English document addressed to Charles I in 1628, concerning "Rights and Liberties of the Subjects"

The Petition of Right is a major English constitutional document that sets out specific liberties of the subject that the king is prohibited from infringing. Passed on 7 June 1628, the Petition contains restrictions on non-Parliamentary taxation, forced billeting of soldiers, imprisonment without cause and the use of martial law. Following disputes between Parliament and King Charles I over the execution of the Thirty Years' War, Parliament refused to grant subsidies to support the war effort, leading to Charles gathering "forced loans" without Parliamentary approval and arbitrarily imprisoning those who refused to pay. Moreover, the war footing of the nation led to the forced billeting of soldiers within the homes of private citizens and the declaration of martial law over large swathes of the country.


Petition of Right - Wikisource, 1628
Complete text online


An Independent Judiciary: Edward Coke, by Jim Powell, The Triumph of Liberty, 4 Jul 2000
Lengthy biographical essay
"The king continued to make demands, and on May 8th Coke proposed that Parliament adopt a Petition of Right on '1. The personal liberty of the subject. 2. His propriety in his goods. 3. Unbilletting of soldiers. And 4. Silencing of martial law in time of peace.' Charles insisted on his prerogatives, but Coke remained defiant. On June 8th, Charles met both Houses of Parliament at 4:00 in the afternoon. He capitulated and accepted the Petition of Right as law. ... Charles disregarded the Petition of Right and refused to call another Parliament for 11 years. But Coke's principles inspired John Lilburne and other English freedom fighters."

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Petition of Right" as of 26 Nov 2017, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.