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eftate in moveables, or in money; and proprietors of the latter class, as well as thofe of the former, were, in the feasons of peril, to bear arms, and to range themselves in battle.
These military fchemes communicated to the Scottish monarchs a command, which included the fulleft ftrength of the kingdom. Upon ordinary occafions they marched with the military tenants; and, when the nation was preffed to extremity, they might embody, without diftinction, all their fubjects who were capable of bearing
This was the military power of Scotland, when it maintained the struggle for independence against Edward I.; when it recovered its liberties which had funk under the ftrength and the craft of this conqueror; when it chaftifed the vain temerity and reftleffness of Edward II.; and, when it contended anew for its freedom againft the policy, the talents, and the valour of Edward III.'
In the remainder of this and the fucceeding chapter, he traces. the alterations that took place with regard to the military force of Scotland, to the prefent time.
In the third chapter we are presented with an account of the revenue of the fovereign, and the expences of government. With regard to the firft particular, Dr. Stuart contends that the revenue of the Scottish princes was ample, and their court splendid in a high degree. On this head he enters the lifts with great boldness against Dr. Robertson, who maintains a contrary. opinion:
An author, fays Dr. Stuart, of elegant talents, and. great industry, but who is nowhere profound, has inculcated the poverty. of the Scottish Kings in ftrong and coarse language. After the times of the perpetuity of the fief, he confiders the demefnes of the crown, with the feudal cafualties, and the aid, on extraordinary occafions, termed a benevolence, as a full enumeration of the royal riches; and he fubjoins this remarkable conclufion. "All these added together, produced a revenue, fcanty and precarious, which, far from enabling the King to attempt any thing that could excite the jealousy or fear of the nobles, kept him in continual indigence, anxiety, and dependence."
This defcription he gives as characteristic of the feudal Sovereign, not only in Scotland, but in every other country of Europe.
* We cannot approve of those contemptuous expreffions marked in Italics. It is allowable in men of fcience to differ in opinion, and it is becoming to diffent from the greateft names where there is reafon for it; but it is improper to characterize an opponent by vilifying epithets. In thefe cafes, a man ought always to remember that he himself is a party who pleads his caufe before the Public, which will ultimately decide according to the nature of the facts and arguments produced in evidence, and not according to the feverity of the accufation.
That it cannot apply to Scotland, is evident from the text; and it is equally inapplicable to any other nation.
But, even from his own enumeration of the property of the feudal princes, though it is widely imperfect, the conclufion he draws is not to be admitted. For the King's demeines, and the feudal perquifites, were branches of revenue which were extensive and ample.
Of the King's demefnes at a given time, it is difficult, perhaps impoffible, to fpeak with precife knowledge. But, from the pecu liar attention with which they were guarded in Scotland, it is to be concluded, that its princes, inftead of being perpetually in "indigence, anxiety, and dependence," were at no period in that fitua
An idea of the profits of the feudal cafualties may be formed from the wealth they prefented to the Princes of England. Simon de Monfort gave to Henry III. for the wardship and marriage of Gilbert de Unfranville, the fum of ten thousand marks, which, according to the value of our prefent money, was equivalent to a payment of one hundred thousand pounds. And Geoffrey de Mandeville gave to the fame Prince twenty thousand marks, that he might have the marriage of Ifabel Countess of Gloucester, with all her lands and knight fees. A multitude of examples of the fale of the wardships and marriages of great vaffals might be added to thefe; and, befide the emoluments of wardships and marridges, enormous fums were drawn from reliefs, aids, and efcheats. Now, an inference to Scotland, from the prevalence of the fame ufages and cuftoms, will, I believe, be allowed, in a great measure, to be decifivé. The profits of feudality, therefore, did not permit the Sove. reigns of Scotland to be in want and in dependence.
The immenfe revenues of the princes of France and England, and of thofe of other countries, for a long period during the continuance of fiefs, oppose Dr. Robertfon's notion, and create a fufpicion that it refts on no foundation of real history or folid evidence. Indeed, no proof or evidence of any kind is appealed to. The furprifing profits and the prodigious wealth of the Norman Kings are treated by Mr. Hume at fome length; and Mr. Madox has entered into details concerning them, which are most minute and fatisfactory.
