Talk:Bill of Rights 1689

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Early discussion[edit]

Wouldn't a better title be English Bill of Rights? --mav — Preceding undated comment added 23:25, December 22, 2002

I think so - I'll move it. Simple job to move it back for anybody who disagrees. --Camembert — Preceding undated comment added 23:37, December 22, 2002
Ah... except that English Bill of Rights already exists with history. Now Brion told me a while ago that you can delete a page called X, move page Y to where X was, then undelete X and the history will be dropped onto the end of the moved page's history. I know this works when all the deleted history predates the moved page (as would happen with a cut-and-paste page move), but I'm not sure if it works when the deleted history is in the midst of the moved page's history (as is the case here). Does that make sense? Anyway, I'm not quite confident enough to try and move the page. --Camembert — Preceding undated comment added 23:42, December 22, 2002

It worked! Makes for a rather odd transiton inbetween the two histories though. --mav — Preceding undated comment added 00:33, December 23, 2002

Marvellous! Looks a bit odd, as you say, but it's really very clever, I think. --Camembert — Preceding undated comment added 08:10, December 23, 2002
The English Bill of Rights was also the Bill of Rights in the American Colonies in 1689. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.11.126.123 (talkcontribs) 07:59, June 27, 2006

The landowners in England didn't think the bill affected the Colonies. They left them outCorpus1 (talk) 01:02, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Ignorance of the law is no excuse! Though I do appreciate you not deleting it. Art0hur0moh (talk) 09:45, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

Still think it a rant? Art0hur0moh (talk) 10:04, 22 February 2017 (UTC)

I take issue with the title[edit]

I am a John Lilburne republican and the so-called "Bill of Rights" is nothing of the sort and neither is that the official name of the document. It merely protects croneyism in Parliament. It does nothing, absolutely nothing for the average "freeborn Englishman". Using this title mixes it up with the US Bill of Rights - which is really the name for the first ten amendments to the US Constitution. Others took issue in the early days of the USA with the fact that the name Bill of Rights in the USA isitself. They are based upon the concept of freeborn rights = rights you are born with. In Britain (I am an Englishman, by the way!), you were born to be a subject of a croney Crown (different from the monarchy which merely represents the cronies who manage the Crown.) So this brings me back to the basics. Instead of wrapping this topic up in a flag and claiming that it is something that it is not, why not stick to the basics of what it is ... and what it is, is not worth much! England turned its back on a written Constitution when it illegally imprisoned Freeborn John Lilburne so that that fight was taken across the Atlantic and fought again in North America. Since Wiki is an encyclopedia and not a platform for jingoistic flag waving, may I humbly suggest that this topic is returned to the encyclopedic facts. We begin by correcting the name of the entry. By the way, there is a LOT of evidence to show that William came in with a Dutch Army and literally conquored England by taking over the throne. The idea that this was something "Glorious" is another bit of jingoistic nonsense from the past. MPLX/MH 17:49, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

oh for goodness sake. wikipedia is already a bastion for Americans who think they invented the concept of freedom and liberty. We don't need English people following their lead and rubbishing our own cornerstone documents that have led to personal freedoms around the world. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.224.110.234 (talk) 11:27, 5 May 2008 (UTC)
I am a fan of Tom Paine. That said, you seem to be missing the fact that many, perhaps most, colonists thought they were British in 1770. It is natural for a new country to believe that it was the result of a virgin birth but history demands that we trace the origins of events. There is no doubt that English culture and politics were central to American sentiment before the American Revolution/War of Independence. On the issue of the way states treat their citizens/subjects, there is a Guantanomo for every Maze... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.11.126.123 (talkcontribs) 04:31, June 27, 2006
On the subject of the Dutch "invasion" - yes, William came into England with Dutch troops. He was invited by the Immortal Seven, the Dutch were unopposed, welcomed and supported by Parliament. Invasion or Revolution? If this was an invasion then the American Revolution was actually an invasion of North America by the French. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.11.126.123 (talkcontribs) 04:52, June 27, 2006
The parallel and interrelated paths followed by the USA and UK over the past 2 centuries shows how close the two nations really are - like siblings, different but from the same background and never quite able to separate. However, the coming century will result in a split as the US becomes increasingly Castillian in culture. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.11.126.123 (talkcontribs) 04:41, June 27, 2006

The official name of this Act is "The Bill of Rights". That short title was conferred by the Short Titles Act 1896. James500 (talk) 17:57, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

It is neither a Bill of Rights nor is it the English Bill of Rights ...[edit]

The real title is already there as a sub-title: "An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown". This should not be a sub-title but the actual main title. Not only is the actual title a correct description of the document, but it clearly states what a lot of nonsense this document really is! Please notice very carefully that it is "An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the SUBJECT ..." That is the word I take issue with and that is why the U.S. Declaration of Independence also takes issue with that concept and makes it clear that our "rights and liberties" flow from "Nature" and "Nature's God" (the actual words used in the U.S. Declaration. It doesn't even define "God" and it blasts the "Christian King of Great Britain" for stirring up a race war in North America! That is what that document says. I suggest we stick to the facts in this encyclopedia. MPLX/MH 18:00, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

