Rights, Declaration and Bill of. Two documents adopted in England; the Declaration (February, 1689), stated that James II. had committed certain acts contrary to the law, and declared the throne vacant. The Bill (October, 1869), set forth that the monarch had no power of suspending laws, the levying of money without the consent of parliament is illegal; also the keeping of a standing army in time of peace without accession thereto by parliament is also illegal; election of members to parliament should be free; that free speech should be granted in parliament; condemns excessive bail and excessive fines or unusual punishments; claims the right of petition to the crown, and trial by jury; that parliament should meet frequently; and that all ecclesiastical courts are illegal. It also treats of succession to the crown.
Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia,