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101. The Constitutional Bill of the First Parliament of the Protectorate.

[1654-5. From a MS. in the possession of Lord Braye. See Commonwealth and Protectorate, iii. 197-320, 234-245.]

An Act declaring and settling the government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging. [11 Nov., 1654.]

[Cap. 1.] Be it enacted and declared by His Highness the Lord Protector and the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging; and it is hereby enacted and declared by the authority aforesaid, that the supreme legislative authority[1] of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging, is and shall reside in one person and the people assembled in Parliament in manner following, that is to say, All Bills agreed unto by the Parliament shall be presented to the said single person for his consent, and, in case he shall not give his consent thereunto within twenty days after they shall be presented unto him, or give satisfaction to the Parliament within the time limited, that then such Bills shall pass into and become law, although he shall not consent thereunto; provided such Bills contain nothing in them contrary to such matters wherein the single person is hereby declared to have a negative.

[14 Nov., 1654. Cap. 2.] That if any Bill be tendered at any time hereafter to alter the foundation and constitution of the government of this Commonwealth from a single person and a Parliament as aforesaid, that to such Bills the single person is hereby declared shall have a negative.

[16 Nov., 1654. Cap. 3.] That the style of such single person is and shall be Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging.

[6 Dec., 1654. Cap. 4.] That the office of the Lord Protector over these nations shall be elective and not hereditary.

[30 Nov., 1654. Cap. 5.] That the manner of electing the Protector, in the vacancy of a Protector (sitting the Parliament), shall be such as the Parliament shall think fit.

That the Protector dying in the intervals of Parliament, the Council, hereby to be constituted, shall immediately assemble in some convenient place, and having given notice to all their number, or to as many of them as conveniently they may, of the cause and time of their assembling, shall (being thirteen at least present) proceed to the election, and eleven of these or more shall agree who shall be the succeeding Protector, and before they depart shall declare such person so agreed upon to succeed in the government: the manner of election in all other things to be as the Council shall think fit.

[Cap. 6.] That the person so to be elected Protector shall be such and no other than as, by his good conversation amongst the people of these nations, shall manifest himself to be a man of ability, truth, and courage, fearing God and hating covetousness: provided that he shall not be under the age of five-and-twenty years, no alien, nor Papist, nor any of the children of the late King Charles, nor such as shall have or may pretend to have title of inheritance unto the supreme government of these nations of England, Scotland, and Ireland; or any of them, or any other title than by election as aforesaid.

[15 Dec., 1654. CAP. 7] That the present Lord Protector shall take and subscribe a solemn oath for the due calling of Parliaments, and the good government of these nations, and every future Lord Protector, immediately after his election, and before he enter upon the government, shall take and subscribe the same solemn oath for the due calling of Parliament, and the good government of these nations; that such oath shall be taken in Parliament, if the Parliament be then sitting, and in the intervals of Parliament in such public place and manner as the Council shall appoint.

[Cap. 8.] That this shall be the oath to be ministered to the Lord Protector, viz.: ' I do, in the presence and by the name of God Almighty, promise and swear that to the uttermost of my power, I will uphold and maintain the true reformed Protestant Christian religion in the purity thereof, as it is contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and encourage the profession and professors of the same; and will duly cause Parliaments to be summoned and called; and that I will not wittingly or willingly violate nor infringe the liberties and privileges of Parliament, or any of the matters or things contained in the Act of Parliament declaring and settling the government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland; and will in all things, to the best of my understanding, govern according to the laws, statutes, customs, and liberties of the people of these nations; and will seek their peace and welfare according to those laws, customs, and liberties; and cause justice and law to be equally and duly administered.'

[15 Dec. 1654. Cap. 9.] That immediately after the death of every Lord Protector, and after the election of a succeeding Lord Protector, a Parliament be summoned to meet, if a Parliament be not then sitting, or not to meet within four months by force of this Act, or not then already summoned.

[6 Dec. 1654. Cap. 10.] That the exercise of the Chief Magistracy over this Commonwealth and the people thereof shall be in the Lord Protector assisted with the Council, the exercise of which power shall be according to the respective laws and customs of these nations of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging.

[20 Dec., 1654. CAP. 11.] That after the death of any Lord Protector, and until the next Lord Protector shall be elected and sworn, the Council shall take care of the government and administer in all things as fully as the Lord Protector or the Lord Protector and Council are enabled to do.

