Charles I, 1640
An Act for the preventing of inconveniencies happening by the long intermission.of Parliaments.

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History of Parliament Trust

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John Raithby (editor)

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1819

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54-57

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'Charles I, 1640: An Act for the preventing of inconveniencies happening by the long intermission.of Parliaments.', Statutes of the Realm: volume 5: 1628-80 (1819), pp. 54-57. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=47212 Date accessed: 20 October 2014.


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Whereas by the Lawes and Statutes of this Realme the Parliament ought to bee holden att least once every yeare for the redresse of greivances but the appointment of the time and place for the holding thereof hath alwaies belonged as it ought to his Majestie and his Royall Progenitors. And whereas it is by experience found that the not holding of Parliaments accordingly hath produced sundry and great mischeifs and inconveniences to the Kings Majestie the Church and Common Wealth For the p[re]vention of the like mischeifs and inconveniences in time to Comme.

II.

If no Parliament summoned before the 16th Sept. in the 3d Year after the last Day of the last Sitting,; then the Parliament to assemble at Westminster in the Manner, and by the Means, and at the Time hereafter mentioned.; Lord Chancellor and Commissioners to take an Oath to issue Writs.

Bee it enacted by the Kings most excellent Majestie with the consent of the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and the Co[m]mons in this p[re]sent Parliament assembled that the said Lawes and Statutes bee from henceforth duly kept and observed and your Majesties loyall and obedient subjects in this p[re]sent Parliament now assembled doe humbly pray that it bee enacted And be it enacted accordingly by the authority of this p[re]sent Parliament That in case there be not a Parliament summoned by Writt under the Great Seale of England and assembled and held [ (fn. 1) before the tenth day of September which shall bee in the third yeare next after the last day of the last meeting and sitting in this p[re]sent Parliament the begining of the first yeare to be accompted from the said last day of the last meeting and sitting in Parliament and soe from time to time and in all times hereafter if there shall not bee a Parliament assembled and held before the tenth day of September which shall be in the third yeare next after the last day of the last meeting and sitting in Parliament before that time assembled and held the begining of the first ycaŕe to bee accounted from the said last day of the last meeting and sitting in Parliament That then in every such case as aforesaid the Parliament shall assemble and bee held in the usuall place att Westminster in such manner and. by such meanes onely as is hereafter in this p[re]sent Act declared and enacted and not otherwise on the second monday which shall bee in the moneth of November then next ensueing And in case this p[re]sent Parliament now assembled and held or any other Parliament which shall att any time hereafter bee assembled and held by Writ under the Great Seale of England or in case any Parliament shall bee assembled and held by authority of this p[re]sent Act and such Parliamts or any of them shall be prorogued or adjourned or continued by prorogation or adjournment untill the tenth day of September which shall be in the third yeare next after the last day of the last meeting and sitting in Parliament to bee accommpted as aforesaid that then in every such case every such Parliament so prorogued or adjourned or soe continued by prorogation or adjournment as aforesaid shall from the said tenth day of September be thenceforth cleerely and absolutely dissolved and the Lord Chancellor of England the Lord Keeper of the Great Seale of England and every Commmissioner and Commmissioners for the keeping of the Great Seale of England for the time being shall within six dayes after the said tenth day of September in every such third yeare as aforesaid in due forme of Law and without any further Warrant or direcc[i]on from His Majestie his Heires or Successors Seale issue forth and send abroad severall and respective Writs to the severall and respective Peeres of this Realme Commmanding every such Peer that hee personally bee att the Parliament to be held att Westminster on the second monday which shall be in November next following the said tenth day of September then and there to treate concerning the high and urgent Affairs concerning his Majestie the state and defence of the Kingdome and church of England and shall alsoe seale issue forth and send abroad severall and respective Writs to the severall and respective Sheriffs of the severall and respective Counties Cities and Boroughs of England and Wales and to the Constable of the Castle of Dover Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports or his Lieutennant for the time being and to the Maior and Bailiffs of Barwick upon Tweed and to all and every other Officers and Persons to whom Writs have used to be directed for the electing of the Knights Citizens Barons and Burgesses of and for the said Counties Cities Cinque Ports and Boroughs of England and Wales respectively in the accustomed forme to appeare and serve in Parliament to be held at Westminster on the said second Monday which shall be in November aforesaid which said Peers after the said Writs received and which said Knights Citizens Barons and Burgesses chosen by vertue of the said Writs shall then and there appeare and serve in Parliament accordingly And the said Lord Chancellour Lord Keeper Commissioner and Commissioners aforesaid shall respectively take a solemn Oath upon the Holy Evangelist for the due issuing of Writs according to the tenour of this Act viz. in hec verba.

