KINGDOM, CHURCH, AND NATION, From their present dangerous, distractive, destructive Confusion, and worse

than Bedlam Madness;
Seriously recommended to all English Freemen, who desirc Peace,

Safety, Liberty, Settlement,
By WILLIAM PRYNNE, Esq. a Bencher of Lincoln's Inn.

Judges xix. 30.- Consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.
Prov. xii. 19, 20.—Deceit is in the heart of them that imagine evil, but to the counsellors of

peace is joy. There shall no evil happen to the just, but the wicked shall be filled with


Printed at London, and are to be sold by Edward Thomas, at the Adam and Eve,

in Little Britain, 1659. Quartu, containing twelve pages.

THE ambition, treachery, turbulency, avarice, and late infused

jesuitical principles of some swaying officers in the parliament's army, aspiring after the supreme authority, government, and pub. lick revenues of our three kingdoms, having so far corrupted their judgments, seared their consciences, depraved their wills, and bardened their hearts, as openly, frequently to violate all sacred oaths, vows, covenants obligations, trusts, commissions, engage. ments to the late king, his heirs and successors, the old parliament, kingdom, nation, for whose desence they were originally raised, and commissioned, and, to their own new-created anti-parliamen. tary junctos, conventions, protectors, and conventicles, which they have all successively subverted, engrossing the sovereign, royal, and parliamental power into their own hands, opposing and advancing themselves (by mere treachery, perjury, violence, and other desperate ways of unrighteousness) like that man of sin, and mystery of iniquity, above all that is worshiped and called God; making no less than three publick revolutions of our government, and forcibly dissolving two parliaments, as they deemed them, of their own modelling, convening, within six months space, last past; and thereby made our formerly renowned nations, the scorn, reproach, wonder, derision of all the world; themselves the mon. sters of men, the shame of christianity, chivalry ; exposed our three nations to the uttermost extremity of langer by new unpre. cedented ataxies, divisions, incroachments upon their hereditary rights, liberties, properties; caused a total decay of all sorts of trade, justice, legal proceedings at home, and occasioned a specdy much feared invasion from our potent combined popish adversaries abroad, when thus miserably distracted, discontented, impove. rished, and totally disabled to reprise them: It is higli time for every publick-spirited Englishman in this strange, distracting con.


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fusion (which hath almost as much divided and discontented all conscientious officers, soldiers in the army, navy, as the people of all callings, conditions) to contribute their best advice, by all just, . legal, hopeful, speedy ways, agreeable with the laws of God and the land, and those rights, liberties of the people (the defence whereof all officers, soldiers in the army, have so frequently and constantly avowed they were principally raised, and resolved to defend, though they have, hitherto, failed in their promises) to recover us ont of the labyrinth of our almost inextricable amazing confusions, settle our pernicious distractions, and prevent that vi. sible, imminent, universal desolation else likely to fall upon our church, state, nation, religion, beyond all possibility of escape, through the army officers rash destructive counsels, and violations. of their trusts, oaths. engagements, both as soldiers, christians, and members of the kingdom.

The only just, legal, probable means now left that I can prescribe both for our nation's, church's, army's, present and future safety too (if they will cordially and christianly submit thereto, as they ought in conscience, justice, prudence) is,

First, for all ancient nobility of the kingdom (the hereditary great council and counsellors of the nation in all actual interregnums, and publick confusions, as our historians, records, law books, and the commons themselves in the long parliament resolved, both by custom, law, right) to assemble themselves by common consent at Westminster, or so many of them at least, or their heirs, if dead, who constantly adhered to the long parliament, and there to issuc out writs according to the statute of 16. Car. chap. 1. on the third Monday of November next, under twelve or more of their hands and scals, for a free and legal election of knights, citizens, burgesses, barons, in every city, county, borough, port, according to former usage, to appear at the parliament-house in Westminster, the third Monday in January next ensuing, at a parliament then and there to be held, in such a manner and form as this act prescribes; wherein such proposals and counsels may, by common consent, be pursued, as may, through God's blessing, soon restore our pristine peace, trade, honour, wealth, prosperity, felicity, settlement, and secure us from all future changes.

