Note: This is part of the Leveller Collection of Tracts and Pamphlets.
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T.66 [1646.06.16] John Lilburne, The Free-mans Freedom Vindicated (16 June 1646).
John Lilburne, The Free-mans Freedom Vindicated. Or A true Relation of the cause and manner of Lievt. Col. Iohn Lilburns present imprisonment in Newgate, being thereunto arbitrarily and illegally committed, by the House of Peeres, Iune 11. 1646. for his delivering in, at their open Barre, under his Hand and Seal, his Protestation, against their incroaching upon the Common Liberties of all the Commons of England, in endeavouring to try him, a Commoner of England, in a criminall cause, contrary to the expresse tenour and forme of the 29. Chap. of the great Charter of England, and for making his legall and iust appeal to his competent, propper and legal Tryers and Judges, the Commons of England, in Parliament assembled.
The pamphlet contains the following parts:
16 June 1646.
TT1, p. 445; E. 341. (12.)
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TRue bred Englishmen, that have a life to lay down, for the defence of your just Liberties and Freedomes, (for to such alone I direct my speech) against all incroachers, destroyers, and usurpers thereof, (be they what they will be) I desire to let you understand, that I your Countryman amongst many others, have imbarqued all that I have in this world, in this one vessell, cal’d the good Ship of good Hope, sayling in the troublesome Seas of England, bound for the long desired Port, called the safe injoyment of Englands liberties and freedomes, the direct roade tending thereunto, is the path of Iustice, without the sayling in which roade, it is forever impossible to arive there; And therefore fearing my Venture should lately miscarry, I tooke upon me the bouldnesse to write an Epistle to Judge Reeve, one of Englands Pilots, which hath occasioned a desperate Storm to arise against me in particular, though there be nothing but wholsome and sound advice therein contained.
And perceiving by my late being with the Judge, that it was not well taken, nor likely to provide for my safety, against Col. Edward King, one of Englands rotten members, and branches, fit for nothing but to be cut off, out of Englands pleasant and fruitfull Vineyard I thereupon writ further instructions to my Atturney, to draw up my Plea, which thus followeth.
To his faithfull and much respected friend and Attorney, Mr. Goorge Ingram, at his Chamber in Cliffords Inne, these.
IN the cause wherein Colonell Edward King is plantive against me, in an action for pretended words spoken by me again(st) him: I entertained you to be my Attorny, whereupon you appeared for me, and received Kings declaration the last Tearme to which I am now to plead, I desire you therefore to plead to the same, that the said Edward King long before the pretended words alleadged by the declaration, to be spoken viz. in August 1644. was by Master Muffenden and Master Wolley and divers others of the Committee of Lincolne, accused and charged before the Honourable House of Commons of high Treason, for his betraying the towne of Crowland unto the Enemy, as by the fourth Article of the said charge (whereunto reference being had) will appeare. And by the twelf Article of the said charge, the said Edward King is accused for the negligent losse and delivery up of Grantham to the Enemy, which is adjudged to be high Treason, Rot. Parl. 7. Richard 2. Num. 38. 39. 40.
And for further plea, that the said charge was before this action brought, and yet is still depending, and only examinable and triable in Parliament, neither is the said Colonell King yet acquited or tried for the same, besides plead also that I am a witnesse so the proofe of the said Charge, and so not compellable to make further answer, or other plea then this, untill the said King have had his triall upon the said Charge of high Treason in a Parliamentary way. This I hope the Court will accept and approve of, for a satisfactory and plenary answer and plea to his declaration, which you may draw up in forme as you shall find cause, whereunto I doe Authorize you, and for this pleading, this shall be your warrant and discharge, this I thought good to doe for the preventing of any colourable advantage, Colonell King might seeme to have, or any waies take through my neglect, or for want of a warrant to you to plead to his declaration, a judgment should passe for him against me by default.
I have written to Master Justice Reeve, setting forth the true state of the cause, a printed coppy I left at his house for him, which I perceive he hath perused, another I send you here inclosed, whereby you may be the better informed, and inabled to draw up my plea, and what you shall doe herein according to this warrant, I shall allow, in testimony whereof to this my warrant I have subscribed my hand, and set to my seale this ninth day of June 1646. and rest,
Sir, if you think fit to shew this to Judge Reeve or any other I shall approve of it.
