96. RECORDS OF THE LONG PARLIAMENT (1640-42)
(A) Triennial Act (1641)
An act for the preventing of inconveniences happening by the long
intermission of parliaments. Whereas by the laws and statutes of this realm the
parliament ought to be holden at least once every year for the redress of
grievances, but the appointment of the time and place for the holding thereof
hath always belonged, as it ought, to his majesty and his royal progenitors;
and whereas it is by experience found that the not holding of parliaments
accordingly hath produced sundry and great mischiefs and inconveniences to the
king's majesty, the church, and commonwealth: for the prevention of the like
mischiefs and inconveniences in time to come, be it enacted by the king's most
excellent majesty, with the consent of the lords spiritual and temporal and the
commons in this present parliament assembled, that the said laws and statutes
be from henceforth duly kept and observed. And your majesty's loyal and
obedient subjects, in this present parliament now assembled, do humbly pray
that it be enacted, and be it enacted accordingly by the authority of this
present parliament, that, in case there be not a parliament summoned by writ
under the great seal of England and assembled and held before the 10th day of
September which shall be in the third year next after the last day of the last
meeting and sitting in this present parliament ... — and so from time to
time and in all times hereafter, if there shall not be a parliament assembled
and held before the 10th day of September which shall be in the third year next
after the last day of the last meeting and sitting in parliament before that
time assembled and held ... — that then ... the parliament shall assemble
and be held in the usual place at Westminster in such manner and by such means
only as is hereafter in this present act declared and enacted, and not
otherwise, on the second Monday which shall be in the month of November then
next ensuing. And in case this present parliament now assembled and held, or
any other parliament which shall at any time hereafter be assembled and held
... , shall be prorogued or adjourned ... until the 10th day of September which
shall be in the third year next after the last day of the last meeting and
sitting in parliament ... , that then ... every such parliament so prorogued or
adjourned ... shall from the said 10th day of September be thenceforth clearly
and absolutely dissolved, and the lord chancellor of England, the lord keeper
of the great seal of England, and every commissioner and commissioners for the
keeping of the great seal of England, for the time being, shall within six days
after the said 10th day of September, in every such third year as aforesaid, in
due form of law and without any further warrant or direction from his majesty,
his heirs, or successors, seal, issue forth, and send abroad several and
respective writs to the several and respective peers of this realm, commanding
every such peer that he personally be at the parliament to be held at
Westminster on the second Monday which shall be in November next following the
said 10th day of September ...; and shall also seal and issue forth ... several
and respective writs to the several and respective sheriffs of the several and
respective counties, cities, and boroughs of England and Wales ... , and to all
and every other officers and persons to whom writs have used to be directed,
for the electing of the knights, citizens, barons, and burgesses of and for the
said counties, cities, Cinque Ports, and boroughs of England and Wales
respectively, in the accustomed form, to appear and serve in parliament to be
held at Westminster on the said second Monday, which shall be in November
aforesaid; which said peers, after the said writs received, and which said
knights, citizens, barons, and burgesses chosen by virtue of the said writs,
shall then and there appear and serve in parliament accordingly. And the said
lord chancellor, lord keeper, commissioner and commissioners aforesaid, shall
respectively take a solemn oath upon the Holy Evangelists for the due issuing
of writs according to the tenor of this act....
And it is lastly provided and enacted, that his majesty's royal assent
to this bill shall not thereby determine this present session of parliament,
and that all statutes and acts of parliament which are to have continuance unto
the end of this present session shall be of full force after his majesty's
assent, until this present session be fully ended and determined. And if this
present session shall determine by dissolution of this present parliament, then
all the acts and statutes aforesaid shall be continued until the end of the
first session of the next parliament.
Statutes of the Realm, V, 54 f.; 16 Charles I, c.
(B) Act for the Attainder of Strafford (1641)
An act for the attainder of Thomas, earl of Strafford, of high treason.
