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In the fifth and sixth years of the reign of queen Anne, the difficulties which had hitherto prevented a union of the two kingdoms were at length overcome, and twentyfive articles of union were agreed to by the parliaments of both nations; the purport of the most considerable being, in the words of Blackstone, as follows:
1. "That on the 1st of May 1707, and for ever after, the kingdoms of England and Scotland shall be united into one kingdom, by the name of Great Britain.
2. "The succession to the monarchy of Great Britain shall be the same as was before settled with regard to that of England.
3. "The United Kingdom shall be represented by one parliament,
4. "There shall be a communication of all rights and privileges between the subjects of both kingdoms, except when it is otherwise agreed.
9. "When England raises 2,000,000/. by a land-tax, Scotland shall raise 48,000/.
16, 17. "The standards of the coin, of weights, and of measures, shall be reduced to those of England throughout the United Kingdom.
18. "The laws relating to trade, customs, and excise, shall be the same in Scotland as in England. But all the other laws of Scotland shall remain in force, though alterable by the parliament of Great Britain; yet with this caution, that laws relating to public policy are alterable at the discretion of the parliament; laws relating to private right are not to be altered but for the evident utility of the people of Scotland.
be an union of the kingdoms before there was an anion of laws,—that "Anglia had laws, and Scotia had laws; but this newly erected kingdom of Britannia should have no law." 4 Inst. ch. lxxv. A curious instance of legal narrowmiadedness.
22. “Sixteen peers are to be chosen to represent the peerage of Scotland in parliament, and forty-five members to sit in the House of Commons. 23. “The sixteen peers of Scotland shall have all privileges of parliament; and all peers of Scotland shall be peers of Great Britain, and rank next after those of the same degree (in England) at the time of the union, and shall have all privileges of peers, except sitting in the House of Lords, and voting at the trial of a peer.” The twenty-five articles, of which these are the principal, were ratified and confirmed by the statute 5 Anne, c. 8. In that statute, two acts of parliament are recited; one of Scotland, whereby the four universities of that kingdom are established for ever, and all succeeding sovereigns (at their accession) are to take an oath inviolably to maintain the same; the other of England, 5 Anne, c. 5, whereby the acts of uniformity of 13 Eliz. and 13 Car. II. (except as the same had been altered by parliament at that time), and all other acts then in force for the preservation of the Church of England, are declared perpetual; and it is stipulated that every subsequent king or queen shall, at their coronations, take an oath inviolably to maintain the same, within England, Ireland, Wales, and the town of Berwick-on-Tweed. And it is enacted, that these two acts “shall for ever be observed as fundamental and essential conditions of union.” Upon these articles and act Blackstone observes as follows:– “1. That the two kingdoms are now so inseparably united, that nothing can ever disunite them again, except the mutual consent of both, or the successful resistance of either, upon apprehending an infringement of those points which, when they were separate and independent nations, it was mutually stipulated should be * Blackst. Com. introd. p. 95, 96.
“fundamental and essential conditions of union.' 2. That whatever else may be deemed fundamental and essential conditions, the preservation of the two Churches of England and Scotland in the same state that they were in at the time of the union, and the maintenance of the acts of uniformity, which establish our common prayer, are expressly declared to be so. 3. That therefore the alteration in the constitution of either of those Churches, or in the Liturgy of the Church of England (unless with the consent of the respective Churches collectively or representatively given), would be an infringement of these fundamental and essential conditions, and greatly endanger the union. 4. That the municipal laws of Scotland are ordained to be still observed in that part of the island, unless altered by parliament: and as the parliament has not yet thought proper, except in a few instances, to alter them, they still, with regard to the particulars unaltered, continue in full force. Wherefore the municipal or common laws of England are, generally speaking, of no force or validity in Scotland." Scotland is divided into counties, each of which is governed by a sheriff, who is invested by the ancient Scots law with a very important civil and criminal jurisdiction. Parts of counties, called stewarteries, are exempt from the jurisdiction of the sheriff, and are governed by a magistrate called a steward, whose powers are the same as those of the sheriff. These are royalties, or franchises, which were formerly the property of the king. By the stat. 20 Geo. II. c. 43, commonly called the jurisdictionact, the jurisdictions of sheriffs and stewards, which had been granted for life, or even heritably, were resumed by the crown, and provision made for the administration of justice by empowering the king to appoint sheriffs
Erskine, Inst. b. i. tit. 4. § 1, 2, 3 et seq. and § 10.
depute and stewards depute, with authority to nominate substitutes under themselves. These sheriffs depute are now called sheriffs (9 Geo. IV. c. 29, 22), having regained that ancient title. They hold their office for life, and must be advocates of three years' standing.1
Ireland remained a distinct kingdom until January 1801. It was styled the lordship of Ireland until the 33d year of king Henry VIII., who assumed the title of king, which is recognised by the statute 35 Henry VIII. Ireland was conquered by king Henry II., who planted a great part of it as a kind of colony of England; and the laws of England were then received and sworn to by the Irish nation, assembled at the council of Lismore.2 At the time of the Conquest it was governed by an ancient custom, called Brehon law, which was with difficulty abolished by the endeavours of king John, Henry III., Edward I., and Edward III., and the common law fully established in its stead.
Parliaments were held in Ireland by the chief governor, and statutes enacted there as in that of England; but an ill use having been made of that power, particularly by Lord Gormanston, deputy-lieutenant in the reign of Edward IV., certain statutes, called Poyning's laws, from the
1 Erskine, Inst. h. i. tit . 4, § 11.
2 Lord Mansfield says, in Hall v. Campbell: "The fact, in truth, after all the researches that have been made, comes out clearly to be, as it is laid down by Lord Chief Justice Vaughan (Vaughan, Rep. 292), that Ireland received the laws of England by the charters and commands of Henry II., king John, Henry III., and he adds an et eaten to take in Edward I. and the subsequent kings. And he shews clearly the mistake of imagining that the charters of the 12th of king John were by the assent of a parliament of Ireland. Whenever the first parliament was called in Ireland, that change was introduced without the interposition of the parliament of England, and must therefore be derived from the crown." Hall e. Campbell,—Cowper, 210.
name of the lord-deputy in office at the time, were enacted; one of which, to restrain the power as well of the deputy as of the Irish parliament, enacts, that, before the holding of any parliament in Ireland, the chief governor and council shall certify to the king, under the great seal of Ireland, the causes thereof, and also the articles of the acts to be proposed therein; and that the articles, having been examined by the king of England in his council, and altered according to his pleasure, they being certified back under the great seal of England, with license to hold the parliament, those acts so certified, and no others, should be proposed therein. Another of Poyning's laws enacted, that all acts of parliament already made in England should be in force within the realm of Ireland; and the dependency of Ireland upon the English legislature was declared by the English statute 6 Geo. I. c. 5. Poyning's law was, however, repealed in 1782, by the Irish act 21 and 22 Geo. III. c. 47.1
All this, however, became mere matter of history by the parliaments of both countries agreeing to the eight articles of union, which are enacted by the British statute 39 and 40 Geo. III. c. 67, and the Irish statute 4 Geo. III. c 38. The most important of those articles are as follows:—
1. That on the 1st day of January 1801, and for ever after, the kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland shall be united into one kingdom, by the name of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
2. That the succession to the imperial crown of the
1 Coke says, that "sometimes the king of England called his miles of Ireland to come to Ms parliament of England" (iv. Inst, c. lixvi. p. 350); and adds,'that it is an excellent precedent to be fol»wed whenever any act of parliament is made in England concerning the state of Ireland.