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for such offence, such person or persons may be sent to such place, there to receive such trial, in such manner as the same might have been used before the making of this act; anything herein contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
XVII. Provided also, and be it enacted, That no person or persons shall be sued, impleaded, molested, or troubled for any offence against this act, unless the party offending be sued, or impleaded for the same within two years at the most after such time wherein the offence shall be committed, in case the party grieved shall not be then in prison; and if he shall be in prison, then within the space of two years after the decease of the person imprisoned, or his or her delivery out of prison, which shall first happen.
XVIII. And, to the intent no person may avoid his trial at the assizes or general gaol delivery, by procuring his removal before the assizes, at such time as he cannot be brought back to receive his trial there, be it enacted, That, after the Assizes proclaimed for that county where the prisoner is detained, no person shall be removed from the common gaol upon any Habeas Corpus granted in pursuance of this act, but upon any such Habeas Corpus shall be brought before the judge of assize in open court, who is thereupon to do what to justice shall appertain.
XIX. Provided nevertheless, That, after the Assizes are ended, any person or persons detained, may have his or her Habeas Corpus according to the direction and intention of this act.
XX. And be it also enacted by the authority aforesaid, That if any information, suit, or action shall be brought or exhibited against any person or persons for any offence committed or to be committed against the form of this law, it shall be lawful for such defendants to plead the general issue, that they are not guilty, or that they owe nothing, and to give such special matter in evidence to the jury that shall try the same, which matter being pleaded had been good and sufficient matter in law to have discharged the said defendant or defendants against the said information, suit or action, and the said matter shall be then as available to him or them, to all intents and purposes, as if he or they had sufficiently pleaded, set forth, or alledged the same matter in bar or discharge of such information, suit, or action.
XXI. And because many times persons charged with petty treason or felony, or as accessories thereunto, are committed upon suspicion only, whereupon they are bailable, or not, according as the circumstances making out that suspicion are more or less weighty, which are best known to the justices of peace that committed the persons,
and have examinations before them, or to other justices of the peace in the county; be it therefore enacted, That where any person shall appear to be committed by any judge or justice of the peace, and charged as accessory before the fact, to any petty treason or felony, or upon suspicion thereof, or with suspicion of petty treason or felony, which petty treason or felony shall be plainly and specially expressed in the warrant of commitment, that such person shall not be removed or bailed by virtue of this act, or in any other manner than they might have been before the making of this act.
(See Dicey, L.C. iv. and v.; Hallam, C.H. ii. xii.; Gneist, E.C. xl.-xlv.; Ranke, H.E. iv. 85 et seq.; Macaulay, H.E. ch. i.; Hurd, The Habeas Corpus.)
A MODERN WRIT UNDER THE ACT
Victoria, by the grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, Queen, defender of the faith, to the Keeper of our gaol of at , or his deputy, greeting. We command you, that you have before us at Westminster Hall, immediately after the receipt of this writ, the body of C. D., being committed and detained in our prison under our custody (as is said), together with the day and cause of the taking and detaining of the said C. D., by whatever name the said C. D. be called in the same, to undergo and receive all and singular such things as our Court shall then and there consider of him in that behalf, and that you have then there this writ. Witness Thomas, Lord Denman, at Westin the year of our reign. By the D.
minster, the Court,
THE RETURN TO THE WRIT
[Indorsed on the writ as follows] The execution of this writ appears in a certain schedule hereunto annexed.
E. F. Keeper.
I, E. F. Keeper of her Majesty's gaol of at in the writ to this schedule annexed named, do certify and return to our Sovereign Lady, the Queen, that before the coming to me of the said writ, (that is to say), on &c. C. D. in the said writ also named, was committed to my custody, by virtue of a certain warrant of commitment, the tenor of which is as follows: [here insert a copy of the warrant]. And these are the causes of the detaining of the said C. D., whose body I have here ready, as by the said writ I am commanded. E. F. Keeper.
(Burns' Justice of the Peace, ii. 947–948.)
THE CONVENTION PARLIAMENT
An Act for removing and preventing all Questions and Disputes concerning the Assembling and Sitting of this present Parliament.
For preventing all doubts and scruples which may in any wise arise concerning the meeting, sitting and proceeding of this present Parliament, be it declared and enacted
II. That the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons convened at Westminster, the two and twentieth day of January in the year of Our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty eight and there sitting on the thirteenth day of February following are the two Houses of Parliament, and so shall be and are hereby declared, enacted and adjudged to be to all intents, constructions and purposes whatsoever, notwithstanding any want of writ or writs of summons or any other defect of form or default whatsoever, as if they had been summoned according to the usual form, and that this present Act and all other Acts, to which the royal assent shall at any time be given before the next prorogation after the said thirteenth of February, shall be understood taken and adjudged in law to begin and commence upon the said thirteenth of February on which day their said Majesties at the request and by the advice of the Lords and Commons did accept the crown and royal dignity of King and Queen of England, France and Ireland and the dominions and territories thereunto belonging.