[Cap. 12] That no writ of summons to any Parliament or any other writ, process, patents, commissions, nor any proceedings in law or justice shall be discontinued or made void by the death of any Lord Protector.

[Cap. 13.] That all writs, process, patents, commissions, and proceedings in law or justice, issuing forth or being after any succeeding Lord Protector shall be elected and sworn, shall issue forth and be in the name of such Lord Protector, and are hereby declared to be of full force in law to all intents and purposes; and that all former writs, process, patents, commissions, offices, and officers, shall continue and be in full force as they should have been in if the said Lord Protector had been still living.

[Cap. 14.] That all writs, process, commissions, patents, grants, and other things which heretofore did or might lawfully have passed or issued in the name or style of the Keepers of the Liberties of England by authority of Parliament, shall pass and issue in the name of the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging.

[Cap. 15.] That such titles of honour as shall be hereafter conferred in this Commonwealth, shall be derived from the Lord Protector: and that no title of honour hereafter to be conferred by the said Protector shall be hereditary without consent in Parliament.

[Cap. 16.] That it shall not be in the power of the said Lord Protector to pardon murder.

That it shall not be in the power of the said Lord Protector to pardon treason.

That the Lord Protector with the consent of the Council shall have power of pardon, except in case of murder and treason; provided that no pardon extend to exempt any Councillors of State, Judges, Officers, or other Ministers of State from being questioned or sentenced in Parliament for any maladministration or corruption in his office or employment, or for any sentence or judgment agreed upon in Parliament, or any execution thereof, nor shall extend to pardon any person for any breach of privilege of Parliament, nor any other sentence or judgment thereupon.

[16 Nov., 1654. Cap. 17.] That Oliver Cromwell, Captain-General of the forces of England, Scotland and Ireland, is, and shall be, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging for his life.

[18 Dec., 1654. Cap. 18.] That a constant yearly revenue of 200,000 by the year be settled and stablished upon the now Lord Protector, and the succeeding Lords Protectors, for the time being respectively, for defraying the necessary charges for administration of justice, and other expenses of the government, and for the support of his and their state and dignity as may be for the honour of this Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland: and that the said .200,000 by the year be constantly paid out of the public receipt of the Exchequer by warrant of the Lord Protector and the Council, and shall not be taken away nor diminished without the consent of the Lord Protector and the Parliament.

[19 Dec., 1654. Cap. 19.] That Whitehall, St. James' House and Park, the Mews, Somerset House, Greenwich House and Park, Hampton Court, and the Honour and Manor of Hampton Court, with the parks and grounds thereunto belonging, Windsor Castle, the little park there, and other the lauds thereunto now belonging, and the house called the Manor near the city of York, with their and every of their appurtenances now unsold and undisposed of, be vested in the present Lord Protector, for the maintenance of his and their state and dignity, and shall not be aliened but by consent in Parliament.

[24 Nov., 1654. Cap. 20.] That a Parliament be summoned to meet and sit at Westminster the third Monday of October, 1656.

[Cap. 21.] That a Parliament shall be summoned to meet and sit at Westminster upon the third Monday in October, 1659, and so likewise on the third Monday in October in every third year successively.

[Cap. 22.] That neither this present Parliament, nor the Parliament which shall be summoned to meet on the third Monday of October, 1656, nor the Parliament that shall be summoned to meet on the third Monday in October in the year 1659, nor any succeeding triennial Parliament shall, during the time of twenty-six weeks, to be accounted from the day of their first meeting, be adjourned, prorogued, or dissolved without their own consent.

[Cap. 23.] That neither this present Parliament, which shall be summoned to meet on the third Monday in October, 1656, nor the Parliament that shall be summoned to meet on the third Monday in October, 1659, nor any successive triennial Parliament, shall continue above twenty-six weeks without the Lord Protector's consent, to be by Act of Parliament, in which Act there shall be a limited time for their sitting, not exceeding thirteen weeks.

[Cap. 24.] That the Lord Protector, with the advice of the major part of the Council, shall at any other time than is before expressed, when the necessities of the State shall require, summon Parliaments in manner hereby expressed, which shall not be adjourned, prorogued, or dissolved, without their own consent, during the space of thirteen weeks, to be accounted from the day of their first sitting, nor shall continue to sit beyond that time without the consent of the Lord Protector to be by Act of Parliament, in which Act there shall be a limited time for their sitting, not exceeding four weeks, provided that such Parliament shall end and be determined before the summoning of such Parliaments as are before hereby appointed.

