humbly conceive ourselves to be concerned herein.

We come, therefore, in the still voice, to embowel our grievances and zealous desires before you; not presuming to dictate to your grave judgments, but humbly, desiring you to pardon our boldness, in petitioning, and the errors of our petition, if any, be:

And unanimously beseech you to consider these present distractions, the continual and increasing violations of our religion by papists and sectaries, the breach of our known laws, the invasion of the subjects liberties, and general decay of trade.

Reflecting also, with serious thoughts, upon these inevitable dangers, that now hover over our heads, ushered in by a civil, unnatural, and bloody, war, whose effects are the impartial destruction of christians, the effusion of much innocent blood, the impoverishing and dispeopling of the kingdom, and exposing the body of the state, to the merciless tyranny of famine, sickness, and invasion, the fore runners of an universal confusion :

All which, better known to your apprehensions, we humbly desire you to ponder, and to prosecute your pious intentions for peace; leaving no just way unattempted which may conduce to the settlement of these differences, that the undiscerning sword be not umpire to decide controversies, of so near concernment; neither give audience to any incendiaries of this present war, whose only aim, we fear, is to prey upon the lives and livings of his majesty's loyal subjects; that the gospel of

peace need not be maintained by war; but that the cemented joints of the church and state may hold firm the bond of unity, to the glory of God, the good of his majesty, the preservation of parliaments, the only happiness of this kingdom, and enablement for a supply, for the necesities of our distressed brethren in Ireland.

And your petitioners, as in all duty bound, shall daily pray for a.

blessing upon your consultations.

To which we have subscribed our hands and hearts, each ready to sacrifice his life for accomplishment thereof.

Of which petition we dispersed several copies, for no other cause, but

to procure subscriptions, with the more convenience. But, by what means we know not, there was a very false copy printed, and intitled ours, but so different from the true petition, both in matter and expressions, that, had it not been for the title, we could not believe it had at all concerned us.

This, we conceive, was a great wrong to us, and did indeed discourage some of us, from our intended presenting of our petition. But yet, at last, we poising both, preferred the glory of God, and peace of this church and state, before any thing that might discourage or dishearten us.

Whereupon all agreed upon Monday, January the second, for our day of delivery, and accordingly set forth notes, -desiring all the subscribers to meet at the piazza's in Covent-garden, in compleat civil habit, without swords or staves: Upon which day, and at which place, there met a very considerable number of us, and, which in modesty we would not say of ourselves, but that we are' scandalously and falsly traduced by others, did demean, and behave ourselves very civil and orderly.

But it fell out, that without our knowledge or consent, there thrust in amongst us a papist, which we being informed of, presently expelled him our company, to avoid all cause of scandal upon our intentions.

After this comes one, and began to sing a ballad in dishonour to the parliament, but we presently discarded him also, with manifest expression of our great dislike of his doings.

This done, a lieutenant to a troop of horse came to us, to know the intent of our appearance, being before informed, as he told us, that we had pistols about us, which was altogether false,

And then at the appointed time we repaired to Westminster, into the palace-yard, and were presently called before Captain Harvey, who attended there with his troop, and by him, after some small discourse between us, twenty of us were admitted to the house of lords; the rest, by his direction, immediately, and quietly, retreated to Whitehall gate, waiting the return of their fellows.

We, coming to the house, were bold to acquaint the ever honoured Earl of Pembroke with our desires, who was pleased to impart them to the house:

But by reason of a conference of both houses, as we conceive, the lords sent us a note, by Mr. Maxwell, to this effect:

• The Lords have formerly expressed their dislike of coming in multitudes to the parliament, and they take notice of a great multitude that came, this morning, towards the parliament:

Which manner of coining with petitions, they are yet unsatisfied withal. But, if you will chuse a few of you, and come some other day, they will receive your petition.'

Upon this, in obedience to their lordships directions, we for that time departed, having appointed twenty of us to deliver our petition on the next day; but we retiring homewards, it was told us, that some of our company tarried at Whitehall gate, and stopped some of the lords


coaches, 'crying for peace; upon this we wrote a note to Captain Harvey, subscribed by the twenty deliverers, and by three of them delivered to him, wherein we expressed our thanks for his courtesy shewed to us: And that we were informed, that divers, who pretended to be of our mind, tarried behind, we know not for what design, and that, if they did any action which was unlawful, we disclaimed it; desiring to steer all our actions by the known laws of God and man; and therefore, if any thing were done to the contrary, we desired it might be suppressed, and that it might not be a scandal to our intentions, nor a hinderance to the answer of our petition.

Which we presented to the captain, who did accept it, and approve, of our carriage, and behaviour therein.

This was the passage of that day.

On Tuesday, the twenty appointed to deliver the petition met, and went to the house with it, and while they were waiting at the door for admittance, there was one in a minister's habit, did with much boldness and confidence, but witbal, as falsly and causelesly, affirm to some lords of the house, that we intended to plunder houses in Coventgarden, aud that some of our company motioned it; which seemed very strange to us, knowing it to be altogether false. But yet upon some examination of the matter, it fell out, that some such words had fallen? from a soldier, not of our company, perhaps incited to it, who, as we are credibly informed, is now in custody for it. And the informer hereof, being convinced by his own conscience, and our arguments, did at last recant it, and desire our favourable opinion of him.

Some other false suggestions were urged against us, and our petition, by some either mis-informed, or ill-affected persons. But it pleased God to make them appear, to the honourable house, to be false and frivolous.

