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The Woodbury Declaration

The Worcestershire Clubmen Declaration 5 March 1645

On Wednesday 5 March around 1,000 'Clubmen' from north west Worcestershire met on Woodbury Hill under the leadership of Mr Charles Nott, described there as the Parson of Shelsley. They drew up a Declaration of their grievances, to be presented to Henry Bromley Esq., High Sheriff of the county.
View towards Woodbury Hill

View towards Woodbury Hilll, Worcestershire

"We having long groaned under many illegal taxations and unjust pressures and that contrary to orders presented to his Majesty by advice of the Lords and Commons assembled at Oxford And ratified and published by his Majesty's gracious proclamation. And nevertheless finding no redress of our grievances, but that we, our wives and children, have been exposed to utter ruin by the outrages and violence of the soldier; threatening to fire our houses; endeavouring to ravish our wives and daughters, and menacing our persons. We are now enforced to associate ourselves in a mutual league for each other's defence, and do declare to the world that our meetings have been, are, and shall be to no other intention or purpose than as followeth.

  • To maintain the true Reformed Protestant Religion contained in the Doctrine of the Church of England against all Popery and Popish superstitions and all other Heresies and schisms whatsoever.
  • To defend the King's Majesty's person, honour, and estate against all those that shall oppose the same.
  • To preserve and uphold the ancient and just privileges of Parliament and known laws of this kingdom against all arbitrary Government which shall be endeavoured to be introduced and put upon us under what pretence soever.
  • To retain the property of the subject by protecting and safeguarding our persons and estates by the mutual aid and assistance of each other against all murders, rapines, plunder, robberies, or violences which shall be offered by the soldier or any oppressor whatsoever, as is allowed by those orders lately signed by his Highness Prince Maurice as appeareth by the 5th Article of the said orders.
  • To quicken the execution of those wholesome orders abovesaid ratified by his Majesty's proclamations as also those other orders which at several times since have been agreed upon and signed by his Highness Prince Rupert, Prince Maurice, and also consented unto by the Honourable the Governor and Commissioners for the safeguarding of this county and the great Inquest at several Sessions of the peace held for the body of the same.
  • Our resolution is not to submit to the execution of any commission intrusted upon any pretence whatsoever in the hands of any Papist, or Papists, Recusant or Recusants or any other joined in commission with any Papist, or Papist Recusant for that by the known laws of this kingdom no Papist, nor Papist-recusants ought to be intrusted in any office of state, justice, or judicature: neither to keep any arms in their houses that may be or prove offensive to any of His Majesty's Loyal subjects.
  • Our desire is that this our Declaration and resolution may be presented to the High Sheriff of this County to whom alone as his Majesty's Vicegerent we conceive we are bound to render an account of these our doings. And further our petition is that he would be pleased to endeavour that all Popish Recusants within this County may be pressed to take the oaths of Allegiance and supremacy as by law is provided. And upon refusal they may be disarmed as by law they ought.
  • That it is our request that the Grand Inquest now intrusted for the body of this County may be moved seriously to weigh and consider how they do consent to the illegancy of such Commissions as shall be committed to the hands of Papist, or Popish Recusants lest they betray our trust and so expose both themselves and us to utter ruin."

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Last modification: 12:06:47, 14th October, 2005 by Web Team
Review date: 14th December, 2005
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