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Friday, 4 August 2017

Maitland: The Police System.

The Police System. Maitland on the Revolution of 1688. The Constitutional History of England. Cambridge University Press 1909. “ We must speak briefly of the system by which order is maintained, and suspected persons are brought to justice, even though we can take but a superficial view of what has come to be a great department of law. The decline and fall of the sheriff's office has already been traced down to the seventeenth century^ During the whole of our period this process of decay is continued, the sheriff loses function after function. We know the High Sheriff now-a-days as a country gentleman, who (it may be much against his will) has been endowed for a single year with high rank, and burdened with a curious collection of disconnected duties, the scattered fragments of powers that once were vast. He receives the queen's judges on their circuits, he acts as a returning officer in parliamentary elections for his county, he executes civil judgments, and has to see to the hanging of those who are appointed to die. He has lost almost all other duties. Long ago the institution of justices of the peace gradually deprived him of all penal jurisdiction, and in 1887 the court in which he exercised that jurisdiction—the sheriff's tourn—was formally abolished (he had, I think, ceased to hold it for quite two centuries); in 1846 such civil urisdiction as the old county court had was transferred to the so-called new county courts ; in 1865 he was relieved of the custody of prisoners, except those appointed to die. I think that I have mentioned what now are his main duties. Civil execution is the most important of them, i.e. the seizing and selling of lands and goods in order to satisfy the judgments of civil courts. Such duties are performed for him by an under-sheriff, but the sheriff is answerable for the mistakes of his subordinates. Some fees and percentages are payable for this work, but the sheriff has no salary, and is always a loser by his office. He is still appointed by the king, who chooses 1 the sheriffs (pricks the sheriffs) from a list settled at a \) meeting, at which some of the judges and some of the ministers are present, and under the old statutes, of which we I have formerly spoken, he can hold office but for one year-. ^ See above, pp. 232—4. * See VizxCizxiA, Justice and Police. We have seen how in old times it was one of his main duties to pursue and arrest malefactors, and also how this work fell more and more under the control of the Justices of the Peace, the arrests being actually made by the parish or township constables under warrants of the justices. The old system of parish or township constables lingered on far into the nineteenth century. During the eighteenth century, this and that big town obtained a special act for the creation of a paid orce of watchmen, and London began to get a force of paid constables in 1792, a force which gradually increased in size and was placed more and more directly under the control of the Home Secretary. But for England at large, the only constabulary was that old parish or township constabulary of the early history of which we have spoken. So late as 1842 an effort was made to put new life into the old system. By an act of 1842 (5 and 6 Vic, c. 109) the general principle was put upon the statute book that every able-bodied man resident within any parish, between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-five, rated to the poor rate at £d^ or more, was liable to serve as constable for the parish ; but certain classes were specially exempted, and the list of exemptions was long. Lists of persons liable to serve were to be laid before the justices, and they were thereout to appoint so many constables for each parish as they should think fit; substitutes were allowed ; and' a man who had served in person or by substitute was exempt from serving again until every other person liable to serve had taken his turn ; he was not bound, as a general rule, to act outside his parish ; he might earn certain fees, but otherwise was unpaid. Thirty years later, in 1872, the new police forces having been created in the meantime, a statute ordained that no parish constables should be appointed for the future, unless the justices at Quarter Sessions should think fit. The act of 1842 can still be put in force if need be; the able-bodied man, not specially exempted, is liable to be constable for his parish or to find a substitute; but practically this statute is never put in force. Then there is another act of 1831 in force, which enables the justices, in case of any reasonable apprehension of riot or felony, to force men to serve as special constables. A Secretary of State has even greater powers—he can oblige the. exempted classes to serve as special constables ; we must not regard this power as obsolete, on occasions it would doubtless be used. But gradually a new police force was called into being. The Metropolitan force was created in 1829 by an act introduced by Sir Robert Peel. In 1839 the City of London force was created. In 1835 occasion was taken of the great reform of the municipal boroughs, to insist that every such borough should have a paid police force. In 1839 the counties were permitted, in 1856 they were compelled, to create paid county forces. Thus by the beginning of 1857 the whole of England had been brought within the new system. There is no one police force for the whole of England, but rather a number of distinct local forces. Part of the expense (if the force is reported as efficient) is paid by the nation, part is paid by the counties and boroughs. The various forces are annually reviewed by royal inspectors, who report to the Home Secretary, and only if their report is favourable, does the nation contribute to the expense. There are some very considerable differences between the various forces. Thus in the Metropolitan district there is very perfect centralization, no 'local authority' has anything to do with the system. A Commissioner and two Assistant Commissioners, holding office during the queen's good pleasure, regulate and command, appoint and dismiss the constables, but a supreme supervisory control is reserved to the Home Secretary. But take a county force: the Home Secretary can make general rules as to the government, pay and clothing of constables; but the justices in Quarter Sessions, with the Secretary's consent, determine the number of the force, and appoint and can dismiss the chief constable^ The chief constable has the general command of the force, subject to the lawful orders of the justices in Quarter Sessions, and he at his pleasure can dismiss any of his subordinates. ^ Under the Local Government Act of 1888 (51 and 52 Vict., c. 41) the County police was placed under the general control of the Standing Joint Committee of Quarter Sessions and the County Council. The control over individual constables is however retained by the Quarter Sessions and even by individual justices. See Jenks, A71 Outline of English Local Goverfinie?it, pp. 179—81. Let us then consider briefly the position of a police constable, he has peculiar duties and peculiar powers, and is subjected to a peculiar discipline. Take this last point first. The peculiar discipline to which he is subject is not nearly so stringent as that of military law; we have no court martial for the policeman. A county constable can be dismissed at the will of the chief constable. The chief constable, if he thinks him remiss or negligent in his duties, can reduce him in rank, or fine him one week's pay. On a summary conviction for neglect or violation of duty, he can be fined ^10 or condemned to a month's hard labour; but on the whole he has been left much to the general law, and if guilty of any offence against it, can be treated like another offender. Now looking at his powers and duties, we find that he has in the first place powers and duties concerning the arrest of offenders. It is his duty to execute warrants for arrest issued by the justices, and in so doing he is protected. Unless there is some flagrant illegality apparent in the warrant he is bound to obey it, and safe in obeying it. But then without any warrant he may, in certain cases, arrest suspected persons. What those cases are, you will have to learn some day when you study criminal procedure. You will find that in this respect every person, every member of the public has certain powers, but that a constable has greater powers. The distinction between felonies and misdemeanours here plays a large part. For example, there are a number of misdemeanours for which a man may be arrested without warrant, if he is caught in the act by a constable, while a person not a constable would not be safe in arresting him. You must remember this, that it does not follow that because I have committed a crime therefore I can be arrested without warrant either by anyone, or by a constable. If I have committed murder anyone may arrest me without a justice's warrant, if I am drunk and disorderly a constable may arrest me without a warrant; but if my crime is perjury or bribery, it will be unlawful to arrest me without warrant. He who does so, whether he be a constable or no, does an unlawful act, does me a wrong; and he does a dangerous act, for I may lawfully resist him, his attack is unlawful and my resistance is lawful. Now it is in these peculiar powers of arrest, and in the duty to exercise them, that hes the chief difference between the constable and the private man—he may lawfully make arrests which the private man cannot make lawfully. But statutes have gradually been heaping other powers and duties upon police constables, e.g. empowering them to enter public-houses to detect violation of the Licensing Acts. If it occurs to parliament that steam thrashing-machines are dangerous things that ought to be fenced, then it passes an act saying that * any constable may at any time enter on any premises on which he has reasonable cause to believe that a thrashing-machine is being worked contrary to the provisions of this act, for the purpose of inspecting such machines.' Examples might be indefinitely multiplied. We may pass to a few words about the provision that our law makes for the maintenance of order in extreme cases, and we may start with this, that it is the common law right and duty of all persons, whether constables or no, to keep the peace, and according to their power to disperse, and if necessary arrest, those who break it. From an early time the common law was supplemented by statutes, statutes of the Tudor reigns which made it felony for twelve persons or more to continue together riotously for an hour after they had been ordered to disperse by a justice of the peace. These statutes were temporary, and expired at the death of Elizabeth ; in 1714 they were replaced by the famous Riot Act (i Geo. I, St. 2, c. 5), which is still in force. It makes it felony for twelve rioters to continue together for an hour after the reading of

