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keep their engagements, whilst those their prince was broken and can.
tenens when he is unable to fill the and though the people by virtue of place himself? Shall not they who their primeval right of sovereignty created the office itself, and have nowere to decide this question, yet it minated a family to hold it, be adeappears to me that in this decision quate to the appointmentof a deputy?! they could neither overlook the pac- Why then resort to a fictitious power tum familiæ existing with the house when there existed a real power adeof Brunswick, or the personal pre- quate to the purpose required? Why tensions of the Prince of Wales as try to make an act of parliament heir to the crown, who would be without a parliament? An act of the person most injured should any parliament we all know is an act of of the just rights of the crown be King, Lords and Commons, but be. lost or impaired by an inter-regnum. hold here an act of King, Lords, and In 1688, the people, acting upon Commons declaring that there is no the same primogenial right, had also king!! The act defeats itself, for it a much greater latitude, because says there is no effective king, what the grand paction between them and efficacy then can that instrument
have which is the act of an ineffi- “ estates of parliament are one entire cient agent? With respect to the body and corporation;" and a litvacation of the throne I beg leave to tle further on, these words from Fi. ask, if the king's seat of office was neur, are quoted : "the parliament not really empty before the prince " at the common law consists of the was placed in it, as his father's re- King, Lords and Commons, and presentative? If it is asserted that they are but one body corporate." it was not, then l'ask what business -If there be a principle in our gohe had to te put there at all? We vernment that deserves the name of speak of the throne figuratively, as fundamental and incontrovertible it we do of the bench, and we apply is the above. I conceive Mr. Editor, likewise the term to seats of state that you will not scruple to grant which are made to resemble the real me this principle; and I equally throne: thus we now hear of there confide in your granting me another being a throne at Carlton house as principle, tiamely, that a part can. well as one at St. James's, and per: not constitute a whole; and having haps likewise at other palaces, but these two principles, Sir, then shall after all there is a seat which is pro- I have all that I want to prove that perly the throne, and that is the seat the throne was empty. Parliament, which when parliament is assembled, it is proved, is a body corporate, that holds no less than one third portion is to say compounded of three parts, of the legislature. Now that this two parts out of three cannot make seat was empty, till the prince was å whole, therefore the Lords and put there, is evident, from the total Commons could not make a parlia. stoppage of all parliamentary busi- ment, and why? because the moness: the two estates of Lords and narchical part was wanting, that Commons were there, but the mo- part which is seated in the throne narchical estate was not there, either was not there; the empty chair stood in person or by representation ; and there, but the power that proceeds therefore I apprehend, it was some from that seat when parliament is thing more than a mete figure of entire, was not to be found; it was speech to say that the throne which wanting for every constitutional pur. holds that estate when all three are pose; and the business of parliaduly assembled in parliament, was ment could not even be begun. This at that time empty. In the Lex Par. I think a man may venture to proliumentaria, p. 52, we read these nounce vacuity, or emptiness ! words :-“'It appears by precedents, Permit me to remark, Mr. Editor, " that whrnever a' parlianient was that you have quite mistaken my
sitting in the king's absence, there meaning in saying that I have“ conwas always a custos regni or a lo- troverted a position laid down by
cum tenens regis ' appointed."-So you, that, in the present instance of that it appears from hence that the a suspension of the royal functions, throne or king's seat of office in par- and for which there is no provision liament was never to be empty; the made by the constitution, it is the reason is obvious; if the king was right and the duty of the represennot there, either in person or by re- tatives of the people to provide the presentation, then was there but two means of supplying the defect.” p. estates there, and consequently no xciii. No Sir, it was never my inparliament at all; for the three es- tention to controvert these sentiments tates, are but so many parts of one nor do I apprehend that I have done and the same body, as we may
learn it; on the contrary I fully agree from the same book already quoted, with you that it," was the duty of P. 57, where it says ;-"The three the peoples representatives lawfully
