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power and dominion of the said kingdom and dominions, or any of them, or the honors, manors, lands, tenements, possessions, and hereditaments belonging or appertaining to the said Crown of England and Ireland, and other the dominions aforesaid, or to any of them; or to the Principality of Wales, Duchy of Lancaster or Cornwall, or any or either of them, any law, statute, ordinance, usage, or custom to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding.
And whereas it is and hath been found by experience, that the office of a King in this nation and Ireland, and to have the power thereof in any single person, is unnecessary, burdensome, and dangerous to the liberty, safety, and public interest of the people, and that for the most part, use hath been made of the regal power and prerogative to oppress and impoverish and enslave the subject; and that usually and naturally any one person in such power
makes it his interest to incroach upon the just freedom and liberty of the people, and to promote the setting up of their own will and power above the laws, that so they might enslave these kingdoms to their own lust; be it therefore enacted and ordained by this present Parliament, and by authority of the same, that the office of a King in this nation shall not henceforth reside in or be exercised by any one single person; and that no one person whatsoever shall or may have, or hold the office, style, dignity, power, or authority of King of the said kingdoms and dominions, or any of them, or of the Prince of Wales, any law, statute, usage, or custom to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.
And it is hereby enacted, that if any person or persons shall endeavour to attempt by force of arms or otherwise, or be aiding, assisting, comforting, or abetting unto any person or persons that shall by any ways or means whatsoever endeavour or attempt the reviving or setting up again of any pretended right of the said Charles, eldest son to the said late King, James called Duke of York, or of any other the issue and posterity of the said late King, or of any person or persons claiming under him or them, to the said regal office, style, dignity, or authority, or to be Prince of Wales ; or the promoting of any one person whatsoever to the name, style, dignity, power, prerogative, or authority of King of England and Ireland, and dominions aforesaid, or any of them ; that then every such offence shall be deemed and adjudged high treason, and the offenders therein, their
counsellors, procurers, aiders and abettors, being convicted of the said offence, or any of them, shall be deemed and adjudged traitors against the Parliament and people of England, and shall suffer, lose, and forfeit, and have such like and the same pains, forfeitures, judgments, and execution as is used in case of high treason.
And whereas by the abolition of the kingly office pro vided for in this Act, a most happy way is made for this nation (if God see it good) to return to its just and ancient right, of being governed by its own representatives or national meetings in council, from time to time chosen and entrusted for that purpose by the people, it is therefore resolved and declared by the Commons assembled in Parliament, that they will put a period to the sitting of this present Parliament, and dissolve the same so soon as may possibly stand with the safety of the people that hath betrusted them, and with what is absolutely necessary for the preserving and upholding the Government now settled in the way of a Commonwealth ; and that they will carefully provide for the certain choosing, meeting, and sitting of the next and future representatives, with such other circumstances of freedom in choice and equality in distribution of members to be elected thereunto, as shall most conduce to the lasting freedom and good of this Commonwealth.
And it is hereby further enacted and declared, notwithstanding any thing contained in this Act, no person or persons of what condition and quality soever, within the Commonwealth of England and Ireland, dominion of Wales, the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, and town of Berwickupon-Tweed, shall be discharged from the obedience and subjection which he and they owe to the Government of this nation, as it is now declared, but all and every of them shall in all things render and perform the same, as of right is due unto the supreme authority hereby declared to reside in this and the successive representatives of the people of this nation, and in them only,
79. AN ACT ABOLISHING THE HOUSE OF LORDS.
[March 19, 1649. Scobell, ii. 8.] The Commons of England assembled in Parliament, finding by too long experience that the House of Lords is
useless and dangerous to the people of England to be continued, have thought fit to ordain and enact, and be it ordained and enacted by this present Parliament, and by the authority of the same, that from henceforth the House of Lords in Parliament shall be and is hereby wholly abolished and taken away; and that the Lords shall not from henceforth meet or sit in the said House called the Lords' House, or in any other house or place whatsoever, as a House of Lords ; nor shall sit, vote, advise, adjudge, or determine of any matter or thing whatsoever, as a House of Lords in Parliament: nevertheless it is hereby declared, that neither such Lords as have demeaned themselves with honour, courage, and fidelity to the Commonwealth, nor their posterities who shall continue so, shall be excluded from the public councils of the nation, but shall be admitted thereunto, and have their free vote in Parliament, if they shall be thereunto elected, as other persons of interest elected and qualified thereunto ought to have.
