Petition of Rights – for recovery of wrongfully detained property &/or person(s) held in custody

petition de droit:
(de drwoi)

1. A petition of right, by which property in the possession of the crown is recovered m the English court of Chancery. [1]

petition de droit:


petition of right:
English law.

1. (cap) One of the four great charters of English liberty. [3 Car. I (1628)], establishing that no man be compelled to make or yield any gift, loan, benevolence, tax, or such like charge, without common consent by act of parliament.”  *  The other three great charters are Magna Carta, the Habeas Corpus Act [31 Car. 2 (1679)], and the Bill of Rights [1 W. & M. (1689)].  — aka Petition of Right of 1628.

2. HistA proceeding in Chancery by which a subject claims that a debt is owed by the Crown or that the Crown has broken a contract or wrongfully detained the subject’s property.  *  Although the petition is addressed directly to the Crown, the courts adjudicate the claim just as in an action between private parties. — aka petition de droit. [2]

     Excerpt from Leonard W. Levy’s “Petition of Right” § in Encyclopedia of the American Constitution (Leonard W. Levy ed., 1986):

     “The Petition of Right reconfirmed Magna Carta’s provision that no freeman could be imprisoned but by lawful judgment of his peers or ‘by the law of the land.’ The Petition also reconfirmed a 1354 reenactment of the great charter which first used the phrase ‘by due process of law’ instead of ‘by the law of the land.’  By condemning the military trial of civilians, the Petition invigorated due process and limited martial law.  One section of the Petition provided that no one should be compelled to make any loan to the crown to pay any tax ‘without common consent by act of parliament.’  Americans later relied on this provision in their argument against taxation without representation.  Other sections of the act of 1628 provided that no one should be imprisoned or be forced to incriminate himself by having to answer for refusing an exaction not authorized by Parliament. Condemnation of imprisonment without cause or merely on executive authority strengthened the writ of habeas corpus. . . .  The Third Amendment of the Constitution derives in part from the Petition of Right. [3]

Petition of Rights:

1. A declaration fo the liberties of the people by the English parliament in the reign of Charles the First, in the year 1629. [1]



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[1]: Ballantine’s Law Dictionary with Pronunciations
Third Edition
 by James A. Ballantine (James Arthur 1871-1949).  Edited by William S. Anderson.  © 1969 by THE LAWYER’S CO-OPERATIVE PUBLISHING COMPANY.  Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 68-30931

[2]: Black’s Law Dictionary Deluxe Tenth Edition by Henry Campbell Black, Editor in Chief Bryan A. Garner. ISBN: 978-0-314-61300-4

[3]: Leonard W. Levy, “Petition of Right,” in Encyclopedia of the American Constitution 1383, 1383-84 (Leonard W. Levy ed., 1986).


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