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200. Act for the Abolition of the Court of High Commission

(1641, July 5. 16 Charles I. c. 11. 5 S. R. 112. Gardiner, 186-189.)

WHEREAS in the Parliament holden in the first year of the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth, late Queen of England, there was an Act made and established, entitled ‘An Act restoring to the Crown the ancient jurisdiction over the State ecclesiastical and spiritual, and abolishing all foreign power repugnant to the same’: in which Act, amongst other things, there is contained one clause, branch, article or sentence whereby it was enacted to this effect: namely, that the said late Queen’s Highness, her heirs and successors, Kings or Queens of this realm, should have full power and authority by virtue of that Act, by Letters Patents under the Great Seal of England, to assign, name and authorize when and as often as Her Highness, her heirs or successors, should think meet and convenient, and for such and so long time as should please Her Highness, her heirs or successors, such person or persons being natural born subjects to Her Highness, her heirs or successors, as Her Majesty, her heirs or successors, should think meet to exercise, use, occupy and execute under Her Highness, her heirs and successors, all manner of jurisdictions, privileges and preeminences in any wise touching or concerning any spiritual or ecclesiastical jurisdiction within these her realms of England and Ireland, or any other Her Highness’s dominions and countries; and to visit, reform, redress, order, correct and amend all such errors, heresies, schisms, abuses, offences, contempts and enormities whatsoever, which by any manner spiritual or ecclesiastical power, authority or jurisdiction can or may lawfully be reformed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained or amended, to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue and the conservation of the peace and unity of this realm: and that such person or persons so to be named, assigned, authorized and appointed by Her Highness, her heirs or successors, after the said Letters Patents to him or them made and delivered as aforesaid, should have full power and authority by virtue of that Act and of the said Letters Patents under Her Highness, her heirs or successors, to exercise, use and execute all the premises, according to the tenor and effect of the said Letters Patents, any matter or cause to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding;

II. And whereas by colour of some words in the aforesaid branch of the said 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 said branch, and commissions issued thereupon, and the executions thereof: therefore for the repressing and preventing of the aforesaid abuses, mischiefs and inconveniences in time to come:

III. 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 aforesaid branch, clause, article or sentence contained in the said Act, and every word, matter and thing contained in that branch, clause, article or sentence shall from henceforth be repealed, annulled, revoked, annihilated and utterly made void for ever; anything in the said Act to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

IV And be it also enacted by the authority aforesaid, that no Archbishop, Bishop, nor Vicar General, nor any Chancellor, Official, nor Commissary of any Archbishop, Bishop or Vicar General, nor any ordinary whatsoever, nor any other spiritual or ecclesiastical Judge, Officer or Minister of justice, nor any other person or persons whatsoever exercising spiritual or ecclesiastical power, authority or jurisdiction by any grant, licence or commission of the King’s Majesty, his heirs or successors, or by any power or authority derived from the King, his heirs or successors, or otherwise, shall from and after the first day of August, which shall be in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred forty and one, 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, urge, enforce, tender, give or minister unto any churchwarden, sidesman or other 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; upon pain and penalty that every person who shall offend contrary to this statute shall forfeit and pay treble damages to every person thereby grieved, and the sum of £100 to him or them who shall first demand and sue for the same; which said treble damages and sum of £100 shall and may be demanded and recovered by action of debt, bill or plaint in any Court of Record wherein no privilege, essoine, protection or wager of law shall be admitted or allowed to the defendant. And be it further enacted, that every person who shall be once convicted of any act or offence prohibited by this statute, shall for such act or offence be from and after such conviction utterly disabled to be or continue in any office or employment in any Court of Justice whatsoever, or to exercise or execute any power, authority or jurisdiction by force of any Commission or Letters Patents of the King, his heirs or successors.

V. 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.

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201. Act Declaring the Illegality of Ship-money

(1641, August 7. 16 Charles I. c. 14. 5 S. R. 116. Gardiner, 189-192.)

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 and returns of certioraries thereupon made, and the sending the same by Mittimus into the Court of Exchequer, 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 in Easter Term in the thirteenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord the King that now is, a Writ of Scire facias was awarded out of the Court of Exchequer to the then Sheriff of Buckinghamshire against John Hampden, Esquire, to appear and show cause why he should not be charged with a certain sum so assessed upon him: upon whose appearance and demurrer to the proceedings therein, the Barons of the Exchequer adjourned the same case into the Exchequer Chamber, where it was solemnly argued divers days; and at length it was there agreed by the greater part of all the justices of the Courts of King’s Bench and Common Pleas, and of the Barons of the Exchequer there assembled, that the said John Hampden should be charged with the said sum so as aforesaid assessed on him; the main grounds and reasons of the said Justices and Barons which so agreed being, that when the good and safety of the kingdom in general is concerned, and the whole kingdom in danger, the King might by writ under the Great Seal of England command all the subjects of this his kingdom at their charge to provide and furnish such number of ships with men, victuals and munition, and for such time as the King should think fit, for the defence and safeguard of the kingdom from such danger and peril, and that by law the King might compel the doing thereof in case of refusal or refractoriness; and that the King is the sole judge both of the danger, and when and how the same is to be prevented and avoided; according to which grounds and reasons all the Justices of the said Courts of King’s Bench and Common Pleas, and the said Barons of the Exchequer, having been formerly consulted with by His Majesty’s command, had set their hands to an extrajudicial opinion expressed to the same purpose; which opinion with their names thereunto was also by His Majesty’s command enrolled in the Courts of Chancery, King’s Bench, Common Pleas and Exchequer, and likewise entered among the remembrances of the Court of Star Chamber; and according to the said agreement of the said Justices and Barons, judgment was given by the Barons of the Exchequer, that the said John Hampden should be charged with the said sum so assessed on him: and whereas some other actions and process depend, and have depended, in the said Court of Exchequer and in some other Courts, 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:

II. 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 extrajudicial opinion of the said Justices and Barons, and the said writs, and every of them, and the said agreement or opinion of the greater part of the said Justices and Barons, 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.

