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during his banishment, and when he was in the service of a Lancastrian King, he asserted them again in his work upon Political Monarchy, after he was restored to his Country, and his allegiance was plighted to a Prince of the House of York: and it will be seen in the course of the ensuing pages, that the spirit of the ancient government of England, as pourtrayed in this treatise, derives ample confirmation both from domestic authorities, and from foreign testimony. It may not appear a useless or unimportant task to have labored for the preservation of this early record of those simple and intelligible truths, which ought to form the basis of every rational government; and the importance of which is manifested by the fatal consequences arising from the neglect of them that are legible in our national history.

The remarks of Fortescue upon the legal institutions which are the subject of his panegyric, may be productive of other beneficial effects, if they satisfy the reader, that much of the ancient part of our law requires a serious revisal and amendment. It is impossible to peruse the Chancellor's observations in the course of the present treatise, without perceiving the extraordinary change which time has occasioned in the circumstances, the manners and the opinions of the English People. This obvious reflection may tend to confirm an impression, that the intricacy and want of rationality,


which are justly imputed to a considerable portion of the Law of England, arise from an adherence to antiquated forms and maxims, adapted to a state of society totally different from our The institutions of the past generation have been moulded to supply the wants of the succeeding one, until the Law of the Country has become disfigured by a variety of fictions and subterfuges, scarcely intelligible even to lawyers, and highly oppressive to the community, by their prolixity and liability to error. It may be advisable in the present day to 'retrace the interval of some centuries, and to survey the provisions of our municipal law, with the light afforded by an ancient encomiast. It may be expedient to sift and examine the reasons which our forefathers assigned in support of what they have established. The mind will thus be enabled, by a more close observation, to distinguish between those parts of our system of jurisprudence, whose estimation has survived the period during which they were useful and appropriate, and such as retain an essential connection with the tranquillity and freedom of the Country.

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TEMPLE, Feb. 1, 1825.

The Syndics of the University Press, always conspicuous for their anxiety to promote the cultivation of every branch of human knowledge, have defrayed out of the funds at their disposal the whole erpence of publishing this Work.


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Chap. XV. All Laws are the Law of Nature, Customs or



CHAP. XVI. The Law of Nature in all Countries is the same 48

Chap. XVII. The Customs of England are of great Antiquity,

received and approved of by five several Nations successively 51

Chap. XVIII. How Statutes are made in England.... 55

Chap. XIX. The Difference between the Civil Laws and the

Laws of England....


CHAP. XX. The first Case wherein the Civil Lans and the

Laws of England differ.....


Chap. XXI. The Inconveniencies of that Law, which tries

Causes by Witnesses only...


Chap. XXII. Concerning Torture and putting to the Rack 70

CHAP. XXIII. The Civil Law defective in doing Justice..... 76

Char. XXIV. The Division of Counties. Sheriffs and their



Chap. XXV. Jurors. How chosen and sworn.


Chap. XXVI. Hom Jurors are informed by Evidences. The

way of Proceeding in Civil Causes.


Chap. XXVII. The way of Proceeding in Capital Cases... 92

Chap. XXVIII. The Prince owns his Conviction, that the

Laws of England are much more commodious for the Sub-

ject as to the Proceedings in the above instances, than the

Civil Law..


CHAP. XXIX. The Reasons why Inquests are not made up of

Jurors of Twelve Men in other Countries..


Chap. XXX. The Prince commends the Laws of England

with respect to their Proceeding by Juries..


Chap. XXXI. Whether the Proceeding by Jury be repugnant .

to the Law of GOD, or not....


CHAP. XXXII. The Chancellor's Answer...


CHAP. XXXIII. The Prince asks the Reason why some of

our Kings have taken disgust at the Laws of England... 123

Chap. XXXIV. The Chancellor's Answer.


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CHAP. XXXV. The Inconveniencies which happen in France

by means of the Absolute Regal Government..


CHAP. XXXVI. The Comparative Advantages in England,

where the Government is of a mixed Nature, made up of

the Regal and Political..


CHAP. XXXVII. Concerning the Regal Government, and the

Political Government ....


CHAP. XXXVIII. The Prince desires the Chancellor to pro-

ceed to other Cases wherein the Laws of England and the

Civil Laws disagree...


Chap. XXXIX. Concerning the Legitimation of Children

born before Matrimony..


CHAP. XL. The Reasons why Base-born Children are not in
England by the subsequent Marriage legitimated..


CHAP. XLI. The Prince's Approbation of the Reasons given

in the foregoing Chapter...


CHAP. XLII. Concerning the Rule of the Civil Law: Partus

semper sequitur Ventrem..


Char. XLIII. The Prince yields his Assent to the Chancellor,

... and disapproves of the said Rule.....


CHAP. XLIV. Concerning the Tuition of Orphans.....


CHAP. XLV. Concerning the Education of the young Nobi-

lity during their Minority...


CHAP. XLVI. Concerning open Theft, and private Theft... 172

Chap. XLVII. The Prince passes on to an Enquiry why the

Laws of England are not taught in our Universities, and

why there are not Degrees conferred on the Common Law-

yers, as is usual in the other Professions..


CHAP. XLVIII. The Chancellor's Answer...


CHAP. XLIX. The Disposition of the General Study of the

Laws of England. Of the Inns of Chancery, and the Inns

of Court, and that they exceed in Number any of the Foreign


1.. 182

CHAP. L. Of the Stale, Degree and Creation of a Serjeant

at Law....

med. 189

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