Charles II, 1661: An Act against Tumults and Disorders upon p[re]tence of p[re]paring or p[re]senting publick Petic[i]ons or other Addresses to His Majesty or the Parliament

Page 308

Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.

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Recital of tumultuous and disorderly preparing of Petitions.

In what case only Persons may solicit or procure any Petition, &c. for altering Matters established in Church or State.; Number of Persons who may assemble to present Petition to the King and Parliament.

Whereas it hath beene found by sad experience that Tumultuous and other Disorderly solliciting and procuring of Hands by private persons to Petic[i]ons Complaints Remonstrances & Declarations and other Addresses to the King or to both or either Houses of Parliament for alterac[i]on of matters established by Law redresse of p[re]tended greivances in Church or State or other publique Concernments have beene made use of to serve the ends of Factious & Seditious persons gotten into power to the violation of the publique Peace and have beene a great meanes of the late unhappy Wars Confusions and Calamities in this Nation For p[re]venting the like mischeife for the future Be it Enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the consent of the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament and by the Authority of the same That no person or persons whatsoever shall from and after the first of August One thousand six hundred sixty and one solicite labor or procure the getting of Hands or other consent of any persons above the number of twenty or more to any Petic[i]on Complaint Remonstrance Declarac[i]on or other [Addresses (fn. 1) ] to the King or both or either Houses of Parliament for alterac[i]on of matters established by Law in Church or State unlesse the matter thereof have beene first consented unto and Ordered by three or more Justices [of (fn. 2) ] that County or by the Major part of the Grand Jury of the County or division of the County where the same matter shall arise at theire publique Assizes or Generall Quarter Sessions or if arising in London by the Lord Maior Aldermen and Commons in Common Councell assembled And that no person or persons whatsoever shall repaire to His Majesty or both or either of the Houses of Parliament upon p[re]tence of presenting or delivering any Petic[i]on Complaint Remonstrance or Declarac[i]on or other Addresses accompanied with excessive number of people nor att any one time with above the number of ten persons upon pain of incurring a penalty not exceeding the su[m]m of One hundred pounds in money and three months Imprisonment without Bail or Mainprize for every offence which offence to be prosecuted at the Court of Kings Bench or att the Assizes or Generall Quarter Sessions within six moneths after the offence committed and proved by two or more credible witnesses.

II. Proviso for presenting public or private Grievances; and for Addresses to the King by Parliament.

Provided alwaies That this Act or any thing therein contained shall not be construed to extend to debar or hinder any person or persons not exceeding the number of Ten aforesaid to present any publique or private Greivance or Complaint to any Member or Members of Parliament after his Election and during the continuance of the Parliament or to the Kings Majesty for any remedy to bee thereupon had nor to extend to any Address whatsoever to His Majesty by all or any the Members of both or either Houses of Parliament during the sitting of Parliament but that they may enjoye theire freedome of Accesse to His Majesty as heretofore hath beene used.


  • 1. Addresse O.
  • 2. or O.