Sivut kuvina

give the fervant, and apprentice a fettlement without notice 4, in that place wherein they ferve the last forty days. This is meant to encourage application to trades, and going out to reputable fervices. 10. Laftly, the having an eftate of one's own, and refiding thereon forty days, however fmall the value may be, in cafe it be acquired by act of law or of a third perfon, as by defcent, gift, devife, &c. is a fufficient fettlement but if a man acquire it by his own act, as by purchase, (in it's popular fenfe, in confideration of money paid) then unlefs the confideration advanced, bona fide, be 30l. it is no fettlement for any longer time, than the perfon fhall inhabit thereon " He is in no cafe removeable from his own property; but he fhall not, by any trifling or fraudulent purchafe of his own, acquire a permanent and lafting fettlement.



All perfons, not fo fettled, may be removed to their own parifbes, on complaint of the overfeers, by two juftices of the peace, if they fhall adjudge them likely to become chargeable to the parish, into which they have intruded: uniefs they are in a way of getting a legal fettlement, as by having hired a houfe of 10l. per annum, or living in an annual fervice; for then they are not removeable 7. And in all other cafes, if the parish to which they belong will grant them a certificate, acknowledging them to be their parishioners, they cannot be removed merely because likely to become chargeable, but only when they become adually chargeable. But fuch certificated perfon can gain no fettlement by any of the means above-mentioned; unless by renting a tenement of iol. per annum, or by ferving an annual office in the parifh, being legally placed therein: neither can an apprentice or fervant to fuch certificated perfon gain a fettlement by fuch their fervice.

Thefe are the general heads of the laws relating to the poor, which, by the refolutions of the courts

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of justice thereon within a century paft, are branched into a great variety. And yet, notwithstanding the pains that have been taken about them, they ftill remain very imperfect, and inadequate to the purposes they are defigned for: a fate, that has generally attended moft of our ftatute laws, where they have not the foundation of the common law to build on. When the fhires, the hundreds, and the tithings, were kept in the fame admirable order in which they were difpofed by the great Alfred, there were no perfons idle, confequently none but the impotent that needed relief: and the ftatute of 43 Eliz. feems entirely founded on the fame principle. But when this excellent fcheme was neglected and departed from, we cannot but obferve with concern, what miferable fhifts and lame expedients have from time to time been adopted, in order to patch up the flaws occafioned by this neglect. There is not a more neceffary or more certain maxim in the frame and conftitution of fociety, than that every individual muft contribute his fhare, in order to the well-being of the community: and furely they must be very deficient in found policy, who fuffer one half of a parifh to continue idle, diffolute, and unemployed; and at length are amazed to find, that the induftry of the other half is not able to maintain the whole.

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HAVING, in the eight preceding chapters, treated of perfons as they ftand in the public relations of magiftrates, I now proceed to confider fuch perfons as fall under the denomination of the people. And herein all the inferior and fubordinate magiftrates, treated of in the laft chapter, are included.

The firft and moft obvious divifion of the people is into aliens and natural-born fubjects. Naturalborn fubjects are fuch as are born within the dominions of the crown of England; that is, within the ligeance, or as it is generally called, the allegiance of the king and aliens, fuch as are born out of it. Allegiance is the tie, or ligamen, which binds the fubject to the king, in return for that protection which the king affords the fubject. The thing itself, or fubftantial part of it, is founded in reafon and the nature of government; the name and the form are derived to us from our Gothic ancestors. Under the feodal fyftem, every owner of lands held them in fubjection to fome fuperior or lord, from whom or whofe ancestors the tenant or vafal had received them: and there was a mutual truft or confidence fubfifting between the lord and vafal, that the lord fhould protect the vafal in the enjoyment of the territory he had granted him, and, on the other hand, that the vafal fhould be faithful to the lord and defend him against all his enemies. This obligation

on the part of the vafal was called his fidelitas or fealty; and an oath of fealty was required, by the feodal law, to be taken by all tenants to their landlord, which is couched in almoft the fame terms as our ancient oath of allegiance: except that in the ufual oath of fealty there was frequently a faving or exception of the faith due to a fuperior lord by name, under whom the landlord himself was perhaps only a tenant or vafal. But when the acknowledgment was made to the abfolute superior himself, who was vafal to no man, it was no longer called the oath of fealty, but the oath of allegiance; and therein the tenant fwore to bear faith to his fovereign lord, in oppofition to all men, without any faving or exception: contra omnes homines fidelitatem fecit." Land held by this exalted fpecies of fealty was called feudum ligium, a liege fee; the vafals bomines ligii, or liege men; and the fovereign their dominus ligius, or liege lord. And when fovereign princes did homage to each other, for lands held under their respective fovereignties, a diftinction was always made between fimple homage, which was only an acknowledgement of tenure 3; and liege homage, which included the fealty before-mentioned, and the fervices confequent upon it. Thus when our Edward III, in 1329, did homage to Philip VI. of France, for his ducal dominions on that continent, it was warmly difputed of what species the homage was to be, whether liege or fimple homage. But with us in England, it becoming a fettled principle of tenure, that all lands in the kingdom are holden of the king as their fovereign and lord paramount, ro oath but that of fealty could ever be taken to inferior lords, and the oath of allegiance was neceffarily confined to the perfon of the king alone. By an eafy analogy the term of allegiance was foon brought to fignify all other engagements, which are due from fubjects to their prince, as well as those

12 Feud. 5, 6, 7.

2 2 Feud. 99.

3 Rep. Calvin's cafe. 7


4 2 Carte. 401. Mod. Un Hift. xxiii. 420.


duties which were fimply and merely territorial. And the oath of allegiance, as administered for upwards of fix hundred years 5, contained a promise "to be true and faithful to the king and his heirs, " and truth and faith to bear of life and limb and terrene honour, and not to know or hear of any "ill or damage intended him, without defending "him therefrom." Upon which fir Matthew Hale makes this remark; that it was fhort and plain, not entangled with long or intricate claufes or declarations, and yet is comprehenfive of the whole duty from the fubject to his fovereign. But at the reyolution, the terms of this oath being thought per aps to favour too much the notion of non-refiftance, the prefent form was introduced by the convention parliament, which is more general and indeterminate than the former; the fubject only promifing " that "he will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the "king," without mentioning "his heirs," or fpecifying in the leaft wherein that allegiance confifts. The oath of fupremacy is principally calculated as a renunciation of the pope's pretended authority: and the oath of abjuration, introduced in the reign of king William, very amply fupplies the loofe and general texture of the oath of allegiance; it recognizing the right of his majesty, derived under the act of fettlement; engaging to fupport him to the atmoft of the juror's power; promifing to disclofe all traiterous confpiracies against him; and exprefsly renouncing any claim of the descendants of the late pretender, in as clear and explicit terms as the English language can furnish. This oath must be taken by all perfons in any office, truft, or employment; and may be tendered by two juftices of the peace to any perfon, whom they fhall suspect of difaffection. And the oath of allegiance may be tendered to all perfons above the age of twelve years,

5 Mirror. c. 3. §. 35. Fleta. 3. 16. Britton. c. 29. 7 Rep. Calvin's cafe. 6.

1 Hal. P. C. 63.
Stat. 13 W. III. c. 6.

8 Stat. 1 Geo. I. c. 13. 6 Geo. III. c. 53.

92 Inft. 121. 1 Hale P. C. 64

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