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Posts Tagged ‘petitions’

More details behind women’s petition riot emerge

In London on August 14 at 2:36 pm

14 Aug 1643 (Mon) || On Saterday last there was one Mistris Jorden a Citizen brought a Petition o the House of Commons, desireing leave to go into Holland, for that she went in great Jeopardy of her life here amongst her own Neighbours, in that she refused to joyn with them in their tumultuous rising against the Parliament on the Wednesday before, and being examined before the whole house, touching that tumult she declared at the Commons Barr, that she heard one Master Knowles in Chancery lane affirme, that many of the Women had been with a great Earle in this Kingdome, (whom that night or the next morning with some others in companie made escape from the Parliament and (as tis thought) gone to Oxford) who encouraged them in that tumultuous manner to come downe to the Parliament under pretence for peace, and told them that all the Lords but the Lord Say were for the Propositions for peace, and so also all of the House of Commons except foure or five, and that if they came downe in that manner but 3. or 4. dayes together these propositions for peace would passe the Houses and they would then have peace, but a very strange peace it would have beene certainely, when after the profuse expence of so much blood as hath beene spent in this warre, wee shall be left in a worse condition then we were at first, and surrender up all to the bare will and pleasure of his Majesty, or rather of his seducing Counsellors without any provision made for the securing of our Religion, Lawes, or Liberties otherwise then in such manner as His Majesty shall approve of, or give consent[;] which information of Mistris Jordans the Commons referred to a Committee throughly to examine the whole businesse, which Committee had appointed to sit on monday following about it, but on Monday the first thing we heard on, was that the said great Earle concerned in that businesse was escaped from the Parliament as aforesaid.

And since that wee understand from Windsor, that the Earle of Holland, Earle of Bedford, Lord Lovelace and Lord Conway are all gone to His Majesty; that some of the Souldiers at Windsor persued them to Marlow, where they found the Earle of Holland at his Daughter the Lady Pagetts House, but had so stronge a guard upon the House, they could doe no good with so small a force, and retreated backe to Windsor for more ayde, in the meane time the Earle went for Oxford, but Colonell Ven hath mett with some of Trunkes that were going after him, wherein doubtlesse there is some good booty.  || A continuation Of certain Speciall and Remarkable passages (P)

Women’s petition presentation dissolves into riot

In London on August 10 at 8:40 pm

10 Aug 1643 (Thu) || In regard that various reports do goe abroad, concerning the womens coming to Westminster to the Parliament House, on Wednesday last, to Petition for Peace, and that they were some wounded and some slaine (onely Petitioning for Peace, as the Malignants report and give out, and disperse their letters into all parts to that purpose, to incence the people against the Parliament) I shall relate the whole matter as neere as I can (which is like to be the last intelligence will be given, in regard we shall by the next weeke be drawne into the field to attend Martiall affairs.)¹ On Munday the Lord Major, Aldermen and Common Councell came with a Petition to the Parliament, shewing their great feares, that if the Propositions sent downe from the Lords (wherein no one Clause was to bring to Justice any one Papist or Delinquent, that have stirred the King up to this unnaturall Warre against the Parliament) should be yeilded unto, it would be destructive to our Religion, Lawes and Liberties … This Petition was likewise accompanied (contrary to the desire of the Lord Maior, Aldermen, and Common Councell, the Representative body of the City) with at least a thousand of the meaner sort of Citizens, who came in a civill manner, without any weapons, and departed assoone as the Parliament declared a dislike of their coming; […] The Malignants upon this consulted what to doe, to worke their ends, by possessing the people, the Parliament was against Peace […] to operate with them, to act violence, upon The Notion, the Parliament is against Peace, to bring their ends to passe: They that Munday night (though the Plot was laid before in Tompkins designe)² put on those women that were Ring-leaders of the crew, to get such women in and about the City of London and Suburbs, as were desirous of Peace (as they pretended) to come to the Parliament house to cry for Peace, which was to the women (nay to all Christians ought to be) a pleasing thing, and thereupon some out of an earnest desire for Peace, others out of the designe, came on Tuesday to Westminster, with white silke Ribbands in their hats, and cryed for Peace, Committed no great disorder, but when their saw their own time, went home againe:

