Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Declaration of Rights

Die Martis 12 February 1688/9

The Declaration of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons Assembled at Westminster

Whereas the late King James, the second, by the Assistance of divers Evil Counsellors, Judges, and Ministers, imployed by him did endeavour to Subvert and extirpate the Protestant Religion, and the Lawes and Liberties of this Kingdome.

1. By assuming and exercising a Power of dispensing with and Suspending of Lawes, and the Execution of Lawes without the Consent of Parliament.

2. By committing and prosecuting diverse worthy Prelates for humbly petitioning to be excused from concurring to the said assumed Power.

3. By issuing and causing to be Executed a Commission, under the Great Seale, for erecting a Court called Courte of Commissioners for Ecclesiasticall Causes.

4. By leaving Money for and to the use of the Crown by pretence of Prerogative for other Time and in other manner than the same was granted by Parliament.

5. By raiseing and keeping a standing army within this Kingdom in time of Peace without Consent of Parliament and quartering Souldiers contrary to the Law.

6. By causing several good Subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when Papists were both armed and Employed contrary to Law.

7. By violating the freedome of Election of Members to serve in Parliament.

8. By prosecutions in the Courte of King’s Bench for matters and Causes Cognizable only in Parliament And by divers other Arbitrary and illegal Courses.

9. And whereas of late Years partial corrupt and unqualified persons have been returned and served on Juryes in tryalls and, particularly divers Jurors in Tryalls for high Treason which were not freeholders.

10. And excessive Bayle hath been required of persons Committed in Criminal Cases to elude the benefitt of the Lawes made for the liberty of the Subjects.

11. And excessive fynes have been imposed.

12. And illegal and cruell punishments inflicted

13. And several Grants and promises made of fynes and forfeitures before any Conviction or Judgment against the persons upon whom the same were to be levied.

All which are utterly and directly contrary to the knowne Lawes and Statutes and freedome of this Realme.

And whereas the said late King James the second having abdicated the Government and the throne being thereby vacant.

His Highnesse the Prince of Orange (whom it hath pleased Almighty God to make his glorious Instrument of delivering this kingdom from Popery and Arbitrary Power) Did (by advice of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and divers principall persons of the Commons) Cause Letters to be written to the Lords Spirituall and Temporall being Protestants and other Letters to the several Countyes Citties Universities Burroughs and Cinqe Ports for the chuseing of such persons to represent them as were of right to be sent to Parliament to meet and sitt at Westminster upon the two and twentiesth day of January in this Year 1688 in order to such an establishment as that their Religion Lawes and Libertyes might not againe be in danger of being subverted. Upon with Letters Elections having been accordingly made.

And thereupon the said Lords SPirituall and Temporall and Commons pursuant to their respective letters and Elections being now assembled in a full and free representative of this nations taking into their most serious consideration the best meanes for atteyneing the ends aforesaid Doe in the first place (as their Ancestors in like Case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their antient rights and Liberties, Declare.

1. That the pretended power of suspending of Lawes or the execution of Lawes by Regall Authority without Consent of Parliament is illegal.

2. That the pretended power of dispensing with lawes or the Execution of lawes by regall authority as it has been assumed and exercised of late is illegall.

3. That the Commission for erecting the late Courte of Commissioners for Ecclesiasticall Causes and all other Commissions and Courts of life nature are illegall and pernicious.

4. That levying of money for or to the use of the Crowne by pretence of Prerogative without grant of Parliament for longer time or in other manner, than the same is or shall be granted is illegall.

5. That it is the right of Subjects to petition the King and all Commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegall.

6. That the raiseing or keeping a Standing Army within the Kingdom in time of Peace unlesse it be with consent of Parliament is against the Law.

7. That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Armes for their defence Suitable to their Condition and as allowed by Law.

8. That Elections of Members of Parliament out to be free.

9. That the freedome of Speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any Courte or place out of Parliament.

10. That excessive Bayle ought not to be required nor excessive fynes imposed nor cruel and unusuall Punishments inflicted.

11. That Jurors ought to be duley impannelled and returned and Jurors which passé upon men in tryalls for high treasons ought to be freeholders.

12. That all grants and promises of fynes and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegall and void.

13. And that for redress of all greivances and for the amending strengthening and preserving of the Lawes, Parliaments ought to be held frequently.

And they do claime demand and insist upon all singular the premises as their undoubted Rights and Liberties and that noe Declarations Judgements Doeings or proceedings to the prejudice of the People in any of the said premises ought in any wise to bee drawn hereafter into Consequence or Example.

To which demand of their rights they are particularly Encouraged by the declaration of his Highness the Prince of Orange as being the only Meanes for obteyning a full redress and remedy therein.

Having therefore an intire Confidence that his said Highness the Prince of Orange will perfect the deliverance soe farr advanced by him and will still preserve them from the violation of their rights which they have asserted and from all other attempts upon their Religion Rights and Liberties.

The said Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons Assembled at Westminster doe Resolve,

That William and Mary Prince and Princesse of Orange bee and bee declared, King and Queen of England France and Ireland and the dominions thereunto belonging to hold the Crowne and Royall dignity of the said Kingdom’s and Dominions to them the said Prince and Princess during their lives and the life of the Survivor of them and that the Sole and full exercise of the Regall Power be only in and executed by the said Prince of Orange in the Names of the said Prince and Princesse during their Joynt lives And after their deceases the said Crowne and Royall Dignity of the said Kingdoms and Dominions to be to the heires of the body of the said Princesse: And for default of such Issue to the Princesse Anne of Denmarke and the heires of her body. And for default of such Issue to their heires of the body of the said Prince of Orange.
And the said Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons doe pray the said Prince and Princesse of Orange to accept the same accordingly.

And that the Oathes hereafter mentioned bee taken by all persons of whom the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy might be required by Law instead of them. And that the said Oathes of Allegiance and Supremacy might be required by Law instead of them. And that the said Oathes of Allegiance and Supremacy bee abrogated.

I A.B. doe sincerely promise and sweare That I will be faithfull and beare true Allegiance to their Majesties King William and Queen Mary. Soe help mee God.
I. A.B. doe sweare That I doe from my heart Abhoure, detest, and Abjure as impious and Hereticall this Damnable Doctrine and Position That Princes Excommunicated or Deprived by the Pope or any Authority of the see of Rome may be deposed or Murdered by their Subjects or any other whatsoever And I doe Declare That noe foreign Prince Person Prelate State or Potentate hath or ought to have any Jurisdiction Power Superiority Preeminence or Authority Ecclesiasticall or Spirituall within this Realme. Soe held mee God.

It is Ordered By the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons now assembled at Westminster That is declaration be ingrossed in Parliament and inrolled amongst the Rolls of Parliament and Recorded in Chancery.

[no date]
Signed: Jo, Browne, Cleris

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