Imagens das páginas

any commonwealth, to reflect upon a whole state, till he did set it afoot to that effect.

He, that is not blind, may easily perceive this, that it was not possible that his intelligence could be so universal in all things, as it was, and his designs so effectually carried on, in all places, as they were, without an exact insight of all circumstances, and a speedy and secret correspondency with all parts; and that, to have such an insight in all things, and maintain such a correspondency with all parts, nothing is so fit as such a way of address, erected in all the chief cities of every province of a kingdom, is altogether undeniable: therefore it may ba lawfully concluded, that by this means chiefly he was inabled both to contrive and execute all his undertakings.

Hence also must be observed, that to have such an office, in one place, is not enough; but that there should be one in every principal place of resort, where there is the greatest concurrence of men for mutual society and negotiation in every province, that all the commodities or conveniencies, which are offered or desired in any place, may be conveyed or made known unto all places unto which they are by any means communicable.

Now that such registers in those places, and chiefly in London, may be kept for all these, both private and publick advantages, nothing is wanting, but the countenance of authority, that the matter may be regularly and orderly carried on, because it is not enough to intend a good work, but the way of carrying it on must be good also; therefore the business is to be ordered by those that are in place of supreme command; that as the motion doth aim at the publick good of all, by the benefit and profit of every one in particular; so all respect may be shewed towards those that are over the whole body, that nothing may seem to be attempted to their prejudice. As for that which remaineth to be certified further in this business, it is not much; only this may be added, that these registers must be again and again subdivided, and especially that some must be kept secret, and some exposed to the common view of all. In the secret registers, the particularities of the memorials are to be kept; specifying things circumstantially, by the names and places of abode of them, that do offer or desire the same, with all the conditions, upon which they are offered and desired. And, in the open or common register, the same memorial is to be kept under a general intimation of the matter only; with a reference unto the particular and secret register, that such as shall see the general intimation, and shall desire the particular information thereof, may be accommodated therein by an extract thereof for their address, where to find their conveniency; and for this extract some small and very inconsiderable duty, as a penny, or, at the most, two-pence, may be paid.

As for those that are to bring memorials unto the office, some patterns or forms are to be made, and shewed unto them hung up in the office, to teach such as are not acquainted with the way, how to draw up their memorandums, which they would bring in. Those then, that will make use of the office, shall be directed to come, with an exact memorial, of that whereof they desire either to give or receive advice, and upon what conditions. When therefore they shall come with their memortal, if they be poor, it shall be registered, or an extract shall be given them out of the register-book for nothing; but, if they are not poor, the duty is to be paid for the registering, or for the extract, which may be taken out of a memorial; and, when they have found the persons to whom the extract shall give them address, if the bargain, whereof the memorial doth give information, be concluded, or the effect of the memorial be otherwise made void; the register is to be discharged of it within twenty-four hours, and, for this discharge of the register, nothingshall be paid. Nowthe register should be discharged of the memorials which are made void, lest fruitless addresses be made to any concerning a matter already dispatched; and, lest those, that have received satisfaction which they desired by their memorials, be troubled with new visitors which the office may send unto them, if this be not done.

Lastly, By all that hath been said this is very evident, that this way of address will be the most useful and advantageous constitution for the supply of all men's wants, and the dispatch of all businesses, that can be thought upon, in this or any other commonwealth; and that this way may easily be set on foot is apparent from this, that to settle it nothing is wanting, but the designment of a place, in which the office should be kept, and an act of authority to be given to the sollicitor of publick designs, whereby he should be ordered to prosecute this matter. This act, then, might run in such terms as these, or the like:

"Seeing the provision for the poor, to supply their necessities, and give them and others address unto some employments, is not only a work of Christian charity, but of great usefulness to a well-ordered commonwealth: It is therefore ordered and ordained, by both Houses of parliament, that N. N. shall be a superintendent-general for the good of the poor of this kingdom, to find out and propose the ways of their relief, and give to them, and all others, such addresses as shall be most expedient to supply their wants, and to procure to every one their satisfaction, in the accommodation of all their commendable or lawful desires. To which effect, the said N. N. is authorised hereby to appoint, first in London, and then in all other places of this kingdom, wheresoever he shall think it expedient, an office of encounter or address in such place or places, as by authority shall be designed to that use. In which places he shall have power to put under-officers, &c. who shall, according to his direction, be bound to keep books and registers, wherein it shall be free for every one to cause to be written and registered, by several and distinct chapters, every thing whereof address may be given concerning the said necessities and accommodations; and likewise it shall be free for every one to come to the said offices, to receive addresses by extracts out of the registers, upon condition that the rich shall pay for such an extract, or the registering of a memorial, but two-pence, or three-pence at the most; and that the poor shall have this done on their behalf for nothing; nor shall any be bound, or obliged to make use of this office, by giving, or taking out memorials, further than of their own accord they shall be willing."


Proper and only way to an


Freedom, Peace, and Happiness:


And the necessity, justice, and present seasonableness of breaking it in pieces, demonstrated, in eight most plain and true propositions, with their proofs. By the author of Anti-Normanism, and of the Plain English to the neglecters of it.

Deo, Patriot, Tibi.

Imprimatur Gilbert Mabbot. London, printed for R. L. Anno Dora. 164s. Quarto, containing sixteen pages.