Secondly, for all freeholders in every county of the kingdom, at the next county court in November, to meet together, and make choice of the ablest, honestest, wisest, stoutest gentlemen for their sheriffs, to kcep the peace of the county, command the militia, suppress all insurrections, elect, return knights, citizens, burgesses to serve in parliament, and execute the office of a she. riff; it being their ancient legal right and privilege, by special grants of our kings, both in and out of parliament, which none, in late or present .power, ought to incroach, upon, or deprive them of, and they are all now bound to exercise and maintain for their own preservation and safety. This their right I shall clearly evidence beyond contradiction :

First, by the people's ancient right in Edward the Confessor's time, or before, in their folkmote to chuse an heretoke, a baron,

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or person of quality, in every county, in nature of a captain, who had the power of the county and militia in every shire, “Sicut et vicecomites provinciarum et comitatuum eligi debent per singulos comitatus in pleno folkmoto’: As sheriffs of provinces and coun. ties ought to be chosen in every county; as you may read at large in Mr. Lambard's Archaion, f. 135, de Heretochiis : in Sir Henry Spelman's Glossarium, Dux et Heretochius, p. 232, 318, 349: My Sovereign Power of Parliaments, part ii. p. 24, 25: Cooke's two Institutes, p. 174, 175.

Secondly, by Rot. Claus. anno 16 Johan. Reg. part. i. m. 2. dorso. " Dominus rex concessit baronibus suis, militibus & libere

tenentibus de Cornubia, quod habeant vicecomitem de aliquo ip

sorum ad electionem eorum. Idem vero barones, milites, & li. bere tenentes concesserunt Willielmo Wise, quod habeat hun.

dredum de Estweneleser ad feodi firmam, sibi & hæredibus suis imperpetuum, per dimidium marci argenti, ad festum sancti Mi. chaelis reddendum.'. Thirdly, by Rot. Pat. An. 5. H. III. memb. 6 H. Dei gratia, &c, archiepiscopis, episcopis, comitibus, baronibus, militibus, « libere tenentibus & aliis omnibus de Com. Cornub. salutem. Sci

atis quod concessimus vobis quod liberam habeatis electionem eligendi vobis in vicecomitem nostrum unum de Com. Cornub. Et ideo vobis mandamus quod eligatis tres fideles & discretos de Com. Coroub. & illos nobis præsentari fac. apud London in octab.

clausi pasche, & nos unum ex illis tribus, prout nobis placuerit, o vobis dabimus ad vicecomitem. Et interim commisimus comita(tum illum Cornub. cum omnibus illis quæ ad nos pertinent di

lecto & fideli nostro Reginaldo de Valletorta custodiend. vobisque mandamus quatenus eidem Reginaldo usq; ad prædictum termi. onum sitis intendentes & respondentes in omnibus, tanqnam vic.

nostro & ballivo nostro. Et in hujus, &c. T. H. de Burgo, &c. apud Westm. xxviii. die Jan. an. regni nostro quinto.'

Fourthly, by Pat. 10. H. III. memb. 4. Rex archiepiscopis, episcopis, abbatibus, prioribus, comitibus, baronibus, militi. bus, libere tenentibus, & omnibus aliis de communibus Somer. set & Dors. salutem. Sciatis quod clectioni quam fecistis de Will. (fil. Henr. ad Vic, nostrum faciend. de Comitat. Somerset & Dor.

set assensum nostrum præbuimus. Et ideo vobis mandamus quod ei tanquam Vic. nostro, quamdiu nobis placuerit, intendentes

sitis & respondentes. In cujus, &c. Teste Rege apud Winton. (xxvii. die Jan.'

Fifthly, by Mat. Paris, Mat. Westminster, Daniel, and others, who record, that, in the forty-fifth year of king Henry the Third, the king placed new sheriffs in every county, displacing the sheriff's the barons and people had made; whereupon the people, in every county, manfully resisted the sheriffs, and would not obey, nor regard nor answer them in any thing, whereat the king was much troubled. Much less then ought they now to obey any sheriffs obtruded on them by the army-officers, or any other illegal usur. ped power. Sixthly, by the statute of Articuli super Chartas, An. 28. E. I.

chap. 8. the king hath granted to his people, that they shall have the election of sheriffs in every shire, where the shrivalty is not of fee, if they will. And, chap. 13. forasmuch as the kiog hath -granted the election of sheriffs to the commons of the shire, the king willeth, that they shall chuse such sheriffs as shall not charge them, and that they shall not put in any officer for rewards or :bribes: And that they shall not lodge too often in one place, nor with poor persons, nor with men of religion. By which statutes (being but confirmations of the people's former rights by custom, or kings grants, on which some of them incroached, which was the occasion of these acts) all counties used to elect their sheriff : And if they elected any mean or unfitting person, as they some. times did, he then commanded them by his writs to chuse another, who was fit to discharge that office ; witness this memorable record ensuing :