You shall sweare that you shall truly and faithfully issue forth and send abroad all Writs of Summons to Parliament for both Houses att such time and in such manner as is expressed and enjoyned by an Act of Parliament intituled An Act for the p[re]venting of Inconveniencies happening by the long intermission of Parliaments.

Failing to issue Writs; Perjury and Disability of Office and other Punishments. If Writs not issued, and Parliament do not meet, Peers enabled to meet in the old Palace of Westminster; and by virtue of this Act to issue Writs. Clerks of the Petty Bag,&c. to prepare such Writs for Signature of the Lords. Omitting so to do, Punishment. Messengers,&c. to deliver Writs. Omitting so to do, Punishment.

Which Oath is forthwith to be taken by the p[re]sent Lord Keeper and to be administred by the Clerke of the Crowne to every Lord Chancellour Lord Keeper Commissioner and Commissioners aforesaid and that none of the said Officers respectively shall henceforth execute any the said Offices before they have taken the said Oath And if the said Lord Chancellour Lord Keeper or any the said Commissioners shall fail or forbeare soe to issue out the said Writs according to the true meaning of this Act then he or they respectively shall beside the incurring of the grievous Sin of perjury be disabled and become by vertue of this Act incapable ipso facto to beare his and theire said Offices respectively and bee further lyable to such punishments as shall be inflicted on him or them by the next or any other ensuing Parliament And in case the said Lord Chancellour Lord Keeper Commissioner or Commissioners aforesaid shall not issue forth the said Writs as aforesaid or in case that the Parliament doe not assemble and bee held att the time and place before appointed Then the Parliament shall assemble and bee held in the usuall place att Westminster in such manner and by such meanes onely as is hereafter in this p[re]sent Act declared and enacted and not otherwise on the third monday which shall bee in the moneth of January then next ensuing And the Peers of this Realm shall by vertue of this Act bee enabled and are enjoyned to meet in the Old Palace of Westminster in the usuall place there on the third monday in the said moneth of November and they or any twelve or more of them then and there assembled shall on or before the last monday of November next following the tenth day of September aforesaid by vertue of this Act without other Warrant issue out Writts in the usuall forme in the name of the Kings Majestie his Heires or Successors attested under the Hands and Seales of twelve or more of the said Peers to the severall and respective Sheriffes of the severall and respective Counties Cities and Boroughs of England and Wales and to the Constable of the Castle of Dover Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports or his Lieutennant for the time being and to the Maior and Bayliffs of Berwicke upon Tweed and to all and every other the said Officers and Persons to whom Writs have beene used to bee directed for the electing of the Knights Citizens Barons and Burgesses of and for the said Counties Cities Cinque Ports and Boroughs to bee and appeare att the Parliament att Westminster aforesaid to be held on the third monday in January then next following All and every which Writts the Clerks of the Pettibag and other Clerks to whom the writing of the Writs for Summons to the Parliament doth and shall belong or whom the said Lords or twelve or more of them shall appoint shall att the command of the said Lords soe assembled or of any twelve or more of them make and prepare ready for the signature of the said Lords or any twelve or more of them under paine of the losse of theire places and offices and of such other punishment as in the next or any other ensuing Parliament shall be inflicted on him or them And it is enacted that the said Writs soe issued shall be of the same power and force to all intents and purposes as the Writs or Summons to Parliament under the Great Seale of England have ever beene or ought to bee And all the Messengers of the Chamber or others whoe shall be appointed by the said Lords or any twelve or more of them are hereby required faithfully and speedyly to deliver the said Writs to every person and persons Sheriffe Officers and others to whom the same shall be directed which if the said Messengers or any of them shall faile to performe they shall forfeit theire respective places and incurre such other pains and punishments as by that or any other ensuing Parliament shall be imposed on them.

III. Peers to assemble the 3d Monday in January.

And in case Parliament not assembled before 23d January, then to be assembled by such Means only as hereafter mentioned.

