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Every Mans Caſe, OR, Lawyers Routed.

In ſeven Treatiſes, the Titles whereof you may find in the enſuing page.

O ye Sons of men, how long will you turn my glorie into ſhame; how long will you love vanities, and ſeek after lea­ſing.

Selah. Pſal. 4.2.

Thou ſhalt deſtroy them that ſpeak lea­ſing. The Lord will abhor bloudy and deceitfull men.

Pſal. 5.6.
Their mouth is an open ſepulcher, they flatter with their tongue. Deſtroy them, O God, let them fall by their own Counſel. Caſt them out in the multitude of their tranſgreſſions, for they have Rebelled againſt thee: But let thoſe that truſt in thee rejoyce; For thou Lord wilt bleſs the righteous, with favour wilt thou compaſs him as with a ſhield.

Written by John Jones, Gentl priſoner in the Fleet.

LONDON. Printed, and are to be ſold at the Cock in Pauls Church-yard. 1652.

SEVEN TREATISES IN Reference to the Reforming of the Law and Lawyers.

  • 1. Every mans caſe, or Lawyers Routed.
  • 2. The Judges Judged out of their own mouths.
  • 3. Eight obſervable points of Law, fit to be known by every Juſtice of Peace.
  • 4. The authority of a Juſtice of Peace.
  • 5. The new Returna Brevium; or the Law returned from Weſtminſter: to which is added the Petition of Right granted by King Charles the firſt.
  • 6. Jurors, Judges both of Law and Fact.
  • 7. Theery of bloud; or a true an­ſwer to thoſe 13 falſe Reaſons of the Filicers, Attornies, &c. for the maintenance of Capias, and Arreſt of men's bodies for Debt.

TO HIS EXCELLENCIE OL. CROMVVEL, Lord General of the Army of the Common­wealth of England. The Humble Petition of John Jones Gent. and others.


THat whereas your Petitio­ner Jones, and another were committed and kept priſoners in the Fleet by the Ba­rons of the exchequer, for execu­ting Commiſſions under the Seal of that Court, and Teſte of the Lord Wild for the diſcovering of diverſe lands in diverſe Counties forefeited to the Common-wealth, and con­cealed from them: Which your Pe­titioners have ſound out by the Oaths of lawful men, and returned as they were commanded, ſome of them to the ſaid Court upon the expirations of their Commiſſions. And have another unexpired with the Inquiſitions thereupon made & found in their hands, which Com­miſſions and Inquiſitions that were filed, the ſaid Barons having no­tice by the Lawyers hired to at­tend them by the Concealers of the ſaid Lands, that the Petitioner Jones wrot the book called Judges judged out of their own mouthes, and other books which he dedica­ted to your honour and your Army, againſt corrupt Lawyers and their unlawful practiſes, for their own unconſcionable gaines and extor­tions contrary to all Law, Juſtice and Equity, & in ſubverſion thereof, In their malignity to Jones, looked upon their own Commiſſions as erroneous and unwarrantable by Law (though preſidented by learned and Judi­cious Lawyers in former ages) which preſidents, the now Barons and Lawyers diſregarding for the reſpect aforeſaid, have ordered all the ſaid Commiſſions to be ſuppreſſed and no more ſuch to iſſue. And thoſe that were together with the ſaid In­quiſitions thereupon to be vacated, to the dammage of the Common­wealth found & to be fined 100000. The legallity of which proceed­ings is a matter of great concern­ment decidable by Law, wherein (if the Barons have erred in their Commiſſions, and Commands) The Commiſſioners that did but exe­cute the ſame, ought not to be in­priſoned and condemned by ſuch Barons, nor the Common-Wealths Intereſt be determined or waved by them, without Conſent of Par­liament and deciſion of the law up­on the matter at large, being too much miſchief to be committed or ſuffered to be done to the Common­wealth in the general, your Peti­tioners in particular, and to the Law it ſelf by ſuch dunſtable Barons, as dare aſſume the chair of Judicature, upon the ſtrength of their late un­reaſonable Statute for their excuſe by way of miſpriſion. Which is as much to ſay they may do what they lift under the name of miſtake. And ſo they may miſtake not onely the Law of England, but alſo the Law of God in both Teſtaments. In all which it is an Infallible Scrip­ture, Ignorance is no Plea.

The premiſſes tenderly conſidered, may it pleaſe your honours to mediat to the houſe that the commitee for the Regulating of the Law be im­powered to examine the Petitioner Jones and all his proceedings, and the legallity thereof, according to the ancient practiſe of the funda­mental Law of England; and al­ſo the illegallity and preſent pra­ctiſe of the now Judges and Law­yers, contrary to the former, and to certifie their opinions therein to the houſe for Reformation to be had as to Law ſhall appertain. And that none of the Judges or pro­ſeſſed Lawyers, who have declared themſelves, your Petitioner. Jones his adverſaries, be admitted to be his Judges, though members of the houſe, or of the Committee afore­ſaid. And that the Warden of the fleet be required to Inlarge your Petitioner Jones upon Reaſonable bayle to attend the ſaid Committee, and the houſe, until his cauſe be determined. And that the Barons be Commanded forthwith to reſtore the ſaid Commiſſions and Inquiſi­tions to the file, which they have or­dered to be taken off. And to iſſue more ſuch Commiſſions to any that ſhall require them in the behalf of the Common-Wealth. And that the Commiſſion & inquiſitions re­maining in the Petitioners hands be returned to the ſaid Committee to be determined accordingly.

