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CH. I.] NOW NEVER REFUSED. 443
danger thereof, is empowered to raise the militia to 120,000 men; but if the parliament be not sitting, or its adjournment or prorogation shall not expire within fourteen days, the sovereign must issue a proclamation for the meeting of parliament within fourteen days." By the prerogative of rejecting bills the king exercises a check on the legislative houses if they should seek to violate his rights and prerogatives as supreme executive magistrate, or to take the executive power out of his hands. No such extreme attempt has of late years called for the exercise of that prerogative, and it may now be said never to be exercised. The crown would not now put itself into such opposition to both houses of parliament. Queen Elizabeth had, however, no such scruples. At the close of one session she rejected forty-eight bills. But there was not, at that time, that close relation between the crown and the parliament which now exists, through the ministers of the crown. Now, all bills introduced into parliament receive the consideration of the ministers before they reach the stage in which they are ripe for the royal decision; any bills that were distasteful to the crown would be opposed in their way through parliament; and if the opposition were unsuccessful, the ministers would resign, and make way for other ministers with more influence; or the crown would get rid of the obnoxious measure, for a time at least, and perhaps altogether, by dissolving parliament. William III. was the last king who refused the royal assent.” The king is entitled to the allegiance of all the people; and those who accept office or employment under the crown, or who become members of either house of parliament, or
* 15 & 16 Vict, cap. 50, ss. 30, 31, A.D. 1852.
* “The President of the United States gives his assent by signing the bill, which is sent to him for his approval and signature. But he cannot roject absolutely. If he disapprove, he must refer the bill back to the house in which it originated, with his objections. Then, if two-thirds of both houses, after consideration of the objections, agree to pass the bill, it becomes law.” (Constitution, art. i. s. 7.)
officers or practitioners in the courts of justice, are required to express their allegiance by an oath, of which there are forms for Protestants, Roman Catholics, Quakers, and Jews respectively. The oath now in use for protes. tants was substituted for the old oaths of allegiance, supremacy and abjuration, by a recent statute." The Roman
* 21 & 22 Vict., (1848,) cap. 41, “An Act to substitute one Oath for the Oaths of Allegiance, Supremacy, and Abjuration; and for the Relief of her Majesty's subjects professing the Jewish Religion.”
The Protestant Oath of Allegiance.
“I A. B. do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to her majesty Queen Victoria, (or the name of the sovereign for the time being,) and will defend her to the utmost of my power, against all conspiracies and attempts whatever, which shall be made against her person, crown, and dignity; and I will do my utmost endeavour to disclose and make known to her majesty, her heirs and successors, all treasons and traitorous conspiracies, which may be formed against her or them ; and I do faithfully promise to maintain, support, and defend, to the utmost of my power, the succession of the crown; which succession, by an act intituled “An Act for the further limitation of the Crown, and better securing the Rights and Liberties of the Subject, is and stands limited to the Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover, and the heirs of her body, being protestants; hereby utterly renouncing and abjuring any obedience or allegiance unto any other person claiming or pretending a right to the crown of this realm." And I do declare that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate hath or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence, or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm. And I make this declaration upon the true faith of a Christian, so help me God.”
The Jews' oath is similar to the Protestants', omitting the last sentence. The Quaker's aflirmation is substantially the same as the preceding oath. They sincerely and truly declare and affirm to bear true allegiance to Queen Victoria, and to disclose all conspiracies, but omitting the words “to defend her to the utmost of my power,” and the concluding words, “And I make this declaration,” etc.: 22 Victoria, cap. 19 (1859).
Roman Catholic Oath of Allegiance. “I A. B. do sincerely promise and swear, that I will be faithful” (using
the same words as the protestant oath, down to ‘the crown of this realin'). “And I do further declare that it is not an article of my faith, aid
* To this point the Protestant and Roman Catholic oaths are alike.