But after all these winds and storms, came a still voice, and gave us admittance to the lords, who being entered, delivered our petition. And the Earl of Manchester declared to us, that the house was content to accept of our petition, and that they would give us their answer in due time,

From thence we went to the honourable house of commons, where we found a most ready, and favourable, and for aught we could conceive, a general consent to accept of our petition. And after reading thereof Mr. Speaker did declare, That the pleasure of the house was to accept our petition, and that they would take it into their serious consideration.

We returned our humble thanks, and departed.

We desire now to clear ourselves from many false aspersions that are cast upon us. Concerning the matter of our petition, it being in substance for nothing but peace, and aiming at the advancement of God's glory, and the quiet of the church and state, it is, we conceive, good and lawful, yet there want not those who speak against the very subject of it, peace. But we wonder not much at them, they being such as are made compleat soldiers on the sudden, and suck their whole subsistence, and fix their hopes to repair their breaches and decays, upon the ruin of others; fearing that the settling of our trades will be

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the decay of theirs. And to leave nothing unattempted which may discourage us, and others, from prosecuting hereof, they have studied new sophistry, to prove peace to be no peace; and under pretence, that we peace-petitioners, as they mockingly call us, do oppose truth, they do indeed beat down both. Whereas any man, that is not purblind with prejudice and faction, may discern that the parliament, the supreme court of judicature, and center of wisdom and piety, will never consent to a peace, that shall war with truth, they being twins of the commonwealth, and inseparable, And we should argue

ourselves very unadvised, which therein we hope we are not, to petition for 'a thing, which no colour of reason tells us we shall obtain.

And for those compleat soldiers, whose very prayers, if they use any, are but alarms to battle, they must give us leave, though, we hope, not without ground, as they do, to pass our censure upon them, and therefore we are bold to tell them, we think they lay their foundation for war, on these two grounds, which they make use of for reasons, Dulce bellum inexpertis, et dulce lucrum expertis. But the time may come, that they may find it better to hearken to the blessed accents of peace, than to have bullets whisper destruction in their ears.

And, though we for several considerations were not, or not suffered to be, of that number, who have exposed their persons to the fury of war, yet, as they bleed outwardly, we bleed within for the distempers of this church and state; and, to shew our ardent zeal for the good of both, we dare banish his soul, whose blood shares of so much cowardice, to retreat at the thought of death, if it might conduce to a happy union of the King and parliament, and the welfare of this late flourishing nation.

Concerning our manner of delivery of our petition, it was generally conceived to be, as we hope, civil, humble, and warrantable; striving, what in us lay, the appearance of tumults, mutinies, force, or violence, habiting ourselves with no weapons offensive or defensive, but our innocence, and the uprightness of our designs, that all occasion of offence might be taken off.

Our number is not certainly known to us, but, though great, it is warranted, as we under correction conceive, both by precept and precedent. The honourable Mr. Nathaniel Fynes, upon the like occasion, having delivered, in answer to the Lord Digby's speech, That a multitude, being grieved, may petition, and that it is fit for all subscribers to be present, lest their hands be supposed counterfeit

. And the lords and commons were pleased to declare, in their remonstrance of the nineteenth of May, That the number makes not an assembly unlawful, but when the end or manner of their carriage makes it so; and that they knew no reason, why it should be more faulty in the citizens to come to the parliament, than the resort of great numbers every day in the term, to the ordinary courts of justice.

We confess, as some have objected, there are some clerks and journeymen amongst us, but, being young men, they come under the name of petitioners. Besides, the one being generally scholars, and seen in the laws, giving great sums of money to their masters, and men's sons of good rank, and living by peace, and the other waiting for peace, being newly come to provide for themselves, we conceive are as much concerned herein as the rest, : Nor are we of the ribaldry of the city (as some blackmouths, have uncharitably belched out against us) yet, in such a multitude, the city being exhausted of many of our fellows, it is not to be expected that all should be wise, learned, nor rich; nor can we see any reason why a poor or illiterate man, being injured, should not seek for redress of his grievances, as well as a rich or learned.

And, though a multitude, we humbly conceive ourselves no tumults. As for that miscarriage at Whitehall gate, if any were, thu' greater have been than that is reported to be: We gave no direction for doing it, nor do we commend, must less justify it. But, however, we hope, that particular crimes shall not be imputed to a general cause, nor binder a general good : Nor if the major part of them, that accompanied us, had committed any outrages, in regard they had divested

emselves of their power, and laid it on the twenty, who are the representative body of the petitioners, it would be but hard justice to make them liable to the offences of others, nor ought it to be, we hope, at least, in a candid, or but indifferent construction, a scandal upon the petitioners, or crime upon the petition,

Concerning our preposterous delivery of the petitions, we desire the houses favourable construction; for, in that we presented it first to the house of lords, it was not for want of due honour or respect to the house of commons, but our want of experience in parliament-courses; which we hope may satisfy that honourable house.

All which we thought good to declare, that the world may know, that endeavouring for peace is a work acceptable, we hope, to God, his Majesty, the parliament, and kingdom; though, we believe, some, not altogether for a good conscience's sake, do oppose us. esteem their words as no slander, because they are nothing else: And, that posterity may know, that we, by seeking peace, are servants, as to private and particular men, so to the general and publick good.

But we




Written by Sir Henry IVotton, Knight, late Provost of Eaton College. London, Printed for William Sheares, 1642. Quarto, containing thirty pages.


fortunes of George Villiers, late Duke of Buckingham, which yet I have not undertaken out of any wanton pleasure in mine own pen; nor,

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