Whereas the knights, citizens, and burgesses of the house of commons in this
present parliament assembled, have, in the name of themselves and of all the
commons of England, impeached Thomas, earl of Strafford, of high treason for
endeavouring to subvert the ancient and fundamental laws and government of his
majesty's realms of England and Ireland and to introduce an arbitrary and
tyrannical government against law in the said kingdoms, and for exercising a
tyrannous and exorbitant power above and against the laws of the said kingdoms
over the liberties, estates, and lives of his majesty's subjects, and likewise
for having by his own authority commanded the laying and sessing of soldiers
upon his majesty's subjects in Ireland, against their consents, to compel them
to obey his unlawful summons and orders, made upon paper petitions in causes
between party and party, which accordingly was executed upon divers of his
majesty's subjects in a warlike manner within the said realm of Ireland; and
[whereas] in so doing [he] did levy war against the king's majesty and his
liege people in that kingdom; and also for that he, upon the unhappy
dissolution of the last parliament, did slander the house of commons to his
majesty and did counsel and advise his majesty that he was loose and absolved
from rules of government, and that he had an army in Ireland which he might
employ to reduce this kingdom — for which he deserveth to undergo the
pains and forfeitures of high treason — and [whereas] the said earl hath
also been an incendiary of the wars between the two kingdoms of England and
Scotland; all which offences hath been sufficiently proved against the said
earl upon his impeachment: be it therefore enacted by the king's most excellent
majesty and by the lords and commons in this present parliament assembled, and
by authority of the same, that the said earl of Strafford, for the heinous
crimes and offences aforesaid, stand and be adjudged attainted of high treason,
and shall suffer such pains of death, and incur the forfeitures of his goods
and chattels, lands, tenements, and hereditaments of any estate of freehold or
inheritance in the said kingdoms of England and Ireland, which the said earl or
any other to his use, or in trust for him, have or had the day of the first
sitting of this ... parliament, or at any time since....
Ibid., V, 177 f.: 16 Charles I, c. 38.
(C) Act to Continue the Existing Parliament (1641)
An act to prevent inconveniences which may happen by the untimely
adjourning, proroguing, or dissolving of this present parliament.... Be it
declared and enacted by the king our sovereign lord with the assent of the
lords and commons in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of
the same, that this present parliament now assembled shall not be dissolved
unless it be by act of parliament to be passed for that purpose, nor shall be,
at any time or times during the continuance thereof, prorogued or adjourned,
unless it be by act of parliament to be likewise passed for that purpose; and
that the house of peers shall not at any time or times during this present
parliament be adjourned, unless it be by themselves or by their own order; and
in like manner, that the house of commons shall not, at any time or times
during this present parliament, be adjourned, unless it be by themselves or by
their own order; and that all and every thing or things whatsoever done or to
be done for the adjournment, proroguing, or dissolving of this present
parliament contrary to this act shall be utterly void and of none effect.
Ibid., V, 103 f.: 16 Charles I, c. 7.
(D) Tunnage and Poundage Act (1641)
A subsidy granted to the king of tunnage, poundage, and other sums of
money payable upon merchandise exported and imported. Whereas, upon examination
in this present parliament of divers of the farmers, customers, and collectors
of the customs upon merchandise, and likewise upon their own confession, it
appeared that they have taken divers great sums of money of his majesty's
subjects, and likewise of merchants aliens for goods imported and exported by
the names of a subsidy of tunnage and poundage, and by colour of divers other
impositions laid upon merchandise, which have been taken and received against
the laws of the realm, in regard the said sums of money and impositions were
not granted by common consent in parliament ...: be it therefore declared and
enacted by the king's most excellent majesty and the lords and commons in this
present parliament assembled, and it is hereby declared and enacted, that it is
and hath been the ancient right of the subjects of this realm that no subsidy,
custom, impost, or other charge whatsoever ought or may be laid or imposed upon
any merchandise exported or imported by subjects, denizens, or aliens without
common consent in parliament.
Yet, nevertheless, the commons ... , taking into their consideration the
great peril that might ensue to this realm by the not guarding of the seas and
the other inconveniences which might follow in case the said sums of money
should upon the sudden be forborne to be paid, by and with the advice of the
lords in this present parliament assembled and by the authority of the same, do
give and grant to our supreme liege lord and sovereign one subsidy called
tunnage — that is to say, of every tun of wine that is or shall come into
this realm or any his majesty's dominions by way of merchandise the sum of
3s.... — and also one other subsidy called poundage — that is
to say, of all manner of goods and merchandise of every merchant, denizen, and
alien carried or to be carried out of this realm, or any his majesty's
dominions, or to be brought into the same by way of merchandise, of the value
of every 20s. of the same goods and merchandise
12d.... — to have, take, enjoy, and perceive the
subsidies aforesaid, and other the forementioned sums and every of them ...
from the five-and-twentieth of May, 1641, to the fifteenth of July next
Ibid., V, 104: 16 Charles I, c. 8.