Maitland: The History of the Army.

The History of the Army. Maitland on the Revolution of 1688. The Constitutional History of England. Cambridge University Press 1909. “ The last topic with which we can deal before passing to a new period is the history of the army—a matter of which we have hitherto said too little. After the Conquest the feudal tenures had supplied the king with troops; but the feudal array was an extremely clumsy weapon. The tenant by knight service was only bound to serve for forty days in the year—and there was constant friction between the king and his barons as to the conditions of the service—were they bound to serve in Normandy? were they bound to serve in Germany?—on more than one famous occasion these questions were raised, and the embarrassed king had to make concessions. Already in 1159 Henry II took the first scutage, by way of composition for personal serviced It is explained that his object was to spare the lives of his subjects and get ^ Traces of scutage have been found as early as the reign of Henry I. Round, Feudal England, p. 268. See M<:Kechnie, Magna Carta, pp. 86—90. 18—2 his foreign wars fought for him by mercenaries. Towards the end of his reign, in 1181, he revived and reorganized the ancient national force by his Assize of Arms. Apparently the idea of such a force had never ceased to exist; it had never become law that military service, at all events defensive military service, was limited by the system of military tenure. Every man, according to his degree, is to have suitable weapons—even the poorest free man is to have his spear and helmet. A national force, organized by counties, was thus created. Henry III reissued the assize in an amplified form, and it forms the base of one of his son's great statutes, the Statute of Winchester. Its date is 1285, so there is just a century between it and the Assize of Arms\ Every free man between the ages of fifteen and sixty is to have armour according to his wealth. There are five classes, ranging from him who has £\^ of lands and 40 marks of goods, a habergeon, iron helmet, sword, knife and horse, down to him who is merely to have his bow and arrows. Twice a year the arms are to be viewed in each hundred by two elected officers called constables. These provisions occur in close connection with others enforcing the ancient duties of watch and ward, of hue and cry. If this national force is to be useful against the public enemy, it is to be useful also for police purposes, for apprehending malefactors and the like. Its officers you will, observe are 'constables'—the title is originally a military title, which spreads downwards from the king's constable, who along with the king's marshall arrays and leads the royal forces. Even the lowest officers in the national force become constables; the constable of the township looks after the armour of the township, above him are the constables of the hundred; they again are below the constable, the high constable (as he comes to be called) of the county. The military duties of the constable of the township are from the first allied with the duty of keeping the peace and apprehending malefactors—the ancient village officers, the reeves, the headboroughs (chiefs of the frankpledge), become also the constables, and lose their older names. ^ Select Charters^ pp. 154—6, 469—74. To return. The obligation of this armed force, defined by the Statute of Winchester, to take part in war offensive or defensive, is for a long while very indefinite. Of course it could not be contended that the king might send every able-bodied man out of the realm to serve in France. We find that Edward I commissions certain of his servants to choose out a fixed number of able-bodied men from their respective counties. In other words, he issues commissions of array. The forces thus levied he pays at his own cost. The troops from a county are under the command of a royal capitaneiis or captain, in whom we may see the forerunner of the lord-lieutenant of later times. The sheriff would naturally be the head of the county force, and so in theory he remains; it is he who can raise the power of the county, the posse comitahis, for the pursuit of malefactors; but for actual warfare an annual officer (and permanent sheriffs the country will not stand) is not a good commander. So the sheriff loses his military functions at a time when the institution of permanent justices of the peace is sapping many other of his powers. Commissions of array become common under Edward II and Edward III, and the king does not always pay the soldiers whom he levies—he expects the counties to pay them ; the counties were required to provide arms not prescribed by the Statute of Winchester, to pay the wages of men outside of their own area and even outside of the kingdom. Complaints of this become loud. In 1327 the commons petition that they be not compelled to arm themselves at their own cost contrary to the Statute of Winchester, or to serve beyond the limits of their counties, except at the king's cost. The petition was granted by statute (i Edw. Ill, Stat. 2, c. 5) in this modified form. ' The king wills that no man be charged to arm himself otherwise than he was wont in the time of his (the king's) progenitors, and that no man be compelled to go out of his shire, but where necessity requireth and sudden coming of strange enemies into the realm; and then it shall be done as hath been used in times past for the defence of the realm.' But Edward had to make a further concession. By statute (25 Edw. Ill, Stat. 5, c. 8) it is accorded and assented that no man shall be constrained to find men-at-arms, hobblers nor archers, other than those which hold by such services, if not by common assent and grant made by parliament. Apparently those statutes were habitually broken or evaded. In 1402 they were confirmed by statute (4 Hen. IV, c. 13), and they seem to have been observed during the Lancastrian reigns. The Welsh and Scottish wars of Henry VI were regarded as defensive, resistances of invasion, and the county forces could lawfully be called to meet them. The army whereby Henry V won his victories in France consisted partly of soldiers voluntarily enlisted who had the king's wages, partly of forces raised by lords who served the king by indenture, by special bargain. During the Wars of the Roses both sides used the king's name for commissions of array, and the country got thoroughly accustomed to intestine war,compulsory service, and extorted loans and benevolences. The statutes of Edward III remained on the statute book ; so did the Statute of Winchester. The Tudor despotism was not enforced by any standing army; that is one of the most noticeable things in the history of the time. One or two hundred yeomen of the guard and a few guards in the fortresses were the only soldiers that the king kept permanently in his pay. Commissions of array, however, were issued from time to time; the counties were compelled to provide soldiers even for foreign service, and the statutes of an earlier time seem to have been disregarded and perhaps forgotten. An important act of 1557 (4 and 5 Philip and Mary, c. 3) tal^es no notice of the old acts, but speaks of mustering and levying men to serve in the wars as a recognized legal practice, and, as it seems to me, implicitly sanctions impressment by means of commissions of array, even impressment for foreign service. Certain offences when committed by the soldiers when mustered and levied are to be tried by the king's lieutenant,'the lord-lieutenant' as he is here called. The usage of appointing a permanent lord-lieutenant for each county is said to date from this reign. Another statute of this same year 1557 (4 and 5 Philip and Mary, c. 2) expressly repealed so much of every statute of earlier date as concerned the finding or keeping of horse or armour; and it enacted a new scale of armour, which replaced that ordained by the Statute of Winchester. But this statute was itself repealed in 1603 by I James I, c. 25, an act which repealed in a wholesale fashion a large number of the Tudor statutes. No reason is given for the repeal; Hallam suggests that the accession to the English throne of the king of Scotland had removed the chief necessity for a defensive force. But the repeal had a perhaps unexpected effect. Until 1850 it was our law that if statute A be repealed by statute B, and then statute B be si mply repealed by statute C, statute A is thus revived—so the Statute of Winchester came to life once more^ Then in the days of Charles I it became matter of hot debate whether the armed force which the old statutes created was at the king's disposal. This force was just acquiring the new name of militia, and the control over the militia became one of the chief points of controversy between crown and parliament. Meanwhile no standing army is kept up; for foreign warfare a temporary army is got together partly by virtue of feudal obligation, partly by voluntary enlistment, partly by impressment. However, in James's reign we find that the troops are not always disbanded immediately on their return to England, and we find that commissions of martial law are issued for their governance. Thus at the end of the reign, December, 1624, there are troops at Dover. A commission is issued to the Mayor and others empowering them 'to proceed according to the justice of martial law against such soldiers... and other dissolute persons joining with commit any robberies, felonies, mutinies or other outrages or misdemeanours...and then to execute and cause to be put to death according to the law martial' Of the very questionable legality of such commissions we have before spoken : here let us notice that only by such means could a standing army be held together. This, I think, has been the verdict of long experience, that an army cannot be kept together if its discipline is left to the ordinary common law. These commissions, you will observe, went far beyond matters of military ^ 13 and 14 Victoria, c. ii. 5. ^ Pat. Roll, 22 Jac. I, part 4, printed in Prothero, Statutes and Constitutional Documents (1559—1625), pp. 398—9. discipline—they empowered the commissioners to try soldiers 'and other dissolute' persons for robberies and other felonies, as well as for mutinies. The difficulty of keeping a standing army was, as James's successors found, a double difficulty— (i) that of maintaining any discipline without having recourse to illegal commissions, (2) that of paying troops without having recourse to illegal modes of raising money. As regards the legality of pressing soldiers, we have this to remember in the king's favour, and it is too often forgotten, that the legality of pressing sailors seems to have been fully admitted. From an early time, certainly through the fourteenth century, we find that the king presses sailors and presses ships for transport and for naval warfare. This is done by means of commissions closely similar to the commissions of array. But while the commissions of arraying soldiers excited much opposition, and parliament was constantly petitioning about them and sometimes succeeded in getting statutes passed limiting the king's power, the pressing of sailors and ships seems not to have been a great grievance. All one hears by way of protest is that the sailors ought to be at the king's wages from the time when they are on board ship. A statute of 1378 (2 Ric. II, c. 4) distinctly recognizes the lawfulness of the practice—it speaks of sailors arrested and retained for the king's service, and provides a punishment for them if they run away. Many later statutes speak of pressing as a lawful process. There are several from the last century which do so by making exceptions; in these and those circumstances sailors are not to be impressed. No word in the Petition of Right or the Bill of Rights is directed against this prerogative; the class affected by it was, I suppose, too small to make its voice heard, or else the necessity of manning a navy was considered so great that the king's power was never called in question…”. Note: Page numbers are not included because they vary according to the programme that it being used to view the text. The reader before relying on this information should take steps to verify it by cross checking with other sources.

