An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament

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An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament (1643)
the Parliament of the United Kingdom
3397708An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament1643the Parliament of the United Kingdom


The Lords and Commons aſſembled

in Parliament;

For the taking of the
Leagve and Covenant
in the Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales.

An Exhortation

For the taking of the Covenant; And for ſatisfying ſuch
Scruples as may ariſe thereupon.

Together with the League and Covenant,
Subſcribed with the Names of ſo many of the
Members of the Houſe of Commons as have taken it.

All which are to be read in all Churches and
Chappels within the Kingdom of
England, and Dominion of Wales.

5. Feb. 1643.

Ordered by the Commons in Parliament, that the Ordinance, with Inſtructions for the taking of the League and Covenant, together with the Exhortation and the League and Covenant, be forthwith printed and publiſhed:

H. Elſynge, Cler. Parl. D. Com.

Printed for E. Husbands, and are to be ſold at his ſhop in the Middle-Temple.

2. Febr. 1643.

An Ordinance of the Lords and Commons, enioyning the taking of the late Solemn League and Covenant throughout the Kingdom of England, and Dominion of VVales.

Whereas a Covenant for the preſervation and Reformation of Religion, The maintenance and defence of Laws and Liberties, hath been thought a fit and excellent means to acquire the favour of Almighty God towards the three Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland; and likewiſe to unite them, and by uniting, to ſtrengthen and fortifie them againſt the Common-Enemy of the true Reformed Religion, Peace and Proſperity of theſe Kingdomes; And whereas both Houſes of Parliament in England, the Cities of London and Weſtminſter, and the Kingdome of Scotland have already taken the ſame; It is now Ordered and Ordained by the Lords and Commons in Parliament, that the ſame Covenant be ſolemnly taken in all places throughout the Kingdome of England, and Dominion of Wales. And for the better and more orderly taking thereof theſe directions enſuing are appointed and enjoyned ſtrictly to be followed.

Inſtructions for the taking of the ſolemne
League and Covenant throughout
the Kingdome.


That the Speakers of both Houſes of Parliament doe ſpeedily ſend (to the Lord Generall, and all other Commanders in chiefe, and Governours of Townes, Forts, Caſtles, and Garriſons, as alſo to the Earle of Warwick Lord High Admirall of England) true Copies of the ſaid ſolemne League and Covenant to the end it may be taken by all Officers and Souldiers under their ſeverall Commands.


That all the Knights and Burgeſſes now in Parliament, doe take ſpeciall care ſpeedily to ſend down into their ſeverall Counties (which are or ſhall hereafter be under the power of the Parliament) a competent number of true Copies of the ſaid League and Covenant unto the Committees of Parliament in their ſeverall Counties; And that the ſaid Committees doe within ſix dayes at the moſt diſperſe the ſaid Copies to every Pariſh Church or Chappell in their ſeverall Counties, to be delivered unto the Miniſters, Churchwardens, or Conſtables of the ſeverall Pariſhes.


That the ſaid Committees be required to returne a Certificate of the day when they received the ſaid Copies, as alſo the day they ſent them forth, and to what Pariſhes they have ſent them, which Certificat they are to return to the Clerke of the Parliament appointed forthe Commons Houſe, that ſo an Account may be given of it, as there ſhall be occaſion.


That the ſeverall Miniſters be required to reade the ſaid Covenant publikely unto their people the next Lords day after they receive it, and prepare their people for it, againſt the time that they ſhall be called to take it.


That the ſaid League and Covenant bee taken by the Committees of Parliament in the place where they reſide, and tendered alſo to the Inhabitants of the Towne, within ſeven dayes after it comes to the ſaid Committees hands.


That the ſaid Committees after they have taken it themſelves, doe ſpeedily diſperſe themſelves through the ſaid Counties, ſo as three or foure of them be together on dayes appointed at the chiefe places of meeting for the ſeverall diviſions of the ſaid Counties, And ſummon all the Miniſters, Churchwardens, Conſtables, and other Officers unto that place; where, after a Sermon preached by one appointed by the Committee for that purpose, they cauſe the ſame Miniſter to tender the League and Covenant unto all ſuch Miniſters and other Officers, to be taken and ſubſcribed by them, in the preſence of the ſaid Committees.


