Humble Petition

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That you would have made good the supreme authoritie of the people, in this Honourable House, from all pretences of Negative Voices, either In King or Lords. That you would have made laws for election of representatives yearly and of course without writ or summons. That you would have set expresse times for their meeting Continuance and Dissolution: as not to exceed 40 or 50 dates at the most, and to have fixed an expresse time for the ending of this present Parliament.

That you would have exempted matters of Religion and Gods worship, from the compulsive or restrictive power of any Authoritie upon earth, and reserved to the supreme Authoritie an un-compulsive power only of appointing a way for the publick, whereby abundance of misery, persecution, and heart-burning would for ever be avoyded. That you would have disclaimed in your selves and all future Representatives, a power of Pressing and forcing any sort of men to serve in warrs, there being nothing more opposite to freedom, nor more unreasonable in an authoritie impowered for raising monies in all occasions, for which, and a just cause, assistants need not be doubted; the other way serving rather to maintain injustice and corrupt parties.

That you would have made both Kings, Queens, Princes, Dukes, Earls, Lords, and all Persons, alike liable to every Law of the Land, made or to be made; that so all persons even the Highest might fear and stand in aw, and neither violate the publick peace, nor private right of person or estate, as hath been frequent without being lyable to accompt as other men. That you would have freed all Commoners from the jurisdiction of the Lords in all cases: and to have taken care that all tryalls should be only by twelve sworn men, and no conviction but upon two or more sufficient grown witnesses.

That you would have freed all men from being examined against themselves, and from being questioned or punished for doing of that against which no Law hath bin provided. That you would have abbreviated the proceedings in Law, mitigated and made certain the charge thereof in all particulars. That you would have freed all Trade and Merchandising from all Monopolizing and Engrossing, by Companies or otherwise.

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That you would have abolished Excise, and all kinds of taxes, except subsidies, the old and onely just way of England. That you would have laid open all late Inclosures of Fens, and other Commons, or have enclosed them onely or chiefly to the benefit of the poor. That you would have considered the many thousands that are ruined by perpetual imprisonment for debt, and provide for their enlargement. That you would have ordered some effectual course to keep people from begging and beggery, in so fruitful a Nation as through Gods blessing this is.

That you would have proportioned Punishments more equal to offences; that so mens Lives and Estates might not be forfeited upon trivial and slight occasions. That you would have removed the tedious burthen of Tythes, satisfying all Impropriators, and providing more equal way of maintenance for the publike Ministers. And in case your Highness shall not be satisfied to give your consent to all the matters and things in this humble Petition and Advice, that then nothing in the same be deemed of force, to oblige the people of these nations in any the particulars therein contained.

Which Petition being presented the 25th day of May, , his Highness' answer thereunto was read by the Clerk of the Parliament in these words,. The Lord Protector doth consent. Press Mark, E , 18 number them wrongly from this point.


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Constitutional Action. Basic Principles. Founding and Founders. Rights, Powers and Unity and Federalism. Abuses and Usurpations. Constitutional Defense. Legal Reform. Ceremonies signify much of the substance in such cases, as a shell preserves the kernel or a casket a jeweI. Accordingly Cromwell now began exercising prerogatives which the Humble Petition and Advice did not specifically confer upon him but which were automatically available to those occupying the office of King.

Not least among these was the creation of hereditary peers. Indeed it was in this very same speech that Cromwell had asked, in essence, why could he not occupy the office of King but with the title of Protector, signification going to the thing and not to the name. The kingly dignity that Cromwell exercised as Protector Royal, as some contemporaries called him, for the last fifteen months of his life was in any case not the monarchy of Charles I.

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Oliver had not built Jericho again. His was a reformed New Model Monarchy, a parliamentary monarchy in accordance with the Humble Petition and Advice of the knights, citizens and burgesses now assembled in the Parliament of this Commonwealth.

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The effective assimilation of the Cromwellian Protectorship to the office of King but with the Protector owing his title to Parliament was accomplished in spite of the hostility to kingship within the army. Giavarina, the Venetian envoy, gives a very succinct interpretation of how he thought this had been achieved:.

The simple soldiers seem quite quiet and satisfied with the refusal of the title [of King] not realising that even without it the Protector has all the powers of a King. But the officers who desire a disturbance and who do not want his Highness to have so much authority labour to impress the truth upon them, though so far without the least success.

The soldiers will not listen to what they say, their objection and aversion being for the title alone and for the rest they care nothing, being content with the surface of things without piercing the marrow. A return to that very form which was of old, but this time under Parliament, looked a real possibility at almost any time over the next year or so. This is evidenced by the large number of people, from the Quaker George Fox to the French ambassador, Antoine de Bordeaux, and the Venetian envoy, who recorded persistently voiced speculation to the effect that Cromwell was about to adopt the title of King.

Humble Petition to President Clinton

Bulstrode Whitelocke London, , pp. London, , pp. Roy Sherwood, author and historian, is well known for his work on the regal aspects of the Cromwellian Protectorate. PDF version. The revised Article, to which Parliament gave its assent, read: 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 according to the laws of these nations.



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