« PreviousContinue »
ciple of guardianship was no doubt abo- precedent ? Evidently, that the king lished by the act of Charles 2nd. By had no prerogative that empowered him this act it was conceived, that all the to receive those rents. If he was vested feudal system was swept away; yet if, with such a prerogative, why make any for the sake of argument, il be admitted application to parliament? Why were that it was not, still the guardianship in terms stipulated? Why comply with a chivalry is not applicable to the present petition so worded, and thus called a pecase. Another doubt was, whether the tition of right? But as the king assented king by his prerogative, or some other to it, the learned gentleman conceived attribute, was not entitled to receive the that this assent proved his second proporevenues of the duchy. But, if there sition, namely, that the king's eldest son be any thing of prerogative in the case, has a right to the duchy. Surely he should must it not arise out of the grant itself? not here be told that Henry 6th was a That this, however, is not the fact, will weak prince: for, granting that he was, appear from a reference to the several did the charge of weakness apply also to reigns that have succeeded the reign of his parliament, who advised him to comEdward 3rd. The first grant was made ply with the petition? Indeed, here the by Edward 3rd to his son, the Black learned gentleman thought he might
Upon his demise, bis son, af. safely rest the justice of his case. But terwards Richard 2nd had livery of pos. he felt anxious to state other instances, session of the duchy. When Henry with a view of removing every possible 4th ascended the throne his son had ground of doubt. In the year 1472, Edlivery of possession, though then only ten ward 4th, by the advice of his privy council, years of age. Henry 5th died abroad, granted the duchy and livery of posseswhen bis son was no more than eight sion to his son, then only eight months or month old, and then there was no time to a year old. The patent recites, the give him livery of possession. But the reign eldest sons, being born dukes of Cornof Edward 6th afforded by far the most de wall, are in that capacity entitled to livery cisive case. In 1453, his eldest son, after- of possession. These were the exact wards Henry 6th, was born. In 1455, an words: this charter of livery was ratified act was passed, stating that as his son and confirmed by the consent of the Lords was born duke of Cornwall, and as he Spiritual and Temporal, and also by the had right of possession, there should be Commons; which proves beyond a doubt, delivered to him (as to his eldest son) the that there this no nonage with regard to lands, rents, and revenues of the duchy, the duchy. In 1495, upon the accession that he might enjoy the same in as full a of Henry 7th to the throne, he had no manner as they had been enjoyed by his son born, and the revenues of the duchy predecessor, Edward the Black Prince. were vested in himself. But it was at the The act then recites, that as he was under same time expressly ordered, that if he age he should have certain persons to act had a son, he should enjoy the duchy, for him. It next enacts, that from the rents, &c. in as full a manner as any of 12th of November 1455, the king shall his predecessors. The property of this have the rents and revenues of the duchy, duchy seems to be held by an extraorditill the prince shall attain the age of four- nary limitation ; it remains with the king teen, deducting certain sums to be ap- when he has no son, but it goes to the plied to purposes specified in the act. In son the moment he is born, and again 1459, the council of the prince presented reverts to the king should the son die. a petition to the king, complaining that King Henry appointed certain sums out the duchy had been materially dismem of the rents of the duchy for the relief of bered, and praying that as his son was his subjecis from some grievance of purduke of Cornwall, and as such entitled to veyance. The next year a son was born the rents of the duchy, he might enjoy to him, and the king immediately gives those rents and revenues in as complete a him livery of possession, and acknowledges manner as they have been enjoyed by any that he is of full age. It was the opiof his predecessors. This petition was nion of justice Doddridge, that the king's moreover stated to be a petition of right. eldest son is not only of age, but that the It was discussed in parliament, and, with king is by law forced to give him posses. the advice of parliament, the king ac. sion as if he were of perfect age." In quiesced in its prayer. What is the legi- 1486, prince Arthur was born, and had rimate inference to be drawn from this livery of possession given him immediately
after his birth. An act was also passed, re- royal highness, an act was passed enabling pealing the assessment that had been made the king to grant leases of lands in the of certain sums from the duchy towards the duchy, and that act recites, that “ whererelief of the subject from the grievance of as the prince is seized of the duchy of purveyance, and the receiver was directed Cornwall.” What is the meaning of this no longer to pay them. On the death of seizing, but that his royal highness's right prince Arthur in 1502, Henry, afterwards to the revenue was the same as that of his Henry 8th became duke of Cornwall, and predecessors ? — These were among the was discharged from being duke of York, prominent circumstances on which were because, in the former capacity, he had founded the rights and claims of his great and valuable possessions. Large royal highness; and if any doubts rested fines, which had been levied in the duchy, upon them, was it not most advisable to were also put to the account of the prince. have them duly examined into by parliaHenry 8th's son was of course bora duke ment? All the cases referred to appear of Cornwall ; but when his charter of uniform and consistent in support of the possession was made out he could not pre- validity of the claim; and it was difficult cisely say. In the reigns of Edward 6th to see upon what grounds the appointment Mary, and Elizabeth, there was no son.- of a committee could be resisted. Is it