That the ſaid Committees do withall give the ſaid Miniſters in Charge to tender it unto all the reſt of their Pariſhioners the next Lords day, making them unto their ſaid Pariſhioners ſome ſolemn exhortation concerning the taking and obſerving thereof: And that the ſaid Committees do alſo return to the ſeverall Pariſhes the Names of all ſuch as have taken the Covenant before them, who yet ſhall alſo Subſcribe their Names in the book or Roll with their neighbours in their ſeverall pariſhes: And if any Miniſter refuſe or neglect to appear at he ſaid Summons, or refuſe to take the ſaid Covenant before the Committee, or to tender it to his Pariſh, that then the Committees be carefull to appoint another Miniſter to do it in his place.


That this League and Covenant be tendered to all men, within the ſeverall Pariſhes, above the age of eighteene, as well Lodgers as Inhabitants.


That it be Recommended to the Earl of Mancheſter to take ſpeciall care that it bee tendred and taken in the Vniverſitie of Cambridge.


That for the better encouragement of all ſorts of Perſons to take it; It be recommended to the aſſembly of Divines to make a brief Declaration by way of Exhortation to all ſorts of perſons to take it, as that which they judge not onely lawfull, But (all things conſidered) exceeding expedient and neceſſary, for all that wiſh well to Religion, the King and Kingdom to joyn in, and to be a ſingular pledge of Gods gracious goodneſſe to all the three Kingdomes.


That if any Miniſter do refuſe to take, or to tender the Covenant, or any other perſon or perſons do not take it the Lords day that it is tendred, that then it be tendred to them again the Lords day following, and if they ſtill continue to refuſe it, that then their Names be returned by the Miniſter that tenders it, and by the Churchwardens or Conſtables unto the Committees, and by them to the Houſe of Commons, that ſuch further courſe may be taken with them, as the Houſes of Parliament ſhall ſee cauſe.


That all ſuch perſons as are within the ſeverall Pariſhes when notice is given of the taking of it, and do abſent themſelves from the Church at the time of taking it, and come not in afterwards, to the Miniſter and Churchwardens, or other Officers, to take it in their preſence before the returne be made, be returned as refuſers.


The manner of the taking it to be thus, The Miniſter to read the whole Covenant diſtinctly and audibly in the Pulpit, and during the time of the reading therof, the whole Congregation to be uncovered, and at the end of his reading therof, all to take it ſtanding, lifting up their Right hands bare, and then afterwards to ſubſcribe it ſeverally by writing their names (or their marks, to which their names are to be added) in a parchment Roll, or a Book, wherinto the Covenant is to be inſerted, purpoſely provided for that end, and kept as a Record in the Pariſh.


That the aſſembly of Divines do prepare an Exhortation for the better taking of the Covenant: And that the ſaid Exhortation and the Declaration of the Kingdoms of England and Scotland, joyned in the Armies, for the vindication and defence of their Religion, Liberties and Lawes, againſt the Popiſh Prelaticall and Malignant partie, and paſſed the 30th. of Ianuary laſt, be publikely read, when the Covenant is read, according to the fourth and ſixth Articles: And that a ſufficient number of the copies of the ſaid Declaration be ſent by the perſons appointed to ſend the true copies of the ſaid Covenant, in the firſt and ſecond Articles.

A Solemn
League and Covenant,

Reformation, and Defense of Reigion,
The Honour and Happineſſe of the

And the Peace & Safety of the three Kingdoms
England, Scotland, and Ireland.