The next day they came againe, neither the Parliament, nor City giving any order to the Trained bands to hinder them, least it should be reported they would hinder any for coming to Petition for Peace; and some in name of the rest came & delivered their Petition, entituled, the humble Petition of Many Civilly-disposed Women, (though their actions were quite contrary) which Petition the House of Commons received and read the same (there being little exception to be taken unto it) and sent them out Sir John Hepsley, and four or five more, to returne them an answer, satisfactory enough, if they had beene reasonable Creatures; but they were so farre from being satisfied with it, that Sir John Hepsley and the rest received such course usage from them, that they desired no more of such imployment: By twelve a clocke these women increased to the number of five or six thousand at least, besides the men Malignants that were amongst them, who clapt them on their backes and bid them not to be afraid, but to go on (notwithstanding their Petition) to the House of Commons doore, and cry for Peace: And accordingly they came againe to the doore of the House at the upper staires head, and assoone as they were past a part of the Trained Band that usually stood Centinell there, they thrust them downe by the head and shoulders, and would suffer none to come in or out of the Parliament house for two hours together, the trayned Band advised them to come downe, and pulled them, for this they cared not, crying nothing but powder, and having Brickbats in the yards, threw them very fast at the trained Bands, and disarmed some of them, which some beggarly fellows whom the Malignants had caused to come to assist the women, seeing their courage, threw stones also at the trained souldiers, whereupon they were forced to shoot bullets in their owne defence, and killed a Ballad-singer with one arme, for you must know (except some few women) these women were for the most part, Whores, Bawdes, Oyster-women, Kitchen-stuffe women, Beggar women, and the very scum of the Suburbs, besides abundance of Irish women: There was likewise a poore man slaine who came accidentally; notwithstanding this example, these women were not any whit scared or ashamed of their incivilities, but cryed out so much the more, even at the doore of the house of Commons, Give us these Traytors that are against peace, that we may teare them in pieces, Give us Pym in the first place[;] they were perswaded to forbeare to use such language of the Parliament and to depart, but they cryed out so much the more; all this while the Parliament was in a manner Prisoners, the guard could not in two houres make way to the House, to bring them downe, being loath to offer violence to women, at last ten Troopers (some of them Cornets) came to passe by the women, who had their Colours in their hats, which the women seeing, made 2 of them take their Ribbands out of their hats[;] not contented with that, they offered to do the like to the rest, & laid violent hands upon them, whereupon, they drew their Swords, and laid on some of them with their Swords flat-wayes for a good space, which they regarded not, but enclosed them, upon this they then cut them on the face and hands, and one woman lost her nose, whom they say is since dead[;] as soon as the rest of the women saw blood once drawne, they ran away from the Parliament House, and dispersed themselves in smaller numbers, into the Church-yards, Pallace, and other places; and about an houre after the House was up, a Troope of horse came, and cudgelled such as staid, with their Kanes, and dispersed them, and unhappily a maid servant, that had nothing to do with the Tumult, but passing through the Church-yard (which may be a warning to people to keep out of unlawfull Assemblies) was shot; the Malignants say, it was done by a Trooper that rid up to her, and shot her purposely, others say it went off by mischance, which way soever it was done, it was unfortunate, but the man was immediatly sent to prison to the Gatehouse, and is to be tryed for the fact;

Divers people going amongst the women, asked them who put them on to this businesse, they said they were at such a Lords House, and he bid them go to the house of Commons, for they were against Peace[;] others said, they had those to countenance them, in this businesse, that would not desert them; being asked where they got so many hundred yards of silke Ribbin to wear in their hats, some said at the Lady Brunckhards house in Westminster, others that [it] came from the otherside of the water, had some at a Ladies house in Southwarke, and so others at other Ladies houses in other parts of the Suburbs: The parties that appeared openly to countenance them: were Sergeant Francis, who is sent to the Lord Generall to be tried by a Counsell of War, another was one Master Pulford whom the Parliament hath likewise committed, upon Information of his countenancing these women, at the house of Commons doore: this is the true Relation of the whole businesse in effect, which no Malignant can deny; and let the world judge if there were any possibility (all faire meanes taking no effect) to appease these Tumults without mischiefe. || Richard Collings – The Kingdome’s Weekly Intelligencer (P)

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¹ Collings was a soldier; the Intelligencer was silent for three months, reappearing in November.
² Nathaniel Tomkins, a ring-leader in “Waller’s Plot”, a plan to deliver the City of London to the King; the plot was discovered in May, and Tomkins executed in July.