[Cap. 25.] That the summons to Parliament shall be by writ under the Great Seal of England, directed to the Sheriffs and other officers (according to law) of the several and respective counties and places in manner and form following: —

' Oliver, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, to the Sheriff of the County of ____, greeting. Whereas, in the Parliament holden at Westminster the third day of September, 1654, it is amongst other things enacted that Parliament shall be duly held in such manner as therein is expressed, and, to that end, that a Parliament be holden at the City of Westminster the day of next coming, there for us to consult with the knights, citizens, and burgesses of the said Commonwealth, of the weighty and urgent affairs concerning us, the state and defence of the said Commonwealth, and the maintenance of the true reformed Protestant Christian religion in purity thereof: we do command you firmly, enjoining that proclamation being made of the day and place aforesaid in every market town within your county, you cause, according to the form of the said statute, to be freely and indifferently chosen by them who shall be present at such election of the most fit and discreet persons to serve as knights with their swords girt, for the County of and for the City of, citizens of the most discreet and sufficient, and the names of the same knights, citizens, and burgesses so to be chosen, whether present or absent, you cause to be certified in certain indentures thereupon to be made between you and them who shall be present at such choice, and that you cause them to come at the day and place aforesaid; so that the knights severally may have full and sufficient power for themselves and the people of that county and borough aforesaid, to do and consent to those things which then and there by common counsel of the said Commonwealth in Parliament by God's blessing shall be ordained upon the weighty affairs aforesaid; so that for defect of such power, or by reason of improvident choice of the knights, citizens, and burgesses aforesaid, the said affairs may not be left undone in any wise, and we will that you be not chosen to serve as knight for your said county: and that the said choice in your full county distinctly and openly so to be made, you forthwith certify to us in our Chancery under your seals and the seals of them which shall be present at such choice, sending to us the other part of the said indentures annexed, together with this writ: and in your proceedings and execution hereof, we will that you pursue and observe the several directions limited and appointed by the said Act of Parliament. Witness ourselves, &c.,' which said writ the Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Seal shall issue and send abroad by warrant from the Lord Protector.

[Cap. 26.] That in case the Lord Protector shall not before the first of July, 1656, give warrant for issuing out of writs of summons for a Parliament to meet the third Monday in October, 1656, and before the first day of July, 1659, give warrant for issuing forth of summons for a Parliament to meet the third Monday in October, 1659, and before the first day of July in every third year after that time give warrant for issuing writs of summons for a Parliament to meet every third Monday in October every third year successively, that then the Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioner of the Great Seal for the time being, shall, without any warrant or direction, within seven days after the respective times aforesaid, seal, issue, and send abroad writs of summons to the several and respective Sheriffs of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and other officers for summoning another Parliament to meet at Westminster the third Monday in October, 1659, and for other Parliaments to meet at Westminster on the third Monday in October in every third year successively; and that the said Sheriffs and other officers respectively shall, within ten days after the receipt of such writs as aforesaid, cause the same to be proclaimed and published in every market town in the said county upon the market days thereof, between twelve and three of the clock, and shall then also publish and declare the certain day of the week and month and the certain place for electing of members to serve in Parliament for the body of the said county according to the tenor of the said writ, which election shall be within six weeks after the date of the said writ; but not until fourteen days after all the proclamations made as aforesaid: for which purpose the Sheriff shall appoint some convenient day, and the usual or some other convenient and indifferent place for the electors of each county and place to meet in, and shall proceed to election between the hours of eight and eleven before noon: and shall send precepts for elections to be made in all and every city, town, borough, or place within his and their county and place where elections are to be made, to the Mayor, Sheriff, or other head officer, and officers of such city, town, borough, or place, within six days after the receipt of such writ and writs, which the said Mayor, Sheriff, and other officers respectively within eight days after the receipt of the said precept are to make publication of, and of the certain day for such elections to be made in the said city, town, or place aforesaid, and cause elections to be made accordingly within eight days after publication of the said precept made as aforesaid, provided that the usual place for elections for the county of Sussex shall be at Lewes.

[25 Nov., 1654. Cap. 27] That at the day and place of elections, the Sheriff of each county, and the said Mayor, Sheriffs, and Bailiffs and other head officer and officers within the cities, towns, and boroughs and places respectively, shall take view of the said elections, and shall make return into the Chancery, within twenty days after the said elections, of the persons elected by the greater number of electors under the hands and seal of twelve or more of the said electors on the behalf of himself on the one part, and on the behalf of the electors on the other part, wherein shall be contained that the persons elected shall not have power to alter the government from one single person and a Parliament.

