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customs, or be outlawed or exiled or otherwise destroyed, and
that the King will not pass upon him or condemn him but by
lawful judgment of his Peers or by the law of the land ; and
by another statute made in the fifth year of the reign of King
Edward the Third ^, it is enacted that no man shall be attached
by any accusation nor forejudged of life or limb, nor his lands,
tenements, goods nor chattels seized into the King's hands
against the form of the Great Charter and the law of the
land ' V and by another statute made in the five-and-twentieth
year of the reign of the same King Edward the Third ', it is
accorded, assented and established that none shall be taken
by petition or suggestion made to the King or to his Council,
unless it be by indictment or presentment of good and lawful
people of the same neighbourhood where such deeds be done,
in due manner or by process made by writ original at the
common law, and that none be put out of his franchise or
freehold unless he be duly brought in to answer and forejudged
of the same by the course of the law, and if anything be done
against the same, it shall be redressed and holden for none:
and by another statute made in the eight-and-twentieth year
of the reign of the same King Edward the Third ^ it is amongst
other things enacted that no man of what estate or condition
soever he be shall be put out of his lands or tenements, nor
taken nor imprisoned nor disinherited without being brought in
to answer by due process of law: and by another statute made
in the two-and-fortieth year of the reign of the said King
Edward the Third *, it is enacted that no man be put to answer
without presentment before Justices or matter of record, or by
due process and writ original according to the old law of the
land, and if anything be done to the contrary, it shall be void
in law and holden for error : and by another statute made in
the six-and-thirtieth year of the same King Edward the Third •,
it is amongst other things enacted, that all pleas which shall
be pleaded in any Courts before any of the King's Justices, or
in his other places or before any of his other ministers, or in

> 5 £. III. c. 9. ^ Magna Carta, 9 H. III. c. 39.

» 35 B. HL St. 5. c. 4. * 38 E. III. c. 3.

• 43 B. III. c. 3. • 36 E. III. c. 15.



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1641] Abolition of the Court of Star Chamber 181

the Courts and places of any other Lords within the realm,
shall be entered and enrolled in Latin : and whereas by the
statute made in the third year of King Henry the Seventh^,
power is given to the Chancellor, the Lord Treasurer of England
for the time being, and the Keeper of the King's Privy Seal,
or two of them calling unto them a Bishop and a Temporal Lord
of the King's most honourable Council, and the two Chief
Justices of the King's Bench and Common Pleas for the time
being, or other two Justices in their absence, to proceed as in
that Act is expressed for the punishment of some particular
offences therein mentioned : and by the statute made in the one-
and-twentieth year of King Henry the Eighth •, the President
of the Council is associated to join with the Lord Chancellor
and other Judges in the said statute of the third of Henry the
Seventh mentioned : but the said Judges have not kept them*
selves to the points limited by the said statute, but have under-
taken to punish where no law doth warranty and to make
decrees for things having no such authority, and to inflict
heavier punishments than by any law is warranted ; and for-
asmuch as all matters examinable or determinable before the
said Judges, or in the Court commonly called the Star Chamber,
may have their proper remedy and redress, and their due
punishment and correction by the common law of the land, and
in the ordinary course of justice elsewhere, and forasmuch as
the reasons and motives inducing the erection and continuance
of that Court do now cease, and the proceedings, censures and
decrees of that Court have by experience been found to be an
intolerable burden to the subjects, and the means to introduce
an arbitrary power and government: and forasmuch as the
Council Table hath of late times assumed unto itself a power
to intermeddle in civil causes and matters only of private
interest between party and party, and have adventured to
determine of the estates and liberties of the subject contrary
to the law of the land and the rights and privileges of the
subject, by which great and manifold mischiefs and incon-
veniences have arisen and happened, and much uncertainty
by means of such proceedings hath been conceived concerning

» 3 H. VII. c. I. § I. « 31 H. VIII. c. 20.



