PRIMS Full-text transcription (HTML)

THE IVST MANS IVSTIFICATION OR A Letter by way of Plea in Barre;Written by L. Col. JOHN LILBURNE, to the Honourable Juſtice Reeves, one of the Juſtices of the Common-wealths Courts, commonly called Common Pleas.

Wherein the ſiniſter and indirect practices of Col. Edward King againſt L. Col. Lilburne, are diſcovered.

1. In getting him caſt into priſon for many weekes together, without pro­ſecuting any charge againſt him.

2. In arreſting him upon a groundleſſe action of two thouſands pound in the Court of Common Pleas; thereby to evade and take off L. Col. Lilburns teſtimony to the charge of high Treaſon given in against Col. King, and now depending before the Honourable Houſe of Commons.

In which Letter is fully aſſerted and proved that this cauſe is only tryable in Parliament, and not in any ſubordinate Court of Juſtice whatſoever.

Levit. 19.15. Yee ſhall do no unrighteouſneſſe in Iudgement, thou ſhalt not reſpest the perſon of the poore, nor honour the perſon of the mighty: but in righteouſneſſe ſhalt thou judge thy neighbour.

HAving lately taken upon my ſelf that boldneſſe to ſpeak with you, as you are one of the publique Judges of the Kingdome, about an honeſt poor man that was unjuſtly and without any legall authority caſt into priſon, and finding a very courteous, faire and rationall carriage from your Ho­nour towards me at that time, imboldeneth me the more at this time (being extraordinarily neceſſitated thereunto) to write a Letter to you in my own be­halfe. I being upon the fourteenth of April laſt arreſted at Weſtminſter, upon an acti­on of Treſpaſſe, by the Bayliffes thereof, at the ſuit of an unjuſt and troubleſome man, commonly called Colonell Edward King; and the Bayliffes pretended it was for ſo many thouſand pounds (although I am confident that I never was ſix pence in his debt in my life) that they muſt have extraordinary Baile for my appearance.

So that I was forced to give them two houſe-keepers in Weſtminſter, and one ſtran­ger, or elſe in their mercileſſe hands I muſt remaine, although I was very hard follow­ing of my buſineſſe to perfection with the Parliament, which hath ſtucke there almoſt ſix yeares, to my extraordinary coſt, charge, and loſſe of time, and although I am con­fident that it is as juſt a cauſe as any is in the world, and hath ſo been adjudged by both Houſes of Parliament, as in this incloſed printed relation you may reade.

2I muſt ingenuouſly confeſſe that it did ſomewhat trouble me to be arreſted in that manner, having never before in my life bin areſted to my remembrance, and I was the more troubled in regard that my Ordnance for my reparation, which laſtly paſſed in the Lords Houſe, was depending in the Houſe of Commons, I was affraid that it might there ſtick, if I were diverted from following it, and I did not know but this areſt might do it.

And being in a longing expectation for the Terme, to ſee my Antagonſts Declara­tion, I found in it that it is an Action of Treſpaſſe for 2000l pretending that I ſaid in October laſt, that Col. King was a Traytor, and I would prove him one, and for taking away his good name which I ſcarce believe he ever had in his life, and conſide­ring with my ſelfe what to do, I was reſolved to make a Plea at the Barr of the Common Pleas (where you are the eldeſt, and chiefeſt Judge, that Col. King and I, being both Soldiers, were in that condition to be governed by the Lawes Martiall which were publiſhed with the Stamp of Parliamentary Authority by the Generals thereof: And he having committed many grievous crimes againſt the Letter and true meaning of them, I complained to the Earle of Mancheſter thereof, being both his Generall and mine; and at the ſame time, divers Gentlemen of the Committee of Lincoln, as Mr. Archer &c. having Artickles of a very high nature againſt him, preſſed my Lord to a tryall of him at a Councell of Warre, and at the very ſame time, the Major, Aldermen and Towne Cleark of Boſton, came to Lincoln to my Lord, with Artickles of a ſuperlative nature againſt King their Governour, but could not get my Lord to let us injoy Juſtice at a Councell of Warre, according to all our expectations, and as of right we ought to have had, which at preſent ſaved his head upon his ſhoulders.

Yet notwithſtanding others endeavoured to try whether juſtice could be had againſt him in the Parliament, and for that end, in Auguſt 1644 Mr. Muſſenden, Mr. Wolley and divers others of the Committee of Lincoln did exhibit Artickle of a very high na­ture to the Houſe of Commons againſt him, and to ſpeake their own words in their 4th Artickle, they ſay.

That when he was laſt before Newarke, hſent for a Captaine who kept Crowland, who obeyed his command, yet ſent word to him of the danger that that Towne was in, and thre­fore deſired his ſecond pleaſure, which was that he ſhould march, who accordingly did, the Gentlemen of the Country, ſcaring the enemy, procured Major Ireton to ſend 100. Muſ­quetiers to keepe Crowland, which he hearing of, tooke ill, That any without order from him ſhould come into his liberties, and commanded them to be gone, who accordingly depart­ed, the Enemy preſently ſurprized the Town, and thoſe few that he had left in it, by which meanes he betrayed the Town unto the Enemy, which was not regained without much charge hazard, and loſſe of many mens lives.

And in the 12th. Artickle, they plainly accuſe him for betraying the Parliaments Garriſon of Grantham, theſe Artickles with the reſt, having there hung ever ſince without a finall determination, King knowing that I was a main witnes againſt him, in divers of the things laid to his charge, and bearing a malignant and inveterate mallice againſt me, for oppoſing him in his unjuſt and unwarrantable actions, (while I was his Major, and for diſcovering of them, and often complayning of him to the Earle of Mancheſter and Lievt. Gen. Crumwell &c.) to be revenged of me, did upon the 19th. day of July 1645, plot, contrive, and by lying and falce ſuggeſtions to ſome mem­bers of the Houſe of Commons, cauſed me to be committed as a priſoner, and as a priſo­ner, by vertue of that his unjuſt procurement, I lay till the 14th. of October 1645. to3 my extraordinary charge and dammage, yea, and to the hazard of my life, as I could eaſily, truly, and undenyably demonſtrate.

And yet neither he nor any man for him ever proſecuted any charge againſt me, for although I lay ſo long, yet was I delivered before ever I knew truly and legally where­fore I was impriſoned, as appeares by the following Coppy of my releaſement.

MR. Recorder acquainted the Houſe, that two Seſſions were now paſſed, ſince Lievtenant Colonell Lilbourn was removed to Newgate, and had continued a priſo­ner there, and that no information or other charge had been yet brought againſt him, and at this laſt Seſſions, he humbly deſired either to be tryed or to be diſcharged, and it is thereupon reſolved upon the queſtion, that Lievtenant Colonell Lilbourn be forthwith diſcharged from his impriſonment.

Hen. Elſing. Cler. Parl. D. Com.
To the Keeper of Newgate or his Deputy.

And that King was the inſtrumentall cauſe of my impriſonment, appeares clearly to me, by what I find recorded by his good friend and my grand enemy Mr. Prinne, in the latter end of the 6th. Page of his booke intituled the Lyer confounded, and by what J find recorded under Kings hand in the 8th. page of his co-partner, Doctor Buſtwicke Booke, written againſt ſelfe, for although Doctor Baſtwick be now my bitter Ene­my, and his hand be with Kings to the Information which Doctor Baſtwick here ſaith was put into the Houſe of Commons againſt me: yet I am apt to thinke that King was the Ringleader in it, becauſe at that time there was no viſible nor profeſſed breach of friendſhip betwixt Doctor Baſtwick and my ſelfe.

Vpon which provocation by King, it might be, and I do believe it to be true, that J might be free in my diſcourſe at ſeverall times of King, and the forementioned chargef Treaſon given into the Houſe of Commons againſt him, and J am very confident it will be made good by ſufficient proofes and witneſſes, according to the rules of Warre, when it there comes to a tryall, but do not own the words ſpecified by him in every particular.

Therefore J conceive it unjuſt, irrationall, and Anti-Parliamentary, for an inferi­our and ſubordinate Court, as the Court of Common Pleas is, to medle with this buſi­neſſe, it being now dependent in Parliament, the ſupream Court, and unjudged there as yet, although the proſecutors aree rady at their utmoſt perill to prove their charge againſt him.

Therefore my Lord, in my apprehenſion, Kings former mallice manifeſted about my commitment, and his preſent bringing me before you, are meer evaſions and tricks to terrify me and all others from proſecuting him in Parliament, and alſo (under favour) your medling with it in your Court, it being ſtill depending in Parliament, and not by them referred to you, is an incroachment upon their Priviledges, and J am the ra­ther confirmed in this opinion, when I ſeriouſly read over Mr. Prinnes Booke, cal'd the doom of cowardice and trenchery, he being Colonell Kings very good friend and councellor, and therefore his words in this caſe are of the more weight and authority Titus 1.12. being a profeſſed adverſary to me, who citing the Rolles of Parliament of4 the 1. R. 2. num. 38, 39, 40. which containes the caſe of Gomery and Weſton, hath theſe obſervations and inferences from them, in the 7th. page thereof.

