Though the monarch could not arbitrarily repeal a statute, he claimed, as executive, the right to suspend its operation. Controversy began when Charles II, who disapproved of the penal laws against religious dissidents, issued a Declaration of Indulgence in 1672 to circumvent them. He was forced by the Commons to withdraw it. James II repeated the attempt in 1687 and indicted the seven bishops for questioning the validity of his actions. By the Bill of Rights in 1689 the suspending power of the crown was abolished. See dispensing power.
Subjects: British History.