Looted clothiers recompensed

In Berkshire on March 22 at 6:55 pm

22 Mar 1642/3 (Wed) || The Westerne Clothiers that were lately robbed of their Cloth [at] Basingstoke in Hampshire by the Redding Cavaliers,¹ went to Oxford, [and] presented a Petition to the King, humbly intreating him, that according to the late Proclamation, they may have their goods restored: which the King reading, gave order immediately that restitution should be made them of their Clothes, which are since come safe to London … onely Mr. Ash and his Brother being Members of the House of Commons, have had no restitution of their Cloth, but it is still detained at Redding. Yet it is to be observed, that those Clothiers could not get their clothes againe, untill they had taken the new Protestation at Oxford, and paid their fees (as prisoners) to the Provost Marshall, as it is attested by credible persons, who went and came to, and with them from Oxford. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

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¹ See report from 16th March

Earl of Newcastle refuses Derbyshire petition

In Derbyshire on February 20 at 7:00 pm

20 February 1642/3 (Mon) || They write out of Darbie-shire, that the Countrey sent a Petition to the Lord of New Castle, to intreat that free passage might be permitted for some port of Tinne and Lead, and because the Gentleman that went (though no friend to the Parliament) might passe the safer, he took a Papist along with him, the better to ingratiate himselfe with my Lord, and to passe safely; when he came and delivered his Petition, the Earle anwered he could not grant it, because it would be good to Chesterfield, Sheffeild, and other Townes that were friends to the Parliament; The Petitioner replyed, that if the Miners were hindred of their worke, they would plunder the County; and let them, said the Lord New-Castle, and I will come and helpe them, and powre boyling oyle upon the rich Churles, to make them confesse where their money is. This County that was as unanimously right for the Parliament, as any in England, for want of heads, and incouragement, is much declined. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages (P)

Windsor: Royalist prisoners petition the King; Royalist spy interrogated

In Berkshire, Oxford on February 4 at 8:40 pm

4th February 1642/3 (Sat) || The prisoners at Windsor are much discontented at his Majesty, that he esteemes of a Round-head at so high a price, as not to thinke Cavalieres worthy to be exchanged for them, they petitioned His Majesty speedily to take some course (for now they despaired to be released by the Apprentices designe) for their liberty: A Drummer was sent with the Petition on Thursday last to Oxford,¹ who returned againe with a Ticket from the Earle of Craford, and Master Ashburnham, addressed to (No body) that his Majesty had sent one Browne back with the Drummer, to take a list of the Prisoners there, and at London, and then his Majesties pleasure should be further known, which being in an unusuall manner, not according to the Law of Armes, it is intending the Gent. be sent back againe (though in strictnesse fit to be punished) and to returne with a Trumpet, or Drum, according to use. Master Ford the high Sheriffe, prisoner at Windsor is not so lame of his Leg, and his Arme, as he lately pretended he was, nor is he debarred pen and incke (as the Parliament Souldiers are at Oxford) for he writ a Letter to a Malignant in London, to presse the King speedily to exchange him, for he had 1000.li ready, and could in three days bring 400 gallant men with him, well mounted and Armed.

There is brought to Windsor to be tryed by a Counsell of War one Kempe a Harnish-maker of London, who hath been severall times sent to Oxford, and from thence hither as a Spie; sometimes bringing Letters to Mistresse Marsh a Malignant which dwels in the Tower, who by secret directions communicated the Letters to persons of note, Malignantly affected: He toare the Letters of consequence from Sir John Harrington in so small pieces, that not one sentence of it could be read, for hee said, Sir John told him, if it were taken about him, and read, he would be hanged; yet at last he confessed that the maine scope of the Letter was to convey two small pieces of Ordnance to Oxford, and discovered the private way by which powder, and things of that nature was conveyed to Oxford.

Intelligence was brought this week unto Windsor, that Colonell Aston the Papist hath hanged at Redding two of the Parliament Souldiers whom he tooke as Scouts, on purpose to provoke an irreconciliable enmity, that we may be the more involved in blood. || Richard Collings – The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (P)

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¹ See Aulicus‘s report on January 30.