That it is to be remembred, that Ieffery Martin Clearke of the Crown made this ve­ry Record, and delivered it thus written in this preſent Roll, with his own hand, therefore ſaith he, from this memorable Record, I ſhall onely obſerve theſe few parti­culars.

1. That the Surrender of Townes, or Caſtles to the Enemy, through Cowardice or Treachery, is properly examinable and tryable onely in Parliament.

Jt being a detryment to the whole Kingdome, and ſo fit to be determined by the repreſentative Body of the Kingdome.

2. That the Cowardly delivering up of any Town or Caſtle by the Governour thereof, to the Enemy, is a Capitall Offence, deſerveth death, and likewiſe the loſſe of it through his negligence or default.

3. That every Governour, who takes upon him the cuſtody of any Fort or Town, is obliged in point of Truſt, and duty, under Pain of DEATH to defend it to the utmoſt extremity.

4. That the concurrent conſent of a Councell of Warre or Souldiers, to render up a Town to the Enemy before utmoſt extremity, for the ſaving of the Houſes, Lives and Goods of the Soldiers or Inhabitants, is no excuſe at all to juſtify or extenuate ſuch a Governours diſhonourable Surrender and offence.

5. That thoſe who are accuſed of ſuch an unworthy Surrender of any Town or Caſtle ought to be apprehended and kept in ſafe cuſtody, till their Tryalls be paſt, and not ſuf­fered to go at large.

6. That a Governour giving timely notice of the Enemies apporach, of the weakeneſſe of the Garriſon, his ſing for timely ayd, and repulſing of the Enemy for a ſeaſon, will no wayes excuſe his ſurrender of a Town or Caſtle, unleſſe he hold it out to the utmoſt ex­tremity, or Surrender it by the conſent of thoſe, who entruſted him with the Cuſtody thereof.

7. That the violent Battery of the Walles, or drayning of the Dykes of any Caſtle or Citie, or any breach made in them by the Enemy (though extraordinary powerfull) are no ſufficient cauſes or excuſes for any Governour to Surrender them upon compoſition to the Enemy, while there is ſufficient victuals, men, or ammunition to defend them; And that they muſt in no wiſe be ſurrendred, without conſent of thoſe who put in the Govirnour till the greateſt part of the Souldiers be ſlain, the victuals or ammutioun quite ſpent, and all hopes of reliefe diſpayred of utterly upon good grounds.

Which is cleare by the Caſe of Weſton, who made a better defence of the Caſtle of Outbrewick with 38. men onely, againſt more then 8000. Enemyes, (who beſieged, aſſaulted, battered it for 6. dayes together, with nine great Cannons and other Engines, and pleaded farre more in his defence of his ſurrender of it, then many now can do, for ſurrendring of Townes and Caſtles of far greater importance, then this Caſtle was, and yet for all this Weſton in full Parliament, was adjudged to death for it.

Thus far the words of an adverſary to me, and Kings eſpeciall friend and councel­lor, and therefore of the more weight and authority. Titus 1.12, 13.

Therefore my Lord, laying all theſe things together, as 1. Col. King and J being both Soldiers under one Generall, namely the Earl of Mancheſter, who was authorized by Parliament to govern his Army by Martiall Law, which Law was plainly printed by the ſame authority, and openly publiſhed to the view of every Commander, Officer &5 Souldier; for tranſgreſſing againſt which Artickles, many in a martiall way have loſt their lives, and no other viſible Rule that J knew off, was to be the Rule and Judge of our actions, or offences, but that Law, unto the power and authority of which, both Col. King and my ſelfe did voluntarily ſtoop, and therefore (as I humbly con­ceive) wee are not to be tryed by the Rules of the Common Law, (which I thinke no man in the world fully and truly knowes) for our actions committed in our ſouldier condition, which is the true cauſe betwixt him and me. 2. I did my duty according to the truſt repoſed in me, By the State Legall & repreſentative, and by my Generall from whom I had my Commiſſion, and according to the private commands of Lievtenant Generall Crumwel, which was to be faithfull in my place, and to complain, either of Col. King, or whomſoever I groundedly knew, did any actions that tended to the ruine of Salus Poppuli, The ſafety of the People, or the State univerſall, and he promiſed me upon his Honour and Reputation, that he would doe the beſt he could to have juſtice done, which is the very life of all ſocieties or Common Wealths, and that without which, the People cannot be happy or ſafe; yea, & he gave me the reaſon, wherefore he ſo earneſtly tyed me to it, which was becauſe our Generall with his Army was to march out of Lincoln Shire, and that Country being lately wonne out of the hands of the Cavaliers, there being very few of that Country at that time that deſired Command under the Generall, (ſaith he) wee are neceſſitated to make uſe of Col. King, and to make him governour of Boſton and Holland, upon whom he lookt then as an active po­pular man, who promiſed to do mighty things for the good of that Country, and the Publique.

But in regard divers of the chiefe men of Boſton do miſlike him, I have therefore (ſaith be) in his behalfe engaged my ſelfe to them for him, that he ſhall be faithfull, juſt and honeſt towards them, and therefore in regard I have no large experience of the man, and of his temper, I principally looke upon thee Lilbourne, and thy Liev­tenant Colonel, whoſe faithfulneſſe. I can reſt upon, & for both of whom I have uſed my intereſt, to place on purpoſe with him, that ſo if he ſhould breake out to the diſho­nour of my ingagement, and the detriment of the publique, I may from time to time be ſure to know of it, that ſo it may be prevented before it be paſt remedy.

But King being puffed up with his Command, tooke upon him an abſolute regall tyranicall authority over all his Officers, but eſpecially thoſe that were betruſted in Commiſſion aſwell as himſelfe, and to do his chiefe actions by the rule of his own will, without their privity or advice, which tended to the ruine of all that were under him, and conſequently of that whole country, he having treacherouſly loſt Crowland, and Boſton put in extream danger, by his abſolute wilfulneſſe, if not treachery, the ma­king known whereof, with his cariages at Newarke Siedge &c. coſt me in ſending poſts to the Earle of Mancheſter, and Lievtenant Generall Crumwell, then, in or about Cambridge, I am very confident 20. or 30. l. which ſo madded him, that he impriſo­ned Major Rogers for daring to go and complain againſt him, I being in thoſe ſtraights in regard of the charge I had taken upon me, that I durſt not ſtir my ſelfe, till all was cleare, without feare or danger of an enemy, he having already by the Law of his own will, caſhiered his Lievtenant Colonell, without ground or cauſe, and endeavoured the apparent deſtruction of Capt Camebridge, and all the honeſt, zealous, and con­ſcientious men, under his command, which to me was an ill Omen of his intentions.

Therefore I ſay, ſo ſoon as I durſt leave my charge, I poſted away to Bedford, where I found my Generall, and Lievetenant Generall Crumwell, and tould them both fully6 of Kings cariage, and that he commanded his forces to march forward and backward, where, and when he pleaſed, without the advice, aprobation and conſent of his Field Officers &c. who were to ingage their lives a thouſand times more then himſelfe, in managing the deſignes he ſet them about, and that the Committee of Lincolnſhire had paid him diverſe thouſands of pounds to pay his Officers and Souldiers at Newarke Siedge, but J could not heare that he paid one penny to any Officer there, and for my own part J am ſure J could not get a penny from him, although J am confident J tooke as much paines both night and day, and hazarded my perſon as freely, and as often as any Major at that Leaguer did

So likewiſe, although the Country ſent in great ſtore of proviſion for his Regiment gratis, yet he and his under Sutlers, made both my ſelfe and other of his Officers and Souldiers, pay ready money for a great part of it, to their extraordinary diſcontent, provoking them thereby to mutiny. And ſo full was he of arrogancy pride and conten­tion (conteſting with all, or moſt of the chiefe Commanders there) that Sir Iohn Mel­drum told me, that heindled ſuch a fire of contention amongſt them that he durſt ſcarce call a Councell of Warre to conſult how to manage their buſines, for fear King ſhould ſet them all together by the earres, and ſo deſtoy the buſines, being there conti­nually in conteſtation with my Lord Willoughby, Col. Roſſter, Sir Myles Hubbard, Sir Iohn Pagraffe and divers of the Lincoln Committee &c. which did ſo trouble and diſtract the old Knight Sir Iohn Meldrum, our commander in chiefe, that he knew not well what to do, when Rupert came upon us, by reaſon of our own diſtractions a­among our ſelves.

And I dare confidently averre it upon my conſcience, that hee (namely King) was one of the greateſt inſtruments of our overthrow and ruine, and therefore if Thomas Earle of Lancaſter, (as Mr. Prinne in the 2. page of the foreſaid booke recordeth) was proclaimed a Traytor, by the whole Army in the 12. yeare of King Edward the ſe­cond; for departing in diſcontent from the Army, at the ſiege of Barwick, by meanes whereof it was not taken, and the ſiege raiſed; then I deſire to know what Colonell King deſerveth, that at the ſiege of Newark carried himſelfe ſo, that hee did raiſe diſ­contents, and little better then mutinies, by meanes whereof the ſiege was not only raiſed, but the whole Army in a manner deſtroyed, to the extraordinary danger of the whole Kingdome.

