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treatise; and however great the temptation may be to digress Chapter I.
the various attributes and proceedings of the Legislature.
and Ireland is composed of the King or Queen, and the
peculiar to each. I. The King I. The Crown of these realms is hereditary, being subject, The Crown
and public or Queen. however, to special limitations by Parliament; and the money, see
king or queen 1 has ever enjoyed various prerogatives, by P.
cognized as an important principle of the constitution. Coronation All the kings and queens since the Revolution have taken oath.
an oath at their coronation, by which they have “promised
For statutory confirmation of c. 3. For the form in which the ac-
Chapter I. same." 1 The Act 12 & 13 Will. III. c. 2, affirms “ that Limitations the laws of England are the birthright of the people thereof;
thorof. of prerogaand all the kings and queens who shall ascend the throne of this realm ought to administer the government of the same according to the said laws; and all their officers and ministers ought to serve them respectively according to the same.” And the statute 6 Anne, c. 7, declares it high treason for any one to maintain and affirm, by writing, printing, or preaching, “ that the kings or queens of this realm, by and with the authority of Parliament, are not able. to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to limit and bind the Crown, and the descent, limitation, inheritance, and government thereof."
Nor was this a modern principle of constitutional law, established, for the first time, by the Revolution of 1688. If not admitted in its whole force so far back as the great charter of King John, it has been affirmed by Parliament in very ancient times. In the 40th Edward III. the pope demanded homage of that monarch for the kingdom of England and land of Ireland, and the arrears of 1,000 marks a year that had been granted by King John to Innocent III. and his successors. The king laid these demands before his Parliament, and it is recorded that“ The prelates, dukes, counts, barons, and commons, thereupon, after full deliberation, answered and said, with one accord, that neither the said King John, nor any other, could put himself, or his. kingdom or people, in such subjection without their assent; and as it appears, by several evidences, that if this was done at all, it was done without their assent, and against his own oath on his coronation,” they resolved to resist the demands of the pope with all their power. From the words of this record it would appear, that whether the charter of King John submitted the royal prerogatives to Parliament or not, it was the opinion of the Parliament of Edward III. that even King John had been bound by the same laws which subsisted in their own time.
' 1 Will. & Mary, c. 6. Form 3 See also coronation oath of Edw. and Order of H.M. Coronation, II. in 1307, Fædera, vol. ii. p. 36; 2 2 Rot. Parl. 290.
Book of Oaths, 1689, p. 195.
The same principle had been laid down by the most Chapter I. renerable authorities of the English law, before the limits of the constitution had become defined. Bracton, a judge in the reign of Henry III., declared that “the king must not be subject to any man, but to God and the law, because the law makes him king."1 At a later period, the learned Fortescue, the Lord Chancellor of Henry VI., thus explained the royal prerogative to the king's son, whose banishment he shared : “A king of England cannot, at his pleasure ... make any alteration or change in the laws of the realm without the consent of the subject, nor burthen them, against their wills, with strange impositions.” 2 Later still, during the reign of Elizabeth, who did not suffer the royal prerogative to be impaired in her time, Sir Thomas Smyth affirmed that “the most high and absolute power of the realm of England consisteth in the Parliament;” 3 and then proceeded to assign to the Crown exactly the same place in Parliament as that acknowledged by statute, since the Revolution.
Not to multiply authorities, enough has been said to
to an adherence to the Protestant faith, and to the main-
i Bracton, lib. 1, c. 8.
3 De Republica Anglorum, book 2, c. 1, by Sir Thomas Smyth, knt.
4 “That the pretended power of suspending or dispensing with laws, or the execution of laws, without consent of Parliament, is illegal." ... "That levying money for or to the use of the Crown, by pretence of
prerogative, without grant of Parliament for longer time or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal.”—1st, 2nd, and 4th Articles of the Bill of Rights.
5 See Allen, Rise and Growth of Royal Prerogative in England ; Stubbs, Const. Hist, i. 135; ii. 317. 354, 508.
Chapter I. religion established by law.” By the Bill of Rights, and
the Act of Settlement, any person professing the popish
, tive in legislature, are of paramount importance. The legal exist- connexion ence of Parliament results from the exercise of royal pre- liament.
with Par. rogative. As “supreme governor, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes as temporal,” the King virtually appoints the archbishops and bishops, who, as “lords spiritual,” form one of the three estates of the realm.? ✓ All titles of honour are the gift of the Crown, and thus the “lords temporal” also, who form the remainder of the upper house, have been created by royal prerogative, and their number may be increased at pleasure. In early times the summons of peers to attend Parliament depended entirely on the royal will: but their hereditary titles have
| Will. & Mary, sess. 1, c. 6; sess. 2, c. 2, s. 9.
? 12 & 13 Will. III. c. 2, s. 2.
s Act of Union, 5 & 6 Ann. c. 8, s. 2 ; 3 & 4 Ann. c. 7; Scotch Act, 5 Ann. c. 6 (for securing the Protestant religion and Presbyterian church government).
6 Act 1 Eliz. c. 1, s. 19; Gibson, Codex, i. 45. Concerning the use of the title “Supreme head of the
Church," see Coke, 4th Inst. 344;
· The order of precedence of the lords spiritual is as follows : princes of the blood, Archbishop of Canterbury, lord chancellor, Archbishop of York, lord president, lord privy seal, dukes, marquesses, earls, viscounts, bishops, barons.
, of Lords
long since been held to confer a right to sit in Parliament. Chapter I.
which will be noticed in their proper place. II. The II. The Lords Spiritual and Temporal sit together, and The House House of Lords. jointly constitute the House of Lords, which is the second and public 1. Lords branch of the legislature in rank and dignity. 1. The lords"
HP p. 573. spiritual.
spiritual are the archbishops and bishops of the Church of Position of
1 Tit. of Hon. part 2, s. 20; 1 Comm. p. 156.
? 2 Middle Ages, 138; see also Stubbs, Const. Hist. i. 230; ii. 169. 194; Elsynge says, “ratione episcopalis dignitatis et tenuræ;" Hody, Treatise on Convocations, 126; see also Burn, Eccl. Law, 216, et seq.
3 They were excluded by Act 16 Car. I. c. 27, and did not resume
their seats, after the Restoration, in