Being moved out of mature consideration, to give him these instructions, because, (as I told him) if I should plead in a formall way to the Plea, guilty, or not guilty, I should thereby be the beginner of a dangerous president of destructive consequence to the wholl Kingdome, because that if a man intrusted, did turn traytor, and a company of honest men did endeavour, according to their duty, and to avoid the grievous sinne of perjury, did endeavour to bring him to condigne punishment for his treason, & for that end, referred Artickles of high treason in Parliament against him, with their names to them, and they, by reason of many publicke businesses, by reason of the warres in, & distractions of the Kingdome, cannot conveniently, for halfe a yeare, a yeare or more, try and adjudge the busines, the traytor or accused person, being a crafty fellow, full of ill gotten money, and corrupt Alies, and because that his tryall is delayed, he picks quarrels against his just prosecuters, and arests them in actions of 2. or 3000l. at the Common Law, for calling him (as really he is) traytor, and tosseth and tumbleth them, yea and it may be, by an unjust Puntillo in Law, brings them unto unavoidable ruine, by Common Law, which principally is inherent in the oracles of erring Iudges breasts, who it may be, two houres before he passeth sentence, is not resolved what to decree for Law, and so by this meanes every honest man that complaines of a knave or traytor in the Parliament, or is a party interested, in making good the charge against him, may by such wayes and meanes (by reason of delay in iudgement, which is not his fault) be brought by his cunning adversary into the Common Law Bryers, as I am by King, who ought by Law to be in Prison fast by the heeles) and so all honest men forever discouraged in such a cause, to complain of such transgressours, let them act treason against the State universall and representative, and do what they will; and this is just my case with Col. Ed. King, as by my printed letter to Iudge Reeve, I have truly & clearly declared.
But by my foresaid instructions sent to my attorney, I gave him authority (if he pleased) to shew them to the iudge, which for ought I know to the contrary he did, which it may be may occasion a complaint from him, or some others against me to the Lords, for immediately upon it, I am summoned before them, their warrant thus followeth.
Die Mercurij 10. June, 1646.
IT is this day ordered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, that Liev. Col. Lilburn, shall forthwith upon sight hereof, appeare before the Lords in Parliament, to answer such things as he stands charged with before their Lordships, concerning a Pamphlet, intittuled, the Just mans justification, or a Letter by way of Plea in Barr. And hereof he shall not faile, as he will answer the contrary at his perill.
Ioh. Brown. Cler. Parl.
To the gentleman Usher attending this House, or his Deputy.
The Officer comming Iune 11th. last past to my House, about 6. of the Clock in the morning, cal’d me out of my Bed, and after I had read his warrant, I told him that if there were not a tye of respect laid upon me to the Lords, for their faire and courteous dealing with me about my busines, that was lately depending before them, I would not in the present case, obey their warrant, nor twenty more of the like nature, but would defend my selfe in my own house (which is my Castle) against all that in such cases they should send unto me, to the death, because they have by the Law, no authority at all to mak me dance attendance upon them, in the present case, or to try me a Commoner, in any Criminall cause whatsoever, either for Life, Limb, liberty or estate, which I told him was the case now in and, for his own warrants did sumon me to appeare to answer a charge then before their Lordships, and this I wished him to tell them must be my plea at their Barre at which, having promised him to appeare, he departed, so sitting my selfe in the best manner the present In-comes of God inabled me for the brunt.
I tooke my Journey towards Westminster, and in the streets meditating, desired God according to his wonted manner to direct me, I presently had contrived in my own brain, without any humane help in the world, a Protestation and appeal, my heart being set up so high to go on with it, although it should be present death unto me, so I took sanctuary at a friends lodging to compile it in a method, which being done I transcribed it faire with my owne hand, and then set my hand and seale unto it, and being loth to run so high a contest with the House of Peers if by any meanes possible I could avoid it.
