Samuel Rawson Gardiner.

The constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 online

. (page 46 of 51)
Online LibrarySamuel Rawson GardinerThe constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 → online text (page 46 of 51)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


be by Act of Parliament, in which Act there shall be a limited
time for their sitting, not exceeding four weeks, provided that
such Parliament shall end and be determined before the sum-
moning of such Parliaments as are before hereby appointed.

Cap. 35. That the summons to Parliament shall be by writ under the
Great Seal of England, directed to the Sheriffs and other officers
(according to law) of the several and respective counties and
places in manner and form following : —

* Oliver, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England,
Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging,
to the Sheriff of the County of , greeting. Whereas,

in the Parliament holden at Westminster the third day of Sep-
tember, 1654, it is amongst other things enacted that Parliament
shall be duly held in such manuer as therein is expressed,
and, to that end, that a Parliament be holden at the City
of Westminster the day of next coming, there

for us to consult with the knights, citizens, and burgesses
of the said Commonwealth, of the weighty and urgent affairs
concerning us, the state and defence of the said Commonwealth,
and the maintenance of the true reformed Protestant Christian



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



1^54-5] Proposed Parliamentary Constitution 433

religion in purity thereof: we do command you firmly, enjoining
that proclamation being made of the day and place aforesaid in
every market town within your county, you cause, according
to the form of the said statute, to be freely and indifferently
chosen by them who shall be present at such election of the
most fit and discreet persons to serve as knights with their
swords girt, for the County of and for the City of

, citizens of the most discreet and sufficient, and
the names of the same knights, citizens, and burgesses so to
be chosen, whether present or absent, you cause to be certified
in certain indentures thereupon to be made between you and
them who shall be present at such choice, and that you cause
them to come at the day and place aforesaid; so that the
knights severally may have full and sufficient power for them-
selves and the people of that county and borough aforesaid,
to do and consent to those things which then and there by
common counsel of the said Commonwealth in Parliament by
God's blessing shall be ordained upon the weighty affairs
aforesaid; so that for defect of such power, or by reason of
improvident choice of the knights, citizens, and burgesses
aforesaid, the said affairs may not be left undone in any
wise, and we will that you be not chosen to serve as knight
for your said county: and that the said choice in your full
county distinctly and openly so to be made, you foiihwith
certify to us in our Chancery under your seals and the seals
of them which shall be present at such choice, sending to us
the other part of the said indentures annexed, together with
this writ : and in your proceedings and execution hereof, we
will that you pursue and observe the several directions limited
and appointed by the said Act of Parliament. Witness our-
selves, &c.,' which said writ the Chancellor, Keeper, or
Commissioners of the Great Seal shall issue and send abroad
by warrant from the Lord Protector.

That in case the Lord Protector shall not before the first of Cap. a6.
July, 1656, give warrant for issuing out of writs of summons
for a Parliament to meet the third Monday in October, 1656,
and before the first day of July, 1659, g^^e warrant for issuing
forth of summons for a Parliament to meet the third Monday
in October, 1659, and before the first day of July in every

Hi



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



434 Constitutional Documents [1654-5

third year after that time give warrant for issuing writs of
summons for a Parliament to meet e^ery third Monday in
October every third year successively, that then the Chancellor,
Keeper, or Commissioner of the Great Seal for the time being,
shall, without any warrant or direction, within seven days after
the respective times aforesaid, seal, issue, and send abroad writs
of summons to the several and respective Sheriffs of England,
Scotland, and Ireland, and other officers for summoning another
Parliament to meet at Westminster the third Monday in October,
1659, and for other Parliaments to meet at Westminster on the
third Monday in October in every third year successively ; and
that the said Sheriffs and other officers respectively shall, within
ten days after the receipt of such writs as aforesaid, cause the
same to be proclaimed and published in every market town in
the said county upon the market days thereof, between twelve
and three of the clock, and shall then also publish and declare
the certain day of the week and month and the certain place for
electing of membeis to serve in Parliament for the body of
the said county according to the tenor of the said writ, which
election shall be within six weeks after the date of the said
writ; but not until fourteen days after all the proclamations
made as aforesaid : for which purpose the Sheriff shall appoint
some convenient day, and the usual or some other convenient
and indifferent place for the electors of each county and place
to meet in, and shall proceed to election between the hours
of eight and eleven before noon : and shall send precepts for
elections to be made in all and every city, town, borough, or
place within his and their county and place where elections
are to be made, to the Mayor, Sheriff, or other head officer, and
officers of such city, town, borough, or place, within six days
after the receipt of such writ and writs, which the said Mayor,
Sheriff, and other officers respectively within eight days after
the receipt of the said precept are to make publication of, and
of the certain day for such elections to be made in the said
city, town, or place aforesaid, and cause elections to be made
accordingly within eight days after publication of the said
precept made as aforesaid, provided that the usual place for
elections for the county of Sussex shall be at Lewes.

