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The constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 online

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and kingdom, referring the composure of all other differences to
a personal treaty with His Majesty; and having received an
absolute negative, do hold themselves obliged to use their
utmost endeavours speedily to settle the present government in
such a way as may bring the greatest security to this kingdom
in the enjoyment of the laws and liberties thereof; and in
order thereunto, and that the House may receive no delays nor
interruptions in so great and necessary a work, they have taken
these resolutions, and passed these votes, viz. :

1. That the Lords and Commons do declare that they will
make no further addresses or applications to the King.

2. That no application or addresses be made to the King by
any person whatsoever, without the leave of both Houses,

3. That the person or persons that shall make breach of this
order shall incur the penalties of high treason.

4. That the two Houses declare they will receive no more
any message from the King; and do enjoin that no person
whatsoever do presume to receive or bring any message from
the King to both or either of the Houses of Parliament, or to
any other person.



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1648-9] Ordinance erecting a High Court of Justice 357



80. The Act* eeecting a High Court of Justice
FOB the King's Teial.

[Passed the Commons January 6, 164}. Old Parliamentary History, xviii.
489. See Great Cicil War, iv. 288-291.]

Whereas it is notorious that Charles Stuart, the now King
of England, not content with the many encroachments which
his predecessors had made upon the people in their rights
and freedom, 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 govern-
ment, and that besides all other evil ways and means to bring
his design to pass, he hath prosecuted it with fire and swurd,
levied and maintained a civil war in the land, against the Parlia-
ment and kingdom ; whereby this 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. th^-«aid Charles Stuart
might long since have justly been biought to exemplary and
condign punishment T~wEereas also the Parliament, well hoping
{Hat 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
rehiissness 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 there-
fore 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 [Lords] and
Commons in Parliament assembled, and it is hereby enacted
and ordained by the authority thereof, that the Earls of Kent,
Nottingham, Pembroke, Denbigh and Mulgrave, the Lord Grey
of Wark, Lord Chief Justice RoUe of the King's Bench, Lord

•\ ' From henceforth the Commons gave the name of ' Act ' to an Ordinance
/ which had passed their House only.



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358 Constitutional Documents [1648-9

Chief Justice St. John of the Common Pleas, and Lord Chief
^aron Wylde, the Lord Fairfax, Lieutenant-General Cromwell,
&c. [in all about 150], shall be and are hereby appointed and
required to be Commissioners and Judges for the hearing, trying
and judging of the said Charles Stuart; and the said Com-
missioners, 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 times and place as by the said
Commissioners, or the major part, or twenty or more of them,
under their hands and seals, shall be appointed and notified
by proclamation in the Great Hall or Palace- Yard of West-
minster ; and to adjourn from time to time, and from place to
place, as the said High Court, or the major part thereof, at
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 there-
unto, 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 to be executed, speedily and impartially.

And the said Court is hereby authorised and required to
choose and appoint all such officers, attendants and other cir-
cumstances 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 imto them ;
provided that this Act, and the authonty hereby granted, do
continue in force for the space of one month from the date of
the making thereof, and no longer.



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1648-9] / Agreement of the People 359



81. The Agbeembnt of the People.

[January 15 \ 164I. Old Parliamentary History, xviii. 519. See Great
Civil War, iv. 395.]

An Agreement of the People of England, and the plcLces there-
with incorporatedy for a secure and present peace, upon
grounds of common right, freedom and safety,

HaviDg^ by our late labours and hazards, made it appear
to the world at how high a rate we value our just freedom,
and God having so far owned our cause as to deliver the
enemies thereof into our hands, we do now hold ourselves
bound, in mutual duty to each other, to take the best care we
can for the future, to avoid both the danger of returning into
a slavish condition and the chargeable remedy of another war :
for as it cannot be imagined that so many of our countrymen
would have opposed us in tliis quarrel if they had understood
their own good, so may we hopefully promise to ourselves, that
when our common rights and liberties shall be cleared, their '
endeavours will be disappointed that seek to make themselves
our masters. Since therefore our former oppressions and not-
yet-ended troubles have been occasioned either by want of
frequent national meetings in council, or by the undue or
unequal constitution thereof, or by rendering those meetings
ineffectual, we are fully agreed and resolved, God willing, to
provide, that hereafter our Bepresentatives be neither left to an
uncertainty for times nor be unequally constituted, nor made
useless to the ends for which they are intended. In order
whereunto we declare and agree,

First, that, to prevent the many inconveniences apparently
arising from the long continuance of the same persons in
supreme authority, this present Parliament end and dissolve
upon, or before, the last day of Apiil, 1649.