[Cap. 28.] That the Sheriff who shall wittingly or willingly make any false return, or wittingly or willingly neglect his duty in execution of the premises, shall incur the penalty of 200 of lawful English money, and that every Mayor, Sheriff, or Bailiff, or other head-officer of any city, town, borough, or place aforesaid, who shall wittingly or wilfully make any false return, or wittingly or wilfully neglect his duty in the execution of the premises, shall incur the penalty of 100 of like lawful English money; the one moiety of all and every the penalties aforesaid to go to the Lord Protector, and the other moiety to such party grieved as shall sue for the same in any of the Courts of record at Westminster, by any action [of] debt, bill, plaint, or information, wherein shall be no wager of law, essoign, or protection allowed; which suit shall not be commenced until the Parliament hath adjudged the same to be such offence as aforesaid.

[27 Nov., 1654. Cap. 29.] That all and every person and persons who have voluntarily aided, advised, assisted, or abetted in any war against the Parliament since the first day of October, 1641, unless they have been since in the service of the Parliament, and given signal testimony of their good affections thereunto; and also all and every person and persons whatsoever professing the Popish religion, or that did side, advise, assist, or abet in the Rebellion of Ireland before the 15th of September, 1643, shall during their lives be disabled and incapable to be elected or to give any vote in election of any members to serve in any Parliament.

[Cap. 30.] That all votes and elections given or made contrary or not according to the aforesaid qualifications, shall be void and of none effect; and if any person who is by these aforesaid qualifications made incapable shall give his vote for election of members to serve in Parliament, such person shall lose and forfeit one full year's value of his real estate; and one full third part of his personal estate, one moiety thereof to the Lord Protector, and the other moiety to him or them who shall sue for the same in any of the Courts of record at Westminster by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information wherein shall be no wager of law, essoign, or protection allowed.

[Cap. 31.] That the persons who shall be elected to serve in Parliament shall be such and none other than such as are persons of known integrity, fearing God, and of good conversation, and being of the age of one and twenty years, and not such as are disabled by the Act of the 17th of King Charles, intituled An Act for disabling all persons in Holy Orders to exercise any temporal jurisdiction or authority, nor such as are public ministers or public preachers of the Gospel, nor such as are guilty of any of the offences mentioned in an Act of Parliament bearing date the 9th of August, 1650, intituled An Act against several atheistical, blasphemous, and execrable opinions derogatory to the honour of God and destructive to human society; no common scoffer nor reviler of religion, or of any person or persons for professing thereof; nor persons that have married or shall marry a wife of the Popish religion, or hath trained or shall train up his child or children, or any other child or children under his tuition or government in the Popish religion; or that shall permit or suffer such child or children to be trained up in that said religion, or hath given or shall give his consent that his sou or daughter shall marry any of that religion, no person that shall deny the Scriptures to be the word of God, or the sacraments, prayer, magistracy, and ministry to be the ordinances of God; no common profaner of the Lord's day, nor profane swearer, nor curser; no drunkard or common haunter[2] of taverns or ale-houses.

[Cap. 32.] That all and every person and persons not within the aforesaid exceptions having au estate in freehold to the yearly value of forty shillings within any county, riding, limit, or place (to be declared upon oath by such person or persons, is required, and which said oath the Sheriffs or their deputies are hereby empowered to give), shall be capable to give his or their votes for the election of members for such county, riding, limit, or place, where such land or estate doth lie, provided this extends not to alter any ancient customs, charters, privileges of any cities, boroughs, towns, or corporations who have hereby right to elect members of Parliament, but the same to continue as formerly, anything in these presents to the contrary notwithstanding.

[6 Jan., 1654/5. Cap. 33.] That the now Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal shall forthwith take a solemn oath in Parliament for the due issuing and sending abroad writs of summoning to Parliament, according to the tenor of the Act, which oath shall be in these words: 'I do, in the presence and in the name of Almighty God, promise and swear that I will, to the utmost of my power, truly and faithfully issue forth and send abroad writs of summons to Parliament at such times and in such manner as is expressed and enjoined by an Act of Parliament, intituled An Act declaring and settling the government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging'; and such Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioner of the Great Seal as shall hereafter be, shall before they enter unto their said office, take the same oath in Parliament (sitting the Parliament), and in the interval of Parliament the same shall be administered to them by the two Chief Justices, and the Chief Baron for the time being, or one of them.

