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THE firft and moft confiderable branch of the king's royal family, regarded by the laws of England, is the queen.

The queen of England is either queen regent, queen confort, or queen dowager. The queen regent, regnant, or fovereign, is fhe who holds the crown in her own right; as the firft (and perhaps the fecond) queen Mary, queen Elizabeth, and queen Anne'; and fuch a one has the fame powers, prerogatives, rights, dignities, and duties, as if fhe had been a king. This was obferved in the entrance of the laft chapter, and is exprefsly declared by fiatute 1 Mar. I. ft. 3. c. I. But the queen confort is the wife of the reigning king; and the by virtue of her marriage, is participant of divers prerogatives above other women 1.

Finch. L. 86,


And, firft, fhe is a public perfon, exempt and diftinct from the king; and not, like other married women, fo closely connected as to have loft all legal or feparate exiftence so long as the marriage contiFor the queen is of ability to purchase lands, and to convey them, to make leafes, to grant copyholds, and do other acts of ownership, without the concurrence of her lord; which no other married woman can do a privilege as old as the Saxon æra 3. She is alfo capable of taking a grant from the king, which no other wife is from her husband; and in this particular fhe agrees with the Augufta, or piiffima regina conjux divi imperatoris of the Roman laws; who, according to Juftinian, was equally capable of making a grant to, and receiving one from, the emperor. The queen of England hath feparate courts and officers diftinct from the king's, not only in matters of ceremony, but even of law; and her attorney and folicitor general are entitled to a place within the bar of his majefty's courts, together with the king's counfel 5. She may likewife fue and be fued alone, without joining her husband. She may also have a feparate property in goods as well as lands, and has a right to difpofe of them by will. In fhort, fhe is in all legal proceedings looked upon as a feme fole, and not as a feme covert; as a fingle, not as a married woman". For which the reafon given by fir Edward Coke is this: because the wifdom of the common law would not have the king (whofe continual care and ftudy is for the public, and circa ardua regni) to be troubled and difquieted on account of his wife's domeftic affairs; and therefore it vefts in the queen a power of tranfacting her own concerns, without the intervention of the king, as if fhe was an unmarried woman.

The queen hath alfo many exemptions, and minute prerogatives. For inftance: fhe pays no toll 7;

2 4 Rep. 23.

3 Seld. Fan. Angl. 1. 42. 4 God. 5. 16. 26.

5 Seld. tit. hon. 1. 6. 7. Finch. L. 86. Co. Litt. 133. 7 Co. Lit. 133.

8. any court

nor is fhe liable to any amercement in But in general, unless where the law has expressly declared her exempted, fhe is upon the fame footing with other fubjects; being to all intents and purpofes the king's fubject, and not his equal: in like manner as, in the imperial law," Augufta legibus foluta non eft 9"

The queen hath alfo fome pecuniary advantages, which form her a diftinct revenue: as, in the first place, fhe is entitled to an antient perquifite called queen-gold, or aurum regine; which is a royal revenue, belonging to every queen confort during her marriage with the king, and due from every perfon who hath made a voluntary offering or fine to the king, amounting to ten marks or upwards, for and in confideration of any privileges, grants, licences, pardons, or other matter of royal favour conferred upon him by the king and it is due in the proportion of one tenth part more, over and above the entire offering or fine made to the king; and becomes an actual debt of record to the queen's majefty by the mere recording of the fine. As, if an hundred marks of filver be given to the king for liberty to take in mortmain, or to have a fair, market, park, chafe, or free-warren: there the queen is entitled to ten marks in filver, or (what was formerly an equivalent denomination) to one mark in gold, by the name of queen-gold, or aurum regina. But no fuch payment is due for any aids or fubfidies granted to the king in parliament or convocation; nor for fines impofed by courts on offenders againft their will; nor for voluntary prefents to the king, without any confideration moving from him to the fubject; nor for any fale or contract whereby the prefent revenues or poffeffions of the crown are granted away or dimi

nifhed 2.