Secondly, that the people of England (being at this day very

^ For the Agreement of the People as originally drawn up in October,
1647, see No. 74. It is here printed with the subsequent modifications,
as presented to the House of Commons on January ao. llie petition
which accompanied it (Old Pari. Hist, xviii. 516) was dated January 15,
and that may therefore be taken as the date when the Agreement received
the final approbation of the Council of the Officers.



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360 Constitutional Documents [1648-9

unequally distributed by counties, cities, and boroughs, for the
election of their Kepresentatives) be iudififerently proportioned ;
and, to this end, that the Representative of the whole nation
shall consist of 400 persons, or not above ; and in each county,
and the places thereto subjoined, there shall be chosen, to make
up the said llepresentative at all times, the several numbers
here mentioned, yiz.

Kbnt, with the Borought, Towns, and Parishes therein, except such

as are hereunder particularly named , .10

Canterbury f with the Suburbs adjoining and Liberties thereof. 2

Rochester, with the Parishes of Chatham and Stroud . . . i

The Cinque Ports in Kent and Sussex, viz. Dover, Romney, Hythe,

Sandwich, Hastings, with the Towns of Rye and Wiachelsea . 3

Sussex, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parii^hes therein, except

Chichester 8

ChichetteTf with the Suburbs and Liberties thereof . . . . i

SouTHAMTTON CouNTT, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes

therein, except such as are hereunder named .... 8

Wincheeter, with the Suburbs and Liberties thereof . . . i

Southampton Town and the County thereof i

DOBSETSHIRE, With the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

Dorchester 7

Dorcheeter i

DsvoNSUiBB, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

such as are hereunder particularly named la

Bweter a

Plymouth 2

Bam$taple i

Cornwall, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein 8

SoMEBSETSHiBB, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein,

except such as are hereunder named 8

Bristol 3

Taunton-Dean i

WUiTSHiBB, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

Salisbury 7

Salisbury i

Bebkshibb, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

Reading 5

Meading i

SuBBET, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

Southwark ■ • h

Southwarh 2

MmDLESEX, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

such as are hereunder named 4

London 8

Weitmintter and the Duchy ........ a



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1648-9] Agreement of the People 361

Hebtfordshibb, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein . 6

Buc&iHOHAiiSHiBE, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein . 6

0ZP0BD8HI&B, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

such as are hereunder named 4

Oxford City 2

O^ord University .a

Glouobstebsbibe, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein,

except Gloucester 7

Gloucester a

Hebbfobdshibe, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein,

except Hereford 4

Hereford i

W0BOB8TXBSHIBX, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein,

except Worcester 4

Worcester a

Wabwickshibe, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein,

except Coventry 5

Coventry a

NoBTHAMPTONSHiBE, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein,

except Northampton 5

Northampton i

Bedfobdshibe, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein . 4

Caubbidgebhibe, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Paiishes therein,

except such as are hereunder particularly named . . . '4

Cambridge Vnivernity a

Cambridge Tovm 3

Essex, with the Boroughs, Towns, and PariKhes therein, except

Colchester ^. .11

Colchester a

Suffolk, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

such as are hereafter named 10

Ipsvfich a

St» Sdmund^s Bury . . . i

NOBFOLK, with the Boroughs, I'owns, and Parishes therein, except

such as are hereunder named 9

Norwich 3

Lynn . i

Yarmouth 1

LiNCOLNSHiBE, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein,
except the City of Lincoln and the Town of Boston . . .11

Lincoln i

Boston 1

RuTLANDSHiBE, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein . i

HUNTINODONSUIKE, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein . 3

Leioestebshibe, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein,

exce|)t Leicester 5

Leictster i



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3^2 Constitutional Documents [1648-9

NOTTiNOHAMSHiBE, with the Boroughs, Towni, and Pftrishes therein,

except Nottingham 4

Nottingham i

DfiRBTSHiRE, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Pariihes therein, except

Derby 5

Derby . . . i

Staffordshire, with the City of Lichfield, the Boroughs, Towns, and

Parishes therein 6

Shropshire, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

Shrewsbury 6

Shrewihury i

Cheshire, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

Chester 5

Chester 2

Lancashire, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

Manchester 6

Manchester and the Parish i

Yorkshire, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein, except

such as are hereafter named 15

York City and the County thereof 3

Kingston upon Hull and the County ihereqf 1

Leeds Town and Parish 1

Durham County Palatine, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes

therein, except Durham and Gateside 5

l>urham City .... i

Northumberland, with the Boroughc, Towns, and Parishes therein,

except such as are hereunder named ...... 3

Newcastle upon Tyne and the County thereof, with Gateside . 2

Berwick i

Cumberland, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein . 3

Westmoreland, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein . 2



Walks.
Anqlesea, with the Parishes therein ....
Brecknook, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein .
Cardigan, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein .
Carmarthen, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein
Carnarvon, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein .
Denbigh, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein
Flint, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein .
Monmouth, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein .
Glamorgan, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein .



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1648-9] Agreement of the People 363

Mbbiokbtb, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein .... 3

MoNTGOHBBY, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein ... 3

Badnob, with the Boroughs and Parishes therein .... a

Pembroki, with the Boroughs, Towns, and Parishes therein 4

Provided, that the first or second Bepreseutative may, if
they see cause, assign the remainder of the 400 representors,
not hereby assigned, or so many of them as they shall see
cause for, unto such counties as shall appear in this present
distribution to have less than their due proportion. Provided
also, that where any city or borough, to which one representer
or more is assigned, shall be found in a due proportion not
competent alone to elect a representer, or the number of
representors assigned thereto, it is left to future Representa-
tives to assign such a number of paiishes or villages near
adjoining to such city or borough, to be joined therewith in
the elections, or may make the same proportionable.

Thirdly. That the people do, of course, choose themselves
a Representative once in two years, and shall meet for that
purpose upon the first Thursday in every second May, by
eleven in the morning; and the Representatives so chosen
to meet upon the second Thursday in the June following, at
the usual place in Westminster, or such other place as, by the
foregoing Representative, or the Council of State in the in-
terval, shall be, from time to time, appointed and published
to the people, at the least twenty days before the time of
election: and to continue their sessions there, or elsewhere,
until the second Thursday in December following, unless they
shall adjourn or dissolve themselves sooner; but not to con-
tinue longer. The election of the first Representative to be
on the first Thursday in May, 1649 ; and that, and all future
elections, to be according to the rules prescribed for the same
purpose in this Agreement, viz. i. That the electors in every
division shall be natives or denizens of England ; not persons
receiving alms, but such as are assessed ordinarily towards the
relief of the poor ; no servants to, and receiving wages from,
any particular person; and in all elections, except for the
Universities, they shall h% men of twenty-one years of age, or
upwards, and housekeepers, dwelling within the division for



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364 Constitutional Documents [1648-9

which the election is : provided, that (until the end of seven years
next ensiling the time herein limited for the end of this
present Parliament) no person shall be admitted to, or have
any hand or voice in, such elections, who hath adhered unto
or assisted the King against the Parliament in any of the
late wars or insurrections; or who shall make or join in, or
abet, any forcible opposition against this Agreement. 2. That
such persons, and such only^ may be elected to be of the
Representative, who, by the rule aforesaid, are to have voice
in elections in one place or other. Provided, that of those
none shall be eligible for the first or second Bepresentative,
who have not voluntarily assisted the Parliament against the
King, either in person before the 14th of June, 1645, or else
in money, plate, horse, or arms, lent upon the Propositions,
before the end of May, 1643; ^^ ^^^ ^^® joined in, or
abetted, the treasonable engagement in London, in 1647 ; or
who declai'ed or engaged themselves for a cessation of arms
with the Scots that invaded this nation the last summer; or
for compliance with the actors in any insurrections of the same
summer; or with the Prince of Wales, or his accomplices, in
the revolted fleet. Provided also, that such persons as, by the
rules in the preceding Article, are not capable of electing until
the end of seven years, shall not be capable to be elected
until the end of fourteen years next ensuing. And we desire
and recommend it to all men, that, in all times, the persons to
be chosen for this great trust may be men of courage, fearing
Gk>d and hating covetousness ; and that our Representatives
would make the best provisions for that end. 3. That who-
ever, by the rules in the two preceding Articles, are incapable
of electing, or to be elected, shall presume to vote in, or be
present at, such election for the first or second Representative ;
or, being elected, shall presume to sit or vote in either of the
said Representatives, shall incur the pain of confiscation of
the moiety of his estate, to the use of the public, in case he
have any visible estate to the value of £50, and if he has not
such an estate, then shall incur the pain of imprisonment for
three months. And if any person shall forcibly oppose,
molest or hinder the people, capable of electing as aforesaid,
in their quiet and free election of representers, for the first



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1648-9] Agreement of the People 365