I repaired to a Lord a member of that House, and told him my whole heart in my intentions, shewed him my paper, and read part of it to him, and desired him to fill some more of the Lords of it, if he judged it convenient, that so they might a little better consider of it before they brought me to their Barre, and forced me to doe that that would tend to their extaordrnary dishonour, or my ruine and distruction, and doe it I both must and would by Gods assistance (I told him) if they called me to their Barre, telling him I judged it as base an action in me (both in the sight of God and man) to betray my knowne and fundamentall liberties, as with my owne hands to cut my owne throat, protesting unto him, that if he and the rest of the Lords indevoured to destroy Magna Charta and to tread, it under their feet, as they would doe if they medled with me in this case, I would draw my sword against them every man as freely as I would doe against the King, and the desperatest Cavalier with him, with much more that then I told him he departed to the House, and I imediatly by water followed him, and what he did in it I doe not fully know, but I was not called in till about one a clock:
And being commanded to their Barr, the Earl of Manchester (their Speaker) commanded Master Smith to show me my printed Epistle to Iudge Reeves, and asked me (to this effect) if I know that booke, and whether I did not leave (or cause to be left) one of them at Iudge Reeves house for the Iudge himselfe.
Unto which I replyed, my Lord, if it may stand with the pleasure of this House, I desire to know whether or no you have any formall or legall charge against me in writing, if they had I desired to see it? that so I might read it, and then I would give them an answer to their question
Whereupon after a little pawze and looking one upon another, the Earle of Stamford stept up and with much zeale pressed his Lordship to hould me to the question, (so saith the Earle of Manchester) answer to the question.
My Lord (said I) under favour, I conceive the thing I desire of your Lordship, is very just and rationall (& so it is if you consider their owne summons which expresly commands me to appeare before them to answere a charge) but if nothing will serve your turne but a possitive answere to the question, then my Lord there is an answere in writing under my hand and seale, which I will justifie and maintaine to the death, I beseech you it may be read;
And with this I gave my paper to Master Smith their Cleark then at their Barre: Whereupon the Earle of Lincolne stept up and said to the Speaker, my Lord what have wee to doe with his paper? command him to answer to the question.
Lieutenant Colonell Lilburne (saith the Earle of Manchester) the Lords command you to answer positively to the question, unto which I replyed my Lord, in that paper in Master Smiths hand is my answer to the question, and to all others whatsoever that you shall ask me, and no other answer I have to give you, neither shall I, and if that will satisfy you well and good, if not, seeke it where you can have it, for I for my part shall give you no other, where upon I was commanded to withdraw.
And one of the Lords commanded the Cleark to give me my paper, (for saith be, what shall wee doe with it) but I refused to take it, and tould them, I would not medle nor make with it, there it was, and it was enough to me, that I had delivered it at their open Barre, do what you will with it, for my Lords, I am as carelesse as you are, whether you will read it or no, so the Cleark threw it after me, but I would not medle with it, but withdrew, the words of which thus followeth.
Given to the Lords at their Barre, thursday Iune 11th. 1646. with his Appeall to his competent, propper, and legall tryers and Judges, the Commons of ENGLAND, assembled in PARLIAMENT.
THis morning I received a summons under your Clearks hand, to appeare upon sight thereof before your Lordships in Parliament, to answer such things as I am charged with before your Lordships, touching a Booke called by your Warrant, a Pamphlet intituled, the Iust mans Iustification, or a Letter by way of Plea in Barre. My Lords I tould your Messenger, Mr. Bakers sonne, that your Lorships had dealt friendly, honourably, and fairely with me in my apprehension, in my late businesse, being in a legall and Parliamentary way, transacted, first by the House of Commons, and so brought before your Lordships, which did lye as a tye upon my spirit, by way of Obligation, and now I would repay it, in laying aside (so far at present my priviledge, as I am a Commoner of England) as in obedience to your summons (salvo jure) to appeare at your Barre, although (as I told him) your Lordships, by Magna Charta and the Law of this Kingdome have nothing to doe with me, being a Commoner in any judiciall way, to try me in a criminall cause either for life, limb, liberties or estate, which is now the present case betwixt your Lordships and me, as appeares by your own summons, and this I desired your messenger to tell your honours must of necessity be my plea at your Barr.