And your Petitioner Jones ſhall pray, &c.

Dedicated to the Common­wealth in general with this ſhort epiſtle, As the voice of the peo­ple is ſaid to be the voice of God, let the glory of God be the voice and vote of his people. Amen yours Iohn Jones. The caſe is.

THat Right once ſo known ought to be ſo continued and maintained to the Right heir by the ſupream magiſtrate, who is the Immediat vice-gerent of God the Father, Protector of Right and truth, and hater of deceipts, and falſities, nay is all and always himſelf nothing but Truth, Right, Juſtice, Love, Mercy, and Equity, un­changeable, everlaſting, whoſe vice-Royes therefore ought not to carrry his ſword in vain, but defend Right, and cut off wrong at all times, all oppoſers and oppoſitions2 to the contrary notwithſtanding: And to reſtore and Revive right, if ſuppreſſed or mortified by any force or fraud: how or how long ſoever any falſe laws, made by falſe Lawyers, contrary to the laws of God and Nature, and to the great Charter of England notwithſtand­ing, proved by principles of Divi­nity, maxims of Law, And axioms of Philoſophy as followeth.

God is almighty Gen. 17.1. yet cannot lie Heb. 6.18. Lawyers can bend their tongue like a bow to ſpeak lyes Jer. 39.5. (In every court it Weſtminſter nothing more com­mon, eſpecially Chancery) They have made their ſtatutes of cham­pertite to deter all men but them­ſelves to take any part of poor mens Rights, to recover the reſt from their oppreſſors, that forciblie and fraudulently detain all from them: their ſtatutes of Fines and Recove­ries to Eſtabliſh the Right of the oppreſſed in the oppreſſor, their ſtatute of Limitation to continue that wrong for ever, that cannot be righted within ſuch a time as to their gain by both parties: They ſpin out with delayes in Law, and3 make the right that it can be but Remedileſs by their Law for ever. Their Statutes to impriſon men for debt, and make all banckrupts to inrich themſelves, and many more, which I ſhall not here ſpeak of in particular, but wiſh them for all their Inventions in general, to hear the word of the Lord, ſaying, ye ſcornful men that Rule his people, becauſe ye have ſaid we have made a Covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement. When all the over-flowing ſcourge ſhall paſs through, It ſhall not come unto us, for we have made lies our Refuge, and under falſehood have we hid our ſelves; Iſa: 28.15. Therefore thus ſaith the Lord, I lay in Zion, for a foundation, a ſtone &c. Judge­ment alſo will I lay to the line, and Rightcouſneſs to the plummer, and the hail ſhall ſweep away the Re­fuge of lies &c. And your Covenant with death ſhall be diſanulled &c. When the over-flowing ſcourge ſhall Paſs through, then ye ſhall be troden down by it verſ. 16.17.18.

God is everlaſting Deut. 33.27. Immutable in his promiſe and divine Counſel Heb. 6.18. his truth4 endureth to all generations Pſal. But the Vi­perous generation of Lawyers con­fine and limit it by their Statutes, that it ſhall by their conſents in­dure no longer, nor reach ſurther than they pleaſe. The lip of truth ſhall be eſtabliſhed for ever. Prov. 12.16. But Lawyers lips and la­bour run counter. Buy the truth and ſell it not Prov. 23.23. But Lawyers ſell the Law which in it ſelf is truth, and buy ſalfe titles. And purchaſe to themſelves great Reve­news without Right Pſal. 19.8.

God is a god of truth Pſal. 31.5. Iſa. 65.16. Jer. 10.16. 2. Cor. 1.18. And Commandeth his children not to lie one to another, Levit 19.11. Col. 3.9. And a Righteous man hateth lying Prov. 33.5. The devil is the father of lies and liets Jo. 8.44. He that ſpeaketh lies ſhall not eſcape Prov. 19.5. but ſhall periſh: verſ. 9. If a Ruler hearken to lies, all his ſervants are wicked: Prov 29.12. our Lawyers love lying and make their livings thereof. Whoſe ſons and ſervants they be, I leave to the Judgement of God and his Saints.


