Most renowned and dread sovereign, the respective care of your highness's honour, with the obligation that our bounden duty requireth from us, doth not permit, that we, your nobility of this part of your majesty's realm of Ireland commonly termed the English pale, should suppress and be silent in aught, which in the least measure might import the honour of your majesty's most royal
p.134person, the reputation of your happy government, or the good and quiet of your estates and countries, and therefore, are humbly bold to address these our submissive lines to your highness, and so much the rather, till that of late years it hath been a duty specially required the nobility of this kingdom to advertise their princes, your majesty's most noble progenitors, of all matters tending to their service, and to the utility of the commonwealth.
Your majesty's pleasure for calling a parliament in this kingdom hath been lately divulged, but the matters therein to be propounded not made known unto us and others of the nobility, we being, notwithstanding, of the grand council of the realm, and may well be conceived to be the council meant in the statute made in King Henry the seventh's time, who should join with the governor of this kingdom, in certifying thither, what acts should pass here in parliament, especially, it being hard to exclude those that in respect of their estates and residence, next your majesty, should most likely understand what were fittest to be enacted and ordained for the good of their prince and country.
Yet are we for our own parts well persuaded they be such as will comport with the good and relief of your majesty's subjects, and give hopeful expectation of restoration of this lately torn and rended estate, if your majesty have been rightly informed, they having (as it is said) passed the censure of your highness's most rare and matchless judgment. But the extern and public course held (whereof men of all sorts and qualities do take notice for the management thereof) hath generally bred so grievous an apprehension, as is not in our power to express, arising from a fearful suspicion that the project of erecting so many corporations in places that can scantly pass the rank of the poorest villages, in the poorest country of Christendom, do tend to nought else at this time, but that by the voices of a few selected for the purpose, under the name of burgesses, extreme penal laws should be imposed upon your subjects here, contrary to the natures, customs, and dispositions of them all in effect, and so the general scope and institution of parliaments frustrated, they being ordained for the assurance of the subjects not to be processed with any new edicts or laws, but such as should pass with their general consent and approbation.
Your majesty's subjects here in general do likewise very much distaste and exclaim against the deposing of so many magistrates, in the cities and boroughs of this kingdom, for not swearing the oath of supremacy in spiritual and ecclesiastical causes, they protesting a firm profession of loyalty, and an acknowledgment of all kingly jurisdiction and authority in your highness ; which course, for that it was so sparingly and mildly carried on in the time of your late sister of famous memory, Queen Elizabeth, and but now in your highness's happy reign first extended unto the remote parts of this country, doth so much the more affright, and disquiet the minds of your well-affected subjects here, especially, they conceiving that by this means, those that are most sufficient and fit to
p.135exercise and execute those offices and places, are secluded and removed, and they driven to make choice of others conformable in that point, but otherwise very unfit and uncapable to undertake the charges, being generally of the meaner sort. Now, whether it conduceth to the good of your estate, hereby to suffer the secret, home, evil affected subjects (of whom we wish there were none) to be transported with hope and expectation of the effects which a general discontentment might in time produce, and to give scope to the rebels discontented of this nation abroad, to calumniate and cast an aspersion upon the honour and integrity of your highness's government, by displaying in all countries, kingdoms, and estates, and inculcating into the ears of foreign kings and princes, the foulness (as they will term it) of such practices, we humbly leave to your majesty's most sacred, high, and princely consideration. And so, upon the knees of our loyal hearts, do humbly pray that your highness will be graciously pleased not to give way to courses, in the general opinion of your subjects here, so hard and exorbitant, as to erect towns and corporations of places consisting of some few poor and beggarly cottages, but that your highness will give direction that there be no more erected, till time, or traffic and commerce, do make places in the remote and unsettled countries here fit to be incorporated, and that your majesty will benignly content yourself with the service of understanding men to come as knights of the shires out of the chief countries to the parliament. And to the end to remove from your subjects' hearts those fears and discontents, that your highness further will be graciously pleased to give order that the proceedings of this parliament may be with the same moderation and indifferency as your most royal predecessors have used in like cases heretofore, wherein, moreover, if your highness shall be pleased, out of your gracious clemency, to withdraw such laws as may tend to the forcing of your subjects' consciences here in matters concerning religion, you shall settle their minds in a most firm and faithful subjection.
The honour which your majesty, in all your actions and proceedings, hath hitherto so well maintained, the renown of your highness' transcendent understanding in matters of estate and government, and in particular the exemplary precedent of your majesty's never-to-be-forgotten moderation in not descending to such extraordinary courses for effecting the union of both kingdoms so much desired, doth give us full hope and assurance, that your highness will duly weigh and take in good worth these considerations by us laid down, and most graciously grant this our humble submissive suit, in which hope we do, and will always remain,
Your majesty's most humble and dutiful subjects,Gormanston, Chr. Slane, Kileen, Rob. Trimblestown, Pat. Dunsany, Ma. Louth.