That if the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal for the time being shall not issue and send abroad in manner and at the times hereby to them limited and appointed, writs of summons to the several and respective Sheriffs and other officers for England, Scotland, and Ireland, for summoning a Parliament to meet at Westminster on the third Monday in October, 1656, and for summoning another Parliament to meet at Westminster on the third Monday in October, 1659; and for summoning other Parliaments to meet at Westminster on the third Monday in October, every third year successively; and shall not issue and send abroad by authority hereof and without further warrant like writs of summons (within ten days after the death of every Lord Protector and after the election of another Lord Protector) for the summoning of a Parliament to meet at Westminster within forty days the next following (if a Parliament be not then sitting, or not to meet within four months, or not then already summoned), every such wilful neglect and failure of issuing and sending out writ of summons as aforesaid, is hereby adjudged and declared to bo High Treason, and all and every Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lord Commissioner of the Great Seal so neglecting or failing, shall be adjudged guilty of High Treason, and shall suffer the pains and penalties thereof. And in case writs be not it sued out as is before expressed, but that there be a neglect therein fifteen days after the time wherein the same ought to be issued out by the Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Seal, and in case the Sheriff or other officer shall not receive such writs within fifteen days aforesaid, that then every such Sheriff or other officer shall within ten days after the said fifteen days, as fully to all intents and purposes as if such writs had been issued forth and received as aforesaid, cause proclamation to be made in every market town within his or their county or counties, riding, and places, upon the market days thereof between twelve and three of the clock, declaring the certain place and the day of the week and month for electing of members to serve Parliament for the body of the said county or counties, riding, or places respectively in such manner and form as is before provided, which said elections are to be made within twenty days after the said ten days, and shall send precepts for elections to be made in all and every city, town, borough, and place within his or their county or counties, riding, or place where elections are to be made, to the Mayor, Bailiff, or other officer or officers of such city, town, borough, or places within six days after the said fifteen days, which precept the said Mayors, Bailiffs, or other officer or officers respectively within eight days after the receipt of the said precept are to make publication of and of the certain day for such elections to be made accordingly within eight days after proclamation of the said precepts made as aforesaid, to the end there may be no failures, but that the Parliament may assemble and be held at Westminster at the usual place, and at the same times hereby appointed; and in case the said Sheriff, or Sheriffs, or other officer or officers authorised as aforesaid shall neglect his or their duty therein, so as through his or their neglect there shall be a failure or disappointment of the said elections, and all and every wilful neglect or failure by such Sheriff or Sheriffs, officer or officers authorised as aforesaid is hereby adjudged and declared to be High Treason, and every such Sheriff or Sheriffs, officer or officers, shall be adjudged guilty of High Treason, and shall suffer the pains and penalties thereof.

And in case by failure or neglect of the said Sheriffs and other officers, elections shall not be made before the five and twentieth day of August, 1656, of knights, citizens, and burgesses, to meet in Parliament at Westminster in the third Monday in October in the same year; and if like elections for succeeding Parliaments shall not be made before the five and twentieth day of August in every third year successively; that in case of any such failure or neglect, the freeholders of the said several and respective counties, ridings, and places, and the citizens, burgesses, and other persons having voices in such elections, and being qualified as aforesaid, within their several cities, boroughs, towns, and places respectively shall by authority hereof, without any other notice or warrant, assemble and meet on the second Wednesday in September next following after the five and twentieth day of August in every third year successively at the places where they [met] formerly for the selection of members to the then last preceding Parliament, and there between the hours of eight and eleven in the forenoon, shall respectively proceed to the election of such fit and discreet persons qualified as aforesaid to serve in Parliament as knights, citizens, and burgesses for their said several counties, ridings, cities, boroughs, towns and places respectively, as if writs of summons had been issued and sent abroad; and at the day and place of election such justices or justice of peace of every the said counties, ridings, and places respectively who shall be present at the said elections and not elected; and if no such justices or justice of the peace be at the said election; then the major part of the electors being present for the said counties, ridings, and places, and the Mayor, Bailiff, or other head officer of every the said cities, boroughs, towns, and places who shall be present at the said election, and not elected, and if no such head officer be present, then the major part of the electors that shall be at the said election shall by authority hereof respectively make returns into the Chancery within ten days after the said elections of the persons elected by indentures under the hands and seals of the said electors or the major part of them; wherein shall be contained that the persons so elected shall not have power to alter the government from one single person and a Parliament, and the Clerk of the Commonwealth in Chancery, or such other officer or officers to whom it appertains shall accept and receive the returns of such elections, and file and record them according to law in like manner as if writs of summons had issued and been executed, as hath been used and accustomed, which persons so elected and returned as aforesaid for knights, citizens, and burgesses, shall have as full and sufficient power for themselves and the people of their respective counties, cities, boroughs, towns, and places, to sit and act in Parliament as if the said Sheriffs and other officers had received writs of summons, and had made such returns; and that such knights, citizens, and burgesses so chosen shall appear and serve in Parliament at the times and place aforesaid, and shall each of them be liable to such pains and censures for his and their not appearing and serving then and there in Parliament, as if he and they had been elected and chosen by virtue of a writ under the Great Seal, and shall be likewise subject unto such further pains and censures as by the rest of the knights, citizens, and burgesses assembled in Parliament he or they shall be adjudged unto, any writ, proclamation, edict, act, restraint, prohibition, order, or warrant to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding; and every county that shall neglect or fail to make such elections and returns in manner and at the times aforesaid, shall forfeit the sum of 1000 to the use of the Commonwealth; and every city, borough, town, or place that shall neglect or fail to make such elections and returns in manner and at the times aforesaid, shall forfeit 200 to the use of the Commonwealth, to be sued for, recovered, and disposed of as the ensuing Parliament shall direct.

