Charles II, The Declaration of Breda (1660)

If the general distraction and confusion which is spread over the whole kingdom doth not awaken all men to a desire and longing that these 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 hope in good time 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 us 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 wanting 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 full and general pardon, which we are ready to pass under our Great Seal of England, to all our subjects of what degree or quality soever who within forty days after the publication hereof shall lay hold upon this our grace and favour and shall by any public act declare their doing so.