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A44360 Due order of law and justice pleaded against irregular & arbitrary proceedings in the case and late imprisonment of George Whitehead and Thomas Burr in the city and county gaol of Norwich, from the 21st day of the 1st moneth called March, 1679, to the 12th day of the 5th moneth, called July, 1680 being an impartial account of the most material passages and letters to the magistrates relating to the said proceedings with the prisoners above said : wherein the people called Quakers are vindicated and cleared from popery : published for information and caution on the behalf of true Protestants and English-mens birth-rights. Hookes, Ellis, d. 1681. 1680 (1680) Wing H2660; ESTC R7941 74,567 109

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when Steward and Recorder and three of the Mayors of Norwich who assisted him upon the late Act against Conventicles     L. S. D. 1670. Five times in the same year The 15th of the 5th mon. 1676. TAken from Samuel Duncon at several times by Warrant from two Mayors and Francis Bacon both when he was Steward and since he was Recorder Goods to the value of 72 15 5 In the Years 1670 1675 1676 1678. Taken from Anthony Alexander by Warrants from the same Justices and also by the third Mayor Goods valued at 72 16 8 In the Years 1676 1678 1679. Taken from Thomas Murford by Warrants from Francis Bacon Recorder Goods to the value of 60 01 0 In the Years 1670 1679. Taken from William Waymor by Warrants from the then Mayor and F. Bacon Recorder Goods to the value of 10 09 0 In the Years 1675 Taken from John Fiddeman to the value of 00 08 6 1675 From John Sharping Junior 00 05 0 1675 From John de France 00 10 0 1676 From Robert Hutchinson 00 07 2 1670. From Thomas Buddery 01 00 0     Sum Total 218 12 09 Note That 't is not thought fit to expose the Names of the said Mayors of Norwich in this place hoping that they or some of them at least have seen better things by this time than for the future to have any hand in such Horrid Oppressions by Imprisonment Fines and Distresses upon their Poor Industrious Neighbours for their tender Consciences in their meeting to serve God as they are inwardly perswaded They cannot be ignorant how discouraging and destructive such Imprisoning Spoiling and Impoverishing their Neighbours is to the Trade of their City which in the Manufactures much depend upon the Wooll-Combers and Worsted-Weavers c. And when such poor Labouring men are thus spoiled and harrassed as to their Livelihoods how hard it is for their poor Families to subsist How can such Severities consist either with Christianity or Humanity Let the Principle of Justice in all Consciences judge And may th●se guilty of such Oppressions Repent before they dye Here follows a Copy of an Address from our suffering Friends in Norwich in the Year 1679. directed to the Knights and Burgesses for the County of Norfolk and City of Norwich The Suffering Case of some of the People called Quakers in the said City THe Goods of several have been taken away without being tryed by their Equals only by Witnesses in their absence which was given against them by such as were Parties and when some made an Appeal and desired a Copy of the Records which were Sworn in their absence before their Tryal they were denyed it and Francis Bacon who is Recorder of the said City and sate for Judge of the Sessions would not let the Evidence be viva voce but made the said Records which he would not grant a Copy of before the Tryal the only Evidence against some Appealants and put them upon disproving that and so surprized them and for complaining of the Injustice of it two were sent to Prison and they were kept Prisoners about twelve Moneths And another that made his Appeal F. Bacon sent to Prison who asking him Wherefore he was sent to Prison told him He should know afterwards and he was kept close Prisoner eighteen Weeks And John Crow an Attourny upon Warrant from F. Bacon aforesaid against Samuel Duncon of Norwich upon the account of a Meeting got into the said Samuel's House when he was from Home and shut up hi● Shop and he and others kept Possession of his House night and day to the terror of the said Samuel's Wife who was very big with Child and took away the said Samuel's Goods and when one would have taken account of the Goods the said John Crow wou●d not suffer it but they rather acted like Plunderers than Executors of Justice And the said F. Bacon hath slandered the People called Quakers as being Papists and Jesuits exciting the Jury at the Sessions in Norwich to bring in presentments against them upon which some have been Presented and Arrested upon a Sessions process for 20 l. per Moneth for not going to the Parish Church And the said F. Bacon hath very lately prosecuted the said People for their Meeting to worship God and hath sent two