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were united into one, and charged indiscriminately with the whole interest of the national debt.1
The consolidated fund stands mortgaged also by parliament, to raise an annual sum for the maintenance of the queen's household and the civil list. The crown, impoverished and stripped of its ancient revenues, must rely upon the liberality of parliament for its necessary support and maintenance. But if the sovereign were compelled to depend upon annual votes of parliament for an income, the crown would be deprived of that constitutional independence and dignity which are essential to the due discharge of its functions. Therefore, at the accession of every new prince, the first care of parliament is to secure to him for life a truly royal addition to his hereditary revenue; whereby he has never any occasion to apply to parliament for supplies, but upon some public necessity of the whole realm. This (as Blackstone remarks) restores to him that constitutional independence which, at his first accession, seems, it must be owned, to be wanting.2 And De Lolme observes, that thus an admirable remedy is provided for the accidental disorders of the state. For though by the wise distribution of the powers of government, great usurpations are become in a manner impracticable, nevertheless it is impossible but that, in consequence of the continual though silent efforts of the executive power to extend itself, abuses will at length slide in. But here (continues that writer) the powers wisely kept in reserve by the parliament afford the means of remedying them. At the end of each reign, the civil list, and consequently that kind of independence which it procured, are at an
1 The sinking-fund, of which Blackstone speaks in terms of euloginm, was abolished by stat. 10 Geo. IV. c. 27.
* Blackst . Com. b. i c. viii. p. 335. And see De Lolme, b. i. c. vi P
end. The successor finds a throne, a sceptre, and a crown; but he finds neither power nor even dignity: and before a real possession of all these things is given him, the parliament have it in their power to take a thorough review of the state, as well as to correct the several abuses that may have crept in during the preceding reign.1
In the reign of king George III. "the expenses defrayed by the civil list were those which in any shape related to civil government: as the expenses of the royal household; the revenues allotted to the judges; all salaries to officers of state, and every of the king's servants; the appointments of foreign ambassadors; the maintenance of the queen and royal family; the king's private expenses, or privy purse; and other very numerous outgoings, as secret-service money, pensions, and other bounties; which sometimes have so far exceeded the revenues appointed for that purpose, that application has been made to parliament to discharge the debts contracted on the civil list; as particularly in 1724, when one million was granted for that purpose, by the stat. 11 Geo. I. c. xvii.; and in 1769 and 1777, when half a million and 600,000/. were appropriated to the like uses, by the stats. 9 Geo. III. c. xxxiv., and 17 Geo. III. c. xlvii."»
"The civil list3 is, indeed, properly the whole of the sovereign's revenue in his own distinct capacity; the rest being rather the revenue of the public, or its creditors, though collected and distributed again in the name and by the officers of the crown,—it now standing in the same place as the hereditary income did formerly; and
1 De Lolme adds, "And thus the constitution may be brought back to its first principles;" which seems hardly a correct expression.
2 Blackst . Com. b. i. c. viii. p. 331. 3 Ibid.
as that had gradually diminished, the parliamentary appointments have increased. The whole revenue of queen Elizabeth did not amount to more than 600,000/. a year that of king Charles I. was 800,000/. ;2 and the revenue voted for king Charles II. was 1,200,000/.,3 though complaints were made (in the first years at least), that it did not amount to so much.4 But it must be observed, that under these sums were included all manner of public expenses; among which Lord Clarendon, in his speech to the parliament, computed that the charge of the navy and land forces amounted annually to 800,000/., which was ten times more than before the former troubles.5 The same revenue, subject to the same charges, was settled on king James II. ;6 but by the increase of trade, and more frugal management, it amounted on an average to a million and a half per annum, (besides other additional customs, granted by parliament, which produced an annual revenue of 400,000/.), out of which his fleet and army were maintained, at the yearly expense of 1,100,000/.7 After the Revolution, when the parliament took into its own hands the annual support of the forces, both maritime and military, a civil-list revenue was settled on the new king and queen, amounting, with the hereditary duties, to 700,000/. per annum ;8 and the same was continued to queen Anne and king George I.9 That of king George II., we have seen, was nominally augmented to 800,000/.,10 and, in fact, was considerably more; and
1 Lord Oar., continu. 163.
s Comm. Journ. 4 Sept. 1660. 3 Ibid.
4 Ibid. 4 June, 1663. Lord Clar. 165.
5 Lord Clar. 165. 6 Stat . 1 Jam. II. c. i.
1 Comm. Journ. 1 March, 20 March, 1688.
8 Ibid. 1+ March, 1701.
» Ibid. 17 March, 1701; 11 Aug. 1714.
1» Stat. 1 Geo. II. c . i.
that of king George III. was avowedly increased to the limited sum of 900,000/. And, upon the whole, it is doubtless much better for the crown, and also for the people, to have the revenue settled upon the modern, rather thau the ancient, footing: for the crown, because it is more certain, and collected with greater ease; for the people, because they are now delivered from the feodal hardships, and other odious branches of the prerogative. And though complaints have sometimes been made of the increase of the civil list, yet, if we consider the sums which have formerly been granted, the limited extent under which it is now established, the revenues and prerogatives given up in lieu of it by the crown, and, above all, the diminution of the value of money, compared with what it was worth in the last century,—we must acknowledge these complaints to be void of any rational foundation, and that it is impossible to support that dignity which a king of Great Britain should maintain with an income in any degree less than what is now established by parliament."
The civil-list revenue settled upon king George IV. (his majesty having placed his hereditary revenues at the disposal of the House of Commons) amounted to the sum of 850,000/. in England, and 207,000/. in Ireland;1 and it was provided, that whenever the charges on the civil list in any one year exceeded the sum of 1,070,000/., an account of the cause and particulars thereof should be laid before parliament.
On the accession of king William IV., an important change was made in the civil list, by the exclusion therefrom of all charges (except 25,200/. for secret and special service), which did not directly regard the support of his majesty's household and the dignity of the crown. The 1 Stat . 1 Geo. IV. c. i.
total amount was therefore considerably less than the civil list of king George IV.; not exceeding 510,000/.1 The omission from the civil list of the usual provisions for the administration of justice and the support of great officers of state, was much opposed in parliament, as injurious to the dignity of the crown; but it was nevertheless adopted, as more convenient than the former method of providing for the independent maintenance of the sovereign. Another peculiarity of this arrangement was, that his majesty placed at the disposal of parliament, not only the hereditary revenues which had been surrendered by his predecessor, but also the droits of the crown or admiralty, and the West India duties and casual revenues. The charges on the civil list were divided into five classes, distinguishing the several heads of expenditure; and it was provided) that if ever the total charge in any year should exceed 510,000/., an account should, within thirty days, be submitted to parliament, stating the particulars of such exceedings.
Her majesty the queen, at her accession, placed the whole hereditary revenue of her crown at the disposal of parliament, as it had been done by king William IV.; and received a civil list, framed on principles analogous to that of her royal predecessor, amounting to the clear net revenue of 385,000/., with an additional annuity of 10,000/. for her majesty's household-servants.2 On her 1 Stat. 1 Will. IV. c. xxv.
1 Stat. 1 Vict . c. ii. The schedule to which the act refers is as follows:
1st class. For her majesty's privy purse . . . ;£60,000 2d class. Salaries of her majesty's household, and
retired allowances .... 131,260 3rd class. Expenses of her majesty's household . 172,500 4th class. Royal bounty, alms, and special services . 13,200 5th class. Pensions to the extent of 1,200/. per ann. 6th class. Unappropriated moneys .... 8,000