That's a bad copy of the Declaration of Independence you're reading from. In the actual text, the "present King of Great Britain" is spoken of: neither the word "Christ" nor the word "Christian" appear in the text, nor is there a discussion of a "race war", but rather an excoriation of the king for bringing on "the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions". - Nunh-huh 08:36, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Hear, hear! We all like facts. That's why we are working on an encyclopedia. I suggest that we keep the facts in the body of the article though. Leave the title as the ignorant expect it to be so that they can find the article and read the <blink>TRUTH</blink> !!!!. Cheers -- Derek Ross | Talk 08:25, 2004 Oct 21 (UTC)

It didn't blink! Now I'm disappointed... Derek Ross | Talk 08:27, 2004 Oct 21 (UTC)
You are absolutely correct that the final version of the Declaration does not say this, but Thomas Jefferson's original version most certainly did! Jefferson, picking up from Tom Paine, referred to the highest authority as being "Nature" and "Nature's God", but when he further attacked the British the Declaration was watered down and the following text that does talk about a race war brought about by the "Christian king of Great Britain" was struck:
"... He has incited cruel war against human nature itself, violating it's most sacred rights of life and liberty in the person of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither.
"This piratical warfare, the opprobrium of infidel powers, is the warfare of the Christian king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where Men should be bought & sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce. And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the Liberties of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another."
I had to rekey that in from page 63 of the Frame of Reference that I authored back in 1990 and which was first published by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and later republished in book form. If there is any mistyping in the text above it is because I have the book open on my knees while retyping it! Anyway, sorry about not making myself clear. My point was that the Declaration gives credit to "Nature's God" and it would have (had Jefferson had his way), blasted the "Christian king of Great Britain" for starting a race war.
I hope that this clears this matter up. MPLX/MH 16:21, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Your effort at rekeying all that is much appreciated, but I'd encourage you to think of Jefferson's version as the draft version rather than the original! The final engrossed version is the collective statement of the country; Jefferson's version is not. And "race war" is of course your interpretation rather a quotation of the text - I suspect Jefferson's (stated, but selectively practiced) opposition to slavery was based on the principle of individual right to liberty rather than racial sensitivity. - Nunh-huh 22:42, 21 Oct 2004 (UTC)
"...with crimes which he urges them to commit against the lives of another." The peoples under discussion are obviously Blacks and Whites and it is not my "interpretation" but my contraction of a long and drawn out explanation to call it a "race war". What would you call it?
The people under discussion are obviously people. You can choose to emphasize that one difference between the opposing sides was "race" (suitably defined, one supposes, and as opposed, say to the difference of positions on the morality of "ownership" of a person) by inserting the phrase "race war" into the Declaration, but that's your insertion and your emphasis, not that of those who enacted the Declaration. - Nunh-huh 00:21, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The reason why this is so important goes back to my original statement, which in a nutshell is that the so-called "English Bill of Rights" is nothing of the sort but an affront to anyone who believes in individual liberty. That takes us back to individualism and John Lilburne and from him to Tom Paine and from Paine to Jefferson. The nonsense vested in John Locke is only understood by understanding the political nature of Jefferson. There were current Jeffersonian reasons why he could not give credit due to John Lilburne, and they stemmed from an infamous murder by his nephew Lilbure Lewis who chopped up a slave and burned his remains! It was a huge scandal. Jefferson was related by genealogy to John Lilburne. His sister Lucy had named their son Lilburne Lewis and his brother had named his son Lilburne Jefferson.
The Declaration gives credit not to "God" but to "Nature" and "Nature's God" and his original attack is against the "Christian king of Great Britain" for starting a race war. These are all current issues buried by obfuscation. There is a major difference between the UK and USA and that is in the founding documents of the Declaration and in the Constitution's so-called "Bill of Rights",: the first 10 Amendments.
But back to my original point: this article should be related to the document whose name is not the "English Bill of Rights" and which clearly demonstrates that it was a political device of convenience used at the time to enable "The Establishment" to continue their control of the nation. Changing the name of the document is a fraud in and of itself because it masks the plain wording and intention of this useless document. (No, I don't like the document - lol.) MPLX/MH 16:16, 22 Oct 2004 (UTC)
On this point I take no particular position but note that many things are known by titles that do not exactly mirror their contents. - Nunh-huh 00:21, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)
The problem here is that the issue becomes a political POV when the the document is interpreted right from the beginning with a political skew of the title. There were several issues in the article that were also incorrect by suggesting that William sort of wandered on over to help out the people in Parliament. The term "Glorious Revolution" was glorious only for the limited Establishment who invited William to take over the county with his army of occupation. Within the past few years this event has been reexamined from the standpoint of historical truth and it has been documented that William, who spoke little English, did not just come on over alone, but that he came with an army of troops to occupy and impose the will of the Establishment. The idea of the "Glorious Revelution" is to create the impression that this was not a take over of England by force of arms, but it was just that. However, this means undoing a lot of other myths in English history. For instance, if you look at the monarchy it is obvious that it is not an unbroken chain. In reality it ceased in England in 1649. To claim that the events of 1660 were a Restoration of the institution of the Crown (not the monarch - he was dead), is only partially true because England was a republic between 1649 and 1660. Then if we factor in William, the institution of the Crown was actually attacked once again because the monarch was forced to flee under force of arms and a foreign invader took it over by invitation of the people who were really running the show and none of this was democratic, nor was it the act of a noble monarchy. If we follow events after that we come to relatively modern times before the institution of the Crown becomes a restored institution with a true line of succession. For all of these reasons it is important to stick to the facts in order to maintain a true NPOV approach, otherwise the article becomes political propaganda with a POV approach. MPLX/MH 15:32, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

