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The Petition of Right [1627]

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VII 25 E. III. and that Commissions have issued under the Great Seal for Proceedings according to Martial Law.E+W

And whereas alsoe by authoritie of Parliament in the five and twentith yeare of the Raigne of King Edward the third it is declared and enacted that no man should be forejudged of life or limbe against the forme of the Great Charter and the Lawe of the Land, And by the said Great Charter, and other the Lawes and Statutes of this your Realme no man ought to be adjudged to death but by the Lawes established in this your Realme, either by the customes of the same Realme or by Acts of Parliament. And whereas no offendor of what kinde soever is exempted from the pceedings to be used and punishments to be inflicted by the Lawes and Statutes of this your Realme, Neverthelesse of late [X1tyme] divers Comissions under your Majesties great Seale have issued forth, by which certaine persons have been assigned and appointed Comissioners with power and authoritie to proceed within the land according to the Justice of Martiall Lawe against such Souldiers or Marriners or other dissolute persons joyning with them as should comitt any murther robbery felony mutiny or other outrage or misdemeanor whatsoever, and by such sumary course and order as is agreeable to Martiall Lawe and as is used in Armies in tyme of warr to proceed to the tryall and condemnacion of such offenders, and them to cause to be executed and putt to death according to the Lawe Martiall.

By pretext whereof some of your Majesties Subjects have been by some of the said Comissioners put to death, when and where, if by the Lawes and Statuts of the land they had deserved death, by the same Lawes and Statuts alsoe they might and by no other ought to have byn judged and executed.

And alsoe sundrie greivous offendors by colour thereof clayming an exempcion have escaped the punishments due to them by the Lawes and Statutes of this your Realme, by reason that divers of your Officers and ministers of Justic have unjustlie refused or forborne to proceed against such Offendors according to the same Lawes and Statutes uppon pretence that the said offendors were punishable onelie by Martiall law and by authoritie of such Comissions as aforesaid. Which Comissions and all other of like nature are wholly and directlie contrary to the said Lawes and Statutes of this your Realme.

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