The original revenue of our antient queens, be

8 Finch. L. 185.

9 Ff. 1. 3. 31.
o Pryn. Aur. Reg. 2.

1 12 Rep. 21. 4 Inft. 358, 2 Ibid. Pryn. 6. Madox. hift. exch. 242.

out of

fore and foon after the conqueft, feems to have confifted in certain refervations or rents the demefne lands of the crown, which were exprefsly appropriated to her majefty, diftinct from the king. It is frequent in domefday book, after fpecifying the rent due to the crown, to add likewise the quantity of gold or other renders reserved to the queen 3. Thefe were frequently appropriated to particular purpofes; to buy wool for her majesty's use, to purchase oil for her lamps, or to furnish her attire from head to foot, which was frequently very coftly, as one fingle robe in the fifth year of Henry II ftood the city of London in upwards of fourfcore pounds ". A practice fomewhat fimilar to that of the eaftern countries, where whole cities and provinces were fpecifically affigned to purchase particular parts of the queen's apparel. And, for a farther addition to her income, this duty of queengold is fuppofed to have been originally granted; thofe matters of grace and favour, out of which it arose, being frequently obtained from the crown by the powerful interceffion of the queen. There


traces of it's payment, though obfcure ones, in the book of domefday and in the great pipe-roll of Henry the firft. In the reign of Henry the fecond the manner of collecting it appears to have

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Civitas Lund. cordubenario reginæ xx s. (Mag. rot. 2 Hen. II. Madox hift. exch. 419.)

7 Pro roba ad opus reginæ, quater xx 1. & vis. viii d. (Mag. rot. 5 Hen. II. ibid. 250.)

8 Solere aiunt barbaros reges Perfarum ac Syrorum―uxoribus civitates attribuere, hoc mado; hæc civitas mulieri redimiculum præbeat, has in collum, hæc in crines, &c. (Cic. in Verrem, lib. 3. cap. 33.)

9 See Madox Difceptat. epiftolar. 74. Pryn. Aur. Reg. Append. 5.

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been well understood, and it forms a diftinct head in the antient dialogue of the exchequer written in the time of that prince, and ufually attributed to Gervafe of Tilbury. From that time downwards it was regularly claimed and enjoyed by all the queen conforts of England till the death of Henry VIII; though after the acceffion of the Tudor family the collecting of it seems to have been much neglected: and, there being no queen confort afterwards till the acceffion of James I, a period of near fixty years, it's very nature and quantity became then a matter of doubt; and, being referred by the king to the chief juftices and chief baron, their report of it was fo very unfavourable ', that his confort queen Anne (though the claimed it) yet never thought proper to exact it. In 1635, 11 Car. I, a-time fertile of expedients for raifing money upon dormant precedents in our old records (of which fhip-money was a fatal inftance) the king, at the petition of his queen Henrietta Maria, iffued out his writ for levying it; but afterwards purchased it of his confort at the price of ten thousand pounds; finding it, perhaps, too trifling and troublesome to levy. And when afterwards, at the restoration, by the abolition of the military tenures, and the fines that were confequent upon them, the little that legally remained of this revenue was reduced to almost nothing at all, in vain did Mr. Prynne, by a treatife which does honour to his abilities as a painful and judicious antiquary, endeavour to excite queen Catherine to revive this antiquated claim.

Another antient perquifite belonging to the queen confort, mentioned by all our old writers 3, and therefore only, worthy notice, is this; that on the taking of a whale on the coafts, which is a royal fish, it fhall be divided between the king and queen; the head only being the king's property, and the tail of

lib. 2. c. 26.

1 Mr. Prynne, with fome appearance of reafon, infinuates, that their researches were very fuperficial. (Aur. Reg. 125.)

219 Rym. Fad. 721. 3 Bracton, 1. 3. c. 3. Britton, c. 17. Flet. . 1. c. 4.5. & 46.

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