"...violating it's most sacred rights of life and liberty in the person of a distant people who never offended him, captivating & carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere .." I'm sorry, exactly how many slaves did Jeffeson et al own again?? (Yes I know Jefferson's slaves where inherited by his wife. But a man had control over the property of his wife in those days; therefore HE was responsible for them.) Evidently he also forgot about the millions of indentured servants (economic slaves)who helped build the oolonies. 124.183.241.89 Jim Jacobs

The official name of this Act is "The Bill of Rights". That short title was conferred by the Short Titles Act 1896. James500 (talk) 17:59, 26 February 2009 (UTC)


Most of the contributors to this section really should read 'carefully' this "Bill of Rights" again. You have all failed to realize how it actually provides the protection of the People, from the 'abuses' of Parliament.

Statute in Force/Bill of Rights 1689/The Said Rights Claimed: The little known fact about the "Bill of Rights 1689" is that it not only contains the statutory right of the 'privileges' of parliament set out in the 'rights' Parliament was claiming from the King (Prince William of Orange; and all subsequent 'reigning monarch's' in the line of succession thereafter); it also provides the "Statutory Right of the Protection of the People" from the 'abuse' of that privilege, by parliament. The paragraph: "THE SAID RIGHTS CLAIMED" inserted into the Bill directly below the list of 'rights' parliament was claiming from the King; specifically protects the People from the 'abuse' of the privilege, by parliament; by declaring and recording that in the application of any of the "Premises" of the Bill that, NOTHING IN THE PREMISES OF THE BILL SHOULD PREJUDICE THE PEOPLE. This is very interesting, for this reason: Both Parliament and the Judiciary have always claimed that the "Supremacy of Parliament" afforded by "Article 9" of this Bill, provides that Parliament is "Supreme" and may not be questioned or challenged in the Courts. For 322 years both Parliament and the British Judiciary have deceived the British People with this ruling. They have always interpreted the "Bill of Rights-Article 9" as being a 'stand alone' piece of legislation requiring no other considerations. But, the "Bill of Rights-Article 9" has never ever been a 'stand alone' piece of legislation at all. It, like all the other "Premises" (Articles) of the Bill of Rights, has 'conditions' attached to these 'Articles' by which they may be applied. These conditions, applying to every "Premises" of the Bill, are set out in, "THE SAID RIGHTS CLAIMED". Therefore, when the Judiciary has ruled for 322 years that parliament may not be questioned or challenged in the courts; that is wholly incorrect; parliament, lawfully, can be questioned and or be challenged in the courts if and whenever anything is said in parliament or, if anything is done in parliament; which 'prejudice' the People. There is no if's but's or arguments about it, "THE SAID RIGHTS CLAIMED" is the 'Statutory Protection of the People" protecting the People from the 'abuse' of Parliament.

The Said Rights Claimed: And they do Claime Demand and Insist upon all and singular The Premises as their undoubted Rights and Liberties and that noe Declarations Judgements Doeings or Proceedings to the Prejudice of the People, in any of the said Premises, ought in any wise to be drawne hereafter, into Consequence or Example”

Explanation The Gentlemen of the Rights Committee of the CONVENTION(Parliament) of 1688 who created the 'Bill of Rights" and, the list of 'rights' parliament was claiming from the King; firstly created and listed these 'rights' in the Bill; and, then, they must have had second thoughts, realizing that the true intent of the Bill was to protect Parliament from the King. They must then have considered that the intent of the Bill had never been to protect parliament, from the People. So, in order to make this abundantly clear, they inserted the paragraph, THE SAID RIGHTS CLAIMED. The actual location of this paragraph in the Bill is further endorsement of this intent: THE SAID RIGHTS CLAIMED is inserted directly below the full list of the 'rights' that parliament claimed.

ConclusionWhen and if anything is said or done in parliament that 'prejudice' the People; THE SAID RIGHTS CLAIMED over-rules and supplants "Article 9". When parliament 'prejudice' the People, the very "Supremacy of Parliament";loses its lawful validity. The only problem remaining: is to find an honest lawyer that has the courage to challenge parliament in the courts; providing the Judiciary provides the time and the opportunity to argue the case. Parliament isn't the problem. The problem is gaining access to LAW.

Birdsaflying (talk) 18:07, 29 May 2011 (UTC)

Problem with this paragraph (as shown in brackets added)[edit]

In the Glorious Revolution, William of Orange landed with his army in England on 5 November 1688.

(What revoloution? It does not say WHY or WHAT the issue was or WHO the faction was that invited in a foreign invader with his army of conquest.)

James II attempted to resist the invasion. He then sent representatives to negotiate, and he finally fled on 23 December 1688.

Before William and Mary were affirmed as co-rulers of England and Ireland, they accepted a Declaration of Right drawn up by the Convention Parliament which was delivered to them at the Banqueting House, Whitehall, on 13 February 1689.

(In keeping with the questions raised above, this sentence also needs to be explained. It was not a revolution brought about by the People - there was no civil war involving the masses, but the article says that such and such happened and yet it offers no explanation as to why and more particularly who created this overthrow of the system and invited in a foreign invader.

