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Grand Jury of Berkshire 'Petition to the King (11 July 1640)'

British Library, Additional MS 22959, ff. 64r-64v


To the kings most excell[en]t Majestie The humbe petition of yo[u]r Maj[estie]s Loyall Subjects the Grand Iury empanelled the 11th of Iuly 1640 to serue at the generall Assises holden for the County of Berke in the behalfe of themselues & the rest of the bodie of the County


That whereas yo[u]r Petitioners haue been of late yeeres & still are much burthened with sundry greevances of diu[er]se natures, deriving theire authority from yo[u]r Majestie, but being directly contrary to yo[u]r Maj[estie]s Lawes established in this yo[u]r kingdome, the chiefe of them presenting themselues in a schedule hereunto annexed, for redresse whereof as Left margin: allows yo[u]r Petitioners hoped yo[u]r Maj[es]tie was graciously pleased about the middle of Apr. last to assemble the Great Councell com[m]only called the high Court of Parliament & some three weekes after to dissolue Left margin: it the same, for want (as it seemes to yo[u]r Peticioners) of a good Agreement betwixt the 2 houses And neu[er]theles since the said dissolution to expresse such a fatherly care of yo[u]r pore people that yo[u]r Maj[es]tie hath vouchsafed by yo[u]r printed declaration to inuite them to the powring out of theire complaints into yo[u]r Princely care

It may therefore please yo[u]r most Excellent Maj[es]tie to take the said particulers into yo[u]r tender consideration & to giue yo[u]r Petitioners such ease therein as in yo[u]r Royall wisedome shall be fitte & whereby it may appeere to all yo[u]r Maj[estie]s Subjects, especiallie to those of yo[u]r Maj[estie]s most hon[oura]ble Privy Counsell & the other officers & Ministers of Iustice that you are resolued to continue to them all theire rights & liberties, which they desire by the Petition of Right & were confirmed by yo[u]r Maj[es]tie in the 3d yeer of your Reigne And yo[u]r Pet[itioner]s as most bound shall continue 64v to procure the length & happines of yo[u]r Maj[estie]s said reigne by theire prayers & all actions of zeale & duty.

Left margin: BerkeA Schedule of such greeuances as most oppresse this Country.

Left margin: 1 The illegall & unsupportable charge of Ship-mony nowe the 5th yeere imposed as high as ever, though the Subject was not able to pay the last yeer being a Third.

Left margin: 2 The nowe taxe of Coate & Conduct mony with undue meanes used to inforce the payment of it by messengers from the Counsell Table.

Left margin: 3 The Compelling some Free-men by imprisonment & threatnings to take presse-mony & others for feare of the like imprisonment to forsake theire place of habitation hiding themselues in Woods, whereby theire families are left to the Charge of the Parish & Harvest worke undone for want of Labourers.

Left margin: 4 The infinite number of Monopolies upon ev'ry thing the Country-man must buy.

Besides the Easterne parte of this Country where yo[u]r Maj[esty']s Forrest of Windsor is particulerly burthened.

Left margin: 1 With the unmeasurable increase of [th]e {gap: illegible} deere which if they should goe on so for a fewe yeeres more will leaue neither food nor roome for any other creature in the forrest

Left margin: 2 With the rigid execution of the Forrest lawes in theire extremity

Left margin: 3 With the exaction of immoderate Fees by some Officers under the Lo[r]d Chiefe Iustice in Eyre.


No introduction.


British Library, Additional MS 22959, ff. 64r-64v, Diary of Reverend John Rous

Languages: English

Creation date: 11 July 1640


  • Grand Jury of Berkshire

Keywords (Text Type)

  • petition

Keywords (Text Topics)

  • Petition of Right
  • Ship Money
  • Short Parliament
  • forest laws
  • hunting

Transcribed by:

Richard Bell (Research Associate)