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ment.

545.

treatise; and however great the temptation may be to digress Chapter I.
upon topics which are suggested by the proceedings of
Parliament, such digressions are rarely admitted. Within
these bounds an outline of each of the constituent parts of
Parliament, with incidental reference to their ancient history
and constitution, will properly introduce the consideration of

the various attributes and proceedings of the Legislature.
Constitu- The Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
ent parts
of Parlia.

and Ireland is composed of the King or Queen, and the
three estates of the realm, viz. the Lords Spiritual, the
Lords Temporal, and the Commons. These several powers,
collectively make laws that are binding upon the subjects
of the British empire; and, as distinct members of the
supreme legislature, enjoy privileges and exercise functions

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.
prescription, custom, and law, which assign to the sovereign
the chief place in Parliament, and the sole executive power.
But as the collective Parliament is the supreme legislature,
the right of succession and the prerogatives of the Crown
itself are subject to limitations and change by the consent
and authority of the sovereign, and the three estates of the
realm in Parliament assembled. To the changes that have
been effected, at different times, in the legal succession to
the Crown, it is needless to refer, as the Revolution of 1688
is a sufficient example. The power of Parliament over the
Crown is distinctly affirmed by the statute law, and re-

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
and sworn to govern the people of this kingdom, and the
dominions thereto belonging, according to the statutes in
Parliament agreed on, and the laws and customs of the

For statutory confirmation of c. 3. For the form in which the ac-
the ancient right of females to in. cession of a sovereign is recognized,
herit the Crown, see 1 Mar. St. 2, see 92 C. J. 488; 156 ib. 2.
c. 1; and 1 Mar, St. 3, c. 1; 1 Eliz,

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
prove that the Revolution defined, rather than limited, the
constitutional prerogatives of the king, and that the Bill
of Rights 4 was but a declaration of the ancient law of

England.5
Profession An important principle of constitutional law was intro-
Protestant duced at the Revolution, by which the sovereign is bound

to an adherence to the Protestant faith, and to the main-
tenance of the Protestant religion, as established by law.
He is required to swear, at his coronation, to maintain "the
true profession of the Gospel, and the Protestant reformed

Protestant faith.

i Bracton, lib. 1, c. 8.
? De Laudibus Leg. Ang. c. 9.

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
religion, or who shall marry a papist, is incapable of inherit-
ing or possessing the Crown, and the people are absolved
from their allegiance. This exclusion is further confirmed
by the second article of the Act of Union with Scotland ; 3
and, in addition to the coronation oath, every king or queen
is required to make the declaration against the doctrines of
the Roman Catholic Church prescribed by the 30 Chas.
II. st. 2, either on the throne in the House of Lords, in the
presence of both houses, at the first meeting of the first
Parliament after the accession, 4 or at the coronation, which-
ever shall first happen. By similar sanctions the sovereign
is also bound to maintain the Protestant religion and Pres-
byterian church government in Scotland.5
• The prerogatives of the Crown, in connexion with the Preroga-

, 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.
3 5 & 6 Ann. c. 8.
+ 14th Feb, 1901, 133 L. J. 9.

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;
Hooker, Eccl. Pol. book viii. c. 4;
Zurich Letters (Parker Society), i.
29. 33; and the preamble of 2 & 3
Ann. c. 20.

· 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

money, see

long since been held to confer a right to sit in Parliament. Chapter I.
To a king's writ, also, the House of Commons owe their
election as the representatives of the people. Under the
Royal Titles Acts, 1876 and 1901, additions have been
made to te so vereign's style and titles. To these funda-
mental powers are added others, of scarcely less importance,

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
England having seats in Parliament by ancient usage and Fords at
by statute. Before the Conquest, the lords spiritual held a the trial of
prominent place in the great Saxon councils, which they p. 669.
retained in the councils of the Norman kings: but the
right, or tenure, by which they have held a place in Par-
liament, since the Conquest, has not been agreed upon by
constitutional writers. In the Saxon times, there is no
doubt that they sat, as bishops, by virtue of their ecclesi-
astical office : but, according to Selden and to Blackstone,
William the Conqueror, in the fourth year of his reign, first
brought the bishops and abbots under the tenure by barony.1
Lord Hale was of opinion that the bishops sit by usage;
and Hallam maintains that the bishops of William the
Conqueror were entitled to sit in his councils by the general
custom of Europe, which invited the superior ecclesiastics to
such offices, and by the common law of England, which the
Conquest did not overturn. Their presence in Parliament,
except during the Commonwealth, has been uninterrupted,
and their right to sit there unquestioned, whatever nominal

tual

peers, see

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
the Convention Parliament, but were
restored in the next Parliament, by
statute 13 Car. II. c. 2. The four
bishops added to the House of Lords,
at the Union, to represent the epis-
copal body of Ireland, were with-
drawn after the 1st January, 1871,
on the disestablishment of the Irish
Church (32 & 33 Vict. c. 42).

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