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XI. An Act to be passed to take away all coercive power, authority, and jurisdiction of Bishops and all other Ecclesiastical Officers whatsoever, extending to any civil penalties upon any : and to repeal all laws whereby the civil magistracy hath been, or is bound, upon any ecclesiastical censure to proceed (ex officio) unto any civil penalties against any persons so censured.
XII. That there be a repeal of all Acts or clauses in any Act enjoining the use of the Book of Common Prayer, and imposing any penalties for neglect thereof; as also of all Acts or clauses of any Act, imposing any penalty for not coming to church, or for meetings elsewhere for prayer or other religious duties, exercises or ordinances, and some other provision to be made for discovering of Papists and Popish recusants, and for disabling of them, and of all Jesuits or priests from disturbing the State.
XIII. That the taking of the Covenant be not enforced upon any, nor any penalties imposed on the refusers, whereby men might be restrained to take it against their judgments or consciences; but all Orders and Ordinances tending to that purpose, to be repealed.
XIV. That (the things here before proposed being provided, for settling and securing the rights, liberties, peace and safety of the kingdom) His Majesty's person, his Queen, and royal issue, may be restored to a condition of safety, honour and freedom in this nation, without diminution to their personal rights, or further limitation to the exercise of the regal power than according to the particulars foregoing.
Xy. For the matter of composition :
1. That a less number out of the persons excepted in the two first qualifications (not exceeding five for the English) being nominated particularly by the Parliament, who (together with the persons in the Irish Rebellion, included in the third qualification) may be reserved to the further judgment of the Parliament as they shall find cause, all other excepted persons may be remitted from the exception, and admitted to composition.
2. That the rates of all future compositions may be lessened and limited, not to exceed the several proportions hereafter expressed respectively.
That is to say, (1) For all persons formerly excepted, not above a third part.
(2) For the late members of Parliament under the
first branch of the fourth qualification in the Propositions, a fourth part.
(3) For other members of Parliament in the second and third branches of the same qualification, a sixth part.
(4) For the persons nominated in the said fourth qualification, and those included in the tenth qualification, an eighth part.
(5) For all others included in the sixth qualification, a tenth part : and that real debts either upon record, or proved by witnesses, be considered and abated in the
valuation of their estates in all the cases aforesaid. 3. That those who shall hereafter come to compound, may not have the Covenant put upon them as a condition without which they may not compound, but in case they shall not willingly take it, they may pass their compositions without it.
4. That the persons and estates of all English not worth £200 in land or goods, be at liberty and discharged : and that the King's menial servants that never took up arms, but only attended his person according to their offices, may be freed from composition, or to pay (at most) but the proportion of one year's revenue, or a twentieth part.
5. That in order to the making and perfecting of compositions at the rates aforesaid, the rents, revenues, and other duties and profits of all sequestered estates whatsoever (except the estates of such persons who shall be continued under exception as before), be from henceforth suspended and detained in the hands of the respective tenants, occupants and others from whom they are due, for the space of six months following.
6. That the faith of the army, or other forces of the Parliament given in articles upon surrenders to any of the King's party, may be fully made good ; and where any breach thereof shall appear to have been made, full reparation and satisfaction may be given to the parties injured, and the persons offending (being found out) may be compelled thereto.
XVI. That there may be a general Act of Oblivion to extend unto all (except the persons to be continued in exception as before), to absolve from all trespasses, misdemeanours, &c. done in prosecution of the war; and from all trouble or prejudice for or concerning the same (after their compositions past), and to restore them to all privileges, &c. belonging to other subjects, provided as in the fourth
particular, under the second general head aforegoing concerning security.
And whereas there have been of late strong endeavours and practices of a factious and desperate party to embroil this kingdom in a new war, and for that purpose to induce the King, the Queen, and the Prince to declare for the said party, and also to excite and stir up all those of the King's late party to appear and engage for the same,
which attempts and designs, many of the King's party (out of their desires to avoid further misery to the kingdom) have contributed their endeavours to prevent (as for divers of them we have had particular assurance): we do therefore desire, that such of the King's party who shall appear to have expressed, and shall hereafter express, that way their good affections to the peace and welfare of the kingdom, and to hinder the embroiling of the same in a new war, may be freed and exempted from compositions, or to pay but one year's revenue, or a twentieth part.
