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It commences thus: "Forasmuch as divers and sundry persons of the king's subjects of this realm, to whom God of His goodness hath disposed great plenty and abundance of movable substance, now of late, within few years, have daily studied, practised, and invented ways and means how they might gather and accumulate together into few hands, as well great multitude of farms, as great plenty of cattle and in especial sheep, putting such lands as they can get to pasture and not to tillage: whereby they have not only pulled down churches and towns, and enhanced the old rates of the rents of possessions of this realm, or else brought it to such excessive fines that no poor man is able to meddle with it, but have also raised and enhanced the prices of all manner of corn, cattle, wool, pigs, geese, hens, chickens, eggs, and such commodities almost double above the prices which hath been accustomed, by reason whereof a marvellous multitude of the poor people of this realm be not able to provide meat, drink, and clothes necessary for themselves, their wives, and children, but be so discouraged with misery and poverty, that they fall daily to theft, robbery, and other inconveniences, or pitifully die for hunger and cold; and it is thought by the king's humble and loving subjects, that one of the greatest occasions that moveth those greedy and covetous people so to accumulate and keep in their hands such great portions and parts of the lands of this realm from the occupying of the poor husbandmen, and so use it in pasture and not in tillage, is the great profit that cometh of sheep, which be now come into a few persons' hands, in respect of the whole number of the king's subjects, so that some have 24,000, some 20,000, some 10,000, some 6000, some 5000, and some more or less, by which a good sheep for victual, which was accustomed to be sold for 2s. 4d. or 3s. at most, is now sold for 6s., 5s., or 4s. at the least; and a stone of clothing wool, that in some shire of this realm was accustomed to be sold from 16d. to 20d, is now sold for 4s. or 3s. 4d. at the least; and in some counties, where it has been sold for 2s. 4d. to 2s. 8d., or 3s. at the most, it is now 5s. or 4s. 8d. at the least, and so arreysed in every part of the realm, which things thus used to be principally to the high displeasure of Almighty God, to the decay of the hospitality of this realm, to the diminishing king's people, and the let of the cloth making, whereby many poor people hath been accustomed to be set on work; and in conclusion, if remedy be not found, it may turn to the utter destruction and dissolution of this realm which God defend."