And be it further ordained and enacted by the authority aforesaid, that no Peer of this land, not being elected, qualified and sitting in Parliament as aforesaid, shall claim, have, or make use of any privilege of Parliament, either in relation to his person, quality, or estate, any law, usage, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
80. AN ACT DECLARING ENGLAND TO BE A
[May 19, 1649. Scobell, ii. 30.]
Be it declared and enacted by this present Parliament, and by the authority of the same, that the people of England, and of all the dominions and territories thereunto belonging, are and shall be, and are hereby constituted, made, established, and confirmed, to be a Commonwealth and Free State, and shall from henceforth be governed as a Commonwealth and Free State by the supreme authority of this nation, the representatives of the people in Parliament, and by such as they shall appoint and constitute as officers and ministers under them for the good of the people, and that without any King or House of Lords.
81. ENGAGEMENT TO BE TAKEN BY ALL MEN OF THE AGE
[January 2, 1650. Civil War Tracts, E. 1060, No. 77.] I do declare and promise, that I will be true and faithful to the Commonwealth of England, as it is now established, without a King or House of Lords.
82. AN ACT DECLARING WHAT OFFENCES SHALL BE
[July 17, 1650. Scobell, ii. 65.] Whereas the Parliament hath abolished the kingly office in England and Ireland, and in the dominions and territories thereunto belonging; and having resolved and declared, that the people shall for the future be governed by its own representatives or national meetings in Council, chosen and entrusted by them for that purpose, hath settled the Government in the way of a Commonwealth and Free State, without King or House of Lords : be it enacted by this present Parliament, and by the authority of the same, that if any person shall maliciously or advisedly publish, by writing, printing, or openly declaring, that the said Government is tyrannical, usurped, or unlawful ; or that the Commons in Parliament assembled are not the supreme authority of this nation; or shall plot, contrive, or endeavour to stir up, or raise force against the present Government, or for the subversion or alteration of the same, and shall declare the same by any open deed, that then every such offence shall be taken, deemed, and adjudged by authority of this Parliament to be high treason.
And whereas the Keepers of the liberty of England, and the Council of State, constituted, and to be from time to time constituted by authority of Parliament, are to be under the said representatives in Parliament, entrusted for the maintenance of the said Government, with several powers and authorities limited, given, and appointed unto them by the Parliament. Be it likewise enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any person shall maliciously and advisedly plot or endeavour the subversion of the said Keepers of the liberty of England, or the Council of State, and the same shall declare by any open deed, or shall move any person or persons for the doing thereof, or stir up the people to rise against them, or either of them, their or either of their authorities, that then every such offence and offences shall be taken, deemed, and declared to be high treason.
And whereas the Parliament, for their just and lawful defence, hath raised and levied the army and forces now under the command of Thomas Lord Fairfax, and are at present necessitated, by reason of the manifold distractions within this Commonwealth, and invasions threatened from abroad, to continue the same, which under God must be the instrumental means of preserving the well-affected people of this nation in peace and safety ; be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any person, not being an officer, soldier, or member of the army, shall plot, contrive, or endeavour to stir up any mutiny in the said army, or withdraw any soldiers or officers from their obedience to their superior officers, or from the present Government as aforesaid ; or shall procure, invite, aid, or assist any foreigners or strangers to invade England or Ireland ; or shall adhere to any forces raised by the enemies of the Parliament or Commonwealth, or Keepers of the liberty of England; or if any person shall counterfeit the Great Seal of England, for the time being, used and appointed by authority of Parliament, that then every such offence and offences shall be taken, deemed, and declared by authority of this Parliament to be high treason, and every such persons shall suffer pains of death ; and also forfeit unto the Keepers of the liberty of England, to and for the use of the Commonwealth, all and singular his and their lands, tenements and hereditaments, goods and chattels, as in case of high treason hath been used by the laws and statutes of this land to be forfeit and lost.
Provided always, that no persons shall be indicted and arraigned for any of the offences mentioned in this Act, unless such offenders shall be indicted and prosecuted for the same within one year after the offence committed.
And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any person shall counterfeit the money of this Commonwealth, or shall bring any false money into this land, counterfeit or other, like to the money of this Commonwealth, knowing the money to be false, to merchandize or make payment, in deceit of the people of this nation; or if any person shall hereafter falsely forge and counterfeit any