assembled and fully and freely re- them, and proposed seme dodging presenting all the estates of the people law trick, some counterfeit repreof this realm, to provide the means sentation of the absent King James, for supplying the defect of the royal in the person of John Doe or Richard authority."-1 will add, due regard Roe, in order to make William and heing had to the family compact en- Mary King and Queen by a spurious tered into with the house of Bruns. act of parliament, would be have trick, and the personal rights of given them so good a title as ibat the prince, as heir to the crown. So they acqnired from the act of sove. that you see my position agrees with reignty of the people, announced by yours, but we diffe's somewhat, it a full and free representation of the should seem, in our ideas respecting nation in convention? If it is agreed the most proper mode of carrying that the act of convention in 1688, this principle into practice: you was a more authentic, more legitithink it should be done by an act of mate, and valid act than such a legislation, I conceive it would have surreptitious soi disant act of parliabern more properly done by an actment, then do I say, that the vote of convention; by such an expression of the two houses calling on the of the popular will as that by which prince to act as regent would have the crown was placed on the heads been a far more constitutional way of King William and Queen Mary: of supplying the defect in the royal this was not done by a parliament, authority, than that which was but by a convention, or national dopted; and which bore indeed only assembly; and never was there, in the semblance of an act of the legismodern times, an assembly that lature; for we are told (Inst. Leg. p. came nearer your description of fully 34.) that," an act of the legislature and freely representing all the estates must be a tripartite indenture beof the people, than this did. "The tweep King, Lords and Commons.” ” monarchical estate was not there, That is, it must be, a real bona fide neither was it requisite that it should indenture, not a fictitious or fraudube there for the proceeding was lent one. Thus Nomotecnia, a very grounded, on the sovereignty of the old book, says, 1. 2. c. 1.“ L'As. prople; and it was deemed quite semblie de trays estates, cest a scasufficient authority for that great oc- voir, Roy, Nobility, et Commons, casioni, consequenily it would have qui font le corps del realm est appel been competent to the present. The un parliament, and Jour decree un affairs of the nation at the revolution actde parliament, car sans touts troys Wrire conducted by men, of great n'est ascun act de parliament.”. And minds who scorned trick or fraud or yet Lord Grenville, as it should seem, fiction, they asserted the true prin- denies that the King is one of the ciples of our free government as ema- estates in parliament. I will add to nating from the popular will; and this ancient, a more niodern authotherefore they beld the vote of a na- rity. When we
hear of three estipal convention to be a more con- tates in the constitution of the Engstitutional disposal of the crown than lish government, 'tis most natural a fictitwus act of parliament. They to mean and intend such a poise in were not afraid to mert the occasion the balance, such an order or state fairly; they did not duck and dive as hatb a negative voice in the legis to ovade a recognition of the popular lative power ; for neither the King will, as the fountain head of all au., and Commons, excluding the Lords, thority in the manner our modein nor the King and Lords, excluding statesmen have done. Had such a the Commons ; much less the Lords man as Pitt or Perceval been amongst and Commons, excluding the King,
any law, but the three must hility, the clergy, and the Commons mutually join; when, from their represented in parliament, were the united influence spring those laws three estates of the realm, and the that are obligatory on the subject, subjects of the sovereign head the In this sense the fords spiritual by King." ---Ficad!“head of what? this themselves, háve no pretence to be is rather an unfortunate word, this a distinct estate; that is they have head, ---we plainly see what his lordnot by themselves a negative voice, ship is driving at ;--he is a great which is, as I conceive, it is Mr, statesman, in the opinion of the Care that speaks) the proper charac. Morning Chrenicle at least! He teristic or essential mark of each of wants to have a parliament without the three estates; for, suppose a bill a king, and an operative parliament passthe Commons, and being brought too; one that can make laws and into the house of Lords, and the 26 bind the prince, &c. and yet be the bishops should be against it, and subjects of the sovereign, and consome of the temporal lords, yet if sequently 'obedient, and loyal, and the other temporal lords are more in so forth ; but then come the word number than the bishops, and those head which spoils all, for wbat does that are with them, the bill shall that mean but caput parliumenti, and pass as the act of the whole house; is not the head a part of the body? and if his Majesty please to give it The parliament without a king has his royal assent, it is undoubtedly been called, and very properly, a law. This sufficiently shews that headless trunk, but what pray would the bishops of themselves have not the king be were he turned out of as a distinct estate a negative voice, parliament, agreeably to the sage and consequently are not of thein- politics of Lord Grenville? Does not selves of the estates of the realm.” a trunkless head make as wretched British Liberties, p. 148.