But that it may appeare that I do nothing headily or rashly either in contempt of your just rights and powers, which I desire you may long enioy, alwaies provided, you endeavour not my ruin and destruction with them, neither out of any desire in the least to contest with you, which in me to doe, (I acknowledge) would argue abundance of ingratitude, it being my principle to do to others as I would be done to myself; and as much as in me lyes, to endeavour to live in peace with all men.
But to be robbed of my life, or give way to be made a slave to any whomsoever, either by a voluntary giving up, or in silent suffering to be taken from me, my native, naturall, just legall and hereditary freedomes and liberties, I am resolved rather to undergo all extremities hazards, miseries, and deaths, which possibly the wit of man can devise, or his power and tirany inflict.
And therefore my Lords, you being Peeres as you are called, merely made by prerogative, and never intrusted or impowred by the Commons of England, the originall and fountaine of Power, Magna Charta the English mans legall birth right and inheritance, so often bought and redemed with such great seas of blood, and milions of money, hath justly, rationally, and well provided that your Lordships shall not sit in judgment, or passe sentence in Criminall causes, upon any Commoner of England either for life, limbe, liberty or estate, but that all Commoners in such cases shall be tryed only by their Peeres and equalls, that is to say their fellow Commoners, as is amply and effectually declared in the 29. ch. of that great Charter, which previledge & immunity cannot justly be taken away from the free Commoners of England by any power whatsoever on Earth, without a better and larger given in the roome of it, for all betrusted powers must and ought to be for the good of the trusters, Book decl. Pag. 150.
And this Charter in al ages hath in an especiall manner been maintained, preserved and defended by our Progenitors, and in a speciall manner confirmed by 5. of Edward 3. ch. 9 the words be these, that no man from henceforth shall be attached by any accusation, nor fore-judged of life nor limb, nor his land Tenements goods or chattles, seised upon otherwise then by the forme of the great Charter, which is further confirmed by the said King, in the 25. of his Raigne, ch. 4. and by the petition of Right-made in the third yeare of this present King; and the Act made for the abolishing the Star-chamber &c. made this present Parliament, therefore my Lords as a free Commoner of England, I doe here at your open Barre protest against all your present procedings against me in this pretended Criminall cause, as unjust and against the tenor and forme of the great Charter (which all of you have sworn unviolably to observe and caused the Commons of England to doe the same. And therefore my Lords I doe hereby declare and am resolved as in duty bound to God, my selfe, Country, and posterity, to maintaine my legall liberties, to the last drop of my blood, against all opposers whatsoever, having so often in the field &c. adventured my life therefore, and doe therfore from you and your Barre (as incrochers and usurping Judges) appeale to the Barre and tribunall of my competent, proper and legall triers and Judges, the Commons of England assembled in Parliament: in testimony whereof, to these presents I have set my hand and seal, this present eleventh day of June, 1646.
And being not long without, the Gentleman vsher came civelly to me, and told me I must put off my sword and give it to some of my friends, for I must go a prisoner to Newgate, so desiring to see my Commitment, and to have a coppy of it before I stird to go, I had it accordingly, which thus followeth.
Die Iovis 11 Iune 1646.
IT is this day Ordered by the Lords in Parliament assembled, that Lievtenant Colonell Iohn Lilburne shall stand committed to the Prison of Newgate, for exhibiting to this house a scandalous and contemptuous Paper, it being delivered by himselfe at the Barre this day, & that the Keeper of the said Prison shall keepe him in safely, untill the pleasure of this House be further signified, and this to be a sufficient Warrant in that behalfe.
Ioh. Brown Cler. Parl.
My usage to me semes very strange, that for doing my duty, in a just way to bring Col. King to condigne punishment, I should be so tost and tumbled as I am, by his meanes, (that per Iure, ought to dye for his offence or at least by Law should be in durance, till he receive his just doom) clapt formerly by the heeles, (as in my epistle to Iudge Reeve is justly declared) and lately at Kings suite arrested upon an action of two thousand pounds, and brought into Court, that have nothing to doe with the businesse, it being dependant in Parliament, and there tyed up to such rules, formallities, and Puntillo’s, as all the reason I have, cannot understand, and then for writing my Plea, threatned, and told by the Judge himselfe I had forever undone my selfe, by endeavouring to root up by the roots, the fundamentall law of England, by which I enjoy my life, and all that I can call mine, though as I told his Lordship, although he were a Judge, yet under his Lordships favour I conceived he was in an error, I having not in the least, medled with any fundamentall, known or visible Law of England.
