England: Convention Parliament: 1689 - Archontology
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England: Convention Parliament: 1689

Speaker pro Tempore of the House of Peers
22 Jan 1689 - 20 Sep 1689 Marquess of Halifax
Speaker of the House of Commons
22 Jan 1689 - 6 Feb 1690 Henry Powle

An assembly of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and the Commons was summoned by the Prince of Orange (later King William III) on 29 Dec 1688. It was done in accordance with the formal requests presented separately to the Prince by the Lords and by the Commons on 25 Dec 1688 and 27 Dec 1688 respectively. The Convention met on 22 Jan 1689 at Westminster to deal with the political crisis created by the flight of King James II and the collapse of the government. It also took over the civil authority from the Prince of Orange, who was administering the government from 28 Dec 1688.

After a week of deliberations, on 28 Jan 1689 the Commons resolved that James had abdicated the government and that the throne was thereby vacant. Then on 6 Feb 1689 the Lords Spiritual and Temporal resolved that the Prince and Princess of Orange should be made King and Queen. These resolves served as a basis for the Declaration of Rights, one of the principal documents of the "Glorious Revolution".

At last, on 12 Feb 1689 the Convention approved the Declaration of Rights, which enlisted the crimes and illegalities of James II and declared that "whereas the said late King James the second having abdicated the Government and the throne being thereby vacant," the Lords and the Commons resolved "That William and Mary Prince and Princesse of Orange bee and bee declared, King and Queen of England France and Ireland and the Dominions thereunto belonging..." On the Ash Wednesday (13 Feb 1689), William and Mary were formally presented with the Declaration and accepted the crown in ceremonies at the Banqueting Hall in Whitehall Palace. They were immediately proclaimed King William III and Queen Mary II.

On 20 Feb 1689 the Convention enacted the Parliament Act of 1689, 1 Will. & Mar., Sess. 1, c. 1, which transformed the Convention into a Parliament "notwithstanding any fault of writ or writs of summons". The joint sovereigns gave their Royal Assent to this Act on 23 Feb 1689. It may be noted that in the first Parliament summoned by William and Mary, it was found expedient to reiterate this declaration (2 Will. & Mar., Sess. 1, c. 1).

The Parliament, later known to historians as the "Convention Parliament of 1689", was prorogued by the sovereigns on 27 Jan 1690 and was finally dissolved by a royal proclamation on 6 Feb 1690. [1; 2; 3]

[1] "The Glorious Revolution of 1688," by Maurice Ashley (Hodder and Stoughton: London, 1966).
[2] "The Declaration of Rights," by Lois G. Schwoerer (The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore and London, 1981).
[3] "The Origin and Growth of the English Constitution", by Hannis Taylor, (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.: Boston - New York, 1898).