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peace, and welfare of these nations, and will not advise, act,
or consent unto anything to disadvantage the liberty, property,
or interest of the people, contrary to the laws of the land, to
the best of my understanding and knowledge, and I will
faithfully pursue the instructions and directions which are or
shall be given to the Council by the Parliament*
7Dec^ That the true reformed Protestant Christian religion as it
1^54* is contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New
' ^ ' Testament, and no other, shall be asserted and maintained as
the public profession of these nations.
8 Dec., That in case any Bill shall be tendered to the Lord Pro-
1654. tector by the Parliament to compel any person to the said

* t a quorum.



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1^54-5] Proposed Parliamentary Constitution 443

public profession by any penalty to sacH Bill, the said Lord
Protector shall have a negative : provided that such Bills as
hereafter shall be agreed upon by the Parliament, requiring
from such ministers and preachers of the Gk^spel (as shall
receive public maintenance for instructing the people) a sub-
mission and conformity to the public profession aforesaid, or
enjoining attendance unto the preaching of the word and
other religious duties on the Lord's day in some public church
or chapel ; or at some other congregational and Christian
meeting, shall pass into and become laws within twenty days
after the presentation to the Lord Protector, although he shall
not give his consent thereunto.

That without the consent of the Lord Protector and Parlia- 15 I>ec.,
ment, no law or statute be made for the restraining of such Q^p^^',
tender consciences as shall differ in doctrine, worship, or
discipline from the public profession aforesaid, and shall not
abuse their liberty to the civil injury of others, or the dis-
turbances of the public peace : provided that such bills as
shall be agreed upon by the Parliament for restraining of
damnable heresies particularly to be enumerated by the Lord
Protector and^ Parliament: and also such bills as shall be
agreed upon by the Parliament for the restraining of atheism,
blasphemy, popery, prelacy, licentiousness, and profaneness;
or such as shall preach, print, or publicly maintain anything
contrary to the fundamental principles of doctrines held within
the public profession which shall be agreed upon by the Lord
Protector and the Parliament, or shall do any overt or public
act to the disturbance thereof, shall pass into and become laws
within twenty days after their presentation to the Lord
Protector, although he shall not give his consent thereunto.

That until some better provision be made by the Parliament Cap. 44.
for the encouragement and maintenance of able, godly, and
painful ministers and public preachers of the Gospel for in-
structing the people, and for discovery and confutation of
errors, heresy, and whatsoever is. contrary to sound doctrine,
the present public maintenance shall not be taken away nor
impeached.

^ This clause was altered by the insertion of the words in italics on
Jan. I a. See OommonwtcUth and Prot§otorats, in. 241,



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444 Constitutional Documents [1654-5

Cap. 45. That Oliver Cromwell, the present Lord Protector, during
his life (the Parliament sitting) shall by consent of Parlia-
ment, and not otherwise, dispose and employ the forces of this
Commonwealth by sea and land for the peace and good of the
same.

17 Nov., That snch of the standing forces of this Commonwealth as

Cv^\ shall be agreed to be continued upon the charge of the
' Commonwealth in the intervals of Parliament shall be ordered
and disposed of for the ends aforesaid in the intervals of
Parliaments by the present Lord Protector during his life, hj
and with the adnce and consent of the said Council, and not
otherwise.

aoNoY., That the standing forces after the death of the present
i<554. j^Qj,^ Protector in the intervals of Parliament shall be in the
disposition and ordering of the said Council for the ends
aforesaid, until a Parliament be assembled, and then the
disposal of the said forces to be made by the Parliament as
they shall think fit.

Cap. 48. That the standing forces of this Commonwealth both by
sea and land during the life of the now Protector shall be no
more in number than shall be agreed upon from time to time
by the said Lord Protector and the Parliament.

