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A LETTER FROM A GRAVE GENTLEMAN once a Member of this Houſe of COM­MONS, to his friend, remaining a Member of the ſame Houſe in LONDON.

CONCERNING HIS REASONS WHY he left the Houſe, and concerning the late Treaty.

Printed in the Yeare, 1643.


I Am extreamly glad that in this time of ge­nerall Diſtraction and Ruine, (of which Pragmaticalneſſe and want of Charity are both the effect and the cauſe) there is yet ſo much Leizure and kindneſſe left, even in the moſt buſy and moſt ill-natur'd place, to admit a thought of a Perſon no more conſiderable, and to afford a letter to a Malignant and a Ca­valier, and that you put me not out either of your Memory or Your Care, when thoſe you live with put me out of the Houſe. And truly, if you could, in deſpight of the Infection of Your Climate, have as well preſerv'd your Logick as your good Na­ture, either you might have brought me to your Opinions, or have left me hopes that I might perſwade you into mine; Whereas now I ſee no probability of either, your way of arguing being ſo different from your own uſuall rationall way, that you ſeem to mee to have burnt your Ariſtotles Organon, and to have learnt a new manner of making Syllogiſmes from Mr Gordon and Serjeant Wilde. Sir, I aſ­ſure you, that though you have there inflicted a Puniſhment upon me, which in the beginning of the Parliament would have broke my Heart, and that for no other cauſe (for ought appeared to you) then for having buſineſſe at Yorke, when you had baniſht the King from London, yet I am more troubled with the decay of Reputation which both Houſes ſuffer by ſuch unreaſonable and unjuſt Votes, then for my own Concerne in their unreaſonablenes and Injuſtice, being ſufficiently comforted againſt my ſhare in them, by the Com­pany2 you have given me, having expel'd whole Sholes (ſometimes twenty in a morning) of Gentlemen, firſt choſen and ſtill eſteemed by their Countries, for continuing in, and demeaning themſelves according to the ſame Principles, by which they had obtained that Choyce and Eſtimation.

1. You know Sir, you and I were, both at once, both committed about the Loanes, and put out of the Commiſſion of the Peace for oppoſing Shipmony, and how ſenſible We after found the Parlia­ment of all mens ſufferings in that kind, and for thoſe cauſes. And did either of us then think to have lived to have ſeen any ſo much as diſcountenanced by both Houſes of Parliament for refuſing a loane, though it were called a Contribution, or oppoſing an Ordinance as illegall as that Writ, grounded upon a Neceſſity as hard to be diſco­vered as that which was then pretended? How often have you told me (when you have heard the Courtiers argue that without ſuch a Power in the Crowne, no Parliament ſitting, the Kingdom might be unavoydably deſtroyed) that with or without that Power We ſhould be liable to mighty dangers, but the Wiſdom of the Law had avoyded thoſe moſt that were likely to come oftneſt; That now beſides, the Queſtion was not what was beſt to be Law, but what was Law; That Arguments from Convenience are good conſidera­tions in framing of Lawes or founding of States, but that the State being framed it was moſt ridiculous and dangerous to retyre from the Law to a diſputable convenience or Neceſſity, and put our ſelves back again into the ſame Maze of Debates and Queſtions, which Lawes were framed to be rules to us to deliver us from; And yet then, Sir, We might have known this preſent fundamentall (and indeed only Law now left) of nature and Neceſſity, And Salus Populiſuprema Lex was a ſentence that was no ſtranger to Vs, and theſe are ſure better Pretences for one Eſtate, when the other two are not in being, then for two Eſtates in the preſence and in the de­ſpight of the Third.

2. You and I, Sir, were both of that Parliament in which my Lord of Briſtolls diſpute with my Lord Duke of Buckingham, and our diſlike of my Lord Duke got my Lord of Bristoll all thoſe that diſ­likt the other, to labour to aſſiſt and protect him, and you know how ſtudious moſt men were in that work, when my Lord of Briſtoll was accus'd of Treaſon by the Kings Atturney in the Lords Houſe, and3 yet the accuſation ſtood received till the end of the Parliament. And could We ever have then believed, that an Accuſation in the ſame manner, by the ſame Officer, in the ſame Court, before almoſt all the very ſame men (no difference in the caſe but between Briſtoll and Kimbolton) ſhould be voted a high breach of Priviledge, ſhould be a Reaſon to cenſure the Atturney, and the maine and moſt ſuffi­cient Pretence for moſt neceſſary and defenſive Armes, at leaſt for a horrid Rebellion under that Title?

3. You and I were both of that Parliament in which my Lord of Arundell being Committed, you know how both Houſes labou­red his Diſcharge. You know how tender we were then of Our Priviledges, and how much more likely to claime a Priviledge that we had not, then to quit a Priviledge we had, and how many able, honeſt, judicious Lawyers we had of the Houſe, that would not have ſuffered us to have overſeen Our Right. And when in that Parliament a Petition framed by both Houſes did admit their Privi­ledge of Parliament not to extend to Caſes either of Treaſon, Felo­ny, or refuſing to give ſureties for the Peace, could we ever have thought to ſee it claimed as a Priviledge, that no member be reſtrai­ned without order of the Houſe, though in caſe of Treaſon to be immediatly acted upon the Kings Perſon? And could we ever have thought to have ſeen the People, engaged by Order of the Houſe of Commons alone, and under Pretence of an uncommanded Proteſta­tion, to have aſſiſted all ſuch as ſhould be ſo reſtrained, in deſpight of this Declaration of both Houſes, and in Oppoſition to the known Lawes of the Land?

4. You and I Sir have been of many other Parliaments, and when we ſaw ſo many Bills offered, and ſome paſs't, and others laid by, ſometime with Our ſorrow, but never with our complaint, when we all acknowledged, with the old Act of Parliament, that is was of the Kings Regality to grant or deny them, and no one of us ſo much as whiſpered to any friend, that the King had done illegally in do­ing ſo, or broke the Oath taken at His Coronation, becauſe of the Clauſe, Quas vulgus Elegerit, could we ever have thought then to have ſeen the whole frame of Monarchy deſtroyed, by ſeeing the Kings Negative voyce denyed Him, and He call'd by conſequence a perjur'd man, for not conſenting to any publique Bill from both Houſes, though it were to depoſe Himſelfe?