to Prison that he took at such a Meeting which were kept Prisoners near eight weeks in a stinking Hole one of which he sent to Prison without a Warrant and it s said threatned to seize upon their House and presseth the Constables to execute Warrants from him against some of the said People called Quakers to take away their Goods and tells them They must break open their Doors And upon the 19th of the 3d Moneth 1679. came two Constables to the House of William Waymor with a Warrant from F. Bacon to strain for 10 l. 5 s. who unbarr'd his Shop Door and an inward Door being lockt broke it in pieces and took Goods to the value of 10 l. and better and praised them at three Pound and say They must come for more upon the same Warrant which great Spoil as aforesaid being made upon us by Mercinary Witnesses in our Absence and given against us and we thus oppessed by such as are Parties This kind of proceedure we conceive with submission is not more excusable now than it was in the case of Empson and Dudly † † These two Oppressors Empson and Dudly were impeached before the Court of Parliament for their Arbitrary Proceedings and Horrid Oppressions which they committed upon Information for the King having many Informers to assist them without lawfull Presentment Tryal of lawful Peers or Verdict of 12 honest men They acted under pretence of a Law made in the 11th year of K. Henry 7. c. 3. which being contrary to Magna Charta cap. 29. was made void and repeated 1 Hen. 8. c. 6. by the Parliament holden then and the two Oppressors brought to their Tryal Condemnation and Execution See C●oks Inst 2 part fol. 51. and 4 part fol. 40 41. in King Henry the 7th's time who were impeached and condemned for their Oppressions and Arbitrary Proceedings though they pleaded the prosecution of an Act of Parliament and to be of as dangerous a tendency to Arbitrariness Thus some to gratif●… their Prejudice others their Covetousness under pretence of prosecuting the late Act against seditious Sectaries have very much oppressed the Subjects and what is charged upon the Prosecutors aforesaid can be proved if required Wherefore we intreat your tender Consideration of this our suffering Condition and endeavour for our Relief Signed by Samuel Duncon and fifteen more of the Citizens and Inhabitants of Norwich Norwich the 23d of the 3d Moneth 1679. ERRATA Ingenious Reader BE pleased to Correct these Faults which have escaped the Press through the Printers Inadvertency and not to impute them to the Authors Page 3. Line 24. for enterim read interim p. 7. l. 22. r. it cannot p. 8. l. 29. f. causes r. cause p. 9. l. 4. for 18 read 28. p. 14. l. 35. r. Mittimusses p. 15. l. 31. r. Justices p. 16. l. 31. f. Anglia'r Angliae p. 24 l. 17. f. Court is bound r. Court is not bound p. 29. l. 9 10. f. except r. accept p. 31. l. 8. f. Qualitatem delicti r. Quantitatem delicti p. 40. l. 21. r. referred p. 44. l. 15. f. there r. here p. 47. l. 35. f. this r. these p. 51. l. 1. f. pro r. per. p. 52 l. 24. f. pretect r. pretext l. 25. f. pro r. per. p. 54. l. 25. f. pro r. per. p. 58. l. 4. f. incuria r. in curia p. 65. l. 5. dele M in the Margent p. 71. l. 27. f. ocitur r. oritur p. ●2 l. ●1 f. edio●a r. odiosa p. 79. l. 27. r. the infected There are othe● Fault in Letters and Points which are to be amended or understood as the sense will shew in the reading THE END
which are subscribed by Credible Persons of our Neighbourhoo●d G.W. The Premisses which we are to answer to is matter of charge contained in the Mittimus Let it be read in Court we request you R. It shall not I 'le give account These Persons were taken at an unlawful Meeting There 's also a second Mittimus which signifies my requiring them to take the Oath of Obedience and their Refusal c. G.W. The second is a Warrant to detain us without Baile or Mainprize till Sessions 'T is not the Mittimus 't is of another Date c. R. 'T is the Mittimus and you are to Answer to it whether you will take the Oath of Allegiance to the King These Persons have refused to shew their Obedience to the King c. T.B. Pray forbear to accuse us We have shewed our Obedience by our peaceable Conversations c. G.W. The second Warrant is not the Mittimus The Mittimus is that by which we were sent to Prison bearing date the 21st day of March The second Warrant bears date the 23d day of March. R. The second is the Mittimus you are to Answer to it Wee 'l put the Oath to you G.W. The second is not the Mittimus we were not sent to Prison by it We were sent to Prison the 21st of March. The second Warrant bears date the 23d of March We were in Prison near two dayes before the date of the last Warrant There needed not be a Mittimus to send us to Goal when we were sent by one already so long before I pray let our Mittimus be read in Court R. Put the Oath to them that 's in the second Mittimus c. G.W. I beg of this Court for