God is a God of peace, yea even the everlaſting Father and Prince of peace, of the Increaſe of his go­vernment and peace, there ſhall be no end, upon the throne of Da­vid and upon his kingdom to or­der it and to eſtabliſh it with Judgement, and with Juſtice, from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hoaſts will perform this Iſa. 9.6.7. Now my Lord Ge­neral, and all you valiant and in­comparable Commanders, officers & ſouldiers of the hoaſt of God, raiſ­ed and continued by Gods provi­dence for the Reformation, as well as preſervation of this our Engliſh, Iſrael, digeſt theſe promiſes of the Lord of hoaſts into your hearts, Act them with your hands, confide in his zeal who telleth you he will perform, & ſear not the vain threats of Babling lying Lawyers, who out of the confuſion which they find in their Conſciences, ſince they are uncaſed of their Canting pedlers french, have lately and frequently menaced you behind your backs, that if you ſhould offer to ungown them, they would unſword you: yet perſwade you to your faces6 that their ſaid Statutes and the like were by their predeceſſours de­viſed, and are by them maintained for preſervation of peace. Conſi­der what peace it is thateſtabliſh­eth wrong inſteed of Right de­ceipt & falſehood inſteed of Truth and Righteouſneſs. Is it a peace for any but themſelves and their Adherents, to withhold heir wrongfull poſſeſſions from the Right heirs and owners. Doth not the Lord tell you and them, there is no peace to the wicked? Iſa. 48.22. And Moſes forbid you to ſeek their peace, Deut. 23.6. Have not you a further promiſe of God which concerneth not them, ſaying, the Lord will bleſs his people with peace Pſal. 29.11. Not Scribes and Phariſes, the chief Lawyers in Chriſts time, who denounced eight woes againſt them. Matth. 27. Luke. 11. And not ſuch peace as can be ſeparated from Righteouſ­neſs, for ſaith the Royal Prophet, Righteouſneſs and peace have kiſ­ſed each other Pſal. 85.10. Believe them nor therefore that have heal­ed the daughter of my people ſlightly, ſaying peace, peace, when7 there is no peace. Were they a­ſhamed when they committed abt homination, nay they were not a all aſhamed, neither could they bluſh, Therefore they ſhall fall a­mongſt them, that fall at the time that I viſit them. They ſhall be caſt down ſaith the Lord Jer. 6.14.15.

God is a God of Love, and com­mandeth each child of his, thou ſhalt love thy neighbours as thy ſelf, Levit 19.18. Matth. 5.43. Mark. 12.31. were Lawyers Gods children, and loved their neigh­bours as themſelves, how could they cheat them as they do, and poſſeſs themſelves and their brood by force, fraud and deceipt of all they can of their neighbours rights, and by ſuch means make them­ſelves ſo potent and numerous a generation, as they are in this land. Yet if thou ſhalt ſay in thy heart Theſe nations are more than I, how can I diſpoſſeſs them. Thou ſhalt not be affraid of them: But ſhalt well remember what the Lord thy God did to Pharaoh, and unto all Aegypt Jer. 7.14.15. Thou ſhalt love the Lord thy God, and keep his charge and his Statutes, and8 his Judgements and his Comman­dements always. And know you this day, for I ſpeak not with you children, that have not known and which have not ſeen the Chaſtiſe­ments of the Lord your God, his mighty hand and ſtretched-out Arm, and his miracles &c. Deut Oh love ye the Lord all his Saints, becauſe he hath ſet his love upon you. Therefore will he deli­ver you Pſal 91.14. But favour no oppreſſour, and know that in a ma­giſtrate to ſpare them is to help them: Which who doth, let him hear what the Son of a Prophet aſks ſuch a magiſtrate, and Anſwers himſelf. Shouldſt thou help the un­godly, and love them that hate the Lord: Therefore is a wrath upon thee from before the Lord 2. Chron. 19.2. And learn of a Prophet theſe enſuing Characters of the ungodly. Who hate the good and love the evil, who pluck their ſkins from off them, and their fleſh from their bones, and chop them in pieces as for the pot, and as fleſh within the Cauldron (who when they ſhall be viſited) Then ſhall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear9 them, he will even hide his face from them at that time as they have behaved themſelves in their do­ings, Thus ſaith the Lord concern­ing the Prophets that make (his) people err, that bite with their teeth and cry Peace Micah More principles of divinity could I alleadge for this purpoſe, might I think theſe Joyned with all our experiences ſhould not ſuffice to delcribe our Weſtminſter Lawyers, in their own kinds and colours, but believieng thus much will ſerve for this time, I ſhall apply my ſelf to the Maxims of the Law of England, which I find conducing to the ſame end as followeth.

Firſt Right cannot dye ſaith Lit­tleton, Sect 479. And Cook upon the place fol 279. Yea, although the diſſeiſed ſhould Releaſe his Right to the diſſeiſee, or turn Te­nant, It is inconvenient that the Right ſhould dye, but live Recove­rable in and to his heir. Which if true (as all Maxims are or ought to be) How can our Recent and pre­ſent Judges and Lawyers, that mur­ther this everlaſting Right with their Statutes of Fines, Limitations,10 &c. maintain their predeceſſors Inventions againſt the Law of God, the great Charter, and this Maxim, without appearing manifeſt ſub­verters of the Law of England, which Doctor & Student affirmeth, and the mirrour of Juſtice proveth punctually by Analyſis. And theſe men themſelves ſometimes bragg of to be derived from, and grounded upon the Laws of God, and nature, According to the Adviſe of Eleu­therius the 3. to King Lucius recor­ded by Mr Fox & others, and con­ſequently Traitors to the Law and Common-wealth, whoſe eſtates Re­al and Perſonal-ought to be con­fiſcated to the uſe of the Common-wealth, from which they filched them (as I have proved to be their own cenſures in my treatiſe called Judges judged out of their own mouths) And their coſtly Carrion Carcaſes, fit to be hanged as 44. of their predeceſſors were in one year in King Alfreds time, as witneſs the mirrour page 239. 240. 241. 242. 243. &c.

