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and the government is swallowed up, and the liberties of the people perish. This worst of all tyrannies is occasioned by the weakness of the crown, and is only prevented by the strength and vigour of the prerogative. There are no limits to the tyranny of factions, but there is a legal constitutional defence against the tyranny of a king, which he can only execute by his ministers, who are answerable with their heads and fortunes for their mal-administration. Therefore let the crown be strong that faction may be weak; for the people's best security, under God, is in the honour and power of the king. Let the crown flourish, and its enemies be clothed with shame and confusion!
The titles assumed by the sovereigns of the Norman line were, King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and Earl of Anjou; on the conquest of France by Henry V., he added King of France. From the reign of James VI. of Scotland and I. of England, to the close of the eighteenth century, the king hath been styled, King of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith. Those of the line of Hanover have added the titles, Dukes of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Arch-treasurer of the holy Roman empire, and electors of Hanover. Since the peace of 1815, George IV. was elevated to the rank of king of Hanover. The arms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, are borne by William IV. quarterly, to which is added an escutcheon of the royal arms of Hanover, surmounted by a regal crown.
Although nothing of the duchy of Aquitaine now remains to our monarchs but the name, yet at their coronation one of the officers of the crown stands upon the right side of the throne, holding a ducal cap and sword of state, in memory of the conquest of that duchy.
The titles of the heir-apparent to the throne are Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and Rothsay, Earl of Chester, Electoral Prince of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles, Great Steward of Scotland, and Captain-General of the Artillery Company.*
In order to assist his majesty in the discharge of the duties of his office, the maintenance of his dignity, and the exertion of his just prerogative, several councils have been appointed for the king to advise with.
First. The high court of parliament, which is the great council of the nation, and of which we have already treated.
* Blackstone's Commentaries,-Custance on the Constitution.
Second. The peers of the realm are, by their birth-right, hereditary councillors of the crown, and the king may at any time call them together to give him their advice in all matters of importance to the realm, either during the sitting of parliament, or when there has been no parliament in being, which, says Blackstone, has been their principal use. The law maintains that peers are created for two reasons: 1. ad consulendum, as councillors; 2. ad defendendum regem, for the king's defence: on which account in law they are entitled to certain great and high privileges, even when no parliament is sitting; because it contemplates that they are always assisting the king with their council for the public good, or preserving the realm in safety by their prowess and valour. As hereditary councillors, they enjoy the privilege of being exempt from arrest for debt, because the law supposes that the peers are always engaged in the king's service, either in council or war. Any peer, in his character of an hereditary councillor of the crown, can demand an audience of the king, to lay before him, with decency and respect, such matters as he shall consider of importance to the state.
Third. A third council is the judges of the courts of law, but only in legal cases.
Fourth. But the king's principal council is his Privy Council, which, by way of eminence, is generally called the Council; and this, according to Sir E. Coke, is a noble, honourable, and reverend assembly of the king, and such as he wills to be of his privy council in the king's court or palace. The king's will is the sole constituent of a privy councillor, which also regulates their number, which anciently was only twelve; afterwards, the number was so considerably increased, that it was found to be inconvenient for secrecy and despatch, and therefore Charles II. in the year 1679, limited its number to thirty, whereof fifteen were to be the principal of ficers of state, who should be councillors virtute officii, and the other fifteen were composed of ten lords and five commoners of the king's choosing. But at present the number is indefinite. The lord president of the council has precedence next after the lord chancellor and lord treasurer. The Cabinet Council consists of the king's ministers for the time being, and who are summoned to consult on the important and arduous discharge of the executive government.
Privy Councillors are made by the king's nomination, without either patent or grant, and on taking the necessary oaths, they become immediately councillors, during the lifetime of the king who appoints them, but subject to removal at his discretion. Any natural-born subject of England is capable of being a member, after taking the oaths, and formerly the test for the church's security.
The oath of office, which consists of seven articles, distinctly points out a privy councillor's duties,-1. To advise the king according to the best
of his cunning and discretion. 2. To advise for the king's honour, and good of the public, without partiality, through affection, love, meed, doubt, or fear. 3. To keep the king's council secret. 4. To avoid corruption. 5. To help and strengthen the execution of what shall be there resolved. 6. To withstand all persons who would attempt the contrary; and lastly, in general, to observe, keep, and do all that a good and true councillor ought to do to his sovereign lord.
The power of the Privy Council is to inquire into all offences against the government, and to commit the offenders to safe custody, in order to take their trial in some of the courts of law. But their jurisdiction does not extend to the punishment of the culprit, but merely to make inquiry, and he is entitled to his habeas corpus. In plantation and admiralty causes which arise without the jurisdiction of the kingdom, and in matters of lunacy or idiocy, being a special flower of the prerogative, although they may eventually involve questions of extensive property, the privy council still continues to have cognizance, being the court of appeal in such cases, or rather the appeal lies to the king's majesty himself in council. Whenever questions arise between two provinces in America, or elsewhere, concerning the extent of their charters, or the like, the king in council exercises original jurisdiction, on the principles of the feudal sovereignty. And, likewise, when any person claims an island or a province in the nature of feudal principality, by grant from the king or his ancestors, the determination of that right belongs to his majesty in council; and from all the dominions of the crown, excepting Great Britain and Ireland, an appellate jurisdiction in the last resort is vested in the privy council, which usually exercises its judicial authority in a committee of the whole council, who hear the allegations and proofs, and afterwards make their report to his majesty in council, by whom the judgment is finally given.