(E) Act Abolishing Arbitrary Courts (1641)
An act for the regulating the privy council and for taking away the
court commonly called the star chamber.... Forasmuch as all matters examinable
or determinable ... in the court commonly called the star chamber may have
their proper remedy and redress and their due punishment and correction by the
common law of the land and in the ordinary course of justice elsewhere; and
forasmuch as the reasons and motives inducing the erection and continuance of
that court do now cease, and the proceedings, censures, and decrees of that
court have by experience been found to be an intolerable burden to the subjects
and the means to introduce an arbitrary power and government; and forasmuch as
the council table hath of late times assumed unto itself a power to intermeddle
in civil causes and matters only of private interest between party and party,
and have adventured to determine of the estates and liberties of the subject
contrary to the law of the land and the rights and privileges of the subject,
by which great and manifold mischiefs and inconveniences have arisen and
happened, and much uncertainty by means of such proceedings hath been conceived
concerning men's rights and estates: for settling whereof and preventing the
like in time to come, be it ordained and enacted by the authority of this
present parliament that the said court commonly called the star chamber, and
all jurisdiction, power, and authority belonging unto or exercised in the same
court, or by any the judges, officers, or ministers thereof, be from the first
day of August, in the year of our Lord God 1641, clearly and absolutely
dissolved, taken away, and determined....
And be it likewise enacted that the like jurisdiction now used and
exercised in the court before the president and council in the marches of
Wales; and also in the court before the president and council established in
the northern parts; and also in the court commonly called the court of the
duchy of Lancaster, held before the chancellor and council of the court; and
also in the court of exchequer of the county palatine of Chester, held before
the chamberlain and council of that court ... shall, from the said first day of
August, 1641, be also repealed and absolutely revoked and made void....
Be it likewise declared and enacted by authority of this present
parliament, that neither his majesty nor his privy council have or ought to
have any jurisdiction, power, or authority by English bill, petition, articles,
libel, or any other arbitrary way whatsoever, to examine or draw into question,
determine, or dispose of the lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods, or
chattels of any the subjects of this kingdom, but that the same ought to be
tried and determined in the ordinary courts of justice and by the ordinary
course of the law.
Ibid., V, 110: 16 Charles I, c. 10.
(F) Act Abolishing the Court of High Commission
An act for the repeal of a branch of a statute ... concerning
commissioners for causes ecclesiastical. Whereas in the parliament holden in
the first year of the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth ... there was an act
made ...; and whereas, by colour of some words in the foresaid
... act whereby commissioners are authorized to execute their commission
according to the tenor and effect of the king's letters patents and by letters
patents grounded thereupon, the said commissioners have, to the great and
insufferable wrong and oppression of the king's subjects, used to fine and
imprison them, and to exercise other authority not belonging to ecclesiastical
jurisdiction restored by that act, and divers other great mischiefs and
inconveniences have also ensued to the king's subjects by occasion of the ...
commissions issued thereupon and the executions thereof: therefore, for the
repressing and preventing of the foresaid abuses, mischiefs, and inconveniences
in time to come, be it enacted by the king's most excellent majesty and the
lords and commons in this present parliament assembled, and by the authority of
the same, that the foresaid branch, clause, article, or sentence contained in
the said act ... shall from henceforth be repealed ... and utterly made void
And be it also enacted by the authority aforesaid that no archbishop,
bishop ... , nor any other person or persons whatsoever exercising spiritual or
ecclesiastical power, authority, or jurisdiction ... shall from and after the
first day of August, which shall be in the year of our Lord God 1641, award,
impose or inflict any pain, penalty, fine, amercement, imprisonment, or other
corporal punishment upon any of the king's subjects for any contempt,
misdemeanour, crime, offence, matter, or thing whatsoever belonging to
spiritual or ecclesiastical cognizance or jurisdiction, or shall ex
officio, or at the instance or promotion of any other person whatsoever ...
, minister unto any ... person whatsoever any corporal oath, whereby he or she
shall or may be charged or obliged to make any presentment of any crime or
offence, or to confess or to accuse him or herself of any crime, offence,
delinquency, or misdemeanour, or any neglect ... , or thing whereby, or by
reason whereof, he or she shall or may be liable or exposed to any censure,
pain, penalty, or punishment whatsoever....
And be it further enacted that, from and after the said first day of
August, no new court shall be erected, ordained, or appointed within this realm
of England or dominion of Wales which shall or may have the like power,
jurisdiction, or authority as the said high commission court now hath or
pretendeth to have; but that all and every such letters patents, commissions,
and grants made or to be made by his majesty, his heirs, or successors, and all
powers and authorities granted or pretended or mentioned to be granted thereby,
and all acts, sentences, and decrees to be made by virtue or colour thereof
shall be utterly void and of none effect.