The learned gentleman next proceeded to be objected, that in some reigns the to the reign of James 1st. There it was king has not granted livery of possession supposed that some very formidable ob- as regularly as he ought? Or, if so, jection would be found to the prince's does this irregularity weigh in the least claims. He had given the subject much against the title? and will it be wondered attention, but, notwithstanding, he was at, if the relation that subsists between unable to discover any circumstances the monarch and the heir apparent be duly in that reign that militated against, but, considered ? Now, let it be asked, wheon the contrary, many that plead in father the public have received the revevour of, the right. James 1st was indeed nues of the duchy? If the proposed anxious to withhold this property from his committee be appointed, it will soon apson; and had it not been for the character pear, that all revenues, except a small and conduct of justice Doddridge, who sum of 12,0001. and of 16,0001. were carwas his adviser, his son might have long ried to the Treasury, which the late chanbeen out of possession. An act was at cellor of the exchequer would not be dislength passed, which recites that the eldest posed to deny, for that right hon. gentlesons of the king were entitled to become man stated, in 1795, that the revenues of dukes of Cornwall: and hereby the king the duchy had been applied in aid of the is forced to admit the right, and to con- civil list, and as such were recognized by fess that eo instante his eldest son is from parliament. If now the title of his royal his birth duke of Cornwall.—The reign highness appears so clearly made out, next to be touched upon was that of will the House compel him to resort to Charles 1st. When he granted livery of legal means in order to establish his possession to his son was not clear. Charles right ? Indeed, it appears so clear, that 2nd had no issue, and James 2nd abdi- no candid man can deny its justice-no cated the throne. William 3rd and Ann honest man resist it. And here the learned had no issue. When George 2nd came to gentleman begged leave to remind the the throne, his son was under age, but, im- House of the manner in which the premediately on his coming of age, an ac- sent discussion had arisen : it did not arise count was rendered him of the revenues in consequence of any complaint, nor of of the duchy, from the time of his father's any demand, on the part of his royal accession. Surely, a case of such modern highness: it was entered into by the period was well calculated to remove all | House itself. It should also be recollected, doubt. In 1760, his present majesty as that one material object with his royal cended the throne, and, in 1762, the highness was, to take no step that could prince of Wales was born. From the in- embarrass the decision of the question stant of his birth his title commenced, respecting the civil list, or tend to excite and was perfected. As duke of Cornwall, the slightest degree of contest. There he was entitled to the revenues of the was another, and, he trusted, a laudable duchy. No act was deemed necessary, motive, which actuated his royal highness no charter of livery required—since the in bringing forward the question : that act of Charles 2nd. After the birth of his motive was, that he might stand well in
the eye of the public, and show that, if delivering his sentiments, after so clear a his rights had been duly acknowledged, statement of the case, and so able an he should have been no burthen on the address as had been made by his hon. and people: that his expenses, whether in learned friend. In many parts of that curred prudently or otherwise, would all speech, though there was much to admire, have fallen upon himself.-Mr. Sutton his learned friend did not convey convice described the situation to which his royal tion to his mind. He had stated, with highness had been reduced, in conse- greal ability the right of the prince of quence of his not having enjoyed what he Wales to the duchy of Cornwall; and he conceived to be his just right. He was had stated it as attaching to the prince compelled to slide into retirement and from the moment of his birth, in like obscurity, and to see the exalted station manner as if he were of full age; but, and rank to which he was born, disrobed whether or not the right was so indisputaof the splendor and magnificence that ble as the hon. and learned gentleman were due to it. He should anticipate how had contended, there were considerations the committee, if appointed, would view which operated upon bis judgment, and the question; but if the result of their rendered it impossible for him to assent inquiry tended to confirm the claims of to the motion now made. His learned his royal highness, he should then have friend had assumed the right of the prince to propose that the surplus of the reve- of Wales to the revenue of the duchy nues of the duchy of Cornwall should be from his birth; but he meant to go into applied to the discharge of his royal the committee upon very precise words, as highness's debts. The learned gentleman they appeared in his motion, which was concluded with moving, “That a select to inquire “ under what authority, and committee be appointed to inquire what so forth,” together with a power to search sums of money are due to his royal high- for precedents, for the purpose of invesness the prince of Wales, from the reve. tigating the grounds on which he rested nues of the duchy of Cornwall-by whom, the claims of the prince of Wales, asand by what authority, its revenues have they might appear on the Journals of parbeen received from the birth of his royal liament. But, he would ask, could such highness until he attained the age of a motion be submitted to that House twenty-one, and how these sums have consistently with any authorized precebeen applied ? Also, what sums of money dent? What did it amount to? That have been advanced to his royal highness the committee should have the power of from the time he came of age until the examining the Journals of that House ; the 27th of June, 1795, for the discharge for his learned friend could not expect of his royal highness's debts."
