The interactive parts of this resource no longer work, but it has been archived so you can continue using the rest of it.

The National Archives Civil War
Close window Download and print PDF version

Why did people go to war in 1642?

Case study 2: 1640-42 - Source 9

Simplified transcript

Petition from the confused gentry of Somerset, August 1642

(Catalogue ref: SP 16/491/117)

[Extra explanations are in square brackets.]

And we hear contrary [different] commands issued from the commanders of both places, to the great terror of us who are ready to obey all commands based on the laws of this kingdom.

We humbly ask to avoid the miseries that may befall us by means of contrary commands. We ask that his gracious Majesty would please suspend the carrying out of the Commission of Array [the king's orders for the militia, the soldiers of each county]. We ask that the High Court of Parliament would likewise please suspend the carrying out of their order for the militia. We ask that his Majesty and the members of both Houses of Parliament would please assemble again and come to an arrangement about the militia of this kingdom according to the law. Or take some other good course to establish the peace and security of this kingdom. And we ask that in the meantime the militia of this county be controlled by the Justices of the Peace of this county according to the laws now in force.