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i82 Constitutional Documents [1641

men's rights and estates : for settling whereof and preventing
the like in time to come, be it ordained and enacted by the
authority of this present Parliament, that the said Court com-
monly called the Star Chamber, and all jurisdiction, power
and authority belonging unto or exercised in the same Court,
or by any of the Judges, Officers or Ministers thereof be, from
the first day of August in the year of our Lord God one
thousand six hundred forty and one, clearly and absolutely
dissolved, taken away, and determined ; and that from the said
first day of August neither the Lord Chancellor or Keeper
of the Great Seal of England, the Lord Treasurer of England,
the Keeper of the King's Privy Seal, or President of the Council,
nor any Bishop, Temporal Lord, Privy Councillor, or Judge,
or Justice whatsoever, shall have any power or authority to
hear, examine or determine any matter or thing whatsoever in
the said Court commonly called the Star Chamber, or to make,
pronounce or deliver any judgment, sentence, order or decree,
or to do any judicial or ministerial act in the said Court : and
that all and every Act and Acts of Parliament, and all and
every article, clause, and sentence in them and every of them,
by which any jurisdiction, power or authority is given, limited
or appointed unto the said Court, commonly called the Star
Chamber, or unto all or any the Judges, Officers or Ministers
thereof or for any proceedings to be had or made in the
said Court, or for any matter or thing to be drawn into
question, examined or determined, there shall, for so much
as concerneth the said Court of Star Chamber, and the power
and authority thereby given unto it be, from the said first day
of August, repealed and absolutely revoked and made void.

II. And be it likewise enacted, that the like jurisdiction
now used and exercised in the Court before the President and
Council in the Marches of Wales; and also in the Court
before the President and Council established in the northern
parts; and also in the Court commonly called the Court of
the Duchy of Lancaster, held before the Chancellor and Council
of the Court; and also in the Court of Exchequer of the
County Palatine of Chester, held before the Chamberlain and
Council of that Court; the like jurisdiction being exercised
there, shall, from the said first day of August one thousand six



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i64i] Abolition of the Court of Star Chamber 183

hundred forty and one, be also repealed and absolutely revoked
and made void, any law, prescription, custom or usage ; or the
said statute made in the third year of King Henry the Seventh ;
or the statute made the one-and-twentieth of Henry the Eighth ;
or any Act or Acts of Parliament heretofore had or made to
the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding; and that
from henceforth no court, council, or place of judicature shall
be erected, ordained, constituted, or appointed within this realm
of England or dominion of Wales, which shall have, use or exer-
cise the same or the like jurisdiction, as is or hath been used,
practised or exercised in the said Court of Star Chamber.

III. Be it likewise declared and enacted by authority of this
present Parliament, that neither His Majesty nor his Privy Coun-
cil have or ought to have any jurisdiction, power or authority
by English bill, petition, articles, libel, or any other arbitrary
way whatsoever, to examine or draw into question, determine
or dispose of the lands, tenements, hereditaments, goods or
chattels of any the subjects of this kingdom, but that the same
ought to be tried and determined in the ordinary Courts of
Justice and by the ordinary course of the law.

IV. And be it further provided and enacted, that if any
Lord Chancellor or Keeper of the Great Seal of England,
Lord Treasurer, Keeper of the King's Privy Seal, President
of the Council, Bishop, Temporal Lord, Privy Councillor, Judge,
or Justice whatsoever, shall offend or do anything contrary to
the* purport, true intent and meaning of this law; then he or
they shall for such offence forfeit the sum of £500 of lawful
money of England unto any party grieved, his executors or
administrators, who shall really prosecute for the same, and first
obtain judgment thereupon to be recorded in any Court of
Record at Westminster by action of debt, bill, plaint or in
formation, wherein no essoined, protection, wager of law, aid,
prayer, privilege, injunction or order of restraint shall be in any
wise prayed, granted or allowed, nor any more than one im-
parlance ; and if any person against whom any such judgment or
recovery shall be had as aforesaid, shall after such judgment
or recovery offend again in the same, then he or they for such
offence shall forfeit the sum of £1000 of lawful money of England

^ Allegation of absence from lawful reasons.



