Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

English Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights, entitled "An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown", is one of the basic documents of English constitutional law. It was signed in 1689 by William of Orange and Mary II in return for their being affirmed as co-rulers of England and Ireland by the English Parliament after the Glorious Revolution.

The basic tenets of the Bill of Rights were:

In the separate Kingdom of Scotland, the 1689 Claim of Rights of the Scottish Estates was expressed in different terms, but to a largely similar effect declaring William and Mary to be King and Queen of Scotland.

The Bill of Rights was later supplemented by the Act of Settlement in 1701.

The Bill of Rights was a major step in the evolution of the British government towards parliamentary supremacy, and the curtailment of the rights of the monarchy. In doing so it largely settled the political and religious turmoil that had convulsed Scotland, England and Ireland in the 17th century. After the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights is an important step in England's progress towards a constitutional monarchy.

The English Bill of Rights can be regarded as a predecessor of the United States Constitution.

For a later document of the same name, see the American Bill of Rights

See also:

External Link