(III. repeals 30 Cha. II. c. 6. IV. provides that the taking of the oaths prescribed by this Act shall be as effectual as taking the oaths prescribed by the Act repealed, and that future parliaments shall take the oaths prescribed by this Act.)
V. And it is hereby further enacted 1 that the oaths above appointed by this Act to be taken in the stead and place of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, shall be in the following words . . .
VI. "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."
1 See 1 Will. and Mar. c. 8, p. 69.
VII. "I, A. B. do swear, that I do, from my heart abhor, detest and abjure as impious and heretical, that damnable doctrine and position that princes excommunicated or deprived by the pope or any authority of the see of Rome may be deposed or murdered by their subjects or any other whatsoever; and I do declare, that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate hath or ought to have any power, jurisdiction, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm, so help me God."
VIII. Provided always and be it declared, that this present Parliament may be dissolved after the usual manner, as if the same had been summoned and called by writ.
(Note that 2 Will. and Mar. Cap. I. deals with the "Convention Parliament," saying, "We (the Lords Spiritual and temporal and Commons) do most humbly beseech your Majesties that . . . it be enacted . . . that all and singular the Acts made and enacted in the said (Convention) Parliament were and are laws and statutes of this kingdom, and as such ought to be reputed, taken and obeyed by all the people of this kingdom.")
(See Ranke, H.E. iv. 473 et seq.; Macaulay, H.E. i. 654 et seq.; Hallam, C.H. iii. 93 et seq.; Freeman, Growth of the Eng. Constitution, ch. 2.)
THE LETTERS SUMMONING THE ASSEMBLY OF THE CONVENTION PARLIAMENT
SUMMONS TO THE ASSEMBLY, 1688
Whereas the Necessity of affairs do require speedy Advice, we do desire all such persons as have served as Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, in any of the Parliaments that were held during the reign of the late King Charles the Second, to meet us at St. James's upon Wednesday the six and twentieth of this Instant December, by Ten of the clock in the Morning. And we do likewise desire that the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the City of London would be present at the same time; and that the Common Council would appoint Fifty of their number, to be there likewise, and hereof we desire them not to fail.
Given at St. James's, the three and twentieth day of December, 1688.
W. H. PRINCE OF ORANGE.
(C.J. ix. 5.)
By his Highness' Special Command
THE LETTERS FOR ELECTING OF MEMBERS FOR THE CONVENTION
Whereas the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, the Knights, Citizens and Burgesses, heretofore Members of the Commons House of Parliament, during the reign of Charles the Second, residing in and about the City of London, together with the Aldermen, and divers of the Common-Council of the said city, in this extraordinary conjuncture at our request, severally assembled, to advise as the best manner how to attain the Ends of our Declaration, in calling a free Parliament, for the Preservation of the Protestant Religion, and restoring the Rights and Liberties of the Kingdom, and Settling the same, that they may not be in danger of being again subverted, have advised and desired us to cause our Letters to be written and directed, for the Counties, to the Coroners of the respective Counties; and for the Universities, to the respective Vice-Chancellors; and for the Cities, Boroughs and Cinque-Ports, to the Chief Magistrate of each respective City, Borough and Cinque-Port; containing Directions for the choosing, in all such Counties, Cities, Universities, Boroughs and Cinque Ports, within Ten Days after the Receipt of the said respective Letters, such a Number of Persons to represent them, as from every such Place is or are of Right to be sent to Parliament; of which Elections, and the Times and Places thereof, the respective officers shall give Notice; the Notice for the intended Election, in the Counties, to be published in the Market-Towns within the respective Counties, by the space of Five Days, at the least, before the said Election; and for the Universities, Cities, Boroughs and Cinque-Ports, in every of them respectively, by the space of Three Days, at the least, before the said Election: The said Letters, and the Execution thereof, to be returned by such officer and officers who shall execute the same, to the Clerk of the Crown in the Court of Chancery, so as the Persons, so to be chosen, may meet and sit at Westminster the Twoand-Twentieth Day of January next.
We, heartily desiring the Performance of what we have in our Said Declaration expressed, in pursuance of the said Advice and Desire, have caused this our Letter to be written to you, to the Intent that you, truly and uprightly, without Favour or Affection to any Person, or in direct Practice or Proceeding, do and execute what of your Part ought to be done, according to the said advice, for the due execution thereof; the Elections to be made by such Persons only, as, according to the ancient Laws and Customs, of Right, ought to choose Members for Parliament; and that you cause a Return to be made, by Certificate under your Seal, of the Names of the Persons elected, annexed to this our Letter, to the said Clerk of the Crown, before the said Two-and-Twentieth Day of January.
Given at St. James's, the Nine and Twentieth Day of December, in the Year of our Lord 1688.
(C.J. ix. 7, 8.)