Secondly it is a Maxim of Plou­den in his Commentaries upon the Law of England, Reſolved in the11 Earl of Leſters Caſe. That all hu­mane Laws made contrary, or not conſentaneous to the Laws of God and nature, although by Acts of Parliament, are void, and need no Repeal to vacate them: Which if true, how can our filicers maintain their blaſphemous Rea­ſons Printed, and publiſhed under their hands, and Continue their extortions. And how can the Judges and pleaders of the Law, Countenance or ſuffer them and their prothonotaries, and the Reſt of their miniſters, to continue their ſaid extortions, and increaſe them more than ever before? And do the ſame themſelves without in­curring the penalties aforeſaid.

Thirdly it is a poſitive Maxim of Law declared in the great Charter cap 29. That no freeman of England ſhall be diſſeiſed of his Inheritance or birth-right, without the Judge­ment of his peeres and vicine neigh­bours. Which if ſo, how can any diſſeiſor diſſeiſe or diſpoſſeſs any freeman of England of his inheri­tance or birth-right by force or fraud? Or how can any Judge or pleader of the Law countenance, or12 maintain, or ſuffer ſuch diſſeiſes unreſtored by them to the right heirs without incurring like penal­ties as aforeſaid.

Fourthly it is another Maxime declared in the ſaid Charter cap. 11. and approved by the mirrour page. 234. That no Common Pleas ſhall follow the upper bench (which if true) how can the Judges of the upper bench by Law Commit men for debt, which is a Common Plea? That hath no Relation to fellony, treſpaſs upon the caſe, treſpaſs vi et armis, or any treſpaſs at all, to their marſhallſey, or any bayliff ar­reſt them, or any Gaylor Receive & detain them, upon bills of Mid­dleſex, and Latitates (which ex­preſly run for Treſpaſs) and fa­miſh them to death (an Incom­parable falſe Impriſonment and murther) in the name of Law and Cuſtom becauſe long practiſed, not onely without any colour of Law, but expreſly againſt it without in­curring like penalty as aforeſaid.

Fifthly it is a chief Maxim of the Law of England, that the Law it ſelf is and ought to be the onely Right, full, and ſufficient, Rule of13 all Judges and Lawyers, by which they ought to be ruled, and not offer or preſume to over-rule their Rule, which if they could but right­ly underſtand (ſaith Cook upon Magna Charta) would never ſuffer them to err; had Baron Tomlius un­derſtood this Rule, he had not tumbled himſelf upon his tellclock ſeat as he did to convay the poor opinion of a pratling Barreſter, which ſtood on his left hand to ano­ther Baron that ſate on his Right, to haſten my Commitment to the fleet, in reſpect of my books, not my cauſe or had his fellow Barons known how unlawfull it is that I ſhould be examined upon interrogatories, by or before ſuch Judges as declared themſelves my adverſaries in their open Court. Or how little I care for their malice, I believe they would not have been ſo haſty to commit me as they were, but ſhall Judges and Lawyers, that profeſs know­ledge in Law, ſubvert it when they pleaſe, by pleading miſpriſion, that is to ſay miſtake. And their late Statutes made for that pur­poſe, and alleadging, that if they ſhould be hanged, none would be14 Judges after them. Did King Al­fred find it ſo, did not a heathen King make the Son ſit Judge over a cuſhion, which he had cauſed to be made of his fathers ſkin, His Predeceſſor Judge in the ſame place, to mind him, that if he would violate the Law as his father did, he would ſerve him alike? doth not our Law compell men to be Shreiffs and Conſtables &c. If they Refuſe being choſen? And do not we find ſuch Refuſers, when they are ſworn officers, fittter and honeſter men than offerers. Are not I gno­rant intruders without either choiſe or approbation of their Countries, worthieſt to be hanged of all Inter­lopers, for taking & keeping places of Judicatures from more knowing Juſticers; Baron Thorpe inſiſted much in Court upon the ſtatutes of miſpriſion, whereof a Judge of his name could make no uſe to ſave his hanging, nor did his hanging deter the Baron to become a Judge, & an over-ruler of the exchecquer Court, though not half ſo knowing a Juſti­cer as his names ſake, or Wild his foreman. Who is ſo Juſt as to detain 500. l. Land a year from the Right15 heir, without any good title (as is Reported) And therefore thought it Juſt to wayve and damane his own Commiſſion to Inquire for ſuch things, and puniſh me for the ex­cuting of it. To conclude this point, were all prevaricating Law­yers hanged, honeſter men would be found for their places. And have they not incurred the ſaid penalty by this Maxim.

