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Oliver St John 'Letter to the Mayor of Marlborough (1614)'

Norfolk Record Office, HMN 7/307, 772X8, ff. 175r-175v


This kind of Beneuolence is against lawe, Reason & Religeon

Left margin: Against lawes The lawe is in [th]e statutes called Magn({-}a Carta .9. H. 3. Cap. 29. That no such free man bee anie way destroyed but by [th]e lawes of [th]e lande/.

Left margin: 2 Secondlie (beside [tha]t [th]e sayd Statute of Magna Charta is by all Princes tyme established & confirmed) [tha]t is in this especiall Cause of voluntarie or fre graunts marked and decreed .25. Edw .1. Ca .6. That none such be drawen into Castome, And. Ca .6. [tha]t henceforth be taken noe such Aides, taskes, free graunts or prises but by assent of all [th]e Relme, and for [th]e good of [th]e same, And in primo Ric .3. Ca .2. That the Subiectes & Comones of this Realme from hencefourth shall in noe wise be charged by anie Charge or Imposic[i]on callede a Beneuolece or anie suchlike Charge, And [th]at such Exactiones called a Beneulence shalbe damned & adnulled for euer/.

Left margin: Against Reason It is not onelie without but against Reason [tha]t the Com[m]ones in these seueralls and p[ar]ticuleres should be made reliueres & supplires of his Ma[jes]ties wantes whoe neither knowe his wants nor [th]e som[m]es of monie [tha]t be this waie raised to supplye [th]e same/.

Left margin: 2 Secondlie it is against reason, That [th]e p[ar]ticuler seuerall Com[m]ons distracted should oppose theire Iudgmentes and distruc[i]on to [th]e Iudgments and distraction of [th]e wisedome of [th]e land assembled in p[ar]liment. whoe ther haue denied ani such Aide/. or anie such aide

Left margin: Againste Religeon If argueth in us want of [tha]t lawe & due respecte of our soueringue Lorde and kinge, w[hi]ch ought to be {staire}in euerie of vs towards each other, w[hi]ch is to staye euerie one whome whome wee see fallinge and to reduce [th]e Errant, what p[ro]speritie can ther be expected to befall either o[u]r kinge or nac[i]on, when [th]e kinge shall happilie of ignorance or (as I hope) out of forgetflness & vnheedious comytt soe great a sinne against his God As is [th]e violating of his greate and {solempue} Oathe taken at his Coronac[i]on for the may[n]taynene of [th]e lawes Liberties & customes of this Noble Realme, And his Subiecte, som for f{-}eare, some in pride, som to please{-} others shall Ioine hands to forward soe vnhappie ann acheiuement.


Can he anie way offend [th]e dyuine Ma[jes]tie whome he hathe in vocated, as alsoe ca[n]n hee give annother H: [th]e 4th if such{auone}an one sholde rise vpp (which god forbide) a greater aduantage? Let his Articles put vp in p[ar]liment against R. [th]e 2. be looked on, {it}[i]t will apeare that [th]e breache of [th]e lawes, Infringinge[th]e libertes & failing in this his Oath were the maine blemishes and fayling when w[hi]ch he could spott and distayne [th]e honor of [tha]t good and gentel Prince, whoe indeede {was} rather by otheres abused, then of himselfe anie way mischeuouslie disposed/.

Left margin: 2 Secondlie as verie irreligeouslie & uncharitablie willwee helpe forwarde [th]e kinges Ma[jes]tie in [tha]t greeuous sinn of p[er]iurye, Soe into what a hellish danger wee prolonge our selues (euen soe manie of us as doe contribute) [i]s tabelarned out of [th]e seuerall Curses & Sentences of Excommicatione giuen out agaynst all such Giueres, and Namelie [th]e .2. followeinge, viz. [th]e greate curse giuin out – 51 – H – 3 against all breakers of [th]e libertes & Customes of [th]e Realme of England, w[i]th those albettores, Counsalors and {ey{}es} wherin by [tha]t sentence of Boniface Archb[ihso]p of {Cahto} & [th]e cheefe p[ar]t of all [th]e {-}then Bishopes of this land they are ipso facto Exco[m]iat And [tha]t of .25. Ed. 1 denownced Imediatlie uppon [th]e Acts made against such Beneuolenc or free grantes and imposiones had & taken w[i]thout Co[m]mon assent, w[hi]ch becaus it is not soe longe as [tha]t former, I will sett downe as Jo[h]n bookes deliuer the same ./. In the name of etc.