16 Jan., That the sum of £400,000 arising by the customs and the

^"5^- public receipts in England, Scotland, and Ireland, shall be
* yearly paid out of the public receipts of the Exchequer by
warrant of the Lord Protector and the Council, for and towards
the maintenance of a convenient number of ships for guardbg
of the seas, and securing and encouragement of trade; and
the maintenance of such garrisons as shall be necessary for
the defence of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and
Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, which revenue
shall continue and not be altered without consent of the Lord
Protector and the Parliament; and that the yearly sum of
£700,000 more arising by excise or other public receipts in
England, Scotland, and Ireland, shall be provided by Parlia-
ment and paid out of the Exchequer by warrant of the Lord
Protector and the Council for the maintenance and full dis-
charge of such field forces as shall be thought needful to be
kept up for the defence of this Commonwealth of England,



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1654-5] Proposed Parliamentary Constitution 445

Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging ;
and for the payment and full discharge of such forces in
garrisons, and naval charges, and all incident charges belonging
to every of them as shall not be satisfied and paid out of the
£400,000 aforesaid, which said £700,000 shall continue and be
paid until the 25th of December, 1659, unless the Lord Pro-
tector and the Parliament shall agree to lessen the said sum
before that time.

That such ordinances as heretofore were made by the Lord 33 Nov.,
Protector and his Council before this Parliament, for the raising, ^^54*
bringing in, and disposing of monies for the maintenance of the
forces of this Commonwealth by sea and land in England,
Scotland, and Lreland; and for the necessary charges of the
government, shall remain and continue to the end of this Par-
liament and no longer, unless the Parliament shall ttdce further
order to [the] contrary, or unless the said ordinances shall
expire before that time.

That the laws of this Commonwealth shall not be altered, Cap. 51.
suspended, abrogated, or repealed, nor any new law made, nor
any tax, charge, or imposition laid upon the people but by
common consent of the people assembled in Parliament.

That the power of making war is only in the Lord Protector Cap. 53.
and the Parliament.

That sitting the Parliament, no peace shall be concluded, Cap. 53.
but by consent of Parliament ; and in the interval of Parliament
the power of making peace shall be in the Lord Protector and
the Council, with such reservations and limitations as the
Parliament shall approve.

That the said Lord Protector, by the advice and consent of Cap. 54.
the major purt of the Council, shall direct in all things con-
cerning the keeping and holding a good correspondence with
foreign kings, princes, and states.

That the Chancellor, Keeper, or Commissioners of the Great Cap. 55.
Seal, the Treasurer or Commissioners of the Treasury, Ad-
miralty, or Commissioners exercising the power of the Lord
Admiral ; the Chief Governors of Ireland and Scotland ; the
Chief Justices and the rest of the Judges of both the benches ;
Chief Baron and the rest of the Barons of the Exchequer, shall
be chosen by the approbation of Parliament, and in the interval



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44^ Constitutional Documents [1654-5

of Parb'ament bj the approbation of the major part of the
Council, to be afterwards approyed by the Parliament.

Cap. |6. That the Chancellor, Keeper, or CommiBsioners for the Great
Seal of Ireland, the Chief Justices and Judges of both benches,
and Chief Baron and Barons of the Exchequer in Ireland, shall
be chosen by the approbation of the Parliament, and in the
interyal of Pailiament by the approbation of the major part of
the Council, to be afterwards approred by the Parliament.

Cap. 57. That the Judges of the public Courts of Justice in Scotland
shall from henceforth be chosen by the approbation of Parlia-
ment, and in the interrals of the Parliament by the approbation
of the major part of the Council, to be afterwards approred by
the Parliament.

15 Dec., That the acts and ordinances of Parliament made for the

Cap 1;8 ^^^ ^^ other disposition of the lands, rents, and hereditaments
' of the late King, Queen, and Prince, of Archbishops and Bishops,
Deans and Chapters, the lands of delinquents, and forest lands,
or any of them, or of any other lands, tenements, rents, and
hereditaments belonging to the Commonwealth, shall no way
be impeached or made inralid, but shall remain good and firm,
and that the (security giyen by act and ordinances of Parliament
for any sum or sums of money by any of the said lands, the
excise, or by any other public revenue ; and also the securities
given by the public faith of the nation, and the engagement of
the public faith for satiifaction of the debts and damages shall
remain firm and good, and not be made void or invalid upon
any pretence whatsoever : provided that the articles given to,
or made with the enemy, and afterwards confirmed by Parliament,
shall be performed and made good to the persons concerned
therein : provided also that all appeals or petitions that were
made or exhibited to this Parliament before the first day of
December, 1654, for relief concerning bills, may be heard and
determined this Parliament.

