- Long Parliament
The Long Parliament is the name of the English Parliament called by Charles I, on
3 November 1640, [This article uses the Julian calendar with the start of year adjusted to 1 January(For a more detailed explanation, see )] following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that by a unique Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, [ [http://home.freeuk.net/don-aitken/ast/c1.html#198 Full text of the Act against Dissolving the Long Parliament without its own Consent] 11 May 1641] and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil Warand at the end of Interregnum in 1660. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.asp?compid=24957#s15 House of Commons Journal Volume 7: Dissolving Parliament] 16 March 1660(New Style)] It sat from 1640 until 1649, when it was purged by the New Model Armyof those who were not sympathetic to the Army's concerns. Those members who remained after the Army's purge became known as the Rump Parliament. During the Protectoratethe Rump was replaced by other Parliamentary assemblies, only to be recalled after Oliver Cromwell's death in 1658 by the Army in the hope of restoring credibility to the Army's rule. When this failed, General George Monckallowed the members barred in 1649 to retake their seats so that they could pass the necessary legislation to initiate the Restoration and dissolve the Long Parliament. This cleared the way for a new Parliament, known as the Convention Parliament, to be elected.
The sole reason Charles I assembled Parliament was to ask it to pass finance bills, since the Bishops' Wars had bankrupted him. The Parliament was initially influenced by
John Pymand his supporters. In August 1641, it enacted legislation depriving Charles I of the powers that he had assumed since his accession. The reforms were designed to negate the possibility of Charles ruling absolutely again. The parliament also freed those imprisoned by the Star Chamber. A Triennial Act was passed, requiring that no more than three years should elapse between sessions of Parliament and the Dissolution Actwhich required the Long Parliament's consent to its own dissolution. Parliament was also responsible for the impeachment and subsequent execution of the king's advisers, Archbishop William Laudand Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford.
The Irish Rebellion which started in October 1641 brought the control of the army back into the discussions between King and Parliament. Led by John Pym, Parliament presented the King with the
Grand Remonstrancewhich was passed in the Commons by 11 votes (159 - 148) on 22 November 1641. It listed over 150 perceived "misdeeds" of Charles' reign including the Church (under the influence of foreign papists) and royal advisers (also "have [ing] engaged themselves to further the interests of some foreign powers") the second half of the Remonstrance proposed solutions to the "misdeeds" including church reform and Parliamentary influence over the appointment of royal ministers. December 1641 Parliament asserted that it wanted control over the appointment of the commanders of the Army and Navy in the Militia Ordinance. The king rejected the Grand Remonstrance and refused to give royal assent to the Militia Bill.
The King believed that
Puritans(or " Dissenters") encouraged by five vociferous members of the House of Commons, John Pym, John Hampden, Denzil Holles, Sir Arthur Haselrigand William Strodealong with Lord Mandeville (the future Earl of Manchester) who sat in the House of Lords, had encouraged the Scots to invade England in the recent Bishops' Wars and that they were intent on turning the London mob against him. When rumours reached the court that they were also planning to impeach the Queen for alleged involvement in Catholic plots Charles decided to arrest them for treason.
The Speaker of the House during the Long Parliament was
William Lenthall. On 4 January, 1642the king entered the House of Commons to seize the five members. Having taken the speaker's chair and looked round in vain to discover the offending members commenting "I see the birds have flown", Charles turned to Lenthall standing below, and demanded of him whether any of those persons were in the House, whether he saw any of them and where they were. Lenthall fell on his knees and replied: "May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here." [By the time of the Restoration Lenthall seems to have forgotten his previous resolve when he consented to appear as a witness against the regicide Thomas Scot, for words spoken in the House of Commons while he was the Speaker.]
After his failure to capture the five members, and fearing for his family's lives, Charles left London for Oxford. Most of the royalist members of Parliament left to join him there where they formed the Oxford Parliament. Without its royalist members, the Long Parliament continued to sit during the Civil War and beyond because of the Dissolution Act.
In March 1642 with the King absent from London and the war clouds gathering, Parliament decreed that its own
Parliamentary Ordinances were valid laws without royal assent. The Militia Ordinancewas passed on 5 Marchby Parliament which gave Parliament control of the local militia called Trained Bands. Control of the London Trained Bands was the most strategically critical because they could protect the radical members of Parliament from armed intervention against them by any soldiers which Charles had near the capital. In response to the Militia Ordinance, Charles revived the Commissions of Arrayas a means of summoning an army instead.
1649–1653 Rump Parliament
Rump Parliament"Divisions emerged between various factions, culminating in Pride's Purgeon 7 December, 1648, when, under the orders of Oliver Cromwell's son-in-law Henry Ireton, Colonel Pride physically barred about half of the members of Parliament from taking their seats. Many of the excluded members were Presbyterians. In the wake of the ejections, the remnant, the "Rump Parliament", arranged for the trial and execution of Charles I. It was also responsible for the setting up of the Commonwealth of Englandin 1649.
