The 'Torn Journal', 1621

This document dramatically illustrates the tension that existed between the king and Parliament at this time. On 18 December 1621 a 'protestation' concerning the privileges of the House of Commons was approved and recorded in the journal of proceedings. James I could not accept that the Commons held their privileges by inheritance; rather he believed that they were held as a royal gift. In accordance with this belief the Clerk of the House of Commons was summoned before the king, who tore the record of the protestation from the journal.
HLRO Manuscript Journal, H.C., vol. 11 (18 December 1621)



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