Maitland: The Constable.

The Constable. Maitland on the Revolution of 1688. The Constitutional History of England. Cambridge University Press 1909. “Our last word shall be as to the constables. A constabulary in our modern sense, a force of men trained, drilled, uniformed, and paid there is not—our modern police force is very modern indeed. But it has become the law that every parish—or more strictly speaking every township—is bound to have its constable. The constable as we have said is originally a military officer—a petty officer in the county force; but then the county force, the posse comitatus, is as much concerned with making hue and cry after malefactors as with defensive warfare ; this work falls more and more into the constable's hands, and as the militia becomes more military the constable becomes less military, more purely, in our terms, a police officer. In the seventeenth century he is still elected by his neighbours in the old local courts, in those districts in which such courts still exist: elsewhere and perhaps more generally he is appointed by the justices. Every capable inhabitant of the township can be appointed constable, unless there is some special cause for exemption. Remember that all, or almost all, of our old common law offices are compulsory offices—a person appointed cannot refuse them. To this day a man may be made sheriff or mayor of a borough against his will. Generally the person chosen as constable was allowed to find a respectable substitute—and this he could do for £I0: the office was annual. The constable had no salary, but he was entitled to demand certain fees for some part of his business. His chief business was the apprehension of malefactors, and for this purpose he was armed with certain powers additional to those which the ordinary man has: thus it was sometimes safe for a constable to make an arrest on suspicion, when it would not have been lawful for a private man. It is well to remember that the constable is an officer long known to our common law: a great part of the peculiar powers of the modern policeman are due to this—that he is a constable, and as such has all those powers with which for centuries past a constable has been entrusted by law. Gradually the constables come more and more under the control of the justices of the peace—in particular, it becomes less and less usual for arrests to be made without the warrant of justices, and in executing such warrants the constable has special protection…”. “The Police System. We must speak briefly of the system by which order is maintained, and suspected persons are brought to justice, even though we can take but a superficial view of what has come to be a great department of law. The decline and fall of the sheriff's office has already been traced down to the seventeenth century^ During the whole of our period this process of decay is continued, the sheriff loses function after function. We know the High Sheriff now-a-days as a country gentleman, who (it may be much against his will) has been endowed for a single year with high rank, and burdened with a curious collection of disconnected duties, the scattered fragments of powers that once were vast. He receives the queen's judges on their circuits, he acts as a returning officer in parliamentary elections for his county, he executes civil judgments, and has to see to the hanging of those who are appointed to die. He has lost almost all other duties. Long ago the institution of justices of the peace gradually deprived him of all penal jurisdiction, and in 1887 the court in which he exercised that jurisdiction—the sheriff's tourn—was formally abolished (he had, I think, ceased to hold it for quite two centuries); in 1846 such civil coming before a court of law, but still more unpopular to deny the suppliant that redress to which he had been declared entitled by the judgment of a court. (iv) We can hardly lay too much stress on the principle that though the king cannot be prosecuted or sued, his ministers can be both prosecuted and sued, even for what they do by the king's express command. We often say that in this country royal immunity is coupled with ministerial responsibility: but when we speak of ministerial responsibility we too often think merely of the so-called responsibility of ministers to parliament. Now that is an important matter; it is an important matter that our king cannot keep in office advisers who have not the confidence of the majority of the House of Commons—in the last resort this impossibility could be brought home to him by a refusal to grant supplies, or a refusal to renew the Army Act. But let us look at the matter a little more closely. Strictly speaking, ministers are not responsible to parliament; neither House, nor the two Houses together, has any legal power to dismiss one of the king's ministers. But in all strictness the ministers are responsible before the courts of law and before the ordinary courts of law, and they are there responsible even for the highest acts of state ; for those acts of state they can be sued or prosecuted, and the High Court of Justice will have to decide whether they are legal or no. Law, especially modern statute law, has endowed them with many great powers, but the question whether they have overstepped those powers can be brought before a court of law, and the plea *this is an official act, an act of state' will not serve them. A great deal of what we mean when we talk of English Note: Page numbers are not included because they vary according to the programme that it being used to view the text. The reader before relying on this information should take steps to verify it by cross checking with other sources.

