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treatise; and however great the temptation may he to digress chapter i. upon topics which are suggested hy 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 ofPariia- an<I Ireland iB composed of the King or Queen, and the ment. 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 L The Crown of these realms is hereditary, being subject, The Crou-n or Queen. however, t0 special limitations by Parliament; and the ^Ly, see king or queen 1 has ever enjoyed various prerogatives, by p* 54°* 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 recognized as an important principle of the constitution. Coronation All the kings and queens since the Revolution have taken 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

1 For statutory confirmation of c. 8. For the form in which the ac

thc 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; 150 ib. 2.
c. 1; and 1 Mar. St. 3, c. 1; 1 Eliz.

oath.

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Chapter i. same." 1 The Act 12 & 18 Will. III. c. 2, affirms "that Limitatiom the laws of England are the birthright of the people thereof; °fvPreroga" and 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.2 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.8

1 1 Will. <fe Mary, c. 6. Form * See also coronation oath of Edw. and Order of H.M. Coronation. II. in 1307, Foedera, vol. ii. p. 36;

* 2 Rot. Pari. 290. Book of Oaths, 1689, p. 195.

The same principle bad been laid down by the most chapter i. venerable authorities of the English law, before the limits of the constitution had become denned. 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 Fortsscue, 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."3 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 Eevolution.

Not to multiply authorities, enough has been said to prove that the Eevolution defined, rather than limited, the constitutional prerogatives of the king, and that the Bill of Bights4 was but a declaration of the ancient law of England.5

Profession An important principle of constitutional law was introProtestant duced at the Eevolution, by which the sovereign is bound faith- to an adherence to the Protestant faith, and to the maintenance 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

1 Bracton, lib. 1, o. 8.

! De Laudibus Log. Ang. c. 9.

'De Republics. 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 Parlia-
ment 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.

1 See Allen, Rise and Growth of
Royal Prerogative in England;
Stubbs, Const. Hist. i. 135; ii. 817.
354. 508.

Chapter I. religion established by law." By the Bill of Eights,1 and
the Act of Settlement,2 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 P/eroga-
legislature, are of paramount importance. The legal exist- connexion
ence of Parliament results from the exercise of royal pre- lament""
rogative. As "supreme governor, as well in all spiritual
or ecclesiastical things or causes as temporal,"8 the King
virtually appoints the archbishops and bishops, who, as
"lords spiritual," form one of the three estates of the realm.1 S
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

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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 sovereign's style and titles. To these fundamental powers are added others, of scarcelyjless importance, which will be noticed in their proper place, n. The ^ II. The Lords Spiritual and Temporal sit together, and Lords. jointly constitute the House of Lords, which is the second and public l. Lords branch of the legislature in rank and dignity. 1. The lords "^tq'see

spiritual *~ ■* *"

spiritual are the archbishops and bishops of the Church of Position of
England having seats in Parliament by ancient] usage and 'o^jaa't
by statute. Before the Conquest, the lords spiritual held a thf 'r'0, "f
prominent place in the great Saxon councils, which they i>- G69.
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
«uch offices, and by the common law of England, which the
Conquest did not overturn.2 Their presence in Parliament,
except during the Commonwealth,3 has been uninterrupted,
and their right to sit there unquestioned, whatever nominal

1 Tit. of Hon. part 2, s. 20; 1 Comm. p. 156.

1 2 Middle Agos, 138; see also Stubbs, Const. Hist. i. 230; ii. 169. 194 ; Elsynge says, " rationo episcopalis dignitatis ot tenura;; " Hody, Treatise on Convocations, 126; soe also Burn, Eccl. Law, 216, et seq.

3 They were excluded by Act 16 Car. I. c. 27, and did not resume

their soats, after the Restoration, in
the Convention Parliament, but wore
restored in the next Parliament, by
statute 13 Car. II. o. 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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