I alſo told my Lord that after the articles of agreement was concluded, Colonell King commanded, (and in a manner forced me) contrary to the Agreement, to march away his Regiment in a hoſtill manner, with their armes, &c. by meanes of which we were ſet upon by their horſe, and forcibly diſarmed, which did alſo occaſion the plun­dering of us, as violaters of our Covenant and contract; to the diſparagement of the whole army, yea, and the Parliament it ſelfe, and to the extreme hazard and danger of abundance of our lives; yet King was ſo honeſt, and valiant, that as ſoone as he ſaw the ſtorme fall upon us, he fairely left us, and ſhifted for himſelfe, without being plun­dered as we were, at which bout I loſt well nigh 100 l, being plundered from the crowne of my head to the ſole of my foot.

I further told him, that the Towne of Boſton had been in extreame danger, for af­ter Lincolne was diſcerted, and Ruperts forces poſſeſſed of it, and daily newes brought into Boſton, that Rupert would aſſault it on both ſides the river; I moved Colonell King, that ſeeing the armes of his owne Regiment &c. was loſt, and he in no poſſibi­ltiy to defend the Towne of himſelfe at the preſent, that therefore (the Towne being7 of that conſequence, that if it ſhould be loſt, the Enemy might preſently make it, the abſoluteſt ſtrong Towne in England for themſelves) that he would forthwith ſend to Colonell Walton, then Governour of Linne, to intreat him to lend him at his great need and ſtrait 4. or 500 men, to defend the Towne, till ſuch time that he could get his owne Regiment againe together, which he abſolutely refuſed, and told me plainly that he would never ſend for another to command and affront him in his owne Juriſ­diction, which the Linne men would do, (he ſaid) if they come, at which, I being ex­ceedingly troubled, that he ſhould preferre his owne domination before the preſerva­tion of ſo conſiderable a Towne and Garriſon, it made mee beleeve hee intended to betray it.

Whereupon I went to Mr. Major, then as I remember, at Alderman Tilſons, and told them both, with ſome others, that their Towne was in extraordinary danger to be loſt, and they all undone, if they did not looke about them preſently, and told them all the diſcourſe I had had with their unjuſt oppreſſing Governor, and told them I conceived all was not right, and therefore I judged my ſelf bound in duty and con­ſcience both before God and man, to tell them what I apprehended of things, and how neare their danger and ruine was at hand, and if they would not helpe to ſave themſelves according to the law of Nature, their ruine be upon themſelves; they deſi­ring of me to let them know, what I would adviſe them to, I told them my adviſe was, for as many of them to go with me to Colonell King once againe, as they thought fit, and let us joyntly preſſe him to ſend to Linne for men, and if he would not do it, that then we might do it without him.

Vpon which, we went, and at firſt found him obſtinate till (as I remember) Al­derman Tilſon tould him that if he would not joyne with them, they would write to the Governour without him) upon which he was drawn to ſubſcribe, but my Lord of Man­cheſter and the Governour of Lyne, or ſome others in authority; being mindfull of us in our ſtraits, had ordered Col. Waltons Major, Major Franckling, a ſtout and gallant man, with about 400. men, to come by Sea to us, & as I remember, his orders were, that he ſhould ſecure Boſton; upon the arivall of whom, Col. King immediately commanded them out of the Town, to go and beſiedge Crowland, which a litle before by treachery or his own abſolute wilfull negligence, he had given up unto the declared Traytors, and profeſſed enemies of the State and Kingdome.

Of which as ſoone as I fully underſtood, I went to Major Frankling, and deſired to ſee his order by vertue of which he came to Boſton, and told him how things ſtood with us, and in what temper I conceived my Colonel to be, and therefore entreated him to be ſenſible of the truſt repoſed in him, and of his own Honour, and reputation, pro­feſſing unto him, that if he at the command of Col King, marched away with all his men, conſidering his orders, and the condition which the Town was in, I ſhould look upon it as a meer deſign betiwxt him and Col King to betray the Town indeed, telling him how weak and unfortified the Towne was, in a manner all round about, being in divers places eaſy for a man with a Pike ſtaffe to leap over it, and therefore there was no way in the eye of reaſon to preſerve it, ſeing the Enemies intention (as wee heard) was to fall upon it, unleſſe his men ſtayed in it, or at leaſt the major part of them.

Whereupon he went to Col. King, and (as I remember) in Alderman Tilſons Hall, debated with him his poſitive command, and with much adoe prevailed that him­ſelfe and a great part of his Souldiers ſhould ſtay to defend the Town, and my ſelfe be­ing left by Col. King, with the conſent of the Major and Aldermen, to take care of the8 towne, I went to Major Frankling, and deſired him to go with me to Colonell King, to know what Amunition he had in his Magazine, who aſſured us upon his reputati­on, that he had a hundred barrels of powder, and all things fitting beſides, and there­fore bid us take no care for Ammunition and, being very buſie in ſending away men, guns, &c. to the intended leaguer of Crowland.

I did not go to the Magazine, to ſee whether be had told us truth or no, he having taken a quantity of powder with him, and an other ſent him, he ſends his war­rant to the Magazine Keeper, for ten barrels more, not ſignifying one word of his mind to me, who was then betruſted with the Towne, upon the reciet of which old Mr. Coney the Magazine keeper, came and told me that he had received an order from the Colonell, to ſend him ten barrels of powder, and ſaith he what ſhall I doe, for there is but ten barrels in all in the Magazine:

At the hearing of which I ſtood amazed, and tould him it could not be poſſible, for (ſaid I) ſuch a day I went to the Colonell with Major Frankling, and he did aſſure us that he had 100. barrels in ſtore, but Mr. Coney aſſured me, that there was not one more then 10, the which if wee ſend to him, there is none to keep their guards (ſaith he) I asked him if there were not a private ſtore-houſe for powder, and he told me none at all, then we began to reckon how many barrels were gone out, ſince he aſ­ſured Major Frankling and my ſelfe that he had 100 in ſtore, and all that both the Magazine Keeper, and my ſelfe could reckon, with thoſe 10 in his hands, and all he had ſince that day delivered out, was (as I remember) 24 or 26:

Whereupon I went to Alderman Tilſons, and asked him whether the Major, him­ſelfe, and the reſt of his Brethren, had not a private Magazine, and he told me no, but asked me wherefore I demanded ſuch a queſtion of him, whereupon I tould him all the ſtory,t which he ſtood amazed, and from him I went to Colonell Kings wife, and deſired to know of her, whether ſhee knew of any private Magazine of powder that her husband had, and ſhee told me no.

Then I told her all the buſineſſe, and ſaid to her, that I wondred her Husband ſhould aſſure Major Frankling and my ſelfe, that he had 100 barreles of powder, when he had but 28, and that he ſhould ſend for all that he had left, out of the Ga­riſon, aſſuring her that if the ten barrels he had ſent for, ſhould be ſent him, we ſhould not have one left in the Magazine to defend the Towne with, being then in expectation of the Enemy to Aſſault us, I told her for my part I could not pick out the Engliſh of it.

