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Petition of Right

The Petition of Right is a document produced by the English (pre-British) Parliament in the run up to the English Civil War. It was addressed to Charles I of England in 1628 in an attempt to seek redress on the following points:

  • Forced loans
  • Arbitrary arrest
  • Imprisonment contra to Magna Carta
  • Arbitrary interference with property rights
  • Unenforcement of habeas corpus
  • Forced billetting of troopd
  • Imposition of martial law
  • Exemption of officials from due process

The petition had the support of Sir Edward Coke; John Pym claimed that the rights herein demanded predated even the Norman conquest and were confirmed by successive kings. The King was under great financial pressure, and agreed in June to look into the “abuses”, but maintained his prerogative rights.

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