Abstracted from their honorary precedence, the privileges of privy councillors consist principally in the security which the law has given them against attempts and conspiracies to destroy their lives. By statute 3d Hen. VII. c. 14, if any of the king's servants, of his household, conspire or imagine to take away the life of a privy councillor, it is felony, even although no attempt be made. But the statute 9th Anne, c. 16, goes farther, and enacts, that if "any person shall unlawfully attempt to kill, assault, strike, or wound any privy councillor in the execution of his office, shall be a felon, without benefit of clergy." This statute was made in consequence of the daring attempt of the Sieur Guiscard to stab Mr Harley with a pen-knife, when under examination by the privy council.
Privy councillors have honorary precedence next after knights of the garter. The dissolution of the privy council depends entirely on the king's pleasure, and he may, whenever he thinks proper, discharge any particular member, or the whole council, and appoint another. Formerly it was
dissolved, ipso facto, on the king's demise, as deriving its whole authority from him. But now, to prevent the inconvenience arising from there not being any council in being at a new accession, it was enacted, 6th Anne, that the privy council shall continue for six months after the demise of the crown, unless sooner determined by the successor.
Such, says a late writer, are the duties and privileges of the privy council; and whoever duly reflects, that, upon their wisdom, diligence, and integrity, the interests and happiness of the whole kingdom very much depend, will see the propriety of our public petition, "that God would be pleased to bless the lords of the council, and all the nobility, with grace, wisdom, and understanding." *
OF COURTS IN GENERAL.
THE wrongs and injuries which men commit upon each other are various and grievous, even in the most civilized states; and these would be still more numerous, were it not for the salutary restraints of human laws. Such wrongs and injuries are either of a civil or of a criminal nature. Under the former description may be reckoned any species of trespass, nuisance, waste, subtraction, or disturbance, and likewise all kinds of injuries proceeding from, or affecting, the crown.
Under the latter are comprised all offences against God and religion; against the law of nations; against public justice; against the public peace; against public trade; against the public health and economy; against the persons, habitations, and property of individuals. Our limits will not admit of treating specifically of these several denominations of civil and criminal offences. But this is the less necessary, inasmuch as every description and modification of offence is a breach of one or other of the Ten Commandments; which teach us our duty towards God, and our duty towards our neighbour. We have no occasion to refer to law-books to asWe ha certain how we ought to act one towards another; for the work of the law is written in every man's heart, his conscience also bearing him witAnd if any man will but do unto others upon all occasions as be would they should do unto him under similar circumstances, he will never suffer any thing from the laws of England, which are constantly stretched forth to protect him. It is sufficient then to remark, that "the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient;" that is, only such are amenable to its tribunals, and liable to its penalties. "It
* Blackstone's Commentaries,-Custance on the Constitution.
must needs be that offences must come." There will always be the offenders and the offended: but it is the voice of reason as well as of revelation, that no man ought to decide in his own cause; and it is the language of the inspired volume, that "if one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him." Every well-regulated government has its courts of law, in which persons duly qualified and authorized preside, for the administration of justice. The institution is of divine appointment; "Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy GOD giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment." (Deut. xvi. 18.)
A court is defined to be "a place where justice is judicially administered." The king is the sole executer of the laws, and it follows, that all the courts of justice within the realm derive their power and authority from him alone; his consent to their existence being at all times either expressed or implied. The law always contemplates the king's presence, in all his courts, by a sort of fiction, but as that is in fact impossible, he is represented there by his judges, whose power is merely an emanation of the royal prerogative.
For the more speedy, universal, and impartial administration of justice between subject and subject, the law has appointed a prodigious variety of courts, some with a more limited, others with a more extensive jurisdiction; some constituted to inquire only; others to hear and determine; some to determine in the first instance; others upon appeal and by way of review all these in their turns will be noticed and described in their respective places; and I shall here only mention one distinction that runs through them all: that is, that some of them are courts of record and others not of record. A court of record is that where the acts, and judicial proceedings are enrolled in parchment, for a perpetual memorial and testimony. These rolls are called the records of the court, and are of such high and supereminent authority that their truth is not to be called in question. But if there appear any mistake of the clerk in making up such record, the court will direct him to amend it. All courts of record are the king's courts, and no other court has any authority to fine and imprison. A court not of record, is that of a private man, whom the law will not intrust with any discretionary power over the liberty and fortunes of his fellow subjects. The courts-baron in every manor, and other inferior jurisdictions, where the proceedings are not recorded or enrolled, are courts not of record. But as well their existence as the truth of the matters therein contained, shall, if disputed, be tried and determined by a jury. These courts cannot hold pleas of matters cognizable by the common law, unless they be under the value of 40s., nor of any forcible injury whatsoever; because they have not any process to arrest the defendant's person.