That thro’ the Decay of Trade, and other great Losses, during the late and present Warr; as also thro’ the Excessive Crowd of Foreigners, who have encroach’d on them in their respective Callings, have thereby fail’d: and to avoid perrishing in Prison, were forc’d to run into the Mint for shelter, where many of them lye on the Ground in a starving Condition for want of House-room, which makes their Condition as miserable as those of the Common side in Newgate.
And whereas it’s suppos’d, that Men of Substance come into the Mint, with a Design to Defraud their Creditors, which throw’s an Odium on the poorer sort, who Abhor such unjustifiable practices, and are willing to submit their Conditions to the strictest Examination.
That by Relieving such, the Men of Substance will be expos’d to the power of the Law. And if thought fit, a Clause may be inserted, wherein it shall be Premunire in any Man to Resist a Legal Process.
Wherefore they most humbly refer their unheard of Misery and Distress to this August Assembly as your Own poor Natives, and most humbly Pray, that out of your Charitable Goodness, you will please to allow them the full benefit of the Act for Relief of Insolvent Debtours in as ample a mannor as if Actually Prisoners in the several Goales in and about the Cities of London and Westminster.
And they shall ever Pray, &c.
Source: EEBO-TCP at the Oxford Text Archive.
Note: The English Short Title Catalogue has two entries for this item, dating one as possibly from 1700, the other as possibly from 1712. Four references in the text, to the parliament of Great Britain, to the wars ongoing, to an act for relief of insolvent debtors, and to ‘men of substance’ coming into the mint to defraud their creditors, date this to after 1707 but before 1714; that is, after the act of Union between England and Scotland, during the War of the Spanish Succesion (1701 to 1714), after the debates in Parliament on bankruptcy (1705/6), and after either the 1704 or 1712 relief acts make the latter more likely.