To my general argument, the temporary wants of particular princes form no objection; and it is to be observed, that, when the feudal fyftem was deep in its decline, regular modes of taxation were. invented and established as foundations of revenue, both for the prince and the government.
While Dr. Robertfon, however, afferts the continual indigence, anxiety, and dependence" of the Scottish fovereigns, and of the feudal princes in general, he has affirmed, that, in the feudal ages, "pomp and fplendour were unknown, even in the palaces of Kings," and that “it was not neceffary that a King thould poffefs a great revenue." Now, it feems to me, that thefe obfervations include a violation of his own defcription. For, with what propriety, is poverty to be objected to our Princes, when riches were of no ufe to them? After contradicting history, he contradicts himself.
But, waving any particular notice of this inattention, I will venture to make a large conceffion to this writer. I will fuppofe, that he may apply, with propriety, to ancient periods the ftandard of his own age. Yet, with this advantage on his fide, it will not follow that the greatnefs of the feudal fovereigns was diminutive or little. In fact, the King's palace, and the Aula Regis, in the ages of which he fpeaks, were fplendid and pompous to an uncommon degree; and there is good reafon to believe, that the grandeur of the feudal royalty was fuch, as not only to bear a comparison with the magnificence of the prefent times, but in many refpects to ex ceed it.
The evidence of the riches of the feudal princes, and the evidence of the fplendour of their palaces, are to be found every where in ancient books; and, while they mutually illuftrate one another, they deftroy altogether the humiliating and hypothetical tenet, that the Scottish Princes were in mifery and in indigence.'
In the remaining part of this fection, which treats of the refumption of crown lands, we find the fulleft evidence that the King was confidered merely in the light of a public magiftrate, -as an adminiftrator of justice, to whom the ftate entrusted ample revenues, which he might in no cafe diminish without the consent of the states by whofe authority he was appointed. The detail of facts produced in illuftration of this, is exceed ingly beautiful, and affords a more pleafing picture of that general fenfe of a reciprocality of interefts between the governor and the governed than we have met with in the hiftory of any other nation, Great was the fenfe of liberty among the Scot tish people in former times-noble were their struggles in defence of their liberties, and liberal were the ideas which feem to have actuated them on many occafions *. Instead of wishing
In a letter addreffed to the Pope by the barons, freeholders, and whole community of Scotland, anno 1320, the following paffages occur, which denote a fpirit of freedom that would do honour to Greece or Rome.
At that time, it is to be obferved, Edward I. of England ftrained every nerve to bring Scotland in fubjection to himself. He raised Baliol to the throne on condition of doing homage to Edward for his whole kingdom: but the nation, enraged at this meannefs in their King, refused to submit to him, and elected Robert Bruce. The letter above mentioned was intended to induce the Pope to espouse the cause of Bruce in oppofition to that of Baliol. "The Divine Providence, fay they, that legal fucceffion which we will constantly maintain, and our due and unanimous confent, have made him (Robert) our chief and king. To him, in defence of our liberty, we are bound to adhere, as well of right, as by reason of his deferts, and to him we will in all things adhere; for through him falvation has been wrought unto our people. Should he abandon our caufe, or aim at reducing us and our kingdom under the dominion of the English, we will in
to diminish the wealth and power of their chief magistrate, as hath been done by other nations who thought themselves more civilized, they became his guardians and protectors, and prevented his becoming the prey of those who wished to take advantage of his generofity, or inexperience, by impoverithing himself.
In the fucceding section we find a natural account of the rise of taxation, which neceffarily refulted from a change of manners among the people at large, and the confequent inefficacy of the former modes of obtaining a revenue to the Prince.
The fourth chapter treats of jurifdiction and courts. The following account of the great officers of the crown is concise and fatisfactory:
The chancellor fuperintended and directed the bufinefs of the chancery. He examined all the charters which were to pass the great feal, of which he was the keeper. He directed royal grants of property and office; and writs and precepts, in judicial proceedings, received their fanction from him. His dignity advanced as charters and public inftruments of the crown were to multiply. In the reign of James III. he was ufually to rank after the Princes of the blood. James VI by an exprefs ordinance, afcertained his precedency beyond all other officers. And, in the reign of Charles II. a particular law declared, that, by virtue and in right of his office, he was to prefide in all meetings of parliament, and in the public judicatures of the kingdom.