CH. I.] THE CIWIL LIST. - 445
Catholic oath now in use was introduced by the Roman Catholic Relief Act." To enable the sovereign to maintain the state and dignity of the ancient monarchy, the parliament settles on him an annual income. This is called the Civil List, a name it acquired when the salaries of the civil officers of the government were paid by the sovereign, and the money for the purpose was voted as part of the royal expenses, according to a list laid before the house of commons. By a succession of constitutional compacts between the sovereign and the parliament, the hereditary revenues of the ancient kings, which descended with the crown, have been surrendered to the nation; which, at the same time, through parliament, engaged to make an adequate provision for the dignity and honour of the crown, and for the maintenance of the royal family for the time being. During the last century the surrender of the old revenues was not complete; but since the reign of King William IV. the surrender has been entire. It was deemed a matter of policy, to which our patriotic sovereigns willingly consented, to remove from them all hereditary property, and to render each sovereign in his life entirely dependent on parliament. The income settled on
I do renounce, reject, and abjure the opinion, that princes excommunicated or deprived by the pope, or any other authority of the see of Rome, may be deposed or murdered by their subjects, or by any person whatsoever. And I do declare, that I do not believe that the pope of Rome, or any other foreign prince, person, state, or potentate, hath or ought to have any temporal or civil jurisdiction, power, superiority, or pre-eminence, directly or indirectly, within this realm. I do swear that I will defend to the utmost of my power the settlement of property within this realm, as established by the laws. And I do solemnly swear, that I will never exercise any privilege, to which I am or may become entitled, to disturb or weaken the protestant religion or protestant government in the United Kingdom. And I do solemnly, in the presence of God, profess, testify, and declare, that I do make this declaration, and every part thereof, in the plain and ordinary sense of the words of this oath, without any evasion, equivocation, or mental reservation whatsoever, so help me God.”
* 10 Geo. IV., cap. 7 (1829): An Act for the Relief of his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects.
her present majesty, Queen Victoria, on her accession to the throne, was £385,000, composed as follows.
1st class, Privy purse . . . . . £60,000
The descent of the crown is hereditary, and descends to sons according to the rules of primogeniture; and on failure of sons, and their issue, to daughters, and their issue, by the same rules of primogeniture. “But,” says Sir William Blackstone, “the doctrine of hereditary right, by no means implies an indefeasible right to the throne. No man will, I think, assert this that has considered our laws, constitution, and history, without prejudice, and with any degree of attention. It is unquestionably in the breast of the supreme legislative authority, the king, and both houses of parliament, to defeat this hereditary right; and by particular entails, limitations, and provisions to exclude the immediate heir, and to vest the inheritance on any one else. . . . And this is so extremely reasonable, that, without such a power lodged somewhere, our polity would be very defective. For let us barely suppose that the heir-apparent were a lunatic, an idiot, or otherwise incapable of reigning, how miserable would the condition of the nation be if he were also incapable of being set aside!”.' This power does not rest merely on theory or expediency, for the Act of Security constituted it high treason to maintain and affirm “that the kings or queens of this realm are not able to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to limit and bind the crown, and the descent, limitation, and government thereof.” On the death of the king, his successor is immediately * Blackstone's Commentaries, book 1, cap. 3. * 6 Anne, cap. 7, s. 1, “An Act for the Security of her Majesty's Per
son and Government, and of the Succession to the Crown of Great Britain in the Protestant line.”
CH. I.] ROYAL FAMILY. 447
proclaimed, and invested with all the rights and duties of the sovereign, so that it is a constitutional maxim, that “the king never dies.” Formerly the parliament, the council, and all the officers employed under the crown lost their authority by its demise; but that inconvenience has been put an end to. The parliament, by the existing law, is to continue, and if sitting at the time of the demise, is to proceed to act for six months, unless sooner prorogued or dissolved by the new king; and if prorogued, it shall meet on the day of prorogation, and continue for six months, unless sooner prorogued or dissolved; and in case there be no parliament in being at the time of the demise, the last parliament shall convene and be a parliament. The privy council, the great officers of state, and the officers of the king's household, continue and act for six months, unless sooner removed and discharged; and in like manner continue the occupiers of every office, place, or employment, civil or military, at home or abroad. The great seals and other public seals continue to be used until the new king give order to the contrary.'
The king's eldest son is born Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall. The former title was originally granted by Edward I., after the conquest of the principality. It is a barren title; but the Dukedom of Cornwall has connected . with it extensive property in lands, and mines of copper and tin. These were settled by Edward III. (1333) upon his eldest son, the Black Prince, and his heirs, eldest sons of the kings of England, for ever. The younger children of the sovereign are provided for by parliament on their coming of age, or being married; the sons generally receiving from the crown dukedoms, with seats in the house of lords, and a pecuniary provision from the parliament; and the daughters similar provisions, or marriage-portions; the eldest daughter, or Princess Royal, having an ancient and especial claim to be favoured in the provision made for her on her marriage, as being the object of one of the three ancient feudal aids, which the lord was entitled of right to demand, “to marry his eldest daughter.”
* 6 Anne, cap. 7.