45. When in thoſe Parliaments We ſaw ſo little prevalency in the Puritan party, that they were never able to paſſe a Bill, even in the Houſe of Commons, for ſuch an eaſe of weake conſciences in the point of indifferent Ceremonies, as I alwayes wiſh't them, and as the King hath now often profeſt Himſelfe ready to joyne in, (which Profeſſion would ſure have been more readily entertained, if they had not fear'd, that this would have been ſo full a ſatisfaction to ſo many, that their ſide would have been much weakned by it) could we then ever thinke to have liv'd to ſee the Common-Prayer Book totally neglected, and publiquely affronted, and thoſe neglects and affronts not onely conniv'd at, but as publiquely countenanced and encouraged by that honourable Aſſembly, and to ſee a Bill paſs't both Houſes, for the totall extirpation of Biſhops, Root and Branch, and this Bill offered to His Majeſty among Propoſitions for Peace?

6. In thoſe Parliaments though ſome of us often expreſs't our diſlike of ſome illegall Clauſes, in the Commiſſions given to, and executed by Lords and Deputy. Lievtenants, yet did we ever heare, or looke to heare of the leaſt pretence, that the Militia of this King­dom was either not under the Kings Command, or under any Com­mand but His? And did both Houſes ſo much as ſuſpect themſelves upon any pretence, or in any time, to have any Right to order and diſpoſe of it?

7. In thoſe Parliaments though we have often humbly repre­ſented to His Majeſty ſome things, wherein we ſuppos'd there was ſome failour in His Miniſters in thoſe particulars which we then all confeſt the Law had ſolely truſted to Him, as of Ships not ſet out, or Forts ill guarded, or the like; yet did we ever thinke it poſſible both Houſes ſhould ever pretend to ſuch a ſuperviſorſhip over that Truſt, that whenſoever they would ſay He did not diſcharge it as He ought, they might legally lay hold on it themſelves, and having ſeiz'd His Ships, Forts, Magazines, &c. take up Armes to maintaine what they had done, and to keep this their Truſt Paramount in per­petuall execution?

8. In thoſe Parliaments did we ever ſee the ſame things ſeve­rall times preſt to the Lords Houſe by the Houſe of Commons (after they had been upon mature advice rejected by them) as if they had meant to ſay, Deny it if you dare; and at laſt paſt there with the Peoples helpe, either a thinne Houſe being watcht for, or ſome of5 the Lords out of anger, and ſome out of feare abſenting themſelves?

9. In all thoſe Parliaments did we ever ſee any Declarations of both Houſes againſt the King, or of one Houſe againſt the other, Printed and publiſht to the people, calling them to their aſſiſtance, and laying before them their deſtruction if they aſſiſted not?

10. In all thoſe Parliaments, did we ever ſee when any thing had been propos'd to, and rejected by the Houſe of Lords, the Houſe of Commons notwithſtanding proceed in it, and expreſſe their mindes of it to the people, as in the point of the Bill for the Proteſta­tion, or when the Houſe of Lords had publiſht an Order for the eſta­bliſht Law, as they did now upon the ninth of September, did we ever ſee the Houſe of Commons oppoſe them and the Law toge­ther, and diſgrace the one, and endeavour to ſuppreſſe the other, as they did now by a Printed Order to the contrary, of the ſame Date?

11. Did we ever ſee the Houſe of Commons in all thoſe Parlia­ments ſo invade the Priviledge of the Houſe of Lords, as firſt to queſtion particular Members for words ſpoken in that Houſe (as my Lord Duke and my Lord Digby) and next to queſtion the whole Houſe by bringing up and countenancing a mutinous and ſeditious Petition, which demanded the names of thoſe Lords, who conſen­ted not with the Houſe of Commons in thoſe things which that Houſe (that is the Major part of it) had twice denied, and joyning with them in that Demand?

12. Did We ever ſee Petitions brought by armed Mechanicks countenanced by the Houſe of Commons, the Aſſaults made by them upon their owne Members, though complained of, not enquired into, and theſe multitudes termed their Friends by the principall Governours, the Houſe of Lords refuſed to be joyn'd with in their modeſt deſire, onely of a Declaration againſt the like for the future, the guard againſt the like placed by vertue of a Writ, iſſued by com­mand of the Lords Houſe, diſcharged, the Iuſtice of Peace that pla­ced them committed, & the ordinary legall Inquiſition upon Riots ſtopt and hindred by an order of the Houſe of Commons alone?

Sir, ſome of theſe things having been done in former Parliaments ſo contrary to what is now done, & ſo many things now done, which were never attempted in (and if they had been thought of would have been condemned by) thoſe former Parliaments; you muſt par­don me if I thinke that charge of Apoſtacy (which under other mens6 names you your ſelfe lay upon me) to be very injurious, and I ap­peal to any man that ſhall conſider and examine my Action and theſe particulars, whether I left the Houſes till they left the Law, and whether to quit the place and retaine the principles, or to quit the principles, and be only conſtant to the place, be the greater and the truer Apoſtacy.

The next Objection you make is this, That whereas Wee here pretend to ſtand for Law, yet it is only for ſuch a Law, of which we Our ſelves will only be Iudges, refuſing to ſtand to the Iudgement of the ſupream Iudicatory of the Kingdome, both Houſes of Parlia­ment. And truly Sir, if this objection were made by a ſtranger only made acquainted with the generall Scheme of the Conſtitution of the Kingdom, & neither with the particular Lawes, nor the parti­cular Occurrences, I ſhould not wōder; but from one who hath been a conſtant Member of the Parliament, I wonder to receive it. Firſt, Sir, I appeal to you, whether you doe not beleeve, that ſuppoſe, (which were hardly poſſible to be ſuppoſed) that both Houſes (in the fulleſt and freeſt condition of Parliament that is imaginable) ſhould declare, that by the Law of the Land, The Kings Crowne and the Subjects Property and Liberty were to be diſpos'd of by them, and ſhould take up Armes to make this good for Law, and declare that by Law all the Subjects of the Land were obliged to aſſiſt their Armes thus taken up; Suppoſe this, I ſay; Doe you not beleeve, that their being the Supream Iudicatory could not ſatisfie Our con­ſciences (who have taken the Oathes of Allegiance and Suprema­cy) in a Iudgement as contrary to thoſe Oathes and the knowne Law, as it is knowne that by the Law both Houſes have Power to judge in any other Caſes, or that there are at all two Houſes of Par­liament? And ſure this is now (as to what is done, though not as to their condition who doe it) either the Caſe, or very neere it. In­deed, Sir, till the Parliament was made perpetuall, ſuch a Caſe was abſolutely unimaginable, for being a diſſoluble Body, kept them from invading the known Rights either of King or Subjects, of nei­ther of which they need now to have the ſame apprehenſion, having ſtrengthned themſelves by a Bill againſt the one, and by an Army againſt the other.