Sixthly, it is a Maxim of truth and common reaſon, chief grounds of our Common-Law, That force, ſraud and deceipt are the greateſt oppoſites and enemies to all Juſt Laws. And that all Juſt Laws are or ought to be ſufficiently power­full to ſubdue and ſupplant them. And that therefore it is that the ſword is put into the Magiſtrates hand not to hold in vain. And wiſ­dom put in his head to diſcern and prevent, or puniſh frauds and de­ceipts more dangerous than force, becauſe more clandeſtinely acted, & under colour of Law, while force thruſteth it ſelf to ſight, and defies Juſtice to her ſace, chance what will. This is Juſtice Northyes Reſo­lution, the other Bayliff, and Will­mot. 16But do not all ſuch Judges, as prefer wrong before Right, and falſhood before truth, Incurr the ſaid penalty.

Seventhly, it is a Maxim of Rea­ſon, that all nations are or ought to be governed by Juſt Laws. And that their ſupream Magiſtrates ſhould want no Power or means to execute their Laws, ſo that their Subjects ſhould have Right at all times without delay or partiallity, or more coſt than the cure is worth. And thus much was agreed upon between the Kings people of Eng­land, in and by the great Charter cap 29. And is not the great Char­ter confirmed by above 33 Parlia­ments, corroborated upon the Petition of Right Tertio Caroli, and Ratified by this Parliament, which if it be ſo, how can it be ſaid that any Statutes made contrary to the Law of God and nature, and the great Charter, ſhall ſtand up a­gainſt them, although not expreſly Repealed. Or how can they be al­leadged to bind the ſupream Ma­giſtrates, that are ſworn to do and maintain Right and Juſtice to all men, at all times, in all places17 of the land by their proper ſub­ordinates in every County from ſo doing, but by traitors to God and the Common-Wealth? or how can the Judges at Weſtminſter con­fine and contract all the Law of England in and to Westminſter, and into 4 terms yearly to be onely de­termined by them, that ſurcharged with multiplicity & aboundance, end not a Rich cauſe in 7 years, nor a poor mans while he lives. And when they ſeem to finiſh a cauſe or decree or Judgment, it is more to their gain than their necks are worth, and coſt to their Judicated than their cauſes are worth, (nor do they commonly finiſh any cauſe at any time, but leave it upon a quillet, whereupon to revive it at their pleaſures without their incurr­ing like penalties as aforeſaid.

Eightly, and laſtly, It is a com­mon Maxim, not onely of common reaſon, but alſo of the expreſs Law of England. That by the Law of the Land no man is bound to accuſe himſelf; If ſo, what mean­eth the Jeſuitical Spaniſh Inquiſi­tion, Introduced to the Exchec­quer and Chancery of England to18 interrogate men againſt themſelves, and impriſon them untill (to attain their liberties) many faint-hearts are forced to perjure themſelves, to accuſe themfelves of things where­of they are guiltleſs. That Judges and Lawyers and their Impes may beget cauſes to extort Fees as well by Innocent mens forced Oaths againſt themſelves, as by their own wilfull and malitious perjuries againſt all men but themſelves. Whereby contrarie to Saint Pauls Doctrine, that an Oath for confirmation is unto men an end of all ſtrife, Heb. 6.15. Lawyers make it a beginning, and contrarie to Gods command­ment, ſaying, love no falſe Oath, Zachar. 8.17. Lawyers love to force, procure, and multiply them. And ſhall they not incurre the ſaid penalty by this Maxim?

So much for Law Maxims for this occaſion at this time, to con­clude with Axioms of Philoſophy conducing to this matter.

Health is the greateſt happi­neſs man can deſire. Sphinx Theo­logica Philoſophica de Medicina, pag. 539. It is two fold, that is to19 ſay, firſt of the Soul, for which Chriſt is the onely Phyſician, who to eaſe man of his ſin, the chief cauſe of all diſeaſes, both Ghoſt­ly and humane, took upon him­ſelf, that had none, all the ſins of the World. And died to re­deem all penitents from eternall death, the due puniſhment for ſin. The ſecond is of the body, for which the beſt man Phyſici­an called by God to that voca­tion, and gifted accordingly, is to be honoured before many, be­cauſe by his faculty with Gods aſſiſtance the Corporal afflictions of many are reſtored to ſound health, the agony of others qualified; And which is moſt of all wor­thy conſideration, ſtayes the Souls of many in the priſons of their bodies (by Gods Providence) un­till longer and ſeaſonable times of Repentance & amendment of their lives. And theſe are the gifts of God, and endeavours of good Phy­ſicians.

