the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and
Ireland, defender of the faith, &c. To all our loving
subjects of what degree or quality so-ever, greeting. If
the general distraction and confusion which is spread over
the whole kingdom doth not awaken all men to a desire and
longing that those wounds which have so many years
together been kept bleeding may be bound up, all we can
say will be to no purpose. However, after this long
silence, we have thought it our duty to declare how much
we desire to contribute thereunto; and that, as we can
never give over the hope in goodtime to obtain the
possession of that right which God and nature hath made
our due, so we do make it our daily suit to the divine
Providence, that he will, in compassion to us and our
subjects, after so long misery and sufferings, remit, and
put us into a quiet and peaceable possession of that our
right, with as little blood and damage to our people as is
possible: nor do we desire more to enjoy what is ours,
than that all our subjects may enjoy what by law is
theirs, by a full and entire administration of justice
throughout the land, and by extending our mercy where it
is wanted and deserved. And to the end that the fear of
punishment may not engage any conscious to themselves of
what is past to a perseverance in guilt for the future, by
opposing the quiet and happiness of their country in the
restoration both of king, peers, and people to their just,
ancient, and fundamental rights, we do by these presents
declare, that we do grant a free and general pardon, which
we are ready upon demand, to pass under our great seal of
England, to allow subjects, of what degree or quality
soever, who within forty days after the publishing hereof
shall lay hold upon this our grace and favour, and shall
by any public act declare their doing so, and that they
return to the loyalty and obedience of good subjects;
excepting only such persons as shall hereafter be excepted
by Parliament. Those only excepted, let all our subjects,
how faulty soever, rely upon the word of a king, solemnly
given by this present Declaration, that no crime
whatsoever committed against us or our royal father,
before the publication of this, shall ever rise in
judgement, or be brought in question, against any of them
to the least endamagement of them, either in their lives,
liberties, or estates, or (as far forth as lies in our
power) so much as to the prejudice of their reputations,
by any reproach, or term of distinction from the rest of
our best subjects; we desiring and ordaining, that
henceforward all notes of discord, separation, and
difference of parties, be utterly abolished among all our
subjects; whom we invite and conjure to a perfect union
among themselves, under our protection, for the
resettlement of our just rights and theirs, in a free
parliament; by which, upon the word of a king, we will be
advised. And because the passion and uncharitableness of
the times have produced several opinions in religion, by
which men are engaged in parties and animosities against
each other; which, when they shall hereafter unite in a
freedom of conversation will be com-posed, or better
understood; we do declare a liberty to tender consciences;
and that no man shall be disquieted, or called in
question, for differences of opinion in matters of
religion which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom;
and that we shall be ready to consent to such an act of
parliament, as, upon mature deliberation, shall be offered
to us, for the full granting that indulgence. And because
in the continued distractions of so many years, and so
many and great revolutions, many grants and purchases of
estates have been made to and by many officers, soldiers,
and others, who are now possessed of the same, and who may
be liable to actions at law, upon several titles; we are
likewise willing that all such differences, and all things
relating to such grants, sales, and purchases, shall be
determined in parliament; which can best provide for the
just satisfaction of all men who are concerned. And we do
farther declare, that we will be ready to consent to any
act or acts of parliament to the purposes aforesaid, and
for the full satisfaction of all arrears due to the
officers and soldiers of the army under the command of
General Monk; and that they shall be received into our
service upon as good pay and conditions as they now enjoy.
Given under our sign manual, and privy signet, at our
court at Breda, the 4/14th day of April 1660,in the
twelfth year of our reign.