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limited. That important subject was left to the wisdom of future parliaments. Such were the peculiarities of the settlement of the crown by the convention parliament,— besides the exclusion from the throne, not only of the king, but of a whole dynasty.1
It was, in fact, avowedly a revolution proceeding upon general principles of necessity, or solus populi, and not by the stated rules of the English government. It undoubtedly consolidated the liberties of the nation, which might otherwise have fallen before the designs of king James; but so great a departure from the ordinary and regular administration of government could not fail to produce serious evils.
Eight bishops, including Sancroft the primate,2 being unable to reconcile with their conscience the oath of allegiance to William and Mary which they were required to take, were deposed by the civil power; and they were followed by about four hundred of the clergy.3 Thus a revolution in the state was closely followed by one in the church, the effect of which was to enlist in the service of the government and the established church, under its new bishops, a latitudinarian school of divinity, led by Locke, which soon became very powerful among the laity, and produced a prejudicial effect upon ecclesiastical studies, and even the church itself. But we will return to the law concerning the title to the crown of England.
The omission of any provision for the succession to
1 Hallam, Const. Hist . vol. iii. p. 135, &c.
1 The others were Lloyd bishop of Norwich, Turner of Ely, Frampton of Gloucester, Ken of Bath and Wells, and White of Peterborough. Thomas bishop of Worcester, and Lake of Chichester, who were in the same case, died before the act of deprivation. Perceval on Apost. Success, p. 222.
• Hallam, Const. Hist . vol. iii. p. 148, H9, 239.
the throne in the event of the failure of issue of William and Mary, Anne, and William, soon engaged the attention of parliament. It had been enacted by statute 1 W. and M. st. 2, c. ii., that every person who should be reconciled to, or hold communion with the see of Rome, or hold the popish religion, or marry a papist, should be excluded, and be for ever incapable to inherit, possess, or enjoy the crown; and that in such case the people should be absolved from their allegiance, and the crown should descend to such persons, being Protestants, as would have inherited the same in case the person so reconciled, holding communion, professing, or marrying, were naturally dead. Upon the impending extinction of the Protestant posterity of Charles I., the old law of regal descent directed them to recur to the descendants of king James I.; and the princess Sophia, being the youngest daughter of Elizabeth queen of Bohemia, who, as the daughter of James I., was the nearest of the ancient blood royal who was not incapacitated by professing the doctrines of the Church of3 Rome; the remainder of the crown, expectant upon the death of king William and queen Anne without issue, was therefore settled, by stats. 12 and 13 Wm. III. c. ii., upon her and the heirs of her body.1 And it was also thereby enacted, that whosoever should hereafter come to the possession of the crown should join the communion of the Church of England as by law established.
This is the last limitation of the crown that has been made by act of parliament. It is further secured by the
1 By stat. 4 Anne, c. i. it is enacted, that a bill may be exhibited in that parliament for the naturalisation of the princess Sophia and the issue of her body,—for the purpose of dispensing with their previous reception of the sacrament as a qualification; and by stat. 4 Anne, c. n. the princess Sophia and the issue of her body were naturalised accordingly.
stat. 6 Anne, c. vii. which enacts, that if any person maliciously, advisedly, and directly, shall maintain, by writing or printing, that the kings of this realm, with the authority of parliament, are not able to make laws to bind the crown and the descent thereof, he shall be guilty of high treason; or, if he maintains the same by only preaching, teaching, or advised speaking, he shall incur the penalties of a premunire.
Under the settlement made by the statute 12 and 13 W. III. c. ii. her majesty queen Victoria succeeded to the throne of these realms.
It is evident that the crown is now hereditary, but not in an unqualified manner, since no person is capable of inheriting or holding it who is in communion with the Roman Church, or has married a member thereof; and the subjects of the crown are bound by their duty and oaths of allegiance only on condition that the sovereign shall remain a Protestant, and not marry a Roman Catholic. Moreover, the common stock or ancestor from whom the descent must be derived is now not the same that it was formerly. The common stock was first king Egbert, then William the Conqueror; afterwards, in king James I.'s time, the two common stocks united, and so continued till the vacancy of the throne in 1688; now it is the princess Sophia, in whom the inheritance was vested by the new king and parliament.
We have now sufficiently considered the title to the throne of this empire.
OF THE ROYAL FAMILY.
The first and most considerable branch of the royal family of the king of England is the queea consort.
The queen of England is either queen regent, queen consort, or queen dowager. The queen regent, regnant, or sovereign, is she that holds the crown in her own right; as the first, and (as to the form, though not in substance) the second queen Mary, queen Elizabeth, queen Anne,1 and her most gracious majesty queen Victoria. A queen regnant differs in no respect as to powers, prerogatives, rights, dignities, and duties, from a king.2 But the queen consort is the wife of the reigning king, and the law invests her with divers rights and privileges. She is an exempt and distinct person from the king; and may therefore purchase or grant without her husband, which no other married woman in England can do—a privilege which Selden holds to be as ancient as the Saxon era.3 She may also sue and be sued without the king; and Lord Coke informs us, that these privileges are bestowed upon her because "the wisdome of the common law would not have the king (whose continual care and study is for the publick, et circa ardua regni) to be troubled and disquieted for such private and petty causes."4 The queen
1 Blackst . Com. b. i. c. iv. p. 219.
* Stat. 1 Mar. I. st. 3. c. i. And see Reeves, Hist, of Com. Law, Tol . iv. p. 448, 449.
1 Co. Litt. 3 a. 4 Rep. 23. Seld. Jan. Angl. i 42. 1 Co. Litt. 133 a b.
consort is also capable of devising and bequeathing her property by last will and testament, without the concurrence of the king ;1 and receiving a grant from him. She has separate officers distinct from the king,—not only a lord chamberlain, master of the horse, and other officers of her household, for purposes of state or ceremony; but an attorney and solicitor-general, who are entitled to a place within the bar with the king's counsel,2 and prosecute suits at law and in equity for the queen, in the same manner as the king's attorney and solicitor-general do for the crown.
The queen is also exempt from paying toll, and from amercements in any court;3 but, in general, where the law invests her with no special privilege, she is in the same condition as other subjects, being the king's subject, as not partaking of his sovereign authority.
She has also some pecuniary advantages in the nature of perquisites, which form her a distinct revenue: such as the aurum regime, or the queen's share of certain fines paid to the king in consideration of pardons, privileges, and other matters of favour, by him granted;—but on this subject it is unnecessary to detain the reader.4
The most important legal privilege belonging to a queen consort is, that, by the statute 25 Edw. III., it is equally treason to compass or imagine the death of Out lady the king's companion, as of the king himself; and to violate or defile the queen consort amounts to the same
1 Cruise, Dig. vol. vi. p. 13. tit. 38, c. ii. t . i. § 3.
* Selden, Tit. Hon. i 6, 7. As to the queen consort's right to be crowned with her husband, see Mr. Brougham's argument before the privy-council, Jan. 5, 1821. Lord Brougham's Speeches, vol. i. p. 238.
* Co. Litt . 133 a b. Finch, Law, 185.
4 Blackstone (b. i. c. iv.) gives a summary of the old law on this subject .