Petition of Right (1628)

Petition of RightIn seventeenth century England, King Charles I broke up Parliament and ruled England on his own. In response, Parliament member Sir Edward Coke presented the Petition of Right. This document cited the Magna Carta and reminded Charles I that the law gave Englishmen their rights, not the king. The king himself was not above the law. Coke’s petition focused on Charles’s violations of the law. These included denying Englishmen due process, protection from unjust seizure of property or imprisonment, the right to trial by jury of fellow Englishmen, and protection from unjust punishments or excessive fines. The king accepted the Petition of Right, but soon broke his word and resumed the violations. This struggle resulted in a civil war and ended with the beheading of Charles I in 1649