Page:Ruffhead - The Statutes at Large, 1763.djvu/18

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xiv
PREFACE

Nevertheleſs the Commons, in the Reign Rich. II. had gained a very conſiderable Aſcendancy ; for, in the firſt Year of the ſucceeding King, they even attempted to ſhare with the Lords in their judicial Capacity : But the Archbiſhop of Canterbury, by the King's Command, told them, that " they were only Petitioners ; and that all Judgments appertain to the King and to the Lords, unless it were in Statutes, Grants, Subſidies, or ſuch like; the which Order the King would have from that Time to be obſerved."

By this concluding Exception, we find the legiſlative Right of the Commons expreſsly acknowledged in Terms, yet it was ſtill ſo little regarded in Practice, that it was again invaded the very next Year : And the 2d of Hen. IV. c.15. was paſſed, though the Commons never aſſ}ented to it, but, on the contrary, diſavowed it [1]. The Force of that Act:, nevertheleſs, was felt till the Reigns of Hen. VIII. and Ed. VI. Nay, afterwards, in Mary 's Time, till its final Repeal in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. Inſtances of this Kind probably gave Birth to the Petition in the 8 of Hen. IV. when " it was enacted, at the Requeſt of the Commons, that certain of the Commons Houſe ſhould be preſent at the engroſſing of the Parliament Roll [2]

But, not withſtanding theſe Securities, Acts ſtill continued to be paſſed without the Commons Aſſent ; and they were, from Time to Time, compelled to renew their Claim of Right in this Behalf, which they did in 2 Hen. V. in the following ſtrong Terms.

" Oure Soverain, your humble and trewe Leiges that ben come for the Comens of your Lond, by feeckyn onto your rigt Wiſſenefle. Tha foo as hit hath evere be thair Libertie and Freedom, that thair ſhould be no Statut no Lawe be made of laſſe than they yaf thereto thair Aſſent, confideringe that the Coe[3] of your Lond, the whiche that is, and evere hath be a Membre of your Parlement, ben as well Aſſentors as Peticioners : That fro this Tyme foreward, by Compleynte of the Comens of any Miſchief, axhinge Remedie by Mouthe of their Speker for the Comens, other elſe by Peticion writen, that ther nevfere be no Lawe made thereuppon and engroſed as Statut and Lawe, nother by Addicions, nother by Dimunucions, by no Maner of Terme ne Termes, the whiche that ſholde chaunge the Sentence and the Intente axhed by the Speaker Mouthe, or the Peticions bifore faid, yeven up yn Wrytyng, by the Manere forſaid, withoute Aſſent of the foreſaid Comens, conſyderinge oure Soverain Lord, that it is not in no wyſe the Entente of oure Comens, gif hit be ſo that they axhe you by

ſpekyng or by writyng too Thynges or three, or as manye as theym luft, ' but that

  1. only. Maddox M. S. No. 12. Tit. Parl. — As a Proof that Acts were often paſſed without their Concurrence or Aſſent, we find in 6 Rich. 2. an Act, made in the la{{ls}]t Parliament, revoked, and the Cauſe affigned is, bccauſe the ſaid Statute was never aſſented to, nor granted by the Commons. It is obſervable, nevertheleſs, that the Act of the 6th Rich. 2. was never printed, as Lord Coke aſſures us, and the Statute of the 5th, though paſſed without the Aſſent of the Commons, was, as it is ſaid, put in Execution, and continued in Force till it was repealed by 1 Ed. 6. c. 12. and 1 Eliz. c. 1. See Rot Parl. 6 R . 2. nu. 52. And ſee Cotton's Abr. p. 354. where there are ſeveral Inſtances of Ads paſſed without the Aſſent of the Commons.

  2. See Fox's Acts and Monaſt. And 4 Inſt. c. I.
  3. See Rot. Parl. 8 H. 4. nu. 65.
  4. Sic in Orig.

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