Charles II, 1678
(Stat. 2.) An Act for the more effectuall preserving the Kings Person and Government by disableing Papists from sitting in either House of Parlyament.

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History of Parliament Trust

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John Raithby (editor)

Year published

1819

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894-896

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'Charles II, 1678: (Stat. 2.) An Act for the more effectuall preserving the Kings Person and Government by disableing Papists from sitting in either House of Parlyament.', Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 894-896. URL: https://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=47482 Date accessed: 24 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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Reasons for passing this Act.

Peeras and Members of the House of Commons not to sit or vote until they have taken the Oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and subscribed and repeated the Declaration following.

Forasmuch as diverse good Lawes have beene made for preventing the Increase and Danger of Popery in this Kingdome, which have not had the desired Effects by reason of the free accesse which Popish Recusants have had to his Majestyes Court and by reason of the liberty which of late some of the Recusants have had and taken to sitt and vote in Parliament. Wherefore and for the Safety of His Majestyes Royall Person and Government Bee it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majestie by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and of the Commons in this present Parlyament assembled and by the Authoritie of the same That from and after the First Day of December which shall be in the yeare of our Lord God One thousand six hundred seaventy and eight noe Person that now is or hereafter shall be a Peere of this Realme or Member of the House of Peeres shall vote or make his Proxie in the House of Peeres or sitt there dureing any Debate in the said House of Peeres, Nor any person that now is or hereafter shall be a Member of the House of Commons shall vote in the House of Commons or sitt there dureing any Debate in the said House of Commons after their Speaker is chosen untill such Peere or Member shall from time to time respectively and in manner following first take the severall Oathes of Allegiance and Supremacy and make subscribe and audibly repeate this Declaration following;

IA: B: doe solemnely and sincerely in the presence of God professe testifie and declare That I doe believe that in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper there is not any Transubtantiation of the Elements of Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ at or after the Consecration thereof by any person whatsoever; And that the Invocation or Adoration of the Virgin Mary or any other Saint, and the Sacrifice of the Masse as they are now used in the Church of Rome are superstitious and idolatrous, And I doe solemnely in the presence of God professe testifie and declare That I doe make this Declaration and every part thereof in the plaine and ordinary sence of the Words read unto me as they are commonly understood by English Protestants without any Evasion, Equivocation or Mentall Reservation whatsoever and without any Dispensation already granted me for this purpose by the Pope or any other Authority or Person whatsoever or without any hope of any such Dispensation from any person or authority whatsoever or without thinking that I am or can be acquitted before God or Man or: absolved of this Declaration or any part thereof although the Pope or any other. Person or Persons or Power whatsoever should dispence with or annull the same, or declare that it was null and void from the begining.

The said Oaths and Declaration to be made in this and every succeeding Parliament, at the Hours and in the Manner herein mentioned.

Which said Oathes and Declaration shall be in this and every succeeding Parlyament solemnely and publiquely made and subscribed betwixt the Houres of Nine in the Morning and Fower in the Afternoone by every such Peere and Member of the House of Peeres at the Table in the midle of the said House before he take his Place in the said House of Peeres and whilst a full House of Peeres is there with their Speaker in his Place, and by every such Member of the House of Commons at the Table in the midle of the said House and whilst a full House of Commons is there duely sitting with their Speaker in his Chaire, and that the same be done in either House in such like order or method as each House is called over by respectively.

II. Peers and Members, of the House of Commons not having taken the said Oaths, &c. and all Popish Recusants Convict, coming into the Presence of the King or Queen, &c.

Penalties.; Proviso.

And bee it further enacted That from and after the said First day of December every Peere of this Realme and Member of the House of Peeres, and every Peere of the Kingdome of Scotland or of the Kingdome of Ireland being of the Age of One and twenty yeares or upwards not haveing taken the said Oathes and made and subscribed the said Declaration, and every Member of the said House of Co[m]mons not haveing as aforesaid taken the said Oathes and made and subscribed the said Declaration, and every Person now or hereafter convicted of Popish Recusancy who hereafter shall at any time after the said First day of December come, advisedly into or remaine in the presence of the Kings Majestie or Queens Majestie or shall come into the Court or House where they or any of them reside as well dureing the Raigne of His present Majestie (whose Life God long preserve) as dureing the Raigns of any His Royall Successors Kings or Queens of England shall incurr and suffer all the paines, penalties forfeitures and disabilities in this Act mentioned or contained, unlesse such Peere Member or Person soe convicted doe respectively in the next Terme after such his comeing or remaining take the said Oathes and make and subscribe the said Declaration in His Majestyes High Court of Chauncery betweene the houres of Nine and Twelve in the Forenoone.