That at the day and place of elections, the Sheriff of each



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



1654-5] Proposed Parliamentary Constitution 435

county, and the said Mayor, Sheriffs, and Bailiffs and other 25 Nov.,
head officer and officers within the cities, towns, and boroughs p, Jp^^l
and places respectively, shall take view of the said elections,
and shall make return into the Chancery, within twenty days
after the said elections, of the persons elected by the greater
number of electors under the hands and seal of twelve or more
of the said electors on the behalf of himself on the one part, and
on the behalf of the electors on the other part, wherein shall be
contained that the persons elected shall not have iK>wer to alter
the government from one single person and a Parliamont*

That the Sheriff who shall wittingly or willingly make any Cap. 28.
false return, or wittingly or willingly neglect his duty in
execution of the premises, shall incur the penalty of £200
of lawful English money, and that every Mayor, Sheriff, or
Bailiff, or other head-officer of any city, town, borough, or place
aforesaid, who shall wittingly or wilfully make any false return,
or wittingly or wilfully neglect his duty in the execution of
the premises, shall incur the penalty of £100 of like lawful
English money; the one moiety of all and every the penalties
aforesaid to go to the Lord Protector, and the other moiety
to such party grieved as shall sue for the same in any of the
Courts of record at Westminster, by any action [of] debt, bill,
plaint) or information, wherein shall be no wager of law, esisoign,
or protection allowed ; which suit shall not be commenced until
the Parliament hath adjudged the same to be such offence as
aforesaid.

That all and every person and persons who have voluntarily 27 Nov.,
aided, advised, assisted, or abetted in any war against the p'^54»
Parliament since the first day of October, 1641, unless they ' ^^'
have been since in the service of the Parliament, and given
signal testimony of their good affections thereunto; and also
all and every person and persons whatsoever professing the
Popish religion, or that did side, advise, assist, or abet in
the Rebellion of Ireland before the 15th of September, 1643,
shall during their lives be disabled and incapable to be elected
or to give any vote in election of any members to serve in any
Parliament.

That all votes and elections given or made contrary or not Cap. 30.
according to the aforesaid qualifications, shall be void and of

]*f J



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



43^ Constitutional Documents [1654-5

none effect; and if any person who is by these aforesaid
qualifications made incapable shall give his vote for election
of members to serre iu Parliament, such person shall lose and
forfeit one full year's value of his real estate; and one full
third part of his personal estate, one moiety thereof to the
Lord Protector, and the other moiety to him or them who shall
sue for the same in any of the Courts of record at Westminster
by action of debt, bill, plaint, or information wherein shall be
no wager of law, essoign, or protection allowed.