Cap. 59. That the articles herein contained, nor any of them, shall be
altered, repealed, or suspended without the consent of the Lord
Protector and the Parliament.

17 Jan., Provided that this Bill, intituled An Act declaring and

i^5t* settling the government of the Commonwealth of England,

Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging^



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»657] The Humble Petition and Advice 447

be ingro88«d in order to its presentment to the Lord Protector
for his consideration and consent; and that if the Lord
Protector and the Parliament shall not agree thereunto, and to
every article thereof, then this Bill shall be void and of none effect.

Pioyided that this Act for the goyernment does not extend, 19 Jan.,
nor be construed to extend, to abrogate, alter, or diminish any '^^*
of the charters, customs, liberties, or franchises of the City of
London, or any other cities, boroughs, towns corporate, or places
within this Commonwealth, saying in such things wherein any
alteration is hereby particularly made, but that the City of
London, and all other the said cities, boroughs, towns corporate,
and places, shall and may have and enjoy their said charters,
customs, liberties, and franchises as aforesaid, the said Act or
anything therein contained notwithstanding.

Provided that whereas the militia of this Commonwealth ao Jan.,
ought not to be raised, formed, and made use of, but by common ^^^'
consent of the people assembled in Parliament : be it therefore
enacted, that the said militia, consisting of trained forces, shall
be settled as the Lord Protector and Parliament shall hereafter
agree, in or^r to the peace and safety of the Commonwealth,
and not o^erwise.

\J 102. The Humblb Petition and Adyicb.
[May 25, 1657. Scobtll, ii. 378. See MMson'sI^/tf of Milton, y. 121.]

To hi$ Highness the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of

England^ Scotland and Ireland, and the dominions thereto

belonging ; the Humble Petition and Advice of the Knights,

Citizens and Bwrgesses now assembled in the FarliammU of

this Commonwealth.

We, the knights, citizens and burgesses in this present

Parliament assembled, taking into our most serious consideration

the present state of these three nations, joined and united under

your Highness' protection, cannot but in the first place, with

all thankfulness, acknowledge the wonderful mercy of Almighty

God in delivering us from that tyranny and bondage, both in

our spiritual and civil concernments, which the late King and

his party designed to bring us under, and pursued the effecting

thereof by a long and bloody war; and also that it hath

pleased the same gracious Qod to preserve your person in



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448 Constitutional Documents [1657

many battles, to make you an instrument for preserving our
peace^ although environed with enemies abroad, and filled with
turbulent, restless and unquiet spirits in our own bowels, that as
in the treading down the common enemy, and restoring us to
peace and tranquillity, the Lord hath used you so eminently,
and the worthy officers and soldiers of the army (whose faith-
fulness to the common cause, we and all good men shall ever
acknowledge, and put a just value upon) : so also that he will
use you and them in the settling and securing our liberties
as we are men and Christians, to us and our posterity after us,
which are those great and glorious ends which the good people
of these nations have so freely, with the hazard of their lives
and estates, so long and earnestly contended for : we consider
likewise the continual danger which your life is in, from the
bloody practices both of the malignant and discontented party
(one whereof, through the goodness of Qod, you have been lately
delivered from), it being a received principle amongst them,
that no order being settled in your lifetime for the succession
in the Gbvemment, nothing is wanting to bring us into blood
and confusion, and them to their desired ends, but the destruc^
tion of your person ; and in case things should thus remain at
your death, we are not able to express what calamities would in
all human probability ensue thereupon, which we trust your
Highness (as well as we) do hold yourself obliged to provide
against, and not to leave a people, whose common peace and
interest you are intrusted with, in such a condition as may
hazard both, especially in this conjuncture, when there seems
to be an opportunity of coming to a settlement upon just and
legal foundations : upon these considerations, we have judged it
a duty incumbent upon us, to present and declare these oar
most Just and necessary desires to your Highness.