[Cap. 34.] That the Council be hereby empowered to examine upon oath as touching any articles of popery or delinquency mentioned in Cap. 29 against any person or persons returned for members of Parliament, and, if they shall find such charge to be true, and shall certify the same to the Parliament, the first day of the sitting of the Parliament, that then such members shall not sit until the House have adjudged of the same.

[Cap. 35.] That the persons chosen and assembled in manner aforesaid, or any sixty of them, shall be and be deemed the Parliament of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

[Cap. 36.] That the persons to be chosen within England, Wales, and the Town of Berwick upon Tweed to sit and serve in Parliament shall be and not exceed the number of four hundred, viz.: —

[The list of constituencies with the number of members allotted to them follows here. It is, however, imperfect, many counties being omitted. The list, so far as it is given, is almost exactly the same as that in the Instrument of Government. The exceptions are that, in Kent, Hythe is to return one member in the place of Queenborough; that, in Leicestershire, the city of Leicester is to return one member instead of two, the number of members allotted to the county being increased from four to five; that, in Oxfordshire, Banbury is to return a member instead of Woodstock, and that the County of Carmarthen loses one member which is given to the borough.]

[Cap. 37.] That the persons to be chosen within Scotland to sit and serve in Parliament shall be and not exceed the number of thirty.

That the persons to be chosen within Ireland to sit and serve in Parliament shall be and not exceed the number of thirty.

[Cap. 38.] That the Lord Protector for the time being shall be assisted with a Council.

[Cap. 39.] That the persons who shall be of the Council shall be such as shall be nominated by the said Lord Protector, and approved by the Parliament.

[5 Dec., 1654] That the number of the persons who shall be of the Council shall be, and not exceed, one and twenty.

That eleven of them shall be a council,[3] and not under.

[15 Dec., 1654. Cap. 40.] That no person shall continue to be of the Council longer than forty days after the meeting of each succeeding Parliament without a new approbation of the Parliament. That such persons as shall be of the Council before they shall take their trust upon them shall take a solemn oath for the faithful discharge of their duty in that employment; which oath shall be taken in Parliament (sitting the Parliament), and in the interval of Parliament, before the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal for the time being, which oath shall be as follows, viz.: ' I do, in the presence and by the name of Almighty God, promise and swear that I will be true and faithful in performance of the trust committed unto me as one of the Council: and that I will not reveal or disclose anything in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, that shall be debated or resolved upon by the Council; wherein secrecy shall be enjoined by the said Council, without the direction of the Lord Protector or the Parliament, or leave of the Council: and that in the election of every successive Lord Protector, I will proceed thereon faithfully and impartially according to an Act of Parliament, intituled An Act declaring and settling the government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland: and do nothing therein for any promise, fear, favour, or reward. I will to the best of my knowledge and understanding give faithful advice to the Lord Protector for the time being, in order to the good government, peace, and welfare of these nations, and will not advise, act, or consent unto anything to disadvantage the liberty, property, or interest of the people, contrary to the laws of the land, to the best of my understanding and knowledge, and I will faithfully pursue the instructions and directions which are or shall be given to the Council by the Parliament.'