III. And it is further declared and enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all and every the 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 and every the records and remembrances of all and every the judgment, enrolments, entry, and proceedings as aforesaid, and all and every the proceedings whatsoever, upon or by pretext or colour of any of the said writs commonly called Ship-writs, and all and every the dependents on any of them, shall be deemed and adjudged, to all intents, constructions and purposes, to be utterly void and disannulled; and that all and every the said judgment, enrolments, entries, proceedings and dependents of what kind soever, shall be vacated and cancelled in such manner and form as records use to be that are vacated.

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202. Act for the Limitation of Forests

(1641, August 7. 16 Charles I. c. 16. 5 S. R. 119. Gardiner, 192-195.)

WHEREAS by Act of Parliament made in the first year of the reign of the late King Edward the Third, it was ordained, that the old perambulation of the forest in the time of King Edward the First should be thenceforth holden in like form as it was then ridden and bounded, and in such places where it was not bounded, the King would that it should be bounded by good men and lawful:

II. And whereas for many ages past certain meets, meers, limits and bounds of the forests have been commonly known and observed in the several Counties, wherein the said forests lie:

III. And whereas of late divers presentments have been made and some judgments given, whereby the meets, meers, limits and bounds of some of the said forests have been variously extended or pretended to extend beyond some of the said meets, meers, limits and bounds so commonly known and formerly observed, to the great grievance and vexation of many persons having lands adjoining to the said meets, meers, limits and bounds so commonly known and formerly observed: and whereas of late time some endeavours or pretences have been to set on foot forests in some parts of this realm and the dominion of Wales, where in truth none have been or ought to be, or at least have not been used of long time: for remedy thereof may it please your Most Excellent Majesty that it be declared and enacted by authority of Parliament;

IV. And 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 meets, meers, limits 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 meets, meers, limits and bounds, which in the several Counties respectively wherein the said forests do lie, were commonly known, reputed, used or taken to be the meets, meers, limits 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 other presentment and presentments, and all and every judgment and award upon or by reason or pretext of any such presentment or presentments, and all and every perambulation and perambulations, surveys, extents, and other act and acts at any time heretofore had or made, by which the meets, meers, limits or bounds of the said forests, or any of them, are or are pretended to be further extended than as aforesaid; and also all and every presentment of any other person or persons at any Justice seat, Swainemote, or Court of Attachments, for or by reason or by colour of any act or acts whatsoever done or committed in any place without or beyond the said meets, meers, limits or bounds respectively, so commonly known, reputed, used, or taken as aforesaid, and all and every fine and fines, and amercement and amercements, upon, 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 notwithstanding.

V. And he 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, Swainemote, 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 meets of the forests; but the same shall be from henceforth for ever hereafter disafforested, and freed, and exempted from the forest laws; any Justice seat, Swainemote, or Court of Attachment held or kept within or for any such place or places at any time or times since the beginning of His Majesty’s said reign, or any presentment, enquiry, act, or thing heretofore made, or hereafter to be made or done to the contrary notwithstanding.

VI. Provided also, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that for the better putting into certainty all and every the meets, meers, bounds and limits of all and every the forests as aforesaid, the Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper Of the Great Seal of England for the time being shall, by virtue of this Act, upon request of any of the Peers of this kingdom, or of the Knights and Burgesses of the Parliament or any of them, grant several commissions under the Great Seal of England to Commissioners to be nominated respectively by the said Peers, Knights and Burgesses, or any of them, to enquire of and find out by inquests of good and lawful men upon oath, and by the oaths of witnesses to be produced at the said inquests, and by all other lawful means, all and every the meers, meets, bounds and limits of the forests respectively, which were commonly known to be their meers, meets, bounds and limits respectively in the said twentieth year of the reign of our late Sovereign Lord, King James; and to return the inquests so taken into the Court of Chancery, and that all and every the Sheriffs and Bailiffs of and in every County wherein any such inquests shall be so to be taken; and all and every the Verderers, Foresters, Rangers, and other officers of the forests respectively where any such officers be, shall be assistant and attendant to the executions of the said commissions, according as by virtue of the said commissions respectively they shall be commanded; and where no such officers are or where such officers be, if they or any of them shall refuse or neglect such assistance and attendance as aforesaid, then the said Commissioners shall and may proceed without them in the execution of the said commissions.