Contrary-wiſe our Judges and Lawyers, and their monſtrous ma­ny headed whelps requite their patient profitableſt clients with,20 not onely ſickneſs both of ſouls & bodies, but alſo the death of both, ſo far as in their power lieth, as is proved by wofull experience thus. Debters, not able to pay their debts, are committed for their debts upon capiaſes, Latitates, and out-laries for treſpaſs, by the Judges of the upper bench, be­ing no Judges in that caſe, to their marſhallſie; become there ſickned in their minds and ſouls upon ſuch their commitments, conſide­ring there is no Law to Warrant ſuch doings, but the willfull Cu­ſtoms and practiſe of the ſaid ſup­poſed Judges, to murther men in and under the name of their Law, for their own gain and ſuperflu­ities, worſe than high-way-men that act manfully to relieve their wants. By the name and Cuſtom of Lawleſs neceſſity, for which, if convicted of the fact, they ſub­mit to the Law, which Lawyers would defeat by calling their facts miſpriſions, which in effect are priſes leſs lawfull than Robbers, and more abuſefull to the Law and Common-Wealth, becauſe committed under colour of Law21 and Juſtice. Further the ſickneſs of the minds and ſouls impriſoned, is aggravated with the conſidera­tion of the wants, and miſeries which their wives, children and fa­milies (that were wont to be ſu­ſtained by their libertie to care and provide for them) muſt indure by their Captivitie, their bodies and their families participating of theſe and more griefs of their ſouls. But more ſenſible of their hunger and thriſt, cold, and nakedneſs when they have ſould even their apparrell as well for night as day, to pay their Goalors and their ma­ſters extortions; and prolong their own miſeries ſo farr as their abi­lities laſt. And the cruelty of their Goalers (when they fail to bribe them) in crouding them in dun­geons where they muſt infect on another, with a neceſſitated Con­tagion cauſed by their Goalers covetouſneſs, to gain by hiring all the Rooms and liberties of the priſon, ordained by Law to lawfull priſoners, to cheators, voluntary priſoners, & willfull aſſumers of the denomination of priſoners, to de­feate their Creditors of their Rights22 by which they live Riotouſly upon their Creditours charge, & their Cre­ditours periſh for want of their own. Judges, Lawyers, Gaolers live, & flou­riſh by the ruine of them both, grant­ing liberties to all ſuch ſaid chea­tours, contrary to all Law, to walk and take their pleaſures as they liſt, ſome throughout England, and o­thers to the Eaſt and Weſt-In­dies. And thereby feaſting their bo­dies and their Impes upon the faſt of their finders, and thriving in their wickedneſs till God rebuke them. The Warden of the Fleet I find by Law is no Goaler within the Statute of H. 6. And by experience a Gentleman merci­full and affable to the poor, ſatiable and unburthenſom to the Rich, compaſſionate, and comfortable to all his priſoners, ſo that (by Gods providence and his clemency,) he and we live wholſom in our bodies, and cheerfull in our hopes. I write not this digreſſion in flattery; but in duty to declare truth as I find it. So returning to my tenet, it is the ſickneſs and death of the Souls and bodies of all their Clyents and their Families, (except thoſe of their23 Conſorts) that the Art of our mo­dern Lawyers practiſeth upon, And if perchance they eaſe a Rich clyent of ſome part of his pain for their own extraordinary gain (ex­cept their deed be taken for their will) they ſhall hardly obtain hea­ven by their merit. Theſe are the inſtigations of the Devil, & indeavours of bad Lawyers. It is the health of their patients ſouls and bodies that the art of Phyſitians worketh upon. And although ſome Medica­ſters, that have not the art, Intrude into the profeſſion, and kill more than they cure for want of ſkill, not good will, their will being taken for their deed pleads more in mercy than Lawyers miſpriſions.

It is an Axiom which Theode­ctes a famous Philoſopher, Cited by Stobaeus in his 66. Sermon, That all men endowed with natural abillities deſire 2 things before they have them, which many when they have them, deſire to be rid of. That is to ſay old age and wives. Cicero upon Cato Major maintai­neth the ſame in effect. The cau­ſes of theſe 2 deſires are twofould. That is to ſay in good men for24 divine ends, In bad men for their worldly pleaſures, Their ſummum bonum, beyond which they have neither hopes nor deſires: But for the deſires of good men to be old men, Ambroſe Hex lib 1. ſaith, that although old age, in moſt men, is moſt ſubject to corporal Infirmi­ties, It ſooner endeth the miſe­ries of this life, and openeth the gates to a happier. In good man­ners it is moſt decent, In Counſel moſt ſubtile, in conſtancy to im­brace death moſt ſtable, in Re­preſſing luſts moſt ſtrong, and fi­nally the Infirmitie of the body, is the ſobriety of the mind.

In bad men their deſire of old age is to prolong their earthly pleaſures in their enjoyment of o­ther mens Rights, which they poſ­ſeſs by force, or fraud or both, and famiſhing the Right heirs in dun­geons, while they pamper their own bodies and their Impes in their ſumptuos Pallaces, built up­on their priſoners Inheritances. Living in which Condition we may obſerve them in their health ſe­cure, in their ſickneſs timorous, and Commonly diſtracted, in their25 deaths deſperate, in manners rio­tous, in counſel wicked, in luſts inſa­tiable, finally the ſtrength of their bodie is the madneſs of their minds. And are not theſe the true Characters of our Lawyers and their adherents. To the next point, good men love to meet with good Wives, like Iſaac and Rebecca, to be their Conſorts, Comforts and helpers in goodneſs, to propagate Saints as well by their examples of life and Converſation, as by their naturall endowments to ac­compliſh the end of their Creati­ons, that is to ſay, to fullfill the number of the elect, to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven by the merits of their Saviour. And in the time of their pilgrimage, and way thi­ther, to indeavour the Increaſe of the glory of God, and the Peace, Love, and Unity, of his people in this world. Bad men deſire weal­thy wanton mercenary Wives, to be their Companions and helpers in miſchiefs, as Iſabel was Achabs. To incarnatè and multiply De­vils as well by their examples of life and Converſation, as by their natural endowments to accom­pliſh26 the end of their miſcreancie. Briefly to cooperate with them in all endeavours to increaſe the deluſions and dominion of the De­vil, and the ſedition, hatred and en­mity of this world. So that at laſt they muſt as brothers in Iniquity, with Antichriſt, become poſſeſſed of hell, where there is endleſs ſorrow and gnaſhing of teeth, a place provided for them before the world began, from which God deliver us: But are not theſe alſo true characters of our Lawyers?