[7 Dec., 1654. Cap. 41] That the true reformed Protestant Christian religion as it is contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and no other, shall be asserted and maintained as the public profession of these nations.

[8 Dec., 1654. Cap. 42] That in case any Bill shall be tendered to the Lord Protector by the Parliament to compel any person to the said public profession by any penalty to such Bill, the said Lord Protector shall have a negative: provided that such Bills as hereafter shall be agreed upon by the Parliament, requiring from such ministers and preachers of the Gospel (as shall receive public maintenance for instructing the people) a submission and conformity to the public profession aforesaid, or enjoining attendance unto the preaching of the word and other religious duties on the Lord's day in some public church or chapel; or at some other congregational and Christian meeting, shall pass into and become laws within twenty days after the presentation to the Lord Protector, although he shall not give his consent thereunto.

[15 Dec.,1654. Cap. 43.] That without the consent of the Lord Protector and Parliament, no law or statute be made for the restraining of such tender consciences as shall differ in doctrine, worship, or discipline from the public profession aforesaid, and shall not abuse their liberty to the civil injury of others, or the disturbances of the public peace: provided that such bills as shall be agreed upon by the Parliament for restraining of damnable heresies particularly to be enumerated by the Lord Protector and[4] Parliament: and also such bills as shall be agreed upon by the Parliament for the restraining of atheism, blasphemy, popery, prelacy, licentiousness, and profaneness; or such as shall preach, print, or publicly maintain anything contrary to the fundamental principles of doctrines held within the public profession which shall be agreed upon by the Lord Protector and the Parliament, or shall do any overt or public act to the disturbance thereof, shall pass into and become laws within twenty days after their presentation to the Lord Protector, although he shall not give his consent thereunto.

[Cap. 44.] That until some better provision be made by the Parliament for the encouragement and maintenance of able, godly, and painful ministers and public preachers of the Gospel for instructing the people, and for discovery and confutation of errors, heresy, and whatsoever is contrary to sound doctrine, the present public maintenance shall not be taken away nor impeached.

[Cap. 45.] That Oliver Cromwell, the present Lord Protector, during his life (the Parliament sitting) shall by consent of Parliament, and not otherwise, dispose and employ the forces of this Commonwealth by sea and land for the peace and good of the same.

[17 nov., 1654. Cap. 46.] That such of the standing forces of this Commonwealth as shall be agreed to be continued upon the charge of the Commonwealth in the intervals of Parliament shall be ordered and disposed of for the ends aforesaid in the intervals of Parliaments by the present Lord Protector during his life, by and with the advice and consent of the said Council, and not otherwise.

[20 Nov., 1654. Cap. 47.] That the standing forces after the death of the present Lord Protector in the intervals of Parliament shall be in the disposition and ordering of the said Council for the ends aforesaid, until a Parliament be assembled, and then the disposal of the said forces to be made by the Parliament as they shall think fit.

[Cap. 48.] That the standing forces of this Commonwealth both by sea and land during the life of the now Protector shall be no more in number than shall be agreed upon from time to time by the said Lord Protector and the Parliament.

[16 Jan., 1654/5. Cap. 49.] That the sum of 400,000 arising by the customs and the public receipts in England, Scotland, and Ireland, shall be yearly paid out of the public receipts of the Exchequer by warrant of the Lord Protector and the Council, for and towards the maintenance of a convenient number of ships for guarding of the seas, and securing and encouragement of trade; and the maintenance of such garrisons as shall be necessary for the defence of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, which revenue shall continue and not be altered without consent of the Lord Protector and the Parliament; and that the yearly sum of 700,000 more arising by excise or other public receipts in England, Scotland, and Ireland, shall be provided by Parliament and paid out of the Exchequer by warrant of the Lord Protector and the Council for the maintenance and full discharge of such field forces as shall be thought needful to be kept up for the defence of this Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging; and for the payment and full discharge of such forces in garrisons, and naval charges, and all incident charges belonging to every of them as shall not be satisfied and paid out of the 400,000 aforesaid, which said 700,000 shall continue and be paid until the 25th of December, 1659, unless the Lord Protector and the Parliament shall agree to lessen the said sum before that time.

[23 Nov., 1654. Cap. 50.] That such ordinances as heretofore were made by the Lord Protector and his Council before this Parliament, for the raising, bringing in, and disposing of monies for the maintenance of the forces of this Commonwealth by sea and land in England, Scotland, and Ireland; and for the necessary charges of the government, shall remain and continue to the end of this Parliament and no longer, unless the Parliament shall take further order to [the] contrary, or unless the said ordinances shall expire before that time.