VII. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the forests whereof the meets, meers, limits and bounds shall be so returned and certified by virtue of any the said commissions as aforesaid, from thenceforth shall not extend, nor be extended, nor be deemed, adjudged, or taken to extend any further in any wise than the meets, meers, limits and bounds that shall be so returned and certified; and that all the places and territories that shall be without the meets, meers, limits and bounds so returned and certified, shall be and are hereby declared to be from thenceforth free to all intents and purposes, as if the same had never been forest, or so reputed; any Act or Acts, matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

VIII. Provided, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all and every the grounds, territories or places which have been or are disafforested or mentioned to be disafforested in or by any Letters Patents, Charters, or otherwise since the said twentieth year of the reign of our said late Sovereign Lord, King James, shall be excluded and left out of the meets, meers, limits and bounds of the forests which are to be enquired of returned and certified by virtue of the said commissions, or any of them respectively, and shall be, and hereby are declared and enacted to be utterly disafforested, free, and exempt to all intents and purposes as if the same had never been at all forest, or so reputed; anything in this present Act contained, or any other Act, matter or thing whatsoever to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.

IX. Provided nevertheless and be it enacted that the tenants, owners, and occupiers, and every of them of lands and tenements, which shall be excluded and left out of the meets, meers, limits or bounds of the forests to be returned and certified by virtue of any the said commissions, shall or may use and enjoy. such common, and other profits and easements within the forest, as anciently or accustomarily they have used and enjoyed; anything in this present Act contained or any Act or Ordinance made in the three-and-thirtieth year of King Edward the First, or any custom or law of the forest, or any other matter or thing to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.

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203. Act prohibiting the Exaction of Knighthood Fines

(1641, August 10. 16 Charles I. c. 20. 5 S R. 151. Gardiner,196, 197.)

WEEREAS upon pretext of an ancient custom or usage of this realm of England, that men of full age being not Knights, and being seised of lands or rents of the yearly value of forty pounds or more (especially if their seisin had so continued by the space of three years next past), might be compelled by the King’s writ to receive, or take upon them, the Order or Dignity of Knighthood, or else to make fine for the discharge or respite of the same, several writs, about the beginning of His Majesty’s reign, issued out of the Court of Chancery for proclamations to be made in every County to that purpose, and for certifying the names of all such persons, and for summoning them personally to appear in the King’s presence, before a certain day, to be there ready to receive the said Order or Dignity: upon return of which writs, and transmitting the same with their returns into the Court of Exchequer, and upon other writs for further inquiry of the names of such persons issuing out of the said Court of Exchequer, process by distringas was thence made against a very great number of persons, many of which were altogether unfit, in regard either of estate or quality, to receive the said Order or Dignity, and very many were put to grievous fines and other vexations for the same, although in truth it were not sufficiently known how, or in what sort, or where they, or any of them, should, or might have addressed themselves for receiving the said Order or Dignity and for saving themselves thereby from the said fines, process and vexations: and whereas it is most apparent, that all and every such proceeding, in regard of the matter therein pretended, is altogether useless and unreasonable: may it therefore please your Most Excellent Majesty that it be by authority of Parliament declared and enacted;

II. And he 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 taken upon him or them the said Order or Dignity, and that all and every writ or process whatsoever, and all and every proceeding which shall hereafter be had or made contrary to the intent of this Act, shall be deemed and adjudged to be utterly void; 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 dependents 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.

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204. The Grand Remonstrance, with the Petition accompanying It

(Presented to Charles I., December 1, 1641. Rushworth, iv. 438. The whole reprinted in Gardiner, 202-232.)

MOST Gracious Sovereign,

Your Majesty’s most humble and faithful subjects the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, do with much thankfulness and joy acknowledge the great mercy and fayour of God, in giving your Majesty a safe and peaceable return out of Scotland into your kingdom of England, where the pressing dangers and distempers of the State have caused us with much earnestness to desire the comfort of your gracious presence, and likewise the unity and justice of your royal authority, to give more life and power to the dutiful and loyal counsels and endeavours of your Parliament, for the prevention of that eminent ruin and destruction wherein your kingdoms of England and Scotland are threatened. The duty which we owe to your Majesty and our country, cannot but make us very sensible and apprehensive, that the multiplicity, sharpness and malignity of those evils under which we have now many years suffered, are fomented and cherished by a corrupt and ill-affected party, who amongst other their mischievous devices for the alteration of religion and government, have sought by many false scandals and imputations, cunningly insinuated and dispersed amongst the people, to blemish and disgrace our proceedings in this Parliament, and to get themselves a party and faction amongst your subjects, for the better strengthening themselves in their wicked courses, and hindering those provisions and remedies which might, by the wisdom of your Majesty and counsel of your Parliament, be opposed against them.

For preventing whereof and the better information of your Majesty, your Peers and all other your loyal subjects, we have been necessitated to make a declaration of the state of the kingdom, both before and since the assembly of this Parliament, unto this time, which we do humbly present to your Majesty, without the least intention to lay any blemish upon your royal person, but only to represent how your royal authority and trust have been abused, to the great prejudice and danger of your Majesty, and of all your good subjects.

And because we have reason to believe that those malignant parties, whose proceedings evidently appear to he mainly for the advantage and increase of Popery, is composed, set up, and acted by the subtle practice of the Jesuits and other engineers and factors for Rome, and to the great danger of this kingdom, and most grievous affliction of your loyal subjects, have so far prevailed as to corrupt divers of your Bishops and others in prime places of the Church, and also to bring divers of these instruments to be of your Privy Council, and other employments of trust and nearness about your Majesty, the Prince, and the rest of your royal children.