Ibid., V, 112 f.: 16 Charles I, c. 11.
(G) Act Abolishing Ship Money (1641)
An act for the declaring unlawful and void the late proceedings touching
ship money and for the vacating of all records and process concerning the same.
Whereas divers writs of late time issued under the great seal of England,
commonly called ship writs, for the charging of the ports, towns, cities,
boroughs, and counties of this realm respectively to provide and furnish
certain ships for his majesty's service; and whereas, upon the execution of the
same writs ... , process hath been thence made against sundry persons pretended
to be charged by way of contribution for the making up of certain sums assessed
for the providing of the said ships, and in especial ... against John Hampden,
esquire ...; and whereas some other actions and process depend
... against other persons for the like kind of charge grounded upon the said
writs commonly called ship writs, all which writs and proceedings as aforesaid
were utterly against the law of the land: be it therefore declared and enacted
by the king's most excellent majesty and the lords and the commons in this
present parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that the said
charge imposed upon the subject for the providing and furnishing of ships
commonly called ship money ... , and the said writs ... and the said judgment
given against the said John Hampden, were and are contrary to and against the
laws and statutes of this realm, the right of property, the liberty of the
subjects, former resolutions in parliament, and the Petition of Right made in
the third year of the reign of his majesty that now is.
And it is further declared and enacted ... that all ... particulars
prayed or desired in the said Petition of Right shall from henceforth be put in
execution accordingly, and shall be firmly and strictly holden and observed as
in the same petition they are prayed and expressed; and that all ... the
records ... of all ... the judgment, enrolments ... , and proceedings as
aforesaid, and all ... the proceedings whatsoever, upon or by pretext ... of
any of the said writs commonly called ship writs ... , shall be deemed ... to
be utterly void....
Ibid., V, 116 f.: 16 Charles I, c. 14.
(H) Act Defining Forests and Forest Law (1641)
An act for the certainty of forests and of the meers, metes, limits, and
bounds of the forests. ... Be it declared and enacted by the
king's most excellent majesty and the lords and commons in this present
parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that from henceforth
the metes ... and bounds of all and every the forests respectively shall be to
all intents and purposes taken, adjudged, and deemed to extend no further
respectively than the metes ... and bounds ... were commonly known, used, or
taken to be the metes ... and bounds of the said forests respectively in the
twentieth year of the reign of our late sovereign lord, King James, and not
beyond in any wise — any perambulation or perambulations, presentments,
extents, surveys, judgments, records, decrees, or other matter or thing
whatsoever to the contrary notwithstanding — and that all and every the
presentments since the said twentieth year made ... and all and every judgment
and award upon or by reason or pretext of any such presentment or presentments
... , and all and every fine and fines, and amercement and amercements, upon or
by reason or colour of any such presentment or presentments shall from
henceforth be adjudged, deemed, and taken to be utterly void and of no force or
effect — any law, statute, record, or pretence whatsoever to the contrary
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid that no place or
places within this realm of England or dominion of Wales, where no such justice
seat, swainmote, or court of attachment have been held or kept, or where no
verderers have been chosen or regard made, within the space of sixty years next
before the first year of his majesty's reign that now is, shall be at any time
hereafter judged, deemed, or taken to be forest or within the bounds or metes
of the forests; but the same shall be from henceforth forever disafforested and
freed and exempted from the forest laws....
Ibid., V, 119: 16 Charles I, c. 16.
(I) Act Abolishing Fines for Distraint of Knighthood
An act for the prevention of vexatious proceedings touching the order of
knighthood. ... Be it declared and enacted by the king's most
excellent majesty and the lords and commons in this parliament assembled, and
by the authority of the same, that from henceforth no person or persons of what
condition, quality, estate, or degree soever, shall at any time be distrained
or otherwise compelled by any writ or process of the court of chancery or court
of exchequer, or otherwise by any means whatsoever, to receive or take upon him
or them respectively the order or dignity of knighthood; nor shall suffer or
undergo any fine, trouble, or molestation whatsoever by reason or colour of his
or their having not received or not taken upon him or them the said order or
dignity ...; and that all and every process, proceeding, and charge now
depending by reason or colour of the said pretended custom or writs aforesaid,
or of any the dependants thereof, shall from henceforth cease, and stand, be,
and remain discharged and utterly void — any former law or custom, or any
pretence of any former law or custom, or any other matter whatsoever to the
contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
Ibid., V, 131: 16 Charles I, c. 20.