We Noblemen, Barons, Knights, Gentleman, Citizens, Burgeſſes, Miniſters of the Goſpel, and Commons of all ſorts in the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, by the Providence of God living under one King, and being of one Reformed Religion, having before our eyes the glory of God, and the advancement of the Kingdome of our Lord and Saviour Ieſus Chriſt, the honour and happineſs of the Kings Majeſtie, and His Poſterity, and the true publike Liberty, Safety and Peace of the Kingdoms, wherein every ones private condition is included, and calling to minde the treacherous and bloody plots, Conſpiracies, Attempts, and practices of the Enemies of God, againſt the true religion, and profeſſors thereof in all places, eſpecially in theſe three Kingdoms ever ſince the reformation of religion, and how much their rage, power and preſumption, are of late, and at this time increaſed and exerciſed; whereof the deplorable eſtate of the Church and Kingdom of Ireland, the diſtreſſed eſtate of the Church & Kingdom of England, and the dangerous eſtate of the Church and Kingdom of Scotland, are preſent and publike Teſtimonies; We have now at laſt, (after other meanes of Supplication, Remonſtrance, Proteſtations, and Sufferings) for the preſervation of our ſelves and our religion, from utter ruine and Deſtruction, according to the commendable practice of theſe Kingdoms in former times, and the Example of Gods people in other Nations; after mature deliberation, reſolved and determined to enter into a mutuall and ſolemne League and Covenant, wherein we all ſubſcribe, and each one of us for himſelf, with out hands lifted up to the most high God, do ſwear:


That we ſhall ſincerely, really and conſtantly, through the Grace of God, endeavour in our ſeverall places and callings, the preſervation of the Reformed Religion in the Church of Scotland, in doctrine, Worſhip, Diſcipline and Government, againſt our common Enemies, the Reformation of Religion in the Kingdoms of England and Ireland, in Doctrine, Worſhip, Diſcipline and Government, according to the Word of God, and the Example of the beſt Reformed Churches; And ſhell indeavour to bring the Churches of God in the three Kingdoms, to the neereſt conjunction and Uniformity in Religion, Confeſſion of Faith, Form of Church-Government, Directory for Worſhip and Catechizing; That we and our poſterity after us may as Brethren live in Faith and Love, and the Lord may delight to dwell in the middeſt of us.


That we ſhall in like manner, without reſpect of perſons, indeavour the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy (that is, Church-Government, by Arch-Biſhops, Biſhops, their Chancellours and Commiſſaries, Deanes, Deanes and Chapters, Archdeacons, and all other Eccleſiaſticall Officers depending on that Hirarchy) Superſtition, Hereſie, Schiſme, Prophaneneſſe, and whatſoever ſhall be found to be contrary to ſound Doctrine, and the power of Godlineſſe; leſt we partake in other mens ſins, and thereby be in danger to receive of their plagues, and that the Lord may be one, and his Name one in the three Kingdoms.


We ſhall with the ſame ſincerity, reallity and conſtancy, in our ſeverall Vocations, endeavour with our eſtates and lives, mutually to preſerve the Rights and Priviledges of the Parliaments, and the Liberties of the Kingdoms, and to preſerve and defend the Kings Majeſties perſon and authority, in the preſervation and defence of the true Religion, and Liberties of the Kingdoms, that the world may bear witneſſe with our conſciences of our Loyaltie, and that we have no thoughts or intentions to diminiſh His Majeſties juſt power and greatneſſe.


We ſhall alſo with all faithfulneſſe endeavour the diſcovery of all ſuch as have been, or ſhall be Incendiaries, Malignants, or evill Inſtruments, by hindering the Reformation of Religion, dividing the King from his people, or one of the Kingdoms from another, or making any Faction or parties amongſt the people, contrary to this League and Covenant, that they may be brought to publicke triall, and receive condigne puniſhment, as the degree of their offences ſhall require or deſerve, or the ſupream Judicatories of both Kingdoms reſpectively, or others having power from them for that effect, ſhall judge convenient.


And whereas the happineſſe of a bleſſed Peace between theſe Kingdoms, denyed in former times to our Progenitors, is by the good providence of God granted unto us, and hath been lately concluded, and ſetled by both Parliaments, we ſhall each one of us, according to our place and intereſt indeavour that they may remain conjoyned in a firme Peace and Union to all Poſterity; And that Iuſtice may be done upon the wilfull oppoſers therof, in manner expreſſed in the precedent Articles.