This article is typical of blurbs that try to document something without having a clue about what is being documented. It is typical of teachers quoting from textbooks who don't understand the subject themeselves. I will be more than happy to assist with revising, if asked, but I am sure that others who have worked on the basic article can revise the text to address the issues raised.) MPLX/MH 16:26, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The article on the Glorious Revolution explains more of the background - one of the advantages of Wikipedia is that cross-references are quick and easy, so there is no need to give a full explaination of the background to the Glorious Revolution in an article on the Bill of Rights. But if you want to add some more explanatory text, feel free.
Why should a revolution have to be "brought about by the People"? Surely a revoltion is more about what happens rather than who did it? But anyway, please feel yourself invited to "assist with revising". -- ALoan (talk) 19:05, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)
In reply to your last point, what I was asking was whether this was a revolution or a coup? The former indicates some form of mass uprising and there was no mass uprising only a behind the scenes manipulation to force the reigning king out of office, but since the king was technically a pawn of the Privy Council to begin with (ever since the end of the Cromwellian republic), then these PCs were in reality running the show and they brought in their own man under their own contract with him and he in turn brought in his own foreign army to enforce this cosy arrangement. It was not "glorious" but quite awful and it was not a "revolution" but a course correction by the PCs who held the real power in England. What I object to are these articles which in 2004 preserve a lie by preserving a fake history for the masses and Wikipedia is going along with the trend because many contributors are really unaware of the actual history behind these events. MPLX/MH 17:32, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Clear as mud[edit]

There are a series of articles here that begin with the so-called English Bill of Rights and continue through the Glorious Revolution and which end up with Henry Sydney, 1st Earl of Romney that are at present as clear as mud. There is one tell-tale line in the Glorious Revolution article on Wikipedia which explains that it was a "conspiracy" although that word is not linked nor defined. Unfortunately these articles are typical of twaddle that relate information that can only confuse the reader and leave that person scratching their head about what they have been reading. A clear cut understanding needs to be shown that the Bill of Rights is not a bill of rights and that the Glorious Revolution was indeed a conspiracy because the real power was held by the Privy Council (not Parliament) ever since the end of the Cromwellian republic. I am not suggesting that I wade in and begin a firestorm of rewriting which others might term a form of revisionist history, but someone needs to take up this challenge. These related articles are typical of history texts that bore readers to death because they fail to educate, only confuse. This is 2004 and a clear cut statement needs to be made about the subject material to show that it was conspiracy by the few for the benefit of the few who held real power while pretending to be the exact opposite. MPLX/MH 17:48, 3 Dec 2004 (UTC)

"English" bill of rights[edit]

Since this section is empty, I'll try this here. I'd like to take issue with: "Englishmen, as embodied by Parliament, possessed certain immutable civil and political rights. These included:" The original text on wiki source makes no references to "English" and only 3 to "England", all of which are immediately followed by ", France and Ireland". Could I therefore suggest that the word Englishmen be replaced in the above sentence? beano 00:12, 1 July 2006 (UTC)

Congratulations and Question about location of document[edit]

The Wikimedia Help Desk received the following feedback from a reader.

Hey, you guys are really great! I'm a history professor and I really have enjoyed your information about the most historic Bill of Rights, from which many other great documents drew their inspiration. One question remains: where is the original document kept now? The Tower of London? The British Museum? The Houses of Parliament? Any help you can give me on this would be greatly appreciated!

Well done to all of those involved in developing the article. I will also pass on the question on the Reference Desk. Capitalistroadster 00:19, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

(Copied from the reference desk:) Since the image shown on the page on the Bill of Rights 1689 comes from the UK National Archives, I would think that they have the original document, too. The BBC says it was held at the Parliamentary Archive, in the House of Lords Record Office in the Victoria Tower at Westminster. This is confirmed by searching A2A for "bill of rights", which yields it as the last search result with reference number HL/PO/JO/10/1/417/174, dated November 23, 1689. Lupo 08:09, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Which obviously raises the question where the December 16, 1689 date the article mentions comes from. The article could do with more precise sources! Lupo 08:15, 6 December 2005 (UTC)

Trial by jury?[edit]

"For example, like the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution requires jury trials..."

That's not correct--not all trials in 18th-Century Britain were by jury. A great number, perhaps even a majority were not permitted to be (unless I suppose the judge willed it for some reason or another). See, for instance, the Libel Act of 1792, which indicates that libel trials must be performed by jury (an attempt by Fox to stem the ability of the Parliament, Crown and upper crust to restrict the presses). Fearwig 00:51, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

"not a bill of rights"[edit]

This clearly is a "bill or rights". See how many provisions of the US version at least in part echo the English one:

  • 1st right of petition: it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal
  • 2nd right to bear arms: the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;
  • 3rd quartering soldiers in private homes: raising and keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace without consent of Parliament, and quartering soldiers contrary to law;
  • 5th, 6th, 7th due process, rights of accused, juries: all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void; the commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious; jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders;
  • 8th bail and punishments: excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;

So I have rewritten the second paragraph.--Henrygb 23:03, 23 April 2006 (UTC)


I would not necessarily find it fit to argue against your point, but I would say that there is room for argument. While the English Declaration of Rights did heavily influence the American in its composition and even its wording, it's the context that matters. The British constitution isn't a written one, as is the American--it's more or less a collection of parliamentary and executive precedents. This declaration of rights was basically just a warning to William that James II made these mistakes and they kicked him out for doing so (though that wasn't really what enabled them to depose James, it was the implication). It's popularly thought that William's accession was conditional to his signature on the DoR, but I don't think that's an accurate representation of the situation.

