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ties, and the illiberal jealously that subsisted between the patrons and students of each 3. The establishment of the court of Common Pleas at Westminster preserved the common law, and promoted its study in that neighbourhood, exclusive of the two universities 4. But the universities are now the most eligible places for laying the foundations of this, as of every other liberal accomplishment; by tracing out the principles and grounds of the law, even to their original elements




1. Law is a rule of action prescribed by a superior power

2. Natural law is the rule of human action, prescribed by the Creator, and discoverable by the light of reason 3. The divine, or revealed law (considered as a rule of action) is also the law of nature, imparted by God himself

The law of nations is that which regulates the conduct and mutual intercourse of independent states with each other. by reason and natural justice 5. Municipal or civil law is the rule of Civil conduct prescribed by the supreme power in a state, commanding what is right, and prohibiting what is wrong

6. Society is formed for the protection of individuals; and states or government, for the preservation of society

7. lu all states there is an absolute supreme power, to which the right of lelegislation belongs; and which, by the singular constitution of these kingI doms, is vested in the king, lords, and


8. The parts of a law are, I. The declaratory which defines what is right and wrong. II. The directory; which consists in commanding the observation of right, or prohibiting the commission of wrong. III. The remedial; or method of recovering private rights and redressing private wrongs. IV. The vindicatory sanction of punishments for public wrongs; wherein consists the most forcible obligation of human laws

9. To interpret a law, we must enquire after the will of the maker: which may be collected either from the words, the context, the subject-matter, the effects and consequence, or the spirit and reason of the law

38 to 61


3. General customs, or the common law properly so called, are founded upon immemorial universal usage, whereof judicial decisions are the evidence; which decisions are preserved in the public records, explained in the yearbooks and reports, and digested by writers of approved authority

31 4. Particular customs are those which are only in use within some peculiar districts; as gavel-kind, the customs of London, &c.

5. These-I. must be proved to exist;
-II. must appear to be legal; that is,
immemorial, continued. peaceable,
reasonable, certain, compulsory, and
consistent ;-III. must, when allowed,
receive a strict construction
6. Particular laws are such as, by special
custom, are adopted and used only in
certain peculiar courts, under the su-
perintendence and control of the com-
mon and statute law; namely, the
Roman civil and canon laws


10. From the latter method of interpretation arises equity, or the correction of that wherein the law (by reason of its universality) is deficient









the unwritten or common law, and the written or statute law

2. The unwritten law includes, I. General customs. II. Particular customs. III. Particular laws


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5. The isle of Man, the Norman isles (as Guernsey, &c.), and our plantations abroad, are governed by their own laws; but are bound by acts of the British parliament, if specially named thererein




63 to 91 6. The territory of England is divided, 1. The laws of England are of two kinds: ecclesiastically, into provinces, dio


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93 to 113

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1. The objects of the laws of England are, I. Rights. II. Wrongs 2. Rights are, the rights of persons, or the rights of things

3. The rights of persons are such as coneern, and are annexed to, the persons of men and, when the person to whom they are due is regarded, they are called (simply) rights; but, when we consider the person from whom they are due, they are then denominated duties

4. Persons are either natural, that is, such as they are formed by nature; or artificial, that is, created by human policy, as bodies politic or corporations 5. The rights of natural persons are, I. Absolute, or such as belong to individuals. II. Relative, or such as regard members of society

6. The absolute rights of individuals, regarded by the municipal laws (which pay no attention to duties of the absofute kind), compose what is called political or civil liberty

7. Political or civil liberty is the natural liberty of mankind, so far restrained by human laws as is necessary for the good of society


8. The absolute rights, or civil liberties, of Englishmen, as frequently declared in Parliament, are principally three': the right of personal security, of sonal liberty, and of private property 9. The right of personal security consists in the legal enjoyment of life, limb, body, health, and reputation 10. The right of personal liberty consists in the free power of loco-motion, without illegal restraint or banishment 11 The right of private property consists in every man's free use and disposal of his own lawful acquisitions, without injury or illegal diminution 12. Besides these three primary rights, there are others which are secondary and subordinate; viz. (to preserve the former from unlawful attacks) I. The constitution and power of Parliaments: II. The limitation of the king's prerogative-and (to vindicate them when actually violated): III. The regular administration of public justice: IV. The right of petitioning for redress of grievances: V. The right of having and using arms for self-defence














