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It seems to have been the opinion of Lord Kenyon, that an exemption from impress cannot be founded on the common law, but only on a legislative provision (a). We have, however, in the case of ferrymen, an instance of an exemption grounded merely on the common law (b): and the express opinions of Lord Mansfield and Mr. J. Ashhurst, that as the right of pressing is grounded on the common law, an exemption from it may exist on the same foundation (c). Of course it is incumbent on the party insisting on the exemption to prove clearly the grounds on which he rests his claim to it (d).

There is no doubt that the King may exempt or grant a protection to any particular class of seafaring men from impressment, because, in the Crown alone lies the power of issuing press-warrants. In those warrants instructions are given to the officers not to impress any person protected by the navy, victualling office, &c. Even the officers themselves grant protections; d fortiori therefore if the officers, and inferior boards can grant protections, the Crown by its prerogative is entitled to the same privilege. These protections are however revocable at pleasure, though granted for a certain specified time {e).

As conductor of a war the King is also entitled to adopt measures to prevent the egress or ingress of his enemies out of or into his Majesty's dominions. Thus his Majesty may promulgate blockades; may during war or threatened hostilities, and on occasions of emergency lay an embargo on all shipping; and thereby prevent any one from leaving the kingdom (/). His Majesty may on the other hand permit an enemy to come into the country without molestation, by granting to him letters of safe-conduct (g). These letters ought to be under the Great Seal, and inrolled in Chancery (A). But passports under the King's sign manual or licences from his ambas

(a) 5 Term Rep. 277. and see 1 Privy Seal is revocable, Post, tit.

East, 166. Pardons, 1 Cnitty, Crim. Law, 770.

(A) See Sav. 14. 5 Term Rep. 277. So of a license to trade.

per Buller, J. ->—= (/) Skinner, 335. 3 Lev. 552. 4

(.) Cowp. 518. 521, 2. Mod. 176,177, 179.1 Bla. Com. 270,1.

('/) Ibid. 519. 4 Bac. Ali. 595. title Merchant and

(e) 16 East, 165. Cowp. 521. See Merchandize, see further, post. ch. 10.

rt. 50 Geo. 3. c . 108. ante, ch. 3. (g) See Ld. Raym. 382. 1 Salk. 46.

as to exemptions in general. Lane.46. Lutw. 34, 5.

Dyer, 176, 177. So a pardon not (A) 15 Hen. 6. c. 3. 18 Ibid. o. 8.

under Great Seal but merely under 20 Ibid. c. 1.

sadors sadors abroad are now more usually obtained, and are allowed to be of equal validity (a).


Alien friends may lawfully come into the country without any licence or protection from the Crown (6), though it seems that the Crown, even at common law, and by the law of na* tions, (and independently of the powers vested in it by the Alien Act, 56 (x. 3. c. 54. which extends even to foreign merchants,) possesses the right to order them out of the country, or prevent them from coming into it, whenever his Majesty thinks proper (c). The enactment in Magna Charta, c . 30. relates only to foreign merchants: "All merchants, unless they were openly prohibited before, shall have safe and stire conduct to depart out of England, and to come into England, and to tarry in and go through England, as well by land as by water, to buy or sell, without any evil tolls, by the old and rightful customs, except in time of war; and if they be of land at war with us, and if such be found in our land at the beginning of the war, they shall be attached without harm of body or goods, until it be known unto us, or our Chief Justice, how the merchants of our land are entreated who shall be then fdund in the land at war against us, and if ours be safe there, the others shall be safe in our land." The power of the Crown to dispense with commercial regulations, as to enable an enemy, he. to trade with this country, will be considered hereafter.

The Alien Act, 55 G. 3. c. 54. w«g passed for the purpose of vesting extraordinary powers in the King and Magistracy, in order that the country might be protected against aliens; it contains various wholesome provisions for that purpose.

The law has also vested in the King several other rights on similar grounds: Thus, in case of necessity, the King may enter on the lands of his subjects to make fortifications id). His Majesty has two prerogative right in saltpetre and gunpowder (e); may, as before remarked, require the personal services of his subjects in this country in case of imminent danger {f) , and may prohibit the exportation of arms or ammunition, or other articles of that nature, useful in war, called contraband of war,

(a) I Bla. Com. 260. See 55 Geo. 3. c. 54. s. 2. (A) Magna Char. c. 30. 1 Wooddn. (rf) 1 Rol. Rep. 152.

368, 375. (0 5 Bac. Ab. 533.

(c) 1 Bla. Com. 259.2G0. Puffendorff. U ) Ante.

out out of the kingdom (a). But he cannot hinder the building of ships of war for an alien ami in this country (b). -*


To finish this part of the subject, in the words of Lord Erskine (c), "The King may relax from the utmost rights of war, and from its extreme severities. What is termed the war prerogative of the King is created by the perils and exigencies of war for the public safety, and by its perils and exigencies is therefore limited. The King may lay on a general embargo, and may do various acts growing out of sudden emergencies; but in all these cases the emergency is the avowed cause, and the act done is as temporary as the occasion. The King cannot change by his prerogative of war, either the law of nations or the law of the land, by general and unlimited regulations."


Of the King as the head of the National Church.