Representative, then each person so offending shall incur the
penalty of confiscation of his whole estate, hoth real and
personal; and, if he has not an estate to the value of £50,
shall suffer imprisonment during one whole year without hail
or mainprize. Provided, that the offender in each such case
be convicted within three months next after the committing
of his offence, and the first Representative is to make further
provision for the avoiding of these evils in future elections.
4. That to the end all officers of state may be certainly account-
able, and no faction made to maintain corrupt interests, no
member of a Council of State, nor any officer of any salary-
forces in army or garrison, nor any treasurer or receiver of
public money, shall, while such, be elected to be of a Repre-
sentative: and in case any such election shall be, the same
to be void. And in case any lawyer shall be chosen into any
Representative or Council of State, then he shall be incapable
of practice as a lawyer during that trust. 5. For the more
convenient election of Representatives, each county, wherein
more than three representers are to be chosen, with the town
corporate and cities, if there be any, lying within the compass
thereof, to which no representers are herein assigned, shall be
divided by a due proportion into so many, and such parts, as
each part may elect two, and no part above three representers.
For the setting forth of which divisions, and the ascertaining
of other circumstances hereafter expressed, so as to make the
elections less subject to confusion or mistake, in order to the
next Representative, Thomas Lord Grey of Groby, Sir John
Danvers, Sir Henry Holcrofk, knights; Moses Wall, gentle-
man; Samuel Moyer, John Langley, Wm. Hawkins, Abraham
Babington, Daniel Taylor, Mark Hilsley, Rd. Price, and
Col. John White, citizens of London, or any five or more of
them, are intrusted to nominate and appoint, under their hands
and seals, three or more fit persons in each county, and in
each city and borough, to which one representer or more is
assigned, to be as Commissioners for the ends aforesaid, in the
respective counties, cities and boroughs ; and, by like writing
under their hands and seals, shall certify into the Parliament
Records, before the nth of February next, the names of the
Commissioners so appointed for the respective counties, cities



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366 Constitutional Documents [1648-9

and boroughs, which Commissioners, or any three or more of
them, for the respective counties, cities and boroughs, shall
before the end of February next, by writing under their hands
and seals, appoint two fit and faithful persons, or more, in
each hundred, lathe or wapentake, within the respective
counties, and in each ward within the City of London, to take
care for the orderly taking of all voluntary subscriptions to
this Agreement, by fit persons to be employed for that purpose
in every parish; who are to return the subscription so taken to
the persons that employed them, keeping a transcript thereof
to themselves ; and those persons, keeping like transcripts, to
return the original subscriptions to the respective Commis-
sioners by whom they were appointed, at, or before, the 14th
day of April next, to be registered and kept in the chief
court within the respective cities and boroughs. And the
said Commissioners, or any three or more of them, for the
several counties, cities and boroughs, respectively, shall, where
more than three representors are to be chosen, divide such
counties, as also the City of London, into so many, and such
parts as are aforementioned, and shall set forth the bounds
of such divisions ; and shall, in every county, city and borough,
where any representors are to be chosen, and in every sudi
division as aforesaid within the City of London, and within
the several counties so divided, respectively, appoint one place
certain wherein the people shall meet for th» choice of the
representors; and some one fit person, or more, inhabiting
within each borough, city, county or division, respectively, to
be present at the time and place of election, in the nature of
Sheriffs, to regulate the elections ; and by poll, or otherwise,
clearly to distinguish and judge thereof, and to make return
of the person or persons elected, as is hereafter expressed ; and
shall likewise, in writing under their hands. and seals, make
certificates of the several divisions, with the bounds thereof,
by them set forth, and of the certain places of meeting, and
persons, in the nature of Sheriff, appointed in them respectively
as aforesaid; and cause such certificates to be returned into
the Parliament Becords before the end of April next; and
before that time shall also cause the same to be published in
every parish within the counties, cities and boroughs re-



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1648-9] Agreement of the People 367

spectively; and shall in every such parish likewise nominate
and appoint, by warrant under their hands and seals, one
trusty person, or more, inhabiting therein, to make a true
list of all the persons within their respective parishes, who,
according to the rules aforegoing, are to have voice in the
elections ; and expressing who amongst them are, by the same
rules, capable of being elected ; and such list, with the said
warrant, to bring in and return, at the time and place of
election, unto the person appointed in the nature of Sheriff,
as aforesaid, for that borough, city, county or division re-
spectively ; which person so appointed as Sheriff, being present
at the time and place of election ; or, in case of his absence, by
the space of one hour after the time limited for the peoples'
meeting, then any person present that is eligible, as aforesaid,
whom the people then and there assembled shall choose for
that end, shall receive and keep the said lists and admit the
persons therein contained, or so many of them as are present,
unto a free vote in the said election ; and, having first caused
this Agreement to be publicly read in the audience of the
people, shall proceed unto, and regulate and keep peace and
order in the elections; and, by poll or otherwise, openly



Online LibrarySamuel Rawson GardinerThe constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 → online text (page 39 of 51)