And I being by the Generall ſent poſt to London to the Committee of both King­doms, about his marching to take Lincolne againe, and from thence to march to York, to joyne with the Scots, I in the third place ceaſed not to put that (which lay upon me as a duty) forwards, as ſoone as an opportunity ſerved, and renewed my complaint againſt him at Lincolne, and deſired it might receive a faire hearing before the Ge­nerall and a Counſell of Warre, and that juſtice might be done according to the rules of Warre, and Mr. Archer and others of the Committee of Lincolne, drew up a very hainous charge againſt King, and laboured hard for a triall, and in the third place the Major, Aldermen, and towne Clerke, of Boſton, came to Lincolne with their Arti­cles againſt him, which were home enough, and to my knowledge preſſed Leu. Gen. Crumwell, to uſe all his intereſt in my Lord, that they might be admitted to make them good, before him, and a Counſell of warre, but we could not all prevaile, the reaſon of which I am not able to render, vnleſſe it were that his two Chaplains Lee,9 and Garter, prevailed with the Earles two Chaplains, Mr. Aſh and Good, to caſt a cleargy miſt, over their Lords eyes, that he ſhould not be able to ſee any deformity in Colonell King, but this I dare confidently ſay, if there we had, had but faire play, and juſtice impartially, King had as ſurely dyed, as ever malifactor in England did, and to uſe the words once againe of his owne boſome friend, and Counſeller,Mr. Prinne, in page the 6 of the fore cited book, if the late Baron of Grayſtock, who was a Lord, and one of the Peares of the Realme, and had taken upon him ſafely to keep to the a foreſaid Grandfather (King of England) the towne of Berwick: The ſaid Barron perceiving afterward, that the ſaid Grandfather, addreſſed himſelfe to ride into France, the ſaid Barron (without command of the ſaid Granfather) committed the ſaid towne of Barwick to a valiant Eſquire Robert Deogle, as Leiu. to the ſaid Bar­ron, for to keep ſafe the towne of Barwick to the ſaid Grandfather, and the ſaid Barron went as an horſe-man to the ſaid parts of France, to the ſaid Grandfather, and there remained in his company. During which time an aſſault of warre, was made upon the ſaid Towne of Barwick, by the ſaid Scots, and the ſaid Robert as Leiu. to the ſaid Barron, valiantly defended the ſame, and at laſt by ſuch forceable aſſaultes, the ſaid Towne was taken upon the ſaid Robert, and two of the ſonnes of the ſaid Robert there ſlaine in the defence of the ſame, notwithſtanding that the ſaid Barron himſelfe, had taken upon him the ſafeguard of the ſaid Towne, to the ſaid Grandfather, and departd himſelfe without command of the ſaid Grandfather, and the ſaid towne of Barwick loſt, in the abſence of the Barron, he being in the company of the ſaid Grandfather, in the parts of France, as aforeſaid, It was adjudg­ed in Parliament, before his Peares, that the ſaid Towne was loſt, in default of the ſaid Barron, and for this cauſe he had judgment of life, and member, and that he ſhould forfeit all that he had.I ſay if this Lord, deſerved to dye who left a Deputy ſo manfully to defend the Towne, and alſo was himſelfe with the King in the ſer­vice, much more King, meerly in reference to Crowland ſingly, who being Gover­ner thereof, and having placed Captaine Cony therein as his Deputy, with a company of men, ſent for him in a bravado humour to Newwarke, when he had no urgent ne­ceſſity for him, unleſſe it were that the world might ſee the bravery of his Regiment, wth by his agumentation amounted to about 1400, when Cap. Cony certified him, that the Towne being generally Malignant &c would be in great danger by the Beverkers of being loſt if he ſhould come away, yet notwithſtanding King ſent to him againe, and did command him away, and put in a guard of ſlander and unſafe men, which preſaged aloſſe of it to the Committee reſiding in Holland, upon which they acquain­ted Com••ſſary Gennerall; Ireton then Deputy, Governour of the Ile of Ely, and er­neſtly intreated him to ſend a ſtrong guard to preſerue and keep it, and he accordingly ſent (as I remember) Captaine Ʋnderwood, aſtout man with about a 100 ſouldiers &c. of which when King heard, he was exceding mad, and did write a moſt imperi­ous bitter letter, to command them out of his Jurisdiction, where upon they were necſſiated to deprt, and leave Crowland to his owne ſlender and treacherous guard, by meanes of which, within a little while after the Enemy had advantage to ſuppriſe that Towne without opoſition, or difficulty, and did it, ſo that to ſpeake in the words of the Articles remaining in Parliament againſt him, he betrayed that Towne, which was not regained without much hazzord and loſſe, the expence of a great deal of treaſure and many mens lives, the blood of all which heupon his head, for the loſſe of which alone (beſides his treachery both to the ſtate univerſall and repreſenta­tive)10 he ought to dye without mercy, by the Morall and undiſpenſable Law of God, made long before that ever the Jewes were a Nation, or had any Ceremoniall Law given unto them, which Law is expreſſed in Gen 9 5, 6. where God ſpeaking to Noah and his ſons, ſaith thus:And ſurely your blood of your lives will I require at the hand of every beaſt will I require it, and at the hand of man: at the hand of every mans brother will I require the life of man.

Who ſo ſheddeth mans blood, by man ſhall his blood be ſhed, for in the Image of God made he man, reade Revel. 13.10. But King, though his owne hands did not murder the ſouldiers that loſt their lives in taking it in againe, yet he was the true fountaine and cauſe wherefore their blood was ſhed, Deut. 22.8. Judg 9.24. 2 Sam. 12.9. having apparently, by his wilfulneſſe and treachery, loſt the Towne; and therefore, wilfull blood being upon his heat, he ought to make a legall ſatisfaction, and expiation by his owne blood: I wiſh with all my ſoule the Parliament (your Lordſhip, and all the reſt of the Judges of this Kingdome) would ſeriouſly conſider and ponder upon this unre­pealable law of God, that ſo wilfull murderers and blood-thirſty men might not eſcape the hands of Juſtice, and ſo bring wrath from God upon the whole Kingdome, Gen. 4.10, 11, 12. Deut. 19.10. Pſal. 106.38. Jer. 7.5, 6. and 19. , 4 Lament 4 13, 14. Hoſea 4.2, 3 Joel 3.19. Heb. 2.8. which cannot be expiated but by the blood of him that ſhed it, Numb. 35.33. Deut. 19 12, 13. 2 Sam. 4 11, 12, 1 King., 32, 33. and 21 19. and 2 King. 9.7, 8, 9, 10, 36.33. and Chap. 24. 2, 3, 4. but eſpecially that you would thinke upon the grand Murtherer of England (for by this impartiall Law of God there is no exemption of Kings, Princes, Dukes, Earles, Barons, Judges, or Gentlemen, more then of Fiſher-men, Coblers, Tinkers, and Chimney-ſweepers) upon whoſe ſhoulders all the innocent blood that hath in ſuch abundance been ſhed in this Kingdome, &c. lyes, for which reckoning I am ſure the ſcore is not acquitted in the account of God, nor ought it not to be in the account of man, For if the innocent and righteous blood of one Abel, cry'd ſo loud for vengeane in the eares of God, a­gainſt Cain, that God curſed him and all he went about: How much more will the blood of thouſands, and ten thouſands of innocent perſons, that hath been lately ſhed in England, cry loud in the cares of God, for wrath and vengeance againſt thoſe that have been the true fountaine and cauſe of it, for ſhal it is, and upon ſome body the guilt of it lyes; and therefore it is but a folly and madneſſe, for the King, Parliament, or People, to talke of peace, till inquiſition be made for Englands innocent blood, and Juſtice done upon the guilty, and wilfull ſhders of it, for beſides the Law of God in Gen. 9 he ſaith plainly, Numb. 35.31. That there ſhall no ſatisfaction be taken for the life of a murtherer, but that he ſhall ſurely be put to death, and in verſ. 33. God de­clares that the ſhedding innocent blood defileth and polluteth a Land, and that, that cannot be clenſed of the blood that is ſhed therein, but by the blood of him that ſhed it, and for the innocent blood that Manaſſeth ſhed in Jeruſalem (although a King) God ſent bands of the Caldeans, Syrians, Moabites, and Ammonites to deſtroy Judah, and remove them out of his ſight, for the ſinnes of Manaſſh their King, and for the in­nocent blood that he had ſhed, (which the text ſaith) The Lord would not pardon, 2 King. 24.2, 3, 4. Yea, and becauſe Saul (though a King) ſlew ſome of the Gaho­nites contrary to the Covenant made with them, God ſent a famine upon all Iſrael for three yeares, for that very innocent blood ſhed by the King, and there was no expiation, or ſatisfaction to be made therefore, but by the blood of him that had ſhed it; and therefore becauſe he himſelfe was dead and his blood could not be had,11 ſeven of his ſons (of his owne blood) muſt and was hanged up to make ſatisfactions therefore,Sam. 2.21.1, 2, 3, 4. to the 9.

My Lord, the unſufferable provocation of Colonell King, forceth me to preſent theſe lines unto you, and I doubt not, but theſe will tend to his long deſerved ruine; and therefore to ſpeake in the words of his friend Mr. Prinne, in a caſe of the like natureIt is the juſt hand of God, many times ſo farre to demenate the very wiſeſt polititi­ans, as to make themſelves the principall contrivers of their owne infamy and ruine:for his Knavery, lying in a hole as it were, now he hath by his arreſting mee, and bringing me before your Lordſhip (who I conceive have nothing to do with the buſi­neſſe, being it is dependant in Parliament the ſupream Court of the Kindome,) neceſ­ſitated me to publiſh the whole ſtate of the buſineſſe betwixt him and me to the view of the world, becauſe at your Barre I cannot make a plea at large to the whole body of the Articles, but muſt be tyed up, as I am told, to a ſingle plea, that is to ſay, to plead either guilty, or not guilty, unto which I cannot without ſnares yeeld unto, be­ſides I muſt, as I am told, plead at your Barre by Serjeants at Law, none of which I know, and therefore will not truſt them, come ruine and deſtruction, and what ever will of me. Againe, my Lord, I muſt there be tryed by a Jury that neither knowes mee, nor I them, nor knowes any of Kings habituated knavery, nor underſtands any thing of Martiall Law, the only rule to try him and me in this caſe, and that which is worſt of all, they are choſen (as I am told) by the under Sheriff, of which kind of creatures I neer heard any great commendation for their honeſty, but have heard of much judging and packing betwixt them and ſuch kind of crafty and large conſcioned fellowes, as my Adverſary King the Lawyer is. Againe, my Lord, that which is the greateſt miſchiefe of all, and the oppreſſing bondage of England ever ſince the Nor­man yoke, is this, I muſt be tryed before you by a Law (called the Common Law) that I know not, nor I thinke no man elſe, neither do I know where to find it, or reade it; and how I can in ſuch a caſe be puniſhed by it, I know not: For, my Lord, I have been with divers Lawyers about this very buſineſſe, I cannot find two of them of one mind, or that can plainly deſcribe unto mee what is the way of your goings; ſo that I pro­feſſe I am in the darke amongſt briers and thornes, and faſt in a trap by the heeles, and enemies round about me ready to deſtroy me, if I be not very wary with my tongue and which way to get out, or how, or to whom to call to for help I know not, for ſuch an unfathomable gulfe have I by a little ſearch found, the Law practiſes in Weſtmin­ſter Hall to be, that ſeriouſly I thinke there is neither end nor bottom of them, ſo ma­ny uncertainties, formalities, puntillo's, and that which is worſe, all the entryes and proceedings in Latine, a language I underſtand not, nor one of a thouſand of my na­tive Country men, ſo that my Lord, when J read the Scripture, and the Houſe of Commons late unparaleld Declaration, it makes me thinke that the practizes in the Courts at Weſtminſter, flow not from God nor his Law, nor the law of Nature and reaſon, no nor yet from the underſtanding of any righteous, juſt or honeſt men, but from the Devill, and the will of Tyrants.

