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Efquires and gentlemen are confounded together

established cuftom; for which fee (among others) Camden's Britannia, tit. ordines. Milles's

catalogue of honour, edit. 1610. and Chamberlayne's prefent ftate of England. b. 3. ch. 3.

TABLE OF PRECEDENCE.

The king's children and grand- † Speaker of the house of com

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* Bishops.

Gentlemen.

Yeomen.

Tradefmen.

*Secretary of state, if a baron. Artificers. *Barons.

N. B. Married women and widows are entitled to the fame Fank among each other, as their

+ Labourers.

husbands vould respectively have born between themfelves, except fuch rank is merely pre

by fir Edward Coke, who obferves, that every efquire is a gentleman, and a gentleman is defined to be one qui arma gerit, who bears coat armour, the grant of which adds gentility to a man's family: in like manner as civil nobility, among the Romans, was founded in the jus imaginum, or having the image of one ancestor at leaft, who had borne fome curule office. It is indeed a matter fomewhat unfettled, what conftitutes the diftinction, or who is a real efquire for it is not an eftate, however large, that confers this rank upon it's owner. Camden who was himself a herald, diftinguishes them the most accurately; and he reckons up four forts of them? : 1. The eldeft fons of knights, and their eldest fons, in perpetual fucceflion 8: 2. The eldeft fons of younger fons of peers, and their eldeft fons in like perpetual fucceflion: both which fpecies of efquires fir Henry Spelman entitles armigeri natalitii 9. Efquires created by the king's letters patent, or other inveftiture; and their eldeft fons. 4. Efquires by virtue of their offices; as juftices of the peace, and others who bear any offices of truft under the crown. To these may be added the efquires of knights of the bath, each of whom conftitutes three at his inftallation: and all foreign, nay, Irish peers; for not only thefe, but the eldeft fons of peers of Great Britain, though frequently titular lords, are only efquires in the law, and must be fo named in all legal proceedings. As for gentlemen, fays fir Thomas Smith', they be made good cheap in this kingdom: for whofoever ftudieth the laws of the realm, who studieth in the univerfities, who profeffeth the liberal fciences, and (to be fhort) who can live idly, and, without manual labour, and will bear the port, charge, and

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9 Gloff. 43.

countenance of a gentleman, he fhall be called master, and fhall be taken for a gentleman. A yeoman is he that hath free land of forty fhillings by the year; who was anciently thereby qualified to ferve on juries, vote for knights of the fhire, and do any other act, where the law requires one that is probus et Legalis homo.

The reft of the commonalty are tradefmen, artificers, and labourers; who, (as well as all others) must in pursuance of the ftatute 1 Hen. V. c. 5. be ftiled by the name and addition of their eftate, degree, or mystery, and the place to which they belong, or where they have been converfant, in all original writs of actions perfonal, appeals, and indictments, upon which procefs of outlawry may be awarded; in order, as it fhould feem, to prevent any clandeftine or miftaken outlawry, by reducing to a specific certainty the perfon who is the object of it's process.

22 inf. 668.

CHAPTER THE THIRTEENTH.

OF THE MILITARY AND MARITIME

STATES.

THE military ftate includes the whole of the

foldiery; or, fuch perfons as are peculiarly appointed among the reft of the people for the fafeguard and defence of the realm.

In a land of liberty it is extremely dangerous to make a distinct order of the profeffion of arms. In abfolute monarchies this is neceffary for the fafety of the prince, and arifes from the main principle of their conftitution, which is that of governing by fear: but in free ftates the profeffion of a foldier, taken fingly and merely as a profeffion, is juftly an object of jealoufy. In thefe no man should take up arms, but with a view to defend his country and it's laws: he puts not off the citizen when he enters the camp; but it is because he is a citizen, and would wish to continue fo, that he makes himself for a while a foldier. The laws therefore and conftitution of these kingdoms know no fuch ftate as that of a perpetual ftanding foldier, bred up to no other profeffion than that of war: and it was not till the reign of Henry VII, that the kings of England had fo much as a guard about their perfons.

In the time of our Saxon ancestors, as appears from Edward the confeffor's laws, the military force of this kingdom was in the hands of the dukes or heretochs, who were conftituted through every province and county in the kingdom; being taken out of the principal nobility, and fuch as were most remarkable for being "fapientes, fideles, et animofi.' Their duty was to lead and regulate the English armies, with a very unlimited power;

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prout eis vifum fuerit, ad honorem corona et utilitatem regni.” And because of this great power they were elected by the people in their full affembly, or folkmote, in the fame manner as sheriffs were elected: following ftill that old fundamental maxim of the Saxon conftitution, that where any officer was intrufted with fuch power, as if abused might tend to the oppreffion of the people, that power was delegated to him by the ote of the people themselves ". So too, among the ancient Germans, the ancestors of our Saxon forefathers, they had their dukes, as well as kings, with an independent power over the military, as the kings had over the civil ftate. The dukes were elective, the kings hereditary: for fo only can be confiftently understood that paffage of Tacitus 3, reges ex nobi"litate, duces ex virtute fumunt;" in conftituting their kings, the family or blood royal was regarded; in chufing their dukes or leaders, warlike merit: juft as Cæfar relates of their ancestors in his time, that whenever they went to war, by way either of attack or defence, they elected leaders to command them *. This large fhare of power, thus conferred by the people, though intended to preserve the liberty of the fubject, was perhaps unreafonably detrimental to the

66

c. de heretochiis.

2 "Ifti vero viri eliguntur per "commune confilium, pro com"muni utilitate regni, per pro"vincias et patrias univerfas, et per fingulos comitatus, in pleno "folkmore, ficut et vicecomites 66 provinciarum et comitatuum eligi "debent." LL. Edw. Confell VOL. I.

ibid. See alfo Bede, eccl. hift. 1. 5. c. 15.

3 De Marib. Germ. 7.

4 66 Quum bellum civitas aut "illatum defendit aut infert, ma"giftratus qui ei bello prægne ae"liguntur." De bell. Gall. 6. c. 22.

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