Historical Documents in Cabinet
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Historical Documents in Cabinet

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The cabinet at the south end of the Lobby displays two original documents of great historical interest, as recorded in the manuscript Commons Journal. On the left, the Book shows an episode of 1580-1581, when Parliament had carried a motion proposed by a Puritan member, Paul Wentworth, that there should be a public Fast. Queen Elizabeth I considered that this trespassed on her power and prerogatives as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

The second episode commemorated here is the discovery of Guy Fawkes's hidden gunpowder, hidden beneath the House of Lords in 1605.

On the wall above the cabinet are hung four further documents. The first of these shows the page which James I tore out of the Commons Journal in 1621. This famous episode occurred when James clashed with his Parliament over 'matters of state'. He dissolved Parliament, imprisoned two of its leading members, and then, having sent for the Journal, tore out the offending protestation.

The second document shows the recorded entry in the Commons Journal at which point the Clerk of the House stopped writing when King Charles I stormed into the Chamber and attempted to arrest five members in 1642.

The third document details the "Expulsion of the Rump Parliament" in 1653. The Rump Parliament brought Charles I to trial and execution in 1649, but was forcibly ejected in 1653 making way for Cromwell's Protectorate.

The last document records the Speaker's message of thanks to those members of the British Commonwealth who donated gifts to the newly restored Commons Chamber on its re-opening in 1950.

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