Plus half of these rights were broken within his reign, not to mention those that would follow. Then again, half of the items on the American Bill of Rights were broken under Adams (King John I of America, you could say), because we had no established system of enforcing them until Marbury v. Madison. Great laugh, huh. Anyway, I think the real point is that the name "bill of rights" means almost nothing--they're just an enumeration of the expectations of parliament. Expectations can be met. Or not. Fearwig 04:29, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Oh and uh, now that I think about it, this isn't even a bill. How can it be a bill of rights if it wasn't a bill? This was a list of rights drafted by the parliament for new king to sign. It wasn't an act of parliament in itself, even if it was created by an act of parliament. Does anyone know the answer to that dillemma? I mean, it's usually called the 1689 Declaration of Rights anyway, at least by historians, so that should be the primary title to the article, whatever our opinions as to its similarities to the US BoR. Fearwig 04:32, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Strictly a bill is simply a list. It is also the word given to a proposed Act. So it was a bill. The article explains what happened: first the Declaration was presented to William and Mary in February 1689. Then it was proposed in the Convention parliament and (with minor changes) passed into an Act in December 1689 with the short title of "Bill of Rights". Then it was confirmed as valid by the Crown and Parliament Recognition Act 1689. --Henrygb 10:10, 29 April 2006 (UTC)


Yes England is full of people carrying arms;) but I agree it is a bill of rights, just a very weak one not always in effect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.22.202.73 (talk) 21:38, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

POV: Too prodemocratic[edit]

Some of the wording used in this article presents prodemocratic opinion as fact. This violates NPOV. Doremítzwr 01:37, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

This does not stand up as a criticism because the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights are cornerstones of the English concept of democracy that becomes expressed as a Parliamentary System (what Americans call croney-ism as opposed to the American system which the English probably think is arcane and equally problematic). Obviously it will appear prodemocratic. 86.11.126.123 11:54, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Please provide some examples of the alleged POV. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:33, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
I have edited the article to remove elements of bias; however, I could not think of an adequate adaption for this part of the second paragraph: The Bill of Rights 1689 is largely a statement of certain positive rights that citizens and/or residents of a free and democratic society have (or ought to have).
I invite someone else to edit this. Please tell me if any of you object to the new version. Doremítzwr 00:48, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
As far as I can see, you have just changed the words and left the meaning the same, but if you are happy, I am happy. I still don't see the bias that you claim to have removed in this diff, or indeed the bias that you say is in the sentence quoted above, but would you prefer something like "The Bill of Rights 1689 is largely a statement of certain positive rights that its authors considered that citizens and/or residents of a free and democratic society have (or ought to have)." -- ALoan (Talk) 09:16, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that would be fine, although perhaps the end ought to be written “...of a free and democratic society ought to have.”. It’s interesting that you didn’t notice the prodemocratic bias in this article - it says a lot about how indoctrinated by democratic dogma people are in general. Doremítzwr 12:49, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Shrug. I think the Bill of Rights did recognise (and assert) the Subject's right to petition the Monarch; it was a major step in the evolution of the governments in Britain towards parliamentary supremacy (and contributed a great deal to the establishment of British parliamentary supremacy); it was an important step in the British progress towards a constitutional monarchy (and was a main cause of the transmutation of Britain into a constitutional monarchy). I just don't see how the former is any more POV than the latter. Recognising something, or saying that something is a major or important step, or that there was evolution or progress, does not pass judgment on whether that thing was right or wrong - it just says what it is or was. I could take about the progress of Europe towards war in 1914, or the evolution of Chile from a democracy to a dictatorship under Pinochet, and I don't think either of those things was a good idea. -- ALoan (Talk) 13:37, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Really? If I heard that, I would think the person to be pro-WWI and pro-Pinochet. For me, the words development, evolution and progress definitely have favourable connotations; and it looks as if dictionary.com agrees with me. Doremítzwr 14:12, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
I have instituted ALoan’s and my suggestion for the first sentence of the second paragraph. Doremítzwr 14:17, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Progress does not have to be favourable, nor indeed evolution or development (there is still a section entitled development, incidentally) - they all just mean change (which may be change for the better or change for the worse). But if you are happy, I am happy. -- ALoan (Talk) 15:01, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for pointing that out to me; how silly of me to have missed it. It is now entitled “Augmentation” - please let me know if you find this to be unsuitable. Thanks again. Doremítzwr 15:22, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
If you are worried that "development" carries connotations that are too positive, I should have thought you would find "augmentation" (an increase) worse. Perhaps "change" is the word you are looking for. -- ALoan (Talk) 15:47, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
To augment is to build upon something that is already well-developed. I find it to be a more neutral word. I have no objections, and if you don’t, then I don’t believe that there is any longer any problem. Doremítzwr 15:50, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
All words carry conotations, and finding language that is so denotative and stripped of conotation pro- or con- is either a fool's errand or a mug's game. It is possible to read any adjective as unnecessarily affirmative or negative. Since our job is to report rather than to analyze the inmost essence of the Bill, there is nothing wrong with presenting the summary exactly as it is needed by students researching on an encyclopedia. If there are objections to it (Jacobite, fascist, democratic, or republican; colonialist or anti-colonialist), that's understandable, as this is an article that describes the basis of the status quo, and the status quo never has very many friends, but we ought to limit ourselves to the addition of a section on Tory responses, reception, and contemporary legal analysis, rather than trying to find language throughout the article that is incapable of being read as laudatory or pejorative. Geogre 16:28, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
If I am a fool or a mug, then so be it. I considered the article to be biased, now I do not. The necessary information is still present, it is only presented differently. If there are no objections to how I changed the article, then there are no problems. To echo ALoan, if you are happy, I am happy. Doremítzwr 11:19, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Magna Carter, is not law! ACT of UNION 1706 eliminated every law before that date! Art0hur0moh (talk) 16:25, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Split[edit]

