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used before the making of this act; anything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.

XVII. Provided also, and be it enacted that no person or persons shall be sued, impleaded, molested, or troubled for any offense against this act, unless the party offending be sued or impleaded for the same within two years at the most after such time wherein the offense shall be committed, in case the party grieved shall not be then in prison; and if he shall be in prison, then within the space of two years after the decease of the person imprisoned, or his or her delivery out of prison, which shall first happen.

XVIII. And to the intent no person may avoid his trial at the assizes or general gaol-delivery, by procuring his removal before the assizes, at such time as he cannot be brought back to receive his trial there; be it enacted that after the assizes proclaimed for that county where the prisoner is detained, no person shall be removed from the common gaol upon any habeas corpus granted in pursuance of this act, but upon any such habeas corpus shall be brought before the judge of assize in open court, who is thereupon to do what to justice shall appertain.

XIX. Provided nevertheless, that after the assizes are ended, any person or persons detained may have his or her habeas corpus according to the direction and intention of this act.

XX. And be it also enacted by the authority aforesaid that if any information, suit, or action shall be brought or exhibited against any person or persons for any offense committed or to be committed against the form of this law, it shall be lawful for such defendants to plead the general issue, that they are not guilty, or that they owe nothing, and to give such special matter in evidence to the jury that shall try the same, which matter being pleaded had been good and sufficient matter in law to have discharged the said defendant or defendants against the said information, suit, or action, and the said matter shall be then as available to him or them, to all intents or purposes, as if he or they had sufficiently pleaded, set forth, or alleged the same matter in bar or discharge of such information, suit, or action.

XXI. And because many times persons charged with petty treason or felony, or as accessories thereunto, are committed upon suspicion only, whereupon they are bailable or not, according as the circumstances making out that suspicion are more or less weighty, which are best known to the justices of peace that committed the persons and have the examinations before them, or to other justices of peace in the county; be it therefore enacted that where any person shall appear to be committed by any judge or justice of the peace, and charged as accessory before the fact, to any petty treason or felony, or upon suspicion thereof, or with suspicion of petty treason or felony, which petty treason or felony shall be plainly and especially expressed in the warrant of commitment, that such person shall not be removed or bailed by virtue of this act, or in any other manner than they might have been before the making of this act.

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8. BILL OF RIGHTS, 1689 1

THE Parliament which offered the Crown to William and Mary in February, 1689, accompanied its offer by a formal declaration of the unconstitutional acts of James II, the deposed king. In October of the same year the declaration was amplified and amended and was then passed by Parliament as the Bill of Rights. This celebrated statute affirmed and strengthened the principles of political liberty already formulated in the Great Charter and the Petition of Right. To it no additions of equal importance have since been made, except those of the Act of Settlement in 1701. Many clauses of the Bill of Rights reappear, almost unchanged, in the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States.

An Act for declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject,

and for settling the Succession of the Crown I. Whereas the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, assembled at Westminster, lawfully, fully, and freely representing all the estates of the people of this realm, did, upon the thirteenth day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eightyeight, present unto their Majesties, then called and known by the names and style of William and Mary, Prince and Princess of Orange, being present in their proper persons, a certain declaration in writing, made by the said Lords and Commons, in the words following, viz.:

Whereas the late King James II, by the assistance of divers evil counselors, judges, and ministers employed by him, did endeavor to subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of this kingdom:

1. By assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending of laws, and the execution of laws, without consent of Parliament.

1 Statutes of the Realm, vi, 142–145 (1 William and Mary, Sess. 2, c. 2).
2 In New Style, February 23, 1689.

2. By committing and prosecuting divers worthy prelates, for humbly petitioning to be excused from concurring to the same as

sumed power.

3. By issuing and causing to be executed a commission under the Great Seal for erecting a court called the Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes.

4. By levying money for and to the use of the Crown, by pretense of prerogative, for other time and in other manner than the same was granted by Parliament.

5. By raising and keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace, without consent of Parliament, and quartering soldiers contrary to law.

6. By causing several good subjects, being Protestants, to be disarmed, at the same time when Papists were both armed and employed contrary to law.

7. By violating the freedom of election of members to serve in Parliament.

8. By prosecutions in the Court of King's Bench for matters and causes cognizable only in Parliament; and by divers other arbitrary and illegal courses.

9. And whereas of late years partial, corrupt, and unqualified persons have been returned and served on juries in trials, and particularly divers jurors in trials for high treason, which were not freeholders.

10. And excessive bail has been required of persons committed in criminal cases, to elude the benefit of the laws made for the liberty of the subjects.

11. And excessive fines have been imposed, and illegal and cruel punishments inflicted.

12. And several grants and promises made of fines and forfeitures, before any conviction of judgment against the persons upon whom the same were to be levied.

All which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws and statutes, and freedom of this realm.

And whereas the said late King James II having abdicated the government, and the throne being thereby vacant, his Highness the Prince of Orange (whom it has pleased Almighty God to make the glorious instrument of delivering this kingdom from popery and arbitrary power) did (by the advice of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and divers principal persons of the Commons) cause letters to be written to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, being Protestants, and other letters to the several counties, cities, universities, boroughs, and cinque ports, for the choosing of such persons as represent them, as were of right to be sent to Parliament, to meet and sit at Westminster upon the two-and-twentieth day of January, in this year one thousand six hundred eighty and eight,' in order to such an establishment, as that their religion, laws, and liberties might not again be in danger of being subverted; upon which letters elections have been accordingly made.

And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled in a full and free representation of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done), for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties, declare:

1. That the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of Parliament, is illegal.

2. That the pretended power of dispensing with laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, as it has been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal.

3. That the commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious.

4. That levying money for or to the use of the Crown, by pretense of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal.

5. That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.

6. That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law.

7. That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions, and as allowed by law.

8. That election of members of Parliament ought to be free.

9. That the freedom of speech, and debates or proceedings in Parliament, ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament.

1 In New Style, February 1, 1689.

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