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184 Gonstitutional Documents [1641

unto any party grieved, his executors or administrators, who
shall really prosecute for the same, and first obtain judgment
thereupon to be recorded in any Court of Eecord at West-
minster by action of debt, bill, plaint or information, in which
no essoin e, protection, wager of law, aid, prayer, privilege,
injunction or order of restraint shall be in any wise prayed,
granted or allowed, nor any more than one imparlance. And
if any person against whom any such judgment or recovery
shall be had as aforesaid, shall after such judgment or recovery
offend again in the same kind, and shall be thereof duly con-
victed by indictment, information or any other lawful way or
means, that such person so convicted shall be from thenceforth
disabled and become by virtue of this Act incapable ipso facto
to bear his and their said office and offices respectively, and
shall be likewise disabled to make any gift, grant, conveyance
or other disposition of any his lands, tenements, hereditaments,
goods or chattels, or to take any benefit of any gift, conveyance
or legacy to his own use.

V. And every person so offending shall likewise forfeit and
lose unto the party grieved, by anything done contrary to the
true intent and meaning of this law, his treble damages which
he shall sustain and be put unto by means or occasion of any
such act or thing done, the same to be recovered in any of His
Majesty's Courts of Record at Westminster by action of debt,
bill, plaint or information, wherein no essoine, protection, wager
of law, aid, prayer, privilege, injunction or order of restraint, shall
be in any wise prayed, granted or allowed, nor any more than
one imparlance.

VI. And be it also provided and enacted, that if any person
shall hereafter be committed, restrained of his liberty or
suffer imprisonment [by the order or decree of any such
Court of Star Chamber or other Court aforesaid, now or at
any time hereafter having or pretending to have the same
or like jurisdiction, power or authority to commit or imprison
as aforesaid, or by the command or warrant of the King's
Majesty, his heirs or successors, in their own person or by
the command or waiTant of the Council Board or of any of
the Lords or others of His Majesty's Priyy Council^], that

^ Annexed to the original Act in a separate schedule.



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1641] Abolition of the Court of Star Chamber 185

in every such case every person so committed, restrained
of his liberty, or suffering imprisonment, upon demand or
motion made by his counsel or other employed by him for
that purpose unto the Judges of the Court of King's Bench
or Common Pleas in open Court, shall, without delay upon
any pretence whatsoever, for the ordinary fees usually paid
for the same, have forthwith granted unto him a Writ of
Habeas Corpus to be directed generally unto all and every
sherifiTs gaoler, minister, officer or other person in whose
custody the party committed or restrained shall be, and the
sheriff's gaoler, minister, officer or other person in whose
custody the party so committed or restrained shall be, shall
at the return of writ and according to the command thereof,
upon due and convenient notice thereof given unto him [at
the charge of the party who requireth or procureth such
writ, and upon security by his own bond given to pay the
charge of carrying back the prisoner if he shall be remanded
by the Court to which he shall be brought, as in like cases
hath been used, such charges of bringing up and carrying
back the prisoner to be always ordered by the Court if any
difference shall arise thereabout^], bring or cause to be brought
the body of the said party so committed or restrained unto and
before the Judges or Justices of the said Court from whence
the same writ shall issue in open Court, and shall then like-
wise certify the true cause of such his detenior or imprison-
ment, and thereupon the Court, within three court days after
such return made and delivered in open Court, shall proceed
to examine and determine whether the cause of such com-
mitment appearing upon the said return be just and legal or
not, and shall thereupon do what to justice shall appertain,
either by delivering, bailing or remanding the prisoner.
And if anything shall be otherwise wilfully done or omitted
to be done by any Judge, Justice, officer or other person
aforementioned, contrary to the direction and true meaning
hereof, that then such person so offending shall forfeit to
the party grieved his treble damages, to be recovered by such
means and in such manner as is formerly in this Act limited and
appointed for the like penalty to be sued for and recovered.
^ Annexed to the original Act in a separate schedule.