Firſt my Lord, the Houſe of Commons declaration April 17. 1646 tels me, that their intentions are not to change the ancient frame of Government within this King­dome, but to obtaine the end of the Primitive inſtitution of all Government, the ſafty and weale of the people, (amoſt goulden ſaying) but I am ſure it cannot be for the peoples ſafety, nor welfare, to have their lives, liberties, and eſtates, Judged by a lawthe entrings and proceedings of which are in Latine, and ſo without there under­ſtanding12 there caſes in Heathen Greeke of Pedlers French, and ſo beyond their know­ledg, and man of their rules in the orracles of Judges breaſts, whoſe judments many times have been deſtructive to the lives liberties and eſtates, of all the free men of England, witneſſe there late Judgment in ſhipmoney &c. neiteer are ſuch practizes agreeable to the Ancient conſtitutions of Kingdoms.

And ſecondly when God gives his law unto the ſonnes of men, he doth it plainly, without ambiguous termes, and in their owne language, as firſt for Adam, the law God gaue him was plaine and ſhort, with a declared penalty annexed unto it, Gen. 2.16.17. And the Lord God commanded the man, ſaying, of every tree of the Gar­den thou mayeſt freely eate. But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou ſhalt not eat of it, for in the day thou eateſt thereof, thou ſhalt ſurely die. And his law in the 9. of Gen. about murther is as plaine as this, for who ſo ſheadeth mans blood (ſaith he) by man ſhall his blood be ſhed, for in the Image of God made he man, and ſo likewiſe when God comes to give a law unto the Iſralites as a nation, yea and that law which we call the Morrall law, and obſerve as binding to us to this day, he doth it in plaine words, without amibguous or doubtfull tearmes, ſhort and in their owne tongue Exo. 20 and that the people might be at a certaintie, Moſes as his Miniſter, and officer, writ, and reade it in the audience of the people, unto which they gautheir conſent, Exo. 24 4.6. and after that God writ them himſelfe with his finger, and delivered them to Moſes, that ſo the people might be taught them, Exo. 24.12. & 31.18. and chap. 34. yea, and in this plainneſſe, was all the Lawes God gaue unto them, which he did not only barely ranke, and ſo let the people goe ſeeke them where they could find them, but he alſo with Majeſtie, proclaimes them openly and as if that were not enough, that ſo they might know the Law and not in the leaſt plead ignorance of it, Moſes declares it to them againe, and againe Deu. 5 & chap. 6. & chap. 9. & 11. Yea and commands them to teach their Children, and to ſpeak of them, when they fit in their houſe, and when they go abroad, and when they lie downe, and riſe up, yea and that they ſhould write them upon the poſts of their houſes, and upon their gates Du 11.19.20. yea and that they ſhould write them very plainlyDeut. 27.8. and the reaſon is becauſe the juſt God hath done, and will doe juſt and righteous things, and will not be ſo unjuſt as to punniſh men fortranſgreſſing a law they know not, and therefore ſaith Moſes to Iſrael in the be­halfe of the juſt God, and his law, Its not hidden from thee, neither is it farre off It is not in Heaven, that thou ſhouldeſts ſay who ſhall go up for us to Heaven, and bring it unto us, that wee may heare it, and doe it; neither is it beyond the Sea, that thou ſhouldeſt ſay, who ſhall go over the Sea for us, and bring it unto us, that wee may heart it, and doe it: But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou maiſt doe it, ſo (ſaith he) I have ſet before thee this day life and good,death and evill Deut., 14.19 yea and that the generations to come, might not think that God dealt hardly with them, in exacting obedience from them, who lived not in Moſes dayes, to heare the Law ſo ſollemnly publiſhed, he delivers it a ſtnading Law (in future generations) unto the Prieſts El­ders, and people, that at the end of every ſeaven Yeares, in the ſolemnity of the yeareof releaſe, in the feaſt of Tabernacles: When all Iſraell is com to appeare before the Lord thy God, in the place which he ſhall chooſe: Thou ſhalt read this Law be­fore all Iſraell in their hearing. Gather the people together, men and women, and children, and thy ſtranger that is within thy gates, that they may heare, and that13 they may learne, & feare the Lord your God, and obſerve to doe al the words of this Law: And that their Children which have not knowne any thing, may heare and learne to feare the Lord your God, as long as you live,Deut. So wee ſee how juſt and exact God is to the people, in giving them a ſhort, plain and eaſie to be underſtood Law, in their owne tongue, and not in the language of ſtrangers, and what care he takes to have it publiſhed and taught unto the people.

But if wee will but impartially read our Engliſh hiſtories, wee ſhall clearely find, that the tedious, unknowne, and impoſſible to be underſtood, common law practiſes in Weſtnmiſter Hall, came in by the will of a Tyrant, namly William the Conque­rer, who by his ſword conquered this Kingdome, and profeſſed he had it from none but God and his ſword Danniel 42. ſubdued their honeſt and juſt law (Speed 424.) commonly called the law of Edward the Confeſſ. and as Daniel ſaith fol. 44. ſet up new termes, new conſtitutions, new formes of pleas, new offices, and Courts, and that whereas (ſaith he fol. 46) before the cauſes of the Kingdome were determined in every Shire, and by Law of King Edwad ſe. all matters in queſtion ſhould upon eſpeciall penalty, with out further deferment, be finally decided in theirGe­mote or conventions held monthly in every hundred, he ordained, that fower times in the yeare for certain dayes, the ſame buſinſſe ſhould be determined in ſuch place as he would appoint, where he conſtituted Judges to attend for that purpoſe, and others from whom, was from the boſome of the Prince, all litigators ſhould have juſtice, and from whom was no appeale, and made his Judges (ſaith Martin in his hiſtory folo 5.) follow his Court upon all removes, which tired out the Engliſh Nation, with ex­treordinary troubles and exceſſive charges in the proſecution of their ſuites in Law, and ſaith fol 4. he alſo enacted, and eſtabliſhed ſtrait and ſevere Lawes, and publiſh­ed them in his owne language (as all the practizes of the Law, and all petitions and buſineſſe of the court were) by meanes whereof many (who were of great eſtate, and of much worth) tough ignorance did tranſgreſſe, and their ſmaleſt offences, were gerat enough to intitle the Conquerour to the lands, and riches which they did poſſeſſe: all which he ſeized on and tooke from them without remorſe.

And although the agrieved Lords, and ſad People of England, humbly petitioned him, that according to his oath (twice formerly taken) that he would reſtore them the Lawes of St. Edward, under which they were born and bred, and not adde unto all the reſt of their miſery, to deliver them up to be judged by a ſtrange Law they under­ſtood not, whoſe importunity ſo farre prevailed with him, that he tooke his oath the third time, to preſerve their Lawes, and liberties, but like a perjur'd Tyrant, never ob­ſerved any of his oaths, and the ſame (ſaith Daniel Fol. 43.) did Henry the firſt, Henrythe ſecond, and King Iohn. &c. and yet notwithſtanding theſe followed (ſaith he) a great innovation, both in the Lawes and Government of England, ſo that this ſeems rather to be done to acquit the People, with the ſhow of the continuation of their ancient Cuſtomes and Liberties, then that they enjoyed them in effect.For the little conformity between them of former times, and theſe that followed upon this change of State, and though there may be ſome veines iſſuing from former originals, yet the main ſtream of our Common law, with the practice thereof, flowed out of Normandy, notwithſtanding all objections can be made to the contrary, and therefore J ſay it came from the Will of a Tyrant.

But it may be objected, that the Law it ſelfe, is not now either in French or Latine, and therefore not ſo bad as you would make it.