III. Peer or Member offending adjudged a Popish Recusant Convict.

Forfeiture as such, and Disability; and Penalty, £500.

And bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That if any Person that now is or hereafter shall be a Peere of this Realme or Member of the House of Peeres or Member of the House of Commons shall presume to doe any thing contrary to this Act or shall offend in any of the Cases aforesaid That then every such Peere and Member soe offending shall from thenceforth bee deemed and adjudged a Popish Recusant Convict to all intents and purposes whatsoever and shall forfeite and suffer as a Popish Recusant Convict and shall be disabled to hold or execute any Office or Place of Proffitt or Trust Civill or Military in any of His Majestyes Realmes of England or Ireland Dominion of Wales or Towne of Berwicke upon Tweede or in any of His Majestyes Islands or Forreigne Plantations to the said Realmes belonging and shall be disabled from thenceforth to sitt or vote in either House of Parlyament or make a Proxy in the House of Peeres or to sue or use any Action Bill Plaint or Information in course of Law or to prosecute any Suite in any Court of Equity or to be Guardian of any Childe or Executor or Administrator of any person or capeable of any Legacie or Deed of Gift and shall forfeite for every wilfull Offence against this Act the summe of Five hundred pounds to be recovered and received by him or them that shall sue for the same, and to be prosecuted by any Action of Debt Suite Bill Plaint or Information in any of His Majestyes Courts at Westminster where noe Essoigne Protection or Wager of Law shall lye.

IV. House of Peers and House of Commons may cause their Members to take the Oaths and subscribe the said Declaration openly in the House.

Peer sitting, &c. without taking the said Oaths, &c. disabled from voting during that Parliament. ; The like as to Members of the House of Commons.

And bee it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from the said First day of December it shall and may be lawfull to and for the House of Peeres and House of Commons or either of them respectively as often as they or either of them shall see occasion either in this present Parlyament or any other hereafter to be holden to order and cause all or any of the Members of their respective Houses of Parlyament openly in their respective Houses of Parlyament to take the said Oathes and to make and subscribe the said Declaration at such times and in such manner as they shall appoint. And if any Peere shall contrary to such Order made by their said House wilfully presume to sitt therein without takeing the said Oathes and subscribing the said Declaration according to the said Order, Every such Peere or Member of the House of Peeres soe presumeing to sitt shall be adjudged and is hereby declared to be uncapeable and disabled in Law to all intents and purposes whatsoever to sitt in the said House of Peeres and give any Voice therein either by Proxie or otherwise howsoever dureing that Parlyament. And if any Member or Members of the House of Commons shall contrary to such Order made by their House wilfully presume to sitt therein without takeing the said Oathes and makeing and subscribeing the said Declaration Every such Member or Members of the House of Commons soe presumeing to sitt shall be adjudged and is hereby declared to be uncapeable and disabled in Law to all intents and purposes whatsoever to sitt in the said House of Commons or give any Voice therein dureing that Parlyament.

V. Members of the House of Commons being so disabled, their Seate void without further Conviction.

New Writ.

And bee it enacted That in every case where any Member or Members of the House of Commons shall by vertue of this Act be disabled to sitt or vote in the House of Commons Then and in every such Case without any further Conviction or other Proceeding against such Members or Members the Place or Places for which they or any of them were elected is hereby declared void, and a new Writt or Writts shall issue out of the High Court of Chauncery by Warrant or Warrants from the Speaker of the House of Commons for the time being and by Order of the said House for the Election of a new Member or Members to server in the House of Commons in the Place or Places of such Member or Members soe disabled to all intents and purposes as if such Member or Members were naturally dead.

VI. Sworn Servants to the King and Queen not having taken the Oaths and subscribed the Declaration of 25 Car. II. c.2. to take the said Oaths and subscribe the said Declaration at the times and in manner herein mentioned.

Refusing, & c. and yet coming into the Pertence; Disability, &c.

And bee it further enacted by the Authoritie aforesaid That from and after the First day of December One thousand six hundred seaventy and eight every Person then being and who after that time shall be a sworne Servant to the Kings or Queens Majestie not haveing before that time duely taken the Oathes and made and subscribed the Declaration contained in an Act entituled An Act for pp[re]venting Dangers which may happen from Popish Recusants shall take the said Oathes and make and subscribe the Declaration before expressed in His Majestyes High Court of Chauncery in the manner aforesaid either in the next Terme after the said First day of December or in the next Terme after any such person shall be soe sworne a Servant, or in case of lawfull impediment by Sicknes proved upon Oath and allowed to be such under the Hand of the Lord Chancellor or Lord Keeper for the time being then in the next Terme after such Impediment removed, And if any such Person shall refuse or neglect to doe the, same, and yet after such refusall or neglect shall advisedly come into or remaine in the presence of the Kings or Queens Majestie or shall come into the Court or House where they or any of them reside as well dureing the Raigne of His pp[re]sent Majestie as dureing the Raigns of His and their Royall Successors Kings or Queens of England and every of them, Every such Person shall be disabled to hold any Place as such sworne Servant and shall incurr and suffer all the Paines Penalties Forfeitures and Disabilities in this Act mentioned or contained.

