An Arrow Against All Tyrants

Richard Overton

Published 1646

An excerpt.

And if the king himself have not this arbitrary power, much less may his peers or companions, the lords, over the free commons of England. And therefore notwithstanding such illegal censures and warrants either of king or of Lords (no legal conviction being made) the persons invaded and assaulted by such open force of arms may lawfully arm themselves, fortify their houses (which are their castles in the judgement of the law) against them; yea, disarm, beat, wound, repress and kill them in their just necessary defence of their own persons, houses, goods, wives and families, and not be guilty of the least offence — as is expressly resolved by the Statute of 21 Edw. de malefactoribus in parcis; by 24 Hen. VIII cap. 5; 11 Hen. VI cap. 16; 14 Hen. VI cap. 24; 35 Hen. VI cap. 12; Edward IV cap. 6.

And therefore (sir) as even by nature and by the law of the land I was bound, I denied subjection to these lords and their arbitrary creatures thus by open force invading and assaulting my house, person, etc. — no legal conviction preceding, or warrant then shown. But and if they had brought and shown a thousand such warrants, they had all been illegal, antimagisterial and void in this case; for they have no legal power in that kind, no more than the king, but such their actions are utterly condemned and expressly forbidden by the law. Why therefore should you of the representative body sit still and suffer these lords thus to devour both us and our laws?

Found here.

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