14I ſhall anſwer in the words of Daniel, Follio 251. That it is true, upon the Petition of the Commons to Edward the third, He cauſed Pleas which before were in French, to be made in Engliſh, that the Subjects might underſtand the Law by which he houlds what he hath, and is to know what he doth, a bleſſed Act, and worthy ſo great a King; If he could thereby have rendred the ſame alſo perſpicuous, it had been a worke of eternall honour, but ſuch (ſaith he) is the Fate of Law, that in what language ſoever it ſpeaks, it never ſpeaks plain, but is wrapt up in ſuch difficulties and miſteries, (as all proffeſ­ſions of profit are) as it gives more affiction to the People, then it doth remedy, & there­fore when Magna Charta, after many a bloudy Battle, and the purchaſe of many hun­dred thouſands of pounds, was obtained and confirmed by Edward the firſt, in the 27. year of his Raign, divers Patrons of their Country, as Sir Edvvard Cook. in his Proem before the ſecond part of his Inſtitutes, declares, that after the making of Magna Char­ta, &c. divers learned men in the Lawes, (that I may uſe the words of the Record) kept Schooles of the Law in the Citty of London, and taught ſuch as reſorted to them, the Lawes of the Realm, taking their foundation from Magna Charta, and Charta de Forreſta, which the King ſought to impeach, and therefore, in the 19th yeare of his Raign, by his Writ, commanded the M••or and Sheriffes of London, to ſuppreſſe all ſuch Schooles, under great penalties, (ſuch enemies are Tyrants, to the Peoples knowledge & underſtanding of their Lawes and Liberties, that ſo they may rule by their wils and plea­ſures, for the impugning and infringing of which &c. this wicked and leud King, was diſ-throned, at the doing of which, he confeſſed, that he had been miſ-guided, and done many things whereof now (too late) he repented, which if be were to govern again, he would become a new man, and was moſt ſorrowfull to have offended the State, as it ſhould thus utterly reiect him, but yet gave them thanks that they were ſo gracious unto him, as to elect his eldeſt ſonne for King.

And Henry the third, in the 2. 8th yeares of his Raigne confirmed the great Char­ter, which notwithſtanding he continually broke them, and fetcht over the Poictonians, by the advice of his evill Councell, to over-awe his People, and annih late their Liberties, wherefore his Nobles &c. ſent him expreſſe word, Thât unleſſe he would amend his doings they would expell him and his evill Councellors out of the Land, and deal for the cre­ation of a new King. Daniel. Fol. 154.

But I deſire not to be miſ-underſtood, for in the harſhnes of my expreſſions again the Common Law, I put (as J conceive) a cleare diſtinction of it, from the Statute Law, which though there be many faults in it, as I could eaſily ſhew, yet I deſire not here to ſay any greater evill of it then this, that the 28, 29. Chap. of Magna Charta, the Petiti­on of Right, and the late Act for aboliſhing the Star-Chamber, are gallant Lawes, and the beſt I can find in the whole vollumnious Booke of Statutes, for in my apprehenſi­on they fall far ſhort, in a ſufficiently providing for that which lately the Honourable Houſe of Commons ſaith is the end of all Government, (the ſafety and weale of the People, for in my judgement, they do not poſitively and legally hold out a ſufficient ſecurity to hedge about to keepe in peace and to preſerve the ſplendor and glory of that unde­rived Maeſtand King ſhip, that inherently reſides in the People, or the State uni­verſall, (the repreſentation or derivation of which, is formally and legally in the State〈◊〉r••reſentative, and none elce, (whoſe actions ought all to tend to that end) a­gainſt〈…〉uſurpations, and violences of all it's creatures, officers and Mini­ſters, in the number of which are Kings themſelves, from whom, and for whome they have all their Power and authority, as the executions of their will and mind, for their15 good and benefit, to whom they are accountable for the faithfull diſcharge of that truſt repoſed in them, as not onely Scripture, but nature and reaſn, doth fully prove, yea, and our own writers, eſpecially the late Obſervator, and Mr. Prinne, in his Sove­raign power of Parliaments, and Kingdomes, printed by ſpeciall authority from the houſe of Commons.

2. Although Magna Charta be commonly called the Engliſh mans inheritance, be­cauſe it is the beſt in that kind he hath, and which was purchaſed with ſo much brave Engliſh bloud, and money, by our fore-fathers, before they could wring it out of the hands of their tiranicall Kings (the ſucceſſours of William the Conquerer) as I have largely elſewhere clearly manifeſted, yet alas in my aprehenſion, it falles ſhort of Ed­ward the Confeſſours lawes, which the Conquerer rob'd England of, and in ſtead of them, ſet up the dictates of his own will, whoſe Norman rules, and practizes to this day yet remaines in the adminiſtrations of the Common Law at Weſtminſter Hall, by rea­ſon of their tediouſneſſe, ambiguities, uncertainties, the entryes in Lattine (as bad at the French) becauſe it is not our own tongue, their forcing men to plead by Lawyers, and not permitting themſelves to plead their own cauſes, their compelling of perſons to come from all places of the Kingdome, to ſeeke for juſtice at Weſtminſter, which is ſuch an iron Norman Yoke, with fangs and teeth in it, that if wee were free in every particular elce, that our hearts can thinke of, yet were we ſlaves by this alone, the bur­then of which ſingly, will pierce and gall our ſhouldiers, and make us bow and ſtoop to the ground, ready to be made a prey, not onely by great men, but even by every cun­ning ſharking knave.

O therefore that your Lordſhp would deſire and ſolicite our honourable Parliament, accordng to the late Declaration, forever to annihilate this Norman innovation, and reduce us back to that part of the ancient frame of government in this Kingdome, before the Con­quers dayes, and that wee may have all cauſes and differences decided in the County, or Hundred, where they are committed, or do ariſe, without any appeal but to a Parlia­ment, and that they may monthly be Iudged by twelve men, of free and honeſt condicion, choſen by themſelves, with their grave or chiefe Officer amongſt them, and that they may ſweare to judge every mans cauſe aright, without Feare, Favour, or affection, and then farewell jangling Lawyers, the wild-fire deſtroyers, and bane of all juſt, rationall, & right governed Common-wealths; and for the faciliating of this worke, and the preventi­on of Frauds, I ſhall onely make uſe of Mr. Iohn Cooks words a Lawyer of Grayes-Inne, in the 66. page of his late publiſhed Booke called a vindication of the profeſſors, and pro­feſſion of the Law, where he preſcribes a ready remedy againſt frauds, which is that there might be a publique Office in every County, to regiſter all Leaſes made for any Land, in that County, and alſo all Conveiances whatſoever, and all charges upon the Lands, & all Bonds, and Contracts of any vall••, for (ſaith he) it is a hard matter, to find out all Recognizances, Iudgements, extents, and other charges, and too chargeable for the Subject) that for 12 d. or ſome ſuch ſmall matter, might know in whom he intereſt of Land remaines, and what incumbrances lye upon it, and every eſtate or charge not entred there to be void in Law, and that the country haveh chuſing of the Regiſters in their re­ſpective Counties once a yeare, upon a fixed day, and tha they have plain-rules and limita­tions, made by the authority of Parliament, and ſevere penalties inacted for the tranſ­greſſing them

My Lord, I hope you will not be offended at me for my plaineſſe, eſpecially if you conſider the neceſſities laid upon me, for I profeſſe really, I am not able to imagine16 any other remedy for my preſervation but this, (having had my Petition about this buſineſſe, above a month in divers of my friends hands in the Houſe of Commons, but cannot get it read.

And having conteſted this 7. yeares, with all ſorts, and kind of perſons, that would deſtroy me, and having often been in the field, amongſt Ballets and Swords, to main­tain the Common Liberties and Freedomes of England, againſt all the traytorly oppug­ners thereof, and having by the goodneſſe of my God, eſcaped many dangers and deaths and being in my own apprehenſion, ready to be ruinated and deſtroyed, by a weapon, Inferior to a Tylors Bodkin, (namely) a Formallity, or Puntillo in the Law, it hath rouzed up my ſpirits, to charge it with a Souldiers pure reſolution, in a new and un­wonted manner, being neceſſitated to caſt all care behind me, and ſay unto myſelfe, that as hitherto I have not lived by any mans favour and grace, ſo, for my own ſafety, I will now be affraid of no mans indignation or diſpleaſure, coſt what it will, and if J periſh, I perſh.

2. If your Lordſhip, or any other great man, be moved with choller or indignation againſt me, (as I deſire you may not) and ſhall, endeavour to doe me a miſchiefe, for this my plain dealing, I hope I ſhall be kept out of danger, by the authority of the Parliaments own Declarations, but eſpecially by thoſe words of theirs, in their ex­hortation to men to take their Covenant, which are thus.

And as for thoſe Cleargy men, who pretend, that they (above all others) can not Co­venant to extirpate Epiſcopall Government, becauſe they have (as they ſay) taken a ſo­lemne oath to obey the Bſhops, in licitis & honeſtis, they can tell and if they pleaſe, that they that have ſworn obedience to the Lawes of the Land, are not thereby prohibited from endeavouring by all lawfull meanes the abolition of thoſe Lawes, when they prove in­convenient or miſchievous &c.

And I am confident, that if J fall into the hands of thoſe that made the Covenant, (who are the fitteſt interpreters of it) I ſhall doe well enough; But from the Sect of the Adamites, that would have no man live in England that are honeſter then them­ſelves, and from the late London Remonſtrators, that would have all men disfranchi­zed (although never ſo honeſt) that are not of their minds, and Judgements, and who doe, and would rob the repreſentative body of all the Commons of England, of their Legi­ſlative power, and from the Executors of ſtrange and unknown Lawes, which deſtroy and undoe men, (though never ſo upright) by formallities and puntillo's, good Lord deliver

Your Lordſhips Servant, and a true bred Engliſhman, JOHN LILBVRNE.
The forementioned Petition thus followes.

