24. Petition of Twelve Peers for the summoning of a new Parliament.

[August 28, 1640. State Papers, Charles I, Domestic, cccclxv. 16. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 199.]

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty.

The humble Petition of your Majesty's most loyal and obedient subjects, whose names are here underwritten in behalf of themselves and divers others.

Most Gracious Sovereign,

The sense of that duty and service which we owe to your Sacred Majesty, and our earnest affection to the good and welfare of this your realm of England, have moved us in all humility to beseech your Royal Majesty to give us leave to offer unto your princely wisdom the apprehension which we and other your faithful subjects have conceived of the great distempers and dangers now threatening the Church and State and your Royal person, and the fittest means by which they may be removed and prevented.

The evils and dangers whereof your Majesty may be pleased to take notice are these:

That your Majesty's sacred person is exposed to hazard and danger in the present expedition against the Scottish army, and by occasion of this war your revenue is much wasted, your subjects burdened with coat-and-conduct-money, billeting of soldiers, and other military charges, and divers rapines and disorders committed in several parts in this your realm, by the soldiers raised for that service, and your whole kingdom become full of fear and discontents.

The sundry innovations in matters of religion, the oath and canons lately imposed upon the clergy and other your Majesty's subjects.

The great increase of Popery, and employing of Popish Recusants, and others ill-affected to the religion by law established in places of power and trust, especially in commanding of men and arms both in the field and in sundry counties of this your realm, whereas by the laws they are not permitted to have arms in their own houses.

The great mischiefs which may fall upon this kingdom if the intentions which have been credibly reported, of bringing in Irish and foreign forces, shall take effect.

The urging of ship-money, and prosecution of some sheriffs in the Star Chamber for not levying of it.

The heavy charges of merchandise to the discouragement of trade, the multitude of monopolies, and other patents, whereby the commodities and manufactures of the kingdom are much burthened, to the great and universal grievance of your people.

The great grief of your subjects by the long intermission of Parliaments, in the late and former dissolving of such as have been called, without the hoped effects which otherwise they might have procured.

For remedy whereof, and prevention of the dangers that may ensue to your royal person and to the whole state, they do in all humility and faithfulness beseech your most Excellent Majesty that you would be pleased to summon a Parliament within some short and convenient time, whereby the causes of these and other great grievances which your people lie under may be taken away, and the authors and counsellors of them may be there brought to such legal trial and condign punishment as the nature of the several offences shall require, and that the present war may be composed by your Majesty's wisdom without bloodshed, in such manner as may conduce to the honour and safety of your Majesty's person, the comforts of your people, and the uniting of both of your realms against the common enemies of the reformed religion. And your Majesty's petitioners shall ever pray, &c.

Rutland. Bolingbroke.

Fra. Bedford. Mulgrave.

W. Hertford. W. Say and Sele.

Rob. Essex. Rob. Brooke.

Exeter. E. Mandeville.[1]

Warwick. Ed. Howard (of Escrick).[2]

[1] Baron Kimbolton in his own right.

[2] The signatures as here given are no doubt the correct ones, as the copy on which they appear has a note on it in Nicholas's hand. Other copies with a different set of signatures were in circulation, one of which, containing several errors, appears in Rushworth. As the signatures are scattered about the paper, I have placed them in order of precedence.


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