Please can you simplify these texts belong to Charles I of England?


No pretence of prerogative, royal power, necessity or danger, doth or can make it good.

…The common law in England sets a freedom in the subjects in respects of their

persons, and gives them a true property in their goods and estates, so that without their

consent—that is to say their private, actual consent, or in parliament — it cannot be

taken from them.


Where Mr Holborne (one of Hampden’s lawyers) supposed a fundamental policy

…that in case the monarch of England should be inclined to extract from his subjects at

his pleasure, he should be restrained, for that he could have nothing from them, but

upon a common consent in Parliament. He is utterly mistaken herein… the law knows

no such king-yoking policy. The law is of itself an old and trusty of the King’s; it is his

instrument or means which he useth to govern his people by… the King of mere right

ought to have, and the people of mere duty are bound to yield unto the King, supply

for the defence of the kingdom. And when the Parliament itself doth grant supply in

that case, it is not merely a benevolence of the people, but therein they do an act of

justice and duty to the King.


The authority of a king is the keystone which closeth up the arch of order and government,

which contains each part in due relation to the whole; and which, once shaken…all the frame

falls together in a confused heap of foundation and battlement, of strength and beauty.

2 Answers

  • 4 years ago
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    1. It can not be justified by quoting prerogative, royal power, necessity or danger. The English common law gives the subjects a certain liberty as far as their persons are concerned, and gives them a real right of ownership of their goods, houses and lands, so that it cannot be taken from them without their consent, neither private, actual, nor in parliament.

    2. Mr. Holborne (one of Hampden's lawyers) has assumed the existence of a basic principle, which is that if the monarch of England should wish to impose levies and taxes upon his subjects, as and when he pleased, he should be prevented from doing that, because he would not be entitled to take anything from them unless it should be agreed by Parliament. He is quite mistaken in that, because the law does not recognise such a restrictive policy for kings. The law is itself an old and trusted instrument of the King's, and he uses it to govern his people. The King ought to have, simply because he is the King, supplies for the defence of the kingdom, and the people have an obligation to provide him with such supplies. And when Parliament itself

    grants such supplies, it is not done merely because the people are feeling benevolent towards the King, but it is done because it is the King's right and it is their duty to do that.

    3. The authority of a king is the keystone that holds government and orderly life together, and which keeps everything in its place, and which - if it were to be loosened - would cause the whole structure to collapse in disorder.

  • 4 years ago

    Basically the text is just about limited the power of parliament

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