To the Right Honourable, the Repreſentative Body of the Commons OF ENGLAND: In PARLIAMENT aſſembled. The humble Petition of Lievt. Col. IOHN LILBVRNE,


THat upon the differences betwixt the King, and Parliament, the Commons of England, for the defence and preſervation of their Lawes and juſt Liberties, by authority of Parliament were neceſſi­tated to take up Armes, for the ſuppreſſion of the Forces rayſed by the King. In this Warre againſt the Parliament, the Forces rayſed in the Eaſtern Aſſociation, were committed and entruſted under the command of the Earle of Mancheſter, as Major Generall there, from whom your Petitioner had a Commiſſion to be Major to Col. King, and particular inſtructions, and private directions, from Lievt. Gen. Crumwel, to take and give unto them, or one of them, (upon all occaſions) Information, and Intelligence, of the State and condicion of Lincoln-Shire, under the command of the ſaid Colonel King, and of the cariage and, behaviour of the ſaid Col. King, towards the Country, and Souldiery, and how he diſcharged his place and truſt. Which your Petitioner with all faithfulneſſe and diligence did accordingly, to his extraordinary expences, not neg­lecting any advantage, or oportunity, which might further the publicke ſervice, or diſ­cover the deſignes of the Enemy, or the ſaid Col. Kings miſcariage and neglect, of his truſt and duty, the ſaid Col. King taking upon him an unlimited and unwarrantable power deſtructive to the truſt repoſed in him.

Thaupon your Ptitioners diſcovery and making known both unto the Earl, & L. Gen. Crumwel, (according to his inſtructions and truſt repoſed in him) the malignancy, in­ſolencies, and unfaithfulneſſe of the ſaid Col. King, to the State, in the neglect of his charge, & his bad uſage of the Country, to the great diſ-ſervice of the Parliament, and danger of the loſſe of the whole Country, (Crowland being by him betraid unto the Ene­my, and was not regained, without great charge and hazard, yea, and the loſſe of many mens lives, the ſaid Col King was thereupon diſcharged, and put out of all his com­mands, and offices, (being then very many, and profitable) but was not brought to try­all for his ſaid offences, at a Councell of Warre, which your Petitioner and others much endeavoured to have done. Whereupon Mr. Muſſenden, Mr. Wolley, & divers others (Gentlemen of quallity) of the Committe of Lincoln, in Auguſt 1644. exhibited to this18 Honourable Houſe, ſeverall Articles, (ſince printed) a Coppy whereof is hereunto an­nexed, againſt the ſaid Col. King, thereby chargeing him with ſeverall Treaſons, Inſolencies, ſetting up and exerciſing an Arbitrary, exorbitant, and unlimited power, o­ver the Country, and Souldiery, with many other inſolencies, and ſoule miſdemeanors, all which are yet depending before this honourable Houſe, and not yet determined, be­ing ſome of them, for, or concerning the loſſe and ſurrender of Townes to the Enemie, through his treachery or negligence, and ſo the offence Capitall, and properly exa­minable, and onely tryable in Parliament, as appeares Rot. Parl. 1. Rich.. 2. Nu. 38.39.40. Rot. Parl. 7. Rich. 2. Num. 17.22.

Now the ſaid Col. King, being privie to his owne guiltineſſe, and well knowing your Petitioner to be a principall witneſſe for the proofe of divers of the ſaid Articles, out of his mallice and wickedneſſe to your Petitioner, upon a groundleſſe complaint, & untrue ſurmiſes, made by him to this Honourable Houſe, in Iuly laſt, procured your Petitioner to be committed to the cuſtody of the Serjeant at Armes, attending this ho­nourable Houſe, your Petitioner being thence removed to Newgate, but he, nor any other, proſecuting any charge againſt him, after he had lyen abuot 13. weakes there, he was diſcharged of his impriſonment by order of this Houſe.

And the ſaid Col King, the more to vex, and unjuſtly trouble your Petitioner and to the end to take away his teſtimony, and deterre others from appearing againſt the ſaid Col. King, upon his tryall upon the ſaid Articles, a little before Eaſter Tearme laſt, cauſed your Petitioner to be areſted at his own ſuite, upon an action of 2000l, for pretended words, alleadging by his Declaration, that your Petitioner ſhould have ſaid that the ſaid Col. King was a traytor, and he gives forth in ſpeeches, he will undoubt­edly recover the ſame againſt your Petitioner, and thereby utterly ruine him, and is indeed verry likely to doe the ſame, by theſe his ſiniſter practizes, if by this Honour­able Houſe, your Petitioner be not relieved & protected, according to juſtice and equity.

Your Petitioner therefore humbly deſires this Honourable Houſe will be pleaſed, in regard your Petitioner hath not done or ſaid any thing againſt the ſaid Col. King, but what will be proved when he ſhall be brought to Tryall before this honourable Houſe, upon the ſaid Ar­ticles and Charge; and for that your Petitioner cannot at Law give any Plea in Bar, or juſtification of the words pretended to be ſpoken by him, untill the ſaid Col. King be either convcted, or acquitted upon his Tryall, upon the ſaid Articles and charge, to give Order, and direction to the ſaid Col. King, and to the Iuſtices of the Court of Common Pleas, (where the Action dependeth) to ſur-ceaſe, and no further proceed upon the ſaid Action of 2000l. againſt your Petitioner. And for the good, and ſatisfaction of the Kingdome, and the freeing and vindication of your Petitioners integrity and faithfulneſſe in what he hath ſaid or done touching the premyſes, to bring the ſaid Col. King to tryall (in a Parliamentary way) that ſo he may receive codigne puniſhment for the injuries and wrongs he hath done, and wherewith he is charged in the ſaid Articles.

And your Petitioner ſhall pray, &c.

Courteous Reader, if I had had roome here ſhould have been an Errata, but the prin­cipall fault paſſed the Preſſe, in Page 14. line. 16. read, which King Edward 2. for which the King.


Articles exhibited againſt Col. Edward King, for his inſolencies and miſdemenors in the County of Lincoln, to the Honourable Houſe of Commons, in Auguſt 1644. by Mr. Muſſenden, Mr. Wolley, and divers others of the Committee of Lincoln.

Imprimis, That to the great diſcouragement of the County, he doth openly declare, his ſlighting of all mens good affections to the Parliaments ſervice, by expreſſing that he valueth not that men ſhould do the Parliament ſerviee voluntarily, but that he would by his power force them to ſerve.

2. That he doth pay thoſe great ſummes of money rayſed by him out of the Coun­try, onely to whom he pleaſeth, againſt all equity and juſtice, notwithſtanding the Lord of Mancheſters Order to the contrary.

3. That he hath publickly declared his ſlighting the ordnances of Parliament, & done very many tyranicall & arbitrary actions, by impriſoning divers perſons at his plea­ſure, and exacting great ſums of money, at ſuch time when neceſſity could be no plea, with many other particulars.

4. When he was before Newark he ſent for a Captain who kept Crowland, who obey­ed his command, yet ſent word to him of the danger that town was in, and therefore deſired his ſecond pleaſure, which was that he ſhould march, who accordingly did, the Gentlemen of the Country, fearing the enemy, procured Major Ireton to ſend a 100. Muſquetiers to keep Crowland, which he hearing of took ill that without order from him any ſhould come into his liberties & commanded them to be gone, who accordingly de­parted, the enemy preſently ſurprized the town, and thoſe few that he had left in it, by which meanes he betrayed the town unto the enemy, which was not regained without much charge, hazard, and loſſe of many mens lives.

5. That he gives protections for ſecuring both perſon and goods, to thoſe who are profeſſed enemies to the Parlament.

6. That he imployeth ſuch officers, as are altogether unfit for the Countryes ſervice.

7. That he doth moſt groſſely and unworthily affront and abuſe the wel-affected Gentry of the Country.

8 That he doth encourage deſperate Malignants, and animateth them againſt the wel-affected.

9. That he & his officers have impriſoned men wel-affected to the Parliament, and cauſed their houſes, cheſts, trunks, &c. to be ſearched for pewter, braſſe, & linnen, and threatned that they would make it coſt one of them his whole eſtate, and that one of his officers would not take three hundred pounds for his own ſatisfaction.

10. That at the ſiedge before Newark ſuch proviſion as the country had voluntarily and freely ſent in to Col. Kings quarters at Winthorp, for the maintenance of the ſoul­diers, his officers would not deliver wihout money, although they had not pay, to the extream oppreſſion and diſcouragement of the Country.

11. That he ſent three warrants to Capt. Buſhy at Tatteſhall, to take away a great quantity of Wooll which was bought by Mr Rawſon one of the Committee, and paid for with his own money, and ſo the ſaid Rawſon is likely to loſe his eſtate, although he hath been a ſufferer both for Church and common wealth this twenty yeares, and hath made him a malignant, both in his words and letters, as much as in him did lye.