For the Law that I medled withall, was meerly, and onely an invisible, uncertain, and unknown Law, that resided in the Oracle of his Lordships breast, and his fellow Iudges, which (as I told him) I thought no man in England knew besides themselves, no nor I thought they themselves neither, no not two houres before they decreed, and adjudged it for Law.
And yet for all this I must be forced to dance attendance (contrary to Law) to answer a charge without forme or fashion in Law, at the Barre of the House of Peeres, who knew very well, or at least wise might know, that I knew as well as themselves their power, jurisdiction, and the Prerogative Fountain, from whence they sprung, as well as any of themselves, having sometimes discoursed of that subject freely with some of them.
And having lately (though unwillingly) contested with those, to whome by nature and interest, I am a thousand times more related unto then to them, meerely out of this principle, that I will not be a slave unto, nor part with my just liberty to any.
But I clearly perceive the hand of Joab to be in this, namely, my old back friend the Earle of Manchester the fountaine (as I conceive) of all my present troubles, who would have hanged mee for taking a Castle from the Cavaliers in York shire; but is so closely glu’d in intrest to that party, that he protected from justice Colonell King, one of his own Officers, for his good service in treacherously delivering or betraying Crowland to the Cavaliers, and never called, nor that I could heare, desired to call to account his Officer, or Officers, that basely, cowardly, and treacherously, betrayed and delivered Lincoln last up to the enemy, without striking one stroke, or staying till so much as a Troope of Horse, or a Trumpeter came to demand it, his Lordships Head hath stood it seemes too long upon his shoulders, that makes him he cannot be quiet, till Lievt. Gen. Crumwels Charge against him, fully proved in the House of Commons, be revived, which is of as high a nature I believe, as ever any charge given in there, the epittomy of which I have by me, & his Lordship may live shortly to see it in print by my meanes, and for my Lord of Stamford, at present I desire him to remember but one Article, made at the de-livery of Exeter, which it may be, may in time coole his furious endeavour to enslave the free People of England, the earthly Lord and Creator of his Creator, who I am confident do, and will scorn to be made slaves & vasssals, by the meer Creatures of their Creature the King. So being straightened in time at present, I bid you farewell, and rest.
THat your petitioner hath and doth look upon this Honourable House, as the chosen and betrusted Commissioners of all the Commons of England, in whom alone (by right) resides the formall and legall supreame power of England, and unto whom all the Commons of England have given so much of their Power, as to inable you alone, to doe all things whatsoever for their weale, safety peace and prosperity, the end of all Government, as is most excellently, by your Honourable declaration of the 17. of April last declared.
The knowledge and understanding of which, hath made your petitioner as a Commoner (in his Countries straits and necessities) to take up armes as his duty, to fight against the King (the servant of the Common wealth) and all the forces raised by his Authority (who sought to destroy the end of Government, the safety and weale of the people) and to be faithfull in your said service, in the midst of many deaths; contemning and slighting, the large proffers of the Kings Honours and preferments, sent unto him by foure Lords, when he was a prisoner for you at Oxford, for which he was imediatly laid in Irons night and day, lockt up close in a room, a Centinell set at his dore, that so he might not speak with any whosoever, forced to lye on the floore, kept without one farthing of allowance although he carried not one penny with him to the prison.
And within a few daies after was (for his continued resolution) arraigned (in Irons) as a Traitor for his life before Judge Heath, before whom he pleaded to his indictment, professing unto him at the open barre (when he pressed your petitioner to save himselfe) that he your supplyant was not seduced by any to take up armes, but did it out of a principle of duty to himselfe, his country and the Paliament, and that he was resolved to spend his blood in the defence of his owne and his Countries liberties; also your petitioner upon the same grounds, hath often been in the field since, and done good services, and hath continued faithfull in all his ingagements, and is resolved (by the strength of God) so to doe to the death.