a figure as a headless trunk? There You informous Mr. Editor, p. was a time when such an exhibition Ixxxvii.“'That Lord Grenville begged, was witnessed in this country, about leave to correct an error into which a century and a
ago: we had his noble friend, Earl Spencer had, then a parliament without a' head, he was sure, "inadvertently fallen, in and unfortunately a monarch likecalling the sovereign power of this wise under a similar predicament. country the third estate of the realm.” One would think that his lordship (Lord G. I suppose meant the sove- would be more tender than in alreign himself, and not the soverrign Juding to such doctries as these; power which our writers in general but he thinks' he has a plaister for call the legislative power.)" He the sore, by making his headless par(Lord G.) had heard this expression liament the subject of the monarch; with the more concern, for it was yet I think he would do better to an error too prevalent, and which in leave the body politic entire with its his opinion had a tendency to misre- head on, and if he needs must be guilpresent and degrade the monarchy.” lotining, try to chop off the head of --(Indeed! I should think the mo- that munster, commonly called facnarch very much injured and de- tion. In my opinion you guessed graded too by being left out of this shrewdly Mr. Editor, when you suptripartite division,---degraded truly! posed his lordship's Oxonian friends by exercising as much power in the had put this new state crotchet into legislature as the whole collective his head; though it is not quite new body of Lords, and that of the Com- neither, for the clergy have often mons each separately possess : but attempted 10 erect themselves into now for the croain of it -) “ The no- a separate 'estate, but they could
never bring the point to bear. On barterers of our constitutional rights. the 21st July, 1683, the univer- “ You have (says the judge) thought sity of Oxford made a famous de- “ fit to charge his lordship with act, claration in full convention, in which ing in his high capacity from moamong other things it was declared, “ tives of personal ill will towards a that it was " a pernicious and damna: “ private individual ; and with havble doctrine to say, that the sove- ing made use of his authority and reignty of England is vested in three "influence, as secretary of state, to estates of King, Lords and Com- "harrass and oppress such indivimons." Another circumstance I beg “ dual, in a way, which, of true, to call to your recollection, the pro- would not only render him unfit to test of the bishops in 1681. We are fill that high station in which he told by Lord Clarendon, Vol. I. p. " had been placed, but would prove 354. that in consequence of this one of the most base of individuals." protest,“ the Coinmons impeached (Pol. Rev. Vol. VIII. p. 400.) the bishops of high trcason, in regard Such punishments may no doubt that they claimed to be a distinct deter the populace from calling these estate, having a voice upon the mat- honourable subverters of our repreter as negative as the king's, which sentative rights, “ the most base of inferred a fourib estate, or negative individuals ;” but they will hardly in parliament; and therefore the convince the people that they enjoy Commons urged that this proceeding all the birthright blessings of the con: of the bishops tended to subvert the stitution;—They will hardly cons constitution, and to change the fun. vince the people that as our ances. damental form of the
tors held it high treason to subvert This in my humble opinion is no that constitution, it can be a crime bad hint for his lordship; and in- in us, their descendants to restore it deed, for our statesmen in general, to its genuine purity, by the means who are daily racking and torturing of a parliamentary reform. the constitution, to make it assume
I am, Sir, &c. such a shape and form as suits their
TIMOTHY TRUEMĄN. purposes. To subvert the constitu- Devonshire, March 10. tion is high treason; that is evident; and yet we hear of some of these P.S. In the time of Elizabeth it great statesmen who would throw appears that there was an affectation the monarch overboard; of others to consider parliament as comprising who would substitute his great seal the three estates without the moin the place of himself; and of others narch; all the kingdoms on the con again who barter away the represen- tinent bad formerly an assembly of tative rights of the people, and are estates comprising the three orders excused from the very notoriety of of clergy, nobility, and commons, or the traffic! Notwithstanding all this, the tiers etat, and Queen Elizabeth it is a fact, that to subvert the con- affected to consider her parliament stitution is high treason ; but our in that light; they even addressed statesmen are not such subverters; her,-We your most loving and faiththey are all wise and virtuous men. ful subjects representing the three esYou have Sir, told us what was said tates of your realm of England. But to a poor unfortunate individual who we cannot call this the language of dared to question this :-it was said the constitution;, for a regard to to him, at the time that he was con- which her reign is by no means resigned to a house of correction for markable. When the lords and twelve months, in order to vindicate commons sat together, and voted the charac!er of one of these virtuous together, parliament then was said