Broadside—English Civil War

PARLIAMENT

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"USUALLY AND NATURALLY ANY ONE PERSON IN SUCH POWER, MAKES IT HIS INTEREST TO INCROACH UPON THE JUST FREEDOM AND LIBERTY OF THE PEOPLE": RARE PRINTED 1649 BROADSIDE ANNOUNCING THE ABOLITION OF THE MONARCHY AND THE BEHEADING OF KING CHARLES I

(PARLIAMENT). Broadside: An Act for the Abolishing the Kingly Office in England, Ireland . London: Edward Husband, March 19, 1648 [i.e., 1649]. Broadside (12 by 20 inches), handsomely matted and framed; entire piece measures 24-1/2 by 31-1/2 inches.

Rare and desirable broadside printed shortly after the execution of Charles I abolishing the "Kingly Office" in England, since "to have the power thereof in any single person, is unnecessary, burthensom and dangerous to the liberty, safety and publique interest of the people," thereby doing away with the institution of monarchy and preventing any claimants to the throne.

The Long Parliament summoned by King Charles I in 1640 became a revolutionary body, and was the center of resistance to the king during the English Civil Wars (1642-1651). By the end of 1648, Charles I was captured by the army and turned over to the Parliament for further trial. Colonel Thomas Pride expelled all but about 75 members of the Parliament in "Pride's Purge," and the surviving group, known as the Rump Parliament (1648-53), brought Charles I to trial. He was found guilty of "many treasons, murthers, and other hainous offences," sentenced to death, and beheaded. On January 30, 1649, the day when Charles I was executed, the Commons passed "An Act prohibiting the Proclaiming any Person to be King of England or Ireland, or the Dominions thereof," thus terminating the line of Stuart monarchs in England and Ireland. This was soon followed by the present Act, in effect the Parliament's next step toward installing a new political structure for England. "And whereas it is and hath been found by experience, that the Office of a King in this nation and Ireland, and to have the power thereof in any single person, is unnecessary, burthensom and dangerous to the liberty, safety and publique interest of the people, and that for the most part, use hath been made of the Regal power and prerogative, to oppress, and impoverish and enslave the Subject; and that usually and naturally any one person in such power, makes it his interest to incroach upon the just freedom and liberty of the people, and to promote the setting up of their own will and power above the Laws, that so they might enslave these Kingdoms to their own Lust; Be it therefore Enacted and Ordained by this present Parliament, and by Authority of the same, That the Office of a King in this nation, shall not henceforth reside in, or be exercised by any one single person; and that no one person whatsoever, shall or may have, or hold the Office, Stile, Dignity, Power or Authority of King of the said Kingdoms and Dominions, or any of them, or of the Prince of Wales, Any Law, Statute, Usage or Custom to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding." Wing E1086.

Some evidence of folds (likely from being folded and bound into a book), part of the left margin has been excised, not affecting the text, minor embrowning to the lower half. Very good condition. Scarce and desirable.

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