An A｢ Declaring the Rights and Liberties
of the Subje｢
and Settling the Succeｱion of the Crown
Whereas the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons aｱembled at We･min･er, lawfully, fully and freely repreテnting all the e･ates of the people of this realm, did upon the thirteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thouヂnd ナx hundred eighty-eight [old ･yle date] preテnt unto their Maje･ies, then called and known by the names and ･yle of William and Mary, prince and princeピ of Orange, being preテnt in their proper perバns, a certain declaration in writing made by the ヂid Lords and Commons in the words following, viz.:
Whereas the late King James the Second, by the aｱi･ance of divers evil counテllors, judges and mini･ers employed by him, did endeavour to ブbvert and extirpate the Prote･ant religion and the laws and liberties of this kingdom;
By aｱuming and exerciナng a power of diパenナng with and ブパending of laws and the execution of laws without conテnt of Parliament;
By committing and proテcuting divers worthy prelates for humbly petitioning to be excuテd from concurring to the ヂid aｱumed power;
By iｱuing and cauナng to be executed a commiｱion under the great テal for ere｢ing a court called the Court of Commiｱioners for Eccleナa･ical Cauテs;
By levying money for and to the uテ of the Crown by pretence of prerogative for other time and in other manner than the ヂme was granted by Parliament;
By raiナng and keeping a ･anding army within this kingdom in time of peace without conテnt of Parliament, and quartering バldiers contrary to law;
By cauナng テveral good ブbje｢s being Prote･ants to be diヂrmed at the ヂme time when papi･s were both armed and employed contrary to law;
By violating the freedom of ele｢ion of members to テrve in Parliament;
By proテcutions in the Court of King's Bench for matters and cauテs cognizable only in Parliament, and by divers other arbitrary and illegal courテs;
And whereas of late years partial corrupt and unqualified perバns have been returned and テrved on juries in trials, and particularly divers jurors in trials for high treaバn which were not freeholders;
And exceｱive bail hath been required of perバns committed in criminal caテs to elude the benefit of the laws made for the liberty of the ブbje｢s;
And exceｱive fines have been impoテd;
And illegal and cruel puniｬments infli｢ed;
And テveral grants and promiテs made of fines and forfeitures before any convi｢ion or judgment again･ the perバns upon whom the ヂme were to be levied;
All which are utterly and dire｢ly contrary to the known laws and ･atutes and freedom of this realm;
And whereas the ヂid late King James the Second having abdicated the government and the throne being thereby vacant, his Highneピ the prince of Orange (whom it hath pleaテd Almighty God to make the glorious in･rument of delivering this kingdom from popery and arbitrary power) did (by the advice of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and divers principal perバns of the Commons) cauテ letters to be written to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal being Prote･ants, and other letters to the テveral counties, cities, univerナties, boroughs and cinque ports, for the chooナng of ブch perバns to repreテnt them as were of right to be テnt to Parliament, to meet and ナt at We･min･er upon the two and twentieth day of January in this year one thouヂnd ナx hundred eighty and eight [old ･yle date], in order to ブch an e･abliｬment as that their religion, laws and liberties might not again be in danger of being ブbverted, upon which letters ele｢ions having been accordingly made;
And thereupon the ヂid Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, purブant to their reパe｢ive letters and ele｢ions, being now aｱembled in a full and free repreテntative of this nation, taking into their mo･ テrious conナderation the be･ means for attaining the ends aforeヂid, do in the fir･ place (as their ance･ors in like caテ have uブally done) for the vindicating and aｱerting their ancient rights and liberties declare
That the pretended power of ブパending the laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without conテnt of Parliament is illegal;
That the pretended power of diパenナng with laws or the execution of laws by regal authority, as it hath been aｱumed and exerciテd of late, is illegal;
That the commiｱion for ere｢ing the late Court of Commiｱioners for Eccleナa･ical Cauテs, and all other commiｱions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious;
That levying money for or to the uテ of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the ヂme is or ｬall be granted, is illegal;
That it is the right of the ブbje｢s to petition the king, and all commitments and proテcutions for ブch petitioning are illegal;
That the raiナng or keeping a ･anding army within the kingdom in time of peace, unleピ it be with conテnt of Parliament, is again･ law;
That the ブbje｢s which are Prote･ants may have arms for their defence ブitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;
That ele｢ion of members of Parliament ought to be free;
That the freedom of パeech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or que･ioned in any court or place out of Parliament;
That exceｱive bail ought not to be required, nor exceｱive fines impoテd, nor cruel and unuブal puniｬments infli｢ed;
That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which paピ upon men in trials for high treaバn ought to be freeholders;
That all grants and promiテs of fines and forfeitures of particular perバns before convi｢ion are illegal and void;
And that for redreピ of all grievances, and for the amending, ･rengthening and preテrving of the laws, Parliaments ought to be held frequently.
