under whom the landlord himself was perhaps only a tenant or vassal. But when the acknowledgment was made to the absolute superior himself, who was vassal to no man, it was no longer called the oath of fealty, but the oath of allegiance; and therein the tenant swore to bear faith to his sovereign lord, in opposition to all men, without any saving or exception: "contra omnes homines fidelitatem fecit." Land held by this exalted species of fealty was called feudum ligium, a liege fee; the vassals homines ligii, or liege men; and the sovereign their dominus ligius, or liege lord. And when sovereign princes did homage to each other, for lands held under their respective sovereignties, a distinction was always made between simple homage, which was only an acknowledgment of tenure; and lege homage, which included the fealty before-mentioned, and the services consequent upon it. Thus when our Edward III, in 1829, did homage to Philip VI. of France, for his ducal dominions on that continent, it was warmly disputed of what species the homage was to be, whether liege or simple homaged. But with us in England, it becoming a settled principle of tenure, that all lands in the kingdom are holden of the king as their sovereign and lord paramount, no oath but that of fealty could ever be taken to inferior lords, and the oath of allegiance was necessarily confined to the person of the king alone. By an easy analogy the term of allegiance was soon brought to signify all other engagements, which are due from subjects to their prince,

as well as those duties which were simply and merely [368] territorial. And the oath of allegiance, as adminis

tered for upwards of six hundred years, contained a promise "to be true and faithful to the king and his heirs, " and truth and faith to bear of life and limb and terrene "honor, and not to know or hear of any ill or damage "intended him, without defending him therefrom." Upon

2 Feud. 99.

c 7 Rep. Calvin's case. 7.

d 2 Cart. 401. Mod. Un. Hist. xxii. 420.

e Mirror. c. 3. sec. 35. Fleta. 3, 16. Britton. c. 29. 7 Rep. Calvin's case. 6.

which sir Matthew Hale f makes this remark; that it was short and plain, not entangled with long or intricate clauses or declarations, and yet is comprehensive of the whole duty from the subject to his sovereign. But, at the revolution, the terms of this oath being thought perhaps to favor too much the notion of non-resistance, the present form was introduced by the convention parliament, which is more general and indeterminate than the former; the subject only promising" that he will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the "king," without mentioning" his heirs," or specifying in the least wherein that allegiance consists. The oath of supremacy is principally calculated as a renunciation of the pope's pretended authority: and the oath of abjuration, introduced in the reign of king Williams, very amply supplies the loose and general texture of the oath of allegiance; it recognising the right of his majesty, derived under the act of settlement; engaging to support him to the utmost of the juror's power; promising to disclose all traiterous conspiracies against him; and expressly renouncing any claim of the descendants of the late pretender, in as clear and explicit terms as the English language can furnish. This oath must be taken by all persons in any office, trust, or employment; and may be tendered by two justices of the peace to any person, whom they shall suspect of disaffection. And the oath of allegiance may be tenderedi to all persons above the age of twelve years, whether natives, denizens, or aliens, either in the court-leet of the manor, or in the sheriff's tourn, which is the court-leet of the county.

BUT, besides these express engagements, the law also holds that there is an implied, original, and virtual allegiance, owing from every subject to his sovereign, [369] antecedently to any express promise; and although

the subject never swore any faith or allegiance in form. For as the king, by the very descent of the crown, is fully invested with all the rights and bound to all the duties of sovereignty,

f 1 Hal. P. C. 63.

g Stat. 13 W. III. c. 6.

h Stat. 1 Geo. I. c. 13. 6 Geo. III. c. 53.

i 2 Inst. 121. 1 Hal. P. C, 64.

before his coronation; so the subject is bound to his prince by an intrinsic allegiance, before the super-induction of those outward bonds of oath, homage, and fealty; which were only instituted to remind the subject of this his previous duty, and for the better securing its performancek. The formal profession therefore, or oath of subjection, is nothing more than a declaration in words of what was before implied in law. Which occasions sir Edward Coke very justly to observe, that " all "subjects are equally bounden to their allegiance, as if they "had taken the oath; because it is written by the finger of the "law in their hearts, and the taking of the corporal oath is but "an outward declaration of the same." The sanction of an oath, it is true, in case of violation of duty, makes the guilt still more accumulated, by superadding perjury to treason: but it does not increase the civil obligation to loyalty; it only strengthens the social tie by uniting it with that of religion.

