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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together, & joyne in framing or preserving Petitions to have any of ye Constitutions of this Realme either altered or repealed, especially at such a Time when there is no Parliamt sitting, by whom such alterations or Repeales may be made.
It ought likewise to be considered by all his Matie good subjects agt what Acts this Complaint this directed, I mean ye Acts coñonly called ye Acts of Settlemt, ye basis & foundation of ye quiett & peace of this Kingdome, & wch his Mafie 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 agt these Rules, wch 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 ye like course (nay, are they not even by yr example encouraged ?) to gather hands to petition to be restored agen to their lands, wch 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 manifest ye factious & seditious spiritts of those who promote them to raise Tumults & disorders in ye Citty & discontent agt his Maties goverm, by whose Authoritie these Rules established. Therefore, It is not to be suffered yt an Assembly of this Citty should' meet to any such purpose, or should joyne in any such Petition, not being consistent wih ye duty they owe to his Majestie, or wth ye quiet & repose of ye Citty.
I doe for these reasons expect from you, my La Mayor, ye brethren, ye 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, yt if any hereafter shall endeavour to promote them, I shall look upon them as persons designing some disturbance to ye Govermt, & they shall be proceeded agt & punished accordingly as ye nature of such a Crime does deserve.
Sufficiently sensible I am yt this Citty hath ever bin famous for their Loyaltie to his Matie, & for ye 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 yt opinion wch 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 wth his Maties service) that may tend to ye promoting ye happiness of you, or removing any inconveniencies from you.
These Rules were designed for ye benefitt of ye Citty for ye advancemt of ye Trade thereof, & for ye 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 ye Citty, or ye good Govermt of ye same, some few particular may meet together as private men, & may, without any Petition, reduce those matters into writing wch they apprehend to be of any publick prejudice or disadvantage, wth ye 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.
CXXV.-TO THE RT HONBLE Jo: ALLEN, Esq., LORD MAYOR
OF YE CITTY OF DUBLIN.
The Humble Petition of ye Masters, Wardens, & Brethren
of ye Holy Trinity Guild. Sheweth,
That whereas his Excie ye La Lieut & Councell of this Kingdome have lately made severall Rules, Ordrs, & directions, as their Lps conceived for ye better regulating of this Citty of Dublin & ye severall respective Guilds & Corporacons therein, & ye electing of
Officers & Magistrates there, & forasmuch as yPetrs doe humbly conceive yt ye gd Rules, Ordrs, etc., are inconsistent wth & destructive to ye many Chartres & priviledges granted to this Citty, & to ye severall Guilds & Corporacons therein, by his sacred Matie that now is & his Royal Predecess's, under wch they have bin alwaies Loyall & prosperous, his Excie & Councell (as is humbly conceived), not being fully informed, have established ye så Rules, Ordrs, & directions for ever, notwithstanding any Charter or Charters, to ye great discouragemt of this auntient & Loyall Citty.
Y- Petrs therefore humbly pray y LP forthwith to call an
Assembly for making humble application to his Excie for leave to petition to his most sacred Mafie, yt He would graciously please to restore ye Mayor, Sheriffs, Coñons, & Citizens of this Citty to their auntient priviledges & Imunities, or if yr LP thinks it not fitt to call an Assembly for that purpose, yt then yLP will not ill resent it if this Corporaćón doe make their
humble Address to ye ends aforesaid. And y? Pets
CXXVI.—THE EARL OF ESSEX TO W. HARBORD.
Dublin Castle, March 21, 1674. I have by these Packetts written at large to my Lord of Arlington concerning ye unquiet motions weh have of late bin in this Citty, together wth an Act of my proceedings thereupon; some few particulars I think convenient to adde, wch I desire you to comunicate to my Lord of Arlington, for I am sure yo representing Truth, & yé whole Truth, is both ye best for his Mafies affairs, & likewise ye safest course for me to pursue. I have acquainted his LP wth ye number of those Corporacons 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 ye writing of that Lre, I rečd this paper enclosed, wch names ye severall Corporacons who thus petitioned, together wth ye dates when they presented them, wherein 'Tis observable that these Petitions came in by some litle Intervalls of Time one after another, & ye one halfe of them after ye meeting of that Comittee wch seemed not to disallow of these Petitions. I have made some enquiry this day what effect my speech had among them, & doe finde yt they are accusing one another of their goeing up & downe & persuading men to engage in this business,
of them doe owne that they had not done it, but upon ye vehement importunitie of some others. The number of ye Corporacons who first & last brought in these petitions are ten, being just halfe of ye full number of all in this Citty, but then I must tell you yt ye Corporacón of Trinity Guilda is more considerable then any other four of ye Corporacons, so as I look upon it that by much ye major part of ye Corporacons have appear’d in this Affair, & ’Tis not strange that so many men are drawn into these practices when four or five men, Si John Tottie, M'. Philpot, etc., have made it their whole business, ever since ye first beginning of this late Sessions of Parliamt in England, to incite ye 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, wch 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 ye Citty, as a litle before my coming one Nevill (an unworthy Instrumt of Sr Ellis Leighton's) did, when y® matter of turning out ye 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 ye building of a bridge here (since wch indeed they have never bin in perfect Ord") could not be suppress'd
See last document.
but by force, some companys of ye Guard being comanded together to quiet ye Tumult, where severall men lost their Lives. And Truly in all these cases I conceive 'Tis best narrowly to watch ye beginnings of them, however not to overvalue ye discontented people of this Citty, his Majestie may rely upon it yt they are not able (his Army being in so good a posture) to doe any harme, unless it be to themselves. Nevertheless I shall be glad to know his Matie's pleasure, wch, whether as a publick minister or a private person, shall ever be a guide to my Actings in Ordr to his service.
There are some Things of moment wch I would gladly have dispatched before you leave London. I hope within one' post or two to send you full Instructions concerning them, & therefore I desire you will not beginne y journey till you hear agen from me.
Before you leave England, I would have you take some Time to speake wth ye. King alone, & take his Matie's directions what he would have me doe in relation to ye banishing Priests & Friers here. I finde they will not goe unless they be absolutely taken up & forced away. I am also fully assured there can be no danger or discontent arise by sending them away, provided ye Parish Priests are indulged, for ye Friers & ye others exercising Ecclesiasticall Jurisdiction are a burthen & charge to those of yt Religion, & I am confident ye being freed from them will be much to their satisfaction, for indeed they have almost beggar'd them. However, I should be glad to have some private directions to guide my proceedings in this particular.