God's sake and the King's sake to be heard fairly without thus being run upon For God's sake because he is a God of Justice and Truth And for the King's sake because the King's will towards us as Subjects is what the Law and Justice wills As his Will is the will of the Law he wills that none of his Subjects be injured or unduly prosecuted contrary to Law I appeal to the Mayor as chief Magistrate of this City and the rest of the Justices here present Whether ye ought not to see us have that Right done us as to have our Mittimus produced and read in Court that you may understand the cause of our Commitment We were not committed for refusing the Oath We intreat that the Court may hear our Mittimus that we may not have other Premisses put upon us than what 's contained therein R. It shall not be read there 's no need of that I am present that committed you G.W. I appeal to the Mayor and the rest of the Justices who are more indifferent towards us for Justice in this case viz. That we may have our Mittimus read and answer to the Premisses contained in it and not thus be run upon and diverted with that which is none of the Premisses c. Mayor You have appealed to me Truly we are Trades-men and no Lawyers We leave matters of Law to the Recorder He knows the Law and we must acquiess in his Judgment T.B. Thou understandest we ought to have our Mittimus read and be heard And thou art the chief Magistrate in this Court c. G.W. You all have a Conscience towards God and an equal and just Law therein And you are under a severe Obligation to wit your Oath to see Justice and Right done us We appeal to the Mayor and Justices here for Justice in relation to our Mittimus that it may not be thus evaded We are at this Sessions to answer to the Premisses or matter of charge therein contained you are concerned in Conscience to do us ●ight herein The Honour of this Court is also concerned not to see us precipitated no● run down upon other Premisses The Mittimus was given under the Hand and Seal of your Recorder his Reputation and Honour is also concern'd c. R. My Honour concern'd Wherein G.W. Thy Reputation and Honour is concerned in that thou art bound to stand by our Mittimus 't is under thy Hand and Seal Now thou goest about to evade it by imposing other Premisses upon us or to the same effect R. They sent their Mittimus to the Attorney General and sollicited him for advice to know whether they were according to Law or not And moved for a Habeas Corpus But it would not be granted G.W. We neither sent to the Attorney General nor have we yet moved for a Habeas Corpus R. The second Mittimus or Warrant is about their refusing the Oath of Allegiance as for the first I did not make it by Book ‖ This the Prisoners did not hear but others nearer G.W. 'T is not a reasonable thing to bring a Prisoner and not withal to signifie the Crimes laid against him It was contrary to the very Law of the Romans Interrupted being about to add as Festus said in the case of Paul It seem'd to me a thing unreasonable to send a Prisoner and not withal to signifie the Crimes laid against him Acts 25.16,27 which alwayes ought to be in Warrants of Commitment R. What tell you us of the Law of the Romans we have Laws of our own to act by c. or to that effect G.W. 'T is according to the Law of Reason and Nations that the Crimes and Offences should be known for which Prisoners are committed and detained in Prison else why should they suffer R. The Court must tender you the Oath G.W. Wherefore then were we committed and detained in Prison above these five Weeks If we be Offenders let 's know our Offence for which we were committed If not do not go about to ensnare us do not seek occasion against us 'T is enough to punish us if found Guilty of what charged against us in our Mittimus We entreat the Mayor and Court to do us right in this matter that our Mittimus may be read Mayor and some others Well you shall have it read G.W. Keeper Where 's our Mittimus produce it that it may be read as the Mayor and other Justice here present have engaged R. Tender them the Oath Put the Oath to them If you 'l take it that shall serve c. If not you incur a Praemunire c. A hiddious noise in the Court among some under Clerks and Officers about the Oath viz. Some under Clerks c. What say you Answer Will you take the Oath Will you Kiss the Book Clerk reads I Thomas Whitehead do truly and sincerely acknowledge profess testifie and declare in my Conscience c. Here an Interruption upon his mistake of Thomas for George G.W. The Oath is none of the Premisses contained in our Mittimus which we are to Answer to at this Sessions and to be tryed upon T.B. Our all is at stake We perceive the Recorder is determined concerning us We must have liberty to speak We are
