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The Petition of Right 1628

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Петиция за правата от 1628 год.

This is a statement of the objectives of the 1628 English legal reform

movement that led to the Civil War and deposing of Charles I in 1649. It

expresses many of the ideals that later led to the American Revolution.


The Petition of Right


The Petition exhibited to his Majesty by the Lords Spiritual and

Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, concerning

divers Rights and Liberties of the Subjects, with the King's Majesty's

royal answer thereunto in full Parliament.

To the King's Most Excellent Majesty,

Humbly show unto our Sovereign Lord the King, the Lords Spiritual and

Temporal, and Commons in Parliament assembles, that whereas it is

declared and enacted by a statute made in the time of the reign of King

Edward I, commonly called Stratutum de Tellagio non Concedendo, that no

tallage or aid shall be laid or levied by the king or his heirs in this

realm, without the good will and assent of the archbishops, bishops,

earls, barons, knights, burgesses, and other the freemen of the

commonalty of this realm; and by authority of parliament holden in the

five-and-twentieth year of the reign of King Edward III, it is declared

and enacted, that from thenceforth no person should be compelled to make

any loans to the king against his will, because such loans were against

reason and the franchise of the land; and by other laws of this realm it

is provided, that none should be charged by any charge or imposition

called a benevolence, nor by such like charge; by which statutes before

mentioned, and other the good laws and statutes of this realm, your

subjects have inherited this freedom, that they should not be compelled

to contribute to any tax, tallage, aid, or other like charge not set by

common consent, in parliament.

II. Yet nevertheless of late divers commissions directed to sundry

commissioners in several counties, with instructions, have issued; by

means whereof your people have been in divers places assembled, and

required to lend certain sums of money unto your Majesty, and many of

them, upon their refusal so to do, have had an oath administered unto

them not warrantable by the laws or statutes of this realm, and have

been constrained to become bound and make appearance and give utterance

before your Privy Council and in other places, and others of them have

been therefore imprisoned, confined, and sundry other ways molested and

disquieted; and divers other charges have been laid and levied upon your

people in several counties by lord lieutenants, deputy lieutenants,

commissioners for musters, justices of peace and others, by command or

direction from your Majesty, or your Privy Council, against the laws and

free custom of the realm.

III. And whereas also by the statute called 'The Great Charter of the

Liberties of England,' it is declared and enacted, that no freeman may

be taken or imprisoned or be disseized of his freehold or liberties, or

his free customs, or be outlawed or exiled, or in any manner destroyed,

but by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.

IV. And in the eight-and-twentieth year of the reign of King Edward III,

it was declared and enacted by authority of parliament, that no man, of

what estate or condition that he be, should be put out of his land or

tenements, nor taken, nor imprisoned, nor disinherited nor put to death

without being brought to answer by due process of law.

V. Nevertheless, against the tenor of the said statutes, and other the

good laws and statutes of your realm to that end provided, divers of

your subjects have of late been imprisoned without any cause showed; and

when for their deliverance they were brought before your justices by

your Majesty's writs of habeas corpus, there to undergo and receive as

the court should order, and their keepers commanded to certify the

causes of their detainer, no cause was certified, but that they were

detained by your Majesty's special command, signified by the lords of

your Privy Council, and yet were returned back to several prisons,

without being charged with anything to which they might make answer

according to the law.

VI. And whereas of late great companies of soldiers and mariners have

been dispersed into divers counties of the realm, and the inhabitants

against their wills have been compelled to receive them into their

houses, and there to suffer them to sojourn against the laws and customs

of this realm, and to the great grievance and vexation of the people.

VII. And whereas also by authority of parliament, in the

five-and-twentieth year of the reign of King Edward III, it is declared

and enacted, that no man shall be forejudged of life or limb against the

form of the Great Charter and the law of the land; and by the said Great

Charter and other the laws and statutes of this your realm, no man ought

to be adjudged to death but by the laws established in this your realm,

either by the customs of the same realm, or by acts of parliament: and

whereas no offender of what kind soever is exempted from the proceedings

to be used, and punishments to be inflicted by the laws and statutes of

this your realm; nevertheless of late time divers commissions under your

Majesty's great seal have issued forth, by which certain persons have

been assigned and appointed commissioners with power and authority to

proceed within the land, according to the justice of martial law,

against such soldiers or mariners, or other dissolute persons joining

with them, as should commit any murder, robbery, felony, mutiny, or

other outrage or misdemeanor whatsoever, and by such summary course and

order as is agreeable to martial law, and is used in armies in time of

war, to proceed to the trial and condemnation of such offenders, and

them to cause to be executed and put to death according to the law


VIII. By pretext whereof some of your Majesty's subjects have been by

some of the said commissioners put to death, when and where, if by the

laws and statutes of the land they had deserved death, by the same laws

and statutes also they might, and by no other ought to have been judged

and executed.

IX. And also sundry grievous offenders, by color thereof claiming an

exemption, have escaped the punishments due to them by the laws and

statutes of this your realm, by reason that divers of your officers and

ministers of justice have unjustly refused or forborne to proceed

against such offenders according to the same laws and statutes, upon

pretense that the said offenders were punishable only by martial law,

and by authority of such commissions as aforesaid; which commissions,

and all other of like nature, are wholly and directly contrary to the

said laws and statutes of this your realm.

X. They do therefore humbly pray your most excellent Majesty, that no

man hereafter be compelled to make or yield any gift, loan, benevolence,

tax, or such like charge, without common consent by act of parliament;

and that none be called to make answer, or take such oath, or to give

attendance, or be confined, or otherwise molested or disquieted

concerning the same or for refusal thereof; and that no freeman, in any

such manner as is before mentioned, be imprisoned or detained; and that

your Majesty would be pleased to remove the said soldiers and mariners,

and that your people may not be so burdened in time to come; and that

the aforesaid commissions, for proceeding by martial law, may be revoked

and annulled; and that hereafter no commissions of like nature may issue

forth to any person or persons whatsoever to be executed as aforesaid,

lest by color of them any of your Majesty's subjects be destroyed or put

to death contrary to the laws and franchise of the land.

XI. All which they most humbly pray of your most excellent Majesty as

their rights and liberties, according to the laws and statutes of this

realm; and that your Majesty would also vouchsafe to declare, that the

awards, doings, and proceedings, to the prejudice of your people in any

of the premises, shall not be drawn hereafter into consequence or

example; and that your Majesty would be also graciously pleased, for the

further comfort and safety of your people, to declare your royal will

and pleasure, that in the things aforesaid all your officers and

ministers shall serve you according to the laws and statutes of this

realm, as they tender the honor of your Majesty, and the prosperity of

this kingdom.

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