[Cap. 51.] That the laws of this Commonwealth shall not be altered, suspended, abrogated, or repealed, nor any new law made, nor any tax, charge, or imposition laid upon the people but by common consent of the people assembled in Parliament.

[Cap. 52.] That the power of making war is only in the Lord Protector and the Parliament.

[Cap. 53.] That sitting the Parliament, no peace shall be concluded, but by consent of Parliament; and in the interval of Parliament the power of making peace shall be in the Lord Protector and the Council, with such reservations and limitations as the Parliament shall approve.

[Cap. 54.] That the said Lord Protector, by the advice and consent of the major part of the Council, shall direct in all things concerning the keeping and holding a good correspondence with foreign kings, princes, and states.

[Cap. 55.] That the Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Seal, the Treasurer or Commissioners of the Treasury, Admiralty, or Commissioners exercising the power of the Lord Admiral; the Chief Governors of Ireland and Scotland; the Chief Justices and the rest of the Judges of both the benches; Chief Baron and the rest of the Barons of the Exchequer, shall be chosen by the approbation of Parliament, and in the interval of Parliament by the approbation of the major part of the Council, to be afterwards approved by the Parliament.

[Cap. 56.] That the Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioners for the Great Seal of Ireland, the Chief Justices and Judges of both benches, and Chief Baron and Barons of the Exchequer in Ireland, shall be chosen by the approbation of the Parliament, and in the interval of Parliament by the approbation of the major part of the Council, to be afterwards approved by the Parliament.

[Cap. 57.] That the Judges of the public Courts of Justice in Scotland shall from henceforth be chosen by the approbation of Parliament, and in the intervals of the Parliament by the approbation of the major part of the Council, to be afterwards approved by the Parliament.

[15 Dec., 1654. Cap. 58.] That the acts and ordinances of Parliament made for the sale or other disposition of the lands, rents, and hereditaments of the late King, Queen, and Prince, of Archbishops and Bishops, Deans and Chapters, the lands of delinquents, and forest lands, or any of them, or of any other lands, tenements, rents, and hereditaments belonging to the Commonwealth, shall no way be impeached or made invalid, but shall remain good and firm, and that the security given by act and ordinances of Parliament for any sum or sums of money by any of the said lands, the excise, or by any other public revenue; and also the securities given by the public faith of the nation, and the engagement of the public faith for satisfaction of the debts and damages shall remain firm and good, and not be made void or invalid upon any pretence whatsoever: provided that the articles given to, or made with the enemy, and afterwards confirmed by Parliament, shall be performed and made good to the persons concerned therein: provided also that all appeals or petitions that were made or exhibited to this Parliament before the first day of December, 1654, for relief concerning bills, may be heard and determined this Parliament.

[Cap. 59.] That the articles herein contained, nor any of them, shall be altered, repealed, or suspended without the consent of the Lord Protector and the Parliament.

[17 Jan., 1654/5] Provided that this Bill, intituled An Act declaring and settling the government of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, be ingrossed in order to its presentment to the Lord Protector for his consideration and consent; and that if the Lord Protector and the Parliament shall not agree thereunto, and to every article thereof, then this Bill shall be void and of none effect.

[19 Jan, 1654.] Provided that this Act for the government does not extend, nor be construed to extend, to abrogate, alter, or diminish any of the charters, customs, liberties, or franchises of the City of London, or any other cities, boroughs, towns corporate, or places within this Commonwealth, saving in such things wherein any alteration is hereby particularly made, but that the City of London, and all other the said cities, boroughs, towns corporate, and places, shall and may have and enjoy their said charters, customs, liberties, and franchises as aforesaid, the said Act or anything therein contained notwithstanding.

[20 Jan., 1654.] Provided that whereas the militia of this Commonwealth ought not to be raised, formed, and made use of, but by common consent of the people assembled in Parliament: be it therefore enacted, that the said militia, consisting of trained forces, shall be settled as the Lord Protector and Parliament shall hereafter agree, in order to the peace and safety of the Commonwealth, and not otherwise.

[1] MS. authoritive.

[2] hunter in MS.

[3] ? a quorum.

[4] This clause was altered by the insertion of the words in italics on Jan. 12. See Commonwealth and Protectorate, iii. 241.


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