therefore to will and require you to receive and keep the said George Whitehead and Thomas Burr in the common Goal for the City and County aforesaid until they shall be from thence discharged by due order of Law And hereof fail not Given under my Hand and Seal the 21st day of March Anno Dom. 1679. To the Constables of the Ward of West-Wymor and to either of them to convey and to your Keeper of the Common Goal aforesaid to receive and keep the said George Whitehead and Thomas Burr according to this Warrant G.W. Does the Recorder own this to be a true Copy Yea or Nay R. I care not whether it be true or false there 's another Mittimus against you c. G.W. Let this Mittimus be considered first Doft thou own it to be a true Copy or no We have it attested R. It may be it is what then It may be true for ought I know c. or to that effect G.W. Then pray observe this Mittimus the Tenor of it what it contains 1 st As to the Cause of our Commitment 2 dly That is the Premisses which we are to answer to and to be tryed and delivered upon 3 dly And that according to Law or according to due course of Law c. 1 st Then the Charge concerns matter of Fact i.e. being at a Meeting And 2 dly What such a Meeting or how qualified i.e. A Meeting in Disturbance of the publick Peace c. These are the matters in Charge against us which the Court ought to take Judicial Cognizance of either to acquit us if Clear or to condemn us if Guilty of any such Meeting R. Read the other Mutimus you have a Copy doubtless G.W. We have a Copy of the second Warrant But this is not to be evaded this is the Mittimus this contains the Cause of our Commitment and the Charge that lies against us c. which the Court is bound only to take Cognizance of for we are thereby referred to the Quarter-Sessions R. Read the second Warrant that contains the Cause to wit my tendring you the Oath c. By taking whereof you ought to shew your Allegiance or Obedience to the King G.W. Either the Mittimus is a Legal Mittimus or 't is Illegal If Legal then let 's answer to the Premisses c. If the Oath be insisted upon to evade the Mittimus that will bespeak either want of other matter against us or else that the Mittimus or Commitment is Illegal R. Read the second Warrant c. G.W. We have Exceptions against the second Warrant If I read that the Exceptions ought also to be read Shall read them when I have read the Warrant Court Well you may read both G.W. Now the Court is engaged and concerned to make good the Liberty granted me to read our Exceptions when the Warrant is read The second Warrant read which follows City and County of Norwich WHereas George Whitehead and Thomas Burr were lately sent by my Warrant unto the common Goal for the City and County aforesaid Francis Bacon for being Seditiously assembled with some hundreds of other disloyal Persons against the publick Peace and in contempt of the Laws and Government of this Realm Now for that the said George Whitehead and Thomas Burr are suspitious Persons and Strangers to this City aforesaid and being unwilling to declare that Duty which they and every true and well affected Subject ought to bear by Bond of Allegiance to our Gracious King they did severally refuse to take and pronounce the Oath of Obedience to the King's Majesty duely tendred unto them and after they were severally required to do the same by me These are therefore in his Majesty's Name to will and command you to keep the said George VVhitehead and Thomas Burr in the common Goal for the said City and County without Bail or Mainprise until the next General Quarter-Sessions of the Peace to be holden for the City and County aforesaid and hereof fail not Given under my Hand and Seal the 23d day of March Anno Dom. 1679. To the Keeper of the Common Goal for the City and County of Norwich G.W. I hope the Recorder cannot deny the Copy to be true R. I will vindicate it by Law in any Court in England c. or to that effect G.W. Hear the Exceptions against this Second Warrant I 'le read them deliberately If the Court has any thing to object against any particular that may be read over again after the first reading Court Read them Go on c. The Exceptions against the second Warrant for detention of the Prisoners in the Common Goal without Bail or Mainprise bearing date the 23d day of March Anno Dom. 1679. Exception I. First The Prisoners being committed till Sessions there to answer to the Premisses contained in their Mittimus Therefore the Court ought to take Judicial Cognizance thereof that is of the Charge contained in the said Mittimus for their Tryal and Discharge thereupon by due order of Law and not to suffer the second Warrant to be insisted upon nor the Mittimus to be evaded Exception 2. Secondly Because that after the Command given to the Keeper to keep them in the Common Goal until the next General Quarter-Sessions c. The Lawful Conclusion is wanting viz. Until they shall be delivered by due Course of Law See Cook in the 2d part of his Institutes fol. 