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It may not perhaps be taken notice of what sort of offence it is for many persons to meet together, & Joyne in framing or preserving Petitions to have any of y" Constitutions of this Realme either altered or repealed, especially at such a Time when there is no Parliam' sitting, by whom such alterations or Repeales may be made. It ought likewise to be considered by all his Matie good subjects ag' what Acts this Complaint this directed, I mean y Acts cofionly called ye Acts of Settlem', yo basis & foundation of y" quiett & peace of this Kingdome, & wo" his Matie hath very lately, by a publick proclamation, declared most inviolably to observe. Now if these Acts should be broken in one part, why not in another ? If Petitions should be preferred ag' these Rules, wo" are confirmed by one Clause of them, why may not all these persons, who have lost their Estates or suffered any prejudice by these Acts, take yo like course (nay, are they not even by y' example encouraged 2) to gather hands to petition to be restored agen to their lands, wo" have bin thus disposed to others ? And to have such dispositions as have bin made by these Acts alter'd, of how dangerous a consequence this will be every man may easily judge. Such Petitions can only serve to manifesty" factious & seditious spiritts of those who promote them to raise Tumults & disorders in ye Citty & discontent ag' his Maties goverm', by whose Authoritie these Rules established. Therefore, It is not to be suffered yo an Assembly of this Citty should meet to any such purpose, or should joyne in any such Petition, not being consistent w" yo duty they owe to his Majestie, or wo y quiet & repose of y" Citty. I doe for these reasons expect from you, my Lo Mayor, yo brethren, yo Aldermen, & all other y” good & Loyall Citizens of this Citty, that you suffer not any further proceedings hereupon, & that you doe not permit any meetings to frame such like Petitions. And I doe declare, y' if any hereafter shall endeavour to promote them, I shall look upon them as persons designing some disturbance to yo Goverm', & they shall be proceeded ag' & punished accordingly as yo nature of such a Crime does deserve.
Sufficiently sensible I am y' this Citty hath ever bin famous for their Loyaltie to his Matie, & for y respect they have shewn to those who have by his Matie bin placed in ye govem' of this Kingdome, nor is it to be doubted but they have ye same affections still & will not doe any thing that may give occasion to alter y' opinion w" hath bin held of them. I conceive there ought to be a particular regard had to y” welfare of ye Citty, & none shall be more ready then my selfe, upon all opportunities, to doe any thing (consistent w" his Maties service) that may tend to ye promoting y” happiness of you, or removing any inconveniencies from you.
These Rules were designed for ye benefitt of yo Citty for yo advancem" of y" Trade thereof, & for yo encouragem" of more Traders to come & setle here. However, if there be any thing in them that doth not answer these good ends, & that upon experience it is found that these Rules, or any part of them, are really prejudiciall to yo Citty, or y' good Goverm' of y" same, some few particular may meet together as private men, & may, without any Petition, reduce those matters into writing wo" they apprehend to be of any publick prejudice or disadvantage, wo y” grounds of their exceptions to them, & when these shall be so offered to me, such an Answer shall be given thereunto as by reasonable men may be expected.
The Humble Petition of y" Masters, Wardens, & Brethren of ye Holy Trinity Guild. Sheweth, That whereas his Exo y Lo Lieu' & Councell of this Kingdome have lately made severall Rules, Ord", & directions, as their LP" conceived for ye better regulating of this Citty of Dublin & yo severall respective Guilds & Corporačáns therein, & y electing of Officers & Magistrates there, & forasmuch as y Pet” doe humbly conceive y' yo s' Rules, Ord", etc., are inconsistent w" & destructive to yo many Chartres & priviledges granted to this Citty, & to y" severall Guilds & Corporaćns therein, by his sacred Matie that now is & his Royal Predecess", under won they have bin alwaies Loyall & prosperous, his Exo" & Councell (as is humbly conceived), not being fully informed, have established yo sò Rules, Ord", & directions for ever, notwithstanding any Charter or Charters, to yo great discouragem" of this auntient & Loyall Citty.
Y: Pet” therefore humbly pray y LP forthwith to call an Assembly for making humble application to his Ex" for leave to petition to his most sacred Matie, y' He would graciously please to restore yo Mayor, Sheriffs, Coñons, & Citizens of this Citty to their auntient priviledges & Imunities, or if y' LP thinks it not fitt to call an Assembly for that purpose, y' then y LP will not ill resent it if this Corporačán doe make their humble Address to yo ends aforesaid.
And y Pet".
CXXVI.--THE EARL OF EssEx To W. HARBORD.
M". HARBORD, Dublin Castle, March 21, 1674. I have by these Packetts written at large to my Lord of Arlington concerning y' unquiet motions wo" have of late bin in this Citty, together woo an Act of my proceedings thereupon; some few particulars I think convenient to adde, wo". I desire you to comunicate to my Lord of Arlington, for I am sure yo representing Truth, & yo whole Truth, is both y' best for his Mafies affairs, & likewise ye safest course for me to pursue. I have acquainted his LP why" number of those Corporačāns who petitioned ye Lord Mayor to have libertie to make application to me to grant them leave to adress to his Matie for vacating ye Rules. Since yo writing of that Lie, I rečd this paper enclosed, wo" names yo severall Corporačáns who thus petitioned, together wo yo dates when they presented them, wherein 'Tis observable that these Petitions came in by some litle Intervalls of Time one after another, & yo one halfe of them after yo meeting of that Comittee wo" seemed not to disallow of these Petitions. I have made some enquiry this day what effect my speech had among them, & doe finde y' they are accusing one another of their goeing up & downe & persuading men to engage in this business, & many of them doe owne that they had not done it, but upon yo vehement importunitie of some others. The number of ye Corporaóns who first & last brought in these petitions are ten, being just halfe of yo full number of all in this Citty, but then I must tell you yo y Corporaón of Trinity Guild" is more considerable then any other four of y" Corporačáns, so as I look upon it that by much ye major part of y" Corporaðns have appear'd in this Affair, & 'Tis not strange that so many men are drawn into these practices when four or five men, So John Tottie, Mr. Philpot, etc., have made it their whole business, ever since yo first beginning of this late Sessions of Parliam' in England, to incite y Citizens to these disturbances. These have bin observed never to be in their Shops, but all day long at Taverns or Coffee houses, perpetually sending about for severall Citizens, persuading them to further and promote these seditious designes, wo" prime movers are men of small Estates, & no doubt their Aime was to have bin employed as Agents in England, thereby to have gott some collection of money from yo Citty, as a litle before my coming one Nevill (an unworthy Instrum' of So Ellis Leighton's) did, when y” matter of turning out y' Record & eight of ye Aldermen was under consideration. Upon y' whole I make no doubt but that, if his Majestie please to stand by me, I shall reduce them to a complyance. A late Mutiny concerning y' building of a bridge here (since wo" indeed they have never bin in perfect Ord) could not be suppress'd
but by force, some companys of y" Guard being comanded together