Now for as much as the liberties and freedomes contained in the 28. & 29. chap. of the great Charter of England, are the best legall inheritance that your petitioner hath, and for the preservation of which, yee have so often sworne to spend your lives and fortunes, and injoyned the people that trusted you to doe the same, and for the maintaining of which, your petitioner hath run the hazard of so many deaths and miseries as he hath done, amongst which liberties and priviledges this is not one of the least (as your petitioner humbly conceives) that all Commoners whatsoever in criminall causes shall be tried by their equals or fellow Commoners; nevertheles the House of Lords (commonly so called) summoned your petitioner to their Barre to answer a criminall charge there, contrary to the tenour of the great Charter so often confirmed, and although your petitioner told their Messenger, and afterwards some of themselves, that by Magna Charta they had nothing to doe with your petitioner in such a case, and that if he were called, he must and would plead this at their Barre, cost it him what it would, and also intreated one of themselves, to acquaint the rest of his fellow Lords, that he must and would protest against them, and appeale to his competent proper and legall tryers and judges your Honours.
Yet notwithstanding they forced your Petitioner to their Bar, and would have compel’d him, contrary to Law, reason, and Conscience, and to the fundamentall liberty of all the free People of England, (so adjudged in his own case of the Star-chamber &c, by your honours and themselves) to answere to Interrogatories concerning himselfe, without shewing him any formall and legall charge in writing, although he earnestly desired to see it, if they had any, which was refused, and your Petitioner pressed again and again with much vehemency, by their Speaker, to answer verball questions, which forced your Petitioner to deliver at their open Bar his Protestation, in writing under his hand and seale, as also his appeal to your Honours, his competent, proper and legall Tryers and Iudges; a true Coppy of which is hereunto annexed, for which alone, they committed your Petitioner to Newgate prison, (as appeares by the Coppy of their commitment hereunto annexed) all which your Petitioner humbly conceives, tends to the disfranchizing him of his just liberties and freedomes, (and so to the making him a slave) and to the violation of their own Oathes and Covenants, and to the utter subversion, and alteration of the fundamentall Lawes and government of this Kingdome, for the preservation of which, so much blood and treasure hath already been spent.
Your Petitioner therefore, as a free-man of England, (who to his knowledge never did any act that deserveth the forfeiting of his birth-right) humbly appealleth to your honourable Bar and Justice, as his proper, competent, legall tryers and Iudges, and humbly prayeth.
For as much as he is a free Commoner of England, and ought not to be proceeded against, nor his liberties and freedomes to be taken from him, in any arbitrary or extrajudiciall way. And for that their Lordships have no power, nor jurisdiction, according to the Law and constitutions of this Kingdome, to try and adjudge any free Commoner thereof, for any criminall causes whatsoever, concerning life, limb, liberty, or estate; And for that your Petitioner is imprisoned, contrary to the form and tenour of the great Charter of England, and therefore altogether illegall, and meerly arbitrary; That your Honours will be pleased, according to your unparaleld Declaration of the 17th of April last, whereby is set forth, that you will not exercise, nor suffer to be exercised by any other, any arbitrary power, but that you will provide for the safety and weal of the People, (the primitive end of all government) according to the great trust reposed in you, and committed to you, by your Impowrers, the Commons of England, you will take your Petitioner into your protection, and not suffer him any longer to be kept in prison, and spoyled of his Franchizes and liberties. But according to the said Charter of liberties, your Protestations, Oaths and Declarations, the lawes and Statutes of this Kingdome, he may freely be inlarged out of prison, and restored to his just libertie, with iust reparations for his damages, for the great wrongs done unto him, by his reproachfull imprisonment in the infamous prison of Newgate, and the vindication and freeing of the whole Kingdome (according to their long and iust expectation) from the like usurpation, and encroachment of their iust rights and privledges, and your Petitioner shall ever be ready to spend his life for you, and his Countries iust liberties, and in obedience to all iust authority, to answer any Charge, when the same shall be in a legall way brought against him.
A Postscript, containing a generall Proposition.