{Agree} - Some parts relate to the bill of right 1688 or U.S. history. They belong in seperate acticles. 87.194.35.230 03:42, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

no Disagree Huh, funny for you to know; that you don’t even know U.S history. You may know it but you probably don’t. U.S history could go on forever, unless you have a “specific " history. Bill of Right 1689 is still part of U.S history, since it’s after the American Revolutionary War. Cheers!-- Allied Rangoontalk 22:59, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Category[edit]

After being led to this article from the Selected Anniversary page today, I am surprised that this article is not categorized under Category:National human rights instruments. Why is this the case? What are the conditions which would have caused students of political science to view this as precursor to the category, and not member of the category? --Ancheta Wis 03:07, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

I guess the article answers my question. Even though some rights are granted by the Bill, some exclusions are clearly stated, and some conditions on who can be monarch are imposed. Thus the rights are not treated as universals, and the Bill grants rights as bargaining chips, almost. So it was an important step, but the Bill was about a political situation in the 1600s, and not a statement of principle. --Ancheta Wis 11:11, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

Positive rights?[edit]

It seems somewhat misleading to describe this document as "largely a statement of certain positive rights" and then to list a set of predominantly negative rights. For those who don't know the distinction, a negative right is a right not to be subjected to something -- such as the right not to be punished for one's speech, the right against cruel and unusual punishment, or the right not to be deprived of arms. A positive right is a right to receive some benefit from the social system, such as the right to vote or the right to an education at the public expense.

Of the "immutable civil and political rights" listed in the article, they break down as follows:

  • freedom from royal interference with the law (the Sovereign was forbidden to establish his own courts or to act as a judge himself) -- negative; the subject has the right not to be tried by the King
  • freedom from taxation by royal prerogative, without agreement by Parliament -- negative; the subject has the right not to pay such taxes
  • freedom to petition the King -- positive; the King would have to listen
  • freedom from a peace-time standing army, without agreement by Parliament -- negative; the subject has the right not to be drafted by the King
  • freedom [for Protestants] to have arms for defence, as allowed by law -- negative; the subject has the right not have his guns grabbed (so to speak)
  • freedom to elect members of Parliament without interference from the Sovereign -- mixed; positive right to vote + negative right to be free from interference
  • the freedom of speech in Parliament, in that proceedings in Parliament were not to be questioned in the courts or in any body outside Parliament itself (the basis of modern parliamentary privilege) -- negative; the MPs have the right not to be punished for their speech
  • freedom from cruel and unusual punishments, and excessive bail -- negative; the subject has the right not to have such things inflicted
  • freedom from fines and forfeitures without trial -- negative; likewise.

Any other thoughts on this? Even if some of what I've listed as negative might be considered mixed, enough of them are definitely negative that i don't think this should be all in all considered a list of positive rights. --FOo 17:54, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

It is not obvious that such a distinction can be made in the UK. Freedom of petition are and freedom of speech can be seen both ways: the positive right to make a public statement and the negative right not to be punsished for so doing. Similarly taxation by consent: the positive right for parliamentary consent to be given (which has since turned into Parliament in effect deciding who the executive is and being able to change that decision) or the negative right not to be taxed without consent. In the British system, positive and negative rights are two sides of the same coin of parliamentary sovereignty. --Henrygb 17:53, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Australia[edit]

Hi. Just thought you all might like to know that this act forms part of Australian law (and even though most of it is irrelevant) some sections have, what's termed, a "quasi-constitutional" effect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 131.245.144.95 (talk) 12:30, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

Nothing we would like to comprehend about. Please note the top, for we would like to know how to improve our articles. Thank you. Cheers!-- Allied Rangoontalk 21:53, 8 May 2014 (UTC)


Doctrine of reception[edit]

By the article doctrine of reception, the concept is applicable only to colonies and crown protectorates. Now, that definition may well be incomplete, and the concept does apply to the Bill of Rights in Australia, but, I'd just like to be sure that's the case; and then the article on the concept can be corrected accordingly. --G2bambino (talk) 14:53, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

