at present hereditary, though not quite so absolutely hereditary as formerly: and the common stock or ancestor, from whom the descent must be derived, is also different. Formerly the common stock was king Egbert; then William the conqueror; afterwards in James the first's time the two common stocks united, and so continued till the vacancy of the throne in 1688: now it is the princess Sophia, in whom the inheritance was vested by the new king and parliament. Formerly the descent was absolute, and the crown went to the next heir without any restriction: but now, upon the new settlement, the inheritance is conditional; being limited to such heirs only, of the body of the princess Sophia, as are protestant members of the church of England, and are married to none but protestants.

AND in this due medium consists, I apprehend, the true constitutional notion of the right of succession to the imperial crown of these kingdoms. The extremes between which it steers, are each of them equally destructive of those ends for which societies were formed and are kept on foot. Where the magistrate, upon every succession, is elected by the people, and may by the express provision of the laws be deposed (if not punished) by his subjects, this may sound 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 indefeasible hereditary right, when coupled with the doctrine of unlimited passive obedience, is surely of all constitutions the most thoroughly slavish and dreadful. But when such an hereditary right, as our laws have created and vested in the royal stock, is closely interwoven with those liberties, which, we have seen in a former chapter, are equally the inheritance of the subject; this union will form a constitution, in theory the most beautiful of any, in practice the most approved, and, I trust, in duration the most permanent. It was the duty of an expounder of our laws to lay this constitution before the student in its true and genuine light: it is the duty of every good Englishman to understand, to revere, to defend it.



THE first and most considerable branch of the king's

royal family, regarded by the laws of England, is the queen.

THE queen of England is either queen regent, queen consort, or queen dowager. The queen regent, regnant, or sovereign, is she who holds the crown in her own right; as the first (and perhaps the second) queen Mary, queen Elizabeth, and queen Anne; and such an one has the same powers, prerogatives, rights, dignities, and duties, as if she had been a king. This was observed in the entrance of the last chapter, and is expressly declared by statute 1 Mar. I. st. 3. c. 1. (1). But the queen consort is the wife of the reigning king; and she, by virtue of her marriage, is participant of divers prerogatives above other women".

AND, first, she is a public person, exempt and distinct from the king; and not, like other married women, so closely con

a Finch. L. 86.

(1) Mary being the first queen that had sat upon the English throne, this statute was passed, as it declares, for "the extinguishment of the "doubt and folly of malicious and ignorant persons," who might be induced to think that a queen could not exercise all the prerogatives of a king.

nected as to have lost all legal or separate existence so long as the marriage continues. For the queen is of ability to purchase lands, and to convey them, to make leases, to grant copyholds, and do other acts of ownership, without the concurrence of her lord; which no other married woman can dob: a privilege as old as the Saxon ærac. She is also capable of taking a grant from the king, which no other wife is from her husband; and in this particular she agrees with the Augusta, or piissima regina conjux divi imperatoris of the

Roman laws; who, according to Justiniand, was [219] equally capable of making a grant to, and receiving one from, the emperor. The queen of England hath separate courts and offices distinct from the king's, not only in matters of ceremony, but even of law; and her attorney and solicitor general are entitled to a place within the bar of his majesty's courts, together with the king's counsel. She may likewise sue and be sued alone, without joining her husband. She may also have a separate property in goods as well as lands, and has a right to dispose of them by will. In short, she is in all legal proceedings looked upon, as a feme sole, and not as a feme covert; as a single, not as a married womanf. For which the reason given by sir Edward Coke is this because the wisdom of the common law would not have the king (whose continual care and study is for the public, and circa ardua regni) to be troubled and disquieted on account of his wife's domestic affairs; and therefore it vests in the queen a power of transacting her own concerns, without the intervention of the king, as if she was an unmarried woman.