And by this means have had such an operation in your counsel and the most important affairs and proceedings of your government, that a most dangerous division and chargeable preparation for war betwixt your kingdoms of England and Scotland, the increase of jealousies betwixt your Majesty and your most obedient subjects, the violent distraction and interruption of this Parliament, the insurrection of the Papists in your kingdom of Ireland, and bloody massacre of your people, have been not only endeavoured and attempted, but in a great measure compassed and effected.

For preventing the final accomplishment whereof, your poor subjects are enforced to engage their persons and estates to the maintaining of a very expensive and dangerous war, notwithstanding they have already since the beginning of this Parliament undergone the charge of £150,000 sterling, or thereabouts, for the necessary support and supply of your Majesty in these present and perilous designs. And because all our most faithful endeavours and engagements will be ineffectual for the peace, safety and preservation of your Majesty and your people, if some present, real and effectual course be not taken for suppressing this wicked and malignant party: —

We, your most humble and obedient subjects, do with all faithfulness and humility beseech your Majesty, —

1. That you will be graciously pleased to concur with the humble desires of your people in a parliamentary way, for the preserving the peace and safety of the kingdom from the malicious designs of the Popish party: —

For depriving the Bishops of their votes in Parliament, and abridging their immoderate power usurped over the Clergy, and other your good subjects, which they have perniciously abused to the hazard of religion, and great prejudice and oppression of the laws of the kingdom, and just liberty of your people: —

For the taking away such oppressions in religion, Church government and discipline, as have been brought in and fomented by them: —

For uniting all such your loyal subjects together as join in the same fundamental truths against the Papists, by removing some oppressions and unnecessary ceremonies by which divers weak consciences have been scrupled, and seem to be divided from the rest, and for the due execution of those good laws which have been made for securing the liberty of your subjects.

2. That your Majesty will likewise be pleased to remove from your council all such as persist to favour and promote any of those pressures and corruptions wherewith your people have been grieved, and that for the future your Majesty will vouchsafe to employ such persons in your great and public affairs, and to take such to be near you in places of trust, as your Parliament may have cause to confide in; that in your princely goodness to your people you will reject and refuse all mediation and solicitation to the contrary, how powerful and near soever.

3. That you will be pleased to forbear to alienate any of the forfeited and escheated lands in Ireland which shall accrue to your Crown by reason of this rebellion, that out of them the Crown may be the better supported, and some satisfaction made to your subjects of this kingdom for the great expenses they are like to undergo [in] this war.

Which humble desires of ours being graciously fu1fil1ed by your Majesty, we will, by the blessing and favour of God, most cheerfully undergo the hazard and expenses of this war, and apply ourselves to such other courses and counsels as may Support your royal estate with honour and plenty at home, with power and reputation abroad, and by our loyal affections, obedience and service, lay a sure and lasting foundation of the greatness and prosperity of your Majesty, and your royal posterity in future times.

The Grand Remonstrance

[Part omitted]

191. For the perfecting of the work begun, and removing all future impediments, we conceive these courses will be very effectual, seeing the religion of the Papists hath such principles as do certainly tend to the destruction and extirpation of all Protestants, when they shall have opportunity to effect it.

192. It is necessary in the first place to keep them in such condition as that they may not be able to do us any hurt, and for avoiding of such connivance and favour as hath heretofore been shown unto them.

193. That His Majesty be pleased to grant a standing Commission to some choice men named in Parliament, who may take notice of their increase, their counsels and proceedings, and use all due means by execution of the laws to prevent all mischievous designs against the peace and safety of this kingdom.

194. Thus some good course be taken to discover the counterfeit and false conformity of Papists to the Church, by colour whereof persons very much disaffected to the true religion have been admitted into place of greatest authority and trust in the kingdom.

195. For the better preservation of the laws and liberties of the kingdom, that all illegal grievances and exactions be presented and punished at the sessions and assizes.

196. And that Judges and Justices be very careful to give this in charge to the grand jury, and both the sheriff and Justices to be sworn to the due execution of the Petition of Right and other laws.

197. That His Majesty be humbly petitioned by both Houses to employ such counsellors, ambassadors and other ministers, in managing his business at home and abroad, as the Parliament may have cause to confide in, without which we cannot give His Majesty such supplies for support of his own estate, nor such assistance to the Protestant party beyond the sea, as is desired.

198. It may often fall out that the Commons may have just cause to take exceptions at some men for being councillors, and yet not charge those men with crimes, for there be grounds of diffidence which lie not in proof.

199. There are others, which though they may be proved, yet are not legally criminal.

200. To be a known favourer of Papists, or to have been very forward in defending or countenancing some great offenders questioned in Parliament; or to speak contemptuously of either Houses of Parliament or Parliamentary proceedings.

201. Or such as are factors or agents for any foreign prince of another religion; such are justly suspected to get councillors’ places, or any other of trust concerning public employment for money; for all these and divers others we may have great reason to be earnest with His Majesty, not to put his great affairs into such hands, though we may be unwilling to proceed against them in any legal way of charge or impeachment.

202. That all Councillors of State may be sworn to observe those laws which concern the subject in his liberty, that they may likewise take an oath not to receive or give reward or pension from any foreign prince, but such as they shall within some reasonable time discover to the Lords of His Majesty’s Council.

