The Lords and Commons presenting the crown to William and Mary in the Banqueting House
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The Lords and Commons presenting the crown to William and Mary in the Banqueting House

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The final ceremony of the Revolution of 1688-1689, which secured a Protestant succession, took place in the Banqueting House of Whitehall Palace - from one of the windows of which Charles I, forty years before, had stepped out onto the scaffold. Here on the 13th February 1689 the Lords and Commons offered the crown to William of Orange and his wife Mary, daughter of the deposed James II. The black-gowned figure with his back to us is the Clerk of the House of Commons, who is reading the newly drawn up Declaration of Rights. Thereafter, the Earl of Halifax, in the name of the Estates of the Realm, made the solemn offer of the crown.

(2) The Lords and Commons presenting the crown to William and Mary in the Banqueting House

(3) The Lords and Commons presenting the crown to William and Mary in the Banqueting House

(4) The Lords and Commons presenting the crown to William and Mary in the Banqueting House

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The Lords and Commons presenting the crown to William and Mary in the Banqueting House

Whereas the late King James the Second, by the assistance of divers evil counsellors, judges, and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of the kingdom.

1. By assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending of laws, and the execution of laws, without the consent of parliament.

2. By committing and prosecuting divers worthy prelates for humbly petitioning to be excused concurring to the said assumed power.

3. By issuing and causing to be executed a commission under the Great Seal for erecting a court called the Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes.

4. By levying money for and to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, for other time and in other manner than the same was granted by parliament.

5. By raising and keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace without the consent of parliament and quartering soldiers contrary to the law.

6. By causing several good subjects, being Protestants, to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to the law.

7. By violating the freedom of election by members to serve in parliament.

8. By prosecutions in the Court of King's Bench for matters and causes cognizable only in parliament; and by divers other arbitrary and illegal courses.

9. And whereas of late years, partial, corrupt, and unqualified persons have been returned and served on juries in trials, and particularly divers jurors in trials for high treason, which were not freeholders.

10. Excessive bail hath been required of persons committed in criminal cases, to elude the benefit of laws made for the liberty of the subjects.

11. And excessive fines have been imposed; and illegal and cruel punishments inflicted.

12. And several grants and promises made of fines and forfeitures, before any conviction or judgement against the persons, upon whom the same were to be levied.

All which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws and statutes and freedom of this realm.

And whereas the said late King James the Second having abdicated the government and the throne being thereby vacant, his Highness the Prince of Orange (whom it hath pleased Almighty God to make the glorious instrument of delivering this kingdom from popery and arbitrary power) did (by the advice of the lords spiritual and temporal, and divers principal persons of the Commons) cause letters to be written to the lords spiritual and temporal, being Protestants; and other letters to the several counties, cities, universities, boroughs, and Cinque Ports, for the choosing of such persons to represent them, as were of right to be sent to parliament, to meet and sit at Westminster upon January 22, 1689 . . .

And thereupon the said lords spiritual and temporal and Commons . . . do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties, declare:

1. That the pretended power of suspending of laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, without consent of parliament, is illegal.

2. That the pretended power of dispensing with laws, or the execution of laws, by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal.

3. That the commission for erecting the late Courts of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes and courts of like nature are illegal and pernicious.

4. That levying money for or to the use of the Crown, by pretence of prerogative, without grant of parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is, or shall be granted, is illegal.

5. That it is the right of the subjects to petition the King, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal.

6. That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of parliament, is against law.

7. That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.

8. That election of members of parliament ought to be free.

9. That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of parliament.

10. That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed; nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

11. That jurors ought to be duly impaneled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders.

12. That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void.

13. And that for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening and preserving of the laws, parliaments ought to be frequently held. Advanced Category Search

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