(J) Reply of Charles I to the Commons' Petition
We having received from you soon after our return out of Scotland a long
petition consisting of many desires of great moment, together with a
declaration of a very unusual nature annexed thereunto, we had taken some time
to consider of it, as befitted us in a matter of that consequence, being
confident that your own reason and regard to us, as well as our express
intimation by our comptroller to that purpose, would have restrained you from
the publishing of it till such time as you should have received our answer to
it; but, much against our expectation finding the contrary, that the said
declaration is already abroad in print by directions from your house, as
appears by the printed copy, we must let you know that we are very sensible of
the disrespect. Notwithstanding, it is our intention that no failing on your
part shall make us fail in ours of giving all due satisfaction to the desires
of our people in a parliamentary way; and therefore we send your this answer to
your petition, reserving ourself in point of the declaration, which we think
unparliamentary, and shall take a course to do that which we shall think fit in
prudence and honour.
To the petition we say that ... there are divers things in the preamble
of it which we are so far from admitting that we profess we cannot at all
understand them — as of "a wicked and malignant party prevalent in the
government," of "some of that party admitted to our privy council and to other
employments of trust and nearest to us and our children," of "endeavours to sow
among the people false scandals and imputations to blemish and disgrace the
proceedings of the parliament" — all or any of them, did we know of, we
should be as ready to remedy and punish as you to complain of; so that the
prayers of your petition are grounded upon such premises as we must in no wise
admit. Yet, notwithstanding, we are pleased to give this answer to you.
To the first, concerning religion ... , we say that, for preserving the
peace and safety of this kingdom from the design of the popish party, we have
and will still concur with all the just desires of our people in a
parliamentary way; that for the depriving of the bishops of their votes in
parliament, we would have you consider that their right is grounded upon the
fundamental law of the kingdom and constitution of parliament.... As for the
abridging of the inordinate power of the clergy, we conceive that the taking
away of the high commission court hath well moderated that; but if there
continue any usurpations or excesses in their jurisdictions, we therein neither
have nor will protect them. Unto that clause which concerneth corruptions (as
you style them) in religion, in church government, and in discipline and the
removing of such unnecessary ceremonies as weak consciences might check at ...
, for any illegal innovations which may have crept in, we shall willingly
concur in the removal of them.... If our parliament shall advise us to call a
national synod, which may duly examine such ceremonies as give just cause of
offence to any, we shall take it into consideration and apply ourself to give
due satisfaction therein....
To the second prayer of the petition, concerning the removal and choice
of councillors, we know not any of our council to whom the character set forth
in the petition can belong.... By those whom we had exposed to trial, we have
already given you sufficient testimony that there is no man so near unto us in
place or affection, whom we will not leave to the justice of the law, if you
shall bring a particular charge and sufficient proofs against him. And of this
we do again assure you; but in the meantime we wish you to forbear such general
aspersions as may reflect upon all our council, since you name none in
particular. That for the choice of our councillors and ministers of state, it
were to debar us that natural liberty all freemen have; and as it is the
undoubted right of the crown of England to call such persons to our secret
counsels, to public employment, and our particular service as we shall think
fit, so we are and ever shall be very careful to make election of such persons
in those places of trust as shall have given good testimonies of their
abilities and integrity, and against whom there can be no just cause of
exception whereon reasonably to ground a diffidence. And to choices of this
nature we assure you that the mediation of the nearest unto us hath always
To the third prayer of your petition, concerning Ireland, we understand
your desire of not alienating the forfeited lands thereof to proceed from much
care and love, and likewise that it may be a resolution very fit for us to
take. But whether it may be seasonable to declare resolutions of that nature
before the events of a war be seen, that we much doubt of. Howsoever, we cannot
but thank you for this care and your cheerful engagement for the suppression of
Rushworth Historical Collections, IV, 452 f.
(K) Orders of the Commons with Regard to Printing
[13 February 1641.] Ordered that the sub-committee heretofore appointed
by the grand committee for religion concerning abuses in licensing and printing
of books be now made a committee from the house and enlarged to take into
consideration and examine all abuses in printing, licensing, importing, and
suppressing of books of all sorts, and in denying licence to some books and
expunging several passages out of other books....
[28 March 1642.] Resolved upon the question that what person soever
shall print, [publish, or] sell any act or passages of this house under the
name of a diurnal or otherwise, without particular licence of this house, shall
be reputed a high contemner and breaker of the privilege of parliament, and so
Journals of the Commons, II, 84, 501.