But, Sir, I cannot allow you ſo much, The Houſes now are nei­ther full nor free; Really the Major part of the Commons, and7 evidently the Major part of the Lords, doe not, cannot, dare not come to you. How much you were wont to miſlike Tumults, ap­peares to me by your former bitterneſſe againſt them, when they came downe to preſſe even thoſe things, for the paſſing of which you had been very earneſt in the Houſe, and you may remember you apprehended them ſo much, that I had much adoe, during the time they laſted, to perſwade you to venture your ſelfe any neerer to Weſtminſter, then your Chamber in Fleet-ſtreet, and that you an­ſwered me, when I told you that you needed not feare, for thoſe People tooke you for their Friend, that a Brickbat was an ill diſtin­guiſher of friends, and that you ſaw enough of thoſe Gentlemen out of your Window as they paſt along the ſtreets, to make you not de­ſire to keep them company without a Wall between you. Sir, if a few within, ſhall have power to draw a multitude from without, to awe the reſt, and make them either retire, or judge as they pleaſe, and then judge ſo (as in the point of the Militia, Hull, and taking up of Armes) as with ſafety of Conſcience no man can reſt in their Iudgements, nor with ſafety of Purſe and Liberty oppoſe them, and ſhall keep themſelves ſtill by this meanes the Major part to judge on as they have begun, and yet may ſtill retaine the Authority of the Supream Iudicatory, then really, Sir, it muſt of neceſſity follow, That the Subjects will ſtill be in the power of the ſeditious & facti­ous, and it is not the men but the Walls that make the two Houſes of Parliament. No, Sir, it is you, who refuſe to ſecure the Parlia­ment from Tumults where it is, or to remove it thither where it may be ſecure, that refuſe to have it tryed what is Law by the Su­pream Iudicatory of the Kingdome, all you ſay now is but the ſame, as if the Lord Chief Iuſtice of the Kings Bench, out of Parliament time, ſhould by force drive away his Brethren of the ſame Bench, and then Iudge there, that none of thoſe other Iudges were more then His meer Aſſiſtants in that Court, & then find fault with them for not ſubmitting to that Iudgement as made and delivered by the higheſt Court of Iuſtice.

But, Sir, foreſeeing this Objection of the Tumults would come ſtrongly upon you, you prepare the Ward for that Blow, and tell me that though ſome diſorders indeed there were, yet this was but the pretence of Our abſence, for the Tumults did precede Our ab­ſenting Our ſelves by many weekes, in which time We came often8 to the Houſe, and ſecurely oppos'd the ſenſe thereof. The diſor­ders, Sir, you ſpeake of were ſuch, and did ſo awe the Members, that you know ſome diſcourſe, in order to doing of that which this put really in execution, was voted Treaſon by Our Houſe, but the ſame awing of the Parliament, when it is done by the well-affected, and countenanced by the worthy Members, and the good Lords is, it ſeemes, but diſorder, and no Treaſon: Theſe Tumults firſt cauſed Our infrequent meeting at the Houſe, who differed from their Opi­nions that had ſuch Satellites abroad, and this Infrequency gave leave to the reſt to command ſuch things as our Conſciences would not allow us to obey. If We took not up Armes in obedience to your Ordinance of the Militia; If We would not live and dye with my Lord of Eſſex &c. you would puniſh and impriſon us; If We did, the known Law, agreeing with His Majeſties Proclamation, told us, We were Traytors, and the Proteſtation We had taken to defend the Kings juſt Rights, told us, We were forſworne; If We ioyned together to over-vote you in it (for as long as We came and oppo­ſed you not, or oppos'd you and carryed it not againſt you, or carryed only that which was not much materiall, I confeſſe we were ſafe enough) the precedent Tumults had ſufficiently told us, That they would beat out our Braines; So what was left for us to doe, but to be gone? And yet We could not goe till We could goe ſomewhe­ther, and therefore were to beare our Condition as well as We could, till His Majeſtie were in Poſture to give us that Protection which He ought us by the Law. And this was the true Cauſe both why We went, and why no ſooner.

But your next Objection is of all other the moſt unreaſonable, That you have diſcovered by this Treaty, That the King is averſe to Peace. And in the name of God, whereupon is this diſcovery foun­ded? It is well knowne that in all ſeverall Conditions, the King hath equally preſt for Peace, and the Rulers of the Houſe of Commons have equally oppos'd it; And probably they would have gone fur­ther, and us'd their old Arts to have ſtopt the conſent to this Treaty by violence too, if they had not lookt upon their appearing ſo to breake it, when ſo many deſir'd it, as too great a burthen of Envy, and knowne their Intereſt to be enough to be able to breake it be­fore it could be concluded, with leſſe diſguſt then at that time, as being eaſier to perſwade the people, that any individuall Peace was9 not good for them, then that no Peace at all was, which a Totall rejection of all Treaty did cleerly imply. And did they not (when the ſenſe of their miſery had given their followers Courage to over­vote them in this) clogge the Treaty as much as poſſibly they could; Firſt, with a Reſolution that their Committee ſhould Treat only with His Majeſty, (which He might well, and ſo they hoped He would refuſe) then with ſuch Limitation of Articles to two, and of dayes to foure, and of Inſtructions to hardly any, That they might have ſent downe their Papers by Edgerley the Carrier to His Maje­ſty, and he might as eaſily have concluded a Peace with Him, as with ſo bounded and untruſted a Committee? But in the Treaty what did the King aske or deny that ſhewed ſo little deſire of Peace If He had askt together with His Ships, Forts, and Caſtles, the Lives of thoſe who tooke them from Him, (which if He had, He had askt no more then belongs to Him by Law, as the proper Secu­rity that the like violence ſhould be offered Him no more) and if He had required an end of the whole Treaty before He disbanded, (which is yet the uſuall courſe of Treaties) you might have had ſome Colour for what you object; But now the whole Objection is this, His Majeſties owne Ships, Forts, Magazines, &c. were by violence, and that of Subjects, taken from Him, and this unreaſona­ble, unpeaceable, blood-thirſty Prince deſires to have them againe. An excellent Argument of Averſion to Peace. When the Ceſſation was in Debate, the King demanding the Approbation of the Com­manders of the Ships, It was replyed, That this Demand was to de­ſire the ſtrength of one party to the other before the difference were ended; and upon this Reaſon the King receded from that Condition, never expecting that they would ſo ſoon have forgotten their owne Logicke, and have demanded, That when Differences were ended, this Approbation, that is this ſtrength ſhould for three yeares con­tinue in them. And ſure the King is in a miſerable Condition, if neither a Ceſſation nor a Treaty be a fit time or meanes for Him to recover his Owne. But ſay you the Feares and Iealouſies of the People muſt be ſatisfied. Say I, the People muſt be ſatisfied, That there was Cauſe of Feares and Iealouſies. And one Cauſe of their Demand is, That theſe things would appeare to have been taken without Reaſon, if they were reſtored without Conditions. But this may be an Argument to them to aske it, I am ſure it can be none10 to the King to grant, for then by the contrary Argument the King is neceſſitated to inſiſt that they be reſtored without Limitations or Conditions, becauſe He can never confeſſe that they were taken from Him with any Reaſon or Colour.