Page OF THE PARLIAMENT 146 to 189 1. The relations of persons are, I. Public. II. Private. The public relations are those of magistrates and people. Magistrates are supreme, or subordi. nate. And of supreme magistrates, in England, the Parliament is the supreme executive

2. Parliaments, in some shape, are of as high antiquity as the Saxon government in this island; and have subsist ed, in their present form, at least five hundred years




3. The parliament is assembled by the king's writs, and its sitting must not be intermitted above three years 4. Its constituent parts are the king's majesty, the lords spiritual and temporal, and the commons represented by their members: each of which parts has a negative, or necessary, voice in making laws 153-160 5. With regard to the general law of parliament-its power is absolute: each house is the judge of its own privileges and all the members of either house are entitled to the privilege of speech, of person, of their domestics, and of their lands and goods 6. The peculiar privileges of the lords (besides their judicial capacity) are to hunt in the king's forests; to be attended by the sages of the law; to make proxies; to enter protests; and to regulate the election of the sixteen peers of North-Britain



7. The peculiar privileges of the commons are to frame taxes for the subject; and to determine the merits of their own elections, with regard to the qualifications of the electors and elected, and the proceedings at elections themselves 169-180 8. Bills are usually twice read in each house, committed, engrossed, and then read a third time; and when they have obtained the concurrence of both houses, and received the royal assent, they become acts of Parliainent 9. The houses may adjourn themselves; but the king only can prorogue the Parliament



10. Parliaments are dissolved, 1. At the king's will. II. By the demise of the crown; that is, within six months af ter. III. By length of time, or having sat for the space of seven years 187-189

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3. With regard to his title; the crown of England, by the positive constitution of the kingdom, hath ever been descendible, and so continues 4. The crown is descendible in a course peculiar to itself

5. This course of descent is subject to limitation by Parliament

6. Notwithstanding such limitations, the crown retains its descendible quality, and becomes hereditary in the prince to whom it is limited

7. King Egbert, king Canute, and king William I., have been successively constituted the common stocks, or ancestors of this descent

8. At the revolution, the convention of estates, or representative body of the nation, declared, that the misconduct of king James II. amounted to an abdication of the government, and that the throne was thereby vacant 9. In consequence of this vacancy, and from a regard to the antient line, the convention appointed the next protestant heirs of the blood-roval of king Charles I. to fill the vacant throne, in the old order of succession; with a temporary exception, or preference, to the person of king William III. 10. On the impending failure of the protestant line of king Charles I., (whereby the throne might again have become vacant), the Parliament extended the settlement of the crown to the protestant line of king James I. viz. to the princess Sophia of Hanover, and the heirs of her body, being protestants and she is now the common stock, from whom the heirs of the crown must descend

Page 1. The king's councils are, I. The Parliament. II. The great council of peers. II. The judges, for matters of 2. In privy counsellors may be considered, 1. Their creation. II. Their qualifications. III. Their duties. IV. Their powers. V. Their privileges. VI. Their dissolution

3. The prince and princess of Wales, and the princess-royal, are peculiarly regarded by the law

4. The other princes of the blood-royal are only entitled to precedence














1. The king's royal family consists, first,


of the queen who is either regnant, consort, or dowager

2. The queen consort is a public person; and hath many personal prerogatives and distinct revenues






227 to 232






1. The king's duties are to govern his people according to law, to execute judgment in mercy, and to maintain the established religion

2. These are his part of the original contract between himself and the people; founded in the nature of society, and expressed in his oath at the corona



233 to 235



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3. The direct prerogatives regard, I.
The king's dignity, or royal charac-
ter. I. His authority, or regal power.
III. His revenue, or royal income
4. The king's dignity consists in the le-
gal attributes of. I. Personal sove
reignty. I. Absolute perfection. III.
Political perpetuity