Popes, that have thought them­ſelves as omnipotent as Common Lawyers, never offered to divorce men from their Wives, but where they Judged the marriage unlaw­full for ſome Reaſon, or pretence of Reaſon in their Laws. But our Lawyers and their Goalors &c by fetching men from the Remoteſt parts of England to Weſtminſter, and Committing and detaining of them for debts, or moſt com­monly for ſuppoſed debts or treſ­paſſes without any colour of Law, while their adverſaries (moſt fre­quently Lawyers Attorneys) &c. In­ſinuate, ſollicite, and at laſt, by27 their diligence, lies, falſe meſſa­ges from their huſbands, and other diabolicall practiſes, over­come their feminine frailties, and make them their Whores, get their conſents to poſſeſs them­ſelves of all their huſbands eſtates, reall and perſonall, conſume part of the perſonall to feaſt their Whores at the lower end of their tables, where their own Wives ſit at the upper, and their families be­tween. While they contrive Con­veyances with fines and procla­mations to aſſure their priſoners Reall eſtates to themſelves and their heirs, to which their bewitch­ed Whores give way, and their Impriſoned huſbands never hear of the matter till too late to be re­medied by our Lawyers Law. Is not this more and worſe than a po­piſh divice: Others they fetch from nearer parts Priſoners to their Marſhallſeas, ſuffer their Wives to boord and bed with them untill they have ſould beds and all, and then failing to ſatisfie extortions, their huſbands are dungened and their Wives caſt & kept out in the ſtreet, except yielding to the luſt28 of a turn-key, ſuch as he liketh, be let in to ſerve his turn and after turned again to the reſt in the ſtreet, where often they and their children ſtarve, not daring when they find any ſcraps to aneer their huſbands and parents, to relieve them with any till all be ſtarved. In ſtreets and dungeons Huſbands Wives and Children. Creditors look after your debts, what might have payed you part, if nor all in time, had you taken a lawfull Courſe, Goalers and their partners have parted in fees, uſurer dye with grief, not for the loſs of thy debters but the debt and boaſt of thy Revenge, thou haſt dice of his bones. Is not this more and worſe than the Popes divorce, yet more and worſe then this, Judges and Goalers do in diverting and reſtraining the Saints of God from his ſervice, and hearing of his word preached, by which faith commeth and is maintained, ſo farr as in them lieth, except when in malice to ſome Orthodox miniſter, not love to the priſoners they caſt him amongſt them, not to the end to better them, but to worſe himſelf.


The premiſſes conſidered, Let all men aſſure themſelves, God hath a greater quarrel with this Nation than can be appeaſed till the land be cleared of ſuch Achans. Par­liament ſpue them out, Army drag them out, to quarter them is freer for thee than any free quarter in the Countrey. Becauſe their wealth, filched from the Common-Wealth, ought to be reſtored to it, and to thee firſt that beſt deſerveſt thy ſhare therein Read the Hiſtories of England, and find Lawyers the cauſes of all our Civil Wars in all ages, obſerve what ſucceſs we have at this preſent by imploying men of that profeſſion to mediate with forriners for Peace, and ſo ſouldiers look to your own, and fare well upon your own, which the Law maketh and will maintain to be your own as ſhall be made good to his death, by your faithfull and loving friend

Iohn Jones.

The Generall Caſe concerning the relief of right Heirs, diſ­poſſeſſed of their Eſtates by force and fraud

THat Right once known ſo to be by Records, or other ſuffi­cient teſtimonies, ought to be ſo continued and maintained by the Supream Authority, appeareth by the writ of Right both patent and cloſe, both in the Regiſter and Fitz-Herberts Natura Brevi­um declared at large, commanding inferiour Magiſtrates to hold right in its right place againſt all de­forcement committed by force or fraud, and that without delay, and ſo righteouſly and fully, Ne amplius inde clamorem audiamus.

2. That as what is right, is juſt, & what is juſt, is right; So the Supream power is bound to maintain both, without deniall, delay, or corrup­tion, appeareth by the great Char­ter, which ſaith, we ſhall deny, delay, or ſell Juſtice to no man.

3. That not to do right and maintain it, is in a Magiſtrate, to do wrong and maintain it, is a Principle of common reaſon, which is one of the chief grounds of all humane Laws.

4. That all Supream Magi­ſtrates, are or ought to be bound by Oath to maintain right and truth againſt force and fraud, to all their Inferiors; and both to reſtore and defend the oppreſſed, and puniſh the Oppreſſor, appeareth by the Oaths of Kings, and late Co­venants and Votes of this Parlia­ment, the performance and pra­ctiſe whereof, is all that ought to be wiſhed by any wronged perſon.

