True Copie
of the
of the

and Tradesmens-wives, in
and about the City of

To the Honourable, the Knights,
Citizens, and Burgesses, of the house of
Commons in Parliament, the 1641-02-044th of
February, 1641

With their severall Reasons why their sex ought thus
to Petition, aswell as the Men; and the manner
how both their Petition and Reasons was

Likewise the Answer which the Honourable Assembly
sent to them by Mr. Pym, as they stood at the
House doore.

Printed by R. O. & G. D. for John Bull, 16411641

A1v 1

To the

Knights, Citizens
and Burgesses, of the House
of Commons
assembled in

The most humble Petition of the
Gentlewomen, Tradesmens wives,
and many others of the Female Sex, all Inhabitants
of the Citie of London, and
the Suburbs thereof.

With lowest submission shewing,

That we also with all thankfull humility
acknowledging the unwearied
paines, care and great charge, besides
hazard of health and life, which you
the noble worthies of this honourable
and renowned Assembly have undergone,
for the safety both of Church
and Commonwealth, for a long time already past; for
which not only we your humble Petitioners, and all
well affected in this Kingdome, but also all other good Christians A2r 2
Christians are bound now and at all times to acknowledge;
yet not withstanding that many worthy deeds
have been done by you, great danger and feare do still
attend us, & will, as long as Popish Lords & and superstitious
Bishops are suffered to have their voice in the House of
Peers, and that accursed and abhominable Idole of the
Masse suffered in the Kingdome, and that Arch-enemy
of our prosperity and Reformation lyeth in the
Tower, yet not receiving his deserved punishment.

All these under correction, gives us great cause to
suspect, that God is angry with us, and to be the chiefe
causes why your pious indeavours for a further Reformation
proceedeth not with that successe as you desire,
and is most earnestly prayed for of all that wish well
to true Religion, and the florishing estate both of King
and Kingdome; the insolencies of the Papists and their
abbettors, raiseth a just feare and suspition of sowing
sedition, and breaking out into bloody persecution in
this Kingdome, as they have done in Ireland, the
thoughts of which sad and barbarous events, maketh
our tender hearts to melt within us, forcing us humbly
to Petition to this honourable Assembly, to make safe
provision for your selves and us, before it be too late.

And whereas we, whose hearts have joyned cheerefully
with all those Petitions which have been exhibited
unto you in the behalfe of the purity of Religion,
and the liberty of our Husbands persons and estates, recounting
our selves to have an interst in the common
priviledges with them, doe with the same confidence
assure our selves to finde the same gracious acceptance
with you, for easing of those greivances, which in regard
of our fraile condition, do more neerely concerne A2 us A2v 23
us, and do deeply terrifie our soules: our Domesticall
dangers with which this Kingdome is so much distracted,
especially growing on us from those treacherous
and wicked attempts already are such, as we finde our
selves to have as deepe a share as any other.

We cannot but tremble at the very thoughts of the
horrid and hideous facts which modesty forbids us now
to name, occasioned by the bloody Warres in Germany,
his Majesties late Northern Army, how often did it
affright our hearts, whilst their violence began to break
out so furiously upon the persons of those, whose Husbands
or Parents were not able to rescue: wee wish
wee had no cause to speake of those insolencies, and
savage usage and unheard of rapes, exercised upon our
Sex in Ireland, and have we not just cause to feare they
wil prove the forerunners of our ruine, except Almighty
God by the wisdome and care of this Parliament be
pleased to succor us, our Husbands and Children, which
are as deere and tender unto us, as the lives and blood
of our hearts, to see them murthered and mangled and
cut in pieces before our eyes, to see our Children dashed
against the stones, and the Mothers milk mingled
with the Infants blood, running down the streets; to see
our Houses on flaming fire over our heads: oh how
dreadfull would this be! we thought it misery enough
(though nothing to that we have just cause to feare)
but few yeares since for some of our Sex, by unjust divisions
from their bosome comforts, to be rendred in
a manner Widdowes, and the children Fatherlesse,
Husbands were Imprisoned from the Society of their
wives, even against the Lawes of God and Nature; and
little Infants suffered in their Fathers’ banishments: thousands A3r 34
thousands of our deerest friends have bin compelled
to fly from Episcopall persecutionns into desert places
amongst wilde Beasts, there finding more favour then
in their native soyle, and in the midst of all their sorrowes,
such hath the pitty of the Prelats been, that
our cries could never enter into their eares or hearts,
nor yet through multitudes of obstructions could never
have accesse or come nigh to those Royall mercies
of our most gracious Soveraigne, which we confidently
hope, would have relieved us: but after all these
pressures ended, we humbly signifie, that our present
feares are, that unlesse the blood-thirsty faction of the
Papists and Prelates be hindered in their designes, our
selves here in England aswell as they in Ireland, shall be
exposed to that misery which is more intollerable then
that which is already past, as namely to the rage not of
men alone, but of Divel’s incarnate, (as we may so say)
besides the thraldome of our soules and consciences in
matters concerning God, which of all things are most
deare unto us.