203. And although they should wickedly forswear themselves, yet it may herein do good to make them known to be false and perjured to those who employ them, and thereby bring them into as little credit with them as with us.

204. That His Majesty may have cause to be in love with good counsel and good men. by showing him in an humble and dutiful manner how full of advantage it would be to himself, to see his own estate settled in a plentiful condition to support his honour; to see his people united in ways of duty to him, and endeavours of the public good; to see happiness, wealth, peace and safety derived to his own kingdom, and procured to his allies, by the influence of his own power and government.

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205. The King’s Answer to the Petition Accompanying the Grand Remonstrance

(1641, December 23. Rushworth, iv. 452. Gardiner, 233-236.)

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 you 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 although 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, consisting of several branches, 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. This we would have you consider; but since you desire our concurrence herein in a parliamentary way, we will give no further answer at this time.

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: that for any illegal innovations which may have crept in, we shall willingly concur in the removal of them: that, 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; but we are very sorry to hear, in such general terms, corruption in religion objected, since we are persuaded in our conscience that no Church can be found upon the earth that professeth the true religion with more purity of doctrine than the Church of England doth, nor where the government and discipline are jointly more beautified and free from superstition; then as they are here established by law, which, by the grace of God, we will with constancy maintain (while we live) in their purity and glory, not only against all invasions of Popery, but also from the irreverence of those many schismatics and separatists, wherewith of late this kingdom and this city abounds, to the great dishonour and hazard both of Church and State, for the suppression of whom we require your timely aid and active assistance.

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: that 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 free men 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 concurred.

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 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 that rebellion; upon the speedy effecting whereof the glory of God in the Protestant profession, the safety of the British there, our honour, and that of the nation, so much depends: all the interests of this kingdom being so involved in that business, we cannot but quicken your affections therein, and shall desire you to frame your counsels, to give such expedition to the work as the nature thereof, and the pressures in point of time require; and whereof you are put in mind by the daily insolence and increase of those rebels.

For conclusion, your promise to apply yourselves to such courses as may support our royal estate with honour and plenty at home, and with power and reputation abroad, is that which we have ever promised ourself, both from your loyalties and affections, and also for what we have already done, and shall daily go adding unto, for the comfort and happiness of our people.

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206. The Clerical Disabilities Act

(1644, February 13. 16 Charles I. c. 27. 5 S. R. 158. Gardiner, 241-241 G. and H. 564.)

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 scandals 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 at any time after the fifteenth day of February, in the year of Our Lord one thousand six hundred forty-one, 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, of oyer and terminer, or gaol delivery, 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.

II. And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that all acts from and after the said 15th day of February, which shall be done or executed by any Archbishop or Bishop, or other person whatsoever in Holy Orders, and all and every suffrage or voice given or delivered by them or any of them, or other thing done by them or any of them contrary to the purport and true meaning of this present Act, shall be utterly void to all intents, constructions and purposes.

[This was the last Act of Parliament assented to by Charles I, and therefore regarded as still lawfully in force after 1660]

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207. The Solemn League and Covenant

(Taken by the House of Commons, September 25, 1643. Rushworth, v. 478. Cobbett’s Parliamentary History, iii. 169. Gardiner, 267-271. G. and H. 569-574.)

WE, noblemen, barons, knights, gentlemen, citizens, burgesses, ministers of the Gospel, and commons of all sorts, in the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, by the providence of God living under one King, and being of one reformed religion; having before our eyes the glory of God, and the advancement of the kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the honour and happiness of the King’s Majesty and his posterity, and the true public liberty, safety and peace of the kingdoms, wherein every one’s private condition is included; and calling to mind the treacherous and bloody plots, conspiracies, attempts and practices of the enemies of God against the true religion and professors thereof in all places, especially in these three kingdoms, ever since the reformation of religion; and how much their rage, power and presumption are of late, and at this time, increased and exercised, whereof the deplorable estate of the Church and kingdom of Ireland, the distressed estate of the Church and kingdom of England, and the dangerous estate of the Church and kingdom of Scotland, are present and public testimonies: we have (now at last) after other means of supplication, remonstrance, protestations and sufferings, for the preservation of ourselves and our religion from utter ruin and destruction, according to the commendable practice of these kingdoms in former times, and the example of God’s people in other nations, after mature deliberation, resolved and determined to enter into a mutual and solemn league and covenant, wherein we all subscribe, and each one of us for himself with our hands lifted up to the most high God, do swear:

I. That we shall sincerely, really and constantly, through the grace of God, endeavour in our several places and callings, the preservation of the reformed religion in the Church of Scotland, in doctrine, worship, discipline and government, against our common enemies; the reformation of religion in the kingdoms of England and Ireland, in doctrine, worship, discipline and government, according to the Word of God, and the example of the best reformed Churches; and we shall endeavour to bring the Churches of God in the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in religion, confession of faith, form of Church government, directory for worship and catechising, that we, and our posterity after us, may, as brethren, live in faith and love, and the Lord may delight to dwell in the midst of us.