(L) Act Abolishing Temporal Power of the Clergy
An act for disenabling all persons in holy orders to exercise any
temporal jurisdiction or authority. Whereas bishops and other persons in holy
orders ought not to be entangled with secular jurisdiction, the office of the
ministry being of such great importance that it will take up the whole man; and
for that it is found by long experience that their intermeddling with secular
jurisdictions hath occasioned great mischiefs and scandal both to church and
state: his majesty, out of his religious care of the church, and souls of his
people, is graciously pleased that it be enacted, and by authority of this
present parliament be it enacted, that no archbishop or bishop or other person
that now is or hereafter shall be in holy orders, shall ... have any seat or
place, suffrage, or voice, or use, or execute any power or authority in the
parliaments of this realm, nor shall be of the privy council of his majesty,
his heirs, or successors, or justice of the peace ... or execute any temporal
authority by virtue of any commission; but shall be wholly disabled and be
incapable to have, receive, use, or execute any of the said offices, places,
powers, authorities, and things aforesaid....
Statutes of the Realm, V, 138: 16 Charles I, c.
(M) The Militia Ordinance (1642)
An ordinance of parliament for the safety and defence of the kingdom of
England and dominion of Wales. Whereas there hath been of late a most dangerous
and desperate design upon the house of commons, which we have just cause to
believe to be an effect of the bloody counsels of papists and other
ill-affected persons, who have already raised a rebellion in the kingdom of
Ireland; and [whereas] by reason of many discoveries we cannot but fear they
will proceed not only to stir up the like rebellion and insurrections in this
kingdom of England but also to back them with forces from abroad: for the
safety, therefore, of his majesty's person, the parliament, and kingdom in this
time of imminent danger, it is ordained by the lords and commons now in
parliament assembled, that Henry, earl of Holland, shall be lieutenant of the
county of Berks; Oliver, earl of Bolingbroke, shall be lieutenant of the county
of Bedford.... And [they] shall severally and respectively have
power to assemble and call together all and singular his majesty's subjects
within the said several and respective counties and places, as well within
liberties as without, that are meet and fit for the wars, and them to train and
exercise and put in readiness, and them after their abilities and faculties
well and sufficiently from time to time to cause to be arrayed and weaponed,
and to take the muster of them in places most fit for that purpose; and ...
shall severally and respectively have power ... to nominate and appoint such
persons of quality as to them shall seem meet to be their deputy lieutenants,
to be approved of by both houses of parliament; and ... shall have power to
make colonels and captains and other officers ... as they shall think fit for
that purpose; and ... shall have power to lead, conduct and employ the persons
aforesaid arrayed and weaponed, for the suppression of all rebellions,
insurrections, and invasions that may happen within the several and respective
counties and places; and shall have power and authority to lead, conduct, and
employ the persons aforesaid arrayed and weaponed, as well within their said
several and respective counties and places as within any other part of this
realm of England or dominion of Wales, for the suppression of all rebellions,
insurrections, and invasions that may happen, according as they from time to
time shall receive directions....
Journals of the Lords, IV, 587.
(N) Royal Proclamation (27 May 1642)
... Whereas we understand that, expressly contrary to the ... laws of
this our kingdom, under colour ... of an ordinance of parliament, without our
consent or any ... warrant from us, the trained bands and militia of this
kingdom have been lately, and are intended to be, put in arms and drawn into
companies in a warlike manner, whereby the peace and quiet of our subjects is
or may be disturbed: we, being desirous ... to prevent that some malignant
persons in this our kingdom do not by degrees seduce our good subjects from
their due obedience to us and the laws of this our kingdom ..., do therefore,
by this our proclamation, expressly charge and command all our sheriffs, and
all colonels, lieutenant-colonels, sergeant-majors, captains, officers, and
soldiers belonging to the trained bands of this our kingdom, and likewise all
high and petty constables and other our officers and subjects whatsoever, upon
their allegiance and as they tender the peace of this our kingdom, not to
muster, levy, raise, or march, or to summon or warn, upon any warrant, order or
ordinance from one or both our houses of parliament, whereunto we have not, or
shall not, give our express consent, any of our trained bands or other forces
to rise, muster, march, or exercise without express warrant under our hand or
warrant from our sheriff of the county, grounded upon a particular writ to that
purpose under our great seal. And in case any of our trained bands shall rise
or gather together contrary to this our command, we shall then call them in due
time to a strict account and proceed legally against them as violators of the
laws and disturbers of the peace of this kingdom.
