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may all, as well as the eldest, be liable to pay debts; also that lands, left in trust for children, be liable to payment of debts.
IX. That creditors have liberty to extend more than half the debtor's lands for payment of debts, which cannot be done at present.
X. Whereas rich debtors get their lands extended by one creditor or other, thereby to defraud the rest; therefore, that, as leases, goods, and bankrupt lands are sold, so where the landed debtor will not sell, within convenient time, that the creditors should have the debtor's lands to sell and dispose of, returning the overplus to the debtor, or else that some other convenient remedy be used herein.
XI. That there were some place in every shire for registering all leases, bargains, conveyances, statutes, judgments, recognisances, and the like, which any way concern the lands in that shire; in former times, care hath been used for recording of bargains, sales, and statutes, within six months, but none at all for leases, feoffments, deeds of covenants to stand seized to uses, with leases and releases after them.
XII. That writs to take a debtor be dirigible, particularly to one, and generally to all other sheriffs or justices within England.
XIII. That the privileges and abuses of palatines, which extremely hinder payment of debts, be laid by with us, as they are in Portugal.
XIV. I hat, in regard attachments prevent arrests and bloodshed, they may be used as well in other parts of England, as at London.
XV. That, as was used by the antients, against sanctuary-men, so instead of appearances, notice by justices of the peace, or the like, may be given or left; and, in case of contumacy the second or third time, process maybe made against the offender. This would prevent those grievances by outlawry, also the great expences in chancery, the abuses in palatinates privilege, the exchange and fairs from arrests avoided, tryals by ejtctionefirmce, and abuses by under sheriffs.
XVI. To prevent the abuses practised in wills and administrations, that, in every great town or hundred, standing commissioners should be chosen by the neighbourhood (and sworn before some justices) for seizing and selling of estates, unless executors, or the like, give sufficient security to such commissioners for the absolute payment of all debts, and that all debtors be paid alike; this course might very much help orphans, also the just payment of debts and legacies; likewise it were good some strict laws were made against imbezzling any part of such estates.
XVII. That insolvent debtors be freed from imprisonment, or else detained some short time at the creditors charge, till their cause be determined, and that their estates be seized for satisfaction of creditors.
XVIII. To help the creditor for matter of proof, that the debtor, or what others the creditor or judges think fit, may be examined upon oath, as incase of bankrupt.
XIX. For the encouragement of merchants, and some special manufactures, as at Antwerp, some immunities from arrests, at least for small sums, be conferred on the processors.
XX. Whereas poor men can seldom put in bail, for want whereof, they suffer unheard many months imprisonment, till their day of hearing comes, and are thereby often utterly ruined; therefore for pieven tion, that the plaintiff by his own oath, or of some credible person allowed by the judge, declare the truth of the cause; wherein, if he failed, the prisoner, giving authority for his appearance, to be dismissed without bail; or which is better, that the judge be authorised to determine of law, fact, and equity, to avoid the formality and charge of pleading.
XXI. That no person be held to bail, who hath offered to pay without suit of law, neither should his person be liable to execution.
XXII. Whereas, by that barbarous and senseless law of pressing to death, rich and landed men are encouraged to steal, and accessaries wholly escape; therefore, if such manner of offenders were attainted by verdict, such inconveniences might be prevented.
XXIII. Whereas by clergy many times murderers, and notorious thieves, are but warmed a little in the hand, because they can read; and another for a sheep, or trifle, is hanged, not for his offence, but because he cannot read: Therefore it were requisite, that this senseless and barbarous character, which admits of much knavery, and cannot be read by every good and able scholar, were banished, is well as French, Latin, and Court-hand, especially in such cases which concern men's lives.
XXIV. That persons, accused for life, be permitted council, in regard their fears render them often both speechless and unadvised; bare accusations are not such sufficient condemnations, as to deprive any (though innocent) of council in such extremity.
XXV. That there may be but one statute for one matter, and repeals made total, not in part, so that men may know what is in force, what not, and live under such laws, as it is possible to know, which now they cannot.
XXVI. That reversioners have free power to dispose of their estates without the tenants consent. This would both prevent many chancerysuits, and secure purchasers.