II. That we shall in like manner, without respect of persons, endeavour the extirpation of Popery, Prelacy (that is, Church government by Archbishops, Bishops, their Chancellors and Commissaries, Deans, Deans and Chapters, Archdeacons, and all other ecclesiastical officers depending on that hierarchy), superstition, heresy, schism, profaneness, and whatsoever shall be found to be contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness, lest we partake in other men’s sins, and thereby be in danger to receive of their plagues; and that the Lord may be one, and His name one in the three kingdoms.

III. We shall with the same sincerity, reality and constancy, in our several vocations, endeavour with our estates and lives mutually to preserve the rights and privileges of the Parliaments, and the liberties of the kingdoms, and to preserve and defend the King’s Majesty’s person and authority, in the preservation and defence of the true religion and liberties of the kingdoms, that the world may bear witness with our consciences of our loyalty, and that we have no thoughts or intentions to diminish His Majesty’s just power and greatness.

IV. We shall also with all faithfulness endeavour the discovery of all such as have been or shall be incendiaries, malignants or evil instruments, by hindering the reformation of religion, dividing the King from his people, or one of the kingdoms from another, or making any faction or parties amongst the people, contrary to the league and covenant, that they may be brought to public trial and receive condign punishment, as the degree of their offences shall require or deserve, or the supreme judicatories of both kingdoms respectively, or others having power from them for that effect, shall judge convenient.

V. And whereas the happiness of a blessed peace between these kingdoms, denied in former times to our progenitors, is by the good providence of God granted to us, and hath been lately concluded and settled by both Parliaments: we shall each one of us, according to our places and interest, endeavour that they may remain conjoined in a firm peace and union to all posterity, and that justice may be done upon the wilful opposers thereof, in manner expressed in the precedent article.

VI. We shall also, according to our places and callings, in this common cause of religion, liberty and peace of the kingdoms, assist and defend all those that enter into this league and covenant, in the maintaining and pursuing thereof; and shall not suffer ourselves, directly or indirectly, by whatsoever combination, persuasion or terror, to be divided and withdrawn from this blessed union and conjunction, whether to make defection to the contrary part, or give ourselves to a detestable indifferency or neutrality in this cause, which so much concerneth the glory of God, the good of the kingdoms, and the honour of the King; but shall all the days of our lives zealously and constantly continue therein, against all opposition, and promote the same according to our power, against all lets and impediments whatsoever; and what we are not able ourselves to suppress or overcome we shall reveal and make known, that it may be timely prevented or removed: all which we shall do as in the sight of God.

And because these kingdoms are guilty of many sins and provocations against God, and His Son Jesus Christ, as is too manifest by our present distresses and dangers, the fruits thereof: we profess and declare, before God and the world, our unfeigned desire to be humbled for our own sins, and for the sins of these kingdoms; especially that we have not as we ought valued the inestimable benefit of the Gospel; that we have not laboured for the purity and power thereof; and that we have not endeavoured to receive Christ in our hearts, nor to walk worthy of Him in our lives, which are the causes of other sins and transgressions so much abounding amongst us; and our true and unfeigned purpose, desire and endeavour, for ourselves and all others under our power and charge, both in public and in private, in all duties we owe to God and man, to amend our lives, and each one to go before another in the example of a real reformation, that the Lord may turn away His wrath and heavy indignation, and establish these Churches and kingdoms in truth and peace. And this covenant we make in the presence of Almighty God, the Searcher of all hearts, with a true intention to perform the same, as we shall answer at that Great Day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed: most humbly beseeching the Lord to strengthen us by His Holy Spirit for this end, and to bless our desires and proceedings with such success as may be a deliverance and safety to His people, and encouragement to the Christian Churches groaning under or in danger of the yoke of Antichristian tyranny, to join in the same or like association and covenant, to the glory of God, the enlargement of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and the peace and tranquillity of Christian kingdoms and commonwealths.

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208. Ordinance appointing the First Committee of both Kingdoms

(1643/4, February 16. Cobbett’s Parliamentary History, iii. 248. Gardiner, 271-273.)

WHEREAS, by the covenant and treaty ratified and established between the two kingdoms of England and Scotland, both nations are engaged in one common cause against the enemies of their religion and liberties, and, by the late entrance of the Scottish forces into this kingdom in pursuance hereof are firmly united in a joint posture of arms for their own necessary defence, and for the attaining of 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, who, since their arrival, have presented their commission and powers, with their earnest desire that the Parliament would lay down some speedy and constant way of communicating the desires and joining the counsels of both kingdoms, in pursuance of the covenant, treaty and common interests of His Majesty’s dominions.

In consideration hereof, the Lords and Commons do nominate, ordain and appoint Algernon, Earl of Northumberland, Robert, Earl of Essex (Lord General), Robert, Earl of Warwick (Lord Admiral), Edward, Earl of Manchester, William, Viscount Say and Sele, Philip, Lord Wharton, John, Lord Robarts, William Pierpoint, Sir Henry Vane (senior), Sir Philip Stapleton, Sir William Waller, Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Sir William Armyne, Sir Arthur Haslerigg, Sir Henry Vane (junior), John Crewe, Robert Wallop, Oliver St. John (Solicitor-General), Oliver Cromwell, Samuel Browne and John Glynn (Recorder), 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, or any six of them, whereof one Lord and two Commoners, as a joint Committee with the Committees 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 correspondence and intelligence with foreign States; and further to advise and consult of all things in pursuance of the ends in the covenant and treaty.