Caf.31. That the persons who shall be elected to serve in Parliament
shall be such and none other than such as are persons of
known integrity, fearing God, and of good conversation, and
being of the age of one and twenty years, and not such as are
disabled by the Act of the 1 7th of King Charles, intituled An
Act for disabling all persons in Holy Orders to exercise any
temporal jurisdiction or authority, nor such as are public
ministers or public preachers of the Gospel, nor such as are
guilty of any of the offences mentioned in an Act of Parliament
bearing date the 9th of August, 1650, intituled An Act against
several atheistical, blasphemous, and execrable opinions deroga-
tory to the honour of God and destructive to human society ;
no common scoffer nor reviler of religion, or of any person
or persons for professing thereof; nor persons that have
married or shall marry a wife of the Popish religion, or hath
trained or shall train up his child or children, or any other
child or children under his tuition or government in the
Popish religion; or that shall permit or suffer such child or
children to be trained up in that said religion, or hath given
or shall give his consent that his sou or daughter shall marry
any of that religion, no person that shall deny the Scriptures
to be the word of God, or the sacraments, prayer, magistracy,
and ministry to be the ordinances of God ; no common pro-
faner of the Lord's day, nor profane swearer, nor cursor ; no
drunkard or common haunter^ of taverns or ale-houses.

Cap. 32. That all and every person and persons not within the

aforesaid exceptions having an estate in freehold to the yearly

value of forty shillings within any county, riding, limit, or

place (to be declared upon oath by such person or persons, is

^ hunter im MS.



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



1654-5] Proposed Parliamentary Constitution 437

required, and which said oath the Sheriffs or their deputies
are herehy empowered to give), shall be capable to give his
or their votes for the election of members for such county,
riding, limit, or place, where such land or estate doth lie,
provided this extends not to alter any ancient customs,
charters, privileges of any cities, boroughs, towns, or corpora-
tions who have hereby right to elect members of Parliament,
but the same to continue as formerly, anything in these presents
to the contrary notwithstanding.

That the now Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal shall 6 Jan.,
forthwith take a solemn oath in Parliament for the due issuing ^ ^^5^-
and sending abroad writs of summoning to Parliament, accord-
ing to the tenor of the Act, which oath shall be in these words :
*I do, in the presence and in the name of Almighty God,
promise and swear that I will, to the utmost of my power,
truly and faithfully issue forth and send abroad writs of
summons to Pariiament at such times and in such manner as
is expressed and enjoined by an Act of Parliament, intituled
An Act declaring and settling the government of the Common-
wealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions
thereunto belonging'; and such Chancellor, Keeper, or Com-
missioner of the Great Seal as shall hereafter be, shall before
they enter unto their said office, take the same oath in
Parliament (sitting the Parliament), and in the interval of
Parliament the same shall be administered to them by the two
Chief Justices, and the Chief Baron for the time being, or one
of them.

That if the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lords Com-
missioners of the Great Seal for the time being shall not issue
and send abroad in manner and at the times hereby to them
limited and appointed, writs of summons to the several and
respective Shenffs and other officers for England, Scotland,
and Lreland, for summoning a Parliament to meet at West-
minster on the third Monday in October, 1656, and for
summoning another Parliament to meet at Westminster on the
third Monday in October, 1659 ; *^^ ^^^ summoning other
Parliaments to meet at Westminster on the third Monday in
October, every third year successively ; and shall not issue and
send abroad by authority hereof and without further warrant



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



438 Constitutional Documents [1654-5

like writs of sommons (within ten days after the death of
every Lord Protector and after the election of another Lord
Protector) for the summoning of a Parliament to meet at
Westminster within forty days the next following (if a Parlia-
ment be not then sitting, or not to meet within four months,
or not then already summoned), every such wilful neglect and
failure of issuing and sending out writ of summons as aforesaid,
is hereby adjudged and declared to bo High Treason, and all
and every Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or Lord Com-
missioner of the Great Seal so neglecting or failing, shall be
adjudged guilty of High Treason, and shall suffer the pains
and penalties thereof. And in case writs be not issued out
as is before expressed, but that there be a neglect therein
fifteen days after the time wherein the same ought to be issued
out by the Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great
Seal, and in case the Sheriff or other officer shall not receive
such writs within fifteen days aforesaid, that then every such
Sheriff or other officer shall within ten days after the said
fifteen days, as fully to all intents and purposes as if such writs
had been issued forth and received as aforesaid, cause pro-
clamation to be made in every market town within his or their
county or counties, riding, and places, upon the market days
thereof between twelve and three of the clock, declaring the
certain place and the day of the week and month for electing
of members to serve Parliament for the body of the said county
or counties, riding, or places respectively in such manner and
form as is before provided, which said elections are to be made
within twenty days after the said ten days, and shall send
precepts for elections to be made in all and every city, town,
borough, and place within his or their county or counties, riding,
or place where elections are to be made, to the Mayor, Bailiff,
or other officer or officers of such city, town, borough, or places
within six days after the said fifteen days, which precept the
said Mayors, Bailiffs, or other officer or officers respectively
within eight days after the receipt of the said precept are to
make publication of and of the certain day for such elections
to be made accordingly within eight days after proclamation
of the said precepts made as aforesaid, to the end there may
be no failures, but that the Parliament may assemble and be



