Acts and Ordinances of the Interregnum, 1642-1660. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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[26 June, 1657.]
Whereas upon the Humble Petition and Advice of the said Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, now assembled in the Parliament of this Commonwealth, lately presented and Consented unto by your Highness, Certain Doubts and Questions have arisen, concerning some particulars therein Comprized, for explanation whereof, May it please your Highness to declare and consent unto the Additions and Explanations hereafter mentioned, and may it be Declared with your Highness Consent;
In the fourth Article,
That such person and persons as invaded England, under Duke Hamilton, in the year One thousand six hundred fourty and eight, Or Advised, Consented, Assisted, or voluntarily contributed unto that war; And were for that cause debarred from publique Trust by the Parliament of Scotland, be uncapable to Elect, or be Elected, to sit and serve as Members of Parliament, or in any other place of publique trust, relating unto the fourth and thirteenth Articles, in the Petition and Advice, excepting such as have since born Arms for your Highness, or the Parliament, or have been admitted to sit and serve in the Parliament of this Commonwealth, and are of good life and conversation, or such as shall hereafter be declared by your Highness, with the Advice of your Council, to have given some signal testimony of their good affection and continuance in the same.
That the Proviso in the said fourth Article, be explained thus, viz. That such English and Scottish Protestants, who (since the defection of the Earl of Ormond and the Lord Inchiquin, and before the first day of March, 1649.) have born Arms for, and ever since continued faithfull to the Parliament, or your Highness, or have otherwise (before the said first day of March, 1649.) given signal testimony of their good affection to this Commonwealth and have ever since continued faithfull to the same, shall not be debarred or deemed uncapable of Electing, or being Elected to serve in Parliament.
And whereas in the said fourth Article, publique Ministers, or publique Preachers of the Gospel, are disabled to be Elected to serve in Parliament; It is hereby explained and declared to extend to such Ministers onely, as have Maintenance for Preaching, or are Pastors or Teachers of Congregations.
In the said fourth Article.
That in stead of Commissioners to be appointed by Act of Parliament, to examine and try whether the Members to be Elected for the House of Commons in future Parliaments, to be capable to sit according to the Qualifications mentioned in the said Petition and Advice, there shall be the Penalty and Fine of One thousands pounds laid and inflicted upon every such unqualified Member (being so adjudged) by the said House of Commons, and imprisonment of his Person until payment thereof.
And that the ensuing Clauses in the said Article, viz. We desire that it may by your Highness consent be Ordained, That forty and one Commissioners be appointed by Act of Parliament who, or five, or more of them, shall be authorized to examine and try whether the Members to be Elected for the House of Commons in future Parliaments, be capable to sit according to the qualifications mentioned in this Petition and Advice; and in case they find them not qualified accordingly, then to suspend them from sitting, until the House of Commons shall, upon hearing their particular Cases, admit them to sit, which Commissioners are to stand so authorized for that end, until the House of Commons in any future Parliament, shall nominate the like number of Commissioners in their places: And those other Commissioners so to be nominated in any future Parliament, to have the same Power and Authority. That the said, Commissioners shall certifie in writing to the House of Commonsr on the first day of their meeting, the cause and grounds of theie suspensions of any person so to be Elected as aforesaid; That the Accusation shall be upon Oath of the Informant, or of some other person. That a Copy of the accusation shall be left, by the party accusing, in writing under his hand, with the party accused, or in his absence, at his house in the Countrey, City, or Town for which he shall be chosen, if he have any such house, or if not, with the Sheriff of the County, if he be chosen for a County, or with the chief Magistrate of the City or Borough for which he is chosen; shall not be put in execution, or made use of, but shall be void, frustrate, Null, and of none effect, and shall be so construed and taken to all intents and purposes whatsoever, any thing contained in the said Petition and Advice to the contrary notwithstanding.
In the fifth Article.
That the Nomination of the persons to supply the place of such Members of the House, as shall die, or be removed, shall be by your Highness and your Successors.
In the Seventh Article.