Maitland: Status of Catholics.

Status of Catholics. Maitland on the Revolution of 1688. The Constitutional History of England. Cambridge University Press 1909. “ With the Catholics it was still far otherwise. Catholicism had been treated not as a mere religious error, but as a grave political danger, and considering the risings of 1715 and 174S, we are perhaps not justified in condemning that treatment. How enormously severe the law was, will appear from the following passage from Blackstone^: ' Papists may be divided into three classes—persons professing popery, popish recusants convict, and popish priests, 2. Popish recusants, convicted in a court of law of not attending the service of the Church of England, are subject to the following disabilities, penalties and forfeitures, over and above those before mentioned. They are considered as persons excommunicated ; they can hold no office or employment; they must not keep arms in their houses, but the same may be seized by the justices of the peace ; they must not come within ten miles of London on pain of ; they can bring no action at law or suit in equity; they are not permitted to travel above five miles from home unless by licence, upon pain of forfeiting all their goods; and they may not come to court under pain of ;^ioo....A married woman, when recusant, shall forfeit two-thirds of her dower or jointure, may not be executrix or administratrix to her husband, nor have any part of his goods, and during the coverture may be kept in prison, unless her husband redeems her at the rate of ;^io a month or the third part of all his lands. And lastly, as a feme-covert, a recusant may be imprisoned ; so all others must within three months after conviction, either submit and renounce their errors, or if required so to do by four justices, must abjure and renounce the realm, and if they do not depart or if they return without the king's licence, they shall be guilty of felony, and suffer death as felons without benefit of clergy… The greater part of this rigorous code was repealed in 1791 (31 Geo. Ill, c. 32)…”. Note: Page numbers are not included because they vary according to the programme that it being used to view the text. The reader before relying on this information should take steps to verify it by cross checking with other sources.

Maitland: Standing Armies and Martial Law.

