The Book of the Constitution of Great Britain: Containing a Full Account of the Rise, Progress, and Present Construction of the Three Estates of the Realm, King, Lords, and Commons; Of the Various Courts of Jurisdiction; And of Those Acts by Which the Lib

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Fb&c Limited, 24.01.2018 - 802 Seiten
Excerpt from The Book of the Constitution of Great Britain: Containing a Full Account of the Rise, Progress, and Present Construction of the Three Estates of the Realm, King, Lords, and Commons; Of the Various Courts of Jurisdiction; And of Those Acts by Which the Liberties or Rights of the Subject Are Affected

In consequence of this change, it became a fundamental maxim and necemary principle of English tmures, that the king is the univmal lord andorig'malproprietorofallthelandsinhiskingdom; andthat no doth or can possess any part of it, but what has mediately or immediately been derived as a gift from him, to be held upon feudal services. For, this being really the case in pure, original, proper feuds, other nations which adepted this system, were obliged to act upon the same supposition as a subtraction and foundation of their new polity. A ud indeed, by their consenting to the introduction of feudal tenures, our ancestors probably meant no more than to put the kingdom in a state of defence by establish ing a military system, and to oblige themelves (in respect of their lands) to maintain the king's title and territories with equal vigour and fealty, as if they had received the lands from his bounty, upon these express condi tions, as pure, proper, beneficiary feudatories. But whatever their meaning was, the Norman interpreters, skilled in all the nicotine of the feudal constitu tions, and well undardanding the imprt and extent of the feudal terms, gave a very difl'erent comtruction to the proceeding, and therefore took a handle to introduce not only the rigorous doctrines which prevailed in the duchy of Normandy, but also such fruits and dependencies, such hardships and servi use as were never known to other nations, as if the English had, in fact as well as theory, owed every thing they had to the bounty of their sovereign lord.

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