Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[20 May, 1648.]
The Lords and Commons in this present Parliament assembled do declare, That it is the Right and Privilege of the Subjects of England, to present unto the Parliament their just Grievances, by Way of Petition, in a due Manner; and they shall be always ready to receive such Petitions, and to provide such Remedies for Redress of such Grievances, as they in their Wisdom and Judgement shall think best: So, in regard that, by the tumultuous Assemblies of Persons in several Counties and Cities of this Kingdom, in the framing of such Petitions, divers Plots and Designs are carried on by Malignants and Delinquents, and Persons ill-affected, to the endangering the Destruction of Religion, this present Parliament, and the Laws of this Kingdom and Liberties of the Subject, and, by the like Tumults in presenting of the same by the great Numbers of riotous and illaffected Persons, contrary to former Usages in ancient Times, many Mischiefs have ensued and Blood shed, and both Houses of Parliament hindered and interrupted in their Debates and Resolutions concerning the Settlement of the great Affairs, Peace, and Safety of the Kingdom: The said Lords and Commons do hereby also declare and ordain, and be it Ordered and Ordained by Authority of this present Parliament, That every such Petition, which hereafter shall be brought up and presented to the Houses of Parliament, from any County or City, or otherwise, shall be brought up and presented only by a convenient Number, not exceeding the Number of Twenty Persons; and all such Petitions shall be by them delivered to the Knights, Citizens, or Burgesses, who serve in Parliament for the said County, City, or Borough, from whence the said Petition comes, or to some Member of either of the said Houses, by them to be offered to the said respective Houses; and that all Persons who shall bring up any such Petition do behave themselves peaceably, orderly, and without Offence; and if any Person or Persons shall hereafter, under any such or the like Pretence, tumultuously assemble as aforesaid, the said Person or Persons so offending shall be adjudged as Persons ill-affected to the Parliament and Kingdom.