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poral, and Commons, assembled at Westminster, do resolve, that William and Mary, Prince and Princess of Orange, be, and be declared King and Queen of England, France, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, to hold the crown and royal dignity of the said kingdoms and dominions to them the said prince and princess, during their lives, and the life of the survivor of them; and that the sole and full exercise of the regal power be only in, and executed by the said Prince of Orange, in the names of the said prince and princess, during their joint lives ; and after their deceases, the said crown and royal dignity of the said kingdoms and dominions to be to the heirs of the body of the said princess, and for default of such issue, to the princess Anne of Denmark, and the heirs of her body, and for default of such issue, to the heirs of the body of the said Prince of Orange. And the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, do pray the said prince and princess to accept the same accordingly.
III. And that the oaths hereafter mentioned be taken by all persons of whom the oaths of allegiance and supremacy might be required by law, instead of them : and that the said oaths of allegiance and supremacy be abrogated.
“ I, A. B. do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to their majesties King William and Queen Mary. So help me God.”
“I, A. B. do swear, that I from my heart abhor, detest, and abjure, as impious and heretical, that damnable doctrine and position, that Princes excommunicated or deposed by the Pope, or any authority of the see of Rome, may be deprived or murdered by their subjects, or any other what
And I do declare, that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate, hath or ought to bave any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. So help me God.”
IV. Upon which their said Majesties did accept the crown and royal dignity of the kingdoms, &c. according to the resolution and desire of the said Lords and Commons contained in the said resolution.
V. And thereupon their Majesties were pleased, that the said Lords spiritual and temporal, and Commons, being the two houses of parliament, should continue to sit, and with their Majesties' royal concurrence, make effectual provision for the settlement of the religion, laws, and liberties of this kingdom, so that the same for the future should not be in danger again of being subverted; to which the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, did agree, and proceed to act accordingly.
VI. Now, in pursuance of the premises, the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in parliament assembled, for the ratifying, confirming, and establishing the said declaration, and the articles, clauses, matters, and things therein contained, by the force of a law made in due form by
authority of parliament, do pray, that it may be declared and enacted, that all and singular the rights and liberties asserted and claimed in the said declaration are the true, ancient, and indubitable rights and liberties of the people of this kingdom, and so shall be esteemed, allowed, adjudged, deemed, and taken to be ; and all and every the particulars aforesaid shall be firmly and strictly holden and observed, as they are expressed in the said declaration ; and all officers and ministers whatsoever shall serve their majesties and successors according to the same in all times to come.
VII. And the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, seriously considering how it hath pleased Almighty God, in his marvellous providence and merciful goodness to this nation, to provide and preserve their said Majesties' royal persons most happily to reign over us upon the throne of their ancestors, for which they render unto him, from the bottom of their hearts, their humblest thanks and praises, do truly, firmly, assuredly, and in the sincerity of their hearts, think, and do hereby recognize, acknowledge, and declare, that King James II. having abdicated the government, and their Majesties having accepted the crown and royal dignity as aforesaid, their said Majesties did become, were, and of right ought to be, by the laws of this realm, our Sovereign Lord and Lady, King and Queen of England, France, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging ; in and to whose princely persons the royal state, crown, and dignity of the said realms, with all honours, styles, titles, regalities, prerogatives, powers, jurisdictions, and authorities to the same belonging and appertaining, are most fully, rightfully, and entirely invested, and incorporated, united, and invested.
VIII. And for preventing all question and divisions in this realm, by reason of any pretended titles to the crown, and for preserving a certainty in the succession thereof, in and upon which the unity, peace, tranquillity, and safety of this nation doth, under God, wholly consist and depend, the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, do beseech their Majesties that it may be enacted, established, and declared, that the crown and regal government of the said kingdoms and dominions, with all and singular the premises thereunto belonging and appertaining, shall be and continue to their said Majesties, and the survivor of them, during their lives, and the survivor of them; and that the entire, perfect, and full exercise of the regal power and government be only in and executed by his Majesty, in the names of both their Majesties, during their joint lives ; and after their
; deceases, the said crown and premises shall be and remain to the heirs of the body of her Majesty ; and for default of such issue, to her royal highness the Princess Anne of Denmark, and the heirs of her body; and for default of such issue, to the heirs of the body of his said Majesty. And thereunto the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, do in the name of all the people aforesaid, most humbly and faithfully submit themselves, their heirs and posterities, for ever; and do faithfully promise, that they will stand to, maintain, and defend their said Majesties, and also the limitation and succession of the crown, herein specified and contained, to the utmost of their powers, with their lives and estates, against all persons whatsover that shall attempt any thing to the contrary,
IX. And whereas it has been found by experience, that it is inconsistent with the safety and welfare of this protestant kingdom to be governed by a popish prince, or by any king or queen marrying a Papist, the said lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, do farther pray that it may be enacted, that all and every person and persons that is, are, or shall be reconciled to, or shall hold communion with the see or church of Rome, or shall profess the popish religion, or shall marry a Papist, shall be excluded, and be for ever incapable to inherit, possess, or enjoy the crown and government of this realm, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, or any part of the same, or have, use, or exercise any regal power, authority, or jurisdiction within the same; and in all and every such case or cases, the people of these realms shall be, and are hereby absolved of their allegiance; and the said crown and government shall from time to time descend to, and be enjoyed by such person or persons, being Protestants, as should have inherited or enjoyed the same, in case the said person or persons so reconciled, hold communion, or professing, or marrying, as aforesaid, were naturally dead.