These particulars aforegoing are the heads of such Proposals as we have agreed on to tender in order to the settling of the peace of this kingdom, leaving the terms of peace for the kingdom of Scotland to stand as in the late Propositions of both kingdoms, until that kingdom shall agree to any alteration.
Next to the Proposals aforesaid for the present settling of a peace, we shall desire that no time may be lost by the Parliament for despatch of other things tending to the welfare, ease and just satisfaction of the kingdom, and in special manner :
I. That the just and necessary liberty of the people to represent their grievances and desires by way of petition, may be cleared and vindicated, according to the fifth head in the late representation or Declaration of the army sent from St. Albans 1.
II. That (in pursuance of the same head in the said Declaration) the common grievances of this people may be speedily considered of, and effectually redressed, and in particular,
1. That the excise may be taken off from such commodities, whereon the poor people of the land do ordinarily live, and a certain time to be limited for taking off the whole.
· Rushworth, vii. 569.
2. That the oppressions and encroachments of forest laws may be prevented for the future.
3. All monopolies (old or new) and restraints to the freedom of trade to be taken off.
4. That a course may be taken, and Commissioners appointed to remedy and rectify the inequality of rates lying upon several counties, and several parts of each county in respect of others, and to settle the proportion of land rates to more equality throughout the kingdom ; in order to which we shall offer some further particulars, which we hope may be useful.
5. The present unequal troublesome and contentious way of ministers' maintenance by tithes to be considered of, and some remedy applied.
6. That the rules and course of law, and the officers of it, may be so reduced and reformed, as that all suits and questions of right may be more clear and certain in the issues, and not so tedious nor chargeable in the proceedings as now ; in order to which we shall offer some further particulars hereafter.
7. That prisoners for debt or other creditors (who have estates to discharge them) may not by embracing imprisonment, or any other ways, have advantage to defraud their creditors, but that the estates of all men may be some way made liable to their debts (as well as tradesmen are by commissions of bankrupt), whether they be imprisoned for it or not; and that such prisoners for debt, who have not wherewith to pay, or at least do yield up what they have to their creditors, may be freed from imprisonment or some way provided for, so as neither they nor their families may perish by imprisonment.
8. Some provision to be made, that none may be compelled by penalty or otherwise to answer unto questions tending to the accusing of themselves or their nearest relations in criminal causes ; and no man's life to be taken away under two witnesses.
9. That consideration may be had of all Statutes, and the laws or customs of Corporations, imposing any oaths either to repeal, or else to qualify and provide against the same, so far as they may extend or be construed to the molestation or ensnaring of religious and peaceable people, merely for nonconformity in religion.
III. That according to the sixth head in the Declaration of the army, the large power given to Committees or Deputy
Lieutenants during the late times of war and distraction, may be speedily taken into consideration to be recalled and made void, and that such powers of that nature as shall appear necessary to be continued, may be put into a regulated way, and left to as little arbitrariness as the statute and necessity of the things (wherein they are conversant) will bear.
IV. That (according to the seventh head in the said Declaration) an effectual course may be taken that the kingdom may be righted, and satisfied in point of accompts for the vast sums that have been levied.
V. That provision may be made for payment of arrears to the army, and the rest of the soldiers of the kingdom who have concurred with the army in the late desires and proceedings thereof; and in the next place for payment of the public debts and damages of the kingdom ; and that to be performed, first to such persons whose debt or damages (upon the public account) are great, and their estates small, so as they are thereby reduced
to a difficulty of subsistence : in order to all which, and to the fourth particular last proceeding, we shall speedily offer some further particulars (in the nature of rules), which we hope will be of good use towards public satisfaction. August 1, 1647.
Signed by the appointment of his Excellency
63. THE KING'S ANSWER TO THE PROPOSITIONS OF
[September 14, 1647. Rushworth, vii. 810.) Charles Rex. His Majesty cannot choose but be passionately sensible (as he believes all his good subjects are) of the late great distractions, and still languishing and unsettled state of this kingdom ; and he calls God to witness, and is willing to give testimony to all the world, of his readiness to contribute his utmost endeavours for restoring it to a happy and flourishing condition.
His Majesty having perused the Propositions now brought