Worthy Aldermen and Citizens. Their Loyalty. 301

Worthy Aldermen and Citizens. Their Loyalty.

" ships Jurisdiction in Criminal Cases, for which there is no Law; nay, which is absolutely and apparently against the Fundamental Laws of the Land, and the ordinary Rule of your own Court of Judicature, usually referring those Causes which appertain to the Common Law, to the other Courts of Justice, especially if the People desire it; so you may Fine their Fellow Citizens, and Commoners of England as many Millions, and take away the Lives and Estates of all, as well as some, to the perpetual destroying and enslaving the whole Kingdom. By the 29th Chapter of the great Charter, all Commoners are to be tried by their Equals; and there are Thirty Sessions of Parliament which confirm the great Charter, being a Statute Declaratory of the Common Law; especially those eminent Laws, wherein your Lordships had your Shares in making of them, viz. the Petition of Right in 3o Caroli, and the Act for abolishing the Star- Chamber, and regulating the Council Table, in the 17th Caroli, in which many Statutes are enumerated, That Commoners ought to be tried by their Equals, by Bill of Indictment, or Writ Original, and by those of their Neighbourhood: And all Decrees and Judgments made contrary thereto, are declared thereby to be null and void in Law, which bars all Precendents. And by several Declarations and Ordinances your Lordships have declared, that Ordinances are no Laws, but temporary, during the Wars; and the Case of Necessity being taken away, your Lordships have promised the free People of England, that they shall be governed according to the known Laws of the Land; as it appears in the Ordinance, Dated the 15th of January, 1647. And it is against the Law of God, Nature and Nations, that any Person or Persons should be Judge and Parties, Examiners or Accusers in their own Cause, or to be tried any otherwise than by a known Law; for where is no Law, there is no Transgression. It is declared by Sir Edward Cook, that the Parliament cannot make a Law against the Law of Nature, which is Custom, according to Right and necessary Reason. That Precedents are nothing, in Comparison of the Common and Statute Laws. These being known Maxims in Law, A facto ad jus non valet Argumentum. Gubernandum est legibus non exemplis: Articles are nothing in Law but meer Innovations and Prerogatives extrajudical, especially when ordinary Persons are in Question. The old Maxim in Law is, Non recurrendum est ad extraordinaria quando fieri potest per ordinaria. And your Lordships are not only Sworn, but have imposed several Oaths, as the Protestation, and Solemn League and Covenant, upon the Free Commoners of England, to defend the Fundamental Laws of the Land. And they are confident your Lordships will be very tender of the Preservation of the great Charter, in which is wrapped up our Lives, Liberties, and Estates: Your Noble Predecessors being so glorious and famous Instruments in assisting this People in purchasing the same."

" Concerning the Point of Precedents, which is all can be said for your Lordships, we shall give you the Answer."

1. "It is observable, that all such Commoners, which have submitted to your Lordships Jurisdiction, were in the Time of the Civil Wars, Flagrante Bello, not by Compulsion, but by voluntary Petitions of the Commons in a summary way, to the King in Person."

2. "One Precedent against your Lordships Jurisdiction, is of more Consequence than a Thou- sand for it: The Reason is plain, because all Courts of Judicature are bottomed upon the Law of the Land; and it cannot be supposed that any Court can be miscognizant of its own Jurisdiction. Your Lordships have confessed in Sir Simon de Benisford's Case, that it is against the Law, for Peers to try Commoners; and your Predecessors have promised upon Record, that they will never do the like again, though that Occasion were Superlative: Rot. 2. Rot. Parl. 5. Numb. 45."

3. "The Corporation of Cambridge was accused before the King and Lords, for complying with the Rebels of Essex, Kent and Hertford; their Council pleaded against the Jurisdiction of the Lords House, in the Point of Treason, and the King and Lords allowed of the Plea."

4. "As there are many Precedents more may be alledged, that Commoners have denied your Lordships Jurisdiction, and that your Lordships have transmitted such Cases to the Common Law, if desired by the Free People; so there can no President be shewn that Commoners, which have refused to be tried by your House, have been over-ruled by them in Point of Jursdiction."

5. "There was never Precedent, since there were Parliaments in England, that the same Session of Parliament hath Imprisoned, Fined, or any otherwise disseized or destroyed any Man, for obeying or executing the Laws, Ordinances, or Orders of the same Parliament. And there are many Ordinances in Force, which indemnify all those which have acted by the Authority of Parliament, viz. May 26. 1642. 1. P. Book Decl. P.281. June 14. 1642. P.377."

The Premises considered:

" Your Petitioners being Free Commoners of England, according to the known Laws of the Land, (de Jure) claim their Birthright, which is to be tried by God and their Country, in his Majesties Court of Justice, by the sworn Judges of the Law, and a Jury of their Equals, of their own Neighbourhood, where the pretended Fact was done, the Courts of Justice being open. "

" And your Petitioners shall Pray, &c. "

And how forward and instrumental the City was in bringing back King Charles the IId, after his long Banishment, and in restoring the Ancient Constitution of the Kingdom after the Usurpation, may appear by their promoting a Free Parliament, and other notable Things done by them at a Common-Council, December 29. 1659.

The City's Acts for bringing back King Charles the IId, at a Common Council, December, 1659.

To this Common Council was presented a Report by Alderman Fowke; the Tenor whereof followeth.

At the Committee of Common Council, &c.

1. THAT this Committee conceive the City of London is at this Time in imminent and extraordinary Danger.

2. That they judge it absolutely necessary at this Time, for the Court of Common Council