C), 31 E. I. m. 13 dorso. 6 Rex coronatoribus & toti coinmu. 6 nitati Comitatuum Salop. & Stafford. salutem. Cum nuper pro 6. communi utilitate regni nostri inter alia concesserimus populo

ejusdem regni, quod habeat si voluerit electionem vic. in singulis ? comitatibus dicti regni cum opus fuerit vicecom. prædict. in eis

dem, ubi videlicet vicecomes de feodo non existit. Ac Ricardus de Hariegh, per vos in vic. comitatuum prædictorum nuper electus, ad officium illud faciendum minus sufficiens est, sicut ex testimonio fide digno accepimus : Vobis mandamus quod aliquem qui melius sciat & possit officio vic. dictorum comitatuum intendere & utilior fuerit ad idem pflicium exequendum in vic. eorundem comi

tatuum pro vobis, si volueritis, cligatis, & ipsum sic electum per aliquem legalem & circumspectum hominem ex parte vestra cum literis vestris patentibus sub sigillis sex de discretioribus & probio. ribus mil. eorundem comitatuum Thess. & harouib. nostris de Scaccario in crastino Sancti Michaelis prox. futuri sine dilatione præsentetis, ut ipse tunc ibidem præstito sicut moris est sacra

mento, extunc ea faciat & exerceat, quæ ad officium vicecomitis pertinent in com. prædictis. Et habeatis ibi tunc hoc breve: Scituri, quod si talem per vos electum modo prædicto non præsentaveritis coram præfatis Thess. & baronibus nostris in crastino prædicto, prædicti Thess. & barones extunc nobis de alio Viceco

mite vobis præficiendo in defectu vestri providebunt.' Teste Rege apud Sarum. 16. die April.

Eighthly, by Claus. 12 E. III. pars 2. m. 15. Claus. 13 E. III. pars 3. dors. 16. Cl. 14 E. III. pars 2. m. 3. “ De Vicecomitihus Eligendis per totam Angliam ;' wherein are several writs issued, authorising and commanding the people, to elect their sheriffs, in every county, throughout England; with other records, to the like effect, over tedious to recite at large.

Ninthly, by Mr. Lambard's Archaion, f. 135. and Sir Edward Cook's two Institutes on Magna Charta, p. 174, 175, 558, 559, 566, who resolve: That sheriffs, in ancient times, were,

and ought to be chosen by the freeholders of the county, in the county-court, as conservators of the peace, coroners, verderers, constables, petty constables, were then, and since elected likewise

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by the people; as well by the king's writs, as without them, in cases of necessity.

Tenthly, by the constant custom of all corporations, which are counties within themselves, having power, annually, to chuse she. riffs only by the king's charters, without any special writ; as Lon. don, Bristol, Gloucester, York, Canterbury, Coventry, &c. use to do, therefore every county in England and Wales may do the like without any special writs, being a necessary, anneal, ancient standing office, especially, in these confused times, when none have any legal authority to issue out writs or commissions, to elect or swear sheriffs, by verlue of the premised statutes: And the army officers, with other self-created usurping powers, may as Jawfully obtrude mayors, sheriffs, and other officers, on every corporation of England, without their election, and deprive them of their freedom to elect them; as thrust sheriffs, justices of the peace, coroners, or other eligible officers upon counties, and rob them of this their just, ancient right and privileg, now strenuously, be revived, asserted for their common safety against all incroachments thereon. The statute of Westmioster, 1 chap. 5, enacting, declaring, that, all elections onght to be free, and not disturbed by force of arms, under great forfeitures, by no great men, nor others.

Thirdly, let all counties, cities, boroughs, ports, make choice of the wisest, ablest, stoutest, discreetest persons, such as are best affected to peace, settlement, and the nation's publick interest, for their knights, citizens, and burgesses, not of raw, unexperienced, timorous, or time serving, unstable, self-seeking, turbulent men.

Fourthly, let all counties, cities, noblemen, gentlemen, yeo. , men, clergymen, and freemen of the nation unanimously resolve, to obey no new, illegal, tyrannical, upstart powers, officers, conventicles, committees or councils of men whatsoever, forcibly ob. truded on them; nor to execute any of their orders or commands; but only to obey such legal officers, as themselves shall legally elect, or a free parliament duly elected by them; nor pay any taxes, customs, imposts, excises, contributions whatsoever, to any officers, soldiers, collectois, but such as shall be imposed by com. mon consent, in a free and lawful parliament, it being their ancient birth-right (for defence whereof, the army was first raised) ratified not only by sundry anci'nt statutes and the late petition of right, but several acts, votes, declarations, judgments, the last long par. liament of king Charles, acknowledged in the instrument of go. vernment itself, the late petition and advice, the army's own for. mer declarations, and the late dissolved junto, in their very last knack, of the twelfth of this instant October, their plea and pa

pers since,

Fifthly, if any officers, and soldiers of the army, out of faction, ambition, s:tf-ends, or jesuitical seduction, shall obstinately, trai. terously, maliciously, or tyrannically oppose the people in their elections of sheriffs, knights, citizens, burgesses, or levy any taxes, excises upon them by armed violence, contrary to all their former forfeited, now expired commissions, declarations, engage

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