Provided always, that nothing in this Ordinance shall authorise 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.

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209. The Self-denying Ordinance

(1645, April 4. Rushworth, vi. 16. Gardiner, 287, 288.)

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, of and from all and every office or command military or civil, granted or 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 an 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 corn missions, continue in their several places and commands, wherein they were employed and intrusted 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 Justice of Peace, or sewers, or any commission of Oyer and Terminer, or gaol-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.

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[The major break in legal continuity was made by the Act for the King’s trial. Hitherto, with some small show of legality, legislation had been by Ordinance of the two Houses of Parliament. The Lords, however, although reduced by this time to only about half a dozen peers, refused to agree to this proposal from the purged Commons, which became the first “Act of the Commons of England in Parliament assembled”.]


210.Act erecting a High Court of Justice for the Trial of Charles I

(Passed the Commons, January 6, 1648/9. Rushworth viii. 1379.)

WHEREAS it is notorious that Charles Stuart, the now King of England, not content with those many encroachments which his predecessors had made upon the people in their rights and freedoms, hath had a wicked design totally to subvert the ancient and fundamental laws and liberties of this nation, and in their place to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government, and that besides all other evil ways and means to bring this design to pass, he hath prosecuted it with fire and sword, levied and maintained a civil war in the land, against the Parliament and kingdom; whereby the country hath been miserably wasted, the public treasure exhausted, trade decayed, thousands of people murdered, and infinite other mischiefs committed; for all which high and treasonable offences the said Charles Stuart might long since justly have been brought to exemplary and condign punishment; whereas also the Parliament, well hoping that the restraint and imprisonment of his person, after it had pleased God to deliver him into their hands, would have quieted the distempers of the kingdom, did forbear to proceed judicially against him, but found, by sad experience, that such their remissness served only to encourage him and his accomplices in the continuance of their evil practices, and in raising new commotions, rebellions and invasions: for prevention therefore of the like or greater inconveniences, and to the end no Chief Officer or Magistrate whatsoever may hereafter presume, traitorously and maliciously to imagine or contrive the enslaving or destroying of the English nation, and to expect impunity for so doing; be it enacted and ordained by the Commons in Parliament and it is hereby enacted and ordained by the authority thereof that Thomas, Lord Fairfax, Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton [* * * 135 names in all], shall be and are hereby appointed and required to be Commissioners and judges for the hearing, trying and adjudging of the said Charles Stuart; and the said Commissioners, or any twenty or more of them, shall be, and are hereby authorised and constituted an High Court of Justice, to meet and sit at such convenient time and place as by the said Commissioners, or the major part of twenty or more of them, under their hands and seals, shall be appointed and notified by public proclamation in the Great Hall or Palace Yard of Westminster; and to adjourn from time to time, and from place to place, as the said High Court, or the major part thereof meeting, shall hold fit; and to take order for the charging of him, the said Charles Stuart, with the crimes and treasons above mentioned, and for receiving his personal answer thereunto, and for examination of witnesses upon oath (which the Court hath hereby authority to administer) or otherwise, and taking any other evidence concerning the same; and thereupon, or in default of such answer, to proceed to final sentence according to justice and the merit of the cause; and such final sentence to execute, or cause be to executed, speedily and impartially.

And the said Court is hereby authorised and required to appoint and direct all such officers, attendants and other circumstances as they, or the major part of them, shall in any sort judge necessary or useful for the orderly and good managing of the premises. And Thomas, Lord Fairfax, the General, and all officers and soldiers under his command, and all officers of justice, and other well-affected persons, are hereby authorised and required to be aiding and assisting unto the said Court in the due execution of the trust hereby committed. Provided that this Act, and the authority hereby granted, do continue in force for the space of one month from the date of the making hereof, and no longer.

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211. Sentence of the High Court of Justice upon Charles I

(1648/9, January 27. Rushworth, viii. 1420. Gardiner, 377-380.)