Now the remembrance of all these fearfell accidents
aforementioned, do strongly move us from the
example of the woman of Tekoa to fall submissively at
the feete of his Majestie, our dread Soveraigne, and cry
“Helpe O King,” helpe o yee the noble Worthies now siting
in Parliament: And we humbly beseech you, that
you will be a meanes to his Majestie and the House of
Peeres, that they will be pleased to take our heart
breaking grievances into timely consideration, and to
adde strength & incouragement to your noble indeavours,
and further that you would move his Majesty
with our humble requests, that he would be graciously A3 pleased A3v 5
pleased according to the example of the good King
, to purge both the Court and Kingdome of
that great Idolatrous Service of the Masse, which is
tollerated in the Queenes Court, this sinne (as we conceive)
is able to draw downe a greater curse upon the
whole Kingdome, then all your noble and pious indeavours
can prevent, which was the cause that the good
and pious King Asa would not suffer Idolatry in his
own Mother, whose example if it shall please his Majesties
gracious goodnesse to follow, in puting downe
Popery and Idolatry both in great and small, in Court
and in the Kingdome throughout, to subdue the Papists
and their abetters, and by taking away the power
of the Prelats, whose government by long and wofull
experience we have found to be against the liberty of
our conscience and the freedome of the Gospell, and
the sincere profession and practice thereof, then shall
our feares be removed, and we may expect that God
will power downe his blessings in abundance both upnoon
his Majesty, and upon this Honourable Assembly,
and upon the whole Land.

For which your new Petitioners shall pray affectionately.
The A4r 6

The Reasons follow.

It may be thought strange, and unbeseeming our sex
to shew our selves by way of Petition to this Honourable
Assembly: but the matter being rightly considered,
of the right and interest we have in the common
and publique cause of the Church, it will, as we conceive
(under corection) be found a duty commanded and

First, because Christ hath purchased us at as deare a
rate as he hath done Men, and therfore requireth the
like obedience for the same mercy as of men.

Secondly, because in the free enjoying of Christ in his
own Laws, and a flourishing estate of the Church and
Common-wealth, consisteth the happinesse of Women
as well as Men.

Thirdly, because Women are sharers in the common
Calamities that accompany both Church and Common-Wealth,
when oppression is exercised over the
Church or Kingdome wherein they live; and an unlimited
power have been given to Prelats to exercise
authority over the Consciences of Women, aswell as
Men; witnesse Newgate, Smithfield, and other places of
persecution, wherein Women aswell as Men have felt
the smart of their fury.

Neither are we left without example in Scripture,
for when the state of the Church, in the time of King
was by the bloody enemies thereof sought to
be utterly destroyed, we find that Ester the Queen and
her Mayds fasted and prayed, and that Ester petitioned
to the King in the behalfe of the Church: and though
she enterprised this duty with the hazard of her own life, A4v 67
life, being contrary to the Law to appeare before the
King before she were sent for, yet her love to the
Church carryed her thorow all difficulties, to the performance
of that duty.

On which grounds we were imboldned to present our
humble Petition into this Honourable Assembly, not
weighing the reproaches which may and are by many
cast upon us, who (not well weighing the premisses)
scoffe and deride our good intent. We doe it not out
of any selfe conceit, or pride of heart, as seeking to
equall ourselves with Men, either in Authority or wisdome:
But according to our places to discharge that
duty we owe to God, and the cause of the Church, as
farre as lyeth in us, following herein the example of
the Men, which have gone in this duty before us.

A relation of the manner how it was delivered, with
their Answer, sent by Mr. Pym.

This Petition, with their Reasons, was delivered the 1641-02-044th of Feb.
. by Mris Anne Stagg, a Gentlewoman and Brewers Wife,
and many others with her of like rank and quality, which when
they had delivered it, after some time spent in reading of it, the Honourable
Assembly sent them an Answer by Mr Pym, which was
performed in this manner.

Mr Pym came to the Commons doore, and called for the Women,
and spake unto them in these words
: “Good Women, your Petition
and the Reasons have bin read in the House; and is very thankfully
accepted of, and is come in a seasonable time: You shall
(God Willing) receive from us all the satisfaction which we can
possibly give to your just and lawfull desires. We intreat you to
repaire to your Houses, and turne your Petition which you have
delivered here, into Prayeres art home for us; for we have bin, are,
and shall be (to our utmost power) ready to believe you, your
Husbands, and Children, and to perform the trust committed unto
us, towards God, our King and Countrey, as becometh faithfull
Christians and Loyall Subjects.”