I. That your Highness will be pleased by and under the
name and style of Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of
England, Scotland and Ireland, and the. dominions and
territories thereunto belonging, to hold and exercise the office
of Chief Magistrate of these nations, and to govern according to
this petition and advice in all things therein contained, and in
all other things according to the laws of these nations, and not
otherwise: that your Highness will be pleased during your



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1657] The Humble Petition and Advice 449

lifetime to appoint and declare the person who shall, immedi-
ately after your death, succeed you in the Government of these
nations.

2. That your Highness will for the future be pleased to call
Parliaments consisting of two Houses (in such manner and way
as shall be more particularly afterwards agreed and declared in
this Petition and Adtice) once in three years at furthest, or
ofbener, as the affairs of the nation shall require, that being
your great Council, in whose affection and advice yourself and
this people will be most safe and happy.

3. That the ancient and undoubted liberties and privileges
of Parliament (which are the birthright and inheritance of the
people, and wherein every man is interested) be preserved and
maintained ; and that you will not break or interrupt the same,
nor suffer them to be broken or interrupted ; and particularly,
that those persons who are legally chosen by a free election of
the people to serve in Parliament, may not be excluded from
sitting in Parliament to do their duties, but by judgment and
consent of that House whereof they are members.

4. That those who have advised, assisted or abetted the
rebellion of Ireland, and those who do or shall profess the
Popish religion, be disabled and made incapable for ever to be
elected, or to give any vote in the election of any member to sit or
serve in Parliament ; and that all and every person and periions
who have aided, abetted, advised or assisted in any war against
the Parliament, since the ist day of Jan.^ 1641 (unless he or
they have since borne arms for the Parliament or your Highness,
or otherwise given signal testimony of his or their good affection
to the Commonwealth, and continued &ithful to the same), and
all such as have been actually engaged in any plot, conspiracy
or design agi^nst the person of your Highness, or in any insur-
rection or rebellion in England or Wales since the i6th day of
December, 1653, shall be for ever disabled and made incapable
to be elected, or give any vote in the election of any member
to sit or serve in Parliament. That for Scotland none be
capable to elect, or be elected to sit or serve in Parliament, who
have been in arms against the Parliament of England, or against
the Parliament in Scotland, before the ist day of April, 1648
(except such as have since borne arms in the service of the



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450 Constitutional Documents [1657

Parliament of England or your Highness, or given other signal
testimony of their good affection), nor any that since the said
1st day of Apiil, 1648, have been in arms, or otherwise aided,
abetted, advised or assisted in any war against the Parliament
of England or your Highness, except such as since the ist day
of March, 1651 (old style*), have lived peaceably, and thereby
given testimony of their good affection to the Parliament and
your Highness.

Provided, that nothing in this Article contained shall extend
to put any incapacity upon any English or Scotch Protestants
in Ireland, either to elect or be elected to serve in Parliament,
who, before the ist day of March, 1649, have borue arms for
the Parliament or your Highness, or otherwise given signal
testimony of their good affection to this Commonwealth, and
continued faithful to the same; that all votes and elections,
given or made contrary, or not according to the qualifications
aforesaid, shall be void and of none effect; and that if any
person or persons so incapable as aforesaid, shall give his or
their vote for election of members to serve in Parliament,
all and every such person or persons so electing shall lose
and forfeit one year's value of his and their respective real
estates, and one full third part of his and their respective
personal estates; the one moiety to your Highness, and the
other moiety to him or them who shall sue for the same in
any Court of Record, by action of debt, bill, plaint or informa-
tion, wherein no essoine, wager of law, or protection shall
be allowed. And that the persons who shall be elected to
serve in Parliament be such, and no other than such, as are
persons of known integrity, fearing God, and of good con-
versation, and being of the age of twenty-one years, and not
such as are disabled by the Act of the seventeenth year of
the late King, entitled, 'An Act for disenabling 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, entitled,
' An Act against several atheistical, blasphemous, and execrable
opinions derogatory to the honour of God, and destructive to
» i.e. 1651