We ſhall alſo according to our places and calling in this common cauſe of Religion, Liberty and Peace of the Kingdomes, aſſiſt and defend all thoſe that enter into this League & Covenant, in the maintaining & purſuing thereof, and ſhall not ſuffer our ſelves directly or indirectly by whatſoever combination, perſwaſion or terrour, to be divided & withdrawn from this bleſſed union & conjunctiō, whether to make defectiō to the contrary part, or to give our ſelves to a deteſtable indifferency or neutrality in this cauſe, which ſo much concerneth the glory of God, the good of the Kingdoms, and the honour of the King; but ſhall all the dayes of our lives, zealouſly and conſtantly continue therein, againſt all oppoſition, and promote the ſame according to our power, againſt all Lets and Impediments whatſoever; and when we are not able our ſelves to ſuppreſſe or overcome, we ſhall reveal and make known, that it may be timely prevented or removed; All which we ſhall do as in the ſight of God.

And becauſe theſe Kingdoms are guilty of many ſins and provocations againſt God, and his Son Ieſus Chriſt, as is too manifeſt by our preſent diſtreſſes and dangers, the fruits thereof; We profeſſe and declare before God and the world, our unfayned deſire to be humbled for our own ſins, and for the ſins of theſe Kingdoms, eſpecially, that we have not as we ought, valued the ineſtimable benefit of the Goſpel, that we have not laboured for the purity and power thereof, and that we have not endeavoured to receive Chriſt in our hearts, nor to walk worthy of him in our lives, which are the cauſes of other ſins and Tranſgreſsions, ſo much abounding amongſt us; And our true and unfained purpoſe, deſire, and endeavour for our ſelves, and all others under our power and charge, both in publike and in private, in all duties we owe to God and man, to amend our lives, and each one to go before another in the example of a reall Reformation, that the Lord may turn away his wrath, and heavy indignation, and eſtabliſh theſe Churches and Kingdoms in trueth and peace. And this Covenant we make in the preſeuce of Almighty God the Searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to performe the ſame, as we ſhall anſwer at that great day, when the ſecrets of all hearts ſhall be diſcloſed, Moſt humbly beſeeching the Lord to ſtrengthen us by his Holy Spirit for this end, and to bleſſe our deſires and proceedings with ſuch ſucceſſe, as may be deliverance and ſafety to his people, and encouragement to other Chriſtian Churches groaning under, or in danger of the yoke of Anti-chriſtian Tyranny; to joyne in the ſame, or like Aſſociation and Covenant, to the glory of God, the enlargement of the Kingdom of Jeſus Chriſt, and the peace and Tranquility of Christian Kingdomes and Common-Wealths.