And they do claim, demand and inナ･ upon all and ナngular the premiテs as their undoubted rights and liberties, and that no declarations, judgments, doings or proceedings to the prejudice of the people in any of the ヂid premiテs ought in any wiテ to be drawn hereafter into conテquence or example; to which demand of their rights they are particularly encouraged by the declaration of his Highneピ the prince of Orange as being the only means for obtaining a full redreピ and remedy therein. Having therefore an entire confidence that his ヂid Highneピ the prince of Orange will perfe｢ the deliverance バ far advanced by him, and will ･ill preテrve them from the violation of their rights which they have here aｱerted, and from all other attempts upon their religion, rights and liberties, the ヂid Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons aｱembled at We･min･er do reバlve that William and Mary, prince and princeピ of Orange, be and be declared king and queen of England, France and Ireland and the dominions thereunto belonging, to hold the crown and royal dignity of the ヂid kingdoms and dominions to them, the ヂid prince and princeピ, during their lives and the life of the ブrvivor to them, and that the バle and full exerciテ of the regal power be only in and executed by the ヂid prince of Orange in the names of the ヂid prince and princeピ during their joint lives, and after their deceaテs the ヂid crown and royal dignity of the ヂme kingdoms and dominions to be to the heirs of the body of the ヂid princeピ, and for default of ブch iｱue to the Princeピ Anne of Denmark and the heirs of her body, and for default of ブch iｱue to the heirs of the body of the ヂid prince of Orange. And the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons do pray the ヂid prince and princeピ to accept the ヂme accordingly.
And that the oaths hereafter mentioned be taken by all perバns of whom the oaths have allegiance and ブpremacy might be required by law, in･ead of them; and that the ヂid oaths of allegiance and ブpremacy be abrogated.
I, A.B., do ナncerely promiテ and ヘear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to their Maje･ies King William and Queen Mary. So help me God.
I, A.B., do ヘear that I do from my heart abhor, dete･ and abjure as impious and heretical this damnable do｢rine and poナtion, that princes excommunicated or deprived by the Pope or any authority of the テe of Rome may be depoテd or murdered by their ブbje｢s or any other whatバever. And I do declare that no foreign prince, perバn, prelate, ･ate or potentate hath or ought to have any juriヅi｢ion, power, ブperiority, pre-eminence or authority, eccleナa･ical or パiritual, within this realm. So help me God.
Upon which their ヂid Maje･ies did accept the crown and royal dignity of the kingdoms of England, France and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, according to the reバlution and deナre of the ヂid Lords and Commons contained in the ヂid declaration. And thereupon their Maje･ies were pleaテd that the ヂid Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, being the two Houテs of Parliament, ｬould continue to ナt, and with their Maje･ies' royal concurrence make eｷe｢ual proviナon for the テttlement of the religion, laws and liberties of this kingdom, バ that the ヂme for the future might not be in danger again of being ブbverted, to which the ヂid Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons did agree, and proceed to a｢ accordingly. Now in purブance of the premiテs the ヂid Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in Parliament aｱembled, for the ratifying, confirming and e･abliｬing the ヂid declaration and the articles, clauテs, matters and things therein contained by the force of law made in due form by authority of Parliament, do pray that it may be declared and ena｢ed that all and ナngular the rights and liberties aｱerted and claimed in the ヂid declaration are the true, ancient and indubitable rights and liberties of the people of this kingdom, and バ ｬall be e･eemed, allowed, adjudged, deemed and taken to be; and that all and every the particulars aforeヂid ｬall be firmly and ･ri｢ly holden and obテrved as they are expreｱed in the ヂid declaration, and all oｷicers and mini･ers whatバever ｬall テrve their Maje･ies and their ブcceｱors according to the ヂme in all time to come. And the ヂid Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, テriouネy conナdering how it hath pleaテd Almighty God in his marvellous providence and merciful goodneピ to this nation to provide and preテrve their ヂid Maje･ies' royal perバns mo･ happily to reign over us upon the throne of their ance･ors, for which they render unto him from the bottom of their hearts their humble･ thanks and praiテs, do truly, firmly, aｱuredly and in the ナncerity of their hearts think, and do hereby recognize, acknowledge and declare, that King James the Second having abdicated the government, and their Maje･ies having accepted the crown and royal dignity as aforeヂid, their ヂid Maje･ies did become, were, are and of right ought to be by the laws of this realm our バvereign liege lord and lady, king and queen of England, France and Ireland and the dominions thereunto belonging, in and to whoテ princely perバns the royal ･ate, crown and dignity of the ヂid realms with all honours, ･yles, titles, regalities, prerogatives, powers, juriヅi｢ions and authorities to the ヂme belonging and appertaining are mo･ fully, rightfully and entirely inve･ed and incorporated, united and annexed. And for preventing all que･ions and diviナons in this realm by reaバn of any pretended titles to the crown, and for preテrving a