ALLEGIANCE, both express and implied, is however distinguished by the law into two sorts or species, the one natural, the other local; the former being also perpetual, the latter temporary. Natural allegiance is such as is due from all men born within the king's dominions immediately upon their birthm. For, immediately upon their birth, they are under the king's protection; at a time too, when (during their infancy) they are incapable of protecting themselves. Natural allegiance is therefore a debt of gratitude; which cannot be forfeited, cancelled, or altered by any change of time, place, or circumstance, nor by any thing but the united concurrence of the legislature". An Englishman who removes to France, or to China, owes the same allegiance to the king of England there

as at home, and twenty years hence as well as now. [370] For it is a principle of universal law, that the natural-born subject of one prince cannot by any act of his own, no, not by swearing allegiance to another, put off or discharge his natural allegiance to the former: for this natural allegiance was intrinsic, and primitive, and antecedent to the

k 1 Hal. P. C. 61.

1 2 Inst. 121.

m 7 Rep. 7.

n 2 P. Wms. 124.

o 1 Hal. P. C. 68.

other; and cannot be divested without the concurrent act of that prince to whom it was first due. Indeed the natural-born subject of one prince, to whom he owes allegiance, may be entangled by subjecting himself absolutely to another: but it is his own act that brings him into these straits and difficulties, of owing service to two masters; and it is unreasonable that, by such voluntary act of his own, he should be able at pleasure to unloose those bands, by which he is connected to his natural prince (1.)

LOCAL allegiance is such as is due from an alien, or stranger born, for so long time as he continues within the king's dominion and protection P: and it ceases, the instant such stranger transfers himself from this kingdom to another (2). Natural allegiance is therefore perpetual, and local temporary

p 7 Rep. 6.

(1) Sir Michael Foster observes, that "the well-known maxim, "which the writers upon our law have adopted and applied to this "case, nemo potest exuere patriam, comprehendeth the whole doctrine "of natural allegiance." Fost. 184. And this is exemplified by a strong instance in the report which that learned judge has given of Æneas Macdonald's case. He was a native of Great Britain, but had received his education from his early infancy in France, had spent his riper years in a profitable employment in that kingdom, and had accepted a commission in the service of the French king; acting under that commis: sion, he was taken in arms against the king of England, for which he was indicted and convicted of high treason; but was pardoned upon condition of his leaving the kingdom, and continuing abroad during his life. Ib. 59.

This is certainly an extreme case; and we should have reason to think our laws deficient in justice and humanity, if we could discover any intermediate general limit to which the law could be relaxed consistently with sound policy or the public safety.

(2) Mr. J. Foster informs us, that it was laid down in a meeting of all the judges, that "if an alien, seeking the protection of the crown, "and having a family and effects here, should, during a war with his "native country, go thither, and there adhere to the king's enemies for "purposes of hostility, he may be dealt with as a traitor." Fost. 185.

only and that for this reason, evidently founded upon the nature of government; that allegiance is a debt due from the subject, upon an implied contract with the prince, that so long as the one affords protection, so long the other will demean himself faithfully. As therefore the prince is always under a constant tie to protect his natural-born subjects, at all times and in all countries, for this reason their allegiance due to him is equally universal and permanent. But, on the other hand, as the prince affords his protection to an alien, only during his residence in this realm, the allegiance of an alien is confined (in point of time) to the duration of such his residence, and (in point of locality) to the dominions of the British empire. From which considerations sir Matthew Hale deduces this consequence, that, though there be an usurper of the crown, yet it is treason for any subject, while the usurper is in full possession of the sovereignty, [371] to practise any thing against his crown and dignity: wherefore, although the true prince regain the sovereignty, yet such attempts against the usurper (unless in defence or aid of the rightful king) have been afterwards punished with death; because of the breach of that temporary allegiance, which was due to him as king de facto. And upon this footing, after Edward IV. recovered the crown, which had been long detained from his house by the line of Lancaster, treasons committed against Henry VI.were capitally punished; though Henry had been declared an usurper by parliament.

THIS oath of allegiance, or rather the allegiance itself, is held to be applicable not only to the political capacity of the king, or regal office, but to his natural person and bloodroyal and for the misapplication of their allegiance, viz. to the regal capacity or crown, exclusive of the person of the king, were the Spencers banished in the reign of Edward II". And from hence arose that principle of personal attachment, and affectionate loyalty, which induced our forefathers, (and, if occasion required, would doubtless induce their sons,) to

q 1 Hal. P. C. 60.

1 Hal. P. C. 67.

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