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^86 Constitutional Documents [1641

VII. Provided always and be it enacted, that this Act and
the several clauses therein contained shall be taken and ex-
pounded to extend only to the Court of Star Chamber, and
to the said Courts holden before the President and Council
in the Marches of Wales, and before the President and
Council in the northern parts, and also to the Court commonly
called the Court of the Duchy of Lancaster, holden before
the Chancellor and Council of that Court, and also in the
Court of Exchequer of the County Palatine of Chester, held
before the Chamberlain and Council of that Court, and to all
Courts of like jurisdiction to be hereafter erected, ordained,
constituted or appointed as aforesaid, and to the warrants
and directions of the Council Board, and to the commitments,
restraints, and imprisonments of any person or persons made,
commanded or awarded by the King's Majesty, his heirs or
successors, in their own person or by the Lords and others
of the Privy Council and every one of them.

VIII. And lastly, pix)vided and be it enacted, that no
person or persons shall be sued, impleaded, molested or troubled
for any offence against this present Act, unless the party
supposed to have so offended shall be sued or impleaded for
the same within two years at the most after such time wherein
the said offence shall be committed.



35. The Act for the Abolition of the Coubt of High
Commission.

[July 5» 1641. 17 Car. I. cap. ii. Statutes of the Realm, v. iia.
See Hist, of Engl. ix. 404.]

An Act for the repeal of a branch of a Statute primo Elizahethae,
conceiving Commissioners for causes ecclesiastical.

I. 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.



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x64i] Abolition of the Court of High Commission 187

there is contained one clause, branch, article or sentence where-
by 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 authorise when and as often as Her High-
ness, 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
bom 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 pre-
eminence 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 enormi-
ties whatsoever, which by any manner spiritual or ecclesiastical
power, authority or jurisdiction can or may lawfully be re-
formed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended,
to the pleasure of Almighty Gk>d, 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,
authorised 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; and whereas by
colour of some words in the foresaid branch of the said Act,
whereby Commissioners are authorised to execute their
commission according to the tenor and effect of the King's
Lettei*s 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



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i88 Conshtutional Documents [1641

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 foresaid
abuses, mischiefs and inconveniences in time to come, be it
enacted by the King's Most Excellent Majesty and the Lords
and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by
the authority of the same, that the foresaid branch, clause,
article or sentence contained in the said Act, 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.

II. 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 mis-
demeanour, or any neglect or thing whereby, or by reason
whereof, he or she shall or may be liable or exposed to any



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1641] Act declaring the illegality of Ship-money 189

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 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.

III. 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.

IV. And be it further enacted, that from and after the said
first day of August, no new Coui-t 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.



36. Act declabing the illegality op Ship-monet.

[August 7, 1641. 17 Car. I. cap. 14. Statutes of the Realm, v. 116.
See Hut. of Ungl. ix. 415.]

An Act for the declaring wrdawfui and void the late proceedings
touching Ship-money , and for the vacating of all records
and process concerning the same,

I. Whereas divers writs of late time issued under the Great
Seal of England^ commonly called Ship-writs, for the charging



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190 Constitutional Documents [1641

of the Ports, Towns, Cities, Boroughs, and Counties pf this
realm respectively, to provide and furnish certain ships for
His Majesty's service ; and whereas upon the execution of the
same writs and retuiiis of certioraries thereupon made, and
the sending the same by Mittimus into the Court of Exchequer,
process hath been thence made against sundry persons pre-
tended 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 iu 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 {herein
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



Online LibrarySamuel Rawson GardinerThe constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 → online text (page 23 of 51)