the House would enter on the secondSir Ralph Milbank heartily agreed with part of the subject previous to its disa every sentiment which had been uttered posing of the first, namely, that of taking by his learned friend. He wished his any account of the revenues of the duchy. royal highness should have fair justice His learned friend proposed that investigadone to his claims; and he saw no mode tion of the Journals which, he said, which offered the means of obtaining that would satisfy the committee, and whose justice so well as the one now proposed. report on that subject would satisfy the
Mr. Fuller said, it appeared by the House, of the propriety of the claims of Journals, that Mr. Humphrey Morris, a his royal highness; and after that invesmember of the House, having been ap- tigation, his learned friend proposed that pointed warden of the stannaries in 1763, the House, being satisfied of the right, a motion was made for a new writ; but should proceed to take an account of the which, after a debate, was rejected; it revenues of the duchy; a combination of being determined that the office was not duties intended to be imposed upon that a place under the crown. It was to be House, never before included in any moinferred, therefore, that the prince of tion that ever was adopted by, or indeed, Wales was seized at that time of the he believed, submitted to it. His learned duchy of Cornwall.
friend had gone through a very ample Mr. Chancellor Addington said, he did field of precedents, in which he was not not know how he could give a stronger disposed to follow him; nor, in his view proof of the confidence he felt in the of the subject, was it necessary; for he motives and principles which actuated his thought his learned friend had fallen into own conduct, than in rising now and a fundamental error, not from want of ability, but from not having applied his service of the public? Was the proof to talents to the subject in the way in be found in the Journals of parliament ? which he conceived it ought to be consi. He knew, that during the minority of the dered, and particularly according to the prince of Wales, sums of money arising practice of the last two centuries. His from the revenues of the duchy of Cornlearned friend contended, that the effect wall, had been voted to be applied to the of the act of Charles 2nd, which he purposes of the civil list, and that quoted, was to abolish tenures, as he had 91,000l. of this property came under the stated the case to apply to the claim of head of public services. The House the prince of Wales to the revenues of would recollect what the circumstances the duchy of Cornwall. He had great were which attended this transaction, and respect for the opinion of his learned they would be fully aware, that it did friend; but there were others for whose not always follow that a sum intended to opinion he had also great respect, and be applied for the public service could be which opinion was contrary to that ex- said to be actually for the public service, pressed by his learned friend; the techni. He was entitled to call on gentlemen who cal expression of which was, that in this contended, that this claim was a claim case of guardianship, in chivalry, the upon the public, in consequence of the guardian while the ward is declared to be application of the revenues of the duchy seized, until application for release, be- of Cornwall to the use of the public, to ing in possession, has a right to the rents show from documents, how and when and profits belonging to the ward: that that application of that revenue took the guardian was entitled to the profits place ? His learned friend had stated a and revenues after seizin and until livery wish, on the part of the prince of Wales, is demanded, &c. This was applicable to to give satisfaction to the public. Whothe case of the prince of Wales. There ever had the happiness to be acquainted was no demand of livery made on his be- with his royal highness must be well half, as duke of Cornwall, during his aware of the truth of that assertion. It minority. This he understood to be a was a pleasure to the public to reflect, point of law, on which opinions of the that such sentiments were entertained by highest authority were adverse to this that illustrious prince. It must give saclaim. He was not prepared to give a tisfaction to every good man that his decided opinion upon it; it was not ne- royal highness had an anxiety to stand cessary he should; it was enough for him well in the opinion of the public. Any to know that doubts were entertained by man who could entertain a contrary feelthose who were much better qualified ing or a different wish, must be void of than he could pretend to be to form an honour, dead to every generous impresopinion on it: knowing that these doubts sion, and ought to be branded as a monwere entertained, he thought it improper ster and held up to the scorn of the to take the step now recommended; for public. But this was not mere matter of until it was found, that legal redress out personal anxiety, even in his royal highof that House was unattainable, he ness, manly and virtuous as that feeling should think the House would be going was ; that the prince of Wales should out of its proper course, by entering on stand well in the opinion and affection of an investigation of the subject. He did the public, was a matter in which the not presume to state what these means public itself was interested. But, the for legal redress might be, but this he learned gentleman had stated, that if this knew, that some of the best informed matter was fully investigated, it would men were of opinion, that a petition of appear, that