The Supremacy of the Crown.Ecclesiastical Laws and Powers of the Crown respecting Convocations or Synods.Ecclesiastical Laws -under the King's Controul, Protection, $c.Of the

- King as the dernier resort in Ecclesiastical Causes.Prerogatives as to the disposal of Churcli Preferments, Sfc.Custody of Temporalities.Corodies.Tithes, First Fruits and Tenths, Sfc

The supremacy of the Crown in all matters of an ecclesiastical nature is, as observed by Lord Hale (d), a most indubitable right, which may be proved by records of unquestionable truth and authority; and though the Popes made great usurpations and encroachments on this right, they were ever complained of and resisted as illegal (e), and were effectually destroyed in the reign of Hen. 8.

(<0 12 Car. 2. c. 4. 29 Geo. 2. c. 16. liamcnUry Debates, 961.

post. ch. 10. as to commerce. (d) Hale, Hist. P. C. 75. 4 Co. 8.

(A) Fortescue, R. 388. 40. 1 Bla. Com. 279.

(c) Speech, Mar. 8, 1808, on the (e) 2 Burn, Ece. Law, tit. Courts,

Orders in Council. 10 Cobbett, Par- 35,36. Li, Raym. 25.


By the statute 26 H. 8. c. 1. it is declared that "the King shall be taken, accepted, and reputed the only supreme Head on earth of the Church of England, called Anglicana eccUtias and shall have and enjoy, annexed and united to the imperial Crown of this realm, as well the title and style thereof, as all honours, dignities, preeminences, jurisdictions, privileges, authorities, immunities, profits and commodities to the said dignity of supreme Head of the same Church, belonging and appertaining; and that the King shall have full power and authority, from time to time, to visit, repress, redress, reform, order, correct, restrain and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offences, contempts, and enormities whatsoever they be, which by any matter, spiritual authority or jurisdiction, ought or may lawfully be reformed, repressed, ordered, re- dressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, most to the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue in Christ's religion, and for the conservation of the peace, unity and tranquillity of this realm; any usage, custom, foreign laws, foreign authority, prescription or any other thing or things to the contrary thereof notwithstanding (a)."

It need not be observed that the King cannot alter the established religion either in this country or in any other parts of his dominions.

The ecclesiastical law of England is compounded of the civil law, the canon law, the common law, and the statute law (b). Before the Conquest, the King, with the assent of the clergy who were assembled by his writ (c), made constitutions forming the ecclesiastical law; and after the Conquest, and long before the time of Hen. 8. the right to make canons appertained to the King, through the medium of the Convocations or ecclesiastical Synods or Parliaments, consisting of the archbishops, the bishops, and the representatives of the different dioceses (d). By the Act of submission, 25 Hen. 8. c. 19. (after reciting that whereas "the King's humble and obedient subjects, the clergy of the realm of England, have not only acknowledged according to the truth, that the Convocation of the same clergy is, always hath been, and ought to be assembled only by the King's writ; but also submitting themselves to the King's Majesty, have

(a) See also 1 El. c. 1, and the Ca- (A) See Pref. to Burn's Eccl. Law.

nons. Burn's Eccles. Law, tit. Supre- (c) 4 Inst. 322. Godolph. Repert. 99.

macy. ('0 See 2 Bum, Ecci. Law, M.

E 2 promised

promised in verbo sacerdolii that they will never from henceforth presume to attempt, alledge, claim, or put in use, enact, promulge, or execute any new canons, constitutions, ordinaryces provincial, or by whatsoever name they shall be called in the convocation, unless the King's most royal assent and licence may to them be had, to make, promulge, and execute the same; and that his Majesty do give his most royal assent and authority in that behalf;) it is enacted, according to the said submission, that they nor any of them shall presume to attempt, alledge, claim, or put in use any constitutions or ordinances provincial, by whatsoever name or names they may be called, in their Convocations in time coming (which always shall be assembled by authority of the King's writ); unless the same clergy may have the King's most royal assent and licence to make, promulge, and execute such canons, constitutions, and ordinances, provincial or synodal, upon pain of every one of the said clergy doing contrary to this act, and being thereof convict, to suffer imprisonment and make fine at the King's will." Upon which statute it is observable, 1st, That a Convocation cannot assemble without the King's consent. 2dly, That after their assembly they cannot confer to constitute any canons without his licence. And Sdly, That their canons are imperfect, and cannot be executed without the royal assent (a); and that no other assent is requisite (6). The Convocations (for there are two, one for the arch~ bishoprick of Canterbury, and another for the archbishoprick of York) are usually assembled at the meeting of every new Parliament; and when assembled, are under the power and authority of the King (c), and are liable to be prorogued, restrained, regulated and dissolved by his Majesty; a prerogative which was inherent in the Crown long before the time of Hen. 8. as appears by the statute 8 Hen. 6. c. 1. and the many authors, both lawyers and historians, vouched by Sir Edward Coke (d). Their jurisdiction is confined to matters of heresy, schisms, and other mere spiritual and ecclesiastical causes. They cannot interfere with any matters relating to the laws of the land, and their canons are void, though

(a) 12 Co. 72. Convocations in the (A) Stra. 1057.

Plantations, 1 Chalmers' Coll. of Op. (c) Year Book, 25 E. 4, 45, 6.

12. Consequence of holding without (d) 4 lust. 322, 3. Wood's Inst. 500.

the royal licence. Ibid. 1 Bla. Com. 279.


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