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make election of their knights, citizens, barons and burgesses, respectively, shall incur the penalties following (that is to say, every County the sum of £1000, and every City, which is no County, £200, and every Cinque Port and Borough the sum of £100; all and every of which several forfeitures, and all other forfeitures in this Act mentioned, shall and may be recovered in any of the King's Courts of Record at Westminster, without naming the Christian name and surname of the said Mayor for the time being, 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 : and if any person after notice given that the action depending is grounded and prosecuted upon or by virtue of this Statute shall cause or procure any such action to be stayed or delayed before judgment by colour or means of any order, warrant, power or authority, save only of the court wherein such action as aforesaid shall be brought or depending, or after judgment had upon such action, shall cause or procure the execution of, or upon any such judgment, to be stayed or delayed by colour or means of any order, warrant, power or authority, save only by writ of error or attaint, that then the said persons so offending shall incur and sustain all and every the pains, penalties and forfeitures, limited, ordained and provided in and by the said Statute of Provision and Premunire, made in the 16th of King Richard the Second. And if any Lord Mayor of London shall at any time hereafter commence or prefer any such suit, action or information, and shall happen to die or be removed out of his office before recovery and execution had, that yet not such action, suit or information, sued, commenced or preferred, shall by such displacing or death be abated, discontinued or ended, but that it shall and may be lawful to and for the Lord Mayor of the City of London next succeeding in that office and place, to prosecute, pursue and follow all and every such action, bill, plaint or information for the causes aforesaid, so hanging and depending in such manner and form, and to all intents and purposes, as that Lord Mayor might have done, which first commenced or preferred the same. The fifth part of all and every the forfeitures in this Act mentioned, shall go and be, to, and for the use and behoof of the City of London, and the other four parts and residue to be employed and disposed to, and for such only uses, intents
and purposes as by the knights, citizens and burgesses in Parliament assembled, shall be declared, directed and appointed.
Provided that in case the freeholders of any County and inhabitants, or other persons having or claiming power to make election of any knights, citizens, barons or burgesses, shall proceed to making of election of their knights, citizens, barons and burgesses, which election shall afterwards fall out to be adjudged or declared void in law by the House of Commons, by reason of equality of voices or misdemeanour of any person whatsoever, then the said County, City, Cinque Port or Borough shall not incur the penalties in this law, so as an election de facto be made.
6. And it is further enacted, that no Parliament henceforth to be assembled shall be dissolved or prorogued within fifty days at least after the time appointed for the meeting thereof, unless it be by assent of His Majesty, his heirs or successors, and of both Houses in Parliament assembled ; and that neither the House of Peers nor the House of Commons shall be adjourned within fifty days at least after the meeting thereof, unless it be by the free consent of every the said Houses respectively.
7. And be it further enacted and declared by authority of this present Parliament, that the Peers to be assembled at any Parliament by virtue of this Act, shall and may from time to time, at any time during such their assembly in Parliament, choose and declare such person to be Speaker for the said Peers as they shall think fit. And likewise that the said knights, citizens and burgesses to be assembled at any Parliament by virtue of this Act, shall and may from time to time, at any time during such their assembly in Parliament, choose and declare one of themselves to be Speaker for the said knights, citizens and burgesses of the House of Commons assembled in the said Parliament as they shall think fit; which said Speakers, and every of them, as well for the said Peers as for the said House of Commons respectively, shall, by virtue of this Act, be perfect and complete Speakers for the said Houses respectively, and shall have as full and large power, jurisdiction and privileges, to all intents and purposes, as any Speaker or Speakers of either of the said Houses respectively, heretofore have had or enjoyed.
8. And it is further enacted and declared, that all Parliaments hereafter to be assembled by authority of this Act
and every member thereof shall have and enjoy all rights, privileges, jurisdictions and immunities, as any Parliament summoned by writ under the Great Seal of England, or any member thereof might or ought to have ; and all and every the members that shall be elected and chosen to serve in any Parliament hereafter to be assembled by authority of this Act as aforesaid, shall assemble and meet in the Commons House of Parliament, and shall enter into the same, and have voices in such Parliament before and without the taking of the several oaths of supremacy and allegiance, or either of them, any law or statute to the contrary thereof in any
9. Provided always, that if the King's Majesty, his heirs or successors, shall at any time during any Parliament hereafter to be assembled by authority of this Act as aforesaid, award or direct any commission or commissions unto any person or persons whatsoever, thereby giving power and authority to him or them to take and receive the oath of supremacy and allegiance, of all or any the members of the Commons House of Parliament, and any the members of that House being duly required thereunto, shall refuse or neglect to take and pronounce the same, that from thenceforth such person so refusing or neglecting shall be deemed no member of that House, nor shall have any voice therein, and shall suffer such pains and penalties as if he had presumed to sit in the same House without election, return or authority.