Mariners present petition to Parliament

In London on January 29 at 11:44 pm

Sunday 29 January 1642/3 || This day about a dozen or sixteene Seamen came to the Parliament with a petition to the house of Commons for peace, aleadging that their trade by reason of the present distractions was much decayed, &c. Which Petition was signed with many hands, but there were other sufficient Seamen, which presented themselves likewise at the House at the same time, which certified, that many of the persons whose hands were put to the Petition, disclaim the same; and afterwards the other Petitioners did put their hands thereunto: Whereupon, those that came to present the Petition, were desired to repair home again, for the House was not wanting in endeavouring to effect their desires, and had agreed upon Propositions for that purpose. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

The Malevolents in about this City, are alwayes plotting some designe, to reduce it from the present Peace it enjoyeth, into combustion and distruction, and to that end, have incited the Marriners, Seamen, Shipwrights, and others about Stepney to frame a Petition to the Parliament for Peace, onely in generall termes, requesting also the maintenance of the Protestant Religion, Lawes of the Land, liberty of the Subject, and the just Priviledges of Parliament, according to the construction that the Cavaliers give them in their Declarations; and having finished it, they poasted up Tickets for all of that profession to meete yesterday in the Pallace yard at Westminster to present it to the Parliament, but at the time appointed very few or none appeared there, who being demanded by some Masters of Ships what they did there, answered, they knew not for what they came thither, and that they were onely invited by Tickets to appeare there; whereupon seeing no more of their Company to second them, they departed; and so this plot of the Malignants, by Gods good Providence was frustrated, as also by the care and vigilancie of such as desire to conserve the quiet and tranquilitie of the Commonwealth. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

The King responds to county petitions; grants general pardons

In Uncategorized on January 9 at 11:57 pm

9 Jan 1642/3 || This day the King returned in Scriptis an Answer unto the Petition brought unto him, from and in the name of the County of Essex; The Gentry, Clergie and Commonalty of that County, to the number of 6619. had on the fourth of January last, petitioned the Lords and Commons now in Parliament, to tender to his Majesty with all possible convenient speed, such propositions for Accommodation as might be for the preservation of the true Protestant Religion, His Majesties safety and honour, the peace and prosperity of all his Subjects. And in pursuance of those good desires, by a Petition presented to the King at Oxford, the same weeke also humbly besought his Majesty favourably to incline his eares to Propositions of that nature when they were presented. Which as His Majesty did graciously give eare unto, when it was first presented to him, so in His Answer now returned, he vouchsafed to signifie, how highly he was pleased that in a County so subject to the power of some of the greatest incendiaries in the Commonwealth, and from whence they had promised to themselves such aide and succours there should be such a gratefull sense of his Majesties compassion towards His people, (as was expressed in that Petition;) commending them for their addresse to His two Houses of Parliament, assuring them, that if such Propositions as were therein mentioned, should be brought unto him, he would not onely incline unto them, but meet and embrace them with His soule, as the greatest blessing Almighty God could bestow upon him: and finally, requiring them, that if no Propositions should be made unto him, or such as for his owne honour and safety, and for the peace and security of His Subjects his Majesty could not consent unto; they would then look upon the pressures they had undergone, and by declaring themselves, and joyning with their neighbours, so farre assist him, that both King and people enjoying what belong’d to such, might be mutually happy in one another. And for a further manifestation of his Majesties good and gracious intentions to that County; His Majesty was pleased to signe this day a generall pardon for all his Subjects of that County (without any exception or reservation) who had beene formerly inveigled by the malice, industry, and importunity of severall ill-affected and seditious persons, either to exercise the Militia against his consent, or to contribute mony, plate or horse towards the maintenance of the Rebellion: provided that for the time to come they neither did assist the Rebels by any loane or contribution, nor muster or assemble themselves in Armes without authority derived from His Majesty under His hand, nor enter into any oath of association for opposing his Majesty, or His Army, nor finally entertaine or succour any of the persons excepted in his Majesties declaration of the 12. of August.

The like was also done for the Inhabitants of the County of Hartford, being the same with this verbatim; which though it was signed on Saturday the weeke before came not out till now. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Collings suspects Royalist duplicity regarding the King’s petition response