And it is alsoe further enacted that all and every the Peers of this Realme shall make theire appearance and shall assemble on the said third monday in January in such manner and to such effect and with such power as if they had received every of them Writs of Summons to Parliament under the Great Seale of England in the usuall and accustomed manner And in case the said Lords or twelve or more of them shall faile to issue forth such Writs or that the said Writs doe not come to the said severall Counties Cities Cinque Ports and Boroughs soe that an election bee not thereupon made And in case there be not a Parliament assembled and held] before the three and twentieth day of the said moneth of January and soe from time to time and in all times hereafter if there shall not be a Parliament assembled and held before the said three and twentieth day of January then in every such case as aforesaid the Parliament shall assemble and be held in the usuall Place att Westminster in such manner and by such meanes onely as is hereafter in this p[re]sent Act declared and enacted and not otherwise on the second Tuesday which shall bee in the moneth of March next after the said three and twentieth day of January Att which Parliament the Peers of this Realme shall make theire appearance and shall assemble att the time and place aforesaid and shall each of them be liable unto such paines and censures for his and theire not appearing and serving then and there in Parliament as if hee or they had beene summoned by Writ under the Great Seale of England and had not appeared and served and to such further paines and censures as by the rest of the Peers in Parliament assembled they shall be adjudged unto.

IV. Sheriffs and all other Officers to cause Knights, &c. to be chosen as if Writs had issued;

and if Sheriffs, &c. do not proceed; then the Freeholders, &c. and others having Voice in Election, to proceed to Election without further Warrant.

And for the better assembling of the Knights Citizens Barons and Burges to the said Parliament as aforesaid It is further enacted that the severall and respective Sheriffs of theire severall and respective Counties Cities and Boroughs of England and Wales and the Chancellor Masters and Schollers of both and every of the Universities and the Maior and Bailiffs of the Borough of Barwick upon Tweed shall att the severall Courts and Places to be held and appointed for theire respective Counties Universities Cities and Boroughs next after the said three and twentieth day of January cause such Knight and Knights Citizen and Citizens Burgesse and Burgesses of theire said Counties Universities Cities and Buroughs respectively to be chosen by such persons and in such manner as if severall and respective Writs of Summons to Parliament under the Great Seale of England had issued and been awarded And in case any of the severall Sheriffs or the Chancellour Masters and Schollers of either of the Universities or the Maior and Bailiffs of Barwick respectively doe not before ten of the clocke in the forenoone of the same day wherein the severall and respective Courts and Places shall bee held or appointed for theire severall and respective Counties Universities Cities and Boroughs as aforesaid begin and proceed on according to the meaning of this Law in causing Elections to be made of such Knight and Knights Citizen and Citizens Burgesse and Burgesses of theire said Counties Universities Cities and Boroughs as aforesaid then the Free holders of each County and the Masters and Schollers of every of the Universities and the Citizens and others having voices in such Election respectively in each University City and Borough that shall be assembled att the said Courts or Places to be held or appointed as aforesaid shall forthwith without further Warrant or direction proceed to the Election of such Knight or Knights Citizen or Citizens Burgesse or Burgesses aforesaid in such manner as is usuall in case of Writs of Summons issued and awarded.

V. Sheriffs, Constables of Dover Castle, and Lord Warden of Cinque Ports, to send forth Precepts for Election

as if Writs had issued. If Default, then Electors to proceed. Knights, &c. elected to appear and serve in Parliament. Sheriffs, &c. to make Returns as if Writs had issued; and if Default, then Electors to make Returns, which shall be good. Persons advising any Proceedings contrary to this Act. Premunire, and Disability to sue, &c. Sheriff or other Officer not obeying this Act, Penalties. How recovered; Procuring Action or Execution under this Act to be stayed, &c. Premunire. Such Action not to abate by Death of Plaintiff. Forfeitures how to go and be disposed of. Proviso as to Elections afterwards adjudged void.

