{dfp-include} Gardiner: Constitutional Documents of the Puritan Revolution

52. The King's Proclamation condemning the Militia Ordinance.

[May 27, 1642. Journals of the House of Lords, v. 111. See Hist. of Engl. x. 202.]

By the King.

A Proclamation, forbidding all His Majesty's subjects belonging to the trained bands or militia of this kingdom to rise, march, muster or exercise, by virtue of any Order or Ordinance of one or both Houses of Parliament, without consent or warrant from His Majesty, upon pain of punishment according to the laws.

Whereas, by the statute made in the seventh year of King Edward the First, [1] the Prelates, Earls, Barons and Commonalty of the realm affirmed in Parliament, that to the King it belongeth, and his part it is by his royal seigniory straightly to defend wearing of armour and all other force against the peace, at all times when it shall please him, and to punish them which do the contrary according to the laws and usages of the realm; and hereunto all subjects are bound to aid the King as their sovereign lord, at all seasons when need shall be; and whereas we understand that, expressly contrary to the said statute and other good laws of this our kingdom, under colour and pretence of an Ordinance of Parliament, without our consent, or any commission or warrant from us, the trained bands and militia of this kingdom have been lately, and are intended to be put in arms, and drawn into companies in a warlike manner, whereby the peace and quiet of our subjects is, or may be, disturbed; we being desirous, by all gracious and fair admonitions, to prevent that some malignant persons in this our kingdom do not by degrees seduce our good subjects from their due obedience to us and the laws of this our kingdom, subtilely endeavouring, by a general combustion or confusion, to hide their mischievous designs and intentions against the peace of this our kingdom, and under a specious pretence of putting our trained bands into a posture, draw and engage our good subjects in a warlike opposition against us, as our town of Hull is already by the treason of Sir John Hotham, who at first pretended to put a garrison into the same only for security and service.

We do therefore, by this our Proclamation, expressly charge and command all our sheriffs, and all colonels, lieutenant-colonels, sergeant-majors, captains, officers and soldiers, belonging to the trained bands of this our kingdom, and likewise all high and petty constables, and other our officers and subjects whatsoever, upon their allegiance, and as they tender the peace of this our kingdom, not to muster, levy, raise or march, or to summon or warn, upon any warrant, order or ordinance from one or both of our Houses of Parliament (whereunto we have not, or shall not, give our express consent), any of our trained bands or other forces, to rise, muster, march or exercise, without express warrant under our hand or warrant from our sheriff of the county, grounded upon a particular writ to that purpose under our Great Seal; and in case any of our trained bands shall rise or gather together contrary to this our command, we shall then call them in due time to a strict account, and proceed legally against them, as violators of the laws and disturbers of the peace of this kingdom. Given at our Court at York the 27th day of May, 1642.

[1] This is not printed amongst the Statutes of the Realm. See No. 54.


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