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happened, and king James had left no other iffue then his two daughters queen Mary and queen Anne. It would have stood thus: queen Mary and her iffue; queen Anne and her iffue; king William and his iffue. But we may remember, that queen Mary was only nominally queen, jointly with her husband king William, who alone had the regal power; and king William was perfonally preferred to queen Anne, though his iffue was poftponed to hers. Clearly therefore these princes were fucceffively in poffeffion of the crown by a title different from the ufual courfe of defcent.
It was towards the end of king William's reign, when all hopes of any furviving iflue from any of these princes died with the duke of Glocefter, that the king and parliament thought it neceffary again to exert their power of limiting and appointing the fucceffion, in order to prevent another vacancy of the throne; which must have enfued upon their deaths, as no farther provifion was made at the revolution, than for the iffue of king William, queen Mary, and queen Anne. The parliament had previously by the ftatute of 1 W. & M. ft. 2. c. 2. enacted, that every perfon who fhould be reconciled to, or hold communion with, the fee of Rome, fhould profefs the popifh religion, or should marry a papist, fhould be excluded and for ever incapable to inherit, poffefs, or enjoy, the crown; and that in fuch cafe the people should be abfolved from their allegiance, and the crown fhould defcend to fuch perfons, being proteftants, as would have inherited the fame, in cafe the perfon fo reconciled, holding communion, profeffing, or marrying, were naturally dead. To act therefore confiftently with themfelves, and at the fame time pay as much regard to the old hereditary line as their former refolutions would admit, they turned their eyes on the princefs Sophia, electrefs and dutchefs dowager of Hanover, the moft accomplished princefs of her age. For, upon the impending extinction of the
e Sandford, in his genealogical hiftory, published A. D. 1677, tpeaking (page 535) of the princefles Elizabeth, Louifa, and Sophia, daughters of the queen of Bohe
mia, fays, the first was reputed the most learned, the fecond the greatett artift, and the last one of the most accomplished ladies in Europe.
protestant posterity of Charles the first, the old law of regal defcent directed them to recur to the defcendants of James the first; and the princess Sophia, being the youngest daughter of Elizabeth queen of Bohemia, who was the daughter of James the firft, was the nearest of the antient blood royal, who was not incapacitated by profeffing the popish religion. On her therefore, and the heirs of her body, being proteftants, the remainder of the crown, expectant on the death of king William and queen Anne without iffue, was fettled by ftatute 12 & 13 W. III. c. 2. And at the fame time it was enacted, that whofoever should hercafter come to the poffeffion of the crown fhould join in the communion of the church of England as by law established.
THIS is the last limitation of the crown that has been made by parliament: and these feveral actual limitations, from the time of Henry IV to the prefent, do clearly prove the power of the king and parliament to new-model or alter the fucceffion. And indeed it is now again made highly penal to dispute it: for by the ftatute 6 Ann. c. 7. it is enacted, that if any perfon maliciously, advisedly, and directly, fhall maintain by writing or printing, that the kings of this realm with the authority of parliament are not able to make laws to bind the crown and the defcent thereof, he fhall be guilty of high treafon; or if he maintains the fame by only preaching, teaching, or advised speaking, he thall incur the penalties of a praemunire.
THE princefs Sophia dying before queen Anne, the inheritance thus limited defcended on her fon and heir king George the first; and, having on the death of the queen taken effect in his perfon, from him it defcended to his late majefty king George the fecond; and from him to his grandfon and heir, our prefent gracious fovereign, king George the third.
HENCE it is cafy to collect, that the title to the crown is at prefent hereditary, though not quite fo abfolutely hereditary as formerly: and the common ftock or anceflor, from whom the defDd
cent must be derived, is alfo different. Formerly the common flock was king Egbert; then William the conqueror; afterwards in James the firft's time the two common ftocks united, and fo continued till the vacancy of the throne in 1688: now it is the princefs Sophia, in whom the inheritance was vefted by the new king and parliament. Formerly the defcent was abfolute, and the crown went to the next heir without any reftriction: but now, upon the new fettlement, the inheritance is conditional; being limited to fuch he only, of the body of the princets Sophia, as are proteftant members of the church of England, and are married to none but proteftants.
AND in this due medium cenfifts, I apprehend, the true constitutional notion of the right of fucceffion to the imperial crown of thefe kingdoms. The extremes, between which it ftcers, are each of them equally deftructive of thofe ends for which focieties were formed and are kept on foot. Where the magiftrate, upon every fucceffion, is elted by the people, and may by the exprefs provifion of the laws be depofed (if not punished) by his fubjects, this may found like the perfection of liberty, and look well enough when delineated on paper; but in practice will be ever productive of tumult, contention, and anarchy. And, on the other hand, divine indefcafible hereditary right, when coupled with the doctrine of unlimited paffive obedience, is furely of all conflitutions the moft thoroughly flavish and dreadful. But when fuch an hereditary right, as our laws have created and veted in the royal ftock, is clofely interwoven with thofe liberties, which, we have feen in a former chapter, are equally the inheritance of the fobject; this union will form a confiitution, in theory the moft beautiful of any, in practice the most approved, and, I trufì, in duration the most permanent. It was the duty of an expounder of our laws to lay this conftitution before the ftudent in it's trus and genuine light: it is the duty of every geed Englishman to rdanand, to revere, to defend it.
CHAPTER THE FOURTH.
OF THE KING'S ROYAL FAMILY.
HE firft and moft confiderable branch of the king's royal
by the laws of England, is the queen.
a Finch. L. 86.
THE queen of England is either queen regent, queen confort, or queen dowager. The queen regent, regnant, or fovereign, is The who holds the crown in her own right; as the firft (and perhaps the second) queen Mary, queen Elizabeth, and queen Anne; and fuch a one has the fame powers, prerogatives, rights, dignities, and duties, as if she had been a king. This was obferved in the entrance of the laft chapter, and is exprefsly declared by ftatute 1 Mar. I. ft. 3. c. 1. But the queen confort is the wife of the reigning king; and fhe by virtue of her marriage is participant of divers prerogatives above other women'.
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 fo long as the marriage continues. For 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 Dd2 Saxon
4 Rep. 23.
Saxon aera". She is alfo capable of taking a grant from the king, which no other wife is from her husband; and in this particular The agrees with the Augufta, or priffima vegina 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 intitled to a place within the bar of his majetty's courts, together with the king's counfel. 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 dispose 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 becaufe 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 she was an unmarried woman.
THE queen hath alfo many exemptions, and minute preroga tives. For inftance: fhe pays no toll; nor is fhe liable to any aniercement in any court. But in general, unless where the law has expreísly declared her exempted, fhe is upon the fame footing with other fubjects; being to all intents and purposes the king's fubject, and not his equal in like manner as, in the imperial law," Augufta legibus foiuta non eft.”
THE queen hath alfo fome pecuniary advantages, which form her a diftinct revenue: as, in the firit place, the is intitled to an