Sir, though you have great Abundance of Feares and Iealouſies, yet you have not hoorded them ſo up, but you have given ſome to the King, certainly if when theſe things were in his Hands they were wreſted by you from Him, you may doe it with much greater caſe, if you have more then halfe the Hold (as you confeſſe in the Poynt of the Shipps, that the allowing of Approbation of the Com­manders gives up the ſtrength.) And nothing can be more ridicu­lous then for you to pretend to feare Him when He ſhall have thoſe, whom you did not feare when He had them. Certainly if you had apprehended this Power as you pretend, you would never when he was veſted in it have offered Him ſuch injuries, and deni­ed Him ſuch Rights, as you never offered or denied to His Prede­ceſſors, at leaſt you would have thought that Power if not able to puniſh you, yet able to defend it ſelfe, and you would never have attempted ſo hard a work as to take it from Him. This, Sir, is the truth, and that moſt viſibly; Theſe Powers are ſo farre from enabling Him to oppreſſe you, That the leaſt Colour of ſuch an intention after a Peace would be the ſame as delivering them up to you againe; They were your Leavies that made His; It was you that rayſed Him an Army when you gave Him the Law of His ſide, and He will not be able to rayſe another if He have once disbanded this, till you give Him againe the ſame Advantage, and you will be able to op­preſſe Him if He ſhall give it you. For to feare that He ſhall con­quer England with three or foure ſmall Garriſons, when thoſe who now aſſiſt Him (that is almoſt all the Gentry of England) muſt look upon Him as the moſt perjurd man alive, and upon themſelves as diſpenc't with by Him from any Obedience or Loyalty to Him, is ſo hypocondriacall a fancy, that it is either to be mad, or to reſolve that He is ſo. Nothing elſe can ſo puffe Him up with ſome Shipps, and a few Forts (which without mony to Man and pay them, are but ſo many Hulkes, and but bare walles) as not rather to be en­clin'd to comply in any reaſonable thing with the only Legall Root and ſpring of Mony, the Houſe of Commons, that He may live in Glory and Peace, then without Mony to hope to begin and conquer11 in an unjuſt Warre, Who hath found it ſo difficult to defend Him­ſelfe in ſo viſibly a juſt one. There is yet another reaſonable Feare & Iealouſy for the King to apprehend, The Nineteen Propoſitions (in which there was preſented to Him a perfect Platforme of a totall change of Government, by which the Counſellors were to have been Kings, and the King to have become ſcarce a Counſellor, and nothing of the preſent State to have remained, but Eadem Magi­ſtratuum vocabula) cannot eaſily get out of the Kings Head, or ap­peare to Him not to be ſtill in theirs, who were the framers and Contrivers. And He hath great cauſe to be very wary after ſuch an inſtance of ſome mens ends and deſignes (this Parliament being by Law perpetuall, and a Trienniall one being however to be) not to give any Ground to any ſuch Power in both Houſes as may make this ſubmitting of His known Rights, in the choyce of theſe particu­lars, to their Approbation, a ground to continue theſe, and draw on more of the ſame kind, and to divide at leaſt that Dependence with them which the Law (for excellent and neceſſary Reaſons) meant only to the Crowne; If Feares and Iealouſies be ſo rewarded, I doubt I ſhall ſee new ones at the Three years end, that this ſhare in conferring of Places of Power and truſt may be rather encreaſed then loſt. And there could not be a greater juſtification and fortifi­cation of this Iealouſy, then to ſee a new Book printed by order of a Committee of the Houſe of Commons with a Members (Iohn White's) hand to it, whole Title is, The Soveraigne Power of Par­liaments and Kingdoms, aſſerting the Parliament and Kingdoms Right and Intereſt in, and power over not only the Militia, Ports, Forts, & Ammunition of the Realme, but likewiſe to make choice of the Keeper, Treaſurer Privy-Seale, Privy-Councellors, Iudges and Sheriffes of the Kingdom, and denying the Kings negative Voyce to ſuch publique Bills as both Houſes deem neceſſary and juſt; And if all this belong to both Houſes, I wonder what is left to belong to the King, but to give Warrants for Bucks, without con­ſent of Parliament.