XXVII. That the statute of Merton may be totally repealed, and thereby those antient local customs confirmed in behalf of the tenants and inhabitants.
XXVIII. That the uncertain fines of copyholdeis may be reduced to a certainty, either of an easy yearly rent, or moderate fine; also that the like might be done, in servile tenures and heriots; this would prevent many chancery-suits and oppression by lords.
XXIX. That the suborner, as well as the corrupted witness, should be stigmatised and disabled for future matters; also, that whosoever unjustly takes away another's testimony, by making him a party, should lose his suit, if proved. This is an old chancery trick.
XXX. That tryal by combate may be suppressed as a reasonless law, and unwarrantable by God's word.
I HAVE narrowly epitomised the author, partly because others have (especially Mr. William Leech) treated at large upon some of these grievances; and partly, that, as a compendium of many necessary mementoes, it might produce an active remembrance, in all true-hearted Englishmen, and worthy patriots of their country.
Of the late
ACCIDENT IN THE NEW EXCHANGE,
On the twenty-first and twenty-second of November, 1653. Stylo vet. Written by the most noble and illustrious Lord, Don Pantaleon Sa brother to his excellency of Portugal, extraordinary legate in England, to his much esteemed nobility of England, and to all of the beloved and famous city of London from Newgate's prison.
London, printed in the year, 1653. Quarto, containing fourteen pages.
MANY will wonder, what feelings I have to be detained in a place so unsuitable to my condition; whilst few vouchsafe me their commiseration, all deem me worthy of reproof. Truly, I do acquiesce in this, to me, harsh tenor of English justice, and obey it without resistanc e, t o this unversal and undeserved hatred towards me and ours. Notwithstanding, because I am conscious of my own intentions herein I cannot but grieve to see the whole envy and malice of this affair pursue only my part, not having given, neither the first nor the second time, any occasion for it, without permitting, that we, remote strangers from our native country, enjoy any pity at all. Much I am afflicted, that few cherish my cause, most withstand it, and, as it were, none interpose themselves, to ascribe this unhappy accident, as really it ought, to chance, rather than to malice; to the ignorance of some particulars, than to the pertinacy of all; to the reciprocal hurly-burly, than to the pretended violence of one only side. This I only say, to that end, that I may lay open the business, and intentions herein, so to be made apparent to the most beloved gentry and people of England, that all may more easily compassionate my person and condition, and restore me and ours again their love and favour, which truly, in these circumstances, I equally value with my life.
It no wise can be conceived how deeply I am struck, when I reflect that I am come to that point, that neither I, in my proper cause, nor others can be heard for me, many imagining their aim and honour to withstand meas muchas is possible; yea, and that those, that assist me herein, therefore are deemed principals in the act. Whence to you all, who read this, I leave it to be judged, what an unspeakable grief I must needs inwardly feel, when I hear such strange speeches against me every wherein this city, and that, only for my sake, my country-men all and nation displease them. Truly, if it were at first as it is now bruited, 1 might justly seem a madman towards my brother, most uncivil to all the English gentry, and ungrateful to all this city, wherein I have so long been, and so well known. But these forerunning discourses, at first, discredit themselves by their variety, and, afterwards, totally become groundless.
1. Should I, as it is said, oppress the English, or withstand them from whom my brother, sent hither particularly by ray King, demands peace and amity, and under whose protection we all are? Should I commit, by such a levity, everlastingly by me to be repented, that I should not also seem to intend what my brother, with so much pains, hitherto endeavoured to effect? I would not have been so great an enemy to myself, both in the opinion of my brother, and in the esteem of my King, in whose hands it lies to dispose of my whole life, honour, and fortune; which, since it is so, I confide none will exaggerate my cause, or accuse me beyond reason.
2. Should I hate the English gentry? Alas, I am a gentleman myself; and, indeed, I much ever desired to deserve their love and esteem. I never would have dreamed such a folly, unless I had first forgot my own birth, in which, so far I anrfrom doing wrong, that I endeavoured to shew myself, as I was able, a true follower of my brother, whom I still perceived and noted heartily desirous to oblige all gentlemen, by whatsoever manner of civility and kindness he could afford them.