Standing Armies and Martial Law. Maitland on the Revolution of 1688. The Constitutional History of England. Cambridge University Press 1909. “Turning now to military affairs we have to recall the fact that before the days of Charles I proclamations of martial law had not been utterly unknown. Not to go back to the Wars of the Roses, Elizabeth had issued such a proclamation ^. in 1588 and again in 1595. James had followed the example in 1617, 1620, 1624. Probably we ought to say of them that they were illegal, though in this matter we may be prejudiced by what then was future history. Charles I early in his reign had recourse to such commissions. It became always clearer that there must be a standing army and that a standing army could only be kept together by more stringent rules and more summary procedure than those of the ordinary law and the ordinary courts. Another grievance was the billeting of soldiers. In 1628 the king had to assent to the Petition of Right. After dealing with the forced loan and the imprisonments by the king's command, it recited that * of late great companies of soldiers and mariners have been dispersed into divers counties of the realm and the inhabitants against their wills have been compelled to receive them into their houses... against the laws and customs of this realm.' Then it recalled the words of Magna Carta, Nulliis liber homo, and recited the commissions of martial law; these it declared to be wholly and directly contrary to the laws and statutes of the realm. It prayed that the king would be pleased to remove the said soldiers and mariners, ' and that your people be not so burdened in time to come, that the commissions of martial law might be revoked and annulled and that no such commissions might be issued for the future.' This of course settled the law, and no expedient for evading it could be discovered. The judges had to inform the king's generals that soldiers who offended must be tried by the ordinary courts; that only when an army of the king was in presence of the enemy could there be any place for martial law. Coke, in one of his latest books lays down that to put a man to death by martial law is murder^ Meanwhile the king and parliament began to quarrel about another and a still more vital point. In whom was the command of the military forces of the kingdom vested? I think that historians and lawyers must agree that it was in ^ 3 Inst. 52. Reference may be made to Dicey, Laiv of the Constitution, 6th ed. c. vni, and App. Xii; also to The Charge of the Lord Chief justice to the Grand Jury in the case of the Queen v. Nelson and Brand, ed. F. Cockburn, 1867. the king. It would have been necessary to go back to very remote and revolutionary times for a precedent of an attempt by parliament to wrest this power from the king's hands. However Charles was suspected, and perhaps justly suspected, of desiring to use the army for the overthrow of the parliamentary constitution; and in 1642 the Houses asserted that the power of the militia (as it was called) was or at all events ought to be in their hands. This, as is well known, was one of the immediate causes of the Civil War; the king was required to consent to a bill putting the militia, as the old county forces were now called, beyond his control. That the militia and all fortified places should be in such hands as parliament should appoint was one of the Nineteen Propositions tendered to him at York in June, 1642. During the war which followed both sides had recourse to martial law for the government of their armies army, parliament itself becoming the despised slave of the force that it had created. At the Restoration the very name of a standing army had become hateful to the classes which were to be the ruling classes. In 1661 a statute (13 Car. II, c. 6) declared that the *sole supreme government of the militia and of all forces by sea and land is, and by the laws of England ever was, the undoubted right of the king and his predecessors, and that neither house of parliament could pretend to the same.' The old county force was remodelled by this act. But loyal as the parliament might be, it would not trust even a king with such an engine of tyranny as a standing army. The Convention Parliament passed an act disbanding the army; the king assented; he also had some reason to dread a standing army. The act of disbandment, however, sanctioned the continuance of * the Guards and Garrisons.' The garrisons were to be placed in the condition in which they existed in, and out of the residue of the soldiers the king was to be at liberty to retain a guard. The number of this guard was not specified. Throughout the reign and on to the Revolution no more than this was legalized. Controversy constantly broke * Gardiner, Constitutional Documents^'^'^. 245—61. out between king and parliament as to military matters. It was extremely difficult to prevent the king's guards living at free quarters, though the billeting of them was undoubtedly illegal. This practice had been declared illegal by the Petition of Right, and the old prerogatives of purveyance and pre-emption with which it was nearly connected had been abolished along with the military tenures. The king could impress no cart for military transport, he could buy no hay, straw, victual, or other thing save by free bargain. Anyone who attempted to exercise these old prerogatives was liable to an action for treble damages at the suit of the party grieved ; anyone who attempted to stop such an action was liable to the punishments denounced by the statute of prae-mimire. Also it was difficult for the king to keep his soldiers in hand. In time of peace no punishment, at least no punishment extending to life or member, could be inflicted on them except in the ordinary course of the common law. On the other hand it was practically very difficult to prevent the officers from proceeding according to what they conceived to be the justice of martial law. However, in 1666, articles of war were issued providing for the trial of even capital offences by court martial; also forbidding that any civil magistrate should imprison a soldier save for treason, or for killing or robbing a person not being an officer or soldier. Seemingly the officers who sat on such courts martial must have risked their necks. Soon after this Clarendon was impeached, ' for that he hath designed a standing army to be raised and to govern the kingdom thereby; and advised the king to dissolve parliament and to lay aside all thoughts of parliament for the future, to govern by a military power and to maintain the same at free quarters and contributions.' But to keep a standing army of any considerable size without supplies from parliament was impossible, and parliament was beginning to appropriate its supplies and to impeach those who infringed the clauses of appropriation. Already, in 1666, a subsidy was granted ; £30,ooo and no more was appropriated to the pay of the guards, the residue was to be spent in the war. In 1676 Charles declared that he was going to war with France; parliament granted but appropriated; war was not made; parliament passed an act for disbanding the army, an act which contains an important clause directed against the practice of billeting—important because it shows that the Petition of Right was not observed. Money was appropriated for the disbanding of the army. Seymour was impeached for having misappropriated these supplies—using them to retain instead of to disband the soldiers. Danby, the Lord Treasurer, was impeached ' for that he had traitorously endeavoured to subvert the ancient and well-established form of government in this kingdom, and the better to effect that his purpose, he did design the raising of an army upon a pretence of war against the French king, and to continue the same as a standing army within this kingdom ; and to that end he has misappropriated money, whereby the law is eluded, and the army is yet continued.' Nevertheless Charles and James after him in one way and another kept the army on foot. James seems to have had above 16,000 men. After Monmouth's rebellion courts martial sat to administer martial law upon the soldiers. I have before me^ the record of one of these courts martial. Peter Teat and Peter Innes of Captain Bedford's regiment are tried by eighteen officers under one of the articles of war lately issued which says that ' No officer or soldier shall use any traitorous words against the sacred person of the king's most excellent majesty upon