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



1654-5I Proposed Parliamefttaiy Constitution 439

held at Westminster at the usual place, and at the same times
hereby appointed ; and in case the said Sheriff, or Sheriffs, or
other officer or officers authorised as aforesaid shall neglect his
or their duty therein, so as through his or their neglect there
shall be a failure or disappointment of the said elections, and
all and every wilful neglect or failure by such Sheriff or Sheriffs,
officer or officers authorised as aforesaid is hereby adjudged and
declared to be High Treason, and every such Sheriff or Sheriffs,
officer or officers, shall be adjudged guilty of High Treason,
and shall suffer the pains and penalties thereof.

And in case by failure or neglect of the said Sheriffs and
other officers, elections shall not be made before the five and
twentieth day of August, i6g6, of knights, citizens, and
burgesses, to meet in Parliament at Westminster in the third
Monday in October in the same year ; and if like elections for
succeeding Parliaments shall not be made before the five and
twentieth day of August in every third year successively ; that
in case of any such failure or neglect, the freeholders of the
said several and respective counties, ridings, and places, and
the citizens, burgesses, and other persons having voices in such
elections, and being qualified as aforesaid, within their several
cities, boroughs, towns, and places respectively shall by authority
hereof, without any other notice or warrant, assemble and meet
on the second Wednesday in September next following after
the fiye and twentieth day of August in every third year
successively at the places where they [met] formerly for the
selection of members to the then last preceding Parliament,
and there between the hours of eight and eleven in the fore-
noon, shall respectively proceed to the election of such fit and
discreet persons qualified as aforesaid to serve in Parliament
as knight«, citizens, and burgesses for their said several counties,
ridings, cities, boroughs, towns and places respectively, as if
writs of summons had been issued and sent abroad ; and at the
day and place of election such justices or justice of peace of
every the said counties, ridings, and places respectively who
shall be present at the said elections and not elected ; and if
no such justices or justice of the peace be at the said election ;
then the major part of the electors being present for the said
counties, ridings, and places, and the Mayon Bailiff, or other



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



440 Constitutional Documents [1654—5

head officer of every the said cities, boroughs, towns, and places
who shall be present at the said election, and not elected, and
if no such head officer be present, then the major part of the
electors that shall be at the said election shall by authority
hereof respectively make returns into the Chancery within ten
days after the said elections of the persons elected by inden-
tures under the hands and seals of the said electors or the
major part of them ; wherein shall be contained that the persons
so elected shall not have power to alter the government from
one single person and a Parliament, and the Clerk of the
Commonwealth in Chancery, or such other officer or officers to
whom it appertains shall accept and receive the returns of such
elections, and file aud record them according to law in like
manner as if writs of summons had issued and been executed,
as hath been used and accustomed, which persons so elected
and returned as aforesaid for knights, citizens, and burgesses,
shall have as full and sufficient power for themselves and the
people of their respective counties, cities, boroughs, towns, and
places, to sit and act in Parliament as if the said Sheriffs and
other officers had received writs of summons, and had made
such returns; and that such knights, citizens, and burgesses
so chosen shall appear and serve in Parliament at the times
and place aforesaid, and shall each of them be liable to such
pains and censures for his and their not appearing and serving
then and there in Parliament, as if he and they had been
elected and chosen by virtue of a writ under the Great Seal,
and shaU be likewise subject unto such further pains and cen-
sures as by the rest of the knights, citizens, and burgesses
assembled in Parliament he or they shall be adjudged unto,
any writ, proclamation, edict, act, restraint, prohibition, order,
or warrant to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding ; and
every county that shall neglect or fail to make such elections
and returns in manner and at the times aforesaid, shall forfeit
the sum of £1000 to the use of the Commonwealth ; and every
city, borough, town, or place that shall neglect or fail to make
such elections and returns in manner and at the times afore-
said, shall forfeit £200 to the use of the Commonwealth, to be
sued for, recovered, and disposed of as the ensuing Parliament
shall direct.



