101. ORDINANCES OF PARLIAMENT (1644-45)

(A) Committee for Co-operation with the Scots (1644)

An ordinance for the appointing a committee of both houses of parliament to join with the committees and commissioners of Scotland for the better managing the affairs of both nations in the common cause, according to the ends expressed in the late covenant and treaty between the two nations of England and Scotland. Whereas, by the covenant and treaty ratified and established between the two kingdoms, both nations are engaged in one common cause against the enemies of their religion and liberties, and ... are firmly united in a joint posture of arms for their own necessary defence, and for the attaining the ends expressed in the covenant and treaty; and whereas both kingdoms have thought it necessary that they should be joined in their counsels as well as in their forces, and in pursuance thereof the convention of the estates of Scotland have appointed committees residing in Scotland and in the Scottish army, and have sent some of the said committees as commissioners for the purposes aforesaid to repair unto and to reside near the parliament ...: in consideration hereof the lords and commons do nominate, ordain, and appoint Algernon, earl of Northumberland, [and twenty others] ... , or any six of them, whereof one lord and two commoners, to treat with the committees and commissioners appointed by our brethren of Scotland in such things as shall by them be propounded from and in the name of the kingdom of Scotland for the ends aforesaid; as likewise to propound to the committees and commissioners of Scotland whatever they shall receive in charge from both houses, and from time to time to advise and consult concerning the same and report the results to both houses. And further power and authority is hereby given to them ... , as a joint committee with the committee and commissioners of Scotland, to advise, consult, order, and direct concerning the carrying on and managing of the war for the best advantage of the three kingdoms, and the keeping a good intelligence between the three kingdoms, their forces, committees, and counsels; and likewise with power to hold good correspondency and intelligence with foreign states, and further to advise and consult of all things in pursuance of the ends in the late covenant and treaty.

Provided always that nothing in this ordinance shall authorize the committee hereby appointed to advise, treat, or consult concerning any cessation of arms or making peace, without express directions from both houses of parliament. And, lastly, the said committee are to observe such orders and directions as they from time to time shall receive from both houses of parliament. Provided also that this ordinance shall continue for three months and no longer.

Journals of the Lords, VI, 430.

(B) The Self-denying Ordinance (1645)

An ordinance of the lords and commons assembled in parliament for the discharging of the members of both houses from all offices, both military and civil. Be it ordained by the lords and commons assembled in parliament that all and every of the members of either house of parliament shall be and by authority of this ordinance are discharged, at the end of forty days after the passing of this ordinance ... , from ... every office or command, military or civil ... , conferred by both or either of the said houses of this present parliament, or by any authority derived from both or either of them since the 20th day of November, 1640.

And be it further ordained that all other governors and commanders of any island, town, castle, or fort, and all other colonels and officers inferior to colonels in the several armies, not being members of either of the houses of parliament, shall, according to their respective commissions, continue in their several places and commands wherein they were employed and entrusted the 20th day of March, 1644, as if this ordinance had not been made; and that the vice-admiral, rear-admiral, and all other captains and other inferior officers in the fleet shall, according to their several and respective commissions, continue in their several places and commands wherein they were employed and entrusted the said 20th day of March, as if this ordinance had not been made.

Provided always, and it is further ordained and declared, that during this war the benefit of all offices, being neither military nor judicial, hereafter to be granted or any way to be appointed to any person or persons by both or either house of parliament or by authority derived from thence, shall go and inure to such public uses as both houses of parliament shall appoint. And the grantees and persons executing all such offices shall be accountable to the parliament for all the profits and perquisites thereof, and shall have no profit out of any such office, other than a competent salary for the execution of the same, in such manner as both houses of parliament shall order and ordain.

Provided that this ordinance shall not extend to take away the power and authority of any lieutenancy or deputy-lieutenancy in the several counties, cities, or places, or of any custos rotulorum, or of any commission for justices of peace, or sewers, or any commission of oyer and terminer or jail-delivery.

Provided always, and it is hereby declared, that those members of either house, who had offices by grant from his majesty before this parliament, and were by his majesty displaced sitting this parliament, and have since by authority of both houses been restored, shall not by this ordinance be discharged from their said offices or profits thereof, but shall enjoy the same — anything in this ordinance to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

Rushworth, Historical Collections, VI, 16.


More To Explore