But ſay you, If the King would have named perſons to them, He ſhould have ſeen how moderate you would have been in your Ex­ceptions. Truly, Sir, what you would have been perhaps neither of us know, but by your refuſing to make the Law your Rule, it ſeems you intended to give a very arbitrary Approbation. And though12 you now ſay (as we alwaies heare much of the moderation inten­ded by you, whenſoever a Treaty is either broken or diverted) that you would have excepted againſt none but impeach't perſons, yet I am ſure in the Bill for the Militia, the King offering you the ſame Perſons, whom within a few Weekes before you had offered Him for the ſame employments, you yet excepted againſt fowre, my Lord Marques of Hertford, my Lord of Cumberland, my Lord of Derby, and my Lord of Lincolne, becauſe in the Interim they did not accept of a Command over the Militia without the Kings con­ſent, (who could only Legally give it them) and yet ſince, the laſt (having ſo much ſubmitted his Conſcience to Power, that from be­ing unſatisfied with raiſing Armes, without the King, He is come to make no ſcruple of bearing Armes againſt Him) is now again ſo fully confided in by you, that Reſpect to the King, and Reverence to the Law appear to be the Qualities you cannot confide in, and the King after ſuch an inſtance hath great Reaſon to be wary, how He either approve of your confiding, or confide in your Approbation. And if they really meant, onely to except againſt impeacht Per­ſons, why did they not ſay ſo much in the Treaty, to have made the breach of the Treaty, on their ſide, ſomewhat more popular? And ſince to direct their Exceptions they knew who were Legally ve­ſted in thoſe Places, (for the King only named thoſe whom the Law had named firſt) Why did they not except at ſuch of them as were impeach't, and give that as a Reaſon, or make ſome other (at leaſt colourable) exception againſt them, which upon debate and mutuall reaſoning might have produced either their ſatisfaction or the Kings, unleſſe an agreement were not that effect of their Treaty, which they aymed at moſt. Truly I am very confident the King knew not (and I am the more confident of it, becauſe I am certain, I knew nothing of it my ſelfe) that any Perſons now in thoſe Com­mands had ever been impeacht, and then ſure the King had no Rea­ſon to take it ſo farre for granted, that any deſerv'd to be excepted at againſt whom He knew no exceptions Himſelfe, as without a pre­ſent Charge to diſpoſſeſſe them of thoſe Commands to which they had a preſent Right. And God forbid, Sir, That a meer Charge not prov'd, nor yet anſwer'd to, ſhould diſpoſſeſſe men of their Rights, eſpecially in a time in which a Charge comes ſo eaſily, that men are voted Traytors for aſſiſting the King againſt a Rebellion againſt13 Him. You inſtance only〈…〉men Will: Lgg, and Mr Gring. And for the firſt, I pray, what is he charg'd with, only for being em­ployed by the King as a meer meſſenger in the delivery of a Petiti­on, which having been Printed ever ſince the twelfth of Auguſt, I could never yet heare either publiquely or privately any objecti­on made againſt it, and which I am ſure muſt appear very juſt, hum­ble, and modeſt, even to the moſt paſſionate, if they compare it to the Petition of Hertfordſhire, or to that of the Thouſands of poore People about London, or to diver•…others which received the Countenance of one Houſe, and Thankes from both. And ſure if the Crime had been ſo great as you would now intimate, you would never for ſo long a time have ſuffered him to have gone whe­ther he pleas'd upon Baile. For the ſecond Perſon I am not enough of his Acquaintance to be able to anſwer for him but certainly you can lay nothing but Loyalty to his Change, ſince to the very Minute of his declaring for the King, when Armes were raiſed againſt His Majeſty, you confided ſo much in him, that I am credibly informed you meant to have made him (Lievtenant Generall of your whole Army, and I am ſure when I left London, he was eſteemed by you an excellent Patriot, one who had ſav'd the Kingdome from a grea­ter then the Gunpowder Treaſon, and was the very Darling and Favorite of the Common-wealth.

This is, Sir, the true ſtate of the caſe, after that the Houſe of Lords (whereof the major part by above twenty, there being then hardly any Biſhop in Town uncommitted, and not one Popiſh Lord left in Town, had twice refuſed to joyn in asking the Militia, Forts, Ports, &c. of the King) were forc'd by the threatning Petitioners, and the Countenance given to them by the Houſe of Commons, to ioyne with them perforce in their feares and jealouſies, and in that De­maund which was grounded upon them, and after that in an humble purſuance of theſe deſires, theſe things (with the Magazines and Shipps to boot) are forced from His Majeſtie, (whom & His Ance­ſtors the Law had as irrevocably veſted in them, as it hath any man in England in his Houſe, Goods, or Land) it is thought an Averſion to Peace in the King, that He will not by now aſſenting condemne Himſelfe as guilty of this Warre, for not having rather at firſt then now aſſented to theſe Deſires, which were their ground of it; That He will not by this Aſſent condemne the Lords Houſe for not ha­ving14 ſooner diſcovered the Cauſes of feares and Iealouſies, (which occaſioned, and, as they ſay, did neceſſitate the continuance of thoſe Deſires) till their Eyes were opened by the Threats and Tumults of the People; That He will not juſtifie theſe forcible proceedings a­gainſt Himſelfe in taking theſe things from Him, by ſubmit­ting to any Conditions or Limitations whatſoever to recover them againe, but doth pertinaciouſly inſiſt to have His own reſtored to Him, and thinks to put them off with Iuſtice, and with the Law of the Land. For though the Militia were not named either in the Propoſition of both Houſes, or in the Kings, yet even that too is hook­ed in in their Limitations in ſuch a manner as the People may not ſee it, and not only they deliver not what is the Kings to Him, but, as it were demand ſatisfaction from Him for having taken it, and not only (without any regard to the Right of the Perſons legally veſted, or offering any legall or colourable Exception againſt them) require ſtill that ſuch be named in thoſe Places as they may confide in, (though We may take a meaſure by what Rule they will confide, by the Precedents I quoted before) and not only they require this for once at firſt, but if any dye within three yeares they muſt confide againe, and indeed that is a faire time taken to be ſure by that time to have more feares and Iealouſies ready made to keep up the per­petuity, and to extend the Power of confiding; But yet farther theſe Officers and the Admirall and others muſt take an Oath to ſuppreſſe all Forces that ſhall be raiſed, during that time, without the conſent of both Houſes ſo that by this, His Majeſty, even in Caſe this Parlia­ment ſhould end ſooner (if perhaps they have not reſolv'd it ſhall not, and have prepar'd this as a Reaſon why it ſhould not) and in caſe never ſo great a Rebellion ſhould riſe, or never ſo terrible an invaſion ſhould come in upon us, muſt neither increaſe his Garri­ſons, nor raiſe other Forces to reſiſt them, unleſſe a Parliament both be, and be willing to afford Him their Conſent, and His Majeſty having ſworne to protect His Subjects muſt quit the old legall way of doing it Himſelfe and (at beſt) be obliged to call upon others to help Him not to be foreſworne. Truly, Sir, unleſſe like one that hath been ſo long in the darke, that he takes a Ruſh Candle for the Sunne, you have now ſo long kept unreaſonable Company that you thinke any thing on this ſide the Ninteen Propoſitions to be reaſonable, you would never approve a demand which doth thus ſlyly and by15 the by deveſt the King of that ſole Power over the Militia (& that for a yeare longer then your owne Bill askt it) which was the firſt and chiefeſt Diſpute between the King and the Commons, (for the Lords had had no Iealouſies, if they had had no Feares) and which is ſo principall a Prerogative of the Crowne, as without it He will hold the Crowne it ſelfe by no better a Tenure, then durante bene placito. Nor could you expect that He ſhould grant you that (toge­ther with ſuch other things) having an Army at Oxford, which alone and naked He refus'd at Hampton-Court and Windſor. What elſe doe you except at in the Treaty? Why ſay you the King pretends to aske nothing but what is Law, why doth He require us to adjourne from London? Sir, He never required it. He required a ſecurity from Tumults and violence for Himſelfe and both Houſes, and this ſure is due to Him by the Law; the other courſe He only propos'd, as that which in his Opinion could only effect it, and truly if the minds of the Rabble of London be not much altered ſince I left it, I muſt be much of his mind.