12. That when the enemy tooke Grantham, they being baen from one part of the town, wheeled about to fall upon the other ſide, at a place cal'd the Spittle-gate, which Major Sarvil,20 being then Major of the town perceiving, commanded Col. King, being then Capt. of a Company thereto march with his Company to defend that place, Col. King an­ſwered, that he ſcorned to be commanded by him, and rather then he would be com­manded by him, he would take his company and let the enemy into the town, and he delayed ſo long, before he would go, that the enemy was entred at the ſaid Port, before he came thither, by which meanes he betrayed that town.

13. That when Commiſſary Iames had brought in certain ſheep from a malignant for the reliefe of the ſiedge at Newarke, being then in great want, Col. King cauſed the the ſaid ſheep to be reſtored to the malignant, and told the Commiſary that he deſer­ved to be hanged, with divers other threatning and reviling ſpeeches; notwithſtanding he had order from Sir John Meldrum and the Committee for the taking of them.

14. That Colonel King having promiſed the Lord of Mancheſter to raiſe a great num­ber of Horſe and Foot, the ſaid Col. King, as did appeare, not knowing how to rayſe ſo great a number, did to the great diſcouragement of the Country, take this courſe; In the firſt place he caſhiered Major Syler, with him three hundred Voluntiers, which ſerved on their own charge, who with the townſmen had alwaies defended the town of Boſton, that he might preſſe them to ſerve under him for pay; And ſecondly, he did ſieze upon & detain four or five of the Foot Companies belonging to the Lord Willough­by and did caſhiere ſome of the Captaines, becauſe they refuſed to forſake my Lord to ſerve under him.

15. That the Troopes of Colonel Crumwel, which were loſt at Coleby and Waddington were treacherouſly or ignorantly betrayed by Colonel King.

16. That to the great diſcouragement of the Country, he doth oppoſe and quarrell, with ſuch as have been moſt ſerviceable to the Country, and ſuch in whom the power of Religion is moſt eminent (viz) L. G. Crumwel, Mr Ram and others, & that he im­priſoned divers other very godly men, and that for exerciſing the very power of god­lineſſe, which he did in a very vile manner, and ſtil continueth an utter ememy & ſuch men, as namely, L C. Berry, Major Lilburne, Capt. Camebridge, and others.

17. That to the great diſcontent and diſcouragement of the Country, he and his Officers did quarrell with, & ſlight the Committee at Lincoln, which was ſetled by ordnance of Parl. who were men of the beſt eſtates, quallity & integrity, and ſuch as were eſpecially commended to ſerve the Country, and publickly villifying them and their actions, and aſſuming their power without any authority.

18. That before this War began, he was an open and publick ſcoffer of religious men.

19. That he is a man of a turbulant & factious ſpirit, of mean condition & eſtate for ſo abſolute a command, that he hath received vaſt ſums of money, amounting to about 20000l. much of which he hath levied in an illegall and obſcure way, and iſſued out accordingly for which it is deſired he may give a ſpeedy accompt, & likewiſe of the reſt of his actions.

20 That in a factious & ſeditious manner he did employ ſome Agents to deliver blue Ribbonds to ſuch as would ſtand for him, and ſhw themſelves his friends, to the great ter­rour and diſcontent of the Country, and the hazard of rayſing a dangerous mutinie.

21. That he kept about twenty men to wait on him, whom he called his Life guard, to whom he gave extraordinary pay though they were exempted from all duty, except it were to wayt upon him, advance his reputation and awe and affright the Country.

22. That he did awe and gain the Country wholly after him, and that he might with bet­ter colour domineere, falſly ſtiling himſelf Lievtennant Generall of the County of Lincoln.


About this transcription

TextThe iust mans iustification: or A letter by way of plea in barre; Written by L. Col. John Lilburne, to the Honourable Justice Reeves, one of the justices of the Common-wealths courts, commonly called Common Pleas. Wherein the sinister and indirect practices of Col. Edward King against L. Col. Lilburne, are discovered. 1. In getting him cast into prison for many weekes together, without prosecuting any charge against him. 2. In arresting him upon a groundlesse action of two thousand pounds in the Court of Common Pleas; thereby to evade and take off L. Col. Lilburns testimony to the charge of high treason given in against Col. King, and now depending before the Honourable House of Commons. In which letter is fully asserted and proved that this cause is only tryable in Parliament, and not in any subordinate court of justice whatsoever.
AuthorLilburne, John, 1614?-1657..
Extent Approx. 81 KB of XML-encoded text transcribed from 11 1-bit group-IV TIFF page images.
SeriesEarly English books online.
Additional notes

(EEBO-TCP ; phase 2, no. A88207)

Transcribed from: (Early English Books Online ; image set 159738)

Images scanned from microfilm: (Thomason Tracts ; 55:E340[12])

About the source text

Bibliographic informationThe iust mans iustification: or A letter by way of plea in barre; Written by L. Col. John Lilburne, to the Honourable Justice Reeves, one of the justices of the Common-wealths courts, commonly called Common Pleas. Wherein the sinister and indirect practices of Col. Edward King against L. Col. Lilburne, are discovered. 1. In getting him cast into prison for many weekes together, without prosecuting any charge against him. 2. In arresting him upon a groundlesse action of two thousand pounds in the Court of Common Pleas; thereby to evade and take off L. Col. Lilburns testimony to the charge of high treason given in against Col. King, and now depending before the Honourable House of Commons. In which letter is fully asserted and proved that this cause is only tryable in Parliament, and not in any subordinate court of justice whatsoever. Lilburne, John, 1614?-1657.. 20 p. s.n.,[London :1646]. (Caption title.) (Imprint from Wing.) (Burned by order of the House of Lords at the old Exchange in London and the palace yard in Westminster, on July 13, 1646--McAlpin Collection Catalogue.) (Annotation on Thomason copy: "June 10 1646".) (Reproduction of the original in the British Library.)
  • Lilburne, John, 1614?-1657 -- Imprisonment -- Early works to 1800.
  • Detention of persons -- England -- Early works to 1800.
  • Civil rights -- England -- Early works to 1800.

Editorial statement

About the encoding

Created by converting TCP files to TEI P5 using tcp2tei.xsl, TEI @ Oxford.

Editorial principles

EEBO-TCP is a partnership between the Universities of Michigan and Oxford and the publisher ProQuest to create accurately transcribed and encoded texts based on the image sets published by ProQuest via their Early English Books Online (EEBO) database ( The general aim of EEBO-TCP is to encode one copy (usually the first edition) of every monographic English-language title published between 1473 and 1700 available in EEBO.

EEBO-TCP aimed to produce large quantities of textual data within the usual project restraints of time and funding, and therefore chose to create diplomatic transcriptions (as opposed to critical editions) with light-touch, mainly structural encoding based on the Text Encoding Initiative (

The EEBO-TCP project was divided into two phases. The 25,363 texts created during Phase 1 of the project have been released into the public domain as of 1 January 2015. Anyone can now take and use these texts for their own purposes, but we respectfully request that due credit and attribution is given to their original source.

Users should be aware of the process of creating the TCP texts, and therefore of any assumptions that can be made about the data.

Text selection was based on the New Cambridge Bibliography of English Literature (NCBEL). If an author (or for an anonymous work, the title) appears in NCBEL, then their works are eligible for inclusion. Selection was intended to range over a wide variety of subject areas, to reflect the true nature of the print record of the period. In general, first editions of a works in English were prioritized, although there are a number of works in other languages, notably Latin and Welsh, included and sometimes a second or later edition of a work was chosen if there was a compelling reason to do so.

Image sets were sent to external keying companies for transcription and basic encoding. Quality assurance was then carried out by editorial teams in Oxford and Michigan. 5% (or 5 pages, whichever is the greater) of each text was proofread for accuracy and those which did not meet QA standards were returned to the keyers to be redone. After proofreading, the encoding was enhanced and/or corrected and characters marked as illegible were corrected where possible up to a limit of 100 instances per text. Any remaining illegibles were encoded as <gap>s. Understanding these processes should make clear that, while the overall quality of TCP data is very good, some errors will remain and some readable characters will be marked as illegible. Users should bear in mind that in all likelihood such instances will never have been looked at by a TCP editor.

The texts were encoded and linked to page images in accordance with level 4 of the TEI in Libraries guidelines.

Copies of the texts have been issued variously as SGML (TCP schema; ASCII text with mnemonic sdata character entities); displayable XML (TCP schema; characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or text strings within braces); or lossless XML (TEI P5, characters represented either as UTF-8 Unicode or TEI g elements).

Keying and markup guidelines are available at the Text Creation Partnership web site.

Publication information

  • Text Creation Partnership,
ImprintAnn Arbor, MI ; Oxford (UK) : 2011-04 (EEBO-TCP Phase 2).
  • DLPS A88207
  • STC Wing L2125
  • STC Thomason E340_12
  • STC ESTC R200876
  • EEBO-CITATION 99861501
  • PROQUEST 99861501
  • VID 159738

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.