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period of six months, or until such emergency shall have ceased.

The government and discipline of seamen in the royal fleet is directed by certain express rules, articles, and orders, first enacted by the authority of parliament soon after the Restoration,1 but since new-modelled and altered after the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle,2 to remedy some defects which were of fatal consequence in conducting the preceding war. In these articles of the navy almost every possible offence is set down, and the punishment thereof annexed; and Blackstone thereupon observes, that the seamen have in this respect much the advantage over their brethren in the land-service, whose articles of war are not enacted by parliament, but framed, from time to time, at the pleasure of the crown. But, on the other hand, the captain of a ship may order corporal punishment to be inflicted by his own authority, whereas that cannot be done in the land-service without the sentence of a court-martial.

With regard to the privileges conferred on sailors, they are pretty much the same with those conferred on soldiers, with regard to relief when maimed, or wounded, or superannuated, either by county-rates or the royal hospital at Greenwich; with regard also to the exercise of trades, and the power of making nuncupative wills.3

And here these Commentaries are drawn to a close. We have therein examined the different divisions, modifications, and restraints, of the sovereign power which belong to our civil polity; and then considered the principal divisions of the people, for whose good government the

1 Stat. 13 Car. II. it . I, c . ix.

* Stat. 22 Geo. II. c. xxiti., amended by 19 Geo. III. c. xvii. 3 Stat. 1 Vict . c. uvi. sect. 11.

English constitution has by human wisdom, under Divine Providence, been devised. These few pages cannot contain a full exposition of the inestimable benefits secured to her majesty's subjects by our mixed constitution, wherein (as no human institution is perfect, yet there are few in which something valuable may not be discovered) the benefits of monarchy, aristocracy, and democracy, are happily combined, with very little of the inconveniences belonging to each of them. But the reader will perchance here find enough to excite in his mind a thirst for further knowledge, and thereby (according to the admonition of the emperor Justinian) become capable even of administering those portions of the commonwealth, the governance of which may perhaps be entrusted to him. And with how great humility, with what profound deliberation and sense of responsibility, should every political function be performed, whereof we shall undoubtedly be called upon to render an account, where no factions, party, or interested motive, will be looked upon otherwise than as an offence of very deep turpitude and guilt. How earnestly should we pray that our minds may be purged from those narrow and base motives, which our miserable human nature is so prone to mingle with the performance of even the highest duties. And how anxiously should we supplicate to be preserved, in the discharge of our duties as subjects and citizens, from the mean and frivolous influences which surround us in our ordinary life, and tend so strongly to destroy that gravity and high sense of responsibility, with which all things should be approached involving any portion of the welfare of mankind. These feelings must be excited in the breast of every honest man, who considers how important a part almost all private persons of any property have to perform in the working of that complex system, the British constitution, especially since the parliamentary reform-acts, and that statute which lately placed the government of our towns on a very popular basis. And that extension of popular principles renders it. now more especially necessary that all men should beware lest they approach the public functions which the law has entrusted to them without sufficient knowledge of the system, wherein they are responsible for the performance of their particular duty, and which they are bound to hand down uninjured to future generations. Let me exhort the reader to spare no labour in the acquisition of that knowledge, as he values his own peace of mind, and his duty to God and his neighbour. But his studies, to be useful or honourable, must be pursued with a deep sense of the truth so elegantly expressed by Cicero,—that justice, taken in its largest sense, is necessary to the well-being of every state: Non modo falsum esse istud sine injuria non posse, sed hoc verissimum sine summa justitia rempublicam regi non posse. TABLE OF PRECEDENCE.

Blackbtokb gives the following table of precedence, which ought not to be omitted here Those marked * are entitled to the rank here allotted to them by statute 31 Hen. VIII. c. x.; marked t, by stat. 1 Wm. and M. c xxi.; marked ||, by letters patent, 9,10, and 14 Jac. I., which see in Selden. Tit. of Hon. part ii. c. v. { 46, and part ii. c. xi. \ 3; marked t, by ancient usage and established custom—for which see, among others, Camden's Britannia, tit. Ordines, Mills's Catalogue of Honour, edit. 1610, and Chamberlayne's Present State of England, p. iii. c. iii.,—a book which, though cited by Blackstone, cannot be said to have any authority Some are added to Blackstone's list; and these are printed in italics, as well as those which are misplaced by Blackstone.

