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tution of parliament, as it now stands, was marked out so long ago as the seventeenth year of King John, A.D. 1215, in the great charter.
5. How is parliament summoned !--150.
By the king's writ or letter, by advice of the privy council, at least forty days before it begins to sit. It is a branch of the royal prerogative, that no parliament can be convened by its own authority, or by the authority of any except the king alone.
6. What are the constituent parts of a parliament ?–153.
They are, the king's majesty, sitting there in his royal political capacity; and the three estates of the realm ; the lords spiritual and the lords temporal, who sit together with the king, in one house; and the commons, who sit by themselves in another. 7. Of whom does the commons consist ?–158.
Of all such men of property in the kingdom as have not seats in the house of lords, every one of whom has a voice in parliament, either personally or by his representatives. 8. What is the power and jurisdiction of parliament ?-160, 161.
To it is intrusted, by the constitution, that absolute despotic power, which must in all governments reside somewhere. It can do every thing that is not naturally impossible, and therefore some have not scrupled to call its power, by a figure rather too bold, the omnipotence of parliament.
9. In what consists the democratical part of the British constitution ?-170.
In the elections for parliament ; for in a democracy, there can be no exercise of sovereignty but by suffrage, which is the declaration of the people's will.
10. What reason is given for requiring a property qualification in voters ?-171.
It is required in order to exclude such persons as are in so mean a situation that they are esteemed to have no will of their
The time is now uniformly extended to fifty days, (2 Hats., 290,) although no positive law bas been made on the subject.
own. If these persons had votes, they would be tempted to dispose of them under some undue influence or other. This would give a great, an artful, or a wealthy man a larger share in elections than is consistent with general liberty.
1. In whom is the supreme executive poroer invested ?—190.
In a single person, the king or queen. The person entitled to it, whether male or female, is immediately invested with all the ensigns, rights, and prerogatives of sovereign power.
2. What is the grand fundamental maxim upon which the right of succession to the crown depends ?–191.
That the crown is, by common law and constitutional custom, bereditary, and this in a manner peculiar to itself ; but that the right of inheritance may from time to time be changed or limited by act of parliament ; under which limitations the crown still Pontinues hereditary.
3. Is the right to the throne defeasible ?–195.
It is, by act of parliament. The supreme legislative authority, the king and both houses of parliament, may defeat this hereditary right, and by particular entails, limitations, and provisions, exclude the immediate heir, and vest the inheritance in any one else.
4. Is the crown always hereditary in the wearer of it ?–196.
Yes ; however the crown may be limited or transferred, it still retains its descendible quality, and becomes hereditary in the wearer of it.
5. When began to be first taken the distinction of a king de jure and a king de facto 9–204.
In the reign of Edward IV. ; in order to indemnify such as had submitted to the then late establishment, and to provide for the peace of the kingdom by confirming all honors conferred and all cts done, by those who were now called the usurpers, not tending to the disherison of the rightful heir.
OF THE COUNCILS BELONGING TO THE KING.
1. What councils has the king to advise with ?—227.
To assist him in the discharge of his duties, the maintenance of his dignity, and the exertion of his prerogative, the law has assigned him, 1 the high court of parliament; 2. conventions of the peers, called to advise the king ; 3. his judges of the courts of law, for law matters ; 4. the privy council. 2. Hou are privy counselors created ?-230.
They are made by the king's nomination, without either patent or grant; and on taking the necessary oaths, they become immediately privy counselors during the life of the king that chooses them, but subject to removal at his discretion.
OF THE KING'S DUTIES.
1. What is the king's principal duty ?-233.
To govern his people according to law. This has always been esteemed an express part of the common law of England, even when prerogative was at the highest.
2. What are the terms of the original contract between king and people ?—234, 235.
They are couched in the coronation oath. In the king's part of this original contract are expressed all the duties that a monarch can owe to his people ; viz., to govern according to law; to execute judgment in mercy; and to maintain the established religion,
OF THE KING'S PREROGATIVE.
1. How is the royal prerogative limited ?-237.
By bounds so certain and notorious that it is impossible he should ever exceed them, without the consent of the people, on the one hand, or without, on the other, a violation of that original contract which, in all states impliedly, and in ours most expressly, subsists between the prince and the subject.
2. What is usually understood by the word prerogative?–239.
That special pre-eminence which the king hath over and above all other persons, and out of the ordinary course of the common law, in right of his regal dignity. It is either direct or incidental.
3. What are direct prerogatives 2-239, 240.
Such positive substantial parts of the royal character and authority as are rooted in and spring from the king's political person, considered merely by itself, without reference to any other extrinsic circumstances; as the right of sending ambassadors, of creating peers, and of making war and peace.
4. What are incidental prerogatives ?-240.
They bear always relation to something else, distinct from the king's person, and are indeed only exceptions, in favor of the crown, to those general rules that are established for the rest of the community
5. Of what kinds are the direct prerogatives 2—240.
They are divided into three kinds ; being such as regard 1. the king's royal character ; 2. his royal authority ; 3. his royal income.
6. What are the several branches of the royal character or dignity? -241-249.
I. The law ascribes to the king the attribute of sovereignty or pre-eminence. II. The law ascribes also to the king, in his political capacity, the attribute of perfection. III. A third attribute of the king's majesty is his perpetuity.
7. Can suit or action be brought against the king ?—242.
It cannot, even in civil matters, because no court can have jurisdiction over him.
8. Is the person of the king sacred ?—242.
By law, the person of the king is sacred, even though the measures pursued in his reign be completely tyrannical and arbitrary.
9. Are the subjects of England destitute of remedy, in case the croron should invade their rights 2—243.
The law has provided a remedy in cases both of private injury and public oppression.
10. What remedy is there in cases of private injury?—242.
If any person has, in point of property, a just demand upon the king, he must petition him in his court of chancery, where his chancellor will administer right as a matter of grace, though not upon compulsion.
11. What remedy has the subject in cases of public oppression ? 244.
As to cases of ordinary public oppression, the law hath also assigned a remedy; for, as a king cannot misuse his power without the advice of evil counselors and the assistance of wicked ministers, these mer may be examined and punished.
12. Can the king do wrong?-244.
It is a maxim of the law that the king can do no wrong, since it would be a great weakness and absurdity in any system