The Petition of Right. "... on Saturday last the King gave a full and satisfactory answer to our petition concerning the liberty of the subject and propriety, and exemption of his person and estate from any illegal courses; which caused such expression of joy in general, as, where tongue left, bells and bonfires began; and the proceeding with the subsidies, which were till then at a stand, followed the next day in Parliament, and are ready to be passed entirely within two or three days.
" (Thomas Meautys to Lady Jane Corwallis, 12 June) British Historical Documents: Petition of Right, 1628. Petition of Right, 1628 An important document setting out the rights and liberties of the subject as opposed to the prerogatives of the crown (ie.
Charles I). This action favouring the common man was championed by Sir Edward Coke (1552-1634), a prominent parliamentary adversary of the crown. His sparkling resume included public service as Speaker of the House of Commons, Attorney General, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas and Chief Justice of the King's Bench. The Petition exhibited to his Majesty by the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, concerning divers Rights and Liberties of the Subjects, with the King's Majesty's royal answer thereunto in full Parliament. To the King's Most Excellent Majesty, British Constitution Group. British Constitution Group. Petition of Right. Petition of Right, 1628, a statement of civil liberties sent by the English Parliament to Charles I.
Refusal by Parliament to finance the king's unpopular foreign policy had caused his government to exact forced loans and to quarter troops in subjects' houses as an economy measure. Arbitrary arrest and imprisonment for opposing these policies had produced in Parliament a violent hostility to Charles and George Villiers, 1st duke of Buckingham. The Petition of Right, initiated by Sir Edward Coke, was based upon earlier statutes and charters and asserted four principles: no taxes may be levied without consent of Parliament; no subject may be imprisoned without cause shown (reaffirmation of the right of habeas corpus); no soldiers may be quartered upon the citizenry; martial law may not be used in time of peace. In return for his acceptance (June, 1628), Charles was granted subsidies. The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed.
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