« PoprzedniaDalej »
Proper and only way to an
ESTABLISHMENT IN HONOUR,
Freedom, Peace, and Happiness :
THE NORMAN YOKE ONCE MORE UNCASED;
And the necessity, justice, and present seasonableness of breaking it in
pieces, demonstrated, in eight most plain and true propositions, with their proofs. By the author of Anti-Normanism, and of the Plain English to the neglecters of it.
Deo, Patriæ, Tibi. Imprimatur Gilbert Mabbot. London, printed for R. L. Anno Dom. 1648.
Quarto, containing sixteen pages.
TO THE READER. READER, THOU hast here once more my endeavour for to draw this our nation
from under the right, title, effects, and badges of the Norman (pretended) conquest over us, to which, by the iniquity of precedent times, and the ignorant negligence of the present, we remain still subject. Conquest, saith Dr. Hudson, in its best attire, is the most eminent of curses; but, sure, it is a curse far more eminent, to be so difficult to be persuaded to come out of that quality, especially, while undeniable justice, power, and opportunity add their invitations. If, what is here made manifest, shall meet with due and timely regard, and produce effects according, we may happily recover that incomparable freedom, honour, peace, and happiness, which we enjoyed under the glorious, and our last right English king, St. Edward; but, if such cold consideration shall attend it, as seems to have befallen what hath been before sent abroad upon the same errand, I shall esteem it great pity, and am much deceived, if either by our old, or some new conquerors, we be not taught with more than words, what belongs to such as have not capacity to be either ingenuous subjects, or dutiful slaves. Vale.
Proposition 1. That the right and title of a (pretended) conquest over the English na
tion, by foreigners called Normans, hath been heretofore set up, and is still upheld in this kingdom, and that all Englishmen, by the mouths of their parliaments and lawyers, have submitted and do still submit unto the same, and are governed in great part by Norman innovations, being foreign laws and customs introduced by the said Normans in despight of the English people, for marks and monuments of the said conquest.
stands for the basis of this kingdom, I suppose needs no proof. That it is accordingly still submitted to, I have proved in my Plain English, page 3, 4, a sufficient part of which probation is this, viz. that, by the mouths abovesaid, we do acknowledge (how truly I shall shew in my fifth proposition) that the duke of Normandy absolutely purchased with his sword the crown of England and our allegiance, for otherwise he could not be as we name him our conqueror. Secondly, That accordingly we do submit to his heirs, placing him the said duke, specificated with his said title of conqueror, for the root and alpha of our rightful kings; so that it is plain that the said conquest doth enjoy both our acknowledgment and professed allegiance: That the Norman innovations are retained, to the almost exiling of our own proper laws, is every where both * legible and visible: That they were introduced in manner and for the purpose abovesaid, and accordingly resented and reluctated against by the English people, while they understood themselves and their proprieties, may appear by their many exclamations made against them unto the (pretended) conqueror, by the acts of the Kentish men, and by the Londoners petition in King Stephen's time, which also occasioned those many regal oaths to be then and still taken, though not yet performed, for retracting these innovations and restoring the laws of King Edward; so far are the said innovations from being any part of our legitimate laws, though our wild lawyers so repute them, the proper birth or stamp whereof is to be of the people's choosing, as the coronation-oath testifies. And thus much for to shew that, while we dispute the duty of subjects, we prosess the allegiance of captives; while we spurn at English proclamations, we submit to Norman laws; and that, notwithstanding all our great victories and triumphs, we do still remain, as much as ever, under the title and in the quality of a conquered nation; unto which what reasons we have to induce us, I shall shew in my ensuing propositions.
Proposition 2. That the said title of conquest and Norman innovations (while they
continue in force in this kingdom) are destructive to the honour, freedom, and all other unquestioned rights of this nation, and much more to the present legality and future validity of this parliament's proceedings.
See Daniel's Hist. p. 43.