If you are not sure, then do not change the article. Australia was six colonies. This objection is absurd. --Lawe (talk) 12:02, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Was is not the same as is. I was quite polite in raising my concerns, you have not been in response. Now, support your claims or leave them out. --G2bambino (talk) 14:06, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
But you have been blocked twice this month. Obviously, somesome disagrees that you've been polite. Anyway, the above is clearly impolite. --Lawe (talk) 13:40, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
So you have no support for your claims? --G2bambino (talk) 17:07, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
For the original wording of "willing deference" there is no evidence. For evidence read any textbook on Australian constitutional law, and the first chapter will be about the reception of English Law. --Lawe (talk) 12:05, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
It's not a matter of my wanting the evidence for my own personal edification, it's a matter of you having to support your claim. I don't believe there's anything to dispute that most constitutional laws in Australia exist because of the doctorine of reception, but that is a matter of legal history in Australia (as it is in every other non-UK Commonwealth realm); it became impossible to apply the term "colony" to Australia in any way after 1986. As for "willing deference," it's a phrase used to describe something; Wikipedia is not a collection of verbatim quotes about narrow, specific topics. This point was already raised for you by User:PrinceOfCanada in the discussion at Talk:Commonwealth realm#Personal Union. --G2bambino (talk) 15:47, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
This argument represents your own view. It is not shared in the legal literature. --Lawe (talk) 08:20, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
So, you've finally answered the question first put to you: the article Doctrine of reception is wrong. Perhaps, then, you could bring forward some of the legal literature you mention so that we might make the appropriate corrections. --G2bambino (talk) 02:36, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Based on your edits, the 'doctrine of reception' is not in dispute. We are arguing over the rest of your edits eg "willing deference." --Lawe (talk) 03:08, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Well then, what words would you like to use instead of "willing deference"? "Voluntary acquiescence"? “Intentional compliance”? --G2bambino (talk) 03:13, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Do not add anything like this. This is part of Australian law as a result of reception. Nothing more has happened since. It is as simple as that. --Lawe (talk) 03:52, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Nothing has happened since? Are you serious? Let me remind you: Balfour Declaration, Royal Titles and Styles Act, Statute of Westminster, Australia Act. Things most certainly have happened since. --G2bambino (talk) 03:54, 20 September 2008 (UTC)


Augmentation and effect[edit]

The text in this section seems to have got corrupted, with an incomplete sentence and a repeated chunk of text. Looks like sloppy editing rather than vandalism, but it needs fixing --Pfold (talk) 15:46, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

You're right; I believe that was my fault. I've fixed it. --G2bambino (talk) 16:02, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

I suggest merge[edit]

British Bill of Rights has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Bill of Rights 1689. -- WonRyong (talk) 04:58, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Not done Feedback required, any suggestion, you are welcome to, and click here. Could undeniably use some help. Cheers!-- Allied Rangoontalk 22:24, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Should this article include the text?[edit]

Should the text of the document be included in this article, as it is for the US Bill of Rights? I found an online copy at: http://avalon.law.yale.edu/17th_century/england.asp —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mbessey (talkcontribs) 21:52, 8 April 2009 (UTC) Pending We're still waiting for more feedbacks, and comments from other users. Cheers!-- Allied Rangoontalk 22:32, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Odd wording[edit]

Does the wording "The bill continues to constantly change" bother anyone else? It seems to me that the Bill cannot change. It is 300+ years old, and has not changed since being enacted. I think the aim of the phrase is that bill is continually changing case or common law. Perhaps someone else can come up with a better wording. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Donmcc (talkcontribs) 14:42, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

no Disagree I don’t concur with you, you must have misunderstood; when it says "The bill continues to constantly change"; it means that there are minor changes too; it doesn’t have to be announced to the world. Unless there’s a major change that would be like, an additional amendment, or a removed amendment. Cheers!-- Allied Rangoontalk 22:49, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

Influenced by the American Bill of Rights[edit]

In the introduction to the page, the last sentence states that this was influenced by the American Bill of Rights. However, in 1689, American didn't exist. I just think this should be made a little clearer. If it's future versions were amended in ways that made it similar, then I feel the sentence should be changed to make that a little more obvious, as right now, saying it was influenced by something that can't have existed just doesn't make sense.

If I am missing something here, or I am completely off base, could someone please point me in the right direction here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 77.98.236.227 (talk) 10:39, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Do you mean this sentence?
The English Bill of Rights 1689 inspired in large part the United States Bill of Rights.
It seems clear to me which influenced which. As it is not clear to you, perhaps you would like to propose other wording.
--Hroðulf (or Hrothulf) (Talk) 13:24, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

Date mix-up[edit]

The article makes reference to two dates 1689 and 1688, because of Old and New style dating. While I am not an expert on the Bill of Rights, I think the difference between Old and New Style dating is a matter of 13 days, while would not alter the year. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rupertjames (talkcontribs) 13:01, 29 October 2012 (UTC)

Depends what time of year if you have ever studied the Russian revolution, their seemingly small change of calendar changed all the dates by a month (Fdsdh1 (talk) 01:59, 29 November 2012 (UTC))

Two separate documents enacted and ratified by two separate sovereign kingdoms! Art0hur0moh (talk) 16:21, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

Protestant identity of British Constitution facing the ECHR[edit]

Just a small suggestion, to help French not to ignore, at least on "Wikipédia", the importance of the Bill of Rights, and of British culture as well, like they do whenever possible. And my suggestion is to lay stress on the key "protestant", especially in this article, for a better awareness of Britishness facing the history of Europe, over the past millenary, with continuity of her parliamentory system, whereas in France, this specificity is either set aside (e.g. "bicamerism") or ignored (e.g. "mixed government") or misappropriated (e.g. french article "Bill of Rights", refering to french history / "Déclaration des droits de l'homme", ever and ever, instead of that of British constitution, and of U.K. Crocy (talk) 06:08, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

1688/1689[edit]