pain of death.' They are condemned to be hanged. The Bill of Rights declared that one of James's offences had been that he had raised and kept a standing army in time of peace without consent of parliament, and quartered soldiers contrary to law; and further that the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of parliament, is against law. The words ' in time of peace' should be noticed ; they certainly seem to imply that in time of war the king may keep a standing army even without the consent of parliament. But before the Bill of Rights the first Mutiny Act had already been passed (i William & Mary, c. 5). The troops favourable to James were to be shipped off to the Low Countries. When they reached Ipswich, a mutiny broke out. It was ^ Clode, Military Forces of the Crozvji, vol. I, p. 477. necessary to take rapid action, and a bill was hurriedly passed through parliament. It is a very brief affair to this effect: any soldier in the king's service who shall excite or join in any mutiny or sedition in the army or shall desert shall suffer death or such other punishment as by a court martial shall be inflicted. Then follow a few sentences as to the constitution of courts martial. It is provided that nothing in this act shall exempt any officer or soldier from the ordinary process of law; also that it shall not affect the militia forces, that it shall only be in force until the lOth Nov. next, that is for about half-a-year, that nine out of thirteen officers constituting a court martial must agree in passing sentence of death. That is the whole sum and substance of the first mutiny act. The only crimes that it sends to a court martial are mutiny, sedition, desertion ; and in no case is an officer or soldier exempted from the ordinary law. It should be added that though parliament was in haste, it was careful to state in the preamble that the raising or keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of parliament, is against the law. Also that no man may be forejudged of life or limb or subjected to any kind of martial law, or in any other manner than by the judgment of his peers, and according to the known and established laws of this realm. By this time of course it was the orthodox belief of all men that trial by jury was the judicium parium of the Great Charter. From this time forward it became the regular practice to pass temporary mutiny acts. For a while this was not done with perfect regularity. On several occasions during the reigns of William and Anne there was for a few months no mutiny act in force. Sometimes on the other hand the act was to endure for two years. But very soon the practice became settled of passing the act for one year only and of passing such an act in every year. All along through the last century it was regarded as something exceptional, an evil of which we should get rid, if once we had a settled peace. And so, for two centuries, year by year, the statute book was burdened by annual mutiny acts which always tended to become longer and longer…”. “In connexion with this subject a few last words should be said of martial law. We have already seen that under the provisions of the Army Act which is called into force year by year we have among us a large number of persons who are living under a special law. This law is to be found partly in the Army Act itself, partly in articles which can be made from time to time by the queen in exercise of powers given by that act; and it seems probable that, apart from the act, the queen has some, not very well defined, power of making Articles of War for any troops that she is lawfully keeping. This special law for soldiers is administered by tribunals known as courts martial, and is frequently spoken of as martial law; but in the fact it is called ' military law,' and it seems very desirable that we should adopt that term rather than the other. For at times the belief has prevailed that there is some other body of rules known as martial law, some body of rules that the king or his officers could in cases of emergency bring into force by way of proclamation and apply to persons who are not soldiers and who therefore are not subject to that special code of military law of which we have just been speaking. ^ Charge to the Grand Jury of Bristol in 1832. State Trials, N.S., vol. in» p. 5. See also Dicey, Law of the Constitution, 6th edn.. Note VI, pp. 460—2. Now it may, I believe, be pretty confidently denied that there is any such body of rules. In the first place, you will remember that the Petition of Right, after reciting that commissions under the great seal had of late been issued to certain persons to proceed ' according to the justice of martial law’ declared that such commissions were illegal, and prayed that no commissions of the like nature should issue in the future. Then again our annual acts legalizing the army declare that *no man can be forejudged of life or limb or subjected to any punishment within this realm by martial law in time of peace.' The words * in time of peace,' which were not in the earliest Mutiny Acts, certainly seem to suggest that in time of war men may be punished by martial law. But we can find a sufficient meaning for them by saying that in time of war soldiers may be punished by martial law; that is to say, apart from the Army Acts the crown would have some power in time of war of maintaining discipline in its troops by regulations similar to those of our present military code. It must be confessed however that a parliament—an Irish parliament after the rebellion of 1798—has spoken of martial law as though it were some known body of rules that might in times of great emergency be applied to persons who are not soldiers—that there can be such a thing as a proclamation of martial law. If however we ask, where are we to find this body of rules ? what is martial law ? we shall hardly get an answer to our question. When considered the matter seems to resolve itself into this—it is the right and duty of every subject to aid in the suppression of unlawful force; it is more especially the right and duty of magistrates and peace officers of all degrees to do so. The common law defines, though from the nature of the case not very exactly, the occasions on which force may be repelled by force, and the amount of force that can be used ; and in great emergencies it may become necessary that even death should be inflicted^ and deliberately inflicted, for the suppression of disorder. A proclamation of martial law can have no other legal effect than this—it is a proclamation by the king, or by persons holding office under the king, announcing that a state of things exists in which it has become necessary that force shall be repelled and suppressed by force; it is a warning that the part of our common law which sanctions such repulsion and suppression, has come into play. A court of law, an ordinary court of law, may afterwards have to judge whether really there was a legal justification for these high-handed acts which were done in the name of peace and order; but doubtless it might, and in appropriate circumstances would, take into consideration the fact that those who suffered by such acts had had full notice that they were about to be done. But suppose one of the rebels captured, there is no court that can try him save the ordinary criminal courts of the country. In particular circumstances it might perhaps become necessary to shoot him in order that he might not escape or be rescued, and undoubtedly in such a case, if time permitted, it would be well for those who had him in custody to satisfy themselves that he was a rebel. But any inquiry that they might make about this could not have the effect of a trial before a competent tribunal; it would be a wise precaution, but not a judicial proceeding having force as such. He would not really be tried and condemned b}^ any body of rules known as martial law—we know not where to look for any such body of rules—if lawfully put to death, he would be put to death under a rule of our common law, which justifies the suppression by force of unlawful force. As to the whole of this matter see the opinion of Edwin James and Fitzjames Stephen in the case of Governor Eyre (Forsyth, Cases and Opinions on Constitutional Law, p. 55i)\ Note: Page numbers are not included because they vary according to the programme that it being used to view the text. The reader before relying on this information should take steps to verify it by cross checking with other sources.