But ſay you, The King was ever offered that; He was indeed, Sir, but at the ſame time they defended, that there had been no Tu­mults, ſo that the King could not receive ſo much of Security from their Offer, as the Tumults muſt needs receive of encouragement from their Defence, the ſenſe of what they ſaid put together be­ing only this, That they would ſecure Him and us from any thing which they would confeſſe to be a Tumult. But for my part if I be cōſtrained & in danger, it is not enough for me that you vote me free and ſafe; Call them Tumults or not, as you pleaſe, if there be that which lookes as like Tumults as the laſt did, I ſhall be, though per­haps in more ſafety, yet in no more ſecurity then at Edgehill.

But ſay you, what an ungratefull thing were it of the Parliament to deſert that City from which they have received ſo large Aſſi­ſtance? Truly, Sir, the Country (God forgive it) hath contributed not a little to your Aſſiſtance too, and ought to have ſome part of your Care, and for the City it ſelfe (beſides that Allegiance is a du­ty as well as Gratitude, and a precedent Bond to this) in my Opi­nion even for their ſake you ought to conſent to this advice Doe you thinke That City will be able to beare that burthen of Envy which muſt fall upon them from all the reſt of the Nation, if they ſee you for this conſideration expoſe them to all the miſeries of16 Warre, rather then remove twenty miles from thence, though the King allow you your owne Choice of a place out of all the whole Kingdome beſides? Nay, doe you thinke, that if the Armies were disbanded, the Peace againe begunne, and the whole Parliament now met at St Albans, that the City would not find both their charge much diminiſht, and their Trade and gettings much increa­ſed, and a miraculous change of their condition to the better? Nor can any inconvenience come by it, unleſſe you thinke Freedome not only not eſſentiall to, but not conſiſtent with ſuch meetings, and unleſſe it be your opinion, that no Tumults, no Parliament.

But ſay you, ſuppoſe the King in Iuſtice might aske and refuſe all He does; Were it not yet prudent for the King rather to conſent to part with ſome of His Right then to venture all the reſt; And were it Iuſtifiable in Him to deſtroy His Kingdome and ſo many Innocents, by not ending the Warre when now He may? Sir, I am confident ſince you are able to ſay nothing againſt it (or if you are, why doe you not?) you would as well have granted as have ſuppo­ſed this, if you had not feard Sr Robert Pyes fortune, That your Let­ter might have been read at the cloſe Committee; and till you give me Reaſons why you cannot grant it, I muſt aſſume it as if you did. And then truly, I muſt tell you, that this Logicke will in all times render the wiſe and the welnatured a Prey to the unreaſonable and the furious, and that as there are ſome outward medicines for the Stone and the Gout, which only ſtupifying and not removing the Cauſe give only a little eaſe for the preſent, but make the fits both more frequent and more fierce; ſo the accepting of ſuch Conditions might eaſe us for the preſent of this Rebellion, but (when it were ſeen that to ſeize and uſurp all the Kings Rights, and peremptorily to reſolve rather to deſtroy the Kingdome then to give them up againe, were the way to perſwade Him to relinquiſh a good part of them) it may ſo farre encourage future Rebellions, that We may doubt they would be hereafter as Trienniall as Parliaments, till the King by this Logicke and little by little, have given ſo much to ap­peaſe them, that nothing will be left Him either to give or to keep, and out of His Care of His People He have made them none of His, and have engag'd them beſides into the miſeries of many Warres, by paying ſo dearly for the end of this.

But, Sir, I pray turne your Argument on the other ſide. Both17 Houſes have not Kingdomes of their own to ſee deſtroyed by the Warre, but they have Rights as Houſes, and Eſtates as Perſons which being their all, is to be prudentially of the ſame Concern to them; And ſuppoſe the King did ask them to part with ſome of their Rights or Eſtates, were it prudent or juſtifiable in them by the ſame reaſon to venture all their Rights, rather then part with ſome, and to deſtroy their fortunes, the Kingdome and ſo many Innocents by not ending the Warre when they might? But Alas! how much more imprudent and unjuſtifiable is it in them, to venture all and de­ſtroy the Kingdom, and ſo many Innocents, by continuing this War rather then to grant to the King what is juſtly and notoriouſly His own, or forbeare to inſiſt, that He ſhould grant that to them, which you do not ſo much as pretend in Iuſtice to belong to them? And do you think whether the People will not be excellently ſatisfied, and whō they will adhere unto in it, when they ſee the cauſe of the Con­tinuance of this miſerable Warre thus ſhortly, truly, and clearly ſta­ted and layd open? Can you, Sir, pretend any longer to be thought one of the moderate, (by any other title then by living among thoſe who are ſomewhat madder then your ſelfe) if you can beleeve that the requiring much that is neither reaſonable, nor theirs, argue Incli­natiō to Peace in both Houſes, & the Kings asking but ſomwhat that is reaſonable and his own, ſhow an Averſion to it in His Majeſty, & if you continue to blame the King for not granting what you only ſup­poſe it Prudence to grant, & continue to joyne with, & aſſiſt thoſe againſt your Allegiance, and againſt Him, who inſiſt upon that, which the ſame Rule of Prudence doth oblige them not to inſiſt upon, and the Rule of Iuſtice obliged them not to have askt; Eſpecially ſince, If your Aſſiſtance, and that of ſuch as you are, did not give them their ſtrength, there were then no Colour of any Argument left ſo much as from Prudence, to perſwade the King to grant what they now ask Him, and Peace it ſelfe is not more deſirable, then the Conditi­ons of it would be reaſonable, which would then be had from them.