THOU hast here once more my endeavour for to draw this our nation from under the right, title, effects, and badges of the Norman.(pre-tended) conquest over us, to which, by the iniquity of precedent times, and the ignorant negligence of the present, we remain still

- subject. Conquest, saith Dr. Hudson, in its best attire, is the most eminent of curses; but, sure, it is a curse far more eminent, to be so difficult to be persuaded to come out of that quality, especially, while undeniable justice, power, and opportunity add their invitations. If, what is here made manifest, shall meet with due and timely regard, and produce effects according, we may happily recover that incomparable freedom, honour, peace, and happiness, which we enjoyed under the glorious, and our last right English king, St. Edward; but, if.such cold consideration shall attend it, as seems to have befallen what hath been before sent abroad upon the same errand, I shall esteem itgreat pity, and ammuch deceived, if either by our old,or some new conquerors, we be not taught with more than words, what belongs to such as have not capacity to be either ingenuous subjects, or dutiful slaves. Vale.


Proposition 1.

That the right and title of a (pretended) conquest over the English nation, by foreigners called Normans, hath been heretofore set up, and is still upheld in this kingdom, and that all Englishmen, by the mouths of their parliaments and lawyers, have submitted and do still submit unto the same, and are governed in great part by Norman innovations, being foreign laws and customs introduced by the said Normans in despight of the English people, for marks and monuments of the said conquest.


THAT the right and title of such a conquest is still on foot, and stands for the basis of this kingdom, I suppose needs no proof. That it is accordingly still submitted to, I have proved in my Plain English, page 3,4, a sufficient part of which probation is this, viz. that, by the mouths abovesaid, we do acknowledge (how truly I shall shew in my fifth proposition) that the duke of Normandy absolutely purchased with his sword the crown of England and our allegiance, for otherwise he could not be as we name him our conqueror. Secondly, That accordingly we do submit to his heirs, placing him the said duke,specificated with his said title of conqueror, for the root and alpha of our rightful kings; so that it is plain that the said conquest doth enjoy both our acknowledgment and professed allegiance: That the Norman innovations are retained, to the almost exiling of our own proper laws, is every where both* legible and visible: That they were introduced in manner and for the purpose abovesaid, and accordingly resented and reluctated against by the English people, while they understood themselves and their proprieties, may appear by their many exclamations made against them unto the (pretended) conqueror, by the acts of the Kentish men, and by the Londoners petition in King Stephen's time, which also occasioned those many regal oaths to be then and still taken, though not yet performed, for retracting these innovations and restoring the laws of King Edward; so far are the said innovations from being any part of our legitimate laws, though our wild lawyers so repute them, the proper birth or stamp whereof is to be of the people's choosing, as the coronation-oath testifies. And thus much for to shew that, while we dispute the duty of subjects, we profess the allegiance of captives; while we spurn at English proclamations, we submit to Norman laws; and that, notwithstanding all our great victories and triumphs, we do still remain, as much as ever, under the title and in the quality of a conquered nation; unto which what reasons we have to induce us, I shall shew in my ensuing propositions.

Proposition 2.

That the said title of conquest and Norman innovations (while they continue in force in this kingdom) are destructive to the honour, freedom, and all other unquestioned rights of this nation, and much more to the present legality and future validity of this parliament's proceedings.

• See Daniel's Hut. p. 43,


A GREAT part of the injuriousness of this title and innovations, towards our nation, I cannot better set forth than in the words of learned Fortescue (cited by Mr. Prynne in his Sovereign Power, part 1. p. 37, 38.) though himself a Norman and arguing only against unlimited prerogative in the crown, which is but part of what is inseparably wrapped up in the title of conquest, who having declared it to be the undoubted right of Englishmen to have this two-fold privilege, viz. To be under laws of their own choosing, and princes which themselves admit (in which two. consists a great part of their honour and the sum of their freedom as I have shewed in my Plain English, pi.) adds, that of the benefit of this .their right they should be utterly defrauded, if they should be under a King that might spoil them of their goods, as our first pretended conqueror did, and as the heirs of his title by the law of all conquests still may, and yet should they be much more injured, if they should afterwards be governed by foreign and strange laws, and such peradventure as they deadly hated and abhorred, of which sort I have before shewed these innovations to be. And most of all, if by those laws their substance should be diminished, as it is by many of these innovations, particularly that of drawing the generality of law-suits to Westminster, for the safeguard whereof, as also of their honour and of their own bodies, they submitted themselves to his government; thus and morche; to which I may add,thatthjs injuriousness were yet more aggravated, if our kings which were installed by our admission, and should thus patronise our honour, &c. should profess themselves to be of foreign blood, declare that they owe their right to the crown unto none but their sword, and write on our foreheads that we are their conquered and captive vassals, as our princes, while they retain the said title, do. In sum, the title and effects of this pretended conquest are a yoke of captivity, unto which while we continue our fond and needless submission, we renounce honour, freedom, and all absolute right to any thing but just shame and oppression, being thereby in the quality of professed captive bondslaves, unto the heirs of the duke of Normandy, and wearing the open livery of that profession. And, though we enjoy a mitigation of our slavery by charters, yet are those chartersrevokablc at the King's pleasure, as * King Richard the Second well observed, while the kingdom continues grounded on the conquest; which I have sufficiently proved, in the preface to Plain English, from the tenour of Magna Charta itself (which declares the said charter to be an act of mere grace and favour, and grounded upon respect not so much of duty as of meritorious supererogation towards God, much less of duty, though benefit, to the nation) and from a f confession of parliament; and is also otherwise no less clearly evincible, for that it is a maxim, that all subjects of a conquest, especially while they profess themselves such, as we simply still do, are in the quality of tenants in villeuage, subject and subservient, in their persons and estates, to the will, honour, and benefit of their conqueror and his heirs, according to the axiom in J Ca»ar (men

* See Mr. Pryone's S. F. fol. 59, b. t See M. Frjnne's citation last mentioned.' i In lib. i. de Belle OalUco. VOL. VI. H

« AnteriorContinuar »