Of the great jufticier, or juftice-general, it is to be thought, that, in very ancient times, he furpaffed in authority and fplendour all the other officers of the crown. He exercised an univerfal jurifdiction both in civil and criminal matters; and, in the absence of the Sovereign, he was even to act as viceroy, or as guardian of the ftate. He held his court at two terms in the year. His arm could reach from one corner of the kingdom to the other. But, amidst the general extensiveness of his powers, it is to be remarked, that treafon, and the four pleas of the crown, belonged to him in a more peculiar manner. But, as bufinefs was to increase, and to grow complicated, it became neceffary to appoint juftices errant, or itinerant. Thefe were fubordinate to the great jufticiary. They tra velled through the kingdom to execute juftice; and their decrees might be fubmitted to his review.
The high chamberlain had the care of the King's perfon, and was keeper of the royal wardrobe. In matters of finance, he had a general authority; and he exerted jurifdiction over the train of of
ftantly strive to expel him as a public enemy, and the fubverter of our rights and his own, and we will chufe another king to rule and protect us; for while there remain an hundred of us, we will never fubmit to England. We fight not for glory, wealth, or honour, but for that liberty which no virtuous man will survive.' We need not tell our Readers that they adhered to this refolution, and were fuccessful.
ficers who collected the revenues of the crown. Of all the royal® boroughs, he poffeffed a peculiar charge; and he held his airs and circuits in them. He inquired into the management of their magiftracies, and into the applications of their property. He decided the complaints and difputes of burgeffes and craftsmen, and adjusted the prices of provifions. He regulated the modes of barter and fale; and judged in whatever had a reference to conveniency and police. Next to the chamberlain was the high fteward. He had the government of the King's household and family. He furnished the palace with provifions, procured corn for the King's horfes, attended to the royal forefts and game, and infpected the behaviour, and punished the delinquencies of the King's domeftics and fervants. In fome foreign nations, this officer was not of fuch high precedency as in Scotland. Here, from the perfonal greatness of the house, in which the office came to be hereditary, he grew to a great and fhining eminence. The title of the office was affumed as the firname of the family who had poffeffed it; and they were to mount the Scottish throne in the perfon of Robert II. and to be illuftrious and interesting in alliances and blood, in arms and virtues, in weakneffes and misfortune.
The high conftable poffeffed fignal prerogatives. When the Sovereign, upon his advancement to the royalty, was to fwear fidelity to his fubjects, and to pay homage to the laws, he delivered his naked fword into the hands of the constable. "Ufe this in my defence," faid he, "while I fupport the interefts of my people; ufe it to my deftruction when I forfake them." A naked fword, of confequence, was the badge of his office. When the King's armies were in the field, he had a supreme command over all perfons. He defcribed the ground for the camp, placed the centinels, fent out fpies to obferve the enemy, and gave their orders to all the officers. But, when the troops were in caftles and garrisons, his authority did not extend to them. In points of honour he exercised a superior jurifdiction; holding courts of chivalry, and regulating the ceremonial of those duels, in which pride and virtue vindicated their rights and dignity from rudeness and infult. All disorders and riots, bloodfhed and flaughters, which were committed, and took place within four miles of the King's perfon, of the parliament, and the privycouncil, were judged and punished by him. Military contracts and customs of arms were proper objects of his cognizance; and he had powers of action in all matters connected with war, in which the common law could afford no affiftance.
Though inferior in rank to the conftable, the marefchal was of great dignity. The conftable prefided over the whole army; the marefchal was mafter of the horfe. In the court of chivalry they were judges, and decided there concerning matters of honour and of arms. In the camp and in the field they united their counfels, to direct the troops, and to perform with fuccefs the duties of commanders.
• Thefe officers, fo various in their privileges, and fo important, were in fubordination to the Sovereign. He was the fountain of honour and justice; and his court, next to the parliament, was the feat of higheft judicature. Pleas of the crown, and common pleas, might