52. concerning a Commitment by Lawful Warrant † † Note that the Prisoners foreseeing that the Recorder would insist upon the second Warrant as the Mittimus did therefore prepare this second Exception The Warrant or Mittimus faith he containing a Lawful Cause ought to have a Lawful Conclusion viz. And him safely to keep until he be delivered by Law c. And not until the party committing doth give further Order And this doth evidently appear by the Writs of Habeus Corpus both in the Kings Bench and Common Pleas Exchequer and Chancery Again he saith Secondly The Mittimus ought to be as hath been said till he be delivered by Law Ibid. Cook 2 part Inst fol. 53. Again now as the Mittimus must contain the Cause so the Conclusion must be according to Law viz. The Prisoner safely to keep until he be delivered by due order of Law and not until he that made it shall give other Order or the like Ibid. fol. 591 592. Exception 3. The third Exception is deduced by way of inference from the second Thirdly Therefore the Justice had no Legal Power to give other Order or Warrant which interposeth between his Commitment of the Prisoners and their Delieverance by due course of Law which is mentioned in the Warrant of Commitment but not in this pretended Warrant for detention The Justice who committed the Prisoners had no legal Jurisdiction over them thus by himself to interpose to fasten them They were thrust out of his hands by their Commitment and thereby referred to the
Quarter-Sessions for their Discharge thereupon by due Order of Law Interruption on the reading the third Exception in this Objection viz. R. If a man owe twenty men Money the first that Arrests him lays him into Goal but the other may lay their Actions upon him for all that Or if a man Robs in several places and is laid into Goal for one Robbery and there comes a Hue-and-Cry after him for another shall be go free of that because he is Arrested already G.W. That 's not our Case there 's no parity between them We were not committed to Goal on any such account as upon any Action of Debt Robbery c. Nor were we Chargeable with any new Matter or Crime when the second Warrant was writ more than when our Mittimus was writ and we first committed to Prison Pray let me read on the Matter 's further cleared Exception 4 Fourthly The second Warrant is contradictory to the first in that it admits of no Bail nor Mainprise for the Prisoners which the first admits of in these words viz. Being required to find Sureties for their respective Appearances at the next General Sessions Whereas the Prisoners were no more Criminal when the second Warrant was made than when the first was made being then in Hold upon their Commitment Exception 5. Fifthly The Prisoners were not Convented nor had in Examination before the Justice when the second Warrant was made to answer for themselves as they ought Judicially to have been if he had any new Matter unbailable against them or any matter of such High and Criminable Nature when he made the second which he had not when he made the first as to render them uncapable of Bail Therefore his second Warrant is Illegal and Extrajudicial and the Court is bound to take notice of it After the fifth Exception the Recorder again Interrupted viz. R. While I have to do here I will not suffer my self to be thus reflected upon It is a Dishonour to the Court. Court How many more have you to read G.W. But a very few I shall quickly have done You may call for any of them to be read over again when I have done Court You may go on Go on Exception 6. Sixthly If it be objected That the Prisoners refused to take and pronounce the Oath of Obedience to the King being duely required by Justice Bacon That is an apparent Mistake If the Warrant of their Commitment be of Credit it shall be Evidence in that it admits of Baile as before Which the refusal of the said Oath being so required admits not of But the Prisoners were not committed on that Account And therefore the second or Collateral Warrant which is of another date and no Commitment is grounded on a mistake in that point and is an extrajudicial thing And therefore not to be taken notice of but rejected by the Court and holden for none Exception 7. Seventhly Justice Bacon could not legally not duly require the Prisoners aforesaid to take the said Oath according to the Tenor and plain express Words of the Statutes provided in that case They not being under those Circumstances and Causes which the Law provides and limits as precedent to one Justice his being Authorized to require it See 3 Jac. c. 4. and 7 Jac. c. 6. and Dalton Just pac fol. 94 and 95. Upon the seventh Exception when read the Recorder alledged thus viz. R. If I find you under any one of those Circumstances or Causes I might tender you it Observation added 1 st But he did not assign or shew any one Circumstance that the Prisoners were under to Warrant his alone tender of the Oath However he hereby granted That he had no Power alone to require the said Oath without limitation of such precedent Circumstances 2 dly The Circumstances and Causes precedent and prescribed by the Statute 7 Jac. c. 6 are The Persons standing Indicted or Convicted for not coming to Church c. or complained of by the Minister Petty-Constable and Church-Wardens or any two of them to any Justice of Peace near adjoyning to the place where any Person complained of shall dwell c. 