certainty in the ブcceｱion thereof, in and upon which the unity, peace, tranquility and ヂfety of this nation doth under God wholly conナ･ and depend, the ヂid Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons do beテech their Maje･ies that it may be ena｢ed, e･abliｬed and declared, that the crown and regal government of the ヂid kingdoms and dominions, with all and ナngular the premiテs thereunto belonging and appertaining, ｬall be and continue to their ヂid Maje･ies and the ブrvivor of them during their lives and the life of the ブrvivor of them, and that the entire, perfe｢ and full exerciテ of the regal power and government be only in and executed by his Maje･y in the names of both their Maje･ies during their joint lives; and after their deceaテs the ヂid crown and premiテs ｬall be and remain to the heirs of the body of her Maje･y, and for default of ブch iｱue to her Royal Highneピ the Princeピ Anne of Denmark and the heirs of the body of his ヂid Maje･y; and thereunto the ヂid Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons do in the name of all the people aforeヂid mo･ humbly and faithfully ブbmit themテlves, their heirs and po･erities for ever, and do faithfully promiテ that they will ･and to, maintain and defend their ヂid Maje･ies, and alバ the limitation and ブcceｱion of the crown herein パecified and contained, to the utmo･ of their powers with their lives and e･ates again･ all perバns whatバever that ｬall attempt anything to the contrary. And whereas it hath been found by experience that it is inconナ･ent with the ヂfety and welfare of this Prote･ant kingdom to be governed by a popiｬ prince, or by any king or queen marrying a papi･, the ヂid Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons do further pray that it may be ena｢ed, that all and every perバn and perバns that is, are or ｬall be reconciled to or ｬall hold communion with the テe or Church of Rome, or ｬall profeピ the popiｬ religion, or ｬall marry a papi･, ｬall be excluded and be for ever incapable to inherit, poｱeピ or enjoy the crown and government of this realm and Ireland and the dominions thereunto belonging or any part of the ヂme, or to have, uテ or exerciテ any regal power, authority or juriヅi｢ion within the ヂme; and in all and every ブch caテ or caテs the people of theテ realms ｬall be and are hereby abバlved of their allegiance; and the ヂid crown and government ｬall from time to time deツend to and be enjoyed by ブch perバn or perバns being Prote･ants as ｬould have inherited and enjoyed the ヂme in caテ the ヂid perバn or perバns バ reconciled, holding communion or profeｱing or marrying as aforeヂid were naturally dead; and that every king and queen of this realm who at any time hereafter ｬall come to and ブcceed in the imperial crown of this kingdom ｬall on the fir･ day of the meeting of the fir･ Parliament next after his or her coming to the crown, ナtting in his or her throne in the Houテ of Peers in the preテnce of the Lords and Commons therein aｱembled, or at his or her coronation before ブch perバn or perバns who ｬall admini･er the coronation oath to him or her at the time of his or her taking the ヂid oath (which ｬall fir･ happen), make, ブbツribe and audibly repeat the declaration mentioned in the ･atute made in the thirtieth year of the reign of King Charles the Second entitled, An A｢ for the more eｷe｢ual preテrving the king's perバn and government by diヂbling papi･s from ナtting in either Houテ of Parliament. But if it ｬall happen that ブch king or queen upon his or her ブcceｱion to the crown of this realm ｬall be under the age of twelve years, then every ブch king or queen ｬall make, ブbツribe and audibly repeat the ヂme declaration at his or her coronation or the fir･ day of the meeting of the fir･ Parliament as aforeヂid which ｬall fir･ happen after ブch king or queen ｬall have attained the ヂid age of twelve years. All which their Maje･ies are contented and pleaテd ｬall be declared, ena｢ed and e･abliｬed by authority of this preテnt Parliament, and ｬall ･and, remain and be the law of this realm for ever; and the ヂme are by their ヂid Maje･ies, by and with the advice and conテnt of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in Parliament aｱembled and by the authority of the ヂme, declared, ena｢ed and e･abliｬed accordingly.
II. And be it further declared and ena｢ed by the authority aforeヂid, that from and after this preテnt テｱion of Parliament no diパenヂtion by non ob･ante of or to any ･atute or any part thereof ｬall be allowed, but that the ヂme ｬall be held void and of no eｷe｢, except a diパenヂtion be allowed of in ブch ･atute, and except in ブch caテs as ｬall be パecially provided for by one or more bill or bills to be paｱed during this preテnt テｱion of Parliament.
III. Provided that no charter or grant
or pardon granted before the three and twentieth day of O｢ober in the year of
our Lord one thouヂnd ナx hundred eighty-nine ｬall be any ways impeached or invalidated
by this A｢, but that the ヂme ｬall be and remain of the ヂme force and eｷe｢ in
law and no other than as if this A｢ had never been made.
To display these correctly, see the instructions on the main page,
Restoration Print Culture.
The Declaration of Rights
(see facsimile) was
presented to William and Mary at
Whitehall's Banqueting Hall
on 13 February 1688 (see painting)
and formally agreed to during their coronation
on 11 April. It was
enacted into statutory law, with certain additions and alterations,
as the Bill of Rights
by the second session of the Convention Parliament on 16 December 1689.
I have been unable to find a readily
available early source, but see J. Luffman's
Reフoration Print Culture