VII. Proviso for Natives of Portugal, being sworn Servants to the Queen.

Provided That nothing in this Act shall relate to or have any effect upon any person being a Naturall borne Subject of the King of Portugall who now is or hereafter shall be a sworne Servant to the Queens Majestie [not exceeding Nine in number at any one time, nor to such Women Servants as her Majestie shall under her Hand and Seale from time to time for that purpose be pleased to nominate the said Women Servants soe nominated not exceeding the number of Nine at any one time. (fn. 1) ]

VIII. During the taking Oaths and subcribing Declaration, all Proceedings in Courts and Parliament to cease.

Schedule of Oaths taken, Names, &c. to be filed in Rolls by the Clerks of both Houses, &c. Fee.; The said Rolls may be inspected.; Houses of Peers and Commons, and Court of Chancery, to administer Oaths and Declaration.

And bee it enacted That dureing the time of takeing of the said Oathes and makeing and subscribeing the said Declaration all other Matters and Proceedings as well in the said Houses of Parlyament as in the said Court shall cease, And the said Oathes Declaration and Subscription together with a Schedule of the Names of the persons who shall by vertue of this Act take and subscribe the same shall be made entred and filed in Parchment Rolls from time to time duely provided for that purpose by the Clerke of the House of Lords and the Clerke of the House of Commons and by the Clerke of the Petty Bag in Chauncery for the severall and respective uses as aforesaid, and none of the Peeres or Members shall give or pay any Fee or Reward to any such Clerke above the summe of Twelve pence for the Entry of his takeing the said Oathes and makeing and subscribeing the said Declaration. All which Rolls respectively the said Clerks are hereby required from time to time without any Fee or Reward to shew to any person desireing to looke upon the same. And the said House of Peeres and House of Commons and Court of Chauncery are hereby severally impowered and required in the first place all other Busines laid aside to administer the said Oathes Declaration and Subscription respectively as occasion shall be from time to time to all and every the person and persons aforesaid duly demanding the same according to the directions purport and meaning of this present Act.

IX. Proviso for Persons coming into the Presence of the King or Queen, having Licence as herein mentioned.

Licence to-be filed and viewed without Fee.

Provided alwayes That this Act nor any thing herein contained shall extend to the prejudice of any person for comeing into or remaining in the presence of the King or Queens Majestie who shall first have Licence soe to doe by any Warrant under the Hands and Seales of Six or more Privy Councellors by Order of His Majestyes Privy Councill upon some urgent occasion therein to be expressed soe as such License exceede not the space of Ten dayes and that the said License be first filed and putt upon Record in the Office of the Petty-bag in Chauncery for any body to view without Fee or Reward, and noe person be licensed for above the number of Thirty dayes in any one yeare.

X. Offender taking Oaths and subscribing Declaration, discharged from Penalties.; but not to restore such Person to any Office filled upon Voidance by this Act, &c. nor to discharge the said Penalty of £500.

Provided neverthelesse That if any Offender contrary to this Act shall at any time after such Offence take the said Oathes and make and subscribe the said Declaration in his Majestyes High Court of Chauncery and in the manner aforesaid Every such person shall be from thenceforth freed and discharged of and from all Seizures Penaltyes and Losses which he might otherwise sustaine or beare for or by reason of being a Popish Recusant Convict by vertue of this Act, and shall bee freed and discharged from all Disabilityes and Incapacityes incurred thereby soe as such Freedome and Discharge extend not to restore any such person to any Office or Place filled and supplyed upon voidance by this Act, not to any other Office till after the expitation of One yeare from the takeing the said Oath and makeing the Declaration aforesaid, nor to make void or at any time discharge the said Forfeiture of Five hundred pounds incurred as aforesaid.

XI. Proviso for the Duke of York.

[Provided alwayes That nothing in this Act contained shall extend to His Royall Highnesse the Duke of Yorke. (fn. 2) ]

Footnotes

1 annexed to the Original Act in a separate Schedule.
2 annexed to the Original Act in a separate Schedule, the Word "agreed" being written in the Margin of the Schedule.