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XXXVII. That such as profess faith in God by Jesus Christ (though differing in judgment from the doctrine, worship, or discipline publicly held forth) shall not be restrained from, but shall be protected in, the profession of the faith and exercise of their religion, so as they abuse not this liberty to the civil injury of others and to the actual disturbance of the public peace on their parts: provided this liberty be not extended to popery or prelacy, nor to such as, under the profession of Christ, hold forth and practice licentiousness.
XXXVIII. That all laws, statutes, and ordinances, and clauses in any law statue or ordinance to the contrary of the aforesaid liberty, shall be esteemed as null and void.
XXXIX. That the acts and ordinances of Parliament made for the sale or other disposition of the lands, rents, and hereditaments of the late king, queen, and prince, of archbishops and bishops, etc., deans and chapters, the lands of delinquents and forest lands, or any of thein, or of any other lands, tenements, rents, and hereditaments belonging to the Commonwealth, shall nowise be impeached or made invalid, but shall remain good and firm; and that the securities given by act and ordinance of Parliament for any sum or sums of money, by any of the said lands, the excise, or any other public revenue; and also the securities given by the public faith of the nation, and the engagement of the public faith for satisfaction of debts and damages, shall remain firm and good, and not be made void and invalid upon any pretense whatsoever.
XL. 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; and that such appeals as were depending in the last Parliament for relief concerning bills of sale of delinquents' estates, may be heard and determined the next Parliament, anything in this writing or otherwise to the contrary notwithstanding
XLI. That every successive Lord Protector over these nations shall take and subscribe a solemn oath, in the presence of the council, and such others as they shall call to them, that he will seek the peace, quiet, and welfare of these nations, cause law and justice to be equally administered; and that he will not violate or infringe the matters and things contained in this writing, and in all other things will, to his power and to the best of his understanding, govern these nations according to the laws, statutes, and customs thereof.
XLII. That each person of the council shall, before they enter
upon their trust, take and subscribe an oath that they will be true and faithful in their trust, according to the best of their knowledge; and that in the election of every successive Lord Protector they shall proceed therein impartially, and do nothing therein for any promise, fear, favor, or reward.
7. HABEAS CORPUS ACT, 1679 THE right to the writ of habeas corpus had long been recognized by the Common Law, but prior to 1679 it was, under various pleas and excuses, often wholly nullified. The celebrated statute passed during the reign of Charles II made the remedies against arbitrary imprisonment short, certain, and easily obtainable. The chief defect in the Act, in failing to fix a limit on the amount of bail to be demanded, was removed a few years later by the Bill of Rights, which declared that "excessive bail ought not to be required.” The Act in its original form applied only to the detention of persons charged with crime, but by a statute passed in 1812 it was made applicable to other cases of unjust imprisonment. As thus modified, the Habeas Corpus Act has become the basis of all legislation on the subject throughout the English-speaking world. The student should at least read articles I, II, V, and X.
HABEAS CORPUS ACT, 1679
and for Prevention of Imprisonments beyond the Seas I. Whereas great delays have been used by sheriffs, gaolers, and other officers, to whose custody any of the king's subjects have been committed for criminal or supposed criminal matters, in making returns of writs of habeas corpus to them directed, by standing out an alias and pluries habeas corpus,2 and sometimes more, and by other shifts to avoid their yielding obedience to such writs, contrary to their duty and the known laws of the land, whereby many of the king's subjects have been and hereafter may be long detained in prison, in such cases where by law they are bailable, to their great charges and vexation:
Statutes of the Realm, v, 935-938 (31 Charles II, c. 2).
2 An alias writ is a second writ issued after a previous writ has been issued without effect. A pleuries writ is one issued after the first writ and an alias writ have failed of effect.
II. For the prevention whereof, and the more speedy relief of all persons imprisoned for any such criminal or supposed criminal matters; be it enacted by the king's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority thereof, that whensoever any person or persons shall bring any habeas corpus directed unto any sheriff or sheriffs, gaoler, minister, or other person whatsoever, for any person in his or their custody, and the said writ shall be served upon the said officer, or left at the gaol or prison with any of the under-officers, under-keepers, or deputy of the said officers or keepers, that the said officer or officers, his or their under-officers, under-keepers or deputies, shall, within three days after the service thereof as aforesaid (unless the commitment aforesaid were for treason or felony, plainly or specially expressed in the warrant of commitment), upon payment or tender of the charges of bringing the said prisoner, to be ascertained by the judge or court that awarded the same and endorsed upon the said writ, not exceeding twelve pence per mile, and upon security given by his own bond to pay the charges of carrying back the prisoner, if he shall be remanded by the court or judge to which he shall be brought according to the true intent of this present act, and that he will not make any escape by the way, make return of such writ; and bring or cause to be brought the body of the party so committed restrained unto or before the Lord Chancellor, or Lord Keeper of the Great Seal of England for the time being, or the judges or barons of the said court from whence the said writ shall issue, or unto and before such other person or persons before whom the said writ is made returnable, according to the command thereof; and shall then likewise certify the true causes of his detainer or imprisonment, unless the commitment of the said party be in any place beyond the distance of twenty miles from the place or places where such court or person is or shall be residing; and if beyond the distance of twenty miles, and not above one hundred miles, then within the space of ten days, and if beyond the distance of one hundred miles, then within the space of twenty days, after such delivery aforesaid, and not longer.
III. And to the intent that no sheriff, gaoler, or other officer may pretend ignorance of the import of any such writ; be it enacted by the authority aforesaid that all such writs shall be marked in this manner, per statutum tricesimo primo Caroli secundi regis, and shall
1 “According to the statute of the thirty-first year of King Charles II.”
be signed by the person that awards the same; and if any person or persons shall be or stand committed or detained as aforesaid, for any crime, unless for treason or felony plainly expressed in the warrant of commitment, in the vacation time, and out of term, it shall and may be lawful to and for the person or persons so committed or detained (other than persons convict or in execution by legal process), or any one on his or their behalf, to appeal or complain to the Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper, or any one of his Majesty's justices, either of the one bench or of the other, or the barons of the exchequer of the degree of the coif; and the said Lord Chancellor, Lord Keeper, justices or barons or any of them, upon view of the copy or copies of the warrant or warrants of commitment and detainer, or otherwise upon oath made that such copy or copies were denied to be given by such person or persons in whose custody the prisoner or prisoners is or are detained, are hereby authorized and required, upon request made in writing by such person or persons or any on his, her, or their behalf, attested and subscribed by two witnesses who were present at the delivery of the same, to award and grant a habeas corpus under the seal of such court whereof he shall then be one of the judges, to be directed to the officer or officers in whose custody the party so committed or detained shall be, returnable immediate before the said Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper, or such justice, baron, or any other justice or baron of the degree of the coif of any of the said courts; and upon service thereof as aforesaid, the officer or officers, his or their under-officer or under-officers, under-keeper or under-keepers, or their deputy, in whose custody the party is so committed or detained, shall, within the times respectively before limited, bring such prisoner or prisoners before the said Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper, or such justices, barons, or one of them, before whom the said writ is made returnable, and in case of his absence before any of them, with the return of such writ and the true causes of the commitment and detainer; and thereupon within two days after the party shall be brought before them, the said Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper, or such justice or baron before whom the prisoner shall be brought as aforesaid, shall discharge the said prisoner from his imprisonment, taking his or their recognizance, with one or more surety or surēties, in any sum'according to their discretions, having regard to the quality of the prisoner and nature of the offense, for his or their appearance in the Court of King's Bench the term following, or at the next assizes, sessions, or general gaol-delivery of and for such county, city, or place where the