5. That by virtue of ſuch Orths, Votes, and Covenants, & the Autho­rity upon that Truſt ſetled in the Su­pream Magiſtrate, he becometh in­tereſſed in all mens Rights; ſo that when they are wronged, the Party grieved ought to ſue for re­dreſs, as well for the State, as for himſelf, as appeareth by the Writ of Deceipt and diſcourſe there­upon in Fits. Herbert; Natura Bre­vium, and the Regiſter, and Raſtall and Cooks. Books of Entires at large.

6. The Sepream Magiſtrate be­ing ſo inveſted in the right of the oppreſſed, cannot be diſinveſted, diſſeiſed, expulſed, or outed of that Right by any inferiour, having the poſſe or Power, not onely of the County, but alſo of the Law and Common-Wealth, to right and re­ſtore the Party expulſed to that Right remaining in the Eye of the Law fixt in the Magiſtrate; ſo that it can be ſaid to be but intruded upon, and wrongfully detained from him, and not diſſeiſed or ex­pulſed, and the Party grieved and expulſed of his right of poſſeſſion, hath a right of Inheritance by deſ­cent, as appeareth by Inquiſitions upon poſt mortem, where the Party grieved is found Heir to his Father or Coſin; and ſaid, that the Inheri­tance of right, is deſcended and come Prout Lex poſtulat to him, and the Writ of Right determineth as well the right of Inheritance, as the right of poſſeſſion, as appear­eth by the judgements thereupon related by both Raſtall and Cooks Books of Entries at large.

7. That the late Statutes for Champertie, Fines, and Limitations, reach not to the Supream Magi­ſtrate, that is ſworn to reſtore and maintainright, without any reſpect of time, perſon, or condition, appeareth rational and neceſſary in conſtru­ction of Law, to ſave his Oath.

8. That they are void Laws, ap­peareth by three Reaſons, ratified by ſound and approved Lawyers: Firſt, for that they are contrary to the Law of God, which admitteth of no time or means to bar or keep a man from his Right, but his own Decree upon the merit of the Par­ty interreſſed; as the Captivity of the Iſraelites in Babylon & Aegypt for ſeaſons; or the conſent of the Party to deveſt himſelf of his Right by ſlighting it; as Eſau ſold his Birtht right for a meſs of Pottage: Secondly, for that they are againſt the great Charter which alloweth of no Diſſeiſion or Poſſeſſion gain­ed thereby: Thirdy, for that, where Deceipts are the Grounds of Fines, thoſe Deceipts found and proved, ſhake off all Buildings raiſed there­upon, as appeareth by the pro­ceeding uſuall upon that Writ in the Books of Entries and Tearms of the Law.

9. That Parties grieved have uſed to intitle the Supream Power for the time being to their Rights of Inheritance, by Gifts, Grants, and Forfeitures, upon Conditions not performed, whereby to over-power thoſe that over-powred them appeareth by ſeverall Preſidents extant.

10. That the Exchecquer, is the proper Court for the intituling of the Supream Power to ſuch rights, appeareth by the Great Charter, which eſtabliſhed it ſeverall Ages before the Chancery came to being: and the practice there was never diſcontinued, as appeareth by Com­miſſions granted to inquire, and Inquiſitions returned there, and Proceedings had thereupon in all ages.

11. That the Supream Power being intituled, ought not to be ſuſpended or Wayved without his conſent, is to be conſidered.

12. That an Attachement be­fore ſummons, is an unlawfull Pro­ceſs, eſpecially againſt ſuch, as of­fer to appear gratis, appeareth more haſty, than wiſe in the Procu­rers.

The premiſses conſidered, and the Weight thereof being matter of Law, and the proſit tending to the enabling of the Parliament to pay their debts, and diſoharge their Truſts to the Common-Wealth, and the oppoſition made in this caſe, being but by ſuch as have gained the Estate, and Right of the Com­mon-Wealth to their own parti­cular poſseſſion by fraud or force, and further gained Acts of Par­liament contrary to the Law of God, and the great Charter, to ſet­tle them in other mens Rights, un­der pretence of a peaceable way, contrary to the Scripture, No Peace to the wicked, let all honeſt and right Chriſtians deliberately ponder the matter, and ayd the Truth in what they may, ſo cra­veth the well-wiſher of all ſuch,

Iohn Jones.

About this transcription

TextEvery mans case, or, Lawyers routed In seven treatises, the titles whereof you may find in the ensuing page. Written by John Jones, Gentl prisoner in the Fleet.
AuthorJones, John, of Neyath, Brecon..
Extent Approx. 46 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 23 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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Bibliographic informationEvery mans case, or, Lawyers routed In seven treatises, the titles whereof you may find in the ensuing page. Written by John Jones, Gentl prisoner in the Fleet. Jones, John, of Neyath, Brecon.. [9], 29, [6] p. Printed, and are to be sold at the Cock in Pauls Church-yard,London :1652.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "July 5".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Lawyers -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Law -- Great Britain -- Early works to 1800.

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