..There is one Richard Overton, a desperate sectary, one of Lilburne's breed and followers, who hath printed many scandalous things against the House of Peers, and notice being given of him, there was an order granted for the taking of him and seizing of his press (a press that had printed many wicked pamphlets, that have come out of late, against the King, the Lords, the Presbyterial government, the City [of London]; and for a toleration, and liberty, destructive to all religion, laws and government, yea overthrowing by the principles laid down in them the power of the House of Commons, whilst they seem to cry up and invest that House with the monopoly of all the power of the Kingdom); who, being apprehended by the messengers sent out for him, was brought before a committee of the House of Lords, where he refused to answer any questions, and carried himself with a great deal of contempt and scorn, both in words and gesture; and after this being brought before the House of Lords, he refused to answer any questions propounded by the Speaker as in the name of the House, and to that question, whether he were a printer or no, he would not answer, but told them he was resolved not to make answer to any interrogatories that should infringe his property, right or freedom in particular, or the rights, freedoms and properties of the nation in general. Besides, he gave saucy and peremptory words to the House of Lords; and appealed from the House of Lords to the House of Commons; whereupon the Lords committed him to Newgate, as he most justly deserved [on August 11 1646]. Now since his commitment to Newgate, there are some wicked railing pamphlets come out in his name, and sold openly; pamphlets venting a company of cursed principles, both against religion and civil government, tending to nothing else but the overthrow of the fundamental constitution of this Kingdom in King, Lords and Commons, and setting up the body of the common people, as the sovereign lord and king; denying King and Lords any power, and the House of Commons any further than the people's deputies, and at the pleasure and will of the people; and to the ruin of religion, by pleading against the ordinance for punishing blasphemies and heresies'. . .
There is one John Lilburne, an arch sectary, the great darling of the sectaries, highly extolled and magnified by them in many pamphlets called, 'The Defender of the Faith', 'A Pearl in a Dunghill', 'That worthy sufferer for his country's liberty', 'This worthy man', (a precious jewel indeed) of whom I had thought to have given a full relation in this book, and to have laid him open in all his colours, by following him from place to place, and showing how time after time he hath behaved himself since he came out of his apprenticeship: as by declaring what set him first on work to print books against the bishops; how he carried himself in the Fleet whilst he was prisoner there, [after his punishment in Star Chamber in 1638 for distributing forbidden religious literature]; how since this Parliament both before the wars began and since the wars, how whilst he was a prisoner in Oxford [in the winter of 1642 43], how in the Earl of Manchester's army, how in the City at many meetings about petitions since he left the wars, how before the Committee of Examinations [of the House of Commons], how the first time he was in Newgate by order of the House of Commons [AugustOctober 1645 after an attack on the Commons' Speaker William Lenthall]; how be behaved himself before the House of Lords, and how the second time of his imprisonment in Newgate [in June 1646 for his opposition to the Earl of Manchester] and how since his last commitment to the Tower [from August 1646]; but because this narration alone will take up some sheets, there being many remarkable things to be written of him, of his insolent ungodly practices, and of his anarchical principles, destructive to all civil government whatsoever, and I have already filled up that number of sheets I at first intended when I resolved to write this third part (though I have many things yet to put in this third part); therefore I must defer it till a fourth part, and shall then, by the help of God, do it so largely and fully that I shall make his folly and wickedness known to all men, and vindicate the honour and power of the House of Peers from his, and all the sectaries' wicked libels; showing the weakness of those principles, that all power ~n government is founded upon the immediate free election of all those that are to be governed; and of a necessity, that all who are to be subJect and obey must be represented; and that all who have power in government must be representers; which I shall do for the vindication of the just legal power of the King, the House of Lords, yea, and of the Commons; undertaking to make it good, that according to the sectarian principles now vented in so many books daily, and so much countenanced by too many, the power and privilege of the House of Commons would be overthrown and cut short as well as the King and Lords . . .
Many. . . instances I could give of those who have by the laws of England and other kingdoms, power of government, and that most justly, without any immediate election of the people, and persons to be governed by them; so that we must look for some other foundations and grounds of giving one man, or more, power in government over all, besides this immediate election and representation, which will be found firm and strong, and which indeed give the force to election and which in several cases, without any immediate election of the present persons to be governed, binds them before God and men to obedience and subjection in all lawful things. . .
The reader may observe what difference there is between the same sectaries in the year 1645 and the year 1646, such new light hath the success of the New Model, and the recruit [ie. the election of new members to replace expelled royalists] of the House of Commons brought to the sectaries . .
[Source: Thomas Edwards (1646) Gangraena, the third part, pp. 1489, 1536 and 158.]