Charles II, 1662: An Act for the reversing the Earle of Strafford his Attainder.

Page 424

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

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The Reasons and Grounds of repealing the Attainder.

WHEREAS Thomas late Earle of Strafford was impeached of High Treason upon pretence of endeavoring to subvert the fundamentall Lawes and called to a publique and solemne Arraignment and Tryall before the Peeres in Parliament where hee made a particular defence to every article objected against him in so much that the turbulent Partie then seeinge noe hopes to effect their unjust designes by any ordinary way and method of proceedings did att last resolve to attempt the destruc[i]on and attainder of the said Earle by an Act of Parliament to bee therefore purposely made to condemne him upon accumulative Treason none of the pretended Crimes being Treason apart and soe could not bee in the whole if they had beene proved as they were not and alsoe adjudged him guilty of constructive Treason (that is) of levying Warr against the King though it was only the co[m]manding an Order of the Councell Board in Ireland to be executed, by a Serjant att Armes and three or foure Souldiers which was the constant Practice of the Deputies there for a long tyme; to which end they haveing first presented a Bill for this intent to the House of Co[m]mons and finding there more opposition then they expected, they caused a multitude of tumultuous Persons to come downe to Westminster, armed with Swords and Staves and to fill both the Pallace Yards, and all the approches to both Houses of Parliament with fury and clamor and to require justice speedy justice against the Earle of Strafford. And haveing by these and other undue practises obtayned that Bill to passe in the House of Co[m]mons, they caused the names of those resolute Gentlemen who in a case of inocent Bloud, had freely discharged their consciences, being nine and fiftie to bee posted up in severall places about the Cities of London and Westminster, and stiled them Straffordians and Enemies to their Country, hoping thereby to deliver them up to the fury of the people, whom they had endevoured to incense against them, and then procured the said Bill to bee sent up to the House of Peeres where it haveing sometyme rested under great deliberac[i]on, att last in a tyme when a greate parte of the Peeres were absent by reason of the tumults, and many of those who were present protested against it, the said Bill passed in the House of Peeres, And at length his late Majestie Kinge Charles the First of Glorious Memory granted a Co[m]mission for giveing his Royall Assent thereunto which neverthelesse was done by his said Majestie with exceeding greate sorrowe then, and ever remembred by him with unexpressable Greife of Hart, and out of his Majesties greate Piety hee did publiquely expresse it when his owne Sacred Life was taken away by the most detestable Traytors that ever were; For all which causes bee it declared and enacted by the Kings most excellent Majestie by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Co[m]mons in this present Parliament assembled, That the Act entituled An Act for the Attainder of Thomas Earle of Strafford of High Treason, and all and every Clause Article and Thing therein conteyned being obteyned as aforesaid, is now hereby repealed revoked and reversed.


And to the end that right bee done to the memory of the deceased Earle of Strafford aforesaid bee it further enacted That all Records and Proceedings of Parlyament relateing to the said Attainder bee wholly cancelled and taken of the Fyle, or otherwayes defaced and obliterated, to the intent the same may not bee visible in after ages, or brought into example to the prejudice of any Person whatsoever.


Provided That this Act shall not extend to the future Questioning of any Person or Persons however concerned in this Busines, or who had any Hand in the Tumults or disorderly procuring the Act aforesaid, any thinge herein conteyned to the contrary thereof notwithstandinge.


  • 1. from the Original Act in the Parliament Office.