  • Wil: Lenthall Speaker
  • Beuchamp St. Iohn
  • Gilbert Gerrard
  • Walter Erle
  • Iames Cambell
  • Tho: Cheeke
  • Robert Nicholas
  • Benjamin Rudyard
  • Iohn Gurdon
  • Robert Harley
  • Francis Knollys
  • Edward Maſter
  • Iohn White
  • Anthony Stapeley
  • Dennis Bond
  • Laurence Whitaker
  • Michaell Noble
  • Pere: Hoby
  • Richard Barwis
  • Edward Baynton
  • William Cawley
  • Iohn Moyle
  • Iohn Pyne
  • George Searle
  • Henry Vane Senior
  • Nevill Poole
  • Iohn Yonge
  • Henry Herbert
  • Thomas Sandis
  • William Ieſſon
  • Philip L: Herbert
  • Thomas Barrington
  • Martin Lumley
  • Iohn Trevor
  • Francis Godolphin
  • Thomas Arundell
  • Edward Stephens
  • Gilbert Pykering
  • Iohn Creue
  • Oliver Cromwell
  • Henry Vane Iunior.
  • William Cage
  • Richard Eriſey
  • Philip L: Liſle.
  • William Heveningham
  • Iſaac Penington
  • Richard Creſheld
  • Thomas Pelham
  • Thomas Parker
  • Iohn Leigh
  • Iohn Harris
  • Auguſtine Skinner
  • Iohn Venn
  • William Strickland
  • Iohn Franklin
  • Samuel Browne
  • Robert Scawen
  • Roger Hill
  • Iohn Button
  • Iohn Meyrick
  • Ambroſſe Browne
  • Richard Wynn
  • Edward Owner
  • Charles Pym
  • Charles L: Cranborne
  • Ben. Weſton
  • Dudley North
  • Iohn Nut
  • Io: Corbet
  • Roger Burgoyne
  • Peter Temple
  • Benjamin Valentyne
  • Thomas Walſingham
  • Oliver Luke
  • William Alenſon
  • Humphery Salwey
  • Richard More
  • VVilliam Aſhurſt
  • Thomas Moore
  • Thomas Fountayne
  • VVilliam Ellys
  • Henry Shelley
  • Richard Shuttleworth
  • Henry Ludlow
  • George Gallopp
  • Robert Wallopp
  • Arthur Heſilrige
  • Oliver Saint-John
  • Thomas Grantham
  • Francis Barneham
  • Will: L: Fitzwilliams
  • Edmund Dunch
  • Henry Mildmay
  • Hugh Rogers
  • Thomas Hatcher
  • John Wray
  • Simonds D'Ewes
  • Anthony Bedingfield
  • John Aſhe
  • William L: Munſon
  • Martyn Liſter
  • Robert Goodwyn
  • Edward Thomas
  • Henry Lucas
  • Miles Corbett
  • Philip Smith
  • Cornelius Holland
  • William Spurſtowe
  • John Lowry
  • Peter Wentworth
  • Henry Cholmeley
  • Philip Stapleton
  • William Pierrepont
  • Roger North
  • Alexander Popham
  • Thomas Hodges
  • John Maynard
  • Samuel Vaſſall
  • Anthony Irby
  • John Clotworthy
  • John Broxolme
  • Richard Jervoyſe
  • John Blakiſton
  • Walter Longe
  • John Rolle
  • Robert Jennor
  • John Waddon
  • William Maſham
  • John Liſle
  • Edmund Fowell
  • Edward Aſhe
  • Thomas Pury
  • Richard Whithead
  • Richard Jenyns
  • Humphrey Tufton
  • Thomas Dacres
  • Thomas Erle
  • John Downes
  • John Goodwyn
  • Francis Drake
  • William Waller
  • Samuel Luke
  • Francis Buller
  • Richard Harman
  • George Buller
  • Arthur Onſlowe
  • Richard Wynwood
  • Robert Pye
  • Hen. L: Grey of Ruthin
  • Richard Knightley
  • John Pym
  • Chriſtopher Yelverton
  • Anthony Nicoll
  • Peter Wroth
  • Robert Reynolds
  • Nathaniel Barnardiſton
  • Henry Heyman
  • William Purefoy
  • Valentine Walton
  • Michael Oldeſworth
  • William Wheler
  • Hall Ravenſcroft
  • Tho. L: Grey of Groby
  • Thomas Middleton
  • Edward Hungerford
  • Chriſtopher Wrey
  • Richard Lee
  • Herbert Morley
  • Thomas Lane
  • Robert Cecill
  • William Bell
  • Thomas Some
  • Herbottle Grimstone
  • Symon Snowe
  • John Naſh
  • Herbottle Grimſtone
  • Ralph Aſheton
  • Edward Ayſhcoghe
  • John Wylde
  • John Trenchard
  • Thomas Jervoyſe
  • Richard Brown
  • William Playters
  • Nathaniel Stephens
  • Richard Roſe
  • Francis Rous
  • Gilbert Millington
  • Walter Young
  • John Brown
  • John Hippiſley
  • Edward Poole
  • Henry Pelham
  • William Hay
  • John Driden
  • Nathaniel Fyennes
  • William Lewis
  • Giles Grene
  • William Lytton
  • John Hervey
  • Edward Dowce
  • William Strode
  • Edmond Prideaux
  • Thomas Hoyle
  • Edward Exton
  • Francis Popham
  • Zouch Tate
  • John Curſon
  • Alexander Bence
  • Squire Bence
  • John Selden
  • John Glynn
  • Richard Onſlow
  • John Coke
  • Thomas L: Wenman
  • Bulſtrode Whitelocke
  • George Mountagu
  • Edward Partheriche
  • Henry Campion
  • William Whitaker
  • Denzell Holles
  • Edward Wingate
  • James Fenys.
  • Poynings Moore
  • Edward Biſſe, Junior.
  • William Jephſon
  • Edward Mountagu
  • Norton Knatchnoll.
  • Thomas Eden


This work was published before January 1, 1929, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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