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and the subordinate officers of the navy, as their perquisites, all other decayed and unserviceable stores.
Though by the act of William and Mary, the lords commissioners are vested with all and singular authorities, jurisdictions and powers, which have been and are vested, settled, and placed, in the lord high admiral of England for the time being, to all intents and purposes, as if the said commissioners were lord high admiral of England; yet there is this remarkable difference in the two patents by which they are constituted, that the patent of the lord high admiral mentions very little of the military part of his office, but chiefly details his judicial duties as a magistrate, whilst on the contrary the patent to the lords commissioners of the admiralty is very particular in directing them to govern the affairs of the navy, and is wholly silent as to their judicial powers.
These powers, as expressed in the patent to the earl of Pembroke in 1701, are, the power to act by deputy; to take cognizance of all causes, civil and maritime, within his jurisdiction; to arrest goods and persons; to preserve public streams, ports, rivers, fresh waters and creeks whatsoever within his jurisdiction, as well for the preservation of the ships as of the fishes; to reform too straight nets, and unlawful engines, and punish offenders; to arrest ships, mariners, pilots, masters, gunners, bombardiers, and any other persons whatsoever, able and fit for the service of the ships, as often as occasion shall require, and wheresoever they shall be met with; to appoint vice-admirals, judges, and other officers, durante bene placito; to remove, suspend, or expel them, and put others in their places, as he shall see occasion; to take cognizance of civil and maritime laws, and of death, murder, and maim.
The office of his majesty's ordnance is kept within the Tower of London. This office has always been one of the greatest importance, as being the only standing and grand national magazine for all the munitions of war, both for the military and naval service, and which superintends, orders, and disposes, the principal magazine in the Tower, as well as at Woolwich, Chatham, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Edinburgh Castle, and everywhere else. Immense quantities of gunpowder, full accoutrements for horse and foot, with ordnance, shot, and other stores in proportion, as well for the naval as the military service, are kept in this royal depot, deposited separately in their several storehouses with great order and care, for their preservation and more speedy despatch in their delivery. It is under the government in chief of the master-general of the ordnance, who is generally a person of great eminence and integrity. The other officers are a lieutenant general, a surveyor, clerk of the ordnance, keeper of the stores, clerk of the deliveries, and the treasurer and paymaster, who all hold their places by patent under the great seal.
The duties of the lieutenant-general are to receive all significations, orders, &c., from the master at the board; to see them duly executed; to make orders, as the king's service shall require, for things of such importance as do not require the king's warrant, or the warrants of the lords of the admiralty. Formerly the master-general's office was more of a sinecure, but of late years he is obliged to be constant in his attendance with the other principal officers, if any business requires their presence. The lieutenant-general of the ordnance gives orders for the firing of salutes upon birthdays and other festivals, and also superintends the artillery and all its equipages.
The surveyor's charge is to survey all his majesty's ordnance, stores and munitions of war in the storekeeper's custody, which he is to arrange in such a manner as shall be for their preservation and safety, ready view, and easy accompt; to allow all bills of debts, and to keep check upon the work of artificers and labourers; to inspect the quality and state of all provisions, that they be good and serviceable, and duly proved with the assistance of the other officers and the proof-masters, and if necessary that they be branded with the king's mark.
The clerk of the ordnance is to record all orders and instructions for the government of the office, likewise all patents and grants, and the names of all the officers, clerks, artificers, attendants, gunners, labourers, and others who enjoy the said grants, or any other fees from the king for the same; to draw all estimates for provisions, supplies, &c.; and all letters, instructions, commissions, deputations, and contracts for his majesty's service; to make all bills of impost, and debentures for the payment of the respective artificers and creditors of the office for work done or provisions received; and quarter books for the salaries, allowances, and wages of all officers, clerks, and other servants belonging to the office; and also to keep journals and ledgers of the receipts and returns of all his majesty's stores: that nothing be bought, borrowed, given, received, lent, or employed, without a regular record thereof, to serve as a check between the two accountants of the office, the one for money, the other for stores.
Under the charge and custody of the storekeeper are placed all the king's ordnance, munitions, and stores belonging to the office. It is his duty to give legal security for their safe-keeping; to make just and true returns from time to time; to reject all provisions whatsoever that are manifestly unserviceable, or before they have been inspected by the surveyor; not to issue any proportion of ordnance, munition, and stores, except the same be agreed upon, and signed by the proper officers, according to the master-general of the ordnance's signification and appointment, warranted by his majesty's sign manual, or six members of the privy
council, or the lords of the admiralty, if the stores be for the use of the royal navy; not to receive back any stores formerly issued, until they have been reviewed by the surveyor, and registered by the clerks of the ordnance; to ascertain that all his majesty's storehouses be in good and sufficient repair and accommodation; and the stores kept in such order and lustre as is fit for his majesty's honour and service.*
ALIENS, DENIZENS, AND NATIVES.
