petition of right

views updated

petition of right, 1628. Charles I's levy of a forced loan in 1626–7 and his imprisonment of non-contributors led the Commons in 1628 to frame a petition outlawing non-parliamentary taxes and arbitrary imprisonment. Charles, concerned to preserve his prerogative, gave an ambiguous reply, to which the Commons responded by withholding their offer of a much-needed money grant. The king, with ill grace, therefore authorized a second, conventional, reply which turned the petition into law. When it was printed, Charles included only his first response, thereby arousing fears that he would renege on his promises, but in the event he scrupulously adhered to the letter of the petition.

Roger Lockyer

petition of right

views updated

petition of right Means by which an English subject could sue the Crown; in particular, the statement of grievances against the Crown presented by Parliament to Charles I in 1628. It asserted that the Crown acted illegally in raising taxation without Parliament's consent, imprisoning people without charge, maintaining a standing army, and quartering soldiers on ordinary householders. It led to the dissolution of Parliament and Charles' period of untrammelled rule.

Petition of Right

views updated

Petition of Right a parliamentary declaration of rights and liberties of the people presented to Charles I in a petition in 1627 and assented to by the monarch in 1628. Although not a formal statute or ordinance, this has traditionally been invested with the full force of law.

A Petitioner is any of those who signed the address to Charles II in 1680, petitioning for the summoning of Parliament (a move opposed by the Abhorrers).