3. Should I, lastly, on set purpose, bring I know not what arms to besiege the Exchange? I witness heaven, and beg pardon first of all this common-wealth, to which I totally submit myself, then again of my dear brother, if either of them harbour such an opinion of my deportments. Nay, if by chance I had indiscreetly offended in this kind, it might have been ascribed to my unexperienced youth, and pardonable; and every indifferent judge will find me to have only sought to defend myself and honour, and not in the least to offend others. And I swear to heaven, I knew nothing of what is spoke of powder, which was found in a hackney-coach.
Some will object, Why would I go and meet the threats I might have before heard of? First, I believed no such threats, which, I conjectured, could not proceed but from a very few; especially, when I reflected on the great civilities and kindnesses which, for this year and more, had been betwixt the English and Portugal gentry, and that all differences might be decided by some other handsome mean, and not by the like threats. Again, how could I imagine any hinderance to go to so publick a place, which I sec open to all nations, even to the basest sort of people? If I had been forbidden any private house, by its owner, or, by a decree of parliament, from any publick place, I had kept home, and not stirred, to manifest, with joy and promptness, my obedience therein to this common-wealth. And thus I feared none, nor suspected, in the least, that any would assault me, when they saw me unarmed; neither did I think, that a publick place could defend me, when my brother's house is patent to all. Notwithstanding, being danger of life and honour must be provided against, I would not go totally unprepared, in case any where 1 should be offended.
Coming therefore to the Exchange, as I was wont to do, on the twenty-first of November, 1653, so to gain and increase love and acquaintance with the English gentlemen, I walked with a certain Englishman, new arrived from Portugal, who assured me of the civilities he enjoyed among my country-men there. As we two thus hand in hand discoursed, behold, on a sudden, an English gentleman obtrudes himself betwixt us with great violence; I regarded not this, until I beard that party and my companion at variance. At this, though I understood little, yet I very much resented it; because I earnestly wished nothing of scandal attempted where I might have any thing to do. This was my mind then, as they will easily believe, who behold me with an impartial eye. But what? Out of hand the gentleman casteth at me most contumelious words, repeating them twice or thrice in the French tongue, against me alone, who had not offended him; calling me Jean Foutre, Brugher, and Coquin. I pray, what flesh alive, in these conjunctures, could have contained himself from taking a just revenge? Let any speak, whether he could have patiently took the like injurious words from me? If not, why should it be my charge and only blame, not to have been then so patient as to hold my hands without repelling him, making at me in so scurvy a manner? It is true, I then rushed upon him; yet, naked as I was, without either sword, or any weapon that could do him the harm he, in that mutiny, received. Here quickly a world of English crouded about me, by whom I was unkindly, yea, harshly abused, and, by naked swords drawn against my life, compelled to withdraw myself thence as I could, especially perceiving none there so favourable as would either speak or stand in my buhalf.
Upon this, I was not a little afflicted, and tenderly felt what was acted against me, a gentleman, a stranger, and innocent, if I had been rightly understood; against whom, none, in my own country, durst have attempted so much; if not for the honour of my deportment, at least for the respect and duty of my birth. I say no more, but leave it to your commiseration to reflect how deeply I resented this. I know you arc well instructed all in those wholsome counsels of Holy Writ, and therefore, with greater confidence, I now, and ever, did cast myself into your arms, fearing nothing, Levit. xix. ver. 33. And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him, Exod. xxii. ver. 21. Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Exod. xxiii. ver.9. Alsothou shalt not oppress a stranger, for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am sorry that the gentleman, the cause of all this, should have been wounded; and, if any of my followers did it, I am the more sorry, although it were done in my defence. But, I call God to witness, I had not so much as a pin in my hand then, by which I could in the least harm him.
With these unhandsome injuries I thought to have rested, hoping the party, that had affronted me, would have been sensible of what he had done, and so I would have deemed myself sufficiently satisfied. But what? There were several who abused divers Portugal gentlemen, then casually walking, with blows and words. Nay, the gentleman, of whose wound was complained so much, assisted by many others, meeting a Portugal gentleman, ignorant of what had passed, rushed upon