THE queen hath also many exemptions, and minute prerogatives. For instance: she pays no tolls; nor is she liable to any amercement in any courth. But in general,

b 4 Rep. 23.

e Seld. Jan. Angl. 1. 42.

d Cod. 5. 16. 26.

e Seld. tit. hon. 1. 6. 7.

f Finch. L. 86 Co. Litt. 133..
g Co. Litt. 133.

h Finch. L. 185.

unless where the law has expressly declared her exempted, she is upon the same footing with other subjects; being to all intents and purposes the king's subject, and not his equal: in like manner as, in the imperial law, "Augysta legibus “soluta non esti̟ ̧”

THE queen hath also some pecuniary advantages, which form her a distinct revenue: as, in the first place, she is entitled to an ancient perquisite called queen-gold, or aurum reginae; which is a royal revenue, belonging to every queen consort during her marriage with the king, and due from every person who hath made a voluntary offering or fine to the king, amounting to ten marks or upwards, for and in consideration of any privileges, grants, licenses, pardons, or other matter of royal favor conferred upon [220] him by the king and it is due in the proportion of one tenth part more, over and above the entire offering or fine made to the king; and becomes an actual debt of record to the queen's majesty by the mere recording of the finek, As, if an hundred marks of silver be given to the king for liberty to take in mortmain, or to have a fair, market, park, chase, or free-warren: there the queen is entitled to ten marks in silver, or (what was formerly an equivalent denomination) to one mark in gold, by the name of queen-gold, or aurum reginael. But no such payment is due for any aids or subsidies granted to the king in parliament or convocation; nor for fines imposed by courts on offenders, against their will; nor for voluntary presents to the king, without any consideration moving from him to the subject; nor for any sale or contract whereby the present revenues or possessions of the crown are granted away or diminished.

THE original revenue of our ancient queens, before and soon after the conquest, seems to have consisted in certain reservations or rents out of the demesne lands of the crown,

i Ff. 1. 3. 31.

k Pryn. Aur. Reg, 2.
112 Rep. 21, 4 Inst. 358.


m Ibid. Pryn. 6. Madox, hist, exch.

which were expressly appropriated to her majesty, distinct from the king. It is frequent in doomsday book, after specifying the rent due to the crown, to add likewise the quantity of gold or other renders reserved to the queen". These were frequently appropriated to particular purposes; to buy wool for her majesty's use, to purchase oil for her lamps, or to furnish her attire from head to foots, which was frequently

very costly, as one single robe in the fifth year of [221] Henry II. stood the city of London in upwards of fourscore pounds. A practice somewhat similar to that of the eastern countries, where whole cities and provinces were specifically assigned to purchase particular parts of the queen's apparels. And, for a farther addition to her income, this duty of queen-gold is supposed to have been originally granted; those matters of grace and favor, out of which it arose, being frequently obtained from the crown by the powerful intercession of the queen. There are traces of its payment, though obscure ones, in the book of doomsday and in the great pipe-roll of Henry the first. In the reign of Henry the second the manner of collecting it appears to have been well understood, and it forms a distinct head in the ancient dialogue of the exchequer" written in the time of that prince, and usually attributed to Gervase of Tilbury. From that time downwards it was regularly claimed and enjoyed by all the queen consorts of England till the death of Henry VIII; though after the accession of the Tudor family

n Bedefordscire Maner. Lestone redd. per annum xxii lib. etc.; ad opus reginae ii uncias auri. Herefordscire. In Lene, etc. consueAud. ut praepositus manerii veniente pomina sua (regina) in maner. praesentaret ei xviii oras denar. ut esset ipsa laeto animo. Pryn. Append. to Aur. Reg. 2, 3.

o Causa coadunandi lanam reginae. Domesd. ibid.

p Civitas Lundon. Pro oleo ad lamp. ad reginae. (Mag. rot. pip. temp. Hen. II. ibid.)

q Vicecomes Berkescire, xvi 1. pro cappa reginae. (Mag. rot. pip. 19.-22 Hen.

II. ibid.) Civitas Lund. cordubanario reginae XX s. (Mag. rot. 2 Hen. II. Madox hist. exch. 419.)

r Pro roba ad opus reginae, quater xxl. and vi s. viii d. (Mag. rot. 5 Hen. II. ibid. 250.)

s Solere aiunt barbaros reges Persarum ac Syrorum-uxoribus civitates attribuere, hoc modo; haec civitas mulieri redimiculum praebeat, haec in collum, haec in crines, etc. (Cic in Verrem, lib. 3. cap. 33.)

t See Madox Disceptat. epistolar. 74. Pryn, Aur. Reg. Append. 5. u lib. 2. c. 26.

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