'T is only in such case that one Justice has Power to require the said Oath His Power is apparently limitted by the Law to certain precedent Circumstances under which Circumstances and Capacity neither the Prisoners nor the Justice stood and therefore were not in statu quo for the Oath to be legally required of them by one Justice Exception 8. Eighthly The Oath of Obedience could not be legally tendred on the 21st of March 1679. being the Lord's day Because that no Writ Process Warrant Order Judgment or Decree are to be served on that Day except in cases of Treason Fellony or breach of the Peace which the Case of the said Oath is none of It is a case of it self distinct See the Act for the better observation of the Lord's Day commonly called Sunday Anno vicesimo nono Caroli secundi 1677. After the eighth Exception being read R. Now you have prepared a Knife to cut your own Throat withal by that Exception In case of Treason Fellony or breach of the Peace your Meetings are against the Peace c. or to that effect Observation 1. That the Recorder did not deny the tender of the Oath to be process or a proceeding in Law Nay we presume he could not deny it G.W. That our Meetings are against the publick Peace remains to be proved upon the Premisses of our Mittimus prevented and interrupted when these Words should have been added being clearly intended for Argument in relation to the Exception Observation 2. viz That the tender of the Oath of Allegiance is a case of it self distinct from the Cases of Treason Fellony and breach of the Peace For it cannot be Justice to excuse or acquit Traytors Fellons or Breakers and Violaters of the Peace by tendring them the Oath of Allegiance or by their taking it That were an easie way for Traytors and Fellons c. to escape the condign punishment of the Law There 's other process or proceeding in Law more properly limitted and assigned against them For how many Oaths would not Traytors and Fellons take if Swearing would free them from the Judgment or condign punishment of the Law What Oaths would not such take to save themselves Observation 3. That seeing the Recorder seem'd not to deny the tender of the Oath to be a process in Law His Answer i.e. That your Meetings are against the publick Peace was besides the point His requiring the Oath is neither the Process nor the Penalty of the Law for the breach of the publick Peace They are distinct Cases and Processes R. Have you any thing against the Oath of Allegiance Or do you except against any thing contained in it G.W. We have nothing to except against the Declaration of Allegiance contained in it as to the Substance thereof T.B. We shew our Allegiance by our Conversations
That is by our living peaceably under the King and Government R. Do you scruple any Word or thing contained in the Oath If you do tell us what it is G.W. We both own and can sign the Declaration of Allegiance in opposition to the Pope and Popery And to those Seditious or Treasonable Practices and Positions abjured and renounced by that Oath R. Do you hold it unlawful to take an Oath in any case G.W. We are not commited to Prison to answer to Questions at Sessions but to Answer to the Premisses contained in our Mittimus R. Do you not hold it lawful to tell a Lye i.e. an Officious Lye to prevent an eminent danger c. or to that effect G.W. No by no means that 's not a true Protestant Principle to tell or maintain an Officious Lye so called R. Will you take the Oath c. If you will hold up your Hand as a Testimony that you do take the Oath or Swear that shall serve c. G.W. We have a Protestation or Declaration against the Pope Popery which was delivered to the Committee of Parliament and thereby judged sufficient to distinguish us from Popish Recusants We crave leave of the Court to read it R. What difference is there between a Protestation and an Oath G.W. It may be a Protestation or Testimony against Popery yet not an Oath I pray you let 's read our Protestation that we may not lie under Suspition without cause Court You may Read it The Protestation read in Court which followeth A Protestation or Declaration to distinguish Protestant Dissenters from Popish Recusants I A.B. do in the presence of Almighty God solemnly profess and in good Conscience declare It is my real Judgment that the Church of Rome is not the Church of Christ nor the Pope