GOD, the absolute Soveraign Lord and King, of all things in heaven and earth, the originall fountain, and cause of all causes, who is circumscribed, governed, and limited by no rules, but doth all things meerly and onely by his soveraign will, and unlimited good pleasure, who made the world, and all things therein, for his own glory, and who by his own will and pleasure, gave man (his meer creature) the soveraignty (under himselfe) over all the rest of his Creatures, Gen. 1. 26. 28. 29. and indued him with a rationall soule, or understanding, and thereby created him after his own image, Gen. 1. 26. 27. and 9. 6. the first of which was Adam, a male, or man, made out of the dust or clay, out of whose side was taken a Rib, which by the soveraign and absolute mighty creating power of God, was made a female, or Woman cal’d Eve which two are the earthly, original fountain, as begetters and bringers forth of all and every particular and individuall man and woman, that ever breathed in the world since, who are, and were by nature all equall and alike in power, dignity, authority, and majesty, none of them having (by nature) any authority dominion or majesteriall power, one over or above another, neither have they, or can they exercise any, but meerely by institution, or donation, that is to say, by mutuall agreement or consent, given, derived, or assumed, by mutuall consent and agreement, for the good benefit and comfort each of other, and not for the mischiefe, hurt, or damage of any, it being unnaturall, irrationall, sinfull, wicked and unjust, for any man, or men whatsoever, to part with so much of their power, as shall enable any of their Parliament men, Commissioners, Trustees, deputies, Viceroys, Ministers, Officers or servants, to destroy and undoe them therewith: And unnaturall, irrationall, sinfull, wicked, unjust, divelish, and tyranicall it is, for any man whatsoever, spirituall or temporall, Cleargy-man or Lay-man, to appropriate and assume unto himselfe, a power, authority and jurisdiction, to rule, govern, or raign over any sort of men in the world, without their free consent, and whosoever doth it, whether Cleargy-man, or any other whatsoever, doe thereby as much as in them lyes, endeavour to appropriate & assume unto themselves the Office and soveraignty of God, (who alone doth, and is to rule by his will and pleasure) and to be like their Creator, which was the sinne of the Devils, who not being content with their first station, but would be like God, for which sin they were thrown down into hell, reserved in everlasting chaines, under darknes, unto the judgement of the great day. Iude ver. 6. And Adams sin it was, which brought the curse upon him and all his posterity, that he was not content with the station and condition that God created him in, but did aspire unto a better, and more excellent, (namely to be like his Creator) which proved his ruin, yea, and indeed had been the everlasting ruin and destruction of him and all his, had not God been the more mercifull unto him in the promised Messiah. Gen. Chap. 3.
From my cock-loft in the Presse yard Newgate.
Iune 19. 1646.
Curteous Countrymen to fill up this vacant place I shall desire thee to reade the words of the Declaration of the House of Commons, published 27. Ianu. 1641. which you shall find in the 41. pag. of the booke of Declarations thus.
And this House doth further declare, That all such persons as have given any Councell, or endeavoured to set or maintain division or dislike, between the King and Parliament, or have listed their names, or otherwise entred into any combination or agreement, to be ayding, or assisting, to any such counsell or endeavour or have perswaded any other so to doe, or that shall do any the things above mentioned; And shall not forthwith discover the same to either House of Parliament: or the Speaker of either of the said Houses respectively, and desclaime it, are declared Publique Enemies of the State and Peace of this Kingdome, and shall be inquired of, and proceeded against accordingly.
Secondly the three Votes of both Houses May 20. 1642. which you shall find in the book of Declarations pa. 259.
Resolved upon the Question
1. That it appeares, That the King (seduced by wicked Counsell) Intends to make warre against the Parliament, who (in all their consultations and actions) have proposed no other end unto themselves, but the care of His Kingdoms, and the performance of all duty and loyalty to His Person.
Resolved upon the Question.
2. That whensoever the King makes Warre upon the Parliament, it is a breach of the trust reposed in Him by His people, contrary to His Oath, and tending to the dissolution of this Government.
Resolved upon the Question
3. That whosoever shall serve, or assist Him in such warres, are Traitors, by the Fundamentall Lawes of this Kingdome, and have been so adjudged by two Acts of Parliament, and ought to suffer as Traitors. 11. Rich. 2. 1. Hen. 4.
Joh Browne Cler. Parliament.
3. The Declaration of both Houses in pa. 576. in these words, Whereas the King &c.
4. The words in their Declaration for the vindication of Ferdinando Lord Fairfax. as you shall find pa. 914. in these words, The said Lords &c.