Ibid., V, 111 f.
(O) Declaration of the Lords and Commons (27 May
The lords and commons, having perused his majesty's proclamation
forbidding all his majesty's subjects belonging to the trained bands or militia
of this kingdom, to rise, march, muster, or exercise, by virtue of any order or
ordinance of one or both houses of parliament without consent or warrant from
his majesty, upon pain of punishment according to the laws, do thereupon
declare that ... it is acknowledged that the king is the fountain of justice
and protection; but the acts of justice and protection are not exercised in his
own person, nor depend upon his pleasure, but by his courts and by his
ministers, who must do their duty therein though the king in his own person
should forbid them. And therefore, if judgments should be given by them against
the king's will and personal command, yet are they the king's judgments. The
high court of parliament is not only a court of judicature, enabled by the laws
to adjudge and determine the rights and liberties of the kingdom against such
patents and grants of his majesty as are prejudicial thereunto, although
strengthened both by his personal command and by his proclamation under the
great seal; but it is likewise a council to provide for the necessities,
prevent the imminent dangers, and preserve the public peace and safety of the
kingdom, and to declare the king's pleasure in those things as are requisite
thereunto. And what they do herein hath the stamp of the royal authority
although his majesty, seduced by evil counsel, do in his own person oppose or
interrupt the same; for the king's supreme and royal pleasure is exercised and
declared in this high court of law and council, after a more eminent and
obligatory manner than it can be by personal act or resolution of his own.
Seeing therefore the lords and commons, which are his majesty's great
and high council, have ordained that, for the present and necessary defence of
the realm, the trained bands and militia of this kingdom should be ordered
according to that ordinance ... , the lords and commons do require and command
all constables, petty constables, and all other his majesty's officers and
subjects whatsoever to muster, levy, raise, march, and exercise, or to summon
or warn any, upon warrants from the lieutenants, deputy lieutenants, captains,
or other officers of the trained bands, and all others, according to the said
ordinance of both houses; and [they] shall not presume to muster, levy, raise,
march, or exercise by virtue of any commission or other authority whatsoever,
as they will answer the contrary at their perils. And in their so doing they do
further declare that they shall be protected by the power and authority of both
houses of parliament; and that whosoever shall oppose, question, or hinder them
in the execution of the said ordinance, shall be proceeded against as violators
of the laws and disturbers of the peace of the kingdom.
Ibid., V, 112 f.
(P) The Nineteen Propositions (1 June 1642)
Your majesty's most humble and faithful subjects, the lords and commons
in parliament, having nothing in their thoughts and desires more precious and
of higher esteem — next to the honour and immediate service of God —
than the just and faithful performance of their duty to your majesty and this
kingdom ... , do in all humility and sincerity present to your majesty their
most dutiful petition and advice, that out of your princely wisdom ... you will
be pleased to grant and accept these their humble ... propositions, as the most
necessary effectual means, through God's blessing, of removing those jealousies
and differences which have unhappily fallen betwixt you and your people ...:
1. That the lords and others of your majesty's privy council and ...
great officers and ministers of state, either at home or beyond the seas, may
be put from your privy council and from those offices and employments,
excepting such as shall be approved of by both houses of parliament; and that
the persons put into the places and employments of those that are removed may
be approved of by both houses of parliament; and that all privy councillors
shall take an oath for the due execution of their places in such form as shall
be agreed upon by both houses of parliament.
2. That the great affairs of the kingdom may not be concluded or
transacted by the advice of private men, or by any unknown or unsworn
councillors; but that such matters as concern the public and are proper for the
high court of parliament, which is your majesty's great and supreme council,
may be debated, resolved, and transacted only in parliament, and not elsewhere.
And such as shall presume to do anything to the contrary shall be reserved to
the censure and judgment of parliament. And such other matters of state as are
proper for your majesty's privy council shall be debated and concluded by such
of the nobility and others as shall from time to time be chosen for that place,
by approbation of both houses of parliament. And that no public act concerning
the affairs of the kingdom, which are proper for your privy council, may be
esteemed of any validity, as proceeding from the royal authority, unless it be
done by the advice and consent of the major part of your council, attested
under their hands. And that your council may be limited to a certain number,
not exceeding twenty-five, nor under fifteen. And if any councillor's place
happen to be void in the intervals of parliament, it shall not be supplied
without the assent of the major part of the council; which choice shall be
confirmed at the next sitting of parliament, or else to be void.