Oliver Cromwell forcibly disbanded the Rump in
1653when it seemed they might disband his expensive army of 50,000 men. It was followed by the Barebones Parliamentand then the First, Second and Third Protectorate Parliament
1659 recall and 1660 restoration
Richard Cromwell, who had succeeded his father Oliver as Lord Protectorin 1658, was effectively deposed by an officers' coup in April, 1659, the officers re-summoned the Rump Parliament to sit. It convened on 7 May 1659, but after five months in power it again clashed with the army (led by John Lambert) and was again forcibly dissolved on 13 October 1659. Rule then passed to an unelected "Committee of Safety", including Lambert; but as General George Monck, who had been Cromwell's viceroy in Scotland, began to march south, Lambert, who had ridden out to face him, lost support in London, the Navy declared for Parliament, and on 26 December 1659the Rump was restored to power.
Monck, whom Lambert had failed to confront, continued his southward march. On
3 February 1660, Monck arrived in London. After an initial show of deference to the Rump, Monck quickly found them unwilling to cooperate with his plan for a free election of a new parliament; so on 21 February 1660he reinstated the members 'secluded' by Pride, so that they could prepare legislation for the Convention Parliament. Having called for elections for a Parliament to meet on 25 April, the Long Parliament dissolved itself on 16 March 1660. [According to contemporary royalist legal theory, the Long Parliament was regarded as having been automatically dissolved form the moment of Charles I's execution on 30 January 1649.] This view was confirmed by a court ruling during the treason trial of Henry Vane the Younger.
The Long Parliament was preceded by the
Short Parliament. It was purged by Pride to become the Rump Parliament, dissolved by Cromwell, restored (as the Rump) twice in 1659, restored to its pre-purge state by Monck, and succeeded by the Convention Parliament.
Notable members of the Long Parliament
*Sir John Coolepeper
*Sir Simonds D'Ewes
Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland
*Sir Arthur Haselrig
*Sir Benjamin Rudyerd
*William Russell, Lord Russell
Oliver St John
*Sir Francis Seymour
*Sir Henry Vane the Elder
*Sir Henry Vane the Younger
Sir Nicholas Crisp
Triennial Act", passed 15 February, 1641
* Archbishop William Laud imprisoned
26 February, 1641
* Act against Dissolving the Long Parliament without its own Consent
11 May, 1641
* Thomas Wentworth, 1st Earl of Strafford executed
12 May 12, 1641
* Abolition of the Star Chamber
5 July, 1641
* "Ship Money" declared illegal
7 August, 1641
* Grand Remonstrance
22 November, 1641
* "Militia Bill" December,
* The King’s answer to the petition accompanying the "Grand Remonstrance"
23 December, 1641
* The King's attempt to seize the five members
4 January, 1642
* The King and Royal Family leave
Whitehallfor Hampton Court. January, 1642
* The King leaves Hampton Court for the North
2 March 1642
Militia Ordinance" agreed by Lords and Commons 5 March, 1642
* Parliament decreed that "Parliamentary Ordinances" were valid without royal assent following the King's refusal to assent to the Militia Ordinance
15 March, 1642
Adventurers Actto raise money to suppress the Irish Rebellion of 1641 19 March 1642
The Solemn League and Covenant 25 September, 1643
* Ordinance appointing the First Committee of both Kingdoms
16 February, 1644
Self-denying Ordinance 4 April, 1645
* Pride's Purge (Start of the
Rump Parliament) 7 December, 1648
* Excluded members of the Long Parliament reinstated by
George Monck 21 February 1660
* Having called for elections for a Parliament to meet on
25 April, the Long Parliament dissolved itself on 16 March 1660
List of Parliaments of England
* [http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/glossary/long-parliament.htm British Civil Wars: The Long Parliament]
* [http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/timelines/1641.htm British Civil Wars: 1641 Time Line]
* [http://www.british-civil-wars.co.uk/timelines/1642.htm British Civil Wars: 1642 Time Line]
* [http://www.constitution.org/eng/conpur027.htm Full text of The Triennial Act.
15 February 1641]
* [http://home.freeuk.net/don-aitken/ast/c1.html#198 Full text of the Act against Dissolving the Long Parliament without its own Consent]
11 May 1641
* [http://www.lonang.com/exlibris/organic/1641-asc.htm Full text of the act Abolishing the Star Chamber
5 July 1641]
* [http://home.freeuk.net/don-aitken/ast/c1b.html#201 Full text of the Act Declaring the Illegality of Ship-money
7 August 1641]
* [http://www.constitution.org/eng/conpur043.htm Full Text of the Grand Remonstrance, with the Petition accompanying it.
22 November 1641]
* [http://home.freeuk.net/don-aitken/ast/c1b.html#205 Full text of the King’s Answer to the Petition Accompanying the Grand Remonstrance
23 December 1641]
* [http://home.freeuk.net/don-aitken/ast/c1b.html#207 Full text of The Solemn League and Covenant
25 September 1643]
* [http://home.freeuk.net/don-aitken/ast/c1b.html#208 Full text of the Ordinance appointing the First Committee of both Kingdoms
16 February 1644]
* [http://home.freeuk.net/don-aitken/ast/c1b.html#209T Full text of the Self-denying Ordinance
4 April 1645]
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