In ECW editor's comment on January 7 at 3:00 pm

7 Jan 1642/3 || The Answer which his Majesty returned, hath in divers places of it words to this effect: That he believes the better and greater part of this City is full of love and loyalty to his Majesty, and that the former Tumults were persons of the Suburbs, not of the Inhabitants: That his Majesty lookes upon that City, as awed by the Army which gave Battle to his Majesty (meaning the Army raised by the Parliament) wherein was used all possible meanes to take away his life from him, &c. … The contrivers of this Answer had small cause to say the Parliament (for so is meant) would have taken away the life of the King; for did not the Earle of Essex petition his Majesty twice at Shrewsbury, and at Wolverhampton to withdraw his Person, lest any inconvenience might befall his Majesty: And then let the world judge whether those ill Counsellors about his Majesty be guilty of driving his Majesty in person to the Battle of Keinton, and therein to hazzard his life (which the God of heaven long preserve, that he may be a happy instrument of the honour and glory of God on earth, and bee crowned with eternall glory hereafter). And therefore if any misfortune had befalne his Majesty at that time, it could not be imputed a wilfull act in the Parliaments Army, no more then it was in him, that as he [who] was shooting at a Deer in New Forrest, bid William Rufus stand by, which that King neglecting, the Arrow glanced from off the horne of the Deere, and killed William Rufus. And therefore that worne-thred-bare expression of the contrivers of the Kings Declarations & Answers, positively charging the Parliaments army with endeavouring to take away the life of the King, ought rather to be laid aside, then to use it hereafter, there being more just cause for the Parliament to demand Justice on the contrivers of the Declaration and Answers that use the said expression, then for His Majestie (or rather the Contrivers in His name) to demand the fourementioned foure persons, for no other cause, but for doing the commands of Parliament (whom the Parliament will protect).

The last thing for the present concerning this answer, is that it was sent to London (yet rather thought to be framed at London before it was sent to Oxford) and here Printed by authority (as the Kings Printers in London affirmed) and was by some published in Print before the Citizens that presented it came out of Oxford (the respite of time being very short betwixt their delivering of it and coming away) but this circumstance is observable, that even this Answer in his Majesties name was (as is probable) without his first privity, for that he hath since sent a Countermand; nay, that very night to his Printing House, not to publish any such things in Print, which gives just presumption that the contrivers know what must be done before the King. || Richard Collings – The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer (P)

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¹ King William was shot in 1100 in highly dubious circumstances, by an arrow fired by nobleman Walter Tirel. The details remain murky, but clearly Collings preferred to believe it was an accident.

² Collings suggests that the King’s answer was framed in London (presumably by advisors remaining in the capital), a copy sent to Oxford so he could give it in person, and then printed in London by the King’s printers there, before the delegation had even left Oxford. As numerous copies are extant, printed at Oxford, Shrewsbury, and London by various printers, and at least one London issue is a counterfeit, it is difficult to untangle where and when the first copies were made. However the print date is given as 5th January, the day after the delegation’s royal audience, and the same day they left for London; at the same time that they arrived there two days later, on Saturday 7th, and presented Parliament with the document, Aulicus in Oxford was noting that it was already “exposed in print to the publique view”. So whilst Collings’ suggestion – that a pre-prepared answer to the petition originated with some Royalist cabal in London and not with the King himself at Oxford – is far-fetched, he is entirely correct that somebody printed and distributed the royal response before anyone in Parliament even had a chance to see it.  Whether the King did issue a countermand is not known, although undoubtedly his Oxford printer would have found himself in very hot water.

Peace delegation returns to London

In Uncategorized on January 7 at 1:15 pm

7 Jan 1642/3 || The Aldermen [and Citizens who had been to] his Majesty with a Petition for peace, and that he would returne to his Parliament and City of London, came this day home again, but the answer which they received from his Majesty came before them in print by his Majesties command being full of harsh and bitter language against the Parliament. His Majesty demanding in chiefe as the onely way to secure his Majesty in his comming to London, that the persons of Alderman Pennington the pretended Lord Major (termed by his Majesty) Alderman Fouke, Collonel Ven and Collonell Manwaring might be secured in safe custody to be proceeded against by his Majesty, as guilty of high Treason. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

London awaits return of Oxford peace delegation

In London on January 6 at 10:30 pm

6 Jan 1642/3 || It is reported that Sir George Clearke, and Sir George Garret had great thanks given them from his Majesty for their great paines; and for the other foure Gentlemen, the King is resolved to honour them so farre for their great paines, that his Majesty will Knight then, and are this day expected to come with an answer of their Petition to the City; I pray God it be not found sharp and to full of severity: but rather wish that a peace and a happy conclusion may be the effect of it.¹ || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

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¹ In fact the King’s answer had already been printed at Oxford, and Mercurius Aulicus had reported the gist of it; this was wholly unacceptable as the Parliament had yet to see the answer officially for themselves, and London editor Collings believed it was done without the King’s consent.