A LETTER To the Members of Parliament For the County of....... Concerning the Triennial Bill.
Wherein is considered, what may be the easiest Way to secure Triennial Parliaments, without intruding up­on the Prerogative. With some Objections to the Methods of that Kind, that formerly have been enacted into Laws.


THE Triennial Bill has been the Subject of much Discourse: Wherein we the Electors of divers Members of Parliament do appre­hend these following Points.

1. That a bare positive Law for settled and certain Parliaments, without any Means to induce or procure an Execution of it, will be an ineffectual Law: For if Parlia­ments should not be called accord­ing [Page 2] to such a Law, what Remedy could there be had for the nonexe­cution without Violence?

2. That to lodg or place any executive Power for the Calling of Parliaments in any other Person or Persons, or in any other manner than as now is used by the King himself, seems to tend too much to the Diminution of the Preroga­tive Royal, and the Encouragement of those who are of the Republi­can Principle, as was evident in the Statute of 16 Car. 1. cap. 1. herein­after mentioned, which we submit to your Consideration.

Therefore to go such a middle Way to attain the End of frequent and certain Parliaments, as shall not touch, infringe or diminish the Prerogative of Calling, Proroguing and Dissolving Parliaments, and yet shall answer the Subjects Expecta­tion, recommends it self to all lo­vers of Peace and Agreement be­tween King and Parliament; and that is, to annex the following Condition (or somewhat to the like Effect) to the next Act of Par­liament, which shall renew the Grant to the King of the Customs of Tonnage and Poundage, Excise, &c. which is now expiring, (that is to say)

‘That in case there shall not from henceforth be a Parliament called and held once in every [...] Years, to be accounted from the End of the next preceding Session of Par­liament; which shall be permitted to sit the space of [...] Days at the least after the meeting thereof. And if such Parliament be not (in the Interval thereof) Dissolved once in every [...] Years, from the making hereof, and a new Parlia­ment called, which shall sit within the Times, and in manner as afore­said; Then and in any of the Cases aforesaid, this present Act, and all and every the Paiments and Revenues therein granted shall cease and be void.’

A Clause may be likewise added to make it Criminal to pay the Cu­stoms and Excise after the Breach of that Condition.

Also the Grant of the Revenue, with such a Condition annexed, may be made temporary for nine or twelve Years: And by such a pro­bationary Law, the Conveniences and Inconveniences thereof may in such a Time be discerned.

That such a Law will be effectual and proper for the designed End, appears,

1. In that it is consistent and a­greeable with the Political Consti­tution of the Kingdom, for it leaves the Prerogative to call Parliaments intire and untouch'd.

2. It's natural to the Act it self, for those Revenues arise by the [Page 3] Grant of the Commons, and may be defeated by a Condition.

3. It will be sufficiently remedi­al, because the Subject may easily take advantage of the Breach of the Condition, by non-paiment of the Customs, &c. without acting any thing to the prejudice of the Prerogative.

4. It is operative enough to the designed End, for the Cesser of those Revenues, will be more per­swasive to call Parliaments than any other Reason whatsoever. And,

5. It is most reasonable; For the Design of granting those Reve­nues, was to support the Govern­ment for the Good of the Subject: But it's apparent that the neglect of Parliaments formerly did high­ly obstruct the Good of the Sub­ject: Therefore by the using of those Revenues for the enabling a Neglect of Parliaments, (as in the latter End of the Reign of King Charles the Second) the Design of granting them was avoided. And consequently it is most reasonable that upon such a User, the Reve­nues so granted should cease.

The Methods that have been formerly taken to secure the cer­tain Calling of Parliaments, have hitherto proved wholly ineffectual: for the Statute of 16 Car. 1. cap. 1. which lodged a Power in the Lord Chancellor (in case of the King's Default) to call Parliaments; and if he failed, then in the Peers or any twelve of them; and if they failed, then in the Sheriffs; and if they failed, then in the Free­holders, &c. introduced a kind of Republick into the Monarchy, by setting up a Supream Power be­sides the Royal Power, and conse­quently inconsistent with it. And accordingly would be easily avoid­ed; for if the King (as easily he might) should have overawed the Chancellor, and should have issued out a Proclamation to prohibit the Meeting of the Peers, What Peers would have ventured to have put this Act in Execution? Or how would the Sheriffs have agreed (all over the Nation) in one Mind to have made Elections? Or how would the Free-holders have been animated universally to Assemble and Elect? Or what Protection could the Members have had to meet? Or how could one Part of them have been assured that the rest would have met at the Day?

And the Statute of 16 Car. 2, cap. 1. which repeals this Act of 16 Car. 1. and yet seems to make Provision for Triennial Parlia­ments, has been wholly useless, (tho yet in Force) because there­by [Page 4] by is provided no Remedy to in­duce the Execution of it. And it's plain, that a bare Positive Law in this Case, without pro­viding a Remedy for the Subject peaceably to procure the Execution of it, must needs be a fruitless Law.

Whereas against the Acceptance of the Revenues, with the afore­mentioned Condition annexed, there can be no colour of Objection, for it necessitates no more than what by Law ought to be done: And what is endeavoured, should be be­lieved will be done; besides it will be (in all probability) an im­moveable Precedent; for it cannot be supposed that the Commons of England, after they have gained a kind of Certainty of Anniversary Parliaments, will again abandon themselves to the Uncertainty that in the former Reigns has been ex­perienced.


The supposed Right that Electors have to communicate their Appre­hensions to their Representatives in Parliament, and the seeming Dan­ger of a Misunderstanding about the Triennial Bill, and likewise the impossibility of making this Propo­sition any other way, has procur'd You this Trouble from

Your Electors.

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