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ID Title Author Corrected Date of Publication (TCP Date of Publication) STC Words Pages
A90224 To the Right Honourable, the knights, citizens, and burgesses, the Parliament of England, assembled at Westminster, the humble appeale and petition of Mary Overton, prisoner in Bridewell:. Overton, Mary. 1647 (1647) Wing O617; Thomason E381_10; ESTC R201411 9,107 15

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TO The right Honourable the Knights Citizens and Burgesses the Parliament of England assembled at Westminster The humble Appeale and Petition of Mary Overton prisoner in Bridewell SHEWETH THat whereas the publike safety and liberty of the people is the maine end of all Government and Governours whether Regall Parliamentarie or other and the Law of the Land usually called the Common-Law being grounded upon right reason and equity the true Rule and Directory both for ruling and obeying which to preserve as the King declareth in his Answer to your Petition of the 23. of May 1643. ought to bee the perpetuall and vigilant care of a Prince and acknowledgeth that upon the observation of the Fundamentall Lawes the publike happinesse and welfare of the people is founded and constituted calling God to witnesse That the preservation of the Law and the Liberty of the People should alwaies be as much his care and industry as the life or lives of his dearest children professing to make the Law the measure of his Power and that there was no man so neare unto him in place or affection whom hee would not leave to the justice of the Law himselfe acknowledging the Law to be the Inheritance of every Subject and the only security hee can have for his life liberty or estate the which being neglected violated or disesteemed under what specious shewes or pretences soever a very great measure of infelicity if not irreparable confusion would in avoydably ensue and that he was resolved not only to observe the Lawes himselfe but to maintaine them against all opposition and the Law respecteth nothing more then the Liberty and Freedome of a mans person according to the ancient and grave Lawyer Forteseue Impius crudelis est qui libertati non favet Angliae Jura in omni casu libertati dant favorem yet notwithstanding these so many reiterated professions and asseverations so often emitted in the Kings Declarations and Answers and other golden baites of profit and preferment neither your Petitioners husband now prisoner in Newgate by the House of Lords nor your Petitioner could in the least wise be induced to comply with the King or his party against this honourable House as many thousands have done who now are at liberty and under your protection to your high dishonour and to the great griefe of your best and most faithfull friends but being confident that you the betrusted of the Kingdome according to your many Vowes and Protestations Covenants Declarations Remonstrances Ordinances and to the high and great Trust reposed in you would have long ere now improved all your endeavours powers and interests for the redemption and advancement of our antient though of late yeares much invaded Rights Lawes and Liberties which are our Birthright and Inheritance as you as well as the King have often told us calling God to witnesse that the peace and good of the people ever was your only aimes professing unto us in the presence of the all-seeing Diety that our peace and safety is the onely end of all your Counsells and endeavours resolving therein to continue free from all private aimes or personall respects whatsoever and that you never intended to introduce any new Law to our prejudice much lesse to exercise any arbitrary power at all but to your utmost to prevent it holding it your duty to use your best endeavours that the meanest of the Commonalty might enjoy their Rights Liberty and Benefits of the Law being equally interested and entitulled thereto with the greatest Subject confessing and acknowledging that the sitting of the PARLIAMENT ought not to suspend the Law the execution thereof according to equity being the very Spirit as you tell us which gives life to authority from all which and manifold other Premises and Obligations even out of your owne mouths the Commonalty of England are invited and enabled justly to challenge and expect from this House the just defence preservation and fruition of all their Rights Lawes and Liberties in their lives persons and estates restraint of and protection against the malice and fury o those that seeke their ruine by any arbitrary domination or other practises whatsoever and therefore for that end are all obliged to stand by you and for you but on the contrary to return contrary effects for contrariorum contraria sunt consequentia But now so it is though your Petitioners husband hath constantly adhered to the Parliament and hath given ample testimony of his sincere and upright affections to this honorable House to the just Lawes and Freedomes of England in generall and to the Rights and Properties of all and every Commoner in particular by his constant and faithfull endeavours to that end as many hundreds in the City yea I may take the boldnesse to say many thousands in the Kingdome can witnesse in his behalfe yet notwithstanding upon the 11. of August 1646. had his house surrounded with divers armed men with swords and muskets under the Conduct of one Robert Eales and by the said Robert Eales Deputy-Catchpole to the House of Lords with his Sword drawne in his hand and by one M. Eveling dweller at the greene Dragon in the Strand with his pistoll ready cock'd was suddenly and violently entred and his person laid hold of without Warrant either Legall or pretended first shewen and so by force of arms was in an hostile manner led captive to the House of Lords who would High-Commission-like have examined him against himselfe which he refusing and appealing to this honourable House as his proper and competent Judges was therefore by the Lords under the pretence of contempt to that House committed to the infamous Goale of Newgate there to be kept til their pleasures should be further signified Which as your Petitioner humbly conceiveth tendeth to the high violation of the fundamentall Lawes of this Land the utter subversion of the Common Liberties of the people and of your Petitioners husbands native Right and Inheritance in particular for by the great Charter of Liberties the Lords cannot passe Judgement upon any Commoner in cases criminall concerning life liberty or estate neither can any other Court or Justices whatsoever before Indictment or presentment or by other due processe in Law take away Commoners life liberty or goods nor ought any man by Law to be forced by Oath to answer to Interregatories to accuse himselfe in any criminall causes which concerne either his life liberty losse of goods or freehold but ought to bee convicted first by witnesses presentment or the verdict of twelve men or upon or by his owne voluntarie confession without oath or co-action as by the Lawes Statutes and Authorities here set downe is clearly proved The Statute of Magna Charta 31. times confirmed in Parliament cap. 29. Enacts That no Free-man shall be taken or imprisoned or disseased of his Freehold or Liberties or free Customes or out-lawed or exiled or otherwise destroyed neither will we passe upon him nor condemne him but by lawfull