Proof. A GREAT part of the injuriousness of this title and innovations, towards our nation, I cannot better set forth than in the words of learned Fortescue (cited by Mr. Prynne in his Sovereign Power, part 1. p. 37, 38.) though himself a Norman and arguing only against unlimited prerogative in the crown, which is but part of what is inseparably wrapped up in the title of conquest, who having declared it to be the undoubted right of Englishmen to have this two-fold privilege, viz. To be under laws of their own choosing, and princes which themselves admit (in which two consists a great part of their honour and the sum of their freedom as I have shewed in iny Plain English, p. 1.) adds, that of the benetit of this their right they should be utterly defrauded, if they should be under a king that might spoil them of their goods, as our first pretended conqueror did, and as the heirs of his title by the law of all con. quests still may, and yet should they be much more injured, if they should afterwards be governed by foreign and strange laws, and such peradventure as they deadly hated and abhorred, of which sort I have before shewed these imuvations to be. And most of all, if by those laws their substance should be diminished, as it is by many of these innovations, particularly that of drawing the generality of law-suits to Westminster, for the safeguard whercof, as also of their honour and of their own bodies, they submitted themselves to his government; thus and more lie; io which I may add, thatthis injuriousness were yet more aggraFated, if our kings which were installed by our admission, and should thus patronise our bonour, &c. should profess themselves to be of foreign bloud, declare that they owe their right to the crown unto none but their sword, and write on our foreheads that we are their conquered and captive vassals, as our princes, while they retain the said title, do. sum, the title and effects of this pretended conquest are a yoke of captivity, unto which while we continue our fond and needless submission, we renounce honour, freedom, and all absolute right to any thing but just shame and oppression, being thereby in the quality of professed cap. tive bondslaves, unto the heirs of the duke of Normandy, and wearing the open livery of that profession. And, though we enjoy a mitigation of our slavery by charters, yet are those charters revokable at the King's pleasure, as King Richard the Second well observed, while the kingdom continues grounded on the conquest; which I have sufficiently proved, in the preface to Plain English, from the tenour of Magna Charta itself (which declares the said charter to be an act of mere grace and favour, and grounded upon respect not so much of duty as of meritorious supererogation towards God, much less of duty, though benefit, to the nation) and from a + cunfession of parliament; and is also otherwise no less clearly evincible, for that it is a maxim, that all subjects of a conquest, especially while they profess themselves such, as we simply still do, are in the quality of tenants in villeuage, subject and subservient, in their persons and estates, to the will, honour, and benefit of their conqueror and his heirs, according to the axiom in Cæsar (men
• See Ms. Pryone's S. P. fol. 59, 6. + See M. Prynae's citation last mentioned,
In lib. i. de Beilo Gallico. VOL. VI.
tioned in my Plain English, pag. 7.) Jus est belli ut hi qui vicissent his quos vicissent quemadmodum rellent imperarent. That the conquered are, by the laws of war, under the arbitrary rule and government of their conquerors; and according to the practice in the Turkish dominions, which are not more grounded on conquest than we yield ours to be; which captive and slavish quality, how unseemly it is for Englishmen to continue in, especially towards a Norman colony, and that, while they may with justice and facility come out of it, I have shewn in my Anti-Normanism : And as touching the consequent* illegality of this parliament's proceedings, until they either repeal this title, or else renounce the quality of Englishmen, if it seem not evident enough from the premisses, it may be seen in my Plain English, evinced and proved against all objections whatsoever ; of which illegality, future invalidity is both the sister and daughter.
Proposition 3. That the same are also derogatory to the King's right to the crown, to his honour, and to his just interest in the people's affections.
temporal matters) that were cver in this kingdom betwixt King
• The example of the extorting of Magna Charta makes nothing to the contrary, for that was done (as Daniel's bistory testifies, by the nobility of those times, under the notion and quality of Normads and cohcirs of the conquest, which quality, I suppose, our parliament will not, if they could, assume. + Likewise by our own laws, obligations extorted by duress, as is fealty to conquest, are
and people, and are likewise, for the time to come, destructive to all well-grounded, firm, and lasting unity, peace, and concord in this realm, and consequently to the strength of the same.
Proof. THE narrative is evident from history, the rest from reason; for how can there be uniou in affection betwixt those that are professed strangers and enemies one to another, as this title and innovations, the ensigns of hostility, render our Kings and people ? Moreover the said title, by reason of the unlimited prerogative inseparably appendent, is apt to suggest seeds of tyranny to the crown, as it hath continually done, and consequently of insurrections to the subject, to the disturbance of the publick peace ; which is confirmed by the said many civil wars we have had in this kingdom since these abuses were set on foot, whereas before we never had any; and weakness must needs wait upon that body, where there is such a disunion and antipathy betwis the head and members.
Proposition 5. That the introduction of the said title and innovations was, and the re
taining of them is, contrary to the fundamental constitution of this kingdom.
Proof. FOR the Norman * duke was admitted as legatee of St. Edward, and upon his oath to preserve our laws and liberties, and not as a conqueror, nor yet for an innovator, as the most authentick historians testify; among whom honest Æmilius Veronensis, an impartial stranger, writing of this matter, saith expressly, Non ipsi homines sed causa defuncti victa extinctaque; That it was not the English nation, but the usurper
Harold that was overcome, and as, in opposition to the innovations, I shall make more clear in the confirmation of my next proposition; insomuch that the violent introduction of the said abuses was, and the pertinacious upholding of them, is an usurpant, perjurious, and perfidious robbing us of the title and quality of a free nation.
Proposition 6. That the retaining of the same is contrary to the coronation oath of all our Kings, and to the oaths and duties of parliament and people.
Proof. FOR it is the first and chief part of the proper and solemn oath of all our Kings at their coronation, as it was the first Norman's like oath, either at his coronation, or at least, t before his full admission and con
• Not any history or record saith that he claimed the crown, before he had it, as conqueror of England, mach less that he was acknowledged for such by the English, or submitted to under thal title; therefore the assumption of that title atterwards was usurpa!ory.
Seo my Anti-Norm. p. 15, 19. + See Mr. Pryone's citations of testimonies to this purpose, in his S. P. p. 51, 53, and 'my Anti
Norm. p. 15.