But Feares and jealouſies keep you ſtill on that ſide. And to this I can only anſwer; Firſt, that of the King there is no ground of Fears and Iealouſies, If there be, they muſt be both of His Will and of His Power, and I can ſee no pretence for either. Here have been during His Government many and great Illegalities ſuffered and commit­ted by His Miniſters. But was He ever bred in any of the Innes of18 Court, and then is it reaſonable to lay the fault of that to His Charge, which as He often knew not to be done at all, So He never knew to be illegally done? Did He not ever leave the tryall to the lawes? Did He ever Sollicite or threaten any Iudge to ſay that was Law which was not? Did He ever offer to protect any from this Parlia­ment, that had either offended againſt Law, or Iudg'd amiſſe of Law, though in the Caſes moſt to His own advantage? And hath he not gi­ven all poſſible Perſonall Satisfaction for other mens faults, both by publique acknowledgements (a thing unuſuall for Princes to de­ſcend to) of things paſt, by extraordinary Proviſions for the future, by the Puniſhment of His neareſt and moſt truſted Setvants in no or­dinary way, by quitting many Rights pretended to by His Ance­ſtors, and many more confeſt to be Legally in Him, by frequent and Solemne Proteſtations and Execrations (which are much ſtrength­ned by the Perſon of the Proteſtor, known to be neither revenge­full, nor guilty of any of thoſe Crimes, or liable to any of thoſe temp­tations, which moſt uſually engage men into breach of ſo publique a faith) And laſtly (which ſhould moſt worke with them who are moſt wrought upon by that) Is it not evident that His Intereſt joynes with His Conſcience in the requiring this obſervance from Him, and that for Him to break what the promiſes to His whole Kingdom, and in the obſervance of which the whole Kingdome is concern'd, were the way to turne the Cavaliers into Roundheads, and the ſame thing as for Him to mediate a League between His Friends and His Enemies againſt Himſelfe? The King, Sir, hath had great Ex­perience by what meanes the Court loſt their Intereſt in the Peo­ple, and (by the Advantage that hath been ſince made out of it upon Him) of what Conſequence that Intereſt is, and He is more to be truſted that He will never hazard the like loſſe by the ſame way, then any new Prince in whoſe time there had been no miſgovern­ments and misfortunes. He cannot but know that a Kingdome is like a Torch, which having been once on Fire, though after put out, will take Fire againe much more eaſily, then another which was never kindled.

Secondly, I anſwer, That the King hath reaſon to have Fears and Iealouſies, not only in Caſe He accepted of their Propoſitions, but although His own Propoſitions were granted to Him, if His care of His People did not prevaile with Him above them. For both the19 Will and the Power of others doth ſufficiently appeare, by what hath been already attempted and effected both by them and againſt Him. And when His Army is once disbanded with no fuller ſatis­faction in their Pay (and perhaps with much leſſe to ſome of their Hopes) then He is able to give them, He will be ſo much more un­likely to be able to raiſe another, if a Neceſſity of it ſhould come a­gaine; and the zeale of their Army of Separatiſts is ſo well known, and in how ſhort warning upon the leaſt ſigne they would flock to­gether againe; And how much they are the more Plotting, more u­nited, more induſtrious, and more violent Party of the Houſes and of the Kingdom, and what influence Arts, union, Induſtry and vio­lence have upon the People to miſlead, carry away or bear down the divided and the indifferent, that is the Major part of the reſt, is ſo well known too, that whether by beginning a new warre if they ſee Cauſe, or by awing the Parliament againe, (for they will be ready to travail farther then twenty miles in ſo good an errand) or by per­petuall Diligence in the Houſe obſerving and complying with the Intereſts and affections of the Members to gain them over, or in watching when the Houſe is emptieſt and fitteſt for their Turne, or by any other Art that can conduce to their ends with the People, firſt to ſeduce, and then to inflame them, they are likely to have no ſmall advantage of His Majeſty, and are moſt unlikely not to im­prove to the uttermoſt any Advantage they ſhall have.

Thirdly, I anſwer, That the Kingdom hath as much Cauſe as the King to have Fears and Iealouſies of the ſame Perſons; And that in thoſe poynts which are moſt deere and moſt important to them. Doth Alteration of the Religion eſtabliſht deſerve a Iealouſy? What Printing, Preaching and violence doe we daily heare and ſee againſt the Government and Liturgy of this famous Proteſtant Church? Doe they not avowedly fight to take it away? What ſwarmes of Lay Tub-Preachers, what ſtrange unheard of Innovations daily a­riſe among us? Nor are thoſe Innovations only about words or Acti­ons in themſelves indifferent, (as calling a Table an Altar, a Mini­ſter a Prieſt, or receiving the Communion rather at the window, then in the middle of the Chancell, Innovations, which yet you know, Sir, I never approved) nor yet about opinions meerly ſpecula­tive, (as ſome of thoſe are which have formerly troubled Parlia­ments) but in ſuch opinions as diſorder all Government and diſ­ſolve20 civill society in order to ſetting up Ieſus Chriſt in a Throne, in which no Hiſtory can tell us that ever he ſate yet, throughout any one Province, or in any one Pariſh. And all this I will not ſay how unpuniſht, but how countenanc't, and by whom, but by thoſe men, who make uſe of Your Authority to produce none of your ends.

Doth the danger, or rather the deſtruction of the Property and Li­berty of the Subject deſerve a Iealouſy? Is not all they have or as much as is thought fit, taken from them by Orders of both Houſes, who have no more right to that power then a Grand-jury? Are not men committed in an arbitrary way, no cauſe expreſt nor Legall cauſe known, by both Houſes, and then in deſpight of all Habeas Corpuſſes retayn'd? Nay, Are not they ordinarily committed by the Houſe of Commons alone, which till of late, never pretended to a­ny right of committing any Body but the Members of their own Houſe, or ſuch out of it as had broken ſome Priviledge of theirs? Nay, is not the publique Liberty given up into the Hands of Com­mittees and ſtrangers delegated by them, and all this done by the Power of theſe men?