And it is further enacted that the severall and respective Sheriffs of theire severall and respective Counties and the Constables of the Castle of Dover and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports or his Leiutenant for the time being respectively shall after the said three and twentieth day of January and before the eighth day of February then immediately next ensuing award and send forth theire Precepts to the severall and respective Cities and Boroughs within theire severall Counties and likewise unto the said Cinque Ports respectively comanding them respectively to make choice of such Citizen and Citizens Barons [Burge (fn. 2) ] and Burgesses to serve in the said Parliament att the time and place aforesaid Which said Cities Cinque Ports and Boroughs respectively shall before the last day of the said Moneth of February make election of such Citizen and Citizens Barons Burgesse and Burgesses as if Writs for summoning of a Parliament under the Great Seale of England had issued and beene awarded And in case no such p[re]cept shall come unto the said Cities Cinque Ports and Boroughs respectively by the time herein limited or in case any precept shall come and no election be made thereupon before the said last day of February That then the severall Citizens Burgesses and other Persons that ought to elect and send Citizens Barons and Burgesses to the Parliament shall on the first Tuesday in March then next ensueing the said last day of February make choice of such Citizen and Citizens Barons [Burge (fn. 2) ] and Burgesses as if a Writ of Summons under the Great Seale of England had issued and beene awarded and precepts thereupon issued to such Cities Cinque Ports and Boroughs which Knights Citizens Barons and Burgesses so chosen shall appeare and serve in Parliament att the time and place aforesaid and shall each of them be liable unto such paines and censures for his and theire not appearing and serving then and theire in Parliament as if hee or they had beene elected and chosen by vertue of a Writ under the Great Seale of England and shall be likewise subject unto such further paines and censures as by the rest of the Knights Citizens and Burgesses assembled in the Commons House of Parliament hee or they shall be adjudged unto And the Sheriffs and other Officers and persons to whom it appertaineth shall make returnes and accept and receive the returnes of such Elections in like manner as if Writs of Summons had issued and beene executed as hath beene used and accustomed and in default of the Sheriffs and other Officers respectively in not accepting or makeing returne of such Elections it shall and may be lawfull to and for the severall Freeholders and other persons that have elected to make returns of the Knights Citizens Barons and Burgesses by them elected which shall bee as good and effectuall to all intents and Purposes as if the Sheriffe or other Officers had received a Writ of Summons for a Parliament and had made such returnes And that such Elections Precepts and returnes shall bee had and made att such times by such persons and in such manner as before in this Act is expressed and declared according to the true intent and meaning of this Law Any Writ Proclamation Edict Act Restraint Inhibition Order or Warrant to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding And in case any person or persons shall be soe hardy to advise frame contrive serve or put in execution any such Writs Proclamac[i]on Edict Act Restraint Inhibition Order or Warrant thereupon then hee or they soe offending shall incur and sustain the paines penalties and forfeitures limited ordained and provided in and by the Statute of Provision and Premunire made in the sixteenth yeare of King Richard the Second and shall from thenceforth bee disabled during his life to sue or implead any person in any action reall or personall or to make any Gift Grant Conveyance or other disposition of any his Lands Tenements Hereditaments Goods or Chattels which hee hath to his owne use either by Act executed in his life time or by his last Will or otherwise or to take any Gift Conveyance or Legacie to his owne use or to take any benefit of any Gift Conveyance or Legacie to his owne use And if any Sheriffe Constable of the Castle of Dover or Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports shall not performe his duty enjoyned by this Act then hee shall lose and forfeit the sum of one thousand pounds and every County City Cinque Port and Borough that shall not make Election of theire Knights Citizens Barons and Burgesses respectively shall incur the Penalties following (that is to say) every County the su[m]me of one thousand Pounds and every City which is noe County twoe hundred pounds and every Cinque Port and Borough the su[m]m of one hundred pounds All and every of which severall forfeitures and all other forfeitures in this Act mentioned shall and may bee recovered in any of the Kings Courts of Record att Westminster by and in the name of the Lord Maior of the City of London for the time being without nameing the christian name or sirname of the said Lord Maior for the time being by action of debt bill plaint or information wherein no essoin protection wager of Law aid prayer priviledge injunction or order of restraint shall bee in any wise prayed granted or allowed nor any more then one imparlance And if any person after notice given that the Action depending is grounded or prosecuted upon or by vertue of this Statute shall cause or procure any such Action to bee stayed or delayed before Judgement by colour or meanes of any Order Warrant Power or Authority save onely of the Court wherein such Action as aforesaid shall be brought or depending or after Judgment had upon such Action shall cause or procure the execution of or upon any such Judgment to bee stayed or delayed by colour or meanes of any order warrant power or authority save onely by Writ of Errour or Attaint that then the said persons soe offending shall incurre and sustain all and every the paines penalties and forfeitures limited ordained and provided in and by the said Statute of Provision and Premunire made in the sixteenth yeare of King Richard the Second And if any Lord Maior of London shall att any time hereafter commence or preferre any such Suite Action or Information and shall happen to die or be removed out of his office before recovery and execution had that yet no such Action Suit or Information sued commenced or preferred shall by such displacing or death be abated discontinued or ended but that it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Lord Maior of the City of London next succeeding in that office and place to prosecute pursue and follow all and every such Action Bill Plaint or Information for the causes aforesaid soe hanging and depending in such manner and forme and to all intents and purposes as that Lord Maior might have done which first commenced or preferred the same the fifth part of all and every the forfeitures in this Act mentioned shall goe and be to and for the use and behoofe of the City of London and the other four parts and residue to be employed and disposed to and for such onely uses intents and purposes as by the Knights Citizens and Burgesses in Parliament assembled shall be declared directed and appointed Provided that in case the Freeholders of any County and Inhabitants or other persons having or claiming power to make election of any Knights Citizens Barons or Burgesses shall proceed to making of election of theire Knights Citizens Barons and Burgesses which election shall afterwards fall out to bee afterwards adjudged or declared void in Law by the House of Commons by reason of equality of voices or misdemeanour of any person whatsoever then the said County City Cinque Port or Borough shall not incurre the penalties in this Law soe as an election de facto be made.