10. And it is likewise provided and enacted, that this Statute shall be publicly read yearly at every General Sessions of the Peace, to be held next after the Epiphany, and every Assizes then next ensuing by the Clerk of the Peace and Clerk of the Assizes for the time being respectively. And if they or either of them shall neglect or fail to do the same accordingly, then such party so neglecting or failing shall forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds.
11. And it is lastly provided and enacted, that His Majesty's royal assent to this Bill shall not thereby determine this present Session of Parliament, and that all statutes and Acts of Parliament which are to have continuance unto the end of this present Session, shall be of full force after His Majesty's assent, until this present Session be fully ended and
1 It was at that time the custom that the royal assent was given to Bills at the end of the Session, and it was consequently argued that the assent put an end to the Session.
determined ; and if this present Session shall determine by dissolution of this present Parliament, then all the Acts and statutes aforesaid shall be continued until the end of the first Session of the next Parliament.
19. THE PROTESTATION.
[May 3, 1641. Rushworth, viii. 735. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 353.]
We the knights, citizens and burgesses of the Commons House in Parliament, finding to the grief of our hearts that the designs of the Priests and Jesuits, and other adherents to the See of Rome, have of late been more boldly and frequently put in practice than formerly, to the undermining and danger of the true reformed Protestant religion in His Majesty's dominions established ; and finding also that there hath been, and having just cause to suspect there still are, even during the sittings in Parliament, endeavours to subvert the fundamental laws of England and Ireland, and to introduce the exercise of an arbitrary and tyrannical government by most pernicious and wicked counsels, practices, plots and conspiracies; and that the long intermission and unhappier breach of Parliaments hath occasioned many illegal taxations, whereby the subjects have been prosecuted and grieved ; and that divers innovations and superstitions have been brought into the Church, multitudes driven out of His Majesty's dominions, jealousies raised and fomented between the King and his people; a Popish army levied in Ireland, and two armies brought into the bowels of this kingdom, to the hazard of His Majesty's royal person, the consumption of the revenue of the crown and the treasure of this realm. And lastly, finding the great cause of jealousy, that endeavours have been, and are used, to bring the English army into a misunderstanding of this Parliament, thereby to incline that army by force to bring that army to pass those wicked counsels; have therefore thought good to join ourselves in a Declaration of our united affections and resolutions and to make this ensuing Protestation.
THE PROTESTATION. I A. B. do, in the presence of God, promise, vow and protest to maintain and defend, as far as lawfully I may
1 The Scottish army and the English army opposed to it.
with my life, power and estate, the true reformed Protestant religion expressed in the doctrine of the Church of England, against all Popery and popish innovation within this realm, contrary to the said doctrine, and according to the duty of my allegiance, I will maintain and defend His Majesty's royal person and estate :
As also the power and privilege of Parliaments, the lawful rights and liberties of the subjects, and every person that shall make this Protestation in whatsoever he shall do, in the lawful pursuance of the same; and to my power, as far as lawfully I may, I will oppose, and by all good ways and means endeavour to bring to condign punishment all such as shall by force, practice, counsels, plots, conspiracies or otherwise do anything to the contrary in this present Protestation contained : and further, that I shall in all just and honourable ways endeavour to preserve the union and peace betwixt the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, and neither for hope, fear or any other respects, shall relinquish this promise, vow and protestation.
20. THE ACT FOR THE ATTAINDER OF THE EARL OF
[May 11, 1641. Rushworth, iv. 262. See Hist. of Engl. ix. 329–366.]
Whereas the knights, citizens and burgesses of the House of Commons in this present Parliament assembled, have, in the name of themselves and of all the Commons of England, impeached Thomas Earl of Strafford of high treason, for endeavouring to subvert the ancient and fundamental laws and government of His Majesty's realms of England and Ireland, and to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government against law in the said kingdoms, and for exercising a tyrannous and exorbitant power over and against the laws of the said kingdoms, and the liberties, estates and lives of His Majesty's subjects; and likewise having by his own authority commanded the laying and assessing of soldiers upon His Majesty's subjects in Ireland, against their consents, to compel them to obey his unlawful summons and orders, made upon paper petitions in causes between party and party, which accordingly was executed upon divers of His Majesty's subjects in a warlike manner within the said realm of Ireland ; and in so doing did levy