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EVERY MANS CASE: Or, A brotherly Support to Mr. LARNER, Priſoner in the new Priſon in Mayden-lane.

My true Friend and Brother,

BY Reaſon of your Sufferings, I am much ſadded, eſpecially to conſider, that good men ſhould ſtill be ſubject to the Tyranny of the late High-Commiſſion Promoters, and Informers, the Stationers, through whoſe malice, both You and your Servants are thus Impriſon­ed: Wee have known and obſerved them a long time, how they have been a naughty and vexatious people to all Good Men, as miſ­chievous as any Pattentees in England: In the Biſhops, times, they were like Setting-Dogges, to hunt Good Men and Women into the Star-Chamber, and High-Commiſſion Netts; and wee ſee, it is to little purpoſe to put downe thoſe Courts, and not Puniſh thoſe wicked men; for they hate all that are honeſt in their hearts, becauſe they that are honeſt, are againſt their Patent: and therefore they ſtuddy night and day: how to undoe them, and are like Mothes in the State, creeping into imployment, upon pretext of doing great ſervice, but indeed, being corrupt themſelves, endeavour to make others ſo too, and miſlead them that give care to them, into ſuch courſes, as will in time make them odious to the: World, ſo true it is, that thoſe that touch Pitch, ſhall be defiled therewith.

And ſuch as they have been, ſuch they continue, for without doubt, they are the principall cauſe why this inhumaine courſe of examining men up­on Intergatories is continued, eſpecially in criminall cauſes, notwithſtanding it hath been ſo cryed out upon by Parliaments, by Martyrs, Miniſters, and all true Chriſtian Lawyers, as a thing againſt the Lawes of God, of Nature, Nations, and of this Kingdome, (as was faithfully pleaded the o­ther day in Colonell Lilburns caſe, at the Lords Barre,) in which Caſe, and likewiſe in another of greater moment, about a Petition rejected by their Lordſhips, their Lordſhips have dealt ſo Nobly, and Worthily, as hath put their Honours paſt all hurt or blemiſh, from ſuch Paper-pellets, as have unhappily occaſioned your ſufferings: And if all other Parties, intimated in that Paper, (Londons laſt Warning,) prove when they are tryed, as their Lordſhips have done, the Author will have cauſe to repent his too haſty Zeal. And certainly their Honours had paſt it over, and had not inſiſted thus upon you, but upon the Stationers inſtigation, and misinformation; and will not perſiſt to examine Free Commoners, ex Officio, nor Ser­vants againſt their Maſters, againſt their Wills: all ſorts of People, great and ſmall, ought to doe as they would be done by; and God by his Providence faileth not firſt or laſt, to render meaſure for meaſure; Therefore I hope, their Lordſhips will give eare no longer to the malitious ſuggeſtions, and inſinuations of wicked men, but upon conſideration of your faithfulneſſe to the Parliament, the affliction of your Wife, and family; and that a ſmall time of impriſonment may undoe you and them, they will not retaine you longer, but ſet you free, and look upon the Stationers, as Cankers of the Common-wealth, and deſtructive to all true Honour.

However, you doe well to ſtand in the Liberty, wherein God, and the Law of the Land hath made you free, and not to be intangled with any yoake of bondage; the greateſt whereof, is for a man to be bound to Accuſe himſelf, or another: and next thereunto, is to be enforced, to be Tryed otherwiſe then by his Peers or Equalls, in both which, you have carried your ſelf like a true Engliſh-man, chuſing rather to ſuffer impriſonment, and great affliction, then betray your native Liberties, and the Liberties of your Country, for which, all good People will ever love and reſpect you, and all others, who have done, or ſhall doe, as you have done herein.

Pilate is the firſt we read of, that endeavoured this cruell diſtorting of the mind, ſaying to our Bleſſed Saviour; I charge thee: by the Everlaſting God, tell us who thou art; a bad Preſident for Chriſtians to follow: and ſtrange it is, it ſhould be owned by any but Star-Chamber, High-Commiſſion, or Pattentee-Chriſtians, farre be it from any that would truely deſerve that holy Name, to owne ſo unholy a practiſe, and if any favour thereof, be to be found in any of our Legall Tryalls, though it be but to Anſwr Guilty, or not Guilty, as it came, and crept in by Tyranny, (for thoſe who know the Truth, know it to be ſo,) ſo ought it to be totally excluded by thoſe, who would be eſteemed true Chriſtian Law-makers, or Reformers.

The Lords, by the inſtigation of the Stationers, have taken offence againſt you, wherein themſelves are Partees, and if there were no other Rea­ſon, it is moſt unequall, they ſhould be your Judges: But the Law of the Land is expreſſe, That you a Commoner, are not to be adjudged of Life, Limbe or Liberty, but by Commoners, who are your Peers, and that upon ſufficient Teſtimony of honeſt and faithfull Witneſſes, face to face, in open Court. Friend, you are upon a ſure ground, for theſe things are ſo eſſentiall, to the Freedom of the People, as Parliaments will never alter them; nor I hope, act contrary to them.