Maitland: The Bill of Rights 1688/9.

The Bill of Rights 1688/9. Maitland on the Revolution of 1688. The Constitutional History of England. Cambridge University Press 1909. “Passing to the events of 1688 we see that it was extremely difficult for any lawyer to make out that what had then been done was lawful. What had happened was briefly this. In July, 1688, James had dissolved parliament, so that at the critical moment there was no parliament in existence. On 5 November William landed; on 11 December James fled from London and dropped the great seal into the Thames; on the 22nd he left the kingdom. William, Prince of Orange, invited an assembly. It was rapidly got together. He summoned the peers and such of the members of the parliaments of Charles IPs reign (not James II) as were in London; the aldermen of London also were summoned. This, of course, the lawyer cannot but regard as a quite irregular assembly, called by one who is not, who does not profess to be king. The assembly met on 26 December, 1688, and it advised the Prince to summon a 'convention' of the estates of the realm. In accordance with this advice he invited the lords to come, and the counties and boroughs to send representatives to a convention on 22 January, 1689. The convention met. On 25 January the commons resolved that King James II having endeavoured to subvert the constitution of the kingdom by I breaking the original contract between king and people, and by the advice of Jesuits and other wicked persons having violated the fundamental laws and having withdrawn himself out of the kingdom, has abdicated the government, and that the throne has thereby become vacant. After some hesitation, on 12 February the lords agreed to this resolution, and it was resolved that William and Mary should be proclaimed king and queen. On 13 February the Houses waited on William and Mary and tendered them the crown, accompanied by the Declaration of Rights. The crown was accepted. The convention, thereupon following the precedent of 1660, passed an act declaring itself to be the parliament of England, notwithstanding the want of proper writs of summons. This Convention Parliament was not dissolved until early in 1690, and passed many important acts, including the Bill of Rights, which incorporated the Declaration of Rights. A new parliament met on 22 March, 1690, and this of course was duly summoned by writs of the king and queen. It proceeded to declare by statute that the king and queen were king and queen, and that the statutes made by the convention were and are laws and statutes of the kingdom. Now certainly it was very difficult for any lawyer to argue that there had not been a revolution. Those who conducted the revolution sought, and we may well say were wise in seeking, to make the revolution look as small as possible, to make it as like a legal proceeding, as by any stretch of ingenuity it could be made. But to make it out to be a perfectly legal act seems impossible. Had it failed, those who attempted it would have suffered as traitors, and I do not think that any lawyer can maintain that their execution would have been unlawful. The convention hit upon the word * abdicated' as expressing James's action, and, according to the established legal reckoning, he abdicated on the II December, 1688, the day on which he dropped the great seal into the Thames. From that day until the day when William and Mary accepted the crown, 13 February, 1689, there was no king of England. Possibly the convention would better have expressed the truth if, like the parliament of Scotland, it had boldly said that James had forfeited the crown. But put it either way, it is difficult for a lawyer to regard the Convention Parliament as a lawfully constituted assembly. By whom was it summoned ? Not by a king of England, but by a Prince of Orange. Even if we go back three centuries we find no precedent. The parliaments of 1327 and of 1399 were summoned by writs in the king's name under the great seal. Grant that parliament may depose a king, James was not deposed by parliament; grant that parliament may elect a king, William and Mary were not elected by parliament. If when the convention met it was no parliament, its own act could not turn it into a parliament. The act which declares it to be a parliament depends for its validity on the assent of William and Mary. The validity of that assent depends on their being king and queen ; but how do they come to be king and queen t Indeed this statute very forcibly brings out the difficulty—an incurable defect. So again as to the confirming statute of 1690. Do not think that I am arguing for the Jacobite cause. I am only endeavouring to show you how much purely legal strength that cause had. It seems to me that we must treat the Revolution as a revolution, a very necessary and wisely conducted revolution, but still a revolution. We cannot work it into our constitutional law. Passing from this point, we notice that the tender of the crown was made to William and Mary jointly; but William had refused to reign merely in his wife's right—such as it was —and the declaration of the convention was that William and Mary were to hold the crown during their joint lives and the life of the survivor of them, that, however, the sole and full exercise of the regal power was to be in William during their joint lives, but was to be exercised in the names of William and Mary, and that after their deceases the crown should go to the issue of Mary, and in default of her issue to the Princess Anne and the heirs of her body, and for default of such issue to the heirs of the body of William. The Bill of Rights, passed in 1689, confirmed this settlement, adding a clause to the effect that any person who should hold communion with the See or Church of Rome or profess the Popish religion or marry a Papist should be incapable to inherit, possess or enjoy the crown and government of the realm, and that the crown should pass to the person next entitled. In 1700, after the death of Mary, William being childless, and Anne's son the Duke of Gloucester being dead, it became necessary to make a further settlement, and by the Act of Settlement (12 and 13 Will. Ill, c. 2) it was ordained that in default of issue of Mary, Anne, and William the crown should go to the Princess Sophia of Hanover and the heirs of her body being Protestants. She, a daughter of Elizabeth Queen of Bohemia, a daughter of James I, was the nearest heir according to the ordinary rules of inheritance, if Roman Catholics were excluded. A new form of coronation oath has been provided. About the coronation oath there has been controversy. In the reign of Charles I it became known that the king had taken an oath which differed in some respects from the ancient form. That ancient form has come before us already. In it the king promised to hold and keep the laws and righteous customs which the community of the realm shall have chosen— qiias vtilgus elegerit, les quels la commimaiite de vostre roiau^ne aura esleii. Now at Charles's coronation the last question put to him had been this: * Will you grant to hold and keep the laws and rightful customs which the community of this your kingdom have, and will you defend and uphold them to the honour of God as much as in you lieth } ' This form, you will observe, does not assert the right of the people, the community of the realm, to choose its own laws: the king is to hold and keep the laws which the community has. Archbishop Laud was accused of having tampered with the oath. His defence seems on this point to have been quite sound. He had administered the oath in the terms in which it had come to him, the terms to which James I had sworn, the terms to which Elizabeth had sworn. As to Mary's oath I know nothing; but a change had been made on the occasion of Edward VFs accession. He had sworn to make no new laws but such as should be to the honour and glory of God and to the good of the commonwealth, and that the same should be made by consent of his people as hath been accustomed. But a change seems to have been made yet earlier. There is extant a copy of the coronation oath in which alterations have been made in the handwriting of Henry III. The last clause reads thus—I will note the changes made by.the king's ♦ own hand—' And that he shall graunte to hold the laws and [approvyd] customes of the realm [lawful! and nott prejudicial to his Crowne or Imperiall duty], and to his power kepe them and affirm them which the [nobles and] people have made and chosen [with his consent].' The interpolations are very remarkable: they seem to point to the notion of an indefeasible royal power which laws cannot restrain ; the king will not bind himself to maintain laws prejudicial to his crown. Thus since the accession of Edward VI the terms of the oath seem to have varied—and Laud, I believe, successfully showed that he could not be charged with any insidious alterations^ But the meaning of the more ancient form, the form of Edward II's oath, now became a subject of bitter controversy; it was maintained that the elegerit — ' qtcas vulgus elegeriV — could not refer to the future: the kings are to uphold the old law, the law which the people had chosen, not the laws which the people should choose. On the other hand, it was even urged that the terms of the oath excluded the king from all share in legislation—that without perjury he could reject no bill passed by two Houses. Neither contention would harmonize with past history; on the one hand the old oath was a not indistinct declaration that there were to be no laws save those chosen by the community of the realm ; on the other hand the contention that the king was no part of the community was wild. However, when such opposite views were taken of the king's obligation, the time for war had come. The oaths of Charles II and James II seem to have been just those which Charles I had taken. Immediately after the Revolution a new oath was provided by a statute (i William and Mary, c. 6) which recites that the old oath was framed in doubtful words and expressions with relation to ancient laws and constitutions at this time unknown. The most important phrase is this—the king promises to govern the people of England and the dominions thereto belonging according to the statutes in parliament agreed on, and the laws and customs 1 The question is discussed by J. Wickham-Legg, The Coronation Order of King James /, London, 1902, pp. xcvi—cii. of the same; thus ' the statutes in parliament agreed on' take the place of leges qiias vulgus elegerit. By another clause in the oath the king has to swear that he will maintain to the utmost of his power the true profession of the gospel and the protestant reformed religion established by law, and preserve unto the bishops and clergy of the realm and the churches committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges as by law do or shall appertain unto them. Another obligation is laid upon the king by the Bill of Rights and by the Act of Settlement: on the first day of his first parliament he must make the declaration against transubstantiation, the invocation of the saints and the sacrifice of the mass. The clauses which deprive him of his crown in case he holds communion with the Church of Rome or marries a Papist, have already come before us…”. Note: Page numbers are not included because they vary according to the programme that it being used to view the text. The reader before relying on this information should take steps to verify it by cross checking with other sources.

Maitland: “Arms Suitable to their condition”.

“Arms Suitable to their condition”. Maitland on the Revolution of 1688. The Constitutional History of England. Cambridge University Press 1909. “Let us now recount the limitations which are set in this country to the development of what can properly be called a feudal system. (i) First and foremost, it never becomes law that there is no political bond between men save the bond of tenure. William himself seems to have seen the danger. We read that in 1086 he came to Salisbury, *and there came to him his witan and all the landowning men that were worth aught from over all England, whosesoever men they were, and all bowed themselves down to him and became his men, and swore oaths of fealty to him that they would be faithful to him against all other men.' He exacted an oath of fealty not merely from his own tenants, but from all the possessors of land, no matter whose men they were; they were to be faithful to him against all other men, even against their lords. This became fundamental law: we have before this seen its result; whenever homage or fealty was done to any mesne lord, the tenant expressly saved the faith that he owed to his lord the king. The oath of allegiance we find is exacted from all men; this exaction becomes part of the regular business of the local courts. (2) English law never recognizes that any man is bound to fight against his lord. The sub-tenant who holds by military service is bound by his tenure to fight for the king; he is bound to follow his lord's banner, but only in the national army:—he is in nowise bound to espouse his lord's quarrels, least of all his quarrels with the king. Private war never becomes legal; it is a crime and a breach of the peace. Certainly, there was a great deal of private war; certainly men felt it their duty to follow their lord against his enemies, even ^ Select Chartersy p. 163. M. II against the king; but this duty never succeeds in getting itself acknowledged as a legal duty. If that seems to you too natural to be worth mentioning, you should look at the history of France; there it was definitely regarded as law that in a just quarrel the vassal must follow his immediate lord, even against the king. (3) Though the military tenures supply the king with an army, it never becomes law that those who are not bound by tenure need not fight. The old national force, officered by the sheriffs, does not cease to exist. Rufus had called it out for compulsory service; more than once it was called out against the Scots; in 1181 Henry II reorganized it by his Assize of Arms; it was reorganized again under Edward I by the Statute of Winchester in 1285 ; it is the militia of later days. Every man is bound to have arms suitable to his degree, down to the man who need but have bow and arrows. In this organization of the common folk under royal officers, there is all along a counterpoise to the military system of feudalism, and it serves the king well. The great families of the Conquest are at length pulverized between the hammer of the king and the anvil of the people…”. Note: Page numbers are not included because they vary according to the programme that it being used to view the text. The reader before relying on this information should take steps to verify it by cross checking with other sources.