or Bishop of Rome Christ's Vicar And his or their Doctrines of deposing Heretical Princes and of absolving their Subjects of their Obedience Of Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead Of Indulgences and worshipping of Images Of adorning and praying to the Virgin Mary and other Saints deceased And of Transubstantiation or changing the Elements of Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ at or after the Consecration thereof by any Person whatsoever are False Erroneous and contrary to the Truth of God declared in the holy Scriptures And therefore that the Communion of the said Church is Superstitious and Idolatrous And I do likewise sincerely testifie and declare That I do from the bottom of my Heart detest and abhor all Plots and Conspiracies that are or may be contrived against the King or Parliament or People of this Realm or the true Protestant Religion therein professed And I do hereby faithfully Promise by God's help to live a peaceable and sober Life as becometh a good Christian and Protestant to do And all this I do acknowledge intend declare and subscribe without any Equivocation or Mental Reservation according to the true Plainness Simplicity and Usual signification of the Words Witness my Hand G.W. This was excepted by a great Committee and entred the Journal of Parliament in order to distinguish us from Popish Recusants c. R. We have not a Law to except it 'T is not enacted or made a Law We must proceed according to Law c. You seem to declare for the true Protestant Religion c. When you dissent from the Church of England ‖ This renders Protestancy but in a narrow compass as if all Dissenters were no Protestants I am not in that Point satisfied with your Declaration or to that effect G.W. We have no Mental Reservation in the case We are willing and ready to sign this Declaration Interrupted when about adding these Words viz. The true Protestant Religion is wholly opposit to Popery It stands in Protestation or Testimony against Popery 'T is a Negative Testimony thereof So far as any Protestants in the Church of England or elsewhere do really protest against and sincerely disown Popery so far are we of the same Judgment with them But there are Protestants of several degrees some are more refined and more clear of Popery than others G.W. Is there any Evidence against us to prove the Premisses contained in our Mittimus Where are our Accusers R. The Premisses what are they G.W. The being at an unlawful Assembly in disturbance of the publick Peace as is pretended against us Let 's be tryed and either condemned or acquitted hereupon R. I was more favourable to you than you deserved For I could have drawn an Indictment against you at Common Law and brought you to a Tryal upon it Which being found against you I must have fined you R. We who are in Commission for the Peace are Lex loquens and to give the true meaning of the Law We are not to make Laws but to Interpret the Law We are to punish or amerce Offenders secundum Qualitatem secundum qualitatem delicti c. G.W. We are not at present about to justifie our selves as to matter of Fact We are willing to hear Evidence what any can prove against us in relation to our Assemblies Let 's have due Process R. If the Court will agree to it wee 'l Adjourn And I will provide an Indictment and give order that the Witnesses shall be here and will give it to the Grand ●nquest And if they find it against you you shall be fined Forty Pound and Imprisonment till payed c. Prisoner It seems the Witnesses are yet to procure Is there any here that can give Evidence against our Meeting of the breach of the Peace c. R. That 's a Lye I did not say I would procure Witnesses that 's Scandalous T.B. We desire that no advantage may be taken against us for a Word You ought not to take advantage c. G.W. I intended no offence in the word Procure I intended it not in the worst Sense i e. as by way of Subornation for I intended no other than according to the Recorders own Words That Witnesses should be here or the like which doubtless many present heard Prisoner Well we refuse not to be Tryed upon the Charge in our Mittimus touching our Meeting c. R. You shall have the Oath put to you And I 'le tell you what danger you incur If you refuse to take it you are to be put out of the King's protection your Lands and Estates forfeit to the King and your Bodies Imprisoned during the King's pleasure c. G.W. We understand what a Praemunire means according to the Statute of Praemunire made in the sixteenth Year of King Richard the second Though there 's no Equity that should be brought upon us whilst we Practice our Allegiance Suppose we cannot for Conscience sake Swear 'T is but hard measure to bring us under the penalty of Praemunire for that cause only What Equity can there be in it Seeing we utterly deny the Pope and Popery c. To which we may justly