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526

528

562

ib.

Court of the Coroners

569

Clerk of the Market

ib.

Courts of the Royal Household

ib.

Court of the Universities

570

Justices of the Peace

ib.

Lord Lieutenant and Cuftos Rotulorum

575

Clerk of the Peace

ib.

Conftables

ib.

Offences against Religion, Morality, and the Church

Establishment

577

High Treason

against the King's Officers

in respect of Coin-

ib.

Of Accomplices

590

Misprifion of Treason

594

Punishment

ib.

Homicide

ib.

Murder

ib.

Manslaughter

595

Purishment

578
588

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POLITICAL STATE

OF THE

BRITISH EMPIRE.

OFFICERS OF STATE.

THE general necessity of employing agents of talent and

credit to execute the business in the various departments of government is strongly felt in every country; but the assignment of each branch to a distinct avowed minister is peculiarly requisite in the British system. In other nations, the bounty and patronage of the crown, and the execution of all the weighty affairs of itate may be committed to one person, distinguished by the name of favourite, prime minister, or premier, and his malversations may be sheltered by the authority of the monarch; but, in Great Britain, the axion, that the king can do no wrong, is prevented from becoming an engine for oppressing the subject, by the strict responsibility annexed to the fituation of ministers, and the power of inquiry and impeachment tenaciously reserved, and vigorously exercised by parliament.

In the following enumeration, the duties of the most eminent ministers of state will be exhibited, and some details afforded respecting the offices or departments over which they preside. They are given in the order of their precedence, with the addition of embassadors and consuls in foreign lands.

1. The LORD High STEWARD. In ancient times the lord high steward of England was the first great officer of the crown. The title is of Saxon etymology, fteda signifying room, or stead, and weard a warden or keeper; and therefore to the lord high steward of England belonged vice-regal power. Is next under the king he supervised and regulated the administration of justice, and all other affairs of the realm both civil and military. VOL. II. B

The

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