28. The Protestation.

[May 3, 1641. Rushworth, viii. 735. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 353.]

We the knights, citizens and burgesses of the Commons House in Parliament, finding to the grief of our hearts that the designs of the Priests and Jesuits, and other adherents to the See of Rome, have of late been more boldly and frequently put in practice than formerly, to the undermining and danger of the true reformed Protestant religion in His Majesty's dominions established; and finding also that there hath been, and having just cause to suspect there still are, even during the sittings in Parliament, endeavours to subvert the fundamental laws of England and Ireland, and to introduce the exercise of an arbitrary and tyrannical government by most pernicious and wicked counsels, practices, plots and conspiracies; and that the long intermission and unhappier breach of Parliaments hath occasioned many illegal taxations, whereby the subjects have been prosecuted and grieved; and that divers innovations and superstitions have been brought into the Church, multitudes driven out of His Majesty's dominions, jealousies raised and fomented between the King and his people; a Popish army levied in Ireland, and two armies[1] brought into the bowels of this kingdom, to the hazard of His Majesty's royal person, the consumption of the revenue of the crown and the treasure of this realm. And lastly, finding the great cause of jealousy, that endeavours have been, and are used, to bring the English army into a misunderstanding of this Parliament, thereby to incline that army by force to bring to pass those wicked counsels; have therefore thought good to join ourselves in a Declaration of our united affections and resolutions and to make this ensuing Protestation: —

I, A. B., do, in the presence of God, promise, vow and protest to maintain and defend, as far as lawfully I may with my life, power and estate, the true reformed Protestant religion expressed in the doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery and popish innovation within this realm, contrary to the said doctrine, and according to the duty of my allegiance, I will maintain and defend His Majesty's royal person and estate, as also the power and privilege of Parliaments, the lawful rights and liberties of the subjects, and every person that shall make this Protestation in whatsoever he shall do, in the lawful pursuance of the same; and to my power, as far as lawfully I may, I will oppose, and by all good ways and means endeavour to bring to condign punishment all such as shall by force, practice, counsels, plots, conspiracies or otherwise do anything to the contrary in this present Protestation contained: and further, that I shall in all just and honourable ways endeavour to preserve the union and peace betwixt the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, and neither for hope, fear or any other respects, shall relinquish this promise, vow and protestation.

[1] The Scottish army and the English army opposed to it.

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