3. That the lord high steward of England, lord high constable, lord
chancellor, or lord keeper of the great seal, lord treasurer, lord privy seal,
earl marshal, lord admiral, warden of the Cinque Ports, chief governor of
Ireland, chancellor of the exchequer, master of the wards, secretaries of
state, two chief justices, and chief baron, may always be chosen with the
approbation of both houses of parliament....
4. That he or they unto whom the government and education of the king's
children shall be committed shall be approved of by both houses of
5. That no marriage shall be concluded or treated for any of the king's
children with any foreign prince or other person whatsoever, abroad or at home,
without the consent of parliament....
6. That the laws in force against Jesuits, priests, and popish recusants
be strictly put in execution, without any toleration or dispensation to the
7. That the votes of popish lords in the house of peers may be taken
8. That your majesty would be pleased to consent that such a reformation
be made of the church government and liturgy as both houses of parliament shall
9. That your majesty will be pleased to rest satisfied with that course
that the lords and commons have appointed for ordering the militia until the
same shall be further settled by a bill; and that your majesty will recall your
declarations and proclamations against the ordinance made by the lords and
commons concerning it.
10. That such members of either house of parliament as have, during this
present parliament, been put out of any place and office may either be restored
to that place and office or otherwise have satisfaction for the same, upon the
petition of that house whereof he or they are members.
11. That all privy councillors and judges may take an oath, the form
whereof to be agreed on and settled by act of parliament, for the maintaining
of the Petition of Right and of certain statutes made by this parliament, which
shall be mentioned by both houses of parliament....
12. That all the judges and all the officers placed by approbation of
both houses of parliament may hold their places quam diu bene se
13. That the justice of parliament may pass upon all delinquents,
whether they be within the kingdom or fled out of it....
14. That the general pardon offered by your majesty may be granted, with
such exceptions as shall be advised by both houses of parliament.
15. That the forts and castles of this kingdom may be put under the
command and custody of such persons as your majesty shall appoint with the
approbation of your parliament....
16. That the extraordinary guards and military forces now attending your
majesty may be removed and discharged; and that for the future you will raise
no such guards or extraordinary forces, but according to the law, in case of
actual rebellion or invasion.
17. That your majesty will be pleased to enter into a more strict
alliance with the states of the United Provinces, and other neighbouring
princes and states of the Protestant religion....
18. That your majesty will be pleased, by act of parliament, to clear
the lord Kimbolton and the five members of the house of commons
in such manner that future parliaments may be secured from the consequence of
that evil precedent.
19. That your majesty will be graciously pleased to pass a bill for
restraining peers made hereafter from sitting or voting in parliament, unless
they be admitted thereunto with the consent of both houses of parliament.
And these our humble desires being granted by your majesty, we shall
forthwith apply ourselves to regulate your present revenue in such sort as may
be for your best advantage; and likewise to settle such an ordinary and
constant increase of it as shall be sufficient to support your royal dignity in
honour and plenty, beyond the proportion of any former grants of the subjects
of this kingdom to your majesty's royal predecessors....
Ibid., V, 97 f.
 Elaborate provision is made for the assembling of
parliament even should such royal officials fail to carry out their oath.
Penalties are established for disobedience. And it is provided that this act
shall be read annually in local courts and assizes.
 The poundage on tin was double the normal rate. Wool,
wool-fells, and woolen cloth were excepted from the force of this article,
being taxed according to a separate schedule placed in the article following.
Finally, it was provided that tobacco from the English plantations should pay
only 2d. on the pound.
 Here is recited the clause in the statute of 1559 (no.
81A) establishing the court of high commission.
 See above, p. 470.
 The preamble here reviews the proceedings in Hampden's
case (no. 94C).
 The preamble recites the recent abuses in this
connection; cf. no. 93C.
 Other articles provide for inquests under parliamentary
commission to enforce these enactments.
 The preamble recites the recent exactions made for this
purpose; see no. 93A.
 This royal letter, dated December 23, was made in answer
to a petition of the house of commons, dated December 1, that accompanied the
Grand Remonstrance. The latter document was a long enumeration of parliamentary
grievances alleging in particular a "malignant and pernicious design of
subverting the fundamental laws and principles of government" on the part of
papists, certain members of the clergy, and unscrupulous courtiers. The
articles of the petition, which was designed to meet the evils thus enumerated,
are clearly rehearsed in the king's reply.
 When the king refused to sign this enactment in the form
of a bill, it was turned into an ordinance of parliament.
 Similar appointments are made for the other
 During good behaviour.
 The five members whom Charles had tried to arrest in the
famous scene on 4 January 1642.