That the monies directed to be for the supply of the Sea and Land Forces, be issued by Advice of the Council; And that the Treasurer, or Commissioners of the Treasury, shall give an Account of all the said Money to every Parliament.
That the Officers of State, and Judges, in the Ninth Article of the said Petition and Advice mentioned, shall be chosen in the Intervals of Parliament, by the Consent of the Council, to be afterwards approved by Parliament.
That your Highness will be pleased, according to the usage of former Chief Magistrates in these Nations, and for the better satisfaction of the people thereof to take an Oath in the form ensuing.
I do in the presence, and by the Name of God Almighty, promise and swear, That to the uttermost of my power I will uphold, and maintain the true Reformed Protestant Christian Religion, in the purity thereof, as it is contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, to the uttermost of my power and understanding, and incourage the profession, and professours of the same; and that to the uttermost of my power, I will Endeavour, as Chief Magistrate of these three Nations, the Maintenance and Preservation of the Peace and safety, and of the just Rights and priviledges of the people thereof; And shall in all things according to my best knowledge and power, govern the people of these Nations according to Law.
That your Highness Successors, do, before they take upon them the Government of these Nations, take an Oath in the form aforesaid.
That all such persons who now are, or shall hereafter be of the Privy Council of your Highness or Successors, before they, or either of them, do act as Councillors, shall respectively take an Oath, before persons to be authorized by your Highness and Successors for that purpose, in the form following.
I, A. B. do in the presence, and by the Name of God Almighty, promise and swear That to the uttermost of my power, in my place, I will uphold and maintain the true Reformed Protestant Christian Religion, in the purity thereof, as it is contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and encourage the profession and Professors of the same; And that I will be true and faithful to his Highness the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Dominions thereto belonging, as Chief Magistrate thereof; And shall not contrive, design, or attempt anything, against the Person or Lawfull Authority of his said Highness, and shall keep secret all matters that shall be treated of in Council, and put under secrecy, and not reveal them but by Command or consent of his Highness, the Parliament or the Council, and shall in all things faithfully perform the trust committed to me as Councellor, according to the best of my understanding, in order to the good Government, Peace, and Welfare of these Nations.
That the same Oath be taken by the Members of your Highness Council of Scotland and Ireland.
That every person who now is, or hereafter shall be a Member of either House of Parliament, before he sit in Parliament, shall, from and after the First day of January, 1657, take an Oath before persons to be authorized and appointed by your Highness and Successors for that purpose, in the form following.
I, A. B. do in the presence, and by the Name of God Almighty promise and swear That to the uttermost of my power in my place, I will uphold and maintain the true Reformed Protestant Christian Religion, in the purity thereof, as it is contained in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, and encourage the Professions and Professors of the same; And that I will be true and faithfull to the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the Dominions and Territories thereunto belonging, as Chief Magistrate thereof, And shall not contrive, design, or attempt any thing against the Person or lawfull Authority of the Lord Protector, and shall endeavour as much as in me lies, as a Member of Parliament, the preservation of the Rights and Liberties of the People.
That your Highness would be pleased in convenient time, before the next meeting of the Parliament, to cause several Summons in due form of Law, to be issued forth to such persons as your Highness shall think fit (being qualified according to the Humble Petition and Advice of the Parliament, whereto your Highness hath consented) to sit and serve as Members in the other House of Parliament; by which Summons the said persons shall be respectively commanded to be, and personally to appear at a certain place and time, to be appointed by your Highness to give their Advice and Assistance, and to do such things concerning the Great and Weighty Affairs of this Commonwealth, as to the other House of Parliament doth appertain by the said humble Petition and Advice.
That the Persons so Summoned and Assembled together, shall be, and are hereby declared to be the other House of Parliament and shall, and may without further Approbation of this House, from such time of their Meeting, proceed to do and perform all such matters and things, as the other House of Parliament ought to do and perform, and shall and may have and exercise all such Priviledges, Powers and Authorities, as the other House of Parliament ought, by the aforesaid Humble Petition and Advice, to have and exercise; the said Humble Petition and Advice, or anything therein contained to the contrary thereof notwithstanding.