Maitland: Administration of Justice, Ecclesiastical Courts and the Star Chamber.

Administration of Justice, Ecclesiastical Courts and the Star Chamber. Maitland on the Revolution of 1688. The Constitutional History of England. Cambridge University Press 1909. “The greatest event that we have to notice under this heading is the abolition of the Star Chamber—accomplished by an act of the Long Parliament, to which the king gave assent on 5 July, 1641^ More and more the theory had grown, that it derived its only authority from the act of Henry VH, that all that it did beyond the authority of that statute was illegal. This theory was adopted by the act which abolished the court. It abolished the court commonly called the Star Chamber—it also forbad the council to meddle with civil causes—it abolished the jurisdiction of the Council of the Marches, and the Council of the North; it declared that no court should exercise the same or the like jurisdiction as had been exercised by the Star Chamber. On the same day, by ^ Macaulay, History of England, c. XXV. ^ Gardiner, Constitutional Docufnenis, pp. 179—86, another act, the Court of High Commission was abolished, and it was declared that no similar court should be erected for the future. This act used very large words as to the abolition of all ecclesiastical jurisdiction. During the commonwealth episcopacy disappeared. In 1661, after the Restoration, an act was passed, explaining that the old ecclesiastical courts were to retain their old powers—the act of 1641 was abolished save as far as related to the Court of High Commission. Loyal as was the parliament of 1661, it did not me^n to have either the Star Chamber or the High Commission back again. However, in 1686 James H, in the teeth of these statutes, entrusted the whole government of the church to seven commissioners with large powers of suspending, depriving and excommunicating the clergy. His hardly disguised object was to force the Roman religion on the national church. It is one of the offences reckoned up against him in the Declaration and the Bill of Rights that he has issued and caused to be executed a commission under the great seal for erecting a court of commissioners for ecclesiastical causes : this is ' illegal and pernicious.' ^ Macaulay, History of England, c. XXV. “The tribunals afforded no protection to the subject against the civil and ecclesiastical tyranny of that period. The judges of the common law, holding their situations during the pleasure of the King, were scandalously obsequious. Yet, obsequious as they were, they were less ready and less efficient instruments of arbitrary power than a class of courts, the memory of which is still, after the lapse of more than two centuries, held in deep abhorrence by the nation. Foremost among these courts in power and in infamy were the Star Chamber and the High Commission, the former a political, the latter a religious inquisition. Neither was a part of the old constitution of England. The Star Chamber had been remodelled, and the High Commission created, by the Tudors. The power which these boards had possessed before the accession of Charles had been extensive and formidable, but had been small indeed when compared with that which they now usurped. Guided chiefly by the violent spirit of the primate, and free from the control of Parliament, they displayed a rapacity, a violence, a malignant energy, which had been unknown to any former age. The government was able through their instrumentality, to fine, imprison, pillory, and mutilate without restraint. A separate council which sate at York, under the presidency of Wentworth, was armed, in defiance of law, by a pure act of prerogative, with almost boundless power over the northern counties. All these tribunals insulted and defied the authority of Westminster Hall, and daily committed excesses which the most distinguished Royalists have warmly condemned. We are informed by Clarendon that there was hardly a man of note in the realm who had not personal experience of the harshness and greediness of the Star Chamber, that the High Commission had so conducted itself that it had scarce a friend left in the kingdom, and that the tyranny of the Council of York had made the Great Charter a dead letter on the north of the Trent…”. In November, 1640, met that renowned Parliament which, in spite of many errors and disasters, is justly entitled to the reverence and gratitude of all who, in any part of the world. enjoy the blessings of constitutional government. During the year which followed, no very important division of opinion appeared in the Houses. The civil and ecclesiastical administration had, through a period of nearly twelve years, been so oppressive and so unconstitutional that even those classes of which the inclinations are generally on the side of order and authority were eager to promote popular reforms and to bring the instruments of tyranny to justice. It was enacted that no interval of more than three years should ever elapse between Parliament and Parliament, and that, if writs under the Great Seal were not issued at the proper time, the returning officers should, without such writs, call the constituent bodies together for the choice of representatives. The Star Chamber, the High Commission, the Council of York were swept away. Men who, after suffering cruel mutilations, had been confined in remote dungeons, regained their liberty. On the chief ministers of the crown the vengeance of the nation was unsparingly wreaked. The Lord Keeper, the Primate, the Lord Lieutenant were impeached. Finch saved himself by flight. Laud was flung into the Tower. Strafford was put to death by act of attainder. On the day on which this act passed, the King gave his assent to a law by which he bound himself not to adjourn, prorogue, or dissolve the existing Parliament without its own consent…”. The History of England from the Accession of James II, Vol. 1 by Thomas Babington Macaulay. Note: Page numbers are not included because they vary according to the programme that it being used to view the text. The reader before relying on this information should take steps to verify it by cross checking with other sources.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Judicial Review of the Bill of Rights June 2017. Mr. Graham Moore has commenced an application for a Judicial Review of the Home Office's policy to not accept Defence as a "Good Reason" for the issue of firearms certificates to fit persons. The Magna Carta Society is supporting him in this noble endeavour. The Court is the High Court of Justice in London, Queens Bench Division, Administrative Court. The Case Number is CO/3135/2017. It is currently assigned to LJ Supperstone. The Home Office is represented by the Treasury Solicitor. For the information of our supporters we present some of the material which will be used to prove the validity of Mr. Moore’s claim. John Bingley's introduction to the Constitution at the BCG Conference in 2015: The following presentation at the British Constitution Group conference in 2014 gives an account of the History of Firearms related legislation in the UK: Richard Laws presentation in writing: More to follow.

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  • No Title - Thanks for all the kind words. I'd like to shut the blog with this... Come home safe Lads... CSR
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