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i6si] The Humble Petition and Advice 451

human society ' ; no common scoffer or reviler of religion, or of
any person or persons professing thereof ; no person that hath
married or shall marry a wife of the Popish religion, or hath
trained or shall train up his child or children, nor 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 the said religion^ or that hath given or
shall give his consent that his son 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 profaner
of the Lord's day, no pro&ne swearer or cursor, no drunkard
or common haunter of taverns or alehouses.

And that these qualifications may be observed, and yet the
privilege of Parliament maintained, we desire that it may
be by your Highness' consent ordained, that forty-one Com-
missioners be appointed by Act of Parliament, who, or any
fifteen or more of them, shall be authorised to examine and
try whether the members to be elected for the House of
Commons in future Parliaments be capable to sit, according
to the qualifications mentioned in this Petition and Advice ;
and in case they find them not qualified accordingly, then
to suspend them from sitting until the House of Commons
shall, upon hearing of their particular cases, admit them to
sit ; which Commissioners are to stand so authorised for that
end, until the House of Commons in any future Parliament
shall nominate the like number of other Commissioners in their
places ; and those other Commissioners so to be nominated in
any future Parliament, to have the same powers and authorities ;
that the said Commissioners shall certify in writing to the House
of Commons, on the first day of their meeting, the causes and
grounds of their suspensions of any persons so to be elected as
aforesaid; that the accusation shall be upon the oath of the
informer, or of some other person, that a copy of the accusation
shall be left by the party accusing, in writing under his hand,
with the party accused, or, in his absence, at his house in the
county, city or town for which he shall be chosen, if he have
any such house, or if not, with the Sheriff of the county, if he
be chosen for a county, or with the Chief Magistrate of the city

Qg a



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452 Constitutional Documents [1657

or borough for which he is chosen; and that the number of
persons to be elected and chosen to sit and servo in Parlia-
ment for England, Scotland and Ireland, and the distribution of
the persons so chosen within the counties, cities and boroughs
of them respectively, may be according to such proportions as
shall be agreed upon and declared in this present Parliament.

5. That your Highness wiU consent, that none bo called
to sit and vote in the other House, but such as are not dis-
abled, but qualified according to the qualifications mentioned
in the former Article, being such as shall be nominated bj
your Highness, and approved by this House, and that th^
exceed not seventy in number, nor be under the number of
forty (whereof the quorum to be one-and-twenty), who shall
not give any vote by proxies ; and that as any of them do
die, or be legally removed, no new ones be admitted to sit
and vote in their rooms, but by the consent of the Houso
itself. That the other House do not proceed in any civil
causes, except in writs of error, in cases ad|joumed from inferior
courts into the Parliament for difficulty, in cases of petitions
against proceedings in Courts of Equity, and in cases of
privileges of their own House ; that they do not proceed in
any criminal causes whatsoever against any person criminally,
but upon an impeachment of the Commons assembled in
Parliament, and by their consent; that they do not proceed
in any cause, either civil or criminal, but according to the
known laws of the land, and the due course and custom of
Parliament ; that no final determinations or judgments be by
any members of that House, in any cause there depending, either
civil, criminal or mixed, as Commissioners or Delegates, to be
nominated by that House; but all such final determinations
and judgments to be by the House itself, any law gk usage
ta the contrary notwithstanding.

6. That in all other particulars which concern the calling
and holding of Parliaments, your Highness will be pleased
that the laws and statutes of the land be observed and kept;
and that no laws be altered, suspended, abrogated or repealed^
or new law made, but by Act of Parliament.

7. And to the end there may be a constant revenue for
support of the Government, and for the safety and defence



Online LibrarySamuel Rawson GardinerThe constitutional documents of the Puritan revolution 1625-1660 → online text (page 47 of 51)