And therefore, however the Commons in Parliament, have (upon miſ-information,) delivered you up to the Lords, to be tryed by them, yet may they as well transferre all the Power they are intruſted with, by the generality of all the Commoners of England, and referre the whole Government, to the ſole diſpoſing of the Lords. And indeed, they have done little leſſe in this act, then delivered us all up to the Lords, for there is the ſame equity for their trying and Impriſoning mee, and ſo of every man, as for their trying and impriſoning you; So that your caſe in this particular, Is every mans Caſe, though generally, men are ſo ſottiſh, as to be ſenſible of the laſh, then, only when it falls upon their own backs, not conſidering, That they may ſuffer to morrow that miſery and calamity, which to day their Brother groanes under. I hope therefore, upon better conſideration, the Houſe of Commons will take you to their own Protection, and deal with you, as is juſtly due to every Commoner, and not hold you in Priſon, unleſſe by faithfull and credible Witneſſes, they find by the Law of the Land, you are guilty of a crime deſerving the ſame.

And that moſt be no ſmall one, for beleeve it, our Fore-fathers eſteemed Impriſonment no ſmall Puniſhment. Frequent Impriſonment, is an effect of exorbitant Power, by which, ſooner then by any other meanes, plain and mean People are brought to ſtoop to the Wills of the Mighty: it being the way to deſtroy them, their Wives, and Families, by keeping them from their trades, husbandry, and other Callings: and hath ſerved more then any one thing to breake the Spirits of the people: being a ſubtill politick puniſhment, that makes, and keepes men tame, and fit for ſlavery, where­as all other puniſhments, if injurious, makes people wilde, and therefore this hath been practiſed by thoſe that have moſt encroached upon the Liberties of the Engliſh, as will appeare by Proceedings of foarty or threeſcore yeeres laſt paſt in Court, City, and all Countries, every trifle hath been ſufficient to procure an Impriſonment, and the Land groaneth under this intollerable burden ſtill. But of all other Teſtimonies of our Bon­dage, Cloſe Impriſonment is the moſt manifeſt: where a man ſhall be kept from the ſight of his Friends, and Comforters in his bonds, and in a gaſt­ly apprehenſion of he knows not what miſchief may befall him, as hath formerly happened to divers great men, (that might be inſtanced in,) by meanes of the advantage wicked men have taken from the opportunity of ſafely doing miſchiefe to a Cloſe Priſoner. Next to the Rack, and Tor­ture, certainly this is the moſt unchriſtian, unmanly, and irrationall uſage of Free-men, and will we hope, in this time of Reformation; be utterly baniſhed out of this Land: Never had Parliament ſuch an opportunity as this hath; Nor are we to doubt, but they will performe the ſame: and I ſhould be glad to ſee ſome fruit thereof in their bearing towards you. And that they would look back upon the Stationers (and all other Monopo­lizers,) and remember them, when they ſhall make ſuit to have the Printing of the Bible, or for other favours, that they have dealt treacherouſly with the Parliament, and have miniſtred occaſion of much trouble and vexation to them, and many of their moſt faithfull Friends, being as the A­malekites were to the Iſraelites in their Paſſage from Egyptian bondage, to the Freedome of Canaan. God, I truſt, will at length remember them, and will alſo, I truſt, deliver you out of the power of their malice, and recompence you a hundred fold for theſe your Sufferings. The Commons in Par­liament have a right in you, which they cannot diſclaime, other Judges you have not; it is moſt unequall you ſhould have other, as I could in few lines demonſtrate, paſt all deniall; but I will not doe it now, and I hope, I ſhall not have further occaſion to viſite you in this kind; I doe not deſire it; I heartily wiſh you at home with your Family, as knowing a little longer impriſonment, may prove your utter overthrow: which would very much afflict the Spirits of your faithfull Friends, and would not be for the honour or profit of any. However, comfort your ſelf in GOD, and be well aſ­ſured, hee will never leave you, nor forſake you; And when the memories of thoſe Officious men, that ſollicite againſt you, ſhall be odious to all good men; you will be remembred, as one that knew and maintained the juſt Liberties of England, and ſhrunke not in time of Tryall.

About this transcription

TextEvery mans case or, A brotherly support to Mr. Larner, prisoner in the new prison in Mayden-lane.
Extent Approx. 11 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 1 1-bit group-IV TIFF page image.
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A84176)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 162592)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 246:669f10[52])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationEvery mans case or, A brotherly support to Mr. Larner, prisoner in the new prison in Mayden-lane. 1 sheet ([1] p.) s.n.,[London :1646]. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "may 2d: In London 1646".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Larner, William -- Early works to 1800.
  • Detention of persons -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Great Britain -- History -- Civil War, 1642-1649 -- Early works to 1800.

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  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-12 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A84176
  • STC Wing E3550
  • STC Thomason 669.f.10[52]
  • STC ESTC R210450
  • EEBO-CITATION 99869250
  • PROQUEST 99869250
  • VID 162592

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