« 이전계속 »
officers of the realm, than of other men; scandal against tbem being called by the peculiar name of scandalurn magnatum, and subjected to punishment by divers ancient statutes. Peers are exempted from attending Court Leets or on the posse comitatus.
A Peer cannot lose his Nobility but by death or attainder; except, indeed, if he wastes his estate, so that he is not able to support his dignity, it has been said by the old writers that the King may degrade him: later authorities, however, expressly hold that a Peer cannot be degraded except by Act of Parliament; and there is but one instance of the exercise of this supreme jurisdiction, which was in the case of George Neville, Duke of Bedford, in the reign of Edward IV.
In the case of forfeiture by attainder, an important difference exists in the operation of the attainder, according as it may be for high treason or felony. A person upon whom judgment of high treason is pronounced, or who is outlawed upon an indictment of high treason, is said to be attainted of high treason, and his honours are forfeited to the crown for ever. Nothing but a reversal of such act of attainder by Parliament will restore a Peer so attainted, or his posterity, to the dignity thus forfeited; nor in the event of the issue of the body of the person attainted failing, will the descendants of the person who was first created to the Peerage be admitted to it, without a removal of the attainder by which it was forfeited.
Dignities created either by writ or by patent become thus forfeited by an attainder for high treason; but by an attainder for felony an entailed dignity is not forfeited, though a dignity created by writ, and descendible to heirsgeneral, is forfeited by such attainder of the person possessed of it.
There is also a material difference in the effect of an attainder for high treason, between a dignity created by letters-patent, and one which originates in a writ of sum none. If the eldest son of a Baron, holding his dignity by nL
writ, or other person within the line of inheritance, is attainted of high treason, if he or his posterity should afterwards become entitled to the honour, by the decease of he father or other predecessors, the title so falling upon an attainted person becomes equally forfeited, as if he had possessed it at the time of his attainder, and so would remain as long as any descendants from him were in existence, but would revive on the extinction of his issue, in favour of any heir whose claim to it would not have been derived through the attainted person. But in the case of an heir to a tide by letters-patent being attainted of high treason, and dying before those persons whose title to the dignity was prior to his, the attainder would not prevent such dignity from afterwards falling upon the descendants of the person so attainted.
Having thus considered the principal circumstances incident to the Nobility at large, whether as a body or individually, it remains to take a view of such points as relate respectively to each grade of the Peerage, from the Princes of the Blood Royal to the Barons; which title, though lowest in rank, formerly gave name to the whole Order, in the same manner as it is now spoken of under the generic appellation of Peers.
PRINCES OF THE BLOOD KOYAL.
in England, the Sovereign's sons, except the eldest, are of no other account in the constitution than by the dignity they derive from their near connexion with the reigning Monarch and the possibility of their ascending the throne, or giving to it a future heir. They have no appanages
allotted to them; no titles of honour reserved for them, they are known only by the princely rank their birth secures to them, until it is the pleasure of the Crown to give them a seat or a voice in the great council of the nation, by conferring a Peerage on them of its free grace and favour. Nevertheless, so high is the respect in which the Majesty of these realms is held, that especial honours are paid to all the children of the Crown; they take precedence of all other subjects, are addressed by the style of Royal Highness, are served at table on the bended knee, except in presence of the Sovereign; all subjects are to uncover their heads in their presence, and to kneel when admitted to kiss their hands.
The origin of the title of Prince of Wales and others appertaining to the royal prince (whom may Heaven preserve!) the heir-apparent of our gracious Queen, are stated at length in their appropriate place, but it may be here proper to notice the style borne by the sons of our Kings before the principality became annexed to the Crown of England.
In the Saxon times, the eldest and others of the King's sons are met with in subscriptions to public documents under the denomination of Clitones, derived (according to Selden) " from Yxvtos, that is, illustrious: the affectation of making words out of what little Greek they had, being frequent in England at that period." But a more common title for the sons of the Kings, and borne especially by the eldest, was the Saxon word to the same purport, Atheling, signifying literally, one born of him that is noble. And when, about the time of Athelstan, the Danish word Eorle was introduced, it was not, as afterwards, synonymous with Earldorman, but applied exclusively to Princes of the blood royal.
After the Norman Conquest, the younger sons of the King usually bore the title of Prince simply, until created to Earldoms, or until, as frequently occurred, they acquired such honours by marriage with heiresses, who, in those early tunes, were supposed to convey them to their husbands; and if the title was not perfectly good, it was easily supplied by a new creation. The earliest instances recorded of both these cases are in the sons of King Henry II., of whom Geoffrey, fourth son, is styled Earl of Richmond, from his marriage with Constance, daughter and heir of Conan, Earl of Bretagne and Richmond; and John, fifth son, (afterwards King,) bore the title of Earl of Cornwall, and having married Isabel, a co-heiress of the Earl of Gloucester, obtained his creation to that title from his father, in the thirty-fourth year of King Henry II. After this time, the younger sons of the Kings were constantly provided for by the investiture of some great Earldom with its broad domains, till Edward III. added to the Earldoms with which his younger sons had been previously portioned, the title of Duke, which has since been usually accorded to the younger Princes; but the period of their creation is altogether arbitrary, the creation itself being a grace from the Crown, and by no means a matter of right. The last century, indeed, and the sway of the House of Brunswick, afford evidence of the total want of uniformity in those creations; for whereas the Prince William-Augustus, second son of King George IL, wa3 by his grandfather, King George I., created Duke of Cumberland, when in the sixth year of his age, in 1726; Prince Edward, fourth son of King George III., and father of our present most gracious Queen, was not created Duke of Kent till 1799, after he had completed his thirty-first year; until which time his Royal Highness had no political place in the realm, nor other title than that of Prince, to which, in common with all the royal family, his birth entitled him.
Prince Robert, the eldest son of William the Conqueror, bore no peculiar title till, by the death of his father, he became Duke of Normandy. Prince William, only son of Henry I., had no other title. Henry II. gave a crown and the rank of King to his eldest son Henry, who died before him; and the King, warned by the ill effect of this elevaxxiv
tion, which had been the fruitful source of trouble and rebellions, refrained from giving to Prince Richard, who was Earl of Poictiers in France, and by the decease of his brother became heir apparent to the Crown, any increase of power or title. From that time the King's eldest son is not known in history by any distinctive appellation, till by the death of Prince Alphonso, eldest son of Edward I., his brother Edward, previously created Prince of Wales, became heir to the throne. Edward III. never was Prince of Wales, but he gave the investiture of the principality to his eldest son, Edward the Black Prince; and this has ever since been the title of the eldest son of the Crown of England. The present Prince of Wales is only the ninth (or perhaps the tenth) who, born in the purple, has received the title in his infancy. Those who have preceded him are
Edward, above mentioned, afterwards King Edward II.
Henry, afterwards King Henry VI.*
Edward, son of King Henry VI. ■
Edward, afterwards King Edward V.
Arthur, son of King Henry VII.
Edward, afterwards King Edward VI.
Charles, afterwards King Charles II.
James, son of King James II. ••. ■
George, afterwards King George IV.
The Prince of Wales, who is also born Duke of Cornwall, and by creation is Earl of Chester, is of age from his birth, and a chair of state is placed for him on the right of the throne in the House of Lords. He is also, in right of his birth, a Knight of the Garter; and all the King's sons, who are elected Knights of the Most Noble Order, it is expressly provided by the statutes, should be independent of the number twenty-five, of which the Order consists. The Sovereign's
• It h doubtful whether Henry VI. Bhould be reckoned, as he was born during the absence of his father, King Henry V., in France, where the King died without having created his son Prinoo of Wales.