This needs to be explained in the article so people don't change the dates. "The full title of the Act is 'An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Sett- ling the Succession of the Crown'. The familiar title of the 'Bill of Right* 168? comes from the Short Titles Act 18%. The Act is also sometimes called the Bill of Rights 1688. Parliament proposed the Declaration of Rights and presented it to William III and Mary II as joint monarchs on 13 February 1689. However, at that time, years were held to begin at Easter under the Julian Calendar. From this derives the use of Bill of Rights 1688. In 1752, Britain adopted the New Style Gregorian calendar and the beginning of the year was set as 1 January." [1+is+an+Act+of+the+Parliament+1689|1688&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Xnp3UYunLMir0QWyy4GoAQ&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Bill%20of%20Rights[1]%20is%20an%20Act%20of%20the%20Parliament%201689|1688&f=false]. Dougweller (talk) 08:34, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

Improvements[edit]

Improvements made to the article include content, referencing, and MOS. Although there is still some expansion needed eg relating to the background and provisions, this is available in WP:Summary style via the links to the Glorious Revolution article, especially the section on the The Bill of Rights. The article is approaching B-class, if other editors have suggestions please add them. Whizz40 (talk) 06:44, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

1688/1689 revisited[edit]

I have deleted the nonsensical statement that 16 December 1689 was "1688 by Old Style dating", which demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of Old Style and New Style dates. The difference in the year between the OS and NS calendars arises from the fact that the OS year began on 25 March (Lady Day), and the NS year on 1 January. It is therefore only dates between 1 January and 25 March that are affected: the year element of a date in December remains unchanged. (The day and the month may change, because of the switch from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, but that's not an issue here.) The passage quoted above by Dougweller is also pretty garbled: Easter day was never the start of the year in England (though it was occasionally in medieval France). However, the principal reason that the Bill of Rights is sometimes dated to 1688 is because of the legal fiction (pre-1793) that an Act of Parliament came into force on the first day of the session in which it was passed. I have added a short paragraph explaining this. GrindtXX (talk) 12:05, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

  • The annotations to the Act on legislation.gov.uk may be of help.

The Bill of Rights is assigned to the year 1688 on legislation.gov.uk (as it was previously in successive official editions of the revised statutes from which the online version is derived) although the Act received Royal Assent on 16th December 1689. This follows the practice adopted in The Statutes of the Realm, Vol. VI (1819), in the Chronological Table in that volume and all subsequent Chronological Tables of the Statutes, which attach all the Acts in 1 Will and Mar sess 2 to the year 1688. The first Parliament of William and Mary (the Convention Parliament) convened on 13th February 1689 (1688 in the old style calendar - until 1st Jan 1752 the calendar year began on March 25th). It appears that all the Acts of that Parliament (both sessions) were treated as being Acts of 1688 using the old method of reckoning, according to which, until 1793, all Acts passed in a session of Parliament with no specified commencement date were deemed to be passed in the year in which that session began (see Acts of Parliament (Commencement) Act 1793 (c 13)). The Short Titles Act 1896 (c. 14) gave to chapter 2 of 1 Will and Mar sess 2 the title "The Bill of Rights", without attributing it to any calendar year. In the Republic of Ireland, the Short Titles Act 1896 (c 14) has been amended to add "1688" to the short title of The Bill of Rights as it continues to have effect there (see Statute Law Revision Act 2007, Act of the Oireachtas No 28 of 2007, s 5(a)).

This may be found at this link. DuncanHill (talk) 12:34, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
I have added a sentence on the short title, and cited legislation.gov.uk. GrindtXX (talk) 14:03, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

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Actual text is missing[edit]

The section Provisions of the Act gives a summery interpretation of Bill of rights, but not the actual text. Without the actual text, there is no way to determine the accuracy and neutrality of the statements. Can anyone add the actual text? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:644:302:9340:1AF:8B85:DEF0:9EC8 (talk) 04:11, 12 August 2016 (UTC)

See annotations to official "Revised" version of 1689 linked at infobox, and explanatory text in article section "Declaration of Right". Qexigator (talk) 06:08, 12 August 2016 (UTC)
Reworded this section more consistently with the Yale text. Whizz40 (talk) 21:59, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

"Along with the Act of Settlement 1701, the Bill of Rights is still in effect in all Commonwealth realms."[edit]

I'm really not too sure about this sentence. It gives the impression that the Bill of Rights is fully in effect in all Commonwealth realms, which gives the further impression that it is fully in effect in the UK. But the question of whether it applies in Northern Ireland is very murky because Ireland never had an equivalent to the Scottish Claim of Right (I believe one was introduced to the Irish Parliament in the 1690s but never got anywhere). Ireland in 1689 was a separate realm rather than a colonial possession, so the reception doctrine (I would have thought) doesn't apply. Any thoughts on better wording?--Codenamecuckoo (talk) 19:04, 3 December 2016 (UTC)

Halifax?[edit]

"On 13 February the clerk of the House of Lords read the Declaration of Right and Halifax, in the name of all the estates of the realm..." What does Halifax have to do with anything? Googling "Declaration of Right and Halifax" just comes up with the Halifax Resolves of 1766. Richerman (talk) 15:37, 16 February 2017 (UTC)

Ratified documentation[edit]

States BILL of RIGHTS ACT 1689 was passed by the kingdom of Scotlands parliament after the BILL OF RIGHTS ACT 1688 was enacted by the kingdom of England's parliament... Link: legislation.gov, 2 weeks prior to Scottish referendum. I can get documents from FISCAL OFFICE and CROWN OFFICE SCOTLAND! The country identified in ACT OF UNION 1707, after kingdoms union as GREAT BRITAIN. Art0hur0moh (talk) 16:20, 19 March 2017 (UTC)

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