UNDER the name of the people, is included every individual from the highest to the lowest subject in the realm: princes, nobility, clergy, magistrates, gentry, and commonalty, all united, compose what is called the people. "The first and most obvious division," says Sir William Blackstone," of the people, therefore, is into aliens and natural born subjects." The latter are such as are born within the dominions of the British crown; that is, within the allegiance of the king; and the former, or aliens, are such as have been born in the dominions of other sovereigns, and whose allegiance are therefore due to them. Every subject owes allegiance to the king; it is the tie or ligamen, which binds the subject to the sovereign, and is the return for that protection which the king affords to him. The substantial part, or thing itself, is founded in reason, the divine law, and the nature of government; but its name and form have descended to us from our feudal ancestors. Under the feudal system every owner of lands held them in subjection to the crown originally, or to some inferior lord, who had obtained of the crown, from whom or his ancestors the tenant or vassal had received them. This produced a natural trust or confidence between the lord and the vassal, that the former should protect the latter in the enjoyment of the land or territory which he had granted him, and the vassal on the other hand reciprocally engaged to be faithful to his lord or superior, and to defend him against all his enemies. The vassal's obligation was called his fidelitas, or fealty; and the feudal law required all tenants to take an oath of fealty or fidelity to their landlords, which ran in nearly the same language as our ancient oath of fealty to the crown, professing, "that he did become his man from that day forth, of life and limb and earthly honour:" except that in the usual oath of fealty a saving or exception of the faith due to a superior lord by name, under whom the landlord himself was perhaps only a tenant or vassal. But when the acknowledgment was made to the absolute superior himself, who was vassal to no man, that is the king, it was no longer called the oath of
*Blackstone's Commentaries-Custance on the Constitution-Chamberlayne's Angha Notitia-Statutes at Large.
fealty, but of allegiance; and therein the tenant swore to bear faith to his sovereign lord, in opposition to all men, contra omnes homines fidelitatem fecit; without any saving clause or mental reservation whatever. We have formerly mentioned, that it is "the grand and fundamental maxim of the feudal tenure, that all lands were originally granted out by the sovereign, and are therefore holden, either mediately or immediately of the crown." Land held by this exalted species of tenure was called a liege fee; the vassals were designated liege men; and the sovereign the liege lord. When sovereign princes did homage to each other for lands held under their respective sovereignties, as the kings of Scotland frequently did for lands held by them as proprietors in England, they were always careful to make a distinction between simple and liege homage. Simple homage was merely an acknowledgment of tenure; and liege homage, which included the submission and fealty before mentioned, and the services to which that oath bound the recipient. In the year 1329, when Edward III. of England did homage to Philip VI. of France, for his ducal dominions in that kingdom, the nature of the homage was warmly disputed. Philip naturally enough demanded liege, and the king of England proffered simple, homage. But as it became a settled principle in England, that all the lands in the kingdom are holden of the king as their sovereign and lord paramount, the oath of fealty, therefore, could alone be taken to inferior lords, and the oath of allegiance was confined to the person of the king alone. By an easy analogy the term of allegiance was gradually brought to signify all other engagements which subjects owe to their prince, as well as mere territorial duties; and the oath of allegiance contained for upwards of six hundred years, a promise" to be true and faithful to the king and his heirs, and truth and faith to bear of life and limb and terrene honour, and not to know or hear of any ill or damage intended him without defending therefrom." These were the exact words also of the oath of allegiance in Scotland, and the clause in italics was the cause of the adherence of the official men and the bishops to the house of Stuart at the Revolution in 1688. Sir Matthew Hale remarks, that this oath was short and plain, not entangled with long and intricate clauses or declarations, and clearly comprehends the whole duty of a subject to his sovereign. At the Revolution the oath of allegiance was altered, the subject simply swearing," that he will be faithful, and bear true allegiance to the king;" this form was introduced by the convention parliament, and is more general and indeterminate than the former, as it neither binds to continue their fidelity to the heir, nor in any manner specifies in what that allegiance consists. The oath of supremacy is principally intended as a renunciation of the pope's pretended authority, as no crown can be supreme which has a superior, and it is well known that the pope pretended
to be lord of lords, and king of kings. The oath of abjuration was introduced in the last year of the reign of William III., and was intended to supply the loose and general texture of the oath of allegiance: it runs, "I, A. B., do truly and sincerely acknowledge, profess, testify, and declare, in my conscience before God and the world, that our sovereign lord, king William, is lawful and rightful king of this realm, and all other his majesty's dominions and countries thereunto belonging. And I do solemnly and sincerely declare, that I do believe in my conscience, that the person pretended to be the prince of Wales, during the life of the late king James, and since his decease pretending to be and taking upon himself the style and title of king of England, by the name of James III, hath not any right or title whatsoever to the crown of this realm, or any other the dominions thereunto belonging: and I do renounce, refuse, and abjure any allegiance or obedience to him. And I do swear, that I will bear faith and true allegiance to his majesty king William, and him will defend to the utmost of my power, against all traitorous conspiracies and attempts whatsoever which shall be made against his person, crown, or dignity. And I will do my best endeavour to disclose and make known to his majesty and his successors all treasons and traitorous conspiracies, which I shall know to be against him or any of them. And I do faithfully promise, to the utmost of my power, to support and maintain, and defend the limitation and succession of the crown, against him the said James and all other persons whatsoever, as the same is and stands limited to his majesty during his majesty's life, and after his majesty's decease to the princess Anne of Denmark, and the heirs of her body, being protestants; and for default of such issue, to the heirs of the body of his majesty, being protestants: and as the same by another act is, and stands limited after the decease of his majesty and the princess Anne of Denmark, and for default of issue of said princess and of his majesty respectively, to the princess Sophia, electress and duchess dowager of Hanover, and the heirs of her body, being protestants. And all these things I do sincerely and plainly acknowledge and swear, according to these express words by me spoken, and according to the plain and common sense and understanding of the same words, without any equivocation, mental evasion, or secret reservation whatsoever. And I do make this recognition, acknowledgment, abjuration, renunciation, and promise, heartily, willingly, and truly, upon the true faith of a Christian."* This oath might now with great propriety be laid aside, since that illustrious line of princes, against which it was intended to operate, are long since become extinct. It must be taken by all persons in any office, trust, or employment, and may be tendered by
* Statute 13 Will. III., c. 6.