VI. As to the time of dissolving or proroguing Parliament after its First Meeting.

And it is further enacted that noe Parliament henceforth to bee assembled shall be dissolved or prorogued within fiftie dayes att the least after the time appointed for the meeting thereof unlesse it be by assent of his Majesty his heires or successours and of both Houses in Parliament assembled And that neither the House of Peers nor the House of Commons shall be adjourned within fifty dayes att least after the meeting thereof unlesse it bee by the free consent of every the said houses respectively.

VII. Peers and Commons to be assembled by virtue of this Act may respectively choose their Speaker.

Such Speakers to enjoy all the accustomed Powers and Privileges.

And bee it further enacted and declared by authority of this present Parliament that the Peers to be assembled att any Parliament by vertue of this Act shall and may from time to time att any time during such theire assembly in Parliament choose and declare such person to bee Speaker for the said Peers as they shall thinke fitt And likewise that the said Knights Citizens and Burgesses to bee assembled att any Parliament by vertue of this Act shall and may from time to time at any time during such theire assembly in Parliament choose and declare one of themselves to bee Speaker for the said Knights Citizens and Burgesses of the House of Co[m]mons assembled in the said Parliament as they shall thinke fitt which said Speakers and every of them aswell for the said Peers as for the said House of Commons respectively shall by vertue of this Act be perfect and compleat Speakers for the said Houses respectively and shall have as full and large power jurisdiction and priviledges to all intents and purposes as any Speaker or Speakers of either of the said houses respectively [herefore (fn. 3) ] have had or enjoyed.

VIII. Parliaments assembled by Authority of this Act to enjoy all the accustomed Privileges of Parliament.

And it is further enacted and declared that all Parliament hereafter to bee assembled by authority of this Act and every member thereof shall have and enjoy all rights priviledges jurisdictions and immunities as any Parliament summoned by Writ under the Great Seale of England or any member thereof might or ought to have and all and every the Members that shall be elected and chosen to serve in any Parliament hereafter to be assembled by authority of this Act as aforesaid shall assemble and meet in the Co[m]mons House of Parliament and shall enter into the same and have voices in such Parliament before and without the takeing the severall Oathes of Supremacy and Allegiance or either of them any Lawe or Statute to the contrary thereof in anywise notwithstanding.

IX. Member of any Parliament to be hereafter assembled by Authority of this Act to take the Oath of Allegiance if required by the King, or excluded.

Provided alwaies that if the Kings Majesty his heires or successors shall att any time during any Parliament hereafter to be assembled by authority of this Act as aforesaid award or direct any Co[m]mission or Co[m]missions unto any person or persons whatsoever thereby giving power and authority to him or them to take and receive the Oath of Supremacy and Allegiance of all or any the Members of the Co[m]mons house of Parliament and any the Members of that House being duly required thereunto shall refuse or neglect to take and pronounce the same that from thenceforth such person soe refuseing or neglecting shall bee deemed no member of that house nor shall have any voice therein and shall suffer such paines and penalties as if he had presumed to sit in the same house without election return or authority.

X. This Act to be publicly read at Sessions of the Peace and Assises. Penalty.

And it is likewise provided and enacted that this Statute shall be publikely read yearely att every Generall Sessions of the Peace to be held next after the Epiphany and every Assizes then next ensuing by the Clerke of the Peace and Clerke of the Assises for the time being respectively and if they or either of them shall neglect or fail to doe the same accordingly then such party soe neglecting or failing shall forfeit the sum of One hundred Pounds.

XI. The Royal Assent to this Act not to determine the Sessions. Continuance of Acts.

Continuance of Acts.

And it is lastly provided and enacted that His Majesties Royall Assent to this Bill shall not thereby determine this present Session of Parliament and that all Statutes and Acts of Parliament which are to have continuance unto the end of this present Session shall bee of full force after His Majesties Assent untill this p[re]sent Session be fully ended and determined And if this present Session shall determine by dissolution of this present Parliament then all the Acts and Statutes aforesaid shall be continued untill the end of the first Session of the next Parliament.

Footnotes

1 annexed to the Original Act in a separate Schedule.
2 Burges O.
3 heretofore O.