Doth the Alteration of the Civill State, and of the very frame and Conſtitution of Parliaments deſerve a Iealouſy? Have not the Arts, Induſtry and violence of thoſe Men, and of their Party ſo wrought and framed both Houſes, as to prevaile with them to oppoſe and u­ſurpe all the Rights and Power of the King? Have not they ſince with great Juſtice to the Lords Houſe, prevailed with the Houſe of Commons (with the helpe of the Common People, and Common-Councell) as wholly to ſwallow up the Lords Power, as their Lordſhips former concurrence had enabled them to devoure the Kings? And have they not again ſquees'd that Power into a cloſe Committee, and thence again into a ſub-Committee yet cloſer then that, that is in to themſelves? And by their ſole Orders, and to their ſole ends is not this whole Commonwealth upon the matter wholy governed and diſpoſed? Doe they not not only juſtify all this to be Law in time of Warre, (though indeed they only offer ſuch Reaſons for it, as will as well juſtify any unpaid Souldier in their Army to Plunder Legally, according to the ſame fundamentall Lawes of Na­ture and Neceſſity) but even as to the unjuſtifiable Illegall Votes and Actions publiſht and committed before the Warre, doe they either make any acknowledgement or Retractation of, or give any21 ſatisfaction for what is paſt, or offer any ſuch ſecurity againſt the like for the future, as the King hath done for thoſe things for which the Iealouſies are ſtill pretended to continue againſt Him? And there­fore if you be jealous ſtill of the King, and they having done all this, and in this manner, you are notwithſtanding not jealous that they will continue the ſame things as long as they continue in the ſame Power, I cannot but wonder to ſee you ſo jealous on the one ſide, and ſo ſecure on the other, unleſſe perhaps what I imply they will doe be a thing ſo evident to you, that you count it the object rather of foreſight, then of Iealouſy.

Fourthly I anſwer, That ſuppoſing you had no grounds to be jealous of them, and had grounds to be jealous of His Majeſty, yet this were no ſufficient excuſe for the Countenance you give by your Preſence, and for the Aſſiſtance you give by your Purſe, to thoſe Armes which upon no ſtronger a ground are raiſed againſt Him; For it is not juſtifiable in you to violate your duty, for feare leaſt another may not diſcharge his. Conſider this as ſeriouſly as the matter de­ſerves, and you will be of my opinion, that when that ſinne ſhall be laid to your charge at the day of Iudgement, it will be then found that a future poſſible Tyrant will not excuſe a preſent certain Re­bell.

But, Sir, I will count all this caſt away upon you. I will be confi­dent that ſince in order to Peace, and immediat disbanding of the Armies, the King deſires nothing but what is Law, and denies no­thing that is ſo; ſince He askes not all that by Law He might aske, but only that ſo much as was by violence taken from Him, before the Warre, may be now quietly reſtored to Him, and ſubmits all the o­ther Injuries He hath received, and all thoſe Delinquents He hath been ſo charg'd to protect, to be conſidered and tryed in a full, peace­ble and ſecure convention in Parliament; ſince after this offer no­thing can be ſo impudent, as to pretend your Armes to be any longer neceſſary and defenſive; ſince you can ſay nothing to perſwade the King to yeeld to what they aske, but only that unleſſe He will yeeld to what you will not ſay is reaſonable, they are unreaſonable enough to chooſe to deſtroy the Kingdom by continuing the Warre, I will be confident, that ſuppoſe this unreaſonableneſſe ſeem a Reaſon for the King to take their Conditions, it can appeare none to you to take their Parts, and you will never continue with thoſe men of whom22 you have thoſe thoughts. No, Sir, you are too much a Lover of uni­ty and Government, too good natured, too much a Gentleman to be a ROUNDHEAD, that is to fight to introduce nothing but Brow­niſme, Independance, Inſolence, Hardheartedneſſe and Parity, and to put the Kingdom into ſuch hands, as before this buſineſſe began, were known to few men in it. I know you were ingaged into this inſenſibly and by degrees, and (though you had then both a worſe Opinion of the Court, and a better of the Houſe of Commons, then their different demeanors ſince hath by this time perſwaded you to have) yet if you had ever gueſt it would have come to this, you would as ſoon have medled with a Serpent as with the Militia, and would have left them as ſoon as I did. I know nothing but the un­juſtifiable ſhame of confeſſing a paſt Error to avoyd a perpetuall one, hath ſince kept you with them, and therefore doubt not but you will now ſubmit to that ſhame (as a puniſhment due for the fault of having been aſhamed to doe your duty ſo long, and as a trouble that will bear no Proportion to the delight of having at laſt ſatis­fied your Conſcience) and leave thoſe, who in my Conſcience love thoſe among you who ſtay with them, and are not of them, worſe then they doe any evill Counſellor in Oxford, and who, when you have ſufficiently eſtabliſht their Power for them, will ſufficiently ſhow it. And in confidence (upon theſe Reaſons) that you will bring me a ſudden Anſwer to this Letter your ſelfe, I remaine

Your much pleas'd and very humble ſervant.

About this transcription

TextA letter from a grave gentleman once a member of this House of Commons, to his friend, remaining a member of the same House in London. Concerning his reasons why he left the House, and concerning the late treaty.
AuthorGrave gentleman once a member of this House of Commons..
Extent Approx. 56 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 13 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
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(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A87928)

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Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 18:E102[13])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationA letter from a grave gentleman once a member of this House of Commons, to his friend, remaining a member of the same House in London. Concerning his reasons why he left the House, and concerning the late treaty. Grave gentleman once a member of this House of Commons.. [2], 22 p. L. Lichfield],[Oxford :Printed in the yeare, 1643.. (Annotation on Thomason copy: "Oxon"; "about May 19th".) (Place of publication and publisher from Wing.) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • England and Wales. -- Parliament. -- House of Commons -- 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 A87928
  • STC Wing L1403
  • STC Thomason E102_13
  • STC ESTC R21285
  • EEBO-CITATION 99871394
  • PROQUEST 99871394
  • VID 155905

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