WHEREAS the Commons of England assembled in Parliament, have by their late Act entitled ‘An Act of the Commons of England, assembled in Parliament, for erecting an High Court of Justice for the trying and judging of Charles Stuart, King of England,’ authorised and constituted us an High Court of Justice for the trying and judging of the said Charles Stuart for the crimes and treasons in the said Act mentioned; by virtue whereof the said Charles Stuart hath been three several times convented before this High Court, where the first day, being Saturday, the 20th of January, instant, in pursuance of the said Act, a charge of high treason and other high crimes was, in the behalf of the people of England, exhibited against him, and read openly unto him, wherein he was charged, that he, the said Charles Stuart, being admitted King of England, and therein trusted with a limited power to govern by, and according to the law of the land, and not otherwise, and by his trust, oath, and office, being obliged to use the power committed to him for the good and benefit of the people, and for the preservation of their rights and liberties; yet, nevertheless, out of a wicked design to erect and uphold in himself an unlimited and tyrannical power to rule according to his will, and to overthrow the rights and liberties of the people, and to take away and make void the foundations thereof and of all redress and remedy of misgovernment, which by the fundamental constitutions of this kingdom were reserved on the people’s behalf in the right and power of frequent and successive Parliaments, or national meetings in Council; he, the said Charles Stuart, for accomplishment of such his designs, and for the protecting of himself and his adherents in his and their wicked practices, to the same end hath traitorously and maliciously levied war against the present Parliament and people therein represented, as with the circumstances of time and place is in the said charge more particularly set forth; and that he hath thereby caused and procured many thousands of the free people of this nation to be slain; and by divisions, parties, and insurrections within this land, by invasions from foreign parts, endeavoured and procured by him, and by many other evil ways and means, he, the said Charles Stuart, hath not only maintained and carried on the said war both by sea and land, but also hath renewed, or caused to be renewed, the said war against the Parliament and good people of this nation in this present year 1648, in several counties and places in this kingdom in the charge specified; and that he hath for that purpose given his commission to his son, the Prince, and others, whereby, besides multitudes of other persons, many such as were by the Parliament entrusted and employed for the safety of this nation, being by him or his agents corrupted, to the betraying of their trust, and revolting from the Parliament, have had entertainment and commission for the continuing and renewing of the war and hostility against the said Parliament and people: and that by the said cruel and unnatural war so levied, continued and renewed, much innocent blood of the free people of this nation hath been spilt, many families undone, the public treasure wasted, trade obstructed and miserably decayed, vast expense and damage to the nation incurred, and many parts of the land spoiled, some of them even to desolation; and that he still continues his commission to his said son, and other rebels and revolters, both English and foreigners, and to the Earl of Ormond, and to the Irish rebels and revolters associated with him, from whom further invasions of this land are threatened by his procurement and on his behalf; and that all the said wicked designs, wars, and evil practices of him, the said Charles Stuart, were still carried on for the advancement and upholding of the personal interest of will, power, and pretended prerogative to himself and his family, against the public interest, common right, liberty, justice, and peace of the people of this nation: and that he thereby hath been and is the occasioner, author, and continuer of the said unnatural, cruel, and bloody wars, and therein guilty of all the treasons, murders, rapines, burnings, spoils, desolations, damage, and mischief to this nation, acted and committed in the said wars, or occasioned thereby; whereupon the proceedings and judgment of this Court were prayed against him, as a tyrant, traitor, and murderer, and public enemy to the Commonwealth, as by the said charge more fully appeareth. To which charge, being read unto him as aforesaid, he, the said Charles Stuart, was required to give his answer, but he refused so to do; and upon Monday, the 22nd day of January instant, being again brought before this Court, and there required to answer directly to the said charge, he still refused so to do; whereupon his default and contumacy was entered; and the next day, being the third time brought before the Court, judgment was then prayed against him on the behalf of the people of England for his contumacy, and for the matters contained against him in the said charge, as taking the same for confessed, in regard of his refusing to answer thereto. Yet notwithstanding this Court (not willing to take advantage of his contempt) did once more require him to answer to the said charge; but he again refused so to do; upon which his several defaults, this Court might justly have proceeded to judgment against him, both for his contumacy and the matters of the charge, taking the same for confessed as aforesaid.

Yet nevertheless this Court, for its own clearer information and further satisfaction, have thought fit to examine witnesses upon oath, and take notice of other evidences, touching the matters contained in the said charge, which accordingly they have done.

Now, therefore, upon serious and mature deliberation of the premises, and consideration had of the notoriety of the matters of fact charged upon him as aforesaid, this Court is in judgment and conscience satisfied that he, the said Charles Stuart, is guilty of levying war against the said Parliament and people, and maintaining and continuing the same; for which in the said charge he stands accused, and by the general course of his government, counsels, and practices, before and since this Parliament began (which have been and are notorious and public, and the effects whereof remain abundantly upon record) this Court is fully satisfied in their judgments and consciences, that he has been and is guilty of the wicked designs and endeavours in the said charge set forth; and that the said war hath been levied, maintained, and continued by him as aforesaid, in prosecution, and for accomplishment of the said designs; and that he hath been and is the occasioner, author, and continuer of the said unnatural, cruel, and bloody wars, and therein guilty of high treason, and of the murders, rapines, burnings, spoils, desolations, damage, and mischief to this nation acted and committed in the said war, and occasioned thereby. For all which treasons and crimes this Court doth adjudge that he, the said Charles Stuart, as a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and public enemy to the good people of this nation, shall be put to death by the severing of his head from his body.

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212. The Death Warrant of Charles I

(1648/9, January 29. Rushworth, viii. 1426. Gardiner, 380.)

At the High Court of Justice for the trying and judging of Charles Stuart, King of England, Jan. 29, Anno Domini 1648.

WHEREAS Charles Stuart, King of England, is, and standeth convicted, attainted, and condemned of high treason, and other high crimes; and sentence upon Saturday last was pronounced against him by this Court, to be put to death by the severing of his head from his body; of which sentence, execution vet remaineth to be done: these are therefore to will and require you to see the said sentence executed in the open street before Whitehall, upon the morrow, being the thirtieth day of this instant month of January, between the hours of ten in the morning and five in the afternoon of the same day, with full effect. And for so doing this shall be your sufficient warrant. And these are to require all officers, soldiers, and others, the good people of this nation of England, to be assisting unto you in this service.

To Col. Francis Hacker, Col. Huncks, and Lieut-Col. Phayre, and to every of them.

Given under our hands and seals.
JOHN BRADSHAW.
THOMAS GREY.
OLIVER CROMWELL.
[ * * * 59 names in all.]

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