X. And that any king and queen of this realm, who at any time hereafter shall come to and succeed in the imperial crown of this kingdom, shall, on the first day of the meeting of the first parliament next after his or her coming to the crown, sitting in his or her throne in the house of peers, in the presence of the lords and coinmons therein assembled, or at his or her coronation, before such person or persons who shall administer the coronation oath to him or her, at the time of his or her taking the said oath, (which shall first happen,) make, subscribe, and audibly repeat the declaration mentioned in the statute made in the thirtieth year of the reign of King Charles the Second, intituled, An act for more effectually preserving the king's person and government by disabling Papists from sitting in either house of parliament. But if it shall happen, that such king or queen, upon his or her succession to the crown of this realm, shall be under the age of twelve years, then every such king or queen shall make, subscribe, and audibly repeat the said declaration at his or her coronation, or on the first day of the meeting of the first parliament as aforesaid, which shall first happen, after such king or queen shall have attained the said age of twelve years.
XI. All which their majesties are contented and pleased shall be declared, enacted, and established by authority of this present parliament, and shall stand, remain, and be the law of this realm for ever; and the same are by their said majesties, by and with the advice and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal and commons in parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, declared, enacted, and established accordingly.
XII. And be it further declared and enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That from and after this present session of parliament, no dispensa. tion by non obstante of, or to any statute, or any part thereof, shall be allowed, but that the same shall be held void and of no effect, except a dispensation be allowed of in such statute, and except in such cases as shall be specially provided for by one or more bill, or bills, to be passed during this present session of parliament.
XIII. Provided, that no charter or grant, or pardon granted before the three and twentieth day of October, in the year
of our Lord one thousand six hundred and eighty-nine, shall be any way impeached or invalidated by this act, but that the same shall be and remain of the same force and effect in law, and no other, than as if this act had never been made.*
The Habeas Corpus act has been justly celebrated as the preserver of British liberty. It is so called because it begins with the words Hubeas corpus ad subjiciendum, but the title of the act in the statute book is, " An Act for better securing the liberty of the subject, and for prevention of imprisonment beyond the seas." This writ being one of high prerogative, must issue from the court of king's bench ; its effects extend equally to every county; and by it the king requires the person who holds
r one of his subjects in custody, to carry him before the judge, with the date of the confinement, and the cause of it, in order to discharge him, according as the judge shall decree. But this writ, which might be a resource in cases of violent imprisonment effected by individuals, or granted at their request, was but a feeble one, or rather was no resource at all against the prince's prerogative, especially under the sway of the Tudors. And even in the first year of Charles I. the judges of the king's bench, who, in consequence of the spirit of the times, and of their holding their places durante bene placito, were constantly devoted to the court, declared, “ that they could not, upon a habeas corpus, either bail or deliver a prisoner, though committed without any cause assigned, in case he was committed by the special command of the king, or by the lords of the privy council.
* Statutes at Large.
Those principles and the mode of procedure which resulted from them drew the attention of parliament: and in the bill called the Petition of Right; passed in the third year of the reign of Charles I. it was enacted, that no person should be kept in custody, in consequence of such imprisonment. But the provisions of this act was liable to evasion and abuse : though the judges did not refuse to discharge a man imprisoned without a cause, yet they could use so much delay in the examination of the causes, that thereby the full effect of an open denial of justice could be obtained. To remedy this the legislature again interposed, and in the act passed in the sixteenth year of the reign of Charles I. the same in which the star chamber was suppressed, it was enacted, that, “ if any person be committed by the king himself in person, or by his privy council, or by any of the members thereof, he shall have granted unto him, without delay upon any pretence whatever, a writ of Habeas Corpus and that the judge shall thereupon, within three court days after the return is made, examine and determine the legality of such imprisonment.” This act seemed to prevent the possibility of future evasion : yet it was evaded still; and, by the connivance of the judges the person who detained the prisoner could, without danger, wait for a second, and a third writ, called an alias and a pluries, before he produced him.
All these different artifices at length gave birth to the famous act of HABEAS CORPUs in the thirty first year of the reign of Charles II. which is considered in England as a second Great Charter and has extinguished all the resources of oppression. Its principle provisions are, 1. To fix the different terms for bringing a prisoner, those terms are proportioned to the distance, and none can in any case exceed twenty days, 2. That the officer and keeper neglecting to make due returns, or not delivering to the prisoner or his agent, within six hours after demand, a copy of the warrant of commitment, or shifting the custody of the prisoner from one to another, without sufficient reason or authority, shall, for the first offence, forfeit one hundred pounds, and for the second two hundred, to the party aggrieved, and be disabled to hold bis office, 3. No person, once delivered by habeas corpus, shall be re-committed for the same offence, on penalty of five hundred pounds, 4. Every person committed for treason or felony, shall, if he require it, in the first week of the next term, be indicted in that term or session, or else be admitted to bail, unless it should be proved upon oath, that the king's witnesses cannot be produced at that time: and if not indicted and tried in the second term or session, he shall be discharged of his imprisonment for such inputed offence. 5. Any of the twelve judges or the lord chancellor, who shall deny a writ of habeas corpus, on sight of the warrant, or on oath that the same is refused, shall severally forfeit to the aggrieved party five hundred pounds, 6. No inhabitant of England (except persons contracting, or convicts praying to be