5. In the king's authority, or regal
power, consists the executive part of


6. In foreign concerns; the king, as the representative of the nation, has the right or prerogative, I. Of sending and receiving embassadors. II. Of making treaties. III. Of proclaiming war or peace. IV. Of issuing reprisals. V. Of granting safe-conducts 7. In domestic affairs; the king is, first, a constituent part of the supreme legislative power; hath a negative upon all new laws; and is bound by no statute, unless specially named therein 261 8. He is also considered as the general of the kingdom, and may raise fleets and armies, build forts, appoint havens, erect beacons, prohibit the exportation of arms and ammunition, and confine his subjects within the realm, or recall them from foreign parts 262-266 9. The king is also the fountain of justice, and general conservator of the peace; and therefore may erect courts (wherein he hath a legal ubiquity), pro secute offenders, pardon crimes, and issue proclamations





10. He is likewise the fountain of honour, of office, and of privilege 11. He is also the arbiter of domestic commerce (not of foreign, which is regulated by the law of merchants); and is therefore entitled to the erection of public marts, the regulation of weights and measures, and the coinage or legitimation of money 12. The king is. lastly, the supreme head of the church; and, as such, convenes, regulates, and dissolves synods, noininates bishops, and receives appeals in all ecclesiastical causes


Page 271

3. The king's ordinary temporal revenue consists in, I. The demesne lands of the crown. II. The hereditary excise; being part of the consideration for the purchase of his feodal profits, and the prerogatives of purveyance and pre-emption. II. An annual sum issuing from the duty on wine licences; being the residue of the same consideration. IV. His forests. V. His courts of justice. VI. Royal fish. VII. Wrecks, and things jetsam, flotsam, and ligan. VIII. Royal mines. IX. Treasure trove. X. Waifs. XI. Estrays. XII. Forfeitures for offences, and deodands. XIII. Escheats of lands. XIV. The custody of idiots and lunatics



281 to 330 1. The king's revenue is either ordinary or extraordinary. And the ordinary is, 1. Ecclesiastical. II. Temporal 2. The king's ecclesiastical revenue consists in, I. The custody of the temporalities of vacant bishopricks. II. Corodies and pensions. III. Extraparochial tithes. IV. The first fruits and tenths of benefices


4. The king's extraordinary revenue consists in aids, subsidies, and supplies, granted to him by the commons in parliament





5. Heretofore these were usually raised by grants of the (nominal) tenth or fifteenth part of the moveables in every township; or by scutages, hydages, and talliages; which were succeeded by subsidies assessed upon individuals, with respect to their lands and goods

A new system of taxation took place about the time of the revolution; our modern taxes are therefore, 1. Annual. II. Perpetual

7. The annual taxes are, I. The land tax, or the antient subsidy raised upon a new assesment. II. The malt tax, being an annual excise on malt, mum, cyder, and perry 308-313 8. The perpetual taxes are, I. The customs, or tonnage and poundage of all merchandize exported or imported. II. The excise duty, or inland imposition, on a great variety of commodities.




III. The salt duty, or excise on salt. IV. The post office, or duty for the carriage of letters. V. The stamp duty on paper, parchment, &c. VI. The duty on houses and windows. VII. The duty on licences for hackney coaches and chairs. VIII. The duty on offices and pensions 9. Part of this revenue is applied to pay the interest of the national debt, till the principal is discharged by parlia


10. The produce of these several taxes were originally separate and specifie funds, to answer specific loans upon their respective credits; but are now consolidated by parliament into three principal funds, the aggregate, general, and south-sea funds, to answer all the debts of the nation: the public faith being also superadded, to supply deficiencies, and strengthen the security of the whole


11. The surpluses of these funds, after paying the interest of the national debt, are carried together, and denominated the sinking fund; which, unless otherwise appropriated by parliament, is annually to be applied towards paying off some part of the principal 12. But, previous to this, the aggregate fund is now charged with an annual sum for the civil list; which is the immediate proper revenue of the crown, settled by parliament on the king at his accession, for defraying the charges of civil government



3. Coroners are permanent officers of the crown in each county, elected by the freeholders; whose office it is to make enquiry concerning the death of the king's subjects, and certain revenues of the crown; and also, in particular cases, to supply the office of sheriff 4. Justices of the peace are magistrates in each county, statutably qualified, and commissioned by the king's majesty; with authority to conserve the peace; to hear and determine felonies, and other misdemesnors; and to do many other acts, committed to their charge by particular statutes

5. Constables are officers of hundreds and townships, appointed at the leef, and empowered to preserve the peace,



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