Such was the Petition of Right
assented to by Charles I., in the beginning of his reign.
Coke was already dead, but he had played a crucial role in the passage of the Petition of Right
that had led to this.
This role of due process in precluding administrative adjudication remained familiar because of the Petition of Right
. Charles I came to the throne in 1625, and he soon was demanding money not only as authorized by law but also on the basis of prerogative or administrative edicts.
Chapter 1, "Rights, Prerogatives and Law: The Petition of Right
," situates Jonson's The New Inn and Brome's The Love-sick Court or The Ambitious Politique in the context of the dissatisfaction expressed in 1628 by Parliament's Petition of Right, which urged the king to limit his legal prerogative.
Another version of the petition of right
, Magna Carta has some sixty paragraphs of demands under the common law.
In 1628, "an emboldened Parliament passed what was known as the Petition of Right
" --applicable to all, including the king.
Those who use history to argue against the existence of a constitutional basis for sovereign immunity point to procedural devices by which the Crown could be sued--such as the petition of right
, the monstrans de droit, and the traverse of office (1)--to infer that sovereign immunity did not exist in absolute form in English common law from the Middle Ages on; the argument by extension is that no such doctrine existed in the U.S.
The Petition of Right
pressed the case of serious grievances by Parliament against the Crown.
One is the foundation of our law, wherein the judges are supposed to judge "with mercy and justice"; the Petition of Right
gave us a ruling on not having people in our land we did not want; and the Bill of Rights of 1688 listed our freedoms, the right to defend ourselves, not to be fined without trial and so on.
This led Parliament to pass the Petition of Right
, which essentially restated the Magna Carta, reasserting its inviolable status.
The second chapter, which deals with Selden's parliamentary career, gives us an opportunity to see how Selden actually applied his constitutional views to the hotly contested issues of the 1620s, especially the impeachment of the duke of Buckingham, the Five Knights' case, and the Petition of Right
. Christianson's discussion of Selden's conflicts with Sir Robert Heath, the attorney general, provides us with an illuminating commentary on the competing interpretations of the ancient constitution advanced by common lawyers before the Civil War.
Her analysis of the lives of Aesop is a dazzling piece of lateral thinking; and her recovery of Sir Henry Marten's application in the Parliament of 1628 of the story of The Lion, the Cow, the Goat and the Sheep to the crisis over the Forced Loans which culminated in the Petition of Right
is of great importance to historians.