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



1654-5] Proposed Parliamentary Constitutidn 441

That the Council be hereby empowered to examine upon Cap. 34.
oath as touching any articles of popery or delinquency men-
tioned in Cap. 29 against any person or persons returned for
members of Parliament, and, if they shall find such charge to
be true, and shall certify the same to the Parliament, the first
day of the sitting of the Parliament, that then such members
shall not sit until tho House have adjudged of the same.

That the persons chosen and assembled in manner aforesaid. Gap. 35.
or any sixty of them, shall be and be deemed the Parliament
of England, Scotland, and Ireland.

That the persons to be chosen within England, Wales, Cap. 36.
and the Town of Berwick upon Tweed to sit and serve in
Parliament shall be and not exceed the number of four
hundred, viz. : —

[The list of constituencies with the number of members
allotted to them follows here. It is, however, imperfect,
many counties being omitted. The list, so far as it is given,
is almost exactly the same as that in the Instrument of
Government. The exceptions are that, in Kent, Hythe is
to return one member in the place of Queenborough ; that,
in Leicestershire, the city of Leicester is to return one mem-
ber instead of two, the number of members allotted to the
county being increased from four to five ; that, in Oxfordshire,
Banbury is to return a member instead of Woodstock, and
that the County of Carmarthen loses one member which is
given to the borough.]

That the persons to be chosen within Scotland to sit and Cap. 37.
serve in Parliament shall be and not exceed the number of
thirty.

That the persons to be chosen within Ireland to sit and
serve in Parliament shall be and not exceed the number of
thirty.

That the Lord Protector for the time being shall be assisted Cap. 38.
with a Council.

That the persons who shall be of the Council shall be such Cap. 39.
as shall be nominated by the said Lord Protector, and approved
by the Parliament.

That the number of the persons who shall be of the Council 5 Dec.,
shall be, and not exceed, one and twenty. ^^S-*-



Digitized by V^OOQ IC



442 Constitutional Documents [1654-5

That eleven of them shall be a oooncil ^, and not under.
15 Dec., That no person shall continne to be of the Council longer
1 654* than forty days after the meeting of each succeeding Parliament
' without a new approbation of the Parliament. That such
persons as shall be of the Council before they shall take their
trust upon them shall take a solemn oath for the faithful dis-
charge of their duty in that employment ; which oath shall be
taken in Parliament (sitting the Parliament), and in the interval
of Parliament, before the Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, or
Lords Commissioners of the Great Seal for the time being,
which oath shall be as follows, viz. : ' I do, in the presence and
by the name of Almighty God, promise and swear that I will
be true and faithful in performance of the trust committed
unto me as one of the Council : and that I will not reveal or
disclose anything in whole or in part, directly or indirectly,
that shall be debated or resolved upon by the Council ; wherein
secrecy shall be enjoined by the said Council, without the
direction of the Lord Protector or the Parliament, or leave of
the Council : and that in the election of every successive Lord
Protector, I will proceed thereon faithftdly and impartially
according to an Act of Parliament, intituled An Act declaring
and settling the government of the Commonwealth of Eng-
land, Scotland, and L*eland: and do nothing therein for any
promise, fear, favour, or reward. I will to the best of my
knowledge and understanding give faithful advice to the Lord
Protector for the time being, in order to the good government,



Online LibrarySamuel Rawson GardinerThe constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 → online text (page 46 of 51)