•The king's children and grandchildren.

By stat. 31 Hen. VIII. no person except the king's children shall sit on either side of the cloth of estate In the parliament - chamber; and grandchildren are within the statute as well as children. Lords' Journ. 24 Apr. 1760.

•The king's brethren.

* uncles.

• nephews.

♦Archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England and metropolitan.

The stat . 31 Hen. VIII. requires that the prelates should all sit on the same form in the parliament-chamber, in the order in which they are here rehearsed.

♦Lord chancellor, or keeper, if a baron.

•Archbishop of York, primate of

England and metropolitan. Irish archbishopt. By stat . 39 and 40 Geo. III. c. lxvii.

1. Archbishop of Armagh.

2. Archbishop of Dublin.

♦Lord treasurer, if a baron.

Note, that when this office is in commission, the lords commissioners of the treasury have no rank as such. ♦Lord president of the council, if

a baron. •Lord privy seal, if a baron.

As to their rank if not barons, see below.

"Lord great chamberlain, above

all of his own degree.

But see private act 1 Geo. I. c. Iii., passed previously to the elevation of George marquess of Lindsey to the dukedom of Ancaster, by which his lordship enjoys this precedence only when executing his office, attending the person of the sovereign for the time being, or introducing a peer into the house of lords. He was thus deprived of the precedence which the stat. 31 Hen. VIII. would have given him as a great officer. "Lord high constable, above all

of his own degree.

But this office is granted only pro hac vice, since the attainder of Stafford duke of Buckingham. ♦Earl, or lord marshal, above all

of his own degree.

•Lord high admiral, above all of his own degree.

But when the office is in commission, the lords commissioners of the admiralty have no rank as such.

♦Great master, or lord steward of the household, above all of his own degree.

♦Lord chamberlain of the household, above all of his own degree.

Thus these great officers hare not this place unless they be dukes.


Lord Coke lays it down, that if a duke or earl, &c., be made protector of the realm in parliament, he shall have no other place but as a duke or earl, &c. 4 Inst. MS.

Eldest sons of dukes of the blood

royal. ♦Marquesses. {Dukes' eldest sons.

But they do not precede earls holding either of the offices of lord chancellor, lord treasurer, lord president of the council, or lord privy seal.


Vounger sons of dukes of the

blood royal. {Marquesses' eldest sons. {Dukes' younger sons.

This precedency of dukes' younger sons before viscounts was settled by decree of the commissioners for executing the office of earl marshal, upon reference to them by queen Elizabeth, 16 Jan. 1594.

{Earls' eldest sons.
{Marquesses' younger sons.
•Secretary of state, if a bishop.
But if a bishop has any of the great

offices above mentioned, he takes precedence accordrng to such office.

•Bishop of London.

Lord Coke holds, that if a bishop of this realm be made a cardinal, he shall not take any place of precedency in parliament as a cardinal, but take his place according to his bishopric. 4 lust. p. 363. That opinion is important, to shew that foreign dignities are not allowed in England.

•Bishop of Durham.

The precedency of the bishop of Durham seems to be by reason of the palatinate annexed to that bishopric; but in the statute annexing the palatinate of Durham to the crown, the precedency of the bishop of Durham is not changed.

•Bishop of Winchester.

This seems to be because the bishop of Winchester is prelate of the most noble order of the Garter.

•Bishops according to seniority

of consecration. Irish bishops.

Stat. 39 and 40 Geo. III. c. lxru. art. 4.

Bishop of Meath.

Bishop of Kildare.

Other Irish bishops.

♦Secretary of state, if a baron.

But lord Coke says (4 Inst. 363), that if a secretary of state be a viscount and earl, or higher degree, he shall not take place of any viscount, earl, or higher degree, as it was resolved in the case of Robert Cecil, earl of Salisbury. By a royal warrant subsequent to the act for placing the lords, appointing Thomas Wriothesley and Ralph Sadler principal secretaries of state during his highness's pleasure, it was declared, that in all councils, as well in the king's household as in the star-cham.

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