when the sums which his right was the proceeding proper to be royal highness had received were put in adopted in this case. His learned friend's opposition to what he was entitled to, his second head of observations was one on royal highness had not been the occasion which a few words ought to be bestowed; of any burthen to the public. Now, as and here the question was, whether the to the state of accounts in this particular, public had received the revenues and as they applied to sums voted, he had ocprofits of the duchy of Cornwall? This casion to lay them before the House on a was a part of the case which had about former occasion, in stating the circumit considerable delicacy. Where was the stances of the civil list; but he could not proof that any part of the duchy of consent to the course of proceeding proCornwalt had been directly applied to the posed by the motion now before the
House; and he called on the House to do touching the question of right, he doubted him the justice to believe, that he had very much the accuracy of the calculabut one object in view, and that was to tion by which it was found that a consiarrive at truth. The motion was of two derable balance would be in favour of the parts; that of deciding upon the question prince of Wales. It could not but be of right, and that of taking the account. matter of joy to the House to hear, that Upon the subject of the right, he had his royal highness intended to appropriate stated what had occurred to him by way any thing he might receive, to the payof answer to the application to the House: ment of his debts. The station of heir he believed it to be by means of a petition apparent of the crown, was so high and of right: he must, however, not be un- so onerous, that it perhaps required more derstood to recommend that, or any than was allowed to him when he other proceeding. As to the statement came of age. It was much to be wished, of the account, it appeared that the sums for the sake of the feeling and comfort issued for his royal highness out of the of his royal highness, and indeed upon civil list were monies which arose out of a public grounds it was desirable, that fixed allowance, and which it was unne- he should be put in possession, as cessary to trouble the House with the
as possible, of the means which detail of; there was an aggregate of were granted by parliament. It was to 128,481l, there was besides an extraordi- be desired by the public, that every branch nary allowance of 50,5501. a further sum of the royal family should be supported between the prince of Wales and the duke with splendor, for the public was interested of York, of 32,000l. the proportion of in that very appearance; and, however which that fell to the share of the prince the oddity of the expression might excite was more than a moiety, but the amount a smile, he was of opinion, there was much of the advances in the year 1783 was sense in what was once said at the bar of 211,3901. Now, deducting 16,0001. of the House of Lords by sir Fletcher Northis aggregate, there would then have ton, namely, that all the branches of the been received by the prince at the period royal family should be supported with a he alluded to, upwards of 195,0001. degree of splendor peculiar to themselves This was applicable only to twelve years that their affluence ought to be a con. of the nonage of the prince of Wales. spicuous feather in the cap of state ; it He believed the average of the allowance was a feeling proper to be cherished by a of his royal highness during the rest of statesman, for respect to splendor was his minority was 13,000l. a year, so that founded in the nature of man. It was his the whole sum was 233,7641. for nine earnest wish that the payment of the dents years. When the prince of Wales came of his royal highness should be accelerated of age, there was a grant made to him as much as possible. It was with consiout of the civil list, of 50,0001. for his derable reluctance that he opposed a mearevenue, and which was received by his sure that bad for its object the attainment royal highness until the year 1787, at of so desirable an end. He knew it might that period an augmentation of the re- be said, that a guardian, or a father, was venue of his royal highness took place not at liberty to make use of what might out of the civil list, which was then raised be left to his son during his minority, but to 60,0001. per annum. The whole that he was to apply it to the nurture and amount from that period to the 5th of education of the infant during his minority, January 1802, was 865,0001. The whole and account to him, when he came of sum advanced out of the civil list to the age; but, considering the circumstances prince of Wales, since he came of age, which attended the creation of the prince was 1,725,0001. out of which there might of Wales, for the first time duke of Cornbe particular items deducted; such as wall, which was that of Edward the Black the sum laid out on Carlton-house and Prince, he thought it hardly possible to some other arrangements that were made, conceive, that it was then intended the the particulars of which were laid mi- whole revenue of the duchy of Cornwall nutely before parliament in 1795. But, should be appropriated by the duke of it, under all the circumstances of the affairs and yet that the king should have all the of his royal highness, supposing the charge of the maintenance of such prince advances which were made on the one during his minority. He was not saying hand, and the revenues of the duchy of that the claim was unfounded; if it was a Cornwall taken on the other, without claim fit to be made, it was fit to be [VOL. XXXVI.]
[ 2 E]